2199 posts • joined Monday 31st May 2010 16:59 GMT
Don't get me started. That was /not/ my idea, and it has taken me four solid years of fighting tooth and nail to be allowed the opportunity to replace it. There are things which make me rage. There are things which make me cry. Then there are things which make me experience desires to commit war crimes. Actually, only one thing has ever fallen into the latter category, and that is ISA.
Replication != Backup. CDP is a different story, but you need both replicated copies (in case of primary storage systems failure) and backups (in case of "oops, I deleted it!"
Easy for geeks to understand. Not so easy for business types.
The context of my Blog is aimed at junior sysadmins, mostly serving in SME roles. It's hoped that I can introduce concepts to these folks that they may not have encountered before, as well as workarounds to "get the job done" as best as is possible in the world of limited resources in which SME sysadmins must play.
It isn't really aimed at someone running a network with fifteen thousand users. Those folks already know everything I could possibly have to teach. They also have access to resources and funding I could only ever dream of.
Could I put my hand on my heart and swear before the world that I have done the best job possible to protect my network and the information it contains? Yes. I have done the best I believe possible with the resources provided for me to use. Not everyone gets to manage their network by whitepaper, and for every organisation that exists with the resources to do things absolutely by the book there are hundreds more that will never have that luxury.
Where’s the advantage to selecting one group of users and training them in the use of things like NoScript? Minimisation of risks where and when possible. I will never, ever be able to teach NoScript to some of the users on my networks, even if I had infinite time and resources. The individuals have no interest in learning it, and thus the capacity to retain what they are shown simply isn’t there.
Thus, as part of defence in dept I minimise risks wherever I can, and work around situations where I can’t. Users who can’t or won’t learn to use tools like NoScript have restrictions places upon their access that others don’t. In an SME IT shop, you don’t get the opportunity to treat all your employees as faceless interchangeable cogs. You must deal with them one on one, assessing the needs of the /HUMAN BEINGS/ that are using the systems you are responsible for providing.
You believe that the use of NoScript is a punishment, probably because you personally do not like the add-in. I don’t see it that way, and it’s certainly not presented to users in this fashion. Users who are willing to take the time to upskill themselves in the proper use of their computers and who are willing to operate in a work environment with at least some basic aspects of computer security in mind actually have far fewer restrictions than those who do not.
If users are willing to work with IT in this manner, I am more than willing to place my trust in them. They will be given local administrative access to their PCs and thus the ability to make systems changes or install applications. They have greater leeway in how the hardware of their systems can be configured, as I can trust in their ability to keep drivers up to date, handle odd hardware and suchlike. I don’t have to manage these folks by forcing completely identical hardware and pushing images down to them on a regular basis.
Additionally, because they are willing to play ball on computer security, they aren’t restricted in their internet access. They have access to websites like Facebook, IT time is put into helping them enable the ability for them to remote control their home computers from work and they are frequently the same people who make arrangements to remote into their work computers from home.
For some people, where they work is “just a job.” They couldn’t give a rat’s about security, corporate concerns, customer information privacy or any of that. They show up, punch in, use the tool placed in front of them and then leave. For other people, where they work is a career. They take pride in their work, have no intention of leaving, and do care about all the various concerns that affect the company. It is those people, the “lifers” if you will, that request more leniency in some areas of IT policy. They are, to an individual, willing to help IT out by in turn taking IT security seriously.
I am sorry if you don’t agree with that approach, but in my experience “one size fits all” IT policies are a fatal mistake. People aren’t the same. Their jobs and requirements aren’t the same. What’s more, companies aren’t the same: how they implement IT in their environments will differ. In my organisation, NoScript has found a place. I am saddened both that you are not only unwilling to consider how it might find a place in yours, but that you would have to be so negative towards me because of it.
With luck the information in this article proved of use to others who have different requirements, environments and viewpoints than your own.
@The Original Steve
Stupid computers running Windows 2000 that can't be upgraded and in which nearly everything must run as Administrator. There was an article about it a ways back from me as well as much discussion and debate in the comments. I've since taken further precautions, but let's be honest here: how many folks (especially at home) do you know not only run as administrator, but click "yes" every time the "would you like to run this app" box comes up?
I agree that in an even halfway-well-run and up-to-date corporate network it’s not a practical threat…but not everyone gets to work in those environments. So many networks I know are band-aids on top of band-aids on top of other band-aids held together with tape.
