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Comment: One change (Score 1) 294

by Dynamoo (#46778151) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: System Administrator Vs Change Advisory Board
A whole bunch of OS patches = One change
Replacing a server = One change
Reconfiguring some shared folders = One change
Replacing a whole bunch of printers = One change

There are a couple of advantages with a change process like this.. the first one is collective responsibility, so the poor sysadmin can pass at least some of the blame back to the CAB if it goes wrong. And then also there's the point that other people might have a legitimate input into the process, especially if there are things happening in the business on the same day as the proposed change that IT doesn't know about.

Comment: Space Opera (Score 1) 67

by Dynamoo (#46641159) Attached to: Interviews: J. Michael Straczynski Answers Your Questions
I hate to call B5 "Space Opera" because it was fragging awesome and one of the best shows ever.. but there seems to be no Space Opera at all on TV anymore since Stargate and Galactica ended. Except perhaps for the odd episode of Dr Who I guess, but otherwise.. nothing. Unless I've missed something.

I was brought up on Star Trek. Surely someone out there in TV land must have the means of brining a decently plotted and good looking Space Opera back to our screens?

Comment: Back up your data! (Score 4, Informative) 860

by Dynamoo (#46408561) Attached to: Microsoft's Attempt To Convert Users From Windows XP Backfires
I did the Windows XP to Windows 8.1 upgrade on my four-year-old Dell workstation. It works pretty well, and supports a range of really ancient applications either natively or through compatibility mode. I've only found one thing that would not run at all, and that dated from the late 1980s!

But there's a gotcha.. I upgrade to 8.1 via Windows 8. The first step from Windows XP to 8 ran pretty smoothly, all of my data from the XP installation was moved to a folder called windows.old where it could be recovered from by someone with a basic understanding of PCs. All well and good, but the obvious next step was to upgrade to Windows 8.1.. a bit trickier as you can't do that without installing KB2871389 first (either through Windows Update or manually). The Windows 8.1 download is enormous, 3GB+ but it installs smoothly enough.

The catch? Well, upgrading from Windows XP to Windows 8 creates the windows.old folder with the old data in. Upgrading from Windows 8 to Windows 8.1 DELETES that folder and creates a new one with the old Windows 8 settings.. obliterating your original data from the Windows XP installation.

Well, that wasn't a problem for me as I'd backed up everything onto another drive which I unplugged to be on the safe side. But it wasn't what I was expecting to happen *at all*.. and you can see that a less paranoid customer (or one without a suitable backup disk) could well lose everything if going from XP to 8 to 8.1. And I do notice that there doesn't seem to be a Windows 8.1 Upgrade version available anywhere, so this is the path that a lot of people would take..

Comment: Re:missing the point (Score 1) 90

by Dynamoo (#45992135) Attached to: Google Announces Smart Contact Lens Project For Diabetics
Too right. A box of testing strips for my glucose monitor is £25 for 50 (about $40). Lancets are a lot cheaper, but combined it costs 60p ($1) every time I give myself a blood test.. and that's assuming I can do it first time. OK, I don't have to pay for those (I'm in the UK and the NHS pays) but *somebody* has to pay and GPs are increasingly reluctant to renew prescriptions for patients such as myself who are not on insulin.

Comment: Delays killed BlackBerry (Score 4, Interesting) 278

by Dynamoo (#44996515) Attached to: How BlackBerry Blew It
The critical thing that killed BlackBerry was the huge delays in getting anything done. As the article points out, they spent a whole year arguing about their BB10 devices while competitors were eating there lunch, and when they finally got to market it was TWO YEARS too late. They'd been in a dead end for years with no strategy to get out of it.. and when they finally did the smart thing and bought QNX it took *forever* to get a decent working product out.

And if it wasn't late.. it wasn't finished properly. Like the Storm. And then the PlayBook was both late *and* not finished properly.

Nokia found itself in the same dead end, but at least it had some sort of strategy when it jumped off the infamous "burning platform". I think that Apple is at risk of the same pitfalls.. they are a much more defensive, conservative company than they were six years ago. The only people who really seem to have a clue are Samsung, and they've got all the appeal of the Borg collective as far as I'm concerned..

Comment: Re:The NSA controlled the servers (Score 1) 292

by Dynamoo (#44850383) Attached to: FBI Admits It Controlled Tor Servers Behind Mass Malware Attack

So it's not clear if those addresses belong to the FBI, the CIA, NSA, or anyone else.

Is this even "legal" on the Internet? Perhaps those IP addresses should be reclaimed and reassigned by ARIN since "nobody" is using them and IPV4 addresses are now in short (nonexistent) supply.

Correct, the IP address block ( was allocated to a Verizon Business customer probably located in the Washington DC or Virginia area. Some neighboring blocks in the same /24 included the US government, some government contractors and some private commercial businesses. Given the geographical location and nature of the customers then it is almost definitely a government agency or contractor, but there's nothing else to be gleaned. I did an analysis analysis at the time when people were screaming that it was the NSA via a private firm called SAIC.

As for "legality".. the block is allocated to Verizon who break it down into smaller chunks for customers who may or may not wish to identify themselves in the WHOIS records. It is just 8 IP addresses in any case.

Comment: I have a speed limiter.. (Score 1) 732

by Dynamoo (#44733237) Attached to: EU Proposes To Fit Cars With Speed Limiters
I have a speed limiter. In fact, a lot of people have speed limiters.. but a surprising number of people don't know it. What am I talking about? Well, if you own a Citroen, Peugeot, Renault, Mercedes, late model Ford or very recent Opel or Vauxhall (plus some others) with cruise control, then you have a user-adjustable speed limiter built in already.

Going into a 30 mph zone? Set the speed limiter for 30.. then you can watch the road, not your speedometer. 50 mph average speed cameras? No problem.. set the speed limiter to 50 and you won't go any faster. Going down a motorway in France? Set it to 80 mph. Taking it on a track? Leave it switched off. Bloody marvellous.. all cars with cruise control should have it fitted. But a surprising number of people who DO have it fitted don't know how to use it.

Comment: Re:The author is lying (Score 2) 105

by Dynamoo (#44432431) Attached to: Ad Networks Lay Path To Million-Strong Browser Botnet
The assertion that ad networks do not check code is certainly untrue overall. But some networks check code more closely than others, and the bad guys use all sorts of techniques to evade detection (geotargetting, for example, or changing the behaviour of the ad when it is being examined on the ad network's own IP range). The lengths some bad actors go to are impressive, and be in no doubt that there is a state of war between most ad networks and the bad guys.

However, it is true that certain ad networks do very minimal checking or even seem to be in league with malware pushers. But publishers soon drop ad networks like this and they end up being relegated to the scummy tier of publishers only.

Oh.. it's hardly new anyway. Here's a report from 2004.

"A mind is a terrible thing to have leaking out your ears." -- The League of Sadistic Telepaths