4282 posts • joined 31 May 2010
You are certifiably insane. The only people who know how to make good beer are Canadian microbreweries. No one else can come close to them for quality or diversity.
Re: Define extinction
Well, at the end of the day, Hitler was right.
"Aryans" are "different" than humans. At this point we're not talking enough to be a species-level difference...but selective breeding across a not-very-many number of generations would probably be able to accomplish a distinct speciation between Aryans and Humans.
I don't agree with the Nazi concept of placing a value judgement on "us" versus "them". Who gets to decide which (sub)(sub)species is better? On what basis? Why does one have to be "better" in the first place? This sort of racial disharmony I don't understand at all.
But from a purely scientific standpoint, there is a difference between "Aryans" - or at least a significant subset of them - and pure-strain humans.
"Aryans" are far more likely to contain certain genes. Lactose tolerance, pale skin, that one that conferred immunity to the plague and now confers immunity to HIV. Similarly, pure-strain humans are more likely to have things like sickle-cell anemia. (These are just the ones I can think of off the top of my head.)
Asians (but not all, apparently) might also be broken into a third sub-subspecies, as they have Denisovan DNA. What advantages did that confer to them? What disadvantages?
Hitler chose to view these genetic deltas as something that had ethical or moral implications. The race he identified with - "Aryans" - was "better" than others. Why, I honestly don't know. I never understood that type of thinking...but the fact that some people in our history - and our present - choose to think like this absolutely should not prevent us from thinking about human speciation, subspeciation or the real-world implications of genetic trait propagation.
A great example here is the immunity to HIV. "Pure" Africans don't seem to have it. So far as I know we've only detected it in a few Europeans. There's a really good chance that this particular mutation is in fact some remnant Neandertal DNA. If so, we should start testing Asians for it to see where the branching point was.
This mutation is rare; Europeans only seem to have it in any number because it was related to plague immunity and a lot of those without it died off. Maybe there would be long-term species-level benefits in encouraging those with the trait to seek mates amongst populations where it is not present. It wouldn't solve problems today, but it might make a difference 100 generations from now, offering those populations a greater chance of survival, thus potentially preserving a more diverse human gene pool after $deity only knows what the next plague will be.
Like Hitler, I think studying populations to determine origins and amount of genetic mixing is important. Unlike Hitler, I don't think it's important so that we can keep these populations "pure". I think it's important so that we can encourage strategic genetic mixing so as to create the broadest possible genetic diversity in the hopes of ultimately having a species more capable of coping with unknown future bottleneck events.
"Pure" matters, because "pure" generally means "less likely to adapt." Hybrid vigor, man. Embrace the future!
@ Sir Spoon
Your father was a hamster and your mother smelt of elderberries! And yes, I'll repeat that to the plod too.
"Isn't the most charismatic of leaders?" What?!> Please, spend some time a room with the man. Lack of charisma is emphatically not his problem. In fact, other than being shackled by Ballmer and Gates on the board, I don't see him having all htat many problems at all. Nadella would make a hell of a CEO for Microsoft. I really hope he gets the gig.
Re: @Trevor_Pott, @MachDiamond
The USA is a secular nation with no official religion. 76% of the US is christian with only 51% being protestant. Generally it is only a small subsection of protestants that are completely fucking whacko.
If I gaze at these statistics with a cynical eye I don't think that the % of Americans that are batshit-bananas Revelationists is not that much higher than in most other countries. 20-30% of most countries seems to be peopled with such individuals, the only thing that changes is the document or charismatic authority they worship. The politically correct term for these folks is usually "the conservative base".
This isn't about being a born-again christian. I know lots of born again Christians who haven't taken the express train to crazy town. This is about Revelationists and their dogmatic hatred of their Islamic counterparts.
For all that I take issue with religion in general, the believers willing to say "convert or die" are actually a minority of the population. And if we're going to profile nutjobs from one culture we should profile from them all.
...especially in secular nations like Canada and the USA.
Re: I have a left Ear yet understand the need for my Right
Any time, sir. I'm always open to beverages and socialization with people of insight and cognitive capability. Even the ones with whom I disagree. Unhindered discourse is one of the liberties that we defend in "free societies", if celebrating that happens to involve a proper lager or three, who I am to say no?
Re: Easy option
So the price of internet access is acceptance of total surveillance? This seems okay to you? Get the fuck out of my country.
"If a murder has been committed and the detectives take casts of footprints in the area (yours happening to be amongst them), is your privacy being infringed?"
