Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

Comment: Re:Just in time (Score 1) 152 152

Yes, that was part of what I had in mind.

However, there appears to be a more general problem (and a more deliberate strategy) with Apple than any one device or platform. In theory, there are still updates available for my iPad (an early Retina model) but in practice they are widely reported to perform so poorly that we daren't "upgrade". However, that means we are locked out of various apps or upgrades, because Apple forces app developers to target its more recent versions of iOS only. Need a new app? No problem, upgrade your iOS. New iOS makes your device so slow it's barely usable? No problem, just buy a new device. Want to just use what worked fine before on a device you only bought a few years ago, and run apps that developers would be happy to write for it? Sucks to be you.

With the direction Microsoft has been pushing in for a few years now, with what-was-Metro and RT and it looks like now with some of the Windows 10 integration as well, I'm very wary of being forced down the same artificial-obsolescence path. And at least with Apple you can ignore the prompt to update your system and keep using what you had before. The fact that Microsoft are disabling that ability for Windows 10 Home makes me extremely sceptical about their motivations.

Comment: Re:Sucks (Score 3, Insightful) 309 309

The problem in the U.S. is not people who don't have skills. People have skills. The problem is that skills aren't valued. If you have skills, you will get paid shit. If you manipulate money, you will get paid a lot. This is why there's been such a geek brain drain into the financial industry. The U.S. does not value working for a living. We value gambling for a living.

Comment: Re:Just in time (Score 1) 152 152

I doubt anyone actually believes Microsoft considers the "supported lifetime of your device" to be only a year or two for a desktop computer.

True, but people would have said the same about Apple once upon a time, while lately Apple's software policies seem tailor-made to artificially limit the lifetime of its already relatively expensive product range, up to and including the high-end business laptops and such.

I think the concern is that this is a one-way trip. Once consumers and particularly businesses start making the switch to Windows 10, it is unlikely there will be any going back.

If Microsoft then ships one box-bricking Windows update to all those Windows Home users, who will have no option to defer or skip any update under the current proposals, there is going to be carnage.

The other significant risk I can see is that if Microsoft's new business model doesn't work out -- after all, it seems they're essentially betting on giving away Windows for a considerable time in the hope that it will drive more sales of other software, media content, and related services -- then they are going to need to make their money somewhere else. It would be a brave person who bet against a major tech company exploiting its locked-in users in the face of shareholder anger and probably changes in senior management under those conditions.

Comment: Deliberately shipping unfinished software (Score 2) 152 152

It is the likely change in philosophy that concerns me.

Very often, once software has moved to on-line upgrades from static installation, or from on-line upgrades being available to routinely applying rolling updates for new versions, the quality at initial launch time drops sharply, and the quality of rolling updates is significantly lower than professional standards should dictate. There's something about the mindset that means shipping half-finished products is now somehow OK, like the "perpetual beta" junk that even some of the biggest companies in the business have inflicted on us in recent years.

This slide towards version-less rolling updates has so often been used as an excuse to ship sub-standard products, or to actively damage previously acceptable products after the fact, that I don't want anything to do with it for anything I actually rely on. Browsers have turned to sh*t since Google started doing it with Chrome and Mozilla started copying them with Firefox. Apple have been systematically nerfing iDevices by forcing apps (which are only available through the App Store that they control) to update to match recent iOS versions, even though there are widespread reports of those newer iOS versions crippling performance on "old" (like, maybe two years old) devices to the point where they are basically useless. Adobe have alienated a substantial part of the creative/design industries with the move to Creative Cloud rentware, and I have yet to see anyone say a good word about the updates they rolled out a few days ago (complete with awful performance and blatant bugs). Even Microsoft, long the champions of doing things with professional standards of stability and backward compatibility in mind, seem to have gone full see-what-sticks in recent years, and I don't see this changing given they appointed Nadella as CEO.

Personally, I like my operating systems working and staying that way. That's why I no longer install anything but designated security updates on my Windows 7 systems unless I have an active reason to do so; I just ignore everything else on the assumption that it's going to break something, hurt performance, start nagging me to update to Windows 10, or otherwise make my experience worse. And so far, after following that policy for some considerable time, I'm quite happy with not having those updates and having a stable system I can actually use.

Comment: Re:Microsoft is not trustworthy for a rolling rele (Score 1, Troll) 152 152

I couldn't agree more.

"While the RTM process has been a significant milestone for previous releases of Windows, it’s more of a minor one for Windows 10. Microsoft is moving Windows 10 to a 'Windows as a service' model that means the operating system is regularly updated."

Yay, now my OS can also ship as bug-ridden, slow, insecure software, because "we'll patch it later".

Sounds about as promising an upgrade as moving to subscription software-for-rent for something I rely on to earn my living. Ask anyone using Creative Cloud since the latest updates how well that one works out.

Comment: Re:[T]hings that ... fail: lots of experience at t (Score 0) 194 194

"US labor participation rate is the lowest it's been in 40 years. Only jobs being created are all part-time. Under-employment is at an all time high."

