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Comment: Re:Subscription or no? (Score 1) 299

by AmiMoJo (#49815389) Attached to: Windows 10 Release Date: July 29th

They will get something in return. Windows has an app store now. Like mobile operating systems that are generally free, they can monetize it other ways.

Microsoft already gives Windows away for free. OEMs making devices with screens under 13" can get a free copy of Windows 8. That's the only reason you can get a cheap Windows 8 tablet now, otherwise it would still be a 100% Android market.

Comment: Re:Free.. (Score 1) 299

by AmiMoJo (#49815367) Attached to: Windows 10 Release Date: July 29th

You get a .iso that you can install again as many times as you like, indefinitely. You also get a license code that you can use, according to Microsoft, for the lifetime of Windows 10.

$149 for OEM Pro is the standard price that Windows has been forever. The only people who get it cheaper are OEMs with special deals. Anyone selling it cheaper has bankrupt stock or something like that.

Comment: Re:Seems to Be a Pattern of Behavior (Score 3, Insightful) 335

by AmiMoJo (#49814339) Attached to: SourceForge and GIMP [Updated]

Look at the amount of pushback it took to defeat Beta and Bennet Hasselton.

I was actually quite surprised at how responsive the owners have been on those two issues. They clearly invested a lot of money and time into beta, and I dread to think what kind of favours Bennet was offering, but in the end they listened to us. I really didn't think it would happen, I expected beta to become the only option and my beloved (in an abusive partner kind of way) Slashdot die a slow and painful death.

So kudos for listening. And yeah, I can buy the weekend excuse. Come on, this is Slashdot, the "editors" seem barely literate at times and can't remember posting the same story a mere 24 hours previously. Never attribute to malice what can be adequately explained by incompetence.


Khan Academy Seeks Patents On Learning Computer Programming, Social Programming 72

Posted by timothy
from the well-that-sounds-bad dept.
theodp writes: When it announced its brand new Computer Science platform in August 2012, Khan Academy explained it drew inspiration from both Bret Victor and GitHub (SlideShare). Still, that didn't stop Khan Academy from eventually seeking patents on its apparently Victor-inspired Methods and Systems for Learning Computer Programming and GitHub-inspired Systems and Methods for Social Programming, applications for which were quietly disclosed by the USPTO earlier this year. Silicon Valley legal powerhouse Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, which provides a pro bono team of 20+ to assist billionaire-backed Khan Academy with its legal needs, filed provisional patent applications for KA in August 2013 — provisional applications can be filed up to 12 months following an inventor's public disclosure of the invention — giving it another 12 months before formal claims had to be filed (KA's non-provisional applications were filed in August 2014).

Comment: Re:Time for the BIOS to be EEPROM again? (Score 1) 76

by AmiMoJo (#49813699) Attached to: Macs Vulnerable To Userland Injected EFI Rootkits

No need for such an elaborate and potentially annoying scheme (most people will lose those dongles). Just make it so that only the firmware can update itself, and it only accepts cryptographically signed updates.

You can get memory ICs that can be locked against reading and writing until power cycled. The firmware does what it needs to do, locks the whole firmware against writing early in the boot process, and maybe locks any sensitive data (like crypto keys) against reading as well. If software wants to update the firmware it writes a new image into a separate writeable memory area and then asks the power management controller to do a power cycle. The firmware picks the image up and verifies its crypto signature before applying the update.

Apple did try to do something like that with its battery firmware, but screwed up by including the private key in the updater application. If you can avoid such obviously stupidity then this scheme is adequately secure, low cost and reliable for most consumer purposes.

Comment: Re:Good luck (Score 1) 128

by AmiMoJo (#49813641) Attached to: China Unveils World's First Facial Recognition ATM

Many people carry some kind of photo ID in their wallet. Scaled up they work well for unlocking phones with facial recognition.

Having said that, these days you can probably just search Facebook for the person. Narrow it down by geographic area (since you know where you robbed them, and maybe where they live from their ID). Chances are you will get a reasonable photo.

Comment: Re:Marketing-driven deadlines (Score 1) 278

by AmiMoJo (#49813617) Attached to: Windows 10 RTM In 6 Weeks

In this case RTM may be the unofficial launch date as well, as in people on the preview programme will get it immediately and others may be able to get their upgrade versions at the same time. It could be a few months more until a full public launch, to allow time for physical copies to be made and OEMs to prepare their products.

Comment: Re: Marketing-driven deadlines (Score 2) 278

by AmiMoJo (#49813609) Attached to: Windows 10 RTM In 6 Weeks

$109 OEM for the home version, $149 for Pro

Those have been the standard prices for years. Larger OEMs get big discounts, and I doubt that will change.

What will be interesting to see is if they keep the free version for small devices. Currently Windows 8 is free for most devices with a screen less than 13". There are a lot of cheap but fairly reasonable spec tablets making use of that now.

Comment: Re:Windows Me Part 2 (Score 1) 278

by AmiMoJo (#49813599) Attached to: Windows 10 RTM In 6 Weeks

Have you actually tried the preview? Performance is good, usability is fine, it's a worthy upgrade from Windows 7 in most respects. The way MS has finally started listening to feedback is quite surprising too.

As much as we love to hate Microsoft operating systems, Windows 10 is actually okay. It's going to be the next 7, the next good release that everyone updates to.

A complex system that works is invariably found to have evolved from a simple system that works.