118 posts • joined 26 Jul 2007
Merkel's compromised phone not a BlackBerry
I believe the device she was using at the time was a Samsung, and a very poorly-secured one at that, it is rumored.
Not too smart.
Whitman lives up to her reputation. Hello Lenovo...
HP has steadily become a stupider and stupider vendor for commercial products, and this is the final straw for me.
Most of the businesses I support are smaller businesses who inevitably have some hardware in use older than 3 years old, and who don't see the value in paying half the cost of a server every year for support which is mediocre at best. With the older stuff, we can just keep a used spare and swap it out if need be, far cheaper than buying a whole raft of new hardware every 3 years and re-configuring everything.
As soon as I saw the new generation of Proliants were designed with "pretty faceplates" like Dell used to do, I figured it was only a matter of time before Whitman completely ruined the enterprise products division. That day has come in my opinion.
This is exactly what Oracle did when they took over Sun's hardware division, and Oracle has been driving customers away from almost all of Sun's product lines ever since. I only wish I had seen the Reg article about this back in December.
Yes, companies like Cisco and Juniper do this, but they have outstanding products with unique technology that cannot be obtained anywhere else, and they do an excellent job of support if you're paying for it. But they also are not draconian about things like firmware updates, the restrictions are not designed to be bulletproof.
Excellent timing though - may as well light a bigger fire under Lenovo's rocketship, after their recent announcement about taking over IBM's x86 business.
I've never been much a fan of Dell or IBM servers, Dell because there's no engineering behind them to speak of and because its a stupid organization, IBM because of their convoluted and arcane bureacracy.
I was skeptical of Lenovo's buyout of IBM's consumer PC division but as it turns out they have done an excellent job with it. I think Lenovo has gained an early adopter of their new server products.
Lenovo is not a One-trick Pony
Among other things, I believe that Lenovo is now one of the largest smartphone vendors in the world, though we in the West don't see much of their products in that area because their target market is mostly in China.
But in a nutshell - I don't think Lenovo is quite as "wholly reliant" on the PC market as the article suggests.
Re: Concur with Stross. With a couple caveats.
And how much time do you spend writing, debugging and maintaining those scripts?
And when you don't have control over the nature of the input data, or the "automagic HTML converter thingy" creates some kind of HTML that modern browsers don't like?
This is like the software vendors who gush "Just press one button..."
Yes, after you've pressed 22 other buttons before, twiddled some knobs, moved various things around, scratched your head for awhile, did some test printouts, discovered a display incompatibility with your video driver, scratched your head some more..."
Re: I like Wikileaks. I think it serves an important function.
"Megalomaniac sociopath" eh? You been reading the script of "The Fifth Estate", have you?
Someone recently suggested that Assange is a "known disinformation agent". Which really got me LOLing, because regardless what you think of their methods, I have yet to see the US government (or any other government for that matter) dispute the genuineness of the material that wikileaks has published.
If publishing true facts in what we now call "disinformation", then Orwell was definitely right.
WAR IS PEACE.
Re: "no access to our servers":
The infamous "Carnivore" system operated by the FBI which got so much bad press about a few years back, was simply a "black box" network sniffer that sits on the wire behind the ISP/corporate firewall and potentially sniffs and records every packet on the wire.
No need for "access to their servers" to do that.
Now if the traffic was not decrypted until it reached those servers (increasing amount of email is now sent via SSL/TLS), then they will have to invent a new set of weasel-words to cover up that snooping architecture. ;)
Neither is there any reason why the spooks would reveal their internal "project name" to Apple or anyone else, all they are going to do is say: "Give us access to this thing here, right now." Prism schmism.
Re: Latest firmware update
Many people reported the issue with bluetooth and notifications turning off was resolved in the recent software update. (10.0.10.85 in Canada and some other places, 10.0.10.90 in various European countries. Note those are the software "bundle" versions, the OS version is different and usually ends in a 3 or 4 digit number after the last dot.)
Re: Z10 - Frustration beyond words
The edit cursor/bubble issue was resolved in the software update released over the last week or so.
