* Posts by karlp

92 publicly visible posts • joined 11 Feb 2010


SolarWinds says SEC sucks: Watchdog 'lacks competence' to regulate cybersecurity


I understand they must vigorously defend themselves. To do otherwise would likely be a dereliction of their duties.

But let’s be real. solarwinds123

You want how much?! Israel opts not to renew its Office 365 vows


Apologies if my meaning was not clear.

What I was trying to say is that we haven't recently, to my awareness, seen a large (5 digit or greater head count) non-tech organization which operates (more-or-less) front to back on a Microsoft platform try to meaningfully extract itself from Microsoft to such an extent that ongoing payments to Microsoft are either majorly reduced (>75%) if not eliminated entirely.

I know a lot of organizations toyed with the idea in the mid to late 2000's before everyone settled into MS 3.0 stack (Win7 + Office 2010 + Server 2008R2) - but vanishingly few even attempted it, and I'm not aware of any, outside of the tech sphere, which actually meaningfully accomplished it.

I think another such attempt today could be a lot more meaningful if managed appropriately. Google, Apple, or *Nix (or some mix) as a desktop platform, coupled with almost exclusively web-delivered services or centrally provisioned cross-platform apps is realistically doable these days in ways that just weren't possible a decade ago.

But such a transition will require a level of determination we don't often see in the private sector, and will require a high level of project management to successfully deliver.

I hope that we see such an attempt in the near-ish future, whose process is well documented, such that we can learn better how this type of transition could play out in the current market, which differs quite substantially than the market even 5 years ago, much-less 10 or 15.


Opening Remarks

Honestly, this is likely nothing more than opening remarks in a procurement process which is playing out mostly behind closed doors.

Most organizations are quickly coming to a place where if you use MS solutions, you are a subscriber. Whether that be an EA agreement, or an ad-hoc subscriber. Vanishly few people can actually operate an MS organization these days without being subscription in practice (if not name). It has been this way for quite some time now.

Even organizations which are operating an entirely traditional on-prem infrastructure are largely receiving the ability to do so under some type of subscription program.

For any organization to say "no" to MS subscription would essentially mean having to be ready, in short order, to remove their dependency on MS, something that would likely cost a lot more than whatever the licensing costs are.

The cost and time of such transitions are typically far more than even the long term costs of the licensing, so it's likely that this move is more about a negotiating tactic than anything else.

That said, if they do follow through I hope that the project is well tracked and discussed over the coming years. We haven't yet seen a properly managed and executed attempt to remove Microsoft from a large organization with the tools now available to us.

This MySpace investor keeps spamming Google with lawsuits – and the ad giant just wants him to stop


Unintended consequences.

I do not know of not care to apeculate on the particulars of this mans circumstances. What he seems to have lost sight of however is that there is a point in any situation where staying the course in the face of increasing odds may have unintended consequences.

I don't necessarily see the wisdom in endlessly pestering a company which could quite easily set aside a million or two just to pester you back.

Adobe: We locked our customers in the cloud and out poured money


Which brings up another point..... Companies which are trying to compete with subscription offerings better have a financing plan in place for the target company before they make a pitch.

In the past few years I haven't seen a capex/opex argument win towards the capex side when the payoff is 3+ years down the line and the vendor didn't give financing options in the same breath as the price.

Seriously, the move to "cloud" or "subscription" products has much less to do with everyone wanting to lock you in and more to do with the customers dictating they need to pay as it makes sense with their own revenue stream.



While I am no fan of Adobe, I haven't walked in on a single pirated copy of Adobe in the past year. Everyone who is anyone seems to have decided that 50$/mo/seat was simply the cost of doing business and signed up.

While I doubt the move to CreativeCloud has made any substantial dent in the pirated copies among the casual-personal user crowd, there is no doubt that the move to an OpEx friendly accounting model has given a palatable on-ramp to many chronically under-licensed businesses.

CIA-funded spy data safe Palantir doubles in value in 18 months


I don't know if it is telling or sad (why not both?) that I quickly glanced over the article, got a feeling for what the outfit did and who they worked for before seeing the valuation and thinking to myself "That is the first valuation I have seen in ages which is likely to be realistic".

Seriously, Selling to Finance, Pharma, AND Military? Selling outsourced data-center services AND machine learning / Big Data?

I can see the cheques writing themselves. In fact it may be easier to just give them access to $Country's central bank routing system and tell them to take what they want as it will save everyone a whole lot of paperwork.

I can't tell if I am upset at the killing these guys are likely making, or jealous I didn't do it first.

Karl P

Ecobee3: If you're crazy enough to want a smart thermostat – but not too crazy – this is for you


Re: On your next review...

First off I must admit to being a big fan of Ecobee*. It is true that these products are more of a North America focused solutions where large structures and forced air heating and cooling is the normal order of things.

Additionally, it is a "Cloud" based product, although if it makes you feel any better they are a Canadian company. In this day and age of people valuing being able to faff with things on their smart-devices, it certainly makes sense for the masses.

