* Posts by Robert D Bank

35 posts • joined 15 Jun 2015

WANdisco sticks Fusion into Amazon's Snowballs for mega-petabyte data pelt

Robert D Bank

nothing new here

I've been involved in two datacentre moves involving trucking disk in 1998 and 2001. It was the only feasible option. First used IBM dual copy and the next used IBM XRC. The second one had 3 dry runs abd worked a treat.

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Welcome to the Rise of the Machine-to-Machine. Isn't it time to 'block off' some data ducts?

Robert D Bank

its not our decision to make?

I suggested some time back on el reg that the web would likely fracture into perhaps three parts. Its a logical progression, even more likely with all the increased security risks emerging. There'll be gov't and mega-corp and essential services web, business level web and a pleb web. There may also be a comms web to allow more granular control over data exchange. TPTB are not going to allow their plans to be compromised as clearly revealed here.

www.monbiot.com/2017/07/21/missing-link/

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No way to sugarcoat this: I'm afraid Uranus opens and closes to accept particle streams

Robert D Bank

I wonder if there's a brown out when it opens?

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Homeland Security: Putin’s hackers tried to crack electoral networks in 21 US states

Robert D Bank

Look closer to home

The reality is there's more tinkering of voter registration going on internally to the states than from any external player. The journalist Greg Palast has been pursuing this since the 2004 election when he found out about these 'scrub lists' that each state maintain. Thousands of people's votes are illegally nullified through these lists, certainly enough to swing election results. And the people affected are completely unaware of the fact.

QUOTE: 'We estimate that before the last election, 1.1 million voters were removed from voter rolls in sates where Crosscheck was being used. Crosscheck is the flawed-by-design, racist vote purging system instigated by Trump’s Vote Suppressor in Chief, Kris Kobach, who this past week was appointed as the Vice Chair of the Presidential Commission for Election Integrity'

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Break crypto to monitor jihadis in real time? Don't be ridiculous, say experts

Robert D Bank

Re: Selective crypto? - unfortunately........

Admitting ignorance is a chance to learn and understand the world that little bit better and update my views accordingly. If you can't do that you're part of the problem.

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Robert D Bank

Re: Selective crypto? - unfortunately........

LOL - my ignorance confirmed! Your explanation was very helpful thank you. (walks away tail between legs)

The terrorist issue seems like a really intractable problem to most people and Gov't is using this a yet another way to introduce draconian laws and put the shits up people. It would do more to ensure their communities have high levels of employment to keep them busy, financially secure and have more outside influences to counter the garbage they're being fed.

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Robert D Bank

Selective crypto?

Hands up I am completely ignorant about this but something occurs to me...

If the Gov't have this 'watch-list', can they not pass this to the companies that apply crypto, and the said companies then apply a backdoored version to the comm's of the only the suspect individuals, rather than some blanket application affecting everyone? I'm not a fan of this but if the individuals have been confirmed to have suspect behaviour then screw them. I do understand the dangers and flaws in this, but we're in a situation of all or nothing at the moment which doesn't seem to serve anyone. It would require proper international cop-operation between Gov'ts to ensure the watch-lists were up to date and accurate of course, because the companies applying crypto are international. Yes it may be possible these watch-lists might be leaked, but in some ways that may not be a down-side, it would make the individuals very paranoid and less likely to use these channels. So they might resort to having to meet, or send snail mail, which would slow down their communication and also make them more visible.

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How the Facebook money funnel is shaping British elections

Robert D Bank

Big money influence..

just finds a new vehicle...

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/may/07/the-great-british-brexit-robbery-hijacked-democracy

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Who really gives a toss if it's agile or not?

Robert D Bank

Re: 'What's Real and What's for Sale'...

Yeah, so what have you specified here in any way that doesn't take away from:

'I can't see how Agile is a good idea except for the smallest trivial projects'

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Just how screwed is IT at the Home Office?

Robert D Bank

I wonder if she has all her toes?

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Facebook decides fake news isn't crazy after all. It's now a real problem

Robert D Bank

News only where it's 'favourable'?

RSF’s latest World Press Freedom Index highlights the danger of a tipping point in the state of media freedom, especially in leading democratic countries.

https://rsf.org/en/2017-world-press-freedom-index-tipping-point

"The rate at which democracies are approaching the tipping point is alarming for all those who understand that, if media freedom is not secure, then none of the other freedoms can be guaranteed," Deloire added. "Where will this downward spiral take us?"

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Robert D Bank

Interestingly there seems to be no appetite to counter the propaganda and misinformation spouted by the large corporate sector through their 'Think Tanks' and other lobby groups.

http://www.monbiot.com/2016/12/01/the-misinformation-machine/

Quote: 'in the UK only four think tanks – the Adam Smith Institute, Centre for Policy Studies, Institute of Economic Affairs and Policy Exchange – “still consider it acceptable to take money from hidden hands behind closed doors.” And these are the ones all over the media. When the Institute of Economic Affairs, as it so often does, appears on the BBC to argue against regulating tobacco, shouldn’t we be told that it has been funded by tobacco companies since 1963? There’s a similar pattern in the US: the most vocal groups tend to be the most opaque.'

