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Slashback: Unstranding, Xecurity, Spurning 228

Posted by timothy
from the vegas-upcoming dept.
Slashback tonight with words on the real-life security level of Mac OS X, the fate of stranded polar adventurer Jon Johanson, poetry for JenniCam, more on the Wright brothers & Co, and more. Read on for the details.

Multi-player markets are a good thing. Indiana University seems to be one of the first big fish to publicly announce a license agreement with Progeny's Transition Service. This service provides updates for RedHat 7.2, 7.3, and 8.0 beyond January 1st 2004, and RedHat 9 after May 1, 2004. According to the press release, this will allow for 'a flexible migration path as the University considers various options regarding Linux distributions during the coming year.'"

But I thought MPlayer ... Simon Bysshe writes "In response to some complaints about the WMV encoding of the recent pro-gaming film 'Intel Extreme Edition Challenge' (featured here on Slashdot). Intel have requested that the film also be encoded as a DIVX file especially for Slashdot. This divx file can now be downloaded here."

More on (At Least) 100 Years Of Powered Human Flight relbs was one of many to submit word (as reported by MIT News) of a replica of the Wright brothers' Flyer perched above the Great Dome early yesterday morning, and relbs adds a link to additional photos, too.

They had better luck getting off the ground than did those trying to actually fly a Wright flyer: CrazyTalk writes "As a follow-on to the earlier story, the much-ballyhooed attempt to recreate the first flight of the Wright's literally fell flat."

Maltese Falcon writes with another candidate for First Powered Flight. "Or was it Gustave Weiskopf (aka Gustave Whitehead)? There are many claims that he flew up to 2 yrs before the Wright Bros. NPR's report yesterday seemed to imply almost paranoia as far as a conspiracy to why the NASM only recognizes the Wrights, but this link provides more info on why this could be true. Look here for another article."

Speaking of audacious pilots, jcenters writes "An earlier Slashdot story reported that Australian adventurer Jon Johanson was trapped in Antarctica, and scientists stationed there refused to sell him fuel. Reuters is reporting that Johanson has now obtained fuel from a British rival, but weather conditions are preventing his departure. Johanson hopes to leave by the end of the weekend."

BlameFate writes that "British adventurer, Polly Vacher has allowed Johanson to use her pre-stored fuel at the base after her expedition was forced to be cancelled. Fox News has the scoop. Choice quote from the head of NZ's Antarctic Research dept: 'Polly's trip was well organized and properly planned,' he said. 'It is ironic that she is now assisting a stranded pilot who embarked upon an ill-prepared and secret flight over the South Pole.'"

If something happens in Berkeley, does it count as a "real world" experience? codythefreak writes to deflect certain barbs lately directed at the security level of Mac OS X: "Working as a sysadmin at UC Berkeley's Residential Computing, since we serve more than 6,000 clients living in the dorms, we tend to know the major computing trends. There are 5,120 registered Windows XP machines in our system, and our staff have logged 2,452 duty logs to assist them (about one in two). On the other hand, there are 341 Mac OS X machines, and only 56 duty logs (about one in six). If we restrict these to virus and security related duty logs: Windows XP has 491 (about one in ten) and OS X has 2 (less than one in a hundred)!"

(See also this well-reasoned response to the recent OS X criticism.)

Was it the tail? Really, is the pointy tail a deal-breaker? Mister.de points out this Seattle Post-Intelligencer story which says "VMware Inc., a business-software maker that is being acquired by EMC Corp. for $635 million, turned down an offer last year from Microsoft Corp.

'"We were unable to come to terms, so they bought out our distant competitor, Connectix" Corp., said Diane Greene, VMware's chief executive officer and co-founder.'"

Alas, we hardly knew ye. dlc3007 writes "The Register has published the results of the JenniCam Poetry Competition. There is little funnier in the world than creative geeks pouring their hearts and souls into 'a haiku or limerick lamenting the demise of JenniCam.'" I can think of some things ...

Battlestar Galactica 2003: Series Highly Likely, Say Recent Rumors Cliff writes: "Syfy Portal reports that officials for the Sci-Fi channel are likely to announce that the new Battlestar Galactica will become a series, most likely to air as early as Summer of 2004. No official announcement has yet been made, but since the 'mini-series' is Sci-Fi channel's third highest rated program, it is assumed that such an announcement will be made before the end of 2003, if they are going to keep options on the major actors. Personally, I'm looking forward to the show, as long as they stay away from monkeys in robot-dog suits!"

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Slashback: Unstranding, Xecurity, Spurning

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  • And let's not forget (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward
    The news of the day:
    [com.com]
    Real is suing Microsoft for abusing its OS monopoly in digital audio/video markets

    • How is the parent a Troll?

      Please somebody mod this up, it's a great read
      • "How is the parent a Troll?"

        Probably because these cases only seem to pop up when a company is teetering on the edge of going out of business.

