Feeds

* Posts by Martin Proffitt

9 posts • joined 4 Jan 2008

Google mystery server runs 13% of active websites

Martin Proffitt
Stop

And the first rule of Google webserver is

You shall not talk about Google web server!

2
0

Bumbling NJ firemen, cops blown up in 'huge fireball'

Martin Proffitt

Next time...

Leave it to the amateurs. The professionals obviously can't be trusted.

5
0

Religious discrimination law may open door for decent deviants

Martin Proffitt
Stop

Needs to go further

We live in a world where it is, on the surface, excepted to follow personal, philosophical and spiritual beliefs which "differ from the norm". Society in general understands that not everybody wants to stick to the conventionally accepted belief structures and accepts our basic right to practice our own views albeit behind closed doors in some instances.

I am an atheist, many of my friends are pagans, some are wickan and others agnostic yet off the top of my head I can think of two major instances where I have been instructed to accept a more conventional belief system.

Several years ago I was hospitalised with a particularly nasty disease. I wasn't in a good way at all and was isolated in a side ward, drugged to the eyeballs and under 24 hour surveillance. Whilst I don't remember much from my stay there itself I do recall the nurse coming in at one point and asking me what religion I believed in. I dutifully responded to this that I was an atheist and was subsequently told that she would put me down as CofE.

About a year after this incident I appeared in court following a minor infraction and was asked to swear an oath on one of the major religions. I think the options were mainly Christianity, Muslim, Hindu and Judaism. There was no option for swearing an oath on anything else and I remember thinking to myself at the time, "If I swear on any of these I am effectively instantly committing perjury". Anything I say after this should really be discredited because I have already lied about something fundamental, yet if I had spoken up against it then I could be held in contempt.

It is not just employment law where this issue needs to be addressed but in all aspects of society, local government, law enforcement, etc. It is a violation for us to have conventions forced upon us and can lead us into situations where whichever way we turn we are literally "damned if we do, damned if we don't".

0
0

Konami nixes Six Days in Fallujah

Martin Proffitt
Alert

Rewriting history again?

Any game about a historical event should be published regardless of the outcome of said event. In this instance, even if the battle had been lost the game should still be released on the grounds that it depicts an event in world history that had an impact in a larger war.

Games like these are sometimes the only way adolescent teens (and adults) pay attention to world events and could be considered as much a part of their education as any classroom lecture.

That this game is being pulled because the developers obtained the viewpoint of the insurgents in order to make the game as historically accurate as possible is outrageous. America might not like the viewpoint of the insurgents but that story is just as real and important as the overall outcome is and still needs to be told.

0
0

M42 closed by marshmallows and beer

Martin Proffitt
Unhappy

Dammit

Why was I not informed of this earlier. Beer and marshmallows on a Friday afternoon would have been nice.

0
0

Lateral thought saves sizzling server

Martin Proffitt

A new lease of life for an aging processor

I've had similar experiences with a desktop machine which I converted to a web and file server for development purposes at home.

This particular machine (an AMD XP 3000+) was forever failing on me. First it told me that the hard drives had gone. Not having the cash to buy new drives, I was in a bit of a panic about this until for some unknown reason I decided to try replacing the IDE cable instead. Funnily enough, this solved the fact the drives had seemingly packed up. Never did work out why I decided to try changing the IDE cable but I'm glad I did. A cable is a damn sight cheaper than 2 new hard drives and the frustration of restoring 200GB of data from backup

Around the same time as this happened the system started to shut itself down, freeze, reboot and do all kinds of peculiar things. At first it would only do these things when it was hot. I was forever cleaning it out from dust and grime (I was living in a pretty grotty hole when this started). Some times it would run for weeks or months on end without incident and others it would fail 8 or 9 times a day.

My initial thoughts were that it was likely to be an overheating problem. Most of the time it played up was during hot or humid weather although the fans never seemed to be working unduely hard. With this in mind I began to suspect that perhaps the temperature sensor on the MB had packed up or was in the process of failing.

This problem has been going on for about 3 years (yes, I'm still that skint I cant afford a new system yet) although since march it had been getting much much worst to the point I actually couldn't boot the system for more than an hour at a time or until I tried to open any applications.

About 2 months ago I decided to look more closely at the matter.

After careful thought I concluded that the system only crashed on me during hot weather or when I was placing undue load on the system. This narrowed it down to one of two things. Either memory or the CPU. Seeing as the memory had been upgraded, I wondered about the CPU.

