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Ask Slashdot: Best Anti-Virus Software In 2015? Free Or Paid?

hawguy Re: In after somebody says don't run Windows. (457 comments)

Any active AV software worth 5 seconds of attention watches the resident virtual memory ranges of all processes on the computer, they pick up virus signatures in both local processes and things running inside VMs unless you're running some kind of cheap AV software from the 90s that simply scans your non-volatile memory systems.

I've never heard of AV software scanning all memory pages of all processes. It seems like that would be hugely expensive in terms of CPU resources because a VM can easily touch many gigabytes of RAM in a very short term, and somehow the AV software has to compare this entire dirty page set against a database containing hundreds of thousands, if not millions of potential virus signatures. Without help from the hypervisor, it seems like this would be even harder since when it sees a dirty page, it has no idea where it came from, how it got there, or what it's doing, so it has to scan every block of data just in case it happened to be executable data.

When I was testing AV software, I played with a number of real and test viruses in my disposable VM, yet the host system never alerted on any of them.

2 days ago
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At Oxford, a Battery That's Lasted 175 Years -- So Far

hawguy Re:What It Is Made Of (204 comments)

Researchers would love to know what the battery is made of [...] It's made of what's called a "dry pile," [...] They use alternating discs of silver, zinc, sulfur, and other materials to generate low currents of electricity.

Well.. that answers that question.

Yeah, just gotta get me some of them other materials and I can build one of my own! Maybe Amazon sells them.

2 days ago
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'Never Miss Another Delivery' - if You Have a TrackPIN (Video)

hawguy Re:Neighbors, (83 comments)

Really? This needs to be said?

For people that live in an urban environment - you have this thing called NEIGHBORS. I bet you $100 there is a stay at home person within 2 blocks of anyone living in a city. Befriend them. Be nice to them. Chances are they are bored. It's the ethical thing to do. They will gladly accept your package.

For people that live in a rural environment. Leave it on the back porch. If you don't have a neighbor to receive it, then that means likely there is no one to steal it.

Isn't that person going to get tired of accepting packages for every neighbor in a 2 block radios?

I get so many packages from Amazon that i wouldn't even as a friend to accept them all, let alone a neighbor down the block. What happens with this friendly neighbor when UPS says she signed for 3 packages, but she only gives you two, and your $600 iPhone is the one that's missing. Now you're out $600 because UPS has a signed delivery receipt.

My next door neighbor does work from home, but she usually doesn't bother to accept her own packages (they leave them on her front porch) because she's *working*.

2 days ago
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Researchers Moot "Teleportation" Via Destructive 3D Printing

hawguy Isn't that how the transporter works? (162 comments)

Isn't that exactly how the transporter works? Surely they don't actually disassemble the body atom-by-atom, convert it to energy, then stream it to the remote site.

I figured they used a high-resolution scanner to scan the body, then send an energy beam to the remote site to reconstruct an exact replica of the person being transported. After the copy is complete, the original body is no longer needed and is disintegrated.

3 days ago
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New Advance Confines GMOs To the Lab Instead of Living In the Wild

hawguy Re:Jurassic Park (128 comments)

The lysine contingency is intended to prevent the spread of the animals in case they ever get off the island. Dr. Wu inserted a gene that makes a single faulty enzyme in protein metabolism. The animals can't manufacture the amino acid lysine. Unless they're continually supplied with lysine by us, they'll slip into a coma and die.

"...This spring, in the Ismaloya section, which is to the north, some unknown animals ate the crops in a very peculiar manner. They moved each day, in a straight line-almost as straight as an arrow-from the coast, into the mountains, into the jungle."
Grant sat upright.
"Like a migration," Guitierrez said. "Wouldn't you say?"
"What crops?" Grant said.
"Well, it was odd. They would only eat agama beans and soy, and sometimes chickens."
Grant said, "Foods rich in lysine..."

3 days ago
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Ask Slashdot: Sounds We Don't Hear Any More?

hawguy Re:Nope (790 comments)

Stability Control is a superset of Traction Control. You can have Traction Control without Stability Control

Those two statements contradict each other. Do you mean SC is a subset of TC? If SC is a superset of TC, then you can have SC without TC, but not TC without SC.

