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Ask Slashdot: Has the Time Passed For Coding Website from Scratch?

coofercat Re:Static generator (298 comments)

I've been using Pico CMS recently as an experiment. It too seems pretty nice.

4 days ago
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Using Facebook Data, Algorithm Predicts Personality Better Than Friends

coofercat Re:Personality is multifaceted (80 comments)

I saw an ad at the station for some company doing personality tests to 'unlock your potential'. That reminded me that I did a bunch of these at the start of my teens at school, primarily as a means to determine the sorts of jobs you might want to look into. I answered those tests in good faith, I wasn't trying to game them, and yet, without exception, they came out as "inconclusive", with no career suggestions at all (I wonder if they refund the test fee for that!?). I sure hope they've improved since then, because they were no use to back then.

about two weeks ago
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NASA's New Horizons To Arrive At Pluto With Clyde Tombaugh's Ashes

coofercat Re:It's a first... (108 comments)

...and when the probe sent in my name crashes into said object (deliberately, or due to decaying orbit), I'd prefer that the object in question was contaminated by it as little as possible such that any future missions could look at it in it's original form.

about two weeks ago
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Would You Rent Out Your Unused Drive Space?

coofercat Re:Even sillier (331 comments)

It was gonna be called Stoojcoin, but got changed right at the last moment.

about two weeks ago
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MI5 Chief Seeks New Powers After Paris Magazine Attack

coofercat Re:Vague article (319 comments)

If we make it too easy for him, we don't need him at all. We'd need maybe 10 police officers for the whole country, and they only need to be 'plod' and not some sort of highly trained super-cop. They'd just wait for the computer to text them the name and address of a 'criminal' and they'd go fetch them and throw them in the back of the van.

Honestly, if I need something in order to do my job and stop some systems falling over constantly, I ask for it. The difference is that if my management agree with me and give me something to help me, other people don't lose anything as a result. This guys doing the same as me, but with considerably graver consequences.

about two weeks ago
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MI5 Chief Seeks New Powers After Paris Magazine Attack

coofercat Re:No matter how much power we gave them ... (319 comments)

You're just a few hundred years too late. Had the technology existed, I'm sure all the things you describe would have been happening during the Crusades.

Rest assured, a lot of people have died in the name of $religion. Thankfully, Christianity has, on the whole, evolved beyond such things )although certain outposts in the US (including the White House) do slip up from time to time). I'll leave the question of Judaism's evolution, and its effect on the Israel/Palestine region to the reader.

I think it's fair to say that just because you're in a club, it doesn't mean that the actions of everyone in that club are things you agree with or support. On occasion, people will join a club in order to give themselves an air of legitimacy, or to give their cause a greater meaning or voice, whilst they continue with a course of action that is contrary to the majority of club members beliefs or support.

about two weeks ago
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In-Flight Service Gogo Uses Fake SSL Certificates To Throttle Streaming

coofercat Re:Well it's okay when WE do it... (163 comments)

I would imagine they're using some sort of bandwidth optimisation between ground and plane (something like a Riverbed, perhaps). They could do the same with encrypted packets, but the hit rate on those is practically zero, so they'd get no gain. Instead, they decrypt on the ground, compress the stream and send it up to the plane, which uncompresses the stream, re-encrypts whatever it needs to and sends it out the clients. They obviously can't use the original cert for that re-encryption, so they use their own self-signed one.

It seems to me this is the first generation of such services. It's got so many compromises it's pretty awful. When they crack the bandwidth to plane, then they won't need to do so much traffic molesting and the service gets a lot more interesting.

about three weeks ago
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Mercedes-Benz's Self-Driving Concept Car Is Here

coofercat Re:When they test these autonomous cars... (167 comments)

...or how about the car works all by itself on major roads and highways. On crappy side roads that aren't properly documented in the GPS maps, let alone suitably paved, lit or maintained, it says "I'm sorry, I can't drive down this road, but you can". A solution like this would mean 80% of all journeys would be 100% autonomous and it would mean the vast majority of accidents would be avoided, as considerably few accidents happen on shitty side roads than they do on the major ones.

