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US Seeks China's Help Against North Korean Cyberattacks

MightyMartian Re:I've seen plenty of those... (120 comments)

We could make him so fat he damages his own joints... Damn, he even beat us to that bit of parody.

yesterday
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US Seeks China's Help Against North Korean Cyberattacks

MightyMartian Re:Good luck with that... (120 comments)

I don't think NK is a satellite state in the usual sense of the word. China certainly shields NK, but its reasoning isn't always clear. NK does act as a major counterbalance to US interests (Japan, South Kore and Taiwan). At the same time, NK seems extremely suspicious of China and some believe that at least part of the reason for the latest purge was to cut out members of the regime with too close a ties to China.

yesterday
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US Seeks China's Help Against North Korean Cyberattacks

MightyMartian Re:"Cultural arrogance" (120 comments)

So we should burn any movie script that dares insult some violent tyrant, lest they get upset? Should we also stop publishing reports on said tyrants? Just how much would you like the West to appease the likes of Kim Jong-Un?

yesterday
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Ask Slashdot: Is an Open Source .NET Up To the Job?

MightyMartian Re:Why bother? (369 comments)

I'm not comparing features, but penetration.

yesterday
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Ask Slashdot: Is an Open Source .NET Up To the Job?

MightyMartian Re:Why bother? (369 comments)

Likely Java. Microsoft and its astroturfers like to tell themselves faerie tales about how the big players are all bending to Redmonds, but it's just the same pathetic wishful thinking that had Redmondites insisting Unix was drying and everyone was moving to NT.

yesterday
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Ask Slashdot: Is an Open Source .NET Up To the Job?

MightyMartian Re:Why bother? (369 comments)

Oh bullshit. Java dwarfs .NET.

yesterday
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Schneier Explains How To Protect Yourself From Sony-Style Attacks (You Can't)

MightyMartian Re:You can for the most part. (328 comments)

Yeah, because Flash drives are such a secure way to move data...

2 days ago
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Schneier Explains How To Protect Yourself From Sony-Style Attacks (You Can't)

MightyMartian Re:Which is why (328 comments)

I'm assuming that Sony, being a very large multinational company, has a very large Intranet, which means at various points its going to be traversing the open Internet at various points.

Unless you're advocating Sony lay down its own fiber and then turn off its gateway routers....

2 days ago
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Schneier Explains How To Protect Yourself From Sony-Style Attacks (You Can't)

MightyMartian Re:Sony security: strong or weak? (328 comments)

I'd be interested in knowing the details of the attack. Was it a "social engineering" attack of some kind (ie. a virus-laden email that someone with high privileges opened)? Was it a vulnerability in their networks? I've heard someone with high level admin privileges had their account hacked, but in what way was it done?

The organization I work for is a contractor for the government of a North American jurisdiction, and yesterday morning I started getting reports that some sort of virus-laden emails were flowing out of this government's networks. Sure enough, within a half an hour, I got emails from a contact I have within this particularly agency, with an attached ZIP file with an SCR file inside. That has to be one of the oldest ways that malware has been transmitted in Windows system, I saw my first virus-laden SCR file somewhere around 1997-1998.

Apparently this critter is so new that by the time we checked, only a few AV companies had caught on to it. Even worse in some ways is that it appears that it made its debut on the very government servers in question, making me think this was a targeted attack. So you have a combination of a brand new virus of some kind that won't get caught by the scanners, lax email rules that allow the opening and execution of executable file types (not that blocking EXE variants doesn't mean some bastard won't be firing off a compromised PDF at an unpatched system), and users who through a combination of laziness and ignorance happily take the final step.

With this particular attack, there would have been no problem if Outlook had been configured not to open these kinds of attachments, and in an Active Directory environment, that's pretty trivial, so some of the blame has to go to this government agency's IT team. But still, even with the best safeguards, where users just happily click on any old attachment, it doesn't exactly take a rare alignment of the stars to have malware planted in a network. Sure, it won't have root privileges and won't be able to propagate itself via more sophisticated means, but it appears in this case it didn't need to.

So I do agree to some point that there are finite limits to what any person or organization can do to secure itself against a determined and directed attack. But there are ways to make such attacks much more difficult, and more quickly captured before they wreak too much harm.

