Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

Slashback: OSX Security, DoD Filtering, Anonymous Posting 211

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the dusting-off-the-old-tin-foil-hat dept.
Slashdot tonight brings some corrections, clarifications, and updates to previous Slashdot stories, including some favorable results from the University of Wisconsin's Mac OS X Challenge, skeptics investigate cold fusion claims, more on DoD web filtering, AT&T cuts 10,000 jobs after BellSouth merger, more child-proofing efforts for MySpace, Why Windows Vista Will Suck: a rebuttal, Harvard Professor punished for reporting bugs, Assemblyman Biondi backpedals on NJ anonymous posting bill, and a followup on Chinese TLDs -- Read on for details.

University of Wisconsin's Mac OS X Challenge. HABITcky writes "The University of Wisconsin Security Challenge has ended after 38 hours, intermittent DoS attacks, 4000 ssh login attempts, a bandwidth spike of 30 Mbps, and 6 million logged ipfw events. During this time there were 'no successful access attempts, nor any claims of a successful attempt.' You may remember this challenge was proposed in response to the 'woefully misleading' ZDnet article, Mac OS X hacked under 30 minutes, which was previously discussed here on Slashdot."

Skeptics investigate cold fusion.smooth wombat writes "As a follow-up to a previous Slashdot posting, Purdue University is investigating the claims of Rusi Taleyarkhan who claimed in 2004 to have created nuclear fusion at room temperature. The investigation came about from complaints from colleagues who suspect something is amiss. Taleyarkhan, who used to work at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, has, since working at Perdue, removed the equipment the co-workers were using to try and replicate the results, claimed results for experimental runs were positive for fusion despite the co-workers never seeing the raw data and opposed the publication of results which contradicted his findings."

More on DoD web filtering. timetrap writes "I work in a mobile combat communications unit, while I'm not in the sandbox right now, I can attest to the DoD policy on blocking web access. First of all when you are down range don't expect to even get DSL speeds from a satellite, we usually roll with about 256kbs for the data side of our trunk. So blocking sites is very important, otherwise 4 or 5 people could start streaming audio and pretty much knock down any legitimate use of the network. We filter websites with smartfilter and yes the military system admins in the IPO office will unblock any web site that isn't blocked by local policy (no pr0n, no streaming audio, no civilian web mail: both the hot and the g varieties, and no chat programs; although irc is used by the DoD) This is no Orwellian conspiracy, but quick and easy system administration; apply smartfilter: check! If you want to check the current smartfilter blocked sites goto: securecomputing and submit some sites to check." Slashdot's own Jamie took a look at Smartfilter back in '99 as a part of the Censorware project and it still remains a mysterious black box to this day. While some would advocate full disclosure using censorware still appears to be merely passing the buck.

AT&T cuts 10,000 jobs after BellSouth merger. mytrip writes to tell us that immediately following their $67 billion acquisition of BellSouth, AT&T plans on cutting about 10,000 jobs.

More child-proofing efforts for MySpace. conq writes "BusinessWeek has an interview with Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthalin in which he describes measures MySpace and other similar sites should take to protect children. From the article: 'We're going to be suggesting some very specific measures that MySpace can take based on our conversations with MySpace as well as with other law enforcement authorities at the state and local levels. We've received hundreds of complaints from parents who are concerned about these issues, and we want to be sure that the measures we propose are technologically feasible and financially viable.'"

Why Windows Vista will Suck: a rebuttal. shrapnull writes "Hot on the heels of Extreme Tech's 'Why Windows Vista Won't Suck', Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols has an alternate position posted on DesktopLinux, and sent to subscribers of Novell's 'Suse Linux Cool Solutions' newsletter."

Harvard researcher punished for reporting bugs. Guillermito writes "A story previously discussed came to a sad conclusion two weeks ago. The bottom line is this means that it is forbidden to use reverse engineering tools to find bugs in a software. You also have to prove that you own a valid license for each version of the tested software. To publish a proof of concept that contains a few dozens of copyrighted bytes is also forbidden. It's a nice precedent for any company selling a defective product."

Assemblyman Biondi backpedals on NJ anonymous posting bill. Quadraginta writes "Earlier, denizens of Slashdot reacted to a story about a bill to be introduced to the New Jersey legislature that would require hosts of forums, bulletin boards and the like to keep track of the real identity of anonymous posters. Seems like there was a strong reaction all over. Assemblyman Biondi now appears to be backpedalling furiously. From a letter quoted after the link: 'I am getting inundated with responses which I will review and use to better educate myself on the implications of this bill. If, after reviewing all of the correspondence and the opinion of OLS, it turns out that the bill is, in fact, unworkable, I will certainly reconsider and withdraw it.'"