In your scenario the investigators have probably cause to gather evidence based on an event that has already happened. The difference between that and spying on everyone all the time is that the difference between investigating an incident looking for clues and monitoring everything proactively in case there is an incident. Put more simply:
Total surveillance obliterates the presumption of innocence. Investigation of a crime scene does not. The presumption of innocence is a far more important social concept than the illusion of security provided by turning my nation into a police state.
Re: I have a left Ear yet understand the need for my Right
I do take a pragmatic view. Security is an illusion. You are never safe If I want to kill your ass, I will. Any sufficiently motivated individual with enough time to plan can accomplish it. Fuck, man, I can personally build something like a dozen weapons of mass destruction using items I can purchase without being ticking up the radar from various hardware and chemical stores and/or have lying around the house. There's nothing special about me or my knowledge, and I - despite this knowledge - haven't the desire to go a-murdering.
Despite literally tens of millions of people around the world having this kind of knowledge, you are not dead, your civilization is not in ruins. How do you reconcile this with the need for the panopticon?
There will always be some nutjobs - read: chaotic evil - who just want to watch the world burn. There will always be people willing to sacrifice their own lives or freedom to accomplish their goals. Stopping them is usually impossible, or requires the sacrifice of so much liberty that the civilization becomes a police state.
The deaths of the few are an acceptable price to pay for the liberty of the many. Even if those deaths include me or my loved ones. It is a sacrifice each and every one of us would willingly make. It is the price of freedom.
I do not advocate anarchy. We have laws and many of those laws need to be enforced. (Way - way - more should be repealed for a huge number of reasons.)
Simultaneously, I cannot countenance the centralization of such overwhelming power and the lack of any meaningful controls to it's use. The ability of the people who get to decide what is legal and what is not to track all people at all times and then send men with guns out to force the populace to comply must never be allowed in a civilized society. EVER.
We're not talking here about targeted surveillance. We're talking about mass surveillance of such scope as to know every sorted detail about every single individual's actions, their beliefs, their affiliations, their network of friends, family, contacts...
First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out-- Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out-- Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out-- Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me--and there was no one left to speak for me.
Lest we forget. Je me souviens. If the cost of the liberty of my nation is my life, I offer it willingly.
Explain to please me how someone in traditional Muslim dress with a banner/sign/scarf/whatever saying "God is great" in their native tongue is bad.
Please also explain how it is any different from someone in jeans, cowboy boots, a cowboy hat and a t-shirt that says "praise Jesus"?
Both at first glance look like flagrant adherents of dangerous religious sects that have been responsible for untold suffering and misery throughout human history. Both would seem to match the stereotype of dress assigned to bigoted individuals who have no moral qualms about invading other nations to kill civilians on flimsy pretenses that amount to "convert or die." Both are people I'd avoid and consider to be equally radical, dangerous and a threat to the ethical and moral future of a civilized nation.
I say if we're going to profile against one type, we should profile against both.
if the Canadian "spooks" were to prevent even one incident a year as a result of 10 years spying on free open networks then i would still consider it an unacceptable violation of the liberty of Canadian citizens.
Liberty is never an acceptable price to pay for security. Let alone the illusion of security.
Also: while we're talking, are you interesting in purchasing a rock that keeps away tigers?
Because if Harper doesn't obey the spirit of a ruling he'll find himself in front of the Supreme Court judge one more time, and they do not take kindly in this country to repeat offenders. If he tries to outright break the law, the mounties will throw his ass in jail.
The wheels of justice turn slowly, but - at least in this country - they do still turn. And that sonofabitch absolutely runs the risk of jail. Not only for this debacle, but for several others as well. Unlike the USA, our governments are not immune to the powers of the court. Not yet. With luck, not ever.
Though our courts do take rather a long time, they eventually reach the right decision. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to plan a stagette for a friend of mine and her soon-to-be-wife. An event made possible by the supreme court pissing on the government's agenda.
This breaks our laws.
Feet will be held to the fire. I cannot wait for this to be brought in front of a judge. Lawsuit funding has already begun.
Re: Good to have choice
Why does every market have to be "huge" to be relevant?
Re: Important change
">>"Speaking as someone who actually works on a library that tries to read and write OOXML I can tell you that OOXML still is not very nice: it is overly verbose and inconsistent."
And compared to the original version? ;)"
Twice zero is still zero.
