* Posts by P. Lee

5236 posts • joined 4 Dec 2007

University of Cambridge to decommission its homegrown email service Hermes in favour of Microsoft Exchange Online

P. Lee Silver badge

Re: change for sake of change

>The costs of the cloud subscription can be planned,

Haha. Like any cloud provider can’t change them with a click. Compare that to in-house floss.

>and more importantly passed on to students as a line item charge directly if so desired.

And here we have another problem: the consumer doesn’t get a choice.

It’s dumb. Just charge students a fee and fund your own system. The the uni can reap the rewards of past development, rather than MS.

How can a science-based uni not have, or not be interest in cultivating, the skills to run the most basic computer services? Surely you’d do that as a strategy even if the economics of it were dubious on a standalone basis.

I suspect a fancy dinner was involved.

The Last of Us Part II: Never mind the Metacritic nonsense, Naughty Dog's ultra-violent odyssey is a must-play*

P. Lee Silver badge

>But all faux complaints come from a place of male entitlement

And there we have it.

You took your fanbase and dumped on everything they liked about the game you made earlier. Then you tried to invalidate their lived experience and called them evil for not liking what you did.

Here’s a hint, which Disney can confirm: if you have a franchise with beloved characters and you mock and nullify their actions in a sequel, you will make your long term customers angry. But hey, vendor’s choice.

It is not entitlement to expect a game with the same name to be more of the same. Then insulting your customer base on the basis of their gender is a curious marketing strategy for any organization - game studio or tech rag.

First rule of Ransomware Club is do not pay the ransom, but it looks like Carlson Wagonlit Travel didn't get the memo

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Sometimes the criminals are sneaky and go after the backups first.

P. Lee Silver badge

Re: Crikey

I didn’t downvote, but in large businesses it going back in time could be more expensive.

Take amazon for example. “Just go back to your backup from 28 days ago” won’t cut it.

Australia to force Google and Facebook to pay for news and reveal algorithm changes before they whack web traffic

P. Lee Silver badge

If you don’t want your site indexed

Robots.txt

I see nothing useful to Australian media coming from this.

Face masks hamper the spread of coronavirus. Know what else they hamper? Facial-recognition systems (except China's)

P. Lee Silver badge

Re: Rules on face mask design ?

I've decided to go full black balaclava, black turtleneck, black jeans and shoes. I'm also going to carry a largish nondescript duffel bag or metal case. I may even put a guy fawkes mask over the balaclava.

Sure I'll comply with your facemask requirements. I might even make it my new normal.

Everything must go! Distributors clear shelves of ALL notebooks in Q2, even ones gathering dust over last 12 months

P. Lee Silver badge

Re: Still plenty of good used laptops on eBay

You may be right, but does that matter when what's required is a full system sitting on the dining-room table?

The requirement is for something small enough that it can be put out of the way when dinnertime rolls around.

P. Lee Silver badge

Re: Do you ever change your mind, based on data?t

Don't forget the requirement for stupidly sized spreadsheets!

Apple warns developers API tweaks will flow from style guide changes that remove non-inclusive language

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Re: Primary/Secondary

Just wait til they learn you've hooked up a black Western D drive as the slave... and it has TB in it.

Personally I'm offended by the use of "child processes" as it excludes those who identify as male and don't get me started on lack of body positivity in the vFAT-free disk sector chains.

Computing has a long been a part of patriarchal misogyny with men peeking and poking wherever they wanted with little regard for the consequences, giving commands without asking for consent, expecting things to do done in a timely fashion. Killing off processes just because they don't adhere to western expectations. Even the screens are white with most of the blackness marginalised, kept to the edges or hidden around the back.

Cosmetic-only changes are bad enough when they are used to make an old product look new. Cosmetic changes which only your devs see is a whole new level of "we're out of ideas."

Here's why your Samsung Blu-ray player bricked itself: It downloaded an XML config file that broke the firmware

P. Lee Silver badge

Re: Rookie mistake

If its a bad cert, that may not do much to help. Once you introduce encryption and DRM, things get very difficult in the long term.

