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Blogger Who Revealed GOP Leader's KKK Ties Had Home Internet Lines Cut

cbhacking Re:Censorship? (415 comments)

Yes yes yes but PARTY POLITICS! SOLIDARITY!

Seriously, people are *IDIOTS* when politics come out. One of the forums I hang out in refers to the phenomenon as "politics is the mind-killer". It turns normally rational people into raving lunatics at a sport competition, except with less cheering and (somehow) even more bullshit.

3 days ago
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Blogger Who Revealed GOP Leader's KKK Ties Had Home Internet Lines Cut

cbhacking Re:Standard cop tactic in the USA (415 comments)

Yeah, I wouldn't take this to anybody who came up through the force. Go *RIGHT* over their heads, even if you have to take it to the state capitol.

3 days ago
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Windows 10: Can Microsoft Get It Right This Time?

cbhacking Re:There's nothing wrong now... (488 comments)

Eh, biggest objection to XP post-SP2 was that it hung around for too long, while the rest of the world moved on. 32-bit only (the 64-bit version is actually Server 2003 without the Server-y bits, and not fully compatible with 32-bit XP even aside from driver issues), no ASLR (at the time XP launched, DEP support was pretty cool; by the time it went out of support an OS without ASLR couldn't be called "secure" with a straight face), one-way firewall (Vista added bi-directional filtering and a lot more control, though at least XP had *a* firewall), running as a daily user was a total pain if you weren't an Administrator (I know, I did it for months), and so on. Yes, these are mostly security concerns, but that's a pretty critical aspect of an OS for me. With that said, in the spectrum of Windows releases, XP SP0 was pretty much a bad skin on top of 2000 (which had plenty of its own issues, but XP SP0 didn't really *fix* most of them). SP1 helped a little but SP2 was really where the difference was made. Unfortunately, SP3 was little more than a roll-up of previous updates, and Vista was delayed again and again, then shipped as a reasonably secure but pretty buggy OS. There really needed to be an SP4 (or a real SP3) for XP that back-ported some of the important stuff from work on Vista, or an earlier and less-ambitious Vista (or at least NT5.3) release to fill the gap.

3 days ago
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Windows 10: Can Microsoft Get It Right This Time?

cbhacking Re:I am going to say "Yes" (488 comments)

There's a program (free, though you may have to sign in with a Microsoft account) for getting OS updates on Windows Phone direct from Microsoft, without waiting for OEM or MO updates. It's called Preview for Developers, and has been available for well over a year. Despite the name, it's release software - same version that people on the normal upgrade path eventually get - and available to anybody who bothers to set it up. There's already a new version of the program for WP10, though it's not active (i.e. you can't actually use it to install WP10) yet.

about a week ago
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Windows 10: Can Microsoft Get It Right This Time?

cbhacking Re:There's nothing wrong now... (488 comments)

"run the OS on top of DOS like Windows was previously doing" - you're aware that there were Windows versions between 3.11 and XP, right? None of them ran on top of DOS. Hell, I'll even ignore the fact that the GPP explicitly called out Windows 2000, which (being NT-based) was *exactly* as DOS-based as XP.

The 9x family (95, 98, ME, and their various releases/service packs) booted up through some DOS code, but DOS was basically no more than a bootloader for them. This OS family ran 32-bit protected-mode kernels (DOS was 16-bit Real Mode; no virtual memory, user/kernel separation, or process address space isolation). 9x ran on the FAT filesystem, like DOS, but supported long file names and Unicode, whereas DOS was limited to 8.3 names and 8-bit characters. 9x had a preemptive multitasking scheduler, unlike DOS which had no multitasking support at all (some previous software, such as Windows 1.x-3.x, had a cooperative multitasking scheduler on top of DOS but could not pre-empt a long-running process). 9x could and did run background processes (what a Unix user would call daemons), which was impossible on DOS. 9x had a hardware abstraction layer, allowing processes to share access to hardware such as mice and sound cards without requiring each program to have its own hardware drivers and take total control over the hardware the way DOS programs did.

