* Posts by Crazy Operations Guy

1069 posts • joined 29 Jun 2009

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Remember SeaMicro? Red-ink-soaked AMD dumps it overboard

Crazy Operations Guy
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Hope this isn't going to sink the Seattle chips.

I'm quite looking forward to getting my mitts on some of those. Especially if we can get them in high-density servers similar to HP's Moonshot boxes or SuperMicro's Micro-blade. A couple cores, dual 10 Gig networking built in and a healthy number of SATA ports, I can see quite a few applications for them.

The problem with SeaMicro was that they were trying to cram a bunch of chips into a single box and operate under a single OS, and there are very few reasons you'd need that. Even HPC applications don't need that many cores in a single box, and in many cases are more efficient in a bunch of discreet boxes anyway.

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LA schools want multi-million Apple refund after kids hack iPads

Crazy Operations Guy
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Re: Why not something reasonable like a Kindle?

"But how will you lock down the kindles to stop the little darlings..."

What would you lock down?

The internal browser sucks for pretty much anything a child would be interested in wasting time on. And if you are concerned by the books they have access to, just restrict them to a specific set of sites to download them (Or just cut out the ability to pay for anything so they'd be stuck with getting books from the school's and the public libraries).

That is the beauty of the Kindle: it does just a single task and very little else, so there is very little that needs to be controlled or locked down. This also greatly reduces the motivation to root the things, since there is very little reward in doing so.

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Crazy Operations Guy
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Re: Why not something reasonable like a Kindle?

Yeah, interactive part would be nice and I would love to see them My point was that they should take nice, small steps towards that goal and just digitizing the book would do wonders (it would at least reduce the load children have to carry to something that doesn't weight as much as they do). Being too ambitious with something like this just leads to flushing $2.3billion down the drain on a device that will be obsolete in a few years...

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Crazy Operations Guy
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Why not something reasonable like a Kindle?

Why not just get some some kindles (At $79 a piece at retail, they are at least 10x cheaper than the fruity device) and just load them with PDF copies of the textbooks and maybe some other reference materials. Would be a good start in introducing technology to schools and wouldn't be a huge financial cluster fuck if it all failed, especially if you do a pilot program with a single grade level at one of the more responsible schools. Besides a Kindle would be cheaper than a single textbook if it got lost (most textbooks go for about $150-250).

But what am I thinking, this is LA, the land of spending money you don't have to buy things that no one needs. Although I'm assuming this was because some high-level member of the school district had a pleasant lunch with an Apple sales monkey.

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Bank-card-sniffing shop menace Punkey pinned down in US Secret Service investigation

Crazy Operations Guy
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Indeed, I figured that POS systems should be connected to an air-gapped network, one that only connects between the POS terminals and the stock / financial databases. For the most part, I don't even know why stores need internet access, other than to connect to the main office by way of a VPN / MPLS. If anything, they should have a separate guest network if internet access is absolutely needed (Maybe even on a completely different network, EG consumer grade ISP connection for the guest network and then a proper enterprise-grade provider for the corporate network).

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Scientists tail whales, hails their tales of record 14,000-mile migration

Crazy Operations Guy
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Re: I'm more intrigued to know how you attach a tracker to something that big.

Yeah, it's a small dart-like bit that is fired from a harpoon gun that embeds itself into the whale's blubbery flesh. Goes in relatively painless, somewhere between getting a shot and having a piercing put in (Well that's what the evidence suggests, at least. But not much research has been done).

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Stateside security screeners sacked for squeezing 'sexy' sacks

Crazy Operations Guy
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Re: Can't charge...what rubbish.

They don't really need the victim anyway, with the confession, they can pull camera footage and convict them on evidence alone.

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Crazy Operations Guy
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Re: The screeners were terminated as a result.

The TSA is a joke anyway. I recall an analysis done by an Israeli security researcher talking about all the glaring issues with the TSA's practices. Then there are the incidents in Los Angles and New Orleans where someone attacked the airport before the screening area because there were quite a few victims all standing around with nowhere to go. I fear the day that someone walks into one of those lines with a bomb vest or a bomb loaded into a suitcase and takes out a hundred or more innocent people at once.

