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4chan Launches '$20 Bug Bounty' After Hackers Ruin moot's Day

abirdman Re:sql injection (79 comments)

According to the description I read on a link above, the unescaped sql (and hence the injection vector) was a one-off administration page the intruder found by poking around on the disk. A mistake, but not quite as bad as leaving the error on a published page.

about 4 months ago

UK Government Pays Microsoft £5.5M For Extended Support of Windows XP

abirdman Re:... really 13 years to update? (341 comments)

Probably OT, but I just upgraded my ~8 y/o XP laptop with Mint Linux, and I am quite happy with it. The trackpad support is much better, and the SSD driver is much better. That said, it's not my only PC, and I did have to give up some "good-enough" windows software in the process. I gave away my old Canon camera whose software only ran on XP, I've not yet found how to make Mint talk to my very old parallel port scanner, and I still haven't gotten it to work well in the docking station (which is hooked to a KVM switch to the monitor, keyboard, mouse on my desk). I am comforted by knowing if I had $10 million, I could get Microsoft to support my XP laptop for a few more years so I could continue to use my obsolete camera, scanner, and dock.

about 5 months ago

UK Government Pays Microsoft £5.5M For Extended Support of Windows XP

abirdman Re:... really 13 years to update? (341 comments)

Your argument breaks down as soon as the boss buys the new, improved Hamm-R-Matic with improved Head-hitter aim control, and the exclusive Whack-Tracker (using a standard ultra-speed parallel interface), that is both manageable and scalable, and sports the new laser guided "Nail Head Finder" front-end with indestructible low-power LED success indicators. Updates are continually provided directly from the manufacturer on convenient High Density diskettes.

Within two years, no one is left on the staff who can still operate the "big iron" interface of the old "nail smashing devices" and now there's system-wide version lock-in. The boss bought in because of the blinky lights, reduced training time, highly-granular tracking, and the cost was only $15.00 more per unit than the manual version. He has already been promoted for his perspicacity. Capital equipment purchases nowadays tend to be for processes rather than actual equipment. I don't believe this is a great state of affairs, but I believe it's the true state of affairs, and people ignore it at the risk of their own irrelevance.

about 5 months ago

NSA: Others Implicated in Making Snowden Data Leaks Possible

abirdman No hardware access tokens? (118 comments)

This is the type of government organization that hires groups like RATFOR as security consultants. Who knows what they used for security procedures? Password list in /?

about 7 months ago

Security Vendors Self-Censor Target Breach Details

abirdman Re:Oh good (115 comments)

I agree 100%. The security companies who advise the likes of Target aren't talking about the whole exploit-- indeed, are pro-actively hiding the details-- because they don't want to explain how their hideously expensive security best practices were utterly pwned by some foreigners who weren't interested in any of their acronyms. These security guys are like Stratfor-- pugnacious, pistol-packing, ex-military folk who think computer security is just a variation on any other kind of security detail, and are prepared to sell the hell out of their ideas, even when they can't secure their own passwords.

about 8 months ago

OpenBSD Moving Towards Signed Packages — Based On D. J. Bernstein Crypto

abirdman Re:Very surprised that it took this long (232 comments)

My "official" copy of WordPerfect was the last (group) of floppy disks I owned (along with a licensed copy of MASM). But do you have the function key template, without which WP is practically useless?

about 8 months ago

Accenture Faces Mid-March Deadline Or 'Disaster'

abirdman Re:0% (215 comments)

I fail to see how placing control of health care in the hands of government is more scary than having health care in the hands of piranha-capitalist medical care organizations. Healthcare Inc. is an extremely powerful and vicious adversary, bankrupting millions every year, and basically preying on the weakest and sickest among us. I've worked in a side industry (medical malpractice insurance) for 20 years, and I know the entire medical industry is a vicious money-grab from bottom to top.

I'll take my chances with the government over any possibility of getting a fair deal from the likes of big-pharma, big-hospital, big-insurance. The logic of this choice becomes more clear the closer to retirement age we get, or the less healthy we get. A thirty year-old who contracts a leukemia that would have been fatal 30 years ago may likely be saved from the disease today, but their finances will likely never recover-- even if they're insured. By the time we're 75, we'll basically be signed over to the system, healthy or not. Would you rather petition the government or UnitedHealthcare? I'll take the former, though I respect those who choose the latter.

about 8 months ago

What Would It Cost To Build a Windows Version of the Pricey New Mac Pro?

abirdman Re:$11K? Another sites says $14K (804 comments)

It occurs to me this is Apple's way of spreading out the "early-adopter tax" over their product life cycle. Their new graphics hardware isn't available yet, but will be soon. In three to five years, a new Mac Pro will be at least a generation behind, graphics-wise. The generic hardware that follows will benefit from manufacturing and integration efficiencies, as well as driver support. Apple customers will have underwritten all that.