Claiming that Windows pre-XP ran on top of DOS is just false. It used some DOS code in a few places and used DOS to bootstrap itself, much like a modern bootloader, but that's it. All of the core functions of an OS - the hardware interface, task management, memory management, and file management - were handled by Windows-specific code. The UI was 32-bit and Windows-specific. The 16-bit APIs were still present but the system call interface (kernel32.dll) was 32-bit and Windows-specific. It's true that you couldn't start 9x without DOS, but DOS was not running in any meaningful sense once 9x was.

about a week ago
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Steam For Linux Bug Wipes Out All of a User's Files

cbhacking Re:Lessons learned (329 comments)

It does install a service on Windows that runs with elevated privileges, allowing Steam to do admin-y stuff at will, though. Not a rootkit because it isn't hidden and doesn't resist removal, but still sketchy. I disable this service; it means I have to put up with a UAC prompt on the rare occasion I need to run a Steam game for the first time, but I'm OK with that.

I haven't tried it on Linux, yet. Due to the DRM nature of Steam, I avoid buying from them. The DRM-free games from Humble Bundle and GOG work fine on Linux without requiring that I install Valve's crap.

about two weeks ago
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Steam For Linux Bug Wipes Out All of a User's Files

cbhacking Re:This looks like a job for... (329 comments)

Wouldn't help. This commend (see the * on the end?) deletes everything in root, but doesn't delete root itself. Just as dangerous, but harder to detect. Use this coding pattern today!

about two weeks ago
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Steam For Linux Bug Wipes Out All of a User's Files

cbhacking Re:--no-preserve-root (329 comments)

First of all, this command doesn't remove the root directory, just everything inside it.
Second, you need root privileges to remove the root directory. However, you don't need root privileges to enumerate the root directory, find all children of it that you can delete, and delete them.

about two weeks ago
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Steam For Linux Bug Wipes Out All of a User's Files

cbhacking Re:I hope no one runs steam as root. (329 comments)

SELinux lets you specify what folders an application is allowed to access. The Steam software would have access to its own folders, but not to the rest of the user's directory or anywhere else that the user can write to (such as his mounted drive).

about two weeks ago
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Silicon Valley's Quest To Extend Life 'Well Beyond 120'

cbhacking Re:QUALITY, not QUANTITY, damnit! (272 comments)

First of all, you seem very confused about the causes of age-related mortality. They are, in large part, the same things that make old age unpleasant. If your body went on aging "like normal" except for the things that could kill you, it would have to stop aging pretty young.

Second, the very concept of living a thousand years without arresting aging is so amazingly stupid, it sounds like satire. Oh wait, it is: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S... Nobody would seriously suggest such a thing. Mind you, I'd still take it if it were offered. Why? Because I would *still have the option* to "eat a bullet". I would have more choices in what to do with my life than if I didn't take it, so why would I choose not to?

about two weeks ago
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Silicon Valley's Quest To Extend Life 'Well Beyond 120'

cbhacking Re:Ah, the endless quest... (272 comments)

Probably true; if nothing else, there's always the heat death of the universe. But hey, if I can outlive everybody who has such a useless outlook on life as yourself, I will consider it a life well-lived! (You're actually opposed to life-extension research? Do you respond the same way to, say, cancer treatment research, or Alzheimer's prevention research?)

Maybe I should move to silicon valley and/or become a millionaire. (For context, at the moment I'm close enough to the upper end of middle-class that I could afford to live in SV, but I'd be in the lower end of the income range there.)

about two weeks ago
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Silicon Valley's Quest To Extend Life 'Well Beyond 120'

cbhacking Re:Some rich people. (272 comments)

Oh, please. That's pure bullshit. Would you call it "panicking" if the people involved were middle-class? Because there have been lots of people involved in anti-aging research and most of them are nothing extraordinary, wealth-wise, by the standards of the US (especially by the standards of doctors in the US, though they weren't all doctors). Sounds more like jealousy on your part than panic on theirs. Some people spend their money on fancy cars and huge yachts. Some spend it on charity. Some spend on building a (continuously growing) commercial empire. Some spend it on politics. Some spend it on art collections. Some spend it on medical research. Really, it's not so different.

