Lost in a foreign country....
Then you're screwed.
How is this going to work for business travelers, who may need urgent access to their accounts in the event of travel plans getting screwed up?
661 posts • joined 1 Jun 2011
What exactly is the problem with installing your own OS anyway?
Presumably buyers of computers have some basic enough skills that they can insert a disk/usb and click on 'Install'.
If hardware manufacturers want to bundle Windows, they could easily offer it as a voucher or a physical copy that comes in the packaging (as you get with printers, webcams and other hardware peripherals).
These days I go out of my way to purchase hardware that comes with no OS, but I don't think it should be so difficult and I think competition needs to be encouraged.
You know, for me, this quote has always been problematic. The way I see it, governments are afraid of the people... which is why they are increasingly stripping our rights and monitoring our communications.
Of course "Governments should work for their people" unfortunately doesn't quite sound so dramatic.
I think the "non-obvious" part is what is causing this giant infested ass of a patent system.
I work with datacenters on a regular basis and even I have trouble with deciphering the legalese in these patents, how can patent examiners do so who may not even specialise in the area?
'Non-obvious', rather than a sanity check against tweaking an exiting invention in a way that most people might think to do, has pretty much become a by-word for "do I obviously understand what the wording in this patent means?"
This is an internet era phenomenom which has been coined as the "Streisand Effect" - in which the attempt to censor a piece of information has the unintended consequences of publicizing the information more widely than it ever would have been had the plaintiff has simply let it be.
Some good examples on the wiki link.
It's the meatspace equivalent of asking your friend to go through his old photographs of that time back in 2002 when you got really drunk at that party and ended up naked and tried shagging a potplant.
The rest of the people at that party had forgotten the incident, but when they find out that your trying to get your friend to find the photo to destroy it, they end up looking for it as well (and there's a lot more of them that want to save the embarrassing photo from destruction).
Upon finding it, remembering how hilarious it was, they then start reproducing it and sharing it with all their friends, and their friends of friends - and pretty soon it's gone from a few people who knew you as the "Pot Plant Lover" years ago and had forgotten, to you being known everywhere by people you've never even met, as the "Pot Plant Lover" - every time you're introduced to someone new it's "Oh, you're the Pot Plant Lover!".
If anyone has used Youtube over the years, this is exactly how they handle DMCA requests - err on the side of not getting sued - they put together an algorithm that simply accepts DMCA requests at face value and takes down videos.
It's infuriating but it's what we the people have voted for when we vote for utter tossers who make these stupid laws without any foresight into how they will be implemented and reacted to.
So I'm not surprised one bit that Google has probably turned this over to a bot to process and forget about it.
In fact, evil or not, it's a smart move and I would do the same. Turn it over to a bot and let the residents of the land deal with it. If enough people get pissed off then maybe the law will change and you remove the bot, if not enough people get pissed off - business as usual.
When there was just a google.com - the internet was young and free and when you visited a website and just so happened to be located in [Territory X] you still got the pure familiarity of [Territory Y].... then along came the cookies, the IP tracers, the media companies and suddenly the beautiful internet got fractured into these bullshit artificial silos....
The side effects being that if you're in a country that does not share your mother tongue - before you can even browse most websites you've got to locate their language options - and that's the websites that have bothered to code one - some won't even let you modify the fucking URL!
I can still remember my first experience of trying to work out where Google hid their language settings whilst in Saudi Arabia..... and they absolutely did not let me keep the English language across their sites or in a new browser session - "No, you're in Saudi Arabia that means you're a Saudi to us - here's some Arabic.... enjoy motherfucker!"
Even if we accept the premise that functional mathematical code can be protected by copyright, there is a completely valid de minims argument in that many stories and novels take the same format and re-use certain phrases without reproducing the entire text.
How much has modern media referenced lines like "I'll be back", "do not adjust your television", "it's alive!" and "I'm gonna make him an offer he can't refuse" without paying a single penny for copyrights. How many stories have included lines of exposition such "it was a dark and stormy night...", "it was love at first sight...", "you won't get away with this!" -- nobody gets sued over these lines - yet they are lines in a copyrighted work, that form the basis of connecting the reader to the story using a common linguistic protocol.
