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* Posts by Graham 24

96 posts • joined 27 Mar 2012

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Rackspace chases the channel with hands-on 'managed cloud'

Graham 24
WTF?

Odd units

>>> Those who sign up for “managed operations” pay $US0.02 per GB per hour support cost with a minimum monthly spend of $500.

I realise the article is only quoting the Rackspace web page, but how on earth do you measure support costs in GB? GB of what?

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IPv4 addresses now EXHAUSTED in Latin America and the Caribbean

Graham 24
Unhappy

Service providers just as bad

We have some servers colo'd with a big ISP. Despite telling them that everything would be behind a single-IP firewall, so we would only need 1 address for our equipment, they gave us a /28 block, not a /30 block that we actually needed. That's 12 "wasted" addresses just for us.

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Chrome OS leaks data to Google before switching on a VPN, says GCHQ

Graham 24
WTF?

The real world is far from ideal, and we need to be practical

>>> I do believe that the military should not have ANY computer attached to the WWW

By WWW, I assume you mean "the Internet" - they are different, after all.

How effective do you think the military would be if it was unable to exchange information with people outside the armed forces via e-mail, and had no access to the vast information available on the many web sites that are out there?

Imagine if you are in charge of specifying a new fighter for the RAF, or a new class of battleship for the Navy. Are you seriously suggesting that the military should type out all communications and post them using the physical mail? That's what "no computers connected to the internet" actually means.

>>> "the computer I use to post on Internet forums is not the one I use for work."

And let me guess - it doesn't send and receive e-mails from outside the organisation and you only ever use the browser to visit intranet sites, don't you?

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Authorities swoop on illicit Wolverhampton SPAM FARM

Graham 24
Coat

Re: Perhaps more publicity needed?

I'd never heard of it either. I think what we need is some way that people could send you messages about things they think you'd be interested in without requiring your permission first.

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Misco Shared Services Centre drone brands customer 'insane'

Graham 24

Language Barrier

It's always wise to make sure you understand if the person you are talking to has your first language as their first language. Quite often, a perceived insult is nothing more than a "translation error".

You get it a lot on programming fora: someone posts a question, someone else posts an answer, and the OP comes back with "I have a doubt about your answer". This gets interpreted as "I think your answer is wrong", and the responder gets offended, when in fact it usually means "I don't fully understand your answer and have a follow-up question", which is completely different.

Given the name of the Misco staffer and the fact they apparently work in Hungary, I'm guessing that English is an acquired language, rather than their natural one.

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Asia's internet in peril as cable network breaks in TWO places

Graham 24
Black Helicopters

Re: cut in two places?

It's easy to explain - two governments were both placing taps on the cable at the same time...

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Amazon HALVES cloud storage prices after Google's shock slash

Graham 24

Re: Freaky economics

I understand how economics and capitalism work - my point was the juxtaposition of the article title talking about halving prices and the article content saying they were *already* operating at low margins.

It's a curious definition of "low margin" where you can drop prices 50% and still make money, always assuming they are actually making money, of course. It wouldn't be the first time a business has deliberately run at a loss to capture market share and kill off competitors and then raise prices once they have a more captive client base. Not sure I'd want to get into that sort of fight with Google, though. Apparently they also have a few dollars tucked away.

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Graham 24
WTF?

Freaky economics

>> cheap storage ... sold with ... relatively low margins

Relatively low? How much margin were they making before if they can drop their prices by 50% just like that?

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This record-smashing robot solves a Rubik's Cube in 3.253 seconds

Graham 24

Re: solving?

That would be a big database - according to Wikipedia, a Rubik's cube has 43,232,003,274,489,856,000 possible permutations.

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Getty offers 35 MILLION images for free – if you jump (em)bed with it

Graham 24
WTF?

You don't get nuffin' fer nuffin' dese days...

From the Terms of Use:

Not all Getty Images Content will be available for embedded use, and availability may change without notice. Getty Images reserves the right in its sole discretion to remove Getty Images Content from the Embedded Viewer.

and

Getty Images (or third parties acting on its behalf) may collect data related to use of the Embedded Viewer and embedded Getty Images Content, and reserves the right to place advertisements in the Embedded Viewer or otherwise monetise its use without any compensation to you.

Oh good. The image on my web site might just go away one day, but if they stay, might have adverts plastered all over them.

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Blighty teen boffin builds nuclear reactor INSIDE CLASSROOM

Graham 24
Coat

If it's located in Mt Snowden, there's probably a leak somewhere!

