* Posts by Frank Oz

57 posts • joined 10 Sep 2013


ICANN finally reveals who’s behind purchase of .org: It’s ███████ and ██████ – you don't need to know any more

Frank Oz

Jon Postel would be so disappointed

For him DNS was a labour of love ...

For him ISOC acted for the internet users ... and I speak as an ex ISOC member of long standing.

This deal smells to high heaven, and reflcts no credit on ISOC at all. They sold their integrity (to ICANN) for the ORG registry, and are now selling the ORG registry for profit. A billion tax evaded bucks no less ... and I wonder where that will go.

LibreOffice 6.4 nearly done as open-source office software project prepares for 10th anniversary

Frank Oz

I love its ability to open and export to ...

... pretty well any esoteric format that has ever existed.

I was surprised by the fact that it would open 20 and 30 year old word processing and spreadsheet files, created by long dead applications, using their own native file formats.

For that capability alone I paid some moolah to the developers.

And, as an Office package, it's not half bad.

A sprinkling of Star Wars and a dash of Jedi equals a slightly underbaked Rise Of Skywalker

Frank Oz

A remake of Episode 6

For mine, the Rise of Skywalker was a remake of Episode 6 with different characters, same pacing, and similar structure and plot.

And when we finally get to the overplayed 'all is lost' conclusion, redeemed magically by a miraculous revival that was confirmed.

That said, Star Wars was always for kids and fantasy fans ... with its cheesy dialogue, mystical-magical-metaphysical philosophy, rejection of mainstream science (sound effects in space, light sabers, and klunky un-techy tech ... not to mention quaint reliance on animals) and logic.

It's just a summer movie series for God Sake ... no point getting all religious and uppity about it.

Internet Society says opportunity to sell .org to private equity biz for $1.14bn came out of the blue. Wow, really?

Frank Oz

Jon Postel would be rolling in his grave.

Huawei, Huawei. Huawei, Huawei. Feeling hot, hot, hot: US threatens to cut UK from intel sharing over Chinese tech giant

Frank Oz

Re: Quite right too.

Yup ... as soon as Britain leaves Europe it will find its true place in the world. I think there's a lot of disillusionment coming.

Google plonks right-wing think tanker and defence drone mogul on AI ethics advisory board

Frank Oz

When Google let go of ...

... the ''don't be evil' policy in April/May last year, they were simply clearing the decks for little numbers like this.

In the near future they'll be hosting death camps, organising whale hunts and lauding child molesters as they take us into their glorious future.

London flatmate (Julian Assange) sues landlord (government of Ecuador) in human rights spat

Frank Oz

Oh the Humanity!!!!!

You mean he's got to clean his toilet and look after his cat?


Where do these Ecuadorans get off?

I mean, the line has to be drawn somewhere!

Russian volcanoes fingered for Earth's largest mass extinction

Frank Oz

Call me crazy, but wasn't this a story in other media (its even been on the Science and Discovery channels since) about five or ten years back.

This is a 'filler item' ... right.

Total WIPOut: IT chief finds his own job advertised

Frank Oz

It's so very hard ...

... to summon up any respect for the UN when things like this happen.

Do they do it deliberately to destroy support for the United Nations, or are all the UN's executives so corrupt, so without any moral fibre, that they are incapable of change?

Angry Australians, in the .au registry, with the vote of no confidence: CEO, execs face ousting

Frank Oz

A disaster ....

Bring back Robert Elz.

Good news: The only thing standing between NASA and $20bn is...

Frank Oz

Re: Omnibus

"Bills ARE the problem"

Right on ... I propose that we call them 'Chucks' from now on.

Dodo, Commander, iPrimus are very sorry about 100/40 NBN plans

Frank Oz

And when will the ...

REAL malefactor in all these cases be blamed.

We now have an NBN that is an unmitigated failure for 80-90% of its clientele ... and it's hiding behind the retailers who pretty much can't do anything to improve the sub-standard network performance.

Whois? More like WHOWAS: Domain database on verge of collapse over EU privacy

Frank Oz

Because in Europe ...

... it's important that nobody knows who they are dealing with.

In addition to the Corporate Veil, we also have the Internet Cloak.

