* Posts by ShelLuser

2402 posts • joined 19 Dec 2010

Naming computers endangers privacy, say 'Net standards boffins

ShelLuser
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A bit out of context perhaps?

"Think instead of a device that might interest a spook – “Donald's_Samsung_S3” or “Kellyanne's_Microwave_Oven”. If those names leak to the Internet, it makes surveillance significantly easier."

Uhm, any idea how many Kelly's and Donald's are connected to the Internet? If the name alone spreads then this will hardly have any impact. I mean, I don't automatically assume that the current president of the US appears to be using a Samsung phone.

I think it's not so much the name but the connectivity itself which creates a risk. You know, step into the train, turn on your PDA and let it search for points around you and you'll notice plenty of phones which you can try to connect to. That could be an obvious problem. But just because I now know a name doesn't imply that I can also pinpoint its location and such.

Then the article talks about analysing traffic. Seriously? If the situation is already dire enough that someone can eves drop on your data then I'm pretty convinced that the host name is the least of your worries.

And the reason why I wonder if they're not pulling this way out of context is because they also start talking about enterprise networks. It's also not uncommon for an enterprise network to provide deskless interaction. So basically you can log on anywhere you want and you'll then gain access to you data and desktop. Wouldn't that also lessen the importance of the hostname because there doesn't have to be a direct relationship between that and its user?

Speaking of hostnames in the enterprise... Most I've experienced were numbered clients. Just to keep administration easier: hr01, hr02, hr03. And sales01, sales02, sales03. So now that I leaked these hostnames onto the Internet you want me to believe that this network is in more danger than before?

Right....

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Microsoft nicks one more Apple idea: An ad-supported OS

ShelLuser
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Windows

Thanks Microsoft!

For making up my mind. Win10? No way, ever. You guys have fun now.

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Sad fact of the day: Most people still don't know how to protect themselves online

ShelLuser
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Mushroom

Not that surprising...

If the people who allegedly did want to look out for your welfare ended up to be more interested in your paychecks as well. I mean seriously: what do you expect?

But I agree, the market is in dire straits (awesome song though). And some of it started when 'some people' started to market Linux, OpenBSD, FreeBSD as the #1 solutions for security. Install that and you'll be safe for life. Yet as we all know: it doesn't work that way.

Look: keeping yourself safe also implies to get an understanding of what is going on. And hardly any Internet user will do that. Why should they? Their internet provider themselves advertised how easy everything was, right?

Yeah, you heard that right. Who's fault is this? Well => the big bad companies I say. "go online with a click of your mouse", but of course if you click on the wrong section.. all hell breaks loose, but everyone knew that, right? Bzzzzt.

Of course said companies made sure to safe guard themselves. Such a fun world we live in....

"I'm the only one who gets you on the internet and I demand that you agree to my terms. Which are: all I do is good, you do not hold me accountable. You click on everything you want!"

<user clicks on phishing mail and loses 40k>

So what other options were there?

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Can you ethically suggest a woman pursue a career in tech?

ShelLuser
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There's always 2 sides to every story

When it comes to getting insulted over something then there are 2 forces at work: intent and impression. Sometimes people can make a remark which may seem rude or insulting but most definitely isn't meant this way. At one time I was part of a tech support team and we had the silly habit of calling each other out whenever something bad had occurred. There was no meaning to it.... For example: You'd fix a problem with someone's PC, then they'd call again to complain about something else not working. That would sometimes result in internal teasing: "Some idiot forgot to close Mr. Doe's browser, but fortunately I'm here!". Harmless, and most often plain out fun.

So here's my problem: let's say a woman was added to the team. Would she pick up the "insults" just the way we did (obviously she would be treated just like one of the guys) or would this result in "They're calling me names because I'm a woman". That is sometimes the other side of the medal. There are also women around who expect to be treated differently within these areas only because they're a woman.

And sometimes things which are quite harmless can be picked up in the wrong way.

Of course I'm not saying that there's no truth to any of the abusive stories. I mean, just look at that article about the marine where people snap pictures of their female co-workers in secret and then spread those around without consent nor approval. That's just plain out disgusting and an obvious display of harassment.

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'Password rules are bullsh*t!' Stackoverflow Jeff's rage overflows

ShelLuser
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Pint

He has a point, but also contradicts himself

For starters: security doesn't begin with a long and secure password, the real security comes from a sane mindset. For example: how secure will your 10 character, alpha-numerical password become when the user applies this everywhere? And wake up call for Mr. Atwood: most users do not think beyond the annoyance of having to fill out a password. As such there's nothing bullshit about trying to steer them in the right direction.

Then there's a huge difference between passwords on a public network (such as the Internet) or those on a local LAN/WAN. Risk assessment at its finest: when the password becomes too difficult for an end user you can bet he'll write it down somewhere. Most probably on a sticky note attached to the monitor. At work you can't use the comforts of a password manager.

At least these "bullshit rules" still prevent John Doe from using "password01", "password02" and the infamous "password03" as his 10 length password.

His rant is based on interesting theories, but there's still a difference between those and the real world.

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Favored Swift hits the charts: Now in top 10 programming languages

ShelLuser
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Joke

Gives a whole new meaning to...

