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Oracle Shareholders Vote Against Ellison's Compensation Package (Again)

CaymanIslandCarpedie Re:Why? (213 comments)

If they come from a company retained pool, that company retained pool would be an asset on the companies balance sheet. So taking it from there lowers the company's value by 76M. The stock options are a tax dodge, but that isn't what Oracle's owners are complaining about. They are complaining about his compensation being too high. I don't think they are too worried about the exact structure of that compensation. Either way it takes from their value.

about a year ago
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Ask Slashdot: Where Are the Complete Hosting Providers?

CaymanIslandCarpedie Re:Moar tin foil! (178 comments)

I have gotten incredibly sick of the tin foil hat brigade putting the NSA into every one of their conspiracy theories

If at this point, you still believe the NSA collecting private data is tin foil hat territory, I'm not sure exactly how to proceed. However, I'll assume you didn't actually mean that for purposes of the rest of the post.

Obviously you are concerned about your data being intercepted and stolen. Do you guys honestly think, for one second, that you can hide from these guys if they really want you?

OK, this statement really points that you aren't involved in information security (at least in a serious capacity anyway). Do you really guarantee you can hide from Anonymous or even script kiddies 100% of the time if they really want you? If you answer yes, then again we know you aren't involved in information security. So since the answer is no, what is your solution? Do you simply throw your hands in the air and say screw it? I cannot guarantee to stop them anyway, so lets just toss our firewall and anti-virus in the trash? No of course not. Heck even your sarcastic comment about a physically secured facility, in a faraday cage, with no internet access cannot promise the information will be secure. A simple warrant, guys with guns, breaking down your door and taking the server easily gets around that.

Information security is about risk mitigation. What can you reasonably and responsibly do to ensure the security of your client information? It isn't about guaranteeing 100% security as that is simply not possible (NSA or not). So there standard industry best practices to mitigate against risks even though that doesn't completely remove all risks. Such things include encryption, firewalls, anti-virus, IPS, DLP, etc, etc. Even if you do all of those things and more, that cannot promise 100% safety, but it does represent you doing your best to protect your clients data and not just tossing your hands in the air and saying screw it.

This NSA (I use that as they are the largest, but mean it to encompass every alphabet agency from every country) threat isn't new obviously, but the scope and visibility of it is obviously much more obvious than ever. Thus responsible IT professionals will be talking about how best to responsibly do their jobs in this regard for quite some time. I'm sorry you don't like it, but it is a good thing. New best practices on how to combat and mitigate these risks will come from such discussions. There will never be a 100% fix, but these discussions will lead to solutions that help. Those of us who take our clients information security serious obviously love these discussions. I'm sorry for you (really more for your clients) if you don't want to hear about this, but it isn't going anywhere.

1 year,2 days
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German Data Protection Expert Warns Against Using iPhone5S Fingerprint Function

CaymanIslandCarpedie Re:Your Fingerprint isn't ever stored in flash (303 comments)

To be clear, I don't think Apple sharing my fingerprint is the biggest problem here. I'd never use it simply because my finger print is already known or easily knowable by so many people/entities. My properly strong passwords are not.

about a year ago
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German Data Protection Expert Warns Against Using iPhone5S Fingerprint Function

CaymanIslandCarpedie Re:Your Fingerprint isn't ever stored in flash (303 comments)

Apple touts the fact that the fingerprint is never sent over the network as a feature but in reality it can't send it over the network even if it wants to

So the data exists on the phone. The phone is connected to a network. But it is physically impossible for that data to be sent over the network? Not sure how that would work.

about a year ago
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German Data Protection Expert Warns Against Using iPhone5S Fingerprint Function

CaymanIslandCarpedie Re:just FUD IMHO (303 comments)

Certainly not FUD. A valid concern even if you personally don't think it is an issue. I personally am not worried about it != FUD.

