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* Posts by Trevor_Pott

4317 posts • joined 31 May 2010

Office 365 goes to work on an Android

Trevor_Pott
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Re: Odd article.

I have an ASUS transformer as well, and the thing is damned near useless for anything excepting very minor document editing. Highlighting text, cutting and pasting are multi-second each affairs. If you do that (on average) 100 times per document - not remotely "out there" when writing something for others to consumer - this "multi-second each" thing starts to become a real drain on productivity. Especially since with a proper keyboard and mouse I can do all those activities as sub-second items.

Inability to open multiple documents is a big one, but lack of consistent keyboard shortcut support - and virtually non-existant highlighting or right-click support - are the big ones. Going from a browser to a document to copy links and back again (to do research) isn't exactly smooth. Everything about tablet UIs is designed for this "one thing a time" monofocus. It's slow, and ponderous and based on the idea that your time has no value, so you don't mind take a few extra seconds to do everything.

If I have an Asus Transformer and a shitty, beat-up, wrteched old netbook from 5 years ago, I'll choose the netbook. The Transformer is more portable, but the netbook won't leave me wanting to strangle someone by the time I'm done writing an article.

I still carry the Transformer most places. Because it's portability is far better. Yet every time I have to sit down and RDP into something because it needs fixing, or bash out an article, complex e-mail or what-have-you, I picture the slow-roasting of various Microsoft executives who botched the Surface launch.

Their widget could have been - should have been - the solution to all these ills. Why, why, why did they have to screw it up?

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: Apples and oranges

Bluetooth or USB. Suddenly a keyboard and mouse appear. That wasn't hard. Now, software, support it. Oh, it won't? Chicken and egg.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: Office suites on Android (or iOS)?

A 7" tablet is a perfect size for portability. If I could have a Surface-style keyboard cover that had a little detachable mouse (maybe fold-up-int-a-PCMCIA-slot style affair?) I would be on that like white on rice. Bigger screen is better, but try wandering a convention with a 15" notebook! Even my 13" was bulky and awkward.

There are so many places where I go during my regular day that a tablet goes and a notebook just doesn't. Increasingly, I can't rely on there being a "proper computer" available when I get where I'm going! People use notebooks almost exclusively now. They take them with them when they go. If I want a PC for doing the thing I need to do then that often means I have to bring it with me.

Depending on how much I am doing, sure, I'd use a larger converged device. But in most cases I can work on a 7" widget since what I need it to get something typed up, rearranged, hyperlinked and fired off. (Or somethimes I need to edit a powerpoint, make substantial changes to a spreadsheet, etc.)

A 7" at 1280x720 is smallish, but not so small I can't read it from a sitting position on the table. Still, why not have devices that supported touch AND keyboard + mouse, both as FIRST CLASS input devices and available in a wide range of sizes and resolutions?

Was it do mad to dream that one day we could watch video, listen to music, browse the internet, organise our calendars, do e-mail and answer phone calls all on one device?

Why is it so mad to add "actually using the thing to create content" to that list?

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: Related topic...

I don't know; I'll ask around. There are a lot of bluetooth keyboards out there and that could get expensive, fast. What are people's favourite devices?

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Trevor_Pott
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Many manufacturers make netbook-like products, though you have to pay a lot more. The Lenovo X-230 tha I am working on right now met all the requirements to finally be the first thing acceptable enough to replace my netbook. (Though it was bloody expensive.) The wife replaced hers with a similar model that had fewer bells and whistles in the $550 range.

That said, the playbook is better than most for productivity, but still not good enough to make up for lack of apps, amongst other issues. If only it had had e-mail from the start, it might well have had a real chance. Playbooks aren't bad devices, but they Microsofted the launch something fierce.

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Trevor_Pott
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Chicken and egg. Most people don't use a key/mouse combo to extend the cabability of their tablet from "consume" to "produce" because the support sucks.

Back in the 90s we had a CD player, a Palm Pilot, a Cell Phone and a PMP for video. Most people wanted "one device that could do all of these things." People said things that sounded very much like you do now to discourage the rest of us from ever dreaming that we could get a single device that did all these things well.

Then Apple and Google came out and just fucking did it. They created an entirely new market and crushed their opponents like bugs.

Today there are all sorts of people saying "I wish I didn't have to bring a tablet along for portability and a notebook for productivity." I wish that I could simply use one device for all things!

Microsoft actually heard these people (holy shit!) but ultimately botched the roll out (no surprise there.) Like always, they saw a demand in the market but succumbed to terrible internal politics and decision-making that prevented them from turning a fantastic idea into a market-destroying superproduct.

