Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Comments

top

Ask Slashdot: How Do I Make a High-Spec PC Waterproof?

plover The right enclosure (42 comments)

NEMA rates enclosures for their ability to withstand harsh environments. Search for NEMA enclosures and pick the one that fits your machine.

about an hour ago
top

FTDI Reportedly Bricking Devices Using Competitors' Chips.

plover Re:The good news (688 comments)

Look at how counterfeiting laws work for money. If you pay with a $100 bill in a smokey bar at night and get a $20 counterfeit bill in change, and don't realize it until the next day, you're out the $20. If you try to spend it, you're actually committing a felony - it doesn't matter if you printed the phony bill yourself, or if you just accepted it as change and are passing it forward. It also doesn't matter if you realize it's counterfeit or not, although the Secret Service agents may agree to give you a pass the first time you try to spend phony money if you claim you didn't realize it was counterfeit, and cooperate completely.

However, currency counterfeiting laws are very specific to money. Let's look at product counterfeiting, which works similarly but probably without the felony charges.

If FTDI discovered a container of devices with counterfeit chips was en route, they could tell Customs, who would order the contents of the container to be destroyed once they arrived on the dock. This would be a problem for the shipping company, who accepted the devices for shipment and never delivered them, so they would have to pay out an insurance claim. The insurer then has to deal with the liability by going back to the shipper and saying "hey, your devices were destroyed by Customs, I had to pay out for failing to deliver the goods." I expect the shipping companies deal with this all the time, though, and have a contract clause that absolves them of insurance liability in this case. In this case, the supplier is out the money. Their recourse would be to go back to the manufacturer and ask for their money back. Maybe the manufacturer will honor the request, maybe they won't.

If FTDI discovered a shipment of devices with counterfeit chips already went to MicroCenter, they would call the Secret Service, who would contact MicroCenter and MicroCenter would have to pull them off the shelves and destroy them, leaving MicroCenter without the money. Their only recourse would be to contact their supplier and say "hey, you sold us counterfeit goods, we want our money back." Maybe they'd get their money back, maybe they wouldn't. It's a risk.

So FTDI has now found a way to destroy a consumer device. As above, the consumer is similarly out of luck. Their recourse is to go back to MicroCenter and say "hey, this adapter, it's broke." Maybe they'll get their money back, maybe they won't. It's a risk. MicroCenter might eat the losses, or they might go back to their supplier, who might go back to the manufacturer.

In every case when the counterfeits are discovered they are destroyed, leaving somebody without the device and without the money.

I think FTDI may have a pretty solid legal ground for behaving like this, even though it's always a crappy experience to the person who got stuck with the phony. The main difference is that FTDI is doing this without asking the Secret Service to investigate the counterfeits first.

2 days ago
top

Security Company Tries To Hide Flaws By Threatening Infringement Suit

plover Re:If you can't do, sue! (123 comments)

Nope. Legal protections for intellectual property include patents, trademarks, and copyright. However, all these have limited lifetimes. Having a trade secret means you forgo any legal protection, and you take on defending your secret through your own security systems. That means you can retain a trade secret for as long as you can keep it secret, but once the genie's out of the bottle, too bad. The courts can't help you directly, but you could sue a disgruntled employee if he published the 11 secret herbs and spices in breach of his employment contract.

2 days ago
top

Security Company Tries To Hide Flaws By Threatening Infringement Suit

plover Re:If you can't do, sue! (123 comments)

On the one hand, there is the philosophy that "locks only keep honest people out." If someone is using a hack to bypass their door security, the current legal framework could be used to charge them with trespassing, breaking and entering, illegal use of lock-picking equipment, possession of burglary tools, or some other charge. If a prosecutor wants to file charges against you for using such a device, he will. To that end, HID may feel they have to try to defend their system through the legal system, or the courts may not take their products seriously as a security system.

On the other hand, anyone who has such a system protecting their buildings and grounds is now at Pucker-Factor One. These SLAPP lawsuits are just confirmation that HID acknowledges the threat to their systems is real, and the attack code is already in the hands of vandals and bad guys. If building security was my job I'd be on the phone to HID today, and googling the competition while their account manager lied in my ear about how it's not a crisis.

2 days ago
top

Security Company Tries To Hide Flaws By Threatening Infringement Suit

plover Re:Oh, another one (123 comments)

You have just described the crime of barratry, or of a SLAPP. Neither will get you disbarred.

Remember, the bar is populated by other lawyers, and they like to practice freely. They're won't disbar someone for defending their client through vigorous means - to defend someone in any other way would be unethical to their client. A SLAPP has to be really, really egregious before it sinks to that level.

2 days ago
top

Ask Slashdot: Event Sign-Up Software Options For a Non-Profit?

plover Re:Boil it down to cost (104 comments)

You have essentially lead them into making the decision that you want them to make.

