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Comment Re:Breaks broadband service contract? (Score 1) 262

Oh come on, farting at the table is probably against the TOS of some ISP's contracts. For the unclever, that's an exaggeration to illustrate that ISP's bung quite a lot of "Don't do this" clauses in contracts in order to cover their collective arses if they have to take the fairly ultimate step of asking a customer to politely piss-off somewhere else.

Comment Re:Don't upgrade windows, ever! (Score 1) 770

It's honestly not as bad as it used to be (e.g. 95->98). Most of the upgrade woes came from a messy registry. Registry cleaners (the free ones) do a great job.

DLL's just take up disk space. Vista and Win 7 do quite a reasonable job of managing DLL hell now anyway. I don't see it's a big issue.

Of course, being an IT guru of sorts, I always clean install. I'd feel as uncomfortable as an OCD sufferer in a randomised library if I did an upgrade on my own PC ;-)

Comment Re:New OS yuck (Score 1) 770

Microsoft wouldn't have much of a business model if everyone just wanted "XP, but better".

Backwards compatability is really there to ease a transition. DOS compatability ceased to be an issue ever since DOSBox became stable. You can even launch Win 3.11 using it, if you were so inclined/masochistic!

If you switch to Apple or Linux, I think you'll be happier. If I understand your point correctly, being able to do an in-place upgrade from one OS version to the next without reinstalling everything will suit you perfectly.

You can do this with Windows, of course. XP upgrades to Vista upgrades to 7. Costs a bit more than the Linux option though ;-)

Comment Re:So what? (Score 1) 770

Nvidia and laptop drivers have been a little bit mired in licensing issues, esppecially around this time 2 years ago. It used to be that Nvidia *couldn't* supply me a driver for the SLI 8700M's in my Dell, only Dell could.

Thankfully, that situation has changed and we're all able to download mobile video drivers from Nvidia, as nature intended. I do wonder if your missing 8400M GT driver is a byproduct of that era, perhaps?

Mind you, Win 7 doesn't exactly install a driver on my laptop. It works, and at native res (1920x1200) but acceleration is minimal. I think I might be tempted to point my finger at Sony for fudging your brightness controls problem.

I've supported a couple of Sony laptops in my time, and they've never been the easiest to deal with. Sony are somewhat lax in their driver support. They do like to innovate with their hardware features, but their software boys seem to run out of steam when it comes to implementing all the bells and whistles needed to carry it off.

Comment Re:TPM is *in* (Score 1) 770

I don't actually recognise TPM as relevant to my day-to-day activities using Windows 7. DRM and TPM are countered by P2P.

The only media I have issues with, regarding playback, is my purchase of a region 1 superbit DVD of The Fifth Element. Though as I downloaded the full HD version many moons ago, even this point is now entirely moot.

My regular DVD's play fine. Everything I download plays fine. Everything I download copies and converts automatically onto my Nokia phone.

DRM is only an issue for the damn unfortunate consumer masses. Even then, there are options. Amazon's mp3 downloads are not DRM'd. ISTR Apple was going to go the same way?

It'll happen for video too, at some point. Probably as bandwidth costs reduce for the tier-2 and 3 carriers.

Still, if you want to argue how TPM and DRM are going to screw me over eventually, I'll be interested to hear how (especially as my PC doesn't have a TPM).

Comment So what? (Score 5, Interesting) 770

If I pretend Vista never happened and I'm going straight from XP to 7, 7 is good.

I could do everything I need to do using just XP, but it wouldn't get done quite as rapidly or elegantly. The whole side-by-side window thing wins a bunch of gratitude from me to Microsoft. Windows key + left/right arrow = definite winner. Anything that reduces my interation with my mouse is a good thing. Works great with side-by-side monitors too :)

Windows 7 improves things *just* enough for me to have little moments of 'ooh, that's nice', which is something missing from XP and Vista.