9 lines of API code are like 9 lines of clichéd exposition in a trashy novel - call it lazy, or a hack, if you must - but they should be considered de minims under the law. I'm going to assume that these judges were just too confused or ignorant of the concept of programming to realise this.
I think any judge preceding over a software case should have to pass some kind of "Mother-In-Law" test - e.g. describe and identify the difference between "The Google" "The Internet" and an "Internet Browser" - if they don't know the difference then they don't get to judge.
Now how much must I pay for the use of <\i> and </\i> in my comment markup?
Anyone with any amount of credible technical knowledge knows that to patent such a thing as slide [sliding your finger across a touchscreen] to unlock [perform action] would have to declare it - therefore having knowledge and an opinion on the case means that they would be disqualified from the jury - as has already happened twice now (ignoring the fact that jury members objectivity relies upon their own testimony that they can be objective):
What this means is you're left with a jury of people who have no understanding of how technology works - that it's all just magic inside a small casing with a screen - therefore if one screen does something the other screen does - then they must have copied!
So my question is, why hasn't someone yet filed a patent for "pull to catapult"? They could make a lot of money suing Rovio - Apple is 'sliding' to 'unlock', Rovio is 'pulling' to 'catapult' - totally and obviously completely different!
We're living on an increasingly faster travelled, connected planet, eventually systems that try to implement filters such as border controls will either create more chaos or have to succumb to the masses of free peoples. Either that or the only option is to close borders completely, become a hermit kingdom and kill off the demand.
Says a lot that we're still living with WW1 border controls, whereas France and Germany have an open border 60 years after WW2.
All the banks I've worked in had purchasing set up and tracked through cost-centers. The IT managers that I've known have limited budgets and have to purchase all their IT at a nominal price- and are always conscious of budget.
OTOH I remember having an argument with a non-manager VP at one time, who did not want to decommission a couple of hundred servers we had identified as being under-utilised because it would affect his stats (and he'd consequently have to raise the changes)...
He didn't last long in his role but from what I have seen there is no shortage of minions of this order, trying to keep everything looking tickety-boo by not reporting reality, in order to keep their stats the same week by week and not have to raise too many change requests or explain too many exceptions (no matter whether those exceptions show a failure or improvement).
Seems like these days Apple is playing catch up... after lobbing sue-ball after sue-ball over their 'innovative' slide to unlock, they're adopting more and more features of their competition. I guess those features are somehow not 'innovative' enough, allowing Apple adopt them without fear of back-draft.
Apple's story strikes me of a hare continually racing a tortoise. It races ahead, then having decided it has innovated enough, it takes a long nap, outsources all production to it's PR department, and allows the tortoise competition to catch up, overtake, and win every time.
He'll have to be quick to beat the FBI agents who will turn him over to the US Attorney for prosecution... let's see 1 count of hacking is a minor offence... so would only require 20 years in the slammer with a plea bargain.
On a serious note, if his dad is telling the truth about Kristoffer's "inquisitiveness" and natural tendency towards this type of thing... well he should really get used to the idea of visiting his son behind bars from age 16 and beyond. The government does not reward the creativity of those who tinker and probe.
I don't know what kind of university you're running but when I went to University over 10 years ago for a course with computing modules - they had labs offering a choices of Windows, Unix and Linux - some of our modules were taught on Nix, and some with Windows - but for our coursework we had the option of whichever platform we wanted to use.
If a university is only teaching Microsoft Windows and Office as part of their computing curriculum, then they deserve to lose student intake and money.
Tell me, if you think it's so obvious that these patents are simply an irrelevant shakedown, why did Samsung and Sony pay for them?
These patent deals are sealed by NDAs - a huge part of the problem.
What's to say that Microsoft, in it's bid to legitimise it's non-disclosed claims against Android, offered a cash bundle for Samsung and Sony to develop Windows Phone in exchange for S & S to 'license' MS's patents at zero cost?
If you look at the deals where MS has been forced into the light - you'll see this strategy again and again - $150m - Apple... $20m - Lindows... Freebies - MikeRoweSoft... $17m - SCO... $300m - Barnes & Noble... $250m - Nokia...
MS's modus operandi from the beginning has been to give away software to build up a dependency, then up the prices; much like a drug dealer gets people hooked on his product.
