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* Posts by Trevor_Pott

4900 posts • joined 31 May 2010

Whopping 10TB disks spin out of HGST – plus 3.2TB flash slabs

Trevor_Pott
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Re: Meh. Call me when the 10Tb SSD ships in consumer bulk.

I don't know, man. I look at storage prices of rust drives today and even I can't complain about price. Even SSDs are at an acceptable level. We've reached a point at the consumer and SMB level where the cost of the media is not the barrier.

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Heavy VPN users are probably pirates, says BBC

Trevor_Pott
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Re: BBC Worldwide

You fail to define manipulation in any meaningful way

Actually, I have defined it several times, but by adding the little addition "in any meaningful way" you are giving yourself an out to simply say anything I come up whit isn't "meaningful" if it would prevent you from forcing people to believe what you want them to believe.

it appears to me that any position you disagree with falls under the umbrella of postions being somehow forced on people.

Demonstrably wrong. I have an issue with the methods, not the message. Disagree with me all you like. $deity knows I can be as wrong as the next man. Don't manipulate people.

"Choice? Are you saying people are forced to read/listen to these positions you dislike? OP ED pieces are somehow mandatory reading, watching certain newscasts required?"

Actually, to a certain extent, yes. Is one single Op Ed piece an issue? No. Ten or Twenty over a decade? No. IS even one a day, from the same identifiable individual an issue? Provably not.

Where it becomes an issue is where concerted bombardment campaigns are used; where the message is repeated virtually verbatim by multiple sources on every channel imaginable. Writers of various flavours, television, radio, banner ads, text ads, billboards, you name it.

If you want to kick it up a notch of unacceptability, start paying people in positions of authority - ministers, teachers, guardians, politicians, celebrities - to repeat the message.

Now I've just described traditional advertising, which is bad enough. But today's world doesn't end there. In today's world you can use massive amounts of cheaply available research into various socio-economic - and increasingly, Facebook, Google and Microsoft-provided individual - pain points to craft ever more individually targeted messages.

So far from your simplistic portrayal of my objecting to one person saying "this is what I believe" we have moved into "you should believe this" on all mediums at all ours of the day and night straight through to "I know that [issue] is a problem for you and [emotions] are causing [consequences] we will alleviate this if only you support what we believe."

Only now we don't need to get to know the people we're trying to bamboozle. We can do this either automatically or using an "accuracy by volume" approach. After all, repeat something enough times and even the person doing the chanting starts to believe it.

How exactly would you prohibit such "manipulation?

I would ban (or at the very least heavily regulate) certain methods of disseminating "opinion", with more stringent regulation for different purposes and types of entities.

Who decides which opinions are "manipulation" and which are attempts at persusasion?

An opinion cannot be manipulation. The means used, however, very much can be.

Who decides which thoughts are good, which are bad?

"Bad thoughts" actually do have a definition, and usually amount to issues on the schizophrenia spectrum. Usually that's something along the lines of "causing harm to others", and they are typically as unwelcome to the individual experiencing them as they are to those who might end up on the receiving end.

Citizens United was affirmed as correct by minds who saw that political speech should never be regulated or muted. I'm certain this angers many who wish it was and see it as an impediment to the furtherance of their agendas...

Citizens United was the biggest mistake that the United States ever made.

I for one claim no special powers to know what the workings of other minds entails, wether they are being convinced or if they are being manipulated. Anyone who claims they can is delusional.

So you claim you don't know how the minds of other people work and you are absolutely certain that there is no difference between "convincing" and "manipulation". You them proceed to call anyone who is versed in psychiatry, psychology, social dynamics or a half dozen other fields "delusional".

Cute.

Those who wish to stifle the political speech of another, for whatever reasons, are tyrants.

I don't see where I have said that the political speech of others should be stifled. I have said that certain means and methodologies should be restricted universally. By all means, present your opinion, but in a manner that allows people the opportunity to choose to engage with you, or not, as they please. Don't overwhelm any individual communications channel with that opinion, and certainly don't overwhelm all channels.

Don't use dragnetted information about people's lives, combined with Big Data and algorithms to find the words/combination of words/"hot button items"/etc that will give you the highest statistical chance of manipulating someone into doing what you want.

Present your case, let the other side choose to engage with it - or not - and move on. If they engage, then by all means have a rigorous debate, but keep it to the clean. As close to the facts as possible (though questioning the validity of opinion based on the trustworthiness of the emitter of said opinion is generally valid) and accept the outcome - win or lose - with some form of grace.

Your defining me as a US Republican, while wrong, is nothing more than ad hominem.

I don't see how? Unless you take being called a US Republican as a really terrible insult...

You wish to paint anyone who dosen't agree with your nebulous definitions,

Uh...no. First of all, I'm not the one who comes up with the definition for terms like "manipulation". These have actual definitions in the various mind, social and political sciences. The Wikipedia article on the topic is actually a good place to start, but it's only a very brief overview. Despite that, it's quite long and the list of links to other relevant topics at the bottom is huge.

If anything I've discussed here seems vague it is because I am trying to distill what amounts to a Master's degree's worth of knowledge down into the character limit of these forums in a manner that can serve as a decent overview for someone who doesn't even believe in psychology. (You aren't a scientologist, are you?)

or your political agenda as a bogeyman and have choosen that particular stripe to paint them with.

You have no idea what my political agenda even is. So how can you define what it isn't? I have no need to "paint" people who disagree with me as the boogyman. There are people out there - scientologists, for example - who very much so are boogymen. Republicans aren't boogymen. Lost, confused, and tragic, perhaps, but not boogymen.

Also: being as how I'm not USian, what is the point of painting someone who disagrees with me as a US Republican? I might as well call them "squirrels made out of cheese". There is no benefit to me in doing that; it cannot affect my country's politics or advance anything I believe in by doing so.

No, I asked if you were a US Republican because a lot of what you were saying sounded very aligned with their message and I was attempting to determine if you were simply resorting to their talking points - at which point I would simply hit "ignore", because you would have proven yourself incapable of actually thinking past the propaganda handed you - or if you actually believed what you were saying.

