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Comment Re:Opportunity for Google/FB to inform users (Score 1) 332

ISPs will never do this though; they have their hands full dealing with users who either really can't get the Internet working because it's legit broken (e.g., area outage, modem fault, busted fibre) and those who have busted their own network (turned off wifi, etc).

The cost of egress traffic is negligible; they won't want to do anything that risks losing a customer like intentionally breaking their network.

Doing proper egress filtering for spoofed traffic seems like it would be a better start!

Comment Opportunity for Google/FB to inform users (Score 1) 332

I've wondered if companies like Google and FB - who are no doubt getting DDOSed all the time in various ways - could start trying to inform users if they notice them browsing from the same IP address as a DDOS source.

A big notice on FB or the Google search page that says "there is suspicious activity coming from your IP address" might at least get people to contact their local nerd to ask them what the hell that warning is all about. I don't expect users to be able to identify the source of the problem (unless they can be REALLY specific, like "it's your X-Cam IP Camera Mark II that is causing the problem.. but even then?), but maybe just an alert would prompt them to think about taking some action.

Probably wishful thinking but I would imagine it's a fairly low cost test to run for them. Google at least have stuff to do this already (e.g., if they detect suspicious activity for your account from unusual IP addresses).

Comment Re:Surely Wikileaks can function without Assange (Score 1) 241

If Wikileaks' work is so important, I'm sure it can continue on without Assange in the loop, surely. In fact it would regain a lot of credibility were this to happen. Lately I think Assange's narcissism is more of a liability than an asset to Wikileaks and its cause.

I find it hard to distinguish between things Assange says and things-whoever-is-in-charge-of-Wikileaks-Twitter-today says.

Comment Re:Old school (Score 1) 59

F2P games have shit timesinks and grinding and deliberately missing content in order to try and sell you shortcuts to the less shitty parts of the 'game'.

Possibly generally true but definitely not always true. I've clocked literally thousands of hours in Dota 2 - probably the most amazingly complete f2p game you can find at the moment.

I've not spent a single cent on it to date.

The revenue model for Dota 2 is about buying decorations for your characters and other in-game items. Some of these are amazing - like, they look fantastic. But I get to appreciate them because other users buy them, so I feel like I'm getting the benefit of them anyway.

I have no interest in what my character looks like - I just play because I love the competition (mostly the winning part, anyway :)

I agree a lot of the celebration/dominance stuff mentioned here does not sound interesting - to me it's just pointless frills that distracts from the game. But I do think it's possible to build a great f2p game that incorporates them, and I certainly am happy for people that care about that stuff to fund me playing it without having to spend any money!

Comment Liability? (Score 0) 552

Are they accepting liability if my phone gets stolen? What if someone takes the phone while it's in their possession, hacks it, and steals all my data?

I suspect in their T&Cs they provide no guarantees about any of this - probably quite the opposite. Seems like a lot of fucking around that will just punish the vast majority of legit users and not do anything to stop those that really want to break the rules.

What do we call the analog version of DRM?

Comment Released in Kenya, Tunisia, Malaysia, Sri Lanka (Score 4, Informative) 79

I immediately wanted to install this to replace the behemoth that is the real Messenger; after diving through the various links (because why would you bother to link the source?), I found this:

Messenger Lite is starting to roll out to people in Kenya, Tunisia, Malaysia, Sri Lanka and Venezuela. Look for Messenger Lite in other countries in the coming months.

So I suspect it might not come to "western" regions; I've seen this before with some of the 'basic' versions of apps.

FWIW I have a Nexus 4, maybe 3 years old, which now feels like a cheap, basic smartphone. Most of those big fat apps like FB Messenger run like an absolute dog. I am not sure why; I think it's a combination of the IO speed of the disk starting to suck plus the fact that I have full encryption on (IIRC the Nexus 5+ series have dedicated hardware that deals more gracefully with full encryption on the device).

Comment Re:Who cares if they actually help (Score 1) 150

I train brazillian Jui Jitsu. I wanted to wear a fitness tracker to figure out how much work I do in a session because they are very intense, the warm-ups are what most fitness places call a 'work-out'. You can wear them in the warm up however the trouble with them is they get torn off when you fight and they *can't* track the amount of work I am doing. They also injure training partners. I've considered wearing them around my shoulder or ankle however I'm not sure you can do that with them. It also give opponents a grip point that you can't release yourself from, so they are a tactical disadvantage.

FWIW my brother says similar things about the Apple Watch for simple activities like running, cycling and gym. He is an exercise nut and owns both an Apple Watch and a more specific heart-rate tracking device (I think a Garmin?), and from his testing the Garmin seems way more accurate in terms of its readings.