MS's licensing strategy seems to be similar - pay out of pocket for licensing deals, in order to legitimise them and strike fear in other vendors in similar business; much like the Mafia might seek protection money from small businesses and grow their racket through fear and intimidation.
If there is a genuine claim of sexual harassment and intimidation, then the employee presumably has the avenue of an industrial tribunal, or whatever the US equivalent is and that is where the matter should be taken and be kept.
Unfortunately, no matter how substantial your claim, taking it to Twitter and the Tech press is going to get accusations of attention seeking, and arguably in some cases it has been justified (not to say in this case without knowing all the details).
Regardless, I had to chuckle at the hula-hooping part, sorry - I couldn't put off the vivid image that appeared in my head as I read the paragraph. What else can you expect of a company called Github, borrowing from the name of the 'Git' repository, whose creator in his typical self-effacing manner described the reason for naming it, quote: '"I'm an egotistical bastard, and I name all my projects after myself. First 'Linux', now 'Git'".
It's typical to have a self-depreciating and comedic outlook within the coding community. I know this now verges on speculation, but people who tend to take themselves a bit too seriously may find themselves ostracised by more relaxed colleagues, who might try to avoid them for the risk of creating awkwardness. If both the girls and guys were enjoying the hoopla and the attention... maybe they weren't the problem?
Then again, maybe it's not the kind of professional atmosphere you want to work in, which brings us back round to the question, why work for the type of company that names itself after a 'git'?
I am not a troll and I do not troll according to the guidelines and rules set out by the people who use my computer (namely me) and I do not troll people who I have never met online, when they know who the person using my computer is in real life.
Furthermore I don't troll in online forums because I have specifically outlined that I don't troll, because I have to stick to the rules and guidelines I made for myself and one of those rules is that I am not a troll.
I also don't troll indiscriminately individuals that are me and people I know in real life. I also do not troll people in the future, or travel back in time to troll those people who may have already been trolled by people who may be allowed to troll under their own rules and guidelines.
Trust me, I don't troll,
Troll T Trollington of Under the Bridge Trolling Company.
This is a tricky one, how would you create a law to prevent upskirting in a place that holds and annual no-pants subway ride?
What about photographing a beach which in general, has lots of women waking around naked but for the parts that are normally covered by underwear... and in summer, when they travel on the subway dressed as such?
No answers from me, but I do find it all quite ironic. It seems to me that it's not the actual photographing of an upskirt that causes offence (since a woman may be wearing a bikini in public at other times), but the fetish itself of having a photograph of a situationally 'private' area exposed.
I've always found that quite a conundrum.
I was going to open a Mt Gox account, I even got my account verified a month or two ago. However I felt slight unease that comes with putting money into an overseas account, and even more unease just looking at the website, something just didn't sit right with me.
Then I looked for alternatives, Coinfloor looks promising, but not open yet. So I thought what the heck - I should really own my own wallet, and used Bitcoin Wallet on Android app store, that allows to to back up your keys in an encrypted file. I have it shared between my mobile and my tablet.
As for all the media stating Bitcoin itself is at risk from the Mt Gox crash, well it's a bit like saying fiat currency was at risk when the banking crisis happened.
All good points but what should actually be happening is that .gov.uk actually revamp their web services to make it easier to navigate, find, apply and pay for things online.
Seriously the only one I think has got better in recent years is the DVLA, but - for example - having to deal with HMRC portal is a true nightmare experience, and has changed very little in at least 6 years.
There's no reason they couldn't structure their web portals to make it not only more Google friendly, but make it more like Google, Wikipedia and other modern content providers in providing relevant information, in a simple, understandable easy to navigate manor.
You're onto something here, what about an encryption method that splits the data up into a large chunk and a smaller chunk - like a keyfile for ssh? Is there any program that already does something like that?
You can stick the small chunk on usb and simply store the larger chunk in any cloud.
Last year I had to author a technical document and the templates that I had to use all came in *ugh* docx format.
Since I use Linux as my work OS and LibreOffice as my go to docs application, I attempted to use the templates and struggled with the formatting. Also, I found that upon saving the docs, several formatting elements were lost.
