* Posts by Pu02

76 posts • joined 9 Apr 2013


Salesforce saddles itself with MuleSoft for $6.5bn


Gotta love the lie hiding the truth at the end of that...

"Salesforce execs also warned that the deal may make it harder to achieve some of its recently-stated financial targets , especially operating margins"

With a salty, rotten seed of truth included, that would have been:

"Salesforce execs needed a deal that would give it an excuse for not achieving any of its stated targets, especially operating margins- and in fact needs a shiny new asset with which to bamboozle markets and customers- and one which will soak up as much as possible of their operational costs with over the next decade.

Apple whispers farewell to macOS Server


How can Linux or BSD compete?

They require a lot of support. Mac server was dead easy to maintain.

Configuration was far simpler too.

And the hardware was most reliable too, so the outlay was cheap vs HP/IBM who gave little added value.


Re: It is strange they are still supporting it at all

They didn't quit selling it, Mac server has been in the App store for years. And all that time, it was well supported.

They just never marketed it.


The never really charged for it.

It came free on a Mac mini or a Mac Server.

But then after a year or three they tried to make the buyer pay USD35 (it was an App store app) to restore it to disk, every time you chose to upgrade to a new OS without thinking about might happen to the server app you never knew was 'separately installed'.

And to make it worse, there was no marketing, no development, just maintenance.

Server lived in a dark room in the basement all its life, kinda like many of the IT crowd that forgot about it every time it was time for a free OS upgrade.

Why Apple didn't add something new every now and then so people wanted to pay to upgrade, rather than wait for them to upgrade and lose something they were using is plain silly. It wasn't exchange, it was wiki and web and basic stuff. They never integrated it with their desktop offerings, nor put in all the good things that they could have added, instead it was forced into the dampest part of the cellar, whilst the clouds became ever darker.


I don't see why they think it has to go...

Maintaining macOS Server isn't that hard for them. It's not like it actually does very much (which they acknowledge by pointing to so many poorly resourced but brilliant open source alternatives, much of which theirs is based on). It is a part of the market that only competes against the cloud nowadays, so would take very little investment to make 'a thing'; such as partnering with other software vendors like Atlassian to build a suite that small companies really need (I never saw a company buy macOS over SBS, it was more like they would use it over gmail. Not everyone 'just' wants to use cloud based services (many are wary of getting locked in to the Borg, MS or anyone else) and putting all your files in the places that don't belong to you is not something everyone actually wants to do.

But the cloudy types at Apple are getting all the oxygen so they are dumping something that is actually very good, even if it needed some love.

My Mac mini server has run for 7 years now. In the beginning I setup a mirror RAID 1, easily possible using their old AppleRAID (and mdadm) at the CLI, very easily. Apple never chose to even support AppleRAID on the mini, despite it working so well. I even made it support the OS's DRP. The array ran 24x7 for 5 years, supporting two guest VMs, a database and two webservers, all on 2 500GB 2.5" HDDs.

Never halted. Never failed despite not having ECC memory.

Then I swapped it to an SSD and a HDD (no RAID), and it still runs flawlessly. Not even the fans have failed, and the OS is supported as well as it was on day one with very little effort to maintain on my behalf (I hope).

What a tremendous piece of work, Steve Jobs. So what to do? Scrap it.

Not very smart, Apple. Eyes are all off the ball in terms of security and real product now. All hands are instead on making hot air in the upper atmosphere instead. It'll bite them in the tail, IMHO.

nbn™ pauses hybrid fibre-coax build and will fix current connections


Re: They had to buy the copper

No, it was about a lot more than availability- it was about scrapping the copper networks, it was about putting in place a scalable broadband network for the nation that didn't require 240v and racks of vulnerable equipment exposed to the elements on street corners... not just connecting people with little or no connectivity.

They only had to buy the copper networks to get access to the pits to replace the old copper, whether it be FttP or MTM/FttN+HFC. They sure as hell didn't want to use the old copper, as Tony and Malcolm required. You could argue that if Telstra was doing its job over the last decade it would already have replaced a lot of the copper with the best option going at the time, in which case a MTM might have been viable.

Anyhow, regardless of what the bought and why, they sure didn't need to buy thousands of new km of new copper wire and set about repairing/replacing any existing wiring. Any numbnut could tell them it should all have been fibre, whether the decision be made on day one, mid way, or now.

nbn™ chair Ziggy Switkowski says HFC remediation mess is business as usual




"Adequate broadband according to Labor NBNCo Corporate Plan was 50% connected at 12Mbps and <1% at 1Gbps in 2026" Perhaps you forget how price conscious a lot of people have to be to get by. For anyone on 20kbps in the bush, 12Mbps is a big step up, and may be all they need for sometime if they are watching the pennies. Many of our parents would be happy with 12Mbps (if it worked). It'd certainly work for me at a pinch, even now.

