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Comment Re:Competition, Microsoft style (Score 1) 140

Microsoft started looking at patent lawsuits when they hired IBM's intellectual property guru back in the 1990's. That was the move that convinced me that Microsoft was going to build a patent portfolio to use against competitors, instead of competing via innovation. I guess Microsoft thought it was easier to buy patents than to learn how to innovate.

Comment Competition, Microsoft style (Score 5, Interesting) 140

Back in the 1990's Microsoft didn't have to worry about competing or innovating because of the Windows monopoly. as a result, Microsoft never really learned how to innovate and move a market forward.

Now Microsoft is faced with a marketplace in which Windows no longer has a monopoly. Unfortunately, Microsoft never really learned how to innovate, so what is left?

Patent lawsuits, of course.

The once powerful Microsoft, a company that could kill off a start-up just by announcing an intent to compete with it, is now reduced to trying to maintain its power over the industry via legal bullying.

And the fact that Microsoft had to buy some (most?) of the patents to use in its bullying merely underscores the appearance that Microsoft still does not know how to innovate.

Comment Facebook tracking... (Score 2) 97

Just to be explicit about it... when Facebook speaks of tracking users, Facebook means that they track your activities not only on Facebook, but also other non-Facebook sites. If you see a Facebook "like" button on a site, there's a very good probability that your activity on that site is reported back to Facebook.

imo, Ghostery is very helpful in this scenario.

Comment Re:You make it... (Score 1) 519

... I don't think that it's ultimately necessary to throw out the entire concept ...


Tenure was designed for college-level professors so that they could conduct their basic research without concern for short-term profit.

To apply such a noble cause to sub-college teachers is a travesty of concept.

And I say this, having been influenced by an awesome teacher during my high school years.

Put into place a evaluation system based upon the quality of the teacher.

Do Not put into place an evaluation system based upon the teachers going on strike in order to get that system activated.

Comment Re:On the heels of the recent eBay data breach... (Score 2) 76

It exists. It's called a credit card, underwritten by a real bank, which will adhere to actual banking laws instead of "whatever we decide we want to do" (emphasis mine)

PayPal has been a very bad player in this area, apparently closing accounts on a whim, locking up the monies in those accounts, etc., etc., etc.

For that reason, I've never given PayPal direct access to my bank accounts, in spite of PayPal's constant hounding to do so.

PayPal just has not been behaving well in this space. For me, PayPal is a payment service of last resort, not of first choice.

Submission + - Where Have You Gone, Peter Norton? (

harrymcc writes: If you used an PC in the 1980s and 1990s, the chances were very good that you used utility software which came in a box with a picture of Peter Norton on it. The Norton brand still exists, but those packaging photos of Norton himself are long gone--along with the whole classic era of utility software they represented. Over at Technologizer, I paid tribute to this one-time icon of the PC industry.

Comment Re:Basic programming principles what? (Score 4, Insightful) 127

I don't understand what the programmers of all these crypto libraries were thinking here. Even for the most basic and unimportant program, the rule is "if the data comes from outside, verify!" This is vastly more important when cryptography is involved, so why is it that all these crypto libraries seem to blindly trust whatever the Internet is sending them?!

From what I read of the OpenSSL source code, it would be an insult to programmers everywhere to call the people who barfed up the OpenSSL code "programmers".

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