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* Posts by Trevor_Pott

4453 posts • joined 31 May 2010

Microsoft's Euro cloud darkens: US FEDS can dig into foreign servers

Trevor_Pott
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Re: US Tech Companies

Google, Microsoft and Facebook reading my e-mail in order to advertise at me doesn't affect me much. They aren't likely to read my e-mail for industrial espionage purposes, because if I could catch them at it, they would lose everything.

They can't use what they learn there to hassle me when I try to enter the US to get some business done, or cover news as a reporter. They can't use what they learn there to try to prevent me from doing business via some form of protectionism.

Corporate snooping on my data for the purposes of advertisement just doesn't mean much, excepting that the adverts might be a little non-opportune and mildly embarrassing in the wrong company. Oh well.

The US government can ruin your entire life or put your company out of business based on misinterpreting what other people choose to send you in an e-mail. That is a problem.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: Doom for US tech companies

Sorry, but no. The issue is "US legal attack surface." It doesn't matter if you are incorporated in another country. If you have any operations or assets in the US, then the US will say you must comply with them. That includes - at la megaupload - even renting servers in the US.

So not only is Microsoft legally bound to turn over all foreign data it controls, but if you use Microsoft's Azure and Office 365 then you are making yourself and your company subject to American law.

Now where is that Anonymous Coward Microsoft marketing shill to tell us how this is all totally irrelevant because Microsoft is the greatest company on Earth and the cloud is the future? Something comes up that on the face of it seems to be downright horrible for any non-Americans who might want to use cloudy computing - and it's certainly bad for Microsoft, who has bet the farm on same - and he's suddenly nowhere to be found!

Come on, let's get a debate going here, where he can jump in with things like "if you have nothing to hide you have nothing to fear". I really do want to see him worm his way out of the fact that the US feels it has sovereignty over my data.

Dance marketing shill sockpuppet, dance!

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: Doom for US tech companies

"Nah, they'll just bring in a law making it illegal to trade in the US or with US-based organisations if your infrastructure is not open to the US government - on the basis that you must have something to hide."

That would be slitting their own throat. The US economy would collapse literally - not figuratively - the next day.

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Has Europe cut the UK adrift on data protection?

Trevor_Pott
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Re: Quite true

"Withdrawing from the ECHR would be a bit like the USA withdrawing from its Constitution. Crazy."

PATRIOT act.

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Multipath TCP speeds up the internet so much that security breaks

Trevor_Pott
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Re: Madness

@"Network guy"

I don't understand what you are saying. MPTCP means that there are two or more routes for data to get from A to B. It takes the fastest available route, sometimes by spamming both routes with the data. The only bit you care about is the bit that hits your network. I.E. that which travels over your network (via WiFi, for example) or where both streams enter your network and try to accomplish something.

The rest is Someone Else's Problem...and for them it's just transit traffic. Worst case scenario from a speed perspective, this makes the guys at ThousandEyes have to put a few weeks in to solve the problem.

So if MPTCP is a concern for those trying to figure out network congestion - which shouldn't care about the content of the packets at all - I don't understand how. What does matter if the ability to do intercept, because with MPTCP you could have some packets on path A and some on path B, and so intercept on any given path won't get the whole stream.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: Madness

"The gist of this article is that MPTCP may be restricted - and therefore we have a slower and less reliable service - because it makes it difficult to "undetectably alter or sniff your traffic".

Since when is this a socially legitimate rationale?"

When you're my employee trying to access corporate resources that I, as the business owner, demand be secured.

Now, I could of course force the streams to recombine via the use of proxies, VPN or various gateways at the edge of my network then perform analysis on single stream after it gets recombined. (Whatever happened to the idea of a DMZ?) But that would be silly, and it's much better instead to simply ban the use of said protocols altogether.

Okay, the snark is tongue in cheek. The reality is that if we did as I proposed we'd all have to reengineer our security mechanisms, and in turn goodly chunks of our networks. What will happen is that we'll simply ban MPTCP until such a time a few things occur A) our Preferred Vendors come up with single-unit solutions to this and B) we're on a refresh cycle anyways C) it's a minimal additional cost (as opposed to an expensive new feature) where the "additional cost" is deemed to be lower than the business benefit of allowing MPTCP on our networks.

This issue was raised a while ago, so there are probably about 5 startups in stealth mode with tech to handle it. They'll have a coming out part either at VMworld 2014 or in Early 2015. They will see minimal uptake and be followed by a flood of new entrants over the next 3 years at which point Juniper will implement it as a feature (probably by buying a startup) and Cisco will implement it as a Really Expensive Feature, but get it wrong and try to use it as a hook to make everything proprietary.

Shortly thereafter Palo Alto Networks and F5 will have figured out how to get it right and simply slipped it into the next release, making it somewhere between 5 and 6 years to enterprise mundane and probably 8 years to full commoditisation.

10 years from now we'll see enough support for MPTCP in the consumer gear that's actually in people's homes that we'll be able to see widespread adoption by device manufacturers and programers and 12 years from now we'll come up with something more efficient.

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Bring back error correction, say Danish 'net boffins

Trevor_Pott
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Re: Trevor for the win!

NAT isn't security. But it is obscurity. And for many of us, that's very important.

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Trevor_Pott
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@Tom the backbone providers did have to tear up all their stuff to be IPv6 ready. But for the whole internet to be ready everyone has to. And they ask - quite rightly - "why should I?" It doesn't benefit them to do so.

