* Posts by CheesyTheClown

641 posts • joined 3 Jul 2009

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Microsoft returns to Valley of Death? Cheap Surface threatens the hardware show

CheesyTheClown
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Build said Windows Store is temporary

Windows Store is mandatory at first so that users download the appropriate installers.

But in the future, MSIX should cover direct distribution through alternative channels. I think they just want to be able to gain meaningful telemetry on ARM products before unleashing the beast.

That said, Windows Store has improved... I’ve been using it far more often the past few months. I’m not sure what they did, but it seems less covered with crapware and actually looks like someone is actually monitoring it now.

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CheesyTheClown
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Re: Low Cost? at $499!

I’d imagine that this will be an ARM based device with LTE. The power usage is already good on the platform but will probably improve over time.

Also consider the trade off for capex vs opex. You may pay less, but the few year old model will not support hardware video decoding of newer codecs. As such, if you’re watching lots of films or clips, the battery will drain FAST on the older machine. Also, depending on which variant of streaming services you use, to gain support for w3c DRM, you may be forced to download H.264 instead of more modern video formats which can easily increase your bandwidth usage over LTE by 3-4 fold.

This surprisely is the best reason to buy new tablets every 3 years.

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CheesyTheClown
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Re: Low Cost? at $499!

I have some of those $50-$100 tablets. I’m pretty sure that although they run varying editions of Android, we’re talking a different device class.

I think $200 is where tablets start to become almost usable.$300-$400 actually provide a nice experience. $3000 is absolutely frigging brilliant.

I’m not sure how I feel about the $50-$100 range. They have value in some cases, but they get very expensive because they almost never support software updates and very often, their screens have major touch issues making them very difficult to use at all. So you tend to need to buy 3-4 of them for every $300-$400 tablet you’d have bought otherwise.

The one exception I might concede is the $200ish Lenevo items. Of course, the LTE models are more expensive.

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CheesyTheClown
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Re: It doesn't much matter

I honestly don’t understand the Windows hate. I’m quite fond of Windows and Mac and ElementaryOS.

I like them for different reasons. I honestly could never imagine coding for a living on a Mac. Even when coding for Mac, I use Windows and I very heavily use Ubuntu through WSL which is far far better these days than the Mac command line experience.

Also, Windows 10 is frigging fast. Of course I’m using a Surface Book 2 15” which is a mega-beast of a machine. But I also use some much older equipment and I just can’t feel the hate.

Stability wise it is crazy. I don’t bother rebooting except after major Windows updates and sometimes it takes a few reboots when installing a new machine. Using tech like .NET, even when I’m developing, my programs can go weeks or months without a crash.

That said, Mac has a lot of good stuff too. The App Store is still nicer. Apple is still about a million miles away from getting VPN or Remote Desktop right though. Mac will probably never win any prizes for being fast, but it’s very consistent. What I love about coding on Mac is how the development tools do an awesome job of helping you find the right place to put your text and such.

When working as an IT guy (a big part of my job), I like the Mac a lot. Being a network engineer doesn’t require anything fancy. Just a web browser, a text editor, ssh, telnet and serial. Omnigraffle is nice too, but I tend to use PowerPoint there.

Again, can’t feel the hate.

These days, since the Mac keyboards have gotten so bad, I tend to either use a Mac Book Air from 2011 or a PC. The MacBook Pro latest and greatest sits docked to some screens. I find however, I almost never use it anymore unless it’s via iRapp because I just can’t stand typing on it anymore :(

Of course if you have a favorite compute and can do your stuff... go for it. I actually recommend trying a Surface Book 2 at some point. Add some mixed reality goggles and you’re set for life.

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Blighty's super-duper F-35B fighter jets are due to arrive in a few weeks

CheesyTheClown
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A plane so expensive it’s useless

So, an F-16 can be had for $20 million with all the bells and whistles. A F-22 can be had for about $130 million fully loaded. A F-14 is about $22 million.

For the price of a single F-35, an entire squadron could be equipped and while I’m sure that the F-35 is really nifty, I wonder how well it would perform against a few dozen drones and/or F-14/F-16’s flown by highly competent pilots.

Consider that it should never be possible for an F-35 pilot to be able to log enough hours to become as skilled in the plane as he/she could have in a F-14 or F-16. The reason is simple wear and tear. With such an incredibly high operating cost, no F-35 pilot should ever be able to clock 1000+ hours in simulated conflicts in such a plane. It was expensive on old airplanes like the F-14 and Korean War era jets were used for training. Even with advanced flight simulators, this will never work on the F-35. It would probably cost a minimum investment of $500 million per trained pilot.

As for stealth, are you seriously trying to convince me that radio and/or heat invisibility has any value in an era where we can simply target on sight instead? If I were a country posing a thread to any country with aircraft carriers, I could easily launch high resolution optics into low earth orbit to track said aircraft carriers for peanuts. I would know precisley where each carrier was and would pick up jet stream from any take offs that could then be visiually tracked.

As for all the fancy AI features and tech. I’m sorry, unless the pilots are engineers with 20+ years experience in multiple disciplines of technology, the mass economy required for proper bug reporting can not be accomplished. Consider for example programs you currently use.

Software which costs A LOT and is only available to a limited number of technicians is buggy as hell, see Service Now or Cisco ISE for examples. Consider Apple’s Final Cut Pro which used to cost thousands of dollars. It was a bug ridden piece of shit. Users tended to find work arounds rather than reporting bugs. The bugs they did report were generally quite aweful in how they were written.

Software with thousands or hundreds of thousands of users produced public forums that greatly increased the number of bugs reported multiple times by multiple sources allowing them to be addressed and thereby creating proper fixes.

The only alternative would be for the developers to actually dog food their own products in real production environments. This way, when they encounter the problems themselves, they could properly instrument their systems and build fixed far more efficiently.

With a billion dollar aircraft, there is no chance in hell any government will allow a developer/engineer into a cockpit and afterwards let them duct tape a 3D printed diagnostics tool to it without months or years of lab testing first. Trial and error troubleshooting is completely out of the question.

The fact is, the guy/gal capable of diagnosing and fixing the problem won’t be allowed anywhere near the driver’s seat of the vehicle to do their jobs. They probably won’t even be allowed on the carriers to observe from nearby.

There are so many problems with a plane that costs this much from a purely common logic perspective it is sickening.

They built a plane that costs so much that as soon as one crashes, malfunctions, etc... the cost is so high the rest will have to be grounded until an investigation committee approves further flight trials. Let’s not forget that if a plane malfunctions and a pilot bails out, no matter how awesome that pilot may be, he/she will never see the inside of a cockpit again. You simply don’t crash a billion dollar aircraft and expect governments to turn the other cheek. In fact, you probably will never find a job flying for FedEx after that.

This might be the dumbest aircraft project in history. Right up with the Russian space shuttle project.

For a billion dollars, a country could design, build and deploy over 10,000 long range, armored kamakazi drones. They can be controlled like video games and can fly, land and explode on 10,000 targets simultaneously. No need for nukes. No need for massive bombs and earth shattering explosions. A single automated factory can produce and deploy them as fast as you can feed them materials. If done properly, a ship could be equipped as a floating factory capable of always building the latest model as needed. It might even be possible to do it from blimps or other airships.

It would be possibly to drop hundreds or thousands of drones from near space on a city, then active flight systems as they approach the ground, fly to precoordinated targets such as building supports and the demolish entire cities. Just pop up something like Google maps, click the positions on each building to deploy a bomb drone, drop 50% more than you need and let them all navigate to where they will be needed, stick themselves to their positions and wait for the “all clear”.

So while all the F-35 nations are wasting their budgets on useless planes and trying to pass rules about how drones can be used in warfare, countries with cheap labor and limited financial resources are probably figuring out how to 3D print most of their parts, stockpiling materials and preparing for a new type of warfare that F-35s aren’t ready for.

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Cheap-ish. Not Intel. Nice graphics. Pick, er, 3: AMD touts Ryzen Pro processors for business

CheesyTheClown
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Re: Microsoft priority for "business" ryzen flawed

Linux doesn’t necessarily have a standard security stack which is probably the issue. There are many Linux kernel and virtualization security features and AMD does generally support those. But Windows makes a fairly well defined set of APIs for the platform as a whole. This means that when you use the Windows encryption APIs, if the CPU supports hardware encryption, it will be hardware accelerated.

On Linux, you would need to have an OpenSSL implementation that makes use of kernel modules for encryption which may or may not be vendor specific. The same would go for the multitude of other encryption APIs. One downside being that if a bug is found, on Windows, theoretically the next Windows update will fix it for everything. For Linux, every kernel module and every encryption library would have to be updated to support it. That said, the response time to patch these libraries are FAST!!! but if you’re using a Cisco ISE Server, it could take 8 months to a year and still not actually be patched.... which is why using software like this from companies like Cisco should be avoided at all cost.

