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Comment: Re:Internet Explorer (Score 1) 79

That was it. That was why corporations went with it.

That's a big part of it, but you do have to factor in activeX. While it was always a bit of a boondoggle on the consumer internet; it did provide some much needed glue that those old browsers didn't have.

Wanted your cool new enterprise intranet application to be able to print to the receipt printer? Or upload local files with an elegant interface? Or (and a long list of other stuff.) There simply was no cross-platform way to do it. Netscape Plugsins OR ActiveX... and if the enterprise had the luxury of controlling what people were using so it could pick just one... and IE in addition to everything else you said ALSO was easy to manage via AD group policy etc. So it just made sense to use it.

And once they'd gone down the activeX road, and became dependent on it... well the whole planet has suffered for that mistake. :)

Comment: Re:In after somebody says don't run Windows. (Score 1) 428

by vux984 (#48893999) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Best Anti-Virus Software In 2015? Free Or Paid?

What's next, are you going to start talking about how there's a worm hidden in everyone's ring 0?

Reboot. Solved.

which "tells windows not to report it" and "doesn't show up in the registry editor"

So I kept it in laymen's terms? is there really any need to be technical with respect to how that's accomplished?

(why a virus would have to write in the registry in the first place is beyond me)

Usually to hide a gazillion triggers to restart / heal itself after at reboot.

They're far, far more likely to be built off CatPicturesScreensaver.exe than from some crazily smart drive-by which is completely undetectable and doesn't do anything... until the doomsday comes.

That's harder to say really.

There is going to be a clear confirmation bias. Like the idea that all criminals are stupid... just watch cops. Yes, LOTS of criminals are stupid. But the ones that are smarter? The ones that don't get caught? Where its not even obvious a crime was ever committed? Can we really say there's more dumb criminals than smart ones based on the fact that we don't see them as much?

I agree with you, but I'm not so sure what the ratio of good unobtrusive stuff to in your face nonsense really is. I concede we're not likely facing 'james bond' grade viruses ... and I think the majority out there is the fast and dirty social engineering to get a toolbar added to your browser... but I think we underestimate the just how prevalent unobtrusive malware might be; simply because by virtue of being unobtrusive we don't even know when were infected.

And for the less technical... they simply would just never know. They'd never complain, because nothing was 'wrong'. Eventually it would get old, replaced, or they'd pay some kid to wipe and refresh it because they were giving it to someone else and they'd be none the wiser that it was ever infected.

I found my parents computer once had been very discretely turned into someone elses "cloud storage". I only stumbled over it by complete fluke. I was troubleshooting something else; and just stumbled over it as there was a lock preventing a folder move or rename or something like that and that and it got me to look deeper.

I can only speculate that I've missed an unknown number of others over the years.

Comment: Re:In after somebody says don't run Windows. (Score 1) 428

by vux984 (#48890541) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Best Anti-Virus Software In 2015? Free Or Paid?

If this botnet is that good then unless you can monitor all your traffic to and from the suspected infected system with a separate, knowingly uncompromised system.

Pretty much. Yes. Unless its designed to overload your centrifuges and not communicate with the internet.

I think a good botnet would be dormant offline and invisible to the kernel, making an offline scan using the suspected system to inspect itself useless as well.

Which is I said it needed to be an offline scan.

If this awesome botnet gets me, hey...oh well.

Agreed. That level of security is out of most our reach.

However, the point remains that you could be part of a pretty run of the mill botnet, have your passwords harvested, and a variety of other nasty stuff and you'd have little to no chance of catching it in time. Even if it wasn't hyper-adept at hiding from the kernel itself.

Just not being particularly "obtrusive" will let run for months... perhaps years before you catch it. And most botnets these days qualify for "unobtrustive" because if they start throwing up piles of ads, redirecting your searches, and puking all over the place you'll wipe and rebuild and take them out. And they're in it for the longer game... while the puke on your system shit is just looking for some quick ad revenue before you find someone to "fix it" again.

Comment: Re:Midrange? (Score 1) 111

by vux984 (#48890513) Attached to: NVIDIA Launches New Midrange Maxwell-Based GeForce GTX 960 Graphics Card

Asus PB287Q with a GTX970

Yeah, that's a TN panel. It's good for gaming; as it gets the response times etc where they need to be, but its not really suitable for anything that requires an accurate color space; which was one of my requirements.

