Truth stranger than fiction?
Who wrote this *^%$*#$ script for Sillycon Valley? It's total crap! I mean, nobody would ever believe --
What? This is an actual news item?
Right. Well, carry on, then!
239 posts • joined 30 Nov 2012
Who wrote this *^%$*#$ script for Sillycon Valley? It's total crap! I mean, nobody would ever believe --
What? This is an actual news item?
Right. Well, carry on, then!
Sincerely! Maybe if Canada can win, we here in the states might be able to win someday, although I'm not too optimistic about it. The Axis of Evil in charge of our telecomms is just as dedicated to preventing anything like competition and will use lawsuits and whatever else it takes to keep their evil, little Oligopoly on top, providing most of us with the choice of mediocre service for nosebleed prices or crap service for somewhat more affordable prices. Good service for reasonable prices? Dream on.
I live in a major city. My cell phone gets much faster Internet access than my wired house does. The only option for high speed wired Internet where I live is cable via Comcast, and I won't open that Pandora's box of high fees and outages. Fiber? What's that? Not here! There used to be a bright spot in the city here (although not in my neighborhood), a company called SureWest. They gave you fiber to the premises, high speed, great quality and a reasonable rate. And they were building out in my direction, so I had something to look forward to. Then they were bought out by a Comcast clone so prices spiraled up and service plummeted, so back to telecomms business as usual and the death of hope.
When I'm backing up or restoring my PC, I boot Clonezilla from a USB stick. The backup is kept on a removable drive that is plugged in only during backups or restores.
I work for a government agency. We have "recognition rocks," actual painted rocks that they give out to whoever they want to recognize. You get to keep it on your desk for two weeks, and then you have to give it to someone else. Wow, am I ever motivated to go "above and beyond."
They DO? Well, all I can say is that if MS wants to be liked, they have a very odd way of demonstrating that. Most of us, if we wanted to be liked, probably wouldn't go around sneaking software onto other people's computers. Especially when most of the computers have software that works fine and is good for another 4 years or more, and the new "improved" version will likely be costing them $ well before 4 years goes by. Also, we probably wouldn't take the attitude that we are entitled to do whatever snooping on other people's computing that we feel like. In trying to convince people to try a new product, we probably wouldn't either nag them to tears or use malware techniques to force that new product onto their computers.
How many of us, if we went around behaving like that, would be expecting kudos instead of curses? Frankly if I went around doing that, I'd expect to be arrested and prosecuted.
To me, MS's behavior sounds like they feel they OWN all our personal computers, and possibly our data as well. And unfortunately, the vast majority of users don't have the background and knowledge to seek out alternatives to MS on the desktop, so MS will mostly win, despite the fact that so many of those of us who do understand the alternatives will (or already have) adopted alternative operating systems.
Paris because I honestly don't see how anyone, with the possible exception of Paris herself, could think MS's current behavior would lead to anyone liking them.
And that leads politicians to therapy - trying to make us feel better about something, like the NHS or immigration - rather than addressing the root causes. It replaces politics with behavioural manipulation.
Well, I'm not sure anything is getting "replaced" here. A great deal of politics is all about behavioral manipulation. After all, everything a politician says while running for office is intended to manipulate the voters to vote for him/her. And once they're in power, aside from advancing whatever agenda they have in mind, there's just about always the desire to remain in power, often through any means necessary.
The fMRI seemed to offer these people a tool to help them do what they truly want to do anyway, control others, so of course many of them embraced the concept.
"...providing spiritual and pharmaceutical motivation..."
So very nicely put.
Less for more, endlessly!
And it seems to be happening even BEFORE the monthly/annual fees kick in for Windows lusers. No real disrespect intended here, because I was a Windows user for many years until
Satan Satya took over and oversaw the release of Windows 8 and 10, the new "SAAS" strategy, and the many other fine benefits he's brought to the Windows ecosystem and its victims inhabitants. Like many others, I've bolted to the Penguin camp in self-defense.
You can't beat the kind of money and power the cable/internet provider oligopoly have. They've managed to stop most bids to compete, whether they come from non-member companies or even government entities. Here and there one can find bright spots, a few places where there actually is a little competition and accordingly lower rates and better service like we all should have access to. But for most of us in the US, choosing a provider is like getting to select whether you get raped by the guy in the blue hat or the yellow hat -- either way you get raped.
