1740 posts • joined Sunday 19th December 2010 15:08 GMT
They're getting desperate it seems...
First you needed to cough up nearly $100,- just to get an option to be able and hack away with your phone, simply because every Windows Phone is "dev locked", so even if you hook it up to Windows then there's no way you'll be able to access the device through .NET calls.
Then they started their refund promo's. Of course; it wasn't really a promo, you still had to cough up the $100,- but Microsoft promised that they would pay you back. Yeah right; that was a very weird deal for people who couldn't pay using their local currency (read: getting extra transaction and exchange costs not once, but two times).
So now, maybe a year or so later, they finally learned. If you check how you can register for Windows phone development you'll see that not only does Microsoft provide a discount, this time it actually is one.
I tried it out and now the annual fee is only E 15,- for me. I can even pay directly in Euro's, how's that?
There is of course a problem.. I've long given up on trying to hack away on the Windows phone, already removed the whole SDK from my computer (even though it really looks impressive) because I really couldn't see the use for it.
But even if I could be swayed there's the issue of me still using Windows Phone 7, and that market is limited due to the current Windows Phone 8. Which only adds up to my approach of "what's the use?".
Quite frankly I'd rather save up those E 15,- and use 'm to pick up my copy of GTA V instead.
Another classic example of too little, too late. Because if I would have been able to dive in for E 15,- when my attention was more "WP7 minded" (last year) then it would have been a no-brainer for me.
Just too bad
That some governments seem more concerned for hiding this stuff than actually fighting it.
But this development is a no brainer; a lot of companies who got their website hacked care only for 1 thing: to have it back up working as soon as possible. Even if this involves risks. So the best thing a hacker can do is simply nothing. And then he'll have a whole box to himself.
In bizarre cases ICT could even be told not to fix any problems because of the risk that the site might become unavailable.
THAT is modern computing for you. Yeah, let's focus on filtering out the results then all is well with the Internet again.
I'd say confiscate the machine and at least hold the person(s) responsible for the web contents accountable too.
So don't shop while at work?
Although I completely agree that this is a pretty good example of what can happen, even if you have "nothing to hide", it also shows another issue: be careful with the private stuff you do at work.
Even at my last job, where the boss was even OK with me hanging around on IRC on Friday, I never ever went online shopping while at work. At the very most visiting a news website or something, but that's about it.
Personally I think that's the main problem at hand here; don't treat your working environment as your personal living environment. It's not. You don't go shopping during lunch break, so why would you go do that stuff online?
One small flaw...
Man in the middle
It's hardly a surprise that as soon as you get near-physical contact to a victims device then you'll get a lot of options to perform malicious attacks. One of the reasons why you should be careful with using your tablet or phone out in the open while you have no clue what (or if) wifi networks are being used.
Of course the majority doesn't care at all, as long as they can read their e-mails, tweets and do some online banking.
"In fact, I'm patenting that right now. Nobody can use their voice to inform emergency services that they were in a car crash, injured or give out their location without paying me royalties."
Good for you!
Fortunately for me my company has a patent on the process of "announcing to patent an automated emergency response system in public". We did that to help prevent confusion amongst people interested in using such a device, not for the money of course.
SO I guess we'll now have to sent you a bill :-)
And the others?
It would also be interesting to know what will happen to the people who, according to the leaked documents, performed illegal and unethical acts while in the service of the US military.
I get the feeling that we won't hear much of that though.
Another example where Microsoft missed the boat..
Before my current Windows Phone 7.5 I used to have a PDA / cellphone alike device called the Toshiba Portege G900. Guess what? It came equiped with a fingerprint scanner as well, and it worked quite well too.
Unfortunately, like so many other things, support for this scanner was near to nill. You most certainly couldn't unlock your phone with a swipe or make a successful swipe perform other feats. No, it was a present feature but never used fully. So basically you could unlock your phone with both your pin code and swiping your fingers. Which only made it much harder, so why bother?
So if this takes off then forgive me for laughing at yet another display of Microsoft having a pretty solid feature yet totally unaware what to do with it or build it to its maximum potential.
