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Comment: Re:No home router can handle 1Gb/s (Score 1) 279

I was curious, and last night I priced out a basic "stick pfSense on me" box with reasonable quality components. With the exception of Realtek NICs instead of Intel—which might be a problem as you go past 150Mbps, Realtek NICs don't have a terribly glorious reputation—you can assemble a Mini-ITX based system with mirrored drives for $360. Intel used to make some dual-NIC "corporate workstation" boards that worked really well, especially if you ponied up for a better CPU that supported vPro, so you could do remote IPMI console. Unfortunately, Intel got out of the motherboard business.

I haven't tried any of this equipment, so it may actually suck, but here's the bill of materials I came up with for "so you want to build your own router with commodity parts". Obviously, you could go with server-grade parts or with a ready-built box of various flavors too...

  • BIOSTAR Hi-Fi B85N Mini-ITX motherboard
  • 2x4GB DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) DIMMs
  • Cooler Master Elite 110 RC-110-KKN2 case
  • COOLMAX CX-400B ATX power supply (but I'd spend a little extra on an Antec VP450 myself)
  • Intel Celeron G1840 CPU (dual core 2.8GHz Haswell)
  • Two Western Digital Blue WD2500AAKX 250GB disks

Something like that should be able to handle any reasonable real-world home network needs. RAM is pretty cheap; you could probably do fine with 4GB. SSDs are all the rage, but spinning rust is cheaper and disk speed isn't really a big factor for a router.

However, as a matter of common-sense security, I'd recommend keeping any such box limited to being a router/firewall. Sure, run DHCP and DNS services on it... perhaps OpenVPN... but resist the temptation to load it up with other services. You'll just bog down the performance and increase the potential attack surface, especially if you accidentally misconfigure the firewall.

Comment: Re:No home router can handle 1Gb/s (Score 1) 279

Indeed. I only have 150Mbps service, and yet the cable guys are constantly amazed that I can achieve that throughput (or more, they don't hard cap it) consistently. The reason is that my router is a home-built UNIX PC with two Intel NICs and the cheapest Intel Celeron processor you can buy—which is massive overkill for a home router.

Comment: Re:Combine the 2 (Score 1) 279

Also, a tool that is your best friend when installing new wall jacks that you're wiring down to the basement: There is a special drill bit that has a long (4+ foot) flexible shaft and an auger tip with a hole in it. It comes with a handhold that lets you insert it into the hole you made in the wall, twist it down, and have it bite into the base of the wall. It drills through into the basement, where you then attach the small wire basket that comes with it to the hole. Push the wire into the basket and tug to tighten it. Then, go upstairs and pull the drill back out, engaging reverse drive if needed (the basket has a swivel on it for this purpose). The wire comes with it. No additional fish tape needed. It's in the electrical-tools section of any big-box hardware store.

Comment: Re:Combine the 2 (Score 2) 279

I would add:

  • Do NOT buy your jacks at Home Depot, unless your local HD is still stocking Leviton parts. The Home Depot house brand "Commercial Electric/CETech" networking components are total crap. I have never had a jack I've punched down fail to work... until I bought the CETech parts and had all of them fail to work, or break in the process of assembling them. Leviton parts are good but expensive. I've had good luck with Shaxon parts from Amazon, but they're not quite cross-compatible with Leviton parts/faceplates.
  • Invest in a decent punchdown tool. You CAN use the little plastic tool that comes with the parts you order at Home Depot. A good punchdown tool will work much better, and lets you use bulk bags of parts that are cheaper.
  • Invest in a data cable stripper. This is a little tool that you squeeze open, slip over the Cat5 cable, and twist to cut the outer layer of insulation without nicking the wires. You CAN do this by hand with a pocketknife, but if you're wiring up a whole house, you will save so much time and aggravation that the slight cost of this tool is absolutely worth it.
  • If you find you're going to be running more than one or two wires along a particular beam, buy some commercial-style "J hooks" for data cable. You can special-order them at Home Depot. Cable staples work, but they're unwieldy for running many wires in parallel. J-hooks make expansion easy.
  • Buy plenty of Velcro. When making data cables neat, Velcro is your friend. Remember, the fuzzy side goes toward the cables; the hook side is more abrasive.
  • Label your cables. You can use a regular label maker. If you have access to a cable label maker—one that makes labels that wrap around the wire—that's even better, but they're usually really expensive. Remember that eventually someone else will own your house, use labels they'll understand: "front bedroom", not "Jane's room".
  • If you're crimping 8P8C Modular ("RJ-45") ends on your cables, invest in the little rubber strain relief boots that slide over the cable BEFORE you crimp on the end. They make for a better looking job and they protect the cable. You can get a lifetime supply bag of 'em on Amazon in your choice of colors pretty cheap.
  • Don't forget that national and local electrical codes apply to data cable wiring. Check your local codes. They usually specify things for a reason. In particular, obey what they say about running data wiring near power wiring, and about sealing up any holes you drill that go between floors with an appropriate fire retardant caulk or foam.
Google

Google Expands Safe Browsing To Block Unwanted Downloads 106

Posted by timothy
from the now-you-can-turn-off-adblock dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Google today announced it is expanding its Safe Browsing service to protect users against malware that makes unexpected changes to your computer. Google says it will show a warning in Chrome whenever an attempt is made to trick you into downloading and installing such software. In the case of malware, PUA stands for Potentially Unwanted Application, which is also sometimes called Potentially Unwanted Program or PUP. In short, the broad terms encompass any downloads that the user does not want, typically because they display popups, show ads, install toolbars in the default browser, change the homepage or the search engine, run several processes in the background that slow down the PC, and so on."

Comment: Computing is bigger than any one language! (Score 1) 637

by Frater 219 (#47616805) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: "Real" Computer Scientists vs. Modern Curriculum?

I'm no fan of Java-based curricula, for the same reason I'd be no fan of Fortran-based curricula. Computing isn't about one language. Each language and system shows you one hyperplane of a vast multidimensional space. The best programmers know lots of languages, and choose wisely among them — or even create new ones when appropriate.

In the production world, there are times where some C++ or Java code is appropriate ... and there are times when what you want is a couple of lines of shellscript and some pipes ... and there are times when the most sensible algorithm for something can't be neatly expressed in a language like C++ or Java, and really requires something like Common Lisp or Haskell. If you need to exploit multiple processors without getting bogged down in locking bullshit and race conditions, you're much better off using Go than Java.

(Just last night, at a meetup, I was talking with two bright young physicists who reported that their universities don't do a good enough job of teaching Fortran, which is the language they actually need to do their job. Scientific computing still relies heavily on Fortran, Matlab, and other languages well removed from what's trendy in the CS department — no matter if that CS department is in the Java, Haskell, or Python camp. But if you want to learn to write good Fortran, you basically need a mentor in the physics department with time to teach you.)

And there are times when the right thing to do is to create a new language, whether a domain-specific language or a new approach on general-purpose computing. There's a good reason Rob Pike came up with Sawzall, a logs-analysis DSL that compiles to arbitrarily parallel mapreduces; and then Go, a C-like systems language with a rocket engine of concurrency built in.

(And there's a good reason a lot of people adopting Go have been coming not from the C++/Java camps that the Go developers expected, but from Python and Ruby: because Go gives you the raw speed of a concurrent and native-compiled language, plus libraries designed by actual engineers, without a lot of the verbose bullshit of C++ or Java. Would I recommend Go as a first language? I'm not so sure about that ....)

What would an optimal computing curriculum look like? I have no freakin' clue. It would have to cover particular basics — variable binding, iteration, recursion, sequencing, data structures, libraries and APIs, concurrency — no matter what the language. But it can't leave its students thinking that one language is Intuitive and the other ones are Just Gratuitously Weird ... and that's too much of what I see from young programmers in industry today.

