* Posts by FlatEarther

71 publicly visible posts • joined 6 Dec 2011


nbn™ gets its wish: Australian ISPs' performance to be rated



This service can not tell the difference between poor performance due to insufficient CVCs, poor (NBN/|Customer wiring) or factor in distance from the node.

With 121 POIs and only 4000 measuring points the results will be useless for most.

Bank in the UK? Plans afoot to make YOU liable for bank fraud


Re: Chip & PIN or Contactless

This is completely wrong. Fraud has gone down to negligible amounts where CHIP & PIN has been introduced (except of course for Card Not Present, where there is neither CHIP nor PIN).

Why do you think the incidence of card present fraud is so high in the USA? It's because they haven't widely implemented CHIP & PIN. They're rushing to implement it now, but meanwhile fraudsters are having a field day.

Also, any issuer (e.g. a bank) must accept a no customer liability clause if they want to issue Visa Paywave or MC PayPass cards.

Self preservation is AWS security's biggest worry, says gros fromage


Re: Says it all

"According to him, securing an application or service online in AWS is little or no different to if you were running the software on your own servers."

So if you have to do your own security and you want guaranteed availability and capacity at a reasonable price, you're better off keeping it in house?

Australia finds $1 BEELLION to replace No-SQL DATABASE


Re: Hmm...

'The brief will not be "provide us a new system that does exactly the same as our current system", but "provide us a new system that fits a new, different, simpler process.'

Never heard of the second system effect, then?

Chrome devs hatch plan to mark all HTTP traffic insecure


Problem looking for a solution

A complete OTT nanny state approach. You must always consider the impact of a vulnerability (if this is what they insist on calling it). If the impact of the data exposure is 0, there is no risk.

Since the authors and viewers of most HTTP see no impact from someone else seeing public content, this is simply a solution looking for a problem. Most content is designed to be public.

Euro Parliament VOTES to BREAK UP GOOGLE. Er, OK then


Double Dutch Irish Jean-Claude Juncker thing

"then do the double-dutch-irish-chocolate-starfish tax thing"

That thing often involves routing the money through Luxembourg. The Luxembourg tax treatment was developed and continued to operate while Jean-Claude Juncker was prime minister of Luxembourg.

Of course, currently he's president of the EU commission, so he's sure to stop all the dodgy tax arrangements.

Watchdog bites hotel booking site: Over 3k card details slurped


Re: PCI compliance?

How so? If they were PCI compliant they would not have been storing the keys AND they would have been doing PEN tests to detect the SQL Injection vulnerability.

Biz coughs up even less for security, despite mega breach losses


Doing the same costs less.

While it's somewhat surprising to see budgets fall overall, the cost of IT Security has fallen dramatically in recent times. Just look at the SIEM market. There's many new players offering cheaper to buy and operate solutions, forcing the incumbents to lower prices. True for most security technology.

I also suspect the some amounts that used to be in the security bucket are now in the general IT/application bucket.

Google's 'Captain Moonshot': I will BOMB you with DELIVERIES


Re: not sure about the load

Yes, typical outback delivery

- 4 x 44 gallon drums of diesel

- 6 x Slabs Fosters Stubbies

- Several bales fencing wire

- Replacement transmission for tractor

- Assorted Groceries

- Bills (no rush)

- Medical supplies

Not much there that'll fit the lifting power of the drone.

Amazon reseller lobs sueball at etailer and Apple over listings yank

Thumb Down

Re: Never ascribe to malice…

No, its unreasonable of Amazon. That's why they're being sued. Your implication is that Apple are big and Amazon are lazy, so it's OK to screw the little guy

Kid crims don't need to skim: Paywave cards lead fraud rise


Re: Wavey-wavey cards lead to fraud?

Problem is, it's just not true. Card not present fraud is orders of magnitude greater than kids stealing cards from letterboxes

Oz crime-busters' calls for data retention get louder

Big Brother

Is this a joke?

"Jevtovic said the data retention is required in case today's citizen becomes tomorrow's person of interest."

I can't believe he said it with a straight face. And that everyone listening just accepted it and didn't walk over and punch him right there and then.

Why not lock us all up straight away just in case?

Turnbull Twitfight - we're backing Mal this time


Re: Turnbull Twitfight - we're backing Mal this time

If you'd ever tried this then you would know it's IMPOSSIBLE to confirm availability. The best you can do is determine the likelihood.