"Implement securely? What are you even talking about? Even if your 1999 firewall doesn't support IPv6, your 2014 firewall supports IPv4 and IPv6 simultaneously."

Damned few consumer grade routers do. Oh, they might pass IPv6 packets, but now you've moved defense of the home network from a single device (the home router) to every. device on that network needing to be defended. Unless you have a really good (read: expensive) router/firewall and someone who knows how to use it.

SMBs and the commercial midmarket are in worse shape: they have more diverse requirements than "open up a port so I can RDP into my home machine" or "push the VPN button so that I can VPN to work." Their costs are proportionately higher, as is the complexity they have to cope with, trying to now defend a network where every single node has a globally addressable IP address.

I do, however, find it hilarious that you quote the bit where I said "in order to make IPv6 work you have to tear up the internet and replace it" and then go on to say both "that's a lie" and "it works just fine if you buy all new stuff". Great compartmentalization of thought there. Top class.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: @Trevor_Pott

Actually, yes, one address does map to a person since there's nothing like NAT to anonymise users. There aren't a hell of a lot of things NAT's good for, but the helping to hide exactly which individual behind the edge router is responsible for posting that dissident comment about the government is one of them.

I never said IPv4 and NAT guaranteed privacy, just that they offered one layer that IPv6 doesn't.

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Recording lawsuit targets Ford, GM in-car CD recorders

Trevor_Pott
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"Sorry Trevor. I agree with your general sentiment but you didn't live through the mess that was the UK in the 1970s."

You're right, I didn't. But trade unions still represent people directly. They are the equivalent of a music label, not of an association that represents music labels. The AARC is the equivalent of an organisation that represents a group of trade unions. Not the equivalent of trade unions themselves.

There is a difference. Good or bad, the trade union directly represents it's members. They are directly responsible for what happens. But the AARC doesn't answer to the artists at all. That's what makes it dangerous. They are far enough removed that they have lots of power and no restraints.

As for "how horrible your trade union strife was", I probably will understand. I live in a province that puts huge amounts of time and effort into union busting, so all I see is that there are damned good reasons for unions to exist, and that people in power always try to grind down individuals who seek to use collective bargaining to not end up becoming a slave class.

I'm a socialist. I believe in the right to collective bargaining. I believe in quality of opportunity and that we should strive towards equality of outcome...but that there need to be wiggle room in the outcome, because some humans are naturally far more greedy than others. If they don't have the ability to lord it over others, bad things happen.

In my view of the world we all contribute as we are able to society and we all benefit together. I have no time for those who don't want to contribute and I have even less time for those who want all the benefit and damned be those who will themselves giving their contribution.

So maybe the UK went through a bad time. That isn't going to either convince me unions are evil or that an organization that represents companies which then represent people is somehow the same as an organization that represents people directly (and whose leadership is elected by those it represents, which is still very unlike record labels!)

And I believe that difference is important.

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Trevor_Pott
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No, the companies that the AARC represent theoretically represent artists. (If you believe that a for-profit organization can and will do such a thing in a fair and honourable manner.)

The AARC represents companies which claim to represent artists. Totally different thing.

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Trevor_Pott
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Trade Unions represent workers, which are human beings.

AARC represent soulless corporations which are not people.

There is a world of difference.

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AWS hell no: Can Microsoft Azure sales beat Amazon's cloud?

Trevor_Pott
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Re: Loong term view

"Since when did anyone care what you believe?"

You, evidently, since you can't stop yourself from trying to convince me of your lies.

Oh look, an anonymous coward asserts, and asserts, and asserts some more. Pretends he's a big shot. You obviously are just the bees fucking knees. You must be really important for you to spend so many hours a week on here pimping Microsoft's party line, especially if you don't work for them. You're so important that it just doesn't matter that you don't put that time into your job, or the sanity of having a life, or really anything better than repeatedly bullshitting commenters on a forum on the internet.

Oh yeah, I am thuroughly convinced that you're an indispensable big shot who just couldn't care less what I think. Good job. I bow in awe.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: Loadsa AC's in here...

" Public cloud services are almost always vastly cheaper than the fully loaded costs of building, hosting, licensing and supporting infrastructure and applications in house - unless you are large enough to have massive economies of scale and are happy to run all of your support and technogy out of third world countries..."

Prove it you fucking shill. You assert, you assert, you assert. But actually prove it's cheaper for more than just the enterprise. And not using bullshit inflated numbers for OpEx. Prove it or go drink a gallon of fucking draino.

"For instance it is currently cheaper to subscribe to Office 365 (that includes the full Office client!) than to license Office on it's own - and that's without even looking at the infrastructure, license and support savings!"

Again, only if you buy into Microsoft's bullshit "upgrade every three years" fuckery and you honestly think there's value in having a new UI foisted upon you every fucking upgrade generation where you have no say and you - at best - can hold onto one version back. Unless you're a large enterprise, your upgrade horizon is 5 years, and for many companies it's 10 years.

"On which planet? I pay £23.68 per Linux VM a month before discounts:"

Okay, so the prices have come down some in the intervening few months. To get 2 GB of RAM - not 1.75 - I have to choose a 3.5GB instance. That means $892.8 per year, which is still fucking outrageous. That's $4464 for a single fucking 2GB Linux VM over a standard 5 year refresh cycle.

