1551 posts • joined 15 Mar 2007
Unless 4G provides much cheaper data (i.e. lower £/GB, say 1-2GB for the same price as others charge 500MB) then what is the point? You will just end up paying too much because you are tempted to use data-intensive services and getting gouged.
Well they could always throw in a comment about MS and have Eadon and his band of merry troll-beaters fill up the forum, would that help?
Assuming it goes open-source (or at least the protocols do, so it is properly reviewed), this is a great idea as you get all of the benefits of "the cloud" without having to open your privates to those you don't trust that much. Like MS, Google, Amazon, etc...
Ideal for extended families so a selection of machines can share files and act as back-up for each other.
Of course, if it has a "read-only mode" (i.e. original creator can make changes that propagate across all shares, no one else can) then it could stir up a lot of controversy as The Pirate Bay's web site could become a local searchable share on thousands of machines and be all but unblockable by court orders to ISPs.
Re: @Christian Berger
But is it practical to achieve that sort of tight beamforming in small enough packages and at reasonable cost, power consumption, and bandwidth?
If you consider the wavelengths for which we can probably use and get reasonable building penetration, say in the 10cm range, and an angular requirement of say 10 deg to get a large number of urban users then an ideal antenna needs a diameter of around 60cm and in practice a phased array is going to be significantly bigger. For a big base station that is viable, but not for handheld or set-top boxes.
For the OP's point about not going through service providers via white space mesh connection then it won't be practical, but for some future high rate mobile it might just be viable. If it is cost effective enough and has enough back-haul bandwidth.
Re: Hopefully China will continue
You really don't understand how radio works it seems. Two problems:
(A) There is simply not enough usable spectrum in a typical built-up area to give everyone gigabit links like wired/fibre can.
(B) Cognitive radio is only usable if everyone is sharing the same negotiation system, and ideally (and essentially for non-cognitive systems) you have some database of users so you don't have a white-space user talking over another radio link it can't sense (due to sensitivity or shadowing issues) but is actually in use.
Hence radio should really be reserved for things that need it, such as mobile use, and not as a cost-saving option to avoid investing in fibre, etc, that has enough capacity for the foreseeable future.
 Yes, I know there is huge and very sparsely used spectrum up at tens or hundreds of GHz but that is not going to effectively penetrate well through walls, etc, and currently it is not cost-effective to produce TX/RX for them in single chips, etc.
When the Home Office has cited "national security" for not disclosing how a system they want to introduce at our expense should work, and when they start talking up terrorists and paedophiles and are not talking clearly about just who needs the information and why, it is time to can the lot and seriously review who is working there and just what sort of relationship they have with potential suppliers of said spook kit.
I smell a rat.
Quite a lot of ordinary motherboards have hardware watchdogs built in, for example the w83627 and similar chips that provide hardware monitoring (voltages, temperature, fan speeds, etc). This can provide a last-resort method of rebooting a sick server if you don't have lights-out support, but only SSH access.
With Linux you can add the corresponding watchdog driver module (they are black-listed by default in Ubuntu) and then the watchdog daemon and configure it to check a few vital signs. Typically you would check the load averages are not stupidly high (say over 5 per CPU core), maybe that rsyslogd is running, that you can run a simple bash script, etc.
If any of those tests fail then you get a moderately orderly reboot, and the hardware watchdog makes sure you get a reboot even if there is a kernel panic style of fault. Brutal perhaps, but it gets the system back up and hopefully either all OK again or at least you can SSH in to fix it.
"still really don’t know the value proposition of ultrabooks"
I kind of agree with the AC above, really what is the 'value' of an ultrabook to justify such a high price? Let me see:
Screen resolution better than 1080? Nope, in fact often not better then 768 lines.
Is much cheaper than a "look at me, I'm cool" Mac? Nope
User replaceable batteries, etc, compared to a Mac? Nope
Battery life better than an iPad? Nope
Has useful connectors like RJ45 Ethernet unlike a Mac that has lost them? Nope
Runs software much better than a typical £400 laptop? Not sure, but probably not twice as good.
I like to keep track of my Harlots :)
I think you are rather naive to assume that IE6 use will simply die when XP is end-of-life'd.
For the web in general, yes, that is pretty much true even now for IE6 but not so true for IE8. But XP use will still continue for a while until home users finally replace older PCs (almost nobody actually replaces their OS outside of El Reg readers) and I sadly suspect a whole lot of corporate intranets will still have a couple of IE-specific crap for which the likely replacement cost is so large that they keep XP/IE use in place. Either with Win7's XP mode, or using XP in a VMware machine, etc, to balance that business need against the appalling risk of having an out of support OS & browser facing the Internet at large.
