2153 posts • joined 26 Jul 2008
>>"So far we have established that exactly none of AC's issues with MS are based on fact."
Well one of them was, it was just that saying Office 2007 didn't fully support ODF isn't really that relevant today as a counter to someone saying Office supports open standards. Oh, and the EU competition case from 1993 is technically based on fact as well. It's just that over twenty years later, some of us have moved on.
But some people love their hate, however irrational. I got two downvotes for a post that just corrected someone who had claimed you lost your files when you stopped an Office 365 subscription (WTF?). A few people will even vote down simple facts if it challenges their world view.
>>"I absolutely refuse to embrace this "rental" ransomware business model Microsoft are engendering. I say ransomware because, if you don't keep your payments up, your license expires and all your work, saved in their format or even in their cloud, is lost."
You're spreading FUD. You're work isn't lost anymore than if you uninstall Photoshop the images you made with it are lost. Save your files where you like and in what format you like. Office 365 is just the pricing model. The software is the same. If you're talking about renting online storage, then yeah, obviously you have to copy your documents off there at some point if you give up the subscription, but it's not like you miss a payment and they suddenly vanish. And in any case, that's not Office 365. Office 365 is just paying by subscription for the same software rather than paying the one-time purchase fee.
>>"I believe I have misunderstood the purpose of Secure Boot then, if its primary purpose is to make it harder to pirate Windows"
That's not its primary purpose. It's not even a Microsoft Technology. It's from the UEFI Consortium which is a collection of primarily hardware manufacturers such as Lenovo and Samsung and HP (though MS does have representation on there, they're one of about 13 members).
Secure Boot is to verify that only signed code can be booted. It can be turned off, but whilst on, it can check that nothing has interfered with the boot loader or other parts of the OS that start before anti-malware code begins. It's a valuable security feature, but it's not really about preventing pirated Windows. After all, MS requires that users should be able to turn it off if they want for a start!
>>"Notice how MS *never* go after Google who write Android. Curious that and a typical patent-troll tactic."
That's because Google are clever buggers and don't sell Android directly themselves, but give it away and make their money from other people using it. It would not be worthwhile for MS to sue Google because it is other parties making the money from selling devices with Android on it. Were it easy to work around the patents, Google would surely have done so. Ergo, it is not.
>>Only a deliberately broken implementation. Cite: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OpenDocument_software#Microsoft_Office_2007_SP2_
You deliberately linked to the page for MS Office 2007 and their first iteration of support for ODF about six years ago. What in today's MS Office do you find lacking in their ODF support. Please be specific.
>>"Not it isn't. Without MS we wouldn't be saddled with SecureBoot and MS have ensured that it is *very* hard for an end user to add new keys. Add to that that non-MS OS vendors have to go an *PAY MS* for the privilege of having a key. Cite: "
Secure Boot isn't an MS technology. MS did nothing to make the obtaining of keys hard - you approach the OEMs for keys, not MS. RedHat and other distros do not have to pay MS for the privilege of having a key. RedHat chose to pay MS to use theirs because it was cheaper and easier than managing the process themselves: http://www.redhat.com/about/news/archive/2012/6/uefi-secure-boot
Additionally, as I proved elsewhere, MS actually require users to be able to turn off Secure Boot, which is as trivial as swapping your boot device. So these other distros don't even have to have keys if they don't want. If you want to have a go at someone for locking down x86 devices, pick on Google who actually have locked down some of their Chromebooks meaning, for example, if I want to put Debian on a Pixel, I have to manually put it into developer mode on every boot.
You're flat out wrong about Secure Boot. Additionally, it's a valuable security feature.
>>"Wrong. Please cite me the part of the UEFI standard where it says this must be so. Clue: It doesn't."
It's not in the UEFI standard as you well know, it's a requirement from MS to have WIndows 8 certification. And the link for that I posted earlier in my other reply to you. You may refer to Windows 8 certification as "a pretty badge" but without that requirement, OEMs would be free to lock down hardware so I couldn't install GNU/Linux on it.
>>"MS could change this at any time.
So it's pre-crime now, is it?