Besides, the projections of what speeds people would want/buy etc. when they finally could place an order were just guesses, made a long time ago. Nothing more. And certainly nothing to do with what was technically possible using FttH. If they had guessed more, Abbott may have been able to destroy the idea altogether.

Now, years later, people need better connectivity, so they order faster speeds than what was projected by Labor all those years ago. But you seem to be suggesting it's to do with what the MTM fiasco is delivering. But we know you are not talking about what people are getting. just what they are ordering in the hope they will get something workable, as fast as their old connection, or at the very least, fit for use.

Perhaps the question is better put as: At the point much later that the MTM was conceived, let alone agreed/authorised/enacted, why were better guesses not made about what people would take up? A bucket of sawdust and two planks of wood would told you back then that people would want more bandwidth.

But instead, to please Rupert, Malcolm and Tony bastardised it without doing their homework. All that counted was keeping those beloved Foxtel subscribers online and preventing labor putting their name on a badly needed piece of infrastructure. Cost/reliablility/suitability/replacing the old copper network; all out the window with bathwater, babies and the kitchen sink.

If they had done anything near the right thing, nbn subscribers would have the option of ordering multiple fibre connections to their properties, and no-one would be maintaining copper pairs, let alone HFC: Lots of badly needed jobs for our unemployed youth would have been generated to form the crews needed to do the trenching and roll-out. Instead Malcolm did what Tony wanted; gave the money to lawyers and project teams instead of our youth. Put expensive to maintain equipment out in the open, where it will never be enough and will fail, used HFC where it wouldn't work, etc and gave the bush laggy, over-subscribed and expensive satellite services(!).

By now nbn could have been working and generating revenue- not a burgeoning debt for an massively expensive to maintain white elephant. If it was so bad they should have scrapped it. Given what we needed, they should have completed the plan as it was, or better upgraded it.

Hardly anyone uses Australia's My Health Record service


The first aeroplanes had mininal payloads, crashed regularly, and...

Indeed. But this is hardly the first database, web interface, online register of activity, that humanity has built.

Apart from hiring some technical skillz, they could have started by building in a few obvious key requirements in the beginning, such as:

Data protection

Primarily allow the user to own and store their own information, not be forced to leave it in a massive honeypot where others will do their best to dis-own it.

Support user-defined encryption, where at a minimum, users can opt to keep the private key- or do something like use a secure ID token that they can use to access their data, and restrict others' access to it.

Ability for the user to scale security on the encrypted data, re-encrypt, double-encrypt, re-issue tokens, keys, passwords, MFA, etc.

Because they avoid all aspects of user-oriented security concerns, the DTO and others are destined to fail. Why not get it the right way round, implement workable security around the citizen first, and then add features and accessibility? E.g. Plan for regular releases to build solid functionality on top of a stable, well-tested base:

i.e. A New feature/day.

v1.0 Secure and stable storage of information, bare minimum of features

v2.0 Add features as needed

v3.0 etc.


v1.0 Broken

v1.1 Worse

v1.2 Hacked

v1.3 Patched

v1.4 Hacked

v2.0 Doesn't work

v2.1 Fixed so it works (but only for some)

v2.2 Works mostly, but now most users are scared of the whole thing, project stalls.

v2.2 Force everyone to opt-out instead of opt-in

v2.3 Technical release, buying time

v3.0 Mine data from other sources, insert

v3.1-v8000 Remove data inserted into unrelated accounts. Quadruple budget, several times.

v4.0 Deal with constant attacks, publicity around ongoing data ex-filtration to offshore actors

v5.0 Announce new cloud platform version, all data cleaned and migrated

v5.1-5.5 Fail to migrate data, force everyone to re-upload records

v6.0 Amend account data where lost, incorrectly related and causes problems (practitioners to prescribe the wrong dose, medication, procedures, etc.)

Giving a turd rolled in glitter more time to perform only results in throwing more good money after bad.

Never mind the WPA2 drama... Details emerge of TPM key cockup that hits tonnes of devices


Vendors like HP and CIsco have been distributing patches since the day this was publicly disclosed. It appears many other vendors are asleep at the wheel. I've just replaced some Asus hosts as they are yet to be updated. No mention of it on their sites or forums and no response to support requests, yet they even sold TPM modules w Infineon chips as a value add for their kit: The client tells me they will NEVER buy Asus again.

Noone ever got sacked for buying IBM, but what about Asus?

