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Grinch Vulnerability Could Put a Hole In Your Linux Stocking

phoenix_rizzen Re:Wheel Group (116 comments)

What are you smoking?

Debian installer specifically asks for a root password, won't let you install the system without a non-root users, and there's no wheel group in /etc/group. There is a sudo group that the first user created during the install is added to.

What Debian system are you using?

2 days ago
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Grinch Vulnerability Could Put a Hole In Your Linux Stocking

phoenix_rizzen Re:Grinch is not a flaw - has no CVE!!! (116 comments)

Which Linux systems include the wheel group? Haven't come across that on Linux systems in years (if ever). That's a BSD thing, where GID 0 is "wheel".

On Linux, GID 0 is "root". Or, at least, every Linux system I've used in the past 10 years (none of which are RedHat, though; they do weird and not-so-wonderful things over there)

One of the first things we do on our Linux systems is create the "wheel" group as a system group (UID under 100), and add our admin users to that group. No users go into GID 0. And sudo is configured to only allow group wheel access to things they need access to.

2 days ago
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Small Bank In Kansas Creates the Bank Account of the Future

phoenix_rizzen Re: Unless it has support for Bitcoin... (156 comments)

It's only expensive if you want it to be, or don't know any better.

ING Direct (now Tangerine) offers free banking.

PC Financial offers free banking, and access to all CIBC ATMs.

Valley First Credit Union offers free banking, and access to all credit union ATMs.

There's a few others that offer free banking, but I stopped paying attention awhile ago.

I also stopped banking at the big banks a long time ago (RBC, Scotia, TD, BMO, etc) when they started nickle-and-diming their customers. There's a lot of other banks and credit unions that provide the same or better service for way less fees (or no fees).

It always amazes me how the big banks bring in record profits every years, in the tens of billions of dollars, and still find a need to reduce staff and raise fees every year. And they wonder why they keep losing customers to the smaller banks. :roll-eyes:

3 days ago
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Small Bank In Kansas Creates the Bank Account of the Future

phoenix_rizzen Re: Unless it has support for Bitcoin... (156 comments)

Sounds pretty much the same as the Canadian system. We stopped getting paper bills and using cash for anything a couple years ago. Only thing I haven't enabled yet is NFC payments on my phone.

It's really just the poor Americans to the South who are still in the banking dark ages, not North America in general. :)

4 days ago
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Small Bank In Kansas Creates the Bank Account of the Future

phoenix_rizzen Re:Congratulations you've invented the credit card (156 comments)

We can do that here in Canada, using Interac via e-mail. Money leaves your account, goes into the Interac escrow account, the recipient gets an e-mail. They login to the Interac website, put in the password you gave them offline (or over the phone, SMS, whatever), and the money is transferred into their account.

It's not instantaneous, but nearly so. The recipient chooses when it's most convenient to receive the money. And the sender always has the option of revoking the transfer.

AFAIK, there's no reason you couldn't do a similar transfer to/from a business.

4 days ago
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Small Bank In Kansas Creates the Bank Account of the Future

phoenix_rizzen Re:Sounds like Interac in Canada (156 comments)

And via e-mail (person to person transfers). The list of participating banks is still fairly small, but covers all the major Canadian banks, most of the regional banks, and several credit unions, with more joining all the time.

You don't realise just how powerful and pervasive the Interac system is, until you try to do anything banking related in the US. It really is like the banking dark ages down there.

4 days ago
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LG To Show Off New 55-Inch 8K Display at CES

phoenix_rizzen Re:What's the Motivation? (179 comments)

Most people can't tell ... if there's nothing to compare against.

It's *very* easy to tell the difference between two monitors if you have them side-by-side. But stick one monitor into one room, and the other into another room, and ask people to pick the best one after walking through the two rooms, and it'll be a lot harder.

It's like comparing DPI on print jobs. Anything under 300 DPI looks like crap. But go over 300 DPI on a B&W laser, and it gets very hard to tell which is better ... unless you have them sitting side-by-side.

about a week ago
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The Case For Flipping Your Monitor From Landscape to Portrait

phoenix_rizzen Re:You're Doing It Wrong (566 comments)

Every window manager released in the past 5-ish years supports "snap-to-side" features.

Move a window over to the left side of the screen, and it automatically resizes to take up full height and half the width of the screen, touching the left side of the screen.

Move a window over to the right side of the screen, and it automatically resizes to take up full height and half the width of the screen, touching the right side of the screen.

Several even include support for snapping into quadrants.

Move a window over to the top-left side of the screen, and it automatically resizes to take up half the height and half the width of the screen, touching the top-left side of the screen.

Repeat for the bottom-left, top-right, and bottom-right sides of the screen.

