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Ask Slashdot: Advice On Building a Firewall With VPN Capabilities?

rev0lt Re:geek or not ~ pfSense (238 comments)

One caution is that Windows is not as secure an OS perhaps because there is a rich set of stuff that is darn hard to replace or eliminate.

I haven't seen one single landline direct-connection to the internet since the dialup/adsl days. Most consumers will have a router. The only exception is 3G/4G adapters, but the topic is about firewalling. And unless you're running a DPI appliance to check for binary malware, you're getting those in your windows machines anyway.

A FreeBSD or Linux based firewall+VPN system can be pruned to an astoundingly short list of services and binaries

As can Windows. And you can also take the easy approach of just closing any external port besides the VPN, leaving only potential attacks on the TCP stack and the VPN layer. I actually find funny people that use firewalls on unix systems "as a checklist item"; Most systems don't even require firewall if properly configured. But yeah, lets badmouth windows and forget the ton of distros that allow remote root login via ssh *by default*.

You open up a good context to make the point that a user should use what they know best. If the poster knows how to manage one system and not the other then the best answer for that user is obvious.

No. If the user knew what was best - or at least the options available - he woudn't be asking this. Having guys following tutorials on the internet to configure stuff is not my idea of "secure", and he'd probably be better buying a dedicated appliance with a nice gui interface.While realizing that you exposed something from the internal system or used a weak password for root after your whole network was compromised does have its educational value, it is a dreadful experience for a non-unix nerd.

3 days ago
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Ask Slashdot: Advice On Building a Firewall With VPN Capabilities?

rev0lt Re:geek or not ~ pfSense (238 comments)

Full blown Win-Server software that can get the job done costs more than the hardware.

No, not really. Windows has the easiest internet-sharing and vpn configuration wizard you'lll find. And its not half bad, but...

The above is a rather nice little box. At half this price I would buy two.

I have an equivalent box, Instead of pfSense (which, besides the gui and the easy VLAN setup, is a crappy system for everything else), I run FreeBSD 9.2. And I use it everyday to tunnel into my windows machines with RDP via SSH :)

4 days ago
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The State of ZFS On Linux

rev0lt Re:above, below, and at the same level. ZFS is eve (366 comments)

ZFS is a big monolithic package that does everything, much like Microsoft Word or Outlook. ZFS is more in the Microsoft tradition.

Well, that is well within the Unix tradition. ZFS is a *kernel* module, not a userland application. Just because the cli interface is comprised of 2 commands, it doesn't mean its monolithic. Its as monolithic as ifconfig and other complex utilities.
And I'd take anyday the zfs/zpool command format over the lvm ugly mess.

5 days ago
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Ask Slashdot: Linux-Friendly Desktop x86 Motherboard Manufacturers?

rev0lt Re:Sucks but... (294 comments)

If no major motherboard manufacturer even cares about niche market then I would ask you to explain all of the boards that are targeted towards multi-GPU setups and overclocking which are both small minority niche markets.

You say they are small. They aren't. They are the beef of the desktop market - hardcore gamers.

I beg to differ on this one as well. Just look at what Linux admins or really anyone with Linux skills gets paid compared to Windows admins. Not a single person that I know who really knows tech buys Apple, or Microsoft products (other than Windows for gaming)

You can differ as much as you want. Competent Linux admins and Windows admins are paid about the same. Less on the linux side for most run-to-the-mill LAMP setups, more on Windows side for enterprise. You pay for competency first, and any above-average sysadmin will be proficient in several systems, not only Linux. But in the end, techies are a minority, way smaller than gamers. And just because you're a sysadmin, it doesn't mean you can distinguish good gear from bad gear. Lots of techies I know do use Linux. And FreeBSD. And DragonFlyBSD. And Windows. A good techie isn't usually a one trick monkey. The sooner you learn it, the faster you'll grow.

People who know a little more might buy things like ECS or Foxcon motherboards that in my experience are not worth even thinking about as they tend to be less compatible and have lower quality components like capacitors that are being pushed to their limits which causes them to break down much more quickly.

Actually, Foxconn are usually replicas of Intel desktop silks. When a chipset is released, it is often accompanied with reference schematics that are - basically - a skeleton version of the reference board for that chipset. Foxconn usually mimics it to a point where you can hold both motherboards and they seem to differ only in color. So they usually are as compatible as one can be.
Regarding "pushing capacitors to the limit", isn't really about that. Its about electrolyte degradation. And this can happen with any major manufacturer, as they don't control every step of the supply chain.
People that know what they're buying are buying ready-made workstations from Dell or HP or Apple, or building it with Tyan, SuperMicro or similar gear. Coincidentally, both Dell and HP are huge players in the server market, and they use Foxconn factories.

