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Comment: Re:Comcast Business Class (Score 1) 291

by IcyWolfy (#48565713) Attached to: Comcast Sued For Turning Home Wi-Fi Routers Into Public Hotspots

For every box, there's a minimum of 3 IP addresses.
Customer Management IP (Internal IPv6 or v4 depending on location)
Customer Modem Service IP (The external internet)
VoIP IP Management (Intetrnal address)

And then the public WiFi hot-spot has another.

Most I've seen on the technician's roll out tool was 6 IPs assigned to my residential account.

Comment: Re:Same issue... just relayed all outgoing mail (Score 1) 405

by IcyWolfy (#48383497) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How To Unblock Email From My Comcast-Hosted Server?

Caveat to the above: I worked in my Silo; and only on my siloed feature-developement stream; for residential services. Much of the above is based on day-to-day communication and comraderie, but not "hands-on" experience. Thus, the more further removed the service and implmentation (Feature -> Project -> Service Class -> Stack Class in the Residential World) The business world, as far as I know is 99% separated and removed.

Comment: Re:Same issue... just relayed all outgoing mail (Score 1) 405

by IcyWolfy (#48383495) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How To Unblock Email From My Comcast-Hosted Server?

When I was still working at Comcast, we went through SIGINIFICANT expenditure to ensure that BUSINESS customers DO NOT have any access to RESIDENTIAL services.
Thus, BUSINESS clients, tend to have far more restricted set of services on the account.
No access to online voice management.
No access to residential technological services
No access to 90% of compatible cable modems
No access to advanced phone features

This is because we provide additional support guarantees, and additional service guarantees.

The residential services (including the mail relay) go through regular development, upgrades, and service improvements.

But, each additional service a business user has access to, increases support costs exponentially as more and more things can go wrong. This includes misusing a service, relying on a "bug" that gets fixed, the regular downtime residential class services experience due to constant technology and stack upgrades that go on 24/7/365.

And when we discover that a Business customer has access to a new service or feature implementation (this sometimes happens due to Engineers not knowing any better and letting all users access it based on essential requirements); we then have to add in checks, and force-block any business users from using it. (Which can cause complains for the small set of adventurous users), in order to keep the support costs down, and to limit the number of items that can break or be misused.

Personally, I would say that technology-wise, infrastructure, feature-set, and "future-development"-wise. Residential customers get 20-30x the features (IP Telephony; SIP Relay), updates (IPv6), Mail (new Mail server infrastructure and regular upgrades); And residential services are always improved due to end-user complaints. The complaints get bubbled up and filtered, and by the time it gets to Engineering, we have a never-ending stream of technical problems to solve; strange edge-cases, which over time force rearchitectures, new logic, etc. NONE OF THIS HAPPENS to Business Users and Business Systems. They are kept static. No new features are developed constantly - the focus is on hardening and cementing current behaviours and increasing reliability of the current system -- including bugs and broken states that Business Users MAY BE relying on. Fixing them would be a breach of the service contract -- because we do not want to make any change that affects behaviour.

For a Business Service to be added. That's a completely unrelated Full Stack division of support, engineers, management, etc. And they have their own criteria, driven by lawyers about support and features. While a new Residential feature can be conceived, and rolled out within a month -- I have seen the same feature get rolled out to Business after 2 years of constant development on their side to fully describe, monitor reliabilty, full support documentation, all potential bugs and misbehaviours, and hardening. Despite it going into general Residential use (mostly) problem free.

Commerical Users 99% don't want anything to change for any reason, as that costs them money to react to the changes.
And Comcast knows that. They will avoid change to busines users like the plague, unless it's provable as required new feature that other business services are providing with the same support guarantees; or the engineers can prove without a doubt the reliability and fully document every possible error, bug, and edge case -- which usually ends up with them requiring to start fixing these remotely possible bugs, error and edge cases untill they become a remote possibility of anything happening. And even then, documentation of what is required to fix it is required, in case it does happen and is reported by a business customer -- which will at that point require it to be fixed outright.

