New Pandora on Windows Phone

Pandora is available for the latest Windows Phones. They have an offer for “ad free” through end of the year!

“Experience ad-free Pandora when you listen on your Windows Phone through 2013.  Only Windows Phone has Pandora with no ads and no monthly streaming limit…for FREE. Windows Phone brings you the Pandora you love and gives it a unique Windows Phone twist, allowing you to pin your favorite stations to the Start screen, or see what’s playing by glancing at your Pandora Live Tile. “

Rock on!

iPhone Fan Tries Windows Phone

Interesting series from an iPhone user (enthusiast) who tries out a Windows phone on Lumia 920. He starts out on the negative side, per below, but adds some positive feedback as well. It seems like a fair article. I certainly have some complaints about battery life myself.

However, I really am impressed by the Windows phone overall. I used an iPhone for THREE years before getting my Windows phone.

I can honestly say that I would hyperventilate for months on end if my Windows phone is ever taken away from me. It would take months to recover, and I’d probably have to go to a … Blackberry or something.
From the article:

“I miss my iPhone.

In my first week with Windows Phone—specifically, the Nokia Lumia 920—I had a bit of a honeymoon phase: I was wowed by the device’s impressive display, the clever home screen, and its powerful lock-screen features. Two weeks in, the frustrations started to get to me: Notifications are seriously lacking, TellMe is a lousy facsimile of Siri, and the keyboard’s autocorrect features aren’t quite up to snuff.

Now that I’ve spent more than three weeks on my Windows Phone journey, a more nuanced picture has begun to take shape: My list of annoyances continues to grow, but so too does my list of Windows Phone features that I wish Apple would emulate on iOS.”

Read the TechHive article here

Windows Security Concerns?

Who isn’t worried about computer security these days. It seems in the past few years, the true guilty parties regarding security flaws are non-Microsoft companies, such as Google and Adobe.

“Non-Microsoft security flaws the real culprit, analysis finds”

Despite the number of Microsoft programs, only 14 percent of the vulnerabilities in the top 50 were caused by its software, a drop that continues a well-established trend towards third-party security flaws in recent years.
On the face of it, the top offenders in the top 50 were Google’s Chrome with 291 vulnerabilities in 2011-2012, Mozilla Firefox with 257, Apple iTunes with 243, followed by Flash Player on 67, Java on 66, and Reader on 43.
Peer into Secunia’s slightly convoluted presentation of the figures and it becomes clear that there is some double counting here; a Flash vulnerability will show up as a flaw in browsers as well as itself for example.
It’s not clear why Secunia didn’t state this more explicitly, but there is plenty of independent evidence that the top offenders for vulnerabilities in popular programs are mainly Java, Adobe’s Reader and Flash browser plugins and Apple’s iTunes.”

PC World Article

Ping Firewall Exception for Windows Server

This one gets me every time. I set up a new Windows 2008 Server within a virtual environment, like VMWare, for example. I may do this remotely, so I like to give the good old “PING” command to verify it’s live after granting a static IP address. Anyway, I go to the command prompt, and type, ‘ping x.x.x.x” (X’s = the 4 octet based IPs). Easy enough. Hey, everyone likes to do some pinging once in a while, right?

But what happens if you know or at least strongly believe your server is live, but you cannot ping it? Usually the local Windows Server 2008 or other firewall is the culprit. Assuming a hardware firewall or another 3RD party firewall is not blocking ports or traffic, then we need to add the PING ports to an exception list. In other words, allow the server to be pinged.

If you are not the Network or Systems Administrator, then you are barking up the wrong tree. [I love that expression].

Go to the server’s Start menu and type in ‘firewall adv’ (no quotes). Open “Windows Firewall with Advanced Security”. Go to the Domain profile. If this is a proper domain Server, then the other options should not even matter. Select Inbound Rules. If you peruse the standard rules to the right, you will not see PING. But you will see File and Printer options. Specifically you want to right click (ok, left-click if you’re left handed) the top 2, the ones with ECHO and ICMP in them, and enable.

When pinging, you are in fact looking for an echo reply back, measured in milliseconds (ms). Enable them both, even if not using IPv6. You may use that sooner than you think. Again, enable these, then ping away, even from within and outside of properly routed inter-connected distant inter networks!
File and Printer Sharing (Echo Request – ICMPv4In) – Enable
File and Printer Sharing (Echo Request – ICMPv6In) – Enable

Oh … and …
What exactly does ‘ping’ stand for? It stands for, ‘packet internet groper’.

Windows Twitter App Logo Disappears

As mentioned in a recent post, the Twitter App for Windows 8 came out. I installed it on my Lumia 920.

Not a disaster or anything at all (I mean, at all), but the blue bird logo did disappear from the Start Screen tile. Oh no! I had no idea how much it means to me (sniff).

Resolution?  I removed the App from the screen by holding the tile with my finger for a few seconds, and then hitting the pin. This takes it off the Start screen. Swipe right, go to the Twitter app, hold it down for a few seconds and select “pin to start”.

Windows 8 Apps Offerings Increase in Number

Windows 8 Apps are pretty small in number compared to Apps for Apple and Android. But they are on the rise, if only slightly. The projection is that they will hit 40,000 for February or March of 2012.

“The number of Windows 8 apps made specifically for the US market now stands at 30,045, according to MetroStore Scanner. Again, that number is about 4,000 more apps in the store compared to January’s stats; China still has the largest number of localized Windows 8 apps with 31,067 apps in the Windows Store.”

Apps Article here

Seagate to Stop Making 7200 RPM Drives

Interesting. It looks like Seagate is really looking at SSDs for the future.

“7,200 RPM spindle motors use about 46% more energy that 5,400 RPM motors and run considerably hotter as a consequence. Of course the total energy used by a hard disk drive depends upon the actual usage and power saving modes, and caching of data can reduce the energy used by a HDD in a computer system.
SSDs using flash memory consume considerably less energy when they are operating compared to HDDs. However SSDs are considerably more expensive for a given storage capacity compared to HDDs (about 10X or more in $/GB) and this has hindered wide-spread adoption of SSDs in computers. Seagate has said that they are discontinuing their 7,200 RPM 2.5-inch HDDs in favor of lower power 5,400 and hybrid HDDs.”

Read the Forbes Full Article