* Posts by AustinTX

233 publicly visible posts • joined 15 Jul 2008

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FCC slams banhammer on 5G fast lanes with final net neutrality text

AustinTX

Re: There Never Were Any "Fast Lanes"

But providers/ISPs want to be in a position to bill people in speed and quantity tiers, when they sometimes can't even physically provide the contracted service. I had ATT DSL once and they weren't interested in throughput issues unless we could prove to them we were getting less than 50% of our "as high as" speed.

And we all know "as high as" catagorically means they don't have to actually provide that full speed. The word "overprovisioned" surfaces more and more often now, which describes most of these ISPs. They accept and bill more high-speed customers than they can actually serve, and if there's even another ISP to go to, they're playing the same game.

Providers/ISPs don't want to be in a position of having to upgrade their network to support all those high-speed tier customers, so they maintain an ARTIFICIAL SHORTAGE and jack their prices up in a wholly-manipulated market system.

AustinTX

Re: There Never Were Any "Fast Lanes"

Yes if anything, it COSTS MORE to throttle everyone's connections... but the throttled service is what providers mean to offer as the discounted tier.

And a word about how major networks bill and credit each other for data crossing to each other's networks; obviously they don't bill bandwidth at the actual cost of providing it. They bill it at a price that is sufficient to KEEP OTHER PLAYERS from joining! These people are just inventing new kinds of monopoly which skirt the legal definition of it (if it's even illegal in their area).

For example, Provider-A and Provider-B tend to exchange around the same amount of data with each other. So if they bill and credit each other $100 per Megabyte, they come out about even. Provider-C would like some backbone access please, but they're a last-mile provider (who also ban their customers from hosting servers) so most of their data travels inbound. This is the "expensive bandwidth" which your residential ISP frets about. They have to pass this arbitrary cost on to end customers.

And I have to point out that the actual cost of maintaining an idle network is the same as maintaining a busy one. The miniscule impulses of energy carying the data are trivial compared with rent, utilities, maintenance, licenses and advertising. So data itself shouldn't even be measured! Networking isn't storage. People should only be billed by the capacity of their firehose over a given billing period.

AustinTX
Flame

There Never Were Any "Fast Lanes"

Most people figured out by now that there never were any "fast lanes"! "Fast lanes" are nothing but providers applying resources (network management!) to slow down everyone, unless they pay a premium to NOT be throttled. This is no less than fraud! Gatekeeping. Tolling.

After decades of technology providing miniturization of network equipment and exponential increase in bandwidth speeds, the providers kept whimpering about "rising cost of business" FORCING them to jack up their prices!

Obviously, when a single rack now replaces a data center full of older equpment, while handling a million times the former bandwidth, it is far cheaper to run. Less energy to run and cool. Less staff to hover about addressing issues. Obviously, with 66% of deployed fiber remaining dark, and ALL of it capable of 1000x faster speeds now than their designers anticipated, there is NO SHORTAGE of connections. With their profit margins exceeding 95% in some markets like NYC, It's like printing money, friends.

I would like to know why the press still hasn't written an article exposing how things really work, instead of continuing to politely use the vocabulary and logic of the carriers themselves, even when mildly hand-wringing about the poor customers.

Your trainee just took down our business and has no idea how or why

AustinTX

And I bet that afterwards, they made absolutely no changes to the privilege heiarchy.

America may end up with paid-for 5G fast lanes under net neutrality anyway

AustinTX
Facepalm

"Fast Lanes?"

It blows my mind how nobody can understand that they're not building "faster lanes" for people who pay more.

They're slowing everyone's speeds down unless they pay more! It requires resources to impose the throttling!

And still ISPs operate at a 95% profit margin and yet whine that they must raise fees to keep up with expenses!

Windows 95 support chap skipped a step and sent user into Micro-hell

AustinTX
Trollface

Speaking as a former Dell CST... whatever the Dell tech told you to do, it was to get you off the phone because the call was ruining their average call times (ACT), and there was NOTHING higher priority to their manager than short calls. NOTHING. When I worked there, I was ordered to take my next call without logging any details about the one I had ended. I was told to "go back and put in the details when you have free time". As if one could remember that degree of detail hours later. There was never any free time. You can imagine how many customers called back with results from the pointless busywork they had been assigned only to be told there was no information in their call history and they would have to go through mandatory dumbass troubleshooting yet again.

