WServerNews: A good UI for U and I

In this issue:

Thanks for the birthday wishes! What makes a good user interface? This Week in IT: The good, the bad and the ugly. Come to Barcelona for Akademy. Tired of Adobe? Lotsa new PowerShell tips. Get a free Gone Phishin’ hat! Got any Pentium memories? Fun videos from Flixxy. Save the snails! Plus lots more — read it all, read it here on WServerNews!

U and I makes UI, right? Or does it make US? Only a designer knows for sure, but they’re all crazy! Photo by Adi Goldstein on Unsplash

Mailbag

We’ve received a flood of birthday wishes in response to our last newsletter about WServerNews being 25 years old. Here’s a sampling:

From The Netherlands : with many thanks for your always interesting newsletter!! –Erik Zwaagman

Congrats, Mitch! What a wonderful run of a quarter of a century! –Andrew Wong from Toronto, Canada

I would like to you a very Happy 25th Birthday! And here’s to another 25 years!!! –Ron Walsworth

Congratulations! Looking forward to 25 more years. –Gegge Handles

HAUOLI LA HANAU (hb in Hawaiian!!) You are appreciated! Please take care. –Suzi

[birthday cake emoji] –John M

Happy Birthday!!! [many smiley emojis] 68 years ago today I took my first breath. –Ken Dodds

Many happy returns of the day. –Jyanendra Pandit

And also this one from Bruce Anderson:

And from the great land of Minnesota…

Happy happy birthday

to every girl and boy.

Hope this very special day

brings you lots of joy.

Hope this birthday presents

you get from Mom and Dad

will make this very special day

the best you ever had

See https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wfSkqMP-L-4

Thanks everyone! –Mitch and Ingrid

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Editor’s Corner

What makes a good user interface? This has been on my mind lately since I read this article on PC Magazine where Craig Newmark the founder of popular online local classifieds site Craigslist is interviewed on why their website still looks so old-fashioned after running for more than 25 years. While his comments are likely to raise guffaws among today’s fashion-forward web designers, secretly they’re probably shaking in their boots. From the interview:

PCMag: Why does the website still look the pretty much the same today as when you founded it? There’s even a new CEO. What’s going on?

Newmark: Because that serves people better. I’ve learned that people want stuff that is simple and fast and gets the job done. People don’t need fancy stuff. Sometimes you just want to get through the day.

“Because that serves people better.” What an insight. Why do some people still have Windows 7 (or Windows XP, yikes!) on their computers? Because it serves them better. Why do some users still prefer versions of Microsoft Office earlier than Office 2007 which introduced the ribbon? Because it serves them better. Why have some Linux users prefer to stick with the Gnome graphical shell instead of switching to more modern shells? Because it serves them better. Why do some companies still prefer to have their own in-house servers instead of moving everything into the cloud? Because it serves them better.

And so on. Of course in some sense usability is in the eyes of the beholder (i.e. user). For example I’ve thought about switching to LibreOffice Writer for writing this newsletter, but frankly I’m happily familiar with the Ribbon in Office 2016 and would hate to try and learn how to use a bunch of toolbars again like I had to in Office 2003 and would have to do in Writer.

Still, it’s clear to me and probably most sensible people (i.e. people like me LOL) that this whole modern “flooent” UI design craze has gotten totally out of hand. For example even a great designer like Jony Ive, the guy who was formerly the chief design officer at Apple, recently commented on the idea of using touchscreens to control functions in cars by calling for automobile makers to bring back physical buttons (Drive)!

What are some examples of good UI design from your own experience using various software? What are some bad choices developers have made in designing software and cloud services? Share your thoughts with us on this matter if you have any, and we’ll put them forward for further discussion with our readers of this newsletter.

We hope that you enjoy this week’s issue of WServerNews, feel free to email us your comments or questions about anything in this newsletter.

This Week in IT

A compendium of recent IT industry news compiled by Your Editors. Feel free to email us if you find a news item you think our newsletter readers might be interested in. And for more tech news coverage see the News section of our TechGenix website.

