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Comments

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The Classic Control Panel In Windows May Be Gone

bwcbwc Re:Please Microsoft... (345 comments)

This.

IT isn't "overhead", it's what keeps modern businesses running. If an IT dept. is being treated as overhead or janitors, that means that business is just treading water on existing tech and is failing to take advantage of new capabilities. If you're in IT and being treated like a janitor, you probably don't want to invest in the company stock plan.

OTOH, I've also run into some IT departments where the development teams think they are gods and treat the test teams and operations teams with the same condescension that comes from PHBs. "Teamwork" is such an inane term, but if you don't treat your co-workers with respect (at least outside of your inner thoughts) it has an erosive effect on your company's success. This applies both to the IT user who f-s up their computer AND to the guy who has to deal with that user both to fix the immediate issue and (with luck) educate the user just enough to prevent future disasters.

2 days ago
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The Classic Control Panel In Windows May Be Gone

bwcbwc Re:Please Microsoft... (345 comments)

...says the junior PFK under the BOFH's tutelage.

2 days ago
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The Classic Control Panel In Windows May Be Gone

bwcbwc Re:Please Microsoft... (345 comments)

Yeah, if they reorganize the "PC Settings" into categories where we have to read the minds of the MS development team to figure out what category the applet runs under,it'll be another C-F. How many IT folks here _don't_ switch the current control panel to "Classic" view on Win Server 2003/2008 or Win7? Don't force folks into an extra layer of memorization to figure out how to get to the WIndows Services dialog, etc.

2 days ago
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NSA CTO Patrick Dowd Moonlighting For Private Security Firm

bwcbwc Re:Conflict of interest is just what they do (83 comments)

Actually, if this is truly a private company, he's in clear violation of Federal anti-corruption laws. At least that's what they keep hammering at us in the corporate "pin the liability on the employee" training.

From my POV the more likely explanation is that "private" security firm is an NSA front. I doubt this company would get much business outside the US, with so many NSA ties already known. So my guess is that they use it to funnel NSA technologies and data to other government agencies that can't obtain them (legally) by other means..

about a week ago
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Ask Slashdot: Handling Patented IP In a Job Interview?

bwcbwc Re:Are you patenting software? (224 comments)

If he's already got the patent, publishing after the fact doesn't matter at all. And there's a certain grace period if you publish and then file the patent (1 year?). Publication by another party prior to his/her patent filing would invalidate the patent.

about a week ago
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Ask Slashdot: Handling Patented IP In a Job Interview?

bwcbwc Re:Are you patenting software? (224 comments)

A "Process" is slightly more concrete than an algorithm. An algorithm is pure computer science without the context of a use case. Software patents on a general purpose computer are too close to algorithms because a general purpose computer is a tool designed to convert any algorithm into a process for use in a particular domain. So once an algorithm is described, putting it on a computer is too "obvious" under patent law.

A patentable process was originally a physical process, frequently an industrial process.This was then expanded to include business processes ( 1997?). Software patents snuck in under the business process domain as more and more business processes were computerized.

about a week ago
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Can the Sun Realistically Power Datacenters?

bwcbwc Parking lots (237 comments)

Regardless of the power output, covering parking lots with solar panels at about a 70-80% coverage rate is a win-win. Provide weather coverage and shade for the parking lot patrons, harvests energy that would otherwise heat the asphalt. and the incomplete coverage allows enough light through to avoid the need for artificial lighting during daylight.

about two weeks ago
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Independent Researchers Test Rossi's Alleged Cold Fusion Device For 32 Days

bwcbwc Re:Hoax (986 comments)

Plus, once you are able to prove the type of fraud/abuse described, it would be easy to get the contracts thrown out as invalid and regain control over the powerplant. OTOH, if this occurred several years ago, you're probably too late.

about two weeks ago
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Independent Researchers Test Rossi's Alleged Cold Fusion Device For 32 Days

bwcbwc Re:Hoax (986 comments)

Yeah, this is the biggest fly in the ointment for me. He obviously has some investors to produce the devices that are being tested. If the investors were legit and not in on the scam, the best way for them to recoup their investment would be to fund building around 100 of the devices and actually put them to commercial use at a rate that undercuts electricity costs in Italy by a significant amount (say 20%).

There's a small possibility that he doesn't have enough investors/funding to pull this off, but I'm an engineer. If the device can't be produced and sold at a reasonable price, it isn't commercially feasible -- even if it turns out his device can make energy.

about two weeks ago
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Independent Researchers Test Rossi's Alleged Cold Fusion Device For 32 Days

bwcbwc Re:Einstein's Nobel was for Photo-electric effect (986 comments)

Finally, someone either knew it or bothered to look it up. The work on the photoelectric effect was what paved the way for e=mc^2, quantum theory and (less directly) most of the other stuff in modern physics. The photoelectric effect was unexplainable by Maxwell's equations because the relationships between the energy and frequency of the impinging light and the energy and quantity of electrons emitted didn't match what was predicted under Maxwell's laws. This was because Maxwell's formulas had no concept of the quantum energy states for electrons in an atom (or atomic matrix).

about two weeks ago
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Why the Trolls Will Always Win

bwcbwc Re:TFA isn't about trolls (728 comments)

Technically, libel and slander are grounds for a civil suit, not criminal. Death threats and impersonation/identity theft are criminal but can be pursued civilly as well. Victims need to start lawyering up and getting rulings that bankrupt the trolls, and put them under restraining orders for their internet activity. If they persist put them under court orders barring them from accessing the internet, and throw them in jail for criminal contempt if they violate the court orders.

