2199 posts • joined Monday 31st May 2010 16:59 GMT
Bridge too far man. That lady puts up with assloads of crap from all across the internet and deserves way more respect than that. Yes, Sarah is a remarkably attractive woman. No, that doesn't mean you get to objectify her. I am not exactly a flame-breathing feminist, but I'd GLADLY make you eat that request sir.
@Sarah: Very nearly everyone seems to demand special treatment at some point. Individually or as part of various groups.
@Entire world: If you get uppity when one specific group (we'll say Women as is the topical case,) ask for special treatment but not others, then yes, you are a racist/sexist/other flavour of bigot. The measure of a society isn't or group isn't in how many or which groups ask for special treatment, but how we balance the instinctual desires that everyone has to be treated better than others against the needs of all people to be treated as equally as circumstances allow.
To ask for special treatment is normal and human. To actually treat one group or individual as superior to others is unconscionable, regardless of which group or individual it is.
Also: Asking not to be treated like a disposable piece of meat is not asking for special treatment. It’s asking for a minimum standard of common courtesy and respect. So shoo and vamoose to all the haters and the griefers.
They are becoming a little be late 90s Microsoft, eh?
Certainly they have the “mouthing platitudes towards SME customers whilst providing brutally limited and largely unaffordable solutions because they are terrified of cannibalising their Enterprise revenue” part down just fine. I have a significant lack of being impressed by VMWare’s growing arrogance in a few regards, so chucking folk out on their ear whilst trying to have a quiet conversation at a conference strikes me as no great surprise.
Little wonder then that my planned replacement rollout for 2012 is based around KVM. I have already starting working on the business plans to get funding for the test lab in early 2011, and I hope to start active replacement of my VMWare infrastructure in early 2012. There’s no need to wait around and see how it plays out; Microsoft and many others since have shown us what happens when a company gets too big for its britches.
I’ll huck my money in the general direction of open source, thank you. Given the antipathy of these large IT companies towards SMEs, I’ve sadly probably got a better chance at support from them anyways.
That, and they don’t chuck folk out for no good reason. Thumbsdown for VMWare. Neat software, bad attitude.
Phobos and Deimos are kidney stones. They are also covered in craters. However long ago this happened, those little buggers have been up there a while. If my theory is right, then when the original impactor broke up while exiting the atmosphere, the two bits that became Phobos and Deimos were most likely at least semi-liquid. They cooled, and proceeded to spend umpteen years getting pummelled by space debris.
What space debris though? Probably the same sort of crud that hits Mars itself, but also likely some leftover bits from their own creation. (A goodly chunk of which probably fell back to Mars.) Why couldn't either or both of these bodies have been slapped around some by space debris long enough to retard their spinning to about what we are seeing now? Seems to me anything big enough to have made that particular scar on mars would have been large enough to break up into a Phobos/Deimos pair a couple of times over. Where’d the rest of it go?
I’ll bet that a good chunk of (probably very Iridium-rich) materiel is left buried under that impact scar. Another goodly chunk in various smaller and more directly vertical impact events all over the planet. Still, one look at the actual SHAPES of both of Mars’ companions (especially Phobos) tells me something happened to them (post-impact-event) that would have made for an EXCELLENT movie special effect.
I’d bet the data to outright confirm or deny this theory already exists. The mapping of impact sites on Mars, Phobos and Deimos should tell us if there was an unusual number of them happening within the same, oh…million years or so? Chart the age of it all; see if there are any glaringly obvious correlations, and if so…you’ve probably got an impactor-based creation event. Albeit one significantly less cataclysmic for the parent body than the Terra/Luna system. (IIRC wasn’t the impactor in the Big Whack supposed to be >1/4 the extant proto-terra’s mass? Yowza!)
I would love to have a NASA protoexogeology nerd hear my theory and either reject it outright or go “hmmmm.” Finding out you are (definitively) wrong is almost as much fun as finding out you are (definitively) right! Hurrah for science and <3 learning.
Twiiter is for...
...actually, who cares?
The Apple and MS formula.
It's take /someone else's/ old product, tweak a bit, rename and release.
And yes, it does seem to work well for both of them.
KB971033 is not my friend. I have seen several perfectly legitimate Windows 7 installs go the kaboom thanks to this little menace. By "perfectly legitimate" I mean "brand new comptuer that I just finished installing myself and activating using the OEM Sticker I just put on the side of the PC."
