Re: Of course...
Yes, but it's the same principle as Open Source - better to find the weaknesses and fix them, rather than trust that others wont find them.
4539 posts • joined 26 Jul 2008
Yes, but it's the same principle as Open Source - better to find the weaknesses and fix them, rather than trust that others wont find them.
"Vista destroyed the search functionality, and MS never even admitted it."
That would be the XP search functionality that involved an animated dog coming out of its kennel? *shudder*
Windows has *never* had search functionality in the GUI that could compare to a simple 'grep' or 'find'. Even the Search panel in Windows 8 explorer can't match it (though it will probably give you back anything you are missing from XP, sans cartoon dog). Most GUI users simply wouldn't be able to deal with regular expressions, etc.
Best thing to do if you want to search in Windows is to open PowerShell and use FindStr as a grep equivalent, etc.
Well I've not used either as I'm more interested in the programming side of games than playing them, but I do remember endless howls of fury here and elsewhere about Steam when it first made its debut and for some time after that. Games for Windows Live is in that phase right now, I guess. But based on the Windows Marketplace, it's going to match Steam soon, I'd guess. So GFWL might not affect Steam much right now, but it's going to. Certainly Gabe Newell has reacted badly to it.
My understanding (and I do NOT work with any graphics library more sophisticated than ImageMagick, so I'm repeating what I've heard from others here), is that whilst OpenGL is slightly faster, it's much more of a mess to develop for as the APIs are not nearly as nice or streamlined.
I don't think the developers at Valve are surprised, as you are asking, I think they probably knew or at least expected they'd be able to get results something like this (they also ported from the Mac version, not the Windows version - there's no serious pretence that this is casual investigation. They set out to show that OpenGL is faster and that's what they showed). But that may not translate into everyone suddenly using OpenGL. Programming the sort of graphics you see in a modern 3D game is complicated. Suddenly having to shift and learn a new and reportedly less friendly library, isn't going to help.
Incidentally, can anyone confirm what version of DirectX they used for the testing? They report the Service Pack installed and I think from that, that it is DirectX 11.0, but I can't tell. Reason for asking is that DirectX 11.1 came out and is used in Windows 8 and it came out a whole year after 11.0, so it might be relevant to know as it's supposed to be faster.
"I think Gabe's real aim is to get more opengl games so that they are more likely to be ported to OSX, which has a far larger market than linux currently has"
Probably is an aim, but don't Macs have an equivalent to the Windows Marketplace? If not, they'll follow suit soon. In either case, Steam will be redundant on both and I think that's his main problem right now. Come to think of it, what's to stop someone writing an Open Source "marketplace" for Linux? You have the package management there already. If a group bolted on DRM and a means of payment, then it would be all that would be needed.
In fact, it would be worse for Valve than the MS Marketplace because whilst even MS take their cut from those selling via the Marketplace, an Open Source equivalent running on Linux would not. Gabe Newell might just have shot himself in the foot very badly by trying to big up gaming on Linux. An Open Source DRM-including channel for Linux that you could buy software through, would have the economic edge on both Windows Marketplace and Steam because it would be free and not take a cut.
"Not only is he vocal in the fact that Windows 8 may be a complete and utter disaster "
I think his main concern is that it might be a disaster for him. By introducing the Windows Marketplace, Microsoft have potentially (probably) rendered Steam unnecessary. Hence his previous attack where he claimed that Windows 8 would be a disaster for gaming and now this. Not that the OpenGL comparison is invalid. It's a great thing for Linux and some good press for OpenGL. And ultimately a good thing for all gamers because it opens up more competition in possible platforms.
But this guy is definitely in a fury with MS for making his business model redundant by introducing their own method for anyone and everyone to easily sell their software in a secure way. There's no doubt about his motivation here - he has to try and build up the presence on Linux for Steam and to lash out and attack Windows 8.