So Swift hits the charts, then I guess it's now officially a thing to get Swifty? So far I only know how to get swifty thanks to Rick and Morty, but something tells me that's not what they went for here ;)

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WikiLeaks promises to supply CIA's hacking tool code to vendors

ShelLuser
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Mushroom

I can't help wonder...

How all the people feel who criticized Apple when they denied adding a backdoor on the iPhone?

Back then the US government said they would never use it illegally, after which the news about government agencies hacking and compromising just about anything which suited their purpose almost kept going in an endless media stream. This being yet another example.

Seems Apple was quite on the mark back then, history sure proved them right.

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Brit ISP TalkTalk blocks control tool TeamViewer

ShelLuser
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@FlamingDeath

"There are only two real ISPs in this country, BT and Virgin."

Yet the only reason why their subscription prices are reasonable (assumption on my part) is because they got competition on the market. Competitors like TalkTalk I might add.

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ShelLuser
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WTF?

This is hilarious...

Not for those people who got affected by this mind you, but...

So I wondered what kind of ISP would do this and did some research. Here is the official thread on their forums. If you read closely you'll notice that they didn't even bother to inform their support staff either.

Several posters describe how they contacted support with their problem ("teamviewer doesn't work") and they were advised to reset their modems. One customer (into the 2nd page) even mentioned getting into "trouble" because he was using his own router instead of the provided one, so support put the blame on that.

W.T.F.?

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ShelLuser
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@AC

"I wonder where the scammers got hold of their client telephone numbers from in the first place."

And I wonder how long it'll take those scammers to use this situation to their advantage.

"Hello, im with talktalk. u got problems with teamviewer right now? yeah, we know, but we got fix for u. you just need to run as root and all will be good. u dont have root? np, we soon will!"

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ShelLuser
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Stop

@Leah

"Unfortunately VNC is not up to the task of easily connecting basic users through firewalls etc."

Yes it is, and it has been this way for years now. Both the original VNC as well as the spin off which I prefer: TightVNC.

The trick is to set up VNC on your client as usual, then set up a so called listening viewer on your end with all the right port forwarding configured. Call your client, ask them to right click on the VNC icon and then use "attach listening viewer" (TightVNC) or "Add new client" (vanilla VNC). Make them enter the name (I often used vnc.mydomain.com or remote.mydomain.com) and done.

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'Nigerian princes' snatch billions from Western biz via fake email – Interpol

ShelLuser
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Basta Neveneffecten

Belgian TV studio Woestijnvis once made a satirical program called "Basta" in which a couple of performers addressed issues in real life with the government (and other issues) and showed just how ridiculous some of them was.

In their finale they actually invited a scammer to come to Belgium so that a fictional company could invest several thousands of Euro's into this firm. Yes: they scammed the scammers. The meeting was set up (totally ridiculous things going on) and at the end the meeting got raided by the (fake) police. You should have seen the look on the guys face. Everyone got "arrested" and the police warned the scammer that he was about to get scammed, but they saved him. Hilarious.

I just found the video on Youtube. It's Dutch ("Vlamings") but maybe subtitles can help you. Around 6:00 the fun begins when the scammer is allegedly given E 3,000 in cash with another E 10,000 being promised. Around 12:20 the "Federal police" is crashing the party :P

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MAC randomization: A massive failure that leaves iPhones, Android mobes open to tracking

ShelLuser
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Pint

@ZSn

"I presume that if you turn the WiFi on your phone off none of this works and you are secure?"

Exactly.

This is also why I made sure to get Internet access through my broadband provider instead of having to rely on wifi. Wifi, per definition, is a power drain. I recently set up wifi on my FreeBSD powered laptop (it was a bit tricky) and read a lot about the whole thing.

Basically every broadcast you make will consume power. When looking for hotspots (so trying without being able to connect) will gobble up even more power. And then there are the hidden SSID's, which can be even worse.

And let's also not forget risk assessment. I once had a few customers who refused to use encryption on their tablets because it was so difficult. They went to Italy on vacation and guess what happened next? Yups: happily used open wifi spots and a few days later my servers spotted weird connections originating from Italy and trying to send out viagra advertisements through these accounts.

Open wifi is a major security risk. Yet it seems no one bothers to stop to think about that. Which makes sense of course: larger broadband providers make money out of it, so obviously we need to be told that "open wifi = good" and "paid open wifi = better".

I'm also leaving things turned off.

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Microsoft to close its social network on a week's notice – and SIX people complain

ShelLuser
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Pint

It had #fail written all over it

I decided to give this a try for myself as well during the start. It was fun while it lasted (I recall two very nice chats with strangers) but equally frustrating. Because in the end there was no 'you', or 'your work' or 'your exposition' it was all joint venture so to speak. And that could go bad really quick.

The idea was simple: you search for contents, and you might think other people are interested in those results as well. So then you can start a collection of said contents and share it on so.cl. So far, so good. Being an anime fan myself I tried to set up a nice NGE (Neon Genesis Evangelion) kind of search with pictures and some articles (Wikipedia, fansites, etc. link), cool! I even attracted a few followers.

