* Posts by sprograms

61 posts • joined 6 Oct 2017


US Department of Defense to fling $1.76bn at Microsoft


The DoD already paid to develop a "Highly Secure Linux" years ago. Perhaps they could just dump 100million into developing a more pleasant GUI and call it a day. There are Linux-compatible databases-a-plenty in use by serious industries. It is the most common operating system in AWS instances. I suspect it is the Video Game Players that form the MS Windows power constituency.

Dozens of .gov HTTPS certs expire, webpages offline, FBI on ice, IT security slows... Yup, it's day 20 of Trump's govt shutdown


Re: Operational Incompetence

It has nothing to do with "next year's budget." Appropriations aren't itemized down to the cert spending. Additionally, agencies frequently use current-year appropriations to make payments against multi-year commitments.


Re: Oh God

System administrators are essential staff, and payments for IT security are still permitted. This article tries to expand the Partial Shutdown into an excuse for careless agency IT administration. Failure to update certs is nothing new.

Marriott: Good news. Hackers only took 383 million booking records ... and 5.3m unencrypted passport numbers


It seems to be an all-Chinese buffet at Marriott. "Marriott now says the (allegedly Chinese) miscreants who broke into its Starwood guest database.."

It was only months ago that a Marriott employee made (on his own time, his own social media) a comment critical of CPRC's abuse of Tibet....upon which Marriott promptly fired the man upon complaint by the Chinese. What has become of Marriott? Bowing to the Peoples Republic by sacrificing an employee unfairly. Did Marriott call the Communist Party and insist that one hundred of their best hackers get canned? Interested people want to know....

PC makers: Intel CPU shortages are here to stay ... for six months


Re: Pah... when I was a kid...

I recall that upgrading my 1984 Mac to a Mac+ cost $1,000....to get the RAM up to 1MB!

I told my son last week that I currently had $32,000,000 worth of memory in a bag on the back seat of my car....at 1986 prices.

Millennials 'horrify' their neighbours with knob-shaped lights display


Re: Is it a penis or....

An erect phallus was also a religious item in the widespread cult of Hermes in ancient Athens. Athenians would very often have a statue of Hermes in such a state, placed by their front door to protect the boundary of their house, as was also done to mark the boundary between neighboring towns. The statue was called a Herm. See Wikipedia's entry for Hermes, sub-topic Herm.

Reverse Ferret! Forget what we told you – the iPad isn't really for work


Re: Oh FFS

Perhaps intentionally, you've left out one wonderfully au currant reason that management prefers to hand out laptops, not towers: An employee with a laptop doesn't need an office. They don't even require a set little cubical. Making them redundant happens at the speed of Executive Stock Option: Just grab their laptop, nullify their building entry code, and move on.

I should admit that I prefer having both a laptop and a very quiet but powerful desk-near Mac Mini or Intel equivalent. Using what's right for the task at hand, and in my own offices, just seems right.

Supreme Court raises eyebrows at Google's cozy $8.5m legal deal


Re: @ST The Bret thing

He never said he never drank heavily. I happened to observe the entirety of the hearings. He claimed he never "blacked out." The opposition tried to claim he must have, but they had no evidence whatever.

"Newly seated Justice Brett Kavanaugh – who has been credibly accused of sexual assault and lied repeatedly during his confirmation hearing –" -this statement in the post is wildly innacurate. Many people said, on the day Blasey-Ford testified, that she was credible. They later made it clear that they meant "believable," which is a purely an emotional reaction to her demeanor that day.

Casually slinging such libels, statements made as if of fact, not mere opinion, is a despicable activity.

Chuck this on expenses: £2k iPad paints Apple as the premium fondleslab specialist – as planned


I'm not in the target audience for a loaded 2018 iPad Pro, but they aren't silly for the money. The typical target user is doing design, architecture, or other graphics work. The OS suits them, as they know it already from their iPhone. The thing is actually fast. It has been targeted by first-tier app developers.

