* Posts by Arion

78 publicly visible posts • joined 15 Jun 2010


Software patching must work like car safety recalls, says US cyber boss


There's one critical point that Mr Inglis has missed. Cars and software are very different things. If he'd narrowed it down like "Software to manage critical safety functions of cars" should work like car safety recalls, or "Software to manage medical devices", or "Software to manage financial data where the financial exposure exceeds $100,000 per month", he might have had a point.

Tarring avionics software with the same brush as a suduku app on my phone with the same brush is a disservice to the industry, the economy, and to the information age.

A US national cyber director should be familiar with the concept of risk; the product of the impact, and probability of an issue in software, and issues with my suduku game should be treated the same way as car safety recalls.

Now in fairness, this isn't a US specific problem; we have this problem in the EU as well with the likes of the cookie law; laws written by politicians and lawyers, without the insight of engineers and subject matter experts who better understand the problem that needs to be solved.

So what if I pay peanuts for my home broadband? I demand you fix it NOW!


This is why you should have your home broadband and mobile (with plenty of data) with a different provider.

So that if there's an outage at a critical time, you can fail over to your mobile.

Give 'em SSPL, says Elastic. No thanks, say critics: 'Doubling down on open' not open at all


Re: Kill this licecence with fire, its' replicating.

Interesting that this post enters with "bollocks", because that's largely what the first couple of paragraphs consist of.

The Devs have already consented to their code being relicensed by licencing it under the Apache licence. Further approval is not necessary.

Amazon essentially did fork ElasticSearch in the form of OpenDistro for ElasticSearch. [Although according to the FAQ it's not technically a fork, it achieves the same effect].

The OpenDistro FAQ says that any updates are contributed back to Elastic. Even if they weren't, Elastic could just take them under the terms of the Apache Licence.

Amazon and RedHat are co-operating on providing and supporting ROSA (RedHat OpenShift in AWS). It's very possible that Elastic could have done likewise, or indeed licenced the commercial features to Amazon the same way as Microsoft and Oracle licence SQL Server and Oracle DB respectively. They dug their own grave here.

IBM, Microsoft, a medley of others sing support for Google against Oracle in Supremes' Java API copyright case


Re: Better idea..why does n't GOOGL buy 1,143,934,581 shares of ORCL..

Probably because Google buying Oracle shares would constitutes a demand for Oracle shares which would increase the price of Oracle shares, which would mean it would cost a lot more than that number times their share price.

I've had it with these motherflipping eggs on this motherflipping train


I wonder if there are any laws about spraying air freshener in the general direction of someone causing the smell.

People might think twice about bringing smelly food on to a train if they thought it might get covered in air freshener.

Three UK goes TITSUP*: Down and out for 10 hours and counting


So... There was a time when Three wasn't tits up?

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


Re: That's nothing !

I believe later iterations of the HTSPSP spec support Tea. I'm not sure if there's a Tea implementation though.

College PRIMOS prankster wreaks havoc with sysadmin manuals


Bah Humbug.

There are situations where this is is healthy; it encourages a preparedness for hardware failure, if there's a likelihood that the system could fail for some reason. It instills the ethic of frequently saving, and backing up.

Texas ISP slams music biz for trying to turn it into a 'copyright cop'


What exactly would the "something illegal" be? If it's downloading copyrighted material without the copyright holders consent it isn't illegal. There could be something about unwarranted search and seizure though.

This is the contract you've been looking for: Pentagon releases JEDI bids


Re: Security?

Not necessarily.

AWS set up a dedicated GovCloud region, and the DoD could insist contractually on all employees with access being the US equivalent of SC cleared.

UK mobile operator Three launches Superdrug Mobile MVNO


Re: Rubbish Coverage

I've tried 3 enough times, and been disappointed enough times, that I'm going nowhere near them.

My EE phone goes on the 3 network any time I go to Ireland, and don't get around to manually setting it to eir/meteor.

The last time I tried them in the UK, was about 3 years ago, when I figured that if they can't have good coverage in Central London (between Euston and Kings Cross), they weren't worth bothering with.

