Re: Good article...but.....
" 'The business' are not our clients, they are our equal partners."
Wow, man, you're like there already.
3426 posts • joined 1 Jun 2012
" 'The business' are not our clients, they are our equal partners."
Wow, man, you're like there already.
That was the caption. But the picture said "Become a large busted red head able to operate a laptop".
I escaped IT without doing that and wearing a normal suit, but on balance, had I thought of that as a career enhancement strategy I'm sure I'd have enjoyed it.
"So there's no recession any more, right?"
Plenty of recession still left to go round. But QE has goosed the economy a tiny, tiny bit, people here politicians wittering on about "growth", and think it's safe to spend. Sadly the wheels have just come off the Japanese economy, US consumer spending is grinding to a halt, China's finding out for the first time in recent history what happens after a boom, and the EU remains the same collection of muddle headed twerps trying and failing to solve basic problems of over-investment and excess debt with a medicine comprising extra debt and even more investment.
But apart from that you can pick up some electronic tat cheap if you're prepared to queue and then fight for it.
"and people are just buying stuff for the sake if of it, TV Brands such as Polaroid and Seiki"
And there you have the purpose of Black Friday. Retailers whip up a feeding frenzy with a few choice tidbits, and then throw the rotten meat to the sharks. I presume it's called Black Friday because for the next 364 days the masses rue the day they bought such poor quality crap.
Maybe. But the point of this article is that if you wander round the good part of cybertown you may well get mugged, and there's not a lot you can do about it.
The bad side of cybertown is where poor quality malware is used to recruit botnets to send spam and the like. The users of that side of the web want stuff for free, so by definition have limited money, information that's barely worth stealing. And the malware is of an appropriate grade.
The sort of malware this research considers is made for high value targets, who as a general rule aren't torrenting grumble flicks, trading in bitcoins, or searching for J-law with her kit off. This would be launched through apparently innocent sites - watering hole attacks, for example. Or by targeting a weak link such as low paid employees working in accounts payable with a booby trapped PDF, or even suppliers with systems access (eg Home Depot, Target).
"does nobody else think Microsoft Security Essentials does a damn good job "
It certainly behaves itself - light on resources, quick, invisible, doesn't nag, and (as far as I know) it hasn't let me down. But most lab test results for MSE are less good against free alternatives, and even "real world testing" scenarios show it lags dedicated free products by sizeable margins. Do a search on dottech real life detection rates (or read other tests) and see what you conclude. I'd not put too much store by pure lab tests as there's too much gaming by different vested interests, but the various real world scenarios still tend to suggest that MSE isn't technically quite as good as third party products.
From the MS Security Intelligence Report for 1H14, around 2.4% of WIndows 8.1 machines with no active AV protection (ie MSE turned off and no third party AV active and up to date) had reported problems. For machines with any form of active and unexpired AV the WIn8 infection rate was around 0.6%. In reality the 10% difference in performance between best AV and MSE is not very significant - the most common problems of AV infection are down to expired or inactivated AV products, plus user behaviour.
On balance I'm sticking with MSE - I know its not the best, on the other hand I'll take the risk because I've found third party products unduly intrusive and resource heavy, and because I avoid using attack vectors like IE, Acrobat and Java, and to keep reluctantly tolerated rubbish like Flash under control with Flashblock.
Previously I've used this, and been happy with it (I don't bother with 35 over-writes, mind you, three at most is going to do the job). But I'm not sure that it'll work with increasingly common SSDs. My guess is that the firmware of the SSD will translate over-write requests, and Eraser will be burning through the limited write cycles of some cells (and the SSD subsequently needing to erase even more blocks) without necessarily hitting the intended data.
TRIM should erase most deleted data, but it's not going to touch deleted data if some of the block is still in use?
But I wonder what the hard cash value is of the reputational damage, from customers choosing not to buy because their details were compromised by Home Depot?
With 53m customers affected, that must be close to all customers of the company. Home Deport have sales of close on $80bn a year, if only half of one percent of customers go elsewhere then that's $400m of revenue lost, and with Home Deport gross margin of around 33% that translates to lost margin of $132m in year one, whilst operating costs remain essentially static. Even if those half of one percent bleed back to Home Deport over three years then the margin losses are going to total around $220m. Obviously if you get to larger but still feasible numbers, say 3% deciding not to shop, then on the same basis Home Depot's losses are $1.3bn over three years.