I had an old copy of MS Office 2010 lying around and so decided to try installing it with Wine. Surprisingly enough the install worked and Word fired up. Opened the documents with all the formatting displayed correctly, allowed me to save changes and then I was done... trouble was, upon saving, Word also lost the formatting of the original templates, just like Libre! I couldn't believe it.
The templates, it turns out, were pretty shit, but what's more shitter is that Libre had obviously met the requirements of the OOXML spec, but somehow MS couldn't even do a better job than the Open Source guys at implementing their own standards.
I also noticed another document in Office 2010 saved paragraphs with default double spacing (when single had been selected), whereas Libre saved the same document with single as chosen. It's quite frustrating and unfortunately I'm forced to use Word sometimes, just to prove that the problem is with the document itself (the XML), not with my use of Open Source.
Great way to create a thin veneer of some kind of established and credible* ratings agency by copying the rating system used by actual established ratings agencies that have been around for over 100 years.
Never mind the fact that these multiple A's and +/-'s exist purely to maintain a veneer itself that certain governments and conglomerates are still in the 'A' club and not create panic.
Just where do they get their $ values from anyway? If a company is graded by the stock and valued by the value of the stock, where does this other $ value fit in that they've come up with?
I suppose it could represent the marginal value of the premium Apple or Samsung get to charge on top of what their underlying product is actually worth, based on brand - but how does that calculate to company value, and not unit value instead? Since I assume they don't have access to current gross profit for sales of products from Apple et al.
I think it's bullshit, that's what. I think it's a bunch of marketing and finance execs looking to get in on the speculation game and coming up with another metric to judge companies by.
*'credible' in this context is a fluid term that just so happens to mean whatever a credit ratings agency wants to define it as. Such as ratings agencies who might have significant interests in rating junk mortgage-backed securities as triple A.
It's not about how long your OS can be supported, whether the NHS was using Windows or Linux or even BSD... it's the cost of upgrading and support for legacy applications.
OS and applications built on free and open source means that, in the long term, costs are minimised due to the ability to migrate to alternative solutions or even fork your own (e.g. your data belongs to you and not locked in some proprietary closed-source solution).
A great example of this is the applications that rely on IE6. If the applications had been coded to proper web standards back when they were designed and developed, then they would be portable to any OS and any browser, IE6 could have been ditched a long time ago.
So, choosing to migrate to an open source solution now would not necessariy mean a short term cost saving, but a long term cost saving 5 or 10 years from now, when the open nature of the software makes it easier to migrate or fix.
I wonder how much it will cost next time round when the NHS is stuck on an old Windows 7/Server 2012, with platform specific Sharepoint, Outlook and Office applications coming to EOL?
This is true from other types of legal advice I've recieved not related to software.
Once you realise this premise, everything in life is about calculated risks and gambles.
Consequently, if a big player wants to sue you - regardless of your innocence or guilt - they can sue you and make it as expensive as possible in order to tip the scales in the direction of the outcome they desire; ergo, if their case has no merit, they can pressure you to settle anyway because you can't afford to fight back.
Fantastic opportunity isn't it though?
Now rival search engines and *shudder* vertical search sites can advertise on Google Search for... Search! ("Yo Dawg...")
So it's pretty much like if I went to Tesco to buy some banana's, and on the fruit isle in front of the banana's there's a banner that says - would you like to go to Asda and Sainsbury's for Banana's? Well, no, or I would have gone to Asda or Sainsbury's.*
The Department of Redundancy Department would like a word...
*Yes - I think the browser selection screen is like this (I switched to Firefox years before this came into being - the market spoke). OTOH I would like to see real competition between pre-installed OS - this does need to be enforced.
No disrespect intended towards the deceased or his family but a Vice President is the equivalent of a middle manager in investment banks like JPM. Given the way job promotion works VPs and Associate VPs switch LOB all the time - consequently you will get VPs in IT whose IT skills extend no further than sorting columns on a spreadsheet.
I've seen it and it is frustrating for techies and contractors. It's like working with Jen in the IT crowd, except there are no punchlines and a lot more pressure to be seen to be doing stuff.
> Trademark law is actually quite reasonable most of the time. I for one would like to see its use-it-or-lose-it aspects extended to copyright law.
