Q’n'A: What you're all talking about

From time to time, I'll get absolutely inundated with an email, which naturally I'll delete straight away. On the rare occasion I get something worth reading, I'll flag it for a post like this.
Written by Zack Whittaker, Contributor
From time to time, I'll get absolutely inundated with an email, which naturally I'll delete straight away. On the rare occasion I get something worth reading, I'll flag it for a post like this. The reason we have TalkBack's on ZDNet is not so we can harvest off your user information for the statisticians, it's so you lot can talk back to us and give us grief for doing our jobs. Again, useful when it comes to doing posts like these.

It's been a strange few months, especially with the economic downturn and the fact the stock markets have turned to a brown, gooey sludge called "recession". There have been job layoffs from London to New York, San Francisco to Antarctica, but there has been some brilliant news coming out of the conferences we've all been to.

So in respect to all this, what have you lot been emailing and chit-chatting about? It's time to get some answers from yours truly.

Q. [Email] Can I have the Kindle that was given to you? A. Sorry, I gave it back with an angry Post-it note on it saying, "never in a million years".

Q. [Email] Why did you take the time to scream about essay writing services, when if we don't, it'll just get worse? A. It's not a mild case of projectile diarrhea; you should be able to talk about these things. Maybe if we'd spoken up a little bit sooner, some of the major wars we've had wouldn't have been so bad. I chose to talk about it because it shows how technology is being used in a negative way, rather than a positive one. Technology should aid research, not help those who can't be arsed to write an essay to get someone else to write one.

Q. [Email] Why lug 3 or 4 books on vacation when you can just slip the Kindle in your purse? A. Sure, go for it. I don't particularly want to pay around about the same amount for an e-book of the same physical book. For some people, the Kindle will be a god-send. Whilst many have criticised my criticisms of it, I'd honestly prefer a good book. For me and many, the Kindle just hasn't refined itself well enough yet, and will be more than happy for Amazon to throw me one when the next version comes out.

Q. I was wondering if you knew which networks you can get this phone on? A. The one I have is unlocked on all networks; presumably you can get this on an any-network tariff if you speak to your network, and it's a piece of cake to unlock Nokia phones anyway.

Q. Has anyone tried installing this [Windows 7] build over Vista? A. Yes, I tried earlier on when I screwed up the boot configuration file. You can perform an upgrade and seems to work reasonably well; except leaving a Windows.old folder in the main operating system directory when you load it up for the first time. If this is how it'll continue to be, it'll wiggle out many of the problems between XP and Vista that was first found during initial release. And no, you can't upgrade from a 32-bit to a 64-bit; only a clean install from boot.

Q. Windows Server 2008 is 45x faster than Windows Server 2003? A. Yep, although it obviously can be disputed, but which is why I linked to the article making the statement.

Q. Does this university music tax cover students if they're at home? You'd be surprised, but probably. Many licences given out by providers via the university, for those such as anti-virus and other licensed necessary software's for work, are licensed to anyone at the university, regardless of whether they're on campus or not. The anti-virus on my computer is licensed to me because I'm a student, regardless of whether I'm off campus.

Q. Twitter, Facebook; are there any point to any of these? A. Well of course, yeah. However some, like Facebook, have business models and hierarchy, and end up making money. Twitter on the other hand, isn't actually generating any money whatsoever. Facebook brings people together, and whilst some argue that Twitter does, it doesn't do it half as well as Facebook and other social networks do.

Q. Why can't [Microsoft] just buy up an antivirus company like they did for anything else they needed? A. You make a good point, and it's something I can't answer. Considering it's Microsoft who have had a major impact on how we use computers and the Internet in the last decade or so, you would have thought they'd taken up a bit more corporate responsibility. An anti-virus acquisition would be a very wise move, don't you agree?

Q. One bump in the system, and you embrace Marx? A. If he was alive today, he would have had one hell of a hissy-fit at the state of our technological capitalist ways... world class hissy-fit.

Q. How many security issues come down to people's inability to use proper browsing practices? A. Many, if not all. Many are due to people clicking that little yellow bar and literally allowing malware to storm their computer, but education needs to come from somewhere. New versions of software like Internet Explorer 8 and Firefox 3 have many more security features in-built, but it still doesn't compensate for those who aren't clued up enough about security threats. This is a debate which could go on for days on end.

I think that covers it. If there's anything else you want to get off your chest about what I've written about here or over the last few weeks, let me know.

Update: rookie mistake; I've changed the title to reflect this. Too late really though; Google would have cached it before I even posted it. Meh. Brup. Bleurgh.

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