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Comment: Re:A SIM only plan? (Score 4, Informative) 246

by OAB_X (#42708693) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Best Pay-as-You-Go Plan For Text and Voice Only?

The parent AC is mostly incorrect. The major telecoms only emphasise post-paid plans, but do have pre-paid available without the need to purchase a phone. They don't want to sell them to you however, and will only tell you about pre-paid if you visit their website or ask them specifically.

In Canada there a dozen or so MVNO's, most of whom operate on a pre-paid model in addition to the 'big three' incumbent companies. Each of the 'big three' providers (Rogers, Bell, Telus) owns one or two MVNO's. Rogers has Fido and Chatr, Bell has Virgin and Telus has Koodo. There are also several highly regional carriers (SaskTel, MTS, Lynx, TBayTel, ICE Wireless, etc.) that offer services where the 'Big 3' do not operate (Northern Quebec, Northwest Territories, Northern Ontario, etc.).

All that being said, there is only one major GSM network, the Rogers/Fido network. Thus, (until 2008/2009) only Rogers/Fido were offering pre-paid plans you could use with a GSM phone. Telus and Bell were CDMA. In the last few years Telus and Bell have built their own HSPA+ network. Now that they have a network that takes SIM cards, all three of the major players are offering inexpensive pre-paid SIM cards, with fairly expensive per-minute rates (40c/minute, unless you get a pre-paid 'plan'. Some of the plans are even 'free' if you top up frequently enough).

Further muddying the waters is the fact that most of the MVNOs don't specialise in pre-paid 'long distance' rates or pre-paid 'local' rates. Part of this is because of foreign ownership restrictions. These have been recently eased, but are still tighter than most other countries. Canada is also extremely large, with a small population. Canada is the size of Europe, with 10x fewer people. England, is approximately the same size as Southern Ontario (130,000km^2), but England has 50,000,000 people and Southern Ontario has 12,000,000. Let us not forget that a large part is because the owners of the networks don't want to give anyone a better deal than they give their own customers, at least not appreciably.

All that being said, the 'big three' all offer prepaid SIMs for $10-$20 dollars, so do most of their sub brands. The MVNOs Petro-Canada Mobility and 7-11 'Speak out' wireless are reasonably easy to find and offer prepaid services depending on where you are visiting.

Rogers Wireless - http://www.rogers.com/web/content/wireless-products/plans#,Tabset1--4
Telus Mobility - http://www.telusmobility.com/en/ON/prepaid/rate-plans.shtml
Bell Mobility - http://www.bell.ca/Mobility/Cell_phone_plans/Prepaid_plans

Big three 'sub brands' (frequently with regional restrictions ie: major cities):
Virgin Mobile - Bell Mobility - http://www.virginmobile.ca/en/plans/prepaid-talktext-plans.html?itcid=NAV:58
Koodo - Telus Mobility - http://koodomobile.com/en/on/plansandboosters.shtml
Fido - Rogers Wireless - http://www.fido.ca/web/page/portal/Fido/PrepaidPlans?forwardTo=prepaidPlans
Chatr - Rogers Wireless - http://www.chatrwireless.com/web/chatr.portal?_nfpb=true&_pageLabel=PlanBrowse

Regional Operators:
Sasktel - http://www.sasktel.com/personal/mobility/prepaid/index.html
MTS - http://www.mts.ca/mts/personal/wireless/mts+prepaid+wireless ... etc.

Independent MVNOs:
Petro Canada Mobility - (Rogers Network) - http://mobility.petro-canada.ca/en/features/406.aspx
7-11 Speak-Up Wireless - (Rogers Network) - http://www.speakout7eleven.ca/prepaid-cell-phone-rates
PC Telecom - (Bell Network) - http://www.pctelecom.ca/LCLOnline/rateplans_features.jsp ... etc.

As for America, there are several providers who are willing to sell you a pre-paid SIM, the easiest to find is T-Mobile. T-Mobile wants $10 per SIM and gives you $10 of credit if you buy it.

Comment: Re:What secrets do the Canadians have? Maple syrup (Score 2) 148

by OAB_X (#41620087) Attached to: Canadian Spying Case Proves Floppy Drive Isn't Dead Yet

And that could possibly be only because Broc died. He had supported Tecumseh in his bid for 'nationhood', but got himself killed in a battle. His superiors were not as grateful to the native leader as the guy who was fighting alongside them was. However, what would one generals belief do in London? It's unclear.

Comment: Re:Bullshit (Score 2) 371

by OAB_X (#41395821) Attached to: Art School's Expensive Art History Textbook Contains No Actual Art

OCAD is a very well known and respected school in Ontario. The school itself is not a scam. Having a textbook custom created by a company (Prentice Hall) is very expensive. And the economies of scale that come with a very large run for dozens of schools are not present. Especially if the photographs need to be licensed at a flat rate.

