Just in case it ever vanishes, a memory from archive.org; Thorpe Glen were a spinoff of a spinoff of BT and were subsequently bought-out – I forget by whom; their website lies idle; but be aware that they existed back then.
ThorpeGlen Maintains the Worlds Largest Social Network
Date published: 6th July, 2010
Technology innovation enables dynamic update of over 1.2 billion social profiles
ThorpeGlen Limited, world leaders in design and development of mass data analysis and storage solutions for the security sector, announced the creation of the worlds largest social network, with over 1.2 billion nodes in a live installation of the ThorpeGlen Monitoring Solution (TMS) measured in May 2010. A node on a social network is a person, piece of equipment or account, the network itself maps the linkages between nodes meaning that flow of funds through bank accounts, the movement of people and materials within a production facility or the way in which people communicate with each other by e-mail or telephone can be visualised and analysed.
Tony Chester, Chief Technology Officer at ThorpeGlen, explained that “the capabilities provided by the ThorpeGlen Monitoring Solution (TMS) enable our customers to quickly identify irregular behaviour or suspicious patterns within a social network thus providing a powerful tool in the prevention and detection of revenue loss and crime. Maintaining social profiles across a vast social network so that behaviour patterns can be analysed has proved to be a complex issue. Technology innovation has enabled us to dynamically update over 1.2 billion social profiles as the network continuously evolves.”
ThorpeGlen was granted the Queens Award for International Trade in 2009, building on this in 2010 ThorpeGlen’s leading edge technology has been recognised with the presentation of the Queens Award for Innovation.
It’s mentioned in many places on the web, but it turns out that this fabulously Orwellian poster from several years ago:
…is available as a hi-res PDF at WhatDoTheyKnow, the result of a FOIA.
My irony meter is rather strained by this discovery.
It was very similar to now, but also very very different…
Bob Coe once told me he did not have to interview the candidates for his Administrative Assistant position. I should simply ask each candidate to link her hands behind her head with her elbows pointing forward and walk toward the wall. If her elbows were the first part of her anatomy to touch the wall, she was eliminated from candidacy. All applicants whose breasts touched first, he would interview.
We had a Quality Director named Jim Griffin. An employee threatened to kill him once. And someone else kept pooping in his desk, really, pooping in his desk drawers (I am not kidding, who would make this stuff up?). This was not a real popular guy.
The guy who wanted to kill him came over to Mt View building 2 when he could not find Griffin in Mt View building 4. I worked in building 2. Someone from building 4 called me in my office at about 5:45 pm and said that this guy was on his way and by the way, he had a firearm. Really. So, I went to the lobby and moved the folks who were waiting there to the lunch room. Just as I was running back across the lobby to lock the front doors, the guy with the gun comes in demanding to see McNealy. I explained to him that that was not the appropriate escalation process for his complaints. No, I didn’t. I talked to the guy for about 5 minutes and he gave me the gun. The police came and arrested him. Griffin never thanked me…neither did McNealy, come to think of it. But it was my new boss’ first day on the job and she told me in that typical, passionless HR modulation that she was very impressed by how I handled it. I never liked her.
Posted by Nancy (in 2010) at Consulting Adult: Life in the Boy’s Dorm: My Career at Sun Microsystems.
HT: Andrew Gabriel
The Holodomor (Ukrainian: – , “Extermination by hunger” or “Hunger-extermination“; derived from ‘-’, “Starving someone” ) was a man-made famine in the Ukrainian SSR and adjacent Cossack territories between 1932 and 1933. During the famine, which is also known as the “Terror-Famine in Ukraine” and “Famine-Genocide in Ukraine”, millions of Ukrainians and Cossacks died of starvation in a peacetime catastrophe unprecedented in the history of Ukraine.
The estimates of the death toll by scholars varied greatly. Recent research has narrowed the estimates to between 1.8 and 5 million, with modern consensus for a likely total of 3–3.5 million. According to the decision of Kyiv Appellation Court, the demographic losses due to the famine amounted to 10 million, with 3.9 million famine deaths, and a 6.1 million birth deficit.
Scholars disagree on the relative importance of natural factors and bad economic policies as causes of the famine and the degree to which the destruction of the Ukrainian peasantry was premeditated on the part of Joseph Stalin. Some scholars and politicians using the word Holodomor emphasize the man-made aspects of the famine, arguing that it was genocide; some consider the resultant loss of life comparable to the Holocaust. They argue that the Soviet policies were an attack on the rise of Ukrainian nationalism and therefore fall under the legal definition of genocide. Other scholars argue that the Holodomor was a consequence of the economic problems associated with radical economic changes implemented during the period of Soviet industrialization.
