* Posts by Marty McFly

568 posts • joined 23 Jan 2008


Google gets the green light to flood US Gmail inboxes with political spam

Marty McFly Silver badge

Should NOT be allowed to vote!

Anyone who makes a voting decision based upon spam received in their free email account is not qualified to intelligently cast their vote.

VMware offers cloudy upgrade lifeline to legacy vCenter users

Marty McFly Silver badge


"Due to various reasons, a considerable number of organizations still rely on legacy VMware vCenter Server versions....."

Reasons like.... I already own it. It is not a subscription. I'm not going to get bent over a barrel... Those sorts of reasons.

FCC rejects Starlink's bid for US rural internet access funds

Marty McFly Silver badge
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Re: Don't blow your wad

Deposit put down February 2022. Received dish July 2022.

Rural America, no cell service, POTS line with DSL from Centurylink. Even dealing with Starlink obstruction issues, it is approximately 20x faster than Centurylink. Centurylink has multi-day outages multiple times per year on both DSL & the land line - hope no one needs to call 911....

Only grumble is needing to keep Centurylink. Being a remotely employed techie, I am dependent on Internet service. Two is one and one is none, so I will keep them around. Maybe I'll re-evaluate in a year or so. I need the DSL's static IP address for tech stuff, so kind of stuck there. But if if Starlink continues to be a rock star, I may just tell Centurytel what I really think of them.

Education officials urged to curb student snoopware

Marty McFly Silver badge

#2 pencil

Never had a problem with Internet distractions or online cheating when the only device allowed was a pencil.

One way Bitcoin miners can make money: Selling electricity back to Texas

Marty McFly Silver badge

Re: Bah!

>Why would someone put their humongous, red-hot data center in Texas

Simple answer: Wind power. Texas produces the most wind power of any U.S. state. Unlike other power generation methods, there is no ability to store that energy. It is use it or lose it.

Bloomberg is reporting that Texas is expecting to use 80 Gigawatts of electricity to deal with today's heat forecast. The power grid is capable of producing that amount because it is windy in Texas right now (unlike the no-wind cold snap a year ago which took down their grid). That means Texas is CAPABLE of producing that amount of power the rest of the time when they aren't experiencing record heat.

Aside from hydroelectric, other power generation plants are not like an on/off switch. It takes a significant amount of time & effort to bring them on-line. That means the nuclear / coal / natural gas plants need to be running well in advance of the pending peak demand. While they can throttle back, they cannot be simply shut off overnight (for example) if they will be needed tomorrow.

With no ability to store the wind generated power, might as well let the miners consume it when it is not in demand for the rest of the grid. Even selling the power at cost to the miners it is still a win-win as the infrastructure exists and it still depreciates when it is not in use.

Apple ends corporate COVID mask mandate

Marty McFly Silver badge

Re: The panemic is over?

Just remember... Covid didn't crash our economy and send us spiraling in to a recession the government wants to deny is happening.

Our collective response to Covid caused all the problems we are seeing now.

NASA to send prototype robot surgeon into space

Marty McFly Silver badge
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Robotic surgery....

Family friend went in for neck surgery at Mayo clinic. Robot nicked his carotid artery causing a slow bleed that was not detected. That led to an eventual clot and then a stroke. What should have been a routine surgery of a minor tumor ended up disabling him.

No thanks to robotic surgery, it is not ready for prime time yet.

Surprise! The metaverse is going to suck for privacy

Marty McFly Silver badge

Re: Slurp, slurp, slurpy slurpy, slurp, slurp

WTH does my Samsung 'Smart' TV need me to agree to a EULA for? Every damn time I power it on, and I refuse to give it an answer or network access. Just connect HDMI1 and I'll tell you what to display. I bought a different brand the next time just to avoid that garbage.

Sheesh, I am ready for an analog VGA connection that won't report back to the mothership. Slurp that!

Amazon shows off robot warehouse workers that won't complain, quit, unionize...

Marty McFly Silver badge

The next Reg cross-over story...

"Blake Lemoine, formerly of Google, reports Amazon robots are self-aware. Unionization fears renewed."

Queue Futurama them song music...

VMware president sees some 'anxiety' at customers who've seen Broadcom at work

Marty McFly Silver badge

Re: A brand turn around, or the place good companies go to die?