Our TechGenix newshound Vuk Mujovic has an spot-on article on how the new iPhone 14 models are better, but not amazing (TechGenix). Digging around on this a bit further brings up this report from the Guardian, a UK newspaper, about a probably bug in iPhone 14 Pro Max that users report can cause camera to physically fail as in go bust. Not very nice! We’ll see how Apple deals with this, their latest snafu in their product history since Steve Jobs left the helm of the ship. But wait—actually the latest Apple design snafu is the annoying copy/paste popup introduced in iOS 16 that asks users for permission anytime an app wants to access the clipboard (MacRumors). Talk about quality control…sheesh!

Shifting our focus onto cybersecurity, we see lots of bad news coming out from various quarters. LastPass the company with the widely-used password management solution says hackers had internal access to their network for four days (Bleeping Computer). Popular delivery service Uber reported that its internal computer systems was breached but says there’s no evidence user accounts had been compromised (The Verge). Then comes some alarming about a discovery by security researchers that Microsoft Teams stores auth tokens as cleartext in Windows, Linux, Macs (Bleeping Computer). Yikes, I thought Microsoft had gotten past those bad old days of poor coding practices. And by the way if you want to remove the consumer version of Microsoft Teams from Windows 11 to install the business version of Teams you should check out this post by Michael Niehaus.

But there’s been a bit of good news too on the cybersec front. For example, HP has released a new version of their HP Support Assistant utility that resolves a serious bug that had been uncovered in the product (HP Support). And on a much larger scale and important for any of us who use the Internet—which includes almost everybody of course—comes news that the U.S. DoD and DoJ are pressing FCC to develop and implement an industry-wide BGP security standard for the notoriously insecure protocol that sustains the operation of the global Internet (Fierce Telecom). BGP is well-known to be insecure by design and it’s reliable operation is critical for making our online world work (APNIC). Given how slowly the wheels of government bureaucracy turn however, don’t hold your breath that this problem will be resolved anytime soon. And remember also that the FCC is the same U.S. government agency that so far hasn’t been able to stop people from receiving annoying unsolicited phone calls!

One more thing to keep you worried at night. Brian Krebs has an article about a new kind of ATM skimmer that makes using your bank card even at a machine inside your bank a scary proposition (KrebsOnSecurity). Maybe that explains why more people seem to be lining up for tellers at my bank lately, or maybe it’s just because the ATM machines are down again. What an ugly world we live in.

Windows news

We’re a little behind this week so we’ll catch up on Windows and Windows Server news next week.

Upcoming webcasts, workshops and conferences

Got an event, conference or webcast you want announced in our newsletter? Email us!

Akademy is the annual world summit of KDE, one of the largest Free Software communities in the world. It is a free, non-commercial event organized by the KDE Community. Come to Barcelona, the vibrant city of Gaudí, Barça Football Club, and Mediterranean haute cuisine to meet in person, or online, and enjoy the best conference experience. The event runs from October 1st through 7th. Register today!

Meeting The Challenge of Modern Security Threats In The Cloud – An InformationWeek virtual event on October 6 – Find out more

Also be sure to check out the following event listings:

Got comments about anything in this issue?

Email us! We love hearing from our readers!

Meet the Editors!

MITCH TULLOCH is Senior Editor of WServerNews and is a widely recognized expert on Windows Server and cloud technologies. He has written more than a thousand articles and has authored or been series editor for over 50 books for Microsoft Press and other publishers. Mitch has also been a twelve-time recipient of the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) award in the technical category of Cloud and Datacenter Management. He currently runs an IT content development business in Winnipeg, Canada that produces books, ebooks, whitepapers, case studies, courseware, documentation, newsletters and articles for various companies.

INGRID TULLOCH is Associate Editor of WServerNews. She was co-author of the Microsoft Encyclopedia of Networking from Microsoft Press and collaborated on developing university-level courses in Information Security Management for a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) program. Ingrid also manages Research and Development for the IT content development business she runs together with Mitch.

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IT Workshop – tools, guides and useful stuff

Got a product or solution or some other resource you’d like to tell our readers about? Email us!

Our TOOL OF THE WEEK is SenSage AP from IgniteTech which lets you collect massive amounts of data from many sources within your corporate network to meet compliance requirements and conduct fast, sophisticated analytics on the data you own.

Free whitepaper from ITPro – The digital workplace roadmap: a leader’s guide to strategy and success.

