4597 posts • joined 31 May 2010
Re: @Trevor Pott
"However, Canada has the CSEC and its own FISC-like secret courts"
Wrong. We have CSEC, but no secret courts. CSEC still works out in the open, and our Supreme Court has absolutely zero issue with slapping those bastards - or the conservative government - upside the head with a trout if they get out of line.
Besides, even if we did have secret courts, they'd be our secret courts, not American ones. The only laws in play with be those of my own nation. That's a huge difference, especially as regards my legal, moral and ethical obligations to protect the data of my clients.
As for Switzerland, their legal processes regarding privacy are far better than anywhere else. I trust them more than any other country on earth, and far more than I trust America or Americans.
It isn't about keeping the information secret, it's about due diligence. It is about doing everything I can to keep that information away from those who would misuse and abuse it. America has misused information, is misusing information and will misuse information in the future. That country nor her people can be trusted. They conduct economic espionage even against their allies, and they spy on innocent civilians (even amongst their allies) and then hand that data off to people like their bottom-of-the-barrel border patrol. There, power corrupts quickly and absolutely.
So even if Canada's spooks are just as secretive (and I don't believe that for a second), Canadians and Canadian data have a path to address any issues within the framework of Canadian law. We have no rights and now powers to address abuse by Americans...and abusing information is simply what they do down there.
"So, judging by the comments here, despite Microsoft going out of their way to tighten up their privacy, that's still not good enough?"
Microsoft are not going out of their way at all, and they certainly aren't tightening privacy nearly enough. They also are one of the few major technology companies not out there fighting the good fight to the tune of a few billion to ensure that their lobbying might is used to pressure the government into reducing the instances where our mails can be read by busybodies or spooks to as near zero as is realistically possible.
In addition, Microsoft have the technology available to them to decouple their cloudy services from America, but choose not to. They have this "cloudOS" thing: install a private cloud on your own servers, on the servers of service providers, or use the Microsoft Azure public cloud. But they don't offer Office 365 for Service Providers. They don't offer the backend for Hotmail or many of the other "cloudy" services. If you want this stuff your only choice is an American company, and that is completely, utterly and totally unacceptable.
If I am going to shot my stuff int eh cloud it will be with a Canadian (or Swiss) company that hosts in Canada (or Switzerland) and has no American legal presence what soever. Zero legal attack surface in the USA is the only acceptable means to obtain privacy. Microsoft can choose to do this tomorrow. Until they do, they absolutely haven't done enough.
"Microsoft can't win because despite zero evidence to support the position, people still believe Microsoft are the bad guys."
Microsoft are the bad guys. Microsoft have repeatedly said "fuck you" to developers, customers and partners. It isn't ever any one thing with them...it's the hundreds and thousands of things over the years that ultimately boil down to their attempt to force the market to conform to their wishes instead of finding out what the market wants and providing that.
I could provide Microsoft with a list of over 100 specific action items that would not only rebuild trust amongst developers, partners and customers it would increase their profits and ultimately serve their long-term strategic interests. I have to believe that Microsoft, for all it's money, has people smarter than me working for them. Thus it is that I am absolutely Microsoft chooses not to implement any of the tactical changes required to rebuild trust. From that I deduce that they don't give a bent fuck about developer, partner or customer trust.
We are, to Microsoft, their chattel. We exist to serve them. They have forgotten that in markets where competition exists, the exact opposite is true.
I wonder how accurate those stats are. I number of XP boxes are hanging around running industrial machinery so they never hit the web. A bunch more have automatic update disabled, lest the AU flaw that pins your CPU all day long bite you. I suspect there are quite a few more XP boxes out there than are officially counted.
Re: chess playing
Explain to me how any chess grandmaster does anything other than "brute force" the game? They think multiple steps ahead, exploring dozens if not hundreds of simultaneous potential scenarios. Experience teaches them which moves are "generally good" and which are "generally bad." All of this is just a less efficient way of doing what the computer does, less accurately.
Re: " all intelligent devices - notebook, slabbies and smartphones"
"I don't understand why my initial post attracted so many downvotes"
Have you considered "because you're a tool?"
DNT is nothing but a parlor trick for the masses and you know it. Beyond licensing there is a lot to be upset with MS about. How they've treated partners, for one. For another, their outright hostile attitude towards their customers.