I agree with everything except your conclusion. It's not a contest, with a winner and loser. Everyone at the table needs to be trying to serve the users and business interests. Once the goals and requirements come out, it may turn out his initial decision was not the best. It's about cooperating to deliver the best fit solution that meets everyone's requirements to the maximum extent practical.

To that degree, it often helps not to look at it as a process of compromise; it's better to think that you're all agreeing to deliver the most important stuff.

3 days ago
top

Ask Slashdot: Event Sign-Up Software Options For a Non-Profit?

plover Boil it down to cost (104 comments)

A couple of years ago, I was asked to be the registration chair for a national event, which we successfully held this spring. All previous events had been run strictly on paper-and-pencil mail-in forms, but that involves a lot of manual work, including a lot of last minute work at the event door. I looked long and hard at various open source and commercial event management offerings, and I spoke to other people who ran similar events. Based on recommendations from other event organizers, I landed on regonline as a good blend of features and customizability, even though it was a bit expensive (though they offer a discount for a 501(c)(3) organization.) What it came down to for me was effort. I wouldn't have time to set up all the hosting needed, to install and configure the software, or to integrate with a payment gateway, and I got a lot of really valuable features from their system. I didn't want us to make our attendees suffer through hour-long lines at a registration booth. And I was able to provide instant reports to the conference chair, who used them to help run the event smoothly.

Something it sounds like you need to do here is figure out "who is the Registration Chair"? If it's you, your only question to the Event Chair should be "what is my budget?" Base your solution on the bottom line. If your budget is $5/registrant, and it includes lanyards and ID cards, your options are wide open. If your budget is $0.50/registrant, and you have to use a box of old "Hello my name is..." stickers, your options are a bit more limited. The important thing is: the Registration Chair is in charge of registration. He or she decides how to best solve the problem, not "here are some random developers, you must write us a site."

One thing that still isn't clear is why you would have to "write" a new site. It sounds like you created one a few years ago, and then another, and then another. I realize your group is a precious snowflake, completely unique in the world, but events really are just events. They all have web sites, registrants, admins, venues, agenda items, merchandise, travel, lodging, taxes, payments, receipts, badges, volunteers, and reports. And there is nothing in that list you can't get from the marketplace. Ultimately, if you absolutely can't use a packaged solution because of [illogical rationale], you should only need to have someone reconfigure the existing site. That's a lot less effort, perhaps not much more than c/2014/2015/g

Finally, if you're taking payments on line, you're going to run into extra effort and risk to interface with them. No matter what, you really, really don't want to be responsible for someone else's credit cards. Not these days. The risk is more than you can imagine. If that's something you can foist off on a third party, you'll keep a ton of liability out of your organization.

4 days ago
top

Apple Doesn't Design For Yesterday

plover Re:Hockey puck mouse (369 comments)

Clearly, you were holding it wrong.

about a week ago
top

Apple Doesn't Design For Yesterday

plover Re: I don't follow (369 comments)

That's always a problem with translations. Equivalent words or phrases in different languages take up different amounts of space. You almost always have to provide a different layout for a different language, unless you start out with ginormous buttons that can accommodate all languages.

about a week ago
top

India Successfully Launches Region-Specific Navigation Satellite

plover Re:And meanwhile (86 comments)

Yes, many of India's people are impoverished. That condition has existed for thousands of years. Instead, look at the rate at which India has been lifting her people out of poverty. Forty years ago, less than 5% were wealthy, and she had virtually no middle class. Today, about a third of the people are middle class or wealthier. That means that about 400,000,000 people are a whole lot better off than their grandparents.

They won't ever be able to eradicate poverty with the signing of a law, or with a "government cheese" kind of program. Instead, they know it takes a long time, and a strong competitive nation to provide her citizens with opportunities to lift themselves up. India has not been squandering her new independence. It's not perfect, it's not corruption-free, it's not smooth, and it's not fast. But what they have done in the last few decades has been nothing short of amazing.

about a week ago
top

India Successfully Launches Region-Specific Navigation Satellite

plover Re:GPS (86 comments)

I think we can safely assume that since Indian engineers are designing and building the chips they'll be using in their own system, it would certainly be possible for them to build their own GPS receivers that aren't subject to the American munitions export restrictions on velocity and altitude. They are doing this strictly for independence from all foreign influences.

about a week ago
top

India Successfully Launches Region-Specific Navigation Satellite

plover Re:Region-Specific (86 comments)

You jest, but it's a real problem they are solving by creating their own Indian standard time infrastructure.

