Slashdot: News for Nerds


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!



Trend Micro Chairman Says Open Source Is a Security Risk

Col. Panic oh that old argument again (258 comments)

every time someone thinks that closed source is better we have this debate. many eyes = better security

more than 3 years ago

Scotland Yard Has Been After Anonymous For Months

Col. Panic what the gay? (278 comments)

oh god - not the scots. they might remove all anon from ... scotland

more than 3 years ago

Airbus Planning Transparent Planes

Col. Panic how did they know (488 comments)

about my secret desire to be wonder woman?

more than 3 years ago

When I no longer use a hard drive, I typically keep it for..

Col. Panic depends on home or work (308 comments)

at home i keep them until i forget what is on them. at work i get to watch them be shredded. muahahah

more than 3 years ago

There is no...

Col. Panic Punch and pie (314 comments)

we were led to believe there would be punch and pie

more than 3 years ago

'Robin Sage' Social Hoax Duped Military, Security Pros

Col. Panic News for Nerds, Indeed (191 comments)

The researcher who conducted the experiment will show off his findings at the upcoming Black Hat USA conference in Las Vegas, where the real woman pictured in the profiles is scheduled to introduce him for his presentation.

when you have to specify that the woman is real ...

about 4 years ago

Where I am now, it's ...

Col. Panic Re:Canada (525 comments)

yeah northern finland is in the artic circle. one of those places where only polar bears and crazy drunken fishermen should tread. oh yeah. and reindeer

about 4 years ago

Pacific Northwest At Risk For Mega-Earthquake

Col. Panic Re:Yet another reason... (457 comments)

yeah give me hurricanes. i like disasters i can see coming far enough in advance to have a map of where it is and track the thing daily.

as it happens, i am one of the last people to leave the building when a hurricane approaches. when we go under warning (24 hours out) we take down the datacenter and power down the building. then i can get in my car and drive away. not like a tornado or earthquake.

more than 4 years ago

Computer Competency Test For Non-IT Hires?

Col. Panic Re:Anybody can have a bad day (369 comments)

yes but when someone who supposedly works in IT launches kournikova.jpg.vbs i want to stake them to an anthill

ask me why

more than 4 years ago

Sony Can Update PS3 Firmware Without Permission

Col. Panic Re:Huh? (700 comments)

Even the browser will turn off.

oooh isn't that a bite. that thing i never use won't work anymore.

i'll take geohot's update and see how that plays out

more than 4 years ago

Fate of Terry Childs Now In Jury's Hands

Col. Panic Re:Please Read the History... (530 comments)


where are my pills?

more than 4 years ago

Facebook Masks Worse Privacy With New Interface

Col. Panic Re:If you want privacy then don't use (446 comments)

i'd wager more than a few work in information security. the longer you work in security fields the more paranoid you tend to become, probably due to reading about breaches over and over.

more than 4 years ago

What Can I Expect As an IT Intern?

Col. Panic Re:I was hired where I interned (325 comments)

whoa there, buddy. the cap is for a full blown barista. he is only the apprentice coffee boy

more than 4 years ago

What Can I Expect As an IT Intern?

Col. Panic Re:Nope. (325 comments)

sysadmin jobs in a bank are boring *until* something breaks. then things get real interesting very quickly. you face losing money so management breathes down your neck while you think fast and start flexing your skillset. it's fun and the time flies by, sometimes too quickly. personally, i love it :o

more than 4 years ago

What Can I Expect As an IT Intern?

Col. Panic seek mentors (325 comments)

the most valuable learning experiences i had starting out were when someone took me under their wing. my first job was a contract for a major sporting goods company. a hired gun who also contracted but had his project delayed said, "we are going to take every case in the problem queue and work them together." this was not his job - he was happy to teach me, and boy did i learn.

at my next job, a guru who seemed to know everything from midrange to programming, netware, microsoft and telephony taught me occasional tidbits like binding a protocol to an interface in netware 3.1

if you keep your eyes open and demeanor positive and helpful, you are more likely to spot the willing to educate you. ask questions without being pushy. watch to see when they don't want to be bothered and offer to help.

more than 4 years ago

At My Computer Desk, I Use...

Col. Panic Re:Single computer and single monitor!? (628 comments)

two computers, two accounts. restricted user account for things like email, instant messaging, web browsing. admin account for network and printer administration. each has a 20" lcd

more than 4 years ago

How Do You Evaluate a Data Center?

