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D-Link Router Backdoor Vulnerability Allows Full Access To Settings

AndrewStephens Re:A big problem (228 comments)

... or have a subdomain of your website resolve to 192.168.1.1

I never thought of this, that's pretty sneaky.

about a year ago
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D-Link Router Backdoor Vulnerability Allows Full Access To Settings

AndrewStephens A big problem (228 comments)

This is NOT a small, obscure problem for users of DLINK routers. Although it does not open up Wifi access or anything like that, having access to the configuration panel of your router is bad news even from inside the network. I can't think of anyway to automatically exploit it via a browser (XSS-style) but a small executable (or trusted Java applet, for instance) could do it.

Additionally, I wonder how many small establishments are offering free wifi using DLINK equipment. Those networks are now vulnerable.

If I was a bad(er) guy, the first thing I would change would be the DNS settings. Forcing all computers behind the router to use a DNS I control opens up all sorts of interesting ways to mess with people.

about a year ago
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Deloitte: Use a Longer Password In 2013. Seriously.

AndrewStephens Re:I Got It! (538 comments)

True, but nobody tries breaking into a system by logging in ten thousand times a second to a single account. The recent well-publicised break-ins resulted from the hashed password file being publicly available, either stolen through a vulnerability or maliciously leaked. If the attackers have the hashed passwords they can try them at a rate of millions or billions of attempts per second for as long as they want.

about a year and a half ago
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Facebook's Graph Search: Kiss Your Privacy Goodbye

AndrewStephens You do not have a Facebook Page (245 comments)

I wrote this a while ago but I will continue to post it as long as stupid people exist: You Do Not Have A Facebook Page!. Facebook has a page on you.

I signed up to Facebook and occasionally update Facebook's page on me, I find the service quite useful for keeping in touch with people, but I am under no illusions as to why Facebook provides this service. Anyone who uses Facebook with anything they expect to keep private has seriously misunderstood their relationship with the company.

about a year and a half ago
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Nuclear Rocket Petition On White House Website

AndrewStephens Project Orion (205 comments)

Enough of this namby-pamby nuclear rocket talk. What we need is Project Orion to be restarted. Imagine lifting oil-tanker sized craft from the ground into space using only a few hundred nuclear bombs, what could possibly go wrong?

about a year and a half ago
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Firefox 16 Released: More HTML5 Support

AndrewStephens Re:Now that summary is BS - at least in part. (133 comments)

Speaking of HTML5test, I just ran a before and after test with firefox 15 and firefox 16:

Firefox 15: 346 out of 500
Firefox 16: 363 out of 500
Chrome 22: 437 out of 500

about 2 years ago
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What's To Love About C?

AndrewStephens Re:One good reason... (793 comments)

Nobody uses everything in C++, I estimate that most programmers only ever use 75% of the language. The problem is that everybody uses a different 75%. For instance, diamond inheritance can be a pain, but is occasionally unavoidable and I am glad it works. STL algorithms are the best part of C++, complex problems reduce down a few lines of code.

Your one example that is actually bloated is iostreams, which is slow and overkill for almost any program. I wish more C++ text books would ignore iostreams and spend more time on STL.

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

AndrewStephens Facebook will change or die (183 comments)

Facebook has reached the pinnacle of social networking - the only place to go now is downhill unless they change. They already have every user who wants a page, the only new users are young kids just getting online - not Facebook's target demographic. Also, they have just gone public which puts pressure on the company to make more money.

I predict Facebook will start to branch out into video and music more and more in an attempt to get more pages views - it must be galling for Facebook to see people sharing videos with YouTube advertising instead of Facebook's. They are going to have to be careful, users don't like change.

(One thing users don't want is a whole slew of different social networks. I am on Facebook and G+, but I would only use one if either gave me full control over who sees what. I think projects like Diaspora are always going to be niche ideas)

more than 2 years ago
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SEC Calls For Review of Facebook IPO

AndrewStephens Re:Facebroke.. (267 comments)

Bingo. Facebook is a reasonably good service, but all it doesn't take much to launch a competitor. Sooner or later another site will become the next Facebook and Facebook will become the next MySpace. Personally I think the biggest threat comes from mobile, all it would take is for a few of the mobile providers to get together and launch a service aimed at teenagers (who are not as invested in FaceBook) and in a few years FB is the old-persons network.

FaceBooks only saving grace is that the mobile providers all hate each other and couldn't provide an appealing service if their lives depended on it (which, somehow it doesn't - I've never worked that out).

more than 2 years ago
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Nmap 6 Released Featuring Improved Scripting, Full IPv6 Support

AndrewStephens Re:Better Details (45 comments)

Yes, but not for this reason.

Filmgoing Public

more than 2 years ago
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Dealing With the Eventual Collapse of Social Networks

AndrewStephens You do not have a FaceBook page (370 comments)

This goes for all social networks (including Slashdot) but I will use Facebook as an example:

You do not have a FaceBook page.

No you don't.

Facebook has a page on you, which you update for them for free. You are a product that Facebook produces for its customers. The customers of Facebook are the advertisers, not you. This is not necessarily a bad deal for you. You get to show people Facebook's page about you, and derive pleasure from interacting with Facebook's pages about your friends. All for free.

But don't get upset when Facebook decides to improve things for its customers, because they can (and should) put them first. Facebook owes you nothing.

