2969 posts • joined Monday 31st May 2010 16:59 GMT
Re: what the hell am I rambling on about?
I'm not defensive. I'm exhausted. And the issues you raise - along with many, many more - have been discussed at length in my other articles, comments and so forth. If you want to get snarky that I am not pandering to your pet prejudice, I'll point you in the general direction of an Apple article.
I am not opposed to constructive criticism at all. I am however getting fairly sick of sour grapes. The article was targeted at IT professionals. You know…The Register’s audience. It isn’t FOX news’ technology section, now sponsored by Best Buy and featuring a free lobotomy to bring your IQ below 100!
That any technology – cloud or otherwise – has downsides does not need to be spelled out explicitly in each and every article. You are expected to be smart enough to know that.
Indeed, what I am presenting is “the world as I see it.” (Blog, eh?) This is what I am seeing on the ground. How people are using technology. The things they worry about. And the gist of the article – in case you missed it – is that they are a lot more worried about vendor lock-in and getting the shaft regarding licensing than they are the occasional hiccoughs inherent in a cloud delivery model.
No tech is perfect, but these are the choices I am seeing real people in the real world making. They give me ~500 words. (With some fudge factor when I go over.) I chose to report what I see rather than take up a bunch of that rehashing the same “cloud vs. local” argument again for the 10,000th time.
I’m not going to waste my 500 words a week revisiting issues I feel have already been beaten to death umpteen times, and that my readership could argue from multiple angles in their sleep. They deserve better.
Re: what the hell am I rambling on about?
None of the issues you are talking about are exclusive to cloudy apps. A car can take out the power pole at my company and I'm just as hooped. (Indeed, this has happened.) I have had the internet cut for weeks on end, and every single time managed to get an alternative in place within 24 hours. I'm a sysadmin. That's my job.
If you suffer from such binary thinking that you cannot read an article about cloudy apps without believing that they are being touted by the author as a magical cure for all ills then you don't belong on the internet. Or reading newspapers. Or books. Or technical manuals. Or anything, really. If the world is black or white, with nothing in between you really shouldn't be doing much of anything at all, because you are a danger to every single individual, business and most animals you encounter.
On site IT has drawbacks. Cloudy IT has drawbacks. Hybrid IT has drawbacks. No IT at all has drawbacks. Every single thing that we can possibly introduce to solve any problem – from keeping predators away at night to making picosecond financial transactions – is a series of tradeoffs. Stability, reliability, redundancy, capex, opex, skills availability, vendor lock-in and yet more.
There is no magic bullet. There are no perfect solutions. But when someone highlights the benefits of one particular solution without a doctorate-level comparative treatise on the possible drawbacks and comparative analysis for every conceivable use case they are most emphatically not advocating that particular solution as the magic solution to all ills.
In the case of this article, I can assure you that your less-than-humble scribe made some assumptions about the general level of intelligence, competence, experience, knowledge and comparative analytical abilities of the intended and likely audience.
If you have failed to meet my (apparently too lofty) expectations, then I deeply apologise for the incursion into your worldview. You have enlightened me; I shall promptly redouble my efforts to target my articles squarely at utter mediocrity.
Re: There is another layer
Aye. I inherited a piece of beskpoke software recently myself. A little bit of genericisation, some setup routines...it's most of the way towards a SaaSy application. Would need some tweaking/customisation per user, but hey...that's where the money is...
Re: And I for one
Well, *cough,* if you happen to know a decent LAMP PHP programmer living looking for some part time work...
Re: SaaS just shifts the single point of failure
@Alan Bourke: The cost of broadband (especially a "Basic" package for emergency use only) is negligible. Yes, even to SMEs. Even to startups that are just a few months old and in the process of acquiring their first customers (as my personal company). It is one cost I have never had a problem convincing any one of my customers about. An additional $40 a month is – all things considered – fairly minor.
As for the bloke spreading FUD about the “unreliability” of cloud passed services…put in your teeth grandpa, we ain’t on yer lawn.
First off: you only achieve high uptimes if you constantly recycle the equipment. Eventually the stuff just gets old. Disks die. RAM failures increase. Even RAID cards start to go. (I should know; my largest customer is sitting on a hardware estate that ranges between 4 and 10 years old, averaging 6 years old.)
Do I have a better uptime than Amazon? Yes. But only just barely; even with active-passive backup systems, (let’s be realistic: few if any SMEs have true HA,) switchovers take time. You have to bring the tech (me) in from wherever they are at the moment, the switchover process has to be completed, and the data verified good before you fire up.
