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Comment: Re:Where do you draw the line? (Score 1) 645

by msi (#46692613) Attached to: Should Microsoft Be Required To Extend Support For Windows XP?
Sorry I fat fingered a one word answer

Apple have a monopoly on Apple goods which can tie you into their ecosystem as easily as the Wintel ecosystem and they discontinue much earlier and less transparently.

Capita have a monopoly on school management systems and discontinued their original SIMS product in the mid 00s and forced an upgrade to

Nokia dropped symbian like a rock in 2011.

Cisco EoL IOS releases after 48 months from release or 12 months from last sale.

Comment: Re:Where do you draw the line? (Score 1) 645

by msi (#46691885) Attached to: Should Microsoft Be Required To Extend Support For Windows XP?

I have read this a number of times and I can only assume you have never used a windows computer. The versions of office and windows are in no way restricted, I am running components form Office 2003, 2010 and 2013 on Windows 7 and Office XP, 2003 and 2010 on windows XP.

Windows Vista, 7 and 8 all have compatibility mode which tries with varying degrees of success to fool older pieces of software that they are running old versions of windows.

32 bit Office 2000 doesn't work on Windows 7.

Neither does it work on Windows 1. I have just had a quick google and there are lots of posts claiming to have it working on windows 8 however, you are looking back five versions of office before you find one which does not work.

Please name another software vendor who provide this level of support.

Comment: Re:Where do you draw the line? (Score 1) 645

by msi (#46687225) Attached to: Should Microsoft Be Required To Extend Support For Windows XP?

Further, the software packages of this type from Microsoft are tied to a specific version of the Windows Operating system; that is, you can not take a version of Office intended for use on Windows XP, and run it on Windows 7 or later versions of the Microsoft OS platform. This explicit and intentional tying is monopolistic in nature. Further, the glue code for the vertical market systems previously mentions, *also* will not run on non-XP platforms.

Effectively, this means that Microsoft is leveraging their monopoly position in operating systems - specifically, with regard to the discontinuation of support for XP - into additional sales of non-OS Microsoft products, and to sales of middleware components and development tools. As a necessary side effect, they create a market for third parties to port code they've already written to the new middleware and applications components running on the new platform, without actually providing additional value for the intentional binary incompatibility of the user space code.


Forced "upgrades" which aren't actually "upgrades", since they don't provide fixes without damaging binary compatibility, are almost always a bad idea.

Not that Apple is completely innocent of this tactic with regard to new iOS versions; they've recently disabled the ability to turn off sync and update downloads happening over the cellular data connection, even though there are usage caps and extra costs to the user if this is left on, and they consistently pop up complaint dialogs when they can't fit the update into the storage on a 16G iPhone, and suggest you delete stuff to make room.


In any case, the Windows XP end of life has been handled very, very badly, and the papers author has some great points, from a legal perspective, given the findings of fact on the monopolistic power by the courts in the Netscape case.

I have read this a number of times and I can only assume you have never used a windows computer. The versions of office and windows are in no way restricted, I am running components form Office 2003, 2010 and 2013 on Windows 7 and Office XP, 2003 and 2010 on windows XP.

Windows Vista, 7 and 8 all have compatibility mode which tries with varying degrees of success to fool older pieces of software that they are running old versions of windows.

Apple and Steve Jobs who you seem to hold up as the paragons of backwards compatibility virtue are(where) awful at any form of backwards compatibility or support Snow Leopard (10.6 released 08/09) does not get the same level of patching that the Lion (10.7 07/11) and Mountain Lion (10.8 07/12) and Mavericks (10.9 10/13) get Leopard (10.5 10/07) is unsupported.

Microsoft is no longer considered to be anti-trust the sanctions imposed expired in 2007, Microsoft agreed to a two year extension and offered to continue complying until 2012 although the DOJ turned down the offer. So a case brought in 2001 for actions in the 90s and all punishments or restrictions expired five years ago probably has little baring on 2014 where their market share has dropped form 95% to 65%

Comment: Wrong question (Score 1) 307

by jd (#46654623) Attached to: Should NASA Send Astronauts On Voluntary One-Way Missions?

Google up on articles on the Lazarus Doctor (he works on patients who have nominally died of hypothermia) and on the new experimental saline blood substitute for potentially fatal injuries (the paramedics swap the patient's blood for the solution, deep-freeze the patient and reverse the process at hospital, eliminating all stress and trauma to the body in transit).

The theoretical duration you can perform suspended animation in real life is unknown, but is estimated to be many months.

The practical duration is only a few hours, so far.

The cost of improving on the practical duration (since the former method is really only limited by how long you can artificially keep O2 levels in the brain over 45%) is far, far less than the cost of a mission to Mars. Ergo, that is the logical solution. Fund medical research into the two methods. Put 100% of NASA funding for a manned Mars mission into those two techniques for at least the next couple of years.