Besides, as pretty much every air-related accident in the past decade has shown, you have more to fear from the guy in the cockpit or those on the ground than the passengers:

Asiana 214 was pilot incompetence;

AirAsia 8501 wasn't even supposed to be in the air;

Malaysian MH17 was hit by a SAM;

And of course the recent GermanWings crash

And in the cases where the TSA should have stopped a passenger from getting onto a plane, they failed horribly, consider the "Underwear Bomber" and the "Shoe Bomber". Both made it on the plane despite going through screening and where only stopped by way of pure luck.

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Crazy Operations Guy
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Re: Sarcasm, surely?

"Seriously, how TF can they not identify the person concerned?"

I travel through Denver international quite often (In fact I'm posting from that very airport). There is a space in between the station where they check ID / Valid ticket and where the screening takes place (This is because it goes from 2 lines to 4 in this area). The passengers get mixed together and even knowing the time frame for when the incident happened, 100-150 people would have gone through in even a 5-minute window.

Even if it would have been possible to identify the victim, it still would have taken several minutes for it to be reported to a supervisor, then several more for the footage to be reviewed to get an image of the victim, then quite a bit of time to compare those images to the photo database, and then they'd have to track them down. By that time, the victim would likely already be on the plane and in the air. And why would you hold someone back to inconvenience them further? The normal screening process is bad enough as it is...

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Nvidia's GTX 900 cards lock out open-source Linux devs yet again

Crazy Operations Guy
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Re: One of the reasons I abandoned them years ago

"AMD APUs have been great for running Linux"

They work quite well for OpenBSD, which is normally pretty limited for supported graphics chips. Running on an A6-5200 and it definitely feels like overkill. Still able to power 2 displays at 1920x1080 each without breaking a sweat. Tried doing the same with a Core i5 box and GeForce 9800 and the thing ran like crap because it was all software rendered.

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Crazy Operations Guy
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Re: One of the reasons I abandoned them years ago

"you don't need a discrete graphic card at all."

Kinda my point. There are now very few cases in which a discreet card is actually needed. Even CAD / EDA software runs just fine on modern embedded graphics chips. Hell, I've been able to play the Bioshock series on my tablet and the game-play has been pretty smooth (Core i7-4650U / HD 5000 for graphics)

"Binary blob or not, nVidia drivers work."

Well that doesn't matter so much, you'd be gaming on a Windows box anyway, so binary blobs are standard procedure.

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Crazy Operations Guy
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One of the reasons I abandoned them years ago

This and the fact that driver installers weighed in at well over 250 MB for what should just be an ever so simple piece of code that translates a graphics library's instructions into something the card understands.

Since I personally don't need much in the way of graphics performance anyway (Office applications, some miscellaneous admin tools, and SSH shells...) I've switched over to AMD's APUs for my desktops and the newer generation Intel Atoms for my servers / appliances. They're good enough for encoding and decoding video at 1080p60 so why should I get one of those monstrosities that nVidia pushes out. For my research / heavy computing machine, I just dropped a Xeon Phi in the thing, much better bang for the buck compared to using a GPU for math.

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What's Meg Whitman fussing over: The fate of HP ... or the font on a DISRUPTIVE new logo?

Crazy Operations Guy
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"That connection is symbolic of the partnership we will forge..."

To me it sounds like whoever came up with this held some kind of power over the CEO (poor relative with no job skills perhaps?) and so Meg didn't disagree and every other exec on the board was just as spineless as she was so they just nodded yes and proclaimed the artist a genius.

Or maybe they were conned and are too proud to admit it.

Those are the only two explanations I can think of for this pile of bull-shit that looks like somebody made in MS Paint in 5 minutes...

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NASA probe sent to faraway planet finds DWARF world instead: Pics

Crazy Operations Guy
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Clyde Tombaugh

To think that he was able to go from a world where flight was in its infancy to seeing Voyager zoom past Pluto within his lifetime, and now he gets one last look...