>>"Secure Boot (MS made sure the implementation was fecked and that they control the keys)"
Utter bullshit which has been corrected over and over again. Firstly, Secure Boot is part of the UEFI spec which was developed by a large consortium of primarily hardware manufacturers. Secondly, it's MS's requirements for Windows 8 that actually require OEMs to NOT lock the hardware so that it can be turned off. Thirdly, anyone can purchase keys. RedHat actually chose to pay MS to licence keys because it was cheaper and easier than managing the whole process themselves!
Here is the source: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/hardware/hh748188.aspx
And the relevant part from it:
18. Mandatory. Enable/Disable Secure Boot. On non-ARM systems, it is required to implement the ability to disable Secure Boot via firmware setup. A physically present user must be allowed to disable Secure Boot via firmware setup without possession of PKpriv."
>>And that's without trying.
Re: why would I want this?
Additionally, MS have their free Office Web Apps as a competitor to Google Docs if someone is wedded to free. Though I agree I would point people at Libre Office over Google Docs.
Re: that's strong evidence that the patents are robust.
>>Indeed, so why did MS settle with Barnes and Noble?
Presumably because B&N gave them about a sixth of their eBook business and agreed to continue paying royalties on Android to MS. We don't know how much those royalties were, and guess what, we don't know how much they are with anyone else, either.
It's weird that some people keep touting B&N about as an example of how MS patents are weak when it doesn't actually show this at all. It's doubly weird when you realize people must be simultaneously thinking B&N are scaring MS away from actually going to court whilst at the same time acknowledging that the mobile phone industry (incl. companies such as Samsung) haven't even challenged MS.
Re: Many thanks for your help!
Well if this is the case then "we" (in so far us customers buying MS products count) are also assisting in the development and success of Android, by virtue of them building on other's technology. That's the theory of the benefits of trade - two parties focusing on their speciality > two parties both trying to do everything. It's a cousin of the principle of Open Source - sharing the workload is good. They both expect to get something in return for the product of their labours: the old proprietary model expects to get money in recompense and the Open Source model expects to get given back improvements or bug fixes. Or in Google's more parasitic relationship - advertising.
Re: Of course its true!
>>"If I sell a product with such software on board, I certainly do. This might be the reason MS is not going after Google (or maybe there are secret agreements, where's me tinfoil hat!!)"
It's the former. Google are not stupid. They found they could make money through people using Android rather than selling it, and so they avoid having to pay licences by giving it away. Samsung et al. are the ones who have to pay. MS probably could go after Google with them in some very minor way (I think Google has a few tiny channels they technically make money direct from Android), but it would be trivial and a waste. MS want money at the end of the day - they're simple like that.
Re: Why permit the secrecy
>>"If it isn't, it's certainly arguable that the end user should be able to know what patents they are using."
Certainly I'd be interested to find out, but the "end user" to Microsoft is the company paying to use them to build a phone, not people MS have no dealing with who later buy phones from that company. As was given, there are some solid commercial reasons to keep details of which patents they are confidential. All we can really conclude is that if lawsuit-happy behemoths such as Samsung are willing to pay, that's strong evidence that the patents are robust.
Good luck persuading a board to direct billions and purchase huge chunks of foreign phone companies just to provide "smoke and mirrors". And as if they care much whether you think they're making money from Android patents anyway! Yes, yes - Microsoft developed an entire phone line and integrated API and spent a massive fortune buying part of Nokia because they're shy of people knowing they make money. Of course they did.
And I can't believe the people who upvoted you just out of reflex to anything that says MS are duplicitous. A little logic and perspective on the numbers involved, people.
Re: move to Bournemouth
Thanks for the reply. I looked into getting multiple lines put in and running them in parallel, which is actually both possible and feasible. However, it was a costly solution and still didn't get me up to the speeds that I wanted, so I ended up buying a different house.
Re: "You use Office 365, SQL Server or Azure, right?"
>>The thing that gets most people is just that, 'A Subscription Model'.
They haven't stopped selling perpetual licences, either personally or for enterprise. I personally like the subscription model because it's perpetual updates and they throw in enough extras such as online storage, installability to five devices (from iPad to Desktop) that I find it well worth it. But the old sales model is still there so adding a new choice is okay.
>>"Stop paying and bang goes access to your documents. S*D that for a game of soldiers.
