* Posts by Trevor_Pott

5190 posts • joined 31 May 2010

Spies would need SUPER POWERS to tap undersea cables

Trevor_Pott
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I suggested ULF not for slurping, but for issuing change commands to the widget in the water.

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"It seems that you are arguing a different point, which is that the NSA could well tap undersea fibre for the purpose of spying on other governments."

Yup. I'm not arguing for or against the NSA tapping the specific NSA cable in question. I have no idea if they've done that. And I don't know why they wouldn't just tap the US end of the damned thing and be done with it.

I am arguing that the idea of tapping an undersea cable - if it was determined that there was a practicable need - is not outrageous. That's all.

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For NZ <--> US, they probably would do exactly that. For EU <--> Africa? Probably not. I feasibility and likelihood of cable taps would - to me at least - depend on which cables we're talking about.

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Richard: all of your points boil down not to "it's impossible to tap an undersea cable" but rather "it's incredibly expensive to tap an undersea cable reliably and quickly enough not to get caught.

May I offer some thoughts, from just underneath my tinfoil hat?

Sever the cable at point A. While they are running around trying to fix it, insert a tap at point B. This gives you time to tap it. Your costs drop quite a bit. "Deliriously expensive" becomes "within the realm of possibility for a black ops budget".

Now the question of "how the hell do you get the data out" arises. May I suggest that it might well be possible to put a widget in the "point B" tap that:

1) Is protected to substantial depths

2) Is some form of ridiculously expensive computer in it's own right

3) Does basic inline analysis of traffic

4) Sends anything interesting it finds down the fibre via traffic injection to the NSA*

5) May have a radio link (ULF?) to be updated by the appropriate spook ship that parks on top of it.

6) May even be able to be raised and plugged into a bank of systems on a spook ship to provide real-time streaming into the ship on occasions where it's required.

A tap doesn't have to mirror all traffic at all times to be an effective tool. A tap doesn't have to be accessible 100% of the time to be an effective tool. A tap doesn't have to be a perfect filter to catch interesting things and a tap doesn't have to store all data forever to be an effective tool.

It could just be the equivalent of a plan old-school wiretap capability, but set up in such a way as to be able to bypass all that pesky "jurisdictional cooperation" and "the other guy knowing what you're up to" stuff.

The presumption that these taps exist to spy on the hoi polloi of a country is probably nuts. It's 100% more rational to expect that the NSA would work with most countries to make that happen.

But a tap in order to spy on those in power in the target country is a different story entirely. That needs done without the target country knowing. And what better way for them to think that you don't have that capability than to work both ends and establish a local on-shore tapping capability (which, I am sure, the host country knows how to route around or turn off)?

Tapping communications that someone else knows are insecure is pointless and a waste of money. Finding the means of communication they believe are secure, well...

...I wholeheartedly believe the NSA would gladly pour hundreds of millions of dollars into that. After all...that's what they are actually paid to do.

*Before you start talking about security and "they'd notice that", I don't think they would. Who is going to take the two routers on either end of an undersea cable and lock down the routers to the MAC address of the router on the other end? You control the cable, and thinking that any other MAC address would appear would be paranoid. Do you MAC lock the cables running in your house? Do you run traffic sniffers on your hardwired-only networks to see if someone has tapped it and is injecting traffic? Unless you have some serious tinfoil hattery going on, no...you don't.

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Huawei: Our sales in Europe and US are TINY, admits red-faced exec

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Re: No hardware, no docs

Got to agree. Huawei just doesn't have enough technical marketing or product management occurring. They also have zero community management and near-zero engagement with bloggers, media and other thought leaders.

They need both to have good documentation and marketing in English and a seed program that gets units into the hands of well known reviewers so that those people can start putting the gear to the test and saying "yeah, this is good enough for tier 1".

They'll get there, eventually.

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"CISCO's home voip phones are also shit - doesn't mean you shouldn't buy their enterprise grade switches"

No, I think "priced in $virgins" and "pre-pwned by the NSA" are good enough reasons not to buy Cisco.

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What's this 'pay as you go' cloud crap? Dunno about you, but my apps don't work that way

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Re: Great article

Why thank you! "blunt and simplistic" were what I was going for! There's a whole internet full of people who will tell you what you want to hear. I try hard to tell you instead what I actually see. :)

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Re: Is this even controversial?

You presume a lot when you say that IT personnel - rather than the systems they maintain - are the true assets of a company. In some cases, yes, they are. In others, they're a liability. In still other cases one good accountant might be worth an entire IT department,

Company morale and unit cohesion are important. To put it bluntly, many - if not most - IT folks have trouble with that. It's been that way for ages. The difference is now you can replace them not with some folks with bad accents...but with subscription services provided with SLAs and guarantees.

That's pretty attractive to a lot of people.

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Re: I don't know how

We didn't replace mainframes with what we now call "standard" or "legacy" x86 applications. We won't be replacing standard x86 applications with public cloud computing.

Public cloud computing is an and technology. Not an or. But it is as significant an "and" as x86 was to mainframes. Very soon now, most new development will be on public clouds. But 40 years from now, we'll still be dragging these x86 applications along, too. Because we jsut have too much invested in them to throw them away.

That's business. And it has little to do with technology, no matter how much technology it uses to accomplish it's goals.

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Re: Infinite loop

Can't disagree. Mainframes are still around for a reason. But the fact that reality is non-optimal does not prevent is from being.

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Re: I don't know how

Well, it's pretty simple, Nate. Built from scratch I can idle some base items - usually automation trigger systems with some message queueing and a basic copy of whatever app I am presenting, as well as the "core" DB instance - and burst as I need. So long as the periods of lowest demand cover the cost of idling those base VMs, and the revenue scales with cost of bursting, I make money. Simple economics.

From an architectural standpoint, I can design more efficient on premises. So can you. We can both design better systems on Azure or on Openstack. I can't speak to Google Compute, as I haven't played with it much yet.

But here's the ticket: if I design something from scratch for anything but Amazon then I don't have this massive ecosystem of applets, services, devices and so forth already built for me. Designing something from scratch for Amazon is basically like putting together some lego. Development is cheap and easy and you don't have to worry much about the infrastructure.