TIL about “Freedom of the Press” – my emboldening of a key point.
My question to you, dear reader, is whether you can accept that every man, woman and (likely) child should be permitted to exercise their reason?
Until 1694, England had an elaborate system of licensing. No publication was allowed without the accompaniment of a government-granted license. Fifty years earlier, at a time of civil war, John Milton wrote his pamphlet Areopagitica. In this work Milton argued forcefully against this form of government censorship and parodied the idea, writing “when as debtors and delinquents may walk abroad without a keeper, but unoffensive books must not stir forth without a visible jailer in their title.” Although at the time it did little to halt the practice of licensing, it would be viewed later a significant milestone as one of the most eloquent defenses of press freedom.
Milton’s central argument was that the individual is capable of using reason and distinguishing right from wrong, good from bad. In order to be able to exercise this ration right, the individual must have unlimited access to the ideas of his fellow men in “a free and open encounter.” From Milton’s writings developed the concept of the open marketplace of ideas, the idea that when people argue against each other, the good arguments will prevail. One form of speech that was widely restricted in England was seditious libel, and laws were in place that made criticizing the government a crime. The King was above public criticism and statements critical of the government were forbidden, according to the English Court of the Star Chamber. Truth was not a defense to seditious libel because the goal was to prevent and punish all condemnation of the government.
via Freedom of the press – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
So yesterday I was returning from Scotland – more of that later – and traffic alerts and GPS guided me around a major motorway closure; the M6 near Stoke-on-Trent was closed due to a fatal motorcycle crash, traffic was stopped in the road for several hours whilst investigations were carried out – I believe the crash was towards 9am and the motorway was still closed well after lunch – and there were many, many motorists stuck in 27C+ temperatures on a hot road.
Another friend of mine was not so lucky – her choir was stuck in the midst of it – so they organised an impromptu concert on the motorway verge:
Igon Value Problems: so very, very applicable to politicians and
I will say this about Malcolm Gladwell: I like his writing, which oozes with intellect that enables him to see angles that many people miss. As a golf fan, I thoughtGladwell’s assessment of Tiger Woods versus Phil Mickelson
was so spot-on that I printed out Gladwell’s quote and taped it in front of my desk. However, at this point, the record is clear that Gladwell sometimes finds himself speaking and writing about topics that are out of his depth, leading to head-scratchingly elementary mistakes. The most notable is Gladwell’s gaffe with “igon value,” illustrated in a book review by Steven Pinker:
Gladwell frequently holds forth about statistics and psychology, and his lack of technical grounding in these subjects can be jarring. He provides misleading definitions of “homology,” “sagittal plane” and “power law” and quotes an expert speaking about an “igon value” (that’s eigenvalue, a basic concept in linear algebra). In the spirit of Gladwell, who likes to give portentous names to his aperçus, I will call this the Igon Value Problem: when a writer’s education on a topic consists in interviewing an expert, he is apt to offer generalizations that are banal, obtuse or flat wrong.
Malcolm Gladwell, Eclectic Detective [New York Times]
via Ask a Korean!: Culturalism, Gladwell, and Airplane Crashes.
…and a quick Google for 78a7ecf065324604540ad3c41c3bb8fe1d084c50 yields “badg3r5″, which is a really terrible password by any metric…
Even with root access, the secret admin account does not give support techs or hackers access to data stored on the HP machines, according to the company. But it does provide enough access and control over the hardware in a storage cluster to reboot specific nodes, which would “cripple the cluster,” according to information provided to The Register by an unnamed source.
The account also provides access to a factory-reset control that would allow intruders to destroy much of the data and configurations of a network of HP storage products. And it’s not hard to find: “Open up your favourite SSH client, key in the IP of an HP D2D unit. Enter in yourself the username HPSupport, and the password which has a SHA1 of 78a7ecf065324604540ad3c41c3bb8fe1d084c50. Say hello to an administrative account you didn’t know existed,” according to Technion, who claims to have attempted to notify HP for weeks with no result before deciding to go public.
The hash hiding the login “is easily brute-forced,” according to Technion, who noted in a later blog that more than 55 users have separately notified him they’d broken the hash. The backdoors are hidden in versions of the LeftHand OS v. 9.0 and higher. They have existed since at least 2009, according to The Register.
via HP Keeps Installing Secret Backdoors in Enterprise Storage.
Come for the joke, stay for the Snowden reference.