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Dell Announces Intent To Acquire SonicWALL

walt-sjc Re:The Only One I've Seen.. (65 comments)

We are a SonicWall partner - a large portion of our clients use them.

Sure you can do content filtering, but it's impossible to configure any sort of granularity in the system such as, allow these users to access these sites, those to access those site. I've worked with multiple Sonicwall engineers on this issue. You just can't do it. Period. There is one set of rules that you can either allow or deny. That's it. Similarly, the bandwidth management sucks if you want to do any sort of QoS.

This all boils down to the UI really. GUI's and firewalls are just a mix that only work for simplistic needs. Once your needs pass a certain threshold, they just get in the way and make it nearly impossible to do the configuration you need. Sonicwall designed their interface for the "part time office manager IT person" and grew from there. And it shows. Cisco frankly is in a similar situation. Use the GUI for simple crap to get you going, the command line when you actually need to do anything complex.

As another poster mentioned, pretty much all firewalls out there are embedded Linux or BSD, and just slap their GUI on top along with other random services. Some do a pretty good job of exposing the underlying power of the native firewall, others, not so much. Sonicwall's is pretty good for exposing that power but the web GUI gets in the way all too often when you need to do a lot of similar rules or complex rules.

Finally, another poster recommended using GMS to manage multiple Sonicwalls. This product is insanely priced and only makes sense in a larger organization that would be better served with alternative products (Cisco, etc.) Despite all the high end models they sell, I wouldn't use ANY of them for an organization with high-end needs. Sonicwall's nitch is small business with 50 or fewer users and in my opinion, selling and supporting these things, that's the only market that it's viable to use them in.

more than 2 years ago
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Should Employees Buy Their Own Computers?

walt-sjc Re:Nah (498 comments)

No it doesn't translate well to computers.

Do you really want your financial, personal, or medical information on some random idiot's personal machine? A machine (maybe a laptop) that someone's kid uses to download all sorts of crap? What if the machine gets stolen while at the office? Who pays? What about the data? Can you mandate full drive encryption? How do you audit it?

Think of the legal liability.

No, no, it's not a good idea when you think past the initial $$$$ and allure of having a non-sucky work machine. Yeah, a good machine costs a few dollars, but compared to the cost of wages and other overhead associated with an employee, it is fricking stupid to saddle the employee with a crap machine that hinders their productivity. If a better machine increases productivity more than 5% then, as a company, you are insane to keep around a 5 year old machine with a tiny monitor.

We keep most of our clients on a 3 year rotation. The tax laws make it reasonable to do so. We track maintenance costs on systems, and find that as a machine ages, it really does get more expensive to maintain and it costs the company more in lost productivity than it's worth. With rare exceptions, our clients understand this. Tech isn't cheap but not keeping up costs more.

more than 3 years ago
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A New Neutral, Long-Haul Fiber Network

walt-sjc Re:Hmmmm....Can someone explain...... (129 comments)

Ideally, it would allow new ISPs to enter the market and compete with the current conglomerates.

The problem isn't long-haul bandwidth. Reasonably priced OC48+ is already common pretty much everywhere in the US. Reselling it isn't the issue. The "Last Mile" is the issue and has ALWAYS been the issue. The ONLY "resellable" last mile option is telco copper, and the problem with it (in all too many cases) is loop length, and quality of the loop. In my area, the wires are long and old, meaning that 1.5M/384K is the absolute max I can get, and it has lots of dropouts (and I get nasty static on my POTS line.) I've been trying to get it fixed for 5 YEARS! Letters to the PUC have yielded absolutely nothing. So my ONLY other option now is cable. And to be honest, the speed for $$$ on my business line (15M/2M, 5 IP's, no caps) is so far beyond what the phone company or ANY third party DSL ISP can offer, it's a no-brainer. All I could ask for is better reliability (I've had a number of outages where I have never had an outage with my phone service.)

