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Smartphone Kill Switch, Consumer Boon Or Way For Government To Brick Your Phone?

Bert64 Re:Why such paranoia ? (267 comments)

They would, however, be able to keep the story about what's happening in Ferguson, MO (for example) from ever trending on Twitter, simply by killing every phone talking to a particular tower.

Or they could just turn off the tower? That gives them the added benefit of deniability, they could claim the tower suffered a power outage or other technical fault.

13 hours ago
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Smartphone Kill Switch, Consumer Boon Or Way For Government To Brick Your Phone?

Bert64 But why? (267 comments)

Why would the NSA or the police want to brick someone's phone? All that would achieve is a minor annoyance for the target, who would promptly go out and buy another cheap burner phone. The needs of NSA/police are much better served by keeping the phone online and monitoring it.

Vendors on the other hand, have a vested interest in shutting down old phones to make you buy a new one.

13 hours ago
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Microsoft's Windows 8 App Store Is Full of Scamware

Bert64 Re:Windows 8 app store? (179 comments)

So ARM is in the same boat x86 was in compared to high end RISC all those years ago...
You could have your cheap, slow and unscalable x86 - or you could have a fast Alpha at 10x the price. Look what happened there?

2 days ago
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Not Just For ThinkPads Anymore: Lenovo Gets OK To Buy IBM Server Line

Bert64 Re:cant even get the keyboard right on their lapto (93 comments)

The Apple touchpads are actually quite good, but everyone else's attempts to rip them off have been terrible and unusable...
I always used to use the nipple on thinkpads, and with other laptops i would always connect up an external mouse. When i got a macbook i actually started using the touchpad.

5 days ago
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Apple's Diversity Numbers: 70% Male, 55% White

Bert64 Re:Stupid (557 comments)

Apple's employee profile should match the population of people qualified to carry out the roles Apple has available... If there is a lack of diversity among qualified individuals then the issue is with the education system, not Apple. Apple can only hire from the pool of available talent thats qualified to do the job.

about a week ago
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Apple's Diversity Numbers: 70% Male, 55% White

Bert64 Re:Stupid (557 comments)

Quotas won't "fix" anything...
It's the culture among kids that needs to change. If kids are in an environment where their peers shun specific subjects, then they will go along with it due to peer pressure irrespective of what they might individually be interested in.

about a week ago
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Ask Slashdot: Life Beyond the WRT54G Series?

Bert64 Re:Buffalo (426 comments)

Some of them ship with dd-wrt preinstalled, if you go for those models then you can be sure of compatibility.

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Life Beyond the WRT54G Series?

Bert64 Re: +1 for this Post (426 comments)

A small cheap UPS could keep something as low power as this running for a long time, brief power outages shouldn't pose a problem. And if you build it correctly, you shouldn't really need to reset it.

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Life Beyond the WRT54G Series?

Bert64 Re:Piheads are like the guy with a Hammer... (426 comments)

You can get the Mirabox, or one of its predecessors like the OpenRD or Dreamplug, all of which have dual GigE and some have a pcie slot and/or wifi too. They are only single core, but for a router that's more than adequate. I have 100mbit connectivity, the openrd can saturate the link just fine and the mirabox has a somewhat faster cpu.
Combined with a decent managed switch, you can use VLANs to get more interfaces. I have 2 WAN links which are vlanned and connected to the same physical nic, and several internal VLANs for different purposes.

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Life Beyond the WRT54G Series?

Bert64 Re:The canonical best household router is (426 comments)

I always prefer to have separate devices, i would be in a similar boat to you because the line enters the house in an awkward place. I have cat6 throughout the house, and an AP located about as centrally as it can be, but that still results in spotty service in one of the bedrooms and its unusable in the garage or the garden.

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Life Beyond the WRT54G Series?