That should accelerate development of the necessary technologies. By doing it this way, you need absolutely bugger all new rocketry technology. The N months food needed for the journey by live astronauts can be replaced with radiation shielding of the same total mass.

This leaves you with radiation on Mars. But only if you land on the surface. What you want to do is land in a deep narrow gorge or chasm. There are some, that is where the methane was reported. That increases the thickness of atmosphere, which is good for radiation. It is unexplored, which is even better. There is a chance of a cave network, absolutely ideal for looking for water, life and/or a good location for settlers.

Oh, and doing things this way improves life on Earth, the very thing all the anti-space people demand NASA prove they can do.

Everyone's happy, apart from, well, everyone. NASA doing a better job of health than the NIH will upset people. A workable mission will upset futurologists because the future will be done rather than talked about, putting them out of a job. Eliminating the radiation problem will infuriate the buggers who say the mission can't be done. Eliminating any issues with transit time mean you can launch the mission the day after the medical stuff is sorted, leaving those talking about a 2030-2050 timeframe looking as stupid as they really are.

So, yeah, it'll get the job done, but expect those involved in a mission to be lynched by a mob of respectable plutocrats.

Comment: Re: hmm, people out to make a quick buck (Score 1) 357

by msi (#46568149) Attached to: Cryptocurrency Exchange Vircurex To Freeze Customer Accounts
The US dollar may or may not lose it's status as the worlds reserve currency however, their is still a massive gap between that and losing credibility as a currency.

There are somewhere between 189 and 204 countries in the world depending on how you count them and they have about 190 currencies. where you place the US dollar in the order of credibility is up to the individual but I don't think many people are going to rank it below the Sudanese pound.

Comment: Re:They don't understand the difference (Score 1) 517

by jd (#45945761) Attached to: How Weather Influences Global Warming Opinions

The restrictions on teaching in America are severe. The restrictions in the UK make it doable, for now, but the backlash against Free Schools will likely end that.

I'd love to get off my high horse. I'm getting vertigo. The problem is that educating people has got so much red tape and legal bumfluff involved. PLEASE let me educate! It is my natural state of being!

Comment: Re:Global vs. local effects (Score 1) 517

by jd (#45939751) Attached to: How Weather Influences Global Warming Opinions

You are correct. Global warming refers to heat, on a climatic scale, on average. It doesn't refer to temperature (the number one mistake people make), local conditions, day-to-day variations or local phenomena.

But it's worse! For the price of three mistakes, we'll throw in three more, absolutely free!

Heat flows around the planet. You've the conveyor belts, trade winds, gulf stream and many, many more. But air doesn't just circulate around these, it also circulates around regions of high pressure and low pressure (forget which way for which) and from high pressure to low pressure, but pressure systems aren't trivial things and you'll hear of one blocking another, not one cancelling another.

Climate also has myriad feedback mechanisms. Hot air rises, expands and cools as it does so. (Temperature is inversely proportional to volume, near enough.) As air cools, it sinks. If the air sinks when it is 100% saturated with water vapour, the air cannot retain it and it falls out the sky in various unpleasant forms. Usually, whatever you're not dressed for. It Knows! But what affects air temperature? Solar heat, yes, but also the ground. Air is fairly transparent when it comes to thermal radiation but not to conduction or convection, which is why the ice caps (which reflect 100% of what reaches the ground) have very cold air masses, whilst thick forest (which absorbs a very high percentage) have very hot air masses.

(You also have to figure that water holds a LOT of heat. To heat water one degree C, you need to put in far more than you would to heat carbon one degree C. Forests, by their nature, tend to have higher humidity in their vicinity. Polar air, by contrast, is usually very dry. This changes the reservoir available.)

Finally, organic systems are negative feedback systems. They have to be. Using James Lovelock's Daisyworld as an example, white daisies (which cool a region) like warm weather. But what if they liked hot? If it was a positive feedback loop, the daisies would cook themselves. Even if you picture a response curve, so their preference waned above the ideal, they would still create highly unfavourable conditions and die out. The only way to make the loop stable is for the daisy to have a negative feedback loop, so that it and the environment are in dynamic equilibrium. An ideal state is actively maintained.

Humans don't really understand dynamic systems well, and dynamic equilibria even less. I despair of your species, Earthlings. Anyways, there are all manner of regions on your planet, all with their own different temperature preferences and all actively maintaining them. Air circulates. Globally. The instantaneous result is weather, the long-term result is climate.

Try to picture a radio station with static. You can distinguish the instantaneous (the pops, whistles and crackles) from the aggregate (whatever is being broadcast). To equate them is to assume a time invariance that has no basis in reality.

Honestly, sometimes I think my seminar series "Ethics 101 For Daleks" was easier.

