* Posts by ShelLuser

2034 posts • joined 19 Dec 2010

77 per cent ignore company social media policies

ShelLuser
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Breaks can help, IF your mindset is ok

I'm a systems administrator and I used to follow a very specific and personal regulation: during the Friday I would keep a window open where I was logged onto an IRC network. The whole day... Of course it also helped that I was logged onto my own server, which also functioned as the IRC server. So there was no risk what so ever that the company IP could leak out or get abused.

And it can definitely help you take your mind of things, but the most important part: the person who does this needs to be able to handle the distractions. All my friends in the #linux channel knew that Fridays, during the day, I could go AFK any second. Because obviously work comes first. And as long as you stick to that mindset then there's nothing wrong with spouting a few comments right after you set a new server to work on updates, or right after you fixed Ms. Jones permissions on the server so that she can work on her Word document again ("I'll promise not to click "protect" a next time").

But yeah: don't give me this educational nonsense. It's entertaining, it's relaxing, but it's not educational all the time. It can be, sure, I've also had good moments when I discussed Linux kernel settings with some friends, which suddenly gave me new ideas to optimize stuff for our company server.

Here's the thing: what works for me doesn't have to work for you. I also know plenty of people who'd get stuck in IRC all day long and wouldn't get any work done. So a company has to start somewhere, especially bigger ones.

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You lucky creatures! Mammals only JUUUST survived asteroid that killed dinosaurs

ShelLuser
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Predator and prey perhaps?

Obviously not all dinosaurs were carnivores but I think it's safe to assume that most mammals must have been sitting lower on the food chain. Well, it's commonly known that predators keep other species in check, which in their turn often give birth to more siblings in order to increase their chances of survival.

Take the predator out of such an equation and you'll risk overpopulation because the hunted species can now reproduce pretty much unlimitedly, something which has happened quite a few times when people decided to remove a certain animal or place another outside of its natural habitat.

So I can't help wonder if the same could have applied here as well. With the removal of a lot of predators the mammals could much more easily reproduce and survive.

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Hey cloud lawyer: Can I take my client list with me?

ShelLuser
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Mushroom

Copying a client list is a stupid thing to do...

There's much more at stake here than merely the protection of personal data. Sure; as a sales person or whatever you may have kept a personal relationship with your clients. But never forget that you were also representing a company and offered specific services which your client(s) liked. You were a big part of it, sure, but it didn't fully evolve around you but what you had to offer them. Also: without the company you worked for you would most likely never have met your clients in the first place, so is that data really yours to take? I beg to differ.

And that's what some people don't really get. I've experienced this situation myself a few times where a contact person switched jobs and then suddenly contacted me again and yeah, he had good news: he could offer better services. Cautious as I always am I listened to him, learned that he had switched jobs and then it was time for me to play the devils advocate. What the <censored> was he thinking? Sure I liked to keep in touch with my contact person, but my primary concern was what the company he represented had to offer me.

I did not like it one single bit and have contacted both his previous employer as well as the new company he was representing and made it very clear that if they pulled a stunt like that again then I would file an official complaint, at the very least for spamming and intrusion, and I demanded that my contact info was to be removed from their database(s).

Just because you found a new job doesn't mean that I have to like the new company you represent.

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Dad of student slain in Paris terror massacre sues Google, Twitter, Facebook for their 'material support' of ISIS

ShelLuser
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Pint

@AC

I have to agree, but for a different reason: "Don't shoot the messenger".

Sueing Google, Twitter and Facebook is the easy and cheap way out, leaving the real culprits untouched. If I post something obnoxious through one of those sites (which I can't anyway because I don't have social media counts) then who's to blame? Them or me?

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Admins in outcry as Microsoft fix borks Group Policy

ShelLuser
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Trollface

Didn't bother me at all ;)

Ok, I'll admit up front: this is a little bit of a troll post but still meant somewhat seriously. You can check my past posts for that ;)

Ever since Microsoft has EOL'd 2k3 server and chopped TechNet my company decided that there wasn't enough budget to warrant an extra license merely for testing. It simply went outside of the budget (can't blame 'm). We moved to FreeBSD with Samba, Apache, PostgreSQL and Mono (mod-mono) and never looked back. In all honesty: this isn't enterprise sized we're talking about, but still big enough.

As said, we never looked back. The only patching we're doing is using portsnap :)

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Apple nominated for Internet Hero of the Year, Donald Trump for Villain

ShelLuser
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@doug

Fully agreed with you. Personally I don't really like Apple, in my opinion their products are sometimes overpriced and they also perform a shady business when it comes to warranties (read: deliberately ignoring Dutch law for example) but this issue definitely gains them a lot of my respect.

"The fact that another way was found to access the data on that particular phone, and that supporting their users was also acting in their own corporate interest doesn't change that."

Well, it has been a while (and I'm too lazy to look it up) but if memory serves me right it was actually also partly because of the feds themselves that they couldn't get more data from that phone. They turned the whole thing off even though it was still set to perform automated backups. One more cycle and they could have gotten more from it as well (once again: I can't rule out the option that I'm mixing up facts here).

"I think almost everyone would acknowledge that Apple took a risk with their position, as the FBI carefully chose that case to push all the right buttons in the average person's mind to make them look bad for refusing to help in the way the FBI was asking."

Hypocrisy at its finest IMO, especially if you keep in mind that Apple had complied to all other wishes from the Feds, even having no problem with giving them access to previously mentioned backups. Apple stood up for the rights (and privacy) of its customers which is something you can only respect.

