327 posts • joined Thursday 18th November 2010 00:59 GMT
Re: "Android is a virii dream"
The so-called "malware" on Android are not viruses. Most of them are perfectly legitimate in-app advertising components that certain self-interested "security" companies have sensationalised as "malware", and the rest are phishing scams, both of which must be deliberately installed and run by the user.
At best that's simply legitimate ad-ware, and at worst it's social engineering, both of which are totally beyond the scope of software security, and have nothing whatsoever to do with "viruses".
An actual virus, OTOH, infects the user's system without his knowledge or consent, is self-propagating and typically delivers a destructive payload, and nearly every one of the millions of in-the-wild viruses exist only on the Windows platform.
That is an example of poor software security, not Android.
My Top 10 suggestions for Apple's defence strategy
1. The Oliver North defence: "I have no clear recollection of that," typically repeated several hundred times
2. The Chewbacca defence: "Look at the wookie!", a.k.a. the Monkey Island defence: "Look, a three-headed Monkey!"
3: The Dragon defence: "FYIAD"
4. The Twinkie defence: diminished capacity due to Twinkie-induced depression, a.k.a. pleading insanity
5. The Playground defence: "IKYABWAI"
6. The Thatcher defence: "I refer the honourable gentleman to the answer I gave some moments ago."
7. The "Found It" defence: "It was like that when I found it."
8. The King Kong defence: Denying culpability for wilfully facilitating a crime in which one did not otherwise participate
9. The "Everybody Does It" defence: Claiming that the fact that other people commit crimes means one should be able to do so with complete impunity
10. The Idiot defence: Disingeneously claiming ignorance of extremely obvious facts
Although most people probably expect Apple to go with the Idiot defence, my money's on them going with the "Fuck You I'm a Dragon" strategy, like they did recently with Judge Colin Birss.
Quid pro quo
Although it certainly appears that Google is being churlish, the fact is it's also entirely justified in giving such a hostile opponent as Microsoft the shaft.
After Microsoft's "Screw Google" campaign, which is still ongoing, what exactly did they expect ... a big hug?
If Microsoft's going to behave like a bunch of thugs, then it shouldn't feign indignation when it's treated as such.
Aaron Swartz was legally entitled to those documents, so in what sense could this be described as "theft"?
When the majority breaks the law...
Then surely the problem is the law, not the majority.
Hence the reason laws are amended, and in some cases completely abolished, or replaced with better laws.
That's how it should work in a democratic society. The only alternative would be rule by a minority who presume themselves an "elite" group more worthy of consideration than the rest of us, i.e. an oligarchy.
Rather than become hysterical about the majority opposing your selfish demands, perhaps you should consider that if you choose to engage in activities where the fate of the end result is, due to its ethereal nature, intrinsically beyond your control, then you need to either accept that fact gracefully or find some other, more private activity outside the public domain, where you can exercise as much control as you want to without inhibiting other people's freedom.
And yes, this is very much about freedom, not money. Copyright infringement is a form of trespass, not theft, and in this case it's trespass on what the majority considers public "land", because like all intellectual property it's inescapably derivative, and thus should not rightfully belong to anyone.
Re: "it's incredible how little he understands"
Not just the Internet, but law, sovereign jurisdictions and personal liberty.
If there were a One World Government to which every citizen on Earth were accountable...
And if every single device that could display archived data on the Internet could be physically and legally controlled by that government...
Then it might have a slim chance of censoring the Internet.
But with so many governments and so many sovereign jurisdictions and so many citizens free to defy the arrogant yet futile demands of some foreign tin-pot dictator, frankly the chances of totally eradicating any given data from the Internet are less than zero.
"Erasure" might be the kindest thing, in some circumstances, but ultimately the right thing is the truth, not censorship.
And in any case it's a moot point, because no one can control every single person on Earth, which is what you'd need to do in order to completely stop the dissemination of any given information.
Just thought I'd spell that out for you, Eric.
(Oh, and P.S., that's also the reason all anti-"piracy" measures are doomed to failure.)
