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Comments

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How Our Botched Understanding of "Science" Ruins Everything

PoliTech Re:you end up with "established science" (795 comments)

But ... to loosely quote Klavan (a knuckledragger that we should hate) The debate is over! The science is settled! Any other point of view in this day and age is hateful. The time for talking is past. The experts have reached a consensus. We’ve come too far to go back now. The people have decided. The toothpaste is out of the tube. We’re not going to return to the bad old days. Sure, there are some who insist on being anti-science. There are people who are still clinging to their Bibles and their guns. Don’t they know this is the 21st century? If you disagree, well, you are not welcome here. We’ll sue. We’ll boycott. We’ll get you fired. We’ll revoke your invitation to speak. So get on the bandwagon. Fall in line. The debate is over. It’s over! O for o. Ver for ver. Over. The future does not belong to those who have any other point of view.

about 2 months ago
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AT&T Says 10Mbps Is Too Fast For "Broadband," 4Mbps Is Enough

PoliTech And this is why I suffer the indignity of Comcast (533 comments)

I'm lucky, I have two choices for Broadband in my area, AT&T which delivers 6 mbps service (with an actual throughput of 4.2 mbps) and I can get Comcast service which delivers 50 mbps service with an actual throughput of 70 mbps ... though service fails intermittently (outages haven't been too bad for the last few months ... knocking on wood as I type that). Both cost about the same monthly. So I will continue to hold my AT&T stock because of the obvious profit margin, but I will buy Comcast service for my household. I have AT&T VOIP landlines so I also pay the extra to have the AT&T DSL (no U-Verse for us) as a backup for those Comcast outages.

about 2 months ago
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Gaza's Only Power Plant Knocked Offline

PoliTech Re: Nuke those terrorists (868 comments)

I'n not the one who left you looking "like some Palestinian-supporter", you took care of that nicely on your own. I don't really take a side in any war in the middle east, as I have been on the planet long enough to know better (Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, etc).

My point is that Hamas has been extremely aggressive in this go-round and has targeted civilian populations both for attacks as well as retaliations. Hamas is actually proud of the civilian death toll. For example today on Hamas TV: Dead Gaza civilians privileged to have died this way (Warning Graphic) https://www.youtube.com/watch?... Here is another example, Hamas members brutally beating civilians of Gaza who leave their homes following IDF warnings (Warning Graphic) https://www.youtube.com/watch?... Hamas sucks, there is no way around it, they are not the "good guys".

On the other hand Israel's destroying the only power plant in Gaza can in no way be considered legitimate unless there was a tunnel beneath it.

The idea that anyone there will ever set "aside generations of prejudices to actually put this shit behind us and move forward into a new era of peace" is a nice dream. Ask Anwar Sadat how that works out.

about 4 months ago
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Gaza's Only Power Plant Knocked Offline

PoliTech Re: Nuke those terrorists (868 comments)

Convenient that you don't count prior years ... Since 2001, Palestinian militants have launched thousands of rocket and mortar attacks on Israel from the Gaza Strip. Hamas and other Palestinian armed groups have frequently violated international laws of war by firing rockets indiscriminately from within civilian populated areas into civilian populated areas. They are proud of that fact and regularly take credit publicly for the attacks.

Did you really think the rocket attacks started this year? I only linked to the latest year's worth of data, but in that link the first line contains this link: Since 2001, Palestinian militants have launched thousands of rocket and mortar attacks on Israel from the Gaza Strip. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/P...

Hamas is so proud of their rockets that they unveiled a monument to them this year. https://ph.news.yahoo.com/vide...

Either you are being deliberately obtuse or you are simply sowing disinformation. Either way I'm certainly wasting my time engaging you in any further discussion regarding this topic.

about 4 months ago
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Gaza's Only Power Plant Knocked Offline

PoliTech Re:Radicalization (868 comments)

"searched and berated" The same thing occurs out on the streets of New York, Chicago and Los Angeles every single day. Yet I don't see any rockets flying from Hyde Park into the Loop.

about 4 months ago
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Factory-In-a-Day Project Aims To Deploy Work-Ready Robots Within 24 Hours

PoliTech Re:Sir, McDonalds just called (157 comments)

$15/hour for burger flipping is a good way to get a $10.00 burger. The guy down the street with the Burger Makin Robot is still selling $5.00 burgers.

So in the end ... Demanding $15/hour for burger flipping is a good way to get $0/hour.

about a year ago
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Shutdown Cost the US Economy $24 Billion

PoliTech Re:The govenment should just double spending. (767 comments)

Well we can control costs another way ...

Because now it's in all of our own best interests to nag, cajole, and browbeat those who take unnecessary health risks. I don't just mean smokers. Eat too much? You need counseling and mayhaps a fine. Extreme sports injury? Sorry sky-diving, rock climbing, long distance running, swimming in the ocean, bicycling, hiking, camping ... all much too risky ... and you should be fined if caught participating in them without that extra "Extreme Sports Insurance". There oughta be a law!

The DEM/PUB hype machine will be happy to step up, pretend to argue about what the penalties and restrictions should be, performing yet another "Good Cop Bad Cop" routine for the TV cameras, to convince us that all we need is to pass this one small additional law, and give them that much more power.

Rince Lather Repeat

about a year ago
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Shuttleworth: Apple Will Merge Mac and iPhone

PoliTech Re:Next generation of the iWatch capability? (414 comments)

" Apple/Samsung/ Apple's iWatch is as real a product as" -- "the iPhone and the MacBook Air" convergence device. Isn't the whole discussion here about a speculative product?

about a year ago
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Shuttleworth: Apple Will Merge Mac and iPhone

PoliTech Re:Next generation of the iWatch capability? (414 comments)

heh, indeed, however this year we see some of the other tablet offerings taking just one more bite (Android), or a nibble (Kindle), sometimes just a crumb (Win8).

Apple tablet market share last year, nearly 60 percent ... this year about 50 percent. Unless the iPad 5 has some stellar sales numbers this month an beyond, it looks like the market share pie consists of less and less apple and a lot more filler and crust.

