* Posts by jamesb2147

201 posts • joined 13 Apr 2012

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When 'Saving The Internet' means 'Saving Crony Capitalism'

jamesb2147

Title II is OK

At least, as long as Congress isn't doing its job.

The key factors being that services *should* be unbundled, rates *should* be regulated such that copper owners don't disadvantage copper renters, and physical maintenance *should* be regulated to ensure (again) copper owners don't disadvantage copper renters. This is all to say that net neutrality *should* be a moot discussion because users should be free to choose between a competitive marketplace of providers over what limited physical infrastructure is available.

Until such time as that happens, we're treating internet as if it is *not* a utility. Hint: It is a utility, just not in the same way as water.

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Russia, China vow to kill off VPNs, Tor browser

jamesb2147

Re: https?

Been there, tried that as well.

You have to be smarter than the machine learning algorithm. Read a detailed account of a guy who ran everything through an SSH session on non-default port with all packets receiving padding to be at least 1400 bytes. Each port worked for a day before the GFW caught on. Fortunately, 65534 ports is a lot of days before you're perma-blocked.

Of course, my solution was to simply tether off my international SIM card for the little data I needed. That worked pretty well as long as I didn't use 100GB of data.

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Artificially Intelligent storage will liberate your IT Pros

jamesb2147

First?

Srsly? Because Nimble's #1 differentiating feature has definitely not been its "big data" and "machine learning" cloud analytics running on all its customers' telemetry data. I guess they should have called it "AI" so they could claim to be first(!!!!!!!).

This is an ad, not an article.

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Elon to dump Trump over climate bump

jamesb2147

Re: Technological welfare queen

@AC - Yes, he's much more closely aligned to the entrenched interests of the major telecom companies and airlines, those bastions of capitalism!

You're an idiot.

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BA's 'global IT system failure' was due to 'power surge'

jamesb2147

Re: Operational Failover is incredibly complex

Having assisted in a terrifically minor way in helping develop and test such a system for a client, I can vouch for this. It took a team of 15 6+ months of work to get that system up and tested for failover, and they were relatively small (think AS400 + 200-ish VM's) and already had the DR environment built out when we became involved.

Also, we have no evidence with which to judge BA beyond their own words that this is related to a power outage.

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jamesb2147

Re: Outsourced with Delta?

Ironically, amongst the most apt comments here.

All those proclaiming from their high horses about the importance of backups and redundancy and failover and IT outsourcing... you've all jumped the gun. Delta blamed a power outage, and do you know who here believed them? Basically no one. James Hamilton from AWS believed them, though. He helps design resilient systems and has twice encountered failover power systems (basically, the big switches) that the manufacturer refuses to properly configure (they disagree on what a proper configuration is). AWS had to source new hardware and ended up writing their own firmware for the controller, as the manufacturer refused to reconfigure it, IIRC.

You can read about that here: http://perspectives.mvdirona.com/2017/04/at-scale-rare-events-arent-rare/

Now, BA has some real IT issues, but the outrage vented here really has nothing to do with BA, when we don't even know the source of the problem beyond that there is a power issue.

EDITED: Added the bit about writing their own custom firmware for an electric supplier's hardware.

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Cisco slurps Viptela to bolster SD-WAN management

jamesb2147

Funding rounds

Sounds like a series fell through and Viptela needed cash ASAP to accept an offer at that kind of valuation.

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Alert: If you're running SquirrelMail, Sendmail... why? And oh yeah, remote code vuln found

jamesb2147

Why?

Because not everyone wants to have cloud email from a provider beholden to foreign governments.

Your servers, your data.

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vCenter's phone-home 'customer improvement' feature opened remote code execution hole

jamesb2147

Patches

Simon, I don't know why you think it's a good idea to keep your ESXi patches up to date. Doing exactly that will cause you nothing but heartache, as your beloved VMware lets you down almost every time.

Frankly, that's some bad advice, bro. I know why you say it. I would agree with regards to most other vendors, but VMware has a special knack for somehow messing up their updates.

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'Nobody's got to use the internet,' argues idiot congressman in row over ISP privacy rules

jamesb2147

What makes this bad

...is not mentioned in the article explicitly.

You do not have to prove anything, Kieren, with evidence. The man made his point: He voted for personal choice.

...Except he didn't. The FCC rules never took effect, so if the FCC had been left without this law, nothing would have changed. Today, as 6 months ago, an ISP can sell your data without telling you. What the rules did were to impose standards on that data collection. ISP's had to have opt-in to their marketing programs and had to tell you clearly and upfront that they were selling your data.

