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* Posts by Trevor_Pott

4520 posts • joined 31 May 2010

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

Trevor_Pott
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Re: Which Office product is at fault?

"No excuse. Everything has bugs now and then, but committing unparseable XML to disk should not be one of them."

Word does it too. A link from the article goes here: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2528942/en-us which is one of the more famous examples of Word doing this exact same thing in a subtly different way.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: Which Office product is at fault?

I have had both Word and Writer cause the issue in subtly different ways. A little bit of research on the internet shows me that every single word processor that I can think of which handles DOCX has (or had) at least one bug that can cause this error.

Thus the error is not restricted to any one product but is in fact a common style of error relating to how badly people write XML parsers.

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Trevor_Pott
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Dropbox only keeps so many versions in history. What do you do if Word introduces the error on page 2, autosaves every minute, but you don't close word until page 32? Every single save in the dropbox history would have the error.

Remember: these errors can be introduced, but go unnoticed until you close the application and attempt to re-open the document.

Besides, if your last good version was "two pages of text" you are going to want that last 30 pages!

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Has Google gone too far? Indie labels say it's crunch time for The New Economy

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Spare me

It's Google's network, so they can do whatever they want. There's no reason they can't provide a "fast lane" for those who pay, isn't there? And why should they have to put up with unions? Unions are the source of all evil by allowing collective bargaining!

Oh wait...

So, how can you have it both ways, hmm? Be anti network neutrality (the network belongs to the ISPs, they can do whatever they want!) but all heap big angry at Google, who is doing nothing different?

How can you be anti-union, but pro indie cartel? It's perfectly okay for the indie companies to try to band together and bargain collectively, but the ruination of society itself if human beings do it to protect their labour?

There's a lot of "defend the fatherland established power structures" here, with a lot of hatred directed towards those who have managed to carve a new niche out for themselves in the world. Perhaps most of the griping is simply a chronic dislike of change itself...or perhaps some rage over not having invested enough in Google at the outset.

Nobody is in the right here.

Google are offering substantially worse terms to the indies. They are also kowtowing to the majors who are asking for (frankly) some insane terms that are utter bullshit. Google shouldn't be giving the majors those terms or the indies. Both the Indies and the majors are trying to dictate to Google how Google's own marketplace will work and that's equally bullshit. If they don't want to use Google's market they can fuck right the hell off an make their own.

The proper way through this is to set one set of terms that applies to everyone. Those terms should be sweet enough that the content creators want to shift their content through the market but not so sweet that the content creators get the run of the place.

In a perfect world, the goal is to replace the labels entirely, with the new markets that are emerging being a cheap and easy way for creators to access an audience. Of course, creators need to not be able to be isolated in a divide-and-conquer fashion by those who own the market, so some form of collective bargaining needs to be possible.

It's about balance. The creators shouldn't get to run roughshod over the distribution channels or the end customer. Neither should the distribution channel dictate terms to both sides, and the end customer shouldn't have an expectation of getting content from either the creator or the distributor for free.

The problem here is that people with power - and by that I mean not only those with money, but the pundits with vast audiences who influence public and political opinion - have all picked one camp and evangelize the power and grace of their chosen tribe. Half the world is off bitching about the poor, starving creators, or the poor beleaguered middlemen or the inherent "right" of the end customer to get everything for free.

The other half is trying to insert themselves in the middle as yet another layer of middlemen that should have a "right" to not merely some of the profits, but somehow most of the profits. How many middlemen do we need? There are labels, markets, CDNs, backhaul providers, last mile providers, software developers, various government agencies and device manufacturers all trying to be middlemen.

Well it's the 21st fucking century. This can go Creator --> Market --> End customer. A market like Google can handle everything from advertising to electronic distribution to the last mile to the device. We don't need layers upon layers of middlemen all creating artificial scarcity in order to bleed money from the stone of an increasingly impoverished end customer.

What we need is to take as many middlemen as possible - starting with labels - out back and putting two in the head and three in the chest. We need mechanisms so that creators can bargain collectively without labels, but that prevent this collective bargaining from getting too much power.

Balance. Find it, maintain it. But this ridiculous posturing where the chosen tribe of every mouthpiece with the soapbox should have ultimate power and everyone else can scrounge for crumbs needs to end. We all gotta eat, so stop trying to screw everyone around you and work cooperatively for a fucking change!

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Is it THE END OF BIG DATA? Quarta Horribilis for high-end storage

Trevor_Pott
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Re: Decline in the growth of out of house storage

"extra cost of storing it themselves"? Storing it yourself is cheaper.

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Trevor_Pott
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The important category is "other." All those startups that are so readily disparaged by the fanboois of the big array vendors? They are not all crap. And people with money to spend know it.

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Where do you stand on multi-function network appliances?