Then suddenly someone decided that NGE had a completely different meaning and started adding offtopic nonsense to my Neon Genesis "tribute", of course without any means for me to remove any of it. So in a few more days what was once a nice (starting) tribute section had turned into a mess, a mixture between anime, stock market, a private firm and some people complaining that they couldn't make heads or tails of things. And so it also lost interest and followers. Not because of me, but because others made a mess and I couldn't do a thing about it.

Well, that was my first and only run on so.cl. I didn't even care anymore if Microsoft was going to fix things, since I had already decided that this was a waste of my time.

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Next Generation Security: No, Dorothy, there is no magic wand

ShelLuser
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Pint

Know your environment!

The main problem with security (or lack thereof) in my opinion is people no longer taking the time (nor effort) to get to know whatever it is they're using. And with that I mean actually knowing what you're doing; actually understanding the underlying logic.

I see too many people who know exactly that in order to do "A" you need to perform "B" but unfortunately without having the foggiest clue as to why that is so. The same kind who would approach security as if it were a product instead of a procedural environment.

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After 20 years of Visual Studio, Microsoft unfurls its 2017 edition

ShelLuser
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Windows

Visual Studio is awesome, BUT....

I think Visual Studio is a very solid environment which can even be fun to use. I started using it back in 2012 when I finally decided that ASP appealed more to me than Java EE, especially because I wouldn't be fully tied to IIS (right now my ASP.NET powered websites run fully on Apache + mod_mono). I was using a (paid) version of Expression Web & Expression Design (I still use those) and decided that the move to Visual Studio was the most logical step to take.

VS takes getting used to. If you're using it for Web development (which is quite likely considering that Microsoft discontinued Expression Web and fully pushes Visual Studio) then you may have to adapt a bit because at first it might all feel a bit "static" (for example: code above, preview below, no customization possible). But once you looked past that you'll find a very inviting and most of all professional, well documented, environment. It's not perfect, it has its flaws, but Microsoft Help is quite useful. I also always welcomed the option to keep offline copies of the documentation, so that I wouldn't be tied into always having to use Internet.

But there is a 'BUT', as hinted at.

For starters I could never understand the logic of insisting to follow the GUI layout for their consumer platform. It always struck me as arrogant. VS 2012 was aimed at Win8 but I kept away from that horror story best as possible. I'm using it on Windows 7. Ergo: I have a rather alien looking development environment in comparison to the style of Windows 7. That's just weird.

And it also shows you just how chaotic Microsoft operates. See the menu in the article screenshots? My menu consists of EASY TO READ MENU OPTIONS (VS 2012). Most people immediately labeled that as fail, Microsoft insisted there were advantages and here we are now. It's confirmed: #fail.

My point? If you're a home developer and/or Microsoft enthusiast then do yourself a favor and stick with the VS community versions. At the very least try those first before even considering to apply for a license of your own. Using professional or above has some advantages, definitely, but if there are serious caveats which make VS usage awkward for you then don't expect Microsoft to try and help you out. I'm not kidding. Back in 2012 hundreds if not thousands of developers cried about about the obnoxious and plain out distracting interface and Microsoft did what they did best: ignored the whole thing.

Of course in the next version did they address some problems and presented those as listening to their customers. However, while also presenting you a bill for yet another license, because a company like Microsoft knows nothing about upgrade (or loyalty!) discounts (for example: new VS license could cost you E 800,-, but as a returning customer you'd pay E 200,- or E 300,- instead for an upgrade).

This will probably be less of a concern if your company provides these or if you got an MSDN subscription. But as an enthusiast you might want to keep this in mind: Microsoft wants your money first, and your happiness second. They haven't reached that point yet where companies realize that these go one on one.

Now, don't get me wrong... I'm critical, sure, but not negative. Visual Studio is an exciting development and Microsoft honestly does their best to get us the best tools to help get us going to get things done. No arguments there. They're also not so childish by trying to tie us fully into their own environments (think cloud, Azure, etc.) but will easily allow you to set up your own environments as well. As mentioned above I use VS together with an Apache server using Mono, PostgreSQL all powered by FreeBSD and I can deploy my web projects easily from within Visual Studio with the click of a button. That is professional.

But... I'd personally still recommend using the community versions instead of getting yourself a license. You'll most likely get less headaches and won't have to worry about possible issues which Microsoft then doesn't fix.

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Spies do spying, part 97: Shock horror as CIA turn phones, TVs, computers into surveillance bugs

ShelLuser
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@Hollerithevo

"Ha! Who has the last laugh now, spied-on dupes?!? Answer me that!!"

The government. Because you obviously have something to hide which is highly suspicious. Just to be on the safe side I would recommend ignoring any possible (legit) lottery offers which suddenly declare you the winner of a free vacation to Cuba :P

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US Marines seek a few supposedly good men ... who leaked naked pics of a few good women

ShelLuser
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@Treko

Although I fully agree with your comment there's not enough info in the article to draw those conclusions here. It's the one thing I'm confused about as well: did these women pose themselves (and allowed to be photographed) or (which I'm suspecting): did someone sneak up on them and took pictures while they were (partially) undressed?