Re: Important change
"Office 2013 is really, really good"
If you ignore the UI, which is awful. And the spydrive integration. And the part where Microsoft tried to make it impossible to buy a non-subscription version. And the rage-inducing defaults like "smart quotes" and "adding space at the end of a paragraph instead of letting people mange using carriage returns." Oh, and the massive history attached to the vendor of said product that includes a whole lot of "not listening to customers" and "telling end users to **** off."
Other than all of that - and a few more nits here and there - it's middling to passable, yep.
Re: what happens when you inadvertently provide that file in response to an NSL
That's a good question. I suspect you would get a demand for the unhoneypotted passwords followed by a conviction if you refuse to comply.
Re: Not $9B
Good insights, AC. I didn't remember a lot of that. :) +20 internets to you.
Google is keeping $9B+ worth of patents from this deal.
That's a lot of suing.
They are cheap to the point of "disposable".
I prefer "snowball's chance in a neutron star."
Oracle are sweating their existing customers with high licencing fees and you can only do that for so long when there are good alternatives....
VMWare are sweating their existing customers with high licencing fees and you can only do that for so long when there are good alternatives....
That this is interchangeable makes me sad.
I want a robo car. Time spend commuting could be better used for anything else. I could get work done instead of wasting time on travel. Driving is an inconvenience that happens to be slightly less inconvenient than mass transit. I'd pay good money to own a robo car.
Re: "...the non-profit military contractor..."
"but perhaps the author thinks that the FAA, IRS, VA, federal courts and medicaid/medicare are all DoD"
In the US? I wouldn't reject the notion out of hand...
NSA hope entire world is stupid enough to ignore restrictions and trust them because of reports that reveal nothing. The response that pops immediately to mind is "THERE ARE FOUR LIGHTS".
Honestly, it gets harder and harder not to mentally envision Gen. Alexander as Gul Madred, James Clapper as Enabran Tain and the NSA as some unholy combination of the Obsidian order and Central Command. At least they aren't likely to be using neural solvents to obtain information...yet. So we should be grateful for that, right?
Rome fell. The US will too. We should start planning for it be buying and investing at home. It gets easier every day. As the US moves more and more towards "cultural exports" and "intellectual property" - all cloudy and subscription-based, natch - I lose more and more incentive to buy things from them.
I'll purchase tangible goods, thanks, and consume my culture from Canadians.
@Skelband: can't disagree with anything you said, but the solution here isn't anarchy. It's controlled revolution.
All laws barring the absolute basics (don't rape, don't murder, don't otherwise deprive people of their fundamental human rights) need to have maximum time horizons. When they hit that horizon they should be brought up for review with severe prejudice towards trowing old laws out. Similarly, all quangos and government organizations should be completely dismantled on a regular basis and their design redone from the ground up with completely new staff and leadership.
Recommendations on which law to keep, which quangos/departments to keep and what the details and structure of both will be should be made by independent committees who will prepare reports based on evidence and science. Legislators who choose not to accept a committee recommendation regarding law/quango/departmental review should have to give a public rationale. If the rationale is inadequate then it should be within the power of the citizenry to get X signatures and trigger an election.
The solution to corruption is to change politicians and civil servants out regularly. Don't let power concentrate. Ensure the people have the ability to hold the elected and the unelected within their government to task.
We also need to get rid of this untenable situation where there are so many laws on the books that any given citizen is breaking several of them every single day no matter how hard they try to be decent folks. The law has become a club used to beat the innocent - and especially the poor - down.
Don't even get me started on the statistics of the US prison population, arrest ratios, conviction ratios the "war on drugs" or the sheer lunacy that is the privatization of prisons to form an "industry" around persecution and incarceration.
Governments are required...but like diapers, they need to be changed frequently and we always need to be on guard for that telltale smell.
"But, in no small measure, because of his humility, belief in freedom, and dedication to the principles of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, Americans still enjoy more freedom and more protection FROM the government than most in the world. But those protections have been steadily eroded over the decades. Snowden helped to reveal just how much."
And that's the bit that Titus Technophobe can't understand. That freedom is not "safety form terrorists." Freedom is the right to be free of government interference.
I was born a citizen of Canada. I never swore any oath of loyalty or pledged my fealty, industry or liberty to her government. I am forced to obey because if I don't obey men with guns with drag me away to prison. If I resist being dragged away, they'll kill me. Obey or die. Those are my choices.
I absolutely never pledged my loyalty, fealty, industry or liberty to the United States of America. I have said that I am not an enemy of her people or her government on forms when I cross the border, and I believe that to be an entirely truthful statement.
But neither am I a loyal servant or even an ally. I am, in fact, entirely disinterested in what happens to the USA or her people excepting where their self-immolation can and does affect my home.