It's also telling that even with a GTX970 you are finding running at 4k to be a bit hit and miss.

1080p is painful to watch.

And that's unfortunate too because 99% of content is not available yet for QHD / UHD so your going to be looking at a lot of 1080p content for a while yet.

I'd rather have QHD panel (2560x1440) and be able to run everything at native, have an accurate color space due to it not being TN (I ended up with a PLS display this round; and had IPS units previously) ~and~ its not as fast as a TN panel, but its still good enough for games.

Im glad your out there blazing the trail for us. But I just don't think 4k is really here quite yet.

Comment: Re:In after somebody says don't run Windows. (Score 1) 428

by vux984 (#48890455) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Best Anti-Virus Software In 2015? Free Or Paid?

- it's hard to do any kind of virus research at all when you've got antivirus trying to delete every infected file you're examining.

What kind of special flower does "virus research" on their "main" computer that they use for ANY thing else? I don't even look at them on a NETWORK that has access to anything else.

I agree that a/v products value is dubious at best. But good god man... your basically telling us the equivalent of "I don't bother with brakes in my daily commuter car because I like to study car wrecks... and... well those darn things prevent them from happening."

Comment: Re:In after somebody says don't run Windows. (Score 5, Informative) 428

by vux984 (#48890397) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Best Anti-Virus Software In 2015? Free Or Paid?

I use visual and audible cues like an oddly running HDD: going by the activity light mostly using SSDs.

Because a botnet is going to need a lot of hard drive on your computer with GB of extra RAM?

Also, fan operation, CPU temp, resource monitoring stuff.

Unless you've been coopted to mine bitcoins or something, your CPU temperature isn't going to be noticeable if your part of a botnet either.

Just checking out what .exes are running and/or in startup once in a while is a good habit.

Sure it is; for the low hanging fruit. The really good stuff doesn't show up in taskmanager because its told windows not to report it. It doesn't show up in the registry editor either. And windows explorer can't see the files on disk. Or maybe it's hiding in plain sight... some common service replaced by a malware version; that still performs all the original functions, but also does something... extra.

The idea that anyone could detect anything sophisticated with "visual cues" and "checking stuff" is laughable; on any OS.

An offline scan is usually required, that flags everything not known specifically to come from a trusted vendor... and the resulting list is probably going to be overwhelming anyway for the average person / average system. Only the most secure managed environments would be able have any real confidence.

Comment: Re:I thought they're making money... (Score 1) 191

by vux984 (#48890319) Attached to: Verizon About To End Construction of Its Fiber Network

Just about every supermarket everywhere disagrees with you...

We're definitely talking about different things here.

After all, how can walmart pay a 2.17% dividend if they're only making ~1% profit? :)

I was talking return on investment (ROI) where as you are talking about profit margins on goods sold. They are not the same thing.

A $100,000 investment to create a business selling widgets that cost $1/unit to produce and sell for $1.01 and sells 2 million units a year.

The profit margin on the product is 1% (1.01/1.00)
On the other hand the ROI is 20% (2M x 0.01 profit/unit = $20,000 per year) 20,000/100,000 = 20%

I would definitely consider investing $100,000 in company that would earn me 20% back in year :); even if it only makes 1% margin on units. I wouldn't touch with a 100 foot pole a company that would only return 1% a year.

Comment: Re:I thought they're making money... (Score 1) 191

by vux984 (#48890223) Attached to: Verizon About To End Construction of Its Fiber Network

4.4% is a LOT more than govt bonds pay. It's not 1985 any more.

Hmm... 2.2% is the best I can find in the states on term deposit. GIC's in Canada are up to 2.85%. But if you have literally millions to invest you can generally do better than advertised retail. So I think my claim that 4.4% is only 1.5% better than they could find in a guaranteed investment vehicle is a reasonable claim.

Comment: Re:i doubt MS is abandoning the surface (Score 1) 155

by vux984 (#48888069) Attached to: Surface RT Devices Won't Get Windows 10

Calls from slashdotters that redmond is abandoning surface might hold water.

Honestly, calls from /. about Microsoft are usually full of crap.