I think the latter, especially considering the comment about the woman who stated that "he could smell my perfume". That makes me believe that people snook up on them and took those pictures without any consent or approval.

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1.37bn records from somewhere to leak on Monday

ShelLuser
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Pirate

So what's next?

So, according to MacKeeper this whole thing involves one huge list used by a group of spammers calling themselves River City Media (RCM). They abused servers and set up a network capable of sending out millions of spam messages.

What bothers me though is reading things like: "Led by known spammers Alvin Slocombe and Matt Ferris, RCM masquerades as a legitimate marketing firm". Known spammers?

A spammer these days is known to abuse network security in order to gain relays to send off all their mess. It's a known fact, even this article speaks about it, using hacking techniques in order to overload and mass send e-mail through legit mailservers.

But apart from detecting all this what are they going to do next? I mean, it's good to read that Spamhaus will be adding the whole RCM structure into their blacklists, but what about the culprits behind all this? Has law enforcement been involved, can the police actually do something, will they actually do something, what?

Although it is good news that MacKeeper opened up the lid of the can here I can't help wonder if this will only result in a temporary setback for these spammer guys. How else can you gain notoriety as a "known spammer" if it wasn't for the fact that you can simply continue what you do best?

Meanwhile our European overlords still haven't decided about the new cookie law reversal. Because yeah, obviously those cookies are far more intrusive than any of this.

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Microsoft wants you to plan a new generation of legacy systems

ShelLuser
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The worst part (IMO)

Is that this service is very likely mostly going to be used by governments. You know: those big overseeing agencies which are all too eager to scoop up your taxes because they need their money income. Desperately. For example to sustain their XP machines for yet another few years (I'm not joking here; it has become well known that areas within the Dutch government still operate with Windows XP).

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Linus Torvalds lashes devs who 'screw all the rules and processes' and send him 'crap'

ShelLuser
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@kain

Assuming it actually happened.

I'm in no position to judge on that part but I do consider it a bit odd to read that someone wouldn't even test their own stuff. Making you all the more curious to who Torvalds is shouting at yet today this detail wasn't being shared. Even though he was previously all the more eager to directly address RedHat representatives and call them out for their horrid update. Yet now he choses to keep up anonymity?

I have no reason not to believe him, but it would have made more impact on me if he called out the people who actually did it.

In my opinion: seems some are good enough to be scolded at in public and some are special enough to be kept safe. Takes away the impact and reeks of double standards.

Of course: calling 'm out in public also gives the other party a platform to actually talk back.

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Euro Patent Office puts itself on Interpol's level, demands access to staff phones and laptops

ShelLuser
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Black Helicopters

Just wait...

In a few months time (when this particular news has blown over) we'll suddenly get some new positive stories about how much good work EPO is doing (I always thought EPO was illegal while cycling) and it'll probably soon followed by a bill.

Because this kind of quality obviously comes at a cost. These guys don't work for free you know.

And then a few months later you'll learn that it has all come to pass. Carefully kept outside the media.

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Passport and binary tree code, please: CompSci quizzes at US border just business as usual

ShelLuser
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Happy

I'll get you code...

10 print "you smell funny!'

20 goto 10

There, did I now prove my worth as a C64 fan? :D

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Frustrated by reboot-happy Windows 10? Creators Update hopes to take away the pain

ShelLuser
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Windows

@bazza

"MS screwed it up and is now trying to find a way forward that still results in updated being installed behind the user's back."

Well, one small advantage: all of this is made available free of charge. Which may sound logical, but don't underestimate the kind of idiocy which Microsoft can provide. Visual Studio? They even once ruined the whole interface in a commercial version, (its license costs around E 800,-), somewhat patched it and in the next release revoked the whole thing and started spouting off how much they listened to their customers. ... of course while still requiring another E 800,- for a new Visual Studio license.

I honestly think that some of Microsofts products are actually quite good, for example I'm quite a fan of their Office series (especially all the stuff you can do with the VBA backend) and really enjoy using it. But they're really horrible when it comes to listening (and respecting!) to what their customers might want or need.

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One IP address, multiple SSL sites? Beating the great IPv4 squeeze

ShelLuser
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Doesn't a proxy defeat the purpose?

This is exactly why I'm not a big fan of the sudden push for HTTPS; the issue with the dedicated IP addresses which is less of a problem with HTTP and name based virtual hosting.

Sure, a reverse proxy can help, but doesn't it also basically create a new weak link? What is to stop attackers from pointing their attention on the proxy so that they can use that as leverage to gain access to the rest of the traffic? It's not as if we haven't been down that path before...

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Planned 'cookie law' update will exacerbate problems of old law – expert

ShelLuser
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Coat

What is this all about anyway?

Or put differently: what is the underlying intent exactly? Is this still about protecting customers from getting tracked, or is this about throwing weight around and patting yourself on the back on how great you are? Maybe secretly trying to secure a nice income in the form of fines?

I mean, really? 10 million fine for something as trivial as a cookie? Who comes up with those braindead ideas?