The ticket seems to be the arbitrary nature of what it considers a "hardware change." Flash the BIOS and for whatever reason it decides you've changed something too much apart from it's liking and blows up. Similarly, Ghosting from a spinning disk to a flash drive on the same system (both using OEM and MAKs) has caused me some pain. In one case, a windows update applied several months after KB970133 seemed to have gone sideways, because the OS suddenly turned into a pumpkin for no reason I could discern.
As such I've just stopped loading that particular KB. Well, that...or I just downgrade the system to XP. (Still have a LOT of XPdeployed.) I would be quite sad if they include it in SP1 without fixing the bits that seem designed to punish paying customers. I'm all about protecting one's intellectual property investment...
...but it's getting to the point that for a lot of computers Windows 7 quite simply isn't worth the hassle. Unless the computer in question absolutely has to play video games or use some MS only software, I’m just putting Fedora on it. This isn’t because I’m unwilling to pay the Microsoft tax, it’s because I don’t need the stress of having systems self-destruct for inane reasons or when there is a minor upgrade.
The hell of it is, other than an initial spate of grousing across the tubes when KB971033 initially came out, I haven’t heard of a single pirated copy of windows falling prey to this thing. The newer versions of Windows 7 loader (which everyone seems to be using) became immune to it ages ago.
It’s easy for people to lash out at anyone who dislikes windows activation as a filthy pirate, but I felt it worth bringing up that not everyone with these concerns is a cheapskate. For what it’s worth, on every system I have installed Fedora or Ubuntu out of no greater desire than to avoid dealing with Windows 7 activation headaches, I have contributed the full cost of a Windows 7 Pro OEM license to a worthy open source project.
For some of us, the KB971033 worries simply aren’t related to piracy or money; they are related to wanting to be able to deploy a computer into the field and not have to worry about it (other than hardware failures) ever again.
That all sounds really really cool.
I am going to go take my budget and weep quietly in a corner now.
Asterix is entirely another ball game. It's shiny, and I adore it. I use it quite a bit as well in smaller installations, and am actually in the process of getting all the bits I need for a home server. What Asterix doesn’t do is integrate with all the other gibbons and bobs that my company uses on a daily basis. What you seem to be missing is that Microsoft is selling INTEGRATION between their various bits of software.
I am sure at least part of it is to lock people into their products, but the end result is quite impressive. I am pro open source as much as can be achieved, but open source is still little more than a disparate connection of independent projects that can rarely agree internally to a project, let alone work together to get the kind of integration going that a full-blown Microsoft installation can produce.
Even Cisco, for all that their tech is a generation beyond Microsoft, can’t sell the integration that Microsoft can. You accuse me of wearing blinders, but I would argue that for the first time in a good long while I’ve taken mine off. Eyes wide sir; take an honest and unbiased look at how all the bits of Microsoft’s current generation of software fit together. Put a lab of all the latest shiny together and give it an honest go.
I think you will be impressed, and maybe just a little bit afraid. If Microsoft don’t botch up the next generation of software by pulling another Vista, then I expect that they will reclaim the Enterprise server and Office Productivity market with such a vengeance their total and complete dominance will be undisputed for the next twenty years to come.
I am not a Microsoft fanboy sir, in fact I think it’s one of the most terribly run companies in IT. It is a collection of warring fiefdoms that rarely get along with a lack of unifying vision that I find painful. That said, they have managed despite themselves to produce (through a long birthing process of trial and error) a collection of Really Cool Stuff that nobody else (at the moment) can touch.
Cisco, Open Source, IBM, you name it. They can reproduce the individual components, but noone else has tied it all together, and that integration is something I find truly impressive. Most especially because the integration is entirely optional. Each of these products stands alone, but combined there is a synergy that is greater than the sum of their parts.
Please don't assume that just because I am capable of being impressed when the old dog performs new tricks that I haven't been paying attention to all the other hounds in the kennel.
Think of how big that metor had to have been.
I know Mars doesn't have a very thick atmosphere, but do hit the surface at that angle, the impactor must have spent an awful lot of time traveling through it at some pretty high velocities. The initial size of that hunk of rock must have been pretty impressive to survive the atmospheric friction for as long as would have been required before making that scrape.
Even more so if it bounced off the planet. Maybe one of those two kidney stones Mars calls moons is responsible? Or depending on the composition of those two hunks of rock, maybe they are /both/ responsible, having originally been chunks of the initial impactor?
Might explain how they got there in the first place. The prevailing theory is "captured asteroid," but the reasonably rapidly decaying orbits would seem to indicate that it's possible they could be the result of an impact like this. Skipped off the surface, broke up, and didn't quite make a fully stable orbit.
