1259 posts • joined Thursday 15th March 2007 16:58 GMT
One critical issue in my view is data integrity. That is what a NAS it supposed to do, store data reliably. But the article fails to address that. Do they support internal file systems that have data checksums (like ZFS)?
If not (and important even with ZFS) do they support automatic RAID scrubbing where periodically all of the HDDs are read and checked for errors in the background.
Most folk at home will only have 1 HDD of protection (RAID-1 or RAID-5) and what happens later in life is a HDD fails, you replace it and find bad sectors on the other disk(s), thus corrupting the valuable data. With two HDD of protection (e.g RAID-6 or ZFS' RAID-Z2) you can cope with one error per stripe of data while rebuilding, but that is not always enough.
That is why you want to check once per fortnight/month that the HDD are all clean, and so so allow the HDD to internally correct/re-map sectors that had high error rates when read, and if necessary to re-write and uncorrectable ones from the RAID array if that fails.
Of course, sudden HDD failure happens, maybe even multiple HDDs, or PSUs, as does "gross administrative error", which is why you should all repeat "RAID is not a backup" twice after breakfast...
" I can get built-in RAID on most PC mobos" - that is almost certaily 'fake RAID' where the BIOS can boot from it but it is the OS that has to actually do the RAID computation. OK for simple RAID-1 or similar its easier than ZFS, but it still lacks the advantages of data checksums.
ZFS is not the only file system that does that, GPFS has them as well, but most others I think only do metadata checksumming (e.g. Linux ext4, and MS' new and unproven RsFS unless you explicitly ask for the extra checks/load).
I can't believe you have not ever had that horrible feeling when you get a/multiple disk errors and no simply way to find out *what* has been corrupted by the failure of "sector 102345569" etc. Also I am not the only one I know to have had data corruption in a file system due to bus/memory errors that were 'silent' so it was only on decompressing a ZIP archive (which has integrity checks in it) that it was discovered. Most other files have no checksums so the true extent of the damage was not known and the tedium of complete backup restoration had to be undertaken.
We all know you have an irrational dislike of all things Sun, but from an integrity point of view ZFS is one of the best choices for file systems, unless you are playing big-league with IBM's distributed system.
Indeed, the question remains for everyone outside the USA (and hopefully some inside) is do you trust Intel/McAfee?
If it can hide stuff from the OS, how do you check what is there and who put it there?
Where is the option for "fix the known damn bugs and quit pissing around with GUI"?
I'm no expert, but I think Mars once had a decent atmosphere but something happened a long time ago to kill the planetary dynamo the provided the magnetic shield to stop the solar wind stripping that away. Now we see little of what was once there.
Remember Venus is the same (approx) gravity as the Earth, but has a *much* higher atmospheric pressure.
Hopefully some more expert commentards will provide you with enlightement...
Re: Bravo the NZ PM!
Indeed, they will do anything if the prices is right. Even sadder is how low that 'price' often is :(
Re: Charles 9
The DRM aspect is why it is so important to keep TPB afloat - so they learn that DRM is bad for *paying* customers and the pirated sort is a better experience, you know, the sort you would actually prefer to pay for.
It took years for the music industry to accept DRM-free once the realised that the battle was lost and that the majority of customers, when treated nicely, are happy to pay for content.
So far we may have got past the "you are probably a thief" non-skipable crap with DVDs, etc, but we don't have freedom legally to use media on any platform we want and to skip crap like trailers as we wish. The move to HD and streaming is a new battle ground for DRM and it must be the public at large that wins this one, unless we all want to be digital sefs to the few biggest of corporations who hold the DRM-forged manacles.
Re: How much ....
Because you are paying someone else to do it.
In theory you get reliable operation and nice management tools, but in practice you often get a plate of donkey gonads to suck upon.
Re: AC 15:24
Microsoft's FAT32 patent is a very bad example, the reason no one else did it earlier was IT WOULD NOT WORK WITH WINDOWS until Microsoft did it their way.
