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Comment: Get a Bulk Contract and the provider does the work (Score 1) 257

by Cerlyn (#40207935) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Provisioning Internet For Condo Association?

While the majority of comments so far seem to presume the condo association wants to run their own ISP, there is no reason in most of the United States that they have to do so.

Just like your condo association should be able to get "bulk cable", satellite, or Uverse/FIOS/IPTV service, you can purchase bulk Internet in a similar manner. You can even combined bulk TV, Internet, and/or phone service if you want. Even satellite companies have partners who can take care of Internet service nowadays, or can use Ethernet themselves to distribute TV service to the building.

This offloads all the DMCA, etc. work to the service provider, although there are a few catches. The first is that you are paying for service to all units; if a unit owner does not pay their dues, state laws may prohibit you from cutting off service (and even if you could your contract still might require you to pay for it). The second is that most providers currently hooked to your building presume not everyone in your building is using their service; you will need to make sure they provide you enough bandwidth to cover the increased subscription rate.

The third item is that these tend to be long-term contracts; the longer you commit to, the better the potential discount tends to be. However these contracts also include clauses allowing automatic increases in rates.

I looked into this once for a condo association myself; and while a local survey suggested owners wanted such bulk contracts, when confronted with the financial costs (and our rate of non-payment) they tended not to.

+ - Frogger Synchronized to Real-Life Traffic-> 1

Submitted by Cerlyn
Cerlyn (202990) writes "In order to celebrate 30 years of Frogger, Tyler DeAngelo and his friends created a version of Frogger synchronized to actual vehicles on 5th Avenue in New York City.

Unlike a previous dangerous attempt at recreating the game, this version fits safely inside of a Frogger Arcade cabinet, and pictures and videos of the construction of the game are available as well."

Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Professional Engineer stamp is the way to go. (Score 3, Insightful) 201

by Cerlyn (#38936753) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Is Online Engineering Coursework Viewed By Employers?

Disclaimer: For mechanical engineers, I personally think that getting a PE often is a good move.

However since this is Slashdot, I would argue that for computer engineers this is not always true, or at least the easiest thing to do in the United States.

While completing college, I took and passed the Engineering-In-Training state exam for Electrical Engineering. I then worked for several years with various employers, some of which had PE's above or adjacent to me in the hierarchy; others of which did not.

The electrical engineering exam for PEs seems to be bending-over backwards to reverse the small percentage of licensed EE's relative to other disciplines. When I looked into this a year ago it was possible to take a purely computer-oriented exam without a lot of the power, electromagnetics, and other topics. The state certifying board where I currently live seemed more than willing to consider justification statements proving that work I did while not under the supervision of a PE could be credited as work experience.

At the time I also was a member the local NSPE/state society, attending meetings with lots of other PEs, and being flooded with offers of legal and civil engineer training courses.

But I never could get PE certification before my EIT expired. The catch was I could not find enough PEs that would be willing to sign of on me as a personal reference, largely because most felt uncomfortable with their knowledge about what I had done.

And since there are so many exclusions to when you can use the term "Engineer" without a PE in most states, I ran out of PEs to ask.

For Mechanical Engineers getting your PE often can be a good thing. But for Electrical Engineers and Computer Engineers especially it can be a chicken & egg problem.

Comment: The RISKS Digest covered this in 2006 (Score 1) 469

by Cerlyn (#38553650) Attached to: Ford System Will Warn, Correct Lane-Drifting Drivers

I'm surprised that I do not see a link to the RISKS article about how a motorist was trapped in a traffic circle for 14 hours yet.

The technology in the RISKS entry was a bit more advanced (lane occupation detection) than what seems to be described in this article.

(And if someone cannot it figure out from the date, the RISKS entry was an April fool's joke; but a lot of people took it seriously at the time.)

Comment: Article is about IP Address sales, not DNS/WHOIS (Score 3, Insightful) 63

by Cerlyn (#36836556) Attached to: Why Any Competing Whois Registry Model Is Doomed

I don't think many people are getting the point of this article, although I admit it is a bit confusing. While it is true that the article talks about alternative DNS systems and WHOIS; what Paul really seems concerned about is the part of the WHOIS system used to look up who is currently allowed to use a given IP address range, and is responsible for activity originating from it.

The current authorities which run this part of the WHOIS system have rules and restrictions about how and why IP address blocks on the Internet can be assigned from one party to another. Among the things cited by the article which currently are not permitted are obtaining IP address for perceived future needs when you have not already exhausted what you have, or simply buying IP addresses for no use at all speculating they can be sold for more money later.

Some parties do not like these rules, and want to establish their own system for buying and selling IP addresses which is not subject to the rules currently in place. They could kind-of do this right now, but the transfer of ownership would not be recorded in the old system.

This is potentially a bad thing, as suppose someone attacks you from IP address 1.2.3.4. And for some reason, reverse DNS on that IP address fails to work. If there is more than one system tracking ownership of who currently has the right to use this IP address, how do you find the right administrator to contact? And what if someone updated their contact information or the fact the IP block had been sold in one system, but forgot to do so in another?