Microsoft tries to force the market instead of responding to it. At the end of the day, that's the crux of it. Google responds to the market. Both of them track you, but Google's better at it.
I see the odd person - myself included - saying "Chromebooks have a place and I see them increasingly displaying Windows." I have yet to see someone say "Chromebooks rule the world" or anything similar.
I do agree that Windows is gasping it's last as an endpoint OS, but that isn't because "Google = good" it's because "Microsoft = bad". This is Microsoft's market to fuck up, and they're doing so with gusto.
There are commentards who like Android, myself among them. Fucking deal with it. It has over 60% of the endpoint market. If you don't like it, go cry in a corner because it's coping time, sir, and you aren't doing well there. Again: this was Microsoft's market to lose, and Android isn't winning because it's awesome. It's because Microsoft are fucking clownshoes and Apple are just too damned expensive. (Well, and some few among us actually *like* Android's UI better than iOS...though iOS 7 is a hell of a lot better than 6...)
As for Google datamining you...who has ever denied this? I don't know of any commenttards denying this. I haven't seen a single one. I have seem some shrug and say "who cares." Many say "that's a price I'm willing to pay."
Most of the rest of us, however, know damned well that Microsoft et al are datamining also, so when everyone is datamining the pants off of you what about that makes Google more evil than the next guy? They're all evil, but Google periodically does things that benefit us proles while they're busy being evil.
Also, you don't "refute" my Google = lesser evil argument at all. You refuse it, but you don't provide an iota of evidence or reasoning. Microsoft are just as guilty of datamining as Google. So are Apple, Oracle, Facebook, Amazon and oh, so many others. These companies - Microsoft included - have all sunk billions into the technologies that enable this. Google just happens to be the best at it; that doesn't mean they are solely responsible for the privacyocalypse.
Are Google evil? Yes; but no more so than any of the other tech giants...and slightly less so than Microsoft. Microsoft treats their customers and partners alike as the enemy while treating end users with hostility and contempt. Google treats their customers and partner warily and end users like pets.
But Google does make an effort to take mediocre care of their pets. That's more than any other tech company out there is willing to do.
In my years here I have never witnessed "unbridled adoration of Google on these forums". I have witnessed a lot of shitting on Google, but no "unbridled adoration".
I think, perhaps, you are mixing up "choosing Google as the least terrible option amongst a sea of soulless peckerheads" with "unbridled adoration". That has more to do with your brand tribalism than any real-world pro-Google bias in these forums.
Google are completely, utterly, unrepentantly evil. But they happen to do something that benefits the average Joe from time to time, which makes them that ever so slightly less asstastic than the alternatives. Never mistake the fatalistic choice of "the assholes who will do the least amount of damage" for genuine affection.
Re: The most effective way of generating high entropy in anything is to set it on fire.
You are a terrible person. I like the way your mind works. :)
Re: What? No cattleprod!!
A clear oversight. I shall flog myself appropriately.
Re: The most effective way of generating high entropy in anything is to set it on fire.
Lava Lamp-based entropy is almost as cool, I do have to admit.
Re: Java - banned. Can I ban Flash yet?
What do you honestly need flash for that isn't covered by HTML5? Most places you'd go fetch a training video will offer it up through HTML5 if flash isn't there. Maybe you can ThinApp a browser with flash for the really rare instances there's a business case for flash?
Re: The most effective way of generating high entropy in anything is to set it on fire.
I now want a fire-based random number generator. That sounds awesome.
This is an example of the national interest and the public interest being divergent.
There are many others.
Re: Can't hear
4. Those illegible because they were crudely scratched onto dead trees by someone who doesn't do it often enough to be good at it.
Re: So they...
"Scarier is that they let it loose on YouTube.
Now, imagine that it reads YouTube comments...."
Yeah, 5 minutes of that and the thing would have enough general disdain for humanity it would be indistinguishable from your average UI developer.
Re: So many WTFs!
"They are American crimes because the company is American."
Actually, wouldn't the company he committed crimes against be an entity registered in Lebanon, presumably "Microsoft Lebanon"? That is a separate and distinct legal entity from "Microsoft USA". Or at least, so I am told by tax lawyers...
Re: VMware Virtual SAN and Shared Storage Support? Not in 5.5
"You can't fold SAN storage 'underneath' vSAN as additional capacity managed by that software - that's not supported."