Influence an election? You bet. It's not just external players to be concerned about.

Many of the 'Think Tanks' we see quoted in the media are funded by the large corporations and in many cases are not transparent about that. This report referenced in the above gives an interesting breakdown of 'Think Tanks' worldwide, and rates their level of transparency.

https://static1.squarespace.com/static/52e1f399e4b06a94c0cdaa41/t/5773022de6f2e1ecf70b26d1/1467154992324/Transparify+2016+Think+Tanks+Report.pdf

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Lyrebird steals your voice to make you say things you didn't – and we hate this future

Robert D Bank

Reject

A very dangerous idea. Wouldn't be surprised if the equivalent has been in use by state agencies for some time.

But, if any of my banks want to exploit this or ANY other biometric technology it's bye bye from me.

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Outage-hit Lloyds Bank in talks to outsource data centres to IBM

Robert D Bank

Re: Lloyds Bank should not be Outsourcing but Automating

Not sure that cloning production directly to test without redacting personal information is a wise or particularly legal thing to do, in the UK at least. The cloning is easy, the redacting not so, and takes time.

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That CIA exploit list in full: The good, the bad, and the very ugly

Robert D Bank

Targetting

I expect by far the greatest use of any of these exploits is for gaining advantage in international trade or other negotiations, for corporate commercial advantage and to some extent criminal and terrorist tracking, in that order. And by the above I wouldn't align this to any particular state, there are those that happily sit way above that level that feed off this.

May their pubes catch on fire.

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Trump, Brexit, and Cambridge Analytica – not quite the dystopia you're looking for

Robert D Bank

AlgoRythm

It is another step toward algorithms making our choices...drip drip drip

There's some really fascinating discussion of this in Yuval Noah Harari's 'Homo Deus - a Brief History of the Future'. Trust me, read this and you won't feel at all comfortable by these sort of developments. It is truly one of the turning points in human history.

Algorithms are able to make much more accurate choices for you, from doctors diagnosis to choice of partner, if you want them to. Currently that is a choice. For how long, who knows. People are very willing to give up on making difficult choices. Take religion for example, for thousands of years people have 'followed the book', whatever one it might be. This is no different. People so often take the easy route because they don't want any make any effort themselves.

One thing that occurs to me is that ALL of these sort of algorithms that can have such a massive potential effect MUST be in the commons, open source if you like, and able to be influenced and updated my everyone with an interest. Unless that can happen we'll be at the behest of the exclusive owners of these algorithms, and you can be certain that their interests will be well apart from yours. Unfortunately I can't see any Gov't having the balls or the will to go down that route.

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Brit upstart releases free air traffic app for drone operators

Robert D Bank

Obvious?

Why can't the Gov't just insist that the drones include GPS and other technology to automatically make sure the drones will NOT fly within the restricted zones or above acceptable heights? You can't reply on idiots making the right decisions so do it for them.

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Kids these days will never understand the value of money

Robert D Bank
Go

Cashless society

There is a general push toward a cashless society, has been for quite some time now. Supposedly this is to reduce crime and increase tax revenue, which is bollocks of course. The big corporations still manage it without using cash.

There are some real pitfalls to not having cash:

- if the Gov't decides to 'bail in' some of your money (as happened in Cyprus) then you have no way to avoid it.

- there will be no privacy in any transaction. This is not about paranoia that your partner will know you've been to the pub every lunch time this week. It's the fact that Gov't and other institutions will know what you've been doing most of the time. This has implications for things like insurance and eligibility for credit and so forth, especially when the information has been hacked or leaked.

- what happens when you have a disaster situation like a tsunami or earthquake, when all telecoms are down and power supplies fail?

- it doesn't work well for the poorest in society, or those who can't cope with technology such as the elderly or who have mental health issues. Many people don't even have bank accounts (or phones), so how do you give the £5 to the poor bastard living on the street?

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Revealed: Malware that skulks in memory, invisibly collecting sysadmins' passwords

Robert D Bank

Z/OS

haven't heard of any cases of z/OS being hacked this way, probably because it's not really possible without access run authorised programs.

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Put down the org chart, snowflake: Why largile's for management crybabies

Robert D Bank

Re: Today's omnishambles...

Laughed so hard some wee came out after reading this! Thank you, time for a shower.

When management simply say 'you must embed agile into everything you do', add it to everyones objectives and suggest 'reading a few books on Agile', then you know they can't even be arsed to understand it, let alone make any effort at all to identify where it's appropriate or give you any priorities. And heaven forbid that they would change any of the 'processes' that prevent real agility and which could be done for free without a host of Vagile consultants hoovering out the company coffers.

