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Comment Re:Windows is Bloated (Score 1) 133

As with a lot of annoying Microsoft things these days; the fact that you can't is more of a licensing issue than a technical one.

On the desktop, Windows 10 LTSB is the de-crapified version you actually want; but haha, volume-licensed enterprise SKUs only!

If you have the appropriate Windows Server version license; you can install "server core" or "nano server"; which have even more cut out; but while that can at least be purchased in single units; it's a fairly expensive way to declutter a workstation.

It took a while; but Microsoft did manage to disentangle a lot of the formerly mandatory bits and pieces; it's just that they seem loath to actually sell that to you unless they've exhausted all the alternatives.

Comment Re:Synonyms being used (Score 4, Insightful) 109

Any particular reason why we should just assume that only those nice, 'anonymized', 'statistics' were for sale; or that the 'anonymizing' done wasn't as pitifully weak as it often is?

Shockingly enough, people seem to be willing to pay more for data that are more or less cosmetically obfuscated, and trivial to correlate with information from other sources; and less for data that are actually anonymous enough to be impossible to reconstruct.

Comment Re:I can't believe I'm defending Samsung... (Score 2) 119

Is there some sort of rule that vendor hostility becomes more acceptable as devices become smaller?

If the vendor specifically has to break the ability to remap a button; this fairly strongly implies that it was otherwise possible; and the only reason it is impossible now is because they don't want it to happen.

People tend not to feel the same way about fixed-function buttons in weaker devices because the limitations are more architectural than deliberate(and, if only thanks to a couple of decades of convergent evolution, there is often a reasonably sane quasi-default layout).

Comment Re:Remember kids... (Score 1) 22

Do you know what you pay 'royalties' on? Patents.

This case isn't about BB's patents(except in that access to some of them, in lieu of cash, might have been part of the royalties paid to Qualcomm); but you wouldn't have much of a royalties fight without some patents involved(in this industry; were these book publishers or authors, 'royalties' would imply copyrights; but aside from baseband code and drivers of very dubious quality, Qualcomm's IP reserves are largely patents).

Comment Re:So... (Score 3) 22

I don't disagree with those suspicions on BB's future revenue sources; but this particular spat involves BB trying to reduce they amount they were paying Qualcomm, so while the favorable judgement means they get a payment now, the net flow of money is from BB to Qualcomm, just with a dispute about how large it should be. It is conveivable that they could 'patent troll' while still paying the other guy(if, say, they used some combination of threats to get Qualcomm parts well below the usual price; but still had to pay something for them); but unless this royalty adjustment is astonishingly good, it seems more like an attempt to beat back Qualcomm's own...enthusiastic...deployment of IP claims.

Now, since BB barely sells actual products anymore; this big exciting payout is likely to be hard to repeat; and then they'll come out trolling; but this specific case against Qualcomm looks like part of the general industry backlash against the exciting business of cellular modem patents. Qualcomm has had some antitrust trouble in multiple venues, is in court with several customers, and generally seems to have made themselves unpopular of late.

Comment Re:Shocked I am. (Score 1) 29

Could also be a budget/marketing style thing.

I'd be fairly shocked if the Americans and the British are 'more ethical'(Gamma Group LTD. certainly comes up in some unpleasant news); but if you sell product through established channels to deep-pocketed American military customers, say, your goods may well end up assisting some fairly awful people(our 'basically anyone who says they hate terrorists more than they hate us is a freedom pal!' policy has led to some ugly friendships); but you probably have less incentive to slum around with whatever cover-story the Al Jazeera journalists cooked up.

If you are hungrier for customers, either because your military isn't buying, or because you are seen as a second-stringer, odds are much better that you'll be aggressively looking for work in ways that make it considerably easier to run this sort of sting. Much the same as conventional weapons: it's not as though good, honest, American killing gear doesn't show up in all sorts of nasty places; but you are going to have a harder time attracting a high end defense contractor to your skeezy meeting in a downmarket hotel than you are a hungrier independent dealer who doesn't have wealthy, largely dependable, clients to spend time cultivating.

Comment Re:And the funny thing is (Score 1) 138

Arguably, it's the 'equivalent infrastructure' bit that is particularly unrealistic. Duplicating a set of software components well enough to allow for drop-in replacement is hard enough; but it's at least theoretically doable if the target isn't moving too fast; and it has been done with varying levels of success.

"Infrastructure", though, is something that can't exactly be copied at zero marginal cost; and requires substantially more(both in terms of money;and in terms of things like mapping data) than mere API interoperability.

