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Submission + - A Safe Place to Play (

LazyBoyWrangler writes: "Many of today's parents face a real challenge understanding what their kids are playing on the Internet. My 13 year old son is a gamer who has had trouble finding a fun, safe place to play COD4 on the Internet. So he decided to build his clan their own "playground" where they aren't tossed out by older kids, and they could make their own rules.

I helped him create a website to explain what they are doing to parents. It's worth the read — and perhaps supporting the next generation that is coming to take our jobs away. At 13 he's build both Windows and Linux-based Call of Duty servers, including web forums and all the 'bots needed to make the site fun and safe for his clan."


Submission + - Tablet App Development - Best Reference / Cookbooks?

LazyBoyWrangler writes: I'm an ancient Linux developer (well over thirty) who has been buried in developing and maintaining code for a couple of clients for the past ten years. One of these clients is asking me for development of a remote, secure tablet based application running on (most likely) Android due to client platform distribution cost (250-500 remote clients connecting via SSL-TCP/IP). I'm not discounting Apple either — I strongly recommend use of Apple platforms to my clients. I've got a long standing hatred of Windows platforms due to my costs/pain in supporting anything on them. I just can't afford the time and misery helping one more person with Windows, and the platform instability in terms of user interface/version changes drives me insane.

In the past, I've found O'Reilly books fit my learning style weil enuogh — I have a San Diego quality zoo, not a library. What resources do people recommend for a very experienced developer who has written hundreds of thousands of lines of secure communication / banking code?

Any thoughts?

Comment Re:Hunh? Dumb study. (Score 1) 816

Actually I do follow Amercian politics - as only ex-pats and people who have left the States do. My reply ignored the current crop of political idiots (nice turn of phrase by the way) and was hopefully representative of the people. The people all realized long ago that the political system was broken and pointless - one glance at any branch of the US government proves that. Since people have realized they can't expect leadership from leaders many have moved back into the driver's seat and have been guiding the next generation in the leadership void.

The only partially sensible person visible in the current GOP Hunger Games (meaning the nomination process) unfortunately drifts into periodic bouts of lunacy - which unortunately kills his chances. I'm referring to Ron Paul who has a good grasp of the fundamental economic issues which have cornered the US into a debt position it can't get out of without serious pain. Decades of abusing the great power in the hands of the Fed, printing money and abusing Reserve Currency status have brought the States to a Greece-like position. Pretty soon, the rest of the world will get royally pissed with Bernanke/Greenspan watering down the Reserve Currency, and will move the Reserve Currency outside the grasp of the Fed. When that happens, watch out! - Wall Street will be a bit player in the global economy and the tail will wag the dog.

Comment Hunh? Dumb study. (Score 1) 816

I have to wonder about these studies. Seems like they ignore the population's ability to modify their behaviour based on the events of the times in which they live. Most societies are currently realizing that the baby boomer's frat party is over, and our children will live in a different world than we were born into. By reaching this understanding, we are all actively changing how we prepare our children for the future. My parent's generation had concepts like lifelong employment, pensions and isolated economies. My generation is adapting to fragmented employment, self insuring for old age and global economic influences. My son's generation is very aware that employment prospects are grim without very focused education and preparation. Quality of life standards are redistributing globally on a daily basis. As a result of the changing world and it's impact on various societies, many of the conditions required to reach MIT's predicted disaster scenario are changing radically. Fossil fuel pricing changes are certainly real. The effect on casual motoring, inefficient vehicle purchase and the old-school cachet of driving Hummers and Escalades is visibly changing to admiration of Prius and other vehicles. At the same time, emerging economies aren't getting cheap gas, and will never go through the V-8 powered 60's and 70's that I did.

Computer predictions on a societal level are about as useful as using Excel to predict business performance. If Excel was such a good tool the whole tech market bubble would never have burst, because all the projected growth and ridiculous valuations would be true. Idiots behind analytical tools can predict any result they envision, and construct plausible worksheet scenarios to reach that goal. The real challenge is in critically questioning their assumptions and formulas - while also realzing that the world changes continually making those assumptions worthless.

Question everything. Doubt everyone. Make your own future. The timeline of our life may progress at a fixed rate, but the conditions affectting it do not. Massive influences can happen in fractions of seconds - and societies DO respond. Look at the USA - once freedom and liberties there meant something very different than they do today. 9/11 changed the whole mentality in the US in seconds. The Supreme Court just made it legal to strip search anyone for any infraction. Wasn't like that in the US I was born into in 1960.