I do love pie

about a year ago
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Shuttleworth: Apple Will Merge Mac and iPhone

PoliTech Re:Next generation of the iWatch capability? (414 comments)

Whatever they are working on, they are working on it without Steve Jobs (the iWatch moniker was the in the parent's headline so you may want to take that up with Iw54) . I hate the idea of Apple going to the dogs as much as anyone. But I certainly remember Apple stock prices in the 90's. Until Apple proves that they can continue to innovate without Steve Jobs, IMHO we should look at their current leadership's design and planning ability with a jaundiced eye.

about a year ago
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Shuttleworth: Apple Will Merge Mac and iPhone

PoliTech Re:Next generation of the iWatch capability? (414 comments)

You must be pretty young ... or old ... to not know about Apple in the 1990's. A larger bite of market share does not necessarily compute to "Catching Apple" but since you brought it up, my Apple Copland OS is pretty bad ass!

about a year ago
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Shuttleworth: Apple Will Merge Mac and iPhone

PoliTech Re:Next generation of the iWatch capability? (414 comments)

It's neither, it's desperation. The announcement comes a day or two after MS announced (rumored/leaked whatever) that the Win Phone 8 OS is going to be ported to the small tablet form factor (7 to 9 inch). While Apple wastes time on the Dick Tracy watch wanna-be , MS is racing with Google in attempting to take a larger bite of tablet market share pie.

I love pie

about a year ago
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The Memo That Spawned Microsoft Research

PoliTech Re:The future of Microsoft now in question ... Huh (148 comments)

Back in my cave in Oct 1993 the MS stock price was $2.68 Today in my cave the Oct 2013 MS stock price: 33.28 This year alone MS's stock price as gone up more than six dollars.

about a year ago
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Bennett Haselton's Response To That "Don't Talk to Cops" Video

PoliTech Re:Shoot first (871 comments)

"Finally, are the police really that corrupt and/or stupid?" Yes, and for anyone who says that corrupt and/or stupid cops are a small minority, remember that the so-called "Honest" cops know about that corrupt and/or stupid cop and will almost always provide cover for him/her. Complicit and accessory. It doesn't surprise me one bit that a member of the police would advise people to ignore their fifth amendment rights. It does surprise me that this fascist nonsense was posted as a serious article on /. of all places. Parent modded down as troll should be corrected. Its not like there aren't constant reports and videos of cops abusing their authority.

about a year ago
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BlackBerry Will Sell Itself For $4.7 Billion

PoliTech Re:Prediction: (149 comments)

Scroll down the page to the Mobile Phone numbers.

about a year ago

Submissions

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Healthcare.gov Website Violates Open Source Licensing Agreement

PoliTech PoliTech writes  |  about a year ago

PoliTech (998983) writes "

The latest indication of the haphazard way in which Healthcare.gov was developed is the uncredited use of a copyrighted web script for a data function used by the site, a violation of the licensing agreement for the software.

The script in question is called DataTables, a very long and complex piece of website software used for formatting and presenting data. DataTables was developed by a British company called SpryMedia which licenses the open-source software freely to anyone who complies with the licensing agreement.

... a cursory comparison of the two scripts removes any doubt that the source for the script used at Healthcare.gov is indeed the SpryMedia script. The Healthcare.gov version even retained easily identifiable comments by the script's author ...

"

Link to Original Source
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Was Megaupload Targeted Because Of Its Upcoming Me

PoliTech PoliTech writes  |  more than 2 years ago

PoliTech writes "Matt Burns at TechCrunch voices his suspicions that Megaupload may have been taken down because it was preparing to launch Megabox, a service that would have competed directly and legally with the RIAA record companies.

[Kim] Dotcom described Megabox as Megaupload’s iTunes competitor, which would even eventually offer free premium movies via Megamovie, a site set to launch in 2012. This service would take Megaupload from being just a digital locker site to a full-fledged player in the digital content game.

Will Collier opines that

Copyright protection is a legitimate problem in the digital age, but if the speculation here turns out to be accurate, the Justice Department has been used to facilitate the crib death of a legal competitor to the RIAA. If that pans out, we've got a much bigger problem than piracy to worry about.

"

Link to Original Source
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US court rules against FCC on `net neutrality'

PoliTech PoliTech writes  |  more than 4 years ago

PoliTech (998983) writes ""A federal appeals court ruled Tuesday that the Federal Communications Commission lacks the authority to require broadband providers to give equal treatment to all Internet traffic flowing over their networks.""
Link to Original Source
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Library of Congress Photos Now on Flickr

PoliTech PoliTech writes  |  more than 6 years ago

PoliTech writes "Offering historical photograph collections through Flickr gives the Library of Congress a welcome opportunity to share some of our most popular images with a new visual community. We invite you to tag and comment on the photos, and we also welcome identifying information — many of these old photos came to us with scanty descriptions! To view the photos on Flickr, go to: http://www.flickr.com/photos/Library_of_Congress. You do not need a Flickr account to view the images; you would need to sign up for a free account to add comments or tags."
Link to Original Source
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Senate Report Debunks AGW "Consensus"

PoliTech PoliTech writes  |  more than 6 years ago

PoliTech writes "
U.S. Senate Report: Over 400 Prominent Scientists Disputed Man-Made Global Warming Claims in 2007

Over 400 prominent scientists from more than two dozen countries recently voiced significant objections to major aspects of the so-called "consensus" on man-made global warming. These scientists, many of whom are current and former participants in the UN IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change), criticized the climate claims made by the UN IPCC and former Vice President Al Gore.

This blockbuster Senate report lists the scientists by name, country of residence, and academic/institutional affiliation. It also features their own words, biographies, and weblinks to their peer reviewed studies and original source materials as gathered from public statements, various news outlets, and websites in 2007. This new consensus busters report is poised to redefine the debate.

Many of the scientists featured in this report consistently stated that numerous colleagues shared their views, but they will not speak out publicly for fear of retribution. Atmospheric scientist Dr. Nathan Paldor, Professor of Dynamical Meteorology and Physical Oceanography at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, author of almost 70 peer-reviewed studies, explains how many of his fellow scientists have been intimidated.