All that said, I completely agree that many people don't want to bound to external providers.

If that is you, then you might want to check out the Austian based Loxone system - http://www.loxone.com/enen/start.html This is a standalone home automation controller that can be built out however you see fit, from running a few relays to spitting out RS232 commands to an arduino you programmed to run an LED pixel strip. It works on the concept of a Central Controller with some IO on board and then has a variety of I/O modules doing anything from Digital I/O to DMX lighting control.

Karl P

*My entire has had them for over 2 years now and we like them very much, while the new ones are very pretty, the old ones had a great heavy duty control box separate from the main control panel which made them very simple to retrofit. They still sell this product as their Commercial offering.

Gonna RUB MYSELF against the WALL: Microsoft's Surface Hub 84" monster-slab


Let's hope they get into The Channel

I have a variety of people very interested in this product. Even at these price points it's well within the realm of possibility.

If we have to buy them through a local integrator however, who will charge +150% in markup and installation/training it will be a no go.

To be quite honest, being able to order one from CDW or Amazon will make or break this for the people I know.

Karl P

Apple extends idiot-tax operation, makes devs pay to fix Safari snafus


Re: Compare

I believe you will find that as of just recently the _only_ way** to get an extension to run is if it is listed in the Chrome Web Store.

This is a policy which has been coming for awhile, and has arrived in increasing force.


Even if you want to develop for purely local/personal usage, it needs to go through the Web Store.

Karl P

**Currently you can get around this by using the dev-m branch of the Chromium browser, but that is being listed as a temporary measure.

**Also, in the interests of full disclosure, you can get around this limitation by joining your machine to an AD network and pushing a GPO of allowed un-authorized extensions. But the process is tedious at best.


Re: Probably not

My argument wasn't that Safari is some bastion of freedom but rather that we shouldn't be disparaging towards a browser which seems to be getting more right than wrong lately when compared to it's peers.

I thought I made that clear in my sign-off.

Karl P


Re: Probably not

And what else shall we use?

Oddly enough over the past year or two of Firefox continuing to get (more) terrible and google being hellbent on breaking plugins and pretty much pushing people to responsive html5 as the only option, safari has just stayed there continuing to get a little better every patch and generally playing well with everything.

Just this morning I pulled out a macbook to setup some IPCams which refused to work in chrome or firefox. (But did work 6 months ago.)

It's fine to make fun of it, but Safari is doing more right than wrong these days, at least in my book.

..... Just to be clear, I am not as big of a fan of Safari as I am frustrated by the ongoing Google/Mozilla product-evolution sequence.

Karl P

Cisco tipped to buy 'dominant' STORAGE BADBOY Nutanix


Re: Head-fake

Whether Cisco could do it or not is a separate question, but it's a practical certainty that NetApp needs to pay a visit to the strategy boutique and figure out what is going to keep them relevant for the next 10 years. It's been awhile since I heard any excitement over a new deployment of theirs. For that matter, I haven't seen many new deployments of significance in awhile....*

Karl P

*Obviously I occupy but a small space on this planet, so my viewpoint is necessarily constrained....

For its next trick, Microsoft diminishes the iPad with just a driver


Re: Chicken WLTM egg

Agreed 100%. I didn't intend my comment to come across as derogatory towards developers. Not my intention at all.

I was merely commenting that, traditionally, Windows has been almost exclusively a desktop environment and thus it is targeted as such. The iPad has been an exclusively mobile environment, and thus targeted as such. Microsoft has made much hullabaloo about "universal" over the past year or so and has finally started to offer some tools to make it bearable.

Now however they need some traction on these "universal" devices (of which the surface is the most likely initial candidate to get some traction).

So I was giving public support and best wishes towards the Surface experiment as it would both serve to give Apple some competition as well as potentially give some traction to Universal apps.

Karl P


Re: Just one problem

Actually, the real problem is not that the apple device is "cooler", as others have noted the Surface devices are cool enough in their own right.

The problem is that 3rd party developers have, as a general rule, not released touch friendly apps. So the user experience if someone is actually using it as a tablet is typically far higher on the Apple device, simply because developers have appropriately targeted the platform.

Hopefully Microsoft can get some real traction and then devs target the platform better. Both because Apple needs the competition, and because it would be _fantastic_ if dev's started targeting microsoft's whole new "one windows" idea.

BEHOLD Apple's BENEVOLENCE! iMessage txt BLACK HOLE finally fixed


Re: F#ck me!

I had been on an 4s and felt like needing an upgrade. When I saw the 6 was bigger than the 5s I was concerned.

I pulled the dimensions of the device and made wood samples in the shop. The "+" model was out the door immediately, but the regular model didn't bother me after walking around with it for a day.

I ended up with a 64GB version and while I quite fancy it now. I do truly hope that it doesn't get larger again.

Karl P


Re: F#ck me!