AustinTX
Facepalm

Cleanest install evar

It used to be routine (though bad practice) to run program installers from the root directory. Software would typically unpack into a temp directory, install the software, then clean itself up. Which is what I was used to and relied upon happening until the day I installed a major software package which cleaned up the lazy way by just deleting everything in the directory it was run in. I called those fruckers up and chewed them out.

DBA made ten years of data disappear with one misplaced parameter

AustinTX
WTF?

Why do the reports 2 months after activity has ended?

Why can't they just do reports monthly but just hold onto them to distribute 2 months later when they're expected?

Or do they need 2 months to fudge data from previous months?

Congress votes unanimously to ban brokers selling American data to enemies

AustinTX

Problem solved!

But did they ban brokers -who deal with brokers who deal with the advisary countries-? Nope.

They just drove the price of data up a bit, and probably drove business to their side hustles.

If we plug this in without telling anyone, nobody will know we caused the outage

AustinTX
Flame

Let's Check the Server Room Access Log

Someone is going to figure out that the problem started while these guys were in the server room and then later stopped when they went back!

Insider steals 79,000 email addresses at work to promote own business

AustinTX
Facepalm

My CSB

When I worked for Austin TX internet provider io.com, you could telnet in as guest and just browse the filesystem directories! You could go to /home and just harvest all of the usernames at that level, and often you could dip into customer's /home/%username%/mail folders to get additional mailbox names. You'd just send your spams to %usernames%@io.com.

How could you just telnet in, you ask? Well, they had a public telnet portal to log in and reset passwords, update PLAN and open help tickets. It was based on using LYNX browser as the shell instead of BASH. So, aside from failing to set permissions properly throughout the system, to keep customers from browsing outside their own account folders, they forgot to disable LYNX's file browser feature (press g, period, enter). Pretty sad, considering the staff liked to think of themselves as burningman_cybergods and the company was boldly claiming to run a "hardened network" and selling security products on that basis!

Search for io.fondoo.net on archive.org if you want the detailed story (which I added to the sidebar of my snapshot of the company's website).

CEO arranged his own cybersecurity, with predictable results

AustinTX

Re: Unannounced security tests

I would say you really did the right thing though. Since you didn't know it was a test, you acted appropriately to protect the team and company. Unless there is a company rule that you should alert only the security team and let them manage any alerts.

AustinTX

Re: Customers are the security liability

In places i've worked, this "Report Email" button was either preinstalled or 'pushed' in with an update. Much better way to do it. ;)

Programmable or 'purpose-bound' money is coming, probably as a feature in central bank digital currencies

AustinTX

Don't overlook the point that services were paid for, provider got to hold (and invest) the money without delivering all of the services, and now provider wants to not only keep the rest of the money, but they also want to claim that the cost of doing business has risen so prices also must go up. When they literally got everyone's full payment up front, did whatever they could to avoid having to deliver all of the services (and their cost of operation is way lower than what they imply by their prices in the first place) and made bank on all of that free money.

AustinTX

Re: 16 Tons and what do you get?

Or outside of your own store, or for anything health or baby related? ;)

AustinTX

Re: Permanent status quo

See wikipedia for "Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom" by Cory Doctorow where they use a form of currency called "Whuffie" that is exchanged among citizens who struggle to please each other over social media.

AustinTX
Big Brother

They call these "savings stamps" or "green stamps"

Looks like we're going back to the 1960's and early 70's. Stores kept rolls of these stamps like tiny movie tickets and then give you a number according to the size of your purchase. You would take these home, lick 'em and slap them in a booklet, and once you had the pages full you could redeem them through the mail for prizes like dishware or appliances. Sort of like coupons, sort of like ration books. Sort of like gift certificates.

Each store had their own system of stamps, and each kind had a different party to redeem them through. You weren't supposed to sell them to other people but you could. Collectors might have different sets of stamps that were only good for certain things. When the stores stopped distributing stamps, lots of people were left with worthless booklets they couldn't redeem anyplace but maybe save for display in a museum 100 years later.

Today, you can get special debit cards for your kids (or employees) that are only good for certain merchants, certain days/times/locations, or even only certain specific products.

As for me, I don't think I want my employer paying me in kind with instruments that are only good for a certain amount of food, a certain amount of gas, a certain amount of rent or mortgage. I also don't want to use a special kind of money that I pay up front but a service provider only receives once their work is done or product delivered. That's not an awful idea on its face, but I would rather there be a disinterested third party acting as broker instead of it being the currency of my country.

