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+ - Samsung: WHAT is my SmartTV reporting? To whom? 14

Submitted by NetAlien
NetAlien (2855345) writes "Being curious about the recent Samsung SmartTV stories, I connected my SmartTV through an old-fashioned HUB (copies all traffic to every port; unlike a switch) to my router. This allowed me to capture all traffic to/from my TV through my laptop's ethernet port. A wireshark capture shows that remote sites are trying to access my TV until I turn it on, then after nearly 7400 packets, it settles down. Then changing channels over ~4.5 minutes results in ~10,000 more packets. The TV continues sending data for several more seconds after the set appears to be off. Multiple servers were contacted in these domains: amazonaws.com, akamaitechnologies.com, cloudfront.net, twitvid.com, pcloud.com, yahoo.com, aclwireless25.com and some by IP address. WHAT are you sharing Samsung???"

+ - Book Review: "FreeBSD Mastery: Storage Essentials", by Michael W. Lucas-> 1

Submitted by Saint Aardvark
Saint Aardvark (159009) writes "(Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book for review. Disclaimer to the disclaimer: I would gladly have paid for it anyway.)

If, like me, you administer FreeBSD systems, you know that (like Linux) there is an embarrassment of riches when it comes to filesystems. GEOM, UFS, soft updates, encryption, disklabels — there is a *lot* going on here. And if, like me, you're coming from the Linux world your experience won't be directly applicable, and you'll be scaling Mount Learning Curve. Even if you *are* familiar with the BSDs, there is a lot to take in. Where do you start?

You start here, with Michael W. Lucas' latest book, "FreeBSD Mastery: Storage Essentials". You've heard his name before; he's written "Sudo Mastery" (which I reviewed previously), along with books on PGP/GnuPGP, Cisco Routers and OpenBSD. This book clocks in at 204 pages of goodness, and it's an excellent introduction to managing storage on FreeBSD. From filesystem choice to partition layout to disk encryption, with sidelong glances at ZFS along the way, he does his usual excellent job of laying out the details you need to know without every veering into dry or boring.

Do you need to know about GEOM? It's in here: Lucas takes your from "What *is* GEOM, anyway?" (answer: FreeBSD's system of layers for filesytem management) through "How do I set up RAID 10?" through "Here's how to configure things to solve that weird edge-case." Still trying to figure out GUID partitions? I sure as hell was...and then I read Chapter Two. Do you remember disklabels fondly, and wonder whatever happened to them? They're still around, but mainly on embedded systems that still use MBR partitions — so grab this book if you need to deal with them.

The discussion of SMART disk monitoring is one of the best introductions to this subject I've ever read, and should serve *any* sysadmin well, no matter what OS they're dealing with; I plan on keeping it around for reference until we no longer use hard drives. RAID is covered, of course, but so are more complex setups — as well as UFS recovery and repair for when you run into trouble.

Disk encryption gets three chapters (!) full of details on the two methods in FreeBSD, GBDE and GELI. But just as important, Lucas outlines why disk encryption might *not* be the right choice: recovering data can be difficult or impossible, it might get you unwanted attention from adversaries, and it will *not* protect you against, say, an adversary who can put a keylogger on your laptop. If it still make sense to encrypt your hard drive, you'll have the knowledge you need to do the job right.

I said that this covers *almost* everything you need to know, and the big omission here is ZFS. It shows up, but only occasionally and mostly in contrast to other filesystem choices. For example, there's an excellent discussion of why you might want to use FreeBSD's plain UFS filesystem instead of all-singing, all-dancing ZFS. (Answer: modest CPU or RAM, or a need to do things in ways that don't fit in with ZFS, make UFS an excellent choice.) I would have loved to see ZFS covered here — but honestly, that would be a book of its own, and I look forward to seeing one from Lucas someday; when that day comes, it will be a great companion to this book, and I'll have Christmas gifts for all my fellow sysadmins.

One big part of the appeal of this book (and Lucas' writing in general) is that he is clear about the tradeoffs that come with picking one solution over another. He shows you where the sharp edges are, and leaves you well-placed to make the final decision yourself. Whether it's GBDE versus GELI for disk encryption, or what might bite you when enabling soft updates journaling, he makes sure you know what you're getting into. He makes recommendations, but always tells you their limits.