Still, as people move away from the 2000/XP era into a work where running things as limited users becomes more common and practical, DNS blackholing becomes more valid as a defence as a result.
Pint because it's Friday.
Or better yet...
How about a beancounter as CFO, with Engineers in charge of the technical divisions. Get an experienced salesman in charge of the sales divisions and someone with decades of marketing experience in charge of marketing.
Make the CEO someone with a diverse background: management is certainly required, as is some experience with big-ticket sales but also a technical background is important as they will be overseeing a hugely technical company.
Get a chairman who has stock market experience and can serve as the interface between the shareholders and the board of directors. Suddenly you have people qualified for their positions with actual relevant experience to the areas they are overseeing. Get them in a room and have them do things like debate, argue, innovate and drive a corporate vision.
Apparently in tech companies however, that sort of talk is just crazy…
When fighting to remove an illegal government, I wouldn't call it a "war." At least, I would hope it wouldn't become a full-on war. Civil wars are nasty; personally, were I fighting to reclaim my country, I’d be very mindful that the folks I am fighting are my own countrymen.
I draw a real distinction between that sort of combat and all-out war. To me, war is an aggressive battle: one country invading another. It is fought by governments against other governments. When the people rise up against a government (or against eachother) it is a different game altogether. Largely because there is little to no support behind the regular citizens if they are not fighting on behalf of their government, so their cause is all the more precariously affected by things like public perception. If the guy you are fighting beside mows down a few dozen of your countrymen defending the legislature with a full-auto weapon you might ask a few questions about whose side you really should be on.
Conversely, if you fight alongside people who take the time and care to disable is possible, kill only as a last resort, well...those are the kinds of people I personally would prefer to be fighting alongside.
I agree there could be educational uses for full auto stuff, but I disagree entirely with personal ownership. If a gun club has some for educational purposes, or a trained military has them for the purposes of war that’s one thing. Personal ownership, well…aside from being one of those folks who collect weapons because they really dig the craftsmanship, I just can’t get behind it.
Mind you, I’ve been told more than once I’m far too much of a peacenik to live in the southern US. I’ll stick to my redneck province here in the frozen north, thanks. And yes, I’ve seen that one. Good fun, but I am still working on trying to realise this grand notion:
The zombies…are coming…
Why enter a market you are spending billions to destroy? As much as I disagree with anti-net-neutrality folks like Andrew O, the one thing they are 100% correct on is that if Google gets its way then there will be zero money in being an ISP or mobile carrier. This isn’t the right threat for a net neutrality debate, but the facts are pertinent.
Why hitch your horse to a wagon you’ve just set on fire?
The Trevor Pott definition of a smartphone, which holds no weight whatsoever, is that a smartphone is a device you can both install applications upon and make phone calls from. (I leave open the question of whether or not PCs/Laptops equipped with Skype count.) Many “dumb phones” still have advanced features: cameras, browsers, etc. These phones can’t be changed beyond the manufacturer’s software loadout however, making them even more locked down than a non-jailbroken iPhone.
To contrast, a smartphone is essentially a palm pilot with a cellular radio and an application for making phone calls. There are nigglies about “but they’re more advanced than that” I am sure, but the basic principle remains the same. Smartphones are PDAs/application executing devices first and phones second. Dumb phones are phones first and they maybe do other things when needed.
I suspect that 10 minutes with any device will give you a good understanding of which side of that gap the device in question was designed for.
You shoot to wound during the revolution or when it is necessary to remove an illegal government. This is because the /human being/ on the other end would probably like the chance to recover from their wounds and continue living, if given the chance. I hope never to have to use my weapons in this manner, but that's part of the reason I'd own them.
When hunting you shoot to kill, but generally I do that with a long gun anyways. There's still much point up here. A single Moose is nearly a year's worth of meat for a family. (Yay deep freezers.)
You keep saying "it's legal to have a full auto weapon." I never questioned the legality of it. (Though it is illegal here.) I talked about the POINT of the weapon. Other than "the gun as a toy" (which is plain stupid) the only use for a full auto gun is death. Something you haven't spoken to by saying that it is legal. Just because it is legal doesn’t mean it serves a purpose other than death.
As for "there's no such thing as Zombies," grow a sense of humour man! It was a funny reference to insert into a heavily laden conversation that has becomes far drawn out than the original statement and subject matter required.