Everyone should have a proper computer to run boot services from, but failing that, maybe ethernet over phone-usb link for TFTP/HTTP boot? We can do a TFTP boot from rom quite easily and we don't need fancy security for it.

Also, what happened to "three failed boots and revert to the last firmware image" that so many PC's have?

Bad news: Your Cisco switch is a fake and an update borked it. Good news: It wasn't designed to spy on you

P. Lee Silver badge

Things I learned

Look at sdn. Cisco’s wan sdn even.

Features and speed don’t matter. Cheap administration matters.

AMD pushes 64-core 4.2GHz Ryzen Threadripper Pro workstation processors

P. Lee Silver badge

Re: ARM will rule them all

Apple don’t love tech. The provide “just enough” cpu for x% of their use cases.

Possibly sensible, but neither fun, cool, interesting to most people here.

They make sports cars which look great but aren’t that quick.

Sometimes they do dumb stuff like a virtual brake (esc) button.

Trump U-turns on foreign student crackdown: F-1, M-1 visa holders allowed to study online mid-pandemic in the US

P. Lee Silver badge

TDS much?

Brain drain? And what do the countries the kids come from think of this?

Economic crash? I wonder who’s causing that? Maybe those pushing lock-downs? Maybe those burning down businesses and those who support them? Is the economy that dependent on student fees?

As for the state of Harvard’s finances... my heart bleeds.

If you have Microsoft 365 and Windows Virtual Desktop, do you need Citrix? Apparently

P. Lee Silver badge

Re: This Announcement

Client data bandwidth requirements?

Management?

Client compatibility?

I’d still be nervous if I were Citrix.

Google: OK, OK, we pinky promise not to suck Fitbit health data into the borg. Now will you approve the sale?

P. Lee Silver badge

Re: We accept your conditions, just prove your honesty

Advertising is a small problem.

Insurance would be my concern, if I had such a device.

Linus Torvalds banishes masters, slaves and blacklists from the Linux kernel, starting now

P. Lee Silver badge

Re: Proudly ignorant

Unless you actually have to speak the words.

Do these people really think they can remove all negative associations with darkness and black and all positive associations with light and white in the English language? That is the aim, right?

I guess we can erase vast swathes of poetry and literature. Perhaps we can persuade criminals to rob during the day for 50% of the time.

Or maybe this is just about wielding power for its own sake.

P. Lee Silver badge

Re: Reply to Linus Torvalds

So “whites” get a “pass” and “blacks” are “denied”?

Are you sure that is what you wanted, Dan?

Also, once this is done, will we have rooted out systemic racism from Linux?

Seriously, this is no different from the spin which renamed all the “daemons“ to “angels.”

Oh dear, did I mention “roots”?

Tony Blair tells Russian infosec conference that cross-border infosec policies need more gov intervention

P. Lee Silver badge
Holmes

Re: Simple Qiestion Tony.

Socialist says the answer is more government.

News at 10 o'clock.

Microsoft to pull support for PHP: Version 8? Exterminate, more like...

P. Lee Silver badge

Re: What???

>What is going on...?

I believe at least one of the big parked-domain hosters was persuaded to run IIS.

So if you count by domains, IIS is probably up there.

Now that lots of companies are into Office 365. Did/Does that run on IIS?

P. Lee Silver badge

Re: We're getting there, slowly but surely.

Is it worth it if you can run things like "wsl php php.script"? Do you need native windows support?

Linux kernel coders propose inclusive terminology coding guidelines, note: 'Arguments about why people should not be offended do not scale'

P. Lee Silver badge

Re: Loaded words replaced by euphemisms

With apologies to Shakespeare, “a slave by any other name is just as bitter.”

Unless you change the nature of the function call, it is all sound and fury, signifying nothing.

Are we going to set the subroutines free... or is this just stupidity?

MIT apologizes, permanently pulls offline huge dataset that taught AI systems to use racist, misogynistic slurs

P. Lee Silver badge
Devil

Six letters, starts with "c" and ends with "e". I've no idea.

More importantly, am I the only one who thinks that those committing the high crime of narcissism might just get the retribution they most deserve?

I mean, its all scientific, right?

