"Rifkind - who denies any impropriety"
What world does this joker live in that he can do that with a straight face?
116 posts • joined 6 Jun 2013
What world does this joker live in that he can do that with a straight face?
You let a "Designer" anywhere near it, they break it.
Ever since that dick Ive made such an enormous name for himself by dumbing down Macs, the mantra in design is "If I don't need it, remove it. If you need it, remove it anyway."
We had no end of things removed from our website in the last refresh in order to make it "Cleaner and more attractive" with the justification that they were rarely used anyway. Of course, no replacement was implemented for the few people who _did_ use them, no matter how rarely, because it would spoil the "look and feel" of the site.
Presumably it is precisely because they operate under the impression that the country is a business that they fail to run it well.
When you think about it, a successful business maximizes profit whilst minimizing cost. Ok, working out how to do that with any real business is usually pretty hard, but the principle is simple enough. People will pay you for whatever it is your business does, and your job is to do that as cheaply as possible to make the difference between what you're paid and what it costs as big as possible (and in your favour, obviously.)
So, to improve profits, you either raise prices - which in business would scare off customers, so that's a bad thing - or cut operating costs.
And here comes the problem. A government has costs which remain broadly static. There's a lot of expensive shit that _has_ to be paid for, and that's an end of it. The military, the police, national infrastructure, healthcare (what of it the US has)... all these things need paying for, and whilst for sure there's a shit ton of waste in the way the US goes about that, there's not so much that operating costs can really be made much smaller. Not without utterly ruining the product that is - which of course is what we generally think is happening when we look at the state that the US is in these days and what people are getting out of their government in terms of service to the public.
So, if you can't cut costs, you have to raise the price - and Republicans are ideologically opposed to doing that because they're still thinking like the government is a business, and raising the price scares off customers.
This is of course, nonsense. The "Price", when one is buying government, is "Taxation". Republicans like cutting taxes not increasing them but with a government, unlike a business, raising taxes doesn't scare off the customer because the customer has NO CHOICE but to pay them!
Every time the Republicans refuse to close a tax loop hole they're effectively letting those people making use of it get their product for free, which if you're in an actual business would be considered insane. Every time they lower the tax rate, they're reducing the price of their product - makes perfect sense if you expect price reduction to increase sales, but YOU CAN'T INCREASE SALES OF GOVERNMENT. It's a monopoly. It has a fixed subscriber base. Short of bulk immigration - something they are ALSO OPPOSED TO - there's no way to increase your total sales when your product is "government".
If you want the profit margin up, you put the price up, not down.
"Sure Sadam Hussain was a ruthless bastard, and a lot of his people suffered under his regime, but I'm not convinced that Iraq "post-democracy" is a better place to live with the lack of security, rise of religious power, and enormous society & infrastructure damage."
Sadly it seems that there have basically only been 2 lasting periods of stability in that region for the last hundred years.
1: Under Sadam Hussain, because he had anyone who didn't do as they were told shot.
2: Under British colonial mandate, because we had anyone who didn't do as they were told shot.
Neither says particularly good things about either the people in charge or the realities of living there.
When I read this sort of thing it's almost enough to make me wish Charles Stross wasn't writing fiction.
I mean if the Stars Are Coming Right then at least this would feel justified.
I'd be quite annoyed if MS's drive for universal apps made for universally crap apps.
It's a danger to be sure.
What it mostly demonstrates tho is the importance of separating the UI from the underlying actions, even when writing pretty basic apps. What they really need to be doing is promoting a Windows 10 API that defines how you write an abstraction layer. You write one back end, and then as many front ends as are required for different classes of device that just call your back end code.
It should be obvious to everyone that an interface for a 5" display with touch controls and an interface for a 24" display with a mouse+keyboard just _have_ to be different. "Write once run anywhere" isn't magic. Give us good tools to make crafting the UI easy on multiple devices and as long as the back end code compiles for all device classes we should be laughing.