People want to do more with fewer devices. We always have.

And there's always some dude in the background going "no, it's better to have multiple devices, each good at the one thing they do right!"

I'll give that a great big double-middle-fingered "nope" and keep on towards converged devices that "just work". One device. I only want to carry one device.

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Trevor_Pott
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Documents to go is still a very touch-based input application. If you are willing to put up with an awful lot of frustration you can make it do something. My measure of it's effectiveness, however, is "how long does it take me to make the same document on the tablet that I can make on a netbook, where the document I am making is a simple blog for The Register, including several hyperlinks, a moderate amount of copying and pasting and some moving of blocks of text to get the right order of events?"

If the answer is "it takes more than 5% longer on the tablet" then I don't consider it to have a viable office package. It may have very nice document viewers. I may even have the ability to do minor markups in those viewers. But that's not an office suite. It's a PDF viewer with a commenting system that can handle office formats.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: Eh?

Touch-based apps like Kingsoft Office which have virtually zero support for mice (such as click-and-drag to highlight or any form or right-click support whatsoever) are worse than useless for productivity.

The ability consume content is worthless. The ability to make very minor changes then fire it back is almost as worthless. An office suite should be focused on productivity. "Push and hold, then fight with the stupid drag balls, then click the touch button, then drag, drag, drag, drag, darg, then spend a mintue fiddling with the damned thing to get the cursor where you want it, then push and hold, then push the button to paste" is not a productive work flow.

Until the office packages are optimized for content creation not content consumption I'll have no more regard for them than I do a PDF viewer.

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Trevor_Pott
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It's more than just right click. Click-and-drag highlighting is another key element missing.

The fact remains that simple functions which take fractions of a second to complete in a true mouse environment take multiple seconds to complete in a touch environment. Copy and paste is a great example. Touch is just not a "productivity"-based input model.

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Five reasons why you'll take your storage to the cloud

Trevor_Pott
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Obviously, you are right. Your analysis is exacting, covers all scenarios for all sizes of company and definitively proves that Amazon S3 is the pre-eminent source of all storage goodness on earth. Thank you for correcting me, I guess my maths are totally wrong and, in fact, reality conforms to your assertions.

That's great to know. Glad you cleared that up.

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Microsoft puts something hard and sensitive in your pocket

Trevor_Pott
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Interestingly enough the number of individuals capable of entering any of the major high IQ societies seems roughly cognate with the number of individuals who use Cyanogenmod. >:D

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Trevor_Pott
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Note the part where A) I use a custom Android ROM with MANY eyes on the project. (CyanogenMod). B) I don't treat my phone as a secure device.

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Trevor_Pott
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As a dirty "furriner" I say to the Microsoft: "nyet".

"Microsoft everywhere" and "security" simply don't...what's that knocking at the door?

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Life … moves … in … slow … motion … for … little … critters … like … flies

Trevor_Pott
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Duct tape made of graphene...

Mind = blown

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: Size of brains?

Graphene will solve it. It solves everything.

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Just how flash is your enterprise storage rig?

Trevor_Pott
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Depends on if your needs are IOPS or bulk storage. Right now, Flash beats rust for IOPS, not for bulk storage.

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MPs: This paperless health service plan isn't worth the paper it isn't written on

Trevor_Pott
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@AC; were those images available to any doctor that took up your file across the entire country? What level of privacy and security controls existed?

Because if they managed that on $10M for 60M people, I'd be mightily impressed. (And did that figure include the construction of the datacenters, costs of bandwidth, what level of redundancy, non-imagery data, etc.)

I'd love to know who implemented such a system for $10M!

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Trevor_Pott
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As a sysadmin that makes a living building networks for "digital imagery", it is not remotely as simple as you might think. Even a small setup for a dentist with two locations is stupidly expensive. Trying to get enough capacity, bandwidth, redundancy, metadata sorting, automation, security, etc for all of the medical imaging in a country of 60M? Including the text records?

Yeah, you know what? I can see getting into the billions.

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DARPA: You didn't think we could make a Mach 6 spaceplane, so let us have this MACH TEN job

Trevor_Pott
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@pascal monet

Building an implosion type nuke is about as hard as a space plane. Building a gun type nuke is child's play.

An implosion type nuke is what you need to put on a ballistic missile. It also can theoretically scale up to at least a hundred megatons. A gun-type nuke is something you'd be lucky to get a handful of kilotons out of.

