4710 posts • joined 31 May 2010
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
Re: Am I getting tired?
"So Reporters without Borders agree that governments are spying via internet on citizens?"
"On the other hand, Reported without Borders don't like that government is spying on citizens."
I do not understand why these things would be mutually exclusive? Or perhaps I am reading your comment wrong...what exactly is your issue with the RWB statement again?
It's all good 'cause without it the terrorists will get us. Spying on us has stopped many terrorist plots. It is necessary for our safety that the government know everything we do. If you have nothing to hide then you should have nothing to fear.
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?
Most sysadmins out there have never heard of rsync
*puts fingers in ears*
I refuse to believe this is true.
As for the "Microsoft bubble", well, there's robocopy, richcopy, DFSR (just off the top of my head) for file-level replication and Starwind for block-level replication (well there's lots more than Starwind, but Starwind's the only one I trust.)
But not heard of rsync? I...just...wha?
Beer. I need beer. I am going to go format floppy disks and drink beer while I dial up to one of the last remaining BBSes with my 9600 baud modem. Because I still can. (But for how long?)
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.
Re: lets see..
Get a new computer or tablet and fire up a web browser, or download one from the web. Fire up the built-in search bar, or even simply type something that isn't a url into the address bar. What's the search engine that gets fired up?
It's Bing. Just tested five computers from three different manufacturers. The very first thing I do is change it to Google because Bing is a fucking nightmare of traumatizing awfulness.
Go to the website of virtually any major company and view the source. Find the section that provides tracking and analytics information scripts. What's the one that's always there?
Yup. Google Analytics. But fuck you in the brain with a rototiller if you are going to tell me that companies are somehow forced to use Google analytics. Doing so takes effort. It's not a default. Google offer the best service, period.
If Ford wanted to know the details of every journey I made, or Coke wanted to know every shop I personally bought a can of drink at, I'd be worried about that.
Ford do want to know the details of every journey you make and Coke do want to know every shop you personally bought a can of drink at. Welcome to the 21st century. Your precious Microsoft is just as fucking guilty as Google. They are merely less capable than Google. They make shittier products, people trust them less and website administrators don't find as much value from their tracking packages.
Re: lets see..
"If I go to a search engine (any search engine) should I not get a fair and impartial return to my query?"
No. They're a commercial search engine. Not a public one. They aren't a library. They aren't journalists. They are a business. Why should it be fair and impartial? According to which ethical logic?
Microsoft are far more evil than Google. Microsoft are easily as corrupt as Google already, given them the all-pervading power that Google has and they will create a fucking distopia.
Every one of these bastards wants to drag us down to hell. I choose the carriage with the most comfy seating, thank you.
Re: High Reliability… It’s not that easy…
I am intrigued.
Microsoft no longer sells Windows. They sell tiles under a false name.
Re: Stop who?
I never said a government should bend to me. I said said that governments are instruments of the people. People are not instruments of the government.
Unlike your antiquated and simplistic advice I don't believe in simply "me for me." Upping stakes and going elsewhere because I don't like the choices made by governments elected by a minority of individuals would be cowardice.
Bravery is found in driving change. In putting one's time, effort and resources towards achieving the desired outcome. I find no valour in meekly accepting what is. I see no honour in capitulating. Right and wrong are not dictated by those in power; especially when those in power are emphatically not elected by a majority. (There's a proportional representation discussion to be had here.)
I certainly don't see any bravery in allowing foreigners (Americans, Brits) to dictate to my nation - and thus to me - what will be, what is right or what to believe. Instead, I choose to push for change. To stand up for what I believe and to encourage my nation to stand up to those others who would have us compromise our values.
I am defending my home using the only means I have available to me. I will not run and hide. I find it incomprehensible that anyone could advocate such under the guise of bravery."
Re: Stop who?
"If you ask yourself why you care if NSA is spying on you, you likely also answer the question what the FSB or Chinese secret service could do to you."
I care that the NSA is spying on me because what the NSA finds they share. I don't give a shit what Russia or China knows about me because they aren't going to affect my life in any meaningful way.
"I am of course happy to see that you are so on the ball. Wind power, solar power, and IC circuits were industries which weren't able to do what you can -- when they had their technologies stolen and copied, they got outcompeted."
Americans and Brits conduct economic espionage against other countries too. Don't pretend otherwise. Political machinations at this level are way beyond "the average guy". Defending home infrastructure is exactly the sort of job the NSA should be fucking doing, and this is exactly the sort of shit they should have prevented. Had they not been pissing away their resources on surveiling their own citizens for drug crimes they might just have been able to.