With or without..
Too early for conclusions...
Because it's not Microsoft which sent the eventual request; it was that LeadID organisation.
So for all we know $someone could also have tricked LeadID into relaying a bogus request; which would tell us more about this organisation than Microsoft.
Don't worry; it's only a matter of time. Then our "organisation for more security" (with many thanks to all the law abiding spam firms which donated heavily to our cause) will start our next campaign: force browsers to remove all those distracting pop-up blockers.
As you showed yourself they're only hindering decent websites from warning their visitors.
Sure I'm jesting; but how long before morons pick up on this as well?
"THEY ARE NOT STOPPING YOU FROM LOOKING AT PORN."
Once the infrastructure is in place, which is the first hurdle to take, then it will become a lot easier to add extra contents to the filter without anyone knowing. Or worse: redirects.
You know; how people in Europe get Google results on how to book a vacation whenever they're searching for something Eastern, and the people in the US getting results on Islamitic extremists and the likes. It's not full censorship but also not that kosher either.
Isn't it a bit awkward that there seems to be no transparency as to which sites get blocked? As far as I know you can't request a list of currently blocked contents.
So exactly what's stopping them from expanding without anyone realizing it?
"Don't forget all those MCSE's out there who think that AD is god's gift to Admins."
But how long is that going to last now that they can soon no longer play with those toys themselves (hinting at Microsoft dropping TechNet support)?
Missing the bigger picture?
"The truth is that Microsoft can't keep us all happy."
Normally I'd believe that.
However, I think the author is missing or ignoring the bigger picture here. Because one can only acknowledge that it has become "awkward" to say the least that the feeling of dislike is happening all over the place as of late. And if you look at the hard numbers and the way Microsoft has been acting I think there's no denying the issue at hand. This isn't about a few people disliking Microsoft any more.
Lets go non-tech: Gamers. A lot of XBox fans have been in high expectation of the XBox one, and hardly anyone liked it. The dislike spread so deep and wide that Microsoft eventually reversed some of their plans. I highly doubt that they'd go that far if we were talking about "some dislikes" here. But most gamers aren't stupid; they know that unwanted changes can occur after purchase as well, that has now become a big liability for the future of the XBox.
And speaking of Windows 8: surely the extremely disappointing sale numbers say something here?
Sure; let's go modern as well. Cloud you say? When talking "developers, developers" then Microsoft is putting a lot of effort in pushing Visual Studio 2012 forwards. The only problem is that most die-hard Microsoft developers would rather stay on 2010. And instead of acknowledging the whole problem (which, in all fairness, Microsoft has partly done) they're now getting ready for the next Visual Studio version.
Systems engineers? Microsoft whacked TechNet and you can already see some of the impact because of it.
Microsoft has shown a very weird tendency as of late to piss off a lot of their customers, developers and even their fanbase alike. Sure you won't see the effect of those actions the very next day, if you think that Microsoft would be out of business in a few months if those actions were really bad then you're a fool. Changes like that don't go that fast.
But that also doesn't mean that the problem isn't there either.
Surely it's not that hard to realize that if you're losing a monopoly position then the last thing you should do is piss off all the people who actually liked your products?
I'll stick with my Ryan mediaplayer
"Thus, the UI you use to find and display content on your TV is the exact same UI you use to find and display that content on your Android or iOS device or in your browser. The only difference is that when you press the Cast button, the content comes up on your TV."
That sounds awfully troublesome to me. Because in my place the TV sits in the livingroom, neatly before the couch and all, whereas my computer sits in my 'study' (basically a room separated from the living room).
And well, if I want to watch stuff on my TV which resides on my computer the last thing I'd want is having to walk over to the computer, start the contents (automatically missing the first part) then walking back and so on.
Quite frankly I don't really get the advantage here. When I download something to my computer and I want to watch it on the TV I simply put it into a folder which is shared with the network. My Ryan can access my Windows PC, and then play the contents. Better yet: I'm in full control, using the remote I can stop, pause, fast forward; do anything you'd normally want to do. Without even having to get up from the couch.