You are confusing Symantec with McAfee. Symantec was purchased only once - by Broadcom. McAfee has been the industry hot-potato.

FCC chair wishes for 100Mbps down, 20Mbps up broadband minimum in US

Marty McFly Silver badge

Re: 2015's 25/3 standard would be welcome here.

I am only slightly further from that crap-hole of Portland, Oregon. Centurytel advertises 12mbps. Mine is hard locked at 8mbps/768kbps. If it tries to go faster, their technology will throttle back to 1.5mbps - hence the hard lock.

I have a Sam Knows monitor box on my network. It reports a bit over 6mbps down and 700kbps up. Yes, I am still measuring bandwidth in kilobits.

Plus Centurytel refuses to invest in their equipment. Years ago if there was a power outage their UPS batteries could carry the load for a couple days. Now if there is a power outage the DSL goes down in minutes, followed quickly by the land line. That wouldn't be so bad, but there is no cell service or alternate providers in the area either. Basically minutes after a power outage we lose all communication...hopefully there won't be an emergency needing to dial 911 or anything like that.

Starlink is in the works. After decades of Centurytel bending us over the single provider barrel, they can go foxtrot themselves.

Demand for smartphones is drying up

Marty McFly Silver badge

Re: There's nothing to buy

Ah, but there is the long game. Batteries are consumable items. When it goes tango-uniform, the majority of users will opt for a new phone. So what if users don't buy a new phone this quarter, they will eventually be back.

You didn't really think the non-removable, non-user replaceable batteries were for your own good, did you?

Marty McFly Silver badge
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The ride is over

New cell phones continue to be evolutionary, they are no longer revolutionary.

More memory, faster CPU, more pixels, more storage, different cell signals, more sizes, are all evolutionary changes. But they are hardly game changers.

Dev's code manages to topple Microsoft's mighty SharePoint

Marty McFly Silver badge

Re: Microsoft phone support (baggy-pants edition)

Only thing better would be a cynical & sarcastic DJ...

"Hey folks, the queue times are continuing to climb. If you just joined our program, it really sucks to be you. I could tell you how much the company values our customers, but if that was honestly true we would have enough help on staff.

Remember, if you don't want to hold the line any longer it is easier for us to ignore you if you open a support case on-line."

Seriously, I would sign an NDA & hold harmless contract just to listen to a DJ poke fun at the company for having me on hold so long. For those of us in the trenches - myself, the DJ, and the overworked tech taking my call - we might as well get a good laugh out of the situation.

Intel's net positive water use only tells part of the story

Marty McFly Silver badge

Lies, damn lies, and statistics

"...the company created around 15,000 tons of wastewater in the first three months of 2021 alone; 60 percent of which was considered hazardous.

Gee, that sounds really bad! Shame on Intel!

15,000 tons = 33,069,339 pounds. 8.345 pounds for a gallon of water = 3,962,772 gallons of water. About 660,000 gallons of water in an Olympic sized swimming pool = 6 swimming pools. 60% hazardous = 3.6 swimming pools. Over the first three months = 1.2 swimming pools per month.

Wow, that is still not good. But it seems like a manageable amount of hazardous water to treat over the course of a month. "15,000 tons" just sounds so scary though.

Microsoft intros clothing line that is absolutely not leftover conference swag

Marty McFly Silver badge

Display your ignorance!

Please give money to a multi-billion dollar company for the privilege of wearing their logo on overpriced clothing.

Twitter sues Musk: He can't just 'change his mind, trash the company, walk away'

Marty McFly Silver badge

This might be the best thing for Twitter...

When this all started, Twitter removed their shadow bans they had in place. There are actually a lot of people with large followings who are returning to Twitter because it is actually working again.

Obviously TBD to see if enough users return, and very TBD to see if Twitter remains out of the shadow ban business.

San Francisco cops want real-time access to private security cameras for surveillance

Marty McFly Silver badge

Watch the money....

So the city wants the public to pay for the cameras AND pay for the bandwidth to share live video with law enforcement. Watch for this to get implemented on an opt-in basis..

Next will be the insurance companies. "You are in a high-crime city. If you want property insurance for vandalism, you need to install cameras and share live feeds with law enforcement."

