* Posts by h4rm0ny

4617 posts • joined 26 Jul 2008

European Parliament votes to grant Snowden protection from US

Thumb Up

Re: Big mistake

Great. Marshmallows are on me! :)


Re: Well, it's a start

Actually I'm going to say today is a day to be nice to MEPs. At least the ones who voted in favour of granting protection. Good for them! I'm trying to find a list so I can see how mine voted.

Cops use terror powers to lift BBC man's laptop after ISIS interview


Re: @x 7 -- @AC (the naive one) Works for me

>>"Now go open your mind and shut your mouth"

This from the person arguing FOR the government limiting access to other viewpoints and information from independent sources! This is becoming hysterical. Doublethink is alive and well.


Re: When you're at war....

>>"You will also notice that we're always at war."

...with Oceania?



I wonder if in Boltar's mind they are pronouncing their wisdom to a mob of naïve yoofs whose heads have been filled with misguided righteous idealism? I think most of us here concerned about things like this are actually the older, cynical ones who have been around long enough to see how successive governments misuse such powers time and again. We're not "kiddies" (not that there's anything wrong with that). We're people who have watched the endless churn of Talibans and IS's and Husseins go from hero to villain (and occasionally back again) and have actually read our history. We'd actually like to be able to understand the enemy of the day, not just listen to the official version. Something hard to do when the government tries to turn every journalist into an informant.

Oracle's Larry Ellison claims his Sparc M7 chip is hacker-proof – Errr...


Re: Can we ditch the silly political correctness in reg articles

>>"You see the utterance "innit" tacked onto just about everything certain people say. That doesn't make it right."

Actually, I haven't heard anyone say "innit" for years and even then it was used ironically. And what is inherently wrong about "innit" if someone does say it? It's just a mode of emphasis.

>>""They" might have come into common parlance, but the OP claimed it was the "standard non gender pronoun". Which it isn't."

And you wrote that "he" was the standard. But it isn't. Both "he" and "they" are in common usage. I use it when I'm referring to a real but unknown gender. For hypotheticals I tend to mix up he or she and just keep it consistent within the context of the example.


Re: Can we ditch the silly political correctness in reg articles

>>"It isn't. "He" is the non-gender-specific pronoun in English."

"They" has gained common usage as a non-gender specific pronoun these days. You see it in place of "he" quite often.


Re: Can we ditch the silly political correctness in reg articles

>>Feel free to provide a list of well known female hackers.

Off the top of my head, you might want to look up "St. Jude" aka Jude Milhon who was one of the original "hackers" and was unrepentant and highly vocal up until her death that hacking was a good thing because it improved software security. Susan Headley was one of the pioneers of Social Engineering approach to hacking and part of the Cyberpunks group which if you know your hacking history was a significant part of early hacking movements. Joanna Rutkowska if you're willing to accept White Hats (which you should). Kristina Svechinskaya is another that achieved a fair bit of notoriety. Gigabyte is female.

Anyway, I'm sure I could find more if I looked but that's who I can think of right now. You really picked the wrong person to argue with about this as being both a feminist and a software engineer who's been around for a long time, you're actually going to get answers to your questions - which I'm sensing you weren't expecting. For what it's worth, when you wrote "hacker" I took that to mean in the original sense but it's plain from the rest that you're just using the modern meaning of someone who gets access to IT systems they shouldn't so that's what I gave you. But really it's a silly question as successful hackers are often anonymous. Maxim could be female - how would you know? Impact Team could be. Wank Worm could be. Okay, Wank Worm is probably male, I'll give you that.

Anyway, why you seized on hackers as your "proof" of male dominance I don't know. There are plenty of highly skilled female engineers who aren't hackers. I don't know why they don't count for you. But as you can see - yes there are female hackers and some pretty well-known ones as well. So I can assume you'll backtrack and admit that you're wrong now? Yes? :)

Paris Hilton

Re: @boltar Can we ditch the silly political correctness in reg articles

>>If you can't handle that then find another occupation.

I can handle people being rude just fine. The question is why you can't handle other people being polite.


