399 posts • joined 7 Jul 2011
Re: Is it done?
"Does this fix it? Is XP now of merchantable quality, after more than a decade of fixes?"
Security is a journey, not a destination, regardless of which OS you use.
Re: Critical Internet Explorer vulnerability ..
Notepad could be uninstalled easily from XP. Internet Explorer, on the other hand...
Mostly because the Add/Remove Programs dialog box (amongst other things) is actually written in HTML on XP and rendered using IE.
@AC: "Their Firefox trademark is not free and they can choose to do what they want with it, charges or distribution."
Irrelevant. Trademark protection doesn't work like that, you can't just add arbitrary rules and assume they're legal requirements. In exactly the same way Coca-Cola can't insist that shopkeepers selling their product have to paint the walls blue.
Re: MS took that to heart and people still complain.
Because most of XPs problems stem from user mode and not the kernel (specifically the fact that, by default, users run with unrestricted Administrator tokens which bypass much of the OS security) and that's where many of the changes in Vista and beyond were.
It gets worse post-EOL, because an unpatched OS is always vulnerable to whatever the patch was for, regardless of how "secure" it is otherwise.
Re: Important change
Except that ODF has always been vague on numerous parts of the specification, leading to the exciting prospect of "standards compliant" documents that can only be reliably opened in whatever version of whatever software originally created them.
Re: Will XP really "never be updated"?
Experience shows that the companies paying thousands of dollars for Microsoft to hotfix issues after extended support don't tend to leak them (try finding one for NT4 or Windows 2000 for example, it just doesn't happen). And they will only be paying for specific fixes to specific issues they encounter, not necessarily everything if they can mitigate it in other ways.
Remember, everyone said *exactly* the same thing about NT4 which loads of businesses were running past the end of support, often because they were assuming the same thing you are - that Microsoft would somehow have a last minute change of heart and extend support further. And Microsoft duly stopped providing updates, exactly as had always been claimed.
If you're running XP past the first patch Tuesday after EOL, I really hope you have it very much isolated from the internet, because it's going to be open season.
"Even if it were not found illegal under EU law (as I've been predicting it would be) all Google would need to do is appoint an agent in Rome, give him a 0.5% margin on all sales and still send all the cash to Ireland."
The way these avoidance scams work at the moment is that an Italian company, wanting to advertise on Italian websites go speak to an agent of Google in Italy. That agent negotiates prices etc and then, for no logical reason, the "sale" is completed in Ireland by someone the Italian company have probably never dealt with in any way shape or form, and Google get to pay Irish tax only.
What this law is, rather clumsily, attempting to do is force that final step to count as a sale in Italy - which 99% of people would probably agree it should be - and thus be subject to Italian taxation. This way big multinationals have to compete on a level playing field with smaller local companies who aren't in a position to play the system in the same way.
This particular implementation may be wrong and almost certainly tramples over a bunch of EU rules, but it's hard to disagree with the principles behind it, that companies should be subject to the tax laws in the countries they do business and not be able to simply divert profits to anywhere they like without consequence.
Of course it did, things like that end up being awfully bloated and slow with pretty much any kind of framework - because it isn't the kind of thing the framework is built to support. For more realistic apps, the difference drops significantly.
But since Rosyln can compile C# right down to native code (even as far as stripping out dependencies on the .NET framework libraries) and does things like whole program optimization (something the existing JIT compilers don't), you may well find it reduces your "Hello World" to something surprisingly small.
Re: Censorship is alive and well in Britian
"What will be blocked next?"
Any site carrying Nickleback music?
Well someone has got to hope for a silver lining to this cloud....
Microsoft's VDI licensing is unbelievably complex and has a tendency to eradicate the cost savings that VDI is supposed to bring. Straight up server virtualisation, on the other hand, is relatively simple and hardly the realm of rocket science. And Hyper-V is largely covered by licensing the OS itself, as well as offering the benefits of sliding straight into an existing management structure,
If you're looking for the utterly retarded end of virtualisation licensing, look no further than VMWare, where it actually gets more expensive the more densely you consolidate VMs. On what planet is that still a sane choice?