Crack the door an inch, and it will be forced fully open.

US floats framework for international crypto regulations that cement its power

Marty McFly Silver badge

Re: OK but...

Spot on & accurate. And since they cannot control them, they are building their own crypto currency that they can control. This is not about controlling Bitcoin - that cannot be done. This is creating so-called "Stable" coins, backed by faith & goodwill of the government. Then trying to sell the public on why their government money is better.

And if you believe government backed money is better, allow me to direct you to the current status of our global economy.....

Vendors are hiking prices up to 30 percent and claiming 'it's inflation'

Marty McFly Silver badge

Head in the sand

Inflation is a hidden tax. It is very real, and it is going strong right now. Did you think those "Stimmy checks" were just free money two years ago? No, they were borrowing from the future and using inflation to pay the bill.

Gartner missed the mark. Increases for inflation are a given. Only vendors with weak marketing departments will use that as a published excuse though.

Tech world may face huge fines if it doesn't scrub CSAM from encrypted chats

Marty McFly Silver badge

Re: If I were kiddie porn peddler...

Encryption is math and the genie cannot be put back in the bottle.

The only thing this law will do is monitor law abiding citizens using government approved apps. No threat actor worthy of their pending crimes will use those apps.

"Let's bomb parliament with kiddie porn. We can use GovChat to plan it!"

<That is sarcasm for those without humor>

(Been looking for an opportunity to use this icon)

California state's gun control websites expose personal data

Marty McFly Silver badge

Who cares?

Yes, there is extreme hypocrisy in the state's handling of citizen's private data, and the state should be held accountable for that.

However, who cares? Gun owners who have filed the required government paperwork are, by definition, law abiding. These are not the people who cause gun crimes. Only some pansy Karen or Kyle will get their panties in a knot if they find out their neighbor legally owns guns. My rights don't end where their feelings begin.

Does this information make gun owners a target for thieves? No more so than knowing what sort of expensive car someone owns via the DMV registration data. In fact, maybe a bit less. If a thief has to choose a house to rob, they are less likely to pick the house where they know the owner will probably shoot them.

"Hey, let's go break in to this house with the 'Gun Free Zone' sign in the yard instead."

Central bank: Crypto 'derives value based on make believe', threatens financial stability

Marty McFly Silver badge

Also heard from the India's Reserve Bank...

"The rupee is not make believe. It has value because we say so."

Google said to be taking steps to keep political campaign emails out of Gmail spam bin

Marty McFly Silver badge
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Ha, spotted the last time around...

I have a few burner Gmail addresses that are used when there is a requirement to provide an email address and I know it will get abused. All the R-brand stuff got put in the dustbin, all the D-brand stuff got delivered to the Inbox.

As for the political comments posted here... Do you want the D-brand or the R-brand on the hand that steals the money from your pocket?

There is no option to avoid the hand in the pocket, you only get to decide which marketing message you like better.

California's attempt to protect kids online could end adults' internet anonymity

Marty McFly Silver badge
Black Helicopters

Don't be the low hanging fruit

The bulk of Internet users are really happy to 'Sign in with Facebook' or some other federated identity...because it is 'so easy for me'. This makes it trivial for big tech to track them.

Those of us who care about privacy will be using independent logins, multiple email addresses, separate computers & browsers, VPNs, private DNS, etc. We will refuse to play by simply not having a Facebook, YouTube, or Google account.

Can we be tracked? Yup.

Is it trivial to do? No.

Are we the minority? Yes.

Are we worth the effort? Probably not.

We cannot easily hide from law enforcement or some sort of targeted research in to our individual Internet activity. But we can make it difficult for big tech to slurp our data. Given the way non-techies are so ignorant to their privacy, we are the small fish and big tech couldn't care less.

SpaceX: 5G expansion could kill US Starlink broadband

Marty McFly Silver badge

This Bravo-Sierra is funny!

The nearest 2G, 3G, or 4G one-bar signal is an 8-mile drive from my home. OMG, 5G interference is going to nuke Starlink. Yeah, right. No doubt the Telcos will get right on that in my area.

Starlink IS for customers like me who have been left to twist in the wind with no service. Go ahead, cause interference in high-density urban environments. That is not where Starlink is competing.

