2278 posts • joined Monday 31st May 2010 16:59 GMT
Hear, hear! First things first: remove the damned vetoes from the UN Security Council. I think things would get significantly less a bucket of ass from there. Any time a motion comes up to do something that would be good for the world in general either the US, Russia or China vetoes it in an attempt to thwart one of the other three.
Take the toys away from the misbehaved children and let the rest of the world get on with the business of growing up.
Everyone adds an S. you'd think I'd be used to it by now, but it still causes some sort of involuntary twitch.
That said: CHANGE IS BAD. Maybe not for you or me, or even for the majority, but for every change that occurs SOMEONE loses out. That is why there is always someone fighting change. Think about it: the people with all the power and money right now have that money because of how the world works today. Change how the world works and they might well lose out.
Or, they might change it so that the milled masses lose out a little bit more, and they gain. Either way, Change is always bad for SOMEONE. The question is simply…
Re: Balmer and failure to execute.
I don't believe that Microsoft's business model absolutely requires high churn. I do believe it requires the ability to promptly react to threats from competitors or new markets. That requires nothing more than a strong R&D and probably a few isolated skunkworks projects in addition to that. Microsoft has the talent to go “oh, Apple released an iPad,” and then turn around 8 months later and absolutely wreck them.
The failure to do so is a failure to execute. There should have been Windows CE based ARM Microsoft Tablets making the rounds this July showing what hot shit they are in preparation for ruining Apple this Christmas. Do not bullshit me that it isn’t possible, the entire group that worked on the Kin project they just binned was available, and perfectly capable of taking their Kin OS to the next level, even if the Windows Phone 7 team were a being a giant sacks about keeping their code to themselves.
Windows Phone 7: To little too late. Microsoft should have seen that coming YEARS ago, but simply failed to devote the necessary resources. They didn’t have to act FIRST in this market, but they will be pummelled for acting LAST.
Microsoft’s failure to execute is huge. Vista? Office 2007? Exchange 2007 (festering pile of shite that it was, and so much more. A whole generation of products were released from this company, all of which left me deeply wanting to boil some people in oil.
Microsoft is broken into warring fiefdoms that are unable to co-operate with eachother, lack a single unifying vision and don’t have the ability to rapidly respond to change. There needs to be a slow, steady advancement of technology within the company that moves the colossus forward with frightening inevitability. There also needs to be a series of outlier R&D and consumer electronics groups the run around making REALLY COOL stuff that doesn’t quite have the enterprise polish on it yet. The version one guys.
These groups would produce something aimed at the consumer. It would have less features than a full blown enterprise product, but it would get out in time to match Apple, Google or whomever else was getting mindshare. That version one product then goes back to the “serious business” departments for Enterprise treatment and gets some serious polish. It gets rolled into the “frightening inevitability” update group by version three and becomes simply another cog in the Microsoft machine.
Similarly, if someone radically shakes up a market, (say tablets,) then Microsoft needs the ability to kick something OUT of the Enterprise steamroller and dump it right back into the hands of the frenetic consumer groups. Here they can pick up the ball and run it through some radical R&D in a short timeframe, reinvent the dochicky or application, release a product to match the competition and kick it back to the enterprise group.
Is Microsoft even REMOTELY capable of that? Hell no. They are disorganised and chaotic with no clue what’s going on. The whole company is completely disconnected from their customers and their reaction time is measured in decades.
Ballmer is the disease. If he wasn’t a complete tool he’d have recognised his company’s failure to execute and reorganised the whole bloody thing in order to compensate. Instead he’s shifted the deck chairs on the titanic a few times to absolutely zero effect. Every “reorganisation” hasn’t really done much to change company culture, and certainly hasn’t dealt with the “warring fiefdoms” issues.
@rahul re: Google DNS.
I have gotten a few e-mails on the subject of Google DNS. I will post into the comments what has been my cut-and-paste response so far:
Google’s DNS is relatively new. And it’s Google; privacy concerns abound when anything involves them. (Do no evil my ASCII.) Even putting the tinfoil hat aside, Google DNS is a completely different animal than all the rest. With OpenDNS or DNS Advantage you get some pretty decent control over what the DNS presented you looks like, from companies that specialise in the field. They have every reason to work together with everyone else to make their DNS the best it can possibly be. With Symantec, you have the results of all of Symantec’s various security arms as well as their crowdsourced and human-vetted site listing rolled out into a DNS source. If there is any one malware list I can trust pretty absolutely to be accurate, it’s Symantec. Similarly, malwaredomains.com has made a name for itself in the field and deserves respect and trust.
