* Posts by JLV

420 posts • joined 4 Mar 2013

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Google turns creepy, predictive search tech up to 11 in Chrome OS beta

JLV
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Hey Google

(re screenshot)

how about your "uber-cool interactive financial charts" leaving 2005 behind and not requiring Flash to work anymore?

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Hotel Wi-Fi not only hideously expensive – it's horribly insecure

JLV
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>hiding in a cave

I suspect the existence of an unsecured rsync is news, yes...

If only due to level of stupidity it shows from the vendor.

And, I agree with another poster, hotels cater to other folks than just infosec geniuses like yourself. Their responsibility to their guests include having a reasonably secure environment.

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Google throws a 180 on its plans for Dart language

JLV
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Happy

emscripten

I was nosing around online to see if there was a port of dot/Graphviz to render svg, or at least test dot, online. Turns out there had been such a discussion, someone wanted to port it to js. But someone else just chucked emscripten at its codebase and, presto, online graphviz. Impressive.

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Tennessee sues FCC: Giving cities free rein to provide their own broadband is 'unlawful'

JLV
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Re: Good times, good times, they are a-coming.

>if the Chattanooga voters want the city to run an ISP it should be up to them

Totally agree. This whole make it illegal biz is about as justified as the Federal government being lobbied into not using its purchasing power to negotiate discounts on prescription drugs. I.e. any politician involved with passing/upholding this law should be strung up to lampposts by their testicles. Local cable monopolies by large corporations have not served voters well. Entrenching them in law is a cynical sham.

However, that's not to say there are no risks with municipal governments stepping in. Harrisburg is near/at bankruptcy on a municipal incinerator mess. More local to me, the city of Nanaimo, a rather sleepy little fishing town on Vancouver Island launched a massive convention center. Ernst & Young had advised them to take up the opportunity in hosting conventions due to lack of capacity. Trouble is, E&Y's convention planning business unit was peddling that same advice snake oil all over North America. By the time it was near done, the developers for the matching downtown business hotel saw the writing on the wall - there was no shortage of capacity anymore. They pulled out of the hotel and now Nanaimo has a massive white elephant with insufficient lodging.

By all means, let municipalities step in if there is a market failure. There is nothing wrong with competing with the private sector in that case. Indeed, one law I would pass is one forbidding predatory local discounts by Comcast & all after the fact.

But there is a risk involved, both due to insufficient local expertise or to bad advice by specialized consultants fleecers. Me? I smell a golden opportunity for an Acc*nture Municipal ISP Business Unit ;-) to proffer "advice" for example.

What I truly would like to see is effective planning and implementation support for municipalities taking this route - disseminate best practices, at low cost. Cheap broadband can boost an economy and improve living conditions, so a bit of enlightened philanthropy to help along, a la Gates Foundation would be great. Enough local successes should force cable companies to review their strategies.

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JLV
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Happy

Good times, good times, they are a-coming.

For lobbyists, that is.

Having said that, one thing I would be very concerned with is a local government trying to launch some fancy ISP service, not having a clue and falling flat on its backside at taxpayers' expense.

Not like IT cluster@*&! don't happen at higher levels of government, like state or federal.

But the level of exposure per person can be pretty high if big losses are spread out on a narrow municipal base.

I am pretty sure the answer to that is not a blanket legal prohibition however. Much as it may suit AT&T and sundry.

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Bloodborne: An immersively thick cut above its gaming rivals

JLV
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Happy

There's a lot of chatter about it coming to PCs. Will probably get it and use my PS3 controller if it does.

But if anything it seems even more harcore than the Souls. No shields or magic? - that's gonna be one tough puppy.

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Dear departed Internet Explorer, how I will miss you ... NOT

JLV
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Headmaster

>UNinterested, NOT DISinterested

Errr... both meanings exist.

And I would pick 'unbiased' for neutrality myself, in a professional text. Not because you're wrong about that, no. But because readers may not be aware of that use, I wasn't.

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/disinterested

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My self-driving cars may lead to human driver ban, says Tesla's Musk

JLV
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Re: >Paul, unless you are a qualified airline pilo

Oh, don't be so condescending, please.

You are right, you need to be very good in a field to understand the fine details & implications of technical issues. However, the general idea, as analyzed by experts, is usually good enough to form an opinion which isn't totally unreasonable. Managers have to do this all the time with techies and some of them are actually good at it (many are not, so your point remains valid as well).