Strategic companies and tactical government investments need defense. The best defense that the nation can afford. That's the job of the spooks. It's not the task they're currently engaged in.
"How do you reckon? I've never even heard of anyone getting arrested by the NSA or based on NSA evidence; the number of cases must be very easily counted."
Your inability to actually read the news isn't my problem. They have passed along all sorts of info to the DEA, the FBI, etc. They snoop, they pass along, regular joes get nabbed for petty shit.
"Like I've said before: the focus on NSA/GCHQ is a bit unfortunate, not just because it ignores the equally big threat from other countries, but especially because it ignores that most people are under much greater threat from the rising capabilities of "standard" law enforcement agencies. NSA and FSB wont give a crap that I've got a copy of the "Farscape: The Peacekeeper Wars" DVD on my computer, but the FBI or Metropolitan Police would kick my door down and haul me off to prison."
I don't disagree with this, but I think you live in a fantasy world where you envision a separation of powers here that doesn't, in fact, exist.
If the NSA/GCHQ/CSIS/etc were to limit their snooping to national security issues, I wouldn't have a problem with them at all. Hell, I'd cheer them on and might even want to work for them. They don't. Not even remotely. They backchannel shit to other enforcement agencies all the time.
Therein lies the problem. As a society we decided that "regular" law enforcement should have X capabilities and national security interests should have Y capabilities. This is because we believe that there is a difference in priority between the two. Breaking some laws just isn't as important as breaking others. (See also: criminal versus civil division.)
And yet, people selling mary jane are being picked up because the machinery of national security is hijacked to fill quotas. City councils abuse CCTV installations to catch people putting out an extra bag of trash.
You argue that the concept of the NSA is necessary and good. I don't disagree with you one whit. Where we disagree is in our acceptance of how this concept has been implemented, and how much corruption of the basic separation of enforcement capabilities we are willing to tolerate.
The state should not be able to tap an undersea cable to catch me downloading Farscape. That falls into the realm of "petty crimes" for which the state should have to have reasonable suspicion and there is the whole concept of "innocent unless proven guilty" to cope with.
The state should, however, be able to install equipment required to detect spying from international interests. Foreign govenrments don't get the benefit of "innocent unless proven guilty." I do, however, argue that allied citizens should.
And there's the rub. Innocent unless proven guilty. When the government can spy on everything that everyone does how does that concept apply? How do we enforce it? Where do we enforce it?
From what I see today it is largely being ignored "because we can." And that, sir, I have a huge problem with. That is the bit that needs some real fixing. And that is why I decry those who would support dragnet surveillance as "evil."
I believe in "innocent unless proven guilty" as a fundamental concept. A idea of such importance that it is, in fact, worth dying for. Those who advocate abridging it for convenience or the illusion of security, well...I find it hard to express the true vehemence of my disregard.
"I will note that cynicism is the simplest political posture."
Personally, I'd argue that "faith" is the simplest political posture, but we're really arguing two sides of a coin there: the extremes of the concept "trust" are far simpler than dealing with the messy reality of the middle.
I am a cynic by nature, but I put actual effort into not allowing that to drive my political views. It's hard to be both a cynic and a socialist! Most people, I think, are inherently good...but most people are also too overwhelmed with the business of daily life that they don't have the means or the time to engage in political discourse about larger items. Fear plays a role: if they keep their heads down they may be left alone to tend their own issues.
It is faith to believe that those in power over us will do what is good and right. It is cynicism to believe they will do what is wrong. It is faith to believe that we can make the world a utopia. It is cynicism to believe that we can have no effect at all. These beliefs are trite and easy to be passionate about. They are views that feel intuitive, and thus it is easy to become attached.
Reality is a lot more murky. Those in power will not do what is good and right...but rarely do they set out do evil, either. In truth, humans build complex systems that they cannot control and a single enterprising malefactor can take control of the machinery to bend it to their own ends. Our entire history is examples of this happening again and again.
The fight for balance will never be over. Pick any two poles (liberty/security, right/wrong, etc) and there will always be forces tugging society to either end.
The price we pay for being part of the governing structure - even peripherally - is that we must remain perpetually vigilant. We must take note when the needle slips too far to one side and take action immediately to remediate the situation.
