Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!



GnuTLS Flaw Leaves Many Linux Users Open To Attacks

Boltronics Re:Who uses GnuTLS? (127 comments)

$ apt-cache rdepends libgnutls26 | tail -n +3 | wc -l

Oh crap...

about 3 months ago

Which desktop environment do you like the best?

Boltronics Re:Awesome (611 comments)

I'll add to that. Often I'll have an xterm open and maximised. This allows me to enter long commands or view long lines in log files, in addition to seeing lots of command or log history. However, most of the time all that space isn't required. Often the most important terminal screen space is shaped like an L - vertical to the left (so I can see commands and directory history, if a bit truncated), as well as horizontal along the bottom where I enter commands.

Because of this, traditional window managers give me options to make more effective use of my screen than a tiling window-manager would be able to. One approach would be to have the xterm semi-transparent so I can see the window easily behind it. An even better approach is to use sloppy mouse focus to position a smaller window using the free space in the top-right foreground. AFAIK, most tiling window managers don't provide windows the option to overlap in this way, which would mean that I'm often effectively wasting ~1/4 of my total screen.

Lastly, I'll point out that you can assign wmctrl commands to achieve most of the good stuff that a tiling window manager is capable of. eg. to move a focused window to the right side of the screen (assuming a 1920x___ res), assign a shortcutl to:

wmctrl -r :ACTIVE: -e 1,960,-1,960,-1

To move a focused window to the left:

wmctrl -r :ACTIVE: -e 1,0,-1,960,-1

etc. Sure this approach will only allow for a predetermined number of window arrangements, but I'm probably never going to put more than 2 windows on a single screen at the same time anyway. You can also easily do the same kinds of things that tags let you do - and because wmctrl is a command line program, you aren't limited to scripting in Lua. :)

about 3 months ago

Free Software Foundation Condemns Mozilla's Move To Support DRM In Firefox

Boltronics Re:Write to Mozilla CTO Andreas Gal, he's responsi (403 comments)

Flash/Silverlight is going to be discontinued. What would companies like Netflix have used instead when that happens? Their only option would have been to write a browser extension for every browser that didn't support DRM, and require the user to install it. This is far worse for Netflix than existing extensions like Flash ever were.

So a DRM-free future was looking bright. That is, until the idiots at Mozilla decided to take the massive step backwards and support EME in their browser - which will make pushing DRM onto users more convenient than ever.

I was actually hopeful that one day my Debian on ARM machine would finally be able to play all video (and there's no ARM Flash builds). Since there's no official Firefox armel builds (see, I'd have to rebuild Firefox myself (unless the EME support makes it into my distro builds) however be surprised if Adobe's CDM would work on a Firefox rebuild for another architecture, or any kind of unofficial Firefox build for that matter.

I'm going to unsubscribe from Mozilla's newsletter and try switching to another free software browser in protest. Maybe Midori or Konqueror won't implement EME.

about 3 months ago

Opting Out of Big Data Snooping: Harder Than It Looks

Boltronics Seriously, with an active Facebook account? (248 comments)

In TFA, Janet admits to actively using a facebook account during the entire experiment. What the heck did she expect?

And how much is a stroller anyway? Many appear to be under US$100, so that's just 2x $50 cards. Would it really have fit in a locker? How much other stuff from Amazon was she buying? Couldn't an Entropay card have worked? Why Amazon in the first place?

The article concludes with When it comes to our personal data, we need better choices than either “leave if you don’t like it”. It seems like Janet was trying to do more than is usual online, specifically using sites known to track user buying habits, so IMO this is not a real world test.

about 4 months ago

Whatever Happened To the IPv4 Address Crisis?

