1090 posts • joined 22 May 2007
I think part of the problem is that everyone lobbies, so they effectively cancel each other out. It also forces everyone to lobby. If you wanted to get rid of lobby groups, you would have to lobby the government for it.
It brings to mind something I was told about tobacco companies. Apparently, they were glad when they were banned from advertising. Adverts hadn't been bringing in that many new smokers (that was mainly peer pressure behind the bike sheds), but because all their competitors were advertising, they had to or loose customers to other brands. Banning advertising barely affected their sales, but hugely reduced their expenses, leading to much greater profits.
The same would be true if lobbying was stopped. Companies would save a lot of money, but the overall effect would probably be the same.
If I understand it (agreed about the lawyerspeak!), he is saying the law required them to investigate but, given the evidence they found, the law required them not to proceed.
Although I hope I am wrong, I am starting to think that the Play store Nexus 4's were no more than a marketing gimmick. They got everyone talking about how amazing the phone is for that price. However, it could be that the it is heavily subsidised by Google for this, and stock limitations are intentional (so Google don't have to subsidise so many). In the mean time, to get one you have to pay at least £100 more in normal stores, put it into the price bracket of several similar (or better) phones.
I really hope I'm wrong, because I want one. I have some moneys put aside earmarked for this phone when it becomes available again. I'm not going to hold my breath, though...
Re: A bit ironic, really.
"It's got a single button... that's very difficult... to turn it on"
Sounds like the missus!
You produce software A, and expose features which are used by software B.
You make a change to A which stops B from working*.
There is a bug in A, not B. You need to fix it.
*Obviously, this does not include features which have been deprecated and scheduled for removal.
"Hybrids may become known as SSHDs"
I hope not. It will always be secure shell daemon to me.
"the chap from Google got up and bluntly said it was his duty to find as many legal ways of paying less tax - if the government want it to stop, they have to tidy up the legislation."
This is true. A company has a legal duty to it's shareholders to return as much value to them as possible. Normally*, this includes paying as little tax as is legally possible. They are not only not breaking the law, but doing their legal duty by finding as many loopholes as possible.
The only way to stop this is to close the loopholes.
* I say normally to take into account the Starbucks situation. If the company starts to loose sales because of their tax arrangements, they will do something about it. In that case, paying more tax is returning more value to their shareholders.
Re: No time to refactor
"it's very often a bad idea. Any change to working software introduces risk., and this risk is magnified by well-meaning attempts to clean up bad and incomprehensible code. This is also a good reason why quick-and-dirty patches aren't revisited."
^^ This. Over and over and over.
As a very simple example, I needed to add some additional checks to a very old bash script. Now this script was written as a quick hacked together job by someone who used to work for the company. He left many years before I came along, and the "code" has been modified by so many people, with such varying backgrounds and styles, and copied to do similar jobs slightly differently... Well, as you can imagine it's more of a mess than a spaghetti factory after an explosion.
Anyway, I thought it would be a good idea to tidy it up "while I'm in there". This was a bad idea. So many obscure utilities were being used, exploiting "undocumented features" in them, that we very nearly lost a weeks worth of data (luckily I had added the additional checks first, which caught the mistake).
As for "time for refactoring"... I have been pushing for this for 5 years now. According to my bosses it's not necessary. When I tried to make time in between jobs to do it, I got a bollocking for wasting time. These scripts fail every few months and take a few hours to clean up after and get going again, delaying other departments in the process, but spending a day rewriting them is a "waste of time". I've given up, and managed to push the "clean up" responsibilities onto someone else (sucker.
And this is just a tiny set of bash scripts.
Re: Biased article
I agree that it is annoying to have to pay for a voice line that you don't use.
However, that's not necessarily what you are paying for. AFAIK line rental is for use of the copper pair. You use the copper pair for broadband, hence the line rental.
Now, you may argue that they could provide the copper pair without voice equipment attached. Hiowever, I doubt that would reduce the costs associated with it.