I understand in the US that if a trademark becomes a verb in the common vernacular that it's no longer enforceable. In Europe, this is not the case - so they are much like copyrights.
OK let's try again, I'm not abolishing trademarks - I'm saying restrict it to company names only!
> A better example would be, say, me and a couple of friends making utterly shit phones and selling them on Ebay under the name "iPhone".
I'm not saying make it legal to create fakes. I'm saying you would have to market your product as "Me and My Mates(TM) iPhone" and Apple would have their "Apple(TM) iPhone" therefore a customer would still be informed and offered consumer protections against you selling an "Apple iPhone" which was your own knock-off.
> You're insane.
Well that escalated quickly... so imagining a different world or proposing changes to law is insanity is it?
What's the term for someone such as yourself, who blindly purchases products based solely on the product name without any investigation into their function or cost?
> The boxes would be identical in your world, since the distinctive features of packaging design that enable companies to differentiate their products are trademarks.
No they're not, they're designs and protected by design patents. I actually mentioned design patents above if you had taken the time to slow down and read my comment rather than rage.
So back to my example above - you are selling a box with "Me and My Mates iPhone" and apple are selling a box with "Apple iPhone". The shitness speaks for itself and the market will dictate which is better in the long run.
> No, a few people gravitate to quality, which establishes reputation, then everyone else gravitates to reputation. This is precisely why trademarks are valuable and useful.
So, in "my world", people will gravitate to Apple(TM) and avoid "Me and My Mates(TM)" - your shitty company that makes inferior iPhones.
> If your surname is McDonald, you can start a burger bar called "McDonald's" but you can't use the golden arches or make adverts with Hamburglar in them -- which is of course precisely why companies have more than one trademark. Like I said, trademark law is pretty reasonable.
Finally, a valid rebuke to my argument - however this doesn't actually seem to stop companies like Apple, The Olympics Committee and Hollywood (to name a few examples) from suing smaller established companies using the same names or symbols for valid purposes you mention - and not even in the same industries or markets.
Of course you may agree with the actions of Apple, The Olympics, Hollywood and similar actions taken by others, which means we will never see eye to eye. However I think allowing this abundance of trademarking only causes more confusion and lawsuits than solves it.
So my response is as follows; that in a world where McDonald's were limited solely to the trademark of their own name, either they would have to come up with a more unique name, or simply tie it to the location of their head office (should sort out the offshore tax loophole issues at the same time).
Let's face you've almost made my point for me. McDonald IS a name. Many people ARE named McDonald. We don't need to enforce unique names on people and we seem to manage fine in differentiating them based on other factors which can still be considered generic amongst the populace.
If you respond to this, before you vent (and hurl more insults) please consider I AM FOR TRADEMARKS, just arguing against trademarks on product lines.
We already live in a world where manufacturers produce similar products sharing the same pseudonyms - "x cloud", "smart x", "sonic x". The product name is simply a differentiator to separate versions (e.g. Gutsy Gibbon, Masterbating Monkey) or sell you something slightly different yet sounding similar in order entice different market segments (e.g. Galaxy S3, Galaxy Ace, Galaxy S2 Mini etc...).
The market already works to identity fakes and God knows that despite all the patent battles, an Apple fanboi has more chance of mistaking an iPhone 5 for an iPhone 5S than an iPhone and a Samsung. If patents protect design, why should trademarks protect individual instances of products?
Therefore, if Samsung were allowed to use "iPhone" for a new smartphone (that didn't look like an Apple iPhone) then would that stop people from buying Apples iPhones? Perhaps some people, but guaranteed, most of the people and the press would rip on Samsung for doing it. It would be seen as not original, and probably cause more damage to Samsung in the long run (cheapening their brand to a rip off). Better for Samsung if they create their own brand (e.g. Galaxy).
People will gravitate to manufacture and quality. If someone came up with a better smartphone then Apple and decided to call it an "iPhone", then perhaps it deserves the moniker. However, if it turned out to be rubbish, then people would call it a cheap ripoff and avoid it, regardless of whether it's legal or not.
This is already how the world works! I mean look at the terms "cloud", "smart tv", "flash drive/dongle" and "big data" - they're marketing terms, not functional, they may as well be trademarked and belong to one company as well.
