* Posts by Updraft102

1265 posts • joined 31 May 2015

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After outrage over Chrome ad-block block plan, Google backs away from crippling web advert, content filters

Updraft102 Silver badge

Users need to have greater control over the data their extensions can access...

Are you sure you meant 'users' and not 'Google'?

They're going to limit the ability of the addon APIs to do what the users want the addon to do, and that's the same as the user having greater control, apparently.

Why stop there? Why not give the user total control over the data their extensions can access, and just get rid of extensions completely? Since the user having control means limiting the kinds of addons the user can choose, of course.

Only plebs use Office 2019 over Office 365, says Microsoft's weird new ad campaign

Updraft102 Silver badge

Re: Get Off My Lawn

The last Word version I used was 1.1b, which we used to call "winword" because "MS Word" meant the character-based DOS application. It was one of the few things I actually used Windows 3.0 to do, since everyone knew that real work was done in DOS.

I found that it did all that I needed a word processor to do, which wasn't a whole lot. Well, printing a ten page document in less than 45 minutes would have been nice, but I suspect that had more to do with the hardware available at the time. I remember waiting anxiously as the dot matrix printer slowly ground out the pages I needed for the uni assignment that was due shortly, having waited 'til the last minute to print.

How do you keep people buying the same thing over and over when the old one still works? Always the question, with all sorts of answers, none of which benefit the consumer.

UK spy overseer: Snooper's Charter cockups are still getting innocents arrested

Updraft102 Silver badge

I think those people may not be being arrested by real cops. Those are toy handcuffs being used in the stock photo, as usual!

You got a smart speaker but you're worried about privacy. First off, why'd you buy one? Secondly, check out Project Alias

Updraft102 Silver badge

Re: you could simply not put the creepy things in your home

OK, so Google now knows I have something I call a lamp, and at dusk time, I usually turn it on. Big deal.

That would be if Google was only listening after you said "Ok Google." They're also listening the other 23 hours, 59 minutes, and 55 seconds each day. That's kind of the point of this whole article-- a way to make it so that Google only knows what you specifically tell it, like that you have a lamp that you turn on at dusk time, and not the stuff you said all that time you weren't talking to the thing.

Updraft102 Silver badge

Re: you could simply not put the creepy things in your home

The dumb have been calling the smart 'nerd' for some time. This is a smart people thing; no one was talking to you.

Even Windows 10 can't save the PC market as chip shortages, Brexit uncertainties bite

Updraft102 Silver badge

Re: Windows 10 can't save the PC market

Windows 10 should have been the solution to exactly what the article was about, namely the inevitability of the market for home PC's evaporating.

It wasn't that because a phone that looked and worked like a PC, or vice versa, was doomed to fail from the start. There is a reason touch UIs for small screens and non-touch UIs for larger screens are different, and it is not just styling. Some ideas look good on paper, but are proven daft in the real world. The "one UI to rule them all" was one of them.

Windows 10 has been so bad that its undesirable nature has entered pop culture, where even phone-only millennials know that "Windows 10 will fuck you up," as one viral video put it. Having that as the sole choice in a market already facing long odds is not helpful, and would never have been helpful in different circumstances. Treating customers badly and trying to take control of other people's hardware is not going to win friends in any case. If they had kept the dysfunction contained to the UI, as with Windows 8, aftermarket tools could make it a decent OS despite Microsoft's efforts, but in 10, the crappiness goes so much deeper that it's irredeemable.

Some of the factors relating to the loss of PC sales are beyond Microsoft's control. The rise of smartphones and the end of the Moore's Law-related obsolescence cycle, especially. One thing they can control is the quality of the OS they sell that is preinstalled on nearly all of those PCs, and it's terrible. It is not the first terrible Windows release, but it is the first one that people were forced to accept anyway because they've sabotaged their older, better versions for currently-sold hardware and promised that this will be the last version ever (so abandon all hope, ye who enter here).

If MS was really interested in keeping Windows viable long-term, I doubt very seriously they would be following the path they are. The current path will monetize people short term and push them away long-term, and I must conclude that this is the desired goal. Time will tell if this is another one of those fateful business decisions that are future textbook material in business administration texts as a case study in what not to do.

Microsoft decides Internet Explorer 10 has had its fun: Termination set for January 2020

Updraft102 Silver badge

I honestly judge our banking supplier (Barclays) SO harshly because their online smartcard-based super-duper sign-in to authorise payments for a multi-million-pound business has a minimum spec of "IE 10, or Firefox ESR"... and it literally doesn't work on Chrome at all.

Does it use a Java applet, by any chance?

The Apple Mac is 35 years old. Behold the beige box of the future

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Re: Typical el Reg

There was a PC/Mac/Amiga battle?

Wow, fancy that. Web ad giant Google to block ad-blockers in Chrome. For safety, apparently

Updraft102 Silver badge

Classic Theme Restorer.

Updraft102 Silver badge

Re: Google are cunts

Startpage searches Google and gives you the same results, but with no tracking. Any other questions?

Updraft102 Silver badge

Re: Google are cunts

Google gives away nothing for free. They are not a charity. They lure people in with claims of free stuff, and while you're there, they pick your pocket enough to not only pay for the "free" content, but to make massive profits on top of it. They would not be able to turn a profit offering costly services for "free" if they were actually free. The data they take without asking is valuable, and a service that does that isn't free, it's bait.

