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Comment: Re:Just in time (Score 1) 142 142

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:Just in time (Score 1) 142 142

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) 142 142

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) 142 142

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:I hereby ascertain the bankruptcy of Greece. (Score 1) 1201 1201

lol. The entire Swiss financial sector is only about 7-10% of the GDP and that includes things like pensions and insurance, both of which are huge. The idea that Switzerland is floated by money laundering is propaganda distributed by other western governments who have a weaker or non-existent commitment to financial privacy (normally we like privacy here on slashdot, right?). Mostly the USA and UK because they think, without evidence, that you can catch terrorists by reading their bank statements.

Additionally, it requires some extreme doublethink to claim that a country which is famously neutral and hasn't been at war for over 150 years has "long profited from plunder, war and genocide". Normally it's the countries doing the fighting that plunder!

Comment: Re:Citizen of Belgium here (Score 1) 1201 1201

You know why Germany wanted everyone in on the Euro? Because sans Euro, German exports drive the Deutschmark through the roof, German exports promptly tank, and everyone else has a fair shot of attracting investment

They could also attract those exports by simply lowering their own prices. Greece has not done that because it preferred to borrow the money than lower its standards of living. One way or another the result is the same: there's nothing magical about a floating currency.

Comment: Re:"Edge" (Score 1) 137 137

Then that is a fail right there. They wanted to change the name from IE because of its bad reputation but if they still want people to relate back to the icon it's not going to get them very far.

They only want people who are at least slightly tech-savvy to think it's a totally new browser. They want stupid people who don't know anything to think it's the same old browser they're already familiar with. Changing the name while keeping the icon seems like a good way to accomplish these goals.

Comment: Re: Good (Score 3, Informative) 1201 1201

Obviously the austerity measures that have already been implemented had a negative impact, making it impossible for the country to grow economically

At the time Syriza came to power the Greek economy had started growing again, albeit slowly, and the government had a primary budget surplus. This was despite that many of the obvious reforms Europe wanted hadn't been done.

Yes, the economy had shrunk a lot. No surprise - a big chunk of the Greek economy was simply jobs programs created by the state in order to buy votes. No way to fix Greece without jettisoning that part. But the reforms are mostly common sense and if Greece had stuck with them, the turnaround that was underway could probably have continued. But - they voted for Syriza instead. Syriza immediately started undoing the reforms of the previous government and, guess what, pushed Greece further under water.

Comment: Re:Good deal! (Score 4, Interesting) 1201 1201

We'll soon see how well they do without either.

Very badly, without a doubt. A humanitarian crisis is now looking not just thinkable but downright likely. The EU will pay vastly greater sums before the Greek crisis is over, if only because a failed state within the Schengen zone would make the current EU migrant problems look like a Sunday picnic in comparison.

Waves of starving Greek refugees who cannot afford food fleeing a country beset by blackouts and riots is something that Europe cannot afford, and thus, there is really no option but to continue massive wealth transfers into Greece. The only question is how the EU will ensure the Greek government is replaced with a proxy government, without triggering even greater problems.

One thing is for sure. All the people who voted OXI in the referendum thinking they would be taking control of their own destiny are deluded. Greece is about to fall apart. They will end up grabbing any lifelines the EU gives them regardless of how they voted.

Comment: Re:Good for greece (Score 5, Insightful) 1201 1201

They have demonstrated perfectly why democracy is a failure, even while being a shining beacon of it.

Democracy is not a failure, don't be silly. There are lots of democratic countries that have managed to get a grip on public spending. Most obviously, Germany. Less obviously, the UK just went through an election where the party promising more austerity won a clear victory. California went through a massive crisis where they took their state to the brink due to referendums allowing the creation of unfunded mandates, but last I heard they had learned their lesson and got that problem under control. And so on, and so on.

What's more, it's not like dictatorships are all paragons of budgetary discipline. Far from it.

So whilst undoubtably there will be many further spending crises in advanced nations, democracy is not the problem - it just means a society has to learn to control their borrowing impulses as a group.

Comment: Re: Drop the hammer on them. (Score 4, Interesting) 1201 1201

Second, in Greece there have been traffic budget cuts, and everything was fine according to what was asked, it's just that the European plan was futile

The European plan wasn't actually implemented. Basic things like, hey guyz, why don't you put together a land registry so people know who owns what? Yeah, that didn't happen. Ever. Been talked about since the 90s. Every other modern economy has one, Greece doesn't.

What about relaxing the labour rules? In most parts of the world it's possible to fire people for incompetence. In Greece, it's so hard to fire a civil servant that there is a case of a man who literally murdered the town mayor with an Uzi, went to prison ....... and wasn't fired, in fact, he continued to draw a salary whilst locked up! This is so absurd it's unreal yet, this is Greece.

There are tons of reforms that would actually be good for Greece in the long run, but Syriza seems to think every single reform is a bargaining chip.

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