Apple to keep Intel at Arm's length: macOS shifts from x86 to homegrown common CPU arch, will run iOS apps

P. Lee Silver badge

Why?

What’s the consumer benefit?

I’m not convinced more battery life is enough motivation to break compatibility.

Has Apple run out of ideas? $3b Is not a big saving for them. As people say, no one cares about the cpu.

P. Lee Silver badge

Re: Really?

Different times.

Also the cpu changes in the past were upgrades.

I do notice security has been tightened in OS X so command line commands are blocked.

Are we looking at an iPad Pro and keyboard?

P. Lee Silver badge

Re: Rosetta

MacBook Pro?

Surely a low power MacBook would be the best choice given the need to Rosetta most apps to start with?

I’m not sure why you wouldn’t do an arm coprocessor, for a transition.

Release the pressure: Win16 support arrives for version 3.2 of Free Pascal

P. Lee Silver badge

Re: And in the next release ...

Pascal on the 6502 Apple ][e with dual drives was bad enough.

Been there, done that, still bleeding... but with a strange masochistic nostalgia.

I guess it might be doable with an emulator and fast disk.

Faxing hell: The cops say they would very much like us to stop calling them all the time

P. Lee Silver badge

Re: "Now is the time to confess all with an email to Who, Me"

Mine doesn't print black, or any other colour, if there is no red ink.

Hey NYPD, when you're done tear-gassing and running over protesters, can you tell us about your spy gear?

P. Lee Silver badge
Devil

Re: Protests

Wow. 80% of those in your list were men.

The police must really hate men.

A memo from the distant future... June 2022: The boss decides working from home isn't the new normal after all

P. Lee Silver badge

Re: New Normal?

Being able to overhear what other people are working on can be very productive and beneficial.

WFH can work well even "lower down" the ladder if people are fed work and performance metrics are measurable and appropriate - helpdesk for example. Cutting office-space costs might be a way to onshore some of these jobs. You do need to still buy your staff proper office chairs unless you want workplace H&S claims.

Managing remote teams well is difficult due to the lack of nonverbal clues.

Biden inauguration massacre. By those who would never accept the election results #notmypresident

A3 printing? How many people do that? Also, for what you save on commute costs, printing costs are negligible.

Cheers for the tax breaks... we're going to close 25% of our offices... which of you local governments want to be the ones who lose our business?

Big Tech behaving badly is not a WFH result. "Cloud" allows us to bundle licenses in order to wipe out any competition which may nibble at one of our products.

Pension funds - also they are massive share holders. Lower rent = more profit = more dividends.

High land prices benefit bankers as it pushes up mortgages, but that's about all.

Sure is wild that Apple, Google app store monopolies are way worse than what Windows got up to, sniffs Microsoft prez

P. Lee Silver badge

Re: Stores might suck, proprietary protocols are the real killer

Amen.

Part of the problem is that Big Tech has an iron grip on the application space. There was a time when any number of mail and music applications were in common use for example. Now its outlook and spotify.

Without heterogeneous applications to talk to, non-proprietary standards are moot. Everything now runs on webmail, because there's one less application to install and its a consistent interface. It is difficult to argue against that tactically, though strategically, I think its dangerous play not to maintain competition in any space.

P. Lee Silver badge

Re: A false equivalence

>We don't see Google embedding functionality into their store that's designed to drive the use of only their technologies, at the expense of competitors.

How about when you use a browser in incognito mode and then try to access gmail. You get security alerts. Likewise if you log into gmail via IMAPS rather than HTTPS. Wouldn't you far rather have a long-life cookie and only use a browser, hmmm?

I think we should ask if having a natural monopoly, "helped" or otherwise, should place higher obligations on the monopoly holder than they would have in a competitive marketplace.

My opinion is "yes." Perhaps, for example, Google shouldn't be allowed to cross-subsidise Youtube and run it at a loss for years and years. Maybe if they act unison with Apple (banning Alex Jones for example) they should be treated as a cartel.

I can't see a good way to force Big Tech to help their competitors, but perhaps breaking some of the companies to force them to act independently might be reasonable, or maybe forcing them to publish and stick to their pricing plans.

