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Why Screen Lockers On X11 Cannot Be Secure

PrimaryConsult Re:not the point (355 comments)

Those bluetooth locker programs are handy for this, once your phone / headset / whatever is out of range of your computer the lock screen automatically comes on. Some can also be configured for unlock (though that seems like it would add another possible attack surface).

I feel like there would be a market for small bt keychain dongles for this exact purpose.

yesterday
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Engineers Develop 'Ultrarope' For World's Highest Elevator

PrimaryConsult Re:Worthless (242 comments)

The skylobby design works well enough - to get from the ground to any floor requires a maximum of one transfer, and elevator shafts can be stacked. The (original) NYC WTC towers for example had an elevator pattern which was:
Express elevators to floor 44.
Express elevators to floor 76.
Shuttle express elevator between 44 and 76 that didn't go to the ground level.
Local elevator banks served groups of 7-8 floors and would only take people to the nearest skylobby (or the ground for the lower third of the building).
Tourist / freight elevators which could stop at 2, 44, 76, and 107 (possibly also 106, I forgot).

The only drawback of this design was, if you wanted to go from, say, floor 77 to floor 73, you would have to take 3 elevators (with transfers on 76 and 44). But the overwhelming number of elevator trips in any building involve the ground floor anyway, so this isn't really a big deal.

yesterday
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Windows 10: Charms Bar Removed, No Start Screen For Desktops

PrimaryConsult Re:Screenshots (376 comments)

That's what the quick launch bars are/were for, if you make it small enough it's just another menu. I dunno if it's in Windows 8 because I got so frustrated with the start screen's jarring appearance that I just put shortcuts to everything I run on the desktop, removed the start button and trained myself to never hit the windows key unless I'm using it in a key combination. Even though I eventually installed classic shell, my workflow had been destroyed enough by that nonsense that I haven't bothered to set the rest of that up yet. Thanks Microsoft for sending me almost all the way back to windows 3.1, at least Windows+D is a bit easier than alt+tabbing to program manager...

3 days ago
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Microsoft Announces Office 2016 and Office For Windows 10 Coming Later This Year

PrimaryConsult Re:Oh no... (148 comments)

Windows 8 would have been the year of Linux on the desktop, if the Gnome project hadn't decided to radically change their UI at the same time. It would have been easy to get people to switch to Gnome 2. But by inspiring every distro to jump ship for something else, at the crucial time when we really could have convinced people to switch, there was nothing fitting the (worthwhile+easy to use) categories to recommend.

We really were that close. I don't see us ever getting back to that, at this point. At least, I see Microsoft getting their act together again long before.

about a week ago
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What Will Google Glass 2.0 Need To Actually Succeed?

PrimaryConsult Re:Size (324 comments)

Agreed, however people generally don't go around doing that even in the absence of such a law / enforcement. Having a simple law against unprovoked attacks would work fine, and allow juries to determine what constitutes a provocation in the event it goes that far. I mentioned the whole "ask people to stop first" as well. The solution to assholes has been around since the dawn of man, if Ugg keeps putting out the fire when everyone else is cold, Ugg will get clubbed over the head and left outside.

about a week ago
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Oracle Releases Massive Security Update

PrimaryConsult Re:But Java... (79 comments)

in fact Linux typically requires all software to be installed as root no matter what

Technically yes, running "make install", using a package manager or installing an rpm/deb almost certainly requires root/sudo. However, there is nothing stopping you from keeping it all within your home directory (provided the /home filesystem has space and isn't set to noexec), many cases only requiring a wrapper script to modify LD_LIBRARY_PATH. A good example of a complex program which works this way would be apache directory studio, you just untar and launch the executable.

about a week ago
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What Will Google Glass 2.0 Need To Actually Succeed?

PrimaryConsult Re:Size (324 comments)

It's a whole lot simpler when you can simply punch out an asshole for being an asshole, and the 'criteria' is that the popular opinion of those observing the situation is that the punch was justified. Simple social ettiquete, if someone has an issue with your use of glass you can put it away or explain calmly, and if they have that much of a problem with it concede for the purpose of keeping the peace. I encounter this a lot with just a camera since I like taking pictures of not-people (buildings, infrastructure, indoor spaces). But of course, our society is now "wah wah I was being an asshole and can you believe he PUNCHED me and now I have a new house and car and he lives in a box!" and since the simple approach is illegal, we pile on asshole laws.

about a week ago
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IRS Warns of Downtime Risk As Congress Makes Cuts

PrimaryConsult Re:Wait for it... (253 comments)