FYI: this certainly hasn't been affecting everyone, Out of my clients (with lots of Apple kit, and lots of people who swap sims about) only one has ever had this problem. 5 minutes on the phone sorted it (and this was quite some time ago).

The website probably should have been there in the first place, granted, but whatever system they use to deal with it "automatically" seems to work in most all of the cases, and the customer support for fixing it when the website didn't exist seemed to be solid as well.

Karl P

Russia to ban iCloud.. to protect iPhone fiddlers' pics 'n' sh*t


Re: Sounds horrible for business, too.

We are very rapidly coming to a position where businesses will need to decide whether to serve China/Russia and those who choose to align with them. Or NATO and those who choose to align with it.* Doing business "across" those lines will be largely incompatible for a variety of reasons.

The harsh reality is that as a citizen anywhere in the world, your communications and data are being monitored and collected by umpteen number of organizations, both public and private. Within the above described alliances, the collected data is largely fluid.**

The problem is that it has become a common practice for so long*** that everyone in a position that could make change, has their own reasons for believing it should continue.

Our Only Hope (TM) is that enough people with the power to make change get upset at other people with the power to make change that a new international treaty on data privacy, security, and regulations as to the lawful collection of it.

Karl P

*Theoretically, there may yet become a greater african state and a greater south/central american state in time, however its likely that they will fall into a loose coalition with one or the other of the above options.

**That is to say that if one agency has a question about data under the jurisdiction of another agency it is largely available within the above outlined "loose coalitions" assuming the right person were to ask it wouldn't be a problem to get the datasets they asked for as quid pro quo is a powerful tool.

***Don't think it's just American doing it, every country where the matter has seriously been looked at has some sort of indiscriminate program in place, or access to an indiscriminate program via an ally.

TLDR; Right now, no matter where you are, your data is largely available to a very wide range of other interested parties. The only realistic fix at this point is for so many people to get fed up that we convene a new set of "Geneva Conventions" on Data Privacy and Security.

LaCie Little Big Disk Thunderbolt 2 – dual SSD sizzler


Re: Hurm

Not Quite.

1TB would get you 7+ Hours of 4K REDCODE RAW, 4+ Hours of ProRes, or 2+ Hours of ProRes 4444

So no, you aren't going to be grading a feature off of it, but you could certainly cut a commercial on it and then dump the project to an RDX drive or even DLT for archive.

The pricing is fine if it's reliable. With LaCie it's a tossup over whether it will be or not. Time will tell.

Karl P

Ex-Soviet engines fingered after Antares ROCKET launch BLAST


Re: Depressing

The simple fact is, when working on projects you have to make decisions based on resources that are available _today_.

If everyone waited for the next thing to be available before doing something, nothing would ever get done, and thus there would be no next thing.

The engines, albeit 50+ years old, are solid. They have good engineering, a reasonable pedigree and just as important, there is an available supply.

Would it be preferable to have a newer engine? In some ways absolutely. In other ways not at all. Doing something different in rocketry often has as many cons as pros.

The simple fact is - rockets blow up. Not all the time, but enough that it isn't surprising. Seeing as the stack wasn't intended to be on course for human certification anyways, it's a bit whatever.*

Hopefully they can get good telemetry and come to an actual conclusion on loss-cause. The only thing worse than loosing a launch is learning nothing from the process.

Karl P

*It's always sad to see so much work go up in flames, but one accepts it as an eventuality in that line of work.

Big Azure? Microsoft and IBM ink deal on business cloud



This deal feel is further cementing the process of Microsoft saying that they believe (and will make it so....) that their future as a viable company is in cloudy services as a general topic.*

Furthermore, it almost sounds like they are admitting that Azure may not appeal to the large-enterprise proper, and thus have chosen IBM to represent/push windows in the enterprise IAAS market**

Gaining IBM middlware VM's integrated onto Azure is probably not something that will be utilized heavily yet (depending on the pricing...) but likely represents a potential upgrade/upsell option targeted at the growing small/medium businesses that become dependent on azure.

The biggest winner here is probably IBM. As they divest themselves of their manufacturing and hardware capabilities, they do need to be known for something. Deals like these further cement (at least the perception) that they can sell and service large enterprise on a services/knowledge side.

Karl P

*Whether that is good or bad largely depends on where you are standing

**Following in Apple's footsteps earlier this year.....

Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know


"The Human is Not a Reliable Input."

Unfortunately for the motoring enthusiasts out there, we reached that stage long ago.

A quick look at NHTSA or ASIRT numbers tell a grim story. 1~2% of global GDP goes to the direct and indirect costs of car crashes. 10's of Millions of annual injuries. Leading cause of death for ages 15~30. Thousands of Casualties. Daily.

I am not one that is necessarily excited about a future where humans have little to no control over the machine they are entrusting their lives with, but at this point the computers don't need to be perfect, they only need to be better, and that bar isn't honestly very high.

I have a reasonably large extended family (30ish members) We average, as a group, at least one accident a year living in a top 10 US metropolis. None have been our fault (as of yet)*.