Ads are one thing, but using my CPU power and my electricity to power trackers to do something I don't want done even if it didn't have to steal my resources to do it is too much.

When I used to read paper magazines regularly, I didn't mind the ads... in fact, they were part of the attraction. I wanted to know which company was selling the products I was interested in, and for what price. The ads were targeted only in the sense that if I was reading a PC magazine, the ads were thought by the advertisers to be relevant to readers of PC magazines. Somehow, though, without mining data about me and observing me at all, those ads managed to be far more relevant than anything I have seen on the internet.

It looks to me that using all of the data collected for advertising purposes is a huge sham, and the real money is not in using that data to generate sales, but in selling that data to others who think they can use it to generate sales. Google isn't just fleecing the users of their "free" services... they're also fleecing the advertisers, who have been led to believe that Google's targeted ads work so much better than the old-fashioned, un-targeted print ads of the olden days. As long as Google can keep them believing that, the money will keep rolling in.

I bought a lot of things as a result of those print ads back in the day, and those ads never tracked me. They never moved over on the page and blocked the content I was trying to read. They never made noise and they never had distracting animations. They never bogged down the magazine so that turning the page took several minutes rather than seconds. They never delivered a virus that would spread to all my other magazines and make them hard to read too. How could those old print ads have been effective without all of that stuff? It seems a given now that if you want to get results, you need really obnoxious ads that do all of the things that print ads never could.

If Google and the others are willing to return to that kind of ad, I will consider unblocking them, but as long as I go to a site and see trackers and other malevolent scripts trying to run, that's not happening.

That doesn't matter, though; Google doesn't care whether the ads they sling actually work. All they care about is that their customers (advertisers) believe that the ads work.

Tens to be disappointed as Windows 10 Mobile death date set: Doomed phone OS won't see 2020

Updraft102 Silver badge

The Tiles were the thing that made the UI the best of the phone UIs.

On the desktop, though, the tiles were, and continue to be, crap. I've never used a Windows phone (don't read into that; I've never even held a smart phone of any variety), but the thing that really was obvious during the post Windows 7 PC releases was that a Jack of all trades was master of none. From what I understand, the Windows phone based on 7 was still too PC-centric for the phone market, but it obviously was/is popular on the platform for which it was intended primarily.

The Windows 8 phone was supposed to be the best of the bunch on mobiles, but Microsoft's insistence that it had to be one UI to rule them all meant that its touch-centeredness made it awful on desktop PCs, the vast majority of which are not and will never be touch-enabled. Touch is not a good match with devices with non-handheld screens, where holding one's arm out in front to use it will soon become tiresome. The ergonomics are terrible!

Windows 10, of course, was just a retry at what Windows 8 had attempted, but this time with the PC to Phone slider moved a bit more toward the PC side of things, making it somewhat better, UI wise, on the PC, and from what I have read (YMMV), worse on mobile (but still pretty shitty on the PC end). That's just the UI, of course; MS also chose to put in all kinds of other poison pills to make sure that the product was as painful to use as possible on PCs, especially those in the consumer sector.

They have the monopoly to force people to accept crap in the PC market, but it was always going to be a tough slog for MS when Apple and Google both have established app marketplaces that MS could only have wished for. For MS to forsake its desktop PC dominance (they can force the issue as long as the monopoly holds, but monopolies that are fully weaponized against their customers don't tend to last very long) to try to get into the game with Apple and Google seemed like a foolish gambit doomed to fail from the start, and I had hoped that when it did eventually fail, MS would no longer have the incentive to try to make millions of PCs look and behave like phones, but that hasn't happened. MS is out of the mobile business, but the phone look and hopelessly ugly and functionally gimped UI for PC Windows are still here, and are still being expanded.

Most munificent Apple killed itself with kindness. Oh. Really?

Updraft102 Silver badge

Re: Look it's really quite simple.

Apple stuff is generally well-built and can be made to last.

Louis Rossmann, who makes a living repairing Apple products, thinks otherwise:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AUaJ8pDlxi8

It WASN'T the update, says Microsoft: Windows 7 suffers identity crisis as users hit by activation errors

Updraft102 Silver badge

can't recall a single event where any Android, Mac or Linux machine decided to deactivate licences on a global scale, Windows has counted two now

Windows shouldn't have that ability either. I have no problem with Microsoft doing what they will to validate a license before the EULA is accepted and Windows is activated, but that should be that. Once it's activated, it should remain so forever... no further license checking, ever. Once Windows becomes the official OS of that PC, which happens at the point that Windows is activated, it needs to work to serve one master and one master only, and that is the owner of the PC. There's no room for any process using my hardware and my CPU time to try to find a reason to prevent me from using the agreed-upon (by MS and myself) OS from working fully. An OS that is working to serve someone else's needs can't be trusted, and license check whose best possible outcome is to do nothing isn't serving my needs.

MS is being very clear in demonstrating to people why they and Windows should not be trusted. How much more clear do they need to be before people get it?

We're two weeks into 2019, and an email can potentially knacker your Cisco message box – plus other bugs to fix

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Headline generator:

It's $DATE, and $THING is possible.