And, in addition, I do actually have to worry about backing up my VMs and data, lock-in and more. So my costs are higher than that $4464 per year, often up to double.

It is you, sir, who has clearly "clearly have never been anywhere near a senior role that has the information, knowledge and experience to make these type of decisions." Which makes sense, for a paid marketing coward who is afraid to put his name to his blithering idiocy.

Repeatedly asserting Microsoft's marking bullshit doesn't make it accurate.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: Loadsa AC's in here...

Yup. And eventually, cloud computing might come down enough in price that it's worthwhile for any but the largest enterprises. (Or those needing to bypass politics.) Eventually, we'll even see clouds with zero American legal attack surface, so the rest of the world can participate.

But eventually isn't now. Jumping up and down to cheerlead "this is the panacea for all ills" is ridiculous. Needs are diverse. Risk aversion is diverse. Capital availability is diverse, and the density of red tape is variable. Mainframes are still around for damned good reasons and clouds will be additive to existing IT schemas, not something that will block supplant them.

"It depends" isn't something that zealots can cope with. It must not only be black or white with them, it must be their preferred ideology.

If and when the cloud is ready for the mass market, I'm sure we'll see wider adoption. But right now, today, it's a terrible plan for most businesses if you care about value for dollar, let alone data sovereignty!

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: Embrace, extend and extinguish

What the fuck does "making a lot of money" have to do with being trusted? The mafia makes a lot of money too, because they will break your fucking kneecaps if you don't pay up.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: Loong term view

First of all: I don't believe that you work anywhere other than Microsoft. Secondly, even if you did work for some other big enterprise, does it make you feel special to be a disposable faceless drone amongst a sea of similar "resources"?

Do you somehow feel superior to others becasue of the size of the company you work for? Does the opportunity to specialise ever more narrowly, knowing more and more about less and less until you know absolutely everything about absolutely nothing make you feel like you somehow know everything?

You're a coward. A faceless, nameless, useless coward. You vomit assertions and tautologies and won't even put your name to your befuddled ravings. There's no reason to accept or believe you are anything other than a paid shill waving the banner of their paycheque in desperation.

Your livelihood very obviously depends on you believing Microsoft uber alles. Mine doesn't. Mine also doesn't depend on seeing any technology vendor succeed, or fail. I get paid the same regardless of who wins or loses because my job is to discuss technology as a whole, not to give a bent fuck who "wins".

We'll let the readers decide whether or not faceless assertions and transparent tautologies hidden behind a veil of anonymity represent sound technological - or business - advice.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: Loadsa AC's in here...

For the most part...yes!

Companies move things to the cloud right now in large part because the monthly billing mechanism allows them to bypass internal purchasing regulations. It's politics - not prudence - that makes cloud computing attractive.

For the very, very few that see cost benefits from the cloud, you have to see what they're comparing it against. VCE versus cloud comes out roughly a wash. Running your own Supermicro + VMware setup absolutely and emphatically isn't going to be cheaper.

Christ, man, it costs over $1500 a year to run a single 2GB Linux VM in the fucking cloud! That may be cheaper for a single VM than buying a server, setting up a place to run it, dealing with backups, DR, etc. But as soon as you get to 5 VMs that isn't really the case any more. By 10 VMs you could be running a completely redundant setup that needs intervention only a few times a year and can run hundreds of "2GB Linux VMs".

So no, cloud computing isn't cheaper. It's easier...for managers. Which makes it politically expedient, nothing more. It's outsourcing by another name, and the people claiming "cloud computing is the solution to all ills for all companies of all sizes" are no different in any way than the shysters who trumpeted outsourcing to India as the solution to all ills.

They were wrong, and so are you.

Now, I at least put my name to these comments and predictions. Why should anyone believe you when you don't have the conviction in your words to attach your name to it? Your assertions and tautologies nothing. As do you, until you can stand up and say who you are and why you assert what you do.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: Loong term view

No, we accidentally confused you with someone who had wits.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: Embrace, extend and extinguish

I used to be one of Microsoft's loudest and proudest proponents. It should make you stop and think "what could have happened over the years that made him so vehemently anti-Microsoft, especially when he readily admits Microsoft has great technology?"

Or rather, it would make most people stop and thing. I suspect that you are not willing to engage critical thinking with regards to Microsoft.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: Loadsa AC's in here...

Azure absolutely is a very good product.

It is not good value for money. "Cloud computing" in general isn't. Unless, of course, you're comparing it only to managed implementations of the most high-margin enterprise gear. Cisco on Cisco with a side of EMC and a thick layer of Oracle. Then they're about the same.

But hey, if you want to massively overpay for your IT, that's up to you. Cloud or no, you have opportunity to do so.

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VMware builds product executables on 50 Mac Minis

Trevor_Pott
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Re: sounds absolutely stupid

"Custom-tuned setups can be far more efficient than white-paper solutions but known quantities bring their own efficiencies and shouldn't be discarded."

The answer being a function of whether or not you're spending your own money.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: sounds absolutely stupid

Exactly. This is why MSPs can deploy commodity hardware, but SMBs alone shouldn't. An MSP can afford the R&D, qualification, prototyping and validation because they're doing it over a whole stable of SMBs. The cost of all that is shared amongst the group.

"It depends".

Welcome to IT, eh?

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: sounds absolutely stupid

"At what point does 50 commodity boxes become more effective than one monolithic RAIDed, multiply redundant hunk of a machine."