I can't remember how he tested it but I think there were gaps in the Apple Watch coverage or something. He could be wearing it wrong, but it also seems quite possible to me that its use as a fitness tracker is probably more of a side benefit rather than a major feature. (He is an Apple fanboy so is loathe to admit any shortcomings in his devices so it's possibly even worse than he suggests :)

Comment Re:How do IoT manufacturers... (Score 4, Interesting) 116

On the plus side it might finally lead to home routers getting some more interesting IP accounting features. That is one thing that has always annoyed me ever since I stopped having a Linux gateway - the home routers typically have no useful feedback as to what device is responsible for traffic.

Even a simple counter table would be incredibly useful, but I don't really see any reason why it would be hard to have good real-time graphs showing the current and total data usage from each IP on the network.

One interesting challenge though - what happens if you have an IoT device that is thoroughly pwned and keeps changing IP addresses (and/or MAC addresses!) specifically to make identifying it internally even more complicated?!

Comment Re:Shouldn't this be in a business journel? (Score 2) 67

Many technologists think that running a business is kind of easy - like it's just a matter of having a good idea, banging out a bit of code, and then bam - you're Zuck or Gates.

The business of technology is, I think, a very interesting part of the entire process as well. There's a few interesting comments already in this article (e.g., about supply chain financing etc) which many people won't know anything about.

I'm sure there are many engineers out there that would love to do their own startup - you only have to look at failed Kickstarters to see that a lot of them never get off the ground and in many cases it's because they failed to understand some of the business aspects of it. Building a business around it is challenging almost no matter what you're doing.

So I think this is an interesting topic (I've already learned a few things from the comments, which is my main reason for returning to Slashdot on a daily basis)!

Comment Re:Fuck the spec (Score 1) 85

I don't know anyone who likes autoplay video/audio, which is why the marketers love it so much. Fuck them all, poke their eye out and fuck them in the skull.

I've watched lots of non-nerd/technical people use things like Facebook and have often asked them why they have auto-play video enabled (in Facebook it is an option).

From observing their behaviour before I ask them it is clear that autoplaying video for them is a feature - in most cases they scroll down, see the video play, watch the video for at least a few seconds, and then either finish it or move on. The impact of the autoplay is negligible to them; it's just something that happens in the app. None of them care about performance impact, privacy concerns, bandwidth wasting, etc.

I have to say I don't have any problems with auto-playing video - Facebook is the only site I regularly use where that might be a problem and they've thoughtfully provided an option for me to disable it. I don't have Flash installed any more so it's rare that I come across a site with an autoplaying video. But it would irritate me if I did and I'd be looking at ways to block it :)

Comment This is a good thing (Score 3, Interesting) 208

I've never been a fan of the regular release schedule of Firefox (or software in general). Releasing a new version just for the sake of having a new version every three months seems like a way to just make sure you're introducing potential new issues in your software (... lo and behold I think that's what we see with Firefox more and more, rather than the introduction of great new features).

I understand the motivation though - it's nice to have targets to keep everyone working for those little milestones, and have a date attached to it so things can be roadmapped and planned and all that.

I don't think it's at all a big deal for a date to slip on a particular version - especially as we're getting into actual serious-change Firefox territory with this release. The Electrolysis stuff is the first major advancement (... that I've cared about) for something like 20 versions so I'm keen to make sure it's stable.

As an anecdote, the current version of Firefox is the first one that I've EVER noticed it feeling sluggish and like it is using too much memory. I know Firefox has a weird reputation has a memory hog but I have personally NEVER noticed this despite it being my sole browser for years. As of right now it's using 1.9GB whereas before this I don't recall it getting significantly above the low 1GB range (FWIW I have Electrolosys disabled by config).

I don't really care that much about the memory usage but it certainly feels a little more sluggish than usual, which I do care about. So I'm very happy for them to take their time with the v49 release and make sure it's all ship-shape before it lands.

Comment Test-driven Excel (Score 1) 349

I'm a relative newbie to Excel but the first thing I learned was never to trust any of the cells where any calculations are performed.

As my spreadsheets got more and more complex I quickly realised small errors in one worksheet could manifest themselves in really ugly - but very subtle - ways. One simple-looking calculation on one worksheet could blow out an entire model if it there was even a small typo.

I suspect many people using Excel haven't learned this lesson yet. I was lucky that I noticed it myself before learning the hard way.

My solution was to have entirely separate worksheets where I would basically apply rough/simple TDD principles - have some known quantities and results in any complex calculation sections and make sure they were clearly visible at all time. That way as the spreadsheet evolves it can help you catch small errors before they ruin their day.

I'm sure pro Excel people have many more useful tricks.

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