I am honestly quite torn. I realize that the average person is no longer qualified to drive, and the processes and systems needed to remedy that at this stage would be less popular than a gradual mandating of driverless vehicles. On the flip side, Not only do I have the aforementioned hesitations on the trust side of driverless vehicles, I must also confess to taking some amount of pleasure from motoring.

At the end of the day, the only thing which really can't be argued with is that the status quo sucks and thus something probably needs to (or at least, will) change.

Karl P

*Incidentally our limited history shows that if the car that got into an accident with us isn't totaled, they try and flee more often than not. Seriously - out of the last 10, there has been 2 vehicular totals where they couldn't flee, and 8 impacts of various degrees leaving (mostly) functional vehicles and (relatively) minor injuries in which they have fled 5 out of 8 times. They have been caught 3 out of those 5 times.....

Windows XP refresh will DO NOTHING for lame PC market next year


Not a Bad comparison....

Actually, your comparison is not that bad.

Carbs are still incredibly useful, and necessary in certain tasks. I have personally ordered and/or refurbished more than a handful in just the past two years. However these tasks are not ones in which the average member of society would interact.

The closest your average consumer will come to a carb these days will be on their lawnmower or snowblower (depending on where you live....) and if those break they typically take them to the shop for fixing.

The simple fact is that for most consumers, the Full Fat PC Experience is something they simply won't have exposure to. Some will end up requiring exposure to them out of desire or necessity, but they will not be functionally different from the guy who has his own lawnmower. They will use it as a tool and when it breaks either replace it or have it mended at the shop.

Maybe this is a good thing, maybe not - none of use really know - but just like carbs PC's are heading to a future where they will be entirely indispensable for entire segments of the population, but are almost entirely hidden or unknown to a much larger segment of the population.

Karl P

Apple tries to kill iWorm: Zombie botnet feasting on Mac brains


It is spreading through Warez sites

More specifically, the only instances we have seen thus far have been when lusers have taken to obtaining/installing pirated software obtained through warez sites.

Amusingly enough it needs the admin password and explicit permission to install.

File this one away under the category of "stop being an idiot"

Karl P

Marriott fined $600k for deliberate JAMMING of guests' Wi-Fi hotspots


True Intentions?

I am a network designer, and in conference type settings, these units are sometimes needed for anything to work at all.

If you have a couple thousand - or more - wifi devices operating within one large open area, your rf engineering needs to be solid, and part of that is using every piece of available rf spectrum.

People coming in and trying to use their own wifi hotspots can realistically screw up a lot of other people.

I don't know what the real driver was behind these decisions, it may very well have been a malicious money grabbing exercise. However we don't know that.

I can tell you for a fact that these types of systems exist in many large meeting spaces as a necessary tool to facilitate stability. I can also tell you for a fact that after these systems have been installed, the "no one can have 3rd party wifi networks for stability" has been retranslated in sales as "you are not allowed to use any network but ours, that'll be 300$ please" which is not them being malicious, it's just them using the language they know.

As for the network you paid 300$ for being $h1t, (or your 20$ hotel internet being the same....) well that's just down to bad business. I can tell you in our systems we are routinely getting good response and throughput, although that normally entails multiple gigabit links (just a few weeks ago we did a network with 20 gigabit of internet....). Don't think it's just a business being cheap either, while that is often the case, I find it just as often that the IT people don't understand the needs or haven't properly enumerated and planned for the loads.

Again, I am not saying that this wasn't an issue of malicious intent, but I do hope you recognize that these scenarios are well beyond your average SME wifi network, and some of the tactics used to keep them stable and responsive may strike the uninformed as overbearing.

At very least hopefully some of you reading this will gather some new perspective.

Karl P

You can thank Brit funnyman John Oliver for fixing US broadband policy, beams Netflix


Re: the real problem

Yes, but the complication is that wide-reaching physical infrastructure is a natural monopoly. There simply isn't any justification for duplication of resources on such a large scale as the Electric Grid, Water Works, Sewer Systems, or Datacom.

Non-discrimination (or, inversely, non-preferential) treatment is a great, and needed, goal, but it isn't the end-goal.*

What actually needs to happen is regional, if not a singular national, institution(s) that does all of the physical infrastructure. They deliver a link to your home/buisness/cell tower/etc, but not the the end user service. They are actually restricted from providing the end user service. They are also restricted from owning content, or participating in other competing markets.

This doesn't have to be a state-owned entity, but it would certainly have very strong state-oversight/regulation.

They would welcome any and all resellers / service providers equally, and leave it up to them to differentiate who throttles, who doesn't, who has value add services (website hosting, email hosting, etc) who uses static addresses, who uses dynamic, etc etc etc.

Then we can actually have meaningful competition, while still maintaining the needed natural physical connectivity / infrastructure monopoly that allows you to keep the critical mass for sustainability.

