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Comment Re:Wait for the lawsuit (Score 1) 162

Exactly. Using one's dominance in one market to gain advantage in another = antitrust. If they just bid on adwords like everyone else gets to then they'd be fine, but doing something special not available to anyone else is a problem (at least here in Europe - where I suspect they're not doing this).

Comment Architect != Sysadmin (Score 0) 156

Most EAs I've ever known are technical in so much as they are interested in technology, but not deep-techie enough to know how to properly administer a Linux machine, or even to install Tomcat or whatever. They understand the concepts, but not the implementation. They also seem to end up doing a lot of documentation and going to a lot of meetings (which are often technical meetings, not all just business fluff).

Since you asked for advice, mine is:

- an EA position is far, far more administrative than an ops role (documentation, diagrams, presentations). It's also interfacing with the business, so requires some ability to work those relationships and pitch to non-technical people. Ultimately, you'll need lots of business people on-side to 'sponsor' anything you ever want to do. A lot of job specs call for "evangelists" - you're going to be the guy at the top of that pyramid scheme ;-)
- If you're looking to keep getting your hands dirty doing console hacking and such like, then an EA position is not for you. You're unlikely to even be able to throw together a PoC yourself, much less actually work on real stuff
- If you're looking to be responsible for elegant, manageable systems that all behave themselves well and provide the business benefits that are demanded of them, then you're aspiring to be an EA
- Don't think about what the current guy's job looks like - if you want to go for it, take the job and make it into the job you want

Comment Re:Holey Moley (Score 3, Insightful) 121

These numbers are basically bollocks. I'd be prepared to bet that 80% of any businesses, large, small or from the planet Zod have had a malware infection within the last 2 years. The point is that they're asking if they've had *any* problem - it could be that someone clicked a link, they realised their mistake and called IT to rebuild their machine, right up to confidential data transmission to parties unknown.

If they'd asked "have you lost any confidential patient data in the last 2 years?", I bet the number admitting to it would be virtually zero. For those that have lost data and know about it, they've either been out in public already, or else are doing everything they can to cover it up as it could be commercial suicide to admit such a thing. I'll bet the majority of companies of any sort couldn't be sure data had been lost unless it was a massive loss or performed by some idiot employee who got caught loading his desktop into the back of his car. Admitting you caught a virus here or there is pretty much a zero-risk thing to admit, because in most cases it causes no direct harm other than some extra work for some IT folks.

For all its worth, we could ask "has your home network been port scanned in the last year?". 80% of slashdotters would say yes, the other 20% would say no because they haven't checked, and yet nothing of value was gained or lost as a result. For extra click bait, I could then add "port scanning is the first step to far more serious hacks which could result in data loss" (which would mimic all the scaremongering in the article, all of which is attributed to KPMG).

Comment Re: in-vehicle concierge (Score 2) 390

I generally agree with you, but I think a 'concierge' could be helpful. I'd argue it's best placed in my phone and then give me good integration, but there you go. The use case I'm thinking of is to be able to say "get me out of this traffic" - even my GPS can't really do that very well.

I think car makers now have a significant perception problem. They 'shot their load' (so to speak) years ago with the most horrible systems known to humanity. Now, no matter how good they make it, all previous victims will view those features with suspicion.

By way of an example, we have a 5 year old Honda CRV. It's got voice-rec, which even the dealer told me "we usually show this last" because it was so noddy and crap. You can use it to turn the fan speed up and down - honestly, unless your left arm falls off during a long drive, there's literally no way you'd want to do it. Trying to get the thing to "phone home" or "phone wife" or whatever results in the AC going on and off and fiddling with the radio stations.

Now, after I've witnessed that crap for however long we own the car, does Honda think I'm ever going to say "yeah, I'd like voice rec in my future car"? Nope - as I say, just integrate (well) with someone else who can do these things properly and be done with it.

Comment Re:Can it self restart? (Score 1) 275

If your router needs more than very occasional reboots (like once a year or less), then it's time to replace it, and maybe change your wifi password too (just in case you've got some leeches). If it keeps happening, consider putting your router on a UPS (the smallest, cheapest online one you can find will do) to ward off the smellies on your power.

Comment Re:Thoughts (Score 1) 158

I was told 4G would 'revolutionise' my life and I'd be throwing away my "old tech" home broadband because 4G was going to be so awesome.

I actually do have 4G in a few places I spend a lot of time. There's no way I'd ditch my broadband for it though - I've tried using it for tethering, and it's terribly slow compared. It just doesn't cut it against even a decent ADSL broadband connection (let along against fibre or similar). It's fine for downloading my email on the move, and even for looking stuff up online. I have used it for tethering on the train and downloaded some bits and bobs for later off-line use. But still - it's no substitute.

