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Comment: Re:The comment. (Score 1) 112

by KitFox (#47699355) Attached to: Financial Services Group WCS Sues Online Forum Over Negative Post

That's because you are most likely an intelligent person working for a company that is unlikely to pull dumb stunts and so the mere concept of the depths of the stupidity that some companies harbor in the name of "RoI" and "Risk vs Profit" is completely foreign to you. Hopefully you will be able to continue to stay unknowing, as the reality is ruddy scary.

Here is a small example: "Let's give WORSE customer service. We will make them wait for one hour on hold for very basic tech support, then anything that can't be handled in under five minutes will wait another hour. During all this time, we'll push fixing for them if they pay us. That way we monetize support of our product!" "Won't that make us lose customers like blood from a femoral artery?" "Yep! We've already gone down from seven million customers to four million!" *Six months later* "We're at two million customers, we've made a killing off 'premium' support, and we've remained profitable by massaging the books to write off the losses, and now we completely reverse it, doing everything really well." *twelve more months* "We're at eight million customers now. But instead of that being a 14% increase in customer base from 1.5 years ago, that is a 400% increase in customer base from one year ago! And because the 75% loss was within a certain frame, we didn't have to report any loss in customers. Watch the funding roll in, guys! This is what I'm talking about!"

Sad. But true. Which makes it even more sad.

Comment: Re:Dead as a profit source for Symantec, well, ... (Score 2) 331

by KitFox (#47689491) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Dead Is Antivirus, Exactly?

The management company where I work mandates Sophos. Scans once a week and I get weekly tickets during the scan about computers running so slow that nothing can be done. When it was Sophos only, Sophos caught about 20-30 items a week and I had to reimage or repair about two computers a week from infections or Sophos-caused issues.

Now for the past year the 250 systems still use Sophos because corporate says they have to, but the site also uses Webroot. ~800k full installer for Webroot, 2-minute scans that nobody ever notices running, and not a single need to reimage or repair. Webroot catches about 90-120 items a week above what Sophos catches. CryptoLocker (and crypt-alikes) have struck about seven times IIRC and Webroot's journalling simply restored the damaged data on the local system as part of the cleanup process. Mind you, Webroot didn't detect the crypto malware immediately. There was a decent amount of encryption performed prior to Webroot catching it due to the encryption process itself.

So obviously some companies can do it right. Non-intrusive scanning, only scanning what actually needs to be scanned to protect that computer, action journalling and rollbacks, and a {censored}ing tiny application. Symantec and the others just need to do it right and people need to stop believing that "rebuilding three PCs due to virus attack" is good while I think that rebuilding zero is the only acceptable solution.

Comment: Re:What about (Score 2) 234

by KitFox (#47504107) Attached to: Verizon Boosts FiOS Uploads To Match Downloads

Given that Lvel3 and Verizon are currently holding PR-offs over their peering, this may be related to that. Verizon says "The peering is not symmetrical so L3 should pay us for all the data they are pushing [sic] over our network." L3's response is that Verizon is NOT a symmetrical peer and never can be because their end is full of consumers that pull more data and don't even have upload capability as fast as the download capability.

Verizon's solution? This change, then say "Look! We're symmetrical! Now pay us to push traffic!"

Comment: Re:Tech thats needed? (Score 1) 106

by KitFox (#47456827) Attached to: Seat Detects When You're Drowsy, Can Control Your Car

It's all quite useful but the real question is, is there that many deaths / accidents because of drowsiness?

The 1996 report from NHSTA says 56,000 in the US annually and more recent information indicates 110,000 incidents annually, though the injury and death rates remain the same between both claims. Both are also considered under-reported.

Comment: Re:The Failure of good intentions. (Score 1) 145

by KitFox (#47341893) Attached to: Microsoft Suspending "Patch Tuesday" Emails

It's a matter of reasonable effort. How can a company determine that a given email destination is Canadian? It really can't. So Canada's laws are affecting the whole world as companies have to either give up on things that people likely actually want (security bulletins) or scramble to form opt-in databases on worldwide recipients just because of Canada.

No, it's a matter of being a decent business partner, regardless of the country you do business in, as a company with moral standing you give the options of opt-in and opt-out.

In the EU it's been that way for several years and it caused no grief to any company that does value it's customers.

Many of the companies scrambling already have double-opt-in to get in and very thorough opt-out options (Reply, click in any one of three places, idle detection auto-culling, etc.). So why are they scrambling? Because being a decent business partner is not good enough for the law. And again, the people it won't affect are the Canadian Pharma spammers (as an excellent example, since I'm staring at one's email in my spam box right now) who operate outside the law and know it and don't care. Decent business partners screwed. Actual spam still there. Can of worms with people affected by one country. Part of the reason there are so many US-Only sellers. They won't sell anything to the rest of the world because there are so many countries that would suddenly try to extradite the owners of the site for eyeball removal or something*.

(*Eyeball removal is not common, but a rat's nest of laws, many of which contradict each other, is out there, making the cost of allowing people from other countries much more expensive than the margin allows for.)

Comment: Re:The Failure of good intentions. (Score 1) 145

by KitFox (#47341045) Attached to: Microsoft Suspending "Patch Tuesday" Emails

It's a matter of reasonable effort. How can a company determine that a given email destination is Canadian?

It's impossible without also collecting the user's physical address. A Canadian citizen living in Canada using a should be covered by this law, while a US citizen living in the US who happens to have an e-mail provider with servers located in Canada should not be covered by the law.