This new report details how teams of international scientists are dissenting from the UN IPCCs view of climate science. In such nations as Germany, Brazil, the Netherlands, Russia, New Zealand and France, scientists banded together in 2007 to oppose climate alarmism.
"

Link to Original Source
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Wal-Mart forcing Warner & Sony BMG to provide

PoliTech PoliTech writes  |  more than 6 years ago

PoliTech writes "Acording to Billboard, Wal-Mart is alerting WMG and Sony BMG that it will pull their music files in the Windows Media Audio format from walmart.com some time between mid-December and mid-January, if the labels haven't yet provided the music in MP3 format."
Link to Original Source
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Leopard Already Hacked to Run on PC Hardware

PoliTech PoliTech writes  |  about 7 years ago

PoliTech writes "The cat and mouse game between hackers and Apple takes another move, with news that Apple's new Leopard operating system has already been successfully installed on Windows PCs. The OSx86 Scene forum has released details of how Windows users can migrate to Apple's new OS, without investing in new hardware — even though installing Leopard on an PC may be counter to Apple's terms and conditions. The forum is offering full instructions on how to install the system, including screenshots of the installation process. Not all the features of Leopard function with the patch — Wi-Fi, support, for example, is reportedly inoperable. Historically, Apple's likely next move will be to track down and act against those behind the hack."
Link to Original Source
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Sun to sell Windows Server boxes

PoliTech PoliTech writes  |  more than 7 years ago

PoliTech writes "ars technica reports, "In a rather stunning bit of news, Microsoft and Sun announced at a press conference that Sun has signed up to become a Windows Server Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM), selling Sun x64-based servers that come bundled with Microsoft Windows Server 2003. Sun has released a chart showing which hardware will be ready for the Windows operating system, and the company is expected to ship the first bundled systems within 90 days.""
Link to Original Source
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PoliTech PoliTech writes  |  more than 7 years ago

PoliTech writes "Nanomaterials Produce Heterogeneous Three- Dimensional Electronics ... Researchers at the Frederick Seitz Materials Research Laboratory of the University of Illinois have have developed a simple approach to combine disparate types of semiconductor devices into three dimensional, heterogeneously integrated (HGI) electronic systems ... The process starts with the synthesis of semiconductor nanomaterials, in the form of micro and nanoscale ribbons, wires, tubes and bars, on specialized growth substrates. Repeated application of a printing technique that uses soft, elastomeric "stamps" with these nanomaterials as solid "inks" followed by device integration yields heterogeneously integrated electronics that incorporate any combination of these or other semiconductor nanomaterials on virtually any type of device substrate, ranging from rigid inorganic materials to flexible plastics. Circuits built in this way offer electrical and mechanical (e.g., bendability) attributes that would be impossible to achieve using conventional, wafer-based approaches to electronics ... A key feature of the strategy is that it occurs at room temperature, thereby enabling the electronics to be placed on unconventional substrates such as thin sheets of plastic."

Journals

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Microsoft Technical Account Manager nightmare

PoliTech PoliTech writes  |  more than 4 years ago

I just had a call from our Microsoft Technical Account Manager and after ten minutes or so of him talking about his tax problems, we finally get around to talking about my MSI and Microsoft Group Policy problem with the new 64 bit GPMC on 64 bit Windows 7 and 64 bit Windows Server R2. (Bugs be tharrrr)

I had opened a support ticket a couple of weeks back, which costs my company money, and I had already asked him to close the ticket because I couldn't get any help from MS for weeks, and I can always just use the 32 bit GPMC which doesn't have the problems I've been experiencing with delivering software to 32 bit clients from the 64 bit GPMC.

All the MS support people did was point fingers at other MS departments, and then transfer my call to those departments ... so I repeatedly got the privilege of staying on hold again and again and again ... it was nuts!

He starts asking about the MS Support ticket (which should already be closed ... but naturally it isn't and so MS is still charging my company ... per minute ... for this open ticket) and as he talks it becomes more than evident that he obviously has misunderstood the problem entirely ... I mean he's not even close ... and we have talked about this at length already once before. After a few minutes of listening to his nonsense explanation of what he thinks the problem is, I told him that he has it completely wrong.

He then asks for me to explain the problem to him.

So I explain all of the technical details of the issue to him in minute detail ... how to reproduce it ... how the various MS Tech specialists had also reproduced it ... and even after a complete logical rational explanation ... he says that he still doesn't understand what my issue is.

So I mention to him that if he can't understand the MSI and GPO technical issues at hand, he is probably not qualified to give me a solution and I ask him if he could try to find a qualified resource who can help him and get them on the call?

Well that just pissed him off at me, and said that I was just being unprofessional with him, (yea ... after he wasted my time talking about his problems with his personal taxes and the IRS . I'm the one who is not being professional ... okay fine). He then tells me that basically the issue is my problem not his. (Yea, while my company pays for the "support" call)

So at this point I tell him that the entire call has become counterproductive and I ask him to please only call my boss if he needs to contact my companies department directly, and to please no longer call me directly from now on. (I'm not a manager nor do I wish to be a manager, and this guy should only be calling the manager anyhoo)

We hang up and then a few minutes later my boss gets a call from this MS douche nozzle complaining about me being so mean to him on the phone. Now I get to deal with that, yay!

And my company pays mountains of dollars per year for this crap.
Microsoft support soooo sucks ... it defies the imagination that their support can actually be getting any worse than it was ... but it is.

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I had the neatest thing happen on the train ride home

PoliTech PoliTech writes  |  more than 4 years ago

We had to work a bit late and my boss and I ended up on the 9:40pm train. We got there just in the nick of time.

Now it's the late train and that means its the "milk run", with the train stopping at every stop. (express trains during rush hour help make getting to and from downtown a lot less stressful and a little cheaper than driving, but I digress)

An extra twenty minutes of train ride, great!

So at the second stop two very inebriated gentlemen get on the train and proceed to "Loud talk" their drunken blather on the train. (train etiquette is to be a quiet as possible, think library) After a minute or five of having the honor of perceiving the dulcet sounds of their very intelligent discourse the conductor arrives to punch their tickets.

Now old drunk number one has a "ten ride" ticket with one punch left on it ... just enough to get him to his stop. However, idiot number two starts the old "panhandler" bit, telling the conductor he has no cash, ... let him have a ride ... Just this once ... I have to get where I'm going ... blah blah blah. This goes on as the conductor leads the gentleman to the vestibule.

