62 posts • joined 6 Jun 2007
A wonderful commentary with some very specific examples. Please visit Canada, do a bunch of research here into the flaws in our system, and produce something similar so I can cover our MPs' walls with it.
On another note: wouldn't necrophilia qualify as "interfering with human remains?" My understanding is that is a crime.
RIP REG because you've named and shamed too many people with this one...
Unregulated Corporatism! (The eventual result of unrestrained capitalism. Yay! History!)
Totally the way to go. All the way man!
Go AT&...oh wait. Enro....damn. Sayta....shit. Banks. The banks have to be something I can believe in! Go banks! What, what you say? Corruption, greed, and shady practices resulted in a planetary financial meltdown? You mean to say that unregulated and unrestrained corporatism ends up apocalyptically bad for everyone but the tiny few in power? Well, who would ever have known?
Let me try to put this into a perspective you can understand:
Giving a bonus to a corporatist is like tipping a rapist.
As for me, back to the coal mines...
Have a nice day!
Notice I spoke specifically about disties. I certainly could pay retail price, or deal directly with Tier 1s, but that defeats the entire purpose of disties. We use almost exclusively AMD products, and I would really love to get off of the dual cores, and at least into some Barcelonas, let alone Shanghai.
Unfortunately, the choices boil down to several unacceptable alternatives. I could use an American Distie, (AMD’s official party line.) This is prohibitively expensive, and ignores the long relationship we have built with our existing distributor. We could buy the parts retail, ship the components to our distie for inclusion in servers, (that way we get the distie’s hardware warrantee.) Again: prohibitively expensive. The other alternative is to use a Tier 1, which is completely pointless if you are branding your own servers, (or in our case pre-configuring them for a very narrow market that a stock Tier 1 setup is useless for.) Much as I hate Intel motherboards, FBDIMMs, and a bunch of the crap that goes with Intel, Nehalems are so far beyond Opteron 22XXs that we’re now deploying Intel servers for the first time in over five years.
AMD’s Canadian distie support is complete crap. End of.
So please, before you go spouting that other people are idiots, read what they write, and try very hard to comprehend.
(And just as a further side note, NCIX kicks newegg’s proverbial as a Canadian etailer.)
Hooray? Maybe about the time Istanbul comes out, we will actually start seeing Shanghai parts in disties in Canada?
AMD's Canadian support is bollocks!
I can't believe it.
So many comments. Not a single "I for one," a mere handful of Paris, and most people seem coatless.
Well: I, for one would have been deeply depressed and saddened had Tea and Ears not kept the lovely and intelligent Moderatrix around. I'd rather a lunch with the Killer Bee than a night 'in Paris,' and yes, why thank you, that IS my coat.
(Truethfully though, I'd have been heartbroken if you left for anything otehr than a fantastic new job Sarah. Always a delight to have you minding the madhouse and keeping us lot in check.)
Everyone's got one.
Windows, like it or not, is an important part of the modern IT landscape. It's developer base is enormous, and there are whack-tonnes of applications extant with no viable open-source alternative.
That said, how your organization treats Windows is entirely up to you. I happen to LIKE active directory as a directory server, so I use it for authenticating all my various machines. I *require* Windows on a limited subset of systems to run mission-critical apps which have no open source alternative.
That said, outside of those, I treat windows entirely as a legacy operating system. We stopped at XP, and have virtualized all our copies of XP used for "office use." The metal boxes under the average user's desk run Linux. We have started the long journey towards replacing exchange, office, and dozens of other applications.
For now, Linux is used primarily as a thin client, RDPing into the Windows XP office boxes, however we are slowly (slowly!) training our staff to use it, and migrating the odd application locally. The goal of course is to have a well-designed PXE "live" launcher that makes the actual hardware under the user's desk irrelevant, and makes for a central change point.
Once we opened up to the possibilities of Linux, (but realizing that Windows was critical, and had to be maintained in certain environments,) there was this whole other world of ease-of-administration available to us.
Other companies have different approaches. The fact that we have the choice is waht is excellent. Any choice except a Mac is one I respect, as long as it is administered properly.
Flames because Administering Macs in a business environment makes me irritated, and I thusly like to inflame the Mac fanbois.
In context, I would imagine you can use Google Voice as YOUR voicemail, but you can't use it to spam or otherwise irritate other peoples' voicemail.
If I read this right, it's that Citrix is giving away it's manament toold.
Niether Microsoft nor VMWare are doing that. This is the kicker here, at least to those of us without the budget for a $100,000 Storage server or two, and $250,000 worth of Virtual Server hardware, and $500,000 worth of VMWare software to lump on top of it.
My org whtieboxes two-socket servers with free hypervisors and runs the whole dang stack for under $100,000K a year. For us, someone giving away management tools is HUGE. This opens up a whole new realm of virtualising Like The Big Boys while still doing it on a shoestring as we have been in the past.
I don't resent people who believe that Ticketmaster et al. should be allowed to charge a REASONABLE fee per transaction to support their staff, nor am I in any way saying I know what a REASONABLE fee is. What I am saying is that I resent those who feel that such things should be FREE. Those who say they should be FREE are saying the efforts of sysadmins not unlike myself have no value.;
Those people can [something highly unpleasant].
Ticketmaster Delivery Charge
You know, I'm not defending the exorbitant amounts that Ticketmaster charges, but there is a logical reason for a fee of some variety to be charged for their service.
They have to hire administrators, call center/support reps for when things explode, sysadmins, programmers, and equipment to host all the various gear running those websites.
This costs money, and that money has to come from somewhere. Since Ticketmaster doesn't set the price of the tickets, they have to recoup those costs via a fee above and beyond what the "at the door" price is.
How large does that fee need to be to cover those costs? Should that fee be built into all tickets, or only those bought online? Maybe "at the door" price should be considered a "discount" over the "standard" of e-delivery? I have absolutely no idea.
My point it that there is INFRASTRUCTURE involved in running something like Ticketmaster, of all people readers of the Reg should understand that. There are also people's salaries to be paid in supporting all of it, and dealing with the inevitable phone calls.
In the end, the same really holds true for music delivered online. Even though the RIAA/MPAA/etc. etc. charge astronomical fees, assuming an artist were with an Indie label, delivering their music via a not-insanely-greedy online distributor, there would still be similar costs involved. Where does this belief that punters should get things for free come from?
