* Posts by Trevor_Pott

6511 posts • joined 31 May 2010

No escape: Microsoft injects 'Get Windows 10' nagware into biz PCs

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: @KeithR

"your computers are more deserving of passionate outbursts than your wife is"

There are lots of passionate outburst for my wife that come from me. They are generally loving, caring, respectful and not tied some archaic sense of ownership.

If you are asking do I feel that I own my wife then the answer is no. She is a human being. She owns herself. That includes her sexuality. If you cannot understand that then I fear you are completely devoid of any sense of human compassion. Likely there is no hope for you.

Even if I were upset with my wife for finding happiness wherever she can find it, I completely fail to understand why I would A) be mad at her lover or B) somehow be mad at a company that individual founded by no longer runs.

Take your ancient and worthless puritanical morals and bother someone else. I don't believing in owning other human beings.

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@KeithR

Bill Gates doesn't run Microsoft. Staya Nadella does. So why would what Bill Gates does (or doesn't do) make me dislike Microsoft? I dislike Microsoft because of what Microsoft has done. Period. They have violated professional ethics and put myself and my customers at risk. They have done so against our will, which is the critical bit here. They have violated a hard built trust to do so. If you cannot understand what that is an issue then why the fuck do you think you're qualified to say anything about computers, ever?

And if I did find Bill Gates sticking it to the misses, I wouldn't be all that upset, so long as it's consensual. It's her body and her life; I don't control her and I wish her nothing but happiness. If she can find some with a continent-hopping philanthropist, who am I to judge?

I demand only control over what is mine, and nobody owns another person. Marriage is not ownership. By the same token, I get righteously pissed off when someone treats me as if they own me, or treats what is mine as though it was theirs.

And no, I do not buy the American Intellectual Property argument that just because it's software then it isn't mine. Once I have purchased it - or the rights to use it - then it is mine. Under my control, not that of the vendor. Fuck this neo-industrialism belief that the hoi polloi should never own a thing, only rent their entire lives with no control over what they rent, with the costs going ever upwards until the milled masses are forever in debt to a handful of "owners" who pay the people less than it costs to rent the facilities and tools required to live.

My equipment, my control. And I will absolutely fight to the bitter fucking end against any company or individual who attempts to change that dynamic. If you don't like it, then get fucked, mate. Simple as.

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Trevor_Pott
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@Geoffrey W

The fact that a group policy option exists to prevent GWX bullshit from infecting your system does not make it okay, nor should we pretend that this is somehow an acceptable state of affairs.

If you want Windows 10 you should have to go download Windows 10. It should emphatically not be part of nagware presented as part of Windows Update, and is especially shouldn't be part of nagware in the "important" or "critical" categories!

Using Windows Update for this shit is not okay.

Removing control of Windows Update from us in Windows 10 is not okay.

Installing spyware against our will is not okay.

Not being able to turn off spyware is not okay.

Having a knob to turn off spyware and then having that spyware NOT TURN OFF is even more not okay!

Forcing the ribbon bar on us as part of Windows Explorer is not okay.

Integrating local searches with web searches is not okay. There is no rational reason Microsoft needs to know the contents of anything on my network or what I am seaching for on my network. EVER.

Oh, and the so-called start menu in Windows 10 is a piece of shit.

But other than that, Windows 10 is fine.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: @Trevor_Pott - Re Microsoft privacy abuse, etc.

Well, my response is to simply stop supporting Microsoft software. I'm out. It's someone else's problem. If you want to be a business keeping up with MS, then you'll be one I won't work for.

That won't change everyone, but it does increase my personal sanity and happiness. And maybe if fewer and fewer of us make this choice - even if it is financially burdensome for us to make it - then Microsoft will find it harder to sell into businesses, get hit in the wallet, and sink.

I also pray to Jibbers each night that an earth-cross asteroid has its orbit perturbed by another earth-crossing asteroid and plows into the Redmond campus of Microsoft, removing the problem. So far, Jibbers has declined to grant my prayers, but I will keep trying.

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Trevor_Pott
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"Trev, are you speaking about the same Apple that tried to force install the Safari browser on Windows users as a critical security update if you had Quicktime installed?"

Something for which Apple apologized and didn't do again. That whole thing didn't last very long.

You know, we've all let vendors get away with a lot. We've let Microsoft get away with a lot. But this is about the cumulative effects as much as it is the individual issues. Microsoft just keep doing it. They have no remorse, no shame, and show no indication of changing. Apple make mistakes, but they learn from them. Microsoft do not.

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I did, I did write i backwards. The shame, the shame!

50 lashes with a COA sticker and one week using Windows 8 for me.

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The lightning connector thing is indeed one time where Apple came close. And if you want to have a similar conversation about Microsoft let's have a nice long conversation about VDI licensing. Or that per-core bullshit they're pulling.

But you know what? I put that all to one side. There are financial issues and there are ethical ones.

Playing silly buggers to make people pay more money is one thing. It's not great, but it's business. I'll fight that with any vendor, and they'll fight me right back. That's just the way things are.

Abusing the updates system to push nagware, spyware, entire unwanted operating systems and override clearly set user choices (repeatedly!) is absolutely not okay. That's crossing an ethical line. It's a breach of trust.