US Supremes take a look at Microsoft's Irish email slurp battle, and yeah, not a great start

Frank Oz

So, the upshot is that the Cloud has gone from being a solution in search of a problem to a problem in search of a solution.

Australia won't prescribe its national broadband network a high-fibre diet

Frank Oz

"Indeed, why should the rest of Australia subsidise the needs of a few gamers and commercial users."

Yup ... instead we should pay 90% of the cost of an FTTH network, and get less than 10% of the capability, bandwidth and scalability. In some quarters that may look like sound economics ... but from my perspective it's a short-sighted nonsense.

I got an HFC connection at my place, that absolutely will not go over 44/19.

The NBN ... building yesterdays network for tomorrow.

How fast is a piece of string? Boffin shoots ADSL signal down twine

Frank Oz

For God's sake!

... don't publish this in Australia.

Our technological troglodytes in government and those in charge of the NBM will incorporate string as part of their 'Mixed Technology Model' ... and we'll be doomed to even slower Internet speeds.

Astroboffins spot a fat 'monster' ALIEN planet terrorizing tiny dwarf

Frank Oz

Re: Shouldn't hot Jupiters be common?

My thoughts exactly ... perhaps the system should be considered a failed binary. I'm guessing there are a few of those out there.

That said, the fact that they orbit every 2.6 days is unusual. Stable binaries typically have a much greater separation distance than what this orbit implies.

nbn™ to use G.fast in late 2018, firstly in commercial premises

Frank Oz

Funny how ...

Announcements like this and the new, more reasonable, ISP charges always happen after some disastrous media coverage of the NBN.

Perhaps we should encourage more investigative journalism on the topic ... hey, we could even end up with a barely adequate broadband network rather than the fourth rate one they continue to build.

Frank Oz

Funny how ...

.... Announcements like this are always preceded by bad nws stories about the NBN.

nbn™'s problems were known – in 2008, a year before its birth

Frank Oz

The BIG problem for the government

... is explaining how they spent 90% of what it would have cost to install a full fibre network, to give us an NBN capable of less than 10% of the performance. And when you factor in that the MTM install time has blown out by 4 years (and will probably blow out by more) ... well, the whole thing looks like a project management disaster of epic proportions.

2019: The year that Microsoft quits Surface hardware

Frank Oz

Re: If it's good enough for Google and Apple

Well, yeah .... but Apple have always been a hardware company (that also happens to do pretty seamlessly integrated software), whilst Microsoft has been primarily a software company (that has recently gotten into the hardware business).

Microsoft's business strengths have relied on it not being as capital intensive as Apple, of producing product that is replicable at pretty much low cost, and nowadays distributable at no cost - which gave/gives it margins that were the envy of everyone else.

Apple sees software as a value-add to its hardware - hence its freebie core value software and operating system strategy. They make no money at all on most of their software.

Microsoft software is produced across platforms, and hardware configurations, and runs on same very well ... whereas Apple only has to write the software for its limited hardware range(s).

Apple might be worth more in a share value/individual customer value sense, but Microsoft beats Apple on the profit per unit sold and percentages. When it turned its attention to hardware, Microsoft was never able to tap Apple's economies of scale, or own-chip fabrication capabilities ... which meant that Apple's margins were better on the hardware.

Better to stick to their strengths ...

Drones aren't evil and won't trigger the Rise of the Machines: MoD

Frank Oz

Re: Drones are not evil

Well, yeah but ...

A civilian drone could just as easily carry a kilo or two of remotely detonateable explosive, as a camera, or a pizza delivery.

But the same could be said for cars and car-bombs, and other means of delivering a big bang to the location you desire. As you said, they are a tool that can be used for multiple purposes.

Personally I think there'll be a kick back against drones solely because of their potential to mess with our privacy. Yes, the NSA can do immensely more damage to that than a drones, but a hovering drone and the sight of yourself on Twitter, YouTube or whatever doing something embarrassing or illegal is much more visible threat to the individual than the remote siphoning of your data feeds.

Daily Stormer binned by yet another registrar, due to business risks

Frank Oz

Re: Quick note from easyDNS

For mine, if you preach intolerance, discrimination and disrespect of others based on race, creed or whatever ... then you deserve to have the same intolerance, discrimination and disrespect centred on you.

