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Comment: Re:How much? (Score 1) 126

You know somewhere that provides reliable hosting for five servers supplying 40MB/s each for less than 5-10 bucks? I doubt that very much. For the dedicated servers I use on one of the commercial sites I mentioned, I'd be running at over $1,000 per day for that kind of traffic.

Obviously no-one running at that kind of scale is still on the same kind of hardware and pricing set up that my little site is on, but dedicated/unmetered lines aren't cheap either. In any case, you get the point: the servers aren't the problem for high traffic sites, the network bandwidth is.

Comment: Re:How much? (Score 2) 126

And ad blocking. Don't even get me started. So many ad blockers are so proud of what they do, like it's some badge of honor to block. If everyone blocked ads, many quality web sites would likely cease to exist, including Slashdot.

I suspect in reality that the best sites would continue, but there would be a lot more paywalls around, probably less editorial integrity on open sites as things like product placements and affiliate referral fees became more reliable revenue streams, and maybe over time we'd eventually get somewhere with micropayments. In some ways, moving to more "honest" funding via paywalls and/or micropayments might be a better long-term model for the people who do produce good content and run valuable sites than what we have today, though no doubt it would be a painful transition with many casualties.

The thing that makes me a little sad inside is that the aggressive, irresponsible advertisers have spoiled the model for the moderate, responsible ones. Because of the former group, I do block very aggressively when I'm browsing, and I don't feel any guilt about it because my motivations are security, privacy and performance. However, I also have no problem with people who just want to make a bit of money from running a decent site, and I wouldn't block their ads if there were a reliable way to allow those while still eliminating the rest. Unfortunately, I don't see that being possible any time soon, which is why none of the commercial sites I've ever run myself has relied on ads as a business model.

Comment: Re:How much? (Score 1) 126

A domain is around 5-10 bucks and you can get hosting for less.

Sure you can. I've run various personal or social group sites over the years that just paid a little to keep things running, without expecting any sort of income in return. For the personal sites, I do it for the satisfaction of giving something back, and sometimes starting enjoyable discussions with others who share my interests.

I also run some commercial sites, aiming at a wider audience, charging real money for signing up. This is a completely different scale of commitment in terms of hardware, connectivity, and operating costs.

If you're running a discussion forum that you share with 50 friends, sure, it can be in the first category and you can do it for peanuts and enjoy all the high quality interaction you like. But running a significant news or social networking site with thousands of participants? Not even close.

Comment: Re:Local storage (Score 1) 572

by Anonymous Brave Guy (#47788767) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Old Technology Can't You Give Up?

I use POP3, so I can have local copies of all emails.

What I'd really like with modern trends is more emphasis on "private clouds". I want to put my data on my own server on my own network, so it can be accessed from any of my devices around the house and over VPN if I'm out, but with the data always securely under my control and backed up according to my wishes.

This is easy for some formats, including plain files obviously. However, it's surprisingly awkward for stuff like e-mail, where there are plenty of relevant concepts like IMAP and mail stores and smart hosts and web mail systems, but actually setting them up in a useful combination if you're not an experienced sysadmin is quite a challenge.

Sadly, it seems even the best FOSS client software is dying out these days, often because "everyone has Google Whatever". As far as I know there hasn't yet been a lot of movement in the FOSS world towards having easily-deployable private clouds for e-mail, shared documents, and so on, which always surprises me given the implicit freedom, independence, privacy and security.

Comment: Re:Local storage (Score 1) 572

by Anonymous Brave Guy (#47788729) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Old Technology Can't You Give Up?

You might not have much recourse even if it's a commercial service you're using. Ironically, on-line back-up services are among the worst offenders. If you use one, go ahead and check its terms, and see whether any of those lovely restoration options they offer will still be there if they decide to close down on a whim. (Hint: Probably they won't, and all you'll get is maybe 48 or 72 hours to download as much as you can at the same time as every other customer they have is trying to do the same.)

If it matters, back it up on systems you control yourself. If it's private, don't upload it to anything, and encrypt the back-ups. It's really that simple. Then again, so is "make sure you back up your important files", and how many people don't do that because it's mildly inconvenient? Maybe those on-line back-up services aren't quite so bad after all...

+ - GOG Making Inroads to DRM-Free Movie Distribution

Submitted by jones_supa
jones_supa (887896) writes "Good Old Games is prepping to bring another medium into its trademark DRM-free digital distribution platform: movies! To get things rolling, the shop is already serving a couple of dozen indie films as we speak. Currently the bigger studios are waiting for someone else gnaw on the rock and prove that selling DRM-free movies works. "Their reaction was kind of funny because ... they know that DRM doesn't work because every single movie is on torrent sites or illegal places at launch or even before," Marcin Iwinski, CD Projekt RED and GOG joint-CEO reminds us. GOG plans to bring more movie titles on a weekly basis."

+ - Researchers Say Virtual Reality Time Travel Is Possible

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Much has been said about virtual reality taking viewers to different places, but a recent study takes on another dimension: time. Researchers from the University of Barcelonaput together a virtual reality experience that lets volunteers experience time travel.
According to a paper published in the journal Frontiers in Psychology, it worked. Participants felt as if they had travelled back in time and—here's the kicker—that they could change the past."

+ - Climate damage 'Irreversible' according leaked climate report 1

Submitted by SomeoneFromBelgium
SomeoneFromBelgium (3420851) writes "According to Bloomberg a leaked climate report of the IPPC speaks of 'Irreversible Damage'.
The warnings in the report are, as such, not new but the tone of voice is more urgent and more direct than ever.