Similarly, "You aren't allowed to manage your own updates" is absolutely NOT treating customers with respect. It is saying that customers can't choose what they would like to run, and telling them that having the operating system made as cheap to support for Microsoft as possible is more important than any requirements, desires or so forth that *all* customers have.

With the faith broken, and Microsoft looking down their long noses at their own customers, why should I believe that Microsoft won't just push down a massive UI change against our will, just because they can? Or maybe even an API change that renders existing applications non-functional? Every argument you might raise is invalid because Microsoft has broken the faith and the trust is gone. No reason seems to exist behind their choices and no reasons can be expected to temper their future choices.

So yeah: Apple gouge you. But they really only gouge you for money.

Microsoft want your privacy, your security, your very right to control your own operating system and computing ecosystem to be removed from you. And they're not above breaking the sacred trust of an operating system update mechanism to do it.

Bring on the Mac, baby. Even if it costs more.

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Trevor_Pott
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Until about the middle of 2015, automatic updates were a great thing! Since then, I've had to train everyone to disable them and manually allow ONLY security updates every month. That's been a pain in the ass.

And the problem isn't the existence of the update mechanism. It is that Microsoft has abused it to A) push nagware B) push an entire operating system, which is expensive as hell to those on fixed bandwidth allocations C) push spyware.

It would be one thing if Microsoft offered these as optional updates only. I would be irked at the use of the update system for such shenanigans but not completely fucking livid like I am now. No, Microsoft has broken the trust by using the "important" and "critical" categories.

This means that anyone who is using automatic update delivery but chooses to opt out of optional updates - say, everyone I ever work with - now suddenly has a plethora of customer-hostile fuckwittery on their hands that never should have pushed down to begin with.

What Microsoft has done is not okay. It has broken a sacred trust that I am not sure can be repaired. And you know what? That's why I loathe Microsoft. I used to be mildly adversarial over largely economic choices on their behalf, but this is completely beyond the pale.

Microsoft's abuse of the update mechanism is ethically unacceptable. As is the spyware that cannot be turned off (it still sends data to the mothership, even if you block all the domains in the hosts file and turn off all the settings) in Windows 10. Which makes the whole "you can't control updates in Windows 10" beyond unacceptable.

And for these, I hope Microsoft is ruined. Completely and utterly. I hope their failure is so epic and complete that it serves as a lesson to businesses for a hundred generations: do not abuse your customers.

Trust, once lost, is nearly impossible to regain.

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I don't consider Apple, Linux or BSD "upgrades" from Windows 7, thank you. They are simply the "least worst" in support options available.

And no, I don't consider Apple abusive. Expensive, yes. Abusive, no. They've come close, but overall I think they treat their customers with dignity and respect. Most of the time, anyways.

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Re: I am not a fucking product.

A follow-on thought from an out-of-thread discussion: I think the Microsoft/customer relationship can be compared to the abusive spouse/victim relationship. Specifically, there are many kinds of abuse that don't result in physical trauma but which are nonetheless very real.

Today, a victim of spousal abuse can walk out of the house, never to return, and there is (in civilized nations) an entire social infrastructure in place to help them. They can find the help required to start over, rebuild their lives, deal with debt or legal issues and so much more.

In a lot of ways I feel there are parallels here. The difference is that the vendor/customer abuse cycle is more where spousal abuse was in the 1950s. The infrastructure doesn't exist to help anyone - from consumers to SMBs to enterprises - walk away from an abusive vendor.

We all know that it isn't as simple as just decided not to use a vendor's software/hardware anymore. With Microsoft's "Get Windows 10" and the "Google Stop Moving My Fucking Buttons" nature of SaaS, we've also entered a period in IT where many can't even choose to delay purchases or changed while they try to figure out an exit strategy.

Just like with abusive spouses, there are those who won't recognize they are in an abusive relationship. There are also those who recognize the abusive relationship, but rationalize staying anyways. What there isn't is several decades of social, political and economic infrastructure to help us cope with having made bad decisions and gotten stuck with abusive partner in the first place.

How the hell did we (collectively) let it get this bad? And what - if anything - can we do about it?

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Trevor_Pott
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Please explain to me why the sweet metric monkey fuck I - or anyone else - should have to put even a fraction of a second into disabling this shit. Why the hell is it okay for this to be opt in and not opt out?

Offering the customers you're abusing a safe word so that they can stop the beatings only if they happen to have read about the safe word on the Internet is not fucking okay. Microsoft shouldn't be abusing its customers in the first place!

I don't get MS fanboyism. In most other abusive relationships the abusive partner needs to say nice things to get the abused to crawl back.

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"And everyone (all Windows users, that is, obviously) will upgrade eventually."

Like fuck.

Every single one of my customers knows that as of January 1, 2020, I will no longer support any Microsoft product. Some customers are finding a new tech. Many are leaving Microsoft behind. On the consumer side, almost all endpoints under my care will be Mac by the end of the decade. A few will be Linux or BSD.

Just because we are using now doesn't mean we'll continue to let Microsoft beat us for eternity. Some of us know that when you are in an abusive relation you leave and never return.

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I am not a fucking product.

