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This 1981 BYTE Magazine Cover Explains Why We're So Bad At Tech Predictions

carlhaagen *Sigh* the cover was symbolic art (273 comments)

The cover art was delivering the message of the "wrist-worn/hand-held computer". It was neither joke nor prediction; it was symbolism.

2 days ago
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Interview: Ask Theo de Raadt What You Will

carlhaagen Re:Smoother Chroot and Sftponly integ into OpenSSH (290 comments)

Small explanation: what happens is that when the SSHd matches the user's login group successfully, it forcefully switches over to the internal sftp component instead of the default external subsystem, which in turn makes it possible to chroot the user to his/her home dir without having to place a plethora of system files in each user's home directory.

about a month and a half ago
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Interview: Ask Theo de Raadt What You Will

carlhaagen Re:Talk to the hardware vendors (290 comments)

Proper support for power-saving clients comes down to buffering outgoing packets until the client asks the AP for them, rather then instantly sending them to the client which may or may not be asleep at that point. This is not a driver firmware issue, it's a fundamental stack problem and lies entirely in the hands of the OpenBSD developers.

about a month and a half ago
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Interview: Ask Theo de Raadt What You Will

carlhaagen Re:Smoother Chroot and Sftponly integ into OpenSSH (290 comments)

There is no need for third-party tools for what you want to achieve. While the solution is a bit ungainly, all of it is already supported by OpenSSH and its sftp subsystem. This is how I configured things on my system:

First off, add a group that you call f.e. "sftponly". New users that are to be allowed only sftp access should have "sftponly" as their login group, and have /sbin/nologin as shell to deny them shell access. Their home directories should be owned by root:sftponly, and within the home dir you then create relevant user-controllable directories which should be owned by :sftponly.

Secondly, the sshd_config magic that makes the whole charade work:

Subsystem sftp /usr/libexec/sftp-server
Match Group sftponly
ForceCommand internal-sftp
ChrootDirectory %h

about a month and a half ago
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Interview: Ask Theo de Raadt What You Will

carlhaagen OpenBSD and Wi-Fi (290 comments)

I've been using OpenBSD as my wireless home router, server and development platform since 2005, and can from 9 years of experience safely say that the current state of OpenBSD's Wi-Fi drivers and 802.11 stack is troubling. On one hand, most chipsets out there have rudimentary driver support in OpenBSD, including WPA2 and CCMP facilities. On the other hand, the 802.11 stack still lacks 11n support (minor problem) but what's much worse is that while only two of the drivers - ral(4) and athn(4) - state that they can handle power-saving clients when running in HostAP mode, none of them actually do it properly. None of the support ral(4) chipsets can handle power-saving clients despite what the ral(4) man page claims, and while athn(4) works slightly better it's still flaky with unreliable results, no matter what wireless chipset the client uses. The effect is that OpenBSD is useless as a wireless access point without having the clients pull one of several tricks available to avoid them from entering power-saving mode, as have been posted and explained by troubled users on the OBSD mailing lists regularly over the years.

I understand that Wi-Fi portions of OpenBSD aren't exactly prioritized, but are these issues even on the roadmap?

about a month and a half ago
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The Next Keurig Will Make Your Coffee With a Dash of "DRM"

carlhaagen Re:Why? (769 comments)

It's about the cost, not the coffee or the effort. High price tags attract people who suffer the "spender syndrome" - dishing out a lot of money on something even plain or generic gives these people a feeling of being above the average, being set aside from the rest of us, of enjoying something that is "exclusive" only to their kind.

It's like when you find the exact same piece of generic furniture sold at (but not designed by) IKEA in some upstreet furniture shop - IKEA would call it "ROBUST" (or whatever) and sell it for $89, while the other "boutique" will call it "Multimedia bench in Nordic pinewood" at thrice the pricetag. People with money will buy it, and they will feel like they did a better deal than paying $89 at IKEA. It's one of the oldest tricks in the book of retail.

about a month and a half ago
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Apple Drops Snow Leopard Security Updates, Doesn't Tell Anyone

carlhaagen Re:Is Snow Leopard vulnerable? (241 comments)

Correct, it's "only" in OS X 10.9 and the latest iOS - OS X 10.8.5 and earlier are unaffected.

about 1 month ago
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WV Senator Calls For Ban On All Unregulated Cryptocurrencies

carlhaagen Re:Can anyone say money laundering? (240 comments)

You're suffering a fundamental misunderstanding of the Bitcoin protocol. The entire currency as it stands at any point in time is contained within the blockchain. Every single minting of a coinbase, and every single transaction ever made; from where, to where, at what point, how much etc. Also, AML already demands exchanges to able to supply identification for each account that ever does a BTCfiat exchange.

about 1 month ago
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WV Senator Calls For Ban On All Unregulated Cryptocurrencies

carlhaagen Gee, color me surprised (240 comments)

A banking goon wants cryptographic currency - a technological currency the banks cannot gain any control of - to be banned. How about that. What's next? A system for banning competition in business?

about 1 month ago
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Slashdot Asks: Do You Label Your Tech Gear, and If So, How?

