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Comment: Re:Crusty Hardware (Score 1) 188

by Bert64 (#48879767) Attached to: User Plea Means EISA Support Not Removed From Linux

Well you get what you pay for when buying such devices...
There are standards for printers, scanners and various other hardware. I wouldn't ever buy a printer which didn't support Postscript, and i never install the official drivers as they're often extremely bloated and probably full of ads. Sure printers which support postscript generally cost more, but they're usually higher quality, older ones are still available cheaply and the toner/ink is likely to remain available for far longer.

Comment: Re:Crusty Hardware (Score 1) 188

by Bert64 (#48879737) Attached to: User Plea Means EISA Support Not Removed From Linux

This is one of the inherent problems of being closed source, support for niche and older hardware will be lacking.
Microsoft have to break compatibility from time to time in order to progress, either due to hardware changes (64bit) or software changes (new video driver stack etc).

The problem is that with closed drivers, only the original authors of those drivers can change them and hardware manufacturers have little or no incentive to continue supporting old hardware as they want to sell you new kit. With open source drivers, all it takes is for one of the users to either update it themselves, or hire someone capable of doing so. In some cases updates aren't even necessary, eg a lot of linux drivers written for 32bit x86 compile just fine on 64bit or even other architectures like ARM.

The same is true of niche hardware, a lot of hardware was intended by the manufacturer to be connected to x86 systems but uses standard cross platform buses like pci or usb... While the number of people using linux on ppc, alpha, sparc or arm etc might be too low for the manufacturer to bother providing official support, the drivers will often just work. I used to run an alphastation on linux with all manner of pci and usb devices which were never intended to be used on alpha based hardware.

Comment: Re: No. (Score 1) 559

by Bert64 (#48843565) Attached to: Obama: Gov't Shouldn't Be Hampered By Encrypted Communications

In which case, computers which are not backdoored will start being manufactured in other countries... If there's a market demand, then someone will fulfil it.
Also each country is likely to want their own backdoor, so the terrorists will source their computers from countries which are not friendly to their enemies.
And they could always use old computers which never had hardware backdoors.

Also governments are guilty of both corruption and incompetence, if they have a backdoor then sooner or later it will leak and then law abiding citizens will suffer greatly. The terrorists won't suffer, as they will already know to avoid any government backdoored equipment. On the other hand, they may make use of the new found leaks to aid them in whatever attacks they wish to perpetrate.

As for leaks themselves, for everyone like snowden who wants to get the word out to the general public even to his own significant detriment, there will be many more unscrupulous actors who would rather make personal gains and will sell their information privately to the highest bidder. There are many well funded groups who could afford to buy such information, and it's highly likely that they already do so.

Comment: Re:No. (Score 1) 559

by Bert64 (#48843529) Attached to: Obama: Gov't Shouldn't Be Hampered By Encrypted Communications

And therein lies the fundamental flaw with such a system...
Most people aren't upset because they aren't aware of, or don't fully understand the problem.
The primary source of information for the majority of the population is mass media, media which is controlled by the incumbents who have no motive to rock the boat because their absolute worst case is sharing power with the other incumbent party.

If you don't control the media, you can't get the word out to enough people, so it doesn't matter how good your policies are nor how bad everyone else's are, even if the truth is so bad that 99% of people would vote for you if they were in full possession of the facts, you have no way to get those facts out to enough people that it would make any difference.

Comment: Re:Coffee?... (Score 3, Insightful) 70

by Bert64 (#48837637) Attached to: Andy Wolber Explores Online Word Processors' ODF Support

The PC platform also lacked any form of DRM, and is flooded with all manner of software much of which is either low quality or in many cases downright malicious, and yet the platform is very successful.

A lack of DRM or other stupid platform restrictions is overall a good thing, albeit with some side effects.

Comment: Customers? (Score 2) 111

by Bert64 (#48785995) Attached to: Nintendo Puts Business In Brazil On Hiatus

evaluate how to best serve Brazilian customers in the future.

Only they won't have any brazilian customers, they will cede the whole market to microsoft and sony... Any existing customers they did have will be angered as they're now unable to buy any games, and will end up going to a competitor and/or modding their console to play pirated games.

Comment: Re: This is not a SSL matter (Score 1) 141

by Bert64 (#48686715) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Dealing With Companies With Poor SSL Practices?

Because very few SMTP servers *require* the use of SSL. Some will use SSL if available, but fall back to plain text otherwise, and also usually not check the certificate. Many mail servers still don't enable SSL at all and plain text email is frequently sent across the internet.

Comment: Re:How much time did you waste on this? (Score 1) 141

by Bert64 (#48686709) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Dealing With Companies With Poor SSL Practices?

Not just unique passwords, also use unique email addresses (eg register your own domain and use an address which includes the site name), that way you will be able to tell if a company has a breach which results in your email address being leaked to third parties, or if they sell your address intentionally.

And a lack of easily available and valid business contact information is actually illegal in many countries...

Comment: Re:10Gbps? I'll take 100 Mbps, shit I'll even take (Score 1) 110

by Bert64 (#48671725) Attached to: US Internet Offers 10Gbps Fiber In Minneapolis

London has the same problem... Old infrastructure, nowhere to locate street cabinets and very difficult to get permission to do any work in the street coupled with relatively few residential customers. Central London is mostly business users, and given the rates these businesses pay for their offices they can afford to have dedicated fibre lines installed.

Comment: Not a magic bullet... (Score 1) 71

by Bert64 (#48659713) Attached to: JP Morgan Breach Tied To Two-Factor Authentication Slip

Two factor authentication only provides any level of protection against a specific type of attack (ie guessed/harvested user accounts), and even then is often not infallible.

In a typical organisation the normal user facing clients (eg desktop machines) may require two factor, but the underlying network protocols are still using the same authentication they always have, so while you can't go in the front door through a local workstation login you can attack other devices at the network level. People frequently consider the fact that there are usually several ways to access the same data.

Exploitation of a security vulnerability also frequently bypasses the authentication system entirely (eg arbitrary code execution via a buffer overflow).

Many two factor systems rely on a third party (eg rsa), so if that party is compromised then you are effectively back to single factor...

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