Hey is trying a new take on email – but maker complains of 'outrageous' demands after Apple rejects iOS app

P. Lee Silver badge

Re: reply later

While I suspect they should have known (and probably did know) the situation before they started, it is a timely lesson on the problems of monopolies.

User A purchases a phone from Apple. User A can't install an application from Vendor B unless Vendor B gives Apple a 30% cut?

I know Apple is providing the installation repository for Vendor B to use - but they specifically prevent Vendor B from using any other repository.

I think this is a bit immoral. This is no longer, "pay for a service you want and we provide" its more of a shake-down.

Tens of millions of Internet-of-Things, network-connected gizmos at risk of remote hijacking? Computer, engage shocked mode

P. Lee Silver badge

Re: "Some of the programming blunders..."

>Every other branch of engineering demands this - even plumbing.

I suspect plumbers make more money than programmers.

The attack surface is always going to be a problem. It is why you want a tunnel vpn rather than expose every service. A vpn stack has one function which all users have an interest in, not just IoT makers. Hence, it is likely to be better quality and have fewer bugs.

We also need better firewall mechanisms. Something like a JSON description of requirements a phone can take a picture of and use to program even rubbish little home routers.

Qualcomm looks to hook the masses to 5G... if it arrives: Snapdragon 690, X51 modem to power mid-range gear

P. Lee Silver badge

Re: Build and they will come...

This is a little different from the 747 case. Once you've filled a 747 you can fill another one. What happens when you've saturated the bandwidth on 5G?

Don't get me wrong - I have it and it is impressive, but cables will always give you more capacity than you can get from wireless. 5G is cheap because you don't need the last mile cable, but I'd like to think there is also an investment in fibre going on.

Wailing Wednesday follows Patch Tuesday as versions of Windows 10 stop playing nicely with plugged-in printers

P. Lee Silver badge

Two things:

1. Even if the printer is next to your screen, plug it into the network.

2. How did they foul this up?

The whole point of software layers is that you insulate the layers above from the layers below. If this just borked printers, there must be something printer-specific and USB specific, which means you've broken the layering.

More and more I'm of the opinion that office users should run their OS in a VM which is backed up locally before every patch run.

Microsoft 365 and Azure outage struck Australia and New Zealand just as business rocked up for a new week

P. Lee Silver badge

Fortunately, because it's "the cloud" and we don't have to care where it is located, they just load-balanced ANZ users to Singapore and California and everyone carried on without noticing the problem, right? right?

Yeah... thought so.

'One rule for me, another for them' is all well and good until it sinks the entire company's ability to receive emails

P. Lee Silver badge

PHP? PHP!?

Luxury!

In my day me an' my brother 'ad to work together, one reading out 'ex digits while t'uther typed.

And we 'ad none yer fancy routable SPX. LAT was all we 'ad or we could carry the bits ourselves! As fer yer HP Laserjets... we 'ad Epson FX-80's and 'ad to feed the paper manually. All we 'ad t' eat were the holes that fell on t'floor!

Microsoft tweaks its 'New Outlook' for Mac – but no support for Exchange on-premises yet

P. Lee Silver badge

Re: Outlook has always been the ugly duckling

Embrace, extend, extinguish.

If they kill off protocol in their client what's the chance you'll use a non-exchange server? What's the chance you would migrate to another system?

This is why I don't do MS. They have so much monopoly power that serving the customer is not really a requirement.

ZFS co-creator boots 'slave' out of OpenZFS codebase, says 'casual use' of term is 'unnecessary reference to a painful experience'

P. Lee Silver badge

An argument ripped from context.

I have a great deal of respect for openzfs, but a slave is likely to be an accurate descriptor for how the code behaves. It conveys understanding. "Primary" conveys less meaning. Who looks at the gitub Master and thinks, "that code is oppressing the subroutines!"

The idiocy is in the idea that we have coders for whom experiencing the word is "painful." Worse, that the project organisers, knowing this, are pandering to to a non-existent problem raised by people who really seem to enjoy telling people what they can and can't do.