Considering the unknowns surrounding the origin of those two (I refuse to call them “moons”) it’s as plausible a theory as any…
Not /all/ microsoft stuff, just Microsoft software of that particular generation. By and large the entire Visat/2007 generation of Microsoft software was complete pants. I would go so far as to say that OCS 2007 R2 might well have been one of the very few not crap pieces of software Microsoft put out from that era.
Whatever happened to just being periodically impressed by the shiny?
From time to time, I am still impressed by technology. It's rare, as i am growing increasingly jaded with time, but I do periodically step back and thing "you know what, that's kind of cool." In this case of this article, I had been awake for about 82 consecutive hours whereupon I managed to get into a bit of a discussion with a friend of mine about where technology is now versus where it was at the dawn of the net.
There's nothing in Office Communication Server that a telco or really good PBX hasn’t been able to do for about a decade now. The difference is that now you can run the server for this kind of thing in a VM on second-rate hardware. If you are running the client on a physical box and have a decent headset you are off to the races.
I don’t know about you, but actually do find that kind of cool. Not too long ago this would have been completely beyond the reach of any SME. PBXes were too expensive, and the software solutions were similarly priced. Today, OCS and it’s various competitors are priced right, with only the complication of the install and maintenance being a preventative factor. Five years from now, I am sure the administration of something like OCS will be so simple that every SME out there would be able to host one if they so chose.
If you work in a company that has thousands of staff and the latest, greatest technology it’s easy to overlook how neat it is when something like this trickles down to the rest of us. Essentially it’s the ability to run something that is your own Skype-style server, but with some real integration into other products. (Such as Office, SharePoint, etc.) Cisco’s got a good one too, and well worth a look.
The last time I took even a sideways glance at unified communications, Live Communications Server 2005 was just hitting the streets, and the entire endeavour was laughable. OCS 2007 R2 is a completely different animal, and I was thoroughly impressed. It makes me want to hunt my local Cisco rep and get them to demonstrate the latest greatest, because I am sure they are a generation beyond Microsoft in this. (They always are.)
Well, by itself, it convinces me to use it over Safari. Mind you, I can play H.264 in FIreox just fine with the right plugin, so I'm off the the codec races...
Did you just say what I think you said? Essentially "peak oil is never going to happen?" That's the dumbest damned thing I have ever heard. Where exactly do you think it comes from? God makes it and puts it in the ground for good little Texans to find?
There may be debate on the WHEN peak oil will happen, (quite a few believe we have already hit it,) but it is 100% inevitable. Given that, it makes more sense to me to invest in methods of propelling our cars without requiring portable chemical fuels. “The Grid” isn’t a magical source of energy, but there is a damned sight more coal than there is Oil left, and if we really get desperate there is always solar, wind and even wood burning..
If, as a society, we are going to invest in essentially ripping up our transportation infrastructure to install a bunch of sensors, guides, beacons and other goodies to allow vehicles to drive autonomously, we should seriously consider installing some sort of track system similar to light rail transit by which vehicles can continuously draw energy from the grid while driving.
There has to be a way to accomplish this without requiring either rails or overhead power lines. Preferably one that isn’t as ridiculously inefficient as inductive charging. I can think of a few ideas right off the top of my head, though they would need refinement. IF we start installing that sort of infrastructure now, alongside the beacons and sensors and whatnot, then I think we will be far further along preparing for the future than simply believing God Provideth Our Oil (or other such abiogenic nonsense) and pretending the looming energy crisis doesn’t exist.
What matters is collectively coming to a few agreements.
First: there is a looming energy crisis; this involves telling the oil companies to shut the fuck up and stay out of the negotiations for once.
Second: Even if the energy crisis is a ways off, as a society we can’t afford to keep burning our precious fossil fuels for personal transport. We need those hydrocarbons for plastics and other petrochemical industries we don’t have the technology to replace with alternates yet.
Third: We need to agree on standards. Standards for energy transfer to vehicles, standards for the beacons and sensors required to have pilotless aircraft, driverless cars and all other such things. There are some problems that transcend national borders, and the petty bickering is delaying the research and implementation which will do nothing but drive up the TCO.
