* Posts by Joe Montana

627 posts • joined 12 Mar 2007

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Hyperoptic's overkill 10Gbps fibre trial 'more than a clever PR stunt'

Joe Montana

Chipsets

A lot of cheaper chipsets are capable of connecting to a gigabit ethernet connection, but not actually transferring data at the full rate...

Aside from the chipset, it also depends on your (pci/e/x/etc) bus, memory, processor, and if your downloading data - the disk onto which the data is being written.

There have been gigabit ethernet nics for nearly 20 years, some are better than others.

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IT 'heroes' saved Maersk from NotPetya with ten-day reinstallation bliz

Joe Montana

Firewall rules

If you allow rules for AD, then you allow the very ports that most of this malware uses to propagate.

3
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NASA is sniffing jet fuel over Germany

Joe Montana

Re: Market distortion

Taxing fossil fuels only causes hardship for those who have no alternative...

Provide usable alternatives and people will use them without being coerced.

8
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UK's Just Eat faces probe after woman tweets chat-up texts from 'delivery guy'

Joe Montana

Canned response...

It's clear that "trixie" was just following a script... The response "can't fix a bad meal" says it all - the script is aimed at people complaining about the food being bad, but clearly this complaint had nothing to do with the food.

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Junk food meets junk money: KFC starts selling Bitcoin Bucket

Joe Montana

Re: Issues with Bitcoin

Several currencies have suffered from hyperinflation which effectively zeroed their value, there is always the risk of catastrophic failure.

0
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Heart of darkness: Inside the Osówka underground city

Joe Montana

Regulation...

Less regulation, less paperwork, less red tape, cheaper labour, more relaxed health+safety/labour laws, much easier to get things done...

Look at construction projects taking place in third world countries, they generally have inferior equipment and lower skilled labourers and still manage to get large projects completed.

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Heathrow Airport's local council prohibits drone flights from open spaces

Joe Montana

Re: Bah!

Drones make irritating noises, but so do many other things - vehicles, aircraft, gardening equipment (especially leaf blowers), construction equipment, kids, animals etc. If you start banning things which make obnoxious sounds then there won't be much left and you'll end up living in a giant public library.

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Joe Montana

Re: does this mean...

If it's manned then it's not a drone, it becomes a light aircraft and falls under separate regulation...

Interesting this includes "vehicles", so kids playing with radio controlled cars is out.

3
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WikiLeave? Assange tipped for Ecuadorian eviction

Joe Montana

Re: He may regret waiting

I believe Trump has a reputation for valuing and rewarding loyalty, so it's quite possible he would reciprocate towards someone who provided assistance to him.

1
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Parliamentary 'puters made 30k tries to procure pr0nz last year

Joe Montana

Security testing

Security is important in the adult entertainment industry too, so these companies hire security testers to check the security of their websites. I've had to sit in an open plan office working on porn and other sites that would usually be inappropriate to view in the workplace at the direct instruction of my boss.

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Here come the lawyers! Intel slapped with three Meltdown bug lawsuits

Joe Montana

Re: Sorry, Itanium sucks

ARM is not exactly a clean 64bit architecture either, like amd64 it's an extension to a 32bit architecture that was never intended to be extended. The only difference is that the 32bit architecture was cleaner in the first place.

There are much cleaner 64bit implementations in the form of Alpha, POWER, MIPS and SPARC. Alpha was even a pure 64bit design with no 32bit mode at all.

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Whizzes' lithium-iron-oxide battery 'octuples' capacity on the cheap

Joe Montana

Re: Nevertheless...

You miss the point with cars...

Adding a larger fuel tank adds less weight to a vehicle than a larger battery. The range of diesel vehicles is limited by the size of tank, and a full tank of diesel still weighs less than a battery of a similar size/range.

Electric cars have been around a LONG time, they've just only recently started to become popular again. The reason they fell out of favour was due to the weight and lack of range, milk floats were almost always electric because they were quiet and didnt require a long range or high speed etc.

There's also the consideration of how fast you can recharge, and the availability of charging stations. A diesel car can be filled in a couple of minutes, and diesel is available almost everywhere... A battery takes longer to charge, and in doing so it occupies a charging slot for much longer than a diesel car does. On the other hand, once the infrastructure is in place the power can be transported far more quickly than liquid fuels.