Sadly, you will never convince those who are currently content with their life to do anything excepting defend vigorously the status quo. Society as it is currently structured has obviously provided them with a life they enjoy and thus any change in these circumstances risks being to their detriment. They will oppose change with what borders on an elemental force.
"I've got mine, so fuck everyone else" is all too common an ideology.
Re: I know the Reg hates Google but @Howverydare
"Mind I suspect you may have touched a nerve and am now expecting a conflated and massive polemic on the evils of anybody Trevor doesn't agree with ...... regardless of the reality of the situation."
I don't have a huge problem with the corporate collection of data. I am, however, aware that many others do.
Yes, these companies have no choice but to hand over the data they collect. That's merely a statement of fact. Those companies, however, make a choice as to ho much data they collect. There is no evidence to say that they have been directed by national agencies to specifically collect more data than they otherwise would have.
That means that whilst I don't personally have a huge issue with the fact of corporate data collection, there is a legitimate case to be made by those who do. That means that aversion to the amount of data collected by these companies can be part of a rational decision making process that entails choosing not to use these companies.
Thus the fact of their collection - and how much they choose - to collect is relevant. As relevant (if not more so) than the fact of national dragnet surveillance. Corporate collection makes the job of the national spy agencies easier and cheaper. The companies in question can choose to collect less, or to collect in a manner that makes that collection useless to the spooks. (Unless and until ordered otherwise.)
Me, personally, I wouldn't have a huge issue with corporate collection if the spooks weren't a threat. I can choose to avoid corporate collection with simple tools. Google, Microsoft et al provide me valuable tools in exchange for my privacy, and I honestly believe many of them put effort into doing a good job to protect my privacy from everyone except the spooks.
So if I've a beef with the original poster here it is merely that one cannot realistically separate the fact of corporate collection from governmental collection in today's world. They are deeply intertwined.
Personal privacy will best be regained by curtailing and limiting the powers of our national security agencies and dialing back the surveillance state. Once the spooks are prevented from using dragnet surveillance and properly restricted to targeted surveillance then we as citizens can set about choosing how much of ourselves to reveal by choosing which corporations we interact with.
Re: Stop who?
"> There is an important difference between the two concepts. Governments are servants to their people. Rules make servants of the people."
There is a typo here. This SHOULD read:
"> There is an important difference between the two concepts. Governments are servants to their people. Rulers make servants of the people."
A subtle difference that totally changes the meaning.
Understand me clearly: I do not mind that laws exist. I do not mind the existence of rules. I do mind someone who seeks to rule me. I am nobody's subject. I am nobody's slave.
Rules that exist to prevent tragedy of the commons, this I accept. Rules that help maintain order, this I accept. Rules that exist in to instill fear in a population or to surveil their every move...these I do not accept.
Rules must exist for a society to function. But no man belongs to another, nor does any man belong to their government. Governments belong to their people. I
I have little real issue with most laws. There are too many and they are overly complicated to the point that a good cleanup could benefit us all, but for the most part they serve society. Even where laws are stupid, outdated or brought about through corrupt practice they usually have narrow impact and the existing processes allow for their redress, alteration or nullification.
This isn't the case with laws aimed to allow dragnet surveillance, remove the right to face one's accuser, strip citizens of the rights against unreasonable search and seizure or those which alter "innocent unless proven guilty" to "guilty unless we allow you to attempt to prove your innocence (which is unlikely.)" These are laws that fundamentally affect the balance of power in our nations.
These are laws that make "the national good" and "the good of the people" separate and distinct items. Those are the laws I have trouble with, and those are the laws that must be fought. The national good must always be the same thing as the good of the people. When it is not, it's time to rebuild.
Re: Stop who?
"You've never been married have you?"
Almost 2 years now. Quite happily. The wife doesn't rule me, I don't rule her. The cats, on the other hand....they might well be my masters. I'm down with that, however. Cats are superior in every way. All hail our feline overlords.
Re: Stop who?
So far we've managed to defeat several bills aimed at expanding the surveillance state, gotten all of the opposition parties onside with the idea of completely redesigning our surveillance system and even gotten commitments towards greater civilian oversight.
We've raised millions of dollars towards awareness and lawsuits to challenge the status quo. We've organized letter-writing campaigns that encompassed a noticeable percentage of our population and triggered investigations and mediation. We've even driven down the popular acceptance of the conservative party to such an extent that if the election were held tomorrow they would lose and lose badly.
