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* Posts by theblackhand

271 posts • joined 1 Oct 2009

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Dimwit hackers use security camera DVRs as SUPER-SLOW Bitcoin-mining rig

theblackhand
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Re: Using someone else's hardware and electricity?

Quoting from Slashdot [http://it.slashdot.org/story/14/04/01/029249/dvrs-used-to-attack-synology-disk-stations-and-mine-bitcoin]:

"If memory serves, most of Synology's non-intel NASes are Marvell based. Marvell's fastest device, in terms of general compute, is the MV78460. 4 cores, ARMv7, up to 1.6GHz. As documented here [http://forum.synology.com/wiki/index.php/What_kind_of_CPU_does_my_NAS_have] most Synology NASes ship with something slower than that."

For reference, a 1.6GHz 'Kirkwood' Marvell core is good for slightly under .2 meghashes/s. About half as fast as an Atom CPU, less than 1/4000th as fast as an AMD7970, and just plain embarassing compared to the ASICs that do most of the work these days. With devices that run on USB power alone pulling north of 1gighash/s, you could probably own every Synology ARM NAS in the first world and barely pay yourself for your time."

So every 10000 compromised DVR's gives you equivalent performance (at best) to a BitFury Red Fury (http://www.amazon.co.uk/BitFury-Red-Fury-Bitcoin-Miner/dp/B00HNR1HW8). Given that the compromise doesn't affect all devices in Synology range, I wouldn't expect more than 1 million devices were usable.

It is "free" once your compromise is in the wild, but I'm not sure you'll be retiring to your favourite tropical island any time soon. If you're prepared to settle for the occasional pint or two in Swindon then you maybe happy....

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HP exec: 'It's our GOD-GIVEN right' to rule the world of biz fondleslabs

theblackhand
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I agree HP has a god given right...

If you keep employing execs who fail to see why the company is becoming irrelevant, you have a god given right to fail.

Or a market given right for all you atheists....

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Spooks vs boffins: MIT bods say they've created PRISM-proof encryption

theblackhand
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Re: I've just...

I'd be more concerned about the translation performed from the letter to the forum comments by an unhappy Reg hack than spooks.....

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Rule of law: Turkish court nixes government Twitter ban ... for now

theblackhand
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Black Helicopters

Re: It's all rather illogical

I think you're mixing things up.

"Call-me-Dave" doesn't want to put too much pressure on Putin over the Crimea in case he needs to take similar action with a misbehaving neighbour. The Scots won't need an EU seat when they're all British again.....

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Ex-Autonomy boss Mike Lynch goes nuclear: Claims HP 'misleads' its own shareholders

theblackhand
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Re: By definition

But not as stupid as HP.

Unless you have a few billion to spend on this software company that I have....

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Malaysia Airlines mystery: Click here for the TRUTH

theblackhand
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Re: It's obvious!

While John Travolta may have been involved, the truth will be revealed when the Malaysian government requests that everybody checks behind their couches and at the back of cupboards and the 777 turns up covered in dust....

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Not sure if you're STILL running Windows XP? AmIRunningXP.com to the rescue!

theblackhand
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Re: Why ...

Why the personal details?

It's a PR/Marketing exercise that was done as a last minute panic, the domain name was registered by some graduate in a PR/marketing company with the help of an IT person who has never registered a domain name. When they realise that they didn't want them there, another panic will start to remove them...

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Nipper rolls up at nursery with 48 wraps of HEROIN

theblackhand
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Technology angle?

Yup - the boot note was fascinating and has crossed off my "one thing I need to learn today" task.

What? You think I manage to tell boring stories without any research?

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Apple iOS 8 'will put end' to crap map app rap flap misery

theblackhand
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Re: Crap Map App

The good news is that it will be referred to as the "Not Crap Map App" if it does improve.

Although ideally it would still be crap and need further development by a Japanese company named Zap....

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Inside Facebook's engineering labs: Hardware heaven, HP hell – PICTURES

theblackhand
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Re: Meanwhile, outside hobbyville....

Or you have so much kit that if device X breaks, the system recovers and keeps going via automated processes. Manual intervention should only be required to fix the broken device and restore that device to service - the fix may involve replacing a few parts or replacing the unit with the current model.

