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Comment: Re: The only way MS gets more apps in their store (Score 1) 192

by JDG1980 (#48398535) Attached to: Visual Studio 2015 Supports CLANG and Android (Emulator Included)

The problem though is going to be corporate customers. The ones with thousands of desktop systems that do pay. Big corps tend to be conservative about IT upgrades, and by giving Windows away MS would be sacrificing that revenue stream. They're probably reluctant to do that.

Of course, they could just drop the price of the Home Edition (or whatever they're calling it today) to zero and charge for the Pro one. But then they need to make the home edition good enough to be useful, but not so good that business would be happy using it. That's not compromise that's worked well for them in the past.

Actually, it's quite straightforward: the Pro edition can join domains, while the Home edition can't. This by itself will work quite well as a differentiator. Big businesses aren't going to give up Active Directory and Group Policy to save a few bucks on license fees, while home uisers (and some small businesses) won't give a damn.

Comment: Awesome (Score 2) 525

by JDG1980 (#48374219) Attached to: Microsoft To Open Source<nobr> <wbr></nobr>.NET and Take It Cross-Platform

This is very good news. ASP.NET is a great web development platform, far superior to the atrocious hack that is PHP. The only reason so far why PHP has predominated is licensing costs: until now, you needed a Windows Server to do ASP.NET properly (or else resort to unsupported hacks like Mono), whereas PHP is free. Now that the playing field is about to become more level, hopefully it will be the beginning of the end for PHP.

Comment: Re:Tempting (Score 1) 181

by JDG1980 (#48363941) Attached to: Multi-Process Comes To Firefox Nightly, 64-bit Firefox For Windows 'Soon'

Would a 'friendly community' welcome a new boss who supported banning inter-racial marriage? No, and the oh but it's just a personal view nonsense wouldn't fly there either.

What you're overlooking is that Proposition 8 passed. You're not talking about blacklisting people for views way outside the Overton Window. You're talking about blacklisting people for taking part in an active political controversy where you don't like their position.

Comment: Re:Okay then (Score 2) 99

by JDG1980 (#48331129) Attached to: Home Depot Says Hackers Grabbed 53 Million Email Addresses

According to an Oct. 1, 2013, report prepared for Home Depot by consultant FishNet Security, the retailer left its computers vulnerable by switching off Symantecâ(TM)s Network Threat Protection (NTP) firewall in favor of one packaged with Windows.

No enterprise installation should ever be relying on individual client firewall software for network security. At best, that should be a second line of defense. It is the job of the perimeter firewall to handle these kind of threats.

Comment: Re:Getting trolled (Score 1) 716

by JDG1980 (#48330255) Attached to: Bounties vs. Extreme Internet Harassment

A week from now if someone does follow through on the threats is it still a joke? Seriously, sometimes threats do get carried out.

When was the last time an Internet threat by a stranger was actually carried out in meatspace?

Note that I'm not including cases where the victim already knew the perpetrator in the real world and the threat just happened to take place on an online service, nor am I counting instances where the entire crime took place online, such as DoS attacks or stealing personal information. I'm talking about some guy on the Internet making a threat of committing violence against someone they don't already have a personal real-life acquaintance with, and then actually carrying it out. Has this ever happened? If not, why shouldn't all such threats be disregarded as meaningless and empty?

Comment: Re:Getting trolled (Score 2) 716

by JDG1980 (#48330189) Attached to: Bounties vs. Extreme Internet Harassment

Death threats are illegal, they don't become legal because they're On The Internet any more than an old technology should become patentable because it's done On The Internet.

The legality of death threats is actually not a cut-and-dried issue. This article discusses various U.S. court cases related to death threats, and what criteria the courts use to determine whether they are protected free speech or not.

I suspect that a death threat accompanied by "doxxing" would be considered more serious than an isolated threat out of the blue in a chat room, since posting personal information would make it more likely that "a reasonable listener would understand [it] as an actual threat of violence" and not just rhetoric. But I'm not a lawyer, so I can't be certain of this. Of course, it goes without saying that the safest (and most ethical) course of conduct is not to issue any death threats at all.

Comment: Re:In bankruptcy, information is an asset (Score 2) 167

by JDG1980 (#48217251) Attached to: Ello Formally Promises To Remain Ad-Free, Raises $5.5M

And no matter what the charter is, if they are liquidated the court will sell all of your data to the highest bidder to pay off creditors.

That is true if the user data is considered part of the bankruptcy estate. But that won't necessarily be the case. Under US law, everyone automatically has copyright for anything they write or compose. If the primary concern is to protect user privacy, the user agreement for the site could stipulate that users retain copyright to all their data, and the site has a nonexclusive, nontransferrable license to use that data so long as they adhere to the privacy terms. In the case of bankruptcy, the only "asset" would be the nontransferrable license – not the data itself, which would still belong to the end users.

I expect issues like this to come up once a few mid-size or large cloud providers go broke. I don't think the courts are going to allow the creditors to seize data assets belonging to customers in these instances.