Re: Moronic Idiocy
@Darryl: "Actually, the kernels are called NT and CE"
Actually the kernel (singular) is called NT. CE is an ex-OS, it's dead, it is pushing up the proverbial daisies.
As to all this "Microsoft is losing it's way, merging OSs is crazy" talk, those of us old enough to remember the comments when NT first came to light have seen this all before. The haters weren't right then either.
IE's autozoom is based on your display's DPI setting. So you can make it default to 100% by setting your DPI accordingly.
Re: Is it just me?
And I don't want Opera to appear in the Browser Ballot on Windows, but that's not the way the choice works (nor should it be).
I don't see why the EU can't apply *exactly* the same rules as they're applying to Windows. Namely that, provided sufficient criteria are matched for inclusion, each vertical provider (including Google) must be given equal prominence in a random ordering.
Why isn't what is "good enough" for Microsoft, good enough for Google?
Re: Two things...
The HUD in a car has already passed various industry safety tests, a third party add-on like Google Glass hasn't. And likely never would given it's ability to display "information" other than what a driver needs
Because Google Maps are great and one of the top brands.
Now try with "car insurance", not something Google are renowned for and yet their "sponsored" result for their comparison service comes top of the list, above big names like MoneySupermarket, Compare The Market etc.
It even lets you start a quote in the results page.
This is what people are complaining about. Not that Google are successful. Nor that Google services should always be secondary.
*sigh* You're missing the point.
Imagine you sell widgets, they're really popular and after lots of time, effort and money you've got the start of a thriving business online. You're #1 in Google search and more people are finding your site every day.
Then Google decide they want a piece of that action. They start selling widgets and your page suddenly languishes on Page 195 of Google's results. No more customers come your way. Even old customers who go searching for widgets just see that your page has disappeared, assume you've gone bust and buy from Google instead.
That's an *enormous* amount of power and it's incredibly hard to argue that Google does not have the power to wield it, should they so choose. Now, as it stands today I doubt they've *explicitly* set out to do exactly that (arguably some PageRank changes were designed to push competitors rankings down) but they're certainly using their position to promote their own services way above anything else.
Google is really the ideal example of where splitting the business off is the only real way to prevent abuse. Put the "search" business into a separate company, funded purely by ad sales and force every other service to buy ads in a way consistent with any other company. If those services really are the best, it won't affect them at all.
Re: Do not trust but don't dismiss either
I think "Never trust the user" is more in the context of "Don't trust the user's description of a problem" rather than assume they're outright lying. So when they say "My PC isn't getting email", the problem may just as likely be "Nobody in the office has any networking at all". Without being intentionally misleading, they often describe only part of a symptom and could send you off on a wild goose chase.
Of course there are certain questions that you can absolutely guarantee users will lie about, "Have you changed anything recently?" and "Have you checked it's plugged in?" are classic examples because nobody wants to think they broke something or that they've asked a dumb question. That's why good IT folk sometimes suggest "remove the plug, waiting a few seconds, then plug it back in" - because 99% of the time that's the moment when the user spots their mistake but allows them to resolve the issue without seeming foolish.
Maybe she can buy him a Surface and a portable hard drive for his media, you can have 1TB for next to nothing when you have a real USB port.
Re: The important point is ....
There are already more Windows 8 users than every version of Mac OS X and Linux combined. And that's still only a tiny share of the Windows market. What Apple do or do not do is so unbelievably insignificant in the grand scheme of things.
And "free" software that requires you to by a specific brand of relatively expensive PC hardware isn't really all that "free", is it?
Re: Windows just has a bunch of overhead
Operations on thousands of files that take ages are usually the result of 8.3 short filename generation, if you switch it off (as is the default on Server versions) things go a lot quicker.
The overhead still isn't nearly as bad as on Mac OS X, which is still using a poorly performing big-endian file system despite the fact the CPU in every Mac is little endian, resulting in bytes having to be re-ordered on every read/write from the filesystem.
As to the overall power performance, I suspect it's down to the fact that power consumption is heavily dependent upon drivers and no manufacturer of PC laptops is putting the same effort into driver development for Windows that Apple are for OS X (including Apple, whose Bootcamp drivers are legendarily crappy)
Re: 2hrs 45minutes and still not done !