Lastly: We need to come up with a way to address privacy concerns inherent in a society where all movement by all citizens is tracked. If your driverless car is responding to beacons on the road and has an array of sensors of it’s on, it is only a matter of time before someone starts recording the information collected and transmitting it centrally. We need to look at these issues BEFORE they become a problem, and legislate accordingly. (Otherwise you get some uppity island government telling everyone their privacy laws are invalid and spying on all of its citizens even whilst it is being sued and sanctioned for its misdeeds. Ooops…)
I am sorry, but when it comes to something as important to the lives of so many as personal transportation, the issues aren’t simple. They are complex and integrated into issues from the personal to the international. As a global society we need to grow the fuck up, stop it will the selfish reactionary bullshit and start actually PLANNING for the future.
Be PROactive rather than REactive; if you head of as many problems as you can before they arrive, that leaves you more time and resources to deal with the ones you didn’t expect and couldn’t have anticipated.
It’s a bloody shame that personal greed is always standing in the way. Someone stop the world: I want off.
Um...have you MET any actual homo sapiens sapiens? By and large, not the most alert, proactive or cautious bunch. Pretty much regulated by instinct, immediate desires/greed and distracted by shiny things.
Sure, a computer might screw up every now and again, and someone will die. Maybe even a few someones. A patch will be issued, we’ll learn a few things and our technology will advance. The point is that when you compare the operational record of software to that of wetware, I would be willing to bet my life and that of my loved ones on the fact that overall the number of collisions will decrease. Not only that, but the collisions that do occur will be far less deadly.
Just because a software based transportation system won’t be perfect doesn’t mean it won’t be a significant improvement over a wetware based one. If we can get the accident rate of automotive transportation down to even that of the airline industry, it would be a spectacular improvement.
What is it with commenters on this site? “If the solution proposed isn’t absolutely perfect, then bin it because WE’RE TERRIFIED OF ANY CHANGE.” You know what, I’m a bloody luddite. I abhor change in most forms unless there is a damned good reason for it. I don’t believe in the concept that “because it’s new” is a valid reason for ANYTHING.
Taking that into consideration, I STILL think that software is superior to wetware for most tasks. It’s far more predictable and it doesn’t get distracted. I mean, $deity man! They’ve got airplanes now that can do mid-air refuelling entirely autonomously. Do you have ANY COMPREHENSION of how unbelievably difficult that is? Automated carrier landings in rough seas. All this and more is possible, and you are worried that the computer is going to screw up something as simple as collision avoidance on a hiway? Please.
The failure rates of even the beta level equipment would probably be superior to the most of the arrogant drunken jackasses that crowd the hiways around here. Computers don’t get drunk, tired, impatient, distracted or sleepy. And their reaction time is at least an order of magnitude greater than even the best trained wetware available. You know what else? Computers keep getting faster and more capable all the time. Homo sapiens sapiens, well..
…have you seen Idiocracy?
Tombstone, because software isn't likely to get you there.
Der Blinkenlights on der Boxen I get. But Blinkenlights on a fridge?
Oh...fridge = rack. Silly me. Wait, doesn't Dell have an HPC tentacle that specialises in fidges with Blinkenlights?
Something something something....oooooh....caffiene...
So your argument pro cloud computing is "because it's in the cloud, they'll do a better job than you of keeping it running." I don't buy it. There is little incentive on their part to expend the resources necessary for that. You also assume that the transport layer is infallible, something that goes against my experience. So at the very least, I need to pat the cost of the cloud service, and two transport links from different providers. For this I get the pleasure of accepting whatever service level I am provided, with zero practicable recourse should the cloud provider go titsup.com.
You will bet you business on this? The livelihoods of you and you coworkers? In the SME space, the difference between profit and loss can be a few tens of thousands of dollars, business costs that can be incurred with only a little bit of downtime at the wrong moment, or the wrong customer upset. Most SMEs can’t tank too many years of loss. While an extreme illustration of the risks, it is possible that a sufficiently lengthy or inconvenient cloud (or transport) outage could cost an SME so much they are forced to fold.
How can any SME afford to take that risk? Especially when the benefits, despite your assertions, have NOT been proven? I could not recommend cloud anything for any critical service to anyone. I’m sorry, but business communications are the single most important service there is. If you can’t talk to you customers or your staff you are dead.
If I were inebriated and posessed of a firearm, would I go to work and shoot a server?
But do I only get to choose one? It is for this reason my firearmgs and ammunition are stored in locked boxes on separate floors of the house.
