106 posts • joined Wednesday 11th April 2007 09:21 GMT
When Microsoft took over the world with Windows there was a lot of governmental legal action going on to force them to allow other system software on board such as browsers etc,.
Apple now appear to rule the world but there is no legal outcry from the governments forcing them to relinquish system access to non apple apps that appear to have been arbitrarily banned.
Is this still to come or do all the politicians have iDevices?
GPRS was off as well.
Our dispatch system uses GPRS to communicate bothways. It disappeared at about 7 am for about 7 hours. unfortunately the only back up is mobile phones! That's about 40 self employed people who can't earn.
Whoever the Vodafone DR person is, they must be feeling somewhat insecure at this point. and justifiably so.
however I am available should they decide to revisit the plans..
I'm all for it.
When I had responsibility for my corporate network, I used to report all attacks to the ISPs and if, after persistent attacks and reports they took no action, I would send them an email stating that I was holding the ISP commercially responsible for any damage and all cleaning up costs relating to attacks from their networks. That used to kick some into life.
Many used to resolve the problem on their own, but I used to laugh when I got responses from Russia. "You will have no more problems, we have terminated the user." used to conjure up interesting speculation.
Not much hope unless the perp is u/s
I spotted an intrusion attempt from a US ISP. Being bored I phoned them and complained. They found the address belonged to an infected MS server on their users public www rack, which in turn was being attacked/controlled by a different infected MS server in Europe, which in turn was being controlled by something in the East. It stopped before they could get further..
the one good thing that came out of it was the ISP instigated a new policy directive which ensured their users kept their web servers patches and protection updated under penalty of cessation.
Interesting concept but doomed...
I monitored my last network and reported attacks from infected networks to the ISPs concerned. My reasoning was that my network was on the hit list of their infected networks and as such I would be targeted as soon as a new fault hit the net possibly before an anti virus fix was available to me.
If they did not take action, I then notified them that I would hold the ISP itself legally responsible for all and any clean up costs involved should my network be infected by one of their addresses.
The US ISPs were all fairly good about it and contacted users etc, eventually some of the UK ISPs jumped on the bandwagen and sorted their users, who happened to be large companies glad that they had been informed of the problems!
The biggest problem I had was a US ISP who instead of contacting the end user, told the network owner who cut the end user off and issued the letter as described above, ie "you will need to have your computer certified by a computer professional before we allow you to reconnect".
Problem one was it was our US ISP followed by problem 2, which was that the numpty in the (our) Serviced Office network providing company was unable to differentiate between source IP address and Destination IP address and cut our office off instead and then refused to speak to us hiding behind the ISP's order to him. Somehow via a transatlantic call I managed to get to the main carrier network support team who do not even have a phone as they only do online support! Must have been the Brit accent. They then realised what had happened and came down very heavily on the "network manager" resolving our problem in minutes.
Without me or the likes of me geeing up the ISPs this has probably died a death again, but nice to see someone is taking it seriously again.
All very well berating people for having infected machines, but with poor performance expected of todays PCs, the last person to know they are infected is usually the victim, and don't forget this silly rootkit idea came from UNIX, before MS probably patented it!
old hat I'm afraid.
Remote meter reading is very big in the States and has been for years.
One of the plans afoot was to use Zigbee networks for devices.
In the USA one major idea was to turn off Air Conditioning in empty houses/apartments at the hottest times of the day thus saving a lot of wasted energy.
With a full zigbee enabled household, using your remote control you could connect back to your house via the zigbee network and turn things off and on, naturally the power companies would have master access!
NuLab gets most of its ideas from the States but doesn't really understand them and therefore botches everything they touch.
My old company designed and built meter monitoring equipment, some of which could also turn off services, most useful in the water market where proper monitoring could shut down a pipe to a leak saving often scarce supplies. Naturally not taken up in the UK!
Unfortunately add ons to existing meters were ruled out for the UK market by this government ensuring that it is a very limited choice of supply as it has to be the complete Smart meter and all the old meters are obsolete.
The other major problem is the governments breakdown of our utility supply companies, Why should company A invest in better meters when the customer can immediately switch to company B, who are cheaper as they haven't invested in new meters, with no penalty etc.? Thus no incentive has put us back several years so it may be new to the UK market but it is already in place elsewhere.
