119 posts • joined Tuesday 15th January 2008 00:16 GMT
Another 5-4 decision
Five favor whatever approach yields greatest benefit to BigCorps; four plead for rules to tame wild west patent scene. Expect a possible twist that claiming to hold patents is sufficient proof, re: MicroSoft bag of 245 patents never revealed but brutally effective in suppression. Love to see the rationalization for that one. "First to claim" becomes backbone of "Possession is nine-tenths", etc.
Never, ever expect a rational, predictable judgment from them Supremes. They've opened Pandora's box before; they'll do it again just for fun. Think not? Then were did "ca$h is free speech" and "corporations are people" come from? Bwahahahaha! Dem Supremes!
Oh boy, another toy
Yeh ... another military toy. Amazing what can be done with mountain$ of ca$h. Launch a drone, splash the wrapper, buzz around for a look-see, maybe pop off a mini-missle, and splash the drone. Write off the cost of another high school or daycare center or clinic. Celebrate the increased quarterly profit statement of AmerDyne/WarBux, Inc.
Big leap forward. Po$itively thrilling.
"Hallo, PM Beardsly-Smythe here."
"Mr. Beardsly-Smythe, this is Microsoft Support Services calling. Sir, we've had a request from the White House."
"I say, the White House!? You mean, the President?"
"Yes, sir. I'm not at liberty to disclose how this happened, sir, but it concerns certain words you've added to your spell-checker in your Office 365 personal dictionary."
"My dictionary! You mean, you blokes are peering into my personal word processor?"
"Not exactly, sir. I mean, it's not exactly personal, sir, being in the 'cloud' and all ... but as I said earlier, I'm not at liberty to discuss the technical issues. I'm simply passing along a request from the President of the United States."
"And what would that be, precisely?"
"Sir, please ... you are requested to immediately delete the term "Barass Osama" from your Office 365 personal word-substitution dictionary. The President finds it quite offensive!"
Re: Microsoft announce more FAIL
Then you're sure to love Windows 9.0 Revolving 3D "Play Blocks" !!
No more number.n releases anytime soon
What's the odds that the marketing gnomes at MS will balk at introducing anything labeled "8.n" or "9" with the next leap forward? Unless they jump clear out of the associative mind-set of 8 ... perhaps to "Windows Century" edition, ie, Win100 ... except that might sound completey back-slid from earlier Win2000 product?
More likely they'll jump tracks completely with something like "Windows Emperator" ... you know, a long-awaited response to Linux?
Try a polished but lightweight linux
Check Distrowatch for SolydXK, a form of the Mint "Debian" edition. SolydXK is Debian-based, in a 'rolling' format with monthly update packs to keep apps and OS on track with current upgrades. For the kids, Steam and Wine (with PlayOnLinux) are pre-installed. Choose the KDE version, or the lighter Xfce for even older machines. The Distrowatch page for SolydXK lists all of the pre-installed apps, with access to the Debian repositories. BTW, it runs brilliantly on a PIII Dell 5000 laptop with 512mb ram ... not many that old still kicking around!
Freedom to fork
+1 ... and an upvote.
The ability to fork and customize Linux allowed the City of Munich to liberate themselves from the Microsoft Tarpit of Entanglement, despite ongoing FUD attacks from HP/MS ... including a personal visit from Ballmer and a promise of a 'discount' that was a thinly-disguised bribe not to switch.
Great article here: http://www.techrepublic.com/article/how-munich-rejected-steve-ballmer-and-kicked-microsoft-out-of-the-city/
Critics failed to realize that Munich took a long-term approach (a concept highly discouraged in the US by Wall Street and political pressures: short term gains override long-term considerations) and used the switch-over to overhaul their entire IT structure from top to bottom.
This will never happen in the US, until MS finally collapses like a huge tree rotted from the inside out, and the entire business and government sector are left to deal with the carnage of their abandoned IT infrastructure. Freedom in the Land of the Free? Fuggidaboutit.
Re: The least worst solution
"it's not the same as a sensible legal system with proper oversight..."
sensible legal system ... right there is a world-class oxymoron ... unless you are referring to a system outside US borders?
If anyone remembers ...
IBM dominated the business world. Big, beautiful machines with spinning discs and platters in the hallowed temple of the air-conditioned data center.