After a bit of back and forth between them, the conductor tells the intoxicated chap that he will have to debark at the next stop. (No one rides free except for a few frailies, and most of them are too ashamed to use the free pass and they buy a ticket anyhoo ... and I say good for them! For not making me pay for part of their ride, but again I digress)

Then as if by magic our inebriated friend produced a handful of cash! My goodness!!! Why he has plenty of money to pay his fare. So he hands the conductor some money and blathers semi-incoherently that he just '"forgott" about the cash!

Now the conductor has to sell you a ticket. (this is a kind of old fashioned thing where the conductor punches the bits on the ticket that record the destination and price). He then gives the passenger a copy and he keeps a copy for the train company.

Evidentially our drunk buddy has never ridden the commuter train before and he starts yelling at the conductor about standing over him and being threatening or some such blather. The conductor (who you can just tell has had about enough of this guy) just keeps punching his ticket and gives our pal his copy.

Well now ... our itinerant genius calculates that it's a good idea to crumple up the ticket and throw it at the conductors face. (and yea he missed). So the paper is sitting at the conductors foot ... Drunk number one (who obviously has ridden the train a time or two) jumps down and picks it up!

Drunk number one then starts to try to smooth the crumpled paper out while blithering that it wasn't littering! (another no-no) Not litter! No! No! No! ... not at all ... and wow did the conductor know that even though the train conductor doesn't take credit cards (yea he asked) drunk number one has heard of just such a gadget ... blah blah ... really a valiant effort.

But the conductor has had enough and he tells our drunk friend passenger number two that the next stop is his last stop. And blasted passenger number one gets to accompany him.

Now they get mad

Drunk number one keeps on with "it wasn't littering" bit, wile drunk number two has the brilliant insight that the conductor was "eyeballing" him in the vestibule! A capitol offense if there ever was one!

The conductor tells him that if he doesn't want to get off the train, the cops will be happy to help him decide to do just that. Well drunk number two knows when he's being insulted, and he tells the conductor to go ahead and call the cops, he paid his ticket.

We get down two stops and once there the train waits ... and waits ... for the cops ... while the drunks yell to each other about what an asshole the conductor was blah blah.

I tried to take a video and that made a few passengers laugh, (it was getting kind of tense). My phone sucks, so no video sorry. But it did make some of the paying passengers smile if nothing else.

So the cops come on-board and after a brief discussion our two inebriated acquaintances debarked and were last seen standing on the train platform in the freezing rain arguing with a cop. (Fat lot of good that was going do, but I did get a laugh).

So my 45 minute train ride took about an hour and twenty, but it was entertaining.

I wish Illinois had concealed carry.

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EA "Spore" forum mod confirms Spore kill switch?

PoliTech PoliTech writes  |  more than 6 years ago

An Electronic Arts "Spore" forum moderator threatens to disable the entire game for a user's simply having asked about SecuROM in EA's forums. This would seem to confirm that Spore does in fact have a kill switch built in, which is something that the EA apologists have continually dismissed.

"SecuROM as [sic] been discussed and discussed so much and it causes arguments in threads. If you want to talk about DRM SecuROM then please use another fansite forum. If there is any change you will be able to read it on the official Spore site.

Please do not continue to post theses [sic] thread or you [sic] account may be at risk of banning which in some cases would mean you would need to buy a new copy to play Spore."(emphasis mine)

The admission of the existence of some type of "Kill Switch" is very interesting. EA seems to say that you must conform your speech to only what they want you to say ... or else.

Quite a revelation!

I'd love to see them do it actually, as it would place an exclamation point onto the Spore class action suit that we talked about recently. Not only mislabeling, deceitful practices and hidden malware, but threats, intimidation and possibly a total loss of the use of the game if you say something that may irritate EA.

Over at the Spore forum, it seems like anything even remotely speaking ill of the game is now immediately locked, not just discussion of DRM. Look here and here and here and here.

Anything negative about the game is being locked and/or tossed.

Wow ... way to stay classy EA!

Update: It looks like some of those locked threads have now been flushed down the memory hole entirely!

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MS Blog Announces Windows 7 Plans for New and Improved Bloat

PoliTech PoliTech writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Talk about not learning from one's mistakes...

The Windows 7 Team

Theres a lot to building an org structure for a large team, but the most important part is planning the work of the team. This planning is integral to realizing our goal of improving the overall consistency and togetherness for Windows 7. So rather than think of one big org, or two teams, we say that the Windows 7 engineering team is made up of about 25 different feature teams.

In general a feature team encompasses ownership of combination of architectural components and scenarios across Windows. Feature is always a tricky word since some folks think of feature as one element in the user-interface and others think of the feature as a traditional architectural component (say TCP/IP). Our approach is to balance across scenarios and architecture such that we have the right level of end-to-end coverage and the right parts of the architecture. One thing we do try to avoid is separating the plumbing from the user interface so that teams do have end-to-end ownership of work (as an example of that, Find and Organize builds both the indexer and the user interface for search). Some of the main feature teams for Windows 7 include (alphabetically):

Applets and Gadgets
Assistance and Support Technologies
Core User Experience
Customer Engineering and Telemetry
Deployment and Component Platform
Desktop Graphics
Devices and Media
Devices and Storage
Documents and Printing
Engineering System and Tools
File System
Find and Organize
Fundamentals
Internet Explorer (including IE 8 down-level)
International
Kernel & VM
Media Center
Networking - Core
Networking - Enterprise
Networking - Wireless
Security
User Interface Platform
Windows App Platform

Though its fascinating to watch Microsoft alienate IT professionals by using such terms as "Plumbing" when describing operating system functionality, and yet still expect to be taken seriously, it's really just a shame.

Microsoft's Marketing people can keep assuming that IT folks are idiots who will buy into such nonsense and the IT folks will just keep using Windows XP for their current Desktop OS needs, all the while slowly migrating users to purely Linux, BSD or Apple Desktop environments (though the migration will go faster and faster as application developers catch on to the changing market). The IT folks will also likely keep pressuring the companies that they work with to follow their lead ... just as when those same IT folks were alienated by, and migrated away from the Notes, Novell, and IBM-OS2 guys. Good luck with that Microsoft!