There's also Lucas' usual mastery of writing; well-written explanations with liberal dollops of geek humour that don't distract from the knowledge he's dropping. He's clear, he's thorough, and he's interesting — and that's an amazing thing to say about a book on filesystems.

Finally, technical review was done by Poul Henning-Kamp; he's a FreeBSD developer who wrote huge parts of the GEOM and GBDE systems mentioned above. That gives me a lot of warm fuzzies about the accuracy of this book.

If you're a FreeBSD (or Linux, or Unix) sysadmin, then you need this book; it has a *lot* of hard-won knowledge, and will save your butt more than you'll be comfortable admitting. If you've read anything else by Lucas, you also know we need him writing more books. Do the right thing and buy this now."

Link to Original Source

Comment: Bricklayers work like that? (Score 1) 7

by 3vi1 (#46217347) Attached to: Should developers fix bugs in their own time?

That analogy is so flawed as to make me wonder if your boss should be managing developers. Make sure he knows that you don't work for free, and that no software developer worth a damn is going to either.

Fixing bugs is not 'replacing bad bricks', and software engineering is not as simple as looking at an opening and seeing how many lines of code will fill it.

+ - Israeli Group Sets Goal Of Moon Landing-> 2

Submitted by cold fjord
cold fjord (826450) writes "NDTV reports, "Israel plans to do what only the world's biggest countries have so far managed to do- to land an unmanned spacecraft on the moon ... only Russia, USA and China have soft landed on the moon, and India hard landed its tri-colour using the moon impact probe in 2008 ... The washing machine-sized spacecraft that weighs 121 kilograms is being readied by a not-for-profit venture called SpaceIL ... The Israeli lunar probe had its genesis after the $ 30 million Google Lunar X Prize was announced as a competition which challenged non-state owned space agencies to land on the moon, send back photos, and move 500 meters on the surface of the moon. About two dozen global teams are racing to win the prize- SpaceIL reckons it's in pole position. ... ex-NASA engineer Yonatan Winetraub and two of his friends conceived of the spacecraft in 2010 ... then used a Facebook page to promote the dream. Today, the dream has matured into a $ 36 million mission with 20 full time employees and 250 volunteers. ... Around 40,000 school students have been associated with this project ... " — More at here and at Youtube."
Link to Original Source

+ - Ukraine Police Stop Bus Full Of Pro Government Demonstrators and Beat Them->

Submitted by Desert Leap
Desert Leap (2435444) writes "What did the Ukrainian masochist say to the Ukrainian policeman? 'Beats me.'

'Ukrainian riot police appear to be having trouble deciding who to beat up. BBC is reporting that police stopped a bus heading to Kiev and assumed that they were more protesters. So, they did what has become standard operating procedure for Ukrainian police: they proceeded to savagely beat the occupants.'"

Link to Original Source

+ - Study finds seeing ultrasounds doesn't change abortion plans->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "I'm remaining anonymous because of the reactions this article is boud to cause, but Reuters is reporting that "Nearly 99 percent of women went ahead with an abortion after voluntarily viewing an ultrasound image of the fetus beforehand, according to a large new U.S. study... The researchers reviewed medical records from 15,575 visits at 19 Planned Parenthood clinics in Los Angeles during 2011."

Let the flame wars begin..."

Link to Original Source

+ - China's hypersonic program has left everyone aghast. It shouldn't have.->

Submitted by Lasrick
Lasrick (2629253) writes "The Chinese hypersonic missile delivery program has left everyone astonished and wringing their hands. It shouldn't have. As Marco Fey points out: ' it was the US itself that started the race towards Prompt Global Strike capability. Since 2003, the US Air Force, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, and the US Army have worked on developing hypersonic delivery vehicles. Three tests have been conducted so far, at least one of them counting as a success. Hypersonic strike capability comes with a number of strategic implications as its aim is to allow targeting almost every spot on Earth within one hour. The US surprise over China following suit in developing and testing such a system is naïve at best.' Great read."
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