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Comment: Stop bundling. (Score 4, Insightful) 115

by ledow (#47975479) Attached to: Google Quietly Nixes Mandatory G+ Integration With Gmail

I have a social networking account already, thanks.
I have an email account already, thanks
I have a cloud storage account already, thanks.
I have a search engine already, thanks.
I have an instant messenger already, thanks.

When you try to do EVERYTHING, you believe that all your customers will drop everything they have years invested in and run to you. Doesn't work out that way. And if you get over-precious and try to force them to do it, well, that doesn't go down well either.

So run them as separate, independent services that I *can* join together if I want to (it's handy to be able to sign into Google Drive with my old GMail account, for example, but don't FORCE that upon me).

In the same way that if you sell me TV, phone, Internet, water, gas, electricity, burglar alarm and music lessons - and then try to "punish" me for not using one of them, or force me to use one in order to get another - chances are that I won't use any of them. Whereas if you just ran them all as separate services, I might well decide to lump in TV, phone and Internet into a single package for convenience. But you have to think about what happens when I'm perfectly happy with my Internet provider and DO NOT want to change. If your offerings are that inflexible that you won't let me use one without the others - even if the others are useless to me - then I'm likely to find yet-another-company that will do, say, my email without requiring me to sign up to their social network too.

This is exactly how I viewed things. I was one of the first GMail accounts, back when they were invite-only and nobody knew they existed. It took over from my Hotmail (primarily because my Hotmail account was trying to tie into my Windows Live account, and into my Microsoft account, etc. etc. etc.). And when G+ came along, I looked and deliberately decided against it. The more the pushed, to more I ignored.

It never got to the point where it became a hassle to opt-out, even when it did become annoying, so I'm still on GMail but not G+. Hence, it's not a shock to me that probably a lot of other people did exactly the same.

Just because you offer "your" Facebook, doesn't mean I'll immediately move everything off my Facebook to change to you. No matter how good you are.

Comment: Re:Well, that's how they faked them to begin with (Score 1) 266

by ledow (#47967771) Attached to: Nvidia Sinks Moon Landing Hoax Using Virtual Light

Problem is, technology fast enough to talk to a PCI-Express card wasn't generally available in the 60's. Or 70's. Or probably even 80's. Even with supercomputers of the age.

More likely, nVidia has a wormhole through which they took orders for images to fake, then sent them back into the past.

Comment: Re:There are numerous other obvious flaws (Score 5, Insightful) 266

by ledow (#47967649) Attached to: Nvidia Sinks Moon Landing Hoax Using Virtual Light

"But what about the..." is a never-ending argument between conspiracy theorists and debunkers.

Unfortunately, each one that gets knocked down on its face means it's statistically more likely that the debunkers are right and the theorists wrong. We can go to infinity, but after ten or even 5 assertions wiped out with only basic experimentation, the chances of you having been right in the first place go beyond minuscule.

Scientific principle starts with "here's a hypothesis, does it fit the facts?" and goes BACK TO THE DRAWING BOARD whenever any element of it is wrong. Conspiracy theorists just keep on pounding ignoring all their previous incorrect assertions until people get bored dealing with them and then "Ah ha! They won't answer!".

If you were wrong about the shadows, and the film, and the radioactivity, and this, that and the other? Chances are you're wrong about all the other minor crap too. And to prove otherwise requires more than just "it's obvious" or flaws are "too numerous to list".

Comment: Re:Metal (Score 1) 236

by ledow (#47966621) Attached to: Friendly Reminder: Do Not Place Your iPhone In a Microwave

It depends what metal, in what amount, and what configuration.

I can tell you know that a metal-rimmed bowl I put into a microwave sparks like fuck, cracks and crackles, destroys the metal on the rim and makes the kitchen smell of burning metal for a day.

Maybe it's "safe". But it's not a bright thing to do and entirely opposite to the function of a microwave - to heat food quickly. There's no point in heating food quickly if it all tastes of tin (the metal was gold, I think, but the smell was burning tin) because you put the wrong bowl in.

And microwave a CD and see what happens. No it won't explode, but it will arc like fuck and leave little flakes of metal and plastic all over your microwave (and therefore food).

Been there. Done it. Maybe not "dangerous" but still "stupid".

Comment: Re:Metadata (Score 4, Interesting) 49

by ledow (#47959585) Attached to: Wired Profiles John Brooks, the Programmer Behind Ricochet

There isn't a solution to that. You have to talk to other points, and you have to do so from a connection you are on. That information, on ANY network in the world, is inevitable.

The only thing you can do is obscure it as much as possible so that people can't tell WHAT you did over the connection, or WHAT you passed to those others. They will be able to know who they were, but unless you can introduce sufficient plausible deniability (with Tor, that's just by using random people as the next hop), you can't do anything about that.

I don't think that's a problem we should waste time trying to solve. You aren't going to be able to obscure your endpoint's knowledge when 100% of the time someone is paying money for that endpoint to be connected to other endpoints. We do not have a darknet.

But it's also not that big a deal. With proper encryption and enough fake / routing data running through your connection with that encryption (and PFS), it's meaningless. All that can happen is someone can say "you were online, and so was John". If that's enough to convict you, you have bigger problems than the protocol of the network you used.