They are completely different devices.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: Once something become possible

1) I live in Alberta. Strikes me that a good chunk of the world's supply can be dug out of the ground not far from here. It doesn't take much to find a mining company with some rights to prospect up there and piles of equipment either. IIRC NK has deposits of it's own, and they can buy from the Chinese.

2) You don't need a neutron initiator for a gun-type nuke. They make it more efficient, but if you wanted efficient (as opposed to a self-spreading dirty bomb that makes a small crater) you wouldn't be using a gun-type nuke in the first place.

3) IIRC, it's about 20 lbs of Uranium at 80% for the design I know best. Yes, there are all sorts of risks to the design for things like squib explosion and shattering the bullet, but to remember that you don't have to ram the pieces together very large. You need to get subcritical mass A into subcritical mass B such that they go supercritical all on their lonesome and they make a boom.

If you really wanted to point to the difficulty of making a nuke you'd talk about refining the Uranium. Going from raw ore to even 20% enriched U238 (let alone the 80% needed for most primitive gun-type designs) borders on dark magic. You're basically talking about needing a gas centrifuge. How - exactly - one goes about that without killing everyone from Uranium hexafluoride poisoning - let along the possibility of inhaling some of the radioactive fun stuff - I have only the barest inklings of a clue.

Gas centrifuges are fair simple. Gas centrifuges that have to deal with something that corrosive and can't be allowed to leak even the smallest amount at any stage due to the radioactive nature of the product? Crazy stuff, right there.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: Once something become possible

Building a nuke is easy. Building rockets is hard. Building space planes is dark fucking magic.

Seriously. "North Korea built it's own nukes." Annnnnnnnnnnd?

Basic nukes aren't hard. They require zero engineering experience (for a gun-type nuke.) Even a basic implosion device is simple, assuming you're okay with it being the size of a house. (The chances that these are miniaturized enough to fit on a missile are slim to none.)

"Possible feasible and affordable" take a back seat to "comprehensible." An iPad is "possible, feasible and affordable." Yet, if you weren't allowed to do commerce with the rest of the world to buy one and didn't have knowledge of the past 50 years of intermediate technologies, that iPad simply isn't "comprehensible." It takes massive amounts of infrastructure, engineering and high-tech capability to make an ipad.

It takes some C4, a couple slabs of U-235 rich(ish) uranium and some scrap metal to make a nuke.

Wake me when North Korea can make an iPad using technologies it didn't have to steal. Then I'll believe that there is a chance of anyone but DARPA developing a SSTO spaceplane within our grandchildren's lifetimes.

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Trevor_Pott
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Tried this one already. Lost the Kerbal. Spaceplanes not so good for getting payloads into orbit. Maybe I need a new mod?

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Redmond cash splash follows mobile hash

Trevor_Pott
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It is well Ichan is wasting his time tilting at the windmill of Apple. Were he not occupied with that I suspect he'd happen along and ****ing wreck these people.

Microsoft, get your house in order. Before someone else tears it down.

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Anti-drone bods haul MoD to court over SECRET KILLER ROBOTS

Trevor_Pott
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Mk1 eyeball

You are fucking a-rights there should be an eyeball on target before the call goes up to loose the bomb. As many of them as possible. Because it is exactly that sort of bullshit, cavalier "fuck 'em if they can't take a nuke" attitude that killed my friends.

So FUCK YOU if you suggest for even a moment that we shouldn't have complete civilian oversight over ever bit of ordinance dropped. Fuck you with an F-16.

Asshole.

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How do you choose your vendors?

Trevor_Pott
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Re: Instant 'No!'

Gods help me, I work(ed) for one of those types. Nothing but rage.

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Privacy lawsuits: Will sueballs lobbed at US cloud services hit you where it HURTS?

Trevor_Pott
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"What does one hope to achieve" is typically "don't share my data with third parties." That is how these lawsuits (and/or the settlements) usually go. As to "what is the privacy of one person worth in dollars"...nobody knows. As said in the article, this is minefield has yet to be cleared.

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NIST denies it weakened its encryption standard to please the NSA

Trevor_Pott
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Re: Verified

As verified by Carlos Danger (among others...). T,FTFY

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US plaintiffs can seek damages over Street View data slurp - court

Trevor_Pott
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Re: Blame the NSA

Doesn't it suck when the tinfoil hat brigade end up being validated?

As usual, Jon Stewart fucking crushes it, months before the NSA scandals even started. Add the NSA shit in and...you know what? You - nor I - nor anyone else gets to mock the tinfoil hatters regarding the US government for some time.

