* Posts by Marketing Hack

4301 posts • joined 18 Jun 2009

Big Cable tells US government: Now's not the time to talk about internet speeds – just give us the money

Marketing Hack
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Unhappy

Sad, and nobody is going to do anything about it...

Our choices on this issue is one party who is the submissive loveslave of big cable and telecoms firms, and the other party that swims wherever Google/Facebook/Apple decide to spit. It doesn't even matter if I name the parties, they are functionally interchangeable, except that they are beholden to different corporate masters.

It would be really nice if one party could realize that both telecoms and Silicon Valley need some vigilant oversight.

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FCC boss slams new Californian net neutrality law, brands it illegal

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I'm glad the states are looking at net neutrality

I have no idea what the courts will ultimately decide, but I am glad that some states are pushing back. I am definitely pro-neutrality, and anti-anything that might entrench monied vested interests at the expense of innovation, or anything that might tend to restrict the information and viewpoints that people may receive.

I prefer a wild west internet to a potemkin village internet.

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Euro bureaucrats tie up .eu in red tape to stop Brexit Brits snatching back their web domains

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Seriously, Eurocrats??

"an important and valuable building block for the European online identity"

You could just take the humane, neighborly view that there are a few hundred thousand UK residents who have .eu domains because they are currently citizens of the EU, and then grandfather those people. Even if you block future .eu applicants with your residency confirmation. I can assure the members of the Eurocracy that, Brexit or not, the British Isles are not going to break loose from their place on the European tectonic plate and somehow wander off into the ocean somewhere. You guys in Brussels will actually remain neighbors with the Brits one way or the other.

But no, someone in Brussels has got it into their head that people are just lining up in the streets to have a .eu domain, and that these people A) can be petifogged and hassled and they will keep coming back for more, and B) must be some kind of rabble-in-the-making that needs the firm, but wise, guiding hand of the European Commission before they go off and do crazy and socially depraved stuff like posting cat videos and Walking Dead episode reactions.

And presumably these busybodies then go on to wonder why something like Brexit could have ever happened.

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Guess who's still in charge of your gas safety, Brits? Capita

Marketing Hack
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Re: Vulture Hang You Head In Shame !!

Hey, its possible

"Capita has an amazing level of competence at winning public contracts, and then disappointing on the delivery end."

"Competence is not a word that most people would associate with Capita."

"Capita--leading in competence"

See! It can be done. You just have to pay attention to the syntax.

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Facepalm

@Little Mouse

You'll come home from work to find your driveway and front yard dug up. A too-cheerful guy will be there to inform you that per your work order in their systems, the mains gas service you requested is ALMOST in place. It will only be a 4-5 business days until the required parts arrive so they can complete the installation, they'll need access to the inside of your house until then, and the computer says that your first bill that includes your 11,000 Sterling installation charge will arrive in a couple weeks.

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Voyager 1 left the planet 41 years ago – and SpaceX hopes to land on Earth this Saturday

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Alien

Re: V'ger

@Belperite

We don't need to retrieve it. As you can see in that same documentary, it is programmed to return to Earth on its own once its data banks are full or it starts having an existential crisis about how it knows all, but why doesn't that make it happy?

Whichever comes first....

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Lyon for speed, San Francisco for money, Amsterdam for fun: the best cities to be a techie

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Headmaster

Property prices in U.S. cities are not really a function of the financial crisis anymore

Property prices in most of the country outside of the Northeast and the Pacific coast have recovered from the financial crisis, but are just plain cheap, and has always been so. Detroit, St. Louis and Philadelphia have seen the actual cities hollowed out by migration to the suburbs, and in Detroit's case really getting kicked in the butt by foreign automobile competition, but the suburbs of those cities are generally doing well. I can also attest that there are actually some very nice restaurants in St. Louis. I don't know Philadelphia and Detroit very well.

Seattle is great, but the traffic is really bad at times. Bay Area bad during peak commute hours.