Maybe a new definition is needed for "cloud services" - a service consisting of clusters of data centres where losing any physical service up to and including a data centre does not result in a loss of service. Not all cloud service providers will meet this, but they should get somewhere close.

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Software needs meaty cores, not thin, stringy ARMs, says Intel

theblackhand
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Re: Obvious troll is obvious

I think Intel are trying to address the proposed ARM servers where a lot of separate CPU's are bundled together (i.e. Calxeda and AMD/SeaMicro). VM's already provide an easy way to utilise this setup and the large data centre operators know how to manage large node count environments.

SeaMicro are in a particularly interesting position as they have a product that scales and supports x86 and ARM on a cheap interconnect.

The real question about ARM servers is whether providing more performance hurts their power consumption significantly. A big chunk of x86 power consumption is down to cache and IO - most ARM cores reduce both to keep power down and nether is hard for Intel to reproduce if required.

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theblackhand
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Parallelising code

Intel did invest in this and still are to my knowledge, but it doesn't change the nature of the problems being solved. Parallel programming is harder than single thread programming.

Note that this is looking at doing an existing task faster rather than doing more more tasks (that may have no dependencies) in the same time. More cores doesn't necessarily make the first faster if they sit idle.

This answers it far better than I could:

http://www.futurechips.org/tips-for-power-coders/parallel-programming.html

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Facebook ditches TOP SECRET email service. Did YOU know it had one?

theblackhand
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Re: Much as I dislike Facebook, I wish...

Facebook business plan: make money from advertising

Assuming FB's plan's for personal e-mail world dominance had worked, guess what would have been used to "monetise" their new empire?

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What's up with that WhatsApp $19bn price tag? Answer: Voice calls

theblackhand
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Re: Free, free, free...

MS buying Skype was about providing a reason for enterprises to move away from their costly PBX's onto Lync (why just have voice when you can have IM/voice/video). MS aren't silly enough to directly attack the telco's at this point. Maybe in the future but they are playing very nicely at present.

Google seems happy to have client devices that send all the data back to the cloud and leave the voice/data side to the telco's. Again, playing nicely.

I'm not entirely sure there is a lot of money to be had in voice - the telco's know how to squeeze out new player's in markets. I suspect Facebook would be looking at the markets that haven't been deregulated to make money. Sure voice over consumer Internet may not be great but if it only costs a Facebook account then who cares about the quality.

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New Flash vuln exploited (again). Adobe posts emergency fix (again)

theblackhand
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Joke

Re: Begs the question...

Adobe tried to spell "security" but it didn't look that great so they re-did it in Flash....

I can't work out how to add a "bad" to the icon....

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How Facebook flipped the data centre hardware market

theblackhand
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Re: Hindsight strikes again

Agree

Intel played a part in the hardware makers demise in that it has moved more of the PC infrastructure onto the CPU which has left less and less room for the server manufacturers to innovate.

And the larger CPU picture changed from being a straight speed race to spreading load across more cores leading to smaller performance increases for when hardware was upgraded and making virtual machines a more attractive way of using CPU resources.

Add in the economic picture, where the x86 market got the first round of decent multi-cores in the 2-3 years leading up to the crash in 2008, which extended hardware life cycles and people found they could cope with an old PC or do more on mobile devices, the good times for x86 vendors were over.

For the large data centre operators, I would have expected Google/Amazon/Microsoft to have more impact than Facebook. Facebook would be part of it, but the big three would contribute significantly more.

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No, pesky lawyers, particle colliders WON'T destroy the Earth

theblackhand
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I look forward to their TV ads....

"Have scientists destroyed the world YOU live on? You might be eligible for compensation (and we will be eligible for a huge fee.....). Just call LAWYERS4U"

Note: please note that any small children and cuddly animals eaten during the making of this commercial were part of the lawyers daily feeding habits. Any similarities between the lawyers shown and these commercials and human beings is purely coincidental.

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FBI offers $10,000 bounty for arrest of laser-wielding idiots

theblackhand
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Re: No problem... Re: bit nasty for the neighbours

If the neighbours won't help with the solution (i.e. stopping the laser users then they're part of the problem.

It might be a good time to move to somewhere a little more isolated....

Or buy shares in Lockheed Martin....