I am not an anarchist, nor am I a right libertarian. I believe governments have a place - and important place - and that a social democracy is preferable to the street gangs of anarchy, feudalism, capitalism, socialism, communism, fascism, and most other forms of government.
But i also believe that the role of a government is to govern. Not to rule. That people should be free to pursue their own aims and desires so long as those aims and desires aren't deleterious to society as a whole.
We wouldn't give an atom bomb to a civilian. There is no purpose for such a device that is not deleterious to society as a whole and the risk is far too great that it would fall into the hands of someone who would actually use it - accidentally or otherwise.
Similarly, we cannot give a panopticon to a government. There is no purpose for such a device that is not deleterious to society as a whole and the the risk is far too great that it would be misused - accidentally or otherwise.
The founding fathers weren't the greatest people. In fact, in a lot of ways, it seems they were pretty awful people...but their lessons have been build upon. We've learned a few things - in blood - that reinforce what those founding fathers sought to teach...and more besides.
The purpose of freedom is to ensure that governments remain afraid of their people and never seek to rule them again. That's the bit that matters.
Dragnet surveillance has indeed impacted my personal liberty. The fact that you, personally, "don't believe we've given up any liberty since 1960" doesn't mean a goddamned thing. I've seen abuses of power first hand. I've had some of those abuses directed at me, personally. Others that have affected the lives of people I care about.
Absolute power corrupts absolutely.
I believe this is a fundamental truth of human nature.
You deny it.
Dragnet surveillance is too much power. No argument I might mount, no evidence I present would ever convince you of that, however, because no matter what evidence, no matter what history, no matter which incidents are ever brought to your attention you shrug them off by simply reasserting your personal belief.
You are like a door-to-door christian arguing their faith in God. "You can't prove that God doesn't exist so he exists." No matter how much evidence piles up against it, because the evidence isn't iron clad and absolute that person will believe steadfastly in God.
You alternate between claiming the ends justify the means and that nobody of import is affected. You are quite liberal with personal attacks in your haughty dismissive sarcasm but decry any attempt to call you on your own personal douchebaggery.
I believe in innocent unless proven guilty. I really do. But there are two issues I have with applying this precept to the NSA. The first is that corporations and government organizations are not people. They should not be granted "human rights" and they they must be held to a higher standard than individuals.
The second is that we don't need to let the western world become Nazi Germany before we act. We need to see that there is a risk of it occurring, see how it can occur, look for the first signs that power is being abused and then act to reign things in.
Abuses of power are occurring, and have been for quite some time. The the real problem is that the sheer scale and cope of what's possible today completely dwarfs anything that was possible in the 60s, 70s, 80s or 90s. ECHELON has got nothing on PRISM, and today's programs make PRISM look like a child's toy.
Our technology is racing ahead of our ethics. Our ability to cope with the social changes incurred by the accumulation and centralization of such power is far, far less than our ability to generate new technologies and new means of concentrating even more power.
I've been in the room with the overly bright lights a few too many times. I am not a man who has any plans or desires to harm others, to steal someone's job or even to do something so mundane as dodge taxes. Yet I have been to that room too often. I don't like that room, sir. I am not fond of my trips there.
Absolute power corrupts absolutely, and all that it takes for evil men to win is for good men to do nothing. We teach this to our children for a reason. It is a true shame these were lessons you've never learned.
Re: @Trevor_Pott - @Trevor_Pott
@RobHib thanks for restoring my faith in humanity. It's nice to know that someone else has learned from history. As for age...I'm 31. I've no idea what the rest of this lot are...but I grew up within a stone's throw of a military base. It played a role in shaping my beliefs. It still does.
@dan1980 I believe that anyone who allows fear to rule their judgement is a coward.
To be clear: to feel fear is not to be a coward: fear is a good and necessary tool. But fear cannot be allowed to control us. It especially cannot be allowed to control the decisions we make at a societal level.
I've no interest in pussyfooting around here with conciliatory gestures and diplomacy. Straight to the heart of it!
The argument here is authoritarianism versus liberalism. It is control versus liberty. Religion versus science. It is huddling in a cave, terrified of every sound in the night versus exploration and adaptation. The argument is as old as mankind itself and just as fundamental.
Are we to be animals? Ruled by our fear and jumping at every bright light? Or are we to be men, building a better world for ourselves, our society and our descendants? That is the debate that we - as a society - are faced with today.
I don't believe that an overwhelming desire for safety is legitimate. I don't believe his "personal preference" is legitimate. I don't believe that his personal preference - or mine - matters a single bent damn.
