* Posts by Trevor_Pott

5219 posts • joined 31 May 2010

Armouring up online: Duncan Campbell's chief techie talks crypto with El Reg

Trevor_Pott
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Re: Why? Because you trust your government?

"if I told all my friends they have to learn and implement PGP if they want to email me the latest joke or get my latest musings about where to go for dinner, I'm pretty sure my mailbox will be suddenly barren"

You say that like it's a bad thing.

"As for data encryption, well I don't see that my personal data is worth it."

But each person places a different value on their data. Also: you're presuming in this statement that "the man" isn't simply on a fishing expedition looking for reasons to throw people into the fire.

As Cardinal Richelieu said: “give me six lines written by the hand of the most honest man, and I’ll find something in them to hang him by.”

Better safe than sorry, mate.

"I have firewalls and AV that have protected it up to now, if The Man wants to see it, not much I'll do will keep him from it for long."

That's a completely wrongheaded approach to this problem. You are absolutely correct in that you have no ability to keep a dedicated state-level actor out of your data. At the end of the day they can deploy physical assets to tap your data and at that point you're right fucked.

But the point here isn't to prevent the MIB from sneaking into your house while you're out. It's to raise the cost of fishing expeditions and automated searches for dissidence so high that they become non-feasible for state-level actors to engage in. Or, at least, that they go burn some other witch instead of you.

You're not going to stop 007. But you might stop the local council from abusing their access to meta-ECHELON and using the fact that you put out one too many bags of garbage to hit you up with a fine.

Or maybe you engaged in some "extreme" rumpy pumpy in front of a window with the blinds open. It's bad enough the local puritans in power could probably throw you in the brig for a lifetime. Why give them the power to slap you with an "internet pedo child molester" lifetime tatoo because you also happened to be streaming it to likeminded folks elsewhere?

I've accidentally been e-mailed XLS dumps containing the entire customer records database for a company, including tens of thousands of credit card numbers*. In how many jurisdictions could I be burned as the witch simply for being the recipient? I can think of three off the top of my head, and that's three too many!

By raising the bar for automated snooping by state actors I am raising the cost of automated witch hunts. As someone who qualifies as a witch to oh, so many groups, I'm very interested in keeping their costs as high as humanly possible.

*fortunately I was the only one who got this mail, and it never left the corporate firewall so we were able to deal with it internally, but still...

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: a nice try....

"It's massive overkill in almost any situation other than trying to protect the operations in your world-conquering volcanic lair."

Why? Because you trust your government? Because you honestly believe you're above suspicion?

Why should we share your level of naivete?

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Security SEE-SAW: $3 MEEELLION needed to fight a $100k hack

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Re: Not Surprising.

There are really two schools of thought on this.

The first is that a highly mobile attacker can harry the hillsides and strike at weak points, drawing gout the limited manpower that an entrenched static defended can spare and whitting them down over time through ambushes. The mobile attacker sets the tone of the engagement and chooses the time and place.

A well prepared defender, however, can whether a siege for years. By being static they can bring to bear far heavier and more powerful weaponry, making even approaching the fortress spectacularly costly. A well prepared defender has either alternative (underground) routes of ingress/egress and thus can bring in supplies to weather the siege or they have internal generation capacity that means so long as the attackers can be held at bay, they can live there indefinitely.

A mobile attack force has easy access to it's own supply lines easily, and could theoretically discover the emergency routes for the static defender. But the mobile force is vulnerable to cavalry sent out by the static defender to harry them behind their lines.

War is not so simple as to boil it down to "a mobile force will always beat a static defender." Ask the Germans in WWII what they thought of the British 17 pounder anti-tank installations!

War is a game of knowing your enemy, and customizing your tactics to suit. The side with the best intelligence wins. If I am defending a great big fat target I have two options: try to hit the attackers way before they get within firing range or try to make it so costly to get within firing range that they wouldn't dare try.

The first approach requires me to know how many of the attackers there are, what they're equipped with, where they are and where they are going. That's four points of data needed to successfully find and kill an attacker using a mobile force.

The second approach requires me only to know two things: how far can they shoot and how hard do those shots hit? If I know that then I can design my static defenses to shoot farther than them and I can make rational choices about "shoot more things to wipe them out before they get in range" or "invest in armour so that I can tank a few hits whilst I mow them down."

They'll change tactics and maybe even invent new weapons. As the defender, I have to know about that before their own soldiers do and be able to develop countermeasures before they can bring them to bear. I'd also be well advised to keep a light cavalry regiment on hot standby in case I happen actionable intelligence. Never underestimate the blow to morale that a successful cavalry raid can cause!