For those of you interested in a well performing version of Windows, take a good look at Tiny XP. It's fast, it works, it's bare minimum, and when you need a feature you can add it from your license copy of XP Pro. How is it that only the Windows user community can significantly "Improve" Microsoft's OS?

Will Microsoft wait until Open Source OS's have captured 20 percent of the market before actually engineering something new ?

Windows must embrace true 64 bit, Multithreading, and need only run legacy applications in a Virtualized environment (Thinstall and VMWare are proof that this can be done, and done well).

MS needs to make optional such things as Internet Explorer, Media Player, and rid the OS entirely of all of the useless hidden DRM subsystems that eat away at Vista's system performance (These hidden DRM processes do not serve Microsoft's customers ... you know, the people and organizations who actually PAY Microsoft's bills).

Windows desperately needs "root" style user account and permission management (No! UAC security "theater" is not enough security).

I could go on all day, but it looks like running a copy of Windows Server 2008 is going to get you 90 percent of the way to "Windows 7", and that all that this team seems intent on doing is re-adding the missing bloat.

Funny thing when reading the comments on the Team Blog, the MS team are currently being "gamed" into believing that perfecting Vista's bloat is what the user community actually wants. These comments are obviously written by astroturfing stealth Apple and Linux commentors.

It's quite amusing really.

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Yahoo! Taking DRM Servers Offline ... No Music For You!

PoliTech PoliTech writes  |  more than 6 years ago

You know, somehow, "We told you so" just doesn't quite say it...

Yahoo! Music Store taking DRM servers offline, freezing out customers

In a move which at best could be described as unsurprising, Yahoo! has announced that it's taking its Music Store DRM license key servers offline come September 30th... and freezing customers from ever registering their music with another computer. Ever.

TechDirt asks:

Did Yahoo Not Pay Attention To What Happened When Microsoft Pulled The Plug On Its DRM Server?

Yahoo! sent out an email to users noting that its DRM server will be shut down, preventing the "buyers" from moving the songs to new computers. This seems doubly ironic, given that Yahoo's last two music bosses, David Goldberg and Ian Rogers had spoken out against DRM. While neither is still with the company, it's rather amusing that Yahoo is now helping to prove the point.

Even the L.A. Times has some Opinion about this move:

Yahoo pulls an MSN Music (only faster)

This afternoon, Yahoo alerted customers of its erstwhile downloadable music store that it would no longer provide support after Sept. 30 (download the cheerful e-mail here).

Update: Yahoo tells Information Week it will reimburse users on a "case-by-case" basis, (so you may have to grovel, plead and beg them a little to continue to exercise your usage rights ... but that's ok, because youre not really a Yahoo! customer anymore, you're just another dried up revenue stream)

Yahoo! may possibly offer reimbursements or MP3 versions ... or not depending on Yahoo!'s latest whim (and whomever you happen deal with if and when you contact them). The FAQ is here.

If you were foolish enough to buy into DRM encumbered media, Yahoo!s screwing you out of your music is really your own fault. DRM is simply bad juju all around that only hurts Paying customers.

Even though you may lose a track or two because of Yahoo!'s DRM we really should all be happy that Yahoo!'s music is finally being sold DRM-free on Rhapsody. (Hint: If you dont want to grovel and beg Yahoo to keep that which you already paid for, rip your Yahoo! DRM encumbered media onto CD and then convert the CD to flak or a high bit-rate lossy format)

Update 2:

Yahoo! has announced what you can expect when you grovel, plead and beg them to continue to exercise your music usage rights...

Yahoo offers coupons for music that stops working

Yahoo Inc. is offering coupons or refunds to users who find songs they bought inaccessible after Sept. 30, when the company shuts its music-download service.

The company said Wednesday it is offering coupons on request for people to buy songs again through Yahoo's new partner, RealNetworks Inc.'s Rhapsody. Those songs will be in the MP3 format, free of copy protection. Refunds are available for users who "have serious problems with this arrangement," Yahoo said.

Yahoo opted to shut down its system to avoid "delaying the inevitable."

You can get to your music, but only if you do a few tricks first..............I do that to my dog.

First I show him a doggy treat. Then I tell him to "Sit". Then I place the doggy treat on top of his nose ... then I wait ... and wait ... until I see he starts to drool, then I let him actually eat the treat.

"Good dog!"

Great Fun!

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Next Generation SSDs Delayed Due to Vista

PoliTech PoliTech writes  |  more than 6 years ago Vista is the gift that just keeps on giving ...

Speaking during SanDisk's second-quarter earnings conference call, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Eli Harari said that Windows Vista will present a special challenge for solid state drive makers. "As soon as you get into Vista applications in notebook and desktop, you start running into very demanding applications because Vista is not optimized for flash memory solid state disk," he said.

This is due to Vista's design. "The next generation controllers need to basically compensate for Vista shortfalls," he said.

"Unfortunately, (SSDs) performance in the Vista environment falls short of what the market really needs and that is why we need to develop the next generation, which we'll start sampling end of this year, early next year," Harari said.

Harari said this challenge alone is putting SanDisk behind schedule. "We have very good internal controller technology, as you know...That said, I'd say that we are now behind because we did not fully understand, frankly, the limitations in the Vista environment," he added.

Read the whole story on C|Net

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Microsoft sees future of IT as "truckers and longshoremen"

PoliTech PoliTech writes  |  more than 6 years ago In an article describing Microsoft's mainstream containerized data centers (named "C-Blox") Microsoft general manager of data center services Michael Manos says his vision of the future of IT is IT workers who look more like "truckers and longshoremen than traditional IT workers".

Microsoft To Mainstream Containerized Data Centers With C-Blox

Microsoft has developed its own specifications that include, for example, configuration for electrical components and the layout of physical servers, for its containers. Those specs make Microsoft's containers different from anything on the market today, and a potential opportunity for future Microsoft products. The containers, which Microsoft calls C-blox, are largely self-contained and will require very little hands-on maintenance.

"The doors are closed, and because of the level of automation in our systems, we can run it and accept a certain amount of failure over time," Manos said. Manos argues that it is more cost effective to build redundancy and automation into Microsoft's data center applications and allow some hardware to fail than it would be to physically manage such a large data center. The hands-off approach also means design can be tweaked to allow for maximum cooling and energy efficiency without worrying about how accessible the systems are to human hands. Of course, Microsoft also builds backbones that link power, cooling, and bandwidth among the containers.

