* Posts by h4rm0ny

4610 posts • joined 26 Jul 2008

Microsoft tightens grip on OEM Windows 8 licensing

h4rm0ny
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Re: building it yourself just isn't an option.

"That's my understanding too - but I just tried to find a statement to that effect on Microsoft's web site. I failed... Got any current links?"

I actually do, because someone asked for actual links on this site before. I've highlighted the relevant parts.

You can find the MS hardware certification requirements on their website. Here is a link to the PDF of them: MS Hardware Certification Requirements

I'm just going to copy and paste this from the last time I was asked to back up my statement (though why people are so keen to tell others that PCs are locked down, I have no idea):

"If you skip down to the section on UEFISecureBoot (begins on page 118) it is covered in this section. As per usual, when you actually get into the detail it's more complicated, but the summary version that it is a requirement to be able to disable secure Boot on x86 is correct. Relevant passages below:

"17. Mandatory. On non-ARM systems, the platform MUST implement the ability for a physically present user to select between two Secure Boot modes in firmware setup: "Custom" and "Standard". Custom Mode allows for more flexibility as specified in the following:

a. It shall be possible for a physically present user to use the Custom Mode firmware setup option to modify the contents of the Secure Boot signature databases and the PK. This may be implemented by simply providing the option to clear all Secure Boot databases (PK, KEK, db, dbx), which puts the system into setup mode.

b. If the user ends up deleting the PK then, upon exiting the Custom Mode firmware setup, the system is operating in Setup Mode with SecureBoot turned off.

c. The firmware setup shall indicate if Secure Boot is turned on, and if it is operated in Standard or Custom Mode. The firmware setup must provide an option to return from Custom to Standard Mode which restores the factory defaults.On an ARM system, it is forbidden to enable Custom Mode. Only Standard Mode may be enabled.

18. Mandatory. Enable/Disable Secure Boot. On non-ARM systems, it is required to implement the ability to disable Secure Boot via firmware setup. A physically present user must be allowed to disable Secure Boot via firmware setup without possession of PKpriv. A Windows Server may also disable Secure Boot remotely using a strongly authenticated (preferably public-key based) out-of-band management connection, such as to a baseboard management controller or service processor. Programmatic disabling of Secure Boot either during Boot Services or after exiting EFI Boot Services MUST NOT be possible. Disabling Secure Boot must not be possible on ARM systems."

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h4rm0ny
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Re: building it yourself just isn't an option.

"Vic, you have a point but we're talking about Linux here and how MS are going to lock non-MS OSes out on shop-bought PCs, so I reckon full DIY will suddenly become rather attractive!"

You know, I keep seeing you posting the above and I keep posting polite corrections. I have to start wondering why you prefer to keep repeating the false information when you must know it's not correct. PCs - i.e. x86 computers are not "locked", you can install a non-MS software on them just as you always could. It's part of the requirements to get the Windows 8 certification that a physically present user be able to disable this. ARM devices that WindowsRT will run on are not "PCs" any more than an iPad is a PC.

So direct question to you because I recognize your username - why are you knowingly posting incorrect information when it's been pointed out to you as wrong multiple times. How do you rationalize dishonesty? Do you think that you are spreading misinformation in a "good cause" some how?

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h4rm0ny
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Re: End of the world.

"At least Windows has far fewer security vulnerabilities than OS-X or Linux. Just imagine if either of those were market leader - everyone would be hacked to shreds."

Okay. I'm calling this right now. You are either a strong Linux advocate pretending to be a Windows fanperson in order to false-flag and make those who like Windows sound stupid, or you are hopelessly biased to the point of blindness. Linux and Windows 7 have comparable security models and comparable numbers of vulnerabilities found and patched. You're basically trying to attack what you see as the Windows camp, by posting incorrect and offensive remarks on behalf of it. Linux security is not perfect, but nor is Windows. Most security problems are the result of user mistakes / irresponsibility - not the software.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: Will not be buying win 8..

