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Comments

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Australian Police Arrest 15, Charge 2, For Alleged Islamic State Beheading Plot

westlake Re:Thought crime (142 comments)

They have only thought about it. So they are being prosecuted for a thought crime.

It's both a pity and a blessing that Orwell didn't live long enough to see the geek in full flight.

The organization and planning of a crime, the recruitment of others to assist you, is more than thought, it is action.

yesterday
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Australian Police Arrest 15, Charge 2, For Alleged Islamic State Beheading Plot

westlake Re:News for nerds (142 comments)

While the IS stuff is rather a hot news item, I do not agree that slashdot is really the place for it.
One of the reasons I look at Slashdot is to get a nice newsfeed without 5 items per day about wild muslims.

The problem is that the Slashdot geek seems increasingly resistant to any story outside his comfort zone.

You see this most clearly when a story cuts close to the bone on issues of race and class and gender in tech --- but it comes through elsewhere as well.

yesterday
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Ask Slashdot: Remote Support For Disconnected, Computer-Illiterate Relatives

westlake Argh. (317 comments)

New keyboard. New Problems.

I think it is a safe bet that the folks back home are running Windows and that is all their local dial-up ISP can reasonably be expected to support.

Local support is the only answer here.

Not the once-a-year parachute drop --- and not the trans-oceanic telephone call that has to be scheduled across five or six time zones, perhaps more. There is no joy in that even when it is IT Pro to IT Pro.

yesterday
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Ask Slashdot: Remote Support For Disconnected, Computer-Illiterate Relatives

westlake It.s not about you. (317 comments)

Some desktop environment that hides anything unrelated to connecting to the net and accessing their account (dial-up software, email client, web browser, exchanging files between their hard disk/email attachments and USB drives). By "hide", I just want the rest to be out of the way, but not entirely removed, so that if necessary, I can guide them over the phone.

I don't see enough thought being given here to how his parents use their computer besides sending and receiving their emails.

Technical support by telephone across multiple time zones does not appeal.

yesterday
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Ask Slashdot: Remote Support For Disconnected, Computer-Illiterate Relatives

westlake Re:Standard remote access (317 comments)

Use a SSH or VNC server, and also use a dynamic DNS client so you have a hostname instead of some random IP address, Then you can control the machine directly when it's online....

His parents live overseas and he visits them only once a year.

To me that suggests that they are living in time zones at least six to eight hours apart, perhaps more.

yesterday
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How Flickr Is Courting the Next Generation of Photographers

westlake Weasel worded. (96 comments)

There are also thousands of artists today that equal the top handful of masters of old times, it simply isn't acknowledge because it is subjective, and appreciation is inherently relative

1 Make a bold, dramatic assertion.

2 and. in your next breath, argue that is useless to offer any proof.

Such a talent is wasted in tech, You really ought to go into politics.

2 days ago
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Is the Tesla Model 3 Actually Going To Cost $50,000?

westlake Yiu haven't answered my question. (378 comments)

Your right gas cars are total non-perishable and never wear-out or need replacement parts, and gasoline can be recycled as well.

I need to know what an electric car is going to cost me over its projected service life. I need to know the up-front cost of replacing a battery. I do not want to base my purchasing decision on "green" energy subsidies that may disappear after the next election.

2 days ago
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Commander Keen: Keen Dreams Source Code Released

westlake Re:Really? (71 comments)

I remember the Z80 and 6502 instruction sets just fine.

Do you remember how to program a smooth-as-silk side-scrolling platform game for an MSDOS PC with 16 bit EGA graphics but no dedicated hardware support for animation?

Adaptive tile refresh

2 days ago
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College Students: Want To Earn More? Take a COBOL Class

westlake You're nothing special. (264 comments)

Well buddy you and any job you have can go fuck itself. If you're planning to hire me solely because I can shave and buy a suit then I have no desire to work for you.
Oh, and if you want someone who does what I do and is good at it...

I'll have no trouble at all finding a replacement who has all your skills and none of your attitude,

2 days ago
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College Students: Want To Earn More? Take a COBOL Class

westlake Re:The UK Cobol Climate Is Very Different (264 comments)

If you work in any field involving network infrastructure, software development, information services, or data management/warehousing and your salary is at all dependent upon your attire, I strongly suggest you inquire with competing firms.

Your salary is defined by your usefulness to your employer and your potential for promotion --- which implies that you know how to dress for the different roles you must play within the company and are being realistic about your age and appearance.

