480 posts • joined 12 Jun 2009
Re: Geneva convention
Regarding the geneva convention of civilised warfare prohibiting putting terrorists up against a wall and shooting them, actually it doesn't.
Spies, saboteurs and anybody engaging in combat who is not in uniform (other than civilians spontaneously rising up against invading troops to defend their homes who have not had time to organise into units and arrange appropriate uniforms or identifying marks) are not protected by the Geneva conventions. They would therefore be subject to execution if the law of the land allowed it.
Re: From the other side of the fence...
I don't agree that a replacement to exchange/outlook has to be better or even implement the full featureset in outlook. My post above notes that it has to "let them do their job"; eg; it must be "Task adequate". Task adequate doesn't have to be "outstanding", it means "must implement the minimum features required to do the job".
You could totally leave out the notes and tasks section of outlook and not many people would notice, and the contacts part is implemented in most half decent mail programs already. Quite frankly, I think that most businesses could get by with what I have mentioned above, simple delegation for the emails and the calendar.
From the other side of the fence...
As a IT Professional, I have been saying for fucking YEARS that the only reason windows is still predominant is Outlook + Exchange because that's what the users need to do their jobs.
The open source fans have been replying with a spinal reflex for just as long that $favouritemailprogram is just as good without grasping the essential fact that the reason outlook on exchange is so good is collaboration and delegation within a team.
if $favouritemailprogram != outlook then it completely, totally and utterly lacks any ability whatsoever to be used as part of a team in any meaningful manner.
1) A boss should be able to delegate read only access for his PA to read (but not send from) the boss's email account.
2) The boss should be able to delegate full access to his calendar for his PA, who can book in appointments for him.
3) The process for all steps above should meet the following simple requirements:-
3A The entire process should take less than 30 seconds from the users account. IT should not need to be involved.
3B) It should not require the boss to divulge his password to his PA. (Giving your password to anybody else results in misconduct proceedings or dismissal at a lot of workplaces.)
3C) It should be extremely user friendly, and not require any IT knowledge or training beyond being told where it is on the menu. If the user has to know the server address etc, this is an immediate failure. IT should know this, the user should not have to care.
3D) It should be achievable without training or support for a user with an IQ in the low average range, because the average user is of average intelligence and we also have (a depressing number of) below average users, and utterly fucking hopeless users that we still have to support. We don't want to speak to them constantly because the software sucks.
When there is a stable open source program released that duplicates the core delegation and calendar functionality in outlook 1997 outlined above and passes the simple user acceptance shown above then Outlook and exchange will start slowly vanishing.
When exchange is gone then so are the windows servers running it, and at that point Libreoffice will take the place of the rest of the office suite. When that happens, windows is no longer required on the desktop or server and the following year will be the year of *nix on the desktop.
Nothing out there at the moment is good enough.
If I went to *nix at the moment, the users would have my severed head within a year and my successor would be reimplementing outlook/exchange.
There should be:-
1) Less blaming IT people for picking the only software that actually lets the users do their jobs.
2) Less blaming the users for demanding the only software that lets them do their job.
3) More activity towards about rectifying the lack of an outlook replacement.
4) Less bitching that "you should program one yourself if you want it". We don't have any particular desire (or reason) to develop a replacement. Outlook works, and is available now off the shelf. Any effort we spend on development will be on programs that nobody else has to develop a competitive advantage over the competition. Any of our competitors wasting their (near invaluable) developers time duplicating outlook 97's function set gain no commercial advantage and are likely to get wiped out by the competition who are more efficient since they spent their developer time on developing a competitive advantage.
You want windows gone? Then outlook/exchange has to go, and since your the ones that want it gone then your the ones that need to develop the replacement. We are quite happy buying outlook/exchange/windows off the shelf to get the users working immediately, and when there is an alternative available then we will be happy to consider that instead.
Re: Council Exorcists.
I'm in mixed feelings about that. While the exorcist clearly didn't actually do anything, it did clearly save the council the hassle of moving a bunch of superstitious idiots to another house which would probably have cost them a lot more. :/
Re: @ Ian Emery (was: Smoke Alarms....)