And while thousands if not millions of Euro's are wasted over endless debates about this whole trivial issue the "European citizens" have yet to get any formal ruling or law on how Europe will deal with compromised servers and all the problems those generate. I've yet to see a politician suggest better safety and regulations around all the modern IoT crapola.

But a vending machine which is capable of knocking out an entire network is obviously much less important than a cookie on a website. A cookie which any modern webbrowser knows how to get rid of in this day and age I might add...

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Amazon's AWS S3 cloud storage evaporates: Top websites, Docker stung

ShelLuser
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@Geek

"Too many people (non IT folk) seem to think that the cloud is this magical place that never has an issue."

True, but who's fault is that? Isn't this exactly their whole selling point to begin with?

I also don't think you should dismiss the whole argument that easily, because when properly set up you can get a redundant environment if you want to. The fact that it now doesn't work this way at AWS tells me more about their infrastructure than the (in)abilities of virtualized hosting.

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Up close with the 'New Psion' Gemini: Specs, pics, and genesis of this QWERTY pocketbook

ShelLuser
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@e-mouse

"Please don't insult the Psion keyboards by saying they're just like a Blackberry."

The original keyboard most definitely wasn't but to be honest I also have some doubts about this new model. Also because the whole emphasis seems to be focused on the keyboard and hardware, but that alone does not make a good PDA.

It does provide one heck of a system though. I actually used it to wrote up 70% of a report which had to be finished in the weekend (because of quality tests held at the customers place) while riding in the train. That thumping sound when I slowly (but steadily) got used to the smaller size and actually started using 4 - 6 fingers to type... It was amazing.

But let's be honest: a netbook can do that too these days. The main reason why Psion was awesome was because it was functional as heck. Straight to the point, no confusing riff raff.

And well, I too share some concerns which people have raised over this device. I mean, the hardware looks good and all, but in the end it's all about functionality. And when I read comments like these:

"Two great innovations make Gemini a successor to the Psion: the keyboard and the hinge."

I can't help have some doubts too. Because.. The hinge was important on the Psion 5mx but no one seems to stop to think why that was so. Because the keyboard actually folded out. It slided across the bottom and slided out of the casing which gave you a lot more space to type, as well as the extra "button bar" below the screen for quick and easy access to most important applications.

When you look at the screenshots of the Gemini you'll notice that it really is just a regular clamshell model. There is no extra space, there is no sliding keyboard, it's merely a 2 piece device which can fold shut. It has a hinge, but in all honesty: so does my Toshiba Portege.

But bottom line: the hardware can be awesome, but in the end its the functionality of the system which counts. And I'm a little puzzled that hardly anyone seems to pay any attention to that.

How will the PDA functionality differ from your common Android device, also considering that this thing was designed for Android. That's the part I'm interested in yet which no one seems willing to address.

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The Psion returns! Meet Gemini, the 21st century pocket computer

ShelLuser
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Seeing is believing...

From what I can tell (also based on the website) this will be a device build for Android which will also provide Linux dual-boot capabilities. But the thing is: all of that is unimportant (IMO) because in the end the main question will be what functionality will be provided. Will this be your average Android phone with a keyboard attached or are they going to add features which makes it stand out?

The thing is, when going over the specifications I see a lot of parallels with Toshiba's Portege, including the fingerprint support. In case you're not familiar with it: the Portege is also a clamshell PDA/phone which runs on Windows Mobile. It worked, but it's also not too easy when it comes to it's actual PDA functionality. And the reason for that is all because of the OS.

EPOC / Symbian, even on the 5mx, was fully tailored to provide you PDA functionality, and that is what made it work. All modern PDA's aren't really PDA's; they're smart phones which provide PDA functionality. Yet that means the device can't fully focus on one key feature, it has to provide a bit of everything. And that doesn't always work too well. If it was then why do most modern smart phones need the ability to install 3rd party software? Many users don't rely on the OS or phone itself, but on 3rd party applications which provide the functions they want or need.

Now, there's nothing wrong with that. Even the Psion 3mc and 5mx provided support for 3rd party software. The main difference though is that hardly anyone bothered to try and provide a "better" agenda or "better notes" application because.. why bother? That was why you'd use the Psion in the first place!

In this time and age? Even Windows Phone has 3rd party competition for the "Mobile Office" applications.

SO yeah... It looks slick no arguments there. But I still can't help worry that this will turn out into your average Android device which main standout feature is its keyboard.

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Uncle Sam needs you... to debug, improve Dept of Defense open-source software at code.mil

ShelLuser
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Paris Hilton

Totally missing the point... obviously..

Software freedom. An important subject yet for some also very confusing, because freedom obviously means free ('gratis') software, right? Well, no. Not per definition anyway. Yet for most people "open source" equals "free ("free as in beer") software".

So what happens when that confusion jumps over to the other side of the fence? From the (end) user to the producer? Then we get into the weird regions of "open source = free labor", which I can't help think also applies here. It sounds ridiculous, but leave it up to a government to fail keeping up with current developments and obviously also not bothering to try and learn from available examples.

Makes me wonder how long it'll take these dweebs to go 180degrees with their current opinion once it turns out that hardly anyone is going to bother here. Will Open Source then be considered the spawn of evil because it didn't work for them?