Watership downtime: BadRabbit encrypts Russian media, Ukraine transport hub PCs


Like all software

The UI improves in each release...

Wowee. Look at this server. Definitely keep critical data in there. Yup


Advanced honeypots are security by obscurity as they assume that the attacker is behaving like an attacker, and that users behave like users.

Attackers these days hide in plain sight, and explore the network using the same hosts, methods, credentials, applications and queries that normal users use. Hidden canaries and activity tracking on every host are effective tripwires and provide a way to learn and reports abnormal behaviour. Deploying multiple fake honeypots that do this in obscured ways may be more effective in some situations, but it really depends on what the attacker expects, and how carefully they tread.

Clearly Illusive is focusing a sales spiel and isn't keen to spend any time working with big FinTech companies to map out what is good and bad traffic across all those segments prior to them spending money on some (no doubt dirt-cheap) roll-out of their 'honied-up hosts'. After all, such networks are already compromised, not to mention full of more tangible, internal threats (employees and contractors).

Ironically, FintTech companies have their design and architecture already mapped out and controlled, and need to understand they are very good candidates to collect and report such heuristics- indeed they are closer than almost any other organisation. It's just that they also have so many formalities and gatekeepers that they so often end in failure.

Illusive are onto a method that delivers a most effective way to invite management to an particular approach which 'just happens' to demand investment up-front and demand on-going loyalty from every engagement.

Buyers as always, beware ;-)

Fake-news-monetizing machine Facebook lectures hacks on how not to write fake news that made it millions


I used to be the only one that was mad...

but now the whole world consumes fb to excess, everyone else has become crazier than me.

Luckily, someone is getting rich, as otherwise it'd all be for nothing.

Australia Bureau of Statistics may wind back internet usage data collection


Sack the data scientists & feed global big-data; abuse has no political consequence

Ministers are sold on storing data. But in doing so, they are picking IT winners. They do because it is so easy to bamboozle everyone when things go wrong or decisions get questioned.

Using (querying, maintaining, normalising, curating) data to ensure its accuracy and relevance attracts no investment, even though this is where the value is. It is the only way to uncover what is actually happening in society and support planning.

It is no coincidence that ministers will not buy into using the data however as they don't care about having quality information. All they care about is justifying their agenda. For that, all they need to claim is that they have the largest dataset as what anyone makes of it is never questioned.

Transparency and democracy is now so degraded that things like correct or appropriate statistics are considered 'academic', of no value or worse, 'alternately factual'. Obviously this is better left to the Borg, it's influencers and maven advertisers...

Not that the ABS knew the first thing about how to own, manage, secure or use data in the information age. Anything at all. But then again, neither does the government... <expletive deleted>

nbn™'s problems were known – in 2008, a year before its birth


Something's up...

When someone choses to replace (thousands of kms) of copper wire instead of implement fibre (or better) communications tech, it's plain that something's up.

Not to mention the moment Bill Morrow (who is paid millions) begins making excuses for a telecommunications problems, escalating at a rate only Telstra could dream of, let alone realise.

And simultaneously claim that the gravy train is running out of money, before the system has 10% of users connected.

But what will cause a stir is the fact Mr Morrow is an American, telling the Aussies they can't have their Internets. Now the great unwashed are learning that a number of other 3rd world economies, such as NZ, have managed it without skipping a heartbeat- or chucking a series of hissy-fits (elections and plebiscites) in a misguided frenzy to maximise outcomes for the benefit of a few expedient politicians.

Time to move to New Zealand! Even if you are one of the few to get fibre, your 1s and 0s will still rely on the work these bozos have (or have not) done upstream.

Et tu Accenture? Then fall S3er: Consultancy giant leaks private keys, emails and more online


Just setup an autp-reply to their autoreply spam, ie spam their spam!

.... your autoreply could say you followed their directions to 'put the spam in the can', but that they keep on sending more and that maybe they should do something about it since they own the spam problem, not you?

Then in Outlook setup another auto delete rule for the avalanche of auto-replies. See who wins, your workstation, or their spam-server. At a minimum you will need to compact your Outlook's .pst file once a day and keep an eye on anything else that might use disk space.

Perhaps someone should black-list all Insultants from business, as well as IT.


Bankers? 'censure work for the Bankers.

They aren't Bankers themselves. They're more like Mankers.


Re: One More Holey Bucket

The cloud provider may have better SecOps, but they aren't paid to look at the doors customers accidentally leave open. If they did, they would spend all their time liaising with end-users instead of doing the work that underpins their KPIs.

Besides, customer's don't like to be told they are stoopid. SecOps would very quicky tread on the Sales team's toes, and even end up getting fired. So that won't happen.