My 2019 resolution? Not to buy any of THIS rubbish

Updraft102 Silver badge

Re: Might I add...

Upvote from me, but there's a caveat!

I bought three PC laptops (new) for my own use in the last year or so. One cheap, go-everywhere, passive-cooled, all day battery life model, another one a few months later for that same role that was a big upgrade over the first and offered at a price I could not pass up, and the third a DTR for when I am able to set up camp while out and about (ie plug in and not have to haul it around everywhere).

All three came pre-infected with Windows 10, which I was prepared for, so I cured that pretty quickly. All three are now running Linux, with everything working save the fingerprint reader on one of them (the second in the sequence), whose OEM as usual did not release a Linux driver and does not have an open-source one yet. I would not be using that anyway, so no big deal.

Buying with Windows and wiping it is still the best way for consumer-level shoppers to get Linux PCs, since so few come that way from the factory, and those that do tend to be costly (even without the MS tax) and/or come with distros I would wipe and replace with my own anyway. One of the things I like about the PC world, as opposed to the Mac world, is the broad variety of hardware choices and manufacturers, and most of that goes away if you stick to models and OEMs that have Linux as an option.

It does annoy me to pay Microsoft for garbage that is so full of moneygrubbing attempts that it should at best be a "freemium" product, not a commercial one, but MS has demonstrated that licensing fees for Windows aren't their focus anymore in the consumer sector... it's about the monetizing, and they're not getting any of that if I'm not using Windows 10.

They pushed so hard to try to force me to use 10 that they lost a nearly three decade long user of Windows. The more they tighten their grip, the more star systems slip through their fingers.

Detailed: How Russian government's Fancy Bear UEFI rootkit sneaks onto Windows PCs

Updraft102 Silver badge

Re: @ds6

Would it be needlessly pedantic of me to point our that in this context, the exclamation mark should be placed outside the quotation marks rather than inside?

No, it would be incorrect to point this our.

Since it was "color" (American spelling) that went inside the quotation marks, it would be logical to assume that the writer is using American English. That being the case, the exclamation point goes inside too, as is correct in the US.

Updraft102 Silver badge

Re: The real solution

they want the ability to engage in system updates (including BIOS) without requiring someone to be physically at the machine in question.

So these machines can have the write-enable jumper installed all the time, if they prize convenience over security. No sense in having the rest of us have to have that insecure option chosen for us because some outfits want it that way!

Nobody in China wants Apple's eye-wateringly priced iPhones, sighs CEO Tim Cook

Updraft102 Silver badge

Re: Overpriced kit

I rate myself as comfortably middle class, but stuffed if I will spend over $400 on a mere phone.

I would have to think long and hard before spending much more than a tenth of that. It's a phone whose most common use (other than being a clock) is being recharged once a week or so!

A year after Logitech screwed over Harmony users, it, um, screws over Harmony users: Device API killed off

Updraft102 Silver badge

Re: They should stick to mice and keyboards

I went through three Logitech G500 mice in under a year. The side buttons (the entire point of the G5) kept failing and somehow internally crossed with the left mouse button. Once the warranty on that ran out, I bought a G700, and bought the Best Buy extended warranty on it. That proved to be one of the best purchases ever! The warranty, not the mouse.

Over the two years, I probably exchanged the mouse 15 times. It would last a little over a month, and then the side button would break internally and come out.

It's like Logitech didn't expect anyone to actually use the extra buttons. They stick them on there, use them as a selling point, then apparently hope no one uses them, 'cause they're going to fail if you do. These were fairly pricey gaming mice, and while I was using the extra buttons, I wasn't being overly rough with the mice... not nearly as rough as you would expect a "gaming" mouse to take in stride.

Just before the warranty ran out, the store apparently discontinued the mouse, so my last exchange didn't work. They ended up refunding the purchase price of the mouse instead! I can't remember if they refunded the cost of the warranty too, but I ended up getting a couple of years of mouse rental for at most the cost of the warranty.

Before all that, I also had a G5 that developed another side button issue (got stuck in the pressed position) and a M400 non-gaming mouse whose largest side button simply quit doing anything. I didn't warranty those, so the warranties must have been finished before they failed.

The real question is why I kept buying Logitech. Why I bought the extended warranty on the G700, though, was quite obvious!

So, yeah, they were that bad, if you actually tried to use the extra buttons. I never had any issues with the main buttons or the LED/laser tracking bits. The extra buttons, though, were on borrowed time before you even got the box open. They're there to get sales, not to be used!

Forget your deepest, darkest secrets, smart speakers will soon listen for sniffles and farts too

Updraft102 Silver badge

"open up new service or subscription-based revenue streams for the world's most innovative companies".

You keep using that word.

I do not think it means what you think it means.

Windows 10 can carry on slurping even when you're sure you yelled STOP!

Updraft102 Silver badge

Re: "it's already on 700 million PCs"

For being an OS given away for free for a while, it's remarkable it took so many years to reach that number - including new PCs for which there was no choice.

No choice for sure, and they made certain that was the case. No previous version of Windows used Windows Update (the thing that's supposed to deliver updates that protect you from malware) to distribute a Trojan horse that breaks Windows Update forever, leaving you vulnerable to third-party malware, if you dare to install a pre-10 Windows version on newer hardware. That's well beyond "MS does not support this." There's a difference between not supporting and committing acts of sabotage.

