* Posts by Updraft102

1240 posts • joined 31 May 2015


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

Updraft102 Silver badge

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

Updraft102 Silver badge

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).

Updraft102 Silver badge

Re: It's called a laptop for a reason

In airport lounges, hotel corridors and occasional bars, can I prop it on my lap? I've had several tablets and the Surface Pro was marginal, all others inadequate and that's before I start cursing the keyboards.

Aren't convertible devices inherently topheavy? In a real laptop, the guts of the device are in the base, and the screen is just the screen. On top of that, they often don't have (or need) touchscreens, making the lid/screen that much lighter.

On a convertible device, the keyboard is just the keyboard. The guts are all in the screen, and it necessarily has a touchscreen. They could add weights to the keyboard to balance it, but then it gets heavier to lug around.

I have an ultraportable laptop that isn't much thicker than an iPad, and it has the added advantage of having the fragile screen on the inside when it's closed, protected. I've never wished I had a large tablet while using it... of course, part of that may be that I don't like Apple, Google, or since 2015, Microsoft. I used to think them the lesser of the three evils before Windows 10.

Updraft102 Silver badge

Re: iPad Pro

Design for a wide range of people is called Universal Design, and with the demographics of wealthy nations a company would be stupid to not implement it.

It's a good idea in general, but sometimes the details of such adaptations can conflict.

You know about accessibility ramps, of course. Make it possible for wheelchair users to get in and out of places where elevation change is required. What could be bad about that?

Well, the mother of a person I know well had an above-the-knee prosthetic leg, and while going up the ramp was fine, she couldn't descend it. The knee joint in the prosthetic would bend and she'd end up on the ground (and she was old enough to where that could cause serious damage because of osteoporosis).

Stairs, though, she could go up or down without a problem.

The disability accommodation had made it impossible for her because of her disability. In this case, the people in charge of the place had thought that a ramp is all that one needs, and that it could replace stairs (with the assumption that stairs = abled and abled people can use anything).

There's no one true way to engineer something where it will meet everyone's needs. You can try to lasso as many people as you can into your target market, but there's no such thing as one size fits all, no matter how well engineered.

Updraft102 Silver badge

Not quite

"What you might not know is we've sold more iPads in the last year than the entire notebook lineup of all of the biggest notebook manufacturers," he said.

A little mental addition reveals that the sales of the entire notebook lineup of all of the biggest notebook manufacturers comes to about 122 million, versus iPad's 44 million. That's not more. That's less. A lot less.

Had he said "each" instead of "all," that would be more accurate, but not a terribly useful statistic. There's only one maker of iPad, but there are lots of makers of notebooks, and they outsell iPads by almost a factor of three. Just imagine if they weren't all crippled with Windows 10!

Mac users burned after Nuance drops Dragon speech to text software

Updraft102 Silver badge

Re: That's why WIN is insecure

that is why WIN is insecure - ANYONE can access whatever and of course, lazy developers make up their own rules and styles without adhering to mac standards.

For some of us, that first bit is not a bug, it's a feature. I'd rather deal with the security issues than have an OS who can't remember who it is supposed to be serving. If I am managing a site full of Windows PCs, I can lock them down too, but I can also unlock them and do what I need to do, whatever that may be, if I find the need. If I'm a home user, I can avoid 99% of the malware by paying attention to what I am doing (always a good idea anyway) and not using admin privs for everything. I can have programs like Classic Shell that rectify major UI blunders by the likes of Microsoft AND not have malware.

If Macs work for you, that's great... I will never tell you you're wrong for liking them. I just can't stomach their attitude or the kinds of design decisions that follow from a "you're holding it wrong" mindset. That one gaffe just perfectly encapsulates the entire Apple view of its customers in four words.

You might learn a little about Macs - including that outside of security upgrades, you can run old Macs for a LONG TIME. I use my 2009 Mac as my video server.

