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Google Chrome 27 Is Out: 5% Faster Page Loads

Anpheus Re:5% (195 comments)

Latency. The world isn't getting any smaller.

about a year ago
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SSD Prices Fall Dramatically In 2012 But Increase In Q4

Anpheus Re:yea they fell by 44% (77 comments)

This is just uninformed. Not all drives use TLC and most drives released in 2012 do not. Some drives did, like the Samsung 840, but the 840 Pro for example did not, nor did the OCZ Vector, etc.

Anyway, the case has always been that if you're not sure about the reliability of your disks: don't just use one! Software RAID solves the issue of TRIM support and you shouldn't be using parity on SSD drives anyway (due to garbage collection issues) so throw it in a RAID1 or RAID10 and build an even more reliable disk.

And if you're on a laptop that can only hold one internal disk and you still feel unsafe with just one disk: why aren't you using some sort of network based or "cloud" backed storage to ensure you have copies of your most valuable data? Why aren't you making backups?

Seriously, these problems didn't just up and appear with the invention of SSDs. It's not like we had a 30 year golden age in which no hard drive ever failed or there weren't bad runs of drives (*cough*DeskStar*cough*) that caught users by surprise. The solution has been and always will be: use RAID for redundancy, make backups for recovery.

about a year and a half ago
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Microsoft To Apple: Don't Take Your Normal 30% Cut of Office For iOS

Anpheus Re:This is not about app purchases... (724 comments)

It really does bother me that anyone could think it's fair that if Dropbox is operating on low margin to compete with other "cloud storage" vendors, that in order to compete with iCloud in a fair way on an iOS device and offer the ability to actually purchase storage via their application, they'd have to raise their rates 42%.

Say 10,000 people do this. You might say Dropbox comes out 10,000 customers ahead, that's $100,000 a year with the yearly plan. But, no, actually they will be charging customers $142,000, of which $42,000 will go to Apple.

Apple now has $42,000 to reduce the cost of the services they provide, to operate them at a loss, to consider it "part of the platform", or just use as toilet paper. What value did Apple provide to Dropbox for the hefty price aside from making it harder to compete with Apple? What did Dropbox get out of this deal? Some more revenue, sure, and if 10,000 people chose to buy it at $142/year clearly a market exists at that price, but maybe 20,000 people would do it at $100/year - we can't say for certain.

iCloud isn't even price-competitive with Dropbox, but they don't have to be, because they've excluded everyone else on the platform. And if anyone decides to try to offer the ability to pay for a competing product on iOS, they have to pay the tax. And every single time someone does that, Apple gets their cut and can use it to reduce their own prices.

about a year and a half ago
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Microsoft To Apple: Don't Take Your Normal 30% Cut of Office For iOS

Anpheus Re:This is not about app purchases... (724 comments)

Is a service a physical item? Is guaranteed storage on a server in a datacenter a physical item? If Rackspace had an app, could I buy colo space without Apple taking a 30% cut? What if it was a virtual machine?

The rule is ridiculous. Many businesses operate on low margin or compete on price in a way to be competitive - Google Docs and Offie 365 both charge $50-$60 a year for highly available hosted storage, software to use it and email services that are really quite cost-competitive with running your own mail server (especially if you care about redundancy.) Of course, Apple has their own alternative to those. And cloud storage vendors are also low margin, but of course, Apple operates a competitor to DropBox, SkyDrive and Google Drive.

So here comes Apple, with their market share and their applications that compete with products by other companies, and they demand 30% of every digital good that even touches one of their applications. At one point, they even had a sort of most favored nation clause in their agreement that required developers to not factor in the "Apple tax" - so if you sold your subscription online for $10/month, you had to sell it in-app for at most $10/month. Thankfully that provision was gone after massive backlash, but the in-app purchasing tax remains.

So Microsoft could offer Office 365 through iOS, but they'd have to raise their prices 42% just to maintain their own profit margin. Same with Google Apps. Same with Dropbox. Their $10/month plan becomes a $14/month plan - and Apple would get $50 a year without providing any value whatsoever to Dropbox. It's not like that money will go to Dropbox reducing the cost of their storage online, no, it's a fee for competing with Apple pure and simple.

It's bullshit and both Google and Microsoft have made it clear that it is with their own developer agreements. Neither imposes the same burden, but Apple is swinging their marketshare around and abusing it to extract wealth. That's their prerogative, but it's clear that if Apple ever had the same marketshare in mobile that Microsoft had on the desktop, they would be a far worse dictator of the ecosystem and monopoly. Can you imagine how crippling it would be for everyone else to have to compete with Apple when their own prices would have to go up 42% just to break even - all of which goes to Apple?

about a year and a half ago
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Linux Is a Lemon On the Retina MacBook Pro

Anpheus Re:Proof at last! (780 comments)

You mean such as an off the shelf ultrabook? :D

Linux hardware support has traditionally lagged behind. It's not something that's the "fault" of open source, the Linux Foundation or anyone or anything else, though.

about 2 years ago
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Office To Become Fully Open XML Compliant (at Last)

Anpheus Re:It will save them* (110 comments)

AFAIK, there is no document standard for note-taking applications. Neither OpenOffice/LibreOffice, the Open Document Foundation, or any competitors (Google, Evernote, others?) seem to be inclined to create a standard format.

