Slashdot: News for Nerds


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Amazon Dispute Now Making Movies Harder To Order

bwcbwc Re:Barnes and Nobles still lets you preorder (210 comments)

Walmart used to do (and probably still does) this to their suppliers. The only difference is the consumer never knew their was a coercive price negotiation going on because the product simply never appeared on store shelves, and usually there was a substitute from another vendor.

about a month and a half ago

Misogyny, Entitlement, and Nerds

bwcbwc Chu's certainly up on his current events... (1198 comments)

but his history is pretty weak. Up until the rise of the internet in the '90s (or possibly the "Weird Science"/"Revenge of the Nerds" era in the 1980s), nerds/geeks/otaku were right up there with gays, women and ethnic/religious minorities for being bullied, harassed and abused by the crueler edges of the mainstream. And this kind of harassment still goes on in certain areas/communities - try being a geek in a gang-ridden slum sometime.

That certainly doesn't justify a nerd perpetuating the cycle of abuse onto women or any of the other groups. But it does mean that there are better ways to engage the "nerd community" than by claiming that they aren't the subjects of abuse themselves.

about 2 months ago

Ask Slashdot: System Administrator Vs Change Advisory Board

bwcbwc What went wrong before? (294 comments)

In my experience a CAB usually gets introduced in a small organization if something really got screwed up under the old process. There are exceptions - you could get a CTO who is gung-ho for ITIL, or you may have a new, important customer who insists on "process". But a CAB is an attempt to manage change and prevent problems in the working environment. So unless you have a better solution that will prevent negative impacts from your change process, go do the paperwork, with special attention to any risks or issues associated with the change (extended maintenance window, complex install or backout process, partial or incomplete fixes that still leave issues open). You can probably half-ass the CAB and get your work done almost like the old days, but when the next failed change occurs and they find out you hid risks or didn't do proper research, your ass could be out the door.

OTOH, if you really hate bureaucracy that much, hauling your ass out the door could be your best option - as long as you have a different career in mind besides sysadmin.

about 3 months ago

Survey: 56 Percent of US Developers Expect To Become Millionaires

bwcbwc Re:Being a Millionaire (467 comments)

What I get for not scrolling down before posting. Being a millionaire ain't what it used to be: it's definitely middle class now.

about 3 months ago

Survey: 56 Percent of US Developers Expect To Become Millionaires

bwcbwc Headline is silly... (467 comments)

If you earn $80k+ a year, you need to be a double millionaire just in retirement savings to maintain your income when you retire. I guess this means 44% of developers don't expect to retire at age 65?

about 3 months ago

IRS Can Now Seize Your Tax Refund To Pay a Relative's Debt

bwcbwc Inheritance... (632 comments)

This isn't just randomly going after relatives to pay a debt. The chain is
1) person A (allegedly) receives an overpayment
2) person A dies. The overpayment is a liability of the estate of person A.
3) Persons B and C inherit from person A. If no reserve is left in the estate, the IRS will come after the heirs for recovery.

about 3 months ago

Inside NSA's Efforts To Hunt Sysadmins

bwcbwc I love the irony of this... (147 comments)

While NSA was hunting sysadmins, they were being pwned by...a sysadmin!

Yet another example of how NSA is too focused on offensive network capabilities (breaking into target systems) and doesn't pay enough attention to defense (strong crypto, open security models, etc.)

about 4 months ago

Ukraine May Have To Rearm With Nuclear Weapons Says Ukrainian MP

bwcbwc All in all, this will probably go one of two ways. (498 comments)

1) Rollback Ukraine to previous "territorial integrity", possibly with some bargaining over the structure of a new government.
2) Russia annexes Crimea after their puppets declare independence and the remainder of Ukraine joins EU (and possibly NATO), starting a new cold war. Ukraine gets screwed over in this case because they don't really have any guarantee that NATO would back them up any more than the current coalition fails to.

about 5 months ago

Google Won't Enable Chrome Video Acceleration Because of Linux GPU Bugs

bwcbwc Conspiracy Theory (295 comments)

This is all part of a cunning plan to have Android and/or Chromium enter the desktop/laptop market. Start by denigrating your target.

about 5 months ago

Ask Slashdot: Automatically Logging Non-Computerized Equipment Use?

bwcbwc Re:yes RFID (130 comments)

As an add-on to this, could you put covers on the control panels that only unlock after an RFID or badge swipe? That would help confirm use of a particular piece of equipment.