I have a friend that seems to code in C, Python, and a few other PLs. He uses a "good value" laptop and an Android phone. But I'll point out that he has a mega-expensive gaming machine, and burns electricity like mad, paying through the nose...but "it's entertainment, relaxing."

I find the compulsion to overlook the the aesthetics and ease-of-use of Apple products overdone. Some people feel they get value from having one set of preferences satisfied. Others pursue a different set. Also overlooked is the value of OS software updated for free for many cycles. Choice. It's good.

Super Cali goes ballistic, net neutrality hopeless? Even Ajit Pai's gloating is something quite atrocious


Re: States’ Rights....

Obama's penchant for side-stepping congress allowed him to avoid great labors, persuasion. He therefore built many castles of sand.

Official: IBM to gobble Red Hat for $34bn – yes, the enterprise Linux biz


Does this mean Red Hat Linux coding will all be done in India hereafter? Does Red Hat have an exciting fleet of jets and helicopters? I can't see the draw for Mz. Rometti....

The Obama-era cyber détente with China was nice, wasn't it? Yeah well it's obviously over now


Re: China

Absurd. It is that sort of late-night political "humor" which allowed the perpetuation of the corporate sabotage of the US technology manufacturing sector, including the assembly business, to continue, allowing domestic corporate tech profits to sky-rocket at the cost of trade imbalance, employment reduction, and technology transfer (imposed openly or taken by theft) for so many years.

If you really equate the US to China, you wish to live under a totalitarian government, with your credit rating determined by your Facebook comments, a government with a leader-for-life, active Death Vans scooting from town to town, and re-education camps for religious minorities. But it's all a joke, right?

What could be more embarrassing for a Russian spy: Their info splashed online – or that they drive a Lada?


Komsomolsky 20 is also, apparently, the HQ of the "I wish I had an Aston Martin Society."


Yes, but residing in the EU under a false name?

Amid Trump-China tariff tiff, Cisco kit prices to resellers soar up to 25%


Tariffs have worked many times

US New England industry was built upon the first law ever passed after enactment of the US constitution. The Tariff Act of 1789 protected US manufactures and penalized consumer imports. Tariffs have been a mainstay of EU policy since the beginning. To many people have not got beyond their free trader econ 101 textbooks. China has loved tariffs, and gets special benefit, because, under the WTO, it is given preferences as a developing nation, even though the eastern 28% of it is a developed nation in most regards.


The nation the tariffs under discussion address is the People's Republic of China. Their customs go back only to the early 1950's, the Great Leap Forward, and the Cultural Revolution. If you believe in customs before that era, especially political and religious customs, you're in big trouble.

The Overseas Chinese? They're different. They aren't the target.

Developer goes rogue, shoots four colleagues at ERP code maker


The total number of US soldiers in the war zone in any one year never topped 550,000. In most years the number was far smaller. The number of US persons with exposure to violence-by-gun each year is more than 320 million. In terms of deaths-per-100K the war was much more dangerous. But that's a technical matter. Every large US city has an area, often large,, in which the deaths-per-100K is greater that it was in Vietnam. Ask yourself why. And, in my suburban county bordering a major US city murder is exceedingly rare.


Re: Hardly News - A Daily Occurrence in the Land of the Second Amendment and Phallic Challenged Men

"more deer died than people." That certainly isn't true. A nation of 91 million people is likely to experience mortality of more than one million people per year. It is unlikely that there even exist one million deer in Vietnam.


"Home Invasion" is just the US term for "burglary of an occupied dwelling." If you look it up, you'll find that the percentage of burglaries that are of occupied dwellings... is much higher in the UK than in the US. Those of you who live in the UK have assuredly seen the news reports of such burglaries, and the abused, beaten, or worse, victims. Use of weapons to defend oneself in the UK case are banned....though that is slowly turning around.


Re: A gun is involved in every single mass shooting.