You do have to actually care about backups and so forth, but you don't have to pay as many pesky, needy, human nerds. You order a service, you get results...and there are entire empires being built on the tools and technologies to ensure you can walk away from Big Daddy Amazon whenever you want.

If you want ideological purity, or some statistical perfection of design, efficiency, or performance per $, Amazon isn't it. What Amazon is, sir, is a "fire and forget" missile for infrastructure. Some people - most people - in business don't want to deal with infrastructure. They don't want to pay nerds, listen to nerds, have meetings with nerds, worry about the morale and psychological health of nerds...they want - insomuch as it is possible - to have a company that makes as much money as is practicable with the fewest people involved as possible.

That is what Amazon is about.

Need a backup service? There are dozens to take you Amazon workloads and send them elsewhere. Need auditing? Monitoring? Optimization? $deity knows what else? You can order that easier than a pizza.

Amazon is a horrible, horrible thing filled with inefficiency and badness for anyone who gives a bent damn about technology, how it works and how best to implement it. But it's a wonderful thing if your goal in life is running a business with the lowest possible amount of stress and grief.

You pays your bills and you makes your choices...and I suspect that lots of people are willing to pay over the odds to Amazon in order to get one step closer to a nerd-free nirvana. How much is it? 5% more than running and staffing your own teams? 10%? 25%? Where's the cutoff where most won't pay the price?

I think, Mr Amsden, you'd be quite shocked how high that number can be and still get billions of dollars a year worth of people more than willing to pay the price.

I did not recommend anyone move "idle-heavy" workloads to Amazon. I said I'd build new workloads there. Ones that burst. That are designed from the ground up to lower that "% more than running and staffing your own teams" to the lowest number possible.

And I absolutely do recommend you build new workloads on public clouds. I'll tell you why:

When a cloud service is properly designed, if your public cloud provider goes down, that's their fault, their insurance provider pays. All you need is a backup that mirrors to another public cloud provider, and those are cheap. You get compensated for the downtime - which should amount to the amount of time you were "lit up" on the other provider - and all is well.

You don't have to worry about retaining talent. You don't have to worry about hiring talent. You don't have to worry about insider threats, sabotage, grumpy people, raises, any of it. You consume a service and some other schmuck copes with the politics. If they suck at that service, you get a nearly identical service elsewhere.

Liability. Risk management. They become technical exercises in the public cloud, not human exercises. Your risks are technical. Then can be solved with technology. When you hire staff to run your own stuff, those risks are far more complex, involved...and costly to insure against.

That's my logic, sir. And so far as I can tell, the numbers only work in instances wher eyou design from the ground up. Try to run traditional "idle-heavy" workloads on Amazon, and it becomes cheaper to run and staff your own infrastructure.

That's the cutting line, and maybe - just maybe - that will shift soon too.

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Re: Is this even controversial?

Bingo. I use cloud services myself. Because I can't be assed to take care of that minor problem on my own, and it's worth it to pay to make that go away. But that doesn't mean I'm going to turn my whole business over to the cloud, "because cloud".

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'Windows 9' LEAK: Microsoft's playing catchup with Linux

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Re: Meeeh

"You also lie. I pointed out that of all the posts here you attack me for being 'anti-choice' (your strawman), but not any of the people calling for the Start Screen to abolished. You respond that you don't have time to go through all the posts in this thread. But in all these posts I think mine is the only one that argues why the Start Screen is better. And yet it's the single one you attacked with a load of personal insults. Logic suggests your reasons are not what you paint them."

And this is how I know you're so full of shit your eyes are brown. I didn't lie anywhere here. If you feel like taking enough time to troll through my extensive commenting history, you'll see several instances of me defending the Start Screen myself...and hell, I even agree with you on some (but not most) of your points about it's utility.

What's more I simply have no reason to lie. Yours was the first serious anti-choice post I ran across, and so I absolutely poked you in the eye over it. After that, however, I went back, and just couldn't make it through another post. I closed out the tab and moved on.

Now, there is a link called "My Topics". It's here: http://forums.theregister.co.uk/my/forums/. This is always open in a tab on my home VM. with a fair amoung of custom scripting tacked on, too. When someone responds to one of my posts, I see it. I don't always have time to respond - like, for example, when I'm at VMworld - but I usually try to make the effort.

As for making the forums a hostile place, well...you're probably right about that. Call it a character flaw if you want, but I absolutely abhor people who call for others not to have choice. I even hate myself sometimes, when - in very human fashion - I find myself being one of the voices calling for others' choice to be curtailed.

Understand that I grok fully the concept that the needs of the many must be balanced against the needs of the few. Freedoms and rights all have limits; places where we need to curtail the ideological and practical purity of the individual's rights and freedoms for the good of the many. Where that limit lies and the practical aspects of implementing checks and balances are the very nature of the most bitter disputes our species has ever had.

If you only ever understand two things about me, understand these two things:

1) I believe in the right to choice as being as near sacrosanct as any right can be. I hold those who seek to deny others choice - regardless of the means they employ - to be contemptible. And yes, I lie awake at night pondering those instances where I have been the instrument of the removal of choice, wonder what could - or should have been done differently, where the greater evil lay, and how to atone for my actions.

2) I am quite possibly the laziest person alive. As such, telling a lie is highly unlikely for me. Oh, I'm not saying I don't tell lies, but they are rare. The truth of the matter is that if you tell a lie then you need to track it. Sometimes you need to tell other lies to cover it up. And then you need to track those. Soon you are tracking a huge collection of lies across you whole life that become a true jumble of a problem. I can't - and won't - deal with that.

Now, that said, I will on occasion toy with someone on an internet forum. (I'm an internet troll at heart.) This is usually to see how they'll react. Poke the hive, see what the ants do. If you have 12 functional brain cells to rub together you can usually detect that's what I'm up to right away. I'm honestly trying to cut back on it. For the most part I have even been successful; that little incident with the Apple thread notwithstanding.