Mr. Sensenbrenner voted against you making an informed decision. He did NOT vote for personal choice. He voted against informed consumers, and by making it a law, he made it much more difficult for future FCC's to impose similar rules.

FUCK THAT. What he did was much, much worse than standard partisanship or "voting against privacy [by default]". He actually REMOVED CHOICE for consumers. FUCK THAT MAN.

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jamesb2147

Re: Isn't he the same guy...

Glad somebody else noted this, even if it took 120+ comments.

He was, to be fair, also the guy who got up and said he never envisioned it being interpreted by the government the way that it has. (Note: I am not defending the PATRIOT Act, which should die in a fire.)

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DTMF replay phreaked out the Dallas tornado alarm, say researchers

jamesb2147

I kind of hope they aren't caught, and it seems unlikely they will be. This hack didn't take loads of sophistication, which means the systems weren't configured in so much as a basic defensive posture, which means they probably weren't configured in a way to retain any useful logging.

In terms of the wireless signal, the police would have needed to triangulate it, or at least use a device with a directional antenna to track the user down while they were broadcasting. I've found such technical devices to be well beyond the capability of local enforcement officers who have limited training in the use of electronics. Anyone responsible for the system would have been busy fighting the fire that was the activation and subsequent inability to shut it down.

If there's a way to track the attacker, it's likely to only be through the hacked computer system.

As to my hope, they brought governmental security to the news forefront for a brief period with a nearly harmless, but highly visible hack. That deserves an award, in my book.

The fact that it pissed people off... well, they should really be directing that ire at those who configured the system without any security to begin with. If you leave your house unlocked every day, you can't be surprised if one day you find someone helped themselves to your belongings. In this case, the intruder merely left you a note "suggesting" you start locking your door. You're a damn lucky fool and should be glad the intruder was not more nefarious.

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As you stare at the dead British Airways website, remember the hundreds of tech staff it laid off

jamesb2147
Pint

Correlation is not causation

People being axed does not mean this would be avoided. That's speculation, at best. Good effort at making a news story without any information to go on, though.

Sorry situation for BA, though I've no tears to shed for them. They have a terrible business model where they're trying to emulate low cost carriers (LCC's) such as Ryanair while having the much higher cost structure of a legacy. They've made some efforts at bringing that down, but it's a shit strategy that eventually leads to bargain basement prices instead of quality product. One day, I predict they'll die a miserable death in the form of a takeover by Ryanair or other LCC after failing to pivot the business.

Cheers for cheaper flights!

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Intel's buggy Puma 6 chipset earns Arris a gigabit-modem lawsuit

jamesb2147

Re: Any more details on the Puma 6 problem?

Google the DSLReports thread(s) on Puma 6. They're by far the most detailed accounting I've seen of the issue, detailing steps to replicate and measure the bugs' effects and tools to use every step of the way. They also have the latest status on firmware which, IIRC, does significantly better than early releases.

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Foxconn outbids WD with ¥3 TRILLION offer for Tosh memory biz

jamesb2147

China is not Taiwan

And as far as I'm aware, Foxconn (correctly also referred to as HON HAI PRECISION) is Taiwanese.

That is all.

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Ubuntu UNITY is GNOME-MORE: 'One Linux' dream of phone, slab, desktop UI axed

jamesb2147

Re: Makes sense

I would disagree; the implementation has failed so far. I would posit that's mostly because the UI has to be contextually aware, and the applications have to be coded to accommodate that as well.

Neither of these has occurred as of yet, though Microsoft did take a fair stab at forcing developers into new API's. They also made a half-hearted attempt at the former, but it got mangled somewhere along the way, either by a committee or Sinofsky...

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Federal Police toss nbn™ under a bus over leaks to Senator

jamesb2147

Better for democracy

It would have been healthier if they'd at least launched a further investigation to get to the bottom of this. Clearly, they believe someone misbehaved. Why have they not followed through and identified the appropriate personnel for dismissal?

Letting such shenanigans slide breeds corruption (with time).

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GCHQ dismisses Trump wiretap rumours as tosh

jamesb2147

AND THAT SHOW AIRS ON FOX!!!1!

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Primary Data's metadata engine 'speeds up' NAS, saves 'millions'. Leaps burning buildings, too?

jamesb2147

From the company that brought you years of losses...

...comes the Brooklyn Bridge! Only $10k, people! Once in a lifetime opportunity!