Comment Re:The internet doesn't "route around it" (Score 1) 410

You might want to read about how DNS works - you can substitute real IP addresses in your local hosts file to allow your system to find servers where their DNS lookup is blocked by your ISP. You can read about creating an encrypted SSH tunnel to an external proxy server - so your web requests are external to your ISP. You can read about the Onion Router project - where your web access is handled outside your ISP's perview. There are lots of commercial services allowing non-technical access to this type of ISP bypass - so this is not just for folks like me. You can extrude externally localed IP addesses through a tunnel to your system, effectively placing your system ouside your ISP's control. Perhaps reading about implementing OpenDNS would be worthwhile.

Fundamentally whatever someone does on the Internet can be bypassed by someone else with equal or better knowledge. Understanding the OSI layered communication model provides a framework for analyzing what your ISP is doing. Most simple schemes for controlling the user herd are towards the top of the model - and can be bypassed pretty easily. A little more complex is port blocking, but that can be handled by changing what ports you are communicating on - or by piggybacking traffic on ports that can not be easily blocked as they are used for critical services. Content scanning can be bypassed by tunneling encryptped traffic to an external proxy - and no ISP is going to block encrypted traffic on 443 - or ecommerce won't work. No ISP is going to block 587, 993 or normal SSL/TLS ports used for mail transit. In really extreme cases you can send/receive external data inside content packets for legitimate traffic. Who knows what data you've got in an email stream? Who knows what data is lurking inside unused bits in a JPG file?

Basically, if you know enough and have someone outside the fence willing to act on your behalf, there isn't really anything that can stop you. The more complex the problem, the slower the solution - but there isn't any perfect way for ANY ISP to plug every hole. Just allowing basic, limited Internet services creates huge opportunities for exploitation.

My original post was intended to provoke people into reading and understanding more about how things work - because that understanding is the thing that used to distinguish Slashdotters from Facebookers and Twits. The world "under the hood" is way more interesting to me than sitting on the bus with someone else driving the route they choose on the schedule they set.

Comment Re:The internet doesn't "route around it" (Score 1) 410

Guess you don't have a 60" HIgh Def TV, you like watching commercials, you like public seating, you like paying $25 for oversalted greasy popcorn & a pail of carbonated chemicals. Oh yeah, and they want you to pay 13-17 dollars per butt for the priviledge of watching content on their schedule with no pause for bathroom breaks, someone kicking the chair behind you and watching through the sneeze/virus fog of 200 people.

Me? I'd rather watch at home, skip all the commercials, avoid the one-time only delivery, eat better quality food and have a cold beer with my wife. I guess we have different priorities than your Earth. What are you, a NATO shill?

Comment Re:The internet doesn't "route around it" (Score 5, Insightful) 410

Jesus, what has happened to /.?

Doesn't anyone read anymore? See "The Cathedral and the Bazaar" by ... wait for it ... Eric Raymond. Available online. Basic routing protocols DO route around damage - how about READING about RIP and BGP?

Anyone who CAN read can find ways to avoid getting coralled by their ISP, government or corporate overloards. The fun of the Internet is that the only thing obstructing your path to freedom is your own ignorance. Fight your own ignorance and you can be free. How do you think political dissidents bypass censorship?

Why do you think content overloards are still fighting their losing battle instead of thinking ways around the problem? If they had half a brain, they would embed the commericial message they are paid to present inside the content, and they would willingly release their product for cheaper (free as in beer?), wider and more long lived distribution. Charge way more to "advertisers" doing product placements to compensate for revenue lost in theatrical release. The advertisers will pony up the cash because they know their message will live forever and not have recurring payments for broadcast. Product placement advertising costs are far cheaper than traditional commercials - but they won't stay that way once Hollywood wakes up.

No one wants to pay to sit in large dark public rooms, smelling other people's offgassing while eating horrid overpriced "snacks" when they can watch great quality content at home in their media rooms. The Hollywood business model failed a long time ago.

People have already figured out the content delivery system championed by the US entertainment industry is broken. And they are routing around it. Since that horse left the barn long ago, the people relying on the revenue from it should get ahead of the problem and fix their business model. Why can't people even see and understand the events happening around them.