If what you are defending is a small target - man portable, say - then by all means splinter into a thousand different groups and dissappear into the hillsides. So long as you have a means of communicating you can coordinate counterattacks against any attacker and use guerrilla tactics to drive them out of your land.

But that's really the question, isn't it? What are you trying to defend? Purpose dictates options, and limits on options are limits on available strategies. Once you've picked your strategies, it comes down to the tactics of the individual units, thier ability to communicate...

...and the quality of the intelligence you've based your battle plan on.

Infosec has four parts: prevention, detection, mitigation and response.

It is impossible to prevent all attacks. It is impossible detect all attacks. It is impossible to mitigate damages from all attacks such that they require no response. Anything that makes it to the "requires response" layer will be huge, so have your response well rehearsed.

Prevention is a lock on a front door. It might keep a few people out, but it falls to a good swift kick. Detection lets you know when someone has kicked in the door and allows you to react. Mitigation would be the ability to reconfigure the hallways so that someone who has taken the time to kick down your front door is presented with a trove of easily stealable goods that look valuable but are, in fact, worthless.

Response comes into play when the fellow who has kicked in the door realizes that the hallways have changed, pulls out an exacto knife, and cuts through the drywall to get at the surprise on the other side. Here you could have anything from a 40lb rottweiler waiting to simply "having insurance" to deal with the theft.

Of course, if you'd had good intelligence that a skilled attacker was going to attempt a breach, you could save yourself some trouble by hiring a cop to watch the place while you're out during the window where the attack is supposed to take place. You could undertake inconvenient security measures for the period of high vulnerability, like having legitimate staff use the back door and/or increasing the number of honey pots you have to work through to get to the good stuff.

And of course, don't forget cavalry raids of your own: get a digital attacker to drop their payload on a honeypot system, then crawl back through the link and nuke the CNC servers. Preferably by figuring out where they physically live and having large men with automatic weapons bust down the doors with a warrant and cart the servers away for analysis.

Never simply rely on a large, sturdy-looking lock. By the same token, never assume that a fixed installation can't be adequately defended.

As the man in the original article said, the secret is to raise the cost to the point that the attacker won't want to play any more. If your guns can outshoot theirs, then they lose so many men getting into firing range that attempting to attack your castle is an exercise in insanity.

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Linux 'GRINCH' vuln is AWFUL. Except, er, maybe it isn't

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Re: Brought to you by...

"physical access is required"

*shrug* Give me physical access and I can just poke the system in the eye and reset the root password.

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Re: Brought to you by...

"No WindowsX issues, no bash problems. Nowt to see here."

I don't allow bash for any user and I don't even have X installed. They're servers. Why the hell install that crap? So, um...yeah. Nothing to see here...

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Google Tax part 94: EU's H-dot wavers over copyright levy

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"Is that working well for them, then?"

As a general rule, Yahoo News is less crap than Google....

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Re: Catastrophic?

"Why catastrophic? It means that instead of getting results from a wide array of sources, Spaniards have to go directly to the news sites they know to get their news."

Or they just use news.google.com and get news from "not Spain". There are a lot of Spanish speaking countries out there that are not Spain. Like the US, as one (fairly large) example.

There's no reason to assume that Spaniards are going direct to eh website of Ruper Murdoch's Spanish Inquisition directly any more now than they were before. Strikes me you use Google News specifically when you don't want the spoon-fed neural pablum, but actually want to find out what the hell's going on.

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Re: Hypocrites!

"There are definitely websites that are getting more traffic now that Google News has closed."

Yeah, non-Spanish news sites.

Mate, if you aren't on Google you don't exist.

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Fedora 21: Linux fans will LOVE it - after the install woes

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@AdamWill re: advertising

"Have you seen how much of it is about systemd? That would be 'none'. It's all hybrid cloud this and container that and devops the other. I mean, I just went to https://www.redhat.com/en and clicked around the marketing crap aimlessly for about 10 minutes and the word 'systemd' didn't appear once.

Oooh! I finally found it, on page 6 of https://www.redhat.com/en/files/resources/en-rhel-whats-new-in-rhel-712030417.pdf , which is six clicks from the front page, one unobtrusive link on https://www.redhat.com/en/technologies/linux-platforms/enterprise-linux . Prominent, this ain't."

Explain to me why Red Hat would spend much time advertising something that is not only controversial but a clear attempt to gain veto-class lock-in powers over the Linux ecosystem?