In short: I'll believe it when I see it. Before I bother taking the time, though, I'd love to see a review from you, Senor Mellor...

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Volkswagen pleads guilty to three Dieselgate criminal charges

jamesb2147

Re: Natural Law v Governmental Law

Suck a lemon.

They could have solved this with engineering, and many other manufacturers did, as pointed out by others. In fact, they did develop a "blu-tec" urea system, but it was discarded as being "too expensive" because it added several hundred dollars in cost to the vehicle itself as well as requiring additional maintenance to refill the urea container.

Instead of selling a compliant car, or none at all, they lied to the world; consumers, regulators, dealers, literally everyone outside of a very small number of VW engineers and managers was deceived. And their deceit literally cost lives by injecting noxious fumes into the atmosphere in spite of society's collective decision to ban them. (I believe someone calculated the number to be somewhere around 50 in the US.)

No, sir. These guys can rot in jail and go to hell, for all I care. They were not forced to lie, not forced to kill people, not forced to ruin our air. They chose that path and will be damned for it.

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Sure, we could replace FTNN, says nbn™, if you let the unwired wait even longer for broadband

jamesb2147

Re: Why do think they think the copper will be need to be replaced in 10-15 years?

It does decrease the length of copper to be maintained significantly, and being closer in, can support higher speeds at lower power.

I would imagine the concern would be degradation of an analog nature; it doesn't suddenly stop working, but at distance X, speeds slowly drop below the provisioned Y. Bringing the fiber closer to the premises significantly decreases that problem... for a period of time, at least.

As to why IA could not just say that, I do not know.

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Amazon S3-izure cause: Half the web vanished because an AWS bod fat-fingered a command

jamesb2147

Re: Availability Zones

Also they're still physically the same datacenter, so susceptible to combinations of backhoes, bad weather, and poorly performing power cutover systems, etc.

Using only one AWS region is a bad idea. Period. In fact, I'd argue (thanks, BGP hijacking!) that using only Amazon services is a bad idea. If that is too difficult to manage for you, then set the appropriate expectations with your business managers and users. Your product is too cheap to support that high of an uptime requirement.

Amazon fails sometimes, Google fails sometimes, Microsoft fails sometimes (and in at least one instance took weeks to restore!)... don't put all your eggs in one basket, people. Don't be that guy.

This whole fiasco is probably a good example of why developers should not be put in charge of the IT systems, no matter how "easy" they are... Operations teams tend to focus like a laser on uptime and stability, while developers are more interested in maximizing new features.

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nbn™ is installing new hybrid-fibre coax cables

jamesb2147

Thanks

An interesting backstory and statistic. Especially considering the MUCH higher uptake in the US (I believe we peaked around 65% about 2000); I assumed our numbers were similar globally, with some moderate adjustments for poorer households.

Is there a cultural difference? Do you Aussies read more or something? With fewer televisions, you must have substantially more free time.

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Up close with the 'New Psion' Gemini: Specs, pics, and genesis of this QWERTY pocketbook

jamesb2147

Hardware keyboard is new... again?

The Blackberry is only mentioned in passing here, but isn't that almost what this device is? It's a large phone running Android with cellular connectivity and a physical QWERTY keyboard... sounds a LOT like a BB to me.

I know a lot of people who miss their hardware keyboards and would probably consider this, especially at its modest current price, for a phone. I suspect I would benefit for those times I need to RDP/SSH from the road.

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Motorola's modular Moto Z: A fine phone for a weekend away

jamesb2147

Battery life

Since the manufacturers insist on sealing the batteries in the case, this would be a nice way of working around that to get larger batteries. Here's to hoping for a smaller, thicker version with crazy long battery life (with attachment, natch)!

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Ah, the Raspberry Pi 3. So much love. So much power ... So turn it into a Windows thin client

jamesb2147

Re: During my time as a trainee...

I've seen a pharma co use them as dumb terminals for local work. Helps keep all the valuable data away from the forgetful meatsacks that tend to leave laptops in various unfortunate places.

The downside was that AV and backup software tended to trash performance, but otherwise each server served ~100 clients shockingly well. And that was on 5 year old servers.

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jamesb2147

Re: And the rest of the bill...

You assume the people doing this know how to use that DC. This is kind of a poor, ignorant man's form of a domain.

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jamesb2147
Meh

Problems?

At least you can source your own parts.

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Amazon goes to court to stop US murder cops turning Echoes into Big Brother house spies

jamesb2147

Three links deep

And then I hit a publication's paywall. Did El Reg read the original order, or merely copypasta somebody else's research?

