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Ask Slashdot: Is Running Mission-Critical Servers Without a Firewall Common?

citylivin Windows firewall? Who cares? (348 comments)

I always disable it on internal networks. Causes problems for the most part and serves no purpose behind a NAT or even a properly firewalled network. Why have two firewalls? (with one of them being a buggy microsoft one)

I used to work with a guy who firewalled everything off from everything else. I am pretty sure he did it for job security, because no one else could figure out the russian doll sequence of firewalls in order to fix any of "his" machines. Luckily he was fired for incompetence after losing the backups for an entire department.

about 6 months ago

The Army Is 3D Printing Warheads

citylivin Re:Desired lethality? (140 comments)

You consider someone who bombs people on monday and then again on tuesday not a mass murderer?

"I was only following orders" is not a defence. Most soldiers are probably murderers, unless obviously, they haven't killed someone.

Your point is that people following orders aren't murderers, well that's where we disagree. You kill someone, you are a murderer. A moral judgement on the circumstances is the only thing that makes it palatable and justifiable in some peoples minds.

about 6 months ago

Krebs on Microsoft Suspending "Patch Tuesday" Emails and Blaming Canada

citylivin Cry More Spammer! (130 comments)

"Canadian businesses, no matter how small, are beholden to this law. Small companies are going to fold left and right because they cannot afford to comply wiht the new regulations, and those that don't try to comply run the risk of paying a huge penalty."

You're an idiot. I have been getting email's all month from like every vendor I have ever dealt with, every company, with an email saying "hey there, please stay in contact with us". So it's hardly killing businesses left and right as you claim. Or even is it really that complex, just judging by the amount of small vendors emailing me. Some don't even use list management, but have an email you can send a message to to confirm. To most I am just ignoring it, because hey, I never did give you permission to email me forever because i bought some product off you 5 years ago! To some I have responded that its OK to email me. This is a great law! That is exactly what I expect from companies.

For our organization, we have been doing double opt in for YEARS. So there was very little to do for us to become compliant.

In short, if you are the "head of IT" for a well run business, you would have 1) already made people opt in for communications years ago, possibly implementing even double opt in and 2) already provide legit unsubscribe links and have very little to do technically to be complaint in this law. If you were doing things properly that is.

Of course if you are one of those businesses that was doing things wrong for years and are now whining about it, well what can I say.

Time to start doing a better job and managing your email lists properly.

about 7 months ago

2 US Senators Propose 12-Cent Gas Tax Increase

citylivin Re:Good! (619 comments)

"nothing can ever possibly be too cheap."

I hope you remember that when you are next negotiating your salary with your employer!

Ignoring the obvious logical errors of making ridiculous absolutist statements, gasoline needs to be more expensive to get people to use less of it. Gas right now is "too cheap" for americans, and to a lesser extent, canadians as well. This is why they waste it buying hummers, SUVs and not taking environmental concerns seriously by funding alternative methods of transport.

So it is precisely too cheap to 1) encourage alternative energy sources and 2) prompt people to cut greenhouse gas emissions and save us all from a runaway climate collapse.

For some perspective, gas hit $1.55/L today in british columbia (they are blaming iraq in the media). Using a value of .92 cents per US dollar and this site: http://boating.ncf.ca/convertg... i can see that we currently pay $5.40USD per US gallon.

I don't mind the cost of gas too much, as it makes me consider more how much I use the car instead of alternatives - no matter how distasteful the public bus system is to me personally. We all have to start sucking it up, and increasing gas prices is a great way to do that. Especially, as I have pointed out before, if your carbon tax is revenue neutral like the one in BC. This means that all of that particular tax revenues go right back to the citizens of BC.

More info: http://www.fin.gov.bc.ca/tbs/t...

We should obviously be taxing the corporations who profit from all this more as well, and using it similarly to fund the above. If we didn't want to go ahead and nationalize oil and gas companies, which would be my preferred course of action.

Companies should not profit on utilities. They should be owned by the people.

about 7 months ago

Your Old CD Collection Is Dying

citylivin Re:Space is cheap, rip to FLAC (329 comments)

I have 20k mp3s and none of them ever "get fucked". You most likely have a hardware problem with your machine if this is routinely happening to you.

