731 posts • joined Tuesday 10th April 2007 06:11 GMT
...and there you have it.
...and there you have it. Perfect arguments as to *exactly* why patents on sofware are bad for the industry and cripple innovation.
Aside from the legalise fluff, none of MS's "patents" appear to be in any way revolutionary and are there purly to stifle.
For example pat 5845077 (software update) is extremely obvious, not revolutionary in any way and describes pretty much the only sane way to perform a client/server based software update check. The vagaries are there to cover many similar-but-not-quite-the-same takes on the approach.
Patents - in place to protect the small inventor from unscrupulous corporations.
Hey, why don't MS try to lock in users to proprietry document formats as well as the long suffering business sector? Ah, yes - that's what this appears to be. Wonder when we'll start seeing anti-trust / anti-competetive actions against MS when it comes to "free hotmail this, free hotmail that" all over a new system?
Largely a return to the ghastly MSN mess which attempted to replace a browser and all other junk into one end-user "friendly" application.
"Notice even though it's all Flash, the URL changes with each asset page. That's for SEO."
No, that's for bookmarking but is more likely to help a "little" with reducing the huge size of the initial download by splitting it into more manageable chunks. Yes, SEO does use the URI, but that's only if there's something in the content of the page (HTML) that's indexable.
There is a very important point in all this though.. HTML5 is not yet ready for mainsteam use as the uptake of user agents that actually support it are too low for viable mainstream use (aside from HTML5 not being formally completed). Until this situation is fixed, alternatives for rich media need to be used.
Oustanding keyboard??? The arses STILL stick the damn Fn (function) key in place of where the damn Ctrl key is on every other damn keyboard. You get used to it, but it causes a lot of keyboard usage mistakes when switching to normal systems.
Stuff that... what was the tech that interpreted a speach and reduced it down to what the liar^H^H^H^H politician was saying?
“The ultimate aim of the legislation is to shift people’s behaviour from the unlawful to the legal.”
There's nothing wrong with this aim, it's what policy should be about. Of course, discussions have to be had about what is legal and what isn't, and whether the boundary is in the correct, fair place - for both producers* and consumers of the products.
* Not "music producer", the whole series of people involved. The balance of fair payments between those involved is another matter altogether.
"The code agreed will be put into practice for a year, during which the outgoing government hopes lots of new music services will appear, and casual infringement will fall. As BIS wrote in an explanatory note earlier this year:"
This is where the government is dreaming. New music services, in this economic climate, that the public want and use and (although technically not a requirement) are fair? Not likely. No VC is going to throw money into this kind of thing right now, especially given the virtual stranglehold certain companies hold, the costs involved compared to the return and time for a return and the free alternatives. The free alternatives may start to attract risks, but they'll be so small for now that most users will ignore them. Look at driving while using a mobile as an example - everybody knows they mustn't do it and the penalties for doing so, but how many do you still see doing it?
kill -9 mandelson
FAIL.... and you know why I *know* this is a fake story? There's no mention of collaptic im/explosions and therefore it's obviously a total fake.
Next time get your facts (and terminology) correct Mr Page - your reputation as a world class reporter on high level physics will suffer otherwise.
Download and install the MS VM. Then download and install VMWare player and have a virtualisation environment that doesn't bring the host OS to it's knees, integrates better and feels much faster and more usable. VM even has a special "import XP mode" option in the menu to make this as easy as possible.
Less bloat would be good to...
Less bloat would be good to... Acrobat used to be a document *reader*. Now it's a security nightmare sub-system in it's own right. Quite how it's expanded from a small, light document reader to a 37MB exercise in bloat and inefficiency is another good question to ask as well.
Erm... slight design flaw?
Well, not exactly a design flaw, but stupid anyway...
Tilt the wheel on this and the screen tilts, meaning you have to tilt your head to get the same angle of view of the screen.
Tilt the Wii Wheel and the screen stays the same orientation and so does your head.
And in other news...