about 9 months ago

Only 25% of Yahoo Staff "Eat Their Own Dog Food"

abirdman Re:Wagging the dog. (292 comments)

Bravo. Very well said. I wonder why using specific software is so often compared to a religious choice-- after conversion to PHP, Oracle, jquery, .NET, whatever, then no other software can be used or contemplated. Bah. Every paged email client, like Yahoo, gmail, or even Outlook's web client, is a dog for managing any more than a screenful of emails at a time.

about 10 months ago

Australian State Bans IBM From All Contracts After Payroll Bungle

abirdman Capitalism is a sponge (212 comments)

Just like in the US, the healthcare system guarantees that no valuable money is wasted on actually delivering healthcare to actual people.

about a year ago

Ask Slashdot: IT Staff Handovers -- How To Take Over From an Outgoing Sys Admin?

abirdman My straight answer... (195 comments)

I have been doing this for the last 18 months, since our sys admin was terminated. Write stuff down. Find a secure place (or two) on the network to store an Excel spreadsheet with IP addresses, dns names, and credentials for servers, databases, routers, printers. Encryption keys, vendor support websites. Save root, administrator, and sys passswords, and any other admiinistrivia, in some sort of order you can decipher in 3 months at midnight. I use worksheets to identify categories of information.. It's probably more secure to not keep this stuff all in one spreadsheet, but the fact is the document becomes a corporate asset. You can be the keeper of it, and the central answer person--lots of parties need that kind of information. Back it up, encrypt it, whatever. Where I work, only the CIO, two database admins, and the network admin have read permissions on it. Do not print it out, or carry it on a usb stick that can be misplaced. It's an admirable gesture, but probably masochistic to try and store this information in a secure database, because that may run on the server that goes down at midnight when you most need that list. Plus it's freeform-- we keep different columns of data for OS's, servers, cert keys, routers, databases, etc.. It's also nice to have it handy and organized, so you can paste it into vendor inquiries. Saves money and consternation next time you don't have to look up the info ad hoc. It's easy enough to find out the MySql version, but when there are 10+ servers, you will be glad you've got it in one spreadsheet.

Save model numbers, sales staff information, customer contacts, warranty information, service contracts. Also record server software versions. It's easy to remember if you just bought it, but in two years, you will be glad you know It's Oracle and not just 10g. All the big IT suppliers-- Oracle, Microsoft, HP, Dell, NetApp, SAP-- have their own twisted bureaucracies, ticket tracking systems, incident reporting and escalation, and lines of communication. Put as much of that info in the spreadsheet as you can. You can even embed links to support sites in Excel.

Try and figure out which servers talk to each other, which have dependencies and would be affected by an issue with another server. It's good to learn the network topology-- which equipment and services are in which segment and why. Where does the internet come in? Try not to work too late. Don't carry a gun to work. Be nice to the users. That's about all I've got.

about a year ago

Oracle Sues Companies It Says Provide Solaris OS Support In Illegal Manner

abirdman Re:/. title could mean the suit itsel is illegal (154 comments)

I understood the headline the first time I read it, but I am familiar with the company, the product, and the market, so maybe it was more obvious to me. I assumed the dangling "in an illegal fashion" was attached to the provision of Solaris Support, but you're right. It's ambiguous.

about a year ago

Oracle Sues Companies It Says Provide Solaris OS Support In Illegal Manner

abirdman Re:Common issue in the IT service industry (154 comments)

As far as I know, Oracle treats their 3rd party support companies as badly as they treat their customers. They charge full price for all their products, even if it's used in education or software development. The software is readily available online (once you sign up), but be prepared to pay up if the Oracle police visit. Every Oracle support company I've worked with do their own audits. If they work with a customer who is infringing, Oracle partly blames them, their 3rd party consultants. Larry wants every part of his company to gobble at money like piranhas. The tech glow of SUN and Oracle (still an excellent database) is completely eclipsed by the ravenous capitalism his company practices. There's no pleasure left working with them, and I'll never recommend that company again.

Oracle is like herpes: You never get rid of it completely, it pops up in the worst situations, and it is never a pleasure to work with. As if they're continually trying to gyp you out of something, waiting for a mistake, or letting your guard down, or having a failed backup, then WHAM! You gotta pay to get out of trouble. Fie on them all!.Sail on, Larry!

about a year ago

Oracle Sues Companies It Says Provide Solaris OS Support In Illegal Manner

abirdman Re:Oracle claims the defendants are distrib new ve (154 comments)

No, the fees are high because it costs a lot to keep Larry Ellison in jets and new Pacific islands. Oracle is a rapacious, money-gobbling machine of a company. Every upgrade, bug fix, OS update, dev or test server costs large money. If you run the database on a VM (besides the one Oracle owns), you have to license for every processor on the VM server, even if your DB only uses one core. They send actual auditors to your site to check your license compliance. They like to "partner" with their customers, such that the more money you make, the more you pay Oracle corporation-- like privatizing taxes.