Your greedy little freetardism is saying that those involved in the distribution of information don't deserve to be paid. I resent that, and as a sysadmin, on behalf of all other sysadmins involved in electronic distribution channels: piss off. If you want to moan about the bonuses executives and what not make, I'll back you 100%, but there are real people involved in making sure you get a chance to take part in your entertainment, and all of those people deserve to be paid.
Users, lusers, and management, oh my
Everyone here is griping about the ineptitude and lax attitude of users. Bollocks I say. This boils down to incompetent management. Management often has a lax attitude about security until it bites them in the rump, at which point they round on the IT department.
This is typically the part where half the IT department quits in frustration after years of being told by that same management that they were being "too paranoid" about issues like security.
The problem really boils down to usability. Users, management, even most admins don't want to have to remember 50 different passwords, their context, the user and domain they run under, etc. etc. etc. It's just a tool people use, and until the security portion of it becomes a problem, most will wonder why bother with it?
Thus this has become a multi-fold issue: myopic management who don't want to hear what they consider doom-mongering from their techs, techs who can't or won't make security simple and easy, and users who are unwilling or unable to understand that they should be treating access to information as something worthy of more complex consideration than a hammer or wrench.
Rest assured however that IT will always take the blame. You know you work in IT if you have no authority to do anything, and all the responsibility if it goes wrong. Especially if it is actually someone else's fault.
@'Freedom' my arse.
Yes, actually, you CAN demand those things. No one will listen, but you CAN demand them.
When one company so thoroughly dominates the market that their proprietary interfaces and controls have become the "standard," and most people can't figure out how to work a similar device without retraining, then yes, you need to open that device up. The same argument applies to DRM, or to your E-books, or to yes, those Xbox games.
If Ford had patented that the gas pedal goes on the right, the brake pedal on the left, and that the steering mechanism was a wheel, then suing anyone into the ground who tried to make a vehicle that worked the same, transportation would be a nightmare. Imagine if for had a patent on the concept of burning gasoline and/or diesel etc. in a vehicle to make it go.
I don't know the history of that one, but the end result of either foresight and good choices, or being arbitrated into playing fair is that almost all vehicles have a common control interface for the basic functions, and we can use a common fuel.
Someone, somewhere will take up that e-Book reader bit as a lawsuit, just as soon as a clear victor emerges. Especially if it is Sony, who have a dark history of not playing nice with anyone.
This isn't about DRM, it's about a company whose product has BECOME the standard, (and thus sets all standards for it's market. HOW They got to that position and WHY don't matter, regardless of any level of fanboyism. They are there, dominant, and are the deciding entity for the entire market. In order for competition to be possible, and to protect the consumer from abuse of a monopoly, other companies need to be able to make competing products that utilize similar interfaces, and run on the same "fuel."
Thank you for reading, and have a great weekend.
How excellent to have your expert opinion on that. Does that take into account the fact that copper can be easily recycled, and that given humanity's growing need for plastics of every possible description, (and our seeming complete lack of willingness to recycle anything that isn't metal?)
You do realise that the primary use for Oil is creating plastics and other such important chemicals, not powering your 6 tonne SUV with Dual SLI V12 Engines? (With sandbags in the back for extra traction on icy roads, and Quad Crossfire Air Conditioners for the heat.)
Peak Oil is allready in the past, and this MOMENTARY drop in Oil prices will pass. Don't let that deter you, however. Your lifestyle isn't wasteful or harmful in the least, and it is your Diety given RIGHT to take everything you can, and piss on everyone else, the envrionment, and espessially those hippies who think that we should try to live a more moderate, sustainable life.
Now, turn the furnace and the A/C up all the way, and see if they can keep your house room temperature. Now you're boosting the economy! Yay!
Meanwhile...to the sane aprt of the world:
F**K YEAH FUSION. I don't care about the whys and wherefores, is they can get a Tokomak producing more than they put in, on a long-term sustainable level...that's just bloody cool.
There's more here than meets the eye...
A lot of the hardcore "me me me"tards will moan about how they believe Global Warming is a myth, and how the environment doesn't matter etc. etc. etc.
I honestly think that Obama's smarter than that on this one though. This has nothing to do with "green" tech, or cutting pollution or any of that. If you watch his policies carefully, he's really quite big on getting out from under the thumb of foreign oil producers. Probably with a bit of worry as regards peak oil mixed in.
This whole thing strikes me as one small step in a much vaster set of ideas designed to dramatically cut back USian fossil fuel consumption, and thus lessen the dependence on "non-US" supplied energy. (Ignore for a moment the large amount of energy provided the US by Canada, because I am sure most Americans consider as us as good as 'theirs' anyways.)
So, (hopefully) in before the slew of "Global Warming is a lie, Obama is a heathen" etc. posts...just think about it for a moment.
@Anonymous Coward 21:21
Well, I have used Vista. It's horrid. On the few occasions I have to pull that horrid abomination out from under the pile of paper (right beside that macbook) where it belongs, I am amazed ever time at how unrelentingly terrible it is.
Vista's Shell is a shrieking horror trapped in the nether planes between a (mostly) useable interface such as XP/Gnome and the developer-driven (and focused) unusability that is KDE 4. Someone took a left turn at the hallway marked "metaphor for information usage and retrieval" and went skipping off into some mental island of Dr Moreau to breed this mutant catastrophe.
I am not sure what cerebral dysfunction seems to have crept into the once sane mind of modern GUI developers, but they left raw functionality behind. Many, (if not most!) users don't care about flashy bling, or a spinny box, we don't care about a transparent window, or your new idea on how the desktop of file explorer "should" be used. We care about using the TOOLS we have in front of us to accomplish the tasks we need to accomplish with the minimum of fuss, bother, and thought. We should be focused on the task at hand, not how to beat our computer into submission long enough that it will obey. The arrogant assumption by those peddling this trash to the world that we will all of retrain and relearn everything we know (and that has by now become instinctual,) every few years is beyond asinine.
Vista's bastard explorer shell and its terrible network file bug can both die in the most horrible way possible, please and thank you. That whole "ribbon bar" bull can eat 10,000 piles of dung. The KDE developers can get off their elitist towers and let me use my damned desktop the way I have used it for 15 years, and I don't give a rat's arse how much "better" you think your "containers" crap is. Windows 7 and Apple OSX can take their "dock" idea and shove it somewhere highly unpleasant.
