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* Posts by Pascal Monett

3067 posts • joined 10 Apr 2007

'Things' on the Internet-of-things have 25 vulnerabilities apiece

Pascal Monett
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Re: I work in IT

It seems we agree that someone has to do it.

It also seems that if one is not willing to hand over his private life to potentially dodgy security systems without any guarantee that it works, then one is "outdated" and only good to be put out to pasture. It's the new version of "if you're not with me...".

Well put me out to pasture then, neither of us will miss the other.

However, you will have to agree that things are not getting better on the Internet. We saw Google go from benign to worse than Microsoft. We saw Facebook blatantly and publicly make every possible move to invade user privacy and the sheeple keep using it. Now we are witnessing the creation of a new invasion path that is going to put Internet surveillance inside our very real life.

Excuse me if I am not 100% confident that marketers or insurance companies are not going to get their grubby mitts on that data and use it extract yet another pound of flesh from me.

I'm done believing that the Internet is a benevolent entity only preoccupied with my well-being. The Internet is now a digital slum. The only people I trust are the ones I know personally. The only sites I have a modicum of trust in are the ones I have been visiting for ages already. Everyone and everything else is the enemy until proven otherwise.

Especially corporations and their marketing.

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Pascal Monett
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Re: Depressing

You had hoped for a more positive attitude ? On the forums of a site that says it bites IT ?

If we are not positive (generally speaking), it is because a lot of us work in IT and we see how it is done, especially at the decision-making level. Then we run this fad against our reality-checking process and the result we see sends us to our nuclear fallout shelter.

But hey, go and be part of the live bug testers. Somebody has to do it, after all.

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Pascal Monett
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Re: security is an issue although probably solvable

The question is not about is it solvable, of course it is.

The question is how will it be solved, and when.

And, given the track record security has in the current industry, the outlook is not a happy one.

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Pascal Monett
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"Starting the cooker, washing machine or whatever to coincide with my arrival home"

Dear God, man, do you really think it is a good idea to have volatile substances or pressurized water released in your absence ? Do you really think that nothing can ever go wrong ? Or that it is a good idea to leave food out of the fridge all day long just you can start cooking it a quarter of an hour before you get back ? What if you forgot to prepare the cooker before you left ?

Not to mention the fact that, if you can do it from your car, there's a good chance that Mr Hacker can as well, whether or not you're going to get home.

I prefer buttons and switches, thank you, and I am absolutely not interested in having a Microsoft house that attempts to set fire to my kitchen because it thinks I'm on my way.

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Recording lawsuit targets Ford, GM in-car CD recorders

Pascal Monett
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Re: "Obviously they are designed to copy CDs already owned by the driver."

Obviously not, they are designed to rip any CD that is placed in the unit.

That means that you pick up your friend who brought one of his CDs with him, he places it in the unit and bang! copyright piracy takes place.

Or worse, the nefarious criminal organization buys a car with this functionality, rips out the unit and uses that in a vast underground piracy ring thing like the criminals they are. The American Way (tm) is insulted that that can be even possible, therefor many lawyers must buy new cars with these units in order to verify the claims and devise the lawsuits that can bring back American Freedom, and more cocaine.

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Pascal Monett
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Re: Hard Time Make Them Envious of Hard Disks?

Shhh !

Stop giving them ideas !

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Microsoft stands on shore as tablet-laden boat sails away

Pascal Monett
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"I rather like the Windows 8 interface on a fondle slab"

Nobody is criticizing Win8 on finger-driven devices, that is what it was made for.

What people are having trouble with is a finger OS being forced on a proper PC. That does not work.

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Pascal Monett
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"Far more of an issue for Android than Windows these days"

Isn't that an issue only when you accept downloads from unauthorized sources ?

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Amazon says Hachette should lower ebook prices, pay authors more

Pascal Monett
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"While we believe 35% should go to the author.."

Really, Amazon ?

Well I believe 70% should go to the author. You and the publisher can argue about the 30% that is left.

As far as I'm concerned, Amazon should not get more than 5% for simply storing a digital package and selling it over and over and over again.

So you see, Amazon, if you really care about those poor authors, you can do something about it.

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Facebook pays half a billion dollars for firm that slaps ads on videos

Pascal Monett
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Trollface

I think this is a brilliant move

Pissing off half a billion people, give or take a million or so who will actually enjoy it, is simply a brilliant move.

Now Facebook's demise is all but assured.