A followup on Chinese TLDs. nqz writes "In this story on ComputerWorld, ICANN and the China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC) both dispute a previous story discussing China's new top-level domains containing Chinese characters."

This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Slashback: OSX Security, DoD Filtering, Anonymous Posting

Comments Filter:
  • OSX security (Score:2, Interesting)

    by saberworks (267163)
    The original article said it would be up through Friday, why the early shutdown? Maybe it stayed up for 38 hours or whatever and then someone got in, so they post-pre-maturely ended the contest the minute before the crack?
    • Re:OSX security (Score:4, Insightful)

      by HTTP Error 403 403.9 (628865) on Wednesday March 08, 2006 @08:57PM (#14879894)
      The original article said it would be up through Friday, why the early shutdown? Maybe it stayed up for 38 hours or whatever and then someone got in, so they post-pre-maturely ended the contest the minute before the crack?

      More like the campus IT head went ape shit regarding the amount of bandwidth eaten up by this contest.

      • Re:OSX security (Score:5, Insightful)

        by wealthychef (584778) on Wednesday March 08, 2006 @10:02PM (#14880168)
        Not just bandwidth, but if you were the head admin of their network, how thrilled would you be that somebody hung a big sign on your campus saying "please attack us"?
        • Not just bandwidth, but if you were the head admin of their network, how thrilled would you be that somebody hung a big sign on your campus saying "please attack us"?

          Sufficiently so [slashdot.org], apparently:

          And yes, this challenge is sanctioned. I'm glad that the University of Wisconsin supports the genuine interests of its faculty, staff, and students, and encourages individual thought, research, discovery, and exploration. That's why it's a great place to be!

          • Scratch that. I was shooting for "Informative", but ended up with "Should Have Read Further Down First".

            Now back to your regularly scheduled programming...

  • Oops! (Score:5, Informative)

    by TubeSteak (669689) on Wednesday March 08, 2006 @08:04PM (#14879638) Journal
    http://test.doit.wisc.edu/ [wisc.edu]
    Yesterday we discovered the Mac OSX "challenge" was not an activity authorized by the UW-Madison. Once the test came to the attention of our CIO, she ended it. The site, test.doit.wisc.edu, will be removed from the network tonight. Our primary concern is for security and network access for UW services. We are sorry for any inconvenience this has caused to the community.
    I guess Dave Schroeder had it authorized, [slashdot.org] just not authorized by the right person?

    CIO = Chief Information Officer
    • Re:Oops! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by d34thm0nk3y (653414) on Wednesday March 08, 2006 @08:10PM (#14879673)
      University of Wisconsin's Mac OS X Challenge. HABITcky writes "The University of Wisconsin Security Challenge has ended after 38 hours, intermittent DoS attacks, 4000 ssh login attempts, a bandwidth spike of 30 Mbps, and 6 million logged ipfw events. During this time there were 'no successful access attempts, nor any claims of a successful attempt.

      I think it is woefully misleading to not mention that the challenge was ended early!
      • by jd (1658)
        ...nobody broke into the box to read the statement.
      • Re:Oops! (Score:3, Informative)

        by TubeSteak (669689)
        I agree with you 100%

        And how come we don't have a link to the information contained in the Slashback? I'm not questioning the veracity of the information, cause Schroeder is on the up and up, but where'd HABITcky read about it?

        P.S. Google cache of the site before the contest was ended.
        http://64.233.179.104/search?q=cache:test.doit.wis c.edu/ [64.233.179.104]
        • Re:Oops! (Score:5, Interesting)

          by HABITcky (828521) on Wednesday March 08, 2006 @11:03PM (#14880399) Homepage
          At the time of my submission (around 12:30pm today), the http://test.doit.wisc.edu/ [wisc.edu] website did not appear as it does now. It appeared as an updated version of what you see in the Google cache. There was an updated posting on the site from Schroeder earlier this morning mentioning that the challenge had ended and giving the statistics which I included in my submission. The posting had no mention of the challenge ending early or the messege that is currently displayed, it mearly stated that the challenge had ended and there was no successful access by anyone.
    • Re:Oops! (Score:5, Interesting)

      by rayde (738949) on Wednesday March 08, 2006 @08:26PM (#14879750) Homepage
      i had asked this question [slashdot.org] initially and Dave had thought the was given permission. But I suspected that the proximity of his response challenge to the failure of the original mac mini challenge meant it was done with slightly less than comprehensive permission. woops.
  • by Tumbleweed (3706) * on Wednesday March 08, 2006 @08:05PM (#14879641)
    More like - was done without authorization, and was shut down. From the site linked:

    Yesterday we discovered the Mac OSX "challenge" was not an activity authorized by the UW-Madison. Once the test came to the attention of our CIO, she ended it. The site, test.doit.wisc.edu, will be removed from the network tonight.