You can run old PCs for a long time too. My 2008 Asus laptop still runs very nicely despite its age, and I'd still have 7 years of proprietary-OS security support on it if I was interested in running Windows 10. It runs Linux Mint now, but then so can a Mac. My 12 year old HP laptop struggles a bit more with less than 1GB of RAM and a single-core CPU, but it still works as well as it ever did.

Updraft102 Silver badge

Charles, your attitude is the perfect illustration of the problem.

The terms? Have those been codified into law at some point? They don't mean anything until a judge says they do. If Apple put in the EULA that they reserve the right to break into your house at night and trash the place and take your stuff, do you think if they actually did it, a judge would just say "Well, he agreed to it, I guess it's fine," and dismiss the case against them?

Obviously there's a line, and it's not "whatever Apple says." It's not "whatever Microsoft says." Even in the US, where the IP courts seem to be the enforcement division of every large corporation ever, there's a limit to what they can stick in the EULA and have it taken seriously. The more they push it, the more likely it is that someday someone will push back successfully. Ideally, the shrink-wrap license as a whole would be scrapped... dare to dream.

Besides all that, I wasn't talking about what Apple could legally get away with. Did you see me suggest that Apple should be punished by the government for violating a person's rights to control their own hardware? No? Then the terms and conditions aren't pertinent. People keep bringing them up as if they are the very definition of wrong and right. They're not. I'm talking about ethics, not what the corporatocratic government thinks is fine and dandy. I'm talking about what is "understandable."

When I buy something, it's mine. I can buy a Toyota Corolla, and it's mine. I can do whatever I want to it... paint it with a paint roller, take the doors off, drill holes in it, break the glass, thoroughly destroy it if I wish. I may not be allowed to drive it on the road, but I'm not harming Toyota in doing so, and they have no claim against me for any of it. It was my car to do with as I please, after all, even if all of the patents and trademarks still belong to Toyota.

If it's my car, does that mean I own "the Toyota Corolla?" No, I own A Toyota Corolla. HUGE difference. If I own THE Corolla, that means I have the full rights to the trademarks and various patents involved in the vehicle's design. I would be fully within my rights to start building them on an assembly line and selling them.

I don't have that right, though, just because I bought a car. I own my particular copy of the Corolla, and I may do anything I want with it as far as Toyota is concerned, but that's as far as it goes. I can't make them or collect royalties from those who do. I own one example of the item, not the intellectual property behind it.

Software would be no different if copyright laws made any sense. I may not be allowed to make my own copies of MacOS and sell them to anyone, but it doesn't mean that the copy running on MY machine by lawful means rightfully belongs to Apple. That's some made-up crap that should never have been allowed serious consideration. And again, that's the legal definition, and I wasn't talking about that.

So no, as I said, it's not understandable that Apple would want to control what happens on their platform, at least if you interpret "understandable" to mean reasonable and appropriate. It's understandable in the sense that Apple wants to eat their cake and have it too, but it's certainly not ethical in any sense of the word. If an OS doesn't recognize that its job is to serve me and me alone, it's not fit for purpose.

Updraft102 Silver badge

While wanting to keep control of what happens on their platform is perfectly understandable,

Mmm. No, it's not.

It's not about Apple wanting to control what happens on their platform. It's about them wanting to control what happens on other people's computers. Once a person pays the exorbitant amount of money to buy a Mac, it's not Apple's anything anymore, and what Apple wants to control is no longer of any concern on or regarding that Mac. Or it shouldn't be, at least. That Mac's job is to serve its owner, not its maker. There shouldn't be anything that's off limits to the owner of the machine in question, as far as its manufacturer is concerned.

Maybe Apple users are okay with being told that they're not allowed to do certain things with their own hardware because Apple says no, but I'm not. Even if Apple is trying to control other people's computers for what would putatively be positive objectives (security, stability, preservation of UI consistency), it shouldn't be up to them to overrule the owner of the PC if he wishes to compromise those things for whatever reason.