Dear Microsoft, if you treat me like nothing more than a product to be "monetized" don't expect me to pay for any of your shit, ever again. Nor will I be using your free stuff. My privacy isn't for sale, nor is that of my customers, employees, friends, family cats, fish, lizard or the bloody air molecules we breathe.

Yes, yes, I know...I'm to small for you to give a rat's ass about my paltry few tens of thousands in yearly software purchases. But I do wonder just how many customers you can treat like products before you're right screwed.

Hope you have a ruinous 2016,

--Trevor

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Come in Internet Explorers, your time is up. Or not. Up to you

Trevor_Pott
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"“Unfortunately, it appears that the majority of internet users still don’t recognise regular updates as a vital part of basic internet security,” he said."

This is for two reasons:

1) Newer != Better

2) Microsoft has compromised trust in the Windows Update system by mightily abusing it to push spyware, nagware and even an entire operating system on us unwanted. If we use automatic updates then Microsoft has succeeded in costing us money and stolen our privacy against our will.

Windows Update is not a trusted update source. I completely understand people taking their time to update, or simply choosing not to altogether.

And the trust, once broken...can it ever be rebuilt?

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Eric Schmidt, for one, welcomes our new robot overlords

Trevor_Pott
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"and an AI in a suitable body might one day decide that it or the world would be better off with a few less humans."

The world would be better off with a lot less humans. So if the AI reported only "a few" it would need to be repaired.

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Gartner sees enterprise SSD-HDD revenue crossover in 2017

Trevor_Pott
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Re: Never mind the money, feel the width

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. 3 years. I want to live in your crazy universe. It sounds fun.

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DevOps is no excuse for cowboy devs. Right. Let's talk Composable Infrastructure

Trevor_Pott
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i did that ages ago. Do try to keep up. :P

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Hyper-converged infrastructure? Pop open some 'Azure in a can'

Trevor_Pott
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Re: Is it really that good?

That MS software is a pig to set up, configure and maintain. If you can do that, great! You can save a pile of money. This is provided all pre-canned, tested and supported by the vendor. Zero knowledge or expertise required. Unpack, plug in, start using.

There are a lot of shops that just don't have the skills to futz with Microsoft's byzantine bullshit. There are plenty of shops that might have the skills but just do not have the time. Azure in a can is fantastic for both types of shops and lets the technical types focus on things that actually make the company money instead of fussing about making infrastructure go.

I've said for ages that "businesses don't make money resizing LUNs". Well the same principle applies to infrastructure as a whole. I can build an entire datacenter out of Quanta computers and KVM/Openstack that I compiled, imaged, configured, manage and maintain myself. I'd be a complete idiot to do so unless I was planning to play the game at Facebook scale.

And no, this isn't some richy-rich enterprise sysadmin from the land of muchos budgetos saying this. It's me: SMB sysadmin from the land of "outrageously poor" holding court. Individuals with technical skills good enough to fight through Microsoft's software stack and set up an hyperconverged hybrid Azure cluster are misspent actually doing that. Their skills are rare enough that they should be doing things that make a hell of a lot more money than you'll save pissing around with infrastructure.

Maybe you pay 3 months or even 6 months worth of one technician's salary by using Azure in a Can. That's about the time it would take to fully test and certify for deployment your home grown version. But if your tech is good enough to do so, he or she should be spending those 3-6 months automating things, working on information security and migrating legacy workloads to failure-aware models. That will save your company way - way - more money than the 3-6 months salary you pay out "extra" to just not have to worry about setting up a private cloud.

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The Register guide to software-defined infrastructure

Trevor_Pott
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Re: Amazon

No argument. Just facts. Judgment is in the hands of the reader; I'm staying neutral as there are both pros and cons to the approach. The implementation (both vendor side and client side) determine success.

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NetApp needs more than SolidFire: Slip Simplivity into your Xmas stocking

Trevor_Pott
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I have. It's damned fine.

But say hi to everyone else at Nutanix for me.

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Bookstore sells some data centre capacity, becomes Microsoft, Oracle's nemesis

Trevor_Pott
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Re: Red Hat

Debian is subject to the vice-like grip of Red Hat due to simple economics. If Red Hat - either directly through projects it outright controls, or indirectly, through projects where it merely "exerts influence" - raises the cost of forking (or simply not using) a given open source project then Debian's options become limited.

Debian can make its choices and devote its own resources how it wishes, but it only has so many resources. Forking critical projects takes money, and lots of it. It takes developer time and those developers have to pay their bills, eat and otherwise live lives.

Linux isn't some hobbyist project that a few hundred developers can simply make go in their spare time. An upstream Linux distribution like Debian is a massive investment, even when it merely repackaging code from most projects instead of actually maintaining forks.

A distribution is an operating system, and any asshole who tries to say things like "if the community cared they'd just do the work to make X happen" is being purposefully deceptive. That's not how it actually works. Hasn't been for 15 years or so.

One great example is systemd. Debian simply didn't have the resources to form Gnome (and other projects) which rely on it. This has had numerous consequences, which I won't go into here, but is a direct result of Red Hat's control of the ecosystem.

Now, Red Hat will wave its hands around and exclaim that only half the systemd devs are from Red Hat, but that's not really relevant. Systemd has by now become hugely important to modern Linux (again, thanks to pressure from Red Hat), and other organizations have had to devote developer time simply out of self defense.