As for your "What is the point of my debating with someone who explicitly says they aren't interested in discussion, but just wants to 'kick me in the shins'?", I didn't invite you to debate. I called you a name on the internet in order to express my contempt for the philosophy of choice removal you espoused in your comment. Debate was not sought.

finally, regarding this little element: "And when I point out that all your "quotes" are things that don't sound remotely like what I said"

My "quotes" (should that be double quoted? Will you get an old lady with a +3 book of pedantry to hunt me across the plains?) are paraphrasing back to you my understanding of your words. And no, I wasn't interested in a debate. I was calling you a douche, pretty much end of. If you feel that what you were trying to express was radically different to what I interpreted there are two rational thought processes that follow:

1) I interpreted you wrong because I am unable to read properly or

2) You expressed yourself poorly.

Instead of choosing Hanlon's razor and picking one of those two, you decided that I was...what? Singling you out of the crowd based on {unknown}. Allowing a personal bias against Metro to cause me to call you - and only you - out? That's irrational.

If I had to guess I would say there are no less than hard core Microsoft fanboys running around this thread pooping on everyone else and singing the praises of Microsoft, plus the Anonymous Coward who was sent from hell. There are 12 individuals I would classify as "rabidly pro Microsoft" in these forums, and in a thread this big I'd expect at least 8 to show.

I do not include you in the "rabidly pro Microsoft" group, but I have traditionally classified you as "borderline rabidly pro Microsoft, with occasional non-Microsoft-related gems of technical insight". Based on this, I haven't put you on my "ignore" list. (Gold badge folk have this feature.)

If you ever got to the point that you made me so overwhelmingly angry that I would consider singling you out of an entire thread to attack - versus what actually happened, I posted one post and said "hell no", and walked away - why wouldn't I just "ignore" you, like I do Bryant, or jake?

No, I respect you because you use your name. It may be h4rm0ny instead of your real name, but it's still an identifiable moniker, with your posting history attached. You have more honour than that worthless anonymous refuse pile and offer more useful content than those on my ignore list.

Let me be perfectly clear: there is only one individual who haunts these forums I dislike enough not to simply "ignore" if they piss me off. That is the redmondian anonymous crotch rot. And the rationale for that is simple: I honestly believe him to be using the tools and techniques of psychological manipulation.

The first and foremost tool is sheer volume of posts. The second is repetition and being "on message". No growth or diversity of thought beyond the published Microsoft PR line. The third - and most important - is the use of "anonymous coward" instead of a traceable moniker. I honestly believe this is done purposefully, so that the comments are not traceable back to a single source; in this manner proving what the individual said previously is difficult (if not impossible), and a pattern of behavior/messaging difficult to establish.

I believe the anonymous coward in question is behaving dishonorably. So I am building a case against him. When I have enough evidence I will bring it to those in charge along with requests for action that I believe will limit his ability to engage in the most flagrant techniques.

Now, if you still honestly believe that instead of my deciding to walk away from the thread after reading your post I read this whole (or even the first page!) of this thread and only responded to you, because of some bizarre personal vendetta...that's possibly the biggest ego I've ever encountered. And I interview technology executives for a living.

Make of that what you will.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: Meeeh

@h4rm0ny

"and stated I would prefer we kept the Start Screen that's the closest you'll find to me saying other people should not have a choice. "

Bullshit. You have stated several times that you wish Microsoft had "stood it's ground" and forced the start screen to be the only launcher option for Windows, usually wrapped in a "because I like it." That's pretty fucking blatantly saying "fuck you to everyone who wants choice", bub.

"Where is your angry response to all those people saying the Start Screen should be killed with fire or removed forever? "

In several places throughout the forums. Let me be perfectly clear: I think anyone who says that start screen should be abandoned entirely are utter peckerheads. I have said on multiple occasions that it is a great thing for tablets, that it could be awesome for newbies and that I'd love to pin the thing to a second monitor as a "live tile" contining replacement for quick launch. (but I still want my start menu).

Calling for the removal of choice in UIs by anyone is going to get a swift kick in the gonads from me.

"It's quite a lot out of line, actually. Calling me names carries no actual weight as an argument. It's just you venting."

Yes. Exactly. I was not attempting to argue with you or debate you. I was calling you out for being a jackass because your comments absolutely, 100% come across as reading "the start menu should never have been allowed back in any form because the start screen is great and I like it". I'm not going to argue with that sort of fanboyish lunacy. I'm going to kick you in the shins and move the fuck on.

"it's a gross double-standard as there are far more posts on El Reg doing little more than insisting the Start Menu should be obliterated that you ignore and with far less objective reasoning given than my arguments."

First, I am not wading through 250+ comments to find each and ever single fucking one that irks me and posting some reply to it. I made it about 5, maybe 10 comments in, read your "remove their choice" tripe, kicked you in the shins and abandoned the thread. I don't need the blood pressure rise.

As for the rest of the asshats saying "obliterate the start menu" or "obliterate the start screen", I hope both sides of that debate get cholera and shit themselves to death. Choice is what matters. Not forcing one's beliefs on others, and not running around with the GUI bible in hand and converting the heathens.

"I never said anything like that and you can only barely twist what I have said (I don't want to see the Start Menu back, the Start Screen is better) into "fuck you all, you don't deserve choice" with considerable effort."

Bullshit. The instant you say "I don't want the Start Menu back" you are saying " I don't want you to have the choice of a start menu". Period. If you do not want the software to have this feature you are saying that nobody else should be allowed to have access to this feature. That's fucking binary.

You could say "I don't see a need for this feature, and I hope they let me turn it off". You could even say "this is a feature I will turn off" or "I think the Start Screen is better, and I'll be using it instead."

Nope, you said "I don't want the start menu back", which is an explicit call for removing that choice from others. If the feature is not in the software, it can't be used by others, and I am not remotely okay with that.

"So again, stop making it personal and either actually engage in argument or stop strawmanning me. And less anger would be helpful also."

No. I'll do what I'd like. That's choice. I wasn't arguing with you. I wasn't debating. I wasn't trying to counter your shit. I was calling you a douche, and doing so because you explicitly said that you believe that the start menu should not return, thus others shouldn't have choice.

I don't give a rat fuck that you like the Start Screen better. Have fun with it. Go rub it on your gonads and screen at the sky. I really do not care. Not even a little.

What I care about is that people have the choice to use what they want. Anyone who makes statements that boil down to "remove that choice from others" - especially when the rational for the removal of choice is "because I like it" - deserves to get belted.

You may well have done a great job of explaining why you like it. I don't give a rat fuck. What I care about is that you said "don't bring the Start Menu back", and gave the fact that you like it as the closest thing to rationale for that statement as "because I like the Start Screen".