As for the hoarding of resources, I have no respect for those who accumulate resources for no better purposes than to accumulate. But if people who have lots of resources want to use them to extend lifespans, that's fantastic! Yes, initially it will be expensive. The first person to crack the problem will make a shitload of money, and probably be able to enjoy it for a very long time. But the costs will come down over time, and what was once a perk of the ultra-rich will eventually become a standard part of healthcare. Somebody has to get there first, though, and it's only logical to permit those who have lots of resources to commit those resources to the goal.

about two weeks ago
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Silicon Valley's Quest To Extend Life 'Well Beyond 120'

cbhacking Re:Found something you can't buy? (272 comments)

The "anybody who wants to prevent/stave off death is just 'scared shitless' " meme is one I've seen before from a wide range of sources, and I can't for the life of me understand how so many people can be so stupid. Fighting death is the logical thing to do, the *obvious* thing to do, whether you're rich or poor. Fighting death has given us life expectancies better than any other point in history. It has given us medical advances that seemed impossible just a few decades ago. It has improved quality of life across all ages. It has vastly reduced infant and childhood mortality.

It doesn't even seem to make sense as a religious objection. Biblical characters had vastly longer lifespans than we do - the concept of "Methuselah" as relating to longevity is fairly common, yet Methuselah's lifespan was merely the longest, rather than being exceptionally long compared to others of the same generation and lineage - and while some people are focused on ending death entirely (via things like brain uploading or cryopreservation with later revival), that doesn't apply to this project. It's not exclusive to the rich; rejuvenation and clinical immortality memes have been widespread in science fiction for decades, and most SF authors aren't exactly Scrooge McDuck. It is most common in the developed world (in many third-world nations, the fact that life expectancy can be higher is completely obvious, as their developed neighbors demonstrate) but certainly isn't exclusive to California.

The "found something you can't buy?" meme is also a stupid one. The vast majority of things people can imagine today - never mind things we'll be able to imagine in the future - are things you can't buy. People work constantly to bring new things to market. Prior to Tesla Motors, you couldn't buy a pure-electric car with a multi-hundred-mile range. Prior to Iridium, you couldn't buy a telephone usable anywhere in the world. Prior to the medical development of penicillin, you couldn't buy a cure for most bacterial infections. Prior to... you get the idea. Technology marches on. Today, you can't buy a life expectancy of 100, but that's no reason to avoid working on it!

about two weeks ago
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Obama Proposes 30-Day Deadline For Disclosing Security Breaches

cbhacking Re:I await the flood of mail (125 comments)

Somebody on Twitter guessing your password isn't a breach of Twitter, it's a breach of your stupid password choice. If Twitter gets breached and *everybody's* password is exposed, then you'll get a message (by email, not post, obviously).

about two weeks ago
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SpaceX Rocket Launch Succeeds, But Landing Test Doesn't

cbhacking Re:what about a net? (213 comments)

The most expensive part of the first stage (which itself is the most expensive part of the stack) is the rocket motors. You don't want those landing on *anything*, including a net. The legs are intended to keep the motors well off whatever surface you land on.

Also, the rockets are firing on descent (both for slowing and for maneuvering). There's a final braking burn right at landing. Any net that can survive this braking burn is probably tougher stuff than you want the rocket running into even at relatively miniscule speeds.

about two weeks ago
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SpaceX Rocket Launch Succeeds, But Landing Test Doesn't

cbhacking Re:Strange definition of success (213 comments)

Wow, you're a special kind of dense, aren't you?

Columbia and most of the Apollo flights were manned. Calling safe return "just an internal goal" is not only moronic, it's flat-out wrong in the case of Apollo:

"this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before the decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the earth."

JFK (emphasis mine), 25 May 1961, http://www.jfklibrary.org/JFK/...

Second, you seem to be deeply confused (or trolling) about the difference between a space vehicle and a launch system. Dragon is a space ship, a "vehicle"; it carries stuff. The Dragon 2 (Crew Dragon) will carry people. It is, obviously, of critical importance to return them safely. Falcon 9 first stage isn't even an entire launch system, just the most expensive part of one (the first stage). A spent first stage is a like a (really expensive) spent bullet cartridge; sure, you save money on future shots if you collect it and re-use it, but the goal of any given shot is to fire the bullet and hit the target. Similarly, the goal of a Dragon/Falcon 9 launch is to put Dragon in orbit, and recover it safely.

