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Comment: Re:Dial up can still access gmail (Score 1) 333

We've never been to Asia. I've been thinking about going on vacation abroad with them. In your opinion, is Baekdu Mountain worth the trip? They always go to Florida, I would expect them to be bored by now. Maybe I can convince them to go elsewhere... but I don't think they are big fans of mountains.

Comment: Re:Dial up can still access gmail (Score 1) 333

Wow, thanks. Saving that page now. I'm feeling tempted to send them an autorun.reg attachment. I'll try it in my computer first, though. (Also, I didn't realize how braindead window's autorun "feature" is. I really hope gnome/kde devs don't want to imitate that).

Actually, if I can send them a .reg file by email, I could try to add a few more things (like showing extensions). I wonder if I can also send them some kind of group policy update to prevent their do-gooder friends from re-enabling the extension hiding "feature". In any case, thanks!

Comment: Re:$1.1 Trillion over 54 years... (Score 1) 535

by isilrion (#47942077) Attached to: Cuba Calculates Cost of 54yr US Embargo At $1.1 Trillion

enter as a tourist while (not so) secretly being an american agent [Status as an American Agent is determined by the American government, and is therefore something "the US decided to do"]

No, it isn't, unless your claim is that Gross was a slave of the US government. He had a choice. He chose to accept several millions in exchange for the risk. And now he is paying for his choice.

If your conclusion that Cuba clearly had jurisdiction for every charge you mention was in any way valid, don't you think you could come up with a single example of a non-citizen being sent to prison for years for being a foreign agent?

How other countries choose to deal with the threats is irrelevant to what makes sense for Cuba to do, and ignoring the particular context of Cuba's actions is naive at best. Most, if not all of those you claim to have been released, have been released after negotiations have taken place, not unconditionally. Every single case that ended with an agent swap necessarily serves as the example you ask for (the agents arrested by the first country are held until the second country has something to offer in return). So far, that's also the case with Gross, only that, because the US refuses to negotiate, the negotiations have not yet taken place.

Also, Vilyam Genrikhovich Fisher, russian agent captured by the US, tried, convicted, sentenced to 30 years, served several years in prison before he was exchanged. Yu Xin Kang, Chinese, convicted by the US to 18 months. I suppose that now you are going to move the goalposts and demand some other conditions. It will be very easy to demand a condition that I cannot satisfy, after all, non-citizens don't make very good spies, and it is even rarer for a country to outright refuse to negotiate for the release of their agents. I'm curious to see what new demands you come up with.

Comment: Re:It doesn't make sense (Score 1) 333

by isilrion (#47936143) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Remote Support For Disconnected, Computer-Illiterate Relatives

That is an enlightened reply. I appreciate the time you took in writing it. You made me realize a few issues I had forgotten in the original post that makes part of this unworkable (they wont accept having to be at home to check the email, they usually dial-up from other places, I had forgotten about that). You are correct that from their perspective, everything is working (when something fails, e.g., they manage to erase a password or delete/reorder an icon, they blame it to the "computer being old"). I readily forget that... I must not.

Comment: Re:It doesn't make sense (Score 2) 333

by isilrion (#47934107) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Remote Support For Disconnected, Computer-Illiterate Relatives

Hmm, so you are saying it is not really an ISP. It is only an email provider. And so we are not really talking about something like a 3rd world country, it is not so much a matter of infrastructure but of control (Cuba perhaps?).

Correct (with some nuances irrelevant for the situation being discussed). I'd rather avoid satellite solutions, just to ensure that I (and my family) stay entirely within the law. I used that email service for years and that ISP was pretty decent (given the restrictions). If you are savvy enough, you can do with those 15Mb much more than what one would expect. The breakdown is just the combination of my family being "not savvy" with the restrictions. If they had TCP conectivity but were illiterate, I could try to leave the some "backdoor" (vnc, ssh, remote desktop, whatever) and coordinate with them to "fix" their issues. Most of the issues, btw, are "the [ISP name] went away", meaning "I deleted or moved the desktop icon". I have done that with relatives not in Cuba. Or, if they lacked a TCP connection but were savvy, I could just communicate with them and tell them what to fix.

This slashdot topic was a long shot. I had some ideas in mind, most too complex / brittle to be worth implementing and I wanted a opinions from a savvy crowd. I should have asked years ago! There was a suggestion of a Wifi-dial-up modem combo device + a tablet that I hadn't thought of, and while it doesn't cover all my "requirements", it may be a sufficient improvement over the current situation to be worth trying. In any case... I have almost a year to think about it and prepare, and now that I was given some ideas worthy of consideration, I'm grateful. I hope at least one comes to fruition.

Comment: Re:It doesn't make sense (Score 1) 333

by isilrion (#47933857) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Remote Support For Disconnected, Computer-Illiterate Relatives
Sigh. Original poster here. I'm not trolling. There are many viruses that transmit via email attachment (click_here_for_a_pretty_photo.exe) and USB drives. I am not the only person they comunicate with. As to where the nigerian/spammers got their email, it has leaked over the years.

