Breakfast Briefing: Surface's missing storage, computer teacher shortage, ad malware warning

31 Jan 2013
Breakfast briefing

Today's technology briefing includes a rant about Microsoft's storage claims for Surface Pro, the UK's computer teacher drought and how search results are more malware riddled than porn

Today's tech highlights include resentment over the 23GB of storage in a 64GB Surface Pro, the lack of teachers for UK computer science plans, and the changing face of malware delivery.

Surface Pro's missing storage under scrutiny

Storage on the upcoming 64GB Surface Pro has come under fire from blogger Owen William after he discovered the device shipped with only 23GB of usable space. The operating system and other overheads eat into the rest, and although Microsoft states more capacity can be freed up by moving a bootable backup onto USB storag,e Williams says consumer will feel hard done by.

"It is blatantly deceptive. Consumers are accustomed to tablets being marketed like the iPad, where if you buy a 64GB iPad, you actually get around that much space,” he said. “This isn’t like the PC market, where a machine ships with 95% usable of a 500GB drive because it’s only a drop in the bucket.

"By advertising a device that has '64GB of storage' but only actually has 23GB, Microsoft is not only setting themselves up to disappoint, they’re actively deceiving users."

Wanted: computer science teachers for UK schools

The government might have moved computer science up the agenda, with plans to make it a mainstream ”fourth science”, but someone had better start finding qualified teachers.

A worrying V3 article suggests earlier government confusion over the roles and relationship between computer science and ICT in schools has put potential teachers off applying for training positions.

"According to the Graduate Teacher Training Registry (GTTR), an admissions service operated by UCAS, this January alone has seen applicants for IT and computer science teacher training PGCE courses decline by around one third," V3 reports.

"Meanwhile a large number of UK universities have reported that their courses to train computer science teachers have been greatly unsubscribed this year, and in some cases this has led to them being cut altogether."

Ads more virus-ridden than porn sites

It's often interesting when a non-security company issues a web security report – it somehow seems more impartial and occasionally throws up interesting nuggets of wisdom.

Cisco, for example, reports that porn sites are no longer the hotbeds of malware infection they once were, or at least they've been overtaken by infections picked up elsewhere on the web.

The Register reports how online adverts were 182 times more likely to deliver malware than adult sites, while nasty bugs are "27 times more likely to be encountered via search engines than counterfeit software”".

Ballmer dismisses Jonnny-come-lately Dropbox

Business Week reports how Microsoft boss Steve Ballmer could have inadvertently given online storage service Dropbox a boost - by dismissing it out of hand. The executive with a reverse infinity Midas touch – who also previously dismissed the iPhone and Android as having poor prospects - branded Dropbox a "little startup".

He admitted the company might have 100 million users, but pondered how many of them were paying. "I would say a much higher percentage of our unit engagement with our customers comes from the consumer. And a much higher percentage of our revenue participation comes from our business customers," he said. Nice way to motivate your business customers, Steve.

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