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Comment: Re:I don't think it means what you think it means (Score 2) 277 277

And exactly the opposite of what MS wants:
1. Open sourcing it completely is pretty unlikely. There's still a lot of proprietary code in there, even with the various shared source programs, and much of it is licensed from other vendors and even MS is in no position to just arbitrarily release other peoples' code.

2. MS wants people to keep up to date. Every time someone gets a virus or an incompatible driver update or some other BS, they blame Windows for being crappy. In many cases, the issue they're having has already been patched long ago. Sure 0-day exploits are thing, but most people don't pick them up on day 0. Even at internet speeds, those things take a while to spread around. Charging people for updates is a very very good way to make them not bother updating. (And the extreme of "tip-top" shape is entirely impractical for so many reasons, regardless of any discussion of updates. Way way way too many variables involved to offer that level of support to anyone willing to pay a measly $10.)

Comment: Re:WindowsME 2.0 (Score 1) 277 277

Stability wasn't Win8's problem. I doubt it'll be Win10's problem either.

Win8's problem was Metro, which most people hate with a passion. Win10 still has Metro (backward compatibility) but its kind of jammed into a Win7 style UI in a Jekyll/Hyde type hybrid abomination.

It'll probably be fine though. People will learn to ignore the Metro half of the start menu and life will go on in Windowsland.

Comment: Re:I wonder... (Score 1) 277 277

There's one very major reason to prefer XP: If you're using software that doesn't play nice with UAC. If you're lucky you might be able to reconfiguring to work around the UAC issues (in particular, installing to a non-standard directory) but that has its own potential set of risks.

Of course that only applies to the (hopefully very few) computers that actually need to interface with legacy software (or hardware in some cases.)

Comment: Re:I wonder... (Score 1) 277 277

It goes back further than that:
95/98 -> not bad (crashed a lot but most users came from earlier MS products which were just as bad.)
ME -> garbage
XP -> great
Vista -> garbage
7 -> great
8 -> garbage
10 -> ??

Personally, I suspect Win10 will fall into the "not bad" category again. It's biggest selling feature is being not Win8 rather than having much purpose of its own, so I'm not really expecting super amazing things from it.

But hey you never know I didn't really recognize how much nicer Win7 was over XP for quite a while (particularly the taskbar.. to the extent that I tried to set all the options to be XP-ish for the first few months. But after getting used to the new style holy hell is it a lot nicer, especially as I get more powerful machines and have far more programs running simultaneously. Nothing along that vein has jumped out at me yet with the Win10 preview but then I haven't spent a whole lot of time with it yet either.)

I'm just really hoping that they'll finally do something not entirely stupid when handling multiple monitors. Rearranging my entire desktop just because the EDID signal died (ie: I turned off my screens for the night) is ridiculous.

Comment: Re:Scare quotes? (Score 1) 141 141

The student ID isn't "exactly" as linked to them. If your fingerprints makes it into a federal database, you can be looked up for ages. If your student ID makes it into a federal database, you can only be looked up as long as you're flashing your student ID.

Fingerprints can't be discarded like an ID card can.

Comment: Re:Scare quotes? (Score 1) 141 141

I think the issue is that the NSA is getting them at all.

NSA tracking >> school tracking on the scary scale. Especially since the school is doing it in public and likely has to have some sort of expiration plan after the student leaves the school, while the NSA will keep that shit as long as they can fund the disk space.

Comment: Re:Desperation (Score 1) 280 280

I don't know if I'd call it "desperation" so much as "recognizing a changing landscape." Its hard to compete with free (Linux) and Apple's essentially giving away OSX with their hardware as well. Windows is the only major OS you still pay for these days.

And really, its not all that much skin off their backs. Probably 90+% of people who already have Windows will never upgrade it until/unless they upgrade the entire computer with a preinstalled OEM version. Not that I have any insider info, but I would guess that off-the-shelf sales of Windows are miniscule compared to the OEM and other commercial contracts. Hell the second most common version of Windows is still XP, 14 years later and long after support was cut off!

Plus, they're still pushing their mobile-integrated (and now XBox-integrated) unified platform idea, so the more people they get on the new Windows (even with Metro being less obnoxious,) the more people they might convince to buy mobile Windows products (and more to the point, start buying stuff from the Windows store which is near-free money once they convince developers enough to put stuff up there and get enough users to buy stuff that the store can become self-sustaining.)