At the end of the day someone's else's security interests don't ensure your own security. Outsourcing that does not make it any less of a responsibility, except in the mind of hapless management. However until they are made responsible for the customer and corporate data they 'own' as a matter of routine, nothing will change...

Australian PM Turnbull's AU$1.1bn 'Ideas boom' revealed as a bust



"On the issue of planning and governance, the report offers these observations:


Assessing the impact of the package as a whole is also likely to be challenging."

A challenging what?

Perhaps they meant to say "...the impact of the package as a whole is also likely to a Changling"?

Australians still buy 100,000 feature phones a quarter


Dumb user buys smart phone. Changes mind, replaces with device they can use

The Smart phone gets increasingly crippled by povware and malware. Dumb user fails to get smarten up enough to maintain the P0wned phone = Smart phone no longer owned by dumb user.

Dumb user landfills smartphone. Buys feature phone to be able to use a phone with features they can see and use, rather than features others can find and abuse.

DNS lookups can reveal every web page you visit, says German boffin


Re: Now we know..

And then prevent any internal clients from talking to Google's DNS.

Which breaks media boxes, televisions, all manner of IOT devices and software apps, practically all media streaming apps that enforce DRM, eg. Netflix, etc.

Blocking these hosts effectively without causing failures (perhaps I should say, to prevent an impact) is not trivial even if you have the infrastructure in place to do this across your network.

And even then, they'll be watching your samrtphone, which if it has a third party app installed or is an android might be behaving most promiscuously with many of the Google inquisition's global public (if not private) nodes.

Netgear 'fixes' router by adding phone-home features that record your IP and MAC address


Re: you can't be serious

"Not much use unless you know the location of the router"

Geo IPs will buy data that confirms what they already know if it was collected more recently or helps to build out the picture.

"Netgear don't. The ISP (probably) does"

They may not, but they may as Netgear supply ISPs directly. As would many gov agencies, 'cleared' third parties, even their sub-contractors and in some cases, even lowly employees. None of whom are disclosed and have any onus to take much care with what they use or leave behind.

"the location of connected devices is only useful if you know that they stay connected at that location, and mostly these days they don't"

Not sure how you decided this, sure some people hop address but a lot of people stay connected for weeks/months on end nowadays even if their ISP allocates them a new address every time they re-connect. However a lot of ISPs provide static addresses to a significant proportion of customers, and others provide nothing but static addresses, so their customers NEVER change their address. And then there are all the others that manage to stay within the timeout period of their allocated address and receive the same address each time they re-connect.

Plutus Payroll finally pays up ... but pays people TOO MUCH!


I bet anyone w that money still in their account is rushing to take it out today!

Today's news explains all: Clearly by overpaying some contractors earlier, someone capable of making a 'terrible mistake' acted to save the bacon of their mates before the plod turned up this morning. Getting it back won't prove hard though, not for this taxman:

Taxman: "As a debtor, we come first. Give it 'ere!"

Ex Platus contractor: "But they gave it to me first, and you came along after the business was busted!"

Taxman: "No, it was a a mistake you were informed about previously. It is payable."

Ex Platus contractor: "But I hear your boss was responsible, not just the company. I have no obligation to pay you, you're a bunch of crooks!"

Taxman: "If you do not agree immediately, we will begin enforcement action right now. I can still send armed men in sports cars to collect."

Ex Platus contractor: "Okay guvnor. unfair cop. To which of your manager's accounts in the BVI would you like me to send it?"

Windows Server's footprint shrunk to reduce Azure bills


After wasting space on OUR disks for decades...

... storing all those C drives with the most useless, vulnerable or plain redundant legacy programs that end up part of their OS footprints, even if the installer chose the lightest options, they decide NOW is the time to put Win Server on a diet. Oh wow, it's taken them a long time to hear their customers screams.

Why was all that not optional on day one (or at least 3.11, NT3.5, 95, 98, 2000, XP... ).

But no, we'll just waste everyone's time on waiting for those old x86 machines to clunk through decompression and installation of all this software they won't need. After all these years! All this time wasted! And even in 2017 it's hard to keep all their unnecessary services and bloatware disabled, let alone remove it without risky, invasive procedures that are likely to cause a problem later.

MS are late to the party by >20 years, but welcome nonetheless.

Will they now wait another 10 years to roll out these learnings in a full-featured installer, or an OS you can add services & software to when you actually want them? Perhaps even one that can read existing, non MS filesystems?

Perhaps. But they'll bias it so that the only real choice for a normal human will be a cloudy one that makes MS plenty of coin to pay for their own Skynet on Azure.

Which come to think of it, maybe why they're trying to save space already!