Their sales force speaks a strange language. I dare you to find out what a copy of Weblogic (oh wait, I mean Fusion Middleware), BI (oh, no that's Discoverer), and a database (errr... 11g? 12c?) will cost, or to come up with how many cores/ processors/ CPU's there are in your server, and which have to be licensed. It's basically gangster language. And once you acquire some Oracle products, you're locked in. Update a server? ka-ching! Operating system update? ka-ching. Upgrading Weblogic forced you into upgrading app server? ka-ching. Adding a service pack to your windows server? ka-ching. Windows update broke the 64 bit keys that your old copy of Enterprise Manager tries to load in the browser? ka-ching.

I like their stuff, but I very much hate their business model.

about a year ago

Ask Slashdot: Is Postgres On Par With Oracle?

abirdman Re:Does Postgres do online backup? (372 comments)

Watch out if you're running Oracle on VMware. Everything works fine except the Oracle licensing. Got a VMware server with 32 processors? If you run Oracle on a VM hosted by that server, then you have to license all 32 cores (we're in the six figures here), even if the specific VM is only using 2 cores!. And they audit your usage. The work around is you can license the Oracle VM software to avoid that problem.

The biggest innovations Oracle has made in the last 10-15 years is how many ways they can slide their tentacles into your wallet. They don't want customers, they want "partners." Their pricing model is "How much money do you expect to make/save by using our product? That's the price." One huge, but difficult-to-quantify, feature of PostgreSQL is the fact of not having to be "partnered" again and again by Larry Ellison.

about a year ago

WRT virtualization:

abirdman Re:iTunes (196 comments)

Waiting months between bootups means Adobe always has to update some software. And all the browsers need to be updated. Even Ubuntu 12.04LTS wants to do kernel updates. I allow automatic Win7 updates, and recently MS has been booting after installing updates, rather than tossing up a restart confirmation dialog box. This is rare, but annoying.

about a year ago

According To YouGov Poll, Snowden Support Declining Among Americans

abirdman Re:Weasely "interpretation" of Constitution (658 comments)

It's easy enough to agree with your sentiment, but I don't believe the US today resembles the USSR (before it was no longer). The problems with the US today are a direct result of the explosive growth of unfettered greed capitalism. Pervasive electronic eavesdropping isn't used to enhance "security" but to protect capital and IP, and more generally the economic interests of the elites. Security is just another industry for them, witness StRATFOR Security (or whatever their name is) who were so severely pwned by kid-hackers. They're not there to provide security (they clearly don't know anything about it), they're there because that's where the big checks come from.

The Soviet Union used horrible excesses in their attempt rectify centuries of gross economic inequality by trying to move economic power from the top to the bottom, and it was an utter, tragic failure. The private power structure of the US today is engaged in moving capital the other way-- to soak the lower and middle classes (until they're paupers) and move their assets back up to the top 400 families. What those venomous leaches want is for everyone to work at below minimum-wage jobs for their entire lives, always beholden to their employers (for both their paycheck and their health insurance), and for their communities to crumble to nothing-- cut off infrastructure, education, and relief and services for the poor. Detroit is, for the US elite, a success story. And they now own all three branches of the government, and even more importantly, they own the press.

It's fine to believe the excesses of the USSR are being repeated in the US, but it's misleading, and probably not useful to equate them. It just makes it harder to discern who the true enemy is.

about a year ago



Court case in music piracy case goes awry

abirdman abirdman writes  |  about 2 years ago

abirdman writes "In a music piracy case, the court previously held that $675,000 is too high a price for sharing 30 songs. Bad legal representation and some overreach on the part of the defendant brought on an adverse judgement and has landed the case back in district court with the same $675,000 fine, and fewer options."
Link to Original Source

Online gamers thwart XBox thief

abirdman abirdman writes  |  more than 6 years ago

abirdman writes "From NPR, this story (with a link to the audio)

A thief who stole an X-Box game player in Philadelphia got more than he bargained for when the rightful owner blogged about the theft. Gamers tracked the thief through the Internet and spammed him into submission. The X-Box was anonymously returned.



first posts on /.

abirdman abirdman writes  |  more than 11 years ago I posted three comments today, my first on /. and one got moderated to a 4-Insightful . Another got a two. I feel like I've matriculated. My son will be so honored to know me.

Now I've got to think of something else cool to say. That could take another fifty years.

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