The entire system is being designed, built, launched, flown, and operated in India, by Indians, with absolutely no foreign dependencies. Having been burned more than a few times in their short existence by various nations who disagreed with their internal decisions, they take their independence very seriously. This is slightly different than the average American who pretty much takes their own independence for granted these days.

about a week ago
top

Court Rules Parents May Be Liable For What Their Kids Post On Facebook

plover Re:Why not? When you have kids.. (323 comments)

Civil disobedience is an option, but it generally requires popular support. When Rosa Parks refused to sit in the back of the bus, there were a lot of people who agreed that it was an unjust law, and supported her. If he tries that with libel and slander laws, he'll likely find that most people would rather not be lied to, they would not like granting random strangers the freedom to post photoshopped pictures of them smoking crack and costing them their jobs, and ultimately would not support repealing the law.

The Supreme Court has found many cases of unprotected speech, including threats, extortion, incitement, and this goes way back. They have long held that freedom of speech is not absolute.

Now, the laws regarding intentional infliction of emotional distress are new, and are pretty awful. There are other laws that could used to prosecute harassment, and so I can see those eventually being challenged. But libel and slander? Those go all the way back to English law, and at least as of today, they help keep a civil society.

So when I suggested he run for office, that was really my way of saying "go away, and spend your time fruitlessly in pursuit of this nonsense."

about a week ago
top

Court Rules Parents May Be Liable For What Their Kids Post On Facebook

plover Re:Why not? When you have kids.. (323 comments)

According to him, it's the fault of the believer for being so stupid as to trust a random web site claiming he's a pedo. But given how many people believe "it must be true, I read it on the Internet, and they can't publish anything on the Internet that isn't true", I don't think arguing with a potential employer is a winning strategy for a job seeker.

While I haven't really considered where I'd fall on the line of how much the slander and libel laws abridge the right to free speech, the case law itself is well established. To establish a defamation claim, most states require the plaintiff prove four elements: the defendant made a defamatory communication to a third party, the statement was false, the defendant was at fault in communicating it, and the plaintiff suffered harm. The courts have established that sending an email to someone else meets the publication requirement, as does posting on a web site. The plaintiff is supposed to only recover actual or compensatory damages commensurate with the harm suffered. Punitive damages may be awarded if the act was wanton, malicious, reckless, or in willful disregard for another's rights. And in the case of libel, the plaintiff may not have to prove harm.

He may or may not like the law and how it's been interpreted, but either way he's obligated to follow it. If it's that important to him, he can run for office and try to change it.

about a week ago
top

VeraCrypt Is the New TrueCrypt -- and It's Better

plover Re:why use this instead of say dm-crypt? (220 comments)

The OS's built-in encryption for many people is not dm-crypt, but BitLocker, a closed source implementation by Microsoft. And we know nothing about it. When is the key present in RAM? Is the key derived on boot up? How is it protected between boots? Is there an escrow key obscurely baked into the trillion bytes stored somewhere on the hard drive? And can it contain deniable drive images in the slack space of a parent drive?

Because the open source TrueCrypt code has been subjected to code reviews, and backdoors have not been found, it's somewhat more trustworthy than the closed source implementation that comes with the expensive versions of Microsoft's OS.

about two weeks ago
top

Kmart Says Its Payment System Was Hacked

plover Re:Does K-Mart use the same stuff as Sears? (101 comments)

While it's possible (unlikely in these days of PCI) that a POS register could have a direct route to the internet, it's also likely that the registers weren't the only machines in their system that were hacked. It is probable that the criminals found a little-used server in K-Mart's HQ systems, compromised it, and set up what's called a "dump site." The registers are then configured to exfiltrate their data to this internal HQ server, perhaps by periodic FTP, and the hackers had the HQ server send batches of data out to the internet at a later time.

about two weeks ago
top

Texas Health Worker Tests Positive For Ebola

plover Re:Everybody Panic! (421 comments)

What I don't understand: Wouldn't it be possible to put the wearer through a disinfectant decontamination shower before he or she takes off the suit?

There is a strong protocol, and yes, it includes decontamination sprays. As I understand it the protocol includes a disinfectant spray before taking off the suit, a hand spray after removing the first layer of gloves, then another disinfectant spray after stripping. And the gloves and suit are all supposed to come off inside-out, always turning the the hot side to the inside.

Remember that any suit that can protect the wearer against virus is also impermeable to air. That means the suits heat up. They are sweating profusely as soon as they get their suits on, and they can only remain suited up for less than an hour before roasting in their own juices. When every surface is soaked in sweat, it's impossible to recognize when it's the patient's infectious sweat or your own.

We know the best practical approach is to use a buddy system, and have them help each other. Even so, the first buddy to disrobe is still handling the infectious materials while helping the other to strip, so they still have to be vigilant. Repeat that clothing protocol every other hour for a long work day, week after week, and if the wrong piece of fabric ever accidentally brushes on you any time during the process you may get infected with a disease that has a 60% chance of killing you. Or if this is your first time dealing with an Ebola case, how do you know you've followed the protocol perfectly?

