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Comment Re:Why is competition not a good criterion? (Score 1) 237

That was the American anti-trust trial, and America ultimately fell on its face when it came to enforcing the antitrust issues it was pursuing.

Right, which is why IE still dominates the browser market, and there are no insanely popular alternatives like Firefox or Chrome or Safari. Most importantly, MS can still leverage it's OS dominance to force retailers to not bundle other products.

Oh wait, that's not true, because the anti-trust case did exactly what it was supposed to do - it severely punished MS for extorting computer retailers into not bundling specific third party software (i.e. Netscape Navigator). Note that there is no IE mentioned there, at all. This would be just as harmful if IE never existed, and MS was simply extorting retailers to be assholes to Netscape. IE's poor showing in the market, despite coming for free with the OS, was the reason MS did bad things, but IE itself was basically irrelevant. It's the bad things we don't want, and the bad things we should punish. Or are you contending that an OS shouldn't come bundled with, say, a file browser? Or a text editor? Or a calculator? After all, these and many more products bundled with MS have third party counterparts that are not bundled.

The problem was never bundling, and the EU was far too stupid to realize that. The problem was MS abused its dominance in the OS market (NOT the browser market!) to force retailers into not bundling Netscape with their computers. MS wanted this because IE was losing the browser wars. In spite of being bundled, most people paid for a browser instead of using IE, and most people who paid for a browser bought Netscape. MS used its market dominant position to force Netscape out of the market not via bundling, but via extortion!

It's the EU that failed miserably by not understanding where the problem was. Unbundling is stupid. You want a default browser, else how do you download a different browser? Duh. Even the EU's unbundling still has to allow bundling, precisely because the idea is so idiotic. Who gives a shit about bundling? It's the extortion that you need to prevent.

Comment Re:EUgle? (Score 1) 237

You are still fixated on the competition aspect.

The competition aspect is the only one that matters. With healthy competition, other services can come in and hit the niche that you prefer, and everyone is happy. You simply don't use Google if you don't like the way they operate. There are other options to everything Google provides, and you know what? Thanks to competition, they are all pretty good. There is nothing to suggest competition for these services is anything but healthy.

If you don't like Google+, you can delete your profile and go back to not having one. I do admit, they make it difficult to sign up for a new account without Google+, but you can always use a fake name and set everything else so that it isn't shared, so I really don't see that it matters. Syncing and sharing are options you can set for every service Google provides. If you still don't like it, then don't use Google!

The EU's other concern is that companies like Google try to tie you in to all their services when you sign up for one.

If that's what most people prefer (which is what it means when one leader dominates a market with not artificial restrictions), why in the hell should the EU want to restrict it? WTF? I mean, seriously! What business is it of theirs? Why is this at all a concern?

Again, this problem is solved with healthy competition. If there is a market for people who don't like the bundling Google does, someone will (and already has) provide an alternative. It's not going to be one company though, and it won't have any of the interconnectivity features bundling makes possible either. You can't have both, and forcing Google to unbundle just fucks over the (apparent) majority of people who prefer the bundle. Thanks for that.

Comment Re:EUgle? (Score 1) 237

The point is that as a society we deemed that tying products was harmful.

When did this happen, and where was I? If this is true, society is fucking stupid and needs to take some economics courses. Bundling, when it is not exploited to artificially restrict markets, is almost always more efficient, and therefore more beneficial to everyone, than disparate entities attempting to provide the same service. Interconnection between services is a very, very good thing. I was on the internet in the 90's. I remember what it was like when advertisers couldn't target ads. It was like the internet was a used car salesmen's convention, with syphilis included for free.

I'll grant you that if we could somehow get complete integration between disparate services, that would be ideal. I don't see how that will ever happen, though, and eliminating bundling definitely won't get you there. You'll need some kind of legitimate market pressure to make interconnection between companies the most profitable direction to take. I can't see how that would ever happen. It would have to be a government entity, and they'd almost certainly screw it up.

