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Seven Habits of Highly Effective Unix Admins

tiberus Re:#7 Be Appriopriately Lazy (136 comments)

Step #7.1: Prepare excuse for mgmt [...]

#1 - It's not an excuse, it's a reason get in the proper mindset.

#2 - You already know the reason and bonus, bean counters love this. You're gonna save the company long term dollars with a short term expenditure.

about a week ago
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Seven Habits of Highly Effective Unix Admins

tiberus #7 Be Appriopriately Lazy (136 comments)

The first time a task comes up deal with it manually, it may or may not be related to a problem.

The second time this task occurs deal with it manually.

The third time this task occurs, it's time to start scripting.

It may take you a day or more to write the script, test debug, etc. or even longer for complex tasks but, this behavior tends to be a winner. The script is already some degree of documentation, it records the steps, etc. If it's robust enough it can be used to by your support techs to resolve issues, expanding the number of people who can resolve an issue, freeing the admin for other tasks. Scripts tend not to make typos (yes, I know your command line skills are legendary) and can save a lot of time and effort in the long run.

about a week ago
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LA Police Officers Suspected of Tampering With Their Monitoring Systems

tiberus Simple Stunned (322 comments)

Not that the LAPD is playing fast and loose with the equipment (okay that this level of poor behavior is being allowed to continue is inconceivable) but, that the equipment isn't self monitoring and reporting. I mean really, they are under the watchful (and apparently sleepy) eye of the DoJ and no one thought to add a monitoring feature? The police have some of the most wired cars around and the tech to push or pull, at least, daily status reports on the health and activity of the recording systems wasn't included?

Wow, even WOW, or OMFGWOW are not adequate to express my disdain.

"Attitude reflects leadership, captain." Julius Campbell (Wood Harris), Remember the Titans (2000)

about two weeks ago
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Top U.S. Scientific Misconduct Official Quits In Frustration With Bureaucracy

tiberus Re:Just like where I work ... (172 comments)

and its a large corporation in the private sector. Its hard for very large organizations to be efficient.

I'd add a couple corollaries to that:

  1. when you don't trust your co-workers and/or subordinates
  2. when you don't know how to run a meeting

.

about a month ago
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Top U.S. Scientific Misconduct Official Quits In Frustration With Bureaucracy

tiberus Been Here Too . . . (172 comments)

Add to this the lack of incentive to save money and you've got a right good mess. After spending time and effort to save funds on a program (government in this case), we ended the year with a surplus of funds (in the 10x of 1,000's range, I know it's a drop in the bucket but, we were quite proud at the time). When next year rolled around we were suddenly "poor estimators" and had "poor financial management", so our budget was cut by several times over our savings from last year.

That was many years ago but, since then I experienced a similar mentality in the private sector, especially when dealing with government contracts.

Also, our parent company recently took over management of our capital purchases. We have the money, we have the need, we have reviewed the data but, now it takes and extra 4-6 months to purchase something (e.g. a upgraded SAN). It seems that another subsidiary had some issue with their purchasing process, so rather than deal with the problem, Mother (our loving term for our parent company), created several more.

about a month ago
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Sniffing Out Cancer With Electronic Noses

tiberus Re:Dogs have been able to do this forever (22 comments)

I've seen demos (albeit on TV documentations) of dogs having been trained for cancer detection. While I can see it might be a boon in third world countries, where folks tend not be to as uptight as most are on this side of the pond, I don't see it catching on in the U.S. I just can't imagine folks laying on a table (the kind where each arm and leg is supported separately) in their skivvies and letting Toto go for a bit of a walk while he sniffs your wobbly bits.

about a month ago
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Why Your Phone Gets OTA Updates But Your Car Doesn't

tiberus Re:Call me paranoid... (305 comments)

Can't saw I'm a big fan of adding cellular or WiFi to a car for this purpose but, how hard would it be to "have an app for that" connect your phone via USB and wala you have control and choice. The app notifies you of an update, etc. Of course you'd also incur the liability for having not installed a software update that has been made available.

