* Posts by Gerhard Mack

245 posts • joined 4 Apr 2007

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Canucks: Hey, Big Dog Telcos. Share that fiber with the little guys, eh?

Gerhard Mack

This is why Bell is delaying FTTH for as long as possible. I worked for a smaller ISP before, and the first thing we discovered after renting space at Bell was that Bell had the advantage because they were the only ones allowed to install curb side equipment meaning they could be double our speed in most cases. I'm sure now the gap is even worse.

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Facebook SSD failure study pinpoints mid-life burnout rate trough

Gerhard Mack

Re: Anything for end users?

These stats are for Facebook running these things in a very loaded server environment and do not correspond at all to desktop style loads.

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Virgin Media starts its broadband-of-the-gaps fibre rollout

Gerhard Mack

Re: Sigh ...

Videotron still won't pre cable cable new developments. My friend owns an apartment building in Saint-Laurent that was gutted by a fire and had cable run to a junction in the basement when they rebuilt the inside and then badgered Videotron for several months to hook up in the basement.

When I ordered internet Bell told me I was limited to 15 mbps so I went with cable for internet. The Videtron guy showed up with a big freaking drill and drilled in through the brick wall from the outside and ran the cable and a few months later, another Videotron guy came and wired up basement and switched my cable to the one going to the basement and pulled the old cable out and covered the outside hole with some gum like substance.

The fact that it would have been cheaper to do it in the right order would have been cheaper and more secure against illegal hookups does not matter to a company like Videotron. Their internal processes will not change for anyone.

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Gerhard Mack

Re: Bwahahahaha

"The sole reason for G.FAST existence is that moving to fiber to the home will mean immediate termination of employment for 90% of the field force. This is the reality of a fiber network - it costs practically nothing to run and it does not break. No "national minorities" stealing the precious copper and selling it at a recycling center either."

Tell that to my previous employer who, had FTTH and lost internet for several days because the fiber optic cable inside his house was chewed through by a puppy.

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The insidious danger of the lone wolf control freak sysadmin

Gerhard Mack

Re: Lone Wolf..

The flip side? I am the guy people hire when there is a mess they don't know how to clean up and my method of operation is to fix the problem, make the solution as idiot proof as possible(sanity check inputs, informative errors, auto generate configs when possible, leave multiple very obvious warnings about gotchas in places where the next admin will see them etc). then train as many people as possible on how to deal with my solution.

In my experience, the guy who walks in and thinks he is so above everyone else that nothing can be explained is either not as good as he thinks he is or he is posturing to overcome his own shortcomings.

I'm cleaning up after such a guy now. Aversion to package managers, shell scripts where web config would have been better, duplicate information in SQL tables, firewalled off several countries to compensate for the fragile state of his security etc.. If I change anything it often has unexpected consequences.

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Gerhard Mack

Re: Never let one person hold all the keys

If you are the only one who holds the keys then good luck when your weekend/vacation is ruined because of some outage in the office.

One thing about my current job I absolutely love is that there is a Jr admin that can take over if I'm unavailable.

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Google launches native Android Smart Lock password manager

Gerhard Mack

Re: "A security boon for the masses"

If they do it right then someone gaining access to your phone does not necessarily mean having them gain all of your passwords. Right now my existing password manager logs out on a timeout requiring a new master password login before it will fill passwords again.

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Wordpress munching contagion turns Linux servers into spam bots

Gerhard Mack

Re: Wordpress.

Blocking outgoing SMTP breaks signup confirmations, password recovery links, and comment notifications, Blocking outgoing connections in general breaks any use of external content such as news feeds and blog updates.

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Why are enterprises being irresistibly drawn towards SSDs?

Gerhard Mack

I'm not sure that is helpful. Some will be bad manufactures but some will be early model bugs/bugs and even old cases where SSD was new as a product (I recall a high failure rate when TRIM was new) and some will just be dumb luck.

Point of example: my 5 year old 32 GB OCZ drive just died 3 months ago and the failure rate of that model was famously high.

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Gerhard Mack

Re: Workload profiles also matter

That hasn't been true for several years now. My SSD based setups easily outrun my spinning disk by a very noticeable amount and even sequential writes tend to do better. Did you miss the point where flash has been moving to PciE because the SATA/SAS ports were too slow?