<evil cackling><strokes cat>

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Surprise! NSA's first ever 'transparency' 'report' is anything but

Pascal Monett
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Aren't you guys forgetting something ?

Those are National Security letters, not some court injunction which companies routinely ignore behind the safety of their legal departments. You do what they say, because if you don't, the consequences won't be another letter and a phone call. The consequences will be a couple of black vans in your parking lot and you being dragged away in handcuffs while desperately trying to convince some sour NSA goons that you were, what, only joking ?

It's National Security, man. They don't need a warrant, the letter is their warrant.

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Spanish struggle to control spelling of 'WhatsApp'

Pascal Monett
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Interesting evolution

If I understand correctly, in Spanish everything has a gender, but Spaniards avoid phrase constructions which would make them use a gender explicitly.

Does that mean that Spaniards are starting to invent a gender-neutral form of expression ?

That would be fascinating.

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Half a meellion euros stolen in week-long bank smash 'n' grab

Pascal Monett
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Wait a minute

This attack lasted an entire week and it takes a Kaspersky to find out about it ?

What were the analysts doing in the bank, twiddling their thumbs ? Weren't there any red flags raised about suspicious or unusual activity ?

Or is a loss of half a million euros too little to worry about for a bank ?

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Face up to a double life with hybrid Office 365

Pascal Monett
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Re: you're trading off nuts-and-bolts access to the server for something even better - SLAs

I'm sure the customers of Code Spaces will be happy to remember that.

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What is it with cloud computing? Engage VM, disengage brain?

Pascal Monett
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Trevor, could we have that in PDF ?

I am documenting this cloud business as it goes, with all the failures and stark, dank reality, not the hype.

I will be referring quite a few people to your article, for which I would like to thank you.

But you know management types, if it's not in a PDF, it's not serious.

So, could you bang that into a PDF that we can download, with references and copyright and all ? Because then I can mail that package to a list of numpties who will not be able to say that they haven't been warned.

Thanks in advance,

Pascal.

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You are ALL Americans now: Europeans offered same rights as US folks in data slurp leaks

Pascal Monett
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Re: some musty old parchment from late 1700s

No, Trevor, that would be the ghost of some musty old parchment from late 1700s.

The US of A is no longer the land that the Founding Fathers had envisioned, not by a long shot. Basic human rights are now something to be brushed aside when they become inconvenient. Democracy has been subverted, an oligarchy is now in place and freedom is just a word when the NSA is listening to everything.

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US Supreme Court: Duh, obviously cops need a warrant to search mobes

Pascal Monett
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Re: Don't carry IT around

I'm sorry, but I cannot bring myself to worry about how what I have on my phone will look to a cop. Nothing to hide, I can justify everything that's there if the need arises. So I refuse to live my life thinking about how I might be viewed like criminal. That doesn't feel like freedom to me.

However, I do believe that caution must be exercised with all the geegaws that we lug around without thought. The caution I'm thinking of is reminding oneself what you'd lose if that phone or USB were to drop into the gutter, under a truck tire or somesuch. In other words, what if your phone breaks or is lost ? What have you lost ?

These days, you lose a lot more than a phone. If you had bank access on it, you'd better pray that it got dunked in some liquid and is unusable because if it falls into the wrong hands . . .

That is my guiding light concerning how I treat these technological terrors. Not what a cop might think, but what I am actually losing if that thingy goes missing.

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Cryptome pulled OFFLINE due to malware infection: Founder cries foul

Pascal Monett
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Re: But perhaps I'm just paranoid

You are.

That doesn't mean you're wrong.

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Warrantless snooping on American man was LEGAL in terrorism case, rules US judge

Pascal Monett
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Now THAT is what surveillance is for

Would-be terrorist tries to become operational and blow up children and families at a XMas event, gets caught by surveillance and sting operation.

That is what is supposed to happen. That should be the result of targeted surveillance, and in this case the surveillance was warranted and acceptable.

This is not the kind of thing people are getting riled up about. This guy got what he deserved, and the judge rightly upheld the judgement.

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27 Data-Slurping Facts BuzzFeed Doesn't Want You To Know!

Pascal Monett
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anonymized & agregate results

"We are only interested in data in the aggregate form"

Sure, you can say so. Maybe you even are.

Unfortunately, you work hand in hand with The Google, which is very much interested in data in every form, aggregate or not. Whatever data you get, Google most likely gets as well, and you cannot vouch for what happens after.