Even Microsoft isn't stupid enough to advertise the moves they make which fall into that category. That's the sort of thing you bury the lede on and then send out your "social media engagement team" to convince everyone that disagreement with the party line is nothing more than conspiracy theory. Three to five years later, you're welded into the pole position and you can't be removed.

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@DrXym

"And a sizable number are extremely favourable of it. "

So the sizable number of people who agree with us should kowtow to the sizable number of people who agree with you because...well, because what, exactly? You have a bigger stick?

"Which may explain why Fedora, Arch, Gentoo, RHEL, OpenSUSE, Debian and Ubuntu all support or are in the process of supporting it."

No, they're in the process of supporting it because nobody in the Linux world has the financial resources to fight Red Hat on this. Nobody. Red Hat has played this very well; so many components are already dependent on systemd that maintaining shims or creating alternatives is a massively financially burdensome project to undertake.

Worse, the various teams under Red Hat's control seem to be planning, one by one to "integrate" with some level of dependency upon systemd. So the number of projects that have to be worked around, shimed or outright replaced is going up.

If you want a GUI on your Linux distro at all, you're pretty much fucked already. And it won't be long before those looking for a server OS are going to have to clean fork GNU/Linux away from systemd/Linux in order to keep free of it.

Any distro that wants to be commercially viable does what Red Hat says and hopes Red Hat doesn't turn their eye upon them and try to put them out of business. And that's the end of it today; Red Hat controls too much. Nobody else has any real leverage.

Linux functioned because no one group ever accumulated too much power, so relying on eachother's good will was backed by some plainly pragmatic reasons why everyone had to cooperate. That's gone now, and with it both the presumption and any pretense of goodwill.

Commercial interests are all that matter int he systemd/Linux ecosystem.

"So what? Those are all interrelated things."

Do one thing and do it well. The reason being not only to avoid gigantic monolithic entities with 2M lines of code, but so that no one person or group gains lock-in class control of the ecosystem.

Well, shit...

"It's not the first time this sort of thing has happened in the world of Linux."

Yes, it is. Never before has an entity other than the kernel team held so much power that it amounts to a minimum of a veto, more realistically the final word on what will happen within the ecosystem. Through systemd's growing scope and lock-in, Red Hat holds that power They control Poettering and he controls systemd. Red Hat also control a number of other critical projects, many - most- of which are now or have announced plans to become reliant upon systemd.

Nobody has had this kind of power over the Linux community before. Not even the X team.

"if you don't like it, use a dist which does it the old way."

Which is what people are saying they will do, and advising others to do. So why get your panties in a bunch about it? People are allowed some semblance of choice and/or freedom, but only so long as they don't exercise it in public or attempt to make their case to others?

Man, I hope noone in your family every comes out of the closet. Your inability to accept that other people may value things that you don't - and may not value things that you do - would probably make that a pretty brutal affair.

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Re: systemd vs Play Services (was: play the ball not the player?)

"It doesn't really *benefit* RH to 'own' init (not that we do; even if you accept that Jude person's point that there are ~10 core contributors to systemd, half of those don't work for RH). That's not much of a selling point to any of our customers".

First off, systemd is more than init, even now...and there are publicly stated aims to take it a hell of a lot farther yet.

Secondly, Red Hat "owns" systemd in that they employ Poettering and Poettering is the individual driving that project. Anyone who gets in his way will be smacked down with extreme prejudice.

Thirdly, it absolutely does benefit Red Hat to make as much as possible within the Linux ecosystem completely dependent on something they control, as it gives them the ability to wield far more influence within the community than they could simply through the developers they employ. Control the frameworks and you control the ecosystem.

Lastly, you make the rediculous assumption that Red Hat only acts in the interests of it's customers. Just becuase something isn't what Red Hat's customers want doesn't mean it isn't in Red Hat's interests. Look to Microsoft for some great lessons in this: Microsoft regularly acts against the interests of it's customers, developers, partners and staff because it gives Microsoft leverage, the ability to create lock-in and/or dependance or allows them to move people away from less profitable models to more profitable ones.

Red Hat aren't the good guys any more.

More's the pity, as I really am not all that good at any of the other distributions. Walking away from Red Hat is meaning learning the nuances of Slackware (and possibly this new Debian fork) instead of relying on decades of Red Hat knowledge that has become so deeply integrated it's autonomic.

But there's more that matters in this world than commercial interests and I still care about more than maximizing my own revenue. Pity that's not a sentiment much shared any more.

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Re: systemd vs Play Services (was: play the ball not the player?)

"Would it be unfair to say this is an attempt by RH (and/or one individual) to do for GNU/Linux Classic what Google did for Linux/Android with Play Services?

Or would that be a complete misunderstanding?"