        • by Anonymous Coward
          Without suggesting Real is or isn't in the right in this, wouldn't you generally expect a victim of antitrust behaviour to be teetering on the brink?

          I mean, someone with a high market share raking in the dough is clearly not being damaged by antitrust behaviour. Likewise, you wouldn't expect a mugging victim to have a wallet full of cash.

          Apologies. Logic and reason on Slashdot when I'm supposed to quote Ann Rand and whine about big bad government regulating the tech industry. I know.

          Whine whine whine.

  • by Space cowboy (13680) on Thursday December 18, 2003 @08:07PM (#7759072) Journal
    The BBC had her standing up for the stranded Jon, although interestingly enough, the new page (just checked it) hasn't got the quote on it any more. It went something like "Jon's flight was as carefully planned as mine, and it was the highly unseasonal winds that caused us both problems".

    It just seems to me as though there's a lot more going on behind the scenes than the scientists out there are all admitting to...

    Simon.
    • Or it's just the usual Fox News idiocy. They're not a source I would trust to properly present any kinda of news. Even someone who agrees with their politics has to admit they run a lot of junk news.
      • Planning, etc (Score:2, Interesting)

        by rv8 (661242)

        Many people somehow think that Polly Vacher's flight around the world is better planned and organized than Jon Johanson's trip.

        She, like Jon Johanson, had made sure that fuel was available at all her planned stops, but she did not make sure that fuel was available at all possible diversion airfields (the list of planned legs on her web site shows that McMurdo was a planned fuel stop).

        She, like Jon Johanson, ran into higher than expected winds over Antartica, and had to divert. She, like Jon Johanson, di

    • by quinkin (601839) on Thursday December 18, 2003 @08:47PM (#7759307)
      Outdated article - see ABC News [abc.net.au] for the latest, and even that is a few days old.

      Q.

    • We saw a lot of coverage of this in NZ. He struck head winds soon after he left NZ, and would have known very early on that there was no way he was going to make it to Argentina. He planned to land at Scott Base the whole time.

      Also, he was scarcely stranded. He had been offered a ride back to NZ in an Air Force Hercules, and he could have arranged to have the plane shipped back later.

      When he did get the fuel, it is telling that he did not continue on to Argentina as per his 'plan', but went straight

      • Why do people always swallow the "at considerable taxpayer expense" line that is thrown about whenever an adventurer is rescued at sea?

        Naval vessels cost a lot to run whether they are at sea or not. Salaries are paid, maintenance is carried out. More often than not these rescues provide real life training for the crews that is not possible in simulations. Actual cost is nil, it means things are done (eg training) out of schedule - but they would be done anyway.
        • The ship was not Naval. It was a NIWA (National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research) vessel. Rescuing morons with too much time/money on their hands is not part of NIWAs job. They were guided there by an Air Force plane. NZ's overstretched and underfunded Air Force has enough on their plate and finding the 'adventurer' was scarcely a challenging training exercise for them (especially seeing as he phoned for help on a satellite phone and had a GPS on him).

          The idiot had no business being there a

    • What is Jon Johansen doing way down there in Antarctica anyways? I thought he was in trial in Norway?
  • / back! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Metallic Matty (579124) on Thursday December 18, 2003 @08:08PM (#7759079)
    Well folks, that's it for Slashback Forum. Now standby for Battlestar Galatica Forum.

    Puts on Robot Helmet.

    (Robot Voice) Welcome to Battlestar Galatica Forum.
  • by radicalskeptic (644346) <tritone@ g m a i l . com> on Thursday December 18, 2003 @08:10PM (#7759092)
    They have about 20 or more poems up on the Register website, so for those of you who are too lazy to wade through to the two winners:

    Jennicam is dead
    good. For so many reasons
    voyeurs sob. goodbye.

    Jennicam is dead.
    Good for so many reasons.
    Voyeurs sob goodbye.

    and...

    We wanted to see Jenni's muff
    But PayPal's now said that's enough
    So no view of the rug
    'Cause they've pulled the plug
    Fuck PayPal, they can get stuffed
  • DIVX != MPEG4 (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MobyDisk (75490) on Thursday December 18, 2003 @08:10PM (#7759094) Homepage
    Can we stop calling all MPEG4 video "DIVX?" It is quite annoying. It would be like calling all operating systems "Windows." I am downloading the file now, and it may indeed be compressed with DIVX, but it should be called an MPEG-4 video since that is the final output format, regardless of the AVI FOURCC marker. Maybe we should call "HTML" "MicroSoft Web Content" if I use Microsoft Notepad to generate it, but "Emacs Markup-language" if I use Emacs.

    Sorry, pet peeve, I'm done now.
    • Actually, I'm glad you mentioned this, because I had no clue what DIVX was. I read the article and was like, "I don't [penny-arcade.com] have [penny-arcade.com] a [penny-arcade.com] DivX [penny-arcade.com] player, oh [penny-arcade.com] well [penny-arcade.com] ."