At that point, there is no arguing about "what's better". There is no "why you like that Start Screen and dislike the Start Menu". None of that remotely matters. What matters is that your personal philosophy includes the removal of choice from others simply because you like one of the two options, and in my view that makes you a horrible person.

Like what you like. But you'll no call to force that preference on me and mine.

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Re: Meeeh

"That's it, let the hate flow. It's good to turn an argument personal, isn't it?"

Your argument thus far has been "I, h4rm0ny, believe that the Start Screen is superior and new. Because I, h4rm0ny believe it is superior, and because it is new, everyone else should have the choice os using what they prefer removed from them and be forced to use what I, h4rm0ny, believe to be superior."

How the metric fuck is that not personal? Calling you out for being a self-centered jackass isn't remotely out of line, when you've offered quite literally nothing as argumentation that isn't personal except the assertion "newer = better". And I categorically reject that assertion*.

So no, this one's on you. You made it personal from the outset by offering nothing except "I like it so fuck you all, you don't deserve choice" as an argument. And I absolutely will call you out on that one. Because you're nobody, and the day your opinion of what's "good" is allowed to limit my choice is the day the fucking rebellion starts.

*See; Edsel, New Coke, and eleventy squillion other examples.

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Re: Meeeh

h4rm0ny: the internet champion of "fuck democracy, choice, or anyone else but me. The rest of the world should be forced to used things the way I like them, and given no alternative option!"

But other than that, he's really a great guy.

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Comprehensive guide to obliterating web apps published

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Good effort. Thanks to those guys.

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Microsoft staff brace for next round of layoffs – expected Thursday

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Re: Not expecting much from W9 then

"For a company the size of MS to lay of 18000 people is by no means a simple choice. Obviously something is going on behind the scenes"

They made a shitty purchase that provided them virtually nothing and brought along with it tens of thousands of workers they absolutely do not need. Nokia was overstaffed to start with and the replication of function between the two companies was enormous.

There's no need to look for "secret behind the scenes" anything. Microsoft is trimming the very obvious fat and trying to keep margins up in the face of lackluster Windows sales that stubbornly refuse to grow year over year nearly as much as Microsoft's publicly activist shareholders would like.

If you want innovation at Microsoft turn to Microsoft research. They innovate quite a bit.

If you want Microsoft to have a hope in hell of bringing that innovation to market, pray for Nadella's retention. The alternative is an activist investor lackey that will strip the company's assets in short order and sell the carcass off piecemeal.

You'd better hope Nadella is in it for the long haul because the alternative is far worse. If you really want Nadella to start bringing some change to the company then start dreaming up ways to get him the political capital he needs to drive that change.

Currently, the CEO is embroiled in so much bloodthirsty board-level and executive level politics that he simply doesn't have the political capital to clean house. He can only make changes incrementally, and he doesn't have visibility beyond the top few layers so he can't go digging too deep into the trenches and muddle directly.

The ranks have closed against him from the bottom up as middle management and executives fear for their jobs...but more than that, they fear the finger of blame will be pointed at them publicly, and this will affect their career options.

The board is fighting him every step of the way on every decision because they are themselves deeply divided on how things should be done. What's more, Nadella is a nerd. He has his own ideas about what needs doing and they aren't the same as any of the other major power players.

If Nadella had the political capital to really drive change to match his vision, I honestly think that the end result would be an amazing Microsoft, one we'd all be proud to use products and services from. But the reality of it is that the illness inside Microsoft is advanced he needs to fight cancer before he can start adding cybernetic augmentations.

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Re: Silly thought experiment

Actually, I believe that what was just described here is a South Korean Chaebol. Samsung, for example, though in Chaebols there wouldn't so much be "4 versions of Windows for the desktop" so much as "desktops would be built by company A, mobiles by company B, cloud strategy by company C, servers by company D".

They're a spectacularly effective means of organizing business and equally as effective at annihilating their competition. Be very careful what you wish for. American equivalents to Chaebols in tech could be considered to be GE, Intel, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and certainly in an emerging capacity, Google*.

Microsoft is a software company. Their forays into hardware are small and insignificant. You'd damned well better pray they don't start making self-driving cars or we are all fucked.

*Replete with killer robots and drones!

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Xpliant targets white-label Ethernet switch vendors with shiny new silicon

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Re: Wishlist item

Conversely, Broadcom NICs have caused me no end of trouble over the past few years, but I am utterly reliant on Broadcom switches, which have served me damned well for some time.

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Boffins say they've got Lithium batteries the wrong way around

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@Michael Wojcik

It was (sort of) coherent. It wasn't cogent. I got what he was trying to say, just not quite why it was relevant to the discussion at hand. It had batteries. The article had batteries. That's barely related. The rest was flying off into la-la land.

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Re: Green Prince of Darkness

A) that's barely cogent

B) what do attacks on renewables have to do with battery tech?

C) your information is a combination of wrong, cherry picked and sadly out of date.

In all, 7/10. You have mostly decent grammar, there's no random capitalization, no caps lock and no excessive, repetitive punctuation. Once more, with feeling, perhaps?

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China, clouds, to kill data centre tech market growth

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There's plenty of margin in HP servers. They're the Cisco of compute nodes. Now, can I sell you an IPKVM license for your box? And how about support...

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The Apple Watch and CROTCH RUBBING. How are they related?

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Re: Friday afternoon?

" There was a memo"

...disused lavatory....beware of leopard...

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Stonehenge's HUMAN ABATTOIR was just a prehistoric Burning Man hippyfest site

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Re: Hurrah for the rule of law, we say.

My google-fu is weak, sir I am unable to recall - or uncover - a meme or trope based upon the concept of "feather lined underpants". I imagine they'd be very itchy. Is these some sociocultural reference I am unaware of?

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Re: Not bad enough...

While I probably could get a prescription for amphetamines of one flavour or another as a treatment for my rather intense ADHD, both Ritalin and Dexedrine have disagreed with me in the past. I felt that they had too much of an emotional deadening effect - a common enough complaint, I understand - and so discontinued use of them somewhere around the third grade.

So for the record, my drug of choice is caffeine. This is supplemented by meditation and couple different CBT techniques I've been taught that allow to me to be mostly functional.

