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Comment Re:Can we get something like windows 10.01 10.02 (Score 2) 192

What is effectively Windows 7 SP2 is called the Convenience Rollup instead, probably because it avoids complications about extending support dates if a new Service Pack is released, and it's found as KB3125574. See my first post to this discussion for more about how to use it, including installing it without waiting an eternity for Windows Update to get its act together.

Comment Microsoft Update Catalog is my new hero (Score 5, Informative) 192

For general information, if you're installing a fresh Windows 7 now (starting from SP1, presumably) then it seems by far the fastest way to get a system reasonably well patched is to install the Convenience Rollup (KB3125574) and if necessary its prerequisite (KB3020369) from the Microsoft Update Catalog. That immediately brings you up to somewhere around April 2016 in terms of patch level, and you can download the required files quickly from the Catalog site and then install them locally using WUSA without waiting around for hours while Windows Update does whatever its current broken mess needs to do now. The most recent time I did this was just a few days ago, and after doing that it was then another couple of hours for Windows Update to find the rest and install the remaining security updates, but at least it could be done in an afternoon instead of leaving the new PC overnight and hoping it might have found something by the morning. Spybot Anti-Beacon or some similar tool can still turn off the various telemetry junk that you can't now individually because it's all bundled into the CR update.

Incidentally, for those who would prefer to keep security patching their existing Windows 7 systems but not get anything else, there are reportedly (direct from a Microsoft source) going to be monthly security-only bundles as well, but you'll have to get those from Microsoft Update Catalog manually as well, they won't be advertised or pushed out through Windows Update. So it looks like the new SOP is to turn off Windows Update entirely (as a bonus, you get back that CPU core that's been sitting at 100% running the svchost.exe process containing the Windows Update service for the last few months) and instead just go along and manually download the security bundle each month to install locally.

Of course, Microsoft Update Catalog requires Internet Explorer 6.0 or later and won't run with any of the other modern browsers, but I'll live with using IE to access it if it means I get security-patched but otherwise minimally screwed up Windows 7 machines for another 3 years.

Also, it's been confirmed that this policy will apply to all editions of Windows 7. It's not an Enterprise-only feature and doesn't require the use of WSUS etc. Let's hope they stick to their word on this one.

Comment And the concept of extradition is well established (Score 1) 125

Happens all the time. If a person commits a crime against country A and they are in country B, country A may well ask country B to hand them over. If it happens or the details of it vary based off of the specific countries and their treaties, called extradition treaties. For example the US and North Korea? Ya not happening. There are no extradition treaties between those two, and the governments hate each other. so nobody is getting handed over. However EU nations? Extremely strong extradition treaties. If you commit a crime against Germany from France, Germany will have France arrest you and ship you over to stand trial.

The majority of nations have extradition treaties of some level with each other since they don't want criminals able to run off and hide from justice. It has been a thing for a long time.

Comment Re:Already compensated (Score 1) 173

Microsoft have been fined roughly $2B in Europe for various antitrust-related violations, as well as ultimately being forced to change their software. As far as I'm aware, they are still the recipient of the largest fine of that nature in history.

In the US, at one stage a court even ruled that Microsoft should be broken up because of the nature of their software bundling arrangements, though that was subsequently overturned on appeal.

Numerous sources can be yours for the price of entering "Microsoft antitrust" into the search engine of your choice.

Education

Poor Scientific Research Is Disproportionately Rewarded (economist.com) 79

A new study calculates a low probability that real effects are actually being detected in psychology, neuroscience and medicine research paper -- and then explains why. Slashdot reader ananyo writes: The average statistical power of papers culled from 44 reviews published between 1960 and 2011 was about 24%. The authors built an evolutionary computer model to suggest why and show that poor methods that get "results" will inevitably prosper. They also show that replication efforts cannot stop the degradation of the scientific record as long as science continues to reward the volume of a researcher's publications -- rather than their quality.
The article notes that in a 2015 sample of 100 psychological studies, only 36% of the results could actually be reproduced. Yet the researchers conclude that in the Darwin-esque hunt for funding, "top-performing laboratories will always be those who are able to cut corners." And the article's larger argument is until universities stop rewarding bad science, even subsequent attempts to invalidate those bogus results will be "incapable of correcting the situation no matter how rigorously it is pursued."

Comment Democrats Desperate to Hide Clinton-Putin Ties (Score 3, Informative) 173

One of which is the fact that Tony Podesta, a big Hillary bundler and brother of John Podesta, her campaign manager, is registered lobbyist for Putin's bank:

The revelations of the so-called Panama Papers that are roiling the world’s political and financial elites this week include important facts about Team Clinton. This unprecedented trove of documents purloined from a shady Panama law firm that arranged tax havens, and perhaps money laundering, for the globe’s super-rich includes juicy insights into how Russia’s elite hides its ill-gotten wealth.