Use your computer to collect media, then use a mediaplayer to, well, play it.
You're right, but for the wrong reasons
My (small!) company is heavily relying on Microsoft products. I'm using a Windows 7 Professional desktop together with MS Office 2010 Professional, and we have 2 in-house Windows 2003 servers. Some other people involved are more that often relying on Windows XP.
Next to that we also host some websites on a Windows 2008R2 server, and own a Visual Studio Professional license which, at the time of writing, is mainly used for rather extensive ASP.NET development.
Why I think the reorganisation won't mean anything to me? Because the damage has already been done, big time.
Because in my opinion it can't -by far- outdo the impact of Microsoft's decision to quit with the TechNet subscriptions model. THAT is something which really will leave an impact, not only by Microsoft resellers and consultants such as my company, but all over the place. From the single Microsoft systems engineer who is fascinated with this stuff and decides to work on his own expertise by experimenting at home with a testlab, right down to Enterprise departments where an extra server license is out of the question (this will go out of the departments budget); even if it is partly required for testing purposes. That's where TechNet more than often came in.
And Microsoft threw all of that away.
In many regions this day is hardly known and sometimes its considered 'cool' to know about it and to make a good impression as an employer.
I do think its important to be very careful in regions where it is better known. Take the article here; "you can enter a competition", however: "you only need to register here..". And that should really lead up to the question: "So what are you going to do with my data?".
In this case marketing, obviously, but it seems to be to a minor degree: "By clicking this button you submit your information to the webinar organizer, who will use it to communicate with you regarding this event and their other services". Obviously this isn't for me, I don't need more spam, thanks.
So keep that in mind as well. Organisations who may appear to acknowledge "sysadmin day" might not simply do so because they feel good about us sysadmins but because they hope to collect a lot of personal information which can then be used for plain old marketing purposes.
"Really, there are a lot more important things to worry about in the world than people paying each other for sex."
I think its more devious than that: they pay each other for sex without paying any tax to the government.
Now you're suddenly in a whole heap of trouble because when the government realizes they're missing out on some tax income the gloves go off.
It's required. Because how else will those politicians pay for their own escort services?
Nah, this is Microsoft we're talking about. They follow an Enterprise business plan which is much more sophisticated and therefor much better than yours:
1) Provide Linux support for Hyper-V
You might want to take extra care not to take this protest into the US. Because if you do chances are high you'll get arrested and thrown in jail for indecent behaviour; and if you happen to have the misfortune that there were also some minors looking an optional: "endangering the welfare of a child", which can easily end you up in jail for a few years.
4 wasn't bad at all, though I never understood why they needed to force the X environment in there. With some servers X could cause quite some hassle to get it going, which basically resulted in being unable to configure or change your NDS tree.
I'd rather would have seen a DOS based 'NSD Editor', like the many DOS based client and administration programs. I've always liked their colour scheme.
There can be five!
As far as I know there have been 5 Highlander movies ;)
More distant or... ?
"The rock's passing 11 Lunar Distances from Earth, which is to say it'll be 11 times more distant from Earth than the moon."
So basically it doesn't even come within the moons orbit around us. Yet we've also had meteorites which actually came within this virtual boundary, so how does that make this particular object "unsettlingly close"?
Horribly wrong and extremely naive example.
This filter doesn't take down anything, the only thing it does is hide the ugly truth from you. And guess what: there is a lot of garbage out there.
But instead of actually providing any resources to fight these disgusting (self-censored) pieces of (self-censored) (self-censored) who would easily abuse and exploit children the English government now seems to put more effort in hiding the offense rather than fighting it.
Obviously there is also the harsh reality about censorship. This move is wrong in so many ways..
With all due respect..
"The NSA has admitted that the organization's use of Microsoft SharePoint allowed an unnamed sysadmin to leak information."
It's not the use of SharePoint which allowed this sysadmin access; it's the idiot administrator who gave him access in the first place.
