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Comment: Maybe Microsoft Will Take The Hint (Score 1) 75 75

Maybe Microsoft will take the hint from this lawsuit and allow you to uninstall the built-in apps that come with Windows 10. Its great that they provide apps like "XBox" and "OneNote" gratis, but I've no interest in them and it bugs me that you can't uninstall them.

Wait, there's a new release version of the Win10 Preview. Maybe that's one of the things they've changed.

Nope, still can't uninstall. I guess Microsoft is really glued to the idea of making your desktop like a crappy smartphone...

Comment: Re: Altough I agree (Score 1) 61 61

(getting quite a bit off topic here)

I disagree. I think that we are quite capable of sending a probe to Proxima Centauri.

We just aren't able to send a probe that will send us any meaningful results in less than a few millenia. But I think we could - were we to put our minds to it - develop a probe that could ride out the centuries and send back a signal when it go thtere.

Heck, if were ready to spend a few times the world's yearly GDP (and not let certain political issues like worries like launching large nuclear devices into orbit), we probably could launch an interstellar probe that would get there in a single human lifetime.

It hasn't been entirely TECHNOLOGY that has been limiting us to this single basket of eggs that we call the Solar System for a long time.

Comment: Re:Brand Specific Frequencies (Score 1) 529 529

Brand-specific frequencies?

"I don't mind WiFi signals usually, but that 2.4GHz coming off Netgear routers really gets to me. And don't get me started on the 4G (700MHz) signals coming from my AT&T Android phone; that's why I have to use an iPhone on the US Cellular network!"

Yeah, I can see people believing that.

Hell, I can even imagine wireless providers /marketing/ to people like that. "Use our new HEALTHY-4G network, designed from the ground up for EM-sensitive users! Sure it costs twice as much, but isn't being able to use a phone without worrying worth the price?". The wireless providers could make a mint. It would be like marketing "organic" food, except without actually having to do anything. They may need to recruit the advertisers who work for Monster Cables first, though.

Comment: I WANT a hackable car... (Score 3, Interesting) 165 165

Personally, I want a hackable car. What I do not want is a /remotely/ hackable car.

I want a vehicle where I, as the owner, can access all its bits-n-bobs - even the digital ones - to tune it as I desire. I do not want a car whose computers are so saddled down with "security" that the only ones who can access its electronic brains are "authorized" technicians who have paid tens of thousands of dollars for the appropriate software and hardware. Too often I see "security" being used by automobile manufacturers as an excuse to lock out the owners (or even ordinary mechanics) from modifying - or even diagnosing - the vehicle without first tithing to the manufacturer for the privilege.

Of course, only I as owner (or any I authorize) should be allowed to adjust my car in this way; obviously, I do not want any nefarious parties to alter my car's settings - especially not while I am driving! But while this is something the designers and manufacturers need to keep in mind, so far I am unaware of /any/ successful attempt to "hack" a moving car. Of course, if a nefarious individual gets access to the OBDII port on my car, there's no end to the damage he could do, but no computer (or car! think "cutting the brake lines") is safe if somebody has physical access to it.

So forgive me if I interpret these worried cries about how my car might be "hacked" less as an earnest warning about my vehicle's vulnerability to malicious actors and more as another attempt by the manufacturer to gouge the owner out of even more money just so he can continue to tinker with his own property.

Comment: Re:I DON'T want windows 10 (Score 1) 96 96

I stand corrected. The functionality there is exactly as described.

I will argue that this is in no way intuitive; I don't consider myself a novice to computers or Windows but I like to think I generally know my way around PCs. But manually changing the width of a menu is so rarely done that it didn't even occur to me that it was possible (actually, that's not completely true; I know I tested it on an earlier version of the preview and it didn't work then. I didn't bother - or remember - to try on build 10130). I doubt regular users would have any better luck.

Nonetheless, I still maintain the Start Menu is a big step backwards, with reduced functionality and is generally little better than a collapsible version of the "start page" from Windows8.

And that's just one of many issues I have with the OS. Windows 10 offers me nothing I want and a lot I don't want. I see absolutely no reason to upgrade from Windows 7, even if it is nominally "free".

On the plus side, at least the weather app that comes embedded in the OS doesn't show you advertisements.

Comment: Re:disable flash! (Score 1) 71 71

I finally removed Flash two weeks ago. Even with white-listing and Flashblock/Click-to-Enable, the few video sites and online apps that use it weren't worth the continued risk of having it installed. Occasionally I run across a site that requires Flash, but these are rare enough that I can skip by the site without too much worry (if I really /really/ need to access a Flash-enabled site, I'll just fire up a virtual image and install Flash on that).