In any case, tell me which of these scenarios do you prefer:
1.) You've been wanting a laptop. You've been talking about it all day. You get home from work and the first thing you notice is your open mailbox, clearly stuffed so full with crap that it won't close and you can hardly get anything out. You do pull out the crap, and lo and behold your mailbox was filled two dozen full size posters in garish colors. Six of them are for some stupid children's toys you aren't interested in. Five are identical posters for different companies that say you're the 10,000th customer and have won a prize, even though you've never bought anything from any of those companies. Interspersed among these eleven posters are five posters with a graphic picture of a penis, apparently offering to sell you penis enlargement pills. The last eight posters are incredibly graphic porn advertisements. Worse, they've got some kind of sticky goop on them that makes it really hard to get them into the trash once you've accidentally grabbed them. FML. You spend all evening cleaning the goop off your hands. Maybe tomorrow you'll go see Jim at your local computer store about a laptop.

2.) You've been wanting a laptop. You've been talking about it all day. You get home from work and check your mail (which is not stuffed full of anything) to find a handful of letters. A couple are from your bank, telling you about a new service they provide that could save you money. You aren't particularly interested right now so you ignore them and check the last three letters. It's three legitimate offers for a laptop, and you're definitely interested. Ultimately though, you decide that you can get a better deal from your buddy Jim at the local computer store.

Scenario 1 is the internet without trackers for advertisements. I was there, reality was worse than that. Please, PLEASE don't make us go back to that!

Scenario 2 is the internet with trackers for advertisements. Just look at your internet now. Some websites still suck at advertising, but for the most part it is clean. Particularly with sites that use Google ads, you don't get the glaring, flashing banners when you hit a new site, there aren't dozens of links everywhere, there are just a line or two of text advertising something that you actually might be interested in. I swear it seems like once every couple months or so I'm thanking God that Google fixed the internet. And I'm an atheist!

So yeah, watch Google like a hawk, because they are in a position to do some incredibly bad things. However, thanks to bundling, they make a shitload of money doing GOOD things for users, and thus far have no reason to do bad things. All of Google's non-business products are FREE. They have always been free and we can expect them to always be free. Not only are they free, in most cases they are better than what (if anything) came before. Granted, if this were Google forcing out competition and cornering the market so that it could later exploit its position and charge ridiculous prices for services that only it could now provide, it would be a Bad Thing. However, the services started free, and have remained free. This is clearly a net gain. If the market values your product at $0 and you can't figure out how to make money off it, it's your own problem to deal with. Calling in the politicians to artificially break the market just so you can compete in an area you are clearly incapable of competing in is wrong. It's worse for everyone involved. It's bullshit. The fact that there are exceptions to the trend of Google offering superior products for free, like Google+ doing so poorly against Facebook, shows they clearly aren't abusing their position. Yeah, they advertise their own services, but it's not like Google+ comes up in a search for Facebook. That would be evidence of abuse, and it just isn't there.

Comment Re:EUgle? (Score 3, Insightful) 237

If your bank forces you to open savings accounts and credit cards with them to have a mortage that bundling is anti-consumer and illegal... period.

When did Google ever start forcing users to sign up just to search? I'm pretty sure that's not a thing. Just like banks don't force you to have savings accounts and credit cards with them in order to have a mortgage with them, Google doesn't force you to sign up for anything to either search, or to show up as #1 in search. For the latter, all you've got to do is be the most popular thing for that search query on the internet.

If you want to show up in a prominent place on the search page for a particular query, even though you aren't #1 (or even #10, or whatever) on the internet for that query, well, that's going to cost you.

For Google's services, I don't see what search has to do with any of it. Is Google artificially bumping themselves in the rankings? I'm not sure if the EU is aware, but Google is absurdly popular. I'd be shocked if Gmail didn't come up #1 in a search for email, and low and behold it does. #1 on Google and #2 on Bing, somehow Yahoo comes up first on Bing, while MS takes up #2 and #3 on Google. However, Google's cloud service comes up #4 on their own engine and #7 on Bing. iCloud is the first commercial service on both (actually #1 and #3 on Bing).

So pretty similar results, and MS certainly isn't going to fix Google results in Bing. The EU is full of shit. Bundling isn't harmful unless it is exploited, period. It often leads to a greater overall benefit, as products are more likely to be able to interconnect. If there is evidence of exploitation, that's different, and the EU should drop the hammer on them. But there isn't any evidence that that is going on here that I've seen, so this is almost certainly just politicians being dickweeds at the behest of people who paid them a lot of money.

Comment Re:How badly coded are Windows applications? (Score 1) 349

How badly coded are Java applications?

There, fixed that for you.