The real question, why didn't they just buy batteries by the hundred from one of the bulk suppliers of the Duracell Procell batteries on eBay? All you need to do is buy once through eBay, and then use the sellers contact details to buy direct with further purchases.
It costs under £1 each, and you can't sensibly buy a battery that you would expect to work for any less than that.
Re: So GCHQ is breaking the law
Of course GCHQ is breaking the law. Their methods of "discrediting" a target previously released are in blatant violation of the 1215 Magna Carta which states that. We not pass upon him, nor condemn him, but by lawful judgment of his Peers, or by the Law of the land".
Your required to have a court order or enabling law. None exists for what they were doing, hence those activities are illegal.
The issue is that nobody is actually able to stand up to them, which is a bit troubling and raises an old, nay ancient question. Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?
1) What is article 13 of Hamas's charter? Go and read it, i'll wait. Exerpts such as this "There is no solution to the Palestinian problem except by Jihad. The initiatives, proposals and International Conferences are but a waste of time, an exercise in futility." don't really do justice to Hamas.
Hamas consider a ceasefire an opportinity to attack israel through their extensive media wing, a state of the art media manipulation wing that does amazingly well, helped by the enthusiasm to kill anybody on the ground who doesn't back their story. Things like rockets being launched from civilian houses or schools to attract return fire which is then portrayed as an atrocity are commonplace, and Hamas utterly violate virtually ever civilised law of warfare- at the moment their HQ is in a hospital which i'm sure that they are desperately hoping that Israel will raid.
Even the guardian was moved to report that the UN has found weapon caches in 3 of it's own buildings recently.
> "So yeah. What does China know about those two firms, the NSA, and national security letters, that we don't?"
To be honest, they don't need to know any more than we do. I wouldn't consider either of them for future use. Having just come off of a years subscription to Kaspersky we opted to pay 3x more for Sophos just to get something that we knew would work.
Kaspersky (v10) provably caused over 75% of the support issues in our environment and while it was a third of the price of Sophos it wasn't worth even that much. Frankly, based on my experience I wouldn't use it if it were free- it slows the computers down massively and parts of the program randomly malfunction even when disabled (ie; the network attack blocker blocking print servers; i'm looking at you!)
That wasn't the worst part. I could live with computers being ground to a halt if it caught the viruses. Sadly however, it failed in this fairly important aspect, and was thus totally useless.
Symantec wasn't quite that bad when I used it like 5 years ago, but to be fair it could have improved since.
Re: Probably a stupid question
I love the demonstrated understanding. If quizzed, I BET those sort of idiots would cite the fact that during the carrington event low voltage telegraphs still worked with their normal power source disconnected. I mean, lol? Total lack of understanding.
I don't think it would be as serious as people like to fantasise about.
The (UK) national grid looked at the 1989 storm, and then planned to deal with a storm of ten times the severity. If absolutely *none* of the mitigation measures planned are taken and they carry on as usual then we might lose 62% of the grid in England & Wales, this representing the "edge" of the network in low population areas.
Estimated times for repairs to everything is 1-2 months with the prime difficulty apparently being to move sodding huge transformers around the country by road since obviously in such a national grade disaster the military wouldn't be told to airlift the equipment.
I'm still trying to figure out where people get the doom and gloom stuff from, other than helpless user fantasies that computers might vanish overnight. It's certainly not from rational consideration of the issues concerned since people whining about the imminent destruction of everything haven't even looked at the grids DR/BCM plans.
Re: Kick in the nuts
> Another year of hiding behind paperwork rather than delivering productivity. Another year dealing with "Dr No".
Yes. Because if your being told "no" frequently then you have clearly done all of the compliance work required for your industry instead of leaving it to IT to do your compliance management, discover it's non compliant and then come back and say "sorry, but no".
> Another year of random outages.
Personally, my core infrastructure dates back to the pre recession days and it does have random outages, part of the price of running hardware that old. Not exactly the IT staff's fault if the hardware is running on borrowed time! Presumably the management feels that the cost of the downtime is less than the cost of replacement equipment.