Various other improvements were included in that update, ie battery-life fixes that for most people have been quite dramatic, improvements to syncing Google calendars, probably a couple dozen noticeable changes all in all.
Inaccuracies and misconceptions
Re: this part of the article:
"The service, most often referred to as BlackBerry Messenger..."
Not true. Blackberry Messenger (or "BBM") is a separate service, a proprietary Blackberry-only instant messaging service. Whereas PIN-to-PIN messaging is basically Blackberry-specific email.
One advantage of these proprietary services is that in many countries (in the developing world in particular) they have been bundled into inexpensive "BIS" (Blackberry Internet Services) data plans, which is a key reason why Blackberry remains popular in countries like Indonesia and South Africa.
There have long been misconceptions about BIS, including the security of services like PIN-to-PIN messaging and BBM. While back in the days when BIS was new, even its low-grade "scrambling" was much better than the mostly completely insecure alternatives, these days encryption (typically using SSL or TLS) is becoming more the rule than the exception for online services, not least due to all the hacks and exploits that have become so commonplace.
The truly secure Blackberry communication system has always been its Blackberry Enterprise Service or "BES", and that remains the case to this day.
"Pointless task" - wha?
Rather bizarre to refer to the act of building/maintaining an independent browser rendering engine as a "pointless task".
Then again I suppose it's trendy these days for everyone to all jump on the same bandwagon for some strange lemming-like reason.
I can't imagine the likes of Tim Berners-Lee would find these developments positive for the ecosystem. Sure there are obvious cost advantages for Opera to take this new path but they've been struggling with the same Catch-22 for years in terms of usage/popularity. The tech press comes in for a good share of the blame in my book because they have been practically criminally ignoring Opera for many years now, despite the fact that many of the most important and innovative features introduced in web browsers over the last 15 years were introduced by Opera first.
Not exactly a slam-dunk
While I give Microsoft credit for doing a decent job with its Office products overall, starting back in the DOS days, it's not all down to their competitors dropping the ball.
I don't know if any of you remember this, but there was apparently an old adage at Microsoft that ran something like this:
"DOS isn't done until Lotus won't run"
I believe there is substantial credible evidence that Microsoft has historically engaged in some highly questionable tactics to make their application competitors look bad or throw roadblocks at their apps running on the OS platforms Microsoft controls. Particularly back in the DOS days and the early days of Windows when vendors of traditional DOS products had a serious developmental disadvantage compared to a competitor who had intimate knowledge of and resources pertaining to this brand-new platform.
Novell had some particularly damning material that they were planning to use in a lawsuit over exactly that - but Microsoft settled that case with a large, secret payoff to Novell literally the day before the case was scheduled to go to trial. I believe Attachmate (Novell's new owner) is apparently interested in reviving either that case or a similiar one, so these very detailed allegations may yet see the light of day.
NASA bought nearly a dozen D3S's shortly after they came out. As well as a bunch of high-end Nikkor lenses, reputedly at least 7 14-24mm Nikkors to add to their other collection of top-of-the-line Nikkors. So I'd guess it's a D3s. Though they'll probably bring D4's up there pretty soon as well.
Which makes sense because at the time (and probably still today), the D3S was the best DSLR in the world in low light conditions, and NASA has been using Nikons for decades. The Russians are apparently using them in space too:
It's rather obvious to me these last few years how the Chinese authorities clamp a hermetic seal on any news of labor disputes or allegations of heinous working conditions when it comes to locally-owned companies, but *strangely* let the spigot run free when it comes to foreign-owned firms like Foxconn.
Stuff should just WORK
Kudos to the Samba team for getting this done, even if it did take some "coaxing" from the antitrust authorities to make it happen.
And while Jeremy Allison's comment about source code availability is important to some people, and there are organizations where the cost of M$ software is not a significant limiting factor, cost is indeed a factor for many organizations. (especially in these economic times)
But to reiterate what someone commented earlier - I view one of the biggest advantages of an OSS solution to be independence from the usual commercial pressures that push organizations to spend lots of time/money constantly replacing things that work perfectly well, with new buggy junk just because you won't get the time-of-day from them if you don't.