Comment Re:It's Been Done (Score 1) 3

OneSwarm is pretty close, except the connectivity is based on a social paradigm. I'd rather a random connection selection where members IP addresses are continually distributed in a random fashion (along with a cutlist of the missing). I realize there is a performance degradation in such a randomized pool, but I think it a necessary evil. Slow, reliable and free is better than removeable. I would be interested in further thought on how performance would scale with the size of the pool. And also what the optimum distrbution / replication of data elements would be. I'm sure that there are stats out there for the effective performance of torrrents - and corollary data for RAID5 implementations.

Submission + - Apache 2.4 Takes Direct Aim at Nginx (

darthcamaro writes: The world's most popular web server is out with a major new release today that has one key goal — deliver more performance than ever before. Improved caching, proxy modules as well as new session control are also key highlights of the release.

"We also show that as far as true performance is based — real-world performance as seen by the end-user- 2.4 is as fast, and even faster than some of the servers who may be "better" known as being "fast", like nginx," im Jagielski, ASF President and Apache HTTP Server Project Management Committee, told


Submission + - Forecast: No clouds in future, CAVU for governments, regulators and subjugation 3

LazyBoyWrangler writes: With the current collapse of public cloud storage, many great ideas and the future of the Internet are in question. In my opinion, the current simplistic implementation of cloud computing needs retooling. Currently, data is stored as a contiguous file with one access URI. This is a very vulnerable and unstable concept. A better concept would be implementing cloud data storage using a RAID/striping/torrent type facility where data is redundantly stored in multiple places without a single "killable" access point that can be attacked by governments, corporations or anyone seeking to supress the data. People joining the cloudscape randomly accept data elements that can be re-assembled into the source data stream. One or two servers go down? No problem. A data stream can be rebuilt and re-distributed across the cloudscape. The technology exists today to make an uncrackable, unregulateable, permanent cloudscape. New thinking is needed to prevent the future from being supressed and killed. Digital availability of data, the persistance of data and universal access to data is a freedom that is absolutely required. Data control must be put in the hands of the people placing the data in the cloud, not in the hands of governments and corporations.

With some thought, no one storing data could be vulnerable to takedown as there would be no fully assembled MD5-able content present. With thought an access/retrieval facility could be designed to avoid the problem of throttleable torrents and easily identifiable ports and protocols.

I know that implementation of this concept would re-energize many conflicts and legitimate issues regarding property and ownership. I do feel that to a great degree that horse left the barn a long time ago and the major detractors of a free Internet have had long enough to adapt their complaints to the new reality. It is up to the people, not the goverments or corporations to decide what the future looks like. I'd rather not have 70 year old profit/regime/whatever-motivated men in smoky rooms decide for me.

Submission + - Transparency Grenade Instantly Collects and Leaks Sensitive Data (

Zothecula writes: If you thought Wikileaks was a disruptive idea, the transparency grenade is going to blow you away. This tiny bit of hardware hidden under the shell shaped like a classic Soviet F1 hand grenade allows you to leak information from anywhere just by pulling a pin. The device is essentially a small computer with a powerful wireless antenna and a microphone. Following detonation, the grenade intercepts local network traffic and captures audio data, then makes the information immediately available online.

Submission + - DynDNS going to pay-only model ( 1

LazyBoyWrangler writes: Just noticed the "free" non-commercial service from DynDNS has been deprecated. Not my place to argue with their business model changes, but the home router infrastructure out there has been built around the promise of free dynamic DNS service. Most manufacturers only offer DynDNS as their option.

Removing the free service for non-commercial folks seems disingenuous when they are the only option for many users. I know people need to make a buck, but this seems like extortion as they are effectively the only game in town.

Comment Been here in Ottawa a long time (Score 1) 1173

Roundabouts exist here in Canada and they've been on the increase. Traffic is generally much faster during non-peak periods, but it can get stalled during peak periods if the majority of traffic is coming from one direction. Once a flow is established, it is hard for other entrances to break into the stream, as people on the circle have the right of way to entrants. In tourist areas circles give the buses a place to turn around without the usual trouble. These things really work well when not placed in a major commuter route. I'd much rather travel around in a city with circles than stop lights. And the center creates a focal place for flowers and general beautification not found in city center intersections. My suburb (Orleans) looks much nicer with the traffic lights removed and circles in their place.

Comment Re:Obvious Missing - GOLD (Score 1) 868

Money Replicator? - Actually this would be the US Federal Reserve. Since the US dollar is the global reserve currency, they can control the value of the world's holdings by printing money as they see fit. Without a tangible, auditable limited availability like gold backing the reserve currency, it all is smoke and mirrors controlled by the Fed.

SCCS, the source motel! Programs check in and never check out! -- Ken Thompson