Our beloved dictators, knowing that their time is now short, are pushing forward with an expensive white elephant so they can dare the new guvment to cancel it and "waste money" on a scheme that is already in operation and will, by then, have proven* it's worth in PREVENTING TERRORISM. Using politician style "logic", anybody proposing to cancel it in 6 months time will be saying "! SUPPORT TERRORISM" and will be showing their out-of-touch-with-the-people credentials by "THROWING AWAY VALUABLE TAX PAYER MONEY".
You can just see the headlines now...
* "proof". For proof, please see "statistics"
Jesus Christ (the saviour or the prophet, depending on your leanings) was never born in December. This was just a hijacking of the much more fun and pertinent (for an agrarian nation) celebration of winter solstice. Read the story... lambs ain't born in December, not even in the middle east.
So apart from the wrong year, the day is wrong as wrell. Now PLEASE can we bring back the true meaning of the holiday now celebrated as Christmas?
Amendments to the DP Act altered it from machine readable to *any* data in a retrievable form. The reason? Probably because of departments full if eejits who decided to switch from computer to paper storage because that they didn't want to have to bother with complying with the DP Act.
So, whether you encode your data using knots on a bit of string, sung in a falsetto voice onto an analogue tape cassette, scribbled in shorthand on a notepad or written to a hard disk (using encryption or not), it's ALL covered by the DP Act.
Gotta love the crazies...
Gotta love the crazies... after all, where would we find all these lovely new words that can sporadically find themselves in IT documentation. Hell, with enough of them we can create a few more meaningless T.L.A.s just to make things more "interesting".
Of course, the funny thing about the LHC is that the energy of the collisions is *still* less than that resulting from of the particles that are continually bombarding the atmosphere. At last check, the Earth's atmosphere hadn't vaporised the Earth's core, created a trans-dimensional gateway to hell (or Slough) or even spontaneously collapted. Nature is so so boring sometimes...
IE8 and google
MS have cunningly ensured that google is always on the 2nd page of the "select a search provider" and considering that most users just press "next", "next", "next", "next"... until the annoying prompts go away and let them get on with downloading porn. They've also rigged it so that google is worse reviewed than the others, even some of the utterly inane and unused search engines.
Seriously, anybody have an idea as to how much it would cost a company such as Intel to prototype a new chip in this way? Apart from the raw material costs and design costs, is it expensive these days to produce a single wafer of a custom design or is it something that is now relatively cheap?
Just curious really...
Re: This is what happens
"This is what happens...when you destroy my beloved Paint Shop Pro"
They've destroyed it? I had no idea, I'm still waiting for it to load up...
The open .pst formats will be introduced as a new format with MS Outlook 2010. They'll be more bloated than the existing format, perhaps even named ".pstx" and will be exceedingly heavily MS Outlook orientated with obscure functionality defined as "handle like MS Word handles it". Asides from this, from an business point of view, allowing users to have local .pst files is suicidal compared to using .ost files and providing a level of data protection.
They'd do better to implement a working, sane, open communication protocol for MS Exchange server, but that would open up competition in the mail client / calendar / organiser client and MS would have to actually do some work on Outlook rather than just sticking a different skin on top of identical bugs.
This said, a good, new MS Exchange server version that is accountable, stores data in something other than an enormous amorphous blob pseudo database and actually includes the features that every other mail server includes as standard would give people a REAL reason to buy it and install it rather than just the usual locked-in-to-a-single-supplier "justification".
Do the cows care?
Do the cows care? While regrettably I'm a touch short on dairy herd experience these days, I honestly don't remember a single instance of seeing a cow check her watches or standing around clock watching. Standing around chewing cud and looking stupidly oblivious to the entire world, well they do that with aplomb, but not time management.
Roads, roads, roads
A few randomly strewn points regarding road safety and speeding:
* Speed doesn't kills. It's the sudden stops that tend to do this.
* It is more dangerous to drive inappropriately than it is to drive fast. 60mph on a 70mph road in the snow is considerably more dangerous than 80mph on a clear, dry day.