      If the /. "editors" actually lived to to their claimed titles, they could correct these things.

    • Re:DIVX != MPEG4 (Score:5, Informative)

      by NanoGator (522640) on Thursday December 18, 2003 @09:08PM (#7759409) Homepage Journal
      "I am downloading the file now, and it may indeed be compressed with DIVX, but it should be called an MPEG-4 video since that is the final output format, regardless of the AVI FOURCC marker."

      MPEG4 files (i.e. files generated so that any MPEG4 compliant viewer can play them) have the extension MP4. DivX is a mutated version of MPEG4, thus it deserves the seperate distinction.
      In other words, I'm having trouble seeing the justification of your nitpick here.

      "Maybe we should call "HTML" "MicroSoft Web Content" if I use Microsoft Notepad to generate it, but "Emacs Markup-language" if I use Emacs."

      This is a bad example. There is, however, code that only works in IE and not in other browsers. It's code that only works in IE, so it wouldn't be all that improper to informally call it MSML. Nobody's doing that, but it'd be hard to nail them on it.

      It's all about standards compliance here, and DivX does not conform to Mpeg4. You have to tell it specifically to make an MPEG4 file, and when it does, it saves it with the MP4 extension.

      So, yeah, save it for when somebody calls an MP4 file DivX.
    • Re:DIVX != MPEG4 (Score:3, Informative)

      by parkanoid (573952)
      Uhm, what? DivX is a derivative of MPEG4, not just a tool for producing open standard-compliant files - as a text editor would be in your case - as you can see on DivX networks' page [divx.com].
      • as you can see on DivX networks' page.

        Hey, that's a pretty good link!

        Scroll to the bottom, and you see the link to the old Circuit City "Divx" players is "the-doa.com"... It's a wonder anyone invested in it with a foreshadowing name like that! :-)
    • Re:DIVX != MPEG4 (Score:4, Informative)

      by evilviper (135110) on Thursday December 18, 2003 @09:33PM (#7759611) Journal
      Can we stop calling all MPEG4 video "DIVX?"

      I don't think anyone is calling MPEG4 video (in a modified MOV/MP4 container with AC3 audio) a Divx file.

      OTOH, what everyone *is* calling a Divx file, is very specific... Divx is MPEG4 video, fit into an AVI container, and almost always with MPEG-1 Layer3 audio. I think the designation "Divx" is quite appropriate for that.
    • by geekoid (135745)
      I've been in this indstry for along time.
      Sometimes a term gets used which isn't really correct, but give the same information to 99% of users.

      Divx is becoming the way that people say MPEG-4.
      Now you can complain, and you would be correct, but it would be to no avail.

      You'll only give yourself hypertension, and an ulcer.

      again you are correct, I know you are correct, and I agree with you. However somtime popular usage becomes the defacto standard.
  • I expected to hate SciFi's Battlestar Galactica but I ended up loving it. Still, I would prefer SciFi to do Battlestar Galactica as a series of miniseries rather than a regular series, since I feel that the quality of the show could not be maintained as such.
    • I'm actually pretty optimistic. I was blown away by the BG miniseries, after expecting it to be absolute shit -- but the things I didn't like about it were mainly rough edges that I suspect will be nicely worn away in a series format, as the actors get more comfortable in their roles.
  • Dodgy data (Score:5, Insightful)

    by m00nun1t (588082) on Thursday December 18, 2003 @08:15PM (#7759127) Homepage
    They are using the number of support calls to determine the security of an OS? Maybe the fact that they are using OSX immediately indicates that in many cases they are a more technical user and so are less likely to need support.

    The unwashed masses don't make a choice, and thus get WinXP by default - of course they will need more support.
    • Re:Dodgy data (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Carnildo (712617) on Thursday December 18, 2003 @08:25PM (#7759185) Homepage Journal
      They are using the number of support calls to determine the security of an OS? Maybe the fact that they are using OSX immediately indicates that in many cases they are a more technical user and so are less likely to need support.

      Macintosh computers are marketed towards people who are new to using computers, and to the casual user. If anything, Mac users tend to be less technical than the general population.
      • One could also make the statement that because Macs are marketed toward (and purportedly purchased by) those who know nothing about computers, they are less likely to go on wild adventures in their operating systems, unlike those who use Windows who may or may not be technically savvy.
        • by oscarm (184497)
          or could it be that their (Mac owners) OS is less likely to go on wild adventures without them?
        • Re:Dodgy data (Score:4, Insightful)

          by russellh (547685) on Thursday December 18, 2003 @10:35PM (#7759991) Homepage
          One could also make the statement that because Macs are marketed toward (and purportedly purchased by) those who know nothing about computers, they are less likely to go on wild adventures in their operating systems, unlike those who use Windows who may or may not be technically savvy.

          It could be... but in my experience the average Windows user knows they are always one click away from disaster and really don't want to reinstall the OS again. Although XP sucks less, as the saying goes, non-newbies still have deep psychological wounds from previous versions of Windows.