Now, cross the ocean. Place all of that in the context of extreme poverty; chronic suit, glove, equipment, and doctor shortages; wailing and shrieking family members; orphaned babies that may be infected; contaminated water supplies; relentless heat; men who tell rumors that Ebola is a disease from the West that is being spread by doctors and is being used to kill Africans, or that Ebola doesn't exist; populations frightened by the presence of workers in "moon suits" coming to collect their dead relatives; a culture that grieves by touching the bodies of the dead; and the dozens of other deadly diseases that still strike Africans constantly, including malaria, dengue fever, AIDS, hepatitis, typhoid fever, and chronic diarrhea caused by rampant bacterial and protozoal infections. Oh, and attacks on clinics by gunmen.

It's almost as if the disease evolved itself to adapt to collapsing health care systems in impoverished nations.

about two weeks ago
top

Texas Health Worker Tests Positive For Ebola

plover Re:Texas and Spain (421 comments)

The problem in these African nations is that the virus' main victims have been predominantly among the few trained health care workers they had.

If you live in the developed world, you don't even think about the doctor:patient ratio, which is probably somewhere around 1:400 in your country. In Liberia, the ratio was about 1:100,000 (back in 2008). That means in this entire country of 4 million people, they had about 40 doctors - about the same as one typical urban American hospital. These are the only people capable of "holding back the infection", as you so glibly put it.

This year alone, Ebola has already killed about 10% of their doctors.

As far as money goes, Liberia already spends more of their money on health care than any other country in the world. As they are one of the poorest nations, they have very little money for anything at all, so this has them completely tapped out.

What good is even a hundred liters of zMapp if there aren't enough doctors to identify and treat the infected?

about two weeks ago
top

Texas Health Worker Tests Positive For Ebola

plover Re:Everybody Panic! (421 comments)

well no, I bet a dollar there was a tear in his suit. Simplest explanation is always right.

Be prepared to lose a dollar. The protocol for donning and removing the protective gear is very complex, and very hard to get perfect. When putting the suit on, it's possible to get gaps between the goggles and suit without even knowing it. And when taking it off, a tiny flap of the contaminated suit brushing against a clean surface is almost impossible to detect.

In contrast, Tyvek suits are very hard to tear unless you're doing hard physical labor in a rough environment. Most hospital settings don't have the infectious care nursing staff crawling through piles of dirty rebar or squeezing along rough mortared brick walls.

about two weeks ago
top

The Cult of Elon Musk Shines With Steve Jobs' Aura

plover Re:I'm OK with this (181 comments)

The principle difference between them is that Jobs was always known to be a huge douche-nozzle. If Musk is similar, at least the stories of it haven't spread as much yet.

about two weeks ago

Submissions

top

Supervalu Becomes Another Hacking Victim

plover plover writes  |  about 2 months ago

plover (150551) writes "Supervalu (NYSE:SVU) is the latest retailer to experience a data breach, announcing today that cybercriminals had accessed payment card transactions at some of its stores.

The Minneapolis-based company said it had "experienced a criminal intrusion" into the portion of its computer network that processes payment card transactions for some of its stores. There was no confirmation that any cardholder data was in fact stolen and no evidence the data was misused, according to the company.

The event occurred between June 22 and July 17, 2014 at 180 Supervalu stores and stand-alone liquor stores. Affected banners include Cub Foods, Farm Fresh, Hornbacher's, Shop 'n Save and Shoppers Food & Pharmacy."

Link to Original Source
top

Smithsonian Releasing 3D Models of Artifacts

plover plover writes  |  about a year ago

plover (150551) writes "The Seattle Times reports "the Smithsonian Institution is launching a new 3D scanning and printing initiative to make more of its massive collection accessible to schools, researchers and the public worldwide. A small team has begun creating 3D models of some key objects representing the breadth of the collection at the world's largest museum complex. Some of the first 3D scans include the Wright brothers' first airplane, Amelia Earhart's flight suit, casts of President Abraham Lincoln's face during the Civil War and a Revolutionary War gunboat. Less familiar objects include a former slave's horn, a missionary's gun from the 1800s and a woolly mammoth fossil from the Ice Age. They are pieces of history some people may hear about but rarely see or touch."

So far they have posted 20 models on the site, with the promise of much more to come."
top

Why iFingerprinting Makes You Legally Unsafe

plover plover writes  |  1 year,28 days

plover (150551) writes "Mark Rasch, an attorney specializing in privacy and security law, has taken a look at using the iPhone's fingerprint access to protect your privacy. He believes that you can sometimes be compelled by a court to provide your password to unlock an encrypted file, depending on the circumstances. But you can always be compelled to provide your fingerprints, and that the Supreme Court has repeatedly affirmed there is no Fifth Amendment protection against it. That means if you lock your phone with only a fingerprint, the government will almost certainly be able to compel you to unlock it. If you lock it with a passcode, there's a chance you can refuse to provide it under the Fifth Amendment.