I guess that's the kind of thing Apple users sign up for, and why some of us have always avoided them. I'd rather deal with the issues of a system that is infinitely modifiable and configurable than to have to conform to the One True Way defined by the OS maker. The computer is here to serve me, so why should I have to conform to its preferred way of doing things rather than the other way round? Don't tell me I am holding it wrong; adapt to the way in which I am holding it! (I know that was about hardware, not the OS, but it's the same "do it our way" philosophy of Apple behind both.)

Every user is not a total beginner who has not developed any habits or workflow preferences yet, and who needs to be protected from doing something stupid. It seems like everything's being dumbed down to the lowest common denominator... this is nothing new for Apple, but Microsoft seems hellbent on copying them on the desktop (which, of course, makes perfect sense, given that Microsoft has 90% market share and Apple has about 8%).

What can I say about this 5G elixir? Try it on steaks! Cleans nylons! It's made for the home! The office! On fruits!

Updraft102 Silver badge

Re: Greatful for what we get.

Living in a rural area, serviced by a WISP I helped get off the ground, I’d appreciate even 20mb/s broadband.

I don't believe I've ever heard of anything as slow as 20 millibit per second. It would take 6 minutes and 40 seconds just to transfer one byte!

From today, it's OK in the US to thwart DRM to repair your stuff – if you keep the tools a secret

Updraft102 Silver badge

Re: Mine vs Yours

Oh, and if you re-read the Ford scenario above and then apply it to Apple and their devices, that is exactly what that company are doing now.

You hinted at something in there that's indicative of what Apple is doing too with the line 'which, incidentally, is only for as long as they want to support it for'. Apple flatly refuses to repair some of their products, while at the same time trying to prevent those people from getting them repaired elsewhere. They know that if a person is invested in the iOS or Mac ecosystem, they've got only one vendor from which to get any replacement hardware, should their existing equipment become unrepairable. Other PC or phone makers can't get away with what Apple does, as there are lots of makers of Windows PCs or Android phones that a disgruntled customer can choose from.

Apple deliberately cuts corners in their engineering, then blames the users when things go bad. They put moisture sensors on their motherboards specifically to give them a means to deny warranty claims, which they will do with only the slightest excuse. They make bizarre design decisions that make repair as expensive as possible, like making the keyboard, battery, and touchpad into a single replaceable unit in the case of those butterfly keyboard laptops, and then they sometimes simply refuse to perform any repairs at all, or to let anyone else do it either.

They are truly a despicable company. They can sell their alleged respect for privacy all they want, but as long as they act the way they do with their hardware, I'm staying clear of anything Apple. (And before you ask, I avoid Google like the plague they are too.)

Microsoft promises a fix for Windows 10 zip file woes. In November

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"The most notable feature in the new version is an improved Windows Search which, in shades of search engines of old, spends a while indexing every folder and file on the PC in what Microsoft claims is a “one-off” process."

Can the user specify to not have their search terms sent to Bing as well?

When I used Windows, I used Everything for search. It's a high bar to reach, and even if MS reaches it, they'd just be reinventing the wheel.

Memo to Microsoft: Windows 10 is broken, and the fixes can't wait

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Then, people started developing things like DXVK, and then Valve threw their weight into it.

DXVK is a game-changer, no pun intended. I've used it and seen Windows-like framerates where WINE alone would have them at half of that. I never liked Steam much in the past, given that among other things, it's a platform for DRM, but no other entity has done more for Linux gaming than Steam has, and now with their new commitments to the Linux platform, I am cheering them. Gabe Newell's comments about what MS is trying to do with Win 10 and the MS Store are spot on, and making a platform that no one company can ever control into a viable alternative to Windows is the best way to ensure that MS never accomplishes its goal of a captive, iOS-like walled garden for Windows.

Steam, though, is only a gaming platform, so even though the same principles apply across the software spectrum (MS can't close up the walled garden if there is an alternative it can't exterminate), someone else will have to step up for non-games.