    • Re:Dodgy data (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Night Goat (18437)
      Since when are Mac OS X users assumed to be more technical? You don't need to know shit about computers to use OS X. Sure, you CAN do some pretty technical stuff with it, but your average college student is going to be writing papers and, if they're art students, doing some Photoshop or using some other specialized programs. They're not going to be any more technically inclined than their Windows-using classmates.
      OS X is as easy to use (in my opinion) as the previous Mac OSes were. There's just a lot more g
    • Re:Dodgy data (Score:4, Interesting)

      by NanoGator (522640) on Thursday December 18, 2003 @08:44PM (#7759291) Homepage Journal
      " Maybe the fact that they are using OSX immediately indicates that in many cases they are a more technical user and so are less likely to need support."

      I would add that if they're using OSX, they're probably using it for a very specific reason, illustration for example. If all that Mac does is run Illustrator all day, then no, you're not going to need a lot of support calls on it unless something fails.

      Anyway, the point of my post isn't to defend XP, but merely to point out that these numbers aren't qualified well enough to draw any real conclusions. An OSX zealot could bend them into the shape of "Windows is a crappy bug riddled OS", whereas a Windows zealot could spin it like "OSX has less software, therefore it has fewer chances to break." The truth is probably somewhere in the middle, but since we don't know much more than the most drastic numbers in the vaguest sense, it would be ill advised to take this data and try to win an argument with it.
      • I would add that if they're using OSX, they're probably using it for a very specific reason, illustration for example. If all that Mac does is run Illustrator all day, then no, you're not going to need a lot of support calls on it unless something fails.

        Fair enough, but to be equally fair enough, you need to consider:

        (1) Almost no one doesn't use email and a web browser these days. Even if they are mostly doing design work.

        (2) It seems likely to me that most PC users stick to a small subset of applicati
      • by delmoi (26744)
        Can you even get a mac with OS 9 on it anymore? If you could, why would yow want to? People who run Mac OSX use their computers as general purpose machines. Do you think they keep an extra windows box around for surfing the web or something? Whatevs.

        If you've followed my posts, you'd know that I'm a regular apple basher. But the fact is, Microsoft's security sucks ass. And it needs to be a lot better then Apple's security in practice because so many attacks are targeted towards windows.

        Think about it
      • If all that Mac does is run Illustrator all day, then no, you're not going to need a lot of support calls on it unless something fails.

        But we can be pretty sure that they are browsing the web, sending email, and using word processors. These same activities on Windows expose you to viruses, trojans, etc.

        And you're more likely to have problems runing DTP all day than with simple office apps, malware aside. (Problems importing files, colour space, printing, scratch space, fonts, fonts and fonts.)

    • by goombah99 (560566) on Thursday December 18, 2003 @08:46PM (#7759300)
      Mac's are so simple your grandma can use them. Heck even a theater arts major or political sci major can use them. Arguing that only sophisticated users use macs is oddly both crazy....and true. Its the same reason that both diserning car owners/racers and people who know nothing about car owners exept they want something sexy that works buy BMWs, mercedes and volvos.

      Windows people buy Pontiac Firebirds thinking they are powerful but really getting 4 cylinder peice of maintinence hell.

      linux users are like fiat owners. And people who re-program their honda's computers. Fun cars if you can keep up with the tweaking and constant search for parts.

      by the way did any one read that rebuttal on the DNS security hole. After you get past the neener neener bit the discussion on the DNS protocol makes the guy who reported it and the Slashdotters who slammed mac look like total idiots.

    • They are using the number of support calls to determine the security of an OS? Maybe the fact that they are using OSX immediately indicates that in many cases they are a more technical user and so are less likely to need support.

      What, mac users are more technical now? Dispite OSX's unix core, Apple still appeals to non-techies, and is marketed twards them.

      Even if you excluded viruses, there are a lot more 'scripts' for the script kiddies to use against windows. Even if their theoretical security is e
  • Berkeley (Score:4, Funny)

    by SpacePunk (17960) on Thursday December 18, 2003 @08:18PM (#7759145) Homepage
    Nothing there counts as a 'real world' experience.

  • by kramer2718 (598033) on Thursday December 18, 2003 @08:18PM (#7759146) Homepage
    Was it the tail? Really, is the pointy tail a deal-breaker?

    Hmmm. I don't get it? The header seemed to refer to some potential BSD deal that was quashed, but the story is talking about VMWare, Microsoft and EMC Corp.