Still... Even though I'm happy with the turn out I also can't help wonder what would have happened if this had been taken to court. Would be funny if the legal system would have ruled against the prying of the Feds (which I think would have been quite likely) :)

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This is how the EU's supreme court is stripping EU citizens of copyright protections

ShelLuser
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This is what happens...

... if you let people make laws about topics they hardly know anything about. Then you get stuff which sounds perfectly reasonable in theory, but as soon as its being put to the test then the whole thing comes crumbling down.

To me this is no different from politicians which make certain laws which contains so many errors and technicalities that a lawyer can easily rip it to shreds.

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The Microsoft-LinkedIn hookup will be the END of DAYS, I tell you

ShelLuser
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@djstardust

"Sad world when money can buy personal details for who knows what reason."

Just wondering: do you happen to have a Facebook, Twitter or Google+ account by any chance? Because if the issue of buying personal details bothers you then trust me when I say that LinkedIn isn't your only problem here. Major difference is that this got fully open in the news, and that those other companies tend to keep a little more quiet about it. But don't think for one second that the data you provide those three companies with also stays with those three companies.

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Microsoft and LinkedIn: What the CEOs are planning

ShelLuser
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Re: Do I really want Microsoft to have full access to my professional history?

Now, you shouldn't trust multi-million cooperation because first and foremost things evolve around their revenue and nothing else. But... I also think it's fair to say that out of all the companies out there Microsoft has proven themselves to be more caring about the individual users privacy than others. Well, at least that's the impression I've been getting.

Just read their several user agreements. Heck, lets take a very easy example: my Windows phone. Every time I used a certain feature for the first time (keyboard, speech recognition, e-mail, etc.) I got asked if I would allow Microsoft access to some data for "improvements". You know, the commonly used "phone home" feedback. I even skipped a few because I was not in the mood for those questions because I wanted to get some work done.

Each and every time the option turned out to be opt-in. It was disabled by default and the question was basically if I'd allow them to activate it. Most phones have all this stuff turned on by default, making it opt-out.

Microsoft has done some severely stupid and intrusive things, I'm not denying any of that, but in this current situation (also looking at the several end user agreements) I'd sooner trust Microsoft with more personal data than, say, Google (even though, in all honesty, Google also never makes a secret out of it that they want to make money from using your data).

Of course anything can change.

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Microsoft buys LinkedIn for the price of 36 Instagrams

ShelLuser
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Re: Eh?

"I see no synergy here."

I do, sort off. You see, before we had Microsoft accounts which granted you access to their services we had MSN. Microsoft Network. It was basically rolled into Hotmail but in the end it was still MSN, and much more than a media site alone. It was a social media network on its own, but without the more intruding stuff which you had in areas such as Twitter and Facebook. In fact: this was the only social media network I somewhat used. Heck; together with MSN Messenger things simply worked.

Well, we all know what happened next. They bought Skype and that was suppose to replace MSN Messenger, the whole MSN network also got dumped in favour of Microsoft accounts and that was basically it. Skype would replace some of the functionality (I never liked Skype though) and using outlook.com you could "somewhat" use social-media alike stuff.

So here we are. Instead of expanding on something they already had and trying to perfect it they dumped it in favour of stuff which a lot of people never cared for. And now they're trying to re-invent the wheel using LinkedIn. Of course at a time where lots of people have given up on this as well.

I have to give Microsoft some credit: if anyone can make something out of the mess which is LinkedIn right now it's Microsoft in my opinion. They certainly have the potential. Only problem: will anyone actually care?

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Don’t let the Barmy Brexiteers wreck #digital #europe

ShelLuser
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FAIL

Short sighted idiocy...

Too many people think that once Britain steps out of the Eurozone then international trading will collapse, treaties won't work, they won't be able to run commercial airliners, etc, etc.

Such a load of bollocks.

Before we had this EU monstrosity (personal opinion) the individual countries were quite capable of setting up trade agreements and such amongst themselves. And take the United Nations, that council also exists without creating any physical links between all the seating countries.

I can appreciate that some people might oppose the idea of a Brexit, just like I expect them to respect my opinion that a Brexit is most likely going to stimulate Britain's economy quite severely (just look at all the stuff you don't have to be paying for anymore, such as the Ukraine fundings).

However, I do think you shouldn't portrait a false information based on fear, just like you also shouldn't make things look too optimistic than they are either. I can definitely agree that a Brexit might hold some negative consequences also, and I'm also not suggesting that Britain will immediately head into a new golden age.

But it's not as if a Brexit will mean the end of the world and civilisation as you knew it.

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Microsoft thinks it's fixed Windows Server mess its last fix 'fixed'

ShelLuser
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Windows

I might be inclined to help, but...

Here's my personal gripe with the whole thing: when the customers complain about issues which really matter a lot to them yet don't really fit into Microsoft's plans (think about the colour removal in Visual Studio) then they more than often get the silent treatment and nothing happens.

But when Microsoft needs us then all of a sudden user input has become important to them?

Not only doesn't that inspire confidence, it also gives me a sense of hypocrisy at work.

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TeamViewer denies hack after PCs hijacked, PayPal accounts drained

ShelLuser
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@naive

I agree about the open source comment (see my comment further below) but your argumentation is flawed nonetheless:

"The world should really move on to OpenSource for this kind of stuff, in the end many eyes see more."

Actually they don't, not per definition. Think about the Debian OpenSSL disaster; the package maintainer had altered the source code. Not just that; he had altered the very engine of OpenSSL itself. Yet it took the Debian community approx. 3 years before the problem was discovered and fixed. Causing a major uproar because all keys and certificates which were created with this OpenSSL version were vulnerable.