Bank after bank of young ladies sitting at card punch terminals.
Every office that hoped to retain talented secretaries paid a premium price for IBM Selectric typewriters. Nothing less than IBM was acceptable.
Microsoft is today's IBM. With one profound difference. IBM products were beautiful, had class, were in a class of their own.
Microsoft has no class, has never had class, and nothing Microsoft has produced could ever be called class. Steve Jobs had it right. Microsoft is all about money, and was never about taste.
The PC killed IBM as the dominant force in business; the tablet is killing Microsoft today.
IBM didn't see it coming; refused to acknowledge it when it arrived; and like an elephant, was unable to move quickly enough to escape the stings of the PC hordes.
Microsoft didn't see Linux and iOS coming; refused to acknowledge them when they arrived; and like an elephant, is stumbling in its clumsiness to catch up while suffering the stings of the hand-held hordes.
An epiphany: all this upset over Microsoft. In truth, we don't need them. If they don't produce useful stuff, they become irrelevant. If they cannot be consistent in quality, products, or innovation, they deserve to become irrelevant. It isn't like there's nothing else available. If a company is locked into MS products, that's unfortunate. If they are too slow to adopt better tools, perhaps they'll become irrelevant too.
One thing is certain. Nobody will shed a tear when their failures overwhelm their domination.
And Zuck's point is ... what?
NSA=nasty, suspicious, arseholes.
FaceBook=secretive, invasive, arseholes.
Is there a difference?
The privilege of being super
What's the point of being a super-power if we can't tell the rest of the world where to get off?
Do as we say, and pay no attention to what we do. We're the super-good guys, and most of you ain't!
Just accept that fact that you all need constant watching!
See how easy that is?
(Be thankful we've got no camera in your ensuite ... yet.)
NSA=no secrets, arseholes!
The cart came first; then came a hunt for a ...
I chuckled at her comment, "just as the mouse drove the adoption of GUIs..." which is a bit like saying that the invention of the cart required that we go looking for horses. If it were MS running things back then, we'd be using a string of pigs hitched under a pole, pushing the cart from the rear. Two boys with whips would steer it, walking alongside the pigs, with the lookout up front shouting directions.
Microsoft directions? Yeh, that about describes it.
The usual blizzard of nothingness ...
Move along, please ... quietly, if you will. Nothing to see here ... nothing a'tall. Nothing new a'tall.
For those who've not jostled elbows with the denizens of any US teacher's college (more puffedly labeled a 'College of Education') this sort of elevated double-speak is an impenetrable layer of protection forming a moat around the hallowed ramparts of their gilded tower.
Polysyllabic nothing-speak has become the mantle of the middle-management do-nothings. These are the good folk who drove the word "use" out of American English, replacing it with "utilize." Only the crude, unwashed working stiffs of America would "use a tool"; an educated person will "utilize an appropriate implement."
The Idaho National Guard, years ago, was upset with a group of discontented folk who objected to rail shipments of highly-radioactive materials through their communities. Rather than labeling them as "dissenters," the Guard applied the label "opposing force" (which in mil-speak becomes 'OP-FOR') and proceeded to build a mountain of jargon to justify "reaction strategies" should the naughty folk step across the line sufficiently to merit a harsh response.
Ahhhh ... words. We string them into ropes with which to hang the unwary.
Or to ensnare and bilk the unsuspecting.
Re: Slaps forehead with palm.....
Technology has outraced our social intellect,"
or it's a simple case of the computers being a honey-trap. We fall all over ourselves, spilling our guts for all the world to see. Stoopid, stoopid, stoopid us!
I have this mental picture of a sewer pipe with a gasbag at one end and a douchebag at the other. Is that the "Cloud" scene? And all of your computer/work has that sewer pipe connected directly to the Subscription Lords who will monitor all?
IMHO -- be thankful when it fails!
Fearlessly we choke the chicken
Ballmer said: "We have moved and are now consolidation from a collection of businesses groups to an organization that’s aligned by function."
Right ... got that? (Don't try to parse it ... just flow with the words...)
Then he said: "I think that we should be mindful and thoughtful and cautious and yet I don’t think we should be fearful about doing somewhat larger acquisitions ..."
Then he conceded: aQuantive had actually been a successful and admired operation as an independent company. Microsoft, though, managed to kill it...
