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Comment Evolving protocol more than ten years old (Score 2) 62

Hi, as someone who also worked for a company which was working for Centrelink at the time (Not involved in PLAID) I have to admit that I admire the development of PLAID because the commercial products available were rubbish and "Security agencies" such as NSA and DSD were not helpful in this regard. A significant gap in the way that smart-cards which were being used for access control such as building security worked was found and an attempt was made to re-mediate this.
Protocols evolve over time to either become better or reveal the fact that they are fundamentally flawed. SSL was not written by cryptographic experts it was created by Netscape and it has evolved over time to secure a significant percentage of Internet transactions. PLAID exists because all of the available security products in this space were fundamentally broken and PLAID was an attempted to fix this problem. During the time since this protocol was created I've watch the various debacles with a number of propriety commercial smart card products used in public transport. I would hope that PLAID will evolve over time with the assistance of interested parties to be an open protocol which provides a solution in this problem space.
One criticism of this appears to be that a department which spends billions of dollars on ICT infrastructure should engage in the development of a product when there is an identified gap identified in the market. The spend in total was in the hundred thousand dollars so in reality the project was done on a shoestring is it's not surprising that there are flaws.

Comment Aptitude and Interest (Score 0) 241

Personally I'm sick of developers who didn't go to Universities and don't study the field who get promoted to well beyond their understanding and abilities. That's not to say that there aren't some very good programmers who didn't go to university however in most cases their sphere of knowledge is constrained by the tool-sets that they've worked on and their interest in ICT theory in general. Recently I was working with a developer turned manager and there was a requirement to develop a software component with far greater assurance than he had come across. He was completely unaware that there have been decades of research in this field which has lead to a variety of techniques for developing high assurance software components. After a less than friendly series of meetings I finally had to approach him in private with a set of texts for him to read which provided him with an introduction to the various fields. Prior to that he firmly believed that Object Oriented programming was the be all and end all of programming techniques.
In countries with free educations systems all aspiring programmers should go to Universities (even if they don't finish they tend to pick up some gems), in the US with the education systems is geared towards ensure that the wealthy get the top jobs it's not as cut and dried as the education system is a bit broken.
However the key factor in this field is aptitude and interest, the concept that you can train a bunch of people with low IQs and no interest to code effectively is completely broken. If you look at standardized aptitude tests the profile required for good programmers sticks out like dogs balls, any country that wants a strong ICT industry would be better off developing this pool of talent via scholarships and special training.

Comment In 5 years it will look at lot like now (Score 1) 233

The cloud is a new service, for some it will be economical and for others it won't be. If the cloud was really changing IT companies like IBM, HP and Microsoft etc would be tanking. They're not so these clowns are just trying to convince you to part with your cash. Yes the cloud will mean the mum and dad companies can run their IT services in the Interwebs however bigger companies will still see the break even point for running their own infrastructure with maybe their backup web presence in the cloud when and if it makes sense. In the final analysis money talks and bullshit walks.

Comment It would be better to see Differential pricing (Score 1) 45

Due to its relative isolation Australians pay significantly higher prices than their overseas brethren for a variety of goods and services. These prices have nothing to do with costs and everything to do with a market that has been geographically isolated from a historical perspective. What I find incongruous is that politicians do nothing to overcome these rigged markets. For example an xbox game is significantly cheaper in the US however it won't play on an Australian console, a home theatre amplifier costs more than twice the US price. A kindle book priced in American dollars is blocked from sale from Australian Internet addresses. Recently I could buy two of the same model Dell computer in the US, ship it to Australia for less than the price of the Australian channel. When Dell were contacted about this they said that they would refuse to support such a purchase (Initially they claimed the costs were import duties etc until I pointed out the actual duties). It is ironic that implementing these anti-piracy is not in the public or government interest from an economic perspective given the current budget problems and ensuring that purchasing parity would create a more efficient market enabling the Australian economy to complete more effectively. Australia is a net importer of entertainment goods and propping up distribution channels is in no-ones interest bar the owners of those channels. (Who incidentally donate to the political parties involved)

Submission + - goatse image billboard hack (

Stonefish writes: A billboard in Atlanta was hacked to display one of the most infamous memes (goatse) on the Internet. Apparently the owners didn't care about the lack of security. Being Atlanta I'm surprised that someone didn't try to shoot it down. If anyone hasn't seen goatse and is tempted to search for it, remember that there are some things that you can't unsee.

Comment Re:Pro-bono? (Score 1) 66

It should be the norm but its not. Company's normally side with the approach that costs the least, in this case handing over their clients details puts an end to the matter at a low cost possible cost.
I suspect, based upon their previous legal challenges that the management of iiNet actually think that what is occurring here is wrong and they're putting their money into what they believe which isn't something that you often see in the corporate world.

Comment Thanks to iinet (Score 4, Insightful) 66

Not only is this the right thing to do, by attempting to stop a shakedown by a company with low moral standards, it's a great marketing ploy. Internode put a few ads on the mainstream media and get the best outcome. Australian ISP clients move to iiNet to demonstrate that this is the behavior that you want to see. I've already voted with my money and done exactly this and have been really happy with the end result. (My download speeds have also improved (ipv6 as well)

Comment Powershell is possibly the worst shell ever (Score 3, Insightful) 265

Powershell is a shell written by programmers who have no understanding of what you want when administering a box. I remember when it surprised me the first time by being clever and inheriting the size of the console and automatically inserting a CR/LF into the lines of the files I was trying to process.... morons. Just because you can do something doesn't mean that you should, yes OO is a powerful construct but it just gets in the way of a simple scripting tool. Powershell is littered with little gems like this that make it absolutely useless. If you find yourself doing too much with a shell script rewrite it in a more powerful programming language like python, it should take you all of 30 minutes.