Tired of Adobe? Try these PDF tools from PDF-XCHANGE, a global leader in PDF software. Everything you need to create, edit, enhance and convert PDF documents!

Tips and Tutorials

Got tips or tutorials you’d like to recommend for our readers? Email us!

We’re back to PowerShell this week for the tips section of our newsletter. Enjoy!

Enhance PowerShell with the PSReadLine Module (TechGenix)

Find Inactive User Accounts In Your Domain (Command Line Ninja)

Use PowerShell to determine the Windows version on DVD, ISO, or USB installation media (Mike F. Robbins)

Automating Dell TPM Configuration (Mick’s IT Blogs)

Using PowerShell Behind a Proxy Server (Windows OS Hub)

How to make your PowerShell scripts look better (PowerShell is Fun)

PowerShell Extension for Visual Studio Code June 2022 Update (PowerShell Team)

Top 10 PowerShell Tips of 2022 (So Far) (ITPro Today)

PowerShell Tips & Tricks (The Lonely Administrator)

Active Directory Groups Membership Report Using PowerShell (Faris Malaeb)

Freebies!!

Got a freebie you want to offer our readers? You can reach almost 200,000 IT pros worldwide with our newsletter—email us!

Request a PhishER Demo and get your free Gone Phishin’ hat from KnowBe4!

Factoid: Pentium memories

Our previous factoid was this:

Fact: The National Football League (NFL) is breaking into the direct-to-consumer streaming business.

Source: https://thehill.com/homenews/media/3572920-nfl-unveils-streaming-service/

Question: How do readers feel about this explosion of new streaming services for sports and entertainment?

A reader by the name of John Oblak had the best answer for this one:

I’ve tuned out. Always something better to do.

Now let’s move on to this week’s factoid:

Fact: The Pentium brand is finally going away after 30 years

Source:https://www.theverge.com/2022/9/16/23356495/intel-processor-pentium-celeron-brand-2023-notebook-laptops

Question: What do you remember about the Pentium when it was first introduced?

Email us your answer and we’ll include it in our next issue!

Fun videos from Flixxy

Tom Cruise Introduces ‘Mission Impossible – Dead Reckoning’ ­

https://www.flixxy.com/tom-cruise-introduces-mission-impossible-dead-reckoning.htm

World’s First Supercar Submarine

https://www.flixxy.com/worlds-first-supercar-submarine.htm

Markobi – World Champion of Card Magic

https://www.flixxy.com/markobi-world-champion-of-card-magic.htm

1920s Trip Around The World In Color

https://www.flixxy.com/1920s-trip-around-the-world-in-color.htm

And Finally

The odd, the stupid and the remarkable. Good for your mental health.

Actors worry that AI is taking centre stage (The Miami Herald)

https://themarketherald.ca/actors-worry-that-ai-is-taking-centre-stage-2022-08-31/

[No worries, in the future only robots will watch TV or go to the movies anyways.]

We Spoke With the Last Person Standing in the Floppy Disk Business (AGA Eye on Design)

https://eyeondesign.aiga.org/we-spoke-with-the-last-person-standing-in-the-floppy-disk-business/

[This company would be a prime acquisition for a hedge fund if the industry was really serious about killing off the floppy.]

Japan’s Digital Minister ‘Declares a War’ on Floppy Disks (Gizmodo)

https://gizmodo.com/japan-floppy-disk-1849480710

[That’s a wee bit over the top, isn’t it?]

A global envelope shortage weighs on Canadian institutions (The Logic)

https://thelogic.co/news/a-global-envelope-shortage-weighs-on-canadian-institutions/

[Save the snails!]

[EDITOR’S NOTE: You got that last one, didn’t you? Have a great week.]

Hey reader! Got an amazing or weird or funny link you’d like to suggest for this section of our newsletter? Email us! But please make sure that it’s G-rated as in “Gee whiz”, “Golly!”, “Good grief!”, “Gaaahh!!” and so on. Thanks!

Please tell others about WServerNews!

We hope you enjoyed this issue of WServerNews! Feel free to send us feedback on any of the topics we’ve covered—we love hearing from our readers! And please tell others about WServerNews! It’s free and always will be free—and they can subscribe to it here. Thanks!!!

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