Moral of the story to big company CIOs (and today's El Reg Statement of the Bl**ding Obvious): The value at risk in a data breach is many multiples of the short term direct costs of fines and compensation. You did factor that into your discussion with the board about investing in IT security, didn't you? On the plus side, if Home Depot's anything to go by, you won't get fired, and next years bonus will probably be as generous and undeserved as last years.
If we're talking about who has the most populous urban wasteland outside the M25, the West Midlands county is very slightly larger than Greater Manchester. 2.783m Brummie and related troglodytes, compared to 2.702m Manc and related troglodytes in 2013 by my reckoning.
Should the Mancs feel that they're being done down, then I'll happily let them kidnap the entire population of Coventry to regain a clear lead in urban criminality.
"Evesham is a tiny little shithole, Leeds is not tiny or little..."
As somebody who has lived adjacent to both, let me clarify: Evesham is a pleasant little market town. You can be in and out in a few minutes. Leeds (and its binary twin, Bradford) are a huge, dirty metropolitan wasteland fit only for testing high yield nuclear weapons.
"but it's also very frustrating when you're job-hunting and expecting calls from potential offers"
There are far more amusing ways to trash potential employment opportunities by phone. Many years ago, long before mobile phones were commonplace, I was at home enjoying a drink with mates, expecting one more to arrive or call. The phone rang. "That'll be John" thinks me.
"International Rescue, Virgil speaking"
"Oh. Ahhh. Err, my name is Joe Shithead of Scumbucket Recruitment Consultants"
"I'll take the neoconservative warrior princess Hillary over the fail whale Carly."
Why? Both women have no qualifications for leading the country. Both are devoid of any compelling vision.
Both US parties have let down mainstream voters. Both have neither clue nor grip on matters of economics or foreign policy. Both are fully owned by the 1%. Both are in thrall to Wall Street.
You need a proper protest party that at least speaks somewhat for the common man, but certainly from the right side of the pond I don't see any political disruptors in the US. Here in the UK (and true of much of Europe) we are seeing political disruptors emerging, and rising support for regional secessionist politics - often focused against the dead flesh hand of the EU, or national governments. It's not clear that these will ever be a government, but the rise of these parties is at least starting to frighten the established political elites of Europe.
"If the IPO wants to change the rules regarding compensation for private-use copying then they need to do it at a European level. "
Alternatively our government could grow a pair, recognise that Brussels has no army, and has (remarkably) an even smaller democratic mandate than Westminster, and just tell the the European Commission to fuck, and not come back unless they've got tanks.
"I'm with the UK on this, not with the continent."
We'll have you voting for Nigel soon.
"They all look alike because that's the nature of a mobile touchscreen device."
Alright, then why are they all portrait aspect ratio, then?
"I'm on 3, I get 4G..."
...if I stand still on the magic spot that is found in five UK cities.
Another +1 for Porthcurno. Don't miss the Minack theatre when you're down at Porthcurno, either - chances of bagging a ticket for a performance are remote in high season, but it's the world's most dramatic theatre location (to the best of my knowledge).
And in terms of other vaguely tech destinations, Newquay Airport (RAF St Mawgan) is home to the Classic Air Force museum with great aircraft like the Meteor, Vampire, Canberra, many others including a Nimrod. It's a bit of a drive to the National Maritime Musesum at Falmouth, but it fits the vaguely tech bill (as in tech from stone age to 1970) and is strongly recommended.
"The question is what is netflix going to do about it"
They've got two choices, comply with the local rules or exit the market. Whilst I can't see them making huge revenues in France, they'd set a precedent for competitors if they start exiting markets rather than complying with local rules, so I'd guess they'll have to get off their lazy behinds and draft locally compliant T&C.
Why they allowed things to get so far when the outcome is inevitable is anybody's guess. Presumably the problem came from the fact that back at Netflix HQ, somebody has only ever heard of Paris, TX, and thought that local language compliance was to have the standard T&C read out by somebody with slow speech and a pronounced drawl.