From what I have read (I may be wrong here) FTTP is provided without that copper pair, and voice is provided by a VoIP adapter at the premises. However, you will probably still pay a line rental to rent the fibre, and again the savings from omitting the voice element are probably negligible.
Re: Technic LEGO for 21st Century..
Please give the designs and software to LEGO so they can
mass-produce it :D over-charge for it :(
(Seriously, I never realised how damn expensive Lego is. Had loads of it as a kid, but recently bought some as a pressie for my fiancée's cousin and could not believe how much they are charging for even the simplest of kits!)
Re: So, this tool is not for cracking but for sniffing
I would not recommend sniffing my crack.
"Here we again see the problem of opensource, it make it easy to break into. When will he learn?"
I can't decide whether you are joking or not. I really hope you are...
"So what happens if I set up a domain controller on eg Server 2K8, add in a bunch of other domain controllers using Samba 4, then remove the original Server 2K8 machine? Does it still work?"
AFAIK, it would continue working, in just the same way as if you had added a load of 2K8 DCs then removed the original. Someone else can probably confirm this.
"More importantly, if you're only using AD for authentication - what happens when it comes to CALs if you're using an AD running exclusively on Samba4 installs on non-Windows boxes? I suspect Microsoft's stance will be that you still need CALs on either a per-user or per-machine basis, but it's an interesting question to ask..."
I'm not sure which way round you are talking here.
If you mean a Windows server with Samba clients, I believe you still need CALs.
If you mean a Samba server with Windows clients, you don't.
Re: only makes sense for expensive unix consultants
"Good UNIX/Linux admins can cost 2 to 3 times per hour what a Windows admin costs."
Also, good Windows admins cost 2-3 times what a normal Windows admin costs.
You are paying for ability. Most Windows admins (in my experience) are terrible. Don't get me wrong, there are many good ones out there, but the ones who get paid as little as you are talking about... It's for a good reason.
Even putting this aside, you do not need a team of Unix admins to run Samba 4 as AD controllers full time. You need someone to set up the server, and someone (or a support contract) to support it long term. Othere than that, Windows admins could easily still be used to administer the system from day to day, because standard AD admin tools on Windows can still be used.
Re: What a waste of time
"AD server - install, add user + computer accounts, and it "just works" (with apologies to the Jobs-ites). Ok, I do see where if you're in a single small/home office, saving the OMG $500 on an unsupported solution might seem to stack up financially, or if you have expensive Unix gurus on tap who can get all low-level with their troubleshooting and fault-fixing."
You obviously haven't seen recent Linux server variants, or even read the article very well.
Recent Linux server variants can be installed in such a way that they are just as easy to administer as Windows servers.OK, they are different, but some are now at the level where you don't need "expensive Unix gurus on tap" any more than you need expensive Windows gurus on tap. Sure, the gurus would be able to do a better job of fine tuning the environment, but it isn't 100% necessary. Just as a Windows guru (not the normal bods most companies have in their IT depts, from what I have seen) could set up your Windows servers much better.
Once installed, you never (or at least rarely) need to touch the *nix box again. All the standard AD management tools will work straight from Windows. So management is just as easy as with Windows.
There is one other good thing about the Samba4 release, which I will be taking up with my colleagues at some point in the new year: It becomes a second supplier. I will be suggesting we install a couple of Samba4 DCs alongside our existing Windows DCs. This gives several advantages, the biggest being that if, say, an update is applied to the Windows boxes which knocks them out, the Samba boxes will provide continuity of service until the Windows boxes are back up and running. I don't think you can put a price on that in an enterprise environment. Also, if MS increased the license costs to an unaffordable level, or dropped support for the version of server we are using at a time when upgrading was not feasible, or any of a number of situations which could arise, continuity of service is maintained.
For myself, the main reason I am pleased with this is that I can set up an AD controller at home. Looking forward to the simplified administration and extra funtionality I will gain from that!
Re: No good deed...
"But he didn't keep logs, which is bordering on destruction of evidence in a child porn case."
