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* Posts by Roland6

1257 posts • joined 23 Apr 2010

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UK.gov's Open Source switch WON'T get rid of Microsoft, y'know

Roland6
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Re: It's not Open Source it's an open standard @alain williams

I have to agree it does begin to level the playing field and I'm glad the decision has been taken now (ie. in 2014) rather than delayed for a few years. Whilst it will probably make no real difference to current procurements centred on XP refresh, it does give incentive for people to enhance alternative offerings, such as Calligra etc.ready for the Win7 refresh in circa 2019.

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Roland6
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Re: Of course it won't get rid of MS

> I can access documents from 20 years ago today... Readers (even from Microsoft) are free.

Yes, that is possible, but MS don't make it easy to read pre-Office 97 documents; the latest Powerpoint viewer can't open presentations prepared in Office 95 ...

I've found it helpful to maintain a VM of Office 97 on Win98 as this version can read all MS document formats back to Word 2.0 (via the convertors pack) and save them in something that current versions of Office can read - although Office 2003 on XP is needed if you wish to save in ODF using either Sun or SourceForge convertors...

However, I suspect the real issue government has, or rather we will have, is that we need to be able to read electronic documents after 30 plus years when they get released to the public...

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For Lenovo US, 8-inch Windows tablets are DEAD – long live 8-inch Windows tablets

Roland6
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Re: Oh really

>Point is all early versions of products have bugs

The trouble is that MS have been in the Windows tablet game for over a decade now...remember there was tablet version of XP and if memory serves me correctly attempts were made to touch enable earlier versions of Windows.

To me what is even worse, is that the iPad has been around since April 2010 and here we are in 2014 MS and friends are releasing product (ie. the Win8 tablet) that is so obviously inferior to the iPad 1 & 2 and many Android tablets.

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Roland6
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Re: Why would anyone want Windows (especially 8) on a tablet? @Andy Prough

>Maybe to run your productivity programs if you work in an office

Tried using MS Office on an 8" tablet? from your comment, I guess not.

Also, the desktop UI's for SAP and other CRM/ERP/Financial systems that work well on a large screen are useless on a tablet...

Or perhaps what is missing is the special head mounted frame into which we can slot the tablet and so have it 6~8 inches from the eyes - making it equivalent to a desk mounted 20~23 inch screen that is normally viewed from a few feet ...

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IBM's GPFS marries LTFS: You may now kiss the enterprise

Roland6
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Yes depending upon how this scales, it would make a very good HSM attachment to a cloud service - why have all that content eg. 'cat pictures' sitting on low density active storage ie. HDD's and so incuring costs when they could be sitting on passive high densiy storage tape and only incurring costs when accessed.

The only catch I can see is managing the metadata...

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Microsoft: You NEED bad passwords and should re-use them a lot

Roland6
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Re: notebook @AC

>How is a written-down password, securely stored, any different from the tools, stand-alone or in web browsers, which remember your password for you?

Well it depends on how you write stuff down as it could be more secure...

My "little black book" contains the details for each website, with common stuff eg. email address and standard security stuff written in abbreviated form; whereas my digital password locker stores all details in full...

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Roland6
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Re: Disposable passwords for disposable accounts

>In reality, you only really need a 2 tier password system, and re-use should be fine in both.

I think you will find that a 4 tier approach pretty much covers it:

Tier 1: Sites that require "registration"/sales contact details to enable you to get at stuff. These as other have noted should be treated to your junk details.

Tier 2: The majority of the internet, where money isn't involved and it's only the reputation of "wibble wobble" at stake, although you may be exposing some 'personal' information eg. an active email address and your geo location. I suspect that these are the sites that the MS report is mainly referring to.

Tier 3: Work, Shopping (eg. ebay, Amazon) and other sites where either monies or services that directly impact your lifestyle (eg. utilitiy companies) are involved. Hence these sites will contain real and live details about you. These sites really need individual passwords that get changed periodically, however even here a level of themed reuse/overlap isn't totally out of order. These are the important sites that the MS report refers to.

Tier 4: Critical sites: Bank, HMRC, Credit reference/identity protection service.

These sites should only need your email address to send you 'reminders', but do tend to have demanding access criteria using two tier login that may involve bank cards, phone and pin keypads. Because of the demands of these sites, unless they are used alot, people don't tend to remember the access details and so only access them from home or other location where they have all the necessary paraphernalia to hand.

Obviously, it is up to the user to decide which tier to place a site and to determine an appropriate id and password strategy they will adopt for each tier.