Re: the "advantage"
The one and only reason for "online only" is DRM, which is clearly never an advantage to anyone, not even the vendor, because it serves no purpose but to drive potential customers away, usually right into the welcoming arms of "piracy".
It's incredible that vendors haven't worked that out yet.
Assuming that memo is genuine, you'll note that it doesn't preclude the possibility of DRM, just that it shouldn't be used for single-player games. But that assumes there will in fact be any single-player games in the future, which given the direction games developers are headed (e.g. SimCity) is becoming less likely all the time - unless they finally work out that DRM is futile.
The only other "advantage" to "online only", that I can think of, is the opportunity for Microsoft (and anyone it sells the data to) to spam the user with targeted advertising, based on the content they watch and games they play. But, like DRM, spam is not really an "advantage" to anyone, for exactly the same reason as above.
Sooner or later these desperately greedy vendors are going to work out that you can't squeeze blood from a stone, and you can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink. Hopefully they'll work it out sometime before they "protect" themselves into oblivion with DRM and other draconian restrictions.
'We actually feel very “proprietorial” about our creations'
Except these so-called "creations" are inescapably derivative, so I have to wonder what justification there is for claiming they have an exclusive "proprietor"?
A more balanced review
I'd give the Acer Iconia W700 7/10 for hardware design, dropping a point for using plastic instead of aluminium on the cradle, another for the big black bar around the screen, and one for the fact that the keyboard is too small, even if it is a very nice design.
I'd also give it 3/10 for the hardware (not design), mainly for using an Intel CPU, which is power-hungry compared to the alternatives on the one hand, but ironically not really powerful enough to cope with "desktop" Windows on the other. Intel HD4000 graphics is also suboptimal compared to the alternatives. The lack of a gigabit ethernet port is also a problem, for me at least, and probably also in the workplace.
By far its biggest problem is the OS, closely followed by the price. At half the price with more suitable components and a better OS, I might consider it.
The other machines in this roundup are little better than "meh", barely even worth awarding any points to.
Right, let's fire up the Quatro!
It seems clear enough
If the recipients knew they were receiving stolen goods, then they're guilty. They claim they didn't, and there's no way to prove otherwise, however they have offered to return the stolen goods, so it seems like they're acting in good faith, but that might be more about remorse that they were caught and publicly exposed than wishing to do right. We'll probably never know.
One thing for sure is the punishment for theft in Iran is severe, if the perpetrators are ever caught (in Iran). Perhaps the new "owners" are mindful of that, and don't wish to see any harm come to whoever it is supplied them with the stolen goods (a friend or relative), or maybe they're scared of reprisals (professional criminals).
Either way, I don't think I'd be apologising to the recipients, just because I exercised the only means I had at my disposal to recover my stolen property. If the recipients really are victims, then they're victims of the thieves, not the owner. I certainly wouldn't offer to let them keep my property, just because I sympathised with their situation, especially as the truth of that situation is largely unproven.
Is that a euphemism for "the Chinese people don't deserve the same consumer rights as everyone else", or is it the more obviously derogatory version of what American's call "patriotism"?
Pot, meet kettle.
Re: "he turned Apple into a rather successful business"
The mere fact of making lots of money is not praiseworthy, not least of which because the means used to make that money might be highly unethical if not blatantly criminal. Moreover, others' financial success, whether or not it's achieved legitimately, is of no particular benefit to anyone else, and therefore it's highly irrational to fawn over it.
So this is the totality of Jobs' achievements: he was a belligerent but effective carpetbagger for a company that "shamelessly stole" everyone else's ideas, then repackaged and sold them at an extortionate price, whilst hypocritically litigating against anyone else who did likewise.
What award should that qualify him for, exactly?
"Gangster of the Year", maybe?
Re: "Jobs did marketing and branding"
Or in other words ... nothing.
Re: What a good idea
I'm fairly sure Xerox PARC beat Apple by about four decades:
"The concept of developing a flexible displays was first put forth by Xerox PARC (Palo Alto Research Company). In the(sic) 1974, Nicholas K. Sheridon, a PARC employee, made a major breakthrough in flexible display technology and produced the first flexible e-paper display. Dubbed Gyricon, this new display technology was designed to mimic the properties of paper, but married with the capacity to display dynamic digital images. "
The Tree is Dead
The odd thing about trees is that they actually die long before showing any visible signs of necrosis, so by the time you finally notice a problem, you're already looking at a long-dead corpse.