Never underestimate how easy it is to overlook the obvious.

Still, I do agree with you but for different reasons. Open source usually has no commercial interests attached to their products. If they screw up then that's that: they screwed up and will admit to that. An example can be seen above. Yet you never know with companies such as these. Because they also got a reputation to keep in mind and will also want to secure their revenue. Trust me: their revenue has a much higher priority than doing the right thing in admitting that they've been breached.

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ShelLuser
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This is why I prefer open source (VNC)

No, I'm not your average fanboy who is now going to whine (without bread) how perfect the whole thing is.

The culprit is commercial interests. Of course TV wouldn't admit if they've been hacked; it would be bad publicity which could cost them money. So... And this isn't something reserved for TV, its the same with most commercial software (companies) out there. As such: when it comes to issues as these I'll take OSS any time.

I have to be honest: I'm biased because I dislike the TV usage policy. Its free for non-commercial use but companies have to pay dearly. So what happens? Customers could more or less "force" you into using TV because that's what they like, some may even not understand why you refuse because they overlook the fact that TV is not free.

And there's more. VNC isn't depending on anything but the users own knowledge. I don't need a remote (3rd party) server which needs to have access. Granted: using VNC can be more difficult because you'll need IP addresses and such, but there is a way to overcome all that: the listening viewer.

My customers have VNC server installed (not active all the time) and it's even shielded by their firewall. When I need to connect to them I ask them to "attach listening viewer", iow: connect their server to my client. Sure, it's harder to set up (I needed to add DNS names and such) but also more secure.

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Minecraft marketing mods miff Mojang

ShelLuser
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Devil

Hypocrisy?

I get the strong impression that Mojang are slowly turning into a bunch of hypocrites where commercial use of their product is concerned. Worse yet: I also don't think that's their intention, but the way they act and make it sound does fuel this opinion only more.

In this new update they state: "We want to empower our community to make money from their creativity, but we’re not happy when the selling of an unrelated product becomes the purpose of a Minecraft mod or server.".

All fine and well, but that's not something you said 2 years ago (and which comment has never been changed): "Over the past week there’s been lots of discussion about Minecraft servers and your right to monetise them. Legally, you are not allowed to make money from our products. There has been one exception to this rule so far - Minecraft videos. We’re about to make a second exception - Minecraft servers.". See their article here about server monetisation.

And now they're suddenly saying that we should be able to make money from our creativity? Then I start to wonder what kind of creativity they're talking about, because it doesn't seem to apply to mods (Minecraft "plugins"), in-game structures or basically anything related to Minecraft. Because their official stance (see their EULA) has always been: Essentially the simple rule is do not make commercial use of anything we've made unless we've specifically said it's okay. Oh and if the law expressly allows it, such as under a "fair use" or fair dealing" doctrine then that's ok too - but only to the extent that the law applicable to you says so.

Right, lets look at their opinion on people making mods ('plugins'), it's from that same EULA: "Any Mods you create for the Game from scratch belong to you (including pre-run Mods and in-memory Mods) and you can do whatever you want with them, as long as you don't sell them for money / try to make money from them and so long as you don't distribute Modded Versions of the Game.".

So summing up: their current article says that they want to empower the Minecraft community to make money from their creativity but their EULA says you can't make money from mods, in-game structures, or anything related to Minecraft. I consider that a clear display of hypocrisy, because eventually they don't want anyone to make money from using their game while they now imply that they do allow for that.

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The Windows Phone story: From hope to dusty abandonware

ShelLuser
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Windows

@ac

Finally someone who got it... So much that. Apps and features. Mostly decent apps.

The author mentions stuff such as: "Play to DLNA was included on those launch devices, but there was no clipboard. Businesses wouldn’t get VPN or S/MIME support until three years later." but really, who cared about that? Those launch devices couldn't even decently store appointments, and todo lists were non existent. Synchronizing with Outlook? Difficult.

Then after the first update we finally got the option to better synchronize data, everything except todo lists. That has never worked on WP7; synchronizing them with Outlook. I eventually resorted to using OneNote, which "worked" but obviously was hardly as useful as Outlook (in Outlook on my desktop I could get reminders about todo's, but not when they were stored somewhere in Onenote).

SO yah, the author starts talking about VPN's and stuff, the problem was really much more simple than that. The launch devices simply lacked decent applications and support for common business tasks.

And just for the record: this comment comes from a fan. I got myself a WP7.5 device, eventually upgraded to 7.6 (iirc) and even to this date I actually like it. It does what I need from it, I learned to work around the mishaps, so yah. But I'll also be the first to admit that it had fail written all over it.

Next: Windows 8. That was a sure way to make people outright hate metro. But, that was metro on the desktop. Now, try presenting those people with a phone and then tell them that it runs metro as well. Do you honestly believe they'll even bother to try? Of course not, not with Win8 fresh in mind.

I honestly believe that WP could have worked, it could have build a good market share. But it had one major enemy. Not Nokia, not Google, none of those... No: Microsoft.

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Microsoft won't back down from Windows 10 nagware 'trick'

ShelLuser
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Joke

@VinceH

"Yes, it says it "helps users understand" their options - and not that it "takes away users' options and shafts them from behind when they're not expecting it""

And it has done just that. The problem here is simply that you fail to understand that you don't have multiple options, there's only 1 intended: install Windows 10. That is your option, and once the install has finished you'd understand as much.

