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Ask Slashdot: Is GNU/Linux Malware a Real Threat?

BobPaul Re:Define "real" (252 comments)

He said "get a will and you're covered". I don't think he was talking about losing a computer to lightning, but getting struck personally while you're walking around.

That said, there are things you can do for that, too... try not to be the tallest object during a thunderstorm (ex, don't be in a boat on the lake, don't be in the middle of a field, and don't hide under the tallest tree). As you point out, there are very few times when burying your head in the sand is the best move.

about a year ago

Ask Slashdot: Is GNU/Linux Malware a Real Threat?

BobPaul Re:Preinfected (252 comments)

Android has no API for "take_a_photo_with_permission()", there's just stuff to access the camera. It definitely makes sense why facebook app might need access to the camera: it clearly supports taking photos directly, and that's something users want. I'm not sure about Firefox or Chrome, but maybe flash runs within the brower's security context, so the browser would need permission to access the camera if flash was going to?

I highly doubt facebook, chrome, and firefox are using the camera without our knowledge. That said, the permission system on android could be improved to ensure this doesn't happen. Google has alread said they don't want to do that, though.

about a year ago

Slashdot Killed My Kickstarter Campaign

BobPaul Re:Linux Release (163 comments)

Is there a timeline on this? I see the lifetime purchase of Switchboard is currently discounted. Will I be able to get the linux version before the price goes up?

I could maybe justify it right now to secure the price, but I literally only have 1 windows machine at home: a laptop my wife uses, so it would be a tad useless.

about a year ago

GOG: How an Indie Game Store Took On the Pirates and Won

BobPaul Re:Dropping DRM is a step in the right direction (397 comments)

Doesn't Open Source predate the free software movement? When Richard Stallman was fighting with that printer which he didn't have a driver for, he was using a Unix machine. Traditionally, Unix has come with the source code but you were restricted with what you could do with it. That sounds like Open Source to me.

about 2 years ago

FTC To Recommend Antitrust Case Against Google

BobPaul Re:Nonsensical (195 comments)

The DOJ isn't involved yet, so cut the conspiracy bullshit.

Whether a monopoly is illegal isn't decided by how you acquired the monopoly. It's what you do after you achieve monopoly level market share which determines whether your monopoly is legal or illegal. You can be as anticompetitive as you want, but once you dominate any market segment, you have to be careful how you use that dominance.

I agree Google is probably fine, but for different reasons.

about 2 years ago

Why Eric Schmidt Is Wrong About Microsoft Not Mattering Anymore

BobPaul Re:Microsoft (398 comments)

Really? Because we subscribe to Google Apps and let me tell you, Google Docs is incredible for shared content creation even if it is absolutely horrendous at formatting.

And LibreOffice/OpenOffice are almost as good as MS Office for sharing... put the files on a Samba share and then utilize the trackchanges and commenting systems built into the application.

So our process is often generate the content quickly in Google Docs, then 1 person copy/splats that into LibreOffice and cleans up the formatting (adding company watermarks, properly inserting figures, etc).

about 2 years ago

OS Upgrades Powered By Git

BobPaul Re:arg (92 comments)

I won't be installing it on my desktop or servers any time soon,

I should hope not! Installing a browser kiosk on your desktop would be weird, and if you installed it on a server I might have to take away your keys to the server room.

about 2 years ago

Russian Officials Consider Ban On Wi-Fi Use For Kids

BobPaul What's the fear? (110 comments)

Is he afraid of kids getting access to porn or is he afraid of kids becoming politically active and starting a "Russian Spring" or sorts?

about 2 years ago

Linus Torvalds Will Answer Your Questions

BobPaul Re:The Absolute Death of Software Copyright? (460 comments)

While I'm sure to be modded down for asking the hard questions and I doubt anybody would have had the guts to ask him

What the hell is this shit? Your comment reads like you asked why he murdered your wife. You're not publically interogating Salvatore Riina, you're asking Linus about ABIs. That's not a question that takes "guts" to ask. Cut the dramatic bullshit.

about 2 years ago

Can Microsoft Really Convince People To Subscribe To Software?

BobPaul Re:LibreOffice (297 comments)

I'm an engineer. We have a couple of copies of Matlab on a floating license, but mostly use the Sci lab. All the engineers run Linux, so MS Office isn't an option. Only management and sales have MS Office licenses. We do our documentation (internal and external data sheets, etc) in LaTeX. Other documents show up as LibreOffice.

So even for those of us that use that stuff... it needn't be important.

about 2 years ago

Can Microsoft Really Convince People To Subscribe To Software?