With Google, you get what the algorithm provides or “the competition is just a click away!” I am still trying to gather information about exactly where they get their malware lists, what level of trust to put into their DNS service, and trailing it on a few networks. So far I have had quite a few legitimate sites blocked with GoogleDNS including updates for my anti-malware application!
When I do talk about GoogleDNS, it will be after much through research so that I can do my best to put aside any prejudices or fears I might have about the gigantic goliath that has bought the Internet and focus solely on the technology. Then, given the mammoth size of the organisation backing the project, it will get an article all its own. At the moment however, I have many concerns regarding Google DNS and can’t actually recommend it to anyone just yet.
I decry the fact that password guessing or reset attacks are considered "hacking." That’s like saying running windows update on your home PC makes one a sysadmin. I know, I know...the term has been so used for over a decade now...but still...
Okay: it's late, and I really should be writing an article instead of responding to comments...but I'll bit on this one.
Aren’t all new services, products, business methods or what-have-you generally met with some fierce resistance somewhere and then covered in lawsuits of one variety or another? I’m not defending Google here – after the Googizon debacle they’ve lost my trust forever – but I am having trouble coming up with any remotely popular service or product in the past fifteen years or so that wasn’t covered in lawsuits.
I’d love to be wrong on this, and I whole heartedly admin that it could be a failure of imagination and/or memory on my part…but /CAN/ be innovated that would be both popular and not controversial? (Or alternately: has been innovated in the last 15 years or so and been both popular and not controversial.)
Enquiring minds want to know…
Let me try to make that a little shorter for you. I believe that Lewis Page's personal motto is:
Pragmatism before Pork.
I happen to agree with the sentiment. Carry on, Lewis!
I seriously suspect the size of the navy isn't what Lewis cares about. It's how the UK is (in)capable of using it that counts.
This will be a fun thread.
I will interject early with an off topic post: everyone take a breather before posting. Everything that can be said on this topic has been said already. In the mean time, life is full of things that are good and happy. In my case cats, coffee, and similar small enjoyments. I am sure you have such things as well…perhaps whatever you calming equivalent to petting a cat is should be undertaken /before/ the violent vitriol posting.
If not, well…
…have at ‘er gents.
Pint because there’s no popcorn icon, and this thread’s will probably be entertaining...
@A J Stiles
"A soldier in a foreign country, wearing the Queen's uniform and acting in the name of Her Majesty, ought to be held to a higher standard of behaviour than a private citizen in their own home, acting in no-one's name but their own."
Hear, hear! I couldn't agree more. Throw politicians and representatives of powerful companies in there too. That said, I again must say that release of any information that may cost lives, (be it about war or anything else) is not properly thought through.
Hold those who represent us to the flame and see if they are worthy, but remember that we don’t actually burn people to death as witches any more. Release of embarrassing information is one thing. Release of information that threatens lives something else entirely.
What is "the job?" According to all of my friends who have served, they want to see the Taliban beat back enough so as not to be a threat the local Afghanis can't deal with. Removal of the Taliban ability to make war on the locals, for all intents and purposes. They want to pull out of the country, but only once they are sure the locals can actually take care of themselves when they do.
This is a recurring theme, as many of these folks have seen exactly what the Talbian do when they "reclaim" territory. Several of these guys will never be the same (mentally) because of seeing it. I know for a fact the soldiers in question would never sleep well again if we just packed up and left that entire country to that fate.
We got into this war on false pretences. We fucked up big time. Now we’re stuck in a situation where if we just take our ball and go home then hundred of thousands if not millions of people are going to die some pretty goddamned awful deaths. I understand the moral outrage over our having to be there in the first place: hell, I share it! If we had left well enough alone these people wouldn’t be under this kind of threat. They wouldn’t be living the most open society, but they would be at risk of being slaughtered as collaborators.
I honestly can’t believe the number of people in this thread who are either A) so naive that they believe if we just left the Taliban would peacefully take over the country without harm to the locals and everything will be flowers and rainbows or B) are so morally self-righteous about the fact that this was a botched war from the beginning that they simply don’t CARE about what happens to the Afghanis.
It makes me sad to be of the same species as these people. I believe that human lives are worth more than the self-satisfaction of a few westerners.
So screw the Afghani, eh?