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French authorities raid Google's Paris HQ over tax allegations

ShelLuser
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@Version

I downvoted you also, but for completely different reasons...

A lot, if not most, governments have been privatizing several of their activities and let commercial companies deal with the aftermath. So basically; things which used to be provided by the government (and paid for from our tax money) now turned into a commercial undertaking and we had to pay for their services.

With one small detail: the amount of taxes people got to pay basically remained the same. Effectively meaning that we started paying the same amount of taxes while the government suddenly did much less for us in return than they used to.

And this happened in several European countries.

So yah, there's a little more to that story than simply "I pay taxes to help the government help me".

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Hate Windows 10? Microsoft's given you 'Insider' powers anyway

ShelLuser
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Coffee/keyboard

There's one small problem though...

We can send in issues using the feedback hub, only usable on Windows 10. So what happens to those brave insiders who wish to remain on Windows 7 and still send in feedback about Win10? ;)

Now, this comment isn't fully honest because there are more ways to do that. But it always struck me as a little odd that they narrowed it down so much.

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LinkedIn mass hack reveals ... yup, you're all still crap at passwords

ShelLuser
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@Dave

"just lots of people trying to connect with me so that they can try to sell me stuff"

Which could just as easily originate from a bunch of spam drones. In other words: compromised accounts from people who thought just like you and also didn't see the need to apply better security.

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Norton bans kernel.org

ShelLuser
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Stop

Perfect example...

...why you shouldn't let others run your browser. In many cases black / white -lists are only hurting your options, nothing more or less.

And just to explain how utterly ridiculous this is: kernel.org doesn't even run advertisements (#1 source of virusses and other nasty malware).

Still.. I wonder if their javacode code has anything to do with this. Opera (developer mode) spots a lot of javascript code from an "unknown domain".

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Bold stance: Microsoft says terrorism is bad

ShelLuser
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There is a problem with this...

Trying to hide the truth that there are dangerous radical minded people out there does not make it go away. And even though I have no love lost for groups such as IS and other ones I do believe in free speech. Here's the culprit: if you think highly of free speech and the freedom to express oneselves then you should keep in mind that this includes both sides of the medal: topics and ideas you might agree with just as much as the opposite: stuff you totally oppose.

And on that subject: let them express themselves, it would also act as a good source of information for us; a reminder as to why these people should be considered dangerous.

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Ubuntu 16.04 LTS arrives today complete with forbidden ZFS

ShelLuser
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Devil

This is awesome!

I'm a vivid FreeBSD user and as you may or may not know ZFS support has been part of that OS for quite some time. I love it. I lived the launch of ZFS on Solaris, and it was highly anticipated. Heck, us Solaris fans started being a little disappointed because several exciting features (ZFS, zones and BrandZ (virtual machines)) didn't make it into the first release of Solaris 10 but got added later on.

And ZFS has come along way since then. It's highly useful because it allows you to completely share your valuable disk space while still allowing for filesystem separation (you know: /var vs. /usr for example). And the best part: although you'll get the most out of ZFS when you set up a mirror it is not a direct requirement. You can easily use ZFS using a single hdd as well.

So with that congratulations to Ubuntu! I think this is very good news for Linux. ZFS is pretty exciting and it's a good thing that Linux users get to enjoy it also.

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Europe's digi-boss tells YouTube to cough up proper music royalties

ShelLuser
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Let me translate this for you...

I'll bet some of you lucky folks don't speak "European" so yeah: $overpaid_politician discovers new ways to generate revenue and tries to go for it.

Because that's the main issue with these kinda of deals: the royalties hardly ever find their way to the artists themselves. And in some ways its plain out hypocritical too. In Holland we have to pay extra taxes on "data carriers" (think CDR's, DVDR's, blank VHS tapes, etc.) to compensate all those poor artists. But in return we also have the right to make a reserve copy of every media carrier which we buy (CDs, DVDs, etc.). Just too bad that many copyright protection schemes prevent this from happening. And of course there's no way to demand such a copy either.

Which leaves us with the question why we're paying all that extra tax for in the first place?

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Saw-inspired horror slowly deletes your PC's files as you scramble to pay the ransom

ShelLuser
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Megaphone

What's more shocking though...

Is that a lot of those ransomware viruses get spread through none other than advertisements. Obviously compromised advertisement sources, but none the less: the culprit didn't have much chance on clients which used an AdBlocker of some sorts. And it makes perfect sense too: if you manage to compromise such an ad source then you'll automatically target several websites at once. Win-win.

This happened a few weeks ago in Holland where dozens of very well known newspaper and media sites turned out to be the (temporary) distributors of such a notorious ransomware virus. And to add insult to injury some of those sites even used "adblock warnings". You know: you enter the site and you're alerted that you're using an ad blocker and are also requested to turn it off.

So basically, during the time of the virus, the sites themselves helped to actively spread it. Provided someone actually followed up on the "adblock disable advice" of course.

Which is why I think that ad blockers should be considered security software: worthy extensions of virus scanners and other tools to block nasty things from happening on your PC. Ask yourself this: what's more worth to you: the security of your computer or the revenue of a 3rd party? The problem should be obvious: you may consider said 3rd party as a trusted source, but even if you do you'll have no way of knowing where all the advertisements will be coming from.

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Embrace, extend – and kill. Microsoft discontinues RoboVM

ShelLuser
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@Herby

You say Microsoft doesn't care, so I think you failed to read this snippet: "In addition, Xamarin/Microsoft is offering full refunds to existing customers as well as free subscriptions to either Xamarin Test Cloud or HockeyApp.".