If you want better security on your phone your best bet is stop using a 4 digit numerical passcode or incredibly simply swipe gestures and choose a properly strong/long password. My knowledge of biometrics is limited to enterprise system we had years ago which was horribly unreliable (often wouldn't allow the proper person access and would allow unauthorized people access on what seemed a random basis). I'm sure things have improved a lot since then, but still most studies you read on such systems don't leave you with much confidence.

Their best use seems to be in a 2 factor authentication scheme, but certainly not a replacement for a proper strong password.

about a year ago
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Verizon's Plan To Turn the Web Into Pay-Per-View

CaymanIslandCarpedie Re:The author is either a shill or a pawn of Googl (332 comments)

An ISP's stance on net neutrality basically comes down to their view on the market. If I go to an ISP looking for access to the internet and their goal is to provide me the best internet access for my money, then they support net neutrality. Alternatively, if a customer paying you for internet access if viewed as a commodity to sell to large corporations, then net neutrality is a horrible injustice. I do applaud you for openly stating your company's position. No matter how much I hope your position fails, I do appreciate your open admission of it.

about a year ago
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Inside the Decision To Shut Down Silent Mail

CaymanIslandCarpedie Re:Why not move? (182 comments)

Another thing we do as much as possible is use self-signed certs as much as possible (obviously not always possible with client facing communications). Even I thought that was paranoid until recently, but if you think about it all the NSA has to do is intercept communication to/from CAs and brute force or have some back-door into that. Brute forcing just that small subset of internet communication can give you the certs to freely read the rest of the 99.9999% of SSL/TLS communication over the web.

about a year ago
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Inside the Decision To Shut Down Silent Mail

CaymanIslandCarpedie Re:Why not move? (182 comments)

To reliably do this, they must move themselves and have a self-hosted solution. If you host your data with anyone else you need to believe they value your data more than the money to be made from it or you are worth the head-ache of annoyingly trying to protect it from government agencies.

Over the last 10 years from time to time people within my company (which highly depends on privacy) have suggested hosting our servers/services with external hosting providers/cloud solutions. Every time I refuse. Their arguments are valid. It could be cheaper. It removes the hosting burden. These large providers are experts and could have better security. Even all of that being true the overriding truth as I see it is even though they may be better, cheaper, etc I can promise you we care about our data more than they will. FBI raids a data center for someone elses server and grabs our with it? Sorry, it was the FBIs fault! Any business reality makes handing over our data a legal requirement or just more convenient legally? Sorry we had to!

The last few months revelations just confirm what I've always known. If security and privacy are your business and you take it seriously, you had better be hosting it yourself. Google may have better technical experts than you, but I promise the people who actually make decisions internally care more about your data and will fight for it more when you host internally.

about a year ago
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With 128GB, iPad Hits Surface Pro, Ultrabook Territory

CaymanIslandCarpedie Re:Uh yeah (501 comments)

But according to the summary this extra memory means it isn't a tablet any more. It is now a serious device like an ultra book geared towards professionals. I'm going to go home and shove one of my 256 GB SSD in my toaster. Then that will be even more like an ultra book too than the iPad! :-)

about 2 years ago
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Tapping Shale Reserves, US Would Become World's Top Oil Producer By 2017

CaymanIslandCarpedie Re:It's a sad sign of the times (467 comments)

I think it is a sad sign of the times that basic science IS in fact a partisan political issue for some. Making a joke about that fact in a post, isn't the issue in my opinion.

about 2 years ago
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Does Crowdfunding Work?

CaymanIslandCarpedie Re:Kickstarter replaces IPO (70 comments)

Are you sure you want to try and prove a negative? AFAIC Kickstarter is the proof positive that you are wrong on this. Many companies would love to be able to access the public for initial funding but they cannot.

But with Kickstarter, the owner doesn't have to give up any equity or give contributors any voice in decisions. A VERY big difference. With Kickstarter, they basically get free money to try something if people think it is a good idea.