Our troops aren't dumb. They know they aren't there for any good reason; this war was started based on a series of lies, deceptions and misunderstandings. They should be told this because they are citizens of the countries they are fighting for, and deserve as we do the right to hold our politicians accountable for this fiasco.
What you, and so many commenttards here seem incapable of understanding is that no matter how broken the reason we got into this mess, we are there NOW. We have a responsibility to the people whose lives we ruined not to botch the job further. If you don't believe that, well, that is your right. It is also my right to think you and everyone else who believe the same are terrible people. You would callously throw away the lives of the Afghani people rather than try to fix the mess we created.
The best way to support our troops isn't to bring them home and inhumanely abandon the Afghani. It's to give the troops the resources they need to help the Afghani as quickly as possible and then get the hell out of there.
If that's a thumbs down in your mind sir, then again: so be it.
Being anti-wikileaks /on this particular issue/ doesn't make you pro-American. Being anti-American doesn't make you pro wikileaks.
In general, I think wikileaks has a good reason for existing and does a good job. I think they went too far on this particular issue and have risked lives. I also think that US.gov needs to be burned down and started over, preferably AFTER the American public has been educated to understand that the past fifty or so years of "yay capitalism, boo everything else" is lies, damned lies and propaganda.
That’s the problem with the internet, and increasingly with The Register. The commenttards seem completely unable to comprehend the concept that the people whose comments they are reading, complaining about or flaming might not be as black and white as they would often like to make the argument. Arguing something in binary is easy. If it’s not 1 then it must be 0. Throw in 2 in there and you increase the complexity quite a bit.
The concept of nuanced opinions that simply don’t seem to have a place in the middle of internet shitstorms, and this is what we have here. It’s sad really, that an issue as complex as wikileaks posting classified documents about an ongoing war as well as the inevitable issues surrounding why we are fighting the war, how we got into this mess and whether or not we have a responsibility to a nation we ruined all boils down a simple binary “I feel this person agrees/disagrees with my opinion.”
How can opinions on these sorts of issues POSSIBLY be that simplistic? Put any two people in a room; throw this topic in, and no matter how closely they would appear to agree on the surface you will find nuanced elements of agreement and disagreement in their take on the matter.
Still, this is the internet, LET THE THUMBSDOWN FLY.
Allow me then my moment of binary exultation: for any and all of you who believe that the fact we should not have been involved in this war in the first place is a valid reason to leave the Afghani people to be butchered I am ashamed to be a member of your species. Your callous disregard for human life sickens me.
If you want to bellyache about the hows and whys of getting into this ridiculous war, then go burn a politician or two. They at least deserve it. The Afghani people are innocent, and they don’t deserve to be abandoned by us simply because the political winds have changed.
How polished your halos must be, and how righteous your moral certainty. That you would throw away the lives of others for your own self satisfaction sickens me. Soldiers at least know what they are signing up for. The Afghani people weren’t given a choice.
I am /NOT/ trying to justify the fact that we are involved in this war. I am SURE AS HELL not trying to justify western imperialism. All that I ma saying is that in the particular case of Afghanistan, the whole thing was been such a clusterfuck for the very beginning that now we are stuck between a rock and a hard place.
We put these Afghani in the situation where they are now considered collaborators and traitors by the Taliban. Even if all they do is try to live their lives and ignore us, the Taliban consider them collaborators because they didn’t fight us to until they were all dead. So if we leave, the Taliban return and butcher EVERYONE.
Is it RIGHT That we put these people in this situation? HELL NO. Should he just take our ball and go home? HELL NO. What we should be doing is stop pussyfooting around with this political garbage and give our troops the resources they need to end this damned war quickly and decisively. The quicker we can bring this to an end the fewer lives lost and the quicker we can spend resources on training the Afghani to take care of themselves.,
If we were even HALFWAY decent as countries, we would be paying reparations to the new country for the next 50 years along with huge amounts of training and education to ensure that the locals never have to take this sort of shit from us or anyone else ever again.
Of course, that probably won’t happen because our politicians are asshats, but at this point I will settle for “ensuring the locals don’t end up another middle-east “cleansing” statistic.”
How this pile of internet trolls gets from that opinion that I am either supportive of US.gov or trying to explain away or excuse our involvement in Afghanistan I will never comprehend. I don’t give a rat’s ass about the politicians involved or their “Right” to have incriminating documents withheld.