And hey, if an album ever got fucked, well just redownload it!

about 8 months ago

Scientists Warn of Rising Oceans As Antarctic Ice Melts

citylivin Re:Meteor Impact! (784 comments)

"What if we do all the hard work of fixing the climate, only to get hit by an asteroid and have it all go to shit anyway?"

Wouldn't that mean we solved the hard problems and now have the infrastructure and know-how in place to solve the problem again but quicker and easier?

I think its far easier to troubleshoot and solve the same problem the second time. Considering in your theoretical example that we have already solved the problem once.

about 8 months ago

US Climate Report Says Global Warming Impact Already Severe

citylivin Re:sigh (627 comments)

"Most are just variations on "lets tack on a bunch of fines and taxes to make doing certain things unpopular". Which doesn't ACTUALLY address the problem."

If the problem is rampent overconsumption, british columbia proves that increasing taxes does make people use less fuel.

"A report by Sustainable Prosperity entitled BCâ(TM)s Carbon Tax Shift After Five Years:An Environmental (and Economic) Success Story suggested that the policy had been a major success. During the time the tax had been in place, fossil fuel consumption had dropped 17.4% per capita (and fallen by 18.8% relative to the rest of Canada). These reductions occurred across all the fuel types covered by the tax (not just vehicle fuel)."


Yes, I realize that everyone hates all taxes. I am not saying whether it is right or wrong, but the province of BC proves that it is effective at addressing the problem of too much carbon emissions being produced.


about 9 months ago

XP Systems Getting Emergency IE Zero Day Patch

citylivin Re:Microsoft has no spine. (179 comments)

"it's amazing to me that we've actually reached the point where MS is getting flack for not adhering strongly enough to planned obsolescence"

After painstakingly upgrading the entire office to windows 7 over the last few years, recommending to all friends family and clients that they NEED to upgrade, I am somewhat conflicted.

Firstly, microsoft is making me look like a lying dick. When I heard about this IE vulnerability, I thought "awesome! now everyone that hummed hawed and complained at me for forcing upgrades will be apologizing!". So i am pretty pissed off that they now go back on their word and still support XP making me look like I didn't know what I was talking about.

On the other hand, I do like companies stepping up and patching bugs in legacy products. So I'm not terribly sure what to feel right now.

When in doubt, be pissed off at M$ I guess! Damned if you do and damned if you don't. I guess they did the "right" thing. But for how long? will they still be patching xp in 2025? I know a guy who still runs windows 98 with kernel extensions or something like that. He loves it!

about 9 months ago

Is the Tesla Model S Pedal Placement A Safety Hazard?

citylivin You double peddalled 2 or three times?? (394 comments)

"So I'd have to conclude that the problem lies between the pedals and the seat in this case.

And I know cause I drive [a tesla] daily and I have managed to double pedal a total of two-three times when being lazy..."

So there was a problem with the driver in your case as well then?
In my 20 years of driving many different cars, this has never happened to me. Not once. And I have size 15 feet, and regularly wear combat boots. The fact that you are saying you had the exact same experience on the exact same car - how can that NOT be a design flaw?

Your anecdote exactly proves his point! Unless you are calling yourself the problem. Do you really love tesla so much you would rather blame yourself?

about 10 months ago

MtGox Finds 200,000 Bitcoins In Old Wallet

citylivin Re:Ooooohhhh theeeeere's your money! (227 comments)

She was just being nice. As the parent of an 11 year old, they make very bad liars. I just take everything my children say with a grain of salt. The thing with lies is if you understand peoples motivations in life, what they are interested in, what they desire. Then you can easily see when they are lying, withholding information or distorting their own memories to match with a current assumed reality.

I find that it's good practice to firstly identify peoples motivations and character and then look at everything they say through that prism.

about 10 months ago

Should programming be a required curriculum in public schools?

citylivin Re:Wouldn't work (313 comments)

"No teenage brain is. That is why parents also have to instill a reasonable work ethic and show them algorithms for reaching goals"

As the parent of an almost teenager I would say you are wrong. My kids will have a great work ethic, about things they enjoy. Obviously not everyone has the same interests.

For me, when I took programming courses in highschool, it made me realize how meticulous you would have to be to do it correctly. I would spend hours hunting down syntax errors (no internet back then) only to find out i put a comma in the wrong place. Math, I never knew why you would need it because we had computers and calculators. The theory was interesting but repetition - hell thats why we developed computers! to do the same low level repetative tasks over and over.

