I was a principal engineer for Nokia when MS took it over. Let's just say it was a cluster fuck!
193 posts • joined 17 Feb 2015
I got one of these calls last night. Unfortunately I had just come home from a 2 day drive from NYC (I live outside of Chicago) and was too tired to do much other than threaten the scammer with a complaint to the US federal authorities (pretty useless these days). We have no Windows systems (VMs or otherwise) in our house. Wife only uses Apple systems for home and work (she is a staff physicist at a major national laboratory - I think only HR uses Windows there), and I only use Linux systems (CentOS on my server and Mint on my laptop/workstation).
Java is an abomination. Not as a programming language per se, but as a systems programming language! It was never intended for the uses we find it in today, and we all suffer for it. I got my first Java compiler directly from the inventor, James Gosling, back in 1995 when we both gave invited papers at the IEEE manufacturing engineering conference in Boston. His intention for the language at the time was to build applets for web browsers. The language wasn't officially released by Sun until about 5 years later.
Yes. Disc drives fail. What is the differentiator is how the company deals with the situation. I also prefer WD to other (un)named companies' disc drive products. First of all, they run a LOT cooler, which when you run them 24x365 that is critical. Second, my SMART monitor indicates they have a lot fewer sector failures over time.
"Updated at 14.20 UTC to add: The Register spoke to Simon Blackler, who admitted that the company had a severe support ticket issue, and had failed to communicate thoroughly with its customers. He stressed the Krystal was not shuttering the Smart Hosting brand, and was working hard on resolving the backlog of tickets."
Yep. Their hamsters are spinning those wheels as fast as they can! Fixing stuff? Nah. That's human stuff, and there aren't any (humans) around here any longer...
In Europe Amanita Muscaria (magic mushrooms - orange with white spots) are deadly. In Colorado, USA they are a great high! We used to have some great shroom parties up in Breckenridge when I was living there in the late 1960's. We'd all go to the local bar & grill and get the "special" burger with mushrooms! At that time, all of that was totally legal! Hey John! One special mushroom burger and a bottle of beer!
Except for tech support teams, every company I have worked with in the past 7 years (Nokia, Adobe, Panasonic,...) is issuing laptops to all employees. That is the "desktop" for the current decades. People go to a meeting and need to present some "stuff" to the team. One laptop + one huge monitor + one hookup device and voila - instant presentation that the rest of the team can download to their laptops via WiFi as necessary.
Most of the scientists I know (a huge number) have some "interesting" senses of humor. Anyone who takes this seriously (the video) is an idiot! FWIW, my father was a physicist, my wife is a physicist, and I am an engineer. Do I know scientists? I once had breakfast with Linus Pauling and my physics professor in college was Frank Oppenheimer.
The neat thing about physics research, especially so far out on the frontier of knowledge as this work is, is that progress is bit-by-bit. Great and creative work though! A lot of concrete knowledge of our universe will come out of it, for sure. FWIW, my father was an astro-geo-physicist and Guggenheim Fellow, and my wife is a particle physicist at Fermi Lab. Me, I'm only an engineer, but with a solid foundation in the sciences - Frank Oppenheimer was my physics professor in college.
I'd call these govt. functionaries idiots, but that would be an insult to idiots. Ban end-to-end encryption? You have to be kidding me! ISP's cannot enforce this! No one can! I send an encrypted message to a colleague that only they have the key to decrypt? How much computer time do you have? A couple of millions of years if we use a secure algorithm and key? Really useful then, won't it be? Historically, perhaps. Message: what do you want for dinner? Answare: what about lasagna?
My parents were smart, and progressive. They knew that we (my sister and I) would become sexually active and would, even before that, be curious about how the opposite sex works. Solution? Plenty of kleenex for those hand sessions after reading some chapters of Lady Chatterly or Fanny Hill. Then, there was the copy of the Kamasutra my dad brought me back from a trip to India... Just don't ask me to describe the "Elephant Position"! Honestly, don't ask - I don't remember any more! :-)
Only one bad router was required to nuke their entire operation? God what ID10TS! They should immediately fire their entire network operations management team and promote some of there better and more experienced engineers. No doubt they complained to management on numerous occasions about this Achilles Heel? And were ignored, or told that fixing it would be too expensive? Where have I seen this before?
Given that I am a descendant of Lord Byron and Percy Shelly (Mary Shelly is a cousin a couple of levels in the family tree away), I guess that I am both a cousin of Frankenstein, as well as cousin to Lady Lovelace... That's probably where my writing, computing, and software skills come from. :-) Thank you ladies!