And why would they? People don't share their personal notes - if you're sharing produced documents your needs are likely better met by a collaborative document solution. Otherwise if you just want people to see your notes, save to PDF/XPS?

about 2 years ago
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Linux Is a Lemon On the Retina MacBook Pro

Anpheus Re:Proof at last! (780 comments)

More != better.

about 2 years ago
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Office To Become Fully Open XML Compliant (at Last)

Anpheus Re:It will save them* (110 comments)

I just tried opening up the most complicated template in Word 2013 that I could find (the annual report template looked pretty busy) and I threw some charts in with data and tried saving as Strict Open XML.

It saved without any prompt.

about 2 years ago
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Microsoft Drops 'Metro' Name For Windows 8 UI

Anpheus Re:isn't it ridiculous? (356 comments)

That's an interesting way of rewriting history. Longhorn was just a publicized codename, like Whistler and Blackcomb and Vienna. Some of these achieved some press notoriety because of leaked builds and forums capitalizing on the name recognition. During the long development time of Vista, for example, there were a good half dozen or so very well trafficked forums that discussed leaked builds of the unnamed next OS. Well they're not going to call the forum "Microsoft's Next Yet-To-Be-Named OS Forum." No, just "Microsoft Longhorn Forum".

Windows 8 is unique in this regard in that they only ever used the codename "Windows 8" - and boy did they use it. Even the previews of Windows Server were just called "Windows 8 Server". Thankfully they changed that, because another server product ending in an 8 would have annoyed Windows IT shops to no end. (Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2008 R2, and Windows Server 8, egad.) So the codename was the product.

You'd argue that they're rebranding the UI - but more than likely this is actually a legal issue because the "Metro" name has mindshare and for the first time since ever, I've actually seen people talking about Microsoft's user interface on my social media networks. That's a *huge* deal. No one knows what Aero is unless they're a geek, but regular people were starting to learn what Metro was, and that it's *better* than the unnamed mishmash of user interfaces that Apple has. That's beyond phenomenal in terms of marketing success, and Microsoft's legal department must have gotten a rather stiff threat over the Metro name to drop it. I would be very surprised if there weren't heated discussions between marketing and legal on whether or not it was worth fighting for.

But hey, screw Hanlon's Razor. Let's imply malice and manipulation rather than suggest it could be an honest screw-up or fault of Microsoft here. Let's assume they're out to pull the wool over everyone's eyes and shed bad press for Windows 8 by not ditching the Windows 8 name and in fact, embracing it further by calling the interface styling "Windows 8 UI-style" rather than "Metro".

Does everyone have to be a conspiracy nut on Slashdot? Sheesh.

about 2 years ago
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Feds Ban 'Buckyballs' Magnets

Anpheus Re:Here come the lawsuits... (820 comments)

My understanding is that it is different, the intestine isn't blocked, but actually ruptured because the magnets pull through it.

about 2 years ago
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In Face of Flame Malware, Microsoft Will Revamp Windows Encryption Keys

Anpheus Re:Er, export restrictions? (100 comments)

The number does indeed refer to the length of the key, RSA-1024 is a 1024 bit key, that is the key is a "1024 digit" binary number. 2048 bits will indeed be twice as long.

about 2 years ago
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In Face of Flame Malware, Microsoft Will Revamp Windows Encryption Keys

Anpheus Re:Moles at Microsoft and apple (100 comments)

The Flame certificate's key was replaced with a shorter RSA key due to bad usage of crypto by Microsoft.

The estimated computational ability to crack a 1024-bit RSA is quite large (but maybe, maybe feasible if you can devote large amounts of computational time to it.) But 2048-bit RSA? No, not unless a three letter agency has figured out a new way to factor integers.

about 2 years ago
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Microsoft: Windows 8 To RTM In August

Anpheus Re:What was the point of testing? (343 comments)

How did it make your OS worse? What did it take away other than your precious and empirically poor performing start menu? How will it change your workflow so drastically that you would call it a downgrade despite all the additional features?

about 2 years ago
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Red Hat Clarifies Doubts Over UEFI Secure Boot Solution

Anpheus Re:So where's the security? (437 comments)

You're confusing the keys that have previously been publicly available and the private keys here. Unlike the previous keys, this isn't part of a DRM scheme where the user has to be able to decrypt content and simultaneously "not have" the key to do so. DRM is fundamentally flawed in that regard, and DRM schemes are routinely broken because they cannot both obscure the content and show it to you at the same time. At some point, your computer has to possess the ability to unlock the next frame, and smart people figured out how to copy that. Ta-da, AACS key, or HDCP master key. Those weren't failures of public key cryptography, they were leaked because the universe is at odds with DRM.

What private keys of note have been hacked? Recently, a weak Microsoft intermediate certificate key was exploited to use to generate code signing certs, but that was a weak key with a poor algorithm (MD5 hashed thumbprint). Or Sony's private key for the PS3? Well, they implemented their crypto wrong, one of the supposed-to-be-random parameters was instead hardcoded as a constant. Oops.

