* Posts by Richard 12

1937 posts • joined 16 Jun 2009

EE recalls Power Bar phone chargers after explosion burns woman

Richard 12
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Re: Glad...

You don't use water on electrical fires.

Also, Lithium reacts with water quite enthusiastically.

Also, most people don't have a tap in their bedroom.

Finally - do you know how you would react to waking up to a fire?

Unless you've had special training, you would probably panic to some extent, and it's very unlikely that you'd use the most appropriate firefighting technique.

She did well enough.

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Windows 10 Start menu replacements shifting like hot cakes

Richard 12
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Re: Windows 8 isn't a good comparison

You're wrong.

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Stop forcing benefits down my throat and give me hard cash, dammit

Richard 12
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Re: Flexibility doesn't exist at lower income levels

I'm pretty sure the unemployment rate isn't 38%.

In the short-term it was.

Over the longer term, new technology often creates jobs in new sectors that replace many of those that were lost due to it, but there's no reason why it would be the same number and this takes a long time.

- In the UK, what actually happened was lots of people emigrated, and even larger numbers got killed in various wars. That said, it seems unlikely that current UK unemployment rates would be much different if that hadn't happened, as we did import huge numbers of people later on.

Full employment is a very unstable position. You can only balance on that needle in a Star Trek post-scarcity economy or if the Government decrees that everybody is employed.

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Richard 12
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Re: @DaveDaveDave

If it was then he didn't understand any of the post at all.

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Richard 12
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FAIL

@DaveDaveDave

Tautologies tell us nothing. Why is a given job worth more than another?

You are buying a specific product.

Do you buy the product from Supplier A who charges £10, or Supplier B who charges £5?

If you said A, you're either a liar or an idiot and there's no point in continuing the discussion.

- Though if you said "It depends why A costs more", then that is a very good question.

According to economic theory, jobs are the same. When hiring somebody to do a thing, you want to spend the least overall.

That might mean hiring one person instead of two, paying the more skilled person more than you would have laid either of the less skilled ones - because a 1.5 multiplier is smaller than 2.

You might pay a very skilled person a lot because the cost (in time and money) of replacing them is very high.

The goal remains as spending the least.

However, none of the actors have perfect knowledge and they all have biases (inertia, not wanting to do certain things, wanting to live in particular places). In general, this tends to lead to employers offering more, and potential employees and contractors asking for less.

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Richard 12
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Re: Flexibility doesn't exist at lower income levels

You work in a skilled market.

Take a look at an unskilled one. It'll really, really scare you.

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Richard 12
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Re: Flexibility doesn't exist at lower income levels

Full employment is impossible in a free market.

It can only be done by making the Government the only employer.

- Not the employee of last resort, as that's the same as having out-of-work benefits.

A thought experiment:

Everybody is employed.

Somebody invents a machine that does the work of 10 people.

9 people are now unemployed.

1000 other business units have the same need, and purchase the machine.

9090 people are now unemployed.

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Richard 12
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"...more than minimum wage..."

And there lies the wub.

The law is to protect the bottom.

According to economic theory, all jobs are valued by the employer at "the least we can get away with paying".

There have always been more people of working age/capacity in the region than there are jobs to be done - and modern transport means that the region in question is even larger than in history.

All low-skill jobs can be done by anybody.

Thus, in the absence of external force (law), low-skill jobs will be paid the absolute minimum, with the least benefits, shortest holiday etc.

On top of that, if your pay is low, unpaid holiday is infinite cost as you can't make rent/eat etc.

I already see this in the UK's care industry. Many care workers have multiple jobs, doing shifts at B during their time off from A.

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It's enough to get your back up: Eight dual-bay SOHO NAS boxes

Richard 12
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Re: RAID-0 FFS?

I can't think of any reason to use RAID-0 in a NAS box.

It's useful where performance is critical but data integrity is not - eg, the working copy of something large.

So unless you have SATA-3 or better access speeds, it's worse than useless. No SOHO NAS has that.

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Virgin Galactic SpaceShipTwo crackup verdict: PILOT ERROR

Richard 12
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Re: Seems little margin for error...

Presumably the instructions did say that, as the copilot wouldn't have made the flight if he didn't believe he knew what to do.

But requiring a human to pull the handle inside an 11 second window, while they're doing all of the other "fly the plane" things, with disaster occurring if they are early or late is just stupid.

Automate it.

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Windows 10: Buy cheap, buy twice, right? Buy FREE ... buy FOREVER

Richard 12
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Re: Windows vs Linux

On the bright side, showing the EULA after your device has already upgraded and not offering any way to reject it and roll back, means that it cannot be enforced in any civilised countries.

Probably not even in the USA either.

