Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook


Forgot your password?
Leap Towards a Career in Ethical Hacking with 60+ Hours of Prep Toward CISM, CISA, & More Certification Exams at 95% off ×

Comment Re:Bad to worse (Score 1) 92

> I wonder how many users were tricked with this little stunt?

Given that they disabled it, the answer is "enough". They knew from the start that this wouldn't fly- the question was how many people they could trick. Clearly, since it happened to everyone all at once, they have achieved their desired percent penetration.

Comment Re: Duh (Score 1) 92

> Also, Apple gave away Mavericks for free. I don't see anyone complaining that Apple plans to move to a subscription based model for OS X. Why not?

Because Apple sells hardware.
Because Apple doesn't have a history of absolutely rampant customer abuse.
Because Apple has motivation to keep their ecosystem good.
Because Apple has legitimate ways to make money.
Because Apple doesn't hunt down and delete your old version of Solitaire, put a special flag that doesn't let it run in its most modern OS, offer a new version of Solitaire with ads, and then offer a subscription.

Seriously, if you don't think Microsoft's treatment of Solitaire and Minesweeper is a canary, you're being stubborn. If you want Windows 7 Solitaire- which you payed for and own- to work on Windows 10, you must first back it up, and then you must patch the binary to not demand it only run on Windows 7. At which point it runs fine. But this is absolutely a template for how to force people into a subscription model. At the very least, you can see that disabling ads will become a pay service at some point, right? Given that they JUST DID THAT?

Comment Re:So it's our fault (Score 1) 540

> So far, the bizarre technical workarounds work for me
Might want to run wireshark just to be sure. I think if you are still 7 and did the wusa uninstall you are probably safe. If you are in 10, man, definitely wireshark that.

>Games are my main reason to keep using Windows (for now)
Yea, I hear you. You might try googling the name of the game and "wine", and see if it is easy to run. If you find yourself in Linux, and you have a game to play, that could save you a reboot cycle, you know?

Comment Re:Avoid Wine, try online tax, shell is powerful (Score 1) 540

> Wine, a program that runs Windows software on Linux, might look attractive at first.

I actually consider WINE to be a killer app. When it works, it literally feels like magic. Seeing that little xfce window border around a Windows program gives me a serious nerdon. The WINE devs are like, "Oh, you didn't think to support a good OS? Ok, fine entire rest of the world, we'll just have to support YOU!".

Specifically, I use it for a few games- Star Wars: The Old Republic, almost the entire Blizzard catalog (but Overwatch looks like a no-go), and I can even get Wildstar running, though the framerate is rough because my CPU is a little old (WINE has to do translation from the windows directwhatever stuff, and that chews CPU- the GPU is more than fine).

It is, of course, totally unfair that Linux is ever held to the standard of "can run programs written for another OS". The fact that it runs every game I care about at full speed is frankly ludicrous.

> How often did you use a Linux emulator to run Linux software on Windows?

I think we all know that Windows supports other things for shit. But in practice, a Windows user who needs a specific Linux thing will run a Linux VM. Because Linux tries real hard to work under all circumstances, this almost always works. The things that a VM wouldn't be great at, such as games, usually have a Windows version of them available too. Personally, I'd much rather have an OS I trust and jump through some hoops sometimes. I think there will be less Windows "must-have" programs in the future anyway- programs that you end up being forced into using for some social reason, and that only support the shittiest OS around.

> For taxes, that's something you do once per year.

Yea, and I'm not sweating it for now. I'm sure I'll have an answer. I'll either be able to make it work in WINE, or I'll have a VM, or I could even just grab a cheap used Mac off ebay. That also helps my use case because then it would solve itunes immediately too. I want to store my tax data locally if possible anyway.

> The real power of Linux, the biggest advantage over Windows, is at the command line.

I mean, I can see that. But there's a bunch of selling points: much more trustworthy software, often possible to script your solutions instead of giving up or needing a binary solution, vastly more configurable at every level, and way easier access to development tools in general. When there's a problem, it is always nice knowing that there is a solution for it, somewhere, somehow, waiting to be discovered.

