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Comment: Re:Teenagers will do stupid things? (Score 1) 387

by JohnnyMindcrime (#46386305) Attached to: Girl's Facebook Post Costs Her Dad $80,000

I disagree.

Just because you have the right to free speech does not eliminate the need to sometimes shut the fuck up for the sake of someone else's sensibilities or because that's what an intelligent and sentient being would be able to work out is the right thing to do in the circumstances.

Nothing annoys me more than people who do not accept personal responsibility - yes, you can do pretty much what you like in this world of ours but when you do it, be prepared to face the consequences.


Comment: Re:'will cause problems...don't support ODF, (Score 1) 89

by JohnnyMindcrime (#46310609) Attached to: Microsoft Circles the Wagons To Defeat ODF In the UK

It's actually more the case that Microsoft, deliberately or not, does not publish good enough documentation that explains the .doc, .xls, .ppt, etc. formats well enough to allow developers of other office packages to build in support for those formats with 100% compatibility.

An open standard becomes one because a number of working parties, that can happily include Microsoft, agree on that standard as being best for what needs to be achieved and can also be built into any software packages as necessary.

Comment: Re:Ubuntu good for linux? (Score 1) 143

by JohnnyMindcrime (#45155231) Attached to: Ubuntu, Kubuntu 13.10 Unleashed

Agreed. And I've never had a single occasion where I've done a Windows installation where I've not had to go off and download drivers from somewhere else to get all the hardware working.

That doesn't mean it's a problem because when you've done it, everything works fine and everyone is happy - but the Windows people seem to conveniently forget these things when they accuse Linux of being difficult to install.

Comment: Re:Terrible summary (Score 1) 124

by JohnnyMindcrime (#45155003) Attached to: Researchers Show Apple Can Read iMessages

In other words all those people using Starbucks' free wifi are broadcasting their Apple ID and password to everyone else in range.

I've never owned an Apple device in my life and have no intention of ever doing so - but wrong is wrong and I have to correct you.

The passwords are encrypted over SSL and therefore anyone snooping a connection will only see gobbledigook - in no way are they broadcast in clear text.

The actual vulnerability here is that someone can, using their own constructed SSL keys, perform a man-in-the-middle attack to step into the middle of a communication - at which point they could no doubt request the password and be sent it in what would be a decryptable and readable format.

So, yes, it's a vulnerability, but whereas anyone can run sniffer traces to read packets on the wire or in the air, a man-in-the-middle attack takes a considerably higher amount of technical expertise to carry out.

Comment: Re:Terrible summary (Score 2) 124

by JohnnyMindcrime (#45154891) Attached to: Researchers Show Apple Can Read iMessages

Encryption (e.g. in SSL) actually serves two important purposes - it encrypts clear text such that it appears like rubbish to anyone taking a look, but it also acts as authentication security because it allows you to validate that the endpoint you are communicating with is who they say they are.

In SSH, for example, you can do away with passwords entirely by using private and public keys - the idea being that you encrypt with the private key and give the public key to the other endpoint, the algorithm used for both keys being such that when you decrypt with one you can only decrypt with the other. If you control the keys properly, then by virtue of being able to communicate with each other, you can pretty much confirm both endpoints are who they say they are.

In the case of this iMessage issue, yes the passwords are encrypted but the keys are not properly "pinned" (i.e. controlled) meaning that a third party can potentially intrude using their own keys - and because you have a valid communication with that third party, you've no reason to assume it's not Apple you are talking to, which probably makes it that much worse as a form of exploit.

The point is that encryption is only half the story, authentication is the other half...

Comment: Re:Ubuntu good for linux? (Score 2) 143

by JohnnyMindcrime (#45154667) Attached to: Ubuntu, Kubuntu 13.10 Unleashed

Not at all. I hardly ever recommend Linux to non-techies because I've seen the issues it often causes.

I have absolutely no problem with intelligent discussion with anyone on the pros and cons of Linux, but why do so many of the anti-Linux people make these generalised, sweeping statements about Linux without putting any meat into their points?

Precisely what issues have you seen Linux cause?

I've given a number of friends and family the opportunity to try Linux out, mainly because they themselves tell me they don't want to end up having to use Windows 8. All of them still have Windows to use, I've either done them a dual boot on their hard disk, or made them up a bootable CD or USB stick to use when they feel like it.

I get questions asking me how to do certain things or find certain things in Linux, in which case I tell them the answer or give them a bit of help to get something to work right - but none of it's an "issue" because I help them fix it.