Comment For teenagers with a hardon.. maybe (Score 1) 107

Cortana is the best example yet that Microsoft's management is really really dumb. When all else fails pull the only skirt from your games and hope that your client demographic is dumb enought to buy it. Microsoft is a technology company and should be able to come out with compelling technology, instead someone thinks that this is what Steve Jobs would come up with and its just a bit sad.
There are a huge number of markets where microsoft should have a natural advantage where the returns are enormous, instead the company keeps tilting against corporate windmills, imagining that they're going to dominate market segments which they don't have a natural advantage which are dominated by players at the top of their game. For example phones are dominated by apple and android, apple have the high ground and Android has the low ground. Android doesn't make money on the phone platform, it role is a loss leader to support the Google ecosystem. So MS has two options, lose money trying to compete with Google or attempt a high market product to compete against Apple, both approaches don't make money for MS.
I work in an environment where a group of ICT hopefuls keep trying to pitch MS phones at senior management. Management currently have iphones and keep torpedoing these initiatives so the hopefuls go back, regroup and try to serve up the same meal.
Microsoft is not at the top of their game, they are a mature company with weak management dominated by an internal bureacracy. Better returns to shareholder could be garnered by breaking the company up and hoping that this exposes some management talent who can turn this bunch of capital and product around.

Comment Python simply a better choice (Score 2) 648

Python is simply a better choice for beginers, . It's indent based syntax indirectly teaches students what programs should look like instead of require the teacher to state how indentation improves readability. There are many other nice features however these have been covered elsewhere. I have worked in IT for 25 years and about a decade ago my sister who teaches senior high school students enquired about 'better" teaching languages. I suggested python and after more research and similar suggestions from IT staff in Sydney University she adopted it. The NSW department of education rates teachers based upon their performance based the performance of the students compared against their baseline performance and she has consistently performed in a top few percent. Python won't make a great educator however it is a tool that a good educator would choose.

Comment Open Source is about ego (Score 1) 993

Open source software is primarily about ego, and Lennart is pushing a viewpoint through his creations that he's a player in this space. By the same token he also believes that he's better than Linus, hence the critique and comment that you don't live up to my standards. On the flip side Lennart could make some consessions himself, the thing that blows my goat is binary logging in systemd, given that he's generally demonstrated that he refuses to compromise why should others listen to his complaints which essentially boils down to "I don't like your style".
Lennart is essentially driving a view which has had an impact on the kernel and has been on the recieving end of some criticism and he finds this uncomfortable, the name calling is not the part of Linus' style that he finds most unsetting, its the direct nature of the outting relating to specific issues which have made Lennart complain about Linus's manners.
ps I think that both individual have provided some great software and deserve kudos but I think that one of them may fall from grace

Comment Open publish perish (Score 1) 81

What is comes down to is agility and design. You don't control other peoples knowledge and communications to mitigate your flaws, you ensure that you have a process for managing them effectively if you care. If a service is that valueable to you ensure that you have two service delivery mechanisms. Yes its expensive but you've just said that this channel is that important to you. Or live with the risk and keep the cash, in both cases the ball is in your court.
The whole censorship approach is created by anal retentive morons who don't understand risk, the mathematics of access control or the environment in which they're building systems.

Comment Not particularly inspiring (Score 2) 369

This stull is not particularly inspiring and about I could have written this stuff when I was at high school. The reality of the situation is that any biological vector created will impact the poor and the 3rd world more than the Western world. Look at natural outbreaks such as HIV. Western world OK (not great butOK), 3rd world broken, Islamic world really broken because the can't discuss the problem openly.
The 'cure' in this case might be to infect the region with something virulant and taboo, this may have already been done as apparently there's a couple of particularly virulent STD's making the rounds of ISIS.

Comment Where is the market demand? (Score 1) 161

There is a solution that does this, it called a mainframe, they're hideously expensive, cooked a motherboard recently 1.2 million, want a 10G network card $20000. Now you can buy an awful lot of commodity hardware for much cheaper so that you have excess resources, need a dedicated system for a database buy one, run the other applications on a shared resource, you'll still end up with spare change if you dump a mainframe contract. You can replace a mainframe with commodity items you just need to plan for it. The cost of this scheduling is more expensive than deploying a couple of dedicated components.
The last time that I looked the number of cycles being performance on mainframes had been decreasing for over 25 years. ie there's not a great deal of market demand in this area and most of this market is with legacy systems.
The other litmus test is to look at how many successful IT companies that have developed in the last 20 years use a mainframe. I suspect that it is zero. Do google, facebook amazon etc use mainframes?
Scheduling and resource control on systems, is a bit like QoS, if you can buy fat pipes just buy fat pipes, it's a better solution and it makes all of the problems go away. Introduce scheduling and you'll be employing goons for now to enternity trying to sort out which application is king and performance still sucks.

My mother is a fish. - William Faulkner