My situation, unfortunately, is not all that unusual. There are areas of San Jose, CA, that STILL can't get DSL due to loop length.

So... Back to the original topic. This will do NOTHING for your local home / small business internet service. It will make it a little less expensive for large businesses to have or upgrade their private networks. That's it.

The solution for the last mile is an independent "fiber utility" that offers / supports the physical fiber, and to allow multiple companies to connect to it and offer services over it at a neutral facility. I don't need 15 different companies stringing cable, but I would like 15 different companies competing to offer me TV, internet, and phone over that common fiber.

more than 4 years ago
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Retiring Justice John Paul Stevens's Impact On IP Law

walt-sjc Re:Right (106 comments)

Anytime someone says something based on FACT that an Obama lover doesn't like, they mod you down.

Jessep: You want answers?
Kaffee: I think I'm entitled to them.
Jessep: You want answers?
Kaffee: I want the truth!
Jessep: You can't handle the truth!

more than 4 years ago
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Flash Builder 4 — Defective By Design?

walt-sjc Flash is abused (66 comments)

I tried to like flash, I really did, but it has proven to be of VERY limited utility. Look how flash is actually used on sites now.
  1) Advertising - this helps me how? I can't say how much I hate sites that start blaring some crap at top volume as soon as I navigate to the page.
  2) Web Site splash screens - OK, where's the skip button so I can actually get to content? I have yet to see, since the inception of Flash, a splash screen that imparted useful information
  3) Games - OK, this is a valid use, but subject generally to a lot of limitations - such as not being scalable. Most games look like crap on my 1900x1200 (and larger) screens.
  4) Embedded media (audio and video) - another somewhat valid use, only due to the pathetic behavior of the HTML standards committees who should have defined standardized browser native capability 10 years ago. Again, not scalable, which really sucks.

Because the VAST majority of flash objects are ads and other undesirable useless content, I surf with no-script and avoid them.

But here are my main reasons to avoid use of Flash where possible:
  1) Content inside Flash isn't searchable
  2) Flash content is not viewable on the vast majority of mobile handsets
  3) Flash content can't be "read" by screen readers, making it useless for the visually impaired
  4) Content inside Flash can't be cut and pasted (you can take screen shots, but that "sucketh")

I have similar complaints about Javascript, which I also see regularly abused for doing menus and buttons that can (almost always) be done with the EXACT SAME look and feel using ordinary HTML / CSS.

Bottom line is that Flash is being "abused" - used where it shouldn't be used, in ways that it shouldn't be used in a FAR greater proportion to legitimate uses. It has a bad rep now, and the fault is aimed directly at the majority of flash developers who have created this horrible content. Flash is like heroin though - all too many incompetent web designers are addicted to it and use it wherever they can, as much as they can.

 

more than 4 years ago
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Ars Technica Inveighs Against Ad Blocking

walt-sjc Re:Hmmmm (1051 comments)

Are you asking if simulated ad clicking would help Arstechnica? I think the answer is an unequivocal "no;"

There. Fixed that for ya.

more than 4 years ago
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Ars Technica Inveighs Against Ad Blocking

walt-sjc Re:It's the freeloaders time (1051 comments)

To be honest, if it were REASONABLY PRICED, I would pay for content. I am not about to sign up for a subscription at $30 / year for a site I visit maybe once a week. Where are the promised micropayments? I would certainly put up with, and use a system where viewing an article that may cost me a nickle as an alternative to a monthly / yearly subscription - but I'll tell ya - long term subscriptions WILL NOT FLY. The internet is not a collection of magazines where you may subscribe to a half dozen. We know that. How would it be if every site on the internet had a long-term subscription-only model? How would you even FIND good sites?

The internet works as a news / research tool BECAUSE it's freely (or cheaply) available. The lack of a micropayment system is WHY we have this problem today.

more than 4 years ago
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Ars Technica Inveighs Against Ad Blocking

walt-sjc Re:It's the freeloaders time (1051 comments)

I'll allow static non-animated pictures. Anything with flash, javascript, or embedded in iframes is blocked. If you can't communicate your message with a picture, you don't deserve my attention. Oh - and adwords is fine too.