* When joining a motorway and dual carriageway, you're on what is called an "acceleration" lane - as in, it's meant to allow you to get your car up to ROAD SPEED. This, strangely, is the speed of the road that you're joining and not some arbitrary speed 30 mph less than it. Anybody attempting to join a faster road at a slower speed in front of traffic should be shot. Twice. Then given a fair trial. Of course, brain dead town planners who have no driving licence should not be allowed to design road junctions with acceleration lanes that are so short or blind that any locals with a degree of self-preservation avoid them.
* Good road design lends more to safety than arbitrary speed limits. You only need to visit Hertfordshire's newest accident black spot (the A414/M1 junction near Hemel Hempstead) to see a spot on example of brainless road layout.
* Too much information causes overload and the more important information is missed. This is why there are studies that prove that junctions with dozens of signs (doubtless to cover the ass of the licence-free road planner) figure with a lot more accidents and near-accidents than clearer, simpler junctions.
* It's a SPEED LIMIT. It's not an indicator of the the target speed of a road. You should moderate your speed as is appropriate for the road and the conditions.
* The Renault Twingo (probably the worst car I've ever had the mis-fortune to drive), has a speedo so far out of the line of sight of the driver that it takes half a second to turn your head, re-focus, read the ghastly orange LED bar display, move head back to driving position and then re-focus on what you're about to drive into. The rev-counter, of course, is exactly where the speedo should have been. To be fair though, because the ride of the Twingo is so vomit inducing at speeds above 50mph, an experienced Twingo could judged their speed by the level of bile about to erupt through their nose. Serious point though - good car design, as well as good road design helps considerably. I've driven many cars where the pillars are so thick there are noticable blind spots when looking round at junctions.
* The driving test should not be yet another metric-driven statistics measure like most modern school exams - it should test your ability to drive, calmly, safely as well as your knowledge or the rules of the road. I also believe that everybody should have to retake their test every 4 years to ensure that our bad habits are kept in check and we're still safe to be allowed to propel a 1 ton lump of metal at 70mph only feet from another lump coming the opposite direction.
* Rather than trying to make money, the police should invest in more unmarked cars with real police in them, who's job it is to catch the twatts that like to drive 2 feet behind everybody else and weave in and out of traffic, pushing their vehicles into spaces between cars that, admittedly too short, barely fit their vehicle in as well.
So will this fix all the hundreds of bugs in PSE7? Also, have Adobe decided to start using STANDARD windows, standard controls (sliders, buttons, etc) - so once the computer luddites have learned how to use normal windows controls they don't then have to learn how the Adobe ones work as well?
How difficult is it?
How difficult is it? Really? Trust NOTHING that comes from an external source. Any module of code that accepts external data should validate it properly and throw it out if it doesn't comply with the agreed interface contracts. Not hard... unless you spend most of your development time obfuscating an interface to make it hard for anybody else to implement.
On the other hand... trust little even if it comes from an internal source. Paranoia is good. Just not overly good for efficiency.
@Adam C 1
When sensibly done, HD decoding should depend more on the graphics hardware rather than the CPU... but then admittedly most Atoms are paired with the awful joke that is Intel's current graphics chipsets so chances are it's not going to be too good. Should still be good enough for standard video though.
Just ban sex...
Just ban sex... starting with this SA official. These kind of problems will start to resolve themselves soon enough.
Not without merit
Not without merit... however would never happen like that as apart from anything else the Health and Safety brigade would rather that we were strapped in place using webbing harnesses and then spray mounted in foam. Actually sitting comfortably and not stressing about the journey is the least of their concerns. Of course, the little issue of motion sickness would be a serious one...
In any case, whack ideas are good - they push boundaries and sometimes useful parts of them even make it out into the real world.
Software installation... while the ideal is that the users cannot have admin rights to install their own software, this is often impossible due to fucktard developers who manage to write (aka blindly cobble together) applications that "require" administration rights just to run.
On this front, I can feel for the admins at Orange - the useless so-called web apps aren't, they're IE6 botched apps instead. As a result, they have to keep using IE6 as IE7 (and IE8) are so bloated that the hardware, that should be quite adequate for the job, cannot sensibly cope. They can't use any other browsers either, as these don't work with the IE6-app's that are in use.