3 nodes. 3 commodity nodes are the equivalent of one high end engineered server. Two in HA, and one on the shelf. (Because you don't get 4 hour with commodity.) Now, that doesn't mean "3 commodity to every enterprise server." That's the entry level to begin making sense of the equation. The actual algorithm is

3 + 1.25N commodity nodes are equivalent to N high end enterprise nodes.

This factors in failure rates, the fact that commodity nodes don't keep the same motherboards in production for as long as enterprise nodes, etc.

Now, Supermicro changes the calculations some. They offer 7-year support on some of their boards. This means that the algorithm becomes

3 + 1.1N Supermicro 7 year support nodes are equivalent to N high end enterprise nodes.

My entire career has been about determining the maths on this. Factoring in hundreds of variables. Testing, retesting and doing it all over again. I have cooperated with hundreds of systems administrators around the world to figure out failure rates, which vendors to avoid, which models to avoid, and more. The hard work of making commodity as reliable as enterprise with a fraction the cost.

Now, thanks to Facebook, Google and others that long effort is coming to a close. The Opencompute initiative is functionally industrializing my life's work, after having proven it at a scale I never could have dreamed of. (My biggest was 15,000 nodes in a single datacenter.)

But yes, there is logic underpinning this "commodity madness", even if many of those whose paycheques depend on "enterprise vendors uber alles" will never understand it..

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: sounds absolutely stupid

I suspect that's exactly the point. They have to dev and test for Macs. You can buy VMware's ESXi and install it on any x86 compatible system. If you do so on a Mac, you can buy additional licenses of OSX and run them in virtualised environments. (Note: Apple does not license you to do this on non-Mac systems.)

This is a tested - and IIRC, supported - environment. It stands to reason that somewhere in VMware there exists a production cluster in which running various versions of ESXi and Fusion occur. They probably also have slowly enlarged the cluster to run other Dev and Test workloads on this cluster, for the "simple to get an identical node" reasons that William listed.

I have a customer about to light up an ESXi Mac Pro cluster. I expect to see more and more as customers turn away from Microsoft. For various reasons, getting money for Mac Pros to run a dev and test cluster (outside of one or two specifically for compatibility testing) is highly unlikely. But a Mac Mini probably just squeaks under the radar of "petty cash."

One small Mac Mini cluster becomes two. Two become a larger cluster. Soon you have 50 of the things running legitimate Dev and Test workloads for reasons as much political as practical. It's very human. And hey...they probably get the job done just fine.

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Trevor_Pott
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“In what other situation can you have an entire spare server on hand for $1200?”

I can think of one.

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Bloodthirsty Apple fanbois TEAR OPEN new Macbook, bare its guts to world+dog

Trevor_Pott
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Re: We know The Register hates everything about Apple

The difference is that you don't "discuss" and "poke fun at" J.H. You attack him.

I'm perfectly willing to have a discussion about my potential biases, and I'll even discuss them in my articles, with as much humour as I can muster. But attack me, and I'll punch you in the gonads. I fully expect any other writer to take a similar stance. Keep on attacking J.H. over and over in the comments and you might just get a rise. If it were me, I'd put little things into my articles just to get a rise out of such an individual.

We're reporters, not saints.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: We know The Register hates everything about Apple

Sorry Trevor, I disagree with you.

You have that right. That said, I am also a reader of El Reg, and I read Jasper's articles along with almost everyone else's. I emphatically and completely do not buy that J.H. is biased against Apple. Instead, I feel that it is you who have a dangerous emotional attachment to Apple that is influencing your ability to perceive a combination of critical thinking and snark as bias.

To address your complaints directly:

My wife didn't buy a Macbook Pro beacause it didn't have a DVD drive. She said "that's fine on a netbook, but for my primary machine I need one." She bought a Lenovo.

Poking at Apple for having the top end so ridiculously expensive is absolutely legitimate. PC manufacturers have - for the most part - be forced by competition (thanks, Lenovo!) not to charge $virgins for a step up in RAM/screen/etc. And a lot of similar-classed PCs are still upgradable, meaning you can do exactly what I do: pick up a system with 2 or 4GB of manufacturer-provided RAM and up it to 32GB by nipping down to the corner store and getting SO-DIMMs for a bent copper. (Though I am getting sick of having to remove the keyboard to get the second DIMM in...)

As for "why didn't he mention it had an SSD", that would be because it's 2014. Nobody fucking uses spinning rust anymore. Again: buy your Lenovo with the el-cheap-o built-in rust, pop down to the corner store and slam in a 1TB unit. Hell, I managed to get a 480gb mSATA and a 1TB PCI-E into my 11" Lenovo X230. AND 32GB of RAM and it's nowhere near $2000, let alone 2000 pounds.

So yeah, you know what, I think you've got your knickers in a bunch over nothing. The man has some valid points and you are having a wobble over the fact that he raised them.

Cope.

You bring up Sony VIAOs when comparing to Apple on price, and they're a damned good comparison. They're outrageously expensive...so much so that they were a boat anchor Sony had to get rid of because of how much the market simply didn't want them.

Who does do well? Lenovo. Because they make great computers that people actually want and they do so for cheap. These range from the unupgradable to the ultimately upgradable. They have a little bit of everything. As the dominant PC vendor - not to mention the one who is making the most profit - it makes much more sense to compare Apple to them than it does some shattered has-been that is gasping it's last breath.