Tor is provided as an anonymising service. It is used by many people, often for perfectly legitimate purposes, not just paedophiles. He cannot trace where the traffic comes from (a feature of Tor, the data is bounced around the network in such a way that you can't trace it, until it pops out of en exit node). And he would not want to. He has no legal obligation to, and the whole point of Tor is to avoid tracking. Nobody would use it if everything was logged, because it defeats the point of it.
"A point worth noting is that he is being investigated, he is not being punished. At least, not yet."
This depends on your definition of punishment.
If the cops came to your house, took away all your computers, mobile phones etc, some of which may be part of your business, this could easily be thought of as a punishment.
For example, for myself, it would have a big impact on my life. I only use my mobile phone, so I would loose contact with a lot of people. My computers contain a large amount of my personal data, projects, photos, and many other things. There would be a huge inconvenience, and at this point I would already consider it a punishment.
Then there's my work's laptop. Although all my data is backed up at work, there would be a lot of work to set me up a new workstation. There is also the damage to reputation: In this case, I would likely have to explain to my bosses why the laptop had been seized. if it is on suspicion of child porn, imagine what my bosses would think! Do you really think there would be no impact? I could easily see being suspended from work, and irreparable damage being done to my reputation, even if cleared later.
If you run a computer based business, it would be even worse. Even a few months of investigation could bankrupt a small business. The destruction of a business that someone has worked hard to build, ploughed large amounts of money and time into, is definitely a punishment.
I'm sorry, but I do think that even this "investigation" step is punishment. It may be necessary, but it's still punishment.
Re: Reminds me of a few years back..
"A subscription warez service? I doubt it. One of the points of warez is that it is software that you are not prepared to pay money for, and so I doubt how successful such an enterprise would be."
Actually, I remember lots of subscription warez services from that era. You tended to get faster connections, larger collections of software, quicker access to newer releases and a single place to look. The subscriptions were small, and if you were after high value software (e.g. professional stuff costing thousands) it was well worth it. Plus, you got less malware in the subscription services.
Re: No good deed...
Not knowing exactly what you do for a living, I can't be sure of an example which fits. A reasonable guess, as you are on this site, would be an IT admin.
Say a colleague, or a friend, brought you a laptop in and asked you to fix it for him. You do so as a favour. A couple of months later you find that he has been arrested for making and distributing kiddie porn, and a big chunk has been done using the laptop you fixed, since you fixed it.
So, you did a good deed by fixing his laptop, but you helped a child abuser. It was still a good deed.
The same applies to this guy. He set up a Tor exit node, donating his bandwidth and system resources to the general public. This is a good deed. The fact that the service is used by child abusers doesn't make it any less of a good deed.
No good deed...
... goes unpunished.
Although it would be easy to say that it's his own fault for running something which can be abused, I find it difficult to do so.
He was providing his own resources for the benefit of others. Of course there is the potential for abuse, but it is a sad state of affairs when he is punished for doing a good deed. I have heard of other cases which have had similar effects, e.g. people hosting public Wi-Fi APs etc. being collared when it was someone abusing their generosity. Hell, our office has locked down our "visitors" Wi-Fi network because someone was bringing their laptop in and downloading torrents, which almost caused the entire companies internet access to be cut off.
It reminds me of a school friend's hippie mother. She tried to help people out wherever she could. At one point, she started allowing (through a charity) homeless people to stay at her house. She had a spare room, and they would stay for a few days, get hot meals, showers and a nice warm place to sleep for a few days. She got nothing back except the knowledge that she had helped someone in need.
This all stopped after one person abused the system. Someone who she had been so kind to robbed the house (and the insurance wouldn't cover it).
It is abuses like this which stop people from helping. It makes the whole world worse off. If I was this guy, I'd be very reluctant to run a Tor exit node again, and the story will likely put others off from doing the same. It makes me sad (although the cynic in me knows that this is just how the world works, I always try to listen to the ever-diminishing voice of my inner optimist)
I did some work experience in an R&D fab developing gallium arsenide components a few years back (well, about 13 to be precise) and the cost of a raw wafer was a LOT more than 10x that of silicon. So we've come a long way already. If it starts to be used, costs will come down.
