* Posts by vivaelamor

11 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

Mozilla glares at Microsoft, chews on Direct2D graphics cud


Re: MS has the Idea. World+Dog copy it

Wah? Microsoft built the OS and only just put this feature into the latest versions of Windows and you're praising them for coming up with the idea to use their new feature first? Aside from that, I cannot find any indication that Mozilla got the idea from IE9 as they announced they were thinking of using it 8 days before IE9 was announced.

I'm sure there is plenty Microsoft does do that deserves praise but being the first to think of using their own code isn't really much of an accomplishment.

Have I just been trolled?

Investigators blind on P2P child abuse


Is CP on P2P real? yes.

Emule has been full of CP for many years, I would be surprised to see any public bit torrent sites hosting or linking to it but certainly the old style P2P systems have it. I hadn't realised the issue was being overlooked, considering how easy these networks are to navigate you'd expect them to have been policing them ever since they first started shouting about the internet being full of CP.

People have already commented on the unlikelihood of people reporting stuff they find as well as the seemingly pointless criminalising of possession and I agree. There is such a tenuous connection between looking at an image or video and having anything to do with the harm caused that all these possession issues do is drive things further underground. While the person who abused the child in the first place might be wanting to keep them from the public eye, those who are merely consumers are more likely to distribute them and thus draw attention to the abuse if they are not criminalised themselves.

The idea that the consumption is harmful in itself implies society is too fragile already, if it were true then nothing they are proposing will solve the main problem as it is still perfectly legal to communicate verbally and by text. There are plenty of free and long running sites for erotic stories that have no limits on subject matter and much of what you would find on them makes what you might see on a video seem like a Disney story. It is not surprising that those crying loudest about child abuse are the ones least likely to realise there is little difference between a video and a written piece, they probably read Mills&Boon and think snuff movies are real.

Compared to the idiotic things the governments and special interest groups are coming up with I'd suggest encouraging people to treat child abuse as a fantasy rather than an illness would be far more effective. At the moment they are drawing a line where they can hold no ground. As long as the only reasons they have for disallowing peoples fantasies are that they can't act them out then people are not going to appreciate where the line between fantasy and reality should be drawn. This is compounded by the various hypocrisies such as every sort of death being fine as long as it's not porn and children acting responsibly being punished for being under age.

For the children? I wouldn't trust the idiots chasing child porn to babysit.

AT&T unblocks 4chan after DDoS scare ban


Merely incompetent then?

According to various reports, the attack was a SYN flood with spoofed addresses (prompting a flood of SYN/ACK responses towards the spoofed addresses).

I would expect an ISP the size of AT&T to be able to filter that sort of nonsense possibly without even pressing any buttons, all it requires is hardware capable of running filter rules at a fast enough pace. No denial of service protection measure should effect legitimate traffic in any way unless you have inadequate hardware for your bandwidth.

UK.gov eavesdroppers frustrated by red tape


Re: Less woman?

Look at the icon, now bugger off.

Opera slams Microsoft's Windows 7 E move - again


@raving angry loony

I don't think Microsoft would bother shilling the likes of El-Reg but I agree that the level of vitriol directed at Opera is silly. Microsoft didn't just bundle and integrate IE with the operating system but went out of their way both technically and using their market power to stop anyone else doing the same.

Imagine if Microsoft Office was bundled with Windows. If they did the same with Office they would then integrate it with the operating system in such a way that you could not actually replace Office with a competing product offering the same functionality. Technically this could be done by denying access to APIs or by designing the system in such a way that you couldn't remove Office to let anything else replace it. Using their market power they could strong-arm OEMS or restrict the product licenses to stop them even putting an icon to a competing product on the desktop.

Where would the Office suites be if Microsoft had done the same as they had with Internet Explorer? I would suppose that the quality of their own products would suffer from lack of competition (as we saw with IE) and it wouldn't have been until Open Office that we would have had a competing office suite (as Firefox competed with IE).

The big difference seems to be that they offer IE for free and that is a get out of jail free card but the fact is you still pay for IE with Windows which makes it even more open to abuse as they don't have to compete on price. They can just add the price to the operating system. No one is arguing that they shouldn't be able to offer IE for free but rather that given the fact that they abused this ability by stopping any competing products from being shipped with the OS, there should be some consequences to help repair the damage.

To me the whole thing leads on to the question of whether Microsoft have done the same for operating systems (or are trying to). For a long time it was easy to argue that there was no competing product. Now Linux has some commercial backing wanting to put it on desktop machines, will we see or have we already seen the same anti competitive tactics in stopping OEMs from shipping an alternative operating system? We've already seen plenty of evidence of the technical measures they have taken after all (patented proprietary protocols anyone?).

Steve Jobs snubs LSD daddy

Gates Horns


While I have no idea whether Mr Gates' motivations are altruistic or not, I would of course give him the benefit of the doubt and presume he has good intentions. After all, though I view Microsoft as 'teh evil' in their business practices they have also done some good work in so called 'progressive employment practices' notably by including sexuality in its discimination policies.