Open source is also all about relationships. Who is friends with whom makes all the difference. It can and does drive architectural decisions, and carries far more weight than doing what the community actually wants or even what rational analysis says is best.

Red Hat is everywhere. Financially, physically, socially. It funds so many developers for so many projects, sends those developers to conferences and otherwise ensures that its people have the backing and tools necessary not just to contribute to various projects, but to lead them.

Is it an evil, sinister plot? That depends entire on how you look at it. Each choice, taken in isolation, is probably reasonable and innocent. But at the higher levels the choice to make resources available - from hiring staff to okaying project expenditure to conference support - is strategic. It isn't about hugging the community and helping the community get what it wants. It is about using largess to ensure the community has no choice but to do what Red Hat wants.

Which is exactly what a corporation is supposed to do.

So yes, Red Hat has a vice-like grip. Even over Debian. Compared to Red Hat Debian is a gnat to an elephant. It can only forge its own path when and where it can afford to do so. And its options to differentiate are decreasing.

Which, oddly enough, is one of the actual stated goals of the systemd devs: reducing the diversity of the Linux ecosystem so that "needless differentiation" is eliminated. Imagine that.

I use systemd as an example because it is fairly easy to understand why may want it gone. Systemd isn't the only example. Udev was another (until it become part of systemd). Many distros wanted nothing at all to do with udev.

There's an argument to be made that systemd isn't part of Red Hat's evil plans to take over the world, but is instead part of Lennart Pottering's evil plans to take over the world. Tomato, tomato. Pottering may own the systemd copyright, but Red Hat not only pays his salary, they chose to adopt it, defend it (and Pottering) and throw resources at evangelizing its use.

The difference between Microsoft and Red Hat is the difference between top down and bottom up. In the Microsoft approach decisions about direction are made at the top and marching orders are given.

The Red Hat approach is to fund a bunch of smart people and give them relative (but limited) freedom to run amok in order to see what they come up with. Those projects and ideas that benefit the company strategically receive funding and investment and in this manner corporate requirements for consolidation, control and a general direction are served.

Microsoft commands an army. Red Hat herds cats. But what open source faithful refuse to acknowledge is that Red Hat also decides which cats live and which cats die. If the cats move in a direction beneficial to Red Hat, they live. But if they start to colour outside the lines, Red Hat turns off the oxygen and a new cat takes over.

No other organization, no other distribution, no collection of individuals - not even the kernel team - have that level of control over the Linux ecosystem. Red Hat owns Linux. How they went about doing so is Machiavellian, terrifying...and absolutely brilliant.

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Re: "Trevor Pott has demonstrated that he is merely a Microsoft shill"

"you do, in fact, sometimes, put your biases too far to one side"

To be honest, I am not sure I know what you mean by this. If you mean that when I am biased I am really biased, well...that's probably true. I have a number of biases I am aware of. I think Ninite is badass. I feel privacy, information security and data sovereignty are important. I think people who try to rule through fear are monsters and value compassion, empathy and sympathy...even when I sometimes find it hard to generate those qualities in myself.

The problem I have with that interpretation of this quote in the context of this article is that I am not biased towards Microsoft in any way. I hate Microsoft, and they hate me right back.

I have spent my whole life working in small business IT. I am politically, ethically, morally and economically on the side of "the little guy". I have championed the rights of the hoi polloi for as long as I can remember. These are not qualities that endear you to Microsoft, nor are Microsoft's business policies all taht endearing to me and mine.

That leads me to the other possible interpretation. That in attempting to put my biases aside and analyse things objectively I somehow wrote statements that were too pro-Microsoft. To be honest, having looked back over the article, I am not sure what those might, be...but I accept that maybe some might find such things.

I do have to wonder, however, if the biases of the reader don't come into play. If you hate Microsoft - and believe me, I know what that's like - it is easy to see anything that sounds remotely positive as somehow "shilling" for Microsoft. I certainly don't like it when people write nice things about them. My emotive reaction is to shout at the screen and inform the world how horrible Microsoft is.

The problem is that for all my personal dislike of them, they are, in fact, a massively important and in some cases dominant supplier of IT software and services. They do a lot of things right. They do a lot of things wrong. They aren't so neatly summed up as my emotive reactions would like, but they do tend to create a polarizing emotive effect on everyone.

I think what so many are unwilling to admit is that it simply doesn't matter if we hate Microsoft or not. Millions upon millions of us do, and it makes no difference whatsoever. Most of us who hate Microsoft will still end up using and support their software and services. And the majority of people - so far at least - aren't annoyed quite enough to be assed to do anything about them.

Microsoft has the overwhelming majority of the extant IT using population by the short and curlies. They don't need to play nice. By the same token, very few of us ever want to admit the futility of our rage or the reality of our own irrelevance.

When doing analysis, I don't feel I get to cling to such pleasant mental shortcuts. My own feelings need to be put to one side so that I might engage in analysis logically. No matter how distasteful I find the results.

Fortunately, Twitter exists. I can vent my spleen by shouting aimlessly into the void, and only the NSA will hear me.