I think it would constitute a misunderstanding. Think of it more as "Red Hat trying to to for Linux what Apple did for BSD." They want to own the product. A vestigial community can exist outside of their control - they don't particularly care - but all main components of a commercially viable Linux platform must come under their direct control.

If you want the equivalent of the Google Play store for Linux, take a look at Docker.

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2014/11/28/docker_part_1_the_history_of_docker/

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2014/12/01/docker_part_2_the_libcontainer_evolution/

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2014/12/02/docker_part_3_containers_versus_hypervisors/

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2014/12/04/docker_part_4_prognostication_microsoft_and_the_red_wedding/

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@AdamWill

Lewis is one guy. (Though A.O. does post a lot of climate denier bullshit too.)

Simon Sharwood and Richard Chirgwin know their science and post proper articles with reasoned analyses. Until recently Rik Myslewski did too. Believe me, climate change denial is not institutionalized at The Register, any more than Worstall's Randianism is.

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Re: play the ball not the player?

Systemd is both the spawn of the devil (Poettering) and something bordering on a useful technology. Here's a quick rundown:

1) The systemv init sytem in Linux is awful. Truly awful. A replacement is needed.

2) Poettering decided he had the One True Plan to replace it, and set about doing so...he even had some truly great ideas. He also had some real stinkers.

3) Poettering refused to listen to anyone about what might be good or bad ideas, and proceeded to push forward with creating a massive blob of interdependent and interconnected binaries that together form something suspiciously close to a second kernel living in userland. The thing isn't done yet, but if Poettering accomplishes everything he claims he is setting out to do, systemd will functionally become a second kernel: something that almost all Linux systems hook into and rely upon to work.

4) This places Poettering - and thus Red Hat - in a position of central control over Linux that has traditionally only ever been occupied by Linux Torvalds, with his control over the kernel.

5) Poettering is an ass, has behaved poorly when interacting with other devs, and has earned the wrath of Torvalds. In return, he has complained that everyone are big meanies and - more critically - they'll just all have to learn to fucking cope, because he's going to do what he wants, and damned be the first that says "hold, enough".

6) Which brings us to today. Today we are in the "in between time". today you can (sort of) build a distro without systemd, though you need shims to do so, and you'll need even more shims tomorrow. Poettering/Red Hat have completely cut off the rest of the community and have simply resorted to calling everyone who disagrees with them "loonies" because you can theoretically roll a systemd-less distro today. Red Hat claims that anyone worried about it "infecting" Linux and becoming a userland kernel are nuts. Look at it today, it's not there yet! But don't talk about tomorrow, or what the developers have discussed, etc. Because that isn't in the code, so there's no need to worry your pretty little head. Trust Red Hat and Poeterring. They know best.

What the whole debate boils down to, at it's core, is that Poettering and Red Hat honestly believe they know what's best for us (which, completely incidentally, is something that places Red Hat in control of virtually the entire Linux ecosystem). Thus any objections are considered the objections of people mentally unfit to make objections.

There are lots of bent feelers on all sides and discussions about the technology itself - which has both good and bad elements to it - are completely subsumed by politics.

The systemd debate is, at it's core, about who is in charge of Linux. The community, gated by Torvalds as a last sanity check at the kernel layer, or Red Hat and Poettering? Is it okay for Linux to become a web of interdependent choke points and lock-in gated by someone who is outright hostile to the Linux community? Is it okay for Linux to almost entirely come under the control of employees from one commercial entity?

This is what the debate is really about, and I can even tell you how it will play out: LInux will fracture (again).

Linux itself is currently "Android" and "Linux". (Heretofore referred to as Android/Linx and GNU/Linux, as while GNU/Linux is not 100% accurate, it does reflect the idea that it's main goal was to provide something that was an open source alternative to Unix, and adhered to many/most of the Unix principles.)

Nobody really looks at Android/Linux and says "wow, that's Linux". So much has changed in the basic architecture, toolchains, even file layouts that it doesn't look, feel or behave like LInux anymore. It is its own thing. It is walking its own path.

GNU/Linux is in the process of a very messy, very public fracture into GNU/Linux and systemd/Linux. Systemd/Linux will be the dominant flavour, used by all commercial distros because that's where the bulk of the paid developers are going to be working.

GNU/Linux will splinter off and become a much smaller community (similar to Linux when it first started). They will have to completely scrap everything infected by systemd and rebuilt them. Many things (like Gnome) will take crazy amounts of effort to replace. It will be a decade, maybe more before a commercial distribution emerges based around GNU/Linux.