Comment Re:So it's our fault (Score 5, Insightful) 540

You could get started with a dual-boot partition now. When 10 happened, it was the final straw. I couldn't believe the bizarre technical workarounds everyone started doing. I knew I couldn't even leave Windows 7 updates on, and I could certainly never use 10. Since a machine without updates is a problem waiting to happen, I installed Linux onto a second drive, and tried to spend as much time there as possible. Obviously, this meant I was still booting Windows for many things, but every week I would make time to get a new thing working in Linux. Usually, it was easy- the nvidia drivers were painless, Steam client could then install and run any of a ton of Linux games, LibreOffice was a lot better than I remember. Sometimes it was a bit of a pain- MAME needed a code modification and compile to not have a nag screen (windows would have this problem too, but often people post nagless binaries for Windows, if you like to run random binaries straight off the net), WINE needed some configuration, etc.

But eventually I noticed that my reasons to boot Windows were finally very slim. Every game I cared about I could get running in WINE (but obviously not every game, and you could easily find that your games you care about don't work). Productivity stuff seems to work great for my needs, at least. Not everything works- currently I can't get itunes to work, and there's that tax software that I'll need again next year. I might run a VM, I don't know yet.

If you plan to stay with Windows 7 until 2020, you don't need to act now. But you might still consider it. Vulkan should eventually really help games on Linux, and you might find that your games are already well supported.

Windows 7 got the telemetry patched in last spring, and then they turned it on in the summer. You can wusa uninstall those updates, or you can just go without updates at all. But that deliberate mislabelling and stealthing in of the technology made me flip my shit. How does the saying go? "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me... you can't get fooled again!"

I just think running an OS from a known-hostile entity is bad news, if you can avoid it.

Comment Re:So it's our fault (Score 2) 540

> So it's our fault // For following years of best practice

No, but it arguably is everyone's fault for trusting Microsoft at all.
Computer administration is an actual job, and OS manufactures and distributors have jumped through hoops to make this vastly better than "please visit our website and download and apply these patches at a command line". But in doing this, you end up trusting both the intentions and the technical competence of those involved. For a mainline Linux distro or a BSD, this is a solid bet. For a less famous Linux distro, the technical competence can be in question- you may end up with a broken patch here or there, or some vulnerability that affects you temporarily. These usually get worked out super fast.

Much more concerning is trusting the INTENTIONS- trusting Apple's intentions has been a safe bet, but there's no guarantees, and if you want to distrust them as many in the free software community do, go ahead. But Microsoft signaled that they were untrustworthy in ever increasing amounts over the years- from strange constant names in leaked code to an unhealthy interest in allowing your BIOS to lock out all Microsoft competitors, to progressively tricky cloud-based tech, to the current state of Windows 10 telemetry being essentially impossible to disable (don't argue with me, check your wireshark!)... and that's just the more recent stuff. Microsoft was busy being odd in the 90s, and now they are being SUPER spooky.

Basically, letting Microsoft push software to your box has ALWAYS been trusting Nedry with your dinosaurs. It just hasn't been overtly hostile until now, but there's been plenty of clues.

Comment All in works (Score 1) 190

Going all in like this actually works. There needs to be breaks between projects or milestones for this shit to be sustainable though. The reason the industry constantly grabs new talent and lets them work like crazy is because that is actually a functional way to get code done. Every engineer doing that ends up with more working memory devoted to the things his code touches, and he is exposed to it every day. Saying "oh, doing all these other things makes you a better coder" is an extraordinary claim, and needs evidence. A better argument would be "if we work people tons they'll burn out" or "it isn't right to demand that people work this hard for your bottom line". Flat out lying isn't gonna cut it.

Comment Bad but inevitable news (Score 1) 81

The big deal here is "OneDrive". The other stuff is expected. If you search up OneDrive, you find this description from Microsoft themselves:
"Get to your files and photos from anywhere, on any device. Share and work together with anyone in your work and life."

It is clear that as cloud becomes ubiquitous, it will also become very restrictive. While decentralized computing is pretty resistant to censorship, centralized computing is not. While there are workarounds (such as only transferring and storing encrypted data, as Apple has mused about doing), not only are none of the big players doing this yet, but there's also plenty of envelope information laying around in these sorts of transactions.