And there's pretty much nothing anyone can do to fix it. Regardless of who wins any elections, Congress will stay bought and paid for, so even a president willing to try couldn't fix this mess. The FCC is already backpedaling on this one, and remember, Congress can trump the FCC anytime. Watch for a "bi-partisan" (meaning both parties have been compensated by the oligopoly) movement to quash anything serious the FCC does.
Cynical? Moi? Never!
Solar power has its advantages, but the lost data from the lander show that it's really not always the best solution. A small radioisotope generator like Curiosity has would have saved the day and made the exact attitude of the landing far less important.
Yes, I know. The anti-nuke crowd. If the total lack of casualties at Fukishima wasn't enough to convince them, I can't imagine what would. Hopefully the more rabid of them will die off before too long.
And it's quite easy to forget passwords if you don't use them often. I had an email account with Bluebottle.com (sadly now defunct). I normally read email in Thunderbird and had forgotten the password. I wanted to log in to the web interface just before Bluebottle went away and check a non-inbox folder. I couldn't remember the password, no matter how hard I tried.
I did find it, although it shouldn't have worked. I admit that when I set the account up years ago, I set it up with plain text password transmittal [hanging head in shame]. I did finally remember that bit, so I used Wireshark and sniffed the password. Problem solved.
But, based on my own experience, I agree that if the plod seize computers and hold them for months during which the owner doesn't USE any of the passwords, it's not only reasonable, but LIKELY that the owner will forget the passwords.
Paris because my memory for passwords is about that good.
The usual situation anyone in IT is used to. "We need to spend $X so we can secure our systems."
Then the beancounters and management say "No, we need to cut expenses." Then something like this happens.
So how much is THIS little fiasco going to cost the company? Lost sales from people avoiding the place? Lawsuits? Enjoy!
The US could benefit from OpenMedia. We certainly need SOMETHING strong to try to oppose the Internet Axis of Evil that is Comcast, AT&T and their ilk. Unless Mexico is exempt, it would seem that all of North America is under the shadow and suffering high prices for internet access often less capable than that in many third-world countries.
LibreOffice users don't need PowerPoint, either.
For years, I've used LibreOffice Impress for giving presentations. It may not have all the bells and whistles in PP, but it works quite nicely. And there's also the Impress Remote for Android. You install it on your phone and use it as a remote via Bluetooth to your laptop. I've given many hours of presentations without a hitch using this combination and highly recommend it.
This situation in the world today is somewhat analogous to what happened in the United States in the late 20's and 30's with crime. At that time, law enforcement was pretty much purely local and, at most, throughout a state. So a criminal with those new-fangled "automobiles" could commit a crime in one jurisdiction and then flee to another, particularly across a state line, and pretty much not have to worry about apprehension. The answer in the U.S. was increased cooperation between law enforcement agencies, including forming inter-agency and interstate task forces and the creation of an effective federal "police," the FBI, which had jurisdiction in all states.
Internet abuse is analogous to this because a criminal in one country can perpetrate crimes in another without even leaving his home, much less his country. Perhaps the answer would be for some sort of worldwide treaty to create an international computer criminal code and international police agency to investigate computer crime? This could include the creation of an international court for computer criminals. Anyone convicted of computer crime could be jailed in their own country as ordered by the court, so extradition would never be an issue, regardless of where the crime happened or the criminal resides.
Whether that's the right answer or not, I'm not sure, but certainly the way we do things nowadays is broken. It's difficult and expensive to extradite criminals, as is so evident in this particular case (regardless of whether you think he should be extradited or not). Since it's so difficult to bring international computer criminals down, most even half-smart computer criminals can ply their trade without fear as long as they don't piss off the local plod. (Consider the recent finds of malware that check to see what country a computer is in, and if located in, for example, Ukraine, Belarus or Russia, do nothing.)
As long as the current situation continues, computer crime will continue to be a major growth industry that plagues us all.
It's about time MS got held accountable for what they've done to so many people's computers WITHOUT their consent with this sneaky, malware-style "upgrade" to Win X. I used to like MS and used Windows since Windows 386, stopping, like so many others, with Windows 7.
As I was reading the story, I was sure MS would appeal the judgment, and was surprised to read they dropped the appeal. I think it was from fear of the Streisand Effect. After all, if more people hear of this victory over MS, they might want to file suits in Small Claims court, also. In that case, I say SHOUT IT FROM THE ROOFTOPS!
Maybe if enough victims of MS sue and win, they might even have to dial down the arrogance a little and actually try to HELP their customers, like they did back in the 90s? Nah, just dreaming on that one, no doubt.
