* Posts by Steve Roper

930 publicly visible posts • joined 13 Feb 2007


PS3 jailbreak judge refuses to rescind GeoHot order

Steve Roper


"When we hang the capitalists, they will sell us the rope we use." - Josef Stalin

Anonymous hack showed password re-use becoming endemic

Steve Roper
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Re: salting

"weak passwords are still vulnerable to brute force etc"

I do a similar thing to disguise passwords as you (my method involves ROT-PRNG on the password characters along with a 20-character string interlaced with them) but there is one more thing I do to reduce the chance of brute-forcing, and it's something that used to be done a lot in days of yore but of late seems to have been forgotten.

That is, limit failed login attempts. My method is 3 strikes and the account is locked, and the owner sent an email advising them of the hack attempt, with a link for them to click on to reactivate the account. (The link doesn't log them in though, they still need to enter username and password to do that.) So attempting to log in on one of my customers' accounts means you need to get it right within 3 tries or fail completely. It's easy to do, and compensates a lot for peoples' tendency to use weak passwords.

Finally, my system logs the IP addresses of repeated login attempts after an account is locked, and notifies me of the ISP owning that address so I can advise them of the hack attempts if necessary.

Australia’s NBN too expensive: EIU

Steve Roper

Re: meh

"Which ones, specifically?"

Well, if you live in Adelaide, you get to enjoy hours-long power outages in summer because AGL and Origin can't be bothered upgrading or maintaining outdated, *privately owned* infrastructure;

Water being shut off in our area for two days because a *privately owned* water main burst and it took the company that long to fix it;

*Privately owned* buses and trains running late or not at all because of cost-cutting measures (and the strikes they cause).

You laissez-faire capitalists and your "everything should be privatised" mentality have brought this world to the brink of ruin. Public infrastructure should be publicly owned. Without it, civilisation would not exist. Surely the organisations that maintain these very foundations of civilisation should have some accountability to that civilisation, instead of just a few wealthy shareholders?

BOFH: There's no 'I' in team, but there's a 'u' in suck

Steve Roper



Documents in Assange rape probe leak onto the net

Steve Roper
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You forgot

The spurns that patient merit of th' unworthy takes - check (going by the comments in this forum anyway!)

But whether Assange might his quietus make with a bare bodkin remains to be seen...

Google to Microsoft: You're stealing our search results!

Steve Roper

Re: It gets harder to SEO sites...

Good. I hope Google end up making it fucking impossible. Then maybe search results will return relevant sites instead of those whose owners paid crooks like you to fiddle search results to get them to the top.

UK cops arrest five in Anonymous attacks probe

Steve Roper

@david wilson

Since when is being "illegal" a reason not to stand up for one's rights by itself? What happens when ANY form of protest becomes "illegal"? Would you support the police against protesters merely because protesting is "illegal"?

Advocacy of blind obedience to the law is the hallmark of a zealot, a broken slave, or an idiot.

Lawyer wants WikiLeaker kept off suicide watch

Steve Roper

...still smells as bad

And if they did, what, exactly could Amnesty International do about it?

Duke Nukem Forever release date revealed

Steve Roper

NSFW picture

Yes, that's the "misogyny" mentioned in the article. Apparently appreciation of women in skimpy clothing equates to hating women. According to the feminists that is.

Pirates: Good for Microsoft, great for open sourcers

Steve Roper

Also with SaaS

You keep on paying, every month or per use of the application, instead of a once-off payment and you get to use the application forever.

This, and your reasons given, are why I've never supported the idea, along with the concept of "cloud computing". If it's not under my control, I'm not interested.

First DOS-based malware celebrates silver jubilee

Steve Roper

My first encounter with a virus

was back in 1988 when I ran into the infamous SCA-virus on the Amiga. As some of you may remember, it was a boot-sector virus that displayed the message "Something wonderful has happened / Your AMIGA is alive !!! And even better / Some of your disks have been infected with a VIRUS!!! / Another masterpiece of the Mega-Mighty SCA / SCA SCA SCA SCA..."

It was noted for trashing original game disks that used the boot sector for copy protection, and Chris of SCA stated in Amiga User magazine that he received death threats over the virus.

