* Posts by LDS

4740 posts • joined 28 Feb 2010

New HMRC IT boss to 'recuse' herself over Microsoft decisions

LDS
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Re: All nukes are ground-zero nukes when they detonate

The Hiroshima one IIRC was detonated a hundred meters or more above the surface. The shock wave generated is strong enough to propagate at high speed and create lots of damages anyway. Then if you detonate one 100km above the surface is another matter....

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LDS
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Yes, but a Facebook exec could run the General Register Office directly out of FB profiles (there's a good chance after all people keep them much more up-to-date themselves), and issue passports, without a FB profile you can't get one!

Or Google will be happy to run schools directly, for example, and keep all the health records. The sky is the ceiling!

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LDS
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Re: What will she actually do?

Basically, HMRC got a body-rental consultant from MS who promises to avoid any MS decision? This deal gives a whole new meaning to the revolving doors between the public and the private sector - now you don't need to pretend to leave your previous job.

Also, what in her contract with MS will still apply while paid by HMRC?

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Google parks old pay-to-play auction in front of European Commission – reports

LDS
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"Nobody's stopping you using Bing, etc., either."

Sure.

But Microsoft was fined when it abused its dominance of desktop operating systems to promote its browser, or media player, and was fined also when it attempted to hinder interoperability with its server OS when they was much more dominant than today,

That despite the fact people could have installed and used a different OS, browser, or media player easily if they wanted, just like you can use Bing today - much more easily, for example, than you are allowed on Android today, for example.

Still, it doesn't matter who you achieve a dominant position (as long as it it not illegal), if your are better, cheaper, free, more beautiful, or whatever, and how many fanboys you may have.

Once you did it, your bound to stricter rules, regardless of your name or logo.

Why shouldn't Google be fined today for the same very reasons? Google is the new Microsoft. And because of the data it slurps, even more dangerous (and that's why MS is trying to fill the gap going full slurp mode as well).

Thanks to heaven this side of the Atlantic is not yet all sold to some BigCorp whims... although not a few looks to be ready to sell their souls in exchange of a few free GBs somewhere and a little code.. very cheap, for Google.

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LDS
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"It may be the only game in town that people actually care to use"

Which was true for Windows as well, wasn't it? Nobody hindered you to use Mac OS, OS/2, Solaris, BSD, or the early version of Linux, or any other OS. Still, Windows was the game 90% of people cared to use... or IE - there were other browsers as well - and without the EU ruling, Chrome would have gone nowhere.

Again: actual EU antitrust law prohibit to use a "monopoly" or "dominant position" (the only game in town people care to use) to hinder competition, even in other sector where the weight of being the dominant actor in a another, yet related one, can be used to stifle competitors.

The request to make money from competitors while still controlling everything - and be exempt from new probes, shows how much Google got used to think to be above the law - think the outrage that would have happened if MS had proposed to be paid to let other browsers into Windows.

A reality - not virtual - check is really needed.

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European Commission proposes more powers for EU's infosec agency

LDS
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Re: Extension instead of duplication

Do you believe a cyberattack can't disable Crete infrastructure (also it looks all the underwater cables connecting it arrives in a single location) much more easily than a structure positioned where multiple big links are available?

If it was because of Middle.East missiles danger, Azores would have been a better place....

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LDS
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Re: Extension instead of duplication

How much would take to cut Crete out of the Internet? Crete is a wonderful place (I would really like to spend some time there waiting for certification...), but maybe not for a cybersecurity center.

Also schedules for touristic flights may not match very well business needs.

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What's that, Equifax? Most people expect to be notified of a breach within hours?

LDS
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Aren't Mandiant and FireEye part of the same group?

So hire the former to hide the debacle of the latter?

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Samsung's Galaxy Note 8 is hot, but not much more than the S8+

LDS
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"ever became noticeably warmer"

That's what the water trays were for....

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Microsoft's AI is so good it steered Renault into bottom of the F1 league

LDS
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Re: It'll never work

Renault: "What? When you said 'telemetry' we thought you would get useful car data, not our files and what emojis our drivers use!"

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DoJ: Look! Google is giving up overseas data for warrants outside Second Circuit

LDS
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Devil

Google's purring to appeal to the Trump administration...

Now that the Google-friendly Obama people are out, Google needs new friends...