BobPaul Re:LibreOffice (297 comments)

MatLab integrates with excel? How? By exporting to CSV? My copy of Matlab is several years old, so this could certainly be a new feature, but what exactly is the integration?

about 2 years ago

DNS Provision Pulled From SOPA

BobPaul Re:Update The background image is now gone. (232 comments)

The DMCA already provides this sort of action.

1. DMCA Complaint filed with service provider (ISP, webhost, youtube).
2. Offending content (image, song, etc) removed by ISP (or could be held liable).
3. (optional) Counter-claim filed, restores content.
4. (optional) Remaining details worked out in court.

And prior to the DMCA, your way is exactly how it worked, except the ISP didn't have to pull the content and the rights owner had more difficulty finding the individual who posted the content as the service provider was under no obligation to tell them without a court order. That abuse of the DMCA system is already rampant and congress wants to expand the power to include DNS blocking is madness.

more than 2 years ago

Amazon To Collect Indiana Sales Tax In 2014

BobPaul Re:But not in VA (413 comments)

Applying a state tax to interstate commerce is a clear violation of that authority, and the authority of the US government to levy excises.

Good thing it's a Sales and Use Tax, and not just a Sales Tax so that it's not technically a tax on interstate trade.

more than 2 years ago

Amazon To Collect Indiana Sales Tax In 2014

BobPaul Re:Taxes (413 comments)

Do you think the UPS/USPS/FedEx guy dropping goods off at your home is doing it for free? They're providing a service that is paid for - Amazon may be giving you "free shipping" but it's really just rolled into your purchase price.

He already addressed this when he said

And besides, how do you think the merchandise gets to your brick and mortar store? Magic?? They pay suppliers too, who obviously factor in cost of delivery into their pricing scheme. Granted, stores obviously pay less for shipping in bulk, but then again, Amazon has deals with the shipping companies to get discounts too...

The shipping cost Amazon pays to get individual items to your home is probably more than the cost the brick and motor store pays, but since Amazon has fewer employees, they have more room to cut prices and still have the same or higher profit margins.

more than 2 years ago

Amazon To Collect Indiana Sales Tax In 2014

BobPaul Re:Taxes (413 comments)

What "use" taxes?

There's a form you're supposed to fill out each year to account for all the spending you made and didn't pay local sales tax on. Corporations are policed pretty well, so they fill it out; talk to your purchasing dept or accounting dept if you are skeptical... everything they buy online is taxed, and if the tax isn't already taken out by the seller, then your company fills out the paperwork and pays it on their own.

As a private citizen, you're supposed to do the same. You obviously don't. It's ok, I don't either.

more than 2 years ago

Australian Users Petitioning Against Windows 8 Secure Boot

BobPaul Re:Petition to ignorance (386 comments)

The problem is with the OEM's themselves,

I agree.

but they have little incentive to lock out all the systems.

Here I disagree. There's a reason Google makes it a requirement than OEMs include the ability to turn off secure boot... Google doesn't trust the OEMs -- for good reason.

It would be safe to assume that any PC marketed towards enthusiast or enterprise will have the option to disable the Secure Boot in the bios

That's probably true. I don't think I've every purchased an enthusiast or enterprise PC. I've built a number of my own enthusiast rigs and I've purchased a fair dozen Acer/eMachine/HP low end boxes. These are the ones that risk loosing dual boot.

more than 2 years ago

Australian Users Petitioning Against Windows 8 Secure Boot

BobPaul Re:A BIOS with minimal features? (386 comments)

I have NEVER seen a BIOS with minimal features.

Buy a Dell. Or an HP. Or an Acer. Now compare the BIOS/UEFI setup menu with an off the shelf motherboard (Asus, ASRock, Epox, etc). The off the shelf motherboard will have WAY more features than the Dell, HP, or Acer.

That you haven't seen a BIOS with minimal features either means you've a) never built a computer, b) never run a major whitebox system, or c) never looked and compared.

Disclaimer: I don't believe being a language designer adds or removes any credibility from your statement, regardless of the company you work for.

more than 2 years ago

Australian Users Petitioning Against Windows 8 Secure Boot

BobPaul Re:Article Gives the Obvious Solution (386 comments)

I wonder if people that decide to purchase Windows 8 to use directly on a PC they built would be required to install some firmware update to give Microsoft its way.