Can't have it both ways. You're hoisted on your own petard as they say.

The more mature amongst us respect life's reciprocity, the bigoted and intolerant don't.

Australia's .au internet registry chair quits amid no-confidence vote

Frank Oz

Executive shenanigans...

Rent seeking suits seek to enrich themselves whilst adding no value, and removing themselves from any scrutiny by those they answer to ...

What really hurts is that in the corporate sector of the Australian economy, such behaviour will be widely admired.

Sign of the times I suppose, but I'm glad this time a light was shone on it.

CSC shows first growth in two years... after ploughing half a billion into takeovers

Frank Oz

The old formula

Ahh ... IT contractor 'competitors'.

If you can't beat them ... buy them ...

... and the devil take the employees.

DNS devastation: Top websites whacked offline as Dyn dies again

Frank Oz

Well, yeah ...

Bottom line is that its the current DNS process, which is in place to ensure that the domain name issuers get their little piece of the pie, which make attacks like this possible. In the good old days the ENTIRE DNS data files/database was mirrored on a number of servers around the planet ... so a DOOS would have to hit them all to cause things to fall over this badly.

These days, all the hacker has to do is find out which commercial Domain Name provider provided which mega huge internet presence with its domain names ... and just hit that server. If anything this attack should result in a number of DYN clients going elsewhere (presumably to a less visible DNS provider)

What should happen is that ICANN points out that the current DNS verification and validation processes (which are only in place to protect the IP of the DNS provider) actually make it easier for the Ungodly ... and that perhaps total replication of the database across mulitple provider sand locations might be a good idea to revert to.

But that's unlikely - because nowadays ICANN represents the DNS providers.

Former comms minster Stephen Conroy to leave Parliament

Frank Oz

Re: Bye...

"Fred Taxpayer can ill afford more by-elections."

No need for a by-election in the Senate. The convention is that the party from which the retiring Senator belongs is entitled to nominate their own new Senator -who, from memory is appointed by the State Premier. Exactly how this would affect the new Senator's term of office after a double dissolution is something I have no idea about (do they go to the bottom of the line and serve a three year term or are they entitled to the term that the original incumbent was serving?) ... but a by-election isn't necessary.

On Conroy's Communications contributions - as you point out ... a bit of a mixed bag.

Fight over internet handover to ICANN goes right down to the wire

Frank Oz

And ....

ICANN has added value to the Internet and its users - how?

Seems to me it's been good for government and government control, it's been good for a host of bureaucrats who want to get on the gravy train, and it's been good for those who want to commercialise the net even more ... but for users, little numbers like the IETF and open standards, better domain name administration, assigned number allocation and the running of the net generally - it has made no discernible difference.

Telstra wins AU$39 million for data retention costs as grants revealed

Frank Oz

Well, it's good to see ...

... Somebody getting some joy out of the government's snooping on its citizens, invading our privacy, and diminishing oru standard of life in ways that the terrorists could never hope to ... all in pursuit of an unattainable perfect security.

Of course, the fact that taxpayers (the 'snoopees') are paying for the government (the 'snoopers') to compensate third party rent-seekers for keeping the metadata and other info ('snooping') may be of concern to some ...

But it's good to see some joy being spread around.

NBN HFC scaled down to stave off financial disaster

Frank Oz

Obsolete? Mmmm ... but only at 'the ends'. In other words, the devices capable of sending/receiving/detecting data over fibre.

The original fibre can be upscaled with higher data density (frequency modulation), more dedicated channels (colours) and upgraded protocols and multiplexing simply by replacing or software upgrading said devices. The same can't be said for twisted pair copper, HFC or any other medium the NBN is installing.

And as for those Node boxen ... well, lets wait and see how scalable, upgradeable, maintainable and repairable they are (in technical as well as cost aspects).

And my guess is that leaving a major capital investment in current obsolete technology out there, subject to the vagaries of weather, flood, fire and natural disaster, and indeed ever increasing consumer demand for more bandwidth and performance was not the smartest move. And we'll have 80,000 of these possible (probable) points of failure to contend with ... won't that be a joy.

Frank Oz

So their solution is ...

To take an already obsolete, less than scalable, compromised, politically neutered, fourth rate network design ... and downgrade it.