I don't care if the project renames things, but I worry for a society where so many groups of people allow themselves to be manipulated by other people's purported feelings. It doesn't bode well for good judgement. No-one has slapped my around the face with the zfs codebase. No-one is standing on street corners yelling API calls at passers-by, "Oi, base.lib.openzfs.container.rename.slave(int shoes, varchar(clean)!" Perhaps this would end up with us losing out because people who have been through the slave markets of Islamic north Africa are not submitting patches, but I doubt it.

Video? That's so not what we care about, says Slack, as it signs video deal with AWS

P. Lee Silver badge

Re: FY2021, really?

Forget the murder hornets, accountants are now pretending 2020 never happened.

If I were a Slack shareholder, I'd be prepping my shrink/exit strategy. It is quite difficult to compete with even a mediocre product when it comes bundled from the OS provider. (ooh, hello ie6!)

This is a problem when trying to compete in an environment with cloud. Anyone can scale to eat your lunch and if that someone can cross-subsidise from massive profits elsewhere and is the incumbent in every customer, it is very difficult to win. I think the best hope is for an AWS buyout for their desktop service.

Amazon declined to sell a book so Elon Musk called for it to be broken up

P. Lee Silver badge

Re: Amazon is a shady bookstore

Amazon claims that it doesn't sell anything - it is a "marketplace facilitator" - a conduit, not a vendor. Yes, you can stop chuckling now.

The question is about competition and information. If (company x) becomes a monopoly, does it then acquire greater obligations than it would have in a more competitive marketplace?

I would suggest that it probably does. Given all the gunk that is available on Amazon, I do not believe they decline books based on the truthfulness of the content. Regardless, do you want Amazon to start making those determinations?

If Amazon is serious about being a "platform" it shouldn't act as a publisher. While I am supportive of freedom of association, if you gain monopoly power, but decline to participate in a transaction, perhaps at least you should be obliged to carry an "Amazon has chosen not to stock this product because ...." message at a minimum.

It could be 'five to ten years' before the world finally drags itself away from IPv4

P. Lee Silver badge

Re: Not be simple

The hex is just there to shrink the length of the addresses - there are plenty of times we see v4 addresses in hex.

I think the real problem is that they broke the rule that incremental change is easier to achieve, even if it is less efficient.

They could have added some sort of multicast router solicitation / NDP / SLAAC to "ipv4.2"

Maybe they should have made host/ip mapping collection and forwarding mandatory for all routers, so DNS is always there, even for poxy little home networks.

Get people used to the concepts and benefits before hitting them with an incompatible address space and the logic problem of picking which network you're going to favour.

P. Lee Silver badge
Mushroom

Re: That's pretty much all it does

>NAT: it ain't a kludge, it's a vital security tool.

NO! NAT is an abomination. The very concept of NAT breaks so many protocols in unnecessary ways.

Duplicate addressing is a stupid thing to implement. Ignoring internet access, merging two medium-sized companies' private address space is a massively expensive project which can take years to complete.

For the classic usage of NAT, the logic of not having inbound sessions is just as easy to implement with IPv6 as it is with IPv4 NAT. You have a session state table and you block everything not initiated from one particular interface / IP range. Changing the IP address and port numbers are just an additional steps.

There is no belief that every endpoint _should_ be visible but there is a belief that making any endpoint visible when required should not be difficult.

I have a "fixed" wireless broadband connection on 5g with 70mb/s+ throughput. Before I had this "internet connection" I used to run a mail server for my company's domain. This is no longer possible because of CGNAT. I can't have an inbound mail connection and without an inbound connection for domain verification I can't get TLS certificates. There are no cables to my location and not a single ISP provides non-NAT'd wireless links because of the horribly mistaken belief that no endpoint needs to be publicly visible on the internet. The amount of spam coming through my new hosted provider is many times what I had before.

There are some "huh?" things in IPv6 which make packet tracing difficult. That was a mistake. However, the NDP multicast thing is basically what evpns pretty much have to retrofit to ipv4. It allows larger, flatter networks. I suspect with automation and SDN we'll end up pushing security policy to the endpoints in corporate networks and use ip networks to locate hosts geographically rather than as logical subdivisions.

