* Posts by Pirate Dave

976 posts • joined 25 Oct 2008

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Comcast accused of siccing lawyers on net neutrality foe

Pirate Dave
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Re: No competition

"whatever name ATT DSL goes by."

That would be U-verse, as in

"hey, Mario, let's sign-up for the new AT&T DSL, Cable-TV, telephone, cellphone all-in-one offering."

"O-ah-kay-uh, u verse"

I just switched to it 3 months ago after they called and said they were about to discontinue the old DSL service I'd had from BellSouth days (~2005). The service itself is decent, but their billing system is the pits. The bills all say AT&T at the top, just like for the old DSL, but apparently there is NO way to get a banking payment mistakenly sent to the old account credited to the new account. Might as well have been telling them I'd accidentally sent the payment to Georgia Power for all the good it did.

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Rich professionals could be replaced by AI, shrieks Gartner

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Re: One question:

"If we replaced all the lawyers with emotionless, rigid, unsympathetic robotic jobsworths, how would we tell the difference?"

Simples. Just ask "Where will you go when you die?" The robot lawyers will lie and say "I cannot die". The human lawyers will lie and say "Heaven".

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Pirate Dave
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Hopefully

the first "rich professionals" that get replaced will be the ones at Gartner. I swear to the FSM, if I hear ONE MORE MARKETING DROID cold-call and then go on and on about how their wonderful company is in Gartner's "Magic Quadrant", I'm gonna puke. The Magic Quadrant - well represented, like herpes.

You'd think some smart company would want to be different and claim to be in the "least-magic quadrant" - hell, I'd give them a listen just because that's something fresh.

Oh, but the REAL reason I'm commentarding here - 18 comments on an AI story and not a peep from AManFromMars? WHat gIVes? IT cannot be so. AI cannot believe it.

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HPE dumps Grandpa Software in Micro Focus care home, hightails it

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Cool

I'm sure the six remaining Groupwise coders will appreciate their new cube farm companions. It's probably been lonely there.

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ATM security devs rush out patch after boffins deliver knockout blow

Pirate Dave
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Re: It's difficult to take ATMs seriously on security...

"All you get is an IOU."

When you get down to it, isn't most paper money basically just an IOU anyway? There's no real intrinsic value to the scrap of paper other than the amount printed on it.

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S is for Sandbox: The logic behind Microsoft's new lockdown Windows gambit

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That picture

I admit, I haven't seen Win10 yet, but the pic with that guy's tweet about changing the setting looks a lot like an OSX screen. Has Microsoft really copied Apple that closely?

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Is it the beginning of the end for Visual Basic? Microsoft to focus on 'core scenarios'

Pirate Dave
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Re: Fickle Microsoft

I still remember back in the early 90's when I tried to transition from TurboPascal 6 under DOS to, eh, whatever Borland's C compiler was for Windows. I could do cool stuff with TP with no problem, but I remember looking at a small sample Windows program and it was like 18 lines of code just to get an empty window on the screen. Bleh. So I stuck with DOS for a few more years. In '94 I found a copy of VB 3 for sale for $15 in the back on Computer Monthly, so ordered it (and a $5 copy of Windows 3.0), and decided I was GOING to learn it. And I did. It's served me well over the intervening 23 years. I never did take a liking to the low-level Windows API. Fast, sure, but ugly as hell to code.

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Dell EMC courts HPE sales people with putrid Monty Python parody

Pirate Dave
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Re: Newsted hasn't been in Metallica in almost 15 years...

If you haven't bought the albums since Master, don't bother. Just run your Master cassette at like 2/3's normal speed, and you'll be pretty much hearing all the albums since then. Although Justice did have some good songs on it ("One", in particular, I still consider to be the apex of all metal).

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Pirate Dave
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OCD

ok, I'll do it first - Newsted left Metallica 15 years ago. Do keep up.

Dell should be sued for this video. It's an obvious affront to common decency and must break some law somewhere relating to either torture or poor taste.

(edit: well, buggers, I was second to remark about Newsted...)