Trevor_Pott
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Where do I stand on them? Palo Alto Networks > *.

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Google to let Chromebookers take video content OFFLINE

Trevor_Pott
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Re: Do as I say...

Yeah, going to go with downvoted due to {"Fact": [Google's] dominance in...online video}.

There is plenty of rich competition in the online video field, even if we are talking about Youtube. Youtube isn't exactly a competitor to Netflix, and Movies is an afterthought compared to them, or to iTunes. Youtube owns the cat video market, but even there had good competition.

Google is nowhere near being able to leverage a "monopoly" or even a "dominant position" in online video to do much of anything. Certainly not to make an OS dominant. This is not Microsoft leveraging an OS monopoly to force a shitty browser down everyone's throat.

Not yet, anyways.

Google has Netflix, Apple, Amazon and even Microsoft to content with yet, and the battle hasn't even begun, let alone is anywhere close to over.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: "got a proper laptop for not much more"

"You can get a basic Windows 8 laptop for very little more - if you don't mind "refurbished", for considerably less - but that isn't really the point."

And it's running Windows 8. That's trading in a Civic for a Lada and calling it an upgrade.

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Trevor_Pott
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"Returned my Chromebook within 7 days and got a proper laptop"

So, a Macbook running OSX?

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US Army loses 16,000 personnel records in South Korea

Trevor_Pott
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Re: No Surprise

I this the better question is how many of us haven't worn a hat that is other than white. My youth was spent as one of the few technologically savvy fellows in my city during the 80s and 90s. There were hijinks.

But you grow up. You realize that while blackhatting may be fun, exhilarating and a boost to the ego, it's also a very real risk. As you get older you get a wife, possibly kids, pets, a mortgage; there are people that depend on you and they could be in a bad way if you were to end up in jail.

I think that's natural. I think that pure white hats are exceptionally rare...but that most companies (and even governments) don't require them. The lighter shade of grey is just fine, even if the only "black" in your hat is tacitly ignoring the "dark deeds" done by your contacts (and friends) amongst the information systems penetration community.

Those who never had the bug, who never had the curiosity to know how things work...they'll never understand. It is the curiosity which drives; "how is that designed" and "can I get around it?" It can make one into a notorious hacker, or a brilliant engineer.

The difference between one and the other is having learned enough life lessons to channel the curiosity into something beneficial...most of the time, at least.

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Feds: Amazon cloud can be used for healthcare data

Trevor_Pott
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Now you can have all the security of a single, big fat target and it will cost more. Thanks, cloud computing!

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FIGHT! Intel disputes ARM's claims of Android superiority

Trevor_Pott
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Re: that fps test is worthless

I care. If the device is capable of emitting 300fps and is capped at 60fps then it's idle for goodly chunks of time. That means those transistors can be powered down between frames, or spend their time doing something else. It probably means that system gets way better battery life than some system that is struggling with all it's might to hit the 60fps barrier.

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Cisco COO: 'I actually thank God that we had a crisis'...

Trevor_Pott
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No they haven't. Cisco engineers, SEs and sales twits are all over Twitter spewing forth overwhelming quantities of contempt and arrogance for all and sundry. Cisco has a hell of a lot more housecleaning to do before they're a humble, customer-focused company.

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Japanese finally produce a ROBOT which isn't DEAD INSIDE

Trevor_Pott
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Re: The Daleks are coming!!!

"Emulating an emotional response will seem like total insincerity by the observer, leading to annoyance and eventually violence, when the perceived response is seen as some kind of robot sarcasm."

A robot that can simulate emotion is still more human than many people I've met. Besides, how do you know you're not just "simulating emotion" by displaying reactions you have observed to be socially contextually relevant? You have a chemical reaction that occurs in your brain that triggers the behavior patterns? How's that different from a subroutine?

You're a machine. The robot's a machine. Based on your posts, I daresay it has a chance of being the better machine.

Specisist.

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Thanks for nothing, OpenSSL, grumbles stonewalled De Raadt

Trevor_Pott
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Re: Act like a kid, get treated like a kid.

"How can anyone take open source seriously when major bits of software are managed by pouty children?"

Because I've met many of the assholes in charge of some of the most important closed source software...and I trust the pouty children far more.

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Patch NOW: Six new bugs found in OpenSSL – including spying hole

Trevor_Pott
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Re: Quick to fix in Open Source, but it leaves questions.

Ah, LDS. Still beating your drum of "fuck poor people in the ass with a pineapple grenade", eh? If you aren't big, you don't matter.

Smoochies to you too, baby.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: If it ain't on 0.98.........

If I path my LAMP server I don't need to reboot. If I patch my Windows server I always need to reboot. So please get [censored] and [censored] yourself to biological termination*.