We're not talking here about the choice of wearing blue jeans versus trousers. We're talking about the kinds of decisions that shape entire empires. We're talking about molding societies and building nations.
Authoritarian regimes based on control and "security" never work. The peasants get more than a little revolting and a whole bunch of lives are lost.
Maybe that's a lesson we need to keep relearning with each generation. Maybe humanity needs to fight this battle forever. That's deep metaphysics to which I will never have answers.
What I do know is that we have a choice. We can learn from the past or not. We can choose to overcome our animal fear or we can submit to it. Personally, I view submission to one's own fear as cowardice at a personal level and ruinously dangerous at a societal level.
It isn't, however, about what I think, or what Titus thinks. It is about the future of our nations, and whether or not we really need to relearn the lessons that our forebearers died to teach us. Every year we have Remembrance Day; even if some nations call it something else. The catchphrase is "lest we forget" and the lesson is "never again."
I have not forgotten, and I will work hard to ensure it doesn't happen again. Too many of my friends have died fighting for my liberty. I owe it to them, to myself and to my entire society to challenge any attempt by anyone - individual or government - to make their sacrifice meaningless.
If that nets me downvotes on The Register, sarcastic remarks and the hatred of some commenters...so be it.
Cracking enigma was targeted, and it was spying against the military of a nation state. It was not dragnet surveillance of civilians. That's where you start getting into the SS of Nazi Germany and various other dictators throughout history.
Beyond that, your personal influence needn't extend beyond your ability to post. You influence others by voicing your opinion. An opinion so dangerous that it must be challenged. It must be challenged not only on the basis of logical arguments, but also making it perfectly clear that other members of western society absolutely do not find your beliefs socially acceptable.
The most effective defense against terrorism is to build a strong a society based on personal liberty and to never compromise your principles, no matter the actions of said terrorists. Show weakness and they will never - ever - stop until you are crushed. Giving up liberty in the vain hope of catching them is demonstrating weakness. You gain nothing and you lose everything.
To live in fear is to let the terrorists win. I'd rather die a man than live a coward.
The argument has been made and made again thousands of times throughout human history. Every time people forget that liberty is too high a price to pay for the illusion of security really bad things happen. Fall of empires kind of bad.
You openly preach a doctrine of fear in full ignorance of our species history. I call that outright cowardice. I won't bother with attempting the logical back and forth because fear is by it's very nature irrational. You cannot convince someone who is motivated by fear of anything using logic. It's a basic tenet of human psychology and one of the foundational principles of group dynamics.
As for what you think of me, I do hope that you are capable of understanding this, but I could not care half a quantum fluctuation less about what you think of me. As far as I am concerned you are a coward and a traitor to our entire species. The value of your opinion to me is exactly equal the regard I have for the opinions of sociopaths: null.
What logical reason would I have to respect the opinion of someone would well sell my freedoms for the illusion of personal security? I cannot comprehend how that individual is any different than an individual who would blithely see me murdered or enslaved for $self_serving_reason. Life without liberty is no life at all. I will fight against people like you who would see me stripped of my liberty with every last ounce of strength, iota of influence, and every bent copper I have.
The price of freedom is eternal vigilance. It is against those who would steal our liberties that we must be vigilant. Whether their rallying cry be the illusion of security or a deity that does not exist.
"Says the guy behind a keyboard."
I use my real name, on a website where I publish articles. Go to http://www.trevorpott.com and you'll see a great big button for my LinkedIn. My address and phone number are public record and available through the local yellow pages. I own a company - http://www.egeek.ca - where the same sort of information is available through public records, and that company has been mentioned here in the comments, on my personal website and in The Register.
I hide behind neither pseudonym nor anonymous coward moniker. The individual in question is a coward not because he disagrees with me - I don't give a flaming fuck if you disagree with me, other than that I find arguing with people amusing - they are a coward because of the ideology of outright cowardice they openly espouse.
Also, for the record, I used voice recognition software to dictate that comment. So basically you're wrong about everything. Welcome to the internet. Your ignorance will be preserved forever.
@ Titus Technophobe IT wouldn't matter if the level of terrorism were high or not, regardless of the ethnic provenance of the individuals doing the terrorizing. Liberty is too high a price to pay for the illusion of security..
Maybe I'll die today. Maybe it will be a heart attack from being so overwhelmingly fat. Maybe it will be a car, or lightning, a drug-crazed bum freaking out and trying to rob me or - far, far, far, far less likely - maybe I will be killed by a terrorist.
