Internet firms call on UK prime minister to learn some of the basics of computing before making ridiculous demands.
550 posts • joined 9 Jul 2016
Internet firms call on UK prime minister to learn some of the basics of computing before making ridiculous demands.
The truth of the matter is that it's simply not possible for hundreds of millions (or even billions) of fairly clueless consumers and office workers to run a big, complicated, general-purpose operating system with all the trimmings AND have security take care of itself automatically.
Economically, "one size fits all" has been a miracle worker, drastically reducing the cost of computers and software. But the fundamental axiom of security is that it militates *strongly* against everything else you could possibly want.
"When Russia interferes in another country's affairs they're undemocratic".
Except that it doesn't.
"They did Iraq already..."
But they are obviously not through with it.
... even though it is an order of magnitude on the low side.
"End of story".
In other words, "I have spoken - I, the sole and ultimate repository of canonical truth. Let no one dispute what I have said, on pain of death".
I am sure everyone is suitably impressed.
"But I'm curious - why the anger and need to resort to personal attacks in what could be a civil discussion?"
Insecurity, and the overwhelming need to feel both right about everything and in the comforting safety of the majority, establishment camp.
"It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it...
"It is the mark of an educated man to look for precision in each class of things just so far as the nature of the subject admits; it is evidently equally foolish to accept probable reasoning from a mathematician and to demand from a rhetorician scientific proofs".
- Aristotle, “Nicomachean Ethics” Book I, 1094.b24
"The uncompromising attitude is more indicative of an inner uncertainty than a deep conviction. The implacable stand is directed more against the doubt within than the assailant without".
- Eric Hoffer
OK, let's see your "credible evidence". Bring it on! Let us all share in your empirical riches.
Otherwise we shall suspect that you are talking hot air.
I think you will find that Russia, at least, can produce far better software than the USA and Europe. I don't know about China yet, but I wouldn't underestimate its resources either.
American (and Western in general) software has tended to conform to "commercial realities". For ten years I analyzed software products and standards for a large multinational computer corporation, and for a further 20 years I have continued that interest. And one of the most obvious patterns I noticed was that companies that have brilliant ideas and focus on quality are usually either driven out of business or acquired (basically to get rid of them). In the West, it's huge monsters like Microsoft and Oracle, and to a lesser degree HP and IBM, that rule the roost, and they are very clear about their priorities. Long-term profit first, growth second, image third, with customer satisfaction and product quality so far down the list they are almost invisible.
Actually, downvoters, ForthisNotDead is quite right.
I've noticed that there usually seems to be one downvote against any reasonable, informative comment - like my own, for instance.
Watch this space!
Legal basis? Legal basis?? What is this "legal basis" of which you speak? American corporations don't need no stinkin' "legal basis". They have the Marines, drones, B-52s, F-16s, napalm and white phosphorus.
And the alphabet soup.
Just be grateful they haven't disappeared you - yet.
Presumably the missing article is due to Russian hacking.
"Len Deighton wrote 'Bomber' on an IBM in 1968".
Not an IBM PC, then, which first appeared in 1981. Maybe the reference was to an IBM "Selectric" typewriter? I remember fixing them back around 1972.
Running a successful software business is a supreme test of practical intelligence. The potential added value of software is immense - after all, hardware does literally nothing but run software, so without software it is nothing but a bunch of rather large doorstops and boat anchors.
So the question whether a given corporation can make money out of selling the useful part of computers is a bit pointed. Obviously, HP cannot. It is in good company, however; only a tiny fraction of those who set out to sell software succeed in the long run (i.e. over 8-10 years).
"...Apparently they did not think through the issue of people switching suppliers!"
Although they are for ever urging you to do that, and lamenting that not enough consumers do switch.
Left hand, meet right hand.
But is it recussated?
They use a specially custom tailored version of Windows created for them by Microsoft. Bill Gates himself assured them it was perfectly secure.
Jesus X Christ, that has made me laugh more than anything this century so far!
"An operating system designed and built by a government".
Just pause, gasp, and contemplate the vast avenues of potential...
"I thought Cambridge was where the KGB recruited?"
Because it was already where MI6 recruited. Do try to keep up, dear boy.
The rot has gone a long way indeed when we actually have someone called Boris, not just in the Foreign Office, but running the whole ruddy show!
So much for Google's original good resolution. They are just as evil as the rest of the giant corporations.
"It is by the goodness of God that in our country we have those three unspeakably precious things: freedom of speech, freedom of conscience, and the prudence never to practice either of them".
- Mark Twain, Pudd'nhead Wilson's New Calendar, Ch. XX
"If you put a lump of metal in front of them, instead of a single particle with very high energy, you now get a big shower of lower energy particles, resulting in much more of the energy being dumped in a shorter distance".
Rather as blowing up a threatening comet head turns a single high-velocity rifle bullet into a massive shotgun blast.
