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Comment Only one thing to do (Score 5, Interesting) 237

Clearly, Microsoft MUST withdraw WIndows 98, ME, 2000, and XP from the Chinese market, and refund the purchase money paid for said products. This should not cost Microsoft very much; after all, there can't have been more than one legitimate copy of each OS sold in-country. Microsoft would then be well-placed to declare all other copies of the affected products in the PRC illegal, and use the automatic-update feature to download a deactivating code. Microsoft should also apologize profusely to the font-sourcing company for the fact that their fonts would then be completely unused, then sell lots of Windows 7 upgrades. Oh wait, they can't actually sell Windows 7 in China, since they can't afford to pay for it due to the manipulated exchange rate for the Yuan.

Comment Re:Reverse Engineered Microsoft DOS??? (Score 1) 297

Disk Operating System, acronymed as DOS, has been in use in the literature of computing since before Bill Gates was born. IBM started shipping DOS for its mainframes (replacing the paper tape 1401) back in the early 60's I believe. But let's concentrate on microcomputers of the 1970s. Here's a link to a Zilog flier from 1976 that mentions Disk operating System Z*) Development System. There's an interesting article with some history. According to the article, ICOM had its FDOS on the market in 1976. Here's a quote for you:

The May 1975 issue of IEEE Computer magazine had a one-page ad from MITS for the Altair 8800. In the ad, they mention their "DOS Extended BASIC Language System for $6649" for an Altair with 16K memory, terminal and interface, "disc controller and 2 disc drives, DOS and Extended BASIC software."

And another:

An IMSAI ad in June 1976, mentions a "floppy controller with on-board processor and DOS"

So obviously not only was the term DOS being used for Micro-Soft's BASIC-oriented OS in 1976, it was being used on 8080 computers from multiple manufacturers, and as we established earlier, being widely pirated (or at least widely enough for Bill to complain loudly). Case closed, and be careful arguing with old guys about history they lived through. Sometimes we can still remember stuff!

Comment Re:Reverse Engineered Microsoft DOS??? (Score 1) 297

For those of you too young to remember, the acronym DOS stood for "Disk Operating System" long before it was productized my Microsoft, much as "word" and "windows" once referred to linguistic elements glazed structure penetrations before being co-opted by the beast. While MS-DOS was the trademarked name of a later product, the original author wrote "Microsoft's DOS", which would seem to include Microsoft's disk operating system as used on the Altair, which (again as cited by the original author and laughed at by others) ran on an 8080 CPU. This DOS also included a basic INTERPRETER, not a compiler (so you're wrong there), and was also referred to as "Disk BASIC".

Comment Re:Reverse Engineered Microsoft DOS??? (Score 3, Informative) 297

You guys are ten years too late. Back in the 1970s, when computers ran on 8080 processors, the company Micro-Soft (which is what they were called when they were in Albuquerque before the name change to Microsoft and the move to Washington) had an operating system and a basic interpreter that were widely pirated, reverse engineered, and otherwise ripped-off. At the time, I was running an MITS Altair. This thing started with 256 bytes of RAM, but we eventually upgraded it to, I think, 8k bytes. After loading a few hundred bytes of boot code in using the panel switches, it would suck Micro-Soft's "Disk Basic" boot loader in off the first sector of the 8" floppy drive, then load the OS and BASIC interpreter. It was so nice when we finally burned that first boot loader into a ROM! By 1976, Bill was pissed about people ripping his wares, and he wrote a famous letter about it. This may have happened before you were wearing nappies, but you should still be embarrassed about laughing at the author. I now ROFL at your childish and uninformed antics!

Comment Not enough copper to build the wind farms (Score 1) 867

The problem with this model is that it is predicated on highly distributed wind farms. This means extending the grid out to 200 miles offshore and covering the mountains and plains with it. We just don't have that much copper, as Scientific American points out. Wind sounds good, but only nuclear gives us the point-source density needed to allow distribution to population centers with our available copper constraints.

Comment Re:TCPdump? (Score 1) 204

There's an argument to be made that the evidence wasn't gathered legally. Clearly, had MediaSentry been hired by RIAA's attorneys instead of by the contracting arm of the company (and they might have been), there work would be fully protected under MN law. And under Texas law , Texas Occupational code Sec. 1702.324(9); I'm an attorney's consultant in Texas, and it pays to know these things! Further more, Section 1702.104 of the state occupations code waives the requirement of a PI license for the investigation of data available to the general public. The counter-arguments are that the defendant was engaging in public discourse rather than private, protected speech and that MediaSentry was simply a witness of this event. The defendant sent packets to the MediaSentry computer, which MUST process the contents of those packets, including the IP Addresses that were recorded, in order to be able to understand the communication. Therefore, MediaSentry is as much a witness to the event as would be a bystander on the street who sees a car wreck. The PI law certainly doesn't require that a witness of a public event be a licensed private investigator. The court's decision in this matter is not a foregone conclusion.

Comment Re:TCPdump? (Score 5, Informative) 204

It's generally legal to present tcpdump logs (or logs of traffic on your web server, etc.) as long as you are one party in the communication. So in this case, MediaSentry, as one party in the communication, can log anything they want. There's an exception: If you are engaging as a party in the communication in order to commit a criminal act, then the interception might not be admissible. Oddly enough, this has a 5th amendment basis: It might be assumed that the other party of the communication is also engaging in something criminal, therefore your disclosure might implicate you in a criminal transaction, thereby becoming self-incrimination. The defense case rests on the argument that MediaSentry is engaging in a criminal act (working as a PI without the license to do so), therefore their logging is inadmissible. However, the law grants them the right to self-incriminate: voluntary confessions are admissible. So under this argument, MediaSentry's testimony would be admissible. It might also be viewed as a confession to a criminal act, but that's a separate case. OTOH, this might persuade MediaSentry to withdraw the testimony before it counts against them. The defense also claims that the recording violates the federal Pen Register Act; this claim is clearly specious, as section 3 of said act allows a participant or intermediary to log as part of the normal course of operations Otherwise, every last Apache web server running in the default configuration would break federal law on every request. And yes, phone bills are admissible, as they are part of regular business transactions; so are most end-point driven logging operations. In the end, it comes down to this: does the threat of prosecution under the MN PI licensing law dissuade MediaSentry from continuing to support their previously sworn testimony? I predict it does not, and that their testimony will remain admissible. Of course, this makes an eventual finding against the defendant subject to reversal should MediaSentry later be convicted, which could legitimately encourage the court to either reject the testimony or recess until such time as either a grand-jury no-bills MediaSentry or a verdict is reached in their case.

Comment So, what did you expect? (Score 1) 785

What did you really expect from a country whose #1 anti-social behavior concern is the carrying of hand tools that have been in common use for tens of thousands of years (knives), to the extent that public possession of a tiny lock-blade toenail trimmer is considered a felony? These people are absolutely nutters! But then think on the fact that the English at least are being culturally displaced, such that they no longer live in London. Their own capital city has become a hostile Islamicist enclave (see Edgeware Road, aka Little Arabia). Maybe selective enforcement of rules in a police state is their only option for national survival?

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