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Comment: Re: I am mad if I cant unplug my employee hotspots (Score 4, Interesting) 117

by Antique Geekmeister (#48921397) Attached to: FCC Prohibits Blocking of Personal Wi-Fi Hotspots

> If the employees are turning on their personal hotspots and using that, you don't have a security problem.

If they connect anything that lives inside your network, at any time, or that even has a VPN connection your internal networks at any time, you have a security problem. It may be one you choose to accept as a matter of policy, but the risk is very real. Worse. Most admins simply do not have the tools are buy-in to review and monitor systems for gateways, remote console access, or network tunnels that may expose your internal network through precisely such a hotspot or modem access.

I agree that by current regulation you may not run a hotspot jammer. The FCC regulations are quite clear about this, partly because they block other cellular communications and services such as telephones and GPS. But I'm afraid I disagreee vehemently with you that their use does not constitute "a security problem".

Comment: Re: I am mad if I cant unplug my employee hotspots (Score 4, Interesting) 117

by Antique Geekmeister (#48921275) Attached to: FCC Prohibits Blocking of Personal Wi-Fi Hotspots

Just like modems on laptops or in the server room are not a security risk?

The problem is that people can, and do, connect the same device simultaneously to the hotspot or the modem and to the internal network. And then they port forward. I've certainly caught people doing this, especially among non-technical staff who try out "this cool thing they read about". I'm afraid it's often even worse among software architects who use passphrase free SSL or SSH keys "to save time", who lock their passwords to never expire, and who are very careful never to explain what they're doing to anyone else.

I've encountered far too many cases of such setups used for business critical services, unknown to anyone else, that collapse during network cleanup efforts or when the employee finally moves on.

Comment: Re:Social Networking is a mess (Score 1) 114

by Antique Geekmeister (#48901489) Attached to: Twitter Moves To Curb Instagram Links

> You seriously think the developers decided any of that?

Yes, they often do. Software developers often have to "sell" their projects at planning meetings. They can choose, and do, which features to emphasize.

> Also, there is nothing inherent in the use of javascript that affects security in any way; a site using multiple

It's complexity, and frequent use to cause the client to do anything other than a simple "pull" of content, create profound vulnerabilities.

> But you're wrong in cases where it is done right

These are increasingly rare. The Slashdot "beta" page is a wonderful example of abusively over-aggressive complexity, at the expense of legibility and usability.

> Loading and rendering only the data that needs to change is *much* faster

But this is not what is happening. It's being used to generate "churn" on the page.

Comment: Re:Obligatory reminder that an alternative exists (Score 1) 96

by Antique Geekmeister (#48900651) Attached to: OpenSSL 1.0.2 Released

Hard coded may be too strong. They're certainly the mandated defaults at installation time. Extracting them is a laborious and painful manual process, likely to be overwritten by the very next security update in most packages with most installers. Disabling them disables hosts of automated tools which rely on ordinary HTTPS, and there are certainly core software repositories which rely extensively on ordinary root authorities to verify their SSL signatures. These include Github, bitbucket, sourceforge, and many commercial sites. And they are certainly hardcoded in the sense of "these are the signature authorities used by most vendors".

Comment: Re:Social Networking is a mess (Score 1) 114

by Antique Geekmeister (#48897961) Attached to: Twitter Moves To Curb Instagram Links

> Actually, genius, "Javashit", as you call it, when used properly, is leaps and bounds better than iFrames

Neither of which is better than actually keeping the content in clean plain text format. Excess eye candy damages performance and risks security on both ends of a web connection, and also makes the content less accessible to older hardware and to people with visual difficulty or limited mobility. I'm afraid that I _do_ blame web developers, because their excess reliance on eye candy leads to things like the new Slashdot interface.

Comment: Re:Obligatory reminder that an alternative exists (Score 4, Informative) 96

by Antique Geekmeister (#48897039) Attached to: OpenSSL 1.0.2 Released

You _can_ do so, but the hardcoded reliance on the master signature authorities in nearly every popular software tool makes such efforts problematic. It's exceedingly difficult to _excise_ these master keys, or to display them as "not trusted due to federal key access", without breaking many tools.

Comment: Re:Interstellar missions... (Score 1) 210

by Antique Geekmeister (#48893585) Attached to: At Oxford, a Battery That's Lasted 175 Years -- So Far

Decades ago, Buckminster Fuller described this as a means to live forever: suspend all organic processes for increasingly long periods to re-activate for increasingly short durations. The ideas was that even as the universe approached heat death from uniform entropy, the little remaining energy could still be used to extend life perpetually.