If I were to move to any of them, I would vote for Minneapolis. It is very well run, clean and has really good cultural resources for a U.S. city not named New York, Chicago, San Francisco or Los Angeles. But you do have to put up with honest-to-God snowy winters.

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C'mon, if you say your device is 'unhackable', you're just asking for it: Bitfi retracts edgy claim

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This day in history...

John Mcaffee's great-great grandfather plows the family savings into White Star Line shares, touting the development of it's new unsinkable ocean liner, the Titanic.

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Spies still super upset they can't get at your encrypted comms data

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In today's news-5 Eyes agencies ask tech companies to cut their own throats

"encourage information and communications technology service providers to voluntarily establish lawful access solutions to their products and services"

And then those same information and communications technology service providers can watch their customer bases shrink, as first the generally more sophisticated business customers and then the increasingly large numbers of retail customers who value privacy and the security of their data from hackers and identity thieves start to move to competing, secure products.

This war on encryption has been going on for more than 40 years. It was crap back when law enforcement and sigint agencies thought that an export ban of encryption technologies from the U.S. would solve the problem. Then it was bullshit when the NSA thought that they could get industry and consumers to be happy that they had bough computer and comms gear with the NSA's Clipper chip included, so that the NSA could backdoor them at will. Now it is bullshit because sigint and law enforcement agencies have NO ANSWER for what happens to the average citizen when encryption is weakened, and that citizen's financial and personal information is thrown to the ID theft wolves. Nor do they have an answer to what happens when every hacker, crime syndicate and hostile foreign government starts looking for technological flaws in the backdoor and corrupt individuals who have access to the backdoor.

And if they carry out their threat to pass legislation (And the financial industry, healthcare industry and many average citizens will push back strongly during the legislation debate.), then you will see a repeat of what happened during the U.S. encryption export controls era. Encryption professionals and companies will move their work and headquarters to nations that don't insist on backdoors, and those nations will be delighted to receive the tech industry investment, tax revenues and exports.

Come up with a SERIOUS proposal, 5 Eyes!! Stop insisting on "It's our way, or the highway". Start with the complete acceptance that there are REAL, completely lawful reasons that business, government and individuals want strong , non-compromised encryption platforms, and that the vast majority of encrypted communications and storage is completely lawful and indeed helpful to society. Move from there to the realization that having strong encryption technology and technology sectors in general in your own nations greatly benefits your agencies, because you have access to better technology, more qualified personnel and assistance, and the higher tax base helps pay for your own agencies' budgets. Don't insist on policies that expose your own citizens to ID theft and extortion based on data leakage. Don't insist on policies that will kneecap your local encryption and tech industries and see increasing amounts of their revenues and business activity moved to overseas jurisdictions, especially when those jurisdictions may even be hostile towards 5 Eyes nations.

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US government upends critical spying case with new denial

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Unhappy

As usual, the intel community lies to the people in order to protect itself.

They set up their database so that they can go on fishing expeditions, and they don't want to give that up, so they will fabricate any lie they need to in protecting their right to surveil whoever the hell they want to.

Disgusting. And the sigint agencies overseas are not any better. Worse yet, they have become addicted to the largesse of the NSA. Remember all those insights from the Snowden documents about how many millions of $ GCHQ was getting in return for services rendered to the NSA?

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VMware 'pressured' hotel to shut down tech event close to VMworld, IGEL sues resort giant

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VMWare needs to calm down about this stuff

IGEL is not really a competitor of VMware's, though it is one for Dell. IGEL decided to ride on VMWare's coattails a bit, by hosting their own event on the side of VMWare's expo. So VMWare got pissy and had the hotel do their dirty work for them and shut down the event.