Taking your meter reader as an example, in the UK it has to visit every house, climb in a cupboard, transcribe the reading into the handheld, whereas in the US, a meter reader gets in a car, fires up the laptop with a Sat Nav route plan, which is followed driving at up to 50 mph, reading every modified utility meter on the route. Problem meters or those showing signs of tamper are highlighted and can get personal attention. At the end of the route a quick file transfer and the meter readings are all in the Utilities database!
This is not in real time, hence the move towards zigbee networking etc.
With regards to Gas, I assume the idea is similar to our old water monitoring plan where usage was to be monitored and when it stepped outside certain parameters it raised alarms. Human beings would then investigate and if necessary disable the supply whilst further investigations were undertaken.
Unfortunately as with all these good ideas, it is a lot cheaper to miss out the human interaction aspect.... and the investigation.... so we all now how they will be implemented, however rest assured there will be need for management committees to review and administer the results so all will not be lost.
Where's the patent?
This is all software. The interoperability will be down to interface specification, something that has been done for decades. By now one would have assumed that any useful specification would immediately be be "Open Sourced", ie freely available to all, or not adopted.
Under no circumstances is there any justification for a patent. Calling subroutines and passing parameters is NOT NEW.
If MS got a patent and everyone else ignored their spec, choosing a freely available one, then problem solved, lesson learned and it is about time the US patent office was sorted for good.
If the OS detects that a program keeps failing it should simpy delete it, thus serving 2 purposes.
1-Automatically Removing crap software
2-Educating the programmer who will very soon get hacked off with having to rewrite and may start to get it correct first time or even give up.
Unless, of course, they are MS programs that keep failing!
Meanwhile with all this kernel and user stuff interacting incorrectly, they should have invented some sort of access control level (ACL) and combined that with an access control register (ACR) to see if the code currently has the correct privileges to execute.
Even simpler have a flag that states code or data and make all data unexecutable.
I'm pretty sure the patent is about to run out on good operating system design, so MS should be able to reinvent it soon.
Is this the legal loop?
By using a weird and illogical argument, the ruling stands the chance of challenge meaning yet more money for the legal profession.
God knows what all the guff is about copying, it is totally irrelevant. The respective firmware loads the OS which loads the program and executes in normal computer fashion. A mod chip normally only overrides a particular piece of firmware code, thus not actually using a copy.
If any of the copy stuff was valid, then the games would not run!
The defence argument should have concentrated on proving and using the deemed right to make a working backup and then coupled it with the ability of the mod to be the only available method to allow said backup to actually function as a backup. eg a black and white photocopy of a colour photo may be a copy but it is not a usable backup should the original get damaged.
I have had to go and sort out several companies where, too late, their backup tapes/discs were found not to be usable as backups to recover the company data in the desired manner, proving that unless a backup is actually recoverable it is not a backup.
The mod chip seller could have been seen as the saviour to the masses.
Where to lodge a complaint?
At least with articles like this, one should include a contact point for sounding off and explaining to the fools why they should revisit and disallow this immediately.
There is already enough info in the comment thread to show this "patent" up for what it is, but none of that has any actual effect so the fiasco continues.
At Uni in 1973, I designed and wrote an editor for microcomputers that enabled files to be edited in situ on disc, whereas previously they had been on paper tape and edited offline on a teletypewriter. This formed my coursework submission for my degree. If software becomes patentable, does this mean that every editor after that point is infringing my supposed patent?
In the 70s I also wrote a program to enable data held on microcomputer memory storage to be edited insitu and also transferred securely using communications lines back and forwards to other computers including mainframes. This supposed patent is a forerunner to web browsing today where information held on microcomputers (PCs) is transmitted backwards and forwards to other computers, ie the web is mine!
This shows what complete and utter Bollox the idea of software patents are.
Back before DOS....
I worked on UK mainframes in the 70s and we had long file names, we even had libraries which contained the same sort of file and the directory entry pointed to a library index elsewhere on disc. When little micros came along, the alternate micro OSs were swamped out of existence by the IBM(MS)DOS not for technical reasons but solely due to their better marketing (thanks Charlie Chaplin!), however any such extensions of the Operating Systems to cater for long file names are not new technology but catch (botch in the case of the US systems) ups to implement already standard computer options. It is all done by software and so there is no valid reason for any such patent to exist.
If you want to go from A to B in town, multiple routes exist but everyone will eventually find the best route for them. This is no different and there is no way that we would countenance Tom-tom employees installing road barriers to ensure that only actual tom tom users, pedestrians included, could use that route etc..
When I learnt digital techniques in the 70s ....