That said, I’m going back to work on rocket powered chainsaw JUST IN CASE. (Never can be too careful about zombies.)
Seems to me you don't need a fully auto weapon to remind your government that the people hold the power. At least two of my guns pretty much exist only for that purpose (useless for hunting) but again: semi-auto. One shot at one target, shoot to wound first, kill if only absolutely necessary. By the gods I hope I never have cause to use them for their intended purpose (removing an illegal government.)
The only legitimate reasons (other than people who collect guns simply because they admire the craftsmanship) that I can see for owning a gun are a) hunting b) removal of illegal government/the revolution/zombie apocalypse. One is a sport, the other is an event that we all should be hoping never, ever occurs.
A full auto weapon is pretty much the antithesis of a hunting weapon. Too much bullet in your meat, and fills the hide full of holes. Deposing an illegal government/the revolution would seem like an activity that one would want to engage in with the minimal possible causalities, as you would be fighting your own countrymen in that war.
As for the zombie apocalypse, well...I would prefer a single shot with a GREAT scope. Take them out from a distance and keep moving. I wouldn’t want to be wasting ammo, because I never know how many zombies are between me and the next place where there are appropriately sized bullets.
It's not just a matter of making available the raw data files.
It is also a matter of making available the APIs required to properly use them. Here's a thought: who owns the intellectual property to that? Were the programs in use created by a proprietary company? Perhaps a good chunk of the money involved is actually going to purchasing the intellectual property rights to the API involved so it can be redistributed.
There simply isn't enough information available about where the money is going to make any judgements about whether or not it is being improperly spent.
"Symbolic slap on the wrist"
Why symbolic? The pold in your country want to bring back witch hunts? Bring back the stocks and pillory just for them. Remember that the police can only execute their duties because the citizens of your country consent to being policed. Maybe you should take a lesson from the French and get out in the streets once and a while.
The only way that idiots like this ever learn is to prove to them that despite all their efforts, all the money, sweat and risk they have taken to make everyone terrified all the time…
…you aren’t afraid at all.
Not the PC
The only problem with the idea of Microsoft's "but we don't just make PCs work" spiel is that they have yet to make any money from anything that's not PCs. Servers only exist to make the PCs work. If you aren't adding PCs then in general you don't need to beef up your server fleet. *
Microsoft can sure sell XBoxen...but they don't make money here. Mobile phones, Internet, Zunes, or other such endeavours? Larf. Diversification is irrelevant if you “don’t get it” in any non-PC market so very badly that your repeated failure has become an international dinner-table joke.
Sorry Microsoft, but you only get one “The New Coke.” Repeated “new cokes” arent’ diversification. They’re sending good money after bad.
*Allow me to qualify this. You do tend to beef up just servers and not PCs, but rarely is it Windows that is involved. Normally when we are talking Servers Only we're talking Linux, Unix or big stonking Oracle/DB2 databases.
At what point have I ever, EVER, in my very long history of commenting on El Reg been an "open source advocate?" I am a cynic: everything has flaws.
I am sorry you feel "my attitude is childish," but the reality is that i simply don't like the damned ribbon bar. I don't see where there is FUD in that. I stated a personal preference, and you got your hackles up. I have been forced to use Office 2007 since the earliest beta we could get hold of, and then office 2010 since the earliest beta we could get hold of for it. As a sysadmin it's part of my job to learn how to use the newest technology. It doesn't mean i have to (or do) like the crap I have to use. I simply learn to use and (and do use it for hours every day as part of my job) because it is my job.
As to what a stupid debate like Android versus iPhone has to do with the ridiculously pointless thread: it’s an example of how people who get so entrenched in their defensive little camp are completely incapable of see anything as not an attack on their way of living/believing/doing things/etc.
Whip out an Android phone in front of an iPhone user and (in my experience) the iPhone user becomes instantly defensive. Some of them are for some reason so threatened by its very existence the immediately go on the offensive: attacking and insulting the phone, the person and everything related to it. Rather a shock when you are just checking your mail. (I have never had anyone go after my Blackberry like they do my Android phone, which is odd since I have had blackberries for about 6 years, and my Android phone for about four days…)
In this case, I made the statement that I don’t like Office 2007 or 2010. In fact, I deeply abhor both products. Part of this is the UI, but a large part of it the arrogance associated with the UI. In my opinion, radical changes to the UI in a product such as Office (or Windows) should have the option of either reverting to the old UI, or having an overly (such as UBit menu) to ease the transition. In the case of Office 2007, the Ribbon bar was thrown at us with a great big “fuck you” and a format change to try to force everyone into uptake.