Yes, it kind of sucks for VMWare that other tech companies are doing stuff like this, but you have to realize that this is a mark of how successful VMWare is. IGEL is running their event to capitalize on all the people that come to Vegas for VMWare's event. If there is a an event like this that happens at conference hotels, and that violates VMWare's agreements with those properties, then VMWare needs to handle that with the hotel, not with the other tech company and tech industry professionals that are at the competing event. Now VMWare comes across looking like the Gestapo, and Mandalay Bay and the restaurant look like their flunkies.

And all these IGEL VIP customers--how many of them do you think are also VMWare customers, who were in Vegas at least largely to see VMWare's offerings? What do you think their opinion is of VMWare now? I'd be kind of mortified and pissed off if I was a tech professional at mid-lunch/preso and a bunch of guys came in and cleared me out. Obviously, anyone with two or more working brain cells can figure out that it was VMWare who was behind the thuggery. Now, they are going to associate that behavior with VMWare, whose expo they also came to see.

And VMWare has to be smart enough to realize that if they have their own contracts/agreements/etc. in place when they plan their event, then anyone else who is putting on an event with the amount of preparation that IGEL obviously had in place would also have their own contracts in place to facilitate all that preparation. Now, VMWare may end up being a "deep pocket" in this lawsuit, for forcing/encouraging Mandalay Bay to violate the contracts that were in place with IGEL.

In short, bad move VMWare. You get to come across as looking insecure and tyrannical. And the people you do this in front of are a group of tech execs who are either your customers or are prospects that are interested enough in your offerings that they will spend their time and money to come all the way to Vegas to see your own show! And you potentially end up getting named in IGEL's lawsuit, for tortious interference in getting Mandalay Bay to break up IGEL's party. For the record, stuff like this doesn't make IGEL look bad. They obviously had a lot of professional signage, presentations and catering in place to attract and engage their audience. Instead, it makes VMWare look bad for breaking all that up in front of a group of current/potential customers! Idiotic would not be too strong a word to apply to VMWare's behavior in this situation.

Now, maybe VMWare had language in place with Mandalay Bay to prevent something like this from happening, and IGEL's event somehow slipped under the radar. If that is what happened, then VMWare needs to deal directly with Mandalay Bay on that and make sure it does not involve IGEL and voiding the contracts it has in place, plus embarrassing a bunch of tech professionals who are most likely VMWare's own customers/prospects! And if VMWare didn't have the appropriate contractual language in place, then the correct approach is to note that and change that in the future, and not immediately get all pissy that someone else is capitalizing on the concentration of tech professionals that VMWare's event is pulling together.

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Quit that job and earn $185k... cleaning up San Francisco's notoriously crappy sidewalks

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Actually SF spends a great deal of money on homlessness

I think they were up to something like $250 million/year. However, the city has a reputation for year-round livable weather, a higher tolerance for drug abuse and public drinking (which is honestly why a lot of SF homeless are in their position.) and is more accepting of what might be thought of as countercultural behavior. Add the SF housing crisis to that, and you have a LOT of homeless people.

The sad fact is that a lot of the homeless people you see on the SF streets are absolutely unable to manage their own affairs anymore, due to a combination of mental illness, drug addiction and alcohol addiction.

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Apple shocked, SHOCKED I tell you, to find gambling in its Chinese App Store

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Paris Hilton

A lost opportunity lost to give some props to Claude Rains...

We could have used a byline photo of him in his French police captain's uniform. After all, he was the one who was first shocked to find out that there is gambling going on at this establishment.

(Paris--because I heard somewhere that we'll always have her.)

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The future of humanity: A Bluetooth ball hitting your face – forever

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If I get tagged by one of these things...

The owner better hope that there isn't a long, downhill slope nearby. Also acceptable would be a fence with an attack dog training kennel or tiger enclosure on the other side.

If it hits me in the face, I swear to God that I am looking for an open storm drain.

(Icon shows artists conception of the author trying to reinsert his eyeball, post-impact.)

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Self-driving cars will be safe, we're testing them in a massive AI Sim

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Childcatcher

Re: "...a synthetic digital model of the real world..."