Comment: Re:Call Comcast? (Score 1) 405

by IcyWolfy (#48383433) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How To Unblock Email From My Comcast-Hosted Server?

> Then you terminate the contract because it's now useless and the conditions you can use it under have changed - you can NO LONGER SEND EMAIL.

This is not a Comcast issue.
The statement "No Longer Send Email" is false. He is still able to sent emails.
The problem is that Two SPECIFICALLY NAMED RECIPIENTS are CHOOSING NOT to accept them.
Google IS accepting, and receiving the email.
And I'm sure other businesses, users, and recipients not on a mass-email-host are receiving them just fine.

Thus, Comcast lawyers can very easily say (with support from network engineers, and email support engineers) that, yes, they are holding up their end of the contract. They are providing a static IP. They are allowing servers to run. They are allowing outgoing Email TCP data streams to fully connect, unhindered.

Comment: Re:First step is to collect data. (Score 1) 405

by IcyWolfy (#48383403) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How To Unblock Email From My Comcast-Hosted Server?

Gmail filters are also heavily content based.

If you send similar messages all the time, then it'll get auto-flagged as spam as significant repeated content.

I've seen this happen with users having large annoying HTML signatures. All their emails suddenly started going to Spam folder (and I was then not receiving important emails from their other-coworkers with whom I was communicating)

Comment: Re:First step is to collect data. (Score 2) 405

by IcyWolfy (#48383379) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How To Unblock Email From My Comcast-Hosted Server?

Users are assigned 5 IP addresses.
Many block lists are not that granular blocking a /32 address.

Thus, with the user's address:
If they block /31 (.12 to .15) addresses, that would cover 4 IPs. We do not know if he owns all 4, but it would mean his 5th IP may escape the block. If he doesn't have all 4 in that block, then someone else, assigned an adjacent IP could have triggered the block.

If they block (.8 to .15) That would cover 8 IPs, a rule which could be triggered by someone unrelated to him that happens to have an ajacent IP address.

It really depends on how granular the block is.
I have pretty much never seen anyone block specific IP addresses before in Emal spam prevention.
Normally, I only see /25 (128 IP addresses) blocks and rarely /26 (64 IP address blocks). And provable exceptions within those blocks get white-listed.
It's much easier on the spam processing filter to minimize the number of potential rules. So, we over-block. And almost never get any complaints. The major commercial IPs are white-listed at the ACCEPT level (may be further down the line be flagged as SPAM)

Comment: Unlisted? (Score 1) 94

by IcyWolfy (#48112807) Attached to: Accessing One's Own Metadata

The unlisted aspect only comes through the SS7(PTSN) or SIP(VOIP/IMS) protocol headers with a flag indicating whether the account is private, in addition to phone number paying for call, phone number to display, phone number originating, etc... -- AND -- this meta-data can change during a call if it was rerouted mid stream, delayed headers, etc. This gets even more complicated for reverse billed numbers (800) where the originating number is XXX, the billing number is YYY, the display number is ZZZ, and sometimes an interlink number ends up in there. (and as we found out last month with our call logs, some numbers have yet another header that contains virtualized/multi-ring which need to be taken into account; lest the "wrong" number be displayed)

Now, legally, we are required to keep the originating number, time stamp, and length of call;

And for billing and interconnect agreements, the billing number as well.

As we internally always have full access to the raw protocol data on the Enigeering side; the legal siphon (done at the switch level) just skims off all the legally required data and stores it in long-term storage (not DB); to handle the GBs of data a day of the minimally required data.

We then have a separate process which takes each session and generates a [display-phone number, timestamp] DB for 90 days of call logs for users to look up (or legal requirement on bills for chargable calls made depending on juristdiction).