Once the first one is GNU/Linux distribution is launched, most commercial systemd/Linux distributions (those few that are left which aren't Red Hat) will switch to GNU/Linux. They will have by this point discovered that they don't have a voice in an ecosystem in which Red Hat has crowned itself emperor and will attempt to embrace GNU/Linux in order to seek differential and commercial advantage.

Eventually, one of those commercial GNU/Linux distributions will try to pull some systemd-like shit one more time and the cycle will repeat.

The systemd thing is an argument of philosophies. To whom does Linux belong? The company that puts the most money into development and strategised the most about controlling all aspects of it? Or to the community?

Is Linux a means to preserve freedom/liberté, or merely a means to a commercial end?

So there you have it: the Great Debate. I hope that clears some things up.

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Re: Why install when it's going to be obsolete in a few months?

"If Fedora sends you here to do PR work this means we got their attention."

Unlikely. Only those who agree with the devs receive attention. Everyone else is a raving loony. It's the old NSA conundrum: they demand unquestioning trust and faith, and anyone who doesn't deliver is the enemy. Of course, that very attitude is largely responsible for the increasing lack of both trust and faith...

*shrug*

No distro that sports syStEMD will get dime one from me. Those that offer a fully functional path forward without it will. There's kinda not much I can do except that, eh? The chances of getting the devs to sit down and come to any sort of reasonable, mediated compromise with the community are virtually nonexistant. It's their way or the hiway, and if you won't put your absolute trust and faith in them, then you're the enemy.

I'm oddly okay with that. After a decade of being a heathen traitor to the Windows admins because I ran heterogenous environments and championed RedHat/CentOS, I think I can handle being branded an enemy of the state by RedHat's elite as I go forth and seek a better alternative for the next decade.

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Sony hackers dump more hunks of stolen data, promise another 'Christmas gift'

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@moiety

What/s wrong with beer? I encourage beer. Have a beer on me! -->

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Re: @boltar

It doesn't matter what you run, if you are unable to act with some semblance of decency and honour to your clients/citizens/subjects then I will cheer your downfall. Just like I will cheer the downfall, humiliation and ruination of any sociopath. Yourself included.

You may think it's "adult" to champion greed and worship self interest, but you're wrong. There's nothing "grown up" about it. That's just Randian douchbaggery. It's not cool. It's not mature. It's just an indication that you're a bad person.

Now, what is "grown up" is realizing that we all have to share this world with one another, and thus striving to treat others with respect and honour. And that means ostracizing those that act only in self their own self interest. (See: tragedy of the commons as a starting point. I realize Ethics for Randians is futile, but maybe you can go rage on Wikipedia instead of wasting your time professing your love for unrestrained capitalism here.)

Sony is run bad bad people who treat others badly. Those who run it deserve no sympathy and no compassion, for they have evidenced non, and demonstrated a great deal of malice, which they have acted up from positions of power.

If you are unable to see that as evil, then sir, you aren't "grown up" at all. You're just an evil wannabe.

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@Alan Brown

Because the actors don't usually have the ability to make decisions that affect how the body corporate behaves. Managers and the executive layer do. Leave the star-shaming to Twitter.

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Re: Sticking it to the Man is one thing

"If that is the case, think of it as Watergate writ large the schadenfreudening .

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Re: Wow. Just wow.

"But I can assure you there are 2 or 3 dozen IT folks in there that are no longer employed."

I cannot disagree with you more. There may have been two or three dozen IT staff fired. Sure, okay, why not? But I bet they were subsequently hired on for more money elsewhere.

They witnessed the creation of an infrastructure that allowed this to happen. Their experience in what not to do - from levels ranging from technical to political - is now invaluable. If you are former Sony IT, you'll have no trouble getting work. Lots of people now want your help preventing this from happening to them.

If there are people to weep for, it won't be IT. It will be mid-wage types who get canned when it all goes south. The low wage workers will always be in demand and have no trouble finding work. The excutive layer can cover themselves in wax and serve as candles, they deserve it. But the mid-wage earners will be the ones who have the hardest time finding jobs. Accountants, administrative, HR, etc. The back office staff that make the wheels turn.

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Re: Sony should stop whining

"I have heard about Hillary gloating on comera* about the frank assassination of the Lybian head of state"

Madam has nuclear weapons. Sony has lobbyists.

What one can get away with I suspect may be greater than the hijinx the other could be reasonably expected to be able to pursue.

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Re: Sticking it to the Man is one thing

"There is a big difference between greed and evil"

No there's not.