No. Microsoft is not preventing Windows 8 from running anywhere. The OS does not check to ensure the hardware is secure. The hardware (or rather, UEFI... the new BIOS) checks the kernel to ensure the signature matches before running it. Hardware that doesn't do this check will still boot Windows 8 just fine. Hardware that does this check will still run Windows 9 when it comes out. It won't run Linux and probably not Windows 7 or Vista, unless you get copies that have signed binaries OR the hardware allows you to disable the check.

Microsoft isn't telling OEMs that they can't allow the user to disable the check, but they're also not telling OEMs that they have to allow the user to disable the check.

more than 2 years ago


BobPaul hasn't submitted any stories.



nVidia Graphics & World File Woes

BobPaul BobPaul writes  |  more than 8 years ago

My nVidia 6600 graphics card (Asus, refurb) came in the mail from NewEgg a couple of weeks ago. Had it setup Dual Monitor, with Xinerama extensions, and full 3D in less than an hour. So much better than ATI.

However, I lost my world file last night, so that's a bit of a problem. Lesson learned: Gentoo users, back up your world file! If you don't, this might be of use

It's really strange, though, as it wasn't half empty or anything, it was just plain empty. I ran out of space running "emerge --update --deep --newuse world" so the compilation failed. I freed up some space, and then ran it again, whereby it finished the last 10 packages or so it needed. I then ran "emerge --depclean" which removes redundant packages (dependencies that are no longer in use).

Since my world file was gone, depclean noticed that I had no dependencies what-so-ever, since I no longer had any packages installed. It promptly began removing everything I've installed since initial setup. When gcalctool flew by the uninstall list, I perked up a bit. When Gaim was trying to uninstall, I stopped. So that's been fun.

All in all, I'm not really sure I can say Linux is more work than Windows, or vice versa. I just had a close one there and it's taken me a while to recover, but I've experienced the same in Windows. I can't update 99.5% of all software on my system with 1 command in windows, but then I also don't have to worry about it uninstalling everything automatically by mistake.

I reboot to Windows once or twice a week to run the Quartus II demo I need for class, but I'll be running that in KQemu soon. I figure I can get free Windows through the MSDN, so I may as well use it, even if I'm not going to use it as my primary OS.

Oh, and Widgets are cool ;)


Why won't ATI just let me play Tuxracer, damnit?

BobPaul BobPaul writes  |  more than 9 years ago

Got my second monitor working. Perhaps the ATI drivers actually are good for something.

No, not really ;)

It still won't let me run 2 X servers for dual head, so I set it up for "1 Big Screen" which, I assume, is similar to xinerama. That works, but maximizing windows is no longer a function I can perform.

And I still don't have 3D support, prompting me to sign the petition. While I've always enjoyed the ATI AiW products (I have a couple) I haven't had cable since I moved off campus, plus I own a real TV, and nVidia actually supports linux as if they had customers using it...

Looks like it'll be nVidia now and a standalone TV Card (haupauge?) later on when I get cable again...

Now I just need to pick out a cheap nVidia card


From WindowsXP to Gentoo Stage 1

BobPaul BobPaul writes  |  more than 9 years ago

For years I've used OSS (Various Mozilla builds, Netscape 6 briefly, Mozilla, Pheonix->Firefox, Thunderbird, Open Office, Azureus, edonkey, etc), but have long shyed away from switching to linux after I failed to catch on in 6th grade with Redhat 6.0, 7th grade with Mandrake 6.5, and then finally Gentoo (both stage 1 and 2 failed, I'm assuming because I later found I had a bad stick of memory) and stage 3 "word-for-word" left me with a windows partition half formatted with ext2. (/dev/hda1 != /dev/hdb1)

Now, obviously Gentoo left a bad taste in my mouth, but one of the big reasons was poor font support. I always had a number of Knoppix builds laying around my desk/dorm, but the fonts sucked much and KDE sucked more. My only experience with Gnome was on Redhat 6 and Mandrake 6.5, and that was in the early days and it too sucked.

I hadn't tried linux, other than knoppix live, since.

Until last week when I saw the article about Xandros on Slashdot while I relently realized the only way I could regain 16-bit app support and the existance of my "Compatibility Tab" in XP was a format--seriously, it's just gone... it's like the WoW service was disabled, but it reported perfect operation--I thought, "Fuck.. I should switch to linux".

So I popped in the Xandros Open Dist cd, had it resize my windows partition, and installed Xandros.

It sucked.

I couldn't get it to use my SBLive 5.1 instead of the secondary Ensoniq $0.50 card I use for Skype-chat cord calls and I could tell the package management was for n00bs. Where I was expecting to see a plethera of interconnected packages, I so less than 20, and most everything was installed in the "System Package". No wonder installation was a breeze... there's just one package!