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It's a scientific FACT: Online comment trolls are SADISTS

theblackhand
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I accept my jokes are bad

...but I don't really get much pleasure from the jokes being bad. More disappointment that others didn't find it funny..

Am I doing it wrong?

Or should I just flagellate myself as I post and accept I'm in the masochist camp?

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'Wind power causes climate change' shown to be so much hot air

theblackhand
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Re: Consistent

What do wind farms do?

They provide a gravy train for the Mafia in Italy and politicians in the UK.

And I'm not implying that the two are equivalent - horse blood staining is so hard to get rid of...

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NetApp FAS array BIZ BEAST to fly out in under a fortnight

theblackhand
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Re: So is this a capacity based pricing model?

Maybe I'm just cynical, but doesn't this mean they will give hardware costs that are really competitive and lump the majority of the costs into OnTAP?

Or would that mean their hardware support model is blown out the window when it becomes cheaper to just buy more hardware rather than a one year support contract?

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Google will dodge EU MONSTER FINES by 'promoting' rival search services

theblackhand
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Promote rivals?

Does that mean they get to run ads like:

"Bing - it's not as crap as it seems at first if you force yourself to use it"

Or would they get complaints/fines for lying?

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Russian gay dating app dev: We've been BLOCKED just DAYS before Winter Olympics

theblackhand
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I'm surprised

Where will Putin post his selfies now?

i.e. http://img.rt.com/files/politics/putin-talks-politically-correct-hunting/tuva-putin-khemchik-republic-537.si.jpg

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Just as we said it would: HP clamps down on server fixers

theblackhand
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Market share

My expectation for the x86 server market is that the big three (HP/IBM now Lenovo/Dell) would see one of them drop back to the rest of the pack (i.e. drop from the pack earning more than US$2b/quarter to the pack earning less than US$1b/quarter).

Lenovo seem to be very good at picking up market share in a declining market with their PC business and I expect to see that continue with their server business.

Which leaves Dell and HP - before this move I would have picked Dell to drop now it's back to 50/50.

I thought HP had a better understanding of their customers.

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MP 'shocked' at failures 'at the top' of the BBC over epic DMI tech fail

theblackhand
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Correction

"There was no one willing to admit to being the Senior Responsible Owner and lots of people desperate to hang onto their jobs with six-figure salaries"

I'm surprised they didn't offer the cleaner as the SRO.

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BBC Trust: 'LA LA LA I'M NOT LISTENING' to this DMI mega-tech FAIL

theblackhand
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Nobody was in charge of the project?

Really? So all the costs were just being signed off by a magic fairy? More like no one admits to being in charge.

Find who signed the purchase orders - they were either responsible or were signing on behalf of those responsible.

In an ideal world, said people would be shown the door with no pay off. Even if they were paid off and named it might go some way to registering the need for accountability.

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NatWest 'spam' email cockup got me slapped with late payment fee, says angry Reg reader

theblackhand
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Joke

Re:What did he expect from a bank?

Customer service?

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Virgin Media's 'little(ish)' book of deals contained BIG FIBS, rules ad watchdog

theblackhand
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Headmaster

Re: They're all as bad as each other

I've reported you to the ASA.

Your example of £12/month and £14.99/month line rental comes to £26.99/month.

I didn't notice any small print indicating the difference.

Hopefully the icon covers any questions...

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Lenovo haggling with IBM over price of System X... AGAIN

theblackhand
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Re: Sales declined

Lenovo has done pretty well in a declining market:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Market_share_of_personal_computer_vendors

I suspect if Lenovo took over the IBM x86 server business, assuming it got a fair price, it would be able to repeat the process and gain market share against HP/Dell.

As for one of IBM/Dell/HP disappearing from the market in the next few years - I'd be surprised to see all three survive as they are.

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Take that, BT: Vodafone and BSkyB mull over broadband tie-up - report

theblackhand
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Worst?

While I wouldn't nominate Sky for the best ISP, surely TalkTalk and EE (and it appears BT...) get the award for worst ISP's based on Ofcom complaints per 1000 users:

http://www.lovemoney.com/news/household-bills/broadband/12418/uks-worst-broadband-provider

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Even 'Your computer has a virus' cold-call gits are migrating off XP

theblackhand
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Re: I'm a lumberjack...