Java-aaaargh! Google faces $9bn copyright bill after Oracle scores 'fair use' court appeal win


Re: Can Ritchie sue Oracle then?


Dead people can't sue.

Maybe his estate (or former employer) could....

Europe plans special tax for Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon


Re: I'm not sure that targeting specific companies is the way forward.

As an ex-Amazon employee; I have absolutely no qualms about how I was treated at Amazon.

Voda customers given green light by Ofcom to ditch contracts


The only problem with three though is that their Network is complete absolute Shite.

I've tried Three in both Ireland and the UK, in both cases urban areas, and in both cases, it was really really bad.

As you stare at the dead British Airways website, remember the hundreds of tech staff it laid off


Re: Correlation is not causation


In the general case yes; correlation is not causation, and yes; there's probably no causal link between internet explorer market share and murder rates, or between Autism diagnoses and organic food sold, even though the graphs show a correlation.

This however was a database upgrade causing several hours outage, so I'm sorry, but without information to the contrary the most likely cause is an error by one of the people involved. That the people involved were changed out a few months back, then that's a little beyond correlation.

Anti-TV Licensing petition gets May date for Parliament debate


Re: Good going cobber - Pollution reasons

Well for starters 100kph (at just over 62mph) is about 6mph faster then the 56mph speed you mentioned.

Prominent Brit law firm instructed to block Brexit Article 50 trigger


Re: Bollocks

"Where's that then? Israel? (I *think* they operate a fairly pure form of PR. I don't think many, if any, other countries do.)"

What would you consider deficient about PR STV as exercised in Ireland?

Broadcom sues Sony over MPEG, wireless etc patents in PlayStation 4


Re: This is why we cant have nice things

You're confusing the way patents are supposed to work, with the way they do work.

Oracle vs Google restarts


Re: "publish the API" - "enforce control"

Well; they're doing it already; Windows 10 comes with a Linux subsystem, which is essentially a Linux API implementation (although ABI too).

Linux itself is essentially, fundamentally an implementation of open standard POSIX APIs.

TalkTalk plays 'no legal obligation' card on encryption – fails to think of the children (read: its customers)


Re: As I observed elsewhere in this illustrious mag

> "I am not legally required to close and lock my door; but if I'm burgled, then

> I'm at least partly responsible."


> No you're not. Not legally, nor morally.

Your analogy of blaming the victim doesn't apply here; in this case the victim is the customers who trusted talktalk with their payment details, and regardless of specific law about encryption, talktalk had a duty of care to these customers which it neglected.

Falling back on the absence of a specific law requiring encryption is both pathetic and contrary to the concept of common law ( or as the merkins would call it, case law ). I suspect that if this ended up in court in the UK, or the US, that there would very soon be a law requiring such data to be encrypted. The law is whatever the judge says it is, and this kind of bullshit is why.

Google can't hide behind Alphabet, EU competition commish warns


Re: How can you fight a monopoly which offers products for free

Ummm - No. Street View was announced in 2007. A9.com ( Amazon Company ) had block view 2 years earlier.


Re: No, just one...

Hmmm - I think it might be more relevent that he was working at CERN (Geneva, Switzerland) at the time, which would be squarely in Europe, but outside the European Union.

Would YOU make 400 people homeless for an extra $16m? Decision time in Silicon Valley


The way this is phrased makes it a loaded question. Alternatively stated, would be would you make effectively a $16m donation to keep people in their homes, and personally I think that is too much to ask.

I do like the idea where he takes the 39m, but retains a pro-rata interest in the place.

Revealed: Facebook Boss Zuckerberg's One Weird Trick When Hiring


Re: Err…

No, I'm with Gis on this one.

The issue is Mark Zuckerbergs hiring practices. Either that of the headline was wrong, and the article laid out even worse than it seems.

Privacy is a different issue, and including it here was a cheap dirty tabloid stunt.

European Commish asks for rivals' moans about Booking.com


So... how exactly do parity clauses harm competition? It would seem to me that others can compete, so long as they do so on a level playing field.

