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Comment: Probably makes little difference (Score 1) 1

by Aryeh Goretsky (#48578409) Attached to: TSA's new security checks: absolute joke or absolute necessity?

Hello,

I suspect it will make little difference. A sophisticated terrorist could probably allow for enough room inside a laptop for a Raspberry Pi, Gumstix or similar computer module to display a convincing BIOS/UEFI boot-up message, possibly followed some kind of shut-down error due to low battery or corrupt file system. I would seriously doubt if a TSA agent would know the difference between that and, say, a legitimate boot screen for every Linux distro out there.

Frankly, I'm not sure what the advantage is to this kind of screening. After all, the January 2011 bombing at Moscow's Domodedovo airport demonstrates how effective a suisidce bombing can be inside an airport. I would imagine that a bombing at crowded TSA chokepoints would be the exact kind of target terrorists are looking for.

I would imagine that when a bomb goes off, the entire airport goes into lockdown and all of the incoming planes are redirected to alternate airports. Repeat that bombing once or twice more on the same day and you have likely paralyzed that nation's airspace and related infrastructure for several days while they try to and figure out how to respond.

Regards,

Aryeh Goretsky

Comment: Re:Read here for a more detailed perspective (Score 1) 97

by Aryeh Goretsky (#48145371) Attached to: Windows Flaw Allowed Hackers To Spy On NATO, Ukraine, Others
Hello,

The first public analysis of the malware campaign (called BlackEnergy by most researchers) was done by Arbor Networks back in October 2007, and Dell SecureWorks did a comprehensive write-up on its second generation in 2010. Additional information on this malware campaign:

Hope this is information is useful to anyone who might be concerned they have compromised hosts on their network.

Regards,

Aryeh Goretsky

Comment: Sad... this was largely addressed in Windows 8 (Score 1) 577

by Aryeh Goretsky (#48044177) Attached to: Will Windows 10 Finally Address OS Decay?
Hello,

What NetworkWorld freelancer Andy Patrizio complains about, cruft or OS decay, in the RTFA was largely addressed by Microsoft in Windows 8.

Microsoft worked in depth with silicon developers (i.e., the folks who make chips/chipsets for various things that require drivers like motherboards, videocards, network adapters and so forth) as well as software developers that used drivers (anti-malware, encryption, backup and so forth) to ensure not just that installation and removal went smoothly, but that performance was within acceptable levels, which in particular had been a problem for some of the bloatier anti-malware programs often seen pre-loaded onto consumer-targeted PCs, not just during startup and shutdown, but also during common day-to-day activities.

Since Mr. Patrizio didn't bother to use Windows 8 for any length of time, though, he didn't find out about the performance improvements, which, I suppose, is why we are commenting on his rather sad polemic.

Regards

Aryeh Goretsky

Comment: Re:I know! (Score 2) 545

by Aryeh Goretsky (#47923963) Attached to: What To Expect With Windows 9

Hello,

Driver support, which was mature under XP because of its longevity, took a hit when Microsoft released new models for Vista and was late in delivering its DDK. On the other hand, driver support in Windows 7 and up have been pretty mature. In the case of Windows 8 to 8.1, my employer was able to get away with little to minimal updates of our software, which uses filter drivers, for compatibility with the new version of the operating system. The level of compatibility had previously been rare in Windows for us.

As far as hardware goes, the difference between specifications for Windows Vista, 7, 8 and 8.1 has been pretty small. A 1 GHz CPU, 1GB RAM and some disk space were the basic minimum requirements for each, if memory serves. Don't expect it to run great on that kind of systems for all uses, though, but it will run.

And, yes, a new version of Windows usually means new features, both in terms of hardware and software. So, it's not a bad idea to try and time your hardware upgrade cycles to coincide with Windows releases if you want the latest shiny bits, which, as you noted, third-party devs are developing for.

Regards,

Aryeh Goretsky

Comment: Re:That'll teach them (Score 1) 50

by Aryeh Goretsky (#47823171) Attached to: Verizon Pays $7.4 Million To Settle FCC Privacy Investigation

Hello,

It's such a slight slap on the wrist that I doubt Verizon even felt it.

According to Wikipedia, Verizon made $120.55B in profits last year. That's a little over $330M a day.

Or about, $13.8M an hour.

So, a $7.4M fine means they paid the equivalent of 32.4 minutes of profit.

Regards,

Aryeh Goretsky

Comment: Re:How much? (Score 2, Interesting) 149

by Aryeh Goretsky (#47790219) Attached to: Dell's New Alienware Case Goes to Extremes To Prevent Overheating

Hello,

Dell didn't pay anything for it, as far as I can tell.