It is an odd thing as you point out, the main reason for this framework was supporting that crap that is IE6, 7 and (to a slightly lesser degree) 8.
For home users its less of a problem. Want to stick with XP? Then download and install FireFox or Chrome, etc.
For corporate us the legacy of IE-specific crap will linger for a long time though.
I think the main, if not only, reason for MS supporting IE6 even this long was the huge legacy of corporate stuff that was written with only IE6 in mind at a point in time when cross-platform support was ignored and pointy-haired basses believed everything MS told them about IE6 being "the only and final" web browser they ever needed.
We can see how laughably wrong that was now, but the legacy of crap remains and even MS wish they could scrape IE6 from the soles of their shoes but have bottled out so far.
XP's general support death 2014 is looking pretty final though, after then its going to be "interesting" with browser plug-ins or virtulisation possibly being cheaper and less painful options than solving the underlying problems of stupidly designed software that depends on IE6 (or ActiveX in general).
Thought I would fire up Pidgin and see who was on-line for IM. Nothing. Nobody I knew on Yahoo or on MSN seen for at least a year.
Maybe others still use it, but it seems everyone I know has gone for FB messaging (a nauseating decision).
Re: Well, at least it'll be secure!
Mind you, web browsers are practically an OS now anyway and routinely compromised.
Re: This is why...
Yes, because hanging folk for stealing sheep was so successful that ultimately we could store £250k+ in a shoe box under our beds and not have to consider higher security methods...
Must be more to object storage?
Forgive me if this is a dumb question, but using a UUID for a block of data rather than a directory tree entry seems pretty trivial, in fact you could probably write a small layer to allow one to appear on top of or underneath the other.
So what else has "object storage" got that you simply don't get with a file-based system?
"most people preferring PCs"
I think most folk prefer cheap, although for a lot of non-technical folk they prefer fondleslabs (with the iPad being the favourite in my limited circle of fondle friends).
Re: The formula is simple
And yet, the other companies can't seem to fathom this out.
Funny to hear the comment about Intel & MS sharing their profits with the PC makers to keep them aflote to preserve the market they made and no longer seem to lead. Why would you really want to partner MS, or pay a premium for an Intel CPU compared to an ARM license unless you had no viable alternative? The Win8 annoyance that is TIKFAM and the utter incompetence with most of the PC makers to create products that are subjectively better to the customer in order to justify a premium is both sad and laughable.
Even MS has taken to producing its own hardware, apparently to set a standards (God knows it is needed considering the label covered and trial-ware infested crap that is usually sold) but also one suspects to try and grab a higher profit margin business model as Apple have done.
Personally I dislike both: Apple for its locked-down nature and moves to non-serviceable construction, and MS for years of bullying and strangling any competition. So call it an "idiot tax" if you like, but Apple customers like their shiny toys where as most PC buyers end up cursing theirs.
I simply can't up-vote you enough on that post. Bravo!
Re: Of course FB, MS and Intel are supporting this...
MS' support of this must make prospective users of Office365 very happy to hear MS can and will share all of their data with Uncle Same without risk of prosecution or civil liability...
Re: Indeed. It's called broadcasting for a reason
The whole point of broadcast is the huge number who are happy to watch an event simultaneously, either because it is convenient or it is a special "live" event.
But don't knock the study too much, I bet they knew the result all along but needed to have the technical evidence so those who make the license decisions could see the downside to handing over all of the spectrum to broadband companies when then promis to deliver TV-like service as part of it.
Re: Statistical fluctuation, IE is on a Dead Cat Death Spiral
It is hard for Win8 to fail as much as it deserves when you can't really buy a new PC without it being thrust upon an already suffering world.
Re: Dell OEM and other hit last weekend - was it this?
Ah yes, reminds me of one very good reason why XP was the last MS operating system I got: "Product Activation" that could be revoked (unlike w2k that just was happy with the CD key).
<= Tux, my non-DRM'ed friend.
The problem is not the "BIOS" that most OS care not about, but that it could launch a hypervisor style of rootkit before ANY operating system has booted, and if implemented well that is virtually impossible to detect or get rid of.
Same reason that if you have an infected PC, always boot from a "live CD" like the BitDefender one to attempt an anti-virus based removal. Or to nuke it from orbit...
Re: First in the chain
Really that big? And with a handful of companies looking after it and not patching regularly? Oh God we are doomed...
First in the chain
The BIOS/UEFI code for PCs really should be open source, just so you can see what is going on and theoretically fix bugs.
