425 posts • joined Thursday 22nd October 2009 13:26 GMT
"It comes down to who controls it"?
Well, since it's pretty clear that it's not the USER who controls it, that makes it a rootkit in my book. From my point of view, it doesn't matter much whether that third party is a Russian hacker, Microsoft, a "Trusted Third Party", or the NSA -- if someone else controls your computer, it's untrustworthy.
Facebook users have *never* been seen as "members"
As Douglas Rushkoff pointed out quite some time ago,
"Ask yourself who is paying for Facebook. Usually the people who are paying are the customers. Advertisers are the ones who are paying... We are not the customers of Facebook, we are the product."
Re: Moral of the story......
Yes, there is a long and steady stream of mistrust against Chinese suppliers -- in the West. In Africa, the situation is reversed. Having learned from decades of relationships with Western countries in which political manipulation and resource stripping was disastrous for 99.99% of the population, democratic African countries are telling the US to fsck off and jumping at the opportunity for economic development relationships that are strictly commercial in nature -- China has (to the occasional dismay of the US) a well-established "hands off" policy w/r/t other countries' politics. The relationships aren't perfect, but in places like Ethiopia where I've spent time talking to people, there is a lot more popular support and sense of fairness about the massive Chinese infrastructure development projects than there ever was for American involvement.
Why replace the 13" Air?
It runs Linux (and Windows, for that matter, although with VMs I don't see the point of a dedicated Windows machine) wonderfully; and you can always boot back into OSX if you want that environment. My only complaint about the Air is its lack of a dedicated gigabit Ethernet port. And from a price/performance standpoint, it compares quite favourably to the other machines in the review.
A better job of separating social search?
Now if Bing were to "separate social search from the main body of results" -- and then *discard* the social results completely -- I might consider trying it. But the last I checked, its success at finding relevant results for technical searches is enough worse than Google that there's really been no point in touching it.
Re: Relevance? Humbug.
Too bad you can't select the Troll icon as AC, eh?
Pushing incompatible mobile standards?
Thank goodness the US would never do anything like that! Oh, wait...
Re: I know I'm feeding the astroturf troll, but..
I believe that LibreOffice's grammar checker is every bit as useful as MS Word's.
I know I'm feeding the astroturf troll, but..
Do you even *use* MS Office for anything but interoffice memos?
Let's talk about graphics handling, shall we. How do *you* import scalable vector graphics into Word or Powerpoint. Industry-standard PDF or SVG? Nope? But Microsoft's own WMF and EMF formats work, right properly? Guess again.
OpenOffice/LibreOffice may share MS Office's abomination of a UI, but at least they've managed to get a number of features to work that have been broken in Microsoft's own suite since, well, forever. swriter is not not (nor will ever be) a real DTP application, but at least it can handle basic line art, which is something that Microsoft has never managed. And the list goes on and on.
I really have no clue why, after more than a decade, Microsoft can't implement basic functionality that Linux and OSX provide in core utilities. Thanks to our enterprise licences, I've always got the latest version of MS Office, but I'm always obliged to fall back on FOSS to find something that works.
Nokia *was* primarily a feature phone maker
Nokia saw perfectly well that the feature phone market was rapidly eroding as the traditional consumers for those low-cost phones were switching to dirt-cheap Chinese Android smartphones. The global market has shifted, and even in African countries the days when you could compete without a smartphone and an apps store are over. Walk down the street in Addis Ababa and you'll see all the people who used to buy Nokia phones because of their reliability now carrying shiny new smartphones made by ZTE and Huawei.
Your point about the widespread nature of rare earth oxides is true to a point, but the fact is that discovered minable concentrations are less common than for most other ores. US and world resources are contained primarily in bastnäsite and monazite. Bastnäsite deposits in China and the United States constitute the largest percentage of the world's rare-earth economic resources, while monazite deposits in Australia, Brazil, China, India, Malaysia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and the US constitute the second largest segment. The remaining resources (apatite, cheralite, eudialyte, loparite, phosphorites, rare-earth-bearing (ion adsorption) clays, secondary monazite, spent uranium solutions, and xenotime) are still not felt to be profitable.
Add the fact that the profit-driven US industry drops out of any business as soon as it can be acquired more cheaply from China, and it's no wonder that China is now responsible for over 95% of the world rare earth production.