AMD is working just as hard as Intel to support Linux in this sense. But Linux also depends very heavily on the community to update their libraries as quickly as possible. So, if a flaw is found in an AMD encryption or security library, it is very possible that the developers won’t have access to an AMD platform to verify against. Though many online CI/CD services exist which probably will.

That said, I tend to unit and integration test my security code against a very limited set of CPUs, the Intel generations and a handful of specific ARM CPUs. I probably won’t pay the additional money to test against AMD. It wouldn’t justify a high enough volume to be bothered by that. It would be safer to just say “Use at your own risk on AMD”. If AMD ever gains a noticeable market share again, I’ll consider otherwise.

Of course, I am developing all my server applications against Raspberry Pi now because I simply can’t write code bad enough to justify more than that. I am writing a management system for 2.5 million active users at this time and since everything other than our internet systems are cloud based now, I could never imagine needing more than a few Raspberry PIs to handle the few millions transactions a day we’re processing.

It was pretty awesome all things considered. A data center at $100 a node after power, storage and connectivity vs our old servers at $120,000 a node. What’s worse is that thanks to in-memory databases and map/reduce, it’s much faster on the Raspberry PIs because we’re using the money saved on IT to focus more on good development practice.

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Spine-leaf makes grief, says Arista as it reveals new campus kit

CheesyTheClown
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Nonsense

The problem with modern data center design is attempting to solve redundancy through networking. The safest design approach is hub and spoke. Three separate clusters built using hub and spoke simplifies the network design greatly.

Then, all services should be run as a cluster in all three locations. Instead of fighting to keep a service running at all times in each cluster, simply fight to make sure that at least one cluster is operating at all times.

This design sounds expensive, but consider the decrease in network and fabric and interface costs and the cost of a third cluster is negligible.

This is not 1994. All server software today is designed to operate in n+1 where n is at least 2... using a system like Azure Stack, Kubernets, Mesos, etc... are all more than capable of ensuring a properly operating server service in this design. Also, when moving to a NoSQL + Object Storage environment and possibly a scale out file server for legacy applications means that N+1 storage can be easily handled on gigabit Ethernet.

This design eliminates the need for vMotion/live migration, eliminates the need for SAN and decreases design costs on CapEx as well as OpEx across the board.

Designing based on a “VMware is the only way” approach increases costs at least 10 fold. It increases cost of hardware, software and more. In addition, it makes it so the platform is generally designed from the aspect of how an IT crew would see it without any understanding of what services are actually needed by IS.

A recent study I participated in showed that more than 95% of the cost of building and operating a data center was the actually based purely on the cost of building and operating the management systems for a data center. By rethinking the design based on operations of IS, we could increase uptime substantially and decrease costs even more.

The moral of the story is, friends don’t let friends let IT people anywhere near their data centers.

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You have GNU sense of humor! Glibc abortion 'joke' diff tiff leaves Richard Stallman miffed

CheesyTheClown
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Shouldn’t quality and professionalism be the issue?

Man pages on Linux have been on a nearly consistent decline relative to the number of features added to the system. As authors of Linux utilities depend more on web based documentation, man pages have become more and more horrifying in quality.

Let’s also make clear that there are many of us who believe Stallman should simply be muted and censored as his behavior is generally reprehensible. I have actually experienced opposition to use of LGPL code by legal teams because they feared being associated in any way with such an oaf. I do not discount the contributions made by Stallman, but I believe his damage to the GNU world far outweighs the benefits at this time. He clearly marks everything he touches as questionable with regards to professionalism.

As to jokes in man pages. This can be saved for flame wars in forums. There is no benefit to adding them to documentation that should be free of anything other that empirical data unless positing a theory with regards to appropriate use. For example “I would recommend use of an alternative function as the algorithm used in this one may prove questionable with regards to data security.”

I have no opionion regarding the specific joke in question as I see it as lacking the depth necessary to make it entertaining. I see it as offering no more engaging value than the labeling of a manhole cover. But I also believe that even if it were a funny joke, it’s better for the forums.

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if dev == woman then dont_be(asshole): Stack Overflow tries again to be more friendly to non-male non-pasty coders

CheesyTheClown
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Re: Maybe a silly question, but...

I’m utterly confused.

If I ask :

How can I marshal a event generated in a callback on one thread into the user interface thread?

How exactly would a naughty comment be made?

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Highway to the auto-zone: Cisco is catching up to Brocade in Fibre Channel speed race

CheesyTheClown
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How about horses for carts?

I wonder how Cisco is holding up on horses for horse drawn carts? Are they doing well there?

Any nifty tools to speed up Morse code for telegraph?

Oh.. they have NVMe fabric stuff too? I wonder how many suckers will buy into that?

I hear Cisco has some great stuff for making telephone more nifty too.

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Single single-sign-on SNAFU threatens three Cisco products

CheesyTheClown
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Re: Is it me...

Nope, it's you... there's just really no point patching Cisco security products.

Let's keep this simple. If an Internet facing device is not automatically patching itself, it is not a security device.

Security devices download security patches live and deploy them in the background.

Cisco's desktop software panders to network/security engineers who can't work with desktop teams to properly deploy automatic software updates.

For that fact, a core feature of Cisco ISE is to ensure you have all the updates you need or it won't let you in, but it has no subscription service to inform itself of these requirements. As such, no one actually enforces these rules and as such, no one ever upgrades.

Don't worry... ISE is only Cisco's most important security tool in their entire portfolio, but they try to keep it secure by sending 1-2 updates a year. They ignore security bug reports... for example in their impressively insecure SAML implementation in ISE... I mean really... I have never seen such horrible code in a security product. Watch the logs for SAML and see it burn. If you can't hack ISE after watching the SAML logs, you simply are dense, I bet even the sales guy could hack ISE after looking there.

The moral of the story is... Cisco doesn't make security products. They make lots of stuff they sell as security products. And if they fail, it was your fault for not properly maintaining them.

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CheesyTheClown
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Re: Is it me...

The answer is of course no.

1) Cisco, Checkpoint, PaloAlto, etc... all run their firewalls on top of Linux distributions which they don't properly maintain. Cisco for example tries to make their own Linux LTS branch but only selectively pull in patches. To be honest, while Linux is great for many things, security is pretty close to the bottom of the list. I still think Linux should be called "hackers den".

2) Most modern firewalls run as virtual appliances, often on VMware. VMware drivers are a rats nest of security holes that simply are not solvable. Their VMXNET3 driver which they ship as the default on the Linux kernel (the one which EVERYONE uses) is so full of security holes it's disgusting. It's extremely problematic when firewalls running on VMware become insecure because you can simply code-inject as much as you'd like before the kernel even knows there's a packet of data. 100% untraceable.

3) PFSense is frigging awesome but doesn't scale at all.

4) Juniper is quite nice but once you get past a 50 user office on an appliance, it's a waste of effort.

As a note, before anyone goes all Palo Alto on my ass. Palo Alto is good as long as you don't touch anything. Just plug it in, make it run passive, set a password, configure your subscription, and that's it. Palo Alto is among the worst firewalls I've ever encountered because they rapidly weaken as you change configuration.

So the answer is simply... no you can't buy a real firewall instead. So, you have to make due with whatever option will give you the best company to sue when you get hacked.

That said... and I REALLY REALLY REALLY don't want to be nice to them. I ABSOLUTELY HATE THESE BUGGERS.... I kinda almost sorta like the solution from McAfee. I don't have that much experience with them, but I find that as they have a great deal of experience in desktop clients and they try to be part of Windows and Mac instead of some half-assed AnyConnect like solution, they do a far better job of integrating for end to end security than anything I've seen from anyone else. Their software is good at keeping itself updated. And their management portal for everything from edge to desktop is actually usable.

But in the end, they are pretty much all shit

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Slick HCI trick: VMware smooths off vSAN's rough edges

CheesyTheClown
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What about the price tag?

So, Windows Server Enterprise which needs to be licensed for each server anyway comes with Hyper-V, Storage Spaces Direct and Microsoft Network Controller. It also comes with Project Honolulu. I would call this a direct replacement for VMware, but VMware just isn't even close anymore. Every time I touch VMware,I feel like I'm saying hello to 2009.

Then there's Nutanix which is pretty expensive but is a single product which includes storage, networking and management.

The only reason to use VMware is if you spent a million dollars or more on hardware and instead of replacing that hardware with $200,000 worth, you will instead insist on paying another million dollars in software to avoid admitting you made a mistake buying the first million dollars of stuff.

