* Posts by BitTwister

253 posts • joined 3 Sep 2007


Lords debate airline liquids ban


@Steve Evans

> It was 6am, and I decided not to point out the error of their ways when they said the 125g jar was over the 100ml limit...

It might have been nice to see the look on their faces as you scooped out the "excess baggage" and left it in a heap on their desk.

Bubblewrapped kids fall prey to net predators


@John A Blackley

> Meals were a small plate of dirt and, at Christmas, I got a glass of water to wash it all down.

Water, you say? Aye, you were lucky...

Jailed terror student 'hid' files in the wrong Windows folder



As Jon commented: 8 years for possessing "seditious material"?

Isn't this exactly the same sort of thing that various tin-pot dictators (and not so tin-pot) have tried over the years? What worries me most about this sort of farce masquerading as 'justice' is that people like you think it IS justice.

You say "How do you know what he did or didn't do?" Well, probably about as much as *you* know - yet one post justifiably questions the severe sentence passed for nothing more than a 'documentation crime' (getting dangerously close to 'thought crime', IMO) while other wastes of space are getting away with more serious, non-terrorism related crimes: did you hear *nothing* about that thug who beat up a 96 year-old on a tram, blinding him in one eye? - not even a custodial sentence.

Meanwhile, the other post simply parrots the "string 'em up!!" mentality our minders (and most of the brain-dead news media) would have us swallow.

I'm always happy to see people questioning anything done by an authority, and it seriously worries me when they don't.

Fight malware by upgrading to Vista, urges MS


Desperate measures from a has-been

If they really meant any of this utter nonsense then they'd be fixing the vulnerabilities in their PREVIOUS releases - the ones currently responsible for generating all this crap because they've been own3d, and not trying to get everyone to upgrade to the chrome-plated turd that is Vista. Of course, the extra income generated by such upgrades has nothing to with it at all. Oh no, nothing at all.

Crap that (allegedly, and ad nauseum) is 'more secure' than their other crap is still crap.

Identity and Passport Service announces ID supplier shortlist



> Let it be EDS.

Heh, yes indeed. Then it will never happen AND be tens of millions over budget. Another super NuLabour bargain IT deal...

Schoolkid chipping trial 'a success'


@Ken Hagan

> So, apart from the school who else can now track these kids?

Oh, probably just the usual few hundred 'Friends of NuLabour' -type concerns, and doubtless with assorted commercial interests attached.

So er, that's Ok then...


@Andrew Tyler

> All your reverse polish is belong to us.

Surely: us belong Polish Reverse all. ?

</coat fetch>

Of opposable thumbs and software engineering


@video adverts

> anybody responsible for creating, promoting or sticking on a website, a huge advert such as the one in this article (...) gets shot repeatedly

Lordy - are there *still* people out there not using Firefox with an add-on like AdBlock to dump this stuff? You don't HAVE to watch it, you know.

> remove all such fucking idiots from the gene pool.

Er, yes indeed. But would those idiots be the ones posting it, or the ones still needlessly seeing it?

'Fiendish' Trojan pickpockets eBay users


@Steven Hewittt

Not "installed" - just clicked on:

> "eBay's security team says she got infected after clicking on the email attachment sent in response to her bid"

Blimey - so that constitutes an application installation on the oh so ready for the desktop Windows platform? From within an e-mail body? Windows won't ever be ready for the desktop until attachments can be opened without fear of something exploiting one of its gaping holes. Well, there are *so* many to choose from - all aided by 'user-friendly features' of the OS.

> Write one for Linux, Mac, even HP-UX and the app will do as it's told.

Well it can try, but (1) the application wouldn't run just by clicking on an icon in an e-mail - that's a Windows-only stupidity and another example of it not being ready for the desktop, (2) it would need to be run as root before being able to do anything worrying, (3) there are many forms of an 'executable' file under Linux so something malicious would need to be the correct type and (4) it would need to be written for the correct host CPU - not something Windows has had to concern itself with very much, which must make one aspect of creating malicious code for Windows even easier.

And (5), for a user to actually succeed and install something malicious into the OS they'd need to work on it and 'get out and push'.