I think though that if Kickstarter (or a competitor) comes up with the business model that allows a small investor actually to own part of the business they are investing in, there will be government intervention

Absolutely. That would already be illegal with current regulations unless done in a way to basically copy existing VC structures and thus not be public. If you want to market you company publicly you are free to do so, but that is an IPO. If you don't yet want to go public, then you do private deals. You can do a private deal with any one you choose (even private investors), just there isn't much of a market to privately approach a ton of small investors who only bring a bit of cash to the deal for hopefully obvious reasons.

more than 2 years ago
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Does Crowdfunding Work?

CaymanIslandCarpedie Re:Kickstarter replaces IPO (70 comments)

As others have said, Kickstarter has no relation to an IPO as it isn't even an investment. More confusing is reference to small investors blocked for IPOs. IPOs are by definition public to all investors. Do you mean pre-IPO? If you do mean pre-IPO what government regulation do you think stops you from investing pre-IPO? You are in fact more than free to find any private company you like and invest in it (assuming they are interested in your investment). Those are obviously risky investments, but has you say can have a lot of upside. No government restrictions however on any individual investing in any private company I'm aware of. On restriction I'm aware of is a private company cannot generally publicly market pre-IPO offerings (at that point you go IPO).

The real restriction to small investors for pre-IPO investments is the market. No company wants to take on thousands of small investors who really bring nothing to the table when they can find one (or a small number) of large investors who besides their cash also bring industry/government connections and experience in building a pre-IPO company toward IPO.

more than 2 years ago
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What's Keeping You On Windows?

CaymanIslandCarpedie Home and Work (1880 comments)

Top of the head reasons to keep windows at home and work

At home:
  - Visual Studio/.NET (do work from home)
  - SQL Server (do work from home)
  - Windows Media Center integration with XBox 360

At work:
  - Visual Studio/.NET
  - SQL Server
  - Exchange
  - Active Directory/Group Policy/etc
  - System Center

more than 2 years ago
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Siri Envy? Iris Brings Some Voice-Assistant Features to Android

CaymanIslandCarpedie Re:Why not just wave your arm in the air... (402 comments)

I'm still forced to have BB for work, but my wife has android. She has had a few voice apps and not sure which one she is currently using, but I think it may be called something like vlingo (or at least one of them was). She now does just about everything by voice. When she is in the car she turns on a setting and whenever she receives a text the phone announces who sent the text and reads it to her, etc, etc, etc.

Haven't seen Siri, but seems Android has "had some apps for that" for some time.

about 3 years ago
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Australian Court Blocks Sales of Samsung Galaxy Tablet

CaymanIslandCarpedie Re:This may not be so good for Apple... (158 comments)

I'm wondering if the bigger mistake is the message to handset makers that if you use Andriod you get sued and products get blocked. Not just apple of course as there seems to be new suit against an Android maker every other day, but really have to wonder if at some point this becomes counter productive. Yes, Apple wants to beat Android, but what happens if you scare all the handset makers away from Android? Obviously they aren't going to stop making phones. Don't own one myself, but with good review the reviews of the latest windows phones, knowing MS will protect from any lawsuits, etc. Have to wonder how long until some of the phone makers doing well with Android find it too risky and just switch over to Windows phones? These suits from Apple could possible end up helping an even more powerful enemy gain traction.

 

about 3 years ago
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Use Your Car To Power Your House

CaymanIslandCarpedie Re:Inefficient (271 comments)

I live in the Cayman Islands so this could be useful here. When a huricane hits, there are no options to drive somewhere that has electricity.

more than 3 years ago
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London Stock Exchange Price Errors 'Emerged At Linux Launch'

CaymanIslandCarpedie Re:Testing? (168 comments)

I think you can take off the tinfoil hat on the sabotage thoughts. For one LSE's own quote providing solution is experiencing the same issue. So unless they have some diabolical plan to sabotage themselves, I think that fact should rule that out. Also, this is effecting large players. These are billion dollar companies whose sole propose is to provide accurate data and provide it fast. Without that they simply don't exist. You'd have to live in a very conspiracy theory driven existence to think they'd all really all throw their own companies and livelihoods away in some dark plan to get the LSE or Linux.