"and even though we need it"
You made good and valid points on corruption and waste. And that the cost ends up being paid by customers (thus effectively it is a $34bn stealth tax). But I'm less convinced that the state had any good uses for hanging on to the bandwidth. For what purpose? And even if you can identify a valid purpose, what logic would persuade you that the government you've just panned for crony capitalism would have succeeded in achieving this purpose?
The tragedy of this is that the Feds haven't learned from UK spectrum auctions, which led to stonking writedowns on public companies (the banks and lawyers got rich, and government got to waste the money on rubbish). But the then cash-impoverished telcos were reluctant, nay barely able to invest in network expansion or upgrades, so that we've still got dismal voice coverage, worse data coverage, a hotch potch of standards and performance, and a refusal to build out into not-spots.
"gobbling Uncle Sam's radio frequencies for beefier cell coverage"?
"gobbling Uncle Sam's radio frequencies to block competitors"
"The S5 is butt ugly."
From where I sit there's precious little to choose in looks. All modern smartphones are thin slabs, glass touchscreen, thin bezzle, slightly rounded corners. Similar weight, similar performance at any given price band. I wouldn't say Jonny Ive has distinguished himself with the latest iPhones. The nearest makers can provide on visual differentiation is the colour and material of the back, and to be quite honest that's not the sort of thing that keeps me awake at night.
Unless somebody's offering an Angelina Jolie hide backed phone, now that would be differentiated.
"I think that Samsung's issue is ...."
I agree with your comment about small improvements, but I see the problem the other way round: With the S4 (at launch) and the S5 they created a real problem of pricing themselves out of the market. That appears to be driven by excessive ambition on margin rather than the bill of materials.
If they'd priced the incoming handsets at more credible price then it would have been an easier upgrade decision from the previous model (or less of stretch for those aspiring to upgrade from mid-market models). But like you, I'm happy with an S3. In a year or so's time I'll probably upgrade to what will then be a discounted end-of-line S5, unless the S5 replacement comes out at a much better launch price - which I can't see myself.
This premium pricing is just corporate vanity. Samsung need to decide if they want volume sales at lower margin, or are prepared to sacrifice volume to be able to report big margins on the new model. I think Samsung's big cheeses think there's some magic sauce, and if they can find it they'll be like Apple, able to do premium prices and some volume. Samsung are wrong - Apple have defined and filled their own niche, and own their own software - but I doubt they'll see that.
So here's expecting Samsung to repeat the pattern: an even bigger S6, with a titanium chassis, me-too sapphire screen, rhino-horn backplate, iris scanner, pointless higher res screen, higher pixel count on an otherwise average camera. And more Sammy bloatware pre-installed, all for £1,000 a pop.
"Given that the target list pretty much encapsulates the people the US wants to spy on"
Actually the US want to spy on everybody, including "allies" as the scandal over Merkel's phone showed. My guess is that the reported infections are a subset of the total, and there will be infections in Europe and the Anglophone countries.
Blast, blast and thrice blast! A finely fashioned Grammar Nazi post, completely let down fat fingers and careless proof reading, resulting in the omission of the "y" from "They".
I blame my parents, as will anybody who knows me (or them).
"The company said that the complaints were nothing new "
The didn't need the definite article in that sentence.
"To a careful reader, the report shows that 21 systems were infected"
Which could be true. But that assumes that that is the number actually detected by Symantec. To a large extent, the business model of AV companies is not about saying to customers "you've been pawned for the last five years and our product failed to protect you". It is about selling a basically competent product on an annuity basis, providing reactive defence when a customer company has an undeniable malware problem, and finding enough new threats in the environment to keep the fear levels high. I see this report as being the last of those three.
Another reason for suspecting that the published infection data is incomplete is that any sensible spy agencies wouldn't be above leaning on the report's publisher to omit any inconvenient facts or statistics, and firmly in that category would be embarrassing "friendly fire" intrusions. Look at the problems the US have had after being caught eavesdropping on Merkel's phone.
"Nope, can't be the UK"
I think there's a more compelling clue in the article that it didn't come from these shores:
"a degree of technical competence rarely seen"
"More importantly, are we safe to assume that present day AV will detect Regin?"
No, you're not. I was listening to the Symantec spokeswoman on R4 this morning, and she chose her words very carefully, talking about older variants. They clearly have their view on who produced, and went so far as to suggest that it was a Western spy agency. Symantec being a US company, they'll be under the cosh from the NSA and other state goon agencies, and there's no way they will be producing products to block the current work of NSA or partner agencies.