Not supported, yes. "Can't"? No.
vSAN + EMC
You have more budget. We know you do. Spend it on our hegemony. Or we will take your firstborn!
Obviously there was no wifi, so the poor fellow couldn't get El Reg. Must have decided that without something good to read the fondletat was pretty worthless. What good's a consumptive device with nothing to consume?
Re: is it criminal watching criminals?
You can't be charged for an intent to commit a crime unless you actually go forth and do so. (Or threaten someone.) Unless your nation has embraced authoritarianism so fervently that thoughts are now actually a crime there. (Wouldn't surprise me.)
Aye. I do believe that your words indicate a belief that men are of less value than women. That their nature, desires, thoughts, emotions and so forth are a secondary to those of women. I get this in large part from your lashing out at people who call for equality while praising those who demand special treatment for women.
So yeah, misandrist. I do believe you are one.
Exactly what is sexist about wanting to see some jiggling boobies? Please explain this in detail. I'm genetically programmed to want to see jiggling boobies. Reproduction/mate acquisition is quite literally one of the most fundamental instincts our species has.
Are you honestly trying to say that it is somehow not sexist to demand that an entire gender repress/deny their own base instincts while it is somehow sexist for that same gender to acknowledge those same base instincts with the full participation of consenting adults? And what does this say about your views on women that you feel they don't have the right or capability to choose when and where they allow men to ogle them?
What right does anyone - man or woman - have to tell me whom I may or may not ogle, except the person whom I happen to be ogling at the time? If $individual doesn't want me to look at them they have every right to tell me to piss off. By what right does a third party - any third party, regardless of gender - insert themselves?
Are they next to tell me whom I can mate with? Perhaps I cannot mate with a member of my own gender? Or perhaps I cannot mate with a member of the opposite gender? Or perhaps I must undergo some meaningless religious ceremony before I am allowed to mate? Maybe I need to get a form signed in triplicate before I can even attempt to initiate a mating encounter?
There is nothing wrong withe human sexuality. It is an absolutely normal and natural part of life. There is everything with forcing unwanted sexual advances upon someone else, but nothing at all wrong with consenting adults having whatever fun they wish with however many layers of sexual - or, for that matter non-sexual - overtones.
Where in any of this does it say the hola-hooping ladies weren't digging the attention? And frankly, why wouldn't they? What we have is a third party getting upset because she observed a consensual display of interpersonal amusement that may potentially have had very mild sexual overtones. There is no indication anyone forced her to watch, to participate or even to acknowledge that the event was occurring.
Based on the evidence available she chose to insert herself into the interpersonal activities of others without invitation or desire on behalf of anyone else.
Your comments come across as misandrist. Pure and simple.
That is her interpretation of those events. It could just as easily be that she's incorrect and that the two events were not related at all. There is no rational reason to believe her interpretation of events until evidence is presented.
"Unless she was forced to take part then there would be a grievance."
Technically that's not entirely accurate. If she were somehow punished or experienced retribution for not taking part then there would also be a grievance. That isn't the same as "being forced to take part" as the "forced" indicated there is a threat at the time of the event, as opposed to petty vindictiveness afterwards with no advance warning.
A minor quibble, but the latter is a heck of a lot harder to prove than the former, but constitutes some pretty up there douchebaggery all the same.
Re: Awful lot of misogynists here
"I doubt these people even wonder why there are so few women in IT, let alone what to do about it."
Here's a better question: why should I care why there are "so few women in IT?" I treat women as equally as I know how. They get the same respect I would show any man. I see no reason to do anything differently than that. If women want to be in IT, I have no problem with that. Some of the smartest IT practitioners I've ever met are women and I think gender plays zero role in one's ability in this field.
If women don't want to be in IT, I'm okay with that too. I have never had this whole issue adequately explained to me such that anyone can convince me that every single field on earth should have gender equality. Women should have the right to choose what they want to do and I think it's sexist for us to dump umpteen squillion dollars into trying to change their minds en masse.
There are fields where women dominate and men are the distinct minority. We don't dump anywhere near the amount of money into attracting men into those professions that we lavish on women. Why? If absolute gender equality is the goal shouldn't all things be equal in this regard?