Certainly, this policy is unsurprising and common sense- obviously, you shouldn't contribute to those who are doing harmful and illegal things. The slippery slope comes into play rapidly: we've already seen almost every anti-terrorism measure put in place this century rapidly be used at every level of government to justify expansion of powers. Drug dealers are now "terrorists" if it lets a prosecutor have an easier job, etc.

How will Microsoft judge if something is terrorism related? Not immediately, but long term? Certainly, the OneDrive means that in fact you'll need a real drive on your machine, in case something gets accidentally flagged. Certainly for it to be flagged for manual review, it will be able to be searched- that's probably not their policy yet, but there's no reason not to run some daemon on a server to snoop through your stuff at night and flag things, should that be perceived as desirable.

We end up with a situation where if you provide a service, and you could POSSIBLY figure out that the service can be used contrary to the public interest, there is HUGE interest in you doing that. Computers are seen as a panacea here. Giant data centers to real time process as much communication as possible. Computer locks on firearms, which will be made mandatory the moment they exist (one state already has this as a law, but it is conditional on the development of the technology). Regional internet and cellular kill switches which can be accessed easily by law enforcement. It is understood that once you have a self driving car, the police will be able to override it for any purpose remotely. Each of these has a noble purpose, but the underlying message is the same: in the future, no item you own will actually serve your desires and needs should they override the perceived needs of the community, at any time.

Of course the first places to attack will be ones where there is broad consensus over the needs of the community- terrorists are despicable. But from laws to policies of governments and companies, this seems to be a growing area where discussion is simply not happening, and most of the expansion is happening behind the scenes.

Comment Re:How is the person HIV positive? (Score 1) 103

The body makes antibodies to HIV as it would any virus. An untreated HIV person has a long period without symptoms because the body is generally able to hold the virus in check- but in most humans, this is eventually a losing battle. A person never exposed to HIV will obviously not have an HIV antibody.

If you received an experimental HIV vaccine- as was developed decades ago- then you would test positive for HIV, because you would have the antibodies. You would not in actuality be HIV positive, and you would definitely know if you were part of an HIV vaccine trial. These vaccines probably have some small beneficial effect, but they don't seem to grant immunity as we would expect and hope a vaccine would.

This new vaccine is hoped to help by training the body to target a different part of the virus, as best I can tell. I wouldn't get hopes up too high on this- vaccines have proven very frustrating for dealing with HIV.

Comment Re:Two wrongs don't make a right (Score 1) 375

> Europe has more freedom than the US

Some places in Europe have some freedoms that the United States does not. Lacking a Bill of Rights means that Americans would see it pretty opposite- no first amendment shuts down debate ("it is hate speech!"), no second amendment shuts down the natural right of self defense, no fourth amendment puts very little limit on what can be searched, etc. If you pick and choose around Europe, you can find counterexamples, but if you have to pick any one place at a time, I don't think the task is very easy.

> like the requirement to scrape people off the street after an accident

What in the living fuck are you talking about?

> US schools force children to pledge allegiance to the state.

Not since 1943:

> The pledge contains the phrase "under god"
So don't fucking pledge allegiance to the American flag.

> Don't tell me that the US has more political freedom than Europe

I really don't buy that. Given how much speech is illegal in various places in Europe.

Comment Re:Confirmed (Score 1) 500

Backing up data is reasonably simple, provided you have the cash to shell out for some kind of backup device, and the time and discipline to keep a reasonably recent backup. Of course, cash, time, and discipline are all limited resources- maybe those could have been better spent at some manner of industry, or merely used to benefit yourself in a more difficult to quantify way. But, no matter.

Backing up the state of a drive fully is a bit more odd, especially if you hope to do so in a way that restores well. You generally need something to write a boot sector, put everything in the correct places, etc. I bet if your drive were to go caput, you'd end up building a fresh system on a new drive, and then building up all the programs you need from online, and then restore your data from your backup. That's not anything like a backup, really, right? But many would do it, because it is easy.

Slashdot Top Deals

Thus spake the master programmer: "Time for you to leave." -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"