No one in their right mind would choose to do thing in the FAT32 way unless they have to work with MS software, and their oligopoly status means you have to.
This is an example of why patents need reigned in - where you can't interoperate without infringing. The basic idea behind the patent system is good, the problems I have are those already stated, that the may be:
not very inventive
needed for interoperability
too long lasting in areas (e.g. software) where 20-25 years represents many, many generations of a product.
OK, that explains something and makes more sense. I had assumed this was an extension of the device driver signing process where they did look at your code.
One way mirror?
So am I right in assuming that to get approval MS get to see all of your 'trade secrets' of your source code, quite possibly to copy (sorry, "influence") for new MS products, but you don't get to see theirs?
If you have to bare all, at least go open-source and maybe get community help in bug-fixes, etc.
Re: Not as cheap as it sounds
Just read the blurb:
"Secure – Amazon Glacier supports secure transfer of your data over Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) and automatically stores data encrypted at rest using Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) 256, a secure symmetric-key encryption standard using 256-bit encryption keys. You can also control access to your data using AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM). IAM enables organizations with multiple employees to create and manage multiple users under a single AWS account and to set resource-based access policies."
So basically they encrypt the "tapes" (we presume they use tape ultimately) but the still have access to your data, i.e. it is not encrypted at your side, using a key that only your company has.
Bend over Blackadder, its PATRIOT time!
Re: Not as cheap as it sounds
For a small user at least you save the cost and maintenance of the tape drive, and the off-site storage of tapes in case of major local damage, etc, which makes it attractive.
But the lack of any obvious way to control the encryption yourself (unless I missed something) is not good.
Re: Hmm, where do I put all my sensitive data?
The only sensible option is to encrypt the data with *your* key before it gets to them. Of course that usually buggers up de-dupe and always buggers storage-side compression, so they won't like that being the norm.
Considering the other problem, that of up/down link bandwidth, you would really want to compress/de-dupe your data before considering backing it up, which would help them as well. Not quite so simple to use properly then.
Re: Whatever is bad for Microsoft is good for everyone else.
I up-voted you because some of what you said is true (i.e. we need more and real competition for the mass buyers of computers), even though I suspect you need to keep taking the dried frog pills...
Re: Is this really an issue?
"A surprising number of companies were still using 16-bit installers that should have been done away with a decade earlier."
Assuming they do/did a proper job that the business needs, why should they not be supported on 64-bit as for 32-bit OS?
The idea that *working* software has to be replaced simply because the OS supplier can't be bothered to support it is a worry, and is the best argument of all for going open-source where you have the ability (or paid contractors can) support legacy stuff if it is cheaper then throwing away years of experience and bug-fixes in the pursuit of 'shiny'.
Re: Your rival may get many more viewers by NOT banning it
There are no rivals - except the pirates, and of course then you don't need all of this technology to 'allow' you the watch the stuff you just paid for, you can watch it anywhere.
Really, in a number of ways I support the TPB simply because the low bar to accessing 'pirated' material has, or hopefully will, make the content industry realise its not so precious after all and that if they want my money they have to make the experience of legal purchase easy and effective for me, on any of my devices.
Does any one out there really want stronger DRM to be baked in to the hardware and further restrictions on what you can and cannot do with YOUR hardware becoming the norm? Screw you Apple!
What metadata should be protected?
The idea that removing any metadata should be stopped is a dangerous one, as it could lead to images being attributable to people who really don't want that in public (e.g. photo of a crime, personal adverts on dating sites, etc).
What is needed is some sensible machine & human readable metadata for copyright that is protected by law, and maybe some hash of the rest (date.time, camera settings, GPS coords, etc) if it is missing. That way images' ownership can be traced as needed, but are not identifiable so easily unless the photographer applied their public 'signature'.
Do you really want all of your data locked to the CPU, so if your machine dies and you swap the disk to another it is all unreadable?