    Our primary concern is for security and network access for UW services. We are sorry for any inconvenience this has caused to the community.


    Still, shut down or 'ended,' not being hacked is a good show. Congrats to OS X.

    I think Apple would be well-served by having a continously running OS X security challenge, for both OS X and OS X Server. Offer a reward every time you demonstrate a hole, and fix them fast.
    • by Midnight Thunder (17205) on Wednesday March 08, 2006 @08:15PM (#14879694) Homepage Journal
      I think Apple would be well-served by having a continously running OS X security challenge, for both OS X and OS X Server. Offer a reward every time you demonstrate a hole, and fix them fast.

      Would be nice to see something like this for all platforms. The only question is how valid is the test, since the security of computer depends as much on the network security around it, as the machine itself. Firewalls can help filter out much of the bad traffic, reducing the final impact on the host. I would not like to say that any system is invunerable, since vunerability also depends on the configuration of the machine and the people managing the installation. A well patched windows installation might be as good as a well patched OS X installation.
      • by Tumbleweed (3706) * on Wednesday March 08, 2006 @08:23PM (#14879733)
        Would be nice to see something like this for all platforms. The only question is how valid is the test, since the security of computer depends as much on the network security around it, as the machine itself.

        Well, if it's ever done by Apple, it would best be done as a tool to actually help find security vulnerabilities, rather than as a marketing effort. To that end, I'd suggest whatever configuration would best expose those vulnerabilities.

        A similar test for local vulnerabilites would also, obviously, be quite valuable (as the ZDNet test showed).
        • I had my suspicions this would not be hacked - unless there's a flaw in ssh, you need to come through the web server, which is running as a user with no file or directory ownership. If this machine had, say phpNUKE running on it, it would have been a much juicier prospect.

          Things I've noticed that can cause security risks on a web server:
          a) allows write access under the document root - many CMS (Content management systems) [opensourcecms.com] have such a mechanism to cache images like avatars (which honestly should go in the d
          • oh - I think I was a bit vague above - by 'script' in a) I meant a .php executable script (php is a scripting language) or other scripting language that the web server may be using - I don't mean shell script, which would probably require an exploit of some kind to execute it. I said script originally because there are alternatives to php, even if php is one of the most common.
      • by Coryoth (254751) on Wednesday March 08, 2006 @09:43PM (#14880086) Homepage Journal
        Would be nice to see something like this for all platforms.

        Well it's not exactly identical, but one of the people who works on SELinux has been running a test machine on and off since Fedora Core 2. Details are here [coker.com.au]. Similar to the OS X box that was hacked in 30 minutes he does have SSH open and provides you with local account access, the local account being root. I wouls suggest that that shows a certain amount of confidence in its security. Also note that SELinux is coming to Ubuntu soon [ubuntu.com].

        Jedidiah.
      • by ePhil_One (634771) on Thursday March 09, 2006 @12:22AM (#14880739) Journal
        Firewalls can help filter out much of the bad traffic, reducing the final impact on the host.

        Yes, but what happens when someone cracks the Windows box sitting next to IT. If you want to say your box is secure, you better not be adding the caveat "behind a firewall with the network cable unplugged".

    • Well then perhaps Slashdot should give Steve-o a call and offer to run the test? I am sure the bandwith would be reasonable for /. and it would be a great publicity stunt, Iwould nt be surprised if Jonathan Schwartz at SUN would retaliate by giving /. one of their boxes to test...

      minimac vs. SUN Fire! LOL!!
  • Re: Mac Challenge (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Chas (5144) on Wednesday March 08, 2006 @08:09PM (#14879667) Homepage Journal
    I dunno. I would think a massive, pipe-clogging bandwidth spike, which resulted in the removal of said site, would qualify as a successful attack.

    I guess it all just depends on exactly what you want to do.
    • Re: Mac Challenge (Score:5, Interesting)

      by alien-alien (471416) on Wednesday March 08, 2006 @08:42PM (#14879834)
      I would like to point out that those people who state that MacOS X hacking is of little interest to the hacking community because the Mac has little market presence should pay attention to the draw this challenge precipitated.

      Looks like every hacker and their uncle had a go at this one. I wonder how many unique IP addresses were used to access the challenge.

      • Parent is right. (Score:4, Interesting)

        by marcello_dl (667940) on Wednesday March 08, 2006 @09:04PM (#14879919) Homepage Journal
        those people who state that MacOS X hacking is of little interest to the hacking community because the Mac has little market presence should pay attention to the draw this challenge precipitated.

        I completely agree with you. a 4,5% share seems low but many hackers would get a terrific ego boost by being able to shut up once for all the mac fanboys. Also some attacks on windows rely on unpatched machines with this and that service running and reachable through firewalls, which could well mean an attack on the 10% or less of the total of windows machines which in turns makes like an 8-6% or even less share. Crackers still take time to engineer them, though.

