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Ask Slashdot: What Software Can You Not Live Without?

RichiH Re:Easy (531 comments)

Ah, and

chsh # change to zsh

about a month and a half ago

Ask Slashdot: What Software Can You Not Live Without?

RichiH Easy (531 comments)

This is my mantra:

vi /etc/apt/sources.list # switch to testing/unstable and add contrib & non-free
apt-get update
apt-get dist-upgrade
apt-get install vcsh mr vim zsh screen openssh-server # the most important bits & pieces
vcsh clone /mr.vcsh # clone the repo containing location info of my configuration repos
cd .config/mr/config.d
ln -s ../available.d/{what,i,need} . # enable whatever repos for code & config which I need on that machine
mr -j 5 up # automagically clone, checkout, whatever ALL the things

about a month and a half ago

Open Source Beehives Designed To Help Save Honeybee Colonies

RichiH That design is crap (172 comments)

Sorry, but it's crap:

* Uses plywood instead of wood that's naturally resistant to water and insects, line white pine (pinus strobus)
* That build wastes a huge sheet of wood instead of starting with small pieces. That's a waste
* Need for CNC
* Insanely complex build
* Angled roof, resulting in bad support for the hive
* No room to extend the hive to harvest honey
* No immediately obvious way to access the hive from below
** No way to check on bees to see if they are all right
** No way to deploy stuff that kills varroa destructor

There's a German non-profit called Bienenkiste.de (literally "bee box"). It's a simply, sturdy design that went through over a decade of improvements and incorporates feedback from professionals. Honey yield is 1/2-1/3 of that what the same hive would get with traditional hives, but they are a lot less work and the bees are in a more natural state. This means that the bees are so relaxed, I can do all my work on the hive without smoke or protective equipment.

http://www.bienenkiste.de/doku/bauanleitung/ for instructions. Translate into English, the pictures and videos should be largely self-explanatory.

about 4 months ago

Tesla Model S Can Hit (At Least) 132 MPH On the Autobahn

RichiH Re:132mph is not terribly impressive (410 comments)

Came here to say this. It's not uncommon to see family-type cars go faster than this.

I probably go over that speed at least twice a day: during my daily commute.

about 5 months ago

Secret Security Questions Are a Joke

RichiH It needs to be unique, as well. (408 comments)

If every site uses the same set of questions that fulfill the four requirements laid out be OP, the system is still broken.

about a year and a half ago

Google's Own Nexus Tablet Leaks Into the Wild

RichiH Re:Product Confusion (224 comments)

Yah, cause iOS does not. Especially since most people write it as IOS.

about 2 years ago

Ask Slashdot: Syncing Files With Remote Server While On the Road?

RichiH Re:Take fewer pictures (239 comments)

> 2-300 pictures a day is a lot

That's not even close to a lot.

Even disregarding series of night sky pics for stacking and other continuous shots, there are a lot of reasons to reach 1000 per day. "Birds in flight", for example.

about 2 years ago

Using QR Codes To Save Lives

RichiH Re:Tom Sawyer Plan (171 comments)

Not if you are in an area where locals don't speak English. And, for example, neither spoken nor written Latin gets you anywhere in a Chinese pharmacy.

Still, keeping it low tech is the right thing to do.

about 2 years ago

Ask Slashdot: How Do You Manage Your Personal Data?

RichiH Simple... (414 comments)

1) git-annex (if on Unix)
2) badblocks -swo foo.bb /dev/foo #this will erase all data on disk. If it reports even one single bad block, toss the disk out.

about 2 years ago

LightSquared Hires Lawyers To Prep For GPS Battle

RichiH Re:So let me get this straight... (195 comments)


* LightSquared gets an assignment of free spectrum
* LightSquared invests tons of money
* The GPS industry has been violating FCC rules by not filtering out non-GPS spectrum _as they are required to_ on all devices. Independent tests say 75% are not FCC-compliant
* The FCC performs tests with models chosen from said 75%
* The FCC states that the risk is too large and destroys LightSquared's business model, assets and tells them they are not allowed to use their spectrum.

Now, I do get the safety aspect. This is valid.

In my opinion, the willful neglect by the GPS manufacturers requires them to fix it at own cost. It does _not_ make if OK for the FCC to destroy LightSquared. As much as I disagree with the sue-happy stance in the USA, this is a valid way to recoup their losses.

more than 2 years ago

Anti-Whaling Group Using Drones To Find Whalers

RichiH Re:So people really have this much time and money? (377 comments)

> As for aiming... yes, it is trivial. The Mariana Trench is very big, and GPS quite precise.


