3994 posts • joined 14 Jun 2007
Re: The mistake Microsoft made was...
"I expect that Win9 will be pretty good though, Microsoft has a distinct pattern with OS releases dating all the way back to windows 3/3.1 which sucked, 3.11 was pretty good. Win95/Win98 sucked, win98se was good. WinME was an abortion, Win2000 was ok but not finished, WinXP good, Vista sucked, Win7 was good, Win8/8.1 sucks, Win9 should be pretty good."
Er, there's no pattern there. Firstly, WinME and Win2K are from parallel forks even in terms of marketing (developers trace the fork back to NT3.1 versus 3.11, but marketeers insist that the first version of NT was 2K). Secondly, if you feel free to combine successive releases (as in 3/3.1 and 95/98) then pretty obviously *any* history which contains good and bad releases is going to be painted as an exact alternation good-bad-good-bad... Thirdly, I find it hard to believe you ever used 3.0 in anger if you can lump it together with 3.1. 3.1 had parameter checking on APIs. 3.1 was rock solid compared to 3.0 (despite being as flaky as hell to any impartial observer). 3.11 was such a minor point release that you're the first person in years I can recall who actually flagged it up as a separate release.
Re: As if this will make people happy!
"an entirely unrelated product"
Entirely unrelated except that both are Microsoft products which had deeply unpopular UI makeovers forced on them by Stevie S and Stevie B. Is it really that unreasonable to expect that Microsoft's UIs might all reflect a common set of UI design principles?
I think it is an entirely reasonable criticism. Microsoft just don't seem to be going *anywhere* with recent UI designs. They seem to be entirely driven by "This is new. Therefore, this is good.". The reality is that when all your third-party apps were written to Win7's UI guidelines (or, heaven forbid, XP's) they are treated as second class citizens under Win8. It's a mess.
Re: The myth that IE is "part of the OS"
"This is not a myth. It is a legally established Fact."
Those aren't mutually exclusive options, you know. I indicated my reasons for believing IE is "just another application". You can check it all out with the SysInternals tools and a copy of the dependency walker from an old SDK. Or you can believe the lawyers. You choose.
Re: Critical Internet Explorer vulnerability ..
"This wouldn't be such a problem except Microsoft embedded Internet Explorer so deeply into the Operating System .."
It is indeed one of the bundled apps (like NOTEPAD) and that app uses a bundled MSHTML control (just as NOTEPAD uses the bundled EDIT control), but all the code runs in user-space and no-one seriously argues that NOTEPAD is "part of the OS".
The myth that IE is "part of the OS" will outlive Windows XP.
Re: Great move, Mozilla
"Dell is going to stop installing Firefox."
If they're smart, Dell will also advise against installing Firefox (suggesting Chrome instead), pointing out that they'd love to support it but Mozilla won't let them.
Installation includes support
Bear in mind also that Dell will have to support PCs that have chosen this setup option and Mozilla issue automatic updates every other week. (I assume Dell are installing Firefox with such updates enabled.) A pointy-haired boss might reckon that was a risk that needed insuring against by taking a fat premium at point-of-sale.
Even Richard Stallman is happy for people to charge for the support associated with free software, and Red Hat's business model is just that. I think Mozilla will find they get nowhere.
Re: Waste of time for anyone but the lawyers
Follow the link to the site. Apparently no documentation is necessary. It looks like you just need a US mailing address and be old enough that you probably bought something that qualifies. (Hence the previous commentards remark that it is free money to anyone who can be bothered.)
In that light, the claim that it is "unlikely" that 5 million claimants will come forward (thereby exceeding the $50m pot for small claims) looks vulnerable.
Re: As we are talking about anecdots...
"She asked some PC support guy to help her. He updated to Windows 8.1 and took some 200 euros for his efforts."
Two hundred euros for a free upgrade that was never likely to address the problem? What a scumbag!
Re: Run. Quickly. Away.
"Win8/8.1 is confused."