What is this anyway; an attack on Microsoft to try and restore their reputation a bit? ("You see; even the NSA doesn't like Microsoft. Surely the NSA would like Microsoft if they had just rolled over?").
Obviously the black helicopter.
Now you're just being mean. Guns are the ultimate expression of a fundamental *human* right called self defence. The right to bear arms and defend your home and family.
Surely you realize that nudity is something completely different. It just isn't normal, even though the whole of humanity seems to be strangely attracted to it at times.
For $deity's sake, think about the children will ya? ;-)
I had nothing to hide!
...but still ended up in jail.
"Obviously, the Chinese are made of stern stuff. To be able to say "I'm being electrocuted" while being electrocuted is no mean feat."
You're overlooking something important: the major differences in the language.
Chinese and Japanese are what I like to call very "direct" languages, the meaning of a sentence depends a lot on context and doesn't use verbs like we do.
In this case it's more likely he said something in the likes of: "I electrocuted" where the latter would be shortened too.
According to electronic translations he would have said: "Wǒ chùdiàn". And I somewhat imagine that he'd shortened it to "wo chu!".
Which is a lot shorter than "I'm being electrocuted".
"Unlike compromised home PCs, there really is no excuse for compromised web servers."
Agreed, but there should be even less excuses not to act against such servers, which is in my opinion the main problem.
If you noticed Internet abuse and then notified the involved parties then it remains to be seen if anything is done against it. More than often people let it slide because apparently they either can't be bothered to fix it or they don't want to upset their customers.
"Are you now suggesting Linus Torvalds should be scared and kneel in front of his lieutenants just because they might fork the kernel ?"
No, but there's a big difference between saying someone wrote horrible code and someone is a horrible person. Because this can only spiral out of control and go out with a bang, unless someone comes to his senses.
Let's assume Linus is right and that no one listens to him if he says (quote:) "please don't do that". Has no one ever stopped to wonder why that may be so?
If you start raising your voice to get your point across you will reach a point where people eventually ignore that shit ("there he goes again"). So you'll have to come up with other ways to get your point across in a way where people know you really meant it.
Let's start swearing..
Yet now you only started a new cycle. Eventually you reach a point where people get fed up again and will ignore it ("here we go again").
Let's start swearing.. in Finnish!
So where does all of this end? Don't forget that most people who tolerate that shit don't necessarily do so because they agree, but because they can't back out. There is only one Linux kernel. But take that prestige or the need away and I think things will come crumbling down, and fast too.
I think you've been watching Ramsey's shows a bit too often.
Could the WWE get involved? ;-)
From Sarah's e-mail:
"Let's discuss this at Kernel Summit where we can at least yell at each
other in person."
Or better yet: hire a wrestling arena where lots of people can watch, make sure you provide a live stream of the event, and try if you can sell some of the rights to the WWE.
I'm sure it would catch on :-)
Then we might eventually get to see the main event too: In the right corner, Torvalds armed with a living penguin. And in the left corner Ballmer, armed with his trusty office chair.
"Do you really think that someone that created the kernel that is used in millions of machines around the world (data centers etc) is ever going to be out of work for long?"
I don't know, but it could very well be. Because what kind of a job?
I don't think that with his attitude you'd easily make it into management. Because as I mentioned in my post; take the power basis away and I think it remains to be seen how much people would put up with the verbal outbursts.
And that leaves me wondering if Linus would actually ever accept a job as a regular programmer any longer?
"But on the other hand, his occasional habit of letting loose when people who should know better make stupid mistakes has probably saved us (as in the many people in the world who depend on linux one way or another) from a lot of grief and annoyance."
I think that had more to do with not accepting the commit(s) than his ranting and swearing.
(ab)using a position of power
I think that's what Linus is doing and it seems he doesn't even realize it.
The problem here is that in general Linus is completely right about everything he says, at least I think so. You should be able to tell people what you think about them and their work. But the thing is; there is a huge difference if you speak amongst equals or people over who you have some power.
Many people put up with the way Linus treats them not because they want to, but because they have to. And it creates a very dangerous situation, because you can forget about any loyalty or such from them.