I am sure the UK course dealt with this sort of thing.
One technique was to preload a chunk of program into memory and as the processor actioned the current program step the hardware would look ahead to see if more memory manipulation was needed by a jump or data access instruction and trigger the event. The action was then at least halfway accomplished by the time the processor had moved on to the next program step.
As stated ,if these things are obvious development, how are they patentable outside of the US, where nothing seems to be obvious!
I must have been the lucky one
Not much choice down here in south Dorset, most of the ISP rely on their own networks and charge an extra premium when they have to use BTs.
I chose Tiscali as they were the cheapest unlimited and quite honestly I have had a good service with the only hiccup being the last East London BT problem.
Don't know who I can move to if they go.
Don't use NAT West as a reference.
As a "soon to be ex" Nat West customer, I have the card reader. Whilst it is a good idea, it is not implemented well and most of the internet validation is done by password still. Even on line banking with Nat West is non standard over the use of the card reader.
If you want to transfer money out, go ahead, but if you want to change a standing order get the card reader out! Even with all that they still can send out bits of paper to sign....! So good ideas are limited by poor application.
Somewhere along the line an ID card probably seemed a good idea, but due to the problems of application, it will never fly as intended and will just end up costing us more money that we no longer have.
How can the government afford to continue the scheme when the country is bankrupt?
Too Late Wacky...
This bunch of clowns obviously wanted this most dangerous hacker, Gary, out of the country and locked up so that there was no chance that he could hack into the government systems and expose the shenanigans going on there.
Now it is too late and enough of the snout in the trough info has been revealed to negate any threat that this hacker held so there is no longer any reason to cart him off in the dead of night.
Let the US prove the amount of damages to warrant such a serious extradition scenario or let them shut up.
Now that baby bush has gone there is also no longer the threat that such a hacker will uncover damning information about the old administration.
This somehow suggests that there was support for XP
I thought the MS policy was to flog a beta version of a product and then as developers caught up issue updates to bring the product into line with the advertised functions. Due to those nasty hacker type people, MS also have had to take some time out to correct basic programming and design flaws in the name of security fixes, to maintain market share. If they hadn't bothered, how many people would now be on a different platform using different products.
Too date, after being involved with IT since the 70s, I never realised that MS offered genuine free support.
Iso's not worth the paper etc.
What happened to Disaster recovery? As an (ex) IT Manager I ensured DR procedures were in place to limit effect on users. I can't get a job as I don't have the current NVQs, MCSE, ITIL etc,. I always felt doing the job was worth more to the company than attending training courses where a newbie tries to teach you how to do what you have been doing for 20 years.
So I am in Dorset; A fault occurs in East London and I lose my internet connection for over 48 hours?!
My son is around the corner, same ISP and he was unaffected. Probably the best quote was from Tiscali BB support when I was informed that I had a local BT fault. I suppose 140 miles is quite local to someone!
What happened to Tiscali/BT back up procedures that should have rerouted to alternative servers or routes.
Lets hope the UK ID DB is located in the same area and uses the same management teams.
FAST now in with MS?
When I had dealings with FAST, they were the ones who told me to bin everything from the MS backed BSA without response. They visited us after putting the frighteners on the FD but once I had a chat and confirmed I knew what I was doing, FAST themselves seemed more interested in getting people to sign up as members, which we couldn't afford to do, so I assume not enough did.
This has been a problem since Ethernet
Reminds me of back in the 80s. We Brits used networking responsibly and designed traffic controls, those pesky Utah people just blasted out regardless. When pointed out that they were not behaving approriately, the answer was "we must be doing it right as we have the major market share so you are wrong".
They no longer have the market share! Unfortunately the arrival of the web and rapid take up resurrected the all but dead TCP/IP to become the main network transport, hence the rise of Cisco.
As for the analysis - you can get packet loss and drop on a point to point, recovery depends on the transport protocol, I spent many hours communicating how networks work to 3Com people. I haven't been involved in such a way for quite a few years now, so the new people are obviously not quite there yet.
The problems are similar to the ones facing us with the advent of remote bridges, then switches, then remote switches. The worst offender on slow routes used to be Microsoft causing broadcast storms at the drop of a hat, which meant slow lines were flooded with meaningless packets whilst real, important data was dropped as buffers overflowed. Long discussions resolved the problem but yet again the personnel have probably changed. Cisco are fairly good at what they do but were not too hot at innovation so the fact that they are spearheading is probably not a good thing.