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Cisco and Level 3 team up to squash brute force server hijackers

Gerhard Mack

Great plan.. unless you have a user who needs to read their email or have a user that needs to shell (bonus points if they have old software)

A far less obnoxious approach is something like fail2ban. I have mine set a 1 hour ban after 6 bad attempts in 5 minutes.. (root is ssh key only) It reliably nails the botnets without bothering legitimate users who make.the odd password mistake.

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Red-spattered Android figures sinkhole Sony's healthy financials

Gerhard Mack

Not just the root kit

The fact that Sony disabled features on the PlayStation for their own internal business reasons guarantees I will not buy anything from Sony for a very long time. I will never buy hardware from a company that thinks disabling features after I have paid for the product is in any way acceptable.

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El Reg's festive dating app guide, Pt. 2: The FEMALE perspective

Gerhard Mack

Re: They will fall in love with the hair in your ears and your snaggle teeth

The deal with Spain is that the bins are on the street and not on anyone's property.

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Thought tab sales were in the toilet this year? Hah! Wait for next

Gerhard Mack

Re: You can't take the anal out of analyst

You left out the part where they took the initial crazy growth, drew a straight line upward and declared that we would all replace our laptops and desktops with tablets.

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Oracle users open can of whup-ass on licensing policies

Gerhard Mack

Re: new business

The trouble is that once you base a produce around Oracle, it is extremely hard to change.

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You can thank Brit funnyman John Oliver for fixing US broadband policy, beams Netflix

Gerhard Mack

Re: So

The bottleneck (and the monopoly) are the last mile. The actual routing of packets is the cheap part and in places where there is actual competition, traffic prices are falling sharply and there is no reason other than keeping an obscenely large profit margin that an ISP should be having congestion anywhere other than the last mile where the customer has control of what gets transferred anyhow.

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What happens in Europe, doesn't stay in Europe: US giants accused of breaking EU privacy pact

Gerhard Mack

Re: Hosting providers in Canada and Germany

I suppose someone had to maintain the Canadian stereotype...

The fact that Canada has a set of privacy laws that the EU considers acceptable rather than the American voluntary system makes Canada two years behind? And somehow Canada's strict limit on personal donations and total ban on corporate donations rather than the American's unlimited somehow makes Lobbying more effective in Canada?

You really don't seem to know much about your own country.

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Gerhard Mack

Re: Safe Harbour +

There are perfectly good cloud hosting providers in Canada and Germany so there is no reason to host in the US.

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Why are Fujitsu and Toshiba growing lettuce in semiconductor plants?

Gerhard Mack

Re: The next step...

I'm not so sure there would be much left of the pizza after being heated to 600C

http://www.cham.co.uk/phoenics/d_polis/d_applic/d_chem/cvd/transien.htm

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Cost-cutting Barclays bank swings axe on 5,600 IT and ops bods

Gerhard Mack

Re: Tech jobs

From what I hear there is a shortage of COBOL programmers to the point where (at least in the US) they are paying people not to retire.

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Slow IPv6 adoption is a GOOD THING as IETF plans privacy boost

Gerhard Mack

Re: Getting more peopel to adopt IPv6

I'll start with just changing ISPs because that is the more common scenario: radvd supports renumbering of the prefix.

For load balancing, You can use SNAT with load balancing scripts balancers that already exist to manage two or more ISPs at the same time.

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94% of Brit tech bosses just can't get the staff these days, claims bank

Gerhard Mack

Re: Permastory ?

It really does not work like that. A previous employer of mine tried some outsourcing and the first thing he learned the hard way was that if the wages were set at a rate where he actually saved money, it was harder to find people who knew what they were doing. And on the off chance that he lucked out and got someone good they would build up their experience and bail for the next better paying job offer.

If you expect to pay 40% less than the rates here, you will get either a ridiculously high turnover, or the bottom of the barrel employees who couldn't manage to find jobs at better paying places.

Outsourcing is not a good way to save money.

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Mounties always get their man: Heartbleed 'hacker', 19, CUFFED

Gerhard Mack

Re: Only 6 hours

The patch was easy and I had all my customer's stuff patched by the end of the first day they were down.

The problem for CRA though isn't the time to patch it is the time to install the update on the test server, test the update, document the test, install the update on the live servers and then document the roll-out onto the live servers.