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Microsoft's Windows 10 Torrent-U-Like updates GULP DOWN your precious bandwidth

Richard 12
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Re: How come...?

The podcast app on my phone has settings to say "only update on wifi while on charge"

If it can do that, why can't others?

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W3C's failed Do Not Track crusade tumbles to ad-blockers' Vietnam

Richard 12
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Re: my own DNT

Easier - set your browser to barf its cookies when it closes.

I whitelist the small number of sites that I want to keep their cookies, everything else is destroyed when the browser closes.

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Richard 12
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Re: Do not eat

@Smooth Newt - You still missed the point.

Many advertisers have decided to be intrusive, abusive, and deliberately and overtly ignore the viewers' preferences.

Thus, many people install ad blockers and see no adverts at all.

If advertising on the Internet was unobtrusive and obeyed the viewers' preference, then very few people would bother to install ad blocking software.

The ad agencies are burning their golden geese.

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Peering closer at 3D XPoint memory: What are Intel, Micron up to?

Richard 12
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Re: layer limit

Cost.

Every layer adds cost to manufacture, and is another set of failure points that can ruin the chip, reducing yield.

At some point the cost gets so high and the yield so low that it's not worthwhile.

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Hurrah! Uber does work (in the broadest sense of the word) after all

Richard 12
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Near-zero risk though

Until recently, it appeared to be zero risk.

There aren't many ways to invest $1 million with a guaranteed 4% return.

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Just ONE THOUSAND times BETTER than FLASH! Intel, Micron's amazing claim

Richard 12
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Re: @Lamb0

There's a lot of embedded systems which still use supercap/battery-backed SRAM, and a bit-addressable NVRAM would be a perfect replacement.

Even at higher chip cost, because ultracaps and batteries are very expensive.

Many of them don't use Flash due to the block-erase problem - lose power at the wrong moment while updating settings and the data is lost forever.

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Hurrah! Windfarms produce whopping ONE PER CENT of EU energy

Richard 12
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Yes it bloody does.

Now please, stop spouting garbage.

Either post your sources, or put on a hair shirt and go live somewhere where you don't use any of the things nuclear research has provided. For example, computers and the Internet.

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Richard 12
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Re: how long

It's not a trend.

All the "easy installations" have been done, and only the ineffective or extremely expensive sites are left.

Wind farms need a lot of space, as far away from trees, buildings, shipping routes etc as possible.

You can't just put them up anywhere, and very quickly run out of suitable locations.

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So what the BLINKING BONKERS has gone wrong in the eurozone?

Richard 12
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Re: Rescue the banks or the bankers

However, we are now charging them for bailout insurance.

So that's an improvement.

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Post-pub nosh neckfiller: Southern biscuits and gravy

Richard 12
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Re: Buttermilk

Or more easily, buy skimmed milk.

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HP slaps dress code on R&D geeks: Bin that T-shirt, put on this tie

Richard 12
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Re: Bah!

Look around.

A lot of businesses have collapsed when their core expert(s) left.

Most medium-sized and small business units have many employees who are extremely difficult to replace, and a few groups who simply cannot be replaced quickly enough to save their projects.

If those projects are a significant proportion of revenue, the business often fails.

While no one person should be irreplaceable, groups often are.

Changes to company policy - esp. dress code - are often the most effective way of alienating a group. Especially when the group is close-knit and highly effective.

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Crazy Chrysler security hole: USB stick fix incoming for 1.4 million cars

Richard 12
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If you're inside the garden...

Say, for example, have the same cellular data provider.

One suspects that's how it works.

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Richard 12
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It almost certainly is "Just plug it in and reboot"

Most of the BSPs provided by the manufacturers of the system-on-chips used in these things has that feature (though it is easily disabled), and it's a handy feature during development.

They may have a button dance to do the reboot, one hopes a "special" one, but that's not security - and it's also public knowledge as soon as the recall starts.

I hope the firmware image is signed, but I doubt it.

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NASA: 'Closest thing yet to ANOTHER EARTH' - FOUND

Richard 12
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Re: 1400 light years

If you could do it at a continuous 1 to 2G acceleration, then it'd subjectively be a relatively short trip.

Good luck finding a propulsion technology that can do that though...

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Jeep hackers broke DMCA, says EFF, and that's stupid

Richard 12
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Re: It's already happening...

"invest billions of pounds to keep vehicles secure as possible"

Bollocks. They absolutely definitely do not.

No car manufacturer spends "billions" on any new vehicle's software and firmware, let alone the security thereof.

The total cost of development, including retooling of manufacturing plant and training of workers is probably around the billion dollar mark.

When they start out with such an obvious falsehood, how can we trust anything else they say?

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Richard 12
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It's already happening...