> Another year of stealth changes that knock out whole chains of systems. It just goes on and on.
Doesn't happen in my environment, but then nobody can actually install anything I don't support!
Re: The best keyword's are.......
The best keywords are "STILL NO COMPETITION TO OFFICE 2000". That is the future of Microsoft.
There is a desperate, crying need for a program with the functionality of Outlook 2000. This should not be particularly hard.
Implement delegation for a PA to read the bosses emails and book an appointment in his calendar in a competing email program and outlook can go. If outlook goes, then the rest of office can go with it. If office goes then you don't need windows.
The year of linux on the desktop will be the year after somebody programs basic features that tens of millions of workers who have to work together every day need rather than the 20th pretty desktop. However, people like playing with the sexy stuff and not with the boring stuff everybody needs. Fair one, but lack of a pretty desktop is not the reason why every business is still on windows.
Have you seen the names of some of these capabilities?
Code names are in British parlance supposed to be randomly generated and unrelated to the subject matter to make guessing the content of an operation/program from the title totally impossible, unlike the American practice of coming up with a descriptive name it so that if you discover (or overhear) the name of a program you can make a reasonably accurate guess as to it's purpose.
Some of those programs (eg forging SMTP headers under program CHANGLING) seem a little Americanised which makes one wonder where they came from originally. On the other hand, dealing with users frequently I wouldn't want to overlook the simplest explanation that GHCQ can't get staff to follow simple (and very well known) naming guidelines that have been around since WW2.
Which doesn't fill one with the greatest of confidence when we are told those people are supervised against unauthorised activity.
Re: Presumably . . .
Re: "return to sender" bullet.
The US deployed these in vietnam. Basically, take one cartridge, remove the propellent which is a low explosive designed to propel the bullet and replace it with the highest grade explosive possible. The resulting round weighs the same, and looks the same.
When fired however, it explodes with such force that the weapon is destroyed along with the person using it.
Re: What IS Flash?
Adobe PDF reader also has the same issue, including features that let you compromise a system by simply opening a PDF file with PDF reader.
It would be really nice if Adobe would include a "secure mode" whereby their plugins could be locked down to just being a video player, or just a PDF picture viewer instead of the security nightmares that they are at the moment.
Re: Situation normal at the UN
Did the UN not also officially conclude that their famine work actually causes long term aid dependency as well, because their method of aid distribution removes the need to buy food from local farmers who then go bust collapsing the local farming economy?
It's ok though, the league of nations was just as bad.
Re: We know from the Reg last year that two-factor isn't enough any more...
You could implement a half decent security system easily and cheaply if you wanted to along the lines of Phonefactor (now Azure Multifactor)
You make an attempt to withdraw money from your account (eg, ATM) your phone then gets a telephone call with a automated message from the bank saying:-
"There has been a request to withdraw <amount> from your account via <method>. To allow this request, please press #. Alternately, if this request was not initiated by you, please dial 999 and we will temporarily lock your account and begin a fraud investigation."
If you do the authentication on your phone, the money comes out. If not, it doesn't. Easily accessible, since virtually everybody has a mobile, and impenetrable short of having your bank card, PIN and mobile stolen similtaniously and used before getting either your mobile or your bank account disabled.
I don't know what they studied to come to this conclusion, but if they advertise any vacency then i'm sure they will receive plenty of contrary evidence.
I mean, have they ever seen the standard of English in a stack of a hundred CV's?
9 hours downtime on exchange?
Hmm. I think I might (maybe) have had that in total over the last 5 years if you include downtime for maintenance outside of working hours on our exchange box.
Remind me, why should I move from an on premesis solution to a more expensive cloud offering?
"What if ARM really does turn out to be a better server chip than Intel?"
Then history suggests that they will be virtually unavailable for 3 years+ due to no significant sized OEM supplying them, until intel has some form of answer to them.
Re: The key to this is in the final para
Actually, Google wouldn't have any trouble legally with the US constitution over censorship, you'll notice that they were censoring stuff for China for quite a number of years without much in the way of bother.