The next person who tries to convince me hiding standard frequently accessed panels and information (like my network settings!) behind a half dozen more mouse clicks, and a shag rug’s worth of obfuscation, please do us all a favor, and don’t procreate. That kind of blind faith in the face of unerring stupidity shouldn’t be passed on.
I'm not against innovations in the GUI, but I am against "innovations" that cost me time, or worse yet, flat out don't work. (Vista Explorer/Shell, I'm looking at you.) The bling, and the whiz-bang, well, sell it to the easily amused, but by the gods, let us at least turn that wasteful crap off.
So have to use Vista? Yes, it's terrible, and so are the interfaces for most of the new GUIs. Somewhere, the devs left behind the realization that the vast majority of PCs are used by businesses or "prosumers" who care far, far more about a stable PC that runs the software they need, works with the devices they want, is fast, and lives for at least 5 years before becoming obsolete. We don't use them to be entertained by a goddamn transparency. (In other words: until they develop a far more business oriented interface, they can pry XP and Gnome from my cold, dead hands.)
This isn’t about what the developers think is best. Piss on the developers. If they want to introduce a new metaphor for dealing with information, good on them, but leave us the choice of dealing with things as we are used to. “Close enough” simply isn’t. The problem isn’t new things, it’s removing the CHOICE. Like taking away my Up arrow, or not allowing me to nuke the ribbon, and use a bloody menu instead. (Or drag things on to my KDE desktop, and have them behave properly!)
The argument stands: If you don’t like it don’t buy it/use it.
Well people the world over didn’t, AND IT BLOODY WELL SHOWS.
Thank you, and have an excellent weekend.
Defending yourself isn't "winning a war," it's simply preventing the other side from conquering you. I've no issue with the ability to shoot down small-scale attacks. That's good, and I applaud it, especially is such technology were readily available to all mankind to the preserve the freedom of all citizens of the world from oppression at the hands of *any* power. The concept that there is *ever* a justification for the offensive use of nuclear weapons, "western power" or not is sheer lunacy, however. You can't "win" a nuclear war. If you fire a nuke, you have lost. Period.
The job nations like the US should be playing is that of the international “grown up”: helping the less fortunate nations “grow up” and become self-sufficient within bounds acceptable by the local culture. (Instead of the “grown up” trying to push their culture on the other nation.) The US should stand up to international bullies, not encourage or fund them, and certainly not become one itself.
Wars are a failure to fully discovery and exercise the myriad other options available to avoid them. They are not, I agree with you, always avoidable with the knowledge available beforehand. We all must accept that, but any war needs to be looked at as failures nonetheless, so that we don’t fail to learn from our mistakes, and avoid repeating them.
Just to be clear, the myriad options available do, in my mind include everything from negotiation and concessions to targeted “strategic eliminations” of individuals or groups who assert power, but are unable to wield it while protecting the rights of thier citizens as set forth in the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights. These sort of moves should be coordinated by the “grown ups” in the international community, and most importantly: NO UNILATERAL ACTION SHOULD BE TOLERATED. Not form the US, not from some African tin-pot dictator, not from anyone. Standing up to a bully trying to harm you is nothing more than that. Beating a man over the head with a brick so you can take his water/food/oil/etc. is a failure at the outset.
War isn’t glory, and it isn’t victory, and you don’t win any war, nuclear or otherwise.
@actually WINNING a nuclear war
You can't WIN a nuclear war. Even coming CLOSE to one means you have failed.
To have to fight a war at all is to have failed in all sensible and reasonable attempts at a negotiated peace or compromise. This means that to fight a war at all, you are a failure, and have allready lost.
To fight a NUCLEAR war is completely senseless. At least if you are a psychopath, you can console yourself during a regular war with the idea that you now "rule" the lands and peoples you brutally conquered. You can't "rule" a radioactive wasteland, so it's fail even for the most insane of leaders.
Less videogames for you. More watching the videos of people dying of radiation poisoning until the mesage sinks in.
Support [possive attribute] troops
I grew up smack in between two military bases. Canadian soldiers of the PPCLI, and a bunch of fighter jockeys who liked to rattle the windows. I grew up with them, their families, and half a city that had a special military discount for everything under the sun. This is a pretty tough issue, AFAIK, the US, the UK and Canada are all voluntary service militaries, with shite pay, and even more shite respect. Some people have nowhere else to go, some people feel the need to serve, and some are following in the family tradition.
Make no mistake though, this is a job people choose, and they choose it knowing what they are getting into. Everyone in the military is fully aware they serve the puppet masters at the top, but you have to understand that to these men and women, putting up with that, and your attitudes is the price they feel worth paying to make sure that someone is protecting their country.
If any of you, from any of the participating nations want to point fingers of responsibility and guilt over this, how about pointing them in a mirror. You lot elected those governments, and you lot KEPT electing them. Canada is proof that you don't have to do what the Big Boys tell you to, and if your electorate says "hey, don't invade Iraq, that's a dick move!" then you don't. Yes, even puny little Canada, with our what, 30 soldiers and an effing squirrel, we raised enough of a fuss that we chose to stay out, even though it soured Canadian/US relations for going on a decade.
So if you want to poop all over your servicepersons, I suggest each and every one of you look in the mirror first, because they are doing what you voted for. Nothing stopped each of you who wanted the vote to go otherwise from getting out, protesting, making noise, and convincing others to raise a fuss. For every one of you (non American, sorry, you Americans are hooped,) cynics out there who say that protesting never makes a difference…bollocks. If you have allowed your country to get so bad that you get walked on (12% approval? What?) like Americans, then it’s time to burn the whole place down and start all over. Instead of bellyaching on the Internet, you lot should be out there DOING SOMETHING to positively affect your nation.
Meanwhile, those servicepersons you are deriding will still lay down their lives to protect you right to sit on the net and bitch about them. Just remember, their orders come from you.
Get well soon
Even though I'm not remotely a Mac fan, Steve is an excellent businessman, and has done his company (and himself) proud...so to Steve Jobs: "Get Well Soon."
@Ducks in a row
When Sony creates a "standard" it most definitely is "boo nay! naughty sony!" In case you've been living under a rock, or with a bunch of Macolytes for the past forever or so, proprietary is bad. Everything about Sony is proprietary.