MS have stated that you'll be able to do a clean install, you wont have to install Win7 and then use an upgrade process to reach 8. You just need a valid Win7 licence key apparently.

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Valve: Games run FASTER on Linux than Windows

h4rm0ny
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Re: "Linux driver support is way inferior to Windows."

"OK, well we can start with There is no iTunes driver from Apple, no way of updating Windows Phones, No Direct X 11.1"

I'm not sure what an "iTunes driver" would be. iTunes is a program, not a piece of hardware that required a driver in any accepted sense of the word. (And incidentally, I did get iTunes running on Debian a long time ago - took me about four hours). Similarly, whilst it's true that there's no way of updating a Windows Phone on Linux (that I'm aware of), you cannot blame Linux for the lack of it - that's a lack on MS's part there! Actually, so is the DirectX 11.1, I would think.

"I'm bored already"

Really, it's pretty easy to find a substantial list of things that are problematic on either platform. But given that Windows is the more common platform by far and so manufacturers are far more motivated to write drivers for it than for Linux, it's a testament to Linux that it has as excellent and comprehensive support as it does!

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h4rm0ny
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Re: Am I missing something...

"Why has valve got its knickers in a twist about the Windows Apps Store? Surely their marketplace content could just be accessed via a FREE downloadable app which connects to their own marketplace?"

I'm not sure that a Metro app would be able to install other Metro apps, but it's not necessary anyway. You can still install software on Windows 8 without using the Marketplace. It's WindowsRT that is more limited and (unless I'm wrong), Valve are not selling games to ARM-based platforms - those are low-powered things much less suitable for playing graphics-intense games on.

The reason Valve is going mental over the Marketplace is not because they would be forced to use it (maybe in the future, but I doubt for a long time), but because it competes with them. Steam is a way of selling software securely (i.e. customer knows what they're getting, seller knows there's some DRM protection). So is Marketplace. If you have Marketplace, maybe you don't need Steam.

"Also, where are the stats of running their game on W8, especially since it is supposed to have many performance improvements over W7, including graphics enhancements."

If they'd compared it on Windows 8, I doubt it would have looked nearly as good for OpenGL. Not that I'm criticizing OpenGL, but the version of DirectX they tested it on is (a) the version before the latest one (the latest one DirectX11.1 came out in February and is also the default in Windows 8 and apparently has significant performance improvements); and (b) it's not exactly a rigorous scientific test. They are apparently only using the functionality from DirectX 9 (a few version behind the latest - it's an old game) and the result of their test, if we're being complete here, is not that OpenGL is faster than DirectX (it may be, it may not be), but that they were able to get it faster than DirectX. They apparently tweaked a lot of code to get there and I doubt they did the same for DirectX as it is obvious that Valve are very far from unbiased.

So it's an interesting report, but not complete.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: cor

Maybe it does, maybe it doesn't. It seems that Valve were comparing the latest available OpenGL with a DirectX version well over a year old (11.1 is the new version and is in Windows 8 - apparently has a lot of performance improvements after a year of refinement). But your linked video is not very strong evidence, I'm afraid to say. Something more formal is needed than judging by eye if one stutters a little.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: GL faster than DX

Agree with most of the above, but I think a single dedicated distribution would be inviting a lot of extra work (not just creating, but maintaining) for very little benefit and some downsides. If you created a single new Linux distribution that played games you would effectlvely kill off any other distro outside the serious server space - so Redhat and Debian would keep on rolling, Ubuntu would take a body blow that it might never recover from. So it would be bad for the Linux ecosystem, imo.

Any DRM system for Linux would be operating at the Kernel layer. So why not have it go into all distros? You'd need something that all different package managers could plug into, but that's actually a lot less hard than the DRM system itself.