Internal procedures are fun

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Mozilla takes Windows 8-friendly Firefox out back ... two shots heard

Gerhard Mack

Re: Thanks Mozilla

If it's crashing your display driver than the bug is in the display driver and not Firefox.

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Murdoch dumps Microsoft, prepares to Hangout with Google

Gerhard Mack

Re: Well, that screws...

"Interesting... I get plenty of downvotes here for accusing Google of being evil on a par with Murdoch, yet when I comment here about how dangerous the amount of power Google has over our data from pre-cradle to grave I get upvoted..."

How about this? It is indeed dangerous to give them as much power as they have over our data but that doesn't make them evil.

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Terrifying photo special: 'Electric Cannon' anal orgasmo-probe in use ... on a BULL

Gerhard Mack

Reminds of a day I had in Spain

My friend came to me begging me to come to his office and fix the project that needed to be working for the next day? My task? Fix the custom USB cable on a system designed to freeze pig semen.

Fun fact.. The tubes of semen are loaded by sticking one end in the semen and sucking the fluid into the straw. (thankfully not my job)

My life in Madrid will always have the best stories.

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Google to banish mobe-makers using old Androids: report

Gerhard Mack

???

I have both the latest version of Android and a MicroSD card on a year old phone updated with Cyanogen so I'm not understanding your point here.

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Survey: Just 1 in 3 Euro biz slackers meets card security standards

Gerhard Mack

Re: Not perfect but still a good start

Having actually passed a PCI-DSS audit I can tell you that the the problem with PCI-DSS is that it looks great until you actually have to go through the trouble of maintaining a compliant system. It's not the technical requirements that are the problem it's the mountains of paperwork. When faced with having to spend more time filling out forms than actually applying system updates it ended up that the PCI-DSS portion of our network got security updates less often than the rest of it and that's a very bad thing.

There are also parts of the standard that have nothing to do with actual security such as the demand that all system updates be applied to a test machine before going live. It's as if someone read every book on system administration and then tried to codify the combined content and I wonder if whoever wrote the standard has actually ever maintained a system for themselves.

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Android users running old OS versions? Not anymore, say latest stats

Gerhard Mack

Re: So why didn't you buy an iPhone?

There is nothing stopping you from bringing your own handset to Telus. I recently moved back into the country and took my Galaxy S Relay with me to the Telus store. Not only did they not have a problem with that, they gave me a 10% "bring your own phone" discount on my service.

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Pre-Xmas phone numbers: Apple slips, Windows Phone grabs 1 in 10 new sales

Gerhard Mack

Re: Market Share vs Profit?

"And since, unlike XP (and Android apparently), there is no need for Anti-Virus software or malware protection, WP7 requires no further updates."

Nothing (including windows phone) is 100% secure and any phone not getting security updates will eventually become a malware magnet.

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Android, Chromebooks storm channel as Windows PC sales go flat

Gerhard Mack

Re: I don't get it

I don't know who modded Jonathanb down but he is right. Sales from Apple stores are direct so they do not count as channel sales.

Apple has been actively cutting back on things they sell through "the channel"

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Microsoft 'cautiously optimistic' about Christmas sales

Gerhard Mack

@Tom 35

I just spent some time hunting down that IDC article and was wondering why their worldwide figures still show Iphone in second place but then I found it: "Windows Phone outsells iOS in Latin America"

In other words, what they said was technically true while still being misleading and more than a little dishonest.

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RBS MELTDOWN LATEST: 'We'll be the bank we should be ... next YEAR maybe'

Gerhard Mack

Re: There my be trouble ahead.

Exactly. They fired their experienced staff, ended up in trouble, and are now trying to solve the resulting problem by throwing more technology at it.

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Microsoft releases wonderfully loopy experimental GIF-jiggler

Gerhard Mack

Re: Points

Return? Check out "vines" animated Gifs have been back in style for awhile now with the younger generation.

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BOFH: Resistance is futile - we're missing BEER O'CLOCK

Gerhard Mack

Re: Ha, the pitfalls of the cloud-based strategy

He should have had a UPS but the data should be fine. Just pop the drives into a Linux machine and rebuild the raid.

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iTunes-for-corporates private app stores put firms at risk – survey

Gerhard Mack

bad store design?