        Mod parent up, please.
    • by Lars T. (470328) <Lars.Traeger@goA ... l.com minus poet> on Thursday March 09, 2006 @03:22AM (#14881301) Journal
      Well, if you want to take down a machine, you can also submit a story linking to it on Slashdot - doesn't make you a 1337 h4x0r even if it works.

      Oh yes, and: "The challenge is as follows: simply alter the web page on this machine, test.doit.wisc.edu (128.104.16.150)." Not DOS it or other machines around it.

  • chinese tld's (Score:2, Interesting)

    by noopy (959768)
    China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC) both dispute a previous story

    Does it matter what they say? Any Chinese portal with enough heft can just start handing out Chinese TLDs whenever they like. (For that matter, so could I, but noone would know). Does anyone know the current state of international tld support in browsers? And what encoding is/would it support?

    For that matter, if China (mainland) blazes the path for Chinese TLDs, would they go with gb2312 and thus sort of make China (mainland

    • by jd (1658)
      I dislike UTF with a passion - it wasn't designed correctly in the first place and all subsequent versions (we're up to Unicode 5.0.0 beta2) are hacks to supplement deficiencies that should never have been allowed in in the first place.

      Having said that, if we're going to use UTF, we might as well use it right. Otherwise, it is going to be an agonizing pain every time we have to step up a version. DNS issues, alone, will preclude frequent updates from a half-hearted update. For this reason, it would seem stu

      • Re:UTF (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Haeleth (414428)
        For this reason, it would seem stupid to use UTF-8 or UTF-16. Those don't encode everything that need to be encoded, if we're to have a truly international system.
        Based on the current definitions, we should be looking at UTF-32...
        The Unicode FAQ talks a lot about how nobody needs more character sets than UTF-16 can support, but (a) they don't represent all languages, or even a reasonable set, because UTF-16 can't handle that many...


        With due respect, you clearly don't know what you're talking about.

        UTF-8, UT
    • Slashdot doesn't currently support any posting in Chinese as far as I can tell. I tried posting an example of how a Mandrain Speaker might get around a filter on the word Democracy (hint: 1337 doesn't work in a character based system). I tried twice but neither time did the characters show up at all, not even in some sort of garbbled equivelent.

    • Simplified Chinese as in GB2312 is severly outdated, although still in heavy use on the Web, mainly because users don't know better. The same is true for traditional Chinese as in Big5 or other character encodings.

      No, if the Chinese would go their own way and make everything Chinese, which they won't btw, they would use the Chinese encoding GB18030. Note that this is neither a simplified Chinese encoding nor a traditional Chinese encoding, it is just a *Chinese* encoding, compatible with Unicode and able to
    • If I'm not mistaken, there's also a big company in Thailand with its own Thai-script domain server, so Thai speakers can use familiar words and letters in website domain names. I assume it uses Unicode, but I'm not certain.
  • by cant_get_a_good_nick (172131) on Wednesday March 08, 2006 @08:15PM (#14879691)
    It did, in the old days. They rewrote it a long time ago, I think in the jump to Nt 4.0. The userspace command line tools are still BSD based in XP though.
  • by hotspotbloc (767418) on Wednesday March 08, 2006 @08:28PM (#14879757) Homepage Journal
    no pr0n, no streaming audio, no civilian web mail: both the hot and the g varieties, and no chat programs

    And that's why when it says on your military ID "Property of the U.S. Government" they're not just talking about the ID card ... =)

    • The "no this and that" list may apply to some DoD networks, but it's not DoD wide. We are discouraged to access streaming media, but it's not disallowed or filtered, Hotmail, gmail, Yahoo mail all work, etc. Any chat programs (including IRC), browser tool-bar add-ons are forbidden and scanned for. OTOH, I've experienced whole IP ranges being blocked because one site in that range was deemed bad, even though other sites in the range were legitimate and necessary (software, documentation) for our work.
    • Re:DoD filtering (Score:3, Insightful)

      by techstar25 (556988)
      We have to keep in mind that internet access at at work is still a privilage and not a right. These folks may be at war, but they are still "at work", so the admin (DOD) can give and take away any kind of access they want. It has nothing to do with censorship of any kind. They are lucky to have internet access at all.
  • Now the ONLY ONES who will publish exploits are the anonymous hackers who are ALREADY doing illegal stuff.

    Nice move, smartasses.
  • by jd (1658) <imipak AT yahoo DOT com> on Wednesday March 08, 2006 @08:34PM (#14879799) Homepage Journal
    ...by the effective ban on software research. If you publish a flaw and don't include data backing it, you'll likely be sued for defamation. If you DO include the data (however insignificant) you'll be sued for copyright infringement. The 9/11 case in the US shows that is you do know of a problem, but don't tell anyone, you'll be got that way, too. However, being willfully ignorant of a fault can also land you in court, if it causes harm.