It is not your place, or anyone's for that matter, to decide/define "thought manipulation."

You're wrong. There are entire disciplines of science where making that call is in fact part of the job, and they use empirical evidence to do so.

Elitists love to try, after all they know better than others and do these things for the people's own good, being superior to them and all...

Waitaminute, just a ways up in this conversation you accused me of trying to paint everyone who disagreed with me as a "boogyman". And here you are wielding the word "elitist" as though it were the vicious club of boogymanery. You, sir, are a hyprocrite, and I collect my $200.

Also: the ability to use empirical evidence to determine things (like when a human brain's cognitive centers are being bypassed during decision making in response to external stimuli) is not "elitist". It's science. Unless you are saying that science itself is elitist and that we should all collectively reject science...at least when it disagrees with the political agenda you are trying to push....

Your worldview leads to a totalitarian state...

Actually, the evidence is rather to the contrary. Nations which have placed limits on speech - especially limits on the means and methodologies allowed have been shown to be far more stable, with much less social strife and a higher standard of living than the US.

At least, when you use "standard of living" measurements that includes "a decreased wealth gap", "% of the population engaged in the political process" and "level of political corruption" as standards. I understand that these are standards rejected by the Republicans and thus not generally accepted in the USA as part of their standard of living calculations.

Anyways, have fun with all that anger against the "elites". I hope you find what you're looking for in life.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: BBC Worldwide

"The act of attempting to persuade another to see your point is now the heinous crime of "thought manipulation?" This can be applied to anyone making an argument for their side. But some arguments are more equal than other arguments, eh?"

Not at all. Laying out your argument for others to consider and/or act upon is not and should never be banned. No matter how vile your argument is. That said, "laying out your argument" is completely different from "manipulating people". Scope and methodology matter and they are the difference between debate and manipulation.

"And BTW, Citizens United also allows Labor Unions the same rights as it does the evil greedy corporations."

And why should labour unions have the right to manipulate others? Two wrongs make a right? Also: not all corporations are greedy and a great many are not evil (though a great many are).

"Short of inciting crime or putting people's lives in direct danger, freedom of spech should approach absolute. Tryanny is otherwise..."

Well I strenuously disagree with you. The world is not binary. There are gradations of acceptability and there are limits to the methodologies one should be allowed to employ in making their voices heard, regardless of your political persuasion or which arguments you are putting forth.

One thing does jump out at me in your comments, however. The strawmen you are injecting into my arguments imply very heavily that you believe I am a supporter of your political opposition (you appear to be a USian Republican) and you have apparently ascribed to me every one of the political beliefs that you associate with "the enemy". Unquestioning support for Labour Unions, for example.

It should be pointed out that A) I'm not American. B) I am something of a centrist (by Canadian standards, anyways) with a belief in fiscal conservatism, but social progressiveness. My beliefs are fairly nuanced and not fully represented by any political party in any country I am aware of, though Canada's Liberal party and I currently agree on more of the broad strokes than any of the other parties here seem to.

A good example of where things are not remotely so black and white is that I do absolutely support the right of workers to collectively bargain - and hence the right for labour unions to exist - however, I believe that there needs to be strict controls on the powers and scope of labour unions specifically because of the historicity of their involvement with the political process and the use of some frankly appalling tactics of manipulation on their own members.

Collective bargaining of workers to represent those workers as a unified front to employers? Fully support. That same entity involving itself in municipal, provincial or federal politics? Absolutely, 100% against. As stringently as I am against the involvement of corporations in same.

I am for the right of the individual to make informed decisions. That means transparency of all major social constructs, for corporations to unions to government and beyond. Individuals deserve privacy and human rights; social constructs do not. I do not accept corporations, unions or governments as "people" excepting as minimally necessary to perform their function in our society.

"Influencing people" is not one of those functions. "Manipulating people" is absolutely not, and in my opinion should be considered a criminal act. (Again, this is about the methods, not he message.)

Social constructs such as corporations, unions, governments, NGOs and so forth exist to serve the people. We do not exist to serve them. The should stay the hell out of our business - and our heads. Personally, I'd lump religion in there too; if I want to join your religion, I'll do so. You shouldn't have the right to spend squillions evangelizing at me attempting to "convert" me.

And that's what it's about. Choice. The right to make informed, rational choices with as free and clear a mind as possible. Not under threat of coercion, not with someone or something holding money, your job or some other aspect of your future hostage. The right to learn, to research and to make up one's mind without our own psyches, instincts and history being used against us.

Evidently, you don't feel we should have that choice. Manipulation of the weak by the powerful seems to be just groovy by you, and the more money you have the more you should be allowed to exert control over others, politics and $deity knows what else.

And if my beliefs make me evil to you - or anyone else - then I'm okay with that. Can you say the same?

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: BBC Worldwide

@Jack of Shadows

"Slipper slope" arguments are only a logical fallacy if A) a mechanism by which the cascade can begin isn't identified and B) historicity of similar events isn't supplied. In this case, I think you are correct and there is quite a bit of history to show that scope creep is functionally inevitable, were such legislation to be enacted.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: BBC Worldwide

As a matter of fact, I do consider the Kotch brothers to be highly dangerous and a massive detriment to society as a whole. And I do believe in transparency regarding political funding and limits to that funding. I also believe Citizens United was one of the biggest mistakes the United States has ever made and that the influence of any one individual over politics via monetary donation need to be limited. (Though I understand why that's not at all popular amongst corporations or the rich.)

If you do not - or cannot - understand the whys and wherefores of that, well then it's no surprise that you and I have some radically differing ethical beliefs as regards the extent of freedom of speech.

I'm going to go out on a limb here and say you're probably one of those who believe that freedom of speech should be absolute because you don't believe that "manipulation" of others is even possible. You probably are one of those who believes in the innate right to "convince" someone to do what you want using any technique whatsoever short of the application of physical force.