Col. Panic Re:Just off the top of my head (211 comments)

also water detection. it's pretty handy to know as soon as possible when your cooling system is leaking under the raised floor.

more than 4 years ago

Reporting To Executives

Col. Panic Re:Think Business Functionality (301 comments)

my thought exactly. emphasize ROI especially when it comes time to buy pesky things that maintain the business. selling redundancy can be hard, but one good outage will illustrate how important it is. i had a client who was running a small accounting office, so tax time was his critical uptime. no raid, not even mirroring. i scared the hell out of him by asking a simple question: it's april 14th and your server won't boot - what do you do?

sometimes you have to inform management that the worst can happen at the worst time.

more than 4 years ago


Col. Panic hasn't submitted any stories.



Col. Panic Col. Panic writes  |  more than 11 years ago

I just reread this journal and it makes me want to go diving :) I have only gone once since the last entry and it was the (wait for it) best ... diving ... ever!

70' wreck dive with great vis (saw a baby shark!) and a 35' reef drift which was just plain incredible. That was in late November, I think.


Early Christmas!

Col. Panic Col. Panic writes  |  more than 11 years ago

I have cleaned up. Not in the "sorting things" way, but in the good way: getting stuff. My company - a large bank - has closed a site (sort of) and disposed of many, many computers. I managed to wrangle a 21" monitor for my friend, a 17" monitor (still in the box) for his dad, complete PC's with 17" viewsonic monitors for both my neices (2) and my nephews (again 2) ...

and for me:

an hp laserjet 4100 and a 19" switch rack - no more messy computer room (living room, actually)

today i got a belkin kvm switch (no power supply included - wtf?) and will soon have all my machines racked and neatly humming along at once :) now i can get back to running my own firewall 24/7 with snort to capture whatever nasties happen to come my way.

it looks a little strange to have a full 7' rack in the living room, but the wife didn't complain (in fact she liked it) - i guess it is an aesthetic improvement from before. it is most certainly a functional improvement.

yes, i was inspired by the "how looks your geekroom" story - and if i had a digital camera i would finally be able to contribute


2 More Dives

Col. Panic Col. Panic writes  |  more than 11 years ago

Went ... you guessed it, Diving last Sunday and I guess I should put it down since this is becoming a good record (better than my log). I went without the group this time, so I had to pick up a buddy on the boat. My buddy was Nick, a retired electrician from MD who has definitely been diving for awhile. He said his last tanks didn't pass visual inspection and he had to get new ones after ten years so that is a good indication of how experienced this guy is.

We went to two reefs and I carried the flag, which meant I controlled the dive. We weren't worried about air consumption so we dove deeper than the others on the boat (about 80 feet) and still stayed under for almost an hour total.

Nick tried out a new mask with a pinkish tint that was supposed to enhance colors at depth. He said it worked great! Gotta look into those sometime because I was impressed without the enhancement.

We saw some lobsters and a couple of eels. One was purple with spots and kept opening and closing its mouth like it was trying to scare us off. Looked very cool.

I finally got seasick on this trip. I had nothing to eat all day and drank the diet soda they keep onboard and just felt terrible for part of the boatride. They say it gets easier but this was the first time I felt so bad. Next time I think I will make sure to have some food a few hours before the boat leaves and see if it helps.

Awesome trip though. Great form of recovery after a weekend which included 40 hours of overtime. Sheesh.


Advanced Open Water Course

Col. Panic Col. Panic writes  |  more than 11 years ago

Well, I finished the course and it was amazing. Saturday we did underwater navigation in under 10 ft. visibility, which was good because we actually *had* to rely on our compasses.

Sunday was awesome. We did a deep dive (to a wreck), although not as deep as we were planning, and then navigated underwater to another wreck. Then we did a drift dive along a reef.

I learned something I will never forget: don't forget your weights. You can get a weight-integrated bcd, but I have a 16 lb. weight belt and for the first dive I left it on the boat. Doh!

I kept trying to submerge and after I would get about 5 feet down I floated right back to the surface. Finally a divemaster dragged me under to about 7 feet and I was able to invert and kick down to the bottom at 78 feet. Then the instructor put 5 lbs. in the pocket of my bcd and I managed to stay under. What a workout! I had to point head downward and kick most of the time so I didn't float away.

But the dive was incredible. The visibility was near 100 ft. and the water was almost perfectly still. The wrecks were great. We swam through a small part at the top of the first one. As we approached the second, there were two jewfish that had to be 200 lbs. each - they were bigger than us! It was like being in a huge aquarium and getting to touch the fish. We also saw a big green moray eel and a 3 ft. wide ray. Just incredible.