Comment: Re:Good Luck (Score 1) 337 337

The USA government can't meaningfully punish Orange by punishing Orange-USA

So? What gives the USA govt the right to punish (meaningfully or otherwise) a French company?

because Orange can create dozens of subsidiaries

The USA govt's responsibility is to regulate things that happen on their soil. As long as those dozens of subsidiaries follow USA law, then there's no connection to the specific subsidiary (Orange-USA) that is breaking the law and being punished.

What you're suggesting is the corporate equivalent of jailing your entire family because your brother committed a crime, even though the rest of you are perfectly innocent (and extraditing your French grandmother to boot!)

As for long legally intensive battles... Why does that need to occur?

It doesn't. But when have you ever seen it not occur?

It isn't them meaningfully completely pulling out. And so the countries often can't accomplish their objective.

And that's the sticky point in the issue. The internet gives no fucks about national boundaries or localized laws. So governments are in a position where they either have to give up their sovereignty (well technically try to convince other nations to give up their sovereignty, but that certainly won't be a one-way street,) or give up their ability to censor random things that they don't like.. or I suppose a third option is follow China's plan and just break the internet all together -- but even with their massive firewall they aren't entirely successful.

The USA government is the government that can effectually regulate Google.

No, they can't. The USA government has no more control over Google France than the French government has over Google USA. The only difference is that the head decision makers are in the USA and can potentially be convinced (but not forced) to apply changes across their global operations. But then again, France could also call them up and try to convince them to do things globally.. the USA just has a bit more sway in that aspect due to (mostly) human aspects like patriotism rather than any legal rights.

If Germany or France or Spain wants a regulate the USA government is who they should be negotiating with, if they want their regulation to actually happen.

That would require a treaty and while I'm sure its not unheard of, generally speaking nobody would want to instigate a whole treaty negotiation process to deal with a single company's policies. Which is why, as I noted, things like the WTO exist.

Essentially, the WTO is an organization that has already been empowered by the US and French (and many other) governments to handle these disputes on their behalf, specifically to avoid the situation of dealing with direct government-to-government negotiations. (Well I'm sure the WTO does more than just arbitrate trade disputes but that's one of their jobs at least.)

Comment: Re:Universal App APIs are too limited (Score 1) 186 186

Absolutely correct. I'm also arguing (indirectly) against desktop specific UIs on mobile devices. I don't particularly see how you could have a universal API that does both (again, just talking the GUI components -- obviously the system-level APIs have more flexibility.) I mean I'm sure someone could hack something together but I suspect it would be a giant mash up of "if mobile do X else do Y," which isn't really "universal" in my mind even if it comes in the same .dll. Effectively that's your idea for maintaining multiple UIs (which is about the only plausible option in the general case.)

I'm not sure where Skype came into this.. by way of example? In any case, the issue with Skype clients isn't the UI, its the transmission protocol. That shit's encrypted and MS hasn't been shy about threatening legal action if someone produces a third party client by breaking said encryption.

They used to provide a library (skypekit) to do that but they decided to cut it off so now you're stuck with the official (horrid) client or nothing -- regardless of what device you're using. Sadly none of the versions I've seen/used are particularly great.. "usable" is about the most positive adjective I could apply to them.. About 1000 steps down from from the old MSN/Windows Live IM client which worked really well and had lots of options to customize your chat the way you like.

Comment: Re:Good Luck (Score 1) 337 337

I can't say I agree with that. In my mind it should be:

French Government -> Google France. Period.

If the French government wants to try and dictate local laws in the US (or Australia or China or wherever,) then they should be poking around tribunals at some place like the WTO which is set up specifically for negotiating trade disputes between nations.

And why would the US government need to go through two (like long and legally intensive) battles in order to regulate shit that happens on American soil? If Orange doesn't like American laws, they're welcome to haul ass back to France and let somebody else have their market share.

Google already has (or at least has threatened) to do exactly that in several countries already when they couldn't come to terms with local laws (search for "Google pulls out," but be careful what you click with that sort of phrasing!) That's how it should be.

