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UK Government Pays Microsoft £5.5M For Extended Support of Windows XP

Martz Re:Why not use GNU/Linux? (341 comments)

The difference is that you (or someone with a clue) are STILL FREE to patch/fix every single part of the OS, it's tool chain and applications at EOL. It doesn't matter if Ubuntu or RedHat won't allow you to pay them for support for a particular version.

You seem to confused over what "free" means when it comes to open source.

about 6 months ago
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Girl's Facebook Post Costs Her Dad $80,000

Martz Contracts (387 comments)

The biggest screwup here is that the father has admitted to breaking the contract by saying "we needed to tell her something", when all he needed to do was say nothing and get the schools lawyers to prove that he told his daughter about the settlement; instead of her daughter finding out by eavesdropping on a conversation, reading a letter or bank statement.

But yes, it's more of a law story than a tech story, but I can see the Your Rights Online angle. Just.

about 7 months ago
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Doom Is Twenty Years Old

Martz My first multiplayer game (225 comments)

Doom always reminds me of my first first person shooter multiplayer experience.

My friend got his first 1x CDROM/Soundcard package for his 486 SX 25, and it came with a bunch of free games. We haggled and traded these crappy games at our local computer shop for a Null Model Cable, after discovering the Intersrv.exe and Interlnk.exe files and reading the help /? and realising that we could get 2 computers to "talk" to each other.

After enormous amounts of trial and error, tweaking config.sys and auto exec.bat, we were able to copy the doom.exe using a null model transfer to another computer, and have player vs player games. We had a lot of fun and felt like this was the cutting edge of gaming, or at least in our world.

Doom for me is the foundation of all modern multiplayer games, regardless of it was the first - i still have fond memories of where it all started for me. It's mind blowing to think about the games industry these days and how it's evolved.

We didn't have search engines or ways to connect with other people of similar minds to solve the problems that we encounter. From these early gaming experiences I learnt enough about DOS and the PC to make it my hobby and later my career.

I owe Doom more than just many hours of entertainment, in a round-about way.

about 10 months ago
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Employee Morale Is Suffering At the NSA

Martz Re:problem is (841 comments)

Those rights only apply (supposedly) when it's the government, not a private owned website called slashdot.

Insert coin and try again.

about 10 months ago
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PM Calls Facebook Irresponsible For Allowing Beheading Clips

Martz Won't somebody think of the children... (201 comments)

'It's irresponsible of Facebook to post beheading videos, especially without a warning. They must explain their actions to worried parents.'

So much fail...

Facebook doesn't post any beheading videos. It's users do.
I thought we were allowed to be irresponsible as long as it's legal?
If my Facebook friends don't like the content that I may or may not post, then they can hide it or unfriend me.

Looks like he's trying to win Family Votes, and slashdot is helping to peddle this crap.

Shame on you timothy. Shame on you.

about a year ago
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Microsoft Exec Says Xbox One Kinect Is Not Built For Advertising

Martz Small print (75 comments)

"... you would have to engage with Kinect for anything to happen"

So it wouldn't be another condition buried in the hundreds of pages of EULA that the average person has no chance of understanding?

about a year ago
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CSS Zen Garden Turns 10

Martz Re:CSS hype (37 comments)

Amazon, Facebook and slashdot DO NOT use tables for layout, that's total nonsense.

I'm not sure why you would say such a thing when anyone can easily verify this?

The rest of your argument looks weak when you make such a blatantly false claim.

about a year ago
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Samba 4 Enters Beta

Martz Re:internals? in python? (170 comments)

Why not? It's a new major version which provides new functionality, and is written in python to make it easier for people to contribute.

Memory and CPU have never been cheaper, if you're still running your samba box on a PIII 450MHz then you'll probably want to stay on Samba 3.

Otherwise upgrade your hardware and move to Samba 4 when it becomes stable.

It *WILL* be slower and it *WILL* use more memory, since it's not stable and it's a major new version with new features.

Sheesh.

more than 2 years ago
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Why Facebook's Network Effects Are Overrated

Martz Data ownership (183 comments)

Users don't care about who owns their data.

Sit down with the average user and explain to them that Facebook owns their comments, photos, videos, metadata - and they totally don't care. Suggest to them that Facebook might start charging the user for the service (obviously they won't) and the user will freak out as that costs them something real and tangible.

The author of this article is basically saying that Facebook is vulnerable to failure because the mass of people might leave and join another service. The reason for that happening would be to join a free and open network, but as I stated before (without evidence) most users don't care about a company owning their data anyway - so it's not going to happen.

For Facebook to fail it has to stop innovating and offering new features, and a competitor has to come up with something new and cool. People will not "leave" Facebook - they'll sign up with the competitor and forget to go back to Facebook to check on what's going on.

Facebook is going to be around for a while yet, regardless of if geeks "get it" or think it's worth something.

more than 2 years ago
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Britain Bringing Out 'Sonic Gun' For Olympics Security

Martz Counter Measures? (193 comments)

I'm guessing (since I'm a /. user who thinks they're always right) that a £/$1 pair of ear plugs would thwart these 'guns'

more than 2 years ago
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US Government: There's Child Porn On the Megaupload Servers Judge!

Martz Re:benefits if "cloud" storage? (375 comments)

The cloud instances or account would be shut down, not the entire cloud hosting provider and all of it's customers. That's why it doesn't matter if its in the cloud, on a dedicated server, on a VPS/shared hosting, slice, instance, etc.

