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Comment Re:Taxes (Score 1) 413

Do you think the UPS/USPS/FedEx guy dropping goods off at your home is doing it for free? They're providing a service that is paid for - Amazon may be giving you "free shipping" but it's really just rolled into your purchase price.

He already addressed this when he said

And besides, how do you think the merchandise gets to your brick and mortar store? Magic?? They pay suppliers too, who obviously factor in cost of delivery into their pricing scheme. Granted, stores obviously pay less for shipping in bulk, but then again, Amazon has deals with the shipping companies to get discounts too...

The shipping cost Amazon pays to get individual items to your home is probably more than the cost the brick and motor store pays, but since Amazon has fewer employees, they have more room to cut prices and still have the same or higher profit margins.

Comment Re:Taxes (Score 1) 413

What "use" taxes?

There's a form you're supposed to fill out each year to account for all the spending you made and didn't pay local sales tax on. Corporations are policed pretty well, so they fill it out; talk to your purchasing dept or accounting dept if you are skeptical... everything they buy online is taxed, and if the tax isn't already taken out by the seller, then your company fills out the paperwork and pays it on their own.

As a private citizen, you're supposed to do the same. You obviously don't. It's ok, I don't either.

Comment Re:Petition to ignorance (Score 1) 386

The problem is with the OEM's themselves,

I agree.

but they have little incentive to lock out all the systems.

Here I disagree. There's a reason Google makes it a requirement than OEMs include the ability to turn off secure boot... Google doesn't trust the OEMs -- for good reason.

It would be safe to assume that any PC marketed towards enthusiast or enterprise will have the option to disable the Secure Boot in the bios

That's probably true. I don't think I've every purchased an enthusiast or enterprise PC. I've built a number of my own enthusiast rigs and I've purchased a fair dozen Acer/eMachine/HP low end boxes. These are the ones that risk loosing dual boot.

Comment Re:A BIOS with minimal features? (Score 1) 386

I have NEVER seen a BIOS with minimal features.

Buy a Dell. Or an HP. Or an Acer. Now compare the BIOS/UEFI setup menu with an off the shelf motherboard (Asus, ASRock, Epox, etc). The off the shelf motherboard will have WAY more features than the Dell, HP, or Acer.

That you haven't seen a BIOS with minimal features either means you've a) never built a computer, b) never run a major whitebox system, or c) never looked and compared.

Disclaimer: I don't believe being a language designer adds or removes any credibility from your statement, regardless of the company you work for.

Comment Re:Article Gives the Obvious Solution (Score 1) 386

I wonder if people that decide to purchase Windows 8 to use directly on a PC they built would be required to install some firmware update to give Microsoft its way.

No. Microsoft is not preventing Windows 8 from running anywhere. The OS does not check to ensure the hardware is secure. The hardware (or rather, UEFI... the new BIOS) checks the kernel to ensure the signature matches before running it. Hardware that doesn't do this check will still boot Windows 8 just fine. Hardware that does this check will still run Windows 9 when it comes out. It won't run Linux and probably not Windows 7 or Vista, unless you get copies that have signed binaries OR the hardware allows you to disable the check.

Microsoft isn't telling OEMs that they can't allow the user to disable the check, but they're also not telling OEMs that they have to allow the user to disable the check.

Comment Re:Petition to ignorance (Score 1) 386

Windows 8 competes with Windows 7 and they have to allow users to upgrade with an old PC. It would be stupid to implement an OS that requires a Secure Boot mode, because it would mean that mean that users would have to buy new hardware.

You don't understand binary signing or secure boot, do you? Windows 8 binaries will be signed. Signed binaries can run anywhere. It's only when hardware or the BIOS checks the signature before allowing code to execute that binary signing matters, and then only for binaries that are unsigned. Nobody has suggested that Windows 8 won't run on computers without UEFI secure boot. Microsoft has stated that computers which ship with the "Microsoft Windows 8 Certified" sticker must have secure boot enabled by default and ship with MS's public key such that the UEFI system can check the signature before allowing the system to boot.

The concern is not that Windows 8 won't run on old computers (it will.) The concern is that hardware manufactures will ship computers will ship UEFI systems that don't allow the consumer to add their own public keys or a means to disable secure boot (such as the hardware switch Google requires on ChromeBooks). It's not a concern that MS is requiring they don't allow secure boot to be disabled (and that's why its not an antitrust concern), but that OEMs will not allow the user to disable it.

Garret/RedHat has apparently confirmed that some OEMs intend to do just that. And it's in their interest. They already try to require that you boot windows to run their goofy utility to prove your CD-ROM is non-functioning. With secure boot required, the OEM (Dell, HP, Acer) knows the computer will only run Windows, so they won't have to train their employees about how to handle cases where the consumer is running an unsupported configuration and unable to run the tool.

It would be a stupid business decision especially when over 95% of consumers prefer Windows over Linux anyways. There is little to gain for Microsoft and a lot to lose

Indeed it would. And that's why they're not doing whatever it is you thought secure boot meant, nor are they requiring that OEMs only allow Windows to boot. However, they also aren't following Google's lead and requiring OEMs include a way to boot anything other than Windows. And some OEMs might take that cheaper route. Indeed, RedHat says some intend to.

Comment Re:The key comes from the MANUFACTURER, not MS (Score 1) 899

Consumers who care about this issue should look for this feature in whatever device they purchase. What's all the fuss?

When you first installed Linux on your computer, was it on a computer you purchased for the purpose of installing Linux on, or on a computer that you already owned? While existing Linux users might care enough to search for hardware that has a hardware switch like the Chromebook or an option to disable signed binaries via the UEFI setup menus, but new Linux users will not. They will see/hear about their friends and co-workers using Linux and decide to experiment on their own, only to find out their computer isn't able to install anything but Windows 8+ because of something about keys. And for most people, that's as far as it will go.

The fuss is about locking out new users and preventing people from using systems they bought as they wish.

Comment Re:The obvious is being missed: (Score 1) 174

After all, these OEMs have their own teams of lawyers, and these lawyers likely see something we don't, suggesting to us on the outside that Microsoft may actually have a valid claim to the patents in question.

OEMs look at more than "can we win this case" when they decide whether to move forward or not. SCO convinced plenty of companies to pay its licensing fee before they ultimately lost in court and went out of business. If MS makes the cost of licensing cheaper than the cost of going to court, a company will pay the fee even if they think they can win. Seriously, while they're fighting in court their competitors will be using android free of charge and once that company wins, all it means is they spent a lot of money while their competitors never had to spend a dime.

Comment Re:And all for what? (Score 1) 417

Really? That's why? What do you even use your status bar for? To see the URL when you float your mouse over a link? Firefox 4 does that without the need for a permanent status bar, just like Google Chrome does. For your add-ons that have icons down there (weather fox, adblock, etc)? Then turn on the Add-On Bar.

I don't think IE 9 has a status bar, either. IE 9 doesn't even support more than 2 or 3 tabs decently unless you play with the settings. Nobody's going to rebound because Firefox 4 hid the status bar by default and implemented its primary usage without wasting screen space...

Comment Re:They -buried- the reports? (Score 1) 386

Sega didn't sell the product. It would have been immoral and unethical for them to sell a 3D product knowing it is damaging to vision development. Since they didn't sell the product they are under no moral obligation to inform society.

Example: Last summer I built a jet pack and suffered 3rd degree burns of 60% of my body. I concluded, as did Sega, that a major design flaw would prevent me from ever safely bringing this product to market. I saw no reason to make my findings public.

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