Microsoft makes good stuff, but it isn't better than FLOSS by any means. More to the point, all the stuff that once made Microsoft good is stuff they've outright abandoned. Easy of use being the big one.

Besides, the biggest issue with Microsoft isn't just how they are steadily making their stuff worse than previous iterations, it is that you cannot trust the company's business practices. Not as an end user nor as a "partner." Even more so when we start talking about integration of NSA backdoors into the products and services!

I certainly don't want NSA backdoors in anything I use. I'm sure there are some in the FLOSS apps and servers I use...but one by one they are being audited, cleaned, patched and so forth. The community's eyes have been opened and the problem is getting solved.

The problem can never be solved with Microsoft. There will never be a point at which Microsoft products or services are free of US government surveillance. There will never be a point at which Microsoft products and services are safer and more secure from those I consider to be my security concerns than FLOSS.

What's more, FLOSS has become the easier to administer option. Both have shitty UIs for everything, and both are basically "use scripts and command line to get anything done." But FLOSS has Webmin, and Puppet works like a hot damn. FLOSS can have most things patched without reboots and most changes applied live. Microsoft's stuff can't.

So yeah. take your shit elsewhere, or at least man the fuck up and use a name, instead of abusing the Anonymous Coward mechanism in these forums.

*An overkill desire, perhaps, for your comment taken in isolation...but I am really rather sick of you. Especially given that you refuse to put your name to your sycophantic bullshit.

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Women found just TWO out of every HUNDRED US tech startups

Trevor_Pott
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Re: What a load of bollocks

Dude, you're completely full of shit. You're simply cloaking steaming misogyny in a false understanding of evolutionary biology. "Women" aren't a homogenous group. Neither are men. The last bottlenecks in our genome were far enough back that we've diversified a great deal and you must take people as individuals, not some stereotype that makes you feel good because it conforms to your extant biases.

Also: I don't know where you get this "white knight" bullshit from. I'm an egalitarian masculist that has all sorts of problems with the modern feminist movement. Most people who talk about things like "women in tech" would simply outright call me a chauvinist.

You're so full of shit your eyes are brown. Lots of women are interested in how tech works. Many of them who read this magazine and a few that write for it from time to time. I know at least a dozen techs that I would stake my life are better than you will ever be, and have a passion for understanding the guts of the gizmo that you will never begin to comprehend.

There is fuckloads wrong with the gender-warmongering feminist movement...but on this matter, sir, you are absolutely in the wrong.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: It's even more serious than that!

"Nor are there cries for more male nurses"

Um, I know Canada and the UK, at the very least, have some pretty massive programs to get more men into nursing. The problem is bigger than just "total % of nurses", however. Men are desperately needed in fields like geriatrics and mental health but generally avoid them. Young male nurses want to work ER or trauma wards.

This leads to situations where a growing population of elderly individuals has no choice but to have a female nurse, even if they are very uncomfortable being "assisted" in their daily routine by someone of the opposite gender. (Hence why there's such a big push, at least in Canada, to get more male nurses.)

You guys don't have those programs where you are?

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: Wrong focus

I wonder how many women form waste disposal companies? Or work as garbagemen? Janitors? Clean up homicide/suicide scenes? Shipping and logistics? Road maintenance? Do we count these? Do women's groups care? If not, why not? Isn't it just as important to achieve gender parity in these areas of endeavor as well?

Or are we trying to create a society in which women occupy "at least 50%" of all the good jobs, but it's considered good - or at least "okay" - for the shite jobs to be predominantly male?

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: What a load of bollocks

"Women are risk averse and prefer to follow the path that promises the most security."

You and I meet very different women.

"Women are just not that interested in "computers" or tech in general."

Lolwut? Women love tech. Women don't like tech support. And really, who can blame them? There isn't much chance to socialize (something I am given to understand their gender has a greater predisposition towards) and people are - in general - really dickish to techies.

Now, there certainly are some hard-boiled introverts amongst the ladies, and I find that a lot of these are easily tempted to the dark side of IT. But there are, on the whole, fewer hard-core introverts amongst the fairer sex and that leads to less interest in spending one's career solely amongst the things that go "ping".

Now, give the average non-introverted lady a chance to use proper high tech in a social setting and she's all over it. Not only that, the ladies seem to have an easier grasp of applied technology, at least according to the profs at the local polytechnic. Dentistry? Vet tech? Surveying? Oilfield work? The ladies grok the machines in half the time as the lads. Personally, I believe it's because when they don't know what's going on they summon another lady and ask for help. Macho culture sort of prevents this amongst the young sirs.

"Men are more technically oriented" is a myth. Men are more socially isolated, and so they cope with - and seek out - jobs that are less social. It's as simple as that.

Make development or systems administration a social activity and watch the ladies flock to it. Of course, then you'll chase away the men (and women) who chose the job specifically because it was isolated. Oh well, it's all about which lobby group is the loudest...

