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"Mammoth Snow Storm" Underwhelms

bwcbwc Re:jessh (394 comments)

The main thing NYC cares about is that the mayor gets the snow off the streets so things get back to normal ASAP. The main thing the 'burbs care about is not getting stuck driving/riding in a snow storm for several hours. Shutting down the city when there is a significant risk of a major snowstorm keeps both groups from being unhappy and keeps their chances of getting re-elected. This isn't about the nanny state, it's about the voting booth.

2 days ago
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"Mammoth Snow Storm" Underwhelms

bwcbwc Re:jessh (394 comments)

Ah. The Atlanta gambit. How cunning!

2 days ago
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"Mammoth Snow Storm" Underwhelms

bwcbwc Re:jessh (394 comments)

Not quite a prisoner's dilemma scenario, but similar. High reward, medium risk for shutting down. Low reward, high risk for not shutting down.

2 days ago
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For New Yorkers, Cablevision Introduces a Wi-Fi-Centric VoiP Network

bwcbwc Comcast hijacking home routers' wireless... (43 comments)

The whole controversy last year about Comcast offering public wi-fi using the routers they supply to their home customers suddenly makes a lot more sense. Normal wi-fi data usage from outside users in a residential area is not a widely used feature, but "cellular" wireless is much more common. I bet we'll see a similar service (similarly priced) from them shortly.

3 days ago
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Fake Engine Noise Is the Auto Industry's Dirty Little Secret

bwcbwc Re:Marching Morons (809 comments)

A harbinger in other ways, too. Much of the story centers on a group of technocrats and scientists struggling to keep society running in the face of the incompetence and stupidity in the general public. I'm sure a lot of climate scientists are feeling that vibe right now.

about a week ago
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Hands On With Microsoft's Holographic Goggles

bwcbwc Re:Definitely interested in this... (171 comments)

Granted this is just an interesting concept at the moment, however I think Microsoft may have something worthwhile here. The only thing is lacking (or missing rather) is a tactile interface - so that one could "feel" virtual objects.

I'll be paying attention to this, because I think this could be a game changer.

It's probably more than just a concept. They're marketing it like it will be out for holiday season 2015. It looks like they view this as the "killer app" for Windows 10. The closing of the ad shows both the Windows 10 and Microsoft logos in sequence.

I wonder how it'll play with an HP Sprout or a 3-D printer.

about a week ago
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LAPD Orders Body Cams That Will Start Recording When Police Use Tasers

bwcbwc Re:After the taser is used is too late.... (219 comments)

Better yet, tell everyone it's when the taser is fired, but activate it when the device is removed from holster/ pocket. It probably would only work once, but that once might be worth it.

about three weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Sounds We Don't Hear Any More?

bwcbwc Re:Steam Engines (790 comments)

Yeah Steam locos are really in the "rare, but not gone" category. Though I guess that applies to a lot of these sounds. Another rare, but not completely gone: the scrape of a phonograph needle across an LP.

about three weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Sounds We Don't Hear Any More?

bwcbwc Re:The whine of the flyback transformer (790 comments)

Well, we still get coil whine on many GPU's, so it's still around. Just not as noticeable.

about three weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Sounds We Don't Hear Any More?

bwcbwc Re:For that matter... phones. (790 comments)

Yeah, it's not just the ringer, but the pulsing sound of the rotary dial itself that's gone. Touch tones even on the analog phones.

about three weeks ago
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Minecraft Creator Notch's $70 Million Mansion Recreated In Minecraft

bwcbwc Re:I'd need another 10 million to make it fit. (170 comments)

Most places have an off switch for the fountains. It costs an extra $million, but these people can afford it. /jk, but you know what I mean. Sometimes you want to look at the view, and other times LA is covered in smog and the fountains look nice.

about a month ago
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Minecraft Creator Notch's $70 Million Mansion Recreated In Minecraft

bwcbwc Jay Z and Beyonce, eh? (170 comments)

I can just see them asking the seller "who the f--- is this Persson guy anyway?" OTOH, if they have kids of a certain age, they know.

about a month ago
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Google Sues Mississippi Attorney General For Conspiring With Movie Industry

bwcbwc Re:haha (114 comments)

Google is lobbying the AG's themselves, but they seem to be on the defensive. From Ars: http://arstechnica.com/tech-po...

Several weeks later, a meeting took place between Google executives and Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen. The same morning the meeting took place, MPAA's Perrelli was informed about it by two attorneys at the AG's office, who offered to send Google's presentation to Perrelli. Jepsen reached out to the MPAA, seeking demands that he could press against Google.