Nowhere did I say it wasn't an excellent application. I said it was a pain to install and maintain. As for your impression of sysadmins, I can't help you there. I am sorry to report that we are human beings and as such we tend to prefer applications and products that make our lives easier. I don't think we are any different from anyone else in that regard. I should also point out that despite OCS bieng a pig to work with, I did deploy it. I did so because it would benefit my users more than alternatives that were easier on me.
None of that changes my desire for it to be easier to administer.
He may be paranoid...but I am not yet convinced he's wrong. You have to go a long way before you convince me that putting your data in someone else's care is a good idea. It boils down to trust, and I have very little of it for soulless Megacorporate entities.
Entirely apart from the data governance issues, hosted services leave you with noone to flog when it goes boom. SLAs are worthless, and don't actually cover the costs of downtime to your business. What's more, you have no control over if/when your hosted provider will pull a Zune on you and withdraw or radically change the service. What is someone in my situation going to do? Sue Microsoft? Please. The legal fees alone would be ruinous.
No, cloud anything is an absolute last resort for any business critical function, unless you are dealing with a provider that lives and dies by their service levels. A corporation like Microsoft has no incentive to do anything other than tell you how it's going to be, and expect you to like it.
Even if you could argue that Microsoft had some minor incentive to do well by it’s customers, it has proven time and again that it doesn’t care about any organisation below a certain size. Do you honestly thing this suddenly changes because it’s a hosted service? Balderdash. Unless the tco over an expected application lifetime of 4 years was SIGNIFICANTLY lower, the risks outweigh the rewards. Oh, and “but the keep you on the latest version” isn’t a pro, either. I want to deploy a server fleet and have it function with no major changes – or user retraining – required for at least 4 years at a time. I don’t upgrade every iteration of anything unless there is a DAMN good reason.
If it isn’t broke, don’t fix it. “Because it’s newer” is never a good enough reason for ANYTHING. So what the benefit of hosted services? Where are those advantages or TCO price delays over a four year application life that make it worth it?
At 75 users, I just don’t see it.
Point taken. I do use Redhat a lot, and VMWare…a few others. I will make a point to yak about them some more. I am sorry that it’s been so Microsoft all the time recently…but we just replaced our whole Microsoft domain.
4 cities, 5 sites, 5 DCs, Exchange server, WSUS, OCS, a half dozen SQL servers, and the list goes on. Two sysadmins and a bench tech. 250 VMs and about 100 physical machines. 2.5 days; with as little interruption of service as possible, and no…we didn’t have enough hardware to run both networks in parallel for the changeover.
All of it had to be done without disrupting the Linux side of the network for more than a few minutes at a time. Total sysadmin uptime: over 100 hours per wetware unit over the course of the 3 days of changeover and two days of post-doomsday tech support.
Oh, and they are letting me blog about it!
BPOS is a good beginning. Five years from now, after a whole bunch of other companies have walked over that minefield and Microsoft was pulled a Google with the data of the wrong people, I might consider it. Until they have been caught with their hand in the personal information cookie jar and slapped back down though, I am a littler nervous. IF you think I'm paranoid about allowing critical corporate data to be hosted by an external provider, you should meet my CTO. He is not a fan.
Beyond those concerns, which many companies wouldn’t care about, there’s the fact that this is Microsoft we’re talking about. On the Internet. When I look at BPOS, (and I’ve tried it,) there is no real advantage to Google’s offerings beyond a little bit a polish. Two years from now Google’s Gtalk/Gmail/GVoice etc. will be integrated into a package that would eat fewer resources, be far more stable and have a better web client than anything Microsoft could possibly field.
Don’t get me wrong, OWA and CWA are not bad…they are just plinking enormous. They take forever to load, are significantly more fragile than Google’s web offerings and just seem to be that few steps behind the desktop clients. (Whereas Google’s web clients are nearly indistinguishable from their non-web ones.)
Plus: BPOS is /expensive/. Three months of use at 75 users and I could have bought the software and CALs to sun the thing in-house and been done with it. Admittedly, I’d practically need my own admin to run it, but at least my data would be my own. The trust is, for the cost, I don’t see the advantage. You are going to pay for the extra wetware to administer the thing either way. Why would I go the BPOS route and pay some administrator who isn’t local to my company? I could take that same money and put it into the salary of someone who lived in the same city as my company and might even buy my company’s products from time to time.
Unless the TCO of “cloud” services are significantly cheaper than deploying the local versions, there are no advantages, and a heck of a lot of disadvantages to the concept. Hell, the only practical advantage to using Microsoft nowadays is that they AREN’T GOOGLE. Microsoft offer local servers that you can control, Google don’t. Why would I ruin it by putting all that data into the cloud and then paying over the odds for the privilege?