Big media gangs up on pirates, file sharers


@So now we know

> Now we know what the money was spent on. MS gets you to by their content control OS and sells the control of it to these creeps.

No shit, Sherlock - you reckon? Lots of us saw it coming in with XP - where were you?

Could *anyone* still believe that Microsoft has the users' interests at heart? Surely they dropped that sort of money-losing silliness years ago.

Home Office minister invites DNA database debate


More spin and lies

If it's kept when no crime was committed, and the Government has no plans for a universal database (presumably AKA the ID card) - then *why* is it kept in the first place, and *why* is it so difficult to have it removed?

> "Because it has grown to include more than four million people, it is important that we get the chance to debate how we proceed," the minister said.

Hmm - there's a horse-before-cart syndrome hiding behind that innocent little "Because". It's grown to include more than four million people because there was no proper debate in the first place.

Microsoft patents brain-computer link


"It looks like you're thinking about using Linux..."

Shall I reformat the drive ready for the installation?

<thinks: Why yes, my little plastic pal - and at all speed, if you please>

Mars rovers can keep on rovin'


@Vladimir Plouzhnikov

> There is no substitute for proper, manned space exploration

The Mars rovers aren't a substitute - they're the initial scouting party and not even vaguely futile.

EU watchdogs aim for broadband equality


Nice try

...but pretty pointless considering the antiquated BT infrastructure getting in the way. Fibre optic feeds to domestic premises, anyone? Equal up and down rates?

Only seems like yesterday when the trumpets were Blairing (fnar) about "Broadband Britain". Oh, how we laughed.

After months of denial, Microsoft cops to IE vulnerability


@ why use IE, I'll tell you why we use IE

> Why do sites code for IE hmm could be because 90% of the browsers that hit my website are IE it doesn't make business sense for many companies to code a page for another browser

Funny that - before IE got stuffed down users' throats the 'W' in 'WWW' meant 'World' - you know, as in 'World Wide Web'.

The fact that someone, ANYONE, attempts to justify that first 'W' as meaning 'Windows' is reason enough to not use IE.

And surely coding a website to conform to open standards so that ANY browser can properly render the page would make much better business sense - or do you actually know of projector companies who prefer to use transparencies for their business letters instead of paper like everyone else?

Ho hum - another day, another instance of Microsoft pushing in their one-sided, proprietary 'standards' through the back door...

US demands air passengers ask its permission to fly


@Nick H

> The only reason you HAVE the freedom to spout this nonsense is because of the US.

Oh dear oh dear - you *silly* twisted boy.

It's because of willy-waving crap like this that many non-Merkins have a (unfair and largely undeserved) poor opinion of your side of the pond. And in your case, I'd suspect that many Merkins would rather keep you at bay with a ten foot pole too.

Except perhaps Bush and the other inmates of his monkey cage, all chucking poo at the world while dancing on the graves of the founding fathers. You'd be right at home there.

You want to learn about Ubuntu?



> My MOTHER can use windows. My Dad can even (at a push) install it on a machine. Neither of them would stand a chance on linux.

This would make more sense if only you'd had a look at KUbuntu. I know of several cases where yer average Windows user is now doing perfectly well with the KDE GUI, OpenOffice, Firefox, Thunderbird etc. on various Linux distributions - including KUBuntu; one is over 70, the others are 'mom & pop' -types. Not one of them is remotely technical.

> the average non-techie doesn't want to spend time configuring their machine, they expect it to work out of the box.

None of the above spent any time configuring things (unless you include tweaking the required resolution via the GUI), and they all had an installation which worked out of the box. (off the DVD, actually).

> even the most technophobic can handle going to nvidia.com, downloading the driver.exe and running it.

As I said in my earlier post, the KUbuntu installer identified the NVidia card *and installed the driver automatically*. No-one had to go anywhere to download anything.

> If the Linux community want to "challenge windows"

I don't think "the Linux community" can be arsed - they're probably too busy just getting on with things. Besides, with Microsoft losing the plot more and more they're becoming less & less relevant.

> have to accept that windows actually does a lot of things right.