People who buy VMware are people who let the vendors tell them what they need. I always love it when an IT sales guy comes in who has 25 years experience selling IT stuff to IT people in lots of different business types. They have absolutely no idea what the actual business of the customer is, but they are telling the customer what their needs are.

I was in a room at a company last year. I have 10 years experience as a developer of video codecs and transmission protocols. I worked along side of people who went on to take the most important technical/signal processing roles at organizations like the European Space Agency. I've even been known to spend a morning extending a protocol to support transmitting additional languages so that the UN could broadcast more languages with their TV signals. I was brought in by our sales guy, a guy who has been selling IT crap like VMware for 25 years. He considers himself an expert. He refused to let the engineer in charge of their video encoding system and myself discuss what they're doing. He insisted on directing the conversation and exerting his dominance in the meeting to attempt to force the customer to buy what Cisco and VMware were telling him was the important stuff to sell this week. When I clearly explained that he was attempting to force the customer to buy $2 million worth of equipment for a job which didn't justify more than $100,000 and that the $2 million sale would accomplish absolutely nothing for the customer as the customer didn't need any of the stuff he was trying to sell, he became irate and refused to bring me to meetings anymore.

In the future, spend time thinking on this one question.

What percentage of your IT spending is to buy infrastructure hardware or software that doesn't actually accomplish any specific business task other than to hopefully make the other infrastructure hardware or software work better which also probably doesn't have a direct business case?

Now ask yourself this.

What percentage of your storage is actually business data and what percentage is simply storing things like operating systems and ISOs and all that stuff? Do you honestly have 2 terabytes of business data?

What about this.

Have you actually spent money on things like fiber channel, SANs, other storage subsystems to improve performance and the stability of large data transfers simply to improve the speed at which the non-business data moves? So, how much money have you spent in the last X number of years to improve storage performance ... not because you're generating millions of transactions per second for business tasks, but because you built IT systems that are so complex that things like NVMe storage subsystems seem like a good idea?

Let's go to this.

Now that most of your core systems like identity, messaging, collaboration and office are mostly cloud based, are you still building expensive storage and virtualization systems? If you were to evaluate actual business data performance requirements, you'd probably find a small cluster of SQL servers running on Intel NUC machines would more than satisfy your entire enterprise's needs for non-cloud storage. Your entire business systems probably would also run perfectly well on a few NUCs. Are you spending in IT wisely? Are you letting system integrators sell you things you clearly don't need simply because you need to better support something else you bought which also adds no business value?

Before you lash out at me, take the time to tell me... could you be worth more to your company by decreasing the IT spending by making breaks from religious beliefs like VMware and SANs and such? Could you make a 5 year plan to minimize IT spending and facilitate your company's needs? Wouldn't you be clearly more valuable to management if you spent your time trying to facilitate management's needs instead of the IT sales guy's needs?

Don't get me wrong, I feed my family by you buying tons of shit you don't need. In fact, if you actually used your brain to actually support your company as opposed to me and my family, I'd be out of work. In the past 6 years of working in IT, I have not once actually provided value to the customer. I have let the advertisements convince the management they should look into technology to make them more agile. Then we go in with absolutely no understanding of their business and sell them systems they don't really have a plan for either and then charge lots of hours to help them deploy systems they didn't need and would never use to ensure that the systems we sold them which they didn't need and wouldn't use wouldn't be wasted.

An example... if you're considering VMware for a NoSQL environment, this is a very very very bad idea. NoSQL performs best when it's scaled very wide and works even better when run on bare metal or at least in a container. Deploying NoSQL on VMware and on a SAN goes against absolutely everything that NoSQL was designed to fix. This is true for things like Hadoop and Map/Reduce systems as well. These are systems that should never ever ever ever be found in virtualized environments like VMware. But, it is clear that VMware is working on making things like MongoDB work on VSAN which might be the dumbest thing I've ever heard. Well... other than running MongoDB on a SAN. That is truly the worst investment in history. Using enterprise storage with enterprise backplanes on enterprise servers to run a system that was specifically designed to 100% eliminate the need for running on enterprise storage with enterprise backplanes on enterprise servers.

But... I'm sure that some salesman will have a great Christmas because of you.

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Car-crash television: 'Excuse me ma'am, do you speak English?' 'Yes I do,' replies AMD's CEO

CheesyTheClown
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Re: F1 is a Car Crash

I'm pretty impressed.... I had to look up what F1 was. Then I realized it was those cars from Iron Man.

I didn't realize people knew this much about people who drive around in circles over and over again.

I suppose it's cultural or something.

Is it true that these cars are meant to be as similar as possible and that the organizers strictly prohibit the teams from doing anything to modernize the vehicles beyond tuning them? Is it basically really well tuned Ford Model T technology? It's just an internal combustion engine with lots of electronics to tweak and tune them right?

From a technological perspective, are they allowed to do anything interesting outside of material sciences? Can they even do anything good with material sciences? Like could they make the body of a more advanced composite than their competition? Could they make something like a run flat tire using a carbon nanotube structure which would allow them three or four more laps without changing tires?

It disappoints me a little that AMD would spend so much money on something as wasteful as this. But I'd imagine that it helps them make sales.

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Accenture, Capgemini, Deloitte creating app to register 3m EU nationals living in Brexit Britain

CheesyTheClown
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Re: An app?

If they don’t have a supported mobile phone, they won’t be able to install the UK approved “Big Brother” backdoor required for unlocking the phone by authorities.

Do you honestly think Theresa May will approve anyone not proving themselves to the UK by forfeituring their right to privacy.

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My PC makes ‘negative energy waves’, said user, then demanded fix

CheesyTheClown
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Allergies to blue LEDs, not WiFi

I have cured a lot of users ailments due to their allergy to blue LEDs. By turning off the LEDs on Cisco access points, the people suffering the most can sit in peace while using their laptops on WiFi everywhere you disable the lights.

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Mind the gap: Men paid 18.6% more than women in Blighty tech sector

CheesyTheClown
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This is the wrong measurement

I would like to see a comparison of three things :

1) People who do their work task by task vs. people who do their work and brag about every single thing they do each time they do something.

I believe wholeheartedly that if you were to do this research, you'll find that the gender gap shrinks considerably. Men or women who spend less time working and more time bragging about how important their contributions to the company are get paid a great deal more.

2) People who climb ladders actively vs. those who work and expect to be rewarded fairly.

You'll find that people who "make themselves seem important" and then actively create bidding wars for them are paid far better than people who don't.

And most importantly....

3) Height and voice depth

I'm absolutely convinced that you'll find that taller people (regardless of gender) are paid more. Women of course can equalize this by wearing heels, but when heels are past a certain point, then end up looking cheap and desperate. There is only so much they can do here. Of course, man or woman, keeping a small waistline will exaggerate the appearance of their height, so living as a vegan or an anorexic can even the odds here.

Of course, voice depth means a lot. Listen to a man or woman with a higher pitched voice vs. a deeper voice. You'll likely find that the deeper the person's voice, the more serious and important they seem. This is true until such time as a voice becomes so deep that no one can understand it.

Consider that someone listing their accomplishments in baritone sounds confident. Listing your accomplishments in soprano sounds like whining. I think you'll find that women who have an alto voice will consistently perform better than those who speak with a soprano.

Bonus) Accents

The more "educated" a dialect and vocabulary, the higher a person will be paid. Using larger and more advanced word appropriately with a more distinguished/professor-like pronunciation, the more people will earn.

Many of these things can be faked, but the "faking it" takes time, effort and also talent to get right. If you look like you're faking any of them, you won't be taken seriously and people who see you as being weak and worth less instead. So 4.5" heels on a woman can be natural if their foot is proportionately large enough. 5" heels look like a secretary trying to show her legs. Same as men and shoes. Raised heels inside a shoe can't be more than a CM or two max. Elongating a mans legs to look "feminine" by adding 3 or 4cm makes the man appear submissive. The goal is to achieve dominance through appearance and elocution while not appearing as though attempting to do so.

I am in a top working class salary bracket. I make a lot more than nearly every woman in the company (and there are A LOT of them) and have managed a senior level position. I have completely wrecked the averages because it would take A LOT of women to make the average lean back towards them. I achieved this through a combination of dedication to my work as well as marketing myself wisely. My salary will most likely not increase drastically again relative to inflation as I've reached my pay ceiling for my skills and comfort level in "pimping/whoring myself out". In fact, my goal is to achieve 5 years in this bracket before I start seeing a decline without a major shift in strategy.

Let's research the real issues and unfortunately learn that some people actually achieve higher pay by manipulating their physical appearance to be paid more.

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Meet the open sorcerers who have vowed to make Facebook history

CheesyTheClown
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Re: standards exist from ITU, GSM and IETF

XMPP didn’t catch on because it was even worse than the SIP it was trying I replace.