Re: Can we ditch the silly political correctness in reg articles

>>"It's insulting to women, actually, they're not stupid, and can, of course, tell that what the idiot is doing."

Actually, I don't find it insulting at all.

Paris Hilton

Re: Can we ditch the silly political correctness in reg articles

I like to see "she" and "her" mixed in. It doesn't harm anyone. It reduces a low-grade feeling of exclusion for many of us which is a good thing. So why not? You seem to be starting from the assumption that it's some special effort to use "she" or "her" sometimes. I don't find it an effort, it's just something I do. And in any case, it's not your effort so why are you complaining?

Don't tell me it causes you some cognitive difference to have the hypothetical stand-in be female sometimes? Because if it does, that's not our problem.

Also, your "99%" figure is wrong.

By 2019, vendors will have sucked out your ID along with your cash 5 billion times


Re: No thanks...

I bet the cost of this system (both purchase and running) are far, far more than the cost of fraud by schoolchildren illegally eating meals.


Re: What about security of voice biometrics?

However, getting samples of people's voices should be a lot easier than getting their passwords (excepting TalkTalk customers, obviously). Just get someone talking online or on the phone for a few minutes and you have a decent sample. Reproducing someone's voice to a degree sufficient to fool an ID system may simply not be done yet because there's no need. But I reckon you could extrapolate the necessary indicators from a few minutes talking once we really apply ourselves. You'll have the pitch, tremulousnouss (word?) and be able to take a good stab at accent.

Remember voice analysis to id someone is just the other half of the coin to reproduce those qualities in a voice used to id someone. It's the same technology, just run backwards.

Biometrics are only secure so long as the "private key" is secure. And people think the private key of biometric security is the thing itself but it's not, it's the digital representation of that thing.

TalkTalk attack: Small biz customers may also have been targeted


Re: This keeps getting better and better...

>>TalkTalk's competitors would have been thoroughly enjoying the last couple of days (and more to come?).

Well their CEOs and boards are probably enjoying it. Their IT staff are probably all collectively going "thank fuck that wasn't us" whilst wondering if this means upper management will actually now approve that security overhaul they've been asking for over the last n months.

It's all Me, Me, Me! in Doctor Who's The Woman Who Lived but what of Clara's fate?


Re: Osgood is back !

>>"I'm guessing that they will retcon it so that the Osgood who Missy killed was the Zygon one, and not the human one."

I would prefer it the other way around. Osgood the friendly Zygon sounds much more interesting.


Re: I don't understand the negative comments about the "jokes"?

>>"I was disappointed though that Ashilder didn't shoot any squirrels."

Which squirrels?


Re: I thought it was a great ep

>>"Although I would have preferred they made him less boisterous with his death imminent"

I thought there was a nice edge of desperation to this humour. Could you not see the edge of panic when he was struggling to think of any more jokes to delay his execution? Of course the jokes were banal - it was a man floundering for any way to get this mob of people to stop baying for his death. It seems odd to me that both you and Kelly have taken this for a comedy scene. It didn't strike me as one, although it made me like the character and his efforts to cling on for just a few more minutes of life. It made a strong thematic contrast to Ashilda.

I disagree with Kelly on this. I found this episode far more interesting than the previous one. I liked seeing what Ashilda had become and I liked seeing someone failing to cope with their immortality and there were many nice little touches such as when the Doctor asks her why she hasn't torn out the pages about her children dying when she destroys other bad memories and she snaps back "to remind me not to have any more". There's some dark stuff in that character and I enjoyed it.

Russian subs prowling near submarine cables: report


Fascinating post - thank you!

So, in light of TalkTalk's meltdown...


Re: So, in light of TalkTalk's meltdown...

I need way more speed and reliability than 4G can give me! I was more fishing for what ISPs people have had good experiences with... If there are any.


So, in light of TalkTalk's meltdown...

What ISPs would anyone here recommend instead, for those bolting from the stable right now?