Interestingly, they told me back then that there was research going on to try to grow GaAs transistors on a silicon wafer. I guess they never got it to work well enough, but it was a very interesting process (involving depositing many layers of different compounds on the silicon wafer to match the crystal structures).
Re: Using a tablet to get away from AV software?
"We have several tablets around the house, but we all have the common sense to realise that they're the least-secure bits of computing kit we own."
To a point I agree.
I treat phones and tablets on my home network as potentially dangerous. However, I do the same with all machines. Even a Linux box could be infected with malware, or machines could be hacked, or any number of possibilities. As an old colleague used to say, "The only real security is a 6-inch air gap". Although this is a little outdated due to the prevalence of wireless networks, the principal holds: The only way to ensure a computer is not vulnerable is to have no network attached (and no physical access either, really). Beyond that, you are taking a chance, no matter what security methods you employ.
Even on a Windows PC, the best security method is user vigilance. This applies even more so to Android. When you install an app, ensure it is coming from a trusted source, and study the permissions it requests. Keep an eye on what your phone is doing, periodically clear out unused apps, and never grant root access to any app you are not sure about.
I don't use a "virus scanner" on my Android devices, but I keep them under a great amount of control. I take the risk of my device being compromised, but I don't keep any sensitive info on it, and I accept the risk. Just as I used to do with my Windows PC when I had complete control over it and resources were stretched by virus scanners.
Of course, not everyone thinks about security when they get an email containing "The most realistic fart app yet!"
Re: I believe RIM is toast
I have to agree here. BB's main selling point has always been messaging. If they developed apps for other devices, they would open up their market and bring in a lot of new customers.
That's very, very sexist!
Re: Anyone else
I agree that Judge Koh seems to be complaining about having to do her job, but then I doubt she ever expected her job to involve what amounts to being a kindergarten teacher.
In her place, I would refer them both to the reply given in the case of Arkell v. Pressdram.
Was there a cat on the keyboard?
Maybe, and it may be dead. We'll have to have a look...
Re: About bloody time!
"They could have build a dozen of these... and had them wandering all over Mars by now"
I have been wondering why, now they have a "proven" platform like Curiosity, they don't build a few of them and send them all at once. It would work out much cheaper on a per-rover basis, and they could land them individually at different points around Mars.
There are probably good reasons why they don't (probably involving money) but it would seem to be the most efficient way to get a load of them out there, and a more efficient use of time as well.
Re: we need to find water
The chances of anything coming from Mars are a million to one, he said.
Re: "...and not have to worry about an unproven design as a side benefit."
"Try imagining it as a BOFH episode..."
So, when the project managers try to "tweak the proven design just a little bit here and just a little bit there" they will be trapped in the server room while the halon system goes off, bundled up in an old roll of carpet and never seen again?
Re: This is victim blaming!
"Er . . . we DO tell people not to enter other people's houses and take their stuff, don't we?"
That's my point. Even though people are told not to do something, doesn't mean nobody will. So we lock our doors.
Just as we tell people not to hack into another person's accounts, but we should still use strong passwords.
Re: This is victim blaming!
Yeah, and instead of telling people to lock their doors, you should tell people not to enter other people's houses and take their stuff!
Re: Who watches...
"as she might have been using the government network for private activities"
Surely, our elected officials would never be allowed to abuse government systems with personal use?
Re: If all else fails, there's always computing
"Some of those arts graduates made a success of their computing careers and the rest became IT managers."
New keyboard time!
Re: Ability to learn new stuff
I have to agree.
In my current job (involving admin and some development using fairly proprietary systems) I would not have got the job based purely on the interview and my CV (one of the guys who interviewed me told me this later). What made the difference was the "tour" afterwards. As we wandered around the offices, I discussed the systems and architectures involved. I asked questions, offered possible solutions to problems they were experiencing, and was generally enthusiastic about the role. My enthusiasm and obvious willingness to learn elevated me above the other candidates.