Amiga fans may also remember the more malicious Lamer Exterminator file-based virus which came out soon after the SCA. This one actually started corrupting files on both floppies and hard drive (whereas the SCA virus only affected floppies) after a while, and only after it had trashed several files did it announce itself.

TBH, I don't know which is worse - malware that trashes years of work on your computer, or malware that quietly steals your identity and credit card details to trash years to come of your life!

Local facilities in NBN Co contract win

Steve Roper
Big Brother

Thus it begins

Here comes the NBN, which as an adjunct requires Telstra to remove all its old copper - thus FORCING everyone onto the NBN for all Internet access. And we all know that Conjob's damnable filter is built into the very foundations of this thing, so avoiding the censorship once it comes in will be that much more difficult. Which is exactly why they're forcing everyone onto it.

Israel and US fingered for Stuxnet attack on Iran

Steve Roper

...so you can't shut the console down...

Ever hear about a simple technique frequently referred to as "pulling the plug out of the wall socket"? Or are PS3s secretly armed with lasers that'll zap your hand off the moment you reach for the plug?

Aussie gov web wonks declare clouds have grey areas

Steve Roper


...some government twonks are thinking clearly.

Cloud computing, while a marketing buzzord, is also a grave threat to privacy and security. As is rightly pointed out, the Patriot Act in the US could compromise Australian information security. Hopefully this report will help our politicians to see what a dangerous proposition cloud computing really is and keep operating government servers on our own turf.

Civil servants touted ID cards to friends, family as flop loomed

Steve Roper

@selective culpability

Gee, dat's raht Billy-Joe Bahb, dem damn' stinkin' pinko commie scum soash-ee-al-ists are gahddamn' ever'whur!

Apple patent endangers unbiased product reviews

Steve Roper
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Exactly what I thought

when I read the article. I can understand Rik's (and by extension El Reg's) professional concern about any biased-review system, but the thought occurred to me as I read the last paragraph that maybe Apple patenting this idea was, for a change, not a bad thing.

If Apple patent the idea of writing biased reviews wouldn't that discourage anyone else from doing so in relation to everything other than Apple products? Meaning that reviews of other products would have to be less biased and those of Apple products known to be made of pure bullshit?

Maybe Apple have shot themselves in the foot here. Which is most definitely a GOOD thing!

World of Warcraft: Cataclysm

Steve Roper

...And that...

...is why I'm on an RP carebear server. My brother got me into the game around the time of the BC expansion and started me on a PvP server. Within a month I'd migrated to a PvE server because I was sick of getting ganked by skull-level (probably 70) Horde* every few minutes in Stranglethorn Vale while trying to level. The other thing that pisses me off about world PvP is the stupidly long wait (up to several minutes) before you can respawn. If it wasn't for that I probably wouldn't mind world PvP so much.

Seeing how the new Azeroth layout puts the Alliance's and Horde's bases right on top of each other I can see the PvP servers turning into a free-for-all gankfest making it almost impossible to actually play the game. I can foresee Blizzard making quite a bit of money out of the $30 character transfer as people ship their characters over to carebear servers to get away from it all.

*(Yes, I'm an Alliance fan, because I'd rather play a tough-looking bloke than some green-skinned monster!)

Catfish: A fanfare for Facebook fakery

Steve Roper

Exactly what I thought

He was one brave lad to friend an 8-year-old girl on facebook. Any adult male going anywhere near children is automatically assumed to be a paedo isn't he? It's why I won't allow children anywhere near me. Which is a shame. But that's just the way the world is, right?

Roll on Apophis 2039!

Facebook trains self to recognize your face

Steve Roper
Big Brother

It's not you

This is going too far, because not only can people who don't have facebook accounts be tagged, but the stalking potential is huge. Consider the following:

1. Take a picture of some stranger in public. Upload it to facebook and wait for it to identify the person. Even if they don't have a facebook account. A stalker's wet dream come true...

2. Because of (1) people will now be even more paranoid about photographers in public places. It won't be just the police harassing you, now it'll be the public as well.

3. What a gift for the purveyors of the police state our "democracies" have become. An all-in-one-place, warrant-accessible database of face-recognition biometrics of more than 500 million people. How long before the thugs of the ruling elite have unfettered access to this?

Yes, this is absolutely fucking terrifying. I'm reminded of a line from the movie Freejack: "If he even walks past a vidphone now, we've got him." It's coming.