When you combine that with the fact that I have found nothing about the ribbon bar to love then yes, I deeply, DEEPLY dislike the product. I will stick with Office 2003, and when the time comes to migrate away from it for whatever reason it won’t be to further versions of Office when and where it can be avoided. I will put my time and effort into converting to Open Office, a product I can make look like whatever I should want.
It isn’t about the money. I personally intent to donate the cost of a Microsoft Office license to the Open Office project for every single copy of Open Office I deploy. It’s about choice, and it’s about not having someone else’s idea of a good UI or their personal preferences rammed down my throat without having any say in the matter.
If you don’t like to hear about my personal preferences you are perfectly capable of not reading comments by me. I on the other hand don’t have the luxury of (at least at work) not using Office, and what I consider to be its terrible, TERRIBLE UI. When and where I can exercise my own rights to enforce my personal preferences, (such as my home computers, or recommendations to friends and colleagues,) I will push remaining on Office 2003 or supporting Open Office with every bit of effort I can muster.
If you wish, you can take my opinion and feelings as whatever verb you want, but it simply doesn’t change that I think the ribbon bar is an unholy piece of ever-loving shit and I will do everything in my power to avoid the bloody thing for as long as I live.
Including giving the money I would have spent on Microsoft to their competitors.
With a big huge smile on my face.
Please understand that I say this as a systems administrator whose job largely relies on Microsoft. I believe Microsoft have some of the best server offerings out there. I could talk all day about the good products Microsoft have, just as I can about the bad. In this case, I honestly believe that those responsible for the direction of Microsoft Office have failed. It is my personal opinion, and of course you are free to disagree, but what I see as a failure to be responsive to the requests and requirements of their customers has led me to abandon Microsoft’s Office offerings.
To such a point that I am in the process of migrating 7 out of 12 networks I am responsible almost entirely away from Microsoft’s interconnected Office offerings to alternatives. Open Office as a productivity package, Jabber instead of Office Communications Server, Evolution + MAPI to talk to Exchange, (Exchange is still the best IMHO,) and more. Call me names if you want, but you will not change what I believe.
"The Authors attitude is exactly the "IT Crowd" mentality that will ensure that IT staff will never be looked upon as a professionals by their business colleagues."
I'd love you to qualify that statement. I don't remember once saying that I was calling for NoScript in the bulk of a business environment. The solution for corporates is DNS Blacklisting. (Which is what my next few articles are about.) I in no way expect the users to be computer experts; in fact I have come to terms with the concept that the vast majority of them probably couldn't understand the difference between Firefox and IE if you gave them a ten week seminar.
It's not their job to know that. It is their job to know some basics of how to use computers. For certain individuals in my company, I do encourage the use of NoScript on their corporate machines, but only because these individuals are "advanced users" who are both capable of understanding its use and far more likely to poke around where they shouldn't be online.
When a staff member brings me a personal computer and asks me to set it up for them, you are damned right I try to teach them NoScript. If I am taking my personal (not company paid for) time to help them set up their home computer, then I am going to at least /try/ to teach them good digital hygiene. The vast majority of them rather like the concept, once they understand it.
Seriously though, if you honestly believe I storm around work all day pretending that “root” means “god” then I wholeheartedly encourage you to come down and pay me a visit. You can watch a sysadmin in their native environment, and realise that there are quite a few of us would actually enjoy helping our co-workers.
In fact, the biggest problem I encounter at work is people simply not telling me when something has gone pear-shaped. I can’t help you if I don’t know what the issue is. Sadly, there are always people who get hostile and unreasonable because I am not a god and thus don’t know everything there is to know.
If my “business colleagues” are incapable of looking upon my efforts to assist them in doing their jobs as professional, then I would have to say the fault lies with them. Their prejudice and need to fear and segregate what they don’t understand is the barrier, not a genuine desire to help and enable on my part. Sadly, there are people who cling to archaic stereotypes in any situation. In my opinion those people are a detriment to any business, as business must be capable of adapting to reality. In fact my experience has taught me that businesses that adapt the quickest are the only ones that survive.