Regardless of if they're actually the biggest selling of all time, 5 million units for what so many dismissed as a niche hobbyist product in 3 years is an astounding achievement.
I think we'll be finding pi's in unexpected places for decades to come - there's 4 here silently acting as serial -> network bridges for the machines that spit out the access cards for the car park!
Well, I guess that answers the question of "what to do about the finance software" then. They'll totally just suck it up and pay that.
"Private cloud"... Or "Server room" as we used to call it.
I still don't get this whole cloud thing.
Services run on servers. Servers are in racks. If the rack is here, then I can go prod it if it's doing something I don't like. If it's somewhere else, I have to rely on someone to do that for me.
Just feels like a silly word for "Outsourcing" to me.
The good news is that the Department of Transport has found £50 million "to ensure WiFi is available on selected services from 2017."
Really? Because I thought that would be for the train operators to fund. Why are we paying profit making entities to provide a service that apparently we're legislating into their contracts that they have to provide?
I've just been refusing to answer the bloody things for years. Unless I'm going in for medical treatment - where it is plausible that my ethnic background might actually make some sort of difference - it's completely irrelevant and I'm not playing.
God ain't that the truth. The number of times I've been told "We can't shut it down for an update, it's a core system!" and had to get them to give me that in writing because I'm not carrying the can for what happens if we get screwed after a CVE has been published and then we didn't respond to it.
"A business problem is the challenge that in many cases the current servers continue to run fine, are reliable and haven't had a problem in the last 18 months... therefore why should they be changed now? Computers are tools and one shouldn't have to replace working tools."
The problem is that is only partially true. It's like expecting to use a Model T Ford as a long distance taxi on the motorway. Now a Taxi is a tool, and a Model T could be a taxi, so yes, it's possible and you could argue that it's doing everything you require of it vis-a-vis moving a small number of people from one place to another, but it would be seriously inconsiderate to everyone you're holding up and bloody dangerous to yourself and your passengers.
The trouble we have here - and I imagine the same is true in most places - is that we have a layer of management who can't wrap their heads around the pace of change in IT. A 20 year old car probably isn't terribly different from a brand new one in most cases. A 40 year old car is still recognizable and does pretty much the same things (albeit slightly less well). Even a 60 year old car could be reasonably expected to more or less work in the ways we're still used to... There's still plenty of Austin TX4's still on the roads being taxi's today, nearly 60 years after they were first designed.
By the time you get back to the good old Model T with it's weird controls, complete lack of safety equipment and hopeless top speed it's obvious that it's no longer fit for purpose - but we had to go back nearly 100 years for that. The idea that the same thing might happen in only the 12 years since Server 2003 was released just doesn't fit in some people's heads, and until something _does_ go badly wrong, they're not going to be able to accept that it can.
Absolutely. This is how we got screwed, and are still getting screwed. We have some "web apps" that only work on IE6 - you know, just trivial things like payroll and HR management. We've been operating a running retreat from these things for years. First by forcing people to use an XPmode VM, then when XP ended, RDP to a 2003 terminal server.
I have no idea what we paid for them originally, but the way finance talk about it it seems to be somewhere in the region of what it cost to occupy Iraq, and no one wants to even consider what it'll take to have them (and the now hundreds of gigabytes of arcane database back-end that they're connected to) re-written to something fit for the 21st century.
It seems that the only way they're going to get changed is _after_ something terrible happens and we get sued for some truly horrific data leak. Everyone seems to acknowledge that it's a matter of "when" not "if" but it takes 5 years just to complete the consultation phase of a project to change something this size around here, and there's no sign that consultation will even start until the deadline for change is in the past.
Good question. I recently got a Z3 compact - not in small part because of how good the battery life is - a completely e-ink (or whatever this screen tech actually is) phone would be quite appealing, especially as a work "on call" device.
I reckon you could. Some of the claims made here are provably false, so at the very least it's false advertising. The cable _isn't_ directional, and you could prove that at the network layer. The same bit-stream is going to be delivered at either end no matter which way around the cable is.