I had a Netware 3.2 server at one client years ago that ran 2.5 years without a single reboot. No web/java/flash/complex document renderers/etc etc etc to make the box exploitable, no need to keep patching it, it just sat there and served files and queued print jobs for something like 1,000 days straight. I keep saying basic I.T. stuff should be like a toaster or a refrigerator - just sit there and do its job, leave you to spend time/money on more important pursuits, until such time you decide you truly need something the existing system isn't providing you. Not just because Evil Vendor Du Jour has proclaimed that stepping off the continuous I.T. Expense Treadmill of Doom is prohibited by the EULA.
Re: Was there a survey?
"Counting registrations" does not give you information like how long it took before you accessed some particular feature, or how many tiles you added to the Metro interface.
Re: Was there a survey?
This is one of the key reasons I have not been inclined to jump on the Windows 8 bandwagon, besides the fact that I see little technical benefit to it for non-touchscreen users, and actually several steps backward.
In order to use a many of the new features, you have to create/register an account with Microsoft, one of the key purposes of which is clearly to compile all sorts of data on every person using that OS.
I'll pass, thanks.
No one probably would have cared if it weren't for the fact that analysts have been upgrading their outlook on RIM lately, and WP8 hasn't exactly been taking off like wildfire.
RIM these days is the primary competitor of Nokia and WP8, they are going to fight for the #3 smartphone spot, so it's no big surprise Nokia is eager to shoot them down any way they can.
What I'm curious about is what they are asking for these ancient patents, and whether they're going to claim RIM has to pay them for every device they've shipped since 2003 or not. Because if it's only for currently-shipping devices, considering RIM's current marketshare, I'd imagine that paying a royalty on a few thousand devices wouldn't be so bad. ;-)
Re: Is there a decent wordprocessor
Office 2003 also is not inflicted with the ribbon. That started in Office 2007.
I thought the email exchange posted by the Reg 1-2 days ago, by the Microsoftie who was arguing w/ Sinofsky about sticking the stupid ribbon onto Windows Explorer, was very entertaining. ;)
As far as other alternatives, look here:
Re: OO and LO - meh, not so much
TBH I put it behind me and moved on and don't remember the details right now.
As far as format compatibility - if you claim to be compatible, be compatible. Don't pretend to open the file, perform a ROT13 on the content and then proclaim "But see, we opened it!"
There were things ie in the spreadsheet or writer app where it says "Do X, and Y will happen", so I do X, and then either Y doesn't happen, or instead I get D(*FUDJFDF.
I will try to find my notes on it.
OO and LO - meh, not so much
Like many other commenters here, I *wanted* to like OO/LO. And I'm not a very sophisticated office productivity user.
But in addition to the disastrous formatting disparities when trying to share docs/files with people elsewhere that are using the MS products, just doing basic tasks was wrought with bugs and peril, in my limited experience. Things didn't work the way they claimed, help was not available, etc. And some tools (like the presentation thingy, forget what it's called) are extremely rudimentary functionality-wise. This was with version 3.4.x I believe.
That said, there are actually tons of other low-priced commercial office productivity suites out there. It's not as if there are only 2 choices, OO/LO and Microsoft.
FWIW, I also keep a copy of LO on one of my laptops, for simple tasks and sentimental reasons, but if I have to do any sort of serious work, I'm afraid I revert to MSO 2010.
Re: Maybe its time...
It's not necessarily a matter of guessing login credentials, it's a matter of buggy software that allows itself to be exploited and give up access whether or not the attacker has valid login credentials.
I assume something like Tripwire or AIDE could prevent evil doers (or at least warn about them) trying to exploit your kernel with malware like this?
I agree with the comments about Acronis support and lack of transparency.
To me, the A-1 most important factors that would weigh in my decision about a commercial file storage service are the kinds of factors that Acronis has a poor reputation at: reliability, privacy/security and support.
The last time I purchased a server system image product I went with Symantec because even if the product has inferior functionality in some ways compared to the Acronis equivalent, and even if Symantec support isn't the greatest, Acronis support and reliability are the worst. It's great when their stuff works, good luck to you if it doesn't.