Comment: Forced? (Score 1) 371

by OAB_X (#41395771) Attached to: Art School's Expensive Art History Textbook Contains No Actual Art

Having attended University, I fail to see how someone is "forced" to buy a copy of the text. Borrowing a copy from the library, borrowing a copy from a friend, etc. are all ways to avoid being "forced" into buying a text.

Having made it through university without being "forced" to buy any texts for libral arts courses, I fail to see how the purchase of an art history text "forces" someone to actually buy the text.

That and it seems that the ebook edition has the pictures in it.

Stupid Canadian copyright law apparently (or inept publishers, there have been texts published with art pictures for a while right? Even in Canada?)

Comment: Re:Global Visual Culture From Preshistory to 1800 (Score 4, Interesting) 371

by OAB_X (#41395755) Attached to: Art School's Expensive Art History Textbook Contains No Actual Art

You can't just go into a museum and take a picture of something and have it be good enough for print. You need the proper lighting, etc, etc.

That and presumably the museum could refuse you access if you were going to take pictures for commercial purposes.

Comment: Re:Engineering was always a better bet.. (Score 1) 630

by OAB_X (#41310795) Attached to: Is a Computer Science Degree Worth Getting Anymore?

+1 for my office (embedded development, hardware and software). In the software department half are engineers, the other half are comp-sci. The differences I've seen are as follows:

Engineers:
Pros:
- Have a very strong sense how the underlying behaviour of the hardware works
- Come up with good designs, want to have changes signed off upon (all the benefits of 'engineering practices')
- Understand the differences between the general and specific solution and which to pick and in what situation
Cons:
- Not so good with some of the theoretical computer science stuff (which very specific method of IPC should be used in this specific instance), since they did not study much of it
- I have seen (anecdotally, part of this relates to workplace culture/expectations) more things that Engineers have worked on be vulnerable to shell injections and/or other exploits, more likely to 'shell out' to use some 3rd party application than use its API

Computer Scientists:
Pros:
- Good understanding of algorithmic complexity and optimisation
- The quality of their work is very good
- Understand the differences between the general and specific solution and which to pick and in what situation
Cons:
- Not so good with some of the theoretical electronics stuff (as in how do you make a circuit a pull-up, what does tri-state mean, etc. how sharp of an edge does the signal need to be) since they did not study much of it
- I have seen (anecdotally, part of this relates to workplace culture/expectations) that not quite as many things have shell injections or are 'shelled out' for.

With this all being said, the manager is an Engineer, the project lead is an Engineer and 3/4 of the team leads are Engineers (in Soviet Russia you did Engineering or Math, not Computer Science).

NB: "Engineer" in this case refers to an Engineer in the legal sense, according to American/Canadian law where the term "Engineer" is protected. Basic requirements to call yourself an Engineer are having graduated from a an accredited Engineering program and have a membership with their Professional Engineering organisation.

Comment: Re:WHO? (Score 4, Informative) 60

by OAB_X (#41237083) Attached to: ICS-CERT Warns That Infrastructure Switches Have Hard-Coded Account Holes

Cisco, D-Link, Netgear, etc. do not make (much) industrial temp (-40 to +80C, very high EMI/static discharge tolerances, etc.) networking equipment.

Garrettcom was not the only company in the industry to be caught doing the same thing (see: http://it.slashdot.org/story/12/04/25/1456210/backdoor-in-ruggedos-systems-infrastructure-military-systems-vulnerable). Not the latter one has according to the company been patched out in the latest software release.

Comment: Re:Well... Surprise! Surprise! Surprise! (Score 1) 105

by OAB_X (#41089417) Attached to: Private Key Found Embedded In Major SCADA Equipment

They fixed it. http://www.ruggedcom.com/productbulletin/ros-security-page/
A year to late yes, but it was fixed.

As far as the original vulnerability goes, that required someone to connect to the public internet a device an authentication protocol which would transmit the password in the clear (telnet, RSH). Plus, it was a L2 switch, not a router.

Maybe like many small hardware engineering companies it isn't like they don't care about security, maybe management is just bad at supporting it and QA testing it ...

Comment: Re:Do I even want to know? (Score 1) 105

by OAB_X (#41089369) Attached to: Private Key Found Embedded In Major SCADA Equipment

Easy to think of answer is that if you are required to validate a One True Config as part of an RFP process, and that the firmware installed on all devices must be 'identical' and come with SSL out of the box, that you need to pre-program all devices with the same key.

Should you be able to change the key that mitigates the problem entirely.

"Only the hypocrite is really rotten to the core." -- Hannah Arendt.

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