Of course its entirely up to Google to decide whether their French servers are worth breaking their system elsewhere in the world. France has no jurisdiction to enforce this ruling in the US or anywhere else outside of their borders, which means the worst they can do is force Google's French offices to shut down.

Now its never as simple as it sounds. I'm sure there's more than just a passing interest from the rest of the EU given that the right to be forgotten legislation is theoretically in effect for the entire union, as well as a handful of other countries around the world with similar legislation. And of course anyone who's ever wanted to force Google to censor anything (including the US) are going to be keeping close tabs on it in hopes that whatever decision is reached will provide precedent for their own issues.

So we'll have to wait and see. Hopefully Google sticks to their guns. I'm a big fan of countries having the right to create and enforce their own local laws but our international legal systems aren't really sufficient to handle (never mind enforce) cross-jurisdictional issues like this yet and a sloppy legal structure is a fine way to grease those slippery slopes.

Comment: Re:I do not consent (Score 1) 851 851

Two issues with you're argument, regardless of whether you're right or wrong:

- "I think" does not make a very strong case compared to say, "I did in-depth clinical studies and got these results."

- Removing something from our diet all together (as is the case in a ban) is a much much bolder restriction than suggesting we reduce the amount consumed. For example, while we (the generalized "we") probably do eat too many carbs, eating zero carbs is also not going to be a particularly healthy diet. Presumably somebody did the research and decided that humans can survive without those particular kinds of fats.

I'm not sure where refined sugars fits in that mix.. whether there just hasn't been enough clinical evidence to warrant a ban, or its been determined that its not feasible to replace all refined sugar with other sugars, or that the refined sugar lobby groups happen to be stronger than the trans fat lobby groups, or that they simply haven't gotten around to that one yet, I don't know. But just because trans fats aren't the only evil doesn't mean its a bad idea to get rid of them. One step at a time.

Comment: Re:Good Luck (Score 2) 337 337

That's basically how things work already, even if the definitions aren't as strict as you're suggesting.

The problem with this particular is that the internet gives approximately zero fucks about your national boundaries and national laws, no matter who makes the judgements.

Stupid as this decision is, and horrible as the precedent it could potentially set is if Google complies, it shows a remarkable amount of technological awareness (for a pile of politicians at least) in that they recognize the only way to remove something from the internet is to literally remove it everywhere on the planet simultaneously.

Comment: Re:Good Luck (Score 2) 337 337

They are unrelated.

They're related in the sense that both countries are trying to apply their local laws on a global stage. Beyond that aspect though you're right, they're unrelated.

Though its not quite the same. While the US is claiming the right to retain information about citizens of other countries, they aren't attempting to force companies in those countries to feed them the data (though I wouldn't put bribery past them) -- they're only claiming collection rights of stuff that they can get their hands on themselves.

As opposed to this French claim where if I (as a Canadian) decide to look up a French national using from a Canadian IP address, they still expect Google to filter my results. At least that's what its sounding like to me. So they're explicitly attempting to apply their local laws not just to Google' French subsidiary but to all of their worldwide subsidiaries.

Its understandable that they'd want to do that (inasmuch as such a law is understandable at all) since they're likely well aware that someone could just use a VPN or other workaround if they only blocked such searches for French IP addresses.

Of course they don't seem to be addressing the workaround of "use a different search engine." You can say what you want about the results ranking of Bing/Yahoo/Duckduckgo/whatever but they still all crawl the web in (fairly close to) the same manner and index the same pages -- you might just have to dig a little further into the results view to get what you want.

Comment: Re:3 ... 2 .. 1 . (Score 1) 231 231

I'm not lawyered up enough to absolutely say for sure (never mind just reading an article rather than the actual decision paper) but just from what I see there:
- Its against a government agency rather than a corporate one, which may have an impact.
- I don't think arbitration is the same as having a private judge. In particular, arbitration can fail and still be passed to a court whereas a judgement is typically final (barring appeals.)
- Most of the EULA clauses related to this are specifically against class action lawsuits. I don't know if those enjoy the same seventh amendment privileges as private suits.

Though none of that makes much difference to me personally as I live in Canada and US rulings have little to no bearing over me.

Work expands to fill the time available. -- Cyril Northcote Parkinson, "The Economist", 1955