It's just strikes me as very selfish to say "I can't recommend it to you because I haven't got the time to help you out when there's a problem" and, to be honest, you probably are best off staying away from Linux completely if that is your attitude to helping others with it.

Comment: Re:You'll pry Windows 95 from my cold dead hands! (Score 4, Insightful) 398

by JohnnyMindcrime (#45154249) Attached to: Windows 8.1 Rolls Out Today

With all respect, I agree with him. I am both Linux and Windows person with no requirement to spend valuable CPU cycles on unnecessary eye-candy simply to impress someone who happens to look over my shoulder.

GUI interfaces need to be slick, clean and uncluttered, they need to get you to where you need to be in as few mouse-clicks and key presses as possible, whilst at the same time allowing usage of both of them for navigation.

Rotating cubes, melting windows and icons that animate other than to tell you your mouse pointer is over them have no place on any computer outside of a kindergarten classroom - Windows, OS X, or Linux, I don't care, I'm not biased.

Comment: Re:Meh (Score 3) 398

by JohnnyMindcrime (#45154105) Attached to: Windows 8.1 Rolls Out Today

I don't think gaming is anywhere near the big sticking point that it used to be when it comes to choosing Linux over Windows.

Microsoft essentially killed big commercial PC gaming on Windows when they took the decision to split DirectX 9 and 10 across XP and Vista respectively. Making that decision when they did hurt the Windows games development community considerably because it fragmented game development when most people were still on XP, and was precisely the scenario DirectX was designed to avoid. It wouldn't surprise me if it was a deliberate tactic by Microsoft to drive people to X-Box for their gaming needs, but it undoubtedly had a huge negative impact on commercial PC gaming releases.

In the longer term, it's actually an extremely good thing to have happened because it's killed the stranglehold big PC games companies had on Windows games and opened the floodgates for indie developers to start making games again - not to mention the impact of Kickstarter in getting games released that, under big corporate control, would never have seen the light of day.

Steam is going to be an interesting turning point for gaming on Linux, but as some analysts are already saying, the actual turning point will likely only be if and when there's a killer game on Steam for Linux (or SteamBox or whatever it's name is) that gets people buying it in their droves.

I would argue that big applications like MS Office and Photoshop are bigger obstacles to the adoption of Linux. In reality, most MS Office and Photoshop users (who are, let's face it, probably using pirated copies anyway) would find that LibreOffice and The GIMP do everything that they need to do anyway but are just too lazy and/or scared to try something new. Sure, there are a minority of "professional" users who need the specific features in MS Office, Photoshop and other big commercial Windows applications, but they really are a tiny proportion compared to the overall userbases of them.

Comment: Re:Ubuntu 13.10 (Score 1) 398

by JohnnyMindcrime (#45153915) Attached to: Windows 8.1 Rolls Out Today

Well that and the fact that Apple made a better Unix desktop.

I would not for one minute argue that Apple made a desktop that a lot of people like as an alternative to Windows. But you're actually arguing against the whole design ethos of OS X in that's it's designed to be simple to use for people that don't know a lot about computers. Put UNIX in front of those people and they wouldn't know where to begin - so whilst I accept it has a BSD core, OS X is not UNIX, merely a derivative of UNIX, since the command-line power tools that make people use UNIX are hidden from OS X users by default.

The people I know who switched to OSX circa 2002 were Linux users, not windows.

I don't know where you get the facts to make this statement from but it's not my experience. In 2002, the penetration of Windows XP was still very low, Microsoft was still suffering with negative backlash from Windows ME and if you wanted a reasonably good desktop Linux for the time then you had a choice of Red Hat, SuSE, Debian and Slackware (with maybe one or two others). None of these had much of the slickness and ease of installation that Linux distros do now, therefore if (like me) you were using them then, then you were probably a die-hard Linux geek anyway who was still using Windows for some stuff.

I therefore believe your statement to be false - people switching to OSX in 2002 were disillusioned Windows people, not Linux people.

Okay I know that last part has gotten better, but still every time in the past decade when I've gone to try Linux on the desktop again something hasn't worked without a workaround

Again, you're contradicting yourself. I accept you like OS X more than any other OS but OS X is specifically designed to run on a very small and specific subset of hardware which is why you can only run it on Apple machines. But then you complain that you find Linux difficult to install on a laptop that contains one of possibly thousands of possible combinations of hardware?

For your information, I recently bought a Lenovo laptop on which to run Linux and all the hardware on it ran pretty much first time with little or no difficulty. In actuality, I did a lot of research first, looked at countless laptop model specs and after a couple of weeks decided that was the model that would be the best one to work out of the box with Linux, in my price range and with the power and features that I needed. And that, incidentally, is basically the same process Apple do when they choose hardware to go in their Macs - so if you had problems with your Linux laptop then, sorry, that's your fault for not doing your research and going to ask questions from people in the know, and that's why you as a consumer have a choice of going to Apple who have done that research for you up front.

