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Comment Re:Microsoft hounds (Score 2, Insightful) 121

True to a point. But if a product is really good, word of mouth takes over, the product becomes well known and eventually starts to "sell itself". What then is the need for a marketing effort in a company such as Coke, or Microsoft? It certainly doesn't consist of educating people about the product. More often it consists of giving the public a warm and fuzzy feeling about the company itself. Paving over mishaps as quickly as possible, pushing product out a retail channel faster than might be needed, developing intermediate unpaid marketing channels (MCSEs), sponsring charitable events, etc. I mentioned two companies. Windows has never been great. The one change Coke made to their formula was a marketing disaster, although the public soon forgot its outrage. If there was simply nothing close to the products from these two companies, they would need to do little marketing. Fact is, viable alternatives are there, waiting for a stumble significant enough to trip up the giant. Such stumbles rarely happen. Especially if the company keeps a groups of people around to cover them up and draw the public's attention to something else.

You will note that when some new big virus or malware comes out the mainstream publications rarely if ever mention that only those running Windows are vulnerable, even if this is the case. I don't think this is happenstance. You have to dig deep to find that the lates Flash or Acrobat vulnerability only affects those running Windows. Microsoft marketing has done a great job of convincing people that since they are the number one OS, they can't be blamed because almost all the attacks target their system.

Comment Not too obvious.. (Score 2, Funny) 117

Bill Gates has indicated you are a fellow group member of Microsoft Security. I'd like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn. - B. Gates.

Oh, that would have fooled me. It would have been more tricky if they'd added something like:

Oh, and I'm also inviting you to the other special interests groups I follow: "Committee for Prevention of Bloat in Operating Systems", and "Six Forty K. It's Enough for Anyone". I look forward to seeing you on LinkedIN and if you are ever in the Seattle area, stop by for a brew.

Comment Re:No human spaceflight can't help (Score 0, Troll) 73

No, One party focuses on war, the other party focuses on entitlement and war.

War alone (at the rate we've been fighting them since Lyndon Johnson's time) have not been enough to break the bank.

Entitlements (at the rate we've been enacting them since Lyndon Johnson's time) have been enough ALONE to break the bank (at some future point at least).

Comment Re:Maybe I'm trolling... (Score 0) 274

Well, until they figure out that the remedies have costs in terms of human comfort too:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20091220/sc_afp/lifestyleclimatewarminganimalsfood

Comont, proud owner of seven cats and two dogs -- the environmental equivalent of a small fleet of cars -- says defiantly, "Our animals give us so much that I don't feel like a polluter at all.

There is very little logic that goes into either side of this "debate". It's all about finding some OTHER groups of people to demonize, those who lead lives that are not like ours, believe in things we don't, or don't believe in things we do.

After our freedoms are gone, it will be those who ushered them out the door that complain the loudest. The "struggle" to give up your freedom to others is a downhill struggle. Going back won't be so easy, or even possible.

What I wonder is: If we can finally prove that man contributes to climate change at all and thus that changes in the way we live will have an definite impact, then wouldn't it be important to be absolutely sure which long-term direction climate is taking and whether the actions that are being proposed will have the correct, that is reverse effect?

It would seem that instead we are for some reason in a hurry to do something/anything, even though we know that the problem (if it is a problem) has been creeping along for thousands of years.

The notion that we are at some sort of trigger point or point of no return seems more than just a little bit contrived to me. Especially when you realize that most of the leaders in this movement have set themselves up to gain financially by the proposed changes.

Comment Re:Bloat 2.0 (Score 1) 11

If I ran a business that was dependent on web access that's what I'd do.

Unfortunately there seems to be too many layers of management between the people that run some businesses and the people who put together web pages for them.

Of course that could be easily fixed.

Comment If it makes you feel any better... (Score 1) 11

My Linux box which has similar horsepower to yours was also starting to feel a bit sluggish. I don't think there was anything wrong with the OS or with the browser(s), but with the web content which grows ever more bloated with both flash(y) ads and even content that has way too much. I love Mozilla and root for their success. But with so many people now switching from IE (which still sucks too) reliability is more important than ever. I've been using Chrome more and more and found it to be faster, but also found it to fail on some pages that Firefox handled fine. I've also upgraded to a low-end Apple machine for my primary desktop and found *all three* browsers available there, Chrome, Firefox, and Safari, fail to render some pages properly, or at all. I'm getting faster page loads, due to a faster machine, and bumped up bandwidth (Verizon has a free upgrade for a year offer going on). It *is* a conspiracy, there is no doubt about that. I had gone so many years without upgrading hardware (and my old hardware was purchased used) that finally getting "state of the art" hardware feels worth it (for a change). But the vested interest will do everything in their power (going to solid state disks, 4 core processors, and other gimmicks) to force you to buy new hardware to make up for their lack of concern about performance or reliability issues with their server side operations.

Some of these pages from "mainstream" sources depend on not just graphics and text, but scripts from a dozen different servers, and it's not just ads, but also measurement services, services that underline certain words and provide pop-up definitions (a stupid idea IMHO) and other such "features" that makes "joe programmer" at the Gazette look more productive than he actually is. There is a house of cards being built here among failing media companies. A house where everyone can point the finger of blame a someone else when it's convenient, or take credit all to themselves when everything is working. Unfortunately the "everything is working" scenario is proving to be more and more illusive.

In the "good old days" browsers could load web page text fairly early and put placeholders in for graphics that might or might not eventually load. At least you could start reading in the mean time.