Comment: Re:Oh, please (Score 0) 1043

by jd (#45935383) Attached to: Doctors Say Food Stamp Cuts Could Cause Higher Healthcare Costs

Why would healthcare costs increase? Demand outstrips supply by a long way, but if people postpone treatment to avoid the smaller costs, they'll end up with greater health problems at far greater cost, which they can't then pay and the doctor/hospital is forced to eat the bill. The treatment is indeed more expensive, but for the supplier.

When you have a healthier populace, you want to minimize costs by treating early that which hasn't been prevented. A very large number of micropayments is a lot of money.

When you have a very sick population, treating is largely futile. Disease can live in pockets undetected and surge at random intervals. You could never find, let alone vaccinate and treat, every solitary member of the underclasses. Rather, you want the disease to burn itself out. Incinerating the victims is cheap, efficient and prevents recurrence. This is the "Atlas Shrugged" philosophy. And, economically, it makes sense in the short term. Starving these people to death is slower and annoys pop stars. Well, it sort of makes sense. Ability is normally distributed, so if N% of the rich have a particular rare and valuable mental or physical skill, N% of the poor will also have it. There are a lot more poor than rich (80/20 rule), so with a better diet and better education, it should be obvious that you can scale up your entire economy, which means greater cashflow, greater resilience and greater overall profit.

In a nutshell, if you cut welfare beyond a certain point and replace education by religion beyond a certain point, you can create a downward spiral where recovery is uneconomic. No matter what you do, the salvage operation will cost more than the value of what is salvaged. Disease is not known for respecting rank nor privilege. It may affect the affluent last, but as the support system dies, the affluent will also die. And, in pure economic terms, there's plenty of skilled people from overcrowded countries to replace them with. To the ruling elite, the rich are ultimately as disposable as anyone. Economically, everyone is replaceable and replacement is cheaper than stagnation.

This is where I differ from Ayn Rand. (Ok, I differ on almost everything. She was a seriously ill woman.) I do not believe stagnation is necessary or useful. Way too much potential is getting wasted, far more than can be justified by the logic of diminishing returns. I do not believe the upper caste has exclusive rights to intelligence. I do not believe scale efficiency is sublinear. (I do not believe Ayn Rand would have comprehended the technical terms in my post. She was not very bright.) I do not believe America has passed the event horizon and is descending into the black hole of oblivion... although its leaders are trying very hard to reach that point...

I do believe that with a sensible food policy and a decent educational system, any country at all would see a major economic boom. Add in better mental healthcare, better housing and a cleaner environment, and you could see rejuvenation beyond the imaginings of most.

Comment: This should be obvious (Score 1) 1043

by jd (#45934993) Attached to: Doctors Say Food Stamp Cuts Could Cause Higher Healthcare Costs

You cannot make money without spending money
You cannot save money without spending money
Cheap solutions can end up very expensive
Expensive but appropriate solutions can wind up costing less

This is all very basic stuff. Sticker price is rarely the only price.

NB: Appropriate is there for a reason. Charging more for a bad product doesn't magically make it a good product. If it did, can you imagine how good bank CEOs would be by now? In fact, there are a number of situations where the normal economic rules invert, where high prices are desirable and price wars lead to ever-higher costs.

Equally, low sticker prices don't automatically mean bad. Think of Linux, which has the lowest sticker price possible and is superb. But that only appears degenerate because of looking at sticker price alone. If you cost the time spent developing and testing, you actually show Linux to be in the fourth category. If you value developer time at typical market rates, Linux probably weighs in at around $1.2 billion. Very expensive, but the TCO of using it is very very low.

Comment: Re:Let's mod up things that use big words... (Score 0) 162

by jd (#45928955) Attached to: Kazakh Professor Claims Solution of Another Millennium Prize Problem

Comprehension is also your problem. Go read James Gleik for a bit, then maybe read some Mandelbrot. THEN come back and tell me about chaotic systems.

You have zero understanding of the Holographic Universe theory, that much is obvious. I won't waste my time explaining it, all I will say is that it is the only possible way this Kazakh professor could have done what he claimed. It is the only way to transform a non-solvable problem into one that could conceivably be solved. I do not believe he has succeeded (I am not sure I believe the theory either), but I am convinced he does and that he believes he has. There is only one path he could have taken to reach such a belief. Ergo, that is the path he took.

It should be obvious to even the smallest child that if approach X is doomed to failure, that the professor did not follow approach X. He did something else. It should also be obvious that, with the plethora of Holographic Universe papers on arXiv, along with papers on reduced-dimension n-body problem papers, that reduced-dimension approaches to problems has gained traction. But you're too busy complaining about terms you know nothing of to actually look at what people are doing. Way too busy.

So stop posting gibberish, read for once in your life, and maybe - just maybe - you will grasp what others are saying before you start spewing. God, how I hate it when lazy, incompetent bastards start thinking they know everything.

"Love is an ideal thing, marriage a real thing; a confusion of the real with the ideal never goes unpunished." -- Goethe