I have to implement an XMPP server soon. I have been googling like mad for months and while I’ve implemented dozens of major protocols in my life, I haven’t the slightest idea where to start with XMPP.

If you can’t implement a protocol, you can’t integrate it. It looks to me like XMPP will take months or more just to get the basic features running.

No I can’t use a library. They’re not good enough.

No I won’t use a C or C++ program, I refuse to take those security risks. I will need to support communication between 100,000+ devices and the only reason we need XMPP is because of security. I’m not going to start by using languages which run native code on the servers.

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CheesyTheClown
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PowerDNS... NO FUCKING WAY!!!

So... I went to check the source code to PowerDNS. I went into the security code to check for cleanliness and commenting.

1) it’s written in C++

2) there is little or no header documentation

3) The only comments are in Russian written in Latin-1 which is an improvement over 1252... but ... here is a Google translate of the first comment I tried.

Wide scope for dreams and for life. The future is open to us for years. We are given strength by force. So it was, so it is and so will always be faithfulness to the Motherland.

—-

Somehow, using code that is supposed to “keep us safe” but is filled with poems of political propaganda about getting strength by force and motherland references... and that’s in the security code.

I don’t think I’ll bother even looking at OX. It’s probably commented with Mein Kampf.

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World celebrates, cyber-snoops cry as TLS 1.3 internet crypto approved

CheesyTheClown
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Strong protocols, weak implementations

Great, we have a major rewrite of a security protocol. This of course is good. But consider that we started implementIng TLS about 20 years ago as SSLv2. It has changed a lot, but never as fundamentally as it has now.

Even today, TLS 1.2 isn’t jacked nearly as often through algorithmic weaknesses as opposed to weak implementations.

Consider that most implementations are written in C by people focused on performance. Look at OpenVPN for example... they have great encryption and do a great job on the protocol, but whenever I need to hack OpenVPN, I just attack the ASN.1 parser which generally has endless problems with buffer handling. The same code in C++ with a buffer class, RUST or Java or C# would never have those problems.

Then there’s hardware acceleration. Writing code which can access and manage hardware cores from user space is almost impossible to write securely.

My guess is that will will take 20 years to have a reasonably secure implementation of TLS 1.3. Don’t get me wrong, it should be used now by every internal server. But I would wait 3-5 years before touching any 1.3 code written in C and/or VHDL.

But I’m not a security expert... so what do I know? :)

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WekaIO pulls some Matrix kung fu on SPEC file system benchmark

CheesyTheClown
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Re: Marketing Bull

Hi Liran,

Nice to see someone in your position actually commenting on the article.

I'm a long-time file system and storage protocol developer. I spent many years trying to solve storage problems at the file system level and I've now moved further up the stack as I believe that there are rarely any cases where high performance distributed file systems are really the answer as opposed to better designs further up the stack.

For example, the SpecSFS test is building code which is obviously quite a heavy task. I spend most of my life waiting for compiles and I would always welcome better solutions. But I already have seen huge improvements by moving away from poor languages like C and C++ towards more managed languages that have endless performance and security benefits over compiled languages.

Now, given the problem of compiling code, this has always been a heavy process. Consider that most development houses have a complete rats nest of header files dependencies in code. Simply using a library like Boost or the standard C++ library can cause decades of programmers lives to be lost. Of course the local operating system will generally RAM cache most files once they've been read once... making the file system irrelevant. But compiling something that produces a large number of object files (such as the Linux kernel) on a system which has anti-malware protection will kill performance in general.

To distribute the task of compilation across multiple systems, there are many solutions, but tools like Incredibuild handle this in a far more intelligent manor than placing a large burden on the file system. Therefore, testing file access in those regards is a meaningless solution because it presents a higher performance file system as opposed to a distributed compilation environment as the solution. Simply precompiling the headers and distributing that along with the code to be built to other systems is far more intelligent.

Then there's the case of data storage and manipulation. Your product makes a big point out of having it run side by side by with compute on large nodes which also hold storage. On algorithmic principles in terms of making file i/o perform better, making a better distributed file system that implements the POSIX APIs makes a lot of sense... if you're interested in diagnosing the symptoms but not the underlying problem.

When working with huge numbers of nodes and huge data sets, generally the data in question is structured at least in some way that can be consider object oriented. It may not be relational, but it is generally something that can be broken down into smaller computing segments.

Consider mapping a DNA strand. We could have hundreds of terabytes of data if we store more than simple ribosome classification. If we stored molecular composition of individual ribosomes, the data set will be massive. In this case, each ribosome will be able to be structured as an object which can be distributed and scheduled most intelligently in a database that handles hot and cold data distribution across the cluster through either sharding or share-nothing record replication.

Consider the storage from a collision within an LHC experiment. The data is a highly structured representation of energy readings which themselves are not structured... or at least not until we'll identified their patterns. As such, the same general principle of shared nothing database technologies make sense.

To have a single distributed file system to store this data would be quite silly as the data itself isn't well represented as a file as opposed to a massive number of database records or objects.

The only system I know of anymore where large scale file systems makes sense is virtual machine image storage. And in this case, since VMware has one of the most impressively stupid API licensing policies EVER... you can't generally depend on supporting them in a meaningful way. They actually wanted to charge me $5000 and make me sign NDAs blocking me from open sourcing a VAAI NAS driver for VMware. I simply moved my customers away from VMware instead... that was about $5,000,000 lost for them. In addition, if I had to instead a vib to support a new file system, I'd be nervous since VMware famously crashes in flames constantly due to either storage API or networking API vibs.

But that said, VM storage for Hyper-V, KVM and Xen are a great place to be. But if I'm using Hyper-V, I'll use Storage Spaces Direct, for KVM or Xen, I can see room for a good replacement for Gluster or the others.

So, now that I hit you with a book... I'm interested in hearing where your product fits.

I read your entire web page because you sounded interesting. And I found your technology to be quite interesting. Under different circumstances, I'd probably even ask for a job as a programmer to have some fun (it's sad, but I find writing distributed file systems to be fun). But I simply don't see the market segment which this technology targets. Is it meant as file storage for containers? Is there something which makes it suitable for map/reduce environments other than better database tier distribution?

I look forward to hearing back. I get the feeling you and I could have some absolutely crazy (and generally incomprehensible) conversations at a pub.

P.S. - I'm working on a system now that would probably benefit from technologies like yours if I wasn't trying to solve the problem higher up in the stack. I may still need something like this later on if you start looking towards FaaS in the future.

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Anyone fancy testing the 'unlimited' drive writes claim on Nimbus Data's 100TB whopper SSD?

CheesyTheClown
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Re: Reality check

Agreed... I was also considering the power footprints. On a drive that takes about 40 hours to read completely, I was thinking that the drive has no purpose other than cold object storage. That being said, 16KW seems a bit silly. Why the hell would anyone consider keeping all these drives powered at all times? If they optimized the boot performance of the drive, it should be possible to leave these drives powered down except when needed. As the data gets older, it seems that data can stay offline for possibly months or years at a time. If there are 60 of these in a single 4U enclosure, most hyper scale companies couldn’t generate 4U of data a year. 6PB is actually quite a lot. Of course, these would be mirrored at least three ways in different locations.

But in the end, 16KW to power a rack... possibly for years at a time seems like a really bad idea. It’s not really a valuable measurement to compare a “wasting power” footprint.

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UK tech whale Micro Focus: Share price halves as CEO quits, sales slide

CheesyTheClown
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Should have taken the Borland name

To be honest, a while back, I was looking to buy some Borland team management tools. I was ready to invest and would have had no issues doing so, but when I saw the name Microfocus, I realized that buying the tools would embroil me in a great deal of buracracy and probably sales meetings which would simply drive the costs up. Not only that, but because Microfocus has too many products, I suspected that all documentation would be buried and product support would be come and go like it is at HPE.

It is sad, I don’t consider SUSE, Borland or Novell tools because of fear of the headaches of doing business with Microfocus.

That said, while I don’t use them other than out of interest, core products from Microfocus like their .NET COBOL tools are very well written and supported. Too bad that their acquisitions and mergers business is just toxic.

They should however broken their business into two different divisions. One for traditional mainframe style purchases like COBOL and Openview. The other for more agile products like those from SUSE, Borland and Novell.

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Brexit in spaaaace! At T-1 year and counting: UK politicos ponder impact

CheesyTheClown
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Elimination of universal education will hurt

Consider that science/engineering students generally come from all social classes and more importantly countries. The high cost of education will require that potentially gifted mathematics and science students will be forced to focus their attention on directly profitable areas of research to cover their costs.

England is as well regarded as they are because they have fostered research by providing universal education. This meant that England could produce the best mathematicians and physicists who may only produce theoretical results with no direct application. The result was drawing the best potential applied physics and mathematics students from around the world to study with the best.

