X-Class Solar Flare Coming Friday
My biggest interest (once we've determined taht it's not the end of life/technology as we know it) is to determine if we're in for lower latitude Aurora Borealis.
Back when I lived in MA, there was one particularly big CME maybe around 2004-ish (could be +- 1 year) and I remember how beautify the sky was... I actually gasped audibly when I first noticed it.
I'm likely way too far South to see them this time, but I do wonder if some parts of the US won't get a pretty show.
Did you use technology to get into mischief as a child?
The option for "No, but not for lack of troublemaking... just never got caught"
all this was 30+ years ago, so I figure I'm ok saying it - beige boxes and exploring the wiring cabinets in the apt building where my gramma lived and also climbing the pole in a friends backyard that had a small connection point for the neighboring street.
Never really did anything other than learn how to tap in without alerting people and maybe making a prank call of the "is your refrigerator running" type, but it was fun.
A neighborhood boy got busted by the feds for carding (analog style where he'd listen to cards being called in over the phone at a local retail store, and/or stealing carbon papers - because they used to do that back then)
New Usage-Based Insurance Software Can Track Drivers Using Smartphones
Simply put, NO, I will not do this.
I have quietly suffered a great number of infringements on my privacy, but I draw the line here.
My driving record shows 26+ years with only one ticket ever (and that was 20 years ago, for being 15mph over the limit) and never an accident or claim except for when a tree limb broke my windshield.
There are plenty of insurers our there who would LOVE to have my business as I'm certainly paying in more than they're ever likely to have to pay out for me, thanks.
In Maryland, a Soviet-Style Punishment For a Novelist
Seriously, where is he now?
How is it possible for a person to simply disappear and have their whereabouts listed as "known to law enforcement".
IANAL, but it seems to me that someone with standing should file a writ of Habeas corpus because people should not just disappear like this in a first world country.
Microsoft Surface Drowning?
I've been very put off by Windows 8, but I kept finding that I needed to support it and test against it so I took the plunge and got a Surface Pro 3 - it's really quite a nice machine. Windows 8 is bearable when using this as a tablet (though I use Classic Shell to put back a real start menu and have disabled that horrid ribbon UI on Windows Explorer)
So far, it's fitting a nice niche: ultra portable small notebook that can work quite well as a tablet and with enough battery life that I can walk away from my desk but have access to my business critical apps.
Visual Studio runs well on it and I can test/troubleshoot win 8 apps.
Basically, it's failing to suck... at least for what I'm using it for. That's pretty high praise from me since I have been such a hater of Win 8... this hardware actually makes it tolerable.
Favorite "Go!" Phrase?
came here to say this if it wasn't said already - leaving satisfied.
UN Report Finds NSA Mass Surveillance Likely Violated Human Rights
You're not listing the entire group membership
And you're mixing the human rights commission with the human rights council and cherrypicking from the bottom
Just because some nations with less than stellar reputations themselves are on the council and/or commission does not automatically invalidate their mission or what the UN commission / council have to say.
I understand the worry of "putting the fox in charge of the hen house" but one could put it another way: Even these countries see we (the US) is being hypocritical and violating human rights.
Pseudonyms Now Allowed On Google+
When I attempt to go to Plus, it still says my account is flagged for name violation...apparently, it's not fixed for those already so-flagged.
Cable Boxes Are the 2nd Biggest Energy Users In Many Homes
I've got a couple of Comcast DVRs instead of cable boxes... with a Cable box, you should be able to power off when not in use, but with a DVR, this could be a bit trickier... I suppose it could do some smart scheduling where it turns itself off unless actively recording shows - keep a sub-section with scheduling info running so it knows to spin up a few minutes before recording a show...
Still, I should think that DVR boxes on a per-box basis would be a bigger issue than regular cable boxes.
As for most electricity in the home? For me, the electric tumble drier and the electric oven/range (some day, I hope to replace with gas) would get second billing, then my computers / server.
Microsoft Fixing Windows 8 Flaws, But Leaving Them In Windows 7
Dear gods, please catch a ride on the clue train. Businesses don't want Windows 8 - the retraining necessary is just too costly, and all the cool features involving touch are useless for the cube farm drones.
So just stop your stupid shit, realize the Windows 7 is your nex XP, make sure that Windows 9 undoes a lot of the silly bullshit, and maybe you won't completely jump the shark.
