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How Does Heartbleed Alter the 'Open Source Is Safer' Discussion?

chipschap Re:Even a bestselling novel can have a typo (526 comments)

Not saying that heartbleed wasn't / isn't a huge problem, but I think most analysts would agree that by far the biggest security problem is (collectively) bad corporate or bad individual security practices. I realize that heartbleed is not the same in that it is not within the control of the end user, but still, things like poor passwords, clicking on every email attachment, etc., are much bigger aggregate problems.


Ask Slashdot: How To Start With Linux In the Workplace?

chipschap Re:Themes... (450 comments)

" Everyone has to be hardcore willing to tinker, which means a lot of lost productivity."

That depends. If you do everything in your browser, and you were using Firefox before, you have little or no problem. I switched my wife from XP to Linux Mint with about five minutes of retraining under such circumstances. All she uses is the browser and her experience is better in that she likes to click on, well, everything, and the malware risk is much reduced.

Of course, I do the maintenance, but I did that before.

Now, if you're used to MS Office, photoshop, Exchange, etc. etc., I agree, it can be a much different story, at least for a while. But it all depends on willingness to learn something new and accept change.

Is the Linux learning curve more difficult than the Windows learning curve? If you start from scratch, will one be much harder than the other? There was a time when I would have said Linux was much harder but is that still true?

about a week ago

Windows 8.1 Update Released, With Improvements For Non-Touch Hardware

chipschap Re:It's a start (294 comments)

"If you're really old you can tell them stories about toggling in boot sequences or using punch cards"

I remember doing that stuff ... it was kind of fun in its own way. I guess I'm "really old" ... :)

about a week ago

Nate Silver's New Site Stirs Climate Controversy

chipschap Re:Origins of climate change? (335 comments)

This whole thing reminds me of riding on a bus way back in the days when the US actually was sending people to the moon. There was this lady, who was saying, "It just ain't right, sending all these people to the moon. It's messing everything up. Look how much it's been raining lately!" Can we PLEASE just do good science and let the science speak for itself?

about a month ago

Ask Slashdot: What Software Can You Not Live Without?

chipschap Re:You lost me at vim (531 comments)

Emacs and Vim are both terribly unproductive text editors. I've walked the walk and actually learned the cryptic keystrokes, but I still ended up with software that was just incredibly clunky to use. In the end I found myself very carefully thinking what control keys I must press next or I would otherwise mess up my text or end up in some wacky state in the editor.

After some experience (something more than three months and less than 20 years) the keystrokes come naturally, without much need to think about them.

about a month and a half ago

Scientists Study Permian Mass Extinction Event As Lesson For 21st Century

chipschap Re:Funny how fast things have went to panic mode (235 comments)

Funny how fast science can turn into outright doomsday panic when grant money is involved.

Grant money or Al Gore.

about 2 months ago

Routers Pose Biggest Security Threat To Home Networks

chipschap Re:dd-wrt?? (264 comments)

Hmm ... my carrier (Hawaiian Telcom) uses 192.168... addresses in the router portion of the DSL modem. Supposedly you control NAT by settings made in the admin panel. Fortunately though you can set it to pure passthrough mode and run it into my nice Tomato router.

about 2 months ago

Darker Arctic Boosting Global Warming

chipschap Re:BS junk science (378 comments)

"Continued efforts" means Al Gore continues to take your money.

That's the essence of the problem. People like Al Gore act like they are the "experts" and there are similar loonies on the other side of the question. Can't we just do unbiased scientific work and rely on that?

about 2 months ago

Darker Arctic Boosting Global Warming

chipschap Re:But??? (378 comments)

I'll put forth what I always do:

1. It would be nice if global climate change were to be debated not on the basis of politics (etc.) but on a rational, unbiased, scientific basis. If we would stick 100% to the science I think we would come to a sound conclusion in fairly short order. But factor in all the special interests (on all sides) and you get the current mess.

2. Having said that, I also think it is prudent to act as if climate change were real. This is in the Willilam James sense: if it's real, we dare not fail to act. If it isn't real, we still have acted in a manner that supports long-term sustainability (distant paraphrase of James' views about religion).

I am neither a "supporter" or "denier" by the way. Those labels represent the idea that there is room for widely-varying opinion on something that ought to be a matter of science.

about 2 months ago

Target's Data Breach Started With an HVAC Account

chipschap Is it really so bad? (232 comments)

I'm on Beta now, and while it's too much into "white space" and definitely far less practical, I don't see why all current discussions have to be spammed with complaints. At present I don't want to read /. in any form.

about 2 months ago

Target's Data Breach Started With an HVAC Account

chipschap Re:Network segmentation (232 comments)

My guess is because IT is not given control over security, not listened to and told to "just do it" when they try to point out the security problems during planning.

I was once the security advisor at a Large Place. A senior manager came to me and said, I want to forward all my email to Gmail so I can read it at home. (Much of it was sensitive stuff.) He said, "what do you advise?" I said, obviously, not to do it as it presented unacceptable risk, forwarding internal sensitive email to an external source beyond our control. He replied, "OK, I asked you the question, document that, will you? I can't help it if you gave the wrong answer" and he went ahead and set up forwarding. Actually, had someone set it up because he was clueless about how to do it.

about 2 months ago

Firefox 27 Released: TLS 1.2 Support, SPDY 3.1, SocialAPI Improvements

chipschap Re:Too late, switched to Chrome (167 comments)

I used Chrome for quite a while but just switched back to Firefox. Chrome restricts things like downloading media (especially from YouTube) and doesn't work correctly on some ecommerce sites that I use. Firefox isn't (subjectively) that much slower than Chrome any longer and clearly has the widest choice of add-ons.

about 2 months ago

It's Not Memory Loss - Older Minds May Just Be Fuller of Information

chipschap Re:when I was a kid (206 comments)

My parents were dumb when I was a kid, and now they show me how i might of been a bit less smarter than I thought I was. With age comes wisdom.