I don't know where you got that from, but this is not the case. Whether you pay for Office 2013 via subscription or a one-time cost, they both use the same document formats and you can save them to anywhere you like. It makes as much sense as saying if you uninstall Office, your documents are "bang, gone". Well no - you still have them, and if you've decided you're not going to use MS Office ever again, you can always save them as ODF (or set that as your default from the start when it asks you which you want on install). Heck, you can even just install LibreOffice and open them in that even if they are OOXML. LibreOffice have done a stirling job at supporting MS formats. But the point is, none of this has anything to do with Office 365. You don't lose access to your documents when you lapse your subscription. If you're somehow confusing this with Cloud storage, well that's no different than if you rented hosted space and didn't remove your documents from that after stopping paying for the service. It's not like you miss a payment and your files get deleted, or you're ever stopped from copying them off there.
Anyway, the person I replied to was saying that you couldn't access your documents offline with Office 365. I'm making a guess that they were thinking of Office Web Apps (now called Office Online) which is the competitor to Google Docs. But whatever, they weren't correct about Office 365 - that's just payment by subscription, plus some extras.
Re: "You use Office 365, SQL Server or Azure, right?"
Office 365 is actually just the subscription model. I think you have it confused with their free "Office Online". If you have a subscription to Office 365 you get both an installable version and you can use the online version. Office 365.
Re: "You use Office 365, SQL Server or Azure, right?"
Actually, I do use Office 365 and Azure. I quite like them. They're both very good services. If you're not interested, then perhaps don't click on posts which are an invitation to a MS event about them.
Re: Will they cover their NSA links ?
Probably the same as Google and Apple and any other US corporation says, no?
Re: ok, 1 down 999 to go
I upvoted him on the basis that I agreed with his post and it's on the Internet so whether his "knob" is in or out, I should be unaware of it.
Unless "Baron Ebeneezer Wanktrollop III" turns out to be a colleague sitting next to me, which would prove interesting.
We need this, but not from Facebook.
We (society) definitely need a convenient way of making micropayments. Advertising is a plague upon this Earth, but it results from people not paying for things they want. Note, that I very deliberately didn't say "not wanting to pay for things they want". Plenty of people are willing to pay small amounts, and small amounts add up.
Advertisers don't pay a great deal of money, but if regular visitors were willing to make small contributions that would change the model enormously. Would you pay a £1-2 a year for access to the Reg? I certainly would. No-one does of course because we don't have a pervasive system of micro-payments which makes doing such a thing effortless.
Imagine a world where advertising didn't control 90% of the websites you visit? I do, and I like it.
Re: WTF generic security software FAIL
*sigh* Two instinctive downvotes, no-one able to actually reply and show it is wrong. Windows does have a more sophisticated security model than GNU/Linux from Vista onwards. I'm familiar with both. That's not to say that Windows is overall more secure than GNU/Linux, but it's model is more capable. Those who downvoted should ask themselves if they can actually justify their disagreement or if they're just voting out of preference.
Re: The real problem is C
>>"Well there are 25 other letters in the alphabet...choose one."
Well in that case, I choose D. It's a lovely language - essentially a rebuild of C++ with an "if we knew then what we know now" approach. But it may not satisfy the OP's criteria. I'm interested to see if they have an answer, or only a criticism.
Well it was a Google engineer who found the flaw, so some credit there at least.
Re: The real problem is C
"There is only one answer... ban C"
In favour of...?
Volunteers are not necessarily less (or more) competent than paid people and in any case, a lot of Open Source development is actually paid for by large companies. Open Source does not necessarily mean written by volunteers.
Regardless, flaws happen in proprietary code and in Open Source code. I've never been convinced there's an intrinsic bias either way. There is a rather exaggerated idea about "a thousand eyes" leading to fewer flaws in Open Source software. That's never been that supportable. The advantages of Open Source are not magic lack of vulnerabilities. The advantages of Open Source are that you can check it for deliberate subversion - e.g. government backdoors and because it can be forked at any time, you're hopefully protected against lock-in and projects being abandoned. (Though Google do their best on the former).
I suppose some might say I've missed "free" off the list above, but to quote the Great Wookie himself: "Free as in speech, not free as in beer". Any serious customers are likely to go with whatever solution is best rather than cheapest.