Karl P

*Even here, I am using a broad brush. The networks should be allowed, if not mandated, to treat certain traffic differently. I think we can all agree that VoIP/MultiPartyGaming/Etc should be treated differently than web browsing, which should be treated differently than large bulk data transfers, etc. What we don't want is two different VoIP packets to be given differential treatment based on some other factor (money/service ownership/whim).

We should be careful not to scream for equality to such a degree that we end up in a situation where someone can't make a phone call because someone else has decided a 4K video stream suits their fancy.

Not so ESXi? Open sourcery could help VMware win... virtually


Re: Most large companies are running at least two virtualisation platforms

I have some Xen installations that came about for the same reason (VDI deployments)

While Xen has it's own quirks, it's a very stable system at a very good (relative) price. While it is true that it doesn't have the breadth of 3rd party support, what does exist seems to be well built and well priced.

In short, I have moved some workloads to Xen and have been happy about it.

I could also tell similar stories about HyperV.

In short, it doesn't surprise me to hear that most people have multiple VM environments.

I would also speculate that VMWare has a pricing justification battle looming on the near horizon, if it isn't here already.

While I don't know if ESXi truly needs to go open source - I can envision a near-future where they will be forced into becoming far more competitive.

Karl P

Look out: The Far Eastern white-box boys are coming for EVERYONE


Is the Channel a prerequisite?

The article makes it sound as if a strong "Channel" connection is a prerequisite for an ODM (or anyone) to sell into the enterprise space. While I am sure that is true in some cases, I would be careful about writing them off for the lack thereof.

My experience with "The Channel" has been overwhelmingly negative over the past 10 years or so, to the point where I try and avoid them at all costs. These days I either deal with purely mass volume box-shifters where they stack 'em high and sell 'em cheap, or -if the deal warrants it- with the manufacturer directly. I now tend to avoid equipment which can only be acquired by going through certain "traditional channel" players.

I simply can't believe I am the only one.

When it comes to knowledge and/or training concerns - If those concerns prove to be beyond either my or my teams abilities, then we will either find and hire an expert individual/team, or deal with the manufacturer direct.

Obviously large software deployments are a little different, but we aren't exactly talking about a new ERP system here.

All this to say, if I can get good-enough quality kit* at a reasonable price, you can bet that I am ordering one to play with.

Karl P

* I obviously don't mean garbage, I mean the thing is reliable, shows up when I need it, where I need it, and for how much I agreed to pay for it. Bonus points for simple to use call-center design and procedure which allows me to get, in less than 10 minutes from the time I dialed your number, a replacement for that memory stick which borked itself.

Pimp my lounge and pierce my ceiling: Home theatre goes OTT


Re: time to seperate switching amplification and processing

While having a separate processor is mostly relegated to the high end these days, Outlaw Audio makes a model 975 which does what most of you seem to be wanting for a relatively modest amount of money.

Still probably cheaper to use one of the recent onkyo or denon receivers, but if you love what you have......

Karl P

Apple, FBI: YES we're, er, looking into the NAKED CELEBRITY PICS. Aren't you?


More involved than article suggests.

So far we know that many of the photos were taken on a variety of devices, including 2010 era blackberries, android, and iOS devices.

While this could be a cloud service issue, the time frames involved as well as the diversity of devices suggest that this is much deeper than that.

A Hollywood based IT service firm go out of business recently?

Someone wanting to show some of the goods regarding those NSA nude photo exchanges snowden was talking about?

Whatever happened, I hope it doesn't devolve into platform bickering and thee we do end up getting a straight answer about it so we can learn from it.

Karl P

Report: American tech firms charge Britons a thumping nationality tax


Re: one more time, with gusto

Indeed. People miss how big of an issue this is.

I had a machine, maybe 30 months old that died. The problem was known to the manufacture. There had actually been a public recall about it shortly after it was made. But they didn't widely advertise it and I didn't become aware of it. The product died and I went online to see if anyone else had similar issues and saw the recall.

I contacted the company and they wouldn't do anything about it. They said that the time window had passed and while they would be happy to fix it (at 50% of the cost of a new one...) there wasn't anything more they would do.

This whole scenario wouldn't have happened in the UK, or at very least, I wouldn't have been left with a dead piece of kit.

That said, the people who bought it in the UK paid 18% more for it, so at least it bought them something.

Whether that is a tradeoff I would want for myself long term I still haven't decided.

Karl P

IBM's GPFS marries LTFS: You may now kiss the enterprise


Holy Acronym Batman.

Seriously though - I like this, now marry this with a smart director engine which can auto-file data with use frequency less than X or data matching pattern Y and we are really cooking.*

*I am sure this is already there, but who knows how difficult it will be to use.....

Karl P

Price cuts, new features coming for Office 365 small biz customers


Re: testing 1 2 3

If you have 365 at home, that means you have hard apps, and hard apps can save and open from your local drives just like always.

If you choose to store all your stuff in One Drive, that can certainly add some lag. This is particularly true if they are large files. Hopefully you aren't storing things in OneDrive "just because", but instead for a valid reason which justifies the occasional lag of using any WAN solution.