If Iain did read the original, please provide a link to it on Scribd or elsewhere.

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Arris slaps down US$800m to buy Brocade's wireless bits

jamesb2147

Re: Seems cheap

IDK how things are done in Australia, but I think he's referring to the $800 price originally listed in the title, which is now updated to $800m, which in the US is generally posted with a capital M as $800M.

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Grumpy Trump trumped, now he's got the hump: Muslim ban beaten back by appeals court

jamesb2147

Re: "SEE YOU IN COURT, THE SECURITY OF OUR NATION IS AT STAKE!"

@Trevor - Tongue in cheek much?

You disagreed with @Sampler, then reiterated his point. My head is spinning.

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Elon Musk joins anti-Trump legal brief

jamesb2147

Re: Chilling

@BillG - You've been drinking some Kool-Aid.

"As I understand it, the seven countries on Trump's EO have no effective form of government. So getting on an airplane is as easy as riding on a bus."

Nope. Just nope. You could make that argument, maybe, about some countries, but Iran is *definitely* not one of them.

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jamesb2147

Re: Chilling

@The Man Who Fell To Earth - Can you provide sauce?

I checked the ABA site. There's no forum that I can identify on the homepage, comments are disabled on the news articles/press releases, and all the press releases talk about is how the ABA is opposed to the ban and to Trump's attack on the legitimacy of the judicial branch.

TLDR - I have not yet identified where the ABA has a lot of discussion about the EO. Link?

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jamesb2147

Re: A bold move

I find it interesting since Elon is (or was?) himself South African.

I don't think he's resigned from Trump's advisory board, though, so he's playing both sides of the fence a little bit.

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jamesb2147

Re: Chilling

Also, Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 can easily be read to bar discrimination based on nationality, which is exactly what this is. A good court might defer on the State Dept's judgement to issue visas, but strike down the cancellation of green cards or even existing visas without specific cause.

But then, my idea of a good court is one that is as limited as possible in its judgements; these sweeping measures are exactly the type of thing that I hate to see the courts have to adjudicate because they need to have an answer within months of implementation, rather than slowly building a body of law based on lower courts' interpretations.

If I have no other reason to hate this EO, then forcing a political issue on the courts is reason enough. It makes the court an enemy, no matter the judgement.

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jamesb2147

Re: Chilling

I would disagree with the first part about "damaging to their business" not being a valid legal argument.

On the contrary, one has to demonstrate damage in order to have standing to sue.

Also, the very fact that these injunctions were granted, and across numerous jurisdictions independently at that, is reasonable evidence that there is a good chance of winning the case on the merits; it is a required, if subjective, test before issuing such an injunction.

That's not to say anything of the merits beyond my indirect readings and I'll now peruse the ABA site to be a better informed citizen. Cheers for the pointer!

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jamesb2147

Re: Chilling

You're reading the statements at face value; corporations have no ethics, they would simply like you to believe that they do, because that is convenient for them (you are more likely to use their products if you view them as ethical).

They may be so inclined; company culture is real, but at the end of the day, if they believe themselves to be facing an existential crisis, they'll abandon the line of business creating moral friction or abandon the morals.

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Feds snooping on your email without a warrant? US lawmakers are on a war path to stop that

jamesb2147

Re: AC

California is a curiosity unto itself. I do not understand how that state manages to get so much so right and so much wrong all at the same time.

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jamesb2147

Glass house?

I believe there's a saying about throwing stones when one lives in a glass house...

Our privacy protections in the US of A are actually quite robust (excepting, apparently, NSA surveillance). Of course, US contract law is more robust, and so makes it quite easy to sweep away privacy rights.

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GitLab.com melts down after wrong directory deleted, backups fail

jamesb2147

Speaks to a fundamental problem

IT is hard.

Backups are a pain in the ass, for exactly the reasons mentioned here. All ye who apply a rigorous and robust backup policy, I applaud you, but I doubt that a single one my employer's clients falls into that category, and we have many, many clients.

Anyone know of a product that you can point at a database, provide it credentials, and it handles all the rest, including test restores with error messages on failures? That's not to even get into file backup, but file backup is notably more simple in many ways, especially with the right tools (ask any ZFS admin).

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Apple CEO: 'Best ever' numbers would be better if we'd not fscked up our iPhone supply

jamesb2147

Repatriation

Not a finance expert, so please forgive my ignorance.