On top of that, MS has apparently forged some unholy alliance at least with Intel, if not other OEMs, to not create drivers that will work with newer hardware and other versions of Windows. I tried setting up Windows 8.1 on a Kaby laptop some time ago, and I was expecting the Update sabotage. The touchpad, as it turns out, was impossible to get working properly in Windows 8.1. The i2c drivers that were necessary for the "precision" touchpad (which had no option to use basic mode in the UEFI) did not exist for Windows 8.1-- the 8.1 i2c drivers for previous hardware would not work at all when force installed on the Kaby laptop, and neither would forcing the Windows 10 drivers that worked with that model in Windows 10.

I know AMD was also part of the announcement when MS glibly told us that we'd better get used to the idea of using 10 on newer hardware, as they'd all had a confab and agreed to only "support" 10, but AMD apparently wasn't as obedient as MS would have liked, since they released Windows 7 drivers (and maybe 8.1 also, I don't remember) for the various chipset bits of Ryzen when it first came out.

Intel, on the other hand, has held firm, at least on the chipset drivers for things like the i2c drivers (packaged by Intel as "Serial I/O drivers"). Intel also declined to release a Windows 8.1 driver for the Kaby Intel integrated graphics, but in this case, force-installing the Windows 10 driver worked perfectly, with all of the options in the tray applet functioning perfectly.

It's fine, I suppose. If MS would rather I have only Linux on the machine rather than Linux and one of their own products, I can live with that. I guess they really do love Linux now!

Updraft102 Silver badge

And you think Google, Apple, Facebook, and Amazon are any better?

I don't think Apple deserves to be in the same group as the rest of them... not that I would touch an Apple product with a ten foot pole, but their business model is charging insane amounts of money for substandard, poorly designed hardware that will break if you look at it funny, and then they will refuse to honor their warranty and blame the user for the failure, who will accept this and go buy a new one so it can all happen again.

This has proven to be very lucrative without pissing about trying to spy on the users. Why steal from them (the data, which is worth money, belongs to the users, so taking it without real informed consent and compensation is stealing) when they willingly hand over money as fast as they can earn it?

I find it humorous when people complain about Microsoft doing this while continuing to use their smartphone.

Why is it humorous? It doesn't make it okay to do something if you can point out someone else that is doing the same unscrupulous thing.

I'd bet the people complaining about the Windows 10 slurp also dislike it when Android does it. In that case, though, the slurp has been there from the start (the price of admission, so to speak), whereas in the Windows world, the slurp that can't be turned off fully in consumer versions and that keeps turning itself back on to full is a new thing.

As for me, I personally don't have a smartphone of any kind, and I never have, so when I tell you I switched to Linux to avoid Windows 10, you won't find any such humor.

I find it more humorous when people post, "that's why I'm running Linux" while using Chrome to make that very post.

Why would anyone do that? Except for a recent faux pas by Debian, de-Googled builds of Chromium are available in all of the popular Linux distro repos. I still don't use it, but if that ugly UI and the paucity of configuration options is your thing, why go for the harder to get, branded spying version?

Updraft102 Silver badge

And Microsoft wonder why people are not upgrading to Windows 10.

I’ll give you a one word hint - there is no trust.

Absolutely. An operating system, by virtue of what it does, is privy to all information stored on that computer, everything the user does on that computer, and to everything that passes through the computer. It has the keys to the kingdom, so to speak... like having top security clearance to every state secret a hypothetical country might have.

To be in such a lofty position requires the utmost in trust. To grant such a level of security clearance would require the most stringent background check possible, and if there were even the slightest hint of the potential for divided loyalty, the person would most certainly be denied such clearance. It is imperative that a person embued with such a profound level of clearance would be loyal to the entity granting that clearance, and no one else at all.

That's the key failing of Windows 10. To use an OS is to grant it total security clearance, but can Windows 10 be trusted to have loyalty only to the entity granting it clearance (in this case, the owner of the PC)? Even the possibility of divided loyalty would be enough to prevent clearance being granted to an individual, but Windows 10's divided loyalty is more than a possibility. It's a well-known, documented fact.

This alone renders Windows 10 unfit for purpose. An operating system must have only one master, and that must unequivocally be the owner of the PC (often also the user in home settings, of course, but not in corporate settings). Any company that attempts to develop an OS to serve two masters, itself and the PC owner, is going to run into inevitable conflicts of interest which it will end up resolving in its own favor. It will, of course, twist things around so that it can claim that serving its own need is really serving the PC owner, like when MS forces updates on the unsuspecting customer's machine. MS will claim this is really in the best interest of the customer, since then he gets the latest and greatest in security and features.

It's nonsense, of course, because it's the owner of the PC who gets to decide what the owner's interests are. If he decides it is in his interests to never get updates at all, then that's what the OS needs to do. It doesn't matter if you, I, or Microsoft think that he would be better served to get updates, because we're not the ones who own that PC. Ownership comes with certain benefits and prerogatives, and being able to decide things like that using any criteria imaginable is one of them. The company that makes the OS can try to persuade the owner of the PC to do something, but ultimately, it needs to respect that the owner's authority is absolute. It's why all previous versions of Windows included an OFF setting for Windows Updates (which they were sure to tell you was "not recommended").