Only if you haven't read Microsoft's published statements on the matter. Win8.1 is considered a service pack for Win8 and so support for the latter will evaporate in 2016. From the end-user's perspective, since 8.1 *is* almost indistinguishable from 8.0, there's no reason not to install it (when you next have several gigabytes of download allowance per machine to waste).
"Win9 is rumoured."
2015 is also rumoured, in the sense that it hasn't happened yet but it would be rather surprising if it didn't. (I suppose there's always the possibility of some Ukrainian teenager shooting an Arch-Duke.)
Re: @Matt Bryant -- You've Missed The Point!! -- Stupidononymous How al-Masri ruined YM for us all.
"Let me illustrate with an example I've used many times. Without exception, everyone on the planet has to go to the toilet. Despite this universal and totally accepted lawful practice, the vast majority of people seek to do so in private—and they DO NOT expect others to be spying on them whilst engaged in this activity."
...which makes it very difficult and unreliable to extrapolate from "normal people" to "the sort of people who choose to broadcast it on Yahoo Messenger".
Back to the original article, both GCHQ and Yahoo are all defensive as one would expect, but I'm not hearing much from the people who are casually broadcasting their own porn channel onto the interwebs. Are they actually bothered? If they aren't, should we be?
Oh, and by the way, Matt, whether or not you win this argument, I think you deserve a beer for your retort. Your opponent made up a completely insane straw man scenario to try to make you look ridiculous and you were able to reply with "Well, yes. That actually happened.". Highly enjoyable for the spectators.
Re: Unless you don't live in the US.
"he'd also disclosed how much the US was spying on the rest of the world"
Er, no, he hadn't. The rest of the world already knew that the NSA had a mid-blowing budget, legal powers to secretly compel US companies to provide unlimited access to customer data, *most* of the world's computing power (by any measure) and was tasked with hoovering up as much as they could about the rest of the world. So what kind of idiot would you have to be to have been surprised by the "revelation" that they were doing it.
Sorry, but the only bit that surprised the rest of the world was the bit where apparently the NSA regards their fellow Americans as "the enemy" as well as the rest of the human race.
You must be one of these people who reached adulthood without passing through childhood, or indeed meeting any teenagers who you could observe from a safe distance.
Re: Not sure what to think
El Reg didn't mention it, but the link to the court report says the daughter was "college-aged". I think we're talking about someone who ought to have known better. Had the daughter been much younger, it is possible that the decision might have gone the other way.
Re: call me a cynic
I suspect your $£500,000 figure is high. I also suspect that the $10,000 figure is too low, since it completely ignores the loss of IP involved in publishing the necessary documentation. (As I understand it, this second factor is the official reason that folks like ATI don't just document their hardware and let the experts write the drivers.)
Re: Enterprise Edition features is a capability called side-loading.
Sorry, the next paragraph didn't help either.
It has been possible since the dawn of time to push apps onto a PC that joins a domain. If Win8 is *so* domain-hostile that you need a special licence to do this, then it is a no-brainer that it should never be allowed near a domain. However, I'm pretty sure Win8 can have stuff pushed onto it just like every other version, which brings us back to the question of what side-loading is in this context and why I'd be willing to pay extra for it.
"The Board decides that the company will be a Microsoft house, rather than a LAMP house or a Java-Oracle house. The majority of sysadmins I've met who run their own servers choose UNIX and Linux variants. Maybe it's the cost."
More likely, it is the ability to dive in and fix it when it doesn't work.
"Once that happens, Silicon Valley will never again be the center of the digital world. Wouldn't it be hilarious if it was Russia that did it first?"
Nah. *Hilarious* would be if all the people currently working in Silicon Valley saw which was the wind was blowing and *relocated* to any country willing to guarantee the necessary freedoms. No way would that be Putin's Russia, but other countries exists and over the longer term the US needs to be something other than a "this'll have to do" option.
Re: Why all the fear?
"The storage and processing have grown so cheap that it's possible to snoop on everyone. So they do."
