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* Posts by Daniel B.

2647 posts • joined 12 Oct 2007

Publishers put a gun to our heads on ebook pricing, squeals Amazon

Daniel B.
Silver badge
Alert

Two wrongs don't make a right.

Firstly, they bought wholesale at a discount from the publisher, then sold ebooks AT A LOSS to undercut their competitors. This is called "dumping" and, well, the goal was to build a monopoly.

This is indeed frowned upon, as dumping is usually done with this goal. It is actually illegal in some countries, but in the US it might not be, or has some kind of exceptions. But then, if it is illegal, the publishers could've simply taken Amazon to court instead of trying to go all Judge Dredd on them.

But price-fixing is actually illegal in most countries, including the US. And it seems that they were making it such that they could simply point that it wasn't price-fixing, simply that they couldn't sell for less because of Apple's MFN clause. In reality, they were colluding with Apple, having the price point set higher than what Amazon was getting, thus forcing the market to go much more expensive. And while dumping hurts the consumer in the long term (when the monopoly is established and prices are jacked up), price-fixing hurts the consumer immediately.

Apple deserves to be punished for stooping so low.

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Smart TVs riddled with DUMB security holes

Daniel B.
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Boffin

Re: Sir

Yup. WiFi is for mobile devices, using WiFi for stuff that doesn't move often (desktop PC, TV, PS3/Xbox) is for lazy people.

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Leaks point to new mystery Macs 'with Jony Ive's fingerprints on'

Daniel B.
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Boffin

More concerned on other issue

I really, really hope they upgrade the non-Retina MBP range. I dislike non-upgradeable hardware, and is the main reason why I didn't go for the Retina stuff.

The optical drive is something I rarely use, but it is still good to have it there. It also gives me the option to add a second HDD if I ever need to do that as well.

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iPHONES and 'Pads BANNED in US for violating Samsung patent

Daniel B.
Silver badge
Boffin

The Prez had always used a BB.

Actually Obama DID use an iPhone when he started office, but was told he'd have to switch to a BB for security reasons. ;)

Um, you got that wrong. Obama was using a BlackBerry before he got elected, he was actually asked to switch to a Sectera Edge when he got elected. Finally the NSA let him keep his BlackBerry, after they hardened it a bit more so the Obama BlackBerry is truly one of its kind.

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Microsoft parades Windows 8.1, the version you may actually want

Daniel B.
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Facepalm

Re: common mistake

Companies transiting to Win7 since 2010 so most are not yet due a replacement cycle

Yes, companies are transitioning to Win7. They're also blocking Win8 for the same reasons most people who aren't MS shills or MS fanboys (I didn't know there was such a thing!) are: Metro/Modern is crap. The Start Screen is crap. Companies want their employees to work, not to dabble with toy interfaces.

Sorry but MORE than one UI for my devices is contra-productive and will eat resources in a corporate environment to boot.

... which is why companies hate Win8 as well. It has more than one UI, and a crap one to boot.

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Daniel B.
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Boffin

Re: Nice ... Nice ...

Because the Start Menu is the one single thing that made users get up in arms. Actually XP made it less cluttered, by putting all the "My PC", "My Documents" et al in the Start Menu instead of wasting space as icons in the screen. Same with the scrolling menu vs. zillion cascading menus behavior. Vista/7 even improved on this concept.

And just searching stuff, a lot of people that aren't even in IT are complaining about it.

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Daniel B.
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FAIL

Nice ... Nice ...

But they still haven't brought back the Start Menu. So 8.1 still isn't the Windows version you actually want!

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Exclusive Halo game coming to Windows 8 and WinPhone 8

Daniel B.
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Re: Meh. @Dave 126

A lot of those pet peeves were better managed by later FPS, the ones that didn't give in to Halo. Half-Life put weapons into categories; many of those started using autosave; and BioShock even made a weapon select menu that freezes the game while you select weapons.

Ironically, I found the Halo-style games to be somewhat *harder* than their predecessors, because they also introduced the awful "checkpoint" system from old sidescrolling games. That is, saving will save the game up to the last checkpoint, vs. "right where I am". So if you get 90% through one of the hard as hell segments, but get iced by a lucky shot, you had to start all over again. This is mainly what put me off of Halo and most FPS following this system.

One of the ironies with Duke Nukem Forever is that many reviews basically said that the game was outdated, belongs to 1997, yada yada. The thing is that the reasons that DNF ended up being a lemon is because it actually incorporated the Halo-style combat, linear levels & similar stuff... so the game just felt like reskinned Halo instead of a Duke Nukem game. :(

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Daniel B.
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Meh

Meh.