Only downside is that controls for HTML5-video aren't quite as strict as Flashblock; there's too much video sneaking through these days. Flashblock isn't quite up to that task yet. Still, better that than Flash.

Comment: Re:I DON'T want windows 10 (Score 1) 96 96

Even if you remove all the live tiles, the menu still takes up a huge amount of space.

Incorrect. If you remove all live tiles, you can collapse the Start menu to a much smaller space than the Windows 7 Start menu. Or make it any size all the way up to full screen. Your choice.

I am not seeing the behavior you described in the lastest preview version of Windows 10. Having removed all the Live tiles, I am still left with an overly large - and empty - Start menu. The behavior you describe - the Start Menu shrinking down in size as Live Tiles were removed - was a feature in earlier versions of the preview but this functionality was removed around March. It was possible to re-enable it for a while by editing a particular key in the Registry but even this was disabled in later versions of the preview. With the latest version (build 10130) removing the tiles leaves you with a huge, pointlessly huge Start menu.

Comment: Re:I DON'T want windows 10 (Score 5, Informative) 96 96

I decided to install the Insider Preview on my laptop, as a means to evaluate Windows 10 before the final version touches my desktop, and so far I'm liking it.
I, on the other hand, did the same and detest it.

The "returned Start Menu" is a joke, and seems more an insult to everyone who wanted a Start Menu than an honest attempt to meet their needs. You can't rearrange the items on the menu; it's all alphabetical. The text in "All Apps" section is huge and absurdly widely-spaced, making even a short list of apps go on forever. Even if you remove all the live tiles, the menu still takes up a huge amount of space. Its absolutely useless as a Start Menu. Sure, there are third-party alternatives like ClassicStart, but most people aren't going to be using those utilities and I'm going to have to support them.

Then there's the fact that you search your files without the query being sent up to the Microsoft mothership. Searching for sensitive material you wisely stored locally? Microsoft is going to know about it. There are settings in the group policy editor to disable this, but - at least in the most recent preview - they don't actually work. Home versions of the OS don't ship with GPEdit either.

Windows10 is still pretty pushy with getting you into its online ecosystem too, although I will admit it is toned down (ever so slightly) from Windows 8.1. It's slightly easier to notice that you can make a local account without using hotmail, for instance. But from its prominent app-store, to its OnDrive cloud storage, to its mail client that doesn't support POP3, Windows10 requires you to use Microsoft online services to make use of any of its newer features.

Metro, of course, continues to be an abomination, made all the worse by the fact it still remains only half-heartedly integrated into the system. Dig one or two menus deep into the control panel (sorry, its called "Settings" now) and you'll be facing an old-style WindowsXP interface. The shift is jarring and likely confusing to many newer users, and more experienced users will dislike how all the superficial settings have been shuffled about and renamed for no apparent reason. Unfortunately, no third-party app can fix this.

Then there are the niggling minor loss of features. I'm not talking the removal of significant apps - like Media Center - but just little features of the OS that used to be available in older versions of Windows that have been inexplicably removed in Windows10. The ability to uninstall most of the default apps (try removing the XBox app or OneNote; you can't) that come with Windows, for instance. Or control over whether or not to install updates, as another. Individually, these are annoyances but combined they are a headache.

The back-end of Windows 10 seems reliable enough; it has the fast pseudo-start (really, just booting from hibernation since Windows hasn't do a clean shutdown since Windows8) that people like, and seems reliable enough (for Windows). But it doesn't bring anything interesting to the table, still has all the stuff I dislike about Windows 8/8.1 and adds a bunch of unwanted restrictions on top of that. I honestly would recommend Windows 8 over Windows 10 at this point (although if you had the option, take 8.1 or - preferably - Windows 7 if you can). At least with those your computer is still yours to do with as you like, and not as Microsoft thinks you might want to use it.

Comment: Re:I want pictures of the newspaper... (Score 1) 162 162

I give the guy no credibility, but if people continue dying after the miracle drug, how is he going to explain?

"Ah, I see young Kim Yeongchol has passed on; this is truly a sad occurrence and all of the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea is lessened by the loss, especially when they are taken so young. Well, this is just a routine investigation into the cause of death; I understand you, his family, are troubled by grief and sorrow so I shall strive to make this as quick and painless as possible. Name, time of death, yes yes I have that all already... Ah, here is the only bit of information I need from you: the cause of death. Do you know what young Yeongchol died from? I see he had earlier been diagnosed with cancer, but then recently been given the Great Leader's miracle drug. Just as a reminder, dying from cancer, Ebola or AIDS is now considered treasonable and punishable by death. Like many similar crimes, the punishment will not only be used against the traitor, but against his family and friends.