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Admin fishes dirty office chat from mistyped-email bin and then ...?

ShelLuser
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He did the right thing IMO

Its a hornets nest. Another problem is that you don't know if his e-mail would have been appreciated or could be filed as sexual harassment. One way or the other erotics has no place in the office, so this is definitely the best way to go: remove it, the guy will probably have gotten the hint and yeah...

Then again: maybe because the e-mail got deleted the guy felt rejected by the woman and so he left the company? ;)

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Microsoft's equality and diversity: Skimpy schoolgirls dancing for nerds at an Xbox party

ShelLuser
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@John

Well... I remember a Dutch TV show (talkshow) which featured a highly intellectual guy (I don't fully recall the context) and Miss Holland (don't know which year). They started talking somewhat casually and then the host mentioned how this could be perfect: if they had a child then it would probably be beautiful and highly intelligent. So in other words perfect.

So the professor looks up, grins, and says to the host: "Or the child could get my looks and her brains" after which the whole audience had to laugh it out ;)

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How Microsoft copied malware techniques to make Get Windows 10 the world's PC pest

ShelLuser
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Windows

I can't believe...

When looking back then I can't believe that I actually applied for the "Windows 10 insiders program" (before its launch) because I figured it would be a good thing to keep up with current developments. Now you actually have to take plenty of effort in order NOT to upgrade.

Clear signs that Microsoft is slowly but steadily totally loosing it.

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Microsoft traps and tortures poor little AI in soulless Minecraft world

ShelLuser
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Re: Virtual world, with AI slaves bound to pointless tasks.

The singularity will occur in Minecraft.....and it will be angry.

Now all we can do is hope that it won't be a creeper, because that would have quite some impact ;)

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Polite, helpful? Stop it at once in the name of security

ShelLuser
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Devil

Easily turned around...

"Politeness is your enemy."

No, its not. Lack of education and instructions is. Making people fully aware why keeping the door open even for a colleague could be a bad thing. Many IT guys keep up an unhealthy attitude regarding their policies and users and would easily answer questions about them like: "Because we say so!". Yeah, that's a sure way to motivate your users to help you do your job. Not!

If you keep creating an "us vs. them" environment then it's in my opinion inevitable that there will be plenty of users who won't take you seriously or would rather ignore you than pay any attention to what you say to them (because all you'd say is that you know best anyway).

On top of that: weakest link anyone? If opening the door for someone else could indeed be that big of a disaster then I think you have a serious issue with single point of failure.

Helpfulness is also your enemy.

Depends. In the above scenario I'd say trying to help your users to understand instead of creating an environment as "We know best" could actually have some good results. Here's not saying that it would apply all the time, but usually these bigger issues start small.

And you're also ignoring other underlying issues here. When people feel the need to be extra helpful towards their users then isn't it possible that they realize that some procedures are actually doing more harm than good?

For example: requiring that people use an 8 digit password with all sorts of extra's to make sure it's hard to crack. Yeah, obviously some won't be able to remember that and will write it down. And sure it gets taped to the computer so that they don't risk of loosing it.

As an IT guy I can see the horror in that scenario. But as someone who can also place themselves in the role of the end user I understand perfectly well why someone would do that.

Here's another question for you: how likely is it that people would try to crack user passwords from their own terminals, especially considering that there's often a lock out threshold? Also: if the password is easy to remember then there's less chance that the user would write it down. The main area where this could become a problem is if the data got intercepted somehow or if people tried to bruteforce the actual password database. Yet that part often doesn't get as much attention than the user passwords.

I'm not making this up... plenty of organizations, where Sony is the most obvious example, had very specific polities for user passwords to make sure things were safe. Only to end up getting stored in a plain text file.

Translated: users need to remember a 10 digit password, while the servers are all open and permanently logged onto as root or administrator, simply because the server room door is locked and only a select few have the key. Sure. So basically the single point of failure has now become 1 simple, yet physical, door. Some call that security, I call that false hope and, as mentioned, a severe single point of failure.

Of course it's the users who get the most blame.

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Hey Windows 10, weren't you supposed to help PC sales?

ShelLuser
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Windows

Microsoft's major mistake is a simple one...

For the record: even though I'm a vivid and enthusiastic Unix administrator (quite the passionate one at that) I also appreciate and value all the things which you can do in Windows. Although the target audience maybe the illiterate end user there's also a lot of stuff going on underneath the GUI and there's plenty of tinkering and discovering to do.

Please note that I'm not claiming that Windows is without any flaws or issues. But I do think some people don't give it the credit which it deserves. There's a very solid infrastructure underneath (MMC anyone?) and there's plenty of stuff which you can do on the commandline. Starting/stopping a Windows service? No, I don't use services.exe or services.msc for that. I more than often use sc.exe instead (just start it, you'll see what I mean).

But what Microsoft needs to really get into its thick skull is that this isn't the 80's anymore. The market is no longer something you can dictate by throwing (sometimes): horrid stuff at it and expecting people to buy i(n)t(o) anyway because they don't have a choice. Thanks to the power of the Internet; the power of social media and the massive share of knowledge people do have a choice. Worse yet (worse for the vendors): they now also realize as much, or can easily find out with a few mouse clicks.

Yet here we are.. It seems to me that the only thing Microsoft has "learned" from the Windows 8 drama is that this freedom of choice is what got their OS the downfall so what is the logical step to take? Apparently not making your choice of option as appealing as possible, but instead trying to take away that choice of freedom.