If you go to the Telstra (or any other ISP web-site) then they can tell you if its not available, but can't confirm availability until you've placed an order (i.e. well after you've bought the house).

If you're knowledgeable enough you can go to a site like adsl2exchanges and get an estimate of the line length, whether there is a RIM, the local exchange name and the likely connection speed.

You can then go to the Telstra Wholesale web site and download the spreadsheet with the number of available ports about a fortnight ago (i.e. not when you've settled and moved in) and can therefore get an idea whether any will be available.

If there are any ports, and Telstra don't make a complete balls up of the installation, you'll only know the achievable line speed and throughput once you connect, probably 3 months after you signed the contract to purchase you new property.

So a nice simple process open to every non-technical citizen and business owner - not.

The real fail is that Turnbull is unaware of the byzantine process that normal householders go through trying to obtain broadband. His arrogance shows through, not for the first time. I suppose Sydney's inner north shore is well supplied with broadband.

MtGox: Yup, we're pretty sure your Bitcoin were stolen. Sorry about that.


Re: No sympathy.......

One of the reasons that traditional payment methods cost more is that they do a large amount of work to protect both parties to the transaction from fraud, default, systems failure, exchange rate risk,...

They may make massive profits at your expense, but a lot of the money goes on legitimate activities that you really, really want them to do, even if you don't realise it.

But feel free to go the cheaper Bitcoin method if you want.

Department of Human Services removes Medicare from internet


Re: Aaaaaaaargh!

Yes, somewhere I've got an email with the my MyGov ID. Once you login it asks you numerous verification questions , asks you to tick multiple boxes and THEN gives you the opportunity to go to the medicare site. Most people have given up by then. The medicare site asks some of the same verification questions and has a few more tick boxes.

Once you get in most of the data is wrong and/or incomplete.

Licenses blocking third-party emergency warnings


Accuracy and Completeness Counts

It's not good enough to know where some of the fires are. You need to know where they all are if you decide to leave because the fire is bearing down (I know you shouldn't leave the decision that late, but what other critical service is the internet file map providing?)

Some half-baked social media attempt at providing a partial map that was accurate 6 hours ago is worse than useless.

For the record, the Victorian CFA site worked continuously, if somewhat slowly, throughout the 2009 emergency. I know, I was watching it very carefully!

Atlassian's UK-IPO plans: Smart business isn't a disaster



Isn't it because that's where the investors are? They could move to the US, but then they'd be invisible in the crowd. Given that Australia doesn't have a large number of sophisticated technology investors and they had to move, the UK seems like a good option.

CIOs, IT chiefs: ARRGH! What do you MEAN, HR just bought 400 iPads and didn't tell us

Thumb Down

Fixed if for you

Most 'shadow IT' that I've come across exists because the 'official IT' are not informed of the requirement or given a budget, and when notified their legitimate concerns are ignored. The purchaser is often gulled by some slick sales droid and doesn't have any idea of the TCO of the new shiny thing the want.

Australia's States in online shopping tax grab



Leaving aside the fact that it would raise bugger all extra tax, the idea, in the current political climate, that a Federal treasurer might increase taxes (and thereby suffer all of the political odium) for the benefit of the States is just laughable.

What are they taking?

NBN Co to test basement fibre for offices, apartments


Ziggy the Seer

I'm glad he knows what I want

Assange anounces candidacy for possible WA Senate by-election


Re: agrarian-socialist-conservative Nationals Party?

Is this a new idea to you? It's a very old idea, and quite well known. Why socialist? Because the National (previously known as the Country) Party are well known for

- redistribution of government wealth (to farmers)

- implementing social welfare for farmers, via tax breaks, subsidies and direct handouts.

- trade protectionism

- closed shops (c.f. Australian Wheat Board)

- retail price maintenance

- government intervention in markets (e,g, foreign investment review board)

They may speak the language of free trade and open competition, but they've never practiced it.

If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck,...

Facebook Zucks up $2bn sales, record profit - but stock fell. What gives?


Gravity always wins

What gives is that the P/E is 213

Labor names Jason Clare shadow comms spokesbloke

Thumb Down

Investor and Chairman - not founder. Nor did he "run" the company.

LIberals have an uncanny ability to stick luddites into this portfolio.

There, fixed it for you.