    Software researchers are the most impacted by this, as it's hard for a PhD to claim natural stupidity as a defense. It's expected of most end-users (even when that is unfair) so they can get away with it.

    • If you publish a flaw and don't include data backing it, you'll likely be sued for defamation.

      Actually.... If you publish a flaw and don't back it up and then get sued, you can have the pleasure of proving (in a court of law) that their software is teh sux.

      After you've embarrased them (and gotten it into the public record) you can counter-sue them for wasting your time and money. If you're lucky, you can get some punative damages too.

      Unless France is like England, where truth is not a defense against defama

      • And the libel claim isn't bankrupting? I mean, unless you have a dedicated lawyer already or a pile of money, you'll easily lose a lawsuit to any company, because if they spend $10,000 on lawyers, then (at $200 an hour, which is prolly high-ish), that's 250 hours of lawyering you have to counter. Let's pretend that you're twice as efficient as they are (which I doubt). That's 125 hours you have to spend to counter that. While putting food on the table for you and potentially a family. You're forced to
      • Unless France is like England, where truth is not a defense against defamation (of which libel & slander are subset

        IANAL but I believe (at least here in Australia) that truth by itself is not a defence against defamation. In addition to being true, what you say must also be in the public interest.

        In this case I'm sure you'd find plenty of people willing to argue both sides of that. Should keep some lawyers busy for a while...
    • This is (fortunately for the rest of us) only in France. And he only lost the case because he published some code. So it was a copyright violation. France must have the weirdest copyright laws in the world, because even in the United States the small amount that he published would be protected under fair use.

      Luckily for him, people have been donating [zdnet.com.au] to help him pay for his fine.
  • by jmorris42 (1458) * <jmorris.beau@org> on Wednesday March 08, 2006 @08:40PM (#14879825)
    There is a fairly simple solution to the problem of vendors forbidding security reaseachers from examining their products. At the next big security confab float and get a lot of signatures on a resolution something like this:

    "Some companies object to our legitimate research, even though we report our findings responsibly. So be it. We resolve to continue to locate defects in these irresponsible vendor's products. However since they now make it a crime to do the right thing, we resolve to anonymously publish our results for these products to the most vile and wicked cracking gangs we can contact as ready to use fully weaponized exploits. We further assert that we do not fear any legal reprecussions on the grounds that if any Fed can tag us we aren't worthy to continue in this line of research."

    Let the business press cogitate on that announcement a day or two and see how fast vendors start backpeddling.
    • It sure would be great if every time a company did something that most people, upon a little thought, would find really objectionable, it could be directly correlated with a huge decrease in sales (your basic old fashioned boycott). It would be great if people knew when they were clutching sand and understood that the harder you try to squeeze, the more you are going to lose.

      But as much as I love your idea, it will not happen due to the Sheeple, who are either too clueless, too apathetic, or both, to ma
    • by Audacious (611811) on Wednesday March 08, 2006 @10:06PM (#14880184) Homepage
      They probably won't. They'll just call you terrorists and prosecute you for what you've said. Even though you haven't done anything.

      No - the best thing to do IMHO is to just say that you have found a problem with their product but that due to the litigious nature of the company(ies) you can not explain how the problem comes about nor will you provide any details because you have destroyed all evidence in accordance with the company's wishes that all problems remain just that - unresolved problems. Further, since you have found these problems and could verify that they existed if the company would allow you to do so; you must - in the future - deny any request from the company for information (since you had to destroy it and it is illegal to have such information in your possession) and - you must also, from that day forwards, recommend that this company's products be barred from consideration in future purchases for the university and/or any companies with which you are going to be working with until the problem has been fixed.

      Remember - hit them in their pocketbook. If everyone gangs up against the company and refuses to buy their products and boycotts them, they will go out of business and you won't have to deal with them anymore - or - they will stop trying to enforce rules and regulations which are detrimental to the overall health of the (and their) economy.

      The alternative is for the person to send the information out to every other university in the United States and all of them declare the same findings at the same time so there isn't just one person the company can sue. They would have to sue everyone which makes them a persona non grata in the academic world. The great thing about this idea is that it would definitely draw the attention of the press if such a thing occurred. Which, I believe, is not something any company wants to do. (Be on TV across the nation in a bad light.)