That said, it would make perfect sense - and be perfectly legitimate - to say "Apple is expensive, like a Sony Viao - in the article. It's just not necessary.

If J.H. were picking apart Alienware, Sony or so forth for the same things, would you be getting all uppity because he didn't include a cross comparison of every other vendor? I suspect you'd consider them fair game, because it isn't an "attack" on your beloved Apple.

So yeah, J.H. is having some fun at Apple's expense...but he raises valid points and does give us info about a new product.

You, OTOH, decide that you need to personally attack him rather than simply choosing to look at the headline and go "oh, I don't like that guy because he says things that make me angry" and simply not reading those articles. I have a list of authors at various news outlets I avoid, and I manage to do so* despite pretty severe adult ADHD which results in my having virtually no impulse control. You have no excuse.

And really, that's what it boils down to here. The argument could be made that J.H. could have phrased his articles in such a way as to avoid hurting the feelers of the faithful...but it can just as easily be made that the faithful need a sharp spike in the feelers every now and again. (And I say that applies to those who put their faith in any vendor or product!)

If you actually engaged with him as a human being, I think you'd find he doesn't have an anti-Apple chip on his shoulder. He respects them for what they are, and couldn't actually care less what other people buy. He simply reflects some of the things that the demonstrable majority of people care about, even if you, personally, don't.

That you agree with Apple's choices doesn't make anyone who doesn't biased.

*I avoid authors who consistently and willfully ignore science in favour of pushing pesudoscience that fits their political agenda, no matter how completely fucking wrong that pesudoscience is, how out of context they have to take any real science, or how much data they have to ignore to make things fit into their views. I won't give them the page views.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: We know The Register hates everything about Apple

While he sometimes reports on rumour - and frankly, with Apple that's about all there is to report on - I don't see anything particularly biased about his writing. He isn't gushing with praise, but he doesn't go out of his way to beat them down, either. He's skeptical and doesn't give Apple the benefit of the doubt...but nor does he for anyone else.

I'm the same way, so I don't really see the problem...unless, of course, you've got a massive emotional investment in Apple combined with a weird need to have everyone else love the things you love. If, however, that's the case, you probably need some professional help. *shrug* It's just stuff man. And Apple's just a company.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: We know The Register hates everything about Apple

"We know The Register hates everything about Apple "

News to me. I rather like Apple Macs, though I am less a fan of the mobile stuff. One day, I hope to be able to afford Macs.

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Tor attack nodes RIPPED MASKS off users for 6 MONTHS

Trevor_Pott
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Re: No ACs Allowed

@LucreLout I very carefully gave no information in my comment that could not be found on Wikipedia. What's the NSA going to do, monitor every single person on Earth with a high enough IQ to do hard science? And why would they?

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: No ACs Allowed

"The problem isn't achievening critical mass, but that of one retaining supercritical mass.

This is accomplished by-------, with _____________ with a secondary method of ************.

Do you *honestly* desire that blanked information being available for one and all?"

Yep. Absolutely. You see, nuclear weapons aren't a threat. Mostly because the number of people crazy enough to use them are vanishingly small and secondly because we (generally) take care to make sure that getting hold of fissionables (required for all current practical designs) are virtually impossible to get hold of*.

OTOH, if we know what materials are used for the various designs - and remember that even the stuff in the Teller-Ulam design is largely speculative - we can put the entire world's best and brightest towards finding ways to detect nuclear weapons in an inactive state, before they go off.

Let's look at the Teller-Ulam design for a second. It supposedly uses a small implosion device (U235 on the physically large ones, plutonium on more modern miniaturized ones), to turn the polystyrene into a plasma. That plasma is basically supposed to compress a secondary implosion device, but this one has fusion catalysts (Lithium 6, Deuterium, etc) which then make bada-big-boom.

Everyone knows to hide your fissionables, your tampers, and even your fusion materials (assuming you aren't making those in house). How many people know exactly what flavour of polystyrene foam actually produces enough plasma pressure to set the fusion device off?

Could we build a device that tracks the chemical signature of those compounds? What range would they have? How rare are they in industrial use and could we use Big Data techniques to look for odd accumulation of those materials where they shouldn't be? For that matter, what would happen if you threw Google at the problem of determining which other foams could be used to achieve the same results and started looking for ways to find those?

And Teller-Ulam is ancient! $deity knows what modern designs look like, or what innovative ways we could find to detect them, or the components used in their creation.

Any idiot can build a gun-type nuke. (Though why you would, as a terrorist, is beyond me. If you're that fucked up, just build a dirty bomb. It's way easier.) A good physicist could probably fill in the gaps on what's publicly available for a Teller-Ulam design and make a basic fusion bomb. I don't see us getting wiped out left right and center.

Eventually, the secrets for post Teller-Ulam designs will leak, and/or the final pieces required to build a Teller-Ulam weapon without requiring some brainpower will get out to the crazies. You can't keep secrets like that forever.

I, for one, would rather that we had all of humanity working on how to detect the damned things before they go off rather than praying that security through obscurity will save us until we die of old age.

And that's before we start facing reality on pure fusion weapons. Dear gods man, we're about 10 years away from being able to miniaturize superconductors enough that it would be possible to build a beam-target/inertial confinement hybrid device about the size of a semi truck that would make it through any radiation scanner you care to name.