Like I mentioned above: this isn't the 80's anymore! I've seen people who were very happy with WIndows 7, even Windows 8, and completely freaked out when Windows 10 happened. Merely because they felt oppressed. They didn't got any choice in the matter, "Big brother" was running their PC and that was a clear sign to them that it was time to try this "Linux thing" and get rid of Windows completely (true story). And the worst part: even though I actually admire Windows and how far Microsoft has come so far I really can't blame those guys. Worse yet: I think they're completely right too.

I'm pretty sure that there are plenty of manages and beancounters and others who actually have studied all this and they know what's good for Microsoft. Bollocks!

PowerShell. That was good for Microsoft, because it actually managed to get talked about on Unix fora where even Unix fanboys (you know, the "I hate Windows because... you can't open it") had to admit that PowerShell "wasn't all that bad".

Mono. That was also good for Microsoft because plenty of players could respect the fact that Microsoft allowed a bunch of fans to hack into their crown jewels (pun intended) and provide .NET on other platforms. Many people enjoy mod-mono (yours truly included) but not only that: got a nice taste of what working with a Microsoft standard was all about.

But everytime Microsoft has something good they feel the need to enforce other stuff on us. Visual Basic 6 anyone? It's EOL is waay behind us, Microsoft opted and pushed heavily on .NET but a large group of programmers remained who won't let VB die out like that. Because VB can get you places where other languages can't, not that easily anyway. Only now has Microsoft finally realized the obvious and they're actually adding the VB dll's to later versions of Windows so that code can run without the missing DLL messages.

So yeah. Microsoft's mistake is that they don't try to appeal to the masses. And when something good hits them then it seems they're even too stupid to realize it. Give people what they want, not what you think they need. What people need is getting what they want. And when done right then giving them what they want could even be good for you Microsoft.

But if you keep this up then I honestly fear for the worst. It would be well deserved, but not something I'd enjoy. Because the less players we have on the IT market the more vulnerable us consumers become to getting even more crap pushed down our throats. Because then we won't have as many choices as we do now.

8
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Microsoft adds 'non-security updates' to security patches

ShelLuser
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@AC

Well, I consider myself a Windows (7) fan but even I don't appreciate all this. Here's my problem: I paid solid money for Windows 7 (my PC got shipped with Home Premium, I upgraded it manually to Professional), and when I bought it I was told that it would be supported until 2018 at least.

So what I want is my moneys worth: support until its EOL. And that doesn't include a forced (and hidden) upgrade to Windows 10 just because they claim it is better. I know it's not.

My problem: If Microsoft is already so untrustworthy that they'll try to sneak their way out of providing me the experience I paid for, then what guarantees do I have that this won't happen more often in the future? Especially considering how much Win10 relies on Microsoft (app store anyone?).

If they push any further then I might even go as far as to consider Apple. I still think their products are overpriced, but as far as I know they don't try to force upgrades down your throat like this. And most of the software I use professionally has versions available for both Win and Mac.

Better thread lightly Microsoft. Because I'm pretty sure that if I start to toy with the whole idea then there are bound to be many others like me. And that would get you the exact opposite of what you're trying to achieve here...

20
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Steve Ballmer: Get the Facts. I 'love' SQL Server on Linux

ShelLuser
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Windows

The more he talks, the more credibility he loses...

If there's one thing becoming obvious now it should be the issue of Ballmer talking the talk which is "best for business". Heck, I don't care if he dislikes or hates Linux; we're all entitled to our own opinion. Even nutjobs like Steve Ballmer. But at least try to ensure that it doesn't cloud your business issues.

Like when some Microsoft devs. demonstrated how they expanded on virtualisation which allowed Windows Server to natively run Linux. This isn't an issue of being in favor or either OS, it's merely looking at the effort people put in to make this work. Yet here we have Ballmer who couldn't share his disdain for Linux again with commenting that it "looked ugly" to him. Must have been fun for those developers; getting their work "praised" like that.

So yeah; now that Microsoft is operating more on the Linux area all of a sudden it's becoming "different". Such a transparent fail...

1
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Ad-slinger Opera adds ad-blocking tech to its browser

ShelLuser
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Has the author ever used Opera himself?

"What Opera will do when users are able to block what they consider to be non-relevant in-app ads, at the network level using technologies like Shine, remains to be seen."

Remains to be seen how exactly? It seems to me as if the author is under the impression that this is the first time when Opera users can block ads, and that idea is a grave oversight. I've been using Adblock plus ever since I made the switch to Opera; and it has kept me safe all this time. And things don't stop there. I discovered that NoRef is an excellent way to block even more idiocy on certain sites, especially if those try to pull in contents from "overseas" in somewhat weird ways.

So to answer the raised question as to what Opera will do? Well, it seems obvious: giving their users exactly what they want by supporting popular features themselves. Of course, that's assuming that this feature will actually be added to the upcoming version.

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SQL Server for Linux: A sign of Microsoft's weakness. Sort of

ShelLuser
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Windows

The competition awaits...

I think Microsoft are in for a hard time because just like the mobile market is already more or less saturated, the same can be said for the availability of SQL environments running on Linux (and other Unix-like variants).

Of course I'm looking at MySQL and PostgreSQL for starters (which are also available on Windows I might add) but there's a whole lot more than that. Firebird SQL, MariaDB and MongoDB (all available on both Windows & *nix) are players as well.

And competitive issues aside; even though I actually like Microsoft SQL server (to a certain degree anyway) I can't imagine how this would work out on a *nix environment, which is mostly dominated by commandline usage. Yet one of the MS SQL server's strength is also its interface and its hooks into MMC (and Powershell of course).