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Trevor_Pott
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I thought every board had to be 75% women, 25% men, "to make up for the sins of other people's grandfathers and how they repressed women" or somesuch.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: Duck & Cover - Generalizations Follow

Wait...Lovelace was a genius? I thought she was just a mathematician and programmer. That doesn't mean "genius". Now, the Admiral, her I'm pretty sure was a genius...what am I missing about Lovelace?

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: Duck & Cover - Generalizations Follow

I can introduce you to many. And they are all better at tech than any man I've ever met.

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Trevor_Pott
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"At any point in time a woman is preparing for child birth so it is understandable she may not wish to accept hard, or skilled work."

Wow. Just wow.

Look, I'm often accused of being the resident chauvanistic pig, but...that's not okay.

First: "At any point in time a woman is preparing for child birth." <-- What? What? Do you have any idea what fertility rates are like in western nations? Even with massive fertility amongst immigrant populations, the US is at 2.01 children per woman, the UK is at 1.90, Australia is at 1.77 and Canada is at a whopping 1.59! Fertility rates need to be at 2.2 children per woman to achieve flat replacement of the population.

This means that there are a heckofalot of women that are choosing not to have children. Like, for example, my wife. At no point was she every "preparing for child birth" nor does she have any plans to ever do so. What the hell kind of outmoded, retrograde, chauvinistic asshattery assumes that all women are at all times nesting and getting ready to fire the vagina cannon?

Secondly: so what if women are preparing to have a kid? That's what parental leave is for. If a woman can't have a kid and return to the workforce then that is society's problem, and an indication we fucked up somewhere along the line.

Also note that I said "parental leave". That means maternity and paternity leave. If the woman is the high earner than it might make sense for the man to take the responsibility of child-rearing on. It doesn't take long to push a larva out, and if the lady wants to breast feed she can either have the brat brought to work or use the machine to put the milk in the bottle.

We have technological and sociological advances that mean child birth doesn't need to interfere with work. If it does, then that - right there - is a women's rights issue.

I may be hugely against bullshit like "affirmative action", but not being able to work due to squeezing out a larva is absolutely, 100% the sort of thing that our societies should have solved by now.

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Got VDI questions? Fire them at our expert panel

Trevor_Pott
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Re: Virtual VDI deployments ..

Well, I'll pass that on to the folks involved. We're using WebEx, and they've been informed they have the ability to do demos or use slides, so...we'll see what they bring!

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: Virtual VDI deployments ..

I can see about getting that included; is there anything specific you'd like to see in the demo?

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: "Our VDI panelists are diverse."

Agree 100%. I have a second webinar in the planning to address that. I am looking to do these in stages; start from the bottom (infrastructure) and work towards the top. The LoginVSI guys (and Eric, for that matter) know a fair amount about the user virtualisation issues, enough to hold their own, but user virtualisation is, of itself, a separate field entirely that transcends "just VDI".

User issues are present in non-persistent VDI, but also in "hoteling" desktop setups, multi-device/multi-OS setups and more. That's why that discussion will happen separately.

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Good news for gamers who don't leave the house: SanDisk debuts 24/7 Extreme PRO SSD

Trevor_Pott
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Re: Only 5 years?

Ah, the 150GB Raptors. Grand drives. I still have some in use, and rather a lot of 74GB units. But the 300GB Raptors were made of fail and AIDS. May whomever handled WD through the TLER fiasco be consumed by 10,000 ants.

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CONFIRMED: Sophos shifting threat response work to India

Trevor_Pott
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Re: "I am sure first on list will be CEOs and Lawyers."

Thanks to VDI, the data can never leave the US while still taking advantage of cheap offshore labour.

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How I poured a client's emails straight into the spam bin – with one Friday evening change

Trevor_Pott
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Re: ^^3 day SLA?

For issues where it is creating an outage, I do. Although even paid incident support offered - for the best instance - 18 hour resolution. It's ultimately what has ended up driving most of my clients to Google Apps.

Gmail is nowhere near as feature rich or awesome as Office 365...but it fucking works, and most SMBs simply don't use 99.9% of the features in Exchange anyways.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: What's with the Google fascination?

I'd agree with you, for organizations willing to invest in the full stack. Exchange needs more than just exchange to get the benefits you speak of...and that stack needs a dedicated full time admin. Not an admin who is also doing storage, networking, applications, desktop support, websites, Linux, etc.

It was one thing to be the gneeralist who lumped in "and exchange" back in the Exchange 2000 or 2003 days. It's another thing entirely to try to keep up with e-mail today. Even for "basic" MTAs, there is so much to configure, and so many "conventions" on configuration you have to abide by to stay off greylists that it's crazy.