"Boss: I need a desktop with a fresh installation, ASAP, FOR YESTERDAY!
You: Yesterday?? You mean *tomorrow* right?"
If you aren't patching your base install image, you're doing it wrong.
Or is it that Apt, Yum, Yast etc don't support offline image patching?
They're aiming for 77% API compatibility between WinRT and Windows Phone. Note that's WinRT (the API set used by both ARM and Intel Windows 8 applications) and not Windows RT (the ARM version of Windows 8)
Despite the misleading nomenclature, getting Windows Phone to be much closer to Windows 8 will make the end goal of applications that can run on phones, tablets and even desktops a lot closer.
The real irony here is that all those IE6-only apps were the result of "Web developers" telling corporations that switching over to their web based products would save them the endless hassle of upgrading. Had they all stayed running the native Windows applications they'd been using previously, chances are they'd have found migrating away from XP much less of a hassle.
@Tempest8008: "If Microsoft chooses not to be open about this new security method then they are basically depending on Security through Obscurity."
Um, they are being entirely open about it. How it's actually stored within Windows is irrelevant, by the time someone is in a position to read that data, they're already the other side of the airtight hatchway....
"Why is this necessary when facial recognition and other biometrics are becoming so commonplace?"
Because even a weak picture password is less laughably insecure than every implementation of facial recognition seen so far? Because most devices don't have fingerprint readers yet, despite them being around for years? Take your pick.
Re: Honey someone's calling you
If you put on Google Glass, you are going to look like a complete twat. That's the fundamental road-block. Like speech-controlled PCs or the kind of ridiculous Minority Report UI's that Microsoft are trying to encourage with Kinect, these are all geek-fantasies that are not actually of practical benefit to anyone and will ultimately always be rejected for being hopelessly intrusive by "normal" folk.
Re: How's this for analogue...
Not only was Jabba's scene not in the original, but because it was cut the speech was re-worked into the conversation with Greedo. Which means that when you watch the modern CGI-dumped on editions, you basically sit through the whole conversation twice. and Lucas apparently didn't think that was stupid....
@heyrick "This, from the company that released successive versions of their most popular version of Windows with the initial out-of-the-box user profile defaulting to being an Administrator..."
And then, in the first version that didn't (Vista), were berated by self-appointed "power users" for breaking applications and "taking away the ability to do what I want with my PC".
Damned if they do, damned if they don't....
Re: Which PC's don't have TPM
@AC12:10 "That whole "people who think the government are spying on us must be nutters" meme must been reversed somewhat of late. Shirley anyone who still hasn't realised it must be the nutter?"
Do government spies spy? Er, yes, of course. Do you think they care about the minutia of every thing you do in your life? Really? Can you even begin to conceive how many people it would actually require to spy on every single moment of even a single individual's life and all their interactions? Do you think that it is even remotely plausible that even one person is dedicating their existence to monitoring yours?
If you do, then yes you belong firmly in the tin-foil-hat brigade. If, on the other hand, you look at espionage as an occasionally necessary evil and consider the practical limitations on the reality of what is ever going to be possible, then you should really see why there isn't actually much to be worried about.
Re: Which PC's don't have TPM
@Tuomas Hosia: "So you have a whole TPM chip and you _know_ what it *actually* does, despite half of the functions being officially not documented and who knows how many functions totally secret, the NSA segment?"
TPM is an ISO spec. Every part of TPM is documented, because it'd be a pointless spec if it weren't.
If you want to believe the NSA are putting "secret" extra bits inside the PC that let them spy on you, that's up to you, but there would be no need for that to be a part of TPM, nor for it to be removed/disabled in machines without a TPM or with TPM disabled. It wouldn't even have to stop functioning when you ran Linux. Heck, it's probably buried deep within every x86 and ARM CPU ever manufactured and deliberately sending details of everything you ever do to a bunch of people who have nothing better to do in life than check exactly what you're doing every single minute of the day,
Have a nice afternoon thinking that through....
