Re-Launch, coming soon…

After a few months of dealing with family emergencies, relocating, starting a new job, and who knows what else I’ve left off the list, I think I’m finally going to sit down and get back in the swing of things! Expect more regular updates to come back to the site soon. Even better? The content will be more varied, combining a bit of what you’ve seen sparse bits of here, with what you know from WinBreak.com! So stay tuned, as the site really becomes the blog I’ve always wanted it to be. Check back soon!

Where Microsoft's "to the cloud" ads fall short

I think most people get that I’m a Microsoft Fan-Boy. A self-admitted Windows lover, Xbox lover, Windows Mobile addict, Microsoft product junkie. That’s why I don’t like being critical of Microsoft, but they just keep missing the point.

Android, and specifically even Motorola Droid commercials, often advertise how Product X is “just one of thousands of apps” available on the Droid. They plug the product, tell you what it does, all kinds of great things – and this is putting money in someone else’s pocket (though I’m sure some sort of scheme was worked out to get a product promoted).

Meanwhile, Microsoft gives all the glorty to “the cloud” – without ever telling you what it is, how it works, or how to actually use it.


Get Microsoft Silverlight

Now, I know the concept of the cloud is still a bit abstract for many home PC users, but when Microsoft shows off some great video conferencing software, it sure would be nice if I knew the name of it so that I could start video conferencing with my parents (note: I, frankly, still have no idea what cloud-product is being featured in this ad – can Live Messenger share a video while 2 people video chat?). I just think that the ads should at least feature the name of the Windows application that actually lets you do these things. It’s out there, it’s self promotional, it’s easy. Why is it so hard for Microsoft advertising partners to figure out?

Want better Gmail / Google Calendar on Windows Mobile? Try Google Sync

Are you jealous of all of your friends with their fancy Android phones, while you’re stuck with Windows Mobile? Do you wish you could sync your calendar and contacts to gmail just like them? Do you wish there were an easier way to import your contacts from Windows Mobile to Gmail so that when you buy an Android phone you can have it automatically download your contacts? You’re in luck.

For whatever reason, Google Sync seems to be one of the best kept secrets on Windows Mobile. After a download-free, quick, and painless setup, your Windows Mobile phone is syncing contacts, emails, texts, tasks, and calendar events like there’s no tomorrow. You can practically ditch Microsoft MyPhone* if you want. Details about Google Sync can be found on it’s website, http://www.google.com/mobile/sync/ – visit the page for easy instructions on setting the service up for multiple devices. Keep in mind, setting up for Windows Mobile is very easy!

Google "accidentally" reads your email, then Analyzes it?

Hey Google! Stop peeking at my data!

Back in May, the story broke that Google had… let’s say “accidentally” captured data from home and business wifi networks. As the “street view” camera cars drove around and mapped a few things, Google admitted they ‘may’ have captured some data from wifi networks in the area. Google had originally said that only data from unencrypted networks and hot spots were captured, and that, according to PC Magazine: “A Google spokesperson said the Street View cars have been collecting the information since 2006 in more than 30 countries… [Google’s Alan Eustace said] ‘As soon as we became aware of this problem, we grounded our Street View cars and segregated the data on our network, which we then disconnected to make it inaccessible.'”

Many, many people have said over and over that a computer can only do what it’s been told to do, and that “mistakes” of this nature don’t happen – and certainly would’ve been noticed more than 4 years ago. If you capture data from wireless networks, you’re going to see a large amount of data – much more than the standard photo data. Someone had to have noticed this. But, fine, whatever. Let’s all accept that Google made a mistake. No harm, no foul, right? So we thought.

Google recently admitted that they may have captured more than just ‘bits and pieces of data’ but entire emails, personally identifiable email address, and even passwords. It’s not the “admission” of this that’s bothering me, it’s the fact that GOOGLE IS STILL ANALYZING THE DATA THEY CLAIMED THEY HAD ACCIDENTALLY CAPTURED! ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Stop it! Stop looking at it! Delete it! Demagnetize then shred the hard drives! Lose the data, my data, anybody’s data – four years and 30 countries with of data!

The fact that people are reporting on this, and overlooking the fact that Google is clearly harvesting this data like any other search data that people come to their website and give them or agree to the Terms of Service in their GMail account is absurd! More journalism and technology outlets need to condemn Google’s actions, not just report on them. It is unacceptable that Google is treating this data like anything else in their possession when it was obtained, if not illegally, certainly questionably. Why aren’t more people reporting on that side of the story? I can only assume nobody wants to anger the big machine – but I hope that someone notices what I’ve noticed, and takes Google to task for it.