Exhibit A: Helen Coonan

ENTIRE NBN BOARD offers to walk the plank: report

IT Angle

No Confidence either way

"although El Reg notes that a board that didn't have confidence in the incoming government might have taken the same action"

This is exactly right. I don't think they had a choice, given the comments of the minister and the fact that the decision on CEO was not, apparently, any of their concern.

New iPhones: C certainly DOESN'T stand for 'Cheap'


Re: "space gray"

Bronze - 70s retro. Will it fade to baby-shit brown?

Turnbull floats e-vote, compulsory ID


Re: Just to put things into context

But what is the problem? Malcolm hasn't demonstrated one. He has demonstrated contempt for voters. Why not fix that problem first, before creating a solution to a non existent one.

Big Brother

Forced to vote for one of these morons

Why bother with elections at all if Malcolm is so sure why people vote informal. If he knows so much about (non) voters motivations, he can just select the next government without our assistance. Or, perhaps it's because at least 3% of the population don't want any of the nutters who offer themselves up?

He's actually suggesting that we bee forced to select one (in fact all, since we have to complete all boxes for the vote to be formal) of the magnificent specimens we're presented with every three years. You've got to be joking. My choice was Kevin supporter, dumb liberal, right wing Katter, even more right wing Clive, even more right wing "Family First", even further right wing shooter. Beam me up!

And as for electronic voting, even Malcolm must be able to google just enough to understand that

- There are huge security problems

- It has the potential to destroy the anonymity of the vote

- The US, which was an early adopter, is abandoning electronic voting in many areas

- It costs more, not less

There is no problem. Does Malcolm have shares in Diebold? We've got rid of one arrogant narcissist. Let's hope we're not getting a replacement.

Qld Health starts briefing industry on IT refresh


Re: Here's a start . . .

Sounds good, but that's what they did with QH Payroll. It's just that the ballsed-up steps 1,2,3,4,5 and 6.

Why will this time be better?

Queensland bans IBM from future work


Re: breakdown of payments

IBM - 25 million

HP - quite a few SuperDomes

Other Contractors - a little bit

Public Servants processing the pays - more than 1 Billion

I.e. the headline number is the cost over the next N years (where N is 3 or 4) of all the public servants putting pay variations into the system due to the fabulous system design

No FTTH under alternative Oz NBN plan, says Oppn. leader


Opposition Broadband Policy:

1. Whatever Labor says, we're against it

2. Malcolm Turnbull will never be Prime Minister or Lead of the Opposition (again)

3. What is Broadband.

4. Malcolm Turnbull will never be Prime Minister or Lead of the Opposition (again)

Australia downloads a limping 13 Mbps, says Ookla


What is surprising about this data. It seems eminently believable. Given that household connections dominate the data, and ADSL connections dominate the home connections, we could conclude that the average ADSL connection speed is somewhat (but not too much) less than 13 Mb/sec - taking out Fibre/Cable will reduce the average.

To get 13 Mb/sec you need to be on ADSL 2/2+ and live about 2-3 KM from the exchange or RIM. That is a reasonable description of a lot of Australia. So where's the problem with the figures?

What's disappointing in this article is the implication that somehow this is good enough because a few tiny countries have different geography. It's not good enough, because many (probably more than) half the population get less than 13 Mb and they get it via an unreliable and end-of-service medium.

The interesting implication is that, to more than double the average bandwidth, let alone the guaranteed bandwidth, which is the Coalitions' plan, will require the a huge number of RIMS/Mini Exchanges plus huge investment in copper replacement, just to get a few steps up the ladder - assuming know one overtakes us in the interim.

Android is a mess and needs sprucing up, admits chief

Thumb Up

Re: Most people will just install or use the apps they like or are most comfortable using.

Yep, I can't understand what the article is on about. I recently received a HTC One XL. It came with a bunch of applications. Some I can uninstall. Some I don't like so I went to the app store and found a different/better one. It has lots of space. If I don't want to use an app I just remove the icons if it can't be installed. They all seem to integrate well enough where I want them to.

By the time it runs out of space it'll probably be worn out and I'll get another.

This is so much better that being told by <Big Corporation of America> that you must use the perfect blessed application that they've selected for you and which their marketing department has decided you need.

What's the big deal?

