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Comment: Re:Sure... (Score 2) 320

I don't know how Sony Pictures internal systems communicate, but I'm pretty sure they don't need to have direct access to world+dog in order to do so.

What seems to have happened here is that by network-based manipulation of external firewalls, direct communication routes were established between malilcious hosts on the Internet and internal systems. You can avoid that and still maintain e-mail communication by relaying your mail over something other than TCP/IP between your internal-facing and external-facing systems, for example.

And there are actuallly very good productivity reasons for restricting Internet browsing to dedicated computers on physically separate networks - it considerably reduces the amount of the day your staff spend on facebook and amazon.

I'm amazed the "Internet of Everything" mentality still prevails. It was a utopian dream of the 1980s and 1990s but we now have very clear evidence of what happens in practice with universal connectivity - a dystopian nightmare in which governments and criminals are in competition to gain the most effective control over people and commerce.

Perhaps we can ask Sony Pictures how their present productivity is looking compared to, say, RKO?

Comment: Re:Wrong conclusion (Score 1) 269

by cardpuncher (#48588721) Attached to: Apple's iPod Classic Refuses To Die

Actually, most people who buy stock are just speculators, however they might like to describe themselves.

If you buy newly-issued stock in a company, you're definitely an investor - the company gets your money. If you buy enough stock in a company to give you control and use that control to grow the business better than the previous management, you might be considered an investor. If you buy a small bundle of stock from an existing shareholder, you're not investing anything, you've just placed a bet - an indirect consequence of which is that the original actual investor was able to realise his gains.

Comment: Re:Discovery nightmare (Score 1) 79

by cardpuncher (#48456805) Attached to: Slack Now Letting Employers Tap Workers' Private Chats

>As far as monitoring of sent messages goes, the first rule is "If you're on someone else's network, they can see everything you do."

That might apply in the US. The first rule in the EU is that they can see only what they've informed you they want to see, and only if doing that is proportionate. You can't in general snoop just because you own the wires.

Comment: Re:It's just vanity (Score 1) 213

by cardpuncher (#48424555) Attached to: Congress Suggests Moat, Electronic Fence To Protect White House

For a country that believes so strongly in the free market, I can't see the economic logic behind providing any security for politicians. There's not exactly a shortage of candidates, so the correct free market response is to cancel all publicly-funded security for presidents, actual or potential, at least until the year of Cletus v Putin.

And I'm sure in a free market society, simple vanity wouldn't trump anything so fundamental as basic economics, would it?

Comment: Re:It's what you do with it that counts (Score 1) 184

by cardpuncher (#48332727) Attached to: British Spies Are Free To Target Lawyers and Journalists

The government were explicitly required to comment on this very aspect of the matter. Although they said they did not routinely keep data that would allow them to put a number on the number of trials that might potentially have been "tainted" by the transfer of data to prosecutors, they did confirm that they knew of "at least one" but refused to identify it.

In other words, the government are aware of a mistrial and are conspiring to pervert the course of justice and are prepared to admit as much.

Comment: Re:DOJ Oaths (Score 1) 112

by cardpuncher (#48112725) Attached to: National Security Letter Issuance Likely Headed To Supreme Court

>Didn't these guys have to take an oath to defend the Constitution?

I'm always amazed how Americans treat the Constitution like some kind of sacred text and then argue constantly about angels and pinheads.

If you're looking to distinguish between right and wrong, a religiously fundamental obsession with scripture is going to get you nowhere - it's better suited to defending the indefensible.

Even if some bewigged and berobed supreme priest deems it constitutional, it's still wrong - and that's what matters.

Comment: Re:I've been wondering why this took so long (Score 3, Informative) 127

by cardpuncher (#48109757) Attached to: London Unveils New Driverless Subway Trains

The Victoria Line has had automated train operation since it opened in 1968. All the driver does is push a button at each station to close the doors.

It's not really a matter of technology.