Move a window to the top of the screen, and it maximises to use the whole screen.

Even Windows 7+ does this (not sure about Vista). KDE 4+ does this. No idea about GNOME or Unity as I avoid them like the plague.

IOW, what you want, already exists.

about a week ago
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Chromebooks Overtake iPads In US Education Market

phoenix_rizzen Re:Misleading (193 comments)

Exactly. It doesn't matter how many were sold in a single quarter. What matters is how many have been sold overall, and how many of those are still in use.

Maybe this is a tipping point, and Chromebook sales will start to match iPad sales. Maybe not. Maybe this is a blip and never repeats.

Comparing anything over a single quarter is just plain dumb; short-sightedness in the extreme.

about two weeks ago
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Debian Forked Over Systemd

phoenix_rizzen Re:I wish them good luck. (647 comments)

Slight correction:

NetBSD and FreeBSD were developed independently in the 90s, and mostly in parallel.

OpenBSD forked off NetBSD.

DragonflyBSD forked off FreeBSD.

about three weeks ago
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Overbilled Customer Sues Time Warner Cable For False Advertising

phoenix_rizzen Re:TWC are (surprise, surprise) crooks and thieves (223 comments)

Exactly. You need to separate infrastructure (installation and maintenance thereof) from content (that goes across said infrastructure).

There's only 1 set of power lines going into each building, yet there are multiple providers/sources of electrons in the grid. Most power utilities are split into generation and delivery businesses. Customers can even choose where their payments go (to "normal" power generation, "green" power generation, etc).

There's only 1 set of gas lines going into each building, yet there are multiple providers/sources of natural gas in the grid. Most gas companies are split into generation and delivery businesses. Up here in BC, Canada, we have multiple gas suppliers to choose from, depending on whether we want a fluctuating rate or a locked-in rate. All goes over the same gas line infrastructure.

Back in the day, there was only 1 set of phone lines into each building, but you could get phone services from multiple local or long-distance carriers. You could even get Internet service through multiple dial-up ISPs or ADSL ISPs. Separate businesses from infrastructure and content.

Some cities even had 1 set of cable lines going into a building, but you could get TV service from multiple cable companies.

We need to separate IP infrastructure (1 set of fibre cables into each building) from IP services (multiple ISPs, IPTV, IP-whatever companies).

It's absolutely rediculously redundant and wasteful to have every ISP running their own lines into each building (cable, ADSL, fibre ISP1, fibre ISP2, etc). And it's anti-competitive as all get out to have a content company managing Internet infrastructure.

about a month ago
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LG's 0.7mm Smartphone Bezel Is World's Narrowest

phoenix_rizzen Re:Drop test? (63 comments)

What are you dropping it on and from how high?

My G2 has been without a cover for 10 months now. Dropped several times on laminate floor, carpet, linoleum, and carport cement (2-4' drops). Been kicked across the floor and the driveway. And went tumbling down the stairs twice so far. Only permanent damage is two small divots on the very edge of the bezels ( in the extremely thin silver band just outside of the glass screen).

This has been one of the sturdiest phones I've had, and the first touchscreen phone I've kept out of a case. The only one stronger was my first cell phone, a fortified Panasonic TX-220.

about a month and a half ago
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Microsoft Is Bringing WebRTC To Explorer, Eyes Plugin-Free Skype Calls

phoenix_rizzen Re:Wrong strategy (66 comments)

Except that Google Voice only works for Americans. If you don't live in the US, it's extremely difficult to get a GV number, or to use GV.

Skype works on any Windows/MacOS computer, virtually any iOS, Android, or MS phone device, some consoles, and probably other devices. Even if you can't phone a landline using it, you can still connect with people using it.

A better comparison would be Google Hangouts which can be used to:
    - send/receive SMS messages on cell phones
    - send/receive instant messages on cell phones, tablets, chromebooks, laptops, PCs, etc
    - make voice or video calls between Hangouts users
    - make voice calls to landlines within North America for free (and other countries for pennies)

Google Hangouts is quickly overtaking Microsoft Skype in features, although it's still building it's userbase.

about 2 months ago
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Which Android Devices Sacrifice Battery-Life For Performance?

phoenix_rizzen Re: all (108 comments)

Standby time is irrelevent. Turn the screen off, put it in airplane mode, and it will last a month. Turn the phone off completely, it will last for years. Never take it out of the box, and it will last indefinitely.

How long the battery lasts when you don't use it isn't really a metric worth debating.

How long a battery lasts while you use the phone on a regular basis is what matters. And 4 or 5 hours of SoT isn't anything to brag about. Not when the LG G2, Droid Razr Maxx, and similar phones get 7+ hours of SoT.