Google 'will be pulled back in front of MPs' on its UK tax affairs


Race to bottom: Tax Lawyers beating bankers

The thing that exposes the mindset of these dudes is the quote from the tax laywer:

"they're perpetuating and fuelling that concept that there's a fair share of tax"

The horrors that anyone should even suggest such a concept.

Virgin Media: SO SORRY we fined your dead dad £10 for unpaid bill


Re: Way over the top

"This is why, when somebody dies an executor takes control. It is their responsibility to inform the likes of Virgin and to pay any outstanding bills from the deceased estate."

I don't believe that is the case. In Australia, Executors are required to " advertise in newspapers and the Government Gazette calling for creditors having claims against the estate to give notice of the claim within two months".

If Virgin does not contact the executor and misses the notice, they have no claim. Of course, it may be different in the UK, but much of Australian law is still based on UK law

New poll says Assange could win Australian Senate seat


Strange Survey

This is a very strange survey. Since Assange is seeking to become a senator for Victoria, all those questioned from other states are 100% not going to vote for him, as he won't be on the ballot paper.

What does vote for him mean? Does it mean give him you first preference? Because, with our system, you can vote for him, but as your 27th preference, if you like.

Also, the Senate electoral system has two options

- vote for a ticket (e.g. Labor Party, Liberals). Preferences are assigned according to each party's decision. All major parties will have Assange very low on their preference list, so their left-over quotas will not go to him. Most voters (> 97% in Victoria) use the ticket votes, because the alternative is

- voting by filling in every box on the ballot paper in order of preference (59 boxes in Victoria as the last election). This is just way too much trouble for most.

Crypto guru: Don't blame users, get coders security training instead

IT Angle

Training Works

It's not the full solution, it never stops, but it does work. This is analogous to the handwashing campaign conduct in UK hospitals in recent years. People new they had to do it, they new it had benefits, they just didn't do it (too busy, I'm not doing anything critical, it's just the once, excuse, excuse, excuse).

So a training campaign with lots of reminders and reinforcement was implemented, with significant benefits (i.e. less people dying).

Salesforce: Internet of Things is 'third wave of computing'


"The chief executive was confused as to why more companies were not embarking on a social network strategy for their connected products"

Because the only benefit is for the Marketing types. It doesn't actually help anyone else\

NBN Co still on budget, CEO claims


Re: Based on his track record

Abbott lacks credibility. I have zero confidence that either scheme will progress as claimed.

There, fixed it for you

Coalition's NBN plan: where's the cost of the copper?


It's just flannel

You make the mistake of thinking this is a real plan with proper costings. It's an issue that requires a diversion, so Malcolm and Tony issue a press release.

The real plan was in Joe's wallet.

Australia gets a space strategy

Thumb Up

Re: Laugh it up...

Wresat, named after WRE, the Weapons Research Establishment. Amongst the fun projects they did was "Airborne Recovery", an attempt to catch missiles in nets dragged behind Beaufort bombers.

Their most successful ongoing activity, in that it made money was, err, sheep grazing on their extensive site.

IBM Australia on the stand over $1bn blowout

Thumb Down


Some interesting facts about payroll project

- They had about 80,000 employees to pay

- Because of the multiple awards and hideous complexity of the awards (think "hand washing allowance"), there are approximately 24,000 different possible combination of items on a pay slip.

- Most of the mentioned $450M (or $1.2 B projected cost) is for the clerical support to process pays, not the IT cost

While the IT project was a horrendous screw-up with bad design choices (e.g. award processing is done in SAP AND in the front end WorkBrain scheduling/time keeping software) equally bad was the management of change, business process.

They did many things wrong

- changed the organisation, payroll system, scheduling system, time sheeting system all at once

- went live without adequate testing

- wrote a poor contract with IBM, allowing them to eventually bill twice the original contract value.

- did not change the major weakness in their business process, which was to process pays before they received time sheets, meaning that they were forever having to go back and adjust pays, sometimes up to 2 years in arrears

- decided to integrate WorkBrain and SAP even though it had never been done before

However, while I am no fan of SAP, this implementation does produce the correct result if given the correct input data. The huge cost is mostly in the administration to provide the correct time info. (So it's clearly a bad design, but it does work with herculean effort).

Not everyone came out badly though. HP sold a couple of extra Superdomes. I'm sure the salesman was happy.

No need to find a conspiracy here, when mere incompetence will suffice.