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@boltar

"Oh grow the f*ck up. Those "evil" execs are just running a business. "

And? Doesn't mean they aren't sociopaths. In fact, given their actions and overwhleming hubris, I'd say that "sociopaths" is pretty likely. Cognate with fact that the executive and political layers are where sociopaths tend to congregate.

"Real evil are psychopathic murderers like Isis or child killers. Get a f*cking sense of perspective."

Evil comes in many forms. Just because a worse evil exists doesn't mean we shouldn't cheer the downfall of a lesser one.

Weep for the staff: many of them probably are as innocent as it is possible to be in such affairs. But for the executives? Nothing.

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Re: Sticking it to the Man is one thing

"Embarrass the evil execs and pull the pants down of overpaid and pampered stars but give the average employees a break."

Well, personally, I'd leave the "stars" out of it too, but by all means go after the executives, management and the body corporate. With all guns blazing.

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India's heavy launch rocket passes flight test

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Re: At last a British funded rocket takes off

"Or wa sit only the US, and others on its coat tails that could use a space programme for long term econopmic good?"

Wasn't the US basically just using the Nazi space program, having wiped out it's first incarnation and then run away with all it's staff...

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El Reg Redesign - leave your comment here.

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Re: Incremental improvement

"I was referring to the designer(s), not Reg, to "close the kitchen""

You mean the three staff developers who were thanked by name in the initial announcement of the site design? Those three people?

"Again, I am not condoning abuse but am pointing out it happens."

Okay, you've pointed that out. And you received a response, which was "abuse will be challenged." You seem to take great offense to that.

"Giving half-hearted replies that imply the readers are computer Neanderthals does not endear the design team to the readership."

If the shoe fits, wear it. Nobody is dismissing any suggestions out of hand, but if you behave like a troglodyte, get treated like one.

Also: my some of my ancestors were Neandertals. We've absolutely no idea what their society was like, so I'll thank you not to imply that they were somehow less than exceptionally well behaved.

""nuke the accounts of people who are abusive? " Good idea; why not suggest that to the editor."

Because the last time I raised a flag on that, Eadon was evaporated. I am attempting compassion, logic and some semblance of restraint. I haven't even tried putting any of my writing skills to use attempting to really shame or belittle you.

If you prefer, I can refrain from attempting restrain and tell you what I really think. Somehow, however, I suspect you would become agitated were I to demonstrate the lack of sympathy for you that you loudly declared to lack as regards someone else.

Have a joyous and happy holiday season.

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Re: Incremental improvement

There's a line between "passionate arguments" and abuse. It has been crossed multiple times. Your response to this has been "suck it up, that's what you get for working in a creative industry".

I submit you're an asshat. And if I had more time this close to crimbo I'd come up with something far more vulgar.

By all means, show passion and make arguments for change, where the existing design bothers you. If you take a few minutes you'll note I've a few posts of my own in this thread with my own suggestions for the brass hats. But there's no need to resort to abuse, which is absolutely what more than a little of this has been.

By saying "shit happens" and taking issue with someone calling out the abuse you absolutely are justifying it. And if you want to go twenty rounds with me on this one, I'll gladly go toe to toe. That gold badge isn't honourary, mate.

As for the rest: in your comments you very clearly stated that if The Register doesn't like receiving abuse, then they should "close the kitchen". Don't back out of your statements now, chap. Own them. Explain your viewpoint. Better yet, explain why the people who own and operate this site shouldn't simply nuke the account of people who are abusive? It's their house. We're all just guests in it.

"Bear in mind we are also the consumers and have our own opinions."

Have whatever opinions you want. Being a reader of the site is no justification for abuse, and it entitles you to nothing. You aren't paying anything. You are provided content in exchange for having advertisements displayed on the same pages as that content.

Literally everything else is a bonus. You aren't entitled to any of it, including posting to these forums. If we want to play here, we have to play by the rules. Sometimes we go over the lines. I'm probably one of the worst offenders for that.

But what's seen in this thread goes beyond any of the thrashings I regularly hand out to the slanted of foreheads. There has been outright abuse and bullying. That's no okay. It's not acceptable. And it's not to be tolerated "because that's the way it is" or in the name of the almighty sense of entitlement.

If you've a beef, go right ahead and list it. But don't abuse the staff.

The business they're in is providing content. Not putting up with ungrateful entitled prima donnas. That would be the job of an internet troll. And with that in mind...

...I'm at your service, monsieur.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: Incremental improvement

"Sorry Trevor, my sympathy only goes so far; if you can't take the heat, get out of the kitchen (& stop cooking)."

So you want The Register to close up show and stop creating the content you presumably come here to read because you don' tlike the site design? Or do you want El Reg to close up because they object to taking abuse from commenters?