Advertisers have no morals and no shame. If they could legally send a barker around who breaks into your house and yells at you through a megaphone, they would. The industry would (and currently is attempting to) outlaw any technology that is capable of bypassing ads in any medium. Hell, if they could get away with it, they would outlaw eyelids so you couldn't close your eyes and mandate locking seatbelts that wouldn't allow you to get up and go to the bathroom during commercial breaks.

Did I mention I hate most ads?

more than 4 years ago
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Best WAP For Dense Crowds?

walt-sjc Re:Use ALL 14 WIFI channels ! (178 comments)

You can't use all the channels due to overlap / interference. 1,4,7,11 OR 2,5,8,12 - BUT - the issue is going to be how they are allocated. If everyone tries to connect to the same AP / channel, it's still not going to work. You solve this by using directional "sector" antennas. However, these cost a small fortune. Best bet in THIS application, with budget constraints, is to use decent commercial AP's on 4 different channels around the middle of the corners of a 3x3 grid and hope that user devices will pick AP with the strongest signal. The number of devices that support 5Ghz is soooo limited right now that a single device at that freq in the middle is probably all that is needed. Hopefully this changes over the next few years and we get more 5Ghz adoption.

Precise placement and number of units, etc., depend on the details of the space, and for that you pretty much need a walk-through.

Depending on usage, etc., be prepared for crappy performance anyway since whenever you have tons of devices all working on the same frequency range. It's going to suck no matter WHAT you use because all the devices will be somewhat chatty and interfere with each other. Remember - it's not just communication between Bob and the AP - you have all of Bob's neighbors interfering with him too - even if you had a super-highly directional antenna pointed right at his laptop, Bill, Lisa, Frank, Biff, Buffy etc. etc. sitting at the same table as Bob will be interfering with his communications since they are NOT directional (and neither is Bob.)

more than 4 years ago
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What Has Your Phone Survived?

walt-sjc Re:A full season in the snow (422 comments)

Mine is a (work) Windows Mobile. I looked at it and it froze up. It doesn't survive much use at all (worst user interface EVER!)

more than 4 years ago
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Crazy Firewall Log Activity — What Does It Mean?

walt-sjc Re:Skylab Shreds (344 comments)

My first impression was botnet too, but just IP info alone isn't enough to come to a conclusion. Give me port info and packet size too. His graph is enough to go "Huh. That's interesting" and then look into it further. That's it.

more than 4 years ago
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Truth Or Dare — What Is the Best US Cell Company?

walt-sjc Re:The statistics repeatedly say (395 comments)

VERY few can do both - and Verizon has such a phone but it's designed for international travel and not roaming on domestic GSM networks.

more than 4 years ago
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Truth Or Dare — What Is the Best US Cell Company?

walt-sjc Re:The statistics repeatedly say (395 comments)

Considering Verizon is CDMA and AT&T is GSM, that would be a good trick.

more than 4 years ago
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Bing Gaining Market Share Faster

walt-sjc Re:Of course (406 comments)

A little late AC, since when he bought the phone it had Google on it, and Verizon installed Bing after the fact (which is fraud in my mind.) Users not only have the right to whine, they have an obligation when a company behaves like this - to let people know, and pressure a the misbehaving company. Switching away has costs - since you are probably dealing with contracts (early termination fees,) an investment in the hardware itself, phone number migrations, etc. etc. Switching is expensive and users should not have to bear the costs when a provider damages their phone / service in this way. In fact, the cost of migration is likely several times more expensive than the phone itself.