The CP of China murders many citizens year in and year out, and now places Uyghurs in "re-education camps," and you're worried about US homicides?y My Township (and county) are as safe as most of Europe. Gangs/drugs are involve in most murders. In my state they are occurring only miles away from us. Seriously intervene? Politically impossible.

Mexico. It's where the murder rate is truly high, and the techniques of murder especially gruesome. And Venezuela, Guatamla, etc. I think Europeans, and Brits, look at gross statistics, highlighted video about "mass" shootings, and have no idea of the distribution of crime in America by ethnicity and urban neighborhood. It reminds me of Americans who can't find Indonesia on a globe.


Re: A gun is involved in every single mass shooting.

Personally, I love Switzerland, and travel there for various reasons. But it's full of....Swiss people. We have many millions of people who believe "taking care of business" with violence (fist, foot, knife, gun) is culturally acceptable. My township of ca.25,000 thousand has lots of guns in safes, and essentially no murders per decade. The population is educated, and they'll "rat" on each other at the least violent infraction. Three miles away, in the neighboring city, the culture is entirely different. They excuse themselves from our culture of law, convincing themselves that shifting their beliefs would be caving in to "the man." You have to see it, experience it, to believe it. And then there's East End London.


Re: A gun is involved in every single mass shooting.

Among other usage variations (via the OED): a 1790 Adam Smith W.N. v. i. iii. i. (Bohn) II. 253 When those companies‥are obliged to admit any person, properly qualified,‥they are called regulated companies.

I have found, in life, that when people consider dangers and murderous societies, they usually turn to the safest target. Thus my German friends did, during the Cold War, constantly marched against and assailed the US: They were simply afraid of the Soviet East, knowing the soviets, one or two-hundred miles away, were hopelessly ruthless, unbelievers in the view that everyone deserves to feel safe, at liberty.

We had our civil war. Gruesome as it was, it didn't hold a candle to WWII in Europe, or the intentional murders by the Soviets of their own citizens, or the stunning numbers killed during the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution. The world, everyone from Olaf Palme to the French Youth rebellion, were railing at us in 1971 because -Vietnam. Meanwhile, five hundred miles to the north, Mao was ordering murderous measures that had even less rationality, and killed many millions more. People are content with tunnel vision.


Re: A gun is involved in every single mass shooting.

Most people in the world (i.e. the populations of India, China, Indonesia, and Sub-Saharan Africa) get very little, if any, free mental health and medical care at more than a primitive level. In all these areas mass murders (mass....not just four people) occur with some regularity. In the US arson in poor urban areas is not a bit rare. Remove those areas from the statistics and America, for all its guns, is as safe as France. The data for the US is available on the US Department of Justice website. For the referred-to regions, Nexis or Google suffices.


Re: A gun is involved in every single mass shooting.

Three of the main causes seem to be: 1. Intense competition for money and status in very poor, crowded, uneducated neighborhoods; 2. Collapse into anger when stuck in a job-poor region when a job or family is lost, taken away, or driven away by oblivious behavior; 3. Blind rage when someone discovers they have been universally ostracized due to personal characteristics the perp can do nothing about, such as ethnicity, color, mental disability, etc. We have enough pro bono lawyers. It's time we had more pro bono friends/volunteers to help the unlovable or deeply scarred.


Re: A gun is involved in every single mass shooting.

The worst mass murder of the 20th century used arson as the weapon. It is still a popular way to exact a murderous toll, whether perceived as revenge, simple hate, or even, occasionally, a simple obsession with fire. Knives have been used for millenia to commit mass murder, up to recent years. Intentional infliction of carbon monoxide poisoning still occurs.

Mass murder, four or more victims including, often enough, the perp, is a TV News obsession, The deaths caused one or two at a time, especially in the toughest neighborhood of urban America, are vastly more numerous each year. They primarily involve minorities killing minorities. Sad. But there's usually no absorbing "film at 11," no crowd of politicians and hysterical grieving family and friends.