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Brit cops can keep millions of mugshots of innocent folks on file

ShelLuser
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Mushroom

Simple explanation...

"Do as we say, not as we do".

You should try this as a private organization, then law enforcement will be all over you and all too ready to collect thousands worth of fines and "damages". And some people still keep wondering why the respect for politicians and the justice department is often dropping like a brick these days.

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Bring it BACK... with MODs! Psion 5 storms great tech revival poll

ShelLuser
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It could even run DOS :)

Back in the days I was a head sysadmin and quickly turned to the Psion series to help me keep track of appointments and basically everything else I needed. And Psion was way ahead of its time: keyboard + touchscreen = success. I tried an iPaq once (at a later time), even tried to enhance it with running Opie but... It never clicked as well as with my trusty Psion.

I used to combine the MX (and my previous 3mc) with my Ericsson SH888 phone which had both an internal modem (nice for accessing the Internet, this service wasn't provided by mobile operators back then) as well as an infrared port which I used with my Psion.

One of the best moments was when I discovered dosemu for the 5mx, and then set up a few images myself. Ending up with the ability to run Norton Commander on my Psion :)

"The only question: operating system. Linux or Android?"

Neither. Stick to Psion OS.

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Pack your bags! NASA spots SEVEN nearby Earth-sized alien worlds

This post has been deleted by a moderator

How's your online bank security looking? The Dutch studied theirs and... yeah, not great

ShelLuser
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Mushroom

Of course..

Why did we all get online banking and such? Do you really believe that this was all done to make our lives easier? Well, each to their own but I sincerely doubt that. How does cost reduction sound?

If you write your transaction details down and then send them by snailmail then there's a lot which the bank has to do. Open the mail, scan the details, check the details, process the details. When you're doing these things electronically yourself the bank can cut out plenty of extra work. Opening mail, scanning details? No longer required. Ergo they're saving money with all this.

And what do us customers get as thanks? We get a bill because all these extra services cost money, and therefor we need to pay for it. Still sounds fair to you? Even despite the fact that banks can make plenty of money by using their capital reserves which gain them plenty of interest?

But alas.. Not my main point here. My point is basically: if cost reduction wasn't the main deal (which I'm insinuating) then wouldn't it make more sense that they got nearly everything (at least most of it) covered by now? Electronic payment wasn't invented just the other day you know...

This only shows me that in the end it's all about cost reduction. And the worst part: they save overhead costs and still make their customers pay (extra) for it.

7
4

Dying for Windows 10 Creators Update? But wait, there's more!

ShelLuser
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Windows

Menu changes?

Considering how much Microsoft has pushed to move away from the start menu I can't help wonder if they'll eventually release a Win10 update which once again replaces the start menu for something a lot more horrible. I mean, they have done so in the past and this time it'd be pretty hard for existing Win10 users to refuse the update.

Not saying that this is going to happen of course, but it does puzzle me.

What to do when an update applies a change which you really, really don't want? When it's a big release update then I think you have no other choice but to accept, if you don't then you can kiss any future (security) updates goodbye as well.

Such a wonderful business model...

16
0

'Hey, Homeland Security. Don't you dare demand Twitter, Facebook passwords at the border'

ShelLuser
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@anothercynic

"Would be nice to know what those rights are and get that on printed material. The more travellers know what their rights are, the better."

You have the right to remain silent, anything you say can and will be used to get you to return to your own country. You have a right to an attorney, but we don't allow you to use your phone to call one nor will we call one for you because you're not under arrest (yet) so there's no use.

Probably something like that :P

8
0

Is your child a hacker? Liverpudlian parents get warning signs checklist

ShelLuser
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@Ogi

True that, but you know in these modern times it's so much easier to follow these steps from a list than to actually talk with your children to see what they're usually up to. For some reason this reminds me of an episode of South Park :)

12
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Google bellows bug news after Microsoft sails past fix deadline

ShelLuser
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@Diogenes

"Depending where in the codebase it is means that sometimes it takes more time than 90 days to find, test and fix an issue - do you want a rushed/broken fix in 90 days or a proper fix in 100 ?

But surely Microsoft could then tell Google as much? From what I read Microsoft didn't respond at all, not even with a thank you. That sheds some different light onto this.

I can't be sure, but I sincerely doubt that Google wouldn't be open to requests if Microsoft would have responded with a statement that they needed a little more time to fix this (and not one near/on the deadline). Surely even Microsoft should realize that if you don't give any reaction at all it's not unreasonable for the others to assume that you're ignoring them. I mean, they have done so in the past (remember the story about the 4 year old bug a few years back?).

1
0

Oh happy day! Linus Torvalds has given the world Linux 4.10

ShelLuser
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I still like Linux, but...

When looking at Linus outbursts, when looking at how hard is has become to get involved and when looking at (sometimes) the sheer display of arrogance (especially when the original poster turned out to be 100% right afterwards (sorry for being a bit vague, I don't want to risk firing up heated (offtopic) debates here)) and of course when also looking at the massive monetary interests which plenty of bigger companies have in Linux (try getting your driver accepted in the kernel as a start up company?)...