In the C-blox world, a truck drops off a data center container and then picks it up again in a few years when Microsoft is ready to switch over to new hardware. Administrators will only enter the physical C-blox in the rarest of occasions. "In that sense, your IT workers look more like truckers and longshoremen than traditional IT workers," Manos said. It will also allow Microsoft to run the entire Northlake facility with a continuous staff of little more than 20 or 30 employees.

So are we now to believe that a "truckers and longshoremen" skills shortage shows need for an increase of the 85,000 H-1B visas already available? A related question; is Microsoft's Michael Manos merely arrogant or is he simply stupid?

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Thoughts about TV in today's household

PoliTech PoliTech writes  |  more than 6 years ago When I was really little, many of my friends didn't own a TV because we were too far from the city to get good reception. My dad eventually put up a giant motorized antenna and we could then receive five channels, (at first only in glorious black and white).

I was around for the conversion to color, saw the "Over the air broadcast Pay TV" business model try and fail in the market ("ONTV" anyone?), and witnessed the rollout of cable tv, and enjoyed their monopolization attempts.

Now, (if I were to subscribe) I can have access to over one hundred channels on Cable, and hundred more on satellite, 20 or so channels over the new "improved" digital HDTV broadcast spectrum and yet ... we watch less television now than when (as a kid) we had only five channels. The TV was all but abandoned in my house.

At least this was the case until I got a High Definition LCD TV, and connected my gaming computer to it. Now I find that although we watch almost zero television "programming" on it, the device itself gets much more usage than the tube TV it replaced.

Once you attach a computer to your big screen LCD and watch a movie or play a game, why would you bother to watch any "programming" at all, let alone programming with commercial interruptions?

Movies on demand? Simple! Click a link on TPB or NNTP and have a movie in about an hour (maybe several hrs for 1080p content). Music? Same thing. Games? Same thing. News? Better! I can check the weather, read headlines, watch news clips, and best of all I can even comment on it or rank it!

Why would I pay for cable's Low Res TV programming? Why would I put up with the weak signal, blocky, choppy, unwatchable mess that they have made of broadcast digital TV? Why would I pay for the bother of Game Consoles that overheat, die and when replaced find myself cheated out of using my purchased DRMed downloadable games, or possibly fall victim to some failed BluRay key update?

Is Optical media dead? Not as long as the baby-boom generation keeps buying "wax" disks.

Optical media is as good as dead for many post-boomers. Heck, I dont even own a standalone CD or DVD player! I Rip and store media on disk, and consume it when it's convenient for me .

For me disk based media is far too obsolete to use, (as designed - in disk players) even if the content providers were to give it away. I never buy optical media unless its the only way I can obtain it. Once obtained, the content is transferred to Hard-disk where it can be of some use.

The funny thing is that Im more than willing to pay for all of my media. I pay for all of my games, which I download. The reason I pay is because the publisher add value like game servers, ranking and records, updates, and free stuff like wallpaper and screensavers.

I want to buy music, I want to buy video content but there is no added value for me if I pay, and currently I actually lose value by paying because the only time I am restricted in my usage is when I hit a DRM wall.

No one seems to want my money badly enough to actually work for it.

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Amusing: Windows XP Outshines Vista in Benchmarking Test

PoliTech PoliTech writes  |  more than 6 years ago This made me chuckle, (I may have even chortled).

Windows XP outshines Vista in benchmarking test New tests have revealed that Windows XP with the beta Service Pack 3 has twice the performance of Vista, even with its long-awaited Service Pack 1. Vista's first service pack, to be released early next year, is intended to boost the operating system's performance. However, when Vista with the Service Pack 1 (SP1) beta was put through benchmark testing by researchers at Florida-based software development company Devil Mountain Software, the improvement was not overwhelming, leaving the latest Windows iteration outshined by its predecessor.

This is the best part of the article:

Microsoft admits that the launch has not gone as well as the company would have liked. "Frankly, the world wasn't 100 percent ready for Windows Vista," corporate vice president Mike Sievert said in a recent interview at Microsoft's partner conference in Denver.

He reminds me of this Apple ad: Podium

Amusing!

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Zhelatin Worm; Botnet Spreading Via Automated Blog Postings

PoliTech PoliTech writes  |  more than 7 years ago ARS Technica tells us that the Zhelatin gang's "Storm Worm" has now evolved way beyond spam and infected e-card greetings. http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20070902-storm-worm-adds-millions-of-computers-to-botnet.html

The "Zhelatin gang"--named after the trojan it installed--was responsible for what started out as the "storm worm." First spotted earlier this year, the spread of the "storm worm" started via e-mails purporting to provide information on some dangerous storms in Europe at the close of January.

But the Zhelatin is no longer your typical worm beastie ... The worm has now been modified to use an infected users own Blog to spread itself.

It's not just blogspam we're talking about here, the little sucker actually writes a blog post to the victim's blog all by it's own bad little self, in order to lure your unsuspecting readers to an infection site. More from ARS Technica:

...the worm has now switched its focus to blogs. Unlike the typical "comment spam" that many of us have grown used to on our personal blogs, the worm is actually getting into people's Blogspot accounts and creating new blog posts with links to the trojan.

This worm has been reported to find it's way through multiple hardware email filters and breeze passed almost every AV engine at one time or another in it's various iterations only to be finally stopped by the firewall (which you should have already set up on workstations and which theoretically should be the last resort). Decent firewall software packages are usually able to stop the actual infected file from performing it's processing.

The funny part about workstation firewalls catching the worm's rogue processing is when users inevitably click "Yes" to allow the process and also check the "Do Not Ask Again" check box.

ARS Technica estimates that there could be as many as 10 million Zhelatin gang bots out there:

Just how many computers are part of the botnet is anyone's guess, but estimates from some security firms are reaching as high as 10 million. Just last June the FBI warned that it had discovered more than a million PCs in a botnet. This looks to be just the tip of the iceberg.

IMHO This is one of the most serious threats to the IT community in a number of years. 10 million bots can do a lot of damage in a lot of ways ... in a hurry.