If there is one person on this earth who DOES deserve to be burnt as a witch its Cheney, and all his cronies are not far behind. I call for war crimes tribunals, except – oh wait – the US apparently doesn’t believe in the international criminal court.
What I care about are my friends the soldiers on the ground, and the Afghani people who didn’t deserve ANY of this shit happening to them. Apparently however caring about anything other than the moral self-satisfaction of people who bitch on the internet is worth a squillion thumbs down.
So be it.
I am not going to go dig up names of informants and post them on the internet when the thrust of my entire beef with Ass. is that he posted names of informants on the internet. Think about this carefully for a second.
As for “character assassination of an inconvenient or embarrassing individual” you are completely and utterly wrong. I CACKLE WITH GLEE at the thought of the American government being embarrassed by the kinds of things that show up on Wikileaks. I don’t support US.gov, the American military, large corporations or any of that. The more embarrassing and politically inconvient someone is, the more I want to give my hard earned cash to their cause.
Where I draw the line is the instant anyone is put at risk. This would be no different than publishing a list of known sex offenders. Sure, there is a side that legitimately can say “we deserve a right to know/think of the children!” On the other hand, there are places in this world (even/especially in the US) where having your name on that list will get you lynched. When you consider a country like the US where you can be put on a sex offender’s list for sexting your significant other, then I would have some /very/ serious reservations about the release of that information.
Release a document however about how many sex offenders were living in a given area/the government lost track of/something else that doesn’t include personally identifiable information and I will be the first person to stand up for the right to do so.
Do you understand the difference here? Release of information that is embarrassing is one thing. Release of information that can endanger the lives of others is a different kettle of fish entirely.
At least it is to me: you are of course welcome to your own opinions on the matter.
@AC Re: "star spangled banner"
I think you are making some pretty big assumptions there buddy. I in absolutely /no way/ support US.gov, America or it's policy of capitalism colonialism. I do wholeheartedly support the right of the individuals who make up a country to be allowed to choose their own leaders and political system. If they choose capitalism, I will mourn. If they choose socialism, I will cheer. The choice should be theirs however.
Personally, I suspect that after decades of meddling in their affairs by foreign powers, the emerging regime will be FAR from compliant with the US, the EU, Russia or anyone else. Personally I have zero problem with that. I do have a huge problem with a forced theocracy just as I would a forced dictatorship of any kind.
I support my CANADIAN troops in theatre. Just don’t get me confused with someone who supports US.Gov. My beef with wikileaks is NOT support for US.Gov.
You are correct, I am as guilty of armchair criticism as anyone else. you believe that by publishing everything unredacted that this will "keep governments in check." I happen to disagree. First of all the regular Joe American citizen isn't reading what's posted. They're barely aware of the controversy at all. Secondly, there's nothing in those documents that shows anything untoward enough to get a politician or military leader in general. It's a lot of routine stuff that basically covers the disposition of troops, names of informants (and what they told us) as well as strategies, tactics, assessments etc.
Lots of stuff that frankly is helpful to the Taliban, or even to our troops in theatre, but doesn't tell the public at large anything. "There's a war. We do war-like things. We make some mistakes as anyone does, we get our ass handed to us periodically." There is information that hasn’t been published, it’s true. If there were information that were scandalous and could/should be getting politicians and military leaders into hot water /and didn’t compromise the troops on the ground/ then I would be the first person in line saying “this needs to be published.”
In fact, after the war has been fought and we as the public of the nations involved need to assess how it went down and what needs to change for next time I wholeheartedly believe that everything short of the names of the informants should be released whole hog. At that point it shouldn’t compromise any ongoing operations or provide strategists on the opposing side any details relevant to predict our moves. What it would do is allow is to see exactly what went on, and press for legislative changes if necessary.
Understand that I am not pro-war. I am certainly not pro-War-in-Afghanistan. In my personal opinion we should never have gotten into this mess in the first place, but we’re sort of stuck. Right now the locals are living in the middle of a war zone where terrible, TERRIBLE things like the wedding incident you describe happen. We leave and the Taliban reclaim the country and brutally subjugate the population, exacting some pretty horrific revenge for anyone who ever “collaborated” with the allies. (That is not a statement pulled out of my ass. The Taliban have done this more than a few times during the war already. Letting them reclaim the whole country would be unconscionable at this point.)
