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Comment Use the Play Store to force updates (Score 1) 184

Google has a very lengthy set of terms that OEMs must agree to in order to get access to the Google Play store, the Google Play Services middleware layer and various Google apps.

Google could add clauses to these terms such that if OEMs want to be allowed to use the Play store and the other Google software, they must support the device with security updates for a minimum amount of time after the release of the device.

Any OEM that doesn't play ball and follow the rules would risk loosing the right to produce any more devices that contain the Google software.

Comment Re:How are they doing this? (Score 1) 57

The issue is that they are now saying you have to pay extra to get HD video if you are on one of these new plans. If a provider doesn't give T-Mobile the details necessary to detect/block HD streams from that provider (or to force streams to 480p) how can T-Mobile stop people from getting full HD streams from that provider without paying the extra $25 charge? And more to the point, how can T-Mobile stop people using a VPN or proxy to get around paying the $25 charge?

Comment How are they doing this? (Score 4, Informative) 57

How are they detecting "video streams" in order to throttle it?
Based on host (e.g. known domain names for video hosts)?
Based on protocol (e.g. blocking known streaming protocols)?
Deep packet inspection?

If they are detecting based on host, that's a net neutrality violation since they are discriminating between "video hosts they know about and throttle" and "video hosts they dont know about and don't throttle". If they are attempting to detect based on protocols or port numbers, it wont work for things that use standard HTTP as the underlying protocol or that use port numbers other than the ones they are expecting. And if they are trying some form of packet inspection, good luck doing that on an encrypted HTTPS YouTube stream.

Also I wonder how they are enforcing the 480p restriction. Are they re-encoding the videos? Blocking streams higher than 480p? Something else? (and again, good luck doing that on an encrypted HTTPS YouTube stream)

More to the point, you could probably easily get around whatever they are doing with a VPN and I bet you could find a suitable VPN provider for less than the $25 T-Mobile wants for unlocking high definition video...

Comment Re: Why use VMWare? (Score 1) 162

I run vmware player on my Windows 7 machine. But I am not running it 24/7 or anything like that. I use it to run a Linux development environment for my Nokia N900 phone (there is a ready-made Ubuntu vmware VM file for N900 development and its easier to run it that way than dual boot all the time)

Comment Re:They didn't change anything (Score 1) 85

What happened is that Microsoft originally said that people with Skylake hardware would stop getting updates for Windows 7 and 8 on some earlier date than the date at which people with older hardware stop getting those updates. Now it seems like the date for Skylake users to stop getting updates (including security updates) for Windows 7 matches the date at which people with older hardware will stop getting those updates.

As someone who upgraded from a Core 2 Duo to a Skylake i5 in January (before Microsoft announced anything regarding Skylake) this is a good thing from Microsoft. Means I can keep using Windows 7 (and getting security updates for it) for as long as any other Windows 7 user.

Comment Re:Either may be more profitable, but competition (Score 1) 95

So why doesn't someone like Google (who would probably make a lot of money if they were able to roll out Google Fiber in an area like NYC) throw a bunch of lobbying dollars at the relavent governments so the governments will end the monopolies?

Or would Google be unable to out-bid the incumbent in such a situation?

Comment How would this even work? (Score 1) 207

There is no way you could convince every hardware and software company to lock down every computing device to not run anything that isn't approved by governments and big corporations. Outlawing general purpose computers (i.e. things capable of running "unapproved" software) will never be possible either (at least not in any country that isn't a strict dictatorship like North Korea).

Nor could you modify the networking layer of things like Windows to be able to detect anything piracy related (or even just Torrent traffic) since so much of it is encrypted (even ISPs with expensive dedicated super-fast deep packet inspection gear haven't been able to detect all the different ways of sending encrypted BitTorrent traffic out there,)

Comment Re:wtf are they thinking? (Score 1) 114

There are enough PC publishers out there that have a vested interest in not going down that road (including giants like Activision Blizzard, Electronic Arts, Take-Two Interactive, Ubisoft, Valve Corporation, Warner Bros. Interactive and ZeniMax Media) that I cant see Microsoft being able to succeed in any plan to force developers to push PC titles through the UWP and hand over revenue to Microsoft if they dont have to.

Especially for companies like EA and Valve and Ubisoft that have their own stores where they get to keep 100% of the profit and dont have to pay someone else.

Comment Re:This just adds to that feeling of anger I have (Score 3, Informative) 55

Its "login consolidation" (specifically the move with Windows 8 and 10 to use your Live/Hotmail/Outlook/Microsoft/etc login as your desktop login) that is the cause of this bug in the first place.

Thankfully I am on Windows 7 (and would use a local login rather than a cloud login in any case even on Windows 10) so this issue doesn't affect me. (no domains, VPNs or anything else involved either, its just a local login for my desktop)

Comment This move does have some benefits (Score 3, Interesting) 440

I am not a fan of the fact that you need to spend big money on an expensive certificate, more money on setting up a legal entity that will satisfy those organizations who can issue the right EV code signing certificate that Microsoft will accept and even more money on all the required hardware to actually test your driver or what it means for open source software but this move DOES have some benefits.

It reduces the amount of crappy drivers out there (both because of the testing and because entities who are making crappy drivers tend to be the ones who dont want to spend the money on certificating and signing).

It also makes it harder for anyone wanting to create kernel level malware since either Microsoft will refuse to sign it in the first place or Microsoft will revoke the signature (and blacklist the creator of those drivers).

The increased requirements in terms of the code signing certificate you need to submit drivers to Microsoft also eliminates problems with rogue code signing certificates (i.e. all the times when a code signing certificate was stolen from a major hardware vendor and used to sign malware or other bad things)

I do wonder what this means for government/law enforcement/intelligence agencies though. We know from various leaks and other things that governments and their agencies have used kernel drivers (or things that can only be done with kernel drivers even if its not actually explicit that kernel drivers are being used) as part of their spying/hacking/law enforcement efforts. Will the NSA be given the ability to sign a kernel driver that can run on a standard Windows 10 install? What about the Chinese Government (the censor-ware they wanted to force PC manufacturers to install on new PCs almost certainly requires kernel-level code to do the things it does). Or the German Bundespolizei? (the spyware they have reportedly used to spy on things like Skype may well need kernel code in order to do its job)

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