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Passwords: Too Much and Not Enough

WuphonsReach Re:WHY IS THE INTERNET FOCUSED ON THIS SHIT (208 comments)

Writing down a password is not the big bug-a-boo that you make it out to be.

Writing it down and leaving it stuck to the monitor / keyboard is a problem (a social problem). Writing it down and keeping it in a secure location, not such a big deal (password manager software falls into the second category).

The trap that many system admins fall into is that they think requiring long and complex passphrases meshes well when combined with forced password expiration of less then a few years. When you force password resets on everyone on a week/monthly/quarterly basis, your users will figure out some trivial method that gets past your system or resort to just sticking passwords on notes stuck to monitors.

Far better to let them choose something reasonably complex (which is 14+ characters these days) then monitor for signs of unauthorized activity. And add in two-factor authentication using their corporate assigned phone or smart card or token thingy that kicks in if things look iffy.

yesterday
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Preferred smartphone screen size?

WuphonsReach Re:Missing Option: (170 comments)

Eh, I have the HTC One (m8) and my main wish for it when I got it was that it would be about 1/2" to 3/4" smaller. I'm not unhappy with the phone except that I wish it was just slightly smaller.

yesterday
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Help ESR Stamp Out CVS and SVN In Our Lifetime

WuphonsReach Re:I am not going to convert (243 comments)

When every developer in the offices pulls out every thing in the repository and tries to check the whole repo in after modifying the 1-2 files they changed, that is the problem.

That causes zero issues in SVN, because in SVN it only commits the files that have changed... now, if you have a developer editing dozens and dozens of files and doing a massive commit, that's a separate management issue. (i.e. they should be doing a feature branch)

Where SVN falls down is in complicated branch/merge scenarios, and they're constantly working to improve it. Git, Mercurial or other DVCS systems are just better at that.

(shrugs) I've looked at git, mercurial and subversion - and SVN is just easier for regular users to understand. The main hurdle they have is learning the update / modify / commit cycle and that the shorter the cycle, the better things work. Plus, learning not to leave their working copy / development areas dirty with uncommitted changes.

5 days ago
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Which Android Devices Sacrifice Battery-Life For Performance?

WuphonsReach Re:all (108 comments)

Battery life depends on a bunch of things...
- What you leave running in the background
- Whether bluetooth / wifi / cell / GPS are on/off
- Whether you have a good cellular signal (more bars = less power needed to talk with tower)
- Quality of the WiFi signal / network congestion
- Screen brightness

With the HTC One (m8), I have to charge it every 2-4 days. Depends on how much I'm using it, what the weather is like outside, how many hours I spent on the phone that day, and where it spent most of the day.

I spent about 2.5 hours on conference/phone calls today and the phone has been off the charger for about 18hrs. Battery is at 66%. GPS, WiFi and Bluetooth are all turned on. That's not fabulous but not horrible either.

5 days ago
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Which Android Devices Sacrifice Battery-Life For Performance?

WuphonsReach Re:Who cares about performance? (108 comments)

It does matter. When I compare my older Asus TF700T (tablet, but same resolution as the phone) with a Quad-core 1.6 GHz Cortex-A9 compared to my HTC One (m8) with 2.3 GHz quad-core Snapdragon 801, the difference is immense. The HTC device is extremely responsive and snappy in comparison.

On the tablet, I'm constantly having to wait on it to pull up email, or switch to the chat program, or open browser pages. I'm not sure if that is because it is one Android revision behind the HTC or if Asus did something with the UI or if the Cortex A9 chip is just that much worse then the Snapdragon 801.

Now, once you get past the "knee" where you can switch apps in under about 0.25sec and where you are not stuck waiting 3-10 seconds for something to happen, then further performance increases won't matter anywhere near as much.

(It's just more obvious if you use multiple devices for a few weeks.)