Far as I understand, AF447 had the following problems: sensor failure, pilots unaware of that particular possibility and not trained to compensate for it in a context of limited situational awareness with conflicting sensor readings. Both aspects probably needed addressing. Is that a totally unwarranted conclusion?

Now, I happen to agree with the OP's contention. If the AI knows that it is entering failure mode and throws it back to you well in advance, then OK, by all means the driver can be tapped. She can either park the car by the side of the road & call a taxi. Or she can drive it home. Let's say something like "conditions are too cluttered with pedestrians, can't resolve" in an after-match situation where pedestrians are streaming out of a stadium.

If on the other hand the AI has a split second indication of failure, as in "oh crap, there's no way I am dodging that pedestrian who leaped off the sidewalk", then, no, the OP is correct and there is no benefit to fall back to the driver. She won't have time. (Doesn't mean she shouldn't be allowed to drive the car the rest of time).

But in a car, he's correct that you can't shunt off out-of-envelope conditions to the driver passenger at the last split second, the AI would have to know it's out of its depth and request manual control well in advance.

Commercial pilots may have to take over from autopilot in a split second, but they are already well in the loop when entering critical phases such as takeoff and landing. If it is an unexpected emergency then they are usually at high enough altitude that they have some time to react. I agree with you, he's wrong about his AF447 conclusions, the pilots are the safety fallback, and an isolated disaster does not invalidate the pilots' role. But he's right that civilian drivers shouldn't be put in the same position of critical fallback at short notice, both by timing and by their training.

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JLV
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Re: autonomous driving license

>Why would I need a licence

Also, would you need to be sober?

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JLV
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Tech, yes. Legal, ?

Each year our roads see more deaths than in many wars. 1969 in the US? 53,343 says Wikipedia. I.e. more than the entire Vietnam war. They are dropping though - 33561 in 2012.

I agree, not good. But our countries have complex legal frameworks to manage it.

"Normal" traffic deaths are insurance concerns, with mostly predetermined, capped, damages. Consumers are on the hook to pay the premiums. And there is even an accepted way to calculate third party liability and insurance coverage for it.

Special cases, such as drunken or reckless driving can result in fines and jail sentences for the drivers.

Design & manufacturing defects end up with the car manufacturers in the dock. Recalls can be extremely expensive and punitive damages huge. And it can go verrrrry wrong. For example, the Prius's accelerator issue - $1.2B for 37 deaths.

Musk, who is an extremely clever guy, is probably right that we are only a few decades away from safer driving from robots, in aggregate. Will we modify our legal framework to award the same type of damages for wrongful death due to faulty driving, but this time against a rich multinational? I pay about $1400CAD/year to cover my car, BC is costly. If Tesla is driving my car, does that mean they need to put aside money against the risk of my car getting into an accident due to their AI?

i.e. if the car I am driving swipes a little granny riding her bicycle into the ditch and kills her, I could be in big trouble, but I will likely not be paying out millions of dollars. There is a, costly but mandatory, economic mechanism for me to cover most of my remaining risk. If the 50x safer Tesla autopilot does it, what's Tesla's exposure? And where will that money come from? Maybe it should be my insurance, but does that mean politicians will leave the carmaker off the hook and cap damages, because its an AI driver issue rather than any other part of the car? Don't think so.

We do have precedents for this, btw. Air travel has caps on awards against airline companies and I think even aircraft manufacturer caused crashes have not resulted in ultra-massive payouts. The general model is - pay some damages, spend a lot of effort identifying the cause, fix the issue. It works well, air travel is very safe. But it is an optimistic carmaker that thinks they're automatically gonna hop onto that wagon from their current legal exposure.

I suspect maybe it'll start with less litigious locations than North America. Or with long-haul trucks in segregated lanes.

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JLV
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I heard that already

I strip away the old debris

That hides a shining car

A brilliant red Barchetta

From a better vanished time

I fire up the willing engine

Responding with a roar

Tires spitting gravel

I commit my weekly crime

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Wanna stream live TV to your Playstation? Get a Vue of Sony's new stuff

JLV
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Meh

And I thought cable was expensive.

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Google adds evil-code scanning to Play Store

JLV
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Re: Huh?

> How, precisely, is Google scanning the Play Store going to affect the third party marketplaces?