In fairness, it's inaccurate to say that the CRS-5 mission is successful yet. Dragon hasn't even berthed with the ISS yet, much less returned safely to Earth. That doesn't seem to be your objection at all, though.

about two weeks ago
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SpaceX Rocket Launch Succeeds, But Landing Test Doesn't

cbhacking Re:A bit off topic (213 comments)

Yep. SpaceX has said that a full-capacity F9 launch probably won't have the fuel reserve for a propulsive landing (though it should still have the fuel for engine-out capability; the other rockets just burn longer although that does use a bit more fuel total). However, most rocket launches aren't maximum capacity. Frequently you run into volume rather than mass limits, or you need to place one thing into a precise orbit and there's nothing else you're putting in an even slightly-similar orbit. In those cases, assuming no engine failures or similar (which could also mean there's not enough fuel reserve for flyback and propulsive landing), the first stage still has several percent fuel left at separation, but relatively little mass; the second stage and payload are gone, as is the majority of the fuel.

about two weeks ago
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Russia Says Drivers Must Not Have "Sex Disorders" To Get License

cbhacking Re:Here it is. Hope you can read Russian. Re:sourc (412 comments)

Having a fetish is a disorder? That's... going to cover a really huge percentage of the human species. Maybe it doesn't count if you don't act on it, but it's still a preference (as in, "Disorders of sexual preference")...

about two weeks ago
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Tumblr Co-Founder: Apple's Software Is In a Nosedive

cbhacking Re:Any actual examples? (598 comments)

My girlfriend has an Android phone, but uses iTunes because she has an iPod (actually a couple of them, a Shuffle and a Classic). Recently the Shuffle stopped synching with iTunes until she upgraded to the latest version. The latest version, which she derisively describes as "red iTunes" ("Why is it red now? Is that a feature? Was it too hard to figure out where everything was when it was blue, o they made it red so that after moving everything to a different place it would be easier to find again?") is the subject of a couple irate texts per week, including issues with playlist management and with finding features and UI elements that were inexplicably moved. My advice to her at this point is to just put her music on the phone...

about three weeks ago
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Tumblr Co-Founder: Apple's Software Is In a Nosedive

cbhacking Re:Any actual examples? (598 comments)

The OS upgrade argument is valid on PCs, and also on Android, where you have an "anything goes!" policy with regards to API usage (to the extent that you can be said to have a policy at all). However, with iOS, it's a lot less forgivable. iOS apps - official ones from the App Store, at least - are required to restrict themselves to approved APIs for third-party use, and go though an approval process before being posted to the store. There's a lot less excuse for the OS to be backwards-incompatible when the walled garden means you have control over what each app is allowed to do.

As for the performance degradation, that was definitely true for a long time, especially in the 90s when PC hardware was improving at a phenomenal rate, but these days OS upgrades have been extremely consumer-focused. Every release of Windows since Vista has actually run *better* on the same hardware than its predecessor, for example; while Win7 technically has a higher "minimum requirements" than Vista (they bumped the min RAM from 512MB to 1GB), that's because people were complaining that Vista ran like shit on less than a gig (true) and the requirement should never have been set that low to begin with. Win7 uses less RAM than Vista did, though. Win8 uses less than Win7, and 8.1 less than 8. I haven't tried the Win10 pre-release but it probably uses, or will use, less RAM once again. I don't use Macs much, but other commenters have pointed out that the same "runs better on the same hardware" improvements applied to many of the early OS X versions... but no longer.

about three weeks ago

Submissions

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Microsoft allowing WP8 users to get updates directly

cbhacking cbhacking writes  |  about a year ago

cbhacking (979169) writes "In June of 2012, Microsoft announced that they would be providing a system whereby "registered [Windows Phone] enthusiasts get early access to updates" without waiting for carrier approval and broad distribution. For more than a year, that has been an unfulfilled promise, and for many users, updates have been delayed or may even still be unavailable. Today, coinciding with the release of WP8 Update 3 (a.k.a. GDR3), Microsoft is allowing "developers" (anybody who has enabled app sideloading on their phone) to opt into a "Windows Phone Preview" program to allow updating immediately.