Reminds me of an old Rabbinic saying: Wisdom comes to us when we are too old to use it.

about 3 months ago

Federal Agency Data-Mining Hundreds of Millions of Credit Card Accounts

chipschap Re:I'm somewhat disturbed... (264 comments)

I always pay in full every month, and it caused me to be refused a higher line of credit. Bank of America told me that I didn't have a record of monthly payments (which I did, as I paid in full every month on every credit card, but I guess that doesn't count as they weren't installment payments or loan payments) and therefore didn't qualify for more credit. Then they said that they ran a credit check, and my credit score was 820 (850 is the max you can have), and appended tips for improving my credit rating!

Of course Bank of America is one of the more evil players (they too highlight the minimum balance and have no "auto-pay full balance" option), but then again most of the players are evil to some degree.

about 3 months ago

UK Government May Switch from MS Office to Open Source

chipschap Re:Much as I detest almost everything from MS... (273 comments)

Maybe people should start learning how to communicate again, rather than getting wizards to create bullshit for them.


These people, whose jobs are to propagate information, would probably produce a better result if they used vi.

That was one of the main points in my posting earlier in this discussion. Slicker is not better unless it communicates more effectively, and often it does the exact opposite. Back in the day, some people used WordStar and were happy enough with it. Slick? Hardly. Could you communicate with it? Yup. (Not that I recommend it today, but that isn't my point.)

Another poster made the point that LibreOffice and predecessors don't break the paradigm, and instead try to more or less mimic MS Office (sans ribbon). That is an interesting observation and could generate a long discussion of its own. Even AbiWord, which prides itself on being small and lightweight, has an MS Office feel. That leads me to ask, where could office software go that is new and different, and most importantly, allows for easier and better communication, if the paradigm were to change?

There was an important paradigm shift between the older systems, such as the aforementioned WordStar, and the fully-GUI systems of today, although there are those who argue that this did not enhance communication. But clearly usability for the average user is higher.

What might the next paradigm shift be?

about 3 months ago

UK Government May Switch from MS Office to Open Source

chipschap Re:Hmm (273 comments)

I respect everyone's choices and if you say you need MS Office then go ahead and use it. You use what you find best, I'll use what I find best.

However here's my question. First let's compare current MS Office and a version from, say, 10 years ago. What is getting done better that matters with the newest version? Has productivity increased? Are presentations and documents slicker? Does that mean they communicate their information better? Are spreadsheet models a lot better (maybe they are, I don't know)? Or are they just more complex and maybe buggier?

Now do the same comparison between the latest MS Office and the latest LibreOffice.

There was this guy I used to work with who was considered the organization's PowerPoint guru. He did all sorts of amazing tricks, effects, and whatnot. I will be the first to say there is no way those tricks, effects, and whatnot could have been done with Impress. His presentations wowed his viewers just about 100% of the time.

So, was he getting his message across better?

What actually happened is that the viewers were so busy watching all the pyrotechnics that his message often got lost.

So think about the true value of all the "extras" in MS Office. Certainly there are edge cases where they present value, but is that true for 90% of users 90% percent of the time?

about 3 months ago

Microsoft Reports Record Revenue

chipschap Re:Wow. (289 comments)

the OS alone uses half of that (32GB)

Holy bloatware, batman.... 32GB for Win 8.1? Is it really that much?

about 3 months ago

Short Notice: LogMeIn To Discontinue Free Access

chipschap Re:Uh? (408 comments)

That's the problem with depending on a "free" service.

Isn't that the most important lesson from all of this? Google cancels stuff willy-nilly (admittedly with decent notice). Other stuff disappears completely. Even paid services get acquired, merged, destroyed.

If you rely on a free web service for personal use, you could be in for a shock. If you rely on a free web service to run a business .... I don't want to buy shares of your company.

That said, I use gmail and Google calendar. I should know better....

What's the answer? I suppose I should say, "do it all yourself" but that can be a tall order, especially if you need to sync mobile devices or multiple operating systems. The truth is, I don't know of an easy answer.

about 3 months ago

Blowing Up a Pointless Job Interview

chipschap Re:Interview ending question (692 comments)

I actually said this once (except it was ten years) and got the job. I pointed out that this was a "standard" interview question that didn't apply to everyone, and the interview committee liked that answer. Guess I was just lucky.

about 3 months ago

Microsoft Extends Updates For Windows XP Security Products Until July 2015

chipschap Re:*sigh* (417 comments)

Because, uh, Linux upgrades are free, and generally automated?

Free for sure, but generally automated? Not on every distro. It's often easier to do a full save, a fresh install, and then restore whatever you need. My Linux Mint upgrades take about a day of work to get everything back to where I want it. That occurs maybe every 18 months, so I don't mind it so much, and I have complete control over the process and a very high probability of complete success (100% success so far, going back many years before Mint, to Ubuntu and Suse before that). It's an annoyance, but hardly fatal.

about 3 months ago


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