If the particular system you happen to be restoring to service isn’t backed up by an synchronised partner of some variety then the restore process is going to take even longer. You’re in even more poo when it comes to desktop restores. People do save files where they shouldn’t, and SME’s don’t have the money for the software that finds the buggers and moves them. (They also don’t tend to let you lock the systems down far enough that you prevent the users from writing to the local file system.)
Being an SME admin is a complicated job. Business owners and CxO types are often MUCH closer to the decision making and accounting of projects than they are in larger organisations. There are interesting compromises and IT issues that vary per company and you really can’t wrap up “all” SMEs in any nice generalization. You can’t say “well you should do this instead” and wave dismissively nor can you can’t simply treat all SMEs as though their infrastructure requirements, budgets or IT demands were the same.
Well, actually, you can, but you’ll look like an idiot.
A few hours of outage is not the end of the world to most SMEs. Even in the middle of the day, even at the height of busy season. There are workarounds. The critical systems that need computers in-house (say to run the printers or the widget stamping machine or the hullablooo creation mechanisms) will probably never be cloud-based. They will survive a cloud outage.
The point-of-sale systems can be worked around with ten cent pencil, and entering the data when the cloud comes back up. I’ve seen this failover mechanism in use with my own mark one eyeball and it works just fine. Office packages loss for a few hours can be overcome by simply doing something else that is on your enormous pile of shit to do that day and coming back to the office package later.
If the middleware is down, life sucks, but again; ten cent pencil to the rescue! Jotting down the information that staff would normally enter into whatever portion of the middleware they normally use allows them to enter that info when it comes back up. If you are going into graph-and-chart withdrawal from the BI side of the thing being offline for a few hours, get checked out by a psychiatrist right away.
Yes, there is alwys the possibility something customer facing goes down. That would suck. I solve that with a script that took me 5 hours to write that interrogates the existence of critical systems. If it detects an outage, it posts a “we’re sorry, Velociraptors and internet forum commenters ate our servers. They’ll be back in no time. Click here if you want to receive an e-mail when everything’s back online.” I can usually name who is out, and why…customers love it. No complaints.
So I’m right back to “what the hell are you rambling on about?” Judicious use of cloudy whatsit widgetry is a boon to SMEs. Full stop. Quit fighting the future. You’re starting to sound like one of those nutters from ten years ago screaming “virtualisation is a stupid plan. There’s overhead! It’ll never catch on!”
*patpat* Have fun with that.
Re: SaaS just shifts the single point of failure
For $deity's sake man, you're commenting on El Reg. You know enough to come up alternatives! Most people have two broadband providers. Get both. Use a pfsense firewall and do failover + load balancing. Push a button an launch an instance of some IaaS widget that serves as the other point of a VPN tunnel. Then pass your network traffic through your mobile connection.
Send your staff home and have them use their home connections for a day. The stuff’s all in the cloud, why are these people even in the office to begin with?
Unless you are in rural wheresville, options exist. Good enough ones at least to handle the occasional outage brought about by some lummox with a backhoe on an emergency basis. 24/7 is nice-to-have for SMEs, but rarely an absolute requirement.
They can "view" it any way they like. They simply can't ACT on it. As a society, we have decided that this is an acceptable practice, that a woman has control of her body and the right to decide whether or not she brings a pregnancy to term.
If they want to see this changed, there are forums available for them to utilise. From protesting to legislation. I would even (personally) accept DDoSes and certain forms of protest-style/DDoS-style robocalling. Childish, but nonviolent and non-invasive.
The line gets crossed when you either commit violence or you participate in the theft of personally identifiable information. Actual violence is unacceptable as a method of obtaining social change excepting under the most dire of circumstance. (I.E. your own government is committing genocide, sovereign nation is invading you, etc.)
Theft of personally identifiable information is right there in the same category as violence. That may seem nonsensical at first blush, but the sad reality is that the information has only to make it into the hands of extremists and then people start dying. Alternately, you end up with extremists perpetrating bigotry via stalking, employment discrimination, exercise of police/state authority discrimination etc.
There is a reason that our society has placed a critical value on personally identifiable information. Under many circumstances its release can get people killed. Dead. No longer alive. Not in some theoretical statistics but in the real world. Living, breathing, contributing members of society. Killed for anything from race to religious belief, sexual practices to “allowing multiculturalism” (shudder, really? As a Canadian who values our multiculturalism, and revels in the fact that we’re one of the few nations to successfully pull it off, the Oslo thing still haunts me.)
So they can view it any way they want. I will defend their right to protest abortion policy to the death, even as I campaign against their beliefs to the bitter end.
But they aren’t allowed to hurt anyone. And they aren’t allowed to steal information that can/will be given to other people to engage in same hurt.
Free speech has its limits.
And my personal religious tolerance ends at the point where that religion demands intolerance of - or harm to - others.