Good point, but if you'll pardon me, an equally interesting question is:

How, precisely, is the fact that the third party marketplaces aren't scanning gonna affect Google Play's sales volume?

Seriously, why should Google care overmuch?

Can't say I am over-impressed with Google if I accept the main contention of this article, that being that they haven't been doing their homework very much on their own store.

Still, color me paranoid, but my Nexus was not rooted and it's only been getting the few apps that I do install from the Play Store. Precisely because my trust is fairly limited. I mean, even if you keep it to just your emails and contacts, that's a fair bit of sensitive stuff, innit?

It should be pretty obvious that installing random software from random sources can occasionally have random results. Anti-virus and malware scanners? Hah! How much have they actually helped in the wild? Take all the AV vendors for Macs - they get few native viruses to play with, but that's no guarantee that they will catch them if they do show up - quite the opposite in fact. They can just slap a "you're protected" message on your screen and collect your $. Remember the guy who had a fake AV on Android a while back?

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Honey, I shrunk the Windows footprint

JLV
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Re: Don't stop there

>My Win 10 PC boots from cold to login in something near 30 seconds.

OK, but you've presumably only had that PC for a few months under Win 10. Unless I missed something major with Windows 8 or 10's technology, with real world use, how do you expect that to evolve as time passes?

Pristine Windows machines boot quickly. After a few years, not so much - I've often found a reformat and fresh install to do wonders. Another reason for getting a reliable, reinstall-from-scratch-capable Windows license from MS. After all, you've paid for it at this point.

Hopefully, with 10, MS is going to be more aggressive in gaining our trust back, will remember the Lenovo mess and realize that one way to recover that trust is to not let the manufacturer hijack the OS and essential features of it such as re-installations and recoveries.

Personally, I am all for their looking into making their OS lean and mean. If squeezing into tablets are the way to enlightenment, great. All the same, I remember that every Windows release since XP has come with numerous "best ever" promises during the tech preview phases. Promises that have often failed to materialize.

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Apple Watch: Wait a minute! This puny wrist-puter costs 17 GRAND?!

JLV
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Re: cheapo's cable TV?

My understanding is that you get access to the entire HBO content library. So just wait till S5 is done broadcasting, which is why I put this in June rather than April. Not quite same as a Netflix bulk dump from day 1, but close enough. Otherwise you could bug their faithful subscribers with your spoilers :)

Oh, and reality has since bit me on the butt too - not available in Canada, only US. I knew it sounded too good to be true. One hopes we'll eventually follow suit (but not holding my breath yet).

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JLV
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Happy

cheapo's cable TV?

June 2015, sign up 1 month HBO

Watch all GoT Season 5 & sundry others

July - back to Netflix only till next year

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Musk: 'Tesla's electric Model S cars will be less crap soon. I PROMISE'

JLV
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Re: Easy to do

Reasonable assumption.

Maybe you could also tweak the car to go into 'economy mode' (while giving the driver the option to override) in order to ensure safe arrival at the recharging station. Things like powering down anything not strictly necessary, limiting top speed to a maximum efficiency speed envelope.

Bit like my phone does, though I figure there are less non-essential options to optimize significantly, asides from the speed. i.e. the bulk of the work is moving the car forward which is kinda the point.

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Linux kernel devs adopt Bill and Ted's excellent code of conduct

JLV
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Linux

:-)

takes a big man to recognize something can be improved about oneself and be public about it.

keep the uncompromising technical excellence. lose some of the rudeness. but keep enough to politely tell someone to take a long walk off a short pier when warranted.

p.s. naming one of my favorite programs, git, after his own foibles shows he already has a good sense of humor & perspective.

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Bite my shiny metal Ask: Java for OS X crapware storm brewing

JLV
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well, my Brother laserprinter's wifi setup is through... drumroll, a Java applet (good printer otherwise).

once installed, it seems as if Java 7 on OSX has no system-wide uninstaller (though there is a Java applet-disabling setting).

next time, I'll VM a Java for the duration instead but I didn't know you couldn't uninstall Java.

and, for the record, before that printer, I had pretty much happily avoided any Java, applet, JRE or JDK on my Mac. the lack of an uninstall mechanism is hardly going to make me revise my opinion that Java is best avoided entirely if one can get away with it.

as far as ask.com goes, I really wonder what a gazillion $ company like Oracle is doing with this on a Java install. not, quite, as dumb as Lenovo, but how much $ are they getting for how much bad press? they should not renew whatever arrangement they have and come clean on when their ask.com shenanigans will go away.