Fundraising is going well, both from the spying-on-your-own-citizens and the telecoms reform groups. Enough that each has become a powerful lobby in this nation of their own right; given that they share very similar goals and are purchasing political capital with abandon we actually stand a decent chance of making a dent.
Additionally, we've sent some of our top organizers to the states to train their groups. They are responding well and they are seeing an uptick in responsiveness and funding. Enacting change in the US will take a lot longer - and it is a hell of a lot more expensive - but there is every reason to believe we will ultimately be successful.
The UK is a whole other ball of wax. Canada and the US don't have popular support for dragnet surveillance. But he UK has a strongly authoritarian society. Libertainism (either right or left) isn't very deeply embedded into the psyche of the nation and so steering them away from such a path will take decades. First, we must change the society as a whole...that takes time and even more money than lobbying in the US.
But as for how it's going? Well. Piece by piece, bit by bit, the pressure is mounting. The discussions keep occurring and popular support is growing. As for "abuse"...I stand by what I've said, sir. I do hold that your beliefs are in fact evil. You have the right to think of me what you want. It is that right - the right to think what you will and express it openly - that I am fighting for. If you choose to hate me for it, so be it.
Re: Stop who?
"Except, of course, they use what they find to blackmail you or steal vital secrets from the company you work for (or own)."
I don't' do business with them. So what do I care if they attempt to blackmail me? As for stealing vital secrets...so what? So they can make what I make or do what I do? Oh well. Let them. Their society needs people and companies that do what I do. By the time they get tooled up to match me and have enough presence to reach out of their market and compete against me in the markets I occupy I'll be several evolutions beyond them onto "the next thing."
Risk is part of life and it is certainly part of business. Vain attempts to minimize risk at the expense of freedom are pointless. Our own governments and their allies are far greater threats to the average person and business than the Russia/China boogeyman.
Re: Stop who?
With enough effort I *might* be able to convince another government to accept me into their country. At which point I've replaced my current government for another. I have no choices which involve "no government" excepting (possibly) Somalia. Even there, the local warlords that have eeeked out territory constitute a government of sorts. You are subject to the whims of those who claim the land upon you live and seek to rule you unless you are so much stronger than they that you form the ruling class on your own.
Your entire argument is a statement of "this is how it is, so learn to like it." I call that cowardly bullshit. You may be roughly accurate in describing how limited our options are - though I believe you are overly optimistic about how many options the average person realistically has - but we always have the choice to resist.
I don't accept the status quo. The status quo is inadequate and doesn't benefit me or mine. I will resist the status quo and seek change.
People, like you, who believe that the illusion of security is an acceptable trade for liberty are those against whom I the struggle must be directed. Your misguided beliefs must be changed so that the people can stand united against those who would seek to rule us.
Governance of populations is necessary, but I am no slave. I will allow no man to rule me. There is an important difference between the two concepts. Governments are servants to their people. Rules make servants of the people.
And to be perfectly clear: I'll die before I allow someone to rule me.
Re: I know the Reg hates Google but
You deny that Google, Microsoft, Yahoo and other similar companies conduct planetary-wide mass surveillance up to - and in some cases over - the limit of the law?
Re: Stop who?
I can't opt out of my government. Or out from under the thumb of the USA. I can opt out of Google. There are tools that let me defeat a Google. I can install them on my computer. I have fucking nothing that will defeat people who have the legal power to tap trans-oceanic fiber or install MITM equipment in telecoms closets.
So yeah, I've got no big beef with corporations tracking things. Or rather, I do...but that is a technological arms race that I can win because they are limited to the same scope of powers I myself posses.
I have a great many issues with governmental surveillance, especially by my own country and our allies. I don't care about targeted surveillance; that's requisite and sane. Dragnet surveillance, however, places too much power in the hands of petty bureaucrats and border security agents. Both these categories have minimal-to-no oversight and unchallengeable authority.
Maybe China and Russia have similar programs. Oh well. Who cares? Their spying programs won't impact me or mine unless I try to enter their country. The same cannot be said of my own country spying on me, or of allied nations spying on me.
Allied nations share their surveillance with my nation enabling my country's petty bureaucrats to make my life miserable at will. Obey or be destroyed.
Allied nations are also where I am most likely to want to engage in business or travel for leisure. Again we encounter the real world impacts of mass surveillance, too much power and information given tot he petty thugs left to man the borders.
If they want to create terrible societies that is up to them. We claim we're "better" and more "free", we should damned well prove it. Liberty is not an acceptable price for the illusion of freedom.