All modern vehicles can control the brakes and accelerator, and all the automatics have the transmission under computer control.

Even today, some cars already have the steering wheel under computer control for the automatic-parking function.

So that's fun then. How long before the first crash caused by an Internet connectivity or even DAB radio hack?

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Keep your stupid drones away from piloted aircraft, rages CAA

Richard 12
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Yes - 2.4GHz

35MHz is long dead.

They're nearly all either Wifi, or spread-spectrum, frequency-hopping.

The latter is specifically designed to get through jamming, as the core principle was that lots of users should reliably coexist - and the emissions of everybody else (esp. Wifi) looks like jamming.

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Richard 12
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You mean the laws we already have

The issue is that quadcopters are much easier to fly than traditional fixed-wing aircraft or helicopters, and even powerful ones are really quite cheap.

So people are buying and flying them without thinking - "Planes are big, they'll be fine" or "It's miles away from my quadcopter".

Publicising the rules and the likely consequences of entering controlled airspace is the best way to handle this.

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NHS England backs down over another data extraction scheme

Richard 12
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Re: Gah!

'Cos "anonymised" isn't possible to do due to the ease of combining it with other data to link it with individuals or small groups.

Of course, neither is "de-identified", they must have been hoping nobody would notice.

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Robot surgeons kill 144 patients, hurt 1,391, malfunction 8,061 times

Richard 12
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Sparks and bits falling off?

That is totally inexcusable, especially in such low-power devices.

It takes either serious incompetence or deliberate action to create sparks with enough heat to burn a patient, and a device with such design flaws wouldn't even meet normal CE requirements for a household appliance, let alone be sane to use in surgery.

Normally I'd presume that bits falling off was probably poor maintenance or assembly, but in this case, perhaps not.

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Microsoft: Hey, you. Done patching Windows this month? WRONG

Richard 12
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Re: Why the delay?

Testing, one hopes.

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Richard 12
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Re: I guess

Windows 10 doesn't exist yet.

It'll be in the RTM or (perhaps more likely) the release-day Updates.

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Richard 12
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Re: Kernel mode fonts

Modern fonts are applications in and of themselves. They might even be Turing-complete.

Rendering a font means running code provided by the font author, one hopes within a decent sandbox.

Quite why this sandbox needs the privilege of living in kernel-land is beyond me - especially as Apple (of all people) have proven it to be unnecessary under Windows.

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The US taxman thinks Microsoft owes billions. Prove it, says Microsoft

Richard 12
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That would single-handedly destroy every small business

The average profit margin of many businesses - shops, bars and restaurants - is under 5%.

Almost every small business that makes and sells physical widgets makes a loss for the first few years.

Basing taxation on income would destroy all of these businesses.

Setting it at 15% would make it completely impossible to start any small businesses at all, and would bankrupt all of them within a year.

Good plan. We need more countries with no jobs whatsoever.

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GOOGLE GMAIL ATE MY LINUX: Gobbled email enrages Torvalds

Richard 12
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I could catch 100% of spam

Simply mark everything as spam. Woot!

What do you mean, that's useless?

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What do you MEAN, 'Click on the thing which looks like a Mondrian?'

Richard 12
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Rule one of user interface design

Users do not read.

Rule two: Users cannot read.

Rule three: FFS, never ask the user to read more than one line of text at the absolute maximum. If you think it needs more then you're doing it wrong.

If you follow these rules, you can design a good interface.

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Richard 12
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Re: Click on the Save icon...

Just click on the deformed Honda logo to save.

More seriously, it has simply become the universal glyph that means "Save".

The origin of the icon doesn't matter any more than where "?" came from.

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WHAT ARE the 'WEIRD' SPOTS seen on far-flung PLUTO?

Richard 12
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Not yet!

Maybe the dark spots are the shadows of a mass-effect relay?

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Richard 12
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Re: Ion-engine

In space, distance isn't measured in km, it's measured in km/s.

It's all about the delta-V.

Though a ion engine probably is the way to go, and I'd love to see it happen.

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Attention dunderheads: Taxpayers are NOT giving businesses £93bn

Richard 12
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Re: Tim omitted the obvious explanation... @DaveDaveDave

The total is based on counting the same coins multiple times as well as counting stuff that cannot possibly be considered a "subsidy". (Which is also counted at least twice, though I'm not a tax accountant so it might be more than twice)

However, several of the numbers they added up are simply completely wrong - based on false premises.

Anyone can get really big numbers that way, but the result is always meaningless.

I got a tax allowance of £10k and a NIC threshold of £8k so I got £18k subsidy from the government!

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Richard 12
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Re: Get those figures higher!