Comment: Re:PowerPoint on a Server? (Score 2) 114

by JDG1980 (#48208953) Attached to: Windows 0-Day Exploited In Ongoing Attacks

If your process involves generating Office, documents, it's generally the easiest way. The server automation tools for generation of Office documents are basically scripts and wrappers around.... Office. So if you want to generate some report that spits out an Excel file at the end, you can bet it was generated in Excel the first time around because the reporting tool actually called Excel to fill in the fields.

This may have been correct 5 to 10 years ago, but you should never do this in a modern installation if you can possibly help it. Microsoft's official position is that "Microsoft does not recommend or support server-side Automation of Office."

You should be using the Open XML SDK to create Office documents in your web application. The default classes and methods are somewhat opaque, but fortunately, there are a lot of helper toolkits that run on top of OOXML SDK to make things much easier. I used Simple OOXML, which hasn't been updated for a while and has limited documentation, but works pretty well, and is free. These solutions are not only much more robust in a server-side situation, but you don't have to devote an Office license to the server.

Comment: What about embedded systems? (Score 1) 700

by JDG1980 (#48208895) Attached to: FTDI Reportedly Bricking Devices Using Competitors' Chips.

This is going to be a real problem with embedded systems. At my last workplace, we had coin/bill vending units hooked up to PCs, which were connected using a FTDI serial-to-USB connection. I think the chip was legit – but how would I be able to tell? We purchased these vending units from a manufacturer, which in turn, I'm sure, bought the serial-to-USB chips (or even pre-made boards) from another vendor. What if that other vendor used clone chips without telling anyone?

And yes, we did occasionally install FTDI driver updates on these. If one of these units were to be bricked, FTDI is going to be open to some very substantial lawsuits. Arguing "unclean hands" won't work when the people getting hurt are about four steps removed from any actual culpability.

Comment: Re:The good news (Score 1) 700

by JDG1980 (#48208835) Attached to: FTDI Reportedly Bricking Devices Using Competitors' Chips.

Not going to happen, the same way that it didn't happen when DirectTV (or dish, whoever) bricked all of those pirate hardware years ago

No claims were made in that case because anyone who came forward would have to admit committing a federal crime. In contrast, there are plenty of ways that someone could wind up with a bricked device that they had no knowledge was not authentic, and could not reasonably have known.

Comment: Re:fuck ribbons (Score 1) 347

by JDG1980 (#48208323) Attached to: The Classic Control Panel In Windows May Be Gone

I actually like the Ribbon in Office, because the Office apps have so many features that regular menus/toolbars hinder discoverability. (I suppose I might feel differently if I had invested a lot of time into memorizing the Office 2003 menus, but I didn't.) On most other applications, Ribbon is overkill, taking up too much space (and vertical space is especially precious on widescreens).

Comment: Re:Please Microsoft... (Score 2) 347

by JDG1980 (#48208225) Attached to: The Classic Control Panel In Windows May Be Gone

Maybe I am wrong, but over the years I have noted an increasing condescendension of IT people over "mere users". I wonder why that is. Bear in mind that IT typically isn't the company's cash cow, but "overhead", making this condescension rather inappropriate imho.

All this is the sign of a poorly run organization with excessive siloing. IT should be working with other departments, helping to streamline and automate their processes, making other people's jobs easier and less tedious. If people think of IT as "the computer janitors", your organization is throwing away a tremendous amount of potential productivity. It's bad for morale on both sides, too.

Comment: Re:Will Microsoft ever learn? (Score 4, Insightful) 209

by JDG1980 (#48191209) Attached to: More Eye Candy Coming To Windows 10

I wonder when Microsoft will learn that a lot of us would rather use our CPU and GPU cycles for something other than eye candy? While computers can be used for fun purposes, we shouldn't all be left with the feel that what we have is little more than a technotoy.

Windows has always offered the option to turn off animations. (System Properties -> Advanced System Settings -> Performance gives a bunch of checkboxes for this on both Win7 and Win10.) Flip it around: why shouldn't those of us with good mid-range or high-end desktops be able to use a small portion of our CPU and GPU power to make things look nicer? Why should we be hamstrung to what the crappiest tablet with a half-dead battery can handle?

Comment: Still more work to be done (Score 2) 209

by JDG1980 (#48190663) Attached to: More Eye Candy Coming To Windows 10

This is a good start (assuming you can turn these animations off if you don't like them). Hopefully they'll bring back Aero Glass-style transparency soon.

There are also a lot more substantive flaws that need to be addressed. The Start menu (which is Win10's big selling point!) doesn't currently do DPI scaling properly. It's disappointing enough to see this flaw with third-party software, but for a core part of the OS, it's inexcusable. And there is still no way to remove the obtrusive Search and Task View icons from the taskbar. (Both of these issues have hundreds of votes on Feedback; hopefully they will be addressed.)

There are also a bunch of smaller annoyances – unlike in Win7, I can't get the useless "Homegroup" option to disappear from the left panel of File Explorer, even if I leave all homegroups completely. They also shove OneDrive down your throat. And if I rename "This PC" back to "My Computer", it displays under my preferred name in most places, but not in the tile half of the Start menu – it appears fine in the left-hand list portion, but the tile always says "This PC" no matter what it has been renamed to.

There are some encouraging signs, but this is definitely an alpha-class release in my experience. Glad I installed it in a VM.

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