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Hackers Used Nasty "SMB Worm" Attack Toolkit Against Sony

PhrostyMcByte Can we stop the embellishment? (138 comments)

I haven't seen any evidence that the mechanics of the attack itself is at all noteworthy, yet we keep hearing about how this attack was unstoppable, "nasty", etc. -- not just from Sony's PR guys, but from the FBI. As if it could have targeted literally any company and caused just as unmitigated damage.

To me, a "nasty" worm is Stuxnet: it spread in a very standard innocuous way and seemed like any other worm, but ended up being highly targeted.

This Sony hack just seems like your average trojan worm leaking an admin password back to someone. The only noteworthy part of this hack is that Sony had such horrifyingly moronic security practices that one attack was able to compromise such a large and varying corpus of valuable data.

yesterday
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Sony Leaks Reveal Hollywood Is Trying To Break DNS

PhrostyMcByte Re:black DNS? (378 comments)

Funny, Microsoft has actually had a P2P DNS system for several years: PNRP.

3 days ago
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Are the TSA's New Electronic Device Screenings Necessary?

PhrostyMcByte Even the TSA knows they've become a joke (184 comments)

Last flight I took out of LAX, they were randomly handing out "expedited security" slips to people. Keep your shoes on, laptops can stay in bags, no x-rays or pat-downs, etc. and I was through in about 30 seconds. I even found out after I went through the metal detector that I had left keys in my pocket and my belt on.

Basically, it was like security used to be, pre-9/11. It was marvelous.

about a week ago
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Bank Security Software EULA Allows Spying On Users

PhrostyMcByte Re:Bank Security Guy here (135 comments)

Let us know which bank. I'm sure some of us would switch!

about a week ago
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BitTorrent Launches Project Maelstrom, the First Torrent-Based Browser

PhrostyMcByte Re:Freenet? (67 comments)

Freenet had some issues. Most of them won't apply to BitTorrent's offering.

The main one is receiving content was dog slow compared to, say, Tor. This is simply an artifact of how it was routing connections and the distributed storage aspect.

Second, but still contributing to the poor experience is that the app itself had some architectural flaws that made it and your PC run dog slow -- the choice was either use hundreds of threads or let the operations stall.

The third, more of a security/philosophical flaw, is that the base protocol was not documented in any significant fashion. To review the protocol's security, you'd need to have an expert understanding of Java and a large part of the codebase. So it never really had many eyes on it looking for flaws.

I haven't used Freenet in around 5 years, so this may have improved. It was pretty clear why it never caught on at the time.

about two weeks ago
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Microsoft Introduces .NET Core

PhrostyMcByte Re:why would I write to that? (187 comments)

Merely needing to convert time zones is a trivial requirement. Work with them any other way and it's a nightmare. My first exposure to it was when implementing a crontab-like scheduling software, which on proper implementations has defined behavior to not fall on its face when daylight savings time wreaks havoc on the world. I couldn't find a way to do this reliably in .NET, but Noda made it possible.

Don't take my word on why Noda should be used though... read from it's blog for plenty of examples for why the seemingly great .NET DateTime can be a minefield in far more common situations than mine.

about two weeks ago
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Microsoft Introduces .NET Core

PhrostyMcByte Re:why would I write to that? (187 comments)

Why should I have to use a third party library to get decent date support?

I've questioned that myself while working in .NET. Ever needed to write time zone aware code?

Date libraries, as it turns out, are rather monstrously difficult to make. While .NET did a great job for the common stuff, uncommon things can be painful, error prone, or impossible.

The fullest solution I've found so far is Noda Time, which is actually based on the Joda-Time Java library. It feels out of place with a number of Javaisms still in it, but it provides a much richer functionality and better separation of concerns.

about two weeks ago
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Microsoft Introduces .NET Core

PhrostyMcByte Re:Minor revision? (187 comments)

.NET Core is the redesign.

.NET Framework (the full big monolithic install like we've got now) remains backwards-compatible and so 4.6 is appropriate.

about two weeks ago
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Valve Rolls Out Game Broadcasting Service For Steam

PhrostyMcByte Re:Works but it's CPU hungry (92 comments)

Recent video cards support encoding an H.264 stream directly from the screen without ever touching the CPU. If Steam isn't currently using this functionality, I'm sure it will soon.

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Non-Coders, Why Aren't You Contributing To Open Source?

PhrostyMcByte Snarky yet true (488 comments)

The real question should be:

Why aren't companies paying more people to work on Open Source projects.

about three weeks ago
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The EU Has a Plan To Break Up Google

PhrostyMcByte What's so special about Google? (334 comments)

The EU seems to have a chip on their shoulders about Google. I get it, they're huge and they need to be kept on a leash. But when are we going to see them go after other huge companies abusing their market share? We have Amazon regularly putting full-page ads for their latest electronics right on their front page.

about a month ago
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Multi-Process Comes To Firefox Nightly, 64-bit Firefox For Windows 'Soon'

PhrostyMcByte Might just get me back (181 comments)

Multi-process is the major reason I use Chrome. One tab freezing up the entire app, or even just making other tabs slower, is unacceptable.