Re: Zero Logic Here
A) I never once said piracy had no effect. Merely that the effect was negligible. Piracy may be one amongst many enablers, but "treading your customers like the enemy" was what caused the customer base to want any path out in the frist place. As soon as Big Content started offering people media they wanted using distribution methods they prefered with zero restrictions, people started buying from Big Content again.
Unfortunately for Big Content, a decade of piracy had driven price expectations into the floor. That is Big Content's fault for being complete idiots. The blame for that failure lays nowhere but there. (The price of a blockbuster video game for example has gone UP in that time. When DLC is factored in, it has gone from ~$50 to ~$100.)
B) 1998 happens to equally coincide with “Years of MTV being utter shit,” the end of the grunge rock era, the concerted massive push for formulaic POP star pap, is a year after the release of Autotune and the seemingly coordinated effort to make all movies rape our childhoods by being both rip-offs of old ideas and utter shit.
C) The ability to pirate had been around for ages. Napster provided a layer of convenience, but it was still relatively unknown in its first couple of years. Additionally, people who were really interested in pirating simply because they were cheap already had effective distribution networks to get physical objects moved between them, or to post files on USENET, etc.
Piracy most certainly has an effect on the downfall of Big Content. But it is nowhere near what the media megaliths claim it to be. (See the link about copyright math.)
Piracy due to people being skint is minimal. A cost of doing business comparable to the rate at which customers/suppliers go bankrupt, people shoplift or natural disasters occur. You cannot eliminate it. You cannot control it. You accept it as a cost of doing business and you seek to mitigate the costs and damage only as much as is practicable and economical.
Piracy due to you being a giant fucking douchbag is a completely different ballgame. Treating your customers like the enemy leads to wholesale abandonment the instant any alternative becomes available. But this is something that’s completely avoidable: don’t be a dick.
Big Content simply doesn’t get it.
Oh well, they are no longer needed, and nobody cares about them anymore anyways.
Re: stupid enough to click it?
Tom, buddy, I have some bad news for you.
I'm a commenttard. I was a such an unbelievably loud and obnoxious commenttard that they decided "if you are going to write novels in the comments section, then you should be writing articles instead. We can advertise against those more and make more money." Good business. I approve.
Before being a commenttard here, I was a forum whore elsewhere. Still am. I was a USENET regular and a BBS user. I connected up my first 300 baud modem to talk to other people (with help) over the computernets when I was only 4 years old. I built my first LAN at 8.
For all intents and purposes I am “from the internets.” In an article, I have to attempt to achieve some modicum of professionalism and respectability. But in the comments section – here, there, anywhere across the wide, wide interbutts – the urge to troll the pants off someone can be completely overwhelming.
Never trust a link posted on a forum. There are things you can’t unsee. There is knowledge you cannot unlearn. In an article, you probably wouldn’t get trolled. In a comment where I was making a technical point and backing up with evidence, it might be safe to assume that links will be relevant.
But regardless of occupation or hobby, if you ask someone (even jokingly) for “tits or GTFO” of their old lady…
…you’d have to be a complete moron to click that link.
Particularly if the individual in question is perfectly capable of slapping together a website that flashes a series of images that you would wish you could burn from your mind with an acetylene torch while in the background a dozen different cross-browser, multi-operating system zero days are pwning your machine, emailing dongs to your contact list, uploading everything on your hard drive to a torrent site, spreading to every system on your network, and then dbanning the whole thing.
The internets; here there be dragons.
Re: +100 internets to you Trevor
Very kind of you to say, sir. Personally, I think a lot of Richard, Iain and Rik's science articles are light years beyond anything I could pen (El Reg has lots of good writers, IMHO)...but I'll not pass up a compliment when its offered! :)
Beer, becuase the workday is almost over, I've more articles to write, and there's a chair at the pub perfectly formed to my arse.
Re: Excellent article, but...
Xacti is a good example. But RED was the first one. It changed the market. Drove digital adoption. Before RED everything was 10, 100 times as expensive. After RED, everyone raced to drive the cost down.
Honestly, I chose the RED for a reason. It was singlehanded responsible for driving a sea change in pricing and usability. There is a great article on it here, but alas, it requires creds to read the full text.
Re: I disagree... on one (slightly OT) point
You are confusing "indie" and "art." Indie films - true indie films looking to make a real movie - have backers and some form of budget. But they don't have the budget of a real blockbuster. The Red gives you the ability to shoot blockbuster-quality for a tenth or even hundredth the price of traditional cameras.
I am not talking about your pet cat videos on youtube. I am talking about honest-to-god indie films that go “mainstream” and make millions at the box office. Hits that occur outside the framework of the traditional establishment.
But emphatically *not* your wanky angsty art film.