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Re: off topic Trevor Pott

First off, where did I say anything about Windows "having something" over Linux? I don't recall ever writing such things on The Register.

Oh, I could do a lovely conference on design choices in various operating systems that compare and contrast them, and I do count different distributions of Linux, BSD and Windows as separate operating systems. But a discussion about the technical, practical and economic implications of various choices probably would not result in my calling any one a universal "winner". Different distributions are better for different tasks, and some were never given the chance to do their best due to marketing failures more so than technical ones.

It's a very interesting area of debate that I thoroughly enjoy, but not one I look forward to typing out. I prefer to have those discussions as part of a round table debate format. I find speaking faster than typing, and I find that having other experts around offers multiple points of view on the economic and practical aspects of the discussion. Not all businesses or individuals have the same needs.

Nowhere in this article, or any other, have I said Windows is superior to Linux. I have said in many places that Microsoft has a more proven strategy than any Linux distribution maker, which is simple objective truth. That has nothing to do with technical superiority.

As for Red Hat: fuck Red Hat. In the face. With an acid-covered tractor. Those bastards have ruined Linux. They have done this not just in their own distribution, but through their control over critical elements of the Linux ecosystem, they have managed to force many very horrible changes on almost every other distribution out there.

Ironically, while I loathe what Red Hat has done it has made them economically and practically far more successful. They are consolidating control over the entire Linux ecosystem, creating lock-in, and reshaping the very fundamentals of core components of Linux distributions to push people towards paid alternatives to open source packages.

This is all, by the way, strategy they've picked up from the Microsoft executives they've hired on. It's reinforced by some massively egotistical (some might say megalomaniacal) personalities within Red Hat who have been given absolute control over key components which ultimately are determining the fate of the Linux ecosystem as a whole.

Unfortunately for Red Hat, their strategy for global domination is simply too little, too late. Linux is absolutely a critical component of any rational analysis of the future of computing, however, it is a component, not the core feature.

Put simply: nobody (beyond some edge cases on a moral crusade) gives a fuck about the operating system. Businesses and even individuals care about outcomes of computing. They don't even care about the applications. The applications are a means to an end. The operating systems, hypervisors, management tools and even infrastructure that it all runs on are completely irrelevant.

Price matters. Usability matters. Standards adherence, APIs and so forth matter (so that applications/OSes/hypervisors/tools/infrastructure/etc can be manipulated and made to work with other applications/OSes/hypervisors/tools/infrastructure/etc). Lock-in matters (as a function of price and regulatory adherence). Privacy matters to some people. Security to even fewer.

Analyzing a market has nothing at all to do with the superiority - real, imagined, or moral - of a technology, group of technologies, company, individuals or so forth.

Analyzing a market is about examining past behaviour, looking at future plans, looking at the state of current technology, the requests and requirements of customers and analyzing both corporate and human behaviour regarding adoption, retention and reuse of technologies to determine how companies, technologies, standards and industry practices will evolve with time.

No moral or ethical judgement is relevant here. Technical superiority is a very small factor in a very large equation. A factor that history has repeatedly demonstrated matters only in exceptional circumstances, or where the technical delta is extreme.

I wrote an article series about the major players in the IT industry. Those whose strategies have changed significantly in the past couple of years and those that will affect and change the course of technology over the next year.

There is an argument to be made that Google or Facebook should be discussed in this context. They are massive and their R&D budgets are focused on primary research: something that matters in the long run, as they are developing today the technologies that will matter 10 years from now to the rest of the industry. That said, they are not currently focused on anything that will push major market changes in 2016, so I chose to leave them out.

Compared to the influence that the companies I discuss in this series can, do and will have on the market in 2016, Red Hat is simply not relevant. They exert a vice-like grip on the Linux ecosystem, but that ecosystem ultimately creates a component of the future of IT. It does not affect dramatically the outcome.

Red Hat is functionally irrelevant to cloud computing. HP and IBM's contributions to Openstack are more noteworthy!

Red Hat has already consolidated its hold over the Linux operating system as a whole, and it did that years ago. The damage is done, 2015 only say the repercussions of those choices play out as other distributions were forced to fall in line with Red Hat's plans. Nobody has the resources the fork elements (like systemd, gnome, etc) and keep Linux on its original path.

There is an interesting battle coming over who controls the future of Linux - Red Hat or Docker - but I don't expect that to play out in 2016. If anything, the negotiations for Red Hat to buy Docker will stretch out into 2017, with the result likely to be that Docker becomes to rich for Red Hat to afford. My money is actually on IBM or HP to snap it up. Whether they manage to parlay control over Docker to sideline Red Hat and wrest control over the whole of the Linux ecosystem will be an interesting thing to watch in 2017.

Red hat is the most successful Linux business to date. That said, Red Hat is small. They are okay at a number of areas, but are not the leading supplier of anything. Not operating systems, not middleware, not administrative or management interfaces.

Technical superiority - or lack thereof - is simply irrelevant in the context of market analysis. Red Hat has expended almost all of its political capital wresting control of as much of the Linux ecosystem away from the community as possible. In doing so it has alienated many of its core supporters, even as those supporters are currently dependent upon it. (Very Redmondian, actually.) The end result, however, it that it doesn't have the economic, political or community capital to effectively alter the course of the IT industry. Its resources are expended and for all its efforts it bought nothing of value.