      Just my $0.02 worth. :-)

      PS: Remember - they can't make you perjure yourself in court. So when they ask what you did you just say "I can not answer that under the rules and regulations of the 5th admendment." And if asked to explain you just look at the judge and say it is a catch-22 situation. You are damned if you answer and damned if you do not. Sort of like the Spanish Inquisition where they'd ask questions like "Did you enjoy consorting with the devil the last time you did it?" and then only allow you to answer yes or no. Either answer makes it look as if you enjoyed consorting with the devil at some point.
  • by heatdeath (217147) on Wednesday March 08, 2006 @08:40PM (#14879826)
    For those who don't want to read the entire article, here is the cliffsnote version.

    I understand operating systems and am very smart and I have 20 computers and a dog named spot.

    linux power.

    Vista will suck because it won't be free.

    linux power.

    The graphics will suck because it takes an expensive computer to run Aeroglass.

    linux power.

    Memory management will suck because linux has had good memory management for years.

    linux power.

    Superfetch will suck because GCC has had it for years, and your dog can run off with your USB card. (Never mind that it's just a *cache*, and it won't do anything but slow your computer down again after your dog starts chewing on it)

    linux power.

    TCP/IP improvements will suck because it's been in other OS's for years.

    linux power.

    Security will be bad because they found a bug in vista.

    linux power.
    • by paulius_g (808556) on Wednesday March 08, 2006 @08:52PM (#14879879) Homepage
      Speaking of "superfetch", arn't most USB storage devices running on flash memory? Flashable memory does tend to stop working after a certain number of flashes. Moving in and out huge ammount of data will seriously shorten the life of these devices.

      Seriously though, I would like Microsoft to improve their caching abbilities using the system's RAM. For now, Windows only has two setting. To cache minimally, or maximally. So what do I do when I got 2GB of RAM, want a run a 300mb application and cache the rest? According to Microsoft, they recommend not to cache because Windows will store that application in the paging file. Talk about stupidity.

      Seriously, if mainstream applications would be ported to Linux, more people would switch.
      • The original article does not mention anything about a USB drive for Superfetch that I remember.
        Everyone sure that guy didnt just make that up.
        I mean if the system lets you point Superfetch to any drive on the system and you happen to point it to a USB drive then fine, but does it have to be on the USB drive?
        using a USB drive for that seems like a bad really bad idea agreed. But i havent read anything saying that but this guys article, and maybe he set his system up for that or something? but no body told h
        • USB and SuperFetch (Score:2, Informative)

          by bastianmz (762300)
          There are two Vista concepts at play here, SuperFetch and External Memory Devices (EMDs).

          "Windows Vista introduces a new concept in adding memory to a system. USB flash drives can be used as External Memory Devices (EMDs) to extend system memory and improve performance without opening the box. Your computer is able to access memory from an EMD device much more quickly than it can access data on the hard drive, boosting system performance. When combined with SuperFetch technology, this can help drive impress
    • The author himself offers a summary that's worth while:

      I really don't see a thing, not one single thing, that will make the still undelivered Vista significantly better than the Linux or the Mac OS X desktops I have in front of me today.

      Message: you can pay more to get less.

      This is a surprising message from anyone at Ziff Davis, much less a senior editor. It's the first sensible thing I've read from them in years.

      He's run Vista and thinks it sucks because it has all the old crufty problems M$ is inf

  • by stubear (130454) on Wednesday March 08, 2006 @08:43PM (#14879842)
    I read that pile of crap that somone claims to be an article about Why Vista Will Suck and all I got out of it is this guy is a $%@^$@# idiot. Great, he's got a copy of Vista and a fast machine. Most of his complaints can either be dismissed because Vusta is still a BETA or not attributed to Microsoft at all. Is it really Microsoft's fault if you're not careful around your USB drive? And who cares if Linux and Mac OS X have had feature X for years? Isn't Vista going to benefit from using feature X if everyone else has? How can this be a reason why Vista will suck? Isn't this more of a reason why Microsoft's marketing managers suck? What about his anecdotal argument concering security? There was a patch for the WMF swcurity hole. Let's analyze the argument. First of all, the patch was released in January. The CTP was released in February. You do the math. Not to mention that perhaps there was an old portion of XP in the January release of Vista that's since been removed from the February CTP. Did Stephen check? Probably not. If security patches being released for an OS are all the proof he needs that it's insecure than he'd better add OS X and Linux to the list. All in all, this was a poorly written and researched article with little evidence to back up his claims.
    • Great, he's got a copy of Vista and a fast machine. Most of his complaints can either be dismissed because Vista is still a BETA or not attributed to Microsoft at all. ... And who cares if Linux and Mac OS X have had feature X for years?

      Let me get his point across for you:

      I really don't see a thing, not one single thing, that will make the still undelivered Vista significantly better than the Linux or the Mac OS X desktops I have in front of me today.

      You know they want to give him the best they have,

      • "I really don't see a thing, not one single thing, that will make the still undelivered Vista significantly better than the Linux or the Mac OS X desktops I have in front of me today."