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VMware sued, accused of ripping off Linux kernel source code

JLV
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>VMWare (by the entire case's main objective) isn't redistributing source

This makes no sense whatsoever. Read your own statement and think about it.

Are you saying that one can legally loophole around the GPL by not distributing source code, while one of the key intents of the GPL is to force distribution, rather than dissimulation, of that very source code? Indeed if VMWare is actually re-using GPLed code, by distributing their source code then they would not be in breach.

Whether one likes the GPL or not, one can't fail to be unimpressed by what's sitting between your two ears.

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Have it all: BlackBerry to port crown jewels to iPhone, Android

JLV
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blue sky-ing a bit...

Totally speaking out of my nether orifice but wouldn't a real Exchange contender be something useful here? I mean, Exchange seems to be one of the primary reasons folks put forward to justify keeping Windows, BB has the name recognition to be an instant contender, they know how to integrate with it, know a hell of a lot about what it needs to do and it would segue very well with the rest of this type of strategy.

"BBX" on Windows, Linux and OSX, anyone?

Caveats: I may be misreading this entirely and I know BB has very little money to spare.

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NO ONE is making money from YouTube, even Google – report

JLV
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slightly specious

The article is a bit selective with its facts though it's nice to see some overall numbers. Some people do make money off YouTube. Maybe not musicians so much - and Google deserves all the bad press they can get for screwing indies - but it's a valid communication channel and it is the video channel.

I suspect the main value of YouTube for Google is defensive in nature and in hindsight $1.6B was cheap enough (<1/4 of a Zynga, for example).

YouTube could have have served as a major boost to any of the other big players (FB, Y!, MS) had they bought it and could have served as a useful beachhead to build up some much needed internet content cred for MS or Yahoo.

Here, it doesn't get them much, but it's a top brand, safely on their side and might even make moolah in the future, as delivery costs go down.

That all said, been struggling to explain to my 11 year old that no, being a "YouTuber" is unlikely to lead to riches - the 21st century equivalent of the country girl getting off the Greyhound in Hollywood.

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Euro broadcast industry still in a fug over that 4K-ing UHD telly

JLV
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I don't disagree with the content being largely crap. But there is so much content that, if I were to watch all of the 1%, I wouldn't have much of a life left.

So, for practical purposes there is enough quality TV for me. Just starting on Breaking Bad - 55 episodes to go?, GoT season 4, House of Cards 3 coming up, at least 3-4 BBC series worth considering. More choices than time. Those may not be your shows, no, but most people with some form of good taste need not watch Idol, Kardashians or Glee.

Can't say I care overmuch about UHD, but I'd rather watch a good show in 1080p than 720, if available on both. When UHD 50"s are <$1300 and there is abundant content I'll see if I want to upgrade.

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Wake up! BlackBerry QUIETLY updates BB10

JLV
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Re: Any updates on this?

My Z10 has the issue, just tested. You can use the preview play button in the alarm to check.

Turns out it's the 'Sunrise' alarm tone that is most affected. You can pick another tone and volume is ok, but sunrise is unfortunately the default and I didn't see how to set another as default.

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Lenovo to customers: We only just found out about this Superfish vuln – remove it NOW

JLV
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which begs the question of who else is on Superfish's payroll. Is it just Lenovo? I mean, it would hardly be a good business model for Superfish if they were entirely dependent on Lenovo.

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JLV
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Re: Orange Alert!

Upvoted you, but you got that slightly wrong. The PR dudette is gonna be very very busy repairing the mess. Not the time to fire her while there is such a big mess that she had nothing to do with.

The threat is probably to whatever C-level idiot gave the green flag to essentially hacking users' net connections in order to serve up ads. Which is reprehensible enough on its own. And incidentally doing so in a high insecure fashion.

Not sure whose department this fiasco would be initiated under. I guess whatever department is traditionally tasked with inflicting bloatware onto customers. This is going to be an expensive mistake for likely little gain.

MS should take note as well. This is not their fault, true, but they also provide no means for users to do a clean-slate, non-manufacturer bloat, install of Windows. By that I mean provide essentially the same disks/downloads as if you walked into a store and bought Windows off the shelf. Not their fault, but it leaves you with the same question: can you trust your brand-new PC? No, not entirely.

