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Comment: Misleading summary (Score 5, Informative) 366

by FreelanceWizard (#45869353) Attached to: The SEC Is About To Make Crowdfunding More Expensive

If you actually bother to read the Federal Register text, you can see in the second paragraph of the introduction that the JOBS Act, and this subsequent regulatory structure, only applies to crowdfunding where the reward is a security. It specifically explains that this is different from the current model of crowdfunding in the U.S., where the donors receive some "token of value" related to the project, not a share of future financial returns. The SEC isn't trying to regulate the current system, but is trying (as directed by that law) to allow crowdfunding where the donor award is a security; the current regulatory structure, based on the Securities Act, largely makes this sort of model impossible due to the various requirements of public offerings.

So, there's nothing to get up in arms about. This is just a move by the SEC to allow something that isn't currently permissible under U.S. law, not an attempt to "tax Kickstarter" or "regulate Indiegogo" or whatever other nonsense people claim.

Comment: Source control (best) or Offline Files (okay) (Score 1) 238

You have programmers. You have multiple projects. They might be working offline. For this, you really need a Distributed Source Control system such as git or mercurial. I personally recommend mercurial as it's got good Windows tools (TortoiseHg and HgScc for Visual Studio integration). You can put your "pure" repository on your share, then have the programmers push to it -- or, better yet, have an "incoming" for each project to which anyone can push, then a "pure" to which only project leads have write access and into which they can push approved versions.

If, for some reason, you simply can't run source control, Windows offers Offline Files functionality that can sync individual folders if you set them up correctly. What this means is that you need to ditch this "shared drive" concept and set up your file shares correctly -- by which I mean having multiple shares, one for each project. Users then connect to the share in question and choose to make it offline, or you create drive maps and enforce offline files using group policy.

Comment: Re:From the ashes into the fire? (Score 4, Informative) 253

Actually, as the people who found the first RT jailbreak noticed, the only thing keeping Windows RT from running ARM compiled applications (which you can create in Visual Studio, even!) is a policy that mandates that only Microsoft-signed executables can run outside of the WinRT environment. If Microsoft removed that restriction by changing a single registry key, all of that compatibility would suddenly appear. In fact, .NET apps distributed in PE form and compiled for Any CPU would be able to run without being recompiled at all.

Comment: Re:Sounds good, But! (Score 3, Informative) 341

by FreelanceWizard (#44473563) Attached to: Microsoft Cuts Surface Pro Price By $100

Yes. Turn off Secure Boot in the UEFI firmware menu (accessed through Advanced Startup), then boot off the USB Linux boot device of your choice. I expect a modern distribution of Linux will have drivers for most of the hardware inside the Pro. Alternatively, run it in Hyper-V (or VMware, or VirtualBox, or the hypervisor of your choice), since it's an x86 Windows 8 device with hardware virtualization support.

Only the RT has the "permanently locked" Secure Boot setting. The Pro is a full-fledged i5 device that can run Linux just fine.

Comment: Re:Actually: Why are these needed? (Score 3, Informative) 405

by FreelanceWizard (#43946555) Attached to: Oracle Discontinues Free Java Time Zone Updates

No. Windows handles DST rules in the registry, so it's perfectly capable of date-dependent DST rule handling. The article discusses those recommendations as a way to avoid problems caused by issues with Outlook and Exchange 2003, both of which have their own unique ways of handling TZ changes (basically, they fail to store TZ information with dates, so TZ changes screw up the display of appointments). The problems were largely addressed in Outlook and Exchange 2007 and completely fixed in the 2010 versions, which keep the appointments in GMT-plus-offset format.

There's legitimate complaints you can have with the way Windows handles TZ changes -- personally, I'm not a fan of having to install TZ patches from Windows Update and I really dislike how Windows keeps the RTC in local time instead of GMT -- but don't blame it for the failings of antiquated and soon unsupported Office programs.

Comment: Re:Hyper-V or vSphere. (Score 1) 191

Honestly, I've not found that to be the case. In most cases, you can disable the integration drivers in the guest, then move the VM to the new virtualization platform and start it back up. You may need to do a startup repair or in-place upgrade on an older version of Windows; Windows 7 (2008 R2) and 8 (2012), however, are fairly resilient.

The smoothest way to do it, though, if you've got the time, is to use the new platform's P2V tool to create a new virtualized VM based on the old one. This is how I've moved guests from Virtual Iron and Oracle VM to Hyper-V. In general, I'd say this is probably the smoothest way to move a VM running any OS to any other hypervisor, as it gives you a backup copy on the old hypervisor if needed and ensures that any special drivers are injected for the first startup.

Comment: Not doomed, but in need of some help (Score 1) 737

by FreelanceWizard (#43497721) Attached to: Windows: Not Doomed Yet

There's lot Microsoft could do to make solid progress, starting, naturally, with getting rid of Steve Ballmer.