I wonder if you believe in emotional or psychological abuse, or if you believe that is something made up by "liberal hippies?" *shrug* I could, of course, be wrong about your beliefs in this matter, but your arguments sounds suspiciously similar to the kind of ultra individualist tripe I've heard before...and flat out don't buy.

I don't have a problem if you have different political beliefs than I do. I really don't. But I do have a problem with anyone of any political persuasion using psychological manipulation as a means to their ends. And just so we're clear, there are examples of individuals and organizations that do just that on both sides of USian politics, and in most other countries I have studied.

The difference is, a lot of those other countries have taken significant steps to outlaw it. (Though much to my shame, Canada's conservative party has spent the better part of the past decade trying their damnedest to dismantle such protections.)

The world isn't black and white, and when you wade into the grey things become very, very fuzzy.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: BBC Worldwide

"And this would prove what? That you stalk people you disagree with and NetKop them? You're proud of this? All because *you* claim what the AC sez is wrong? Doesn't the AC have the right to his opinions or take on matters? Or is it just you that have that right?

Might I suggest you make your case, refute his points and let the marketplace of ideas pick the winner. You sound more than a bit obessive..."

Freedom of speech isn't absolute. It never has been. And when what you say becomes actually dangerous laws in virtually every country allow for action to be taken. I honestly believe that the AC in question's bold-faced falsehoods are a danger to readers. That leaves me with two moral choices: challenge him at every turn (which is impossible, as he appears to be paid to astroturf full time, whereas I have work to do) or put the effort in to prove he's violating the rules and have him censured.

Similarly, the "marketplace of ideas" concept only works if both sides are being forthright (or at least as forthright as they know how to be.) When one party to a debate is outright lying and has zero moral compunction about doing so then they can say anything and proving it becomes nearly impossible, especially if they manage to be vague and weaselly enough about what they're saying.

What's more, most of my family are shrinks. The tools and techniques of manipulation and coercion are fairly well known to me. They are deployed by this individual with great skill.

In addition, who you are matters a great deal in the arguments you present. When a lot of what you are presenting is forceful opinion as opposed to dry facts that can be dispassionately analyzed the individual spouting the opinion matters.

So, unless you are one of those people who (wrongly) believe that all humans are impervious to manipulation and coercion, that we are all perfectly rational individuals who always make rational choices (provable bullshit, by the way) then what this fellow is up to very, very wrong. I am attempting to gather enough evidence to prove it.

Let's say I see a car park itself just outside my condo complex every single night and stay there, engine running, for 12 hours a night, every night. People come up to the car, the window is rolled down, some furtive movements that look like items being exchanged occur and the person leaves. Dozens of people interact with this car ever single night for weeks. The car is always in the same place.

Let's say that I get the license plate number, perhaps some video of the exchanges, and maybe even proof that exchanges with minors. I wait patiently and get a few shots of the faces of the folks in the car. I then check this against publicly available databases for local gangbangers in an attempt to determine which of the various local police forces and/or which specific task force I should bring the information to in order to achieve the quickest response.

Is that stalking? Or being through? Or should no citizen ever report such things because that's a violation of the rights of the drug dealer?

As far as I'm concerned, analyzing the actions of the drug dealer while they are in public, in front of my condo complex is not stalking. Following the bugger home could be stalking, and not something I'd do. But gathering intel on their activities in public in front of my home, and then figuring out A) should something be done about this B) who the hell are these people and C) who best to report this to all seems perfectly rational to me.

And thus it is with the anonymous coward in question. I believe that what he is doing is reprehensible. Not because "disagreeing with Trevor Pott" is somehow bad - for the love of $deity, please disagree with about things! I'm no bastion of perfection or absolute integrity! - but because of a combination of the techniques used and the sheer volume of posts.

In point of fact, the scope of the operation is part of the issue. It is a fairly well known group psychology technique that the more you repeat something (and the more you repeat it under differing circumstances) the more you can convince people of anything, even if it is demonstrably false. If you encounter a lie told as truth at every turn you will eventually accept it as truth, often questioning your own sanity and/or perception of the world at large.

This is one of the reason astroturfing campaigns are so viciously effective. Look at - for example - the Tea Party. The entire thing was functionally a Kotch Bothers propaganda arm funded by them through FreedomWorks, Americans for Prosperity and a few other outfits. They through massive amounts of money and manpower at it and it succeeded beyond their wildest dreams*.

Personally, I like a good, vigorous debate. A great example is this thread. There are people disagreeing with me here and I think that's a good thing. Many of you have valid points, and they need to be raised. My morality and ethics deserve questioning just as much as anyone else', and - believe it or not - I do honestly consider the points made by those arguing in opposition to the views I present.

That doesn't mean that I have been convinced that I am wrong - so far on the topics in this thread, I have not been so convinced - but I believe that you are all right to raise the issues and let others decide. I am just as capable of hypocrisy and simply outright being wrong as anyone else out there.

With the exception of when someone hides their bullshit under the anonymous coward button, if I find someone particularly annoying (say, for exmaple, jake), then I can simply "ignore" them. It's a feature us "gold vultures" get. And that's a great solution to folks like Matt Bryant or jake.

These are annoying twatdangles that irritate the piss out of me, but they don't present their arguments using the tricks of the psychomanipulative trade. More to the point, they have the courage to allow their comments to be consistently attached to a single pesudonym, so their commenting history can be easily reviewed and someone reading the tripe they have on offer can make an informed decision about believe (or not) what they have to say. (Something, BTW, that the anonymous coward very purposefully prevents by using the AC button for every single post.)

I believe very strongly that we all have an ethical duty to one another. The Register's comments section is a community. One where the "police" are overburdened and only get to attend to issues on a very part time basis.

The last time I raised an issue about a commenter with the powers that be (Eadon) they nuked the individual completely. Not just a suspension, or even a ban, but an actual nuke. Expunged everything the person ever wrote from the database.

That wasn't what I wanted at all. I was thinking a suspension was a good plan for the simple fact that the individual in question was attacking the writers of the publication, and going way overboard. Sadly, it was long enough ago I don't remember too many of the details - just the broad strokes - and by nuking the entire posting history I can't just call it up and say "here are the hundred or so posts over a two day span that made me raise the flag".