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IWF took down over 31,000 child sexual abuse URLs in 2014

Crazy Operations Guy
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This really isn't making the problem go away either. Taking the website down isn't going to prevent anyone from abusing children or do anything for the children currently being abused. This is just the digital equivalent of shoving your head in the sand hoping the problem goes away if you can't see it.

This is about as effective as combating drug abuse by arresting just the users and dealers: The demand is still there and someone is still going to produce the material. But unlike drug abuse, the human damage is from the production rather than the user / distribution parts, making it even more important to focus on the source.

An easy solution might be for a police organization (Possibly InterPol or someone similar) to set up a website to allow pedophiles to view and upload images/videos. Uploaded material would be compared against a database of missing children and possibly a photo bank of school children. Old material that someone has already been arrested for would be allowed through, new material would be blocked and a full investigation would be put into motion so that the organization running the website could work with local police to hunt down the piece of garbage. This would allow the police to keep tabs on who is viewing this stuff and try and stop it proactively before abuse starts (Put them in therapy, remove children from their care, etc).

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Segway bought by former patent spat adversary Ninebot

Crazy Operations Guy
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@muscleGuy

You do realize that you're sounding like the stereotypical old crotchety grandpa "Back in my day, I had WALK to school and it was uphill BOTH WAYS. Kids these days are so lazy, they don't know how easy they have it..."...

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Four boggling websites we found hidden in the BitTorrent network using the Maelstrom browser

Crazy Operations Guy
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Am I the only one

Am I the only one that upon first seeing this idea thought "Oh crap, yet another platform for malware to spread..."

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Welcome to the FUTURE: Maine cops pay Bitcoin ransom to end office hostage drama

Crazy Operations Guy
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Re: Wouldn't fly in my office @Crazy

"and you've said as well as an (singular) offline replica, and the server is continuously wiped and rebuilt from the backups,"

The offline backup is an air-gapped system that can be plugged into the network as temporary replacement (Its actually the old file server that the current one replaced, but had its hard disks swapped for low-speed 2 TB SATA disks rather than the SAS disks in the prod box). We use tapes to copy the information off of the production file servers and restore it on the backup system, we then run a verification program on all of the files (Looking for sentinel files as well as running hashes on each file and counting how many discrepancies there are). We keep 2 sets of 18-months worth of weekly backups (One in a secure storage facility, the other on-site), and each year, we make one full backup that gets kept for 5+ years.

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Crazy Operations Guy
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Re: Wouldn't fly in my office

"In most countries this kind of "fine" is completely illegal". He could have left the company, but try finding a job elsewhere with that on your record... Besides, it wasn't so much a 'fine' as it was a settlement for a breach of contract (we have some top-notch lawyers working for us)

"Thin clients, centralised everything solves the discipline issues at a single pass." No argument here, we tried thin clients at one point, but they ended up placing far to big of a burden on the network (Network admin was incompetent) and management is a firm believer in "Once Bitten, twice shy" no matter what the real cause was.

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Crazy Operations Guy
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Re: Eddie lives, somewhere in time

When we restore the files in the backup test, we run a scan on to check that certain files are there and readable. These sentinel files are located in each of the users' directories as well as scattered in random folders. Our backup strategy is incremental everyday, full on Saturday as well as test of incrementals, and Sunday is a test of the full backups.

Backup media is only reused after 18 months and is destroyed after 4 uses.

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Crazy Operations Guy
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Wouldn't fly in my office

Where I work, any sensitive documents or anything that the business depends on must be stored on one of the files servers, if this isn't done and a disaster happens and wipes that data, the individual worker is on the hook to repay the company for lost profits directly related to that missing document. Local systems are locked down to prevent use of external media and were only given a 64 GB SSD.

After the first worker disobeyed this and ended up on the hook for $1.5 Million, everyone else decided that to follow the rules to a 't' (Don't worry about the guy, he was the Sales Director and only ended up getting his pay docked for 5 years to cover the bill).

The file servers themselves have a hot-backup replica as well as an offline replica that is updated and populated by way of the backup media (This server is continuously wiped and rebuilt from the backups, also lets us test the durability of our disks, and our imaging process)

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Crazy Operations Guy
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So if they were that sloppy with backups..