And, concerning anonymized strings, I seem to recall a very large customer data file that had those as well get nicked and be put online, where someone obviously more intelligent than average demonstrated how to reverse-engineer said anonymization with the application of deep analysis of the data. In other words, you might have anonymized your data line per line, but as a whole there's a good chance that recoupments may be made and your anonymization is moot.

Have you thought of that, Mr Buzzfeed ?

Somehow, I doubt it.

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'World’s dumbest' suspect collared in Facebook sting

Pascal Monett
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Re: More education required.

Online passwords have nothing to do with Windows passwords.

Windows passwords are useless in our family because we trust each other. Besides, we each have our own machines.

We are all fully educated in online security and password requirements, thank you.

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Pascal Monett
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I've educated my child to respect my belongings and those of other people.

In return, I respect her belongings and don't go moseying through her mail.

We don't need passwords in my family.

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Super-snoop bid: UK government hits panic button on EU data retention ruling

Pascal Monett
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governed by strict rules, etc

A few comments here, and indeed the actual speech that is referred to in the article, make it seem like this snooping is happening despite the law.

If Snowden's revelations on the NSA have taught us two things it was 1) that we were indeed being snooped upon in vast numbers with means and processes that go way beyond what a judge would issue a warrant for, and 2) that it is all perfectly legal.

So, the fact that some government official promises to play by the rules is doubly insulting since a) it suggests that said official could not play by the rules and b) is demonstrating how much of an idiot said official is taking us for by making us think that such words actually hold a promise.

Sorry, government official, but it is your sworn duty to play by the rules since you took office. Playing by the rules is a given that should not even be worthy of mention.

So, promising to play by the rules just means "we promise to keep on doing what we're doing right now" since that is exactly what they're already doing.

The issue at hand is that more and more _citizens_ are rising against these rules and for the respect of their private lives. It's a good thing J Edgar Hoover is dead, otherwise said individuals would all be summarily carted off to Guantanamo under the label "Dirty Commie Terrrist".

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Microsoft tests HALF-INCH second screen to spur workplace play

Pascal Monett
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They don't. It has now become Windows Side Show.

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Pascal Monett
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Problem thingy in the making

Admitting for an instant that this thing has a snowball's chance in Hell to get purchased and deployed inside a Fortune 500 company, I wonder how long it will take for the suits to take it over and declare it be used for corporate-only internal something-or-another, and transformed into a corporate bulletin board of some kind.

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Study of Brit students finds TXTING doesn't ruin your writing

Pascal Monett
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The evidence suggests

“the evidence suggests that grammatical violations in the text messages of children, adolescents, and adults do not reflect a decline in grammatical knowledge.”

Of course not. The decline in grammatical knowledge was happening long before TXTing was a thing they could do.

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Own goal as World Cup Wi-Fi passwords spilled in newspaper snap

Pascal Monett
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Even better though

Now we know how the World Cup creates its passwords ! <nameofcountry><year>.

A job well done for security, innit ?

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SHOCKER: CIA CIO CAN confirm that AWS cloud safe for big government

Pascal Monett
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Obviously the CIA has no problem with the Cloud

After all, the activity reports land on their desk.

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Bitcoin is MONEY, says Canada

Pascal Monett
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Re: has to be a way to determine this "value

That's where the "they're money and have to be accounted and reported as such" comes into play.

The taxman is indeed elbowing his way in, and will be setting rules to ensure that the fluctuations are not exempt of tracking for tax reasons.

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REVEALED: Google's proposed indie music-killing contract terms

Pascal Monett
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Covenant Not To Sue

Any contract that includes such an item is something to be treated with the greatest suspicion.

Besides, is a clause like that legal in any way ? I don't think so.

But of course, if you do go and sue, Google will suddenly have a malfunction whereby all your stuff is immediately removed from YouTube and, oops, sorry, we lost it permanently, honest.

I've got the feeling that if Google leaves the copyright to the indies it is only because it has no need to care about that detail, since anything legal on YouTube has a dozen illegal copies posted right alongside it and those are what makes its money pile bigger.

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Montana loses data on MORE PEOPLE THAN LIVE IN MONTANA

Pascal Monett
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"we are notifying those whose personal information could have been on the server"

Um, doesn't that mean everybody in Montana ? Shouldn't they just go for a space in the local paper and say "You, dear reader, are eligible for a one year credit monitoring contract free of charge if you live in Montana. Please contact your local Sheriff's office for details." ?