Now, I am not going "ra ra open source, give everything away for free." I am saying OPEN STANDARDS WITH CHEAP OR FREE LICENSING TO INCORPORATE INTO YOUR PRODUCTS. MP3 was a reasonably priced format. CAT5/CAT6 was an open Standard. DVI/HDMI/D-SUB etc. were all output formats that were either free or reasonably priced for licensing.
Compare this to blu-ray, mini-disc, or any of the dozens of other proprietary or open-but-horribly-expensive-to-license formats and standards Sony has concocted. By the gods, you'd think they were Apple or some such.
The reason for these free/fair-and-cheap standards and formats is that it allows interconnectivity between devices produced by multiple manufacturers, fostering innovation, competition and creativity. Sony abhor everything they can’t control, and have never been known to play nice with anyone. So boo Sony standards? Hell yes. A standard created by a large consortium of businesses, governments, and NGOs, released as free specification, or licensed in a reasonable and fair manner that is conducive to competition is the only path forward. It is for that reason, I’ll never buy anything that says Apple or Sony on the side. Boo and hiss at the both of them. (And a naught “shame shame” to MS and a raft of others for quite a few things too.)
It's a far, far better thing I do than I have ever done before...
...a far better resting place I go to, than I have ever known.
Fair journey, Madam. Thank you for the memories.
A lot of comments here...
There's a lot of comments here; enough that it will take time to read htem all. While i read, I think I'll submit this for approval by the masses:
Someone should point the IWF at the *chans and thier ilk. The resulting war would be something worth selling tickets to.
Right then, coat, hat, gone.
I don't think you understand the "rightist" neo-con mentality. If it doesn't blame [insert non-white culture here], liberals, socialists, communists, (yes, ladies and gentlement, there' sa difference between those last two,) terrists, homeless people, unions, and charities for all the ills of the world, then it's a commie pinko leftist libral bleeding heart.
Get yer guns!
Mine's the one with the change for the street people in the pockets, and the volunteer pass to help out at the old folks' home on my way from my state funded school to my state-funded hospital.
Also: FRICKIN LASER BEAMS.
@Into the mysticism are you?
" I would have thought it would be closer to the truth to say that the electricity is thought to increase the flow of "chi" - the fundamental "energy" which Buddhists believe to be within all living things."
"Fascinating to see Buddhists treating non-Buddhists with respect by not shoving their beliefs down their throats. The Americans could try that someday."
Now if only we could get the Athiests to do the same. I respect people of any belief (or lack thereof) far mroe when they do not push thier beliefs, (or lack thereof) upon others.
Please remember that often a lack of faith looks as silly to those with faith as faith does to those without.
I read El Reg inside my Web/Research VM, always over an RDP link. A/V over RDP is fail: please provide text versions of all things cool. Thank you very much, and have a good day.
Reading between the lines on this, I wonder how many of those "angel investors" were former shareholders of Kelkoo. It would need a little investigation, but I wonder if the people who got paid 400M+ euros for Kelkoo managed to essentially buy it back for less than 25%. I wouldn't be suprised to see a lot of the same names on both lists at all.
That sort of makes it look like Yahoo paid 300M+ euros to borrow a company for a while. That's something you don't live down for a while.
Not giving to charity?
What do you expect? They're an American corporation. Vive la capitalism ra ra freedom and all that crap.
My EeePC > Your iPhone.
That is all.
"and you think windows is a buggy OS or harder to deploy than linux...geez you are in for a surprise when it comes to supporting it. and you should sysprep any pc your imaging or cloning if it is to go on An Active directory setup."
Linux to the desktop for the purpose of getting X working, and an RDesktop session out to their VMs requires *zero* maintenance. It's not a matter of "deploy." The machines boot a cut down version of Linux over the network, bring up a basic X Window and a few gubbins in the background like a clipboard, and present the user with an RDesktop interface to log into their VM.
*Poof* Linux thin clients that require zero maintenance, are completely disposable, and 100% interchangeable.
As to your "bash misconceptions on the head," well, maybe ask about things rather than make assumptions. If someone is so lazy as to baw about the pain of sysprepping a machine, what would ever make you think that thier version of "linux to the desktop" would be a "using linux to actually do anything beyond thin client?" Now this is an assumption on my part, however you seem to have a pretty low opinion of the intelligence or competance of people who don't share your views. For future reference: when a lazy sysadmin bitches about how much work something takes, his solution will tend to be something that requires LESS work, not more.
The only thing a sysadmin hates more than having to actually do work is having to do it twice because it wasn't done right the first time. Anyways, good luck with following the white papers to the letter.
Mine's the improvised coat made out of AOL CDs and duct tape, with the homemade wearable computer.
Oh, I understand the whole concept of "sysprepping a machine," and when needed to, I will. On many networks I manage, it's the only way to deal with these issues.
WSUS has absolutely no issues with machines ghosted or cloned without Sysprep, though I will be honest with you in that I have no idea how SMS interacts with machines in that situation.
My point was that hoops like sysprep are a pain in the ass. With VLKs I don't need to jump do that, I can simply clone or ghost as I require, and I make sure we keep within our allowed number of systems. (In fact, in we are in the middle of a "Linux to the desktop" rollout to reduce the number of licenses in use, as we are giving everyone an XP VM for whatever MS software they have to use. No sense in burning a license on the metal, too.)
I am sure that when working for Dell, and HP, and other large organizations, where you have the resources to waste manpower, things like sysprep aren’t a nuisance. But in the SME world, where a Sysadmin is Network Admin, Developper, Bench Tech, Project Manager, and a dozen other hats all at once…anything that reduces administrative overhead is dangerously attractive.
Now, I know that some geek somewhere is going to pop out of the woodwork and exclaim and proclaim why sysprepping or some other hoop is the single best way to do things, etc. etc. I'm not here to fight that battle. What I will say is that the ability to treat the software like a commodity, just like we do the hardware is vital when you can't afford to waste valuable (and expensive) admin time dealing with Microsoft's insecurity issues.
What makes Google’s bit so attractive is that it offers to remove that time wasting layer of bureaucracy. They take care of user portability by making everything run on their servers. If you can front a machine with an appropriate web browser, you are go.