Comment: Re:Standard remote access (Score 1) 333

by isilrion (#47933771) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Remote Support For Disconnected, Computer-Illiterate Relatives

There's no other service provider?

Kind of. That's the only service provider they have access to. Over there, there are no ISPs offering services to the public. Your employer is your ISP (if you have one at all): they buy a bunch of modems and phone lines to give access to their employees. They typically had so little bandwidth that they are forced to restrict access. There are some "cybercafes" with high prices, long lines, and that I doubt will offer better service than dial-up (for what I've read, you are not even allowed to download your messages to a usb drive). Their employer is considered to be one of the "best" providers, go figure.

Comment: Re:Dial up can still access gmail (Score 2) 333

by isilrion (#47933721) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Remote Support For Disconnected, Computer-Illiterate Relatives

Oh, I remember that. I thought they had implemented something better. Yep, over there, you give up long before the "Hi! You're a second class citizen" message. I recall that I used some python module that crawled gmail when it was really bad, and that there was some 3rd party "gmail lite" website that creeped me out but people used it nonetheless.

Apparently /. doesn't let me post too frequently. I've got pretty interesting suggestions in this thread, I won't be able to thank them all or clarify their questions. In case I can't and they come back and read /this/ response: Gmail is not an option. It would be ideal (imap or pop3), but everything beyond their local email servers is firewalled. They can browse a handful of sites via a squid proxy server in their network, but gmail (or any other competing "open" email provider) isn't among them.

Comment: Re:$1.1 Trillion over 54 years... (Score 1) 535

by isilrion (#47933663) Attached to: Cuba Calculates Cost of 54yr US Embargo At $1.1 Trillion
I had prepared a huge reply, going over all your "arguments" and straw-man accusations, and then I realized it didn't make sense to continue. You have to be trolling me:

So Cuba, by charging this guy, claimed jurisdiction over what foreign governments could decide to do;

For crying out loud, no, they didn't claim jurisdiction over what the US decided to do. They claimed jurisdiction over what Gross decided to do in Cuba, which was to enter as a tourist while (not so) secretly being an american agent acting on plans to overthrow/destabilize the government. It seems you are incapable of comprehending that. That is not a mere opinion, that is fact. All parts of that sentence are factually true, not even you deny it, yet you refuse to accept that it is true. I have had to state this in (nearly?) every post I've replied, and you still won't acknowledge what the charge was. If you are not willing to acknowledge even factually true statements, it is stupid on my part to even try to argue the rest of your points. If you have evidence that he wasn't in Cuba when he was arrested, or that he wasn't acting as an american agent, or that his actions weren't meant to destabilize the goverment, go ahead and present them, preferably to Gross' lawyer.

Comment: Re:Missing Information (Score 4, Informative) 333

by isilrion (#47933289) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Remote Support For Disconnected, Computer-Illiterate Relatives
Oh, good point. I wish I could edit the original post. They use POP3 + SMTP. The ISP runs a Horde+IMP webmail server, but it is a used only as a last resort (too complicated/slow/expensive over dialup). They do need persistent storage, those 15 Mb fill up very quickly. CDs/CD drives last long enough, I'll look into that live-cd solution. I hadn't thought of it. And unfortunately... yes, I'm serious.

Comment: Re:Chromebook (Score 1) 333

by isilrion (#47933253) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Remote Support For Disconnected, Computer-Illiterate Relatives

On another note: where do they live that they don't have access to slightly higher-speed 3G internet? I've travelled through third world countries, and cell-phone-internet seems to be almost omnipresent in some form or another.

The cellphone provider there (only one, uggh) just recently began selling email access (just to their own pop servers), over 2G, I think, at about $1/Mb. No mobile internet. Roaming from another provider can cost up to $20/Mb. That's why I'm focusing on working with what they have.

Comment: Re:Sorry (Score 1) 333

by isilrion (#47933207) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Remote Support For Disconnected, Computer-Illiterate Relatives
Is there a way to plug a dial-up modem to an ipad? I've thought about getting them a wifi router connected to a usb modem (is that even possible?) and somehow giving them a way to dial out, but that seems even harder. Still, if you know of a system for that (e.g., if openwrt has usb modem + ppp support), I'll look into it. At this point, no idea is a bad idea!

Comment: Re:Dial up can still access gmail (Score 2) 333

by isilrion (#47933129) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Remote Support For Disconnected, Computer-Illiterate Relatives

My really question is this. How do they get viruses? most viruses require a constant high speed connection. without it the virus itself can't do much.

There are two main ways: email attachments and USB drives. Almost every USB drive in that I've seen in that country has an Autorun.inf that installs one virus or another (sneakernet: usb drives are the main form of data transmission over there). I disable autorun every visit... but either I'm doing it wrong, or the "techs" they hire enable it again.

"Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain." -- Karl, as he stepped behind the computer to reboot it, during a FAT

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