At a guess, Symantec need to "find" older non-operational Western spyware to try and show they are able to do that. The goon agencies won't mind if its older stuff they aren't using, but they'd be very worried if somebody actually came up with a Windows security programme that actually stopped malware. So the only reason this has come out is specifically because the authors have a variant (or complete replacement) programme, and possibly because customers were within spitting distance of spotting it through other means (which then loses Symantec reputation and market share).
"Our facilities manager once joked that it costs a £1000 a year for the office space for a waste paper bin."
He wasn't joking. If you're talking about prime location, short term lease on a fully serviced basis, it will be around £1,400 a year per square metre. Allowing for a modicum of space to get past the bin and empty it he was bang on.
Ms May appears ill informed
Never mind that she also appears to be the daughter of Wurzel Gummidge.
For those unfamiliar with the creature, look at that picture of the crone in the article, and then Google up an image of her dad. This could explain her feeble mindedness in handing the Stasi's requests for more snooping powers, because her brain is made of straw.
In fact thinking about it, as May is a scarecrow, I think British politics has clearly been whisked away to fantasy land. Clegg's more than a bit of a tin man, Cameron's the cowardly lion. Which leaves the sad panda as Dorothy: "Toto, I've a feeling we're not in Hampstead now!"
Its been going on for years. Who voted for open door immigration and the handing out of British passports like smarties? Who voted to have their rubbish collected every two weeks? Who voted for the Lisbon treaty, or indeed to hand British sovereignty to Brussels? Who voted for the expensive and crap energy policy? Who voted for untrammeled globalisation and offshoring of UK jobs to make the City richer? Who voted for state-owned RBS to pay billions of pounds in undeserved staff bonuses? Who voted for weak and ineffectual regulators in telecoms and finance? Who voted to get embroiled in Iraq, Libya, and increasingly in Syria? Who voted for HS2? When they agree after the next election to build another unnecessary runway for a London airport, who will have voted for that, other than the lobbyists? Who (outside of Scotland) voted to give even more money to Scotland for voting "no"? Who voted for poorly constructed international tax treaties that enable multinationals to brazenly dodge UK taxes?
That's why UKIP are on a roll. Not because they have any answers, but because they aren't the established incompetents of Conservative, Labour or Liberal. I'm certainly not expecting much of UKIP, but regardless of the consequences they're guaranteed my vote.
"being too clean can impair the skins ability to heal"
My skin will be bullet proof then.
"Google share is likely to dip slightly over the next 5 years due to the move of Mozilla to Bing/Yahoo"
If you're tech savvy enough to choose and install Firefox, then you're probably adequately aware of how good and how bad Google is. Mozilla choosing to default to crapper, but equally unprincipled search engines won't work because the likes of us already make conscious choices about our search engine.
Personally I won't have *anything* to do with Yahoo, and Bing is IMHO a second rate search offering, so it'll be straight back to DDG or Google when Mozilla rinse this change through the system, but any Firefox user who does want to use Yahoo or Bing probably already does.
"with a name like Simon Bacon perhaps the simplest solution would be to just eat him?"
In principle I'd not have a problem with trying a slice, dry cured, medium sliced and cooked crisp, please. But what if he's got something nasty like BSE? Wouldn't we have to kill him before 30 months if he's for the table? I suspect we may be a bit late for that.
So, really, I've been a burden to the NHS
You're a disgrace! You should be taxed to the hilt!
I'm not exactly skinny. I am 6ft 3, and I weigh in at 18st 6. I play Rugby (switch between Prop and Second Row), and before that I used to do Boxing for 10 years
Errr, no, I didn't mean you, sir. I was talking about....about......ermm....that short fat bloke over there.
It wouldn't be a surprise if a significant portion of our obese fell into the economically inactive category.
It's tempting to conclude this, but the real data isn't quite as clear cut. Obesity does correlate with lower income, but the actual difference between the most deprived quintile and the second quintile is fairly modest. For men even the top quintile shows limited difference. The only relatively low obesity group by income are women in top income quintile. See figure 1 in this:
"Singapore is perhaps the closest real example of what you describe. And Singapore has to have very tight restrictions on immigration because so many people want to live there."
