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Comments

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Oregon Sues Oracle For "Abysmal" Healthcare Website

cbhacking Re:It's a complot (210 comments)

I don't deny this. The entire health insurance industry is a parasite on our economic ability to keep people healthy; it extracts value from the economy without producing anything of greater value. However, in the current environment, it's practically non-optional (actually, post-Obamacare, it's required even more so, but it was almost mandatory beforehand too). Healthcare in the US is phenomenally expensive compared to practically anywhere else in the world, and while I'll happily note that our doctors are excellent, they are *not* worth what they cost in most situations. Very few people set aside the kind of money required to cover the time when they *will* need it, and even those who otherwise would do so may find themselves unable to set aside that much if a medical emergency hits them young.

So yeah, universal health insurance (through mandatory patronage of for-profit insurance companies) is a sucky attempt at a solution. Sadly, it is *still* better than what we had before, for those who previously simply could not get such insurance due to pre-existing conditions or medical history.

4 days ago
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Oregon Sues Oracle For "Abysmal" Healthcare Website

cbhacking Re:It's a complot (210 comments)

While I agree, in general, with the claims of how shitty Obamacare is...

I have friends who now have health insurance, and another who has finally been able to leave his old employer (to start his own company and become self-employed), because of Obamacare. Specifically, two of these friends are cancer survivors (throat and cervical), one has fibromyalgia, and one has a chronic autoimmune disorder whose name I forget. They wouldn't have been able to buy health insurance, otherwise; nobody was willing to offer it. So, for them personally, Obamacare *is* better than what they had before.

Of course, there are a lot of less-fucked-up ways of addressing that issue.

5 days ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Do You Wish You'd Known Starting Out As a Programmer?

cbhacking Re:Pick a different job. (548 comments)

That's *significantly* less than I made as a no-benefits intern (if you had extended said internship to a full year) with 3/4 of a Bachelor's degree six years ago. It's about 2/3 of the entry-level salary for a developer around here even if you aren't working at the good places, about half if you are, and that doesn't include benefits.

Are you sure that union is helping out? I mean, I assume your cost of living is a lot lower than mine - I'm in Seattle - but that is a seriously mediocre amount of money for this field. Are you saying that would make up the difference between what you make now and what you would be making working some other field?

Note that I'm not opposed to unions in theory. I just tend to think their implementation tends to have problems and sometimes is a significant net negative. There are fields where unions make a lot of sense - construction comes to mind, for example, and mining, and other dangerous jobs where one worker is largely interchangeable with another and consequently the workers have no power - but IT in general (be it support, development, consulting, or so on) are not such a field. I work 40 hours a week, have four weeks paid vacation a year plus paid sick days and holidays, can work from home when needed, make six figures plus bonuses, have a generous training budget, and get benefits. I'm 4.5 years out of college with an Engineering bachelor's, and took a six-month break in the middle of that. What would a union have gotten me that could possibly be worth its dues? That's ignoring the risk of the union making it hard to get rid of the people who sincerely need to go, and other such potential problems.

about a week ago
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Linus Torvalds: 'I Still Want the Desktop'

cbhacking Re:Linux will NEVER be a Desktop - Every Day OS. (725 comments)

1 - Right-click the network icon in the system tray (it's in the same place on all versions of Windows from the last decade, and XP too for that matter).
2 - Select "Open Network and Sharing Center" (if on XP, just go to Properties, but make sure you got the right network interface if you have more than one).
3 - Click on the network interface name (something like "Local Area Connection" or "Ethernet"; XP users skip this step because you already chose the interface) to open the interface status.
4 - Click on Properties and, if not already running elevated, go through UAC. This gets you where the XP users were waiting (for the 13 years since their OS came out...).
5 - Double-click on "Internet Protocol Version 4".
6 - Change IP.

There's a number of alternate ways though some of those steps. You can also short-circuit the whole thing using netsh, but it was implied that you wanted the GUI technique. Oh, and these steps work for the last four (arguably five) OS releases, on everything from the extremely basic Starter SKU to the highest-end Windows Server Datacenter Edition to even the RT versions. Care to give the steps for Ubuntu 9.04 (a mere five years ago), or for Kubuntu/Xubuntu/etc.?

about a week ago
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Linus Torvalds: 'I Still Want the Desktop'

cbhacking Re:Linus does not understand the size of the effor (725 comments)

MS creates a lot of generic drivers (think stuff like USB mass storage, generic monitors, SATA controllers, Media Transfer Protocol devices, anything like that where there's a standard that the hardware implements). You can get a basic (but functional, if you don't mind probably having the wrong video resolution) computer running almost entirely on Microsoft-written drivers.