So good stuff and I fully approve of using a non-proprietary graphics library for games. It's about bloody time. I'm concerned that some of the more fanpeople-ish Linux supporters might injure themselves having to so suddenly reverse previous opposition to DRM in order to approve of this, but for the rest of us, good stuff.
Yep. I have certainly revised my opinion of Wikileaks downwards as a result of this. As a principle, I still like the idea. These people though - perhaps not the best to be fulfilling that role in society. Mission accomplished indeed.
I don't judge groups by which "side" they're on, I judge them by the ethics and intelligence behind their actions. Using phishing techniques to impersonate people and create fake points of view for them - reprehensible. I actually believe that it is good to support whistleblowers on illegal and immoral behaviour and that society needs such a role. But my opinion for Wikileaks is very, very low right now.
It's an atom processor, so almost certainly yes.
Whether or not it's a competitor to the iPad depends on pricing, I'd say. It looks like it can do anything the iPad can do plus more, but the screen resolution is weak. But between this and the Surface? Definitely the Surface for me unless the latter turns out to have some major flaws. What's the point in having Windows + Office on the device if I don't have the proper tools to create content on them, so a hybrid like the Surface has a major edge on this. I suppose you could get a keyboard with this, but nice to have it all in one from the start.
"and it's moronic price"
It's nice how you you don't need any actual figures in order to reach your conclusions. Bias makes decision making so much more efficient, don't you think?
"Apple are not an own producer. They are in effect the marketing arm of FOXCON, while apple design their goods someone else always produces them. This is a very common scene in many industries. I am unable to see any difference between MS or apple asking an OEM to produce a box and then selling it as their own"
I'd hardly call Apple the marketing arm of Foxcon. Apple are a pretty impressive company that produce all their own software on multiple platforms. I mean these days, Macs are actually Intel machines, but the software and design is what makes them different. But that's really beside the main point which is that there is a very great difference between "MS or apple asking an OEM to produce a box and then selling it as their own". Namely that Apple are the only ones that make their machines. There are many competing manufacturers producing Windows machines. The supposition of the analyst is that MS want to transition to an Apple model, but as another poster points out, it would be a very, very long process to move to a hardware monopoly even if it were possible. So really it looks more like this is just a shot across the bows from MS to get other manufacturers to up their game. It's a win-win for MS. If the Surface sells well, that shows Win8 in a good light and promotes themselves. If other manufacturers up their game and produce something better, that's a win for MS as well.
"I do wonder what all the fuss is about, slates have been out of use for years and these 'new' versions are a recycling of past ideas of form and function. (School slates of course had rounded corners on their wooden frames for safety reasons.)"
When it's time for steam engines, steam engines appear. I recall Neal Stephenson saying that though I think he may have nicked it from somewhere. Basically, sometimes you have to wait for the time to be right. Microsoft were producing tablets and hybrids for years before the iPad came out. They were good for some things, but the technology of the time made them big, heavy things with limited screen sensitivity and responsiveness. Apple timed things just right - they waited until the technology was there for something light and quick and then leveraged their success with phones into a scaled up tablet. It was steam engine time - the conditions for success were just right. You had the technology and wireless internet becoming pervasive and affordable. That's what all the fuss is about. You call it recycling of past ideas of form and function, but you might as well say a modern jet is a recycling of the Wright brother's work. Things like the Surface were not possible ten years ago and if they had been the wireless Internet wasn't everywhere or cheap enough... It's basically a tablet that you can also be productive on. I think it's going to sell great.
"So far as pricing goes, 'free' would probably be too much for me to pay for any of them and as for one with an apple on it, you could not even pay me to take it away."
Well I'm not an Apple user, but I suspect that's hyperbole. They're good machines as far as I can see. At any rate, you've clearly marked yourself as not the target market. Good for you. Rest of us are going to love having a ultrabook light device that we can both work on and sofa-surf on and take notes on with a stylus and have multi-user accounts on and connect standard interfaces to...