I loved taking apart computers, electronics, cars, etc and could do it for hours at a time, and I still do. So its not necessarily laziness. I just didnt see the point of doing the same math problems over and over when a computer could do the same operation a million times faster.

tldr, everyones interests are different, even "lazy" teenagers.

about a year ago

A Primer on Data Backup for Small- to Medium-Sized Companies (Video)

citylivin Like your own personal expert! (76 comments)

"So [outsourcing to the cloud is] like having the worldâ(TM)s best expert hired on to your team just managing your particular system. "

No, its more like having the cheapest possible person from the cheapest possible country, reading scripts and excerpts from manuals back to you while being oh so polite about it. And then after your 2 hour phone call, blaming any other vendor or technology you are using which *must* be the cause of all the problems.
Surely its not their flawless product, which even though they are in tech support and must listen to peoples issues all day, has absolutely zero flaws they are willing to admit.

Fact, no one cares more about your data than you do. That ain't never going to change.

This interview transcript (cant watch, get player error) is laughably sparse on any real strategy except "outsource to us!". I feel dumber for having read it.

about a year ago

Death Hovers Politely For Americans' Swipe-and-Sign Credit Cards

citylivin Re:One question (731 comments)

So how do you explain canada then? I converted our business to chip and pin 3 or so years ago. It was either that or be on the hook for more fees from the credit card company.

Our payment processor issued us new pinpads, as all equipment is leased. Some older POS software had to be retrofitted. Took about 2 months of work for a medium business with about 15 tills and that includes all emails and vendors writing updates. The whole country did it pretty much at the same time a few years ago, so the vendors knew they would have to update or they would lose business.

Now here in canada, there is exactly 1 store that i frequent that does not have chip and pin. Sure it offloads the burden onto the customer, but generally if peoples cards are compromised, its because of some kind of skimming and camera going on, same as at ATMs. Based on the volume of fraud transactions, the bank generally knows about the fraud before you do and issues you another card.

Contrast that to my friend who got back from the states. He was on a 3 day trip, no one uses chip and pin down there and his card was almost immediately compromised (he thinks the cab company that he used). They called him on the second day asking him if he had made any large volume purchases in new york (he was in the south).

Looking backwards, it seems kind of ridiculous that a few scribbles were allowed to authenticate large financial transactions for so long. No one ever contests a signature. I have never seen it happen. A pin on the other hand is a pin. You either have it or you dont.

about a year ago

HP To Charge For Service Packs and Firmware For Out-of-Warranty Customers

citylivin Re:company charges for paid support (385 comments)

"Who pays the cost to fix old, out-of-date drivers and firmware? Is HP supposed to do it out of the goodness of their heart?"

Bullshit. A firmware update generally addresses some sort of bug or deficiency. By not patching it freely, HP is admitting that they sold you a flawed product. So I should be able to then demand my money back. It is their RESPONSIBILITY to fix it!!

As others have said, the worst company with this is cisco. The second worst is sonicwall. Fuck sonicwall and their paid updates!! I had to throw out a perfectly good VPN appliance whoes compact flash card had died because they would not let me download a firmware for the unit. Not because I didnt have a service contract with them, but because I didnt have a service contract for that one particular VPN appliance. I had another contract with another appliance which we purchased later.

If the fix is already made, then keeping it from former customers unless they pay up is spiteful ransom. A firmware update is addressing flaws in the vendors product. The vendor would do well to get them fixed, or you get a very bad reputation such as sonicwall has with me now.

If I had to maintain support contracts with every vendor i've ever done business with on the off chance that one day I will need an update, I would not be able to ever purchase anything new. Your old assets would become drags. This is similar to why I always try and find open source software alternatives for everything I possibly can. Specifically because in software world, it is very common to charge for every update. Result, I don't buy much paid for software when I have open source alternatives. With hardware, its a lot harder to change products when some bug is encountered.

All this is is a giant ad for dell servers, who I have never had a problem with getting drivers or updates for. If dell can do it, then sure as shit HP can. I was actually looking at HP servers for a friend, but I guess I will be recommending dell now. HP fails it. Short term profits trump everything and I am so sick of it.

about a year ago

Adobe's New Ebook DRM Will Leave Existing Users Out In the Cold Come July

citylivin Re:Non-Drm'd? (304 comments)

"Never, ever pirate anything. It spurs their belief that people really want their product, but just aren't willing to pay for it."