Granted no matter what method is chosen, there will be risks and issues. Pretty sure their is something better than what we are doing or not doing now.

about 2 months ago
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Why Your Phone Gets OTA Updates But Your Car Doesn't

tiberus Re:Umm safety? (305 comments)

Hmm, but, you have to weigh that risk (and okay, I'm assuming software updates won't occur while the car is moving) against the risk of not updating a vehicle. Yes it's a numbers game and their are vested interests both ways (e.g. I have a vested interest in your car getting a safety update).

about 2 months ago
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House Committee Approves Bill Banning In-Flight Phone Calls

tiberus Re:Yet they've had airline phones for years (366 comments)

  1. I can't say "I've had all I can stand, I can't stand no more.." pull the cord and get off the plane
  2. Assaulting someone (verbally or otherwise) carries much higher penalties on a plane
  3. Last time I was on a bus, or train I was much more comfortable than I am on the plane

about 2 months ago
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NASA Now Accepting Applications From Companies That Want To Mine the Moon

tiberus Re:Space 1999, Sorta (251 comments)

And now I know, and knowledge is power!

Sorta figured with Moon's smaller mass and the fact that we would be removing that mass some sort of effect might occur. Just didn't expect the impact to be that trivial. Factor in that while the mine may process 63K tonnes/day, we wouldn't be shipping ore only the cracked, smelted, processed material and it becomes even more so.

about 2 months ago
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NASA Now Accepting Applications From Companies That Want To Mine the Moon

tiberus Space 1999, Sorta (251 comments)

Okay, am I the only one have flashbacks to 13 September 1999, when the nuclear storage facility on Moonbase Alpha exploded sending the Moon hurtling out of orbit?

So, mine the Moon, ship the material to Earth... Um, won't this change it's mass and as a consequence, it's amount of gravity in generates and then it's orbit? Sorry for being all Doom & Gloom here.

about 2 months ago
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People Become More Utilitarian When They Face Moral Dilemmas In Virtual Reality

tiberus Re:Utilitarianism is correct (146 comments)

In the various versions of the train dilemma, you have two options 1) don't act and five people will die; or 2) act and only one person will die. While I see the logic of your argument, and tend to agree that it is the best overall or numerical result. It does seem to be a rather chilling choice. It avoids the premise that by taking action the actor becomes a murderer; having taken action that directly resulted in the death of another. In the other case the actor is only a witness to a tragic event.

about 3 months ago
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International Space Station Mission Extended To 2024

tiberus Re:Spend this money on science, not pork (104 comments)

So are you saying nothing of use/value has come out of the space program as a whole, or just from the space station itself? Here is just one short list of the programs value. Okay, not all of it is that valuable.

about 3 months ago
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Eye Tracking Coming To Video Games

tiberus Lara Croft (102 comments)

So, in short, Tomb Raider X will know exactly how much time us perv gamers spend staring at her um muscles.

about 3 months ago
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How to Avoid a Target-Style Credit Card Security Breach (Video)

tiberus Re:For consumers (146 comments)

You only have to worry amount the monthly fees and losing your money. While YMMV, I don't have to worry about losing funds (the pre-paids I've used don't offer refunds of lost/stolen funds) and the monthly fees (pay your CC off monthly and no interest, again YMMV) seem to be high. It's also still connected to you and your connected to your accounts, so it's only disconnected in the sense that it doesn't directly contain you other account information. Seems the costs are borne by the issuer and vendors (which of course are passed on...) so it more a concern for them than me. It's just not that big a hassle from my POV.

about 4 months ago
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Why People Are So Bad At Picking Passwords

tiberus Re:We needed a study for this?!? (299 comments)

I'd start, with "I think you need a new sheriff". User behavior in many of my examples is wrong, sharing passwords (would you give someone your social security card or drivers license), sticky notes on monitors (a physically secure note would be a better option) are poor ways to deal with the issues.

