OS deathmatch: Snow Leopard vs Windows 7

I’M A BLIGHT ON HUMANITY, Get Me Out Of Here, Saturday (NNGadget) — It’s August, the best of times when you’re a space-filler generator in IT journalism, as every other media outlet turns into a gaping void at least as bad as ourselves. This leads to the inevitable debate: which is the best operating system, Windows 7 or Snow Leopard?

Windows 1.0 screen shotOperating system name: Windows 7 gets lots of page hits and comments from individual Microsoft fans who, it’s true, just happen to be employed by Microsoft’s PR company, but are completely independent in their thinking. Snow Leopard attracts Apple cultists, freshly charged from reading a novel-length apologia at RoughlyDrafted and all set to refute perceived calumnies and smite the unbeliever. Either is great for the ad banner exposure. Tie.

Upgrading: Windows 7 has an insanely complicated upgrade graph, whereas Snow Leopard’s is: “put the disk in the computer.” The former is way better for extended articles on how it’s even easier to do a complicated Windows upgrade process by hand than it was going from XP to Vista and saves us lots of work thinking of things to write. Apple just fail to provide us material. Advantage: Windows 7.

Presentation: Windows 7 has the thoroughly reworked taskbar and the beautiful fonts and polish of Vista. Mac OS X has minor variations on the same interface it’s had for eight years. Windows 7 looks just way more exciting in screenshots in tech press articles. Advantage: Windows 7.

Improvements: Microsoft made Windows 7 as backwards-compatible with Vista as possible, down to application performance and memory usage. They did dazzling things with the presentation of all this functionality, putting everything you use every day into exciting new places, with helpful new names. Apple, on the other hand, focused largely on internal plumbing and security. It’s just dull, boys. How are we supposed to puff this up? C’mon, meet us half way here. Advantage: Windows 7.

Price: The Windows 7 Home Premium upgrade is $120 on Amazon, whereas Snow Leopard is $29. Apple just aren’t putting enough value on their products. Do you want people thinking it’s just cheap garbage? Advantage: Windows 7.

Enterprise readiness: No-one ever got fired for buying Microsoft. If you get a Mac, however, your co-workers will conspire against you and probably steal it. With Windows 7, you can be sure no-one else will ever want to touch your computer. Advantage: Windows 7.

System configuration: Microsoft gave me this laptop with only eight CPU cores and 16 gigabytes of memory to show just how good Windows 7 was on such low-end hardware. We had to buy a Mac to do this test on, because Apple just didn’t understand the promotional advantages of giving me a shiny new 17″ MacBook just because I wanted one. So I got a second-hand Mac Mini for a fair comparison. It’s clear that Microsoft understand the needs of modern information technology journalism perfectly. They also sent over their PR people Candy, Brandi and Bimbi to help me with my Windows setup all last night. Apple just completely don’t get it. Advantage: Windows 7.

Designers prefer websites designed by designers

PAGE 3, Channel 5, August (NNN) — Men prefer websites designed by men, women prefer those designed by women and designers prefer those designed by designers, according to a new study by Gloria Moss, a lecturer in Press-Release Science at Bucks New University.

Elle Macpherson reading the Financial Times upside-down, nude“It’s August, so the differences spring from our … caveman ancestors!” said Professor Moss. Men’s eyes are slightly further apart than women’s, giving them better stereoscopic vision for ogling large breasts. Men prefer websites with straight lines, unfussy detail, regular typography and tits. “Digs in Lascaux in the south of France show the original version of nuts.co.uk, which was painted on the walls of the cave.”

Women prefer websites about cooking, cleaning, housework, submissive workplace behaviour and gossip, particularly the sort in free newspapers you glance at on the train. Pink flowery decorations are also favoured. Also, they need to show more cleavage in the workplace and waggle it around at after-work drinks to get ahead in their careers.

Designers write blog rants about typefaces and kerning, under the delusion that anyone gives a shit. “Everyone else uses Comic Sans specifically to piss them off. Wind ’em up and watch ’em go!” They also spend inordinate amounts of time trying to put in penis logos to amuse their mates on b3ta.

Professor Moss’s research is to be published in the Journal of Metro in September. “Free newspapers count as publication credits these days. Had you even heard of Bucks New University before this article? Me neither.”