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Bloody robots! 860k public sector jobs to be automated by 2030, say researchers

Robert D Bank

Re: And then...

What printing presses you're referring to. Money printing or book printing? If the latter I'm certainly not against progress and learning where it is open to everyone. The point is it's being concentrated to benefit very few at the moment and we're unlikely to see any sort of Enlightenment, i.e. real human progress, coming from that. There's nothing particularly special about the elites apart from their boundless appetite for money and power. Boring.

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Robert D Bank

And then...

All this automation is driven purely by the desire to save and make more money. Only a very small minority will see a real benefit from this. There'll be some side benefits to the rest, but it will never offset what has or will be lost.

So what is the point, and why do we allow it to happen?

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US govt straight up accuses Russia of hacking prez election

Robert D Bank

Re: USA: We be incomptent, yo!

There is MUCH more danger of vote rigging etc from within the US than from any external party. As Greg Palast has found there is massive electoral fraud going on. There's arbitrary purging of voters on a massive scale, and there's tricks such as certain areas having many ballot stations removed so not all people can get a vote in in time. And there's is some evidence of voting machines either being hacked or memory chips being swapped out etc. And then of course the lobby groups...they pay better than the public so have twice the influence.

http://www.gregpalast.com/

And then there's the fact that most people (not just in the US I might add) do not vote based on any rational thought.

http://www.monbiot.com/2016/10/06/what-we-are/

Quote:

'Democracy for Realists, published earlier this year by the social science professors Christopher Achen and Larry Bartels, argues that the “folk theory of democracy” – the idea that citizens make coherent and intelligible policy decisions, on which governments then act – bears no relationship to how it really works. Or could ever work.'

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Should Computer Misuse Act offences committed in UK be prosecuted in UK?

Robert D Bank

Re: Take (NOT) back control

I wouldn't be so sure. There's always going to be more attempts to introduce something similar

http://www.monbiot.com/2016/09/07/here-they-come-again/

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65 expert speakers reveal secure identity management solutions at Biometrics 2016

Robert D Bank

Squeak..

There's absolutely NO WAY I'd submit biometric data, except begrudingly for a passport as there's no option. Any institution I deal with that demands it will lose my business immediately. There are enough data sets out there being hawked by data whores that allow your whole life to be pieced together without providing them the final piece to close the circle (around your neck).

Biometrics can be all revealing and if it becomes 'normalised' they'll inevitably expand it further. With finger print recognition for example, whose to say they won't eventually include something to analyse the oils or sweat from your finger at the same time? This can provide enormous amounts of data about you that the likes of insurance companies etc would relish. Imagine it detecting presence of alcohol, cigarette smoke, illicit drugs, and various other health indicators. Meld that with data from the movement sensor, location etc and bang goes any illusion of privacy because as well we know, the data seems to always escape. It only has to happen once.

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Top boffins detail how to save the open internet from breaking itself

Robert D Bank

MultiNet anyone

I've often wondered if we'll end up with more than one 'type' of internet. I know nothing about it so probably barking up the wrong tree.

One would be a Gov't and business internet for inter and intra-business/Gov't activity only. It would have access to all the premium routing/resilience/hardware and security measures. It may even have it's own unique proprietary protocol.

Another would be for business interface to customers and academic interchange. As a commercial space they'll insist on any user being registered and identifiable and open to monitoring to reduce fraudulent activity. It would have 2nd level premium routing/resilience/hardware and security measures.

There will be more 'island' internets emerge that have hard borders to ward off the intrusion of the state actors like US, UK, China and Russia.

Then there would be the general purpose web, the poorer cousin with non-premium routing and hardware, a free-for-all approach to security, essentially what we have now. Businesses operating here are more likely to be using crowd-funding and digital currencies. The elites will attempt to let this internet wither and die by making it more attractive to sign up to the 'business' internet. But it may end up evolving in unexpected ways through clever innovation and peoples general desire to not be dictated to by business and Gov't.

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It's alive! Farmer hides neglected, dust-clogged server between walls

Robert D Bank

with early IBM mainframes we'd also have 'issues'. They were to big to hide but still some interesting things would happen despite being in a controlled environment.

First one I worked on in 1976 was a 360/40 (48k main memory) for a well known soap manufacturer. As an operator one duty was to vacumn the computer room, but as I learnt the hard way, don't fire up the vacumn within about 10ft or the CPU would die. Literally a whole panel of red checklights (no screens in those days, only a golf-ball typewriter). Same machine, which had carbon core memory and valves, no silicon, had some sort of pressured air cooling. Sitting there one night shift and this hissing noise starts, quickly followed by the check lights all going red and it dying. Searched around, opened a side panel and tracked down this square metal block, some sort of air valve had come off a plastic tube which continued hissing. Managed to push it back on to the plastic tube, set the dials to the boot address and it booted (IMPL'd) fine. This happened more than once..couldn't fess up to the engineers what I'd done. Eventually had to wind some wire around it to keep it in place. Also had to replace hammer fuses on the impact printer at times because we'd print 6 part lineflow which would just kill the printer. It was that or wait 2hrs for the engineer to arrive. No contest, despite the dangers of high voltage power supplies.

