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* Posts by LDS

1212 posts • joined 28 Feb 2010

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Eat up Martha! Microsoft slings handwriting recog into OneNote on Android

LDS
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Re: The buggers have sketched my house!

Didn't know the Pope is reading El Reg!

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LDS
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Re: Lasted about 30 seconds before uninstall

Because Google Android doesn't store anything in thr cloud? OneNote stores a 'copy' of your notes in the cloud - you still have the local copy to work with. OneNote syncs via OneDrive, Google Docs don't store anything on Google servers to sync across devices? I find really funny people blame MS for doing exactly what Google does.

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Re: Lasted about 30 seconds before uninstall

You use Android from Google and are afraid your data are sent to some remote server? Funny'!

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Stand clear! Will HTC's One act as a defibrillator for Windows Phone?

LDS
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Re: Not sure I agree with the author

SkyGO is available in Italy, wonder why not in UK. Anyway, WP8 does read SMS. Check your settings...

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The Return of BSOD: Does ANYONE trust Microsoft patches?

LDS
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Re: Stupid

You wanted a specific example of missing hardware support? I gave it to you. But I guess given the price of that hardware you've never seen one...

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LDS
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Re: Stupid

Just not all of them are managed by a single "Linux Team". The kernel developers are responsible for the kernel only - everything else is maintained elsewhere, often by the very same people who really need it for their business - while Windows patches encompass much more than the kernel alone. .

Specific distributions for specific devices are under the responsibility of their manufacturers, you don't get Android kernel updates from the Linux kernel developers directly.

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Re: Stupid

Just not everything can be installed through the package manager....

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LDS
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Re: This is unhelpful, but...

It's that a lot of "business critical" applications still relies on those APIs, and the day they remove it, there will be an uproar because "the upgrade broke compatibility!". Why so many complained when XP was EOLed? Why actual operating system needs to redirect things that should not been written to some directories and registry keys since Windows 2000?

I often enough see developers still relying on old APIs, and when I tell them to stop using them because they're deprecated and to switch to the new ones, they complain "hey, I always used it, it works, the new one is more complex to use, why should I switch?" When the mindset is this, you will have more and more applications relying on old APIs.

If you spend some time reading Raymond Chen's "The Old New Thing" you discover how much creepy some developers could be in trying to ensure their applications use Windows the worst way they could.

And the effort MS has to put to ensure those applications still work update after update, upgrade after upgrade, maybe because they're a Fortune 500 company one, and MS can't disappoint some customers....

If you run a company would you lose customers just because they're so silly to buy or develop bad apps?

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LDS
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Re: Stupid

Try to install any distro wich is not the supported RedHat or SuSE on a Dell machine with PCIe SSD disks...

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Re: 20th century

Also someone already forgot the recent Apple firmware update that bricked MacBooks... and Apple has a far less complex ecosystem to test with.

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LDS
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The problem is fonts are actual some kind of "programs", not just some data bits. They became an attack vector, especially because they're handled in the kernel.

http://threatpost.com/of-truetype-font-vulnerabilities-and-the-windows-kernel

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LDS
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Re: This is what happens when drivers are in kernel

You had to choose if were better complaints because NT was slow, of because of BSOD. Back in those days it was more important a snappier GUI than kernel stability and security. Just remember that drivers need to access hardware directly, and for several good reasons only the kernel can access it.

So even if you have a good part of the drivers in user space, you still need a kernel counterpart to access the hardware. It was these transitions - back and forth from kernel and user space, that made that driver model slow, because transitions cost several CPU cycles. Moving most of the driver code to kernel space reduced the number of transitions.

Anyway, to properly code the architecture you like, an OS should use more than two security rings - the separation kernel/user is not enough. When Intel designed the 286, it made four ring exactly because in the innermost one should run the true "kernel", ring 1 for the I/O subsystem (aka drivers...), ring 2 for shared OS code (system DLLs...), and ring 3 for user applications. This way you could still have driver running at a more privileged level than other code (and able to access hardware, it's the I/O Privilege Level, IOPL, in x86 CPUs), but not so privileged to be able to crash the kernel.

But being almost unique to the x86, because of it complexity, and because of severe performance reduction due to the checks when switching rings, no OS I know ever used such a design. User would have complained a lot about "performances".

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LDS
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Re: Statistically, MS patches are quite reliable

Because Linuxes never get patches? Strange, every time I run one of those update tools they have something to install...

Do you write software? Is your software perfect from day one and never needing an update?

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Re: Stupid

I never saw a BSOD in Linux, true, but I saw kernel panics... just they're black...

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Re: Love my chromebook

Windows does install in the background as well and you're free to keep on working while updates gets installed and it will notify you when done and a reboot is necessary. If you like to look at the install progress bar it's just a choice of yours.