What, you mean like pushing buttons to get lots of stuff done? Well what GUI *doesn't* do that? As for the software, there really isn't much about a spreadsheet, wordprocessor, browser or mail client which could be classified as something which somehow, unlike all the others, Windows just does right.

What WIndows also does is lock users into using proprietary file formats and protocols for no other reason than greedy commercial interests. Microsoft wasn't found guilty of being a rapacious, predatory monopolist because it happened to be a quiet day at the courthouse.

> It's the dominant os for a reason (and it's not just microsofts business practices).

Wrong, quite wrong - and I speak from experience having once worked at a company which intended to sell OS2 Warp along with Windows - until Microsoft threatened to drop the OEM deal. Besides, how many users actually *choose* to use Windows, and how many users just click away because it's what they see when the PC starts for the first time?

There's a reason why Windows is pre-installed on just about everything except table lamps, and that reason has everything to do with Microsoft's dubious business practices and nothing to do with choice or popularity.


@Anonymous Vulture

> The way that you pay for GNU/Linux is the same way that you pay for things like Perl, via the "documentation tax" and the time you have to spend figuring it out.

So why are the bookshelves in any reasonably-sized bookshop groaning under the weight of books about Windows - isn't paying the Redmond Tax enough?

> the "free" documentation supplied with the system is incomprehensible and disorganised, so you have to buy extra books.

Incomprehensible and disorganised to you, evidently - but why buy all those books when you're seated at a browser? The Linux users I know just buy the odd O'Reilly for the deeply technical parts - and that's only because O'Reilly do it so well. But those parts and everything else is still easily available on-line.

> Thus you end up paying more money for the thing than you would have had to pay for a Microsoft operating system.



@David Wiernicki

> What's difficult about "sudo xorgconfig" is that unless you know to do it, figuring out to do it is next to impossible.

Ah yes, that's right: all Windows users were simply born knowing how to use it. Have you never seen some of the cryptic error messages from Windows? I really can't see the average Joe figuring them out either and still less knowing what to do about them.

> In a UI which is mostly graphically based, a reasonably experienced person can figure out how to do most anything from context.

Yes indeed - and that's exactly what KUbuntu provides - along with the other major distributions. They have done for years.

> But when the GUI shell is a slapped-on bit of bodywork with essential control hidden behind the command line, specific knowledge is required.

It's not a shell, nor is it "slapped on", and nothing is hidden - the underlying systems have a longer history than Windows but unlike Windows, which re-veneers the 'same old same old' and adds more sets of handcuffs with each release, KDE (and probably Gnome) with each new release shows major goodies added and even slicker enhancements that Gates' crew could even dream about. And typically, for a Windows fanboy, the "command line" (it's not that at all, actually) is seen as some sort of complex threat to users. It's no wonder some GUIs get called 'point-and-drool' interfaces.

The concepts are really very simple but they're not Windows' concepts. Seems this is the major bitch for many Windows users taking a look. I'd just call it 'lazy' when they only kick a couple of tyres, give up looking for the 'feed me with a jam spoon' button - and then proclaim that 'Linux is not ready for the desktop'. What, they think Windows *is*? Oh dear oh dear...

There are those who are content to press buttons and don't care/don't notice that there *is* no button for what they'd *like* to do - and then there are those who are a little more interested in what they're doing and making it more productive.


@Stuart Halliday

> I was left trying to use a 800x600 desktop out of a 22" widescreen 1680x1050 screen.

Pfft - it worked perfectly first time with an ancient NVidia card driving my 22" widescreen at 1680x1050 32-bit - I'm using it right now, and required no prodding at all to make it work. It also automatically pulled down the current driver from NVidia. Absolutely everything else was pulled off the installation DVD and worked perfectly first time.

As others have pointed out, the problem was with ATI support and not Linux - some very simple searches (that's what Google is for, remember?) would have shown you in seconds that ATI are playing silly buggers and providing no drivers *and* no information to allow others to write Linux support (although they seem to have realised this approach is costing them their reputation and money).

OpenSUSE 10.3 opens for business


@Anonymous Vulture

> Couldn't possibly Microsoft being influenced by Linux as it stands at present?