How sloppy are they with evidence? And what about case files and other sensitive information? A good lawyer can now point to this incident and get every case thrown out due to evidence tampering (Its on the police to prove that the evidence remained valid and wasn't damaged).

I've always thought that there should be some kind of central "Police Cloud" that is connected only to Justice Department and Police department computers that have all been air-gapped. It would hold arrest records, booking information, and copies of legally obtained evidence. Each set of files would be encrypted with a key specific to each case and can only be decrypted by a police captain and the police working on the case before it goes to trial, afterwards it would only be accessible by the judge, the prosecutor, and the defense. After the case has concluded, it would be re-encrypted and would require a court-order to open up again.

As it is now, some lowly clerk at the court house could be 'convinced' to hand over some very sensitive information (such as names of anonymous witnesses, names of underage victims; interview details, evidence, etc...). OR if a police station catches fire, the local justice system grinds to a halt. Or if a case is moved to a new jurisdiction, all that data needs to be transported in a safe manner by way of squad car or armored vehicle...

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Self preservation is AWS security's biggest worry, says gros fromage

Crazy Operations Guy
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Re: Wrong priority

Now that we're out of virgin IPv4 space, anyone running a mail server should check to ensure that those IPs aren't on any of the major RBLs.

I had the same issue a few months back where my ISP allocated us a new /24 but it was black-listed, took a few emails to Spamhaus and a few others, but got everything cleared up. Doing this has more or less become a necessity in this day and age. Hell, you should be doing this periodically on blocks you already own.

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Seriously, stop claiming your two-buck photo app can detect cancer

Crazy Operations Guy
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"pay a fine of $17,693"

I've always thought that if you build something like this and claim medical benefits, then you should be on the hook to pay for the medical expenses for users that took the advice of the app and that advice was incredibly wrong.

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Grandmaster FLUSH: Chess champ booted for allegedly cheating with iPod app in the loo

Crazy Operations Guy
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The image in the article

Did someone seriously take a picture of the iPod using another apple device and then take a screenshot of the photo to use for an article?

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Backdoor bot brains snatched after cops, white hats raid servers

Crazy Operations Guy
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Re: Don't/Can't people notice these infections?

Malware like this doesn't use all that much processor power and RAM. Combine that with the fact that the vast majority of machines are shipping with Quad-core chips and 4 GB of RAM and are being connected to fairly decent pipes, this kind of thing can go a long time without being detected. Even if it did, most people would just blame performance issues on the machine being old or the internet being slow that day. You might have noticed performance degradation from a piece of malware years back when every processor cycle counted, now applications run so heavily that malware can hide in the variances of resource usage.

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Crazy Operations Guy
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"kills off antivirus software"

I shudder at the thought that one day Malware like this would take the smart route and add itself to the Anti-virus's white-list rather than disabling it...

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Labour manifesto: Tech Bacc, not-spot zapping and hi-speed interwebs

Crazy Operations Guy
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"build on our strengths as a leader in digital technology"

I love* it when politicians get blinded by nationalism... Truth be told, the UK isn't near being a 'leader' in technology, in front of the middle, perhaps. But The United States, South Korea, China, India, Japan, Singapore, and Taiwan are light-years ahead.

*By love, I mean cringe and hiding in bed curled up in the fetal position after realizing that these people are in charge of nuclear weapons...

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Tintri gets all touchy-feely with latest OS update

Crazy Operations Guy
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I suppose people like us will have to cobble together something to interface with the REST API (Someone will probably slap together a Python library sooner or later). I hate OSes and other pieces of important software that don't have an option to use them from a command line. Especially server software (I very rarely install graphics-oriented packages on my servers, you'd be amazed at how slim you can make a *BSD or Linux install when you don't install X, let alone KDE/Gnome)

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HOT HOVERSHIP-ON-HOVERSHIP ACTION: SpaceX ready for barge boing

Crazy Operations Guy
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Re: SpaceX is seriously cool

"how many times a stage needs to fly before it's cheaper to reuse than expend. "

I would say that the answer is 2... Or will be once it becomes the norm. Although I would love to see them be able to do it with the possibility of all stages being able to land softly (apart or together) so that once you hit lift-off, you are no longer forced into one of two results : Launch goes perfectly or something goes wrong and you have to go recruit a couple more astronauts...