Before you laugh and say neither beam-target or ICF has yet to produce a sustainable reaction, remember that they are trying to create very small reactions and sustain them over time. For bada-big-boom all you need is one large reaction that lasts nanoseconds. And Large reactions have never been the problem. (Give me a hohlraum large enough and I can blow up the world!)

And what about beam-beam fusion, hmm? Build a target with just enough containment to hold a few kilos of fusion-target plasma relatively loosely, build a couple of linear accelerators (or hybrids, if you have the space and the know-how), load them into semis, back them up and point them at the ball of semi-contained plasma...

Look, bada-big-boom is easy. Getting the materials is hard. Building the thing without being noticed is hard. Getting it from construction site to target - and remember, on the ground is nowhere near as useful as 300m in the air...you want that plasma shockwave, it's what does the damage - is not only hard, it's damned near impossible.

The knowledge is out there already, if you are willing to pay enough, or are smart enough. So let's not hide the "how". Let's make the "how" known and focus on detection and prevention. Yes, it's more costly than "security through obscurity". You actually have to give a bent fuck about things like "tracking fissionable". But it's a hell of a lot less likely to end in a horrible news report played out to a terrified world saying some city was wiped out because we thought our secrets were secure when they damned well weren't.

If the NSA can't keep Snowden out of the cookie jar then how the hell is it reasonable to assume that every nuclear country out there has managed to keep it all secret? North Korea got the bomb, so did China, Pakistan, India, Israel, Iran...and in the case of some of those places they've done more than simply re-use someone else's design. They've improved upon it.

So, I ask you, do you still want to keep everything secret? Really? And why do you trust those who guard those secrets - or try to detect the results of those secrets - more than the collective knowledge of all the white hats out there?

I'm legitimately curious as to your rationale, because if I can come up with a few feasible ways to make bada-big-boom - and I don't have an education to speak of - imagine what a proper nerd could do. That's really what it keeps coming back to, for me at least.

*Yes, I know about the US leaving nukes strapped to a plane unobserved on a military base, but you aren't going to waltz out of a military base with a nuke on the back of your truck, and if you tried to pull the core, you'd be dead in a matter of hours.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: No ACs Allowed

What do you have to fear if we have the ability to hide?

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You, Verizon. What's with the download throttle? Explain yourself – FCC boss

Trevor_Pott
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No, they really don't. I can introduce you to at least 15. They currently reside in long-term mental heath care facilities. That said, there are lots and lots and lots of people with the same basic conditions who are "functional" and who walk around doing their jobs in everyday life. Many of them gravitate towards positions of power. Doctors, lawyers, politicians.

My family is filled with shrinks. if you honestly believe that "Even the most heinous, self-serving individuals want to be loved, deep down" then let's you and I sit down and have a few beers one day. I'll tell you some of the stories I grew up with of some of the world's most disturbed individuals. And then I'll introduce you to teams at three universities who were on the verge of being able to identify the genes responsible for predisposition towards most of those conditions, but which were stopped by ethics boards.

You see, because so many individuals absolutely do walk around with this issues but are "functional members of society" there is a lot of ethical debate about funding research that could potentially prejudice people who don't have those specific traits against those who do.

I can even introduce you to someone who put 4 years towards a doctorate based on that, only to have to shift (and add three more years) because of this issue. (She got way too close to actually nailing it.)

So no, there are many people who - deep down - don't give a bent fuck about being loved at all. But they do like power, and they need control. And bags and bags of money buys them almost enough of each to sate them.

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If they change the T&Cs then everyone who wanted would have a reason to break contract and flee to T-mob.

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I don't buy that. Why? He has no need to "talk tough". He isn't elected. He has no mandate or requirement to get public buy in. He is a tin pot dictator in charge of his own little world with a limited timespan on the throne and he knows it. He won't be in power long enough to give a bent hoo-rah what anyone except He Who Appoints Chairmen thinks.

The only thing that matters to Wheeler is that after he's strutted his hour upon the stage he has a truckload of money and/or a right cushy job lined up that will provide him said truckload of money. He serves no master but himself and he has no priorities excepting himself. And those priorities begin and end at ensuring he has enough resources to obtain and maintain what he believes to be an opulent living.

Make the position an elected one, watch him dance to the public's tune. Until then, the above holds true.

Think I'm full of it? Go carefully examine his comments regard net neutrality before and after the FCC website was crashed twice with a completely unprecedented (by several orders of magnitude) flood of comments from the public. The tone doesn't change one bit, and he is playing exactly the tune that he was placed there to play: keep the public interest from affecting the interest of the telecoms companies.

The public eye means nothing to him. So why even give it consideration? No, I maintain that compensation was promised and then reneged. Otherwise, why would Wheele put in even token effort, let alone bother to make comments in public that would run the risk of alienating one of his most likely sources of post-chairman sweet jobs and/or truckloads of cash?

A great example of exactly this is Meredith Attwell Baker. It saddens me how easy it seems to be that we forget such things.

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"Reasonable network management concerns the technical management of your network; it is not a loophole designed to enhance your revenue streams."

Looks like someone didn't make good with the briefcase full of cash. Not smart, Verizon. When you and your industry chums get a blatantly corrupt top industry lobbyist put in power over your little cartel you should remember the first - and only - rule of blatantly corrupt lobbyists: the only thing they give a bent damn about is who is the money. Cease making with the protection funds and your "loyal" attack dog will bark at you...maybe even bite.