Seriously, it's Java apps and other poorly coded apps, and I'd wager all of them break because the code says "if startswith("Windows 9") throw RuntimeException". It looks like all versions of OpenJDK have this as their version check before running. And there's no way for Oracle to fix it, because the problem is in each individual Java app written using OpenJDK. Which, of course, means MS can't fix it either. They normally just slap an exception on this kind of bullshit and move on, but it won't work this time. And really, I'm not even sure there is an incentive for Oracle to fix it anyway. They aren't the ones who will be losing sales because of their fuckup.

Way to go Java!

Submission + - SPAM: Hackers found flaw in OS X, control 17,000 computers via Reddit

An anonymous reader writes: When a Mac is infected with Mac.BackDoor.iWorm, the program tries to make a connection to a command server. The iWorm reportedly uses Reddit's search function to find comments left by the criminals in a Minecraft discussion section of the site. (Minecraft is the block-building video game published by independent publisher Mojang, which Microsoft purchased for $2.5 billion in September.)
Link to Original Source

Comment Re:Bullshit reason (Score 1) 349

Someone at MS is just pulling this out of their asses to try and cover that Microsoft has no clue what they are doing.

So they were able to easily query the code for a few thousand applications online that made this version check mistake. Big deal.

Pay attention. It's not a few applications. It's all Java apps. All of them. Anything written using OpenJDK is going to fail, because it checks the runtime version and throws an inappropriate error. Hell, if the JVM uses the same libraries as the JDK, those aren't even going to run. That's not a few thousand apps online, that's millions of apps, online and off, professional and amateur.

So the Java devs wrote shitty code, and it's Microsoft's fault? Nice. What a fucked up way of looking at things. It's clear you hate Microsoft for some obscure, personal, bullshit reason, but that's a huge stretch. All the Java guys had to do was look for "Windows" and the actual version number instead of "Windows 9" and there is no problem. But no, they had to be dumbfucks about it. It's not even easier than the better alternative - it takes MORE code to write it the shitty way instead of thinking for a whole minute and coming up with a better solution.

I imagine what actually happened at Redmond was something like this: MS dev starts installing applications, testing compatibility, and starts seeing messages like this "This program is not compatible with Windows 9x". Oh shit. Test some more apps, and "Runtime error - wrong OS version, please use Windows XP or later". MS dev can only sit there and say "Oh fuck". Turns out thousands of shitty programmers everywhere used the dumbest possible version discovery method (that they almost certainly didn't even need in the first place) and the only fix for all of these programs is a fix in their own code.

I'm not sure if you're getting this or not. Java apps built on OpenJDK will put a runtime error on Windows 9. All of them. Microsoft didn't write that code, Sun did (at least I'm pretty sure they did). Microsoft has had API's for accurately getting the version number since Windows has been a thing, and Java doesn't make them available.

I honestly can't think of a way for Microsoft to work around Java's shitty libraries, or any other program parsing the OS version from text in this stupid way, in any way except to rename the OS.

Compare this to how many applications out that that have broken because of other minor OS changes combined with bad programming. I've seen piles of that myself, and Microsoft never bothered this hard to keep compatibility for any of those.

Really? MS is the only OS that does care about compatibility!

Microsoft has always bent over backwards for compatibility. That's the one thing that sets them apart from OSX and Linux, and why businesses love Windows so much. We're running a critical Windows 98 application on Windows 7 right now, with no compatibility issues whatsoever (not even compatibility mode). Try updating OSX and after two or three revisions shit starts breaking, because Apple doesn't give a shit about backwards compatibility. Not so with Windows.

Plus, with every Windows release, a software maker can get a beta version of the OS and test their software on it. If their software is intrinsically broken, all they have to do is contact MS, tell them what's up, and MS will put in a workaround. Even if that workaround only works for that specific software, they'll do it. The most famous example of that was SimCity 2000, which had code written in I think XP specifically for it.

This isn't like when programmers rely on a bug in an API to perform their tasks. MS can get around that by spoofing the bug, and they do it all the time. No, there is no way for Windows to know that Java is throwing a runtime error based on shitty logic, so MS can't fix that problem. In a perfect world, MS could say "fuck em, it's their bug, they need to fix it" and release Windows 9. Java apps wouldn't work, Oracle would release patched versions of OpenJDK (they'd have to do it for ALL versions that were released), and Java programmers would fix their damn apps using the patched versions of OpenJDK.