That is NOT the same as having it unsigned or no restrictions on how it is updated, but again it ought to be possible to change it should you want. To stop malware writers, then having an internal jumper that you must bridge to allow such an override would be a pretty effective way of blocking all but the determined spies (or terminally stupid users).
It will be interesting to see how good (or otherwise) this code is once security and hardware folk have had a look at it.
Re: @Pirate Dave
I liked w2k, and the only advantage as far as I could see for XP was decent USB support.
I disliked XP's Fisher Price style of start menu, etc, but at that time MS had the sense to allow you the choice - and I chose "classic desktop".
Re: Square steering wheel.
I remember them - some had a "square" steering wheel (actually square with rounded corners - something for the Apple eaters to ponder upon), and a gearbox that felt like you were stirring marbles with a long spoon.
A very sad day for the UK motor industry when that got approved for production :(
Pinch? Use your tongue as well.
OK, that might look bad if its certain types of video you were watching...
Re: @Paul Crawford
Ah yes, Netflix that "requires use of the Microsoft Silverlight technology" so not here I'm afraid (and for how long elsewhere given MS have depreciated that?).
See this is the real problem with DRM: it serves to make life difficult for those who are willing to pay, but has not stopped the pirates from sharing the media without restrictions on what devices you can watch it on, and removing those annoying "your are probably a thief" non-skippable adverts on DVDs, etc.
Really, you would think the "better experience" should be one you pay for!
Re: I don't even use TPB...
Yes, just imagine all of the effort directed at providing stuff that people want to buy, and in formats they are happy to pay for, and at prices that reflect the major reduction in overheads of a download (or P2P transfer) compared to bricks & mortar stores.
Some smart business men/women must have thought of this?
"Yes it has. Many organisation like banks and governments institutions have access to the source code. This is again a matter of public record."
Can I get access to this code and pass it on to a suitable organisation of my choice to check it openly? Thought not.
"I don't care if it works on Mac OS or Linux. Those are not supported desktop OSs in 99%+ of companies."
Well I do because Windows is only about 20% of my organisation's desktop use. What use is a web-based system that is OS-specific?
"As opposed to the keys being with the vendor in the cloud and you not knowing if you data has been accessed."
You really want me to trust MS on this point? Try googling "_NSAKEY" and come back with a better offer.
Sadly MS have failed here, as have Google, and most other "Cloud" vendors. The key points have to be:
1) It is OS-agnostic. Unless it covers Windows/Mac/iOS/Linux/Android then it is no use to me and going to be .
2) The encryption layer, at the very least, has to be open source and client-side, otherwise how can I verify it?
3) There has to be an easy way to migrate from provider to provider if I don't like the cost or T&C of the initial provider. Given most fail on (1) and (2) then (3) is a inevitably dead loss.
You see there is nothing inherently wrong with "cloud" storage and so on, but until there is no vendor lock-in and proper privacy then I am giving it a wide berth. I sincerely hope others do as well.
Re: AC 12:55
"Erm, no The cost of physical installs of Office is included in the rental cost. the major advantage of Office 365 (apart from no infrastructure and limited management costs) is that it scales up and don on a monthly basis as you require. Don't need it next month? No problem - just stop paying for it."
Really? I get a copy of Office for my local PC and can keep it if I stop paying the Office 365 subscription?
Re: AC 12:55
"Well firstly it's not unencrypted - all traffic and data are encrypted. Secondly you can supply a second level of protection to sensitive information via Active Directory DRM that Microsoft (or the US government) would not have access to."
Point 1: Traffic encryption means not much (even less considering the multiple points of failure in the SSL certificate generation process if someone really is out to get you), and is incidental if you encrypt before transfer.
Point 2: This "Active Directory DRM" that you speak of, has its source code been verified by 3rd parties as having no recognisable back doors? Given Office 365 is supposed to be web based, will it work using MacOS and Linux?
If the answer is no to any of those, you have failed me.
"I trust Microsoft a lot more than I do Google who are the other major alternative, and who's core business is selling your data to dvertisers. If that's not good enough then there are plenty of EU based companies like Colt that will sell you a similar platform on EU only datacentres..."
Point 3: I did not say I trusted any of the other major players else instead (Google & Dropbox have the same or worse failings). That was my point about "verifiable client-side encryption" so I don't need to trust them.
"No you don't necessary know if it is happening. There is a requirement of confidentiality on those requested to provide access to your data."
Point 4: Err, so just how do they access my encrypted data if I was using verifiable client-side encryption with a non-trivial password?
Almost impossible without demanding the key, and if they do then _I_ know they have asked.
You read, but did not understand.
