Origin/EA/Xbox Live Accounts

Holy clusterfuck Batman, get your shit together Origin/EA. Trying to get my kids to play Battlefront with me on the Xbox is a nightmare.

So far, this is the best guide I’ve come across. What a shitshow. Please fix this. Now we all have 200 billion accounts spread across all these damn networks. What a disaster.

Unpopular Opinion Post: Microsoft Azure is toast (as a public service)

I really think Microsoft Azure is screwed.

It’ll still be around to power Microsoft’s backend services, but as a public offering to compete against AWS… it’s toast.

Also… OneDrive… seriously, wtf?

AWS Solutions Architect Associate Level

Today (kind of on a lark) I drove to Chattanooga, TN to take the AWS solutions architect associate level test. I passed by the skin of my teeth.

Decided to come to Hooter’s to chill out and have lunch before the drive home.

Whew.

See you cats at AWS re:invent in November.

Why Video Chats Don’t Work

Video chat may never replace a real life face-to-face. I think I know why.

I was talking to a friend earlier today about video chats and why they don’t work. She said she really didn’t like to do video chats. Actually, come to think of it, I don’t really know many people that like to video chat.

I am a refugee of Generation X. I don’t know anyone in GenX that actually enjoys video chatting. Face time is irreplaceable. I mean time that is spent face-to-face, not Apple’s FaceTime. I’ve often thought about why I don’t like to video chat and I think it comes down to one simple thing. You can’t properly make eye contact.

When you’re video chatting with someone, you can’t look them in the eye. You look them in the eye on the screen, not the camera. The person on the other end sees you looking at something else – not them. That starts to grate on your nerves a little bit I think.

Could this problem be solved? Probably. If someone could invent some multi camera method of video chatting so it looks like you’re making perfect eye contact it would likely go a long way. What I don’t know is how other generations other than mine feel about this. What do you think?

Pixar is releasing RenderMan for free!

Pixar is releasing RenderMan, the 3D tool behind its films, for free… noncommercial use only.

Make a note to pick it up around SIGGRAPH 2014!

The Tone of the WWDC Keynote

One thing I wanted to mention in my post about WWDC last night… did anyone feel that the tone of the overall keynote was different? It felt a little more relaxed and fun. It seems like Tim Cook has encouraged his staff to be more relaxed and at ease with what they are doing. There was more humor and more open honesty.

I think Tim is trying to strike a keen balance between old school Apple secrecy and a new humane approach to the work they are doing. I think he’s listening to the consumers about how things should be (iCloud Drive is a likely example of that).

I like Tim Cook. I like where he’s taking the company. All of you who keep crying about Apple’s lack of innovation need to look back at Microsoft’s record the past 20 years. Give Apple some time and they will surprise you. They like to lay a lot of foundation work before they spring a surprise on anyone. This WWDC was foundational. I expect a lot of interesting things this fall.

OS X 10.10 and iOS 8 Thoughts

I should be at WWDC 2014 this year, but I’m not. I work for a Microsoft-centric shoppe right now and they just don’t see the value in it. Nevertheless, I put my name in for the lottery and I didn’t win anyway.

I watched most of the keynote from afar and parts of the State of the Union address. All of it is ultra exciting. If they get Continuity, iCloud Drive (FINALLY OMG) and Messages right, this will be a killer OS combo with iPhones, iPads and Macs.

There’s a plethora of articles out there explaining what’s up. I highly recommend Anandtech write-ups in almost every scenario.

Also, I’m really interested in Swift – this new programming language. It seems quite daft. Too bad I’m not as proficient with Obj-C as I wanna be yet. When they announced the new language, my first thought was all the people who are groaning about the iOS and Mac programming courses that they have to remake… or, more likely, how excited they are that they can make another round of these things and a windfall of cash.

There’s great things to come in the world of Apple. I’m looking forward to seeing where the home automation stuff goes too.

Who cares about an iWatch and TV? Whatever.

Microsoft’s Settled for Relevance

This post summarizes my thoughts on Nadella’s Microsoft very nicely.

When OneDrive gets provider-side encryption and an API that puts it on par with Dropbox… the war is really on.

URL Update

I’ve been doing a pretty bad job of updating this blog. Part of the reason is that I wanted to update the URL to move the blog to the root. I finally got around to doing that today. It’s not that painful, so I don’t know why I waited so long to do it.

In the meantime, I’ll start off by sharing an interesting WordPress trick that I picked up here. I’ve been trying to figure out a way to stop spambots from registering on this site and my many other WordPress sites. I may have finally figured out a way to do that. I just implemented it. We’ll see how well it works.

The trick is to add the following block of code to your .htaccess file in the root of your WordPress installation.

# BEGIN ANTISPAMBLOG REGISTRATION
RewriteEngine On
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_METHOD} POST
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} .wp-signup.php*
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !.galaxycow.com. [OR]
RewriteCond %{HTTP_USER_AGENT} ^$
RewriteRule (.*) http://die-spammers.com/ [R=301,L]

Of course, you need to change “galaxycow.com” in the above code to reflect what your site is using.

We’ll see how well it works. Thanks to D’Arcy Norman for that neat trick.

Microsoft (and Paul Thurrott) says Windows 8 sucks

Last week, Hell froze over in one of the deepest freezes in the history of the United States.

This week, Paul Thurrott finally speaks the truth about Windows 8/8.1. It’s not pretty.

“Threshold” to be Called Windows 9, Ship in April 2015 | Windows 8 content from Paul Thurrott’s SuperSite for Windows

It’s going to be a very interesting 2014 in the tech world.

Speaking of which, I hope you’re having a fantastic start to this new year. I need to get back to blogging and updating my websites.