So.. even in an area of decent coverage, it's still no where near what it was supposedly going to be. 5G will be no different once you've gone through some crappy proxy, over some crappy backhaul and over some crappy wan networks to get to the Internet, you could give me 10G and it'd still suck.

That said, when my provider starts rolling out 5G, I'll consider upgrading my phone (which by then will be plenty old enough to need some love).

Comment Re:Intagibles (Score 1) 170

My contract (and I think just about all the permie ones I've ever had) say things like "...will keep abreast of current technological trends and advances...". I'm sure one could argue that /. is neither technological, nor a trend or an advance, but in some part at least, it's relevant learning about the industry. How do the analytics calculate the worthiness of the sites (or better - the specific pages) I'm looking at in my supposed 'downtime'?

When I was a lad, they brought in itemised phone billing. Supposedly, this would stop people gossiping all day and make them get on and do some work. All it really did was made people talk around the metaphorical water cooler instead of on the phone. Latterly, people talk in IM/Facebook/email or their personal phone instead. If none of those are available, they're taking longer in the toilet or whatever. Ultimately, people can only work so-much in a given day, and no amount of pushing them about will get much more out of them. However, what these analytics do is give crap managers another tool with which to be crap managers. The good ones will just carry on being good, and because they don't need these anaytics to be good, won't be affected by them.

On another note, I find it weird that companies seem to want to manage their peoples time so closely, when trends suggest that people should be working less (presumably for less money).

Comment Re:So, in other words, (Score 3, Interesting) 193

It's always been "a service" that's still being built. It's just that the rate of change was slower. If memory serves, NT4 only got good after Service Pack 4, XP after SP1 (or maybe 2), Windows Vista only got good when you upgraded it to Windows 7, and so it goes on. Windows 10 will stick around for a while, but in a year or two, they'll release a 'feature pack' or whatever they'll call it that'll get rolled into the initial install images and will make everything look and behave differently (but it'll still be Windows 10 - because this is the last windows ever - no, no need to worry about upgrades because it's all the same version, honestly).

The only new thing, as you say, is that we'll be pestered to upgrade windows 7/8 forever and we'll end up paying constantly for Windows 10.

Comment Re:UK Big Brother (Score 1) 231

The problem is that the news media has published the amount of porn being viewed *inside* the houses of parliament. The *only* people who spend any time there are MPs and their employees. David Cameron lives very locally, so doesn't spend much time there (and has a different broadband provider, so we don't get to see how much porn his house downloads). As such, like many PHBs, he is looking at Parliament and thinking "you buggers don't do any bloody work - you'll all far too busy looking at porn and kiddie fiddling!". He asked MI5 and GCHQ if they could put in a porn block, but they were busy rummaging through the bins looking for terrorists, so he asked the ISPs instead.

Ultimately, all that will happen is more kiddies will get fiddled as MPs get bored running the country and reading the news and look for something else to do before going to the bars downstairs in the Parliament building so that they can spend the money well all paid them on drink we're subsidising.

Comment Re:Gotta love the idiocy of the British Government (Score 1) 231

The annoying thing is that (a) the opposition is in turmoil, so not in a position to respond succinctly, and (b) even if they were on their a-game, they wouldn't really oppose this, because they did (and will again) do the same sort of shit when they were in power.

It's almost as if someone is pulling the PM-of-the-day's strings... I wonder who that could be...?

Comment Re:Effing Useless (Score 1) 141

Yeah, TFA is a waste of bytes on it's own. I read it with a view to employers past and present, and adding in that knowledge it starts to be passingly interesting.

TFA is missing: what did the email say? did the 'leaker' resign or were they found out? what was the nature of the leaked information?

These things are important, because without them it's hard to make any real conclusions about any of it. If the email read "ha - fooled you - have a $1000 bonus for being great", then that says something very different from "if you're not 100% facebook, then you should resign because we don't want you". Likewise, if the leaked information was the source code to the ad-picker for the timeline, then that's very different from sharing Zuck's bra size. In the former case, then some firings are in order, in the latter then no email should have been sent at all.

So all in all, I conclude that CIOs of Facebook aren't very interesting to listen to, and don't have much self-belief.

Comment Re:IoT won't take off with bloat. (Score 1) 123

Those $1 devices are going to need to talk to a mothership to work properly though. The Philips lightbulbs do something like this (so I'm told) - you have a 'hub' that's actually on your wifi and it talks to the lightbulbs via proprietary RF. I can see that working quite well for quite a few things, and largely solves the problem of security on low powered devices - although requires the hub is properly secured.

The obvious next step is to have some sort of 'universal hub' that can talk to multiple little things from multiple vendors. We can expect multiple vendors to argue and not to interoperate though, so will doubtless have dozens of 'hubs' around the house for the next few years.

"Falling in love makes smoking pot all day look like the ultimate in restraint." -- Dave Sim, author of Cerebrus.