To put it bluntly: every layer of effort between a ticket being raised for a repair (or a new deployment) and both the user being back online, and the offending hardware or software being put back into service costs companies money. Thus why I hate the Server 2008 ecosystem, and why Google’s growing online empire of doom looks so dangerously attractive.
For now, 2003 for me, until something better (read cheaper with the same or more functionality and ease of use and administration) comes along. Who's goign to win that one? Right now, I'm just not sure.
Hatred of Microsoft
Well, that's a bit of a tricky thing. Corporate types despise Vista. We love XP, and we loved 2000. We love Server 2003, and it's beautiful Active directory, Group Policy, integration of all the nifty stuff like Exchange, Live Communications Server, WSUS, etc. etc. Are there better alternatives, depending on your philosophies, tech religion, needs, etc. there very well may be.
The reality is though, Microsoft's "Server 2000/Server 2003" ecosystem works well, it's tried and tested, and it integrates nicely with itself. I can train a lobotomized monkey to oversee a lot of the low level user maintenance stuff, and I can cover my edge in Linux virtual machines that do the heavy lifting. A Linux mail gateway living in a VM somewhere can do all my anti-spam/viral checking on my mail, some Linux box somewhere (or hell, an ISA box, if you have the license) makes a good firewall, and the corporate systems sit behind all of that and just WORK. That's what corporate IT folks like. Systems that just sit around and do their job.
The problem with Microsoft is LICENSING. Sure, we could get into a long drawn out debate about security, patches, reboots, etc...but we've had decades to learn how to deal with that, and corporate IT departments are very good at that game.
No, Microsoft's biggest problem is licensing. Activation is the bane of my existence. I don't have a problem with paying for the appropriate number of licenses...the problem is that repeated activation thing. There is an easy way to do things in the IT world: cloning systems. If I get 40 desktops in, all the same, I build one image, and ghost it to all the others. If I am building a Virtual Machine, same thing: build one image, copypasta the virtual machine until you have as many as you need. Change the names, join the domain, and bob's yer uncle.
Of course, that's against the rules. WGA will periodically discover it's been cloned, and freak out. The solution, from a corporate sense, was the VLK. Gods above and below, how I adore and worship at the alter of the Server 2000/2003 VLKs. I have a fire safe somewhere in this building that has our sheets of information on how many copies of a given app we can spawn from out VLK...but having that VLK means cloning isn't a problem.
Vista? Server 2008? Not so easy. WGA is "new and improved" and makes life as miserable as if you were dealing with OEM or Retail copies.
If there was incentive from the corporate IT world to migrate away from Microsoft, it will be this change in "ease of use" as regards their licensing. Cost, ease of use, combine that with the well-complained about things like patching, security holes, lock-in, etc...and the value provided by "new" Microsoft applications and operating systems just isn't apparent.
Maybe I'm alone, but when I look at migrating to the Vista/Server 2008 ecosystem of applications, the hurdles and hoops from a licensing and driver/hardware compatibility standpoint seem to me as much of a pain as migrating to Linux, or, god forbid, Apple.
For now, we're hanging back on the 2003 ecosystem, waiting to see what happens, if maybe Windows 7 brings something more palatable. If it doesn't, then Linux, Apple, Google...anyone and everyone really become as valid a consideration for platform migration as sticking with Microsoft.
Maybe Google's or Apple’s time has come? If Apple only had directory service (and the rest of the server stack) that wasn’t complete pants, they’d be a valid consideration. If Google offered a “business version” of most of their apps, with a palatable EULA and a corporate-class SLA…
Funny, I don't remember Google giving anything away for free that wasn't designed to kill someone else in a given market either. I can think of plenty of things Microsoft gives away for free, every single one of which, of course was designed to help them sell something else. It's a corporation. Making money is what it is supposed to do.
Google gives away free e-mail? G-talk? Google earth? Microsoft gives away plenty too, things you most likely simply take for granted, or will say are "irrelevant" because you don't happen to like their offerings. Internet explorer, MSN, Microsoft has a maps service too I think...hell, even the .net framework! There are enough applications that MS gives away for free that it could take me all day just to remember them.
Do I like them? No, in fact, I tend to use alternatives. That doesn't mean I don't recognize their value. Microsoft might provide a cheap imitation of some products, (Silverlight to adobe's flash,) but it's enough to drive costs down for the competitor. If Microsoft had never developed Internet explorer, what do you think we'd be paying for every copy of Netscape now? Because we would be, and it would probably be the only browser out there. There are innumerable other examples of how this horrible little company has inadvertently helped the customer more than it has harmed us.
Microsoft has a (fading) Operating system monopoly. It also has a (fading) Office Package monopoly. That's about it. In almost every other market it plays in there are either valid contender with real backing, or, it is the upstart punk struggling against the entrenched monopoly.
Like it or not, in a great many areas, Microsoft's competition has lowered the price of software (and even hardware, in the keyboard/mouse or console gaming field, for example,) for everyone.
I'm no Microsoft fanboy, (for the record, I like my XP as a desktop OS due to laziness and familiarity, and I don't mind Active Directoy, but I loves me my linux for everything else, and am very much getting on the Solaris bandwagon,) but I do recognize that despite Google's flowery marketing, and the tripe they feed to the gullible...
...they too are a corporation. A public one, as I recall, just like Microsoft. With a legal obligation to their shareholders to maximize profits. Google's business model is different than Microsoft's. They don't (currently) rely on licensing software outright. Instead, they rely on keeping you, and more importantly all your lovely data locked into their private network, so they can scan it, and manipulate it, and churn out advertising. That's a great short term plan, because they can give away plenty of free stuff and earn good will.
Once they effectively own the internet, all the software and data on it, they can, and in fact will be legally obligated to monetize every last iota of that, by charging as much as they feel they can get away with.
Google isn't a benevolent fluffy bunny and rainbow factory. It is a soul-sucking corporation just like the rest of them.
I will acknowledge however, it is run by far more likeable, socially capable, and public-relations aware geeks than almost any other IT company out there. They smile, and laugh, mix and mingle, and make everyone love them. It is so very, very easy to forget why they exist, and what their purpose in life is. (To pull every last cent out of you they possibly can.)
Which is why they are so ****ing terrifying.