I don't mind if you mock me in the comments, sir...but accuracy, please! My diatribes are not fueled by something so gauche as meth! They are the distillation of this world's most magnanimous of deity's gifts to our race: the sacred coffee.

Oh, and before you go suggesting it's something I put in my coffee, I'll have you know that I hold anyone who pollutes their coffee with additives in nothing but the highest of contempt. Coffee, black, strong enough to kill a horse.

There now; accuracy has been served. Please, continue with your regularly scheduled vitriol and character assassination.

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Mexicans! accuse! Yahoo! of! using! corrupt! judge! to! dodge! $2.7bn! payout!

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Re: Canada's majority Catholic

Quebec has minor cronyism going on. In all honesty it's probably worse in Alberta and I'm positive it's worse in Ontario. Still; none of them even remotely compare to the corruption in the USA. Not even close.

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Re: can't resist

Uh...Canada's majority Catholic...and we're way less corrupt than US of (NS)A...

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Tech starfleet: Will EMC Federation survive a Tucci departure?

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Wow, suddenly I feel like the only guy who has any faith there is still money to be made over the next 10-15 years selling arrays. Maybe not a "growth" business anymore, but good bloody money nonetheless. And what prevents EMC from growing new businesses? ScaleIO anyone?

There's more to EMC than arrays. Even if they have to fire a bunch of hard-core hangers on to be able to realise it at a corporate culture level.

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Microsoft unloads monster-sized can of bug spray on Internet Explorer, again

Trevor_Pott
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"I note that Google Chrome is still way ahead of current IE versions in terms of number of disclosed vulnerabilities."

That has what to do with any of this?

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Concerning VMware’s vCloud Air: It's all about choice

Trevor_Pott
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Re: Bring your wallet

VCAC is a pain in the ASCII...but it's still easier than System Center anything. I look at VCAC the same way I look at social democracy as a means of political and economic organisation: it's shite, but it's far less shite than any of the alternatives on offer.

As for the "unreasonable price"...I expect that to come down. VMware is competing against itself in that there are service providers around the world standing up VMware clouds...and good cloudstack stuff on the horizon that I can't discuss (NDAs) that basically let you do what vCHS can do, but with your VMs going local VMware --> Openstack cloud -->local VMware.

Right now, VMware is getting their legs, but they've got what is probably the easiest to use and best option on the market. Competition will force the price down. I'm not convinced that competition can make other vendors create an easier to use product.

I am convinced that the VCAC guys and the Pivotal guys will get together to make orchestration stuff for VMware that is easier to use.

For now - and for the forseeable future - VMware is the best option on the table. I eagerly await a new player with innovations in ease of use that will force VMware to double-time the end-user portion of the equation. Maybe next cycle...

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: Wow

...um...did you read it without breathing?

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Forget silly privacy worries - help biometrics firms make MILLIONS

Trevor_Pott
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"due to the technology’s non-optimized false acceptance rate (FAR) and false rejection rate (FRR) rates"

How about "unfit for purpose"?

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It's a pain in the ASCII, so what can be done to make patching easier?

Trevor_Pott
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Re: Murphy's Law

For the record, I do run my personal VM in FT mode on a two-server cluster with redundant UPSes.

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Heavy VPN users are probably pirates, says BBC

Trevor_Pott
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Re: @Trevor Potts: So what did they say?

@h4rm0ny well it's not any one argument. It's the culmination of them. In large part it's a massive campaign of disinformation regarding Microsoft versus anything that even remotely smells of a Microsoft alternative. There's nothing particularly "political" about it at all. (And I have no idea why Mr "not a Republican" assigned "political" as a relevant motivation here.)

Normally, I honestly wouldn't care. Hell, "which OS is better" trolling is a part of internet culture. I trolled a bunch of Apple fanboys in a thread here a few days ago and it was good clean fun. I've no problem - most of the time - with this sort of tomfoolery. Gods know you and I have had some decent arguments, h4rm0ny.

But this guy is different. He shows up in virtually every thread that even tangentially mentions Microsoft or one of it's competitors and he lays it on thick. Toes the Microsoft Marketing party line 150%, and blows with wind. The party line changes? So does what he says. Someone has a complaint? He'll viciously attack the individual, their preferences, their heritage, anything and everything.

Now, again - for the most part - that's all good. But then this AC gets into dispensing advice. A lot of the advice is wrong; sometimes dangerously wrong. And a lot of what he says is provably a lie, or - at best - a gross stretching of the truth.

One thread? Ten threads? One hundred threads of this, even and it might not be a problem. But every single one for years on end and it moves from "trolling" to "a systematic campaign of disinformation and conversion".

If you replaced "Microsoft" with "Scientology" in a significant number of his posts and then had him say those same posts out loud in a public place I could get his ass locked up in at several western nations. The dude has some cult-like "glorious leader" worship shit going on with his Microsoft fetish and it damages my calm.

I will put up with creationists and deniers, I'll deal with $company fanbois and even the ultra-conservative types. I'll have a good argument with someone who screams red bloody murder about "nobody has the right to tell him what to do" then demands blacks be given a curfew and that he have the right to vote on the dispensation of women's vaginas.

But this guy is absolutely something else. Sheer persistence and volume combined with a skillful weaving of truth, partial truth an outright lies into a web of deception I've seen too often before.

The details of my issue with this particular individual are wrapped up in years worth of posts. Suffice it to say that it absolutely isn't something so prosaic as "he disagrees with me". I like people who disagree with me. I married my wife because disagrees with me; loudly and at length. I'm a commenttard damn, it. I like arguing!

No. It's the techniques used. The callousness of how he handles interactions with others...it's a slew of things. I know that doesn't help provide you the "go do this link, declare Trevor crazy, proceed to pick apart one thread in isolated context to show how" that you want, but that's life.

I'm the first to admit the possibility that I could very well just be nuts, and who knows, maybe I am. As regards this specific individual, however, I'm well convinced that the AC in question is using well practiced tools and techniques of psychological manipulation. And it is just as wrong to use it to promote your favorite corporation's interests as it is your political party of choice.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: The BBC's proposed "mechanism"

"Surely the only possible "mechanism" to determine the "legitimacy" of an encrypted connection is to either decrypt it (by technical or subversive methods) or interrogate the user (by making some sort of threat), either one of which would be in violation of all kinds of laws and international treaties."