I can't speak to your experiences with needing to repair unfortunately.

What I will say however is that the one-time(isn) CAPEX vs ongoing OPEX question is becoming bigger every day. That is particularly true now that MS has made using anything other than proper OpenLicense Office very painful for all but the smallest SMB.

It makes a lot of sense to go O365Biz when the decision is 15$ (now 12.50$) a month / 180$ (now 150$) a year per employee (which includes hosted exchange, share point, OneDriveBiz, Etc) when the alternative is 466$ per employee up front + server software + cals, etc.

Of course the funny (in the most sad and traumatic of ways) part to all of this is after you get all the open licenses purchased, server software deployed, CAL's loaded, etc - Someone from sales is going to call you for support because they just signed up for 15 seats of office 365 as they absolutely needed powerpoint on their iPads and now they want to figure out how to pull files from the central server. Oh - and while your here - the CEO was down yesterday receiving a presentation, saw powerpoint on the iPad and now wants to talk about getting this to everyone middle management and above.


Re: and one more thing

The bigger boys get access to the things they tend to need, such as legal hold, advanced message filtering, yada yada yada. Whether they should be forced into it or not is a different question, but that is neither here nor there.

As for quantity discounts - If you truly get big enough you tend to negotiate your rates by way of an over-archving enterprise agreement where you acquire your 365 licenses along with the rest of your traditional MS products via that channel instead.

Amazon woos dispute-stung Hachette scribes with 100% ROYALTIES


Re: Where is the FTC?

However, Amazon is the one who pulled the strings last time for a more-than-slightly dubious investigation. I doubt they would use whatever leverage they used last time to trigger a new investigation - on themselves.

The reality is that Amazon will fight to the death the ability to sell items below wholesale to either put competitors out of business, or more insidiously - devalue the work of others in order to set a lower price ceiling in future negotiations, as they are doing here.

Microsoft confirms Office 365 price rise


Re: Important Distinction

Also, and this is going to be bordering on a rant here,

I wish people would stop acting like hosted solutions were from the devil. They Aren't.

I also wish that people would stop acting like it's 2002 where we could have a technical solution that remained compatible with the rest of the wider world for longer than 18 months. - We don't live in that world any more.

I have lots of clients 1, 2, or even 3 years into ongoing SaaS solutions, which are happier today than they were the day they signed up. The reason, overwhelmingly, is ongoing support for new devices and the far lower pain and cost threshold to stay current.

In the past few months, here is what I have observed with my own two eyes:

A business who now has access to great (usable) CRM self service sites and mobile apps whereas their competitor doesn't (because they are using an on-premise install which needs a $XX,XXX upgrade to provide that functionality)

An office who made a big leap forward in productivity by leveraging heavy use of one drive and the new iPad office suite with remote employees.

A firm, who had a dramatic increase in throughput in their estimating department due to new functionality introduced in a core package that, in it's older on-premise history, would have been exceedingly difficult and costly to upgrade.

At the end of the day, the people I see buying and utilizing SaaS solutions are overwhelming appreciative of the fact that they aren't stuck with a system only compatible with the technology that existed when it launched, or having to shell out a meaningful percentage of the original whole on a regular basis just to stay current.

Arguably, at least for my clients, that is the true selling point of the competent SaaS solutions. The recognition that we live in a world changing faster than ever with expectations of ongoing support and integration for as-yet-dreamt-up technology. In that world, there needs to be a sane way of providing day to day ongoing development for compatibility, integration, and features that don't amount to a bill for 50~60% of the original purchase cost in upgrade fees and consulting time every 18~24 months.

Karl P


Important Distinction

There is an important note about this change - and one that appears to have been glossed over here - this only applies to those who bought in via an overarching Enterprise Agreement but yet didn't buy into SA at the same time.

It also doesn't apply to renewals (at this time, according to the info I have). This effects very, very few people.

All of my 365 clients have no rises as they signed up directly through MS, or through a partner signup link. And for those agreements for which I have been privy to that come out of an overarching EA agreement practically always have SA attached.

Prices will go up inevitably, both for on-premise and hosted solutions, it's just what happens. But this is a pretty niche case.

Use Tor or 'extremist' Tails Linux? Congrats, you're on an NSA list


Re: "and anyone else interested in online privacy"

The truly ironic part is that due to all the security focused interest and the associated sites and activism around it, if I was a 3 letter analyst, i would probably be much more skeptical of those who weren't on the list.

Karl P

US Supremes just blew Aereo out of the water


Re: bad news

This topic greatly interests me, if only for the minutia involved here. I can certainly see why its something that went to the SCOTUS. Personally, I have yet to make up my mind one way or another about it at the moment.

Let me ask a question, the question I am rolling around in my head.

What is a CATV system, as it was defined in the cited ruling, back in 1976?

From the replies here, people are talking about single vs multiple antennas, or even cable companies modifying the commercials or other content.