Chaos at TalkTalk: Data was 'secure', not all encrypted, we took site down, were DDoSed


Re: Actual e-mail received from Talk Talk

>>"Thank you for your further response, in regards to a question where you asked what is stopping our staff accessing you details and taking them out of the office. We are a paperless company so sensitive information cannot be written down. And all of our systems are monitored to prevent situation of fraud occurring."

What? Do they have monitors walking up and down between the desks ensuring that there is no paper present and no pens or pencils? I don't believe that response for a moment. Surely they must have been laughing when they wrote that response.

TalkTalk: Hackers may have nicked personal, banking info on 4 million Brits


Re: What about ex-customers?

I highly doubt sympathy will go down well right now and I'm not exactly going to let them off the hook, but I did just watch the BBC interview with Dido Harding from TalkTalk and to be fair, she came across extremely well given the circumstances. Interview.

Experts ponder improbable size of Cleopatra's asp


Re: Scientists

I'm not sure they have debunked it. Most snake bites would be in the calves, I would guess. And because a snake starts injecting the venom the moment it penetrates something, if you're wearing loose trousers half of it gets squirted down the inside of them rather than the inside of your leg anyway. Does that have exactly the same chance of killing you if you held the snake to your throat for example? Most snakebites are dry without venom? Presumably if you keep goading the snake and keep getting more and more bites, you'll get it to inject some venom at some point? They seem to be ignoring the circumstances that this was a deliberate suicide attempt.

Plus we know little of what Cleopatra's state of health actually was at the time anyway. Ancient people's were ignorant of a lot of things but that's not the same as stupid. They knew a lot about the environment in which they lived and I imagine the people in Cleopatra's time knew a lot more about what as poisonous and what wasn't than laypeople today. The understood things like poison and it working its way through the bloodstream. They understood that you had veins and arteries and that a wound to one of these was a lot more dangerous than a wound to a calf or arm muscle. For example, your tongue is filled with blood vessels right near the surface. Want to commit suicide by cobra? Hold it to your mouth, stick your tongue out and keep provoking it. I don't know how likely that is to kill you but I bet it's far more likely than normal statistics on snake bites and it's hardly beyond an educated Greek or Egyptians brain power for the time period.

Anons blow Japanese airports off-course in dolphin cull protest


Re: At some point the dolphins will just be gone

>>"So long, and thanks for all the fish!"

Actually given the massive over-fishing, there probably wont be any of them left, either.

Sadly, not all environmental causes are as stupid as deploying wind farms everywhere because we think nuclear power will create Godzilla. Some causes, like trying to stop catastrophic collapse of our marine ecology, are real. :(

UK MPs have right old whinge about ‘defunct’ Wilson Doctrine


Re: The MPs seriously missed the point

Case in point, MI5 infiltrated the UK Green Party some years back - that's a matter of record. Power seeks to preserve itself.


A "number of misconceptions"

I bet the "misconceptions" she talks about are her suggesting the MPs think they're being specifically targeted and she wants to say it's okay because it's mass surveillance. Which is a rather bizarre argument to my mind. It reminds me a quote from Saint Yossarian of Catch-22 fame:

"They're trying to kill me," Yossarian told him calmly.

"No one's trying to kill you," Clevinger cried.

"Then why are they shooting at me?" Yossarian asked.

"They're shooting at everyone," Clevinger answered. "They're trying to kill everyone."

"And what difference does that make?"

So really, Theresa May, what difference does it make? I don't say "oh, I'm okay with being spied on and having all my communications scanned because they're doing it to other people too", and I don't think the MPs will be either. But I bet that's the play Theresa May is trying to make here. How do I get out of this Joseph Heller novel? There's a lovely Terry Pratchett book the next shelf over that I'd much rather live in.