Not true. There are in fact "pattern analysis" technologies that can detect (with varying degrees of accuracy) the type of traffic in the tunnel. They are already being deployed by companies around the world such as Shaw Communications here in Canada to help them detect P2P usage and target them for throttling.

Now, as to what level of confidence in the accuracy would be required before engaging in the BBC's witch-hunt should be allowed...

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: BBC Worldwide

"*Tee hee* Trevor spends all day uploading his sex tapes (and all night making them)."

You can't unsee that.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: BBC Worldwide

You fail to define manipulation in any meaningful way

Actually, I have defined it several times, but by adding the little addition "in any meaningful way" you are giving yourself an out to simply say anything I come up whit isn't "meaningful" if it would prevent you from forcing people to believe what you want them to believe.

it appears to me that any position you disagree with falls under the umbrella of postions being somehow forced on people.

Demonstrably wrong. I have an issue with the methods, not the message. Disagree with me all you like. $deity knows I can be as wrong as the next man. Don't manipulate people.

"Choice? Are you saying people are forced to read/listen to these positions you dislike? OP ED pieces are somehow mandatory reading, watching certain newscasts required?"

Actually, to a certain extent, yes. Is one single Op Ed piece an issue? No. Ten or Twenty over a decade? No. IS even one a day, from the same identifiable individual an issue? Provably not.

Where it becomes an issue is where concerted bombardment campaigns are used; where the message is repeated virtually verbatim by multiple sources on every channel imaginable. Writers of various flavours, television, radio, banner ads, text ads, billboards, you name it.

If you want to kick it up a notch of unacceptability, start paying people in positions of authority - ministers, teachers, guardians, politicians, celebrities - to repeat the message.

Now I've just described traditional advertising, which is bad enough. But today's world doesn't end there. In today's world you can use massive amounts of cheaply available research into various socio-economic - and increasingly, Facebook, Google and Microsoft-provided individual - pain points to craft ever more individually targeted messages.

So far from your simplistic portrayal of my objecting to one person saying "this is what I believe" we have moved into "you should believe this" on all mediums at all ours of the day and night straight through to "I know that [issue] is a problem for you and [emotions] are causing [consequences] we will alleviate this if only you support what we believe."

Only now we don't need to get to know the people we're trying to bamboozle. We can do this either automatically or using an "accuracy by volume" approach. After all, repeat something enough times and even the person doing the chanting starts to believe it.

How exactly would you prohibit such "manipulation?

I would ban (or at the very least heavily regulate) certain methods of disseminating "opinion", with more stringent regulation for different purposes and types of entities.

Who decides which opinions are "manipulation" and which are attempts at persusasion?

An opinion cannot be manipulation. The means used, however, very much can be.

Who decides which thoughts are good, which are bad?

"Bad thoughts" actually do have a definition, and usually amount to issues on the schizophrenia spectrum. Usually that's something along the lines of "causing harm to others", and they are typically as unwelcome to the individual experiencing them as they are to those who might end up on the receiving end.

Citizens United was affirmed as correct by minds who saw that political speech should never be regulated or muted. I'm certain this angers many who wish it was and see it as an impediment to the furtherance of their agendas...

Citizens United was the biggest mistake that the United States ever made.

I for one claim no special powers to know what the workings of other minds entails, wether they are being convinced or if they are being manipulated. Anyone who claims they can is delusional.

So you claim you don't know how the minds of other people work and you are absolutely certain that there is no difference between "convincing" and "manipulation". You them proceed to call anyone who is versed in psychiatry, psychology, social dynamics or a half dozen other fields "delusional".

Cute.

Those who wish to stifle the political speech of another, for whatever reasons, are tyrants.

I don't see where I have said that the political speech of others should be stifled. I have said that certain means and methodologies should be restricted universally. By all means, present your opinion, but in a manner that allows people the opportunity to choose to engage with you, or not, as they please. Don't overwhelm any individual communications channel with that opinion, and certainly don't overwhelm all channels.

Don't use dragnetted information about people's lives, combined with Big Data and algorithms to find the words/combination of words/"hot button items"/etc that will give you the highest statistical chance of manipulating someone into doing what you want.

Present your case, let the other side choose to engage with it - or not - and move on. If they engage, then by all means have a rigorous debate, but keep it to the clean. As close to the facts as possible (though questioning the validity of opinion based on the trustworthiness of the emitter of said opinion is generally valid) and accept the outcome - win or lose - with some form of grace.

Your defining me as a US Republican, while wrong, is nothing more than ad hominem.

I don't see how? Unless you take being called a US Republican as a really terrible insult...

You wish to paint anyone who dosen't agree with your nebulous definitions,

Uh...no. First of all, I'm not the one who comes up with the definition for terms like "manipulation". These have actual definitions in the various mind, social and political sciences. The Wikipedia article on the topic is actually a good place to start, but it's only a very brief overview. Despite that, it's quite long and the list of links to other relevant topics at the bottom is huge.

If anything I've discussed here seems vague it is because I am trying to distill what amounts to a Master's degree's worth of knowledge down into the character limit of these forums in a manner that can serve as a decent overview for someone who doesn't even believe in psychology. (You aren't a scientologist, are you?)

or your political agenda as a bogeyman and have choosen that particular stripe to paint them with.

You have no idea what my political agenda even is. So how can you define what it isn't? I have no need to "paint" people who disagree with me as the boogyman. There are people out there - scientologists, for example - who very much so are boogymen. Republicans aren't boogymen. Lost, confused, and tragic, perhaps, but not boogymen.

Also: being as how I'm not USian, what is the point of painting someone who disagrees with me as a US Republican? I might as well call them "squirrels made out of cheese". There is no benefit to me in doing that; it cannot affect my country's politics or advance anything I believe in by doing so.

No, I asked if you were a US Republican because a lot of what you were saying sounded very aligned with their message and I was attempting to determine if you were simply resorting to their talking points - at which point I would simply hit "ignore", because you would have proven yourself incapable of actually thinking past the propaganda handed you - or if you actually believed what you were saying.

It is not your place, or anyone's for that matter, to decide/define "thought manipulation."