No, you really don't want that bunch to "simply" anything. Anything they did with the idea of "simplifying" would just create a new, much worse monster. Remember, this is the FED you're talking about. I've seen lots of "improvements" and, yet, nothing has ever actually been improved, as far as I can tell.
If you ever hear "Hi, I'm from the government, and I'm here to help," you need to run away as fast as you can.
What happens is the whole thing is handled administratively, not criminally, and the perpetrator gets a minor slap on the wrist. I recall one case of a law enforcement person who was riding along with another and kept using the car's computer to look up the license plates of attractive females to get their ages, addresses, etc. He got caught only because the system flagged all these lookups as abnormal, so it was investigated.
In California, using law enforcement computer systems for non-law enforcement purposes is a felony, and everyone with access to those systems is told this fact when they are first given access and thereafter every year get a written reminder and are required to sign off that they are aware of the law.
He got a reprimand and a brief unpaid vacation.
Are they flying monkeys?
I surely wish someone would provide a system like that where I live, gigabit connections for $30 a month! I pay more for much, much less. I could, in theory, get a gigabit connection here from Comcast for about 5 times that much a month.
Icon because if we keep letting Comcast, AT&T and their ilk control us via the government they own, we'll all likely end up on the street.
The clowns coming up with this concept should be strapped into heavy-duty chairs with their eyelids propped open and forced to watch "targeted ads" for three days straight.
The drooling, gibbering remnants of human beings they then became could be released to start their new life on the streets.
True story. Back in the 70's there was a restaurant in Carlsbad, New Mexico which was really popular, the sort of place that got jammed during lunch every day.
Suddenly, it closed. Turns out a health inspector caught them adding cat meat to some of their dishes. Ewww.
With my strange mind, I wondered where the cats came from. I doubt they got them from the local deli. Did they send the employees home at night with bags and orders to fill them?
The world is a strange place.
It has also, however, fuelled a backlash from telcos and some lawmakers who see city-operated broadband services as
an unnecessary government incursion into markets already served by private-sector companies
...unfair competition from an entity not dedicated solely to unjust enrichment by fleecing consumers of their last penny while providing service less capable than that in many third-world countries.
On second thought, there was a fair amount of history revision even in the days before Photoshop.
I recall that about 50 years ago, my mother knew a person who worked as a photo retoucher for a company that specialized in school portrait photos. I remember she told one story of a girl who frantically called the company and begged them to make the pack of cigarettes she'd inadvertently left in her pocket disappear from her high school photo "Because mom will KILL me!" (Told you it was a long time ago. Take a packet of fags to school today and they'll immolate you, of course. Back then they actually had smoking areas in high schools, believe it or not. "When I were a lad...")
The retoucher assured the girl it would be no problem and was as good as her word.
Once upon a time, the way to preserve the image of a person was to have a portrait painted. Portrait painters often, shall we say, "improved" the subject. It was fairly rare that anyone really wanted "warts and all" in their portrait. Then cameras mostly ended that, capturing what was really there. Now we're heading back to the idea of editing reality. I suppose someday they may even be able to take a picture with me in it and transform my image from a pissed-off Satan with a bad hangover to a smiling, grandfatherly-looking sort of fellow.
I'm an American, but I can't even begin to imagine this guy's attitude. Is he a total cretin? Does he really think the rest of the world are cretins?
If this guy is in charge of our SECURITY, and he thinks the rest of the world can't even cobble together working encryption, I'm really afraid for the US. This reminds me of some of the bollocks spouted by the worst of the pukka-sahib types at the beginning of WW II who couldn't even imagine the Japanese posing any actual threat. They didn't do too well, either, as I recall. With guys like this in charge of our security, the U.S. will likely be conquered any day now.
well, er...complicated. As well as fairly pointless. Sort of like a phone, but with a more difficult interface and limited feature set.
As the poster above mentioned, quoting a "Genius," it's quite true that "Nobody NEEDS one." So it's basically something for status-conscious wankers to use to impress others who are equally shallow? Good to know.
As many others have pointed out, the "novel idea" this patent is supposed to cover is very much prior art. Add to the list of prior users ham a large number of radio operators who have used balloons to lift antennas many times before, especially for emergency communications purposes in difficult terrain when using VHF or higher frequencies. I suppose this outfit will want to sue THEM, too.
Fun fact: If you use enough power, you can sometimes get the gas in the balloon to fluoresce when you transmit.