Maybe instead of me dying it will be my wife. Maybe my father or sister. Maybe we all die, or maybe we're just wounded and I have to pay large sums of money for the rest of my life to keep us going.
No matter what may come, fundamental human liberties are too high a price to pay for the illusion of security. The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one. Even if that "one" is me. Or my wife. Or any of my loved ones.
I'm a human being god damn it. I have a choice. I am not an animal run on pure instinct and driven by fear. My ancestors died to build the society we live in today and as his noodly self is my witness, I will do my damnedest to leave it a better world than when I left.
That means - at a minimum - not giving up those rights that cost us so very much out of fear. It means - at a minimum - not allowing our society to become more like the society the terrorists are demanding we live in just because they use guerrilla tactics against civilians.
You, sir, are a coward. A dishonorable coward. One that would sell out not only your own self but the rest of your species out of abject fear. I despise you and all who are like you. I am repulsed and offended by your mewling weakness, your greed and your selfishness. I am distressed to know that we share a common genetic heritage. It sickens me..
If you live in fear of the unlikely, so much that you would betray your fellow man just to lessen the fear that little bit then perhaps you need to work on a little mental exercise.
I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.
The litany against fear is more effective than the rock in my left hand that keeps tigers away or the PRISM on my right that wards off terrorists. And it doesn't require selling all our souls because of your personal cowardice.
I am okay with the needles going unfound. Liberty is too high a price to pay for the illusion of security.Indeed, it would be too high a price to pay even for actual security.
Leave the hay where it is, and give up the search for needles.
Re: And who says criminals don't have a ...
Legality and ethics rarely overlap.
It must really bother you, AC, to know that there actually exist people in this world who care about more than just themselves. The real question is...why?
Oh, aye, all activists are bad. The status quo is good! The rich need to get richer. The poor need to get poorer. Screw the environment, the future, children, old people, minorities, men, women, the infirm, the insane and any other group that isn't currently making out like a bandit.
Individuals need to have less control over their lives (unless they're part of the 1%) and governments need to keep pissing away money spying on their own citizens in preparation to put down the inevitable revolt.
I guess that all makes perfect sense...if you're part of the 1%. Me, I'm not. So I'll loudly disagree with you. Not all activists - or causes - are good...but a fair number are. Seems to me "activist" only has a bad name as a category amongst those who butter their bread at the expense of others.
Now lobbyist on the other hand, that leaves a sour taste. Probably because of the acidity of all that money wrecking the atmosphere...
And how many non-customers (I.E. foreign civilians such as myself) were monitored? Hmm?
"Redmond's efforts to break into new areas such as hardware and the cloud, it still a company that's very much grounded in the traditional business software model. That could help it or hurt it as we enter calendar year 2014 and beyond – we'll just have to see."
Being grounded in the "traditional business software model" could indeed help Microsoft, were Microsoft willing to provide software that people want to buy at a price they can afford. Sadly, Microsoft is clinically obsessed with the concept of software rental and abjectly incapable of listening to it's customers. Thus, being grounded in the "traditional business software model"will hurt Microsoft as individuals and companies continue to invest in software and services that have nothing to do with the Beast of Redmond.
Not that Microsoft is doomed; it will take quite some time to die, thank you very much...but it has likely peaked. Maybe not in revenues - I expect those to be mostly flat for some time as it scrambles to diversify, thus doing an IBM-like job of hopping from one revenue stream to the next - but certainly in influence, mindshare and name-brand caché.
TL;DR: Microsoft have become has-beens, and they've aught but their own hubris to blame.
Re: RE: Volenteers != free
It's more likely that "free hosting" means "a few virtual private servers" which is nothing compared to the stacks of hardware they have now. More to the point, what they've got now probably falls apart if you blow on it gently. Moving to a hosting provider other than a colo that would let them simply dump their existing boxes directly would probably take months of trying to unsnarl the complex setups that tie the whole thing together.
If the thing is hosted in someone's garage - as was suggested above - perhaps the whole thing is tightly integrated with someone's personal network. I.E. some of the equipment in question is actually running on the dude's personal storage, or reliant on it for backups. Maybe he feels he needs LAN-class network access to move files around, or gods only know what else.
My point here is that what prevents folks from moving stuff in a situation like this is rarely outright financial cost. Nobody would begrudge the OpenBSD gang from paying a dude a salary if he needed one to keep the lights on. The "don't move the servers" think most likely has more to do with workflow disruptions and/or configuration nightmares involved in such a thing than it does anything else.