So basically yes - it would be wrong to just give Ubuntu an advantage. But making a new distribution that was the only one with good games support would be the same situation but with $distribution rather than Ubuntu.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: Linux on a stick

"I don't think you'd be able to get them to agree on a universal approach since in that respect, they're competing against each other."

You're talking about Linux distributions - these are all founded on the very principle of communal work. A RedHat employee contributes a fix to the kernel, Debian incorporate it and vice versa. If Linux companies don't have the willingness to participate in a community project that benefits them all, then probably no-one does.

And there are precedents outside of this as well. I can (and do) have a GPG key which is registered on public servers. That's cross-platform. All you need is the code for DRM in Linux package management tools and one or more participating stores (which with the right infrastructure, each company can run their own) and then the signing of such things isn't much more complicated than my GPG key.

MS Marketplace might anger Valve, but at least (from Valve's point of view), Marketplace also tax the game seller just as Valve do. A truly open source one running on Linux? Nightmare scenario for Valve. They'd do all the work of getting Linux to be a popular gaming platform and then a handful of bright people would say: "we don't actually need Valve skimming off every sale" and that would be that. I'd go so far as to say that it would be a very likely outcome.

Good for Linux gamers, though! ; )

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h4rm0ny
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Re: Gabe!

"Different situations - Steam worked from day one, the initial annoyances were down to needing an internet connection to initially register back when broadband was less common and more expensive."

I'm pretty sure that's not true. I remember a lot of complaints from people who were having trouble with Steam, registering games, being able to play games they'd paid for, etc. that weren't to do with not having an Internet connection.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: M$

"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.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: Gabe!

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.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: I thought this would have been common knowledge?

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.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: Linux on a stick

"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.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: Gabe!

"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.

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How one bad algorithm cost traders $440m

h4rm0ny
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Somewhere, someone, is feeling awful right now.

They probably think, if they'd just set some config variable or added some check, and that it's all their fault. I wonder how they will choose to respond? Will they tear themselves apart, will they blame others (rightly or wrongly), will they shrug and say that it's just money? I wonder.

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Apple 'wanted to stuff Twitter with dollars' to fill iTunes with twits

h4rm0ny
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But with Google I can't stop them mining my data. With Windows I just have to not link it to a Facebook or Twitter profile.

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Microsoft dumps Metro from Windows 8

h4rm0ny
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ExMetro

They should call it "ExMetro". Short, still to the point and everyone knows what it refers to. Shows an ability to show good humour too.

MS - you totally have my permission to use this. Call it "ExMetro". It's what lots of people will call it anyway.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: how long has WinPhone been shipping with Metro?

WP7 interface was never called Metro officially - that's always been the GUI for WIn8. It's just that many kept calling it 'Metro' because of the tiles. Incorrectly really as FKAM is also the APIs and other features that weren't in WP7.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: They should do it the Apple way...

"From reports elsewhere, it appears it is a German cash & carry outfit that are complaining about it."

But surely trademarks have to be in the same area? I.e. you can have Apple the music label and Apple the computer maker, because they're not (at the time, anyway) overlapping. How can a "cash & carry" (that means a shop, btw?) be overlapping with a O/S GUI?

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HP and Dell to 'unveil Windows RT slabs in October'

h4rm0ny
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Re: Interesting, but too little too late.

I agree with your whole post but can't quite bring myself to mod up anything that uses the term "iSheep".

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h4rm0ny
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Re: Not an iPad.

"Err the RT doesn't come with a keyboard, it's a add on case."

Both versions of the Surface, the ARM and the x86 version, come with keyboards. Possibly you are getting confused with the Stylus which only comes with the Pro (x86) version.

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h4rm0ny
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Not an iPad.

The Surface is not really an iPad equivalent. Nor is Win8 quite an equivalent for iOS. And I am including the WindowsRT versions here. Comes with keyboard, MS Office (the Preview version that comes bundled has what most home users will need). I know journalists love the iPad as their standard unit of comparison (like Olympic swimming pools and the size of Wales), but it really sometimes isn't a perfect match for things. SurfacePro is a ultrabook with tablet functionality. The ARM version isn't an ultrabook as such, but still not really a tablet.