Though even for the wanky angsty art film, there is a booming industry in renting RED cameras for such projects, and the cost of rental is WAY below that of other comperable-quality cameras.
Sure there is! They each in turn became obsessed with something or someone outside the company and allowed it to distract them. Nokia kept SHIFTING FOCUS of its R&D. It would invest in it...but it would get impatient and pull the funding before a final product could ever really be reached.
They were cashing the market leaders instead of trying to simply make one product and make it well. Constantly trying to be someone else (multiple someone elses!) ended up with them in fact being nobody.
If you want to succeed, then get a skunkworks going, DON'T give them direction every quarter, fund them to whatever level you are capable fo doing so, and let them produce you something novel. Don't Microsoft up a Courier and then kill it.
If you can't stomach R&D yourself, then send out your scouts looking for the new and the novel, not the “it’s more or less like what that other major competitor has on the market.” By the time you get your copycat product on the streets, they will have 80% of the market and you’ll be fighting an uphill battle.
Microsoft had the right of it with Kinect: buy the technology from some third-party research team, make a few minor tweaks, and bolt it on to your console…presto! Something nobody else has. Don’t make a different version of the motion controller that Nintendo has. Nintendo already stole the market for it!
No, the issues here are manifold. Treating R&D like a cost center, quarterly revenue based short-sightedness, and focusing on someone of something external to the detriment of understand what it is you do, and making sure you do it really well.
Take Apple; they make a comparative handful of products. Far fewer SKUs than Microsoft, HP, or pretty much any of the other tech titans. But they had a megalomaniac with severe OCD fret over every single detail of every single product for over a decade. It created a corporate culture that caused runaway success. Focus on the product, ignore the competition.
Where do Apple start to fall down? The Jihad against apple was a personal vendetta, there was no business sense to it. Cook is looking for a way out and for a damned good reason.
Not listening to customers. Every time there’s a real complaint against Apple, it boils down to treating customers like the enemy. (Final Cut Pro X!) If Apple would take customer issues to heart – and be a little bit more friendly with their customer engagement – then they would own the emotional loyalty of the majority of the population as well.
They could get away with treating their customers like cattle for a long time because they simply made better widgets than the next guy. The growth market there is ending; they have addressed the needs and desires of the bulk of the bell curve, growth now lies in addressing the corner cases.
The beauty of it is that their ardent refusal to talk about products until they are ready to ship is one of the smartest moves in tech. Sure, journalists hate it, but fans LOVE it. You can speculate all you want, but you know that when an Apple product is officially shown, it will be ready to BUY right away. No Asus MeMO that looks like sex on roller skates then quietly disappears, never to be heard from again.
But they are learning. They backed down on Final Cut Pro X. Mountain Lion looks to address as many of the complaints about Lion as possible while still keeping the overall direction that Apple is aiming for. They are a ruthlessly efficient corporate megalith that already understands everything I wrote about here.
Red Hat is another I would throw on the pile as “getting it.” To a greater or lesser extent extent, Rackspace, Arista, Intel, Palo Alto Networks, F5 and Citrix all seem to grasp this as well.
Do what you do best. Don’t chase after the seemingly tantalising treasures that others have already claimed. Don’t get caught up in CEO catfights with other companies. Don’t lose sight of the long term while chasing quarterly gains.
Don’t treat your own customers like the enemy. Listen to your customers and do your best to meet their needs. If you can’t or choose not to meet the needs of your customers, respect your customers enough to tell them why.
It’s not that hard to understand. But it does seem anathema to modern megabusiness.
Re: Higher species FFS!
As a general rule, "socially conservative" has a very strong statistical correlation to various (indeed in many cases nearly ALL) flavours of science denialism. Santorum just happens to be a great poster boy and a good subject. He is certainly smart enough to understand the science (in terms of ra6w processing power,) however he seems to honestly and truly believe something else.
If you take the time to dive into the science of why some people don’t believe science, you start to understand why. The article I linked to is a good introduction. Here’s another good one: http://motherjones.com/politics/2011/03/denial-science-chris-mooney
Now, you are correct, “conservative” doesn’t automatically correlate to science denialism. But very frequently this is the case. What’s more, the trend is increasing, as the polarisation between “right and left” rapidly degenerates into “science versus god.” The gap is getting bigger…and the Al Jazeera article actually has a good dose of “why progressives are having a piss poor time explaining things to conservatives.”
So yes, when you talk about someone like Santorum in combination with science denial and/or stupidity, the first thing that leaps to mind is this sort of research. Maybe it is because my province is in the middle of an election. Maybe it is because the Alberta version of the Tea Party (the Wild Rose party, also a popular flavour of tea,) is poised to win a majority.