Sure wish there was a "clueless" mod for posts like yours, AC...

more than 4 years ago
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The Story of a Simple and Dangerous OS X Kernel Bug

walt-sjc Re:Less vulnerabilities? Yeah, right! (230 comments)

Yes, I'm talking about all the confirmation dialogs of all types... UAC, browser plugins, file deletion, etc. It's the "conditioning to press OK" that I was talking about. I thought I was pretty clear about that and had not mentioned UAC at all.

more than 5 years ago
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The Story of a Simple and Dangerous OS X Kernel Bug

walt-sjc Re:Less vulnerabilities? Yeah, right! (230 comments)

I'll gladly answer. I'm actively using my computer doing everyday tasks, browsing web sites, reading and responding to email, writing documents, working in spreadsheets, moving files around, etc., all day long. Probably 10 hours at least. 100 pop ups would only be one every few minutes. In reality, it's much more, and they come in spurts.

Tell ya what. You keep a little pad next to your mouse, and make a check mark for each pop up you get when doing something normal, like deleting a file, or copying a directory over another (a task which can easily generate a dozen dialog boxes alone) that requires a Yes, OK , or Continue answer. See how many you get after a 10 hour day. Apparently, from your comment, you will be stunned. And you should be.

more than 5 years ago
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The Story of a Simple and Dangerous OS X Kernel Bug

walt-sjc Re:Less vulnerabilities? Yeah, right! (230 comments)

All studies analyzing security vulnerability reports or released patch sets as a measure of OS security simply prove that the researcher is a fucking idiot. It's IMPOSSIBLE to measure security in this way because you are comparing lawn tractors to jet skis. The reasons are basic: everyone that releases an OS has their own way of dealing with reports and patches. The raw data is MEANINGLESS.

It doesn't matter what anti-exploit technology is in the OS because it has been proven time and time again that no matter WHAT the warning, Users hit OK anyway. In fact, studies have shown that even when presented with a dialog that says something like "If you click OK, your computer will be infected by a virus," users STILL click OK 50% of the time. Windows is particularly bad in this regard because it is CONSTANTLY asking permission to do this, that, or the other thing. A typical work day for me I get 100-1000 requests for permission. It's no wonder users click OK all the time.

Due to "OS conditioned" user behavior, NONE of the anti-malware software out there is actually effective at preventing infection. Most can clean it up after the fact (with the drive pulled and scanned from another machine.)

Users also continue to use stupid passwords like "password", "1234", etc. no matter how much training given. Forcing complex passwords just ensures that there will be a postit on the monitor with the password, and a 100x increase in calls to the help desk to reset passwords.

The ONLY measure we REALLY have is subjective, and based on my experience, the reality is that windows users are probably 1000 times more likely to have malware on their systems.

I don't have any good solutions to this problem other than to suggest that we need security technology that actually analyzes a program's behavior, possibly simulating it by running in a mini-secure sandbox before talking to the user about it. Maybe apps could be be checked against a reputation database... Known good could be passed with no prompting thus reducing the amount of warning dialogs to the user. The current situation has proven dire however.

more than 5 years ago
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Using a House's Concrete Foundation To Cool a PC

walt-sjc Re:Very clever idea. (465 comments)

I was validating your comment. Way to be an ass.

more than 5 years ago
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Using a House's Concrete Foundation To Cool a PC

walt-sjc Re:Very clever idea. (465 comments)

All the large datacenters I've submitted RFPs to for colo space are rated at 300W / sq. foot. Of course they were all designed in the days before bladeservers existed.

more than 5 years ago

Submissions

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walt-sjc walt-sjc writes  |  more than 7 years ago

walt-sjc (145127) writes "In a New York Times article Steve Jobs says: "I don't want people to think of this as a computer," "These are devices that need to work, and you can't do that if you load any software on them." Quick — someone tell Palm, Motorola, and Samsung why their phones don't work!! But seriously, that seems like a major slap in the face to third party software developers, basically saying that they can't write reliable software. It also seems to decrease the utility / value of the most expensive smartphone (soon to be) on the market. Or does it matter?"

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