In this case we have an AC I think is a dozen times as much of an issue as Eadon ever could have been, in that I honestly and truly believe this AC is setting out to manipulate and coerce people to their detriment. But I don't believe in simply asking the overburdened "police" of this little community to Ferguson the fellow because that's easiest. Instead, I intent to learn from my mistakes by gathering the evidence, making my case and seeking a rational and proportionate response.

Now, if if you have a problem with the above, that's your right. But at least take the time to understand the situation beyond the mundane simplicities of easily digested "sound bites".

*See http://www.npr.org/2011/02/25/134040226/in-wis-union-battle-focus-on-billionaire-brothers and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Political_activities_of_the_Koch_brothers for a decent overview. "Five years ago, my brother Charles and I provided the funds to start the Americans for Prosperity," David Koch said at an AFP rally in 2009. "And it's beyond my wildest dreams how AFP has grown into this enormous organization." Etc.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: BBC Worldwide

@loopy lou

A professional journalist is also something of a historian. We know damned well that nothing begins and ends exact where we are told it must be considered. Everything chain reacts. Considerations of this one event must take into account the inevitable scope creep. The loss of mission. How humans - in their very human way - will rapidly let this get out of control.

And mark my fucking words, if we allow laws to be passed that demand we prove what is in our tunnels, going to jail for refusing - or for what's in them - will happen very quickly.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: BBC Worldwide

I'm not the down-voter, because I mostly agree. But isn't this comment OTT:

"but I should go to jail because the beeb thinks that's "suspicious"?"

If that were what BBC America were suggesting it would be appalling - but they aren't. Maybe we can focus on the real problem rather than hyperbole.

No, this is the real problem. Let's say that I am suspected of copyright infringement because of "VPN + Heavy usage". I am then faced with "prove your innocence by showing the traffic that went through the VPN or {unspecificed badness}." I refuse. Now what? I lose internet access? I'm fined? They get a warrant for my computer?

Then what? They discover the next Snowden's treasure trove on my PC and I go directly to jail? A dark little whole from which I will never emerge?

This goes beyond just "we're looking at your traffic and demanding you prove what that traffic is for purposes of copyright enforcement". Copyright enforcement is the thin end of the wedge and this opens a door to metric fuckloads of badness.

The Beeb's take on this is bad enough. If it were adopted, a "benign" mechanism now exists to demand a peek inside your tunnel. And then tunnels will have to go through MITM proxies...

Once you remove the presumption of innocence for copyright purposes, where does it stop? And where do the sanctions and consequences end? Why should any of us condone opening pandora's box here?

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: BBC Worldwide

"This coming from the man who some time back threatened to - can't remember it verbatim - "use everything within my power to find your real name and name and shame you" with regard to another AC because you didn't like what he was saying. Should I accuse you of thinking anonymity's OK only so long as it's something you approve of, then?"

You're free to accuse me of anything you like, but the difference here is that I have no more access than that anonymous coward. I must unmask him through unearthing sources, analyzing his writing, catching him up. I don't get to use overarching superpowers to track his IP address, snoop on his login capabilities or so forth.

I have to build a case. Find evidence. Prove who he is hte hard way and that what he is saying is wrong. I am the accuser and the burden of proof in that regard is on me. As it should be.

Is anonymity sacrosanct? No. But this is the difference between a targeted investigation and a dragnet. I have a suspicion that someone is using anonymity on the internet to disseminate falsehoods, outright lies, and subtle misinformation. I believe that his actions are dangerous and detrimental to society as a whole, but my suspicion does not give me the right to superpowers and I have to investigate and build a case.

Once I have my case to hand, I do entirely intend to go to those who have their finger on the button and demand something be done. But I refuse to ask them to use their access to pull his records and information to bypass his anonymity. That's the bridge too far.

"I know you like to post things to evoke emotions in people, but really ... And again, I'm not agreeing with what the Beeb said, just pointing out you were misrepresenting it."

I don't see how. The beeb said that if we use a VPN tunnel combined with heavy usage we should be considered copyright infringers and have to prove that our traffic is legitimate. You agreed with this.

That means you are saying that we should accept being considered guilty unless proven innocent. That suspicion by a power-that-is is enough to shift the burden of proof from the accuser to the accused. You can try to doll it up as much as you like, but the instant you demand that anyone "verify that their traffic is legitimate" as opposed to force the accuser to prove that the traffic is illegitimate you have created a system whereby we are all guilty until proven innocent.

If you want to create a system wherein "VPN + heavy usage" is viewed as a valid reason to open an investigation into an account, well...I won't like it, but I can't really counter that one easily, either. That investigation should then have to gather and provide evidence before taking action. It should at no point have the right to force someone to "prove their traffic is legitimate."

Ask for such proof? Sure. Even inform them that failure to provide such proof will mean that the investigation moves from a casual bit of bureaucracy into something more detailed. But failure to prove what they are pushing through the tunnel should never be a reason to take any action beyond "further investigation" and it absolutely shouldn't be used as a rationale for sanctions.

This is the fine line that is being danced around here. I don't claim to be the living embodiment of perfect morality or ethics...but by $deity I'm nowhere near so fucked up as to say "VPN + heavy usage = prove your innocence".

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: BBC Worldwide

"They are stating there should be mechanisms to verify that the traffic is legitimate,"

So I am guilty unless proven innocent, and that's perfectly okay with you? what's more, I have no rights to confidentiality, anonymity, privacy or protecting my sources? As soon as I am suspected of copyright infringement all my other rights disappear unless I prove that my traffic was legitimate?

And if the traffic I am working with is the next Snowden release? Or proof of corruption in the office of the ISP criminality investigator? What if I what I am transferring is my collection of personal sex tapes? Investigators and/or copyright holders have the right to view all of this at their whim because of their accusation that I am a copyright infringer?

They have zero proof of anything if I am using an encrypted tunnel. Zero. Merely accusations.