They want to completely dismantle our health care system, turning it into a tiered for-profit, American style system. (Over my rotting corpse!) They want to defund and privatise education. They want to slash environmental and arts funding down to zero, and they plan to defund and privatise public transportation as much as is possible. Lower taxes for the rich, fewer tax breaks for the poor. Far fewer royalty taxes on resources extraction companies. Nonexistent environmental fines for non-compliant entities. 66666666It gets worse, but this isn’t really a fiscal conservatism argument.
The issue here is social conservatives. And yes, the correlation here is damned near 100% on the “batshit nuts social conservatives” and “science deniers.” How am I gauging social conservatism? Let’s look at some of the most popular issues raised by Wild Rose supporters:
- Force immigrants to adapt to “Albertan values.” (WTF are “Albertan values?” How are they different from values in any other province? And half your damned party came from Ontario, Newfoundland and America to begin with…)
- Impose “conscience rights;” doctors should be allowed to refuse contraceptives, refuse to do abortions, refuse to treat gays, blacks, etc. Marriage commissioners should be allowed to refuse to marry gays, interracial couples, etc. (Really? Getting on that time machine and pedaling hard for the past, eh?)
- Dissolve the Alberta Human Rights commission and replace it with a ridiculous bureaucratic process that by all estimates will be functionally impenetrable and completely incapable of resolving issues.
- Allow “citizen referendums” as a means of bypassing the legislature and avoiding politically difficult topics. (Want to force all gays to receive psychiatric treatment? Don’t bring up a bill, get someone to create a “citizen referendum.” Then if there is public blowback, it doesn’t hurt the party…but liberties can still be removed by special interest groups.)
I could go on. For days. But you get the point, I’m sure.
Now this group of people is also the most adamantly anti-science you could imagine. More so in many ways than the American Tea Party. It’s terrifying.
So when people start talking Santorum and science, yes…the research comes to mind. The whole shooting match is far – far – too close to home.
Re: Higher species FFS!
Being conservative does not mean you are stupid. There has been actual science done on this, you know. It does mean that your brain works in different ways. (There are even genes that have been linked to conservative thought patterns, etc.)
Give this a read: http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2012/04/201241195538365112.html
It's a great review of a great book on the topic. It looks at exactly how conservatives and progressives think differently. It also emphasise that one is not “smarter” than the other. The raw intellectual capacity of individuals can and does exist on both sides of the spectrum. It is simply that this capacity uses different filters to perceive the world and make judgements about the importance of issues and data.
If you have any interest in the topic beyond griping on the internet and/or a massive persecution complex, both the article and the book it references are 100% worth your time to read.
So I take it you don't maintain a zombie preparedness kit? Guess I know who's going to be one of the zombies that needs killing when the apocalypse comes...
I wonder what the city of London, Ontario, Canada thinks of all of this. At 300,000+ people, it isn't exactly "irrelevant," and is in fact a major part of Canada's economy.
I can't speak for "people," but I sure as fnord oppose these GTLDs. Becuase of places like London.
Who gets .salem? .springfield? Does my hometown lose out on .Edmonton because it is a burough of London, England?
Apple's reply: "nice country you have there. Shame if we stopped selling iTat into it and told your citizens it was all your fault..."
Whilst TCP/IP [was] inferior...it worked and was readily available...
You mean, people choose simple, easy and extant over complicated, expensive and reliant on future technologies and products that "the market will deliver?"
Colour me shocked.
Sorry, but I've been debating this topic (and BYOD!) with enough purists for the past few weeks that I'm a tad bitter. The divide is interesting. The purists rarely get the point of the article at all: they see only the technical arguments. They simply can't see past "but that's not right!"
Worse, they are terrible are articulating why it isn't right, because they have been surrounded by people who think exactly like them for so long that they have simply never had to explain their position in a comprehensible fashion before.
I was really hoping this article would spur a few of them to be able to defend their take better, maybe even produce the relevant products and technologies. Instead, they've made the same old mistakes over again, and I still fear we will end up with a NAT66 world.
Latin America is becoming "a thing" here too. Service jobs are leaving in droves. Good high-paying white-collar jobs are heading south where the labour is cheaper, and they speak the same language (and have the same culture) as the ever-growing Hispanic-American population.
Naturally, this is a bigger issue in the US than Canada. Here in Canada we are being tugged at by three sides: the first is a loss of manufacturing jobs to China. (Big ouch for Canada, manufacturing was huge here until just recently.)
Secondly, we're losing our resources post-processing jobs to America. This is a massive blow to our economy. Something like 25% of our workforce is tied up in resources post processing. Unfortunately, the American jobs-creation and economic security strategy appears to be "demand that Canada export all its jobs to the US or they won't buy our resources." When we say "okay, piss on you then, China will buy them" the US ambassador issues a very angry statement and three days later our government pulls a 180.