Taken as an overall strategy, then: "We'll organize to function unfearful of doing more bigger. We'll assimilate until they are us."
Or taken another way: We'll bravely choke the chicken 'til its services (golden eggs) be delivered via devices (productive orifice). More choking, more delivery.
I'll take the gizzard, spitted on a stick.
It's a tasty offer ...
but even at 10 Terabytes, you'll likely be feeling peckish 30 minutes later.
Re: Microsoft is still scratching the surface?
Hmmmm ... rednecks and hounds come to mind.
Obviously you've neither appreciation nor experience of the wrath of a thwarted government authority ... most esp. a US authority that perceives its position as invincible and unassailable. Pray you never need know.
2nd verse, same as first ...
it ain't no better, but it could get worse! Thus the familiar dirge goes.
Traditional US government agency progression following its creation by Congress is to write and impose a body of regulations which effectively have the force of law, supposedly under Congressional oversight but practically speaking, free of any such pesky interference.
The progression, then, is for the agency to skew its activity in some manner not foreseen or intended by Congress. Rarely does Congress step in to take back the reins of control to hold that agency accountable to original Congressional intent (if, in fact, any clear intent had been defined in the empowering Act.)
A lovely side effect is to burden US citizens with oppressive agency actions, which in turn leads to endless petitions to Congressional representatives for relief, which creates a self-perpetuating need for Representative intervention and a perpetual growth of Congressional funding and staffing.
As seen since the beginnings of the Cold War and beyond, the US spy agencies' self-directed missions have skewed exponentially in proportion to perceived threats to US security; their mission creep became a tsunami with the upthrust of the Patriot Act.
Congress has little incentive and, indeed, sees great risk in intervention; the Supremes have no mandate to interfere, inasmuch as there has never been a US right to privacy outside the four walls of an individual's domicile, and even that definition has narrowed over time.
A US citizen's "inalienable rights" are precious few, and those few are impossibly expensive to defend. As laudable as the EFF and the ACLU missions may be, there will likely never be a mandated right to privacy in America, nor any verifiable protection against US spying for any person or nation outside US borders.
BTW, I truly admire how it's a criminal offense to withhold one's password in the U.K.
Brilliant! Simply brilliant!
Re: Not that long ago
So you all call Snowden, then, to get the UK met data alerts?
As for the FOI ZOD request, check with our NSA ... I'm sure they have all the documents, but it may take a while to find them in the global pile they've got stashed in the Utah data center.
(Smiley face so they'll wonder what we're plotting)
Re: Ruthless but not necessarily evil
"there is always some hope he may take a turn for the best and use his powers for good."
Ummmm ... that's a bit like hoping that J.P. Morgan/Chase, after being hammered with multi-billions in fines for avaricious greed and thievery, will experience a sudden epiphany and dedicate themselves to funding the solutions to global poverty and disease.
Re: return the firm to the golden days
"Microsoft deserves recognition for having wrote the book on how to create and maintain a monopoly position in an emerging market."
Right. In the same sense that Al Capone wrote the book on maintaining a monopoly position in an emerging market, later improved upon by the Mafia, and now being perfected by Mexican drug cartels expanding their monopoly position in an emerging market throughout the US: threats, bullying, extortion, deception, lies, and thuggery, with a product that threatens its users.
MS: a role model for global business ethics.
Garbage in ...
He said: "So in a sense inside the Wolfram Language we have a whole computable model of the world."
Somewhere softly the background music is playing "Send in the Clowns" and in all the dark corners cockroaches wait and watch. Yet again, some arrogant fool promises to model the world on a computer. And somewhere a butterfly is hatching and will soon flutter its wings.
Re: A secret opinion issued by a court meeting in secret about secret warrants with a gag order
Why do you assume we Americans are familiar with the principles of democracy?
We've not practiced it since the days of the smoke-filled back rooms and the truck (lorry) loads of cash passing through the back doors. America has long lived by the golden rule*.
If you think it is fun now, just wait until that big-eared, dark-complected person who currently resides in the White House is replaced by a more extreme, fascist-leaning chap with Tea Party affiliations. Several candidates come to mind. Ted Cruz is one. (A pity that he'll never be able to travel abroad; he still believes the 'round earth' theory is so much scientific deception. Those 'photos from space' were filmed in a secret warehouse in the Nevada desert.)