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Google will appeal €2.9bn EU fine

LDS
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"These virtually make no money,"

Did you mean TurboPascal didn't make money, or C#? RedHat makes no money? Even MS Office leader Simonyi was European, no money from Office? And the list can be very long. Who cares who owns ARM now, who developed it, and who's making lots of money from it?

Nobody is saying US did nothing, but also it used a big source of Europeans to create commercial products. There's nothing negative in it, in many ways it was and it is a win-win situation. Great co-operation between US and Europe can deliver huge benefits.

That's of course doesn't mean megacorps should be allow to ignore the rules wherever they operate, especially when they make life worse for many, not better.

Again, go to the EU antitrust site - you will see EU companies, including German and French ones, are routinely fined when they break the rules. The fact you ignore it doesn't mean it doesn't happen. For example German car makers are under investigation for setting up a cartel. Did you miss the news? Don't read IT news only, it's limiting.

About WWII, it is true US helped greatly to defeat Nazism. It also got a lot German technology, scientists, and technicians, and, for example, went to the Moon using it.... Goddard alone wasn't enough.

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LDS
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Actually, a lot of "US" IT tech was and is actually created by Europeans - Linux, Pascal, /C#, Python just the top big ones that comes to my mind now. Even Intel owes a lot to Faggin. Or ARM development in England. Without Europe, the US IT sector would be much weaker.

Just, it was easier to start an IT company in the US and reach a larger costumer base speaking the same language, than attempting it in the more fragmented and expensive Europe.

Anyway, this rulings had nothing to do about "Europe failure to compete" - as EU investigates and fines other sectors where Europe has strong companies which have no issue in competing.

It's just EU thinks "big companies are not always right", unlike the United Enterprises of America, where politicians for plain self-interest (lots of money from lobbyists) decided big businesses are always right.

We're happy to have a Margrethe Vestager instead of an Ajit Pai.

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LDS
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Go to the EU competition site and you'll see EU companies are routinely fined as well:

http://ec.europa.eu/competition/index_en.html

You named only IT companies, and most of them happens to be from US.

For the matter, it's also investigating on Bayer (a very large EU company...) acquiring Monsanto (a US one), to avoid the creation of a monopolistic entity.

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LDS
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"#1 goal to go for: it means you're more successful than the competitors"

The law doesn't punish you for being more successful than competitors (Microsoft was as well, wasn't it?), the law punish you only when you use your monopoly power to hinder competition and damage consumers. As soon as you reach a "dominant position", new rules apply.

It's not a new idea - read the 1890 Sherman Act...

Company don't like hefty fines - they may hit executives compensations and stock value.... a €1M fine may be pocket money, a €3B ones begins to sting...

This is has nothing to do with some countries debt. The proposed new tax rules for digital companies may have, but not this, although a healthy economy generates more revenues than a single behemoth able to sneak money around.

Anyway, look also at the US debt... you can print dollars, but there's a limit to that also.... and remember who owns a lot of the US debt...

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Sacre bleu! Apple's high price, marginal gain iPhone strategy leaves it stuck in the mud

LDS
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"WM5 [...]was already do almost as easily and elegant..."

No.Usable, yes, elegant and easy, no.

The (real) killer feature of the iPhone was multitouch - a technology Apple acquired- it allowed for much faster and intuitive UIs - and simpler phones (no keyboard, no stylus) with a larger screen, which is also far more useful when you consume contents. The iPod traction and Apple branding were a bonus, they made the smartphone acceptable outside the business area.

Windows Mobile worked better with a keyboard and a stylus (you could use a finger nail, but was slower). I used a smartphone since the 2002 Treo 270, and tasks like web browsing, watching videos and following a GPS-driven map were less friendly on the smaller screens (and devices with sliding keyboards were bulkier).

Apple got the UI needed for a small screen, mobile device right. Microsoft for far too long attempted to put a desktop UI on them. It designed the excellent Metro interface too late - and made the mistake to put it on desktop, repeating the same mistake on the other direction - with its obsession of "one UI to rule them all".

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Apple: Our stores are your 'town square' and a $1,000 iPhone is your 'future'

LDS
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Re: Am I the only one who ...

Apple new campus was modeled after the One Ring... I'm sure if you can heat it enough, the same words will appear along the structure...