I personally would not prefer it if all these senseless killings were committed with swords, daggers, or flammable substances. The ugliness of violence is about weak dysfunctional families, and the vast armies-of-one sunk into loneliness and substance abuse. The schools should educate every young person, as they pass through the system, about these ills, and the possibility of pulling the disturbed, addicted, or hopeless and angry, back into community. It really isn't about guns, anymore than medieval England's murder rate was about swords.

The eyes don't have it! AI's 'deep-fake' vids surge ahead in realism


Re: Can we have....

The current trend is to replace Orange Man with the selection of Google's choice. You don't need to vote.

Dear America: Want secure elections? Stick to pen and paper for ballots, experts urge


Yes. And what good are observers from both parties, or video cameras, if the the process of actual individual voter identification is week?


Re: share of moonballs

The post on which you're commenting is about election technology. The issue of left versus right, moonbat count, and so forth, isn't relevant. Were it relevant, I would point out that many states in the US have their electoral votes wholly determined by the preference of their one or two largest cities. Those cities all vote majority dem, having their vote determined largely by union affiliation or social benefit dependence. But that doesn't clarify the tech problem. Even the machines can't fix the absence of voter ID. The left holds Scandinavia out as the model of democracy...but Sweden, Norway, et al, require one's "legitimation card" in order to vote, a card having a photo and ID number. In Sweden that number is your birthdate and your number in line of births reported that day. People don't find such ID offensive. Why does the US left?

The Death of the Gods: Not scared of tech yet? You haven't been paying attention


Banning all advertising is a pleasant thought. However, the actual result in today's world would simply mean that the companies and individuals with vast wealth and a wish to shape all conversations...would rule. They'd buy the space on blogs, sites, and the sites would yield because....no revenue.

The only other model that might work is "everybody pays for the access they seek, site by site. At present even that path does not lead to zero adverts. Such sights inevitable yield to paid editorializing.

Ignore the ads. Ban pop-up ads. Go to the good parts of the site, the core. Then leave the site. Go for a walk,Realize that we had nothing, thirty years ago, but magazines and newspapers that were 50%+ advertising, with content often warped by ad clients.

Alaskan borough dusts off the typewriters after ransomware crims pwn entire network


It seems that in our language and culture the definition of the word "victim" keeps receiving an ever greater inclusiveness. If blaming the victim is taboo, it becomes vitally important to qualify as a victim. In this way the negligent and foolish become immune to responsibility and critique.

Ecuador's Prez talking to UK about Assange's six-year London Embassy stay – reports


Re: Makes no sense

It was alleged, and may be true, that the re-filing was due to Assange refusing to take AIDS/STD tests in Sweden. After the use of a broken condom, that refusal would be a serious matter.

As Tesla hits speed bump after speed bump, Elon Musk loses his mind in anti-media rant


Re: unexpected honesty

Some things have actually changed dramatically. For example, the growth of NGOs and Foundations has been stunning, and these insidiously drive the politics of journalists by providing various "opportunities" and grants. The leadership of many of the largest foundations (A.W.Mellon, Ford, Carnegie, and Pew Charitable Trusts, for examples) has changed since the founders' policies....and changed in one direction, due to the nature of people who seek a career in Foundation work.

As for journalists not forming one entity? No. But they do increasingly resemble a large school of fish being worked into a ball by a small army of sharks and dolphins.

UK Supreme Court to probe British spy court's immunity from probing


Re: In the light of Brexit...

President Trump clearly and explicitly referred only to MS13 gang members as "animals." In view of the fact that the gang conducted some of the most horrendous rape-murder atrocities ever committed in my former home county, Fairfax, VA....and neighboring MD counties, I think he was guilty of understatement. The gang terrorizes their local high-schools, and only inducts thugs after they have committed a gruesome murder. The reality that most major press organizations falsified their reports by stating that he referred to all undocumented migrants as "animals" was yet another shocking revelation of bias above and beyond the usual.

IBM turnover shrinks $28bn in 6 years but execs laugh all the way to the bank


Re: So what's important?

