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Comment Re:Registry (Score 1) 303

Serif managed it quite well in Windows 3.1 days - it took quite a bit of searching to eventually find the file containing the trial expiry information which wasn't deleted when the software was removed (and so reclaim the disk space it was using): it wasn't an obvious config file.

Comment Re:Think of the children (Score 1) 359

The only real solution is to pass a law that makes all kinds of DRM illegal.

Or perhaps make those who insist on using DRM responsible for cost of replacement of damaged goods, ieeg if disk becomes unreadable and user was prevented from making, and using, a backup due to DRM, then publisher of disk becomes legally liable for replacing the disk and will bear all costs for that replacement, including the cost of user having to contact them.

...unskippable DVD ads...

are theft and should be treated as such. By being unskippable, I am forced to provide electrical power to my DVD player for their duration; that is electricity for which I have paid and once gone is unable to be reused. I am supposed to watch those ads, so I am also expected to have to power my display and sound devices [could be same device] for the duration - more electrical power being stolen. There is also my time which has been stolen. When an unskippable ad appears at the beginning of a DVD which contains 2 or more episodes of a series, each time the DVD is inserted to watch an episode, the electricity is stolen again.

It would be funny if it wasn't true the hypocrasy of those who wish to give us information (incorrect information at that) about theft use theft to do it.

...should be banned

The global climate change is a very good argument against them: a 30 episode series with a 30 second unskippable ad amounts to 15mins worth of electricity [and time stolen] when viewing all the episodes for each disk [set] that is used - it soon adds up to quite a lot of wasted power.

Comment Re:I bought it; it's mine. (Score 1) 359

...they have my money, and I have their product. Our relationship should there be at an end.

So you're happy that:

  • the product is not fit for purpose which you discover only after getting it home;
  • the product fails to work soon after getting it home

and you have no recourse to get them to fix it as your relationship with them has ended now that they have your money and you have their product?

Comment Re:Good iead, but will still fail.... (Score 1) 413

I have said once before, the main spam problem can only be rectified one way...by charging per email, .01 cent! with a cap of about 50$.

I doubt very much if that would work. If one machine was sending out the mail then yes, it would throttle it, but with a botnet which will have more than enough machines the spam would still be sent out, but the spam sent from each individual machine would be below the threshold and so no dent whatsoever

That's it, your ISP provider will send you off a bill at the end of the month, of which if you hit 50$, you know you are infected seeing as you have not sent any mail...

If the user of a machine also sent out enough emails, then the spam extras may not be noticed.

...you will disconnect yourself...

It's more likely that you'd complain to the ISP that they've got the traffic wrong.

...and bring your pc to a tech who will clean it for you, or install legit windows for you

[emphasis added] You've just shown the problem: Windows. I don't use Windows, so why should I have to pay for for my emails because Microsoft can't write a secure OS, despite the virus problems harking back to the good old DOS days - they've had plenty of experience of how viruses could enter their systems since BEFORE Windows and yet they've still got gaping holes; they obviously do NOT learn from their mistakes...or perhaps they do, just the learning is how to extract more money from their victims^H^H^H^H^H^H^Hcustomers.

also make it impossible for spammers to spam legitimately....it would be too expensive...

Not for them: they wouldn't be paying for their emails in the first place - the cost would be born by the customer (sic) of Microsoft who bought a licence to use Windows (as it already is in terms of anti-virus software, re-installing OS, etc)

...and the reason most malware exist, is to send spam, so if you block the spam, then there is not much profit to be had if you can not send your emails...

Except that the spam isn't blocked. It just costs the machine's owner not the spammer, so any spam sent by a spammer costs him/her very little - they just steal the bandwidth and electricity (and, if implemented, the e-stamps).

...or are disconnected from the botnet...

Losing a machine from a botnet won't worry a spammer very much as new infections will add to the botnet.

...and then you will be back on the internet.

Back in December 2003 Microsoft admitted that Windows was not fit for purpose and gave the advice that before doing anything customers (sic) needed to download anti-virus software to protect the system from the deluge of viruses and worms that target the flaws in Microsoft's software as soon as you take it online. Even if the machine is cleaned, it is very likely to be re-infected and the botnet expanded again, as well as with the "new" machines that aren't protected that become part of a botnet, even if unused for the moment..