I agree exchange is amazing. I rather like it for many things...but only in cases where you're willing to pay the tithe. That means proper hosted AS. It also means keeping up to date on clients and all ancillary applications that tie into it.

As a unified communications stack, Exchange/Lync/Sharepoint/etc can be very powerful. But they aren't wrapper-ware and they aren't particularly good past their "best before" dates.

Where exchange truly shines is in things like retention rules, archiving, and all related stuff. If you need to do things like legal holds, in-depth content scanning, Exchange is pretty goddamned hard to beat.

The problem is that most companies absolutely don't need that stuff. They never use it, but they're sold on the idea that they "need" etiher the top-end collaboration stuff or the in-depth retention/legal policy framework, despite never actually wanting to engage any of it.

Worse, you sometimes get a CIO who thinks it's all really, really cool and wants everyone to use it, but simply can't get buy-in from the staff. Usually they'll try everything, including outright threats and bullying, but the staff have non-technological ways of communicating and getting things done that are simply faster and far more efficient for them.

The biggest thing I see with my SMBs is people wanting to use the full Microsoft stack to be "more efficient" at communications because one or two people (who typically telework for some or all of their day) feel "out of the loop." They try to impose a technological solution on a human problem and it fails every single time. The problem isn't that people don't use the relevant technology, it's typically that they're an asshole, or that they simply choose not to give a fuck about $issue until it there's a problem.

Exchange isn't - and can't be - a replacement for human beings taking responsibility for their actions, taking the time out to think about the various projects that needs be done, or actually taking the time to answer the various and sundry e-mails and communications that need answers. Making communications "more efficient" doesn't force people to actually acknowledge one another, keep eachother in the loop or convince the powers that be to make a fucking decision about something.

It absolutely doesn't force overworked people to sort their crap and "properly file" digital data. If you have problems with people using a single public share as a catch-all wastebin where they store everything "because everyone has access and it's more convenient" then public folders and/or sharepoint are just going to look the exact same. The issue there is the people, their habits and their workload, not the technological tools available to them.

When and where exchange can make a difference, I absolutely champion it's use. Exchange is one piece in the best groupware and productivity stack on the planet. Period.

But I do not champion it's use in most SMBs. I think that's ridiculous overkill. Hell, even Office 365 which is designed to be simple to administer (compared to Exchange) and offers only a subset of features is something where 98% of all SMBs I've worked with that use it simply don't change anything past defaults.

So, while I think Exchange is grand, I can't and don't recommend it for SMBs, unless the SMB has a definable need for it and they're willing to pay for it. Regular updates, proper amounts of sysadmin time, proper hosted AS and enough server licenses and hardware to make it all go.

I will never do another exchange install that doesn't have Exchange Enterprise Cal Suite for each user and hosted AS. There will also be a minimum of three server licenses involved: one dedicated hub transport server and at least two storage servers in a cluster. They will also be backed up using Data Protection Manager and monitored using System Center.

The floor cost for this is simply higher than most SMBs are willing to pay, to say nothing of the ongoing costs of keeping it ticking along.

Here's a great example: try running Update Rollup 3 if you'd disabled IPv6. Whole thing goes pear-shaped. Worked fine without IPv6 until then, then *bam*, implosion upon update. There are various reasons why IPv6 had to be disabled in one of the environments. Update happens along, murders exchange. Figuring out what went wrong, then applying the fix takes a proper sysadmin.

Ideally, you never encounter the error because everything exists in a test environment, all patches are vetted, etc. How often do you think that happens in an SMB where you don't have things like "dedicated Microsoft communications stack admins" or even "dedicated Microsoft admins?"

And so we get to the heart of it: Exchange is an example of a service that should never be run by an in-house SMB sysadmin. It needs to be outsourced. If you are going to run Exchange in-house then the sysadmins should have access to an MSP with a hell of a lot more experience, time and resources to do proper labbing of patches for that SMB's config and so forth. It is an application in a stack for which specialists should be used.

...or where it makes damned good sense to simply pack the whole thing up and go "cloud".

If Microsoft had "Office 365" for service providers and/or could make their own offering reliable enough that it isn't constantly experiencing outages, I'd say "use O365 service provider" and be done with it. MS refuses to release O365 to SPs and it can't keep it's own version working.

That leaves me with Gmail as the most stable offering for SMBs, followed by the more expensive hosted Exchange (assuming you can meet the floor cost), or simply hosted e-mail using open source MTAs without all the groupware faffery.

But the issue, 99.9% of the time isn't that "groupware will magically make things better." It is that there are bigger business and communication issues that need to be dealt with that no software can make better.

Anywho. Long ramble...

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: Too much info in too few X-Spam headers

Actually, I have to disagree with you here. The reason for moving towards an X-Spam-Status header is that it is an industry standard. If the system is set up to accept these then it can be used with AS devices or services from any number of providers. Not all providers allow you to change the headers you are working with, so X-Spam-Status makes the most sense to stay with.