Oracle SHELLSHOCKER - data titan lists unpatchables


Re: Proprietary software vendors - what do they do?

source availability is only meaningful if you _or_anyone_else_ has the in house expertise to fix/apply it yourself,

Fixed that for you

AWS hell no: Can Microsoft Azure sales beat Amazon's cloud?


Re: Loong term view

You know, capitalising 'is', and putting an American cliche at the end of your sentence, doesn't make it any more persuasive.

London officials won't take Uber to court – because cabbies are suing the drivers anyway


i would split the cabbies into two categories; Those who got their licences before GPS became mainstream circa 2005, and idiots.

Before GPS the cabbies knowledge was a much stronger actual advantage than it is today.

Anyone who got their licence since, has been depending mostly on regulation to keep competitors off the road.

We're living in an age of technological advancement, and throughout history advancement does make certain jobs obselete, and cabbies might just be the most recent example. It also creates new ones.



Re: Or they could consider joining the first part of the 21st century...

> I find it surprising that most merchants don't run a £10 minimum card transaction rule. (some

> do £5, but the vast majority happily allow customers to clock charges under a quid, which is

> just plain silly)

You're entitled to your opinion. You're also wrong.

The retailer who turns away my card when I want to buy something, becomes the bastard ( or bitch ), who wouldn't take my card last time, when the time comes that I want to buy something more expensive, and go to a competing supplier.

If it costs you 30p to take a pound of my card, then why don't you just charge me the 30p, or 30% ( for transactions under a fiver or a tenner or whatever ). If I want a coke and I'm out of cash, I don't really care if you take an extra 30p from my a/c. I just want my coke, and by just charging the 30%, I get my coke, you get your sale, and the bank ( or credit card company) gets their commission.

Even if I do have cash, your willingness to accommodate me( even if it does involve extra charges) will make my more amenable to doing business with you again.

Cambridge Assessment exams CHAOS: Computing students' work may be BINNED


> Closed-book too, as it should be. Continuous assessment is a total joke.

Can you please introduce me to your drug dealer. I want to try whatever it is you're smoking.

I'm all in favour of a final exam, AS WELL AS continuous assessment, but skills learned for one particular point in time, are soon forgotten after that time has passed. Continuous assessment means that skills have to be both learned well at the start, and either remembered or re-learned for the exam. The need to know the material at two particular points in time, makes it much more likely to be retained in the longer term.

Teen buys WikiLeaks server for $33,000 – with dad's eBay account


Re: You Sure?

I wonder what legal jurisdiction would be in play here. It's a German seller to a Portuguese (attempted) buyer, hosted by a United States company.

I would doubt if it's legal everywhere to refer to another party by name without their consent. If it were, then why would washing powder adverts blur out the products they're comparing against, and simply refer to them as "the leading brand"?

Google says it paid TOO MUCH tax, wants $83.5m refund


Re: Unbelievable!

That would only be the case if Google's accounting practices were something to be ashamed of.

Nobody's yet explained to me what moral right the government has to take Google's money, so I therefore fully support their efforts to recoup any money that was coerced out of them. I don't see that the coercing is being done by the Government, or that it's being called "tax" as making any difference. I'll take moral arguments, once someone shows me a credible argument that paying tax is a moral responsibility, and not purely a legal one.

Critical Java SE update due Tuesday fixes 40 flaws


Re: Plugin or runtime vulnerabilities?

I'm not sure if 'djb-ware' would count as an ecosystem, but while there might have been the occasional security issue, it doesn't have a 'history of security bugs'. He has developed some libraries to assist in this task that are not as susceptible to security bugs as the standard C library.

As for why people don't use it?

1: People are idiots.

2: DJB's original licencing was incompatible with software distributions, so his software wasn't included.

3: Some people have a negative opinion of DJB.


Re: @DryBones

I disagree.

With modern Linux systems it's not unreasonable to not know every package on your system. My current ubuntu system has 2436 packages.

Unless you're specifically using Java systems, then Java's little different from any other dependency, such as .so/.dll library or something like that. In other words it's no different from the 2435 other packages.