Re: Which PC's don't have TPM
@Havin_it "Do all TPM chips have these components, or just 2.0 versions?"
A TPM without encryption capabilities would be pointless, given that's the only thing they *actually* do, as opposed to what the tin-foil hat brigade would like you to believe....
Re: Swings and roundabouts....
@Paul Crawford "Really, you can get *ALL* the code for windows"
Yes. It's called a disassembler. You can get all the code to anything that runs on a PC. It might not be nice commented C source, but it's still there.
Re: End to vertical lock-in?
On the day when the typical Linux user pays for applications, rather than ranting endlessly about how the free (as in beer) equivalents are just as good if not better even when they blatantly aren't*, that might happen. Until then, you've a snowballs chance in hell of seeing Office for Linux.
*See every discussion on Photoshop vs GIMP ever for example
Re: Apple Store sells Windows Licence Then
@thondwe: Why do you think Apple couldn't sell a Windows license? They've been doing it for years....
Re: Fanbois taught to use a GIMPED Windows...
@AC9:02 "all Apple have to do to gain even the tinest presence in the datacentre is to certify their server OS to run on a virtualisation platform"
Well, they also have to make it work, which I suspect is the harder part.
OS X Server is an absolute pain in the ass to get working and pretty much every Apple-ified tool added to supposedly make it easier just increases the pain levels tenfold. Without the ease of use aspect that's worked on the desktop, there really is no sane reason to choose OS X over a Linux box.
Re: Fanbois taught to use a GIMPED Windows...
@AC15:37 "I do write shell scripts to do things as thats pretty easy to do. Windows is junk for this sort of thing."
I take it you've never used Powershell then? Try doing the equivalent of a Powershell Parallel Workflow script aggregating results across hundreds of machines in Bash, then decide which is "junk for this sort of thing"
Windows has moved on a lot since DOS batch files, y'know.
"The equivalent compiler from Microsoft is far too much money."
Visual Studio Express costs the princely sum of nothing. The compiler is the exact same one used by the most expensive version of Visual Studio (you just lack many of the advanced IDE functionality).
Macs are all well and good if that's what you want. Though the point of buying a machine then also buying VM software and a completely different OS all over again because that's the only one that runs your applications is lost on me. You accomplish nothing other than making your life just that little bit harder, for no tangible benefit.
Re: It really annoys me . . .
@Roger Greenwood: " I have computers that were bought new only 4 to 5 years ago running XP"
And the Windows lifecycle roadmap then was telling you then exactly what it's telling you today, support was ending in 2014. If that wasn't sufficient for your needs, perhaps you should ask yourself why you chose to buy machines with XP.
Re: MS is getting desperate on Windows 8x
The end of life date for Windows XP was published long before the release of even Windows 7, let alone Windows 8. The idea that this is some sort of reaction to sales levels is ridiculous, unless you're suggesting Microsoft has psychics on staff.
Re: Left hand, meet right hand
Same binaries (for the bits of XP included in embedded, which isn't all of it) but a completely different license. If you bought XP, you paid for support to continue until 2014 as part of that license. If you bought embedded (which was more expensive), you paid for support till 2016/17.
Re: they have a responsibility that comes with the near monopoly status
"Reasonably I think Microsoft should be supporting XP for 5 years after the last XP machine/licence was sold through legitimate channels."
Which would be 2006, after which they'd be Vista licences (even if they'd been optionally downgraded to XP)
So they're already way past 5 years....
Re: XBox App?
I believe that was written by Google and therefore uses Google's private API.
Typical non-programmer article - the API is not HTML5, ever
"All third-party YouTube apps are expected to use the HTML5 API, and with the exception of Microsoft's,"
Um, no. That's just plain wrong. The public API is an API, it's not "HTML5", you can call it from whatever language you like, because API's aren't language dependent (though they may be easier to consume from one language than another). The ToS of the public YouTube API do not specify that your application has to be written in HTML5 either, because that would be stupid too.