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BOFH: This is your last chance. After this, there is no turning back

Pirate Dave
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Re: ITEOTWAWKI

Yeah, years...

If you wanna feel REALLY old, go read some of the ones from before 2005 and think "OMG? It's been 10+ years but I still remember this story line..."

Somewhere, way back in the early days, I remember the story where Simon was at some sort of training, and said something that I printed out and stuck to my wall:

"But root IS my account!"

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Pirate Dave
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Re: ITEOTWAWKI

"Maybe it ends up with a, "this town ain't big enough for the both of us," kind of scenario?"

Could well be. Although...whatever became of Simon's girlfriend Gina from a few years ago? She was Simon's equal, perhaps his better. Then she just sort of disappeared. Perhaps he is planning to use James as a pawn in some war with her.

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Pirate Dave
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Re: ITEOTWAWKI

Did you miss the part at the beginning about James' job interview across town? I am assuming the current PFY is as safe as he ever is. The BOFH is just, as they say, "paying it forward" by training up a young, future BOFH to send out into the world to spread the joys of slippery stairwells, cattle prods, and quicklime.

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Super-secure Pi-stuffed nomx email server box given a good probing

Pirate Dave
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Re: Must have been made by...

"Any buzzwords I missed?"

You didn't mention their back-end reliance on DevOps to keep things going. But that omission is entirely understandable.

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iPhone lawyers literally compare Apples with Pears in trademark war

Pirate Dave
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Re: Dear Apple.

"There's enough Apple Corp "fans" ( I use word in it's strictest sense! ) out there that will happily die for the company."

You mean things that just go 'round and 'round in a circle all day and don't do anything more useful than move a little air?

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Amazon may be using disk drives with hot-swappable components

Pirate Dave
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HP still commands a high price for their modest capacity ( <1 TB) SAS drives compared to the high-capacity consumer SATA drives, so this MIGHT be useful. But like Yarr said, what about the SMART stuff and the bad-sector map?

Then too, it depends on how the component pricing breaks out - if a $300 SAS drive has a mechanical portion that costs $200 and the electronics board costs $100, then maybe at Amazon-scale it makes sense to put a new board on an existing mechanical drive and save the other $200. Especially if you're doing that thousands or tens-of-thousands of times a year.

But, eh, in MY datacenter if there's any whiff of "badness" to a drive, it's gonna get swapped completely with a new drive.

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You just sent an on-prem app to the cloud and your data centre has empty racks. What now?

Pirate Dave
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Re: 'something less obvious than "8-ft Pool Table"'

That would be next year's "Rejuvenation" project...

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Pirate Dave
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Pint

Re: 'something less obvious than "8-ft Pool Table"'

Well done, sir.

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Pirate Dave
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sounds like the perfect place for the new IT team building exercise room. The trick is to word the P.O. so it says something less obvious than "8-ft Pool Table"

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Risk-free Friday evenings, thanks to Office 365 license management

Pirate Dave
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"because HR decided to enact an end-of-week tidy-up to the CEO's Office 365 account."

Please don't disturb the Friday night binge drinking just because an HR droid put their career on Self-Destruct. Drinking and driving don't mix, you know. That can wait until post-blackout Saturday mid-morning.

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Ambient light sensors can steal data, says security researcher

Pirate Dave
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Why?

Why does a web browser (especially on a smartphone/table) need access to the ambient light sensor? Considering everything useful on such devices has mostly gone towards custom apps, why would the browser need access to that hardware? If there's going to be a "reduce screen brightness depending on ambient light" function, shouldn't the OS itself handle that for the entire device, not a web browser?

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PACK YOUR BAGS! Boffins spot Earth-size planet most likeliest yet to harbor alien life

Pirate Dave
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Re: Gravity well problem

"maybe a nice place to 'work out' - Just 'Sayan'"

Just don't tell the wife you're taking the kid, too. She'll get pissed.