Google repels Microsoft attack on London offices

VICTORIA, Steampunk Britain, Thursday (NNN) — A “wall of steel” Microsoft rocket attack on Google’s London office yesterday caused a small fire from a ruptured gas cylinder, a reminder of the browser and search engine wars and Microsoft’s overwhelming might.

The destruction of the Isengard data centreThe six-story-tall Microsoft mecha, approaching from the direction of Victoria Station, unleashed an all-out barrage, belching amusing farts of smoke from its Zune HD assault flamethrowers, before halting with an E74 error and collapsing onto the top of the building, where Google employees were enjoying their regular Thursday afternoon barbecue roasting a Snow Leopard on a spit.

Four fire engines and twenty firefighters in hazmat suits were sent out after reports of Vista fumes in the area.

The attack came a day after a Microsoft suicide car bomber killed seven cockroaches and gave himself a papercut when his car computer bluescreened. Microsoft disclaimed responsibility, asserting it was a completely independent suicide commando who only coincidentally happened to be in the pay of their PR agency.

The BBC has reported Microsoft’s complete victory in the battle, with extensive Zune downloads in Silverlight format of the victorious Seattle Revolutionary Army in action.

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Row as Daniel Hannan praises Hitler

THE MEMORY HOLE, Wolverhampton South West, Thursday (NNN) — Labour has criticised Tory MEP Daniel Hannan for citing Adolf Hitler in an interview.

Daniel Hannan’s psychedelic wonderlandMr Hannan told Randroid magazine that the 1930s German chancellor understood “the importance of a really good motorway.” He later told the BBC he was a “libertarian” on immigration, but was fully on-side with Mr Hitler over the right grade of asphalt and suitably wide turning circles at interchanges. “His expertise in these matters really isn’t appreciated these days.”

The MEP caused controversy two weeks ago when he gave a stirring speech on US television saying that the NHS would lead to “rivers of blood” — prompting Tory leader David Cameron to ask the media to “pay no attention to the silly, silly man behind the curtain” and gently remind Mr Hannan that getting elected next year would be quite nice, thanks.

Mr Hannan also became a hit on the video sharing site YouTube, with a three minute speech in the European Parliament attacking Gordon Brown, that was set to a clip from the movie Downfall and had “Dragostea Din Tei” as backing music.

The Conservatives said Mr Hannan would not be disciplined because his praise for Mr Hitler had not referred to the late politician’s stance on immigration. “He does have some quite eccentric views about some things,” said Mr Cameron. “Ha! Ha! There’s a reason we sent him off to Europe, where he couldn’t do much harm. Daniel, do feel free not to comment in public on anything whatsoever until next June, there’s a good chap.”

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BBC outsources tech news to Microsoft

NO MICROSOFT WAY, WebTV Centre,Wednesday (MSBBC) — Microsoft has unveiled new technology that will allow the BBC to completely outsource its technology news section to Microsoft.

Microsoft altered head photoThis cements an informal relationship that has been in place since BBC News slimmed down surplus staff such as subeditors, proofreaders or most of the journalists. “Tech news is a brutally competitive area,” said Ashley Highfield of Microsoft, formerly of the BBC. “It’s a race against time to be first with the rewrite of the press release. I must point out, by the way, that my current job is in no way related to the Microsoft-based technology I put in place when I worked for the BBC.”

The new technology will automatically pull in Microsoft press releases, add grammatical errors, talk down to the reader, substitute technical terms with inaccurate synonyms and then misspell them and put them in quotation marks. Articles will be padded with analyst quotes computer-generated by an expert system describing how Google will destroy rainforests and Apple phones cost too much.

Recent output includes articles on Microsoft’s Zune, Microsoft’s collaboration with Nokia, Microsoft Internet Explorer, Microsoft’s copy of the Nintendo Wii controller, Microsoft suing Windows pirates in China, long articles on Bill Gates’ charitable foundation and medical evidence that Google causes cancer.

The system is guaranteed robust. “In fact, we’re running it on a refurbished Xbox,” said Highfield. “Absolutely nothing can go wr E74 ◉ ◉ ◉

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Murdoch’s London freesheet closes

PAGE 3, Channel 5, Friday (Mediocre Grauniad) — The collapse of Murdoch evening freesheet The London Paper has thrown the vapid fishwrap industry into turmoil.

