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+ - Australian Government allows rights holders to block filesharing sites->

Gumbercules!! writes: Australia's government has passed a bill allowing "rights holders" to block the IP address of servers hosting "file sharing" (by which it's safe to assume they mean torrent search engines). Aside from the sheer inefficiency of trying to spot piracy by blocking individual sites, there's also the risk that servers which house other, more legitimate sites, will be caught up in the net. Unsurprisingly, the bill does nothing to remedy the fact that Australians pay far more for access to media than other places in the World or that media is often not available or extremely delayed, here.
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Comment: Manufacturers don't understand security (Score 1) 104 104

Oh this is mindblowing. Who writes software that just asks a remote server for a file, then blindly executes that file with system privileges, but doesn't put any checks and balances in place to make sure it's really the remote server and the file is legit? It's not even HTTPS for goodness sakes (not that that would make much difference).

Samsung seems to still be a manufacturer at heart and like all manufacturers, they just don't get software security.Not even a little bit.

Comment: Welcome to Australia (Score 2) 170 170

Where if it doesn't involve a shovel and a hole in the ground, we're not interested!

We have absolutely no future proofing of our economy or concept of sustainability. Everyone is 100% focused on digging up iron ore and *nothing else matters*. If the iron ore price tanks (and it has) - we just lay people off and dig more up!

Not to be the typical IT person who only focuses on IT but I've never understood our national refusal to consider the Internet as a viable business location - it's still viewed by politicians as kind of a toy for residentials only and a place where piracy happens. We have a completely stable country, politically and geographically. We don't get tornadoes. We don't get earthquakes. We don't get wars. We have huge tracks of unused land, that has ample sunlight, low temperatures and massive amounts of wind and tide (the entire southern coastline). We could have the best datacentres in the world - and anyone who thinks there's no money in the cloud isn't paying attention. But there's zero will to even consider it because it's not about digging up rocks and paying China to smash them up for us.

Comment: Re:Wow, this *IS* old... (Score 2, Interesting) 171 171

Yeah sadly, there's heaps of them. People who connect their Windows machine to the internet by establishing the PPPoE session from the machine, for one. People who rent a VM from a cloud provider and just get a straight up Windows box with no firewall, for two. If you think there's not a lot of those, believe me, there are. We run a cloud computing company and we frequently (ok, by frequently I mean a few times a year, I suppose - but we're just one company) get requests for people to have a Windows box with no firewall (other than the Windows one) because "it gets in the way", etc.

As a service provider, I am not sure how to handle this because, technically, it's "their server". I mean, I can provide them all the advice I want but making them listen is another thing altogether.

In one case, I showed the guy that I could map a drive to his server, over the public internet and that he needed to deny all ports other than the one he needed open (443) but it's like speaking to a child. They don't understand why it's a problem and they just want what they think they want and they want it, now.

So I am not really sure how to handle this. Wherever I can, I don't give them the choice - I just enforce an upstream firewall but at the end of the day, if someone wants to pay money to own a VM and they're not (yet) causing any problems for anyone other than themselves...I can't be in business if I keep saying no to everyone. So yeah - there are plenty of Windows people out there who expose everything to the world.

Comment: Mini PC on the wall (Score 1) 253 253

I use a Zotac mini PC, mounted on the wall directly behind the TV itself. USB hub zip tied to the unit, with a 2TB 2.5" USB powered HDD, USB connection for the remote IR pickup and USB dual TV tuner. Runs Windows 8 media centre. Job done. No mess. Works perfectly. I use this model: http://www.zotac.com/products/...

Boots from off to fully functional in a few seconds (SSD OS drive). Self records series by itself, the kids can use it, the wife can use it, even the babysitter can use it. Plus it has full Windows, so I can use RDP to do work while the kids eat breakfast.

Comment: Re:Old school best school (Score 2) 1081 1081

Indonesia is about to execute a bunch of people, including two Australians, which is big news in Australia. They use the firing squad approach, and in the executions they carried out in January, using some 20 people firing at once - some with blanks and some with real, so the people never know if they really killed someone or not. Even still - the death is by no means quick., the fastest death by firing squad was six minutes. Others took far longer to bleed out or have internal organ failure.

It's especially big news in Australia at the moment because the two Australians (charge: drug trafficking in 2005) to be executed any day now are generally regarded by all as fully remorseful and fully reformed - even by the people executing them. Which begs the question - what's the point of a prison system based on reform if you just kill people even if they actually do reform? The two in question are said to be so well regarded in the prison they're in that other inmates have volunteered to stand in for them an be executed in their place.

The real pity here is that they're going to be executed not because of their crimes but because Indonesia's government wants to show its people how they can stand up to international pressure (something the majority of Indonesians want to see them do). So basically, they're going to be killed for political purposes, not because of their crime. That's no reason to execute someone.

Don't get me wrong - I'm not in favour of drug traffickers - but their "victims" all chose to take drugs, too.Compare that to someone who actively was involved in the Bali terrorist bombings a few years ago - I'm talking physically carried the actual bombs to the actual night club where 202 people were killed and many more mained - not just someone peripherally involved - and that guy has been released from prison in Indonesia already. But foreign drug traffickers? No - they get killed.

Comment: The quality of a lot of that feedback is suspect (Score 4, Interesting) 236 236

Yeah, I sent them a tonne of feedback, while I tested Windows 10 - all of it bug reports but I tried to give them as much information as possible, with each bug I found.

As you can read through other people's bug reports, I noticed 90% of them are not in anyway helpful to the developers - statements like "It deosunt prnit" (with no further information as to what didn't print and on what hardware) or "why are you so dtoopid!" --- "useful information" to that effect.

It's frustrating reading because this is a chance for users of Windows to get the best possible outcome by making their voices heard - unfortunately the vast majority of people making noise should probably have stayed silent, which only increases the chances that genuine bugs and useful feedback will be lost in all that mess.

Comment: Re:I loved his books but... (Score 1) 299 299

I'm currently forcing myself through Raising Steam at the moment. I honestly doubt Sir Terry even read this book. He may have provided a few snippets and some ideas but there's no way he wrote it, himself. It's definitely been ghost written. Characters are terribly out of character (Vetinari is just a ranting bully with no subtlety, and Moist is just... who knows?), the style is amateurish and not like any of his other works, multiple characters fly in, make a ridiculously preachy monologue, then fly out, never to be seen again (in fact, this happens dozens of times).

I'll always remember Sir Terry for his works - and Raising Steam clearly wasn't one of them.

Comment: Re:This sucks. (Score 1) 299 299

Sure does. I've read every one of his books, more than once (except Raising Steam, which I'm currently reading for the first time and, frankly, I doubt he actually wrote that one).

His books retain a re-readability that's rare and always entertaining. I always looked forward to the next one. We all knew this was coming and I'm sure it's heartbreaking for his family but for his fans, this sure is a sad day.

"May the forces of evil become confused on the way to your house." -- George Carlin