Citrix pulls the plug on its User Group Community

AustinTX
Flame

Companies that jettison their UG never turn out to be the good guys

We've seen this before. I went through it with Fon.com community forums.

Companies don't just want to protect themselves from the release of sensitive information or surging complaints. Companies want to sidestep their inability or unwillingness to provide what the community wants. They want to declare what users wanted even if, said users wanted no such things. They can't do that with people who aren't under their control.

I can only conclude that some serious, unresolved probems are going down at Citrix, and they are moving to lock it all down. They would rather protect their value by sweeping things under the carpet than spend a little profit on fixing things.

'Return to Office' declared dead

AustinTX
Headmaster

Re: Stick

When it's about paying due to "high wage areas" instead of "high wage roles" or "highly profitable teams" then why should I get an expensive degree when I can just rent a broom closet in a "high wage area" and be paid better than if I had a degree, hundreds of $k debt and an hour commute to a proper little apartment in the suburbs?

AustinTX
Holmes

Re: There it is

Office space is exhorbitantly over-priced.

Businesses desperately want to continue renting office space.

I say follow the money...

I wonder how many businesses, executives, whatever, through a couple of shell levels, are their own landlords (or the property is in their investment portfolio), and so this "rent" they "must pay" ends up in their own pockets outside of the "salary", "benefeits" and "bonuses" system.

Bank boss hated IT, loved the beach, was clueless about ports and politeness

AustinTX
Facepalm

Re: The RJ family...

Tiny black on black lettering... We're looking at YOU, Dell!

I had to buy an illuminated magnifying glass so i wouldn't have to whip out my phone and use the camera every time.

Lawyer guilty of arrogance after ignoring tech support

AustinTX
Facepalm

I AM clicking on the screen!

While employed as CST at a glade/glen/vale based PC manufacturer, I got a call requiring assistance to improve a CRT monitor's display. They were able to press the physical buttons on the bezel to open the embedded menus, but could not select anything. Of course, because they were taking up the mouse again and trying to select with that. I was fairly sure my instructions had been to use the up/down, < > buttons on the bezel, but they probably thought they knew better. I'm ashamed to say how long that call lasted.

Bad eIDAS: Europe ready to intercept, spy on your encrypted HTTPS connections

AustinTX
Trollface

Browser makers maybe don't have to just accept holy poison gov certs silently

They could display prominent click-through messages announcing that the user is now "enjoying" the benefit of a non-negotiable government encryption certificate.

Add a few links about which legislators they can reach out to "thank" for this, links to organizations working to take this awful burden off the shoulders of our dear, overburdened government, etc. Just do things you're still allowed to do in excess of just accepting the holy poison certs silently.

They could have the browser shut down immediately upon getting one of these holy goverment certs. Might not be a great solution when the gov starts employing in "ads" that use their holy certs.

Add your clever solution below:

Ask a builder to fix a server and out come the vastly inappropriate power tools

AustinTX
Boffin

Are'nt Leaf blowers standard equipment?

I used to use a leaf blower to clean out my PCs all the time! Once or twice a year, I took them outside and gave them a good flush. While doing this, I placed them in the stream of a carpet-dryer blower to create an artificial breeze to carry away the toxic cloud. If I wasn't careful, I spent a day or two suffering from pollen allergies owing to the resevoir of crud within the case.

Another thing I did that I thought clever was to open a window about 6 inches, and set up my 12-core Dell T7500 workstation so that it backed up through this hole horizontally (padded on the sides with foam rubber blocks) which blew all of the hot air straight outside in the summer. In the winter, I flipped it around and it sucked in cold air directly from outside. I was able to do some serious SETI@home without concern for over heating. The poor beast had powerful fans, but undersized heat sinks inside and would ordinarilly never be able to run high loads continuously. Also, Dell had crippled the fan controller so that they would never ramp up in speed to respond to heat spikes. I used SpeedFan to manually turn them up as high as they would go. I would still do something like this in the summer, but it turned out that in winter, there was condensation and this led to rust on the case.

SSD missing from SAP datacenter turns up on eBay, sparking security investigation

AustinTX
Holmes

Re: Where I work

Well, we can certainly never worry about Iron Mountain and their army of underpaid temps!

And this is true, because I have been an underpaid temp working for IM.

AustinTX
Trollface

Possibly, they scan the "serial numbers" of all of their drives into some sort of "inventory database" so they can also track their movements and confirm delivery to a secure shredder I hear data centers do stuff like that.