Power corrupts; it seems to have happened with some regularity in the USA. Apathy and denial are absolutely the wrong reactions.

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Brit and Danish boffins propose NSA-proof crypto for cloud computing

Trevor_Pott
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Re: Laughable

1) 2048 qbits doesn't help you crack 4096 bit keys. Actually, it's dubious it will help you crack 2048-bit keys. I remain confident the NSA does not have a quantum computer with that capability because they just aren't that well funded.

You see, in order to get a quantum computer like that, they'd have had to have developed it outside the mainstream of academia and industry. We're missing all sorts of precursor technologies to get us there, which means that to assume the NSA have a quantum computer that can crack hard crypto you have to assume they managed to get enough of the right people to develop it in total secrecy without ever publishing a paper on it. Have you met the kinds of people who have the ability to do that kind of research? Convincing them not to publish a paper on it is damned near impossible.

2) As I said in my previous post, I am pretty sure the proper hard crypto algorthims remain uncompromising simply because so many people have attacked them for so long. These are not algorithms that were developed in secret and that remain secret. (Bitlocker, as one example.) These are public knowledge and the best minds in the world are constantly trying to break them. So far, with little success.

3) Explain to me how you feel you can "compromise" hardware processors in such a way that they specifically create a back door in any cryptographic algorithm they generate? This might be possible with specialist chips like TPM, but a general purpose CPU or GPU? Do you honestly believe the CHinese wouldn't have found that by now and exploited the living piss out of it?

4) Windows has all sorts of backdoors. Bitlocker is a great example. If you don't use the operating system's libraries to generate your crypto you're fine...or are you going to tell me that suddenly there's magic voodoo within Windows that has heretofore gone unnoticed that simply "knows" (how?) when a library or thread is running "some form of cryptography" and magically backdoors it?

A crypto library that Microsoft ships as part of their OS certainly can be compromised. They probably all are. TPM is probably completely untrustworthy as well. ("Trusted platform module" my fat, jiggly ASCII.)

But the generic computing stuff? CPUs, GPUs, basic execution of libraries written by third parties? To compromise that? We're not talking about your run of the mill engineer here. We're talking about potentially requiring the single smartest individual the human race has ever produced. Someone who would be able to learn so much - to know and retain so much - about how so many different things worked that he would make Leonardo Da Vinci look like Honey Boo Boo.

If such a person existed and were identified by the United States Government before anyone else...do you honestly believe - really and truly, deep down in your heart of hearts - that they would waste that person's talent so utterly by having that individual come up with new and interesting ways to compromise cryptography in generic computing systems?

Why? Where's the logic in that? What possible reason could they have for that when there are way easier methods available? Man in the middle fibre taps. $5 wrench. Secret letters demanding keys from providers and crypto implementers.

I think your tinfoil hat is on too tight, buddy. You should visit my guy. He custom-manufactures mine and it's quite comfortable to wear.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: Laughable

Annnnnnnnnnnnnnd...you're an idiot.

You do realize that proper hard crypto would take a computer with the mass of the universe several times the lifetime of the universe to crack, eh? And that at least some of those algorithms were developed with enough oversight that the NSA could not realistically have compromised them to have back doors?

If you honestly believe that the NSA can violate the laws of physics then you're a chump. And no, "quantum computers" will not crack that kind of hard crypto in a meaningful timeframe...even assuming we could make one (we can't). D-wave doesn't count; we're still arguing over if the damned thing behaves in a quantum manner. It sure isn't much faster than traditional computing at these sorts of tasks.

It is theoretically possible that a quantum computer could one day take apart RSA 4096, though we haven't the foggiest idea in hell how to build one that could do so. The chances of that happening within our lifetimes are slim to none. The chances of taking apart a 15360-bit RSA key within our lifetime are nil.

AES is another interesting one. It's symmetric, so it doesn't require as many bits to be funcitonally unfrackable. AES 256 requires polycosmic time to crack. Even after the dude from Microsoft found a flaw in the algorithm, we're only talking about 3-5 times faster. 3-5 times faster than polycosmic time is still longer than our solar system will exist.

Now, is it possible that the NSA has subverted the AES and RSA standards and have some means of decoding them without "cracking" in the traditional sense? Yes, it is possible.

Is it likely? No.

Too many people have been attacking those algorithms for too long. Attacks on them by the NSA are far more likely to be "get the key from a MITM attack" or "get the key from the service provider."

There are a lot of others encryption standards that I am absolutely positive were backdoored by the NSA (see: DES). I think, however, it's reasonable to assume that AES 256 and RSA 15360 remain uncrackable for the next few years, at least.