Regulating social networks seems like an exercise in frustration. What counts as a social network? Does my blog count? Do I need to let users download all their comments in an "industry standard format"? Do MMO's count? Can I download my +5 firesword?

more than 2 years ago
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Dealing With the Eventual Collapse of Social Networks

AndrewStephens Mod Points (370 comments)

Sometimes I wish Slashdot would let me download my mod points in an open format and use them on another web site. I have some Facebook posts in mind that need down-modding.

more than 2 years ago
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Biochemist Creates CO2-Eating Light That Runs On Algae

AndrewStephens Re:Mars? (121 comments)

That NASA link is 50 times as interesting as this lame story. Thanks.

more than 2 years ago
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Mac Flashback Attack Began With Wordpress Blogs

AndrewStephens Re:Wordpress wasn't that vulnerable, timthumb was. (103 comments)

Exactly right. I have noticed a huge upswing of probing behavior in my Wordpress site logs, all targeting timthumb in various common themes. Wordpress is easy to install (and easy to upgrade) but requires ongoing upkeep as vulnerabilities are found and patched. Too many people just install it and let it rot.

about 2 years ago
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Blackjack Player Breaks the Bank At Atlantic City

AndrewStephens Re:Roulette (294 comments)

With Roulette you don't need to predict very well to get an edge on the house. Even you if can fairly consistently guess which quarter of the wheel the ball will land in, you can shift the odds well into your favor over the long run. That's what the "cheaters" with electronic aids were doing.

more than 2 years ago
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Mozilla Debates Supporting H.264 In Firefox Via System Codecs

AndrewStephens Re:Don't make it about H.264 (320 comments)

On the flip side, I remember installing a PNG datatype and then suddenly every single browser could display PNGs, whether the browser author cared (or even knew about) PNG or not.

That's great, but what are websites supposed to do? Start serving up PNGs (or whatever modern equivalent) and hope that users have the correct plugin? Or do they stick with something not quite as good that they know will work? That is why having a small list of supported codecs is important (leaving aside the fact that many users simply cannot install additional software).

Nobody cares about Matroska files except for pirates (which is a shame, because it has nice features). Neither Windows or MacOSX are interested in supporting every single codec under the sun. You can install additional codecs for both Windows and Quicktime if you want to, but if you are distributing files it is better to just use an industry standard like h264. This is exactly my point.

more than 2 years ago
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Mozilla Debates Supporting H.264 In Firefox Via System Codecs

AndrewStephens Re:Don't make it about H.264 (320 comments)

I don't really have anything to add except to say the Netflix and similar products will never use the standard video tag to stream video, since it doesn't offer the flexibility and DRM that they need. Netflix isn't really a web-based product anyway, all the heavy lifting is done outside of the browser.

more than 2 years ago
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Mozilla Debates Supporting H.264 In Firefox Via System Codecs

AndrewStephens Re:Don't make it about H.264 (320 comments)

Video codecs and fonts are similar in that they are both complex binary formats whose readers have until recently not been exposed to the cesspit of exploits known as the internet. Both font rendering code (on all OS's) and base video codecs have had patches to fix security holes (mainly buffer overflows) in recent years. Mozilla does not want to be in a position where they know there is an exploitable hole in a video codec that the vendor won't quickly fix (which has happened in the past).

What are they supposed to do in that situation, disable the feature? Ship a product they know is insecure? At least with their own codecs, they know they can always ship an update immediately if a problem is found.

On your second point, I am not sure it is Firefox's job to be all things to all people. It is a web browser, not a security console. If you want a web enabled security console then you would use a web-ready video codec. Besides, Firefox still supports plugins for additional behavior if you really need something non-standard. You could even make a plugin that forwarded everything onto gstreamer (or DirectX, or Quicktime) if you really want to - just don't expect me to install it.

more than 2 years ago
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Mozilla Debates Supporting H.264 In Firefox Via System Codecs

AndrewStephens Re:Don't make it about H.264 (320 comments)

They shouldn't "support H.264" but rather, they should support any unknown (to the browser) codec by trying the OS.

No, no, no. That will lead to the bad old days of having to install a different codec for each web site. Remember when we had Real, various MS codecs, Quicktime, and Flash, and various others I have forgotten all competing for memory? It sucked.

In a perfect world the video tag would define a small list of codecs that are broadly supported by OSes and mobile devices. The list of codecs can be revisited every 5 years or so as technology improves but should be fairly static. The browser can chose to implement the codecs themselves or let the OS do it, but should not attempt to pass every unknown codec onto the OS. H264 is the industry standard (like it or not) and if Firefox can't implement it itself (for good reasons) then I think using the OS is a fair enough compromise.

I wrote about this 2 years ago when this issue first came up. At the time one of the Mozilla devs explained that they didn't really trust the OS codecs from a security point of view, but time has moved on and I would expect that most H264 codecs are pretty secure now.

more than 2 years ago
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Rare Moon Mineral Found On Earth

AndrewStephens Confused (64 comments)

So the moon contains rare earth elements, and now we have rare moon minerals on Earth. MAKE UP YOUR DAMN MINDS, EARTH/MOON SYSTEM!

more than 2 years ago

Submissions

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Boost 1.36 Released

AndrewStephens AndrewStephens writes  |  more than 6 years ago

AndrewStephens writes "Good news for C++ programmers: Boost 1.36 has been released with 4 new libraries (including very useful exception templates) and a host of updates. In particular, boost.asio (the cross platform AsyncIO library) has seen major additions and now supports asynchronous disk operations on Windows. Almost every modern C++ codebase uses Boost somewhere, and many of its features find their way into the offical language specifications."
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