Like the update itself, this is likely a move in response to consumer demand and comparisons to iOS and Android, as there is little in the update which specifically interests developers. However, the program does warn that participation may invalidate your device's warranty; this may have been required by the carriers to relieve concerns of high support costs in the event of a botched update. While only the Microsoft portion of the updates (as opposed to driver firmware or OEM customizations) are available through this program, participating phones will also continue to receive public updates as they are rolled out."
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Zune 3.0: Wireless Purchase, Games, 16GB

cbhacking cbhacking writes  |  more than 6 years ago

cbhacking writes "Microsoft released the Zune 3.0 yesterday. The device firmware has been immensely upgraded: it now supports connecting to wireless access points, sampling and purchasing music through a built-in store interface, playing games, and several other new things. You can read Microsoft's blurb on what's new at zune.net.

The Windows software has also been improved, etter integrating the social features.

Additionally, zunes are now available in more colors, the 4GB flash player is being discontinued for a 16GB player, and there's now a HDD-based 120GB model."

Link to Original Source
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CrossOver Games released for Linux, OS X

cbhacking cbhacking writes  |  more than 6 years ago

cbhacking writes "CodeWeavers, the company that supports the open-source Wine project that allows running Windows applications on UNIX-like operating systems, has released CrossOver Games for Linux and OS X. The launch includes a considerable list of supported titles, including such popular (and graphically intensive) games as EVE Online, Counterstrike: Source (and other Steam games), and World of WarCraft.

A trial version is also available for download."

Link to Original Source
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Microsoft .NET source to be available for viewing

cbhacking cbhacking writes  |  more than 7 years ago

cbhacking writes "A post on the blog of Microsoft's Scott Guthrie has some exciting news for .NET developers: with the release of Visual Studio 2008 later this year, the .NET Framework 3.5 source code will be released for reference purposes. Most of the libraries, including System.Runtime, System.Security, System.Windows.Forms, and System.Web will be made available with the release of VS2008, with more some additional non-core libraries coming later. The code will be available for either standalone download and viewing, or as debugging symbols with associated source for integrated debugging with VS2008.

There's a catch though: although the license abbreviation used in the post, MS-RL, usually refers to the copyleft and OSI-approved Microsoft Reciprocal License (which allows modification and redistribution), the license actually explicitly mentioned and linked to is the Microsoft Reference License, which prohibits modification or redistribution. Although an open-source release of the code would be great, this is still likely to be very helpful for debugging, examining behavior of the libraries, and selecting the correct methods or algorithms for a given situation."
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Iraq Whistleblower Imprisoned, Tortured

cbhacking cbhacking writes  |  more than 7 years ago

cbhacking writes "Forbes.com has a telling story on the fraud and corruption that has plagues the Iraqi reconstruction efforts and, more frighteningly, the harsh penalties faced by whistleblowers. Many have been vilified, demoted, or fired outright. Now, the story has come out of Navy veteran Donald Vance, who was working as a civilian in an Iraqi company. After reporting to the FBI that his company was making illegal sales of military weapons to customers ranging from State Department workers to Iraqi insurgents, Vance was held without a trial for 97 days in Camp Cropper, an American military prison outside Baghdad. During his time there, he was subjected to "that head-banging music blaring dawn to dusk and interrogators yelling the same questions over and over."

Vance is now back in the USA and, along with a colleague who helped him gather evidence and was treated similarly in return, has filed a federal lawsuit alleging they were illegally imprisoned and subjected to physical and mental interrogation tactics "reserved for terrorists and so-called enemy combatants.""

Link to Original Source
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cbhacking cbhacking writes  |  more than 7 years ago

cbhacking writes "Previously, searching for 'Powertoy Vista' has been a quick road to failure. However, Brandon Paddock, a MS developer, has independently produced and is maintaining a very handy tool called Search++ that adds all kinds of capabilities to the built in desktop search.
Some of the standard features are things like typing 'g <search string>' to launch a Google search, or 'play[artist|album] <name>' to find and start playing music. Another, very nice for those of us who start almost all programs in Vista from the Start menu, is the ability to start programs with elevated permissions via 'sudo <Program>'.
The basic features are great and very easy to use, but Start++ is also extensible and user-modifiable. You can even import additional search tools (called 'Startlets'), and export your own Startlets.
You can download Search++ and additional Startlets here."
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cbhacking cbhacking writes  |  more than 8 years ago

cbhacking writes "ABC News has a well-written review of the latest version of the Microsoft Office suite, which has been shipped to manufacturers. Representing the first major upgrade since 2003, Office 2007 has an incredible and instantly visible collection of new features, including an innovative new interface. For those who downloaded the public beta (all ~5 million of us), Office 2007 has already shown itself to be an amazing software suite.

