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* Posts by Graham 24

111 posts • joined 27 Mar 2012

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Warning to those who covet the data of Internet of Precious Things

Graham 24

Re: How can IoT stuff help me?

>>> Apart from the 'convenience' of remotely read gas/electricity/water meters (no need to be there to let a meter reader in once a year)

It's not about convenience for you. If the only reason was to make life easier for the householder, the utility companies wouldn't be suggesting smart meters for new builds, which usually have the meters in an external box, so can be read without requiring access to the inside of the property.

It's about:

a) reducing their costs, while not passing those savings onto the consumer

b) implementing demand- and time-based pricing, to further increase their profits and to help load-level the demand.

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Bad news, fandroids: He who controls the IPC tool, controls the DROID

Graham 24

Re: How many

"Strangely, I don't know a single person that's ever had a [malware] problem, and I suspect everyone else is the same..."

Those applications that do things like log your online banking keystrokes tend to keep quiet about it, you know. The whole point of most malware is that you don't realise it's there.

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Google ordered to tear down search results from its global dotcom by French court

Graham 24

That would be the sensible thing to do. Two problems with that:

1) The court rulings are being made by judges, and supported by politicians, who think that "Google" and "the internet" are the same thing.

2) Getting the underlying site to remove the content is much more difficult. If it wasn't, the record labels, media companies etc. would have removed all pirated content a long time ago. Going after a big company is much easier, and makes it *look like* the problem is being addressed.

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Reddit trousers $50m to splash on ads, mobile and cash-generating staffers

Graham 24

Re: It takes money

I suspect a lot goes directly into the founders pockets, but in a subtle passes-the-accounting-audit way.

Recently, there was an article on El Reg about Outsourcery - losing £3.6M on revenues of £3.5M, but somehow the two head honchos were paid over £500,000 in the previous year.

(http://www.theregister.co.uk/Print/2014/08/14/outsourcery_salary_sacrifice/)

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Anti-Facebook Ello: Here's why we're still in beta. SPAMGASM!

Graham 24

They may be hoping that the reverse is true:

"All the rest of my social group have paid for super-shiny-whizzy feature X, so I'd better pay as well, or I'll get left out"

The tricky thing with all these things is getting going. I take your point about chicken and egg, but the same could be said of the first telephone / fax machine etc.

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SHELLSHOCKED: Fortune 1000 outfits Bash out batches of patches

Graham 24

Re: Fortune 1000 overlords SHELLSHOCKED into Bash patch batch

"all of our critical systems on stable, long-term tested software"

"apply security patches automatically within 24 hours of their release"

The first is sensible, but can't be true if the second is true. It can't be really considered stable if you change it as soon as a security fix comes out.

"The risk of a security patch tacking a system down is trivial compared to the potential consequences of leaving a known vulnerability open."

Not sure I'd agree with that. I'd agree it's probably less, but there's many a bug been introduced because someone was in a hurry to get a patch out. The original ShellShock patch has undergone at least two modifications after its initial release.

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Graham 24

Re: @AC re: MS consultants

I don't know of any Linux distributions (or any operating system for that matter) that offers those either.

There may well be a large amount of "the grass is greener over there" being applied, though, which may well drive some changes.

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Graham 24

Re: Fortune 1000 overlords SHELLSHOCKED into Bash patch batch

The trouble is, you really don't want to get notified every time one of packages that's installed on a typical Linux system is updated in one of the main repos. The signal-to-noise ratio would render such notifications useless.

Very few systems are truly "up to date" in that all the software is the very latest that's available. This is even more true for corporate production servers, which tend to be conservatively managed, with a preference for stability over security.

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A Norsified Linux for Windows and OS X wobblers

Graham 24

Re: Bottom Dock/Panel

>>> So much UI design seems just glossier and prettier but backwards in useabily compared with best 1978 to 1998 designs.

So presumably, you now "design" interfaces that look just like the ones from the 1980's? After all, they are much more usable, apparently. Care to give us an example of one you've designed?

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Samsung lays down PCIe server flash gauntlet

Graham 24

Re: marketing shot

A single PCIe v3 lane runs a whisker under 1GB/sec, so if the memory on the card supports a maximum of 3GB/sec transfer rate, presumably four lanes is enough.

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A spin of roulette in the sporty Ford Fiesta Black

Graham 24

Environment too, not just economy

>>> And it has automatic stop start ... This is all done in the name of fuel economy ... It's a £200 option, so would need to save a lot on petrol-guzzling to justify itself.

It's done as much for people walking past the car as much as those paying for the fuel. Nobody likes breathing in exhaust gases.

>>> it has the highest output per cubic centimetre of any car in current production.

Don't think that's right. Some of the exotica has it firmly beaten (e.g. McLaren P1 at 191 bhp/litre, although strictly speaking not in production any more), and for more mainstream metal, the Mercedes-Benz A45 AMG and Audi S3 are ahead (181bhp/litre and 148bhp/litre).

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Aggressive HGST hurls flashy humdingers at online archiving

Graham 24

Re: Pedant/Correction Alert

I suspect all the units are wrong - "DIMM's 2 ms" doesn't look right either. I'm fairly sure I can read more than 500 different locations from main RAM in 1 second!

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

Graham 24
Boffin

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

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

>>> They patch it several times a month.

That's *why* it's so bad. Any changes tend to corrupt the original design. A software engineer will tell you that the first place to look for bugs in any piece of software is the part that has had lots of bug fixes recently.

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NO SALE: IBM won't cash in its chips with GlobalFoundries after all

Graham 24
WTF?

Who knows best?

>>> the company retained investment bankers Goldman Sachs to help it put a value on the division.

Am I the only one who finds it odd that a bunch of bankers apparently know more about how much a silicon foundry business is worth than say, a bunch of people who actually run a silicon foundry business?

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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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