A quick internet search indicates that Singapore has high alcohol and tobacco taxes, but that's true of a lot of countries, I was suggesting our volunteer go somewhere that all the things I mentioned are actually unavailable.
"One word: Biofuel"
Already happening round these parts. The local crematorium supplies "waste heat" to the swimming pool. This warm swimming session brought to you by.......". Admittedly most of the heat is probably from natural gas, though.
Some fag packet calculations suggest (if I've got my maths right, which is open to question) a human body would embody around 600 MJ of energy. In the UK there's around 1m deaths a year, and factoring this all down that's around 150 GWh if you dessicated them. At say 50% efficiency that's be equivalent to a 15 MW power station, which isn't very much in the context of peak electricity demand of 60 GW.
"I am certain that a smoke-free country would be better off, especially in the long term, than a smoking country."
Greetings Mr Logic.
I am certain that in economic (or life years) terms a drug free, alcohol free, car free, processed meat free, TV-and-couch-potato free country would be better off. But you're welcome to go and live in one of those. The nearest I can imagine to that is probably North Korea, where Kim Jong-Un is bravely consuming all those bad things so that the proletariat can enjoy a healthy exercise filled life.
"SOOOOOO many ways to read this sentence..."
Are there? I could only see the one, that smoking related diseases (lung cancer and circulatory problems) build up over some years with generally modest impact on health, but by the time they are diagnosed they are usually very serious, leading to high mortality rates and low life expectancy. Whilst having an acute hospital episode is always expensive, if you don't live to old age then you don't collect much of your pension, and you don't incur mid-level health costs over a long old age. Most of us will be able to see the health and longevity aspects in their own family history over perhaps the past two generations. And the problem is that as healthcare improves we prolong post-retirement life, increasing the cost of both pensions and healthcare to an economically inactive segment of the population.
Use to be the case that you worked from 16-65, and expected to live to 72. So 49 years work to 7 year retirement. Now we expect people to work from 18-67, but to live to about 80, so still 49 years working, but now 13 years retirement. And not only is there the healthcare costs to contribute to that extra 6 years, but there's the routine costs of healthcare, the rising dementia and care home costs. I say free fags and big macs all round.
"If you are overweight, a scaled % gets added to your income tax until you stop shovelling food down your gullet,"
Strange isn't it. Round these parts people scream in outrage over their loss of freedom due to NSA and GCHQ's vast datascraping. Yet when it comes to food, many of the same people think that anybody larger than they are should be forced not to eat as much. Hey, overweight people, we've decided you're not capable of exercising choice, so we're going to force you to fit our idea of how you should look.
I'm bang on the quack's view of a healthy weight, but I'd like to stand shoulder to shoulder with my big boned bretheren for their right not to be treated as third class citizens, not to be unduly harassed or ridiculed, and to be allowed to behave as they see fit.
"(Page & Orlowski I am looking at you.)"
This is where you need to be:
But on a more serious note, the article is using an inflammatory headline as clickbait. Other than that's its reportage, and nothing wrong with it. The comments section on the other hand is a bit dispiriting, with more than a few AC's queuing up to put the boot in. Nice to know they're so lean, athletic and clean living. Or maybe they're just cunts.
"You should be taxed for the extra strain you put on services."
If you're going to target the obeasts in this way, then presumably fags will come with a subsidy because of their beneficial effect on unfunded pension costs? Contact and adventure sports players will be taxed due to the burden on A&E. Duty will be charged on skateboards, horse riding tackle, and so forth. We should have a safety tax on ladders and power tools. Central heating and gas cooking will be taxed for air quality reasons, the Tube will have a five pound per journey surcharge for its rancid air quality, diesel will be £10 a litre, but current standard petrol cars will be getting a rebate.
But since you're suggesting a PAYG approach to public services, I'd like to opt out of the welfare state, please, contributions to the EU budget, UK infrastructure investments (always the wrong, expensive stuff that gets built, not the required everyday stuff), overseas aid (wasted and misspent), and the education budget (if I had the money they'd both be in independent schools).