Temperature of Hell drops a few degrees – Microsoft emits SSH-for-Windows source code



I believe the point you were contesting was that the default UNIX permissions system is less maintainable and less capable than Windows permissions. Like the other two posters, you keep trying to argue how you can use other systems on Linux if you choose. That both doesn't refute what I wrote and also glosses over the fact that only a minority of GNU/Linux installs and userbase actually makes use of such systems. The reason being, of course, that they are kludgy and ugly and fiddly to manage. Windows ACLs are built in at a very deep level to the design and are consistent across file systems, processes and configuration options. SELinux is something built above the default UNIX permissions system as a patch, an overlay. It doesn't matter if it's implemented in the kernel or wherever, conceptually that is what it is. Now you can try and dress it up in different language as you are attempting, call it "a modular hierarchy" wherever the Hell you got that from, but it remains what it is. A late addition that exists above the conceptual model that is the UNIX permissions system and manipulates that still existing lower model to get what it wants, it does not replace it as you attempt to suggest. It's all still there - turtles all the way down. Whereas ACLs are a basic component of Windows and universally used. Because they're easy and everything integrates with them naturally.

Re-phrasing something as "a modular hierarchy" or missing the point / confusing things by going on about it being implemented in the kernel, doesn't change what it is nor alter the fact that you're shifting ground from what I actually did which was compare Windows ACLs to default UNIX permissions - you know, those things that most GNU/Linux installs actually use in practice.



>>"SELinux is built into the kernel. It may appear to be 'a patch' because ordinary users can be set to operate in an 'unconfined' domain where the usual permission system operates"

You don't seem to understand. It is a kernel module, yes. That has no bearing on it being a patch over the default UNIX permissions system. "Patch" = "thing that papers over the original conceptual model with a new conceptual model to try and graft on some modern functionality and security". Being in the kernel has no bearing on that - you haven't understood the context or argument.



>>"These are far more complicated, whether they are 'easier' or 'harder' to work with depends entirely on what you are used to and whether you know how to use the facilities correctly"

No it doesn't "depend entirely" in what you are used to. A pretty massive component of hiw easy or hard it is to work with them depends on what you use them FOR.

UNIX permissions are simple and adequate for basic scenarios. They can be made to work for more complex scenarios with a lot of expertise and a tolerance for people emailing you every other day to say such and such needs to be added to this group or the other for some obscure reason. A proper system if ACLs is what you want for any moderately complex environment however. Easy management of nested groups and hierarchical, trickle down permissions is a basic requirement for a capable permissions system. Amongst others.

These are not things that "depend entirely" on which you are most familiar with. I don't see your part about inodes having any bearing on this, either.



>>"I smell someone that can't convert Octal in their head..."

I smell someone who hasn't noticed that computers moved on to 16, 32 and 64-bits since the days of ancient IBM mainframes (hint: octal doesn't make sense except when you have a word length that is a multiple if three, e.g. 12, 24, 36-bit machines and you don't seem to have been told we don't use those any more). As it happens I can convert to octal in my head seeing as it's just counting in binary, but I figured as my aim was to explain something rather than score Internet Points, I'd use the friendly notation that GNU/Linux systems themselves actually display it as. Or are Brian Fox and Richard Stallman similarly people who "can't convert Octal in their head" seeing as they chose to use the same notation I did in my post when they put together Bash back in the day?

I don't know which is sadder - your godawful attempts to score points or the implication that a knowledge of octal being an aide to using a permissions says anything positive about the permissions system in question.



>>"LOL. If you think Powershell is more powerfull than BASH, you need to have another think. Although I will concede that I am inferring BASH is on a mostly-proper *nix system like Linux or the BSDs with all the attendant utilities. I would imagine BASH on a Windows box would be about as useless as Powershell on a Linux box."

This has been debated before on El. Reg. Yes, Powershell is not a good fit for GNU/Linux and Bash is not a good fit for Windows. This is because Windows is an OO environment and GNU/Linux is not. But your comment about Powershell not being more powerful than Bash is woefully misinformed. It is not only better designed and more self-consistent, but it has vastly more capabilities. MS looked at Bash, Python, et al. and created a scripting language that really took advantage of the last thirty years of progress in a way Bash never could (because it's very old). The below is a good starting list for advantages of Powershell over Bash and that's before I get into the far greater standardization of it. The below list was posted by TheVogon. I claim no credit for its excellent summation:

1) Object oriented pipes so that I don't have to format and reparse and be concerned about language settings.

