* Posts by Cris E

81 posts • joined 29 May 2008


Buying a second-hand hard drive on eBay? You've got a 'one in two' chance of finding personal info still on it

Cris E

Re: Who gets rid of old IT kit?

No one is getting any of *my* personal porn off the stacks of 1.44mb disks up in the attic.

F***=off, Google tells its staff: Any mention of nookie now banned from internal files, URLs

Cris E

Re: US military services

The military is not allowed to be used in domestic law enforcement so as to avoid the third world tackiness of presidents using them to ignore the will of the people. The CG technically being outside the Dept of Defense gives them the right to arrest, detain, enforce all sorts of laws, etc, which is the big reason Trump's recent plan to use the military at the border was such a non-starter.

Assange catgate hearing halted as Ecuador hunts around for someone who speaks Australian

Cris E

Re: Downvoted ..

Two years ago he might have been a person on interest in the US, but under the new regime anything Obama did is wrong so Julian's going to be free to go. The worst thing he could do is stay holed up until the 2020 election and find himself with a Dem in office looking for issues to display the restored vigor of the DOJ.

Trainer regrets giving straight answer to staffer's odd question

Cris E

Re: you call that Loud :)

It's one thing if it's real work that makes all the racket, but quite another if it's just crap. In college my labmate had the group's daisy wheel printer in his windowless, concrete, basement office (down the hall from my slightly smaller windowless concrete basement office.) Any time he got cranky we'd just print off a couple decade's worth of calendars. Oh the sounds he'd make as he roared down the hall. Good times...

What do a meth, coke, molly, heroin stash and Vegas allegedly have in common? Broadcom cofounder Henry Nicolas

Cris E

Re: Another affluenza victim, shirley.

The two are nothing alike: Nicolas actually has a pile of money, and that skeezy hair looks real.

The YouTube crackdown on fake news: Promoting bonkers Florida school shooting conspiracies

Cris E

Re: Robert Mueller is a neo-Mccarthyist

The main goals of the Russian trolls, dividing public opinion and fomenting unrest online, is different from revenue generating ads. The latter only encompasses paid ads, while astroturfing is peer-to-peer and doesn't require any ad buy. Metrics can show priorities, and ignoring the actual damage to focus on the cash says quite a bit about FB execs.

Cris E

Re: Getting tired of this "blame the messenger" campaign...

Um, this isn't some simpleton common carrier getting caught in the crossfire of quickly evolving news stories. Google is king-making every time they suggest any content to the masses. How many of those views came before it was featured on the Trending list and how many came afterwards? What percentage of the push came from Google? The fact is Trending is a self-fulfilling prophecy, and anything on that list is going to get shot to the moon. For a company that's trying to improve the quality of its recommendations it would appear to be a poor decision to not vet whatever goes on the few lists they do crank out. I have no sympathy for poor little Youtube.

Class clowns literally classless: Harvard axes meme-flinging morons

Cris E

Re: Reaping the Destruction of Education over 20 years by Neoliberals

What a coincidence, this comment also illustrates the demise of considered, moderate thought in the western world.

Not everything is black and white, not everything is the end of the world, not everything is a plot by The Others to ruin The Good Thing. Most of life occurs in shades of grey, individual situations don't always fit into broad, loud headlines, and most discussions benefit by a little thought and nuance.

In this case, for example, a small group of the hundreds and hundreds of admitees acted in an manner unacceptable to their new community and were exposed by other new students from the same community. The entire group is not at fault here, as it self-policed. The entire group is not absolved of this either, as the stupidity did happen. Most of this is far more mundane than the Koch-fueled phantasms you managed to splash all over the place. Calm down.

Cris E

Re: Draconian?

"That said, surely the context matters?"

Yup, but not in the way you're implying. Harvard has an infinite supply of these kids, so setting a couple of them alight every year or two sets an example for the others and throws a lovely reddish light on them that drives away the shadows these memes were casting.

Cris E


Get real. When they acted it cast a shadow on the brand, and the company will act in its own defense. Those kids were not "soccer players" or "from New York" or "4chan creeps" but "Harvard admittees". That's a Harvard logo on a story about pinata babies. Expect trouble.

Cris E

"New"? Where have you been?