But the essential point is that companies like RedHat, SuSE, et al. are not small companies and it's not a pile of volunteer code. Some of it is, but it's the testing side that matters more than the development side in matters like this.
This is actually interesting to some of us, thanks.
Re: Allowable overtime means they can creep up to almost 40 hours?
This all sounds like an especially vivid nightmare Ayn Rand would have after eating too much cheese before bedtime.
Re: My phone
I was about to ask a question about the self-employed, actually. Anyone know if this applies to contractors who lease their services? Because if it doesn't, I'm tempted to move to Paris for a couple of years and clean up.
Re: Thats the problem
>>"They tell you what you can't do, not what you should do"
Actually I'm fine with laws being based around forbidding certain things, rather than forcing new behaviour. All else being equal, the latter has far more potential for abuse and is a lot of coercive.
The law is an ass. If I'm trusting another party with my details and I have doubts about their security, I'm going to check it.
I probably wouldn't do that if it involved testing explosives against a safe or something else that caused damage, but if I can inspect without breaking something, I will.
Before anyone over-reacts...
Azure has supported GNU/Linux for a long time. This isn't some radical new "OMG!!MS supports Linux" thing. It's just that their new tool includes support for importing them from VMWare. You've been able to buy GNU/Linux "servers" from MS in Azure for a long time.
>>"This average non technical person probably doesn't even need a virus scanner. They've only been scared into it by the media."
Well the media and a decade of Windows XP. I imagine it's quite heartening to some after MS make all that money off Android, to see Android make a little off Windows. ;)
>>"Those aren't even competing market segments..."
Of course they are - there are a lot of people who used to have a PC purely for a bit of email and web-browsing. The iPad (and now other devices) have significantly eaten into that. Similarly the iPhone killed off any possible future for Windows Mobile by showing just how antiquated it was, and forced MS to reinvent things from the ground up with Windows Phone. Tablet and laptop sales have directly impacted desktop PCs, rising as the latter falls. And a significant part of "tablet and laptop", is tablet.
The Windows Store is a direct response to the stores on Android and iOS devices.
>>"I don't want a curating team blocking apps and using spurious reasons why your app can't be put on the Play store."
I agree. But Microsoft spent over a decade offering an OS with no curation whatsoever and the expectation that users knew what they were doing. MS grew up in an era where computer users were technical people and they kept assuming that. And then Apple came along and beat them up with iPhones and iPads. Now MS think that's what people want and are pushing their own store.
You can have educated users or you can have passively looked after users. The two are always in conflict.
Re: Reg doesn't seem to get the implications of this bug.
>>"Whilst this is a hole, it's not, as I understand it, a huge one. Yes, keys can be compromised, but only if they are in that 64k at the time of the attack. That's quite unlikely, although not impossible, so perhaps not a world ending issue, but still an important one."
Your statement is correct, but incomplete. What you do after running the attack once, is then run it again. And again. And again. The danger of this attack is proven. It happens at a very low-level and there's nothing to stop an attacker running a quick dozen probes and getting a whole heck of a lot more than 64K. In fact, that's how one of the firms demonstrated the vulnerability.
Re: And this is why you cannot trust open source
Normally most of the unreasoned hatred is from over-zealous Open Source supporters attacking proprietary vendors. Thanks for doing your part today to even that out.
>>"Sure it's open, but if not one looks it may as well be closed."
Criticisms that depend on an "if something is bad, then it is bad" clause, are arguments starting from supposition and a logical fallacy. Also, you may be looking for the word "no-one".
>>There's no procedures to follow or quality standards to meet, so no professional audits or anything like that."
You're like a fish describing mountaineering. Your view of Open Source as random people throwing code at each other is staggering in its lack of familiarity with real, large Open Source projects.
>>"Use open source for dicking around it you must; but when it comes to the real world, you get what you pay for."
Actually I make a pretty good living working with Open Source software. Maybe you should "come to the real world". You'll find it's maybe moved on since you last visited.
>>"It's frightening when you think of how long it takes proprietary software vendors to acknowledge and fix bugs."