There is a safety issue in that there are no escape routes other than the unilluminated and electrified track meaning you'd need some on-board staff member to ensure that people could be safely evacuated in the event of an emergency.

Comment: Tech Companies have become warring fiefdoms (Score 5, Insightful) 161

by cardpuncher (#48054515) Attached to: Will Apple Lose Siri's Core Tech To Samsung?

Actually, nothing has changed.

The BUNCH vs IBM, Amdahl vs IBM, LANManager vs Netware, Word vs WordPerfect, Excel vs Lotus 1-2-3... The first big anti-trust case in IT was against IBM in 1969.

It may be seem different to anyone who arrived on the scene at a point in time when tech took its first Internet turn and there was enough virtual turf in cyberspace for everyone to have a piece of the action. However, most of those claims are now staked, so this is merely a return to business as usual.

Comment: Re:Not going to be as rosy as the YES! campaign sa (Score 1) 494

by cardpuncher (#47926531) Attached to: Scotland's Independence Vote Could Shake Up Industry

>Scotland can now refuse (to honor all debts contracted in their names),,,

Indeed it could. And the rest of the UK could in retaliation destroy bridges, roads and other publicly-funded assets to an equivalent value if it wished and impose an excise duty on all Scottish exports to collect the interest.

Both would be equally senseless and neither will happen.

Comment: Not really to do with "BGP" or "IPv4" as such... (Score 3, Interesting) 248

by cardpuncher (#47662055) Attached to: The IPv4 Internet Hiccups

This isn't really to do with BGP or IPv4 as such, it's an inherent problem in the way "The Internet" regards addresses.

You might be able to get some efficiencies in IPv6 by incorporating formerly-unrelated address allocations under a single prefix. But that doesn't solve the problem of a continuously growing network, increasingly complex (and commercially controversial) peering arrangements, the fact that IPv6 addresses are actually larger and the fact that you're going to have to support IPv4 anyway in parallel with any IPv6 transition (I don't personally believe it will ever happen, but that's a different story).

You could, however, get rather more efficiency in core routing tables if network addresses only had a very transient existence and were related to the source/destination route to be employed (eg: look up a domain name, do some route pre-computation, allocate some addressing tokens that make sense to the routers on the path, recalculate the route periodically or in response to packet loss). That's not IPv6, though. IPv6 has the same order of dependence on every router knowing about every destination network as IPv4 does (give or take the slightly greater prefixing efficiency).

TL;DR - The Internet is getting bigger. Buy more kit.

Comment: Re:Yes! (Score 1) 430

I suppose it's inevitable that people who are writing code for their own interest, and not because they're being paid to do it, will spend their time doing the things that they find most rewarding - and documentation is never going to be high on the list. However, I do suspect the motives of some people who make their code publicly available - it's not about demonstrating how clever you are, it's about sharing the solution to a problem.

And there is definitely an element of the FOSS community that wants to preserve the mystique of the brotherhood - they rail against the iniquities or proprietary software yet behave as if they were members of a medieval crafts guild. That's the only reason why anyone would refuse to spend a fraction of the time they would otherwise spend patronising the uninitiated writing a simple explanation.

Comment: Re:Just wow. (Score 4, Insightful) 109

by cardpuncher (#47522737) Attached to: Dutch Court Says Government Can Receive Bulk Data from NSA

In 2004, the Court of Appeal in England ruled that it was OK to admit evidence obtained under torture into English trials, provided that the torture had been carried out elsewhere. David Blunkett, the Home Secretary at the time said:

"We unreservedly condemn the use of torture and have worked hard with our international partners to eradicate this practice. However, it would be irresponsible not to take appropriate account of any information which could help protect national security and public safety"

The Appeal Court ruling was finally overturned by the House of Lords the following year.

However, given the enthusiasm of the original judges and the Home Secretary of the time and the ever increasing use of the "because terrorism" excuse, I'm not sure that there would be similar hope of justice prevailing in the future. It's not just privacy on the line.

Old programmers never die, they just branch to a new address.