While you called "shareholders" parasitic, you then explained that share trading provides no capital to IBM.

Investors who hold the shares are what makes it possible for IBM to raise capital, whether borrowed or from selling more shares. If the performance is poor, if the shares are being diluted at a rate in excess of profit/asset growth, investors will sell. Aside from Fed Reserve actions, shareholder faith directly affects IBM's cost of capital.

Trading is an incidental business related more to market behavior than corporate performance.

US sanctions on Turkey for Russia purchases could ground Brit F-35s


Re: Garbage in, garbage out

I'll never forget the day Turkey forbade the US 4th Infantry Division from transiting Turkey to enter Iraq.

They're back! 'Feds only' encryption backdoors prepped in US by Dems


Re: Too late

People of means (their own or the taxpayer's) use couriers for the important communications, or hop on a jet (their own or the taxpayer's) to have a same-day face-to-face. If they're tech-savvy, they also print their courier-delivered messages on a printer purchase by someone else, and frequently changed. Indeed, all this BS is for the little people.

In 4th amendment terms, Ray wants it so that "only the police" can ransack our private papers at will. Well, sure, that sounds constitutional. The "with specificity" clause was trashed long ago.

Googlers revolt over AI military tech contract, brainiacs boycott killer robots, and more


"But the ICRC argue that “many take the view that decisions to kill, injure and destroy must not be delegated to machines”.

If highly specialized soldiers (and more so, mercenary contractors) are given vague mission descriptions, what's the difference? Meat machines.

I think the point of study should be "what factors and actions make a military response just?" Meat or Metal just isn't the key question.

Tech’s big lie: Relations between capital and labor don't matter


Re: the "only solution" you forgot

I don't follow these comments: FIFO would be the firing of the older staff. LIFO would mean firing those most recently hired. I thought the article was about firing the more senior employess.

Here's the list of Chinese kit facing extra US import tariffs: Hard disk drives, optic fiber, PCB making equipment, etc


Re: I'm with Mr. T on this one

Even in the comments on this site it is clear, Americans, yes, even techies, typically do not understand the barriers to importing goods into China. They've forbidden western companies into the financial sector for decades....until they have the domestic market so sewn up that even a Goldman Sachs will not be able to make headway if they enter the market.

The list of import duties, products forbidden to import, requirements to enter a joint venture with a Chinese (often government owed) partner, requirements to expose technology to that partner and to the government, and onward. Understanding the complex regulatory and political (cronyism) barriers requires much time and experience. If we implemented half of the unfair trade practices against them, they'd crumble in a year.

Facebook confirms Cambridge Analytica stole its data; it’s a plot, claims former director


You could as well point out that. CA voters went overwhelmingly for Hillary. CA has the highest poverty rate of any state, and a majority of its voters are poor, have little education, came out of public schools rated, amazingly, among the worst in the US.



Re: Consider this very carefully:

"A former Obama campaign official is claiming that Facebook knowingly allowed them to mine massive amounts of Facebook data — more than they would’ve allowed someone else to do — because they were supportive of the campaign.

In a Sunday tweet thread, Carol Davidson, former director of integration and media analytics for Obama for America, said the 2012 campaign led Facebook to “suck out the whole social graph” and target potential voters. They would then use that data to do things like append their email lists."

Bad blood: Theranos CEO charged with massive fraud


The tech investor world clearly has a very weak spot for reasonably attractive blondes who attended Stanford CS.

What she had in common with Steve Jobs (see "The Next Steve Jobs) is just this, that with a very different set of verbal and visual tools, she had the ability, for a time, to create a "reality distortion field." She did. It's over.


Re: She should do serious jail time

"she just gets a small fine and no jail time for stealing $700M," and the forfeit of most of her shares....so far.

The criminal cases, those which can yield jail time, are still being warmed and spiced on the prosecutorial stove.

Why isn't digital fixing the productivity puzzle?


Re: It doesn't take a flashy report with pretty graphs...

