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Comment Re:Who cares? (Score 1) 519

Because MS will use the default nature of their browser on their 90% market share to push users to their web portal (bing)

IE does this already, and it doesn't seem to be doing much to eat away at Google's usage share. At any rate, why not complain that Firefox is pushing Google as the default search engine, maintaining Google's enormous usage share of search engine traffic? Google could use the competition, and nothing stops users from entering "" in the browser, as I imagine the tech illiterate were doing all along.

Because the vast majority of users don't know there is a choice, they will effectively be rendered into using MS other service offerings artificially.

Um, no. This isn't 2001. IE usage share is dying, and fast. Everyone but the most tech illiterate at least knows about Firefox and Chrome, and more than likely knows someone who is using either browser, if they aren't themselves. All the while IE still came preinstalled with each copy of Windows, just as it had since 1996, and Windows usage share hasn't changed enough in the last decade to attribute this to more OS diversity. At this stage, you have people using IE either because they don't care what browser they use, actually prefer IE, or are forced to use IE because of corporate intranet or specific Web site issues. Only the last one concerns me, as it artificially forces a choice of Web browser.

This will make it artificially easier for MS to compete in areas outside of their core in spite of any quality failings of these other products. In short it allows MS to compete effectively even if their product offering is vastly inferior to the competition.

IE9 is actually a really good Web browser, far better than the previous IEs. I have no reason to believe that IE10 won't be equally as good. Microsoft's IE team actually seems to care now about making a decent Web browser, since they know that they can't just ignore IE anymore in the face of Firefox and Chrome competition, despite IE's continued status as the default Web browser (see above).

Thus MS can basically avoid any standardization, provide a crappy product and still drive their competition out of business, all without having to invest any significant capital in R&D. In short, in the end it is all the things that antitrust was designed to prevent because it is the consumers who ultimately get hosed.

Microsoft tried this, and it worked for a few years. Then Firefox came and crushed them. Now Chrome is crushing Firefox and IE. All the while regulatory bodies were nowhere to be seen. Microsoft's own incompetence did them in.

Also, in retrospect, IE was Microsoft's only real bundling success with Windows. Let's look at what else they've thrown in:

  • Windows Media Player: had a good run, but it's lack of MP3 support for years made it lose out to Winamp, and later iTunes.
  • Windows Messenger: AHAHAHAHAHA
  • Outlook Express/Windows Mail: I don't have any real stats here, but from my observations most people with a real need for a mail client usually turn to the full version of Outlook first. Everyone else uses a webmail service of some sort. In any case this isn't even part of Windows anymore.
  • Windows Movie Maker: Fair enough, this one did really well with amateur YouTubers. If anyone else used it, I haven't noticed. This one is also no longer included with Windows.

If this were 10 years ago, when IE ruled the land and locked everyone in with no hope of an end in sight, I would have agreed with you. But times have changed, and IE has been dethroned. Not even Microsoft's old tricks are going to get it back to 90+% usage share again.

Comment Who cares? (Score 5, Insightful) 519

Before the Slashdot crowd starts getting all fired up about history repeating itself, how Microsoft is the Great Satan, blah blah blah, let me be the first to ask, right now, in 2011:

Why does this really matter anymore?

First off, every OS nowadays comes with a Web browser. Indeed, we have reached the point in computing history where the OS is severely crippled if it didn't come with one. For all the IE hate that gets thrown around, how else are you going to download Firefox, at the very least? Mac OS X comes with Safari, which you can't remove. Many free software distros come with a browser (although I will concede that removing these are easier). Every mobile OS comes with a browser. Hell, iOS not only bundles Mobile Safari, but forbids you from any alternatives due to Apple's policies on not duplicating native features (and no, Opera Mini doesn't count).

Second, true IE removal hasn't been possible since Windows 95. De-selecting IE, as the article mentioned, only hid it from access. The only way to truly rip it out of your system would have been to use something like 98lite or XPlite, and then you would have to deal with all of the incompatibilities that followed. A number of applications on Windows assume IE is there, and actually removing the Trident engine from the OS will make you unable to use both Windows and third-party software that needs that component. Microsoft couldn't offer a true IE removal tool if it wanted to, because it would be accused of breaking both Windows and third-party applications that use the Trident engine.

Third, this should have been obvious from the moment Microsoft announced that Metro apps would use HTML5 and JavaScript. How exactly do you plan on running something in HTML5 and JavaScript without a rendering engine? So naturally disabling IE is going to disable Metro - there is simply no other way to run Metro apps. With that line of thinking, you might as well expect to run JARs without the Java VM installed.

The real concern with this news is:
1) How will this affect the security of the OS (as we're back to things like IE exploits affecting Windows itself, although reason 3 made that obvious anyway)?
2) Is Microsoft going to exert pressure on OEMs again to not bundle Firefox or Chrome with their computers?

If Microsoft makes it hard to get Firefox, Chrome, or another browser preinstalled on an OEM machine, then one can argue that there's an antitrust issue. Otherwise, this is just the logical conclusion of the path Microsoft chose for itself (Metro is the future, etc.) as well as everybody else more or less already doing the same thing.

