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Microsoft Is Working On a Cloud Operating System For the US Government

timothy posted about 8 months ago | from the like-a-sticky-enveloping-fog-of-goo dept.

Microsoft 171

SmartAboutThings writes "It seems that Microsoft is relying even more on the opportunities provided by the cloud technology. The Redmond behemoth is preparing to come up with a cloud operating system that is specially meant for government purposes. Government agencies already use two of Microsoft's basic cloud products: Windows Azure and Windows Server. But now it seems that Microsoft is working on a modified version of its somewhat new Cloud OS that could bear the name 'Fairfax.' Compared to Windows Azure, the 'Fairfax' cloud operating system would provide enhanced security, relying on physical servers on site at government locations. Given that CEO Steve Ballmer is striving to make Microsoft much more than a powerful software giant, such a project makes sense, especially because it would help in their lobby activities."

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171 comments

cloud OS ? (5, Insightful)

etash (1907284) | about 8 months ago | (#44537677)

you mean like unix was a "cloud" OS and you could connect via dumb terminals to it?

Helping the NSA? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44537897)

Well, no, although that is interesting.

It's "Cloud", as in cloudy thinking, I'm guessing. It's cloud in the sense that you aren't allowed to know what the government is doing. It's cloud in the sense that Microsoft is not doing well lately, and is desperate for an easy contract for expensive stuff, paid by taxpayers.

Re:cloud OS ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44537911)

no as in it allows the NSA free reign over your privacy.

Re:cloud OS ? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44538059)

Plan9 should be how cloud OS's work. (So wasteful the way it works at the moment).

Re: cloud OS ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44539063)

Or mainframes before that.

i keep looking for the punchline (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44537685)

every good joke has a punchline.

Re:i keep looking for the punchline (4, Funny)

binarylarry (1338699) | about 8 months ago | (#44537749)

Apparently, the new OS is going to be a monolithic Unix-alike called "Ballux" and it's going to take Google and Amazon head on in the cloud space.

Re:i keep looking for the punchline (4, Funny)

colinrichardday (768814) | about 8 months ago | (#44537869)

Apparently, the new OS is going to be a monolithic Unix-alike called "Bollocks" and it's going to take Google and Amazon head on in the cloud space.

FTFY

Re:i keep looking for the punchline (4, Funny)

binarylarry (1338699) | about 8 months ago | (#44538017)

no, ballux was correct, my mistake was:

Apparently, the new OS is going to be a monolithic Unix-alike called "Bollocks" and it's going to take Google and Amazon chair on in the cloud space.

Re:i keep looking for the punchline (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44538473)

Is that what he yells out right before activating his chair throwing super power?

Re:i keep looking for the punchline (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44538023)

Unless the parent intended a portmanteau of "Ballmer" and "Linux."

Re:i keep looking for the punchline (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44538297)

ChairOS?
For years Ballmer has been extolling chairs, and now he's thrown them high enough to reach the clouds.

Re:i keep looking for the punchline (4, Funny)

Nerdfest (867930) | about 8 months ago | (#44538097)

Yep. All the security of Windows, with the availability of Office 365.

If it saves money, it has to be good. (2)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44537689)

... and when the single, centralized mega-host of *every* government system gets compromised...?

Re:If it saves money, it has to be good. (1)

erikkemperman (252014) | about 8 months ago | (#44537847)

... and when the single, centralized mega-host of *every* government system gets compromised...?

Don't worry, it'll be compromised to begin with.

Re:If it saves money, it has to be good. (3, Interesting)

nurb432 (527695) | about 8 months ago | (#44538033)

Or if you just want to stop paying the yearly shakedown fee...

Re:If it saves money, it has to be good. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44538505)

Or if you just want to stop paying the yearly shakedown fee...

yeah its software so it should be free! idiots like you are the reason "free software" has come to mean software with no price and of low quality, diluting the term and helping companies like microsoft in their agenda.

these things cost money to build and to run so unless you are willing to do it yourself you have to pay money (or to use your ignorant term "pay a shakedown fee") to somebody else to do it so stop being an idiotic entitlist wanting everything for free.

Re:If it saves money, it has to be good. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44538153)

... and when the single, centralized mega-host of *every* government system gets compromised...?

Then trouble will rain down?

Re:If it saves money, it has to be good. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44538527)

Then trouble will rain down?