Which is another aspect of what Bruce said about needing 10 records in a database of 10,000. Not only is it possible to snoop on everyone, it is actually easier to snoop on everyone and figure out later who you actually wanted to be snooping on.
Re: Only during the day
True, but the material presence of the tree (compared to the seed that it started from) *is* the extent to which the daytime activities have exceeded the night-time ones.
Re: Time out a second here, Skippy
Logically, the fact that he made this statement, despite it being patently untrue, means the one thing that any intelligent observer now knows is that the scheme's backers feel the need to spout outrageous lies to keep their ship afloat. It's that bad.
Obvious troll is obvious
"“The world has a big issue around vectorisation and parallelisation of code,” Graylish said. “99% of code isn't written that way.” Graylish also feels “defining a workload that can run in 1000 cores is hard.”"
A 1000-core chip is 1.5 orders of magnitude more than anything actually on sale to mainstream customers. The fact that software doesn't currently target such a beast tells you nothing about what programmers might do if they could lay their hands on one. Right now, programmers know that dividing their logic into several hundred separate strands will provide zero benefit, possibly less. It would be rather odd if anything actually did it.
Meanwhile, in the rather small but costly world of Google, Amazon and the like, we *do* find embarrassingly parallel workloads looking for hardware that maximises performance per watt.
Nice troll. By quoting the entire second half of the abstract, starting with "however", you provoked me into reading the first half, which is the principal finding and supportive of Lewis' take.
That said, the "meh" interpretation of a later commentard is probably where I'd stick my flag.
Re: Well, perhaps not all the tactics.
Yes, they'll try, and you'll be laughing out of the other side of your face when they succeed.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Huawei cites the same source, but "hua"definitely isn't pronounced as "wa" in standard Chinese. (Why would you invent a transliteration scheme that rendered the same consonant in two different ways?) So is this some southern dialect (Huawei being just north of Hong Kong) or did the video get it wrong?
Re: Missing the point?
"The whole point of insurance is is to spread the risk across as wide a population as possible."
1) If you apply for insurance you have to declare your medical history anyway and if you miss anything out then it may invalidate the policy (years later, after you've paid all the premiums, and now actually need a payout).
2) The point of the NHS is to make medical insurance unnecessary, by providing medical care according to need, free at the point of delivery. If that's not working for you, you don't need to worry about the health insurance business, you need to worry about the NHS.
Re: Who is Wun and how do I reach him?
Er, I think you mean "in this case, the compiler". If the unreachability requires knowledge from outside the function (so the optimising compiler can see it in a particular case, but the programmer cannot assume that for the general case) then the code should not be flagged.
Virtualisation within virtualisation?
"Containerisation is, if you will, almost like virtualisation within virtualisation."
It's also almost like an OS that works, keeping processes (and data) apart when the owner of the machine doesn't want them to trample on each other. I think the idea was invented in the fifties and the only reason anyone can still sell it as "the next great thing" is because consumers have had such utter crap foisted on them in recent decades, so hardly anyone under the age of 50 can remember using a computer system that lets *you* control who sees and uses your data (and hardware, for that matter).
(Icon: "crusty old fart" rather than "Windows user", although I'd be the first to point out that Mr Cutler's fine offering is an example of an OS that worked that has, over the years, been dumbed down in the name of usability to the point where it no longer does the one job that would be useful.)
Interesting. That would presumably count as prior art.
Nit-pick: I wish the article had mentioned the physical size of a link and the achievable data rate.
Fortunately, both numbers appear to be on the linked website: 15 microns and 10Gb/s.
(Aside: The idea looks like it solves a long-standing problem of real commercial value using only technologies that could have been deployed years ago had anyone thought of using them in that way. It is therefore exactly what the patent system ought to be protecting: provably non-obvious inventions).
Re: Citizen access and future compatibility
You forgot the free Windows licence, so that I could run that free version of Office in a suitable VM.
It's not DOCX we're worried about
"According to Microsoft's own documentation, many Word features are still listed as "partially supported" or "not supported" when saving to ODF."