So there you go. There's your analysis of Red Hat and of Linux. (But not of Open Source, which is separate from either and more important than both.)

For all intents and purposes Linux is Red Hat. They've spent a decade making sure of this. Unfortunately, Red Hat's vision of what Linux is to be is neither true to the fundamentals of what made Linux great in the first place nor ambitious enough to command the future of technology.

In the face of their rivals Red Hat are today and look for the foreseeable future to be nothing more than an also ran. And in getting themselves to the point that they can profit from "could been a contender" they've ruined something great, along with any real chance that the community ever had to command the future of the technologies upon which all our societies rest.

Happy Holidays. I hope you get the chance to chill out. You need it.

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Re: "Trevor Pott has demonstrated that he is merely a Microsoft shill"

I'm pretty sure I qualify as an "MS hater". That said, I do make a concerted effort to recognize my own biases and put them aside in order to analyze companies, people and markets as objectively as possible. What I want to be true and what is true are rarely the same. Accepting that can lead to understanding why the dichotomy exists and if there is anything I can do to affect it.

The universe does not care what we believe. Truth exists independent of individual desire, or will.

But I still find it bloody hilarious to be called a "Microsoft Shill". Made for good fun.

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Re: Bandwidth theft?

And pay the lawyer umpteen times any amount I might recover? Seems pretty futile.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: comments without any technical merit

Mate, you lost any semblance of credibility to dictate what The Register is, should be, will be or how anything should be written the instant you said that I was a Microsoft shill. That is the single stupidest, most incorrect, most fundamentally and demonstrably flawed claim that any human being has ever made about another human being since life emerged from the primordial muck on this planet.

And yet you made it.

Regular readers and commenters will know better. Readers without blinders on that can be seen from space will recognize that "damning with faint praise" doesn't amount to shilling. But you, oh, Mr. Anderson, you went full derpy.

Never go full derpy.

I did get a great laugh, however, in forwarding your comment on to my Microsoft PR contacts. Considering the amount of hair they've lost because I don't toe the party line on anything, I think they'll have a glorious laugh. Or possibly sob uncontrollably into their vodka.

In any case, Happy Holidays. May your social beverage-related antics be as amusing as your comments. If they are, you'll not fail to be the life of any parties you participate in.

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"Trevor Pott has demonstrated that he is merely a Microsoft shill"

AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA *wheeze*

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH *snort*

AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA *thud*

Thanks for that. I haven't laughed that hard in years.

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Re: Ericsson Cloud

I've already done several Openstack pieces this year, and probably will again in the next year. They are not, however, part of this series.

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Re: The Genormous "elephant in the room"?

There are three parts to the series. If, however, you are expecting a discussion of Google, they are not included. Google hasn't altered their strategy meaningfully in 2015 and doesn't look set to in 2016.

Indeed, Google, Facebook and a few other giants have made no meaningful changes in strategy for some time. Mostly because the existing strategies are working so well for them.

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Seagate wears dunce's cap in hi-cap disk ship slip

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Re: Helium famously leaks.

Pressurised helium leaks, but eventually it balances to atmospheric pressure

Wrong. Atmospheric pressure has nothing to do with diffusion. Partial pressure does, and our atmosphere contains no helium, thus the helium will always be looking for a way out.

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Curiosity Rover digs into humanity's first alien sand dune

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Re: Well, this rover will not last

If you haven't read Dune, why are you reading The Register? You should be reading Dune.

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US State Department sicko pleads guilty to sextortion from UK embassy

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Re: US Outsources Embassy Security to British Girls

The USian security apparatus isn't for catching wrongdoing by government officials, or even for catching terrorists. It exists to catch political dissidents and whistleblowers. Just like every other government security apparatus on the planet.

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Social media snitching bill introduced into US Congress by intel bosses

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The same measure was reportedly included in a secret, classified bill that approved the intelligence agencies' various programs

Maybe this is displaying crashing ignorance on my part, but how can there be "classified" bills leading to secret laws in a democracy? How can the public comply with laws that they don't know exist?

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Spectralogic CTO talks up hybrid flash-tape cartridge. Welcome, tape robot overlords

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Re: Tapes will become too expensive.

FFS

3D FLASH != 3D XPOINT!

AUUUGH

Listen: 3D flash is a production technology for NAND flash. It is cheaper than TLC which is cheaper than MLC which is cheaper than SLC. 3D Flash good, if you want deep and cheap flash.

3DXPoint is a frankenstorage whathamawhosit that is a completely different technology from 3D NAND flash and will be priced at $holy_shit until such a time as real competition enters the market for its niche. The 3DXPoint niche is "using NAND as a tier of storage between NVMe flash and system DRAM".

In order to accomplish its goal, 3DXPoint will have to have much better write endurance than traditional 3D Flash, which is actually quite shitty. This is part of the reason it will be so expensive. In other words:

3D Flash = Great price, shitty write endurance.

3DXPoint = $Make_the_pain_stop, fantastic write endurance.

There is no rational reason to use 3DXpoint on a gor'ram tape drive drive just to serve as a glorified high capacity RFID tag. No tape gets written to that many times. You want 3D Flash for that job.