I expect that in 15 years, the British population at CERN will be considerably lower. I expect that top notch immigrant students at Oxford and Chambridge will be far less. I expect large numbers of top potential students will be focused on applied sciences as opposed to theoretical as student loans must be paid.

I wouldn’t invest long term in the U.K. following the loss of universal education and the exclusionary principles of Brexit. I honestly would question the legitimacy of any scientist that wasn’t borderline fundamentalist globalist. It would be proof of a limited understanding of action and consequence. Most scientists are part of the global science community... there is simply no room for diseases like patriotism there.

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Brit retailer Currys PC World says sorry for Know How scam

CheesyTheClown
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Re: I asked why did I need a recovery on a new laptop.

The “l33t people” probably would just download a new copy when they need it because they don’t waste a thumb drive on keeping a copy of Windows on it.... which they probably wouldn’t be able to find when they need it if they ever do need it.

I just checked Lenevo, Dell and HP. Apparently, they all have websites where you can download the system recovery images for their PCs. Seems like there isn’t much point in making one anymore. I suppose if you’re single, live alone, on a farm... in the country, it might make sense if you didn’t keep your old laptop around for stuff like this.

I’m pretty sure that if you’re the type of person who thinks being “L33T” is required to google “Thinkpad X1 Carbon System Recovery” and follo directions, then having the system recovery media or not is irrelevant.

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CheesyTheClown
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Re: Really?

I touch the finger print sensor with my finger and that’s all. The X requires that it either sees you or have to pick up the phone to trigger the gyro or you have to get a grip to push the poorly placed power button which also if you simple squeeze side to side also triggers the volume buttons.

And although I told my boss I didn’t need a new phone, he convinced me to at least try a new one. It was company policy that I should have one. So, I got the one my wife would want if I didn’t want it. The company paid half, I paid the other.

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CheesyTheClown
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Re: Sharp Practice

Every time I’ve been to Dixon’s, I’ve been scammed. Last time, I saw a great deal on a prepaid SIM card and modem for while I was in ireland and after I bought it, they informed me that the SIM card cost extra and I’d have to buy that somewhere else... at car phone ware house.

I haven’t been back.

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CheesyTheClown
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Re: Really?

I have one of those $1200 models (X 256gb) and and downgrading tonight to my 6S Plus. The problem is, the X did offer something new, a user interface of absolute terror. I have to lift the phone up and look at it face first or type a 6 digit pin which also requires picking the phone up to read my text messages.

I’ll dump this piece of shit on my wife and take her old phone as my spare travel phone.

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Openreach hiring thousands more engineers

CheesyTheClown
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Is Wonga legal?

I have never heard of them, but are they legal?

I just read their website and they basically say "we know we're predators and before you use us, you should know that too."

If a person is considering Wonga, they clearly lack the financial management skills needed to make good judgments. A fiscally responsible person would be able to get a short term loan from a bank (maybe an expensive one). So it is clear Wonga is knowingly taking advantage of people that are vulnerable and likely already burdens on tax payers. They are also knowingly facilitating short term loans for gambling addicts.

If you are in a country where Wonga operates, you should consider filing a suit against the government to protect yourself as a tax payer from being forced to assume the additional tax burden caused by the government enabling these predators from operate.

In the UK, university is no longer social which means there will be even more stupid people in the future. The reason there is no social university is because of the burden placed on the British government by predatory lenders taking advantage of people too stupid to not overextend themselves... leaving the fallout at the foot of the government. And now the entire future of the country is at risk because some brainiac decided the making people smarter was not in the best interest of the people.

The good news is, while people get dumber, their booze will stay cheap and instead of studying, the people can get pissed while watching footy... because they can no longer spell intoxicated or football.

Just knowing Wonga exists makes me angry. Between things this and Brexit, it is clear England is in a race to the bottom with America.

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Windows Mixed Reality: Windows Mobile deja vu?

CheesyTheClown
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Developing for Windows MR and Hololens now

It took time to get our first headset, now we’re developing Windows MR and Hololens software for IT management. We showed our first prototype yesterday and will invest heavily in it.

Oculus and Vive are for gaming and porn. But Microsoft’s solution is... well a solution.

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Mum? Dad? Can I have a 3D XPoint disk for my birthday?

CheesyTheClown
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Re: Don't like/trust Intel SSDs

Can I ask what you're doing that would justify upgrading from 10-Gbps to 40-Gbps? I recently started moving some fairly large customers back down to 1Gbps since we stopped using VMware and simply were wasting too much money on maintaining a data center network. So now that we're 100% container and FaaS, we don't need a data center network anymore. We just use a lot of small cheap nodes instead and if we lose a node, a switch, an entire location, who cares. We can throw it away and add a new one for $1000.

It's amazing how if you took the money you're wasting on 40GbE and spend it instead on building the systems running on it properly, there's often as much as a 10,000x resource waste (not percentage... actual 10,000 times).

Ask yourself... how much resources do you think you really need to run a 10 megabyte database (100mb if your company is really big) like active directory?

And how much resources do you need to handle a million banking transactions an hour, each taking about 5-10ms to run on a Raspberry Pi?

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A smartphone recession is coming and animated poo emojis can't stop it

CheesyTheClown
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I'll go with that.

I have a 256GB iPhone X and I'm switching back to my iPhone 6S Plus. The battery life is better in the X, but it's been an absolute usability nightmare. I can safely say that I liked the 6S plus much better.

My mother-in-law last night said she's going to buy a 6S Plus as well.

So... to be honest, iPhone is plateaued. I'll save my money for the new Hololens in 2019 :)

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Sci-tech wants skilled worker cap on PhD and shortage jobs scrapped

CheesyTheClown
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Re: STEM

That’s not how Ph.D. works. No matter where you go in the world, Ph.D.s are generally not local. This doesn’t mean low wage workers. It means people who are willing to focus and devote 7 or more years of their lives to a single specific area of research. You don’t make these people, you desperately try to recruit them.

Granted many Ph.D.s are absolute shit. This is obvious when you interview them. For example, I met a Political Science Ph.D. candidate who spent 7 years studying to be part of Middle East peace talks but never learned to read Hebrew or Arabic.

To find genuine Ph.D.s you are shit’s creek if you try to go local. People need to be willfully my to obsess over something for A LONG time and display discipline, talent, and most importantly, the willingness to leave everything else behind to do what they are most passionate about. As such, you would never want to hire a local Ph.D.

Of course, there may be exceptions, but generally local Ph.D. Are rarely of use outside a sale meeting.

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Enterprise storage sitrep: The external array party is over

CheesyTheClown
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Centralized all flash is just an impressively bad idea.

Ok... so, you have SSD media capable of 2GB/sec read and write. Assuming almost zero overhead, that means to transport that 2GB/sec would require 20Gb/sec (as NRZ coding and clock recovery will always consume the difference). This means that over a single 100Gb/sec network connection, you can achieve maximum performance of only 5 storage devices.

Ok, so you're using NVMe over a PCIe switched fabric. Even if this were the case, you're probably still maxing out at 20 storage devices. We're not even considering processing overhead. So, let's assume you can read and write an aggregate of 40GB per second across your array. You would need a storage device able to handle compression, deduplication, error correction, possibly erasure coding etc... for 40GB per second. Can it be done... in ASICs sure!!! no worries! Of course ASICs can't be upgraded so unless you're 10000% sure that the array manufacturer uses nothing be absolutely perfect engineers who never make mistakes, you'll need something probably software based.

No... Cisco, HP, Huawei, EMC, NetApp... none of these guys can deliver anything that can possibly make good use of all flash anything. Not only that, but even using awesome tech like XPoint, the latencies required to handle processing centralized storage would be far too long to waste time on this project.

Buy local consumer grade M.2 storage (or XPoint if you're truly wasteful) and put four of them in each machine. Then add some spinning disk for capacity to each server. Then run a proper share-nothing storage system. If you're really bad at your job, you can use systems that manage virtual disks and block based storage. This is how "Storage Experts" do it.

Or if you're really good at your job, build your storage infrastructure around your systems and you can actually make do with far less overhead.

Quit throwing away all your money on things like storage arrays and start designing your storage properly. This means databases, object storage, etc... it's 2018. Any project you start now that you put even the slightest effort into will run until 2020 at least. Might as well do it right.... or you throw good money after bad and be "a storage and VM expert"

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NRA gives FCC boss Ajit Pai a gun as reward for killing net neutrality. Yeah, an actual gun

CheesyTheClown
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Re: We have the clueless leading the blind...

Can’t resist the bait.

I’m not anti gun. In fact, I believe gun control in the sense of controlling guns is a smart idea. I don’t own a gun but I do enjoy visiting a shooting range to try and put holes in paper in a controlled environment... just as I like playing darts or billiards.