Fine if you don't care about privacy
All of your data, unencrypted, in the hands of a US company. What could go wrong?
Add to that the rental cost versus just buying MS Office (or indeed using those copies you already have) and using it for 5-10 years as a lot of us have done, nope - not attractive.
Now if someone is going to offer a service with verifiable client-side encryption so travelling workers can get the on-line sharing without exposing their data to Uncle Sam (or any other company or government), that would be worth while.
Even though MS offer EU-hosting, it is still not good enough. Do you trust MS? All of its employees around the world? Any foreign gov where a data centre is hosted?
And yes I know the courts can ask for access to your data even if encrypted, but (A) that requires some form of due legal process, and (B) at least you know if is happening.
Re: Well in the classical world...
The evidence is in the form of statues like Michaelangelo's David and various Greek and Roman ones (except those of Baccus, of course, but he epitomised drunken lewd enjoyment)..
Nice to see WiFi driver problems are not a uniquely Linux problem. MS now enjoying the responsibility of making their own hardware work correctly...
Re: you may be able to back up your server...
"how long will it take to pull all that data back?"
Is that not one of the critical issues about 'cloud services' in the sense of how easy can you migrate providers if/when the cloud provider starts tightening the financial screws?
Re: In-church entertainment.
The preacher's daughter?
Maybe - can anyone answer here how good the SMART equivalent is for flash drives in telling the system about the underlying health/error rate of the storage elements that are being degraded on write?
What, are they not also supporting the Itanium processor here?
Re: Is the scary part just a page in a browser?
The weakest link is usually the user.
I gave up on supporting Windows for family friends for exactly the same reason.
Now they get Linux and its fine. The odd complaint about not being able to do something, play some game, etc, but until those malware ba*tards decide Linux is lucrative enough to target I have but a fraction of the call outs to deal with screwups.
Probably by means of the other fools who sign up for the 419'ers "we have finds to be transferred from an African prince's account" bullshit emails.
I think you will find most users do not have transferable Windows licenses, I did when I bought a machine that came with w2k, but later machines have the non-transferable OEM versions and often no CD/DVD.
You know that step when Windows suggests you make a recovery DVD? Well most folk ignore that...so those who put on "a copy of Windows" usually have got some dodgy cracked version of XP that gives them no end of grief.
The majority of folk are not El Reg readers, and they do not have anyone to setup their system securely or to teach them how to do so. That is is one major reason for the grief they suffer and (rightly or wrongly) blame MS for it and choose iOS instead.
I suspect that AC is the commentard formally known as RICHTO, who is the sort of anti-Eadon of these forums with their equally extreme pro-MS/anti-Linux views. But still we fail by feeding the Trolls...
Re: "incorporated virtual machine detection"
So why not run your windows-specific software in a VM on something else? If the malware writers self-censor to avoid analysis, then use that to protect yourself.
Re: Three systems ..
Technology is really not an answer to stupidity in society, though often our leaders seem to think so.
Re: zpool scrub == fsck
I have seen HDD kicked out of Linux md RAID for no obvious reason, no SMART errors, etc. Add it back in and after a rebuild, all is fine. Guess it is an issue of the flaky disk and/or controller and/or driver software. Were you using "enterprise" class disks and stuff?
Either way, you still have to monitor ALL systems for errors!
Also you should do a ZFS scrub regularly, same for Linux RAID or any other technology, as it helps weed out disks with sector errors or that are close to dying. What you DON'T want is to have is an HDD fail, and then find others go during the rebuild.
"That kind of undermines much of the point of having the newest and shiniest FS available now doesn' t it?"
No, because it means for most of your time the data is safe and you can consistently back-up by taking a snapshot and backing that up while life goes on.
But when you get a fire or flood in the server room, or "gross administrative error" destroying the wrong zpool as someone is doing some other work, you actually have a way of recovering.
What temptation is there?
Really, most PCs are not exciting and the prices they want too high. Like the ~£1k for a basic 1080 line screen.
What happened to anything decent that is not 16:9 crap?
Oh yes, all that is left is the Apple MacBook Pro and Google's new Chromebook Pixel. They might see my money at some time in the near future, not the pedlars of crap stuff to watch DVDs on.
Oh, sorry, no DVD drive any more and still technically illegal to rip my own disk to play it from the HDD...
- Just TWO climate committee MPs contradict IPCC: The two with SCIENCE degrees
- 14 antivirus apps found to have security problems
- Feature Scotland's BIG question: Will independence cost me my broadband?
- Apple winks at parents: C'mon, get your kid a tweaked Macbook Pro
- Driverless car SQUADRONS to hit Britain in 2015