Now, the ability to change the old server to pop it's stupid BAYES info into a different header, that would be great...

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: OPE vs FOPE . . .

Oh, I lied. The MPN support people only solved part of the problem within 32 hours of picking up the ticket. They fixed the part that was preventing me from generating quotes for new seats. They didn't fix the licensing issue with my MAPS. They *just* e-mailed me about that.

This makes it 48 hours to pick up the ticket and we're 72 hours past that point without the ticket fully resolved. And the ticket in this case not being some niggly complex technical problem, it's a billing/administrative issue that stemmed from a years-back uncaught authentication system screwup on their side.

I.E. the damned thing autogenerated me an Office 365 account without informing me, then assigned my MPN account to it. I was then able to create another Office 365 account that was somehow also attached to the same MPN account, but which couldn't get at the partner section, but which would accept my MAPS keys.

They fixed the bizzare double-attachment bit 32 hours after picking up the ticket, but solving the "regenerating me a new MAPS key" part of the ticket is two days past that and counting...

I think I'd have more confidence in Office 365 - which, from a technical standpoint is actulaly quite a good solution - if only authentication ever fucking worked. MPN never works the first time. Even straight-up .onmicrosoft.com Office 365 IDs never seem to work, requiring me to login two or even three times, sometimes requiring a log-out in between. There's something about session cookies they can't every get right.

Beyond that, I have all sorts of issues with Azure Active Directory. Sometimes it says it works, but isn't. Other times for reasons incomprehensible it just stops working, despite nothing having changed (and no reported outages on the MS side.) This makes hybrid setups very frustrating.

Microsoft is so close. Their hybrid solution will one day be the solution. But to be perfectly honest it's another 1-2 years away from being ready for primetime. Maybe when Server 9 comes out, they'll have added in the bits required to make it go reliably.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: Typical Geek Whingeing...

On the off chance that you might be right, I ran a series of tests against my own Google Apps domain, egeek.ca. Here are the results.

Attempting to sent to an address that doesn't exist from a Telus-based e-mail account provided me this bounce message:

Reporting-MTA: dns; cmta4.telus.net [209.171.16.77]

Received-From-MTA: dns; Impella [108.181.21.61]

Arrival-Date: Wed, 04 Jun 2014 18:10:33 -0600

Final-recipient: rfc822; bob@egeek.ca

Action: failed

Status: 5.1.1

Diagnostic-Code: smtp; 550 5.1.1 http://support.google.com/mail/bin/answer.py?answer=6596 v7si6012708qad.84 - gsmtp

Last-attempt-Date: Wed, 04 Jun 2014 18:10:33 -0600

Similarly, attempting to send from a legitimate eGeek.ca account to an Astlor.ca (which runs on sendmail) account that doesn't exist let the NDR through to my eGeek account. It didn't get caught up in spam or trash; Gmail sent it straight through to my Inbox. Here is that e-mail:

Delivery to the following recipient failed permanently:

Bob@astlor.ca

Technical details of permanent failure:

Google tried to deliver your message, but it was rejected by the server for the recipient domain astlor.ca by astlor.ca. [64.141.126.154].

The error that the other server returned was:

550 5.1.1 <Bob@astlor.ca>... User unknown

----- Original message -----

DKIM-Signature: v=1; a=rsa-sha256; c=relaxed/relaxed;

d=egeek.ca; s=google;

h=from:to:subject:date:message-id:mime-version:content-type

:thread-index:content-language;

bh=stXngne3UrZepo/myHRVcSj4pEeKGAcgHsgoYbGKzkI=;

b=Y5T94txWG8KxY2DgzDuCHomK+vBIqnyKjTXdBpOMSzPCcF3Dcjh9LC3rAboEEMTlhc

0c0q/g5uzKBguhzfehD1IsFoRhZkAoSTW51I8xW3eUCinyhVENHBGxtwg+X3WWJf6Coc

ioDEGLMb0LUJz07bkAuqtpv6lN9ey698Hzvr0=

X-Google-DKIM-Signature: v=1; a=rsa-sha256; c=relaxed/relaxed;

d=1e100.net; s=20130820;

h=x-gm-message-state:from:to:subject:date:message-id:mime-version

:content-type:thread-index:content-language;

bh=stXngne3UrZepo/myHRVcSj4pEeKGAcgHsgoYbGKzkI=;