If cats understood physics, Schrödinger would never have gotten the cat to go into the box in the first place!
Yes, we were shown to be ignorant wankers who couldn't plan properly BUT
We figured out the above fact after the system crashed
The next time we screw up like this, we will probably be able to figure it out even faster THEREFORE
We're wank-wizards, er, I mean wizards at IT service delivery THEREFORE
You should all have confidence in your government to do a truly wizard job of delivering IT services to the public.
Methinks I detect an aroma of Thinkfluence. Clearly, this organization is an incubator developing truly disruptive technologies designed to catapult us into a shining future created by IOT-driven technology!
Vincent Bugliosi (famous for prosecuting the Manson Family), one of the greatest legal minds around, pointed out in his book And the Sea Will Tell that a judge is really a combination of a lawyer and a politician. Considering the genesis of these creatures, how could anyone expect anything positive from them? This is yet another nail in the coffin of innovation.
Patent laws were created to foster innovation, and perhaps actually did that, once upon a time. Nowadays they pretty much prevent innovation. If you were silly enough to invent something useful, you now have the certainty that if your idea is really worth anything, some patent troll somewhere will find something vague in their library of useless patents (useless because, after all, trolls contribute nothing whatsoever to society or innovation) and sue you for some insane amount of money. Oh, you put rounded corners on it? Well, we've got a patent on THAT, so PAY UP! Individuals and small businesses can't possibly defend themselves against this abuse of the legal system. So why bother?
Only big corporations can even try to play at this sort of game -- or most anything else these days. And even they have to spend more and more of their assets on fighting stupid legal battles over nothing. For example, how much money has been wasted in the Apple vs. Samsung case? Instead of fattening up lawyers, that money might have been used for something useful. The more everyone spends on lawyers, the less they spend on anything useful.
Perhaps the reason SETI hasn't picked up any other civilizations out there is because they also evolved lawyers and patent trolls which brought those civilizations to a halt followed by degeneration into chaos.
Aside from moral considerations (whatever those are?), why shouldn't any script kiddie jump up and roll their very own ransomware with a do-it-yourself kit? After all, ransomware seems to be a very good revenue generator with hospitals, universities and even law enforcement agencies paying good money for the decryption keys. It's easy money!
And how often do we hear about these buggers getting caught and punished for their crimes? Pretty much never. As long as crime pays so well with so very little downside risk, why not go for it? And there's lots less risk getting "free money" with a keyboard than with a cosh, knife or gun.
Internet theft is just going to get worse until some geniuses figure out a way to totally stop or catch and punish these ransomware authors and other miscreants. The Internet, instead of being a shiny "information superhighway" is becoming more and more like a potholed street in a seedy neighborhood you don't feel safe in, especially after dark.
"Oh, NO! We lost the database with the details of all the tortures we did. What a shame."
"Oh, NO! We lost the database with the details of all the complaints folks have made about us. What a shame."
"Oh, NO! We lost the database with the details of [fill in whatever you'd like to see "missing"]...
With a major election coming, they're putting on a good show. However, I REALLY doubt that anything much will come of this. It would be nice if they would pass some law to actually HELP the public, such as requiring all areas to have at least two carriers for people to choose between and to require all service plans to be written in PLAIN ENGLISH and be no longer than half a page long, and I mean in 12 point Arial font or the equivalent - no fine print.
Of course, nothing like this will ever happen. It will be "business as usual" meaning that the consumer will continue to get a true shafting.
Of course they find extraterrestrial items from Egypt. After all, wasn't it aliens that built the pyramids with their marvelous preservative powers and anti-gravity technology? Not to mention that time line in the Great Pyramid that correctly predicts the end of the world in, uh, 1999? (Well a small percentage of error there, maybe).
They probably made that knife from an extraterrestrial Spam can dropped by one of the aliens working on the pyramids.
And with this sort of thing going on via Internet, pundits think we should hook all our "smart home" systems, including home security systems, up to the "Internet of Things"?
I think I'll pass, thanks.
...will include two small missiles launched after target acquisition. The first will home on the drone, and the second on the drone controller. Problem solved!
The State of California got ripped off about $300 MILLION by this bunch. In my personal opinion, Deloitte are the Bechtel of software. Back in the mid-2000's, they were supposedly designing a new case management system to be used in all of California's courts. The project was obviously ill-conceived, because even just the scope -- many counties in California have 2 judges, while Los Angeles County has a court system larger than the U.S. Federal Court system -- make such a project's success unlikely, at best. But Deloitte made an absolute killing on it. They managed to get inexperienced people in state court administration to sign off on the system before it was even complete. "Oh, it doesn't work? Bummer! Well, for another $50 million or so, we could maybe take a look at it for you." The system was mostly useless, although parts of it were modified and are still used in some divisions of a few courts.