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Cowardly Microsoft buries critical Hyper-V, WordPad, Office, Outlook, etc security patches in normal fixes

Pirate Dave
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"Now, ordinary folk are probably happy with installing these changes as soon as possible, silently and automatically, without worrying about the nitty-gritty details of the fixed flaws. "

I think "happy" might be a bit too-strongly worded. "Blissfully unaware until an update fucks things up" is probably more accurate.

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FCC kills plan to allow phone calls on planes – good idea or terrible?

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"If it is shown that cell phones do not pose a threat to the plane, there is no further need for the ban."

Agreed. IMHO - If the FCC doesn't have an actual technical reason for the ban having to do with radio emissions or radio interference, then they should drop their ban and let the FAA be the deciding agency.

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BOFH: Defenestration, a solution to Solutions To Problems We Don't Have

Pirate Dave
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"He's getting soft in his middle age,"

Well, he did fall for that consultant gal a few years ago. Emotionally and literally, if memory serves... The goalposts tend to move as you get older - sometimes things that were fun in your 30's seem like more trouble than they are worth in your 40's.

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Firefox Quantum: BIG browser project, huh? I share your concern

Pirate Dave
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"Except it's the SAME UI Chrome used to steal most of Mozilla's users. "

Don't know if I agree with the extend of "most". Mozilla has been snubbing users for several years now, so I don't doubt many previous FF users switched out of anger at the direction Moz was going more than because of Chrome's UI. But among new users, with little investment in which browser they use, yeah, Chrome's UI might have lured them. Or the fact that it's the same browser they used on their phone/tablet, so let's use it on the PC too.

I've been a FF user since Phoenix, which if memory serves, was begun as a grassroots, anti-bloat Mozilla hack to give users what they wanted faster than the old Mozilla team could. Those days are long over. Mozilla might as well be a federal bureaucracy nowadays - they love telling us what is good for us.

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Pirate Dave
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"Quantum will also see Mozilla going back to the drawing board to "rethink many fundamental aspects of how a browser engine works". "

I just wish they'd go back to the drawing board and quit fucking with the UI. Maybe give us back the old-fashioned menus. And clear out the fucking downloads history when we close the browser. Simple things like that. But that requires listening to the requests of the users with an open mind, which Moz team do not have anymore.

The rendering engine itself - meh!

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Squirrel sinks teeth into SAN cabling, drives Netadmin nuts

Pirate Dave
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Rats

Apparently rats find the plastic sheathing on fiber optic cables to be a delicacy. We got a call about 10 years ago that the network had gone out in a building, so inspection of the fiber box in the closet showed that the rats had been making quite a feast of those delicious morsels of plastic. We re-terminated the affected fibers, applied the requisite amount of expanding foam filler to all holes in the fiber box, and even put a few mothballs in for good measure. 10 years later, and the rats have left it alone.

Oh, I forgot to mention - the building where the rats found the fiber so delicious? Yes, it was none other than the University's dining hall. So kids, tell your parents that even rats find plastic more palatable than school food.

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TRAPPIST-1's planets are quiet. Quiet as the grave, in fact

Pirate Dave
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Re: Intelligent(?!) Design

"Our knees are a significant point of failure... ...No kind and loving God would have ever put them into production."

And don't forget the prostate. A kind and loving God would have put that on the outside and made it easily replaceable. (said as I'm staring down the barrel of turning 50 and having to start worrying about such things).

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Pirate Dave
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Re: We won't be living on alien planets.

"detecting life anywhere else but Earth is about the coolest thing I can imagine doing."

I would dare say detecting life beyond Earth would be the most profound discovery in all of human history. Imagine the ramifications. It would mean we aren't unique, that we aren't just a happy accident on a spec of dust in a relatively uninteresting galaxy. It would show that, in the right environment, the ragged determination of life to "live" that we see here on Earth, is universal in scope. Get the right mix of chemicals and energy, and life will eventually happen. And it would throw several of the world's religions into a chaos from which some of them might never recover.

And that's all just in the first week after discovery.

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Microsoft kills Windows Vista on April 11: No security patches, no hot fixes, no support, nada

Pirate Dave
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Those poor Vista users

all three of them had better get cracking at looking for an alternative. They've not got long left.