It isn't my job to worry about the grand cosmic gender balance. It's my job to treat everyone the same regardless of gender. So I do. They can choose to do whatever the hell they want for a living, I refuse to presume to direct their desires just to fill some fucking quota.
Re: I don't like....
"You're right, those women who happily took part in the hula-hooping incident must be forced to change so that they conform to the standards that this particular woman believes are acceptable.
They must come to understand that they have failed their gender, that women everywhere will be abused, maybe even raped, because they thought they could engage in such an activity."
This. 10,000x this.
Why does a company's culture get to be determined by the loudest individual? At what point is it "one person with a problem" and not "everyone else in the company" who has the problem?
I am not saying that there is or is not real gender prejudice occurring here. I am not there so I can't possibly know for sure. Despite this, the lady's own account contains incidences of other women being perfectly chill with the corporate culture; enough to make me question "is this the culture or the individual?"
If I am uncomfortable with ladies walking around with clothing that sexually excites me against my will am I allowed to request that they alter their behavior? Or will I go to jail for making the request because the mere fact of making that request is sexual harassment? Why then can this lady demand others change their behavior when it when it would seem everyone involved is totally okay with things (the hula hooping incident) except her?
Why does having been born with one's reproductive organs on the inside as opposed to the outside confer upon the person in question a socially acceptable "right" to demand dramatic changes in behavior in others whilst simultaneously providing a blanket immunity to similar standards for that individual?
This is a complex issue and one that cannot be judged based upon hearsay. And if saying that makes me a misogynist in the minds of some, so be it.
I don't think the majority of people here are "dismissing her claims as false." What we aren't doing is "taking her word for it." We are aware that the world is a complicated place and the - shock of fucking shockers - women are just as capable of lying, misrepresenting the truth, being mentally ill, being prejudiced or being out of touch with reality as men.
None of us in this thread where there, we have no possible way to know how this played out in the real world. To take the lady's side on this without question is just as fucking sexist as to say "she must be wrong because she's a woman." Maybe she's right. Maybe it was a hostile environment. Maybe she's wrong, and it was a perfectly rational environment where people were treated equally and she's just a special flower lashing out because of her own prejudices or mental issues.
How can you unequivocally take one side in this without all the facts?
Men and women must be treated equally by law. It's also ethical to do so; there's no rational reason to treat them differently in most circumstances. (Bathroom-related items to one side.)
Men and women are also treated equally by law. This means both genders are expected to behave without prejudice, are expected to be capable of accepting criticism, are expected to be able to deal with differences in culture, gender behavior and more. There are no absolutes here. This is why discrimination issues are dealt with on a case-by-case basis.
You are as guilty of rank sexism as the worst chauvinist in these threads. Your pervasive misandry is offensive and I demand an apology.
"Deal with people. Some people need different things, that's the world."
Equality isn't giving some people more and some people less so that we meet a minimum standard of "cuddly friendly happy" with effort, remuneration and tone adjusted to match the emotional state of each person.
Equality is ensuring equality of access; that everyone gets the same chance, the same opportunity, the same treatment, with appropriate adjustment for any disabilities that may be required to insure quality of access.
It is not equality to demand that I alter my natural - read, genetically precoded - behavior patterns to suit the whims of others whilst they are required to adjust to nothing. It is rank insanity to suggest that is somehow "equal".
Everyone has to learn to fucking cope. Whether you have a penis, a vagina, or a 40 ft tall spider robot body.
Re: On tech journalism shills: a freelancer's view from the bottom
It was a Monday. I dislike Mondays. I decided the only way to be sure I quashed the relevant bug was to deorbit several dozen kinetic rods directs on top of the target.
It is the only way to be sure.
Besides, this way I can link back to it the next time someone accuses me of the same thing, yawn, and go back to sleep.
Re: Other tools
I've been pondering this one pretty much all day. How exactly do you compare a vulnerability assessment tool? The number of knobs there are to turn? How well it's configured default out of the box? Speed? Price?
If we assume for a moment that - within a reasonable margin of error - all the tools pick up the same number and criticality of vulnerabilities then you're down to "soft" issues. How scriptable is it? How easily does it integrate into other systems? How appropriately does the tool rank vulnerabilities?
Then we get into other things. Are you going to use the assessment tool mostly in a scripted, automated fashion, or will you basically be living in the UI? If the former then the design doesn't matter. If the latter, then "adjunct functionality" really starts to mean something.