Australian privacy commissioner flags new data mining rules for government agencies

Big Brother

Pilgrim's a puppet

But he's also a lawyer, so what he says will sound good, but as is everything else he does (or doesn't), it just aids the government's plan.

As for Privacy Impact Assessments, how will they be anything other than a rubber stamping exercise? Start big data slurping project, plan it top-down with impact assessment, begin work, miss deadline, find complications... I mean, how will an analyst writing a privacy impact assessment have any hope of predicting the problems before they begin the work? It's not like they plan with data architects that are properly deep in the data, let alone develop the solution with one, or even the few they'd need to ensure appropriate peer-review. And how will peer-assessments stop them de-scoping these projects technically, side-stepping the original plan, (and the aims of its PIAs) and still delivering a poor outcome without (the usual) poor and unexpected results?

NB. PIAs or PItAs?

BTW: Sp. though=thought

'I feel violated': Engineer who pointed out traffic signals flaw fined for 'unlicensed engineering'


Why is the US having trouble?

They have to throw him in prison before he does something really dangerous (sic. subversive).

However all this hoo-hah (and even his math) is uncalled for and unnecessary, if the road rules were made sensible so that lawyers were not needed to interpret them:

Green = OK to Go

Orange = Stop* (if you can)*

Red = Stop

* Red on the other side is ok, but passing through the first red, then the second is required for a violation.

Stopping in the junction after an orange is allowed. it is proceeding through the other side (whilst red) is not. This allows people to stop safely, reverse or turn (they are still required to do so safely), so long as they are not proceeding through a second red light.

This is the norm in Australia and many other countries. Even the most useless drivers get it.

Why is such a simple law so complicated in the US?

Two words, Mozilla: SPEED! NOW! Quit fiddling and get serious


The point is security now

That is about all there is left: Security and non-abuse of personal information. A browser for the people, by the people, as they say. It is THE most important thing for a lot of users today, though still, not many browser devs. Something apparent by the number of browsers available today that do not abuse (or somehow threaten to abuse) the user.

A cross-platform, stable and safe, yet configurable browser, I would suggest is second. This means mobile and because of the porous nature of Android and fragility of iOS, also means FirefoxOS was a damn good idea simply form the point of view that a secure browser, by def'n, requires a secure OS.

Apart from that, everything in your post about the aims and current state of 'the Firefox effort' are about right. What is evident is that Moz.Corp desperately need to re-focus the effort to return the configurability/customisability of Fx to cater for the user base, speed up performance, get new blood involved and prevent any further outcomes of this mutiny that allowed ta bunch of Hipsters parading as Pirates to take over the codebase.

Or maybe they just need some of the old veteran coders to fork the code, re-write the worst of it and restore the faith of the user-base.

Maybe either.

Given that they evicted Thunderbird, an effort core to everything Moz, a move that could have been careful prep for a bad bang, an effort to prevent a major split or a chance to set FX free to fly as high as a browser could go. 51 is certainly better than <50, but where is the evidence it's even got off the ground?

Clearly something big is using resources at Moz,Corp, they ended Fx support for MacOSX 10.11. I had to move to the ESR, and apparently that will get killed soon too.

Just my 2c: a few (hopefully not too ignorant) musings of an 'old Phoenix' user...

Australia's universal telco service obligation's day is done


Great days for lobbyists amongst the foolish

This story takes the wrong angle.

The USO is a costly imposition (even today) that Helstra has always been looking to get struck out of law.

And here is a gubmint committee coming up with an angle that does just that (and all this lot could come up with was the excuse that it will 'save money', and only 3M at that).

Yet once free from its USO, Helstra can stop maintaining and installing services in places it deems too expensive.

NBN put this on the table, as once a nationwide FTH network was in place, the Copper (PSTN network) could have been decommissioned and the USO redefined in new or amended legislation.

The USO is the only protection consumers have that mandates any form of PSTN service standard. How can it be removed when the copper network is still needed? What exactly are they saying can replace it?

Turnbull's Transformers delete GitHub repo for federated ID project


You (El Reg) do not understand:

These are important people, publicly affirmed officials. They are used to speaking to the masses from above, with loud-hailers. What they mean when the media didn't approach them is that the ABC or a top political journalist form a major broadsheet didn't come cap in hand to greet them when they were holding Court.

They do not have to answer to anyone, they have lawyers and PR spinners to fabricate press-releases whilst they plan their next mighty triumph over the population's perceived right to privacy, ignoring all kinds of diligence when it comes to dealing with PII.

Australia's ABC suspends presenter over 'Wi-Fi is dangerous' claims


Re: At what watt does wifi become harmful?

It is not just power, the frequency of the EMR is crucial.