Now would all these large players all have made the exact same errors in their interfaces so they are seeing these same issues while the smaller players seem to have got it right? Sure. But the simplest explanation, of course is they are all experiencing the same issue because of some upstream problem with scaling to their large volumes. Those actually involved seem to point to some caching issue. Is that true? No clue, but they are certainly in a better position to offer analysis of the issue than you or I. That doesn't mean Linux is bad for christ's sake (so you don't have to go on some crazy conspiracy hunt to explain it away). If it is true (and we certainly don't know that it is, though the information currently available may point that way), you know what? There is software which just happens to be running on Linux, which may have an issue. No big deal. Happens every day on every platform. Not some big black eye on Linux if some software that happens to run on Linux has issues and no need to start jumping to conspiracies to explain it away.

more than 3 years ago
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Microsoft Offers H.264 Plug-in For Google Chrome

CaymanIslandCarpedie Re:Missing the point (332 comments)

I'm curious what Google will do if MPEG-LA is successful in creating a patent pool for WebM? Will they actually pull support for their own codec and abandon it if patent issues arise? Will be interesting to see what happens if MPEG-LA succeeds.

more than 3 years ago
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Microsoft To Work With Windows Phone 7 Jailbreakers

CaymanIslandCarpedie Re:Voiding the warranty (248 comments)

Microsoft won't provide a warranty on your new Linux install either. Now your PC provider may support Linux and your hardware warrant may still be valid, but that isn't what is being discussed. This is about Microsft's warranty on their software.

more than 3 years ago

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Journals

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Social vs. Private health care

CaymanIslandCarpedie CaymanIslandCarpedie writes  |  more than 7 years ago With all the talk about the new movie 'Sicko' and social vs. private health care I was seeing a lot of arguments on both sides. Now (possibly sad to say), I'd never really given much thought to the issue. I'm very well off financially and very healthy so have never really had cause to think about it. However, with all the contradictory information about this topic I decided to do a little research and here is what I found.

Just to toss some real numbers into the random unsubstantiated thoughts, here is a sample. France (who many consider the best health care in the world and is a socialist system) spends 9.8% of GDP on health care. Their GDP is 2.149 trillion which puts their total health care cost at 210.6 billion. Their population is 63.7 million which puts their per capita health care costs at $3,305. The US population is 301 million, so if we use the same per capita cost the total cost is 995 billion. Now I got REALLY tired trying to find the total amount of current US government spending on health care but I did find that JUST federal (no state spending included) on JUST Medicare and Medicaid is just over 600 billion. So add in all other government spending on health care (if you can find it) would probably already be close, but even assuming just federal Medicare & Medicate is the sum total of all spent (it isn't) we aren't all that far off. I mean what is the difference? It's about what we'd spend in a couple years in Iraq. As a man smarter than me once said, if you can find the money to kill people you can find the money to cure people.

Another common misconception is that having the government involved would cause too much of a bureaucracy. It may be counter-intuitive, but socialized systems have less bureaucracy. Doctors don't need to call some government agent to get approval for a procedure (like you have to do with insurance companies). If a doctor decides a procedure is needed, it gets done. Social health care just removes a VERY inefficient (and in some cases criminal) middle-man that exists between the patient and the doctor in the private health care system. The numbers I've been able to find show Medicare and Medicaid overhead is around 1-4% while private insurance companies have an overhead of 25-40%.

The last main issue I've seen raised is waits for medical procedures would increase. First and most importantly of all I have never seen any evidence that this is true for emergency required procedures. However, it is an issue with elective procedures. However, think about the "why". The only reason for example you'd have to wait longer for a have a procedure is if there are many more of those procedures being done. This could very well happen, but again "why"? It's because anyone who needs such a procedure would have access to it. Currently, many are denied procedures because of lack of insurance or the insurance company refuses to pay. Having the lower class and unfortunate in society be denied procedures so the rich or lucky can get theirs faster isn't something I would be proud of!

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