All of the problems with Windows 10 can be traced back to this MS philosophy of WaaS, which apparently means that Windows is now a service to Microsoft. What, you thought it meant that Windows was a service to you?

The bizarre, inappropriate half and half UI was initially part of Microsoft's effort to use its Windows dominance to sell Windows phones and force a usable Windows Store into being. That's Windows being used to serve Microsoft, not the user. The ads scattered throughout are the same, as is the inability to remove "apps" like Xbox and the Store itself. It doesn't matter if you don't want these things on your PC... Microsoft does, because it serves Microsoft's interests to have them there. It's pervasive, even being evident in minor changes like the one where they took out the ability to select local searches only for entries typed into Start Menu/Cortana. The PC owner may wish just to have a local search that isn't cluttered with useless and irrelevant web results, but it serves Microsoft's interests to force you to have them, since the odds of you clicking on a sponsored link are always greater if you see the sponsored link than if you do not.

That's the root of what's wrong with 10... it's not built to serve the user. It's built to serve Microsoft and the user, and the only reason the user is even in that loop at all is because even the most Microsoft-bound victim of Windows lock-in would not use a product that never serves his needs. The worst version, of course, is Windows 10 Home, which is so loaded with monetization and MS-serving that the only way it would even somewhat be ethical would be if it were a free product. It's not, though, with MS recently increasing the price on what at best is a freemium version of Windows. Even the free-upgrade version was not free, since it relied on an existing license that had been paid for.

Satya Nadella may think that Microsoft has its mojo back, but its Windows product, no longer worthy of its own division, is in shambles. If they ever wanted to get Windows back to being fit for purpose, they'd have to undo every change they've made to the development process in "Windows as a Service." Every change they've made while getting back said mojo has been destructive. I get that MS wants to be in the cloud, but clearly WaaS has failed quite convincingly.

Taylor's gonna spy, spy, spy, spy, spy... fans can't shake cam off, shake cam off

Updraft102 Silver badge

Re: Numbers valid, assumption questionable

"hey security, keep an eye on this dude in case he tries to rush the stage"

Are they looking for Kanye West then?

Support whizz 'fixes' screeching laptop with a single click... by closing 'malware-y' browser tab

Updraft102 Silver badge

Re: Darned tech!

That worked because as the aircraft lost height it entered denser air, increasing the chance of a successful relight.

Not exactly. The volcanish ash had re-melted in the hottest part of the jet engine (probably the combustion cans, but they didn't specify) while the engines were running, coating the surfaces therein with volcanic glass, blocking the flow of fuel, and causing a flameout. The engines would not restart, obviously, because there was no/insufficient fuel flow.

After a while of not running with cold air rushing through the engine as the plane continued to glide, the coated bits of the engine cooled enough to contract. The coated metal bits of the engine had a different contraction rate than the glassy coating, which shattered and unblocked what had been blocked, thus allowing a relight.

Boeing 737 pilots battled confused safety system that plunged aircraft to their deaths – black box

Updraft102 Silver badge

Re: Hey software, get the fuck out of the way!

Until this incident, I would have said that's why I like Boeing more than Airbus. Boeing's philosophy was supposed to be as you say... assist the pilot, but never usurp his authority. The Airbus philosophy is that since pilot error is a/the cause of most crashes, it's going to overrule the pilot if it thinks he is in error. This incident seems an example of the Airbus philosophy, not the supposed Boeing one.

A little phishing knowledge may be a dangerous thing

Updraft102 Silver badge

Re: How Can You Tell Without Opening it?

Is the email from someone/someorg you know?

You mean does the sender field claim that it is from someone I happen to know, right? I can't actually tell if it is actually from that individual until I get a look at the headers, and that means I have to open it. I've gotten spam "from" people I know before... it's really easy to spoof the sender field.

Updraft102 Silver badge

Re: Don't click the link !

If you just open the mail, you should be good if your client does not auto-execute code willy-nilly (meaning if you use Outlook you're likely screwed), but if you go and click the link, your machine is good for a reinstall.

Isn't that just a bit overdramatic?

Do you reinstall your OS every time you go to a link you've never visited before from the search engine of your choice? In either case, you're taking a leap of faith. There's always a first time visiting a site before you've established that it is reputable and really what it claims to be (and even then it could have been hacked to serve malware), and you have to hope that the site isn't compromised and your browser does not contain a zero-day that will allow a drive-by execution of arbitrary code (that happens to be meant for your OS, which is less likely for those of us using one that has 2% of the desktop market).

Microsoft Surface kicks dust in face of Apple iPad Pro in Q3

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Re: Like a Ferrari than only runs on 20 Octane gas

Amazon announce that it sold more Chromebooks in the past three Thanksgiving to Christmas shopping seasons than every brand and model of Windows computers combined".

I've heard this kind of thing many times, but how does that reconcile with netmarketshare.com stats that show Chromebook share at <1%? Are most of them being detected as mobiles?

Updraft102 Silver badge

Re: Doubt it

A lot of people who use Linux wouldn't buy it just because it was made by Microsoft, irrespective of how well it runs Linux.

Which is a rational thing.

