Bundling Redux

“The sale of a computer equipped with pre-installed software isn’t an unfair commercial practice because most customers prefer to buy a laptop they can use straight away, Europe’s top court has ruled in a victory for Sony.
 
“Failure to indicate the price of each item of pre-installed software” isn’t misleading, the Court of Justice of the European Union added in its ruling on Wednesday””
 
See Sony wins battle over preinstalled Windows in Europe’s top court
The endless loop is one of the big mistakes a computer-programmer can make. So can courts. Ignoring the fact that monopoly distorts markets leads to the view that monopoly is normal… Repeat ad nauseum…

What is it with courts to accept the status quo instead of recognizing fundamental principles of law and justice? Are they on the payroll of monopolists? What’s wrong with giving consumers choice? Nothing. This court has blundered like so many others.

About Robert Pogson

I am a retired teacher in Canada. I taught in the subject areas where I have worked for almost forty years: maths, physics, chemistry and computers. I love hunting, fishing, picking berries and mushrooms, too.
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8 Responses to Bundling Redux

  1. DrLoser wrote, “No it isn’t, Robert. Not since the advent of IDEs, round about 1990 or so. With proper tooling, you are forewarned against these things.”

    Oh, shut up! Endless loops happen. Tools can detect typos and such but in the real world, the termination of a loop might be computed at runtime from data the tool does not know like some microswitch out on the conveyor belt. Search algorithms might get stuck in a box-canyon. Time-outs and watchdogs exist for a reason. Things hang up sometimes and the loop does not go as the programmer logically assumed.

    ISTR that TOOS used to crash just idling sometimes. What was that?…. Oh, yes, they ran out of memory… Sounds like some loop not working out right.

    Endless loops are often desirable in process-control. Quite often one wants to do a task periodically. Put it in a loop with a delay/counter/timer/interrupt and you’re good.

  2. oiaohm says:

    Just noticed a type
    Sane would say look through every single usb port if not found after pass limit is met error out(this is what the fixed HP usb printer drivers do)

    I think its 3 passes of all USB ports before quitting. At least that is not a never ending loop any more.

  3. oiaohm says:

    In thirty years of programming for commercial companies who write their own code and seal it off to the public eye, I cannot remember a single instance of an endless loop escaping into the wild.
    DrLoser I know of few example case of end-less loop getting into the wild. Most annoying was the hp usb printer driver for Windows old versions do. If you shared hp printer over network with the old versions. Computer with printer directly connected perfectly fine the computer attempting to use it by network when it attempting to run the HP driver would get stuck in a endless attempting to find the usb printer since network was giving the status it was connected so it has to be find able on a local usb port somewhere. Very bad logic. So yes it does happen in shipped commercial software from time to time open source or closed but its is a fairly big goof.

    Note this hp issue was not recursive algorithm but in fact a endless loop where the HP driver would just keep on running the usb search loop while windows told it that printer was connected until it found it. Sane would say look through every single usb port if not found after pass limit is met(this is what the fixed HP usb printer drivers do)

    Not since the advent of IDEs, round about 1990 or so. With proper tooling, you are forewarned against these things. Then again, as a Pascal programmer, you were never really properly tooled, were you?
    Sorry IDE don’t detect end-less loop fault all the time today. Even proper tooling cannot in fact warn you about most end-less loop errors. Test-suites testing all functionality and proper peer reviewing of code and design are the best defence against end-less loop errors some tools may find some developers miss. This was all written about in the 1970s-1980s.

    So how to deal with this problem of end-less loop faults is detailed before the invent if IDEs. It has a name to describe it.

    Designing a program to locate all end-less loop faults is the inverse of the Turing Halting problem and is also classed as undecidable problem. So a IDE or tools cannot tell you about every single end-less loop problem. A tool with information about all possible states can locate end-less loop problems if that information is correct this is a mathematically secure program(very costly to-do in time and resources).

    Basically DrLoser pull your head out sand and look around a bit more you will find end-less loop bugs are rare but they are not non existent.

  4. DrLoser says:

    The endless loop is one of the big mistakes a computer-programmer can make.

    No it isn’t, Robert. Not since the advent of IDEs, round about 1990 or so. With proper tooling, you are forewarned against these things. Then again, as a Pascal programmer, you were never really properly tooled, were you?

    I’ll give you the possibility of a badly formed recursive algorithm (which is mathematically equivalent to an endless loop), but even then the problem is basically amenable to static analysis.

    In thirty years of programming for commercial companies who write their own code and seal it off to the public eye, I cannot remember a single instance of an endless loop escaping into the wild. But, hey, you know better. Even with absolutely no evidence whatsoever.

    (I’ve never seen an endless loop in FLOSS code, either. I’ll grant you, since you are relying on random incompetents, the thing is possible in theory. But I have yet to see it in practise.)

    Incidentally, I loved the complete non-sequitur that followed. Have you done your six monthly check for Alzheimer’s yet?

  5. dougman says:

    “In a free market”

    Ahh, but we ARE in a free market these days. IN the past, no, but now, there are so many options for one to to use to connect to the web.

  6. kurkosdr wrote, “No company is obligated to give you choice Pog.”

    In a free market they are because buyers can always give their business to someone else. That hurts the business without choice. Consider the gardener who only digs square holes and charges a higher price because the holes are bigger. He’d be run out of business by gardeners who make round efficient holes. Any gardener with a brain would realize there is competition and offer round or square holes. He’d get more business because there may be a few customers who want the other choice. That’s good business.

  7. kurkosdr says:

    to sell the product = to use the product

  8. kurkosdr says:

    No company is obligated to give you choice Pog. A company has the right to sell just one product in just one configuration, with an arbitrarily high number if third-party items bundled in that configuration. If you don’t like that, there are other companies.

    However, bundling software that comes with a contract/license agreement the customer must accept to use it, without the customer being made aware this contract even exist pre-purchase, now that’s an issue. When you buy an HP inside its cardboard box from a retail store, there is no information that you need to accept a contract/license agreement to use the included software you paid for, or a copy of that contract/license agreement.

    Of course no FOSSie goes that way to beat Windows bundling, because open-source licenses, GPLv3 and all are, after all, a contract/license agreement the user has to accept to sell the product.

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