NSA/CIA violations of the Constitution and their Congressional mandate is really nothing new. J. Edgar and his FBI set the standard many years ago; we're just seeing the extension of that practice. To oppose the NSA/CIA intelligence gathering mission is to weaken America's national security. So reads the Gospel of St. Vigilant.
Trust US. We're the good guys.
(* He who has the gold, rules.)
It's really too late ...
it's game over, lights out, draw the shades, and pretend everything is all okay, just like it used to was.
No power granted or seized will ever be yielded, voluntarily or otherwise, until the governing body falls. As far as the President of the USA is concerned, he can be likened to the bloke manning the steering oar on a scow adrift down the Mississippi River. He can try to influence the direction but he cannot stop the barge nor take it back upstream. The nation is on a hell-bent course that no existing force can reverse.
Senator Diane Feinstein's intentions, if not her proposed Bill, will prevail, and will become the new controlling authority for U.S. spy agencies. The White House will order a few cosmetic changes, stopping short of throwing the Chief of Staff to the wolves to silence the baying, and the barge will continue down the river.
Don't want the NSA spying on your computer? Air-gap it.
One final XP patch!
Given the awful truth facing those unwilling or unable to upgrade to Windows 8.1, with the unspeakable collateral damage to innocent customers and bystanders, there is only one obvious solution which is paramount to saving the world: one final XP patch in April, 2014.
It will retract the OS license and wipe the XP drive.
Problem over. Call 1-900-BUY-MORE for assistance.
Disregarding past human costs ...
one might instead consider the compelling motive for the change:
""This is a fundamentally new approach to performance and development designed to promote new levels of teamwork and agility for breakthrough business impact," Brummel wrote."
Translation: "The bleedin' boat is sinkin' faster than the pumps can dump it overboard. All hands stand down from slammin' each other wid yer oars, and all of ye grab these bailin' buckets and turn to! It don't matter who's gonna get the credit; if this damn scow sinks, we're all gonna drown!"
"Yeah?" one scallywag shouts. "Then git yerself over to Ballmer, there, and belay his damned drill!"
Avoid the long, cold swim ...
After centuries of stability, the predictably stable ice sheets of the Arctic regions have become fractured, fragmented, and increasingly unreliable. Polar bears are becoming an endangered species as their hunting and feeding platform disappears. Confronted with perilously long swims, the bears weaken and drown.
Perhaps it's time for the bears ... and others who wait in vain for a return to normalcy ... to change platforms?
Re: Maybe it's an MS spin?
Tossing things off while madly spinning? Obviously it's a "Ballmer Ball!"
Re: MS had better hurry with that patch...
"It might also be a good moment to ask "Who still uses TIFF files?"."
Ummm ... people who scan documents for OCR rendering? People who use page-layout software for print publication?
An alternative work-around
They said: "a workaround to defend against possible attacks that works by disabling TIFF rendering in the affected graphics library." A more effective workaround is to substitute LibreOffice for the MS Office problem, and further, to run LibreOffice on Debian Linux. MS patch delays wouldn't matter nearly so much.
If MS would only promise to keep issuing patches for XP until it was all fixed ... but Hell would most likely freeze over first?
No problem here!
I are enamored of my worshipful government masters; my mouth swells with praiseworthy accolades & songs of patriotic enthusiasm. Masters deserve chicken; faithful servant loves feather soup. Mmmmm ... yummmm. No desire for temptations of internet.
(Good for NSA review?)
Thus does the cat piss itself
Going by Representative Rogers' rule, one's privacy is not violated if one is not aware that one's privacy is being violated,so if then a medical practitioner were to anesthetize Rogers' wife and sexually molest her, and she was unconscious and unaware of the act, then by his own logic she has not, in fact, been molested!
The good Congressman has stated, when the tree falls in the forest and no one is there to hear it, there is no sound produced! That's an interesting twist of physics. Schrodinger's cat must be pissing itself.
Don't look at me that way ... he actually said it, and he is a ranking member of the U.S. Government, and therefore it must be true! So by the principle of absurd reduction, as long as NSA and GCHQ keep their activities secret and their practices remain unknown, no one is violated.
... and their lies.
