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Comment: Bandwidth (Score 1) 89

by abirdman (#48464807) Attached to: New Snowden Docs Show GCHQ Paid Telcos For Cable Taps
It seems like a lot of the high bandwidth claims related to the NSA and other spooks indicate they want an iSCSI connection or other high speed, low-latency access to their sources to make for more efficient and cheaper connections. Why bother recording everything when that's already done by the telcos? My inner spook just wants a fast connection to data that is already on disk.

Comment: Re:... really 13 years to update? (Score 1) 341

Probably OT, but I just upgraded my ~8 y/o XP laptop with Mint Linux, and I am quite happy with it. The trackpad support is much better, and the SSD driver is much better. That said, it's not my only PC, and I did have to give up some "good-enough" windows software in the process. I gave away my old Canon camera whose software only ran on XP, I've not yet found how to make Mint talk to my very old parallel port scanner, and I still haven't gotten it to work well in the docking station (which is hooked to a KVM switch to the monitor, keyboard, mouse on my desk). I am comforted by knowing if I had $10 million, I could get Microsoft to support my XP laptop for a few more years so I could continue to use my obsolete camera, scanner, and dock.

Comment: Re:... really 13 years to update? (Score 1) 341

Your argument breaks down as soon as the boss buys the new, improved Hamm-R-Matic with improved Head-hitter aim control, and the exclusive Whack-Tracker (using a standard ultra-speed parallel interface), that is both manageable and scalable, and sports the new laser guided "Nail Head Finder" front-end with indestructible low-power LED success indicators. Updates are continually provided directly from the manufacturer on convenient High Density diskettes.

Within two years, no one is left on the staff who can still operate the "big iron" interface of the old "nail smashing devices" and now there's system-wide version lock-in. The boss bought in because of the blinky lights, reduced training time, highly-granular tracking, and the cost was only $15.00 more per unit than the manual version. He has already been promoted for his perspicacity. Capital equipment purchases nowadays tend to be for processes rather than actual equipment. I don't believe this is a great state of affairs, but I believe it's the true state of affairs, and people ignore it at the risk of their own irrelevance.

Comment: Re:Oh good (Score 5, Insightful) 115

by abirdman (#46042283) Attached to: Security Vendors Self-Censor Target Breach Details
I agree 100%. The security companies who advise the likes of Target aren't talking about the whole exploit-- indeed, are pro-actively hiding the details-- because they don't want to explain how their hideously expensive security best practices were utterly pwned by some foreigners who weren't interested in any of their acronyms. These security guys are like Stratfor-- pugnacious, pistol-packing, ex-military folk who think computer security is just a variation on any other kind of security detail, and are prepared to sell the hell out of their ideas, even when they can't secure their own passwords.

Comment: Re:0% (Score 3, Insightful) 215

by abirdman (#46005369) Attached to: Accenture Faces Mid-March Deadline Or 'Disaster'
I fail to see how placing control of health care in the hands of government is more scary than having health care in the hands of piranha-capitalist medical care organizations. Healthcare Inc. is an extremely powerful and vicious adversary, bankrupting millions every year, and basically preying on the weakest and sickest among us. I've worked in a side industry (medical malpractice insurance) for 20 years, and I know the entire medical industry is a vicious money-grab from bottom to top.

I'll take my chances with the government over any possibility of getting a fair deal from the likes of big-pharma, big-hospital, big-insurance. The logic of this choice becomes more clear the closer to retirement age we get, or the less healthy we get. A thirty year-old who contracts a leukemia that would have been fatal 30 years ago may likely be saved from the disease today, but their finances will likely never recover-- even if they're insured. By the time we're 75, we'll basically be signed over to the system, healthy or not. Would you rather petition the government or UnitedHealthcare? I'll take the former, though I respect those who choose the latter.

Comment: Re:$11K? Another sites says $14K (Score 1) 804

It occurs to me this is Apple's way of spreading out the "early-adopter tax" over their product life cycle. Their new graphics hardware isn't available yet, but will be soon. In three to five years, a new Mac Pro will be at least a generation behind, graphics-wise. The generic hardware that follows will benefit from manufacturing and integration efficiencies, as well as driver support. Apple customers will have underwritten all that.

Comment: Re:Wagging the dog. (Score 2) 292

by abirdman (#45521409) Attached to: Only 25% of Yahoo Staff "Eat Their Own Dog Food"
Bravo. Very well said. I wonder why using specific software is so often compared to a religious choice-- after conversion to PHP, Oracle, jquery, .NET, whatever, then no other software can be used or contemplated. Bah. Every paged email client, like Yahoo, gmail, or even Outlook's web client, is a dog for managing any more than a screenful of emails at a time.

Comment: My straight answer... (Score 1) 195

I have been doing this for the last 18 months, since our sys admin was terminated. Write stuff down. Find a secure place (or two) on the network to store an Excel spreadsheet with IP addresses, dns names, and credentials for servers, databases, routers, printers. Encryption keys, vendor support websites. Save root, administrator, and sys passswords, and any other admiinistrivia, in some sort of order you can decipher in 3 months at midnight. I use worksheets to identify categories of information.. It's probably more secure to not keep this stuff all in one spreadsheet, but the fact is the document becomes a corporate asset. You can be the keeper of it, and the central answer person--lots of parties need that kind of information. Back it up, encrypt it, whatever. Where I work, only the CIO, two database admins, and the network admin have read permissions on it. Do not print it out, or carry it on a usb stick that can be misplaced. It's an admirable gesture, but probably masochistic to try and store this information in a secure database, because that may run on the server that goes down at midnight when you most need that list. Plus it's freeform-- we keep different columns of data for OS's, servers, cert keys, routers, databases, etc.. It's also nice to have it handy and organized, so you can paste it into vendor inquiries. Saves money and consternation next time you don't have to look up the info ad hoc. It's easy enough to find out the MySql version, but when there are 10+ servers, you will be glad you've got it in one spreadsheet.

Save model numbers, sales staff information, customer contacts, warranty information, service contracts. Also record server software versions. It's easy to remember if you just bought it, but in two years, you will be glad you know It's Oracle and not just 10g. All the big IT suppliers-- Oracle, Microsoft, HP, Dell, NetApp, SAP-- have their own twisted bureaucracies, ticket tracking systems, incident reporting and escalation, and lines of communication. Put as much of that info in the spreadsheet as you can. You can even embed links to support sites in Excel.

Try and figure out which servers talk to each other, which have dependencies and would be affected by an issue with another server. It's good to learn the network topology-- which equipment and services are in which segment and why. Where does the internet come in? Try not to work too late. Don't carry a gun to work. Be nice to the users. That's about all I've got.

Can't open /usr/fortunes. Lid stuck on cookie jar.