Comment Re:red light cameras (Score 4, Insightful) 483

people slam on the brakes when the yellow light turns, and there are more rear-end collisions

Clearly a case of the following driver not driving with due care and attention, or of not leaving a proper gap between them and the preceding vehicle?

Are you saying it would be perfectly acceptable for a rear-end shunt if the first car slammed on the brakes because a child suddenly ran out in front of it?

At least with [most] traffic lights the following driver should be able to see them and should know that they may change and that the preceding driver may slam their brakes on [in Toledo, OH] and so prepare for this by easing off the gas slightly and increasing the gap slightly (more if there is a following vehicle that is too close to them) in readiness to brake if necessary.

Comment Re:Groklaw was WAY more informative (Score 3, Informative) 206

Subtle difference to the analogy:

MS embraced and extended Java and called it Java, thus breaking the Java standard that is supposed to run everywhere - MS Java can only be expected to run [properly] on a MS JRE, NOT ANY JRE.;

whereas Google took Java, possibly embraced and extended, BUT did NOT call it Java - there can be no confusion over the resultant code being able to run everywhere there is a JRE - but also created a cross-compiler which took Java [source] and converted it to their version.

The problem comes in that Oracle are claiming that Software Patents cover Java and thus are being violated as only licensed for use in Java [and JRE] and NOT for use in a different product [I think - I seem to remember on a casual reading about this case that Java licensing for Mobile devices being more expensive than for a "desktop" computer and Google not willing to pay for the obvious market inflation, hence "developing" their own Runtime Environment which also had the benefit of being able to be optimised better].

Comment Re:Asperger's (Score 1) 268

Is it completely irrelevant?

If you shoot somebody because their bodyguard was incompetent and didn't ensure that his protectee was properly protected, then I'm sure that relatives of the shootee would have grounds to sue him for at least breach of contract, or perhaps they might go as far as considering that the bodyguard aided and abetted you by turning a blind eye, stepping out of the line of fire, etc?

If what he did was accomplished in large part due to the actions of those who were supposed to ensure the system was protected from such intrusions, then they were obviously aiding and abetting him (insider job) - why has their been no headline about their prosecutions? Or is it they are not being prosecuted?

In which case, the deduction is that they were incompetent, in which case why have we not heard much in terms of action against those who were responsible for security (eg losing their jobs)?

If a householder was to leave their doors open and they got burgled, especially in a neighbourhood where the required security is that doors are locked shut, would all the blame be put on the burglar? I'm pretty sure they'd find their household insurance company wouldn't think so.

Comment Re:Possible mitigation? (Score 1) 217

The number of PC users is about 1 to 1.2 billion, based on most estimates I've seen. That would put the number of Windows users at 900 million to 1 billion...I will take that as pretty strong evidence that the Windows OS works just fine for those who use it.

Join the dole, 3 million can't be wrong

Comment Re:Its a two wheel enigma, neh? (Score 3, Interesting) 121

It's not a two wheeled enigma for at least three reasons:

1) A plain text letter can be encrypted as itself (something an enigma machine cannot do due to physical design).
2) In an enigma machine each wheel is wired in a fixed "permutation"; in the Chaocipher "machine" each wheel is "rewired" depending upon the letter just encrypted.
3) In an enigma machine it is necessary to rotate the wheels semi-independently (ie like the wheels in a tape counter, each one causing the next one to rotate one letter each time it makes a complete revolution) whereas in the Chaocipher "machine" the wheels do not actually need to rotate - by rotating the wheels it makes the "rewiring" easier to explain.

The "rewiring" could possibly be seen as the effect of rotating the enigma wheels, but without a closer look at the algorithm than that I have done I cannot definitely say but my gut feeling is that it is not - I am sure a properly devised plain text with 676 (26^2) characters would show that they are not equivalent as after encrypting the 676th character the 2 wheel enigma machine will now be back in the position in which it started and the Chaocipher "machine" will not.

Comment Re:My understanding (Score 2, Insightful) 171

The biggest problem is that licencers want to tell you you're buying the product in big letters, but put in small print that you're actually only buying a licence to buy the product. How often do you see the advertising "Own the latest film on DVD" when you're really owning a licence to view a copy of the film on DVD?

Whilst selling you the film, they switch the film for a licence to view it.

Comment Re:Ah, well, that lets Microsoft off the hook then (Score 1) 323

Still it means that the chance to be infected provided you know what you're doing is 1/10th of that if you don't.