2 days ago
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Say Goodbye To That Unwanted U2 Album

westlake Re:Downloading music for free? Scandelous! (319 comments)

If I came over and starting just randomly putting books into your bookshelves that publishers paid me to do without asking you, wouldnt you rightfully be a bit upset about it?

U2 fits comfortably into the iTunes demographic.

I expect to see many more free --- targeted ----promotional distributions of AAA list titles through channels like iTunes, Steam and the Kindle.

2 days ago
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Quickflix Wants Netflix To Drop Australian VPN Users

westlake Re:International Copyright (172 comments)

Why is Netflix not available in Australia?

The population of Australia is 24 million. The population of metropolitan New York City, 20 to 24 million, depending on how you choose to define it. If you want a presence in the Asian-Pacific market, Australia doesn't loom large in your thinking.

2 days ago
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Windows Tax Shot Down In Italy

westlake Re:The geek never learns. (418 comments)

PC vendors would have invested in alternative OS builds and support, obviating that issue. Had this been done years ago, we'd have a much more competitive OS market, rather than what we have now.

The vendors had no interest in alternatives.

What they wanted was a place in the lucrative market that had evolved around the IBM PC and PC clone.

In the eight bit era there were many competing operating systems in the home market. If you needed an office machine, CP/M was your first and most likely only choice.

The IBM PC was designed to make the transition to the 16 bit world as painless as possible for the both users and developers. Third party software support for the MSDOS and IBM PC was strong from Day 1 and evolved rapidly over the next two years.

--- and by decades end had eclipsed everything in sight.

The Mac doesn't make its appearance until 1984 --- with barely enough resources available to support the Mac GUI.

about a week ago
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Windows Tax Shot Down In Italy

westlake Re:Apple? (418 comments)

The MS-DOS carried on into Windows. Even if you wanted to run Linux, OS/2, or anything else, you still had to purchase the MS license, or colloquially, the M$ Tax.

The OEM MSDOS/Windows system install meant you had a marketable product that could be sold in the millions --- tens of millions --- hundreds of millions of units ---- at a mass market price.

Dell and the rest were crying all the way to the bank - any genuine interest they might have had in selling alternative operating systems in the home and SPHO markets could be measured with a teaspoon,

Linux in the nineties was simply not a mass market OS.

But the easily affordable commodity hardware built for the MSDOS and Windows ecosystem were god-sent to the geek who wanted to experiment with Linux.

about a week ago
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Windows Tax Shot Down In Italy

westlake Re:Separate hardware from software (418 comments)

A law that forbids selling hardware and software together would increase innovation. Installation procedures would become very easy very quickly due to market pressure.

This is the home system I purchased through TigerDirect and other sources a few years back now. There have been many changes since, including a replacement desktop, but nothing that would invalidate the point I am trying to make here.

HP PC Desktop Refurbished.
Not a high end Windows gaming machine but with very credible specs overall.

22" HP LCD HD Monitor.
Mid-Line HP Multifunction Printer Refurbished
APC UPS

Microsoft HD LifeCam.
Logitech Sound System
Logitech Joystick

Internal Expansion HDD (Retail)
External HP USB 1 TB HDD.
Cable Modem (Leased)

I had this beast up and running damn near as fast as I could unpack the boxes and connect the cables.

about a week ago
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Windows Tax Shot Down In Italy

westlake Re:How much would the rebate be? (418 comments)

What does MS sell their OEM OS for anyway? Probably not that much. No one will likely bother.

Walmart --- with its enormous purchasing power --- spent about a decade trying to make a go of the OEM Linux desktop --- an ever-changing merry-go-round of obscure Linux distros running on no-name brand hardware with bottom feeder specs.

Your savings over a far more credible and competitively priced Windows product from the Acer, HP or Dell?

$25 to $50.

The system bundle from HP would likely include a style and performance matched monitor and printer.

Walmart never came within light years of solving the problem of selling plug-and-play peripherals to the newbie Linux user.

about a week ago
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Windows Tax Shot Down In Italy

westlake The geek never learns. (418 comments)

PC sales took off like a rocket with the introduction of the OEM system install at the wholesale price.

The balanced and tested configuration of hardware and software that worked out of the box. --- and was sold as a mass retail product under a single - unified - warranty.

Not the kit of parts that appealed only to the hobbyist or the IT pro.