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Hundreds of folks ready to sue Bitcoin exchange MtGox

Graham 24

Horses and Stable Doors...

* clip clop, clip clop, clip clop *

* slam *

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Fibre Channel Industry Association extends roadmap to 128G bps

Graham 24

Re: Is it me being thick or this makes no sense

I remember an article in BYTE magazine from the early 90's, talking about the new 25MHz and 33MHz 486 processors that had just come out. The author said that while the 33MHz would be good for servers, they would never be installed in workstations since no-one could possibly need that much processing power.

(Yes I realise this could be considered a variant on the apocryphal "64K is enough for anyone" quote")

I seems to me that every single technology prediction along the lines of "it's nice, but there's no need for something that fast" has been found to be false just a few years after the technology was introduced, and I can see no reason for it not to be true for this too.

128Gb DSL-equivalent to the home in a few years? I wouldn't bet against it...

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Ceph puts on its Red Hat and dances in the open source sun

Graham 24
Unhappy

How much?

No pricing information for Ceph Enterprise anywhere, just the "request quote" button, also known as "let us find out how much you can afford, and we'll price up to that level".

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Amazon's 'schizophrenic' open source selfishness scares off potential talent, say insiders

Graham 24

Re: A retailer, not an IT company

Quoting the not-so reliable Wikipedia and the ever-so-reliable Channel Register:

Amazon.com revenue: $61bn. AWS revenue: $2bn.

3% of total revenue is not "a huge business for them"

Yes, I realise that profit isn't proportional to revenue, but I've never seen profit (or loss) figures for AWS as a separate entity.

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US card scammers pull $2m petrol heist

Graham 24
Unhappy

Oh dear...

Yes, it's a rainy, miserable Thursday and I'm feeling *very* pedantic, but:

"PIN numbers"

Seriously?

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Light, fast ... and pricey: Toshiba's Portégé Z30 – now THIS is an Ultrabook

Graham 24

Bit surprised about the weight

I would say 1.2 Kg for an "ultra-light" is heavy. Technology (in terms of weight loss) doesn't seem to have moved on much. Seven years ago, Sony were producing a laptop that weighed less than this and included a built-in optical drive. (http://www.techradar.com/reviews/pc-mac/laptops-portable-pcs/laptops-and-netbooks/sony-vaio-vgn-g11vn-t-23535/review)

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IBM's Watson-as-a-cloud: Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it's another mainframe

Graham 24

Re: The ultimate jeopardy answer to life the universe and everything.

The question is "What do you get if you multiply six by nine" ?

I had to scrabble about it to find the question, but it's definitely the question. It gives the right answer. Of course, it helps if you work in base 13.

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How the UK's national memory lives in a ROBOT in Kew

Graham 24
Unhappy

Lots of dead trees

Unfortunately, given how hardware and software changes over the years, it seems to me the only real way to make sure all this stuff is archived for future generations is to print it. We can read the Domesday book from a thousand years ago, because it's on paper*. We're having trouble reading the documents from the Olympics 16 months ago because they're in an electronic format that we weren't prepared for.

* or sheep skin or whatever it was back then.

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Drone expert: Amazon's hypetastic delivery scheme a pie in the sky

Graham 24

Cynical - me?

So, a large online retailer releases a fanciful story picked up by all the media on what is reported to be the biggest online shopping day of the year.

I'm sure it's a complete coincidence, nothing more. Move along now, nothing to see here...

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Krakoom! OCZ flies into the ground. Time to salvage the engines and look around

Graham 24
Thumb Up

(So far, unjustified) paranoia

I have 4 OCZ Vertex 4, 2 in RAID 1 as a boot drive and 2 in RAID1 as a data drive. RAID 1 because I'd heard the horror stores, but OCZ Vertex 4 anyway because I picked the drives up at a price too good to miss. So far, not a hint of an issue with any of them.

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Amazon forms THE VIRTY DOZEN to assassinate rival flash cloud servers

Graham 24

Re: 30GB of RAM, 320GB of SSD, and 16vCPUs for $1.20 ..

There's other costs to consider - primarily power if you're self-hosting. But yes, in general, if you need a server 24/7 for months or years, cloud isn't economical.

I have a suspicion that one of the reasons this sort of offering succeeds in the marketplace isn't commercial - it's operational. An IT manager would have to jump through lots of bureaucratic hoops to buy that 10-core server of yours, whereas $800 per month can just be put on his corporate VISA. It costs more in the end, but sadly, it's often the case that controls put in place to ensure money isn't wasted end up costing more than they save.