My problem now is that, in many cases, I *don't* know the "textbook" solutions. I have had very little formal training in computers, and have learned most of what I know by doing it. I know that what I do isn't the "right" way much of the time, even though I don't actually know the "right" way, but it works, but at least my methods make me very adaptable to new situations.
Re: Oh FFS
"the problem we're seeing now is exemplified by the tweeting twit, Sally Bercow: things that are mentioned as one might down the pub with your mates - possibly after a drink or two - with no thought about exactly what you're saying and to whom."
This is what I think, too.
Yes, current rules should apply to the internet. But the problem is that there are a large number of people who do not think correctly about their actions.
I often quote a simple analogy. When using Facebook*, you are with a group of friends. Your posts and comments are like a chat with them over a beer in the local pub, or in your living room over a cup of tea. However, using Twitter is like standing on the table in the local pub, or hanging out of your window, or walking down a busy street, and shouting out what you say for all the world to hear.
So, while you may have discussions in the pub about controversial subjects, you would not run down the street shouting about how a random person was a paedo (at least not when your mental age passes 12). Think in that manner and you will be fine.
*I do mean using Facebook as an individual and as it was intended, not through a group page or, of course, if you randomly add random strangers as "friends" without appropriate privacy controls in place.
Re: To Mars !!!
"They could at least import chickens..."
Nah, you don't want to do that.
"Secondly, the "£25" computer is a myth. You have to buy cases, SD cards, highly-regulated power supplies, plus something for it to plug into (like a monitor for a start). PER DEVICE."
I call bollocks!
I have to agree with many of the comments made in the article and in these comments that the Pi can't really be a "mainstream" computing teaching tool. It can't replace the PCs used for teaching IT or using computers for other subjects. It is a fairly specialised item. But it does not need additional monitor/keyboard/mouse to plug in to. For the specialised use it is put to, set of extra cables could be used to plug in to from a PC (maybe a KVM switch) which would be useful for other purposes anyway. It can also plug up to old TVs. It doesn't need "highly-regulated power supplies", a cheap phone charger will do. For some purposes, you can even (just) run it off the USB port of a PC (I know, I have done it myself). One of those dual USB leads also works well. For it's intended purpose, it doesn't even need a case. All you really need is an SD card, adding maybe £5 to the cost of the device.
I can only see it being practical for teaching small groups of the most enthusiastic and/or able students. Most won't be interested or capable of learning programming, but (from my own experience) maybe 5 out of a class of 30 would. This would leave a great opportunity for that top tier to learn. They can each bring in their own SD card, containing their own work. They can learn to program, build hardware, or hack at the kernel. All is done on their own SD card, so a mistake doesn't break the whole machine.
The only reason that the Pi's costs skyrocket in school environments is that they want to use them as computers. That's not a practical use for them (in schools). Leave them as bare boards, allow the (selected) kids access to electronic components and prototyping boards, and guide them in developing their skills.
Of course, this would need real IT teachers, not those who just know how to adjust the font size in MS Word and struggle to even print the document when they are done.
Reminds me of several other industries out there which are currently being dragged kicking and screaming out of the 20th century.
"The WD Black 4TB GB hard drives, with capacities ranging from 500G to 4TB"
I'd be a bit miffed if I ordered a WD Black 4TB and it had a capacity of 500GB! Are they saying it's "up to" 4TB?
Re: It's life, we're not that special...
"stop fighting over the blue and the red hats"
Yeah, they were supposed to be green!
Re: SIXTEEN GIG!!!!!!!
Seriously, that's ridiculous! I thought Win7x64 was bad, but this must be at least a 50% increase! This when my Linux 64-bit install with 3 desktop environments and all the applications I need take up the sum total of... 6GB!