I actually have used desktop components for servers quite a lot. I do make sure there is redundancy and for a small business they really do not need anything more. Also in my experience good quality desktop components are just as stable and last just as long as server components. Besides who cares if the system lasts for 5 years or 10 years when it should be considered too slow to be useful after 3 years?

Yah, that shows. You're "that" kind of guy. Let me ask you, assuming you're running eg. databases on those servers, what happens when a bit is flipped on in memory and a write operation commits 0x10FE credit instead of 0xFE? Your redundant system will replicate this and silently propagate the error. Or when a block is misread from a single disk instead of using parity check? Are your clients aware that this can happen? Have you explained it to them?

I have run many different Windows and Linux servers and have worked for hosting providers that host 1000's of websites and other applications on both and I can say from experience that Windows uses a lot more resources, is much slower and is much less stable than Linux, and in many cases Linux is quicker and easier to get setup and running, although not always quite as straightforward as Windows.

So, you have Windows and Linux experience on a very narrow field. Good for you. I can actually setup an OpenBSD server way faster than you can install most Linux distros, does it mean its a good replacement for every workload? Not really.

In my book stability and low overhead are key factors in making a good server and Linux easily beats Windows on that.

I could give you several server scenarios where Windows would win hands-down, but you seem to have your mind made. I would start with most available iSCSI daemons, but when you need eg. complex, multi-level autentication for both machine and resources with a fine-grained ACL, you'll probably understand that Linux isn't always the answer.

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Linux-Friendly Desktop x86 Motherboard Manufacturers?

rev0lt Re:Sucks but... (294 comments)

Smaller companies often have old desktops running as their "servers", no raid (or using the crappy bios fakeraid), no backups, no redundancy etc.

Smaller companies often have no servers and have everything online, or have a in-house NAS and a bunch of desktops. This isn't the nineties anymore. Some corner shops may still have a couple of desktops doubling as servers (yah, I've seen it), but it is not that common.

Lots of cheaper servers are also based on desktop boards, and lots of budget hosting companies use such systems.

Just because they are in a rackmount case, it doesn't make them "servers". And most providers describe in detail the hardware, and will give you explicit option for an entry-level server solution - you get what you choose to pay for. If you're dumb enough to get an i7 "server" with 32GB of RAM for database work, its your problem, not theirs.
Most desktop gear isn't even designed for a 24/7 operation, let alone having to support the cpu running at full capacity and indefinite amount of time. Desktop gear is not designed, both from a thermal and electrical perspective, for this kind of operation.

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Linux-Friendly Desktop x86 Motherboard Manufacturers?

rev0lt Re:The other way round (294 comments)

I like to use ECC even on the desktop, and yes there are ways to do it. At a cost.

Just because you use entry-level server gear/workstation gear for desktop work, it doesn't make it desktop :) And the cost isn't that big of a difference - a small entry-level xeon workstation/server isn't that much more expensive than the desktop gear. The problem is, most "regular" consumers aren't even aware of this, because the corner shop and the shopping mall sells computers that look like a christmas tree, not workstations.

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Linux-Friendly Desktop x86 Motherboard Manufacturers?

rev0lt Re:Sucks but... (294 comments)

And you think with the low margins the manufacturers have these days, they can do without that share?

Unfortunely, yes. No major motherboard manufacturer even cares about niche market. And the IC manufacturers, they don't really care, either.

Also people using desktop Linux are typically in the higher income levels and can not only pay for quality

Higher income buyers are buying trendy Apple, Andoid tablets and Microsoft laptops, not linux workstations.

they can recognize it, unlike the sheep

No, they just don't care about that. But you do get the smugness of the illusion that the manufacturer uses fairy dust instead of building it like everyone else.

Wolves are always a minority.

Now, you're just assuming stuff. I'd say wolves are quite the majority of animals in wolfpacks, and the major ingredient in wolf stoo.

What you are also completely forgetting is that a lot of these will actually run as servers. You know, because Linux does well as server

Who is using COTS desktop boards on servers? Traditionally, Intel desktop cpu lines do not support ECC memory. And you talk like there is no option for servers besides Linux.

You know, because Linux does well as server, quite unlike Windows

I assume you speak from experience. I'd blame it on the sysadmin, not the operating system.

But you would not know or understand that.

Get out of the basement sometimes. Try to vent out at least some of that frustration of yours.

about two weeks ago
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Munich Reverses Course, May Ditch Linux For Microsoft

rev0lt Re:What a bunch of Wuss (579 comments)

In the early days all of Germany's neighbors were weak in comparison, they'd all been through WW1 also.