Social Networks

Hotel Charges Guests $500 For Bad Online Reviews 183

Posted by timothy
from the may-require-substantial-deposit dept.
njnnja (2833511) writes In an incredibly misguided attempt to reduce the quantity of bad reviews (such as these), the Union Street Guest House, a hotel about 2 hours outside of New York City, had instituted a policy to charge groups such as wedding parties $500 for each bad review posted online. The policy has been removed from their webpage but the wayback machine has archived the policy. "If you have booked the Inn for a wedding or other type of event anywhere in the region and given us a deposit of any kind for guests to stay at USGH there will be a $500 fine that will be deducted from your deposit for every negative review of USGH placed on any internet site by anyone in your party and/or attending your wedding or event If you stay here to attend a wedding anywhere in the area and leave us a negative review on any internet site you agree to a $500. fine for each negative review."
It's funny.  Laugh.

Homestar Runner To Return Soon 57

Posted by samzenpus
from the back-soon dept.
An anonymous reader writes with good news for everyone who loves Strong Bad.Back in April, Homestar Runner got its first content update in over four years. It was the tiniest of updates and the site went quiet again shortly thereafter, but the Internet's collective 90s kid heart still jumped for joy...The site's co-creator, Matt Chapman, popped into an episode of The Jeff Rubin Jeff Rubin Show to chat about the history of Homestar — but in the last 15 minutes or so, they get to talking about its future. The too-long-didn't-listen version: both of the brothers behind the show really really want to bring it back. The traffic they saw from their itty-bitty April update suggests people want it — but they know that may very well be a fluke. So they're taking it slow.
Software

Qualcomm Takes Down 100+ GitHub Repositories With DMCA Notice 349

Posted by Soulskill
from the we-invented-the-for-loop dept.
An anonymous reader writes Qualcomm has forced GitHub to remove over 100 repositories due to "unauthorized publication, disclosure, and copying of highly sensitive, confidential, trade secret, and copyright-protected documents." Among the repositories taken down were for CyanogenMod and Sony Xperia. The issue though is that these "highly sensitive" and "confidential" files are Linux kernel code and reference/sample code files that can be easily found elsewhere, including the Android kernel, but GitHub has complied with Qualcomm's DMCA request.

Comment: Pre (Score 1) 114

by MrLint (#47229489) Attached to: Starbuck's Wireless Charging Stations Won't Work With Most Devices

I don't really understand why nearly 5 years after the palm pre, this isn't a built in feature at this point. The market is running more and more toward unopenable, and unserviceable phones anyway. The inductor back panel for my pre was exactly the same size as the factory one.

That being said, webOS let you do things current phones cant to... :|

Comment: Half Life did it first... (Score 1) 123

by MrLint (#47173441) Attached to: Plastic Trash Forming Into "Plastiglomerate" Rocks

So HL2, came out in back in 2004 had this quote in it, from the character of Dr Breen : Are all the accomplishments of humanity fated to be nothing more than a layer of broken plastic shards thinly strewn across a fossil bed, sandwiched between the Burgess shale and an eon's worth of mud?

While certainly this is not a surprise consequence to anyone in a scientific field(s) involved. I find it somewhat ironic that the sentiment (no pun), showed up in a video game.

Android

Apple Says Many Users 'Bought an Android Phone By Mistake' 711

Posted by timothy
from the thought-it-was-a-protocol-droid dept.
mrspoonsi (2955715) writes "Apple CEO Tim Cook during his keynote said that around 130 million customers have purchased their first Apple device in the last twelve months. He states, 'Many of these customers were switchers from Android,' he said. 'They had bought an Android phone by mistake, and then had sought a better experience and a better life.' He added that almost half of those who have purchased an iPhone in China since December have switched from Android. However, it is worth noting that iPhones were not actually available in China until December, when pre-orders began, so it is unclear how much of the device's popularity there is simply down to the novelty factor, rather than a burning desire to flee from Android."

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