Um also while I (fail to) have your attention - the Ribbon is still stupid. Stop wasting my screen real estate and go back to proper menus. // yeah I know it's a pipe dream, but I needed to rant and rage.
The Energy Saved By Ditching DVDs Could Power 200,000 Homes
I'm with you 100%.
I am one of those "resisters" who still buys DVDs and only recently even started considering Blu-Rays.
I like Netflix enough, but for instance, they took the original Cosmos out of their lineup just before the series reboot - no warning, just FOOM... "HEY! I was WATCHING THAT"
I was also catching up on season 7.2 of Dr. Who ... Concast had them free OnDemand just around the time of the big seacon finale..to get folks caught up.
Except when I convinced my partner that it was ok to watch again because Amy Pond was gond (she HATED her so much she stopped watching) ... and we decided to have a Dr.Who catchup marathon... And it was gone.
The only way my DVDs disappear is if I'm stupid and loan them to friends (never again)... Yeah, I risk losing them physically, but that's why I stick with DVD - because I can easily make backup ISOs in a reasonable time and can store my whole collection in case of disaster. (Yeah, drive space is cheap, but Blu-Ray takes up SO MUCH more space)
Anyway, agreed... unless my physical DVDs are lost/stolen/damaged, I can watch/rewatch whenever I want without worrying whether some lawsuit /dispute over rights caused some jerkbag publisher to remove the stream.
Ask Slashdot: When Is a Better Career Opportunity Worth a Pay Cut?
I took a $10,000 a year paycut when I left my previous employer to come to work for my current company... because I felt that I'd be much happier/have a better quality of work-life (old job was starting to destroy my soul / passion for programming)
they wanted to hire me at my previous salary, but it was just not possible under their budgets/etc.
I took the job anyway because I felt their culture and my work quality of life would jsut be a great match.
Now, a couple years later, I've more than made up the difference in pay (proved my worth and the $$$ got found) and am just stupidly happy with this job.
It's actually true that the worst days at my current job are still better than most of the best days for the last 3 years of my previous one.
Basically, I've tried to always value happiness more than pure financial gain, and I've reaped the rewards of "love what you do for a living and you'll never ~work~ another day in your life".
'Google Buses' Are Bad For Cities, Says New York MTA Official
I have three words to explain why these companies avoid cities: Quality of Life
Many of my friends work in and around Washington DC, and I hear horror stories about commute times and traffic jams. I moved down here from nowheresville Western MA where my commute was 20 minutes when there was no traffic and maybe 4o to an hour if there was and that sucked... but friends of mine down here? they're regularly looking at 2 hours + and anyone who wants to live close enough to only have an hour? yeah well, half a million might buy you a postage stamp to live on....
I telecommute today (live in VA and still work for a company in MA) and I tell you my quality of life is tenfold better not having to deal with commuting to/from the office and all the stress it caused. and yes, I know my piddly 20-60 minute commute is nothing compared to what a lot of folks put up with.
Big Cities are more hassle than they're worth for the most part
FCC Planning Rule Changes To Restore US Net Neutrality
So, when the FCC re-rules ISPs as Common Carriers, the real good news is that means that 6 strikes rules and other copyright stuff is out the window... after all, a big part of common carrier status is taht you are exempt from having any responsibility for controlling the content you're carrying - so you can't be sued by a copyright owner because user susy q used your infrastructure to share/copy movie x.
(Ok, so I bet they still WILL do crap like that because they're so far in bed with copyright owners... HHHMMM COMCAST/NBC? but it would be nice to stop them having their cake and eating it too... one can dream)
I really am happy that the FCC and the Obama administration "get it" - the Internet has become vital to our economy and a free, fair, open Internet is key to innovation and continued growth. If the 'net were allowed to become an expensive toll road, it would only feed the pockets of the already wealthy whilst simultaneously raising the barrier to entry for anything new/innovative.
Report: Valve Anti-Cheat (VAC) Scans Your DNS History
Well, indeed, with the way things are today, you may have a point. /looks nervously over shoulder
Report: Valve Anti-Cheat (VAC) Scans Your DNS History
They do have test servers, but I'm talking about just researching the bot issue - looking up web sites that discussed technical information that maybe WOW would consider "cheat sites" -
Warcraft wasn't using VAC obviously, but I was trying to give an example of researching information that may be on sites that if you looked at my DNS, you might assume I was cheating - In other words: DNS doesn't in and of itself tell the actual story.