> > > There is no possibility of anyone getting it back,
> > Correct. No one ever went down there. Especially not robots.
> Three times in total


> Not much down there. Just lots and lots of water, and very little life.

You don't know that. Touching down stirred up loads of silt so people couldn't see anything.

> Water that takes a very long time to circulate to the surface.

That is true.

> It's a perfect disposal site. Deposit-only, no withdrawals. Cheap. The only place that might get contaminated is a vast expanse of uninhabited nothing.

Based on our current knowledge and even then it's not even close to an undisputed fact.
As we have vast amounts of experience dealing with time frames that are several times longer than even the farthest reaches recorded history, this one is a no-brainer.

What is your take on faster-than-light travel and endless energy? We could use some help there, as well.

more than 2 years ago

Anti-Whaling Group Using Drones To Find Whalers

RichiH Re:So people really have this much time and money? (377 comments)

> The easiest would be to just put it in boxes and throw it down the Mariana Trench.

No risk of an accident at sea; storms never happen. Aiming is trivial, as well.

> There is no possibility of anyone getting it back,

Correct. No one ever went down there. Especially not robots.

> and if it ever comes back up naturally it'll be long after safe decay.

Again, correct. The only natural way for it to come up is by the boxes growing feet and walking to shore. No other way. And no contamination of whatever is down there, either.

> The problem is political: Throwing nuclear waste in the ocean violates international law, and for some reason no politician wants to start the process of changing that.


I just have one question: Are you being sarcastic and why did people mod you insightful instead of funny?

more than 2 years ago

Linux Kernel Power Bug Is Fixed

RichiH Fuck Phoronix (145 comments)

I see the sensationalist and wrong headline; the blurb is folded in.

I click expand and, lo behold, it's an anonymous submission that links to Phoronix. Yet. Again.

I guess none of the mods will read this anyway, but why can't we let this cesspool die by ignoring it into oblivion?

more than 2 years ago

Ask Slashdot: Best Long-Term Video/Picture Storage?

RichiH Re:Multi-step plan (499 comments)

btrfs is simply not there, yet.

My off-site git-annex machine uses zfs-fuse with RAIDZ2 and copies=2.

Just because I can reasonably assume that one location is safe does not mean that I can't use a tool to manage and verify all copies automagically ;)
Especially since my laptop does not have any checksumming FS but I still need to use it to make copies while on the road.

more than 2 years ago

Ask Slashdot: Best Way To Destroy Hard Drives?

RichiH Actually useful advice here (1016 comments)

I am going to be boring and tell you what I learned from the founder of a data recovery company.

1) One single pass of zeros is enough. urandom if you want to be paranoid.
2) If you want, or need (auditing, etc), to physically destroy the drives: Bend the platters. As soon as the platters are bent, you can not spin them for data extraction, any more. Keeping in mind the distance between head and platters, even the slightest bend becomes irreparable. And as soon as you can't spin them, you are looking at scanning the whole platter without any fancy off-the-shelf controller logic.

According to him, those are the only two cases when they tell the customer over the phone that they don't even have to bother sending the disks in.

more than 2 years ago

Ask Slashdot: Best Way To Destroy Hard Drives?

RichiH Re:Drill Press (1016 comments)

The point is that the platters get bent.

more than 2 years ago

Ask Slashdot: Best Long-Term Video/Picture Storage?

RichiH Re:The most commonly asked question on "Ask Slashd (499 comments)

> Every 3 months


> , never ceases to amaze me.

Not me. I care deeply about this topic and all the common answers/options are shit.

more than 2 years ago

Congress May Permit Robot Calls To Cell Phones

RichiH You _pay_ for receiving calls? (619 comments)

I knew people in the US paid for receiving SMS, but you pay for receiving calls, as well?

more than 2 years ago

Ask Slashdot: Best Long-Term Video/Picture Storage?