Nah... ...well maybe but they still wont do anything about it. Americans are government drones these days, look at what their NSA and Congress do and the people just willingly accept it, sure there's some minor outrage from a vocal few but they won't actually *do* anything anyway. The NRA is all about the people having guns in case they need to fight government oppression but I think we can all see that's just a bunch of bullshit. I wonder how much more their government can do before the people actually act.

Re:If it saves money, it has to be good. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44538683)

Cloud ... trouble ... rain ...

Re:If it saves money, it has to be good. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44539111)

Don't worry, all the hardware is made in China.

Amazon AWS and EC2 already do this (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44537693)

Microsoft has become quite good at being last-to-market.

One True Way, hey? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44537805)

AWS and EC2 are both complete dogshit in terms of I/O and general performance.

Re:One True Way, hey? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44537857)

I'm so glad your post is full of factual information. If it hadn't been for all of those well-researched sources and big tables of actual performance data, I'd almost think you were speaking directly out of your ass.

Re:One True Way, hey? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44537901)

That's pretty much the definition of "cloud"

Re:One True Way, hey? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44538547)

AWS and EC2 are both complete dogshit in terms of I/O and general performance.

Several things could be going on here:
A. You're full of shit.

It's A.

Re:Amazon AWS and EC2 already do this (0)

Teresita (982888) | about 8 months ago | (#44537855)

Microsoft has become quite good at being last-to-market.

MS Recycle Bin 95 was Apple Lisa Wastebasket 82.

Re:Amazon AWS and EC2 already do this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44538567)

The only people that care who had what first are those who struggle to justify their religious devotion to a company or product. Let's say you have a Samsung phone, would you care that Apple's smartphone operating system had rounded-rectangle icons before Samsung's smartphone operating system did?

Re:Amazon AWS and EC2 already do this (4, Funny)

NoNonAlphaCharsHere (2201864) | about 8 months ago | (#44538569)

MS Recycle Bin 95 was Apple Lisa Wastebasket 82.

Well, at least Microsoft was good enough to recycle it, rather than simply bury it in a landfill.

Re:Amazon AWS and EC2 already do this (0)

denmarkw00t (892627) | about 8 months ago | (#44539077)

MS Recycle Bin 95 was Apple Lisa Wastebasket 82.

Well, at least Microsoft was good enough to recycle it, rather than simply bury it in a landfill.

The abundance of trash in Windows was so overwhelming that they had to push it off to landfills anyway.

The Tech doesn't work anymore (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44537719)

It used to be after one intensive at the Hubbard Guidance Center I'd get great wins for the rest of the week. Then it started to last only a couple of days. Just a few months ago I found that I'd have to do several intensives before any noticeable case gain. Now, it appears that Hubbard technology is not working at all -- auditing just seems like a waste of time.

I'm not sure if this is because of David Miscavige squirreling the Tech, as some say he is, or if other suppressive factors are at play. It would be best if LRH could return from his out-of-body research into the Upper Levels of OT to put us all back on Source.

summary (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44537727)

"Given the fact that CEO Steve Ballmer is striving to make Microsoft much more than a powerful software giant, such a project makes sense"

So a cloud OS is not software?

Re:summary (2)

masterofthumbs (2881445) | about 8 months ago | (#44537785)

Of course not. Server software is not the cloud, duh! They are just the exact same things but different names. Don't tell the customer though.

Super8 (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44537733)

Not only Microsoft collaborates with security agencies, any operating system has to be monitored by security agencies such countries.
You can find basic support possible to protect your privacy (the user) with possible toys and useful free tools.
But keep in mind that most online services will help close possibly under pressure from governments.
Greetings. )

http://amigodlosdebiles.wix.com/noun#!nethatters---netprotectors/cnjk

Re:Super8 (4, Interesting)

aztracker1 (702135) | about 8 months ago | (#44537937)

Considering no foreign government, or business should trust Azure hosting, they need this service so the U.S. Government can pay for their damage to Microsoft.

basically a browser.. (4, Informative)

Allnighterking (74212) | about 8 months ago | (#44537747)

It will connect to 365 so that everyone can do power points and spreadsheets. Outlook. com for mail, and not much more.

Re:basically a browser.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44539005)

Ctrl-Alt-Del...oops, illegal operation. BSOD 2013 xoffc1212xabc123000000000000000f If this is the first time you are seeing this message, reboot. If not, contact your system administrator at Microsoft who will tell you that you are f*'d.