Then this hits general availability I'll definitely be re-evaluating Firefox.

about a month ago
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The Math Behind the Hipster Effect

PhrostyMcByte It's the new punk (176 comments)

Hipster culture is like a passive-aggressive punk culture. Both have a distinctive styles of clothing, music, and a strong counter-culture attitude. The main differentiation is that hipsters are less raucous, less extreme.

about a month ago
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YouTube Opens Up 60fps To Everyone

PhrostyMcByte Re:Bug in HW decoding == unwatchable (152 comments)

I have the issue, and no other media player does this. Either everyone is working around it and being silent about how, or this is a Chrome bug.

about a month and a half ago
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Car Thieves and Insurers Vote On Keyless Car Security

PhrostyMcByte Re:I wish I'd thought of that (221 comments)

The implication of this is that it's possible to clone a key based only on the signal it gives off. The implication of that is that they're sending out a static password.

Not only is it possible, but it's in common practice. Aftermarket remote starters need to clone your keys. You can get a remote starter for basically any car. It's not like you need a dealer for it either, because car electronics places that install these things will be the ones cloning the keys.

about 2 months ago
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Security Company Tries To Hide Flaws By Threatening Infringement Suit

PhrostyMcByte So... is the LAME strategy valid? (124 comments)

Some software projects like LAME, x264, and libav claim to skirt around patent issues by only distributing source code, not binaries. I've always wondered if this is a valid workaround, or just some clever devs getting their hopes up.

about 2 months ago
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Direct3D 9.0 Support On Track For Linux's Gallium3D Drivers

PhrostyMcByte Re:Is D3D 9 advantageous over 10? (55 comments)

Is there a reason why it would be useful to make D3D 9 support more complete?

Games only started using D3D 10/11 *very* recently -- the back catalog this could enable is huge, and D3D 9 games are still coming out today. It'd say it's very important to support.

about 2 months ago
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Google Releases Android 5.0 Lollipop SDK and Nexus Preview Images

PhrostyMcByte Re:Just make it fast (77 comments)

This please. My tablet becoming unusable while automatic updates get installed is mind-boggling.

about 2 months ago
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Tiny Wireless Device Offers Tor Anonymity

PhrostyMcByte I wonder how much we can trust it (68 comments)

Making Tor dead simple to use is great, but this is such a nice device for three-letter agencies to target inserting a backdoor into.

about 2 months ago
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Ubisoft Claims CPU Specs a Limiting Factor In Assassin's Creed Unity On Consoles

PhrostyMcByte Re:Linked? (338 comments)

It's quite possible that he means they have artificially slowed down the graphics rendering to provide more cycles to the AI.

This is how I read it as well. Though, pure rendering and lerping should not eat up much CPU especially on consoles. Unless they've got a really inefficient rendering pipeline. I'm curious exactly how much extra AI this would allow them to run.

about 2 months ago

Submissions

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Judge rules BitTorrent cases must be tried separately

PhrostyMcByte PhrostyMcByte writes  |  about a year ago

PhrostyMcByte (589271) writes "TorrentFreak reports that Iowa Judge Stephanie Rose recently put a thorn in the plans of copyright holders hoping to file cheap mass-doe lawsuits against alleged pirates. Rejecting all but one Doe for such a lawsuit, Rose's order mentions that the plaintiffs have failed to demonstrate the five Does in the case were a part of the same "transaction" needed to be tried together, with an uncommon understanding of BitTorrent showing that "...even in all five cases where Doe defendants allegedly have “hit dates” on the same day and close in time, there is no showing that the earlier defendants were still connected to the Internet and actively distributing data through the BitTorrent client at the same time as the later defendants.""
Link to Original Source
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Japan to fish space junk with kilometers-wide net

PhrostyMcByte PhrostyMcByte writes  |  more than 3 years ago

PhrostyMcByte (589271) writes "JAXA, Japan's space agency, is teaming up with fishing net manufacturer Nitto Seimo Co. to build a kilometers-wide net to orbit the Earth and collect space junk. The net would eventually be pulled by the Earth's magnetic fields to burn up in the atmosphere along with its contents."
Link to Original Source
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Black hole emits a 1,000 light-year wide fireball

PhrostyMcByte PhrostyMcByte writes  |  more than 4 years ago

PhrostyMcByte writes "12 million light-years away in the outer spiral of galaxy NGC 7793, a bubble of hot gas approximately 1,000 light-years in diameter can be found shooting out of a black hole — one of the most powerful jets of energy ever seen. The bubble has been growing for approximately 200,000 years, and is expanding at around 1,000,000 kilometers per hour."
Link to Original Source
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Origin of Species to be given for free, with FUD

PhrostyMcByte PhrostyMcByte writes  |  more than 5 years ago

PhrostyMcByte writes "November 24th will mark the 150th anniversary of Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species, the pivotal work that helped bring the theory of evolution through natural selection into popularity. Around this same time, Growing Pains star Kirk Cameron is spearheading a plan to pass out 50,000 free copies at universities around the country. The catch? Each copy will be altered to include creationist propaganda and FUD targeting evolution and Darwin himself."
Link to Original Source

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