Since I can't draw an image here, imagine a circle around the standard car (standard as in "normal", not "manual transmission") below that encompases only itself, then another circle around Standard+TC (since you can't have Traction Control without a standard car), then finally a big circle around all three:

Standard -> TC -> SC

SC contains many other possible components (active suspension, independent braking, etc), (afaik, it always includes TC) so you'll have other components next to TC that are included in the SC set.

So you can peel back the layers, remove the SC layer and you can still have a standard car with or without TC.

Thus, SC is a superset that encompasses TC and other components.

3 days ago
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Tracking Down How Many (Or How Few) People Actively Use Google+

hawguy Re: I don't understand google+ (209 comments)

slightly OT, but its something I wonder about. suppose you are not a fan of the company Google, and you avoid as many of their services as you can. you never joined g+ and you block most of google's domains. you hate their spying and corporate lack of ethics.

now, suppose you are a tech worker and the company you work for gets bought by google. oh oh....

I don't think google puts strong pressure on employees to "drink the koolaid" - as long as you use the tools you need to get your job done (like Gmail, Google Docs, and Hangouts), then they don't really put much pressure on your to use their entire suite of tools, like GooglePlus. Since G+ is so deeply integrated, you might need a G+ profile with your work address, but you don't need to build a network or post your cat pictures on your personal G+ profile.

Though all of the Google employees I know got there through acquisitions, and still work (mostly) with their original team, they haven't been fully assimilated into the Google collective.

I used to work for a company that was very deep into social networking -- none of the developers in my team used their product (aside from shared test accounts) because they don't like social networking in principle. No one cared or tried to coerce anyone to use the product, as long as we got the job done, that was all that mattered.

3 days ago
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Tracking Down How Many (Or How Few) People Actively Use Google+

hawguy Re:There IS the Data Liberation Front (209 comments)

There are good things Google does, one is the ability to export your user data, including posts.

If you use this, export in JSON format, not HTML. You can use tools such as jq to export specific records, including your source marked-up text.

This allows you to re-post content elsewhere (though that can still be work).

That is nice, but for affected users it hardly makes up for shutting down the service -- kind of like a university shutting down while you're mid way through your degree program and telling you "No worries... here's a copy of your transcript, you can transfer your credits to a new school... well, if you can find a school that will accept them!"

4 days ago
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Tracking Down How Many (Or How Few) People Actively Use Google+

hawguy Who knows how long it will last? (209 comments)

Who wants to spend lots of time building a Google Plus network and posting there regularly when Google has a habit of shutting down services with little warning?

At least you have some assurance that Facebook is not going to stop being Facebook, but Google could decide that Google Plus is not worth continuing and shut it down.

4 days ago
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Tracking Down How Many (Or How Few) People Actively Use Google+

hawguy Re: I don't understand google+ (209 comments)

Maybe you do not understand it because you are dumb? Try: plus.goog
le.com

If you're going to be snarky, be snarky about the right thing -- the GooglePlus.com URL does take you to your Google Plus home page.

4 days ago
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Oracle Releases Massive Security Update

hawguy Re:No secure download (79 comments)

The Windows installer is cryptographically signed by Oracle. Don't know about the others.

That sounds promising, though I don't see a signature in the rpm download, just sha1/md5 checksums.

4 days ago
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Oracle Releases Massive Security Update

hawguy Re:No secure download (79 comments)

Um, the checksum is the binary's MD5 hash. It's not "stored" with the binary. The hashes are listed in that second link I provided, which is an SSL page. To verify the binary's integrity, run a md5 sum generator on the binary and compare the hash you get with the hash listed on the SSL page.

That would be more meaningful if the link to the MD5 checksums was not on the same non-SSL page as the link to the binaries, so is subject to manipulation -- an attacker can make it point anywhere they want, and unless a user "knows" that the checksum page is supposed to be SSL, they'd never know (yes, you gave the SSL page, but how do I know that you're not an attacker and that you gave me a fake page that you happened to upload to an Oracle server?). Likewise, if someone can alter the binary on the repo, who is to say that they can't alter the checksum file as well?