In most environments I use a combination of OpenVAS for vulnerability assessment, Spiceworks for monitoring and Languard 2.0 for discovery. Cost being the biggest driver for a lot of these folks. But the Languard 2014 can reasonably do all of that - and more - with easier configuration and scriptability. (OpenVAS is cool and all, but I don't find it as easy out of the box, something that matters if you are just showing up to do a sweep on demand.)
Nessus is something I find easier to use - as I should, given that it's a commercial version of an antecedent of OpenVAS - but more restrictive, despite being more feature rich. I'm intrigued but the "multi-scanner" approach, and I start to wonder if they have enough components and technology to challenge Thousand Eyes and offer that sort of "premises-to-the-cloud" monitoring as part of their offering as well.
Without question Nessus is a staunch competitor to Languard, and for good reason. The number of plugins available alone has created an ecosystem around Nessus that's hard to ignore. I do happen to like GFI's on-premises tool a bit more then Tenable's offering, but I wonder how much of that is simply habituation and familiarity.
There's also SAINT, PSI, Retina and whatever that Cisco one got renamed to that we should all consider. Add to the mix Nexpose/Metasploit and CI (if you're rich) and this is a field with bountiful competition.
So how do we compare A to B, C, D, E, F, G, and H? What matters to you won't necessarily matter to me and we may both differ from that guy over there. It's honestly hard to call a "better" - though I would entertain arguments for CI - when there is such a diversity of need. If the key need is being met (the detection, alerting and remediation of vulnerabilities) the rest is the sort of trite shite that ends up in emacs versus vim arguments or GUI wars.
At the end of the day, I honestly don't know how to compare these products. I lack the knowledge to do so without greater context for the specific target application. The answer to "which is better" is that ages old IT answer that so rankles certain people who believe in a black-and-white universe: it depends.
So when I review products in categories like this I measure them on merit alone, largely on the basis of meeting claims put forth. By that measure, I stand by what I said in the article. Languard does a fine job. It does what it says on the tin and does it for what I consider to be a fair price. It is exactly the sort of tool that no sysadmin should be without.
If Languard itself isn't the precise combination of twiddly knobs that meets your needs, there are others out there worth a look to. More important than which tool you choose is that you choose one and use it. Securing your network makes the internet a safer place for us all.
On tech journalism shills: a freelancer's view from the bottom
Hey there, good catch! I didn't even notice that it looked like an affiliate link when I added it. I was asked to add a link to the trial version (which, frankly, I probably would have done without anyone asking me, because it's just nice to do when you're writing about someone's product) and this was the link I was handed. The link itself is as follows:
The official explanation by one of our commercial guys is as follows:
"The link in question just goes off to their trial download. It has google analytics code appended to the URL so they can track, via GA, our readers who end up downloading said trial.
In order that we could also track this, I ran the URL through Reglinkz to output something we can track. However, this type of link won't get caught by ad-blockers etc"
That suits me, I hope it makes sense to you. To address the "shill" issue more directly: what I wrote about GFI's Languard I wrote because I felt it was accurate. I was asked to review the product and I did so as truthfully and honestly as I was able.
Dissecting the issue
Your question, however, raises a valid concern and we should dissect it to its fullest extent. Let's not take the fellow's word on this, but let's use some examination of the evidence and whatever personal experiences I can bring to bear to really examine the situation.
The link itself contains references to The Register. I was asked by The Register to do the review. I think it's safe to conclude that the on-premises side of GFI asked for a review of the product as part of an advertising campaign, and that the link provided me for the trial version is a means by which the GFI folks track which clicks came from the El Reg article.
For obvious reasons - writers of articles need to be kept separate from the messy details of where the money comes from in order to maintain objectivity - I'm no expert in the how and why of El Reg getting paid for things. Still, I very seriously doubt that The Register would have an actual "affiliate link" style arrangement with GFI on this. I just don't see that model having long term business viability for an entity the size of The Register.
Let me be, 100% clear on this, however: I absolutely have not and will not write nice things about a company because I get paid for it. I think you'll find this true of all El Reg writers.
One of the reasons I choose to write for The Register is that I get to write whatever I want. Companies pay The Register for advertising, yes. That's a fact of life in this industry. But the editors here will absolutely go to the mattresses for my right to say what I want.