I would have thought that acquisitions costs would be recorded as just that, a cost, and therefore could reduce tax burden. Where does repatriation fit in?

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Don't worry, America: Elon Musk says he'll have a word with Trump

jamesb2147

Re: Bloviating Idiot, Musk Edition

The incredible part here is that it's not clear whether Musk understands that.

Sadly, if true, it means The Donald is a better negotiator than Obama ever was. Perhaps an accident of history, being the first black President, he HAD to stay away from extreme positions and HAD to be willing to move to the middle. In any case, his strategy seemed to be meeting the opposition halfway... except the opposition never moved an inch, ever. As any mathematician worth their salt will tell you, eventually you end up on the opposition's side. Then the opposition leaped further back from where they were, and Obama said "fuck it!" and pushed his now-modified agenda through with his Democratic majority, until he didn't have that.

The difference is stark.

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Apple eats itself as iPhone fatigue spreads

jamesb2147

Re: "Hardware is so over"

Agreed.

As someone else mentioned, this isn't the end of phone hardware innovation... it is perhaps the end of phone hardware innovation until a major new tech can be developed (e.g. flexible displays, mentioned earlier by another commentard).

It just might be the beginning of the end for Apple, however.

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jamesb2147

Re: I got my first ever iPhone in 2016

Dare I ask what put you in the market for machines that did that?

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Uber pays hacker US$9,000 for partner firm's bug

jamesb2147

Re: Crashplan

IDK if I'd go quite that far, but I certainly had issues using the Mac client. After a few updates, it got to the point that it'd continuously chew through CPU without any data being backed up to show for it. :/

I did stop using it, tho. It's back to manual backups to a local fileshare for me.

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China's Great Firewall to crack down on unofficial VPNs – state-approved net connections only

jamesb2147

Re: how far?

His point is that your solution is unlikely to be able to keep up with the resources of the Chinese state machinery employed to prevent VPN connectivity.

This post should be of interest to you: http://blog.zorinaq.com/my-experience-with-the-great-firewall-of-china/

Padding packets over an SSH tunnel on a random port worked in early 2016... for a day or so at a time.

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jamesb2147

Re: SSL

You have an SSL VPN that works inside China?! :O

Seriously, it's a machine learning firewall. It's documented that several years ago you could open an SSH tunnel on a random port, pad all that packets to be at least 1200 bytes (removes some fingerprinting functionality), and the damn thing would crack down within 24 hours and block further connections.

If you have a VPN that actually works over there, I'd love to hear about it. You might also be interested in a bridge I own in Brooklyn...

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jamesb2147

Is this new?

I honestly this was the policy, official or otherwise, for a while now. It's been well known for some time that there are only 3 major VPN providers that work inside China. And there's nothing special about their configs, technically, so it would not be a surprise to learn that they've been sharing data with the Chinese security apparatus, wittingly or not.

Since they're already doing this (de facto poicy), and they've already announced this in 2015... there doesn't seem to be anything to this at all, except an attempt at raising awareness.

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Trump lieutenants 'use private email' for govt work... but who'd make a big deal out of that?

jamesb2147

I would not call them "personal" email accounts

We're not talking about Gmail here.

These are RNC email addresses that staffers are likely using for campaign purposes (at least, that's what they're intended for...). There is literally no evidence in the article to support any claim that they are being used otherwise.

And don't get me wrong, I want to skewer Trump as badly as anyone. This just isn't the way to do it. His administration already has so many gaffes... pick one of the actual mistakes to run an article on, El Reg. Perhaps a series on FCC Chairman pick Ajit Pai, the less qualified of the existing 2 Republican commissioners who basically ran a PR campaign on behalf of Verizon while at the FCC despite Trump rhetoric about "draining the swamp"?

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jamesb2147

The return of the high horse

All shall bow before His Highness. Once again, Kieren is intent on taking the moral high ground and from his perch deigning others guilty of crimes in his court, much like the Queen of Hearts, or Nancy Grace.

Certainly there is potential for abuse, but White House staff are prohibited by law from using WH email accounts to carry on the business of campaigning. So, it is not at all surprising that they might still be finishing up campaign business and using rnchq email addy's. Bush's staffers often uesd them as well, and probably broke the rules in the same way as Clinton did. Unintentionally and in shockingly small numbers.

Now, as to why that was a big deal for Clinton and not Bush? That's a fine question, though we only discovered it with Bush after he'd been re-elected, IIRC.

Get off your damn horse, Kieren. It absolutely ruins your writing. I don't know why the editors allow this through.

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