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Comment Re:Microsoft has a BAD reputation. (Score 1) 299 299

Media centre required expensive licenses to work and very few people used the software.

Windows updates are forced on home users to protect them from themselves. It's about bloody time.

They release buggy software because people are screaming for them to. No one likes Windows 8, everyone wants a replacement NOW.

You're stretching with the Yahoo thing. Are you feeling okay?

Why not report buggy software to the software vendor? If they were doing something non-standard then that's their fault.

Microsoft has a very diverse business that makes money from all over the self. They seem quite well managed given their size.

What's the Monkey Boy of some random person got to do with anything?

You do know Mr Ballmer is neither the CEO, director nor in the employ of Microsoft right?

Comment Re:Why not both? (Score 1) 140 140

DC and AC motors are fundamentally driven in different ways. You either need a really esoteric motor design which will come with it's own set of drawbacks, or you will need to provide conversion in the gear itself at which point why would you bother going to DC at all.

Comment Re:Windows 10 is tightly locked to Microsoft servi (Score 1) 299 299

I don't miss those days at all. One of my biggest complaints has always been that Windows is essentially useless out of the box due to lack of bundling of default applications. You never get that with a Linux machine that does pretty much everything from the moment you first hit the desktop.

But really they aren't going out of their way to hide anything despite your claims of things being tightly locked. In fact if you click settings there is an incredibly prominent "Privacy" option that allows you to control all details of what is enabled and sent to Microsoft include the Advertising ID, voice, handwriting, contacts, etc. I.e. you can opt in or opt out of any of those "express install" options at any time.

Comment Re:Obligatory "why" post (Score 1) 61 61

See comment on application level gateway. I work at a plant where we have access remotely, but no our control system is not connected to the internet. There's layers of VPN, firewalls, and even at the lowest level the final application is a single program served up via citrix.

Comment We're not showing lack of awareness... (Score 1) 61 61

It's not a case of lack of awareness, it's a case of mostly not giving a shit. We don't use most of the encryption features or hardening available between control systems on our site either because quite frankly we don't expect to and we don't need to. Actually I was quite critical at the last Schneider conference where they were talking about the encryption they are adding allowing you to connect multiple SCADA systems together directly via the internet. My comment to the presenter was "Why should I care at all about your encryption? Why should I trust you to do something out side your competency? We buy your gear because it's good at controlling equipment, we buy Juniper or other networking gear because they are good at networks. Your lack of encryption has never stopped me from connecting disperse systems. "

In all installations I have worked on we consider the network the device itself. If you touch the network then it's already game over, hardcoded passwords or not. Equipment is setup within private LANs, behind very strict firewalls. Physical access is prevented by means of lock and key, as well as privilege to even be in the same room as equipment. Where a connection is made over an outside network it is done only via an approved firewall / VPN method. We are aware of the security issues, we just work around them.

Now on the flip side this makes it incredibly hard to bring data onto or off from the network, but physical security is one of the best defenses. And no hardcoded passwords / encryption keys are not a good idea. But even if they didn't exist the industry has a lot to prove before I would trust any of them to create a secure system that I wouldn't lock down physically.

Comment Re:Windows 10 is tightly locked to Microsoft servi (Score 1) 299 299

And yet the system remains completely functional when unable to reach Microsoft services. That's the key difference between tightly locked, and being offered by default.

As an average Slashdot user, the express settings sound fine to me. It's no different from iOS, or Android, and the reason that we send this stuff is to get stuff in return (voice search, integrated cloud drive, synchronized windows settings between machines).

Call me troll but I previously went out of the way to install such services to make my life easier and I don't distrust MS enough to complain that they included them out of the box.

Comment Re:I found this bit quite funny (Score 2, Informative) 241 241

Honestly, search has been here since Vista and was refined in Windows 7. The only time in the past 7 years I've actually dug through a menu was when I forgot what a program was called but I could remember what the icon looked like.

Want to start Handbrake? Tap start > Type "han" > Hit enter.
Want to start Word? Tap start > type "wo" > hit enter.

I can do most of these faster than anyone can even take their hand off the keyboard and move it to the mouse.

Comment Re:If there was a criteria for safe unlocking (Score 1) 82 82

I can't imagine the engineers who designed this wouldn't be aware of those consequences.

My line of work deals with exactly this kind of thing. Engineers are in many cases obligated ethically or via business requirements to find the most inherently safe design that fits the design criteria, but one thing we (engineers) fail at most spectacularly is taking into account human factors, especially operator actions.

It has been seen in some spectacularly bad decisions over the years. The introduction of control systems removed costs of adding alarms so they put alarms on everything overwhelming the operator and in turn making them meaningless. The upgrading of control systems has allowed people to cram as much information on screens as they see fit, and rather than putting "information" on they put on 3D graphics, context less numbers, and hard to read bargraphs. (I should mention the airline industry is the model of perfection for operator interfaces that many other industries are following as they resolved these issues years ago).

We engineers know a lot about the things we design, we know how to break it. Unfortunately we also go out of our way to write bad interfaces and give the operator sufficient rope to hang himself. Nearly all jobs in safety systems and interlocking across various industries right now is in retrofitting processes, and in nearly all of these cases the hazards have always been well known and well understood.

Information is the inverse of entropy.

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