Everyone's a critic...

Maybe a YouTube link next time so that we can judge for ourselves? Playmobil reconstruction optional.

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Boeing bent over for new probe as 787 batteries vent fluid, start to MELT

theblackhand
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Re: lawyers

Your opinion of accident compensation lawyers is higher than mine.

It wouldn't surprise me if said lawyers were sabotaging batteries to drum up business. And it wouldn't surprise me if they managed to stoop lower...

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Woman whipped gun from vagina in SPACE ALIEN spat, reports Officer Zook

theblackhand
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Re: Has El Reg teamed up with "Viz" ?

I'd hope there would be a more formal announcement if so?

Imagine - two heavyweights of the IT publishing industry getting together...

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Thought sales were in the toilet before? Behold the agony: 2013 was a PC market BLOODBATH

theblackhand
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The numbers were quarterly - the difference is less (if I've added up correctly) annually at around 6%:

Q1 Apple 1,650,012 11.6 1,535,951 9.8 7.4

Q2 Apple 1,740,500 11.6 1,818,959 12 -4.3

Q3 Apple 2,158,015 13.4 2,208,015 14.2 -2.3

Q4 Apple 2,168,212 13.7 1,687,881 9.9 28.5

Apple sales in the US in 2012: 7,250,806

Apple sales in the US in 2013: 7,716,739

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theblackhand
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Re: Ummm..

Yup - it's a lot. The difference is the IT sales world has always been about selling products into an expanding market which is why there is so much doom and gloom. Expect vendor consolidation and stupid models that appeal to the 0.0001% of the market that will pay a premium for the weirdness. Unless it's happening already... :-)

On top of that, Gartner's prediction of reaching the bottom of the drop is unlikely to be correct - they never are... You're more likely to get an accurate prediction from dissecting a stool sample than you will from a Gartner report.

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Indecent proposal: Hedge fund makes 'unsolicited' bid for Riverbed

theblackhand
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Re: $3M profit values the Company at $3.1B WTF

Q3 2013 profit was $3M - in 2012 they had a net profit of $54M on revenue of $548M and a further $280M sitting in the bank.

I don't know enough about Riverbed to explain the dip in profits in Q3.

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Low power WON'T bag ARM the server crown. So here's how to upset Intel

theblackhand
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Re: Costs

MIPS is the only other mainstream design with a similar processor licensing arrangement that I'm aware of. If SPARC/POWER can be licensed, the costs are likely to be significantly higher than ARM - to the point where they are not likely to be economic options.

Regarding the low power goodness, it comes from a variety of choices:

- the design of the CPU and the target frequency you plan to run at. Compare a Pentium 4 to a Core based Intel processor to see what they had to do to try and get useful work out of the CPU as they increased the clock speed on the Pentium 4.

- the process node used, where small nodes generally require less power. However, this is balanced by the cost of smaller process nodes which usually leaves low power CPU's being built on older processes. The choice of process node may dictate what fab has to be used (i.e. Intel has the smallest nodes, followed by Global Foundries, followed by TSMC followed by pretty much everyone else.)

- cache: cache helps you keep your processing units busy, but is relatively power hungry

- I/O: the more I/O you have and the faster it is (including memory buses), the more power you require.

- power saving tricks: can you offload tasks (i.e. video decoding) to a custom processor and power down other parts of your SoC?

I'm interested to see how the 64-bit ARM performs from both a performance and power usage perspective. While Intel/AMD x86 processors are power hungry in comparison to current ARM processors, large chunks of that power usage are allocated to I/O (i.e. PCIe), a fast memory bus and cache - things that ARM will need to compete in server space.

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Linksys's über-hackable WRT wireless router REBORN with 802.11ac

theblackhand
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Re: Everyone seems very hung up on the price

My bad - yes, I did miss them when I searched...

The TRENDnet unit seems to be fairly basic in comparison for around £80/US$120 - the similarly specced Netgear unit is still around £190 (or US$200) is still a bit cheaper but lacks eSATA.

Pricing still isn't that terrible as you may still get more features.