Australia's coalition launches new broadband policy


Re: malcolm turnbull is an idiot.

This this is just an extension of the complete screw-up of communications policy that John Howard presided over in his 10 years of government. The key tenets are

- under no circumstances try to discover what end users want

- ensure that large corporations benefit most. Oligopolies where your mates end up with high paid managerial positions are best

- extract all possible funds to use for other government purposes

- do not try to understand the technology

- do not plan for the future


- if the solution allows reading e-mail via tablet on Sydney's North shore, it must be sufficient for the rest of the plebs.

Facebook prepares to dominate Android



Patent shark‘s copyright claim could bite all Unix


Ern Malley

Liked the reference to Ern Malley, a fictitious poet, the main character in an old Australian literary hoax. Ironic too that Ern's poems were published in a journal named "Angry Penguins".

Oz shop slaps browsers with $5 just looking fee


Re: Seems a great way to lose business.

Not much of a leg to stand on. My guess it's similar to the bag search signs that many supermarkets tried on a few years ago. They have no right to search, they can only ask you to leave. If you refuse to have your bag searched and they use any physical means to try the search, it's probably assault. So the signs have mostly disappeared.

Not that it's an issue in this. Most people just won't enter, even if they intended to buy.

Queensland, customer service.Two different planets who's orbits rarely cross.

Security damn well IS a dirty word, actually


Missing the point

I think this article misses the point. There is no perfect security. There won't ever be. Do you feel secure behind your locked door at home? Why? You know that someone could break it down if they really wanted to.

Security is about managing risk. We need to have enough controls to deter and detect bad guys, given the risk. Too much makes it harder for the user (and for businesses). Too little is asking to be ripped off. That's why most SSL exploits are not of concern (but yes, some are). They are theoretical and impractical to reproduce in the wild. The people working on them are part of the process of improving security, not bringers of doom.

Are you concerned about someone stealing your credit card details and racking up huge bills? You should be a bit, but there's no need to make a fetish out of it. After all the Bank/Visa/MC bears most of the risk and cost.

And I don't believe that abstraction and lack of understanding of the underlying technology is such an issue. It must be pretty good, otherwise " the growth of deployment seems logarithmic with no asymptote in sight" couldn't happen, or we'd all be broke because the Russian mafia had all our money. Why would a business spend gazillions of dollars improving security by 1% when they could insure me against loss for much less?

Sure their will be holes. The key is to keep playing the game to stay far enough ahead of the bad guys so you risk is controlled. Your risk will never be 0. That doesn't me that password123 is a good password.

Oz Bank share price dives after reveal of IBM/Oracle plan


Single View

I'm a NAB customer. I can confirm that NAB has approximately 15 conflicting views of the customer up until about a year ago. All of a sudden it started to improve. It's not perfect, but at least they don't have to change your contact details in 12 different places.

The share price dip has nothing to do with the IT announcement. It's just a small correction after a very big recent increase - 23.11 in mid November peaking at 31.64 a couple of days ago. It's now 30.60. All of the other big OZ banks had the similar rise and recent correction


Re: good thing I don't bank there ...

I think you'll find that the data remains on Australian soil. APRA would be (is) all over this. APRA is a much scarier organisation for an Australian Bank than the US Govt.

Climate scientists link global warming to extreme weather


Re: previous ice age?

Umm, we are in an interglacial period. For a layman's definition, listen to the aforementioned In Our Time podcast. If there's ice at the poles, we are in an ice age. An Interglacial period is one where there is less ice (i.e. not covering all of northern Europe).

We may be heading out of our current ice age and industrial era CO2 generation may be assisting that, who knows. But we are still in one.

Turnbull says NBN Co could offer FTTN with optional fibre-for-cash


Turnbull demonstrates once again that he knows nothing about providing a broadband solution. Just because he was lucky enough to invest in ozemail 15 years ago does not make him qualified to provide communications or IT advice to anyone.

His readiness to twist in the wind every time T.Abbott wants to appease some interest group is shameful. He should hang his head. The only result will be a disruption to a well thought out communications policy that is actually being implemented. The NBN is expensive partly because of the great balls-up of policy conducted during the Howard years. Abbott and Turnbull want to repeat this, thus ensuring that Australia's broadband offerings fall further behind the rest of the world.

So when the Liberals get in at the next election the NBN will be sacrificed just because the Labor Party thought of it first.