Skinning the frog
My site for talking about the customization of Windows.

Every few months I write something that incites a twitter mob.  There are people out there are compelled to right the smallest of wrongs by hurling days of abuse at the villain.

As the said villain, I’ve developed many different strategies for dealing with these mobs.

This week’s outrage: A pronoun joke (someone demanding to be referred to as "they" instead of "he" or "she" while referring to the other person as "honey" and siccing her (sorry their) followers on him in which he sub-tweeted the exchange which is where it came onto my timeline where I always enjoy tweaking rude people who are conversely easily offended. 

But there is always something for the outrage miners to whip themselves into hurling abuse at someone.

Here are a few examples.










(me and Nikki discussing the bravery of SJWs)













It’s not that I intentionally try to offend.  I just don’t put in any effort not to offend.  Maybe I should.  But as I wrote 10 years ago: I’m going to do what I’m going to do.


"More" to come.

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Jan 18, 2018 1:33 AM by Discussion: Everything Else

In honor of the new forum feature that lets us drag and drop photos into the editor I present you with: The dog thread.

Post a picture of your dog!

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Jan 10, 2018 10:35 PM by Discussion: Personal Computing

I just got my new PC set up.  First new one in 3 years and it's a monster.

I mostly got it for the Core i9 which has 18 cores.  The reason for this is, basically, I compile a lot.  Most of my programming involves AI coding and that means doing lots of recompiling and running.  I highly recommend 18 cores for most people as it's wasted.

The other reason I wanted so many cores is for Nitrous/Cider work which is Stardock's new engine.  I want to make sure that Ashes of the Singularity and Star Control and Game X are all scaling up as you add more cores as this is a major part of our ongoing effort here.


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Dec 27, 2017 5:07 PM by Discussion: Community

Hi everyone!

Stardock is looking for Community Managers who can help provide technical assistance on the forums.

One of the changes in the market is that software pricing has changed from (for example) $19.99 down to $4.99.  This is good news for most consumers but on the other hand, it has largely eliminated our ability to provide individualized technical support (you can't really afford to have a staff of full-time dedicated tech support staff providing one-on-one help on a $5 program).

Instead, Stardock has been moving to a community manager approach where people will be increasingly directed to the forums (and we will be looking for ways to make the forums better for this purpose) as well as beefing up e-Support 

If you are very technical and like helping people with the Stardock desktop utilities let us know.  These are part-time (you can do it in your spare time) and can be done from anywhere.

Obviously, WinCustomize and other Stardock community moderators and leads are encouraged as well.

If you are interested, either respond here or you can email with the title "Object Desktop Community Manager".



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PLYMOUTH, MI.  December 6, 2017 -- Stardock announced today that nearly 30 year Microsoft veteran Kevin Unangst has joined the company as Vice President to head Stardock's global marketing and partnership group.

Mr. Unangst spent nearly three decades helping to lead Microsoft's Windows and Xbox marketing efforts, including leading Windows XP consumer marketing, head of marketing for Microsoft Studios, and most recently global director of Windows gaming marketing at Microsoft.

"Kevin has a multi-decade track record of recognizing turning points in the technology industry and helping ensure that emerging opportunities are fully realized," said Brad Wardell, CEO Of Stardock.  "We are excited to have someone of his talent and experience lead our efforts to ensure that our new endeavors reach their potential."

Mr. Unangst was part of Microsoft's efforts to become a dominant player in the PC industry, from the transition to graphical computing with the launch of Windows 95, to leading the charge to make Windows and DirectX the definitive gaming platforms for PC gamers.

"I've always had a passion for helping make sure innovative technology is translated into meaningful benefits for consumers," said Unangst. "My time at Microsoft allowed me to help evangelize exciting changes that technology was bringing to the market, whether that be the power of Internet integration into Windows, the transition to 32-bit protected operating systems, and more recently, the potential of DirectX 12 for PC and Xbox gaming.

Stardock has a long track record of technological innovation going back to its invention of ZIP folders, user interface customization, desktop enhancements, digital distribution, 32-bit game development, multithreaded game development, and more recently, its investment in companies creating 64-bit, core-neutral technologies.

It was during the release of the first DirectX 12 game, Ashes of the Singularity, that Mr. Unangst became familiar with Stardock's roadmap.

"Stardock had long been known at Microsoft as an innovative company," said Unangst. "Even back in the 1990’s -  when I was marketing Windows NT - I knew of Stardock from their work with IBM's OS/2 and then with their creation of the Impulse digital distribution platform.  But it wasn't until I saw what they were building during the development of DirectX 12 that I realized I wanted to be a part of what they are creating."

Mr. Unangst will officially start his position on December 11, 2017.