Please, do fill me in. While you're at it, you can hopefully explain to me how you believe your stance is moral.

"Although the vitriol was a bit heavy at times, man up and listen to your customers...."

Just so we're perfectly clear, you and I? We aren't the customer. We're the product. Also, to be perfectly clear, you're attempting to justify bully and abuse directed at decent people trying hard to create a website (and content to go in it) that you get for free.

So...um....what the fucking, fucking fuck, man?

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I live to serve, sir. I am glad I was useful in this circumstance.

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@storax

You know, sir...nobody's perfect. But I promise you that @diodesign doesn't "deserve" any crap from anyone. He's a wonderful person, and he's my friend. In case you don't know me, I don't make friends easily. I'm a cynical, anti-social git who is far too introverted for his own good. But @diodesign is good people, and I'd stake my life on that claim.

So I ask you - and everyone else here - cut him some slack. He honestly does want to do what's best for everyone, and I promise you he's really not a dick at all. If you want to yell at someone, yell at me. I'm the resident asshat at The Register.

So let's start this over. We all have off days, and he really is a good guy.

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Re: "we don't think we're more white than [X]"...

There are some pages where I need to turn down my monitor. Most pages I don't have to. But The Register is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for me. Turning down my monitor for 1 page that I'm spending 15 minutes on is one thing, but when I am using El Reg for resource/reference all day long, it's really quite to bright.

I tried using Hacker Vision, which works well on Wikipedia and other offenders, but it really makes El Reg look quite silly. I'm working on fully converting the CSS so there's a proper dark theme that I can apply via greasemonkey, but the thing is eleventy squillion lines long.

I am not going to stamp my feet and demand El Reg fully support a dark theme. I'd love it if you had time to work one up, and provide us the option for logged in users. That would be nice.

But I think the idea of a vote is great. "Is it worth El Reg's time to invest in a dark theme" or somesuch. How many readers would like it? Does the site need to be viewed the exact same for every reader?

Anyways, them's the thoughts...

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Red Hat CFO reaches for eject cord after Street-beating performance

Trevor_Pott
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Re: mission accomplished

"they have done a lot of good stuff IMHO"

Absolutely. Too bad that appears to be their previous business model. The current one is a little bit less "community engagement" and a lot more "embrace, extend...what was the third one again...?"

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Welsh council rapped for covert spying on sick leave worker

Trevor_Pott
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"has an employer not the right to determine if an employee is rorting the system?"

No. If they have these suspicions they should report them to the proper authorities and have an objective investigation started by a third party whose job it is to make these judgements and to keep the information of the individual's activities and private life private.

The individual is innocent unless proven guilty. There is no reason an employer should be poking about in their private life. If a person's privacy has to be breached it should be done only with the utmost care and attention and by individuals trained to maintain human dignity and respect throughout the process.

Why is this such a hard concept for so many to grasp? An employee doesn't belong to their employer. And if that employer feels there there is a case to be made for invading an employee's personal life then that situation has to be handled with care, respecting the rights of both parties.

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Ah, @Ledswinger, loud and proud fanboy of tickle-down-your-pants economics. Still clinging to that shite when there is absolutely zero proof that it works? You're more likely to have a sky fairy hand you a job than trickle down economics is to work.

Give the rich more money and they'll just replace your ass with a robot. Or perhaps slavery is a better option? What's your path forward for increasing the quality of life for all people, hmm?

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Re: Early Stage?

"What is your privacy worth to you?"

Being as it's a human right delineated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights? War, if necessary.

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Sony sued by ex-staff over daft security, leaked privates

Trevor_Pott
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Re: "criminally-culpable negligence"

Microsoft didn't start those sorts of contract terms, IBM did.

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Re: Too early to judge

"Does your house have window locks and a burglar alarm on your house?"

Nope, I'm Canadian

"Or do you leave the front door unlocked when you go out?"

Depends on how long I'm gone for. Rarely do I feel it necessary. Again, I'm Canadian. It's not really a thing here.

"You don't? Because that would be stupid and asking for trouble, right?"

Why would it be asking for trouble? Do you know how rare B&Es are here? And what is a locked door or window going to do to prevent one? If someone has made the decision to steal, they can get through such crude defenses with zero effort.

Nah, better to have a motion-triggered camera protecting the important things in the house and have good insurance. That way you can pass the video on to the cops if there's a break-in, and replace any of the things they stole. Keep some stuff near the front door that looks worth stealing so they take the easy score and leave.