        Almost lost among the many revelations is the fact that Russia’s biggest bank uses The Podesta Group as its lobbyist in Washington, D.C. Though hardly a household name, this firm is well known inside the Beltway, not least because its CEO is Tony Podesta, one of the best-connected Democratic machers in the country. He founded the firm in 1998 with his brother John, formerly chief of staff to President Bill Clinton, then counselor to President Barack Obama, Mr. Podesta is the very definition of a Democratic insider. Outsiders engage the Podestas and their well-connected lobbying firm to improve their image and get access to Democratic bigwigs.

        Which is exactly what Sberbank, Russia’s biggest financial institution, did this spring. As reported at the end of March, the Podesta Group registered with the U.S. Government as a lobbyist for Sberbank, as required by law, naming three Podesta Group staffers: Tony Podesta plus Stephen Rademaker and David Adams, the last two former assistant secretaries of state. It should be noted that Tony Podesta is a big-money bundler for the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign while his brother John is the chairman of that campaign, the chief architect of her plans to take the White House this November.

        Sberbank (Savings Bank in Russian) engaged the Podesta Group to help its public image—leading Moscow financial institutions not exactly being known for their propriety and wholesomeness—and specifically to help lift some of the pain of sanctions placed on Russia in the aftermath of the Kremlin’s aggression against Ukraine, which has caused real pain to the country’s hard-hit financial sector.

        It’s hardly surprising that Sberbank sought the help of Democratic insiders like the Podesta Group to aid them in this difficult hour, since they clearly understand how American politics work. The question is why the Podesta Group took Sberbank’s money. That financial institution isn’t exactly hiding in the shadows—it’s the biggest bank in Russia, and its reputation leaves a lot to be desired. Nobody acquainted with Russian finance was surprised that Sberbank wound up in the Panama Papers.

        though Sberbank has its origins in the nineteenth century, it was functionally reborn after the Soviet collapse, and it the 1990s it grew to be the dominant bank in the country, today controlling nearly 30 percent of Russia’s aggregate banking assets and employing a quarter-million people. The majority stockholder in Sberbank is Russia’s Central Bank. In other words, Sberbank is functionally an arm of the Kremlin, although it’s ostensibly a private institution.

Snip.

John and Tony Podesta aren’t fooling anyone with this ruse. They are lobbyists for Vladimir Putin’s personal bank of choice, an arm of his Kremlin and its intelligence services. Since the brothers Podesta are presumably destined for very high-level White House jobs next January if the Democrats triumph in November at the polls, their relationship with Sberbank is something they—and Hillary Clinton—need to explain to the public.

And this is just one of many Clinton ties to Putin...

Comment Re:The beatings will continue until morale improve (Score 1) 133

Yes, in some places that is true, but I am talking here about "minor" copyright infringement. If stealing a $1 chocolate bar is criminal theft, I'm suggesting (as a basis for discussion) that perhaps downloading a movie instead of buying a $10 DVD should be criminal copyright infringement, and therefore something that public authorities are responsible for policing in the same way that they would prosecute someone caught stealing a chocolate bar from a store.

Comment Re:Already compensated (Score 1) 173

You can't force a company to meet your standards unless you can get a court verdict against them, and that's already been tried with Microsoft and it failed.

Erm... Say what? For one thing, Microsoft has lost some of the biggest lawsuits and been subject to some of the most severe penalties in the modern corporate tech sector. For another thing, the issues around their direction with Windows 10 haven't been litigated yet, and the kind of consumer advocacy we're discussing in this very thread is often how that process starts.

Comment Re:Sounds good (Score 1) 133

OK, I'll take you at your word and ask you this, then: why is insider trading considered a bad thing? It's only acting rationally based on true facts. Regardless of the outcome for the inside trader, no other investor was ever guaranteed any particular value for the shares they hold. The business itself is still there and has still issued the same number of shares. So why has anyone lost out in insider trading, and why does the law prohibit it, in your view?

Comment Re:Already compensated (Score 1) 173

So if you want to sit around and whine about how bad MS is, go ahead, but it isn't productive and it's annoying.

Strange that you're still posting in this discussion if you find it so annoying. Also strange that you seem to equate everyone's comments here with mere whining, when at least the people I've been reading and debating with seem to be more interested in talking about actions that might usefully be taken in the real world.

The only rational solution, if you don't like the way they're treating you, is to vote with your feet.

Well, no, we could also raise awareness of the issues to put pressure on them to change their behaviour, and if that doesn't work, we could take legal action on various grounds, which is customarily how one enforces one's rights against a business that is misbehaving and refuses to do better.

or 2) you can find a better vendor.

The trouble is, if all anyone ever does it post online about how they'll take their business elsewhere, that doesn't magically create any better vendors to move to. It takes competition in the market place to do that, and part of that competition comes from holding vendors to the standards we require of them in terms of treating their customers fairly and punishing those that do not meet those standards.

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