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Comment Annual Cycle (Score 1) 49

If there is an annual cycle where they tend to lose and gain subscribers at certain times of the year, then this makes sense.

I would be happy too if my down season was less pronounced than normal.

The article alone doesn't provide enough information to justify the snarky headline.

Fortunately, Comcast is a shitty enough company that they earn the snark simply by continuing to exist.

Comment Re:No Connectivity - No Work? (Score 1) 268

You're wrong---whether it is lying, ignorance, or missing details is beyond me to figure out.

If Microsoft required phone-home connectivity for Windows 7, you'd still have problems after entering the confirmation ID.

Also, network connectivity isn't restricted when the activation grace period expires. You get a black background and annoying prompts, but that's it.

You clearly know jack about Windows activation.

Windows, despite being both genuine and activated, was deactivating itself... I'm not sure what the timeout was but I assume 14 days.

Windows is not activated at the factory. A user must complete the activation process online or over the phone after acquiring it.

The activation grace period is 30 days from first boot.

Once a MAK-licensed system is activated, it stays activated unless someone resets the activation store or makes major changes to the hardware.

Since Windows looks and acts normally within the grace period, that "deactivation" was likely the expiration of the grace period.

But it was very clear that the laptops with frequent internet connections never deactivated themselves, only the ones that sat around offline had the problem.

I assume the frequently-connected laptops completed the activation online without fanfare. By default, they'll prompt the user and be done with it in less than a minute.

Comment Re:Unlikely...maybe (Score 1) 399

MS could start shipping in a mode that forbids anything but UWP by default, under some claim of improving the security of the platform.

That would actually be true. UWP supports much more granular permissions than plain Win32.

But they won't do it because everyone will turn it off. If UWP becomes a major player in the next decade or so, I might expect it.

you really have to let Google distribute it for you or else miss out on the market.

It is fairly simple to sync music and photos. It could be equally easy to sync Android apps onto a phone or tablet, but Google doesn't benefit from that.

Comment Re:There is no, it is doomsaying (Score 1) 399

You missed a few important things.

The "universal" part doesn't matter, MS's phones and tablets are in their final dying moments so there's no need to make something that runs both on real Windows and Windows RT/Phone.

Universal apps run on the XBox One.

At this point Win32/64 programs run better and have less limitations

Unfortunately, they require porting to/from Microsoft's console. That will no longer be the case, and the XBox is setting up to be a flexible TV media device.

So it is a meaningless limitation for now. Programs using an API nobody uses won't work with Steam.

Being able to run the same code on XBox and Windows will be appealing, although AAA titles will always need access to a high-performance video API. Oh wait, UWP supports DirectX 11 and 12.

If Microsoft gets UWP working to the point where most XBox games use it, no one is going to port to Win32.

This is a doomsday prediction, and like most doomsday predictions it is based on what the predictor feels to be true, not actual evidence.

Not all doomsday predictions are equal.

End-of-the-world predictions require some powerful yet unknown phenomenon to occur.

This scenario only requires a single bad actor to successfully manipulate its own platform. And there is a history of success there.

Obviously, there can be no evidence unless internal Microsoft documents are leaked, but the scenario is credible based on known capabilities and past behavior.

Comment Re:Steam should stop modifying perms (Score 1) 399

Your question is vague, and what it implies is wrong.

Try opening the Disk Management tool on Windows without admin rights and see what happens. With default settings, it will not even load. If you tinker with it you might be able to open it, but you still can't make any changes.

Open up the time applet from the clock in the system tray. See the little shield on the "Change date and time..." button? That means it requires elevated privileges. If you're not an admin, you will be prompted for admin credentials.

Poorly-designed applications like Steam can work around this by running the UI in user mode while interacting with a privileged service in the background. Setting up the service requires admin rights, but you provide those during the initial Steam installation. After that, it only needs admin approval to update that particular service.

Comment Re:Monopolistic abuse (Score 1) 399

Got a Radeon 5000/6000 or older gen APU?... Your drivers are "legacy".

This is true for Windows too. The Radeon 6000 series is over 5 years old, which is positively ancient from a gaming perspective. The 5000 series is closer to 7 years.

Modern games require functionality that these cards simply do not have. This has been a part of PC gaming for a while---either get used to it or get off the bus.

Since Linux is receiving roughly the same duration of primary support, I don't see where the room for complaint is.

A video adapter should function for 5-10 years, true, but a gaming card has a useful life of 3-5 years at most.

Comment Re:Now is the time to sue them (Score 2) 399

Claims construction, research into case law, deposition, discovery/disclosure, and review of testimony and evidence all take place outside of the courtroom.