I don't really see where you got that idea. The british empire had what was probably the most well-oiled war machine at the time - and Germany gave them a run for their money.

No one really wanted to get into a war and were slow to react.

If you mean "leaders were well aware of the consequences of war in your own backyard because it had happened a decade and a half before", yeah. No redneck reasoning here. And when the Americans realized this, they bombed Hiroshima and Nagasaki. They've witnessed the horrors of the invasion of China and what is now Korea a couple of years before. (Hint: google "nanking massacre" - it makes the german seem inefficient by comparison).

If Germany had just grabbed their "lebensraum" and stopped they probably could have kept it.

You seem to forget that WWII was also fought in Africa. And Asia. Germany was fighting every major country on Earth at the time (with the exception of Japan), and had taken control of France and Netherlands, both with colonies in Africa.

about a month ago
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Munich Reverses Course, May Ditch Linux For Microsoft

rev0lt Re:What a bunch of Wuss (579 comments)

Even after the USA entered, if Germany had invested into expanding their submarine fleet as it was proposed internally (and, at the time, they had the biggest submarine fleet in the world), it would not have been difficult to cut the US supply lines to the allies by taking control of the Atlantic. Again, bad decisions.

about a month ago
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Munich Reverses Course, May Ditch Linux For Microsoft

rev0lt Re:What a bunch of Wuss (579 comments)

Germany was close to eliminate the RAF supremacy, if they didn't went to take vengeance on the Berlin bombing instead. And they did have lighter, cheaper rocket technology, and instead they invested heavily on the V-2.

about a month ago
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Munich Reverses Course, May Ditch Linux For Microsoft

rev0lt Re:What a bunch of Wuss (579 comments)

It took the combination of the largest empire (British), greatest economy (USA) and the largest country to bring them down.

And a healthy dose of luck, in the form of bad decisions from Hitler and his generals. Just by themselves, it wasn't clear they would win against Germany.

about a month ago
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Big Bang Actors To Earn $1M Per Episode

rev0lt Re:Shouldn't they be starving to death? (442 comments)

That's why they only get a million a pop. If weren't for those pesky nerd pirates, they could make a million and 49 dollars a pop.

about a month and a half ago
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Big Bang Actors To Earn $1M Per Episode

rev0lt Re:Over paid (442 comments)

I just thing it's not worth millions of dollars a year.

No professional career is worth millions of dollars a year, even if you're running into burning buildings or doing the other crap you mention. Btw, writing is way easier than acting, at least for me. It has to do with talent. But - BUT - if someone builds a business model around your specific skill/trick/whatever that generates millions in revenue, aren't you entitled to a cut? That's how professional sports work. Acting careers. Writing careers. Inspiring spokesman. Religious leaders. Politicians. Bankers. Whatever, all those people making millions a year. They're just taking a cut of the profit their work generates. If you don't like it, that's your problem.

about a month and a half ago
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Linus Torvalds: "GCC 4.9.0 Seems To Be Terminally Broken"

rev0lt Re:I know you're trying to be funny, but... (739 comments)

https://lkml.org/lkml/1998/9/3... [lkml.org] I don't know what else to tell you. They really do suck. Trap-gates are faster and safer. Call-gates are... prettier, more elegant.

Have a look at Linux 2.0 implementation. You'lll see an interrupt handler copying registers to the stack, and *then* invoking the call gate. So basically, doubling the work. And no, interrupts are not safer, as they don't provide stack isolation. This is done *manually* in the Linux implementation.

It's probably much a much narrower/null lead these days with massive caches, but back in 98, it was serious business.

I seriously doubt that. I was working extensively with x86 assembly in 98, and actually implemented call-gate systems in some of my pet projects. Granted, they were pet projects, not a mainstream piece of OSS, but I don't share that experience.

he various kernel mailing lists are abound with discussions on people wanting to try out call-gates, and finding out that *they suck*.

AFAIK, the implementation 2.0/2.2 still uses a call gate. Not directly, but inside the IV.

Also, SYSENTER wasn't switched to until we ran into the P4's massive pipeline stall on trap-gates, which the AMD K6 did *not* exhibit. It wasn't a fundamental problem with the trap-gate itself, but a quirk of the Netburst architecture.

It is a fundamental problem with the trap gate. The pipeline size and the agressive branch prediction mechanism only made it worse. Shorter pipelines don't suffer as much, as they are faster to clean and less prone to stupid execution stalls. Also, there was a huge amount of optimization done on silicon for this since 32 bit operating systems using interrupts became mainstream, and the same can't be said for the architecturally complex call-gate solution. SYSENTER simplifies a lot, but performs basically the same task as a call gate.

