Laser Blog

Articles tagged "news"

120 PCI Lawsuit

Tuesday 17th January, 2012

This is interesting.

... the McCombs allege that the bank, and the payment card industry (PCI) in general, force merchants to sign one-sided contracts that are based on information that arbitrarily changes without notice, and that they impose random fines on merchants without providing proof of a breach or of fraudulent losses and without allowing merchants a meaningful opportunity to dispute claims before money is seized
"It’s just like Visa and MasterCard are governments," said Stephen Cannon, an attorney representing the McCombs. "Where do they get the authority to execute a system of fines and penalties against merchants? That’s a very important issue in this case."

Shades of Wikileaks, perhaps?


117 "Apple has declared war on the tinkerers of the world"

Monday 1st February, 2010

The first link below has sadly disappeared. Here is a related commentary.
Rob. April 2015.

When DVD Jon was arrested after breaking the CSS encryption algorithm, he was charged with “unauthorized computer trespassing.” That led his lawyers to ask the obvious question, “On whose computer did he trespass?” The prosecutor’s answer: “his own.”

If that doesn’t make your heart skip a beat, you can stop reading now.

Or you can read the whole article.


116 London Stock Exchange moving to a GNU/Linux-based system

Wednesday 7th October, 2009

There are various news sources which are reporting that the London Stock Exchange is moving from the Microsoft .Net-based TradElect to the GNU/Linux-based MillenniumIT system. In fact not only are they moving to this new system, they appear to like the company that produced it so much that they are actually buying it. As usual, the comments contain some of the more interesting viewpoints:
TradElect never met its goals for trading speed, never managed to achieve its availability goals and indeed, managed to shut the LSE for an entire trading day, (this) was a complete disaster for both the LSE and for Microsoft, who had invested considerable time and expertise in underpinning the installation.

TradElect has now been surplanted by a Linux + Solaris setup which has already met the latency goals that TradElect was supposed to provide is a massive loss of face for Microsoft in this area. Those who point to Accenture and assume they carried the can for this alone are ignoring reality.
I'd be willing to bet that the decision to deploy TradElect was one of those crazy decisions, where the techies were all saying, "No, don't do it, it won't work," and the management just ignored them and implemented it anyway. As usual.


115 London Stock Exchange abandoning Windows

Friday 3rd July, 2009

The London Stock Exchange is abandoning it's Windows-based TradElect trading system. The system crashed in September 2008.

TradElect runs on HP ProLiant servers running, in turn, Windows Server 2003. The TradElect software itself is a custom blend of C# and .NET programs, which was created by Microsoft and Accenture, the global consulting firm. On the back-end, it relied on Microsoft SQL Server 2000. Its goal was to maintain sub-ten millisecond response times, real-time system speeds, for stock trades.

It never, ever came close to achieving these performance goals. Worse still, the LSE's competition, such as its main rival Chi-X with its MarketPrizm trading platform software, was able to deliver that level of performance and in general it was running rings about TradElect. Three guesses what MarketPrizm runs on and the first two don't count. The answer is Linux.

I'm sure someone got some nice lunches out of it while it lasted.


105 Safari imposition

Thursday 27th March, 2008

There's been a little flurry of news regarding Apple's "Safari" web browser.

The first thing which caught my attention recently was Apple's bundling of Safari by default into iTunes and Quicktime updates on Windows PCs. So unless you're on the ball (but aren't all Internet users on the ball?) and deselect the "Safari" checkbox, you get Safari downloaded and installed on your Windows PC. Well of course you wanted it!

In this update, Apple claims that "Safari for Windows is the fastest and easiest-to-use web browser for the PC", a claim which is countered by many sources. I guess these things are perceptual to some people, rather than quantitative!

This has now been followed up with a fascinating paradox in the EULA which comes with Safari for Windows, which states that you are permitted to install said software (unwittingly downloaded or not) onto no more than "a single Apple-labeled computer at a time." Which means that if you're installing Safari for Windows (which you may have been tricked into downloading and installing in the first place) onto a Windows PC, you're violating the terms of the license.

Added March 28, 2008

Slashdot has a couple of articles related to this, one discussing the points above as well mentioning that Safari seems to be suffering some security vulnerabilities. The second article follows up on the vulnerability theme; at the CanSecWest hacking contest, a MacBook Air was compromised within two minutes due to a Safari-based vulnerability.