Next, they can't even lock down the systems because some crud applications won't work if they can't write to wherever they damn well please in the file system / registry (registry use = fail, every time - dumbest idea for a long time from MS).
As a result, users start installing crud on the systems they use (company property, not personal) - custom browsers, plug-ins, junk-mail apps, trojans, viruses, etc. This can take a long time to fix - often through the hassle of having to re-image systems and re-configure them - imaging is all very well but if the hardware pool varies, can be a lot of hassle.
Threatening the users with a, possibly illegal, £250 fine isn't an especially smart move though.
Written for IE6
Written for IE6 - says it all really.
If the half-baked neandethal so called developers had even a smallest hint of a clue they'd know to write using standards compliant systems. Instead they dismissed the occasional collision of braincells and just went the MS route which is to break standard web interfaces as much as possible and rely on closed, non-standard, insecure and hugely inconvenient coding and web application methods. Nothing wrong with <A>, but many morons (MS driven) seem to have no concept that a website is different to a local application and instead attack post back JScript events for navigation instead. Almost as bad as the muppets who use flash to create menus in websites.
Of course, if there's anything such as a real reason to code to standards - this kind of epic mess is it.
@Give it a break already
Russia and China hacking into the US electrical grid? Why bother? All they need to do is sell a few more AC units and electrical goods and the thing'll collapse on its own anyway. It's not as if the boards that manage the grid components give a stuff about anything other than shareholder return.
If the defense contractors can't maintain a secure network (which generally involves segragation, not lumping everything into a single MS windows domain with access to the Internet), then they shouldn't be allowed to win contracts. However, again, we all know how these contracts are really won... With a secure network, most leaks are accidental or an inside job - a big computer elsewhere in the country isn't going to help massively here. A track of contacts between PC systems may do the job, however there are a HUGE number of ways to communicate on the Internet without using direct connections, e-mail, IM or anything easily traceable. A foreign security agency is likely to be very used to using these alternatives and is likely just laughing at the absurdity.
What this dweeb's forgotten is that aside from the academic side, university is a pivotal place for social learning... it's not just about being parrot fed regurgitated "learning material". Without this opportunity, many students would still be the introverted, socially clueless types that they were just before they started university.
Hard thing to do properly...
Hard thing to do properly... as unlike a film, most games have optional elements and with a little effort, there can be thousands of optional elements in a game that a cursory examination wouldn't reveal.
Take a fictional game where you can drive or walk around a virtual city... All is clean and then you go into a shady area, into a back alley and find through a non-descript door one particular gentleman's club called the "Blue Oyster Bar". Would an external assessor for the classification system find such detail amongst the entire game? Unlikely. This would leave the ratings to be applied by the publisher and this would leave to very inconsistent standards.
In any case, as long as they're not stupid enough to think that they can also apply the ratings to user generated content or game mods. then a little help to try to the average clueless absent parent from buying a violent game involving shooting, pimping and other nastiness for a 6 year old kid ought to be a good thing.
Not too much new...
IM that updates with each keypress... that's not new at all.
Polling server for updates and using DHTML techniques to update the displayed document. Sounds like standard AJAX fare.
E-mail / messaging systems that allow you to more than just view e-mails. Ooh, maybe something like calendaring and basic project management. Nope not too new either.
In the end, there's nothing new - however if it uses existing, working, technologies and integrates them better and in an easier way than previously then it ought to be a good thing.
As for Lotus Notes, Sharepoint, etc... Sharepoint is still a decade behind what was reliably possible using Lotus Notes. Shame about the mismanagement and total loss of direction that Lotus/IBM wound up with and the inevitable death of the product that followed. Not that Lotus Notes was perfect, (far from it), but it was still leaps and bounds and hugely technically superior to Sharepoint. Not that sharepoint doesn't have the occasional redeeming feature, but in essence it's little more than a badly designed, bloated and incredibly inefficient document sharing web server. It was obvious for a while that MS's marketing ploy was to kill off file sharing on the server and force everything into sharepoint instead. Luckily even MS seem to have seen the light on that one!