How can this be, if both ends of the conversion are truly open standards. Surely all that is required is an XSLT? (Ducks and runs...)
More seriously, so what? If you read the small print on Microsoft's "Office 2007 compatibility pack" then you'll discover that some DOC, XLS and PPT features are not supported when saving to DOCX, XLSX or PPTX either. The ironic links in this article notwithstanding, my experience is *still* that more people use the older DOC, XLS and PPT formats than the new ones when they publish stuff, so the DOC->ODT conversion is the one that matters, not the DOCX->ODT conversion.
Re: You gotta be kidding
"Intelligent and well-meaning skeptics may offer alternative explanations for the inarguable rise in temperatures over the past 100+ years – such as solar and other effects, or random variations – but you can't refute the calculable effects of radiative forcing."
Can't speak for the OP, but I can certainly argue that the effects of radiative forcing are not calculable. The world is complicated and we know of several additional factors that will modify or even reverse the effects of radiative forcing.
Is it still true that we can't predict the last hundred years of the world's climate? It's certainly still true that you need to be able to do that before you ask the entire human race to restructure their economy and way of life.
Re: Prior art easier than you thought
"HOW THE FLYING F**k IS A BOOK PRIOR ART!!"
If it isn't prior art, it certainly drives a coach and horses through "non-obvious". Historically, a published description of an idea has always been something that would invalidate a patent. Even today, I think most lawyers would advise you to file the patent application *before* submitting that paper to Nature.
Re: The O/S services still have to be available to the applicatoins
"Modern VMs are largely a solution to problems originating from the Windows DLL Hell era, and that has been a substantially solved problem for a decade or more."
Doesn't look solved to me, but perhaps I have a different take on the first half of your sentence. Modern VMs are the solution to Windows being too willing to let independent processes party on each other (and on the OS). Mainframes had VM and UNIX had chroot long before Windows had a hypervisor. These solve the isolation problem *within* the OS, but since Windows is closed and Microsoft are apparently unwilling to introduce similar facilities, the only way to solve the problem was to emulate entire machines and stick a separate copy of Windows in each one.
Since we still have Windows, I can't see that the problem is "substantially solved", unless you are being particularly cutting about the inability of Microsoft to produce a popular successor to XP and their consequently dismal long term prospects in the OS market.
We were busy building Jericho, as I recall.
"Oh, I don't know. I think that Pythagoras' theorem is self-evident from this diagram"
Well it looks plausible for the values of a, b and c used in the diagram, but I'd need to print it out and measure it up with a ruler to make sure the artist hadn't cheated.
Re: Good Grief
And yet it is still smaller than a clean installation of Windows.
Re: the UK has no protected free speech
Article 10 is a right to free speech. Section 3 protects it.
"Uhh, is it just me, or [...] she explicitly does not seem to be saying that she wants Europe to build a network that's air-gapped from the rest of the world."
I read it as "As long as we're using US services at the other end of the wire, we are routed through the NSA. The solution is to get our our arses and create some European service providers who would be based in Europe (so no traffic passing over foreign wires) and subject to EU law (so it would be GCHQ doing the snooping, which is presumably OK)".
Possibly still a flawed plan, but not entirely ridiculous. It certainly *is* ridiculous to expect privacy if you are talking to someone based abroad who is obliged by their local law to spill the beans on your conversation. Apparently the EU leaders have finally woken up to this.
Re: 5 year-old version of Windows
I imagine it is because the figures come from a survey, and therefore reflect what the conservative admins are actually running, rather than what the marketing flyboys at Microsoft would like them to run.
But I don't know. (And I'm not the down-voter. It seems a reasonable question to me.)
Also worth pointing out that if you select random members of the general public and say "Samsung" and "patent", then 100% will reply "Apple" and 0.43% will reply "Dyson".
If Samsung were truly worried about lawsuits that damaged their image, they'd sue Apple. In reality, they're just picking on someone who (they hope) isn't big enough to fight back. Quite how they think *that* won't damage their image is anyone's guess.