Ad networks owned by Google, Microsoft serve malware

Steve Roper

I don't feel guilty about blocking

I never, ever buy anything directly from an online ad. When I'm in the market for something, I google and research pricing, availability, etc, and only then do I visit commercial sites that sell what I want. So by blocking ads I'm actually saving the advertiser displaying useless impressions, so they can be used for someone who might actually buy something from it.

Sites that detect my use of an adblocker and prevent me from viewing them go straight onto a blacklist, both at home and at work, and guarantee that I will never do business with the companies/persons behind such sites.

Dutch police arrest 16-year-old WikiLeaks avenger

Steve Roper

This is the revolution

we've been waiting for. Enough is enough, and people are now starting to fight back. In revolutions, people are scapegoated, tortured, and killed, on both sides.

Protest no longer works, and hasn't worked for a long time. Governments use the farce of democracy to delude people into thinking their vote counts for something, but the reality is it's members of the same old boys' club that get the power no matter who you vote for.

Uprisings in the grand tradition of storming the Bastille are no longer possible in the face of police technology, weapons, and crowd-control psychology. Science and technology have been used for evil here and there is no longer any stopping them by mass insurrection or guerilla warfare.

So some people are starting to fight back in the only way left to them - digital warfare. The open nature of the Internet makes this possible. And it WILL spill over into real life sooner or later, as emotions run high and the rage begins to spread. It will not end soon, and it will not end peaceably. But we will all be caught up in the outcome, whichever way it goes.

WikiLeaks supporters milk Twitter API in DDoS attacks

Steve Roper

They see me trollin'...

...they hatin'

Pro-Wikileaks hacktivistas in DDoS dustup with patriot contras

Steve Roper

Yes, KRudd was a complete tosser

His party, under him, were the ones that pushed the Great Firewall of Australia, remember? Time doesn't heal those wounds - the man was, is and always will be, a fuckwit.

New NASA model: Doubled CO2 means just 1.64°C warming

Steve Roper

@Kubla Cant

Wouldn't that mean that the singular of agenda would be agendum, "Thing to be done"?

Steve Roper
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I must apologise

on behalf of the 5 ignorant fuckwads who downvoted your post, but you can take consolation in knowing that it'll be their children who get to live in the world of Soylent Green they are implicitly supporting. Population is a very real problem and needs to be dealt with fast.

Bombshell in platterland: WD tried to buy Seagate

Steve Roper
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Seagate vs WD

I have an interesting situation with these two HDD manufacturers. Like you, I'm a WD man. I've bought 4 Seagate drives in the past and ALL 4 have failed within 6 months, so now I won't touch them with a pole. I've owned a dozen or more WD drives, and not one has ever failed or gone faulty on me.

Yet a friend of mine has bought three WD drives in the last few years and they've all died on him in the first year - and he's never had any problems with Seagate drives. As you might expect, he's a Seagate man.

I find it strange that we should have such radically different experiences with these manufacturers' drives, but it does lend credence to each fans' support of their favourite brand!

Horror AVG update ballsup bricks Windows 7

Steve Roper
Thumb Down

Had a look at HitMan Pro

and I can't say I'm impressed. Program starts up, fetches an automatic update, and exits without doing anything. Pretty bloody useless if you ask me.

MP wants age verification for net smut

Steve Roper
Big Brother

It's called sexcrime

and a gentleman by the name of Goerge Orwell explained it about 60 years ago. In a nutshell, the idea is to lock down some primal human instinct (sex is the most common) because it deliberately builds up rage and fanaticism in the populace. By social engineering, this fanaticism can then be channeled into hatred of the enemy, love of Big Brother (the government), or whatever else is needed to maintain power for the elite. The guiding principle being that:

"Obedience is not enough. Power is inflicting pain and humiliation otherwise you cannot be sure. Power is tearing human minds apart and putting them together again in new shapes of your own choosing. Power is not a means, it is an end... In our world, there will be only triumph and self-abasement. There will be no loyalty, except loyalty to the Party. There will be no love, except love of Big Brother. All competing pleasures, we will destroy."

Pole positions: Base station spotters scrap for prize

Steve Roper
Big Brother


being arrested for the heinous crime of taking photographs in a public place.

