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Green Building Bible, Fourth Edition
Green Building Bible, fourth edition (both books)
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    • CommentAuthorTriassic
    • CommentTimeApr 8th 2014 edited
     
    Microsoft has provided support for Windows XP for the past 12 years. But now the time has come for us, along with our hardware and software partners, to invest our resources toward supporting more recent technologies so that we can continue to deliver great new experiences.

    As a result, after April 8, 2014, technical assistance for Windows XP will no longer be available, including automatic updates that help protect your PC. Microsoft will also stop providing Microsoft Security Essentials for download on Windows XP on this date. (If you already have Microsoft Security Essentials installed, you will continue to receive antimalware signature updates for a limited time, but this does not mean that your PC will be secure because Microsoft will no longer be providing security updates to help protect your PC.)

    If you continue to use Windows XP after support ends, your computer will still work but it might become more vulnerable to security risks and viruses. Also, as more software and hardware manufacturers continue to optimize for more recent versions of Windows, you can expect to encounter greater numbers of apps and devices that do not work with Windows XP.

    Need I worry? Should I fall for this marketing ploy and buy new Microsoft products?
    • CommentAuthorJeff B
    • CommentTimeApr 8th 2014
     
    Isn't this just bully-boy tactics? This is the only the way that Microsoft can "persuade" us happy band of XP users to upgrade to the latest version of Windows whatever that is up to now (8 or something?). Shades of the millennium bug all over again. Won't most anti-virus software protect us against new malware anyway e.g. McAfee?
    • CommentAuthorPaulJ
    • CommentTimeApr 8th 2014
     
    The MS business model was to issue an upgrade every 3 years or so. Most users would skip one, but it still worked fine. Sadly, desktop O/S and office software seemed hit evolutionary wall with Office 2003 and WinXP offering pretty much everything users wanted.

    Maybe if you want to stick with XP, make sure you have decent AV software and don't use an old (or any?) version of IE as a browser.
    • CommentAuthorEd Davies
    • CommentTimeApr 8th 2014
     
    Noticed a couple of months ago that my GP's practice was still using XP. Will not be overly impressed if they continue.

    For a private individual (ie, somebody not looking after other people's confidential data) I'd be less concerned. Still, if you find yourself wondering whether to, say, replace a component (hard disk or something) or upgrade to a new machine then I'd suggest getting a supported operating system would might be a nudge in the direction of a change.

    Also, yes, make sure your IE is reasonably up to date.

    Also also, have you considered Linux, probably Ubuntu or Mint? They fall off support even quicker than Microsoft (5 years for the long-term-support versions of Ubuntu) but at least the upgrade is free. Depends what you use the machine for, I suppose. If you're a heavy Office or Access user things might be a bit tricky, for everybody else it shouldn't be that painful.
    • CommentAuthorborpin
    • CommentTimeApr 8th 2014
     
    Posted By: Ed DaviesNoticed a couple of months ago that my GP's practice was still using XP. Will not be overly impressed if they continue.
    There is quite an issue in the NHS over this. Most expected that it was a MS bluff. Oops.

    I have an XP Vitrtual machine on an old copy of Ubuntu running my mail server. Is as rock solid as rock solid can be and I am so loathe to change it. Not really vulnerable to Viruses or hacks as only port 25 is open so I am just going to let it hum away to itself quietly!
  1.  
    What other business organisation offers support for a 13 year old product??
    I cant think of one.
    I think MS have been pretty cool. But Im sure it was also a way to keep customers loyal to the MS brand.
    • CommentAuthorTriassic
    • CommentTimeApr 8th 2014 edited
     
    Posted By: borpinThere is quite an issue in the NHS over this. Most expected that it was a MS bluff. Oops.
    Didn't I read that the Government has paid MS £5.5 million to continue some support whilst the decide what to do?

    edit - and also the Dutch Government
    http://www.theinquirer.net/inquirer/news/2338401/dutch-government-coughs-up-millions-for-extended-windows-xp-support
    • CommentAuthorJeff B
    • CommentTimeApr 8th 2014
     
    Posted By: bot de pailleWhat other business organisation offers support for a 13 year old product??
    I cant think of one.
    I think MS have been pretty cool. But Im sure it was also a way to keep customers loyal to the MS brand.