No other manufacturer has an inherent interest in making sure "alternative" OSes don't run properly. The rest of them just want to sell hardware. Microsoft wants it to be a showcase for the latest Windows 10, and that means that even if it runs Linux well now, there's no guarantee that the next firmware update will not do something to sabotage that. MS has already shown they're not above such practices. Given how troublesome these things are, you'd possibly be in a situation where you had to choose between having a firmware bug fixed or being able to use the OS of your choice.

Then there's the price of the MS devices, and their poor repairability...

It would be fun to run Linux on one just to flip the bird to Microsoft, but it's only a little bird... perhaps a hummingbird. After all, they still got your money for the Surface AND for the Windows that came preinstalled, even if you don't use it.

If at first or second you don't succeed, you may be Microsoft: Hold off installing re-released Windows Oct Update

Updraft102 Silver badge

Re: What I find really depressing

Microsoft will kill their own business if the as-a-service model destroys more than it creates. Note to M$ slow down your release cycle, and start testing if you want to keep credibility and customers.

It is evident that they do not want to keep Windows customers. They're a cloud company now, right? Windows has gone from the jewel of the MS empire to its whipping boy. They seem to think they can pull off the scuttling of Windows while still keeping their cloud customers. Time will tell if it works, but I think that enough people still think that MS=Windows (including those who make the decisions over which cloud services to use) to make this a very risky proposition. They may be eager to shed Windows customers, but the part about credibility remains. If Windows is floundering, people will think MS is floundering, and that makes MS cloud look risky. Well, it is risky, of course, but I mean even riskiER than relying on someone else's server (where your data and livelihood can be held hostage) already is.

Updraft102 Silver badge

I am old enough to remember before the abbreviation of Quality Assurance had an ampersand in it.

Mayflies are old enough to remember this. Q&A is "questions and answers."

This just in: What? No, I can't believe it. The 2018 MacBook Air still a huge pain to have repaired

Updraft102 Silver badge

Easy. A 2013 Macbook pro weighs more than my iPad Pro, Ipad Air2, and a Macbook Air stacked on top of each other.

You said that to be thin and light, glue is needed, and no one buys such devices anymore.

I provided an example of a device that people are buying that is thin (lightness is implied, as it comes with the reduction in materials from thinness), and that is not glued together. I could provide more examples-- I've actually bought three brand new laptops in the last year, and none were glued together. Every one of them was easy to open for the purposes of upgrading (and all three needed it right out of the box).

There are plenty of laptops out there that are not glued together, and I'm far from the sole owner of each model (meaning other people are buying them).

I don't doubt that a 5 year old laptop weighs more than a bunch of other newer devices, only one of which is a what we were talking about, a laptop (btw, stacking them doesn't change their weight), but what relevance does it have to the claim that people aren't buying non glued-together devices now? People aren't buying five year old laptops brand new, certainly, but that's very different from saying that people aren't buying anything that's not glued together.

Updraft102 Silver badge

Problem is no one buys such devices today. You can't have thin and lightweight without glue.

My Acer Swift (13.3 inch screen) is 0.6 inches thick (15mm) and can be taken apart with nine screws. No glue in sight, battery, wifi, SSD all removable once the case is open. RAM, unfortunately not, but for the price, I'll accept it. Cost $250.

No one buys such devices... where do you get that? If Acer can do it at that price point, anyone can. Any thinner than this is just marketing... it's thin enough and light enough to be carried around everywhere as it is, and shaving an extra few mm off the thickness isn't going to help that. At worst, it could mean the full-size ports would have to be switched to mini versions, and I'll have to get as many dongles as an Apple buyer. Oh, and I won't be able to open it up, which means I won't buy it anyway.

Windows 10 Pro goes Home as Microsoft fires up downgrade server

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Re: Expecting test versions to not have problems is amateurish.

The only thing I fault MS for in this is not prominently labeling its test rings Home and Pro versions as "TEST VERSION" on both the desktop and start menu.

There, FTFY.

Updraft102 Silver badge

Re: el kabong

So, you're suggesting, rather than simply ignoring the little red text for a few days the user should completely change their operating system, then spend time finding decent alternatives for all the software they use (which may or may not exist), then learn a completely different workflow and set of system admin skills because of a small transient issue?

It's not simply one small transient issue. It's a never-ending stream of issues, some more transient than others. The extreme bugginess of their code is a function of an unnecessary rapid release schedule that's driven by the marketing department and their decision to fire their QA team and conscript consumer-level Windows users as beta testers in order to save money.

This is just one bug among a never-ending sea of bugs that can reasonably be expected to last as long as Microsoft thinks that what they're doing is a viable business practice (which in turn is based on how much abuse their customers will tolerate). Windows 10 has been out for more than three years, and it's still a bug-infested piece of crap. As long as MS keeps "Windows as a Service," it will always be that way. Three years is enough time for them to realize it does not work, and if they were interested in fixing it, they would have done so by now. Why should they? They are putting out pure garbage, and the market share of that garbage continues to increase each month. As long as people tolerate the abuse, they're silently endorsing Microsoft's practices. Thank you sir, may I have another?

Updraft102 Silver badge

Re: Just go Linux "Take my Linux ... please!"

I dunno, so many people pay over $100 for MS Windows, and pay hundreds of dollars in premium hardware costs to run MacOS, Linux fanbois can't give their pet OS away for free, and those same fanbois are convinced their pet OS is the best for the wider public.