Yes, first you have your AI driving system, with it's algorithms and coding that bear some of the preferences and prejudices of the people and organization that created it. Then you are going to test that AI with those potential flaws and eccentricities in a simulator, which will have still more assumptions/preferences/prejudices from it's band of developers.

Considering we are talking about AI that is going to control a 2,000 or 3,000 or maybe 10,000 pound piece of machinery that is moving down the road at speed, I foresee an unacceptably high potential for GIGO-related accidents.

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Rimini Street slapped with ban in Oracle copyright dispute

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IT Angle

Oracle's reputation??

You mean the one where their software maintenance is famously expensive, even compared to other enterprise software firms? Or perhaps the reputation they have for trying passing up on cloud-based applications, because those threatened Oracle's maintenance gravy train??

I don't back Rimini Street in unlicensed use/theft of Oracle's IP, but I can see why Oracle customers would be very interested in a 3rd party software maintenance solution.

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Too many leftover screws? Ikea website backend goes TITSUP

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Joke

Re: Save your visit for the storm season

And what happens to Sweden if IKEA goes under? You want to be responsible for the impoverishment of an entire people??

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Not too many leftover screws--someone forgot to include the Allen wrench in the little packet of hardware that comes with an IKEA server!!

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

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Coat

Re: Another affluenza victim, shirley.

Trump can't do anything for him in Nevada though, other than make a phone call to the governor or DA. However, I am sure that for a modest consideration, the state and county authorities in Nevada can be convinced to take the position that "boys will be boys".

(Icon shows Nicolas hanging up the orange jumpsuit with "Las Vegas/Clark County Jail" stamped on the back. He won't be needing that.)

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Marketing Hack
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Pint

The cops missed busting John McAfee at the same time...

At the time, he was probably out buying pizza, Doritos and gentleman Jack so they could come down smooth off their drug high!!

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You won't believe this but... everyone hates their cable company: Bombshell study lands

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Happy

Comcast gets an award for its service quality

Sadly, the Consumerist stopped holding the "Worst Company in America" competition, because lots of powerful corporations were afraid they might one day get featured in the competition. But guess who the last "winner" was?

I loved the format too, where they would handle it like a NCAA March Madness or World Cup bracket, with company A going up against company B, and then votes for the worst offender getting tallied for that matchup and the victor moving on to do battle with another heartless corporation, on the way to selecting the true worst-of-the-worst.

https://consumerist.com/2014/05/07/watch-antenna-company-deliver-a-worst-company-congrats-cake-to-comcast-hq/index.html

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Marketing Hack
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Go

To be fair, this is a pretty old problem :)

Does your incumbent local exchange carrier/cable company treat you like this and then wonder why you dislike them??

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s2NNZdigSXg

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Space, the final Trump-tier: America to beam up $8bn for Space Force

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Go

Re: Americans need to alter the criteria for being allowed to be president.

What, after we already had a President who literally played straight man to a chimpanzee in the movies? (He was even a really successful President, though you may disagree with his particular politics.)

I'm afraid that the recognition-of-reality ship sailed long ago, with the space aliens, faeries, anthropomorphized talking animals, wild west gunslingers and magical British nannies forming the crew and serving as entertainment and the wait staff for the passengers.

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Alien

I don't see why you guys are so dubious about this....

Hey, someone needs to build the Millenium Falcon before it can eventually be won by Han Solo in that card game!

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Can we talk about the little backdoors in data center servers, please?

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Unhappy

Thanks for depressing me first thing in the morning, El Reg....

It's not your fault, its just that in the name of convenience and ease-of-management we have inserted SO MANY vulnerabilities into IT, which was already complicated to secure in the first place due to the myriad of hardware platforms, operating systems, network architectures, outsourced services, internet-facing devices, etc.

I guess that the prudent thing for an IT architect would be to assume that any technology or management tool that they are not intimately familiar with is probably insecure, and build in layered-defenses in case that probability is born out.