That may suit Linus just fine, but if the Linux hype blows over then I think he may be in for rough times ahead. Let's say Google manages to push Chrome OS forward even more, and actually treats its developers with some respect. Sure, you can call someone's work rubbish. That's hardly the same as calling him an idiot.
How long before developers would move on?
"If you want to motivate someone, someone who you have no real control over as FOSS developers can stop FOSS-ing and just walk away, you need to adopt an air of professionalism, gain respect and lead by example."
Agreed. However there is another option: "You need to lead a project known and used world-wide, favoured by by millions of people. Then it automatically becomes a prestige for some to actually work on that project. After which you can more than often treat them like shit, because they'll still revel in their prestige".
That is what's happening here in my opinion.
But it's still a dangerous situation, because if people reach a point where the shine wears off and the abuse doesn't things can go down hill very fast. Often it only takes one person to stand up to it and gain some followers.
"And, tbh, he's right about 'On the internet, nobody can hear you do subtle'"
I strongly disagree. The people who matter and value the things you say will hear you loud and clear, even if you do things subtle. I'm getting the feeling that it's not so much the people who matter who should hear him, it's the rest of the world too.
Lets face it: would some of the kernel mailinglist posts have made it to El Reg if it wasn't for the shouting and swearing? For example when he told RedHat off about code signing? Sure, in my opinion he was right on that call, but you can bring a message across without making it look as if you feel better than everyone else.
And there's something else to consider: what would happen if someone forks the Linux kernel, starts a new Linux-like project and actually treats people as they want to be treated? I know no one has done this (there'd be holy wars) but for the sake of argument lets say it happens.
How long before Linus' "lieutenants" bail out? On the other end of the mountain they may still end up in discussions and people disagreeing with them, but they could count on the respect they deserve.
I think this is a liable risk presenting itself right now. People representing RedHat will remain on board no matter what, there's money involved. But hobbyists may reach a point where they no longer think its cool anymore. And then a ship can sink really fast.
Right, you usually replace those scenes with playmobil wasn't it? ;-)
Don't forget X
Its not only NDS which b0rk the Netware experience I think, it's also the somewhat flakey way it operated.
Netware 4 finally allowed you to manage your users from the server console, instead of the 3.11 way of demanding that the server would only be able to manage the server, and as soon as you needed to manage the user accounts you just had to find a client and logon.
I always considered that a major flaw; even more so when a friend and me tried to gain 'super' rights on a school network and his "super" program tried to logon as super approximately 4000 times with a wrong password. Effectively locking out an enraged administrator who didn't have a backup account and could now no longer logon for the following 48 hours.
But the thing is, if memory serves me right you needed X to do it. Netware had embraced X on the server, something which immediately struck me as odd because wasn't that Linux terrain? So if Novell deemed X usage worthy, then surely there had to be much more to that Linux stuff then we realized so far...
I think that also opened up a lot of eyes. Because although many people knew what Linux could be capable of at that time, it wasn't exactly as popular as it is now. And here you had a major network company actually using "Linux components".
Unreal Tournament & II for me
When I picked up Unreal Tournament I was sold. Back then I still played on PC so it didn't take me long to grab maps and mods and stuff and it was always plain out fun. Also because the graphics looked awesome but without overdoing it. Heck, we even played UT on fridays at work. Coolness :)
I fully agree with some of the other posts regarding the static looks of Unreal. Not Unreal per se because that looked awesome to me, but I was still a rookie back then. But I picked up Unreal Tournament on the PS3 a few years back and had the same feelings about it in comparison with the first UT I got on the PC. Gameplay is good, some interactive maps are also nicely executed, but it looks so static and "computerized" that it didn't compare at all to the first UT for me. UT had levels where you could see the rust and dents on some of the arena's, and it also featured some awesome levels too. Like that submarine level where you basically walked across a platform which could be overlooked from all sides. Rocket launcher madness ;-) Yet nothing of that anymore. I hardly spend as much time on UT PS3 than I did on that very first UT game on my PC.
And well, Unreal II was nothing like the first but I enjoyed it. Sad ending though.