    What gives? Did I miss something?
  • by stubear (130454) on Thursday December 18, 2003 @08:22PM (#7759167)
    According to the piece Discovery Channel was running on the Wright Flyer yesterday (Dec. 17th), the Wright Brothers specifically steered away from steam powered engines because it took roughly 100 lbs. per horsepower and tehy wanted 8 horse power from each engine. That would have been a whopping 1600 lbs. for the engines alone. They wound up developing an gas powered aluminum engine similar to the ones Henry Ford was developing at the time as well. The engines painstakingly recreated for the replica weighed in at 170lbs. a piece and produced about 14 horse power each. Either Whitehead discovered a way to magically make significantly lighter steam-powered engines or the Discovery Channel show was grossly wrong in their estimates.
    • In case you missed it, the Wright plane replica didn't fly. So lighter engines is obviously not the panacea here, but good aerodynamics may well be.

      Of course, that steam engine was used (or not) in the flight that supposedly took place 4 years before the Wright's first flight. The much better documented flights 2 years later "were made by Whitehead in a monoplane powered with a kerosene burning engine." [deepsky.com], using something like this [deepsky.com] three-cylinder, 18 horsepower, four-cycle motor constructed by Whitehead, ap

      • In case you missed it, the Wright plane replica didn't fly. So lighter engines is obviously not the panacea here, but good aerodynamics may well be.

        Actually, it did fly. Three times earlier this month. Just not today. It had been raining all morning on the anniversary and the humidity was too high for the finicky engine.
  • by pixelgeek (676892) on Thursday December 18, 2003 @08:22PM (#7759172)
    -- -- There is little funnier in the world than creative geeks pouring their hearts and souls into 'a haiku or limerick lamenting the demise of JenniCam.'"

    -- I can think of some things ...

    "Full body cavity searches" is an easy start to what would turn out to be a pretty lengthy list.
  • by mellon (7048) * on Thursday December 18, 2003 @08:26PM (#7759189) Homepage
    So the well-reasoned article explaining why Apple's way of doing things is okay basically says "they're following RFC2131, so they're okay." But it is a well-known and much-lamented fact that DHCP provides no security. So if you depend on DHCP to be secure, you are not secure. At all. That's not well-reasoned, at least in my book.

    I'm sorry, but saying "but the RFC doesn't provide security, so it's not our fault that our setup isn't secure" is no good. The mistake Apple is making is precisely that if you try to build a secure system whose security depends on a non-secure protocol, you can't possibly wind up with a system that's secure.

    This has nothing to do with Microsoft, and everything to do with bad system design. It'd be fine if Apple was using DHCP to get the address of the LDAP server, and then verifying the identity of the LDAP server, but they aren't currently doing this. This is what's missing. It is really, honest to god, a problem that Apple is shipping systems wide open like this. It is easy for me to get root on your laptop if you haven't disabled LDAP passwords (which are enabled by default) and you bring it onto an open network.

    I agree with the general idea that the PC guy who wrote the article was out of line, but that doesn't mean we should turn a blind eye to an actual security problem just because it's on MacOS X and not on Windows. If we do that often enough, we'll be fulfilling this guy's prophecy.

    And I'm sorry, but I don't care if leaving this security hole makes Macs a tiny bit easier to administer. Get over it. The first time someone compromises all the Macs on your network by setting up a fake LDAP/DHCP service, you'll be wishing you'd had the opportunity to spend a minute longer setting up each shiny new Mac in exchange for spending an hour less rebuilding each compromised Mac.
    • If someone can install DHCP servers on your network, then it's *ALREADY* *COMPROMISED*. In short, your security is already crap, so a couple of extra compromised macs is not going to make a huge amount of difference.

      Plus, if you're willing to spend an extra minute setting up security, you could always use it to turn the damn option off. It's not exactly hard. You get a whole 55 seconds left over to do other things. Like maybe securing that damn XP box that people keep installing rogue DHCP servers on. Yees
      • by mellon (7048) * on Thursday December 18, 2003 @09:25PM (#7759560) Homepage
        DHCP is a broadcast protocol. Any device connected to the network can be a DHCP server, and there is no way to prevent it unless you have a really smart managed network. Smart managed networks are nice, but by no means ubiquitous. BTW, I actually wrote the book on this... :')

        The problem is that the average user never reads bugtraq, and has no idea that s/he needs to do something special to avoid getting rooted while drinking a latte at Starbucks.
    • Yeah, why does Apple use open standards, when everybody knows they are not secure. In case you've missed the point of the article, it was "DHCP is known to be insecure".
    • The first time someone compromises all the Macs on your network by setting up a fake LDAP/DHCP service, you'll be wishing you'd had the opportunity to spend a minute longer setting up each shiny new Mac in exchange for spending an hour less rebuilding each compromised Mac.
      Be sure to let us know when that happens. I'll have a jacket with me in Hell just in case.
      • Never run a university network, have you?
        • No - have you ever actually rebuilt a *compromised* OS X machine? Not one that crashed or got corrupted, but one that someone actually broke into due to an exploit?
          • If you keep dodging, you'll probably be able to keep missing my point indefinitely. The point is that I don't want to have to rebuild a compromised machine. The level of sophistication of hacks has gone up a lot recently. We can't just rest on our laurels and say "because nobody's exploited this *yet*, we're safe."