Totaled Tesla goes up in flames three weeks after crash

Marty McFly Silver badge

Re: So when one of these things is junked ...

It is more complex of a decision than that.

If a vehicle has been involved in a fatality, it is often kept in custody of the wrecking yard for an extended period of time to allow the investigation to complete. If there is any indication the fatality was the result of a defective vehicle, it could be held as forensic evidence for years through a court trial.

Removing the battery could result in the unintentional destruction of evidence. Evidence that could exonerate or convict. It doesn't matter how well the mechanic did at removing the battery, the fact the evidence was touched can be used by a sharp attorney to create a 'reasonable doubt' for a jury.

Amazon fears it could run out of US warehouse workers by 2024

Marty McFly Silver badge
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Lots of Amazon haters....

I got a good chuckle out of these comments. I don't see anyone offering to pay 10-20% more for Amazon's services so that workers can get a raise.

Ultimately this won't be a problem. Usage of automation will accelerate, and less headcount will be required.

Build it fast & rough. Innovate improvements & implement efficiency. Delete the rough spots. This is what Amazon has done over & over.

Capital One: Convicted techie got in via 'misconfigured' AWS buckets

Marty McFly Silver badge

"used her hacking skills to steal the personal information of more than 100 million people"

So with an unsecured repository, those "hacking skills" would be a copy/paste operation. Got it.

Marty McFly Silver badge

Take the 'cyber' out of this crime..

Look at this as if it was the physical world:

The side door of a building was unlocked and propped open. Most people only looked at the locked main entrance and assumed the building was secure, but one observant person looked around the side out of curiosity.

They proceeded to enter the unlocked building where they found confidential information laying around. They grabbed the documents and tossed them out in the street for everyone else to see, but did not use the information to their own financial advantage. And they also spray painted some graffiti in the hallways for good measure.

That's what we are looking at here. Not even "breaking and entering". Just trespassing. Some petty theft of unsecured items, and some vandalism.

Absolutely, no doubt. all convictable offenses. But the punishment should really match the crime. A crime which would have never occurred if the responsible parties shut the door in the first place.

Intel demands $625m in interest from Europe on overturned antitrust fine

Marty McFly Silver badge
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Whiskey Tango Foxtrot

This sounds like a bunch of grade school boys playing "mine's bigger" and never growing up....for 20 years.

Workers win vote to form first-ever US Apple Store union

Marty McFly Silver badge

"Standard of living" wages...

I remember in my younger years when I worked jobs that didn't pay that much.... I learned as much as I could from them, took the skills, and found a better paying job.

Do the retail workers at Towson Apple Store actually think this is a legitimate career? Seriously, if the retail job pay sucks, get the heck out! Are they afraid they cannot get a different low paying job with lousy hours? Trust me, if enough leave the employer will figure it out really quick.

Maybe that is the issue - this is the best job these employees can hope for, so they cannot leave?

Musk can't tweet about Tesla without lawyer approval – and he's still fighting to end that

Marty McFly Silver badge

Re: Advice from Twitter?

Frankly anyone who gets financial advice from twitter deserves what happens....

Placing stock bets based upon what someone says on Twitter - even if it is Musk - is akin to taking all your money to Vegas and betting it all on red. Good chance you will win big. Same chance you will lose it all.

Need an icon for 'a Fool and his Money'....

Google offers $118m to settle gender discrimination lawsuit

Marty McFly Silver badge

Re: This lawsuit has 0 merit

Is this actually a gender issue, or just a tech industry issue?

I cannot count the number of times I have seen a new hire come on board at a pay level greater than the existing headcount (regardless of gender or other protected characteristics).

Management's response? Go to the competition and then re-apply in 6 months, you will get your raise.

Sony responds to inflation with $3,700 gold-plated 'Walkman'

Marty McFly Silver badge

Physical media...

If the content is even remotely close to a 'watch/listen again' I will always buy the physical media(*). I have seen too much content magically 'disappear' from the on-line streamers. I simply don't trust them.

Not a new issue. Look up Orwell's 1984 and Amazon: https://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/18/technology/companies/18amazon.html

* Basically any content better than 'Netflix Originals'.

