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Comment Re:PFsense (Score 1) 264

Been there, done that. pfSense isn't bad, really; just the implementation has some ugly hacks under the hood that make edge cases exceptionally painful, and pf itself (the filter for which pfSense is named) isn't the best for scalability. It's probably fine for most users though -- certainly better than your typical lowest-bidder, unpatched firmware image from who-knows-where. I ran pfSense for years -- I guess about 5 -- and wrote an article about it not too long ago. Eventually moved to a low-power Atom 1U and VyOS (brand new community fork of Vyatta, which Brocade has essentially killed off). I'm very happy with the results.

...if you're familiar with the Cisco IOS CLI, Vyatta is another solution...

Vyatta/VyOS are actually a lot closer to JunOS syntax, FYI. Which is good, since recent IOS syntax makes less sense than ever.

If you're not the DIY type, there's also Ubiquiti, who has their own fork of Vyatta called EdgeOS. Ships standard on all their EdgeMAX routers.

Comment Re:Oh, the surprise. (Score 1) 800

You don't want to get blowed up, don't stand with the enemy. American citizenship has no bearing if you are actively engaged in planning WAR against the USA.

Also, don't attend any weddings, either. The trouble is that the state can just hit any random person or location they want, and come up with a justification later. Worse, this is happening in countries in which we have no formal declaration of war, which is a violation of the Geneva Convention. Violating that convention, being signed and ratified by US dignitaries, is also a violation of the US constitution.

Comment Re:It's worse than that - My boss got one! (Score 1) 134

Is there any way I can volunteer to blacklist my own site before this gets out of hand?

Yes! Simply give me your IP range, open up your firewall to the following /24, and I'll get started on that immediately.

Off topic, but is the UI of /. becoming more slow and unresponsive all the time, or is it me?

Comment Open ranges of IPs on a firewall without question? (Score 1) 134

Over my dead body. If another sysadmin or an engineer asks me to poke a single pinhole to a single IP, we have a discussion about the implications. More often than not, we can avoid that whole mentality and pull rather than push from the server in question. If I got such a request from an outside source, you can bet the scrutiny over the issue would be 10x more intense. In a situation where somebody was to fall for something like this hook, line and sinker, I'd argue such a person shouldn't have administrative access to things like corporate firewalls in the first place.

On the other hand, in my younger days I was a network engineer. I ran into more than a few networks of huge multinationals that were designed about as poorly as you could imagine. Oh they had expensive hardware, and plenty of engineers who loved to sign their correspondence with the usual alphabet soup following their name and title. But you can only explain how a static route works to a corporate network admin so many times before you start becoming cynical about the whole thing. I can easily imagine one of those guys opening up an IP range willy-nilly on a firewall, and not realizing it until long after the damage was done. You might be surprised how often this kind of thing happens.

Steps Toward a Universal Flu Vaccine 177

Plasmoid writes "The NYTimes is reporting that scientists have starting developing what could turn out to be a 'universal' flu vaccine. They created antibody proteins that can neutralize different strains of the influenza virus, including the deadly H5N1 bird flu, the virus behind the 1918 epidemic, and common seasonal strains. These new antibodies target part of the virus that is shared between different strains and thus appear to be broadly effective. However, some experts question whether a universal vaccine of this kind is even possible, since the human body has been unable to come up with an antibody solution. An article on describes the work further."

Microsoft Unveils "Elevate America" 325

nandemoari writes "In response to the current economic crisis, Microsoft Corp. has come out with a stimulus plan of their own. Their goal is to help a large group of individuals use their computers to land employment in ways other than to generate a compelling resume. The new online initiative, Elevate America, is set to equip close to 2 million people (over the next three years) with the skills needed to succeed in the field of technology."
The Media

AP Considers Making Content Require Payment 425

TechDirt is reporting that the Associated Press is poised to be the next in a long line of news organizations to completely bungle their online distribution methods by making their content require payment. While this wouldn't happen for a while due to deals with others, like Google, to distribute AP content for free, even considering this is a massive step in the wrong direction. "Also, I know we point this out every time some clueless news exec claims that users need to pay, but it's worth mentioning again: nowhere do they discuss why people should want to pay. Nowhere do they explain what extra value they're adding that will make people pay. Instead, they think that if they put up a paywall, people will magically pay -- even though the paywall itself is what takes away much of the value by making it harder for people to do what they want with the news: to spread it, to comment on it, to participate in the story. Until newspaper execs figure this out, they're only going to keep making things worse."