2 days ago
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Review: The BlackBerry Classic Is One of the Best Phones of 2009

MightyMartian Re:RIM still off in their own little la-la land. (131 comments)

Judging by sales, that group is pretty damned small and it is very questionable that it is large enough to keep the company afloat.

2 days ago
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"Team America" Gets Post-Hack Yanking At Alamo Drafthouse, Too

MightyMartian Re:Pitiful (229 comments)

Thank goodness a movie like Life of Brian wasn't released in these knee-trembling times.

3 days ago
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"Team America" Gets Post-Hack Yanking At Alamo Drafthouse, Too

MightyMartian Re:Home of the Brave (229 comments)

I can imagine what is going through the heads of many Korean War vets, that MacArthur should have been allowed to march right into Manchuria.

3 days ago
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"Team America" Gets Post-Hack Yanking At Alamo Drafthouse, Too

MightyMartian Re:We're turning into wimps (229 comments)

North Korea really hasn't even proven it has a missile that reliably reach Japan. The country is a total basket case run by a violent, completely detached dynasty. It represents a significant regional threat, but if it were to ever do anything truly belligerent, China would yank support and the regime would collapse.

That, to my mind, is the chief threat of North Korea, that when the Kims finally do lose grip, the regime's collapse will be violent for North Koreans and their neighbors.

3 days ago
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"Team America" Gets Post-Hack Yanking At Alamo Drafthouse, Too

MightyMartian Re:What are they going to do? (229 comments)

Indeed. Of all the groups that make threats against the West, NK seems the one least likely to have the ability or desire to actually attack a Western target. I cannot imagine the fires of hell that would reign down on North Korea should it be demonstrated to be behind mass murders in the United States.

It boggles my mind that anyone seriously believes North Korea is going to start mounting attacks on North American theaters should they screen this film.

3 days ago
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Australia Moves Toward New Restrictions On Technology Export and Publication

MightyMartian Re:Fishy (90 comments)

So if some nice upstanding code monkey makes a few changes to, say, OpenSSL, the minute he uploads it to the repository, the Australian police are going to come down on him like a ton of bricks?

Meanwhile, some batshit crazy Iranian refugee can buy a gun...

3 days ago
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NASA Tests Feasibility of 3D Printing on the Moon and Other Planets

MightyMartian Re:WTF (58 comments)

Except that in-situ is an English word. It's origins are Latin, but then again, so is a vast amount of the English vocabulary.

We have these things called dictionaries. Rather than demonstrating intense stupidity, inform yourself first.

Oh right, this is /., where ignorance is a matter of pride.

3 days ago

Submissions

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Android Lollipop Causing Problems For Nexus 7 Users

MightyMartian MightyMartian writes  |  about a month ago

MightyMartian (840721) writes "According to the BBC, there are numerous reports of the latest version of Android causing numerous problems for Nexus 7 users.

The Google Product Forums are filled with reports of both the 2012 and 2013 versions of the Nexus 7 tablet having stability problems; in particular with Chrome and the Facebook app.

On a personal note, while Lollipop works quite while on my Nexus 5, it has rendered my Nexus 7 2012 tablet all but unusable with frequent crashes and lock ups."
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Moving Away From IT

MightyMartian MightyMartian writes  |  about 8 months ago

MightyMartian (840721) writes "I've been working for an organization now for over seven years, my best run yet. A couple of years ago, the company went through some major changes and I bought in as an owner and as a managing director; my responsibilities encompassing administration, finance and IT. It's a small (20 employee or so, plus nearly that many with subcontracting companies) organization so needless to say I retained my direct IT responsibilities.

My fellow board members have decided that I need to detach myself from the day to day IT operations and take over more management duties; in particular in the finance and budgeting end of things. Right now I'm in the process of interviewing a new IT system administrator who will, over time, take on most of my IT roles. However, since this has been a one-man shop for seven years; namely my shop, I confess some reservations about handing over the keys and moving permanently up to the top floor.

Does anybody have any suggestions on the level of permissions for servers, networks and infrastructure I should start with? Do I, for the moment, retain some of the critical functionality; like superuser passwords, and slowly move the new system administrator into his or her role, or do I move more quickly, give him the basics and then let him fly on his own?"
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NASA Wants To Go To Europa

MightyMartian MightyMartian writes  |  about 10 months ago

MightyMartian (840721) writes "From the story:

"NASA and the White House are asking Congress to bankroll a new intrastellar road trip to a destination that's sort of like the extraterrestrial Atlantis of our solar system — Jupiter's intriguing moon, Europa."

