Ten years ago around this very time—April through June 2008—our intrepid Microsoft guru Peter Bright evidently had an identity crisis. Could this lifelong PC user really have been pushed to the brink? Was he considering a switch to... Mac OS?!? While our staff hopefully enjoys a less stressful Memorial Day this year, throughout the weekend we're resurfacing this three part series that doubles as an existential operating system dilemma circa 2008. Part one ran on April 21, 2008, and it appears unedited below.
A couple of Gartner analysts have recently claimed that Windows is "collapsing"—that it's too big, too sprawling, and too old to allow rapid development and significant new features. Although organizations like Gartner depend on trolling to drum up business, I think this time they could be onto something. "Collapsing" is over-dramatic—gradual decline is a more likely outcome—but the essence of what they're saying—and why they're saying it—rings true.
Windows is dying, Windows applications suck, and Microsoft is too blinkered to fix any of it—that's the argument. The truth is that Windows is hampered by 25-year old design decisions. These decisions mean that it's clunky to use and absolutely horrible to write applications for. The applications that people do write are almost universally terrible. They're ugly, they're inconsistent, they're disorganized; there's no finesse, no care lavished on them. Microsoft—surely the company with the greatest interest in making Windows and Windows applications exude quality—is, in fact, one of the worst perpetrators.
Welcome to Ars Cardboard, our weekend look at tabletop games! Check out our complete board gaming coverage at cardboard.arstechnica.com.
Trying to explain what DropMix is can prove a challenge. It’s a game, it’s a chunky piece of hardware, and it’s a centerpiece that breeds discussion. But it’s primarily an experience—and one that’s wholly unique.
This product is brought to us courtesy of Hasbro teaming up with Harmonix, the studio behind the massive hit Rock Band. It’s a tabletop game of sorts that facilitates the ad-hoc creation of custom music mixes. If you ever wondered what Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe” would sound like when paired with the percussion from Skrillex’s “Bangarang,” DropMix has your answer. What’s surprising is just how effective this piece of technology is.
Some security bites for the long weekend
The California medical board is threatening to revoke the license of Dr. William Edwin Gray III for selling homeopathic sound files over the Internet that he claims—without evidence or reason—can cure a variety of ailments, including life-threatening infections such as Ebola, SARS, swine flu, malaria, typhoid, and cholera.
In an accusation filed with the state(PDF), the medical board writes that Gray is guilty of gross negligence and requested a hearing in which the board would decide whether to possibly revoke or suspend his license.
In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, Gray said he had decided not to contest the board’s allegations, saying it would cost too much money to fight. He added: “Frankly, I think we'd lose anyway.”
Plus the turbocharged sedans each add limited-run Series Gray models.
Update (5/26/2018 8:50 AM ET): We've updated our original list with new deals on Roku TVs, DJI drones, and a Nest Thermostat and Google Home Mini bundle, among others. We've also crossed out a few deals that have expired for the time being. The original post is below.
Original post: Greetings, Arsians! Courtesy of our friends at TechBargains, we have another round of deals to share. It's almost Memorial Day weekend, and though the Dealmaster plans to spend plenty of time this weekend grilling and lounging outside, he's also making time to ignore his family and keep you posted on good deals.
While most Memorial Day sales traditionally focus on appliances, mattresses, and other home goods—and while it's worth holding off on deals for things like MacBooks and Amazon devices with the likes of WWDC and Amazon Prime Day just around the corner—there's at least a handful of gadget deals worth noting for those who can't wait until Black Friday.
It's been a good month for ships. Just this week, one of the most iconic vessels to ever clear the Kessel run in 12 parsecs returned to theaters in a very high-profile manner. But May has also brought news the Rocinante may fly again, Trekkies everywhere can finally (virtually) hop aboard the Enterprise-D, and we'll all soon host a Starfighter of choice on the nearest desk in our lives. If you want to count the ho-hum Block 5 in all this, too, go right ahead.
Seeing a young Han Solo experience all the feels when first laying eyes upon the beloved Millennium Falcon had everyone around the Orbital HQ thinking. What is the ship that still has me over the moon after all these years? We already know Lee Hutchinson adores the Normandy (among others), so this weekend we let the rest of the Ars staff also launch into a liftoff love letter.A most excellent (pseudo) ship
Like the title characters, I probably already failed this assignment by not quite following the rules. Technically, my favorite pop culture ship isn't even a ship. Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventures was a formative experience for many reasons, but chief among them was the everyday nature of their preferred time-traveling vessel. The phonebooth outside the Circle K epitomized function over form and industry over innovation—with a little chewing gum and plenty of their own gumption, even two obvious idiots could recruit the most brilliant and adventurous minds from across history to help them pass a final San Dimas High School history presentation.
Your juiciest iPhone news this week.
Amazon and Google have been going back and forth in a battle for smart speaker supremacy. As a result, both smart speakers are great, but which one is better?
The funniest movies and stand-up specials you can stream this month.
Warning: not safe for productivity.
Some design trends stick around, and others don't last long. Here are the ones we'd like to see die, and soon.
Mass extinctions aren’t fun times. There’s a reason (usually more than one, actually) species disappear in droves. That makes untangling these reasons a challenge. The geological crime scene investigation is tough given that clues can be elusive after millions of years, and the events are complex.
The extinction that wiped out (most of) the dinosaurs, for example, saw both a massive asteroid impact and long-lived volcanic eruptions that covered most of what is now India in lava flows. While the impact would have darkened the sky, bringing permanent winter for a number of years, the volcanoes' injection of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere would have produced a rapid swing in the warming direction when the sky cleared.
The record of that warming in the geologic record isn’t very good, though. The problem has been to find a suitable climate record in rocks that were deposited fast enough to show relatively short time periods in detail. To obtain that sort of record, a team led by the University of Missouri’s Kenneth MacLeod scratched through rocks in Tunisia for crushed up pieces of fossil fish bits.
And here's everything we know about this character.
It's time to take it past 11.
Spoilers: Wait, isn't he dead?!
Roundup Here’s a quick roundup to keep you updated on what’s been happening in AI, beyond what we've already covered, for your long weekend.…
But applications the iGiant removes on its own won't be included
In its latest Transparency Report, covering government demands for customer and device data in the second half of 2017, Apple said that it will soon enumerate government app takedown requests.…
The Trump 2020 campaign manager sent the letter out on Twitter. It received hundreds of retweets in minutes.