Bert64 Re:+1 for this Post (426 comments)

How are you supposed to go online to configure your router?
Surely you need to configure your router *before* you can get online?

about two weeks ago
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Skype Blocks Customers Using OS-X 10.5.x and Earlier

Bert64 Re:and linux aswell (267 comments)

Thats what happens if you buy proprietary junk... I have some much older hardware phones which support SIP, and they all still work.

about two weeks ago
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Skype Blocks Customers Using OS-X 10.5.x and Earlier

Bert64 Re:and linux aswell (267 comments)

So find a service provider who offers the same service, but does so using standard protocols like SIP or IAX, they won't care what client you use and you have a choice of hundreds. There are plenty of such providers out there.

about two weeks ago
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Google Spots Explicit Images of a Child In Man's Email, Tips Off Police

Bert64 Re:Well at least they saved the children! (790 comments)

Another question to ask is, why was someone at google looking at someone's personal email account?

about two weeks ago
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Law Repressing Social Media, Bloggers Now In Effect In Russia

Bert64 Re:Edward Snowden's Plan B? (167 comments)

Only it's quite easy to charge snowden with a crime, while the ethics of what he did and what he exposed can be questioned, from a purely legal standpoint he did commit a crime.

about three weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Is Running Mission-Critical Servers Without a Firewall Common?

Bert64 Re:It Depends (348 comments)

That's completely the wrong approach..
If your hosts aren't secure enough to be on the public internet, they shouldn't be on an internal network either. Many attacks come from the inside, and if you have a large number of insecure hosts hidden behind a border firewall then all it takes is one tiny hole and everything can come crashing down, as has happened many times in the past.

A firewall is not the ultimate answer, and nor should it be your only line of defense. If hosts are correctly configured, then a firewall won't actually improve security as the only services exposed on the host will be ones you intended to run and thus explicitly allowed through the firewall.

about three weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Is Running Mission-Critical Servers Without a Firewall Common?

Bert64 Re:Fire(wall) and forget (348 comments)

If ports are unused, then the hosts themselves will reject any traffic sent to them without the need of a firewall...
If the hosts are running services you don't want, then you haven't configured your hosts correctly and hiding poorly configured hosts behind a firewall is not the answer.

about three weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Is Running Mission-Critical Servers Without a Firewall Common?

Bert64 Necessary? (348 comments)

Assuming the servers are correctly configured and hardened, then a firewall is an additional layer - ie the ports allowed by the firewall will be those ports that you have explicitly opened on the server, nothing else should be present irrespective of what the firewall allows. Wether you then need one depends on your budget, your risk profile, wether you need to comply with any external requirements (like pci-dss) etc.

Personally i have many servers with no firewalls, because having a firewall would add additional hosting cost, additional point of failure, additional attack surface, additional latency, and the servers themselves don't run any services that aren't intended to be open to the internet (and thus everything thats running would be allowed by the firewall anyway).

The benefits of having a firewall in my case - an extra place for logs incase my host is compromised, and the ability to control outbound access if the host is compromised, are outweighed by the downsides. The chance of the host actually becoming compromised in the first place wouldn't be decreased by the addition of a firewall, but you'd have the additional risk that the firewall itself could be compromised.

about three weeks ago
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UK Cabinet Office Adopts ODF As Exclusive Standard For Sharable Documents

Bert64 Re:This a wheeze to get Office 2013/ 365 cheaper (164 comments)

Short term it may cost more, long term it should save a lot... As someone who fully expects to still be paying taxes in 10 years time, i welcome long term savings.

As for interoperability, they are the government... You either want their business (eg suppliers), or you have no choice (eg taxpayers)... If they require that you submit documents in ODF then that's what you do, or they will find other suppliers who will.

about a month ago
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Australian Electoral Commission Refuses To Release Vote Counting Source Code

Bert64 Re:Hmmm, (112 comments)

Security through obscurity is an accident waiting to happen... When you talk about a system that noone would bother trying to hack, consider the bitcoin exchange mtgox - it started off as a simple site for trading game cards, and initially bitcoins had very little value - there was very little interest in hacking it. Then pretty much over night bitcoin exploded in value, making it a very tempting target indeed.

Also when you talk about a power plant system, a one way link is the security, not the obscurity aspect.

A secure system is one where even those who know the system inside out cannot break into it.

about a month ago

Submissions

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Bert64 Bert64 writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Bert64 writes "It seems that eBay allows you to say one thing about the location of an item in the auction description, but then if the item turns out to be defective to supply a completely different address, in another country, where the item can be returned at buyer's expense. No mention of this was in the original auction listing, in the hope of fooling those who would normally not buy from a foreign seller. Details on http://www.ev4.org/ of how i was stung by this, and how it can so easily be abused by anyone to profit by ripping off unsuspecting buyers while ebay sits back and does nothing about it. So anyone can ship defective items, and then make the returns process expensive enough that people won't bother."

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