Dell, Microsoft, the big players, they all work very hard to make sure their private keys are secure. Would you care to take a wager on whether or not the Microsoft root key will be released within the next year? (By root I mean whatever key is the common root used to sign a plurality of UEFI signed bootloaders, if they use many intermediate CAs, it would have to be whatever key is for all of those CAs. If they use one intermediary that signs a majority of the bootloaders, then it must be that one - does not have to be _the_ Microsoft key.)

more than 2 years ago
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Windows 8 Release Preview Now Available To Download

Anpheus Re:Ok, Sherlock, your mystery is not a, uh, myster (363 comments)

I'm really tired of people spreading stupidity about Win8, and the irrational fear of the future that seems to have gripped the tech rags and social sites I visit. There are legitimate concerns that Windows 8 will be a Vista style flop with changes too substantial to be readily adopted by consumers or businesses. Then there is your inanity.

I will wager you $250 (payable to charity) via longbets.org to put your money where your mouth is. The wager would be that the RTM release of Windows 8 lacks the flattened, opaque interface previewed in a screenshot in the Building Windows 8 blog post on May 18th.

Otherwise kindly shut up.

more than 2 years ago
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Linux 3.4 Released

Anpheus Re:yes but... (385 comments)

Perhaps I read this wrong, but the complaint sounds a lot like Linux developers are treating the DSDT like Microsoft developers treated HTML circa IE6. i.e.: It was coming from broken sources and the best option is to throw your hands up in the air and forego any attempt at sanely handling the results in a way consistent with expectations.

Well, that's wrong. I mean, yes, it's bad that Microsoft might have gotten everyone into the situation and we should shame them, and it would be nice if a standards body came along to force them and OEMs to be consistent here... But that is an ought, not an is.

So why is it so totally impossible to implement quirks parsing in the DSDT to emulate Windows behavior? What makes it so difficult that I have read only posts complaining about ACPI DSDTs produced by bad Microsoft software, and no posts about simply dealing with the situation for the benefit of end users?

more than 2 years ago
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Linux 3.4 Released

Anpheus Re:btrfs needed the work (385 comments)

This is a fine idea but you end up with spaghetti code, with many layers of these hooks. To support all the various features of ZFS would require a great deal of modules all hooking the API at various levels. You have to remember, a hook is essentially an INTERCAL "COME FROM" statement. It's a goto on adderall.

more than 2 years ago
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Judge to Oracle: A High Schooler Could Write rangeCheck

Anpheus Re:A high schooler? (478 comments)

On the contrary, they could be negatively affected if all those proprietary languages which are locking them in cannot be re-implemented under the force of law. Those proprietary languages right now have to stay competitive knowing that high prices would encourage an alternative to enter the market. To put it another way, if Microsoft doubled the price of Windows, they might retain enough users to make more money, but they'd also risk a flight to WINE, and I guarantee you a lot of those potential customers, particularly large businesses, would look at moving away from a dependency on Win32/Windows. Now imagine if Microsoft didn't have to worry about the competitive pressure of WINE, and no one else could legally duplicate Win32?

Now, of course, Microsoft has other competitive pressures, and their price choice is probably not dominated by the potential for competition, but for niche programming languages and environments, I would guess they are. My friend, an economics major, was faced with the potential of having to spend $500 for a single user license for some very niche regression analysis software that had a particular API and programming language. If they can get away with charging college students and academics $500, they must not be overly concerned with competition. A ruling on the copyrightability of APIs in favor of Oracle would make it so they wouldn't have to worry about any competitors claiming "compatibility" with their software.

more than 2 years ago
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Microsoft's Hotmail Challenge Backfires

Anpheus Re:that will be a death note to enterprise use (453 comments)

That's irrelevant though, and you're just picking a fight. I was responding to Joe_Dragon's completely inane objection to Windows 8 from a business standpoint, see his title: "that will be a death note to enterprise use". No, it won't be, and I explained why.

Do you want to engage on a debate on Windows Live logins as well? Because you should know before you start that the Windows Live login has minimum security requirements, doesn't appear to store the Windows Live password locally, and appears to follow some pretty damn good security practices. Now, I haven't fully verified all of these claims, but the login process for Windows Live login appears to use local passwords and certificates to verify the local account password against The Cloud(tm) when available. This is actually an astoundingly good process, as I don't think the hash of the Windows Live password is ever stored on the computer, rather, it can be used to access the local password, but I don't think physical access to a Windows 8 machine can possibly give you access to a user's Windows Live credentials. You can only gain access to local, unencrypted data.

There are bits of this I haven't verified, but are based off hunches of exploring the system and poking and prodding it. I haven't disassembled the login routines to verify what I think is happening is the actual process, but it appears that Microsoft has very much followed good security practices here. I was extremely impressed to notice that enabling Windows Live login merely downloads a certificate to the user's local certificate store (encrypted by a local password) and that other mechanisms appear to be in place to mitigate security risks.

more than 2 years ago

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