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Fraudsters target Nazi Android malware at Russian bank customers

Crazy Operations Guy
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Western Facists?

Since when has Russia been considered the West?

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'Chinese hackers' were sniffing SE Asian drawers for YEARS

Crazy Operations Guy
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Chinese hackers spying on other countries.

In other news, the oceans are full of water and today is a day that ends in 'y'

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Russian censor warns against meme 'misuse'

Crazy Operations Guy
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Re: Somebody should tell them...

With Yakov Smirnoff, comedian is joke.

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Videogame publishers to fans: Oi, freetard! STOP RESURRECTING our dead titles online

Crazy Operations Guy
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Expand this to all technology

For me, an ideal world would be where if a company stopped selling / sporting a product, they should release all the source code and schematics for it. They won't be making any more money off of it, so why bother keeping it secret?

I could understand an exception where if the new product is 95% like an old product, both are kept secret (Say a refresh of a router where they just plop in a newer version of the same SoC).

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Sprint fined $16m for sticking it to The Man: Telco 'overcharged' Feds for phone wiretaps

Crazy Operations Guy
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Re: "recoup the costs of building its own network to allow wiretapping"

"I don't think you quite understand how the money flows in these cases."

But I do understand that I'm paying extra money for my service to be spied upon. I prefer it to come from the government since that would require someone to approve it rather than a secret letter being sent to a company telling them that must do this and keep their mouths shut about it. This flies in the face of the idea that the Government is accountable to the people. But I suppose they do this so people don't know how much money is being wasted on violating our civil liberties and if people knew, there'd be an armed rebellion...

One thing that has bothered me about all this spying stuff is that no one has ever released any numbers about useful these spying programs have been in catching terrorists. Not even something saying "Wiretapping allowed us to catch and prosecute 'x' terrorists that we have shown were plotting on committing an act of terrorism". The deafening silence tells me that the answer is a big fat zero, since publishing these numbers would only help their position.

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Crazy Operations Guy
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"recoup the costs of building its own network to allow wiretapping"

So they got in trouble for trying to pay for unnecessary hardware that the government forced upon them? I would hardly call that 'gouging' or 'over-charging', they were just lucky that that was all that Sprint charged them for the wiretaps I would've charged them a service charge. As a Sprint customer, I am quite livid that the cost of spying on citizens is being pushed onto those same citizens. It'd be like getting arrested but the police car pulls in a gas station on the way to the jail and forces you to buy them a tank.

Given that these are very specialized pieces of equipment mandated by the government, they probably cost more than the GDP of most nations...

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US govt bans Intel from selling chips to China's supercomputer boffins

Crazy Operations Guy
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Re: Excellent

They already have: the Godson / Loongson chips[1]. They even built a pretty decent Super out of them too.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loongson

[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dawning_Information_Industry#Dawning_6000

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Crazy Operations Guy
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Since those chips are already made in China...

I don't think it'd take too long before we start seeing "Entel Zeon Fi" chips coming out of the same fab as Intel's...

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Oh no, Moto! Cable modem has hardcoded 'technician' backdoor

Crazy Operations Guy
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"drop a user's computer into the DMZ, leaving the machine naked to the outside world."

Then someone seriously misunderstands what a DMZ is supposed to do... The point of a DMZ is to be behind a minimal firewall, not being put right out on the edge of the network.

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Apple swears that NO FANBOI will queue for its new gumble

Crazy Operations Guy
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Re: Things more pointless than the iwatch

But it seems that with us humans, the more pointless something is, the harder we fight. Just look at ISIS, killing innocents over some trivial historical fact from well over a thousand years ago...

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Crazy Operations Guy
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" between fanboi hipsters and the placeholder hobos."

Well given how much iDevices cost, I don't think the banks can tell the difference either...