...with the bank? The technology exists to make online banking secure. It is used by some banks on this earth. Yet for some reason i can't work down to my bank and get secure cards that generate a set of one time keys for authentication, use a combination of biometrics and passwords or any of a dozen more secure methods of accessing my accounts than the crap we have today.
In fact, the banks have introduced a “secure” new chip-and-pin system that they have managed to get legally enshrined as somehow “uncrackable.” It isn’t, and the only reason they’ve spent billions on it was to ensure that when people DO have their identities stolen/accounts jacked/etc. that they aren’t liable for it.
If I had the option, I wouldn’t be relying on a bank where I had to worry about things like NoScript. I am a user too, you know. I want my banking to be just like a TV. Turn it on, pick up the remote and it works. The part that frustrates me is that because I am a sysadmin I know the technology exists to do a better job, but all of the banks available in Canada absolutely and completely refuse to not suck.
Oracle merging wih HP.
As a pure hypothetical, although I really should know this, If you break a super-deluxe uber news story that alters the balance of power as regards life, the universe and everything then you get a Pulitzer, right? (Assuming it is well written.) I was however always under the impression that the internet was an invisible wall to this: the fact that The Register doesn't have a print edition means that it would be (at least politically given the current climate) impossible.
Now admittedly I’m not all that up on who gets the Pulitzer when and for what, (which given that I rather like journalism I probably should have an interest in,) but I seem to recall some pretty big anti-internet prejudices in the journalism community. Yes? No? Am I totally out to lunch on this one?
Store the key in an RFID chip.
Then inject it into your palm. I can see uses for this...
I should probably rant about something here.
But you know what? I have pie. And a kitty. So I will just interrupt this thread to say: Mellow out guys! If there is trouble with mellowing out…I recommend pie. Also kitties.
Badgers icon, because it never gets enough love around here.
Agreed. There are a very, very few people I would truly cheer the death of, and he is not one of them. I disagreed with the man in every way imaginable, but there is something deeply wrong about actually cheering someone's demise.
That said, I will cheer the fact that he no longer has influence, even while I am greatly saddened it took his death to achieve said result.
Both sides are wrong.
This has become such an extremist debate. One side demanding “free as in beer” internet access while the other wants everyone to pay for the costs of infrastructure, executive bonuses, a few yachts, some jets, a harem or two and a literal army of lobbyists. Naturally they can’t even begin to see eye to eye on this while the real worry: “free as in speech” is quietly ignored by both sides.
The market itself should (in theory) sort out access problems. I mean hell, even the Americans have started deploying fibre! There are not many other countries with fewer incentives to invest in infrastructure than the US, but sure as hell competition worked in a few smallish cases there.
How fat your pipe is doesn’t matter one whit if the ISPs and content providers you connect to are allowed to filter or deprioritise access to information they don’t like or that happens to compete with them. If we are going to start making rules, let’s focus first on important likes like guaranteeing free (as in speech) access to information first. We can work on the speeds later.
After all, 1Gbit pipe connected directly to a banhammer is completely ****ing pointless.
I should have phrased that differently. "For the record, “The Independent” has proven itself to no longer be high on my list of reputable resources…" is incorrect. It implied The Independent was at one point high on my list of reputable resources. I really hadn't heard of it until now, so that would be impossible. It's gone from "unknown resource" to "shite" in a short timeframe however.
Again, it is a matter of proactive versus reactive. The net has always been neutral in that access to information has not (with very rare exceptions) been prevented. Companies can and do discriminate traffic based on protocol, but the traffic will eventually get from point A to point B.
The exception to this has always tended to be filtering illegal traffic: cutting off spammers, or prevention of individuals within a country from access information their government deems wrong.
The issue at hand is whether or not to allow the corporations that own the pipes and own the content to block you from accessing parts of the internet. I don’t give a rat’s if they want to discriminate based on protocol. So long as there are least two ISPs in a given area to chose from, there should be enough competition that they will eventually get into a war based on who will filter your traffic less.
If we allow ISPs to own content, or to form deep alliances with content owners then we enter entirely other territory. There is now suddenly a business case for preventing (or at the very least deprioritising) access to services offered by rival cabals. There may even be reason to prevent access to blogs, media outlets or what-have-you that deliver a message contrary to that which the cabal in questions wishes it’s customers to have access to.
