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Craig Matthews Craig_​Matthews Good News, Everyone!
  • Using just any unsecured WiFi - stealing?

    , Sven Groot wrote


    Except that I'm pretty damn certain that 99% of unsecured networks are that way because that's the default configuration of the router and the person who set it up didn't know any better. That's even more likely if they're using the router's default SSID.

    These people didn't deliberately configure their router to let anyone connect. The problem is that these people didn't really configure their router at all.

    Fair enough point and I'll also concede that the owners of the routers generally aren't given enough information by the router manufacturer to make an informed decision as to how to configure their router as well as having insecure defaults.

    Fortunately, ISPs, at least with the wireless devices they provide, have for the most part moved toward installation with secure defaults, which unambiguously declare the intent, at least of those ISPs, that the Wifi is not available to public use, forcing the customer to take affirmative steps to make it available to the public, declaring his intention. With customer supplied routers, it sucks that the out of box defaults on those may or may not be secure, so the owner's intent is ambiguous. I think any wifi access point/wifi router sold in the US should be required to default to a secure setup.

    I'm working from the point of view of one overriding truth: In a WiFi environment, where the signal can pass through walls, propagate in any direction, be repeated, and requires specialized equipment to determine the source, the only effective way to determine the identity of the signal's source and that identity's intent is by examining the signal itself. That signal provides us with a network name and what type of security it has -- in my opinion a one to one mapping to source identity and that identity's intent. 

    I don't know which structure, if there even is one associated with a particular hotspot, that I should be looking for a sign on.

  • Using just any unsecured WiFi - stealing?

    , kettch wrote

    @Craig_Matthews: How do you tell the difference between an intentionally open router, and an unintentionally open router?

    Because, in my opinion, if someone configured their router to broadcast a wifi signal, offer it to devices, and then connect those devices without question, the intent of the router owner is clear -- at least clear enough to my ability to ascertain as the person utilizing it. Granted -- just my opinion.

  • Microsoft still in denial phase over W8.. possible "relaunch" in February

    , RLO wrote

    ...  No longer are you limited by your processor, your ram, your storage or your bandwidth, you will only be limited by your datacenter.

    ... and the unlit "online" light on your modem.


  • Using just any unsecured WiFi - stealing?

    So, when I intentionally set my router to broadcast an open wifi signal, the sole purpose of which is to broadcast its existence to everyone within range and offer a connection, and then provide one without question, the person using it needs my permission? I thought I just gave them that by handing them my wifi.

    These aren't electrical extension cords, these aren't unlocked doors in front of people's houses, and they aren't cars with the keys in the ignition. These are routers, configured by their owners, to say "Hello, here is a Wifi connection for you to use" to any device in range.


  • Monopoly Microsoft was more customer friendly than today's "friendly" Microsoft

    There's one good thing about this. When Microsoft eventually decides to make MS Word have a game console UI where you write your documents by selecting letters with a game controller, and everyone bitches, the defenders won't be able to say "no one's forcing you to upgrade."


  • See how people didn't notice until now.

    No seriously, as far as I can tell, all that's being asked for this piece of mobile software is, "You see that vbaProject.bin file in the .xlsm file under the 'xl' directory? Yeah, ignore it's even there. Just don't touch it until the user hits save, then make sure that file, which hasn't been touched, is in the saved zip file."

    * edited quote and to add:

    Really --- if the phone version doesn't even support macros, there's no reason for it to touch the macro related files contained within the xlsm file. It kind of appears that someone had to do work in order to make it take a document with otherwise editable content and make it non editable because there's a file within the zip that provides extra functionality when used with a desktop client. Persisting unchanged files contained within a zip file to a newly saved copy of a zip file surely was thoroughly tested when "save" functionality was included I would hope .. at least to a point where Microsoft shouldn't be afraid of opening an Excel document write-enabled.

  • See how people didn't notice until now.

    , evildictait​or wrote


    What makes you think that a feature in desktop office is free to port to a phone app that shares almost no code with the desktop app?

    Because no one is asking for a feature to be ported from desktop Office to phone office. Phone Office already knows how to allow editing of editable data in an Office document. The file format itself separates the macros from content. Office on desktop, phone, and tablet, all know the difference between a macro and content, because they have to in order to open the file, and they have to in order to disable editing if macros exist. The portable Office already doesn't run macros, which no one is asking for it to do, and it already should know how to save an Office document without altering saved parts of the file that the user didn't touch.

    Given the above, if allowing editing of macro-enabled documents without needing to touch the part of the file that has the macros, requires as much debugging and testing as you imply, great enough to just not even bother trying, then there's a more fundamental structural problem somewhere and I don't even need to see the code to know that. "fixing bugs in the sound subsystem can break printing" anyone?


  • See how people didn't notice until now.

    The part being forgotten: Microsoft already knows how to open a macro-enabled Excel document, disable the macros, allow editing, and safely save the edited documents without breaking macros. It's part of the design of the file format, and it's been in every version of Office for the last decade.

    At first it might not make sense that Microsoft has to test and debug functionality that they already tested and debugged -- until you realize that when Microsoft starts development on VERSION X of a product, they apparently start with an alpha copy of VERSION X MINUS 2 and go from there. It's the only way to explain a lot of regressions we've seen in the past with not only Office, but Windows as well. 

  • Monopoly Microsoft was more customer friendly than today's "friendly" Microsoft

    , wastingtime​withforums wrote


    Of course it has. You were able to transfer licenses from one computer to another with the previous Office versions, that's gone. You need to pay up for every PC install the full price again now, even if your old PC got damaged and you (or the repair service) only installed a new mainboard there. Price increase.

    Older versions had dual licensing ("2PC/1 User") - one Office license was valid for a desktop AND a notebook install. That's gone. Price increase.

    The family packs for Home and Student introduced with Office 2007 (3 licenses for around 150-160$) are gone as well. Price increase. And a really hefty one for this group. Particulary if they don't need Outlook.

    And the free "Starter Edition" is gone as well.


    To be fair, almost everything you said is accurate and it is an effective price increase on Microsoft Office, but the issue with the license transfer isn't entirely true:

    Yes, you can no longer transfer a retail license of Office (starting with 2013) to another computer. This forces a user to buy Office 2013 retail again if they replace their computer and I too see this as a price increase, of course.

    BUT, the EULA defines a computer simply as a hardware system with a storage device. I'm pretty sure Microsoft would have a difficult time convincing a judge that Dell replacing one piece of a "hardware system with a storage device" makes it a "different" computer (Dell does not rip off the service tag sticker and replace it with a new one when they replace a motherboard. In fact, they program the existing service tag into the motherboard). Same serial number = same computer as far as licensing goes, and I'll take that all the way to a judge without a worry.

    So yah, Microsoft is now making people pay again for Office (retail) if they replace their computer (which I think is BS on Microsoft's part), but they're not making people pay again if they replace their motherboard, or their RAM, or their power supply.

    The loss of dual licensing would really screw me if I was intending on upgrading to 2013. I have two retail licenses of Office 2010 one assigned to my desktop and my netbook, and the other assigned to my other desktop and other netbook. If I upgrade, I'll have to buy four licenses.

    As far as the retail license transfer, Microsoft can raise their prices all they want, whether it's a stupid business move or not I really don't know -- but I think machine-locking a retail, store bought license, to a machine upon installation is quite a bit dickish, if not borderline violating the first sale doctrine. The retail license didn't come with the computer.

  • Meanwhile in the open universe...

    , fanbaby wrote

    ...IE9/10 might be faster...

    On what planet? Honestly, I don't know where you read that, but if anyone is saying IE is faster than Chrome, they're lying.