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The Windows 8 dilemma: Win 8 or wait for 9?

Roland6
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Re: Windows 7 isn't easy to purchase anymore, if at all.

Sorry, just purchased a brand new system with Win7 Pro included.

I went for Win7, because the user was very familiar with XP. Also the user tends to upgrade s/w and h/w at the same time, so given 5 years on-site support, this machine shouldn't need updating until circa 2019 when Win7 will becoming to the end of its support life-cycle and Win 10 will have been around for a year or so. Plus we can expect the Linux and open source offerings to be much more mature. As for Win8?, well I was tempted but then I thought that I would firstly have to upgrade it to Win 8.1u1 from 8.0/8.1 and then in a few months I would then have to upgrade it to 8.2 or whatever and if 9 is a free give away for those on 8.2 then another pointless use of my time (and waste of client monies) to implement yet another upgrade. At least with Win7 I know all that will be coming down the line from MS are security fixes...

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Roland6
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Re: I tried to like it - but failed

>The App Store is no use on a business machine: you don't want users installing software.

Actually the App Store concept is quite good, only as an Enterprise I would like to be able to reconfigure it to show our app's catalogue (both desktop and modern) that users are permitted to install. Currently this information resides on a webpage on the intranet.

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Roland6
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Re: Long winded search

>I'll admit it's nice to have an actual search box on the Start screen, but purely because the idea of just typing without putting the cursor somewhere does blow some users minds.

I encountered this style of UI back in the 1980's...

We were having problems getting a system to boot and over the phone walked through the start up sequence with the experts who couldn't understand why the system wasn't booting until one said the immortal words "you did type 'GO' ". It then transpired that when the screen went blank we were supposed to type 'G' 'O' <return> ... (NB. note also the use of capitals!)

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Roland6
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Re: What dilemma?

Would tend to agree. The vast majority of enterprise (and government) is either already on 7 or will be in the coming year. It is unlikely that any large company is considering a wholesale refresh particularly since Windows 7 Pro won't go off support until Jan 2020 and because of their volume licensing are not in the market.

If 8.1u2 does arrive and does provide a better desktop experience and slots straight into a Win7 infrastructure then we could expect to see some enterprises also deploying Win8 tablets etc. in response to particular business needs. The worrying thing is that the author of the article states "I work for a large enterprise with thousands of users globally, and for testing purposes, installed the update on a Surface Pro tablet and on a traditional HP desktop." but provides no feedback whatsoever on how Win8 does play in a Win XP/Win7 enterprise.

The question with a release of Win9 rumoured to be pencilled in for April 2015, is whether MS will do to 8 what they did with XP and held of changes for commercial reasons so as to include them in Vista/7 as a means of encouraging sales...

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Microsoft wants to lure biz users with fondleable Windows 8.1 'Apportals'

Roland6
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Not a customised Start screen

"Clicking on the Apportal tile on the Start Screen brings up the Apportal screen, and each Apportal can have multiple, nested screens that users can navigate like folders."

So the only change to the Win8 Start screen is a new App, that just like many other app's is buried somewhere on the start screen, that delivers functionality that probably any third-party like Stardock could of delivered.

As an Enterprise I want to control the Win8 Start screen directly.

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Say goodbye to the noughties: Yesterday’s hi-fi biz is BUSTED, bro

Roland6
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Re: hi-res audio bullshit

>but what makes more difference than everything else put together is the quality of the speakers.

Would have to disagree, particularly if the source is digital; the Digital-to-Analogue-Convertor (DAC) makes a huge difference to the sound (although audiophiles who are good with a soldering iron will also make some other associated component changes to a top end deck, which together take the sound output to another level. But yes having made the effort why would you use cheap speakers...

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Computing student jailed after failing to hand over crypto keys

Roland6
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Re: Are there any defenses to this law?

Interesting, just had a problem with a Thinkpad, it's hard disk failed, discovered that the Thinkpad password vault seems to be invisibly linked to both the HDD and the security chip, loose one and the vault is unreadable unless you happen to have an exported version which in turn is only readable on another Thinkpad ...

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Roland6
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Re: What happened to the right to remain silent? @John G Imrie

>If you don't know who was driving your car when it was speed gunned?

It's going to get interesting if the driverless car ever gets on the road ....

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Your Android phone is a SNITCH: Wi-Fi bug makes you easy to track

Roland6
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Re: 15 words or less

The maximum SSID length is 32 characters - Makes twitter tweets at 140 characters look extravagant!