You're wrong. There are entire disciplines of science where making that call is in fact part of the job, and they use empirical evidence to do so.

Elitists love to try, after all they know better than others and do these things for the people's own good, being superior to them and all...

Waitaminute, just a ways up in this conversation you accused me of trying to paint everyone who disagreed with me as a "boogyman". And here you are wielding the word "elitist" as though it were the vicious club of boogymanery. You, sir, are a hyprocrite, and I collect my $200.

Also: the ability to use empirical evidence to determine things (like when a human brain's cognitive centers are being bypassed during decision making in response to external stimuli) is not "elitist". It's science. Unless you are saying that science itself is elitist and that we should all collectively reject science...at least when it disagrees with the political agenda you are trying to push....

Your worldview leads to a totalitarian state...

Actually, the evidence is rather to the contrary. Nations which have placed limits on speech - especially limits on the means and methodologies allowed have been shown to be far more stable, with much less social strife and a higher standard of living than the US.

At least, when you use "standard of living" measurements that includes "a decreased wealth gap", "% of the population engaged in the political process" and "level of political corruption" as standards. I understand that these are standards rejected by the Republicans and thus not generally accepted in the USA as part of their standard of living calculations.

Anyways, have fun with all that anger against the "elites". I hope you find what you're looking for in life.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: BBC Worldwide

"The act of attempting to persuade another to see your point is now the heinous crime of "thought manipulation?" This can be applied to anyone making an argument for their side. But some arguments are more equal than other arguments, eh?"

Not at all. Laying out your argument for others to consider and/or act upon is not and should never be banned. No matter how vile your argument is. That said, "laying out your argument" is completely different from "manipulating people". Scope and methodology matter and they are the difference between debate and manipulation.

"And BTW, Citizens United also allows Labor Unions the same rights as it does the evil greedy corporations."

And why should labour unions have the right to manipulate others? Two wrongs make a right? Also: not all corporations are greedy and a great many are not evil (though a great many are).

"Short of inciting crime or putting people's lives in direct danger, freedom of spech should approach absolute. Tryanny is otherwise..."

Well I strenuously disagree with you. The world is not binary. There are gradations of acceptability and there are limits to the methodologies one should be allowed to employ in making their voices heard, regardless of your political persuasion or which arguments you are putting forth.

One thing does jump out at me in your comments, however. The strawmen you are injecting into my arguments imply very heavily that you believe I am a supporter of your political opposition (you appear to be a USian Republican) and you have apparently ascribed to me every one of the political beliefs that you associate with "the enemy". Unquestioning support for Labour Unions, for example.

It should be pointed out that A) I'm not American. B) I am something of a centrist (by Canadian standards, anyways) with a belief in fiscal conservatism, but social progressiveness. My beliefs are fairly nuanced and not fully represented by any political party in any country I am aware of, though Canada's Liberal party and I currently agree on more of the broad strokes than any of the other parties here seem to.

A good example of where things are not remotely so black and white is that I do absolutely support the right of workers to collectively bargain - and hence the right for labour unions to exist - however, I believe that there needs to be strict controls on the powers and scope of labour unions specifically because of the historicity of their involvement with the political process and the use of some frankly appalling tactics of manipulation on their own members.

Collective bargaining of workers to represent those workers as a unified front to employers? Fully support. That same entity involving itself in municipal, provincial or federal politics? Absolutely, 100% against. As stringently as I am against the involvement of corporations in same.

I am for the right of the individual to make informed decisions. That means transparency of all major social constructs, for corporations to unions to government and beyond. Individuals deserve privacy and human rights; social constructs do not. I do not accept corporations, unions or governments as "people" excepting as minimally necessary to perform their function in our society.

"Influencing people" is not one of those functions. "Manipulating people" is absolutely not, and in my opinion should be considered a criminal act. (Again, this is about the methods, not he message.)

Social constructs such as corporations, unions, governments, NGOs and so forth exist to serve the people. We do not exist to serve them. The should stay the hell out of our business - and our heads. Personally, I'd lump religion in there too; if I want to join your religion, I'll do so. You shouldn't have the right to spend squillions evangelizing at me attempting to "convert" me.

And that's what it's about. Choice. The right to make informed, rational choices with as free and clear a mind as possible. Not under threat of coercion, not with someone or something holding money, your job or some other aspect of your future hostage. The right to learn, to research and to make up one's mind without our own psyches, instincts and history being used against us.

Evidently, you don't feel we should have that choice. Manipulation of the weak by the powerful seems to be just groovy by you, and the more money you have the more you should be allowed to exert control over others, politics and $deity knows what else.

And if my beliefs make me evil to you - or anyone else - then I'm okay with that. Can you say the same?

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: BBC Worldwide

@Jack of Shadows

"Slipper slope" arguments are only a logical fallacy if A) a mechanism by which the cascade can begin isn't identified and B) historicity of similar events isn't supplied. In this case, I think you are correct and there is quite a bit of history to show that scope creep is functionally inevitable, were such legislation to be enacted.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: BBC Worldwide

As a matter of fact, I do consider the Kotch brothers to be highly dangerous and a massive detriment to society as a whole. And I do believe in transparency regarding political funding and limits to that funding. I also believe Citizens United was one of the biggest mistakes the United States has ever made and that the influence of any one individual over politics via monetary donation need to be limited. (Though I understand why that's not at all popular amongst corporations or the rich.)

If you do not - or cannot - understand the whys and wherefores of that, well then it's no surprise that you and I have some radically differing ethical beliefs as regards the extent of freedom of speech.

I'm going to go out on a limb here and say you're probably one of those who believe that freedom of speech should be absolute because you don't believe that "manipulation" of others is even possible. You probably are one of those who believes in the innate right to "convince" someone to do what you want using any technique whatsoever short of the application of physical force.

I wonder if you believe in emotional or psychological abuse, or if you believe that is something made up by "liberal hippies?" *shrug* I could, of course, be wrong about your beliefs in this matter, but your arguments sounds suspiciously similar to the kind of ultra individualist tripe I've heard before...and flat out don't buy.

I don't have a problem if you have different political beliefs than I do. I really don't. But I do have a problem with anyone of any political persuasion using psychological manipulation as a means to their ends. And just so we're clear, there are examples of individuals and organizations that do just that on both sides of USian politics, and in most other countries I have studied.