# # #

Stardock is a leading developer and publisher of software and games including Object Desktop, Sins of a Solar Empire, Fences, Star Control, Galactic Civilizations and much more.  Its home page is

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Sunday’s are strange.

  1. Do I have enough time to start a new book?
  2. Is the dog getting enough attention? She doesn’t seem to think so.
  3. i really want to play game X but shouldn’t I be working on Star Control? Or GalCiv? Or Ashes of the Singularity?
  4. My son has math homework. Shouldn’t I be helping? How much?
  5. People are mad at the Democrats/Republicans. Should I care? I don’t really care.
  6. its cold outside but the solar array inverter needs to be checked
  7. YouTube Let’s plays are addictive. Damn you Quil18
  8. The wife unit is putting up Christmas decorations with our daughter. Should I help? It looks boring.
  9. What the hell are freeze dried strawberries?
  10. Why hasn’t CGPGrey made a new video?


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Nov 20, 2017 6:00 PM by Discussion: Forum Issues

I have requested the new changes you now see on the site that make the forums cleaner visually.

The next step is to have a lot more data presented when you mouse over an item.

I know some people won't like the changes, but as someone who lives on these forums, I really need the site to be cleaner and quicker to navigate through.


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Nov 20, 2017 3:39 AM by Discussion: Life, the Universe and Everything

I have 3 children. I love them to pieces.

But dogs? Obviously not in the same league but holy cow there is just something so touching in their unconditional devotion.

Sometimes, especially with the smarter ones, their similarities to small children can be uncanny. For instance, my 6 year old Entlevucher brings her stuffed dinosaur to bed every night, she just sleeps with it.

Who else here feels the same?

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Oct 6, 2017 2:51 PM by Discussion: Forum Issues

What features do you think the forums need to make them more compelling for you and for others to use?

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What do you get if you combine a petty little man like Tab Atkins Jr. and a far-left wing company culture? The answer:  Manipulated search results to punish those they believe "deserve it".

With the increasing evidence that Google operates with an open political agenda, it is not surprising that its employees feel comfortable using their privileged position at Google to smite those guilty of wrong-think.

Take the case of Google search employee Tab Atkins Jr.  After a Twitter spat with Zoe Quinn, Atkins decided that social justice needed to be served and wrote a libelous smear of me on his blog with the title "Brad Wardell is a douchebag"...three years ago.

As a semi-public figure I'm pretty used to someone, somewhere writing something unpleasant about me. What I was not prepared for, however, was someone who knew Google's search algorithms well enough to keep their little blog post up at the top of Google (but no other search engine's) search results for three years.

Compare the difference:




No where to be found.




No where to be found.




Right at the top just behind my Twitter and Wikipedia pages.


Now mind you, I've been featured in a lot of newspapers, magazines and websites over the years from Time Magazine to the WSJ to USA Today and of course frequently in the technology news sector.  None of those articles come up. doesn't even come up. Even the infamous false allegation of "sexual harassment" that certain gaming journalists latched onto (and later apologized for) can't beat it. 

Either the SEO managers at LinkedIn, FaceBook, Kotaku,,, etc. need to recruit this guy...or, more likely, this guy knows how to manipulate Google search results.  I don't know if Google gives preferential treatment to results from its employees or not. What is known is that the results are unique to Google and have managed to survive 3 years at the top despite his blog not being notable.

However, the issue I have isn't just about Tab bt rather, what it says about Google's culture. I don't think anyone I have ever worked with would feel comfortable doing this to someone.  I'm the publisher of Neowin and it's never occurred to me to use my power to try to ruin an individual.  What is the mindset of someone who writes something like that and then uses what appears to be insider SEO knowledge to ensure it nears the top?  What it says to me is that there's something gross about Google's culture and that they have a pretty high confidence that they can mete our social justice at those they feel deserve it.

Now, imagine if I weren't already a successful CEO that will never have to find a new job but instead was just "some guy".  What Tab did would be catastrophic. It sends a chilling message to those who participate in social media: Piss off an SJW at Google and they will use their privileged position to harm you.

Now, you might ask "Have I reached out to Tab?" and the answer is, yes:


That was two years ago.  In which he responded "he'd think about it". 

Perhaps Google has some other explanation as to how their employee's 3 year-old blog gets to the top only on Google and no other site.  I have my own opinions.

In the meantime, consider this: Imagine if an employee at Google had written such an article about say Zoe Quinn or some other SJW darlying?  What do you think would happen to them?

Up until the revelation that Google is willing to fire people just for having "wrong" opinions I was willing to think that Tab was just an isolated "bad apple".  But now, I feel very uncomfortable at that thought that anyone out there with the "wrong opinion" is only a few keystrokes away from being smeared or made invisible by Google employees in the online search results.

Your opinions are welcome.

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