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Comment Re:Fraud prevention (Score 1) 948

This. At my current job (EU medium size Bank) everyone has to take at a minimum of ten CONSECUTIVE working days off each year. This is for fraud prevention and also because our fraud coverage insurance coverage demands it.

New employees get a minimum of 22 working days off every year. The yearly leave increases with years of service (I currently have 28 working days of leave; the theoretical maximum that I can get after around 30-35 years of service in the same employer is 35 working days off).

It is considered a security breach to even show up at the office while on leave. If someone is on leave, he is automatically locked out of the network and if If he tries to log in, a security alert will be triggered. If he shows up to the office without being asked to do so (there is a procedure for authorizing this), the person in charge of the office/department will be in serious trouble if he allows him access.

Unless someone is part of the top management, during his leave he is not even allowed to read/use the corporate email or have any sort of access to the corporate network and systems.

A number of people were caught perpetrating fraud during the first two years of implementing the above policy. Afterwards, the average number of people caught stealing dropped significantly and the whole policy is considered a resounding success.

Furthermore, personnel must take up all allowed leave days and they cannot transfer more than 5 days of leave to the next year. Department managers are actually penalized during their annual evaluation if their staff does not use all their leave.

A great side effect of the above policy is that everyone is forced to train someone else to cover them while on holiday and so every department can work even with key personnel missing.

Comment Re:The Moral of the story is... (Score 1) 430

Embargoe Ubisoft games on all platforms, not just PCs.

In my house we have 2 gaming PCs, 2 Wii, 1 XBox 360 and 1 PS3. For the Wiis, PS3 and XBox we have more than 120 games. Out of those games, I only have 3 Ubisoft games and those were gifts for the kids that I didn't want to be bothered to return them back.

Ubisoft has pissed off many gamers, and these gamers buy games for multiple platforms; their anti-consumer behavior is costing them sales not only on the PC platform but in the consoles too.

Comment Re:H.261 (Score 2, Interesting) 183

H.261 only supports two video frame sizes: CIF (352x288 luma with 176x144 chroma) and QCIF (176x144 with 88x72 chroma). Although still useful (and widely supported as you rightly mentioned), the supported resolutions are rather low. It can probably compete with a low resolution youtube video, but for more advanced uses, H.261 is not a player.

Comment Re:So it's about censorship, is it? (Score 1) 161

Rapidshare has its legal uses and personally I find it very convenient.

I have a premium account and I use it to share very large files with clients instead of using FTP. Bandwidth costs would have killed me if I was hosting my own files. Rapidshare is also much faster than my FTP site.

A friend of mine uses Rapidshare to share files used in large civil engineering projects with dozens of subcontractors and the local government. Perfectly legal.

You upload your (preferably encrypted) file once, share the link and stop worrying about it.

Now, if you are looking at Rapidshare from the point of view of (ahem) sharing questionable material, then yes, Rapidshare is a step back (more akin to FTP). They even try on purpose to make the content that they host difficult to index in search engines. They offer a single point of failure. But, as I mentioned earlier, they did not start with the aim of becoming the-next-big-thing-after-torrents.

Comment Re:The Right To Deplane (Score 1) 911

I have to also apologize for not also been clear (my comment was written very late at night).

Your comment was very good and I totally agree with you. As you mention, the aircraft type is mentioned on the ticket and everyone should know it beforehand. There is no excuse for someone to claim that they do not like the plane and they want off; if they do not like the aircraft, they should had bought a ticket from a different carrier which flies planes of their liking.

What I was trying to point out, is that "having the right to disembark" is a huge burden on the other passengers which expect the airplane to leave on time. It is not simple for someone to leave a plane after they have embarked in it. If someone must leave a plane before lift off, their luggage must also be removed. By exercising their (hypothetical) right to get off the "robotic socialist plane", they doom all the other passengers to long delays.

Two years ago, I was in a plane where a passenger had a panic attack before take off. She was off the plane within minutes, but the flight was delayed for 50 minutes until the airport staff removed her luggage.

If I am not mistaken, this was implemented as a security measure after the bombing of Philippine Airlines Flight 434.

Comment Re:The Right To Deplane (Score 1) 911

In my experience, when a passenger must leave the plane before take off (usually for health reasons), the flight will be delayed because as a security measure, that passengers luggage must also be removed from the airplane and checked.