Re: New Barbarian Manifesto
"the government can create money whenever it feels like it (quantitative easing, anyone?)."
Depends what you mean by "money". If you're referring to the folding paper that has no value unless someone agrees to accept it for goods or services, then yeah, the government can print as much of that as it likes. Have a look at Robert Mugabe's patch for a view of how that one goes in the end.
If, however, you are using the term in the more generic sense of "wealth" or "buying power", then the government can't print a single penny. All it can do is issue more notes to cover the country's existing wealth. Implicitly, this merely transfers wealth from the bank accounts of anyone with savings (or a pension) into the hands of whoever is lucky enough to receive the new notes (usually some friend of the politician printing the cash).
"Quantitive Easing" is "Steal a little from everyone, and hope no-one notices". After you've totally broken the economy by bailing out reckless idiots who bet everything and lost, stealing the savings of those who were too smart or too poor to gamble in the first place may be the only strategy open to you, but it doesn't "create" anything.
See Mycho's comment, a little below, but also...
In his case, the guilt is pretty clear, but in would-be-capital cases in general the evidence is more ambiguous. By never executing anyone, society avoids the impossible problem of where to draw the line. Given the small number of cases, rather than have a hugely complicated decision-making process, it is probably cheaper just to give up and always just imprison for life. (I believe that's what they've found in the US, which is hardly "a soft touch" in these matters, but has enough of a legal system that the cost of repeated appeals on a capital sentence exceeds the cost of imprisonment.)
So it's cheaper AND the bad guys don't like it.
Re: Just off hand
You seem to be channeling amanfrommars.
"Fubar the Hack"
You write that as though you were signing the comment, but you posted as Anonymous Coward. Are you messing with my head?
"much more complex parsing"
"He quickly pointed out that he wasn't talking only about Google's head-mounted device, but of voice queries in general, as well as those based upon what cameras see or sensors detect. All will require much more complex parsing than is now needed by mere typed commands and queries, and as more and more users join the online world, the problems of scaling up such services will grow by leaps and bounds."
Nit-picking, perhaps, but *those* problems can be solved in an embarrassingly parallel fashion before the query reaches the core of the data centre.
Re: Why are we paying for this?
"Where are the vendors supporting 13 year old Linux distros?"
Why is that relevant?
The problem with XP is that you had to pay to get Vista or 7 and the monolithic nature of the MS offering meant that if those OSes turned out to be incompatible in some small way then the entire migration was blocked. Therefore, migration away from XP couldn't happen, and only got harder (technically) and more expensive (for the upgrade licences) as the years went by.
With an open source product, you can upgrade the bits that you need to upgrade and maintain the bits that you don't. And the only cost is the labour cost of ensuring that stuff works, not a licence fee for each desktop.
This is almost certainly true. Microsoft will develop all the patches anyway (because XP embedded and Server 2003 are both still in support) and merely have to make them available. Whatever they charge is pure profit.
But like the other million guys said, this situation isn't exactly a surprise and someone in the NHS has either failed to make the cash available or failed to spend it on avoiding this problem. My guess is that the people responsible will stay in their do-nothing jobs for a few more years, pick up some gongs and then retire on a final salary pension.
Re: An Alternative Possibility
"The problem is infections can come in on the internet connection even if nobody is using it."
That hasn't been true for many years. The Black Hat conference actually gave up on their "Can you hack the bare OS?" contest around the middle of the last decade because none of the major OSes were vulnerable out of the box. You had to be running a bad app (usually from Adobe) or persuade the end-user to do something
Not really, since the new "Start Screen" has decided that the whole "structured menu hierarchy" thing was a communist plot to help us find our apps and consequently if you have more than half a dozen things installed then the only practical way to find them is to drop the mouse and start typing their names.
Oi, Microsoft, if I wanted a command line interface I'd be running Linux. Oh, hang on...
Re: sudo apt-get update every six months
You do know you can automate that, don't you?
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