Having said that, every pound or dollar in Microsofts or the Gates foundation's pocket is a pound not in someone elses pocket. However good their intentions, what reasoning leads anyone to believe that they are more capable of making use of that money than anyone else in the world. Most governments have good intentions, considering the harm they are prone to do why would anyone be so ready to trust someone with far less accountability. To sum up my point, to pursue huge amounts of money and then split it up between what you think are good causes, is at best an authoritarian 'I know better than you because I am more powerful than you' attitude and far less worthy of praise than spending all that time making money in actually helping people.

You ask Charles for citations, while I suspect those most effected by the foundations work aren't in a great position to be publicising the experience.. some journalists have tried to look beyond the aims of the foundation to the actual effects they have. Just focusing on the effects of the fund:






Also note, the article in the seattle times is followed by a decision of the foundation to cancel the review in its investment policy.

None of these articles explore the wider impact of how the money was gained in the first place and whether any good work done can wash away the stain of Microsoft's name, as seen by those who don't view making money at any cost as a benign goal.

Lastly, in case anyone misunderstands me, no I am not an Apple fanboy and have no more faith in Steve Jobs than I do in Bill Gates.

UK obscenity law: Where to now?


Re: To be fair to the IWF...

There is a pretty comprehensive disclaimer at the top of the story, I really don't see how it would constitute a threat when ordinary satire doesn't even require a disclaimer.

The original article states that the charges were 'publishing obscene material', not anything to do with threatening anyone. I suppose ASSTR should be glad (for now) that it is not hosted in the UK, that story is no where near the most obscene on the site and the lawyer the Daily Mail quoted about the case naively considered the story to be the worst fantasy anyone has come up with. Obviously they didn't bother to even do any research on the same damn site the story was hosted on.

As you say though, the reason this story was made an issue was the use of names of famous people and possibly further to that, the fact that the author is English. Hell help us if the Daily Star start reading music lyrics or look at 4chan. They can pry freedom of expression from my cold dead <insert morbid description deserving of obscenity lawsuit here> hands.

Pirate Bay sells out to Swedish software firm for $7.7m


To all the 'in it for the money' crowd.

For those claiming that the guys running the site are making a big profit for themselves, please read their blog post which was conveniently linked in this article. I quote:

"The profits from the sale will go into a foundation that is going to help with projects about freedom of speech, freedom of information and the openess of the nets."

You may or may not believe him, but you should not ignore him.

US feds subpoena names of anonymous web commenters



Is Nevada competing with ol' Blighty for having the most insane justifications for rights infringements?

Microsoft fans call for Opera boycott


Re: This is kinda stupid

I think the big issue many are ignoring in this case is why such extraordinary lengths are being proposed. Microsoft didn't get majority market share just because they bundled their browser with the OS, they got majority market share because they (amongst other things) repeatedly stopped any attempt for an OEM to bundle a different browser.

So, the issue is not whether Microsoft should be bundling someone else's browser.. it is what should be done to undo the damage they did by making sure no one else could bundle a different browser. Putting a price on the damage is one option but one which does little to undo the damage to the browser market. Forcing Microsoft to bundle other browsers is actually a very mild punishment for them, akin to making them do community service.

For those still not following the point and crying about the death of the free market and how socialists are trying to kill Microsoft, maybe the somewhat limited but factually correct and unbiased BBC report from 2000 will paint a picture for you: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/in_depth/business/2000/microsoft/635689.stm

Competition is vital to a working free market and a company in Microsofts position going out of its way to ensure it has no competitors by manipulating the market should be unforgivable to anyone who believes in a free market. The idea of a free market is for inclusive competition not no rules monopoly, hence free market rather than free for all.

US extradition could push McKinnon 'towards suicide'


Re: I agree with Doug Glass

You believe Aspergers syndrome is a mild learning difficulty? The possible effects vary from bugger all to very serious but to dismiss it as a mild learning difficulty is nothing short of arrogant.

As someone who considered getting tested and as such did a lot of research on the subject I can assure you it is no mild learning difficulty, in fact in itself it is not necessarily a learning difficulty. Please read up on the subject, Gary McKinnon may or may not deserve your scorn but Aspergers is a serious condition that can ruin peoples lives just because they think differently (though not necessarily worse).

My own experience put me through severe anxiety and depression, I was lucky that it is not in my nature to contemplate suicide. Imagine being one of the smartest people in the school yet unable to learn because the teachers think everyone should be taught the same. Imagine thinking the teachers hated you because of their anger at your inability to do what they said. Imagine years of bullying for every reason under the sun. Imagine being home taught just to pass your GCSEs. Imagine being unable to leave your room at college because you are unable to cope interacting with those you live with. Imagine looking back and not recalling one positive moment out of every year at school. Those are a but a small number of ways in which my childhood suffered because of how my mind works.

Now imagine putting all that behind you and continuing with life as if your differences are a gift. A lot of people who get diagnosed with Aspergers aren't anywhere near as lucky as I have been, I may still not be able to say or do a hundredth of what I think but at least now I can cope with and enjoy life as an independent person.

So while I'd not expect you to be sympathetic to someone who thinks differently to you and suffers from problems as a result, don't be surprised when people think you are an arrogant moron for dismissing problems you apparently haven't even bothered to research.

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