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Microsoft patches Windows to cool off Intel's Meltdown – wait, antivirus? Slow your roll

Joe Montana

Disabled by default?

If this update is disabled by default, how many people will install it and assume they're good to go without even realising that it needs to be enabled?

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How much will Britain's next F-35s cost? Not telling, says MoD

Joe Montana

Re: Quality vs quantity

Quantity matters a great deal...

A large but low quality force could still wear down a superior but smaller force... Weapons that are cheaper and simpler to build may not be as effective, but they are also cheaper and quicker to repair or replace when they get damaged or destroyed.

Also if you're using expensive missile to destroy cheap disposable drones, it will cost you a lot more to keep firing the expensive missiles than it costs the enemy to launch the disposable drones. You may have a 100% success rate at killing the drones, but that rate turns to 0% once you run out of missiles to throw at them.

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UK good for superfast broadband, crap for FTTP – Ofcom

Joe Montana

Myanmar

Getting FTTP is even relatively easy in Myanmar...

The UK will be behind North Korea too before too long.

2
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YouTuber cements head inside microwave oven

Joe Montana

Re: Twat

Any profit made from videos in which an ambulance or the fire service need to be called should be given to the service in question. Idiots should not profit from having to waste emergency service time.

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UK government bans all Russian anti-virus software from Secret-rated systems

Joe Montana

Re: Jet Engine

Having highly advanced but expensive and complicated weapons is not really ideal in a war situation unless they are massively superior to the enemy such that the enemy can't damage them.

If the difference is small enough that the inferior enemy equipment can still inflict damage, and the enemy equipment is much cheaper they will just build large numbers you won't be able to match due to the cost.

Also during combat, equipment will get damaged or destroyed. If repair/replacement is expensive or complicated it will become difficult to maintain enough working equipment. The AK47 is a good example of this, reliable and quick/cheap to build.

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Mythical broadband speeds to plummet in crackdown on ISP ads

Joe Montana

Up to?

Saying "up to" is the only real way to describe an internet connection, where the quoted figure is either the technical capability of the physical technology in use, or an arbitrary figure to which the provider has capped the service.

Beyond that, the actual transfer rate you could achieve at any given time is dependent on so many factors that there's no way to realistically estimate.

This bit about "so long as part of the connection is delivered over fibre" is stupid tho... I could use fibre to link my desktop to a 14.4kbps modem, would that be a fibre connection by their definition? In fact virtually all internet connections would at some point be delivered over fibre if you follow the traceroute.

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Uber loses appeal against employment rights for workers

Joe Montana

Re: Surely...

Drivers are free to not accept a potential customer, but if they accept a customer and then cancel that causes inconvenience for the customer who then has to find another driver willing to take them which reflects badly on the service.

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Android at 10: How Google won the smartphone wars

Joe Montana

Re: Horsecrap

The OEMs (and network operators) and their customisations are the problem, and the same thing does happen with windows but to a much smaller extent... Various vendors (eg of ATMs or POS systems) provide preinstalled versions of windows which you aren't supposed to update using the standard updates, if you do so the device becomes unsupported by the vendor and it may well break their custom software.

I had similar problems with symbian phones, where operators would provide their own hacked versions with features broken or disabled etc, and often very unstable... Usually you could wipe them and install the stock nokia firmware which i'd done on several occasions.

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Brit moron tried buying a car bomb on dark web, posted it to his address. Now he's screwed

Joe Montana

Re: er...

Actually the primary purpose of a car bomb is usually to blow up the car and kill the occupants, trying to kill or injure nearby pedestrians with shrapnel would usually be achieved by filling the entire car with something explosive or flammable. A car bomb is usually small and concealed so the driver of the car doesn't notice its presence until it detonates.

That said there is also a small chance that this guy was driven by curiosity rather than nefarious purposes, perhaps he wanted to buy an old car and blow it up in a field somewhere to make a youtube video? People are *supposed* to be innocent until proven guilty and destroying your own property is not a crime.

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New phishing campaign uses 30-year-old Microsoft mess as bait

Joe Montana

Re: Invoice attachments

If you forward an email which contains spam or phishing, it's likely the recipients spam filter will pick up on the spam content and consider you a bad sender.

I reviewed a bank where they setup a phishing@ address for customers to forward suspicious mails to, and they commented that they didn't receive many examples... Turns out their corporate spam filter was catching a majority of the suspicious emails forwarded by users, and they had no way to turn filtering off for just one address.