Since Europa seems one of the most likely worlds in the Solar System other than Earth where we have some hope of finding extant life, let's hope Congress gives the green light to this project."

Link to Original Source
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Richard Nixon Announces His Approval For Slashdot Beta

MightyMartian MightyMartian writes  |  about a year ago

MightyMartian (840721) writes "Former US president (and everyone's favorite funny man) Richard M. Nixon announced his approval of the Slashdot Beta site.

"I was just telling Pat this morning as I made sweet Nixon love to her that what the web needed was a whitespace-riddled atrocity. Slashdot Beta is the Tet Offensive of discussion sites, so screw you, you stupid hippies."

Henry Kissinger was said to have been very pleased as well. Dr. Kissinger was quoted as saying "In Soviet Russia, Slashdot betas you!""
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Slashdot Starting Move To Beta Site

MightyMartian MightyMartian writes  |  about a year ago

MightyMartian (840721) writes "According to Slashdot's blog, great progress is being made in the redesign. According to a notice on the Slashdot front page:

"MOVIN’ ON UP. You are on Slashdot Classic. We are starting to move into new digs in February by automatically redirecting greater numbers of you. The new site is a work in progress so Classic Slashdot will be available from the footer for several more months. As we migrate our audience, we want to hear from you to make sure that the redesigned page has all the features you expect. Find out more."

According to many posters who are posting off topic, there seems little appetite for the upcoming changes."

Link to Original Source
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iPads banned from UK Cabinet meetings over surveillance fears

MightyMartian MightyMartian writes  |  about a year ago

MightyMartian (840721) writes "British securities services fear foreign intelligence agencies have developed the ability to turn mobile devices such as phones and tablets into bugs without the owner’s knowledge, allowing them to eavesdrop on confidential meetings.

According to the article, UK security services fear China, Russia and Pakistway have figured out a way to turn mobiles into microphones, and have them transmit even when they're off. Ministers in sensitive government departments have been issued with soundproof lead-lined boxes, which they must place their mobiles in when having sensitive conversations."

Link to Original Source
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Saturn's largest moon undergoes crater makeover

MightyMartian MightyMartian writes  |  about 2 years ago

MightyMartian (840721) writes "NASA scientists say Cassini has discovered that far fewer craters on Titan than on the other moons of Saturn. The craters they have discovered are far shallower than other moons' craters and appear to be filling with hydrocarbon sand. On top of being yet another reason Titan's active geology is very cool, it adds to the mystery of where all the methane on Titan is coming from."
Link to Original Source
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Pat Robertson Rejects Creationism

MightyMartian MightyMartian writes  |  about 2 years ago

MightyMartian writes "From the article:

"Televangelist Pat Robertson challenged the idea that Earth is 6,000 years old this week, saying the man who many credit with conceiving the idea, former Archbishop of Ireland James Ussher, “wasn’t inspired by the Lord when he said that it all took 6,000 years.”

And further...

Before answering the question, Robertson acknowledged the statement was controversial by saying, “I know that people will probably try to lynch me when I say this.” “If you fight science, you are going to lose your children, and I believe in telling them the way it was,” Robertson concluded.

"

Link to Original Source
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Teen Suicide Tormenter Outed By Anonymous

MightyMartian MightyMartian writes  |  more than 2 years ago

MightyMartian (840721) writes "From the story:

The tragic story of a Canadian teen suicide victim Amanda Todd has taken another bizarre twist as the internet hacking and activist group Anonymous has named a man the group says was the girl's primary tormentor. Todd, 15, of Port Coquitlam, British Columbia, died last Wednesday, a month after posting a haunting video on YouTube that cited the sexualized attack that set her down a path of anxiety, depression and drug and alcohol abuse.