MPs demand UK rates revamp after Google's 'extraordinary tax mismatch'


Re: What about an import tax then

> Therefore create an import good class of 'dodgy sibling company purchase'

Before you pitch this lead balloon any further, you might want to check up on The EU single market, and its laws regarding excise duties.

Amazon faces its third strike in Germany


I don't have to read a book on what its like working for Amazon. I have almost 3 years first hand experience there, and nothing to complain about.


I forgot; disclosure: I used to work for, and still have shares in Amazon ( not in a management, or HR capacity ).

My experience was a stark contrast to "tentimes". I did see some political crap at Amazon, but all in all, I'd have no hesitation recommending Amazon to competent candidates who can pass their hiring bar.


OK; there's one of two scenarios here; either the employees are being paid at least what they're worth, or they're not.

If they're not, and they think they're worth more than they're being paid, why don't they simply find someone else who will pay them what they're worth. If they can't find someone else to pay them more, then maybe they're just not worth any more.

I think it's a disgrace that labour laws are so one-sided. If the employees aren't willing to do their job in exchange for a compensation that they agreed to, then they shouldn't have agreed to it in the first place, and going back on such an agreement should be a sackable offence.

Unless I'm greatly mistaken, nobody held a gun to the workers heads forcing them to stay at Amazon, and I've seen no evidence that Amazon reneged on any agreements made. By going on strike however, the employees have. If the employees refuse to do their job, Amazon should be within their rights to offer that job to someone else.

Stop the Microsoft, Skype wedding, screams enraged Cisco in court


Re: Anything with 80+% market share

> When you are in charge, I, for one, will keep all of my devices as trade secrets.

And that's fine. If you come up with some new revolutionary product, you can keep the necessary details(except those needed for interoperability) secret. On the contrary if you come up with an obvious extension of existing art, someone else can independently come up with the same thing without having to worry about your salami patent.

When we reach the stage of engineers not understanding their own patents, the original benign goals of sharing knowledge et al go out the window.


Re: Anything with 80+% market share

> Why should they be required to do that?

I assume he means because once they've reached 80% market share, it's a de-facto standard, and as such should be documented, and available for others to implement.

The motivations for such a requirement would share the same roots as the motivation for competition/antitrust law. Actually if such a requirement were to be set, it would probably be as part of competition law.

> if something has achieved 80% market share with a closed system it seems to argue against open

How so? Competition law isn't there to protect people with monopolies. It's there to protect everyone else.

Personally I agree with the fully documented part, but I think that the patents should be forceably licenced under FRAND terms, and that such FRAND terms including that a royalty shall not exceed the price of the product ( so £0 for free / open source software ).

Cook: Apple has 'no current plan' to pull profits out of Ireland


Re: eu imf should not have allowed Ireland to keep predatory rates


It's a pity that when you got that PhD in economics, you didn't pick up a few grammar lessons along the way. A few well placed capital letters and full stops would make your post much clearer. I will however persevere to decipher some of the less subtle aspects of your post.

California and the dollar are very different situations. California is a single state within the United States of America. Ireland is a sovereign country with the right and responsibility to set our own tax rates. We've had the Euro for little over 10 years, 14 if you include the time between 1999 and 2002 when exchange rates between eurozone currencies were fixed. This recession is one of the first challenges it's ever faced. California has had the dollar since the formation of the United States, over 200 years ago. The dollar could be considered a little more established, and considerably more stable than the Euro.

How do you figure that "the profits are mainly earned in the UK"? Are you somehow of the impression that Google hired thousands of staff, and bought the tallest commercial building in Dublin to house them, just to have them twiddle their thumbs?

Ireland is an attractive location for multi-nationals for several reasons besides our corporation tax rate, including our combination of the English Language, the Euro, and superior education.

Irelands definition of tax residence is different from that of other countries. It's based on where the company is actually managed, as opposed to where it's registered. Surely this is a better definition of the tax residence of a company than based on some arbitrary choice of registration venues.