5 days ago
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Help ESR Stamp Out CVS and SVN In Our Lifetime

WuphonsReach Re:Mod TFS as flamebait (243 comments)

VSS (Visual SourceSafe) was okay - as long as you locked it up behind a SourceOffSite (3rd party) server. The SOS service as the primary interface between the VSS repository and the clients prevented about 99% of corruption issues.

This was back when your options amounted to VSS, Perforce, and a few other high priced version control systems. About the only free solution back around 2000 was CVS, and that was just bad for other reasons.

(Some teams benefit from distributed version control systems like Mercurial/Git. Others benefit more from centralized VCS like SVN / TFS / Perforce. We prefer SVN because it is far easier for non-technical members, i.e. mere mortals, to understand and much harder for them to do the wrong thing.)

5 days ago
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Google Announces Motorola-Made Nexus 6 and HTC-Made Nexus 9

WuphonsReach Re:HTC (201 comments)

I greatly enjoy my (m8) that I got this past spring. The phone is very responsive, makes my 2-year old Asus TF700T tablet feel like a slug (even though both are quad-core and the speed on the HTC is not that much more).

BlinkFeed thing is eh... doesn't bother me and sometimes I use it to pass the time, but I wouldn't miss it either.

about two weeks ago
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Google Announces Motorola-Made Nexus 6 and HTC-Made Nexus 9

WuphonsReach Re:Meh (201 comments)

It's not a Google phone, but I am pretty happy with my HTC One (m8) and there's a newer less expensive version (HTC Desire?). Five inch, 1080p, and very little bloatware / UI lag. HTC did a good job and it's a very responsive UI, better then my Asus tablet.

about two weeks ago
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Positive Ebola Test In Second Texas Health Worker

WuphonsReach Re:Just tell me (463 comments)

Ebola would have to shed about 80% of its mass to get airborne. At which point, it probably would not be Ebola any longer. There's just a huge difference between fluid-borne and air-borne viruses in terms of mass.

Droplets are the big issue, small enough not to be visible to the naked eye, but with a range of 1-2m (3m if the wind blows hard).

about two weeks ago
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Battery Breakthrough: Researchers Claim 70% Charge In 2 Minutes, 20-Year Life

WuphonsReach Re:Charging amperage (395 comments)

Even if it never scales up past cell-phone battery size, the increased recharge ability (10,000 cycles) would make it far better then today's batteries which start to fade after ~200 to ~1000 cycles.

Which was one of the more annoying features of early Lithium Ion batteries...

about two weeks ago
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Texas Ebola Patient Dies

WuphonsReach Re:Cost of treatment? (487 comments)

Estimates are that care like that costs $800-$1000 per hour, possibly as much as double that (if isolation wards are needed).

So for 20 days, that would be in the realm of $500,000.

about two weeks ago
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Details of iOS and Android Device Encryption

WuphonsReach Re:So what you're telling me (146 comments)

Thanks, my HTC One (m8) has "hardware backed" security.

My older Asus tablet does not.

about three weeks ago
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Senators Threaten To Rescind NFL Antitrust Exemption

WuphonsReach Re:I wish McCain would retire (242 comments)

That view is fine... as long as blackouts only extend to a minor geographical distance, such as 30 miles.

These days, you can be 300 miles away from the event, and be subject to blackout restrictions. That's asinine and overreaches.

about three weeks ago
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Lost Opportunity? Windows 10 Has the Same Minimum PC Requirements As Vista

WuphonsReach Re:hardware has hit a wall so leave it as is (554 comments)

Single-core performance has mostly stalled, yes. It used to double in power every 3 years, but since mid-2000s, that pace has slowed dramatically.

I'd estimate about 10-15% improvement per year these days. A modern 2.5GHz Intel i5/i7 is probably 50-75% faster then a 2.5GHz Intel Core/Core2 from 2007. Plus memory speed has gone from DDR2-533/800 to DDR3-1600 (or 2400-3200), which also makes for a 10-30% boost.

