The AnswersThatWork Blog

Saturday 19th December 2015

What's in the name

In a TUT update last week we added over 450 domain name registrars into TUT, thereby enabling users to use the WHOIS tool in TUT to query all available types of domain names, whether it be a .XYZ, a .NYC, .GAMES, .APP, .MOBI, .PARIS, .SYDNEY, .MELBOURNE, .STOCKHOLM, .LIVE, .FOOTBALL, .FUTBOL, .ACCOUNTANT, .ENGINEERING, etc..., etc...

It took a long time to gather, verify, and enter the information into TUT but we had to do it as an ever increasing number of users worldwide are realizing the importance of domain names.  Twitter, pop stars, and websites associated with about-to-be-released films have played a major part in educating everyone about domain names and their value.  And that is why we had to do it.

It is unarguable :  these days, anyone starting a business, an idea, a local group, anything, should first and foremost check first what domain names are available that match the new business, group, or idea, and only once they have found that free domain name should they give a name to the business / idea / group.  And these days the possibilities are endless — domain names are no longer limited to extensions reflecting your country, such as .com, .us, .fr,, .de,, .ca, so if you want to open a café called "Big Ben", you can choose for your website name, or if you want to start a Taxi company to rival New York's yellow cabs, you can call it Purple Cabs because the domain is available.  Alternatively, if you are Liverpool FC (Sorry, couldn't resist it, Liverpool FC and Nantes are the two clubs I support) and want to add the domain to the list of domain names you own, you can use TUT's recently enhanced WHOIS tool to check who has that domain name and might be willing to part with it for a few hundreds of thousands of dollars.....

All this to say :  we've heard you and TUT now has an enhanced universal WHOIS utility which enables you to research any type of valid domain name.  And, best of all, you can copy, save, or print the results.


The wrong way to do things — the London Underground

In London, England, the subway is called the "Underground" or "The Tube".  While driving to a client this week I heard on the radio an advertisement from the London Underground eulogising on the many enhancements to The Tube over the last year.  The one that caught my ear was the advertisement proudly stating that over 200 new stations now had free Wi-Fi.

In short, at the end of 2015, free Wi-Fi is now available in about two-thirds of the London Tube stations.

It sounds absolutely brilliant.  After all, we all use free Wi-Fi when it is available, so this has to be good news, doesn't it ?

Well, let's look at the practicalities of it :  as everyone knows, free Wi-Fi in public places means you have to sign up to something and give your name, address, and email to some database that will later email you marketing stuff.  It is a minor inconvenience, but still an inconvenience.  However, by far the biggest issue I have with London Tube's thinking is this :  the overwhelming majority of Tube users use The Tube to go from A to B.  Additionally, as the advertisement was proudly telling me, waiting times between trains are getting shorter all the time.  This means that by the time you get to a platform you have 2 to 5 minutes maximum to take your smartphone or tablet out and use the free Wi-Fi, because once you are in the train inside the tunnels.......... there is no Wi-Fi, free or not !!!  No wonder most people to whom I have asked the question have never bothered signing up to the free Wi-Fi in the Tube.  It is utterly pointless — a total waste of money.

Contrast that with .....

Hop over the Channel and go to my home town, Paris, France.  There, the approach has been completely different.  Rather than worry about Wi-Fi, the Paris Métro has taken the view that what is really important is for people to be able to use their cellphones everywhere !  Result :  they have brought all the cellphones companies together and produced an infrastructure where, wherever you are in the Paris Métro, whether it be 20m below ground, 40m below ground, in a station, inside a train, overground, you have a phone signal.  Yes, wherever you are in the Paris Métro, you can use your phone to make a call, text, or, using the inevitable Internet data plan that comes with all smartphone plans these days, you can browse the Internet.  No sign-up, just continue using your phone in the same way you would do above ground.  The Perfect Solution !  In fact, you get a better phone signal below ground inside the Métro than above ground in some hotels !

So, a message to the people running the London Underground :  stop wasting money on useless Wi-Fi in stations only — do things properly, provide the infrastructure so that everyone gets a full phone signal everywhere in the Underground (including in the trains) — invest properly !

Windows 10 !

As we all know, Microsoft have worked really hard to try to avoid the disasters of Windows Vista and Windows 8.0 :  they gave Windows 10 as a free upgrade to all Windows 7/8/8.1 users for 1 year starting in August.

Has it worked ?

Well, the first month's take up was meteoric, of course.  And then ?  And then the problems started, the bugs but, above all, the stupid restrictions :  who on earth at Microsoft thought that corporates and home users alike would wholeheartedly embrace compulsory Windows Updates that you cannot turn off (thankfully you can disable this with TUT by turning off the Windows Updates service), particularly when the first batch of driver updates would make the display turn off on some PCs, or network drives disappear, or file copying to the network unbelievably slow, or boot-ups that take 30 seconds one day, and 2 minutes on another day, randomly, all problems we experience on the Windows 10 PCs in our office ?  I guarantee the EU will take Microsoft to court on that one.  And what about users who upgraded and found that Internet Explorer had disappeared, together with all their bookmarks and saved passwords (IE is actually still there, under the bonnet, but the upgrade removes all visible references to it, trying to coax you into using Microsoft Edge) ?

Result :  once a significant number of the early adopters of Windows 10 started telling their friends "Stay on Windows 8.1, Stay on Windows 7", the take-up slowed down so dramatically that, 4 months on, the take-up of the free Windows 10 Upgrade is actually lower than when Windows 8 was released !  Cue some November 2015 market share figures —in November 2015, according to NetMarketShare, the worldwide usage of Windows is as follows :

Windows 7          —   62%

Windows 8 / 8.1  —   16%

Windows XP        —   12%

Windows 10      —   10%

Windows 10 last, behind Windows XP !!!

So, are you ready to upgrade to Windows 10 at work ?

Take the survey below and see what others think ............





—— (TUT) SpaceMan




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