Let me put it more bluntly: the whole war in Afghanistan is a shitty damn situation. It was badly handled from the get-go, but what Ass. has done isn’t helping at all. Worse yet, it may well compromise individuals on our side. There were better ways to deal with this, and I frankly expected more from wikileaks.
Count me among the Canadians confused about how in the fnord we ended up there in the first place. We've been there how many years and I still have absolutely no clue how the hell we ended up fighting over that particular stretch of land. That said, we're there now; let's get the thing done and bring our men and women home. Personally, I think this war would be better run WITHOUT the Americans. If I had my way, we’d kick the yanks out, gather some real international support and return to Afghanistan in blue berets.
Soldiers come back from their tours knowing that other soldiers will be shipped out in their place. Many of them sign up for more than one tour because of what they see there. I can't speak to the Americans, but i know several Canadians who, upon completion of their tour, volunteered to return with the next group because they felt the job wasn't done.
Android users will accept that this is a malicious application and deal with it accordingly. If it were an iPhone app and had made it through the Holy Censurewall, it would be considered a feature, not a bug. (Okay, that’s flame bait because I’m irritable. I retract the statement.)
Of course, the Holy Censurewall does offer a far better chance that something like this would never be released for public consumption, but periodically apps are missed. I think the existence of apps like this does reveal the need for a middle ground to exist. Something more open, (or at least far more consistent) than the Holy Censurewall, yet not as “wild west” as the full-blown Android Market.
Perhaps Google should consider tinkering with the market a little such that you can choose to see “vetted” apps or “all” apps. Either that or a App Confidence Rating. Not the crowdsourced star rating that is easily gamed, but a rating similar to the Web Of Trust system. Just for apps instead of websites. Preferably this would be something where minions not only of the Chocolate Factory, but Symantec, Sophos, SANS and whomever else are trustable security types contribute to the ACR.
I don’t see why we have this whole new platform (smartphones with app stores) but we are making the same mistakes as twenty years ago on the desktop market. Why are “control-freak walled garden” and “free range sanity holocaust” the only two options?
Yeah, yeah…getting my coat.
The way this has all been explained to me is as follows: the information coming from the local informants is unbelievable valuable for keeping our folks alive. One of the big things that comes from these informants supposedly is information such as “what roads IEDs have been placed on.” Alternately “the bad dudes are planning to be here at this time” which has helped the allies avoid ambushes and the like.
If that information dries up then simply going out on patrol becomes far more risky. They do their best at all times to be on alert for IEDs, ambushes etc…but knowing beforehand where to look can ensure that they pack extra precautions. A UAV over flight, or taking an IED robot to sweep in front of the convoy.
This isn’t true in all areas of Afghanistan, but in some areas, particularly where the Canadians currently are, they are apparently quite reliant on this information, as there simply aren’t enough resources available to send up a UAV for every patrol, or send a crawler in front of every convoy. If we stop receiving this information then we have to make far less educated guesses about when to deploy the appropriate resources. This in turn leads to more of our guys getting blown up.
I am sorry if you don’t see the connection there, but that seems pretty cut and dried to me.
...are they still here? From all the media, you'd think Android was the only Linux left. (Well, I do use RHEL on the Enterprise side of life. In the IT circles at least you do hear quite a bit abotu Red Hat still.)
Good on them for innovating! Soon they will catch up to Android/Sense in terms of UI, but be an actual real Linux distro to boot! Now if only they had a decent marketing budget to take advantage of the fact that Microsoft's ability to execute anything recently has gone walkabout. The window of opportunity is now, and it won't be open long...
…eventually they’ll wise up and replace Ballmer.
Good luck Canonical!
These documents were CLASSIFIED. They are supposed not for public consumption because, at time of classification, they contained information that could compromise ongoing military activities. I am not saying that US.Gov doesn’t classify WAY too much material, but we aren’t talking about classifying where the money for the $40,000 hammer and the $10,000 toilet seat went. We’re talking about classifying information about ONGOING ACTIVITIES in an ACTIVE THEATER OF OPERATIONS. You don’t just release this information for your ego, and you sure as hell can’t expect the US military to help you break the law. (Release classified materials is a federal offence.)
On the flip side: there are processes in most civilised countries, (I am unsure if this is true of the US,) whereby a review of classified documents can be called for. It is usually an extension of what in Canada we would call the Freedom of Information and Privacy act. FOIP requests can be made to have documents (or at least redacted documents) declassified unless there is a currently valid Damn Good Reason for them to remain classified. This is the proper way to go about obtaining information about ongoing operations where the documents in question would put people’s lives at risk.