            Security's about stopping The Bad Thing from happening. The way to do that is to engineer out known hacks before they get exploited, not to laboriously rebuild after the exploit.
            • Perhaps you might consider that I was making a joke in my original response.

              Here, I'll explain it to you: yes, there might be an exploit someday, but if the past is any indication, I might be long dead and buried - and in Hell, you see, because I've been a very, very bad person. Though Hell is very hot at the moment, it might cool down when a Mac running OSX actually gets exploited because that may be a long time from now. Hence the jacket. Because jackets will warm you up when it's cold. It's not comf

    • This is one of the nice things about managed switches. On our network we block everything but the real DHCP servers from responding to DHCP queries so that rogue or misconfigured machines can't f' up the network intentionally or unintentionally. We instituted these rules after a building move resulted in a day of looking for the appliance that was responding to DHCP request with bogus addresses.
    • So the well-reasoned article explaining why Apple's way of doing things is okay basically says "they're following RFC2131, so they're okay." But it is a well-known and much-lamented fact that DHCP provides no security. So if you depend on DHCP to be secure, you are not secure. At all. That's not well-reasoned, at least in my book.

      So Apple should do what? Design their systems not to work with DHCP, even though it is virtually universal and often required for network compatibility? All security is a comprom

      • So Apple should do what? Design their systems not to work with DHCP, even though it is virtually universal and often required for network compatibility?

        They should design them to use DHCP, but they shouldn't ship with a default configuration where the DHCP server on your network can takeover root on the Mac.

        There are well-known, accepted vulernabilities with DHCP: anyone on the LAN who responds to your address request can man-in-the-middle any data you send. Everyone (who cares about security) knows thi
  • by Noksagt (69097) on Thursday December 18, 2003 @08:29PM (#7759211) Homepage
    They made a DivX file just for slashdot? I would have thought this crowd would rather have had Ogg Media files.
  • "Personally, I'm looking forward to the show, as long as they stay away from monkeys in robot-dog suits!"

    What was wrong with the daggit? Was this an attempt at humor, or did people genuinely hate that machine?
    • "Personally, I'm looking forward to the show, as long as they stay away from monkeys in robot-dog suits!"
      What was wrong with the daggit? Was this an attempt at humor, or did people genuinely hate that machine?

      I was 7 when BSG first came out, definately one of the viewers targeted by Boxey and the "stupid daggit". It definately was one of my least favorite things about the shows, hell I knew real dogs were faster, more agile, and in thier own way smarter than the robot dog. So whenever it got any screen

      • "hell I knew real dogs were faster, more agile, and in thier own way smarter than the robot dog. So whenever it got any screen time I'd get annoyed, and when he played a major part in any plot (the Lassie schtich) I'd get pissed; and I pretty much still feel that way."

        You do realize that the reason he has that machine is because his real daggit (much like a dog from what I understand) died back at the home colony? From what I remember, they gave it to him so he wouldn't miss his dog so much, but they di
        • I didn't post the parent to this - but I could have. I am about the same age and felt the same way about the stupid robot dog. Yes, I did know why he had the dog according to the plot. Yes, I did think the dog was stupid anyway. I could have done without the dog and without the kid.

          What I wanted (and still want) more of in BSG:
          - A prequelle that explains the origins of the cylons, how they got out of control, their motives for killing humans, etc.
          - More episodes that show how cylons live, more insight into
    • The link literally takes you to a picture of a guy putting a robo-daggit outfit around a real live monkey. I don't know what that was from as I doubt the real show used moneys in daggit suits!!
  • by n()_cHIEFz (203036) <nochiefs@hotmaNETBSDil.com minus bsd> on Thursday December 18, 2003 @08:42PM (#7759280) Homepage
    I worked at the technical support desk for the university I attend. I don't have any hard numbers to give but from my experience there about 99% of the calls for assitance were for machines running Windows. I never once in the two years I worked for the help desk had a call about a Mac virus, or worm. Almost all calls concerning Mac were problems with our long range etherenet and OS X computers not getting an IP address properly from the DHCP server without a reboot. There just wasn't anything to troubleshoot with Mac's they just seemed to work.

    And no I'm no Mac zealot, although I use them quite a bit (I now work for the UNIX System Admin group and there are quite a few Xserves popping up around campus).
  • by User 956 (568564) on Thursday December 18, 2003 @08:52PM (#7759329) Homepage
    codythefreak writes to deflect certain barbs lately directed at the security level of Mac OS X: "Working as a sysadmin at UC Berkeley's Residential Computing, since we serve more than 6,000 clients living in the dorms, we tend to know the major computing trends. There are 5,120 registered Windows XP machines in our system, and our staff have logged 2,452 duty logs to assist them (about one in two). On the other hand, there are 341 Mac OS X machines, and only 56 duty logs (about one in six). If we restrict these to virus and security related duty logs: Windows XP has 491 (about one in ten) and OS X has 2 (less than one in a hundred)!"