At least with an iPad there is no real expectation of recovering data/physically upgrading if it has failed (or stolen, as likely), and their whole software model is based on cloud backup.
And yes, you probably should have a backup of your PC but we all know how easy and regularly done that is...and how successfully and well tested the restore process is...
It is not pointless because:
1) It makes Joe Public realise that this is OK and sort of MS-approved, and is safer than a random download.
2) It gives other browsers a chance, and not just Chrome that Google push relentlessly on their home page.
Remember, this is not for El Reg's typical reader.
Re: What a ridiculous situation
the market condition that exists when there are few sellers, as a result of which they can greatly influence price and other market factors. Compare duopoly, monopoly
The point you are missing is this is not about corporate users for whom a sysadmin sets up the approves configuration, nor for readers of El Reg who fully understand how to install other browsers and/or configure search engine choices.
This is about Joe Public who can't tell the difference between an address bar and a search engine, and for whom the blue 'e' was "The Internet". Once most of them are using an OS-specific browser you get the stupidity and lock-in seen, for example, in a lot of South Korean banks where you need an ActiveX plug-in for on-line banking.
And so you can keep your hands tightly around consumers genitals and squeeze them for all the money you can with little chance of them moving way from your cash-cow.
That is what the EU has acted for, and given the size of MS and their inability to keep a promise, I don't think 10% fine is out of the question. Please educate yourself on the whole anti-trust proceedings that started with MS moving against Netscape before arguing about it.
Re: What a ridiculous situation
You really don't get it do you?
"There is no law saying you MUST buy Microsoft" - go to any of the major vendors (HP, Dell, Toshiba, Leveno, etc) and see what proportion of consumer machines & laptops you can buy world-wide without Windows, then report back here.
Damn, I fed a troll again!
Re: What a ridiculous situation
I think you missed the Troll icon.
Can't you understand what the implications of monopoly / oligopoly status means? If Ford had 99% of all garages in their pocket, you don't think they would get such treatment as well?
As for the success of companies, you also seem too dim to realise that often that comes from misusing their position to crush opposition and/or disadvantage competitors. I have no problem with Google being the biggest search engine if it is due to them having the best algorithm, but it is an issue when they start promoting their own brands ABOVE competitors because of ownership, not relevance.
Geed, you break the rules then expect to get punished! Oh unless you are a US company in the USA where the DOJ drops things that might harm your profits.
Re: Unicorn sighted! Oh wait, it's just a donkey with an ice cream cone stuck on its napper :(
I did not even get that far, I read about it on this esteemed organ and immediately found it won't work on Linux. Now I do have access to an old copy of Windows, but it comes back to the point that Andrew made (as countless others have) that DRM sucks!
The inconvenience and high probability of paying for something and getting screwed later is too high, and suddenly them there torrents looks might good, me hearty!
It comes back to this issue of control-freakery, and I guess some of that comes back to Byzantine licensing terms for each and every country and media that exists having grown over the years. Also pointed out is 2/3 of users are 'honest', so why make life hard and irritate your paying customers to protect content that is mostly going to be paid for, and those who don't pay you can't practically stop anyway?
I wish that some sense could be injected to both sides of the copyright debate.
Seems I can't log in to my web email just now - merely a coincidence?
Still no big deal as I just use it for spam and facebook, which is the same thing really.
This is why I disable autorun on all possible media!
Autorun was a dumb idea - if you know so little about computers to be able to find and run a setup.exe file on some new software, you have no bloody business running arbitrary software in the first place! Learn, or get a knowledgeable person to help you (paid if necessary).
Re: AC 13:41
No my argument is more like: My friends/family/granny didn't understand it, it didn't work for them...
As for runas - why should it not have "just worked" like sudo? More skill required to fault-find.
Same for ACLs, the issue is not that I don't understand what they should do, more the fact you often need to use the tool to see what the effective ACLs are, and a lot of insight to see what those implications are for the system.