Piracy

No Pirate Bay for Comcast Customers 230

Posted by timothy
from the blame-brownian-motion dept.
An anonymous reader writes with a PC World article, according to which "The Pirate Bay is unavailable for customers of Comcast, even as the torrent site remains online for other users. Problems began early Thursday morning, when several Comcast users told TorrentFreak that they were having issues with The Pirate Bay. Commenters at Techland and Engadget are confirming that they can't access the site." Right now, I'm on a Comcast connection in Pennsylvania, and get an "Ooops, could not connect" message when I try to reach The Pirate Bay.
Microsoft

+ - Microsoft to acquire Skype for $8.5 billion->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "According to BBC news "Microsoft has confirmed that it has agreed to buy internet phone service Skype. The deal will see Microsoft pay $8.5bn (£5.2bn) for Skype, making it Microsoft's largest acquisition."

What will this mean for Mac OS X and linux versions of Skype? Does this confirm the rumors that Skype is evil?"

Link to Original Source
Cellphones

FCC Requires Data-Roaming Agreements 101

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the intravenous-data-feed dept.
itwbennett writes "The FCC has voted to require data roaming agreements between carriers in a move largely targeting AT&T and Verizon, the two largest mobile carriers in the US. 'What good is [a] smartphone if it can't be used when a subscriber is roaming across the country or even across the county?' said Commissioner Michael Copps. 'Our regulations must reflect today's reality and not make artificial distinctions between voice and data telecommunications.'"

Comment: May have to do with Student Loans and Refunds (Score 4, Informative) 554

by Cerlyn (#32090306) Attached to: RFID Checks Student Attendance in Arizona

If you have any student loans, universities in the United States are required to report your last date of attendance, if you are attending at least half time or not, and other information to the National Student Loan Data System. This may be an automated way that they are trying to get information for this.

While I imagine universities are not going to rush to using the last date you showed up in class versus the current date for refund and grading (withdrawal with no grade versus withdrawal-failing/withdrawal-pass, etc.), I could easily see universities using this data in the event of a grade dispute or similar issue.

+ - Novell Board Declines Elliot's Offer

Submitted by
FlyingGuy
FlyingGuy writes "In an e-mail sent to partners and VARS ( of which I am one ), CEO Ron Hovsepian sent the the following:

Dear Valued Partner,

As you may know, on March 2nd, Elliott Associates, L.P. announced an unsolicited, conditional proposal to acquire Novell. Today we issued a press release announcing that our Board of Directors has concluded, after careful consideration, including a review of the proposal with its independent financial and legal advisors, that Elliott's proposal is inadequate and that it undervalues the Company's franchise and growth prospects.

Additionally, we announced that our Board has authorized a thorough review of various alternatives to enhance stockholder value.

Our relationship with you is extremely important to all of us at Novell, and I want to assure you that you can remain confident that we are committed to serving you as we always have. I also want to reaffirm to you that it remains business as usual at Novell, and we do not intend for there to be any changes in our relationship with you. Please do not hesitate to contact me or other members of our team at any time; we always strive to be available to provide you the best solutions for your needs.

On behalf of the Board and management team, I thank you for your ongoing commitment to Novell.

Sincerely,

Ron Hovsepian
President and CEO

"

Comment: Re:T-Mobile, UMA, and $0.10 per minute (Score 2, Interesting) 395

by Cerlyn (#30801552) Attached to: Truth Or Dare — What Is the Best US Cell Company?

A slightly clarification here:

UMA service with T-mobile is basically a way to use 802.11 access points as an alternative "cell phone tower" with T-mobile. Nothing stops you from using a UMA-capable phone with standard GSM cell phone towers (unless you tell the phone not to).

In general, T-mobile bills UMA calls *the same* as calls started on the cell phone network. So if you have a post-paid plan, UMA usage typically comes out of your normal minute bucket(s); if you are using a $0.10/minute pre-paid plan, you pay $0.10/minute (as the previous poster mentioned).

There are NO additional fees required for UMA calling versus GSM calling. Turning on 802.11 support might reduce your phone's battery life between charges though.

That said, there used to be some add-on plans which allowed unlimited UMA-initiated calls for a flat rate. But these no longer seem to be offered. In general, the future of T-Mobile's UMA service is unknown, as it is primarily Blackberry phones that tend to support it.

Comment: Cloud Computing Security Is Another Name for DRM (Score 1) 93

by Cerlyn (#30564074) Attached to: Security In the Ether

While they may sound different, the Cloud Computing security problem seems to be almost identical to any other Digital Rights Management problem. Both are concerned with only exposing what the information owner wants exposed to the underlying hardware/provider/user/etc.

It's just a question of whose "Cloud" you are trying to secure information on, and who the "user" of said information is supposed to be.

Security

+ - Credit Card Security

Submitted by facon12
facon12 (1128949) writes "I work on an IT helpdesk for a rather large corporation and I have recently discovered a rather troubling fact about how our credit card information from our customers is stored. We have an many locations around the country where customers can go to purchase our products/services and at these locations credit card data is stored for months before being purged. Beyond that the data is encrypted using a simple letter only password that wouldn't take a brute force attack very long at all to break. If this were discovered by the wrong individuals it would mean that thousands of credit card numbers could easily be stolen. The computers this data is stored on are not very secure either; they also are protected only by basic passwords and are easily accessible remotely via the internet. I want to bring this concern to my boss but I do not think it will be taken seriously. Also I am concerned about being terminated or reprimanded in some way for making accusations about the company's IT policies. I would like to demonstrate the vulnerability for the management team to show them the risk at hand but I do not believe they will give me permission to do so. I was wondering what Slashdot users would suggest I do in this case as I feel I must do something because of the number of consumers that could be harmed. Should I go to my management despite the fact that I think they won't listen, and how should I approach them? If that yields no results should I leave the issue alone or is there an authoritative body I need to report this to?"

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