The only thing I find interesting about the whole event...
...is how it didn't take the cops two hours to show up. There weren't even any reports of them hassling the victim and blaming everything on them.
Must be nice to be rich and famous.
I still maintain it should be considered. I also believe that if you are even marginally overstretched staff-wise, as many SME shops towards the smaller end of the scale are, OCS will push your resources over the edge. It is BLOODY AWESOME. It's also really complicated, and kind of fragile.
There are subtleties and layers of opinion about this product I find a little hard to compress into three 500-ish word articles.
It may not be the best plan from a security standpoint, but it is the only thing that seems to work. I installed it all, and then just disabled what I wasn't going to use through GPO. NO other method seemed to work without it tipping over every time I looked at it sideways.
Having been awake 112 of the past 135 hours, I resent everything you just said. The only problem is that I am too exhausted and confused to understand why. Aw, you know what? Screw it. Job’s done. I’m burning my PC and going to live in the woods*. See ya'll on Monday.
*An expression coined by another commenter which I have shameless appropriated because it was awesome, and applied to my rapidly degenerating general view of the rewards of being an IT worker and/or associated with just about anything on the Internet.
Performance is complicated...
...but a 5Ghz core 2 duo would wreck an i7 at a great many workloads.I think global compute resources have diverged enough that there is space for three different types of x86 CPUs.
Small low power many thread doohickies, good for lots of little programs or web servers. Would make good netbooks, laptops, and maybe would be useful for application virtualisation.
Slightly more beefy midrange things with a moderate (4-8) threads for folks doing some heavy lifting. Rendering, A/V editing or VDI.
Screamingly fast per-thread low core count (2 cores?) designed for workloads that need the straight-line speed and don’t multi-thread well.
The above is an article well worth reading on the topic. I think the complicated nature of performance means that the public’s “obsession” with Mhz isn’t necessarily wrong. Architecture and attempts to parallelise can only get you so far. There are still plenty of compute tasks for which what you really need is a bloody big bit cruncher going at as high a clock rate as they can make ‘em.
Put more simply: CISC !> RISC for all workloads.
If all you are looking for is a corporate instant messenger, office communications server is a complete waste of your time. I say this as someone only really looking for a corporate instant messenger who has the thing deployed. I am using about a tenth of a percent of the program's features in my environment. (My CTO <3s Microsoft.) If you need a corporate messenger and nothing more then get a jabber server and be done with it in 15 minutes flat. No fuss, no muss.
Now, if you need a completely integrated UNIFIED MESSENGING client, then I would put OCS up against anything out there. IBM and Cisco have competitive offerings…but OCS 2007 R2 goes toe-to-toe. What is unified messaging? Hell if I know. I am still figuring that out. So far as I can determine from the buzzword checkbox it is the ability for everyone in my entire company to attach a wire to each testicle and taser me on a whim.
This thing is stupidly powerful, and I am enough of a luddite for that to be enough reason to fear it. Assuming I weren’t using it from within a VM (which neuters about half of it’s abilities from the get-go,) then it’s kind of cool. I can have it control my IP PBX; it would do voicemail, call routing to a USB or Bluetooth headset, I could talk via phone or office communicator client to anyone in my organisation and I can set up a ridiculously complex auto-attendant feature on it. In truth, I could probably do all of that with a jabber server, Asterix and about 12 months to write a customer web interface for a series of complicated shell scripts…
…but this is push-button and frighteningly simple. (I say frighteningly simple because if my CTO ever figures out what the damned thing can actually do, I am terrified he’ll try to make me put it to use as more than an IM; a project that would be disastrous since we are 100% VDI.)
I can also right click on a contact and schedule a meeting with them, view their current busy/free status, when they will be free next (based on their calendar), send files, share my desktop (or a single application) with them, do things using SharePoint I only barely comprehend as well as customise lists, groups, teams and any other manner of personnel organisation you could conceive of all from within this one little application.
It ties into Office and into Windows. So I can be browsing a file in my documents folder, realise I need to send it to Alice, right click and send as e-mail, send to the contact, or open it up in a shared application session with Alice for mutual editing and review. Hell, it can schedule a meeting with Alice to schedule a conference call with Bob to do shared application session on the file if I only knew the right sequence of buttons to push.