That's what's left of today's PC industry, in a nutshell.
Re: "Risk Needs Analysis"
Nah, droning on about bureaucracy is too much conversation. Kill it dead with one word: money.
Once people clearly understand that you refuse to provide unpaid voluntary work on behalf of multi-billion dollar global corporations, they'll give up and move on to their next victim.
Ballmer, the problem is not the size of the tablet, it's the crap that's running on it.
 'On the genius of Jobs, Isaacson is not dazzled. "He was never much of an engineer," "He didn't know how to code or programme a computer. That was Wozniak's job."'
 "Jobs returned to his previous job at Atari and was given the task of creating a circuit board for the game Breakout. According to Atari founder Nolan Bushnell, Atari had offered $100 for each chip that was eliminated in the machine. Jobs had little interest or knowledge in circuit board design and made a deal with Wozniak to split the bonus evenly between them if Wozniak could minimize the number of chips. Much to the amazement of Atari, Wozniak reduced the number of chips by 50. At the time, Jobs told Wozniak that Atari had only given them $700 (instead of the actual $5,000) and that Wozniak's share was thus $350."
Frankly I'm at a loss to understand exactly what Jobs' contribution was to, well, anything. It's not like Apple ever actually invented anything, and Jobs himself seemed to be little more than a sort of megalomaniacal spokesmodel.
Re: Moving target
"Driving key milestones forward"
That's the problem with buzzword bingo, making sense is largely a matter of luck.
Why! Has! El! Reg! Stopped! Using! The! Yahoo! Headline! Joke!?
Businesses Only Loyal to Money, Shocker
Film at 11.
This looks suspiciously like a pretext for Miguel "MVP" de iCaza to promote his corporate sponsors, with his usual "they're not evil" rhetoric.
No, of course Microsoft and Apple aren't evil. They're just cute fluffy bunnies who save puppies from fire-breathing dragons, not litigious corporate despots on a belligerent crusade for world domination. Honest.
I've never seen anyone sell out as completely and brazenly as iCaza. He actually seems to take a perverse sort of pride in it.
Re: Bonkers? Yes... Overpriced? Most definitely
The cost isn't even the most "bonkers" thing about this rig, it's the fact that, having wasted all that money, you now have something that's only good for about five minutes, before the Content®
racket industry hits the planned obsolescence button, and forces you to ditch it for this week's hardware.
And then you have to deal with DLL Hell, and the "wrong
trousers drivers", and the "wrong version of Windows", and the "wrong version of DirectX", and the "wrong service pack level", and viruses, and BSODs, and a broken Registry, and DRM bullshit, and "online-only" bullshit, ad nauseam.
What a nightmare.
"Amigas ... didn't let me stick any old CPU on or other commodity hardware"
Not only did they allow such things, but indeed the market for them was booming.
"fugly ball of meat"
At this point the specifics of the game are moot. I'd rather play Atari's ET, widely recognised as the worst video game of all time, than even be in the same room with her.
Paris, because she's not Heather Hayes.
Not enough information
The details on both sides are too vague to draw any firm conclusions, but I'd guess the complainant got stiffed by PCW's constantly rotating terms of service and care package names, and had been led to believe he was entitled to something that ultimately he wasn't.
I think it just boils down to PCW (perhaps deliberately) confusing customers, hence the ASA's involvement.
My first keyboard...
Was the truly awful membrane thingy on a ZX80. Although the machine itself was a lot of fun. The ZX81 was the same. The Speccy was a marginal improvement (at least the keys has some travel), but sweaty little fingers and rubber keys don't mix. Getting a (comparatively) *real* keyboard, like the one on my first Amiga, was a revelation.
After that it was all bog-standard PC keyboards, typically of the buckling-spring variety, except the DECStations at uni, which were mechanical switch types, IIRC.