Freedom of speech in the USA means that you personally can say what you like without being legally penalised for it. It doesn't mean that a newspaper/website has to publish that. If it was possible to sue google for not displaying stuff then I suspect Google would be displaying so many spam/advertising websites that it would be utterly impossible to actually use.
Ultimately, Google can either comply with the law in the countries where they operate, or not operate there. It's pretty bloody simple when it comes down to it.
Re: "This has nothing to do with the cloud..."
"Even if they had substantial and appropriate backups, there still would have been massive disruption to their business and their customers."
Which is why you have a business continuity plan, which is a (tested) plan as to how you are going to continue the business come what may.
This sort of thing can happen in a data centre, but that's a problem with outsourcing in general. It's usually done because outsourcing is cheaper, and it's usually done cheaper because either staff are outsourced to india and they pay them peanuts or you discover that the reason they can provide it cheaper than you can in house despite using the same suppliers is that your in house solution had redundant discs in RAID and backups, and theirs didn't.
Complete incompetent bastards. No decent backups, no disaster recovery plan, no business continuity plan, nothing nada.
inexcusable for an IT business.
The only death involved with tape is people who aren't using it. Then again, these sort of people are the sort of inept muppets who don't change their tapes, or just leave the same tape in the drive to be overwritten constantly, so if these people had have been using tape then it probably have been written off along with everything else.
Ok, I might be mildly paranoid, but I still I find it comforting to know that I have everything needed to recover from the worst possible disaster imaginable sitting off site and offline.
I have to admit, I was somewhat tempted to send Alistair a friend request halfway through the article.
However, I don't knowingly have a linkedin account, and linkedin emails in general pissed me off so much that I blocked their IP's on our network firewall about a year ago, so it wouldn't be fair for me to do that to someone else.
Re: You sound like a Lord of the Manor from the 1920s
Actually, it does.
We had someone in recently hyping how wonderful it would be if we scrapped our exchange server and paid them only £5 per month, per mailbox. This was seen as a good idea until I did the calculation
£5 * 50 mailboxes = £250 per month * 12 months =£3k *5 year life of exchange server = £15k
Once the cost was pointed out it was realised that:-
1) We own our own server so startup costs were irrelevant
2) Even if we didn't, It would be cheaper to buy hardware and software than putting the existing one in the cloud
And 5 years would be a short life for a server in an SME!
Ok. By the time you retire you've paid out 15% less than the property buyer did for buying the house outright.
You have to continue paying out for your rental property, or pay to go into a retirement home. Either way, the property owner is one step ahead and actually owns the property (and can therefore sell it making back most of the money paid out in the first place)
Re: A better mousetrap
1) Saying how hard it is to do banking because of all of the old code is FUD bollocks. All you've got to do is hold a number in a database and have;-
1a) An inbound/outbound chaps interface to transfer money to anywhere you want (via a documented standard)
1b) a connection to the LINK network for ATM transactions (documented standard...)
1c) connections to SWIFT or similar. (Just another module following another documented standard)
You don't NEED to interconnect with any of the rat's nests of code run by Lloyds etc. Frankly, I have more complex code than this running on my website. Conceptually it's absurdly simple and I can't see the actual coding to be likely to take more than a few weeks. Getting the bank license would be the hardest bit since in most industries regulators are largely there to build barriers of entry to protect the existing incumbents from new entrants.
2) re current account numbers; you just do what most new businesses do and start your database reference numbers sequentially from a randomly mashed number like 826915.
Evidently they forgot to put either a tracker in the bag, or a liberal quantity of dye marker/explosives.
Re: Just who is getting that money?
We know ball park how much it would have actually cost to do the coding, because most techs know a small amount of coding or scripting (enough to know how much of a job it really is) or at a minimum will have friend who has a friend who will know. That, or at worst the extended group will end up pointing the person to a developer who could use some cash.
She on the other hand is a celebrity, so will be pointed towards the multimillionaire who attends the sort of social circles that she moves in who owns a group of companies including a web design outfit. She'll be being charged at least £400 per developer hour spent without realising that they don't pay the developers that much per day.