Shit game gets exclusive for shit OS. Keep moving, nothing to see here.

Really, Halo is one of the reasons most FPS have devolved into the tripe they are today: two weapon limit, regenerating health, linear levels ... see any Call of Battlefield Modern Warfare Nukem Forever.

Then again, it was Halo that saved the original Xbox...

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Firefox OS: Go away fanbois, fandroids - you wouldn't understand

Daniel B.
Silver badge
Boffin

Re: "a web-based mobile future isn't just appealing, it feels inevitable"

Anyone thinking ObjC is better than C++/Java has got to be an Apple fanboi. Smalltalk was an interesting language for learning OOP, but for serious stuff I found C syntax to be far more useful. Thus I ended up going down the C++, later Java branch of programming languages. Objective C looks like the ugly match of C and Smalltalk, neither one or the other. Yeech!

And I agree that HTML5 is a shitty option for real app development. His Jobsiness tried that approach with the first iPhone, utterly failed and eventually caved in to demands of an SDK being released. webOS also failed on that regard. Unless they release an actual native SDK, it might not gain enough traction. Though I suspect it is on its way...

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Another senior bod leaps overboard from foundering HTC

Daniel B.
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Unhappy

Re: What Nokia did @Jemma

Yes, Nokia was doing pretty good decisions, even with the infighting between the consumer and enterprise divisions they had. At least, up until Elop came in and shat all over Nokia. Sadly, I had considered jumping ship to Nokia when they started releasing interesting stuff like the N900, but then Elop happened.

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Daniel B.
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Facepalm

Re: HTC invested too much in Win 8 - CURSE OF MS

Curse of MS indeed. HTC has both an Android and a Microsoft arm. The MS side is a curse for anyone involved on that: Sendo, Palm, Nokia and it seems that HTC is in there. Even more as they were among the suckers who actually bought into WinRT/Win8.

Had they invested more on the Android side (which they did pull off successfully in earlier years), maybe they wouldn't be where they are...

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Sacked Zynga bods learn their jobs are gone via Facebook

Daniel B.
Silver badge
FAIL

Not surprising

The only game they made that actually caught my eye was Mafia Wars, but on the Tagged network, not FB. That version wasn't spammy. Then when I had a fairly decent level, they decided to kill the Tagged version and "migrate" us to the FB one. Not only did I lose interest because of having to rebuild everything and level up, the FB one was depending on spammy stuff and thus I got bored. Quickly.

And then Farmville/Cityville spam made me hate them even more. Whatever. The ship's still sinking, but it has been treading water for quite some time. It is only now that they realize it...

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Jobs' 'incredibly stupid' prattlings prove ebook price-fix plot, claim Feds

Daniel B.
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Facepalm

Re: Most favoured nation clauses

The concept you're talking about is called "dumping" in an economic context, and it is indeed frowned upon for open markets.

But so are "favoured nation" clauses, especially if the "favoured nation" conspires with the publishers to raise prices across the board. It's kind of similar to how the Nazis gained power: hey, we have a Communist threat. We have here one Adolf Hitler that vows to get rid of them pretty quickly. Hey, let's put them in power, quick fix! Wait...

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Hitchhikers' Guide was WRONG, Earth is not in a galactic backwater

Daniel B.
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Coat

Re: Great, its a ghetto then.

It's worse.

We're probably the last remaining ghetto inside a gentrified arm of the Galaxy.

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Daniel B.
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Happy

@Glenn Booth

hehe ... you have 41 likes ... one more upvote and you'll have the magic number!

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Obama: Just call me Billygoat Gruff the Third, patent trolls

Daniel B.
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Boffin

Nice!

It seems Obama isn't just going for plain vanilla patent trolls ... he's going against the other flavor of patent trolls, or patent bullies. That is, stop companies like Apple blocking imports because someone else's phones have round corners...

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How Microsoft shattered Gnome's unity with Windows 95

Daniel B.
Silver badge
Boffin

Re: Perhaps a little research ? @Gav

Heh. It actually made me remember back when the god-awful Winmodems became common. I was saddled with one of those ugly things, so I go googling how to get the POS to work, and ended up reading stuff like:

"Oh, you gotta compile these drivers. If you don't know how to compile a Linux kernel, you shouldn't be doing Linux at all!" or "Closed source evil! We won't accept closed-source drivers even if winmodem manufacturers provide them!". Basically, the Linux community had a dark, newbie-hostile side to it and it showed in many places. Not to mention the pointless naming wars "EETS CALLED GNOO SLASH LEENUX!!!".