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Marvell: We don't want to pay this $1.5bn patent bill because, cripes, it's way too much

Crazy Operations Guy
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A school owns patents?

That seems a bit backwards there... Schools like CMU are supposed to encourage innovation, not crush it...

Besides, what are they going to do with that much cash anyway? I doubt it would be used to reduce student tuition rates...

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Bored with Blighty? Relocation lessons for the data centre jetset

Crazy Operations Guy
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Pacific Northwest is pretty damn good too

Eastern Washington / Oregon state has become a hot spot for new datacenters lately: A couple hydro plants along the Columbia river plus some nuke power coming out of Hanford. The weather is very stable and land is so very cheap. If the coast is your thing, Neah Bay has some decent infrastructure and a couple fibers directly out to the CJK area and a couple links down to San Jose, CA.

Of course data center locations should be decided on by the primary location of the users accessing the servers. Bandwidth tends to be limited on trans-oceanic fibers. Doesn't make sense to put all you servers in a DC on the other side of the globe when the vast majority of your users are sitting right next to you. In some cases, the bandwidth fees for the DC can make the decision a moot point.

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FCC taps CenturyLink on shoulder, mumbles about a fine for THAT six-hour 911 outage

Crazy Operations Guy
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"a 911 call routing station"

The fuck... I'd always thought that the *local* switch was wired directly to the closest 911 response center and a regional link would only be used when that call center was down (Even then it should be wired to connect to a secondary center in the area). But I suppose its my fault for assuming that CenturyLink would be logical in their operations...

If I were a customer of theirs, it would mean that my call was traveling 1100 miles to get to the routing station only for it to travel another 1100 miles to the 911 center that's less than a mile from my house. I might as well just call the police / fire station directly...

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The Internet of Stuff is a gigantic ultra-perv robbery network – study

Crazy Operations Guy
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Re: My fridge

With something like that set up, how long would it take for someone to noticed you've died?

But then that why you bought that Smart Coffin that take you to the Smart Undertaker who then places you into a smart grave and automatically informs all your smart stuff to sell sell themselves while your Smart Home is sold by a Smart Realtor that sells it and have a Smart Mover to bring in another person's stuff before you family is even aware of your passing.

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Crazy Operations Guy
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Re: Wait a minute.

Too bad that in this day and age that "SP2" = "buying a new device with the previous model's security bugs patched but new ones of its own".

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Aw, snap! How huge HTML links can crash Chrome tabs in one click

Crazy Operations Guy
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Developers that try to do pre-fetching and the like need to be taken out back and shot. In my experience, anytime a developer tries to make something smarter, it ends up being an idiotic pile of buggy spaghetti code that wastes more time than it saves, not to mention the security holes that get opened up.

Doing DNS pre-lookups is dangerous in that a spammer could send a URL in an email to determine if an address is valid the second a user opens the message. Normally they'd use 1x1 pixel images, but email programs killed that by no loner loading images.. Now there is no way to prevent it.

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You. FTC. Get over here. Google is INVADING our children's MINDS – anti-ad campaigners

Crazy Operations Guy
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You know also think about the children just as much?

Pedophiles, that's who. I feel that its parents fault for these kids being exposed to so many advertisements. I'm tired of people that plop their kids in front of the television or the computer and expect technology to watch their children for them, then they yell and scream like a toddler when the technology isn't exactly like what they want. There are only two people in the world that are responsible for watching your children and ensuring they are safe and those are the two people that created the creature, its not the government's, its not big corporation's, its nobody else's, its yours.

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Google Ads go NUCLEAR, foist exploit kit

Crazy Operations Guy
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Yet my co-workers wonder

Lately I've been adding rules to drop packets from advertising networks on the firewalls, including DoubleClick and Google Analytics. My users are forced to use old version of IE (Internal apps that break on anything newer) so I have to do everything possible to protect them.

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Crazy Operations Guy
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Re: AdBlock

If you want to support El Reg and still block ads, just buy some swag from the store. I would think that the profits gained from those purchases would offset the loss of profits from blocking advertisements.

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