I guess you are no fan of libraries then.

about a year ago

Watch Bill Nye and Ken Ham Clash Over Creationism Live

citylivin Re:It's not a debate (593 comments)

"So you've studied Han's perspective then? No? Waste of your time? You do get your logical fallacy here right?"

Isn't his "perspective" creationism? Wouldn't that require believing in a god or gods?

I don't think hes talking about panspermia. Wouldn't creationism dictate that there is 1) a creator 2) that he has input in human events? and 3) that this creator is "super natural". In that case, what is there to study? It's impossible to prove there is a god short of god herself coming down. And even then, I would most likely believe it to be an intelligent alien race rather than some supernatural being.

Why would anyone give that "argument" any serious merit? I would think you would have to be religious in which case your reason and logic faculties are already damaged and probably could not participate in a debate in the first place. I doubt any non religious people believe in creationism.

about a year ago

Man Shot To Death For Texting During Movie

citylivin Re:Cellphones during the movie was debated.... (1431 comments)

Well its america, and even worse, florida. The courts already said you can kill whomever you want, you just have to say "he's coming right for us".

If I was in america, and everyone around me was armed and with the above mentality, YOUR GOD DAMN RIGHT I WOULD BE ARMED!

If everyone around you is a violent psychopath (this did occur in america), I would want to be protected personally.

1 year,13 days

Is the World Ready For Facial Recognition On Google Glass?

citylivin Re:Killer App (469 comments)

"Point is, there will be backlash to people wearing internet-connected face-recognizing cameras, and it won't matter what the excuse."

I agree with your sentiment, but no matter how much backlash there is, you can't stop the train. Just look at smartphones, tiwitter, facebook. People don't give a shit about privacy at all. 70% of people carry a smartphone now. Things I would have thought unbelievable 10 years ago regularly happen now. People are fucking around on their phones in meetings regularly, putting a real life person "on hold" to pick up a cel phone call, breaking up with people over text message or email, not paying attention walking down the street because you are twiddiling your phone, texting while driving... the list goes on. All of these things are bad judgement, if not outright rude, in my opinion, but smart phone adoption has become so widespread so fast, that the social mores haven't matured along with them.

Google glass will be the exact same. It will have so big of an adoption rate, one day you will wake up and everyone will have one. Same as smart phones. Make them cheap enough and they will become ubiquitous.

Disclaimer, i dont have a smart phone, but would really love a google glass type chinese knockoff headset. Why? because I would be in control of the information. So many situations occur where a customer or acquaintance mis remembers a situation. It would pay for itself ten times over to have video recall. Once again, that I and I alone, controlled. None of this big brother cloud BS.

about a year ago

Disqus Bug Deanonymizes Commenters

citylivin Re:Disqus is evil (151 comments)

its also default blocked by ghostery.

I have noticed more and more sites using it though. Maintaining comments is hard I guess, and people are all outsourcing it. I looked into them because ghostery was blocking them all the time. Seems like a horrible company.

about a year ago

Is the Porsche Carrera GT Too Dangerous?

citylivin Re:When you have a bad driver ... (961 comments)

"You might be willing to take the risk of not having anti-lock braking, but why should the other people on the roads have to put up with the unnecessarily increased risk that you'll crash into them?"

Excuse me, but those of us who drive older cars (manufactured before the 90s) do not have ABS and have no problem keeping from running into people. Maybe they don't teach threshold breaking anymore, but that is not my problem. I learned to drive on a non abs car.

The problem is that these days, people follow too closely and rely on their ABS to save them. 8 car lengths on the highway at 100 km/h, or about 4 car lengths at 60 km/h. Give or take, I dont go out and measure.

about a year ago



Vancouver Mulls Making itself an 'Open City'

citylivin citylivin writes  |  more than 5 years ago

citylivin (1250770) writes "Vancouver residents and businesses would benefit if the city made the data it collects open and accessible to everyone wherever possible, a city councillor says. By using open standards to help make that data available to the public, the city would improve transparency, cut costs and enable people to use the data to create new useful products, including commercial ones, said Coun. Andrea Reimer in a motion read before city council on Tuesday. The motion calls for the city to endorse the principles of: * Making data open and accessible by sharing as much of it as possible while respecting privacy and security concerns. * Adopting open standards for data, documents, maps and other media. * Placing open source software on equal footing with "commercial systems." CBC Link"


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