Overall, Deloitte managed to do such a great job of stealing money from the court system that the California legislature, famous for squandering money, was infuriated at the court administrators for spending over $300 million on this crapware. They proceeded to punish everyone who worked for the courts by slashing the statewide court budget more than any other part of state government during the economic meltdown in '07-'08. Meanwhile, Deloitte was laughing all the way to the bank with their $300 million in hand.
Personally, I wouldn't hire Deloitte to write a "Hello, world!" program. I expect it would cost several million dollars, take at least six months, and crash as soon as you started it.
As most all Reg readers know by now, if you don't want YOUR computer to be assimilated into the Windows X Borg, install GWX Control panel or, better yet, opt out of MS altogether and go Linux, if that's possible for you.
I work at a court, and they snoop everything. They put a bogus certificate into the official browser (IE) so it never raises any problems. Nor does Chrome because it uses the Windows certificate store. However, Firefox raised alarms and let me know the day they started this. I deleted my IMAP off the work computer and changed all the passwords of any site I've ever accessed from work. I use my phone (NOT over wi-fi) for my personal email or anything else I don't want them reading.
Attorney Cheatum: "M'lud, there's no possible conflict of interest here. My client deleted those other sites simply because they were 'spammy!' The deletion had absolutely NOTHING to do with the fact that those sites were competing with my client by offering other parties an alternative way to raise their search ratings besides paying my client directly. There is absolutely NO relationship between those two facts. As a great writer put it, the mere thought hadn't even begun to speculate about the merest possibility of crossing their minds. Honest!
"Therefore, we move to dismiss the case in it's entirety, with prejudice, M'lud."
The Judge: (Laughter) "Motion denied!"
Have an upvote!
But I'd opine that having a bit of a damp squid on one's hands is better than being put on a "pedal stool."
Intelligence agencies are quite good at their job of gathering information. This includes information on congress critters, senators, presidents, governors, doctors, lawyers, etc. When Hoover was in charge of the FBI, most everyone in Washington was terrified of him because he had files on them all. Any skeletons in the closet? Hoover knew about them. Annoy him, and your nasty little secrets might be tomorrow's news.
The CIA is the same way. The real movers and shakers in Washington, even if they aren't totally jaded and uncaring, aren't foolish enough to upset the CIA's apple cart. That would be at least a career-limiting move, if not the actually hazardous to your health.
I suspect the same thing goes on in just about every country. Are there any MPs afraid of what GCHQ might be able to disclose about them?
As many other posters have mentioned, Gartner is full of bollocks. I'm a power user and minor-league gamer, and built my PC many years ago. As time goes by, I upgrade the MB/processor/ram now and then, change out the graphics card, fit a new power supply and add a new HD to it. I have an old 750 GB Windows XP HD, a 2TB Windows 7 HD, and a newer 3TB Linux HD in it. Mostly use the older HD's just for the data they have stored on them and run Win 7 in a no-Internet VM when I need it. Haven't "bought a new pc" in over 10 years. But my PC is very much alive and gets used quite a lot. I backup images regularly to (normally) offline storage in case some ransomware, etc. manages to slip in.
In other news today, the US Secretary of Defense emphatically denied rumors that the balloon payload contained thousands of combat-trained felines to be released when the balloon passed over suspected terrorist locations.
All the so-called "broadband" providers we have in this country deserve whatever happens to them. They've consistently screwed Americans. We have some of the poorest "broadband" available in the world at nosebleed prices, and have their greed to thank for it.
Hopefully the FCC's actions will help put the shoe on the other foot, and I hope it pinches those buggers like hell!
I'll pay attention to anything they have to say on this sort of thing when they stop treating non-US citizens as non-people with no rights when it comes to privacy...
Well, don't feel all that lonely! We US citizens are also non-people with no rights when it comes to privacy. That's what the Patriot Act and CISPA is all about over here, just like the Snooper's Charter in the UK. Privacy? Rights? Bah, humbug!
Our Y2K went mostly without a hitch. We had one routine that printed a check with a date in January of 1900. Didn't feel too bad about missing ONE spot in all those many thousands of lines of code. It was an easy fix done in just a few minutes, and everything was fine.