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theblackhand
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Everyone seems very hung up on the price

Are there any cheaper WLAN routers out there that support 802.11AC? The cheapest 802.11AC access point I can find is a D-Link DAP-2695 at around £230.

I wouldn't get one myself, but it doesn't seem too extreme if you are looking for a gigabit WLAN network for your home.

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Australia puts 300 sharks on Twitter

theblackhand
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Re: venomous sheep in australia?

Not venomous, but certainly diseased.

Australians seem to like multiple partners and no protection....

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DisARMed: Geeksphone's next high-end mobe to pack Intel x86 inside

theblackhand
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Re: OS of your choice - VMS

With VMS you would buy 4 phones - while you would never drop a call, you would occasionally need to swap the handset you used to speak into.

When discussing this with VMS tech support, they suggest carrying a 5th phone as a fix.

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Euro judge flings out Cisco beefs against Microsoft-Skype deal

theblackhand
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Re: Pot

While both companies may not be as open, I'm unsure why Reg readers are so keen to play the man rather than the ball in these discussions.

If you were looking at federating with Skype to allow integration of small offices or external consultants/contractors with a videoconferencing deployment, this used to be supported regardless of your videoconferencing vendor. Now you're going to be deploying Lync to integrate Skype with your existing videoconferencing infrastructure which is OK if you're a all Windows deployment or are prepared to hold your breath for full OSX support).

The merging of Skype and MSN and the integration of e-mail ID's into Win8 is creating one large contact database that will provide federation to corporate environments. Arguably Apple might be doing the same thing (unlikely, they haven't shown any inclination to play well with Enterprises in the past) and Google are doing the same (although they seem to be closing their API's for this as well) so maybe it doesn't matter which shade of black we choose for our ID cars.

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Universal Credit: £40 MILLION and counting's been spaffed up the wall on useless IT gear

theblackhand
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It's not that easy...

You have to turn up in an expensive suit for the annual performance review before you can double what you charge.

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How UK air traffic control system was caught asleep on the job

theblackhand
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Coat

Re: Surely...

"Which means looking after its Confidentiality, Integrity and AVAILABILITY"

Or CIA for short....

My coats the one with the roll of tinfoil in the pocket for when I need extra layers on my hat.

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PayPal 13 plead guilty to launching DDoS attacks

theblackhand
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Re: What is the difference (if any) between the following:

Are you sure that a person used to "hacking" with LOIC would be able to manage the complexity of balancing a brick on the F5 key? Wouldn't they just ask for someone else to do it for them?

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Justin Bieber BEGGED for a $200k RIM JOB – and got REJECTED

theblackhand
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So...

Not only could RIM have crashed and burned but they could have had a terrible soundtrack to do it too?

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'Copyrighted' Java APIs deserve same protection as HARRY POTTER, Oracle tells court

theblackhand
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I look forward to...

Oracle disclosing how they valued the API's as part of their acquisition of Sun.

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Microsoft 'cautiously optimistic' about Christmas sales

theblackhand
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Re: Windows 8.1 - you shouldn't have

I'm sure lumps of coal will continue to be more popular than Win8.1 DVD's for Xmas presents....

I suspect all the Win8.1 sales will be via laptop sales (OK, and the 3 people buying PC's...).

Interested to see UK tablet sales figures for the Christmas period - I'm interested to see how the ~£100 tablet market skews overall sales for the more expensive models.

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EMC on XtremIO SSD brickup ballsup: Its LIFETIME downtime is under 3 minutes

theblackhand
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MTBF

Years ago, I looked after a few Sun E4500 that had external disk shelves. We had an almost weekly appointment with Sun engineers to replace failed disks for about 6 months until we finally got someone who knew about this issue and carefully inserted cardboard into the area enclosure. As we watched he looked up and said "the enclosure rattles the disks to death - this fixes it".

So much for MTBF stats....

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Must try HARDER, infosec lads: We're RUBBISH at killing ZOMBIES

theblackhand
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Isn't the problem...

That dealing with the symptoms is illegal (i.e. attempting to clean up or disable infected devices)?

Currently, malicious code is analysed and all potential C'n'C hosts are taken down in some way (blocking routes/DNS/taking down C'n'C servers) but the vulnerability that allowed the devices to become infected remains.

That requires a legal or contractual solution to how infected systems are handled.

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