I'm quite happy with today's keyboards, to be honest, except for the fact that the lettering wears too easily ... and the fact that they all come with at least one redundant key designed for a certain operating system I don't use (but I found the cure for that).
I don't suppose...
Anyone considered explaining *why* Aria is being attacked?
I assume it's a disgruntled employee or customer, but who knows?
Re: MS are trying a little harder to push the Surface than the Zune
"Android had a worldwide market share of only 3.9%"
Except Google has only been punting Android for 4 years, and it already has 3/4 of the market, whereas Microsoft has been desperately trying to peddle its mobile platform, in one form or another, since the days of the aptly named "Wince" 16 years ago, and it's still languishing in single figures. So the possibly that Microsoft will magically succeed now, after perpetually failing for nearly two decades, seems unlikely in the extreme, especially when the only thing it has to play with is something as pig ugly and dysfunctional as Tiles®.
Re: Browser Choice
"Personally I'm sick to death of seeing the browser choice being forced onto PC's."
How can you characterise being given a choice as "force", as opposed to being denied that choice, and therefore being forced to take the only option?
This "anti-choice" mantra is self-defeating and therefore highly irrational. Worse still, if that choice were removed to appease the anti-choice fraternity, you'd not only be denying yourself that choice, but everybody else as well, which is an extremely selfish attitude.
Re: EU lost the plot
'I don't see a "Browser Choice" screen on either Apple or Android devices either.'
Android is Free Software, not a commercial product restricted by proprietary licensing, so there's no antitrust issue to consider, since there's nothing to stop any of Google's competitors (including Microsoft) from using it without incurring any financial obligations (or ceding any market advantage) to Google. Indeed several vendors have already done so, including Amazon.
Apple "bundles" its *own* OS on its *own* hardware, so that can't be a "conspiracy in restraint of trade", because one can't be engaged in a conspiracy with *oneself*. Obviously.
Windows, OTOH, is a proprietary, commercial product that's "bundled" without option on hardware that has nothing to do with Microsoft, to the near-total exclusion of all competitors in that (albeit rapidly declining) market segment called the "desktop". That's what makes this an antitrust issue, because it's "tying", collusion, or IOW a "conspiracy in restraint of trade". The universal "bundling" of any third-party software on that system is therefore a significant antitrust issue. That includes the OS itself and any applications, by Microsoft or otherwise.
The only problem I have with the EU's sanctions against Microsoft is that they keep targeting relative trivia like browsers and media players, when they should be targeting the root of the problem, Windows itself. I assume that's because Opera raised a complaint specific to browser competition, and no one (in the EU at least) has done likewise for OS competition. It does seem like they're pussy-footing around the problem, however.
What the EU needs to do is unbundle Windows from PCs, then they can stop wasting their time with a company as recalcitrant as Microsoft, as the Windows Tax problem will be solved once and for all.
Re: Symptomatic of a bigger problem
The "serious work" mantra assumes ARM devices will always be 32-bit, low-clock-speed, low memory machines running purely consumer-centric applications and games on a touch-oriented OS, but all of those factors have already improved, and will only continue to do so. There are already ARM servers in data centres, for example, and "desktop" ARM devices (ChromeOS and Ubuntu).
Moreover, no matter how you personally regard the suitability of ARM devices for certain tasks, which you prioritise higher than others, the fact remains that the market has spoken, and it wants ARM + Android, whether or not you agree with them. Apparently they don't share your priorities, which is why the "desktop" PC market (a euphemism for Windows on x86) is in decline, like it or not.
And even in the interim, while ARM technology is still maturing, it's already more than good enough for the majority of use cases, both at home and at work, which again is exactly why the market has shifted in that direction. If it weren't already good enough, then nobody would be buying it, obviously, so arguing about whether or not you personally think it's good enough is moot.
Eventually ARM (or something similar) will entirely replace the current de facto standard, which will then be relegated to legacy status (if it hasn't done so already). Cling to that if you want to, but personally I'd rather embrace the future.