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Joe Montana

Re: Now you are blaming the victim.

General purpose computers are not suitable for most people, and aren't aimed at such... They are tools meant for geeks and well trained IT departments.

Games consoles, iPads etc are more aimed at end users and don't require anywhere near as much maintenance as a general purpose os.

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Yes, British F-35 engines must be sent to Turkey for overhaul

Joe Montana

Turkey

So the only place that can service the engines of these planes is bordering on the region where these planes are most likely to be fighting...

So what happens if IS take over or destroy the only service location?

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1

Samsung to let proper Linux distros run on Galaxy smartmobes

Joe Montana

Nothing new..

It's been possible to run a full blown linux in a chroot on an android mobile for years, it's just that until now no major vendor has marketed the idea or packaged it up in an easy to use way.

Someone should have done this years ago!

For some things a desktop form factor is simply better, so having the ability to hook your phone up to a large screen and use an external keyboard/mouse is great as a phone is far more portable than a laptop.

4
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What the fdisk? Storage Spaces Direct just vanished from Windows Server in version 1709

Joe Montana

Pay for? Or severe bugs?

The only reasons they'd remove something like this...

1, they intend to make it a paid addon...

2, it has severe bugs such that they're going to drop it completely...

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So the 'Year of Linux' never happened. When is it Chrome OS's turn?

Joe Montana

Re: 'But the public didn't bite '

Most people don't understand computing, and don't know what they want or need... They will buy whatever is marketed to them. Noone is marketing "linux" to them so they don't even know it exists. Even those vendors who do offer preinstalled linux systems, typically require you to explicitly go looking through their site to find it. The original netbooks actually sold very well with linux, and the market died once MS got vendors to stop selling the dirt cheap linux based models.

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Joe Montana

Re: Linux on the desktop

I've generally found the "official" drivers for printers and scanners to be horribly bloated, and often poorly supported...

Linux distros generally support a lot of printers and scanners out of the box, no need to go hunting the drivers, and the built in drivers are often better than what the manufacturer provides for other platforms.

I have a couple of old HP scanners here, they have official windows (32bit only) and mac (powerpc only) drivers which are useless today, but they work out of the box on linux. To repeat your phrase, "it's certain that I'm not going to junk my working scanners, one of which I've had for more than a decade"...

On the other hand, there are standards for printers (Postscript, PCL etc), you're doing yourself a disservice if you buy a proprietary printer instead of one that supports one of these standards. I use an old laserjet which supports both postscript and pcl, and i can print to it from virtually anything, and anything i acquire in the future is still going to support postscript even if all the other crufty proprietary printer drivers are deprecated.

As for apps, most things are moving towards being delivered via a browser, either cloud hosted or hosted on a local server, and already those who actually require local applications are a niche, those who require specific local applications being an even smaller niche. Gimp may not be photoshop, but how many people run a pirated photoshop to do extremely simple operations that could have been achieved just as easily with mspaint? I know quite a few such people. Plenty of people never use msoffice for anything more than a simple letter either, libreoffice is more than adequate for the vast majority of use cases, as is google docs and the office365 webapp.

Windows didn't get where it is today by being the best or most capable tool for the job, it got there by being widely available, cheaper and more heavily marketed than the alternatives, and barely adequate for the job, the same thing will happen with chromeos if google pushes it hard enough and in many cases its better for average users (safer etc).

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Joe Montana

Desktop is dying...

Millions of people wanted to access the web, and for years the only way to do that was to buy a complex computer. A full blown computer running a traditional os, be it windows macos or linux is a tool for geeks. People claim linux isn't suitable for end users, but neither is windows, and if anything windows is actually worse these days.

Users are typically not capable of installing linux, but the same users wouldn't be capable of installing windows either - the difference is that they aren't expected to as windows and macos typically come preinstalled.

For a good example of why windows is not suitable for typical users, look at the epidemic of malware... Operating a complex OS requires a level of knowledge to mitigate against and avoid the kind of security errors which lead fo malware infections. Most people neither have nor want this knowledge. They only bought a desktop because it was the only thing available to do what they wanted, it was never designed for them and was never an appropriate tool for their needs.