Under no circumstances have we ever kept the "is unlisted" status of the call; as it's never been a datum required for any business logic, ever.
And when handling millions of calls daily, and relying on switches to read/dump data for secondary systems to process RT is a space and time sensitive process; and thus, only the absolute minimum required is kept to prevent buffer overruns in the data processing phase;

But, as the process is semi-manual to retrieve data for a given time-range I can understand their request to honor "all my metadata" as well.
Limited time-ranges as required by law enforcement is easier to obtain:

    - fetch the raw hourly dump files for the time range requested

    - run the script that goes through the files and formats a CSV output for any matches of the search phone number

    - this process takes hours to run for a weeks worth of data as it churns through TBs of text files if it's outside the 90-day "fresh" window that is stored in a more processed state (but not kept as it's a lot of data to store for no company benefit); most requests from law enforcement only request the last 30days of calls; and this particular process is more streamlined.

    - it would be entirely unrealistic to do for the lifetime of a given customer.

One point to take away from this, is that many telecom companies have no interest to keep your data. It's expensive, each item of data adds substantial more costs, overhead, and resource to manage it's storage. It also adds significant more liability as now more people have access to it internally; and safeguards and resources must be used to manage it. Which is why the legal information is done automatically at the switching level, and dumped in a non-processed state; processed and stored, and intentionally kept difficult to access. Because we do not want the liability that comes with storing it, or making it easily available to even a subset of internal employees. Each person that has access adds more risk.

Storing users meta data at least in the telecom world -- is not wanted in the slightest, and we only do the absolute minimum to meet government regulations. Sadly, this also implies that with the current state of laws; that the data is not easily accessible, nor is the data in a state that can be released to a private indiviual without substantial legal risk.

Comment: Dashboards are not Reports (Score 4, Informative) 179

by IcyWolfy (#47995041) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Is Reporting Still Relevant?

Most everywhere I work, reporting is still the top most requirement. Even more so at publically traded companies.

I've had former colleguges make a good living working in the dedicated report-generation area. (Developing reporting tools, creating reports using existing client tools, etc)

But, the use is primarily that of communication, and more so, consistency, of the data generated so that you can see the trends as they happen; and easily share them in email; slides; presentations; and -- more reports to Regulatory agencies.

Dashboards are nice, but they aren't reports.
Reports are normally more complex data manipulation and correlation that are composites and manipulations of the data that dashboards provide.
There are also many one-offs that are needed to be drawn up, for specific documents, endeavours, and studies.
All of which require good reporting tools.
And these reporting tools are lacking in most developers systems.
But, thankfully, many developers can expose all the raw data streams, processed into something usable; to which, they take all these numbers, plug them into a proper reporting / modelling toolset, and generate the reports required using the proper tool.

Many places don't have a proper reporting/analysis tool; and expect the software to deliver that. This is a failure of either knownig the tools exist, or unwillingness to accept the costs involved in the additional licenses. (and thus leading to just importing the data into Excel, and massaging it there)

1. generates Metrics
2. exports Data
3. imported into Reporting Application
4. worked by Analysts
5. automatically Generate Reports as new data is imported.

Steps 1 and 2 often exist.
Many places want the Application to do steps 2-5, which is fundamentally not the domain.
And thus led to the development of dashboards and other simple visualizations, which are not proper reports.
Introducing companies to dedicated modelling and reporting tools (Quantrix is one used a lot) tend to get them to realize how much better things could be. ... which then usually leads them to complain that their applications don't export data in clean, discrete, normalized data sets to which other tools can ingest.

Comment: Re:Fox News? (Score 1) 682

by IcyWolfy (#47273747) Attached to: IRS Recycled Lerner Hard Drive

Most of the large companies I've worked at; and the few government offices I've been at have all had very restrictive email policies.
Usually, 100-300mb of email space total.
3 month retention, before automatic deletion.

So, on day 91, emails just go away.
It's the best interest of the company normally, especially since they don't want to be liable for maintaining and keeping these archives to legal mandates, especially if one just goes missing. (Exchange does sometimes just, well, lose emails seemingly at random)

It doesn't stop the user to copy the email to a local folder on their desktop, but then, it's now a) against policy; b) not backed up, and c) subject to just vanishing as it's on a non-suported envirnomnet that's prone to being reimaged / upgraded.