To those who think this is only about Google becoming an advertising Monopolist: it's not. In order for Google to reach that status that it so desires, it first needs to lock you in to it's software for everything you do on the computer. It has a long way to go, and many competitors to kill before then, but the ultimate goal is now clear: it wants you to use Google <product name> Beta for everything you do in life, from business to personal. It wants you to store your information in it's cloud, and it wants to index everything you view, store, search, send, receive, watch and vote on. It wants to know your likes, your dislikes who you know, what you think of them, everything it can.
The ultimate goal of Google is to have a complete, accurate psychological profile of every single person on earth with enough money to use the internet, so that it can completely and utterly dominate advertising in a way that no other medium ever approached.
And while it's at it, once you and I, and everyone else is dependant upon it's services for everything, it will start charging for them, small amounts at first, but ever more with time, because it has no competition, and that share price has to go up.
You can choose not to believe this, but time will tell the tale, and 20 years from now, we shall see what we shall see...
Penguin, becuase it's off to buildinng more Apache VMs for me!
Well, I might as well get my but in.
This article will inevitably, like all such articles, become covered in a sea of "oh my god, Microsoft would ruin Yahoo! This can't be allowed, Microsoft is evil!!11!1oneone"
And for this I'd like to speak my bit out and against those people: please, for the love of whatever deity you hold dear, (or your own sweet selves if that's all you believe in,) shut the hell up about it.
YES, Microsoft would tear Yahoo! to shreds, rip out the good bits, and leave it's whimpering carcass to molder on the floor to be eaten by whatever scavengers happen to be interested in the remains. I hate to tell you this, but that's irrelevant. No matter how much you love or hate Google, Yahoo! or Microsoft, or any combination thereof...Yahoo! is supper for someone. Yahoo! has a few good services, a reasonable search engine, and, most importantly some very decent human capital. What it doesn't have is the market share, chutzpah, money, alliances, or 'critical app' to go up against Google and even survive over the long term. At the moment, nobody really does.
The sole exception *might* be Microsoft. Microsoft has an enormous cash reserve, and a few remaining Monopolies in areas that won't be monopolies for it very soon. It's old, and looking to change, to diversify it's income in order to survive. Regardless of it's past actions, and what you, me, or bob down the street things of it, Microsoft's impressive resources are the only real chance to form a competitor to Google.
That I say "chance to form a competitor to Google" is important. At the moment, apparently even Microsoft can't buy what it needs to truly begin to compete, and that should set of a few warning bells for anyone capable of thinking past their Google fanboyism. If, by some exceptional chance, Microsoft manages to absorb Yahoo!'s better bits, and all their best people, and if they manage to get enough other significant little R&D companies, new technologies, and form the right strategic business partnerships, Microsoft may be capable of competing against Google.
Now, my rant will go down poorly in most sectors, because far too many people see Google as some sort of angelic internet savior, and Microsoft as the dinosaur-like devil hanging onto the past...but the truth is that if Microsoft doesn't find a way to compete with Google, Google will become the next Microsoft. We'll have another 20 years of a single company dominating the software landscape, and just as everyone eventually grew to hate the greed, lack of respect for customers, lock-ins and other tricks Microsoft played, I guarantee you Google will resort to the same, as soon as it feels it can.
This can really only play out one of two ways: Microsoft can go from being in a position of almost unquestionable dominance to becoming a shadow of itself struggling to survive. Microsoft could alternately go from that same position to something a bit more IBM: one of three or four really major players in its field. Not what it once was, but AMD to potential software Intel, either.
I ask you, Reg readers, what would you rather? Would you, if given the choice, have Google become the only real player in the software field, controlling not only the programs you use, but storing all your data and information in its cloud? Or would you rather that a there be enough competition to keep them innovating, if not honest?
You might not like Microsoft, gods know I have my problems with them, but face reality people: Yahoo is already dinner. Who would you rather have dining?
I apologize to those my rant may have offended, but reading enough "Microsoft is evil, yay the Googleness" comments in these reader sections makes me want to beat the incredibly shortsighted Google acolytes (Googleites?) to death with an Apple Fanboy.
The admin gene
Yeah, it seems a lot of sysadmins have the admin gene. My freinds and family dubbed it "the laying of hands" with me years ago. The ability to walk into a room, stare at a computer for 2 seconds, then just "know" what's wrong.
They are getting some wierd error about the SATA controller, but every test they can run, and everything they do comes back that it should be working, yet it still crashes windows?
*pulls the soundcard*
Voila! It works!
The completely flabbergasted looks on the faces of users and otehr admins alike is priceless. I do like many of the other names for "the laying of hands" however. Seems a common enough thing amongst reg readers!
Do the staffers at El Reg ever take amanfromMars down to the pub? Does he get free pints at the pub when drinking with Vultures? Does he buy the odd round? What kind 'o beer do he drink?
Are his posts formatted the way they are because of your tender RL moderating?
We need to be told!
@amanfromMars: re: Never, Never, Never
…Google, and reading comments elsewhere tell at least part of the story of your digital meanderings. This is good, however, it shows you don't get your news from, (and thus form opinions based upon) only one source. I would hate to think that the source of so many conspiracy theories was a website monogamist!
Digital hussy...this is all wrong. Simply "virtually experienced." :D
That said, post lots. Post more. Post often. It gives us more data to refine our software with. With enough time and effort, we might be able to figure out Who You Really Are. <Insert insane laugh.> (Current money around the water cooler being on a .com King, reading El Reg to keep the pulse of the IT world. I vote Woz.)
Actually, come to think of it, being an awesome enough coder to write something that COULD compare all posts everywhere on every level of the internet to figure out who you are would be fantastic. Alas, I am but a simple Sysmin, and my code-fu is not that strong…
Until next time!
if you have enough money...
...if you have enoguh money for a Macintosh, a dozen pastel-coloured sweaters, an iPod, (in a few flavours,) an iPhone, a vehicle that runs on smug, and every copy of MacFap 2000 magazine, then you know what?
...You have enough money to pay the ransom for the data we just encyrpted.
"Become sucessful enough?" It doesn't need to be. It can be small and unimportant, so long as it targets the right group.
Rabid, frothing at the mouth flaming can commence now.
Conclusive proof of climate change
Climate change is happening. Climate change is a myth. Climate change is supported by evidence. The evidence is unproven.