Check out this video of 24 hours monitoring the infection: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kH8cS1AkqiI

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Vista Beta Service Pack 1 "Upgradeable Version" Now Leaked

PoliTech PoliTech writes  |  more than 7 years ago According to eWeek a new Vista beta service pack is now available. One which can be used as an "Upgradeable Version" for existing Vista installations. eWeek article here: http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,1895,2176563,00.asp

(yea I know there is one of those "Flash Annoyance" things, just click passed it)

Over the Aug. 24 weekend, a new Vista beta has appeared on the BitTorrent sites.

The first beta SP1 appeared on hacker sites in early August as a 3.2 GB DVD ISO. This version could only be used to install a full version of Windows Vista. As such, it was not so much an SP as a testing platform for some proposed patches. The just-leaked version, however, expands from a compressed file of about 200 MB in size, depending on the system architecture, into an installation program that totals approximately 684 MB. With it, an adventuresome Vista user could use it to update his or her's Vista-powered system to a beta SP1.

A closer look reveals that, regardless of platform, the beta is named: "Build: 6.0.6001.16633 (longhorn.070803-1655)." When installed, at least one patched version of Vista Ultimate states that the system is running Vista Ultimate, Service Patch 1, v.165.

You can find the upgrade for Vista SP1 here: http://thepiratebay.org/tor/3786032/Vista_SP1_Update-windows6.0-kb936330-x86_Standalone_installer Thank you Sweeden!

As many IT folks are currently working on (struggling with?) Prototyping Vista in the enterprise, do we really have much of a choice but to be "adventuresome"?

I'll be giving it a test drive over the holiday weekend, how about you?

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iPhone Bill a Whopping 52 Pages Long

PoliTech PoliTech writes  |  more than 7 years ago Ars Technica reports:

iPhone bill is surprisingly Xbox HUGE (lol) http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20070811-iphone-bill-is-surprisingly-xbox-huge-lol.html

(Err..That really is the headline - Poli) "AT&T's iPhone bills are quite impressive in their own right. We're starting to get bills for the iPhone here at Ars, and while many of us have had smartphones for some time, we've never seen a bill like this.

One of our bills is a whopping 52 pages long http://media.arstechnica.com/news.media/Iphone%20bill2.jpg, and my own bill is 34 pages long. They're printed on both sides, too. What gives?

The AT&T bill itemizes your data usage whenever you surf the Internet via EDGE, even if you're signed up for the unlimited data plan. AT&T also goes into an incredible amount of detail to tell you; well, almost nothing. For instance, I know that on July 27 at 3:21 p.m. I had some data use that, under the To/From heading, AT&T has helpfully listed as "Data Transfer." The Type of file? "Data." My total charge? $0.00.

This mind-numbing detail goes on for 52 double-sided pages (for 104 printed pages!) with absolutely no variance except the size of the files.

You would think that a data company would have a more efficient billing process. I guess the iPhone is more like a Cingular or Blackberry than Apple would like to admit. I have it on good authority (not really! Just reading various comments on the inter-tubes) that Cingular and Blackberry billing is similar in "Quality". Funny none the less!

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California City to Use Red Light Cameras as Spy Cameras

PoliTech PoliTech writes  |  more than 7 years ago From the "We Told You So" department...

California City to Transform Red Light Cameras Into Spy Cameras http://www.thenewspaper.com/news/18/1886.asp

Oakland, California to lobby legislature to allow 24-hour video surveillance with red light camera system.

Privacy advocates have long viewed red light cameras with the suspicion that the devices were the first step down a path of increased surveillance.

Those fears may come true as the city of Oakland, California has revealed that it is working with the state legislature to secure a change in the law that will allow red light cameras to become full-scale surveillance cameras.

In a memo from the Oakland Police Department dated June 26, Police Chief Wayne G. Tucker recommended that the city's lobbyist be ordered to advocate a new law in Sacramento.

"The legislation would also allow the use of those (red light camera) images for evidentiary purposes other than the enforcement of red light violations, such as reckless driving, assaults, public nuisance activity, drug dealing, etc."

The camel's nose is now far enough under the privacy tent that soon we will be in bed with the whole 1984-ish video surveillance camel.

Update:

Heh ... days later this topic gets the green light...

Surveillance Camera Network Coming To New York?http://it.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=07/08/04/075203/

I'm just that good! and you should really pay more attention when I post to my Journal. (It's not bragging if its true!)

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Google to users: Prove you're not a virus, or be terminated!

PoliTech PoliTech writes  |  more than 7 years ago Via the INQUIRER http://uk.theinquirer.net/?article=40228

Google suspects users are not human

Prove you're not a virus, or be terminated!

In Philip K Dick's famous novel 'Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?' 'bounty' hunters track down, identify and kill human-like androids, this time, ironically the situation is reversed ... it wasn't a human looking for rogue machines, but a machine (the GoogleMind) testing to see if it was a human actually performing the search.

Lucky for us humans that the GoogleMind isn't armed with anything more dangerous than pixels and text! ... yet.

Link has screen-shot goodness.

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FTC Threatens Spyware Distributors With Prison

PoliTech PoliTech writes  |  more than 7 years ago FTC official (William Kovacic) says "Let's imprison spyware distributors"

Steep fines are nice, but one of the best weapons against spyware purveyors is locking them up, a federal regulator told senators on Tuesday.

At a morning Senate Commerce Committee hearing here, Federal Trade Commissioner William Kovacic said most wrongdoers in the spyware arena "can only be described as vicious organized criminals."

"Many of most serious wrongdoers we observed in this area, I believe, are only going to be deterred if their freedom is withdrawn," so it's important for the FTC to collaborate on its cases with criminal law enforcement authorities, Kovacic said.

Kovacic's remarks came in response to a question from Sen. Mark Pryor (D-Ark.), who was presiding over Tuesday morning's hearing, about whether the FTC is sufficiently equipped to combat the scourge of software planted surreptitiously on a user's computer.

"It's a real source of frustration for my constituents, my family, my office...basically anyone who has a computer," Pryor said.

Pryor said a mouthful there ... Just ask Julie Amero.

UPDATE: Dausha points out that Mark Pryor is the junior senator from Arkansas. The FTC official is William Kovacic. I fixed it ... My Bad!