Given that MS Office is the 800 pound gorilla of business applications, and that the company that develops it is the very same one trying to set up this walled garden, that seems unlikely, at least in the short term. If MS is truly serious about becoming a cloud company, which I think they are, they really should not have a problem offering a Linux version of Office that is on par with their Windows offerings. After all, Linux users can be customers of cloud services too, right? If it's all about the cloud, what difference does it make how one gets there? Linux users are not users of a competing platform-- they're potential cloud and application software customers.

If that ever happened, it would be down the road a bit. Right now there's monetization to inflicted upon the Windows-using community, and MS very much wants all of those recalcitrant Windows 7 users to move to 10 to be monetized for a few years before they get fed up enough to overcome the barriers to leaving the Windows prison. Once the Windows-using community has been monetized and abused to the breaking point, only then can MS start being serious about Linux applications.

I don't know that MS will ever do that, but it seems clear to me that they love the cloud and want Windows dead, but only after squeezing Windows users for all they can. Nothing else makes sense... it's not plausible that MS really thinks they can treat Windows customers like this and keep them long-term. Vendor lock-in will keep them in the line of fire for a while, but that won't last forever.

It naturally follows that MS would offer a version of Office for whatever platform(s) take over after they leave the OS market.

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What crisis?

Wish I would have thought of this when the topic was new...

"Three urgent changes Redmond must make to stop the QA crisis..."

Microsoft: What crisis? Everything is working perfectly. Our beta testers caught all of the bugs before they made it to our valued customers. Nothing needs to be fixed; working as intended.

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Re: Perhaps

When this shit slide impacts on bottom line, MS will realise the error of their ways.

Unfortunately, Windows is just a sideline for Microsoft now. Unless MS wrecking Windows somehow harms their cloud offerings, MS is happy to keep letting Windows flail about. It's all about the cloud now. People keep thinking that MS is going to wake up when they realize that their actions are slowly destroying Windows (as a product, it's already destroyed, but MS only cares about it as a source of revenue, and it's not totally destroyed in that way yet), but that's not going to happen. They already know. And they don't care.

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Re: Am I missing something here?

Windows 98 - This is rubbish, can't wait for Windows 2000.

I thought it was pretty bad because of its obnoxious "everything is a web page" UI, designed to blur the line between Windows Explorer and Internet Explorer, but it was generally popular and considered decent by most. It was more stable than 95, which isn't saying much.

Windows 2000 - This is really rubbish, so looking forward to Windows ME replacing this junk.

I don't recall a lot of people thinking Windows 2000 was rubbish. It was the "pro" answer to the consumer equivalent, Windows ME, released later the same year (2000). They were never intended for the same market.

Windows 7 - Well it's better then Vista?

It's a bit more popular than that now. It's the one everyone wants to keep using.

Windows XP was a juggernaut. I used it from c. 2002 to its end of support on one or the other PC, for well over ten years. If they could have just stuck with that UI and just changed the minimum possible to accommodate newer technologies, I'd have been as happy with it as I had been for the first ten years.

Windows 10 is the first Windows I have really and truly despised. I avoided Vista, but I would have rather used it then than I would use 10 now.

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Windows 95 crashing when you plugged a USB device in,

Never had that experience! Back then we called it "useless serial bus" because there weren't any devices to plug into it that were readily available. The PCs sold by the outfit I was with didn't have USB ports even though the motherboards did support it, but we only had one person ask for USB in all my time there, and he just wanted the board along with the connector (which we did not have), not a full PC.

Windows 95, as originally released, didn't even have USB support (OSR 2.1 added it). At the time I'm referring to here, or the start of the time period at least, OSR2 (95 "B" as it was sometimes called) was brand new for OEM distribution.

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Re: Peter Bright

Devs can somehow do better code if they test it by themselves,

That one always seemed too ridiculous to be taken seriously.