Re: eu imf should not have allowed Ireland to keep predatory rates

The Irish people are quite passionate about our 12.5% corporation tax. It's almost hard-wired into our DNA, a sacred point that no politician who wants to be elected again is going to touch. No politician will down in history as the one who lost the 12.5% rate.

The EU/IMF might have had some luck ( if they tried; I'm not sure if they did) in having Ireland close the Double-Irish loophole, but when it comes to protecting our 12.5% corporation tax, we weren't bluffing.

Ireland is no more a culprit here than Asda are with their predatory 10% price promises. It's called competition, and is one of the fundamental pillars of healthy economics. Granting this loan wasn't some altruistic gesture on the British/EU's behalf. The British had to decide if they wanted to maintain the economic ties they share with Ireland ( and profit in the process by charging a rate 0.18% higher than their borrowing rate[1]), and as for France and Germany, Irelands falling would have had disastrous consequences for the Euro.

1: http://www.rte.ie/news/special-reports/2009/0512/117297-eulisbon/


Re: eu imf should not have allowed Ireland to keep predatory rates

> I was surprised when eu and uk us (indirectly via imf) bailed out the Irish without demanding

> an increase in their ct rate

They did demand Corporation Tax increases.

- http://www.dailyedge.ie/irelands-corporate-tax-rate-could-be-at-risk-from-german-demands-118575-Apr2011/

- http://www.irishliquidations.ie/news/2011/5/11/france-want-increase-in-irish-corporate-tax-rate.html

They were told where to go.

- http://www.independent.ie/business/irish/european-demands-for-hike-in-corporation-tax-unfair-taoiseach-26740586.html

- http://www.thejournal.ie/president-says-french-and-german-demands-over-corporation-tax-are-a-nonsense-128348-Apr2011/

As part of the carrot to approve the Lisbon Treaty the Irish People was given legally binding guarantees that we would not be forced to increase our Corporation Tax.

With corporation tax off the table, the main remaining issue was whether or not it was in the EU's interest for an EU eurozone country ( with the Euro as its currency ) to go bankrupt, and what effect that would have on the Euro.

Irish deputy PM: You want more tax from Apple? Your problem, not ours


Re: What precisely was this guy responding to?

So that would be Montenegro then at 9%, or perhaps you were refering to Albania, Bosnia, Cyprus, Macedonia, or Serbia, each of whom at 10% have a lower corporation tax than Ireland.

Why would they go to Romania or Luxembourg? They have 16% and 28.59% rates respectively.

Microsoft leads charge against Google's Android in EU antitrust complaint


Re: Microsoft's Operating System Tie-in

You're comparing apple's and gas giants there.

Google bundle android with their phone, but they don't prevent other OEMs fro installing other OSs. (samsung provide both android and windows pho

Also its unlikely that their keyboard supplier gave them an ultimatiun not to have keyboards from alternate suppliers.


Re: Hang On

OK, I'll bite.

I guess the issues are "almost exactly the same", in so far as chalk and cheese are "almost exactly the same", or in other words, completely different. Promoting your own products is called Business. Preventing the us of competitors products is called anti-competitive in Europe, and Antitrust in the United States. Google did the former, while Microsoft did the latter.

Wikipedia ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_v._Microsoft ) points out the following complaints against Microsoft:

1: Microsoft restricted the market for competing web browsers. [ which had to be downloaded via slow modem, or purchased in a store ]

Android on the contrary has a Google Play store readily available, which facilitate users to easily download an alternative browser. When Microsoft bundled Internet exploder first, downloading another browser was infeasible.

2: Microsoft modified its [proprietory and confidential] API to favour Internet Explorer, and kept these secret from other browser makers.

The source code to Android is openly available, as is the code for the browsers rendering engine ( at least it was when they used WebKit - not sure about Blink ).

3: Through a rebate mechanism, Microsoft effectively prevented OEM's from bundling Non-Microsoft operating systems.

OEM's which sell Android Phones, also sell phones with other Operating Systems, including Samsung which sell both Android and Windows Phones.

So how exactly is this "almost exactly the same"?