Unfortunately, there is no way that is going to happen. And who is going to lose millions of sales because, through no fault of their own, Java doesn't work on Windows 9? That's right, Microsoft is. It's possible Oracle could patch the JVM to catch that code, but you can bet your ass Java programmers aren't the only ones who have been this retarded. So the only real solution is to avoid the problem altogether, and skip version 9.

Comment Re:You've got it backwards (Score 2) 349

OpenJDK does it exactly like this. Instead of looking for "Windows" and os.version 5.0 and throwing an error for everything else, it actually explicitly looks for "Windows 9" or "Windows ME" and throws an error if it finds them.

So OpenJDK (and plenty of other apps like it) doesn't think it can run on Windows 9 because OpenJDK developers suck at coding, and Microsoft has to deal with it.

Comment Re:navigator.userAgent (Score 2) 349

Maybe Microsoft should just go with the internal version number: it will cause as much marketing confusion as Windows 10, avoid the "Windows 9" checks, and make the internal/marketing names more consistent.

This is not any fault of Microsoft's. The first result is from a fork of OpenJDK 6, which was released just 3 years ago, when "Windows 7" was a thing, and other results indicate this bad code has been in OpenJDK since at least version 1.7, which would be around '06-'07. God only knows how much other software out there does it this poorly.

These aren't legacy Microsoft apps that are having issues, these are modern, popular third party apps that have been coded very poorly, and Microsoft gets to deal with it. I imagine MS devs started installing third party apps to test compatibility, started seeing results like "Windows 9x is not supported", and just said "Oh shit!"

Seriously, how is Microsoft supposed to detect and work around that behavior? It's software correctly calling MS API's and then doing utterly retarded things with them.

Comment Re:Another vote of hogwash (Score 4, Insightful) 349

If you'd actually look at the example provided, this is generally modern applications looking for Windows 9x versions in order to throw an error, and they did it in a time when "Windows 7" and "Windows 8" are actual things that really exist, not a nebulous time where MS was changing its naming format every couple releases.

The very first example is a fork of OpenJDK 6, and it appears to be code carried over from the original, not new code. Another result was from OpenJDK 1.7, so this is more than likely poorly written code that has simply never been a problem before.

People would probably blame Microsoft if all Java apps broke on Windows 9, even though it was Java's shitty programmers that did the deed, and really lots of programmers do stupid stuff like this and would blame MS for it. Unlike most bugs, MS doesn't really have any option but to change its name to fix this for software developers. It's not like a dev relying on the buggy behavior of an API that MS can work around for them. This is wide scale, pervasive shitty programming in third party programs that spans more than a decade, and Microsoft gets to deal with it.

Comment Re: And Java fail again (Score 2) 349

Can't be, since Java programs have plenty of access to harm your computer.

The stated purpose of Java (actually, one of 5) was platform independence - write once, run everywhere code that you can run on Windows, Linux, Mac, or any other spinoff that has a JVM. Java makes the independent VMs for each OS, so that programmers don't have to rewrite their software to run on multiple OS's. Any sandboxing for security came later. Sandboxing wasn't a specific goal, though one of the goals was that the language be robust and secure, as any language should be. There is no mention of protecting the system from malicious code, and really even running in a VM Java has way too much access to the system to do that.

What's scary is some of these issues are in the JDK libraries, or at least appear to be. First one on the list is an OpenJDK fork, but it looks like this exact same code shows up in earlier versions of OpenJDK. It's more reasonable that a JDK might need to look at the OS version than Joe Schmoe's Java app, but really even then it shouldn't need to. And even if you really, really, super duper need to know the OS version, what's wrong with something like "if startswith("Windows") && os.version 5 then throw new RuntimeException"? That catches everything earlier than XP, which is obviously what they want, and is far less likely to run into problems with a later version of Windows. A lot of other Java devs did it that way (though some still did a search for "Windows 9" instead of just "Windows"), which you can find by searching for ("Windows 9").

Comment Re:How badly coded are Windows applications? (Score 2) 349

I thought the whole point of Java was that it was supposed to be platform independent.

Why the hell should a Java developer ever need to find the OS name and version? I can understand needing certain features to run properly, but who cares if it's Linux or OSX or Windows that has the feature you need? They should only need the Java version, and the feature available. If the same OS feature exposed by Java works differently on different platforms, that's a major failure of Java's.

If you're writing Java software that is only intended to work in Windows, you're using the wrong language.

(Please note that, although this is only my personal opinion, if you disagree you're wrong.)

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