So with that in mind, let's ask again, what was the cause of death of poor Yeongchol again? Ah, old age you say. Well, time takes its toll on us all, even those of us who die at 22. Thank you for your time, comrades. May the Great Leader smile upon you."

Comment: Re:Proof (Score 1) 546 546

Furthermore, does the NSA/CIA/FBI not /know/ what documents Snowden appropriated? They kicked him out for exceeding his access restrictions; presumably they know what files he looked at and copied. And given that they were aware of the extent of incriminating information Snowden had absconded, why did they wait until now to start pulling back their agents? For all their bleating as to how Snowden was putting US agents at risk, you might think they would have brought these compromised spies back into the fold long before (replacing them with new ones, of course). The fact that they are doing so now indicates it is not outside of their ability.

Whatever you might think of Snowden's actions, none of this makes the US spy agencies look in the least bit competent. Heck, the very fact that the encryption was cracked probably speaks poorly of them, as they were probably the geniuses who created the encryption in the first place: did the Russians leverage an NSA back-door or was the cipher just badly designed?

Comment: Wait... is this so bad? (Score 1) 231 231

I mean, let's look at it from the other side. Might it not make ad-blocking easier?

In the browser, ad-blockers would just have to block anything coming from localhost; except in rare occasions (web-developers, etc). it is unlikely that any other web-material will be served from there. Rather than having to keep track of an increasingly byzantine list of adservers, the Adblock app would just have to stop the ads coming from one source.

Of course, blocking it on the browser only keeps you from seeing it; if you want to prevent any communications (to /and/ from the advertisers) you'll still want to prevent communications between your computer and the advertisers. But if this data is being run through and vettted by Microsoft, it should be fairly simple (or at least less complicated than current methods) to block certain IPs at the firewall or even prevent certain executables from running at all.

Unchecked, its a horrific violation of privacy... but with the proper tools it might make managing advertisments much easier. Maybe? Any thoughts?

Comment: Re:bye (Score 2) 531 531

Or use the button to disable shaped like a "gear" to disable it...

Which works right up to the point where Mozilla removes this feature, as they have removed so many other features.

Look, I get that programmers are expensive and Mozilla needs to pay the bills somehow, but maybe if they just focused on security concerns instead of trying to re-invent the browser every other version they wouldn't need so many programmers?

Sadly, there is still little alternative to Firefox. Palemoon has a host of compatibility issues with many add-ons, Chrome is Google spyware, and Opera and Chromium just don't have the range of add-ons that Firefox has.

Comment: Re:ISRO sponsered by BIC (Score 5, Insightful) 77 77

The unmanned shuttle will fly to a height of approximately 70 kilometers before splashing down in the Bay of Bengal. Oddly, the vehicle itself probably won't be recovered.

How can it be called a Shuttle if it's only going to be used once?

And while we are at it, since the beginning of "space" is generally accepted to be 100KM and this thing is only going up 70KM, the "space" part of its name is inaccurate too.

But I guess "space shuttle" sounds better than "big can we're chucking high up into the air and then letting sink into the ocean".

Comment: Re:In defense of the human race (Score 1) 150 150

But by that logic one could argue the reason we haven't been hit by a big asteroid is /because/ Bieber and Dione are here on Earth. The asteroids have been steering clear of us rather than risk contamination. Ship Bieber/Dione out into deep space and we lose that protection!

Then again, it might be worth it...

Comment: Re:They trained their replacements (Score 4, Interesting) 612 612

Why in the hell would anyone train their replacement though?

Because usually all you know is that /somebody/ is going to be replaced: it might be you, it might be any one of the twenty other people who do a nearly identical job to you. You hang around because you hope that - when the cut comes - you are one of the few spared and you don't want to work with idiots (thus having to do not only your own job but covering for all the replacements). Or working for a large corporation hasn't stripped you entirely of your conscience, you won't want to leave the same burden on any of your current co-workers if you yourself are laid-off and they aren't (you may even care about the customers too, who shouldn't have to deal with poorly trained replacements).

Even the more pre-emptive and forward-thinking employees who have sent out resumes would still stay at the job as long as they can until they actually get an offer for a new job.

Having said all that, I once was fired "immediately" but was then "allowed" to stay an extra two weeks to train my replacement. I graciously turned them down and left right after the meeting.

Humanity has the stars in its future, and that future is too important to be lost under the burden of juvenile folly and ignorant superstition. - Isaac Asimov