Re: Cue the
"At this stage, I would rather refer people to that Microsoft online service, which no one is using, than send more people to Google."
Except Microsoft are just as evil, go out of their way to collect just as much infomration and use it in as creepy a fashion as Google do. They simply don't have the scale that Google do due to lack of "products = overpriced ass with complicated and punitive licensing."
Microsoft's are no less evil than Google. They're just douchey enough not be players on the same scale.
Dinosaurs didn't have a space program and look what happened to them.
They're still around. There's bloody billions of the things. Some of them - such as the family Corvidae - are damned near as smart as we are.
It isn't asteroids we should be worried about, it's the slow death of the Sun. It might sound stupid - the Sun is supposed to have a few billion years left - but it's not. There are maybe a billion years of habitability left on Earth. Long before the Sun expands into a red giant and blasts the atmosphere off this rock it will have been completely sterilized. Several estimates have the planet able to sustain truly complex, intelligent life for 300-400 million years at best.
In geological context, that isn't all that long. That's one more mass extinction cycle. Or one more "largeish quantities of Algea into fossil fuels" cycle, to be more precise. It's this latter that matters.
You see, the biggest issue is that fossil fuels are of finite supply. They represent the densest chemical energy source we know of and they are an absolute bitch to manufacture synthetically. Simply put: if you want to put a rocket into space fossil fuels represent the most efficient method we know of.
Once fossil fuels are gone humanity will be facing a pretty big energy crisis. How will we generate the kind of power necessary to run our ever-increasingly-power-consuming society, let alone blast payloads into orbit?
Going out into space with enough people and equipment to begin a space-faring civilization is going to take sending up a lot of material. The geopolitical realities of our species make a continent-long rail gun highly unlikely, we're hundreds (if not thousands) of years away from orbital tether technology and an energy-starved future humanity isn't going to be all that inclined to spare the power necessary for the electrolysis of $stupid quantities of hydrogen or the purification of $stupid quantities of aluminum.
(Don't say "nuclear will save us" because A) people are dumb, stupid, panicky animals and I doubt they'll ever be able to overcome the conditioning of "OMG RADIATION" so they'll cut off their nose to spite their face on that regard. B) Even if we did suddenly start to grasp basic science and accept that fission is a safe form of energy there simply isn't enough fuel to sustain our society at present technology levels matching projected demands for all that long.)
If we are ever going to get out into space with enough people and enough equipment to master the stars the time is now. Now while energy is cheap. When it can be pulled out of the ground in ready-to-use form, densely packed and easy to implement. This time will not come again for our species.
By the time there is enough fossil fuel recreated by natural processes on Earth humanity will be dead and gone and buried. Dusts of the ages and extinct a long, long time ago. Will earth birth another space-capable race in time to use that fuel? The chances aren't good...and there's really only the one more chance after us.
It is comforting to think that the Universe is teeming with life; that even our own small galaxy abounds with multiple life-bearing planets. It is comforting to believe in this because it removes from us the burden of seeding the Universe with the only known life to exist: Earth's.
Humanity will die. Earth will die. Eventually, even our Sun will die...and none of that is all that far away. Personally, I think it would be a cosmically reprehensible shame if life itself died with our planet. It would be an unimaginable tragedy if it was our own shortsightedness that meant that the only species known to have ever existed to be capable of spreading this fluke of chemistry to the stars failed to do so.
I believe that the only purpose of life is the continuation of life itself. It isn't about the continuation of our lineage, or even our species. The stakes are bigger than that. It is about ensuring that life manages to outlast the stars themselves; that the Universe is given purpose beyond mere existence by the fact that life still exists to experience it's wonders.
Our time is now. It may never come again. If Earth is, in truth, the only place in the universe where life arose - and until we have solid confirmation it exists elsewhere we must assume this to be true - then we must take advantage of what we have and act. Hie thee to the stars, earthkin; we have a duty to the universe itself to spread the seeds of experience before the brief candle of our existence is blown out.
Re: The oldest swinger in town
"Value for money" is a dirty phrase in the IT industry today.
Well, Americans probably don't have to worry about economic espionage by the NSA. Anyone else, however, is probably better off not putting their crown jewels in the hands of the yanks.
Dude...are you smoking timecubes?
Ammaross, hat's off to you and your folks. You guys have put in truly stupendous amounts of time responding to the VSAN thing. Twitter has been absolutely full of DataCore folks since before the launch. I still think SimpliVity's response was the smoothest, but you guys sure showed the flag.