ChromeOS, Android, iOS and games consoles are much better for such users. Users can use such devices in their default configurations to perform the tasks they want to do, in a much safer environment than a general purpose OS. They don't have to worry about maintenance or malware etc...

And when it comes to Android/iOS malware, what does exist typically only infects users who have strayed outside of the walled garden by jailbreaking or rooting their devices. Something you should really only be doing if you actually understand what you're doing.

Geeks don't like the walled garden approach, but such an approach is actually the only answer for non geeks. Give it a few years and desktop computers will be back to the small niche of geeks and specialist tasks, with the vast majority of people using walled-garden devices for their day to day tasks. The only people who should be using complex general purpose computers, are those who actually know how to use them properly and safely on a shared network.

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Neglected Pure Connect speaker app silenced in iOS 11's war on 32-bit

Joe Montana

Re: Commentards obviosly know more than mere mortals

Not just support for the extra APIs, but also the overhead of keeping 2 sets of libraries both on disk and in memory when you run a 32bit app...

It makes no sense to support both at the same time, and there's no point supporting only 32bit as it clearly has a limited future compared to 64.

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Microsoft silently fixes security holes in Windows 10 – dumps Win 7, 8 out in the cold

Joe Montana

Re: You think that's bad?

It's usually not embedded XP, it's usually normal XP although a lot of ATMs have been upgraded to windows 7 now anyway...

Embedded XP however is largely the same as regular XP (ie the same holes), but harder to keep updated.

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Microsoft Edge shock: Browser opts for Apple WebKit, Google Blink

Joe Montana

Re: UWP

I imagine at some point Wine will have UWP support added...

But if you want to run apps which are linux-hostile, you might be better off installing the android runtime and running the android versions - this should be relatively easy as the entire android userland already runs on top of a linux kernel and is open source, and there are way more android apps than uwp apps.

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Ex-Harrods IT man cleared of stealing company issued laptop

Joe Montana

IT worker

So this guy supposedly worked in IT, and yet he wasn't aware of the various ways in which he could have accessed or erased the machine?

Sounds like Harrods was right to make him redundant, he clearly wasn't competent at the job he was supposed to be doing.

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Kerberos bypass, login theft bug slain by Microsoft, Linux slingers

Joe Montana

Open source

// Altman believes that the longevity of this particular vulnerability challenges the notion that open source code is magically more secure than closed source code. "The fact that this has been around for as long as it has been in open source, I think, is just one more case that should debunk the theory that open source programming is in some way more secure than closed source programming."

Only that's exactly what happened, someone unconnected with the developers was able to view the open source code and identify the flaw. The only problem is how long it took.

This vulnerability may never have been found in the similarly affected closed source implementations without the source code, meaning only those organisations that have the src (criminals, the nsa etc) would have the advantage. Open source puts everyone on the same level.

4
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Hackers able to turbo-charge DJI drones way beyond what's legal

Joe Montana

Re: Sooner or later

You could build a car that has a built in GPS, works out what road it's on and then automatically limits your top speed to stop you breaking the speed limit... But how many times have you driven down a highway only for the GPS to think you're on a different road nearby, such a system would cause crashes when it forced your car to suddenly brake from highway speeds down to the speed limit of the road it thought it was on.

MacOS automatically sets your wifi regulatory zone to the country code being broadcast by the first access point it sees... If someone has a misconfigured access point nearby your wireless settings could become suboptimal or even completely broken.

All of these features designed to restrict what users can do in the name of safety or legality end up causing problems, and they cause these problems for legitimate users. Those who intentionally want to do something illegal will go out of their way to find a way to bypass any restrictions put in place.

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Google ships WannaCrypt for Android, disguised as Samba app

Joe Montana

SMBv1

It's not the SMBv1 protocol itself that's vulnerable, but rather specific bugs in Microsoft's implementation of it... A fully patched version isn't vulnerable even with smbv1 turned on, and other implementations of the protocol such as samba aren't vulnerable to the same attacks.

That's not to say smb the protocol and the windows implementation specifically doesn't have some pretty stupid design flaws, but the newer versions aren't really any better either.

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Ubuntu 'weaponised' to cure NHS of its addiction to Microsoft Windows

Joe Montana

Re: It will take 1-2 more WannaCries

Linux *does* get attacked a lot..