Symptomatic of a bigger problem
HP may or may not have management and/or boardroom problems, but surely the biggest problem for PC vendors is the PC itself, which is rapidly becoming obsolete.
Under the circumstances, there's not a lot HP could have done differently, at least in the PC market.
Really the only mistake HP (and Dell and others) made was they failed to diversify away from the PC market earlier, stubbornly clinging to the PC for some mysterious reason (which I'd guess had more than a little to do with coercion from Microsoft). Well, look where that got them.
I like HP for many reasons, but this isn't one of them. Unfortunately they deserve to fail, and fail they shall.
Re: I wish!
Consider yourself blessed, my smooth-noggined comrade. Baldies are manly men with testosterone fuelled, manly shaped appendages. Not at all like them fluffy-haired quasi-male-oriented fakers.
The mops on those so-called socialist, OTOH, look decidedly conservative to me, in a Hilary Clinton sort of a way. Although, arguably, Hilary Clinton is also a testosterone-fuelled manly man with a manly shaped appendage, so maybe it's a wig.
I mean just look at Ms. Big Hair at No6! That has to be the most conservative hairdo I ever saw. And Mr. Top Centre looks like a Faux News anchor, for Goat's sake. Heck, they all look like they're lined up for inspection at a Tea Party rally (lapsang souchong, naturally).
This won't do at all.
Everyone knows that socialists have greasy, perfectly straight, long hair all the way down to their arse. This was enacted into law in the 1970s, and ratified by 57 countries under the International Treaty of Socialist Haircuts (although North Korea abstained on the grounds that they weren't invited to the signing ceremony).
As ever, when Vole talks about "sales", what it really means is "channel stuffing".
Certainly Vole got its pound of flesh, but that should not be taken as any indication of "popularity", it's merely an indication of the level of stock gathering dust in warehouses. See Dixons, for example, who apparently bet the farm on Vista, and lost.
Which stuffed channel "partner" will be the first victim of TIFKAM®, I wonder?
"UI certainly blew away all the competition"
Only an Apple fanboy could be blown away by "a grid of icons".
Nobody clicks-through the syndicator's summaries of ANJ articles, so the ANJ blames the syndicator, whilst blithely ignoring the possibility that their articles are simply crap. Even better, the ANJ then takes "revenge" on the syndicator, by withholding said crap articles from syndication, thus ensuring nobody will ever see them.
Re: WFT El Reg?!?
Rolls etc. are also bread.
However a bacon sarnie simply isn't a bacon sarnie unless it only contains bacon. That automatically disqualifies much of the list.
Also any "bread" made from what looks and tastes like chicken-feed (i.e. "health" crap) should be disqualified on the grounds of obscenity. That disqualifies most of the rest of the list.
According to the results so far, it looks like "The Precision Engineer" is going to win, but that's a toastie, not a sarnie, so it should also be disqualified.
An actual bacon sarnie is ... bacon fried only in its own fat, then placed between two slices of white bread (as in real white bread, not that not-really-white bread with chicken-feed bits) which has been quickly fried on one side in the remaining bacon fat (thus absorbing it all), with the fried-side toward the inside.
That's exactly what "The Gourmet Toasted" is (no, that's not "toasted"), and thus it should be the winner.
Anyone who disagrees with this assessment must be burned as a witch, by order of The Knights of The Grand High Lodge of Bacon Sarnie Defenders.
"Trick or Treat" Posties
Yes, I get that a lot. Postie uses my letterbox as a door knocker (despite the big red arrow and sign that reads "This is a doorbell you're looking for, please use it, and stop destroying my letterbox --->", waits all of minus 0.3 seconds (as though people live directly behind their front door, just waiting for that moment when someone might knock on it), then sprints down the street at high speed, leaving me gawping and clutching onto a "Sorry we couldn't be arsed" note.
Now I suppose I'll be clutching onto a "Sorry we left your haemorrhoid ointment, sex catalogue and court summons with your busybody neighbour" note instead.
Glad they found it.
Now I'd like to know which blighter lost it in the first place?
I'd like to see a formal disclaimer from El Reg that no bottles of Ribena were harmed by the axe in that photo!
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