'Mr Broadband' must be very proud of what he's bequeathing Australia.

Australian Federal Police resume NBN raids, this time in parliament

Frank Oz

Look, it's important that ...

Despite the fact that the NBN is spending billions of PUBLIC funds on an essentially obsolete network that will probably (on the government's own admission) not redeem a fraction of its build costs when sold ... the public does not need to know

1. How well the build targets are being met

2. What the relative performance stats are between FTTP and the MTM NBN

3. The fixed and operational costs pertaining to the different models

4. What build delays have occurred and the reasons for same, and/or

5. A relative cost-benefit analysis of the different models of the NBN

They should just accept what they are told by Management and the different political parties and politicians, realise that nobody is pushing their own barrow here, that we're all in it together, and that it's all being done for their own good.

I mean, we ignored advice from a veritable hoard of networking and IT experts when we floated the MTM model, we selectively ignored what's happening in broadband networks overseas, and we've pushed our hamstrung broadband network for basically political reasons ... but look how well that has worked out.

So trust us ... and don't let these so called 'information leaks' and whistleblowers destroy the government's message. 'Good broadband begins now.'

Australia Post says use blockchain for voting. Expert: you're kidding

Frank Oz

Australia Post's search for relevance ...

In a world that has largely left it behind.

There have been a few stumbles along the way ... it's recent postage fee increases and service decreases combined to make physically posting stuff less attractive than it already was, and therefore made its post office less relevant and economic, which is the primary selling point of it less-efficient-and-effective-than-any-number-of-other-parcel-delivery-services, and hence a search for relevance in other spheres. (Yeah, that wasn't a particularly smart move, AusPost)

So, they propose a digital e-mail box (and what's wrong with the SMTP/POP/IMAP Internet mail service, I'd like to know), digital signatures (in an already overloaded market), and block-chain based transaction management (see article for critique) as the Next Big Things ... principally, I suspect, because their hoard of overpaid suits isn't too creative or bright, and doesn't really have a handle on what's happening in the digital world running rings around them.

C'mon AusPost ... you can do better than this!

#Censusfail aftermath: Here's what's happening inside Australia's board rooms this morning

Frank Oz

Mmmm ... but ASD or DSD they're still pretty pathetic in the security Sphere.

I had some dealings with them about 20 years back - proposing a secure e-mail system for a government department. They rejected the solution on the basis that it was TOO SECURE. Because they couldn't crack it, it was unsuitable.

I'm guessing the Census system went through the same rigorous security checks.

Australian Information Industries Association*: you're not the future of democracy, so please shut up

Frank Oz

To Richard's points I'd add:

Trust: If the electorate can't implicitly trust a voting system, then democracy fails - because nobody elected under such a system would have any perceived legitimacy. And eVoting systems that have been introduced (in the US and more particularly Florida), have been riven with rumours of bad coding, deliberately biased coding and outright fraudulent coding ... which have seen them sidelined soon after introduction.

2. Gateways. The eVoting system isn't the only piece of critical infrastructure. You'd also need workable and usable gateways that verify identity (and eGov ... and its various predecessors SERIOUSLY SUCKS - both for purpose and performance, and here in Victoria government IT gateways and infrastructure are laughable).

3. Identity Verification and Validation. We'd also need an acceptable digital signature/identity verification system - which doesn't exist in Australia at the moment.

Bottom line: None of the technical requirements are in place, even if you leave the political acceptability

Waleed Aly's NBN intervention is profoundly unhelpful

Frank Oz

Mmmmm .... Pedantry gone mad

"I don't really understand why The Reg gets so upset about what are basically minor errors on the part of entertainers. One might dismiss Aly's claims about buffering as a mere rhetorical device (hyperbole, for example), but instead we have to be told he doesn't know what he's talking about, and how he's doing more damage than good to the argument."

Mmmm ... pedantry gone mad. Given the tone of this article if he'd said 'baud' rather than 'bits per second', or 'Internet' rather than 'internet' or 'bite' rather than 'byte' (!!!???) he would have been in for a REAL good-and-proper roasting.

Can't have these journalist types from a non-IT background making minor technical mistakes, can we? I mean, that could lead to anarchy, dogs mating with cats in the streets, the world could end prematurely and pubs might close early.