What the... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44537761)

Replace Windows by xBSD and it would make total sense.
But here it looks like the US govt. is really showing desperate signs of masochism.

reruns ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44537767)

seems we have now gone full circle, big servers in the basement and dump terminals is kinda where it all started

Re:reruns ? (1)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | about 8 months ago | (#44537999)

I'm not advocating the "cloud", but it should be considered in ones analysis that hardware is a constantly changing playing field and has changed radically since the '70s. Something that was less efficient or inefficient then might be perfectly fine or even desirable in 2013. In the '70s serial data throughput was extremely limited. As that becomes less and less true schemes that were slow then might have no noticeable impact on the systems of today. In some cases one might see a substantial performance improvement, in fact.

Re: reruns ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44538999)

Yes- especially with the rise of tablets, which paired with ssh applications and Bluetooth applications are very handy. It's already trivial to run server side "apps" through secure tunnels via web browsers; the last hurdle is tweaking ssh to allow reverse dynamic port forwarding so you can use mobile devices to enable remote server/cloud apps to do interesting things in the local (client side) network. This approach mitigates the issue of mobile device CPU performance by offloading most of the computation to the cloud.

Re: reruns ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44539011)

Bluetooth keyboard. Doh.

Delivery platform of push propriety vs innovation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44537769)

Lets hope this spurs some innovation into a big problem set. On the content side, I know there is a problem with soo many databases and so many branches not being able to communicate with each other, maybe this will help. On the application side, it will be good to have a system where the government deems as "secure" and "allowed" to run, but just how much control will MS design into this thing?

The troubling thing is the possible proprieties that could come with this. Does Microsoft control this cloud and what is available onto it? Will there be a open API for their servers to allow multiple clouds with multiple vendors?

Lets hope the government states some of these requirements upfront and the design of it allows for future growth into multiple vendors.

It actually would make sense... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44537781)

If it were possible to have laptops or computers that could connect to the network, but not save any of the data to the hard drive (or portable data devices) on those laptops or computers for any reason.

Maybe something like an encrypted virtual session or something.

And then make it so that the drives in the server won't function unless attached to the specific hardware in the room. Maybe even hard encode them with some data destruction code in the event that someone tries to steal them.

And put tamper-resistant explosives in the skulls of all government employees so that if they attempt to defect to another nation, you can remote detonate their heads.

Re:It actually would make sense... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44537863)

" if they attempt to defect to another nation"

The primary concern of the US government seems to be that NSA employees will defect to the American public. Snowden has been charged with espionage for spying on our behalf, so I think we're officially the enemy.

Re:It actually would make sense... (2)

BlueStrat (756137) | about 8 months ago | (#44538191)

" if they attempt to defect to another nation"

The primary concern of the US government seems to be that NSA employees will defect to the American public. Snowden has been charged with espionage for spying on our behalf, so I think we're officially the enemy.

Of course US citizens are considered the enemy by the US government. That's been true since at least the 1930s, if not earlier.

The nice thing about this MS/Fed deal is that the need for people like Snowden will be greatly reduced. If their shiny new system is made by MS, any script-kiddie with Wireshark, Backtrack, etc will be able to pwn it.

I'm just not looking forward to all the additional v14gr4 and stock spam that will come from places like the FBI, NSA, DoJ, CIA, etc.

Strat

Re: It actually would make sense... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44538759)

Not if its all in a terminal session.

Lobby activies (2)

gwstuff (2067112) | about 8 months ago | (#44537791)

A fairer way of rephrasing the last line might be "such a project WOULD make EVEN MORE sense IF it helped them in their lobby activities." The disadvantage being that it begs the question "How does selling software or any products to the government help in lobby activities?"

Re:Lobby activies (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44537851)

Begs the question

Speaking of begging, I can see that your ass is waving back and forth, just begging for my fetid cock to enter into the depths of your rancid rectum to initiate the feces fiesta. Your feces and my cum will intertwine to establish a new standard of feces soup. What say you?

Windows is the obvious choice for government (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44537831)

Since the cloud is for government, microsoft can provide a version without all the logging and backdoors, thus massively faster and less resource-hungry. It will probably run pretty well on a 486.

Thanks for the warning... (1)

djupedal (584558) | about 8 months ago | (#44537845)

As long as I have time to relocate outside the country before it goes online, I'm ok with it.

Fairfox (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44537877)

We in India use Fairfox all the times - it is very good, not as good as Google Krom but Fairfox is good too..

I did not know it was made by Microsoft too...

Re:Fairfox (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44538197)

Whatever, dude.