It states among other things that global warming already is affecting “all continents and across the oceans,” and that “Risks from mitigation can be substantial, but they do not involve the same possibility of severe, widespread, and irreversible impacts as risks from climate change, increasing the benefits from near-term mitigation action,”"

+ - Human altruism has early roots->

Submitted by i kan reed
i kan reed (749298) writes "According to Hillary Clinton, "it takes a village to raise a child".
And new research suggests that it's exactly this attitude that created an evolutionary push towards higher cooperative functions within our species, such as language and altruism. One of the earliest evolutionary distinctions between the apes that became humans and our nearest relatives, chimpanzees, is the apparent evolution of cooperative breeding. The term cooperative breeding is defined as

the caring for infants not just by the mother, but also by other members of the family and sometimes even unrelated adults

The team's research found

a close linear correlation between the degree to which a species engages in cooperative breeding and the likelihood that members of the group would help fellow animals get the food treat.

"

Link to Original Source

Comment: NOT Netgear or HP (Score 1) 247

by Martin Spamer (#47763993) Attached to: TechCentral Scams Call Center Scammers

It is very doubtful these were Netgear or HP, the scammar lie when they call and claim to be from all sorts of Companies, I've had them claim to be Microsoft, BT and Google.

If you type practically any brand name plus the word support or help into search engines you get the adverts for these scammers at the top of the results.

Try it, it works for "HP Printer Support" and "Netgear Router Support" in Google. Moving the adverts from the right to the top of the organic search result list has just played into these scammers hands.

Comment: Re:The worrisome part (Score 1) 233

by Anonymous Brave Guy (#47760203) Attached to: California Passes Law Mandating Smartphone Kill Switch

It takes very little effort to realize that the most useful and needed excuse to shut down cell phones by the police will be to prevent citizens from recording their behavior in the absence of police body cams.

Indeed, and yet I'm dozens of posts into this discussion before you were the first person I saw even notice. :-(

This could in theory be used to prevent something like a phone triggering a bomb, though if there is a genuine threat of something like that happening, I would think that restricting or turning off transmission over the network was a much more reliable method than assuming that someone willing to blow up a bomb was also obliging enough not to mod their phone to ignore the kill switch.

Meanwhile, it has now been demonstrated beyond any doubt that video recording of police officers at work reduces both complaints of excessive force against officers and instances of violence toward officers, both of which are surely good things. It has also been demonstrated on numerous occasions that officers who did cross the line may then attempt to destroy evidence such as photographs or recordings on electronic devices held by passers by. Obviously if all it takes is accessing some centralised police system with insufficient safeguards and oversight to remotely destroy that evidence, as opposed to potentially physically confronting someone who is just an innocent third party and making their situation worse, there is less deterrent to the minority of officers who do abuse their position.

Comment: Re:Duh. (Score 1) 235

by Anonymous Brave Guy (#47700029) Attached to: Email Is Not Going Anywhere

Ah, I see. I had intended the IPS/DLP example to demonstrate both the fact that it was technically possible to MITM SSL traffic if you have control of the client and the fact that this is actually done in practice. I didn't mean to imply that routine logging was necessarily going on in any particular organisation; I don't expect that it is in most places, at least not intentionally, for all the reasons we've talked about. Apologies if that wasn't clear.

Thanks for the courteous dialogue!!

Likewise.

Comment: Re:Duh. (Score 1) 235

by Anonymous Brave Guy (#47699405) Attached to: Email Is Not Going Anywhere

You can post credentials as much as you like. I've worked in the industry, and I know who some of the big customers are. (Given your background and the nature of the discussion, I hope you'll take my word for that and understand why I'm not going to post a list similar to yours here.)

I said before but will repeat: your liability concerns are fair and valid. In fact, there is a significant side market in devices that can pick out parts of the network traffic that might be sensitive one way or another and mask out or truncate the unwanted details, and that market is driven in party by exactly the kinds of liability concerns you mentioned.

The fact remains that from a technical point of view, if corporate IT want to log your traffic and if you're working on a company machine and talking over the company network, there are tools available that will do that for them and you would never know it was happening without inside information. Everything else is down to legal issues and how much you trust your employer to behave responsibly.

I get the feeling that we would agree about the fundamental ethics of the situation anyway. This little discussion started when BitZtream argued that a good sysadmin can control "what his company does and doesn't see on company time, company equipment, and company networks". Zero__Kelvin seemed to think SSL would be a barrier to that. It is not.

Comment: Re:Duh. (Score 1) 235

by Anonymous Brave Guy (#47696923) Attached to: Email Is Not Going Anywhere

Just to be clear, I'm not talking about small companies. IME, the smaller companies I've worked with have been far less likely to do this kind of thing, because the level of trust is greater when "everyone knows everyone".

The liability issue you raise with regulated external sites is a fair point, and so are your comments about internal segregation in some contexts. However, please remember that not everywhere has the same legal rules and precedents as the US.

This whole field is rather young to make too many general claims about what is and isn't considered acceptable, particularly if an employee has been explicitly told that company equipment and networks are monitored and use may be recorded. How much employees should be explicitly warned about -- for example, whether this kind of SSL-defeating technique should be highlighted even if you're already saying you might read communications -- is something of an open question at least ethically and possibly legally as well. Heck, workplace surveillance generally is a very two-sided issue, and even where the law is relatively settled already, it can be a source of serious problems and disagreements.

But the general principle we were discussing was that sysadmins can have a lot of control about what happens on company networks, and that stands. Even if, for legal, moral or ethical reasons, an organisation chooses not to log the content of things like IM and e-mail communications, the technical tools to do so exist right now. And while you (and I, for the record) might choose to avoid working for an employer who we knew to use such monitoring, the reality is that unless you actually work in their IT department, you're never going to be able to determine reliably what is actually being done and it's all a matter of trust.

You can measure a programmer's perspective by noting his attitude on the continuing viability of FORTRAN. -- Alan Perlis

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