2) Command metadata. PowerShell commands, functions and even *script files* expose metadata about the names, positions, types and validation rules for parameters, allowing the *shell* to perform type coercion, allowing the *shell* to explain the parameters/syntax, allowing the *shell* to support both tab completion and auto-suggestions with no need for external and cumbersome completion definitions.

3) Robust risk management. Look up common parameters -WhatIf, -Confirm, -Force and consider how they are supported by ambient values in scripts you author yourself.

4) Multiple location types and -providers. Even a SQL Server appears as a navigable file system. Want to work with a certain database? Just switch to the sqlserver: drive and navigate to the server/database and start selecting, creating tables etc.

5) Fan-out remoting. Execute the same script transparently and *robustly* on multiple servers and consolidate the results back on the controlling console. Try icm host1,host2,host3 {ps} and watch how you get consolidated, object-oriented process descriptions from multiple servers.

6) Workflow scripting. PowerShell scripts can (since v3) be defined as workflows which are suspendable, resumable and which can pick up and continue even across system restarts.

7) Parallel scripting. No, not just starting multiple processes, but having the actual *script* branch out and run massively parallel.

8) True remote sessions where you don't step into and out of remote sessions but actually controls any number of remote sessions from the outside.

9) PowerShell web access. You can now set up a IIS with PWA as a gateway. This gives you a firewall-friendly remote command line in any standards compliant browser.

10) Superior security features, e.g. script signing, memory encryption, proper multi-mode credentials allowing script to be agnostic about authentication schemes which may go way beyond stupid username+password and use smart cards, tokens, OTPs etc.

11) Transaction support right in the shell. Script actions can join any resource manager such as SQL server, registry, message queues in a single atomic transaction. Do that in bash?

12) Strongly typed stripting, extensive data types, e.g first class xml support and regex support right in the shell. Optional static/explicit typing. Real lambdas (script blocks) instead of stupidly relying on dangerous and error prone "eval" functions.

13) Real *structured* exception handling as an alternative to outdated traps (which PowerShell also has). try-catch-finally blocks.

14) Instrumentation, extensive tracing, transcript and *source level* debugging of scripts.

15) Consistent naming conventions covering verb-noun command names, common verbs, common parameter names.



>>"But the most widely used Linux distribution, Android, uses something even better than Posix ACL, namely SELinux. That makes SELinux very widely used in the *nix world. SELinux is way more powerful than ACLs, be it the Posix or MS variant."

I have worked with SELinux. It's a patch over the UNIX security model that is constantly tripping people up and not well integrated into GNU/Linux itself. SELinux on Android I have no experience with. However, in either case it's basically a layer over the top of the UNIX permissions system to try and wrap it up in something more usable. It's odd how all I initially wrote was that Windows permissions were much more capable and maintainable than the default UNIX permissions systems and the first two replies I got were people immediately responding with alternatives to the default UNIX permissions system. You and they are both really reinforcing my point that the default (and most commonly used on GNU/Linux) permissions system is limited and hard to work with.

As to SELinux being "way more powerful" than Windows ACLs, I find that not to be the case at all. What is it you think makes SELinux superior to Windows ACLs?



>>"No it is for older versions at least, fully POSIX compliant. There is no "not really". POSIX is a standard and Windows has previously implemented all required aspects. However support for it is now deprecated: https://technet.microsoft.com/en-gb/library/cc754351.aspx"

At the very least since Vista, Windows is not POSIX compliant. I'm not really interested in arguments that say Windows is POSIX compliant because ten years ago it was. Because, whilst not wishing to sound like Bill Clinton, that's a rather funny definition of "is".


Re: Good.

>>"But they're all just "Linux". I don't see the point in saying that they ported to this distro and that one when they're all essentially the same target assuming they use standard tools like autoconf."

Actually, this is a bit of a red herring. What Microsoft did was create an Open Source service and provide it as package for these distributions and the package is designed to allow people to manage those OSs using Powershell from a remote machine. They haven't ported Powershell itself to GNU/Linux and that wouldn't really make sense as Powershell is OO-based and GNU/Linux exposes little to none of itself as objects. The package is more like a proxy way of configuring things, monitoring, etc. It's designed to facilitate management of your GNU/Linux boxes in Azure. The source is available if you want to compile it on something else.