And what will happen to you if you're VPNing while black? Summary executions? Jesus H mother of almighty Christ, man...the scope of what you suggest terrifies me.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: BBC Worldwide

Dear downvoter: I have a question for you.

What is the difference between saying "heavy downloaders are probably pirates" and "black people in baggy clothes are probably shoplifters?"

Where does the burden of proof lie? On the internet subscriber? Or on the accuser? Are we innocent unless proven "probably" guilty? Or are we guilty until proven "probably" innocent?

Please, do explain your logic.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: BBC Worldwide

I move half a terabyte a month through VPN that is legitimate. It's part of being a journalist. I will sometimes get copies of VMs for analysis, or troves of e-mails...but I should go to jail because the beeb thinks that's "suspicious"?

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Applelutely fappulous: Fashionistas bow down before the JESUS PHONE

Trevor_Pott
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The fact that you "love" any company means that you're stupid and not worth spending time on.

The company in question is irrelevant.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: Crossed wires?

@Dave 126

SuccessCase wrote: "If we are going to anthropomorphise companies. I would say if you have people queuing outside your shops for weeks to buy the stuff you make, before you have even shown the world what that stuff is, it's a pretty good sign you're the cool kid already."

My issue is that I don't see how people queuing up for something is a sign that you are cool, let alone a "pretty good sign". People queue up for all sorts of things, sometimes for days, which even the people doing the queuing will openly admit aren't cool in the least. (See: "The Room").

I am not saying Apple isn't cool - though I honestly have my doubts that this is the case - I am saying that the specific measure chosen "queuing up for X" is a terrible measure of cool. If we're going to attempt to quantify coolness empirically, then before I accept queuing as a standard candle I need to see some evidence that the two (queuing and coolness) are somehow related.

Really, that's all there is to my objection. The rest was a bunch of [insert pejorative] fanboys freaking out (why?) and my poking the hill to see what the ants do.

The older I get, the more of a bad person I become...

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Trevor_Pott
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"Trevor, I love how you wade in to almost any topic with your own biased opinion (hey, we all have them) and whenever anyone calls you on it, you immediately say that they are biased and/or too stupid for you to waste your time on. You're on the Ted Dziuba tech journalism track I take it."

There are lots of areas where I absolutely have a bunch of biased opinions and enjoy flinging them about just to watch people squirm. Apple is - rather emphatically - not one of them.

Oh, go back a decade and have this conversation with me in 2004 and I absolutely loathed Apple. Not because the product was all that bad, but because I really strenuously disliked that people that bought and used Apple products.

Today? A lot less so. Maybe I'm mellowing in my old age, but I far prefer OSX to Windows 8. I think the iPad is the better tablet (though I maintain I need Android for my phone, but that's because of the tech tools I load up on it.) I see the value in a lot of what Apple produce, and I even see the value in the ecosystem and it's mainstream acceptance.

To put in bluntly: Apple is mainstream, and their walled garden of a constrained ecosystem has some very real and tangible benefits when it comes to finding "an app for that", an add-on, or what-have-you.

But that doesn't mean I think Apple is "cool". I have traditionally thought of "cool" as something exclusionary rather than exclusionary, and there's rather a lot of science to back that up. Thus, while I don't have a particular issue with everyone rushing out to buy iTat, I do think that examination of Apple's "coolness", name cachet, recognisability, and existence as a vehicle for social participation are potentially separate (though interrelated) phenomena that deserve to be examined more carefully.

I might accept your concept that I'm just stampeding around with a chip on my shoulder about Apple if I thought for a moment that I had one. I can name for you a list of companies/products where I have easily identifiable chips on my shoulder. (Let's have a conversation about Sony...) Apple isn't one of them, and it hasn't been for years.

So that makes this entire thread truly fascinating to me. I am honestly and truly approaching the study of Apple and it's acolytes from a dispassionate and only vaguely interested standpoint. It is all a matter of intellectual curiosity for me; Apple has become one of the companies about which I don't have any strong feelings at all.

But lo! There are some passions running through this thread! Question the almighty Apple and her magnificent phenomena and what comes crawling out from under the rocks is absolutely hilarious!

I have no more interest in Apple than an entomologist does in the anthill he pokes. But what the ants get up to when you poke it...that I find fascinating.

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@whatevs I'm not sure my iPad has the right controls for "turn it up a notch". Any idea how to install a different keyboard?

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"You say the room is possibly the worst film ever made. However, that is a very subjective statement."

I don't say that because I personally think it's the worst film ever made. I am, in fact, relying on the assessments of professional critics in coming to that determination. Personally, I'm a connoisseur of terrible films. I love B movies, all the way down to Z movies, and there is a part of me that is tickled by "The Room"'s pure awfulness.

But I also study the phenomenon of "The Room", especially because - outside of California - one of the biggest cult followings is in my own city. Speaking wiht the people who attend these film get-toegethers I have yet to hear one single person say "The Room" was a good, or even passable movie. It is universally held to be awful - often "the most awful, ever" - film by those queuing up to see it.

If you haven't seen this sort of thing, I strongly encourage you to go experience a "The Room" viewing, if you can find one locally. Not for the film, but because the experience of the social event surrounding the film will probably be quite an eye-opening experience for you.

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"it does rather seem you are trying to simply dismiss the fact people queue outside Apple shops as evidence of anything other than a kind of disassociated social effect without root cause"

Not at all. I just prefer to explore all possibilities before suggesting that "Apple must be cool". This is largely because "coolness" generally involves exclusion. This means I buy Apple during the early 2000s when it was a small club of fanatics as "cool". I'm less sure that applies now that it's mainstream. I think a further investigation is required.

"One thing we should be able to agree on is given this exchange and discussion of cool, for sure, neither of us are."

Well I sure as hell ain't.

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SuccessCase; I don't dismiss the costs of queuing at all. I am simply widening my scope of consideration. Queueing, for example, is a social event. People queue for all sorts of things. Star Wars films they KNOW will be crap. Rockey Horror Picture Show. A viewing of "the Room'.