The new iPhone 5s’s biometric fingerprint scanner can actually put consumers (or merchants, for that matter) in a worse position legally than the previous four-digit PIN. In fact, the biometric can open the contents of a consumer’s phone and any linked payment systems, accounts or systems—including contacts, email and documents—less legally protected than the simple passcode. This is because the law may treat the biometric (something you are) differently from a password (something you know).

"

Link to Original Source
top

FinSpy Commercial Spyware Abused By Governments

plover plover writes  |  more than 2 years ago

plover (150551) writes "The NY Times has this story about FinSpy, a commercial spyware package sold "only for law enforcement purposes" being used by governments to spy on dissidents, journalists, and others, and how two U.S. computer experts, Morgan Marquis-Boire from Google, and Bill Marczak, a PhD student in Computer Science, have been tracking it down around the world."
top

Iran Admits Stuxnet Impacted Their Nuclear Program

plover plover writes  |  more than 3 years ago

plover (150551) writes "According to this article in the Guardian,

Ahmadinejad admitted the worm had affected Iran's uranium enrichment. "They succeeded in creating problems for a limited number of our centrifuges with the software they had installed in electronic parts," the president said. "They did a bad thing. Fortunately our experts discovered that, and today they are not able [to do that] anymore."

"

Link to Original Source
top

Jury awards $1.5 million to Capitol Records

plover plover writes  |  more than 3 years ago

plover (150551) writes "In the Jammie Thomas-Rasset case that never ends, a Minneapolis jury has awarded Capitol Records $1.5 million dollars.

Thomas-Rasset is expected to appeal and it the case could wind its way to the Supreme Court."

Link to Original Source
top

Ars Technica Forums Abused by Phishers

plover plover writes  |  more than 4 years ago

plover (150551) writes "Some Ars Technica members received phishing attempts purporting to be from SunTrust this morning. Here's the posting on the Ars forum explaining what happened.

It seems that many users received phishing attempts to Ars only email addresses this morning. We're working on it and will update this post when we find something out.

We believe that our previous forum provider has some exploit that allows people to send messages to private email addresses through their servers. Every report we've seen has originated at one of their web front ends. If we are correct, your email addresses have not been compromised. It's obviously pretty bad to be getting phishing attempts forwarded through someone else, but not quite as bad as if an email DB had been jacked or something.

We have emails out to them. There's a chance we won't hear back for a couple of hours since they're on pacific time, but we're doing what we can.

That's got to be one stupid phisherman to try phishing from the members of Ars Technica."

top

US Admits Most Piracy Estimates Are Bogus

plover plover writes  |  more than 4 years ago

plover (150551) writes "According to this article on Ars Technica, the GAO admitted that the estimates of the impact of piracy have no basis in fact.

After examining all the data and consulting with numerous experts inside and outside of government, the Government Accountability Office concluded that it is "difficult, if not impossible, to quantify the economy-wide impacts."

"
top

Senate Votes to Replace Aviation Radar With GPS

plover plover writes  |  more than 4 years ago

plover (150551) writes "The U.S. Senate today passed by a 93-0 margin a bill that would implement the FAA's NextGen plan to replace aviation radar with GPS units. It will help pay for the upgrade by increasing aviation fuel taxes on private aircraft. It will require two inspections per year on foreign repair stations that work on U.S. planes. And it will ban pilots from using personal electronics in the cockpit. This just needs to be reconciled with the House version and is expected to soon become law. This was discussed on Slashdot a few years ago."
Link to Original Source
top

Do your developers have local admin rights?

plover plover writes  |  more than 4 years ago

plover (150551) writes "I work as a developer for a Very Large American Corporation. We are not an IT company, but have a large IT organization that does a lot of internal development. In my area, we do Windows development, which includes writing and maintaining code for various services and executables. A few years ago the Info Security group removed local administrator rights from most accounts and machines, but our area was granted exceptions for developers. My question is: do other developers in other large companies have local admin rights to their development environment? If not, how do you handle tasks like debugging, testing installations, or installing updated development tools that aren't a part of the standard corporate workstation?"
top

Wal-mart Hacked in 2006, Details in Wired

plover plover writes  |  about 5 years ago

plover (150551) writes "Kim Zetter of Wired documents an extensive hack of Wal-Mart that took place in 2005-2006. She goes into great detail about the investigation and what the investigators found, including that the hackers made copies of their point-of-sale source code, and that they ran l0phtCrack on a Wal-Mart server.