With luck, Google wave, being targetted at developers and not by marketing droids at marketing droids, it may work better. We'll see I suppose...
All that money wasted...
All that money wasted... and still not as good as this one:
Not about getting rid of windows
It's not about getting rid of windows, it's about them ending a deal that would have been highly pressured towards exclusivity towards a single vendor and lock in. It's about choice - if a linux, unix, solaris, windows, macos, or whatever OS solution is the best for the purpose (given, future support, updates, later development, ease of installation and use and value for money) then it should be used. The choice should not be dictated by a single supplier who, for obvious reasons, has their own interests at heart.
The NZ government is right in pointedly not showing favour to a single supplier and therefore mandating a lock in themselves.
They should use whatever is best and provides the best value for the tax payers. The majority of government computers users need little more than a word processor, a spreadsheet, an e-mail client, a web browser, a secure file store, shared printers and rather often a terminal emulator to allow access into a computer system that's being doing the job it's needed to do for the last 20 years.
On the anti-MS point, this doesn't require a noisy, power hungry, quad core 4GB PC with whizz bang pointless effects, a laughably insecure OS and a rental licence for everything. The system will feel that it'll require replacing in 2 years time as the bloat of many updates and an indescribably bad data repostiory takes its toll on peformance.
On the other hand, using linux on the desktop while initially cheap introduces issues involving training, support and management of systems. Solving these issues takes time and therefore monry that could arguably be better used elsewhere. In the long term linux is likely to be cheaper, however how long it takes to get to such a point and how many changes of mangement may occur in between are important factors to take into account. There are problems with hardware support, especially support for devices that aren't considered "fashionable" for open-source developers (notably printing) but also various other management systems that a well organised IT department rapidly grows to rely on. Custom applications written for Microsoft products are also quite common place - from custom applications through to convoluted scripting within documents, they all need to continue working as they were or to be replaced.
Competing on content?
"They also compete in content - Apple's iTunes and Google's YouTube."
Erm... I guess this is what happens when the clueless write on technical issues.
iTunes - store to (primarily) download paid for audio tracks
YouTube - site where every idiot on the Internet uploads videos of themselves or others doing stupid things or talking about boring things.
Small business file and printer sharing...
Small business file and printer sharing... that'll be a networked printer and a cheap and cheerful hard drive attached to the network (NAS) then. Not a lot of cost to that.
On the other hand, you could pay upwards of £2000 on hardware and software and wind up with a slow, inefficient, unmanageable, power hungry, noisy and large system taking up valuable office space.
Of course, if you're an IT professional, it's easy to see the shortcomings in the cheap system but for a typical smaller business that doesn't want to "waste" so much cash just on computer systems, it's an easy choice to make.
Re: A small mercy. / By Dav
Great! I'm glad that I'm not the only one to notice that the show was extremely boring, poor, annoying and in the end, just plain rubbish.
Watched the entire of the first couple of series, but just started to miss the odd episode and ceased to care about missing them. From vacuous idiotic characters, inept "command structures", dumb situations, ridiculous plots and sub-plots, the overriding "war on terror" theme that was coming through and multiple episodes that all had the feel of "filler" about them it just became a chore. In most episodes nothing much happened and the continual flicking from one location to another as if we've got no attention span was very tiresome.
Lets be fair here... this abortion of a virus propagator and occasional e-mail client has no right to still exist, let alone to be used for anything even remotely, feasibly, possibly important. Even MS have tried to disown it as much as possibly and, very sensibly, re-wrote something pretty much from scratch for Vista (incidently they also fixed the insanely stupid "everything all in one file" storage system in the Vista mail client as well).
Anybody that still uses it really gets what they deserve.
Re: Another Roll Eyes Moment
"If it wasnt for them we could very well be stuck in CLI days with a very basic GUI,"
WTF? Have you just digested a copy of "the world according to Bill Gates" or something?