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Yet ANOTHER IE 0-day hole found: Malware-flingers already using it for drive-by badness

Graham 24

IE Bashing

It's very fashionable to bash IE, but the truth is that all the major browsers have holes. Firefox has fixed 12 critical vulnerabilities (defined as "can be used to run attacker code and install software, requiring no user interaction beyond normal browsing") in the last two releases. So, if you're running Firefox 24 or earlier, your browser has at least 5 critical vulnerabilities in it (see https://www.mozilla.org/security/known-vulnerabilities/firefox.html).

I don't have figures for Chrome, but does anyone really believe that all those Chrome releases that seem to come out every other day are only for new features?

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Feedly gets Greedly: Users suddenly HAVE TO create a Google+ account

Graham 24

Or you could just wait a while...

From http://blog.feedly.com/

"We also understand that some people would prefer to have more identity choices. So we have been testing twitter, facebook and wordpress login options. We will be rolling them out over the next 7 weeks."

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Microsoft's Windows Azure Plan B: A hard drive, a courier and a data-centre monkey

Graham 24
Unhappy

Lack of spelling no obstacle to writing for El Reg

Great - we can now edit posts. Do the improvements to the CMS include a spell-checker for the articles?

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Inside OpenStack: Gifted, troubled project that wants to clobber Amazon

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Facebook reveals 700TB of tiered RAM and flash power Graph Search

Graham 24

Skilled tecnical staff, not managers

>>> Plenty of lesser projects take more time and more people, suggesting the most interesting thing IT pros and their managers can learn from Graph Search might be how the project was managed

Since a number of studies have shown productivity variations of a hundred-fold in programmer productivity, the success is much more likely to be down to the quality of the people doing the development rather than of those who are managing them.

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Fast is the new Black: WD gives laptops' spinning rust a new whirl

Graham 24

Data density?

>>> How WD has managed to make the I/O faster isn't known. The spin speed, interface and cache sizes are unchanged between the old and new generation products.

My guess: they've either increased the areal density of each platter, or increased the number of platters, or both. Either way you get more data moving under each head for each rotation of the disk, so you get higher throughput without changing the rotational speed.

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Google's leaky ship spills new Nexus 5 photos, $349 price tags all over web

Graham 24

Re: Why all the pixels

Because most people don't think like you do - they just assume that more pixels equals "better".

See also: Digital cameras with gazillion pixel sensors supplied with cheap lenses that have terrible vignetting and chromatic aberration.

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Acronis CEO: Anyone can undercut Amazon. Reg hack: Prove it

Graham 24

Apples vs Oranges?

As pointed out, some costs are in dollars and some in euros. But that's just the start of the problems.

Some costs are monthly (rack space) and some are presumably one-off (server purchase). In that case, a pricing comparison is only valid over a period of time, which I can't see anywhere.

Without all the detail, it's just a load of nonsense.

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Send dosh (insecurely) via email, Jack Dorsey's Square tells punters

Graham 24

I don't think you understand the SMTP protocol. What I'm suggesting is that you don't connect to your own e-mail server and get that to relay the message - you do an mx lookup on the domain, and connect directly to the SMTP server that handles mail for the domain. That won't require credentials to allow inbound e-mail.

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Graham 24
FAIL

>> " These days SMTP servers commonly require a username and password"

Err, no. they don't. How would anyone send e-mail if the sender needed to know a username and password on the destination server?

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Facebook throws servers on their back in HOT TUBS of OIL

Graham 24
Black Helicopters

Re: Is it really worth the effort ?

The CPU time won't be used to generate simple HTTP responses. It'll be used for face recognition and other image processing so that they can target advertising better.

Half the photos of you also include your car - sell you motoring stuff. Most of your photos are of you outdoors - sell you hiking boots and waterproofs.

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Hollywood: How do we secure high-def 4K content? Easy. Just BRAND the pirates

Graham 24

Re: Digital signature conundrum

But to modify the signature, you need to know which pixels make up the signature. If you just change a few random pixels in the stream, your now modified copy still contains the verifiable signature.

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OpenDaylight: meet networking's bright newcomer

Graham 24

Double very two years?

"Also CPUs tend to become 20 to 25 per cent faster year over year, so almost double every two years"

25% per year is a 56% over two years, not doubling.

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Amazon Kindle Fire HDX: Bezos dives into tech-support MONEY PIT

Graham 24

Remote Access for Consumers?