Wal-Mart uncovered the breach in November 2006, after a fortuitous server crash led administrators to a password-cracking tool that had been surreptitiously installed on one of its servers. Wal-Mart’s initial probe traced the intrusion to a compromised VPN account, and from there to a computer in Minsk, Belarus.

Wal-mart has long since fixed the flaws that allowed the compromise, and confirmed that no customer data was lost in the hack."

top

Ex-CIO Blames Microsoft For Security Breach

plover plover writes  |  more than 6 years ago

plover (150551) writes "Hannaford is a grocery store chain who lost 4.2 million credit card numbers earlier this year as a result of a security breach. Their former CIO is directly blaming their use of Microsoft as the reason they were breached.

"None of the breach was anything related to Linux. All of it was Microsoft."

Asked whether he believed that Microsoft is less secure because it's truly less secure software or whether its overwhelming marketshare makes it a cyber thief target, Homa said it was the other way around. Microsoft's marketshare is not what attracts so many attackers. "Microsoft is so full of holes. That's why it's still a target," he said.

"
top

Hannaford's CIO Blames Data Breach on Microsoft

plover plover writes  |  more than 6 years ago

plover (150551) writes "Hannaford is a grocery store chain who lost 4.5 million credit card numbers as a result of a security breach. Their former CIO is directly blaming their use of Microsoft as the reason they were breached.

Homa has become a fan of simplification in battling security. "We used a lot of Linux," Homa said. "None of the breach was anything related to Linux. All of it was Microsoft."

Asked whether he believed that Microsoft is less secure because it's truly less secure software or whether its overwhelming marketshare makes it a cyber thief target, Homa said it was the other way around. Microsoft's marketshare is not what attracts so many attackers. "Microsoft is so full of holes. That's why it's still a target," he said.

Would he counsel other CIOs to avoid Microsoft like the plague? "That's what I'd do. If you limit your exposure to Microsoft, you're going to be in a more secure environment," he said, adding that Microsoft's philosophy is decentralized, forcing IT to manage more points. That means more license fees for Microsoft and more potential security gotchas for the CIO. "Hence, you see my aversion to Microsoft."

"

Link to Original Source
top

plover plover writes  |  about 8 years ago

plover (150551) writes "According to this Star Tribune story, police, with the court's permission, attached a GPS tracking device to a suspect's motorcycle and tracked his activity to the site of a theft. On Monday the thief pled guilty and was sentenced to five years."
top

plover plover writes  |  more than 8 years ago

plover (150551) writes "
Wearing a blue suit and a tight smile, the fed faced his audience.
And this wasn't just any audience. It consisted of 300 potential offenders, rounded up on Tuesday so Jon Dudas could lay down the law to them.
In this Star Tribune story, Jon Dudas, the director of the USPTO was speaking to an elementary school assembly of second through fifth graders. So instead of "students" or "kids", it's now acceptable for reporters to refer to them as "potential offenders"? This is plus ungood."

Journals

top

PC Invader Costs Ky. County $415,000

plover plover writes  |  more than 5 years ago The Washington Post is reporting a complex hack and con job resulting in the theft of $415,000 from Bullitt County, Kentucky. The story is fascinating, and is filled with detailed information regarding the theft.

top

Warner Music about to sing a new tune?

plover plover writes  |  more than 6 years ago Warner Music Group's CEO Edgar Bronfman sounds like he's publicly acknowledging what we've known all along: consumers like the iPod, the music business has changed, and that the music industry was wrong to attack their own customers. Might this speech mark the start of the end of the insanity?

top

Game time!

plover plover writes  |  more than 7 years ago Thanks to this posting, Rupert and I are now playing a game: Find the highest Google maps route distance to great circle distance ratio.

Rupert started it with this:

Fairbanks to St. Petersburg.
Great circle distance: 3,840 miles
Google directions distance: 9,631 miles
My score: 2.508

I answered by stretching his route slightly: Kantishna Station, Alaska to Skarsvag, Norway. It's a pretty long journey no matter how you look at it.

Google's route: 10,411 miles
Great circle distance: 3,141 miles
It has a score of only 3.315, but it'll take 34 days to make the journey!

This one seemed like a good North American entry:
Google's route
gets a score of 3.7.

But North America is tricky. Just about every goat and Jeep trail is mapped, and we Americans cannot abide straight lines that aren't paved. Rupert's still managed to find some good ones: Route to distance gives a very respectable 5.6.

I've headed over to the Balkans, where the maps are usefully short on detail. Here's my latest entry. Lecce, Italy to Tirane, Albania: Route to great circle.

1267 km by Google, 216 km straight arc. Score is 5.866.