You might be able to get away with saying "This particular woo woo makes music sound better!" because the claim is so vague as to be impossible to prove, but if you're saying "This particular woo woo makes music sound better because it does X" you better be able to prove that it DOES do X, and any half way competent networking engineer would be able to testify in court that it absolutely bloody doesn't.
At what point does selling something like this become fraud?
It's an ethernet cable. It has to be an ethernet cable, or it wouldn't work. At what point does describing it as a Magical Flying Unicorn that will solve all your audio woes with the Power of Rainbows* become legally actionable misrepresentation?
*Because that makes as much sense as what they've _actually_ marketed it as doing.
So, once again we respond to an attack on personal freedoms with an attack on personal freedoms. Always so successful.
When will people finally learn that the way to deal with the crazy isn't to pretend it doesn't exist? Stopping people saying things doesn't stop them thinking them. It's a good thing to hear people shouting about beheading infidels or whatever the particular stick they have stuck up their ass is.
Nothing is achieved by suppressing the shouting if the underlying sentiment remains. Trying to keep people from talking about it doesn't make it go away, it just simmers, until suddenly it's springing up unexpected from somewhere and the next thing you know some poor bastards are getting shot in the street.
Perhaps the ones talking about overthrowing the state have legitimate grievances (and if they don't now - start suppressing their right to speech and they soon will) Perhaps they're just nutters. To be honest I don't actually care, because the solution to the problem they present is the same either way:
Listen to them. Know who they are. Know what they want.
Then you decide if you need to either arrest them or possibly - just possibly - stop doing whatever godawful shit it is you're doing that is winding them up in the first place.
Either way, trying to keep them quiet is _never_ the answer.
Sounds like the tribunal was told what it was allowed to say to me.
"Ok, you can assert that a law was broken, as long as that doesn't mean we have to stop breaking it. Find some way to make the status quo legal, ok?"
How about, "It was only illegal as long as you didn't tell anyone?"
"Yup, I reckon that'll fly. Ok, you can release your report now."
I'd be very happy with my Z3 compact - in fact, as a physical device I like it very much - but I loathe the way that android is going the same way as consumer PC's with 4 million crapware packages installed when you buy it.
In fact, it's _worse_ than with consumer PC's because then at least you just do a fresh Windows (or Linux - or in my case usually both) install to scrape all that shit off, but you can't do that on here because Sony has baked the DRM keys for various bits of hardware into the firmware. Unlock the boot loader and bugger up the camera :(
Come on Sony, you're really close here, but please, PLEASE stop shipping things with pre-installed apps that can't be removed. I mean you even offer a method to root the phone straight off the bat so clearly you recognize that people like me really want access to the hardware we paid for. Take the last step. You know it's for the best.
I really don't.
The Pi has become a defacto standard for an emerging form factor. All these cheap single board ARM machines - ask anyone technical enough to be aware of them the name that is going to come most easily to mind is the Raspberry Pi. It's a very cool and widely spoken name in tech right now. Microsoft wants part of that market, and why the hell wouldn't they?
For their part, the Pi guys want to sell Pi's. Many people - particularly less technical people - like the idea of an uber cheap computer, but are scared off by having to use Linux. Windows on the Pi will appeal to those people, and why wouldn't the Pi foundation want a part of _that_ market? You never know you might even convert some of them to a *nix after they wet their toes using Win10.
This feels like a rare win-win to me.
"Let me turn this one upside down for a moment: what do you lose when you do away with a mechanical key?
Answer: a kill switch."
I'm with you all the way. I don't like electronic parking brakes for a similar reason. I once had a brake cable snap on me and watched the pedal disappear into the floor. Scary. Fortunately engine breaking down to something sensible by sticking it in 1st and then gentle application of the hand brake got me to stop. I know things like that (hello '70s austin!) aren't supposed to happen any more, but that's not to say they absolutely _can't_
The more we "fly by wire" the less direct control you have over the oily bits that actually do the stopping, steering etc and frankly when I'm in charge of a ton plus of high speed steel I'd quite like options in the case something does go wrong.