Having fewer employees does increase that risk. If one person has to do the work of five, they will have to take some shortcuts (either to complete tasks quicker, or to drop 'low impact' tasks like checking and patching the latest vulnerabilities in software in use).

about a week ago
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Justified: Visual Basic Over Python For an Intro To Programming

PrimaryConsult Re:BASIC because the B stands for... (647 comments)

Actually no, excellent advice but for too old a user. At age 10 I started hacking away on a hand me down commodore vic 20 while everyone else was enjoying Windows. The stuff I discovered with a few reference manuals, sample programs on tapes, and the goal of building programs with menu driven interfaces...

about two weeks ago
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Steam For Linux Bug Wipes Out All of a User's Files

PrimaryConsult Re:When I see that [literaly] textbook mistake.... (329 comments)

Isn't selinux's whole purpose is to solve this exact problem?

Any yet I get a lot of flak whenever I try to even enable it in "permissive" mode (as opposed to outright disabled) so I can at least audit when applications are trying to do things to files they shouldn't...

about two weeks ago
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Pope Francis: There Are Limits To Freedom of Expression

PrimaryConsult Re:fittingly ignorant (894 comments)

The problem is, when you trigger a strong emotional reaction, laws don't matter. If you piss someone off enough, they just want to hurt you and aren't thinking of the consequences. Or worse, if it is premeditated (like this obviously was) the thoughts on consequences become "no matter what happens to me, you'll still be dead". So unless you're prepared to deal with a worst case reaction, it's better to avoid conflict. Common sense with anything really, just because you're in the right doesn't mean you'll come out the victor.

about two weeks ago
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Pope Francis: There Are Limits To Freedom of Expression

PrimaryConsult Re:fittingly ignorant (894 comments)

Why are these misquotes getting upvoted. I thought /. was smarter than that. All he was implying was:

1. Violence is wrong
2. Insulting people can lead to violence
3. If you are afraid of violence happening to you, it is not a good idea to insult people

about two weeks ago
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Pope Francis: There Are Limits To Freedom of Expression

PrimaryConsult Re:And so he validates the violence (894 comments)

Too bad you're A/C and I have no mod points, but this is well said. Just because something is wrong doesn't mean it won't happen, so be careful. Simple common sense.

about two weeks ago
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SystemD Gains New Networking Features

PrimaryConsult Re:What has happened to Linux? (553 comments)

That's what sssd is for (I believe in authconfig it's the checkbox that has the word "caching" in it). And most machines with wireless are laptops which generally will need to have the wifi configured every time you go somewhere new... which of course needs to be done after logging in anyway, so you'll want the caching.

Don't get me wrong I love WPA supplicant but sometimes I just want to get on the damn wifi and not have to play around on the command line for 5 minutes every time I am at a new hotel, train station, airport or coffee shop.

about two weeks ago
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Intuit Charges More For Previously Offered TurboTax Features, Users Livid

PrimaryConsult Re:Just hire a CPA (450 comments)

Some state governments will provide free tax preparation if you are making below a certain amount. New York's program.

about two weeks ago
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Google Throws Microsoft Under Bus, Then Won't Patch Android Flaw

PrimaryConsult Re:Makes sense. (629 comments)

My phone's 1 year past contract expiration and still gets updates. I predicted this would happen when I was shopping for a phone, paying the extra $100 for something in the Samsung Galaxy line versus the cheaper options (including one with a hardware keyboard which I desparately wanted).

If you want 3 years of OS updates it seems you have to stick with the "herd" and pick the manufacturer's flagship device, not their experiments.
And once out of support there's always the option of rooting and installing your own updated Android or something else like Cyanogen.

about two weeks ago
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Obama Proposes 2 Years of Free Community College

PrimaryConsult Re:maybe, a state is trying it. Drop outs unknown (703 comments)

I know 3 people who dropped out of college (4 year state school) due to finances, looked for a job, and by the time their graduating class year occurred had a higher salary than the average fresh out of college graduates were getting.

Turns out, the "some college" checkbox really is all you need.

about three weeks ago
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CES 2015: FTC Head Warns About Data Grabbed By Smart Gadgets

PrimaryConsult Start with smartphone apps... (62 comments)

I really don't understand why an ereader app needs to check phone call status, read text messages or activate the camera, but whatever, it's free!

In all seriousness before we worry about future smart gadgets, let's focus on the ones we already have. Android needs the functionality of "permissions denied" or similar apps built into the OS. Smart TVs should not be allowed to "anonymously" send information like the filenames of network files viewed on the tv...

about three weeks ago

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