There are better ways for a user to deal with the strictures placed upon them than what is frequently seen in the wild. If you can remember a phone number, address, URL, what someone else wore, etc. you can remember a password. I believe on of the major issues is that users were one day given a computer and expected to know how to behave, without guidance or expectations.

Please don't take this to mean that frequent password changes, complexity requirements, etc. aren't bad policy, and seem to lack all consideration for the human part of the equation. The broader point is that fixing the user choose poor passwords problem won't fix anything, if we don't fix the underlying culture and behaviors.

about 5 months ago
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Why People Are So Bad At Picking Passwords

tiberus We needed a study for this?!? (299 comments)

Please tell me no one is surprised by the general conclusion (haven't we been here a time or ten before?) of these studies. Add to this the corporate or government attitude demonstrated so equivalently here, the lack of effective computer security training, including a complete failing of organizations to have or heaven forbid enforce policies about password practices and you've got a pretty pickle.

Sadly, it took the recent Adobe compromise, to get me to finally start using a password wallet and use different passwords for each Internet service I use. Have to admit I was stunned, by the number of accounts I had when I got through most of the sites I access.

After hearing a few disturbing stories from my wife, about how computer security and passwords are treated at her place of work, I stepped up my training for her and her co-workers that will listen. Based on what I've heard from her the choice of poor passwords is the least of our troubles.

  • Passwords on sticky notes on monitors.
  • Passwords shared with co-workers, that have not been granted access.
  • System does not require default password to be changed.
  • Default password is a known pattern.
  • Techs routinely ask users for passwords
  • Co-workers say, "Just give them your password".
  • And so on . . .

Unless the underlying problem of poor culture surrounding computer security is changed and an understanding of the associated risks is cultivated, it won't matter one whip whether users can choose "Good Passwords TM".

about 5 months ago

Submissions

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Aurora Borealis Substation Style

tiberus tiberus writes  |  about a year ago

tiberus (258517) writes "It's wasn't even 12/21/2012 yet:

So much for the bubble that has often protected our state capital from storms much of this year. It wasn’t the end of the world, but it did scare quite a few people the eve of the Winter Solstice in Annapolis, MD and central Anne Arundel County. A strong storm is moving through with heavy rain and high winds. This is the warmer part of the same system the brought blizzard conditions to the Mid West and even into western Maryland. Even BGE made the public aware they might expect power failures in this event."

Link to Original Source
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The Giant Bite - Discovery of Leviathan melvillei

tiberus tiberus writes  |  more than 3 years ago

tiberus (258517) writes "Christopher Joyce writes:

Rarely do scientists get to publish a research paper that begins with the words "The Giant Bite." On Wednesday, fossil hunters from Europe did just that. They've discovered one of the biggest predators that ever lived: a whale — one that devoured other whales and probably anything else it had an appetite for.

The scientists call the creature Leviathan melvillei. "Leviathan" means sea monster, and "melvillei" refers, of course, to Herman Melville, who wrote the greatest of whale stories, Moby-Dick. Paleontologist Olivier Lambert says he's read that book — several times.

"I love the book," he says. "So, it was the reason why we selected that species name."

Lambert is with the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences, and you might call him a modern-day Ahab, though what he's after are the whitened bones of extinct whales. Two years ago in a Peruvian desert, his team found some from a sperm whale that lived and died some 12 to 13 million years ago — when the desert was underwater."

Link to Original Source
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Long Distance Remote Access

tiberus tiberus writes  |  more than 6 years ago

tiberus (258517) writes "How do you support remote users in truly remote locations? We are a small U.S. Company with offices on the East Coast and one in Hawaii. Now we are being asked to provide remote access to e-mail and file services to employees supporting our products in Iraq. Without blackberrys and with slow or high latency connections, how do you support these users? Personal satellite dishes?"

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