Don't assume malice when simpler explanations are more likely.
Re: Horizon Workspace...
I have been told that "all workforce mobility and endpoint stuff will be branded under the Horizon brand", however, that's not an official answer. There was rationale behind it, however, that sort of made sense...if you're a marketing wonk. :/
My email to VMware on the topic: "VMware bought Airwatch. Does this mean we're finally getting a real mobile hypervisor? The one VMware's been sitting on forever?
Enquiring minds want to know…
VMware's response: "Guess you will have to wait and see :-)"
Re: I think I see the problem...
Sure. Google bought Youtube on the same basis. Several years later, Youtube is a profit center. Capturing users actually is the hard part. When you move to monitisation you follow the 80/20 rule: keep the 20% of your users that are willing to pay and cut the 80% of dead weight off. Oddly enough, it actually works.
A good example here is Dropbox. Would "most" Dropbox users pay for the service? Hell no. Most people would move on to the next cheap whatever. There are a lot, however, that if Dropbox said "tomorrow we are going to start charging $X/month" they would get out the credit card and just whack the mole.
About the only place this doesn't apply is social networks. Here you aren't offering a product to be consumed or used. You are offering a communications system, and that means that the value of the platform to anyone is directly proportional to how many people are on the system. (More accurately, how many people that individual user actually cares about are on the system.)
A phone network that only reached 1 in 10,000 people wouldn't exactly be worth a hell of a lot of money, unless those 1 in 10,000 people had something in common and a reason to establish a communications system that only encompassed their group.
So the fundamental model of "get a bunch of users, get venture capital, cash out and let a trained CEO take the venture to profitability" is not fundamentally broken. It is, however, something that only really applies to certain types of products and doesn't apply at all to social networks.
Instagram is another example here. The Instagram thing wasn't about the "social network" element. It was because it offered a platform for online imagery collection with a large userbase. Now the trick is to convince photo labs around the world to accept orders via Instagram and convince users to pay for photographic products.
Ultimately, Instagram will expand to allow professional photographers to mount galleries as online proofs with integrated ordering (Similar to ImageQuix.) This is where the real meat-and-potatoes will come from, as the "art"-class prints can run quite a bit of money. A 40"x30" mounted on canvas and properly sealed is something a professional photographer can sell for $3000 in the right market. Metal prints or backlit acrylic stuff can go for even more...and there is always some swank office tower somewhere looking for a nice picture of the skyline for their lobby.
So Instagram will take several years to follow a Youtube trajectory. Gradually offering more and more professional services. Advertising, lab integration, etc. Ultimately, they'll get click charges on orders or even % of total transaction setups. The name cache of "Instagram" will have value. The average punter knows what Instagram is. They haven't the foggiest clue in hell who ImageQuix let alone the lab-branded online galleries.
At least, that's the theory. Whether or not Facebook has the nous to pull it off is an entirely different story.
Startups, eh? *madness*
Re: Well of course they are
And what we're saying is that the SCOTUS decision is - to put it mildly - fucked up beyond all repair. Other countries get along just fine without corporations being persons. Other countries get along fine without corporations having the right to unlimited campaign contributions, or the right to a "religion" or any of the other bullshit that the USA has come up with in this regard.
You can create a legal category for "non-person entity" that means the entity can be sued for doing bad things without that entity having to be a person or having the protections of a person. Your arguments are simply flawed from the outset, Tim.
There is no rational reason to apply the human rights - such as free speech - to a corporation. A corporation is merely a means to shield entrepreneurs from certain legal consequences so as to reduce risk and better encourage entrepreneurship within a nation.
This legal shield - like patents - is a compromise. It is taking something away from society as a whole - the ability to hole to account those who run a corporation under various circumstances - in order to encourage a specific behavior. For a society to function properly, corporations themselves must not be viewed as "persons" unto themselves.
A patent grants a person a monopoly over an implementation of an idea for a fixed period of time in order to encourage people to invent. So long as the balance is carefully nurtured and maintained this ends up with a net benefit to a society. Similarly, a corporation grants an individual immunity from the debts accrued by a corporation from becoming their personal debts in order to encourage entrepreneurs to risk their personal capital and found a new business.
Both concepts can go horribly sideways and be misused. In the United States this has happened quite dramatically. Worse: the USA has started treating corporations more and more as though they have most of the rights of natural persons but none of the responsibilities.