That said, Microsoft abandoning Surface RT is probable. The surface pro on the other hand is a solid concept that is getting better with each iteration.

Combine this with Gaben's steam machines, OS, and broad support for an approachable commodity linux

Steam Machines and Steam OS is Valve's hedge against being one-punched out of business by a hypothetical future microsoft where everything goes through the microsoft app store. They see ios... they saw Windows RT... they saw the OSX app store and an OSX that blocks app installs by default from 'elsewhere', they saw the microsoft app store launch with windows 8. And they realized if they didn't have -something- they could be squeezed out of existence a couple iterations down the road.

I think the overall flop of windows 8 and the app store have really taken the pressure off valve to actually have a steam machine. Although they say they are still working on them; as long as Microsoft remains an 'open platform' that users can develop for, and install software from anywhere easily; I don't see the steamos/steambox being a big deal.

and its hard to really see where microsoft makes money

Not really.

Office (of course)
Servers (incl. CALs, Remote Desktop CALs or whatever they are called this week)
Enterprise desktop OSes (so win 8 isn't being widely deployed; enterprises are still paying for software assurance etc to keep installing windows 7 and MS is making great money at it.)

Bing profitability is apparently close, if not already there.
There's definitely money in skype as well; although it surely hasn't paid for itself yet.
And Xbox is has been profitable as well, for several years by all accounts.

Azure? I don't know.
OneDrive? I don't know.

Comment: Re:Midrange? (Score 1) 111

by vux984 (#48881567) Attached to: NVIDIA Launches New Midrange Maxwell-Based GeForce GTX 960 Graphics Card

i have an asus 4k monitor, 1 ms gtg 60hz on displayport

1ms gtg though means TN display right? If performance / gaming is your primary and only driving consideration that's fine.

But I wanted something that does better with picture quality and color representation than a TN will deliver. I ended up with Asus as well but selected a 27" QHD PLS based panel; (the pair of which so far I'm very happy with.)

But I know they'll be obsoleted with really good 4K stuff soon.

Still the fact that you are choosing to game at 2560 on 980GTX (a better card than I have) says a lot too (not about you personally; but about the current state of UHD gaming).

Comment: Re:Midrange? (Score 1) 111

by vux984 (#48880851) Attached to: NVIDIA Launches New Midrange Maxwell-Based GeForce GTX 960 Graphics Card

For 3840x2160 - Low end

Are there any good monitors at that resolution though? I bought a pair of 27" screens this holiday season and ended up opting for 2560x1440 because 3840x2160 were all terrible for gaming; with pretty much any video card it seemed.

So if you are going to shell out for a top-line nvidia card... what monitor are you pairing it with? A 30Hz QuadHD monitor with high lags, and latency?

I don't get the logic of that.

I couldn't find a good 3840x2160 screen that was remotely any good at least at the price ranges I was looking at? How much do you have to spend to get a good 4K screen - that's decent build quality, decent at gaming, and decent at picture quality?

I know they are -coming- but what is actually HERE?

Comment: Re:Full-screen Start is the problem (Score 1) 567

by vux984 (#48880771) Attached to: Microsoft Reveals Windows 10 Will Be a Free Upgrade

I can touch start, type a specific sequence of keys (usually only 3, sometimes 2), press Enter, all without moving my hands from the keyboard and also without losing focus on what I'm reading or working on.

a) that does work in 8. But i agree the context switch is an unwelcome burden.

b) That sort of workflow is a power user thing to do. See below.

it still serves as a reminder that Win8 wrested-away a reasonable feature.

That's fair. I'm not arguing that 8 or 8.1 was an improvment in every way. But the old start menu was a disaster of legacy crap glued together. And it was replaced by a set of reasonable features too... the start screen caters to casual users search (and looks a lot like OSX launchpad) AND it supports real searching better than the start menu ever did being full screen.

The way you and I used the start menu ... it still works... but I agree there is a cognitive burden to the mode switch.

So the only loss was a mode-switch free way to keyboard activate programs quickly that you already knew the names of... doesn't that sound like a power users utility to you? It does to me... and its an itch that's been well scratched.