Which brings the whole can of worms into things. Give your address and how do you verify it's accurate? Puts a major burden on companies and other legitimate places and doesn't discourage the actual abusers at all.

Comment: Re:The Failure of good intentions. (Score 1) 145

by KitFox (#47340101) Attached to: Microsoft Suspending "Patch Tuesday" Emails

It's a matter of reasonable effort. How can a company determine that a given email destination is Canadian? It really can't. So Canada's laws are affecting the whole world as companies have to either give up on things that people likely actually want (security bulletins) or scramble to form opt-in databases on worldwide recipients just because of Canada.

Just like many of the laws in the US that people scorn, this Canadian law will only hurt the legitimate people who are trying to be respectful and operate as a good company with records and such. The spammers sending pharma spam and malware spam and such are operating from locations that don't support easy tracking for applying penalties. Thus millions of people worldwide are suddenly getting flooded with requests to keep sending mail (I opted in three years ago!) just in case they might be Canadian.

Therefore the obvious (but depressing) solution is to create borders on the internet and say "To prove you are a Canadian and protected by this Canadian law, you must have a .ca email address. Anybody who does not have a .ca email address cannot bring charges against a company sending email in violation of a Canadian law because they did not identify themselves as Canadian to be protected by the law." This is obviously not-good, but the alternative is a minefield of international laws that strangle the internet and any companies that operate on it.

Fictional but getting less farfetched example: Some Canadian posts a picture of their dog spinning in circles on a video site. The dog is not neutered and there is a flash of anatomy at 1:33 into the video (it's a long video of dog-spinning). Person gets in legal trouble in some country that: 1: Holds content posters liable for their posts. 2: Enacts a law that prohibits the depiction of any sexual anatomy online for the protection of the children/morality/whatever. Suddenly Canadian is subject to fines/imprisonment/death-for-insults-against-the-god because of this?

It seems like a ridiculous example now, but with the slippery slope we are heading down, it's becoming more and more possible.

Comment: Home... view...? No. Just... no. (Score 3, Insightful) 55

by KitFox (#47082617) Attached to: Google Rumored To Be Making 3D-Scanning Tablets

After all the ruckus about street view accidentally peering into windows, I don't think "Home View" would be a good idea.

That being said, the technology showcase demo indicated a relatively limited range. If they can overcome that - not dramatically mind you, but the ability to scan 10-20 meters instead of just about two or three - then the ability to build things nearly instantly into 3D space can be useful. Augmented reality situations also become much more immersive as the augmentation can react to its surroundings more effectively.

Comment: Re:Not causing headaches, preventing companies fro (Score 4, Interesting) 62

by KitFox (#46908253) Attached to: VHS-Era Privacy Law Still Causing Headaches For Streaming Video

Except that in this case it's more accurately "going to a pizza parlor, finding out that they have a little flag in the pepperoni pizza portion of the menu that you can stick on your lawn that says 'I like peperoni pizza', putting that flag on your lawn, and then suing the pizza company for having the lawn flag available."

Though in reality, r'ing tfa hints that it may hinge more on the fact that the inclusion of a like button on the page at all automatically shares with Facebook the fact that you were even on the page due to referrer information. The 'Like' button itself is not Hulu sharing the data with Facebook, that's the clicker sharing the data with Facebook.

Comment: Misleading liability claim (Score 5, Informative) 731

by KitFox (#46217075) Attached to: Death Hovers Politely For Americans' Swipe-and-Sign Credit Cards

I find it interesting that the summary above pushes to point out that merchants will be liable for fraud. As it stands currently, merchants are already liable for fraud. A claim results in the merchant losing the money of the transaction. The bank and user recover the money.

Reading the first linked article indicates that the "weakest link" becomes liable. If the merchant has C&P and the bank has not issued a C&P card, the BANK will be liable for the fraudulent transaction. This is a major difference from the current situation, where the bank would simply extract the money from the merchant and the merchant would take a loss.

Comment: Re:Slice of the pie... (Score 1) 367

by KitFox (#46203461) Attached to: EA's <em>Dungeon Keeper</em> Ratings Below a 5 Go To Email Black Hole

True, but many folks in the corporate world sadly have experienced the fact that businesses these days, especially big ones, seem prone to trying to rush from one short-sighted strategy to another. One could say that it is "Innovation", since they not only are looking for something to make a quick buck, but also a growing stack of liability from their past short-sightedness. The long term strategy is to use a bunch of faulty short term ones to move at a constant roller coaster rate so there is a lot of flux in a generally-upward direction. Wait, sorry. "To innovate constantly and overcome any shortcomings to drive revenue and shareholder profits in a positive direction."

One company I know is an excellent example of this in the past. A subscription software company (likely many could find it without too much effort despite my not naming it) that ended up going to the "Pay for premium support" model to monetize tech support. Callers for support would be strongly pushed to "Pay us to fix it for you!" over an hour of hold for "basic support" which half the time had to place you back into an hour queue for "advanced support", where every thirty seconds "Get premium support for a low fee!" was announced frequently. Customer base dropped by nearly 50%. They reversed this thankfully and went to a fully-free and highly-qualified support team, but went to a change of pushing major discounts (sometimes around 75% or more discount) with the theory that people would just pay the normal subscription rate when it came up for renewal. Instead people just bought a dozen copies at deep discounts and support was only happy to combine them, so people ended up with subscriptions that exceeded the 32-bit date record. But the company did manage to recover its user base by 600%.

Cash grab now, worry about the repercussions later.

Money doesn't talk, it swears. -- Bob Dylan