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Comment Re:Don't plug in your scanner! (Score 1) 655

they tried, in a roundabout way - there was a trend a few (okay, 15ish) years ago of cheap "WinPrinters", much like WinModems which came a little later, where Windows itself would render GDI commands to a bitmap and send it to the printer in a pretty uncomplicated fashion. All the printer 'driver' needed to tell Windows was a little about the capabilities of the device - the WinPrinting core did the rest.

GDI itself is *supposed* to be device-independent, but didn't have much in the way of decent type rendering when they came up with it-TrueType support didn't appear in Windows until Windows 3.1 (until then, Adobe Type Manager was an immensely popular utility).

If they'd done it a little later, after they gained a complete monopoly and killed DOS, they would have probably got away with it, but back then too many people needed printers to work when they *weren't* running Windows for it to be feasible.

Plus, of course, the same problems that people had with WinModems - that they were cheap, nasty, and they didn't realise until a little too late that printers could render stuff a lot quicker than a 25MHz 386 with a couple of meg of RAM (and that was if you had a high-spec machine).

Mind you, they didn't die out completely when there was a real price drop in laser printers a little while ago, WinPrinters had a bit of resurgence, but they tend to support at least some other page-description language (e.g., PCL) as well. Still caused a few headaches for the CUPS guys as I recall, though.

Comment Re:Don't see the point (Score 1) 361

Anti-competitive behaviour is fine.

That's what a lot of people don't seem to get: it's not anti-competitive behaviour in and of itself that falls foul of investigations and commissions and rulings, it's the combination of a monopoly position and anti-competitive behaviour in order to attempt to create new monopolies.

The problem is, though, once it's happened, and the world has moved on, what is an appropriate remedy? Forcing Microsoft to unbundle IE would have been a perfectly good remedy back when Windows 98 was released (it would have meant that there would still be some real competition in the fledgling browser space instead of years of stagnation), but it's not really appropriate now: people expect an OS (or rather, a computer) to ship with a web browser.

There are lots of potential options, but the whole XP "N" edition thing showed that some of them are quite time-sensitive in their execution if they're to be anything other than a fiasco.

Comment Re:Stacker / DBLSpace / Lawsuit (Score 3, Insightful) 361

Not before DoubleSpace (and later DriveSpace, the non-infringing version) were used by millions of people, though.

The fact that DoubleSpace was bundled with DOS 6 meant that nobody needed to bother buying Stacker for the couple of years before whole-drive compression became mostly unnecessary. While that certainly was what killed Stac, what we don't know is what they might have come up with if they'd stayed in businessâ"after all, Stac was an innovator, while Microsoft just ripped of the technology.

Google

Submission + - Google admits using Sohu database for Pinyin

prostoalex writes: "A few days ago a Chinese company Sohu.com alleged Google improperly tapped its database for its Pinyin IME product, stirring controversy on Slashdot whether two databases were similar just due to normal research process. Today Google admitted that its new product for Chinese market "was built leveraging some non-Google database resources": "The dictionaries used with both software from Google and Sohu shared several common mistakes, where Chinese characters were matched with the wrong Pinyin equivalents. In addition, both dictionaries listed the names of engineers who had developed Sohu's Sogou Pinyin IME.""
Biotech

Submission + - Fat 'counters vitamin C benefits'

Mark of THE CITY writes: A team at the University of Glasgow found that Vitamin C's health effects are negated by the presence of fat in the diet. Maybe all those doughnuts, washed down with V8, weren't such a good idea, after all.
Google

Submission + - Google Apologizes to Chinese Search Co.

HealedandCured writes: Google Inc. apologized Monday following complaints the U.S. search company's new Internet tool for inputting Chinese characters incorporated data from a Chinese rival. The dispute highlights the intense competition in China's booming online market, where Web portals spend heavily on new search, entertainment and other features and react quickly to competitive threats.
Privacy

Submission + - Man Has 24/7 Video Feed of His Life

statemachine writes: For almost a month now, "lifecaster" Justin Kan has been broadcasting his life via an Internet feed 24/7. Mostly, it's been mundane, as a lot of the time Justin's camera is looking at the same thing, but you do get to see him go outside, go on dates, and even go to the bathroom. It hasn't been all fun and games, since he's been pranked by viewers who have called 9-1-1 using his phone number causing the police to show up at his apartment with guns drawn. However, not everyone enjoys being on camera as he has been stood up for dates. The video quality is good for what it is, and the connection is a bit wonky because it's a wireless data card (sometimes video freezes for minutes at a time), but I still find it interesting enough for those random idle periods.
PHP

Submission + - A-Z on How to Scale a Web2.0 Site

foobarf00 writes: This article shows easy steps on how to initially scale a website using tools such as tmpfs in-memory file systems, eAccelerator, Memcached, Lighttpd, Symfony, Ubuntu, client-side caching, and low-latency DNS servers. A must read for web developers and systems administrators running their own dedicated servers.
Operating Systems

Submission + - UNIX Kernel Overview

ComtributingWhimp writes: Since it was okay to frontpage a "How Processes Work" article figured I woudl submit this from a friend of mine: What is a Kernel is one of many (of varying length and quality) articles that can be found at Systhread.net. Unlike some kinda sorta writers; this one didn't stop after getting quasi-pseudo famous.

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