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Comments

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Ask Slashdot: Is Running Mission-Critical Servers Without a Firewall Common?

MightyMartian It Depends (256 comments)

I've set up networks where the server infrastructure itself is on its own segment, so there's no need for firewalls between the servers themselves, but the whole subnet is firewalled by a border router.

A lot depends on how tightly you can lock down a server. On my *nix boxes, I tend to only run daemons with listening ports to the extent absolutely necessary. I have a LAMP server that basically has ports 22, 80 and 443 open, and everything else either shut down or set to listen only on 127.0.0.1. Do I really need to configure iptables?

4 hours ago
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The Hobbit: the Battle of Five Armies Trailer Released

MightyMartian Re:Won't be seeing it (139 comments)

Worse, it was fucking boring. The Hobbit would have made a fine two hour movie, maybe two 1.5 hour movies. But there is not enough plot for seven and a half hours.

yesterday
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The Hobbit: the Battle of Five Armies Trailer Released

MightyMartian Re:Such a Waste (139 comments)

And by the time the last film is released, will be about 4.5 hours too long.

yesterday
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Enceladus's 101 Geysers Blast From Hidden Ocean

MightyMartian Re:Astrobiology (36 comments)

And what would you define something that didn't ingest, metabolize, excrete, reproduce and have some sort of system of heredity? Other chemical processes; like fire and crystallization, might hit some of these marks, but we don't call them living systems. So while the precise chemical processes, heck maybe even many of the chemical elements involved may be different (silicon-based life on Titan or something like that), I think at the end of the day if it going to be called life, it has to have the same basic features as terrestrial life.

yesterday
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Enceladus's 101 Geysers Blast From Hidden Ocean

MightyMartian Re:Astrobiology (36 comments)

If it's life, it's going to have a metabolism, it's going to reproduce and it's going to excrete. It may not, at first blush, look like life, but there will be chemical processes that in some way replicate processes found in terrestrial life.

yesterday
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Lots Of People Really Want Slideout-Keyboard Phones: Where Are They?

MightyMartian Re:NO, all candy bar (524 comments)

I suspect they're not producing these kinds of phones simply because, despite the author's assertion, very few people actually do want such phones.

A writer and a submitter does not constitute some vast ignored market.

2 days ago
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Microsoft's Nokia Plans Come Into Better Focus

MightyMartian Re:It's a funny world (149 comments)

How much does a middle aged Slashdot ID go for nowadays? I might be in the market to sell mine to an astroturfer.

2 days ago
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Popular Android Apps Full of Bugs: Researchers Blame Recycling of Code

MightyMartian Re:Not surprised (143 comments)

I'm not clear as to how, for instance, using buggy versions of SSL libraries fits into your whole theory. One possibility is that what you wrote is gibberish.

2 days ago
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Satellite Images Show Russians Shelling Ukraine

MightyMartian Re:Why the fuck is this on Slashdot? (564 comments)

You could have saved some typing by not opening the article. But then you would not have been able to write this long pointless OT rant.

2 days ago
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Switching From Microsoft Office To LibreOffice Saves Toulouse 1 Million Euros

MightyMartian Re:As We Speak (284 comments)

"Either your name is on the volume licensing agreement... or your brains."

4 days ago
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Switching From Microsoft Office To LibreOffice Saves Toulouse 1 Million Euros

MightyMartian As We Speak (284 comments)

As we speak, Microsoft is instructing its European "business partners" to give a certain French city a shitload of really cheap Office licenses.

4 days ago
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New SSL Server Rules Go Into Effect Nov. 1

MightyMartian Re:Why? (91 comments)

I have to confess, I'm pretty mystified. For our own internal servers, I have my own CA, and can see no reason why I would want to have someone else sign internal certs.

Sounds like yet another way in which the commercial CAs scam stupid CIOs out of cash.

5 days ago
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Chromebooks Are Outselling iPads In Schools

MightyMartian Re:Papers (223 comments)

Double kudos for writing it on touch screen devices. I do some Play-by-email roleplaying and at times I do posts on my Nexus 7, and man oh man it's difficult. I wouldn't even dream of doing long prose writing on a tablet.

5 days ago
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Laser Eye Surgery, Revisited 10 Years Later

MightyMartian Re:Cost (541 comments)

Quite frankly, and this sounds stupid, but I'm emotionally attached to my glasses. I'm 42 now, and I've been wearing glasses since I was six. Frankly I don't even remember what it was like without them. I freely admit it's an irrational and emotional response, but I like my glasses.

about a week ago
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Raspberry Pi Gameboy

MightyMartian Re:Now I wish.... (60 comments)

Hell, if I put a Raspberry Pi inside the scooped out guts of ENIAC, it would be just like ENIAC was streaming a movie... right?

I'm thinking of pulling the beads off an abacus and throwing a Raspberry Pi to show how an abacus can stream movies... and then maybe hollowing out a stone and showing how cool streaming could have been in the Neolithic...

Sarcasm mode off

about a week ago
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UK Cabinet Office Adopts ODF As Exclusive Standard For Sharable Documents

MightyMartian Re:Why ODF? (164 comments)

For certain limited definitions of "support".

about a week ago
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Buying New Commercial IT Hardware Isn't Always Worthwhile (Video)

MightyMartian Re:What about power? (92 comments)

For some tasks I can understand recycling. I use older hardware to build routers, anti-spam gateways, VPN appliances and the like. Normally these are fairly low-cycle tasks, at least for smaller offices. But I've learned my lesson about using older hardware in mission critical applications. I've set up custom routers that worked just great, until the motherboards popped a cap, and then they're down, and unless you've got spares sitting around, you're in for some misery.

about a week ago
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Russian Government Edits Wikipedia On Flight MH17

MightyMartian Re:I don't see the problem. (667 comments)

How much do Kremlin astroturfers get paid?

about two weeks ago
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Russian Government Edits Wikipedia On Flight MH17

MightyMartian Re:I don't see the problem. (667 comments)

And where exactly are you from? Some of the most accusatory reporting is coming from Europe.

about two weeks ago
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Russian Government Edits Wikipedia On Flight MH17

MightyMartian Re:I don't see the problem. (667 comments)

I feel like I just read a Soviet era Pravda article.

about two weeks ago

Submissions

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Moving Away From IT

MightyMartian MightyMartian writes  |  about 3 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 5 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 6 months 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 6 months 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 9 months 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 a year and a half 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 a year and a half 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  |  about 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  |  about 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  |  more than 2 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 2 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 2 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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