Beta

Slashdot: News for Nerds

×

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

Virginia DMV Cracks Down On Uber, Lyft

s4m7 Re: Seems reasonable... (260 comments)

People voting with dollars is the reason we have regulatory capture in the first place. I mean why have any government at all? People can hire their own security forces if they need police. The private fire brigade can run a credit check on you to see if you can pay the bill before they put out your burning home... If it spreads to the neighbors, that's just more clients for them! All roads, bridges, ports, rail and telecommunications infrastructure can be private and commerce will THRIVE. I just had a brilliant idea for disrupting the regulated airlines via a fleet of drones. Who said the skies are friendly? I never voted with my dollars for the FAA and the NTSB.

about a month and a half ago
top

How One Drunk Driver Sent My Company To the Cloud

s4m7 Re: why cloud? (290 comments)

Generators have become a backup that few people use today.

Few people. Many businesses. Most large buildings. All hospitals.

In other words, the more critical it is to maintain service, the more likely there is an on-site means to provide that service.

1 year,3 days
top

Ask Mark Shuttleworth Anything

s4m7 Re:African? (319 comments)

That may be because Africa, unlike Britain, is a continent. You are, demographically speaking, a European-American.

about a year and a half ago
top

Secession Petitions Flood White House Website

s4m7 Re:If there was a Bad at Math Map... (1163 comments)

Imagine the message sent to both parties if Stein, or Johnson handed Obama a loss.

You mean like when Nader handed Gore a loss in 2000?

The lesson the Republicans learned was "we have a mandate" and proceeded to pursue a decade of self-destructive jingoistic policy they still haven't recovered from. The lesson the Democrats learned was "don't get Nadered again."

about a year and a half ago
top

Stallman On Unity Dash: Canonical Will Have To Give Users' Data To Governments

s4m7 Re:Don't use Ubuntu (187 comments)

Mint makes money through their default search engine redirect, or in other words, by selling your keyword searches. Which is exactly what Ubuntu is doing. They've just been doing it for longer.

about 2 years ago
top

Stallman On Unity Dash: Canonical Will Have To Give Users' Data To Governments

s4m7 Re:Don't use Ubuntu (187 comments)

They might try some more conventional approaches before being total scumbags.

You mean, for example, selling support services, offering affordable cloud services, and creating an online store for linux-compatible software vendors?

Yeah... they should really try that stuff...

about 2 years ago
top

Hiring Smokers Banned In South Florida City

s4m7 Re:Make it illegal (1199 comments)

I was taking a basic reasoning course. We were discussing logical fallacies, and trying to clarify the slippery slope for some people. The prof used the example of banning smoking in restaurants and bars leading to the banning of smoking in public spaces and private homes. "That's absolutely ridiculous," chortled the prof. "Nobody is trying to ban smoking in your home or in parks. That's why slippery slope is a fallacy!" "ah sir, there are towns in florida, california, and connecticut (probably more) where smoking in your own residence is banned. our own city council banned smoking in public parks just this year. That's why it's important to remember that a logical fallacy doesn't necessarily mean that the argument is incorrect." he blushed, and conceded my point.

about 2 years ago
top

Ask Slashdot: How Would You Fix the Linux Desktop?

s4m7 Re:It's not broken. (1154 comments)

Frankly, the Unity UI on Ubuntu 12.04 is so mac-like i'm surprised apple hasn't "samsunged" Canonical yet. If canonical was a hardware vendor I'm sure they would. If you haven't given it a go, I'd say Unity is an easy transition for OS X users and it's now the default on Ubuntu. If you have tried it, and you disagree with this assessment, please tell me why, as I use both a fair amount and I fail to see much in the way of significant difference.

about 2 years ago
top

Ask Slashdot: Why Not Linux For Security?

s4m7 Re:Fine, I'll bite (627 comments)

And how, exactly, is this different to the situation with Linux? There is no guarantee that someone will report a vulnerability to the maintainers of, say, a Linux distro, any more than that someone will report one to Microsoft. And what Linux distribution or major infrastrucuture project still runs an open access security mailing list today, with guaranteed full and immediate disclosure of all reported vulnerabilities?

Ultimately, unless you personally are directly involved with the security and maintenance of every major Linux project you use, you're still trusting other people to be honest in their disclosure and prompt with fixing security issues.

You're looking for guarantees while I'm talking about options. If you, as a security professional, are concerned about the code, you can scrutinize it. Windows doesn't give you this option. There's no guarantee of disclosure but probability suggests that with greater access to the code will come greater disclosure.