The DMCA is what's wrong with the DMCA. Simply put, punishing people for moving stuff they have paid for into more accessible formats is just egregious! Punish those who rip off content for profit. Not people who want to view stuff in order to determine if it is worth purchasing. I have 100's of DVD's and CD's of stuff that I have purchased because I first viewed a "pirated" copy and decided I wanted a legitimate copy for my library. I would NOT purchase a copy first in many cases because I decided it wasn't worth the "price of admission" and stopped watching after 15 minutes, and then dumped the copy into the bit-bucket.
Unfortunately, the power supply is one area where system builders cut corners, resulting in a much reduced lifespan for the system. I will NEVER purchase a workstation/gaming system with less than a 750-1000 watt power supply! And look at the power requirements at all voltages! Want to overclock that CPU? You need more power. Want to add RAM? More power please! Need to add cooling? More power please... I'm in the market for a workstation/server. One that I am considering has dual (redundant) 925 watt power supplies. I could up that for another $500, but I think it's not necessary for my use. Total system cost for dual 6 core Intel i7 preocessors (up to 3.2GHz), 16GB RAM, 500GB system drive (I have plenty of spares for more storage), nVidia GTX 750Ti (marginally slower than the 980 card - the 980 is another $600) graphics, Sound Blaster audio, 3 year warranty - about $3500 USD.
FWIW, I am an electrical and senior systems engineer. I do this stuff for a living. Read the fine print... Personally, though we at my place of work have a lot of HP gear, I really don't like it much. HP doesn't build stuff the way it used to - dead-bang reliable. It is a consumer equipment manufacturer any longer. One of my best friends was their VP of engineering back in the 1980's. HP has only gone downhill since Ernie Bertram retired. :-(
I have always thought Microsoft (since the early 1980's) was bass-ackward in their approach to tech. Gotta wonder what they will screw up next. Most entertaining! I also love those bogus phone calls from "Microsoft Tech Support Services" that inform me that our computers are infected with viruses and they will help us clean them up. We have exactly ZERO Windows computers in our home. My wife is an iUser only, and I Linux! :-) I especially love to keep these pinheads on the phone for as long as possible, stringing them along. Very entertaining, for sure!
Love the FC (Faraday Cage)!
My father was a cosmic ray physicist and chair of a major university department of physics. He had a lab called Meson Manor. Because his equipment was so sensitive to random radio and other signals, he needed to build the lab inside a Faraday cage. Unfortunately, a cage lined with solid copper sheeting would have been too expensive for his budget. His solution (thinking outside-of-the-box was a specialty of his) he determined that copper screening had holes that were under the wavelengths of the radiation he wanted to stop, so he lined the "Manor" with copper screening at a fraction of the cost solid copper would have been, and yet performed just as well!
I wonder if it could have just been some name confusion. That happened to me in Chicago when I was returning from a trip to Mexico. I had to go sit for awhile in a border control room until they figured out I wasn't the person that they were looking for. My name is Irish and it's possible some former IRA person has the same name I do.
If you believe for even an instant that top executives at VW did not know this was going on, and approved of it, even tacitly, then you are an idiot! Their engineers would NOT have done this without approval from the highest levels. Maybe there are no paper or e-trails to the top here, but that is just good CYA crap!
Most of these vulnerable POS systems run some version of Microsoft Windows - usually XP. Are we surprised they were hacked? Not even slightly! There are POS systems built on hardened operating systems such as QNX and Linux that are very hard to hack, especially QNX, which is used in safety and security critical systems, such as nuclear power plant control systems.
It was down for me here in Chicago for awhile - less than 1 hour. I had just done a system update and thought it may have been an issue with Firefox. I downgraded FF to the older version, but no joy in Chicagoland! So, I upgraded FF again, and then FB started coming back online. Working fine now.
4 words - backup, backup, backup daily!
And do that to an off-line device, not the cloud. Cloud services can be compromised. Get a 2-3TB sata or usb 3.0 disc, and backup all your data there daily. Myself, I do a system bit-image backup of hte system drive so I can restore the entire operating system if necessary, and bit-image backups of the data drives. These can be easily compressed when doing the backup to take less space than the original drives. If you don't, then you are subject to this sort of ransomware.
Why are we not surprised? Governmental agencies are the most egregiously stupid when it comes to real security. In the US, the DHS should be called the DHIS (Department of Homeland InSecurity). The NSA? How about the NISA (National InSecurity Administration)? After all, they could not prevent a gazillion top secret documents from being purloined by one Edward Snowden, though I applaud him for that!