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Future Apple gumble could lock fanbois out of their own devices

Roland6
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Re: re: modify security settings or other device behavior based on a detected location

>Why would Apple want to include a feature that disabled iPhone owners from taking pictures at a concert?

Apple certainly has made at least one previous patent application in this area, namely: US Patent Application No. 20110128384, that covers a method of disabling video capture in a cell phone or similar device; namely the Apple iPhone. The patented innovation would make it impossible to capture video or pictures at live events where cameras and video recorders are prohibited, such as at live entertainment venues.

So whilst Apple may have technology patents, that some parties may find interesting, they wouldn't be particularly interesting to the general public and so whether Apple would ever implement these features is an open question.

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Roland6
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re: modify security settings or other device behavior based on a detected location

If this works, we can expect Apple to sell this as a feature based on another Apple patent. As it would enable Apple to sell concert organisers a service to disable/degrade the camera etc. of attendee's and so avoid the issues of people taking pictures...

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UK mobile sales in the toilet: Down by FIVE MILLION this year

Roland6
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Re: From the Page household ..

Re: MrsPage has a 2 year old WildfireS. It does all she wants, expect the battery is starting to die a bit, and she'd prefer a bigger screen (as she has vision issues).

Was in similar predicament with a client, due to the improvements we've seen in devices, there is now a growing secondhand market, hence I replaced their Desire with a good condition Samsung Galaxy SII for under £50 and added a quality new battery (£10). The extra screen estate (and responsiveness) helps with the vision and finger issues...

Yes it's not running the latest version of Android, but for those who want a phone with a few extras, the difference isn't significant.

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NHS delivers swift kick to Microsoft's wallet over fee demands

Roland6
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Good defensive negotiating stance by Peter Dyke!

What it seems MS are trying to do is to get NHS healthcare bodies to make purchases now, under current rules before the new rules are finalised. Peter's response is to remind the healthcare bodies that a new agreement (and potentially more favourable?) is being negotiated and will be completed 'soon' and hence hold fire.

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Windows 7, XP and even Vista GAIN market share again

Roland6
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Re: History repeating @Joseph Haig

You're missing that MS got it very wrong after XP, firstly failing to deliver to market - the long pre-announced Longhorn, secondly rushing out Vista in a mistaken attempt to try and salvage something from the annus horribilis they had created for themselves. Windows 7 was effectively a more considered update/rework of Vista in the same vein the rumoured 8.2 release seems to be a more considered update/rework of 8.0/8.1 annus horribilis, so still not wonderful (particularly from an enterprise XP migration viewpoint) - hence why many delayed looking at it until SP1.

So MS's recent history (ie. since XP-SP2) is one of repeatedly getting it wrong, so with respect to Windows 9, I'll wait until it has been launched and I can actually touch it before I pass any judgement on whether it might be fit for purpose. But given the rumours are that Windows 9 will be a ground-up rewrite taking account of cloud et al. the odds of it being another Longhorn are looking good...

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Microsoft joins Qualcomm's gang in Internet of Stuff standards fight

Roland6
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Re: If were going to have a standard

I think you meant "Open Standard", a subtle but important difference...

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Redmond's EMET defense tool disabled by exploit torpedo

Roland6
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Re: EMET needs to be downloaded and activated for each application?

Yes, in exactly the same way as your HIBS firewall and security suite downloads profiles for applications and websites.

However, outside of the few applications supported out of the box, EMET does require the user to add an application, explicitly create rules and enable rather than doing all this in background automatically.

What is odd is that EMET doesn't seem to be protected against being disabled - my security suite requires a password if I wish to do anything with it.

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Windows Server 2003 end of life: Plan your WS2012 migration now

Roland6
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Re: ouch

>I have a customer I have recently quoted to do a near direct like for like replacement for their SBS 2003, eg, OS 12r2, Exchange 2013, SQL 2014 (not express).

Personally, I would do one of the following:

1. Upgrade them to the last version of SBS ie. SBS 2011 - licenses are still available via the channel as this nicely simplifies the licencing issues.

2. Upgrade them to Office 365 et al.

3. Investigate one of the Linux based distributions that are intended as replacements for SBS.

My preference is to go with option 1 and investigate 3 for the next replacement in circa 2018.

I suspect Trevor Potts will have something to say on this.

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Microsoft's Online Exchange fixed after going titsup for NINE HOURS

Roland6
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Re: Remind me, why should I move from an on premesis solution to a more expensive cloud offering?

So that when the service fails, you can take comfort in knowing that it isn't just you who is unable to do anything and your best bet is to head off to the nearest bar or golf course and join them...