It's kind of a pain because you have to snarf the lat/lon from Google's URL and adapt it to the great circle calculator, but it's fun to exploit holes in Google's map coverage.

top

YASS - Yet Another Story Submission

plover plover writes  |  more than 8 years ago

Wearing a blue suit and a tight smile, the fed faced his audience.
And this wasn't just any audience. It consisted of 300 potential offenders, rounded up on Tuesday so Jon Dudas could lay down the law to them.

In this Star Tribune story, Jon Dudas, the director of the USPTO was speaking to an elementary school assembly of second through fifth graders. So instead of "students" or "kids", it's now acceptable for reporters to refer to them as "potential offenders"? This is plus ungood.

top

On the date of my birth:

plover plover writes  |  more than 8 years ago helicobacter has launched a /. meme. Go to wikipedia and type in the month and day (no year) of your birth. Pick out three interesting events, two births and a death, and post them in your journal.

EVENTS:

  • 1986 - Halley's Comet is visible in the night sky as it passes in its 76-year orbit around the sun.
  • 1962 - Ranger 3 is launched to study the moon. The space probe later missed the moon by 22,000 miles (35,400 km).
  • 1802 - The U.S. Congress passes an act calling for a library to be established within the U.S. Capitol; eventually this becomes the Library of Congress. It's a geek thing.

BIRTHS:

  • 1961 - Wayne Gretzky, Canadian hockey player, coach, and team owner.
  • 1918 - Nicolae Ceausescu, Romanian dictator (d. 1989.) I only picked Ceausescu because I remember how much the Romanians enjoyed executing him.

DEATHS:

  • 1997 - Jeane Dixon, American astrologer (b. 1904.) And she never saw it coming!

top

Merry [Christmas|Hannukah|Kwanzaa|Yule|.*] to you!

plover plover writes  |  more than 8 years ago

I just wanted to wish all of you well this holiday season. I know some of you aren't religious folk (neither am I), but that won't stop me from hoping for happiness for you now and in the coming year.

And money, too. Yeah, I may as well wish for something practical for you all while I'm at it.

So have a happy new year and I hope you get money! :-)

top

Another submission: this year's Ig Nobles have been awarded

plover plover writes  |  about 9 years ago Here's the text I submitted. It's probably already been submitted, but hey, they're likely to publish at least one of them (and if Zonk has anything to do with it, they're likely to publish ALL of them! :-)

The BBC is reporting on this years winners of the Ig Noble awards, honoring science achievements that "cannot, or should not, be reproduced". For example, this years winner for Medicine was the inventor of Neuticles, rubber replacement testicles for neutered dogs.

top

Submitted an interesting story

plover plover writes  |  more than 9 years ago Here's my submission:

In the story Hacker Hunters, BusinessWeek Online documents how the Secret Service turned a member of the ShadowCrew and was able to arrest dozens of the members of the phishing ring.

From the article: "Law enforcement officials are often loath to reveal details of their operations, but the Secret Service and Justice Dept. wanted to publicize a still-rare victory. So they agreed to reveal the inner dynamics of their cat-and-mouse chase to BusinessWeek. The case provides a window into the arcane culture of cybercriminals and the methods of their pursuers."

I thought it was a fascinating read, anyway.

top

Another submission, and it's not a dupe!

plover plover writes  |  more than 9 years ago This is the text I submitted under the heading "Vex, a New Robot Kit available at Radio Shack Soon"

While Lego Mindstorms are fine for creating autonomous toy robots, there's still a lack of kits for constructing larger, sturdier do-it-yourself remote controlled robots. Enter Vex, an Erector/Meccano-style robotics construction kit. According to PCMagazine, (beware, popunder ads) Radio Shack is set to roll these out to consumers beginning in May. No computer control (yet) but they sure look fun!

So, if the story gets rejected, you still might want to check them out. I can't wait!

top

Another midnight, another submission

plover plover writes  |  more than 9 years ago Best Buy to Eliminate Rebates

According to the Minneapolis Star Tribune (free registration required,) "In response to customer complaints, Best Buy, the world's largest electronics retailer, promised today to eliminate mail-in rebates within two years."

Can it be that we're finally nearing the end of one of the most hated marketing ploys of all? What is the world coming to?

top

I'm hopeful about this submission!

plover plover writes  |  more than 9 years ago This one is actually news.

plover writes: Because of Congressional legislation passed quietly in 2003, the Air Force Space Command will no longer distribute space surveillance data via NASA. There was supposed a three year transitional period where the data was to be made available via a NASA web site, but earlier this month their transitional server went down hard, and NASA has decided to not rebuild it. (It was scheduled to be shut down on 31 March 2005 anyway.)

The only way to obtain satellite data now is by signing up with the official Space-Track website. Part of the agreement to obtaining data from their site is that you agree to not redistribute their data.

Of course, amateurs are still free to redistribute their observations, including those of classified satellites.

top

Another rejected story prepared

plover plover writes  |  more than 9 years ago Well, I keep trying. Here's the latest scoop.