carlhaagen What difference would a label do? (250 comments)

Someone obviously picked it up and decided NOT to bring it to the reception or Lost And Found. How would a label on the item matter? How were you thinking when you wrote this up, Tim?

about 2 months ago
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Tesla Model S Caught Fire While Parked and Unplugged

carlhaagen Was it the car at all? (329 comments)

With the fire not originating in anything connected to its electrical system, why are they assuming that the fire originated in/from the car at all? It sounds highly unlikely, and more like vacuous sensationalism.

about 2 months ago
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Germany's Renewable Plan Faces Popular Resistance

carlhaagen Re:How much is this going to cost? (176 comments)

The argument isn't over power lines, it's over house owners on the countryside not wanting their scenery ruined.

about 2 months ago
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Germany's Renewable Plan Faces Popular Resistance

carlhaagen Do what the Swedes do (176 comments)

Dig the power lines down instead of hanging them on pylons. In addition to pandering towards the senses of complaining house owners, it also solves the problem of critical outtages during storm seasons, which is why the Swedes are in the middle of dismantling pylons and moving their grid under the surface.

about 2 months ago
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Best skywatching equipment at my disposal:

carlhaagen I'm no "star watcher", but... (201 comments)

...I have a 500mm mirror reflex lens, and a 2x tele-converter, which together makes a decent scope for my camera.

about 3 months ago
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Phil Zimmerman Launching Secure "Blackphone"

carlhaagen I couldn't help to notice that... (156 comments)

...their "The team" page doesn't mention a single software or hardware developer involved in creating the phone. Why aren't they worth to be on display along with the CEOs and whatnot?

about 3 months ago
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Many Mac OS Users Not Getting Security Updates

carlhaagen Re:Exactly why I stopped buying Apple (380 comments)

Troll detected. But just in case... iOS 4 does actually run on the 3G, and Mavericks runs on as hold hardware as the last normal MB models prior to the Pro notation, which I believe were released in 2007.

about 3 months ago
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Milestone: The Millionth UK-Made Raspberry Pi

carlhaagen Re:Good work guys. (129 comments)

"There are still lots of haters, talking about how there are better “alternatives” out there (alternatives usually being 3 or 4 times the cost, impossible to get, or apples to oranges)."

The MK808B, just to name one example out of many, isn't 3 or 4 times the cost, nor is it impossible to purchase. At $45 including shipping It's less than twice the cost. But why are people who widen their horizons, or require more computational/graphical power "haters"? That sounds pretty damned narrow-minded.

about 6 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Best Open Source Project For a Router/Wi-Fi Access Point?

carlhaagen Re:OpenBSD - compact base + up to date PF! (193 comments)

The "only" problem - and not really a little one - with OpenBSD for the specific purpose of acting as a wireless access point is that the state of its 802.11 drivers and stack is far from desirable.

First and foremost, there are currently only two WiFi chipsets worth looking at in the case of being used in "Host AP" mode on OpenBSD, and both of them have problems: the athn(4) driver for the Atheros family of chipsets is the only 802.11 driver in OpenBSD that supports powersaving clients when in Host AP mode - and believe me, this is very important for the routers' quality of service - but it suffers some as-of-yet resolved problem causing a notable amount of transmission errors for UDP traffic (no problems with TCP traffic, though). The ral(4) driver supporting the Ralink family of chipsets DOES NOT support powersaving clients currently, and it's a major problem, but the ral(4) driver is otherwise perfect, and in my personal experience the Ralink chipsets have the absolutely best signal quality, lowest transmission latency and least problems with signal distortion of all WiFi hardware I've used.

Secondly, there is the smaller problem of OpenBSD's 802.11 stack not yet having 11n support. For most users, me included, this won't matter at all.

I've been using OpenBSD profesionally and personally at home for about 14 years now, of which the past 7 years it has seen use in mine and friends' homes as a home router, often with WiFi capabilities. The OS itself is excellent for this and I'm most pleased with it for this particular purpose, but the 802.11 drivers' current state is plain and simply underdeveloped.

My advice to the original poster, or anyone else who is considering OpenBSD for a WiFi router, is to go with a card supported by the ral(4) driver ( incomplete device list here: http://www.openbsd.org/cgi-bin/man.cgi?query=ral&apropos=0&sektion=0&manpath=OpenBSD+Current&arch=i386&format=html ), and try to live with the problems of lacking support for powersaving clients, or work around them by either disabling PSM on your clients if this is possible, or preventing the client devices' 802.11 chip from entering PSM. I've been using a ral(4) device for my OpenBSD router for a bit more than 5 years now, and, despite of its problems, it's for the moment definitely a better choice than an athn(4) device.

about 6 months ago
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Apple Unveils iPhone 5C, iPhone 5S

carlhaagen Re:Where's the led notification? (773 comments)

So you mean you actually check your phone during meetings, instead of keeping it in your pocket and not letting it steal your attention? Wow. And if you have to check the LED on the phone, can't you just let the phone lie on the table so you can see its display light up, or simply keep it in your pocket and let the vibration do its intended job?

about 7 months ago

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