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Surprise, surprise. Here comes Big Cable to slay another rule that helps small ISPs compete

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Unhappy

Time for Pai to hold out for some more stock options from Big Cable

Maybe after Chairman Pai throttles the regional ISPs, Comcast will buy him his own G6. No more worrying about frequent flyer miles like the rest of us poor bitches!

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Profit-strapped Symantec pulls employee share scheme

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Go

Re: Every week more breaches / leaks / hacks

What has John McAfee been up to lately? It seems like it has been ages since I last heard of him snorting cocaine off a 20-year old's breast, or being seen playing mahjong and drinking tequila shots with shadowy Asian businessmen of questionable legitimacy.

I guess the El Reg paparazzi have been slipping up on their celebrity reporting (Except for Linus Torvalds latest tirade--they always seem to get that.) C'mon John, brighten up my hum-drum life with more of your escapades!!

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You've heard of Michael 'Air' Jordan – well, get ready for 'AI-R' Jordan

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Terminator

Except that the computer is not actually dribbling a basketball...

Just making a somewhat more realistic-looking version of NBA Live. I'd be more impressed with a robot, like one of those scary Boston Robotics units, that had great basketball handles...

And can our future AI overlords ever really be "en fuego"? I don't think so.

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Uptight robots that suddenly beg to stay alive are less likely to be switched off by humans

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Boffin

There's an alternative approach...

When the robot is powered down, it shouts out "I'M COMING, MOM!!" or "The pain! OH GOD, MAKE IT STOP!!!!"

See what that does to your human test subjects.

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Game over for Google: Fortnite snubs Play Store, keeps its 30%, sparks security fears

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I can't blame Epic for doing this...

And I am hoping the message back to Google is that they need to negotiate their Playstore take with developers like Epic that can bring millions of customers and have strong brand equity outside of the Google Playstore.

However, I fear the message that Google will hear is that they need to build some serious walsl around their garden, and maybe cyanide the gophers, moles and bunny rabbits that are cavorting inside.

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IBM Watson dishes out 'dodgy cancer advice', Google Translate isn't better than humans yet, and other AI tidbits

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Holmes

DOCTOR John H. Watson would be bitterly disappointed...

"By Jove, Holmes! They've put my name on a piece of crap that endangers patients!!"

(Icon is once again eerily suits the occasion! Uncanny job in choosing it, El Reg!)

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Ecuador's Prez talking to UK about Assange's six-year London Embassy stay – reports

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The hoverboard release got screwed up when the Chicago Cubs couldn't keep their part of the bargain and win the World Series until 2016. Both sides have been haggling over a new coordinated release date since then.

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This is the contract you've been looking for: Pentagon releases JEDI bids

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Go

Re: Security?

Security? Control?? A JEDI craves not these things.

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Is it OK if we call $53bn-a-quarter Amazon the Bit Barns and Ignoble?

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Stop

Re: 'We want customers to be able to use Alexa....'

Its extra annoying that you pay for your electric toothbrush, smart TV, Echo, etc., and not content with that transaction the consumer electronics companies want to monetize you further.

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Sen. Ron Wyden: Adobe Flash is doomed, why is Uncle Sam still using it?

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Just as long as they leave me my Santa-tracker

It looks like NORAD's elves are on their summer vacation, so maybe HTML5 once we get to the holidays?

https://www.noradsanta.org/

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US Homeland Security warns of latest hacker craze – ERP pwnage

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Trollface

"exploit flaws in Oracle and SAP platforms."

WAIT, there might be FLAWS in the monolithic, byzantine tangle of code that are too often modern on-prem enterprise ERP systems? And that replacing all that by putting your keys to the kingdom in the cloud might have security implications? Icon shows my surprised face.

(Not-so-fondly recalling my time at Symantec during the Veritas merger when just getting both halves of the company off of different releases of Oracle ERP and onto the same one caused PO requests to disappear in the procurement process and occasional inability of customers to get keys for the software licenses they just bought. Ugh.)