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Torvalds suggests poison and sabotage for ARM SoC designers

Trevor_Pott
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Torvalds 2016

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Declassified documents show NSA staff abused tapping, misled courts

Trevor_Pott
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Re: Hysteria?

When the compromised people in government are General Alexander and James Clapper who run the entire show, then I feel it's entirely safe to assume that the whole goddamned thing is rotten.

You may believe in America Uber Alles but the Nazi rise to power was perfectly legal too. The price of freedom is eternal vigilance, sir. The vigilant are screaming. You are in denial.

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Google scrambles to block backdoors

Trevor_Pott
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@Craigness

If the Canadian government requests an unencrypted copy of my data and they have a warrant, they'll get it. I also can't be sued by my customers for complying with Canadian law in this manner.

If the American government requests an unencrypted copy of my data, I'll tell them to kindly eat a sack of severed dicks. In doing so, I'll prevent myself from being sued by my customers by complying with Canadian law in this manner.

Do you have the capability and willingness to understand what I have written?

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Crack open those wallets: Microsoft is raising software prices AGAIN

Trevor_Pott
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Re: more footguns going off in Redmond

That would be me. And it's still true. The price hike for service providers is far more complicated than a simple money grab. This is emphatically not Microsoft footbulleting themselves.

*sigh*

Fine, I'll stir my stumps and write something on this...

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That earth-shattering NSA crypto-cracking: Have spooks smashed RC4?

Trevor_Pott
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Re: re: Why would we have known about it?

Um...the NSA is is part of the American military...

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Headmaster calls cops, tries to dash pupil's uni dreams - over a BLOG

Trevor_Pott
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Re: @Trevor_Pott

@Tom Welsh I'm a socially progressive, fiscally conservative centrist with libertarian tendancies but who doesn't buy into the complete libertarian package. I despise the hard core of the "left" as much as I despise the hard-core of the "right".

If you feel that I've mischaracterised the "tribe" you choose to associate yourself with, maybe you should take a long, hard look at the end result of the actions of that tribe. I'm a journalist, Tom. My job is to cut through the horseshit and to say the things other people find uncomfortable to hear.

You are free to try to convince me that the social doctrines of "the right" aren't based on establishing and maintaining social dominance over any other potential "tirbe" if you wish. I don't know what you'll say that will undo a lifetime of taking notes and living amongst "the right" every single day of that life...but you're free to try.

The right are about ownership. Of themselves, of their family members, of material goods, property, resources and ultimately other people. It is all about those with the most means being allowed to dictate terms to those with fewer means and no entity being empowered to stop them.

Those with greater means are attracted to the right because of this. That's simple and easy to understand.

The left is generally about being left alone with undertones of cooperation to mutual benefit. Again, that makes sense, because it encompasses (and attracts) those who know they don't have greater means and likely never will.

The part I find utterly fascinating is the tendency for those with virtually no means - but who also typically have virtually no education and a lower than average ability to understand the world about them - to also be attracted to "the right." They are easily swayed by the social messages of fear and hatred. Even more are swayed by the (utterly false) idea that they can somehow become individuals of means by believing what those with means believe.

A historic meeting occur ed recently between a recruiter for the KKK and the NAACP the other day. The most interesting thing to come out of it was that many of the recruiter's most violently anti-minority recruits admitted to being 25% mexican.

Humans associate with those they feel will make them powerful. Many amongst our race have not come all that far past Ug beating Grog over the head with a stone so he can drag Mig down the cave by her hair, rape her and obtain offspring.

In today's world, those traditionally in power (fat old white guys, for the most part...a demographic to which I belong, by the by) are losing that power. They are becoming ever more radicalized because of it; doing - and saying - ever more stupid shit in the desperate attempt to retain at least the illusion of power. There's your "right wing" today. Oh, certainly an overly broad generalization, but it hits the biggest cross-section.

The "left", on the other hand are reactionaries to the core. Composed mostly of people without any real power over their lives, they value anything that gives them the illusion of personal freedoms. They value communal resource sharing because they don't have the resources to go it alone.

They also have a nasty tendency to spawn super-reactionary NIMBYs and a whole other cadre of authoritarian types who work day and night to take power away from those who currently have it. "If I can't be the dominant ape, then by george, neither can you!"

Both "sides" are fucking idiots, IMHO.

There are right libertarians. There are also a metric fuckload of right authoritarians. The exact same can be said of the left.