You get, at a very minimum, £8060 absolutely tax-free. (NIC primary threshold)

Then the next £2k at 12% (NIC only)

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Pan Am Games: Link to our website without permission and we'll sue

Richard 12
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Re: I'm probably only feeding the troll....

Mine didn't bounce (yet) either.

The best way to point out the idiocy is to ask permission.

Everyone on the Internet, individually.

That way, they drown in emails and nobody at all can use the brand, whether a sponsor or not.

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Let me PLUG that up there, love. It’s perfectly standaAAARGH!

Richard 12
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Re: Education

School designs are total copy-paste.

I've had to meet many specifications for new-build schools that called out multiple systems and products (both specific and general types) that were obsolete before I went to school, and these days can only be found in specialist museums.

PFI was interesting.

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Richard 12
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Depth is the issue of INI

The "standard" INI format has only two levels - section and key/value pair.

If your configuration needs a third level then you have to "fake" it, either by adding subsection start/finish (and sub-subsection) or by adding a different type of formatting to indicate a subsection.

Which essentially means turning it into a really bad copy of XML.

Might as well use XML or JSON to start with.

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UH OH: Windows 10 will share your Wi-Fi key with your friends' friends

Richard 12
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Re: Password required?

So how do you talk to MS to get the password that you need in order to connect to the network to talk to MS?

In order for this to work at all, then your Windows 10 machine already has a copy of all the WiFi passwords from all your "friends", ripe for an offline attack.

- That wasn't necessarily true on the phone as they may be assuming cellular data, but laptops do not have cellular data.

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Windows 10 is due in one month: Will it be ready?

Richard 12
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FAIL

Re: There's this thing called The Internet...

Actually, no, there isn't.

If the installation media doesn't contain drivers that run your motherboard, graphics adapter, USB (multiple filesystems), SATA, PCI-E Flash, CD/DVD drive, NIC/WiFi, keyboard, mouse, touchscreen, as well as a browser, then you cannot go to the Internet and get it.

The core installation media has to support every single one of the above that Microsoft have ever heard of, as well as every combination thereof.

I've been sat with a Windows machine that didn't support its network card, and boy are you stuffed at that point if you don't have another computer and some way of transferring files.

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Microsoft's magic hurts: Nadella signals 'tough choices' on the way

Richard 12
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Re: Apps + Windows Phone

Correct.

It's a very different API, that can only be used for Windows Store apps on Windows Phone 8, Win 8 and Win 10.

You can only write applications using it on Windows 8 (and presumably 10 but nobody uses a beta OS for serious work.)

It was also originally expensive and difficult to get the SDK, and no cross-platform toolkits could target it at all until the last months.

The target market of Windows Phone and TIFKAM users is tiny and zero respectively.

Thus, very few apps.

With the latest news, nobody is likely to make the investment if they haven't already.

Thus, no new apps.

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Killer ChAraCter HOSES almost all versions of Reader, Windows

Richard 12
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Facepalm

Re: Compared to this... @STB

You've missed the point - but to be fair, so did the OP.

Finding exploits doesn't require the source code, but fixing exploits does.

It's also much easier to fix an exploit than to find one. Eg a use-after-free

Once an exploit is found, there are two scenarios:

A) Closed-source software. Only the organisation that owns the software can choose to spend the resources to fix it.

B) Open-source software. Any entity can choose to spend the resources needed to fix it.

If you depend on that software, then under (A) you can request that the owner fixes it. If they do not, then you can either stop using the software or live with the consequences of the exploit.

Under (B), you can request that the organisation that made it fixes it. If they do not, then you can arrange for somebody else to fix it.

Under (A), if the entity that owns it has lost the source code or closed down, you are done for.

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Verizon promised to wire up NYC with fiber... and failed miserably – audit

Richard 12
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Re: Why don't they put conditions in these deals?

Because the politicians and their advisers have no incentives to do it right.

It happens with almost every Government contract - all the risk gets heaped on the taxpayer, all the reward is handed to the supplier.

A small amount of competence on the part of the Government would solve the issue, but while there remain no personal consequences they will continue to fail.

In a company, if you lose huge amounts of money the company goes bankrupt, and everyone loses their jobs. Thus you usually have incentives to avoid doing that, as do both your bosses and underlings.

In a Government, if you lose huge amounts of money then there's a public report saying how rubbish the government are, but there are rarely any personal consequences to anyone. Occasionally a figurehead resigns, but that's it.

It's even worse for long contracts, as the (elected or otherwise) official who signed off on it is usually long gone by the time the problem is discovered. Often straight into one of the companies who benefited...

Look at Greece. It's effectively bankrupt, and has been for years (it's unclear how long, but probably from before the Euro), yet there have still been no consequences at all for those in the government who put it into that situation, and there probably never will.

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