We should get a valid, go-to-MS-when-needed, OEM license for Windows, not just some bloated manufacturer install. I for one have no idea what happens if I re-format my Asus laptop. I assume I can re-install Windows somehow from their recovery partition, but I won't know that unless I try it. I know how to rebuild with a Windows install disk and I would much prefer to be in that position with my Asus.

So people rightly worried at this could either pay the Windows tax twice to get a clean disk, buy a Mac or use Linux. Letting aside that Apple may or may not do this Lenovo-style crap, which I doubt, but at least you can get clean-install-capable OS images from them.

Lenovo really sh*t in their own nest, as well as the PC ecosystem in general on this one.

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Lenovo shipped lappies with man-in-the-middle ad/mal/bloatware

JLV
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Facepalm

Forget ethics. how about not being stupid?

Benefit analysis?

How much $ did Lenovo stand to make from fiddling with ads? $1m, $10m per quarter? How much per machine? $10? $100? Too much profits would actually make it too visible - "Lenovo Advertising division, 100M revenue contribution, whazza about?"

Risk?

This is a company that sells $10b per quarter, with 13-14% gross profit. How much is a Sony rootkit-style debacle, except worse, gonna cost them in lost sales? For how long? Lawsuit costs? Added cost of PR and marketing to fix reputation?

You would expect financial common sense to keep people from doing stuff like this.

Whoever authorized this should barely be trusted, professionally, to flip burgers at low-end Mc Donald imitators from now on. They're just dangerous to your profits.

And their ethics suck too.

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SAP's 10-year HANA gamble: A life without the big boys

JLV
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Happy

eh, eh

But think of the lock-in opportunities.

- reporting? None of that 3rd party crap, SAP-stuff or nothing.

- db-level integration with external apps? if we feel like it.

- migrate off SAP? No pesky regular ETLs to help there.

- database revenues? All for SAP, all for SAP ;-)

Granted, this is a big gamble for SAP, but it looks even more so for its users.

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French minister: Hit Netflix, Google, Apple et al with bandwidth tax

JLV
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Plus ca change...

Now, I don't mind Netflix, or other corps, paying corporate profit tax at location of sales.

The rest of this is daft. For starters, France has never met a tax it didn't like.

And mostly, you can't top-down and command-economy culture. Granted a lot of Hollywood blockbusterness is crap, but... people like it and should be free to watch it. And there are tons of clever, low key productions coming out of US studios and elsewhere, France's output is by no means exceptional.

France's problem is too much intellectual elitism in its elite, not understanding that French is a barrier and addressing that, and having a Ministre de la Culture in the first place. Individual French filmmakers do just fine when they aim to please the public, not the intelligentsia.

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Mozilla's Flash-killer 'Shumway' appears in Firefox nightlies

JLV
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Thumb Up

>Scylla and Charybdis

Can I upvote you twice for inserting a lot of common sense?

The problem is basically running code on your machine that comes from potentially untrusted sources anywhere. Moving to a different language will not change that. For all JS's supposed security failings, it shines brightly when compared to Java applets, Flash, ActiveX, etc... Think especially about Java in this context - this is a language that used to be marketed as security-first ;-)

Keep Javascript where it belongs - heavily sandboxed and untrusted.

Much as I like Python, and that is a lot, the very last thing I want executing in my browser is a language that is so OS-savvy that I am only now getting around to learning bash because Python covered most of my system needs on Windows.

Plus, I suspect a good deal of the Javascript doubters are in the compile vs dynamic camp. Would a true compile language work on browsers? Would it be desirable, again for security reasons? I agree there are a bunch of design fails in JS. Still it is not without elegance and not a bad result for something that was designed in a few weeks/months by one guy mostly. Use something like jquery or d3 and you can see that whatever the language's shortcomings, clever programmers (not claiming me) did really spiffy things with it. It's just hard to use it well and it suffers from a partial demographic of incompetent coders, unlike say C++.

Me? I'd wish for a Javascript 2.0 with the nastiest gotchas removed, proper modules natively, and a much lesser tendency for silent errors. But we all know that backward compatibility will preclude too much cleanup. Python 3x is still lagging 2x and that is both with a quite limited set of breaking changes and a focus on running code locally.

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IBM says dating apps can give you a nasty infection DOWN THERE!

JLV
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Trollface

Re: running sex scheduling software

Very busy. Let's do a short stand-up instead.