What nobody on either side wants to admit is that the entire thing is about nothing more than dominance, and dominance is about sex. The driving force behind all of this ideology really boils down to "how can I stick my cock into the Alpha female" and/or "how can I get the Alpha male's cock shoved into me?"

Some of us have genetic predispositions that guide us towards choosing various elements of ideology over others. (Conservatism being one of those things we can actually test for at a genetic level now. I wish we could test for left-style authoritarian NIMBYism, but alas, we've not even come close yet.)

All of us have cultural training that guides us towards the selection of an ideology.

The intricacies of the ideologies are complex. They are over-rationalised and evolve over time to counter arguments that have a chance of making the holder of those ideologies look foolish...but it still all comes down to nothing more than dominance. And cocks.

As almost nobody can actually bring themselves to experience that level of self-awareness nor actually choose their ideology with that understanding - and a through exploration of their own genetic and cultural predispositions - I look down my long nose at the log of you. Primitive, emotional, instinctual brutes, the lot of you. I keep a veritable zoo worth of pets and I respect the pets more.

At least they don't have to lie to themselves about what drives them. That is a clarity of purpose I do respect.

Now, if you want to say I'm "heavily biased" against "the right" you can go right ahead. Live in your little fantasy world where I'm the evil Canuck that just hates the right wing. That's a hell of a lot easier to believe and it fits with gut feel better than facts.

Meanwhile, reality gives zero fucks what you think or why. It trundles on and so do I.

Cheers.

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Trevor_Pott
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@Ted Treen

Very American ideas of "left" and "right."

Let's try for some education here. There are multiple important elements to the "left" in most countries. The primary element is social progressiveness. It is entirely possible to believe that we shouldn't segregate blacks, burn witches, kill gays and ban porn or bad words whilst also believing that people should be free to do as they choose.

To generalize grossly: "right libertarians" believe in the freedom of the individual to oppress, belittle, besmirch, harm, defraud and even murder others. Their brand of "libertarian" is all about the "right" of individuals to establish and then maintain control over those around them, by force of might, force of charisma or by controlling the means of production.

"Right libertarians" typically believe in corporatism and viciously defend the "fundamental goodness" of the corporate veil (the right to commit any number of heinous crimes as a corporation but never have the consequences come to bear on the individuals owning or running that company.) They are very darwinian: your rights should really boil down to "if someone tried to kill you, you have the right to try to kill him back." That can be literal killing, or corporate/financial/what-have-you phaliic measurement and bludgeoning.

"Left libertarians" are pretty different. They believe that we all have certain fundamental rights (typically those laid out in the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights) and that no entity - not government, corporation or individual - has a right to infringe upon them.

Right libertarians view the UDHR as a restriction of their rights. Left libertarians view the UDHR as a definition of their rights.

Left libertarians are all about privacy, the right to power over one's own life and the right to determine one's own future.

Right libertarians are all about the right to power over the lives of others and the right to harm others for personal gain.

Then, in the middle, there are centrist libertarians as well as individuals all up and down the spectrum.

Being "left" does not equate to a belief in "big government." Most "leftist" nations (such as Canada, Sweden, Norway, Finland, etc) are in fact fans of efficient government. They want some government programs (health care, policing, fire services,) but don't feel the need to have bureaucracy grow exponentially. They also don't seen the benefit in a massive military industrial complex because they simply don't have a desire to go forth and control the lives and beliefs of others.

People on the "left" who would identify as "left libertarian" (which covers a significant chunk, and is probably the biggest bloc of "leftists" after the aging NIMBY brigade) simply want to be left alone. They have a "you don't bother me, I won't bother you" mentality about life....but they will work together when they see an obvious benefit from doing so. That's where you get things like functional universal health care systems, policing and a military that does peacekeeping and disaster relief instead of trying (and failing rather catastrophically) to murder a bunch of brown people for their oil.

The problem with "right" versus "left" as it emerges in our political systems is that politics is so messy. There are way more dimensions than "left" or "right." There are plenty of authoritarian docuhecanoes amongst the "right" or the "left" of any nation. NIMBYs show up amongst the left as the cockferrets who are against quite literally anything and amongst the right as those desperately clinging to a morality the majority of their own nations no longer subscribe to.

So yes, "left libertarians" exist. They can even believe in things like centralized health care whilst still believing in the importance of individual liberties.

Try - if you can - to picture people who believe that they should have the right under any but the most exceptional circumstances to do whatever they want within the law...but who also believe they are equal to and no more important than anyone else.