Yes, because obviously the people who are responsible for systems processing a quadrillion dollars of financial transactions just throw a quick Debian CD in the drive to set it up. I don't suppose they're taking any extra steps to audit or secure their systems beyond what a typical home user running Windows for Facebook and gaming would do. Hell, you could probably just walk right into their data centre and remove a hard drive while no-one's looking, and then take it home to look through the files in your own time.

It's ridiculous to assume that when we're talking about securing an office computing environment that we're not allowing for extra steps of auditing and securing in the process. The question is, then, which platform offers a better tool set for doing that?

Leaving aside whether or not any of those things are necessarily true in 2012, about 99.37% of the Linux user base is also experienced enough not to fall for typical malware scams, but I don't suppose that makes any difference.

In the sense that it's completely irrelevant to the discussion, you're correct, it does not. End users will always be the weak point in security. End of story. Now, the question is, do you by default give them write access to system directories, or not? Do you keep granular logs of each file i/o access by individual users?

You won't hear me say that Windows "sucks" at security, or that it hasn't improved significantly since XP. But the fact is that these same mechanisms MS is implementing in 2010, 2011, 2012 have been available to unix users for 30+ years. The whole model has been built around multi-user systems in networked environments with disparate resources moderated by varying levels of access. It's not something that was bolted on 17 years later as an afterthought.

More importantly, if the model that exists doesn't actually serve your organization's needs, there's nothing materially stopping you from modifying it until it does.

more than 2 years ago
top

Ask Slashdot: Why Not Linux For Security?

s4m7 Re:Fine, I'll bite (627 comments)

Do a lot of on-line banking on your Android phone, do you? Or have a nice, high bandwidth connection you could saturate to support a DDoS attack on someone who didn't pay their protection money? Or store any juicy company data that could be handy for not-quite-insider trading?

As ozmanjsri said, yes to all these things. My 4g connection is definitely faster than my home broadband.

There have been security vulnerabilities found in just about every major piece of networking/server software on Linux. There is no doubt about this, because most of those packages are open source, and the fixes are a matter of public record. If there was money in writing Linux malware, there have been plenty of weaknesses to exploit, just like on Windows (or any other major platform).

There have been security vulnerabilities found in every piece of networking/server software, Period. The trick is that on Windows, even Microsoft is often not notified of these for months after their discovery by the black hats, and it has been sometimes two years for a fix. You as a consumer may NEVER know about them.

But serious malware today isn't written by script kiddies any more. It's essentially organised crime, and it follows the money. If you think that wouldn't lead it right to Linux if that became the dominant desktop OS, or that being primarily open source makes the Linux ecosystem magically immune to the kinds of security bugs that make it into code written by highly skilled and experienced professionals working for the best funded software companies in the world, then I've got a few friends in Nigeria who would like your help with some financial transactions.

the U.S. Army is “the” single largest install base for Red Hat Linux. Industrial Commercial Bank of China runs Linux at all 20,000 of its locations. The Chicago Mercantile Exchange employs an all-Linux computing infrastructure and has used it to process over a quadrillion dollars worth of financial transactions. No money in Linux malware? Pshaw.

But no, Linux doesn't make you magically immune. It simply has a more mature and advanced security model, better tools for detecting and stopping intrusions, and the ability for a motivated firm to make any security modifications needed on their own schedule.

more than 2 years ago
top

Ask Slashdot: My Company Wants Me To Astroturf, Should I?

s4m7 You already know the answer. (391 comments)

If you have moral difficulties with something outside the scope of your employment agreement and/or job responsibilities, then don't do it.

Normally someone doesn't have to ask me to astroturf a project I'm working on. I want my company to be a viable source of employment so their bottom line is my bottom line. The more money I make them, the more money there is around raise time, whether they're keeping a naughty or nice list or not. Keeping that in mind, I'm usually very eager to promote things I'm working on. Even if I haven't tried it, I probably know what advantages it offers over competing products.

I'm perplexed at how developers can make something and not use it. Or marketers can sell something they don't use. Or administrators can manage people working on something they don't use. It strikes me that this is what Marx was talking about with regard to alienation. And it smells like a management failure, either to hire people who care enough about the work they do, or to instill enough of a sense of shared involvement, to casually mention it to some friends.