You say that we should not legislate against this until after it has happened. I call that bizarre and dangerous. It seems we are at a complete impasse here; our opinions will likely never be reconciled. The ability to charge different rates based on the ORIGIN, DESTINATION or ACTUAL CONTENT (not PROTOCOL TYPE) of traffic is my beef. That is net neutrality to me; keeping the access to information 100% open, and preferably enshrined in law.
Enshrined as a human right, if at all possible. I do not believe that it should be a human right to have X Mbit internet access or free access to the latest episode of Survivor. But it damned well should be a human right to consume any freely available information without prejudice, and to have the opportunity to pay for and receive any information behind a paywall without prejudice.
If I pay for HTTP traffic, I should receive all HTTP traffic from all sources without prejudice or prioritisation. If my ISP is partnered with NBC they should not be preventing or deprioritising traffic to/from the BBC. Similarly, if my ISP is partnered with FOX, they shouldn’t be preventing or deprioritising my access to left-wing websites or anything that actually provides access to provable facts or scientific research.
Has anyone done this yet? No. It is however only a matter of time. If any corporation in the position to do thinks for a fraction of a second it can “generate revenue” but doing so then it will be done. Corporations don’t have morals; they have only the pursuit of the almighty dollar. The possibility that corporations will prevent or deprioritise access to information in order to either gain competitive advantage or shape public discourse is a threat. It should be dealt with accordingly.
Nice redirection with the malaria thing though. It’s nice to know what our societies must obviously solve problems in an arbitrarily defined hierarchy. “Don’t worry about this problem, that problem is far worse!” Personally I believe that preventing any entity, from governments to corporate cabals from controlling information in such a way as to effectively control the public at large is THE most important issue in the entire world. You will never convince me otherwise.
If the rich and powerful have total information control then nothing will ever be solved. Why? They became rich and powerful because of how things are; any change at all is a direct threat to them.
This then is why I revered good investigative journalists growing up. The ones who didn’t let their stories get killed, and who stood up for telling the truth regardless of who wanted what parts cut. I was lucky enough to know a few growing up, and frankly it’s why I like reading The Register. There are the rare folks around here who “speak truth to power” even when it’s inconvenient.
Personally, I will not stand idly by while there is any potential threat to the free flow of information. Access to information needs to become more open, not less. We certainly don’t have completely free access to information now, but that should never be used as an excuse to allow further restriction.
It needs to be used as a reason to identify areas where access to information is restricted and fight those barriers with everything we as citizens can bring to bear. (With acceptable barriers for individual privacy. I don’t believe corporations or governments should have the rights of individuals, and so in all honesty I don’t believe in corporate or governmental rights to privacy.)
I’m sorry if you feel I’m a whackjob for believing that, but that belief is part of the very core of who I am, and has been for as long as I can remember. I also believe in being proactive about threats, from computer maintenance to corporate malfeasance. Placing an outer marker on information control and manipulation isn’t the equivalent of corporate pre-crime. It’s letting everyone; from corporations and governments to individuals know where the line is, and establishing penalties for crossing it before someone tries.
If you were starting up a new country, would you wait until the first murder before outlawing it? Or less alarmist; would you wait until the first town/university/church group tried to censor access to information they didn't like before you declared such activates illegal? If you wouldn’t, they why wait until after access to information on the internet has been curtailed before declaring such activities verboten? At what point do we start learning from the past and proactively working to better our collective future?
AnotherNetNarcissist: between Office 2007 and Office 2010 I have indeed been forced to use the bloody things for years. Personally, I hate them. You might have your reasons for liking them, and bully for you. I also use an Android phone not an iPhone, in case you wanted had other personal preferences of mine you wanted to take objection to.
I don't like the interface. At all. End of.
I have used it for long enough to know how it works, and I don't CARE why they thought it was a good idea. I don't like it, and the beautiful part about life, the universe and everything...
...I don't have to.
I know that you /can/ run android on an iPhone. I have done so. That said, there are several countries in which doing so isn't legal, because it violates the T&Cs not just for OSX, but apparently for the hardware itself. Which is my point. The mere fact that we can have T&Cs on hardware in some countries is something I find appalling.
This is exactly what I was thinking. I thought that wiki's rules for sources basically amounted to "if it's in print, or it's on teh intarwebs somewhere then we can use at as a Wikipedia source." So in this case, someone defaces a Wikipedia page, which then makes it into a newspaper which can be used as an "accurate and reliable source" to keep the defamation on the Wikipedia page thus....