Without fail, every, Microsoft operating system (no, don't get pedantic about the use of "operating system") has been lagging behind whatever else is available. This isn't to say that MS haven't done some things better than the original or that having a more ubiquitous user interface isn't a good thing from the end user point of view, but claiming that without MS we'd be stuck in the days of CLI is just amusingly fanbois-ish.
When MS were still peddling versions of DOS, various other operating systems had graphical interfaces - AmigaOS, GEM (Atari ST), Apple, AcornRiscThingy and doubtless a few others. At the time, all of these OSes were significantly superior to DOS and the early versions of windows in almost every way. A lot of innovative features in these early OSes and graphical shells have subsequently made it into the Windows and Apple user interfaces.
"Finally, Microsoft said it measured page load times using "visual cues" or a combination of visual cues and the ability to interact with a page to determine if a page had completely loaded."
That'll be the same kind of visual clues that the windows shell (desktop) throws up around 2-3 minutes before its capable of doing anything meaningful.
I'm actually looking forward to IE8 if it really does make inroads into supporting any form of web standards rather than the in-bred crazed rendering scheme that riddles everything prior to it. Unfortunately MS's idea of optimisation has always been around throwing more and better hardware at the software until it runs "adequately". Hopefully with more competition and with more awareness of other browsers they'll all improve.
But then, MS's aim is to make everything "require" custom ActiveX (or .net / com as they've decided to re-brand them today) add-ons and through that ensure that everybody is forced to use windows and IE. I'm just waiting for the first critical, or damn hard to do without, parts of windows, to require the abortion that is silverlight.
...and what about the VPL?
Re: Sun-dodging slime creatures?
Nope, probably just IT staff.
Re: Why an accretion disc?
The gravitational effects of a black hole wouldn't suddenly cease at the event horizon. The event horizon is just the point where light cannot escape the gravitational pull of the black hole, just outside of this region there are still enourmous forces at work.
And yes, they did manage to miss out a few scripting systems that are commonly in use, from c-hash, j-hash, vb-hash through to action script.
More to the point...
More to the point... the implementation of services should be put in place using whatever technology best serves the purpose. Not whatever a monopoly says that you will use, regardless of poor value for money, poor overall ROI or just poor "fitness-for-purpose". If windows desktop provides the best implementation of a certain service, then use it - if (some variety of) linux provides a better implementation, then use that instead. That's where the competition should be and without competition you don't get improvement... instead you get supplier lock in and extortion.
As for "massive training", I can tell you that it's not that bad when switching users from one system to another. 99% of PC users use their PC to write the odd letter and browsing the Internet along with the obligatory IM client (e-mails for most of these users are just web-based services). Those that consider themselves more advanced tend to indulge in a bit of occasional spreadsheet bashing, downloading of music (unfortunately mostly using iTunes, but this at least runs on two OSes), and maybe a bit of half-hearted management of digital photos. The majority of these users just want a cheap, reliable system that doesn't sound like a jet engine taking off, starts from cold quickly, is tolerably fast enough to perform the tasks required of it and has big buttons (icons for the rest of us) on the screen allowing them to start writing a letter or browse the Internet.
In the real business world, users tend to stick to the same staple of web browing, e-mail (more often a rich client than a web based e-mail system), letter writing, spreadsheet mangling and plotting how to induce comatose hypnosis (presentations). After that its a case of custom, specialist applications which, for very evident support reasons, are now more and more likely to be web based and a huge tranch of terminal emulator use to access critical business systems that "still" run on those nasty old Unix systems that have been reliably plodding away for the last 25 years.
Re: 4.6 million quid?
"I think where public money is being spent there should be 100% transparency i.e we should be able to see all invoices etc. Where mad amounts of cash are being splodged we should have the right to demand that these companies are never used for govt work again.
The gravy train must be derailed!"
Ah, but following on from our beloved dictator's previous statements... unfortunately that kind of thing would cause the downfall of democracy. Or something like that, but more likely reveal irrefutable proof of dodgy dealings, illegal practices, corruption and just blatant arse covering.
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