Consider, for example, that last one. "The Room". This is quite possibly the worst film ever made, but queuing up to see it is an honest-to-$deity thing in my town. People go to be part of the "experience'. Plastic spoons rain across the theatre. It is madness.

The movie is itself not terribly popular. It isn't "cool" to go see it, or to be seen seeing it. It is, however, a social "event' to participate in.

"Coolness" confers status...or at least is indicative of status. It is entirely possible for the purchase of something - or participation in things like queuing - not to confer status, but merely to serve as a sort of "ticket" for members to participate in a social experience.

Now, at what point does participating in a social experience become membership in a group? At what point is the group so large that "coolness" is no longer conferred by holding the ticket? Is there a middle ground where one is "cool" by virtue of participation? Or is "chasing cool"? Or is there something larger in the social dynamics under consideration such as tribalism?

Ah, tribalism. The defining element of being human. We are pack animals. In a world of 7 billion people, we will latch on to almost anything to obtain a sense of belonging. Of group participation. Of belonging. We'll even adopt a brand as a defining element of our personality.

That's called brand tribalism. And brand tribalism is - at least so far as I understand it, and as I define it - a completely separate thing from "cool".

So no, I don't accept "queuing up to get a product" as evidence of that product's coolness. Not on it's face. There are so many other things it could be that I take the time to analyses a lot of different things rather than simply seeing what I want - or don't want - to see.

Can you say the same?

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No, SuccessCase, I'm not "happy" with that any more than I was your previous attempt at confirming your beliefs. Substituting one random metric with another isn't science. It's target practice.

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I have alternative metrics. I haven't yet determined their viability because I am still conducting experiments to verify the hypotheses. This is as opposed to deciding what the answer is and then reverse engineering a series of arguments and hypotheses that will (mostly) confirm it.

I am also not interested "gut feel" or any such things for determining what's cool, but rather taking advantage of all knowledge we have in fields like sociology, psychiatry and social dynamics. Suffice it to say that I have come to have reason to believe that "who uses a thing" is only a small portion of determining "cool".

For example, who isn't using a thing can be - often is - just as important. Also who can't use a thing. Humans determine social status and group membership far more by whom they can exclude rather than whom they can include.

I could go on, but it's really not worth the time. Go hit up Google Scholar. You might learn things...if you can see past your own biases and desires, that is.

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What is your hypothesis that the measure you've chosen is representative of the state of "cool"? Why is that measure representative and not some other? Where do you derive your definitions?

I do suggest confirmation bias is a possibility here...

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CloudMask dons cape and sets foot on the mean streets of Blighty

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Re: Sometimes you need administrative access

Then you reset their password and take over the account. But you can't do it without them knowing about it. Which I'm okay with. I'd guess some employers won't be. It's all about the level of secrecy you feel you need as an employer

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DEATH TO TCP/IP cry Cisco, Intel, US gov and boffins galore

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Pint

Re: Verifying the source of the data

I think there is a middle ground here. I agree that TCP/IP was a success, however, I feel it's day has passed. The domestication of horses for use in hauling cargo was a success for much of human history. Eventually, however, we needed to haul more than could be hauled by horses. The train was invented. We have cargo boats and semi trucks and full bore size-of-bloody-houses mining trucks.

Given the mistakes and failures of TCP/IP I think it's absolutely time for something better. That doesn't detract from the past success of the protocol, but it does mean that it's time to stop trying to pull our mining equipment around with ever larger teams of horses.

Also: something something your mom. Because the internet. :)

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Re: Verifying the source of the data

See, I can't agree. It has been a success by some measures. I simply disagree that "uptake" is the only relevant measure.

The fact that they can't get privacy right - and in fact nerfed the shit out of it in v6 - says to me it is as much of a spectacular failure as it is a success. The two can - and do - exist in tandem.

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Re: Verifying the source of the data

"Huh? Are you saying that TCP/IP isn't a success story? From its humble beginnings to where it is now, used on a scale unimaginable at it's inception, designed for a totally different user environment?"

There are far more important things in this world than commercial success. Privacy, anonymity and civil liberties are great examples. Both are things that TCP/IP has fantastically failed to deliver, and IPv6 has completely eliminated.

TCP/IP's time is past. It is time now for something designed from the ground up to ensure privacy and anonymity as a means of helping internet citizens retain their civil liberties.

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Snowden shouldn't be extradited to US if he testifies about NSA spying, says Swiss gov

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Re: It's a long way

http://cdn1-www.craveonline.com/assets/uploads/2012/01/file_181401_0_wolverine300658.jpg

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Re: It's a long way

"Canada would not win a rerun of the 1812-14 war."

sharpens knives

Try us, bub.

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Europe's Google wrangle: PLEASE, DOMINANT Mr Schmidt? More?

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Re: The unfairness goes much deeper

Microsoft are selling our souls just as hard as Google. The difference is, they lie about it. But they profile you, scan your e-mail and feel no moral compunction about invading the e-mails - even of journalists - in order to fulfill their desires.

Microsoft engage in every underhanded, awful thing that Google do and much, much more.

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Re: The unfairness goes much deeper

Few - if any - here think Google are "the good guys". Don't fool yourself. We just see the strings Microsoft is pulling quite clearly and know that - ultimately - Google is the lesser of the two evils.

Give us an alternative, we'll consider it. But when your choices are "Google" and "Microsoft" you pick the one you think will do the least amount of damage. That isn't Microsoft.

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Everyone taking part in Patch Tuesday step forward. NOT SO FAST, Adobe!

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Re: How is it possible for Adobe's software to be so bad?

"Actually, I think they're a kind of nice company in some ways"

Bull. They're hostage-taking extortionists. Period.

Now pay your subscription, even when you can't afford it. NOW! DON'T THINK! NOW! NOW GODDMAN YOU! PAY! PAY UP! NOW!