If the code generated by x hours of programming require y hours of testing, how is reducing a programmer's hours of x and making him do y for part of his work week instead supposed to help save money? If he's programming a third as much because two thirds of his time is now testing, and so are all the other programmers, then they need three times the programmers they used to have to achieve the same output. It's still the same amount of labor per line of code if that testing is actually being done. The only difference will be that they replaced the relatively cheap testers with programmers for testing duties, and that doesn't save money.

The entire argument about "test your own code" seems to forget that time is a scarce resource. For the people who actually believe it, of course. It isn't the programmers themselves doing the testing.

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Re: ...or MacOS

However, that doesn't mean it's a bad OS, it just means that the OS is not compatible with my brain.

It could be argued that being compatible with your brain would be one of the basic requirements of a good OS. An OS that is highly configurable would be compatible with a lot of brains, but as I understand, this is not Apple's way. Apple's way is to tell you you're holding it wrong.

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Re: QA Prestige

Oh yeah, Linux. Just had the 'pleasure' of setting up a Lubuntu system. Default document editor flickers like crazy, prints half size, automatic security updates are broken and still won't sync with Google Drive.

Oh yeah, cars. Just had the 'pleasure' of driving a 1980 Trabant. Headlights flicker like crazy, smokes like a chimney, windshield wipers are broken, and it's noisy.

Yep, guess all cars must be bad then.

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No one likes their name misspelled

Woody Leonhard said that Windows is on a vicious downward spiral.

F***=off, Google tells its staff: Any mention of nookie now banned from internal files, URLs

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Just spell fuck differently - Phuq works pretty well

I thought it was fsck!

SQLite creator crucified after code of conduct warns devs to love God, and not kill, commit adultery, steal, curse...

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I just wanna say that people should eat more fruits and vegetables.

So, about that Google tax on Android makers in the EU – report pegs it at up to $40 per phone

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Re: why do we need app stores?

Also, could you imagine a world with phones without apps stores?

I don't have to imagine it. I can remember it! It was wonderful.

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(Posted from 1 of 2 options, my Android phone)

I posted this from number six or so from those two options.

Love Microsoft Teams? Love Linux? Then you won't love this

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Re: "Vanishingly Small"

The average Johnny or Jane average is not going to set up Windows or Linux on any PC. They think of the PC like a TV or a toaster... get it out of the box, plug it in, use it. Installing an OS, even if everything goes perfectly, is like black magic.

Is this cuttlefish really all that cosmic? Ubuntu 18.10 arrives with extra spit, polish, 4.18 kernel

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For many thousands of years, we and our ancestors have been dealing with three dimensional objects in space. Being able to do this well and quickly no doubt often meant the difference between making a meal of a dangerous animal or it making a meal of you. We're well adapted to living in a three dimensional spatial world.

In terms of biology, we're no different than humans who lived and died before personal computers existed. We're still wired to intuitively respond to three dimensional objects. In terms of GUIs, I've said before that our perception of skeuomorphic, non-flat UIs is hardware-accelerated in our brains. Effects like shading and shadows that give the illusion of depth allow us to instantly recognize that a window is distinct from the background because it has a shadow or that buttons are meant to be pressed because they look like actual buttons. Flat interfaces that don't look like anything we're wired to instantly recognize require more cognitive processing for us to figure out what UI elements are actionable, and that takes a person's attention away from the task at hand for a brief moment. It adds up... I think the Reg article some time ago said that the subjects using flat interfaces were 22% slower than those using skeuomorphic ones, according to the study they were reporting upon. A particularly bad flat interface could be still worse if you have to hunt around to see what is an active UI element.

Looking modern or what some people think is attractive (I think flat interfaces are ugly) is not a good reason to make user interfaces (or themes that define their appearance) that are slower and less intuitive. Function is beauty.

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Re: "the system has a more modern and 'flatter' look"

KDE runs quite well on my Intel Braswell dual core laptop with 4GB of RAM and Intel integrated graphics. It's probably the most underpowered CPU/GPU you can get from Intel right now, but it doesn't have any trouble with KDE. It runs better than Windows 10 did for the very short time it was on there.


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