The main issue is the additional cost of maintaining ipv6 and ipv4 requires vision. I think I'd be looking at moving things to IPv6 only where possible and keeping ipv4 at the edge. It may need a bit of effort to link up things which can't use ipv6, but its probably better to do that than trying to maintain two schemas throughout.

BBC voice assistant promises to summon streams even if you're just a little bit Brahms and Liszt

P. Lee Silver badge

While I love cool tech...

and I do believe we should not abandon all voice recognition to the yanks:

1. Its cool, but creepy too

2. I'm going to hazard a guess that this is not a service covered by the BBC's charter.

3. I'd like to know what their policy is regarding covering regional English accents and non-British languages supported by the BBC.

80-characters-per-line limits should be terminal, says Linux kernel chief Linus Torvalds

P. Lee Silver badge

Re: not the terminal, the punch card

Would this be a bad time to note Python's obsession with warning about long lines?

P. Lee Silver badge

Re: not the terminal, the punch card

Indeed - 80 characters? Luxury!

When I was a lad, we 'ad 40 characters across, 24 lines down an' none of this fancy lower case malarky on our new Apple ][+

We dreamed of avin 80 characters. Nightmares they were, cos the Apple ][e lower case were an 'idious thing!

An' we were glad of it!

Privacy activists prep legal challenge against UK plan to keep coronavirus contact-tracing data for two decades

P. Lee Silver badge

Re: CovidSafe: the Australian Contact tracing app

So... You're not "doing the three" for the greater good? :D

Whenever someone tells me to download some app, my automatic reply is "no" - give me a website or nothing.

It is an interesting exercise to plot the number of covid fines and dollar value of each fine against the percentage of left wing party seats in each Australian state parliament.

From a philosophical point of view, it is also interesting how the "public good" over-rides the good of the individual. The problem with this approach is that it automatically discards all data-points regarding the good of the individual and only measuring the one data point you want for "the public good." I think this is dangerous as it disconnects policy from criticism and thus insulates the policy-makers being answerable to the public, because the state machinery is employed only to collect the data the policy-makers want. We saw this in the changes in ways covid deaths were recorded.

As anti-brutality protests fill streets of American cities, netizens cram police app with K-Pop, airwaves with NWA

P. Lee Silver badge

Re: "Yes, Anon activists are back."

There are good reasons to protest Floyd's death. I think the policeman did something wrong and needs to be held to account, but probably not strangling Floyd with his knee. My understanding (caveat - from a web site) is that the medical report said there was no physical trauma to the neck which would have resulted in strangulation. Whatever "kneeling on Floyd's neck" entailed, it was not lethal physical trauma.

There also do seem to be groups out there stoking violence for their own ends, either political or financial. I'm disappointed in the article headline. Protesters march through the streets with banners and chants. I'm all in favour of that, but that is not what is happening. These "Anti-brutality protesters" are brutally beating people up.

Which group kills more, the police or criminals? Who is being attacked? Whose property is being destroyed? Who is hurting who? I'm not a fan of racist analysis, but if you want to think and act in racial terms, at least attack the correct targets.

There are groups involved who have political goals including the tearing down the system. There are useful idiots acting on opportunistic greed who are being provided with philosophical cover by political factions. Being truthful rather than tribal helps clarify the situation and bring calm.

As for Floyd's "good name" I think we need to be truthful about that too. He had a history of theft, criminal trespass, drug possession, and aggravated robbery with a gun. It has no bearing on what happened to him, but it helps break down the tribalism when we can speak the truth about both sides.

Another attempt at a Big Brand Killer: Oppo daddy BBK hits global smartphone market with Vivo X50 series

P. Lee Silver badge

Re: Another well-specced Android flagship

It would be nice if we could get a proper Linux userland & gui running on these phones as well as Android.

AppGet 'really helped us,' Microsoft says, but offers no apology to dev for killing open-source package manager

P. Lee Silver badge

As much as it pains me to say it

I think package manager principles are probably not too unique.

A huge software development company wants to talk to a tiny software development company. What did he expect? That MS wouldn't develop software?

That said, its a pretty scummy move from MS. For something this fundamental, either just google and anonymously analyse package manager ideas or chuck the guy some cash. This has probably done more reputational damage than it needed to.

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