What, you mean like with ODF? Ooh yes; they *really* liked that one, didn't they - and it's not even a Linux standard. It's an Open Standard so a blundering, bully-boy technique had to be used to try and shoot it down because it might affect Microsoft's tie-in dominance with their secretive & proprietary file formats.

> I mean: look at the other side of the river: At MS the word is that "Linux is an OS and not a communist party".

Funny - it doesn't seem so long ago that they were calling it a cancer and trying to make it impossible to sell machines with no OS installed. Same old claptrap, different set of shiny beads.

> They are even ready to support it and they made their major packages relatively aware of this part of the outer world.

No they're not. It's only because they've become aware that many of their users are moving to Linux that they've started blowing trumpets about "supporting" it, in a seedy attempt at winning some of them back. If they'd only used the same standards that the rest of the world *is already using* then everything would have fallen into place with little to no effort.

> And you think Mono is a bad thing for Linux?

It's nothing more than an attempt by Microsoft at getting itself embedded into Linux for the same reasons that they fart about with document formats: user tie-in.

> Do you know why the IT that counts buys Windows products? Because there is software for them.

Pah - this is FUD. Do *you* know why the IT which *really* counts runs on Unix or Linux? It's because they use open, proven, reliable, peer-approved and well-documented standards - something Microsoft has always fought tooth and nail to avoid.


@Anonymous Vulture

Oh dear, more FUD... "Linux already has its niches". How gracious of you to grant that observation, and how funny it is for those of us who know differently.

You speak FUD of the various Linux distributions as if they were all completely different and incompatible with each other while knowing nothing of the underlying standards which make them all essentially the same thing, and don't notice that the silly evangelism noise comes from the same types who would likewise twitter about screensavers, minor interface tweaks and a plethora of other ephemeral aspects of Windows.

> why should I expect anything to be different this time

Isn't that what more and more Windows users are asking?

Police cuff 77 in fake cheque crackdown


@Anonymous Vulture

> A man contacts her as a prospective client, supposedly relocating to the USA for work.

So presumably she'd do the same thing if a *total stranger* met her in the street and span the same story? Of course not.

Some users just shouldn't be trusted to use e-mail. Too much of the 'well, it's on the computer so it must be Ok' -syndrome.

Microsoft punts web-based apps to the masses


Ooh looky

“‘Online’ services are for organizations with more advanced IT needs where power and flexibility are critical.”

Some early output from a new Microsoft program: MS IntelliGuff

Windows XP repair disk kills automatic updates


@Damien Jorgensen

> If you let Windows Update check for updates, them it seems to me that you intend to install at least some of them.

Or that you'd like to first review what's available before making your OWN decision, so that you can try to judge any impact on existing installed software - software which might have nothing to do with Microsoft?

> If Microsoft thinks that a patch is so critical that it should install it automitcally then I think theyd be a pretty good judge of whats needed.

Microsoft has never demonstrated an ability to judge anything properly - least of all the needs or opinions of the machine's OWNER. (clue: it's not Microsoft)

SkypeIn goes out



> What can you expect from a free phone service?

SkypeIn isn't free.

French court says non to pre-loaded Windows on Acer laptop


@I don't understand

> How can a court order you to sell a product that you don't sell?

When the product you sell unfairly and forcibly compels a purchaser to have something included with it which he doesn't want - where what's included isn't a necessary and integral part.

Ok, some sort of OS is necessary for the Acer laptop - but it's unfair to *force* any specific OS because the cost of that OS and its installation is all factored into the purchase price. This lack of choice doesn't apply to Macs because their architecture isn't open; it's never been designed as a 'fit your own' system like the descendants of the IBM-PC open architecture commonly available today and the Mac OS is more sensibly viewed as 'integral', not pre-installed.

> Should Becker be forced to sell's GPSs without Windows CE and Nav software?

Of course not - but this analogy isn't relevant because the GPS unit isn't designed in the first place as a chunk of technology which won't do anything until 'an' OS is installed by someone. The GPS software is an integral part of a single-function and closed unit.


@Daniel van Niekerk

> But he went out and bought something that he didn't want and then asked for money back for stuff he didn't want but then knowingly purchased. How is this right?