The article makes clear that many AG offices seem to be favoring the MPAA side, even after hearing from Google. I'd be really interested to see a survey of who's funding election campaigns for all state AGs in the country. Follow the money and see what shows up.

about a month ago
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Ask Slashdot: Convincing My Company To Stop Using Passwords?

bwcbwc Re:Every 30 days. (247 comments)

Maybe, as long as the sentence isn't a quotation from anything online or exceeds 50 characters or so. Dictionary attacks use entire phrases now, but they still don't go beyond a character limit that's fairly low compared to entire sentences.

Some additional password fuzzing techniques to consider.
- Putting nums or special characters between syllables in words, not just between the words.
- Using multiple specials/nums between each word.
- Strange uses of spaces and punctuation.
- There are 2 additional ways to encode alpha characters as numbers besides 1337-speak. Use alternate means.
- use puns or homophones to make your phrase less likely to match a dictionary.

As far as the OP, there are some things that your company can do to improve security without completely abandoning the passwords. They may find some of these more palatable:
- Instead of sending new password direct to user, send an access code to the user's manager. User has to request the access code from the manager, then use the code to login to the site that gives them their temporary password. This has the additional advantage of bringing to manager's attention which employees are particularly bad at remembering their passwords, and who probably need more attention to assure they don't have any sticky note reminders on their desktop.
- Rather than use full 2-factor authentication, just enable a standard password locker software to install on each employee's computer and give them a flash drive to host their password file. This is a lot cheaper than buying customized smart cards or key dongles, and is significantly more secure than what you have now, especially if they use the random PW generators that most lockers make available.

about 2 months ago
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Consumer-Grade SSDs Survive Two Petabytes of Writes

bwcbwc Re:HDD endurance? (125 comments)

I wouldn't use 1 PB as the benchmark. Only half of the drives in the sample made it that long. but 3 TB per year means 33 years to even reach 100 TB. It's pretty likely your entire computer will be obsolete by then, even if Moore's law bottoms out in the next decade or so.

about 2 months ago
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Breath Test For Pot Being Developed At WSU

bwcbwc Re:is it really bad in the first place? (342 comments)

Speaking of using misleading statements, you should make clear that NIH article states that THC does impair, although with the disclaimer that pot smokers tend to be able to compensate for their impairment:

"Detrimental effects of cannabis use vary in a dose-related fashion, and are more pronounced with highly automatic driving functions than with more complex tasks that require conscious control, whereas with alcohol produces an opposite pattern of impairment. Because of both this and an increased awareness that they are impaired, marijuana smokers tend to compensate effectively while driving by utilizing a variety of behavioral strategies. "

This bears out some of the anecdotal evidence from LEOs in the thread above.

about 2 months ago
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Breath Test For Pot Being Developed At WSU

bwcbwc Re:is it really bad in the first place? (342 comments)

For a very drunk person a curve in the road or a traffic light turning yellow constitutes "something unusual" occurring. Weaving in and out of lane or running a light is a pretty sure indicator and will get you pulled over by any cop that sees you. The breath test is really just the extra bit of "scientific" evidence to back-up the officer's initial probable cause. Or another way of looking at it, the DWI charge is just an enhancement of the actual crime of failing to maintain a lane or running a red light.

Of course, when they set up sobriety checkpoints and they stop you without probable cause, they also catch the folks who aren't particularly impaired but have have alcohol on their breath and fall above the magic 0.10 or 0.08 blood alcohol threshold.

The thing is that alcohol is proven to impair most people's driving, in many cases severely - to the point where it's worth catching them before they drive erratically and risk other peoples' safety. You can argue whether 0.08 BAP is too low, but there should be some threshold. For pot, the evidence is less clear. The THC threshold in Washington's law is most likely a political bone thrown to conservatives who abhor the idea of legalization in the first place.

about 2 months ago
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Breath Test For Pot Being Developed At WSU

bwcbwc Re:is it really bad in the first place? (342 comments)

Yeah, there's just as much risk from outside distractions as from the driver's innate reaction time. As others have stated, the big risk from drunks is that they tend to misjudge their abilities (so incompetent they don't realize they're incompetent) and fail to adjust to their impaired condition.

about 2 months ago

Submissions

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Ricardo Montalban dies in LA

bwcbwc bwcbwc writes  |  about 6 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'."
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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."
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FL Universities pay big $$ to block file sharing

bwcbwc bwcbwc writes  |  more than 7 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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