Night and Wreck Dives

Col. Panic Col. Panic writes  |  more than 11 years ago

So I decided to enroll in the Advanced Open Water Diver course. Tonight we did a wreck dive in 70 feet of water followed by a night dive at 40 feet. Diving just keeps getting better.

Visibility was good, but the current was pretty strong and the surface was rough. The coolest thing was swimming *through* the wreck. This took pretty good buoyancy control to avoid hitting anything and remain almost motionless in a confined space. There was a large school of small fish in the body of the vessel and colorful coral hanging on the sides. I expect that wreck diving is going to become a favorite pasttime.

The night dive was really cool - it was like being inside a giant aquarium (with currents). The fish were very colorful and they didn't try to swim away. We saw a couple of baby rays too. This was a fantastic learning experience because it was very different not being able to see without a light. The only problem I had was when ascending the second dive. It is important to release air from the bcd as you rise because at shallower depth the air expands and you rise FASTER. This can be bad if you require a decompression stop. I was concentrating on the pain in my sinuses and forgot to release air from the bcd. All of a sudden I realised I was rising too fast and my depth guage showed 7 feet. The plan called for a stop at 15 feet for 5 minutes. From now on I will make sure to release the air and stay neutral.



Col. Panic Col. Panic writes  |  more than 11 years ago

OK I discovered something cool about being in the USA. Apparently people in the EU are getting stuck with a 20% tax (VAT) that we Americans don't have to pay! I recently bought a Suunto Stinger dive watch from a website ( in Italy. This thing is made in Finland and since TGI Diving was shipping outside the EU they deducted 20% which came to $86! Also, shipping via UPS Worldwide (?) took only three days. Woot!


Boat Dives

Col. Panic Col. Panic writes  |  about 12 years ago

This was the real thing. Sunday we went about a mile off the Lighthouse Point coast and dove a couple of reefs at 40-60 feet. The depth was a little intimidating at first - just swimming downward for so long was ... different. When we got to the bottom there were some really cool coral and some brightly colored purple and yellow fish. Someone saw a shark but I missed it.

I cannot wait to get back out there. The only problem is the safety margin we followed didn't leave us a lot of bottom time. I want to get certified for Nitrox so I can stay down longer. Also night and wreck diving sounds like a lot of fun, when I get the chance :)


Beach Dives

Col. Panic Col. Panic writes  |  about 12 years ago

Today was the day we were waiting for - open water diving. Unfortunately, visibility was 10-15 feet and there was a pretty strong current, but we got plenty of exercise and the weather was perfect.

Although my main reason for taking this course was recreation and everything has been fun, I should point out that this is a serious class. You have to read a 200 page book and fill out 5 chapter tests, attend 2 classroom sessions with quizes, and take a final exam. Also, most of the time in the water (pool or ocean) is spent demonstrating the skills you have learned in class. The fun should peak tomorrow morning on the boat dives - no trudging across a beach carrying gear, just load it on the boat and the rest should be mostly recreation.

Cool stuff: saw a skate buried under the sand, saw some red fire coral (DONT TOUCH!), and some kind of crablike thingy the instructor called a "cleaning station". Fish will swim up to this thing and it will clean the parasites from their gills, etc. Pretty neat.

One thing I have been slow to learn is to *look around* and make only slow, gentle movements. Also I have to learn to keep less air in my lungs because even with 16 lbs of weight and a deflated BCD I am having some trouble staying just off the ocean floor. The wetsuit and salt water make you pretty bouyant so breathing control is key.

More diving tomorrow!-


Last confined water dive

Col. Panic Col. Panic writes  |  about 12 years ago

Tonight was the last pool dive - had to remove our gear and put it back on while on the surface and underwater. Practiced towing and being towed. Tomorrow I take the exam and Saturday are the beach dives. Sunday we do boat dives. I can't wait!

I even more strongly recommend this if you haven't done it. A friend of mine said he has wanted to for years but probably never will do it. I encourage you to "just do it". I think it might rival snow skiing as my favorite sport.


Col. Panic Col. Panic writes  |  about 12 years ago

Rather than spending a few days in Orlando or the keys to relax I have opted for recovery in an Open Water Scuba Diver certification course. So far I highly recommend anyone who wants to learn to dive to go for it. Our group had lots of fun just suiting up and learning the basics in a pool. Next weekend we make four ocean dives. I will post details.


Col. Panic Col. Panic writes  |  more than 12 years ago

It has been a long week. 28 hours OT and they are shutting down our site. Time to update that resume again ;)

Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

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>
Create a Slashdot Account