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Comments

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New Mayhem Malware Targets Linux and UNIX-Like Servers

mpol Re:Derp (168 comments)

We had lots of trouble with WordPress bot-logins from Russia and Ukraine, so I decided to block those ip-ranges.
Turns out one such block was also partly being used by customers in my own country. I received some vague mails about some things not working correctly. So I removed that ip-block, and sent back some vague replies that it was a firewall that was too strict.

There might be other blocks listed as from Russia and Ukraine, that are actually being used elsewhere.

Anyway, with the advent of ipv6, the whole idea of ip-blocks might change.

about 3 months ago
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Male Scent Molecules May Be Compromising Biomedical Research

mpol Re:Captain Obvoius (274 comments)

Beavis:
"I have high standards in relationships. I have at least 3 requirements:
- She must be a woman
- She must at least have one breast
- She may not be my mother"

about 6 months ago
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Google Using Self-Driving Car Data To Make Cars Smarter

mpol A landscape full of robot-cars (174 comments)

We're all aware that bots are all around us. Anyone with a website has probably more bot-generated traffic than human-generated traffic.
I wonder what will happen with cars. In 10 years we will not just have the occasional Google car filming the neighbourhood.
There will probably a whole industry of robot-cars without humans. Designed to look like cars, like a mini-car, but without seats, without stearingwheel and dashboard, etc.
It will be designed just for the robot. I cannot oversee just for what they will be used, but I reckon it's not just for Google-cars.
You could have a courier-botcar deliver a package, cheaper that a car with a human inside. Or maybe even cheaper than a bike-courier.
There will be new uses invented for cars. 20 years from now the landscape and the roads might look very different from today.

about 6 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Practical Bitrot Detection For Backups?

mpol Par2 and Reed-Solomon (321 comments)

Bitrot does happen.
When a disk has a bad block and detects that, it will try to read the data from it and put it on a block from the reserve-pool. However, the data might be bad and corrupt, so you lose data.
Disks do have a Reed-Solomon (aka par-files) index, so it can repair some damage, but it doesn't always succeed.

Anyway, what I do for important things, is have par2 blocks that go along with the data. All my photo-archives have par2 files attached to them.

I reckon you could even automate it. To have a script that traverses all directories and tries to repair the data if it's broken. If it fails, you get notified.

about 10 months ago
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Snowden Document Says Dutch Secret Service Hacks Internet Forums

mpol Re:Do you really believe the politicians ? (162 comments)

It's just politics. None of the politicians came across as serious when the first revelations of Snowden came out. Only the SP wanted to ask questions to Snowden directly, but he definitely won't fly to Holland :).
When it comes to this situation, there's no real party you can trust.

about a year ago
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Ten Steps You Can Take Against Internet Surveillance

mpol Re:What about email (234 comments)

I know GPG. But I do not know anyone who is using it. I haven't seen a gpg-signature in years, except my own :).

about a year ago
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Ten Steps You Can Take Against Internet Surveillance

mpol What about email (234 comments)

Maybe I'm naive or ignorant, but what can a normal user do about e-mail?
Most e-mail from ISP's runs over port 25, and it all gets logged by logboxes and tappers. I don't think the default for an MTA is port 465 or 587, but still 25. If I'm wrong. please correct me.
What should be done here, can someone inform me. Is there something a user, admin or mta-developer should do here?
I read my mail over imaps and pop3s, and store it on my own-hosted imap server. But what to do about smtp-traffic?

about a year ago
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Nokia: Microsoft Must Evolve To Make Windows Phone a Success

mpol Re:Yeah reminds me of the small businessman cartoo (230 comments)

The best description on Slashdot I read about the MS-Nokia deal is:

Microsoft rides Nokia like a cowboy rides a horse untill it dies. Then they hop over to the next horse.

about a year ago
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Firefox OS Smartphones Launching, But Will Anyone Buy One?

mpol Interesting (127 comments)

I think it's an interesting OS to watch for. I can see similarities with the web. The web seemed to turn into a proprietary format. Firefox stumbled on, but it seemed like an uphill battle that would never succeed. However they did succeed, by just keeping to their goals. The web now is more open then 10 years ago, where you couldn't even access the website of your bank with Firefox.

Now with this OS, it might turn out the same. It's all somewhat closed platforms. Apple uses Obj-C, Android a Java variant. Other platforms use Qt. Now Firefox comes along and uses a platform that is already open, html5/css/js, and uses it for apps.