Good effort, and good luck!
Go read the comments section of that article on Ars and you'll see my response. I was absolutely not fond of the fact that it came without warning, but I bought an Ars subscription and held it for quite some time. Their science reporting was the best on earth, and well worth the money.
When I eventually swore off Ars forever the reason was that I had - and have - some significant moral objections to how they handled the discovery that Snowden was one of their commenters. Their actions were not remotely "okay", a far greater moral issue for me than the concept that they want to be paid for their work.
To save you the trouble of hunting down my responses, my view on the issue is this:
Ars has a history of doing things that could under most circumstances be if not "cool", then at least justifiable...but executing them in such a godawful way as to alienate their own core readership.
How they handled subscriptions was a fantastic example. The rationale "we want to be paid for our work" was entirely understandable. The out of nowhere blocking with inclusion of nasty message was not. They could have engaged their readers over the period of a few weeks. Let us know what was coming down the pipe, eased us into the idea then initiated the block. That would have caused less of an explosive reaction.
It's like they get all the hard things right (science reporting) and screw up all the easy bits (applying the bast 150 years of science in group dynamics to manage a readership.) How you handle people matters. While I agree with Ars' reasoning, their approach in that instance was uncool.
Re: "Merely...make money"
"If you don't want adverts on your web pages, start *PAYING* for the services you use."
To start: fuck you. With a bronzed goat. Sideways. Covered in a lovely capsaicin and piperine salve. Just so that I can set the tone of my complete and utter contempt for your position.
When and where the opportunity to pay for a service is offered, I'll gladly do so. I will not allow advertisements through. If a website has a problem with that they can offer me the option of paying a subscription or of simply denying service altogether to those who use privacy and anti-malware defenses such as adblock, noscript and so forth.
The information has been published. I am within my right to make a derivative work. Just like I'm within my right to cut up TIME magazine, apply some glue and glitter and make art. The difference is merely one of result: Instead of arts and crafts I am protecting my privacy and preventing my system from getting pwned by malware. It has the added benefit of protecting myself from the increasingly sophisticated psyops that is modern marketing.
My rights to privacy, security and independence of thought come before the highly dubious and outright outrageous "rights" of commercial entities to claim copyright on the rendered output of a webpage.
If you want me to stop you are going to have to kill me, because that is the only way I will cease and desist using privacy and security protections on the internet. You can send men with guns to my house to attempt to drag me away on trumped up charges. I will not comply.
I do not recognize the authority of any entity - neither person nor government - to tell me that I must suborn my privacy, security and independence of thought to the "right" of a corporation to make money. It is so completely unethical that standing up against that concept is something I consider worth dying for.
A world where law can dictate what people must see? A world where the individual is tracked by government and corporation through every interaction of their life? A world where it is legal for corporations and governments to spend billions on researching and developing the most complex models and techniques for individual and group manipulation that has ever been developed and where it is illegal for an individual to defend themselves against this manipulation?
That's a fucking dystopia. One I refuse to help build. It is a world I absolutely do not countenance and one I will fight against with every tool at my disposal.
Fortunately, the best way to fight against this particular psypocalype is to spread knowledge. The free flow of information, tools, techniques and technologies are the greatest threat to the clowns who believe they have the right to tell the rest of the world what to think, what to say, what to do and what to believe.
If you want to get paid, put a script on the site that detects adblock and throws up a paywall to those users. You offer a good or service and you receive money in return. That's fair and just. Demanding our privacy, security and independence of thought as payment for anything is neither.
So with that, I return to my original statement: fuck you. With a bronzed goat. Sideways. Covered in a lovely capsaicin and piperine salve. And that goes douuble for the rest of the entitled fucks who believe the same as you. Our privacy, security and minds are not your playthings...and you've no right to ask for them in payment for anything.
Re: PCs are now workstations?
Bingo. And people aren't refreshing their professional workstations for several reasons.
1) What they have is good enough.
2) Nothing is really compelling enough to trigger an upgrade asynchronously of system death.
3) Professionals don't want Fisher Price toy operating systems
4) The transition to the far more expensive "cloud" versions of software is not enticing. doubly so because this is just paying more money so that DRM can be added, without providing anything of value to the customer.
5) Once burned, twice shy: what value is there to the customer in buying into the new "perpetual upgrade" your-wallet-as-a-service PC ecosystem when new software versions regularly ship with undesired and undesirable changes?
