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Ask Slashdot: Preparing For Windows XP EOL?

JBMcB Relatively safe (423 comments)

There hasn't been a root exploit in XP for a couple of years now, which means if you are running as a user and not root, and you know what you are doing, XP should be fairly safe.

1. Run as a regular user and only elevate permissions when you need to
2. Make sure your directory permissions are locked down properly (there are guides to help you do this)
3. Turn off all unnecessary services
4. Run a 3rd party antivirus app - BitDefender Free is excellent
5. Regularly run rootkit detectors and a second on-demand scanner (I use Trend Micro)
6. Don't use IE, use Firefox with NoScript turned on
7. Don't use Flash, Adobe Reader or Java. Use Sumatra PDF for PDF viewing.

I keep a VM of XP around for running some old apps and reading my junk email account. I've been sent virii and all sorts of junkware, and running the above config is pretty impervious to anything thrown at me. I can revert the image to it's original state if something bad happens, and I've yet to have to do that.

about three weeks ago

Yik Yak, After Complaints From Schools, Suspends Its Service In Chicago

JBMcB Help, I'm being harrassed on an app on my phone! (167 comments)

If only there was some way to prevent people from harassing me on this app. I could uninstall it, or just not use it - naw we'll just pressure the company to disable it in my whole area.

about a month ago

Mass. Legislature Strikes Back: Upskirt Photos Now Officially a Misdemeanor

JBMcB Re:no surprise (256 comments)

Sure, it'll just cost you $10,000 for a lawyer.

about a month ago

Happy anniversary, Federal Reserve System

JBMcB Thanks federal reserve... (3 comments)

for funding the never-ending series of wars the US has been involved in since World War II. Without the unlimited ability to create money out of thin air, we wouldn't have all this amazing military hardware we have to justify it's existence for by blowing up people around the world on a continual basis.

about 4 months ago

The Dismantling of POTS: Bold Move Or Grave Error?

JBMcB Re:Answer: None (582 comments)

Until fiber optic cable cable to the home is as common as copper it won't be a suitable replacement for POTS.

I *almost* agree. Saying we should keep POTS until it can be replaced with fiber, however, is like saying everyone should stick with driving Yugos until it becomes feasible for everyone to buy a Ferrari. Wireless technologies are a good interim solution until fiber can be deployed ubiquitously, especially in very low density areas.

about 5 months ago

Only 25% of Yahoo Staff "Eat Their Own Dog Food"

JBMcB Mail? (292 comments)

I'm sure the employee's reaction was the same as everyone else's: Yahoo still has email?

about 5 months ago

China Creates Air Defence Zone Over Japan-Controlled Islands, Issues War Threat

JBMcB Re:My prediction (519 comments)

I don't think Japan cares too much anymore as I read an article a few months ago that they have developed technology to slant-drill underwater. They'll just tap the oil reserves sideways from their own land.

about 5 months ago

The Art of Apple, In Pictures

JBMcB Re:Is it me? (47 comments)

They look uninspired now, because after they came out they were widely copied. Take a look at what laptops looked like before the powerbooks came out in the 90's. Chunky looking lap-bricks with trackballs hanging off the side. One year after the powerbook, nearly every laptop was black or dark gray with an integrated trackball in the palm rest. Ditto the Apple II - computers either looked like dumb terminals with CPU boxes bolted onto them, or mad scientist experiments.

about 5 months ago

IRS Left Taxpayer Data Vulnerable and Lied About It

JBMcB Re:Consequences? (79 comments)

Fines? Prison? How about just firing those not doing their job?

about 5 months ago

IRS Left Taxpayer Data Vulnerable and Lied About It

JBMcB Consequences? (79 comments)

So the punishment for not securing taxpayer data is... nothing? So why bother fixing anything?

about 5 months ago

Clam That Was Killed Determining Its Age Was Over 100 Years Older Than Estimated

JBMcB Radiocarbon? (366 comments)

Couldn't they have chipped off a tiny piece of it's shell and used radiocarbon dating?

about 5 months ago

Critics Reassess Starship Troopers As a Misunderstood Masterpiece

JBMcB Re:Unless, of course, you study the author... (726 comments)

Shoot in 50 years we'll have terminators running around firing micro heat-seeking missiles like the guy from KISS had in Runaway.

The interface will look remarkably like Ghost Recon. The l33t soldiers will use mouse and keyboard, the dual analog will be for the l00ser grunts :)

about 5 months ago

Bizarre Six-Tailed Asteroid Dumbfounds Scientists

JBMcB And by "Dumbfounds" (134 comments)

... they mean it's something new scientists haven't seen before, and haven't figured out yet.

Kinda like the same way you meet someone you don't know, you are dumbfounded by them.

about 5 months ago

Critics Reassess Starship Troopers As a Misunderstood Masterpiece

JBMcB Re:Unless, of course, you study the author... (726 comments)

Robert Heinlein was entirely serious about the message that the story delivers. That only those who serve in the military and commit violence in the name of their country should truly be considered "citizens" of the country

Not quite. His core belief was, as he put it, there's no such thing as a free lunch. You don't get to live in a free society without being required to defend it.

about 5 months ago

How Car Dealership Lobbyists Successfully Banned Tesla Motors From Texas

JBMcB Re:Read the article (688 comments)

The stealerships wouldn't be able to charge Tesla drivers obscene rates for oil changes and such.

Electrics still need maintenance. At the very least, you need to replace the battery pack periodically. That'll be $$$$$$$$$.

about 7 months ago

Alan Turing Likely To Be Given Posthumous Pardon

JBMcB Re:Several enigma machines (210 comments)

Even before cracking the naval Enigma, Turing et al devised a way to break Enigma should the Germans realise they had a vulnerability by using a known plaintext attack.

Was that the trick where the opening sentence of u-boat communiques was always a weather report? Too lazy to dig out my copy of The Code Book :)

about 9 months ago

"Smart Plates" Could Betray California Drivers' Privacy

JBMcB Re:Why is there an assumption of privacy? (262 comments)

Key word is assumption.

You have an assumption of privacy in your house. You do not in public.

That does not mean you do NOT have a right to privacy while in public.

I like John C. Dvorak's take on the issue. Cops are lazy. They'd love to have a computer spit out suspects based on tracking everyone everywhere so they don't have to go out and do actual police work - collective evidence, interviewing witnesses, etc...

The end result of tracking everyone will be - you were the only person driving down the street when this crime happened, so you must be guilty. Sure someone could have walked or rode a bike - but cops usually go with the evidence they have.

about 9 months ago


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