Not that many people pay over $100 for Windows relative to the total number who use Windows. That's one reason MS was in such a hurry to try to get every home/SOHO user of Windows 7/8/8.1 to take the free upgrade. They weren't losing out on tons of money from upgrades by giving them away... the actual number who would have taken it upon themselves to buy and install a different version of Windows than the PC came with was never anything but a drop in the bucket.

Most PCs come with Windows and are never used with any other OS than the one it came with. Replacing the OS on a computer they bought as a unit would be like buying a car and replacing the engine with a completely different one. They don't think of the OS as mere software that is running on the hardware, but a part of the whole. This inertia is one of the big things that gets in the way of people taking an affirmative step towards freedom from Microsoft's abuse. People have such an ingrained Stockholm syndrome that they just take the abuse and take the abuse and never think there are any alternatives, even when one is staring them in the face. Maybe it's not suitable for all of them, but it could work for some.

Macs to Linux fans: Stop right there, Penguinista scum, that's not macOS. Go on, git outta here

Updraft102 Silver badge

Re: Damned if they do

Criticise them for the ease of having bootloader malware then when they do secure boot stuff to guard against it criticise them again.

Consistency anybody ?

Why would you think it is the same individuals criticizing the lack of secure boot and the presence of secure boot? Some people think it's good, some people don't. The lack of consensus on the issue doesn't suggest that there's any inconsistency-- it just means people don't all hold the same opinion, like a lot of other things.

As always, the devil can be in the details. Secure boot that is not meant to restrict user choices is a benign thing, and there's no harm in having it there. If you don't like it, turn it off! If it's not meant to restrict user choice, turning it off will actually work.

In my laptop's UEFI, secure boot "just works" with the Ubuntu signed bootloader. In addition, I can select any bootloader on the system and select it (whitelist) as trusted. The UEFI generates a hash of the bootloader and will refuse to boot if the hash changes on any given boot, just as it would with a signed bootloader that no longer matched its signature.

It also works just fine with secure boot off. There's nothing "bad" as it is implemented on that laptop.

The people who do criticize secure boot may think that it is the camel's nose in the tent in terms of locking the system down in terms of OS, as we're discussing here with Apple. I would not be happy with that, but none of the secure boot PCs I've set up thus far have had anything like that. As it has been implemented in PCs I have used, secure boot is an optional security feature that can be effectively disabled (which is apparently not so with the Apple product in question).

Updraft102 Silver badge

Re: Why Linux on Apple Hardware?

It avoids having to pay for a bundled copy of Windows.

...

Some Linux users may be happier to pay for a MacOS they won’t use, rather than a Windows they won’t use.

The crapware that comes with Windows (and gets wiped just as easily) offsets that, perhaps completely offsetting the license cost. When Dell released one of their laptops years ago with Linux preinstalled, people were shocked that it cost a little more than the Windows version, not less. Without crapware to subsidize it, it cost more, or that was the explanation at least.

I've bought two low-cost "Windows 10" (Home) laptops in the past year with the intent of installing Linux on them, and both were as cheap or cheaper than Chromebooks with the same specs. The Windows tax was nowhere in evidence. Maybe the tax scales up with more costly notebooks (and certainly it does if it is the Pro edition of Windows), but it appears to me that it's the crapware vendors that paid for those Windows 10 licenses I am not using, not me.

I don't particularly want to pay Microsoft in any way, but they have demonstrated that the real interest is in monetizing Windows 10 users, and they're not getting to do that.

Updraft102 Silver badge

Re: Why Linux on Apple Hardware?

What reasons do people have for purchasing expensive Apple hardware to then go and install Linux on it?

To have something to run on it after Apple declares it "vintage" and arbitrarily bans it from running the latest version of MacOS?

Otherwise... yeah... no sense in paying the Apple premium if not for the Apple OS, but that's the practical end of it. On the principle end... if it's my hardware, let me do what I wish with it.

Till Microsoft finds it a place on the path unwinding, it's the circle, the circle of Skype

Updraft102 Silver badge

as soon as the board understands the damage he's doing to Windows because he can't take it's head out of the Azure hole.

What makes you think they're not cheering him on as he damages Windows as you describe? If you live and die by share prices and profits as they do, things could hardly be any better. I tend to think they're just as eager to shed their "legacy" roots and move fully into the cloud as is Nadella.

Solid state of fear: Euro boffins bust open SSD, Bitlocker encryption (it's really, really dumb)

Updraft102 Silver badge

Re: Full Disk Encryption Not Good For SSD

Samsung SSDs use the full disk encryption function at all times, even if you've never set the password. It just doesn't require the user to present a passphrase/password first. That's presumably where the null password thing someone else mentioned comes from.

We (may) now know the real reason for that IBM takeover. A distraction for Red Hat to axe KDE

Updraft102 Silver badge

Re: This is silly

Haven't they done so the last years? (K)Ubuntu, Mint, ... Those are the popular user distros. They all support KDE. If at all, KDE is being challenged by MATE and Cinammon. They are becoming increasingly complete, while being more stable and less boated than KDE.

Mint dropped KDE.

Cinnamon is a great DE in terms of features and usability, and it used to be my go-to until I bought a laptop whose battery run time actually matters to me (my ancient laptop's battery run time has always been so bad that it hardly matters). When I tested the battery run times on various desktops, Cinnamon was much worse than Mate, Xfce, and KDE, all else being equal (kernel versions, Laptop Mode Tools active, etc).