How many concurrent users do you typically get in the common room? If there are a lot of people that hang out waiting for equipment, or kibitzing, RFID would be less effective. But in that case, you would have witnesses as to who did a particular f-up. So I suspect you're dealing with small numbers of people in the room at any given time. This would make RFID more effective.

about 5 months ago

Woman Attacked In San Francisco Bar For Wearing Google Glass

bwcbwc Re:No, not those who don't understand... (921 comments)

To further elucidate:

" Given that much more hidden spy cameras are available for far less than the $1500 cost of Glass, what will it take for general acceptance to finally take hold?"

- This presupposes that general acceptance of Google glass is a desirable outcome.

about 5 months ago

HTML5 App For Panasonic TVs Rejected - JQuery Is a "Hack"

bwcbwc Re:oh look, an actual tech related "ask slashdot". (573 comments)

In that case, the time he's wasting trying to justify jQuery to the app reviewer should be taken into consideration. If he's going to lose 10 hours in multiple email exchanges trying to get them to accept it, he'd have been better off coding manually and testing the hell out of it.

about 6 months ago

HP To Charge For Service Packs and Firmware For Out-of-Warranty Customers

bwcbwc The real reason they're doing it... (385 comments)

HP wrote: “This type of support provider may appeal to budget-conscious procurement managers, but the support doesn’t match the breadth and depth of HP’s support expertise or global parts supply chain nor does it give our sales reps and partners the added loyalty that comes from an ongoing relationship built over time between HP and the customer, an attribute which often goes unrecognized.”

So among other reasons, they want to squeeze out or get a cut from the non-partnered support providers who are freeloading off of HP HW patches and making money from their own customers. Customers without any support contract at all are getting caught in the cross-fire. Another issue is that customers who don't _need_ a full-service support deal, but do want access to patches and parts don't have that type of option available from HP.

All in all a pretty dumb move: Not much immediate financial gain, and loads of customer ill-will.

about 6 months ago

HP To Charge For Service Packs and Firmware For Out-of-Warranty Customers

bwcbwc Re:In which countries? (385 comments)

Except this seems to be a silicon valley bandwagon: IBM, Cisco and Sun/Oracle have similar paywalls for their HW/firmware patches.

Software patches still seem to be wide open in most cases.

about 6 months ago

HP To Charge For Service Packs and Firmware For Out-of-Warranty Customers

bwcbwc Re:Who, now? (385 comments)

This only applies to enterprise HW. There's no sign this applies to home/small business customers. At least not yet.

about 6 months ago

HP To Charge For Service Packs and Firmware For Out-of-Warranty Customers

bwcbwc If I were an HP enterprise customer... (385 comments)

I would demand a refund for any defect found in firmware/etc.

This is only going to lead to court cases where the defect report was filed during the warranty, but the fix comes out after warranty expiration.

about 6 months ago

Code Is Not Literature

bwcbwc Re:Similar language, describing different things (240 comments)

Correct. And just like laws- if regular people can't read what you have written, then likely you are doing it wrong.

Bad law is always overly complex. The more complex it is, the more likely somebody has introduced some ambiguity.

Bad code is also always overly complex. The more complex it is, the more likely it will take a week to do a job that should take an hour when maintaining it.

Another way the law is like code is that legacy code and legal systems both grow more complex over time as new "features" are added, bugs are fixed, etc.

For example, compare the commandment "Thou shalt not kill" with the exceptions and mitigations that have been added over time: self defense, soldiers in war, accident and so on. The law gets complex because simple laws don't cover all the possible extenuating circumstances.