There's one well-established method to validate downloads, and that is to use a cryptographic signature (with a well protected private key, the signature should be generated on a completely offline computer.

MD5 verification may be "good enough" for most uses, but it's very weak authentication.

If they match, you got a good download. If they don't, then you got a bad download and you shouldn't install it.
Geez, I can't believe this has to be explained on Slashdot.

You seem to be confusing download verification with authentication -- they are different concepts.

4 days ago
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Oracle Releases Massive Security Update

hawguy Re:No secure download (79 comments)

For Standard Edition JDK or JRE:

http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/java/javase/downloads/index.html

click which package you want to download, and then on the download page click the checksum link

https://www.oracle.com/webfolder/s/digest/8u31checksum.html

There's no bundleware like the Ask toolbar with the java installer from Oracle's website.

A simple checksum stored with the binary is not a means of authentication, it's only a means to validate that there was no file corruption on download (since an attacker can update the checksum(s) at the same time he modifies the binary). Something like a cryptographic signature would be needed for authentication (with a validated means of public key distribution)

Since the download link does not use SSL, even if you trust that no one has corrupted Oracle's repository, you have no assurance that the file you download hasn't been modified in-transit using a man-in-the-middle attack.

4 days ago
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FBI Seeks To Legally Hack You If You're Connected To TOR Or a VPN

hawguy work from home users (373 comments)

When I'm connected to my company's VPN connection, they route all of my traffic over that connection, sounds like this law is giving the feds carte blanche to hack all work-from-home users.

5 days ago
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Man Saves Wife's Sight By 3D Printing Her Tumor

hawguy Re:This could be fun.... (164 comments)

Couldn't you just weigh them?

I just weighed them, here's the weights: 356g, 355g, 357g, 354g, 355g, 358g, 354g.

Tell me which one has all of the critical nerves and blood vessels in the right place.

about a week ago
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Obama: Gov't Shouldn't Be Hampered By Encrypted Communications

hawguy And locks too! (556 comments)

I for one am tired of the government from being slowed by locks whenever they need to find a terrorist suspect, I think the government needs a master key that can open any lock, and everyone combination lock needs to have a master unlock code to unlock it.

Since the master keys would only be available to a few thousand (ok, maybe a few hundred thousand) law enforcement personnel, I fail to see how the "bad guys" would ever get access to them. The government has our best interests at heart, and they carefully screen employees to ensure that none of them are the "bad guys".

about a week ago
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The 'Radio Network of Things' Can Cut Electric Bills (Video)

hawguy Re:Illogical (172 comments)

No.
The point is that peak usage has fallen dramatically because of time of day pricing - majority doesn't ignore price that is 3x large.
But people still pay more year after year. Moreover, 'cheap' time is getting more expensive quicker than 'expensive' time. Probably because too many people started doing their laundry at night and energy companies want to recover their losses.

So all that 'smart' crap does is allows companies save on infrastructure (generating stations, pipes, wires, etc) - which is just bonus for the management in a short term. Like: key, we do not need to build this new power plant but still get same money from users - let's give ourselves huge bonuses.

At the same time average utilization of infrastructure grows. And this means that possibility 'statistical fluke' when too many people turn on their heating increases. And this means more outages. But with that smart crap that may say 'we are experiencing higher than normal load, so you'd better find another blanket'. And continue crank up prices.

Isn't that what I just said? Consumers may not be paying less overall with time of day pricing models, but regardless, they can't ignore time of day pricing or they will pay much more overall.

This article is about a technological solution to work within time-of-day pricing models, if your problem is that time-of-day pricing is just a way for utilities to charge more while reducing their costs, that's a political problem and you should bring it up with your regulators. (assuming that you're in a regulated electrical market)

about two weeks ago
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To Avoid Detection, Terrorists Made Messages Seem Like Spam

hawguy Finally something good from the war on terror! (110 comments)

Finally, something good can come out of the "war on terror" and it can be a good use of the NSA's resources -- they can track down and eliminate spammers to prevent terrorist attacks.

about two weeks ago
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The 'Radio Network of Things' Can Cut Electric Bills (Video)

hawguy Re:Illogical (172 comments)

The way energy markets are organized makes sure that you will not 'save money' no matter what.