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Broadband bumpkin BONANZA: 8 altnets shortlisted for £10m UK.gov subsidy

Roland6
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Re: Hard-to-reach?

> BT gets sued for anti-competitive behaviour because how could anyone compete with an incumbent selling below cost?

I suspect that this is one of the reasons why the preference for these area's seems to be for some form of co-operative using a social investment model. The shame is that the government could of used this for the entire BDUK project...

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Cisco pitches small cells into BYOD-heavy enterprises

Roland6
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Re: I smell Fail!

Many larger companies will already have dedicated lines linking their preferred mobile operator to their PBX, so for these this solution would seem to permit greater utilisation of these lines. Additionally, it means that pure mobile traffic can be kept off the WiFi/LAN and hence simplify security - an important consideration in some companies...

The commercial problem that Cisco are addressing with this proposition, in the UK and probably elsewhere, are the legal restrictions around selling 2G/3G/4G equipment that utilities licensed frequencies directly to end users. Hence they need to sell to the operators/carriers and so become their preferred supplier for this equipment. The technical problem they are addressing is that many enterprise WiFi deployments aren't really suitable for large scale deployments of voice and the handover of calls between networks is problematic and will become more of an issue if 4G mobile phone manufacturers omit the WiFi circuitry.

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When will Microsoft next run out of US IPv4 addresses for Azure?

Roland6
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Re: Confused about IPv6 vs. NAT. @cynicalcsyan

Re: NAT and PAT

One of the advantages of the way NAT and PAT are implemented in many ADSL routers is that the PAT is dynamic, making it very difficult to effect an inbound connection to any system on my network unless an inbound translation rule for that specific system has been explicitly set up. I'm not sure how IPv6 can improve on this out-of-the-box security.

Obviously when dealing with enterprises and datacentre's things aren't so simple.

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Roland6
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Re: Confused about IPv6 vs. NAT.

>Most of them are doing. Either a /48 or a /56.

From other forums some ISP's are allocating a /64 for residential usage.

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Roland6
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>Azure is dependent upon IPv4 addresses for external facing

Bad thought! This is Microsoft we are talking about who are known to do strange things, one of the few that could force IPv6 usage - eg. ship Windows 8.2 with only an IPv6 stack... But given that Google are getting into infrastructure they may get there first.

Remember the problem isn't so much with the number of servers but the number of end user systems/clients.

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Roland6
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Three mobile broadband seem to also do it, which creates much fun - for a period recently all the ad's were in Spanish...

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Roland6
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>>and how Redmond let itself run out of IPv4 addresses.

Well we shouldn't forget Microsoft (like many others) were late to the party so missed out on a free /8 or two allocation. Also MS haven't exactly acquired companies with large allocations in the same way HP have.

What this announcement tells me is that cloud infrastructure is such that there are design and operational reasons why NAT can't be used to any great extent.

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CIA rendition jet was waiting in Europe to SNATCH SNOWDEN

Roland6
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Re: Mark Butler Airspace classes

>Well, I was specifically referring to the Scottish ... portion

You might be getting ahead of yourself, the Scottish independence vote isn't for a few months yet... :)

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Roland6
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Re: Roland6 Why wasn't the plane investigated or shot out of the sky?

Whilst you are absolutely correct, this is an opportunity to further stir the pot and increase the heat on politicians who at the end of the day tacitly approved the over flight...

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Roland6
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Why wasn't the plane investigated or shot out of the sky?

What is missing from this piece is that here we have an aircraft that has not announced it's presence to air traffic control and hence too all intents and purpose is up to no good and there is no mention of it either receiving a visit from the RAF or simply just have a missile tossed at it (sorry didn't you know we were conducting a military exercise over the north sea...). Hence we conclude either the UK government knew about it or they have turned off our military radar systems to save money...

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Ireland accused of giving Apple 'selective advantage'

Roland6
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Re: US taxation

Irony Deficient, agree, just that it seems that a company can keep monies abroad - like Apple has done with respect to Ireland, and not incur US tax on that money (whilst it remains outside of the US), whilst (my understanding is) an individual would have to pay tax. Perhaps someone who pays US tax could enlighten us.

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Roland6
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Re: The smear is obviously working

The odd thing about US company taxation is that it seems to be different to US citizens. While US citizens are taxed by the IRS on their worldwide earnings, US companies are seemingly only taxed by the IRS on their US earnings.