Rather than replace the CPU itself (again through lack of money) I thought to try throttling it back. The clock base defaults at 166MHz. I brought this down to 100MHz and it was stable over the weekend. Wanting to find out how much the system could handle, I took it up to 150MHz and the system was stable overnight but died in the morning with a bios error relating to clock frequency. I've now dropped it down to 140MHz and its been stable for just under 2 months, and has taken everything I've thrown at it so far including indexing over 110GB of audio tracks, a feat that has not been completed in a single session in nigh on 3 years.

So now its time for a new processor although this one is currently performing quite nicely even though it is on its last legs.

I probably could have solved this a long time ago but to be honest, until March I wasn't all that bothered. I rarely use it as a desktop itself, preferring to do most of my work from my laptop and just use it as a server, and whilst it was frustrating at times, I could live with the occasional 5 minutes downtime whilst it reset and cooled enough to boot up again.

0
0

Hackers exploit China earthquake to punt Trojan

Martin Proffitt
Stop

It goes without saying really

The term hacker really is the wrong term to apply. Hackers have morals. Hackers break into systems and steal information, or post viral software to gather information, but true hackers would never dream of leaching off the back of other peoples misery caused by a global disaster.

Whoever started this scam is not a hacker by any stretch of the imagination. They are scum who does hackers a disservice and I would urge all real hackers to target the person who started this and take them down. They are a disgrace to humanity and in my eyes even the shit that I scrape off my size 11 new rock boots has more decency!!!

To all who have suffered and continue to suffer as a result of this disaster, my deepest sympathies go out to you.

To the scum who try to make money off the backs of other peoples suffering:

I HOPE YOU ROT IN HELL!!!

0
0

Tarantino plans Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill! remake

Martin Proffitt
Thumb Up

Not Britney!

I personally love FPKK, its been a favourite of mine since I first saw it on C4 back in 99/2000.

If anybody can remake this film and make it good its Tarantino but for f***s sake, Britney Spears? How to ruin a movie in one easy stroke!

0
0

UK gov sets rules for hacker tool ban

Martin Proffitt
Linux

Where does it end?

A few of the comments have already pointed out that hammers are used to break into houses (cars, vans, etc...) or may be used to bludgeon a person to death. Likewise, screwdrivers, chisels, planes and even spirit levels can cause significant damage if used inapropriately.

If I was walking home from B&Q with a new hammer and the police happened to stop me, I would expect them to at least ask me why I was walking through a residential area with a hammer but I wouldn't expect to be arrested for it. However if I was walking home with my laptop strung over my shoulder I would be rightly annoyed if I was stopped and questioned by the police.

As it happens, my laptop runs Linux and understandably so has an arsenal of security tools installed. They are essential to the course I am undertaking at University, which incidently is Computing Forensics and Network Security, under this new proposal, I guess it would then become fair game for me to be arrested for simply walking down the street carrying my laptop. After all, who is to say that my laptop isn't running in with the wireless enabled in monitor mode effecting a type of `war-driving'?...

On my systems, I must have half a dozen different versions of each `security' tool available for Linux, to say nothing of the number of Live disks I own, half of which are designed solely for the purpose of computing forensics and carry tools which are not always shipped with standard Linux distros. On top of this, I do a great deal of programming so have development libraries such as Crypt++ and pcap as well as languages such as PERL and Python installed on my system(s). Theoretically libraries and languages such as these can be used to write `hacking' sofware. Does this mean that I can be arrested for `intent to develop software for the purpose of carrying out malicious attacks against remote systems'?

There is a very fine line between what is classed as legal and illegal use of any tool no matter what trade you are in. As I walk home with my hammer, my intent is to get home and use it to drive nails in to wood for a new partitioning wall. However the police may percieve my intent as being that of breaking into that brand spanking new Mercedes Benz parked 300 yards up the road.

The keyword here is perception. The government sees network security tools as being a threat to the security of systems whether their own, commercial or personal. Crackers see security tools as a means to breaking into systems which they have no right to access, the average user doesn't even understand (or care) what these tools really are so will probably vote with the government regardless of which party proposed the bill and as for the rest of us, well I guess that makes us outlaws then.

The question is, with this bill in place, does that mean the government is going to imprison its own IT department? Or shut down MI5? Because I bet they use these tools every single day!

0
0