When dealing with physics, common sense is often quite deceptive.
... how many people do you think would take steps to insure their property or their lives?
What you describe is not a "dumb" home at all, but a very "smart" one.
A real "smart home" is a house that contains at least one intelligent, well-informed human being who has a brain and uses it often to good effect.
Such a house will contain absolutely no Trojan Horse electronic devices that could be used to spy on the occupants - or even to harm them.
"Craig put the call on speaker so that Dianne could hear it..."
A smart move.
"Come harass me, I'll show you my code of conduct - right in your face".
That challenge looks very much like harrassment.
"... don't let yourself not enjoy life over nonsense like this".
I'm sure your advice is well-meant, but such issues are really a private matter between each person's forebrain and his/her amygdala.
Do you mean "litterally"? Or did you unthinkingly use it to mean "figgurativelly"?
Why would you visit the USA? Do you enjoy playing Russian Roulette? (Maybe we should start calling it "American Roulette").
... for sensitive treatment. It's notorious that software companies - especially small ones that are very good at what they do - tend to wither and shrivel in the hands of big impersonal corporations. Indeed, I think HP is something like 20/20 when it comes to taking over promising software companies and destroying them in a few years.
It's rather like when one is given a pot plant and either under- or over-waters it.
Of course all ships at sea should adhere to the law and the rules of navigation. But sometimes some of them don't.
On the other hand, I would assume that a warship - of whatever nation, but especially one that is on the far side of the world from its home port - should always be alert and on the lookout.
How the hell could you avoid being torpedoed by an enemy submarine, or even sunk by gunfire, when you don't notice that you are about to be rammed by a bloody great tanker?
Haven't you ever heard of "The City in the Sea"?
People who are too heavy on "technology" and not well enough acquainted with history are apt to make hilarious mistakes in estimating the rate of progress and understanding when the really important advances were made.
My favourite example was Tony Blair pouring scorn on "the Victorian era" as crudely primitive. Whereas in fact that was when almost all the really big breakthroughs were made that have contributed to our present civilisation.
I'll give this idea away free to anyone who is looking for a "steampunk" theme to equal "The Difference Engine". What if Babbage and Ada Lovelace had got together with Faraday and Maxwell? Babbage and Maxwell both studied at Cambridge (although Maxwell was much younger) and both must have been very familiar with Faraday's results.
Brunner was too clever and erudite to become popular. His books are, IMHO, some of the very best-quality SF ever writen. Both as SF and as literature.
Not unlike Aldiss, come to think of it.
I've read very little Baxter, but I loved "Evolution" - and I think it could well be set as a school textbook. (Or by some less unappealing name, ideally). It's a page-turner, a real doorstop, yet when you've finished it you have unconsciously absorbed a short history of the evolution of hom sap.
Not a writer for wild adventures or shoot-'em-ups, but very much a programmer's SF author. Strongly recommended. For instance, he was writing about the cloud 30 years ago.
And he doesn't just do recherche high-tech stuff - try "Zendegi".
A Microsoft sales droid took the right person out to lunch?
Sounds like the Dilbert strip where Dilbert and Wally persuade the PHB that the shredder is a fax machine.
Asking anyone who is used to Linux to move to Windows - and, worse still, to use Outhouse - is cruel and unusual punishment.
No wonder the man was dazed and bewildered. He probably *expected* to lose all his emails. "What more can they do to me??"
Another group that may well be severely under-represented in corporate life is the criminal psychopathic community (if that isn't an oxymoron).
What has Intel done about employing proportionate numbers of very stupid people? (Who used to be officially called "morons", "cretins" and other such unpleasant names, before it became mandatory to refer to them as the "differently-mentally-abled").
All large corporations have a lot of very highly paid jerks, and the mentally-differently-abled could be absorbed into their ranks without much noticeable impact. It's not as if they do anything useful or important.
It's not a "crime", it's a side effect. Everything has side effects, but you shouldn't let them blind you to obvious benefits.
"Nowadays I just save myself the trouble of reading it at all".
And yet you do go to the trouble of commenting on it. How can you do that sensibly, when you yourself boast of not having read it?
More exactly, it's the politicians' and the admirals' new toy.
Any actual sailor - more especially anyone who runs any risk of having to sail in the bloody thing - will be very much aware that it's nothing but an immense floating target with "Sink Me!" written on it in big letters.
Just as the Navy saw through John Fisher's demented schemes to bombard the North Prussian coast with "Courageous" and "Glorious" - immediately christened "Outrageous" and "Uproarious". And just as all the matelots must have realised that sailing on HMS "Hood" was not a safe thing to do.
"...it's not like the pictures they will take are of any real use..."
But the Russians! Won't somebody think of the Russians??
Albatroi, I think.
Or one of Jay Score's pocket A-bombs... ("Men, Martians and machines", Eric Frank Russell).
No, that's an Armour Veteran (Large Bore).
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