I am a poor marksman and who be a poor gun owner. I don’t believe a person like me, with my marksmanship or training should have a gun outside of a controlled environment. I certainly would not invest properly in storage of a firearm or additional safety measures that should be mandatory.

I own a car, for which I studied and have to prove regularly that I’m fit to operate. I pay insurance to ensure that when (not if) I eventually make a mistake, there is a system in place to mitigate the problems associated with my mistakes. I am forced to buy new cars with new safety equipment every few years or I am penalized by the state for operating an unsafe device that places myself, my passengers and those around me at greater risk. My vehicle is inspected regularly by professionals with advanced diagnostic equipment to ensure my vehicle is within reasonable parameters.

If I fail physical or mental diagnostics, my license to operate a vehicle is revoked until such time as I can correct this. If I show carelessness or repeated inability to operate my vehicle, my license is suspended. I am financially penalized for owning quantities of vehicles as well. If I am obsessed with said vehicles, I can choose to (at great personal expense) own as many as I can afford.

It is by no means unreasonable that guns should be controlled in such a manor. Like cars, they are tools that demand a great deal of respect and understanding. People who demonstrate greater skills (truck drivers) can operate vehicles of greater capacity. Consider that guy who rents a trailer to move some stuff on his car and needs 90 tries to back it into his driveway while impeding traffic.

So by your argument, instead of banning guns and cars, would it not be more reasonable to suggest that the inexperienced gun owner should be limited to a pea shooter with little more than a few weeks education and testing, but that to own and operate an AR-15 or bazooka one should require the equivalent of a helicopter pilot’s license?

That said, I would be sad to see a blanket ban on guns like the AR-15 as they are quite fun at the range. But without military training, regular operator evaluations, insurance and safety control inspections of the equipment, they should never leave the range.

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iPhone X 'slump' is real, whisper supply chain moles

CheesyTheClown
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Have one and don’t use it

I bought the big model... used it a week and now it’s my spare phone for travel.

It was my first attempt at an iPhone without a headphone jack. What a f-ing joke. Constantly charging phones and headphone when I went wireless. Went back to wired and could charge the phone while listening. Of course I could buy a splitter or a wireless charger. But what a frigging horrible experience it’s been.

The usability on the iPhone X is a disaster as well. It was as if they put absolutely no thought into the phone. They even made it so the frigging power switch was more than the power switch now. So every time you try to turn the phone off it does other crap instead.

I would return it, but I needed a travel phone anyway. So why bother? Back to my iPhone 6S plus. I’m in the states now and will stop by the Apple store and get a battery replacement today.

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Capita data centres hit by buttload of outages

CheesyTheClown
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Entertaining read

Mainframe tech is specifically designed for handling these problems. Using “everything is an object” and “share nothing” tech, it should be possible to run these systems for decades without an outage. Using big-ass custom cloud platforms is a quick way to end up screwed.

This is why companies like Google, AWS and Microsoft are dumping IaaS and containers in favor or more reliable FaaS architectures. Yes, there were problems from the 60s to the 90s, but mainframes have generally always been far more reliable that the crap most vendors are passing as PaaS today.

Acid compliant share nothing record storage systems as well as FaaS as well as well designed load balancers and non-SAN object storage can offer almost zero-downtime (way better than five nines) platforms.

A vendor like this has absolutely no possible excuse for service outages. If they can’t do it themselves, they should call IBM and get it done right. It’ll cost a lot, but nowhere near as much as losing business due to letting IT people be involved in information systems.

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UK.gov: Psst. Belgium. Buy these Typhoon fighter jets from us, will you?

CheesyTheClown
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Spend the money on drones

Seriously, what’s the real benefit of wasting money on one shit plane vs. another. We should be able by now to make drones that can be manufactured far faster and deployed far easier than either fighter. What’s lost in having a pilot in the cockpit can be made up for by having 10 times as many aircraft in action.

The F-35 for example basically places the pilot in a virtual reality environment anyway. It’s not like having eyes in the cockpit really benefits anything. Latency might be an issue, but having a nearby land based or flying control center should compensate for that.

Just quit with the human pilot shit or human military shit as much as possible. The only good reason for human militaries is population control. The more children we send to their deaths the less babies they’ll make and the less burden they’ll place in the job market. It’s 2018 and it’s about fucking time we stop doing the war bullshit by shipping children off to die. If politicians really want to play bullshit games, let them do it with their own lives.

Make a crap load of land, sea, sub-sea, and air drones and control them remotely. As always, he with the most gold makes the rules. Then whoever has a bunch of gold can take over whatever country they want and we can send in the construction crews after to clean up the mess.

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Hyperscale oligarchs to rule the cloud as the big get bigger, and the small ... you won't care

CheesyTheClown
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My predictions

All public services will be cloud based. This means that public email, conferencing and collaboration systems, etc... these systems generally go across the public Internet anyway, there is no point claiming that you can secure it better at home. In addition, spam and virus protection doesn’t work unless the mail server is global, individual organizations running things like Cisco Email Security Appliance are screwed. Global providers can also work better together to secure the backbone. New providers will not be able to enter this market in the future due to locked down peering.

Private networks will become far harder to manage. Military and other government networks will lack access to proper solutions in the future since enterprise scale software will become a niche market for collaboration and messaging. This will probably result in a lot more open source solutions being deployed for private servers. Microsoft will probably make an Azure Stack solution for offline networks. NATO governments will adopt it and other governments will reject it.

Software defined is already universal in cloud providers. AWS, Azure and Google Cloud are already nearly 100% SDN. All their solutions are completely software based as well. Cisco doesn’t make a software define solution, so they missed out. They have policy based networking which is similar, but not scalable.

Storage will be back to non-enterprise. There is no reason in a software defined world to consider enterprise storage. Cloud storage doesn’t need it and it doesn’t benefit from it at all. Systems like NetApp, EMC, 3Par and others are already relics of the bad old days. As more systems are cloud based, we’ll focus on NewSQL, NoSQL, and object storage. These perform fantastically badly on scale-up systems like SANs and NAS. They also regularly have high risks of single point of failure. Their cost is 20-30 times higher per gigabyte than their alternatives. NVMe fabrics, FC fabrics, etc... are almost the worst possible ideas in cloud storage. All flash is a total waste and all these systems just don’t work well anyway.

As a matter of fact, Hyperflex from Cisco is among the worst solutions for cloud storage as it almost guarantees your data will suffer from high latency and poor performance. It’s great for VMware, but terrible otherwise.

Business systems will come back home. Using FaaS in a box solutions, we’ll see more systems come home. They will be much smaller and simpler. Expect to see entire enterprises running on clusters of computers that cost less than $1000. Now that we’re shipping our crap to the cloud, we’re learning that we don’t need VMs and containers and other wasteful tech to run our enterprises. We simply need better systems. The average Raspberry Pi 3 has substantially more capacity than most enterprises need for their systems.

Zero-trust networking (thank you Google for the name, been working on ZTN for 6 years and didn’t have a name for it) will eliminate the need for most corporate enterprise networking. By centralizing most services, we’ll no longer need east-west network traffic. As such, we can eliminate nearly all network equipment we use today.

In addition, whether you’re 5 users or 50,000 users, the cost of LTE and SIM cards at now cheaper than buying a Cisco or Aruba wireless network. Almost universally, it’s more cost effective to eliminate your enterprise network completely and move entirely to mobile services. With zero-trust, it makes perfect sense of to simply dump your Cisco enterprise network. After all, your company probably already pays for at least some of your cell phone bill today. The cost to cover the additional bandwidth needed would be $10-$20 a month per user. That is A LOT cheaper than Cisco networking and that’s not even counting the consultants or endless lost hours of business to silly meetings about things like Cisco DNA.

SDN in the cloud is accomplished through mostly open source virtual switches connected via IP. The cloud management platforms then integrate with things like Kubernets or Azure Resource Manager to handle the cloud networking. Because of how clouds, containers and FaaS works, generally single homes, gigabit, layer-3 connectivity is all the systems need. As such, Cisco data center networking and ACI fabrics just don’t belong there.

CPU capacity will decrease a great deal as well. The average FaaS (Lambda, Azure Functions, Google Cloud function) requires 1/10,000th the system capacity to run compared to containers or VMs. As such, as more systems are launched using less capacity. The clouds will shrink and not grow.

Sinc Cisco has nothing in the cloud server category to sell. The servers in my cloud are Raspberry Pi’s with 12TB spinning discs and LattePanda’s with 64GB eMMC. We have 9 of each (18 devices) we’ll run a million active users on. We’ll add more for geography not capacity. We are using 8 port Cisco c3560-CX switches for now.

