My name is Bill, I am a recent graduate in Information Sciences and Technology from Penn State University and this is a place for me to post or give my 2 cents on the fascinating world of technology. I am now working for a pretty big technology related company whose name I will leave out just to avoid any possible complications, however far-fetched them happening may be. Music gets included from time to time as well.

March 16, 2013 10:34 am
"Windows 8 has failed to ebb the receding tide."

Rick Sherland of Nomura Holdings, cited by Ian King and Dina Bass in Microsoft’s Surface Tablet Is Said to Fall Short of Predictions

There is no going back for PC sales, and for the decreasing number of users that require a ‘real’ PC there are other solutions that are significantly better than Windows 8-based PCs, especially high-end, well-designed OS X-based laptops.

We are well past the time of Peak PCs, and Microsoft doesn’t really have a response. So far they have sold less that 1.5M Surface tablets since October’s launch. Apple sold over 22M iPads in the last quarter of 2012 alone.

(via stoweboyd)

I agree the pc is going away in form factor, but that’s a load of crap to call Mac’s an alternative for those that need a pc. Nevermind business user’s, pc’s that cost the same as Mac’s are just as good if not better. Apple may get the creative types, but Windows is the OS of business and that isn’t changing anytime soon.

(via stoweboyd)

January 12, 2013 8:21 pm
CES postscript: The touch laptop, like it or not

While I haven’t really been impressed with the convertibles or super tablets so far, it really is a huge waste to buy anything without a touchscreen in my opinion.  Like it or not, Windows 8 has landed and with it the touchscreen has become the future standard.  To be fair it’s not so much that the convertibles are bad, it’s just that the past 4 years have seen a drop in consumer price for full powered laptops so while the one’s with touchscreen are a bit more expensive than they’re peers they’re certainly a better option than paying up to $500 more to be able to flip the screen flat.  Anyone else in the market for a new PC?

November 28, 2012 10:07 pm

Still Waiting for a PRO: An Open Letter to Microsoft

Dear Microsoft,

    A little over 5 months ago, you made an announcement that made me more excited than any human should be for an inanimate object.  With the Surface came the possibility of what I had been waiting at least a year for.  While others have come to love these glorified transitional products we call tablets, I maintain my position as a stubborn bastard and will settle for nothing less than a fully-realized PC/laptop replacement.  I dream of the day that I can drive down the road to the local coffee shop, order a green tea and sit down not to merely watch youtube and peruse the internet in the presence of the public hoping some cute girl will walk by and against all odds comment on my excellent taste that she would have never noticed on my tragically not-quite-large-enough phone screen, but to do actual work.  I want to put together that spreadsheet I couldn’t finish at the office, go through my project plan as I sip on my hot beverage, make a half-hearted attempt at designing an android app on the side.  I believe it is time that we have both the portability of a tablet with the FULL functionality of the clunky laptop my company so foolishly entrusted to my care.

     To give some more background, a little about myself.  I am a budding IT professional 2 years removed from college.  By no means do I so much as entertain the idea that I’m any kind of technical wizard (professionally the most technical task I have completed is writing a script that creates a CSV file with the sizes of all files in a directory) but I don’t think it would be narcissistic of me to assume that I understand more about technology than the average user.  I do a fair amount of research and know how to apply these tools to what I need to get done.  As such a user, I was immensely excited to read about the Surface tablet.  Now don’t get me wrong, I was fully aware of the difference between the Surface and the Surface Pro.  I even knew that the plan from the beginning was for the Surface Pro to debut 3 months after the Surface.  While it bugged me that I would have to spend an extra 90 days with the bruised and battered soldier of a PC I am currently typing this on, I was fully expecting the wait to pay off.  Sadly I can no longer say I maintain such expectations, and you seem to be doing nothing to convince me otherwise.

     Last weekend, I made my way down to the one regional mall containing a Microsoft store.  This is made more impressive by the fact that I live closer to 3 other major shopping malls.  As I said, I have been fully aware of the differences between the Surface and the Surface Pro, but this also meant that I was aware of how good of a preview the Surface would give me.  Now don’t get me wrong, as promised the Surface is a beautiful piece of technology.  I felt like a child again playing with the magnetic simplicities of the snap-on keyboard and awesome stand.  Unlike many I actually love the interface of Windows 8 and by extension Windows RT.  However, it became more obvious by the minute that a device of this size, this rigidity and this keyboard could never become the object of all of my computing needs.  If I am to believe everything I have found going through the tech blogs for the past 5 months all of these features will be the exact same on the Pro model.  Perhaps my biggest annoyance however was the lack of knowledge by the staff.  This certainly isn’t there fault, it’s yours for not informing them enough to handle those that have so patiently waited.