The answer to it all is in the transport protocol, if there is a limited buffer count that holds until acknowledged, problem solved as everyone important shuts up while the contention dies down. If the "lost" traffic is important then it should be using a better protocol.
Support the other venues.
Back before "tribute bands" when local groups did their own interpretations, it was often very disappointing to finally see the headline act and find out that they were not as accomplished as the local musicians or the best part of the track was a local impro. I may still stroll down and see a local band in a local pub, but the headline bands are put on locally in large venues that add their extortionate fees to the already extortionate ticket price so would I fork out for a headline band or act often to find lip syncing! - very unlikely.
How much is down to M$?
Back in the 70s, a globally renowned UK mainframe company used a high level language for the OS development because anyone could write or support it, unlike assembler languages.
They found that to be a fallacy. Given that anyone could write the code, but the results were not impressive: just as well it was easy to maintain due to the high number of bugs!
A radical rethink and programmer culling took place followed by a major rewrite and then things started to take off.
M$ and their ilk are just repeating the original mistakes, but do not have the intelligence to locate the major flaw and rectify it.
What appears to be worse is that because M$ are who they are, and have published training material on how to do programming and projects badly, the rest of the world's numpties have sat up and, in their very finite wisdom, taken the garbage as their bible. One cannot get a local programming job here unless you are qualified to make the same mistakes!
Vindicated at last...
Every time I have evaluated a Cisco device against something else, the result has gone badly against Cisco.
As a result, my, sometimes international, networks have been secure for many years, however, it appears that I am NOT a network engineer, despite my 30 years experience, as I do not have Cisco accreditation.
Agencies will not pass my application form through and if they did, the employer now also believes that Cisco === Networks.
Didn't this lot bring in laws making it illegal to incite others to break the law?
Under one of the terrorist badges?
If she issues an edict to continue to put the samples on the database, or in fact fails to issue an edict at least stopping the practise forthwith, not necessarily removing entries at this point, she should be arrested by her own state troopers, preferably in parliament!
So overnight it hadn't crossed her mind to let the boss know?
If she sought legal advice and consented the next day, it is strange that one of the people not contacted for advice was the Speaker?
Smacks of incompetence... ... excellent NuLab material, pay rise in the offing!
@mike - Getting confused with the old Santa.
The NuLab Santa, wears red, exercises at the gym and eats healthy, even if he looks a bit scrawny to us.
He does not smoke or drink, especially when driving a reindeer.
And he has nothing to do with children as he has not been cleared.
When I dealt with Sonicwall in their early days they were very good,
But then they lost the plot customer support wise and it all went downhill from there. Shame really.
Interesting where their priorities lie.
So a chap logs into their systems looking for UFO info and they pursue it like hunting dogs, however we in the UK get inundated with US originated spam phone calls designed to get gullible old ladies to press 9 to see what holiday they have won for their grandchildren, thus triggering a US charging mechanism, which according to BT support adds up to $100 reverse charge on the bill for which the old ladies are responsible .... US response - zilch. Why? - because the phone hackers are in the US and they can't track them! Apart from that it does wonders for the balance of payments.
Obviously setting it up for the future
Should any past or present leaders get sentenced at the Hague for war crimes.
Meanwhile if it is a choice between Strangeways etc or the South Coast of Cuba, I think I would pick Cuba everytime.
Lack of focus not just the young.
Once cases were put forward by reasoned argument and pros and cons were used to help people make an informed decision, then along came Maggie and her Spin doctors.
All of a sudden everything had to be condensed to one liners. It was no longer the done thing to put forward both sides of an argument and let decision makers make an informed decision, the one liners had to put forward just the one case so that it could be agreed.
This has permeated everywhere and now we have the country and companies run by managers who are promoted yes men, with spin doctors actually providing the guidance.
Unfortunately this was exacerbated by the opportunist NuLab to insidiate itself in every walk of life.
The youth have no chance in this setup, OK they can get lost in long computer games, but when it comes down to the lengthy imbibing of knowledge there is nothing to teach, instruct or encourage them. After all, recent UK history shows that if one fails to make the grade, the grade will be lowered.
As for Jury trials, we all know there is a five + minute ad break every 10 minutes.
So they changed the passwords,...
what's that? about 10 minutes to sort out if it is a windows machine.
If they couldn't then maybe they didn't have a clue and he was touting for business.