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Blighty's mighty tech skills shortage drives best job growth in years

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Re: competent IT Staff

Well "aahjnnot", I'm glad to tender my career suicide note as I'm getting out of IT for all the reasons I intentioned, and more. Broad generalizations are a requirement for living in a complex world of 7 billion+ humans all with their own goals, hopes, desires and ambitions. If you think for a fraction of a second that any one person has the ability to consider each and every individual, business, customer and so forth "in depth" then you're mad.

Far more to the point: why bring to bear an in depth analysis on a comment on the internet? Why not simply take the tone of the comment along with the paltry information offered, extrapolate based on the most likely trendlines (using both personal experiences and the best available statistics as resources) and take a "best guess" at what the commenter in question is on about?

As for my "crass generalizations" hurting your feels, well...it strikes me that you doth protest too much. Even if you, personally, are paying people well, "paying people well" is absolutely not indicative of the industry as a whole. And really, that's what we're talking about here. The industry as a whole. Not your tiny little slice of it.

Regarding my cynical assumption that "all employers are bad people", well...yeah, most of them are. I say that as an employer and with a couple of decades as an employee.

If you want advice on how to make your "graduate scheme" work, I will point you right back up at my previous comments. Pay people a decent living wage for their area, and fuck the "market rates" in the face with a rusty tractor. Talk to people who have to buy a home to live in, raise a family, and so forth and find out what they need to survive. Pay that.

Invest not only in the young and desperate but also in the seasoned and the cynical. Show that you will support people through all stages of their career and have demonstrable plans for advancement. Give people a reason to believe in you. To hope. To nurture the dream that IT can be a real career and not merely a gigantic mistake that they've pissed away tens of thousands of currency units on.

The IT industry as a whole is a deep and unwelcoming abyss from which few emerge unscathed and fewer still emerge better off than when they entered. Whatever your belief in your personal and professional superiority you are a part of that industry and the overall trends and perceptions are absolutely something you will have to cope with - and counter - as an employer.

And if you consider the above a "rant", as opposed to advice learned the hard way, then you are indeed the worst of "ears closed" employers; exactly the sort that I railed against and that you claim so vociferously not to be.

Mind the hoi polloi, sirrah. They keep you in shoes.

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Re: >Career Path anyone?

Yes, I do. They voluntarily live in the US. Worse, in the south! What more proof is required?

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Re: competent IT Staff

@aahjnnot "above market rates" means fuck all when every employer in the market is desperately trying to ensure that the "market rate" for IT staff of all flavours is "poverty".

I don't buy for an instant that you can't find C programmers willing to learn R, or that you can't Microsoft sysadmins unwilling to learn Linux. I just don't buy it. Why? Because I have sysadmins and devs around the world who would be cheerfully willing to learn any technology required - and they absolutely have the background and diversity of experience to be able to pick up virtually any technology in short order - who have almost all walked away from IT due to low wages.

Employers want to pay "market rates" for fresh-from-graduation newbies that live 8 to a flat and don't own a car...but they want 10-15 years experience and a "group-oriented attitude" that boils down to "willing to work unlimited unpaid overtime and willing to never point out flaws in the manager's plans, even when they are glaringly obvious."

Building a business on picking up the young and naive, underpaying them and then burning them out like candles over the course of 3-4 years (which is what pretty much every employer seems to be into in the IT sector these days) is unsustainable in the long term. You are collectively poisoning the well; you are driving the only experienced people out there out of the industry and creating such a negative cultural perception (and rightly so!) of working in IT that "the best of the best" avoid it with a vengeance.

What kind of people would go into IT today? The pay is shite, the expectations are completely unrealistic, the hours are lousy and opportunities for advancement are functionally nonexistent.

There are a handful of positions out there paying decently and treating their staff well. Companies around the world never have trouble filling those.

If you want to obtain - and retain - IT staff then forget about "market rates" and focus on "a living wage" and the ability for your staff to eventually retire. Work on having an actual career path that includes advancement, definable goals, attainable and comprehensible job metrics along with adequate resourcing and staffing for the projects undertaken.

In other words, make IT more attractive than being a janitor. Being a janitor pays about the same most places, but they get more respect from the hoi polloi and have far fewer responsibilities.

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Re: >Career Path anyone?

If you think the people who live in Austin are "batshit bananas ultra-leftists" then boyo, you need to get some worldly experience.

Oy vey.

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Re: >Career Path anyone?

Houston? The fuck, what? The tech action's in Austin! With the added benefit that Austin is also where the people who are not batshit bananas ultra-conservative tend to cluster...

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I'm pretty handy at PHP, and I've been studying up - and practicing - on sucking less at them thar programing structures and practices. I'm probably not far from "competent" at that particular technology...at least as close as you can get, while still using PHP. But would I give up writing to be a PHP dev? Fuck no. That would be a pay cut of at least half.

There is no skills shortage. There's an unwillingness to work for chicken feed. Let the poxy blighters suffer, I say. Pay a man a living wage or get the hell off the job boards!

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IT jargon is absolutely REAMED with sexual double-entendres

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Reticulating splines

Now I want to sleep on a bouncy castle.

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Elon Musk says Tesla's stock price is too high ... welp, NOT ANY MORE

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Re: Shurely shome mishtake - ed

I live in Canada, eh? Solar still works just fine here during the winter. Tilt your panels and sand/snow/leaves/what-have-you fall off. Wind helps.

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NATO nations 'will respond to a Cyber attack on one as though it were on all'

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Re: 'the Iranian nuclear weapons programme'

"declare it to the IAEA as they are supposed to by a treay they signed (NNPT). They have been working on precision triggering of explosives, also required for nukes - and I'm not even sure if that has a civilian use"

Deep bore mining. Very important if you want to sink boreholes because you are a tiny little country and most of your resources are covered in sand and burning.

"Lying poisons diplomacy."

Hence why politics sucks everywhere you go, and has since before our species was verbal.

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"and the only power that's aggressively expansionist is Russia"

Tell that to Taiwan.

Remember, China may have little interest beyond what it considers to be it's "historic range", but that's still a lot of territory, people and resources it needs to conquer to get where it wants to go. A Sino-Russian military alliance that allows both nations to "recover lost territory" is not out of the question at all.