Comment Re:Didn't think I'd champion Silverlight... (Score 1) 162

But YouTube's "buffering" and Flash problems are worse for me than Netflix has *ever* been in streaming content. I can watch a movie in HD and if my connection starts to suck, the movie starts streaming at a lower quality in order to keep playing. Flash can't do that, and YouTube can't do that.

Comedy Central's player does this, and it's in Flash.

Comment Re:Copyright issues? (Score 1) 267

One thing I've been thinking ever since I joined YouTube HTML5 preview, is: do they know how much easier it is to download their videos when playing them back in HTML5? I know that one can also extract Flash video in one way or another, but with HTML5, at least on my setup - Firefox 4 on Ubuntu 9.10 - all it takes is choosing "Save Video" in context-menu. Voila - you can now have whatever you like on YouTube for your own private viewing.

Sure, if you use the base video tag the browser offers an option to save the video, but no "professional" rollout of HTML5 video I've seen does this. They instead offer their own players that don't allow saving.*

Also: YouTube converting everything to WebM doesn't mean everything will play back natively. Remember Flash has committed to VP8 support in the future, and YouTube isn't offering videos with ads outside of Flash. I also wouldn't be surprised if licensing issues even prevented some ad-free videos from being shown in HTML5.

*YouTube does have a "Save Video as..." option in their player but it just links to a rickroll.

Comment Re:i guess that was a sanctioned comment (Score 1) 413

If you dont trust gmail, dont use it.

That was easy enough back in say 2004 or so, but in today's world not having a GMail address doesn't mean you are "safe" from GMail. Nothing stops other people from e-mailing you from their GMail addresses, so having any conversations with them is going to result on your mail being stored on Google's servers, most likely forever, regardless of whether you like Google or not.

This leads to "Well, just flat out refuse to reply to GMail addresses." Except that GMail allows both e-mail forwarding and forging the From headers of another address, so you could be talking to a GMail user and not even know it.

Comment Re:They Do It for the Lawsuit Settlements (Score 1) 744

That's why Phelps' gang is pumped full of lawyers trained at "Liberty" "University", the Christian crusade madrassa.

Right. Which is why WBC didn't protest at Jerry Falwell's funeral. Oh wait, they did.

No one on the Christian right supports WBC. Even if they agreed with WBC, they have everything to lose by associating themselves with these people. WBC isn't even associated with any Baptist organization. They stand alone.

Comment Re:Take a lesson out of Google's/Facebook playback (Score 1) 338

What I'd like to see Google announce tomorrow --
Okay NBC, Hulu, etc. our new policy: we won't index sites which decide to arbitrarily support devices due to "incompatible business models" ..

And then in one week:
"NBC, FOX and ABC sue Google for inducing copyright infringement due to Google's removing of Hulu, leaving TV viewers with only the links to infringing copies."

Comment Re:GPG encryption (Score 1) 215

As for the webmail part, that could be actually doable it the decryption is actually done on the client side :
- the webmail servers stores and transmits email in encrypted form
- the javascript running on the reciever's Firefox does the decryptions
- as such no un-encrypted copy exists anywhere on the web
- the key remains locally stored and accessed only by the locally running Javascript. Not uploaded.
- as a bonus, as the Javscript is delivered in plain text, users can run checks to be sure that nothing shady happens (like the local app using the local GPG service to decrypt the messages, but then uploading them back to the mail server).

And herein lies the problem. The whole point of Webmail is that you can check your e-mail anywhere you can access a Web browser, be it your computer, a friend's computer, a public computer, a Web kiosk, etc. There are only two ways GPG can work with Webmail:
1. Storing the keys on the mail server, allowing the possibility of e-mail provider snooping.
2. Storing the keys locally, which requires hauling a flash drive everywhere, and assumes that you even can use flash drives with the client computer. Also things like FireGPG require specific browsers with these addons installed. If the client machine doesn't have it, a portable copy must be on the flash drive, which complicates things further because the portable app must be for the client's OS and the client must allow executable code.

1 requires ultimate trust in the provider, which is what everyone not using GPG for all correspondence is doing now. It provides privacy for the transmission from the source server to the destination one, but that's about it. 2 requires portable storage of both the keys and possibly the browser, severely limiting where one can check mail, or at least making it so inconvenient that most people won't even bother with the system.

Comment Re:Duck Duck Go should be avoided - Here's why (Score 1) 87

To get out of the database you're supposed to go to the site and basically beg to be removed. On principle there was no way I was going to stoop to this level so I just told my users the story and to uninstall the Duck Duck Go toolbar. Everything was fine after that.

How exactly is telling Duck Duck Go that your site was incorrectly blocked such a bad thing? So they screwed up. Instead of telling them of the problem and at least giving them the benefit of the doubt that despite their best intentions the reevaluation did not work as advertised, and that they will genuinely try and fix it as well as ensure that their system doesn't allow this to happen again, you immediately tell your visitors that Duck Duck Go is crap*, and not even bother to try and sort out the matter privately?

If I was running the engine I'd certainly want to know when a false positive happens, and the chances of me finding out through your site or this post are basically slim to none. I don't even know what your site's URL is, so this post doesn't help much either.

*I apologize if this wasn't the wording you put in your site. Again, I have no leads on how to access it to find out myself.

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