It's perfectly right, although it's a crying shame someone needs to go to these lengths before being able to buy what he wants. Including an OS will suit many people - but not all, and an OS is only an integral part of a PC once it's been installed. It's not like the hardware will rot away because there's no OS pre-installed.

You should change "But he went out and bought something that he didn't want" to "But he went out and *was forced to buy* something that he didn't want". That's the point: he didn't want Windows+crud but couldn't buy a machine without it.

And to all the other nay-sayers: absolutely no-one is saying that henceforth, all PCs must be sold with no OS. It should be a CHOICE.

Red Hat beats Q2 expectations with Linux sales



...and failing.

Oz burglar had sex with Hoover



As in:

The scene is an oh-so elegant dinner party with lots of bright young things chattering knowledgeably about the meaning behind high art forms and related esoterica. We see that one of the guests is a bit worried, looking anxiously from face to face and desperately trying to keep up - and hoping no-one will involve him in the discussion.

Unfortunately one of them does, rounding on him with "And what say you, pray tell?" Ever hopeful, he replies with "I do like a nice painting-by-numbers picture - they're very good".

A frosty silence falls over the table; there are a few embarrassed coughs. The guy shrugs his shoulders, realizing there's nothing for it now except a hasty exit and as he leaves his seat, in a resigned voice says "I'll get my coat..."


@Andy Crofts

Nah, I was already wearing my coat...

> But, what was the wood for???

Maybe he needed it to prod the on/off switch once he'd er, got into position. ;)


Ah yes...

...nothing sucks like an Electrolux.

Free-market think tank urges EU to unbundle Windows


@What a laughable idea

> I can't imagine a non- technical minded person being able to buy a computer and install windows let alone linux without any help :-)

Which is why such a non-technical person would likely buy a machine with Windows pre-installed. Of course they'll *still* need technical help when, inevitably, the wheels fall off.

But the point is - some of us don't want or need Windows and it would be rather nice if we didn't have to pay anyway for a pre-installed copy. That's just a PC stealth tax, and further serves to inflate Microsoft's unfounded "users choose Windows" guff.

Choice doesn't enter into it, but it should.

Start-up sued in US courts over GPL 'violation'



> what can one do with the released information?

Simple: by sharing it, as the license requires, everyone studying it gets to learn about more aspects of utilisation - which in turn, can benefit changes or additions *they* might want to make.

Everyone wins - unless some commercial cheapskate decides to not abide by the license which allowed full access and use of the source in the first place.

Scots tell ET to eff off



Poor boy. It must be horrible having no sense of humour whatever.

Florida uni cops taser shouty student



> "We're absolutely committed to having a safe environment for our faculty and our students so that a free exchange of ideas can occur."

Excuse me? What a hypocrite.

Top US boffin plans jizz-based LEDs



come come, now...


German police raid home of man who operated Tor server


@Tor & Fraud

> I'm sure you're well aware what Tor is often used for, plain and simply fraud.

So is snail-mail & the telephone - and for much longer. Should their providers' offices also be raided in this ham fisted manner?

SCO files for US bankruptcy protection


Suicide attempt finally works

Having continually shot itself in both feet throughout this baseless farce, SCO finally dies from blood loss. The only sad part of all this is that their many debtors are unlikely to get much out of it.

No flowers, please. There are unlikely to be many mourners.

Microsoft dispels rumors of stealth Windows updates


@D. Suse

Very nicely put, my friend.

Trojan planted on US Consulate website


@Remy Redert

> Called patching, antivirus, firewalls etc. Surely even you in your ignorance has heard of these?

I doubt he's ignorant and yes, he probably has heard of them - but surely you're just chanting the typical Windows fanboy mantra. What's astonishing is that no-one's tried lynching Gates & Co. for forcing users to jump through these hoops, despite the promises of "improved" security with each release. Why *are* there so many botnets of compromised Windows machines? Ah wait; of course - that's all the fault of the *users* and not the OS...

You buy Windows, and *then* you have buy the extra stuff/learn hoop jumping to make it secure. Wouldn't things be simpler if Microsoft just did as they promised?


@@Rahmi Guldahl

> Maybe they *should* have changed to Windows, if they wanted to be secure.