I just hope the other underdogs follow suit, and use the same API, like Ubuntu, Jolla, Tizen.
We'' lees what the future brings. I think they can do it, and provide a common platform for the future.

about a year ago
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Ask Slashdot: Is an Online Identity Important When Searching For Technical Jobs?

mpol Re:Slightly Off Topic, But A Worse Situation (358 comments)

Hmm, I expect you have a good reason to not have an online presence. If you wanted that, you'd have it. So advising to create that presence seems like an unwanted idea.

I would just put it in my resume, with a well worded sentence that you don't have an online presence. I would expect HR to check your online presence, so it's good to write it in advance.

about a year ago
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Transgendered Folks Encountering Document/Database ID Hassles

mpol Re:Living (814 comments)

> if the number of people you decribe are less than 5000 a year in the USA, it is a small enough number that it doesnt even register.

Are you talking about terrorism here? How many died last year from that?
And how many died from attacks because of their gender?

about a year ago
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Clearing Up Wayland FUD, Misconceptions

mpol Re:The Manchurian Candidate (240 comments)

And this would be a possible roadmap for X12:
X12 Development
Reading that list also makes a big argument against X11, and it seems to me that Wayland will be the place where lots of things will be better.

about a year ago
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Jolla Announces First Meego Phone Available By End 2013

mpol Re:market share? (152 comments)

> They aren't even bothering to go after the US market. They're focusing on smaller, less competitive markets like China, Europe, and North Africa.

The US is the smaller market compared to China.

You can even blame Nokia, for throwing away their business in Asia and Africa with Symbian, just to try to capture the smaller US market with Windows Phone. And they even hardly succeed with that.

I expect Jolla to sell quite good in China, and hopefully somewhat in Europe too.

about a year and a half ago
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Jolla Announces First Meego Phone Available By End 2013

mpol Re:market share? (152 comments)

> If Blackberry and Microsoft with their $Billions can't compete with Google and Apple, how can a tiny project like this?

If everyone said that, we would not have Google or Apple. They too started as tiny projects. I wish them well, and hope to see them succeed.
The Nokia N9 sold well in China. It has allready been in the news that Jolla has good relationships with Chinese and European carriers. They will sell, probably some millions. Who knows where things are going.

about a year and a half ago
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Debian 7.0 ("Wheezy") Released

mpol Re:Why Debian? (191 comments)

I always used to feel that Debian was a bit behind the curve in regards to included packages. 10 years ago there was really visible progress, like anti-aliased fonts in GTK or the X compositor, so I went with other distro's that were more bleeding-edge. The install and configuration also was a bit hardcore (it still somewhat is, where is my DrakX?).

Nowadays I feel it's just the right spot. No over-engineered crap like systemd or journald. You can easily disable pulseaudio. And everything and the kitchen-sink is available in the repositories. And for just Firefox or Chrome you can easily add packages. There's no real need for bleeding-edge anymore. Linux is mature and stable.

about a year and a half ago
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Did the Spamhaus DDoS Really Slow Down Global Internet Access?

mpol Stats on AMS-IX (70 comments)

The statistics that the AMS-IX gives out do not show any rise in network traffic, maybe even a slowdown.

Stats

For a Dutch provider, you would at least suspect a slight increase in traffic on the Dutch Internet Exchange.

about a year and a half ago
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Can You Really Hear the Difference Between Lossless, Lossy Audio?

mpol Trends (749 comments)

There have been more posts on Slashdot in the last 14 years on Slashdot about this topic. What I recall of them, is that people have been tested with blind and double-blind tests. And about ten years ago you could hear a difference between lossless audio and low-bitrate mp3's. The latter has less high and low, and mostly a certain "Hiss" sound through it. The preference was with the lossless audio then.
What struck me in later tests, was that people seemed to favour mp3's above lossless audio. I reckon it has to do with getting used to the Hiss-sound in mp3's, and therefore having it as a preference. A big factor in music taste is how much you are used to hearing similar music and sounds, and the hiss-sound does make a usual sound.

To be fair, I do think that mp3's in a high bitrate like 320 kbit are almost as good as lossless audio. Even though I prefer the lossless audio, just to be sure.

about a year and a half ago
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Ask Slashdot: Current State of Linux Email Clients?

mpol Claws-mail (464 comments)

Claws-mail is the successor of the old Sylpheed-claws. It really is a nice and simple mailclient, which in the meantime does almost everything. Imaps, RSS, filtering, whatever. And with good usability, the buttons are all at the right place.
I even use the Windows version at work.

There are some thing Thunderbird is particularly bad at in my opinion. Like sorting threaded mails. I know there are extensions, but they suck.
I also don't like the autodetection of mailserver settings. You cannot save something in a non-working state, while sometimes I just want to do that.

about 2 years ago
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Stay Home When You're Sick!

mpol Staying home is healthy (670 comments)

Everyone seems to suggest that the main reason for staying home is to not spread the illness. I'd say a better reason would be because it's just healthy for you.