Apple’s M2 chip isn’t a slam dunk, but it does point to the future

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I really want to like the M1...

...but it still cannot play a Quicktime video smoothly. My mid-2011 Mini plays the video fine. My sparkly new M1 Mini plays....the video...with....jerks and...starts. Same, same, same - display, keyboard, network, video, etc.

But hey, I can spout really cool marketing performance benchmarks. If I do that enough I will believe it must be good, and I will stop....hearing....the gaps....in....the video.

EU lawmakers vote to ban sales of combustion engine cars from 2035

Marty McFly Silver badge
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Coppertop syndrome

If the market doesn't demand your product, legislate it!

How one techie ended up paying the tab on an Apple Macintosh Plus

Marty McFly Silver badge

Yeah, that was me....

Apple ][+. 1980-something. I had learned DOS, but had no concept of Apple Writer. The very first 'typed' homework assignment I turned in was 'written' in BASIC.

10 PRINT "The thesis of my paper is...."

20 PRINT "blah, blah, blah..."

Probably had to do something else to redirect the output to the dot-matrix printer.

Behind Big Tech's big privacy heist: Deliberate obfuscation

Marty McFly Silver badge
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Total data slurp

My extended family is having a love affair with the 'Life360' app. Sounds good for keeping track of kids & spouses, right? So what does it need access to the iWatch health monitor for? Crazy....except their product is data about me, and they are not a free app just to service me.

For reasons outside of the scope of this forum, it was necessary to load the app. No problem. Loaded it on an old device, tethered to my desk, using a trash email and a bogus phone number.

Hmmm.... Life360 sells data to insurance companies. Maybe I should register a real email & phone number so they can track me. Then leave the device on my desk.

Result: "Never drives fast or stops quick, safe driver. Lower the rates!"

Microsoft veteran on how he forged a badge to sneak into a Ballmer presentation

Marty McFly Silver badge

MSFT executive quote...

"Microsoft is not a security company. Security is important, but it's just a little part of Microsoft."

It just isn't in their DNA. Let the security experts do it, and keep playing with the disguised coffee machine.

Export bans prompt Russia to use Chinese x86 CPU replacement

Marty McFly Silver badge

The net performance should be about equal to Western chips

Fast Western CPUs are saddled with a bloated capitalist operating system, 'free' spyware, marketing advertisements, secret corporate trackers, and other unwanted garbage. They struggle to find enough spare compute left for the user to run productivity software.

Slow Russian CPUs are likely using most of their compute resources for productivity.

The net-net for an end user's abiltty to 'get stuff done' should be about the same.

Start your engines: Windows 11 ready for broad deployment

Marty McFly Silver badge

Re: Copy Of Microsoft Office 2016 on This Laptop Was Stolen

Thanks for the head's up. My Office 2016 is legit, but was a PITA to get running on Win10 after I upgraded my laptop. It really felt like an 'intentional defect' that I had to work around. There were incessant offers for O365 if I would just hand over my credit card number.

Sadly we here are the vast minority. Most users blindly do what MS tells them to do.

Elon Musk 'violated' Twitter NDA over bot-check sample size

Marty McFly Silver badge

Scared lawyers...

Sounds like the Twitter NDA enforcement legal team is a bit worried about their relevance in a post Musk world. I imagine the call went something like this...

Legal droid: "Mr. Musk, your recent statement is in violation of your NDA agreement."

Musk: "Ooops, thank you for catching that. It is valuable employees like you that made Twitter what it is today. What is your name and who do you report to?"

Legal droid, slowly realizing the gravity of their error: -Click-

We can bend the laws of physics for your super-yacht, but we can't break them

Marty McFly Silver badge

Variable bandwidth on cross-country back-haul

Late 1990's, company acquired, new owners wanted to back-haul all traffic from west to east coast. No split-tunnels here! The cross country network connection had a variable speed & a variable cost. As newly acquired unwanted step children, the connectivity sucked.

That is until some young upstart ran a continuous ping with a max packet size against the east coast Internet gateway. Did it from multiple machines too. Co-workers marveled at how much more work they could get done because the network was so much faster. The more bandwidth being used, the more the pipe was opened up. Should not have left it running over night though.