So if someone where to exercise their hypothetical right of leaving a plane which they think is a socialist death trap, all the other passengers will be delayed (if they are lucky) for 45-60 minutes. If because of the delay the flight crew must be substituted, they are looking at a delay of 3-4 hpuirs minimum.

Comment Re:Laptops and wifi killed TV (Score 1) 576

I totally agree with you.

My wife also wanted a TV in the bedroom, something that we had agreed never to do (I hate broadcast TV).

My solution: I gave her my old macbook and showed her how she can wirelessly stream the satellite tv channels from my dreambox 7025 ( to the mac.

She changes channels through firefox and uses VLC to watch the shows. The EPG is much better when shown in the browser than when shown on screen.

At the same time, the laptop can be moved to any room that she wishes, she can surf the internet while watching tv, play games on it or simply work with it.

Also, she can browse my network where I have about 3TB of ripped DVDs and recordings from my PVR and watch it at will.

She loves the idea and she will never go back to the dumb box that feeds you what it wants when it wants it.

Comment Re:cell programming (Score 1) 616

I'd say Microsoft's only real worry for their next generation console is their media format- do they swallow their pride and go Bluray or go for a custom format? DVD isn't going to cut it next time round.

I do not see a problem with MS moving to BluRay. On the contrary, it will be good for them.

I have some friends who bought a PS3 and never bought a single game for it; they use the PS3 strictly as a movie player in their Home Theatre setup.

Like them, many people chose PS3 over the Xbox 360 because they get a BluRay player alongside a game console; if both consoles offered BluRay, Sony will loose this competitive advantage.

Comment Re:Know what SOHO means? (Score 1) 217

My ISP/telco supplies its own router (usually Alcatel Thomson SpeedTouch). The router is configured for WEP and the WEP password (different for each device) is printed on a label affixed on the bottom of the device. Also, the AP name is different for each device and it is also printed on the label.

The users know that in order to connect wirelessly, they only have to pick the AP and enter the password printed on the label. It is simple and (usually) problem free, therefore it minimizes Help Desk calls.

I understand that this is a serious security risk but my telco does not seem to care: it is a security risk FOR THE USER but it saves money FOR THEM.

Unfortunately, 99% of all users simply do not care/do not know better and so they do not change their router password and do not change the encryption to WAP.

Comment Re:Know what SOHO means? (Score 1) 217

Routers supplied by your telco/ISP are set up for WEP because it saves them support calls.

If their (clueless) user has old hardware which only supports WEP and it does not work with their shiny new router, they will call support or, worst yet, will simply cancel their contract and go to another ISP whose router defaults to WEP and works (for them) out of the box.

All devices which support WPA/WPA2 support WEP. Some ancient devices support only WEP. They target the largest number of devices, therefore the routers default to WEP.

I suspect that is also the reason some manufacturers default their security settings to WEP. If a user buys a router set to WEP but his ancient laptop is only capable of working with WEP, he will not be bothered to properly troubleshoot the device but will simply return the router back to the store because (for them) it does not work and the store will exchange it with another brand which (probably) defaults to WEP and it will work with his setup.

In short:

- Number of devices supporting WEP > Number of devices supporting WPA2 => Default to WEP

- WEP = Less support calls

- Inertia feeds WEP

Comment Re:"Upgrade" to IE 7 (Score 1) 349

Many browsers lie that they are IE6 in order to work with some intranets or other stupid government/school/bank website.

I actually have a custom scriptable download manager (not even a browser) which runs under linux and it is configured to claim that it's IE6 running under Windows 2000 in order to download/upload some statistics files every month from a government website (they use a proprietary CMS system which sucks; up until 2 years ago they used FTP which was a far better solution).

Actively blocking all browsers which claim to be IE6 does a disservice to the people who hate IE6 but simply do not have a choice.

Comment Re:"Upgrade" to IE 7 (Score 1) 349

That will not work for all cases. In my workplace aprx. 95% of non-IT users have Windows 2000 + IE6. They are supposed to only use the internet for work related stuff and many websites (e.g. social networking sites, web mail sites, stock trading sites, discussion forums, youtube) are blacklisted.

If a user complains that website X does not work, the first thing that IT will check is if website X is work related or if it helps the user with his work.

Nobody will admit "I want IE7/IE8/Firefox/Opera/Chrome/Safari in order to watch youtube videos/buy stuff from" to their network access overlords if they value their work (and in this business climate, nobody will).

On the other hand, we are transitioning our old custom internal (3270 terminal) applications to AJAX. Some of the tools we use misbehave under IE6, so there's hope for us yet.

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