I doubt anyone would accept a car that might suddenly say "eek, I can't do this - please take over" while driving 50 down a windy road in the rain. I think we'd all expect it to find a safe place to stop and let us take over from there though.

about three weeks ago
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Professor: Young People Are "Lost Generation" Who Can No Longer Fix Gadgets

coofercat Re:Dupe (840 comments)

A good while back, an "overhead cam shaft" was a selling point (maybe not a major one, but it was mentioned openly by dealers/manufacturers). Nowadays, as noted above, the camshaft might as well be in a locked vault at the dealers house for all the serviceability benefits it has.

Things aren't repairable because we don't want them to be. If we all asked manufacturers for service manuals, they'd get around to writing some ;-) Of course, since this is /., I should also mention that DRM is specifically created to stop repairs (or modifications).

about three weeks ago
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UK Arrest Over Xbox Live and Playstation Network Outages

coofercat Re:My Ideas to help stop this kinda attack. (86 comments)

Most of the big internet companies do something this (try doing some Google searches over Tor for an example). Things get more complicated when you use a CDN because whilst you can block the IP yourself, the CDN keeps sending their traffic to you. You need to either get the CDN to block as well, or inspect the request that came via the CDN to see if it was actually from a blocked IP (which is more expensive to you than an ordinary block).

The tricky thing about ddos attacks is they they are usually very distributed (vddos?). That means a given IP may only hit you up a few times in an hour, so won't trip your thresholds for abuse. Trying to figure out who's running an infected computer and who isn't is an exercise in futility though (who's to say it's infected?). Getting ISPs to do anything about anything in vaguely close to real time is also futile (even if you see a specific IP abusing you constantly for hours and think it's an 'open and shut case', you'll struggle to get any ISP to do anything about it - whomever it is will probably give up and stop before the ISP even starts to look at the problem).

about three weeks ago
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Marissa Mayer's Reinvention of Yahoo! Stumbles

coofercat Re:How long things take.. (222 comments)

If I was hired as the CEO, the first thing I'd do is whatever the hell the board asked me to do.

about a month ago
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Congress Passes Bill Allowing Warrantless Forfeiture of Private Communications

coofercat Re:PRIVATE encryption of everything just became... (379 comments)

Maybe it's time for reverse-gzip - the rebigulator, if you will. The idea is to start with a small message:

"Hey, fancy going for a pint tonight?" ...encrypt it:

"asdhasdjkhasdkjasdkashdasdwqw" ...rebigulate it:

"dsfshfuykhfferwerrhwerhjkfsdofiueioroeirerqwehqweudyasdadwkljqoeiweorujk" ...send :-)

about a month and a half ago
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Are the TSA's New Electronic Device Screenings Necessary?

coofercat Re:ive been through the new check (France, CDG air (184 comments)

I have a white, male British friend - it's a bit of a running joke that he gets checked every time. Years ago, he and I went to/from Canada via the US. On departure from London, there were three American goons (yes, imported goons!) doing 'random' bag searches on the way to the gate (extra to the actual security screening). He got checked by all three - presumably the first two were incompetent so the third guy had to do it right. Or maybe the whole system was a complete sham. Should anyone ever want to smuggle anything, just go along with my mate. He'll get checked for everything, you won't get checked for anything and you get to take your contraband wherever you like.

about a month and a half ago
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Are the TSA's New Electronic Device Screenings Necessary?

coofercat Re:Redundant Question (184 comments)

The cock pits of most planes isn't en-suite, so you'd have to fix that up too. I should imagine that external doors cost lots of money and add lots of weight, so less of them makes sense in that regard. Having a door for just 2-3 people to escape from makes that one an expensive door ;-)

about a month and a half ago
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US Navy Authorizes Use of Laser In Combat

coofercat Re:This might alienate anti-ISI* Muslims. (225 comments)

Would you be able to put up a lens instead? Potentially you could just widen the beam, or refract it somewhere else... Clearly, not practical on a missile, but if they were aiming it at your boat, you might be able to do something, I guess...?

about a month and a half ago
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Ask Slashdot: Can a Felon Work In IT?

coofercat Re:America, land of the free... (720 comments)

My last two UK jobs have required a "CRB" check to be performed (CRB = Criminal Records Bureau) - I believe these are now called DBS checks. One of those employers was American, and had a non-existent HR presence in the UK, so I assumed it was "just do whatever we do in the US" that meant the check was required. My current job is for a UK company, but they're heavily regulated around the world, so I assume that's the reason. Before that, I don't remember any such checks (even for a security cleared role, although I guess the security check implicitly did something similar).