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Microsoft fixing Windows 10 'stuttering' bugs in Creators Update

LDS
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Devil

"SatNad should get the basics of a software company"

He did, but of a Mumbai-based one...

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Another reason to hate Excel: its Macros can help pivot attacks

LDS
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This is not limited to Excel - but any DCOM server able to download and execute other code

But to be able to use it you need to have a valid login in the Administrators group (which may include domain admins) - which means you can already compromise the machine in many different ways, or be in the "Distributed COM Users" group *and* the default or per application security settings have been modified to allow such group, or the default security settings (default or per application) have been modified to allow access, launch and activation of a given application.

You can remove administrators from the DCOM security settings, or remove "remote ...." privileges, but then many remote management applications will stop working.

It's not different than other types of remoting - in some ways it's even more granular because you can set ACLs down to the single API level if the application supports it, but it is so complex and difficult to configure (and DCOM is not firewall friendly) that is not rare to see machines left wide open because of someone needing to use a DCOM server without the skills to configure it properly.

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FireEye pulls Equifax boasts as it tries to handle hack fallout

LDS
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Why would you phish someone with a low credit score? Go for those who have real money....

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Google to kill its Drive file locker in two confusing ways

LDS
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'When is the last time the Russian government'

They simply poison people abroad, when needed.... but it is true, they protect their cybercriminals, they are always useful...

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LDS
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Hard drive space isn't cheap everywhere - some small laptops (or tablets, of phones) may have far smaller disks than big desktop systems. Being able to select what to "pin" locally and what to access on demand is useful.

Download/upload speeds are an issue, but as long as you have a choice of what is cached locally, it's not really a big issue.

It's interesting that while MS with One Drive is still messing with "placeholders", Google implements the same feature.

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Apache Foundation rebuffs allegation it allowed Equifax attack

LDS
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Devil

"or are they happy to profit off others' work for nothing?"

Just like most users of FOSS software?

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Microsoft says it won't fix kernel flaw: It's not a security issue. Suuuure

LDS
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Devil

Let's have some sympathy for Windows developers

They have a large backlog of slurpingtelemetry features to add to the kernel, they have no time to fix the bugs, or Nadella fires them if he doesn't see the user data database filling quickly enough.

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Oracle throws weight behind draft US law to curtail web sexploitation

LDS
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Re: Aren't there already enough laws?

Actually, yes, there is one law used to protect web sites that sell people, and that's a form of slavery. So law enforcement can't act.

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Microsoft extends free Windows 10 S to Win 10 Pro upgrade offer

LDS
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"Linux is also easy to develop for"

No, especially for GUI applications. Linux never had tools comparable to Visual Basic or Delphi which made developing even complex GUI applications easy enough also for single developers or small teams (although many of them could be very ugly inside, in the hand of not very skilled developers).

The lack of a common widget set and API, different windows managers, distros and so on, plus a greybeards disdain for IDEs and graphical tools never helped - and that's one of the reasons "Linux on the desktop" struggled and struggles, while in the mostly non-visual server environment it flourished. Web apps are OK in a client/server environment, but are uselessly more complex and slower when they are just local ones, and the browser just gets in the way.

I'm not sure Apple will port iOS to Macs, it knows there's a lot macOS can do that iOS can't, and there may be little reason to bloat iOS with features unneeded on phones.

It will be interesting to see what will happen to iPads, as Surface-like devices capable of running more powerful applications with less limits gain traction - a situation that makes the idea of Win10S even more stupid, and shows the slit-brain situation at Redmond.

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LDS
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WIn 10S is IMHO not much about the users, but about the developers. Microsoft is desperately trying to bring developers to the store and lock them there to get a share of their revenues too.

That's why it has developed Desktop Bridge to convert actual applications into store ones.

Despite some roadblocks MS used, especially in the past, Windows is a quite open platform for developers, and it looks Nadella doesn't like it. It is quite stupid, because one of the reasons DOS and Windows became widespread was exactly the availability of applications from many different vendors.

The same market approach used for $4,99 mobile apps won't work for more expensive ones.

Nadella is looking for quick money, but it will backfire. After all, even Apple has been careful not to adopt the iOS business model in macOS.

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LDS
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Re: Is there a TARDIS in the room?

Maybe because of Chrome market share and Android?