I know this is old, but I just wanted to point out that the moderator did a good job of realizing I had a typo. The moderator presented the article in such a way that I could correct it, thus maintaining some semblance of credibility. So thank you Zonk!

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16-qubit Quantum Computer Successfully Demonstrated

PoliTech PoliTech writes  |  more than 7 years ago D-Wave held a Quantum Computer demo today at the Computer History Museum in Silicon Valley. The actual Quantum Computer itself is located back at the company's British Columbia HQ. headquarters.

D-Wave qubits in the era of Quantum Computing

D-Wave showed three examples of Orion in action, marking the first such demonstration of a quantum computer. The most impressive display came during a drug molecule matching exercise, while two less impressive efforts had Orion crunch through a party table seating arrangement that paired like-minded guests and then go on to solve a SudoQ puzzle.

But there's only so much you can do with 16 qubits. So, D-Wave plans to produce a 32 qubit chip by the fourth quarter, a 512 qubit chip in the first quarter of 2008 and then a 1,024 qubit chip in the third quarter of 2008. D-Wave next year will also allow customers to send calculations to the Orion system via the internet and then have calculations returned to the customer and then later in 2008 ship actual systems.

The cost for such boxes will likely be comparable to large, high performance computing clusters.

Of course, these grand plans might fail to occur.

"It could turn out that these systems are not protected (from interference) the way we thought that they are," Rose said. "If so, this system could dead-end after 16 qubits.

"If you combine too many of these devices together and you are not good enough at filtering out the noises, then you will end up with a hunk of a (trashed) computer."

Start-ups rarely admit to such disastrous possibilities, as you all know too well.

Read it all here...

I'll be on the lookout for reports by attendees. But no matter how you slice it, this is an exciting development and this demonstration will help to drive competing QC models to more rapid development.

I'm sure that my video encoding projects could benefit!

Here is Steve Jurvetsons Flickr blog where you can find some great pictures of the Quantum Computer equipment.

Endgadget's take ... funny.

Some technical papers for interested folks!

ARS Technica has more news here.

The D-Wave blog (rose blog)

Here is some more good "Quantum" reading from ARS Technica: Quantum Deathmatch: PvNP

I just hope that the new parallel universe we just switched to is the one where I hit the lottery!

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US Planning Response To a Cyber Attack

PoliTech PoliTech writes  |  more than 7 years ago We've all heard of Google bombing, well the US Government takes the expression sort of literally...

U.S. cyber counterattack: Bomb 'em one way or the other

National Cyber Response Coordination Group establishing proper response to cyberattacks

If the United States found itself under a major cyberattack aimed at undermining the nations critical information infrastructure, the Department of Defense is prepared, based on the authority of the president, to launch a cyber counterattack or an actual bombing of an attack source.

It's almost funny ... except for the fact that such an overreaction is so possible.

Source: U.S. cyber counterattack: Bomb 'em one way or the other

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Google Kills "Google-Bombs"

PoliTech PoliTech writes  |  more than 7 years ago Google Kills Bush's Miserable Failure Search & Other Google Bombs.

After just over two years, Google has finally defused the "Google Bomb" that has returned US President George W. Bush at the top of its results in a search on miserable failure. The move wasn't a post-State Of The Union Address gift for Bush. Instead, it's part of an overall algorithm change designed to stop such mass link pranks from working.

Story and screenshots here: http://searchengineland.com/070125-230048.php/

Funny, this made the SlashDot front page with a different post that was submitted just a couple of hours after I submitted it. Someone is asleep at the switch, (or is it just someone playing favorites?)

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China internet users to outnumber US users in two years

PoliTech PoliTech writes  |  more than 7 years ago

China internet users to overtake US in two years, report says

http://rawstory.com/news/2006/China_internet_users_to_overtake_US_01232007.html/

dpa German Press Agency Published: Tuesday January 23, 2007

Beijing- China is likely to overtake the United States as the world's largest online population within two years, after the estimated number of internet users soared by 23 per cent to 137 million last year, state media said on Wednesday. "We believe it will take two years at most for China to overtake the United States," Wang Enhai of the state-run Chinese Internet Network Information Centre told the official China Daily.

"We are expecting even faster growth in 2007 and 2008 given that internet penetration now has exceeded 10.5 percent in the country," Wang said.

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Microsoft Confirms DRM Driver Crippling in Vista

PoliTech PoliTech writes  |  more than 7 years ago From the horses mouth (the "Windows Vista Team Blog") comes confirmation of every horrible charge leveled at Vista by Gutmann. http://www.cs.auckland.ac.nz/~pgut001/pubs/vista_cost.html/

Windows Vista Content Protection - Twenty Questions (and Answers) http://windowsvistablog.com/blogs/windowsvista/archive/2007/01/20/windows-vista-content-protection-twenty-questions-and-answers.aspx/

Over the holidays, a paper was distributed that raised questions about the content protection features in Windows Vista. The paper draws sharp conclusions about the implications of those features for our customers. As one of the Lead Program Managers for the technologies in question, I would like to share our views on these questions.

Here are some examples of the Microsoft Lawyer version of Q & A.

Will echo cancellation work less well for premium content?

We believe that Windows Vista provides applications with access to sufficient information to successfully build high quality echo cancellation functionality.

Will Windows Vista content protection features increase CPU resource consumption?

Yes. However, the use of additional CPU cycles is inevitable, as the PC provides consumers with additional functionality. Windows Vista's content protection features were developed to carefully balance the need to provide robust protection from commercial content while still enabling great new experiences such as HD-DVD or Blu-Ray playback.

What is revocation and where is it used?

Renewal and revocation mechanisms are an important part of providing robust protection for commercial audiovisual content. In the rare event that a revocation is required, Microsoft will work with the affected IHV to ensure that a new driver is made available, ideally in advance of the actual revocation. Revocation only impacts a graphics driver's ability to receive certain commercial audiovisual content; otherwise, the revoked driver will continue to function normally.

Nice...

Here is a good quote from the Inquirer article about this "Blog" entry: http://uk.theinquirer.net/?article=37091/

"Microsoft confirms just about every point in the Gutmann pieceand tries to spin it as good. It is one of the most amazing piece of PR weaselwork I have seen for years. Try this one on for size."

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