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Comment Is this a prelude to requiring official Google FW? (Score 1) 161

How does it make a determination of corruption? What if you want to change those sensitive files intentionally? What if you want to install a customized version made by a modder that does something cool? How is it able to distinguish your willful changes from changes that malware made? Is it going to examine the files and compare them against legitimate, official versions?

This is reminding me very much of the rhetoric surrounding UEFI, how making it so people can only boot code that has been signed by Microsoft is 'Secure Booting,' and will prevent malware.

Comment You got that backward (Score 2) 37

ReVive lets you play Oculus games on the HTC Vive, not HTC Vive games on the Oculus.

Here's the description on the ReVive GitHub page:
"This is a compatibility layer between the Oculus SDK and OpenVR. It allows you to play Oculus-exclusive games on your HTC Vive."

OpenVR (HTC Vive's primary standard) is already ported to work with the Oculus, so it's already not that difficult to get a game ported to Oculus if it's designed for the HTC Vive, but chances are if it's designed for the HTC Vive, you're not apt to be playing it on the Oculus anyway, because Oculus doesn't support the HTC Vive's room-scale gameplay, which almost all games are taking advantage of.

Comment Corporate Tax (Score 1) 780

I think this article is referring to corporate tax, which is like a double-tax. First, Google the corporation collects money and their profits are taxed (but apparently they use some clever trickery to get around several billion in taxes). And then it's taxed *again* when the employees collect their wages, or the investors collect their dividends.

If Google was a sole proprietorship (Like a mom and pop business), then they would be able to avoid 100% of their corporate taxes.

Google's founders must have believed that the benefits of incorporation outweighed all the extra tax burden, but they didn't take it lying down, it seems. They're doing whatever they can to reduce how much they have to pay.

Comment It probably stinks anyway (Score 1) 403

I avoid officially supported Linux versions, because vendors tend to modify the stock linux distributions in unfortunate ways (such as binary kernel modules and other hacks).

If I had to choose between a laptop with all open hardware, but windows vs. a laptop with binary drivers and crapware, with linux.. I would choose the former every time, because I can just wipe that out and put a shiny new stock Linux on it.

I'm not saying that I know for sure that this particular product is one way or another, but I've been burned in the past so now I'm wary of officially supported Linux products.

Comment Re:Boatware (Score 1) 403

I would agree with your sentiment if making it work with Windows was free, but it's not.

It's true that getting it to work with two operating systems is more expensive for them than getting it to work with one operating system, but after they did all that work, they chose to increase the price of only one of the two offerings.

Comment This will help me sell the idea of Linux to people (Score 1) 635

When I show non-technical Windows users what it's like to try Linux, almost invariably the complaint I'll get back is 'I expected to see X, but instead I see Y. I don't like having to learn a new way to do things. This is frustrating and alien to me."

Now Windows is emulating several areas which Linux pioneered, such as a willingness to adopt adventurous new user interfaces, and centralized software repositories. (Although they're doing these things in a bastardized form)

Now either way you look at it, this is a victory for the Linux enthusiast trying to convince people to switch. If they hate Windows 8, then that's all the more ammunition for them to try Linux in order to get away from it. If they love Windows 8, then they just completely destroyed their own position that 'different is automatically worse.'

Comment This could enable 'Piracy' (Score 1) 308

There are methods which exist where you can 'spoof' your machine's hardware to appear as though it's a genuine Windows OEM, using a 'wrapper' boot loader.

A secure UEFI prevents that method, and a hack needs to be found in the Windows boot-up chain of trust (Much like how you would hack an XBox 360, which is very hard.)

Since the most recent UEFI standards permit the option to turn off secure boot on intel machines, some might consider this to all be moot anyway, since people will be running unsigned code whether this 'pre-loader' exists or not. However, the UEFI standard merely *permits* an insecure mode. It doesn't enforce it. The hardware manufacturers are allowed to require secure mode, if they so choose, and still remain complaint with UEFI. Also, the ARM UEFI standard completely forbids an insecure mode, and Linux runs there too, so the Linux Foundation should by all rights be planning on getting a similar loader signed on ARM as well.

Long story short, if Microsoft chooses to sign this, it would be a win for both Linux, and for people who like to get unauthorized copies of Windows. Perhaps this means they will refuse to sign it, and invent some excuse that it will compromise their user's security or something equally absurd.

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