I doubt that MS will be under-pricing the devices to any significant degree. The logic is slightly flawed - MS do not monopolize the hardware side of their business and other manufacturers can bring lower-cost Win8 devices to market (and they will). So if MS want low-cost Win8 devices out there, they don't have to make them themselves. We don't even know if the Surface will start a long-term product line by MS or if this is just a kick to the other manufacturers to up their game. The latter is a big possibility.
Working fine in Firefox here. Just tried it out.
What a depressing lot of comments. When did everyone become so averse to new things?
"New Win8 kit may be locked down (UEFI)."
This has been pointed out many times before and I know you are a regular poster here, so why keep repeating this? We're talking about Win8, not WinRT (the ARM version) and you know that it is a requirement that the user be able to disable secure boot.
"Why take the risk?"
Because we balance risks against benefits. Steve Jobs might turn out to have left doomsday code in MacOS to destroy us all, but it wouldn't stop me from using OSX if that was what suited me - because I would balance my choice of OS against the liklihood of an actual risk.
Seriously, we're talking about corporate users here. Are you actually counselling businesses to turn away from moving to WIndows 7 because you think (without any good reason as far as I can tell) that Win9 some day might stop their users from blitzing the OS the company has installed and putting Linux on it or similar. Hell, in the unlikely event that occured, business IT departments would regard being able to lock down their systems and prevent their users from working around the installed OS as a plus
"If MS was my company, I'd be finding out why the customers want to stay with it, perhaps it has features that the later Vista and Win7 don't?"
We know why. The article even says why. Because some of these companies have mission critical software that only works in IE6 and they either can't or wont spend the money to re-write that software until the point that they absolutely are forced to. It's not because, as you imply, the management of these companies have strong feelings about how much more lovely the interface is in XP over Win7 or that they feel they really can't risk moving to an OS with a better security model. It's replacement of archaic software.
"I've got win 3.11, 95 and 98 running for some mission critical (ie too expensive to replace while they are still working) systems."
Never was posting AC more a wise decision.
Will they also destroy their copies or will they keep it? And how will we know?
"You could look at in the reverse by saying their actions provide a public service by helping to mark out the sheeple that will buy Anon-branded gear, in which case I say let them take some of the numpties' money."
Taking your disregard for other people's tastes and political values at face value, your argument is still incorrect. The current situation is that there is no trademark. Anyone can stick the Anonymous logo on a t-shirt and no copyright or trademark holder is likely to come forward and stop them. You have been arguing for a situation in which one company has a monopoly on this and can shut down any competition. Thus reducing the ease with which people can purchase or self-produce such clothing.
Ergo, as someone who likes to feel superior to other people based on what they wear, you would be better off not supporting the trademark claim as it runs counter to your need to belittle others.
"Evidently only they are allowed to protect their IP"
Actually you have it wrong. Anonymous are not trademarking their imagery (so far as I know), but wanting to prevent others from doing so. By analogy, there is a difference between kicking everyone else out of a park and stopping someone else from kicking everyone else out.
...they didn't have any part in the name or symbols promotion into public consciousness. And yet they'd like to take out a trademark making themselves the sole beneficiaries of any business around these things and legally prevent anyone else from doing so. Wow - love those social ethics.
"Or for suggesting that $3/month is a good deal when gmail does it for free?"
They said three quid, not dollars, USAian. And yes, ad-free with IMAP support is well worth a few quid a month to some people. Others balk at three pounds a month for it because it's not worth it. But it's nice to be able to use your own local client, or easily use digital signatures (which we all should be doing) or have it come from your own domain name (which you can do with the paid version).
Not everyone wants the same thing and to a lot of people, £3 a month is well worth anything that makes things more convenient. And many of us prefer to pay for something with cash rather than with privacy too. It's all personal choice, but as predicted, downvotes have come just for saying what I like and for suggesting someone get a free trial and make their own minds up... Someone asked a genuine question and I answered it. My point about how you can be downvoted here for liking a Microsoft product has been amply demonstrated too.