Low frequencies can heat/burn cells. Higher frequencies mess do this too, but also mess with DNA can cause cancers. The questions is more how much is safe, and when. How many young children are allowed to play with the old phone, and might be exposed at some very crucial point of their development?


Re: WibbleMe

I am not sure this is true, as you would encounter a lot of trouble learning anything. Modern knowledge is mostly theory, and the tests these rely on are seldom closed to some form of challenge.

After all, can you certainly prove that the cancers growing in soldiers exposed to radiation emitted in nuclear bomb tests are from gamma rays? Or could some of them be other, less powerful forms of EMR that were generated by that or some other nuclear reaction? Can you prove without doubt that gamma rays are bad for all living things when some do survive with no attributable ill-effects?

Look how long it took to link cancer to smoking and begin controlling the sale of a lethal product with little practical use to the masses. How might the science against mobile phones receive a better welcome by vested industries?


Crackpot because you can't sense it?

Maybe you are more sensitive in other areas, and others more sensitive in this one.

I've had a number of analog mobile phones and using one for a couple of minutes would make my ear hot, Any longer and I could sense my head getting warm on that side. It was the same with all those phones, and when searching online about it the advice from otherswas to use an earphone and place the mobile away from your body- advice that worked.

OTOH digital phones are much better but in marginal locations/between cells the radiation levels are not just measurable but quite high. In most cases I can use a 3G iphone without an earphone for 5-10 minutes without side-effects, but beyond that they become noticeable. Not enough experience using LTE yet. And as the phones get better the frequency ranges (2G-3G-4G-5G) used are increasing... what might be the reason for that? Is it the lawyers telling the oligopolies that incremental increases only slightly increase the risk calculations of promoting personal devices that emit this EMR as safe?

If you noticed your hand was hot when you use a microwave oven, would you tell your family not to worry, 'it's perfectly safe'? Remember that these days, kids sleep with their phones by their heads, all the while belching social media via WiFi and/or cellular networks.

I'm still hoping it's ok, but am glad that its not my kids that are the guineau pigs. After all, its not 50 years since we were publicly using soldiers and indigenous people to test the effects of nuclear collisions. We learned that gamma rays were bad for the body then, but did we learn much more?

Australia should be the 'Switzerland of data', Cisco head hacker says


Maybe Larry senses that the time is right?

Stewart's right. And unlike anything else Oztralians want to do other than mining iron, uranium and coal, it wouldn't take a lot to catch up to the rest of the world. Assuming that is, that Oz could throw out its present law relating to privacy, confidentiality, off-shoring of taxable income, and write something half-sensible.

But, it has proven over and over however that it cannot. Having more legally trained politicians per head than anywhere else has not helped. But now an ebullient barrister has just been installed as Prime Minister. So perhaps that is better put: Despite the fact that it is run by a barrister and 8 highly capable governments.

Indeed, overhauling their extraordinarily voluminous Tax Act still evades our well resourced, Antiopedan friends. But the former colonial penal colony's troubles now extend well beyond the whims of a few antediluvian media moguls. The constipation that is its 'Westminster' system, devoid of a working constitution or a relevant monarch, left a vacuum now filled by gambling Dons, elephantine billionaires and bankers working FIFO in the BVI, the Canaries and anywhere else they can stash their cash. These guys do very well out of keeping the turds lodged firmly where they now lie, expertly rolled in glitter and stuck in legislative poultice.

Larry can forget turning any of that into the saviour of his customer's data now Uncle Sam wants an extra set of keys and its own API. He'd have to buy the rest of them out to achieve it.

OTOH, it might be cheaper than buying other credible islands. Maybe John's speech is a first step in the takeover process?

Volkswagen Australia says 77,000 local diesels need software fix


Re: Null Change = No Effect

"Owners would be eligible for compensation only to the extent that their buying decision depended on the quoted emission levels -- ie probably not at all"

For you perhaps, but for some buying filthy 'green' products like new cars, it may matter a lot.

Strange logic I know, but these decisions are driven by human emotion and the law has to cater for all humans- and crucially- the lawyers they might pay to interpret it.

Fire hazard, because this issue has no cheap fix and won't stop burning until the perceptions and deceptions are addressed.

Steve Ballmer praises Twitter job cuts after buying 4% stake in ailing micro-blab site


Forget Nokia, buying access to a database of truly active users is all just part of the plan...

Maybe now he has 8%, he'll up the ante and keep buying larger chunks the more people they lay off (whose stocks get liquidated as the ship sinks). Then when it's worth nothing, he'll introduce cram the twitter.com with the highest paid banner ads, adware (Ballware) and who knows what other form of paid miscreance.