Your canard about interference from meddling environmental groups is simply disingenuous. When California's Mountain Pass mine closed down, they cited competition from China as the primary reason. Their only run-in with environmental issues stemmed from repeated spills of radioactive waste water; and all that cost them was a cleanup order and a tiny $1.4m fine. They're now back in business under Molycorp, and aren't being picketed by the Sierra Club.
At least half of current rare earth usage is in consumer and business electronics. Only a few percent is in industrial and automotive electric motors -- but Hitachi, Toyota, and Nissan naturally want to reduce that to nil, and have all recently announced efficient rare-earth-free motor designs.
I really wish that Spotify would prioritise some of their resources to fix their mobile apps -- for their paying subscribers -- before rolling out more web applications! Adding the music discovery features that the desktop client has long had would be a great start...
The QR code standards are refreshingly uncomplicated; and even the highest density (v.40) code is limited to a modest 4296-byte payload. This means that the possible buffer overflow vulnerabilities are fairly limited, so it's reasonably easy to implement the QR reader software to avoid internal buffer overflows and then test for such vulnerabilities. I'd be more concerned about the QR reader passing along otherwise legitimate URLs that carry out things like format string attacks to downstream clients.
But I'll reassert my position that the most critical security focus needs to be on (a) educating users about the dangers of phishing and messed-up URLs, (b) giving them tools (like displaying the link URL) to help them avoid clicking on dangerous links, (c) fixing the OS so that it doesn't automatically execute downloaded code, and (d) sandboxing downloaded code so that it can't affect the rest of the system.
"A QR code can easily contain a link to a scam or a blob of malicious binary information"
Sure, so can a printed URL.
I would argue that QR codes are no more obscure than links in email and web pages, given that many common (albeit to be avoided) email clients and browsers fail to display the full URL of the link before the user clicks on it; whereas all QR code scanners I've used display the URL and accompanying text, requiring at least token approval from the user before opening the URL.
Yes, OS manufacturers and enterprise admins need to do more to lock down permissions to sandbox or block malicious code. (In Android's case, a *lot* more.) But displaying URLs and text blocks as easy-to-read QR codes does nothing to exacerbate this problem.
Sure, why not?
Once you see the resulting text and accompanying URL, you don't have to actually CLICK on it! What kind of smartphone OS immediately opens the QR code URL in a browser without displaying the full information and asking for permission? (Not iOS or Android, certainly.)
Smartphone camera limitations?
Boy, you wouldn't think it here in Japan, where even the cheapest phones seem to handle v-40 QR codes without breaking a sweat -- even when (as is common) they're printed on glossy colour posters or transparent window decals. It's telling that iPhone users seem to have the most trouble -- you can spot them stopping, carefully framing, and retrying the QR codes instead of snapping them in passing like most folks with domestic phones. Methinks the US and Chinese phone manufacturers need to work on their image processing software, not on their CIS resolution!
Understated elegance and sophistication...
...just like Windows 8!
Your support has to come from a single company with limited resources, so you can hardly expect the level of support and security updates that you get with Debian or Fedora.
Oh? Um, no.
Linux is the operating system that supports a wider variety of user interfaces than any other OS on the planet. The most suitable user interface for each application, in fact -- which the rather obvious point that Turner seems to be missing.
Yep, of all the innovations Microsoft has inflicted on the world...
...The Multiple Document Interface is one of the most annoying. (I was going to add "pointless", but Wikipedia reminds me that one of MDI's main advantages is that "if the windowing environment and OS lack good window management, the application author can implement it themselves.")
I thought that the Vetinari Solution was...
...Tax the rat farms.
Re: Bruce Schneier is a twit
I'd be interesting in hearing the context for that quotation. If it's what I think it was, Bruce continued by saying,“building tanks does not mean you fear you could be overrun by a military force right now. It pays to build tanks and it pays to prepare for cyberwar, but I don’t believe that’s a fear we should worry about right now...It’s very easy to invent scare scenarios but this does not mean we should actually be scared by them.”
Re: Interesting Direction from Microsoft
Eh? Apple is a hardware company, while Android is a cheap-to-free OS platform used by a very wide range of hardware manufacturers. And while Apple isn't downscaling, have you actually _seen_ the low-cost devices running Android here in China and Southeast Asia? Microsoft is following this strategy precisely _because_ of the success of Android in dirt-cheap devices!