    I was a sysadmin at Berkeley for 5 years.

    I have the following observations: 1. The attitude of Windows users was less snobbish (i.e., they viewed their computer as a tool, not a fashion accessory),

    2. There were less Macs, resulting in less assistance tickets for that platform, but the amount of time we spent dealing with each Mac issue was far greater than the amount of time. This was usually due to the fact that Apple had made some change, rendering recent hardware (~2 years) useless. (i.e. changes like dropping floppies, dropping SCSI, extremely poor hardware support with the launch of OS X, the OS 9/OS X dual boot requirement, shoddy DVD/USB support in OS X.0, etc)

    3. We kept all machines patched, firewalled, and up-to-date with antiviral software, so viruses were not an issue.

    Your Mileage May vary, of course.
    • Times have changed. (Score:3, Informative)

      by jstockdale (258118) *
      For the record ... I happen to currently be a residential network administrator at Stanford, as well as ResComp support. I also work closely with a ex Berkley ResComp admin.

      If anything, your first point is outdated. I have to deal with both Windows and Mac users on a regular basis, and if anything PC users are the ones with tweaked out (either software or hardware) computers, with 1001 different accessories making their computer less and less useful as a tool. Mac users on the other hand, usually have a co
    • This was usually due to the fact that Apple had made some change, rendering recent hardware (~2 years) useless. (i.e. changes like dropping floppies, dropping SCSI

      So which Mac's are incompatible with SCSI? Or are you simply referring to the fact that Apple stopped including
      SCSI on every single system, and started doing what Windows machines have always done--i.e. if you wanted SCSI, you needed to order a system with a SCSI card installed. As for floppies, I still have floppy drives on some of our recent M

  • by festers (106163) on Thursday December 18, 2003 @08:52PM (#7759332) Journal
    the head of NZ's Antarctic Research dept: 'Polly's trip was well organized and properly planned,' he said. 'It is ironic that she is now assisting a stranded pilot who embarked upon an ill-prepared and secret flight over the South Pole.'"

    First of all, DAD, that's not ironic. I guess English skills are suffering down in the NZ research department? Second, she did the moral thing while the rest of you stood around with an over-inflated parent complex. Even Polly admitted that Jon's trip was not any worse planned than hers, but that crap happens and you have to deal with it. It's not like he was asking for a free handout. Next time, save your lectures for your kids.
    • by moncyb (456490) on Thursday December 18, 2003 @09:11PM (#7759433) Journal

      Next time, save your lectures for your kids.

      Oh yeah, I can imagine.

      8 year old son: Dad, I'm hungry. I haven't eaten for three days.

      "Dad": Well son, you should've been more prepared. See? Look, I have all this food because I came into this world prepared. You don't have any because you didn't bother to prepare. Lazy bum.

    • They didn't have fuel (100LL) to give him even if they wanted to, the only avgas there was Polly's and not thiers to sell.

      This guy was ill prepared he didn't even notify McMurdo that he was going to be attempting a polar overflight and that he would be using thier strip in an emergency. He didn't even call to McMurdo as he passed overhead on his way to the pole.

      He may have thought he was prepared, but by the fact that the situation became what it was, he was decidedly unprepared.

      I'm not saying he wasn't
    • Polly admitted that Jon's trip was not any worse planned than hers,
      Right. That's why she had spare fuel stashed, and a contingency plan, while he had niether.
  • First to fly.. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by zcat_NZ (267672) <zcat@wired.net.nz> on Thursday December 18, 2003 @08:53PM (#7759339) Homepage
    God forbid that anyone outside of the USA might have ever been first at anything [salon.com]
    • It all depens on what you think of a "Fligh":

      If you think flight = "Man bouncing around the air, followed by a horrable crash into the ground" then Richard William Pearse is your man.

      If you think flight = "Man in a controlled flight followd by a gentle landing" than the Writes are your men.

    • Nothing in there gives any provenance to the preexisting flight. Dick himself says it was in 1905. I suspect dingoes at his camera.
  • im shocked (Score:2, Funny)

    by kemapa (733992)
    Usually anytime there is an apple bashing article or a response to an apple bashing article (as seen in the last few days and in this slashback), there is at least one person who claims to work for apple and is posting anonymously. So anonymous apple informant, did anyone get fired this time? did apple find weapons of mass destruction? i know this will get modded down, but seriously, some fanboys really need to get a grip... i mean when was the last time you saw some who supposedly worked for microsoft a
  • by valmont (3573) on Thursday December 18, 2003 @09:54PM (#7759733) Homepage Journal

    emphasis on more. No computer system is ever secure in absolute terms.