b=iu6A0TLCPfGtwcUnD2FBh7LJOI3nAhbRZaumLMOZwKxkin9XjutfZvj66Js7ALupUA

+A52iq2TbIqaUv7N7kyN+0um6pa0jn0GWpsygwKn5ACVYvOf74D8vUqKHmsFkfmNoKMa

wJEn4URuLWrB1gLIUg1Q1gbTPzrQqGMuWKC6jyAkVTI+mO+pfYIRiUvOdp69K1sVmoDD

AnxAov02u6sABPVS2Y+vLD6V3Z+SgABUT+oy6vi9Y8kXc30nTvKJyBOK9GNmbij7esdV

4BohEl5QoevwwXFxqj5Xfzv4fLpXJsCV1G2T7TEfkAtYZ054EG28nnRBDJIQ88p/W048

m6hQ==

X-Gm-Message-State: ALoCoQnrR4fNM2MLTt+cTlUi3sJ7W/wrA1rtU6u5WkhKAzxc5vL1uO8QtLfap95CLWh1q5g5hTOQ

X-Received: by 10.50.13.4 with SMTP id d4mr13139985igc.11.1401927652048;

Wed, 04 Jun 2014 17:20:52 -0700 (PDT)

Return-Path: <trevor.p@egeek.ca>

Received: from Impella ([108.181.21.61])

by mx.google.com with ESMTPSA id q2sm400463ign.2.2014.06.04.17.20.51

for <Bob@astlor.ca>

(version=TLSv1 cipher=ECDHE-RSA-AES128-SHA bits=128/128);

Wed, 04 Jun 2014 17:20:51 -0700 (PDT)

From: Trevor Pott <trevor.p@egeek.ca>

X-Google-Original-From: "Trevor Pott" <Trevor.P@egeek.ca>

To: <Bob@astlor.ca>

Subject: Test

Date: Wed, 4 Jun 2014 18:20:44 -0600

Message-ID: <021701cf8053$fe803650$fb80a2f0$@egeek.ca>

MIME-Version: 1.0

Content-Type: multipart/alternative;

boundary="----=_NextPart_000_0218_01CF8021.B3E689A0"

X-Mailer: Microsoft Outlook 14.0

Thread-Index: Ac+AU/3dyjJXVzIqTei0po4Bz7aTVQ==

Content-Language: en-ca

Test

I also tried a series of additional tests (mailbox full and so forth) and found that Gmail allows all standard SMTP NDRs that I can think of to reach the Inbox and returns most of them.

Now, IIRC, this wasn't always the case; quite some time ago they had disabled NDRs for a while in order to cope with backscatter - quite frankly, backscatter is a huge problem for a lot of MTAs - but they seem to have gotten around the backscatter issue through a combination of blacklisting known bad senders (thus not sending them NDRs) and greylisting.

Interestingly enough, this is exactly what I am trying to achieve with the chained X-SPAM-STATUS filters: reduce backscatter. I need something that will do proper LDAP lookups against active directory and thus not accept mail for users that don't exist. That said, I also need something that wil both blacklist the known baddies (and not NDR them) as well as greylist new users so that known badguys can't just probe the directory.

E-mail isn't simple, and it's getting harder. It's a heck of a lot more complicated today than it was even two years ago, and it's nightmarishly fiendish compared to a decade ago.

Google does it well. Better, quite frankly, than anyone else I've seen. It seems we will remain starkly divergent in our opinions on this topic.

Also: just FYI, Peter had raised the issue to me before you did. I simply didn't check my e-mail until late Sunday afternoon because I was enjoying a wonderful blissful day of sleeping in, followed by spending time with my wife.

Cheers.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: ^^3 day SLA?

I get 48 hours for responses to queries calling the MS partner support network. Then up to 32 hours for them to fix it. I get similar responses for average customers with E1 and E3 licenses. Multiple events now, same timeframes for each.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: Its a regex !

It can use regex?

...must test this.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: Your mistake was...

Thanks for that. In addition to everything I have to remember about the hundreds of applications I manage, I'll just run along now and memorize every PowerShell command. It's not like money was paid so that there would be a reasonably easy to use and modestly intuitive GUI. Nope, rote memorization of more data than a human mind can actually hold for every application is absolutely the best possible path forward for systems administration.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: Precise language and vague language

There is no "exactly matches" condition. You would have to do "matches" then "except when". Still working on the details.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: OPE vs FOPE . . .

The Office 365 advisor program and I are having a disagreement. Specifically, I've been fighting with MS for the past five days to even make my bloody partner page work. MPN and O365 both hate me. I hate them right back in turn.

Office 365 is something I'll revisit when they A) beef up the reporting to levels that aren't complete ass. [Insert 8-page reporting rant here]. and B) Make the fucking thing work. When Microsoft can achieve Google Apps levels of uptime, we'll talk again.

As for SPLA; fuck SPLA. I refuse to host Exchange in my cloud. The hosted e-mail I offer my clients is Qmail, Postfix or Zimbra, front-ended by Barracuda and/or Netgear UTM. OPE can be got by the customer for their own site...but it's more expensive than competing solutions and not as good.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: What's with the Google fascination?