>>"Windows has been POSIX compliant for many years already."

Ehhhhh, in a sense, but not really (imo). It can offer a mostly POSIX-compliant environment. You can install Cygwin and have a POSIX world in which to play. But the functionality of Windows is a super-set of that. It would be a little like saying that C++ is C compliant. Not a fan of analogies, but I think that one works. So I concede you're sort of right, but would say that in practical terms it is not, nor tries to be.



>>"Get a clue. Posix means Posix ACLs which give fine-grained access control not unlike Windows ACLs. You can argue that Windows ACLs are better if you wish, but displaying your ignorance of Posix is not a good start."

I wrote "default UNIX -rwx/rwx/rwx approach". You seem to have disregarded that in favour of what you would prefer I had said. Sure, you can add ACLs to GNU/Linux or UNIX and some people do. But they are not the default and they see minority usage. They are also a great deal harder to work with and less capable than Windows where they are the default approach. I don't think you could shoe-horn the more capable Windows ACLs into POSIX-compliance. Feel free to show me how you could, if you want to try though. ;)

As to the other poster, yes, I perhaps should not have written "fully" OO as there are some non-OO APIs in Windows. My background is UNIX so I'm prone to the occasional misspeak on Windows. But they key word in my post was "environment". You can manage the entirety of Windows via Powershell in an OO fashion and whilst if you're programming on Windows you might use a non-OO API, what I'm getting at is that working within the environment, pretty much everything exposes itself with an OO interface. And I do not see why or how people want Windows to suddenly be "POSIX compliant" as they sometimes post on El Reg. I don't think they actually know what they're asking for or what they think it would gain. A little like a builder of row-boats looking at a car and demanding it have hooks added for the oars to go in. Perhaps Nigel 11 here would like to explain what advantage there is to Windows in tying itself down to being "POSIX compliant". How and why would you even want to handle files or processes in the way POSIX lays out when there are better approaches?


Re: Ugh!

>>"I just had a look at it. I picked a file at random - auth-passwd.c and looked at the Microsoft version versus the equivalent from the portable OpenSSH project. The Microsoft version is nearly twice as long (378 lines versus 216), with the addition of huge #ifdef hacks, converting back and forth between UTF8 and UTF16, and all sorts of other horrors."

I don't consider "nearly twice as long" as a file in OpenSSH to be a criticism. Maintainable code is often longer than hard to maintain code just because it's better structured. Your comment reminds me of ancient C programmers decrying Open Source with, well as it happens, exactly the same criticism - "but look, it's twice as many lines of code". No-one who is objective and knows about code should be making a criticism like the one above. As to converting between UTF-8 and UTF-16, well if one peer is using the former and the other the latter, what exactly would you suggest?

Anyway, you are surely not holding up the labyrinth that is the OpenSSH project as an example of clean, well-structured coding. Are you? :/



You say "POSIX compatible" as if it's a good thing. The Windows OS is a fully OO environment. Pretty much every part of it including its permissions system (which is a Hell of a lot more powerful and manageable than the default UNIX -rwx/rwx/rwx approach). So why the Hell would tying it down to the ancient POSIX standard which was developed for UNIX make sense or be considered an advantage for Windows?

Terror, terror everywhere: Call the filter police, there's a madman (or two) in town


Re: Filtering and removing

Informed people are difficult to manage. Uninformed people are much easier to manage. But you have to make sure they are uninformed in the right way so that it's you they are managed by. That is essentially the principle.

CIA boss uses AOL email – and I hacked it, claims stoner teen


I'm not sure which is funnier...

That they may have got into the director of the CIA's AOL account(!) or that they think US foreign-policy is too pro-Palestine!


Re: Typical teenager..

If teenagers didn't do stupid things we'd all go from childhood to being 45 and how depressing would that be?

GCHQ to pore over blueprints of Chinese built Brit nuke plants


Well if there wasn't spyware in the computer systems before, there will be after!