The only real way human-caused climate change can be proven is by actually experiencing the effects of it, right? If the world doesn't end, and humanity isn't destroyed, then humans CAN'T have an impact on the earth, right? Isn't this the argument here?
So hey, HERE'S AN IDEA: let's burn every fossil fuel we can, let's put every kind of horrible chemical we can think of into the air, and breed more and more domesticated farm animals to raise the methane content. Let's ramp this up as fast and hard as we can, and if we all die (of climate-change related disasters), then hey, that proves that humans can have an impact on the earth!
What do you mean that's a terrible idea?
It's the the only way to be certain, and thus it's the only true SCIENCE.
Ask any oil baron.
You are kidding, right?
Please tell me you don't actually believe that the USians will get a president of honesty, integrity, nobility and honour.
If you aren't aware, the USians of today are not the same people who told an imperialistic Britain to P*ss off, forged a back-room alliance with France, (and by extension her allies), and together started a revolution that would sweep around the world
Today’s USians (and for that matter, UKians,) would love for the world to change, but not if they have to miss an episode of House to do it. The US and the UK have lost their way. Somewhere they got “capitalism” confused with “democracy” and they fight and die for one thing in the name of another.
Unfortunately, as we can see demonstrated by the shining beacon of the crumbling United Kingdom, even countries which prided themselves on democracy and a supportive state can fall to ruin, leaving a soulless shell blasted and devoid of liberties or social support. As a mirror of that, from watching the inexorable degeneration of the US, it’s a short leap to see NHS gone in Britain, and from there, the remains of whatever social programs exist.
Now I know I will be called a heretic, a communist, and other things by the devout believers in the moral exceptionalism of their respective nations, however the belief that a ‘savior’ will come along in either (or both) of these nations suddenly restore them to the positions of social and moral leadership they once occupied is insanity.
The denizens of either of these countries can not unify to enough to even mass protest issues that cause universal angst and strife. (Gas prices, for example.) To think that forward motion would be achieved on issues that benefit the individual at the expense of the state, but in which the denizens of these countries either aren’t universally aware, or universally in agreement is madness.
Laws are made by the people who can ensure, or threaten the electability of a politician. With the growing apathy of a disenfranchised and increasingly self-centric populace, that power rests now almost entirely in the hands of the corporations with the money and will to exercise this fact.
No single politician could ever change this, nor would any politician so dare. To place faith in this process which has so evidently and spectacularly failed is to deny the need for a revolution to take place to bring democracy to the countries that at one point championed it.
And for the record, on this matter, I would dearly, dearly love to be wrong.
EBay sucks for the buyer too. Too many scam/fraud merchants. The buyer might be able to game the system to rip off the seller, but finding a seller on eBay who isn't trying to rip off the buyer is almost impossible. It's a question of signal-to-noise ratio.
When eBay started it was a great place for people with some excess bits to unload then on the wibble, and for the frugal to find a great deal. It had another niche in allowing the exchange of some pretty rare/niche items, or items that were no longer in production.
When the scam artists and the greedy rip-off merchants settled in, the buyers looked elsewhere, because eBay had lost its value. Buyers had to spend far too much time hunting to find anything that wasn't a rip off. (Shipping cost scams are another common one.) Understand I am not saying any auction that isn’t “a great deal” is a rip off. I am saying any auction that is selling a used item above the retail value of a new item of the same make and model, or auctions that are fraudulent are Rip-offs. The number of these compared to “good auctions” is simply unreal. This signal-to-noise ratio is the thing that drives most people, especially the uninitiated, away from the site.
If eBay wants to restore the confidence of buyers and sellers, it would but some bodies in place to review the auctions listed, (or at least review a fixed % of auctions by every seller,) and punt the ones that are obviously crap. It would also cut the scammer buyers off at the knees. EBay needs to realize that the *quality* of the merchants it has on its site matters far, far more than the *quantity* of merchants on its site.
A dense cloud of comments appears
See, now you've done gone and ended me. I live in a redneck province, and finding things like this that continually prove that homosexuality is a genetic trait, something that can be "wished away" makes me the freak outsider. Defending homosexuals against high-handed bigotry can get you in deep around here. Cries of "sympathizer," or "against god." (Dear God, for Christmas, send me a pony, and a teddy bear, and please take all these inhuman bigots and send them straight to hell. Amen.)
(Also, for the god-botherers out there who want to flame me, I am religious, just not Christian, and I do believe in something as strongly, or stronger than you: The United Nations Declaration of Human Rights. Which, while not contianing a direct reference to sexual orientation was written in 1948 where discrimination based upon sexual orientation simply wasn't an issue. The spirit of inclusion encoded therein, however, that sentients everywhere are equal, regardless of ANYTHING, is as strong and important a belief to a great many people in this modern era as anything your, mine, or any other religion has to offer.)
Ranting aside, I am shocked and dismayed (though whimsically amused,) that the article did not contain proof that lesbians in fact liked straight men. (Perhaps final proof that all lesbians were, in fact, bi?) That is, however, just the male in me.
To everyone picking on Sarah: tsk, tsk. It's not her fault one of colleagues decided to completely annihilate the pent up hopes and dreams of a few thousand lonely geeks. No, no, she's the one that gets to read all our comments. The vast number of them. Submitted for all these crazy articles. Somehow this can be abused!
All right, all right, I'm gettin' ma coat...
@ Bring on the cure
Much as people hate to face it...
Much as people hate to face it...a Yahoo!/Microsoft Live merger might have resulted in an entity with the potential of challenging Google. Might, potentially have. Nothing more. Microsoft would not instantaneously gain super powers, and would not even be playing in the same league as Google at that point. It simply might have had a chance.
What gets me is that while Vultures here seem quite ready to moan and groan about the monopolistic practices of Microsoft in it's various arenas, they will defend Google’s "right" to a monopoly with all the powers the internet can give them.
A Microsoft Live/Yahoo! merger could have been a good thing, in that, while narrowing the number of competitors Google has, might have provided one that could have at least stood up to Google.
Microsoft's Live division is a money looser, and we all know this. It bleeds everywhere, and eventually it will have to turn a profit or be cut. Yahoo has is a fallen star desperately trying to regain the glory of yesteryear. Google is an 800 lb gorilla that watches all the smaller animals with amusement, wondering if or when the time might come to squish one or two of them.