Boltronics Re:NAT (574 comments)

Australian here. I noticed that some time in the last few years, my phone (N900 at the time which I could once remotely SSH into from home) was now behind NAT and unreachable. It might not be a crisis, but it's still a PITA.

about 6 months ago

Debian Technical Committee Votes For Systemd Over Upstart

Boltronics Re:Irrational Hate (379 comments)

I know what you mean. We started using Salt Stack at my workplace because it was a clear advantage over the previous way we were managing our infrastructure configuration, and perhaps because of that interest and enthusiasm, the process of migrating was much easier - even though the setup can be complex.

In the case of systemd and friends, the question of how this is going to advantage my job/workflow or my workplace specifically, is less clear. I guess this is a good argument for some early initial investigation so we can hopefully find that answer and motivate ourselves.

about 7 months ago

Debian Technical Committee Votes For Systemd Over Upstart

Boltronics Re:Irrational Hate (379 comments)

That's true. Point taken.

about 7 months ago

Debian Technical Committee Votes For Systemd Over Upstart

Boltronics Re:Irrational Hate (379 comments)

Nice! I like your style. :)

But I think you've been quite lucky to not have needed to touch it. I've frequently had to edit /etc/inittab (usually to change getty settings), change runlevel configurations, or package software with init scripts that need tweaking.

From my point of view, I don't care about saving 5 seconds of boot time. I'm more concerned about ease of configuration and maintenance, as well as reliability.

about 7 months ago

Debian Technical Committee Votes For Systemd Over Upstart

Boltronics Re:Irrational Hate (379 comments)

Then you must be administering Windows boxes.

about 7 months ago

Slashdot Tries Something New; Audience Responds!

Boltronics Re:Why? (2219 comments)

I agree. Install Firefox Mobile with the Phony extension. Then select "Desktop Firefox" for the User Agent. Soooo much better. :)

about 7 months ago

Confessions Of an Ex-TSA Agent: Secrets Of the I.O. Room

Boltronics Re:and the TSA exists because... (393 comments)

I used to work with a guy who had to get scanned by an airport residue scanner, on the same day that he had been using competitive firearms all morning in practice. He was happy to openly admit it to them (this was in Australia), but the scanner didn't pick up anything at all.

about 7 months ago

Rovio Denies Knowledge of NSA Access, Angry Birds Website Defaced Anyway

Boltronics F-droid (71 comments)

Doesn't matter if it's proprietary software or just adware you want to cut back on (or possibly even eliminate almost entirely if using Replicant), F-droid has you covered. It's not that hard to give Google Apps the flick with all the alternative free software out there, if one can be motivated to do so.

about 7 months ago

Ask Slashdot: Life After N900?

Boltronics Re: I had a N900 too... (303 comments)

Chroot's still aren't as good. My N900 could run some games I made using PyGAME (all I had to do was something like sudo apt-get install python-pygame) and it was good to go - ran the game just as well as my laptop did, with acceleration. Beautiful.

Unfortunately my N900 screen broke for a second time last year, and I threaded one of the screws trying to replace it, so I too found myself looking for a replacement phone. Even with overclocking the N900 was painfully slow on complex websites, so I wanted something modern but with a hardware keyboard. I couldn't find anything except possibly the Neo900 (which didn't have an ETA at the time - and I wouldn't have been able to wait for anyway), so I decided that I would get the biggest screen I could find - the logic being that if I have to use a virtual keyboard I want it to provide an experience as close to a hardware keyboard as possible.

Hence, I now run a Sony Xperia Z Ultra with the Hacker's Keyboard. Obviously not as good as a hardware keyboard, but the screen size means the virtual keyboard can fit all keys I had on the N900 (and then some) and still have plenty of room to see the text-box I'm typing into.

The Xperial Z Ultra also has expandable storage so a chroot is feasible, and I admit I've used this phone much more than my N900 due to it being more practical for games, e-mail, taking pictures, etc. Sony also provide instructions on unlocking the bootloader. However, lacking a true GNU userland environment for the primary OS, along with lacking the ease of gaining root and lacking a replaceable battery) are things I really miss. I also hate how much of the bloatware cannot be removed, although it can be disabled. It is waterproof though, so it's got that going for it.