Those monopolies will want their money. Even if you burn no fuel - investment has been made. And less you use - longer they can be charging you.

Take 'smart meters' as example. At no point people getting smart meters were paying less. They were using less, and using at 'cheaper' time. But energy markets 'suddenly' rose to accommodate for that and make sure energy magnates get their bonuses.

Whether or not you really save money over not having such a system in place is open to debate, but once utilities move to time-of-day pricing models, then consumers that don't reduce usage during peak pricing periods *will* pay more. So you can't just ignore the pricing and expect that you won't end up paying more.

about two weeks ago
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The 'Radio Network of Things' Can Cut Electric Bills (Video)

hawguy Re:Illogical (172 comments)

I don't want my furnace to turn itself off at 2 am while I'm sleeping and it's 20 below outside. If everyone is using electricity at the same time, it's for a reason.

But maybe you'd be willing to let the temperature in the house dip down to 65 degrees at 2am if it turned out there was a spike in pricing then... but it knows you want the temperature back up to 70 degrees by the time you wake up at 7am. The furnace is one appliance that has a lot of flexibility in exactly when it runs - most of the time you can shift its runtime by 15 minutes (or longer) without a noticeable difference in comfort, so you can take advantage of short-term power price fluctuations.

A naive setback thermostat might turn the heat on full-blast at 6:30am to warm the house by 7am, but a smarter thermostat that can look at power prices might warm the house back up to 70 degrees at 5:30am before the 6am peak pricing kicks in, saving you money.

about two weeks ago

Submissions

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Network Solutions hit with DDOS attack

hawguy hawguy writes  |  about a year and a half ago

hawguy (1600213) writes "As reported by TechZone 360 as well as a number of blogs and tweets, Network solutions experienced a DDOS attack today, knocking out DNS resolution for thousands of hosts.

Things are improving on the DNS side, but their website is still having problems. They've apparently posted a message about the outage on their website, but I've been unable to load the page.

They posted a brief message on their Facebook page:

Network Solutions is experiencing a Distributed Denial of Service (DDOS) attack that is impacting our customers as well as the Network Solutions site. Our technology team is working to mitigate the situation. Please check back for updates.

"
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Facebook takes on Google with graph search

hawguy hawguy writes  |  about 2 years ago

hawguy (1600213) writes "As reported by CNET:

Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg announced Graph Search at a press event today at the company's Menlo Park headquarters, billing it as a new way find people, photos, places and interests that are most relevant to Facebook users.

Graph Search is the social network's response to its massive base of 1 billion users, 240 billion photos, and 1 trillion connections. The tool is meant to provide people the answers to their to their questions about people, photos, places, and interests.

Does anyone have any opinions on FB's latest product?"

Link to Original Source
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Who is WirelessForAmerica?

hawguy hawguy writes  |  more than 3 years ago

hawguy (1600213) writes "I came across a video for WirelessForAmerica today:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HyyDIk8W6Kw

It warns of an impending wireless spectrum shortage (only 24 months until the disaster hits!), and how they have just the answer, but of course it's being derailed by special interests.

It came off a pure political video — warning of an impending disaster if nothing is done, their solution uses American Ingenuity, will create jobs, etc.

So what's the real story behind WirelessForAmerica? Are we running out of mobile bandwidth? Is their solution really the best alternative? From what I've gleaned from their WirelessForAmerica.org website, they want to use frequencies that are so close to existing GPS frequencies that nearly all existing GPS receivers would need to be replaced and future receivers would need to be designed to better reject neighboring frequencies."

Link to Original Source
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Power grid change may disrupt clocks

hawguy hawguy writes  |  more than 3 years ago

hawguy (1600213) writes "A yearlong experiment with the nation's electric grid could mess up traffic lights, security systems and some computers — and make plug-in clocks and appliances like programmable coffeemakers run up to 20 minutes fast."
Link to Original Source

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