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Comment windfall (Score 1) 240

What if China goes the DIY route and makes its own ISA or microarchitecture with silicon-level censorship and monitoring, or an always-open backdoor for the Chinese intelligence agencies?

Can you say "windfall for US Intelligence" ??

The Chinese-Communists would have to be really, really stupid to put a hardware back-door into their microprocessors. Such a hole is inevitable to be discovered and exploited by western intelligence, whether the means are covertly stealing the information or reverse-engineering. It practically guarantees that they could never trust any system with one of these chips in it. And it gets better -- even if the systems that those chips are in aren't themselves "sensitive", if they connect in any way to systems that are sensitive, they could be used as a means to compromise the sensitive systems.

You're talking about an oppressive regime that manages to keep 1.3 billion people happy enough to not revolt. You're talking about a regime that has managed to keep a $300b / year trade deficit in their favour with the United States for the past 15 years (which, admittedly, says more about us than them). You're talking about a country with one of the largest militaries on the planet, and one of the fastest growing economies on the planet. We may not like them very much, but they sure don't seem to be fsck-ups enough to make that kind of mistake.

... Now, the possibility of them installing a hardware backdoor into products that they only sell to the West? That's an entirely different matter. But there is no way they'd want to use those same systems in their own infrastructure. And that's what this new "national" microchip is about -- a common ISA for their own internal use, to remove reliance on foreigners (that would be us).

Comment schmuck (Score 2) 351

Which is why it is interesting to hear Intel predict that 'a hundred' Thunderbolt devices are expected to be on the market by the end of the year.

Intel designed Thunderbolt in conjunction with Apple. Which probably means Intel did most of the leg-work on it. How exactly is it "interesting" that Intel is promoting something they invented?

Comment Re:Mozilla/Firefox Anyway (Score 1) 246

Microsoft was buying Netscape just to screw it and shut it down. M$ evidently decided it was more profitable overall to just kill Netscape the way it did, with all monopolist crimes M$ was convicted of in 1999 - by which time Netscape was dead, because it worked.

A lot of people seem to forget that Netscape's CEO publicly stated that their goal was to create a platform/api that applications could run on, and make the underlying OS completely irrelevant. In the Bible/Torah, David defeated Goliath. But 99.9% of the time, when the little punk challenges the big kid on the block, the punk gets creamed.

That doesn't make MS's behaviour right. But in any rational human being, it burns off your sympathy for Netscape.

Comment Actually, sounds like a good idea (Score 3, Interesting) 120

Actually, this sounds like a good move on Cisco's part. Why?

1. Apple makes devices for the consumer market. They have never had good support for the enterprise, where an IT department needs to have the ability to lock down any and all devices on their network.

2. Cisco, however, has very strong ties to the enterprise market. This will give them a definite advantage in both marketing and knowing what features potential (corporate IT) clients will require.

3. Apple has proven that there is a (consumer) market sector for these types of devices. There is a chance that market will fall over to the corporate sector.

The fact is that some of the very features which would make this unattractive to the consumer market are requirements for the corporate/enterprise sector. Such as the ability to lock down the app-store, and place other restrictions and controls on the device's usage. The corporate sector is long accustomed to paying more for less, so the price isn't as big an issue as many here are making it.

At this point, I guess we will just have to see if a tablet is of any real use in the enterprise.
My suspicion is that, right now, that answer is mostly "no". Time will tell.

Comment Knoppix (Score 1) 510

Simply boot from another OS. Knoppix is an excellent choice: it can read/write NTFS partitions, and provides you with a nice GUI to move/rename/delete files.

This is my method of choice for removing Windows viruses.

The final step for this virus would be to afterwards use the `fixmbr` tool.

Piece of cake. No reformatting necessary.

Comment Re:OS (Score 1) 535

If browsers rely on OS codecs, then distributions of Linux would need to license H.264 and other proprietary codecs. The fact that these codecs are encumbered by patents (making them non-free) makes this an unlikely scenario.

You mean like how Linux distros cannot support MP3, and users have to download and install support for it themselves? Yet this hasn't been a serious obstacle for MP3 players in linux in recent years.

The same "click here to download and install a h264 codec" process could easily be added to linux installs.

By enabling H.264 in Chrome on Microsoft platforms, Microsoft is trying to make a patent encumbered codec the de facto standard so that it (meaning Microsoft) can collect licensing fees in the future.

You do realise that Microsoft is not the patent holder on h264?

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