Obviously not. Then again, presumably being a celebrity she will likely be famous for "being famous" and given we don't receive, read or even pay any attention to that sort of media then we wouldn't care, would we?
People visiting a tech site are likely to have zero interest in her, until or unless she accomplishes something as we define the term, which is quite likely to relate to accomplishment of something in Science, Technology, or (applied) Math.
Re: Coping with an X40
I don't buy the hysteria. It's from IT illiterate users who are fantasising about all IT vanishing. That won't happen. Cable that burned through in 1859 was of similar thickness (AFAIK) as 1 pair cat5. Burning out a pair of cat5 with overvoltage is easy. Burning out an inch thick power cable is not.
About the worst that would happen is that the main power generation networks are going to disconnect their transformers and we'll have a couple day long power cut.
Re: The delusions of marketing
Gordon, I suspect the people who downvoted your post probably started wondering which planet you were on when you picked search as a workload for a CPU and hit the down vote button because they couldn't be bothered to read any further or argue with you.
Search performance is generally going to be a result of prior indexing or HDD/SSD performance if searching the disk and CPU usage is not massively relevant in either case, you know?
Re: It seems to me...
Have to agree actually. I've recently been quoted for an low grade intel server with a dual core processor.
Thinking that this was a bit puny in the age of virtualised workloads and quad core processors I googled AMD's server offerings and discovered their flagship 16 core chip processor. I got a quote for it, and this astronomically more powerful machine is only marginally more expensive. Intel's nearest competition to this is eye wateringly expensive.
No prizes for guessing which i'm going to buy...
Actually, that's completely, totally and utterly wrong without any basis in law.
They have released the source code and a license allowing use of said code under a few limited conditions, one of which being that you don't use the name TrueCrypt or anything similar.
If you use the name TrueCrypt then your in violation of the license agreement, hence they have no legal right to use the code or make any alterations to it. Saying that they understand this, but plan to host the website in Switzerland to evade their legal and moral obligations is utterly immoral and shows a total lack of shame, integrity and decency on the part of the "developers" who are shamelessly stealing from TrueCrypt.
I think this demonstrates perfectly well however much developers are plain about the license agreements (no opaque language here!) then total fuckwits will ignore the simplest and fairest conditions of use.
It would be perfectly legal to continue from the previous version and call it FalseCrypt, ContinuationCrypt or whatever. If it's a decent product then as with LibreOffice then people will all but forget the previous dead name within a couple of years.
Re closing down; consider why Lavabit closed down and ponder for a few minutes on how cynical and or paranoid you should be, and if it's worth using any form of encryption product with developers in the US if you want your files to remain encrypted.
Re: Its not suprising..(Just use Classic Shell!)
Why should we need to add the purchase cost of additional software onto Win8 to make it "People Ready" for the users? The situation with Win8 is outright absurd, and each person buying it just gives Microsoft another user to say "look how great and popular TIFKAM is!".
Vote with your feet for the sensible and cheaper option and just buy computers with Win7 installed until Microsoft gets the message and produces something the customer wants.
Re: 'Be Lucky'
Leaders also never take the credit for work and ideas of their subordinates.
While I suspect i'm going to get downvoted to hell, the russians did not copy Concorde. It looks vaguely similar based on the fact that it's designed as a supersonic transport, which mandates swept back wings and a thin cross section. You literally can't expect it to look much different. Evidence for this is the design and construction of both aircraft being very different, and the TU144 being crap.
Also, the times covered all of the requests to buy British technology for Concorde. If the Russians did get everything they'd ask for, then you might have a point. You don't.
And yes, i'm British.
Also, no evidence that China has stolen technology for this. There is literally no point copying the american designs anyway, given that the american design is 50 years old, uses old crappy materials instead of modern lightweights and contains a computer that is now slower than most wristwatches. Copying the design would be pointless and stupid, and the Chinese are far from being stupid.
Why not just say "well done, but 50 years late..." if you want to bash the Chinese?
Re: Re. trojan$
I once saw someone take out the heatsink/fan on one of those Athlon XP chips while the CPU was off to check which type of processor it was before turning it back on.