The third prong of our job loss is to Europe (Ireland!) We're positively bleeding white collar jobs to the cheaper European markets here. We’ve had some exporting of things like call centers to Manila (who hasn’t,) but in truth the bulk of the non-resource jobs don’t go to Asia, they go to Ireland.
The hell of it is, the Americans are so desperate for Oil that despite all of that we’re still one of the strongest economies in the world. So long as people south of the border still fry half their brain cells before they’re 18 and vote republican, we’ll just keep cutting down all our trees/pulling oil out of the ground/pulling rocks out of the ground and selling it to them.
It’s literally the definition of a boom and bust economy. We have outsourced any form of economic diversity and redundancy we had. Eventually it will come back and bite us in the ass in a truly monumental fashion, and we will start to envy Greece.
That in mind, I – like everyone else in my country – hope the boom lasts long enough to hoard money/resources/property/etc. before the crash. Retire young, be super-frugal and then watch the whole thing burn down around us.
But I’m sure when it all blows up, they’ll solve it with tax breaks for the rich. I’m told that solves everything. I’ll have to take that one on faith though. I can't find any evidence in the past 50 years to back that assertion up. This being the internet though, a hardline "Palin/Santorum for planetary government" type will be along soon to tell me just exactly how it works.
Beer, because, well...ah **** it.
Re: "We're not willing to classify Windows NT Workstation as a mainstream desktop OS."
Have you used Windows 8? Windows isn't a desktop OS at all anymore.
Keyboard, because you'll have to pry the keyboard, mouse and multitasking operating systems from the hands of my rotting corpse.
Re: I'm confused...
Sure; that's fair enough. But Rik, Iain, Bird-Aine, Anna, Simon, Phil and above all Richard have done absolutely bang up jobs. Richard and Iain I want to single our for special praise: they make me proud to write for The Register. The science reporting they provide is absolutely top notch, going head-to-head with Nobel Intent, Christian Science Monitor, Mother Jones or any of the other major online science news sources.
I just can’t see any complaints of bias as valid, when I start looking at the actual body of work represented here. Individual authors may have their own individual takes on the matter. Who among us doesn’t have a given viewpoint?
But when I look at the past 6 months worth of Science reporting at The Register, I feel the overall quality has gone up significantly. And it continues to rise as people like Rik develop more contacts within the scientific community and gain ever more experience reporting on these difficult and complicated topics.
I think you’ll find a lot more good science reporting than past experiences have led you to expect. Even on the climate change topics.
I can’t and won’t attempt to “defend” this that or the next thing; offensiveness – like faith, truth and beauty – are ultimately in the eye of the beholder. But I will say this: by my very cynical and difficult-to-please standards, there is a far more excellent than questionable when it comes to El Reg’s science reporting.
That’s just my $0.02, of course. My opinions are mine and mine alone. In no way do my personal opinions represent El Reg, scientists, commenttards, cats, the beer icon, or sane/insane/differently sane/orthogonal individuals anywhere.
Re: I'm confused...
The Register does not impose editorial bias on her writers. Some of us disagree with others, especially as pertains to the interpretation of scientific evidence, the importance of overwhelming scientific consensus and the importance of (and requisite standards for) evidence-based legislation.
I suspect that if you trawl through the search history on this site, you will find examples of articles that present "just the facts, ma'am," with no discernable slant. You will also find articles that question the existence of climate change, the anthropogenic nature of it as well as those that accept the judgement of the IPCC on the matter and go on to discuss mitigation or consequences.
Say what you will about El Reg, but she lets her hacks speak their piece. I, for one, wouldn’t have it any other way.
Re: "Let's see if Microsoft is listening."
...but it was all for your own good!
Re: Written off in 3-4 years?
I find it completely fascinating how stark the divide is on this topic. Individuals from large enterprises, government departments or academic institutions all burble with uncontained rage. Flinging ad hominem attacks left and right, they demand retraction of the article followed by seppuku and erasure of all traces of my bloodline from the face of the earth.
SME admins and business owners meanwhile nearly universally show support and understanding. I have had far – by a wide margin – more people thank me for writing about this topic and bringing the issues to light than I have had people demanding my blood for sacrificial use at the next Cisco Core Router christening.
The issue at hand was never a question of what is technically correct. Obviously IPv6 the way it is designed now was designed by the brightest networking minds of three generations.
The point that needs ramming home however is that this is completely irrelevant. SMEs and consumers who are living on the frugal edge don’t care about the technical purity of the solution. They don’t care about the “right” implementation versus the “wrong” one. They are not interested in anything except making their equipment do what it needs to do right now, today. They’ll cross whatever other bridges need crossing when they come upon them, if they happen to encounter them.