Come on, you folks are supposed to be smarter than this.

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Yes, Australia's government SHOULD store comms metadata

Trevor_Pott
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Re: Most insane argument on ElReg in a loooong time...

If the government decides it must be stored, it and not ISPs should store it the country should rise up as one and drive the fuckers into the sea.

T,FTFY

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Cisco says network virtualisation won't pay off everywhere

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Re: Cisco are probably right...for now at least.

I have read Cisco's whitepaper. And various blogs. And talked to Cisco Champions and CCIEs on the subject. And used NSX, OpenDaylight and Juniper's amazeballs OpenFlow stuff. Cisco shouldn't be scared by software defined networking.

They should be pissing themselves in heart-stopping almighty fucking terror.

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Only '3% of web servers in top corps' fully fixed after Heartbleed snafu

Trevor_Pott
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Re: Most linux admins believe....

"The very fact that you would put CentOS in production because you're too mean or greed to pay for RedHat on production machines (but use it on dev/test ones!) says *you* can't do your job - I would never deploy something that way just to save some money"

So, you're actually, factually an idiot that is overpaid and doesn't know how to do their job. Congratulations, you are the living embodiment of the Peter principle.

Why do you need RHEL in production for VMs you are never going to change or manage directly? And why the metric monkey fuck are you changing or managing your production systems directly? They should all be automated and orchestrated through vCAC and config-managed with Puppet. There is nothing about a production system that should ever require you to log into it. Logs should be collected centrally, configs pushed centrally, and everything about the system automated and disposable.

There's no business case for spending an RHEL license on that. You spend the RHEL licences on Dev and Test, which is where you actually to the work of building out new configs, testing your dependencies and checking for errors.

Also, I never said I don't know hot to use Microsoft's toolchain, you fucking numpty. I get paid to know how that all works. I have all-Microsoft production environments (well, for the moment they are) and I am willing to be I spend more time learning the ins and outs of that technology in my lab than you do working on it in production. Knowing that shit inside out and backwards is my job.

And yes, it's a relic. What AD and System Center can do, Puppet can do better. I don't tout Puppet because I like it, I tout it because it's the best. As a matter of fact, I hate how Puppet is implemented. I'm a GUI baby and I dislike this "lines of code" fuckery. But you can't argue with results, and Puppet is emphatically superior to Microsoft's monoculture management tools.

You are a Microsoft fanboy. You always have been. You can't see past your own emotional investment in the company and it's tools.

I was a Microsoft fanboy, once. I still deploy their stuff widely. But it has been a long time since I was narrow-minded enough to think them the solution for all ills. What matters is getting the best results in the shortest time with the lowest expenditure. If that isn't your goal as a systems administrator than you are doing your employer a massive disservice and you should quit now if you hope to retain a shred of personal honour and dignity.

Learn a bit about how IT has evolved in the past 14 years since Microsoft Monoculture was ascendant. You might be surprised at how amazing it has all become.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: Buy a professional product...

You may not need Puppet for that, but why would you use a monoculture management toolset when you can use a toolset that works with everything? Why restrict yourself? What benefit does that give you as a business owner? Keeping geeks with biases happy isn't a viable rationale.

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Re: Most linux admins believe....

You could work for a company with millions of employees, that doesn't mean a damned thing if you can't do your job.

You're absolutely right that you need to worry about things like "buying certificates." Except that you can script that by having Puppet call the cert site's API, request a cert renewal, etc...or even just buy the cert and push it out using Puppet manually. It's like two lines of code to ensure that the old certs are removed and the new ones installed.

Complacent sysadmins are a problem. But the biggest complacency issue are sysadmins who refuse to learn new technologies that can help them be better at their jobs. Puppet and similar tools are the future. GPOs and other monoculture tools are relics of a best forgotten era.

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Re: Most linux admins believe....

Most Linux admins just use Puppet. That way they can push out cert changes, patches, etc. to hundreds of thousands of VMs instantly.

You actually don't even know how IT works in the real world anymore, do you?

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Re: Buy a professional product...

"Group Policy"? What are you, from the aughties? Puppet, ya old crank. Puppet. That's how proper sysadmins handle systems management today. "Group Policy". Next you'll tell me you still develop software for legacy Wintel systems! [1]

Group Policy is limited to low value-for-dollar high-licensing-requirement Microsoft OSes. That's it's flaw. It would be great as a management infrastructure if it could support Linux, BSD and so forth, but it can't. So why both investing in it? Puppet can handle what needs to be handled, is cross platform, and allows you to get all the benefits you would have had from GPOs and GPPs.

Using Puppet you can do what normal people do: Buy RHEL support for Dev and Test, then run CentOS for production. Manage the whole lot with the same Puppet scripts. Drive your licensing costs into the floor, keep your support costs virtually nonexistant.

[1] Okay, that's disingenuous. I know nobody with cognitive capacity is still developing new Wintel software. But it's still hilariously fitting given the whole "group policy" thing.

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Asteroid's DINO KILLING SPREE just bad luck – boffins

Trevor_Pott
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Re: Humphrys can make inadvertent fun out of anything

Could a smart dinosaur have existed? Maybe. But no matter how much Hollywood puts "idiocracy" into a movie, evolution doesn't work like that, and it doesn't work anywhere near that fast.