The west looks weak; all talk, no action, and the time for the powers to start fighting over the last remaining (easily accessible) natural resources is upon us. This is why China and Russia are spamming money and aid all up and down Latin America and Africa. They're earning friends the hard way, while western powers use fear and intimidation on those same countries.

The major non-western powers are girding up for war, they just aren't quite ready to jump yet. They learned from the mistakes made by the Axis in World War II; they'll make sure to set the playing feild up before running loose on it.

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Re: Set to Agree?

There are standard munitions.

DDoS, BGP route poisoning, etc. etc. They just aren't "clever". But they work. Just like slitting someone's threat still works, a million years after we first did it.

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Re: Cardiff?

The Chinese have a 5 megaton nuke that fits on an ICBM? How the hell big is that ICBM?

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Hey hipsters: Tabs are so last year, fat phones are where it's at

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Re: Just change the UI

@Irongut

But I typed that comment in using a touchscreen keyboard via Lynx on a shell on my smartphone! THAT'S INNOVATIVE! Just like Metro on a desktop is an amazing breakthrough in productivity and usefulness! Surely there can never be even the remotest of problems with that.

...or are you admitting that UIs should be tailored for the type of input expected on the device? Because that would be blasphemy.

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Re: Just change the UI

Hey, don't get me wrong here, I believe that Metro is innovative. In fact, I think it's a damned good UI in a lot of respects and I have a list of ways in which I wish I could make use of the Start Screen/Tiles on the desktop that I just can't. For example, the "live tile" concept is basically the "war room" display done properly.

But the Start Screen isn't a replacement for the Start Menu. It's very clumsy as an access point to your complete list of (rare-used) applications, and it's disconcerting to use it as a frequent means of getting at regular applications. I don't like full screen grabbers on a mouse-and-keyboard.

AHA; but there are places where what is an entirely inappropriate tool becomes fantastic! Multi-monitor, for example, could be made awesome because of the start screen. While the start screen isn't a replacement for the start menu it is the ultimate evolution of the quick launch bar.

In a multi-monitor environment I want to be able to "pin" the start screen to a given monitor and have it up 100% fo the time. The live tiles would present me with new information for the various applications on a streaming basis while also serving as great one-click launchers for various apps.

Where it all goes horribly wrong is in doing things like "trying to force full screen apps on desktop users" and "taking away a compact, hierarchical menu system that doesn't take up the full screen from desktop users."

Metro as a tablet interface? Actually pretty good. But on the desktop it's about as useful as a command line on a touchscreen smartphone. You can make it work, but it's frustrating and not nearly as useful as on a more approriate device.

WE'LL HAVE TO AGRE

E TO DISAGREE ABOU

T THE TYPOGRAPHY

ELEMENTS OF METRO

AS I FIND THEM RATHE

R ANNOYING.

Microsoft's issue is not an inability to innovate, it's a complete inability to figure out where to apply said innovations appropriately. They just can't help themselves, literally every good idea they come up with is run through a process of "how can we use this to either lock people in to our platforms or leverage a (near-)monopoly in one area to attempt to create one in another area". They can't not think in this fashion, and it completely ruins their "innovations".

Instead of putting their best stuff out there in the manner that makes the most sense, and then competing - even with themselves - they consistently choose to apply their innovations inappropriately.

Hence my very ambivalent feelings towards Microsoft. Unlike Eadon, I don't for a second think that everything Microsoft makes is evil or bad. I have always maintained that Microsoft produces some of the best technologies on the planet, and that they employ many of the smartest people currently alive.

But the best technologies and the smartest people mean nothing if the only way you allow their use is in a manner that is counter-intuitive, frustrating and ultimately actively detrimental to your customers. Microsoft's management, from their licensing to their partner relationships to what they choose to allow in their OS and app design (such as the ability to turn off Metro/get back the start menu or turn off the ribbon/get back the menu+toolbar) is what is earning Microsoft enmity.

Newer is not always better. Novelty is not, of itself, valuable. Your "new thing" must be demonstrably better than the "old thing", and this is something that rabid fanboys of any company never seem to get.

Microsoft makes a lot of new things. What they don't do is make using those things easy, affordable, intuitive or rational. (See: VDI licensing.) Until they pull their head out of their ass, I will continue to mock them and their implementations, even if I respect and admire much of their technology.

I have no idea whatsoever how you feel Oracle innovate at all, or are worth any sort of praise, admiration or even consideration whatsoever. Oracle either have you by the balls and you are a hostage that will pay them anything, or they don't. If they don't, why the metric fuck would you put yourself in that position, given their track record?

Cheers.

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Just change the UI

Just change the UI to something better suited for touch screens. Like maybe a commandline interface, or a pixel-perfect windowed UI. Microsoft's unquestionable success with Windows 8.excellent has shown us what an amazin effect this can have on sales.

And whrn you run out of features after that, there's always a ribbom bar!

Who needs useful additions when gimmicks, nomenclature differentials, splitting one product into two and UI changes can all be used instead? Then jack up the licensing, and sue your own paying customers for not obeying some exceptionally obscure or maddeningly irrational and obtuse bit of your 150 pages of lawyerese.

Money will rain from the sky!

Don't forget to work in "the cloud" and subscriptions. That means more money!

Do not, under any circumstances actually innovate, tablet makers. If you do so, those lousy peasants will learn to expect it. Innovation is costly. You margins will fall. Learn from the PC market, indeed! Kick anyone who doesn't agree with your "vision" to the curb! Get 'em by the short and curlies and then twist until money falls out. The mass market doesn't matter; you can always Oracle the fortune 2000 to success!

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Hyper-converged flash appliances are COMING. Here's one I dreamed up earlier...

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I think you just described the million IOPS Micron all-flash server SAN setup that they assembled for the show, running Maxta on top.

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Kaspersky backpedals on 'done nothing wrong, nothing to fear' blather

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I'd rather die on my feet than live on my knees.

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Intel's Raspberry Pi rival Galileo can now run Windows

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How

Wintelligent

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