"Laggards on an IT forum? why? you'll be complaining about multicore cpu's next!! Remember when all we needed was 640KB of RAM?"
I do and it was just better :P
In all seriousness tho, how is this an improvement on having a key? I'm really glad my car is full of computers. It means things like the ABS and ASC actually work properly, and that it starts when it's cold, and that it's vaguely possible to get miles per gallon instead of gallons per mile when driving in a "spirited" fashion... but why the hell would I want them in the LOCK?
Defeating a mechanical lock is hard and time consuming, even if you're good at it. No two are the same so it's not like you can just knock up a single use tool that's going to open every car you step up to.* Once a digital security mechanism is broken, it's broken for good and any idiot with a compatible transmitter and a mobile phone's worth of computing power can open it.
I'm all for improvement, but sometimes computerizing things doesn't make them better and this feels very much like a case in point.
*Unless that "tool" is the afore mentioned 8mm flathead screwdriver and the "car" is a ford transit... in that case the problem is more along the lines of "Why did you fit a mechanical lock that could be overwhelmed with a screwdriver and a hammer without even setting the alarm off?"
"Also recalcitrant floor traps and jammed RJ45 socket covers. Try that with a BMW fob..."
I use mine for the little twist-n-push fuse bar at the bottom of the PDUs. Turns out that a car key is an excellent alternative to an 8mm flathead screwdriver.
(Also to open the car from time to time...)
You remember them, right? Small, funny shaped bit of metal? You keep them in your pocket and use them to open doors and start the ignition? Kinda like a physical id_rsa.pub you keep on your person?
Tis nice, but I was really hoping for a gigabit port and SATA. It was probably too much to hope for at this price point, but would have been so nice for this little NAS/Router thing I keep wanting to build.
Nope, exact same thing over here... Only difference being we can't write about public transport either any more, since they sold it all.
Don't we think that this is actually a really nasty, manipulative and on the face of it quite frightening thing to attempt?
Emotion is an integral part of our thinking ... Emotion creates the abiding commitments needed to sustain action on difficult problems, such as climate change ... appropriately framed emotional appeals can motivate action, given the right supporting conditions (in particular a sense of personal vulnerability ... and [a sense of] the support of others).
So what you're saying is that in order to make people think in the way the government wants them to think it should deliberately frighten them? I don't know, by - say - screaming about "Terrorism" all the time and responding to your own hysteria by pumping up police powers that the public were opposed to in the first palce? Never mind if there's any real chance of getting eaten folks, it's waaaay easier to move the herd when they're frightened of the dogs.
Nothing good comes of this sort of behaviour.
If it makes illegal moves, he's not really nailed it, has he?
Still, I've got to applaud the achievement here, even if it's not 100%. I've tried to write a chess program about half a dozen times at this point and - not being much better at programming than I am at actually playing chess - don't think I've ever managed a complete implementation in _any_ language in _any_ amount of code, so I still find this very impressive.
I completely agree. Distributed scale-out storage across many nodes is clearly the way we're going. Let the software handle where any given data block is written / read from and just keep feeding it disks and CPU cycles as necessary.
Breaks down a bit if you need to really slam a _lot_ of data down on the disks very fast because you end up IO bound by the speed of the network interface(s), but come on - in that case you're probably using some sort of flash storage on the local box anyway.
This is pretty much how CEPH works too.
You specify a set of nodes, tell it how much parity to data you want, and let it get on with it. Lose a disk? The data on that disk is re calculated from parity (or just redundant copies if you're doing what amounts to raid 10) and written to other disks across the set. Lose a node? Give the other nodes a moment to decide that it's actually gone and isn't coming back, rather than this being some sort of transient network issue, and the same happens but on a larger scale.
Half a dozen nodes with dozen disks each and this becomes really very robust and very VERY fast due to all those spindles being up and spinning all the time. You can also just throw more nodes at it when you want to increase capacity - which is just lovely.