Speak geek: The world of made-up language

Steve Roper
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Me too

Ta sadi ghan, chak ta tan korinad anghan korinyanya, son ghalad la ji tikya shalayneth lianyan la ansharanya. Law taeli la tunai anlani anke ahyanadi faw korinya chak'kailan.


"So have I, but I haven't published my language, preferring to restrict its use to a few friends. Thus we can talk to each other without police spying on us."

(The word order isn't necessarily one-for-one; the grammatical structure and syntax are very different to English. There are also several semantic nuances in my language above that would take several paragraphs to convey in English, but I'm not going into that here!)

BOFH: Look out!

Steve Roper


Is that your sister's husband's brother or your brother's wife's sister's husband?

Top Ten Arcade Classics

Steve Roper

I remember most of those

But who remembers these ones, which really soaked up my pocket money:

Qix (my favourite, because while I sucked at most of the other games compared to the other kids I could seriously kick arse on this one!)

Spy Hunter

Night Driver



Slap Fight (I loved it when you hit the bonus and had that huge fat ship filling the entire screen with fire)

Rygar (loved the thrown shield-on-a-chain to mow down your opponents)

I also played Double Dragon, Gauntlet, Space Harrier and Afterburner as mentioned by a few people here.

Unlucky for some: Sex.com sold for $13m

Steve Roper

Two things

1) Is that the same Escom that bought the Amiga back in the 90s and utterly failed to do anything with it?

2) I wonder what sort of traffic domains get these days from people just randomly typing in a domain into the address bar? Before the advent of Google I imagine it was quite common, but now with many people not even knowing the address bar is there (I know of quite a few people who, when given a URL, go to Google and type it in there instead of the address bar), I wonder how relevant that is. I'd say having a higher Google ranking these days would be worth more than having a domain that relies primarily on incidental traffic. Did Clover just get ripped off?

German 'hacker' uses rented computing to crack hashing algorithm

Steve Roper


Our websites all have a 3-strikes login for both admins and members - get a password wrong 3 times, and the account is locked for 24 hours. An email is sent to the owner advising them of the failed login attempt and that their account will be reactivated tomorrow. In addition, two login attempts from more than one IP address within 60 seconds also locks the account - this is protect against exactly the sort of thing mentioned in the article, people using botnets to brute-force a password.

It's not hard to program this functionality (about 10-20 lines of code in PHP all up), and it's just common sense to put in this kind of security. Banks have been doing this for decades - get your PIN wrong 3 times at an ATM and you lose your card. Why haven't so many web developers done the same thing?

Hasbro unleashes 'Spastic' Transformer

Steve Roper

Euphemism Treadmill

Political correctness does nothing to stop the prejudices prevalent in society despite the nanny brigade's best efforts to eliminate them. As one word becomes offensive and is replaced with a new PC term, the PC term itself becomes offensive after a while and the nanny brigade have to endlessly come up with new ones. Spastic -> Scoper being a notable example, as mentioned here:


How to make boots on Mars affordable - One way trips

Steve Roper
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Kuato Lives!

All you people who are so willing to go, when you get there - Start the Reactor. Free Mars.

Feds may tighten privacy protections

Steve Roper

From a web dev's perspective

When a customer processes a transaction through a website, their details and the details of the transaction are recorded in a database. Now because of data-retention laws (in Australia and presumably similar laws in the US and UK) we have to keep that data for a minimum of 7 years.

Not only that, but there is the issue of orphan records. For example, Customer X purchases Product Y and this purchase is recorded in Transaction Z. This transaction record contains a foreign key pointing to X and Y, so if either X or Y are deleted, Z becomes an orphan record with foreign keys to non-existent records. This situation quickly becomes a DBA's worst nightmare.

Consequently, records have to be retained to keep the database intact. When a customer is "Deleted", what actually happens is that a "deleted" flag is set in the customer's record but the data is retained to preserve the database integrity. Also, we have to keep it for 7 years because if the Tax Office audits us we have to be able to show details, including who bought what, when, and for how much, for that period of time.

So if legislation like this passes, it's going to be a screaming problem for DBAs everywhere. Not only is it going to conflict with existing data-retention and taxation legislation, but enforcing it is going to leave databases with orphaned records. I hope that the legislators take this into account when they're drafting the bill for this law.