If it worked, it worked. If it didn't, it went back to the store. The buyer wasn't obliged to diagnose hardware and software conflicts or borked system installs --- or pay for the privilege of having these problems solved for him

about a week ago
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BBC: ISPs Should Assume VPN Users Are Pirates

westlake This is news? (362 comments)

After cutting its teeth as a domestic broadcaster, the BBC is spreading its products all around the globe.

The BBC launched in 1922. The World Service on shortwave in 1932.

In the states, PBS's "Masterpiece Theater" has been importing or co-producing productions by the BBC since 1971.

about two weeks ago
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New DNA Analysis On Old Blood Pegs Aaron Kosminski As Jack the Ripper

westlake Re:forensic 'science' (135 comments)

When comparing the sample to a database, random error can create a match under certain common circumstances.

The match has to be plausible.

The false positives that so agitate the geek are likely to be discarded very early on.

Because they simply won't make sense when you look at the suspect's age, sex, physical condition, proximity to the victim, proximity to the crime scene and so on.

about two weeks ago
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New DNA Analysis On Old Blood Pegs Aaron Kosminski As Jack the Ripper

westlake Elementary School, my dear Watson. (135 comments)

And, of course, it's inconceiveable that there were cross-dressing prostitutes during that period?

---- a fact which would not be discovered in the autopsy of a crudely mutilated victim?

about two weeks ago

Submissions

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Kidnapped by an Uber Driver in DC

westlake westlake writes  |  about 2 months ago

westlake (615356) writes "The Tweet says it all:

Was just kidnapped by an @uber driver in DC, held against my will, and involved in a high speed chase across state lines with police

#Crazy

— Ryan W Simonetti

According to Simonetti, his Uber driver panicked and made a run for it when being tailed by a taxi inspector .

''It was like an episode of ‘Cops,'' Simonetti said. ''We’ve all seen the ‘Cops’ episode. This only ends two ways. Either the car crashes or the guy jumps out and runs. And he had plenty of opportunities to slow down and jump out and run, and he wasn’t doing that.''

“It was insane,” Simonetti said. ''I physically tried to force his leg to hit the brake. I ripped off his pant leg. I said, ‘Here's two options. You take this exit, or I’m going to knock the side of your head in. If we crash, we crash, but you’re gonna kill us anyway.''

The driver in question has been ''deactivated'' by Uber.

Man visiting D.C. says Uber driver took him on wild ride"

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Ethanol runs out of gas.

westlake westlake writes  |  about 10 months ago

westlake (615356) writes "By pulling back on an effort to guarantee ethanol an ever-growing share of the nation’s gasoline supply, the Obama administration could be putting the bio-fuels industry into the deep freeze.
Corn-based biofuel has for years been untouchable politically — until now. Reasons for the change are many: The boom in domestic oil drilling. Demand for gasoline has slumped. And criticism of the environmental impacts of corn ethanol has taken hold nationally."

Link to Original Source
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Google Patents Pay-Per-Gaze Add Technology

westlake westlake writes  |  1 year,29 days

westlake (615356) writes "The "focus" to no one's surprise is on Google Glass. For a look at the patent click here: Gaze tracking system

In particular, it outlines a method for billing advertisers based on the number of times users look at an advert – either online or offline, via a billboard, magazine or newspaper. While gaze tracking may sound a little creepy, it is merely an extension of the pay-per-click model commonly used to charge for online advertising, which measures how many users have engaged with a particular advert.

How Pay-Per-Gaze Advertising Could Work With Google Glass

Creepy, I can live with. Maybe. But a revenue stream based on how long you can keep your eyes focused on adds viewed through Google Glass is simply and plainly irresponsible."

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The Big Story In PC Gaming That Slashdot Ignores.

westlake westlake writes  |  about a year ago

westlake (615356) writes "The Humble Origin Bundle has raised $6.8 million for charity. It has nine days and nineteen hours to break $10 million in sales.
The story has received broad coverage elsewhere. It's an impressive showing, but not a word, not a whisper of it has reached the front pages of Slashdot.
It is EA and it is Origin and Steam. It is Windows. It is AAA mass market titles like Dead Space, Battlefield 3 and The Sims. Eight games. 200 GB of prime download content. Yours for a $5 gift to the American Red Cross and others.
The Humble Bundle has been — and continues to be — a showcase for Indie gaming and the Linus port. But promotions on this scale could permanently alter the landscape."
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The Humble Origin Bundle: Geek vs Gamer.

westlake westlake writes  |  about a year ago

westlake (615356) writes "In its first day and with four hours and thirteen days to go The Humble Origin Bundle has seen 760,000 sales and raised $3.6 million for charities like the American Red Cross, with all proceeds going to your charities of choice.