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LDS
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Being forced to use Bing can easily scare any propesctive buyers

Nadella has to fix Bing first if he wants to try to lock people in his store. The idea of having to use Bing and spend endless time to look for what you need is quite scary.

Probably if MS had spent the effort it put in gathering data from users in trying to build an usable search engine that doesn't believe any search is made just to buy something, they could have a chance. Hope telemetry tells them how many people have no choice but to use Google to find what they need...

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FCC taps the brakes on fudging US broadband speed amid senator fury

LDS
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Re: Rank

And it's going to go down the list probably... here in three years 87% of households will get FTTH for speeds up to 1Gb/s (the fiber infrastructure will be rented to ISP which may sell slower speeds), and the remaining - mostly isolated houses - using wireless technologies at 30Mb/s.

It's a public/private effort - the state will subsidize part of the cost, the private company will get a 20 years concession, after which the network will return to the state.

The incumbent telco, which was slowly deploying an FTTC network mostly in more populated and remunerative areas, was took by surprise and lost the tender, now it has to become much faster and offer more to stay competitive....

Pai-Pai, ehm, bye-bye....

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Close Encounters of the Kuiper Belt kind: New Horizons to come within just 3,500km of MU69

LDS
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Re: It is a long way away from the sun

And don't forget the telemetry data about the usage of the app....

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LDS
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Re: It is a long way away from the sun

The good thing in vacuum is you have no external sources of vibrations. Inertia also helps to stabilize the platform. Sure, you have to take into account the speed of the probe relative to the photo target, for a given distance.

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Violent moon mishap will tear Uranus a new ring or two

LDS
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Re: Replacement?

Give the names to the new rings.... if someone still remembers Shakespeare 100M years from now. I'm not sure Shakespeare will still be remembered 100 years from now.... he's not on social networks.

I'm afraid new planets moons will be named after something like social celebrities, in the next future...

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A furious think-tank boss, Google, and an academic 'fired' for criticizing ads giant

LDS
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"If normal practise was..."

Maybe he knew he couldn't follow "normal practice" because he was going to be censored? That's the whole point of the story.

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Twitter is just randomly deleting people's lists – and no one knows why

LDS
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"were a critical professional tool"

Which says a lot about what means being a "professional" journalist today...

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Mo' money mo' mobile payments... Security risks? Whatever!

LDS
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"in Europe banks are entitled to refuse to reimburse victims of fraud"

As Murdoch states in one of the links.

Yet, I have to see one that did, unless they are really, really sure the victim did something really criminal or almost.

Also, mobile payments are OK, storing PINs on a mobile phone, probably in a password manager is not?

Sure, my old parents share a single card and PIN. Are many devices able to work on the same bank account more secure? Especially devices you can't easily thoroughly destroy when no longer in use? It looks to me they broaden the attack surface more than a single shared card.

Maybe he know many people with nine cards, and maybe in countries like US where they are given away with chips is common, but here a relatively small number of people have more than two cards, often one only.

Also, even if I use a card, I can still use the phone to monitor the transactions. Actually my banks sends me a message for each transaction. The good thing is card and phone are two separate channels, and it would be more difficult to compromise both of them and orchestrate an hidden transaction. Also, they are not all eggs in a single basket. I'm used to avoid to keep everything in a single wallet - I wish I could avoid to have everything in a single electronic wallet as well - which also depends on a battery.

I understand a lot of people see a goldmine in mobile payments, but I still see little benefits and just more dependencies on a more complex device.

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What's your flava? Ooo, tell me what's your flava... of Ubuntu

LDS
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Re: 2017 Year of the Linux Desktop

Hurry up! Only four months left!

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It's official: Users navigate flat UI designs 22 per cent slower

LDS
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Here we are forgetting that also Google was a big promoter of flat monochromatic interfaces for its web applications, and laid out the direction for web sites far more than MS did with its Metro interface.

On small screens, a flatter UI can have some advantages because it uses less screen space (less relevant today because of high res high dpi screens). As long as controls and non-controls are clearly identifiable.

On large PC screens and more complex applications, it becomes quickly less usable especially when mingled with non-controls and becoming ambiguous.

You don't really need a GPU to run an UI, Windows had non-flat interfaces far before hardware acceleration became common for UIs.

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Networking vendors are good for free lunches, hopeless for networks

LDS
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What we need is gamification of networks...