I often used to get a director coming up and whispering that I would have to block someone's access very quickly in a very short while. I just used to disable the user for a while until things became clear, easy enough to say the fault had been a hiccup on incorrect passwords if it ever came down to it.
When our company went into administration, the "computer guy" came, backed everything up and changed the system password so I couldn't get in. Took about 1 minute for him to see sense and tell me what it was. Then he was allowed to leave the premises!
Tribute! that's where music has gone wrong.
In my day the bands learned the songs and then put their own interpretation on them, often better than the real thing. A big let down once I could afford the records and found they were not as good as the local interpretations.
Nowadays it has to be note perfect - why?! There is an MP3 for that which is cheaper.
Two Passable Bands that did better re-interpretations spring to mind - Who, Hendrix
Jimi stopped a TV performance of his single to play a Cream song, but he did not do it note perfect, he did it his way! And would he have been so famous as a Bob Dylan Tribute act.
Come on lads if you are that good stop the tributes and then you can have your web sites back.
Blatant breach of IP.
The Channel Four action scenario, despite coming later in the game is obviously moving, whereas the Reg ones definitely aren't.
Therefore any further El Reg illustrations will be, albeit a frozen moment in time, a clear breach of the real IP holders rights and will result in patent litigation.
Whoops, sorry there, ignore all that: for a moment I thought we were talking US software.
There is no skills shortage, just ....
lack of intelligence in the management and agency hiring strategies.
I have been about a long detailed time and MS/CISCO specific qualifications are just that. Never had the business need or requirement to get them but now I need a job, I can't get past the Agencies because the employer insists on the qualification.
It is like Ferrari refusing to employ Lewis Hamilton because he has no previous experience of driving a Ferrari F1 car, and then complaining there is a shortage of F1 drivers.
Unfortunately, the old maxim "rise to the limit of your ineptitude" has really taken root in this country and so it is easier to complain about a lack of talent and have someone else to blame than to actually understand the requirements and invest in people who can actually do the job.
When I enquire about government IT training for the unemployed so I can get a job all that is available is the ecdl tosh..
They snuck something in about IP violation.
It looks like they snuck something in about an IP violation, but if the chap can find his "old" employment contract it should state that the company will take liability and cover him in the event of any IP dispute. So MS can go back to the company for settlement!
I have always felt that if something has a price tag it should be the same base with only transportation and local taxes different so to me the pirates are actually Microsoft. and Corel. and Adobe-
On the IP front, Microsoft have taken their ideas from the rest of the world ever since they started, the US legal system allows them to have IP patents but do they actually have any genuine IP other than their particular products with proprietary formats. I am not so sure.
It would be better to do it ourselves.
We used to be world leaders, we could easily be again,
We have large housing estates in this area which were built by the government solely to house the local nuclear workers back in the 50s/60s so it is a proven possibility.
Why don't the government set up a "new"clear development team with a brief to design and build the nuclear reactor with the safest footprint.
Should the government then sell the generated electricity they would have some form of income other than fleecing motorists. If we over generated we could always sell spare capacity to the Russians or all use electric carts.
In all ways this has to be a cheaper solution than letting the French in.
Someone suggested that a later government could renationalise, but in years to come our UK parliament will have the powers of a parish council thanks to us being sold down the line.
I also agree that the members of government should be liable to be tried for treason, as it is they turn us over with impunity knowing full well that no matter how hard it gets for us they have their troughs sorted.
If it is anything like my toothbrush..
It will be OK for the first year and then when the warranty expires the batteries will start to suffer only offering 200 miles then 100 etc all at a top speed of 15 mph apart from the 10 second burst of 60mph when you first turn on.
Surely it would be:
You seem to be writing insecure code.
Would you like some assistance with that?
MS and the IBM PC put back computing by at least 25 years, what's another few.
Don't like this new layout where you don't see the comment titles until you go looking.
Don't like this new layout where you don't see the comment titles until you go looking at the comments themselves. And there is still no update notifications...
BTW you lot, don't you realise it is now a "terrorist" offence to "think ill thoughts towards" Brown and co.
Same loony ideas as the gas board then
According to them my boiler is too old and needs replacing with one of these new fangled energy efficient boilers that will save shedloads of money.
They base it on the premise that boilers should be replaced after 10 years.
Their calculator then assures me that the increased efficiency gained by replacing my boiler will pay for itself in 15-20 years.
I presume that such equations and tools are used by the government, who probably do not have the wit to turn the page over and actually read and understand the figures.