So when your mum told yer not to touch the hot cooker, yer figgered she's lyin' to ya, and yer touched the burner, did ya? Did that show her how she's lyin, then?
Ship of fools
It's tragically hilarious when the silly arses in the lifeboat spend all their energy bashing each other with the oars, rather than rowing together because they can't agree which direction to go! Somebody please remember to leave a journal in a safe place, so the future space travellers who stumble across this abandoned rock will have a clue as to what happened to the former inhabitants.
Hacking email could be avoided
by adding NSA/CIA/FBI/Alphabet Agency to "CC" menu while composing emails. Stubborn foreign officials stupidly resist basic truth: "All your privacy are belong to US"; should apologize for forcing hack to get stuff. Poor attitudes = downgrade foreign aid $$. Maybe?
Re: Not in the future...
As a septuagenarian citizen of the US, I'm prompted to both observe, and caution, that this nation finds itself embroiled in a political civil war. Just witness the recent threat of economic destruction at the hands of a mad minority.
Thus, some large faction of US citizens feel threatened by all and sundry from outside our borders, and any attempt to rein in our security apparatus will be opposed. Elected politicians representing the more sane half of the country are powerless in the face of fierce opposition which erupts at any attempt to curb the security agency excesses. Since a politician's first duty is survival in office, sane moderation suffers.
Let's also consider those few who've tried to blow the whistle on US excesses committed in the name of security. The lack of legislative response nationwide to those revelations, and the growing knowledge that US legislators have not only been kept in the dark by the US "alphabet" agencies but, as demonstrated by recent testimony, when Congress asks questions they may get half-truths and lies in answer, has resulted in the whistle-blowers becoming hunted fugitives, and US government employees and information media reporters coming under an invisible net of secret surveillance.
Thus it is no surprise to this old man that no matter your credentials, a bureaucratic drizzle of suspicion, screening, and monitoring will greet your desire to enter and move about the US. And by the way ... do not bring personal electronic devices with you! No one, not even returning US citizens, are immune from having them seized and searched at the border.
Waiting ... waiting ... waiting ...
Waiting for reformation of U.S. bureacratic attitudes and procedures should be considered as timely as the wait for the second coming of (insert preferred messianic entity).
Re: Upgrading from XP
Yes, a reasonable person would think so. In truth, this is MS method to punish those who failed to follow the upgrade path in a timely fashion.
"Let me just slip the head in ... "
Momma upstairs heard the young man, and yelled down to her daughter: "Katrina, beware! A prick has no shoulders!"
Sure, a free offer from MS ... and their PR department can send slick & shiny brochures to all the parents promoting this amazing new FREE program for the kiddies ... if only the parents will encourage the school authorities to get on board with licensing.
Once hooked, soon reeled in.
Re: Cost effective .....
The "leftist" French may be concerned with alleviating human suffering and the lives of their children, but here in the USA we have more pragmatic goals: stamp out illegal substances.
My daughter at age 32 years was diagnosed with Stage III breast cancer several years ago. A radical mastectomy, radiation treatments, and a $100,000-per-year prescription drug ( ! ) stopped the cancer -- temporarily. Now she's diagnosed with incurable bone cancer, a result of the spread of the breast cancer cells. Doctors say she's good for about five more years.
One might hope that the US government could see its way clear to cooperate with and/or assist the London research effort, but if our government's past track record is any indication, there will NEVER be approval for research involving cannabis in the USA, regardless of any other factors.
Celebrate the freedom and concern for human rights in Amerika. (The NSA will hear this parent's plea, and file it under "subversive.")
Re: Industry Standards
No, Word is NOT the industry standard. If it were the industry standard, then MS would be building locomotives, and every time they came out with a new locomotive, it would require a new track standard, and the world would be ripping out the old rails and laying new track. And every other competitor's locomotive and rail cars would be taken to the shop for retrofitting with MS Corp-patented wheels and axles.
At one point, MS bought up the .RTF format, and held it up as a new standard ... and then proceeded to change it with every new revision of .DOC ... thereby assuring that "no other's locomotives shall run on our tracks!"
ODF is the only standard WP format, and MS continues the tradition of "does not play well with others" by dismissing it.
Word's evil sibling, Internet Explorer, is up to Version 11 and yet fails to fully comply with standards. Relying on MS for standards compliance is akin to boinking for chastity.