Cris E

Re: Bah!

A little agree, a little not so much.

Kathy Griffin was dumb and not funny and got abused online, but she doesn't deserve the amount of crap she's received. But these weren't a bunch of random strangers who met on 4chan. These were hand-picked by the august institution to constitute the next class and acting as a group. They had no context outside of that, so when it came to light (and who expected it not to?) the school was put into a spot where they could say "Yup, those are our cherubs!" or "Whoa, OK, they aren't in yet, right?"

What was going to happen? Expect stuff like this to come to light, especially in a university context where kids are just starting to flex their voices. Expect large organizations to make the expedient PR move rather than defend stuff like pinata baby jokes. Expect rich kids who could get into Harvard to come out of this just fine.

Cris E

Re: The one good thing about social media...

Dumb is most certainly likely to apply, moreso when your life protects you from most consequences. For example, what sort of idiot thought they could post some of those things in the main group without a second look? Who imagined there wasn't going to be a snitch? What kind of response was expected once this mess came to light?

Just because your money or connections can get you out of trouble doesn't mean you lack the native gifts to get into the ditch in the first place. Dumb has as much to do with common sense as intelligence.

Cris E

The one good thing about social media...

...is how easy it makes it to spot dumb people. Wow.

Sysadmin finds insecure printer, remotely prints 'Fix Me!' notice

Cris E

Re: Never do this

But if someone steals that guy's credit card info there's no way to prove you were just "slipping in a piece of paper" and not "copying down all the CC info", is there?

Why Microsoft's Windows game plan makes us WannaCry

Cris E

Re: It is the apps tied to ActiveX that cause the problems

It's not just Windows and IE. We have old yet vital crap tied to a particular Java version that's keeping some very obsolete hardware and software online. MS is just the largest and least motivated OS provider.

Silicon Valley tech CEO admits beating software engineer wife, offered just 13 days in the clink

Cris E

Re: Jail time should be 5 years

Actually the prosecutor made a deal but the judge hasn't agreed to it yet. In fact the court stopped when it heard her statement and did not sentence him yet. Read the piece, it says the courts are working as they should, with various parties acting as checks on other roles.

Now if the deal stands, on the other hand, you will be correct in condemning the courts. We'll know on May 19.

Robo-AI jobs doomsday may, er... not actually happen, say boffins

Cris E

Re: Rechristened

Well, sure, facts: go ahead and be that way. But you can't deny the almost laughable amount of computing power that can be brought to bear on the most trivial of tasks these days. Just as the widespread availability of cheap high speed networks changed the world, this will remove barriers to all sorts of tasks that were more or less solved but not implemented because of cost or complexity.

Cris E

Re: Where's Fred Pohl when you need him?

Not too different from multi-function printers today: standard maintenance in the field, component swaps for some repairs, full unit replacements for anything complex, and rely on the network for configuration, monitoring and upgrades. The hard stuff, programming and design, stays centrally located and minimized. It'll be a mess for a while, but it's been done before and will be again.

Cris E

Re: Displaced not redundant

The thing is, as cheap as robots are getting it's still a capital outlay that has to be justified by the operational cost over time. And as more and more people are unemployed the cost of labor will fall until it reaches whatever passes for minimum wage. You shouldn't buy robots if meat is cheaper over the long run unless there's a quality improvement or some other justification for it, and some work is low margin enough that the cost of automation will never be covered.

Cris E

Re: Inverting the pyramid

Maybe. Much of what managers do is herd people through reviews, assignments and scheduling. Take that work away and you can essentially kill off that whole role and go with directors, project managers and the reduced staff necessary for decision support and marketing.

Cris E

Right: over the past hundred years farming jobs didn't go away, but one or two guys can do the work of dozens. With ratios like that, the idea of farm hand as a separate job from farm manager has all but evaporated.

Ford to build own data centre to store connected car data

Cris E

Re: Is that a good idea?

Well there's nothing else near there, so it'll be cheap to buy up a large buffer zone.

Seriously, I bet they got a huge subsidy to bring the construction jobs in and the development jobs are a solid addition for the community, but I wonder if they realize how few people it takes to run a HUGE data center like that.