Idiot. If you'd bothered checking the details for Mal/ObfJS-C, you would have seen that it affects Windows. As per sodding usual.

I think Rahmi Guldahl is spot on the button.


@Steven Hewittt, not @Remy Redert

Re. my previous post: Oops, beg pardon. <blush> It's these cheap plywood fingers, I tells ya...

ISPs turn blind eye to million-machine malware monster


@Anonymous Coward

> Slapper. Been around since 2002 and there are still plenty of Linux webserver infected with this....

That's an SSL vulnerability, not a Linux vulnerability. Splitting hairs? Not at all: SSL isn't part of the Linux OS and isn't required to run Linux. Slapper is also specific to i386 machines and makes an assumption about the location of 'sh'.

Given that it first appeared in 2002 you can bet your bottom dollar that SSL was fixed within days and vulnerable versions of SSL haven't been available since.

Can you point me at something which accurately quantifies "Plenty of Linux webservers"? Symantec just has it as "Number of infections: more than 1,000" (along with "Removal: Easy", "Threat Containment: Easy", and "Damage Level: Low") - but with no date. For all this says there could be zero infections today. The details are a little old too: Ubuntu "Feisty" runs 0.9.8c and a what, 4-year old(?) SUSE 9.3 installation runs 0.9.7e so neither is vulnerable to Slapper "out the box".

> any server, regardless of OS is very vulnerable if the security fixes don't get applied

ITYM any *Windows* OS not sheltered behind a good firewall/crap filter is very vulnerable. I regularly trap several spam mails per day, either containing malicious code designed to take advantage of some vulnerability or other, or links pointing to the same thing on a website but I'm really not bothered by this: they're all Windows-related binaries. And even if, one day, they become Linux-related binaries I'm still going to have to 'get out and push' to allow them to work. It's already easy to mail a one-line noddy script which, with the right permissions and making a few assumptions, would delete every file on the system without comment - but the recipient would really need to work on it (and know the root password) before it was able to delete any files. There is not and there never will be a means of executing anything arriving inside a mail body, for very obvious reasons.

Linux *might* be occasionally vulnerable to *potential* exploits within a narrow range of supplied applications: not that that's any reason to avoid keeping things ship-shape & updated - but it's still an entirely different ball-game to that other OS.


@Remy Redert

> I'm fairly certain that you'll find a good number of security bugs in Linux, for one no program with more then 10 lines can be bug free from the start and a program the size of an OS will never be bug free.

Huh. One of those silly axioms which is all the more ridiculous for being quoted at all. 10 lines of *what*, for one thing. I've written several large programs and I can assure you that they are/were totally bug free and did exactly what they were designed to do. Nothing more, nothing less.

But a 'bug' isn't necessarily a security issue in any OS, although it is interesting to compare and contrast those potential security issues which pop up occasionally in Linux and the way in which they might be exploited - with those which pop up in Windows and the ease with which they are exploited. It's simplistic to just say 'there are security issues' without taking into account the details.

> Then ofcourse there's the permission system, which in linux means that almost all malware that you do manage to contract, it will after all be pretty much inevitable that you get your machine infected with malware

What Linux malware? Go on, find some. Linux uses the same security model as Unixen - go on, find some for that while you're looking. Shouldn't be too hard because it's very popular and in one form or another, has been around since 1970-odd.

> once Linux becomes a popular OS, will end up running on user priviledges and as such will be an easy target to any anti-malware program, which would be running at an admin or kernel level.

This tired old "if Linux was popular" chestnut is nonsense. All you're basically saying is that if everyone drove a Ferrari there would be more occurrences of <some common problem found on cheap run-abouts> - on the basis that both are cars. What you miss for each car/OS is the different design and quality of workmanship and that one was built from the ground up with high-quality mechanics/security designed in from day one.

You seem to have a rather mixed idea of user privileges. In order for anything to run with root privileges, one must first become root to be able to do anything destructive to the OS or a running process - and in order to become root, you must first gain access to the OS. That's *considerably* difficult to achieve - even allowing for the odd security issue cropping up.

> Personally I'm in favour of a mandatory exam before a person is allowed to have administrator access to a computer.