    My Peugoet van is 13 years old and I have no trouble in getting it maintained and sourcing spare parts. Plus I hope this will continue to be the case for many more years to come!

    You may think MS have been "cool", I think they are displaying the arrogance which is often associated with big business. This sort of behaviour hardly encourages loyalty on my part.
    • CommentAuthorEd Davies
    • CommentTimeApr 8th 2014 edited
     
    Posted By: Jeff BMy Peugoet van is 13 years old and I have no trouble in getting it maintained and sourcing spare parts. Plus I hope this will continue to be the case for many more years to come!
    Yes, lots of industries support products for more than 13 years - as long as there's money to be made doing so. Few do so for no extra payments.

    You could argue, on the other hand, that there's a difference between brake pads wearing out and security holes being found in software. One's normal wear and tear whereas the other is a defect in the original workmanship. I'll stop for fear of ranting.
  2.  
    Hmm. Surely after 13 years we are not talking defects - the way I see it, it is an arms race of sorts, new tec and and new threats are constantly detected, defensive upgrades written and then sent to everyone for free - I can understand why this can't be a blank cheque.
  3.  
    Posted By: Jeff B
    Posted By: bot de pailleWhat other business organisation offers support for a 13 year old product??
    I cant think of one.
    I think MS have been pretty cool. But Im sure it was also a way to keep customers loyal to the MS brand.


    My Peugoet van is 13 years old and I have no trouble in getting it maintained and sourcing spare parts. Plus I hope this will continue to be the case for many more years to come!

    You may think MS have been "cool", I think they are displaying the arrogance which is often associated with big business. This sort of behavior hardly encourages loyalty on my part.


    I don't think that this is a valid comparison of service.

    I had car recently that had a problem with a turbo failing. this is a known problem with the engine type, and there was even a recall by the makers. The car was under the km warranty but just over 5 years old, invalidating said warranty. The official car garage was however happy to do the turbo replacement for over 2k euros. The same car maker was happy to supply me 1 replacement car key for 130 euros!!

    You can go into your local Ford/Citroen/Toyota garage with a 13 year old car and they might or might not be able to source the part and you will probably pay more than the car is worth.

    It is well known that car makers make the majority of their profits on after markets sales/parts. I think they make something like 500 euros profit per car on their basic models.

    MS sell an OS for less than 100 quid (or supplied with new computer) and provide free security patches and upgrades, plus customer service for 13 years. I defy you to point out another business that offers the same service.


    In what way are they being arrogant?
  4.  
    Posted By: Ed Davies
    Posted By: Jeff BMy Peugoet van is 13 years old and I have no trouble in getting it maintained and sourcing spare parts. Plus I hope this will continue to be the case for many more years to come!
    Yes, lots of industries support products for more than 13 years - as long as there's money to be made doing so. Few do so for no extra payments.

    You could argue, on the other hand, that there's a difference between brake pads wearing out and security holes being found in software. One's normal wear and tear whereas the other is a defect in the original workmanship. I'll stop for fear of ranting.


    What industries are those??

    Lots of industries will provide support but you pay them a service contract otherwise they would not give you 5 mins of their time.

    As for security, it could well be argued that the code written and released 13 years ago could never envisage or plan for the software/hardware environment of 2014.

    People are using their PCs in ways that couldn't be foretold that long ago. To say that they should have built a bullet proof OS to last 20-30 is beyond reasonable.
    • CommentAuthorTriassic
    • CommentTimeApr 8th 2014
     
    I wonder how long my XP system will continue to function without upgrade or tampering, probably years. At the same time XP vulnerability will be less interesting to hackers and like, they'll move quickly on to bigger and better scams.

    I think I'll just do a full back up tomorrow, just in case, then carry on as normal.

    In a few years time Ill probably join a classic XP owners club, where we'll share home made upgrades and tweeks.
    •  
      CommentAuthorSteamyTea
    • CommentTimeApr 9th 2014 edited
     
    I skipped XP, went from Windows 2000 to Vista. Vista came in for a lot of flack but it works for me. My hardware is now coming up to 5 years old. Not had any real problems with it, I keep my third party (free) AV up to date, I occasional clean up the hard drive, I have stuck with Office 2007, does what I need, I only type at 20 words a minute, so don't need something that has lots of mips or flops or whatever.
    Best way to upgrade a PC is to leave it as the manufacture set it up I think (except for IE, which was just dreadful, but Firefox is a memory hogger).
    I think people get too hung up on an OS and expect it to do too much. If the open source people could come up with packages as good as Word, Excel and Access then I would go down that route, or MS could release a version(s) for Linux as Excel can now do 10 million rows which would be useful for me.
    • CommentAuthorSeret
    • CommentTimeApr 9th 2014
     
    Posted By: Triassic
    Need I worry? Should I fall for this marketing ploy and buy new Microsoft products?