The fact that the unices/dos used entry 0x80 in the IDT, and NT used 0x2e, and 95 used 0x30, with call-gates to VxD code (eventually gotten rid of) doesn't mean the methodology of the trap was what was inherited

Actually, the fact that many other architectures do not provide any other user-defined global entry point besides the interrupt table has a huge weight in it; I don't see any problem with the metodology, if you're implementing a portable system. I see problems with a specific implementation of it on an operating system designed from the ground up for x86, and one of those problems is that whoever implemented it clearly had no clue about how it worked.

about a month and a half ago
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Gaza's Only Power Plant Knocked Offline

rev0lt Re:Radicalization (868 comments)

Jews, on the other hand, have thousands of years old connection to the land. There are historical artifacts, found all across Israel with Hebrew writings on them, and indeed most of Jewish history can be traced back to Greater Israel.

As many other tribes do, including many many muslim settlers. Jews didn't existed as a "nation" trying to form their own country since the beginning of the 30's. Problems between jewish settlements and muslim settlements go back many many centuries, as both shared the same piece of land. To suggest that jews are the ones with the legitimate right to it is to be narrow-minded. During the beginning of the XX century, they were actually a minority in the region. In fact, when jews all over Europe started returning to the "promised land", the influx was so big that the Brits passed laws limiting Jewish emigration.

The sad reality, is that we have a "neighbour" that is so extreme and hell bent on our extermination, that we have no choice but to continue defending ourselves.

That is a piss-poor excuse. I bet your neighbour doesn't have nuclear devices and the backing of the most well-equipped army in the World. But if that "us-or-them" attitude is what makes you sleep well at night - by all means. But regardless, both sides are to blame.

about a month and a half ago
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Gaza's Only Power Plant Knocked Offline

rev0lt Re:"Proportional response" is nonsense (868 comments)

That lie was exposed as such, when the Gazans voted — in free and internationally-observed elections [washingtonpost.com] — for Hamas [wikipedia.org].

Oddly enough, when American citizens are killed by the thousands as a response to direct actions of their freely elected democratic government, its called "terrorism", and it is a legitimate excuse to bomb the shit out of other countries. What you're saying is that anyone that suffered directly from decisions made by the US governments has the legitimate right of shooting down *any* american, just because it exercised its democratic duty. So, lets expand this concept - there has been some heavy international military interventions in the last decade, coordinated by more than a dozen democratic nations. It was their government's decision to take part on it. What you're defending is, that if you were on the other side of any of those interventions, you have the *right* to kill *anyone* from any of those countries, because they elected a government?
I actually hope you're an american.

Contrary to the haters' portrayal, IDF are not indiscriminate killers they don't need this sort of calculations to try their hardest to avoid killing innocent civilians. Shit still happens, unfortunately.

Its not the hater's portrayal when you have western media covering it, and even have Israel allies asking questions about this. Are you really convinced that Hamas has a super-duper propaganda machine that is bigger and more efficient than Israel's/US machine? Shit happens when you bomb one of the most densely populated areas in the world, and they don't care.

about a month and a half ago
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Gaza's Only Power Plant Knocked Offline

rev0lt Re:Radicalization (868 comments)

So I really do think that comparing casualty numbers here, when they're competently kept low by Israel and intentionally driven up by hamas, and yes they're deliberately trying to get their own killed for the press value, is a little disingenious. Unless you don't mind parrotting Hamas propaganda. Because that is what it is: Propaganda, very very bloodily so.

And what do they have left? I'd suggest you try to corner a common house pet like a cat or a dog, and see what happens. It is easy to take the moral high ground when you have food, water, sanitation and electricity. And a job, public transportation, schools, shelter. Parks for kids to play. Do you think everyone in Gaza is a terrorist? Do you think every arab is a terrorist?
Imagine yourself without most of what you take for granted, and that you look across your fence and your neighbour has everything you want and is laughing at you. It is hard not to get emotional on this, specially when you have an active propaganda machine telling you who the enemy is. And this machine exists in both sides.

Keep in mind, what is now the US and Australia was partially colonized by western criminals. Does this mean they are all criminals, and their children need to die? I don't think you believe what you wrote.

about a month and a half ago
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Gaza's Only Power Plant Knocked Offline

rev0lt Re:Radicalization (868 comments)

Hamas started it and reuses to agree to any proposed cease fire. Israel isn't the group calling for the extermination, Hamas is. Israel has also offered legitimacy to the Palestinian government in exchange for a cease fire and removing the language in the charter to kill all jews.

So, a guy insults you and says you should die. You shoot him and his family? Is this the appropriate response? Because that's what I've seen Israeli leaders and spokesman defend, and they don't look like batshit crazy terrorists. The other guys do.

about a month and a half ago

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