Take all of that away and I honestly can't help wonder why I should pick MS SQL server above PostgreSQL (which is my favorite pick for larger (enterprise-like) environments).

7
6

Java evangelist leaves Oracle to save Java

ShelLuser
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Devil

Techies vs. corporate drones ;)

"“Many people seem to have an impression of Oracle as a company full of corporate drones,” he writes. “This is far from the truth. I wasn't, Cameron wasn't and we are very far from being alone."

--<CUT

I know I'm playing the devils advocate here, and I'll also admit up front that I am biased because I never really liked Oracle's business model one single bit.

Having said that: Although Cameron and Rahman may not have been corporate drones, fact of the matter is that they're now both gone. So I still can't help wonder if the impression is really as far from the truth as Rahman says it is. I mean, in all fairness: this isn't the first time when an (obvious devoted) techie left Oracle.

But even if what he says is true: Oracle still doesn't try in the very least to appeal to technies on the market but only the big cooperations. Heck; that because quite obvious the very moment they took over: I had actually licensed Solaris because I strongly believed in the product and the company. When Oracle came marchin' in my license costs suddenly got 3x more expensive while I got a whole less service back in return (SunSolve for example was already nearly gone by then).

Do note: I'm actually referring to tech services; such as providing specific (technical) information which would only appeal to a select crowd. Not the support stuff like being able to open tickets and such.

SO yah.. Although what Rahman says might be true; Oracle sure does its best to keep that fact hidden. And with that my impressions about Oracle really haven't changed much :P

8
0

Ad-blockers are a Mafia-style 'protection racket' – UK's Minister of Fun

ShelLuser
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Re: Takes one to know one

"So, I buy a television, to which I plan to connect to a DVD player and games console only. Don't need a TV licence, do I?"

Are you going to use multiplayer on that games console? Then good luck! Dunno how it is in your country, but here you usually get "all in one" packages. So you want Internet? Good, you'll get it with a phone and television subscription.

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2

How exactly do you rein in a wildly powerful AI before it enslaves us all?

ShelLuser
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Emotions?

Power, control... what good would that do a machine exactly? What would such an AI gain from it in the first place? I think this whole research says more about us humans than the AI's. Namely: it hasn't been invented yet or we're already working on a foundation of mistrust, anxiety and control. And only because we /believe/ that AI's will most definitely try to control us.

But that same reasoning would also imply that the only reason we have peace between our nations is because we're a bunch of retards. After all: a super-intelligent being, such as an AI, would immediately enslave us according to these researchers. Which is another thing: enslave us with what exactly? The power of the mind maybe great, but a gun is usually enough to end it.

Guess some Anime's, looking at Time of Eve and Appleseed in particular, might be true afterall. "You can't trust a machine because you just can't, it's a machine!". As if all humans are so trustworthy...

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1

Bill Gates can’t give it away... Still crazy rich after all these years

ShelLuser
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@Nigel

"Bill is spending his on medical and other research."

Basically he spends a lot on the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Which in their turn also does plenty but... Has anyone checked the annual reports?

In a post further down I pointed out how Gates donated 1.5 billion to the foundation in 2014. But the foundation itself spend "only" approx. 4 million in 2014. Don't take my word for it: annual report for 2014. A foundation also run by Gates and his wife I might add.

It still accounts for something, for sure, but spending billions on a foundation which in itself only spends a fraction of that on charity (which includes research!)... I dunno.

5
4
ShelLuser
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Stop

Are they really so charible?

The main problem when these guys donate to charity is that people only look at the cold numbers while ignoring the relationship with their income. Or put differently: the percentage of their fortune which is been given to charity. And when you look at those numbers then things suddenly look a whole lot different.

For example: According to CNBCGates has donated 1.5 billion ($1.500.000.000,00) worth of Microsoft stocks to the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation in 2014, making him someone who donated most to charity. But if you look at Gates' income, my source being Paywizard dot org then you see that his annual income is estimated at: $11.500.000.000,00. 11 billion, 500 million dollars per year. So now we can determine that Gates has actually spend approx. 13% of his annual income to charity.

I know people who make around E2400,- per month. When they spend E200 on charity they spend 8% of their monthly income. And something tells me that it would have much more consequences for them as well. Some people actually cut on their expenses in order to donate to charity, something which I seriously doubt would apply to Mr. Gates.

Yet the latter are the people which no one takes into account.

Do note that I'm not claiming that what Gates does isn't impressive at all. But I do think you shouldn't look at the numbers alone, also look at what people actually do (or don't do).

7
1

Official: Toshiba pulls out of European consumer PC market

ShelLuser
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Sad news :/

I got a very old Toshiba Satellite (SA60) which originally ran Windows XP Home edition. Never had any issues with it, could even enjoy playing DVD's (onboard dvd writer). The only issue which I should have done different is the wlan; it doesn't have an embedded adapter but needs a pcmcia.

In the mean time I replaced Windows XP with FreeBSD and my laptop, though slow in comparison, just keeps going. It's a perfect network problem solver and office workstation (OpenOffice). No screen issues, no keyboard issues... The only issue, as we all have, is that the battery could have lasted longer for my liking.

So yeah, sorry to see Toshiba go, I always favoured the brand :(

0
0

Dead Steve Jobs owed $174 by San Francisco parking ticket wardens

ShelLuser
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Black Helicopters

Bait?

We owe you xxx amount of cash, please contact us.