Then as he makes money from all the impressions and downed payloads, he'll harvest the customer database, cross-reference the active users it with the MS licensing database (that he so carefully maintained and would have no trouble accessing), and start a wholly owned subsidiary staffed by paying legal interns to begin 'the great licensing collection' that will has been on the cards ever since Bill told him not to chase 'doze users to death for fear of hindering it's evil spread. Bill turned out to be right like usual (they do now reap the rewards of near-global domination, and extraordinary global market-share). All before stage 2; in which they roll out the world's largest surveillance program (aka telemetry service) by which total domination is assured and stage 3 can commence... bwahahaaa

Synology slings patch at buggy NAS boxens


Re: 'Support'... not so fast!

You are indeed hopeful.

Where do they say they support the software beyond the statutory warranty period?

The software is supported so long as it is on supported hardware. IMH experience the hardware is all the hardware vendor supports, even though they sold you some software. Because in their management's eyes, they didn't- that was given away 'free'.

So if the software is updated once your device is beyond warranty, count yourself lucky! After that if you can get a patch that will i). patch your software without modification to the installer and ii). not upset the (unsupported) system/hardware in some way.

Usually, an unsupported OS stops receiving patches at a non-controversial point. If this is after the warranty period you got good value. If it is before it, you get bad value as you will not get anything much patched. However it will invariably stop receiving updates at the first controversial point- e.g. as soon as a major change is needed (which means one necessitating a major testing effort or challenges that break the build. This is not uncommon, as it is caused by things like broken dependencies and poor maintenance of the platform stack, not to mention other forms of vendor negligence (including but seldom or, stupidity).

Australia the idiot in the global village, says Geoff Huston


Re: That's too generous

Whether or not they can use email, there is certainly a reason they don't... and I doubt it is biblical :-(

Flaming drone batteries ground commercial flight before takeoff


That sure looks like some professional kit. Was the battery that burned a home-made type such as the kind dronebois build from individual cells to achieve a particular mass/cargo/capacity ratio.

If it was not some kind of frankenlitium suffering a manufacturing fault, what was it? If 25 batteries it appears they were counting individual cells- there are something like 19 cells (in 3 packs) intact on the left side- the 6-8 others could have been a single burned pack.

So maybe not a drug smuggler taking a purpose built drone over to do some airborne smuggling of diamonds, drugs, documents...

If not, who were they? What was the purpose of this drone?

1. Perhaps an undercover intelligence pilot, (or perhaps a secret special ops ABF officer)* transporting an undercover surveillance unit up the 'Northern immigration route', in which case we can count everyone lucky that it did not have any nuclear powered components on-board, the kind that would allow it to send back data on traversing immigrants for weeks on end. Imagine if that had burned. (Traversing Immigrants only, as the drug smugglers continue to get through with impunity despite all the rhetoric and blanket surveillance peddled by bureaucrats and their masters. Oooh, my bad- maybe I should have said politicians and their masters)...

2. Perhaps a lowly Serco employee, taking a drone over to have something to tinker with during off-time at some secret Australia-funded Gitmo.

Either way, I'd suggest the many and varied offensive uses for this drone justifies the real purpose of it being investigated. If they take the word of the traveler that falsified the declaration, not only would it be inviting the next courier to take a shot with a more reliable battery, they'd be turning a blind eye to any number of clandestine activities that go on in the island tropics. Where influence and corruption rule supreme, anything is possble.

Anthem, America's second biggest health insurer, HACKED: Millions hit by breach


Re: I love El Reg!

'No where else on the internet can you find such a collection of tech-savvy, tech enthusiastic, tech knowledgeable, self important male egotist blowhard commentards... in essence saying that "I know better, it would have never occurred if..."'

Fair comment perhaps, but it isn't really El Reg TSTETKSIMEBC vs. (in this case) Anthem IT bods, we (not to mention perhaps Anthem bods that read El Reg) are saying it wouldn't happen if we (as groups, communities, nations) took a bit of ownership and care over the technology we depend on, yet abuse every day.

We're really saying it is (all too often) down to bad practices, poor management culture, and worse- not just the odd 'bad actor'. We've been putting up with those types since we first sat around a campfire.

Forget Norks, Russian hackers are in Sony Pictures' servers – claim


Re: Too late

... except that a Russian angle cannot suit them better than blaming the Norks, as all the mainstream media, the BBC and the NY, etc. are all still reporting it was the Norks days after this story on el Reg. After all, only the Norks and Diesh are skilled enough to do this kind of advanced hacking.

Google gets my data, I get search and email and that. Help help, I'm being REPRESSED!