This raises a whole nest of issues surrounding the presumption of innocence and vigilantism. Should the police and the courts be given the appropriate amount of time to determine if there is sufficient evidence, or if a crime has in fact been committed, or is Anonymous right in short-circuiting what might in fact be a lengthy process with no guarantee that anyone will face charges?"
Link to Original Source

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Neanderthal-Modern Human Interbreeding Cast In Doubt (Again)

MightyMartian MightyMartian writes  |  more than 2 years ago

MightyMartian (840721) writes "It appears that the back-and-forth debate over whether modern humans and Neanderthals has been swung back into the "unlikely" category.

According to the abstract (at PNAS):

"Recent comparisons between anatomically modern humans and ancient genomes of other hominins have raised the tantalizing, and hotly debated, possibility of hybridization. Although several tests of hybridization have been devised, they all rely on the degree to which different modern populations share genetic polymorphisms with the ancient genomes of other hominins. However, spatial population structure is expected to generate genetic patterns similar to those that might be attributed to hybridization. To investigate this problem, we take Neanderthals as a case study, and build a spatially explicit model of the shared history of anatomically modern humans and this hominin. We show that the excess polymorphism shared between Eurasians and Neanderthals is compatible with scenarios in which no hybridization occurred, and is strongly linked to the strength of population structure in ancient populations. Thus, we recommend caution in inferring admixture from geographic patterns of shared polymorphisms, and argue that future attempts to investigate ancient hybridization between humans and other hominins should explicitly account for population structure.""

Link to Original Source
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SpaceX Dragon Successfully Splashes Down

MightyMartian MightyMartian writes  |  more than 2 years ago

MightyMartian writes "After a flawless mission to the International Space Station, the Dragon has successfully splashed down off the California Coast. Truly a great day for space watchers and for the private space industry."
Link to Original Source
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Data Remanence Solutions

MightyMartian MightyMartian writes  |  about 3 years ago

MightyMartian (840721) writes "The company I work for has just had their government contract renewed, which is good news, giving me several more years of near-guaranteed employment!

However, in going through all the schedules and supplementary documents related to the old contract, which we will begin winding down next spring, we've discovered some pretty stiff data remanence requirements that, for hard drives at least, boil down to "they must be sent to an appropriately recognized facility for destruction."

Now keep in mind that we are the same organization that has been delivering this contract all along, so the equipment isn't going anywhere. What's more, destruction of hard drives means we have to buy new ones, which is going to cost us a lot of money, particular with prices being so high.

I've looked at using encryption as a means of destroying data, in that if you encrypt a drive or a set of files with an appropriately long and complex key, and then destroy all copies of that key, that data effectively is destroyed. I'd like to write up a report to submit to our government contract managers, and would be interested if any Slashdotters have experience with this, or have any references or citations to academic or industry papers on dealing with data remanence without destroying physical media."
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Pete Townshend Calls Apple 'A Vampire'

MightyMartian MightyMartian writes  |  more than 3 years ago

MightyMartian (840721) writes "The Who guitarist Pete Townshend has urged Apple's iTunes to use its power to help new bands instead of "bleeding" artists like a "digital vampire".

He also argued against unauthorised file-sharing, saying the internet was "destroying copyright as we know it"."

Link to Original Source
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Microsoft Has Lost $5.5 Billion On Bing Since 2009

MightyMartian MightyMartian writes  |  more than 3 years ago

MightyMartian (840721) writes "According to CNN Money, Microsoft has lost $5.5 billion on Bing since its launch in 2009. But it gets even better. If you include Microsoft's other online offerings, all the way back to 2007, the losses are somewhere in the neighborhood of $9 billion.

But not to worry, analysts expect Bing to become profitable in "three to four years"."

Journals

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The Great Global Warming Swindle

MightyMartian MightyMartian writes  |  more than 7 years ago It seems that UK's Channel 4 "Great Global Warming Swindle", which the anti-global warming crowd, including Janet Daley of the Telegraph (see http://www.telegraph.co.uk/opinion/main.jhtml?xml=/opinion/2007/03/12/do1201.xml) has run into a bit of a problem; mainly that the only swindle going on was the program.

According to the RealClimate blog (http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2007/03/swindled/), the program was in fact a collection of defunct claims, half-truths, and in the case of Carl Wunsch's contribution, misrepresenting his views. This sort of deceit and dishonesty shouldn't be a surprise, but what is sad is that fiction suddenly gets trumpeted as a legitimate scientific critique of Global Warming.

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