Force employees to take DNA tests for bosses? We've got a new law to make that happen, beam House Republicans

Cris E

Re: Hey, I'm all for it!

If they can't get a PDF of Trump's taxes out there I'm not going to hold my breath waiting for his DNA.

Cris E

Re: Bryant - Rob d. Adrian 4 extreme

So costs can be used to justify any hiring decisions imaginable? You already went on record against women, how about making up some race-based costs? Are you actually endorsing getting rid of all employment bias laws? Just getting a pretty harsh vibe here, and it's more than the usual Libertarian "I got mine" selfishness.

Cris E

Re: @ST Kinda misses the point

Wait, who doesn't know insurance?

ACA was intended to make insurance possible for people who chose to go for it. You can complain about premium increases or making too much money, but honestly what the ACA did was a vast improvement for tens of millions of people. The only real problem was the incentives to get healthy people off the sidelines were too low. The new plan offered by Republicans reduces the subsidies to the poor, increases them to the affluent who don't need them, and and decreases the incentives for healthy people to get in the pool.

And risk pools are awful. Not sure where you're from, but my state had one that featured unpayable premiums and stratospheric levels of subsidy to stay solvent. Those subsidies came from... fees levied against the health plans of the healthy. The latest Trump plan will leave craters in the budgets of any insurance company dumb enough to try running a high risk pool since the proposed supports are laughably below anticipated costs to run such pools.

The ACA attempted to do things better but was only passed after running a gauntlet of hostile legislators intent on sabotaging it rather than dragging it toward some agreed upon middle ground. Replacement is difficult because instead of focusing on finding something that works the new administration's first goal is to not do anything like the current incarnation regardless of its value. That makes it harder than it should be, and for some really pretty partisan reasons.

Official: America auto-scanned visitors' social media profiles. Also: It didn't work properly

Cris E

Re: What if you don't buy into the whole social media thing?

If you want to purge your empty google+ profile you could do that on google's downgrade page. At least that worked for me a while ago.

Not so fast. Trying to erase your past is a sign of nefarious intent. Also, leaving behind a long and boring history is a sign of nefarious intent. And being interesting, yeah, that's gonna raise some flags too.

I was authorized to trash my employer's network, sysadmin tells court

Cris E

On the other hand...

...they didn't actually treat him like shit. His buddy got hosed, but he was getting a little extra to do his job.

But back on the first hand he was a total d-bag.

Biggest Kodi sweep: Brit cops nab five, bag some dodgy sticks

Cris E

Re: Top tip from FACT

Kodi + Exodus = happiness.

But just to be safe, folks in the USA do recommend using a VPN so that your tracks back to the various content repositories are hidden in the event that laws or enforcement priorities change.

Who's behind the Kodi TV streaming stick crackdown?

Cris E

Re: Said it before, will say it again

"Are you paying for a subscription service today? If you aren't then quit complaining."

Listen, the invisible hand that creates markets isn't a real thing. It's a fools game to wait around for companies to decide they've made enough money through exclusive contracts and lock-outs. As long as they can wring out more profit with the current model they won't make the next move to a broader coalition-style licensing model. The "invisible" hand that fixed music looked a lot like Napster and the Apple store. For video it's going to be more Kodi and a collapse of the siloed content into massive cooperatives that take less profit from far more numerous sales.

Startup promises to cancel your hated Comcast subscription for you for just $5

Cris E

It is a challenge when people want more than one thing and are unable to prioritize or make choices. They want both the discounts from annual contracts and the freedom to leave when they choose without paying the ETA. They want to be loved by everyone and not have to say No directly to someone, even someone as horrible as Comcast. The whole specter of being uncomfortable, even for a few minutes, is the problem.

Google gives up YOUR private data to US govt – but won't hand over its OWN staff personal info

Cris E

Re: As the article pretty much says

If they are discriminating then there will be penalties. And even if the discrimination was merit-based at one point in time, they are large enough now that they have to start acting like adults. That means hiring and paying women, older people, gays, or whatever other groups aren't feeling the love. Even if it's just a coincidence that they just happen to find that all the best candidates look just like themselves, the government still gets to spend its money at companies that look more like itself.

Cris E

Re: @AC Egg-zactly!

