top New Content-Delivery Tech Should Be Presumed Illegal, Says Former Copyright Boss
A couple of students, backed with money from a Chinese bank, come up with a distribution mechanism that is so brilliant in its simplicity that it becomes a worldwide hit in everywhere except the US where Congress is so busy farting around trying to please their corporate sponsors that they get left several years behind.
Three years later In America, when congress realises that the rest of the world doesn't give a shit what they think and has progressed onto different and more profitable business model, everyone realises that Ralph Oman had been a complete and utter twat but by then it too late. Well done Ralph Oman, well done......
about a year and a half ago
top CowboyNeal Reviews Oracle Linux
The only question I really wanted to hear answered is "Do you guarantee that once I've converted all of my servers to your free product, it will still be available further down the line? Or, to put it another way, am I likely to end up having to pay for the binary rpms or do a full re-install of CentOS later because you've changed the licencing and started issuing source rpms only"?
about a year and a half ago
top UK Police Test 'Temporarily Blinding' LASER
"Paul Kerr, managing director of Clyde-based Photonic Security Systems, which came up with the design, said 'If you can't look at something you can't attack it.'"
Absolutely, said the bloke wearing shades and carrying a mirror.
top Apple Files Suit Against Motorola Xoom In EU
Good to see no hypocrisy here then:
top Recession Turning Software Auditors Into Greedy Traffic Cops
"Ballmer also suggested that education should be given government stimulus funding to enable young people to gain experience on the computing systems they would meet in the real world."
Seriously Mr B, go fuck yourself. You don't need the money and young people, on the whole, are pretty good at working things out for themselves as they have a "click and see what happens" approach mixed with the ability to ask another kid who knows. Doesn't matter if it's OpenOffice, Office 2007, whatever, if they really want it to do something, they'll find a way. The weak point is quite often the teachers.
Seriously, in the UK you cannot be a teacher without a University degree. A University degree should teach you to analyse a problem, research the problem and apply a solution. In software, this boils down to "I can't do X in program Y", go to Google and type "how do I do X in program Y", click links until you find answer and follow instructions on page. Most of the time they seem incapable of following this simple idea. They'll even come in and as me then watch me hit Google and search for a solution (often the first result returned) but it never dawns on them to do the same themselves next time (and no, support isn't my job). I showed a year 7 how to find something out using the "F1" key and he was amazed, he just didn't know.
The best thing for education, would be for kids to be trained to work stuff out for themselves by teachers who are trained to work stuff out for themselves. This "teaching people to use the software they'll use in the real world" argument is crippling and the seeming inability for people with far higher qualifications than mine to work out even minor problems has seriously dented my faith in the higher education system.
top Linux On Netbooks — a Complicated Story
The cost of the competitor is irrelevant. What is relevant is that a company with a stranglehold on the desktop PC market is using that monopoly position and the familiarity with the desktop product to lever its way into the netbook market. The cost of the competition has no bearing on the concept of predatory pricing as it is the act of reducing the cost of Windows, an OEM product that everyone else has to pay $ for to zero with the express intent of levering Linux out of the netbook market.
"They're providing very strict licensing terms for what they can and can't put XP for netbooks on. It's no different from compared Office licence costs for business to the teacher and student edition. One costs about 1/4 of the other."
This I'm afraid is total bollocks. The limit on who can use student and teacher edition is laid down in the licence, i.e. students and teachers. If a competitor emerged in the education market and Microsoft reduced the cost to zero long enough to kill it off and then raised it again, that would be predatory pricing. I
I don't see how this concept is so difficult to grasp. The fact that this free issue of XP is ONLY in the netbook market at a time when every source is saying that Linux threatens Microsoft is in the netbook market is what differentiates it.
top Linux On Netbooks — a Complicated Story
'Once again Microsoft's monopoly means Windows is swallowing up another market.'"
Which is why, if the rumours of Microsoft giving XP to netbook manufacturers is true, they are guilty of predatory pricing which is basically summarised as discounting heavily with the intention of forcing a competitor out of the market.
Open and shut case really although it'll probably take the EU stepping in to do something about it.
top UK Gov. Clueless About Own Internet Blacklist
Who watches the watchers?
top UK Government To Back Off Plans To Share Private Data
"A spokesman for Mr Straw said the 'strength of feeling' against the plans had persuaded him to rethink"
Oh shit. Only one year to the election deadline...
Nuff said really
top UK Company Sold Workers' Secret Data
Better than that. Fine them the average annual wage lost by the builders on their list, say Â£15,000 a year, times 3213 builders, times the number of years the list operated = Â£722,925,000 spread evenly across the data company and the customers that used them.
top The Hard Upgrade Path From XP To Vista To Win 7
They've already ripped off the look of KDE4, the idea of centralised software repositories so it's only logical that they adopt the random hardware problems that Linux suffers from time to time.
Unless they copy the price and the licence, I'm still sticking with Ubuntu.
top How To Argue That Open Source Software Is Secure?
OK you can say that the authour's background may bias him somewhat but then Microsoft's claims are open to the same criticism.
The best line though is that old favourite "well they would say that wouldn't they" particularly if you then explain the dependance Microsoft has on business and Office in particular.