The only time I've been broken into, someone decided to get into my unlocked car. They stole a first aid kit, the emergency winter gear and a cup full of loose change I keep around for parking meters. Total cost to me was 15 minutes to reorganize all my stuff and about $50 worth of replaced gear.

Now if I'd locked the car, the replacement window would have easily been $250, and I'd still have to replace that $50. Plus I'd have the added time sink of cleaning up the glass.

Now, is my computer security locked up? You bet. The internet isn't just Canadians, so I actually to have to lock my digital doors.

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Re: "criminally-culpable negligence"

"Seriously, you need to look at your EULA to see what happened to that concept. Or are you really trying to say that Sony didn't spend enough on lawyers to copy the Microsoft fine print?"

I'm missing something here. What does Microsoft have to do with this?

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Re: Red Herring Ploy?

Sony should be shut down and all the money returned to the non-management, non-executive employees. Let them go forth to get better jobs elsewhere, with enough money to run for a few years while they search.

Let the shareholders reap absolutely nothing and send the executive layer to remote arctic island with nothing more than a knife and a shovel between them.

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TALE OF FAIL: Microsoft offers blow-by-blow Azure outage account

Trevor_Pott
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Re: @Trevor_Pott "For all Microsoft's faults, the Azure guys ........."

Aye, but a lot of the "improvements" have been pretty half-assed. See: the VDI licensing redux. Okay, they rationalized it, sort of. But it's still shit and it's still a horrid rip-off. Microsoft knows it has a problem. But it may be institutionally capable of understanding what needs to be done to resolve it.

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Re: Hmm... Whilst there is much that one can criticise Redmond for I have to say..............

For all Microsoft's faults, the Azure guys have been pretty good about doing postmortems. They deserve some kudos.

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Tegile to shove flash into DIMMs, it would seem

Trevor_Pott
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Was wondering when that would get born. They both use the same PR company, so an alliance was pretty much inevitable. Solid crossover, makes sense to do. Now to go convince them that one of these need a couple week's worth of testing by El Reg to prove it out...

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HOW MUCH did WD pay for Skyera? Join the dots, work it out

Trevor_Pott
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Re: Skyera Kit

There were plans on the table to get one in front of me before the end of the month. They went dark in the last week of November and then Skyera got bought. Now I have no idea what's going on, as their PR company has be let go while they are absorbed into WD.

I am still working on my connections at both Skyera and WD we'll see if anything emerges!

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Server SANs: Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater

Trevor_Pott
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Re: Data Protection Requirements Add Up

"You can run 2 x Synology in HA block level replication over a dedicated link"

Okay, sure. I do this all the time. I still have several configurations where server SANs are far cheaper, especially for a given required performance level.

Neither solution is all thing to all people. Not yet, anyways.

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Sony hackers PINCH early version of James Bond Spectre script

Trevor_Pott
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Re: @Trevor_Pott

"Not buying their stuff" doesn't affect Sony's behavior at all. They simply blame "pirates" or any other convenient group then set about attempting to have laws changed such that they get paid regardless. (See "blank media levies" in many countries.)

To Sony, if you aren't buying their stuff you're committing a crime, and they'll do everything except actually provide what people want at a price they are willing to pay with support that is useful in order to get your money. Sorry, but the odd product that isn't mediocre isn't enough to offset the rest of their actions as a company.

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Re: @Bodhi

But you have been treated like shit, even if you refuse to recognize it. One example: they have sunk billions into trying to turn copyright into the "forever gift", denying future generations the right to build on the mythos of today. They have tried to subvert several standards processes numerous times, ultimately driving up time to market and cost for what are today common products. They have played patent hardball quite a lot, also driving up the cost of everyday products.

Finally, they have sat on proprietary technologies attempting to create a monopoly by refusing to participate in standards processes (or license that technology) resulting in A) aborted product lines as those product saw an initial surge, then death as they didn't interoperate and B) less suited technologies becoming the standard.

These are all things that have affected you, and are Sony treating you like shit, even if you neither believe it nor care.

It is incorrect to say Sony hasn't treated you like shit. They have. What is correct to say is that you don't care that Sony treats you like shit. Thus, apparently, nobody else should.

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Google must free us from 'invisible web of our personal data' – DPA

Trevor_Pott
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Re: So?

Thanks!

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: So?

"A lot of people chose the individual services, because they were individual and they didn't want Google tracking their every move."

How many is "a lot"? do you have a source on the numbers? Very curious..

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Cool Large Hadron Collider to fire into doubly powerful ring

Trevor_Pott
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Re: Bit odd ...

That's because now they know it isn't balck holes. It's a dark matter wave and then you become a metahuman.

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Re: In theory

Not even close.

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