Oh, and it has both Windows Mobile and Blackberry clients. The nerd in me looks at the technology involved and says “this is really, really cool.” The sysadmin in my looks at it and is TERRIFED. If middle-management types ever figured out what the thing could do…
Bulletproof hosting is only as bulletproof as the people behind the hosting. This is all hosted somewhere. Find al the various places it is hosted and you can get anything taken down. If you honestly believe for a fraction of a second that US.Gov doesn’t have it’s ways you are delusional.
What do I mean by have its ways? I mean you find the person who runs the datacenter and you put a gun to the head of someone they care about. Very quickly the server you don’t like goes away. I don’t care how many places the damned thing is hosted, you can rinse and repeat for each datacenter owner until the task is completed.
If US.gov truly and honestly didn’t want Wikileaks hosted, it wouldn’t be. The same is true for any of the large world powers. What this means is that while WIkilieaks is mildly irritating and potentially embarrassing, it isn’t an actually threat to the folks in power quite yet. A threat perhaps to some grunts on the ground or denizens of Afghanistan, but since when has any politician given a rat’s about them?
There is no such thing as bulletproof hosting. All that Wikileaks’ continued existence demonstrates is that they aren’t yet enough of a nuisance to expend the effort required to make them go away.
AH, but if Ass. arranged the claims (ostensibly in order to pain the spooks in a bad like for attempting something "so obvious") then it becomes a far more subtle work.
Come now, your tinfoil hat needs polish, sir...
When I read the allegations, the first thought through my mind was "I'll be the little nomad is using his fame and lifestyle choice to get into all sorts of trouble. Since he never seems to stay in the same place twice, it would seem like he has arranged the perfect lifestyle to accomplish it...."
It wasn’t until I read about it on the Register and had to deal with the rather sycophantic wikileaks crowd here in the comments that I thought for a second he didn’t do it. He’s not the pure and virginal messiah come to save us all. He’s an egotistical little twatdangle who has risen to fame quite quickly of late. I am not saying that makes him a rapist, but I am certainly cynical enough to look at the whole thing and go “meh, he wouldn’t be the first” and then move on to reading about DRAM or something.
More and more Google is beginning to remind me of the little drones from Portal.
[The turrets say this when you leave their field of vision]
"Sentry Mode Activated"
"Is anyone there?"
"Could you come over here?"
"Are you still there?"
"Can I help you?"
Quite creepy mental image actually.
You want a conspiracy?
How about this:
WIkileaks as a front for intelligence agencies. They can leak information they require/desire, all the while building up this image of a complete twatdangle over the years to slowly but surely discredit the image and concept of whilteblowers. From the hero/martyr fighting the man to the egoist out to make a name for himself, the public conciousness’ perception of a whistleblower is changing thanks to wikileaks and Ass.
Now, it’s not at all likely that this conspiracy theory is true…but it beats the hell out of Roswell…
Don't I wish. I am not going to say I am above being bought: I have a mortgage, impending wedding...things that give me sleepless nights. I also have some pretty strong principles though. The cost of those principles would be far, far higher than anyone would pay to get a puff piece written on El Reg.
Naw, this is my 'Office Communication Server is neat’ article. I mean, it really is not a bad product at all. It does cool things and serves as a sort of integration lynchpin in the Microsoft suite of applications. Sort of like Sharepoint: you can probably live without it, but once you are forced to sit down and see what the thing can do, there is rarely any going back.
That said; just you wait. Next I talk about how much of a complete bear it is to install and maintain. I was particularly unhappy that they nerfed my favourite feature in the newest version, but I am getting ahead of myself…
So your solution is to manually verify every security certificate to ensure it has an adequate level of site verification before browsing? Would never fly. It would require an automated system to look at these certs; one aware of the various categories of certification available from the different CAs. "This level means we grant SSL certs to pretty much anyone." "This one means we verified they are who they say they are." Etc.
Then you need to be able to establish a vetting system: “view these sites and run scripts on them by default.” “View these sites without scripts by default.” “drop any attempts to access these sites to a landing page that informs people of the risks, and allows a one-click bypass.”
Again we run up against “well everyone should just know all there is to know about scams, security, and protecting oneself online.” The one question proponents of this approach have yet to answer for me is…why? Why should we expect the average user to know this, and why do we expect they won’t tell us collectively what to go do with ourselves?
People have a right to freely access information. That said, noone has a right to force their information upon me. Thus I believe a well researched and properly backed set of whitelists has an important role to play in ensuring the Internet “just works.”