4-5 hours in 2014 is pathetic.

about 2 months ago
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Which Android Devices Sacrifice Battery-Life For Performance?

phoenix_rizzen Re: all (108 comments)

4-5 hours screen-on time isn't that great. That was the benchmark in 2013 before the LG G2 came out. It's normal to get 7 hours SoT with the G2, and more if you tweak things or use it as an ereader.

The number of days of standby time is irrelevant. My phone lasts 3+days if all I do is check the odd text message; it's amazing how long you can drag out 8 hrs of screen time if you don't actually turn the screen on.

about 2 months ago
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Native Netflix Support Is Coming To Linux

phoenix_rizzen Re:When will it work in Seamonkey and Firefox (178 comments)

Runs what faster than Chrome? JavaScript? Nope. HTML rendering? Nope. Loading web pages in general? Nope. Starting up from disk? Nope.

Firefox used to be the lean and mean alternative browser. Then Chrome came along and showed everyone just how slow and bloated Firefox has become (which just shows how slow IE is).

The only thing Firefox has left as positive features are extensions and plugins. In every other way, it's been surpassed by Chrome, Safari, and sometimes even IE11+.

about 3 months ago
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AT&T Says 10Mbps Is Too Fast For "Broadband," 4Mbps Is Enough

phoenix_rizzen Re:What AT&T says to the consumer.. (533 comments)

You gotta love marketdroids. "Max" means there's nothing greater, yet they have "Max Plus" and "Max Turbo". :roll-eyes:

Where do they find the people who dream up these names? And why do they still have a job? Did the Street Fighter naming crew get picked up on contract here?

"I want the max download speed you have."
"Okay, would you like Max, Max Plus, or Max Turbo?"
"Uhm, what?"

about 3 months ago
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AT&T Says 10Mbps Is Too Fast For "Broadband," 4Mbps Is Enough

phoenix_rizzen Re:Sorry guys, but you are full of shit (533 comments)

Until this past school year, we had 20-odd elementary schools running off 4 Mbps / 0.77 Mbps ADSL links. :( Schools with a full lab of 30 computers, a library lab of 6-10 computers, plus at least 1 computer per classroom.

We even had a handful of sites running off 2 Mbps point-to-point wireless. And one site running on an E1/T1 (1.5 Mbps).

And all of them chomping at the bit to get iPads, Chromebooks, and Android tablets into the school. :(

We gave up waiting for the province (who manages school Internet connections) to upgrade their connections (there's about a 3-year wait list). Especially once we learnt their "next generation Internet" recommends E10 (10 Mbps) for an elementary and E100 (100 Mbps) for a secondary school. :(

Many years ago, we were part of a city-wide initiative (that fizzled out after 2 years) to run fibre to all admin sites, secondary schools, and city buildings, so we have gigabit fibre links between our school board office and the in-town secondary schools.

This past year we've been putting up Ubiquiti point-to-point wireless links between elementary schools and secondary schools. This has upgraded their connections to 100 Mbps (with 60 Mbps actual). Still part of the provincial network, and it's freed up a lot of money for us to be able to upgrade the few out-of-town sites and sites without line-of-site to another school.

4 Mbps is not "broadband" by any definition. And 10 Mbps is barely "broadband" for a single-family household. 25 Mbps needs to be the minimum definition for a family dwelling, and 100 Mbps should be the minimum for any kind of school or multi-person building.

about 3 months ago
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AT&T Says 10Mbps Is Too Fast For "Broadband," 4Mbps Is Enough

phoenix_rizzen Re:1Gbps is Broadband (533 comments)

It's only expensive because you are doing it wrong.

Instead of having multiple different providers all running their own copper, cable, and fibre into each building, duplicating the work, it really should be handled like a proper utility.

There aren't 6 different power cables running into your dwelling, even if there are multiple power providers in the county/state/country. There's 1 cable that multiple providers use.

There aren't 6 different water lines running into your dwelling, even if there are multiple water providers in the county/state/country. There's 1 set of pipes that multiple providers use.

There aren't 6 different gas lines running into your dwelling, even if there are multiple gas providers in the county/state/country. There's a single gas line that multiple providers use.

Thus, there really shouldn't be multiple copper, cable, and fibre lines into your dwelling. There should be only a single set of fibre that goes into the building that multiple providers can use to send bits to/from your house. Terminate them all in multiple central locations in the city, and let the different Internet, video, TV, phone, whatever-over-IP providers rent space in them to stick their equipment in, and just run patch cables and vlans between them as needed.

It's time to treat IP connectivity as the utility it has become, and to centralise the infrastructure for it. There's no need for each individual ISP/content provider to run their own infrastructure around the country. Stop duplicating the infrastructure. Run fibre once and be done with it.

about 3 months ago

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