Re: Confidence Trick

"Perhaps it's happening already, under our noses. And it can all be done using some random looking hash values to join the tables concerned" Perhaps? Just cos the authorities are having trouble collecting, storing doesn't mean they are the only ones who can't access it, store it or effectively join the dots. There are too many that can do that, with current let alone future business models (land to grab, investment to gain) for it not to be happening. Take one look a t the latest investments, they are all about applied use of big data, let alone intelligent algorithms.

"It will certainly reduce the cost of a private investigation, and improve the results given the reduced need for gumshoes on the ground". Sure. Once there are no jobs for drivers, back-office staff, they'll need to lay off police and intelligence gatherers to keep demonstrating how valuable big data is. Replacing the government's control of its community is a key final step, enabling for the world's richest 1% to consume Governments whole and ransom every last skerrick of value from the other 99%, who presently still control 50% of the worlds resources, damn them!

Digital land grabs are the true value proposition here, not annual profits or even EBITDA. The economist that started all this missed probably the driver of investment and human innovation in the world today.

Naked and afraid: that's how Telstra's Wi-Fi security makes you feel


El Reg users are almost all mobile, almost all surfing multiple hotspots daily, many use pwd managers to submit secure credz transparently, yet El Reg (stil) refuses to allow (let alone require) https traffic via its 'modern, interactive' website. https everywhere aboard this pirate ship, and those that know all know that too. Maybe El Reg techs have been having trouble getting their services to encrypt for a few years now, whilst the dark overlords were fiddling the toggles to ensure they can keep the keys.

Or was it someone in accounts not coughing up or so for an SSL CA? There are freebs like startssl.com you know!

So much for modernity, the ludites are set in thick around here...

Dead pilot named in tragic Virgin Galactic spaceship crash


It could have been RB (and his staff (and maiden voyage crew))

... when they took off in their first 747 all those years ago. Instead they succeeded and made it way beyond what anyone else could imagine. At the time they lost numerous engines flying into a flock of birds just after take off- something uncommon but not always a risk. You seldom lose more than one engine but it happens. Its a good thing the 747 can land on one engine. No such luxury here.

Maybe if RB was on-board they might both have made it back. Such is luck- or our lack of it.

Very sad, but honestly, why all this hoo-ha when the boundaries of science are not being extended any further than is necessary to prove we can burn fuel flying for purely commercial purposes? RB is still capable of leaving more than the mark he has this far. Balloon flights and orbital flight may be great PR, but the effort and focus he can direct is a force that can change communities across continents. Burning more CO2 for any purpose, let alone using rockets, blackens brand image young and old these days. Maybe it is time for a sea-change at the helm of the Virgin supertanker- time for low energy flight, sustainable energy investments and by leading the way in business to help everyone work towards a better future. RB knows that its not good enough. RB probably knows a big decision needs to be made. Now is the time to announce the end to this carbon intensive fancy, and the adoption of progressive approaches to extending technical boundaries- whether they bring joy through fun, wonder, science, or simply improving our planet's darkening future.

If Virgin brands don't lead the effort (or others) properly in this space, who will? BP? Shell, Exxon? BA?... Can RB deliver on something more before he walks off the end of his jetty?

'Stop dissing Google or quit': OK, I quit, says Code Club co-founder


a. So what should we acquire now?

b. We need to buy some credibility. What's left out there that Cisco hasn't bought?

a. What if we bought a charity doing good work?

b. Brilliant! How much would it cost- 3x, 5x the investment?

a. What if we just donate, and exercise influence?

b. Huh? am i getting this right... you're saying it might be cheaper?

a. Absolutely. And we can right it off on tax (assuming we're making a profit that year- in that county)

b. Of course... charities need money! OK, let's start with...

How long is too long to wait for a security fix?


"a great many people simply refuse to do so"

Sure, and for the rest of us, there are all those manufacturer's that refuse to update their firmware for bugs let alone patch vulnerabilities. After all why waste time working on stuff that is not going to make money in store next week?

- Because if you do it right, it doesn't take much time?

- Because people won't buy it if you don't maintain it. Perhaps that's why all those no-name NAS's sell so well (?) Arghhh... (trying not to get worked up).

Bring on the Internet of things (and permanent vulnerabilities)

In the Land of the Free, Home of the Brave ... you can legally carrier unlock your own phone


"... getting a law passed has been a slow and tortuous process. Although the House passed a bill on the matter last year it took until last week for the Senate to stir"

Too bad all the unusable phones are now last year's model and 'need' to be replaced!

Australia floats website blocks and ISP liability to stop copyright thieves


Re: OzLaw

Take it from a local- you have it- in a nutshell.

We elect politicians with sawdust between their ears and complain when all they leave us are empty nutshells.



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