Over a 5-year time span, it's definitely noticeable. And a 7-year old machine (even with dual-core, a SSD + fresh install of Win7 + 8GB RAM) does feel a bit sluggish compared to a more recent machine. My AMD FX-8350 is much more enjoyable / responsive then my Intel Core2 Duo from 2007. And the older machine runs Win7, 8GB and a SSD.

Now, we're long past the days of needing to upgrade every 3 years just to do the bare minimums, but you can't run a machine forever. Keeping a machine for five years is pretty common, and you can stretch that to 7-10 years if the hardware holds up. Multi-core, plenty of RAM, and SSDs help greatly in that regards. Most of the PC retirements from when multi-core became common are likely to be hardware related.

about three weeks ago
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Ebola Has Made It To the United States

WuphonsReach Re:Contagiousness (475 comments)

Don't confuse incubation period with symptomatic period with infectious period. With Ebola, incubation can be 3-21 days, but you are only infectious once you become symptomatic. Because unless you come in contact with bodily fluids, you won't catch it. (The problem is that if the host is extremely symptomatic, there is thrashing / spatter of fluids everywhere.)

This is unlike the common flu where are are infectious, even if non-symptomatic.

Fortunately, it is also highly unlikely to switch from being spread by droplets / fluids to becoming completely airborne. AIDS/HIV have been known about for decades, but have never made the switch from being a blood / fluid spread virus into an airborne virus. The sequence of random mutations required in order to switch infection style is huge.

(The Reston Ebola study was not able to prove simian to simian airborne transmission. So it's not 100% proved that Ebola can spread without physical contact.)

about three weeks ago
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Microsoft Announces Windows 10

WuphonsReach Re:Still have a boxed copy of Windows 2.0 (644 comments)

OS/2 Warp was pretty good for the time (93-96 era). I ran OS/2 2.x and 3.x for a long while as my main operating system. But application selection was really limited, and running 16-bit Windows programs only got you so far.

Not having to reboot for weeks at a time was a very nice feature. This was back when Win95 could only run for about 40-some hours before crashing due to an overflow in a counter.

But there were no open-source development tools at the time, so in order to write OS/2 applications you had to pony up a few hundred dollars for the compiler, then more money for a GUI framework library, plus more money for documentation. That, I feel, was IBM's biggest mistake - charging for development tools. But then, this was the days when a 28k modem was high-speed and ISDN 128k lines were popular - so not sure how they would have distributed it.

Linux was still a minor blip at the time (I installed an early version of Red Hat in the late 90s).

about three weeks ago
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Microsoft Announces Windows 10

WuphonsReach Re:About god damn time.. (644 comments)

Most terms (PuTTY/SecureCRT), it is better to use the traditional Shift+Delete, Shift+Ins and Ctrl+Insert - I've never heard of Ctrl+Shift+C before.

about three weeks ago
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Consumer Reports: New iPhones Not As Bendy As Believed

WuphonsReach Re:To summarize: (304 comments)

I've had a HTC One (m8) since it came out (about 6 months ago). I keep mine in a case (SUPCASE Unicorn Beetle) and have it in my front pocket all the time.

It still lays perfectly flat, no bending.

Maybe having a hard rubber bumper and the hard plastic back of the case is enough, or this is not a big issue on the HTC units.

about a month ago
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Security Collapse In the HTTPS Market

WuphonsReach Re:Folks.... (185 comments)

Eliminate that chain, work out a public exchange and verification program (something akin to bittorrent for gpg signed certificates from other people you trust.) and plug that in in place of the current certificate authority model and you're set.

DNSSEC + DANE

It limits the damage a lot more then the current "trust the CA completely" model. A rogue CA can only damage / MitM certificates that they have issued without raising red flags in the SSL stack.

Is DNSSEC+DANE perfect? No, it has some rough edges and possible corner cases, but it's far better then depending on the current CA model.

about a month ago

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