Connected kettles boil over, spill Wi-Fi passwords over London


Re: wow

Maybe it enables him to find when people are home and bored so he can pop round. Did you think of that?

Or anything, in fact?


Re: Which has more stupidity?

For an example, look at televisions. All I want from it is a good quality display and reliability. If I want to watch YouTube on it or Skype, I will connect one of my devices that does those things. UNIX philosophy - do one thing and do it well.

Except that I can't find any modern TVs that are like that. Everyone of them comes loaded with an OS and a pile of software that I don't trust to be patched and kept up to date now, let alone two or three years from now. The manufacturers have all decided that Skype / YouTube / FireFox v.27 is the vital market differentiator without which their product will sink like a stone.

As a consequence, if I want to get a 4K display right now, I have to buy something that three years from now is going to be a complete liability. And to the poster that says "just don't connect it", that gets harder every year as the manufacturers WANT to make it harder to not connect by tying as much functionality into connectivity as possible. That way they can "add value" and get your data.

Amazon Echo: We put Jeff Bezos' always-on microphone-speaker in a Reg family home


Re: More customization desired in these voice powered assistants

Or the Avon version: "That's an interesting question. Can a vacuum be said to have a temperature at all, or do we just consider it to be de facto absolute zero. Tell you what, why don't you float around outside for a while and see if you can tell the difference. I would suggest a spacesuit, but of course that would interfere with the experiment, wouldn't it?"


Re: Monopoly

>>"I for one would love to get into the oil tanker business. Isn't going to happen soon though!"

That's not a great analogy though. If you've been buying oil tankers from BigShips.com it doesn't give you any special reason not to buy your next one from OilForYou.com if they enter the market and sell you the same for less.

But with something like this or Cortana that's not true. They collect your data which you can't export to another provider creating a barrier to switching; and they also forge deals with their partners which others are prevented from doing. If you think Amazon / MS / Google / Apple wouldn't say to StubHub or whoever "we're a really big company and we'll pay a tiny bit extra per user if you don't also licence it to this new market entrant," then I suspect that's misplaced trust in big business. (N.b. for 'don't licence it' you can probably read 'price it too high for them' which is easier to get away with legally).


whilst you drive to the cantina.


Re: What always seems to get missed...

What I've always wanted, is simply the ability to pay for this stuff with money. But I seldom get that choice. For example, there are features of Cortana that I would very much like to use. Being able to speak to it and quickly add things to my calendar would be very valuable. However, I can't pay for the service, I have to sign over consent to read through all my txt messages and emails (amongst other things).

Or best of all with Windows 10 where Microsoft seems to want me to pay with money AND privacy.

Put some controls in place on this technology, ask me for money for it, and I'll be happy to do so. Unfortunately I think the sheer number of people out there who want / expect such services for free, seem to make me a minority market not worth serving.

Btw, I did read the article not just skip down here to the comments to rant about privacy like the author suggests, and to prove it, did anyone else read the following bit:

...distrust turned to uncertainty; uncertainty to excitement; excitement to disappointment; disappointment to acceptance; acceptance to affection.

and expect it to end with "I had finally learned to love Big Brother".

GCHQ can and will spy on politicos, rules tribunal


Re: Yet, have you ever met a politician......

Yes, actually I have. Though they tend to be the ones marginalized away from the centres of power in the party, excluded by the Blair or Cameron cabals in control of their parties. They're the reason Parliamentary Whips exist.

Fixing Windows 10: New build tweaks Edge, sucks in Skype


Re: preview on mouseover in Edge?

Metro IE does it even better - the tabs are neatly tucked out of the way until a right-click or a swipe brings them up into view as a little carousel of preview images. Extremely quick to use. Very intuitive.

Edge is a significant step backwards in several ways. I particularly loathe the way when I open a new tab (which I have set to be blank by default) it moves the cursor into a near invisible search box in the middle of the page which I then have to grab the mouse, move it up to the top and click in the address bar before I can start typing my URL. Compounded by the fact that the address bar is white on a white background with almost no visible outline. I am unimpressed.

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019