So, let’s see what the problems are in 2021 :

- Enterprise networks are going to fizzle. Cisco never managed to gain presence with LTE and basically resells ASR-5000 but lacks their own product

- ACI was a no-starter and basically is on its way down.

- UCS has no real need to be upgraded or replaced. I have racks full of them turned off. We now use two chassis, 4 FIs, no switches, and we’ll shit those down too. We’re moving to cloud and Raspberry Pi.

- Zero-trust networking eliminates the need for about 85% of all Cisco security products.

- We just laid off 50 Cisco UC (phone and video conferencing) “experts” and shut down that division because of Skype and FaceTime. That business is dead.

- SD-WAN from Cisco is way too expensive and it’s cheaper (and better) to use LTE, Citrix, or Microsoft DirectAccess. If you’re going to waste money on SD-WAN, get VPLS instead.

- SD-ACCESS costs way too much and even if you have the $1.5 million to spend for the minimal safe implementation, it’s far too expensive to maintain and Cisco will probably lose interest before getting much further with it.

I think this research was basically “Please don’t forget us!!! Really... we can do stuff too!!!”

But in all fairness, I’m wearing a Cisco hoodie over a Cisco T-Shirt will sitting next to a rack of $200,000 of Cisco equipment I personally own... logged into a VM on a Cisco UCS blade server in a Cisco UCS data center I personally own. And next week I’ll train a national security agency on using Cisco. Oh and I work for a multinational massive Cisco partner.

And what I’m telling you is, I have no plans of using Cisco in my upcoming designs which surprisingly are to automate Cisco customers. Cisco just doesn’t really fit in the next generation enterprise.

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Ex-Chipzilla exec Arms biz to SoC it to Intel in the data centre

CheesyTheClown
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AMD, Qualcomm, etc...

This post seemed like a fairly boring ARM offering. Either due to the unknown brand, underwhelming specs or whatever else, this seems like little more than simply repackaging generic ARM cores.

AMD if they’d have followed through on ARM may have been interesting. Qualcomm was interesting and still may be, but they don’t seem to care about getting their stuff out there.

My company is already dumping big iron in favor of highly distributed SoCs for “serverless computing”.

By the time these guys ship and find a distribution channel, the world will be either x86 big iron, public cloud or distributed smaller systems. 32 core ARM CPUs don’t really fit anywhere. It’s far better to have 3x4 or 8 core CPU.

I suppose they think there’s a place where people want to rewrite and/or recompile their systems without any consideration for quality of their code.

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No Windows 10, no Office 2019, says Microsoft

CheesyTheClown
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Re: And the MacOS Platform?

Yeh... I went there too. I assume that the author of the headline was a little too excited to take a stab at Microsoft to bother checking whether what he/she wrote made sense.

I'm pretty sure that the article is only referencing users running the Windows platform. Mac, Android, iOS and whatever else will likely remain as is.

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CheesyTheClown
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What's a

Bombasic Bob?

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Cisco gives intent-based networking a third leg to stand on

CheesyTheClown
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And finally Cisco accomplished Software-less Defined Networking

Ok, so in the old days, you would configure a switch. Then you would run netflow to watch the traffic. Then you would use Cisco Prime Infrastructure to roll out changes and monitor compliance.

Now, you roll out a fabric, run tetration to monitor the traffic., then you run new analytics software to make sure you actually changed stuff.

So at which point in time does the software running on the infrastructure talk to the controller and inform the controller what it needs and then have it verified against the controller which then implements the changes as needed?

How in the world can what Cisco is offering ever be called Software Defined anything... unless you mean that the network administrator can use an external application from the network to upload a configuration to the network?

This is another great example of what happens when Cisco makes something awesome like ACI. Then Cisco manages to get beat out by something free and/or open source like Microsoft Network Controller, OpenStack Neutron or Kubernets. Then instead of dumping their mistake and making something that works awesome with integrates as a first class citizen with those other products, they start shipping more crap which doesn't work with the other stuff.

Ok Cisco.

1) Abandon ACI... it will never actually work. Your customers are simply making VLANs on them and applications aren't happening.

2) Work harder at integrating NxOS with the other products.

3) Quit the EVPN crap already.

4) Make a good solid data center switch that actually works with the other platforms.

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Google takes $1.1bn chomp out of HTC, smacks lips, burps

CheesyTheClown
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Re: I think G is shooting its own foot here

And Google will still make the repeat revenue from maps, search, advertisement, film sales, music sales, etc...

Google can make their own phones... work with HTC to design them and then pay Samsung to manufacture them. We'll see a real alternative from China soon. RedFlag Linux was a bit lame... but I expect that China is well situated now to take up the mantle making a competitive telephone OS. 10 year ago... maybe not, but now China has tech talent and western business knowledge pouring from their ears.

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CheesyTheClown
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What do you mean competitive portfolio?

HTC and Samsung are not in the same business and never have been.

Samsung is an electronics manufacturer who has optimized the hell out of the supply chain by buying companies such as Sharp LCDs, built their own storage company, is one of the most advanced semiconductor fabs... has one of the most successful industrial engineering teams, has 100% automated fabrication lines in most segments... etc... Samsung has no peer in the industry other than possibly the Chinese government who owns things like Foxconn and many other companies.

Samsung produces nearly every single component of every phone it ships. They also probably have investing interests in many raw material suppliers such as oil companies, mining companies, recycling firms, etc... they are a conglomerate capable of producing a telephone for barely more than the human costs.

In addition, nearly every other vendor of phones in the world has to buy at least several parts from Samsung or a Samsung owned company just to make their own phones. Or at least they probably have to buy from companies who pay Samsung to manufacture their parts for them.

Then there's HTC... who makes pretty much nothing but the circuit board and the case. They code some software too I suppose. They have absolutely no revenue stream following the moment the phone is shipped and paid for. The only possible way for HTC to make a profit is to negotiate great manufacturing deals and supply chain deals. They don't own anything once the phone ships and all that's left is liabilities. They have to pray they can remain price competitive with companies like Samsung who pays probably 1/10th as much as they do to make a phone. They have to pray that on their pathetic profit margins that the user doesn't need support covered under warranty.

Most people don't upgrade phones anymore. I'll get an iPhone X next week which is given to me as part of my new job. I don't really plan on using it much since I prefer my iPhone 6S Plus. Apple still makes money from me by selling me movies. I don't buy music anymore since I have like 1200 songs in my library and I listen mostly to audio books. I pay for my kids to buy apps once in a while.

If Apple gets it working out here in Norway, I'll experiment with Apple Pay.

Now... for the next killer feature for phones

Identity

Apple and Google should work together to standardized a secure method of identifying yourself legally. So for example, an app which is also your passport and drivers license. So you have a QR code which pops up on the screen and directs people checking ID to a site which verifies whether you are who you say you are.

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Twilight of the idols: The only philosophy HPE and IBM do these days is with an axe

CheesyTheClown
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Critique

HPE is never a good idea to buy from. They are an acquisitions and mergers shop only. With the exception of servers which for the most part are just PCs with a half-assed and unloved remote KVM... which is borderline unusable... an ILO system which is as reliable as a politician... etc they don't produce anything themselves. They simply find a company with a lot of sales or specific inroads into the government and buy the company and run it into the ground. They get most of their sales from things like Aruba for example. The market has two players in enterprise wireless communication, companies chose Aruba and invested heavily. They don't want to replace their entire wireless network to switch to Cisco, so they just keep buying Aruba. Of course, HPE killed off most of Aruba's best products... dumped all their aging and shitty Procurve A and S stuff on them and lost most of their developers by killing all the fun in the organization and outsourced most of the rest to India. Investing in HPE is generally never a good idea except for the stock prices.

IBM... well ... let's talk Softlayer.

1) Most of what they do isn't even cloud. They simply let you rent servers or VMs. This is great for the loser companies out there who actually think they can save money by going cloud... and think IaaS is cloud. It's not. It's basically colocating servers. You still have to do almost all the management. You don't get anything useful from them. You still need to run updates, run your own security, etc...

2) PaaS... their PaaS platform doesn't even seem to have a NewSQL platform. Where Microsoft has Azure Tables and Google has Spanner and Amazon has Aurora. IBM is peddling DB2 in what only appears to be a containerized version where you still need to build and maintain a DB2 environment. The other platforms are simple, you just say "I want a database" and you have an always available database. With IBM, you have to build and manage a database platform. Even Microsoft, who has SQL server knew that you couldn't make something like DB2 cloud scale.

They don't really offer a platform either. What they offer seems more like a bunch of containers. Of course you can do kubernetes... yippie!!! but it's not a platform. You still need to build and maintain your own infrastructure.