A great example of this is my writing about Microsoft. Microsoft periodically comes in and runs a campaign about Office 365, Azure, Windows Server or so forth. They phone up El Reg and say something like "we would like 5 reviews of Office 365 to be published over the course of the next 2 months and each will focus on a different major feature."
My editor will then come to me and ask me to come up with topics that meet this request while still delivering useful technical content to our readership. We'll come up with a list of 7-10 possible review topics to cover the 5 reviews they want, they'll pick amongst them and I'll get hooked up with whatever resources I need to be able to do the review.
If you have read anything I've ever written about Microsoft you'll know that "Trevor saying nice things" is not something they can purchase.
A company paying The Register> money can get The Register to commission a review of their product. A company paying The Register money cannot and will not get that reviewer to write nice things.
If I have a really good idea for an article I can pitch it as a feature. Here I have to duke it out with every other freelancer wanting to write a piece about $topic. In addition to the above, I get to write a fixed number of blogs/reviews/podcasts per month (currently 6 per month) in which I get to pick the topic.
As concepts, these are important. If you are an advertiser trying to "shape the message" by "buying reviews" then you're going to have all sorts of problems. Journalists are prickly bastards. We would probably use our "pick your topic" articles to decry such shenanigans.
If you have followed me as a writer you'll know that I have never shied away from using my little digital soapbox to express my opinion.
I am – as one example – a VMware vExpert, a designation which I got mostly because I "evangelise" virtualisation. Being a vExpert conveys various interesting advantages and unlocks doors that otherwise I would never even know existed. Despite this, I have called VMware on their crap – both here on The Reigster and over at SearchVMware. I have talked about the stuff I see going on within the community and the company that aren't the shiny, happy world they portray.
Indeed, even with my commercial writing clients I don't write fluff, I focus on finding the truth and talking about it. I won't take a client I don't think has a good product that can benefit sysadmins and I never try to obfuscate or inflate the benefits of their product when I create content for them.
I can't speak for other writers. I never went to journalist school or took political science. I don't have an MBA or any time spent doing sales. People hire me because I tell the truth. It doesn't always make me friends – lots of people don't like the truth – but it is all I know. I'm a lazy sort by nature and trying to keep up a tangled web of lies is too much effort for me to expend for any reason.
The price of a man
I'm not unrealistic about the world. I have a price. My price is eight figures. Meet this price and I'll say whatever you want me to say. This price is way – way – beyond what anyone has ever offered me. I'm just not important enough for someone to have tried to buy me yet.
It's easy to level accusations of "shill." I've done it myself when I think so lowly of the other party that I honestly believe they could be bought for a half-eaten hamburger. We all know the guy who bought an computer product or service that was far more expensive than the competition just because he got a fancy lunch. Why not assume that journalists are as easy to buy?
The truth lies in the profession itself. If The Register were to become known for being "purchasable" then it would simply cease to exist. The readership would dry up and the value of advertising on the site would evaporate immediately thereafter.
The same is true for me, personally, as a journalist. If I have any "value" in this profession it is because I am known for being a hardass that truly and honestly believes in El Reg's motto: biting the hand that feeds IT. Companies seek me out to do reviews because they believe that if they can get a good review out of me people will believe it. If I accept a payoff then I lose my livelihood.
Fear and loathing in Silicon Valley
Consider Chris Mellor. I know for a fact that there are several hundred storage PR and marketing people who live in mortal terror of that man. When I started to write the odd piece about storage for The Register they all popped out of a portal desiring to woo me because they hoped (in vain, I might add) that I would be less blunt.
Mellor has earned a reputation for being fierce that, quite frankly, I envy. He tells the truth as he sees it. It is journalists like him that are why I have been a reader and fan of The Register for over a decade.
I get far more of a thrill out of talking about the elephant in the room than I ever will get out of some bit of techno-gadgetry. I don't need Yet Another 4-bay NAS. I don't need Yet Another NFR Software License. I have a pretty cool testlab already, and I am absolutely transparent about where I got my gear.