Sigh. There's no misfortune someone wont seize upon to push their polemnic. There's no intrinsic reason why this should get fixed any faster than a proprietary solution - indeed it was out there for two years which really just goes to show how far the "thousand eyes" falls short once software becomes complex. Ten eyes is usually nearer the mark, most of which are under so much pressure it's really no different to the same ten eyes working for a proprietary company.
This is really unfortunate and has serious consequences. On this occasion it happened with Open Source, next time it might be proprietary. But in both cases, response times can be the same. The only real difference being that discovered vulnerabilities are usually announced at the same time the fix is released, not before.
The advantage of Open Source is not magical availability of fixes or freedom from bugs. The advantage of Open Source is that it can be built on and maintained by others, meaning freedom from lock-in and project abandonment, and that you can verify it is not deliberately compromised, e.g. by a government. These are good advantages. The idea that it is inherently less prone to bugs or given to quicker patching, is PR.
Re: The fat lady has sung
>>"There is no 'Mother Earth' or 'Mother Nature' (where the Daddy?)"
Hey, when your sex is pushed into doing most of the child-raising for a few millennia, then you can have life-sustaining / nurturing entities anthropomorphised as your sex by default. Until then, reap what you sow.
Re: The fat lady has sung
>>"Yup. One more mass extinction and if it includes humans don't think this great big rock we currently occupy will shed even a single tear. I'm pretty well convinced we're but termites on this rock and when we go the only irony in our small opinion will be that the rock won't care and will go about with whatever the grand plan of the rock was because we're only important to and trying to save ourselves. The rock doesn't care."
So what you're saying is that the rock doesn't care?
Okay, I can get alongside that. Now make a convincing case that we should care whether the rock cares, or whether we should care about whether we care.
Re: Looks quite nice
Oh that's alright. Any rage contained in my post was directed at Microsoft, on this occasion. If I'd know before I bought the phone about this, I probably would have stuck with my old Meego phone. : (
Re: Looks quite nice
>>"To be honest H4rm0ny, that is not something I've ever thought about. When I switch phones or make updates, I just start from zero, when it comes to SMS. I've never thought about exporting them"
That's because you don't have a business or legal requirement to keep records of your communications, or have ever been involved in a legal case where you're required to provide records of what you sent and when to someone as part of your defence. (Happens a lot if you're fighting for custody of your child). Or simply want not to lose precious messages you exchanged early on in a relationship with someone you care about or to lose things sent to you by someone who has passed on.
Exporting SMS is a basic feature that phones have had for over a decade. It's shocking that WP can't manage this basic task.
>>The problem is, 'tuned' to the lower hardware specs usually means we have disabled your ability to do something because it would work too slowly
I never wrote tuned to lower specs and nor did the OP. We talked about a more limited range of hardware and how that helped it to run more quickly. The OP said it supported a smaller range of SoC. That is correct. I pointed out that this is one of the principle reasons they have been able to tune WP so finely and that this is one of the reasons it runs well on lower spec.
You misunderstand how this works - running better on lower spec hardware isn't a different way of saying does less, anymore than my removing bloat from a piece of software is a way of doing less. Throwing out the kitchen sink is only a disadvantage if you need the kitchen sink. And in this case the kitchen sink is not features, but hardware support. And that's fine because when I buy a Lumia 820, I don't care that the Lumias are made only with chipset X and it wont run on phones that use chipset Y. I only care that it runs faster on chipset X as a result.
The manufacturer of chipset Y might care, and it might reduce the number of providers of phones running WP (possibly). But none of this makes it a worse experience for the purchaser of a current WP device - it makes it better due to less bloat.
Re: The Tolkien poem for Microsoft
Old joke is old.
This is the modern era and we have three "Dark Lords", nowadays. MS may still be Sauron in the land of Enterprise, where the shadows lie. But Apple are like what would have happened if Galadriel had taken the ring - beautiful, irresistible and tyrannical. And Google I guess if Saruman hadn't been beaten up by trees. They looked into Mordor, envied the power of the Dark Lord and set themselves to become a reflection of that power (albeit perhaps a sneakier, more subtle version of it because they're a wizard and played by Christopher Lee).
You're showing a marked lack of understanding of development, planning and production timescales. All of this will have been done under Ballmer. You think the new person started last week and suddenly they've brought out a revised version of WP?