3) No IBM technologies other than DB2. Where's the CICS? Where's the WebObjects? Where's the RPG? Where are all the things which make IBM worth using in the first place. IBM has more than 50 years in the PaaS business. They have more than 50 years in the FaaS/Serverless business. And they don't even have a single worthwhile IBM technology to build on.

In the past 10 years, Microsoft transformed themselves from a product company to a platform company and are now shipping Azure Stack which is a mainframe in a box. You can install and operate Azure Stack as a fault tolerant mainframe. They are committing to platforms and APIs. With Azure Functions, Microsoft is shipping their own CICS system with all the underlying technology to make it happen. They have developed the best development tools ever seen in a mainframe environment to work with them as well.

And IBM is delivering what appears to be little more than Ubuntu or OpenShift with Kubernetes.

The biggest problem with companies in general is that everyone seems to implement features based on what they read in the news. Or they hire a manager of a product from another company. What's worse is that SoftLayer looks like they learned what cloud means from VMworld... TOTAL FAIL!!!!

They need to take a team of developers and have them make a demo product on Azure, Google Cloud and AWS and learn what cloud is. No frigging containers. No frigging virtual machines. Build the real deal. That means use the platform. Then they need to talk to the guys at IBM who have 50 years experience in PaaS and learn how to make something special.

When they do that, they need to throw a billion dollars at it and make it happen.

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UK infrastructure firms to face £17m fine if their cybersecurity sucks

CheesyTheClown
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But doesn’t it apply to VPN?

So, when a British firm wants to secure their infrastructure and implements a VPN (not Cisco or course) to control access to management. Then the company requires that all keys must be properly secured on encrypted devices... the consultants (located everywhere) will be forced by UK government policy to have phones and PCs with encryption with no back doors.

If the phones and PCs with no back doors don’t exist, then how would this work?

Would the back door be British only? I know from reading the occasional FHM that British men are completely obsessed with back doors. What happens when a foreign consultant travels to their home country where by law, their phone would have to be accessible via a back door there? Is it ok if for example a Russian contractor’s phone is accessible to the Russian government while they are in Russia?

It would of course only ever be used for altruistic reasons like crime prevention and would never be exploited by anyone other than truly trustworthy people.

I guess there could be a policy that only people who don’t travel internationally can work on the infrastructure.

It seems there could be a conundrum here.

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Here we go again... UK Prime Minister urges nerds to come up with magic crypto backdoors

CheesyTheClown
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I’ll do the it!!!

Writing insecure crypto is easy. I have a great derivation or ROT-13... I call it ROT-29. I wrote it with my friend John Veiler... we were considering calling it Rot-Veiler... but it sounded silly.

Now, if we will ever have secure crypto... with a back door. We first need military intelligence, open secrets, jumbo shrimp, and a few dozen more oxymorons.

Encryption by its very definition cannot contain back doors. It is mathematically impossible. Not like “I have a theory about Brangelina’s breakup”. But as in the mathematical theorems have not been discovered to allow something known to be breakable to be called secure.

I suppose, I’m the U.K., the people have never had to be concerned with government corruption, corrupt policemen, etc... but in the rest of the world, we use encryption to protect the innocent... quite possibly from their governments.

Unfortunately, that places a greater burden on the government when protecting the innocent from the dangerous, but what’s the point of protecting people from the bad guys if your only goal is to remove their liberty?

In addition, there is no possible way to block people from using encryption. So, if you keep the good people from using it, it won’t help with the bad people.

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Trebles all round! Intel celebrates record sales of insecure processors

CheesyTheClown
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Not really with you on this one

Spectre and Meltdown are generally exploitation of poorly coded operating system kernels.

Speculative execution is a critical CPU design feature. Compare a Raspberry Pi vs a similar board running an ARM core with the feature. The performance difference is phenomenal. It also is bloody insecure if the operating system doesn't flush the pipeline on system calls.

System calls have always been and always will be expensive on general purpose operating systems. Consider that it requires a great deal of setup, serialization, etc of each call. It also requires processing of a software interrupt or an exception to break into the kernel. Transferring data of any consequence back is ridiculously expensive as it requires traversing the differences between the LDT and the GDT or maintaining multiple LDTs for the same data.

We as operating system designers made a conscientious choice to ignore the state of the speculative execution pipeline a long time ago. This was done because the cost of flushing it was too high and we simply did not see it as being a real security risk. Most JavaScript engines exploit the hell out of the state of the pipeline to avoid cache coherence issues between threads on different cores to avoid negotiating locks on memory which are way more expensive to process than normal system calls.

The solution to the problem is 100% operating system. VMware and other virtualization vendors need to perform access control during task swaps to identify whether to flush the pipeline between threads. This makes a lot of sense because in circumstances where virtual machines are reserving entire cores, there isn't much benefit to a flush of the pipeline on system calls, Of course VMware writes some of the most horrifying code with regards to security, so I figure they should probably just flush the pipeline and take the performance hit. There's no chance they can possibly get access control right.

Web browser vendors need to update their JavaScript JITs to explicitly avoid production of code that can exploit this. This is very doable, but every browser vendor will take a pretty serious hit performance wise. Stack on that issues regarding WebGL and WebCL, it could be a difficult challenge. Either way, there's no possible reason we should have a problem ensuring that attacks can't be launched from websites.

Server managers need to turn on Windows Smart Screen or similar to ensure that they don't run stuff that has the exploit present. As will other naughty software, a well placed time-bomb should trick security labs everywhere. Sandboxes which move the time forward to try and trigger time bombs for ages because the naughty software only needs to explode during a window of time to get around that.

Anti-virus needs to be up to date.

I in no way blame Intel, TI, ARM or any other hardware vendor for this cock-up. This is 1000% Microsoft, Linus, etc... and even then I don't blame them. I had to update 4 operating system I've written to flush the pipelines between threads following this exploit. It was my choice in the first place to skip cleaning up my shit between syscalls.

Now, AMD style memory encryption IS NOT!!!! read... IS NOT!!! a solution to this. I have over 100,000 lines of code in my project I'm working on right now. It's 100% multi-tennant and it's all in a single process and has no separation or possibility of separation on AMD processors via memory encryption. In fact, if I tried using that feature, it would be an absolute cluster-fuck.

I have gone back to update my code to handle role based permissions a lot better.

So... in the end... these are not processor based security vulnerabilities. We simply have had a bonus performance boost by coding operating systems badly for a long time. We now lost part of that boost for now... but there's absolutely no reason that operating system developers can't design solutions to identify when to selectively flush the pipelines. Then we'll get the performance back.

P.S. - I don't think QNX is having any problems because of this.

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Laggard Cisco stumbles over, puffing: 'HyperFlex now supports Hyper-V'

CheesyTheClown
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Huh?

So, Microsoft already ships project Honolulu with RDMA based hyperconverged storage as part of Windows Server 2016. And, Storage Spaces Direct is non-proprietary, works on every vendors servers, etc...

Hyperflex is a hyper resource hog. It can do 40Gbit, but so can WSSD with about 1/100th the overhead due to the RDMA support. Oh... let’s not forget large scale storage tiering, massive data scaling, etc...

Add to that support for Microsoft network controller and you can do everything Hyperflex does better.

So buy some C220 M4 or better servers for compute and hot storage. Then buy some C3260s for cold, colder and damn near frozen storage. Then install Windows Server 2016 and project Honolulu and skip using storage products that offer absolutely nothing useful at a massive additional cost.

Oh... Hyperflex is compatible with precisely nothing when it comes to backup. You have to run sector by sector backups of hard drive snapshots.

Cisco does make the absolute best servers for enterprise data centers. But Hyperflex, UCS Director, UCS central, UCS Manager, Cloud Manager, etc... they’re absolute shit.

Look at the latest version of UCS Manager. Cisco can’t even get the right box to be highlighted when navigating servers. No upload process bars on software uploads... no status report at all during firmware updates causing the fabric to reboot.

The only way that UCS Manager is useable anymore is through the command line or APIs and the APIs are frigging horrifying messes of “it’s kinda like SOAP”.

Thankfully, they support Redfish on rack servers which completely eliminates the need for horrors like UCS Manager and UCS Central.

Honolulu is close to being fully integrated with Redfish, so bare metal will be 100% managed by a company who actually writes software.

To be fair, UCS is 100000% better than most competitors if for not other reason than it’s ability to managed all devices from all vendors through a single API. So, creating a RAID is done through Cisco’s code and doesn’t require trying to hack your way into the RAID controller. Ethernet settings are parts of Cisco’s code and doesn’t require booting into a 10 year old version of Windows to run a 8 year old Java to maybe perform a network BIOS update (hello HPE).

Hyperflex is just an amazing waste of money if Hyper-V is there. It’s great for platforms like VMware which who actually think storage, networking, and management are optional.

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