Though Microsoft is now losing the plot, given Windows 8. It seems they want to do a poor copy of Jobs' "blame the user" game, and they're losing it. They just don't realize it yet!

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Daniel B.
Silver badge
Boffin

Re: To be fair to MS... @John Lilburne

" I go to get a coffee and what I want is a coffee, I don't want to have to chose between a whole bunch of different varieties"

Um... if I go to Starbucks and ask for "black coffee", or "American coffee" (this is how "regular" coffee is called here in Mexico) I'll get exactly that. In fact, the only question I'll get is "do you want space for milk/cream?". I've never run into the retarded zillion-option thing that makes its rounds on the intertubes.

Meanwhile, with desktop Linux distros, if what you want is something that "just works", it'll work no matter which distribution you've chosen. Got Ubuntu? Use Unity. Got Fedora? Use Gnome3. You can change the desktop manager, but you don't need to choose that when installing. So just like the Starbucks faux analogy, it doesn't apply to Linux either.

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Think you're ready to make a big career bet? Read this first...

Daniel B.
Silver badge

Re: There'll always be a future in security

Security is a moving target. The mere nature of all the security stuff means you'll rarely run out of work; especially if you go into the Identity/Access Management areas. Even the intrusion detection stuff gets some kind of upgrades or changes every couple of years...

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Finally – mind-controlled limbs without brain surgery

Daniel B.
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Bionic Commando

So the tech to do a real-life Bionic Commando is coming soon?

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Elon Musk pledges transcontinental car juicers by end of year

Daniel B.
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Happy

This guy

He's probably the one that will actually make the future tech we want a reality. Reusable spacecraft & rocket stacks! Functional electric cars! Railgun-ish bullet trains! And he has the money to do it all!

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BOFH: Go on, beancounter, type DROP TABLE asset;

Daniel B.
Silver badge

Ahhh... the good old DELETE...

only surpassed by the WHEREless UPDATE, when someone ends up realizing they've set the email field to 'sucks@2beU.com' on the whole table too late, after getting the response

UPDATE 0 3958293

Geeze, isn't that single statement taking too long?

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China ponders joining controversial IP trade treaty

Daniel B.
Silver badge
Facepalm

Oh, another Mickey Mouse Protection Treaty!

Couldn't help but notice that copyright term extension is among the TPP stuff. Copyright is getting real stupid these days... it's supposed to be a grant for a limited time. "Lifetime" does not a limited time make.

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Former Microsoft Windows chief: I was right to kill the Start button

Daniel B.
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Pirate

Re: Sinofsky pitched sales of Windows 8 licences as something

The Mexico City pirate salesmen are doing pretty well with win7 pirated copies. Guess why?

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EFF files objections with W3C decrying addition of DRM to HTML5

Daniel B.
Silver badge
Boffin

Not seeing the big picture, are you?

... to continue to use non-standards compliant front ends. We'll be stuck with Flash/Air/Silverlight/Java forever - great plan EFF!

If DRM is put into the standard, we'll have a lot of black boxes that are not only the propietary crap packaged into one tidy black box, support will depend on whoever makes that black box. If the Big Hollywood Studios, or Netflix, or whatever deem that supporting Linux is too much of a hassle, we'll end up worse than what we currently have. At least Flash is supported in Linux (though Adobe does seem to be phasing that plugin out), and Java does have actual support in most OSen out there.

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Ruby on Fails: Zombie SERVER army built thanks to Rails bug

Daniel B.
Silver badge
Boffin

Webservers and lazy sysadmins

A couple of years ago, a certain forum for a certain IT-related website had part of its userbase posting links to vulnerable websites. Some of them were immediately defaced by jokers, and while a couple of them were quickly fixed, at least one of those remained in its damaged state.

For months.

If instead of joke defacements, someone had dropped a botnet there, it would have done their job for quite some time...

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Daniel B.
Silver badge
Boffin

Ruby/Rails vs. Java

That's not really fair to Ruby (the programming language) though, this is a failure of Rails (the application framework). You can write insecure applications in Java, too.

Though the point is that Java doesn't need an extra application framework. Java itself has its own framework, which does most of the low and mid-level stuff out of the box. Rails, Maven and other craptastic frameworks were built for platforms where there is no base framework within the language/platform: Ruby, PHP, you name it.

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Microsoft's Windows 8.1 secrets REVEALED ... sort of

Daniel B.
Silver badge
Facepalm

Start button yes, Start menu no

That's all we need to know. That is, they didn't listen in on user feedback, or listened the same way Jobs did: hearing what they want to hear.