These are the kind of people who believe personal privacy is important, but also see the value in a health care system that uses triage to determine who has the greater need instead of money. Let's use this latter as a real-world example.

A common American gripe about Canadian health care, for example, is that it takes too long to see a doctor if you go to the emergency room or would like an MRI/other type of test.

Right libertarians would be up in arms saying that they should have the right to buy their way to treatment. Anything else is infringing upon their rights.

Left libertarians look at it differently. In Canada, for example, in ER or test selection there are trained professionals making decisions about need. The guy with the bullet holes or the lady about to give birth gets to see a doctor before the kid with the scratchy throat regardless of how wealthy that kid is. Left libertarians see this as fair and equitable; we are all equal, regardless of means and part of our "liberty" is that you cannot "jump the queue" simply because you have greater means.

Sometimes, you end up waiting a long time. Sometimes, the doctors even make the wrong call and someone dies because they didn't get treated in time, when they might have had the money to simply buy treatment in an American-style system. It sucks. It's not ideal by any means...but we accept that this is the tradeoff for a more equal system that respects the rights of the individual.

The alternative is the American-style system where people die simply because those with means (but whose need is less urgent) bought their way up the queue and there weren't resources available to treat the less well-off. Most right libertarians I've met don't view this as unfortunate at all; many proudly say this is "darwin in action."

So there you have it. A short - and grossly generalized - overview of the beliefs of a "left libertarian". You may now commence frothing and demanding our scalps. We're used to it.

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Intel's Avoton Atoms give microservers muscle – and Xeon-class features

Trevor_Pott
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So, cutting through the shit on this...

...the new Atoms aren't Atoms at all. Instead of being really cut-down (to the point of being in-order) chips for Small CHEAP computers, they are in fact a slightly crippled Xeon with the clocks turned down and as much crap as they could possibly cram from the motherboard integrated into the CPU package.

The result: a mid-range (rather than CHEAP) server processor without the oomph to go up against a real Xeon or the price to go up against ARM or MIPS. In addition, you are sleepwalking into a future where you can't change motherboards (and/or changing motherboards doesn't matter) because all the bits you care about are integrated into the chip.

More money for Intel - as they are capturing a larger chunk of the silicon in your server/pc/switch/etc - without much of a climbdown on margin. That sounds great for Intel on paper...

...but I think they missed the part where the PC business collapsed overnight because Intel and Microsoft decided they had to kill the small CHEAP computer. CHEAP is the key here. It's what the market is demanding. When Intel and Microsoft tried to murder that concept the whole world went ARM and WinTel went from 95% of the endpoint market to 35%.

Something tells me their server guys are simply failing to learn from history here. There is nothing about what I read in this article that says to me "these chips will be cheap." Indeed, what I take away from this is "these chips will likely have even higher margins than the Atoms Intel tries to position against ARM on the endpoint side do."

You can change the CEO all you want, Intel, but it seems to me the cancer of "just not getting it" has far deeper roots than a sacrificial lamb or two...

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Snowden's email provider may face court rap after closing service

Trevor_Pott
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Re: The USA is the Nazi Germany of our era

Your omission is that the reason Germany was economically ruined was the completely nuts "reparations" they were forced to pay for their actions in WWI. Germany started it all with WWI and WWII happened because the allies got greedy.

Hitler may have been the most notable - and ultimately most hated - player, however, he was far from the only one. There's also a lot to suggest that while he was indeed a monster, he was not remotely the most monstrous of those who held power alongside him.

Germany's shame is the same as that of the Americans of the day and those of today: apathy. America of the day gave no fucks about what was happening to others based on human rights abuses. They are today no different. The only difference is that the first bricks in the road to having true monsters in power are being laid in America now.

Obama isn't Hitler, nor was Bush. (Though we could have an argument about Cheney.) The real monster will come in the not too distant future; a decade from now, two at the most. After all these rights have been curtailed within their nation and seem "normal" to the next generation. After 30 years of "foreigners aren't people" has been ingrained and embedded within the populace.

Then will the real horror start. Then you'll get a Bachman or a Palin or a pastor from Westboro Baptist Church with nuclear weapons.

I weep for the future.

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Microsoft cuts Surface Pro price by $100

Trevor_Pott
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Re: @mmeier

You assert but you don't explain. How is it bias? Explain the logical steps that lead you to call that "bias" and what you believe reality is.

I see consumers and businesses all around me every single day demanding more for less. They will pay less today for the same functionality as they would yesterday; it is a constant price pressure. I see other companies offering devices that suit my needs at the prices I want and then I buy those devices. That's the way commerce works.