Linux (especially the kernel) is used on a lot more devices than windows, but the differences are diversity and modularity. There are thousands of different linux distributions (including android and various embedded devices) which are configured to suit the specific needs they are targeting, and this blends into the modularity aspect...

Windows is pretty monolithic, it comes with support for tons of hardware, html rendering, APIs for gaming, several legacy versions of most APIs intended to support older applications, a bunch of network services like rpc and smb which are difficult to turn of let alone remove. With Linux you can easily turn off what you don't need, resulting in a lighter system with a much smaller attack surface.

Both linux and windows recently had vulnerabilities in their most common implementations of SMB (which is what wannacry exploits), the difference being that every windows box has SMB not only installed and enabled by default but very difficult to remove (they actually suggest you firewall it rather than turning it off properly), while the vast majority of linux systems do not run smb at all.

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Joe Montana

Re: Cost is the smaller concern

Depends what they modify... Most installs of anything are customised to some degree, and these customisations have to be adapted to future versions.

If they're making significant changes (e.g. the addition of smartcard support) they could commit these back upstream, so future versions have the support by default.

Of course for an organisation the size of the NHS, where so many users have very similar needs the cost of customisation could easily be outweighed by the benefits of software more tailored to the needs of the organisation.

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London suffers from 'sub-standard' connectivity - report

Joe Montana

Re: Lack of fttc in central london

London is full of very expensive premises, primarily businesses... If they can afford to have their offices there, they can afford to pay for a decent leased line. There's not a huge demand for residential connectivity.

0
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Robots will enable a sustainable grey economy

Joe Montana

Variety of reasons...

It's not just alcohol taxes, supermarkets have to pay the same taxes that pubs do... The fact that alcohol is cheaper in supermarkets has more to do with economies of scale and not having to provide a venue for consumption or glasses to drink it from etc.

Many people work far from where they live these days, so not only do they not know the people who live in their local area, they will often be tired by the time they get back and not want to spend the evening in a pub.

Many people no longer have a local pub, the only pubs available require travel to/from and because drink driving is illegal most people's preferred method of transport is not available, and many forms of public transport are unavailable or less frequent at night. You end up with taxis being your only choice, and taxis are expensive.

Couple the high taxi cost with the higher cost of alcohol vs buying it in the supermarket, plus the time spent travelling when your feeling worse for wear at the end of the night, people would rather drink at home...

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Joe Montana

Re: Dumb yanks

The key point is "roughly"...

And in these instances, the public transport (if it exists) is usually over congested too, and the routing may make things worse as it forces people to take indirect routes via hub locations instead of going directly to their destinations.

Too many people going to the same places at the same times. The congestion problems would be solved by spreading out times and locations.

1
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Algorithmic pricing raises concerns for EU competition law enforcement

Joe Montana

Discrimination...

It should really be the other way round... Responding to your competitors pricing strategies is how competition is supposed to work, whereas charging some customers more than others for the same thing is a form of discrimination which should be illegal.

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Joe Montana

Re: Pretty pointless

Well if retailers don't all sell at the same price, those retailers with lower overheads through economies of scale will charge the customers less and smaller retailers invariably end up going out of business. Sometimes the larger retailers will even sell as a loss specifically to drive the small independent shops out of business, and then bring prices up once those competitors are gone.

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'OK, everyone. Stop typing, this software is DONE,' said no one ever

Joe Montana

Poor Analogy...

The installation of the shower is done, just like a software installation can be done.

What comes afterwards is maintenance, if the shower breaks you have it repaired, if the software breaks you have it repaired in the form of patching.

Sometimes the shower may be deemed beyond repair (parts are no longer being made, cost of new parts exceeds cost of replacement etc) and so the shower might be replaced with a different unit instead of repaired, which is analogous to upgrading to a new version.

Windows XP didn't stop being secure, it never was secure we've just never been aware of all the security problems it has. There will always be 0day exploits out there for which even currently maintained software is not patched (see how long equation group had their exploits before they got publicly disclosed). Just like any other device, the manufacturer is no longer willing to carry out repairs or produce new parts.

The analogy with a hosting provider is slightly different, it's more like you didn't purchase the shower, you're renting it (eg you rent an apartment which includes a shower)... It's no different than if your landlord decided to replace the shower in your apartment. If you rent, you've less control than if you bought.