Nonetheless, Google are pulling the key to Microsoft's app primarily because that app hasn't been written in HTML5, which they are somehow claiming is a ToS violation. They're also claiming it doesn't always show the right ads, despite the fact that no third party client can show the right ads because the public API doesn't expose enough information to actually do it. And before someone chips in with "so Microsoft say", I'd remind you that this is actually a public API and it's pretty easy to actually go and verify for yourself that this is exactly the case.
The only issue on which Google have any merit at all is the trademark issue, although given that they claimed to have been "working with Microsoft" on this, it's pretty hard to beleive they were entirely unaware that it would be launched with YouTube branding. The fact that the ToS is this case also go much further than trademark protection legally requires, making it impossible to produce a YouTube app on any platform that makes any reference to YouTube in it's title, doesn't really go in their favour either. If Microsoft had actually complied with that and called it "Internet Video", doubtless Google would've been up in arms that they were trying to "steal" YouTube content and pass it off as something else.
The API key appears to have been revoked right after launch. Only Google can have done that. So it's either incompetence or a deliberately malicious act on their part.
It was working fine when I downloaded it yesterday, now not so much. I suppose this is what happens when you rely on the chocolate factory to provide a stable and functioning API.
Re: Once computers are the desk
@Paul Shirley "Allowing it everywhere for occasional, optional use makes sense, enforcing it everywhere never will."
Where exactly does Windows 8 enforce touch usage? Specifically, what features of the OS are impossible to use without touch?
Or is it, in fact, entirely optional?
@fandom "Unless, of course, all those complains I read about Wp 7.x phones not being able to upgrade to WP 8 were nothing but a bad dream."
Because Android phones are always upgradable to newer versions, right? It's so smooth a process that nobody anywhere would be running an old version of Android, right?
Re: Useless certificate system
@Wzrd1: "OK, way cool! So, no self-signed certificates are permitted, only deep pocketed authorities are permitted, if they decide down the road to sell a certificate for 100k a pop, so be it."
Er, no. You just have to use self-signed certificates correctly. That is you have to provide the certificate to end-users via an alternate method (such as auto-rollout on a corporate network) so that they can verify that the certifcate on the webserver is the expected one. An out-of-band mechanism can be just as effective as a trusted third party for verification in that regard (some might even argue better, though less convenient)
If you don't have that option, then self-signed certificates literally give you no security at all. Because I can just as easily generate one for my MITM attack server as you can and nothing can distinguish between the two. Using HTTPS in that situation provides absolutely no protection over HTTP, it's all just security theatre.
An unverifiable certificate is always a sign that there is absolutely zero security between you and the endpoint it's supposed to be securing and, as such, should always fail. Until browser makers start doing that, sysadmins the world over are going to keep doing this wrong.
@gerdesj: "I can't however speak for IE or any other browser on Windows (or any other closed source system) because I can't see the source code and I have to _assume_ that because I don't get a pop up for UAC that it isn't doing something else behind the scenes."
You can verify it using a debugger, which is the only way you can actually verify it on Linux too. Unless you compiled everything from source. Including the compiler. And whatever you compiled that with. Ad Infinitum. Source code is pretty meaningless.
Re: Useless certificate system
It already exists in the form of Enhanced Verification Certificates. So you can use normal certificates for everyday "is this the right site?" type verification where you don't really care to much other than to know that your el-reg password won't be snooped, then EV certs for "Is this really my bank because I'm about to give them financial details?" situations.
What really needs to happen though is for these "warnings" to go away entirely. Browsers should just point blank refuse to load content from a site with an invalid certificate. That'll be safer for everyone in the long run.
If you self-sign a certificate you should add it, via an out-of-band method, to you trusted certificate list so that you don't see any errors. If you don't, you're doing it wrong.
Re: Just bought an RT
@RetroTom "I want users to be able to freely create and distribute software through their own channels, with no Microsoft involvement."
You do, but the average man on the street doesn't care. He want's something that'll work without being hassled by viruses and other forms of malware. That's why the iPad was so successful.
What Microsoft should be doing in their ads is focusing on the stuff Surface does better than anything else. Like being able to Skype and websurf at the same time. That's a massive benefit over every other tablet out there. Instead they show people dancing around clicking keyboards to something without anyone being sure what exactly they're trying to sell. And that is why they failed.
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