Report: Valve Anti-Cheat (VAC) Scans Your DNS History
Yes, sure, if your dns cache is full of porn sites, one may be able do deduce that you're actively visiting porn sites, but there are lots of sites on blocked/porn net nanny lists that are not actually porn.
If your dns cache is full of right wing news sites, maybe you're right wing right? or wait, maybe you're not ,but you keep tabs on them, or maybe your brother used them.
For instance, back when i was playing WOW a lot, I was also authoring (legal) addons for it. Since one of the activities I was supporting with dual boxing/multi-boxing (one player playing on multiple characters at once (each through their own paid account - legal under the TOS of the game), I did need to tread carefully to keep from crossing the line into what they'd consider "botting" (automation that allows an account to play without human intervention). I did research on some of the bots / botting that was available at the time - as part of understaning the difference (I never downloaded or used one, but yes, I surfed around and very likely included some "bad sites"
My point being that dns histroy is only the grossest of measures of what you're doing on your pc - yes, it may be true that someone who never visits hack sitex/cheat sites will be less likely to have them show up on dnscache, but if they're active in gaming forums or if they're jus plain inquisitive, they could so easily be falesly accused.
Someone who is actually cheating would likely be able to quickly figure out that they should use another computer to download/browse and/or ipconfig /flushdns before playing, etc...
Like most all copy protection - it only stops the casual user and inconveniences many legit users. Anyone actively cheating with any amount of effort will easily avoid this.
Hackers Gain "Full Control" of Critical SCADA Systems
I was personally involved in a project to collect and analyze data for a plant floor at my previous job.
Plain and simple - QA and process engineers are asking for more and more data which simply can't work with an Air gap unless the entirety of the colleciotn and analysis systems are inside the Air Gapped network.
I know the company I was working for could not afford the cost of "doing it right" so I had to put routers in each production line's Industrial Ethernet internal network to NAT it out so I could get the data collection servers to gather data.
I made sure the router only allowed external requests coming from the specific data collection system's address - but I was unable to convince them of the need to set it up with a DMZ, so in theory, if you could break into our LAN and get to the correct server, you could use that to jump the air gap.
However, even then, the NAT I set up was for specific port that only allowed queries for settings/data, not for control, and there were far more juicy targets than a plastics extrusion line's controls, so even though it was a risk, the $9million / year they ended up realizing in savings due to the analysis of the data more than made up for the risk that someone would take the time to dig in to damage/control the extrusion lines.
As others have said, there are HUGE disincentives to taking down time to patch these systems... the Data Must Flow is the operational mantra, and they don't want to risk losing production time - even if the very real risk is of a break-in or even just break-down causing potential down time.
AT&T Introduces "Sponsored Data" Allowing Services to Bypass 4G Data Caps
Exactly - it's reverse net-neutrality.
I wonder when wired broadband service providers will do that - as it is, I'm pretty sure Comcast/Xfinity is doing sort of the same thing - I can watch as many things "on demand" on my cable box as I want without touching my bandwidth cap, but if I stream the same movies/shows from Netflix/Hulu, etc... then it does count against my cap (which I will just preach to choir and say "what part of unlimited don't you understand")
Former CIA/NSA Head: NSA Is "Infinitely" Weaker As a Result of Snowden's Leaks
I for one pretty much want them to NEVER get back to where they were - if the NSA wands to spy on every person outside our broders every waking moment, go ahead - ... that's a political matter - I think it harms us more than it helps, but hey, that's what spys do.
However, the minute they turn their gaze inward - indiscriminately picking up communications / data/ video/ pictures, etc of ordinary Americans inside US borders well, that's where the line is drawn.
Hell, if they accidentally collected some citizens info in the course of monitoring a person of interest who has come into the US, ok, it's a fair cop - easy mistake... but it should be the exception, not the rule, and when you start to mix that unrestrained spy-agency level ability of snooping with federal and law enforcement officials for actions inside the US that have NOTHING TO DO with National Security: well, then you've gone too far.
This flies in the face of the 1st, 4th, and 5th amendments. This is about building a survailence and police state. This is not the direction I want to see our country take - we need to be directly speaking Truth to Power (which is what Chelsea Manning and Edward Snowden have done).
We need to stop living in utter fear of our own shadows - not letting the terrorists WIN by feeling terrorized and not let our government BECOME the terrorists (using intimidation and violence for political aims)