Also when you install a given piece of software you should be aware of its lifecycle up front, you know the vendor will provide security updates for a specific time and you know what your options are after this time. All of these things should be taken into account when procuring software, and you should demand the same level of predictability when procuring a service too.

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Indian Business Machines? One-third of Big Blue staff based there and Bangladesh

Joe Montana

Re: The usual race to the bottom

Yes long term the entire system will collapse for the reasons you've cited, but short term if you're the only company that doesn't outsource to cheaper locations then yours will be the first to go as competitors have lower operating costs, and very few customers will be willing to pay more to you even if you're offering a superior service.

3
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Yee-hacked! Fired Texan sysadmin goes rogue, trashes boot business

Joe Montana

AD...

If he had AD admin access you'd better lock all accounts, and change the KRBTGT password at least twice. He could easily have dumped the entire user database and have access to every single account.

3
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I need an ISP that offers IPv6. Virgin Media: Whatevs, nerd

Joe Montana

Re: need? really?

The world gets along with various kludges born of necessity...

Not many things are peer to peer, most services are centralised these days which is very bad for privacy.

Back in the days if you wanted to transfer a file to one of your IM contacts the file transfer would be sent directly to them (the im server would only handle text messages and directory services to keep bandwidth usage down), but now transfers are sent via the central service and get mangled (eg image quality is reduced, only limited filetypes are supported etc).

Game servers are now generally centralised, in the days of quake anyone could run a local quake server and start playing... Now modern games usually connect to centralised game servers which means you'll have to stop playing multiplayer when the game publisher decides to shut off the servers, theres typically no lan games, and if you happen to be in a country which is far away from where the game servers are hosted then your gameplay will be laggy.

Bittorrent and similar protocols can distribute data very efficiently, but depend on peers being able to connect directly to each other.

The internet was always meant to be end to end addressable, NAT breaks that and adds unnecessary complexity and headaches, ipv6 just restores it to how it was always supposed to work.

6
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'Windows 10 destroyed our data!' Microsoft hauled into US court

Joe Montana

Re: About time too

Pirate versions are better, always have been...

License enforcement code is *DESIGNED* to cause a denial of service condition, the sole purpose of such code is to act against the interests of the user. Pirate versions have this junk removed and work much better.

It's been the same for years, even back in the Amiga days the pirate versions didn't require you to hunt down the manual and read a tiny code, and let you make backup copies of the disks so you didn't lose them to corruption.

Same thing applies to movies, the pirate versions don't have unskippable warnings or commercials, and don't have arbitrary restrictions on where, when or on what you can play them.

10
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Joe Montana

New computer?

"Ended up having to purchase a new computer" ?

And i'm sure that new computer came with windows 10 preinstalled, so microsoft got exactly what they wanted - a new sale.

If a company screws you like that, you should vote with your feet and not give them any further business, but microsoft are so entrenched they know they can get away with screwing their customers like this.

So what incentive do they have to improve anything? Absolutely none.

Welcome to capitalism, the only thing stopping most companies from totally screwing their customers in the name of profit is the fear of losing those customers. MS have very little risk of losing customers because the customers are hopelessly locked in.

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Plans to force ISPs to filter content branded 'disproportionate'

Joe Montana

Restrict how kids learn

All of these technologies for restricting what kids can do have flaws, and kids should be naturally curious anyway...

If something is forbidden, they will seek out ways to get it anyway.. If you're relying on technology to prevent kids from seeing porn then sooner or later they will see porn anyway. But because you've forbidden it, they will be more likely to seek it out and less aware of what it is.

Instead you should educate kids, explain to them what is out there, teach them to behave safely online (ie not giving away personal information or executing random binaries etc). Young kids won't even be interested in porn once they know what it is, but they will be interested in something unknown just because they aren't allowed to have it.

Another good example is alcohol.. Most alcoholic drinks taste quite disgusting to a child, but alcohol being forbidden makes it desirable. When i was a kid and saw my parents drinking alcohol, they let me try some... I invariably disliked the taste and subsequently had no interest in acquiring more alcohol.

Other people i went to school with were always forbidden from drinking alcohol, so they would actively seek to obtain alcohol illicitly (through theft, finding someone willing to sell it to them or buy it on their behalf etc) and consume it. I had no interest in doing this because i knew i could easily obtain alcohol from my parents simply by asking for it, and didn't like the taste of it anyway.

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