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Sorry, Neil Armstrong. Boffins say you may not have been first life-form to set foot on the Moon

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Alien

Good!

I personally am looking forward to the comely moon-maidens that 50's B-movies promised me.

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I predict a riot: Amazon UK chief foresees 'civil unrest' for no-deal Brexit

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Re: "Where is the evidence to suggest that would happen?"

@Doctor Syntax

I think you will find that a shockingly large percentage of the firefighters and cops who died trying to get people out of the World Trade Center had Irish surnames. So that Irish-American vote cuts both ways.

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Re: "Where is the evidence to suggest that would happen?"

Well, for one thing a reconstituted post-Brexit IRA is going to find out that, post-9/11., there is going to be a LOT less enthusiasm for looking the other way while they raise money and buy guns in the U.S.

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Flame

Re: Perhaps in a very mild form

Wait, the price of guacamole is going up after Brexit??

BURN IT DOWN!!! BURN IT DOWN!!!!!!

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Marketing Hack
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Stop

I was pro-remain, but this really is "Project Fear" at work.

I have no doubt that there will be a lot of painful adjustments to make on both side of the English/Brexit Channel. However, the idea that there is going to be rioting in the streets a few weeks after a no deal/WTO rules Brexit is the kind of transparently self-centered big business hyperbole that helped Brexit win the referendum in the first place.

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Marketing Hack
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Angel

Re: eh?

Maybe that means civil unrest in Heaven, when the Brexiteers get there and find out that the EU's founding fathers have taken over the bureaucracy in the hereafter. "You Brexit lot--out!"

(In Heaven, the bananas all have proper curvature.)

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UK spies broke law for 15 years, but what can you do? shrugs judge

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Re: Protection racket

"That's some nice data you got there. It would be a shame if something were to happen to it. A man ought to take care of his data."

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Either my name, my password or my soul is invalid – but which?

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IT Angle

Obligatory Dilbert reference

He feels your pain.

http://dilbert.com/strip/2005-09-10

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Bonkers Azure bookings give Microsoft a record-breaking $110bn year

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Windows

So Microsoft is a growth stock again?

Proof that there are a lot of desperate, damned souls walking the streets these days. Be afraid. Be very afraid. >:)

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Fukushima reactors lend exotic nuclear finish to California's wines

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Pint

A dry red with notes of cherry and a pleasing strontium aftertaste...

So I guess this gives me another excuse to drink more beer while telling everyone that I am being responsible and avoiding radiation poisoning? Ka-ching!! Thank you, Fukushima!!

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Capita strikes again: Bug in UK-wide school info management system risks huge data breach

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Personally, I think Britain should be happy they have Capita

That national comedy-relief they provide would otherwise require the purchase of a millions of tickets and 2-drink minimums at comedy clubs around the UK.

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EU plans for domestic exascale supercomputer chips: A RISC-y business

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IT Angle

I'm a little skeptical about this kind of industrial policy...

Unless the paranoia about sourcing potentially-compromised/trojan'd hardware from outside your legal jurisdiction is a big issue (and these days I am not saying that it absolutely shouldn't be), then I kind of think the EU is fighting the last war here. Unless you can make that "national security" argument, I think that anything the EU develops will probably be at best a "me too" product by the time you complete development and get the semiconductors to market.

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Privacy Shield under pressure as lawyers back MEPs' call for suspension

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Meh

Recipe for fudge....

Let's swap some recipes, because you know a fudge to paper things over (again) is coming on this issue. EU companies with significant U.S. business will scream if Privacy Shield is nuked from orbit, and European sigint agencies that enjoy the largesse of the NSA will be right behind them.

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Microsoft: For God's sake, people, cut down on the meetings!

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Windows

Or you could just push back on low-productivity meetings...

I do it all the time. Meetings are fine, but i am the first to disinvite myself if the subject doesn't seem to be something that I can contribute to or contributes to what I am doing.

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