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Submission + - The Man who Hacked the Bank of France (

David Off writes: "In 2008 a Skype user looking for cheap rate gateway numbers found himself connected to the Bank of France where he was asked for a password. He typed 1 2 3 4 5 6 and found himself connected to their computer system. The intrusion was rapidly detected but led to the system being frozen for 48 hours as a security measure. Two years of extensive international police inquiries eventually traced the 37 year old unemployed Breton despite the fact he'd used his real address when he registered with Skype. The man was found not guilty in court today of maliciously breaking into the bank."

Submission + - Facebook Turns to Visualization to Manage Bad Servers (

Nerval's Lobster writes: "How do Facebook engineers manage hundreds of servers and racks without getting lost in all that data? By visualizing it, of course.

In a corporate blog posting Sept. 19, Facebook application operations engineer Sean Lynch revealed the development of a tool, “Claspin,” which generates a heat map of the company’s numerous racks and servers—the better to determine which are “bad” and in need of repair.

According to Lynch, Facebook originally set out to manage the health of its computing resources via two tools: Memcache, and TAO, a caching graph database that performs its own MySQL queries. While the TAO tool generates reams of data from servers and clients, all of it collected into dashboards showing various latency and error rate statistics, it started giving Facebook engineers some scalability issues.

In the wake of that, Lynch turned to creating a tool that could generate lists of hosts, each with rankings for the number of timeouts, for example, or TCP retransmits. The resulting tool listed each server in a tuple, or an ordered list of elements. But the solution was also text-heavy and required a somewhat-trained operator to manage the problem—in that case, Lynch himself. So Lynch settled on a heatmap, with each “pixel” representing a host."


Submission + - Microsoft Urging Safari Users To Use Bing (

SquarePixel writes: Microsoft is urging Safari users to switch to Bing after Google was fined $22.5 million for violating Safari privacy settings. "Microsoft is keen to make sure that no-one forgets this, let alone Safari users, and the page summarizes the events that took place". It tells users how Google promised not to track Safari users, but tracked them without their permission and used this data to serve them advertisement. Lastly, it tells how Google was fined $22.5 million for this and suggests users to try the more privacy oriented Bing search engine.

Submission + - Nokia CEO has 'a few months' left to make Lumia a success (

zacharye writes: Nokia’s turnaround isn’t going as smoothly as many had hoped and it now looks as though investors and industry watchers are starting to get restless. The struggling Finnish smartphone vendor has lost more than $1 billion in each of the three most recent quarters. Nokia managed to ship 4 million Lumia smartphones last quarter, but it continued to lose market share as Google’s (GOOG) Android OS and Apple’s (AAPL) iPhone dominated the global market. Investors have been treated to a few unexpected surprises, but some are beginning to lose patience with Nokia CEO Stephen Elop as questions surrounding whether or not Microsoft’s 2-year-old mobile OS will ever manage to make a dent in the smartphone market continue to be raised...

Comment Re:Some notes on Marx and capitalism (Score 1) 1271

> Marx was quite right about a key point - if capitalism is allowed to use competition between workers to drive wages down, buying power drops and the system stalls, or stabilizes with most people just above some minimum survival level. That's where we are now.

You know in heavily regulated France where we don't really do capitalism we are are at the point were most salaries have stabilized at or just above the legal minimum wage (about 1500 bucks a month).

> The US peak was in 1973.

maybe to do with the oil shock and the fact the 1st world could no longer grow on the back of cheap oil?

Comment Will it work? (Score 1) 190

The UK Revenue come up with these kind of big statements now and again but I think they will make more money out of the FUD factor than from the actual bots - that is if they can get a working system. Without information from ISPs etc it will be difficult to tie most eBay identities to an actual tax payer, the amount of information to trawl and reconcile will be enormous and the SNR very high.

Comment Re:You have to ask? (Score 1) 247

> and constantly in bewilderment at why Joe down the hall who hasn't produced anything in 4 years and who's last major project was a disaster is now a VP.

As you allude, and contrary to popular wisdom, those are the guys to watch. If they've survived 4 years in an organisation without producing anything tangible they must have a lot of powerful friends. You have less trouble with the producers, because they are doing stuff the scope for doing something wrong is much greater.

Comment Re:Meh? (Score 1) 134

The blurring is always poorly done on French TV programs. They had a program about men who visit prostitutes and I recognized a work colleague being interviewed. The blurring didn't follow his head very well so you could see parts of his face, only the eyes were really covered.

Comment RTFA (Score 1) 362

As noted in the original article they used references as an indication of quality. On that basis China was 9th rising from 0 -> 4% of published papers.

Regarding numbers, my wife is a University Professor in France. She has a target of at least 4 papers per year. So even in the "west" quantity not quality can be an important driver to publish. One of her colleagues has been suspended for not publishing enough (well nothing at all for 5 years).

Comment Re:get the fact (Score 4, Informative) 106

Yes, it was one of them. I worked on another Reuters Intelligent Advisor which ran like a 3 legged dog, a very expensive dog, until someone did the decent thing and shot it through the head.

I don't think RIA's expensive failure can be wholly blamed on .net. I think the technical team deceived management and probably themselves about what they could do. They had drunk the SOA/Web Services kool aid and the architecture was basically wrong. I suspect a number of devs saw the project as resume keyword fodder.

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