Duration: 3 minutes

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RIP Windows RT: Microsoft murders ARM Surface, Nokia tablets

JLV
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Re: hmm

$220K? Anyone know how that's evolved since BlackBerry took them on? I've always had a soft spot for QNX and I rather like my "new" Z10 so it'd be disheartening to see it become irrelevant due to irrational costing.

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JLV
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Re: hmm

>Only if you think that Windows only comes in two flavours

Upvoted you for the comprehensive details. But the OP still has a point. MS has a fairly long history of testing the waters but not staying the course, especially in the early stages. I would most definitely consider it a risk, when considering a strategic commitment on their non-core stuff - including software.

And your quote of a 10 year period wrt to pro markets cuts both ways. Those companies need long term stability and commitment from their vendor and that's even more scary than a 2-3 year window.

Their core stuff? It will be around forever but only if you picked right the right branch to sit on. Best way to gauge is probably to look at their divisional revenues.

I suspect this experimentation is driven by MS trying hard to diversify income outside of Win, Office & servers. That's laudable and so is cutting off dead branches, both technical and financial. But frequent unpredictable backtracking risks getting a predictability all of its own.

So maybe they need to pick their fights much more carefully, execute much better and bite the bullet on staying the course once they've committed. Trite, I know.

In a way, I wonder if open sourcing (under MIT, no less) the .Net stuff isn't at least partially motivated as an antidote of sorts to these concerns.

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Microsoft eyes slice of Raspberry Pi with free Windows 10 sprinkled on top

JLV
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Re: With Microsoft nothing is free

Agree. I'd have a problem selling myself the idea of using non-core MS offerings in a business critical fashion ;-)

Continuity is not their strong point. Silverlight anyone? WinPhone 7? I'd forgotten, mostly, about your examples, but they are very valid. WinRT's future?

In the context of Raspberry Pi 2 experimentation your warnings may or may not signal a big risk. Possibly there will be no Windows 11 port. What about security patches for their donation-ware?

In a larger context, evolution is driven by diversity and winners and losers. Not just settling on one winner's family tree. I am not advocating that you, or I, need to cuddle of to MS overmuch. However others should be free to do so.

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JLV
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Happy

Re: With Microsoft nothing is free

First, thanks for not downvoting me in the context of an OS discussion ;-) I know of Theo and systemd but not enough to argue either way. Let me make my point differently.

Longtime Windows dev, who worked at least 70% of my non-editor time on the command line. Always well aware cmd.exe was a joke as a shell.

Bash is awesome now that I am not on Windows. Noob, for sure, but starting to write functions and slowly getting the hang of the tools like cut, awk, etc... I really like the idea of small-ish programs passing each other data through text pipes. Text files, not binary configuration. The unix way.

While I love Bash, I find the concept of Powershell interesting. Passing data through objects rather than parsing text? Not that I like Powershell, the few times I used it I found it somewhat convoluted and the signing bit seems excessive on your own machine and directories. But some posters here who seem to know way more about Bash than I do have at least some good things to say about Powershell.

Maybe a future approach to shells could learn a thing or two from BASH and Powershell?

My point? Lots of 'nix's philosophy is battle-tested, simple, clever. But it also dates back to the 70s. Innovation happens best when many different ideas compete and when there is more than one paradigm. Having more desktop OS philosophies than just the descendents of the Bell Labs' OS is beneficial to computer technology. Even if I prefer 'nix.

As MS is no longer quite the dominant monopolist, I figure its continued relevance is more beneficial than its demise.

That's why people who want to eradicate Windows as a choice for others, regardless of what MS is doing, irk me. People who poke fun at MS technical shortcomings and criticize its behavior are fine. Hey, I do it all time.

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JLV
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Boffin

Re: With Microsoft nothing is free

Hey, it's all about choice.

You choose to see the glass empty.

Others, who like MS, and I do not count myself overmuch in that camp, will see it as full.

I think it's a clever move. Exposure, goodwill, very limited lost revenue. Bit of embedded cred, potentially? I think a more competent, non-dominant, Windows, give us all more choices by existing. Rather than having a Linux and BSD, which I prefer, monoculture.

I suspect nothing MS would ever do would be good to you. Which is A-OK. Choice, you know.

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Adobe and software pals haul Forever 21 to court over piracy allegations

JLV
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OMG, am I gonna support Adobe???