No ... far better to waste everyone's time picking at nits because there was no story worth writing about when you sat down at the keyboard.

PayPal freezes 400-job expansion in North Carolina over bonkers religious freedom law

Frank Oz

Re: America

America tends to be very selective about its observanc eof its Constitution and its Amendments. To my my mind the Amercian Constitution is more a 'statement of good intent' rather than a law that's meant to be followed.

It's been more distinguished by its breaches rather than its effect over the years ... especially in times of stress (like during wars, economic downturns and the like - when it is supposed to be there to protect everyone).

No, George Brandis, telcos still don't want you taking the console in their networks

Frank Oz

Right ... like the paranoid technological troglodytes who currently rule over us would be likely to exhibit even the faintest hint of common sense.

Ideology trumps technology in Brandis World, and he is ably assisted by a legion of politicised,much much worse than average, lawyers who couldn't get a job anywhere else.

The innovation nation my ass.

Uber Australia is broke: 'We don't pay tax because we don't generate revenue'

Frank Oz

Re: It beggars belief...

No, it's correct.

Above $75000 you pay the GST on all your outputs. End of story.

Below $75000 you pay the GST on ALL your inputs ... with no opportunity to claim GST credits and backbill them.

For mine ... the average Uber driver would be better off registered (in a credits sense) - especially when starting out - as he could claim back GST credits on the car, repairs to same, fuel, maintenance and other running costs - reducing his expenses by 10%. As his customers would be responsible for paying the GST, he'd be better off (aside from the need to collect and remit the tax to the ATO).

All the above said, that would introduce a level of accounting complexity that the average driver may not be interested in ... but surely Uber could build this in to their service to the driver.

Half the Fanbois in your office are unpatched ATTACK VECTORS

Frank Oz


Mmmm ....

And in the final conclding paragraphs of the article.

One wonders why the headline wasn't 'Android Fanboys in your office ...", and why the writer didn't lead with the Android vulnerabilities.

I have Android and Apple devices in my home, and the ones I'm REALLY worried about, security wise, are the Android ones.

Australian carriers try to head off government telco security bill

Frank Oz

Frredom of Speech

At the moment the government would probably like to shut down all forms of social media ... because they've been getting hammered there for so many embarrassing missteps, faux pas and incidents of downright incompetence of late that they've finally realised that just having the Murdoch Press on their side is not enough to insulate them from the furnace of public indignation.

They'd love to shut down Twitter, FaceBook, Digg and any number of platforms. To hammer Google and especially You Tube for all those nasty parodies and endlessly repeated news items that so distress them.

Can they do it? Not in this universe. But that won't stop them from trying ... obviously on 'national security' grounds.

Australian Cyber Security Centre uses discredited data to quantify infosec threats

Frank Oz


Mmmmm .... I trusted the old independent unfunded CERT for its timely reports and responses. Then the government bought in AusCERT, which was a totally different proposition ... a mob of government bureaucrats and amateur IT security wannabe's ... that morphed into the ACSC - which as far as I can see has done nothing to justify its humungous and ever-increasing budget in all the time it has been in place.

Still, it's run by the Australian government - so it must be 'world's best practice' ... right?

Is it just me, or would they have been better off simply giving the old CERT 25-50% of the budget the ACSC attracts - and relying on an independent body that actually worked and knew what they were doing?

Australia's IT industries were repeatedly humiliated in 2014

Frank Oz

With one exception ....

Australian IT companies and associations pretty much tend to be big-time wimps when the government rumbles over them.

Telstra rolls over to protect its various sweetheart deals and monopolist concessions. Ditto Optus. Both are pretty much just rent seekers seeking to make the most out of their long obsolete capital, whilst hoping to become dominant 'partners' at the NBN pot. The other telcos are too small potatoes to challenge a kindergarten and meekly do whatever they are told.

But iiNet has a record of bucking the system and refusing to buckle to protect third parties, the government or whoever. I think they do that to protect their own interests as much as their clients/consumers ... and besides publicity wise it really looks good with the general public - but they do buck the trend rather often.

Of the overseas IT firms ... they pretty much just want to lay low and sell product. So, you won't see them sticking their necks out for anyone but themselves. And at the moment, they just want the tax focus to go away ... so they're laying even lower.