    If you have to ask this question, then yes you do need to worry. It's not impossible to keep an XP system secure from this point on, but it would require a depth of technical knowledge and hassle that most home users won't be interested in. Do yourself a favour and upgrade.

    I understand that people get attached to a platform, but now is the time to start considering your options. Staying on XP isn't really a good idea. Where you migrate to will depend on what applications you need. I'd definitely recommend one of the many excellent Linux distributions if you want to avoid opening your wallet for another spin in the Microsoft planned obsolescence machine. OS X is an option but probably means buying new hardware. Otherwise your best bet is probably Win 7. It's stable, fairly familiar and is supported until 2020.
    • CommentAuthorEd Davies
    • CommentTimeApr 9th 2014
     
    Posted By: bot de pailleWhat industries are those??

    Lots of industries will provide support but you pay them a service contract otherwise they would not give you 5 mins of their time.
    Yes, I'm agreeing with you that JeffB's example of support for his van is different from MS's support for XP.

    Posted By: bot de pailleAs for security, it could well be argued that the code written and released 13 years ago could never envisage or plan for the software/hardware environment of 2014.

    People are using their PCs in ways that couldn't be foretold that long ago. To say that they should have built a bullet proof OS to last 20-30 is beyond reasonable.
    Vulnerabilities are just bugs. Many will have been introduced since the original software shipped in newer drivers and so on. Still, they're more like design faults than wear and tear.

    I'd say that almost the whole software industry is grossly irresponsible in the way in which software is developed. We don't know how to do it perfectly (and I think we never will) but we should be making a much bigger effort to get better at it.

    I had a major depression a few years ago and failed to complete a, for me, major project for a client. There were a number of reasons which ganged up on me but frustration with crap software development practices was a significant part of it. The concerns I had were with exactly the sort of thing which has caused the major vulnerability in OpenSSL which has caused a bit of a flap over the last few days.
  5.  
    As far as I can gather, while there will be are undoubtedly bugs which can be considered a product default the flip side of the coin is that customers of XP or whatever OS are constantly demanding that XP must work with the latest hardware, browser technology, memory device, networking technology ect etc. This constant evolution of the OS means that as previous security holes are patched, new ones are being opened up.

    I would consider that pretty much all of the original security bugs have long been patched. The new stuff is a result of continuous compatibility updates.

    You cant have your cake and eat it.

    Im still genuinely trying to think of another business enterprise that offers free support for 13 year products and I cant think of one.

    The recent revelations of deliberate software security crippling by some software developers for the benefit of the NSA puts the OpenSLL problems in an interesting and not altogether clear light.
    • CommentAuthorTimber
    • CommentTimeApr 9th 2014
     
    I use Ubuntu on my home PCs as it is fast, free, easy to use and does everything that I want it to. Granted it can be a little more cack handed when installing drivers for random hardware, BUT almost everything is supported via the unbuntu software centre.

    You can install it as a duel boot setup if you want to 'try before you buy'. It is easy to install from windows or easy to make a bootable unbuntu CD/DVD.
  6.  
    Isn't there a 'skin' option within Win7 that makes it look and feel pretty much the same as XP (or even win2k?).

    I tried Ubuntu on an old IBM thinkpad I had and, unexpectedly, because the support life of ubuntu releases is quite short, the latest versions required more recent hardware that my laptop. I did manage to run an older version and it did run a bit quicker than XP, but that of course had the same 'no more security updates' problem that XP is now experiencing.