How can that simultaneously have more records than people in Montana AND need to sift who might affected and who might not be to notify them ?

Ah, the wonderful world of administrative technology. Reminds me of the ol' "you don't need a computer to screw things up, but with a computer you can really screw things up".

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Shine on you crazy diamond: Distant dwarf may hide space jewel

Pascal Monett
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I second that

I tripped over that phrase as well. Somebody either has trouble working the calculator, or has trouble writing proper references. If it's the core that is 3000k, then don't mention the surface in the same sentence.

Aside from that, although I love reading about space and everything in it, I am left unimpressed by such comparisons. A dwarf star has an Earth-sized diamond at its core, so what ? It's not like we'll ever have the technology to go mine it, what with the gravitational pull and density and all (and that is supposing that we have the means to get there within a human lifetime).

No, the only important thing about this discovery is that we are capable of detecting fainter and fainter objects, and that is a Good Thing (TM). That is the point of the discovery, not the fact that there may be a planet-sized diamond at its core.

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Wake up, grandad: All the techies use social media

Pascal Monett
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"Microsoft’s Office 365 is arguably the most complete example of this"

Saying that demonstrates that the author does not have sufficient knowledge of IBM Notes 9.0 Social Edition.

At the demo, there were three IBM employees showing how they could update the same document at the same time. One had a laptop, one had an iPad and one had a smartphone of some kind. The screen was showing the laptop screen (of course), and the edits from the other two were being shown dynamically as the others were typing.

Apart from that, there is wiki integration and blogs and file sharing based on Notes servers that put SharePoint to shame.

But yeah, I know, it has the word "Notes" attached to it, so nobody's going to like it.

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Got a botnet? Thinking of using it to mine Bitcoin? Don't bother

Pascal Monett
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WTF?

So coin mining is a losing game, then ?

"But even if we allow a zero cost for hardware and power (the costs of the bots and their power are borne by the victims), the difficulty level of common mining algorithms and the nonspecialized hardware that the malware infects make this a futile effort."

Okay, I can understand that a smartphone is nowhere near the level of power required to mine any whatevercoin, so that's out by definition. But here, they're apparently saying that even on PCs without electrical costs, it is not worthwhile. At that point, I have to wonder if coin mining has not become just a fools' game.

Not that I'm going to, but I have an Intel i7 4930K on a system with 16GB of DDR3 and a Radeon HD 7850 with 2GB of memory on-board. I have difficulty believing that that kind of hardware would not be able to mine something of a profit even though I am the one paying for the electricity and hardware upkeep.

So, why would a botnet herder not find any profit on my machine if he took it over ? He's not paying the electricity, I am. He didn't pay for the hardware, I did. You take those costs out and it seems logical to get some coin mining going, it should supplement the revenue stream nicely.

Instead, they're saying that its a zero-sum game. I don't get it.

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EXPOSED: Massive mobile malware network used by cops globally

Pascal Monett
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Not necessarily. It does, however, mean that whatever you installed it on will be almost unusable from that point on.

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ARRRRR. Half world's techies are software PIRATES – survey

Pascal Monett
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The report is without basis

I've checked the PDF and found it contains no facts, just percentages and associated millions. There is no notion of what software has been counted, no way of justifying the prices quoted.

This report is supposed to be about companies, which means that there should be a list of software items appended to it with the list price of each software and the number of unlicensed installations per country. I mean, they're supposed to have that data if the figures quoted are to resemble reality in any way, right ? So why not show it ?

In addition, there is no explanation of how installations are taken into account. It is supposed to be unlicensed installations. Does that mean that the software was downloaded, cracked and used, or was the disk of the legitimately-bought software used to install another copy without bothering to record it properly for some reason ? If the latter, then we're not talking full price (since the company bought licences already), are we ?

As usual, the BullShit Alliance is doing a splendid job of using lots of smoke and mirrors for nothing of actual substance. And I love the reference to Cloud Computing making everyone happy and secure. I'm sure Code Spaces can take some solace in that.

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LONGER flights burning MORE fuel can CUT planes' climate impact

Pascal Monett
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Absolutely agree.

Nothing ever takes steam out of conspiracy theories. Ever.

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Google starts selling Glass to Brits – for £1,000 a pop

Pascal Monett
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100%

Sadly, most probably not.

Given that Facebook has, reportedly, half a billion users, and that millions of said users are continuously posting whatever inane stupidity happens to cross their diminished brain cells, there is a fair chance that any of them seeing their host with a Glass is first going to think "cool! I'm going to be on YouTube!" before a one-in-a-million starts asking "but do I want to be?".

