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Comment: LOPSA/LISA Code of Ethics (Score 5, Informative) 246

by David E. Smith (#47589949) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: IT Personnel As Ostriches?

Read the System Administrators' Code of Ethics and take it to heart. Even if your job title doesn't include the words "system" or "administrator."

It's actually pretty easy to ignore the content of an email if you're focused on the email delivery process (mail server logs, the headers of forged/spam mails, things like that). Similarly, if you're doing FTP hosting or file drops for customers, you rarely need to dig into the content of the files themselves to troubleshoot upload/download problems. There are rarely reasons to dig into the content of whatever you're working on. It does come up, if (for instance) some piece of email has wacky malformed content that keep crashing the mail client, but IME those situations are uncommon.

I used to work at a mom-and-pop ISP, in a small town. Our customers included the local police and fire departments, City Hall, and most of the larger law offices and accountants' offices. Since we provided email and Web hosting (among other services), I certainly could have made some locals' lives very interesting. Hell, I had access to the email of everyone in my company, including that of the owners to whom I reported. I'll admit to having been tempted once or twice, but I'm proud to say I never abused my privilege.

Social Networks

Twitter Eyes Signatures To Kill Fake Followers 52

Posted by timothy
from the if-that-is-your-real-name dept.
mask.of.sanity writes "Researchers have developed a signature system being examined by Twitter that hold promise to cut down on the amount of fake accounts used to deliver spam and malware. The signatures were developed during a study into the semi-underground market of fake accounts and was subsequently used by Twitter to eliminate an impressive 95 percent of several million accounts identified in the research. It applied elements like account names, the timing of the account creation, and browser identifiers to identify fake accounts. The 10-month study found that the creation of fake accounts at its peak represented 60 percent of all new accounts. (Paper here.)"

Comment: Join MSDN Technet (Score 5, Informative) 293

by David E. Smith (#43928895) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Getting Exchange and SQL Experience?

Nothing beats hands-on experience, so get some on the cheap. Get an MSDN Technet subscription; for $199 a year, you'll get free personal/learning licenses of SQL Server, Exchange, and just about every other big Microsoft program. Play with them. Set them up. Try to break them, then fix them.

Comment: Fixed-wireless ISPs? (Score 1) 345

Many people assume their options are "cable," "DSL," and "cell." In a lot of places, especially more rural ones, there's a fourth option: fixed-wireless/WISP service. WISPA, a trade association for fixed-wireless ISPs (think wi-fi with bigger antennas), would be glad to point you towards a local WISP. (Disclaimers: I used to work for a WISP for several years, and the WISPA Web site is fairly US-centric.)

Television

The Sad History and (Possibly) Bright Future of TiVo 490

Posted by timothy
from the better-to-be-verbed-than-knighted dept.
gjt writes "For the couch-potato geek, one name typically comes to mind: TiVo — the company that invented the DVR, and with it, timeshifting. TiVo has been around for more than 10 years now. And TiVo fans (like myself) tend to love TiVo. Yet, despite being well-loved and despite having been around longer than the Apple iPod, TiVo comes nowhere close to the iPod/iPhone's success. Apple sells more iPod and iPhone products in a single quarter than TiVo has sold in the entire lifetime of the company. At its peak, TiVo had only 4.4 million active users — that was over three years ago. Now TiVo the number is about 2.7 million. So I wanted to find out why TiVo hasn't been more successful — especially with a seeming lack of competition on store shelves. I did some research and posted my finding about TiVo's past, present, and future. The key takeaway seems to be that TiVo is a victim of cable industry collusion, loopholes in FCC regulations, and, of course, plenty of their own mistakes."
Communications

Disaster Recovery For Haiti's Cell Phone Networks 139

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the what-the-world-needs-now dept.
spun writes "A disaster recovery team from Trilogy International Partners, LLC was among the first responders to arrive after the quake in Haiti. After seeing to the safety of their staff, they worked quickly to bring up emergency generators and restore service to the devastated country. Winners of a State Department medal for their previous work in Haiti, the company appears to be a model not only for proper disaster recovery response, but also for ethical corporate behavior. Their quick action has no doubt saved thousands of lives, but Haiti still needs our help." Keith Calder, who used to work on Slashdot ad stuff before we had big corporate owners, is now a film producer of last summer's Battle for Terra. They are giving away signed copies of the DVD to the first 100 people who make $25+ red cross donations. It would be cool to see generous Slashdot Sci-Fi fans make a difference. If you are curious or voyeuristic about the devastation, Google Maps has satellite photos.

Comment: Re:JQuery (Score 1) 153

by David E. Smith (#30727822) Attached to: Learning JQuery 1.3

Never underestimate the patience of the dial-up user. My mother refuses to move past dial-up (mostly because I've got her a free account, whereas she'd have to pay a whoppin' ten bucks a month for DSL), and does in fact watch YouTube videos. Yes, it takes two or three hours for the video to download, but it can be done apparently.

Next to that, an extra few seconds for jQuery is nothin'.

Programming

Collaborative Software For Pair Programming? 302

Posted by timothy
from the is-your-sister's-name-cynthia? dept.
DavidMatuszek writes "I will be teaching Java again this Fall. Students work in pairs, but unfortunately (after the first hour) typically not physically together. I would like to find collaborative software that is (1) dead simple to use, because that's not what the course is about, and (2) free. Google Docs would do, but students will be sharing code — plain text — not RTF or HTML or Word files. Is there such software for plain text?"

Comment: Re:Is throttling really cheaper? (Score 2, Informative) 640

by David E. Smith (#27205543) Attached to: Morality of Throttling a Local ISP?

Throttling is dirt-cheap.

I work for an ISP that's probably comparable (wireless, so each connection is slower than a cable connection, but there's more of them). If you want to roll your own stuff, a juicy PC with two network cards and some layer-7 rules should be doable for under $1000.

You can also buy one of these, and configure it to do the shaping for about $1500, if you want a sexy rackmount unit and support.

They work quite well for basically everything except encrypted BitTorrent (and I'm sure that's just a matter of time).

Felson's Law: To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism; to steal from many is research.

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