Any Windows system with an SSD disk will install updates quickly and will reboot quickly as well.

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LDS
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Re: Well Doh! Haven't people learned by now

What about USB sticks, removable disks, mail attachments, browser vulnerabilities, 'unknown' software installs?

Most systems today are not often compromised by a direct attack to a system from outside the network perimeter (although exposed vulnerable services may be an issue).

Attack vectors are often an email attachment, visiting a web site, using an infected removable disk, or running software of 'unknown' origin... are all your USB ports disabled? All attachments blocked? Only whitelisted web sites accessible? All users running without admin privileges?

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LDS
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Strange as it may seem, BSOD are there to avoid further damage. If something in the kernel screws up and the kernel is unable to handle it correctly (and often can't), it may be better to stop the OS than keeping on and maybe creating more havoc.

Unixes "panic" for the same reason.

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Re: i can't patch

KB2964444 is needed only if you don't have KB2929437 installed - why did you skip it?

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Re: 20th century

It's a bit difficult to test an OS deployed on hundred of millions of machines with very different software configuration on them.

I updated my LAN machines - and but for an issue with Delphi (which tries to write a font from its resources to %temp%, and then try to add and remove it dinamically), I didn't find any issue.

But because those patches changed the way some font APIs work, I guess other software may be impacted. And if it happens in some drivers loaded at startup (it could be a video driver or printer driver, maybe), some really bad can happen.

Sometimes the large number of hardware devices and software Windows supports may become a double edged sword - it's impossible to test everything.

But it's silly to blame the support technician who asked for details - you really need a "sample" from an affected machine to understand what's wrong and fix it - until you have it, there's little you can do if on everything else you tested with it works...

For example on one of my machines I have a conflict between Asus USB 3.0 Boost software and the Epson Perfection 2400 Photo scanner driver, you really need them both to see the issue.

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Microsoft cries UNINSTALL in the wake of Blue Screens of Death™

LDS
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Re: Staggered installs?

I wonder noone checks for the attack vectors and the associated risks? If a vulnerability is only locally exploitable then, yes, you can wait for applying a patch (as long as local access are well defined and used the proper way...)

But if a vulnerabilty is exploitable from remote, and maybe without much privileges, do you really wait for "several weeks"?

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Re: Staggered installs?

Just if someone p0wns your DCs the fact the other machines are patched becomes irrelevant...

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Hackers' Paradise: The rise of soft options and the demise of hard choices

LDS
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Re: @LDS - Not sure what you mean.

The issue with x86 protected mode, especially if embraced fully, is that it requires deep changes both in the OS, the development toolchain, and the applications. Otherwise you can use sw only security, but that has more chances of being bypassed.

Due to hw limitations (CPU power and RAM), the need for a multitasking, multiuser DOS didn't materialize soon, and due to the risk of killing the golden eggs chicken, the risk of introducing an incompatible costlier, although superficially similar OS was high. Especially then when most software vendors were still small companies, and the number of developers behind each application very limited, while the applications cost was high, and it wasn't yet so 'natural' to spend a lot in sw and hw.

IMHO the situation would have not changed if there had been CP/M instead of DOS. Is the application availability that dictates what OS users will run, and porting an application to a new, more complex technology has costs that need to be justified by sales, not just because they are technologically sounder. You need a strong driver to move market in a new direction, and then security was not. The driver to the x86 protected mode was mostly the larger address space, not security. Had real mode offered larger space, I guess protected mode would have been adopted much later.

Maybe history would have been different if IBM had chosen a different CPU, not the 8086/8088, with a different upgrade path to improved CPU features.

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LDS
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Re: Learning curve

Sorry, but it was the raise of the Roman Church and its alliance with secular power to ensure its 'god approval' in exchange for religion rules enforcement that hindered progress for a thousand years. When someone is able to dictate how everybody should think, and enforce it with some aptly designed tortures and executions, you can't have any type of progress.

Some 'approved sciences' did progress, like building engineering because it was useful both to religion pride and defensive needs, others that could question both powers were crushed.

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LDS
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I don't believe so. Software companies are often inherently conservative, and don't like to be forced to rewrite applications with new tools and technologies, maintain different codebases, once they have products selling well with the actual ones, and not all customers can easily move to the new machines and OS.

Windows replaced DOS only because Microsoft saw an opportunity to crush competitors in the user application market, while established DOS players tried to avoid moving until it was too late... it would have happened with CP/M as well - how many did develop for OS/2 1.x?

Even *nixes suffer from designs that made sense in the '70s, but are today truly obsolete, but can't be easily changed due to compatibility reasons.