It’s sort of like having an appstore/thoughtpolice/whathaveyou that provides a layer of protection for the baddies…but with the all important bypass button. The ability to climb the walls of the garden when you choose, or stay safe within its confines at whim. The concept that any attempt to build a whitelist for the Internet is immediately censorship is bogus. I have heard the same claims bandied about as regards blacklists.
The scammers and the zealots claim “you have no right to block sites!” I must return with “you have no right to scam me and mine, infect our machines with malware or otherwise disturb us in our own digital homes.” The internet may be a public area, but your PC is like your car. Random people do not have the right to open the door to your car, sit down and attempt to convince you the sky is falling (unless you buy a space in vault 13 which only they can provide.) I have the right to lock my doors, and to boot out unwanted guests in my car. That car may be travelling a public road, but within it’s doors it is my little bubble.
ANYWAYS: break time is over and it’s back to work. I have now officially been awake for 82 hours working on this network migration. I need to go finish a bunch of end user support and then collapse in a heap in the corner.
To each their own. I have yet to find the "one true solution" that solves all security problems. Educating users is a lost cause, and frankly if we were doing our jobs well you shouldn't have to know so bloody much about computers to use them.
For that matter, I would personally like to be able to browse the internet on my computer at home without constantly having to be vigilant about everything all the time. I work with computers all day long at work, when I go home the very last thing I want to do is fix another one. I don’t even want to have to exert the brainpower to ponder if the link I am clicking on is going to blow up my PC or not.
Like so many other “users,” I just want the bloody thing to work. This is why I like things like blacklists and whitelists, even though they might prevent me from accessing the wider web. So long as I can turn the thing off when I want, it offers a nice comfortable cushion from which I can just get on with the business of using my computer instead of constantly fretting about HOW I am using it.
It is for the same reason that I drive an automatic, not a standard. Similarly, I use a coffee pot that requires minimal effort to produce decent coffee as opposed to crushing the beans with a mortar and pestle and using an open fire and percolator.
It’s the oldest argument in all of IT. Convenience versus the requirement to understand everything about the system you are using. I accept that no matter how godlike systems administrators think they are, we are never going to /force/ users to understand the fundamentals of their computers, the internet or anything else IT related. No more than car mechanics are going to force the entire population to fundamentally understand fuel injection, ABS braking systems or traction control. Regardless of how easy and important that knowledge might be.
Instead, the computer industry should be putting it’s efforts into protecting those who can’t or won’t learn better whilst leaving the door open to the hobbyists who wish to go farther than is ordinary.
I’ve heard the argument that knowing all the deep nigglies about internet security is no different than having to learn road signs to drive on the road, and I don’t buy it. Those road signs are largely informative, and designed to be so. They aren’t cryptic and forcing you to guess at what might or might not be true, what may or may not be safe to obey.
Should you need a driver’s license to use the internet, or should we as an industry work towards making technology in general as easy to use as a television? The answer will depend on your point of view and your contempt for your fellow human beings.
Personally, I can say that most of the time, I just want the bloody things to work.
Your assumption would be incorrect. For quite some time now the number of malicious domains being registered has /far/ outpaces the number of legitimate ones. A true whitelist versus blacklist comparison five years from now would likely find the whitelist an order of magnitude smaller than the blacklist.
It's one of the reasons I vote for the whitelist approach: there's simply no reasonable way to keep up with all the malicious or illegal traffic that's out there. We have reached that point where it’s actually /less effort/ to vet every website in existence than to try heuristics, pre-scanning, or educating users as to the quite literally THOUSANDS of different kinds of threats for MILLIONS of different malicious domains.
If there were only a few thousand, or even a few hundred thousand “bad” domains then a blacklist would make perfect sense. As it stands, even if you subscribe to myriad blacklists simultaneously you are exceptionally lucky if you get 75% coverage. The defences we have – from anti-malware and blacklists to heuristics – are inadequate. They aren’t coping with the onslaught, and if we don’t come up with a different approach they will fail.
That’s not an attempt to be a doomsayer on my part; it’s an observation based on decades of experience. We aren’t winning this war. In fact, despite all the advances in technology I would have to say that we are /less/ secure than we were ten eyen ago. While we are no longer vulnerable to the threats that existed then, there are at least an order of magnitude of new and interesting threats today.
Many of them aren’t even technological. They are social engineering traps. Phishing scams, password scams, or even things to trap you into take an endless series of surveys to pump some scammer’s numbers with a dodgy advertising company.
I believe we honestly are at the point that it is less effort to identify the legitimate traffic and discard all the rest. Even if building that list has to be done one site at a time.