Comment: Re:As a Canadian... (Score 1) 47

by IcyWolfy (#47273689) Attached to: 'Selfie' Helps Doctors Diagnose Mini-Stroke

Because MRIs and CT Scans are expensive, and aren't done for every crazy walk-in.
Most of the time, given an hour or two, everything resolves itself as transient.

As opposed to the US where everyone gets every damned test, and procedure because otherwise the patient may sue, it's how the rest of the world keeps medical costs in check. Don't perform unnecessary tests (as determined by the doctor, NOT an insurance company)

It probably didn't help that she was unable to convey her symptoms to the original doctor; as that probably would have caused them to suspect TIA; or it could be that the doctor she saw wasn't versed in it. Doctor's don't know everything, and tend to come to diagnosis related to their experience. Dietician: diet problem; Urologist: Sex-Hormone issue; Endocrinologist: General Hormone Issue GP: stress/lifestyle issue; Oncologist: possibly cancer.

This is why people need to always get second opinions if they are brushed off. If you get two "it's nothing" opinions, you either have something very rare that will cost lots of money to determine what it is, for minimal benefit -- or, it's actually nothing.

Comment: Re:Overreach as a bug, not a feature (Score 1) 248

The better situation is -- as a multinational company, they will have to obey all the laws of all the countries they operate within.

They can avoid this by closing the international centres and being located fully within the US.

But then, they would have to pay taxes. As they can't offshore their taxes from country to country; subsidiary to subsidiary to reduce liability to 0$.

So. Is less taxes worth more legal obligations -- for them, the answer is probably yes.

Comment: Re: next it will be illegal (Score 1) 314

by IcyWolfy (#47230439) Attached to: California Regulators Tell Ride-Shares No Airport Runs

I live a reasonable distance from the airport, so when anyone comes to town, they just call me / twitter me before their flight, and I drive them from the Airport to their location.
They give me money.
I probably do this 5 days a week; and make 1-2 trips a day.

Why is this legal for me to do? Becasue I personally "know" (twitter-know) the passenger?
If this is legal, then why can't Uber do something the same way -- post a twitter and
If this is not legal, then why can't I pick up friends coming in to town and have them compensate me for the cost of California Gas$$
THey're starting to paint themselves into a "because taxi" type of argument that can't be seperated out from private individuals doing the same thing.

Comment: Re:Too Late Microsoft (Score 1) 516

by IcyWolfy (#47158313) Attached to: Microsoft Won't Bring Back the Start Menu Until 2015

I personally like the changes, and most people at work (age group 35-50, non-tech people) agree that Windows 8 is a lot easier to use.
They did their research and people like the changes.
Just the vocal minority, of those against change don't.

I am glab to see the start menu go; it serves no purpose in the current UI and user experience flow, and returning it would be pointless.

Comment: Re:Comments based on experience? (Score 1) 516

by IcyWolfy (#47154887) Attached to: Microsoft Won't Bring Back the Start Menu Until 2015

I use it at home and work, and there is fundamentally no need for the start menu.
Of all the software that's installed on my computer, I just press the Windows key, and start typing the application name. Press enter.
It's all most people need.
As a regular user of the computer, I know what software is installed, and what I want to use. And I just start typing it away. There's no need to have a start menu so that you can browse installed software in the majority of the cases.

And, the main metro start screen (windows key landing page) is the "Pinned to start menu" where I just put all the applications I regularly use, in case I don't feel like typing 2 or 3 letters to bring it up. (And for other people using the computer as a guest). And I have Firefox and Twittr client pinned to my task bar.

I -can not- think of a single use case where I would -want- the start menu back.

I don't have any use for bodyguards, but I do have a specific use for two highly trained certified public accountants. -- Elvis Presley