What’s the net result? The net result is that a bunch people have started to buy equipment and implement technologies that save them money. How?
1) The upfront cost is essentially nonexistent. A pfsense firewall works on that beat up old P-III…
2) The maintenance cost is nonexistent. No retraining, no “replace things every 3-4 years,” no flag days for renumbering, no having to baby firewalls on every single device...
Businesses demanded this stuff. And suppliers acknowledged this. Then they went to the IETF and shoved the NPT66 RFC down their throats. Now we have NPT66 working in the real world.
Why? Because the SMEs and consumers in question aren’t just consumers of content. You’ll see a great deal of posts here in this thread about “just plug it in, and you can get on the IPv6 internet!”
Not good enough. There’s more to it than simply accessing the internet. These people want to host things. They want control over their own servers without having to configure each and ever individual server’s firewall and remap the edge system each and every time the address assignment changes.
Note that “they want control thing.” It doesn’t matter if you believe they shouldn’t have complete control. They want it. Cheaply and simply. And they won’t buy any solution that removes the control they have, degrades ease of use on establishing and maintaining that control or costs more than what they currently use.
But the thing that doesn’t matter is the opinion of “right” and “wrong” held by nerds. And the fact that the nerds cannot understand this…that their only solution to this dilemma is to deride, belittle and launch ad homenim attacks means that businesses have taken the decision about what the future of the internet will look like out of their hands. They don’t get a say any more. The people with money have spoken, and that is the only group of people that matter.
The technical point of view? It doesn’t matter.
So get ready to welcome your NPT66 overlords. They’re here to stay. And no, these companies won’t be going out of business because they refuse to implement IPv6 the way that nerds feel it should be implemented.
Quite the opposite: companies that refuse to supply these businesses with the goods they want won’t sell equipment, and they will go out of business. Websites that refuse to play ball simply won’t get users.
The money is what talks. And the disharmonious chanting and warnings of doom heard in the distance?
Re: I want one of those jobs
Hey...thanks for the insights! Learning is good.
Note to those folks who feel I am "recommending NPT66" here.
I'm not. In fact, I only have the one network with it at the moment; one I set up specifically so that I could figure out how it worked for the article. At the moment I have 16 IPv6 networks up, 4 of which are isolated testbeds. (8 new networks planned for this year alone!)
The article exists for one reason: to let the high priests of the internet know “oh, BTW, that NPT66 thing that? It’s in products and in use in SME shops all over the damned place already.” In other words: the utter failure of the priesthood to engage care for the issues faced by SME outfits resulted in them (shockingly!) going out and choosing the cheap and simple alternative that actually already existed! Note the two key words: “cheap” and “simple.”
“Right” and “wrong” aren’t in there. Surprisingly, SMEs and consumers don’t give a damn about IP morality.
I see a lot of talk about “use link local or ULA for internal addressing, and that solves everything.” No. It doesn’t. You would still have to re-address all your external-facing servers. I don’t think you quite grasp what that entails. Let me spell it out for you:
For ages upon ages, the big thing holding any SME back from spewing an unlimited number of servers all over the internet has been that they just can’t enough external IPs. They had to be conservative. They had to put time and effort into using as few servers as possible to use as few IPs as possible.
In an IPv6 world, we have functionally unlimited addresses at a time where we also have the ability to spin up hundreds of VMs on a single physical box. So what do these people do when you give them this ability? They spin up an instance of $server for every conceivable need, attach it to $external_ip and virtual sprawl sits on the internet to a magnitude you cannot possibly comprehend.
Renumbering these servers is an absolute bitch. It’s lunacy. Madness of the sort that makes SME admins pale, and then spontaneously vomit. “Flag days” are simply not allowed in 2012.
In a NPT66 environment, you don’t have to renumber. Ever. Because none of those servers have an external IP address. The only thing holding an external anything is the firewall. It holds the external subnet. It then 1:1 maps addresses back to the servers. The address issues NPT66 solves are not for internal use, but the addresses they will use to serve content to the outside world. Cheaply and simply.
Could you sit there and berate these admins for being “wrong?” Tell them they “aren’t doing it right” and that they need “education” to understand your point of view? Well…you could try. They don’t – and won’t – ever care to hear what you have to say. They are generally overstretched, working against impossible budget constraints, and usually have IT as a secondary or tertiary job.
The article is an exercise in pointing this out. That 13 years of belittling and berating instead of addressing cheap and simple are now biting everyone in the ass. Do I want the high priests angry? Yes. I want to slap each and every one across the face with their own hubris. That is 100% the intent.
Mocking and belittling me will earn you nothing. I am one individual. There are millions of SME admins out there, and I seriously doubt that the priesthood has the time to chasten and belittle each and every one of them thoroughly enough to cause them to change.