Re: A De-strossing Article!
Concerning the .RTF interchange standard (and indeed, adherence to any file format standard as encountered by MS, here is a valuable read:
Even today, the writing community suffers from a lack of uniform .RTF implementations. Nowhere is it possible to take a Word document and import/export from a competitor's product, and expect a clean result. If MS sold beer, they'd find a way to piss in everyone else's brew. Just so it suited their taste.
Re: A De-strossing Article!
His concern with file formats was a seriously legitimate concern in earlier days, when it was reasonable to expect that his word processor should be able to convert and open a file sent to him from my
word processor. There was a thriving cottage industry for format conversion utilities, and built in filters in most applications. His point is well taken: MS Word continually changed their formats to destroy all efforts at interchangeable works. Even the .rtf format, meant to be an exchange format (which Stross mentions), has been so ill-documented and maimed by lack of standards support by MS that it cannot be relied except for the most basic needs.
I once lived in the "encoded file" world of copywriting and typesetting, entering command codes for formatted output, and his commentary on the MS Word evolution is spot-on. For a glimpse of the absurd, save a MS Word file in HTML output, and then look at the code, and try to work with it in an HTML editor.
As a side note, the increasing popularity of "markdown" codes in plain-text documents is a respectful return to the early days of text output discussed by Charles Stross. It is blessedly simple, efficient, and provides a universal master file serving many outputs.
Strosses article is here: http://www.antipope.org/charlie/blog-static/2013/10/why-microsoft-word-must-die.html
A well-deserved brew
to Mr. Stross for his remarkably restrained review. An admirable demonstration of self-control!
The "unavoidable" aspect is the well known demand by publishing houses (and author agents) that works must be submitted ONLY in Microsoft Word. And, no, substitutes such as LibreOffice or Softmaker Office are frowned upon, as authors can expect to receive a heavily marked-up and commented return file, again in Microsoft Word.
Frequently authors will draft in a more amenable app such as Scrivener or a favorite text editor, using markdown formatting, etc., but will ultimately be confronted with dumping the pile into Word and sending the result off as a .DOCX heap-o-shite. Once editing commences, one remains trapped in MS purgatory.
Not likely to change, anytime soon, until the scale tilts further to self-publishing and authors can use whatever tools suits best for edoc output.
A free country?
Don't overlook the racism factor. The USA is becoming a nation of ghettos, while the wealthy one percent wall themselves apart in gated and guarded enclaves. Police enforce the boundaries; a grotesquely large percentage of the prison population in the USA are from the ghetto class, predominately nonwhite. As for civil rights ... yeh, we honor our rights in the breach, but few outside the one percent can access the legal defense against local, state, or federal violations of those rights. But then again, if our rights are violated in secret, then what is there to get upset about? Ignorance is bliss ... !
Don't venture outside the boundaries. The enforcers are watching.
Re: Hunting trolls? You're doing it wrong!
Forgive your "EngRish?"
Of course. Fair is fair. Since equity and justice is not our national objective, perhaps you'll forgive our legal system. Also remember ... a "plan to investigate" should not be confused with intent to take action. Hearings, committees, and additional studies are little more than icing on the cake of obfuscation and delay.
Re: XP end-of-life is coming...
When the day approaches for Microsoft to actually pull the plug on XP, and it becomes unavoidably obvious that significant numbers of people will lose their entire home computer investment -- hardware, software, and applications -- because the Win8 upgrade bloat is incompatible with everything they've depended on, the resulting public relations disaster may prove to be a painfully bitter experience for MS stockholders.
Perhaps a change of diet is needed?
Microsoft seems to be the 300-lb roadhouse cook wearing a filthy T-shirt, arm-pit hair hanging through torn-off sleeves, with a cigarette stub hanging from her mouth, dribbling ashes into your scrambled eggs. Except you ordered an omelet with a side of ham. She slides a plate of runny egg whites puddled among yellow yolk clumps half smothering a side of burned bacon down the counter. You're barely in time to reach out and stop the plate from crashing to the floor.
"Eat up yer shite!" she snarls, turning away to dump a bowl of soggy potato shreds onto the smoking grill. "I'm rushed and ain't got time to please yer whining self; others are waiting and I don't hear them bitchin' like yer doin'."