And let's not mention Twitter.

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US Supremes UPHOLD troll-busting Alice v CLS Bank decision

Pascal Monett
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Absolutely.

Can we have an Enforcement Team go in with cluebats to make sure they get it ?

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Microsoft: NSA security fallout 'getting worse' ... 'not blowing over'

Pascal Monett
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"work to clear up the rules"

But the NSA doesn't respect the rules, and we have no way of controlling that it does anyway.

So this whole statement is just a load of hot air.

Oh, wait. Nevermind.

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PoW! Academics KO Bitcoin mining mammoths

Pascal Monett
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Not promoting it

El Reg is informing us, as is its duty.

Shooting the messenger never was the solution.

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Pascal Monett
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It generates the same value as the +2 Sword of Orc-Slaying anyone can earn by doing the right quests.

It's all the others who don't have the sword but want one that gives it value.

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LinkedIn ignored SIX WARNINGS about account-hijacking bug

Pascal Monett
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Coat

And given the importance of white-collar crime (think Bernie Madoff), many crims do.

Okay, okay, I'm going already.

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Google, Microsoft to add remote KILL switch to phones

Pascal Monett
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May I respectfully disagree

If I get walloped by some street thug who wants to nick my phone, I prefer that I can alert the authorities and be damn sure that that phone gets permanently bricked without any chance of remission or revival.

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What you need to know before moving to the cloud

Pascal Monett
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This Cloud thing will go on for a good while

Just this morning I got a call telling me that one of my clients is going for Office 365 and retiring its existing IT department. The heavy paychecks got caught by the Microsoft sirens and are steaming ahead to the magical land of IT will cost us nothing.

Yeah, sure.

Well I guess it's the price to pay to demonstrate to all those supposedly intelligent people what IT actually means and what the Cloud can actually give. Maybe when a few hundred companies have gone out of business due to cloud mishaps the industry will take a step back and start thinking about just how much a beancounters' opinion should matter in strategic decisions.

But first there must be blood.

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Snowden's HELPING public clouds says VMware hybrid head

Pascal Monett
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"there is now universal acceptance"

Nope, not here there isn't.

And saying that just after what happened to Code Spaces is unfortunate timing at its best.

The Cloud is still an unsecure, unreliable thing over which even paying customers have very little control and even less guarantee.

Sorry, but no cigar.

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Luxembourg patent troll suing world+dog

Pascal Monett
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There is no problem that cannot be solved by the application of sufficient firepower.

Not in the US anyways.

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Pascal Monett
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Re: Non-Practising Entities: USE IT OR LOSE IT

Easier response : let the trolls have their patents and lawsuits, but index the damages on the amount of income the patent-holder makes from selling objects that use said patent.

In that scenario, patent trolls which make nothing and sell nothing will see that any court action will result in zero rewards, since they do not make anything. And if they don't sell much, meaning they are not in the business of actually making money from the patent, then they don't get much either.

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How farsighted is Microsoft's Azure RemoteApp?

Pascal Monett
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Re: effort [..] required to manage a fleet of Windows machines

Sorry, I must have missed something there. Are you saying that CIOs won't need to manage a fleet of Windows machines anymore once every app is in the cloud ?

Of course not, people still need them to access said apps, so the fleet of machines isn't going anywhere. The fleet of Windows licenses might be, though, because once all apps are in the Cloud and accessible via Web interface, why pay Microsoft ? You'll be able to install a different OS that costs less (no I will not say the name) and users will only need to know how to launch the browser. Heck, you can even auto-launch said browser when the user logs on.

I get the license management improvement, that is a given. But for the rest, sorry, the Cloud is not going to lessen the PC nightmare at all for CIOs. And when the Cloud goes titsup, which it does for numerous reasons, then if you have put everything in there, you have instantly reduced your fleet of PCs to deadweights until the situation is resolved.

That's the kind of thing that gets a CIO fired.

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Code Spaces goes titsup FOREVER after attacker NUKES its Amazon-hosted data

Pascal Monett
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Re: just as true for handguns

Yeah, but guns come with license backed by government law and if you don't respect that you go to jail, whereas cloud comes with marketing spiel and beancounter approval and if you don't listen to them you lose your job.

Now we know that if you do listen to them you can lose your company, or at least your data.

The conclusion is : never listen to a non-technical person on technical issues if you can help it.

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