The labor pool is filled with horribly undereducated people. Of course they don't have jobs. IF public education was not a steaming mess and if college actually was affordable or free like it is in the other 95% of the world, this would be very different.

If those damn democrats did not keep cutting funding for education programs and other entitlements..... oh wait, it's the other guys that did that.

Comment: Re:Zune (Score 1) 276 276

Notice he is typing it on a first gen surface pro WITH THE KEYBOARD.

As all generations of the surface are pretty useless without the keyboard. (I own one, I know this as a fact)

That is why the surface is not a success, Microsoft's inability to get user interfaces right. The hardware is sound and great. It's the steaming crap OS that is installed by default that is the problem.

Security

Hacking Team Hacked, Attackers Grab 400GB of Internal Data 88 88

Several readers sent word that notorious surveillance company Hacking Team has itself been hacked. Attackers made off with 400GB worth of emails, documents, and source code. The company is known for providing interception tools to government and law enforcement agencies. According to the leaked files, Hacking Team has customers in Egypt, South Korea, Kazakhstan, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Lebanon, Mongolia, Russia, Germany, Sudan, and the United States — to name a few. It has been labeled an enemy of the internet by Reporters Without Borders. "Clients have had their passwords exposed as well, as several documents related to contracts and configurations have been circulating online." Nobody knows yet who perpetrated the hack.

Comment: Re: Good for greece (Score 1) 1216 1216

Slovenia was not the center of a province called "Rome" for hundreds of years. Northern Mexico was not part of a province called "America" for hundreds of years. The appropriate analogy would be if the US later collapsed, and the southewestern border states were overrun by Mexicans (and then later other peoples), and then much later said people insisted on being called Americans, even though they had interbred with their conquerors.

Note that the people in Greek Macedonia are no more "direct descendants" of the ancient Macedonians than the people of modern Macedonia. Probably less, due to the huge refugee influx that was settled there.

Comment: Re: Good for greece (Score 1) 1216 1216

As described here:

Due to the fragmentary attestation of this language or dialect, various interpretations are possible.[8] Suggested phylogenetic classifications of Macedonian include:[9]

An Indo-European language that is a close cousin to Greek and also related to Thracian and Phrygian languages, suggested by A. Meillet (1913) and I. I. Russu (1938),[10] or part of a Sprachbund encompassing Thracian, Illyrian and Greek (Kretschmer 1896, E. Schwyzer 1959).
An Illyrian dialect mixed with Greek, suggested by K. O. Müller (1825) and by G. Bonfante (1987).
A Greek dialect, part of the North-Western (Locrian, Aetolian, Phocidian, Epirote) variants of Doric Greek, suggested amongst others by N.G.L. Hammond (1989) Olivier Masson (1996), Michael Meier-Brügger (2003) and Johannes Engels (2010).[11][12][13][14]
A northern Greek dialect, related to Aeolic Greek and Thessalian, suggested among others by A.Fick (1874) and O.Hoffmann (1906).[11][15]
A Greek dialect with a non-Indo-European substratal influence, suggested by M. Sakellariou (1983).
A sibling language of Greek within Indo-European, Macedonian and Greek forming two subbranches of a Greco-Macedonian subgroup within Indo-European (sometimes called "Hellenic"),[8] suggested by Joseph (2001), Georgiev (1966),[16] Hamp & Adams (2013),[17]

There's no question that ancient Macedonian was related to Greek (most likely to a northern dialect such as Aetolian) - the question is how and to what degree vs. that of the Illyrians and Thracians. As mentioned, by the 3rd century BC it had become nearly fully absorbed, but not without first contributing words and grammar of its own. An example of the Greek view toward the Macedonians was that Macedonians were initially banned from competing in the Olympic Games (which was only for Greek Men); the first Macedonian to be allowed to compete was Alexander 1, who was made to first prove that he was of sufficient Greek ancestry (note: if that incident ever even happened - there's some suggestion that Alexander's competition in the Olympics may have been a later addition to try to prove their Greek credentials). But even if we take the story at face value, the fact that they demanded proof that he was sufficiently Greek (something not asked of any other competitors) should be a more than sufficient indicator of their views of Macedonians at the time.

Comment: Re:How much electricity was used last month to min (Score 1) 175 175

Then consider those compute cycles could have been used for Folding@Home and actually helping humanity.

Ending large-scale war and dictatorships will be the most amazing thing to happen for humanity in the past six thousand years.

Yeah, folding proteins is also important.

Comment: Re: Good for greece (Score 1) 1216 1216

Oh, and as for leaving the EU: you may end up unpleasantly surprised. There's only one treaty that governed Greece's accession to the EU and Eurozone, not too. You can't be "half in violation" of a treaty and kicked out of "half of it". If you start printing your own parallel currency, you're in violation of the treaty, and you're out of both the EU and the Eurozone.

Now, of course, Brussels could legislate a new mutually agreed upon exception for you. But do you really think they want to?

We all live in a state of ambitious poverty. -- Decimus Junius Juvenalis

Working...