And that's not even mentioning the sales team - who remind me of used car salesmen.
Re: Easy to fix, even after quarantine...
Tried it, no joy. Same 25010 error. Still no response from Sophos 1.5 hrs after sending them diag report..
It gets better..
Now they're just hanging up on you when you call the support line after entering "4" then "2" for Enterprise Products. Did it 4-5 times in a row to me now.
Re: Easy to fix, even after quarantine...
This sounds tempting to try, but what does it do exactly? Looks like it just repairs "required registry entries" and shortcuts?
I was getting a "25010" with "NoUpdateInProgress" error while trying to uninstall one of 3 Sophos items in XP control-panel, apparently this has been a bugaboo for Sophos for quite a while now, judging by various online comments and kb articles.
What a disaster
It took me around 6 hours to get through to Sophos support on the phone.
I didn't even want to bother after reading about everyone else's trouble reaching them, but I had at least one machine which was stuck in a loop - couldn't remove Sophos Endpoint Protection, couldn't re-install it, wasn't working properly, Windows Installer kept trying to re-install the auto-update thing every few minutes, ugh.
I finally got someone on the line 10 minutes after the UK call center started taking calls from the pitifully overloaded Australian call-center. I've been working on this since ~18:00-19:00 PDT, it's now 02:44 9/20 and still waiting to get a response to my diagnostic report sent to them 40 minutes ago.
I was wondering what was going to happen to Sophos after they got bought by some investor group a couple years back. Perhaps this is our answer.
New Ubuntu Linux release name
I think Richard Chirgwin just coined the name for the next release of Ubuntu Linux. ;-)
@heyrick: re: how Chrome installs in the user data folder etc:
That is one of the main reasons I have avoided Chrome after my initial experiments with it.
From what I can tell, the primary reason that Google did that was to circumvent limited-user application installation restrictions. I think Google may have even admitted this directly.
In other words. places like businesses which don't want clueless users installing random junk on their PCs to keep them from screwing the company with malware, or bringing the 'net connection to its knees while they download DVD torrents, or uploading proprietary company secrets to Bulgaria - are to be sneered-at and Google wants to make it easier to do whatever the h*ll you want anyway.
Surely it's not because they need to 'help' home users on limited accounts, because as we all know, the clueless home users are all using admin accounts with no password assigned.
I have various other issues with it, like the auto-updates you can't control, the sharing of browsing details with the Googleplex, etc etc.
I won't take away from Google's successes, they've built some nice products and technologies. But it's that megalomania problem...
To the Google defenders, I give you the Swedish Chef..
If Google's claim about incompatibility were actually technically true, one would have expected them to have a dialogue with Opera about it before trying to chase all Opera's users away from their websites.
The fact that they didn't appear to make any such effort, to me, is telling. Especially since no one seems to have actually uncovered a rendering problem with current versions of Opera there.
Perhaps Opera needs to release an update to their "Swedish Chef version", which converts all text on Google properties to Swedish Chef speak.
The minority IS right
" In fact, the HP TouchPad does a better job in CSS rendering than Opera. Of course it is possible that Opera is the compliant one, and the others are all non-compliant, but the "minority is right" situation is not necessarily a good thing for web developers."
Actually, the person who invented CSS was then and is now still working for Opera. Opera has historically been the most CSS-compliant web browser in the world.
What would be good for web developers is if they weren't so lazy and actually learned what a W3C standard is.
Advanced WiFi control system
How much you want to bet the person who designed the control system used a $39 WiFi hotspot with encryption turned-off? Maybe it was the same intellectual that designed the retail point-of-sale system for TJX in the States...
Any professionally-run data center should be capable of riding through a power interruption of any sort, short of a direct hit on the building wiring. Most major data-centers boast of having enough generator fuel onsite for days of off-grid local power-generation, with in many cases contracts with multiple fuel contractors to deliver more if necessary.
The fact that this one could not span even a short interruption tells me that cost-reduction is the #1 priority here. Same goes for the clients who didn't span their instances across multiple EC/AWS zones or different providers entirely - especially since they should have known about the threadbare power infrastructure Amazon is using.