Kyndryl, IBM sued for age discrimination by former global software director

AustinTX
IT Angle

Sort of met her

I was in a Teams group chat with her about delays in using the latest corporate image on M1 Macs.

IBM, Kyndryl cut jobs even after cutting ties

AustinTX
Facepalm

100 Kyndryl employees in Austin TX?

Dafuq? 100 Kyndryl employees in Austin TX? Kyndryl cut me loose last June where I was the sole IT staffer working at a marketing client site in Austin. They gave me every impression that I was the only Kyndryl employee in the county other than my boss who lived closer to Houston and rarely came to Austin. "My Team" was about a dozen people based in various cities from coast to coast. We only interacted via Teams and Slack. When I joined the team, I met with and was briefly trained by a guy they flew in from St. Louis because they needed someone to catch up on work at this site so badly. He was nice. He quit a couple weeks later.

I won't go into how difficult it was to get up to date on company processes and knowledge transfer from the others who were always "too busy", or how insane their ticket transfer process was (I had very limited admin powers, but if a ticket originated from someone working at my office, 99% of whom were working from home (and often, out-of-state), they would punt it to me instead of the actual team who had power and visibility with the issue) but I got things inventoried, did a huge pc refresh, and helped provide technical support for a drag show of all things. Their remote-desktop sw, based on what had been called "Tivoli" didn't work from my work site's network (it worked from home, heh) so I couldn't do much if people didn't bring or ship their equipment to the office for me to see.

I had a couple week's advance notice of my demise since Service Now stopped giving me tickets, and all of my work came from "walk ups". The sudden appearance of a mystery "file backup" program in my task tray was also noted. I think they waited for me to finish my big inventory spreadsheet before pulling the trigger. 2 out of 10, would not work for them again.

Requiem for Google Reader, dead for a decade but not forgotten

AustinTX
FAIL

Description of RSS

Here is the description of RSS I wish they'd written instead of the one they did:

When you're on a website which supports RSS, you can click "Subscribe", and whenever there is new content, it will promptly become available in your RSS reader. This is like "following" a person or page on social media, except that instead of allowing the social media platform to block and manipulate what you see for their benefit, you can see EVERYTHING, miss NOTHING, and can apply filters of your own choosing. An RSS reader looks like an email inbox, and depending on your preference, may show only a title and link to open in your browser, a picture and summary, or you may even read the whole thing right there in a unified fashion.

Sysadmin infected bank with 'alien virus' that sucked CPUs dry

AustinTX

Re: SETI go home

Er, I meant SetiQueue!

AustinTX

Re: SETI go home

I used PHP Seti@Home Monitor, which worked like a man-in-the-middle to download batches of work packets and serve them to your cluster of local machines. It let you manage packets before they were worked on, I think it even let you chuck packets that would take longer than others to process, so you could get just that little bit ahead of competitors. Also, you could display a star chart that showed the direction each packet was recorded from.

Hey, want to make a few bucks? Let Google sell your store's Wi-Fi network capacity

AustinTX

Sounds familiar

I mean, it's just a clone of that wretched fon.com thing that used to give away el cheapo routers.

The girl with the dragnet tattoo: How a TV news clip, Insta snaps, a glimpse of a tat and a T-shirt sold on Etsy led FBI to alleged cop car arsonist

AustinTX
Holmes

Parallel Construction

Anyone who knows anything about USA investigations knows that they located their suspect by less-than-legal means and then assembled a parallel construction out of all the trivia they collected about their target.

You know this Land of the Free thing, yeah? Well then, why allow the FBI to trawl through America's browsing history without a warrant?

AustinTX
Big Brother

We Have Received No Complaints, And Don't Expect To

BECAUSE SHUT UP, CITIZEN, THAT'S WHY.

The safest place to save your files is somewhere nobody will ever look

AustinTX
Facepalm

I've always felt uncomfortable with this statement

I had a W95 toughbook from a user who worked out in the field which had somehow gotten a virus. Field workers had admin rights on their toughbooks. By pure chance I noticed that some of the items which appeared to be in the Start menu, which I took as "recent" items, were not in My Documents. He was putting the documents in the actual Start menu folders.

Remember the FBI's promise it wasn’t abusing the NSA’s data on US peeps? Well, guess what…

AustinTX
Flame

I've always felt uncomfortable with this statement

Slight problem: THEY DIDN'T HAVE THE RIGHT TO USE THE DATABASE THE WAY THEY DID, THEY KNEW THAT, THEY LIED UNDER OATH, AND THEY'RE LITERALLY POISED TO CONTINUE AS SOON AS THINGS COOL DOWN. Fcuk the idea that it "saves money" to spy on citizens indiscriminately. The nerve!