I nuked or disabled almost everything related to Sony and Google Play and installed F-Droid instead, and then proceeded to install Firefox Mobile, K-9 and APG, Xabber, TTRSS-Reader, VLC, Open Explorer, Barcode Scanner, Terminal Emulator, Cool Reader, Document Viewer, Aard, OsmAnd~, ScummVM, AnkiDroid, World Clock, VX ConnectBot, a few ownCloud-related sync apps... and of course Frozen Bubble, and now Android can do most of the things I would have used my N900 for.

about 7 months ago

Scientists Detect Two Dozen Computers Trying To Sabotage Tor Privacy Network

Boltronics Re:Slashdot does this... (94 comments)

Slashdot does this automatically

$ echo QUIT | openssl s_client -connect | openssl x509 -text

Yeah, that's just sad. You'd think a popular technology news website such as Slashdot, of all places, would be on the ball and at least support TLS traffic... but it's actually worse than that. They're not lazy (they have a GeoTrust wildcard certificate issued back in April last year) but deliberately don't want people securing their connections, hence the 302 redirection the have in place. :(

about 7 months ago

Robot Tourism Coming Soon To Korea: Robot Land Project Breaks Ground

Boltronics But I'm no criminal (31 comments)

I would have been really interested in this. Actually, I almost went to Korea over the Xmas holidays anyway, but learned that they require fingerprinting now for non-citizens. I ended up staying in Hong Kong instead for the entire duration of my holiday just because of this point. I refuse to be treated like that.


I see some countries even require visitors to take an iris scan. That's insane.

about 7 months ago

Stop Trying To 'Innovate' Keyboards, You're Just Making Them Worse

Boltronics Re:eh, it's not that bad (459 comments)

I just got back from a trip to Hong Kong, and the shape of keyboards I used there somewhat resembled the parent poster's layout description (with the exception of the ~ key relocation). Granted this could be related to Hong Kong's history as a British colony and might well be different to mainland?

about 7 months ago

Linux Distributions Storing Wi-Fi Passwords In Plain Text

Boltronics Re:It's true -- but only root can read them though (341 comments)

Then as root just install a key logger?

Either the WiFi password is decrypted with a user password (eg. local machine account log-in password), or the WiFi password is supplied directly by the user. No problem.

about 8 months ago

The Quest To Build Xbox One and PS4 Emulators

Boltronics Re:Locked down tighter than a CEO's wallet (227 comments)

Some games work perfectly well under wine

Only some? Scroll down to the wine section here. I'd say (as of the last year or so) most Windows games work under wine. I've even purchased titles at launch such as Dead Island Riptide and played them under wine right away without issue. It's compatibility has been getting amazingly good.

It's also handy in bypassing certain DRM restrictions such as install limits. Install to a wine prefix, tar it up and back it up. Just untar when you want to "reinstall" it again.

about 9 months ago

Review: Puppet Vs. Chef Vs. Ansible Vs. Salt

Boltronics Re:Another one... (141 comments)

Actually, you couldn't be further from the truth! :)

Salt was my recommendation based on an evaluation of the options at the time. It was selected as the best fit for the company requirements, yes, not for my own personal benefit. I'm sure that other professionals would do the same.

If there aren't currently many job advertisements for people with Salt experience, I can only imagine that it's because the technology is still relatively new so hasn't been a configuration management candidate at many companies until the last year or so. I don't imagine it will take much longer to see adoption of it just as commonplace as the older more established solutions.

about 9 months ago

Review: Puppet Vs. Chef Vs. Ansible Vs. Salt

Boltronics Re:Another one... (141 comments)

Go for Chef / Puppet, because you will never find people with the other ones skills.

My workplace uses Salt. Just saying.

about 9 months ago



Boltronics has no journal entries.

Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>