Releasing classified materiel whole hog and then after the fact saying “well, if you don’t like it, help us redact them” is bull****. If the US doesn’t have proper FOIP legislation, then THAT is the battle that Ass. should be fighting. If he cares at all about “the cause” and isn’t in it just for his ego then he should be fighting for expanded declassification and freedom of information rules. He should be declassifying information in a one-sided fashion.
Understand that I say this as someone who respects and reveres the right of the public to know what governments and corporations are up to. I believe in nothing so much as the rights of freedom of the press, and I revere no one so much as proper investigative journalists. You can read my past comments here on this site if you have doubts. What Ass. did was wrong. There simply are far better ways to go about this that don’t put my friends at risk.
I used to respect wikileaks
There is a difference however between leaking evidence of illegal activity on behalf of a government and putting lives at risk. I have several good friends currently posted in Afghanistan, and I really hope that this arrogant **** doesn't get them dead. Something like half the people I knew growing up have served there in the past few years, not all of them came back. Several that did come back didn’t exactly come back whole.
The thought that some douche might get people I care about dead just for his ego is almost too much to deal with. Very upset with this whole situation. What ever happened to wikileaks serving as a way to keep corporations and governments honest? The information in these leaks isn’t scandalous in the least; it isn’t evidence of anything untoward on behalf of the governments involved in this war. It’s a detailed list of who’s who and where; just the kind of information that the Taliban require to get our men and women dead.
Regardless of the how or why the war started, it is a WAR. We kill them, they kill us. We spend resources on converting folks on their side so they will leak us information, they do the same. In this case though, Ass. has revealed huge numbers of informants and classified activities to the Taliban whilst we learn nothing new from them. It’s a huge boon for the Taliban in that they can now target turncoats on their side as well as analyse the documents to extract information about how our side plans and executes strategies.
They may even be able to get a feel for which units serve which purposes, and lay traps to get rid of the particular thorns in their side. Understand me when I say I am no fan of the Americans, nor do I really think they should have gotten involved in the Middle East at all. I am however a proud supporter of Canada’s military, and I don’t want to see my friends get killed because of this Ass.hat.
We are at war here. If we simply packed up and left right now that country would be worse off than if we saw this thing through. Regardless of the origins of this conflict, the politicians or the money-grubbing corrupt corporations that are involved, the men and women out there dying on our behalf do deserve our support. The best possible thing we can do is help them end this war quickly and decisively so that they can finally come home, whilst knowing they did the best they could to leave Afghanistan capable of taking care of itself when they are gone.
The armchair critics of this war such as Ass. have absolutely no idea what is going on there. It’s easy to point fingers and publish documents, it’s another thing entirely to live in that country for months or years and be faced every day with exactly how different, hard and just overall BAD life in that country really is. I know some twat will come out of the woodwork and scream “if you want to support the soldiers, bring them all home tomorrow!” I promise you that would be one of the worst things you could do.
These men and women have lived in this country and seen what goes on there; I promise you that the majority of them would rather lay down their lives than abandon the locals to the wolves. If doesn’t take long living in theatre before you realise that you are truly fighting /for/ something. That the people in these towns and villages are people just like you, and they deserve to live free from fear as much as the armchair critics back home do.
It is my greatest regret in life that I wasn’t able to join Canada’s military, and fight alongside the men and women I grew up with. This isn’t because I agree with the wars we’ve gotten in to, or because I think war is at all a good thing. It’s because I care about these people and wish I could be watching their backs in what is a terribly hostile environment. It is also because I have spent a lot of time talking with those who have returned from Afghanistan, and I have gotten a very vivid picture of just how good we have it here. The folks in Afghanistan don’t have the means to win their own freedom, but by $deity they are trying. With our help, they just might succeed.
So long as egomaniacs like Ass. aren’t allowed to **** it up for everyone. Our soldiers, and the millions of people in that country are counting on it.
When your company name has become an invective, you have...arrived*?
"Someone just discovered a new security hole in $browser!"
"How bad is it? Important? Critical?"
"****. Well, I guess we are going to have roll out patches tonight..."
*For inverse values of "arrived."
They've done a good job with the Zeus botnet, and there are commercial alternatives coming on-stream to handle it. Again, Malwaredomains.com isn't the One True Solution. It is part of what should be layered defence in depth.
As to no-script, the debate was had in the comments section of my previous article:
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.