Aha, so there you are: you also owe us yyyy amount of cash, please pay!

???

Profit!

Why does that go through my mind? :P

3
0

Apple fans take iPhone unlock protest to FBI HQ

ShelLuser
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I'm just glad...

That there are still some /real/ patriots out there who can see through the lies and mudslinging. When politicians (want-to-be's) start to make weird comments about "unpatriotic companies" then you know that something weird (and stupid!) is up.

I mean: I'm not an American myself so the whole "patriot thing" eludes me a little bit, but I can still use my imagination. And what could be more patriotic than to stand strong for what you believe in? Especially if that also helps out a lot of others?

5
1

Bill Gates denies iPhone crack demand would set precedent

ShelLuser
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Windows

@Hero

And the government always lives up to its word? I think not. Another thing, from that same article; you can also read that the FBI already has access to the device backups. The time span between those and the data on the phone is merely a couple of weeks.

Sure, a lot of things can happen in a few weeks, but I can't help wonder if it isn't a little short for setting up ties between fanatic religious organizations.

2
3

Linux Mint hacked: Malware-infected ISOs linked from official site

ShelLuser
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Devil

This is why...

This is why all my servers are updated from source. I keep a source tree up to date, compile that and from there on install the whole thing. Obviously this is no 100% guarantee failsafe, but infecting a source tree and making sure your hack fits in is still a heck harder than replacing one single file.

Do note that I'm using FreeBSD (hence the demon icon) but don't pick up my post as "FreeBSD is better than Linux" because such comments are bogus. Even FreeBSD provides ISO's for installation purposes so basically the same risk factor applies.

1
3

Google to snatch control of Android updates from mobe makers – analyst

ShelLuser
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Mandatory?

Re; about time... For people who want to keep up and have the latest version(s) this is good news.

But I can't help wonder if the updates will also become mandatory if Google handles everything. A bit like: "If you don't update then we reserve the right not to provide you with our services", which could create some pretty weird situations.

5
0

Microsoft Office 365: You don't need 27 floppies, but there is desktop friction

ShelLuser
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Windows

At least they play it fair.

Of course; Microsoft really wants you to buy into their annual subscription so that you can use Office both offline an online and it's soo easy (marketing talk no doubt). And to that end they'll even go as far as to place the offline purchases (hardcopies?) of Office at the back of the (sometimes electronic) shelves and focus their attention on 365. Because that means you'll be paying them a small fee every month.

And although that small fee sounds nice: many smaller things combined can make one bigger thing. That is the whole gameplan. Heck, you see this business model all over the place: even Visual Studio now favors their subscription model over the "hard copy". Don't believe me? Check out the 2015 product editions overview. I want professional, but I don't want a subscription. Now what? (trust me: it is doable, but simply more burried away).

But I still think they're playing it fair. First the case of Visual Studio: did you see that first link? "Visual Studio Community" => Free (quote: "Visual Studio Community is free for individual developers, open source projects, academic research, training, education, and small professional teams."). Just a comment: hopefully you, dear reader, are smart enough to realize that "open source" does not equate to "free software" per definition. Just saying. And on top of that: I think there are dozens of people who ignore the Community edition because "It's free so probably not as good as professional". Bzzzt.

Enough offtopicness: back to Office. Even here do you see the fairness of the business model. Because if you get the 'offline product' (which I'd refer to as a normal Office installation) then you still get access to the online counterparts if you want. I am running Office 2010 (waaay outdated, right?) and I can still upload Word documents onto OneDrive, give certain people access to said documents and we can even group-edit. Not only am I using an ancient Office version, I'm not even using 365!

And the same applies to the current Office software. Some of my friends do enjoy the modern interface better and yeah... No worries.

So although I do agree that Microsoft is a big vague about some things I still think they're playing a fair game.

1
2

Patch ASAP: Tons of Linux apps can be hijacked by evil DNS servers, man-in-the-middle miscreants

ShelLuser
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@doug

"You'd have to jump through a lot of hoops to build one these days if for some odd reason you wanted to."

What's so odd about it?

For example, FreeBSD has known the /rescue folder for quite some time now; it's basically a folder which is packed with statically linked binaries (from bzip2 to mount, sed and tar and a whole lot more) and the reasoning behind it is quite simple: if for some reason your libraries become unavailable (for example because of the /usr filesystem crashing, some installation going wrong or even a human error in removing the wrong file(s)) then you can always fall back to these tools.

I've never needed it myself so far, but I still think that there's nothing odd about the underlying philosophy.

If interested then the rescue(8) manualpage has more information on this.

13
0

IP freely? Your VoIP phone can become a covert spy tool...

ShelLuser
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@Paul

"Clearly, telling people to use long, strong & unique passwords (alone) isn't enough. It's not beyond the realms of possibility to limit functionality *until* solid security practices have been followed; it's not much to ask."

It is. Whatever happened to someones own responsibility? I can counter this argument easily: Its also not beyond the realms of fairness to hold people accountable for their own actions. If they didn't do a proper job on setting up their environments and people abuse that because of negligence then the responsible people should be held accountable.

Sure; add a more secure system. Then what happens next if people simply opt to disable or change it and then add the easy passwords themselves? Then we're a few years ahead, a few years with plenty of abuse, and then we may finally come to a conclusion that those people who are negligent should have been held accountable.

This isn't simply spouting off, its based on facts. Small sidestep: take a look at SELinux, pretty much a standard in security on several Linux distributions. And which question has made it into their official FAQ? "How do I disable SELinux?".

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