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Comment Licensing issues (Score 1) 331

Not going to happen. Microsoft even removed VB6 from MSDN downloads years ago citing expired licenses as a reason and said that it's ok to use it as long as you have the license and got it for an example on MSDN CD set, but no downloads any more. If they can't even keep the thing downloadable for their paying customers I bet it is going to be "a little bit" far fetched to think that they would go through the trouble of open-sourcing it.

Comment Re:Good'ol Stephen Elop (Score 1) 139

Well, then Elop failed because Microsoft did not acquire Nokia's patent portfolio (fully). They received about 8500 design patents related to phones, but the crown jewels (technology patents) are firmly still in Nokia's hands. Microsoft received a 10-year license as part of the deal, with right to renew (for more money).

For shareholders who bought Nokia for 60 € / share of course Elop was a disaster (although Nokia was already going downhill, and nobody can say for sure if they could have recovered with different strategy to their former valuation as a mobile handset company), as well as for those 10's of thousands that were laid off (it is not nice being sacked against your will even if you do get re-employed in near term future).

Comment Re:That'd be sooo Microsoft (Score 1) 149

You are not then dealing with Excel only, file systems functions and tons of other stuff people use are Windows features exposed to the VBA scripting engine through ActiveX / COM. If your macro involves CreateObject() you are quite likely using something else than just Excel features.

I've seen my fair share of very crazy stuff done from withing Excel VBA engine, including commanding AutoCAD. It can be quite powerful "scripting tool" but it really should lack "save" feature so those horrible hacks do not live on...

Comment Re:Europe as usual is in trouble? (Score 1) 879

So I'm curious how do you see a Europe in crisis?

Not the person you were replying to, and I do not agree to "Europe as usual in trouble" as a status quo, but there is a a-kind-of crisis in Europe in a same way there is a crisis in US now: The nice times of last ten - twenty years are over (in a openness sense, both the USA and Europe have had their share of financial crises, now the effects are showing, with added bonus of the de-stabilization in near-east and north Africa), in US the other presidential candidate is openly (I'm not saying seriously...) suggesting building a wall on one border of the country, in Europe those walls are already being built in some places. The refugee crisis has waken up a lot of demons in a lot of places, and it is not looking good. Not unsolvable by any means, but some people rather would like to see the situation to remain unsolved to push their agenda. The EU and especially the opinion about EU is a lot different compared to what it was like in 2006, or 1996.

Comment Re:Great (Score 1) 214

Those (on purpose) exclude the cost of OS. The first one says that "just take Windows 8.1 from machine you own" (which is just going back to upgrading your existing PC, not building new one for gaming) or "buy the key for $20 from ", the rest say that the OS is not included on purpose. The fact is that if you buy Windows officially for a barebones home-built PC it will set you back ~$80+.

Of course there is SteamOS and Linux...

Comment Re:not illegal. Different countries have different (Score 1) 106

Translation cost is not the issue here, the actual cost is the printing (more pages in more languages cost more, but then again, it also costs extra to print many kinds of different manuals). Deliberately leaving out for an example English (the US is usually not the origin country for imports) is. So:

1) Make sure you leave out English where it is not a major (first) language. Do the same for user interface. This prevents imports from cheaper countries in Asia.
2) If you want to prevent selling to neighboring countries select the languages appropriately. I have seen cases in Finland where an appliance sold in Finland includes manuals and UI translation in Finnish, Swedish, Norwegian and Danish, but the model sold in Sweden has for an example only Swedish, Danish and Norwegian or the other way around - this combined with selecting which markets you want to sell which model to you can easily create semi-artificial market segmentation.

The point with manuals is nowadays gone because nearly everything is available online, and even printed manuals are now largely universal (my latest purchase, an Onkyo home theater amplifier, had sections "US model" and "Asian model" when describing features), but sometimes manufacturers still play games with localization and target specific countries only with specific models, and buying the better price/value sister model from neighboring country may result in not getting the localization done for your country. You could argue that they are different products, but if the only difference is price, one letter in product number and you can get the translation back by flashing the "universal" firmware makes you wonder what is the real purpose of this "differentation".

Comment Re:The studios may not have a choice (Score 1) 106

"Lilyhammer" also lagged behind a long time in Finland (only first season was available) because YLE (the Finnish public broadcasting company) had bought distribution rights to it in Finland (I guess due to some partner deal with NRK, the Norwegian equivalent).

This just proves that Netflix is playing two different games to make sure that if in either one they do not have a winning hand, they still have the option to win in the other:

  First (and traditionally) they are a distributor, and their strength has been large catalog. They still try to do this, but have to fight the content owners / producers. This whole VPN / proxy busting being the example of problems they face.

Secondly they are also a producer with their own exclusive catalog (Netflix originals) and here they are playing the same game as cable companies, and as witnessed they use same tactics to sell exclusivity even to their own shows and are happy with it (they get more money!). Here their advantages beside exclusivity are ad-free shows (I wonder how long this will last, or at least they "test" ads...) and ability to watch whole seasons at your own pace (and with this they have already tested weekly episodes to keep people subscribed, example: Better call Saul at least in Finland was released one episode per week- again, I am interested to see if they move to traditional model with their A-list shows such as House of cards).