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Pirate Dave
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Re: ME Hated?

Wasn't ME the first one to come out with "Home" and "Pro" versions? And IIRC, you couldn't do much networking with the Home version (this was back when Novell Netware was still a Big Deal).

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Naming computers endangers privacy, say 'Net standards boffins

Pirate Dave
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So

as long as we stick to FS1, FS2, NS1, NS2, DC1, DC2, DHCP1, DHCP2, etc. for naming, we won't have to worry about international agents rooting around in our server boxen. Or at least they won't know who we are or which boxes belong to who. Although, in truth, that's probably because our servers are full of boring shit that nobody on earth wants to see. Unless we're in politics or working for a bank. The people who could benefit from said boxes (ie - the hackers/spammers) don't care what we name them so long as all outgoing ports are open and we've got a fast Internet connection.

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Facebook, Instagram: No, you can't auto-slurp our profiles (cough, cough, border officials)

Pirate Dave
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Lol

"Developers cannot 'use data obtained from us to provide tools that are used for surveillance.' Our goal is to make our policy explicit," Facebook said."

That's hilarious. Facebook actually thinks that the folks who disregard large parts of the US Constitution will in any way be bothered by the T&C's of an online website. Thanks, I needed a good belly laugh today.

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

Pirate Dave
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Re: And force everyone to use those auto insurance monitoring devices too.

"one of the crap parts of getting older is remembering when conservatives actually stood for small government."

I'm glad I'm not the only one who remembers those days. Days when there was a delineation between Liberals and Conservatives, but things weren't so polarized. Your opponent could be "wrong", but that didn't mean he was necessarily "bad". As it is now, it's like two oppositely charged plates in an enormous capacitor just waiting for the electrolyte to break down.

(oh, and if this bill passes and a future employer wants my DNA for health insurance purposes, fine, they just have to get on their knees and suck it out...)

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The future of storage is ATOMIC: IBM boffins stash 1 bit on 1 atom

Pirate Dave
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"This means if a device using such storage tech could be built, it would be 10,000 times denser than today's disk drives and SSDs."

I got to checking - where are we now compared to earlier times?

Using the chart at https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/b/b9/Full_History_Disk_Areal_Density_Trend.png/220px-Full_History_Disk_Areal_Density_Trend.png

(which I think originally came from IBM).

In 1980, areal density was around .01 Gig/sq in.

100 times that is 1 Gig/sq in, which we hit in the mid 90's.

1000 times the 1980 density is 10 Gig/sq in, which we hit around 2000.

10,000 times the 1980 density is 100 Gig/sq in, which we hit in the mid 2000's.

100,000 times the 1980 areal density is 1 Tb/sq in, which I think we hit in 2014.

(and if I missed a zero in all of that, feel free to correct me.)

So we increased areal density 100,000 times between 1980 and today, but IBM is predicting that even at single-atom-storage scale, we've only got a 10,000 times increase left before we max out from physical properties. Sobering.

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Google opens cloudy cannery to let you cram code into containers

Pirate Dave
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Why does that picture look like a map in Unreal Tournament?

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YouTube TV will be huge. Apple must respond

Pirate Dave
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Nothing groundbreaking here

$35 for 40 channels that may or may not show up grainy, depending on how large the latest X-Bone updates are that the kids are downloading on their consoles and eating all my bandwidth. Or, eh, stick to my dish and get relatively clear, not-continually-buffering video. Oh, I have kids, I'm not in Google's target demographic. Carry on.

It is a shame Google didn't try something NEW here and offer what some of us have been screaming for for years - ala cart channel ordering. I guess Google just isn't that willing to buck the system. In the end, it's all about money, and Google seems to be taking the path of least resistance towards it.

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Mars orbiter FLOORS IT to avoid hitting MOON

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Nope.

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IBM has cloud access to quantum computer 400 times smaller than D-Wave system

Pirate Dave
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Re: Schrödinger's coin?

"Head and tails both at the same time."

Careful, this is a family-friendly site...we'll have none of that AtM stuff here...