With that said, the vast majority of Windows drivers (by count, not necessarily by usage) are developed by hardware vendors. Microsoft probably doesn't even have 20k people in the Windows org at all, even if you include test, PM, and management. They certainly don't have that many on the kernel and devices team, never mind the portion of that team which is actually developing (including designing and testing) drivers.

about a week ago
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Heartbleed To Blame For Community Health Systems Breach

cbhacking Re:Operating Systems (89 comments)

Wow, you didn't even read the *summary*? That's some impressive skill there. Hint: Juniper routers do *not* run Windows. They do terminate SSL though, and therefore see all the data that goes in or out. Which means Heartbleed can be used to extract all that data... including login credentials.

about a week ago
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Heartbleed To Blame For Community Health Systems Breach

cbhacking Re:Access restrictions (89 comments)

No, it's not a good point because you're missing the entire point of the Heartbleed vulnerability. Heartbleed lets you get *everything* SSL-related on a host. It's not "just" the private keys and such; it also contains passwords, authentication tokens, two-factor auth values, and so on. In short, it gives you everything that is required to successfully impersonate a legitimate user, and gain just as much access as that user does.

As for IDS, how the hell is an IDS supposed to recognize that this is an attack? Sure, if it could recognize Heartbleed requests that would work, but if the IDS had been updated since Heartbleed went public then surely the router would have been updated too...

about a week ago
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Munich Reverses Course, May Ditch Linux For Microsoft

cbhacking Re:Surprise? (578 comments)

I like how you didn't actually refute a single one of my points. It gives me a warm fuzzy feeling to be subjected to insults on my intelligence from people who can't even make a counter-point. The closest you came was failing to understand what an implicit bribe is. If the crash dialog message - the one that pops up when the program segfaults, the equivalent of Windows' "do you want to send an error report to Microsoft?" box - includes a button to submit feedback about this whole project (which just ate your file and wasted your time), most people will ignore it but some fraction will take the chance to vent some spleen. That kind of thing is easy to get added to a project if you have a little money to funnel to some coder, but will inevitably produce far more complaints than accolades. There's opportunities all over something like this for money to subtly make life better for those who complain.

But, if you want to take the concept of "bribes" more literally, remember my third point above. There are, statistically, many times as many people who are annoyed at this software as there are complaints filed; given the number of people involved in this project that's inevitable. People don't like change, they don't like needing to learn things, they don't like it when the new thing introduces even minor annoyances that the old thing lacked (and conveniently forget that the old thing had worse annoyances that the new one doesn't), and there's always the minority who honestly like even an inferior product. If Microsoft managed to identify even 10% of those people and give them the least bit of incentive to file a complaint, most of them would not turn it down. "Oh wow, sure, I'd love tickets to the football [soccer] game! ... Ha, you want to hear my thoughts on the software? Be ready for an earful! ... You know, I'd never thought about it before, but maybe if I complain somebody *would* notice..." Hell, just offer entry in a drawing for some fairly-cheap prize if people submit feedback and then only advertise the drawing amongst the disaffected...

I will readily grant that I'm surprised that so many people thought gothzilla's post was insightful, considering that it literally contains a fundamental flaw of reading comprehension: the inability to separate the hypothetical scenario from the statement of fact. I never implied, or even "ask[ed] questions" suggesting, that this had actually happened. I pointed out that it was *possible*. In fact, I explicitly pointed out that it was implausible. Did you think I was trying some weird reverse psychology BS?

As for the "naïve" part, it's either that or simply ignorant of history. Microsoft, and various other moneyed interests on the other side of the libre-vs.-proprietary debate (Oracle, SCO-via-Microsoft, Sony, etc.), have a well-established history of throwing money are successful open-source initiatives and sometimes successfully making them go away. In what world is "Microsoft has money, Microsoft wants people to complain about the project, therefore Microsoft finds a way to buy complaints" not a completely obvious possibility to anybody who isn't the "oh, they would never do that!" category of naivete?

about two weeks ago
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Munich Reverses Course, May Ditch Linux For Microsoft

cbhacking Re: Surprise? (578 comments)

Maybe its a queue for Linux developers to pull their heads out of their asses

There's a line for that? Man I just thought we were supposed to do it on cue...

about two weeks ago
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Munich Reverses Course, May Ditch Linux For Microsoft

cbhacking Re:Surprise? (578 comments)