    I've been using Apple at home and Win7 at work for the last few years and I really would recommend a Mac over Windows (and I've heard nothing good at all about Win8 which you'll have trouble avoiding on a new machine) Apple no longer charge for their annual OS upgrades (and when they did they were not expensive). OS X doesn't seem to have the 'rot' that XP and Win7 experience where the machine becomes slower and slower over time/updates. I was using a 6 year old iMac until recently and it was still running at completely acceptable speed and has a few more years in it yet. Whole life cost really not bad at all. Dual boot with a copy of Win7 for those rare occasions when something requires windows.
    • CommentAuthorEd Davies
    • CommentTimeApr 9th 2014 edited
     
    Posted By: bot de paille: “The recent revelations of deliberate software security crippling by some software developers for the benefit of the NSA puts the OpenSLL problems in an interesting and not altogether clear light.”

    OpenSSL.

    Indeed. I've long thought that the horrible usability of crypto with practical software might have resulted from blocking by the powers that be. E.g., perhaps some sort of legal pressure on Microsoft, Mozilla, etc, not to build cryptography into Outlook, Thunderbird and what have you to at least make people have to muck around with plugins like Enigmail. I was also aware of concerns about deliberate sabotage of key cryptography algorithms but thought they were rather theoretical (tin-foil hat, actually) but they now seem entirely plausible and it seems quite possible there have been positive interventions to mess things up at the user level as well, as this rather tongue in cheek presentation by Poul-Henning Kamp illustrates:

    http://bofh.nikhef.nl/events/FOSDEM//2014/Janson/Sunday/NSA_operation_ORCHESTRA_Annual_Status_Report.webm

    At the very least, he shows that the open source community has acted as if it had been deliberately sabotaged in this respect.
    • CommentAuthorTriassic
    • CommentTimeApr 9th 2014
     
    So I've backed up my data and looked at changing operating systems, but now I'm feeling my old PC tower system (that large box that sits under my desk) is just too old. So I've decided to replace the anti-virus software and keep plodding on using XP, until such time as it packs up, or the large box of tricks packs up.

    Come to think of it maybe I'm part of the equation! So I'll keep using XP until 'it', or the hardware, or me fails!!
    • CommentAuthorborpin
    • CommentTimeApr 9th 2014
     
    Posted By: SteamyTeaIf the open source people could come up with packages as good as Word, Excel and Access
    Latest version of Open Office is supposed to be pretty good. Depends on what features you need.
    • CommentAuthorCWatters
    • CommentTimeApr 10th 2014
     
    I replaced my XP with Win 7 last year. Win 7 seem "OK" compared to XP but I've also heard Win 8 is dire. I need to by a new PC for my wife soon and have heard that Win 8 comes with a free Win 7 license so for her PC I'm thinking of buying Win 8 but installing Win 7.

    I also prefer the older version of Office over the newer.
  7.  
    I installed Win 8 and uninstalled it withing 24 hours. When installed on a touch screen device it works very well because that's what it is designed for principally. On a normal desk top PC using a mouse its very very tricky to get used to and probably to be avoided if you are comfortable with XP.

    The biggest shock I had when first trying W8 was that they had removed the Start menu! this is very very weird. Although they have reintroduced it it with the latest update.

    I have used windows 7 since it came out without any real problems running Spybot anti-virus.
    As usual its a resource pig so your comp needs to be up to it.
  8.  
    Posted By: Ed Davies

    http://bofh.nikhef.nl/events/FOSDEM//2014/Janson/Sunday/NSA_operation_ORCHESTRA_Annual_Status_Report.webm" rel="nofollow" >http://bofh.nikhef.nl/events/FOSDEM//2014/Janson/Sunday/NSA_operation_ORCHESTRA_Annual_Status_Report.webm

    At the very least, he shows that the open source community has acted as if it had been deliberately sabotaged in this respect.


    I don't know the background of PHK's presentation but in the open source operating systems area (PHK is a FreeBSD guy, I was one of the NetBSD guys) we were aware back in the early 2000s that there was a risk of the US government trying to weaken security sensitive aspects of the systems by underhand means. It modified our behaviour, at least in the NetBSD project. Conversely, the same organisations (NSA, Homeland Security, etc) spent large sums of money on improving the security of open source systems. A real Jekyll and Hyde situation.
    • CommentAuthorEd Davies
    • CommentTimeApr 12th 2014
     
    PHK was mostly talking about useability and policy issues rather than crippled PRNGs and the like - he was making the point that they have been managed sufficiently poorly by the open source community that it actually looks like sabotage. It's a difficult balance and without a Steve Jobs-type dictator it's not easy to get both the overall plan and the details right but I'd have to say that it's not obvious how to distinguish cock-up and conspiracy here.
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