The review includes overall impressions of the new version, plus ratings of the most common individual apps. It is mostly positive, from the easy learning curve for the new interface and the capabilities it offers, to the number of things Microsoft finally got RIGHT, to the good migration tools.

In addition to the many tools and tips the review mentions, I would add the ability of Word to (via plugins) read/write ODF and to export to PDF and Microsoft's new XPS format."
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cbhacking cbhacking writes  |  more than 8 years ago

cbhacking writes "The Pentagon is currently considering options for developing "the ability to strike targets around the world within an hour." According to Space.com, there are several main options being considered: an "Advanced Hypersonic Weapon", placing weapon payloads on small space launch vehicles, fitting missile submarines with a new design of ballistic missile with a conventional payload, or placing conventional warheads on the (traditionally nuclear) Trident missiles our subs currently carry.

Aside from the coolness factor of an autonomous hypersonic vehicle which achieves suborbital altitudes but for the most part flies towards its target like an aircraft, the main advantage of the Advanced Hypersonic Weapon seems to be that it wouldn't be confused with a nuclear launch. Several prominent people, including Ted "Series of Tubes" Stevens, have suggested that using Trident missiles would be dangerous as it may cause other countries to believe we are launching nuclear warheads at them. However, it appears to be the option involving the least re-invention of the wheel, and could be operational "before the end of this decade."

The option of weaponizing space launch vehicles seems to already be facing significant opposition. The Advanced Hypersonic Weapon is receiving some funding, but re-arming the Tridents is out at least until completion of a report on — among other things — the military and political issues.

Is it just me, or aren't there any major reasons the other weapons couldn't be equipped with nuclear warheads anyhow? Do we actually need a different weapon for everything?"
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cbhacking cbhacking writes  |  more than 8 years ago

cbhacking writes "The Windows Vista Team has posted a blog about the "Express Upgrade" program. Basically, if you buy a new computer with XP, Microsoft will make the upgrade to Vista available for a relatively low price.

The edition(s) you can upgrade to through this offer vary by what edition of XP you have. For example, Media Center will upgrade to Vista Home Premium, and Professional or Tablet to Vista Business, for a nominal cost. XP Home can be upgraded to either Vista Home Basic or Premium, for a 50% discount off the normal upgrade pricing. Enterprise and Ultimate are not offered in this list. Note that the upgrade versions of Vista will already cost less than the full retail versions; this program reduces the cost further for people who purchase a PC just before Vista comes out (or shortly thereafter).

It seems that very few people actually upgrade the OS; they simply buy a new computer with the new version. Maybe this program will increase the Vista install base in its first few months?"

Journals

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Another major music store offers unrestricted MP3s

cbhacking cbhacking writes  |  more than 7 years ago

When I started the RealNetworks Rhapsody software this morning, I discovered a cause for some celebration by anybody who supports DRM-free music purchases: the Rhapsody store is now offering some unrestricted MP3 downloads. At present only about 5000 albums (roughly 50000 songs) are available, but that is just an initial offer - I haven't even found an announcement anywhere - and they claim to be working to increase the number of MP3 tracks available.

The MP3s are encoded at 256kbps, and cost no more than the standard DRM-crippled music (which is also 256kbps) at 89c/song for subscribing members, or 99c/song for non-subscribers (the subscription gives the ability to listen to streamed music on demand, starting at $13/month). Prices are US dollars, and I don't know whether the service is available internationally.

The bad news: downloading the music requires running the Rhapsody player software (version 4, just released) and at present it's only available on Windows. Online streaming is available to other OSes through http://rhapsody.com/ (works in Firefox, via a plugin) but the cross-platform Real Player software cannot access the music store, and last I tried it wouldn't run in wine.

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