Reading comprehension fail?
First, I said there were ways it *could* happen, not that I thought either had occurred. So no, I don't "really, honestly" believe that...
Second, bribes don't need to be anything explicit - in fact, they rarely are, simply because it's so likely that people will report it - there just needs to be some kind of incentive. It doesn't need to be anything traceable to Microsoft; the people taking the hypothetical incentive never need have known from whence it came.
Third, there are always tons of people upset about any given change; with the years this project has run, MS has had plenty of time to find them and encourage them to complain. No need to bribe people to file false reports; just convince those who wouldn't otherwise have complained to do so (and maybe those who would have sent praise not to do so).
Fourth, I'm a security consultant. It is literally my job to be paranoid about potential attack vectors. That doesn't mean I think they'll happen - in fact, another part of my job is rating the risk of each threat coming to pass - but it's there.
Fifth, anybody who *doesn't* see that as the obvious answer to how MS having a bunch of money at stake could lead to this is (IMO) dangerously naïve. It's not complicated; it just requires asking yourself how you could generate complaints if you had lots of money and no morals.

about two weeks ago
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Munich Reverses Course, May Ditch Linux For Microsoft

cbhacking Re:Surprise? (578 comments)

In fairness, there are at least two ways that could happen:
1) MS bribes people to complain. Unlikely, but not impossible.
2) MS bribes the relevant officials to *say* there have been overwhelming complaints. I mean, there are inevitably going to be complaints; that happens any time *anything* changes. The question is at what point they become important enough to sway the overall decision.

With that said, I suspect you're right.

about two weeks ago
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Hemp Fibers Make Better Supercapacitors Than Graphene

cbhacking Re:suitable for home use? (178 comments)

"Long-term" in this case meaning hours rather than seconds or minutes, which are typical times for a capacitor to discharge to an effectively useless voltage (though I admit to not having tried building a system that could use them). The system my parents use can run off stored capacity for around three days if needed (assuming typical usage but no charge for whatever reason), although the batteries would suffer damage from being drained (typically you don't want a nominally-12V lead-acid-chemistry battery to drop below about 11.5V if you can help it, anything below 11V and you're probably losing significant capacity; empty is around 10.8V).

about two weeks ago
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Hemp Fibers Make Better Supercapacitors Than Graphene

cbhacking Re:suitable for home use? (178 comments)

Gel batteries are a form of sealed lead-acid, yes, although not the only such form. Another common one is AGM (Absorbed Glass Mat). I forget exactly why we went with gel instead of AGM cells, but there was some reason (and it wasn't cost; AGM is cheaper). In any case, there's some interesting reading about sealed lead-acid batteries on the mighty Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/V...

about two weeks ago
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Hemp Fibers Make Better Supercapacitors Than Graphene

cbhacking Re:suitable for home use? (178 comments)

Apologies, you're correct. You'll note that I used "energy density" later on.

Also, it may cast doubt on my knowledge (which is actually fair; that's a easy mistake but also a beginner or casual one) but I don't think it casts aspersions; you should look up what that word means. Anyhow, I'm a computer security engineer, not an EE or an electrician. I've only ever wired one large PV-charged, DC-stored home electrical system, and did it with under my father who *is* an EE. I'm guessing that's still one more than you, though, and the aforementioned system is still going strong some 12.5 years later (though the batteries did need replacing once and the charge controller got upgraded).

about two weeks ago
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Web Trolls Winning As Incivility Increases

cbhacking Re:Define Troll (457 comments)

I'm not sure if the sarcastic approach was the right one here, but I agree with what I'm pretty sure you mean. Sarcasm has no place in rational debate, though; it's a tool to play on the emotions (humor for those who support you, anger in those you lampoon).

The concept of making a post endorsing the presentation of rational arguments via the use of sarcasm is... weird. You aren't going to get many people disagreeing with you that, objectively, logic and citations are goo things, so there's no need for satire, either. What gives?

about two weeks ago
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Web Trolls Winning As Incivility Increases

cbhacking Re:If they disagree you're a troll (457 comments)

While I agree with your central claim...

the major news media trends centrist.
its only according to the far right wing / Fox News...

Are you aware of the inherent hypocrisy of saying those things together?

The major news media trends in whatever direction will get them the most subscribers. That is frequently done by being *more* polarized than society as a whole, because most people appreciate being told things that align with their biases and don't like being told that issues are complicated or that their point of view isn't entirely correct.