        He forgot one thing. Perhaps Vista will be significantly better than Windows XP adn this may be reason enough for some to upgrade. He never said it was worse than those OSes (other than his comments about a beta version of an OS). However, does it have to be significantly better than Linux or OS X? What if it's marginally
  • by 1337p1rt3 (959580) on Wednesday March 08, 2006 @09:00PM (#14879908)

    "I work in a mobile combat communications unit, while I'm not in the sandbox right now, I can attest to the DoD policy on blocking web access.

    There are several levels of DoD blocking. First, the DoD policy on web access, policy, and security in general, very broad, next is the Departments level, i.e. Army, Navy, etc, then there is the base policy and then the command policy and unit policy all the way down to the company. The "general rule" is that no one can have policy rules lower then that of above. This means a platoons policy can not be more lax then the base policy. This sort of transitive policy based appliance leaves much room for interpretation at all levels of policy implementation. Every service is different, every level is different and every network right down to the hardware is different. So, when you talk about blocking you have to be very specific as it is nearly impossible to just nail down an exact, cut and dry policy. Web content filtering, ACL's and the likes are different from service to service and mission to mission.

    First of all when you are down range don't expect to even get DSL speeds from a satellite, we usually roll with about 256kbs for the data side of our trunk.

    This is too far from the truth depending on the environment. The Ku band in Iraq is quite substantial in fact the smallest direct BGP Sat link might be a T-1 up to 8 and 32Meg or so via a Sat package called the DKET. This is speaking for the Marine side by the way. Also lateral links are about 3Meg at the smallest level via another Ku Sat package. This of course has its caveats. At this level we are talking about a non-mobile infrastructure were as a mobile infrastructure would be a Microware shot thru a TSR or MUX link at anywhere from 96k to 512k or more depending on voice needs and breakdown of classified to unclassified network needs. (Data bandwidth is shared between the two types of DoD networks when multiplexed, voice generally rides its own trunk card thru the multiplexer, typically a Promina node does this multiplexing or at lower levels in the unit they have what is called an FCC multiplexer)

    So blocking sites is very important, otherwise 4 or 5 people could start streaming audio and pretty much knock down any legitimate use of the network. We filter websites with smartfilter and yes the military system admins in the IPO office will unblock any web site that isn't blocked by local policy (no pr0n, no streaming audio, no civilian web mail: both the hot and the g varieties, and no chat programs; although irc is used by the DoD)

    This is somewhat accurate. From the Corps standpoint, when I first went to Iraq this was not the case. We could chat all day long until it was "locked down". This is done at the BGP point via the highest headquarters out there, CentCom etc. Even then it isn't full proof, I found ways around it, i.e. bypass or just good ole bribing the E-3 at the terminal.

    This is no Orwellian conspiracy, but quick and easy system administration; apply smartfilter: check! If you want to check the current smartfilter blocked sites goto: securecomputing and submit some sites to check."

    Once again, take this with a grain of salt. Though this seems like it applies to all agencies and to all services at all times it really doesn't. The mobile and deployed units are in constant flex so nothing is really ever solidified when it comes to policy. The ONLY real way to know for sure is to go out there and site down behind their network and try it yourself, or ask someone you know out there to do it. I have a couple dozen friends out there right now on the Net Admin side so if you have a specific inquiry post it and I will see what I can come up with.

    • And let's not forget the distinction between official networks and MWR internet cafes. The initial article didn't make the distinction, but seemed to be directed at "official network" policies.

      Where I was stationed, the official network's content filters changed over time (at about the time the COSCOM running the base changed) the internet cafes would get you to everything but pr0n for the entire year. Though I understand that different locations have different vendors for the internet cafes - all the way f
  • myspace (Score:4, Insightful)

    by phantomfive (622387) on Wednesday March 08, 2006 @09:16PM (#14879971) Journal
    We're going to be suggesting some very specific measures that MySpace can take based on our conversations with MySpace as well as with other law enforcement authorities at the state and local levels.

    Not sure what the point of this article is, he doesn't even say what his "specific measures" are. Probably just some political move.

    I don't know what the big deal is about myspace, just politician noise, I guess. What kind of 14 year old girl is going to go out with a 30 year old man? If they do, there is probably some other problem (like they are starved for affection). I remember here on slashdot a few years ago there was a story about a girl who got seduced by a predator, but her mother was encouraging it!

    So yeah, there is a problem here, but making laws about myspace isn't going to help anything.
    • "politician noise"

      You've about summed up Richard Blumenthal.

      I'm not entirely sure what his game is. He doesn't do a horrible job as AG, but his statements to the media sound like total BS gloryhounding, saying it to make people love him rather than that he actually intends to do something about it.