The difference is, a lot of those other countries have taken significant steps to outlaw it. (Though much to my shame, Canada's conservative party has spent the better part of the past decade trying their damnedest to dismantle such protections.)

The world isn't black and white, and when you wade into the grey things become very, very fuzzy.

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We lift the lid on Intel's Pro 2500 SSD. Shock, horror: It doesn't use its own NAND chips

Trevor_Pott
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"Intel claims the drive has an endurance of 36.5TB"

...and this is a "business" drive? Whaaa?

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Look! Look at me! We do wearables, mobile stuff too! says Intel today

Trevor_Pott
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Intel loves the PC so much they're going to force mobo makers to solder the chips to the motherboard to force you to buy new components instead of upgrading just the chip. Yep. They love the PC all right...

...it's customers they hate.

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Whopping 10TB disks spin out of HGST – plus 3.2TB flash slabs

Trevor_Pott
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Re: Meh. Call me when the 10Tb SSD ships in consumer bulk.

"sequential write performance"

What are you doing that uses sequential write? Ever business app I can think of - let alone stacks upon stacks of virtualised servers - is "I/O blender"-style randomness. About the only thing I can think of where sequential write makes a difference is single-user video editing, if you are saving to the local system.

But even then, only if you're using RAID 1 or JBOD. Any other RAID levels will benefit more from something that doesn't suck at random I/O more than they will from sequential...

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: Meh. Call me when the 10Tb SSD ships in consumer bulk.

I don't know, man. I look at storage prices of rust drives today and even I can't complain about price. Even SSDs are at an acceptable level. We've reached a point at the consumer and SMB level where the cost of the media is not the barrier.

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Applelutely fappulous: Fashionistas bow down before the JESUS PHONE

Trevor_Pott
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The fact that you "love" any company means that you're stupid and not worth spending time on.

The company in question is irrelevant.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: Crossed wires?

@Dave 126

SuccessCase wrote: "If we are going to anthropomorphise companies. I would say if you have people queuing outside your shops for weeks to buy the stuff you make, before you have even shown the world what that stuff is, it's a pretty good sign you're the cool kid already."

My issue is that I don't see how people queuing up for something is a sign that you are cool, let alone a "pretty good sign". People queue up for all sorts of things, sometimes for days, which even the people doing the queuing will openly admit aren't cool in the least. (See: "The Room").

I am not saying Apple isn't cool - though I honestly have my doubts that this is the case - I am saying that the specific measure chosen "queuing up for X" is a terrible measure of cool. If we're going to attempt to quantify coolness empirically, then before I accept queuing as a standard candle I need to see some evidence that the two (queuing and coolness) are somehow related.

Really, that's all there is to my objection. The rest was a bunch of [insert pejorative] fanboys freaking out (why?) and my poking the hill to see what the ants do.

The older I get, the more of a bad person I become...

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Trevor_Pott
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"Trevor, I love how you wade in to almost any topic with your own biased opinion (hey, we all have them) and whenever anyone calls you on it, you immediately say that they are biased and/or too stupid for you to waste your time on. You're on the Ted Dziuba tech journalism track I take it."

There are lots of areas where I absolutely have a bunch of biased opinions and enjoy flinging them about just to watch people squirm. Apple is - rather emphatically - not one of them.

Oh, go back a decade and have this conversation with me in 2004 and I absolutely loathed Apple. Not because the product was all that bad, but because I really strenuously disliked that people that bought and used Apple products.

Today? A lot less so. Maybe I'm mellowing in my old age, but I far prefer OSX to Windows 8. I think the iPad is the better tablet (though I maintain I need Android for my phone, but that's because of the tech tools I load up on it.) I see the value in a lot of what Apple produce, and I even see the value in the ecosystem and it's mainstream acceptance.

To put in bluntly: Apple is mainstream, and their walled garden of a constrained ecosystem has some very real and tangible benefits when it comes to finding "an app for that", an add-on, or what-have-you.

But that doesn't mean I think Apple is "cool". I have traditionally thought of "cool" as something exclusionary rather than exclusionary, and there's rather a lot of science to back that up. Thus, while I don't have a particular issue with everyone rushing out to buy iTat, I do think that examination of Apple's "coolness", name cachet, recognisability, and existence as a vehicle for social participation are potentially separate (though interrelated) phenomena that deserve to be examined more carefully.

I might accept your concept that I'm just stampeding around with a chip on my shoulder about Apple if I thought for a moment that I had one. I can name for you a list of companies/products where I have easily identifiable chips on my shoulder. (Let's have a conversation about Sony...) Apple isn't one of them, and it hasn't been for years.

So that makes this entire thread truly fascinating to me. I am honestly and truly approaching the study of Apple and it's acolytes from a dispassionate and only vaguely interested standpoint. It is all a matter of intellectual curiosity for me; Apple has become one of the companies about which I don't have any strong feelings at all.

But lo! There are some passions running through this thread! Question the almighty Apple and her magnificent phenomena and what comes crawling out from under the rocks is absolutely hilarious!

I have no more interest in Apple than an entomologist does in the anthill he pokes. But what the ants get up to when you poke it...that I find fascinating.

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CloudMask dons cape and sets foot on the mean streets of Blighty

Trevor_Pott
Gold badge

Re: Sometimes you need administrative access

Then you reset their password and take over the account. But you can't do it without them knowing about it. Which I'm okay with. I'd guess some employers won't be. It's all about the level of secrecy you feel you need as an employer

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DEATH TO TCP/IP cry Cisco, Intel, US gov and boffins galore

Trevor_Pott
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Pint

Re: Verifying the source of the data

I think there is a middle ground here. I agree that TCP/IP was a success, however, I feel it's day has passed. The domestication of horses for use in hauling cargo was a success for much of human history. Eventually, however, we needed to haul more than could be hauled by horses. The train was invented. We have cargo boats and semi trucks and full bore size-of-bloody-houses mining trucks.

Given the mistakes and failures of TCP/IP I think it's absolutely time for something better. That doesn't detract from the past success of the protocol, but it does mean that it's time to stop trying to pull our mining equipment around with ever larger teams of horses.

Also: something something your mom. Because the internet. :)

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