" the entire article misses the vital information that muscle weighs far more than fat"
The definitions of fatness are the least of the problems here. The original "study" concentrates on GDP, so that 4m deaths from inadequate water and sanitation in the undeveloped world count for almost nothing, whereas 5m deaths largely among the older residents of the developed world top the bill, followed closely by the "overweight".
Yet even if you wish to look through an economic lens, the work is shoddy. With the developed world suffering from over-stretched welfare systems and inadequately funded pension systems, smoking and heart disease are fantastic economic news - people work till they're fifty-sixty and drop dead with little or no pension being paid. I'd accept that many smokers and fatties linger on in expensive ill health, but that's also true amongst the non-obese, non-smoking population.
So we've got two self-driving cars on a collision course? Clearly they've got themselves into a situation that they shouldn't have, and if you can't trust them to drive, how can you trust their pre-progammed ethics?
And if they are going to crash, why all this "suicidal avoidance" nonsense? We don't have that with aircraft collision avoidance systems, they just do their best and hope for the best. And that's how most logical drivers approach driving - you brake and hope you don't hit the pedestrian who walks out in front of you, rather than electing to mow down a bus queue of OAPs because their life adjusted scores are lower than the callow youth in front of you.
About time the ethicists were told to bugger off and stop being the modern day Red Flag Act.
"I had wished I had snapped up a Nexus 7, they looked really good, and the price (around $200) was just right."
The reason Google have gone up market is the plethora of good cheap tabs at the $200 mark. There's even some less good but adequate no-name cheap direct import 7 inch tabs for around $45/£30. Google have done the reference low end 7 inch design to show the hardware companies how to do it, now they need to try and show them how to do the premium market.
Here in the UK $200/£130 will buy a decent retailer-branded Pegatron-made 8.3 inch tablet that's bigger and better than the original Nexus ( a Tesco Hudl 2 is the device I'm thinking of). I'm sure there's equivalents in the US market if you have a look around.
"If they're both (parent and child) that incompetent, why weren't they forced out of offering financial services? "
RBS are the biggest bank in Europe, and are protected by two talismen: their vast lobbying influence, and their "too big to fail" status. And who would benefit? The behaviour of other banks is almost as reprehensible - they all got fined over PPI, for example, even the "ethical" Co-op bank had to put aside hundreds of millions of pounds for this.
"More of this sort of thing, please."
Why? RBS have been repeatedly fined for dishonesty and incompetence, often many billions of quid, and they just keep on doing it. Their approach to regulatory fines is much like the behaviour of advertisers in response to an ASA slobbering - they do stop what they were doing, but they just move onto something new.
RBS is institutionally rotten. A start would be to separate out the investment banking, prop trading and other City gambling operations, and let the twerps involved crash and burn next time they get caught out. Even so the retail bank clearly has more than enough rotteness to deal with even after that separation, and I think a start on that would involve demerger into smaller businesses with their own systems. Maybe wait until they need another bail out, fully nationalise them, then demerge into a number of building societies with full retail banking licences and their own IT. Doesn't solve all the problems by a long way, but goes a long way towards it.
"Even a modest (as in half-sized) American home's roof is more than adequate to produce an equivalent amount of power."
It has evidently passed you by that this is a UK based web site, and the discussion centres on UK issues. Here homes are smaller than the US, so any PV arrays are smaller, and insolation levels are far lower than most US states. What is considered in the UK to be a large domestic PV array is a 4 kW system producing 3.4 kWh, and that would cover most of a medium sized half-roof pitch.
"Hydrogen conversion (electricity->hydrogen->electricity) was over 85% efficient in the early 90's - so better than nuclear at 40%."
You don't know what you're talking about.
I know the numbers on production plant because my employers operate some of the most advanced power plants and power storage systems in the world, including power-to-gas, AD, CAES, clean coal, the single most efficient production CCGT in the world, and a whole host of other clever stuff.
If it were possible to even remotely approach the efficiencies you claim, then all peaking grid power would be produced by this method. If you actually read my post you'll see why the real world differs from what might be achieved on paper.
And "cars/hydrogen/personal solar"? What? A domestic PV installation supplies a fraction of the household's current electricity demand. Adding personal transport to the domestic energy budget will at least double the typical electricity demand. And that's before the green twerps insist everybody has electrically driven heat pumps for water and space heating (double the demand again). Again, you simply don't know what you're on about.