No; quit the opposite. The solution to this problem must come from the priesthood itself. You need to get your nerdrage on. You need to get out there and solve cheap and simple with extreme prejudice. You need to advocate and educate that your cheap and simple solution works, works well and works as easy as the alternatives.
Because cheap and simple IPv6 has shown up on our doorstep. And it is NPT66. 13 years of abject failure to address the practical issues have resulted in NAT being the easy choice for millions.
So hey, insult me if it makes you feel better. Question my manhood, technical ability, parentage, DNA sequencing and whatever else gets your happy on. I’m from the internet, I can handle it.
But when you’re done venting your spleen…please go make those cheap and simple products that the SME space needs, okay? Otherwise NAT will quite simply never die.
Re: I want one of those jobs
36 hrs per month x 12 months / 50 working weeks year = ~8.64 hrs of overtime a week.
Assuming 40 hr std work weeks, that is ~48.64 hrs a week, or ~31.36 hours *less* than I work in an average week.
Even if China allows 60 hr workweeks before overtime pay kicks in, it is still 11.36 hours less than I work in an average week.
I sure as hell don't get overtime pay; and if I understand correctly, they are making so much above national average as to be reasonably considered upper middle class. (By the standards of their society.)
Sounds perfectly reasonable! Now, the n-hexane, child labour and other things are pants, (and someone needs to scream loudly about them,) but the hours and pay sound pretty damned good to me.
Yes, the raw salary seems low by our standards. But the cost of living (goods, property, services, etc) are so much lower there that there is no reason to suspect that someone making a middle-class chinese salary doesn't live a life roughly as affluent (in terms of posession of material goods) and horrible wasteful as my own.
If the cost of bread/rice/iPhones/rent/etc. is 10x less, you need 10x less income to achieve the same quality of life.
I can't claim to know enough variables about the Chinese economy to know if these folks are really getting a raw deal or now. The information just isn't available to me.
But harping on about how many hours they have to work isn't earning sympathy points here. They seem to work about as many as I do, maybe less.
(Understand that I am not complaining about my hours here; I do what needs be done to pay the bills. This is just a discussion of facts, not a whinge fest.)
And at least they have a job. 30 million able bodied individuals of working age on my continent can't say the same.
Perspective. We need it.
There are legitimate workplace issues in China to get out panties in a bunch over. Hours worked is not one.
Re: Web hosting
There's Terabyte in Edmonton: good people, no question. Datacenter at the bottom of the CN tower here; more fibre than a glass plant.
10dollar.ca offers hosting, I've used then for really minor stuff, no problems whatsoever. If it's a small/low bandwidth kind of thing (and legal!) I might just be able to toss it on one of my servers here. ("Mail the author" or twitter @egeekconsulting.)
Really, it's all about size and scale. I have some Big Data contacts, I have "well, it has to serve some static Web 1.0 content and gets two visitors and a goat" kind of contacts as well. The key is to have both DNS (easydns, no questions, see my article,) and hosting be not in the US. Problem is, even if they appear to be canadian/spanish/U.K/etc...in a lot of cases, they maintain hosting nodes in the US.
I'll buy that for a dollar, but am unsure how to use it. I had always heard the term applied to the parent company, as with chaebol or conglomerate. Without using the word subsidiary, how do you use kieretsu in a sentance to decribe child companies? "Denso is an independant mid-tier corporate node in the Toyota kieretsu?"
Barring XML, I don't know that axequate descriptors exist. :)
I am always curious about the threshold for the concept of "subsidiary," and how it may or may not differ per culture/regulatory regime.
Denso was spun off from Toyota in 1949. It is most certainly its own distinct legal entity, but Toyota still retains a ~24% stake in the company. What's more, Denso owns shares in a number of companies itself, many of which Toyota owns a significant chunk of. The two companies cooperate on nearly every level and are completely and inextricably linked together for all practical purposes.
I’m willing to accept that subsidiary might not be the exact correct term for use in this situation. “Partner” doesn’t cover it either. The closest anglicism I can come up with is “clan member.” Separate distinct entity, but unquestionable “part of the family.”
As to “use in day to day life,” well…that seems to depend on who you talk to. My Japanese friends claimt he things are embedded everywhere. From bus route info to advertising, passport baggage claims to all sorts of other things. Where we might use a regular 3of9 barcode or some form of reference number, QR codes seem to be used there.
Maybe that is different in different areas? (And why not? Different cities would certainly have different methods of representing transit info, etc?) But overall, it seems that QR codes are simply “a fact of life” in Japan whereas they are still largely a novelty everywhere else.
Interesting to hear a different take on the matter, though!