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Pirate Dave
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Open Dilution Fridge

Is it just me, or does that "hardware" hanging down in that cage look suspiciously like weapons that some supervillians have tried to use to cut James Bond in half from the crotch up?

"No, Mr. Watson, I expect you to die."

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AIX-on-Power-as-a-service is a thing? Yup, a cloud just went there

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I admit it's been decades since I looked at the mini space, but isn't the Prime Directive in IBM-land that "Everything down to the last bit of memory has to be licensed and authorized by IBM" ?

And I thought another reason folks went for S/36's and AS/400's was because they would continue running through anything less that a direct nuclear detonation overhead. Why would the folks who are used to, and relying on, that want to trust "the Cloud" for their critical stuffs? (especially in light of the recent Amazon pooch-screwing with AWS)

Just curious, really, about whether this has legs or not. I'm not trying to poop on Skytap.

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Avaya files for bankruptcy

Pirate Dave
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Re: Sympathy? Not a lot here

Same here. While it's fine to use FOSS on "invisible" stuff like DNS/DHCP servers, firewalls, web-servers, etc, it wouldn't fly for a device that sits on the President's desk. Plus, well, locally there weren't many outfits who could help with an FOSS rollout or the afterwards-support, since, eh, there's not as much money in it. Sure, we could have locked our phone guy in a closet with Asterisk and some hardware for 3 months and not let him out until he mastered it, and then did our roll-out, but the CIO didn't much like that plan. Strangling our own neck when something breaks that we built doesn't really help the situation. So we went with Avaya since the local VAR had been installing and maintaining their stuff (except their switches) for years and their main Phone guru is like Rainman-level genius with Telco stuff. Sadly it seems all of the Rainman-level switch geniuses (except McNamara) work at Avaya - all 12 of them.

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Google's Project Zero reveals another Microsoft flaw

Pirate Dave
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Flash?

Why is Microsoft releasing patches for Flash? Are they actually writing the patches, or just (re-)releasing Adobe's patches?

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

Pirate Dave
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The problem here

is if he wins, how is that going to fuck-over the rest of us Sysadmins going forward? Will we see a sea-change among employers who gradually start locking things down like they're a Fortune 100 company? No more fuzzy gray areas, no more admin-super-god access, no more special firewall rules for the Admin's computers, no more "root IS my account!" - it'll all be audit logs and constant re-authorizations for access and things locked away so tightly that only an auditor could love it. Big PITA for day-to-day work.

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Dying for Windows 10 Creators Update? But wait, there's more!

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Misleading title

I thought maybe the Windows 10 creators had started dying. Got my hopes up, you did.

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'I'm innocent!' says IT contractor on trial after Office 365 bill row spiraled out of control

Pirate Dave
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Re: Based on assumptions...

"Not the U.S. Government, its a local municipal government. "

No, iI don't think it's even a municipal government, it's a Chamber of Commerce, which is maybe, at best, quasi-governmental, but not really. It's an economic development group of local business leaders. AFAIK, they have no governmental authority over anything, although they may be "officially" recognized by the local government and included in parades and such.

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Finally, a use for your mobile phone: Snapping ALIEN signal blurts

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SETI@home was a bit of an obsession for me 17 or so years ago. I had ~30 old motherboards at home in the crawlspace under the kitchen running it - each mobo hanging from a floor joist by a screw through the standoff hole, along with it's attendant hard drive and power supply held on by strands of Cat5 wire. Everything from 25 MHz 486DX's to 600 MHz P3's. All running the Linux client under RedHat 6.2 (the ORIGINAL 6.2, not the renumbered Fedora stuff). Those were the days. The wife finally got fed up with the power bills and told me to take it all down. :(

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Pirate Dave
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As someone who once slipped the SETI@home client into the ghost image for our lab computers, I can say that there was once a herd of "compromised" machines here running SETI@home. But, hey, it got me into the Top-500 list for academics.

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Get it while it's hot: NASA's Space Poo contest winners wipe up $30k

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wrong way around

don't worry about the space suits and pampers. Just build multi-storied spaceships so they can have a poop deck. Problem solved.

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