You say it is bias because...what? Because I don't choose to pay more for less? I am somehow biased because I don't think that the Microsoft brand name is worth a few thousand bucks extra? Or am I biased because I value different things in my devices than you do, that I am willing to make different compromised on functionality versus price than you are, and that the compromises and choices I make are reflected in the choices of the overwhelming majority of people?

Explain this "bias." You assert and you assert and you assert, but you back nothing up with facts. I demand that a mostly usable system be provided with great battery life and a UI that is truly fantastic with a mouse and keyboard. I can take or leave touch as a feature, but if you have to include it then it needs to be in a convertible device where the interface is fucking excellent when a keyboard and mouse are used.

I never once said I needed the CPU to made out of sex and gold. In fact, I think you'll find I said "a netbook is a great thing" in an article not to long ago. I'm fine with my i3, thanks...in fact it's probably way more than I need in terms of horsepower.

I prefer to have the ability to upgrade my RAM. I like running VMs. They don't take CPU, but they do take RAM. That shouldn't be a burden, RAM is cheap, unless you are gouging your customers. I think you need an SSD, but companies like Sandisk offer you the ability to turn a small mSATA flash drive into a write cache for a spinning hard drive, so there aare lots of options to get speed without high price.

You assert that I want the moon on a stick for 24.99. I assert that I want a usable portable computer with great battery life. You assert it's impossible to buy such a device. I bought one a few months ago. You assert that "nobody delivers a full-powered convertible at 800€", whereas I see them all over the place.

"Full powered" means a processor at least as fast as that in my Galaxy Note 2 with as much RAM as the CPU can handle, enough NAND to make the system not suck and all-day battery life. You can get that from a fucking ASUS transformer nowadays. Intel sure as shit makes a few different chips that should be able to go nose to nose with a bloody Android device.

If Microsoft were building what people actually wanted instead of some retrofuture device that only really appeals to folks inside the echo chamber we wouldn't be having this conversation. It's entirely possible to build something with mass market appeal for the prices that people are willing to pay.

So cut the shit and get your nose out of MIcrosoft's ass. They fucked up and didn't deliver. End of.

Let's hope they can do better next time.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: @mmeier

Let me get this straight: in your mind, if I don't feel it is my duty to pad your profit margin that counts as "bias"?

The fuck, what?

Competitor A can provide me widget I want at price I desire. Competitor B cannot. I am "biased" if I choose competitor A because...how exactly? Fill in the blanks here, sonny. You've gone a might squiggly on me.

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Data protection bods Bocada list dog on senior management team

Trevor_Pott
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Another six months and that dog will be better qualified for management than a significant % of executives running the various technology titans. Certainly better at dealing with people...

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Make or break: Microsoft sets date for CRUCIAL Win 8.1 launch

Trevor_Pott
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Re: @ AC 1519h GMT - Question

No. They didn't change what people wanted changing. They made a series of half-asses pesudo-changes that don't actually meet the requirements people set forth whilst further reinforcing R&D into the options and configurations that people flat out don't want.

Saying Microsoft "did what people wanted" is like saying that a company selling whit shirts to a crowd demanding black is "Meeting demand" by selling blue.

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Big Mike heading for victory as SAM dumps HALF its Dell shares

Trevor_Pott
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Point of order

Icahn doesn't "do business." He UNDOES businesses.

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Peak Apple: Samsung hits DOUBLE the market share of iPhones

Trevor_Pott
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Gartner, Forrester, IDC and other AAA analysts are often given deeply NDAed closed-door briefings on such things that the rest of us don't have access to. Every major company I know of does it.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: This "Apple" company you speak of...

Yep. The same. The largest corporation in the world by market capitalization. The one named after a popular cultivar of a dessert fruit; coincidentally the same cultivar many others have named companies after.

They're DOOMED I tell you. Doomed.

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Lawsuit claims Microsoft misled investors in Surface RT fiasco

Trevor_Pott
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If telling the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth

without dissembling during calls with investors is to become a standard to which American executives are held, their economy is toast.

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There she blows! Mid-October release date for Windows 8.1 sighted

Trevor_Pott
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Re: Fail!

I did buy a Windows 8 tablet...but I put Cyanogenmod on it.

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Trevor_Pott
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I agree. Those OSX migration trials are absolutely stellar!

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DARPA calls Big Data boffins: Help us lock up everyone's privates

Trevor_Pott
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If you can defend your own datasets you can attack those of other people. And that's why DARPA cares.

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