While this doesn't cover everyone, of course, I think by now it's pretty safe to say that the majority of PC users are quite happy with what we've got for PCs and simply aren't enticed by the new stuff on offer.
At some point, you need to admit that you've reached Peak Hammer. Trying to reinvent the hammer isn't going to shift more hammers. You'll still sell hammers, but the design isn't going to evolve much. Hammers will be chosen based on quality and price and that's it.
You can go forth an invent the jackhammer, but that's a fundamentally different device. You can invent the screw and screw driver, but again, it's a fundamentally different device with a different purpose.
There's also the point where we need to accept that the screw driver and hammer are destined to be two different devices. You don't build a house with a leatherman. Markets evolve. You can't slap multiple tools together and hope you can keep your margins high. When you've reached peak hammer then it's time to accept margins on that tool will evaporate. You need to diversify: make a diversity of tools and make up the margin loss in volume.
Or, get the hell out of tool manufacturing all together and move on to something else. Either way, the halcyon days of short refresh cycles, mass shipments and high margins are behind hte PC industry. They won't be coming back.
Like the hammer, if you want to sell this common professional tool you are now going to have to compete on quality and price. Which, to put it bluntly, means Microsoft's PC division is pretty much fucked.
Statistics-driven design is what gave us Metro. How's that working out so far?
Microsoft needs to do one thing if they want to win hearts and minds: obey Wheaton's Law. Statistics won't tell you this because statistics can only give you information on things you've actually tried. Worse, statistics can be bent and twisted to support any agenda.
Microsoft is fucked. Statistics-based strategy is what got them into this mess int he first place. What they need to do is sit down with their critics and engage with them on a real, human level. Understand their grievances and instead of trying to explain to them why they are somehow wrong and they need to change their thinking to meet Microsoft's strategy...change Microsoft's strategy to be more compatible with the evolving needs of real people.
I had high hopes for Nadella. He was one of the few Microsoft folks who truly seemed to grok the concept that people were not just numbers on a ledger. I am distraught to be proven so wrong.
Re: When you threaten Meetup, it's blackmail...
1) Windows 3.1 "multitasking" was Metro-class garbage. "Most people" need multitasking. Windows 95, OTOH, is just fine. (Well, OS2 is just fine. It didn't crash all the damned time.) People also need APP SUPPORT. That means Windows XP at a minimum today. Decent browser, VLC, a few other things. That said, if you could load all that up on Windows 95, hey, it'd be more than good enough.
2) You aren't allowed to make mistakes, peon. There are an unlimited number of people waiting to take your job. Get back to work, work doubly hard and I'll fire your ass at will anyways.
3) No, I can't get support by giving MS money. They have minimum numbers of systems and the floor price is extortionate. I'd gladly pay MS the cost of the OS all over again to get another 3 years. Hell, if MS want me to pay them $150/seat every three years to keep XP going forever, I'd gladly do it.
I don't think anyone has an objection in the slightest to paying MS a fair price for ongoing maintenance. MS doesn't offer maintenance to everyone and what they do offer is not remotely "fair".
I don't care how much Microsoft desperately want me to buy Windows 8.1 and use Azure for all things. It isn't going to fucking happen.
Re: Rob Ford
I think it says something about the quality of Canada's "political class" that even our most coked out joke of a politician can balance a budget. The US deficit is what again? For all his antics and addiction, I'd take Ford over 95% of the other politicians I've ever read about in other nations any day.
First off, I said it was anecdotal. Secondly, I listed specific manufacturers which had done me well. others - such as OCZ - have not. In fact, I have now a 240% failure rate with OCZ. (Of a few hundred units in the field.) That's right, I have had so many OCZ drives fail that the RMA replacements in some cases unto the fourth replacement have failed.
I am also using the SSDs I quoted in situations far more punishing than any desktop. I am using them in server workloads - including supporting multiple production databases - in RAID arrays. If you know a bent damn about disks you know that using them in RAID brings layers of additional complication (such as array rejection, timeouts, rebuild, etc) that go beyond the lifespan of an individual disk.
So yes, my evidence is entirely anecdotal, but it provides you specific models from specific manufacturers as well as an idea of workload and provisioning arrangement. That should be enough to start looking for corroborating evidence from others to determine if the models and manufacturers in question are trustworthy. (Hint: Micron and Intel absolutely are. They share a joint fab and make the best flash in the industry.)