But is that really what it was, originally? I am assuming (yeah, I know) that at the time, the cable companies were not changing the signal, or otherwise modifying the broadcast in any way. I am also going to assume that, originally, in 1976, the number of antennas in use wouldn't have materially changed the outcome of the case.

Assuming (again....) that the above is true, then we should look at the Aereo case in a different light.

Maybe the case had much less (if anything) to do about the fact there was a DVR or antenna for each person, and more to do with the simple act of a company making profit solely through facilitating the movement of another's copyrighted content where the end user already had been granted rights to receive/view/consume that content. (IANAL, that may not be the technically correct way to word it, but I think it conveys the idea well enough for a forum post).

Now, the weird part is by that definition, there would seem to be all sorts of other systems and technologies that do just that, every day, and in a fully legal manner.

So if the issue really is one of a company making profit solely through facilitating the movement of another's copyrighted VIDEO content where the end user already had been granted rights to receive/view/consume that content, then that would seem to be an odd statement in context to many other observable parts of our society.

Maybe Aereo's mistake was in trying to prove that their system is legal / and or exploits an acceptable loophole as opposed to challenging the original 1976 decision which really doesn't make a lot of logical sense in the context of our greater society and common practices of information transfer*.

Karl P

*Under my wording above, I don't see how the original, 1976, CATV companies, or the Aereo of today would be significantly different than that of a trucking company, moving a case of pamphlets.

To be excruciatingly clear, while I understand this is how the law is written, I don't understand why these two things are different:

1. Let's say there is a supermarket, which is setting out boxes of pamphlets all over town for the free and indiscriminate use of the local populace (target market, so to speak) to educate themselves about the relative merits of Spinach vs Cabbage.

Now lets say that I, Joe Everyman, wants one of those pamphlets, and live in the area of the business and operations - the stated target market - of said supermarket.

I, Joe, do not feel like going to pick up the pamphlet myself, so instead I decide to call a local courier, and ask them to come up with a way to get that free pamphlet, and deliver it to me, while catering to my lazy tendencies. They offer to do it by me paying them to retrieve it, and receiving compensation for said action of only their time and expenses.

Thinking there might be more lazy people around me, that courier could call and/or market to all in my neighborhood (again, still in the stated target market of said supermarket) offering to deliver a pamphlet, in exchange for composition of solely their time and expenses.

Of course, at any time, if you, or any other individual do not feel quite so lazy, you are of course free to stop by any of the (many) points of pamphlet distribution and pick one up for yourself, free of any charges.

2. Let's say there is a broadcast station operator, putting their signal out for indiscriminate free reception of the local populace (the power of their transmitter / FCC license allocation area).

Now let's say that I, Joe Everyman, wants to receive that signal, and live in the intended local populace (transmitter power / FCC / etc).

I, Joe, do not feel like installing an antenna, or more likely my landlord will not allow me, or my wife will not tolerate it. So I decide to call my local low voltage contractor, and ask them to come up with a way for me to receive said signal while abiding to my other restrictions and or desires.

They get back to me and say they can make it happen by installing an antenna down the street, and putting a small cable in the ground for me satisfying my stated desires/needs, and in return only ask that I compensate them for their time and expense.

Thinking this is a good idea, they also offer to drop a cable by the other people on the street/block/city, again, restricting themselves to working within the intended local populace and only asking for compensation of their time and expense.

Of course, at any time, if you, or any other individual do not feel like working with this contractor, or do not have the same desires and/or needs, you are of course free to put up your own antenna and get a signal, free of any charges.


Re: Are recordings fungible ?

Let's put this up where someone might see it....

Cisco promises Lync link for its UC kit and collaborationware


Makes Sense

To be completely serious, the amount of Lync I have seen showing up lately makes this a no brainer.

Particularly with 2013, the software from an end-user perspective is quite featured and easy to use.

The fact that it is coming bundled into O365 "E" Suites without needing 4 or 5 boxen isn't hurting either.

Huawei Ascend P7: We review the PANORAMIC SELFIE smartphone


Re: As an iPhone owner

iOS8, out later this fall, will have per OS battery usage statistics allowing you to see what is doing what and act accordingly. I'll try and put a link in, no idea if it will get pulled out or not. If it does go to google image search and type "ios8 per app battery usage" First result should give you an idea.


This goes along with iOS7 providing per-app data usage and per-app storage usage which has been around for forever.

Karl P

My my, Intel, that's one speedy NVMe flash card you have there


I just took out a rack last year.....

There was 5 shelfs of disk, plus controller, FC switch, etc. Over 30U, 2008 acquisition cost of 100K$+.

It was part of a database backend. It is/was replaced by a 2000$ Card, in a 10K$ server.

The storage racket must be a frightful place these days.

Karl P

Disks with Ethernet ports? Throw in some flash and you've got yourself a HGST p-a-r-t-y


An Interesting Future-SAN

I wonder if this, with some improvements, could act as an acceptable standardized SAN platform.

