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Comment Re: Yeah, it brought a lot to the table (Score 2) 188

Exactly. If you buy a new PC and it happens to have Windows 8.1 on it, you can just skip the Windows Store and use it as if it were Windows 7. I don't understand some people's insistence on a downgrade, especially because there's no big change in driver model like there was between Windows XP and Windows Vista.

Comment On an Internet-disconnected machine, perhaps (Score 1) 188

The whole EOL thing is laughed at by us out in the real world building things. If it ain't broke, don't fix it, and if it is broken, it still won't get fixed until it costs the company less money than the amount they're losing.

I agree with you so long as a device is not connected to the Internet. I still run a game console made in the late 1980s, for instance. Devices connected to the Internet, on the other hand, are subject to attacks that were not foreseen prior to EOL.

Comment Major upgrade without payment (Score 0) 188

One useful metric is how long one can get security updates without having to pay. By this metric, GNU/Linux distributions have only one "version" because users can upgrade from one major version to the next without charge. Someone who jumped into Ubuntu in the Hardy Heron era (mid-2008) and who has followed LTS releases can be running Trusty Tahr by now for the cost of bandwidth.

Comment Re:Copyright harassment (Score 1) 74

I understand that. I have in the past made a combinatorial argument that only 105 million distinct 8-note melodic hooks exist, and I currently maintain a list of similar-sounding musical compositions. I just wonder what steps a visual artist, songwriter, or any other author should take to reduce his legal exposure.

Comment Re:Windows 8 app store? (Score 1) 188

Let's remember that cell phones with quad-core processors can be docked to Bluetooth keyboards and HDMI displays these days. So to a first approximation, what makes it a general-purpose computer is whether the device's owner can make and run programs for it, as programming is a "purpose". A lot of popular devices do not qualify as general-purpose computers if the user hasn't paid a recurring fee for a developer license.

Comment Re:Balancing trademark enforcement with antitrust (Score 1) 188

We don't bring up Clinton on every DMCA article even though he was the one that signed the damn thing into law

Actually, blaming Clinton for the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and the Copyright Term Extension Act happens fairly often here on Slashdot, and it's bullcrap. Both bills were bipartisan and passed both houses through voice vote. Under the US Constitution, a voice vote needs greater than four-fifths assent, which is well over the two-thirds needed to override a presidential veto. So instead, I blame MPAA members' ownership of the news media.

But that's neither here nor there. I brought up the United States v. Microsoft wrist slap only as a contrast between antitrust penalties against Microsoft in the United States and those in the European Union. So long as there's at least one major market willing to prosecute Microsoft for anticompetitive conduct, Microsoft has to avoid the appearance of anticompetitive conduct.

Comment Re:Selling Free Software (Score 1) 188

If I remember correctly, the issue with VLC on the Apple store was that the GPL allows charging for the software but does not allow charging for the license.

I thought it involved ensuring that anybody possessing a usable copy can make and distribute usable and modifiable copies to other users, and Apple doesn't let app developers ensure this.

Use of the Wii SDK forbids Open Source

There's plenty of non-copylefted open source software in the Wii Menu, Internet Channel, and Wii Shop Channel. Nintendo's SDK license appears to just forbid use of copylefted software. If you want, I can hook up my Wii console and find exactly how to open the list of copyright notices for the non-copylefted open source libraries used in the Wii system software.

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