I don't know, honestly. Inventing a "fact?" Is there even a word for that kind of information manipulation? This is why I honestly believe that trusting Wikipedia is as bad as reading a history book without keeping the axiom "history is written by the victors" in the back of your mind. Filtering bias from crowd sourced information is bloody near impossible.
Primary sources, please. I'll make my judgements as to the reliability of the information I receive based on the reputations of the individuals and organisations that perform the original research. For the record, “The Independent” has proven itself to no longer be high on my list of reputable resources…
Oh, You can load Android on an iPhone. I haven't gotten the radio to work yet...but I can watch movies...
You certainly can load another O/S on your Mac.
But not on your iPhone. (At least not legally...)
I would never be firing on automatic. There's no possible reason for me to do so, except to kill someone.
All of my guns are semi-auto or manual, and I am a reasonably good shot with them. I keep them locked up at all times, with the ammo locked up separately in another room. I only take them out for practice at a licensed facility, or for hunting. Should the revolution come, I will be more than able to defend me and mine with a semi-automatic weapon that I can use surgically instead of a bullet hose designed to mow down whatever is in my way.
Fully automatic weapons have zero purpose other than to kill another person.
Why should we have to show harm before legislating? Citizens have been slowly losing the right to the presumption of innocence, in no small part because these very megacorporate entities want to make a buck off of sell our privacy, or some new scare or whatever. I am generally not a great believer in witch hunts, but neither do I remotely trust any megacorporate entity. (The citizens going on the offensive for a change would be nice.)
I wholeheartedly agree with you that the vast bulk of the net neutrality campaign is utter bollocks. Pointless fear mongering of the worst kind…but I’m from North America. It’s part of the culture here. Everything is a great big fear campaign.
When I look at the net neutrality issue, I see on the one side a bunch of people who don’t want to pay for the cost of the service they use. On the other I see a bunch of fatcats who only want to take energy out of the system without ever reinvesting in anything. Neither side is sustainable.
I will put this as bluntly as I can: content provision and content ownership absolutely, completely and forevermore need to be separated. He who owns the pipes MUST NOT own the content. The potential for conflict of interest is simply too great. If you want to prioritize real-time traffic over web traffic, I don’t have a problem with that. What I do have a problem with is any arrangement whereby Company A’s traffic is suddenly considered more important than Company B’s traffic /when both are the same protocol/.
Let me be doubly clear on this: I don’t have a problem with protocol discrimination; I consider it a necessary part of network management when we have limited bandwidth resources. What I have a problem with is a company being able to pay for higher priority of their traffic (of the same protocol) to be delivered to their customers. It is an issue of a level playing field; I am enough of a socialist to despise barriers to entry in any market. It’s the kind of thing that megacorporates do when they decide it’s cheaper to prevent competition than to innovate, and I seriously wish that something terrible would happen to every single individual involved in such decisions.
Worse, a company that owns both content and content provision may decide that they will provide the content they own cheaper or at a higher priority than the exact same kind of content from a competitor. Maybe you feel that’s all fine and good, but to me this start screaming “barriers to access,” something I believe to be morally and ethically objectionable.
You say that we have to wait until decades AFTER the megacorporations involved have decided to filter, alter, control or price out of reach access to information.
I say that we should learn from our past and act preemptively to prevent such a thing. I don’t object to paying what needs to be paid for access to the information required. I do object to being able to get access to more information than my buddy down the street just because I make more money than him.
If that makes me a tinfoil hat paranoid in your books, then you are welcome to believe that of me. I’ve been burned enough times by large greedy corporations simply to not trust them. I don’t accept the concept “this is how it is and so we must simply smile and accept it.” I may never be able to elicit the kind of change I want in this world, but I will continue to try until the day I die.
In this case, the potential of the Internet is awesome and frightening. Unlimited information available to all and sundry at the click of a button. Yet who controls the flow of that information, whether through outright filters or by pricing access to it out of reach controls EVERYTHING. Control the information the public receives; the commentaries, diagnosis, etc and you control the public itself. You see “net neutrality” and “open access” as different issues. I don’t. They are two overlapping circles, and where that overlap I would rather act preemptively than reactively.
The thing that I have never seen from you Andrew, or form anyone else who has done anti-net-neutrality analyses is an explanation of exactly why these megacorporates won’t try to lock down the internet? There are plenty of fantastic business cases to controlling access to information, creating barriers to entry and charging as much as is humanely possible whilst basically tossing the bottom few % of people to the wolves because you can’t get enough money from them.