Or as seen on a T-shirt: "Pay peanuts? Expect monkeys."

Nunes FBI memo: Yep, it's every bit as terrible as you imagined


Congress did not vote to extend FISA, but rather section 702. That was not the section under which the warrant,on a US citizen directly, was sought.

Commenters above seem not to realize that Devon Nunes was given access directly, in a so-called secure room, with two assistants, to read the warrant applications directly. As for the Yahoo! article, it was offered as a second source, and had nothing to do with its timing.

The scandal is manifold. The FBI did reveal to the court that the so-called Dossier was paid for, but gave no indication that it was paid for by the opposition political party. It is frequently said that "a republican was the first to start paying for Steele." That statement is false. A republican first hired Fusion GPS. When he dropped the engagement the DNC and Hillary for President campaign hired Fusion GPS, and only at that point did a request get made to hire Steele, and pay for the work..

I am aware, as an attorney, that things are different in the U.K. so far as speaking of security issues goes. We had our run with J. Edgar Hoover. We don't need that again. The FBI and DoJ, including Comey,were given repeated chances over many months to bring forth the documentation, and to give honest testimony. They refused. And the Dossier was not used to gain renewal alone: it was also used as the supposed and required probable cause to issue such the first time out.

Twilight of the idols: The only philosophy HPE and IBM do these days is with an axe


Re: Hammer nail head

I would politely disagree. Chasing profits as opposed revenues is often a disaster, since cutting labor radically can preserve and grow profits for quite awhile. I'll give you a huge example: My associates were arguing with me against dumping money into equities in March, 2009. They didn't bother to check, but the reality was that at the retest of the lows corporate profits had not fallen. Revenues and financing did. Amazon, as an interesting case, chased revenues and sales, not profits. Build the base, run efficiently, and profits should follow if the business model was good to begin with. Just another point of view!


Re: Marx and Adam Smith

If you read Wealth of Nations carefully, you'll see that Smith emphatically decried the likes of the East India Company, monopolies, and politicians who thought they should be businessmen (as well as businessmen who thought they should be politicians). Smith is held as the big cheerleader for "the invisible hand." That was imply his phrase for the effect of individuals with liberty. His main thrust was to get politicians to think of the wealth of the nation, not of the guilds and trade monopolies. JMO.

Here we go again... UK Prime Minister urges nerds to come up with magic crypto backdoors


Re: No is the answer and it remains that way

Agree. It is rather odd that governments insist that spying on electronic communications is the only way to discover the bad guys.....but in the next breath claim that the proposed backdoor will only be used once they get a warrant. If they already have sufficient probable cause to get a warrant, they don't need a backdoor. They need a password. They already have the power to demand that, or hold the suspect in jail if he/she refuses to hand it over. I'm reminded of the FISA bit: Surveillance without true probable cause is enough to ask the suspect a question he might not fully answer. They he is, surprise, a perp. No thanks.

H-1B visa hopefuls, green card holders are feeling the wrath of 'America first' Trump


Re: But the good doctor hasn't been keeping his nose clean!

The POTUS hasn't been through bankruptcies. Corporations and partnerships which he owns or participates in have been put through bankruptcy. That isn't a crime, but rather a standard aspect of corporate America. No bank or investor lends money to a corporation or limited partnership oblivious to this fact of life.

What do Cali, New York, Hawaii, Maine and 18 other US states have in common? Fighting the FCC on net neutrality


Re: And the daily letters are: FUD

The most pathetic thing Pai's change of the regulation accomplishes is this; It passes actually monitoring and regulation of internet services from the FCC to the FTC. The FTC has essentially no expertise in communications and its infrastructure. As for the notion that users of high-bandwidth-consumption net services make others pay for their high use: No. Under the NN regulation the Title II common carriers are permitted to charge for bandwidth consumption. They are simply forbidden to discriminate on the basis of which service the consumer is accessing. There is no reason the content delivered over the fiber matters, as opposed to the Gigs, is there?


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