According to Reuters, the chairman of Apex was arrested in China. Chinese officials have confirmed the arrest, but have not made the charges known yet. A supplier recently came forward revealing Apex owed them $4.3 million, and fraud charges are suspected. Apex is a maker of inexpensive DVD players that are widely known for the ablility to turn off their region codes.

top

New submission prepared for rejection

plover plover writes  |  more than 9 years ago This one was titled "SCO sales tanking?"

The SCO Group reported their fourth quarter income on Tuesday, and according to The Register, this quarter's earnings are down to $10.08 million, compared to $24 million last year. Their licensing revenue is virtually non-existant, at only $120,000 compared to $10 million to Q4 in 2003. Darl's statement to stockholders began by reporting 'Fourth Quarter achievements demonstrate continued progress at SCO.' I guess progress doesn't imply direction...

top

Quick, a story that hasn't been rejected yet

plover plover writes  |  about 10 years ago I submitted this story this afternoon.

'Researchers are saying that caffeine withdrawal should now be classified as a psychiatric disorder' states Sid Kirchheimer at WebMD. In this article he examines a new study that shows caffeine withdrawal produces symptoms that render a person so dysfunctional that it should be classified as a psychiatric disorder. (The article also takes great pains to say "don't panic.") Caffeine withdrawal is nothing new to me, but having it ranked as a "disorder" does trouble me a bit.

Lets see if they can set a new land-speed record in story rejection...

top

Another story submission (quick before it's rejected)

plover plover writes  |  more than 10 years ago NewScientist.com is running a story that NASA is going to use two helicopter stunt pilots to catch a sample capsule that will be ejected by the Genesis spacecraft. Genesis has been collecting solar gases for the last couple of years, and the scientists need to retrieve it quickly to preserve the samples.

top

Story submission (not rejected yet)

plover plover writes  |  more than 10 years ago Here's the scoop I submitted:

The New York Times is running this story (privacy violations required) discussing the new trend towards global movie premieres, and how this model leads to less piracy. Finally, the movie studios are trying something intelligent to combat piracy, rather than lawsuits.

top

plover plover writes  |  more than 11 years ago The new sig,
John
Karma: Fair and Balanced (mostly affected by a Fox News lawsuit)

is in honor of Fair and Balanced Day on the Internet (August 15th.) which I found from this link from BoingBoing.

The story is Fox News is suing Al Franken over the title of his new book, "Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right." As if anybody who watches Fox News would a) read Al Franken ANYTHING; and b) be literate enough to actually read at all. None of those people have enough neurons to connect the two anyway.

I think the whole thing is a Fox marketing ploy just to get their slogan out. It's certainly the first time I've ever even heard that they have one.

top

Obituary column

plover plover writes  |  about 12 years ago JADNT, AT&T Globalyst S40, 1995 - 2002.

We are saddened to announce the passing of JADNT, whose electrons were returned to a lower energy state on Friday, October 25, 2002.

JADNT was a workhorse server. It began life as an evaluation candidate for an enterprise server, but was replaced early on as it was recognized as too small to perform the required duties. It was moved to its home in JADs cubicle where its dual Pentium Pro horsepower was quickly put to use in reducing compile times. As the software it supported was obsoleted, it took on other tasks where it quietly but efficiently monitored the status of other machines, provided a historical development platform, and constantly served up a variety of utility tools and command scripts.

JADNT fought bravely in its last few remaining hours, the spindle of drive 4 noisily attempting to cooperate with the SCSI controller's pleas to spin, while drive 1 was attempting to recover from a massive bit hemorrhage induced by a power failure on Monday evening at 5:30.

Tuesday morning, technicians attempted to perform an organ transplant. The donor S40 had been removed from life support and kept in storage for over a year, but by the time the drives had been removed and brought to the fourth floor it was too late to save the ailing JADNT. Both weakened drives had lost motor control leaving JADNT in a BIOS coma, gasping for a boot sector. On Friday morning, accompanied by faithful friends, the decision to pull the plug was made.

We will all fondly remember JADNT's famous lizards, and are saddened at the senseless loss of such data as troops.mov, the immensely useful and popular swiper and even its network attached Handspring cradle.

JADNT is survived by CDGU5, D2094REG2010 and JAD2K. It was preceded in death by CAMELOT, JOHN0S2 and 4680JAD. An open case viewing will be held throughout the weekend. Interment will be next week in a closet on third floor, where it is hoped that its RAID cage may some day help restore health to other Globalyst S40s.

top

I now have a better sig

plover plover writes  |  about 12 years ago It won't get our company's IP address banned, either, Rupert.

John
Karma: Excellent (mostly affected by bribing CowboyNeal)

Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?