Re: reading ability
"My 16gb iPad 2 has 13.8gb available"
That's the sort of figure I would expect. I believe my Atrix, advertised as 16GB, has about 12GB available. Similarly my cheap Android tab advertised as 8GB had 6GB available. A few GB is expected. 16GB is not.
I have to agree with you here. Normal smartphones and tablets use a few gig, at most, for OS, bundled apps and any segregated application storage. This is the market we should be comparing with for the Surface, not the space taken by a full windows install on a PC. Even so, you can (just about) accept 20GB taken by the OS on a PC with 500GB+ storage.
I'd say they have gone over the line of what's reasonably expected for a tablet, and it should be made clearer.
I'm still sulking coz you thought "Binary Response at Altitude" was unsuitable, so no vote from me.
Re: Just an excuse for more Google lock-in
"there aren't Samsung fanboys, just as there aren't Dell fanboys. There are Android fanboys, but they are fickle, and have no reason to choose Samsung for their next phone just because they did with their last one."
I agree to a point, but I believe this is a good thing in the mobile phone market.
It gives consumers choice and it forces handset manufacturers to innovate. They must find ways to differentiate their phones from the crowd. Apple, for instance, don't need to do this. There is only one phone, and those with iPhones often look at nothing else. Fandroids have a plethora of options, so the mfrs need to find a way to get their attention (and cash) rather than it going to a competitor.
Personally, I would like to see Google go further and ban mfrs from forcing their Android overlays on people. Make them have an option to remove it. This would lead to better compatibility overall, as all core functionality would need to be accessible to pure Android, and the overlays wouldn't be much more than apps.
For myself, I am actually a Motorola fandroid. I have only had Moto phones since I started down the Android route. I **HATE** Motoblur, and immediately install a new ROM when I get a new phone, but I like Moto's hardware and look at their kit first.
This doesn't mean I don't look elsewhere, but each time Moto has been my choice. But the Nexus 4 is tempting me at the moment, though. I can't really justify it (My Atrix is still prefectly fine and only a year old), but that would be my choice if I was buying today.
Re: RAM issue? Not exactly, nor CPU.
"All phones of XYZ minimum specs (mostly CPU & RAM defined) must have an official upgrade available for users to install that will update the device to the new OS version within three (3) months of the version's official release date OR ALL RELEVANT DEVELOPMENT MATERIALS MADE AVAILABLE FOR THE COMMUNITY TO DEVELOP THE UPGRADE." (or words to that effect).
Handset manufacturers will not accept being forced to upgrade their 3-year-old handsets, especially if it requires significant development effort. However, the developer community puts in huge amounts of effort to back fit ROMs to older devices. These are often very successful, in spite of having to work around gaps.
If the mfrs were forced to release source and specific components (where they are not allowed to release source) to the community to aid them in porting new versions, things would happen faster and the ROMs would be more stable and feature-complete. Minimal effort is required from the mfrs and they may accept this as a compomise.
Either that, or make them develop the underlying parts which are specific to the device to allow generic upgrades direct from Google. This would, however, require work on Googles part to ensure the upgrade will not break things.
Re: Watered down?
"Given how utterly rubbish the prequels were, they really can't do any worse"
I think they can. I hope they don't, but they definitely can do worse
Re: Might be overkill
If they manage to do justice to the Star Wars "franchise", even "too many" films will be acceptable. Somehow I doubt it, but I have been wrong before (just look at how much better Red Dwarf X is than the last couple of series before it).
To me, the only passable Star Wars since the original trilogy has been Revenge of the Sith, and even that should have been much darker. If they continue in the style of E1-3 (which is my expectation), they will permanently ruin Star Wars. If they can dispense with the funny characters and mainstreamisation (which I doubt, as it's Disney) they will be on to a winner.
Re: Glass houses
'I'm sorry, it often "not legally permitted or authorised"s the reply, does it?'
Love it! Take note: when being pedantic, insure* you have made no mistakes yourself.
* Left in place for my own amusement, as it is sure to illicit* a reaction or two.
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