No it doesn't. It means that for every 100 machine infected, 1/10 were belonging to those who knew what they were doing. In fact, it is actually possible (and likely given that it appears that most people do not know what they're doing [with Windows]) that you're chance of being infected if you know what you're doing is GREATER than if you don't know what you're doing!

Only if the NUMBER of machines owned by people who know what they're doing EQUALS the NUMBER of machines owned by people who don't know what they're doing will it mean you've got a 1/10 of the chance of being infected if you know what you are doing vs no knowing which means that the chance you've got of being infected if you know what you're doing is 1/9 that if you don't., since 1/9 of 9/10 is 1/10. Here's why:

<nerd mode>
The chance of being infected is

Pr(infected) = Pr(I) = <number of machines infected> / <total number of machines>
Pf(knowing) = Pr(K) = <number of machines of those knowing> / <total number of machines>
Pf(not knowing) = Pr(nK) = <number of machines of those not knowing> / <total number of machines>

also

Pr(infected | not knowing) = Pr(I | nK) = <number of infected of not knowing> / <total number of not knowing>

and

Pr(infected | knowing) = Pr(I | K) = <number of infected knowing> / <total number of knowing>

However, all we know is

Pr(knowing | infected) = Pr(K | I) = <number of infected knowing> / <total number of infected> = 1/10
Pr(not knowing | infected) = Pr(nK | I) = <number of infected not knowing> / <total number of infected> = 9/10

but we can use

Pr(I | K) = Pr(K | I) * P(I) / Pr(K)

similarly for

pr(I | nK) = Pr(nK | I) * P(I) / Pr(nK)

Then the chance to be infected provided you know what you're doing against that if you don't. is...what? I'll assume that it means how much more likely you are to be infected given you know what you're doing vs if you don't, ie

ch(K vs nk) = Pr(I | K) / Pr(I / nK)
ch(K vs nK) = Pr = Pr(K | I) * P(I) / Pr(K) / (Pr(nK | I) * P(I) / Pr(nK))
ch(K vs nK) = Pr(K | I) * P(I) * Pr(nK) / (Pr(nK | I) * Pr(I) *Pr(K))
ch(K vs nK) = Pr(K | I) * Pr(nK) / (Pr(nK | I) * Pr(K))
ch(K vs nK) = 1/10 * Pr(nK) / (9/10 * Pr(K))
ch(K vs nK) = 1/9 * (Pr(nK) / Pr(K))

I suspect that the majority of Windows users do not know what they're doing, thus: Pr(nK) > Pr(K) meaning that Pr(nK) / Pr(K) > 1 and ch(K vs nK) = (1/9 * [> 1]) > 1/9.

In particular, if the number of those who don't know what they're are doing (as I guess most people would suspect) is such that there are more than 9 times those who do know what they're doing, then

Pr(K) = #(K) / (#(K) + #(nK)) = #(K) / (#(K) + (9+d)#(K)) = #(K) / (#(K)(9+d)) = 1/(10+d) < 1/10
Pr(nK) = 1 - Pr(K) > 9/10

then the chance of being infected knowing vs not knowing is

ch(K vs nK) = 1/9 * ((9+d)/(10+d)) / (1/(10+d)) = 1/9 * (9+d) / 1 = 1/9 * (9+d) = 1 + d/9 > 1

meaning that you're MORE likely to be infected if you KNOW what you're doing then if you DON'T!
</nerd mode>

Comment Re:This is news at any level how? (Score 1) 390

Is "popular" the right word? popular suggests that it was deliberately chosen in preference to the other offerings, but as it was delivered (and paid for) with the PC, there is little choice in the matter of the OS [for a PC] - OSX comes with Apple machines only available from Apple; tp use the word "popular", perhaps a better comparison would be to compare the percentages of the different manufacturers?

Personally I prefer the term "populous" - ie a greater proportion of the "population" (the [statistical] "population" [in this case] being the computers).

Using Microsoft speak, boys are the more POPULAR babies as more boys are born than girls! Do parents REALLY have that much choice in the sex of their child? However, by the age of 10, girls are the more POPULAR children [as there are more of them] - have parents decided that boys don't make good children and [gender] swapped them for girls? [The real reason has to do with infant mortality.]

[OPCS data for population figures for England and Wales was the source of the proportions of boys/girls I used above.]

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