To be perfectly honest, I personally haven't wanted for shiny computer widgets for home use in over a decade (long before I started writing for El Reg) and I am only rarely interested in any of the new stuff that I see hit the tradeshow floors. I write about this stuff, I even practice this stuff professionally, but my life's ambition is not the accumulation of techno-tat. I want to write a science fiction trilogy. The gizmo of the week isn't going to make that happen any sooner.
If you honestly think that The Register is peopled by shills then I invite you to do some digging on your own. Talk to PR people. Ask them. They will tell you the same tales as I have told you above, but with more four-letter words and a lot of repressed bitterness. We do not make their lives easy.
I hope that the above explains the world of writing for The Register as seen from the world of a freelancer such as me. With any luck, I've helped explain a little of "how we writers get paid" and how the absolute wall between the monies paid and the writers is maintained by the editors. Thanks for your time, and I hope you choose to keep on reading El Reg.
This, incidentally, is where my "purchase price" comes in. I will say anything you want me to say if and only if you pay me enough money to say it such that I never ever have to worry about money again and retire the next day.
Re: How about ....
"I'm 40 and I can operate a computer"
Other agencies have to get a warrant. The NSA does not*. This is the primary difference. Warrant = presumption of innocence preserved. No warrant = Spookocracy.
*warrants from secret courts operating with zero oversight overseeing secret laws issuing secret letters of demand are not counted as "warrants" for the purpose of hte preservation of the presumption of innocence.
Nor, I should point out, does IBM have a history of scruples when it comes to customer selection. In fact, of all the vendors out there, I would most easily believe that the devices used to remove the presumption of innocence from billions of individuals were manufactured by IBM. Of course, I've no proof of that, but they would be the logical supplier to me.
Re: Bad News - Good News
Aye, whereas I believe that's merely a bone thrown to investors and not remotely the bit the people running the company care about.
Re: Bad News - Good News
Bad news is "we may have gotten caught paying some bribes".
Good news is "preliminary reports indicate there is little likelihood that this will not result in charges against our executives."
Same article, two different interpretations.
There are differences
The fact that I believe you, personally, are an imbecile doesn't mean I don't appreciate people who disagree with me. It proves nothing except that I believe you're an imbecile.
If you had twelve functional brain cells to rub together you'd realize that I truly adore people who disagree with me. I love arguing. I love learning. I absorb knowledge on every topic I can for no reason other than pure enjoyment. When I'm wrong, I get a thrill out of having it proven to me, because it means I now know something I didn't before. That's happy fun times for me.
There exist, however, people who believe wholeheartedly they are right, that I am wrong, but who cannot prove this to even the remotest degree. You are one such. Having a great big ego and demanding that I believe something different doesn't make you right. When what you assert goes against every bit of evidence I have then I am going to rapidly come to the conclusion that you're a tool, thank you, and extract my enjoyment from trolling you.
So I return to the statement at the top of this comment: the fact that I believe you, personally, are an imbecile doesn't mean I don't appreciate people who disagree with me. It proves nothing except that I believe you're an imbecile.
Deal with it, or don't; that's your bellyache. I have no need for your validation, though you are clearly upset that you lack mine. Cheers.
Oh, I like people who don't agree with me. If any two men agree about everything then one of them is redundant. I don't, however, suffer fools.
Guess which you are?
This seems like it might be painting Google with too positive a brush."
Then you are either unaware of my feelings towards Google or you are so unrepentantly biased against them that is no brush too negative with which another person can paint them.
Now I'm not saying I prefer Microsoft - by no means.
However I would reject that "[o]nly one of these two will hold the majority of the English-speaking search market".
Reality does not require your acceptance.
How about neither? A third player?
Not going to happen in the next 10 years. Do you even begin to comprehend the barriers to entry in the global search market? The insane amount of intellectual property that goes into the algorithms? Not just ranking, but efficiently indexing, retrieving, geolocating, etc? That's before we even touch upon the infrastructure required to run such a thing.
I would lay hard odds that even Amazon couldn't challenge Bing. To say nothing of Google.
Several more specialized search engines - perhaps through a central search engine that'll be forced to link through the specialized search engines that it's ripping its results from... I don't just speculation of course.
Same problem. A specialized search engine is even harder than a generalized one. You're trying to find not just needles in the haystack, but needles of a certain texture. Even if you could get a bunch of companies to create these specialized search engines, why would you ever assume they wouldn't be complete ass when compared to Bing (let alone Google?)