Or the controller card lets go.
Or the power goes out to one of your racks and then the storage array's bios has a shit fit and refuses to come back up.
Or one of the ram banks in the array is acting up leading to constant re-writes as the checksums fail and now the controller thinks there's something wrong with the disks and starts removing them from service.
Or ONE of the network interfaces on the box goes down so the replication traffic to the other boxes in the cluster stops, but the outside world still thinks the disks are accessible for a while before STONITH kicks in and kills it, but it's too late by then and now you have a 14 hour rebuild on your hands when you bring the thing back up again.
Or the firmware on the controller card said "JBOD" but wasn't really jbod, and was still writing some sort of header to every disk, so when the drive fails and the spare fires up ZFS refuses to accept it as a replacement because there's some data on there already and you wouldn't want to risk over writing it would you?
You get 5 9's uptime by having a person on site who actually checks for shit like this. HA storage is _weird_
"You are forgetting the 2 stages before panic - ignore, followed by deride."
I like to imagine them as "We're too busy swimming in our HUGE VAT OF MONEY to listen to you!" and "Well, yes, ok, so it is a real thing but LOOK AT OUR HUGE VAT OF MONEY! It doesn't really matter that it's a thing."
I actually basically like a lot of Microsoft's products, but they really do need a lot of provoking before they finally get things right a lot of the time. Presumably because they keep getting distracted by how phenomenally much money they're making. I mean, if we're this rich, we've got to be doing everything right, no?
"For three decades, Microsoft has responded to competitive pressure by panicking, and then Doing Something Stupid."
This... is about the most perfect explanation I have ever heard for the entire history of that company.
Am I the only one around here who thinks that Apps are A. Bad. Thing (tm) and get really annoyed every time I have to install one to do something?
I want my phone to handle the basics of being a phone flawlessly and silently without me having to think about it. These days that's
* Phone calls
* Text messaging / IM
* Address book
* Music / video player
* Web browser
See that last one? Other than my SSH/RDP client (which most people would never want or use because most people don't work in IT and have no idea what either of those things are) I don't think I've ever come across a smart phone app that couldn't have been put in there. If I need an app, your browser / website doesn't work well enough.
I don't want a choice of email apps. I want the built in one to work properly. I don't want a choice of Camera apps. You wouldn't buy a digital camera and then head straight off to the app store so you could buy a different interface from someone who was more capable of writing software than the people who manufactured the thing. I shouldn't have to "Take my pick of over 5,000,000 high quality applications!" because whoever made the damn thing should have gotten the fundamentals right the first time and everything above and beyond that isn't going to harm sales because it is, by definition, niche.
When I got this new android phone at Christmas there were FOUR PAGES of applications on it, half of which were duplicates, and more than three quarters of which were things I didn't want, and I'm not allowed to uninstall any of them. Apps are an annoyance, not a sales point. A sales point is not needing the bloody things to start with.
They're going to cock it up, whatever they do, at this point. It's just too damn late. I loved windows phone, I really did, but as I've said before they're just FIDDLING with it now, they're not really improving it, just messing about. The reputation is tarnished beyond repair, and even people - like myself, like others in this thread - who really wanted to like it have given up.
They don't seem to have grasped something that the auto industry picked up some time in the 50s. People don't buy what they want, they buy what they can afford, but what they ultimately choose is based on what they want.
Very few people go into a BMW dealership because they've got huge amounts of money and intend to buy one of those shiny i8 things. But they go in to _look_ at the shiny i8 thing, and then end up buying a 1 series, because that's what they can actually afford. The "Halo" effect is real. It's been selling - basically everything - for about as long as there have been things to sell.
Microsoft seem to have grasped the need for cheap "landfill" devices to make up the bulk of the sales and keep the bottom line healthy, but no one is going to buy them because the impression of the brand as a whole is crap. The impression will STAY crap until they can put out a proper flagship quality device which doesn't act up all the time.