RichiH Multi-step plan (499 comments)

1) Never use DVDs. Ever. They eat data like no tomorrow.
2) Guard against bit rot. Make sure you have checksums of all files so you know when your media degrades.
3) Maintain at least three separate copies in at least two different locations.
4) Ideally, have offline storage, as well. Check on it twice a year, but else: do not touch!
5) As of today, git-annex is your best bet to automate all of the above. Make sure you use the most current version and prepare for a somewhat bumpy road if you don't know git, yet.

more than 2 years ago



Humble Indie Bundle enters round 3

RichiH RichiH writes  |  about 3 years ago

RichiH writes "Given the staggering success of the last two iterations, the Humble Indie Bundle just resurfaced for the third iteration. Games included this time are Trine, Shadowgrounds, Shadowgrounds: Survivor, Splot and Jack Claw. You pay what you want, all games are DRM-free, run under Windows, Mac OS X and Linux and, as usual, the Linux users are willing to shell out significantly more. Oh, and you can redirect some or all of the money you pay to the EFF or Penny Arcade's Child's Play. Even if, like me, you don't have time to actually play those games, this is worth supporting."
Link to Original Source

Backups for you, your mom and others

RichiH RichiH writes  |  more than 3 years ago

RichiH (749257) writes "Let's face it: If you are reading this, you are the IT guy for your family. That one thing everyone likes to ignore are backups and when things go south, you are the one tasked to restore everything from a recipe to the pictures of your aunt. A lot of people are looking for the One True Solution, but no one seems to have found it. While Flickr and the like work for photos, there is more to back up than photos. Solutions like crashplan with de-duplication, encryption, distributing backups to other PCs within your family and online storage are nice, but a closed, self-updating Java application which requires root privileges and stores your encryption key at every(!) backup destination is not exactly ideal, either. Other solutions like git annex are great for tech-minded people like you, but your mom won't touch it. Proper backup solutions like Bacula require static client addresses and open ports on any firewalls in between which is not an option for most home or mobile settings. My plan is to set up a dedicated backup server with RAID or ZFS at a hosting facility. The only question is this: What backup solution is distributed (to minimaize potential loss), supports local, on-site and off-site storage, encrypted at the source, runs automagically (so your mom can not forget, ever), verifies data integrity regularly (weekly; checksum of the container or similar), offers aggressive monitoring of any and all errors and warnings, runs on Windows, Linux and possibly Mac OS X? Oh, and if possible, it would be nice if it was FLOSS."

The Companies Who Support Censoring The Internet

RichiH RichiH writes  |  more than 2 years ago

RichiH (749257) writes "Quoth techdirt.com: "A group of companies sent a letter to to Attorney General Eric Holder and ICE boss John Morton today (with cc's to VP Joe Biden, Homeland Security boss Janet Napolitano, IP Czar Victoria Espinel, Rep. Lamar Smith, Rep. John Conyers, Senator Patrick Leahy and Senator Charles Grassley), supporting the continued seizure of domain names they don't like, as well as the new COICA censorship bill, despite the serious Constitutional questions raised about how such seizures violate due process and free speech principles." A full list of companies who you might want to avoid buying from is included, as well."
Link to Original Source

Grml 2010.12 released

RichiH RichiH writes  |  more than 3 years ago

RichiH (749257) writes "Good news everyone! Grml 2010.12, based on Debian unstable, has been released on New Year's Eve. Geared towards the needs of system administrators and power users, it features an ever-improving customization of Zsh, loop-aes, an VNC-enabled boot option, optional auto-configuration via scripts loaded from the network during booting, several comfortable ways to make the ISO boot from USB and just about any tool you could ever want for system recovery, data backup, forensics, security, networking and general system analysis. The full press release can be found here, downloads are here and just fyi, the torrents are seeded by several servers on gigabit."
Link to Original Source

Officer Bubbles sues YouTube; invokes Streisand

RichiH RichiH writes  |  more than 3 years ago

RichiH (749257) writes "You might remember Constable Adam Josephs aka Officer Bubbles, the policeman who threatened and then arrested a woman for blowing bubbles during the G20 protests in Toronto, Canada. YouTube user ThePMOCanada based some comics on this bizarre event which seems to have been deleted, along with the account, by YouTube. While the account has been re-enabled by YouTube only minutes ago, the videos in question are still missing. Not having heard of the Streisand Effect before, Mr. Josephs is now suing YouTube for $ 1.25 million Canadian and the identity of 25 John Does. The Toronto Police Service declined to comment both on the suit and on Mr. Josephs' behavior during the G20 protests."