And who pays? How do these specialized search engines make money? Who is going to "force" a centralized search engine to link through others, and how does that search engine make money? No company is going to set about pissing away billions (and yes, we are talking billions to play the game today) on something that isn't ultimately profitable to them.
Besides which, why the metric fuck would I accept some government forcing me to use a particular search engine? Why should I? What right does a government have to tell me what search provider I must use?
If the government isn't forcing me to use a given search provider, why would I use anyone but the best of the best of the best? (Which is Google, hands down. Absolutely no contest.) If all rational decisions makers choose the best search engine (and probably a handful of irrational decision makers as well) then how does Google ever lose that monopoly unless someone comes along and is legitimately better?
Being legitimately better has such a high barrier to entry...
Look: you can't legislate people to use a given search engine. All you can do is make sure that a company with a natural monopoly is prevented from abusing it. In the case of Google, search is a loss leader so if you try to turn the knobs too much they'll just say "fuck you" and leave.
At which point you've cut off your penis to inflate your ego because now you've either crippled your own economy by ensuring your people only have access to an inferior tool when compared to the rest of the world. If you get into a trade war pissing match with the multinational in question you end up creating a subversive culture where people will tunnel past your firewall to get access to the tool they actually want.
More people using a search engine doesn't make that search engine better. Even if Microsoft won, got Google banned from doing any business whatsoever in Europe, that is absolutely not a victory for the citizens of Europe. Microsoft doesn't have the skills to go up against Google and provide a tool of equal value. Nobody else does either...though Baidu might get there in a few years.
So what you get is functionally annihilating the internet economy in Europe so that one American corporation can evict another. How the hell does that serve Europeans?
If you want a third party search engine, get 10 billion dollars together, get the best PhDs you can get, build the best search algorithms and infrastructure and maybe in 5 years you'll be where Google is today. If you can accreted enough users you might get enough revenue to compete with Google and maybe you overtake them.
Google, however, won't stay still. And they have better PhDs than any you could buy. They have loyalty and the ability to continue to afford such loyalty. Most governments can't take Google on directly when it comes to internet R&D.
This isn't me liking Google. I'm pretty convinced they're evil. (Though I believe they are less evil than Microsoft.) But I recognize reality. Google represent something that has never existed before in all of human history. They are the gatekeepers to all human knowledge. They are very nearly the gatekeepers to all human experience.
More than mere money, Google have power. The power that comes from intimate knowledge, the power that comes from intelligence (detailed knowledge of the enemy), and the power that comes from religion (they have True Believers that number in the millions).
Like it or not, Google are more powerful than most nations. They are not a force that can simply be legislated to come to heel. And they are not a force to be trifled with. They provide a very distinct, very real competitive advantage to those who use their technology and they know it.
This is more than simply a wish list of wanting something for nothing from some yankee corporation. This is the game of thrones, and if Europe moves to smite Google the consequences will be very, very real.
Alumia knows that. His decision was the right one, given the circumstances. That isn't me "being kind to Google", that's just accepting that knowledge = power, and Google knows fucking everything.
Almunia is one of the not so bad guys. He has rightly determined that Google is less ass than Microsoft. Trading in a company that is anti-competitive in a manner which is beneficial to the consumer for one that is is horrifying wasteland and anti-consumer amorality isn't a bargain.
Does Google promote it's offerings over the inferior offerings of others? Yes. Would Microsoft do any different? Fuck no. Does Google track us in a creepy fashion? Yes. Does Microsoft? Yes. Would Microsoft with the market share of Google be as bad as Google? They'd be 10,000 times worse.
Google spies on you in order to make money to deliver you things you want so they can spy on your more.
Microsoft spies on you in order to make money to increase shareholder dividends. Then they make shit you don't want, hold a gun to your head and say "upgrade or die."
Only one of these two will hold the majority of the English-speaking search market. I know which one I prefer.
- +Comment Anti-Facebook Ello: Here's why we're still in beta. SPAMGASM!
- NASA rover Curiosity drills HOLE in MARS 'GOLF COURSE'
- WHY did Sunday Mirror stoop to slurping selfies for smut sting?
- Business is back, baby! Hasta la VISTA, Win 8... Oh, yeah, Windows 9
- George Clooney, WikiLeaks' lawyer wife hand out burner phones to wedding guests