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LDS
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Re: "with a competent operating system, these machines were essentially bomb proof."

HAL is the Hardware *Abstraction* Layer and was designed to decouple the kernel from the actual CPU. NT was designed to run on Intel, Alpha and MIPS CPUs. But it also meant NT didn't use the full security capabilities of Intel Protected Mode, because of portability issues among different CPUs. There were also performance reasons, because hardware checks cost cycles.

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LDS
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The x86 architecture offers memory segment protection since the 286...

Intel added the opportunity to specify what a memory segment is for, and which code can access it (and how) since the 286. No operating system I know - including Unixes - ever took full advantage of the security features built into those chips for compatibility and performance reasons. All of them took the shortcut of flat address spaces, near calls (to avoid expensive gates and traps, and therefore bypassing hw security) and used just two of the four security rings.

It's impossible to solve security issues at the software level only - hardware specific features are needed, and those available should be used, but the software industry never took care of security properly, especially against low-level attacks.

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Time to move away from Windows 7 ... whoa, whoa, who said anything about Windows 8?

LDS
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Unless MS makes big changes to 9, upgrades will be never hard as with XP

Most business stayed with XP because it was the last version able to run the bad coded applications many business are forced to use without the issues and warning the new security model introduced with Vista brought. Also, missing drivers for still used devices and lesser HW requirements played a role.

Moving from 7 to 8 or 9 doesn't look so problematic, unless the latter introduces new big changes, and I don't mean the UI, but hw requirement, driver model and security framework. Thereby I can't see any hurry, it can be a more evolutionary approach then a revolutionary one.

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LDS
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Re: Linux maybe, but OSX.. You'd need to be off your tree.

Just because it doesn't ask you to reboot it doesn't mean you don't need to reboot...

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It's time for PGP to die, says ... no, not the NSA – a US crypto prof

LDS
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Re: Business cards??

Because business cards are a safe way to exchange keys without using an electronic medium that can be tampered with.

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LDS
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Re: Not saying PGP is perfect

And how do you trust an email or key server? Just because they tell you they are what they say they are and thereby you should trust them?

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The internet just BROKE under its own weight – we explain how

LDS
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Re: IPv6 like OSI is far more complex than necessary

But a camel works very well in the environment it was designed for by evolution, and where no horse would survive. It could look ugly, but it's a good design.

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No Apple fanbois here: Man United BANS iPads from Old Trafford

LDS
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Re: No reason to use a tablet

Not all items are banned for the same reason. It does look there is a photography/video banner because any camera with a lens good enough to take a good image is banned. It is true that some DSLR high-end large lenses using a metal barrel could also used to hit someone hard, but given their prices you'll do it only when your life is a risk, but it is not true for most bridge cameras and camcorders.

Then there are the bans to protect in-stadium sales. Then there are the real security ones.

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Looking forward to the end of Tuesday? You've patched this month's 37 Microsoft bugs, right?

LDS
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Re: Advance info about killer updates?

Usually updates create a restore point, and if the machine can't boot you can get back to it. If you often end up in troubles like that (but did you identify the root cause? Was it an update flaw, or your configuratin has issues, i.e. a badly written driver?), you should update first a test system and validate updates for your site. Or if you don't have a test syste, wait a few days to install updates - maybe just some of them, for example those patching the kernel - and check if anybody signal troubles for them, knowing your machine(s) could be at risk until fully patched.

Issues should be reported to Microsoft, you can find info on several sites, but the official source is MS support site.

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Chromebooks to break out of US schools: Netbook 2.0 comeback not just for children

LDS
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Re: they can shift their focus from managing devices to managing something much more important —

C'mon little guys, even Google and Yahoo setup dedicated lines - http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/11/07/google_engineers_slam_nsa/ - sure, they don't come with Chromebooks, but do you believe nobody else use them? Do you believe large companies don't ensure their employee are happy updating their facebook profiles and watch cat videos on youtube all time long? Or it's just envy because your bedroom and basements have no dedicated lines? If you spent your time learning how the adult world works, instead of spending it spitting your hate against MS in forum like this, you would have a job, maybe a girlfriend, and surely a better PC, although more expensive, than a Chromebooook....

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LDS
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Re: they can shift their focus from managing devices to managing something much more important —

Nobody said everybody knows his job - many comments here show many people writing here brag about themselves, but have clearly no idea how large networks work and how to manage them... of course if the large network you have ever manager is that in your bedroom...

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LDS
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Re: they can shift their focus from managing devices to managing something much more important —

No - I mean replication - data available at different site and kept in sync.

When you'll learn how to handle very large networks and their data you can apply for a job here... but I guess it will take a very long time...