So I didn't even spend a full hour with that. I immediately downloaded a Gentoo minimal and a Ubuntu live cd and rebooted.

"Ah, shit. I need the ubuntu install cd!

So I installed Gentoo from Stage 1. That was on Thursday. It's now Monday at almost 10pm and I just finished making gnome look a little prettier:
( De-Uglify Gnome, End User Gnome, Make Fonts Less Suck, Installing Gnome, Make Numlock ON)

And now I fire up Firefox and everything looks great! Gnome is fast and sleek, I have all of my extensions and grease monkey scripts, I just watched a DVD last night and I swear it looked about 50% sharper than it ever did in windows and so I head over to firefox and BAM: Suck Fonts!

WTF?!? I spent almost 2 hours emerging font packs per the instructions last night, while I simultaneously spent an hour in profuse going through all of my use variables so that I could "emerge --deep --update --newuse world" for the 3rd time in 3 days only to find that slashdot still looks terrible!

I followed all the steps in the "Fonts Less Suck" guide and everything looks great everywhere on the web I've been except for slashdot... I don't get it. They're so huge and weirdly shaped. Obviosuly AA is working, but they don't look like what I'm used to on Windows and OSX...

So, I guess I've got some more work to do...

I set my proportional to Sans-Serif 15 instead of Serif 16 and things look a little better... Did I only have 2 choices for proportional fonts in Windows, I wonder? I still don't really like it...


Screw Slashdot signatures!

BobPaul BobPaul writes  |  more than 9 years ago

I've earlier complained that signatures weren't allowed long enough, since slashcode automatically adds in tags to any link you enter, etc.

Whoever(TM) at wrote a userscript that takes care of this. You can hardcode your signature (or a list of signatures) into Slashdot Random Sig and it will randomly pit from the sigs you entered.

Nice, since it adds the sig the the text box when you submit, making it body text. This means your sig displays even if people disable sigs, but more importantly allows for longer sigs.

You'll need both FireFox and the GreaseMonkey extension.


Signature revision and other things I learned today

BobPaul BobPaul writes  |  more than 10 years ago

Those of you that read my journal regularly (and I'm talking to SimianOverlord especially) will be happy to know that I'm am no longer threatening my own death in the third person for forgetting to append my signature to messages I post. I've now forwarded the URI so I don't have to use the lengthy, origional URI and it actually fits as a signature now.

In the processes, I found out that signatures are applied globally. I'm not sure whether to be excited, as global features are pretty cool, or annoyed, as now when I become nostalgic and dig through old slashdot articles, I'll be reading people's current signatures, and no the origional ones they posted with.

In other news:
        I see I don't have any fans. That's probably to be expected. How do I become one's fan? Or foe even. I wouldn't turn down freak, either, really. I just want to know how...

Oh, and before I forget:
        Karma --> Good
        Bob/Paul --> Happy

Hey, don't blame me. You were the one with the curiosity and the mouse clicking and the reading junk. Now you know why my blog failed.

(and btw--wtf HTML will /. let me use to control text size? the paragraph above should be smaller, but I'm not allowed to post the font tag, and things like <p style="font-size : 7pt"> don't work. Anything? WTF?)


Journal Comments and other matters of thought

BobPaul BobPaul writes  |  more than 10 years ago

Someone recently posted a comment to my "sig dumping ground." That evoked two thoughts for me.

First off, when did people start reading my journal? Should I feel special now?

Secondly, that guy had a "-1" score on his post, but I have my threshold set at 1. It's my journal. Why can't I moderate it and bump up his post? It's my freaking journal!

Can I use my mod points on peoples journals? That might be a fun waste of 5 mod points...


Sig dumping ground

BobPaul BobPaul writes  |  more than 10 years ago Copy/Paste this at the end of your posts. It's too long to use as a sig. If you forget, I will kill you.

--<br><a href="">Remove the Kiddie Gloves!</a>


Palm OS 4 Emulation

BobPaul BobPaul writes  |  more than 10 years ago

144Mhz > 33Mhz.

In that regard, a TungstenT2 is faster than an m505.

However, Palm OS 4 apps run in DragonBall emulation mode at a faked 22mhz (or 25mhz, or whatever it is..)

When is someone going to write an app that lets me change this to an emulated 60mhz or at least 33mhz?


*EDIT* It seems the "Emulation" is actually simply an API converter, not emulation of a whole dragonball system, which, PalmSource claims, should make my old software run faster than it used to... Sure as hell doesn't seem to..

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