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LEAKED: Redmond not allowed to sell 'Nokia' smartphones after 2015

Roland6
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Obviously didn't pay attention

MS's use of the 'nokia' brand name for two years was part of the original MS Nokia deal. I seem to remember reading on El Reg...

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Greenpeace rejoices after getting huge renewable powerplant CANCELLED

Roland6
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Re: If you want to save the rainforests and jungles...

>bunny rabbits exploding

It was Vietnam so it's more likely to be pigs than rabbits...

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IPv4 addresses now EXHAUSTED in Latin America and the Caribbean

Roland6
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Re: "The infrastructure needs to be in place first. "

>That could easily be IPv6 with RFC7040 translation

Shame RFC 7040 "Public 4over6" was only published in November 2013 and "Lightweight 4over6" is still work in progress. Rfc7040 was needed back in circa 2000 when the 3g networks were being designed...

Do we conclude that the IETF are finally beginning to listen? and hence in a few more years they may actually develop a workable migration plan?

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Roland6
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Re: Wasted IP ranges

It shouldn't be forgotten that IANA are still holding on to the [240/8..255/8] address ranges for "future use".

Whilst the [224/8..239/8] is largely free, because it is reserved for multicast, bringing this block into general use may be problematic and is likely to cause problems.

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Roland6
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Re: Wasted IP ranges

>but the real question is : who really owns IP addresses?

This is a question that has been dug over for some years, current thinking and practise is that if the address range was assigned prior to the establishment of ARIN to an organisation then it is owned by assignee.About the only leverage ARIN have over these addresses is the annual maintenance fee they charge.

However, addresses assigned by ARIN are more like telephone numbers.

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Google calls on carriers to craft IoT plans

Roland6
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Re: Not a suitable model...

@Phil O'Sophical - "if some cheap plan that allowed a few KB of data per day for pennies were available"

At least one UK MVNO offers SIMs and plans targeted at the M2M/low data market. The catch is that the plans do seem expensive, until you factor in what Beentheredonethat is saying about the underlying costs of service provision.

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DOCX disaster recovery: How I rescued my wife from XM-HELL

Roland6
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Re: xmllint is pretty good for finding broken xml...

>but I think the real lesson here is "get a copy of xmllint".

If Trevor hasn't deleted all the corrupted versions of the document, it would be interesting to see what assistance xmllint provides in resolving the problem.

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Roland6
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Re: Open documents

Whilst many people in IT who had experience of early versions of Windows - remember the celebrations when Windows was able to run for 30 days without falling over or requiring a reboot? would also be wary of having something open for a long period of time, it is something I expect we will see more of.

With Word et al doing auto-saves every so often (and Windows requiring fewer reboots) and devices that are effectively always on many normal people will walk away from their systems, leaving things running, expecting to return and resume where they left off. I expect the sort of problem Trevor is alluding to, becoming a more frequent occurrence.

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New Apple iOS to help fanbois thwart Wi-Fi network spies

Roland6
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Re: There are already...

> building an easy VPN configuration system into their routers for home use

??? No need far simpler to provide it as a standard part of the iCloud service offering.

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Roland6
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Re: Apple copying again! - Android's Pry-Fi

Fundamentally, what this is largely about is the insecure way the WiFi service has been implemented on various devices. There is no real reason why a device should be transmitting anything when it should only be passively listening...

But that isn't to say that utilities like Pry-Fi don't contain some very useful camouflage.

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Roland6
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Re: @adnim, @DougS - Nice, but ...

Well very few services actually use a device's MAC address, however, there is no real reason why a device couldn't use a different MAC address for each WiFi network SSID it attaches to, other than it would complicate the client's driver and network connection manager. Where credentials are linked to a MAC address (eg. network with MAC address filtering) then you simply use a pre-assigned MAC address for that network.

But agree, given that the majority of public hotspots are effectively a single AP, roaming is generally not going to be an issue, but as you indicate a simple user selectable on/off option could be useful as could the option to use a different MAC address on different visits.

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Roland6
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Re: MAC collisions are not an issue

RFC's (and IP) have practically nothing to do with it. This is wholly within the IEEE 802 domain - from memory can't see how this contravenes any of the 802 Standards, albeit it is using the software address capabilities of 802 MAC in a way not originally envisaged.

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Everyone can and should learn to code? RUBBISH, says Torvalds

Roland6
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Re: Depends what you mean by 'code' @Chris Miller

Scratch (http://scratch.mit.edu/about/ ) is probably the best starting point for everyone; Python, Basic etc. really are only suitable for those who show aptitude.

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