And the industry and IT professional associations: They seem to confuse a 'seat at the table', holding meetings with low level bureaucratic functionaries, and sometimes shaking hands with a MINISTER as relevant, when they are actually being royally ignored by a government going about its business relatively untroubled by infotech, or science, or pretty well anybody who actually knows something about anything.

The only 'stakeholders' this government recognizes are those who go into meetings with them agreeing, wholly and completely, with the government's position ... so what we've got are a plethora of technologically inclined 'Yes Men' - who are no use to anybody.

HE'S DONE IT! Malcolm Turnbull unites left and right with piracy policy

Frank Oz

Counterproductive ... Security Wise

If the LNP wanted to promote Internet secrecy and ever more secure VPN usage, they probably couldn't have adopted a better way to do it.

Now every man and his dog will be out there checking out VPN software (which costs between $50 and $100 per annum to use), and tunneling their internet traffic in hyper-encrypted form through to overseas services, the useful metadata (from the packet headers) that the Australian intelligence services were planning on getting a look at - will disappear - and all the LNP's security initiatives will be badly affected.

To my mind, Malcolm, George and the LNP probably deserve an award from the EFF (let's call it the Snowden Award) for promoting the use of heavy encryption, data tunneling and the cause of Internet privacy above and beyond the call of duty. (Of course, their intelligence mavens won't be so happy - but that's their problem.)

Telstra's NBN boondoggle nearly set in stone: reports

Frank Oz

Is this now more expensive than the FTTP alternative?

The money outlaid for old obsolete infrastructure, and the value placed on same, seem exorbitant.

When is someone gonna point out the bleeding obvious? That is ...

<<<<We could have gotten a full fibre to the premises network for less than we are paying for this MTM turkey. >>>>

Perhaps a vast number of our current LNP politicians, looking down the barrel at a one term government, are simply feathering their own nests for retirement ... and ever so lucrative Telstra and NBN directorships? That's the ONLY reason I can think of for persisting with this farce.

Honestly, I would really prefer that they called a halt to the whole thing, saved the money and used it to fill in their numerous self inflicted Budget holes (if Tony doesn't blow another $12 billion on more fighter planes that don't fly, or Hockey doesn't give the Reserve Bank another $10 billion or so to play with) ... and left the project for the future to take care of.

When it can be done properly, and will become an asset for the nation.

Because at the moment - it has all the hallmarks of an economic, ideological and technical debacle.

Apple on the art of the deal: 'Put on your big boy pants and accept the agreement'

Frank Oz

So .... Don't.Sign.The.Contract.

Can't believe it, they enter a seriously bad restrictive agreement of their own volition - and then they expect the rest of the world to pay for their mistake.

News Flash: Big corporations don't exist for altruistic purposes. Take Note.

Nvidia's screaming new Maxwell GPUs bring 4K gaming to notebooks

Frank Oz

Re: What ... you mean your notebook doesn't have a 4K screen?


And I'd put serious money on both cards being offered as options for the new iMacs that Apple is expected to release 'real soon now' ... and they do have 2500 dpi screens.

With 80% of the power of their big brother's at about 33% of the power cost Apple's gotta be looking at putting these puppies in their iMacs.

Blood-crazed Microsoft axes Trustworthy Computing Group

Frank Oz

Lawyers and enterprise product developers ...

... Who else would you want to overseas your products' security.

One's got you covered in the likely even that your product fails basic security, and you get sued, and the other provides enterprise product that will get you sued ... thus increasing the need for the lawyers.

As for the rest of the product line-up - hey, don't sweat it. Low end users and customers don't have the legal budgets of enterprise clients.

... It all makes a kind of warped sense.

Spooks, cops, say Oz metadata push is for consistency, not data grab

Frank Oz

Look ... I believe these guys ...

Because spooks are inherently trustworthy and wouldn't do anything to hurt anyone.

I mean, if you can't trust spies ... who can you trust?

Microsoft throws old versions of Internet Explorer under the bus

Frank Oz

Oh what a tangled Web we weave ...

when first we attempt to dominate the browser market, and incorporate all our closed technologies into the browser, and integrate ActiveX/COM ... the world's most insecure single user API's, and ...

Well, you get the idea ...



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