Next one was a popular phonograhic company (look it up). Sitting in the machine room one night with the trusty IBM 370/125 and next thing within seconds the entire machine room is filled with choking white smoke. Didn't even have time to power it off. Turns out it was a large capacitor had decided to burn out. Hate to think of how many PCB's I consumed from that smoke. Same place...one day had to swap one of the 3340 hard-drives (they're look like the starship enterprise), but the switch that prevents you opening the cabinet while the disk is still spinning (think 16-17inch disk) wasn't working, so I proceeded to lift the sealed unit disk off the drive and it just takes off due to the gyroscopic effect. Nearly broke my wrist before I could get it on the floor and hold it down 'til it stopped spinning.

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hive mind informs climate change believers and sceptics

Robert D Bank

whatever

One thing that is undeniable is that there is change in the climate, whatever the cause.

People I've met and spoken to all around the world, especially older people in poorer countries involved in agriculture or fishing where it is most keenly felt are very aware of it. They do understand that there are longer term cycles at work like El Nino because their parents and grandparents pass this knowledge down. But they're now seeing dramatic changes that are happening in very compressed timeframes.

So regardless of the cause, it is still worth paying attention to this as it will affect everyone at some point either directly or indirectly.

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Were the FIRST AMERICANS really FIRST? MYSTERY of vanished 'Population Y'

Robert D Bank

Denisovans

probably...there's traces of them in Siberia, Australia and P&G and I think one isolated tribe in India. They probably crossed to North America very early on.

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Cell division: The engine of life – and of CANCER. Now some of its secrets are revealed

Robert D Bank

The 'El Reg biology desk'...

shudder...there's a script in there somewhere...

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The blessing and the curse of Big Data

Robert D Bank

WTF would I know...

'Big' data seems to be about the aggregation of vast and disparate data sources to facilitate improved prediction of behaviours and calculation of probabilities by revealing otherwise unrecognisable relationships and patterns.

The scale and scope of data has increased exponentially in the last two decades. Not just data being currently produced but also historical data being digitised and brought into the equation. Software and hardware advances now make processing it a more practical proposition.

One issue is the accuracy of the data which may vary across different sources, although you'd hope and expect this would be 'cleaned' and verified in the datasets over time. But if the dataset is used for example in decision engines in real time for credit scoring or anti-fraud purposes it could be devastating.

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Yikes! Facebook will run on TELEPATHY, thinks Zuck, in Q&A

Robert D Bank

Knobs

here's a rich thought Zucker.....'time fa coffee!'

NSA would love to be hoovering up our thoughts along with everything else

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British Library publishes Digital Magna Carta – written-by-web-vote because it's 2015

Robert D Bank

TTIP will remove many of the remaining democratic rights that we hang on to. Magna Carta and even much of the EU law both good and bad will be usurped by it. That I suspect is why it wasn't mentioned by any of the major political parties at election time. Can't believe UKIP let that slide...EU laws will pale compared to TTIP.

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Why is that idiot Osbo continuing with austerity when we know it doesn't work?

Robert D Bank

Re: Human Action

Unfortunately the High Speed Trading bots don't give a monkeys about any of that.

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Robert D Bank

It's folly to compare the current economic situation with previous depressions. Today we have a much faster paced and more globalised economy with many more complex interdependencies, and local gov't policy is subject to many more outside forces than ever before. There's no real global governance to deal with the trans-national companies and the effects they can have operating globally. Even the 'threat' of capital flight can have a heavy influence on local gov't policy as one example, not to mention the unregulated lobbying, revolving doors between business and gov't etc. Much of the gov't policy is written by people from the business world and weighted purely in their favour.

QE is just crack for the banks and large corporations these days. Essentially free money to hypothicate to the 100th degree or more and pay virtually no tax on the profits in many cases. With QE now a lot of that money is spent by larger companies in doing share buy backs to artificially increase their stock values and therefore the bonuses the exec's and shareholders receive. This is not a true investment in the company like R&D, staff training or capital spending on equipment which does stimulate economic activity as would have happened in Keynes day. And much of the money these exec's and shareholders receive is made 'tax efficient' which further reduces any stimulus in the real local economy. Any 'risky' investment these days is instead dumped on taxpayers in the form of 'bail-outs', or by packaging up junk bonds etc and getting rating agencies to AAA them so that pension funds buy them and take the hit when it falls apart.

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