If a company can claim trademark on "Sky" what's to stop anyone forming a company called BCloudB and claiming trademark on "Cloud"?
> I know my first experience of SkyDrive was when a Sky Broadband customer used it to send some files to me (natural assumption was sky email address + file storage system with sky in the name = probably the same company)
The question is, given the real intent of trademarks, did this harm you in anyway, or did this make you purchase Microsofts SkyDrive solution over the SkyDrive solution offered by BSkyB?
If you were looking into what this "SkyDrive" was in order to purchase, would you not immediately realise that this was a Microsoft offering, and that BSkyB itself didn't have a "SkyDrive" offering?
Even if BSkyB did have a competing "SkyDrive", surely you would have also come to this realisation after 5 minutes of googling to discover where to buy?
Now, I enjoy seeing Microsoft taking a bruising as much as the next man, but world governments are increasingly getting away from the real purpose behind trademarks and someone has to call stop on this shenanigans.
Trademarks were not intended as "intellectual property", but as protections for the consumer. So that the consumer does not become confused as to which company is offering the genuine product, and which may be offering an inferior rip-off.
Why are words such as "Word", "Sky" and "One" allowed to be trademarked at all? The trademark should mean exactly what it says: "trade mark".
Microsoft trades under "Microsoft", BSkyB trades under "BSkyB". These "trade marks" should be sufficient and allow Microsoft to offer a "Microsoft SkyDrive" and BSkyB to offer a "BSkyB SkyDrive".
It should be sufficient for customers to distinguish between trading Companies (e.g. Microsoft, BSkyB, Marks & Spencers, Tesco, Hoover, Dyson, etc...) and determine that a product offered by one differs from a product offered by another (after all many people are brand aware and many tend to gravitate towards brands - that's where we get 'brand loyalty' from).
Restrict "trade marks" to the trading name, not derivative products, and there'll be a lot less of this nonsense.
None of these users will be particularly web savvy or be using their PC for extended amounts of time, or to it's full capability - why not distribute Chromebooks instead?
Chromebooks would be cheaper, they don't have to worry about the user needing to setup anything or keep IE up to date. If it's just for accessing their website - they would still score a marketing win by giving these away for free.
Sure some people might reject the unfamiliarity of Chrome, but with later versions of IE taking design pointers from Chrome and Firefox, those kinds of users will probably reject the unfamiliarity of new IE too.
"The key to mass surveillance is that you don't know upfront who is ordinary and who is going to be the next person to use a skyscraper as an aircraft hangar."
And therein lies the crux of the problem. Everyone thinks they're ordinary, it's the other guy who is the terrorist. Thus they're comforted by Obama's words because, "Well shucks, at least he won't be monitoring us ordinary folks anymore"!
Funnily enough terrorists comes across as ordinary people until they do something extreme. So if you're looking for terrorists, you're going to be looking for ordinary people, in order to protect the ordinary people. So Western governments rightly or wrongly take the view that everyone is the terrorist, until proven ordinary.
Thus, it becomes the prime objective of any government, not to protect the people, but to protect the idea of the people, from the people.
Part of the problem in huge monolithic organisations that I have observed, is often down to the fact that IT security takes precedence over any other function.
When IT locks down the company so much that USB ports are disabled, email attachments stripped and access to cloud servers blocked - then users assume if they can access a cloud service, it's not blocked and therefore it's permissible (after all they block anything not permissible).
Security is important, but in some organisations, they're spending so much money making the door to the cell safe, and ignoring the fact that the inmates are climbing out of the windows.
Couple this with the fact that managers want projects done by certain deadlines - that do not take into account the time spent that would be waiting for account propagation, software justification and sign off. To use another analogy - they're trying to operate a steam-liner like a yacht.
I've known of contractors being paid a typical day rate who've spent the first 3 days reading a newspaper waiting for an account and access. On the other hand most of the time people just swap login details so they can get working... How much time and money is being wasted on security procedures that are simply not followed (and by logical extension probably not necessary for certain IT tasks and systems)?
It's not IT though, it's management as a whole needing to get their collective heads out of their asses and realise that life finds a way - their employees are not only using shadow IT, but without it, their company would flop under the weight of their own IT constraints.
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