I actually quite like that. Would be nice for giving presentations and the like... mostly because I despise track-pads / touch screens I suppose, but still.
Perfect example of the most damaging and stupid line of thought of our times.
This is a serious reflection of the actual problem. Science is not based on consensus, it's based on testable facts. It doesn't matter a damn if everyone agrees on something if that something it provably false, and no one seems to be listening to anything that might prove their particular dogma false on either side of the "debate", if one can even call it that.
The real problem with here is that it's hard to convince anyone to do anything off the back of nothing more than balance of probability.
"If we don't do something, something bad _might_ happen, we're not really sure, but on balance it seems likely." Is not very convincing. It's much easier if the message is "It will be unequivocally the end of the world if you don't." ...which is unfortunate, because even if you're right big bold statements like that in a field that relies heavily on statistics makes you look like a liar.
Best pointing device? Perhaps, but only if what you're pointing at is quite large.
Best writing device? Absolutely not. There's a reason we all stopped finger painting and moved on to using pens as soon as we were out of nursery.
It's a cute project, I really don't see this working. What's the interconnect between all these parts? Let's assume the SOC lives on the backplane board - that's now the base of the phone, you're not going to change that. There's no way a phone uses a separate CPU / RAM / CPU all on discrete little boards, that would be nuts, so starting there you have the spec.
Then what can you change?
Storage: I already have a microSD card for that, and they're already dirt cheap.
Screen: Well, good for replacement in the case of damage I suppose, but if you're planning on upping the screen resolution that's going to tax the GPU, which is going to be a fixed component.
Camera: Is going to need a damn fast interconnect to the RAM if it's actually going to be any good... possible of course, but that's going to get costly pretty fast I would think.
Battery: Well, I do like a changeable battery, but most people do already seem to have been conditioned to live without one, so it might not be a strong selling point.
Speakers? Honestly, do we _really_ want people fitting their phone with bigger speakers? Really?
Then what... there's not much left. The sim card is already removable, and likely to go software defined in the not _too_ distant future. The wifi / bluetooth / gsm / whatever else wireless is going to be baked into the SOC again. By the time you actually want to change any of those parts that are changeable the age of the SOC will be showing and you might as well get a whole new one.
Just feels like a solution in search of a problem to me.
I assume they're thinking 2U rack mount boxes in server rooms with these, because most laptops I've seen in the last few years won't take 15mm drives, they're too tall for the backing plate to go back on afterwards.
I keep telling myself, in my more optimistic moments, that the shift to a shorter product life cycle can only be a good thing. If Windows N only lasts 2 years before the new one comes along, then perhaps people will stop writing awful software that can only be run on one specific version of one specific OS and start thinking about portability from the get go.
Of course, it won't, and even if it did it would seem that 5 years - and even if there's a new Windows in 2, the support will extend for 5, so there might as well not be - is just about long enough that people will tolerate the disruption, so we still get crap.
It's been slashdotted. It'll probably come back in a few hours once everyone loses interest.
Replace the contents of said audiophiles living room with pure nitrogen. Solves 2 problems at once...
But then you have a technician with some sort of secure login credentials for the machine who can turn the things back on again as needed.
I mean isn't basically the first step in secure systems "Disable / remove _everything_ you don't absolutely need" ?
Frankly I'm just amazed that prisoners can get cell reception when 90% of the offices I've been in can't.
I guess I understand why games companies are so keen to force you to log into their servers all the time - it's annoying, but it does have genuine up sides. I mean, Steam requires basically the same thing, and that's done pretty well.
The bit I don't get is restricting access to the SDK and preventing people from loading arbitrary software. Surely that just broadens the appeal of the device and leads to better sales?
At the very outside surely it would be possible to have the thing boot into "developer mode" or similar where online services are restricted, but you can run whatever code you like with the proviso that this is unsupported and you're on your own if you break it. Hell, even then it wouldn't be so hard to keep a "restore to factory settings" partition hidden away somewhere so you can at least put it back the way it came out of the box if you _do_ balls it up somehow.