     I am now at an impasse.  I see many hybrid tablets and superlight touchscreen ultrabooks with all the capabilities I am looking for available.  While I was prepared to wait just a little longer to see this baby fully-realized, I was also expecting to know quite a bit more about it at this point.  At the very least I would have liked to know the price of the device I have seeked out every detail about by this point.  While the size is admittedly another dealbreaker, should I be able to buy the Surface Pro in a slightly larger size and a price under $900, I would more than gladly wait through this holiday season to make my ultimate acquisition.  Honestly, I might even drop the size issue if the price were to be as low as the rumors have some believing.  Unfortunately, not even your store staff can give me assurance on these issues and as such may be driving me to another device by a different company.  While I am probably not the most average of consumers, chances are most of those waiting specifically for the Surface Pro are thinking similarly to me. 

     The purpose of this letter is not so much to criticize your product as much as how you have campaigned it.  I am loving my brief interactions with Windows 8 and most of my qualms with Surface RT are personal preference rather than critical issues.  But like the english language, Windows is the choice of business.  I believe part of the reason you have taken such a drastic change with your strategy as of late is to make sure your company continues to see growth.  If you do not keep current and future leaders such as myself in the loop, this will not be your result.



November 26, 2012 7:49 pm
Nintendo's Wii U Takes Aim at a Changed Video Game World -

I believe the issue is that in the past the consoles or a pc were necessary to play any game. Now casual gamers have cheap and small alternatives in non-gaming devices. The Ouya actually seems like a better alternative as it is still cheap and allows for more expansive games to reside with the cheaper ones.

June 15, 2012 1:46 am
The Antivirus Era Is Over


 In recent years, high-profile attacks on not just the Iranian government but also the U.S. government have taken place using software that, like Flame, was able to waltz straight past signature-based software. Many technically sophisticated U.S. companies—including Google and the computer security firm RSA—have been targeted in similar ways, albeit with less expensive malware, for their corporate secrets. Smaller companies are also routinely compromised, experts say.

Some experts and companies now say it’s time to demote antivirus-style protection. “It’s still an integral part [of malware defense], but it’s not going to be the only thing,” says Nicolas Christin, a researcher at Carnegie Mellon University. “We need to move away from trying to build Maginot lines that look bulletproof but are actually easy to get around.”

Both Christin and several leading security startups are working on new defense strategies to make attacks more difficult, and even enable those who are targeted to fight back.

“The industry has been wrong to focus on the tools of the attackers, the exploits, which are very changeable,” says Dmitri Alperovitch, chief technology officer and cofounder of CrowdStrike, a startup in California founded by veterans of the antivirus industry that has received $26 million in investment funding. “We need to focus on the shooter, not the gun—the tactics, the human parts of the operation, are the least scalable.”

CrowdStrike isn’t ready to go public with details of its technology, but Alperovitch says the company plans to offer a kind of intelligent warning system that can spot even completely novel attacks and trace their origins.

This type of approach is possible, says Alperovitch, because, although an attacker could easily tweak the code of a virus like Flame to evade antivirus scanners once more, he or she would still have the same goal: to access and extract valuable data. The company says its technology will rest on “big data,” possibly meaning it will analyze large amounts of data related to many traces of activity on a customer’s system to figure out which could be from an infiltrator.

Christin, of Carnegie Mellon, who has recently been investigating the economic motivations and business models of cyber attackers, says that makes sense. “The human costs of these sophisticated attacks are the one of the largest,” he says. Foiling an attack is no longer a matter of neutralizing a chunk of code from a lone genius, but of defeating skilled groups of people. “You need experts in their field that can also collaborate with others, and they are rare,” says Christin. Defense software that can close off the most common tactics makes it even  harder for attackers, he says.

(via unexpectedtech-deactivated20130)

May 23, 2012 12:08 pm
Diablo 3 Fastest Selling PC Game in History

This would be an interesting post-mortem to read. What technologies did Blizzard use that led to them being so overwhelmed? Also, you would think that given the ease with which they can be acquired a mobile game would hold the title of fastest selling game.

March 18, 2012 7:53 pm

There’s no doubting the cloud invasion. But the research firm Gartner believes the personal cloud will replace the PC as the center of our digital lives sooner than you might think: 2014.
“In this new world, the specifics of devices will become less important for the organization to worry about. Users will use a collection of devices, with the PC remaining one of many options, but no one device will be the primary hub. Rather, the personal cloud will take on that role. Access to the cloud and the content stored or shared in the cloud will be managed and secured, rather than solely focusing on the device itself.”

But it’s not about the oft-referenced post-PC era, “but rather about a new style of personal computing that frees individuals to use computing in fundamentally new ways to improve multiple aspects of their work and personal lives.”
“People argue about, ‘Are we in a post-PC world?’. Why are we arguing? Of course we are in a post-PC world. That doesn’t mean the PC dies; that just means that the scenarios that we use them in, we stop referring to them as PCs, we refer to them as other things.”

January 9, 2012 11:40 pm
Why you won't want to buy the laptops of CES 2012 | CES 2012: Computers and Hardware - CNET Blogs

If you’ve been exploring the laptop market recently as I have this is a good article to consider. I’ve accepted that tablets aren’t going to take over all of the functionality I would like out of computing any time soon but with Windows 8 and Ivy Bridge coming out within the next few months I definitely see a good reason to wait for a new device. This may have given me the idea for a six month rule: only purchase something if there’s nothing that could possibly revolutionize it within the next 6 months.