Oh, I just really, really hate exchange. E-mail in general, but exchange in particular. Loathe it with the burning passion of 10,000 suns. Most of my clients you Google Apps, Zimbra or a hosted exchange solution (that I don't have to manage, hee hee!)

If there's e-mail to manage I just want it to be a nice IMAP server. Postfix + Dovecot on virtualmin works like a hot damn. Or Qmail. For the love of $deity, why can't I just use Qmail? But no; exchange! Exchange, destroyer of souls. Exchange, the eraser of sanity. Exchange the requirer of resources 80x that of any other MTA.

And the cloudy alternatives? Well there are Linux-based IMAP mails...but I could run those in house, if allowed, with no real problems. There Google Apps with Just Works and works better than any hosted e-mail solution I've ever used. And then there's Office 365, which is the only solution I've used that makes me piss away more hours solving pointless problems (or waiting for Microsoft to do so) than Exchange itself.

Maybe I wouldn't have Office 365 so much if it weren't for the 48-hour lag on support calls, followed by 32 hours to resolve issues, but this is what it is. And when it's a "client down" scenario, 3+ days to get them back online isn't okay.

So yeah, Google Apps, when possible. Because it just works. If you read these pages, you know I'm not a big public cloud fan...but I trust Google to keep the e-mail working. Because they have a hell of a track record of doing so.

The solution, to my mind, is "have a critical service be bulletproof." I cannot offer that running on 10-year-old hardware using overly complicated MTAs with no funding for proper spam and antivirus scanning software. I am not convinced that Office 365 can offer it either. The only things I trust are Qmail, Zimbra and Postfix (which the client is allergic to) and Google Apps (which at least has something sort of like public folders, though you have to use a web UI to access them.)

Hence the desire to convince them that's the way to go.

When someone says "do this" and you aren't sure you can, the bigger mistake, I think, is spending your life just saying "yes". I've started to say "no", and this is a source of a lot of tension and conflict. "No, I can't do that" or "I don't think that will work." A decade ago I would fucking make it work...but a decade ago I only needed 2 hours a night of sleep...and I was only responsible for about 12 applications.

Now I am responsible for hundreds of applications, and I'm getting old. I need 8 hours of sleep or I am worthless the next morning. That young punk who could solve any technological problem using spit and bailing wire and sheer force of will is dead and buried. I used to know all there was to know within my sphere...but IT now encompasses a hell of a lot more than it did then. I could spend my entire day just trying to keep track of which companies exist in our industry, let alone what they do and how to implement their technologies.

So the scope of the project is beyond just software needs or desires for one vendor or feature. Who is going to look after this stuff? Especially once I'm no longer there to keep it ticking along? How will it all interact with everything else, and should it even interact with anything else?

The more I ask these questions, the more I want to pull core services off the local network. Some things need to be in house. But e-mail doesn't. There's already too much there for one person to handle; I'd prefer to pull everything that doesn't need be on-prem off, just so that it's feasible that one person with next-to-no budget can keep that place going for another decade.

Even if that means feeding the advertising behemoth of Mountain View.

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Russians turn Raspberry Pi into fully-fledged autopilot

Trevor_Pott
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Re: Weird

I believe that Moar Power will come, in the Next Generation...

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Amazing never-seen-before photo of colourful hot young stars (Thanks Hubble)

Trevor_Pott
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Re: For all the believers out there

Can you god make an argument so circular even he can't believe it?

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China puts Windows 8 on TV, screams: 'SECURITY, GET IT OUT OF HERE!'

Trevor_Pott
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Re: You ignore China to your peril

No source, no sale, now ship off, Shirley.

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VMware hits back at Amazon cloud Trojan Horse with ... a blog post

Trevor_Pott
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If they were Swiss? Yes.

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My my, Intel, that's one speedy NVMe flash card you have there

Trevor_Pott
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They fail to "read-only" mode. When the write limit's up, then you can still read your data off.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: Shut up take my money!

The 1.2TB Micron p420m is pretty much the most amazing thing that's ever entered my lab. There are not enough nice things to say about proper enterprise flash.

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What's that you say? HP's going to do WHAT to 3PAR StoreServs?

Trevor_Pott
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Oh look, an anonymous coward with a product/vendor fetish. How boring.

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DARPA crazytech crew want to create HUMAN-FREE cyber defence systems

Trevor_Pott
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If I had software that could automatically detect vulnerabilities in software and suggest methods of fixing or defending against it I would also have software that could automatically detect vulnerabilities in software and suggest methods of attack. The last people on earth I'd give that to are the Americans.

The ability to defend better than modern infosec experts is also the ability to completely and utterly overwhelm modern infosec experts. Under no circumstances should the American government have that kind of power.

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