Today's pages often start out by running a script which then fetches the actual content, along with doing a dozen other things. I think if the authors of these scripts were really good at what they do (which they are not) they would also make sure that they produce something useful, even if everything doesn't go quite as planed. They don't do this though, and there is no way for the browser to "read the minds" of the script writers.

I don't know that there is a way out of this other than for users to let publishers know that if they are going to keep publishing content that isn't readable you won't be patronizing them any longer. Letting them know this publicly (in comments if you can get to that point) may help more than a "letter to the editor". I've given several of the MSM outlets grief over this and have seen gradual improvements, whether as a result of my comments or not I can't say.

By the way I've been using Debian for many years and never saw the need to go to a more "user friendly" distro such as Ubuntu. I always had to tinker with my initial installation to get things like video and sound to work right, but that was mostly adjusting control files, not actually replacing drivers etc. Once I got a Debian version running I almost never had upgrade issues, except when I brought them on myself by doing a fresh install from time to time. The latest Debian I installed a year or so ago needed no such tinkering for the first time. Everything just worked!, and still does. It's nice to have a still-working backup machine in case the primary fails, and there is a good chance that at some point I'll be running Debian instead of OS X on this machine as there are many things I prefer about Debian (or Linux in general) to the one-size-fits-all approach of Apple.

Comment Re:NPR says it's the unions (Score 1) 8

I can't think of too many (or any) examples of big cities turning back from the "nanny state" once they start down that path. This is as much an example of the "Galt effect" as anything else. Why stand around arguing with idiots if you have an easier recourse.

As the radical left knows though, the "solution" is for their way of thinking to become worldwide, just so there is no place to escape to.

Sadly, the American voters are making these false utopias almost inevitable by eliminating the states ability to distinguish themselves in any meaningful way. A one size fits all Federal government will also be a very much socialized government and there will be no way to assure a fair election, unless we want to take Jimmy Carter's word for it.

As a Boeing alumnus I'm glad to see them shake free of their shackles, but fearful the benefit will be only temporary. It's almost certain that the time will come when both unions and an oppressive government will burden them to the point where they have to be "bailed out" too.

Comment Re:government? (Score 1) 297

I could append this to every message here, but I picked yours because you put your finger on the problem:

There is no ultimate goal for Network Neutrality because that term isn't defined anywhere. No elected official has defined what the concept means now or what it might mean in the future. It's nice that we have this "comment period" for various interests to get their two cents in, but as far as Network Neutrality is concerned it's now a dictatorship of five people at the FCC. Change the makeup of that group and you get a new definition. Take whatever definition is put in place and hire a building full of people to oversee it and you will most definitely get a working definition that differs from the public's high level understanding of it.

We have a problem here that exists almost entirely as a hypothetical case. This is like hiring a dozen cops to focus on traffic control for a little used residential street. Since there is no traffic problem to solve it's only a matter of time before they find other "laws" to enforce.

Whatever "Network Neutrality" means now, it will mean something completely different in 5 years. Google, and other supporters are basically placing their bets on their ability to influence the government to rule in their favor. Flexibility and competition will once again go out the window in favor of designated monopolies. We might as well skip all the intermediate steps and just go straight to a federally maintained Internet.

Comment Re:Cloud computer (Score 1) 279

"With software you own, you can ignore Microsoft's mistakes"

Yes, as long as you actually own it.

You don't own the products you mentioned however. Better get out that TOS document you never read and read it.

The best way to ignore Microsoft's mistakes is to not use their software. At all.

I'm quite comfortable keeping my data "in the cloud". But I also keep local copies. As such the cloud copy is my primary working copy and the local copy serves as the backup.

Comment Re:Government at its finest (Score 1) 294

There's an expectation that tax money will be spent in a way that benefits everybody. That's the only reason we allow the government to take the money from us in the first place.

Well, that, and the fact that they come to your house with guns eventually if you don't. While you're waiting for that to happen they can also freeze your bank accounts.

Of course I have the "satisfaction" of voting every chance get for smaller government.

Problem is I'm outnumbered by those on the receiving end of my taxes plus geometrically growing borrowing.

The only other "satisfaction" I can derive from this is the knowledge that this system can't sustain itself indefinitely.

Comment Agreed (Score 1) 2

Is this woman an Obama appointee?

If so it's the first one that has said anything that makes sense to me.

I'm tempted to think though that getting rid of "too big to fail" would solve (or would have prevented) all the problems we are having now.

If there were no financial companies that we couldn't let just go out of business, then it seems a few early adopters of derivatives would have stumbled early and warned the others off the scheme.

Of course you also need to get the government out of the "business" of telling banks who they should and should not loan money to. We wouldn't have HAD all these "toxic assets" in the first place had the feds allowed banks to "discriminate" between people who were likely to repay loans and those who were not.

Comment Re:The head guy is from Microsoft (Score 3, Interesting) 222

Anyway, do you have a reference for Yoran's statements on weak Windows security? I must have chosen the wrong keywords when I looked for them.

Read his congressional testimony here:

http://kyl.senate.gov/legis_center/subdocs/022404_yoran.pdf

Note the frequent mention of specific Windows threats, something you will find few government people doing. Many trade press publication will often mention a new threat without regard to specific OS dependencies (and 99% of the time it's Windows). The company goes to great lengths to make sure its names aren't taken in vain in public.

He has been associated with user groups that are critical of Windows, but my guess is that his true feelings on the subject are uttered mostly off the record.

http://www.viruslist.com/en/news?id=764

http://radsoft.net/rants/20090318,00.shtml

In any event, the hiring of a former Microsoftie is the main issue here. Is he required to divest his stock options? I don't see that spelled out.

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