I've been a dev in a shop that used pirated tools. 1 disk and 1 manual for 20 devs. no training. A 'do not use illegal software' sign on the PHB's door. A polite "we'll think about it" every time we asked to fix this.

The cherry on top was a support call we made, without asking the boss, to figure out why the API wasn't working.

Support - "That license # you gave us, that's for an evaluation copy. Who did you say you were?"

Willfull piracy by someone who could afford being honest? Yeah, they can medieval Forever21 if that's the case.

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Hey, America. Canada's watchdog just slapped net neutrality rules on wireless internet

JLV
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Re: 5 Hours of North American TV

Upvotted, but to be fair, there are some good shows.

Made in Canada was wickedly funny, the few times I saw it. Unfortunately it seems to have been swallowed up in a black hole ($298.00 will suck season #1's DVD back out @ amazon.ca).

Trailer Park Boys. I was sitting in a pub wondering what the world was coming to on the first episode because it took me a while to clue in it was a reality tv spoof. High brow? No, by no means, no. But fun. An acquired taste.

Don't forget where SCTV came from.

Archer, Arrested Development, Game of Thrones, Deadwood, Rome are from North America. Yeah, yeah, GoT is filmed over by y'all, but still...

That all said, one of the best thing with being on Canadian Netflix as opposed to the US version is their much greater selection of BBC and European series. The bulk of US network production is either slop to begin with or just gradually runs out of steam after too many episodes and seasons.

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JLV
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this just in...

Squadrons of high-flying pigs spotted in Ottawa. CRTC finally does something useful, as opposed to their usual pointless niggling about Canadian Content and French language regulations.

How is it that TV data, going through the same networks and to the same handsets can be economically provided for fairly low rates? Telus for example. While data automatically goes into a gougeatron mode because it is supposedly very costly to build and maintain those networks to support high data rates and volumes?

Really tired of seeing outrageous bills (hundreds of $ for 8MB over limit from Fido/Rogers in 2008 for example).

Government regulators for years helped the incumbents by requiring >50% Canadian ownership of networks, thus leaving the cozy Telus, Bell, Shaw to carve up the market to themselves and us with sky high bills. (to be fair, it seems as if US cable rates can be even worse).

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Windows 10 heralds the MINECRAFT-isation of Microsoft

JLV
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Joke

>Another demo showed a Minecraft-like game set in a living room, where real-world objects, such as tables, acted as surfaces supporting simulated models, a thorough integration of the real and the virtual.

Bob lives again?

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Listen up, AT&T, this could be YOU NEXT: $40m sting for throttling 'unlimited' mobile data

JLV
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Ah ah. Bet AT&T wishes it had subsidized Trac's legal team. Now it has a precedent against it.

FTC is teh bomb :-)

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Wall St wolves tear chunk off Microsoft: There goes $30bn!

JLV
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Re: Stock pricds tend to be foward looking

Xerox is a rather poor example of your point. It's R&D was legendary but it never, you know, turned it into profits.

Kodak... well to an extent they saw it coming. I interviewed with them for a digital imaging division. In 1991. But the reality is that they were a horse carriage company selling into a nascent car market. Huge sunk costs, habits, markets, ways of thinking. Nokia-like.

No doubt that MS needs to reinvent itself. But it's R&D while massive has rarely you know... invented anything that consumers, businesses or even computer science have found worthwhile. MS is an execution company, not a trendsetter.

Win 8 was a failure to listen to customers. Less money, more humility and I daresay a firmer view on the bottom line might have kept them from pretty that massive long term gamble that they could parlay their desktop ubiquity into a top spot on phones.

Having said all that I find it odd that the market is basically reacting, very tardily, to past news - how much they've dropped the ball. Rather than to what they are doing now with Win 10 upgrade & Office on non-Win platforms.

Not rocket science those 2, and Azure. They need execution. Not a R&D or UI radical long term plans.

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US military finds F-35 software is a buggy mess

JLV
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Re: Only military logic

Interesting about the cannon narrow-beaming. Wikipedia's entry stated that the gun originally had 2 selectable rates of fire - 2k/rpm or 4k/rpm but that was dropped to high rpm only. Wonder if that could help with the problem.

AC-130 is an evolution of an even older beast, the AC-47 Puff the Magic Dragon, IIRC.