Alternative keyboards

RichiH RichiH writes  |  more than 3 years ago

RichiH (749257) writes "There have been several discussions about alternative on-screen keyboards on slashdot over the years. I dimly rememer a discussion about a modified ATOMIK (see latter link) keyboard and a sort of shifting field with an alphabetical, vertical field of letters of different sizes according to their likelyhood of coming next in a given word. Said fork of ATOMIK had two 'e' fields and other modifcations to accomodate the writing of most short, common words in one swipe. With the advent of more and more touch devices, these concepts are becoming more and more important. Trying to help fostering these new methods, I tried to find a reference, name, discussion, homepage, anything regarding said modified for years. Having gone through another iteration of searching just now, I have two questions to to /. crowd at large. 1) Can you point me to what I am looking for? 2) What new, exciting, weird, implemented, barely thought-out and other input concepts for touch devices are you aware of?"

Grml releases new version

RichiH RichiH writes  |  more than 4 years ago

RichiH (749257) writes "The Grml project is happy to announce the immediate release of Grml 2009.10 aka "Hello Wien". Including lots of new versions and packages, this Linux Live CD is geared towards power users and sysadmins. Coming with a highly tuned Z Shell by default, it includes everything you need for backups, system recovery, network management and much much more. Also included are several light-weigth Window Managers, highly advanced netboot capabilities and Google's stressapptest. The release notes can be found here and the isos live here"
Link to Original Source

Undeleting 17783 images from FAT32?

RichiH RichiH writes  |  more than 4 years ago

RichiH (749257) writes "My girlfriend managed to delete her photo directory. After restoring 17783 images with foremost, I do have her data, but renaming and re-sorting that many files would be a huge task. If I remember correctly, FAT 'deletes' by changing the first letter of any given filename to a question mark. Which poses the question of how to restore the files including filenames and directory structure on a FAT32 partition. Several dd images of the partition in question are available so destructive measure would be acceptable. Preferably, I would do this in Linux, but Windows is OK as a last resort. Another interesting question is which other filesystems allow this level of easy restoration. Afaik there are none. Please try to stay on topic, which means no discussion about 'why were there no backups' ;)"

First ever cross distro/OS packaging effort

RichiH RichiH writes  |  more than 5 years ago

RichiH (749257) writes "Games usually need more patches than most other FLOSS software. Sometimes, they are not maintained by their original developers anymore, sometimes upstream does not care about Unix-compatibility or they won't accept the changes that are required to make games work properly. Traditionally, maintainers of every distribution had to create their own patches and fixes to provide similar funcionality. After successful collaboration between several major distributions, we decided to take this to the next level. Well over 50 members of Arch Linux, Debian, Fedora, Fink, FreeBSD, Gentoo, OpenSolaris, PC-BSD, NetBSD, Slackware, SuSE, Ubuntu and Yellow Dog as well as Gnome and KDE have decided to join forces and start working together on games@lists.freedesktop.org and #freedesktop-games on irc.freenode.net. Collaboration on upstream level is common these days, but distributions have largely remained islands and it's time to fix that. Thus, we want to invite everyone, upstream, maintainers and anyone else who might be interested to join us in this collaborative effort. To the best of our knowledge, this effort is unique. But if anyone could share experience or even start something like this in their own fields of interest, it would be great :)"

Please test your site in Konqueror, text mode!

RichiH RichiH writes  |  more than 5 years ago

RichiH (749257) writes "This is not an article. It is a plea for help!

With each and every redesign, you break /. for Konqueror users who use the text mode in various fun & unexpected ways.

Normally, I file bugs or sit it out, but that the moment, reading articles on the main page is impossible as the tags etc are overlayed over the text.

I know this is is unconventional and I expect this to get rejected in no time, but PLEASE for all that is holy (relative to $deity): Poke the weg dev guy(s) about Konqueror & text mode!

It's not _that_ hard to take a quick glance to see if the site is useable (I don't care about pretty. Just make it _useable_).


Easy, reliable, distributed storage & backup?

RichiH RichiH writes  |  more than 5 years ago

RichiH (749257) writes "Most of you will be the free IT staff of friends and family, just as I am. One of my largest headaches is backing up their data. What I am looking for allows for off-site storage on multiple server machines running Linux, has Linux & Windows clients that Just Work and require zero everyday effort (largish effort setting them up is just fine), allows for granular access control, is versioned and will, ideally, allow me to grab data automagically, as well (think photo pool for your family where your mother, sister, etc share each other's photos). This is something I have been looking for for years, but never found anything even closely resembling what I want. With the Wall Street Journal handing out its Technology Innovation Award to Cleversafe recently, I was once again reminded of this particular itch which needs scratching. Before I deploy it, I want to ask the /. community about its opinion on that piece of software and on potential alternatives. How do you solve this problem?"