Robot wars break out on poker sites

Steve Roper

Seems Lucas predicted such attitudes to bots 33 years ago

BARKEEP: "Hey! We don't serve their kind in here."

LUKE: "What?"

BARKEEP: "Your 'droids. We don't want them here, they'll have to wait outside."

LUKE: "Why don't you wait out by the speeder, we don't want any trouble."

C3PO: "I heartily agree with you, sir."

Twitter joke martyr loses appeal

Steve Roper
Big Brother

You should know by now

that "lack of criminal intent" is only a valid defence when it's a police officer, politician or corporate bigwig in the dock. It isn't available to the plebs like you and me.

UK.gov closes wiretap loopholes after Phorm row

Steve Roper

No it won't

because the Board Members and Directors you refer to are in the same Old Boys' Club as the judges and chiefs of police, which is why the matter was dismissed out of hand. The ruling elite always look after each other as long as they don't rock the boat. Obviously they can't find a suitable scapegoat, rest assured that once they do find one he'll be prosecuted^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^Hrailroaded to the fullest exent of the law.

And nothing short of a mass militant revolution will change this kind of corruption - and even then any leaders of the revolution will become just as corrupt as the regime they replaced, as history repeatedly shows, because human beings are greedy selfish pieces of shit.

Facebook serves '23% of all US display ads'

Steve Roper


I'm not against advertising in the strictest sense (that is, the act of letting the public know that a product exists), I'm opposed to the misuse of psychology as a means of manipulation, which is what most advertising agencies are about these days.

When I want to buy a particular item, I go online and research it. Like I did with my tablet PC - I didn't want an iPad or Android device, I wanted a Windows 7 iPad-like tablet. It took me two months of research and waiting for product releases before I settled on the Hanvon B10. I went to company websites and looked up all the information I needed on the subject. So I didn't need to be manipulated into a purchase, I wanted information in a specific place to be able to make an informed decision.

So there's a difference between having advertising pushed in your face and having product information available on a website, locatable through search engines and online reviews.

Finally, no I'm not given to impulse buying, and that's not what I meant when I talked about subconscious programming. What I meant was that when I wanted to buy a certain item I might be predisposed through such programming to buy a certain brand without realising why I chose that brand. Even though that brand might not be the best for what I want. My point is that I'm not arrogant enough to consider myself immune to manipulation by expert psychologists, and be being aware of that weakness, I can take steps to defend myself against it.

Steve Roper

Those who ignore ads rather than blocking them

I have some news for you - you might consciously ignore the ad, but ads aren't designed to appeal to the conscious mind. When you "ignore" them, they actually get stored in your unconscious memory without you realising it. Repetition of the ad then locks in your subconscious via a method very similar to hypnosis. Then, one day, you find you need a product of the sort that was being advertised. Without you even realising it, your subconscious mind will helpfully provide the name of a product it knows is what you want - the one that was stealthily programmed into it by the ads you ignored. At which point, the ad has done its job.

I know because I've done work for an ad agency. They have expert psychologists who have years of training in making this shit work. Most people are convinced it doesn't work on them, because nobody likes to think they're so easily manipulated, but there are studies that clearly show that exposing people to repeated advertising and weeks later asking them related questions reveals very high retention rates even when the subjects don't actually remember seeing the ad.

That's why I block ads, rather than try to "ignore" them. I freely admit I can be manipulated by a skilled psychologist, so I take steps to defend myself from it.

Caravan-swiping suspect spotted on Street View

Steve Roper


...you can access Street View through Google Earth by zooming down close enough, and this is probably how the "general public" use it most of the time.


Google open sources Apache server speed mod

Steve Roper


Isn't Apache licensed under the GPL? And isn't there a "viral" clause in the GPL stating that any modifications made to GPL software must also be released under the GPL? So - does this mean that Google were in violation of the licence by not releasing the source code to the modification?

Technically this point is moot now that they have actually released the source, but one wonders what other GPL software they've made changes to and aren't releasing the source in violation of the licence.

Has the GPL actually been tested in court yet? I wonder if the FSF has the cash and stones to tackle a company as big as Google on this issue...

BOFH: Join the club

Steve Roper

AC is pretty pointless

since the message content pretty much gives you away, amanfromMars...