Do you think you are a typical user however, as the quote you've used refers to? I avoid Facebook like the Black Death, but I am well aware that most of humanity disagrees.
You can be downvoted just for saying you like a Microsoft product here.
I use Office 365. It is good. The online versions of the programs are better than Google's online office tools (imo), though not as feature complete as the Desktop versions. You can link it to the Desktop version of Office however and it has proper versioning of documents and sharing permissions, etc. and is pretty easy to set up and manage. But there's going to be a pretty massive overhaul and upgrade very soon when Office 2013 comes out. You can buy the particular services that you need - e.g. if you want Sharepoint or not.
Best thing to do rather than take someone's word for it (the above is just my opinion), is to try it out. You can get a free month long preview of both the new Office 365 and the new Office 2013. You should probably try them together as that's how they're planned to work.
They don't interfere with existing Office installs.
I don't know what the proportion of users around the world are that don't install ad-blockers but I would bet it's not that high actually. Similarly, I would bet that most people are different to you in that they just want to see pictures that come with an email rather than manually open them individually. You call it a mishmash of ideas from half a dozen user groups, but would you say that you are a typical person when it comes to IT? If not, then possibly they are right to build it around the responses from user groups rather than what Big_Ted wants... Whilst your post may be completely right for you, is it right for most email users is the point I'm making.
Genuine question - why is it so crap? What's it missing / does badly? And is it a lack in the software or in the hardware? If the former, maybe it will reappear before Christmas in a much better form.
"No, what they want is for you to buy it once for every device you own... or, even better, each time you want to watch it."
Not necessarily. Many (most?) of the big media players are now participating in a system called Ultraviolet. (Link). Lets you buy a copy of a film or show and watch it anywhere. I bought a Blu-ray recently and inside was a registration code for the movie on it as well as the disc. Logged in, entered the code, and now that movie is available to me to watch wherever I go. Pretty good, really.
I looked at the linked article and couldn't find any text. Is this actually something that should be a patent (I am doubtful, but who knows?) or is it just something obvious that some group filed first?
Don't know but I'm ambidextrous and I swap the mouse from side to side to reduce cramp. That's when I'm working in an office with a mouse and I haven't brought my trackball. I just invert the buttons when I swap it over and it feels very natural to me in either hand.
"It's currently "attached" to the lappy"
Do you also say "Desky" and "Phoney" and "Tabby"? Please, if we have to import Americanisms, at least let's limit it to cases where it's actually shorter to say rather than the same number of syllables. "Lappy" sounds like a breed of French poodle. Can we get a Union Jack icon, please?
According to the blurb on their site, it uses Bluetooth and has no USB connection which seems to continue MS's current design philosophy of building for the people of 2016 rather than the customers of 2012. So I'm pretty unlikely to be buying one of these. I'm still on PS/2 socket here on the grounds that my keyboard should not be using up CPU cycles just to communicate (USB always demands CPU cycles).
The mouse is probably an improvement for mouse users, but a mouse has always been inferior to a trackball (imo - less space required, no flat surface required, much greater precision using the fine control of muscles in the thumb rather than the whole arm).
Keyboards with a clitoris are the best devices for touch typists, imo, as you don't have to reach away from the keyboard ever.
I wonder how viable it is to mandate unique-to-printer markers be added to anything produced by a 3D printer? For a time, printers secretly put a small pattern of dots on the foot of any page they printed so that the police could identify which specific printer (not model of printer) the page was from. I don't know if they still do. Similarly there was a system built into some image software and many scanners which recognized the pattern of dots on a bank note and stopped working if found. So I wonder what might be proposed for 3D printers.
Meet the Feebles is one of the most disgusting, perverse films ever made. I am continually amazed watching him churn out things like Lord of the Rings that this is the same person. He also did the film Beautiful Creatures with a young Kate Winslet, which was a very nice film. To me, he seems to have done his entire career backwards - starting off with extraordinary works of off the wall genius and descending into mainstream blockbusters.