You argue that none of these companies have made huge moves towards controlling the flow of information. I say: yet. It’s in their best interests to do so. This is why legislation is so very important: as a society we need to ensure that it is NOT in their best interests to lock the net down.
Office 2010 can eat 10,000...
...well, let's not finish that sentence.
Office 2003 for me, thank you. When I take the time to convert to something else, it's going to be something open. (I say this as someone forced to use both Office 2007 and Office 2010 for years. Long enough to be happy I kept my home systems on Office 2003 and open office.)
For the record, I don't have a beard. I do have a moustache though….and I trimmed it this morning, thankyouverymuch.
You don't get to "keep" anything. You license it. That license can be revoked for just about anything. Hell man, the Apple fanboys are encouraging us to sleepwalk into a society where we don’t even own the HARDWARE we buy. (Oh sure, you own the plastic etc, but IT IS ILLEGAL to wipe to provided O/S and load your own, even if it’s a legal O/S such as Linux.)
If you read these comments pages, you’ll know I’m not pro one side or another on just about any debate. I take the piss out of everyone and everything, and I call everything like I see it. In this regard though, if you want to “keep” or “own” what you buy…
…you’d damned well better go open source.
Even then, pay attention to the particular license you use.
Why in the name of $deity would anyone fire a weapon on automatic unless they were trying to kill someone, or training to do exactly that?
There’s no possible reason except killing another person to even own an automatic weapon. (Semi-autos I actually don’t have much of a problem with.)
"Die on the vine."
The free and open internet to become to the future as usenet is to us today? What a horrifying picture. This strikes me as smacking of people wanting to create “tiers” like cable packages.
In tier 1 you get access to the hoi-polli: blog, not for profit websites, government services.
In tier 2 you get access to basic entertainment/media services. Youtube, trailers for upcoming movies, and perhaps the dedicated television/websites/phone server ices of your ISP.
In tier 3 (HELLA EXPENSIVE) you get access to entertainment/media/phone/websites etc. from anyone anywhere.
I guess what I fear is a sort of creeping “financial censorship.” Only the well off can afford an uncensored/limited internet. This makes it easier for the gatekeepers of the internet (ISPs and megacorporations like Google) to control the flow and generation of information.
I add these links as relevant to my internets:
You felt the shiver of fear because you didn't think it through. A great big ball of ice, say at most a dozen kilometres in circumference is a whacking amount of fuel. It’s also an enormous pain in the rear to de orbit from wherever it is and park it anywhere near earth. Go up much bigger than a dozen or so kilometres and you are getting hundreds of years past our current technology. (As it is, even at a dozen kilometres, there would be about 30 years of R&D required before the first attempt.)
The thing is, a dozen kilometres of ice doesn’t mean anything to earth. If you miss with a ball that size, it will completely vaporise before hitting the surface. We’re not even talking about Tunguska here. We’re talking nice fireball in the sky followed by an interesting cloud of vapour. Now without an atmosphere, the moon would be at risk. Drop a dozen-kilometre ice ball into the surface and watch the kinetic energy both vaporise all of the ice and turn a sizable chunk of the surface into a shiny new (molten) crater. I don’t know how long it would take that crater to solidify, but given there’s no atmosphere to absorb the heat; I suspect it would be quite some time. (Radiative transmission and absorption of heat by the surrounding rock being the only methods of shedding the heat.)
So in short: you could do that in such a way as it would pose almost no risk to Earth, but I wouldn’t want to be living on a moon base when that sucker came by. (Not to mention the damage it could do to the cloud of Earth-orbiting debris we keep launching up there.)
The best solution is not to drop it onto the moon or even to attempt to park it in Earth orbit. The best solution is to drop fuel asteroids like this into the Lagrange points. They are stable places to leave things lying around, and currently largely unoccupied. This is not a difficult thing to do. Send a big-ish robot to some random iceball. Try to smack into it with as much force as you can muster, and have what amounts to an MCV pop out of the crater. (The impact hopefully being in the direction you want the asteroid to go. No sense wasting the kinetic energy you build up getting there.) The MCV deploys, uses some of the water for reaction mass on hall thrusters and deploys as big a solar sail as we can pack into the thing. It might take 50 years to move that asteroid, but at least we could do it safely.