When Apple moved to Intel chips, well then we could run Windows via virtualization or bootcamp allowing people like me to have 1 machine, work, and test on both OSX & Windows.

But earlier on in your posting you said "OSX is the best of all worlds" - in which case you've again contradicted yourself by stating you need the capability to run Windows on your Mac. So which is it to be then?

Comment: Re:Google WTF are you doing? (Score 0) 154

by JohnnyMindcrime (#45153625) Attached to: Google To Support Windows XP Longer Than Microsoft

No, I'm not an idiot - and the fact that you've had to resort to personal abuse just tells me I've already won this argument with you.

I'm an IT security professional who understands what makes a system insecure by virtue of what attack vectors can be used to gain access to a system, and you would be very surprised to learn that fixing vulnerabilities within an OS are only a small part of securing against those vectors being exploited - this is why good security takes a layered approach, this is why you deploy firewalls and Access Control Lists that all help to stop the wrong people getting to those vulnerabilities in the first place. It's a fact, deal with it.

Lack of common sense in a user is also an attack vector and therefore education of the user serves as mitigation to that vector - how that is or is not dealt with in the real world is irrelevant to this discussion, it exists. Period.

It borders on computer archeology.

That borders on nonsense - "computer archeology"???

Comment: Re:Not much improvement; drawbacks continue (Score 0) 398

by JohnnyMindcrime (#45153385) Attached to: Windows 8.1 Rolls Out Today

Linux isn't immune to viruses and worms.

Actually, by virtue of design, it pretty much is.

Viruses and worms spread because they can blindly copy themselves across large populations of machines running similar operating environments at high-level access privileges. Two reasons why Windows is prone to viruses is because there's a lot of backwards compatibility built into it (meaning that, in theory, you can run a Windows 3.1 program on the latest Windows 8 machine) and because most users grant log themselves in with administrator level privileges so they can automatically do what they want on their machines. Both of these are conditions allowing viruses to spread.

On Linux, it is more difficult to find a common exploit existing across large populations of Linux machines to create an environment for a virus or worm to propagate in the first place - just because a machine run Linux does not mean it has the capability to run every executable placed on it. In addition to that, Linux users don't normally log in with administrator privileges all of the time so even if a virus or worm gets onto the system, it won't have the privileges it needs to do much harm to the system or to get out onto the network to other Linux machines. In other words, a Linux virus or worm could be created but it would be pointless because it wouldn't propagate very far.

Incidentally, Linux is more prone to attacks on network services that it might be running such that someone could buffer overflow a network service and cause it to drop to a shell prompt to gain access that way. On older UNIX-like systems, that can be a problem because if the service is running with root privileges then a buffer overflow drops it to a root shell prompt where a hacker can do anything he/she wants. However, much of this risk has been mitigated in recent years because Linux distro creators have done things like installing sudo (that only gives root access to users to run commands that need it when they need it), not running network services with root privileges unless they really MUST do so, and simply turning off any services that the user isn't likely to need within a default installation.

I just wanted to clarify that - yes, Linux is not immune to being exploited, it is just very unlikely to be through viruses or worms.

Comment: Re:Not much improvement; drawbacks continue (Score 1) 398

by JohnnyMindcrime (#45153215) Attached to: Windows 8.1 Rolls Out Today

Eh, my webcam works fine in Windows 8 without extra support. I assume Android has SIM card drivers because of u no it's used for 'phones a lot.

About three months ago I bought a new Lenovo Ideapad laptop - it had Windows 8 installed, I couldn't buy it without it.

I installed Windows 7 on it, W7 didn't recognise either the Ethernet controller or WLAN controller out of the box, I plugged in an old Belkin USB Wireless dongle but it didn't recognise that either, and there were no Windows 7 drivers for the old USB dongle. So instead I downloaded the laptop drivers onto a USB stick on another PC and got them installed that way.

I finished the Windows 7 install then started the Gentoo Linux dual boot installation on it. The Gentoo installation CD didn't recognise either built in network interface either, but it did immediately recognise the old Belkin Wireless USB dongle - at which point I did the installation, booted it up with a recent Linux 3.10 kernel and it recognised all the network interfaces.

So all-in-all that's a win for Linux supporting older hardware and note that I didn't have to go off and download all the drivers for it - with the latest kernel it picked up everything.

Information is the inverse of entropy.