On the other hand, you can also find out who the Microsoft vendors are that are making the claims and report them for false advertising or fraud. At best, the current situation i.e. which system is most secure, is debatable and at worst a matter of opinion and it will remain this way until a truly independant analyst manages to definitively show otherwise.
top Russia's Operating System May Be Fedora Based
Agreed, monopoly isn't good but if you are a country that doesn't always see eye to eye with the home nation of the world's most widespread software manufacturer then breaking away to a system that allows to not only view the source code but also compile it from scratch into a distro of your own making is an extremely attractive proposition.
I'm not saying that Windows contains back doors and switches but once you stir DRM into the equation, a tap of a key in a far off country could cripple your economy, military and/or governmental services in the event of a trade war or other stand off. Once you have a national system, you can then use the "we must train school kids to use the software they'll encounter in the real world" excuse that Microsoft has traded off of for so long.
As Microsoft discovered early on, people will mostly use the same software at home that they have at work so there'll probably be a boom in the Linux userbase.
top UK Conservatives Slammed Over Open Source Stance
That this is the best evidence so far that Microsoft's new carey, sharey nice image is basically what many people have assumed it to be, i.e. bullshit.
The scenario is nothing new. Bring in a friendly company, get them to slate the competition and then brag about how an "independent" analyst has found something meaningful. Similarly, as usual, the people who don't care still won't care, the whole thing will be forgotten and FOSS will continue to gain ground as those who know its true value will continue to use and propagate it.
The important thing is to remember that we're still dealing with the same selfish, power hungry, lying, money grabbing, unethical, amoral, shower of shites that we were 5 years ago.
top Best IT Solution For a Brand-New School?
If your running a big company with multiple sites, a flat, uniform, corporate desktop is a good thing as it eases the admins job and makes it easy for staff travelling from one site to another to work without having to get their head around different setups.
Education wise, uniform setup across the whole country, managed from a central location is a truly crap idea. Managing the systems in house allows you to build a setup appropriate to the character of the school. I admin a grammar school and our requirements are totally different to those of an academy in a deprived area. To be honest, I think computers are a waste of space in pretty much every subject other than ICT and film studies, where pupils make their own films. Pen, paper and talented, capable teachers can teach to a higher standard than a poor teacher with an interactive whiteboard in a room full of computers.
League tables and the national curriculum are perfect demonstrations of the appalling effect that central management can have on education. On the other hand, if your happy with turning the subject of ICT into a bland, boring, sterile landscape aimed at the lowest common denominator, that's your choice.
top UK Email Retention Plan Technically Flawed
...with one hand the government seeks to lock down the British Internet with an iron fist, while at the same time telling us it is boosting innovation and business online. It is quite clearly blind to the fact that one affects the other.
No shit Sherlock?
Most of the problems in UK governmental IT are down to the fact that while the government wants to be at the cutting edge of digital technology, they have little or no understanding of the things they do.
This leaves them as easy prey to the tens of thousands of consultants, many of whom are probably partners of the service providers, who will happily stand there with a straight face telling ministers that their latest hare-brained scheme is do-able within budget and will of course be delivered on-time despite the fact that such a result is as rare as rocking horse shit.
Ultimately, no matter what half arsed fiasco results, the government will keep praising the scheme and plugging its merits because (a) they don't understand it enough to see how fucked up it all is. (b) An admission reveals the fact that they don't know what they're doing and (c) An admission results in an open declaration of "Whoops, we just pissed Â£4,000,000,000 of tax-payer's money down the drain.
And at the end of the day, the only people to be affected will be the honest,law abiding types while the terrorists, paedo's and all will just go back to using the memory sticks, dead letter drops and the post.
Tragic, truly tragic.
top Royal Society of Chemistry Slams UK Exam Standards
Yep, I'd go along with that. When I hit secondary school in 1976, the county council had scrapped Grammar Schools and gone comprehensive. Went in at the top and after discovering that being a smartarse was a one way trip to a good kicking gave up on achievement and spent the next 4 years blending in to the background. School was, without a doubt, the most miserable part of my life and those who have have tried to tell me they're the best days of their life generally get told to fuck off.
Funnily enough I now find myself working in a Grammar School, you know, the ones the government are trying to ban because of their divisive nature, and to be quite honest it works, but the current method selection is fundamentally flawed. The 11+ for those who haven't come across it, is a series of tests that are basically IQ tests, pattern recognition etc. . In counties with Grammar systems, parents, usually middle class and fairly well off, see the higher results they attain as being an indication of a "better class of education". These parents then pay to have individual tuition for their offspring aimed purely at passing the 11+, i.e. teaching to the test, and by showing how the tests work via past papers you can push people through the 11+. The problems start when the kid starts in the fast paced, academic grammar school environment but the tuition stops. You can spot these kids. They're the ones standing outside the classroom because, in their frustrated state at not being able to keep up, they make a pain in the arse of themselves in order to gain some peer cred.
So, I still think that Grammars are a good idea but the 11+ is way out of date. What's needed is a method of getting the kid whose nose is always in a book or is pulling things to pieces to find out how they work or is always asking questions.
If you want depression though try the Building Schools for the Future program. The biggest load of PFI based, consultant driven wank ever foisted on the British People. When addressed by the government it's always described as the program to build new school buildings which is undeniably good but they neglect to mention the whole mess behind it.