Politicians, on the other hand, trend centrist. Most people will put up with a lot of stuff they don't like so like so long as they get a candidate who claims to agree with them on their few key issues, so the two non-trivial political parties divide the key issues between themselves and take the centrist view on everything else. Sure, they *blame* the other party when they compromise in a way their constituents won't like, but you rarely catch them actually going all out on a non-centrist view that isn't one of those few key issues; it costs them too much bargaining power on those issues for too little gain.

about two weeks ago
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Web Trolls Winning As Incivility Increases

cbhacking More accurately, trolling is not satire. (457 comments)

Why are you co-opting the term "trolling" - which historically had only negative connotations, and referred to actions such as inciting flamewars or consistently derailing online discussions and actively counteracting efforts to get them back on track - by conflating it with the (much older) term satire, which does neither of those things at all? Those aren't "crusades"-style examples, either; that's actually what the term has meant from its inception in this context of online discussion. Another (relatively minor, given the moderation system here) example is that flood of HOSTS file BS that came through here a few months back.

Seriously, trolling already had a definition (and it doesn't even approximate yours). There's no need to redefine it. What benefit do you obtain by attempting to paint trolling as a somehow more noble or victimized than it is? Do you just get you jollies out of calling what you do "trolling" despite it having a different, well-established, and considerably more positive definition already?

Are you trying to say "Don't call those people trolls; *I* am a troll and I'm not that bad" or something like that? Fine, call them griefers - that's another relatively well-established term, for people who want to cause pain rather than merely anger or confusion - but don't then try to pretend that trolling is some noble but misunderstood practice. It's not, and there's absolutely no benefit I can see to trying to make trolling as a whole more acceptable; it will just grant the real trolls legitimacy.

Or are you just attempting to divert the discussion from the subject of what the people mentioned in TFA are doing, and the harm it causes?

about two weeks ago
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Web Trolls Winning As Incivility Increases

cbhacking Re:Devil's advocate view (457 comments)

Um, no. Pastafarianism is satire, a parody of religion. It is *EXPLICITLY* that; it makes no claim to existing for any reason other than to demonstrate the stupidity and danger of religious public policy. Sure, there exist trolls who take it in other directions and act simply to piss people off or derail conversations - the characteristic actions of a troll, unless you have a better one to offer that isn't simply appropriating other concepts - but the organization as a whole does not engage in such behavior.

The thing I think you're missing is that trolling is a matter of intent. It's quite possible for a troll to argue in favor of something logical or even correct, but their intention is not to educate. Similarly, it's probably possible for somebody to genuinely believe (for whatever reason) that the moon landing was faked and make posts referencing that belief with the intention of demonstrating why a given idea won't work; such people are not trolls simply for making that claim.

Now, if the moonshot-deniers attempt to turn an entire discussion (that was about something else entirely) into one about the fake landing, against the wishes of the discussion participants, *that* would be trolling. Similarly, if somebody were to crash a discussion of theology and start telling people they're all wrong because the FSM is the One True God with the intention of riling up "those religious idiots" that would also be trolling. However, I'm not aware of any time that the so-called CotFSM, as an organization, has done any such thing. I'm also not aware of anybody who takes "pastafarianism" seriously enough to actually proselytize it as a religion. That would take a really serious case of Poe's Law, given that it is obviously and explicitly humorous and satirical.

about two weeks ago
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Web Trolls Winning As Incivility Increases

cbhacking Re:Trolling is necessary (457 comments)

Out of genuine curiosity:
Do you have even a *single* coherent and defensible argument for how any amount of trolling is actually beneficial to the purpose you mention? I mean, I'm not saying you can't possibly be right, but I don't see it. Society existed for millennia without anonymous forums wherein users could troll others without serious social consequences. Why is it "necessary" now?

Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

about two weeks ago
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Web Trolls Winning As Incivility Increases

cbhacking Re:suggestion (457 comments)

I can't tell for sure if that entire post was satire and you fell for it, or if the author of the post was the dupe, but either way Poe's Law (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poe's_law) clearly applies.

With that said, I'm not dismissing the claims that there are government employees who would work to derail conversations they don't like. However, I very much doubt it's responsible for any major portion of the behavior discussed in the article. Diverting sensitive topics? Yes. The kind of people who get modded Troll every day here on /. (and run rampant on sites without an effective moderation system)? No. There's no value in it for the gov, and there are (sadly) plenty of people who really are quite that worthless of human beings.

about two weeks ago

Submissions

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Microsoft allowing WP8 users to get updates directly

cbhacking cbhacking writes  |  about 10 months 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 5 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 6 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  |  about 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 7 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 7 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 7 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  |  about 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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