Meet the Feebles is the film that features a walrus driving a car out of a whale's anus, a sex scene between a weasel and a sheep and a fox in silver top hat and tales performing a song and dance routine that begins with the lyrics - "You may think it rather odd of me, that I so enjoy the act of Sodomy".
Peter Jackson - what happened to you?
I'm sorry to see you got a downmod. I asked for the deficiencies sincerely and you answered. Things like lack of SD slot and 8GB storage on the Lumia don't really bother me - it's a tonne of storage for what I need, but it's interesting to see what concerns others. Similarly, I use my Lumia for business so if it's not as great with games as an iPhone or such, that doesn't bother me. But again, different people different needs. All of these things should be addressed with the Win8 devices, I would imagine. Win8 has SD slot support as well as multi-core and different screen resolutions (though like you, I prefer a small phone-sized device, not a min-tablet so I wont be buying any giant versions. I'll probably stick with my current Lumia for quite a while).
"... and there are no apps, no developers making apps"
There are over 20,000 apps which disproves both parts one and two of your statement at once. And there are only so many apps that can be useful. Once you've got what you need, it doesn't matter if there are ten thousand apps you haven't installed or two-hundred thousand apps you haven't installed. Also, as of the release of WP8, you're going to be able to use the same development tools and APIs for Desktops, phones and tablets all at once. (And with the new APIs for handling screen size and resolution, sometimes you'll even be able to deploy the same software to all platforms). This is a BIG thing.
"... the Microsoft lockin and guaranteed security problems."
As locked in as if you spent your money on apps for a iPhone or an Android phone - same whichever you invest in. Unless you're talking about something else in which case I have to ask what. As to guaranteed security problems, again, what are the security problems WP7 has?
"... and they will leave you in the lurch when Windows Phone 9 arrives with another new app format."
Metro is the next big shift. We've had the Win32 APIs since Windows 95. That's a pretty good run. The new Metro APIs will undoubtedly last through a few versions of Windows at least. And Microsoft have always been pretty good about maintaining backwards compatability. For example, you can run WP7 apps on WP8 which kind of undermines what you've just said.
"they are just forced into doing so because of part of the Android patent protection racket that Microsoft have been running."
It's so good to have members of the Samsung Board of Director's gracing us with their presence and sharing this knowledge. I don't mean to be rude, but for the sake of any few doubters could you just confirm your status as someone privvy to the inner decisions of Samsung's business decisions? ; )
"This is little more than fulfilling a contractual obligation, so you can bet they won't be anywhere as near as good as a S3, S2, Nexus etc.."
Clearly Samsung has a clever strategy in which they run TWO R&D departments, one of which makes the quality goods that you admire and another which they fund separately deliberately so that it can waste money developing inferior goods as well. It couldn't be that they're likely to produce similar models using similar processes and research. That would just be... efficient. Not to mention that they would undoubtedly prefer to sell lacklustre products so that their rivals would outsell them. If I were heading up the WP8 side of the business that's totally what I would do - because it would look great to the investors if the other WP sellers all did much better than us.
Sorry - I don't usually get sarcastic but your post is just a mix of false statements and unsupported speculation. Samsung have a very good reputation for quality. I doubt they'll tone that down because they can't be bothered. If you told your board of directors that you weren't really bothered about the Microsoft market, you would be out of the door before you could say "Anyeong".
"That depends if they've fixed the deficiencies with Windows Phone 7"
Specifically what deficiencies? I ask because I have a Lumia 710 and really like it.
No they don't. You obviously haven't seen the cries of anguish on these forums about Windows 8. Or before that with the Ribbon interface. People complain about everything
The article says this advice isn't helpful, but it's probably the best approach. Hire some decent programmers and get the job done. It's not going to become cheaper the longer you leave it.
"If you're green and are true to your principles you have to accept this."