When I add of all that up I can't help wonder, with all due respect, if Linux hasn't grown into the very thing it once tried to fight.

10
55

In colossal shock, Uber alleged to be wretched hive of sexism, craven managerial ass-covering

ShelLuser
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Black Helicopters

Careful there...

Uber is cutting into the market share of some very big companies. Not only that, they're doing it on an international scale. Meaning: that will create bad blood and despite what you may think some "well established & fair" companies do know how to hit below the belt.

Now.. sure, there might be truth to this. But seriously... After seeing an almost continuing story on how bad Uber is, how much the governmentS (S <- important detail) hate them (even the Dutch government) and most of all how the "establishment" (taxi companies) only focus on "uber = bad. Must. Destroy. Uber." while totally ignoring the very reason why Uber became so popular I can only conclude that Uber is irritating them so it must go.

The sooner the better, then they can go back to charging us E 20,- for driving into a few streets (5 min) while Uber would have charged you E 5,-. Not to mention refusing to take you as customer because the trip is too short (this honestly happens in Holland) while Uber... you get the idea.

No, it's too much work to raise the quality of service. It's so much easier to try and destroy the competition.

6
41

Paper factory fired its sysadmin. He returned via VPN and caused $1m in damage. Now jailed

ShelLuser
Silver badge
FAIL

Call me old fashioned if you will but...

I take pride in my work. Of course it helps that I'm a geek, but I enjoy working within IT, tinkering with stuff, network administration, sorting stuff out, keeping servers running, etc, etc. Sure, losing your job isn't fun nor easy, I speak from personal experience as well. Happened quite a few years ago, but I still remember.

But seriously... No matter how mad I might have become I'd never stoop so low as to violate the trust people placed in you like that. And it's also something I don't get to be honest. If you're a real sysadmin (at least in the way I vision it of course) you'd think twice before taking such a destructive route. I mean, seriously, trying to destroy the very thing you worked so hard to build? That part makes no sense to me, none what so ever.

Not to mention that there are much better ways to fight such a thing. Legal ways that is. Unless of course you're under a contract which expired and wasn't renewed. But especially then it also was something you could have seen coming, or at least kept in mind as a possibility.

But... "let's put the blame on everyone else except yourself". Seems to be a very modern thing these days and to be honest it often appalls me.

35
0

Installing disks is basically LEGO, right? This admin failed LEGO

ShelLuser
Silver badge

So basically...

He inserted the disks, connected the server and turned it on without even bothering to check that it was actually running? That's the part I don't quite understand to be honest.

But not to worry: I'm sure this guy can always apply for a job with Gitlab as backup controller. I think he fully meets all the requirements.

7
0

'I'm innocent!' says IT contractor on trial after Office 365 bill row spiraled out of control

ShelLuser
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Based on assumptions...

I'm tempted to side with Kubicek. Now, I have never dealt with the US government business wise but I have a few experiences with working for the Dutch government while representing a (small) private IT company.

Lets just say that I'm not too surprised to read about experiences where the government doesn't hold up their end of an agreement. I've somewhat experienced the same (where you literally had to wait for months before you finally got payment, an investment which is extremely hard on small private firms) and that made me decide 'never again'.

In case you don't understand: you make costs in order to help out certain customers, investments if you will. But you also expect to get paid, also to cover said expenses. So by letting bills go (way) overdue you could argue that the client (the government here) is now forcing you to lend them money. And that can be a very rough situation for a private company. Not to mention unfair: if you loan money with a bank you get to pay a lot of interest after all.

The thing is: I read much more stories describing such experiences with regards to doing work for the government. Granted: Dutch government in my case. But if there's one thing I learned thanks to the Internet it's that some governments aren't all that different in the way they act and behave towards citizens.

So with that in mind I think this is a classic display of power abuse on the end of the US government.

Something easily proven too: all Kubicek has to do is show the contracts. Assuming that those are all in order (I assume as much, otherwise I doubt he'd hire a lawyer) I think he should have a solid case. And I also hope he'll sue them for slander and power abuse as well!

50
1

US visitors must hand over Twitter, Facebook handles by law – newbie Rep starts ball rolling

ShelLuser
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This is what you get...

... When people not hindered by any factual knowledge get to propose new laws. Many man hours (and therefor money!) is spend over something which will only affect the illiterate and won't reveal those who who have a little more brain capacity than a peanut. Which I think this guy has.

15
0

Haven't deleted your Yahoo account yet? Reminder: Hackers forged login cookies

ShelLuser
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@AC

"So why push me to two-factor authentication ?"

Well, one thing though: you don't always need to provide extra info for that. There are also systems which can show a specific image which you can then scan with your phone (or snap a pic and use a program) which will extract the code which you need to provide.

Other than that you're absolutely right of course!

0
0

GitLab invokes the startup defence to explain data loss woes

ShelLuser
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@AC

Have you ever read the banner of this website? I think you may have missed one small part of it: "Biting the hand that feeds IT". It's why I actually read El Reg to be honest: they (usually) don't take the easy route, they don't go "awww, anyone can make a mistake so it's all ok" but request answers.