This is an advance? (5, Interesting)

Sir Holo (531007) | about 8 months ago | (#44537883)

I don't get it. How do they call it "in the cloud" if the servers are located on-site? Isn't that what we started with decades ago –– a server and dumb terminals (er, excuse me, a thin client)? And storage is so cheap these days!

Yes, it's safer to have everything physically in-house (or securely co-located). But, what I can't fathom is how any of the purchasing-department types and manager-types fall for this "new" setup that offers no advantages. It's just handcuffing your company to that one vendor.


/CSB: At a former company, upper management studied options for getting off of Lotus Notes, the biggest heap of crap I've ever seen. The conclusion of their expensive study was that, "We can't afford to get off of Lotus Notes. The change-over would be too expensive."

I think IBM got wind of the study, and raised their price even more for the next renewal.

Re:This is an advance? (5, Funny)

game kid (805301) | about 8 months ago | (#44538071)

"I don't get it. How do they call it "in the cloud" if the servers are located on-site?"

Carefully. Microsoft believes any sufficiently nebulous implementation is indistinguishable from something patentworthy.

Re:This is an advance? (1)

Voyager529 (1363959) | about 8 months ago | (#44538251)

Microsoft believes any sufficiently nebulous implementation is indistinguishable from something patentworthy.

Microsoft can't patent The Cloud, so are they already planning for "The Nebula"?

Re:This is an advance? (4, Insightful)

msobkow (48369) | about 8 months ago | (#44538649)

A "cloud" is nothing more than a distributed set of clusters coordinated to perform a task or tasks. There is nothing architecturally spectacular about placing some nodes at a customer's own site vs. something like Amazon or IBM clouds where they have data centers scattered around the world.

The problem is too many people think "cloud" has a specific architectural meaning. It does not. It's more a means of managing VM and physical nodes in groups of clusters, with the capacity for shifting loads and data from node to node at the push of a button (or at the behest of automated tuning and load balancing services.)

It's not magic.

Mainframes were doing "cloud" processing in the '80s, and so was VMS. The only difference nowadays is network transport capability has grown to replace the specialized buses those older systems used, and allow for a greater physical distribution of the nodes than those old technologies did.

Kids.

They think because someone came up with a new buzzword that they've "invented" something.

in short, they want to be IBM (5, Interesting)

AndroSyn (89960) | about 8 months ago | (#44537885)

It sure sounds like Microsoft wants to be like Big Blue, making their big bucks in consulting services. It seems to be working out okay for them, I'm not entirely sure Microsoft however can manage not to shoot themselves in the foot in trying it.

Re:in short, they want to be IBM (1)

ISoldat53 (977164) | about 8 months ago | (#44537971)

It's going to get crowded in that channel what with Dell, HP, IBM MS Google, Amazon, etc moving to do the same.

Re:in short, they want to be IBM (0)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | about 8 months ago | (#44537997)

It sure sounds like Microsoft wants to be like Big Blue

It sure sounds like Microsoft wants to be like anybody else, other than Microsoft.

. . . more like Apple, etc . . .

thin client initiative (4, Interesting)

Gogo0 (877020) | about 8 months ago | (#44537933)

there was a document that went out from DoD about two months ago; a thin-client/zero-disk initiative architectural overview. DoD's (public) plan is to transition to a majority thin client IS (information system) inventory by 2020. the servers will be Enterprise assets (meaning, theatre-level) so those at different installations (on-the-ground administrators) will not have a choice. case in point, there are authorized security baselne configurations for redhat, centOS, and other *nixes. there used to be one for Mac, but it was discontinued (dunno why). even when Mac was legally usable on the DoD network, it and *nixes needed waivers and by-hand security configuration out the ass to be usable for any normal work. you dont have your email classification application (ones ive seen were windows-only outlook plugins), no group policy, no HBSS (at the time), etc. you had your choice of operating systems, but everyone used Windows.

i was very excited to read the DoD overview, we spend way too much money on what are basically the same computers over and over (no functional need to upgrade from the first 64bit core 2 duos we bought years ago aside from product end of life, but that can be worked out with the vendor if the DoD put some effort into it) except for the fact that we keep upgrading to the latest and greatest Windows and then shitting on it with banners, some inane (and some not) security crap, and local clients (HBSS, remote desktop, AV, SCCM, etc...). put a thin client on everyone's desk and instead of a team of soldiers endlessly patching windows vulns that SCCM didnt hit (likely the client shitting itself for no reason), you patch the master image and everyone is GTG. save money, save time (more money).

god i hope this isnt what theyre settling on for their "thin client"

Re:thin client initiative (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44538047)

In the DOE, we already use Sun/Oracle's SunRay thin clients for this. It works pretty well.