* Subordinate the desktop to the Modern interface. Give each program that isn't written for Modern its own virtual desktop and make them act like Modern apps in the charm bar, SideView, and the like. This whole "desktop is desktop, Modern is Modern" nonsense has got to go.
* Make a Modern version of Office.
* Remove the "Windows Store apps only" restriction on ARM so it can benefit from backwards compatibility. Backwards compatibility is the major selling point of Windows (enterprise management is the other).
* Start selling Windows to ARM device manufacturers in much the same way DOS was sold to the various 8 and 16 bit computer manufacturers. Go one step further and let people buy copies of Windows for ARM at a reasonable price to put on their own devices.
* Consider selling Windows as a subscription product, similar to Office Home Premium.
* Stop changing the API to chase your competitors. WinRT is a pain for everyone on the client side and doesn't really help drive devs to the platform. Instead, seeing JavaScript (of all things!) as one of the "key" platforms for Modern on MSDN drives away other developers. Likewise, telling WPF, WinForms, and Silverlight developers that much of what they know is useless (because WinRT is /just different enough/ to be incompatible with all of these) isn't the best way to make friends with developers.
* Correct your internal struggles by not having groups fighting with each other. If this means divesting business units or firing managers, so be it.
* Stop hiring H1B consultants and engaging in weird hiring practices, like "Interview 2.0" questions and direct out of college hires. Find the best developers for your own organization and hold on to them, rather than grinding down fresh graduates. Your developer tools group seems to understand this.

Comment: Re:Secularism (Score 2, Insightful) 694

It can with a simple rule: a law is, prima facie, a violation of the separation of church and state when the only articulable purpose of the law is religious in nature. For a law to not run afoul of this, it has to have some purpose to society that isn't derived from religious principles. That doesn't mean that it can't have a purpose derived from such principles, only that that can't be the only purpose. For instance, most religions prohibit the killing of other people, but preventing murder has non-religious purpose as well. An example of a law that would run afoul of the rule would be a dictate that attempts to convert people from one religion to another is punishable by death. It has no articulable secular purpose, and therefore wouldn't be permitted. (A more recent and U.S.-specific example of a law with no articulable secular purpose is the banning of civil unions with the same rights and benefits as marriages.)

The reason why this rule works in the U.S., at any rate, is because a law that only has a religious purpose is either an establishment of religion (by granting extra rights to a religious group) or an impediment to its free exercise (by removing rights from those who follow a different religion or none at all, which is in itself a religion in this view).

Comment: Re:Liability (Score 2) 176

Actually, Microsoft has a wide variety of SLAs with financial penalties covering the Azure cloud. I expect customers will be able to claim at least a 10% service credit on this, as it's definitely an issue within Microsoft's control and definitely would cause a miss of the monthly availability number.

Review http://www.windowsazure.com/en-us/support/legal/sla/ if you're interested in the Azure SLAs. Interestingly, Amazon has a much less tough SLA, as it's calculated on a yearly basis and doesn't have as brutal penalties (Amazon at most credits 10%; Microsoft credits up to 25%).

Comment: Re:Fair for the goose... (Score 1) 476

by FreelanceWizard (#42462043) Attached to: Microsoft Says Google Trying To Undermine Windows Phone

Actually, Windows Phone 8 uses MTP for transfers to and from the computer. That's actually a source of much unhappiness among WP owners, though, since they now have to transfer everything out of Zune (which no longer works) to a different media management system -- and the Windows Phone desktop software for 8 is of questionable quality. However, that does mean that it should be much more usable on other OSes now.

Comment: Re:Humans? (Score 1) 206

by FreelanceWizard (#42141001) Attached to: Inside an Amazon Warehouse

They don't have to be. One approach is to create high churn through abusive behavior and unreasonable KPIs; this works if you don't really care that much about error rates and don't need your personnel to be able to do more complicated tasks besides "pick, pack, ship." On the other hand, at my company (we do aviation fulfillment), our warehouse personnel are paid well, given reasonable KPIs, and treated well, and so our churn is extremely low. I believe this year our warehouse churn has been 0%, and it's historically around 1% or so. The advantage of this approach is that you have better quality control and personnel who can competently handle things like dangerous goods. Perhaps most importantly to us is that you don't have to have the obsessive security most fulfillment warehouses have, which ultimately saves money. Funny enough, when you treat your personnel well, you don't have to worry about them stealing from you.

Comment: Re:Better than the unix command line? Seriously? (Score 1) 343

by FreelanceWizard (#41539759) Attached to: Microsoft Co-founder Dings Windows 8 As 'Puzzling, Confusing'

There's lots of ways to skin that cat, but I'd start with:

* Installing software: Use the invoke-expression and invoke-command cmdlets to run msiexec, after using new-pssession to connect to the machine
* Modify the registry: Powershell has a provider that treats the Registry as a drive. Use get-itemproperty and set-itemproperty to edit values. Or, follow the above process and use regedit /s to import a .reg file.
* Format a disk: Invoke-command + diskpart.
* Manage services: Invoke-command + sc or the *-service cmdlets (get-service, stop-service, suspend-service, etc.)

I'm no PS expert, but I was able to find this all in a few minutes of searching.

Nothing is rich but the inexhaustible wealth of nature. She shows us only surfaces, but she is a million fathoms deep. -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

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