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Re: Gaining traction

Sure - but you are just using a consumer device, you can get a smart TV as well, if all you need is that.

A Raspberry PI costs far less than $200 and can do whatever a Chomebook does, and much more. Why spend so much for a so constrained PC? Being Linux and ARM, most viurs won't harm a Raspberry PI.

If you put in their hands something that will let them going beyond curricula, experiment and explore much more, you put in your hands much more powerful tools, and will let create far better students.

To learn how a computer work, you need to have a real computer in your hands, not a neutered one. And you need to be able to choose freely how to use it.

And, c'mon, consumers are exactly the people you need to sell to! They will just train the number of people they need, and won't let "knowledge" escape to create competitors. You see a preview of what happened - the cartel to avoid developers looking for a better job from competitors...

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LDS
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Re: they can shift their focus from managing devices to managing something much more important —

Larger business lease dedicated lines - don't go through your average "internet connection" for site-to-site connections. And also have backup connections exactly to avoid the "single point of failure".

You also never heard about "replication", right?

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LDS
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Re: Dell blind loyalty to Redmond as usual

It looks to me there are far more blind MS haters around, praising everything that looks to break the diffusion Windows has, it was Linux ten years ago, it's Android/Chrome now.

At least Linux is a good full-fledged OS... which doesn't sell your soul to Google.

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LDS
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Re: Dell blind loyalty to Redmond as usual

Dell happily delivers you servers with Linux because that's where business users ask for Linux preinstalled. The client side user percentage of users asking for Linux preinstalled is so low, and the number of distro used so large, it's better to sell with no OS preinstalled and let the user choose its own OS. Because I guess if Dell was offering clients with Red Hat or SuSE preinstalled you all will still complain.

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Re: Gaining traction

Poor chaps. They will never learn what a real PC could do. Forever bound to depend on external services designed to gather their data. Using chromebooks to teach, is like teaching people to read but not to write. It's creating consumers and not creators - exactly the kind of 'citizen' companies like Google need and want. You're giving them a fish, but you're not teaching them how to fish.

I will never buy my children such a limited device, because I want them to be able to explore the real power behind a computer - maybe they won't, or maybe they'll do, but I don't want to cut them out from such a capability from the start. A Raspberry Pi is a far better device for teaching, and even cheaper than a Chromebook.

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LDS
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Re: they can shift their focus from managing devices to managing something much more important —

Maybe at your office everybody spend their time on facebook or youtube... in most offices even if the Internet is not available most work can be accomplished on the LAN... internal mail will still work, internal sites will still work, and PCs will be still able to run any software they need and store data where they should...

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LDS
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Guess most common users have easily more than 16GB of photos, music and videos on their PC. Even phones try to have more storage. And that type of user probably will have no NAS, and thereby it's forced to rely on an Internet connection - and unsecure WiFi connections are so common and a security risk - or always in the need of an USB stick or disk, very practical setup.

But of course Google wants all your data on its servers where it can analyze them to profile and sell you.

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Given the article was comparing Chromebooks with cheap Windows laptops, what comparison should I do? I wasn't 'chanting' anything - just pointing out Chrome OS has no special features not available in Windows, and that is pretty funny 'chanting' about what most MS haters regard as 'evil' features in Windows.

And it looks Chrome users are too coward to comment with their user... unlike Windows users. Ashamed of being a Chrome user?

And of course my opinion is tainted while your is based on 'facts'. It looks to me I pointed out facts while you did not, and just trying a childish bullying approach.

And it's now you boasting about what you are... and you really don't know what I am.

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Re: WinRT

My camera has 64GB CFs. When I'm in the wild shooting, I need those old fashioned large disks to download images from them. And not the whole world is still connected at fast speed. Sure, if you never travel you have very little need for local storage

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LOL! Bitterly hit by my remarks? Stop thinking everything Google does is marvelous, grow up and stop thinking they have elves working there...

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Sure, very comfortable to use it with always an USB sticking out or a drive connected... think, other devices can store everything inside...

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LDS
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With a 16GB hard disk? C'mon...

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LDS
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Sure, you can do a lot offline with a 16GB hard disk... it's half my RAM... and not much more the RAM of the average Windows PC.

Verifies the OS every time it boots? Ooooooh, looks like TPM and secureboot to me, which of course is evil if MS does it, but a great feature if Google does it (while sending all of your data to Google 'for added security', of course)

Sanboxed apps? Like WinRT apps?

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Microsoft: Just what the world needs – a $25 Nokia dumbphone

LDS
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Re: An Old Fogey Speaks

My father is 76 and never used a computer in his life, and is still runnin his shop 'the old way'. He bought the previoua model of this one, because he has no use for a smartphone.

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