It's completely irrelevant that it's in the cloud - and the OP comment was off topic for a start, since MegaUpload has their own equipment, they just misunderstand what the cloud provides - perhaps thinking that it's like running everything from a single linux box with separate user accounts - which it very much isn't.

more than 2 years ago
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US Government: There's Child Porn On the Megaupload Servers Judge!

Martz Re:benefits if "cloud" storage? (375 comments)

What difference does it make it it's cloud storage, rented dedicated servers or the entire datacenter is owned by the company in question?

Whichever way, with a court order, the feds come in and shutdown your shit before any form of due process has taken place.

Gathering evidence ruins the company.

more than 2 years ago
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Microsoft Releases ASP.NET MVC Under the Apache License

Martz New Approach (177 comments)

Microsoft now seem to have a really good grasp on how to deal with free software. They know they need to get developers and administrators to incorporate or use their products in part, rather than use the defacto standard free software, and that means they need to be interoperable and compatible.

A conference I attended for CakePHP in Manchester 2011 was sponsored by Microsoft, they provided a 3 course meal and contributed towards the bar tab for attendees.

They know the way to a geeks heart - food and beer - and they also know that they need to get free software communities to build support for Microsoft platforms as well as the free platforms. For example the CakePHP community, Microsoft went to great efforts to ensure that the MSSQL database abstraction class was improved by the core developers to better support the MS platform. Now I can at least choose between MySQL and MSSQL, and there's a chance I'd buy and license it for a particular application.

This attitude from Microsoft isn't new, but I don't really see them being able to execute the "extinguish" part of their normal plan on GPL/BSD/MIT licensed software. Instead I can see them at grassroots level trying to make their platform relevant and make sure people can hook into it, but they get left on the sidelines.

more than 2 years ago
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Microsoft Blocking Pirate Bay Links In Messenger

Martz Skype Next? (198 comments)

Now Microsoft owns Skype, I wonder if they'll be applying the same intelligent algorithms to voice and video conversations.

Messenger usage must be diminishing, a lot of people seem to use Facebook for IM these days. Anyone more serious about IM who doesn't use Facebook probably uses a different network/client anyway. One which they do control.

more than 2 years ago
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Microsoft's Azure Cloud Suffers Major Downtime

Martz Re:But Remember - (210 comments)

Perhaps there was nothing wrong with the old style model of main frames, it's just that not everybody could afford a mainframe for the home.

We just need the personal internet connections/infrastructure for the masses to catch up.

Then it'll be worth uploading CPU intensive tasks to the cloud, as generally the home users most limiting factor at the moment is bandwidth, not CPU.

more than 2 years ago
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Microsoft's Azure Cloud Suffers Major Downtime

Martz Re:Cloud ain't so bad (210 comments)

If the cloud operator is experiencing any sort of fault, they get dropped from serving the site/services and any DNS pointing to them gets changed to any of the other providers, and more instances spin up. This is either done manually or scripted to monitor the state of the cloud providers.

The point is that using any one provider for anything, cloud or not, isn't a good idea.

more than 2 years ago
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Microsoft's Azure Cloud Suffers Major Downtime

Martz Cloud ain't so bad (210 comments)

I wrote a comment on slashdot a while back which questioned the sensibleness of running services in the cloud. I used to be a sceptic.

Since then I've used Rackspace Cloud and found that it's actually a very good idea, for certain things.

The benefits of using a cloud system are scalability and no commitment- it's not about reliability or higher availability - but you do get a little win in those areas.

To give some examples, I was recently able to play around with mysql clustering. I followed a mysql clustering howto and played around with it, setup a mysql cluster with load balancers. Once I was finished geeking about, I saved the VMs to the file storage and deleted the cloud instances. Total cost a £/$2-3 maximum. I hadn't previously been able to do this, I would have had to rent a dedicated server which would serve websites, email etc. I couldn't really use the dedicated server to play with new technology in case it had a negative impact on the live systems. I did have development box for a while, but it essentially doubled my costs without making any more money, just offering some protecting.

Now I have staging/development instances in the cloud - and no commitments to them - I don't have to worry about a £250 monthly bill or sign a 12 month contract to get my own box. I can fire up some resources, use them, and throw it away when I'm done.

The upshot is that I can play around with other peoples cool open source software without risk or buggering something up on my live box, and the costs are insignificant since I'm only renting it per hour. I can try something new, if it works great - it might go/stay in production. If not, delete it and move onto the next cool thing.

If I need high availability, I would use Rackspace, Amazon, Azure, and I'd ensure that I have a plan to deal with a major outage with any of the providers. Each have APIs, so in theory I could create new instances automagically and failover between different cloud providers with a quick DNS change, while keep costs low.

To recap, the cloud isn't all about high availability - no matter what the marketing says. It's about scaling systems and running resources for small amounts of time, and is perfectly suited to services which have peak demand (ticket sales for example).

more than 2 years ago
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Man-In-the-Middle Remote Attack On Diebold Voting Machines

Martz The only thing worse than this.. (251 comments)

Make all voting done online.

Citizens will have to register on the voting site using their Facebook account and Social Security Number, authenticated by a custom captcha system.

Voting Accounts will be verified by email activation link.

Once logged in the website will pull all of the citizens personal data from the governments databases so the user can ensure the data held is accurate, and any corrections submitted by the user will be saved after being validated with javascript.

Furthermore, this system powered by the Cloud using tried and tested Windows Server technology, ASP, .NET and SQL 2005.

about 3 years ago

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