Like many of his ideas, such as the "Fuller dome" to encase entire stars to collect all energy and provide enormous living space, it's extremely impractical, But it's a wonderful thought experiment.

Comment: Re:Oops (Score 2) 210

by Antique Geekmeister (#48893537) Attached to: At Oxford, a Battery That's Lasted 175 Years -- So Far

And _this_ is why I use things like these, wehre possible, in machine rooms and office spaces.

                          http://www.homedepot.com/b/Ele...

It protects the power plugs from being jarred and dislodged by someone poking around the back of an ill-managed server cabinet, and it can be labeled to indicate which machines or rack it currently powers. It can even be marked with the relevant fuse from the wiring closet.

                     

Comment: Re:Bullshit (Score 1) 210

by Antique Geekmeister (#48893467) Attached to: At Oxford, a Battery That's Lasted 175 Years -- So Far

> You probably could stop someone's heart with 15 mV.

Applied where, and when? Even the 'action potential' of a nerve involves a roughly 25 mV change to trigger the nerve to fire. ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A... ) Thinking about this, I realize that I was only thinking about pulses, not DC. I'm not sure if you could ruin nerves or disable them with an extended 1 mV DC, or 15 mV DC at the right place.

As near as I can tell from my limited work with machine room safety, and limited work with the results of machine room accidents and personal research, the results of electrical damage can be very confusing. Getting the current past human skin is critical to doing real damage: skin typically has about 1 MOhm impedance measured with a household voltmeter. But the paths it will take can become very strange, very quickly, depending on sweat, penetration of skin, and many other factors.

If I wished to be certain of killing someone with household voltage, personally, I'd go for the head. Where to put the electrodes gets very macabre, very quickly.

Comment: Re:Interstellar missions... (Score 2) 210

by Antique Geekmeister (#48891551) Attached to: At Oxford, a Battery That's Lasted 175 Years -- So Far

> (a) has no temperature of its own, and (b) is a wonderful insulator.

Oh, my. I'm afraid that both these assumptions are overstated. The background temperature of the universe is only a few degrees Kelvin, but the "vacuum" in near Earth orbit is considerably warmer and more dense than the universe at large. It's also a very good insulator as you state, but when exposed to sun light it has to cope with roughly 2 Watts/square inch of solar radiation. Even left to itself, in the shadow of some astronomical body, it will continue to cool from 'black body radiation', even if it is white or reflective.

The effects may be much more insulating than planetside environments, but these kinds of factors do affect space craft power supplies.

Comment: Re:Bullshit (Score 4, Informative) 210

by Antique Geekmeister (#48891523) Attached to: At Oxford, a Battery That's Lasted 175 Years -- So Far

I do believe that you're thinking of "mA", not "mV". 15 mV is even less than the trigger voltage of an ordinary nerve cell. A few mA, through the right nerves of the heart at the right moment, can _decouple_ the heart's normal pulsing rhythm, causing fibrillation. It's well worth a bit of research into how "defibrillators" work: I'm afraid I'm old enough that I have some acquaintances with implanted pacemakers to control just that sort of problem.

Comment: America is worse. (Score 5, Informative) 191

I'm afraid you need to look up his case. His employers said "stop" and ended the funding, especially of technician time and equipment. He then completed the work on his own time, out of his own salary, with equipment and materials he bought. The company did wind up owning the patent. But this is a case where the inventor did, indeed, act as a dedicated scientist and engineer, not merely as an employee under managerial direction.

Comment: Re:Hang on WTF? (Score 4, Informative) 191

> As for being the source of the innovation, there is no question that he is a brilliant scientist. But there are lots of brilliant scientists. If another had been given the same job as him there is nothing to say they wouldn't have been the one to have come up with blue leds.

Anyone who knows the field would say so. Other colors for LED's were a long sought goal at the time, and the new technologies required several genuine developments and insights. When told to stop working on it at his company, he continued the research on his own, with materials he paid for out of his own salary. His was a classic case of a dedicated scientist completing a tack considered too difficult by his superiors.

Comment: Re:I hope not (Score 1) 489

by Antique Geekmeister (#48853059) Attached to: Windows 10: Can Microsoft Get It Right This Time?

I've been professionally using, recommending, and supporting actual SMTP servers for email servers, a clean IMAP service and client for the email access. The interwoven account management very complex database storage of email in Microsoft Office have proven extremely fragile and not helpful to system automation or security. Note particularly that almost no company can run an MS Exchange server directly exposed to outside email: almost all use a commercial or in-house service to pre-filter the spam, and these are almost entirely Linux applicances.

The only compelling reasons I've seen to remain with MS Exchange ahve been legacy workflow, and the quite good calendar integration of MS Outlook with the MS Exchange server.

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