AUUUUGH!

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The gear I use in my test lab: A look at three Trident+ switches

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Re: Quotes

How so? I have nothing agaist Supermicro per se. I only object your adulation of Supermicro.

Which is entirely my point. I don't elevate Supermicro above where they belong. I point out their flaws as well as their benefits. But I don't, like some, pretend they don't exist. They have become an important vendor in the past few years and I won't pretend that isn't the case. That this bothers you indicates to me a bias against them on your behalf.

It was an honest question. How would you formulate it then? It should be stated if you are given stuff permanently or on a loan basis when you are reviewing them on this site. If you are handling your own or your clients devices then fine - I'd have absolutely nothing against that.

Quite simply, I would be asking about access to review sources rather than who gets to keep what.

The big reason for this is that if I am being perfectly honest free stuff doesn't matter. After you've been doing reviews for even a little while you have so much technowhosits that free stuff isn't a benefit that makes you like the vendor it becomes a burden.

Where do I put all the junk I get sent, hmm? How do I power it? I probably have a half-million dollars worth of gear in my house and I can't have more than 10% of it on at any given time or the house overheats. How many VMs do I really need to run? How much testing can I really do? But there is an unlimited supply of this stuff, and demand from vendors as well as readers to write reviews.

Understand me when I say that writing reviews is not profitable. Not in the least. It takes days to properly test most equipment. Weeks or months for enterprise grade stuff. If the equipment is shipped to me I usually end up paying hundreds of dollars in customs or shipping fees and there are tax implications if the equipment is kept for more than a year.

Shipping it back to a vendor costs money - hundreds of dollars, usually - so no matter which way I play this I probably end up paying at least $1000 for a switch or server and $2500 for a largeish storage unit and get paid a fraction of that for the article I write. All for equipment that is typically too power hungry and/or loud to actually use.

And yet, you phrase your question as though I am somehow going to be biased because a vendor sends me equipment to keep. What?!?

You betray your ignorance of how the review scene works, sir.

I would also hope that reviewers are willing to work with samples provided by vendors in addition to merely reviewing those items that they/their customers deploy in the field.

This is called expanding one's horizons. It's important. It's part of begin a good technician and a good reviewer. By all means, try to put production workloads on whatever you test, but don't restrict yourself to the narrow field of view that has been your traditional comfort zone. That's not only how biases start, that's where brand tribalism comes from. And brand tribalism is very, very bad.

That said, a reviewer can only review the equipment he or she has access to. Even then, many reviewers have to turn down a lot of reviews because reviews are normally a net negative and thus we can only afford to subsidize so many of these things per year. If you don't like that fact, start funding reviewers.

If the D-Link switches would just keep on trucking like all those 3Coms and HPs all the way from the 1990s I'd really wouldn't have such a big beef with them.

I did a count the other day. Across my supported base there are a total of 1850 d-link switches. Of those, around 350 are over ten years old. Over 1000 are at least six years old. I've taken some time to talk to other MSPs for the SMB scene and am seeing similar survival rates. So I would have to say that your personal experiences do not match the broader statistics.

You also bring up a bunch of stuff about D-Link that is completely irrelevant to the hardware. Are they perfectly valid reasons to not use D-Link? Yes, but that isn't related to the survivability of the hardware at all.

Nowhere did I say I like D-Link. Nowhere did I recommend D-Link. Truth be told, I wouldn't put new D-Link switches into any of my installs today, mostly for non-hardware related reasons, some of which you highlighted.

You seem unable to disconnect objective discussion of a vendor or product from endorsement of that vendor or product. It seems to me that your worldview is such that unless a vendor or product is actively being slated you feel that a vendor or product is actively being endorsed.

That would be an incorrect assessment of reality on your part.

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Re: Quotes

Almost literally, yeah. It's stuff that for the most part is maintenance, check-ups, troubleshooting, etc. It honestly goes well when I am feeling a little out of it, and just want to watch some TV. Lots of progress bars, etc. I can pause the show if a little bit of focus is required, but...well...I've been doing it for so long that the "making things go" portion of the equation is second nature.

Now, a couple of times a year I have to do some really neat architecture stuff. That takes a week or two of concerted research, maybe even a couple months of testing, depending on the project.

But "I forgot my login" or "baby the file transfer of 20TB from A to B" or "do patch testing"? Yeah, that doesn't take a lot of cycles. Just a lot of time. It's great for winding down from a day of intense research.

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Re: Anyone tried the Pluribus stuff ?

It's on my list to hunt down, as it looks cool, but haven't tried it myself yet. I've heard good things from others about it, however.

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Re: Quotes

Well THAT'S an oversight. The Supermicro should be $8000ish. Let me go check the article...

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Re: Quotes

@Sandtitz

Brand tribalism is a piss-poor reason to choose technology. That's why I

A) Test the things to make sure they do what I need to do

B) Review needs that go beyond basic functionality

C) Discuss my thoughts and biases with industry peers

"Half of your articles usually feature Supermicro as the "answer to life, the universe, and everything" as I see it".

That would be bias against Supermicro on your part. You clearly don't like them and so you see anything complimentary about them as far more important than it really is.