Not good enough. The poor guy was obviously using one hand for private negotiations which leaves him kinda incapacitated when it comes to mouse or keyboard usage ;)
He's in luck though...
On behalf of writing a good comment I took it upon myself to look into these fuckbook sites (not because I was wondering what the guys definition of pr0n is of course [cough, cough]) and I think he's in luck!
I found 2. The .com variant advertises to have a dating bureau. So if the guy prefers these digi-chicks over his wife then what's stopping him from re-marrying and f*ck happily ever after?
The .net variant even guarantees that you'll get laid. How's that for a sweet deal?
Yeah, I'm completely convinced it was the innernets fault. Of course it wasn't his fault for not listening to his wife when she told him to cut out the crap. Or when she told him: "Either the pr0n goes, or I'm going".
Yeah, the innernets fault. Not his possibly overly protective childhood or living style which eventually rendered him completely vulnerable to stuff which the rest of the world would call casual n00dies...
I think you meant Bypass
"As such, most require you to run "Set-ExecutionPolicy Unrestricted" on the target server before launching the GUIs. Otherwise they won't work."
Needless to say but doing that is a very dumb idea. The problem is that PowerShell has many networking capabilities and by default is also capable of executing remotely located scripts. Not the behaviour you want if you can't trust the remote source.
Even so, I think Unrestricted wouldn't cope here because if you execute an unsigned script from the Internet under this policy then you'll get prompted before execution. The only policy which doesn't block anything nor gives you warnings or prompts is Bypass.
Either way; using both is a bad idea. There is a good reason why 'Restricted' is the default behaviour.
"MS really need to simplify their pricing structure.(honest Guv1)"
True. My (small!) company is a Microsoft reseller and although you get access to some kind of information regarding licenses more than often even we can't easily work out which license we need to get for our customer.
If you think you're confused then rest assured; it's even worse if you got access to the whole collection of available licenses. Sometimes we and the import company ('vendor'?) couldn't even work it out.
Still, I suppose Microsoft is trying to handle this by pushing their subscription model forwards. I just don't think that's the right way to do it.
I wouldn't jump to conclusions because "strain blocking" could mean just about anything. If they somehow managed to intercept any mouse activity which happens in the lower left corner then Windows 8 would still end up vulnerable.
The should look at Robot Wars (UK) sometimes...
Because I remember seeing robots that used such constructions to move around. Of course a bit smaller, but that's besides the point.
The best part is that when looking at robot wars you'll also quickly learn the flaws with such a design.
Bah, humbug ;-)
"A group of JPL scientists, working on improving space-scale laser ranging, believe they could one day measure the distance from Earth to Mars with millimetre accuracy."
Don't be too proud of this technological achievement you're constructing. The ability to measure the distance between planets is insignificant next to the power of the Force.
(I couldn't help myself. Darn you El Reg! ;-))
One major risk with cloud computing
I didn't really like the article, it was a big vague here and there. Everytime you mentioned seller I sort of figured you meant buyer and vice versa.
"So it's not the technology itself they have trust issues with, the issues are with those who run the cloud services. "
There is, as I mentioned, one nasty risk when it comes to cloud computing I think.
Although cloud computing should basically mean that a virtual instance can reside on many pieces of hardware so that should one of those pieces fail others take over, the reality sometimes shows us different. Many cloud providers basically setup some very heavy hardware and run several virtual instances on that single machine. Sure; the machine may be well set up for redundancy (double PSU's, RAID, SAN, etc.), but still one device.
We've already seen examples (here's looking at Amazon and Microsoft) where a failure somewhere along the lines of hardware caused many instances to drop out and become unavailable. Microsoft even seemed incapable of simply moving instances from a broken set up to a working one.
But here's another concern: What would happen if a government agency has determined that one of the instances on a server is used for illegal activities and they confiscate the entire machine? If your VPS happens to be on that box as well you could be in a heap of trouble, even if you didn't have anything to do with the illegal activities.
I think its a liable risk, but one many people seem to totally ignore.
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