Re: Epic Fail
I don't have an issue with a site asking a user to change their password via email. It depends on how they do it.
If they have a link in the email that anyone can use to reset the password, umm...
But if it's just a notification, and the user has to prove they have the old credential first, not too bad.
I reserve my highest disdain for the sites that SEND your password/license info/login credentials etc in an unencrypted email..
Personal information you provide will be secured in accordance with industry standards and technology. Since the internet is not a 100% secure environment, we cannot ensure or warrant the security of any information you transmit to LinkedIn. There is no guarantee that information may not be accessed, copied, disclosed, altered, or destroyed by breach of any of our physical, technical, or managerial safeguards.
Only problem I foresee with that is there's no guarantee that incoming traffic will route through your higher priority MX's just because they're up and running.
Forgetting about MTA idiosyncracies, all it would take is a routing/connectivity issue between the sending host and the receiving primary MX and they would ignore that host and deliver to the secondary, tertiary etc.
Which is normally fine, unless you're in a migration scenario where you're not yet monitoring the mailboxes on the new system.
One little problem
The vast majority of MTAs run by clueful admins these days no longer bother sending or forwarding bounce messages due to the massive queue backlog that results if you're the victim of a large spam run, and also because of the "backscatter" problem.
So don't get your hopes up that many people will actually see bounce messages if you firewall incoming traffic. (Not to mention how many people are either ignorant or paranoid about what a bounce message is - they might for example think it's a phishing attack, or are just too lazy to bother looking.
Not getting rid of the keyboard
RIM has clarified that they have no intention of getting rid of the keyboard, but that probably the initial BB10 device will be all-touchscreen.
In the tech forums I visit in the USA, RIM gets nothing but criticism. Some of which is warranted of course, but it really feels more like some blinded-by-emotional-fury soccer fans that go killing each other over soccer matches than a discussion about smartphone platforms.
RIM gets constantly savaged for not fielding more battery-sucking giant-screen monstrosities so people can play more games with 'em (though with multiple charged batteries at the ready I'd assume), and then when they finally knuckle under to all the braying and decide to put emphasis on a touch-screen device for once, out come the people savaging them over THAT decision.
Smartphones have long-since become fashion accessories, and people seem to treat them as such. If you don't have what's "in", you're a wanker - no discussion necessary.
Procurve switches, for me, have been fabulously reliable.
Unlike the "big C", they also:
Don't charge for firmware updates
Don't charge for support generally speaking
Have a fabulous warranty (covers everything except 'consumable' parts like fans)
Don't have policies explicitly designed to eliminate the secondary market
Are far easier to use than 'that other vendor' (Decent GUI, plus curses-based text menus, plus the rudimentary line-editor sort of thing most people use on that Other Brand)
That said, I never saw this kind of issue prior to HP's absorption of that Chinese company that used to call itself 3Com that makes those cheap and ugly things. :P
I'm leery of the new Procurve stuff. Never liked 3com much, and never wanted much to do w/ Huawei either after learning about their attempts to copy Ciscos IOS into their products without permission.
I still don't understand why neither IBM or its latest incarnation Lenovo never revived the old "butterfly" keyboard from that IBM Thinkpad of yore. That was a *brilliant* and elegant idea.
Would serve nicely until we're all using holographic UI's...
Products released in 1997?!?
This whole 'patent wars' thing is ridiculous.
At the very least, there needs to be a limit to how long you can sit on some alleged infringement before you pounce, or else I may as well claim that someone slapped me in the face 40 years ago but, oops, their memory is gone by now, oh well, give me a default judgment anyway..
Re: Any way the wind blows money
This has been my consistent experience with AT&T in virtually every complex dealing I've had with them in either commercial or residential, data or voice services: rotten to the core.
Just last week I was reminded again when attempting to resolve a commercial billing issue. At every turn they fail to follow-through as promised, fail to provide ways to adequately follow-up on committments, and have the most utterly convoluted rats-nest of bureacracy staffed by clueless minions who I'm convinced are hired precisely because it makes it less likely customers will get anything that ATT doesn't feel like giving them.