Races to deliver packets first, kicking packets around to score in the right port, shooting down malicious packets, building your VLAN empire, etc...

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Argentina eyes up laser death cannon testbed warship

LDS
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The US Navy has a "mothball fleet" of reserve ships, some of them can be reactivated "quickly enough" if needed - but maintaining ships and their systems has a cost anyway.

What you suggest is more alike the older ships often assigned to "colonial" duties in the late XIX/early XX century, because no enemy with more modern or better armed ships was expected. Anyway, I don't believe the Admiralty believes the risk of a new attack to to Falklands so real it needs such a fleet.

Anyway, a ship can't be moored and left there - it still needs a crew for maintenance. And an operative crew needs to be continuously trained on ship operations to be effective if attacked (or you risk to hit the first cargo you encounter).

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LDS
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Re: .Sarcasm, I take it?

Hey, do you forget the Queen Elizabeth? The Ponce is the answer to the Royal Navy new aggressive stance!

But someone told Argentina the laser cannon isn't part of the package?

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LDS
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Re: The Ponce would be far from the first former US warship acquired by Argentina.

Maybe the US Navy could add "two destroyers, slightly damaged, need some repairs and new paint, but still afloat"....

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Microsoft sets the date for Fall Creators Update

LDS
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Re: Maxing out the CPU

Of course it will stop whatever it can but telemetry - actually I believe it has to put to sleep some processes or while gaming telemetry would be overwhelmed... and they don't want to lose a single click. I guess game telemetry could be very valuable...

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15 'could it be aliens?' fast radio bursts observed in one night

LDS
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"a chrome tab left unclosed"

You mean is some kind of Google/Microsoft interstellar telemetry feed?

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Oracle staff report big layoffs across Solaris, SPARC teams

LDS
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"What do you mean "going back to"?"

Like it or not, in some countries, and in some companies, workers got a fairly better treatment in the second half of the XX century than they had before.

Yesterday, the NYT featured an article comparing a janitor employed by the old Kodak, who had the opportunity to become the CTO (Gail Evans), and an outsourced janitor working for Apple who will have no such opportunity.

You may say "ah! but Kodak went bankrupt". Well, let's see if Apple will last a century and more, and will be able to sustain it core business becoming obsolete quickly.

Now, we are are returning to a XIX century, or even before, "labor relations". Just believing "nothing changed" it's just stupid - a lot has changed and is changing, denying it will just mean approving the changes.

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DMARC anti-phishing standard adoption is lagging even in big firms

LDS
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AFAIK DMARC will work properly if and only if both SPF and DKIM are properly configured. What actually DMARC does is to tell the receiving server what to do when SPF/DKIM checks fail, and how to notify you.

Of course with p=none if SPF/DKIM are not (properly) configured messages will still be accepted. Using "quarantine" or "reject" need a fully working setup. Usually "none" is used in the beginning to monitor DMARC/SPF/DKIM are correctly configured, then "quarantine" can be used. "reject" requires very strict setups and mail policies to ensure messages are not bounced.

Third party bulk email system will of course have issues, but that's another good thing about DMARC.

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Memo to Microsoft: Keeping your promises is probably a good idea

LDS
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Dow Jones?

Big acquisitions -> stock down because of less cash for shareholders

Big layoffs -> stock up because of more cash for shareholders

Fashionable buzzwords are OK to lull investors. How the business is actually run doesn't really matter.

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LDS
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'Hardware is commodity'

Yes, Apple in fact made billions selling iPhones, and getting rid of hardware didn't change IBM destiny, and it doesn't make more money on consulting, nor HP did... and how do you get to the 'software in the cloud' without hardware?

Landfill hardware is maybe a commodity, but for the consumer web/chat people only.

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China's cybersecurity law grants government 'unprecedented' control over foreign tech

LDS
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It's not fear - it's just acquiring technology quickly.

China needs to acquire technologies it hasn't quickly and cheaply. Probably the time and money spent on creating acceptable pens ballpoint showed that it's better to force foreign companies to deliver the IP directly using the "large market" carrot.

Companies should just choose to show the Middle Kingdom the Middle Finger, and start to move manufacturing elsewhere.

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Criticize Google, get fired: Spotlight spins on ad giant's use of soft money

LDS
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Joke

Re: Beware!!!

She's named "Slaughter"...

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