Comment: Re:Google control the value of the TLDs (Score 1) 64

by ledow (#47952873) Attached to: Amazon Purchases<nobr> <wbr></nobr>.buy TLD For $4.6 Million

Google won the search wars because it ignored what content providers thought should be top of the listings (but let them buy ads), and put what search USERS should be top of the listings. That's how it got where it is and why it's stayed where it is. That's why there are entire businesses based around trying to get your site to the top of Google without getting chucked off their listings - because it's not as easy as just asking, or paying, or tricking Google.

Hence, if ".buy" suddenly starts getting to tops of listings where you have no reason or interest of it being there, then Google will suffer - as well as ".buy"

Decent search made domain names obsolete. I don't even know the domain of many of my favourite sites, but I know an exact Google search that will list them in the top 10 if I ever need them (e.g. I lose my bookmarks). That's why I don't get why people still are buying anything more than a single, relevant domain for themselves.

Seriously, what difference do you get in search rankings if you search from a mobile? Google knows you're on mobile. You can search for mobile terms. Now how many of those results are actually of ".mobi" sites?

TLD's and domain names are money-grabs. They only have any effect on "dumb" search engines that are already selling your entire front page to the highest bidder.

Comment: Re:Encryption (Score 1) 126

by ledow (#47943329) Attached to: Next Android To Enable Local Encryption By Default Too, Says Google

Agreed.

But, please, what makes you think that Apple, or even Samsung, aren't doing exactly the same?

Apple can install stuff on your device when it feels like it. In fact, you have even less control over an Apple devices and its whims. You'll happily plug in your Exchange details into the Apple device, you have no idea what it is or isn't doing with that. Apple doesn't even have permission systems. You either install, or not. And Apple spyware is just as - if not more - rampant.

So, your concern is really about modern devices, not anything to do with the meat of the story - encryption.

P.S. With Android, you can see the source, and build from clean source, without any Google services whatsoever if you want. People have done it for you. Almost every big-selling Android phone is supported. You can get root access and check everything you like. And then encryption really means something.

Comment: Just Apple? (Score 0, Troll) 207

by ledow (#47903301) Attached to: Sapphire Glass Didn't Pass iPhone Drop Test According to Reports

Anecdotal or not, almost everyone I come into contact with who has an iPhone is either living with a smashed screen or had to take it back to Apple to get the screen replaced after smashing it.

I do not see as many, if any, of non-Apple phones that are smashed as easily.

Personally, maybe I'm just not as clumsy, but I've dropped my phone any number of times and even kicked it accidentally as I dropped it and smashed it into a wall... and it wasn't even scratched. I don't think I've ever managed to break a phone like that, and I've had some spectacular drops in the past (plastic covers and batteries flying all over the room, but just put it back together and it worked).

Comment: Sigh. (Score 5, Informative) 230

by ledow (#47902869) Attached to: School Installs Biometric Fingerprint System For Cafeteria

I work in IT in English schools.

Welcome to a decade ago.

I've worked in several schools that have biometric library systems and the move to cashless canteens has been underway for years (I've never happened to work with one, but that's not because they aren't around).

It is sold as preventing bullying, stopping you having to pay for the cards, etc. The privacy implications came up 10-15 years ago. Nobody, especially parents, really cared.

Hell, five years ago, my daughter's creche had fingerprint entry (I refused to take part, mainly because I saw it as insecure given I could gummi-bear the reader and enter as whoever came in last, but I was apparently the first to complain).

Old news people. It's already in schools all over the UK. There was minimal protest.

Comment: Re:ZFS - faster IO on larger pools (Score 1) 366

by ledow (#47891259) Attached to: The State of ZFS On Linux

1) Yes, it's a general features of RAID's. Multiple devices are reading the data, the "fastest finger first" wins.

2) File server only dependent on your disk format, you mean? I happen to agree here but, if you're doing it at the FS level, then just a standardised RAID layout (such as Linux md / LVM) is the same thing. The non-standard formats that tie you into hardware do so for a reason - the hardware RAID provides things that no software RAID can, sheer speed. (Though, please note, I've happily run Linux software RAID on server-end hardware in production systems without any performance problems).

3) 3 disks dying out of 11? RAID6+1 will actually do better (I think... I can't do the maths just now).

ZFS is cool, don't get me wrong, but it's basically just a RAID fs. The Merkel tree journalling trick just saves having to have battery backup, but whether it works like that in real life failures is another matter entirely.

Comment: Re:hmmmm (Score 5, Insightful) 275

by ledow (#47875821) Attached to: California Tells Businesses: Stop Trying To Ban Consumer Reviews

I don't care how many 1-star reviews a place get. You know what matters? How they respond to them.

I'd rather go to a place that replies politely to every negative review than one that ignores them entirely. And if they are genuinely fake, things such as "We have no record of your stay, but we're sorry that you had trouble" speak a thousand times more to what's actually happening then any amount of ignorance.

Everywhere gets bad reviews. You cannot have perfection. What matters is how you deal with when you fuck up.

Comment: Re:My emails are not on it (Score 1) 203

by ledow (#47874135) Attached to: 5 Million Gmail Passwords Leaked, Google Says No Evidence Of Compromise

Same for me, same for my brother.

Someone's just collected 5m GMail addresses from somewhere.

To be honest, it's more likely that my address has been sold by a Google employee - there's no way I should be getting as much spam as I do to an address that's completely unadvertised and which is only the end-point of various domain forwarding.

Password compromise too? Just sounds like someone's collated all the compromised data from other websites etc. they could find, rather than hacked into GMail somehow.

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