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Comment As a UNIX head and former MS-hater . . . (Score 5, Interesting) 271

Y'know, Microsoft has never made any bones about their OS being a proprietary system. Whether you agree with their choices or not, you're bound by them when you use their OS. Problem is, there is a lot of appeal to their OS - nearly universal familiarity among the user base (which is large), nearly ubiquitous applications (especially in the office/business space), pre-installation (something like $50.00 a shot, as opposed to ~$175, so I guess that hurts less) . . .

You want an OS that works your way? Tell ya what - get a bunch of your fellow technically-oriented geek friends together and make your own! (Actually, I'm sure this has been done. I think such systems are called "GNU Linux"?) Otherwise, as long as they don't outright break what they sold you, you can deal with MS's heavy-handed management of your systems. Frankly, with all the moaning about MS security and unpatched MS OS's in the wild, how did everyone expect them to respond? They're still the de facto business OS of choice and their primary customer is extremely security conscious. MS is listening to the bucks, not the users. Since their software is proprietary, that is as it should be. Unless you actively find a way to prevent it, Microsoft pretty much insists on their right to make every licensed MS OS instance reasonably uniform. That way, both security and reliability can theoretically be maximized for the entire user base.

In short - deal with it or run something else. Just don't expect Microsoft to waste any time or money trying to do things your way unless you're big business with big bucks.

Comment Even if you disagree with the judge . . . (Score 5, Interesting) 149

. . . (which I don't, by the way) . . .

let me get this straight - if someone offers to sell me something of value, if I somehow become aware of intended wrongdoing on their part - say, they've said they're raising money to hire a hit-man, or they're planning on buying a couple kilos of tar opium, whatever - I may not complete my transaction with them despite the legality of our specific transaction because I suspect they may use their gains in an illegal manner? In effect, I must deprive them of their lawful right to seek to do business with me without due process of law.

Does this mean contributors to political campaigns are lawfully culpable for the potentially illegal actions of the political candidates?

Comment So even without the conductive layer . . . (Score 5, Insightful) 97

the police can put my fingerprint anywhere they want? Conceivably to be "found" later on and used as evidence against me?

Prosecutor: "Can you explain how your fingerprints came to be on the murder weapon?"

Defendant: "I don't know. I never touched it. Never seen it before. Maybe the police put it there? Since we know they can, experience has shown that they will."

Comment 500 UNITS or 500 CUSTOMERS? (Score 4, Interesting) 67

In this day and age, there could be a huge difference. For example, if one of those customers were a large employer purchasing machines for offices in a geographic region, one customer could well acquaint to several dozen units.

Of course, five hundred of either is hardly enough business volume to justify being unable to fulfill demand. The thing isn't exactly new and cutting-edge technology (unless they've found a way to make the microphones work correctly, or to clean up remote audio, or even to correct for the fact that most of humanity are not cinematographers and have no idea how to compose or light a scene for video transmission).

Teleconferencing looks great on television - but there's a reason it hasn't already caught on like wildfire. Hint: it's because on television there is at least one director and/or one cinematographer to make it look right. In reality, most people can't even frame a snapshot correctly.

Comment There's an excellent reason for that. (Score 1) 93

We all agreed to the law (or at least, in theory a majority of us enacted this law). It's a classic demonstration of the weakness of our form of republican democracy - the wisdom of a few who crafted our government included a constitution which prohibits certain activities which the voting majority may wish to permit. Thus, racism and slavery (for example) while once quite popular among voting citizens are no longer permissible, even if we vote for a law which violates that prohibition. Now, we have the DMCA - a law we must collectively have agreed to, as it is no long merely a bill but a law. It now remains for a "minority" such as a special interest group like the EFF to prove that we (collectively) were wrong to enact the DMCA because it violates certain constitutional prohibitions.

Change is always harder than the status quo.

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