"Hey guys I'm working on this thing, check it out and let me know what you think!" is subtle, effective and not pushy. If you don't feel right doing that? look for another job.

more than 2 years ago
top

Why Linux Can't 'Sell' On the Desktop

s4m7 Re:heh (1091 comments)

I don't understand why gaining market share is such a big deal. If Linux is "good enough" for general use now (and I believe it is, since my main workstation is on ubuntu 11.10), why do you care what OS I use?

more than 2 years ago
top

Why Linux Can't 'Sell' On the Desktop

s4m7 Re:heh (1091 comments)

if you get off your butt and learn it Gimp will do just about everything PS will do save some of the newest of the new items Adobe has come up with.

That's fine, if you work in a vaccuum. I, however, have to work with client-supplied PSD files on a frequent basis. These things are badly organized enough as it is, to have whatever semblance of structure is provided by layer groups simply MISSING, well, renders the file unusuable. Layer effects just plain don't work.

more than 2 years ago
top

All Video Games Cause Aggressive Behavior, Say Two US Congressmen

s4m7 Re:It seems a little misguided (483 comments)

observe this graph

Obviously since video games were invented in 1962, there was a steep rise in violent crime. Only after they were outlawed in 1992 did we see that start to decline.

Three cheers for this successful prevention effort.

more than 2 years ago
top

Famous For Fifteen People: Is Everyone a 'Facebook Celebrity'?

s4m7 Re:Matter of degree... (95 comments)

I'm sure it's all covered in the Facebook "terms of service", but that doesn't make it right

Why not? Agreeing to TOS is important for a variety of reasons. In most cases agreement to TOS is what permits a service to host your media (writings, photos, videos, etc.) because without it you would retain copyright of the work, and sites would be liable for everything. Take away the viability of TOS agreements, and you take away the ability of most websites to operate in useful ways.

more than 2 years ago
top

How Far Should GPL Enforcement Go?

s4m7 Re:Execution (432 comments)

If they're transcribing source code then they've absolutely within the bounds of derivative work and will fall foul of copyright law.

There's a well known method of avoidance of this issue. What you do is set up two teams. One team looks at the original source code and writes a detailed spec based on that code. The second team never sees a single line of code from the original project. They use the detailed spec to recreate the program "from scratch" but such as to perform exactly or nearly exactly the same as the original program.

This method has two safeguards. For one, your "blind" team will most likely write code quite different from the original project. Secondly, you have a clear paper trail of this process so that when the lawyers come a-knockin' you have a stack of documents to show that you did it in a legit fashion.

more than 2 years ago
top

Linux Mint Developer Forks Gnome 3

s4m7 Re:You're... (314 comments)

Muscle memory.

I wish it were that simple. But the things you hear people complain most loudly about usually have nothing to do with muscle memory. "it doesn't need all this eyecandy" is one of the most common complaints, presumably because it doesn't run so well on old hardware. The scrollbars are a big issue with Unity, but hey look they _work_ exactly the same as they did before, you just have to mouse over it to see it.

With linux desktops, you're not really using it unless you've got your hotkeys configured anyway... AFAIK there aren't any DE's that simply remove the option to change your keybinds.

more than 2 years ago
top

Ask Slashdot: Assembling a Linux Desktop Environment From Parts?

s4m7 Re:xfce4.... (357 comments)

Those packages are meta-packages that install all the standard-distro desktop software and dependencies (so like the kde calculator instead of the gnome one, kate instead of gedit, etc) for either environment. The only other real differences are in system libraries.

The kde desktop does lack a *small amount* of the polish of the gnome desktop, simply because of developer focus and userbase size. Certainly nothing dealbreaking. Most users will never notice. It used to be a heck of a lot worse, but kubuntu has stepped up their game significantly since kde4 was included.

more than 2 years ago
top

Ask Slashdot: Assembling a Linux Desktop Environment From Parts?

s4m7 Re:xfce4.... (357 comments)

The difference between Kubuntu and Ubuntu is what packages come preinstalled and loaded on the CD.

To convert a "standard" ubuntu installation to a kubuntu installation is this "painful" bit right here:

sudo apt-get install kubuntu-desktop; sudo apt-get remove ubuntu-desktop

The main reason that the two separate "projects" exist is to organize which packages come on the CD by default, and to centralize the streamlining of the desktops, that is, that the standard collection of ubuntu functionality (including integration) is available under both environments. It's a fork only in the sense that they each have a separate CD distribution, and a default set of preinstalled apps that do not depend on the underlying libraries of the other DE.

about 2 years ago

Submissions

s4m7 hasn't submitted any stories.

Journals

s4m7 has no journal entries.

Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...