The games are mainstream AAA list titles:

Dead Island 1&3, Burnout Paradise: The Ultimate Box, Crysis 2, Mirror's Edge, Medal of Honor, Battlefield 3 and The Sims 3 Starter Pack. Distribution is through Origin and Steam. Steam keys are available for most, but not all games. The Sims 3 is available for the Mac. It's quite possible that one or two games could be added later.

It's been a tortuous day for the geek — gamer. It's EA and it is Origin. The promotion has totally eclipsed this week's hard-core, multi-platform, DRM free, indie Introversion Humble Bundle (Defcon, Uplink, Darwinia) which sold a respectable 55,000 units, with a return of $320 thousand."
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Suspect in Boston Marathon Dead In Shppt-Out With Police

westlake westlake writes  |  about a year and a half ago

westlake (615356) writes "The breaking story from Reuters:

HOW THE NIGHT BEGAN

About five hours after the FBI released the pictures of the bombing suspects, a police officer was shot and killed on the campus of Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the Middlesex County District Attorney said in a statement.

A short time later, police received reports of a carjacking by two men who kept their victim inside the car for about half an hour.

Police pursued that car to Watertown, where explosives were thrown from the car at police and gunfire was exchanged.

''During the exchange of the gunfire, we believe that one of the suspects was struck and ultimately taken into custody. A second suspect was able to flee from that car and there is an active search going on at this point in time,'' Colonel Timothy Alben, superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police, told a news conference. http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/04/19/us-usa-mit-gunshots-idUSBRE93I04520130419" a>One suspect in Boston bombing dead, manhunt underway for second suspect

"
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Contract Dispute Grounds Steve Jobs' iYacht "Venus"

westlake westlake writes  |  about a year and a half ago

westlake (615356) writes "The BBC notes that the designer of Steve Jobs' 105 million euro mega-yacht "Venus" has had the boat impounded in Amsterdam over the non-payment of 3 million euros of his 9 million euro fee.
It's the familiar story of story of a handshake deal that was never fully spelled out in a written contract and may reflect as well a willful blindness on all sides to Jobs visibly failing health."

Link to Original Source
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In The World of Big Stuff, the U.S. Still Rules

westlake westlake writes  |  about 2 years ago

westlake (615356) writes "From Peoria and the WSJ a look at the giant trucks manufactured by Komatsu and Caterpillar.

" In certain areas — notably aircraft, industrial engines, excavators and railway and mining equipment — the U.S. exports far more than it imports. These industries produce relatively small numbers of very expensive goods, requiring specialized technology and labor. Their competitive advantage rests partly on expertise built by U.S. companies in making durable, high-tech weaponry and other equipment for the military — frequently applicable to other products."

It may surprise the geek to learn that Komatsu doesn't employee a single industrial robot. The quality of workmanship simply isn't there where it is needed,In World of Big Stuff, the U.S. Still Rules "

Link to Original Source
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The all-TIME List of 100 Best In PC and Console Gaming

westlake westlake writes  |  about 2 years ago

westlake (615356) writes "It's the season for lists and Time's Matt Peckham looks back on forty years PC and console gaming. There are some odd choices and missing pieces, of course. You can't hope to please everyone. Grim Fandango, for example, must stand for all the Lucas Arts games. The geek will find the inclusion of Net Hack cheering and a nod to the Indie gaming community.

For those who are finding the net a little slow this long holiday weekend, here is a dirrect link to the full list and Index page: All-TIME 100 greatest video games. [Index]"

Link to Original Source
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Images from the banned Apple/Foxconn game

westlake westlake writes  |  about 2 years ago

westlake (615356) writes "Benjamin Poynter "In a Permanent Save State" imagines the afterlife of seven Foxconn workers who committed suicide, based on Buddhist traditions. It was pulled from the Apple App Store after narely an hour this weekend, but beautiful and haunting images and video from the game survive and have been posted to the web. In A Permanent Save State Fills You With Wonder And Sadness, Images from the banned Apple/Foxconn game"
Link to Original Source
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Apple Retreats On EPEAT Environmental Standards

westlake westlake writes  |  more than 2 years ago

westlake writes "Apple's Senior VP for Hardware Engineering, Bob Mansfield, has posted a brief announcement of Apple's return to the EPEAT "green hardware" program:

We’ve recently heard from many loyal Apple customers who were disappointed to learn that we had removed our products from the EPEAT rating system. I recognize that this was a mistake. Starting today, all eligible Apple products are back on EPEAT.