Meanwhile, the one sole person that did like Win8 switched out to Linux Mint anyway!

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CRUNCH: 'Drunk' chap cuffed in high-speed car nookie prang rumpus

Daniel B.
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Re: attempting to hide in a cactus?

I'm guessing they catched him after hearing way too much screaming. Cactus and 'nads don't mix!

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China’s state-run rags brand Mars One mission a scam

Daniel B.
Silver badge
Coat

Re: Speaking of China's state-run media

Taking in mind that this is the official mouthpiece of the Chinese government. Maybe they're just giving out a subliminal message about what they really are?

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Microsoft links Skype to Lync

Daniel B.
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Validating the complaint

The one where Cisco is asking for the EU to unmarry MS/Skype.

They're right.

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Samsung plans new R&D centre in Finland

Daniel B.
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Maemo

Maybe they'll take in the people behind Maemo/Meego/Harmattan and make that project live. Basically, do what Nokia should've done instead of selling out to MicroSopht.

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Canadian regulators welcome US Bitcoin refugees with open arms

Daniel B.
Silver badge

Oh the irony

The way Bitcoin is supposed to work makes BTC real cash. It might be e-Cash, but its cash.

FinCEN's announcement was actually seen by the economists as a good thing, as it means that the US Gov't is seeing BTC as a legitimate thing, not a Ponzi or a fraud, but an actual coin. Thus Bitcoin traders being stamped as Money Service Businesses. The only thing that traders have to do is to comply with FinCEN's MSB regulations and they're good to go!

The weird thing is that those who are complying with these regulations, like OKPay, are getting spooked by the recent Liberty Reserve clampdown. They should be on the clear!

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Facebook bows to pressure, vows to rid itself of sexist hate speech

Daniel B.
Silver badge
WTF?

@Frankee Llonnygog

That warning is oh so appropiate.

Damn, I hate to say this, but ... WAM is right. While black comedy can be done, most of that shit is just downright SICK. I'm surprised that FB *didn't* consider these things as hate! Ow!

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Daniel B.
Silver badge
Meh

So...

What are they campaigning against? If it is against actual rape culture, or demeaning tripe like showing a scantily clad woman, with overlays saying "and then they cry when they get gang-raped" I'm all for it. But if it's against black comedy humor, not so much.

I've actually reported actual hate speech sites, which seem to be real common among the far right-wing leaning sites, but FB never acts or judges "it's OK for us". I have a gut feeling that these pages won't be acted against, as nobody has spoken out as the #FBrape women have...

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Windows 8.1 Start button SPOTTED in the wild

Daniel B.
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Trollface

Re: Bunch of nancies

Did that MS paycheck arrive on the mail yet?

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Daniel B.
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Thumb Down

They pulled another Apple.

Apple went on and handled Antennagate by saying "oh, death grip happens with all phones" and swiped away the real problem: touching the gap would short the antennas and kill signal reception, which was an iPhone4-only issue.

MS goes "oh, you want your Start Button back? There it goes!" while swiping away the real complaint: "I want my Start MENU back!" coupled with "how do I disable this baby toy UI?"

Hopefully, users will hold on and *not* buy in on Win8 even after these "changes".

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Anonymous 'plonks' names, addresses of far-right EDL types on web

Daniel B.
Silver badge
Alert

Hm...

People wearing Guy Fawkes masks are taking on a Fascist organization. Where have I read this before?

EDL is probably close to Norsefire, even though it isn't an actual political party.

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Raspberry Pi puts holes in China's Great Firewall

Daniel B.
Silver badge

Re: PPTP and L2TP

Yes, not blocking at least PPTP is more of lazy people, not "break the internet in blocking this" people. As someone else commented, it is much harder to block OpenVPN on port 443, as it looks like HTTPS traffic. But even then, some firewalls manage to block even that by limiting how much MBs go through a single HTTPS connection...

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OKPay suspends payment processing to all Bitcoin exchanges

Daniel B.
Silver badge

Oh dear

That's what I get for my "meh" reaction to Dwolla. I'm now hit by the OKPAY suspension. This is getting stupid. Can't they just not process US Citizens at all? And OKPAY, unlike Liberty Reserve, does ask for official ID.

Sheesh!

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Dialog Bluetooth chip boasts battery life of four YEARS

Daniel B.
Silver badge
Boffin

Not WiFi.

WiFi is too power hungry for remotes, which would end up being more of a battery-muncher than any BT remote. Hell, it manages to be more of a power drain than 3G on smartphones! Also, a WiFi remote would be much more complex. If the average user is intimidated by the weird codes for universal remotes, try getting him to search his TV's IP! Ow!