...Even in China, Microsoft isn't perceived as a prestige brand. I would suggest that their best strategy is to emphasise Nokia (which is) and downplay WP.
Unfortunately, Microkia is also late to the party for integration with both QQ and Weibo, who have long since rolled out immensely popular apps for both Android and iPhone (not that I trust either of them in my mobile devices!).
Surely you mean sc or (gasp) Oleo!
Re: I nominate...
Erm, wouldn't that be 卫生垫 in China?
Not hard to beat Apotheker...
But Whitman has zero experience in the enterprise software, hardware, and services which are HP's core, which arguably puts her at more of a disadvantage than Leo had.
Her track record at eBay isn't exactly stellar, either, with its stock value sliding from a high of $58 to $10 by the time she left. Her decision to buy PayPal was probably the smartest thing she did. On the other hand, acquiring Skype for such a colossal sum saddled eBay with a white elephant, and a bullet that she dodged only by finally managing to flog it to Microsoft for what she paid for it. Worse, she missed shifts in the market that let Amazon take over much of what could have been eBay's.
God love 'em...
My fellow FOSS developers, that is. But the fact is that whether you call it StarOffice, OpenOffice, or LibreOffice, it's still a functional copy of one of the most ill-conceived pieces of crap ever to be inflicted on a naive business community -- it's generally agreed that you couldn't make many worse usability choices than MS Word if you set out to do so.
Complain all you like about the Cupertino Gestapo...
...but 360.cn is pretty obviously spyware. Just turn on Wireshark and start watching the high volume of HTTP POST beacon requests to 360.cn and gov.cn addresses.
If this was all it did, you might be able to simply block traffic to certain domains. But the fact that it's impossible to remove without reformatting the drive containing the OS -- worse than QQ and PPstream, in fact -- moves it from simply annoying to positively evil.
Clueless, and proud of it!
Yep. This is the same candidate who announced, in all seriousness, “If the Soviet empire still existed, I'd be terrified. The fact is, we can afford a fairly ignorant presidency now.”
I've played with nearly every one of the Ultrabooks listed on Intel's site, and (to my disappointment) none of them comes close to matching the build quality or solid feel of the MacBook Air. I don't think that Apple's industrial design team is worried.
Whilst a Senator, Dodd received more campaign money from Wall Street than any other politician. And the bulk of the $47M he received in donations during his 20 years in office came from individuals and PACs affiliated with the major investment banks. So he understands very, very well the way that money buys political influence.
Yes, the belief that the theory of global warming is a deliberate fraud can accurately be described as a conspiracy theory. (But as Sunstein points out, this is a very different issue than skepticism or even a firm ideological belief that climate change is neither occurring nor likely to occur.)
That said, the use of copyright law to effect political or ideological change (however desirable the end might seem) is a frightening course to take, and is a sobering reminder of the sort of far-reaching misuse we will inevitably see if bills like PIPA and SOPA are passed.
fscking weasels, the lot of 'em
That is all.
I don’t wanna talk to a scientist
Magic everywhere in this bitch!
Depends upon your show
If you're an average consumer, sure, WiFi is usually fine. But if you're doing system administration or network troubleshooting (as I imagine a large portion of El Reg readers do), the size and portability of the MacBook Air is wonderful, but the lack of a true low-latency Ethernet interface makes it unusable.
Still not up to MacBook Air build quality...
...but at least Toshiba and Lenovo include an Ethernet port. The MacBook Air runs Linux wonderfully, but Apple's stubborn refusal to include a wired network port has always been a complete show-stopper.
Negroponte lost my respect four years ago
I was an active supporter of OLPC until it became clear that education wasn't Nicholas' primary objective for the project. I fear that Ivan Krstić's "Sic Transit Gloria Laptopi" blog entry is as relevant as ever.
Sure, MMfA has an agenda...
..but this is clearly a case of reporting the facts -- the progressive media have been as silent on SOPA as have the right wing news and talk shows. I thought that the MMfA report was remarkably restrained in avoiding any partisan commentary.
And this is a problem... why? Doesn't everyone like to watch train wrecks?