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Comment: Annoying. (Score 1) 347

This is exactly what Australia is trying to do with the National Broadband Network; Telstra - the incumbent last mile monopoly for cable and copper DSL - will eventually phase out their copper network to be replaced with the the government-funded mostly fibre based Nbnco last mile network.
Of course, the project is political dynamite, the rollout is massively delayed, has run over budget, and the current government is trying to change the fibre to the premises network to fibre to the node, but the intention is to provide common "wholesale" last mile connectivity that any ISP can resell to consumers.

Comment: Re:Typical government efficiency... (Score 4, Insightful) 345

by dan_barrett (#44245145) Attached to: The Pentagon's Seven Million Lines of Cobol

I've maintained legacy payroll software (Oracle RPT, predates PL/SQL) and have been marginally involved in migrating clients to the new shiny payroll system. Generally it fails where the client wants the new system to behave exactly like the old system.

The new system usually can handle the required business rules (or it's not too much work to make this happen) but all the processes around those rules are different. eg the new system needs to generate report RW200 to lineprinter 6, daily at 6PM and must be formatted just so (no one reads the first 1000 pages, but the summary page is critical to some obscure business process.)

So, the new system has to print unformatted ASCII to a serial line printer, in an obscure way, on nonstandard paper, that's hard to replicate in a modern report writer. Never mind the already written, laser printed, on-demand reports (or emailed, or exported to excel or whatever) have the same information - it's NOT THE SAME - our users will be confused so it MUST BE CHANGED!.

Rinse and repeat for basically everything else in your system and you've heavily modified your new system to behave just like your old payroll system (and killed any performance improvements, worked out all the bugs etc again). because it's so heavily modified you're basically on a unique version of the new system that only certain programmers really understand. Ant they're going to retire / leave because the project was so shit to work on.

Add the usual government oversight/waste and you've blown a billion dollars. (that's impressive though, I have to say.)

Comment: Re:we ditched vmware for xenserver 2 years back... (Score 1) 86

by dan_barrett (#44162405) Attached to: XenServer 6.2 Is Now Fully Open Source

Interesting.
We moved from Open-xchange (maildir, cyrus imap) to exchange 2010 a while back mostly for political reasons.
Our email backups have become a nightmare.
We can't backup exchange mailboxes while they're being replicated to our DR site - the exchange server blue-screens BY DESIGN to provent the mailstore from being corrupted. Thanks, Microsoft! After shutting dowen replication we have to backup the entire 200GB database as one blob, every time - this takes at least a couple of hours over the network to our backup server.

The mailbox DAG loses sync fairly regularly, which means you have to dump a replication copy and start again (ie copy the whole thing over the network again.) This kills mailbox performance dramatically.

In comparison we used rsync to replicate our maildir directories to our DR site previously (along with openldap slapd replication) - it worked great. Rsync backup took minutes to complete as it only backs up the changes.individual email deach and recovery from backup is easy, too, just put the emailback int he user's mailbox and re-index the mailbox, compared to recovering the entire mailbox database.

Finally - Postfix appears to crap all over Exchange's MTA in terms of performance and logging/problem resolution. We use postfix in front of our exchange servers and it's regularly waiting for exchange to catch up.

Sure, exchange has lots of end user features but i'm not impressed with the backend storage solution at all.
Give me postfix/IMAP/maildir over Exchange any day.

Comment: Re:The Doom Of Android (Score 2) 117

by slater86 (#43933613) Attached to: Android Malware "Obad" Called Most Sophisticated Yet
I'm calling non-event because everytime the Media reports these "Emerging Critical Threats" like the sky is falling, a month down the track nothing happens.
Maybe, at most 1000 people in china infect their device by manually enabling side-loading for pirated apps and the rest of the world gets on with life.

I'm suggesting its not sophisticated or unknown because it just asks for permission through the intended API, i.e Not A Bug. I didn't mention anything about how the user perceives the question, that completely out of scope. If I come to your house and ask to steal all of your stuff and you say "Yes" because you didn't understand the question, that still doesn't make it a sophisticated robbery, thats just a normal robbery. We'll call it a user misunderstanding shall then we?

Comment: Most Sophisticated Yet? (Score 2) 117

by slater86 (#43931995) Attached to: Android Malware "Obad" Called Most Sophisticated Yet
The method of obtaining install permissions and privilege escalation don't look particularly "unknown".
It seems as though the app just asks for it and waits for the user to say yes.

Did I miss something or does this look like every other non-event Android malware except with a new crypto scheme?
http://www.securelist.com/en/blog/8106/The_most_sophisticated_Android_Trojan

Comment: Lenovo's after sales service is nonexistent (Score 1) 271

by dan_barrett (#43219267) Attached to: Are Lenovo's ThinkPads Getting Worse?

I don't know about the rest of the world but last year, Lenovo Australia changed their support arrangements. Previously Lenovo support was excellent - now it's abysmal. We had a small form factor desktop power supply fail. Our "onsite next business day" support contract ended up being to a three week wait for parts, along with the engineer coming onsite before the part had arrived, twice. It was a joke.

We couldn't get a firm answer from Lenovo support - eg "the part is on route" or "we're out of stock" or "it's been ordered" were all provided as excuses at various times. A 3 week wait for "next business day" support is inexcusable. We also have HP and Dell desktops with NBD support. They also occasionally fail. They get replaced the next day.
We're not buying anything from Lenovo again.

Robotics

Telepresence Robot Rundown 51

Posted by samzenpus
from the compare-and-contrast dept.
DeviceGuru writes "A handful of innovative high-tech startups have recently emerged to create a new market: remote telepresence robots. With one of these robotic Avatars, you can wander around in the remote environment, chatting with coworkers and managers, attending meetings, and solving problems encountered through those interactions. InformationWeek's Telepresence Robot Smackdown compares five such bots — the MantaroBot TeleMe, VGo Communications VGo, Anybots QB, Suitable Technologies Beam, and Revolve Robotics Kubi — and includes short videos demonstrating each. As the article concludes, 'bear in mind that what we're witnessing here is the emergence of a new industry; and if Moore's Law applies here as it does to so many IT spheres, it won't be long before these gadgets are inexpensive, commonplace, and far more flexible and intelligent."

Comment: Re:I don't get it. (Score 4, Informative) 391

by dan_barrett (#42024465) Attached to: Windows Phone 8 Users Hit Some Snags

I've got an LG Optimus 7, running Win phone 7 Mango - it reboots daily, especially while in the "messages" (ie, SMS) app.
Then again I've read that's common on the LG Optimus specifically.
I'm using the standard apps, plus Exchange mail integration only.

When it's not rebooting, as a basic phone + email reader, it's not bad. My old Nokia "dumb" phone also worked fine as a basic phone with twice the standby time.

I don't think I'll "upgrade" to Windows 8 phone, though

Suggest you just sit there and wait till life gets easier.

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