Then you get on to the thorny issue of execute permissions - can I use the ACLs to block all user-writeable areas like TEMP and their own profile from execute permissions and not break the whole machine? Not break Chrome? Linux has the execute bit that, by default, is disabled on downloads etc (OK, not on stuff copied from CD or FAT which is dumb...) which is another hump in malware prevention, ACLs should allow the same, but by default don't.
But you are 100% correct to say "they shouldn't have had to, the default user IDs are setup correctly for default user access" - it is this 'insecure by default' problem that plagued Windows for years, and while it is much improved now you still get the odd legacy application that only works with your admin pants down. You just pray that no one brings along a bucket of soapy frogs...
Really the whole "block the competition" aspect sucks, why not limit patent litigation to deciding on a parentage of the sales revenue based on how much the patent is of the whole device?
Given that most products have thousands of patents used in them it seems ridiculous that trivial stuff can command even a few percent of the cost simply because some big corp has enough lawyer funds to bully for it..
@ AC 11:09
Yes, Windows of the NT/2000/XP... range has many security features that ought to be more than a match for the UNIX model. But avoiding the fanbois arguments about how many bugs in Windows vs Linux and so on, there is a significant difference in that for most Windows users and a lot of older Windows software - it just did not work in practice.
The whole 'run as' option for windows often failed for installers, and a lot of crappy written software (including some from MS in the past) assumed the user had admin privileges and open firewalls, etc, for really stupid stuff. If you are on a tight budget and/or have some older specialised software you just have to run as admin and hope for the best.
The other big problem is the ACLs use for access control with NTFS installations (majority case from ~2000 onwards) are simply too complex for anyone other than a seasoned Windows administrator to understand. So for Joe Average all of the security features it just broke things, or in the case of UAC on Vista it just irritated them when it popped up so often that they disabled that as well.
So to say "just because some people didn't use it" is a gross misunderstanding of the majority of non-corporate Windows users' problems with using the security offered, where as most Linux users don't need to bypass the UNIX model's default security to nearly the same degree.
The "part of patent agreements" is really a wish list. Also sorry for the typos.
Re: patent extortion
Actually the FAT32 issue should never have been allowed as the point here was MS did some stupid things for compatibility reasons and got a patent on it. No one in their right mind would *want* to use FAT32 except for the need to talk to Windows machines (due to their de facto monopoly in the desktop arena, and inability to read/write much else then FAT or NTFS).
I am all in favour of protecting innovation, but anything that is to do with interoperability should be excluded from this.
Also why the secrecy? Any deal that is not public is mighty suspicious and part of patent agreements is they *should* be conducted in the open so that the "value" can be seen for trading, not just to stop predatory agreements being signed, but also to allow investors to see the actual value industry putts on the innovation concerned.
I thought it was Toyah Wilcox?
Re: Windows 8 - what is it?
I don't think there is much change the the underlying OS that is major, but it has has some minor improvements. Had there been a no-Metro option I think most commentards here would be less hateful in their comments, probably looking forward to it in fact as an improvement over 7. But sadly they have already tried the preview...
Maybe on a tablet/phone it has a purpose, but on a desktop it sucks. But don't trust me, I don't own a fez.
Re: hate for XP and the Teletubbies references
I hated the XP teletubbies appearance, but at least they let you change back to 'classic' look.
With win8 they have gone out of their way to stop you, the useless bar stewards!
Mind you, Ubuntu's Unity is well on its way as the Linux moment of pulling defeat from the jaws of victory, think of all those XP users who would find Gnome 2 quite usable? Ooops, we screwed that one.
The answer is simple and obvious - those dark filaments are the cooled hyper-pasta of the Flying Spaghetti Monster's noodly appendages!
Thanks, my jacket and hat is the pirate one with the book on global warming in the pocket...
Yes, that plain/HTML bug annoys me a lot.