Many, many of us are. Unfortunately an aging Old Guard have a lock on most of the environmental organizations. It's why I'm not a member of groups like Friends of the Earth. I actually would be if they focused on positive environmental issues such as preventing deforestation of the rain forests (care about CO2 or not, it's an environmental tragedy for all sorts of other reasons). But you can't be a member of these groups if you are pro-nuclear. You wont be listened to by the people who manage all the campaigns and press-releases, they simply will not hear you. They are people (specifically referring to the FoE leadership now) who will knowingly distort figures and omit data so that people 'reach the right conclusions'.
The only place for nuclear-minded environmentalists to go is single-issue groups or campaigns. For example, I'm part of some wildlife conservation movements. But even there it's hard to contribute without suddenly finding cross-polination from FoE or similar has infected the group. Next thing you know, you're watching it spout rubbish about Fukishima and wondering why you ever bothered to get involved.
And this is a big shame because we need public pressure in order to keep the environment something that is a factor in our country's decisions. But any environmental pressure suddenly finds a bunch of dishonest life-style environmentalists swooping in to speak on behalf of it and turn it to their own aims.
Fuck Friends of the Earth's leadership! Plenty of people who care in that organization being lied to and misled and even more being dissuaded from calling themselves environmentalists because of the anit-intellectualism of those fossils. We need to care about the environment. And the absolute best thing we could do right now is start moving our energy base to nuclear.
"In the end we took a product, but hosted it ourselves.."
Mind my asking what you chose? I can't find anything off the shelf that would be easily deployable and supportable across a lot of users. I was going to look into Lync but deployed with our own server obviously. It's closed source unfortunately, but probably safe. Thoughts?
"Pointing out that they could already give some Skype info in the past does not negate the fact that the change in structure along with new techniques can give them more information than just connection details and times, which is what the US government is pushing them for."
I think the point is that it doesn't give them more - that the capabilty to listen in is already there. When they basically admit that they can already do this, it does take the wind out of conspiracy theories that they're adding the capability. Or have I missed something? I always assumed that Skype had the technology to do this already. Where did all these people come from who thought they didn't or is this just the media trying to be shocked on other people's behalf again?
That's what people should take as a default. Any telecoms provider (old or new) will help law enforcement listen to your calls. If they didn't, the various governments would flatten them. Email and modern telecomms have been the best thing to happen to Intelligence agencies in centuries.
The technology for secure communication is there, however. In fact it's used - for example Lync (way better than Skype) supports encrypted voice (and IMs) and you can use that, but you need your own network, otherwise you still have a third party in the loop.
But there are fine Open Source products for this as well. A few things are needed though - wrapping this up in a more friendly fashion for the WIndows and Mac users is one. (Linux users can handle themselves. And so can plenty of Windows and Mac users but even these have to admit they're a small part of the userbase). Secondly, the ability to move your account around without faffing around with certificates, etc. A nice touch is that in recent years we have been provided with an additional component to make doing this ourself easier - the unique identifiers in modern computers and smartphones used for DRM, can also be used for giving ourselves unique profiles without faffing around with security certificates or trying to work out how to call someone from a different device. You could use the APIs in Windows 8 to add devices to your account, just as you can with any Metro program. And I expect you could put something together in OSX also. Then you have an account with approved devices that you can use to make encrypted calls.
What's lacking? Well critical mass and a provider that can plug your VOIP service into the normal phone networks. Companies are available that provide the latter. Obviously once you dial outside the network then you're no longer encrypted, but the idea is to get more and more people on the network. VOIP is where we'll end up sooner or later anyway. Applications should have a little padlock indicator like HTTPS in browsers - indicating that this call is secure or not.
Anyway, just thinking online. If you're using a public network, you are solely reliant on your country's judiciary to protect you from snooping so the question is do you trust them? Sometimes you're even dependent on another country's judiciary! If your call goes through the USA and you're not a citizen, take it for granted that they'll listen in if they want to. Exactly how far did we get with prosecuting the Bush administration for illegal wiretaps. Not far - the Obama administration killed the investigation as soon as they got into power. If you want privacy - you need to do it yourself.