Comment Re:not illegal. Different countries have different (Score 2) 106

Companies have tried that with physical goods also - when "region locking" has not been possible manufacturers have tried all kinds of soft tricks (making sure official manuals are not available in many languages to prevent "grey imports" as they call it in one package, placing selling restrictions "suggestions" to retailers to prevent selling to exporters) and not-so soft tricks (refusing to honor warranties on products not imported via "authorized" channels per serial number etc.).

Some practices have been disbanded as being illegal from consumer protection or anti-competitive point of view, some tactics can be still used - the most common being that if use do not honor manufacturers wishes regarding what you sell (you want to import a new product from another country not yet on "official" catalog for your country) or at what prices you can lose all kinds of perks associated with "official" status and suddenly there are all kinds of difficulties getting stuff for resale for you and you have to resort to using "side channels" for all of the inventory of that brand.

Nearly all "luxury brands" from toys (Lego) to fashion (nearly all high-end clothes brands, bags and jewelry, watches) and electronics (camera manufacturers were the traditional bad guys here, I do not know what is the status nowadays with Canon and Nikon, Apple is quite "sensitive" on pricing). The goal here is the same as with TV - selling "exclusive" rights means more money for everybody because margins are higher and prices can be adjusted market by market. The producer also gets control of their brand (only available from X!). They also like to pretend this is a win for consumer (scare-ads of portraying buying from non-official sources as illegal and shady - from "Official" sources you get the best service and genuine product, guaranteed!), but ultimately losers are consumers and retailers who would like to sell as many brands as possible (like Netflix, although they also have their own exclusive production now so they are also a producer...).

Comment Re:Avast does that also (Score 1) 170

To be fair, from the summary: "The installation process is quite complicated so that they [AVG] can bypass the Chrome [Store] malware checks, which specifically tries to stop abuse of the [Chrome] Extension API."

Sound like they specifically targeted Chrome to go around those checks, but either Firefox does a better job at stopping unauthorized installs or they did not bother to do the same with Firefox.

Comment Re:Oy (Score 1) 451

(It's like antilock brakes, they increase the stopping distance for those who properly apply brakes, but reduce it for those that don't, but nowadays everyone has to adapt to a different technique that is a greater stopping distance.)

"Tekniikan maailma" which is a leading and highly respected auto/general tech magazine in Finland tested this back in the day when ABS was a new thing. Rally drivers who are by definition should have excellent driving skills and reactions time were just barely able to mach ABS in straight braking distance. When other factors such as random timing requirement (even though they knew to expect it at some time) or requirement to steer during braking to avoid collision ABS beat every rally driver.

And tech has evolved since. I really don't believe you or any other Internet Guy who thinks they can "apply brakes properly" can beat professional drivers.

Comment Re:Statists will not go quietly into the night (Score 1) 330

Insurance is mostly for the car damage (both cars) and it is required by the law.

Not true. The mandatory insurance covers also healthcare expenses. Sure, in typical setting nowadays the costs of the twisted metal are greater and few broken bones and a night in hospital is indeed covered from our tax-funded healthcare system.

BUT when someone is seriously injured, and suffers a trauma that causes disability and makes then unable to work or a need to train themselves to a new profession, our system definitely does NOT cover those, and those and funded from your insurance. And these are the big bucks, google what courts have awarded for loss of ability to work in these cases... (And if you are uninsured or there is malice the common insurance pool which pays these damages will go after you for those damages...)

Comment Re:Well, sure, but... (Score 1) 295

Companies making GMO seeds have already resorted to very slimy tactics regarding their product - even if the patents expire they can use dirty tricks like making their seed incompatible with pesticides other than their own, use licensing clauses to prevent usage of their seeds with other products, make slight modifications and patent the modification again (we have seen pharmaceutical industry doing this - sometimes succeeding, sometimes not) - so I'm not confident at all that patent expiration will solve anything.

I'm with parent - GMO is OK for me as food, I'm not afraid of it and in fact when properly used it could solve many yield problems and reduce waste / energy needed to produce food. BUT the business around GMO seed is just evil, and therefore right now GMO is not helping where help is needed the most (third world countries - in fact it can make situation there worse).

Comment Re:I never understand the point of that (Score 1) 480

This is not restricted to military. I was raised (given the basic instructions on what to do where) in 1980s and then at home and in elementary school the rules were simple:

- Man wearing hat indoors is not considered a gentleman. In classroom wearing hat was prohibited. Normally one should take hat off instantly when going indoors.
- You don't eat with hat on. Even outdoors when you are primarily eating (sitting down).
- You never, ever wear a hat to a place of worship. You also respect rules of the religion regarding clothing when visiting a church / temple of not your own religion.
- When raising a flag or singing a national anthem you take off your hat. You do this out of courtesy even when abroad and a foreign flag is raised / anthem is sung in event you are participating in.

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