Re:thin client initiative (1)

gbjbaanb (229885) | about 8 months ago | (#44538131)

well, don';t worry - now a team of soldiers will be endlessly ensuring the network is in place and working reliably.

Re:thin client initiative (4, Interesting)

Gogo0 (877020) | about 8 months ago | (#44538189)

as a DoD civilian, i manage teams of soldiers and am responsible for their work. this is my problem to deal with when it arrives =\ would prefer to make our network more secure, more sustainable, for less cost (in products and man hours -it is very possible), but from working for the US Govt the past five years and seeing the inner workings, i know that very few people give a shit about saving money or improving processes.

Re: thin client initiative (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | about 8 months ago | (#44538775)

Duh! Why would anyone want to bite the hand that feeds?

Re: thin client initiative (1)

Gogo0 (877020) | about 8 months ago | (#44538863)

they say they cant afford to pay us to come in five days a week while during that time people are sent back and forth to hawaii (airfare, hotel, per diem) for things a video teleconference could accomplish, among other extravagant wastes of money. its painful to see every day, i genuinely miss the time when i was ignorant to gross government waste of tax dollars.

and our paychecks are cut 20% by working only four days a week (albeit this iteration is soon to end) for political theatre. if the hand is beating the shit out of you, smart moves are to either bite it or leave, and neither is easy (though im getting close to the latter)

One big problem is they have their PKI stuff... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44538801)

so tightly built into Active Directory it's near impossible to use anything
but windows. Arrg.

Re:One big problem is they have their PKI stuff... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44538893)

the PKI stuff is good, really adds a lot to the security baseline.
but i agree, everything is so AD-centric that youre cornered into windows. most people in charge dont know shit about IT, most dont know what Unix/Linux is, so anything but windows is not typically even a consideration in architectural design.

Microsoft Cloud Services? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44537941)

Blue Sky of Death?

"Cloud Technology" (5, Insightful)

FuzzNugget (2840687) | about 8 months ago | (#44537993)

For fuck's sake, "cloud" is not a technology, it's the latest marketing scam to get everyone relinquish control of their devices and data to the modern equivalent of the mainframe.

Re:"Cloud Technology" (5, Insightful)

Dcnjoe60 (682885) | about 8 months ago | (#44538051)

For fuck's sake, "cloud" is not a technology, it's the latest marketing scam to get everyone relinquish control of their devices and data to the modern equivalent of the mainframe.

Well of course. How else do vendors expect to monetize your data if it is sitting on your local machine in your posession? Now that computers are a commodity and there isn't any money to be made from selling hardware and software, they need to find something to charge for. In the past they charged you to use their program to create your data. Now they want to charge you to actually store and access your data.

It has nothing to do with the technology it is all about the money. Well that and the marketing to convince everbody that this is somehow new and better.

Re:"Cloud Technology" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44538311)

everyone who doesn't know what it really is loves it

Re:"Cloud Technology" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44538533)

You're right. It's a marketing scam which offers and abstract virtualized platform of services where companies don't have to upgrade their own hardware and pay per use for cpu cycles and storage. Amazon and Microsoft had to do exactly fuck-all technology wise to make their cloud platform happen.

Re:"Cloud Technology" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44538651)

You're right. It's a marketing scam which offers and abstract virtualized platform of services.

How to lose any small degree of credibility you had with those of us that know what we're talking about.

Re:"Cloud Technology" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44538839)

those of us that know what we're talking about

I do apologize. I had no idea i was talking to someone important.

I'll agree: How/Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44538623)

I 1st heard the term "cloud" back in the early 1990's using IBM midranges - & what I'm seeing NOWADAYS? Not much different, IF @ all!

APK

P.S.=> Ecclesiastes 1:9 - "What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun" (in other words, there's VERY LITTLE, if any, TOTALLY "original thought")...

... apk

MS and the US Government together? (5, Insightful)

korbulon (2792438) | about 8 months ago | (#44538049)

Ron Swanson said it best: "Never half-ass two things:. Whole-ass one thing."

Securities Fraud (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44538077)

This big government contract allows MS to report cloud profits to its shareholders, even as non-government users jump ship. In doing so MS helps keepo the government from answering for the economic damage it's spying has caused.