Gnome, KDE, LXDE, IceWM All Working On Android 194

dooberrymctavish writes "Ghostwalker over at AndroidFanatic has gone and done it again; now he's released clear and concise instructions on how to get X11 server running on your Android device. Not only that, but he has successfully gotten LXDE, and IceWM running at a pace. There is even a photo with the instructions showing the LXDE desktop running right there on the device itself. Apparently, you can also VNC straight onto the phone's new desktop from your PC."

Microsoft Asks For a Refund From Laid-Off Workers [updated] 424

An anonymous reader writes "The large print giveth, the small print taketh away. Microsoft, which recently laid off 1400 employees, is now claiming that some of those lucky schmoes were inadvertently overpaid on their severance package. A letter from the company, which was subsequently circulated on the internet, states: 'We ask that you repay the overpayment and sincerely apologize for any inconvenience to you.' Microsoft has confirmed the authenticity of the letter, but it's not known what the amounts in question are, or how many of the 1400 were affected." Update: 02/24 14:00 GMT by T : VinylRecords writes "Well, now Microsoft has recanted, saying that the situation has resulted in unfortunate amounts of bad press and public relations. 'This was a mistake on our part,' said a Microsoft spokesman in an e-mailed statement. 'We should have handled this situation in a more thoughtful manner.'"
The Media

Cory Doctorow Calls Death To Music, Movies, Print 336

An anonymous reader writes "Boing Boing editor Cory Doctorow depicts an unfortunate near-future for a handful of media industries being transformed or killed by the Internet. Predicting a large-scale transformation of the music, movie, book, and newspaper industry, Doctorow says, 'The Internet chews up media and spits them out again. Sometimes they get more robust. Sometimes they get more profitable. Sometimes they die.' While the Internet has the potential to help the dying book industry, for example, Doctorow predicts the 'imminent collapse' of the American newspaper industry because advertisers are uninterested in spending money on the remaining offline readership, such as senior citizens, who prove less valuable."

Wisconsin Passes Digital Download Tax 327

McGruber writes with news that the State of Wisconsin has passed legislation to extend sales tax to digital downloads. The new law will go into effect on October 1st. Estimates suggest that the 5% tax on "downloads of music, games, books, ring tones and other video entertainment" will bring in $6.7 million annually. "[Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle] has been fighting for the change for years. He and other state officials say it is a matter of fairness: Internet vendors shouldn't have a tax-exempt advantage over Wisconsin's brick-and-mortar retail stores." Similar legislation has been proposed in North Carolina, and we've previously discussed New York's foray into taxing sales made online in addition to downloaded purchases.
Data Storage

Optimizing Linux Systems For Solid State Disks 207

tytso writes "I've recently started exploring ways of configuring Solid State Disks (SSDs) so they work most efficiently in Linux. In particular, Intel's new 80GB X25-M, which has fallen down to a street price of around $400 and thus within my toy budget. It turns out that the Linux Storage Stack isn't set up well to align partitions and filesystems for use with SSD's, RAID systems, and 4k sector disks. There are also some interesting configuration and tuning that we need to do to avoid potential fragmentation problems with the current generation of Intel SSDs. I've figured out ways of addressing some of these issues, but it's clear that more work is needed to make this easy for mere mortals to efficiently use next generation storage devices with Linux."

A freelance is one who gets paid by the word -- per piece or perhaps. -- Robert Benchley