On the residential side for example, if you go to their website and try to _remove_ a service from your account, you will find that it is impossible. Lots of opportunities to ADD some service that you'll pay extra for, but no way to remove anything. (This was confirmed by the rep I eventually spoke to, who actually half-heartedly apologized for that little sales trick)
I've even had field installers who were onsite to install a circuit for an AT&T "partner ISP" using their local-loop try to talk you out of using that ISP and switch to AT&T's lousy service instead.
Like a zombie army, that organization.
The First Hit is Free
A good drug dealer only gives away the initial sample. Once the quarry is addicted, it's bill-paying time.
MS's market has matured now, the world is thoroughly addicted, so we can expect to see them pulling-back on the freebies.
Re: There are MVNOs...
Give the organization that sat on the spectrum and did nothing with it for 5 years 90% of the sale price?
All that would do is encourage deep-pocketed do-nothing organizations to become spectrum speculators.
Personally I think the whole idea of spectrum auctions in the first place stinks. They just stumbled on this new revenue source back in the Clinton era and have now become addicted to it, and for the most part all it has done is eliminate competition and create destructive entities like LightSquared et al.
(Oh and BTW, anything that Comcast passionately advocates for is almost _guaranteed_ to be a bad idea for citizens.)
Recently installed a Sonicwall VPN device for a client, first product from them I've recommended in years.
I wonder what Dell will do with them - keep the branding or rename it Dell, remove product lines, maintain or remove support for legacy products, etc.
I've not been particularly impressed with Dell's networking products in the past. Have no idea about their support, but if it's anything like what used to drive me nuts with their PC support (treating you like garbage unless you claim to be a Fortune 500 corporation or something), I'm not looking forward to this.
I wanted to like LibreOffice...
Tried to use it in a small office situation, but it was so riddled with bugs of every kind, and the killing blow was its interoperability with MS Office 2010 docx/xlsx format was terrible. (Documents edited in LIBO ended up with severe errors or wouldn't even open at all sometimes in MSO2010)
No matter how much I may like the product, if I can't send documents to other people who are inevitably married to MS products and expect them to be able to open/edit them, it's a showstopper.
I still have it on one of my boxes but I'm lucky I only use it there for the simplest tasks, and typically don't require collaborating with the inevitable MS-using masses.
Pity about the look
Too bad about that ugly front fascia. I always thought Dell did that mostly to hide their poorly engineered hardware. And who the heck has the time to unlock a faceplate every time they need to check something, and keep track of all the keys?
Perhaps this is the beginning of the "Megging" of the company. Ugh.
VNC secure? That a joke?
VNC itself has almost no security whatsoever. In order to not give up pretty much everything to miscreants you have to tunnel it over SSH by yourself. (and hope you're not using one of the plethora of SSH versions with their own security holes)
It also doesn't have 1/10th the functionality that PCAW has.
That said, Symantec's decision to keep mum for 5 years about a serious breach of security-critical sourcecode is outrageous, especially for a company which is now one of the top IT security product vendors in the world. (And I'm not just talking about Norton antivirus - Symantec took over Verisign's SSL business, a major security forum/mailing-list, and sells all sorts of corporate security products as well.)
Hindsight, take 2..
Not only the disk drive industry, but Sony and Nikon's DSLR plants are underwater too.
Seems to me, looking at various photos of flooded factories, that all these companies would have needed to do to prevent 80% of the problem with ruined machinery/inventory was simply to install all the equipment and inventory storage on the 2nd floor.
Make the 1st floor a parking-lot, and as soon as the waters subside, back to business. (Well, except for the issues with other local infrastructure and parts suppliers)
DNS zone change? Wut?
I for one would like to know why they had to push out a DNS zone update in order for their sites to start working again.
That's like saying TheReg went down because overnight its DNS servers forgot what the IP was of its webserver or web proxy.*
Something is fishy.
*(Well yeah I know, but that was NetNames boffins forgetting - er, with a little help - what TheReg's IP addresses were. :P )
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