Launchy, Executor, FARR... and others all not only support that feature, but go beyond what windows 7 ever did. So why cling backwards with classic shell... when we should be looking forward; embracing the things 8.1 got right, and using a power tool like launchy for its shortcomings.

Don't get me wrong, I firmly believe something like launchy should be bundled with windows. But then I think calculator.exe and notepad.exe are pretty worthless too compared to speedcrunch and notepad++...

Comment: Re:The "you're holding it wrong" mentality (Score 1) 567

by vux984 (#48880563) Attached to: Microsoft Reveals Windows 10 Will Be a Free Upgrade

I realize I'm replying to you a second time here; but I this sub-thread sort of illustrates my point quite well.

In addition to windows, I use OSX and *nix. And OSX, most notably doesn't have a start menu. And I don't miss it there. I certainly don't miss it to the point that I feel compelled to find a "MakeOSX work like windows 7 please" start menu utility.

I have my most frequent apps on the dock (essentially pinned apps on the system tray).
I use launchpad if I need to browse and search for an app (its a full scree application launcher tool; essentially windows 8's start screen - but its more limited).

And finally I use spotlight if i know what I want and can just type a few characters (eg. to launch on OSX users who don't have it docked, etc)

So when I was first faced with 8.1; my observation was pretty much ok. Last round OSX borrowed from Windows. This round Windows is copying OSX and the start menu is souped up OSX application luancher. Neat.
But what about the other stuff i did with the start menu ?
Access control panels, computer properties (system control panel), shutdown, etc... oh its all rightclick off the start button. Cool.
Start menu pinned apps --> custom tool bar. We've had this capability forever; just rarely needed it before. Solved.
And the search widget? Hmmm. ... ok... yeah I miss that for quick search program launching. I see I can still do it from the start screen, but like you noted the context switch is overkill for that.

What I need is "spotlight" for windows; and it doesn't have one. But lets be honest here, most non-power users don't use spotlight on OSX to launch programs. And while I'd like window to include one, I'm a power user... and just like the built in calculator is worthless and I always install a replacement (in my case SpeedCrunch is the one i like), I'd like a little desktop search / program launcher... So Launchy (which goes back to XP), but there are others such as Executor, and FARR (find and run robot).

And frankly that's what blows my mind. What windows 8 "needs" is Spotlight (or Launchy) built in; yet somehow that one little short coming that only power users even needed turned itself into "Lets stick our heads up our asses and re-create everything that was wrong with the start menu just to get at the one little thing it actually did well back" instead of "Lets just make something does that missing bit well"... oh wait... someone already did... years ago... for XP and they've been updating it ever since. Lets use that.

Comment: Re:Full-screen Start is the problem (Score 1) 567

by vux984 (#48879419) Attached to: Microsoft Reveals Windows 10 Will Be a Free Upgrade

How would an end user discover A. that this is possible and B. what keywords to use on Google to learn how?

First, we aren't talking about joe-average end user. We are talking about intelligent windows-savvy power-users.

So how do you discover it? Same way we power users discover most things about the user interface by clicking on things.

Right click on your taskbar. Its the first option... "Toolbars"... hmm... what's all this about a savvy power user might ask themselves for that is what savvy power users are apt to do?

what keywords to use on Google to learn how?

Well, having now discovered it: "windows 8 taskbar toolbar" works the 2nd result is pretty much a tutorial on them.

Although taskbar toolbars have been around for a while... Windows 7 has them too. And Vista. And XP. I kinda-sorta think even Windows 98 might have had them.

You can use Jump Lists from apps pinned to the Taskbar in Windows 8 but having 10+ apps pinned to your Taskbar tends to make it needlessly cluttered, especially when you have multiple non-pinned apps open at the same time.

Agreed. But how typical is that REALLY? And your most common 5-10 apps are probably open all the time anyway, and pinned apps are just a partial solution.

Toolbars the other part. The stuff you don't use THAT frequently should go in a toolbar... a toolbar is basically like the pinned list on the old start menu, which can hold another 20-50 apps depending on your screensize and icon settings etc.

Hell you can even point a toolbar to the "start menu" folder and get a hierarchical popup back. Although crafting your own smaller customized list is probably more useful.

"If there isn't a population problem, why is the government putting cancer in the cigarettes?" -- the elder Steptoe, c. 1970