Psittacopasserae - Songbirds, Parrots, Corvids and the like - are pretty smart. But Cariamae - not to far off the evolutionary tree from Psittacopasserae are pretty mediocre, at least by mammalian standards.

Go on up to a side branch of Telluraves and look at families like Strigiformes (owls) and Piciformes (woodpeckers) and they're nowhere near as bright as Corvids. They're about as bright as Cariamae.

This means that the extreme high intelligence seen in Corvids and Parrots is probably restricted to Psittacopasserae. (Let's save arguments about Falconidae for later, hmm?)

Go all the way up the tree to Neoaves and look at Galloanserae (chickens and other waterfoul) and they're dumb as posts. With the sole exception of Columbiformes (pigeons), pretty much everything under Neoaves are dumb as posts, and the Ratites - which are up a bit from Neoaves are just as dumb.

Now, this says to me one of two things happened: Pigeons evolved intelligence separately from Psittacopasserae, or intelligence evolved prior to Ratites, and virtually every bird family since birds began evolved to be dumb except Pigeons, Parrots and Corvids.

So we start looking at Pigeons versus Corvids. Long story short: Pigeons are nearly as smart as Corvids overall, but they are good at completely different tasks. Parrots, OTOH, aren't quite as smart as Crows, but are generally proficient in the same sorts of tasks.

This says that it's really likely Pigeons evolved intelligence separately from Parrots/Corvids, and that Parrots and Corvids likely shared a common "smart" ancestor. (With Corvids evolving more towards intelligence than Parrots in the same time.)

So if dinosaurs were smart, where did that smart go? It didn't seem to make it into birds. It's possible that non-avian dinosaurs were smart...but when we start looking for signs of advanced brain structures in their skulls - for whatever little that's worth - we don't find them. No evidence of higher complexity, or any species of non-avian dinosaur with even an avian EQ, let alone a mammalian one.

So I honestly don't think it's very likely that "dinosaurs were smart, then evolved into dumb." Evolving to be less bright can - and usually does - come with "evolving to be small". Smaller animal = smaller brain. There are exceptions - Modern Humans, Corvids, Proboscidea, etc - but as a general rule "smaller brain = dumber". This is where looking for special brain structures comes in, as they could indicate intelligence in smaller brained animals.

Most dinos weren't huge. We're pretty sure that the huge dinos tended to have brains that were actually less massive than their spinal columns. So where does that leave us? Potentially a freak family here or there that evolved intelligence then snuffed it rather quick? Possible.

But how likely do you really think it is, given the evidence, that said smart dinos even existed, let alone devolved over time. Idocracy takes millions of years, and usually leaves a fossil trace.

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Amazon Reveals One Weird Trick: A Loss On Almost $20bn In Sales

Trevor_Pott
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Re: Clever...

As recently as two years ago I was still a fanboy, at least of their server team. I still worship Jose Barreto and his gaggle of gangsta goons. But great minds and great technology cannot overcome the overwhelming douchiness of management decisions.

You could have Elon goddamn Musk working in the server team and it still wouldn't make a difference unless they let him set policy. (At which point Microsoft would go from 0 to hero in about 0.0000001 picoseconds.)

So that's where we are. I love a lot of the folks that work there. I think they make some great tech. But I cannot condone their actions or choices. They are simply dishonorable. Not trustworthy. I'll gladly use technology from a vendor that doesn't have as many great minds, or products quite as advanced if I can place just that little bit more truth in that vendor. If there is a relationship to be built.

But like hell am I going to accept a relationship with a vendor - any vendor - in which my part of the relationship is "subject of $vendor". I am nobody's subject.

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Microsoft says 'weird things' can happen during Windows Server 2003 migrations

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Well shit, that would have been useful in November. It does, however, a lot of paint-peeling cursing that went on then...

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Microsoft bakes a bigger Pi to cook Windows slabs

Trevor_Pott
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Re: Overspecified

Windows RT works fine on ARM devices. The only problems with are completely artificial. Microsoft locked down the OS, preventing the use of desktop-style apps or server apps. Windows RT is worthless as a tablet OS. It would have been glorious as a server OS. You know, servers. Where it's not out of the question to develop entirely new software to match a platform, if there is a good reason.

Consumers, SMBs and the commercial midmarket, OTOH, aren't just going to throw away decades worth of software investment so that Microsoft can have a new one-application-at-a-time (or two side-by-side in utterly useless fashion) touch-based OS.

*shrug* Microsoft. Missing the point is a thing.

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"When you additionally consider that the Windows Driver Kit 8.1 can pair with Visual Studio Express and are both free with a valid MSDN account"

So, for $300 you get a low end Atom without even an Ethernet port and a copy of a Windows OS designed for tablets. To make use of it you need an MSDN account.

Price of MSDN starts at $700 for just "operating systems". Visual Studio Pro with MSDN is $1200. The one you actually need as a sysadmin is $2170 but they go all the way up to $13300. All of that per year.

A Raspberry Pi + case + as many copies of as many variants of Linux as you want is $100. Tops.

Only you can decide if Microsoft's offer is worth it for you. Based on the above, I think I will develop my applications for non Microsoft platforms. Microsoft is simply too rich for my blood.

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Flamewars in SPAAACE: cooler fires hint at energy efficiency

Trevor_Pott
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Re: oh hell...

Didn't they just prove that you could build an internal combustion engine that worked better. in space than on Earth? With Titan being all hydrocarbons, seems to me you could now get conservatives interested in space exploration...

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