World+dog keep taking the tablets

Steve Roper

Windows 7 on tablets

I seriously don't get this "Windows 7 is not good OS for tablets" bullshit that so many people seem to be spewing. I have a Hanvon B10 with Windows 7 which I've had for nearly 2 months now and it does everything I want, smoothly and beautifully. Have you people who think Windows 7 is crap on tablets actually TRIED using it, and I don't mean a 2-minute in-store demo, I mean serious day-to-day usage?

With the current very nasty trend in mobile OS makers to build in functionality to allow them to secretly delete/install applications on your device, coupled with the fact that I and many others need their existing desktop software to run on a mobile device, I think that Windows 7 is a very viable option for a tablet OS. It's familiar, it works well, and it runs the software you're used to. I wouldn't go any other way, and when Windows 7 gets replaced with Windows Phone 7 (which like iOS and Android allows the vendor to remote-access your device) I'll then be going to Linux - since by the time I need to upgrade from the Hanvon, Ubuntu for tablets should be well and truly out.

Microsoft vision chief sees world without Microsoft PCs

Steve Roper

The desktop PC isn't going anywhere

The advent of mobile computing (as in tablets, netbooks, smartphones, etc) will be an adjunct to the well-established desktop paradigm, not a replacement. In the past, mobile technology hasn't eliminated desktop/lounge technology. The Walkman didn't destroy the inline tape deck. The CD Walkman didn't destroy the inline CD player. And the mobile phone hasn't done away with the venerable landline. While many people might only have a mobile phone at home, there will always be a need for desktop phones in the office, and there will always be many who want a landline at home as well.

So while tablets and smartphones are the new wave, it doesn't follow that desktop PC's are headed the way of the dinosaur. They will always be needed and people will always buy them, at least until such time as we all embed ourselves in the Matrix or something...

Our Moon is wet and welcoming, says excited NASA

Steve Roper
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Wouldn't help

The reason you want to get off this rock is the same as mine - it's not the planet, it's the human shitbags living on it, that you want to get away from, right? Unfortunately, going to the moon won't solve your problem - because there will be humans of all kinds accompanying you there, and so all the shit will be there too.

What we really want when we say "stop the world, I want to get off" is to be able to get on a colony ship outward bound to another Earthlike planet, to be populated only with such humans as agree with our views on life. In my case, that would be a ship with no religious believers, no feminists, no control freaks, no do-gooders/soccer moms, and nobody with an IQ less than 110, among other traits. I could probably scour the whole Earth and its 7 billion humans for suitable colonists and find maybe 100 or so fit to go with me. I'll assume you're one of them! ;)

How to stop Apple and Google's great web lockdown

Steve Roper
Thumb Up

Re: so sick of this "open" crap

Oh, I wish. You describe a very nice open-source utopia there. Sadly, it won't happen. You see, the "greedy corporations" you refer to are not only greedy, they're megalomaniac as well. iOS, Android, Windows Phone 7 - all allow their owning corporations to reach into your device, uninstall/secretly install apps, check your data, and otherwise interfere with and control your use of the device. Unless they can carry this functionality over into your all-in-one system, they won't go for it. These control-freak bastards intend for the era of the user-controlled OS to come to an end, with all computers in the future being kept under the control of the OS corporations. The big exception will be Linux, and it is for this reason that the corporate pigs won't embrace your idea - because you could use Linux with it and prevent them from controlling your machine.

HP whips out iPad challenger Windows 7 fondle-slab

Steve Roper

To explain

I can understand Andy S's reasoning here.

I myself chose the Hanvon B10 because it used Windows 7. While I'm not really a fan of Microsoft, my reasoning is - the Windows 7 tablet is the ONLY tablet with an OS that *doesn't* allow its vendor to reach into the device and remove/secretly install/ pps and covertly monitor your app usage. The control-freakery present in modern mobile OSes is absolutely unbelievable, and they've ALL done it. Even Windows Phone 7 has it, so yes, Microsoft has now gone the same controlling route as Apple with iOS, Google with Android, and very likely HP with WebOS as well. At least Windows 7 wasn't built with remote control in mind.

That's why I chose a Windows 7 tablet. I will NOT allow my computers to be remotely controlled/monitored by some greedy fecking corporation.