"Are you getting gratis equipment from Supermicro to review, or are you reviewing only your or your clients' devices?"

Lovely "when do you plan to stop beating your wife" question. Good setup. But you should really alter capitalization for real trolling victory. The answer to your troll question is both...and neither.

I get equipment from many companies, some I get to keep, most I don't. Equipment I get to keep is listed publicly on my "about" page. I believe in full disclosure. You can find all that information here: http://www.trevorpott.com/about/.

For the record, I review what I can get my hands on. I'm not rich, so I don't have the option to spend 1000x what I get paid per article to buy stuff from various manufacturers in order to test it. If a manufacturer sends me datacenter equipment I will review it. (Consumer level stuff is harder to get past the editors.)

If you have a problem with that approach, you are welcome to start up a Patreon or Kickstarter in order to fund the acquisition costs of equipment or software from vendors who don't send gear for testing. Assuming, of course, that those vendors don't have clauses in their EULAs that prevent review without their explicit permission (see: VMware).

"On another note, the Trident+ can be found in many other manufacturers' switches as well. El Reg had articles about them over 4 years ago."

Absolutely. Do you seriously expect that I will go buy one copy of every single Trident+ switch? With what funding?

And considering that these switches are, in fact, still being sold - and selling quite well, I might add - they are still relevant. Especially to SMBs that are looking at 10GbE refreshes now that the prices on these units have more than halved since launch. Maybe that isn't relevant to your particular market niche, but - and I say this will all due delicacy - you can go pound sand.

As for your hatred for D-Link...that's your own set of Mindspiders, mate. Not mine. Take your pills and learn to smile.

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They do? I am intrigued. I will need to investigate this.

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Re: Quotes

Yes, and? Everyone has biases. I am biased towards equipment I've used which has worked well for me. I am aware of this and discuss it openly and honestly.

Are you so delusional as to believe you are beyond bias?

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Tintri shrinks its all-flash entry-level to $125K door-opener

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The capacity table is probably some combination of capacity and performance.

I can get VMs with larger storage requirements on a hybrid, but there are limits to how many VMs the hybrid can serve from a performance standpoint. Similarly I can got lots and lots of VMs onto AFAs from a performance standpoint, but only if they're smallish.

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Donald Trump wants Bill Gates to 'close the Internet', Jeff Bezos to pay tax

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Re: Beyond parody

Either he is the living embodiment of Poe's Law, or he is the sort of person against whom the phrases "some things, you die for" and "never again" were meant as crystal clear warnings.

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Obama calls out encryption in terror strategy speech

Trevor_Pott
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"Everybody gets to criticise all faiths, all dogmas and if the religious get upset about that, then they will have to suck it up. If someone disagrees with me, and they find my views unconvincing then likewise."

Criticism is not definition.

Criticizing Islam because there is bad shit in the Qu'ran is no different than my criticizing Atheism because Antitheism happens to be the loudest and most dominant flavour. In doing so you define the religion on your own terms; these things that most believers have chosen to move past you say cannot be ignored and must be reconciled to your liking.

By the same token I then define Atheism by it's antitheistic extremists and their dogma. Both of these are extremely bigoted. They are using an extreme to define a group, inaccurately.

Criticism isn't bigotry. But the inability or unwillingness to consider individual views and beliefs as separate and distinct from the views of extremists - or even from extremist elements in someone's own holy text - is bigotry. Religious faith doesn't mean literal interpretation. In fact, history has shown literalism to generally be the minority view and usually ends in violent extremism.

By all means criticize some element of some aspect of a faith. Criticize specific parts of a given holy text and/or call into question the validity of that text. But don't go around saying "Religion X is Y" unless you are prepared to be labeled a bigot. It is just as bigoted as saying "Atheism is antitheism and you don't get to disagree because it is my right to define what you believe".

I am sorry you are unable to understand that. At least I tried.

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"If you're not an atheist, Trevor, then going around to actual atheists and telling them what they really believe is sure to get up their noses."

Yes. This was indeed my point. To underscore a more critical point:

"If you're not a Muslim, commenttard, then going around to actual Muslims and telling them what they really believe is sure to get up their noses."

"If you're not an {insert X here}, commenttard, then going around to actual {insert X here}s and telling them what they really believe is sure to get up their noses."

I hope that my point has been made.

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@Tom Dial: I will bet you $500 that we see a national encryption escrow system pass into law in the USA in the next 5 years, with another 5 years for manufacturers to implement it. It will be designed so that keys are automatically escrowed as part of regular everyday transactions. You go to a website, it registers a copy of the session key with the escrow system, etc.

This is flawed. You know it. I know it. But I believe it is also inevitable. What is technologically a good idea will fall before political necessity. It always has.

And no, this anti-encryption hoo-haw is not going to just "blow over". Not until the spooks have the ability to spy on most encrypted communications and the laws in place to lock people up for using encrypted communications that they can't spy on.

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Russian "Pawn Storm" expands, rains hell on NATO, air-gapped PCs

Trevor_Pott
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Re: How do you get the data out?

If it has a speaker and a microphone it has a comns system, so long as another system I can pwn also have a speaker and microphone. I can also use LEDs and cameras. Throughput is another question entirely...

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