Your taxes under Obama, McCain

RichiH RichiH writes  |  more than 5 years ago

RichiH (749257) writes "Want to know how much you will pay in taxes once a new president is elected? Quantrix and Jeffrey Gramlich of the University of Southern Maine released an online tax estimator which makes an educated guess based on the positions & statements of the candidates. The short version: Under McCain, you will pay minimally less than under Bush. Under Obama, you will pay noticeably less."

A truly rugged USB thumb drive?

RichiH RichiH writes  |  more than 5 years ago

RichiH (749257) writes "Off-site, versioned storage is great, but for some things, you just can't beat a thumb drive. While I don't needlessly abuse my gear, I will not pamper it, either. I gave various drives a try, but they all broke within weeks or months, sometimes even days. What I am looking for is an USB thumb drive that will fit onto a keychain and still be able to take a beating. Ideally, this drive has a metal keyring hole, a cap that will not come off too easily and thus protect the USB plug, is not much larger than an actual thumb and has 4 GiB of storage or more. What drives did you use over time and with what results? How long did they survive?"

Massive security hole in Debian's/Ubuntu's OpenSSL

RichiH RichiH writes  |  more than 5 years ago

RichiH (749257) writes "This is bad, real bad. From the Debian Security Announcement: Luciano Bello discovered that the random number generator in Debian's openssl package is predictable. This is caused by an incorrect Debian-specific change to the openssl package (CVE-2008-0166). As a result, cryptographic key material may be guessable. Long story short, everyone who used OpenSSL in the widest sense to generate within the last two years on either Debian or Ubuntu has a massive problem on their hands. If this is the case you must regenerate and replace your keys as soon as possible!
Read Debian's announcement and Ubuntu's announcement for further information."

Oklahoma Leaks 10,597 Social Security Numbers

RichiH RichiH writes  |  about 6 years ago

RichiH (749257) writes "thedailywtf.com has a real WTF today: An Oklohoma state agency using SQL queries in their URLS, allowing everyone to get at the personal data of thousands of people. After being contacted about it, they implemented minimal (read laughable) 'security' measures. Only after being told that the table named MSD_MONTHLY_MEDICAL_ACTIVITY, which lists employees of the agency, is world-readable as well did they take down the page. As of right now, the page is unavailable and bidding for creating a new system is is open."

An Open Letter to NVIDIA

RichiH RichiH writes  |  more than 6 years ago

RichiH writes "After ATI and Intel have shown that opening the specs for gfx chips and offering Open Source graphics drivers is viable, the only large player to remain in the realm of closed stuff is NVIDIA. As the only metric marketing drones are interested in is units per quarter, you have to let them know they are losing business. This is what opentheblob.com wants to do. And you can help by signing this open letter/petition."

EU fines Microsoft again, total of EUR 1.7 billion

RichiH RichiH writes  |  more than 6 years ago

RichiH writes "After the record-breaking fine of 778 million Euro ($ 1,152 million) in 2004, the EU sanctioned Microsoft again. This time, for breaking the anti-trust measures imposed against them alongside the first fine. At 899 million Euro ($ 1,332 million), this sets the second all-time record for anti-trust fines in a row and totals to 1,677 million Euro ($ 2,485 million). German and English source available."

Final call for Brave New World from Germany

RichiH RichiH writes  |  more than 6 years ago

RichiH (749257) writes "On November 9th, the German parliament will most likely vote in favour of a law which will make logging of all connections, be they over Internet, landline or cellular phone, mandatory (German source). As an added bonus, the Cybercrime Convention of the European Union will ensure that a total of 52 countries will have access to this data without review by a judge, restriction of commensurability or even a mandatory expiration date for the prosecution of any and all actions that are against the law in the requesting country. This list includes countries with long-standing records in human rights like Azerbaijan, Russia or Moldova. If you live in Germany, hold a German passport or simply think your voice should be heard, please head over to this site and write an open letter to the members of the German parliament. In anticipation of the approval of the law, please also join the first ever German class-action law suit before Germany highest court by adding your personal data here.
Do not let this pass without action. It is that last chance you are likely to have."


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