Rupert Murdoch as GollumNews Group Newspapers had already been reeling under the impact of even a 20p Sun only being bought by people too thick even for Metro. “Celebrities!” said London Paper editor Stefano Hatfield. “Train strikes! Viagra ice cream at Selfridges! Half-naked black women as well as white ones! Science from the University of That’s A Bit Bloody Convenient! Politely-phrased middle-class suburban fascism, none of your unsubtle Daily Mail-isms! Not even the Em cartoon was enough! What did we miss?”

The paper will be much-missed by the Lumber Cartel and the binmen division of Unite. The London Paper single-handedly made up a quarter of all the rubbish in the streets of Westminster and low-cost housing was under construction using remaindered copies of City Boy.

The London Paper could move behind the News Group paywall. “It works for the Wall Street Journal! There’s got to be a fantastic market for bad fashion, annoying non-celebrities, tedious City non-gossip, gay dating non-tips and indisputable scientific proof from cosmic ray measurements that women need to drink like fish and bathe in semen to grow and uplift their breasts and succeed in business. ‘Down-load’ it to your iTouch Kindle 360 today!”

“You’ll never go broke underestimating public taste,” said Rupert Murdoch, fresh from the triumpant news that MySpace had lost $500 million in value since he bought it. “Well, usually.”

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Apple ___ set to revolutionise consumer electronics

ONE INFINITE LOOP, Here We Go Again, Sunday (NNGadget) — Apple is reportedly close to launching its long-rumored ____. It could be Apple’s latest billion-dollar jackpot.

Apple iPod Shuffle ButtplugAnalyst speculation says the ___ will be launched in September and be in the shops by Christmas. A new mention of the ___ crops up on Twitter around every eight minutes.

The ___ is rumoured to be any size and scale between the iPod Shuffle and the Macintosh IIfx. Some have described the ___ as a “___-killer.” Analyst speculation suggests the ___ will use a fantastic new interface. “It will be a whole new paradigm,” said Apple blogger Leander Kahney.

Expectations flared when technology research analysts noted that Taiwanese suppliers had received orders from an unknown buyer for a particular obscure component to be filled by the end of the year. “The only possible conclusion is that Apple will launch a ___ by early next year,” said Kahney. “They’ve been working on the ___ for the past six years. People expect it to be the ultimate Apple surprise. This thing will knock people’s socks off.”

Apple has refused to comment on the ___ speculation. But Tim Cook, its chief operating officer, recently hinted that the company was working on something “very innovative.” Steve Jobs is thought to have been personally involved in the development of the ___ over the past two years.

Daniel Eran Dilger noted on roughlydrafted.com that the ___ would need to be fueled on pain, angst, the destruction of the ecology, the torture of kittens and the tears of widows and orphans, but put together a devastatingly convincing and very lengthy explanation as to why Apple’s actions were the only humanly acceptable option for the consumer, the technology industry and the future of humanity, and that Jobs’ Nobel Peace Prize was ridiculously overdue. And that all problems were clearly Microsoft’s fault.

Lockerbie bomber freed for reasons other than business dealings

THE BLACK HOLE OF LOCKERBIE, The Great Game, Saturday (NNN) — FBI Director Robert Mueller harshly criticized the release of Abdelbeset Ali Mohmed al Megrahi, convicted of the Lockerbie bombing, as “a mockery of the rule of law” and “detrimental to the cause of justice engineering.”

Never fear, Mandy is hereAl Megrahi had been serving a life sentence for the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland. After many years of appeals over blatantly tampered evidence, in which the British government tried to keep relevant documents secret from the defendant and his lawyers on national security grounds until the judge threatened to throw the conviction out, Al Megrahi was finally released due to terminal prostate cancer and having three months to live.

Al Megrahi was told he could either go home to Libya or stay and die clearing his name. The government declined an option to free al Megrahi and allow him to live in Scotland after senior police officers cited the severe security implications of him opening his mouth where people might listen.