Also the in-line spell checker 'forgetting' to check a whole paragraph, etc, if you just did an edit. Buggy since V2 I think. Finally on my annoyance list is the inability to run filters on the "global" inbox, meaning if you have several email accounts and use the unified folders thing (which I like) you need to define multiple filters.
Email is long established, just fix the bugs please! Oh and give us back coloured button text - that black text only crap is not so good for quick recognition.
F'in caps lock key?
Please will somebody realise that caps lock is of little use, and for most non-perfect typists just a source of hassle when you accidentally touch it going for 'A' or similar.
If dropping anything that is "no longer needed" please get rid of caps lock!
Re: Are you really going to pop that disc in your drive?
Yes, because I don't have a stupidly configured computer that runs anything presented to it, and there is a good reason to expect it is valuable to me. Even with Windows one of the first things I do is disable autorun on *ALL* media via the registry setting.
How would any other media be safer? Infected USB are depressingly common...
Parallel printer ports on motherboard
If you need older hardware support in a modern computer check out the DFI EL620-C ATX motherboard, it has a parallel port (you need a bracket/25D/ribbon cable thing unfortunately as it is not rear-facing), two rear facing serial ports (and more inside), PS2 mouse & keyboard, 4 rear-facing USB ports, and two Gigabit Ethernet ports.
Oh, and it also has 3 ISA slots for industrial cards like we use!
Supports the older socket 775 CPUs unfortunately, but Intel still make the Q9400 quad core one (and others) if you can find a supplier that is not utterly incompetent to actually sell you them.
Indeed. Some how I don't think it will be the grandparent generation who are the worst affected...
Re: Apple treated differently than Microsoft.
If you look at the article, you will find that MS has fallen to "If you factor in iOS devices, the ratio drops to less than 2-to-1". So basically if you include all Apple devices: desk-top computer, laptop, tablet and phone, they are still a minority compared to Windows.
That is why no one has investigated Apple. Yet. The time will come I hope...
Sadly I am troll-feeding but its worth noting this bug was introduced around the time of the last leap-second.
Real problem is lack of testing of such rare events. Windows is no better really, it ignores the leap second so clock is simply wrong for a while which can be a problem for transaction systems.
Seems the EU has sense here, after all the claims that software is "Intellectual Property" should come with the same sort of rules that physical property has, that you can if necessary re-sell it. I hope this ruling also gets applied to music & DVDs that are delivered on-line to break the distinction between physical and virtual delivery. Of course, there are big concerns that a number of customers won't be honest and delete the copy before selling it on, but really, are they not likely to be the ones obtaining it dishonestly in the first place?
As for cloud-only to get round this - I can see a number of cases where that is simply not practical due to network latency & bandwidth concerns, not to mention issues over data sovereignty and applicable law.
"backdoor control laws"
That is the key point: the secrecy of negotiation.
The fact that some very controversial proposals were included then dropped from ACTA (but not Japan's own laws?) shows the attitude of some aspects of those pushing this forward. I hope, but don't really expect, that in future the revision of patent, copyright and trademark laws are done in the open and NOT simply to maximise large company profits.
This applies obviously to the heinous business of DRM and so on being pushed by the content industries, but equally to the land-grab of copyright by the likes of Google, etc, against small players. The law should be fair to all parties.
How to test?
Why can't someone set up NTP server called skippy or something, that every two days it adds an anomalous +1 leap second and then two days later has a matching -1 leap second?
That way you could set up a test machine that is more-or-less on time, but makes sure that your kernel and any Java, etc, updates are all happy with the concept of a clock shift.
Re: Leap seconds: not a one-off unique event
I don't know why they hung. All of our Linux machines ran quite happily (as they have done fore years before including this event) using NTP and Trimble GPS for precise time-keeping.
It is not like the folk behind NTP don't know about this, it has been supported and documented for a long time:
Sounds like something that was not tested during the last leap second event, but still, I fail to understand why it would take the system down for more than 1 second?