Not all of my PCs exhibit this, but on the ones that do, the 'cinnamon' process never drops below 1% CPU, frequently bouncing to 2-3% even when the system is idle. It seems to prevent the CPU from entering sleep states for fractions of a second that save a lot of power overall, and overall, the effect is a huge hit to battery life (loss of a third or more of run time). That's when I began to seriously investigate others, and KDE (which I've always wanted to like, but some or other problem kept appearing that made me go back) had finally gotten to the point that I didn't want to go back.

KDE, meanwhile, is now on par with Cinnamon in terms of RAM footprint.

Updraft102 Silver badge

the last screenshot I saw of "new, shiny" KDE looked NOTHING like what I was accustomed to seeing, all 2D and FLATSO and "Gnome 3-ish"... like they drank the 2D FLATSO coolaid or something.

It's a theme you're looking at. You can change that in a few seconds!

I was "talking" to someone the other day (on a forum) about how he had tried to get people interested in Linux (Xfce), and they rejected it out of hand when they saw it. That amazed me-- do people really not realize that you can change the appearance of things, particularly something like Linux (where product branding doesn't matter and choice has always been a priority)?

The KDE distros I've tried come with several widget themes (Oxygen, Fusion, Redmond, Breeze) and several icon themes, along with many color schemes (and you can make your own). If that's not good enough, install the QtCurve widget theme (really a theme engine), and you will have nearly limitless control over every element of the UI appearance-wise without having to touch a config file.

You've been poisoned by too much iOS, MacOS, Windows, or something that has made you forget that you can change the appearance in Linux. The rest of the world may have concluded that options just confuse the poor little brains of the end users, so nearly every customization option has to be removed to keep their precious little heads from exploding, but KDE isn't a part of that world. Even the more minimal DEs like LXDE and Xfce use GTK+ themes and whatever icon scheme you wish. We're not using iOS here.

Updraft102 Silver badge

I've used both GNOME and KDE in the past, but eventually decided that those desktops that use less resources where for me.

That being the case, you may want to give KDE a(nother) try.

The devs have been hard at work reducing the memory footprint recently, and it's surprisingly lightweight now.

Mourning Apple's war against sockets? The 2018 Mac mini should be your first port of call

Updraft102 Silver badge

Re: Macs typically have a longer usable life than Windows PCs ...

My 2008-manufactured Asus laptop runs Windows 7, 8, 10 just fine, with everything supported and working. Linux Mint 19 works great on it too. I don't need to use a distro from 2008 or Windows from 2008... that's exactly the point. I can use a fully supported OS from 2018 on hardware that is ten years old, and it works. You can do that with a Mac that old too-- but not with the OS that defines a Mac as a Mac. For the kind of money they cost, I'd expect better. The rate of PC hardware obsolescence has slowed greatly, and as long as my hardware is good enough to be useful, I expect it to be made useful by its OS.

I also have a HP laptop from 2004ish, and it works fine too. I even put 10 on it to see if it would work (it did, but slowly). It's really too slow to be of much practical use, but the point is that it works.

'Privacy is a human right': Big cheese Sat-Nad lays out Microsoft's stall at Future Decoded

Updraft102 Silver badge

Why is it regarded as funny to perpetually misspell his name? Surely not because he's a funny little Indian, yes please?

You mean Sat-Nad? It's not a misspelling; it's an abbreviation.

Also, J-Lo, JLaw, ScarJo, LiLo, and others who are household name-y enough to receive this kind of abbreviation aren't funny little Indians.

Chuck this on expenses: £2k iPad paints Apple as the premium fondleslab specialist – as planned

Updraft102 Silver badge

Re: "A professional tablet is repairable, extensible"

The Surface Pro certainly doesn't qualify given that iFixit's repairability rating for it is 1, the worst score you can get

Close. The Surface Laptop got a score of 0, the first ever (and only) zero. It's not hard to repair... it's impossible. The case can't be opened without destroying it. I wouldn't pay half or a third of what MS is trying to get for it for a disposable item like that.

Apple's launch confirms one thing: It's determined to kill off the laptop for iPads

Updraft102 Silver badge

Laptops are so last decade. Tablets are obviously better.

However, it would help if tablets had a proper keyboard and more ports. The keyboard could be attached to the screen by a sort of hinge. Also it would probably help to put the brains in the keyboard part rather than the screen. That way it would be more balanced and more comfortable if , for example, you had it on your lap.

And since you won't be holding it with one hand while using it with the other, the touchscreen would be extremely cumbersome. One's arms get heavy fast trying to hold them out in front of you at the distance people use non-handhelds on a table or their lap. Better add a touchpad (or a pointing stick) to fix the ergonomics, if the keyboard base didn't already have one. And if you do that, you might also get rid of the now superfluous touchscreen.

I've never owned an all in one, but the people who do that I've asked about it say that they seldom if ever use the touchscreen while the keyboard is docked. Laptops, of course, always have the keyboard docked. Eschewing the touchscreen also means you can use an OS and applications that don't have all of the touchscreen compromises baked in (oversize controls, lack of informative hover effects, that sort of thing).

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