It's a reaction to a time, a very real and prolonged time, when many arse-backwards companies discriminated like mad against all sorts of people. It's a bunch of extra bookkeeping for everyone just to keep a minority of dirtbags from behaving badly. The minute anyone can provide an alternative way of ensuring that broad-based discrimination doesn't happen I'm sure everyone would drop this immediately. But as that seems unlikely, this is the next best lever.

Trump hires very best, greatest net neut haters to head FCC transition

Cris E

Re: Bandwidth

But when they want to increase what people can do in their homes they are at the mercy of whatever the last mile can bear, and if Grandma Bell hasn't tended to her knitting that was a bottleneck. That's why they went into those towns with giant rolls of fiber: to goose the industry into modernization. The problem is Google doesn't want to be a carrier, but they want the carriers to step up their game. I like me some net neutrality, but sometimes I wish the kids would play together nicely and work some of this out on their own.

Cris E

Re: Expending Good Will

People do want jobs, but Trump saying that he can bring back manufacturing to Ohio or coal jobs to West Virginia is simply not possible. Coal plants are being closed because natural gas is cheaper and easier than trainloads of coal. Manufacturing is not coming back to Ohio (or anywhere else) in any recognizable form because of how many fewer people it takes to make anything these days.

I completely agree that they are going to be pissed. It does a tremendous disservice to these folks (ie it's a lie) and the disappointment will be terrible. All he's got to offer is a lot of road construction jobs and no way to pay for them, which is pretty much the Democratic plan they would have gotten from Clinton.

The sharks of AI will attack expensive and scarce workers faster than they eat drivers

Cris E

Re: Basic Income is our only solution

The 1% still need their corporations to make a profit, and in order to do that they need customers with money. As the workforce continues to shrink because of improved efficiency or jobs physically moving to cheaper workforces, corporations will demand some way to keep the money moving.

Cris E

Re: Learning to live

Regarding remote surgery, it clearly looks the the future, but I always thought it a funny proposition that a hospital or clinic that had enough technology to have the fancy remote robot surgical gear would not be large or affluent enough to have surgeons on hand.

Clearly at some point the gear will be cheaper or easier to maintain at remote sites than a person, but it could be a while. The types of places without surgeons that have this kind of money are pretty limited (maybe Antarctica, space, remote mining or drilling stations, etc.) Poor or sparsely populated places like Indian reservations in South Dakota or the interior of Australia certainly make sense for this but are going to have to wait for it to become cheap.

Cris E

Re: Basic misunderstanding how law firm works

Huge slabs of "law" are not court cases. Most of it is contracts and estate and divorce and real estate and all sorts of stuff that isn't going to go to court. That stuff, most of it, is pretty process and rule bound and ripe for pre-processing by an AI.

And even a lot of the stuff that might go to trial can be looked over for a recommendation. For example, in the US, the insurance company side of personal injury cases are almost always settled by formula to avoid scary payouts by jury, or by the plaintiff to avoid a lot of messy costs that would diminish profits and introduce risks. Regardless it's in everyone's interest to settle rather than risk no money or way too much.

There's always going to be need for experienced attorneys to assess risk and read juries and counsel people, but most law is just talking to prospective clients to choose cases or rote pounding of the main highways of legal process. That leaves plenty for AI to do in support of lawyers.

Uber's robo-truck makes first delivery of ... Budweiser in Colorado

Cris E

Re: This is the beginning...

There are already large trucking depots on some state borders for assembling and breaking up triple hitch hauls, and there are yards outside cities for shifting trailers and loads before heading into town. These trucks could easily fit into a distribution yard to distribution yard model where large unit, long haul gets automated and local cartage stays manual. Think of auto-driven rigs filling the role of trains and multi-modal without the constraints of rail.

Cris E

Re: Budweiser Light is like making love to a beautiful woman in a canoe...

You're wrong. It should tell you that the American market is very, very large and made up of a wide variety of tastes. It so happens that frat boys with a lot of disposable money have a hankering for lots of cheap, light beer. And the intersection of their large population with their huge consumption puts terrible beer at the top of the charts. Middle aged slobs like me go out and drink 2-3 heavy, expensive beers while lounging with friends instead of shotgunning eight Natural Lights in a rental house basement to the cheers of other wasted nineteen year olds. Don't over-complicate these things.