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Microsoft unleashes Windows attack tool

h4rm0ny
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Re: CRITICAL SECURITY ISSUE: Windows located on computer

"Not that I'm calling you an idiot or anything"

Because that would be rude. ;)

"if you visited http://web.nvd.nist.gov and searched for Linux in the vulnerability database and then searched for Windows you might come to your own conclusions about idiocy..."

Just did a search on "Linux" and "Windows" exactly as asked, for the last three months to get an up to date feel for things. Got 119 results for Linux, 143 for Windows. They look in the same sort of region to me. But I suppose it is a small difference so you're right, I guess. MS are indeed better at finding and identifying vulnerabilities than Linux.

Do you see how statistics are dangerous without examination? I'm not even saying that the above interpretation is right, I'm just saying that without careful examination, the simplisitic search doesn't show what you want it to say, and it most certainly doesn't counter my own point which was that the vast majority of security failures are due to the user, not the software and that this is true of Linux, Windows or Mac.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: CRITICAL SECURITY ISSUE: Windows located on computer

(yes, missing " on the first line, I know...)

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h4rm0ny
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Re: CRITICAL SECURITY ISSUE: Windows located on computer

I have a better 2 line bash script:

read -p "You have downloaded this program from the Internet. Do you want to run it under your current login permissions? (y/n)

[ "$REPLY" == "y"] || echo "Step away from the computer. Now."

I have a four line version that asks for the root password too. ;)

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h4rm0ny
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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.

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WikiLeaks punks The New York Times with op-ed hoax

h4rm0ny
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Re: Mission accomplished

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.

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Lenovo iPad-smiting Windows 8 slate slips out

h4rm0ny
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Re: The obvious advantage...

It's an atom processor, so almost certainly yes.

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h4rm0ny
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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.

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h4rm0ny
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Facepalm

Re: Lol

"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?

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Analyst says Surface could hurt Ultrabook, Windows 8 tablets

h4rm0ny
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Re: Big supposition there...

"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...

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h4rm0ny
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Big supposition there...

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.

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Outlook.com launch a gold rush for jokers, spammers

h4rm0ny
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Re: I just registered one

Working fine in Firefox here. Just tried it out.

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Microsoft RTMs final Windows 8 and Server 2012 code

h4rm0ny
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Wow.

What a depressing lot of comments. When did everyone become so averse to new things?

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Microsoft: MED-V won't help you escape WinXP end-of-life

h4rm0ny
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Re: And...

"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

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h4rm0ny
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Re: And When I'm in Charge

"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.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: workarounds

"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.

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Now French watchdog wants to look at Google's slurped Wi-Fi data

h4rm0ny
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So when they've seen it...

Will they also destroy their copies or will they keep it? And how will we know?

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Anonymous declares war after French firm trademarks its logo

h4rm0ny
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Headmaster

Re: So they didn't create the name or symbolism...

"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.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: they're more protective of their IP than LOCOG and the IOC.

"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.

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h4rm0ny
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So they didn't create the name or symbolism...

...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.

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Microsoft: Gmail rival Outlook.com will 'look good on your iPad' 

h4rm0ny
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Re: IMAP?

"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.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: Never mind design...

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.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: IMAP?

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.

Office 2013 Preview

Office 365 Preview

They don't interfere with existing Office installs.

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h4rm0ny
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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.

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Nexus Q preorders halted, price dropped to $0

h4rm0ny
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Re: Disappointed?

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.

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h4rm0ny
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"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.

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Siri sued again as Taiwan uni cries foul over patents

h4rm0ny
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Does anyone know what the patents actually are?

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?

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Microsoft unveils fondle-ready keyboards, mice

h4rm0ny
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Re: Am I the only

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.

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