And most of all: when you make them a promise then they'll most likely hold you to it and will also be very open about the whole proceedings.

Let's be honest: only after El Reg made a bit of noise did Gitlab suddenly wake up again. Did you ignore that part which said "stopped answering e-mails"? Does that really show you an open and transparent company which is ready to back up their words, or does it show you a company which only does what it did because they had to?

Forgetting backups, forgetting made promises, ignoring e-mails (like they ignored their backups I might add)... What's next?

Just for the record: I could have understood if they simply answered El Reg then ignored them. But promising an interview and then trying to stall things... that's simply showing too many parallels.

8
0
ShelLuser
Silver badge

Uhm, right..

"They could have done the typical start up bullshit of pumping out a load of buzzwords as to why the service was down. No, they said "yeah our admin deleted something"

No, they couldn't. That's the thing most people totally ignore: they could not go that route because they weren't big enough. If they had gone that route and things would have leaked then the backlash would have been devastating. They had no other choice but being transparent.

"As with life when the shit hits the fan it's only then changes are made. In business, you don't make a change to fix something that could happen."

That's nonsense in my opinion. An outage can happen, but you don't change a backup strategy when you realize that it no longer works? You seem to forget where the money is coming from: it's from customers who rely on a company to handle those things for them which they don't (or can't!) think off.

And it's not as if others haven't gone here before. As a startup company there's plenty of material out there which can educate you in the "do's" and "donts" of business and IT in general.

And let's be honest here: not even bothering to actually look at a backup to see if it has done anything at all? Seriously? That is, in my opinion of course, way beyond a simple mistake which anyone would make. Sure, an amateur or newbie could do that. But not a company which gets paid by their customers to look out for them.

"But, while all this is going on, if you put your code on here to be kept safe then what does that say about you?"

Reverse logic much? Well, for starters: it shows that you have faith in a starting up company to at least respect their customers and ensure that they get what they pay you for. Following your logic I guess that's asking a bit too much?

"You can't put all your eggs in the someone elses basket then start crying when they drop it."

You can when you paid them a lot of money to do that for you and they ensured you time and time again that they would not drop it. Here's a real important question: did customers get some kind of a refund for this horrible messup? I don't think so...

Say, just curious: you wouldn't be happen to work for them? ;)

4
0
ShelLuser
Silver badge
FAIL

Of course they were open about it...

They had to. If they tried to cover this up and it would eventually be revealed they could have kissed their reputation (and most likely the entire company) goodbye. Simple as that. They didn't do this because they're such a great company, they did this because of damage control.

If they were as great as they claim then they'd have gotten a techie to join the interview. In my opinion at least.

One way or the other, I think the whole incident shows us that you should never rely on a company to "keep your things safe" because there are no guarantees. But it also shows us that you're most likely much better off using Github than Gitlab.

I mean, seriously, what the heck? They performed backups to Amazon's S3 buckets and as it turned out that bucket was empty. You make a backup, and you don't even bother to check if anything actually happened? Anything at all?

If you make such mistakes as a start-up company then I can only shudder at the negligence which is bound to manifest itself when the company grows. I see all the required potential for even bigger and worse scenario's, making Sony and their plain text password storage drama a mere nuisance. That is of course assuming anyone is still willing to use their services, and quite frankly I sure don't. Pay a company for their services while knowing up front that they already screwed plenty of customers over with their excellent "backup strategy" vs. Github: not a company, all best efforts and such, but at least you'll know that the guys behind that will give it their best to ensure that things keep working.

And with "their best" I'm also referring to actually taking the effort to look into the state of your backups.

5
1

Two words, Mozilla: SPEED! NOW! Quit fiddling and get serious

ShelLuser
Silver badge

Jumping to conclusions?

"Brave will fizzle before the year's over – its value proposition is that it swaps out ads your favourite websites are earning good money with and replaces them with ads your favourite sites will earn little to no money from. Uh, OK? But it's telling that even Mozilla's founder has lost faith in the Firefox codebase."

Is it really? I know Firefox is an open source project and that everyone is pretty much free to use the sourcecode (somewhat, they do use a specific license ("MPL")) but as a former employee one can imagine that there might have been a few failsaves in his contract. It's not uncommon for a company to insert some restrictions in order to prevent any conflict of interest. So it's perfectly possible that it's not so much an issue of losing faith, but merely one of not being legally allowed to use products from the firm for personal usage and / or gain.

It's always a tricky business to leave a company (especially when being forced) and then still trying to use some of their stuff for yourself.

So I wouldn't be surprised at all if faith in the code didn't have anything to do with it.

1
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ShelLuser
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@Ryoku

"I would go so far as to say that the primary reason that Chrome is the #1 browser is that from when it launched we started seeing "Why not upgrade your browser?""

Well, there's more to it than that. Now, it has been a long time ago since I stopped using Firefox but one of the reasons (apart from the endless stream of updates and changes) was that it started to look an awful lot like Chrome to me. The 'full' look I was used to got swapped out and made me seriously wonder why I continued with Firefox which - in my opinion - had turned into a Chrome wannabe (solely based on its looks of course).

If even other browsers are starting to mimic Chrome how can it not become mighty popular?

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