All of those tasks are performed and reviewed by peers prior to court appearance.

The actual court appearance is a miniscule fraction of the total billable hours for complex legal matters.

Comment Re:2-Way (Score 1) 420

They *are* two-way.

Obviously. All contracts are two-way, or else it's not legally a contract.

You're missing a little detail though. Both parties must get something out of the contract, but they may have completely different obligations.

They agreed to sell you unlimited bandwidth, if they don't you can sue them in court.

Since unlimited plans haven't been available for years now, everyone on an unlimited plan is grandfathered.

Verizon is not legally obligated to continue offering the same plan after the contract expires.

People have taken cell phone companies to small-claims court for violating these contracts and have won continuation of their service.

That can happen during the original contract term.

Once the contract expires, Verizon does not have to offer the same terms anymore.

The people on unlimited plans can either put up with it or leave Verizon. They have no legal recourse.

Comment Re:Contracts? (Score 3, Insightful) 420

What do the contracts say?

Verizon hasn't offered unlimited plans for years, so all relevant contract terms have expired.

If they can't kick them off because the plans are obsolete, how can they kick them off with a retroactive policy?

To be clear, Verizon could disconnect everyone on an "unlimited plan" if they wanted to. The original contracts are all expired.

Technically, they would only have to wait until the end of the customer's billing cycle---since these plans are prepaid, the customer has already paid for this month's service.

I see popcorn and lawsuits.

Then you're hallucinating. Because they absolutely can do this.

Comment Re:If they didn't want unlimited use (Score 1) 420

So? That doesn't change the fact that other users are still on the plan, and Verizon is still describing it as "unlimited" to them, which is false advertising.

Verizon's business is with the account holder. The other people may be receiving service, but the agreement is between VZW and the account holder.

Verizon hasn't sold "unlimited" plans for years. These people were on grandfathered plans.

Grandfathering isn't legally guaranteed, and Verizon can change their service offering at any time. But if they can change the service since there is no longer a contract, then the customer can cancel the service for the same reason.

Maybe Verizon deserves to have people stick it to them by using 100+ GB a month, but there is no law on Earth that gives everyone what they deserve.

Comment Re:Solution: Show us the source code (Score 1) 157

Microsoft is dealing with a regulatory body that has issued them a warning. They don't need to "prove innocence". They need to demonstrate compliance with the law by the deadline.

It doesn't matter if they convince CNIL that their current regime is adequate or if they change the telemetry behavior on French installations.

Until CNIL imposes a penalty, they have every reason to be cooperative and accommodating.

It must be nice to live in a country where laws protect the privacy of citizens from corporate interests.

Comment Re:Win 10 - Illegal for doctors and libraries? (Score 1) 157

The Enterprise edition is sufficient for those cases.

Even if it were an issue, they could block the machines from communicating with Microsoft.

Updates can be distributed via WSUS, so there is no need for business workstations to connect to Microsoft servers at all.

Comment Re:Research (Score 1) 136

Absolutely not.

You need the same route and the same driving pattern for the comparison to be meaningful.

In an actual city, traffic comes and goes. A route may be unavailable for months due to construction. And real-world driving is inherently reactive since you have to deal with other drivers. There is no way to put each vehicle through the exact same trial.

Basically, it is impossible to have a controlled environment in a real city. But you can drive on testing grounds following a pattern with stops, starts, and turns that mimics city driving.

And you can take your well-controlled MPG rating and compare it to real-world reports under similar driving conditions.

The EPA does both of those things---rigorously controlled testing with comparative analysis to real-world data.

Private companies also test vehicles, and, e.g., Consumer Reports found that 90% of vehicles tested within +/-2 MPG of their EPA rating.

Comment Re: So funny (Score 3, Interesting) 174

But he is using other people's money, not his

So does every startup company. Investors and loans are normal, even when the founder can invest significantly into the company.

His competitors got pretty much the same tax incentives. If Chevy decided to make an ugly electric car and then not sell it, well, maybe that explains why Tesla is making headway.

That is probably where the traditional manufacturers made a mistake. EVs are new tech in the public mind, which implies a degree of uncertainty and risk---exactly what your typical econobox buyer avoids whenever possible. Tesla went after buyers who are willing to buy something because it's new and shiny or because it makes a statement.

Tesla still has a monopoly on performance/luxury EVs. And if you can deliver the goods in that market, you can probably economize your design down for the masses.

Still, the late delivery of virtually every product and feature would make me shy away from preordering anything. I like what's happening, but the company is far from perfect.

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