Service call centres to become wasteland and tumbleweed by 2024

AustinTX
Facepalm

What about telecomuting?

I find it absolutely astonishing that they would prefer to develop black boxes which misunderstand what people say to them, and reply with nonsense, than to allow people to simply work from home without a smouldering boss stomping around behind them.

Right-click opens up terrifying vistas of reality and Windows 95 user's frightful position therein

AustinTX

Re: And how do you show a space

I don't know how you young lads denote an unambiguous space, but I use a character which looks like a lower case 'b' with a slashie through it. The alt-code 2422 for it doesn't seem to work here.

Never let something so flimsy as a locked door to the computer room stand in the way of an auditor on the warpath

AustinTX

Re: Door Locks

Those crash bars have saved me more than once! I forgot my access card one evening (we didn't use badges, we just kept these in our pockets, and could often forget them if we simply came and went during normal business hours) and ended up climbing atop the 1-story section of the building so I could tap on the glass windows into the server room. My co-worker eventually came to investigate and met me downstairs at the front door to let me in. He decided to have a quick smoke, so he came fully outside. Had forgot his card too, haha. We got in with a bent metal coat-hanger between the doors, which was able to trigger the bar, which I believe was actually capacitive instead of mechanical.

AustinTX
Facepalm

Re: How do I know you're an auditor

I do chuckle a bit whenever I'm sent a Word document to print out, so that I have a "badge" to wear to a worksite. But, nobody even looks at it. Not even in banks or jails...

Hate e-scooters? Join the club of the pals of 190 riders in Austin TX who ended up in hospital

AustinTX

Re: Make helmets mandatory - oh wait, we can't

My observation about bike helmets (and seatbelts) is that they don't prevent accidents. They simply protect the pilot of the vehicle from certain injuries if an accident occurs. What prevents accidents is reliable adherence to standard signaling protocol, preferably given during a minimum of formal training.

AustinTX

Re: Make helmets mandatory - oh wait, we can't

@AC I agree fully with your description. These twee dorkusses simply don't accept how stupid they look on their scoot-scoots.

AustinTX

Re: Austin isn't really Texas

And all the fake people, and the pink-and-purple haired fad-genders and the assumption that you love to smoke weed...

A real head-scratcher: Tech support called in because emails 'aren't showing timestamps'

AustinTX

Sometimes, a business would prefer to ship boxes and boxes of documents that can't be quickly sorted and searched electronically. When in some sort of legal trouble, they might even force the prosecution to rent a copier and hire staff to copy the defendant's files the hard way. I have a friend who arranged for this to happen.

Are you sure you've got a floppy disk stuck in the drive? Or is it 100 lodged in the chassis?

AustinTX

For a while, many of us data hounds were using utilities which formatted 360k disks to store 800k on a 1.2MB DSDD drive. Eventually, I transferred a garbage bag full of disks onto a couple of Zip disks... :)

What did turbonerds do before the internet? 41 years ago, a load of BBS

AustinTX
Go

Re: Booting

My assumption is that the modem was left on 24/7, and configured to auto-answer any call. The modem's ONLINE status pin would be used to trigger the computer itself to boot up. Callers would simply need to understand that they needed to wait a bit for the BBS to load and start talking. If that took a long time, one could arrange for the first program run to be a tiny "Hello, please wait a moment while the BBS gets ready" message out the COM port, followed by launching the actual BBS.

Accused hacker Lauri Love tries to retrieve Fujitsu lappie and other gear from Britain's FBI in court

AustinTX
Paris Hilton

Flinders, Keepers!

"But Your Honor, if we're not allowed to keep our pile of seized loot to admire, we'll lose a significant motivation to do our jobs!"

How I got horizontal with a gimp and untangled his cables

AustinTX
Angel

Excellent Story

Great writing Alistair, I loved the in-jokes and pop references. This piece went perfectly with my morning coffee buzz. You may owe me a new keyboard, though!

Defaulting to legacy Internet Explorer just to keep that one, weird app working? Knock it off

AustinTX
Facepalm

I've always felt uncomfortable with this statement

Same problem here, I have managed gigabit switches which work perfectly, won't be replaced for a long time to come, but management needs to be done via IE8 from a friggin' Windows XP VM.

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