What benefit to society is there in creating a separate class of "persons" with nearly all protections of society, a strong incentive to behave like complete sociopaths regarding the health and welfare of others, the influence brought about by concentrated capital, but meaningless levels of social responsibility and ineffectual enforcement of what little regulation exists?
The USA's approach to corporate personhood is both morally and ethically bankrupt. None of the extraneous crap that has become layered on top of corporate personhood needs to exist to accomplish the original goal of providing a firewall between debt collectors and entrepreneurs so as to encourage increased entrepreneurship.
A corporation must be viewed as an extension of the people who own and run it, not as a person in and of itself. It is an extension with limitations, but it is an extension nonetheless.
That the USA - via the SCOTUS, amongst other decision-making organs - has decided they want to take their society into an ever more polarized hell typified by increasing class strife and plutarchy does not make is right. That something is legal does make make it moral or ethical. Similarly, it can be - and increasingly is - entirely moral and ethical to do things that are illegal.
The USA has lost it's way and in no single instance is this more evident than the SCOTUS decision behind Citizens United. That is what people are discussing here, Tim. Our unease and outright hostility towards that decision. The fact that the society the USA is creating is emphatically not the society we want to leave to the next generation.
I don't expect you will ever be able to understand any of that...but maybe if you analyze the thread a little then in the future you'll be able to better separate a discussion about facts from one about morality and ethics. Nobody is here is debating the facts. We all agree on what has happened.
We simply don't agree with the rationale as to why those decisions were taken, nor do we see them as positive today, or for the future of our society. That's the bit you all to frequently miss, sir. The humanity of the situation.
Premise: the cloud is ideal for small businesses.
I'm going to use my home storage as a template here. It is similar in size to many of the 25-seat SMBs I work with.
Home lab + media + house files = 16TB home storage
$0.06 x 1024 x 16 = $983.04 /month
$983.04 x 12 = $11796.48 /year, not including bandwidth costs or Amazon Transit costs.
Synology DS1513+ 5-bay NAS $900 x 2 = $1800
4TB Western Digital RE 7200RPM SATA $453.50 x 10 = $4535
$1800 + $4535 = $6335 for 16 TB at RAID 5 + RAIN 1, shipping, power and setup costs not included.
Backups are required in both scenarios, as neither setup protects against fumblefingers or "oops." You can make the Synology setup virtually indestructible by swapping out one of the 5 bay devices for a 5-bay IOsafe for a few hundred dollars more while preserving the RAIN capabilities.
Once set up, a Synology RAIN pair requires virtually no maintenance. The Disk Warranty is 5 years long. Let's do some maths.
Assuming the Amazon costs drop by 10% year on year we have $11796.48 + $10616.83 + $9555.15 + $8599.63 + $7739.67 = $48307.76 total Amazon cost for 16TB over 5 years, not counting the cost of bandwidth or transit.
Assuming we opt for an IOsafe/Synology pair (and that IOsafe commands the MSRP $800 premium) we have $6335 + $800 = $7135 total Synology cost for 16TB over 5 years. Shipping, power, and setup costs not included.
Let's make things interesting and assume that we need as close to zero repair time as is practicably possible for our RAID + RAIN IOsafe/Synology setup. That means we need spares on the shelf.
So let's say we go for three IOsafe 1513s (3x $1700 = $5100) for the NASes and we buy two spare disk drives to cope with RMA lag, bringing out total disk cost up to $453.50 x 12 = $5442. That should see us through 5 years with room to spare. I have many such setups in the field and can say pretty confidently that they eat about $100 per year in power each; that's $200 per year for the pair or $1000 over 5 years.
That makes Amazon's $48307.76 versus the "IOsafe/Synology RAID 5 + RAIN 1 with cold spares on the shelf" approach which costs $11542. Over the course of five years Amazon costs $36765.76 more.*
The argument for the cloud is that it lowers your total cost of ownership by removing the onerous costs of paying nerds to know and fix things. This means that Amazon is adding $36765.76 worth of value above the $11542 cost of the raw hardware approach I described.
Could someone please explain to me how SMEs can afford to pay $36765.76 in "added value" to set up and run 16TB of storage? I'm quite obviously missing a very fundamental piece of economics.
Some of the top minds in our industry adamantly proclaim that all SMEs should be using public cloud services exclusively. The only conclusion I can draw from this is that I do not charge anywhere near enough money for my services.
*The cost of bandwidth and transit over those 5 years isn't part of this calculation, nor is shipping for the Synology set. The bandwidth will be expensive for most people - and could be disastrously costly, depending on your ISP and data caps - while the shipping will for most people be insignificant.