This is a post by MojoKid, who operates the HotHardware.Com site. I'm guessing he submitted the article to Slashdot in order to get some ad revenue from people visiting his site as a result.

I'm guessing that blocking

googletagservices.com
googleusercontent.com
tru.am

before visiting his site will make that a little more difficult.

I do not know if he is a Slashdot or a Dice Holdings, Inc., employee, but it would be nice if there was some sort of transparency statement, if that's the case.

Regards,

Aryeh Goretsky

Comment: The real reason for the secret... (Score 1) 248

Hello,

While I suspect the original reason for secrecy surrounding the No Fly List was to protect government sources and methods, my suspicion is that these days there simply is no criteria at all. Information is simply added from a variety of sources with varying degrees of quality (from high-quality covert intelligence feeds to TSA agents who simply think a person "looks like" a terrorist) and that by keeping information about the lack of controls on what goes in secret, the government uses the list as a deterrent factor to would-be terrorists.

A secondary function would be to reassure the public that air-travel is still safe, but like the much-criticized and ineffectual TSA screeners, it serves as "security theater" and not a bona-fide barrier to terroristic activity.

Regards,

Aryeh Goretsky

Comment: Patch Tuesday is not Black Tuesday (Score 2) 179

by Aryeh Goretsky (#47675615) Attached to: Microsoft Black Tuesday Patches Bring Blue Screens of Death
Hello,

I know that Slashdot loves to bash Microsoft, but calling it's monthly patching cycle "Black Tuesday" is pushing it. Black Tuesday was the name for the stock market crash that preceded the Great Depression, and for all the negativism about Microsoft, I have yet to hear of someone committing suicide over a Microsoft patch.

Frankly, using Woody "I'm a Windows victim" Leonhard as a source of information about Microsoft patches isn't a good idea, at least until he stops grinding whatever axe it is he has against Microsoft. Go read Microsoft's Security TechCenter if you want to know the patches are for, or at least blogs like ComputerWorld o ZDNet's r>Ed Bott, both of whom are more likely to put facts ahead of opinions. Even Paul Thurrott provides some good coverage, although I think he often is the opposite of Woody Leonhard, e.g.doesn't critical enough coverage.
Regards,

Aryeh Goretsky

Comment: Pretty impressive, actually⦠(Score 5, Interesting) 124

Hello,

Most people would likely get thrown off the stage at DEF CON for using it to promote their business in such a fashion. Instead, Mr. McAfee gets applause and people lining up to take photos with him.

Aside from that, the whole concept of simultaneously railing against the erosion of privacy while creating a web site that encourages people to share private information (without much information about how it will be safely secured) that is possibly libelous and may even be criminal at times is, well, going to be interesting. Especially with a FAQ which states things like " Yes, any entity can respond to a complaint. However, if the entity is not a subscriber, the response will not be featured in the official response section." and " It must not be possible for information on the site to be altered for any purpose."

It is going to be very interesting to see how this latest business venture of Mr. McAfee's turns out.

Regards,

Aryeh Goretsky

Comment: Et tu, Lenovo? (Score 1) 126

Hello,

The question going through my mind, is what does this mean for Lenovo? Lenovo acquired IBM's Personal Computing Division in 2004, and announced at the beginning of 2014 that they had reached an agreement to acquire IBM's x86 server business.

The fact that IBM chose not to partner with Lenovo for developing all these apps and services for Lenovo's Windows and Android tablets and smartphones is downright bizarre.

Regards,

Aryeh Goretsky

Comment: Comcast billed me for imaginary hardware, twice (Score 1) 401

by Aryeh Goretsky (#47463233) Attached to: Comcast Customer Service Rep Just Won't Take No For an Answer

Hello,

Completely unsurprising. Comcast billed me for imaginary hardware, twice.

I set up cable Internet service with Comcast at a vacation home with no TVs in it about two years ago, just to be able to surf the web, etc., while there. Sometime around December, 2013, Comcast apparently decided that we needed TV service and shipped a set top box to the address, where it apparently sat, covered with a light dusting of snow for months (it's a vacation home). And, of course, they billed us for TV service and a rental fee for the box for months. I got that straightened out, and a credit issued.

A couple of weeks ago, I looked at my bill from them, and, lo and behold, they have been charging me an $8.00/month modem rental fee. I bought my cable modem from Fry's for less than the $96/year that would have ended up costing me.

As far as I can tell, when they removed my non-existent TV service and took back their set top box for the imaginary TVs, they stuck on a modem lease fee.

I have finally gotten that straightened out, and, no doubt, will have some new billing failure from them in a few months for hardware or services I did not request, own or otherwise purchase from them.

Regards,

Aryeh Goretsky

"Is it really you, Fuzz, or is it Memorex, or is it radiation sickness?" -- Sonic Disruptors comics

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