In both cases, I wonder how well the planes would fare on a hi-intensity battlefield against well-armed opponents with SAMs and AA guns? The A10 could benefit from flying low, but wouldn't an AC-130 be one big sitting duck? Also, I would guess that an A10 could be scrambled somewhere faster than an AC-130.

Not to criticize your post, it raises very valid points.

And in a way, retiring the A10, which is due to budget pressure, is a positive sign: the US keeps way too many weapon systems alive due to congressional pork, manufacturer lobbying and the like. Unfortunately, there is one system crying out for a cull which is verrrry safe.

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JLV
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Re: Only military logic

>these are the same chuckleheads who believe that the F-16, etc. are better at close air support than an A-10.

I agree, but to be fair, the A-10 is very good at what it does partially because of its 30mm cannon's depleted uranium shells.

Firing those shells might still be acceptable in a full-out war with armored targets, but they seem to cause enough environmental and collateral health damage that they don't fit well with current low-intensity warfare/counter insurgency deployments.

On the other hand, those counter insurgency wars also call for aircraft that can fly slowly, close by, and assess the situation before shooting up possible civilians. The A10 can't help but fly slowly and it is tough enough that it can survive doing so.

My guess is that the A10 is just not an aircraft the USAF has that much interest in flying. It's just not sexy!!! Enthusiastically delivering close air support for the grunts? Requires more inter-service altruism than I suspect the USAF is capable of, at the top of the military hierarchy (pretty sure the troops look out for each other more than the the Pentagon desk jockeys).

The main other dedicated ground-attack assets, the Apaches, are flown by the Army.

This might also be the reason why the Marines insist on their own pet VTOL F35 version - they just don't trust the Navy or the Air Force to deliver the goods on their behalf.

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JLV
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Happy

Re: Biplanes

Ah, but a Swordfish did nick the Bismarck :)

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JLV
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Remember when the F35 was supposed to be cheap and cheerful?

Wonder when that thing will fly and wonder if non-US forces will take the hint in time and bail on that disaster. Canada for one doesn't seem to be able to say no and our government has been caught lying about lifetime costs.

Besides the waste, one problem is that this is gonna plug up procurement for decades. 20+ year dev cycles are a lunacy nowadays. Who knows what the air threat will be like 25 years from now? But this thing will be in its "prime". It has the potential to be as if Britain had a whole massive fleet of obsolete biplanes going into WW2 and refused to take up Spits and Hurricanes because of sunk costs.

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Microsoft will give away Windows 10 FREE - for ONE year

JLV
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Wasn't there a , more limited, window of time in which Win 8 was also free, post-beta? I recall sitting on the fence w Win 7 and ultimately missing it.

If this is a one year run of free update a la OS X then it seems like a pretty good deal, if you like Windows. MS needs a bit of goodwill, badly & this probably wont cost them much (what % of folks upgrade?).

I will assume no rental Windows past that year. Imagine if your machine stopped working altogether. An OS is not like one program asking for a license top up a la Adobe because a non-working OS would devaluate your hardware. That would be a PR disaster, last thing MS needs.

I think they just want to make sure their new kid isn't shunned like her immediately preceding sibling. This "no chooses to run Win 8x" has been a horrible failure for them, I believe this is intended to make the avg user think well of Windows again.

Buccal orifices of cost-less equines & all that. Rather than seeing Greek hollow statues everywhere.

For those who dislike MS... well no one's forcing it on you. Or us, cause I aint their biggest fan either.

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Microsoft turns the power of FINE PRINT onto enterprise licensing

JLV
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Re: "driving business customers away from Microsoft."

...pole

I am sure you can imagine such an implement and its afferent effects on certain parts of one's anatomy.

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Google v Oracle: US Supreme Court turns to Obama in Java copyright war

JLV
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Re: @JLV @Bob Dole: Tough Cookies...

>you're just made IP dead in terms of software.

>You have the world of cheap knock offs. Buyer beware.

Quaking in my boots here. I am sitting on the fence wrt software patents, unlike many other hereabouts. If genuinely innovative... who knows.

But locking things down on an API level? What if your protection is extended to similarity, not just plain full copy? A la rounded corners?

How far away are we then from an obvious way to structure a set of function calls for a certain domain becoming locked down because someone squatted the API structure in advance?

Sorry, I'll risk your "IP armageddon" over all sorts of "your API looks like ours so we'll sue".

Anyway, still leaves folks to compete on implementation. You know... like cars, for example.

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