Yahoo, backed by Microsoft's money might have forced at least an AMD/Intel amount of competition into that market. Instead, we'll just have Google, alone and untouchable.
Will the last Google fanboi fanatic please remove the chains used to tie yourselves to the googleplex when you leave?
"You could keep them in a sleep stasis state or even cryogenically frozen and let the reentry thaw them out."
Playing a little too much command an conquer there. Frozen "zone troopers" are simply not possible at our level of technology. IIRC, putting a person in cryo and then thawing them is in theory possible, but the circumstances required to do so are...complex. So much so that the process can't be said to be "reliably reproducible."
In other words: you can freeze your GIs, but when they unthaw, they'll be dead.
As to "satellites dropping bombs," apart from the number of treaties that would break, it's economically unfeasible. Bombs need maintenance, systems tests, etc. IIRC, it's $20k per lb on non-man-rated rockets to get equipment up there. To weaponise space enough to offer complete, redundant planetary coverage with well maintained bombs of both precision and "kill the civilians 'accidentally' because we need to steal their resources" bombs would cost far more than just developing a few new classes of plane.
Mine's the one with the mirror-shroud cloaking field.
Up there, in the sky!
It's a bird! It's a plane! It's a...yuppie?
I'm glad no such license exists in Canada. These people can't drive, much less fly. I'd be absolutely terrified with the concept of my province full of redneck oil workers who thought finishing high school was too "inconvienient" becuase "they can get jobs now" with the power to fly. Sad bit is, for less than $200,000, were that class of license available, they would be doing so en masse...
Paris, because, well, imagine 3 million of her flying around in those things.
dot dot dot
Holy VAXen of our ancestors. The comments. They go on FOREVER.
Paris, becuase for a Reg comments section, there's not enough of her yet.
OOOoooo Vistatards versus XPtards.
Hee! Late night fun. Well, before this grows to eight zillion comments about "I use Vista, and it's great, you are all plonkers," "use mac/linux/a broken abacus it's better!!!11!111oneone," and "VistAIDS is fail," let me be the first to say:
I for one, welcome our crap OS overlords.
That siad, it's troll time.
Linux: I love you. You make my web servers spin. You don't talk to all the proprietary third party software my business requires to run, and this makes me cry. You make good web servers, but Open Source egotism, massive fracturing and lack of focus means you may never be more than a server to me. Oh how I wish you were ready to replace all the bits and bobs I need. (Having drivers for most of my printers, and being able to share them out to windows boxes properly would be a great start.)
Mac: Let me count the ways I loathe you. From your unwillingness to run anything made in Java properly, to my inability to properly control you from a directory server, to the administrative overhead required to make you talk and play nice with operating systems made by other vendors. I completely detest you, and all of the mad, mad people who try to run our Java apps on you. Mac, please do me a favor, and either license the damned tech required to work properly in a mixed environment, or just...disappear. Thank you.
Vista: Everything I complained about above for the Mac and Linux goes double for you. Please, either license the tech to work in a mixed, (or even Windows) environment, or GTFO. I don't know which department at Microsoft isn't working with the other, but these network transfer issues, GPO application issues, and the complete inability of explorer to save anyone's settings really must go away now. I know you believe it's not "your fault" you can't properly interact with programs and servers from other vendors. Those Microsoft Windows Server 2003 R2 servers are just so *foreign.* Gods forbid you be able to use a printer driver from a previous incarnation of Windows. Who cares if it was a $50,000 device with a life expectancy of 10 years made by a company that got eaten by someone else. They should backport just for you, or better yet buy all new equipment to replace that which works perfectly well! Well, um...no. Please, please please...die.
XP: Why hello there. How are you doing. Want to go out for tea? Dah-ling, you look just mah-velous today. You just...work. Now, a few things such as, for example, system restore, security centre, indexing, and that really inept firewall/ICS package of yours can cheerfully go to the “disabled” bin, but those I can nuke from orbit with a GPO. You run all the little Java apps I send at you from everyone quite nicely, most things have drivers for you, (or your wonderful little brother, Windows 2000, which you so kindly are able to use,) and you talk to other operating systems not just in a stable fashion, but at full speed! The files on that server over yonder on the network, I can delete/move/transfer them without strange glitches, or insane overconfiguration! Please, stick around for just a while longer.
So before all of you [x]'tards get out your spleen venting, let me troll each and every last one of you with this little gem: "it doesn't matter what is 'best', or 'newest' or 'most secure'.
What matters is what works, because when it doesn't work, a business doesn't make money. After "working" comes (distantly,) "security" then "best" then "newest." In about that order of priority. After decades of working with insecure Microsoft operating systems, most sysadmins have a good deal of experience recovering from a security breach or failure. Improvements are welcome, but not at the cost of basic functionality. Windows XP on a Server 2000 or Server 2003 Active Directory, with Outlook on top of Exchange is a system businesses trust because a) it works, b) people who can make it work are cheap and plentiful and c) it's dirt simple and *familiar* to the majority of users who have to use it. We may not like it, but those are the considerations that sell the majority of software to the majority of businesses.
Fanboyism and religion aside.
Mine's the one with the EEEPC, RDPing into the XP VM in the pocket.
By the time I read the article/posted that it was something like 3:30 in the morning.
Also: 5 mil doesn't seem like a lot to me, not for a ride on a soyuz to the ISS. I believe shipping regular cargo to LEO is someting like $20,000 a pound on the cheap, might-just-explode rockets, let alone man-rated ones. 5 mil being the deposit makes a lot more sense.
Only five mil?
Someone please correct me if I am wrong here, but didn't these trips up to the ISS used to cost 20 mil+? Since when does it cost only 5 mil to vacation on the ISS? Given the low US dollar, that seems really rather...low.
Does that honestly cover all the training, fuel expended, supplies, and the time of all the various people required to keep track of you while you are up there?
On a completely unrelated note...anyone have 5 mil I can borrow?
I hope I'm not hte only one, but this story actually makes me quite happy. It's nice to hear some good news for a change. Go NASA. Please El Reg, keep us informed on what, if anything, they find.
Which probably means "Shaw" or "Aliant" entering the cell phone market in some sort attempt at triple/quad play.
Oh dear God.
Dead vulture: becuase this is the state of innovation in the Canadian telecommunications market.
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