It’s important to know that our commitment to protecting the environment has never changed, and today it is as strong as ever. Apple makes the most environmentally responsible products in our industry. In fact, our engineering teams have worked incredibly hard over the years to make our products even more environmentally friendly, and much of our progress has come in areas not yet measured by EPEAT.

For more information on this breaking story: Apple moves products back on EPEAT environmental standard"
Link to Original Source

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Apple Exits "Green Hardware" Program

westlake westlake writes  |  more than 2 years ago

westlake writes "From CNETreports that Apple is turning its back on the EPA supported EPEAT hardware certification program.

One of the problems EPEAT sees are barriers to recycling. Batteries and screens glued into place. That sort of thing.

There is a price for Apple in this.

CIO Journal notes that the U.S. government requires that 95 percent of its electronics bear the EPEAT seal of approval; large companies such as Ford and Kaiser Permanente require their CIOs to buy from EPEAT-certified firms; and many of the largest universities in the U.S. prefer to buy EPEAT-friendly gear."

Link to Original Source
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Encyclopedia Britannica Goes "Out of Print" After 244 Years of Production

westlake westlake writes  |  more than 2 years ago

westlake writes "The Guardian is reporting that the 2010 edition of the Brittanica will be the last in print, The DVD edition and on-line subscription service will continue. The Brittanica's great strengh historically was in its signed contributions from men like Freud and Einstein. It was the quality of the writing as much as the content that made browsing these massive and often unweildy sets such a pleasure."
Link to Original Source
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USS Enterprise Takes Its Final Voyage

westlake westlake writes  |  more than 2 years ago

westlake writes "The AP is reporting that world's first nuclear powered aircraft carrier, the USS Enterprise is being retired after fifty years of active service — the longest of any warship in US naval history. The big ship had become notoriously difficult to keep in repair. The only ship in its age and class, breakdowns became frequent and replacement parts often had to be custom made. Despite its place in naval history and popular culture, Enterprise will meet its end at the scrap yard and not be preserved as a museum. Famed USS Enterprise Takes Its Final Voyage"
Link to Original Source
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The elephant in the room

westlake westlake writes  |  more than 3 years ago

westlake (615356) writes "Microsoft posts a record first quarter and Slashdot studiously ignores it. No matter that news like this rates some comment on OS News, Ars Technica, and so on. Microsoft thanks Windows 7, Office 2010, Xbox for record first quarter But the bigger story here, I think, is the "death of Linux" as a consumer brand name — to borrow a theme from an earlier post — and perhaps something even more disturbing. Wherever the future of Android and Chrome may lie, they belong to Google and AdSense. The sale of the user, rather than the sale or service of a product. In no country or region of the world and in no market segment do the stats for the traditional "community oriented" Linux distribution look at all healthy. StatCounter Global Stats"
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The Dark Tower Coming To Theaters Near You

westlake westlake writes  |  about 4 years ago

westlake (615356) writes "Nothing quite like this has ever been tried before. But Reuter's, The L.A. Times and many others are reporting that Ron Howard will produce Stephen King's The Dark Tower, for Universal as a theatrical trilogy with the in-between stories told through two seasons of an NBC television series. No news as yet on casting — suggestions anyone?"
Link to Original Source
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Tweet 911

westlake westlake writes  |  more than 4 years ago

westlake (615356) writes "A survey by the American Red Cross reveals that 3 out of 4 social media users expect help to arrive within one hour of their tweet or post to Facebook. More than 1 in 4 expect help to arrive in less than fifteen minutes.
Which is alarmingly naive.
In flat contraction to this, about half are unconvinced that the first responders are listening in at all.74% of Social Media Users Expect Cries for Help to Be Answered Within an Hour"

Link to Original Source
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The Hotness of Windows 7

westlake westlake writes  |  more than 4 years ago

westlake (615356) writes "The success of Windows 7 can be seen in the second-quarter numbers. Profits up 60% from December 08. Operating profitability in the Windows and Windows Live Division 78% in the quarter. Operating profitability for the whole company: 44%. It's been a big story in the trade and financial press, but studiously ignored on Slashdot. The Hotness of Windows 7"
Link to Original Source

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