"The ability to see what's on the customer's screen .. has hitherto been denied to consumers."

I'm sure that TeamViewer, LogMeIn and many others would dispute that.

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RSA: That NSA crypto-algorithm we put in our products? Stop using that

Graham 24
Joke

Maybe the clue's in the name?

A *deterministic* random number generator? Wouldn't a *non*-deterministic one be better?

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Five reasons why you'll take your storage to the cloud

Graham 24

Re: Cloud?

For the same reason you rent anything - you simply can't afford to buy one of them (e.g a house), or for the duration you need it for, buying one isn't cost-effective (hiring a mechanical digger for the weekend to dig out a patio).

If you need it all the time, for a long time, renting a disk doesn't make sense. That applies to most things that can be rented - it's not unique to "cloud".

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Redmond slips out temporary emergency fix for IE 0-day

Graham 24

Re: Why bash IE? This would be a non-issue if you configured your browser proper.

>> the worst, least secure browser on the planet

Do you have any evidence of this? Tests carried out by independent third parties, for example? Or is this just one person's rant?

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Graham 24

Re: The reason it is still in use IMHO

I'm confused - what exactly are you "sent". A link? Some software to install?

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Graham 24

Re: But why?

All software has bugs. Good luck trying to find a browser that doesn't have them.

Take Firefox as an exanple. FF24 fixed seven critical vulnerabilities (defined as "can be used to run attacker code and install software, requiring no user interaction beyond normal browsing"). FF23 fixed four, FF22 fixed four, FF21 fixed three, FF20 fixed three.

FF was released on 19 Feb this year, or 211 days ago. Since then, there have been 21 critical bugs (see definition above) found and fixed, or 1 every 10 days. Given that, it seems very unlikely that FF25 has no critical vulnerabilities in it.

Bug source: https://www.mozilla.org/security/known-vulnerabilities/firefox.html

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Bristol boffins announce QUANTUM CLOUD

Graham 24
WTF?

Generating matter?

"The Bristol chip generates a photon using a blue laser that is split into two red daughter photons"

Splitting one photon into two? Photons having colour? Shurely shome mishtake?

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HDMI 2.0 spec arrives ... 1.0 years late

Graham 24
WTF?

Re: I cant wait to see the price of a Monster HDMI 2.0 cable

Monster cables are cheap, really. See http://www.russandrews.com/product.asp?lookup=1&region=UK&currency=GBP&pf_id=2436&customer_id=PAA0433090713219NQXICLHHHBGHWOXY for a real laugh.

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Four ways the Guardian could have protected Snowden – by THE NSA

Graham 24
Thumb Up

Re: I wouldn't trust encryption alone personally

You seem to be suggesting steganography, which hasn't been mentioned yet. It seems like a good way to do things - hide in plain sight can be remarkably effective.

Officer: "Show me all your secret documents"

Traveller: "I don't have any. But here's some holiday photos. Here's one of me on the beach, here's another of me on the beach, here's one of my at the bar..."

(Officer gets very bored and waves you through)

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Leaked photos of iPhone 5C parts portend ugly Google legal battle

Graham 24

TV Remote Prior Art?

An electronic device with four buttons, one red, one yellow, one green, one blue.

I've got a couple of those at home, lying on the sofa...

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Now you can be the NSA: Snoop on a Google Glass hipster with a QR code

Graham 24

Re: Bah!

The word "grok" has specific connotations in the computer world. See http://catb.org/esr/jargon/html/G/grok.html

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Samsung takes mobile net traffic crown from Apple

Graham 24

Re: That sudden downturn in IE

I suspect part of it is related to the fact that anyone installing the latest version of Flash or Acrobat Reader for a Windows system gets Chrome installed and configured as their default browser, unless they explicitly uncheck the option.

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Microsoft's murder most foul: TechNet is dead

Graham 24

>>> I'm really struggling to see their rationale for this

No doubt they're hoping that all those people who use TechNet licence keys on production servers will now cough up for a "proper" licence.

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Graham 24

And it will work for one year - you'll get everything you paid for. TechNet isn't closing per se on 31 August - Microsoft just won't be selling any new subscriptions from that date.

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When Apple needs speed and security in Mac OS X, it turns to Microsoft

Graham 24

Re: Hmmmmmmmm

" No viruses are known to affect Mac OS X. None."

http://www.sophos.com/en-us/press-office/press-releases/2006/02/macosxleap.aspx

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