      I'm pretty sure he's targeting a run for some office in the near future. Exactly what I'm not sure. Probably either Congress or the Governors office. He'll have a fight on his hands if he takes on Mama Rell th
  • Shhhh! (Score:2, Interesting)

    by SEWilco (27983)
    The bottom line is this means that it is forbidden to use reverse engineering tools to find bugs in a software.

    "Why Windows Vista won't be known to suck."

  • There is no AT&T (Score:4, Interesting)

    by fm6 (162816) on Wednesday March 08, 2006 @09:47PM (#14880104) Homepage Journal
    Nowadays, I have a moment of weirdness whenever I see a headline about what AT&T is up to. I still think of it as SBC, which was once part of the original AT&T, but has now morphed into something completely different.

    The "real" AT&T, pathetic as it was in the last couple of decades of its existence, had a long and interesting history, dating to the 1870s. There's something profoundly phony about a company like SBC claiming to be a continuation of that.

    • I completely agree with you that AT&T is dead, but the amusing thing is that between SBC, BellSouth, Ameritech, AT&T Wireless, AT&T, and I don't know what else they have a large portion of the former AT&T Corporation that was broken up for antitrust reasons.
      • Which is a sign of the times. When AT&T was broken up, the federal government took the antitrust laws seriously. The current in-crowd considers them a simple nuisance.

        To be fair, a lot of the vertical integration in the phone system is history. You no longer are forced to lease your premises equipment (even at home!) from the phone company. Plus AT&T's former hardware operation, Lucent, is forced to compete for Central Office equipment sales. Ironically, their biggest competitor is Nortel, which u

    • Here's what I find weirdest about it: They have this huge advertising campaign (billboards, TV commercials, inserts with my bill, AT&T logo on the bill) about how they're now AT&T, but they still want the check sent to SBC.
  • Blumenthal mentioned on Slashdot.

    Well, to anyone reading this not familiar with the state AG, he's basically glory hound. I am pretty skeptical of anything he says... things just look like he wants his name mentioned everywhere.

    Granted, he does an ok job as AG, but that often seems to be secondary to the blatant glory hounding that infects everything he says to the media.
  • I can understand why you shouldn't go posting a few "dozens" of copyrighted bytes... though I don't agree with the runaway copyright system that allows stuff to remain copyright protected for years after it's obsolete. Copyright should be as it once was, a temporary system that expires after, say, 20 years, so that old software and other works will enter the public domain as it once was.

    But that's a subject for another post. In the meantime, I think it's preposterous to stop people from reporting bugs. It's

  • by TheNetAvenger (624455) on Thursday March 09, 2006 @01:57AM (#14881085)
    Ok, I don't agree with the 'counter' article on why Vista will suck, as we have also been using it, and there are some rough edges, but even at this beta point it is more stable and mature than some other 'full scale' shipping OSes.

    However, I had to go WTH when I read the article. How can anyone here in the /. community truly use this article as a 'definitive' answer of what Vista will or won't do.

    #1) The person writing the article doesn't even have a video card that does Vista Glass, that means, they don't have a video Card made in the last 4 years, all it takes is a Pixel Shader 2.0 on the card, that NVidia debuted years ago at Comdex with the GeforceFX 5200 for 80 bucks.

    #2) Did anyone else catch this line about his reference to the Vista video requirements, " would only add that if you expect to see the fancy desktop, you need to invest in, say, an ATI Radeon XPress 200, an Nvidia nForce4, or a high-end graphics card."

    Ok, hold your hand up if you know the difference between Video and Mainboard chipsets? nForce/Geforce anyone? I know 10 year olds that would laugh at this. And the ATI Radeon Xpress 200 as a base line? An integrated ATI Chipset that debuted last year? That is even crazy.

    How about an NVidia PCI 5200 Graphics card made several years ago as the baseline, and Vista does Glass quite well on it even. Even generic notebooks baseline for Video anymore is ATI or Nvidia chipsets that include Pixel Shader 2.0 technology or basically hardware DirectX 9 support as others would call it.

    I don't fully disagree with this person's article either, but really, is this /. quality? And yes, that is kind of a loaded question as some of the stuff we see is questionable anyway.

    Make your own judgements on this, even as the article says, Vista seems to be better than XP, and who knows for sure how it will turn out...
  • This really wasn't an OSX test. It was an apache/ssh test. In fact, it was a test of 2 of the most hardened piece of software in use. We just had an article about how apache had signifigantly lower defects/ksloc than other source that Homeland Security had evaluated. Almost any updated OS with only apache and ssh showing is going to be rock solid assuming the apache install is simple and both are configured correctly.

"Let every man teach his son, teach his daughter, that labor is honorable." -- Robert G. Ingersoll

Working...