“Obviously, the sight of a mass murderer getting a hero’s welcome in Tripoli is deeply upsetting, deeply distressing,” David Miliband told BBC radio Friday morning. “Since of course he did it, as shown by none of his appeals getting through.”

The Libyan government had accepted that paying $2.7 billion and taking the rap for the bombing was a business requirement of selling oil to the West. But Thursday, after al Megrahi’s return, the Libyan official news agency JANA issued a statement from the government saying that al Megrahi had been “a political hostage,” showing that Gadaffi was obviously a terrorist nutter and a bad loser to boot.

Peter Mandelson pooh-poohed the notion that the release was in any way to sweeten upcoming oil deals. “The idea that the British government and the Libyans would sit down and somehow barter about the freedom of this Libyan prisoner to form some sort of business deal … it’s not only wrong, it’s completely implausible. Furthermore, any such deals in the very near future will be merest coincidence.”

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Instant-message psychotherapy helps health care budgets

RACTER, Eliza Alice, Friday (MX Doctor) — Online talking treatment using instant messaging can help NHS budgets recover from depression, say management researchers.

Do Not WantThe study looked at 297 people with anxiety and depression. Half had up to 10 one-hour sessions with an online therapist, LOLbot. The other half were sent to sit in a GP’s waiting room for two hours, made fun of by the receptionist and then sent home again. The study showed that LOLbot was significantly cheaper and made the local NHS trust’s accountant far more cheerful and gave him a greater sense of well-being.

“It’s like being in a chat room with your therapist,” said Dr David Kessler of the University of Bristol.

 I can’t talk to people. Even on the phone. Can you help me?
 MY NAME IS DR LOLBOT. HOW CAN I HELP YOU?
 You can help me look at my life and what it’s like … and what I decide to do about it.
 HOW YOU CAN HELP I MORE LIKE EVEN DECIDE?
 You’re not making sense. Life is futile. I can’t decide what to do. I’m not sure I should go this far.
 HAS ANYONE REALLY BEEN FAR EVEN AS DECIDED TO USE EVEN GO WANT TO DO LOOK MORE LIKE?
 What?
 SORRY, I ACCIDENTALLY THE WHOLE ANSWER. PUT SHOE ON HEAD
 This is NOT helping me. Are you actually a doctor?
 OH GOD HOW DID THIS GET IN HERE I AM NOT GOOD WITH COMPUTERS
 That’s okay, I’m not either. But I can’t face it. I want to end it all.
 THAT'S NOT FUNNY. MY BROTHER DIED THAT WAY
 I’m sorry. The world is doomed. The universe will burn out … Dr LOLbot, how do we reverse entropy?
 I DUNNO LOL
 I can’t cope with this any more. I’m going to kill myself now. Goodbye, Dr LOLbot.
 IT'S OVER 9000!
 
 FAG.

“The study was published by Elsevier and funded by BUPA,” said health patsy Andy Burnham, “so this is top-notch science you can absolutely rely on. Another cigar?”

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A-levels outsourced to monkeys

GORDON OF THE JUNGLE, Watch Out For That Tree, Monday (NNN) — After a report by the Civitas think tank that “A-levels could be done by a monkey these days,” British students have been hiring monkeys to do their homework for them while they engage in healthy outdoor activities and social interaction, usually involving White Lightning and happy slapping.

A-level student ape in bikiniPopular students used to outsource their homework to the class nerds, but “the monkeys smell better and have better social skills. And don’t tell us to run Linux. They also hurl their poo accurately, not cackhandedly.”

A survey of sixth-form teachers confirmed the change. “The monkeys pay more attention,” said one, “have better handwriting, understand human speech better and don’t play tinny synthetic R&B on their phones in class. They prefer the theme from 2001.”

Online homework outsourcing monkey Anastasia de Waal, who consults at monkeybrains.co.uk, said the problem was overstated. “The money flows from those who can’t do the work to those who can. The students are happy, the monkeys are happy, the exam boards are happy, our takeover of the earth from the inferior human race proceeds to plan, Civitas can just bog off. Look, it’s all in this A-level Economics report I prepared. A snip at twenty-five bananas. Organic fairtrade only, please.”

Newspapers were horrified at the report, saying monkeys wouldn’t look good enough in bikinis for the annual A-level student photos.