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Google Sues Mississippi Attorney General For Conspiring With Movie Industry

bwcbwc Re:haha (113 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.

2 days 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 two weeks 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 two weeks 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 three weeks 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 three weeks 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 three weeks 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, playing is a matter of performing a known task. No reaction time required because you can plan your moves ahead.

The danger in driving is that you have to react to the unexpected. Anything that slows your reaction time down or delays the start of the reaction, whether you're drunk, texting or just looking in the rear-view mirror, is a risk. I don't know the evidence for measurement of reaction times when high or stoned, so I won't comment on the reasonableness of the law.

about three weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: How To Unblock Email From My Comcast-Hosted Server?

bwcbwc Re:Same issue... just relayed all outgoing mail (405 comments)

OTOH, Comcast business class accounts use Outlook/Exchange, so maybe you just need to point to their Exchange servers instead.

about a month ago
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Ask Slashdot: How To Unblock Email From My Comcast-Hosted Server?

bwcbwc Re:Same issue... just relayed all outgoing mail (405 comments)

Comcast provides DNS registry service for their business customers, so their mail relays damn well better support mail coming from a domain that they registered (or at least acted as the middle-man for a real registrar).

about a month ago
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A Library For Survival Knowledge

bwcbwc Re:100 year old survival knowledge in PDF files??? (272 comments)

A lot of assumptions in both of these models. And climate change is only one failure mode of civilization that could be applicable here.
1) Global Thermonuclear War
2) Global Pandemic
3) extinction event (meteor/volcanic eruption)
4) mass civil uprisings from the 99%

This type of device _would_ be viable for specific locations where survival becomes an issue - say refugee camps or other civilian groups in war zones/famine zones, etc.

about 2 months ago
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A Library For Survival Knowledge

bwcbwc Re:100 year old survival knowledge in PDF files??? (272 comments)

You're assuming that an apocalyptic event would take hundreds (or at least dozens) of years before people were able to figure out how to turn these things on. There are plenty of plausible situations where the infrastructure of civilization is gone, but the relics could still work - given enough power (massive global "super-Ebola" outbreak, for example).

OTOH, you don't want to have to spend a lot of time post-apocalypse maintaining one of these. The necessity of scrounging for acid-free paper or building and maintaining a lead-acid battery and generating infrastructure make this more of a tool for groups who already have power and/or paper available for other needs.

about 2 months ago
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Law Lets IRS Seize Accounts On Suspicion, No Crime Required

bwcbwc Re:Time for a revolution (424 comments)

Trusting in Bitcoin to avoid civil forfeiture is like trusting in TOR to avoid NSA or FBI surveillance. It's necessary but not sufficient by itself. The same kind of network analysis that the NSA does from telecom and ISP metadata can be done with transfers between Bitcoin wallets and location-based data between the computers handling the transfer.

about 2 months ago
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The Classic Control Panel In Windows May Be Gone

bwcbwc Re:Please Microsoft... (347 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.

about 2 months ago
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The Classic Control Panel In Windows May Be Gone

bwcbwc Re:Please Microsoft... (347 comments)

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

about 2 months ago
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The Classic Control Panel In Windows May Be Gone

bwcbwc Re:Please Microsoft... (347 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.

about 2 months 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 2 months 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 2 months 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  |  about 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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