USB device recognition: Fast. Very fast.
Multi-monitor support: Slick. Unobtrusive. A no-brainer.
UI interactions: Rapid. Responsive. Highly configurable. -- I tend to turn off all the animations / slide effects. Me click close gadget = window gone instantly. Thus my productivity goes up a small percentage.
Hardware support: Inconspicuous. Works just like magic. -- My Nokia N97 (with or without installation of Nokia's Ovi application suite) works exactly as I need it to when I hook it up.
Firewall: I will never need a 3rd-party firewall. Windows 7's firewall (once you get at its interface) is nothing short of perfect.
Networking: Again, it just works. No need to faff about with it. Even recognised my nForce 4 based motherboard's Nvidia ethernet port. Not just recognised, but supports TCP offloading. Not that I needed to know this, but I went poking around ;)

OK, I had to install graphics drivers to get any reasonable performance, but if I hadn't, I could still use my 1920x1200 native resolution and not really suffer *too* great a performance loss in office apps.

Windows 7 will see me through the next 6 years quite happily.

Comment Re:These people are delusional. (Score 1) 926

Who is the campaign aimed at? I'm struggling to imagine.

It can't be aimed at the general populous, about to walk into PC World to buy a new computer. They wouldn't know the difference between DRM and FUD.

It can't be aimed at the tech-savvy crowd, they all know that the "DRM issue" is a non-issue.

Who does this leave?


Nintendo Penalizing Homebrew Users? 95

An anonymous reader writes "Bricked your Wii? Not only will Nintendo charge you for the repair, they will now add an additional fee if they detect any homebrew software. 'Should Nintendo have to pay to repair hacked Wiis under warranty? Maybe not, but they have no (moral) right to gouge customers out of spite for having the HBC installed. This actually poses a technical dilemma for us with BootMii. As currently designed, BootMii looks for an SD card when you boot your Wii, and if it finds the card and the right file, it will execute that file. Otherwise, there's no way to tell it's installed.'"

Comment Re:So much for pirate ethics (Score 5, Insightful) 613

Yes but maybe the argument that people who do it mainly do it because they want to try before they buy still hold.

Bullshit. If they've got a copy which seemingly works 100%, most of them won't bother buying it because whats the point? In a month or so, the stats will be even worse. Guaranteed. So already IN ONE SINGLE WEEK, Gas Powered Games and Stardock have lost 80% of the potential revenue of the game and had its reputation tarnished by the freeloaders because of the server load issue.

You assume those 80% of people would have purchased the game, had it been impossible for them to obtain a pirate copy.

I find this a difficult concept to accept. There are a whole bunch of digital media on my laptop and desktop that I would never have purchased, had free copies not been available.

I buy things that are good. If I pay e.g. £24.99 for something, it's because I want to reward people with their hard work. I guess a lot of non-pirates pay for many things which they later feel were not worth the money? I'm not happy to accept this.

Comment Re:We don't need more speed (Score 0) 260

It sort-of does apply to probes though. They can't communicate with Earth, we can't communicate with it. Someone would have to do the risk analysis and work out the probability of the probe successfully scouting the remote target and returning within transmit distance of Earth.

Whatever that figure is, we would have to send out multiple probes to give any reasonable chance of a successful mission.

The Internet

Submission + - Microsoft Plans Data Center in Siberia (

miller60 writes: "Microsoft has announced plans to build a data center in Siberia. The facility near the city of Irkutsk will be able to hold 10,000 servers. Officials in Microsoft's Russian business unit said the region had a stable power supply, and will be able to support a 50 megawatt utility feed. The average winter temperature is below zero in Irkutsk (which is perhaps best known to gamers as a territory in Risk). Microsoft recently announced huge data center projects in Chicago and Dublin, Ireland, and is clearly ramping up its worldwide infrastructure platform as it competes with Google. The power and cooling challenges in modern data centers are well documented. But a data center in Siberia?"

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