"Because clueless people must be called out."
Clueless people must be called out by people who know what they're talking about though, not by people who "never wrote in Ruby".
"Well I've provided Linux desktops for several 70-80 year olds over the last few years and guess what - they never even knew there WAS a command line - why should they - they were just using programs - you know clicking on icons."
I've likewise provided Ubuntu for people. And they have also been fine. Really, it's Linux + Gnome or KDE (or even xfce) is good enough for the Desktop. The major weakness is that you have to install it yourself and it doesn't have everything work out of the box as well. If you bought a PC with Ubuntu pre-installed by a manufacturer that had checked everything out, as you do with Mac OS or Windows, then one of the major disincentives for most people would be gone.
"You are assuming (wrongfully) that anyone is thinking that far ahead."
Given that Windows 8 has probably been in planning, if not active development since before Windows 7 actually started being sold, that comment seems demonstrably wrong.
"...but that's the whole shell game being played. Too externally identical devices, both with identical start screens and mostly indistinguishable Metro modes. 2 wildly different prices. A recipe for hoodwinking customers if ever I saw one, talk up the pro device, sell the RT, hope the disappointed buyers don't make too much noise."
You definitely are not a marketing person. Misrepresenting a product is really the last thing you want to be doing for sustained business. Disappointed customers who feel they've been "hoodwinked" are the worst kind of press. What you describe is the sort of tactic a short-term seller like a person in a pub would benefit from, not a long-term business.
"Show me where my statement implied they had. The word assumption would not be applicable if they had."
Well if you're not claiming that MS in any way suggested that WP7 devices would be able to run WP8, then it seems unreasonable to blame them for people making such assumptions, yes? So either you think MS are to blame for anyone assuming this, in which case I continue my request for a citation, or you don't in which case I ask you why your criticising them for other people's assumptions that weren't based on anything MS said.
"It would be reasonable to expect that if an operating system is being replaced, that the supplied phones would either have minimal software compatibility problems or an upgrade would be available. neither appear to be the case, so the buyers have been tucked up."
Why is it reasonable to expect that hardware running a current OS will be capable of running a future OS? Who gave you this expectation? Is it normal to do that? As I understand it doing so on numerous Android devices is problematic. I was told that running a newer iOS on an earlier iPhone makes it run dreadfully. So where did you get this expectation? It's not an expectation I had.
As to the rest of your post, the gist of it is 'we don't know how it will be so let's assume the worst'. If you actually take a moment to read the developer blogs or take a look at the APIs, you'll find we actually do know quite a lot about this. People are writing software for Windows 8 right now, so plenty of people do know how compatible WP7 and WP8 are. So again, I ask you why when you obviously haven't looked into this in detail, you feel it is right to post your assumptions so confidently in contradiction of what we actually do know and can check for ourselves.
...then don't trust it, basically.
All the telecoms provide hooks into the system for the government / law enforcement. The degree of Judicial oversight in this is not something I know a lot about, but the technology is pretty simple and available - someone basically taps in the number they want to intercept and listens in. I was interviewed for a job working on such a system for a telecomm years ago. Some years back in Greece, a hacker managed to eavesdrop on various politicians and business leaders by the getting control of the technology to do this for him or herself. Vodafone was the company in question that time, but it really could have been pretty much any of them. There's zero doubt that Skype have the easy technology to do this. So if they are asked to do it under a country's laws (laws which these days also say you're not allowed to tell anyone that you've been asked to provide this information as well), then it's probable that they are.
I mean - how are we doing with the charges against the Bush administration for ordering illegal wiretaps? Oh, charges were dropped by the Obama administration? Really? You don't say.
If you want to trust secure communications, secure them yourself. Seriously.
"no worse than anything Prime Minister David Cameron or London Mayor Boris Johnson might have done in their youth"
In their youth? Try now!
I'm fine with punishing hackers for their crimes, but can we punish Tony Blair for his, please?
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