>>"Quite. One of the problems with WP is that it only supports a limited set of specific SoCs, most from 2012. It seems that 8.1 will, later this year, support some additional ones, even some quad core."
That's actually one of its advantages. Sounds odd, but the very focused hardware support is one of the reasons why WP runs so fantastically well on low-end hardware. Android has the kitchen sink approach and so Android fans (not the same as Android users) often attack WP for having lower specced hardware in its phones, e.g. not having a quad-core version. But WP is highly tuned to a narrow range of pre-chosen hardware and doesn't need that horsepower. In fact, it would be counter-productive as the lower-specced hardware it can get away with places less demand on the battery and also frees up more money for things like the battery.
>>"Android can support newer SoCs much quicker"
There's no intrinsic reason why that should be the case. New chip comes out that MS want to support, they can just as easily allocate engineers as Google can.
Re: Looks quite nice
Andrew - can it finally export SMS messages? (And no, I don't mean back up the phone so that you can just load everything onto your next phone, I mean export). This has been a staggering lack in WP from the first version and makes it useless for many business people and legal requirements. As well as for those who just care about losing long-kept txts because they accidentally hit "delete thread".
Well I was frequently allowed to read books unattended for hours at a time as a child. In fact, I would cheerfully do so. I don't think that was an example of parental neglect, but it's just as much a case of doing something unsupervised as playing an offline game, is it not?
Re: Server-side authentication
First people complain about "always online" requirements, then they complain there aren't "always online" requirements. ;)
Re: Apple being 'economical' with the truth?
>>"Their Nth Carolina Data Centre uses a massive array of solar panels. I wonder how it's powered at night?"
Well if we can't attribute it to the sunshine, and obviously there's insufficient power transmission in the moonlight, perhaps we can attribute it to the boogie.
The sad thing is the way they and Friends of the Earth have such a lock on representing the environmental movement. As a specific example, where do all of us who regard Nuclear as a good option go? Like __ I recall a greener land. I'm all for stopping the hunting of whales, I used to be a member of the RSPB, I would like to curtail deforestation. Building materials and living space I understand. Obliterating huge chunks of rain forest so that US citizens can continue to gorge themselves on cheap beef (the land is used to grow soybeans for cattlefeed), is not something I like. Who is left to speak for the _educated_ environmentalists?
If you try to lend your voice to any environmental campaign (e.g. protecting British wildlife), you'll instantly find your money or your presence or both co-opted by one of these groups. RSPB now campaign for windfarms (unsightly, unnecessary, costly), I'd be fully behind Greenpeace trying to stop Japanese whaling, but my money would go toward chastising Amazon for using the most nuclear power. I'd like to show up to a meeting about deforestation of South America, but my presence is counted as support for an organization that routinely spits out misinformation and lies about nuclear power.
Nuclear power isn't a perfect silver bullet, but if you accept we're going to have to get off fossil fuels, it's by far the best option in most places (solar has value, however). And I support nuclear power _because_ I'm environmentally minded. Greenpeace and FoE are riddled with prejudice and bad science. There are millions of people such as myself who call ourselves environmentalists, that these organizations exclude and prevent from being heard.
(--> icon chosen both to represent how I feel and for irony value)
Re: The consumption myth
Try comparing like for like. The difference is that you can buy cheap Windows laptops, you can't buy cheap Macs. That doesn't mean you should compare a cheap Windows laptop to an expensive Mac, it means you compare a cost-equivalent model. There are plenty of high-end Windows laptops that have great weight, battery weight, resolution, power. Including touch-screen ones.
As to iPad and switching to a MacBook Air when you need a keyboard and full app functionality, I have a Surface RT. It can have a light, good keyboard and it runs MS Office 2013. You don't get much more "full app functionality" than that. Don't be such a fanperson.
- Mounties always get their man: Heartbleed 'hacker', 19, CUFFED
- Batten down the hatches, Ubuntu 14.04 LTS due in TWO DAYS
- Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner hacked in just 4 DAYS
- Feast your PUNY eyes on highest resolution phone display EVER
- AMD demos 'Berlin' Opteron, world's first heterogeneous system architecture server chip