    while security surrounding DHCP has been and will continue to be a non-trivial issue, that one DHCP/directory issue that'd allow a malicious user on a LOCAL network to root a few boxes are still not the kind of vulnerabilities that'd allow worms to wreac wild havoc on the internet. In the case of this vulnerability, an exploit could spread to a local network and stop right there. There is just no way some worm could be written to spread outside of that local network. And worst, the exploit still needs to rely on the victim's machine actually DOING SOMETHING to be potentially vulnerable, in this case, rebooting, or renewing a DHCP lease, which are actions that seldom happen, especially on a network full of idling desktop boxes.

    that exploit was interesting, needs to be addressed, requires more than a mere patch to a piece of C code and will require Apple and many Darwin/BSD developers to come-up with a complex solution that could involve user-interface updates or the development of certificates mechansisms which have been in discussion since 2001 in some rfc.

    but this is hardly grounds for a windows user to gloat. and if the above didn't make sense, here are concepts that are simpler to understand:

    Ever since OS X came out in its 10.1 version in late 2001, has any worm managed to spread thru OS X machines?

    answer: no. Regardless of potential security holes found here and there, all OS X boxes ship by default with ALL NETWORK SERVICES TURNED OFF. Run nmap against a freshly installed OS X system, and guess what you get: NOTHING. NOT A SINGLE PORT OPENED. Hi there. Security 101 anyone? Even if OS X was the #1-used operating system in the world by millions and millions of people connected thru always-on broadband internet, any infection would stem from marginal power-users enabing certain remote services, at which point an infection or worm still wouldn't manage to reach the rest of the populace.

    This is a far cry from windows boxes who have shipped for many years with services turned-on by default such as IIS and SMB, which allowed silly worms such as CodeRed and Nimda to make their initial way in, while further exploiting many exotic windoz system-level vulnerabilities surrounding Outlook and Internet Explorer, whereby previewing an e-mail or stumbling upon a malicious web page after pasting a URL found in an IRC chat room could get your computer thoroughly owned by inferior lifeforms also known as script kiddies, as your computer would secretly become one among thousands of unwitting drones awaiting their commands from a hidden IRC chatroom to launch DDoS attacks against some web sites, while seriously congesting the Internet. Hey Ulanoff, kinda sounds like what has happened at your office? thought so. Go Windoz.

    Since System Mac 7.6 aka harmony with Open Transport which actually made internet access via dial-up and DHCP actually practical and easy-to-use circa 1996, has any internet-connected mac user running the default operating system as it was first installed from the Apple CDs ever gotten infected by a worm from just sitting on an un-NAT'ed, unfirewalled internet connection?

    NO. That's because prior to OS X, Apple stuck to doing what they were good at: building an out-of-the-box single user, narrowly focused operating system targetted at your average joe-user and graphic designer, that had the ability to be extended thru 3rd-party software or other system configuration to better interoperate within, say, a corporate network. "Dave Client" comes to mind.

    On the other hand Microsoft thought it would be fun to create worthless pieces of ass-ware such as windoz 95, NT, 98, ME, 2000 which they'd sell to BOTH enterprises and average joe-users, and enable, out-of-the-box, by default, a slew of services and features most users would never ever need or use, just so regardless of who the customer was, the operating syste

  • On video quality (Score:4, Interesting)

    by waaka! (681130) on Thursday December 18, 2003 @10:03PM (#7759799)

    I downloaded the DivX version of Intel Extreme Edition Challenge to see how the quality compared to the WMV version. However, the conclusions that I've drawn come from the encoding process itself, and really don't concern the particular codec choices themselves. (I should note that Ben Waggoner voiced the same concerns [slashdot.org] when Modern Day Gamer 2 was released.)

    The video could have been compressed a lot smaller (and quite possibly with an increase in quality, to boot), if it had been deinterlaced first--after all, PC monitors are progressive scan--and resized to something smaller and in the proper aspect ratio, like 640x480, instead of leaving it in native PAL resolution as it was here. Also, using non-square pixels requires user intervention to correct during viewing, unless the video was encoded with the pixel aspect ratio stored in the file, which is possible--but not used in this case--for WMV, but not AVI.

    Just the small changes of not having to deal with all the little lines created by interlacing, and also having fewer pixels in general to encode would result in a lighter download and less artifacted video for all.

    These films have all been great, content-wise, even for a non-team-oriented gamer such as myself, but once in a while, I can't help but wonder what would have been possible at the same download size with just a little bit of filtering and resizing.

  • by macemoneta (154740) on Thursday December 18, 2003 @11:25PM (#7760316) Homepage
    "Battlestar Galactica 2003: Series Highly Likely, Say Recent Rumors

    And, since the series will be on the SCI-FI channel, might as well note that the series is canceled (just as soon as you decide you like it) while you're at it.

  • From my reading of the exploit, it seems that the OS is set up the way it is by default so that techs using certain services (LDAP configured through DHCP, and so on) can simply plug in the computer to the network, start it up, and have everything configured.

    Makes sense to me.

    The problem comes from the fact that this is open by default, and left open (so that while I do not use DHCP configured LDAP on my Mac, it is still open to that attack anytime I rebooted).

    It seems like there is an easy solution - An

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