Geograph List Expanding

Field Grasses

A little geograph league table for you:

The funny thing is, Dave lives on the canal so took a great picture of the area around the back of his house. Unfortunately, Martin had got there before him.  Anyway they both have pictures against square SD5230.

And I have managed to complete a nice neat little square around my house. It stands out on it’s own at the moment so I think I’ll have to try and expand it a little.

Update on McAfee issue – Daft Dialogue Box

I tried to get some progress on the McAfee issue from the other day today, so thought it might be fun to have a live support chat with them. The transcript below is the result, and not the most helpful of discussions I have ever had:

Please wait while we find a technician to assist you…
You are currently at position number 1 in the queue.
You have been connected to Support.

Support: Graham, thank you for contacting McAfee Online Support Center. How can I assist you with your McAfee software today?
Graham Chastney: The person who normally uses the PC is defined as a standard user and the update process insists on them needing to be an administrator to update.
Support:: Graham, I would be happy to clarify this. 
Support: Have you previously contacted McAfee Technical support regarding this issue?
Graham Chastney: No
Support: Graham, you must be the Administrator user to update McAfee programs.
Support: This is a security feature. All users can not update McAfee.

Graham Chastney: But that’s ridiculous – especially for DAT files. Why would I want to log-on as the administrator every day.
Graham Chastney: Can’ I configure the update service to run as an administrator
Support: If all users are granted access to update McAfee, they will get access to all McAfee data and it can be a breach of security.
Graham Chastney: But it’s a breach of security for me to log-on as an administrator every day? 

I completely fail to see how it can be a security feature to stop users updating their virus software. So Ian looks like you were wrong…perhaps it’s time for a bit of DIY.

Anyway, it shows how many people are running in least privilege – and it’s not many. 


Funny Tale for a Sunny Day

Wall Painting

I’m working from home today, which is nice because it means I get to sit here in my shorts and enjoy the sunny weather. Working from home on a Tuesday can come with a little bit of a challenge as well and that’s our Window Cleaner. He’s a nice guy, but doesn’t seem to understand that I am working from home not here to keep him company.

Anyway, today he came to the door (wanting his money) so I did my usual thing which was to go downstairs and to explain to him that I didn’t have any cash on me and he would (as usual) have to wait until this evening when the cash holder of the family would indeed have some money. And then he started; “Oh dear” I thought, “what’s today’s tale”.

Well it turns out that it’s warm work cleaning windows today, so he had decided to cool himself down by showering himself with the hose pipe in my back garden. Unfortunately the plastic hose pipe had been sat in full sun all day and rather than cooling him down it sprayed boiling water all down the back of his neck. It looked really sore. I must admit to a quiet little chuckle though.

The 5 Pillars of Connected Systems – Rethinking Infrastructure

On of the most interesting sessions for me at Tech-Ed in Amsterdam this year was one given by Gianpaolo Carraro in the 5 Pillars of Connected Systems:

I’ll let you read his site for more details on what he means by this and the move to a Service Oriented way of looking at things. I might even comments on whether I think he is right (or not). For me, though, it set off a whole load of thoughts about the Infrastructure/Platform v Application split. If something is a pillar then surely it is Infrastructure and at least part of the Platform, but I don’t know any businesses who regard work-flow as an Infrastructure Service available to all to consume, likewise for Identity and the other pillars.

This is a huge mind-set change that our industry needs to go through if it is to come to fruition. In most of the businesses that I know and deal with there is a huge divide between Application and Infrastructure and the thought of the Infrastructure organisation handling services which directly relate to the end delivery of an application would make most Application Architects go into a right old tis (as we say in these parts). That kind of interdependency on organisation is a real problem. Many of the challenges we face are not technology ones – they are people ones.

Daft Dialogue Box

This has to be the daftest dialogue box I have come across in a long time.

I run my wife on her PC as a User, with standard User privileges – why wouldn’t I? But every day when VirusScan decides to check for an updated signature she gets this dialogue box.

I haven’t done any detailed research into the reason for this dialogue box, but there doesn’t seem to be any sensible way to change this situation. It astounds me that a security supplier would choose to make their update process require Administrator privileges. By installing the software and configuring it (as the Administrator) I made the choice that I wanted the updates down-loading and installing, I don’t want to have to log-on as an Administrator every day to make sure the updates happen. But also, and almost as importantly, Sue doesn’t want to have an annoying pop-up sat on her screen all day every day (if you click “Continue what I was doing” it just comes back”).

We have such a long way to go as an industry to get people off the drug of ‘Administrator’ privileges.

It's Friday – End of Tech-Ed

Preston Maritime Festival

Well it’s Friday and soon I will be on my way home from Tech-Ed Europe. Has it been good, yes. has it been exceptional, no.

Steve Lamb asked me a if there were some sessions I would recommend: yes, definitely. I need to think about them and digest why I would recommend them first though. David Vaskevitch’s keynote was a great keynote, for instance.

For us Infrastructure people this year definitely lacked a big theme though. It all seemed a bit too incremental. That’s just the life-cycle problem, but I think that a theme could have been made of collaboration rather than the bits and pieces approach. 

I’m not complaining, I’ve had a good time, I just felt something was missing.