If these disk were to be made with dual ports, and preferably POE powered, you could then add a few bog standard servers with 10GB cards which act as the "controllers" for the iSCSI/FC fabric, or even direct NFS/SMB filer frontend.

Theoretically you could build a reasonable san with a couple standard ethernet switches, servers, and these ethernet drives which if talking to a standard, would let you be vendor agnostic at any of the individual stages.

Nonetheless, I believe we will see some creative uses for a directly attached ethernet drive in the next few years.

Top Secret US payload launched into space successfully


Re: I wonder...

It would seem to me that if I had the ability to track a routine flight, clear on the other side of the planet, in near-as-makes-no-difference real time, I wouldn't exactly be letting on that I could do it.

Perhaps giving a couple, discrete, helpful nudges trickled out in such a way, and on such a timetable, as to not be suspicious. That is if I felt helpful - but even then, certainly not in a way that says "Here is where it is".

Note: I am not suggesting any conspiracy here, purely that if anyone did have the information, this incident, tragic as it is, wouldn't register high enough on the strategic-importance list to tip the cards.

Karl P

Europe approves common charger standard for mobe-makers


I just went through this last week.

The simple answer is unless you are doing 6 or more chargers, the cheapest thing to do is buy a power strip and plug in a whole bunch of individual chargers, and deal with the Ugly that it causes.

It seems crazy to me, but it is what it is.

The "cheapest" multi-port USB-A-Female charger which can charge anything I throw it at is the Cambironix Series8 - Which is a 350$ piece of kit. http://www.cambrionix.com/cambrionix_products/series8-very-intelligent-charging/

On the other hand, I can say the same for the 30$ Apple iPad charger, so I am "forced" to use those right now for my less than 6 charge port solutions.

I really don't understand it. I can (and do) buy top-of-the-line Medical Grade 5-thru-12V transformers up to 150W every day. For less than 75$ as an assembled, ready-to-go, listed product. Certainly someone can figure out how to make the rest of the bits for ~100$

Karl P

Parliament network prang: 'Supplier done it', no Office 365 yet


Link Speed and Duplex....

You'd be surprised the amount of "emergency" consulting work I do where the issue comes down to link speed and duplex. I can practically smell it these days.

On another note, it is kind of amazing how even now, in 2014, the sheer magnitude of multi-thousand $/£ network infrastructure equipment out there which can't auto negotiate as well as a cheap realtek NIC.

I was on a completely new build Fiber-MPLS network a few months back that had everything from Arista to Adtran, Cisco to Omitron in various places. They were having trouble all over the place, with the providers pointing to bad configs and the integrators pointing to provider problems and the local system admins wondering if this is just as good as it would be. At least half of the links had some sort of auto link speed issue or auto-MDIX issue. A day and a halve later - voila.

Of course, to most people these days suggesting that we need to manually specify link speeds and use crossover cables comes across completely foreign.

Karl P

Recommendations for private cloud software...


Two Options

First option I normally recommend is LiquidFiles. It's an on-premise VM that is an all-in large file transfer solution. Completely stand-alone, simple to use, well supported, reasonably priced. http://www.liquidfiles.net

The second option is a bit more of a creative one. There is a company called MinnowIT which makes a piece of software called Foldr for accessing Windows File Servers from mobile devices. They have dedicated iOS apps, and can interface with most any webdav client as well as having a very slick web front end. Binds to Active Directory and (very importantly) respects NTFS user permissions. You could set this system up, have a large windows server "partners" share with folders for each partner. Give highly restricted AD credentials to be used by the partners to login with that are restricted to their sub-folder. Your employees can interact with their partners by simply browsing a local mapped drive. Your partners can either use the web app, or map the webdav drive to their Windows or Mac based endpoints. Again, simple to use, well supported, reasonably priced. http://www.minnow.it

The choice between the two comes down to whether you want to manage it from AD - or not - and whether you can live without local mapped drives on the vendor/partner side.

Karl P

Apple's new iPad Mini: ALREADY set for Black Friday PRICE SLASH


This is really funny if people traded in an iPad 1 in the recent 200$ gift card offering and then held the gift card for this promotion, allowing them to effectively get an iPad mini for just a couple bucks, or an Air for 200$.

Someone didn't realize what they were doing.

AIR TIME! Our expert cosies up with the new top-end iPad


Re: Older models

iPad 2's are practically the defecto industrial and special-nice device right now.

Whether you want a solution for a self-guided museum tour, a mobile kiosk to take credit card payments, a digital sign for product advertisement or a reservation and seating utility at a restaurant - there is a good chance you will grab an iPad2.

They are still compatible with all the specialized 30 pin accessories that haven't made it to lightning yet, still perform good-enough on ios7 with non-gaming apps, and are cheap enough you don't care much about them.

The iPad Air is the first device that has finally gotten fast enough to make a meaningful difference. In fact I would sum up the iPad Air as "It's Finally Fast".

I imagine they will be around another two generations and then be phased out.

Karl P