I'd much rather see the OS manufacturer being properly dealt with for continuing to market such an insecure mess. Why *should* users have to be careful with attachments, or get paranoid about some websites, or dance around ensuring virus libraries are up to date?

Dell's Linux sleight of hand


@Mark Rendle

> I wouldn't be surprised if the man-hours involved in installing Red Hat or Ubuntu on a handful of customised machines far outweighs the time taken to dump XP or Vista images onto hard disks.

What, you actually believe it isn't possible to dump preconfigured Linux images onto hard disks in the same way? Lordy, how short-sighted is that...

You really ought to take a look at Linux before trying to slag it off.

Microsoft spins standards defeat into victory


@Don Mitchell

>>"...the only acceptable modifiction is to delete *everything* thats MS-inspired"

>That pretty much says it all. It's not about open standards, its about bashing Microsoft.

Hah - I didn't think it would take too long before a Microsoft apologist popped out of the woodwork.

Don, it's actually *everything* about open standards - and the document MS submitted failed miserably not just because they're trying to muscle in and foist yet another pile of proprietary garbage onto their handcuffed users - but because it was woefully, WOEFULLY incomplete.

These definitions are supposed to be complete and whilst the odd technical twiddle might be needed to bang it into a polished state, it is expected that the basic groundwork will already have been done before submitting it for approval and that there are no glaringly obvious "exactly what is meant by this?" or "how can that be implemented without additional (unprovided) data?" -type questions remaining.

This doesn't really have very much to do with the technicalities of *what* is being proposed by the standard, so no detailed understanding of software/computing etc. is necessarily required to ratify it - just a great attention to detail. There should be no holes; no missing descriptions which would prevent *anyone* from actually doing the really technical part and write code which performs actions *as defined in the standard*.

Also, this MS-bashing you seem to see is all in your mind, mate - it's perfectly possible for a company to define their own proprietary extensions but the point is that there is a standard way of doing this. Which, as usual, was trampled on and proprietary material (ie. not possible to be replicated by others) is brazenly pushed forward into the mainstream specification.

It failed to be ratified as an open standard because as presented, it would be utterly impossible for it to be implemented openly, by others. That's the point of having an open standard: think Redbook audio CDs - anyone can produce a CD which will be playable anywhere *because* the standard is well-defined.

> ODF and Open Office is entirely based on the inspection and reverse engineering of Microsoft Office

This is unfounded and irrational nonsense. There is nothing about Microsoft Office which is special, unique and er, "innovative". I don't suppose you've heard of Visicalc, WordStar and a shedload of other software which predates Microsoft? Or are you trying to say that the ability to format a document, change font size/style etc. etc. is entirely a Microsoft "innovation"?

Hmm, I thought so...

Novell fills Microsoft Silverlight hole



> MS are damned if they do and damned if they don't

But the point is that they *don't*, and they've been doing "don't" for many years now. It's called "lock-in". If someone already has something then churn out your own version, build it into Windows and then claim it's better because people "chose" to use it.

> The MS developers are just ordinary hacks like you or I trying to work for a living, not deliberately setting out to destroy the world.

Corporate policy starts at the top, as you well know. That's how Microsoft has an inglorious track-record as a convicted, predatory monopolist. The corporation - not the poor sods who have to churn out the code.

> PS, Adobe did nothing, they bought Flash, nothing more.

And if you'd whip off your rose-tinted specs and did some research, you'll find that what Microsoft sell as been bought, too.

MPs slam Defra over rural payments system


Redefinition needed

DEFRA - the Department for the Elimination of Farming and Rural Affairs, and making a fine job of it too.

Will any heads roll? Oh puleeze...

Why oh why do rock stars die young?


@Gordon Ross

> Er, and what's the IT angle here ? I thought this was El Reg, not "Hello !"

Quiet day at the office, or did you just fancy a random pop at something? Look at the top of the page where, even to my battered ol' bespectacled eyes it clearly says:

"The Register » Odds and Sods » Entertainment »"

Odds and Sods. You know; general stuff like silly stories, amusing articles and even more serious stuff.

Do you see how that works now, Gordon?


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