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Canonical Moving Away From GNOME Control Center

Almahtar Better late than never... (208 comments)

Ok guys, I'm here with the asbestos!

about 9 months ago

Steve Ballmer Reorganizing Microsoft

Almahtar Re:Fixed that for you (387 comments)

We all know Ballmer is quite the whiz with chairs.

about a year ago

Dell Offers Ubuntu Option With Alienware Gaming Desktop

Almahtar Re:Pay to upgrade their experience to what? (135 comments)

You say that as if paid games are somehow better than pirated ones. I've bought plenty of paid games sometimes multiple times each. Each time I end up downloading and playing a cracked version because it wouldn't tell me I couldn't play it if my 'net screwed up or if their DRM scheme somehow screwed up.

The cracked versions are an upgrade, and this coming from a paying customer.

Getting games to work correctly is hard enough without introducing new ways they can fail on purpose that can also fail on accident.

about a year and a half ago

Wayland/Weston Gets Forked As Northfield/Norwood

Almahtar Re:what's wrong with X? (252 comments)

Yes. It can. It supports X as a client. Am I the only person listening?

about a year and a half ago

Wayland/Weston Gets Forked As Northfield/Norwood

Almahtar Re:Hahah (252 comments)

X11 FOREVER!!! !!! !!!

... he says after suggesting we probably need X12

about a year and a half ago

Wayland/Weston Gets Forked As Northfield/Norwood

Almahtar Re:Just what we need... (252 comments)

To be fair it only takes one voice to gather an army. This article alone may do just that. Let's not be pessimistic.

about a year and a half ago

Valve Officially Launches Steam For Linux

Almahtar Re:No 64-bit? (313 comments)

PAE, muthafugga. 32-bit Linux hasn't been limited to 4 gigs of ram for a long time. If you're rocking a processor that's Pentium Pro or newer (I know, pretty hard to find something so powerful nowadays) you're limited to a puny 64 gigs.

Unless you're running Windows: "According to Geoff Chappell, Microsoft limits 32-bit versions of Windows to 4 GB as a matter of its licensing policy" -- from

about a year and a half ago

Zuckerberg: Betting On HTML5 Was Facebook's Biggest Mistake

Almahtar Re:Whole quote (290 comments)

Yep! Another fun one: I wasn't happy at all when it decided to update my profile with my phone number, when I'd been making sure to keep my phone number far away from my profile for years. It didn't ask. Thanks, Facebook, for sharing my private information with who knows how many people without asking or warning me. Fuck that app.

about 2 years ago

Ubuntu Will Soon Ship On 5% of New PCs

Almahtar Re:The best part... (441 comments)

Your post also solves a symptom and not the problem - that most people don't know enough to care about their OS. "Does it facebook?" is the average user's concern.
That's a good thing and a bad thing. It's nice that they usually don't have to care but it does suck that they're oblivious to the fact that they even have options.

more than 2 years ago

Battleheart Developer Drops Android As 'Unsustainable'

Almahtar Re:Who can blame them? (649 comments)

A (literally) mom'n'pop shop is concerned about a few thousand, yes. It's a percentage of their income and it matters - a 2 person shop will definitely miss a couple thousand. Additionally, no they can not get dev hardware with an e-mail. If that was true every 14 year old girl that wants the latest phone could whip up an e-mail pretending to be a successful dev. The only companies that get free dev hardware are large ones. Little shops (less than 20 devs) pay for every transistor.

Who except Apple cares about the behavior of little shops? Uhhh... little shops do...

more than 2 years ago

Dealing With an Overly-Restrictive Intellectual Property Policy?

Almahtar Re:A Contract Is What? (467 comments)

I've worked for a few places that gave me their invention assignment agreements in .doc format. They wanted me to print it, sign it, give it back.
If I'd felt the terms were not reasonable I would have just edited it, signed it, and handed it in without a word. Problem solved.
In my case the terms were reasonable enough so I left them unmodified.

more than 2 years ago

C++ the Clear Winner In Google's Language Performance Tests

Almahtar Re:C/C++ faster but produces more bugs (670 comments)

A good point. While it doesn't apply to every problem, scope-level memory management is much more reliable and high-performing than dynamic allocation. In some (very few: unbalanced binary trees, etc) situations it would be silly to use anything but dynamic allocation, but in most cases static is the best for performance and reliability by a long shot.

more than 3 years ago

Amazon Says Hardware, Not Hackers, Caused Outage

Almahtar Re:Yes but... (128 comments)

Likewise, people who see that Amazon can easily weather a moderately aggressive DDoS like that juvenile tantrum thrown by Anonymous now have that much more of a reason to trust Amazon while buying goods or considering where to host cloud-ish stuff.

Juvenile tantrum? They took down Paypal, Mastercard, and Visa. That's not a juvenile tantrum, that is "hulk smash".

more than 3 years ago

68% of US Broadband Connections Aren't Broadband

Almahtar Re:A lot of people don't want that (611 comments)

I think the point of contention is not what bandwidth most people need, it's the fact that what is being promised doesn't match up to what's delivered.

more than 3 years ago

Angles On Anonymous

Almahtar Re:Very easy explanation (383 comments)

Taking down did two important things, in my opinion:

1. It sent the message "We saw what you did."
2. It drew massive attention in the media. NPR (National Public Radio) had covered the wikileaks situation only sparsely before, but I've heard about it at least a few times a day now.

more than 3 years ago

Can Windows, OS X and Fedora All Work Together?

Almahtar Re:why? (375 comments)

While you no longer *can* control uptime, you also no longer *have to*, and I'm pretty sure for smaller organizations the tradeoff is worth it.

more than 3 years ago

USB 'Dead Drops'

Almahtar Re:Sounds cool (322 comments)

Not quite good enough - you could still get a BIOS/EFI rootkit :\

more than 3 years ago

Malware Running On Graphics Cards

Almahtar Imagine the rootkits... (103 comments)

If you were able to use the GPU to brute-force a password hash or similar authentication token for the system, you could install a rootkit on the card's option ROM.

1.It'd get to run with ring 0 access on each boot before the OS has a chance to do anything.
2. On EFI systems it'd have access to a TCP stack, full FAT and NTFS filesystem access, all included in the EDK. So it could update itself on the fly each boot.

The video card makes a great trojan horse to house your malware.

more than 3 years ago


Almahtar hasn't submitted any stories.



Corporate Information Security Policy Musts?

Almahtar Almahtar writes  |  more than 6 years ago I'm drafting a document that will be used as sort of an "Information Security Best Practices" / "Corporate Information Security Policies" reference for a handful of organizations.

One of the topics that inspired the need for the document is use of public wireless hotspots for business correspondence, especially in conjunction with insecure protocols like FTP (which sends both content and authentication data in cleartext) or many instant messengers (which send your conversation in cleartext), so that's an example of an issue that would appear in the document.

If you were writing such a document for your organization (or if you have already), what would your top 5 topics be? Also, what snazzy tools/services do you recommend for defeating and preventing common security blunders (free and otherwise)?

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