Why should it matter how many times you download an app? Shouldn't the store be tracking that sort of thing and reusing the old license rather than granting a new one?

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Brit spymasters: Cheers, Snowden. Terrorists are overhauling their comms

Gerhard Mack

Re: Cretins!

Not exactly true. Iran funds competing terrorist groups (ex Hisbollah, the Mahdi Army in Iraq etc). The problem is that there has been a Sunni vs Shia proxy war using terrorist groups for decades and the west keeps blundering into the middle of it without realizing what the full consequences will be.

Quite frankly, no one involved in the middle east has clean hands

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Want to keep the users happy? Don't call them users for a start

Gerhard Mack

Re: Do not trust but don't dismiss either

Indeed, I was just on the receiving end of this attitude when a co worker asked me to find out why our credit card processing system stopped working and the upstream provider blamed us because "no one else is having the same problem"

Turns our their SSL certificate was on it's last day and we were the first to notice because we were in an earlier timezone (gmt+1). If I hadn't caught it their staff would have been having a *very* bad day in a few more hours.

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Blighty's laziness over IPv6 will cost us on the INTERNETS - study

Gerhard Mack

Re: alain williams IPV4 best for the general public

Spoken like someone who knows nothing about programming. IPv4 is stored as a 32 bit int at a fixed point in the headers so adding the two extra octets will break everything just as much as IPv6 would.

The idea was to make sure that we only have to go through this pain once in our lifetimes rather than just having to do it all again in a few years and that's why they went with 128 bit addresses. Same pain, more gain.

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Whodathunkit? Media barons slit own throats in anti-freetard crackdowns

Gerhard Mack

Re: I purchase and pirate the same movies

In one case I had a freaking Blu-Ray in my hand but somehow the Blu_ray I ordered on amazon.co.uk wouldn't play because it was actually sourced in the US. I simply could not play the movie I legally bought and had to rip it instead.

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Web.com DNS hijack: How hacktivists went on a mass web joyride spree

Gerhard Mack

Why does anyone even use NetSol at this point?

I don't get why anyone even trusts them to fix their internal processes. Network Solutions has known about this method of hijacking domains for over a decade and has still done nothing about it other than to argue in court that it's not their problem and they have no responsibility to fix it when it does happen.

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Google FAILS in attempt to nix Gmail data-mining lawsuit

Gerhard Mack

@BiscuitBoy Re: Whatever happened to the concept of

My server side spam filter (Bayesian) reads each email and sorts them into tokens, then rates the email based on whether they are statistically likely to be included in a Spam email or not this is a fairly common spam filtering system.

Either way it is opening the email and since auto-learning is enabled it is, in fact storing information from the email in a database to aid in future spam detection.

My worry is that there is actually very little difference between what Google does and what I do from a technical standpoint and if non Google users can sue Google for what they do, what prevents spammers from making the same argument against me or any other mail provider that uses modern filtering techniques?

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Gerhard Mack

Re: Whatever happened to the concept of

Tell me, what's the difference between scanning it for ads or scanning it for spam? We need to be VERY careful what precedent gets set here.

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Oracle sued over $33,000 bill for SaaS: STRIPPERS as a SERVICE

Gerhard Mack

@jonathanb Re: This does not surprise me

Adult Video News Awards.

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The REAL winner of Microsoft's Nokia buy: GOOGLE

Gerhard Mack

That is why I run flashblock. I don't mind ads but I hate anything that is musical or uses most of my CPU.

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Women in IT: ‘If you want to be taken seriously, dress like a man’

Gerhard Mack

Re: Quite sad...

Part of doing desktop support means crawling under desks. Part of doing server support means crawling around under raised flooring or having an up and close look at some dusty cable duct. If you are wearing clothing not fit for those tasks than regardless of gender, I'm not going to take you seriously.

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Samsung's cooking 3D NAND flash chips. WHAT did you say the specs were?

Gerhard Mack

Re: So it comes ....

It's far more likely that PC cases will start including 2.5" bays as a standard.

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Google: Cloud users have 'no legitimate expectation of privacy'

Gerhard Mack

@Slawek Re: Shock and horror

Touting Hotmail as the champion of privacy is hilarious given that Hotmail is the only one of the big three email providers to not support encryption for server to server mail transfers.

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