You are basically writing off an entire technology because of some bad desktop trials of what I am assuming are consumer drives. From the sounds of it, no very good ones at that.
There is a world of difference between consumer SSDs and enterprise drives. eMLC is a hell of a lot more resilient than standard MLC and SLC is even better still. If you - or your DBA - are so prejudiced against a technology that you will grasp at any negatives possible for an excuse not to use it, then go hard and have fun.
To be blunt about it: your irrational prejudice means that there is more of a precious resource available for the rest of us. You go, fret about your inability to keep SSDs working in workstations. I'll run them in my servers and I'm never looking back.
It does, however, strike me that not all anecdotal evidence is equal. Nor are all trials or tests. Bear one thing in mind about all of this: my personal economic incentive is to find a problem with products.
If I could prove that even one model from one manufacturer was conclusive shit - let's put OCZ to one side because everyone knows the vertexes are complete shit - then I get to write an exclusive expose and put a nice fine feather in my cap. Writing articles that say "it does what it says on the tin" aren't exactly exciting, nor prestigious. So I go out of my way to find problems; I look for corner cases and I test things beyond the redline wherever possible. Hell, IOsafe wanted me to test one of their NASes so I lit it on fire.
This is what I do for a living. So it could be that maybe - just maybe - if I can't break the damned things, then not all of them out there are shit. It's all anecdotal, of course. It's not like there are entire multi-billion dollar industries pretty much running on flash (all flash, tiered or hybrid) which could serve as additional case studies to back up my lab results.
How about this for anecdotal evidence?
1) I've brutally punished my Intel 520 480GB SSDs for over a year without a hitch. By brutally punished I mean "ran IOmeter and SQL bench on the things in every configuration imaginable." Because it's my job to do so.
2) I've been testing-to-destruct with a Micron P420m PCI-E SSD for about 6 months now and the thing isn't even past 1% write lifetime used. As near as I can tell it's actually made out of indestructible.
3) I've run my Kingston Hyper-X 3K 240GB SSDs (8 disks in RAID 5) in production (they support about 50 VMs ranging from SQL servers to VDI) for over a year now and they have proven themselves to be entirely reliable. They are at approximately 10% of write life used.
I've had consumer SSDs in production for about three years, no real grief. Some dead disks, but no more than mechanical drives. Enterprise SSDs do a thing consumer ones don't: when the enterprise SSD turns into a pumpkin it goes into read-only mode, which lets you get your data off. Consumer ones just die.
As you say, hyper-conservative types will need more time in the field before they trust the technology, as they don't trust anything until after the entire rest of the industry has moved on to something else entirely. But to say that the only evidence for trusting SSDs at this point is "it runs good on my home system" is bunkum.
These things are in real servers, in production...and not giving any more crap than mechanical drives.
Re: About as popular as ...
:( I like turtles. If I found a turtle in my bathtub I'd be quite happy, and go pull one of the spare enclosures off the shelf and set him/her up an environment. I wonder if he/she'd get along with the bearded dragon...
"Based on state-of-the-art research and data tools, the campaigns aim to inspire our customers, incite our fans and turn around doubters."
I don't suppose they've considered "not being dicks" as a strategy?
Re: Rearranging chairs
So Windows 8 has almost reached the same % of the population as prefer to be the "submissive" in BDSM bedroom play. You'll pardon me if I think it won't be making big gains past that number.
Re: @Trevor Pott
" if you've attempted parallel processing on any larger scale, you would notice that getting the system to run efficiently, given a limited memory bandwidth, is a major task and often crucial for deployment on any cloudy distributed platform."
Absolutely true, which is exactly why I don't think "fat cores" is the answer. On my HPC-like applications I run into real issues with memory bandwidth on the local node, let alone bandwidth for message-passing between nodes. Now, the new A3Cube PCI-E fabric might help a little on the inter-node stuff, but local to the host? We still need a hell of a lot more memory bandwidth per core.
Even in "standard" virtualisation loads I hit the wall on memory bandwidth. Things like Atlantis ILIO using RAM as a cache for VDI will wreck the memory bandwidth available, leaving those big, meaty cores gasping.
Give me stringy cores with fat RAM pipes any day. All the CPU muscle in the world is worth exactly nothing if I can't feed the damned things. That means RAM, it means storage IOPS and it means network fabric. CPU oomph just doesn't appear on my radar, excepting for the most carefully-tuned (and hence exceptionally rare) applications. There are just too many other bottlenecks that need addressing first.
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