Another reason the law gets complex is because criminals are always coming up with new scams, exploiting loopholes and using the law against each other as a weapon. It's a lot like fighting malware on the internet or new requirements being generated for a program after it is released.

about 6 months ago

Code Is Not Literature

bwcbwc Re:Music... (240 comments)

Actually, music has a couple of loop structures (D.C. al fine/D.S. al fine), and although they aren't traditionally interpreted to cause infinite loops or even n loops, there's no reason they couldn't be expanded upon.

about 6 months ago

Short Notice: LogMeIn To Discontinue Free Access

bwcbwc Re:It's a plus. (408 comments)

Not banning it, just making it less attractive from an economic perspective. I agree with GP that the "Windows 7 support" scam is probably the primary target of this. A better approach would probably be to limit free accounts to connect to a single IP address and that IP address can only be changed to a new address for a fee. That way the scammers have to pay to redirect the service to their victims, while legit users can still access their home network for free.

about 6 months ago



Ricardo Montalban dies in LA

bwcbwc bwcbwc writes  |  more than 5 years ago

bwcbwc (601780) writes "Ricardo Montalban has died in Los Angeles at age 88. Known to Star Trek fans as the villainous Kahn, as well as Mr. Roarke on TV's Fantasy Island, Montalban brought a touch of class to automotive ads as he extolled the virtues of 'Corinthian Leather'."

Securing Home Routers

bwcbwc bwcbwc writes  |  more than 6 years ago

bwcbwc (601780) writes "My home network is going to expand shortly as I upgrade my DSL modem to DSL/2 (possibly with an integrated router), and (finally) add wireless (802.11g since that's still at least twice as fast as the DSL port, and if I use 802.11n half the neighborhood will be able to scan my SSID).

While I've seen plenty of articles on the net about securing your wireless connections on the LAN side, and a few articles about hacking your router's firmware, I've never seen any deep articles about securing your router's internals from attacks from the WAN side. The only consistent recommendations in this area seem to be "make sure your firmware is up to date" and "change your admin password". Consumer-level stuff, not Slashdot-quality (is that an oxymoron?). This is fine if your router vendor maintains the firmware in the face of new attack vectors, but when the latest update for your router model dates back to 2004, it makes you wonder.

So my questions (maybe too many):
1) Which home routers (priced under US $100) or DSL Modem/Router combos (under $150) are the most secure? Which vendors seem to provide the best ongoing support for security and other programming issues?

2) What configuration options and mods can I make in the router settings to enhance my security. Changing the passwords, turning off uPNP and WAN ping seem pretty obvious, but are there any other good ones?

3) I know some/most routers are basically Linux boxes. Which routers are easiest to mod from a sysadmin's perspective? Is there a trade-off between LAN-side configurability and WAN-side security?

4) If I have 2 routers (one wireless+wired, one wired only), I have to plug one of them into the other. From a security perspective, is there a preference as to which router should be connected directly to the internet and which one should plug into the other? If the outer most router is compromised, it can become a man-in-the-middle against the inner network. On the other hand, if the inner router is compromised, it is already part of the outer router's internal subnet."

FL Universities pay big $$ to block file sharing

bwcbwc bwcbwc writes  |  more than 6 years ago

bwcbwc (601780) writes "The Palm Beach Post is reporting that Florida Universities are paying big bucks for software to block peer-to-peer file sharing networks. Florida Atlantic University paid US $500,000 plus annual maintenance of $50,000 for software that isn't even configurable to allow legal peer-to-peer networks. The University of South Florida seems to be getting a better deal at $75,000 initial purchase with annual maintenance in the same range. Their software is at least configurable, so their students will still be able to download those Knoppix DVD images. Sounds like another opportunity to PROFIT!!! (Fair warning to those with high blood pressure: the article has a decidedly pro-RIAA slant. Reading it may be hazardous to your health.)"


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