When you have the flue, your body fights that by upping your body temperature. Your body won't really like it, but the flue will definitely not like it. Then the weakened flue virus can be easier cleaned up.

But you have to support your body to keep at something like 39 degrees Celcius. Put the room thermostat higher, or just crawl in bed with lots of blankets. Anything to stay warm.
Staying at an office all day long, with minimal room temperature, often next to a windy door or window is not a good idea and won't really improve your situation. Your body will have to work real hard to get at a high temperature and to get rid of the virus.

Anyway, I was just sick this week. Today is my first good day again :).

about 2 years ago
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Mozilla OS Looking Grown Up On Its Own Developer Phone

mpol Anyone used it yet? (114 comments)

Has anyone used this OS yet, and can share some thoughts on it?

I'm a bit worried that it's a low cost (and probably relative slow) phone, while at the same time HTML5 can be a pretty heavy load.

I myself am not very fond of Android, and I will not buy anything from Apple or Microsoft. IMO The market can use another platform, especially when it is a portable platform with portable apps.

more than 2 years ago

Submissions

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Ask Slashdot: self-hosting git repositories

mpol mpol writes  |  about a year ago

mpol (719243) writes "We're all aware of PRISM and the NSA deals with software houses. Just today it was in the news that even Microsoft gives zero-day exploits to the NSA, who uses it to prepare themselves, but also uses the exploits to break into other systems.
At my company we use Git with some private repositories. It's easy to draw the conclusion that git-hosting in the cloud, like Github or Bitbucket, will lead to sharing the sourcecode with the NSA.
Self-hosting our Git repositories seems like a good and safe idea then.
The question then becomes, which software to use. It should be Open Source and under a Free License, that's for sure. Software like GitLab and GNU Savane seem good candidates. What other options are there, and how do they stack up against each other? What experience do people have with them?"

Link to Original Source
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Slashdot Poll

mpol mpol writes  |  about a year and a half ago

mpol (719243) writes "I remember my dreams
- Multiple per night
- Once per night
- Weekly
- Less then once a week
- I'm an Android, you insensitive clod!"
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WhatsApp is using IMEI numbers as passwords

mpol mpol writes  |  more than 2 years ago

mpol writes "In the past WhatsApp has been hightly critisized over their insecure use of the XMPP messaging protocol. Recently new versions of their app have incorporated encryption.

It seems the trouble isn't over yet for WhatsApp and its users. Sam Granger writes on his blog that WhatsApp is using IMEI numbers as passwords. This is at least the case with the Android app, but other platforms are probably using similar methods.
Since it is easily readable what someone's IMEI number is, this isn't really secret information that should be used for authentication.
In the wake of the Apple/FBI UDID fiasco, will we see lists with phone numbers and IMEI numbers appear on the net?"

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Ask Slashdot: Disabilities on the workforce

mpol mpol writes  |  more than 2 years ago

mpol writes "The job market can be hard right now, depending on your background and location. Having a disability makes things even more interesting.
7 years ago I suffered from a psychosis (interview: http://vimeo.com/48355668), and I am diagnosed with schizophrenia. I have been recovering quite good, and last year I started searching for a paying job. I found one, but it didn't turn out to be the right place, so I'm back at my volunteer job as web developer.
My current workplace is quite unique, as there are several people who had a psychosis in the past, or are diagnozed with autism.
When I look at myself I know that I have some things that will always play up more or less. I'm very sensitive for the atmosphere at the workplace for example. I also need clear communication, more so than other people. Furthermore, a workweek of maybe 20-25 hours is the max for me.
I tried self-employment, but motivation and discipline are a bit hard to come by, and it's not something that will work for me longterm. In theory it's perfect, in practice not so much.
I'm not sure what my short-term future will look like, but for this year I'm quite happy where I am, but next year I might go searching for a salaried job again.

I'm wondering if there are more people on Slashdot who have a job in ICT, or are searching one, and also have disabilities. How did you land at your job, and what issues do you run into in daily practice."

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MySQL slowly turning closed source?

mpol mpol writes  |  more than 2 years ago

mpol writes "Sergei from MariaDB speculated on some changes within MySQL 5.5.27. It seems new testcases aren't included with MySQL anymore, which leaves developers depending on it in the cold.
"Does this mean that test cases are no longer open source? Oracle did not reply to my question. But indeed, there is evidence that this guess is true. For example, this commit mail shows that new test cases, indeed, go in this “internal” directory, which is not included in the MySQL source distribution."
On a similar note, updates for the version history on Launchpad are not being updated anymore.
What is Oracle's plan here? And is alienating the developer community just not seen as a problem at Oracle?"