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Daniel B.
Silver badge
Boffin

Re: Beggars belief that TVs & remotes don't use bluetooth

How many phones on sale today support AVRCP > v1.3 for example (media player remote control with textual feedback of the file's metadata), as host or device?

My 2010 Blackberry 9700 supports it as a host. I'm pretty sure that any phone from that era or newer supports it. It would be pretty weird to have my 3 year old phone toting features that the latest shiny thing doesn't.

And I agree with DrXym. The PS3 has had a BT remote since *2006*. The only real complaint I've heard about it is that it doesn't have an outright "off" button. Pairing the remote to the PS3 is easy. The complaints on the PS3 BT controller being the only one able to control it are a bit misguided, though: it is more that none of the other things have jumped to BT, even as a second-option control. Mostly the complaints are from people who use those one-control-to-rule-them-all thingies, which are only IR. Ironically, BT should be able to handle this as well, and much better than plain old IR.

Heh, TV makers even had the opportunity of a lifetime to do the big switch: the Big Analog Switch-off in the US had people trashing their old CRT TVs and buying new HDTVs...

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PC market facing worst-ever slump in 2013

Daniel B.
Silver badge
Devil

Re: Windows 8 not helping

Either way, why would windows 8 be anything to do with sales of pcs when you can simply switch it back to windows 7 or whatever else you might want to use? I don't follow that logic.

For the same reason you claim Win8 isn't suffering. Most non-El Reg people aren't savvy enough to even know you can swap out the OS. And even those of us who can do that swap, can't get a Win7 license from MS anymore, as I painfully found out back in December 2012. If you go to any brick&mortar store, you'll see that most if not all PCs are now toting the Playskool interface. You'll also notice that *nobody* is checking them out at all, and the few that do get annoyed pretty quickly.

I've only met one person who voluntarily bought win8 and likes it. Another person did the switch, then switched back after giving win8 a shot for 3 months. The rest are avoiding win8 like the plague, and this includes "normal people". Hell, it even involves "normal people without techie friends giving advice".

And well, companies have all but banned Win8 on premises. Most are still doing WinXP to 7 migrations, but new PC orders were halted when OEMs started offering only Win8 boxes. Oops!

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We gave SQL Server 2012 one year to prove itself: What happened?

Daniel B.
Silver badge
Linux

TCO depends

SQL Server is a database. It has a much lower TCO than most other databases...

Depends on whether you have any Windoze servers on your site.

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May threatens ban on 'hate-inciting' radicals, even if they don't promote violence

Daniel B.
Silver badge
Devil

That's going to be a quick removal

Which is a good thing, as I, for one, would not leave the gates of parliament unless and until the law reverted, or I was removed.

If you don't have a permit, the Met is going to do it very, very quickly. Check out "Steven Jago", who got arrested while holding a placard quoting 1984 outside Parliament. Oh, the irony...

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Bill Gates: Corporate tax is not a moral issue

Daniel B.
Silver badge
Facepalm

Re: We're in trouble...

Just take some time to look at what his foundation is achieving, then jump off your high horse.

Quite a few druglords were able to earn the locals' loyalty by using their ill-gotten gains to build hospitals, clinics and making their hometowns a better place. Even when they engaged in these altruistic acts, they were still ruthless criminals in the business.

So while Gates' foundation might be doing good stuff, it doesn't serve as an automatic bad karma antidote.

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Oi, butterfingers! Drop your mobe in a pint? Hope it's not an iPhone

Daniel B.
Silver badge
Happy

Re: Half a second?

Phones which have the "feature" of a user-removeable battery will survive a short dunk if the user's quick enough to do this. Had that happen with a couple of Nokias. They lived on without a problem, except for one that required replacing the ringer.

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'$6bn money-laundering website' Liberty Reserve kingpin cuffed in Spain

Daniel B.
Silver badge
Facepalm

Not surprised...

Late to the party, El Reg ... this blew up on Friday!

Most, if not all of the e-wallet/money transfer services will ask you for official ID before even letting you move money. Which means that either these guys were very naive (doubtful) or they were fully aware that the service would be used by criminals.

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The Tomorrow People jaunt back to the airwaves

Daniel B.
Silver badge

Re: Looks like generic cr*p

I unfortunately can infer that even before watching any trailer, because of this:

picked up by The CW Network, a youth-oriented outfit that is home to shows including America's Next Top Model, Gossip Girl, 90210, Arrow and The Vampire Diaries

The only show barely worth watching in that list is the one featuring a pirated version of Ezio Auditore. The others are crap!

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