Microsoft cloud service with security (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44538215)

Compared to Windows Azure, "Fairfax" cloud operating system would provide enhanced security, relying on physical servers on site at government locations.

This tells me all I need to know about Microsoft's cloud server solutions. It needs enhanced security to be used by an organization that has data it wants to keep and control access to.

Xbone connects to NSA cloud via MS (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44538253)

Microsoft's new Xbox One console, designed in partnership with the NSA, *ALWAYS* connects to NSA cloud servers whenever it is online. Every Xbone reports that it is ready for 'duty' (NSA can command any online console to begin 'transparent' streaming without disrupting ANY current Xbone activity, including the most processor intensive AAA games).

Every Xbone (as in each and every console) monitors everyone in the room (the times they enter and leave) and takes head-shot photos that are uploaded to NSA servers for identification. This data stream is tiny in bandwidth, and no amount of monitoring of traffic will show a notable bump, because Microsoft maintains a constant series of upload activities from every connected console to disguise such activity.

Is it any surprise that MS expects its reward, in a time of collapse in the traditional PC marketplace, to be massive new contracts from the US government?

Understand this. Microsoft is advancing NSA spying to a greater degree than any previous technology initiative outside the mass recording of EVERY phone call made in the USA. Microsoft is placing the world's most advanced, and most reprogrammable, spy device into the homes of tens of millions of Americans. Better, it is getting these suckers to PAY for the privilege of inviting the NSA into their living room or child's bedroom.

A single click by an NSA agent, and any online Xbone is streaming a high quality video feed from that person's home. The kinect sensor system that enables this has its own OS, its own CPU cores, its own GPU and hardware blocks for capture/compression/encryption. The Kinect sensors CANNOT be disconnected, switched off, or placed in a position where they cannot 'see' the full room. Disconnected, and the console refuses point-blank, to work. Covered, or pointing at a wall, and the depth sensor motion tracking device recognises the attempt to defeat kinect, and the console DEMANDS immediate "recalibration" of Kinect.

Sure, a person with enough time, energy and expertise can defeat Kinect, but then such a person would be smart enough to NEVER bring the NSA spying device into their home in the first place. Microsoft and NSA research convinces them that even 'paranoid' owners will forget about the privacy invading implications of Kinect after a couple of weeks, and just forget about it.

Obviously, even for those that choose to own it, Xbone is NEVER supposed to be a 100% coverage system. It is a first step into grooming the sheeple to accept the world described in the novel 1984 and other dystopian works. So-called 'smart' TVs now have even better placed cameras/microphones always watching the room, using the excuse of 'Skype' video calls.

People are entitled to want to make video calls, BUT the law should require built in slid-able lens caps and a light that is mandated to be lit when the camera is active. Shills will say this can be over-ridden, but they purposely miss the point. The user MUST be given the option do deactivate always on monitoring. Then, when/if hackers discover a device is powering the camera system when the user has told it to be off, we will have a public scandal. It is to avoid EXACTLY this issue that Microsoft pre-announces that Xbone Kinect is "always on". No matter WHAT hackers and investigators discover about the Xbone after release, Microsoft can explain away by saying "we always said the Xbox One is constantly monitoring via Kinect for reasons we won't discuss".

Microsoft even seeding the moron technical community with its 'patent' for ensuring too many people are not attempting to watch a movie. This was a NSA move to provide a cover story if the issue of always on Kinect spying became too high profile.
 

Re:Xbone connects to NSA cloud via MS (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44538497)

You're correct. And you know what, I am not so sure about that moon-landing either.

Everything old is new again! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44538381)

Microsoft really are the new Apple, they claim to make the newest and best things ever.

Well, besides the fact that Microsoft has no fans, only shills.

Named after a dying Australian newspaper co (0)

dbIII (701233) | about 8 months ago | (#44538731)

So why did they name it after a dying Australian newspaper company? Is it like naming Azure after the blue screen?

That is the pathetic trash w/o SSH login, right? (1)

gweihir (88907) | about 8 months ago | (#44539051)

How these people can claim to make anything that is cloud-worthy is beyond me.

Fairfax... Prank or appropriate? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44539107)

Fairfax is the name of the local psych hospital nearest to the MS campus.

Wonderful (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44539113)

Blue Screen Of Death, greeting the President and all the Unelected Government Directors and hired succulent workers.

Made my day (night).

Vampire loves you. True.

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