"API compatible with Google Play Services 10.2" is to "Equivalent infrastructure" roughly what "Eucalyptus" is to "AWS". The one is a piece of software. The other is a great deal bigger.

Comment Re:even more tilted than it seems (Score 3, Insightful) 138

Citation? At least the US, the FCC is very, very, humorless about anyone nosing in on the spectrum that has been declared the rightful dominion of the cell carriers. The only real exception is transient use of stingrays. Definitely don't bet against IT on the wifi; but attempting to tamper with 4G traffic is inviting a world of pain for rather minimal benefit.

Comment Re:Devs (Score 4, Insightful) 63

Because one aspect of the 'more structured' is a handy mechanism for executing code on your system if you open it. If text editors habitually executed any shell scripts included in .txt files; we'd be nervous about those as well. Greater complexity is hardly completely safe, since it makes implementation of software capable of opening the file more complex; but that's a comparatively minor difference of degree compared to the difference between files types where automatic execution is a feature and ones where it's a bug.

Comment Re:History repeating itself (Score 1) 121

Some outfits drop support alarmingly quickly; or take a 'if it isn't crashing to desktop more than once an hour, it's totally fine" approach to quality; but it helps that the games most likely to never get Ryzen support are the older ones, which are also the games targeted at the specs of older hardware.

If it turns out that, even for recent and future releases, only a couple of AMD's best-buddies publishers ever bother then there is a problem. If it's just older games, contemporary PCs are comfortably overpowered, by virtue of being years newer than what those games were developed to run on, so the problem will be largely irrelevant(contemporary Intel CPUs will be even more overpowered for those titles; but once you reach 'overpowered', you are dealing with seriously diminishing returns on performance).

Comment Was anything different ever expected? (Score 1) 78

Were we ever expecting Samsung to actually just toss all these things into the grinder? They had a fairly high end SoC, bunch of RAM and Flash, nice screens, etc. no reason to suspect that the PMIC itself was executing batteries. Why would you scrap something like that?

For 'brand' reasons, it wouldn't be a surprise to see them shunted off to some less-loved market; or even 'de-branded' and sold in more generic livery; but scrapped?

Comment Re: Mint (Score 1) 510

I agree that grovelling for solutions to oddball problems is annoying; but my experience has been that any OS puts you in that place from time to time.

If, say, Windows Update is throwing cryptic errors, it doesn't take too long to be instructed to 'Reset the BITS service to the default security descriptor'. Just open an elevated CMD shell and run "sc.exe sdset bits D:(A;;CCLCSWRPWPDTLOCRRC;;;SY)(A;;CCDCLCSWRPWPDTLOCRSDRCWDWO;;;BA)(A;;CCLCSWLOCRRC;;;AU)(A;;CCLCSWRPWPDTLOCRRC;;;PU)", n00b.

OSX has the virtue of changing at least a few of the command line options that aren't pulled straight from BSD every version bump(changes related to user/directory structure seem to be particularly popular); and not all advice is clear on which versions it pertains to; which can be really annoying.

I don't disagree with the fact that, if a Linux system does may well deeply fail to enjoy finding the answer; but any time the automagic fails, regardless of OS, you are usually in for some pain(since, if the answer were trivial and unambigious, the automagic would probably still be working); and a trip to the command line, registry, PLists, or some combination is likely in your future.

If anything, it's the scary, hostile-looking OSes that are least risky in this regard because they never pretended to have automagic to help you in the first place; and so are simpler; and designed so that an unaided human can grind through everything themselves. That's a huge nuisance, which is why most OSes aren't like that; but fallible automatic failing is never pretty.

Comment Re:Don't remake, release the source. (Score 1) 161

I'd be surprised to see Blizzard do either; but he did specify 'the source' rather than 'the IP'; and the two are (relatively) easily separable.

Given that, even at the time, most of the enthusiasm for Starcraft was for a combination of its play balance(having 3 actually-different sides without being horribly lopsided was pretty big news when the standard was two, often basically reskins of each other with a couple of flavor units) and overall style/art direction; I'm not sure who would be interested in just the engine; but Blizzard certainly could release it without giving up any control over the parts of the Starcraft 'IP' that are of actual value. Given the number of people who actually want to look at the code vs. the number of people who just want to play Starcraft, it would be a lot of trouble for not a lot of interest, but it needn't threaten the stuff that is actually worth something.

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"The eleventh commandment was `Thou Shalt Compute' or `Thou Shalt Not Compute' -- I forget which." -- Epigrams in Programming, ACM SIGPLAN Sept. 1982