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Comment: Re:Nonsense. (Score 1) 650

Microsoft should be under no further obligation to its customers with respect to Windows XP.

For free? I agree they should have no open ended support obligation. That does not mean however that their customers should be forced to spend money on software that does nothing new that they need.

However, if individual customers are willing to _pay_ a subscription for further support from Microsoft, they should be allowed to do so.

Microsoft has taken that option off the table. So exactly what do you propose as an alternative that doesn't involve paying hundreds to thousands of dollars to buy new computers and software that many of us do not actually need?

The UK Govt is among one of their customers who is going to pay Microsoft for further Windows XP support.

For people who are not willing to pay, Windows XP will continue to work as it currently does. Third party vendors are likely to continue to provide antivirus updates or perhaps even binary-patching the existing code to continue to operate - that is the model with OS/2 continues to exist today even though the product hasn't been supported by IBM since 1998.

Comment: Microsoft has gone above and beyond... (Score 1) 650

No other publicly available product has ever had such a long support duration as Windows XP has had.

Microsoft should be under no further obligation to its customers with respect to Windows XP.

However, if individual customers are willing to _pay_ a subscription for further support from Microsoft, they should be allowed to do so.

Comment: Leverage existing users.. (Score 2) 125

by Antony T Curtis (#46480113) Attached to: Microsoft Dumping License Fees For Windows Phone?

If Microsoft is really playing serious to make people switch to Windows Phone, they will have to somehow make syncing contacts, emails and calendars between Windows PC and Apple/Android not work as well as with Windows Phone.

It would likely open themselves up to anti-trust suits but they already know how to handle that.

Comment: Re:Low hanging fruit... (Score 1) 104

by Antony T Curtis (#46433357) Attached to: BPAS Appeals £200,000 Fine Over Hacked Website

That's not how ICO fines work.

The way they work is this: If you suffer a data breach that the ICO hears off, they'll investigate.

Once the investigation is complete, they'll do a few things:

  1. Write a beautifully-worded press release explaining exactly what you did wrong and put it on the news wires.

  2. Write an equally beautifully-worded report explaining what you did wrong in explicit detail.

  3. Issue a thumping great fine.

It's important to note that they don't have to take an organisation to court to raise this fine. It's the other way around - if your organisation gets fined, it's down to you to raise an appeal.

Parent posting needs to be modded up.

Comment: Re: Warranty Shouldn't Matter (Score 2) 359

by Antony T Curtis (#45999943) Attached to: GPUs Dropping Dead In 2011 MacBook Pro Models

This is an industry wide issue thanks to RoHS. This isn't just Apple, this effects Dell and HP laptops that have high temp GPUs. The XBox 360 is another perfect example. The problem is caused from the constant thermal cycling causing expansion and contraction as it cools. Like bending a paper clip, over time metal fatigue sets in and cracks the solder.

AFAIK, they still use tin-lead based solder in medical equipment, even the new stuff, for this reason. The consumer industry went along with the RoHS stuff because they knew it was a form of built-in obsolescence. Even the tin whisker problem has been known about since the 1960s.

Comment: fun trivia (Score 1) 330

by Antony T Curtis (#45444353) Attached to: Can the US Be Weaned Off Ethanol?

The ethanol used for fuel is made from industrial grade corn syrup. Because the corn syrup used is not food-grade, it is usually made using a process which uses mercury. So, the combustion of fuel with ethanol is actually putting mercury into the environment.. Mercury is considered a worse toxin than lead but it's arguably at much smaller quantities.

Comment: Re: @slashdot: use https per default! (Score 3, Interesting) 256

Although I like where your head is, wouldn't the CPU power required to do on-the-fly GPG decoding of content be prohibitive? Or am I misunderstanding the proposed solution?

A large amount of the content on the internet is static. The static assets can be stored on the disk, already signed. This has the added advantage that HTTPS cannot provide: The static assets are cacheable and they are tamper-proof, should the server be compromised.

When it comes to dynamic content, one can 'cheat' a little by reusing the same session key for the same connection. The startup cost is not much different than existing HTTPS which uses DH for key exchange.

It's not going to be much slower than what we have today with HTTPS for interactive sites, where humans are the slow link in the chain.

Comment: Re: @slashdot: use https per default! (Score 4, Interesting) 256

Using HTTPS is not the solution when the only thing people see is that some trusted certificate was used. If a trusted Certificate Authority was compromised or issued `fake' certificates for government spy agencies, the target wouldn't know that a MITM attack has occurred because the little green icon is showing just fine.

However, if we had something like a GPG content encoding, if the site hasn't already been trusted by the user, red flags will immediately be showing.

Like as like not, with the proliferation of CAs which exist, MITM attacks are easier than ever because people have been conditioned to trust HTTPS.

Comment: Playing devil's advocate... (Score 1) 361

I wonder what the public reaction would be if some pro-democracy dissident who is operating covertly in their own hostile country is murdered and the country gives a press release saying that they couldn't have found their criminal if it wasn't for the help of the NSA compromising internet security...

Does that put the NSA/FISA on the side of dictatorships and other anti-freedom nations?

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