By the time we figured out why it was stuck at POST (the smoke was the give away) and the guy pulled the power the CPU had melted the entire assembly it sits on and was having a good go at burning a hole strait through the board. It's the only time i've sever seen that, it was quite impressive.
Re: Is that the 'globe' of helium that remains for a few frames?
It's a good question.
How about finding some boffins who can answer it for sure? I'm assuming that the cloud probably is the helium but an expert might at least find the pictures interesting enough to explain what we are looking at in detail.
Re: OK, not in 15 years, but...
The Great Horse Manure Crisis is a great example of an insoluble problem that was actually solved. When it comes to resource depletion then you've got recycling first and foremost (if you absolutely cannot mine many new materials then the cost of mining goes up then recycling the already mined stuff gets more viable)
Plus, given that our currant rate of scientific advancement over the last century, I suspect that in several thousand years a future civilisation might create scarce materials with nano technology or something similar.
Re: Good Thing (TM)
Trains aren't that awful (although you do have the occasional issue with them breaking down or otherwise being delayed by somebody jumping in front of them etc) but they are expensive. This is undeniable.
It is cheaper for me to drive in to work than to get the train over a short journey. When it came to doing a 5 hour journey pretty much across half the country to see the other half's family I was extremely dissapointed to discover that insanely it's actually still considerably cheaper for a couple to drive than get tickets and do it by train or plane.
If you make public transport cost effective, then it might get used more. Otherwise, it might be more worthwhile to put the public transport budget for pretty much everywhere other than london into improving the road networks.
Re: Adobe brought down by it's own greed
Adobe might be doomed if there was a viable competitor.
Re: Don't forget the design
> "However, on servers, you simply don't run a GUI. Try doing *that* with Windows!"
Ok. Server manager -> Remove roles or features -> features -> User interfaces and infrastructure -> Server graphical shell <untick> reboot.
No more GUI.
At the end of the day, any non trivial software product will contain bugs, regardless of if it's open or closed source.
> "I see. Where I erred was trying to stay within the realm of reason."
Yep. If you were going to desalinate a huge amount of water and sink it into the ground, doing so right next to the sea would be a bit self defeating, wouldn't it? Especially since there is quite likely already freshwater revers used for irrigation nearby since they tend to flow into the sea.
Too small a scale. We want to create an artificial river nile in the middle of Australia or Africa. Desalinating enough water to create the equivalent of a river nile, plus hundreds of miles worth of piping to take the water from the sea to somewhere inland to make said river and then irrigate it is not going to be cheap.
That's good to know. Now it's admitted that stopping "climate change" by reducing Co2 emissions won't work (obviously; not using cars didn't help doggerland much) maybe we might actually start considering doing something constructive that stands a hope in hell of being useful.
Something like mass construction of desalination plants and irrigation projects to turn deserts into gardens might slow down the rate of sea rise a little? (Massively, insanely expensive, but possibly a bit more effective than carbon trading)
Or how about going to hydrogen based fuel cells and taking up electrolysis in a really, really big way?
More boringly, we could just start a slow, multi century long project to build some very large, multi layered flood defences.
Re: If it's really 2015 we're stuffed no matter what happens...
Look on the bright side though, the reaction of the public when they realise that listening to the "no, you can't build any form of practical power generation" crowd was a bad idea when power cuts hits is going to be entertaining.
I'm sure that most of the people reading this have the wit to be able to get a couple of UPS's in, one on the lighting circuit and one on the TV/PC/whatever. Power cuts? Pfft. Only for users.
You'll probably be able to identify IT Professionals and electricians by who's got lights on during the power cuts.
To be perfectly honest, i'd just buy a bunch of cheap second hand cameras from eBay. For the size of the pictures posted on el reg any camera released in the last decade ought to be perfectly sufficant.
Spending money on a half day worth of training into using a camera properly (ie, lighting, angles, mini tripod for stabilising the image, when to use the flash etc) will quite frankly get you much much more of a performance increase than a ten year old camera to a brand new, shiny camera.