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The FFmpeg/Libav situation

mpol mpol writes  |  more than 2 years ago

mpol writes "Over at pkh.me, a FFmpeg developer seems to have quite a fresh view of the situation with FFmpeg and its fork Libav. "One year and a half ago, an important part of FFmpeg developers decided to change the way the project was managed. This led to some kind of takeover, mainly to get rid of the old maintainer dictatorship, but also to change development methods, redefine objectives, etc. Then, for various reasons I will quickly explain, these people made a new project called Libav."
It makes for an interesting read behind the scenes."

Link to Original Source
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Zero-Day exploit market sells mostly to US government

mpol mpol writes  |  more than 2 years ago

mpol writes "Forbes magazine published a profile of French exploit-selling firm Vupen last April. Now there's a blog article about a broker from South Africa, complete with a price-list of zero-day exploits and their platform. iOS is the highest valued here.
The article also claims most exploits are being sold to agencies of the US government.
It does raise a concern though. What if black-hats got more serious, and the US government would become a victim. When shit hits the fan, how will they react."

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Statcounter: 1366x768 monitors beat 1024x768 monitors for the first time

mpol mpol writes  |  more than 2 years ago

mpol writes "Statcounter released new statistics today and 1366x768 monitors feature now the most used screen resolution on the internet.
These screens are available in most cheap laptops, and therefore probably sold and used very much. With 19.2% it is beating the old 4:3 resolution, which still has 18.6% usage share.
And you do know, you have lies, damn lies, and statistics."

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Why isn't Reed-Solomon error-correction integrated into our software

mpol mpol writes  |  more than 2 years ago

mpol writes "Ever since I learned of the Reed-Solomon algorythm I was amazed at the technical wonder of it. Just as amazed as I was about the error-correction in pressed Audio-CDs. I do know that at a very low-level it is integrated into harddisks. It's also built into RAID-6 and other server-grade software.
For my self-made photo's and music collection in flac I always remember to make 5% par2 files, just in case of corruption of the files (and yes, that does happen). I sometimes feel I have to advise the people around me to do the same, so they won't lose their data, but I feel that workflow is too technical for most people.
I'm wondering why Reed-Solomon isn't more transparently integrated into our software. For example, when you rip music to flac or mp3, the ripper should also make par2 files. The same with a photo made into a raw or jpg file. This file should have par2 information inside it or right next to it. Then the management software for media should repair the files when it encounters corruption. All handled transparently, without requiringing any technical knowledge or activity from the user.
Why hasn't this been done. The algorythm is from 1960. Even Audio-CDs from 1983 had it built in. And it's now 2012."

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KDE's Plasma Active releases own 7" tablet

mpol mpol writes  |  more than 2 years ago

mpol writes "KDE's Plasma Active introduced last Saturday its own 7" tablet. According to Aaron J. Seigo, "It's the first tablet computer that comes with Plasma Active pre-installed".
The 'Spark' with its 7" screen is built around a Cortex A9 with a Mali-400-gpu, 512MB RAM and an SD-card slot. It will have a 800x480 screen resolution and will cost around 200 Euro.
It is actually a rebrand of the Zenithink ZT-180 C71, which comes with Android by default.
On a personal note, Aaron J. Seigo will no longer be sponsored by Qt Development Frameworks to work on Qt and KDE. He will however stay involved with KDE and Free Software he says."

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Low-Power home server for Linux

mpol mpol writes  |  about 5 years ago

mpol (719243) writes "For years I've been using a home-server with Linux, but recently I've been getting doubts about the electric bill. I'm not touched by the recession yet, but I would like to cut costs, and going from a 100Watt system to a 30Watt system would save me 70 bucks a year. The system doesn't need to do much, just apache, imap, ssh and some nfs, but I do prefer to have a full-fledged system, where I can choose what to install on it. I also don't really care if it's a low-power Via or an ARM processor, I do prefer it to be cheap. A full system for max 300 bucks would be nice. That way I would have earned it back after 4 years on powersavings.
I've been reading about the Western Digital Mybook World Edition, which has an ARM processor, but isn't that easy to install Debian on. A Mac Mini draws about 85Watt, so that isn't an option either. I would accept something just a bit more than turn-key, but not a hack-job. I've done hack-jobs enough in the past, now it's time for smooth and easy. Adding a temporary cdrom or dvd-rom, or an usb disk with an iso to install from would have my preference.
Are there Slashdotters who run nice and cheap low-power Linux systems? What can you recommend?"

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