So here in the UK, you might need to be checked if you want to work for regulated industries (banking, gambling, trading, etc). Otherwise, probably not. Even in these regulated places, there's a reasonable chance you wouldn't be checked if you were a consultant - as a contractor you might get checked though, depending on what work you were doing and how diligent the company was, I guess. You absolutely wouldn't be checked as a supplier though, so make a product and be self-employed (easier said than done, I guess though).

about a month and a half ago
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The Sony Pictures Hack Was Even Worse Than Everyone Thought

coofercat Re:Sad? Saddest? (528 comments)

I agree with you and the GP.

I equate this situation to civil unrest. For civil 'direct action' to work, someone has to be inconvenienced. Hopefully, that 'someone' is the government, and hopefully only them, and hopefully they're inconvenienced a great deal. However, in reality, the government is just a bunch of people with lives and jobs, and they use the services of non-government people. So no matter how targeted some civil action might be, it's going to end up inconveniencing some 'ordinary' people.

The question is are the 'ordinary' people responsible for the government's actions? You might argue 'no', but you'll find a lot of people arguing 'yes' - ultimately, it's the 'ordinary' people that give the government the power to do whatever the unrest is about. We can argue about the indirect nature of that power provision, but no matter how corrupt or misdirected, the fact remains that it exists. It's the game we've chosen to play; don't argue about the rules.

And so back to Sony Pictures. Whatever the beef is with them, they were able to do that thing because of the people that work for them. You can argue that if those people didn't work for them that a whole load of other people would just take their place, but if the majority of people thought about who their employer was and what they do day-in, day-out, the shit kickers of the world would have a much harder time hiring good, honest decent and talented people. That might make them think twice about their business practices (or in the case of the NSA/GCHQ etc, their purpose in life).

[Anecdote: one of my previous employers used to get extra discounts on hotel rates because it was well known that the staff were nice people - sort of the reverse of what I'm trying to describe above]

Don't misunderstand me - if my employer got screwed over this badly, I'd be screaming innocence and "I'm just a brick in the wall, I'm not responsible" and so on (after all, I'm "just" a lowly techie, right?). But the fact remains that my work for my employer potentially facilitates someone else here to do bad things more easily. For what it's worth, I do have a moral compass, and so don't work for some of the worse companies out there (despite recruiters trying to get me into them), and I haven't seen my employer doing bad things. Other people may view their actions differently though, and perhaps they'd judge me differently as a result.

about 2 months ago
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The Sony Pictures Hack Was Even Worse Than Everyone Thought

coofercat Re: ... Everything? (528 comments)

If they'd had traffic shaping in place, there's no way anyone would have got 100 terrabytes of anything out of the company ;-)

about 2 months ago
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UK MP Says ISPs Must Take Responsibility For Movie Leaks, Sony Eyes North Korea

coofercat Re:"The theory is that 'something' should be done" (216 comments)

It's okay though - GCHQ watched the whole thing happening, and have totally figured out who did it. Those people will be rounded up and dealt with very soon. Yeah right.

about 2 months ago

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About Coofer Cat

coofercat coofercat writes  |  more than 9 years ago

I'm a chap from London, UK, trying to make his way through this ole' life as best as possible.

I've been a sysadmin for most of my professional life, mostly playing with Sun systems, latterly more Windoze and Linux though. I'm quite good at "getting things to work" - that is, making things work they way they ought to.

At the moment, I'm working for my own company, Pre-Emptive Limtied. It's a small company that makes appliance based products, the first of which is a search engine. We make use of open source products and "glue" them together with a bit of development and a proprietary administration and usability layer.

In my spare time, I can often be found boozin' in pubs, or scaring off the opposite sex. I've also got a blog.

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