Next morning I found myself explaining to HR, "If PING is such a dangerous command, why is it pre-installed on our systems?"


Rocky Linux sponsor CIQ secures $26m funding for CentOS successor

Marty McFly Silver badge

Re: Source of the source ?

"Ubuntu also provides the s/w without support, which is jolly decent of them"

I now have Ubuntu running all over the place. Replaced all my CentOS / RedHat.

Ransomware the final nail in coffin for small university

Marty McFly Silver badge

Deflecting blame

Ransomware makes a convenient scapegoat for the continual mismanagement of higher education. Tuition, room, board was running well over $27k/year at Lincoln. The college offered degrees like "Bachelor of Arts in Jazz Studies". Just what is a graduate going to do with that degree to pay back over $100k in college debt?

Modern colleges & universities have become a debt-fueled 4-year perpetual party to fill the gap between leaving home and needing to become responsible for oneself. And once that responsibility hits it is quickly followed by the realization that Jazz Studies wasn't such a good investment. Graduates can only move south to New Orleans and get job telling people that 'Grande' means 'Large' while moonlighting with a microphone at a bar a mile from Bourbon street.

That is where the college failed. Students got smart. They realized the debt + a Bravo Sierra degree got them nowhere.

(Full disclosure. I graduated some decades ago from a different upper-Midwest small college, and with a more traditional degree. I am sad to watch my alma mater making the same stupid mistakes, blind to the real world outside their campus.)

Europe proposes tackling child abuse by killing privacy, strong encryption

Marty McFly Silver badge

Re: Impossible

> it's illegal, no matter if what you sent were birthday wishes

So let me get this straight.... I fire up PGP and encrypt a birthday email to you. Not that you have or even know what PGP is. The cops bust down your door for using encryption.

You claim to not know what your keys are...and the cops believe you?

Biden deal with ISPs: Low to no cost internet for 40% of US

Marty McFly Silver badge
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Re: American Internet speeds go from worse than third-world...

The rural America Internet problem is of the government's making.

1) Per the FCC's rules, ISPs get to claim the highest bandwidth available in the area. So if the person next door to the Telco's DSL box gets 12mb, they get to claim that for the entire area.

2) The FCC's rules put bandwidth in tiers, 10-25mb being one of them. Now if you live 15k wire feet from the Telco's DSL box and struggle to get past 1.5mb, the Telco gets to claim you as a "25mb customer" - because the guy next to the box put you in that tier.

3) Like-for-like requirement. If 60 years ago copper phone lines were buried in the ground with trencher and a couple guys, the government requires any replacement lines - such as fiber optic - also be buried in the ground. Telco's are not allowed to string the fiber up on poles. The problem is in 2022 they cannot simply dig a hole in the ground without a zillion permits & environmental studies.

It is cost prohibitive to run rural fiber. Not because the Telco's don't want to. Because the government has made it that way. This is why the Telco's want government subsidies to update their rural infrastructure - to offset the government imposed expenses.

Marty McFly Silver badge

Bread & Circuses

The White House said 100Mbps is "fast enough for a typical family of four to work from home, do schoolwork, browse the web, and stream high-definition shows and movies."

Both spouse & I work from home. We live rural on a DSL line that runs 7mb down / 768k up. As a Reg reader, obviously I am in tech - there are 71 devices on my network at this moment.

Let me be clear... Large file downloads suck. I cannot stream 4k, but 1080p comes through great. Everything else works just fine, including VOIP phone service, remote desktop, VPNs, etc.

The White House wants 100Mbps for households? Bravo-sierra! That is way more bandwidth than is needed for the necessities of WFH & schoolwork. Browsing & streaming are not necessities, IMHO.

If Biden wants to pander to a bunch of slackers who want to stream 4k Netflix simultaneously to multiple different devices, then that kind of bandwidth is needed.

Only Microsoft can give open source the gift of NTFS. Only Microsoft needs to

Marty McFly Silver badge

Might want to check....

Back in the late 1990's, Veritas signed a licensing agreement with Microsoft Corporation to provide storage management software for the Windows NT operating system.

I don't know what parts of NTFS are owned by Microsoft and what parts come from Veritas. It is possible Microsoft may not be able to open-source NTFS even if they want to.



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