Google may just have silently snuffed the tablet computer

Cris E

There are lots of options for kids if you go used. I just bought an Amazon Fire 7" off ebay for next to nothing ($20-30). It was a 2014 model and it does what they need. Stay a couple steps back from the cutting edge and you can find what you want, and if something happens go get another one.

If Amazon can have delivery drones, we want them too, says Walmart

Cris E

It's never made a ton of sense

And it makes less and less as time progresses. The trend these days, at least in the USA, has been towards subscriptions to prosaic things like toilet paper and coffee, and then they bring you other things while they have the box open and a relationship going. Target and Amazon are really pushing this angle a lot.

But I can't see how on earth (get it?) it makes any sense for a drone to be hauling 36 rolls of wiping paper across town to be left in the rain outside my door. It's a low margin product and it would take a heck of a substantial drone to move it. My favorite visualization is some small rotored craft hauling a huge, unwieldy package of paper goods in high winds and being carried away like some storm debris from the Wizard of Oz.

Google rushes in where Akamai fears to tread, shields Krebs after world's-worst DDoS

Cris E

But there were 150K IoT devices with real IP addresses, not thousands of fakes. And when you get the A/V software ready for my camera be sure to let me know. (Edit: number was high.)

Is Tesla telling us the truth over autopilot spat?

Cris E

There's a troubling gap between calling something autopilot in the ads and Traffic-Aware Cruise Control in the disclaimers. Either the thing is a magic unicorn that lets you text, watch movies, have sex, etc while driving or it's only cruise control with some new bells and whistles. But Tesla is selling it one way while simultaneously trying to limit responsibility and that's not right.

Mobileeye is certainly uncomfortable with the difference, to the point where they're getting out of one of the best relationships their company could possibly hope to be in. It's telling that they fear this liability more than the potential profits they could realize by staying with Tesla. Even if this turns out to be a You Can't Fire Me I Quit moment they still aren't letting this be sold as autopilot.

Dear sysadmin: This is how you stay relevant

Cris E

No one who has done large scale admin work casually says they can do better. The more you see in life, the more you understand how many different ways a better solution can be avoided. Every case is a special flower, and not all can be killed with a single herbicide.

Get ready for mandatory porn site age checks, Brits. You read that right

Cris E

>It'll probably be a pop-up box saying "Are you 18 or what?" with yes/no buttons.

That could be circumvented by simply lying. What you need is a second box asking "Are you sure?"

YouTube sharecroppers start world’s most useless trade union

Cris E

Re: You are giving sharecropping a bad name

What? Maybe for Uber or Airbnb, but our Youtube intrapenateur has no capital investment at all. The Goog is fronting everything and keeping almost all the revenue generated by the efforts of the sharecropper. He's hoping to trade some work for a little taste of the results, but his investment is far below that of actual sharecropping orgs that require him to provide real property. Very different.

Microsoft and LinkedIn: What the CEOs are planning

Cris E

What they actually said:

"Ha ha ha ha ha! This is going to be great."

(hears noise, turns quickly)

"Whoops, Hi Nadella. Great doing business with you. Thanks for the check man, let's get together again sometime soon."

Got Oracle? Got VMware? Going cloud? You could be stung for huge licensing fees

Cris E

Re: Not certified on VMware

It any customer's fault that doesn't know the licensing terms of any software they install, and doubly so for anything as expensive as Oracle. Whenever I plan *any* buildout of the expensive stuff I always run it past our vendor mgmt (purchasing) team and the acct rep to make sure it doesn't come back to haunt us later. It's saved us money several times (rhymes with crAP) and cost us money when our hosting team failed to install mandated monitoring tools (rhymes with DB3).

Be a pro - know your licensing terms.

Ashley Madison made dumb security mistakes, researcher says

Cris E

Re: So...

Also, those magic config files with access to pswds and certs should only include rights to data that end users will need. C'mon in EndUser, query all the data that'll fit into a panel, but only those pre-defined panels that make for poor data mining queries. If you think about it in advance it's the sort of thing you can control with good design. (For anyone that was confused by that last sentence, you're probably part of the problem.)


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