The standard of proof for civil suits is significantly lower than beyond a reasonable doubt, so the main barrier is getting internet sites and ISPs to release information that can identify the anonymous offenders.

And once again, this is not a feminist issue. Doxxing an SWATting are rampant against males as well. From Wikipedia:
* In the past, there have been swatting incidents at the homes of Ashton Kutcher, Tom Cruise, Chris Brown, Miley Cyrus, Justin Bieber and Clint Eastwood.

Brian Krebs has suffered various harassments for several years now, as documented here: https://krebsonsecurity.com/20...

Basically once you reach a certain level of fame or notoriety on the internet, you are likely to piss off someone who thinks it's fun to engage in these kinds of activities.

about two weeks ago
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Why the Trolls Will Always Win

bwcbwc Re:More feminist bullshit (728 comments)

Did you even read the main story. It cites the SWATting of Chris Kootra, who is a male gamer. Regardless of whether you think that women suffer disproportionately from this kind of crap, the trolls are out of control.

about two weeks ago
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Glut of Postdoc Researchers Stirs Quiet Crisis In Science

bwcbwc Re:Reminiscent of Britain's brain drain in the 50' (283 comments)

and ironically enough we still have plenty of Chinese graduate students and post-doc researchers attending schools in the US. If the post-doc situation is so dire, ship 'em back.

about two weeks ago
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Glut of Postdoc Researchers Stirs Quiet Crisis In Science

bwcbwc Re:I'm confused, shortage or glut (283 comments)

That depends on how you define the labor market for these jobs. Until salaries rise in India, China, etc. get close enough to US levels, the cost of local US labor will be higher than the average price in the global market.

I'm not saying that protectionist immigration policies are a bad thing (I'd be pretty poor without it), but in a true free market there wouldn't be any immigration caps and wages would have equalized long ago. Right now the immigration policies for tech workers seem to (try to) run a fine line between pulling enough workers out of BRIC to increase labor costs there without causing US salaries to free-fall.

about two weeks ago
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The Executive Order That Redefines Data Collection

bwcbwc Re:No collection happens until examination (126 comments)

...and if you conspire to commit a felony, it isn't a conspiracy until the felony is actually committed?

about three weeks ago
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Google's Doubleclick Ad Servers Exposed Millions of Computers To Malware

bwcbwc Re:And there's the reason why... (226 comments)

Yeah, if all the ads were limited to an image, maybe some text and clickable links, it would make everybody happy except the most hard-core advertisers looking for the next big thing and the poor slobs who actually click on the ads.

about a month ago
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Google's Doubleclick Ad Servers Exposed Millions of Computers To Malware

bwcbwc Re:And they wonder why I block ads... (226 comments)

Also of note, zedo.com shows up in NoScript as a site that has javascript awaiting permissions on the /. home page.

about a month ago
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Report: Microsoft To Buy Minecraft Studio For $2bn+

bwcbwc Re:Billionaire and no he doesn't need the money (368 comments)

Yeah, just on off-the-cuff calculations, say 30 million copies across all platforms,could be as high as 40 M, but PC is only 16-17 M. I'm not sure what cut Mojang gets from the non-PC versions after you take out the development costs and Xbox/PS platform royalties, but let's say that Mojang grossed about $20 per copy overall. This includes he alpha and beta sales that were for under $20 averaged with the higher costs now.

This comes out to $600-$800 M before taxes, so after you factor in Minecraft Realms monthly fees and any income from Scrolls, you're probably somewhere around $1B in sales. I'm pretty sure there are more than 2 employees with equity in the company, and when you factor in Swedish income taxes, Notch is clearly not a billionaire in dollars.

It's worth $2B to Microsoft, because they can milk the Minecraft cow for at least that much by merchandising paraphenalia and movies, Minecraft Realms is also an ongoing cashflow. Oh, and I bet they institute a monthly fee for Minecraft Server.

Apart from the money, I think Notch is really selling because he's sick of the BS of running a company: Bethesda suing them over scrolls, parents suing them over exploitative MC servers....etc.

about a month and a half ago
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Silicon Valley Fights Order To Pay Bigger Settlement In Tech Talent Hiring Case

bwcbwc Re:HP? (200 comments)

I was wondering the same thing. AFAIK, HP isn't even involved in the case, so it borders on libel to link their logo with this story.

about a month and a half ago
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DMCA Claim Over GPL Non-Compliance Shuts Off Minecraft Plug-Ins

bwcbwc Re: What the heck? (354 comments)

So they're blackmailing Mojang...

Bad move when Mojang is finally making progress on their own Mod API.

The other way to make this legal is to change the license on Bukkit/CraftBukkit to something more liberal. They won't be able to do this retroactively, so someone may decide to pursue this idiocy on a back-level GPL-based fork, but at least the main project could legally license under CC by-sa, BSD, Apache or possibly even LGPL.

about a month and a half ago

Submissions

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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'."
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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 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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