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Comment VMS' fine-grained privilege system (Score 1) 484 484

It was very easy to set up specific privileges for specific users/classes of users. I haven't seen anything else come close in 35 years in the business.

I also think VMS was the easiest system to administer, including a well thought out integrated help system that had the right answer for your question with minimal fuss.

Comment Re:Very effective, but.. (Score 1) 269 269

The mail hosting companies are particularly delinquent in not making damn sure this is done for every "" they host. If you're not a tech person, but run a small business doing something else, the ins and outs of this kind of thing is what you -should be getting- from an outsource mail service.

Comment Very effective, but.. (Score 1) 269 269

With the increasing growth of outsource email, it's getting really hard for spam detectors to distinguish between real spam, and email sent on behalf of one company by some outsourced mail/customer contact management company.

Here's the technology my ISP uses: (Disclosure: The developer is a friend-of-a-friend of long standing.)

Comment What I don't get is... (Score 1) 1067 1067

Why does the submitter suggest "zero" as the output for division by zero? How is that a better answer than 23?

I am pretty happy with the "this is a fatal error don't do it" approach, but if it has to be a number, why on earth would you pick zero? That is the least plausible outcome.

Comment Verified CallerID would help (Score 2) 193 193

I've advocated (including to my senator, Warner (D) of Virginia, a former telecom executive) that the FCC should require changes to make CallerID Verified. By this I mean that the Telco/switch has to verify the CallerID (e.g. using payment data?), and mark the CallerID information as either verified or suspect. This would not solve the problem, but would, I believe, help both consumers and Law Enforcement.

As long as spammers can forge CallerID, we won't be able to depend on CallerID to screen calls, and DoNotCall registry violations will be much harder to enforce. "Brigitte from Credit Card Services" calls usually have a City/State CallerID value, rather than the name of an individual or organization. But I get some legitimate calls (e.g. my dog's oncologist) that also show up as City/State. (I know to answer calls from Vienna, VA - at least until the Spammers start forging local CallerID values...) My former employer removed its telephone number from the CallerID information, I know if I get a call from "732" (New Jersey area code) that it's most likely one of my former co-workers.

But recently I've been getting Spam calls on my cell, usually (but not always) the CallerID says "unknown". Until this month, such calls were limited to the Land Line (and this is the single strongest argument for ditching the land line.)

Comment Re:The root cause : poor unit testing (Score 1) 130 130

ONLY if there are tests to catch the problems that exist in the earlier version!

Either (a) there was a test contemporaneous with the faulty component that wasn't run; or (b) a subsequent fault was discovered, a test for that fault is developed, and that test is subsequently associated with that component (version).

Comment Re:The root cause : poor unit testing (Score 2) 130 130

Testing is no cure for bad design or bad coding, which are the -root cause-. The specific design and code techniques to prevent vulnerabilities need to be better communicated and enforced (by open source code reviewers, as well as commercial developers).

That's not to argue testing is unimportant. But it's not the root cause of vulnerabilities, and it's not clear to me that we know how to test for a lot of vulnerabilities.

Comment Get to Tier 2 or equivalent (Score 1) 479 479

In my (limited) experience, when I've had a significant tech problem, my goal is to work with the Tier 1 guy to run quickly through his/her troubleshooting script and to get a hand-off to Tier 2, more expert support. Sometimes that's the level that can authorize on-site repairs, changes to routing tables on their end, etc. The other option, particularly if this isn't a residential/consumer account, is to talk to the sales rep. A good sales rep (not always an oxymoron!) can sometimes open doors for you from the inside.

And for what it's worth: I've had the least expensive business grade service from Cox (Northern VA) for over 10 years, and generally have been very pleased with both the reliability of the service and the support when I have had problems. The only real issue I had was "left hand not talking to right hand" when the residential cable installer was unaware of the business internet connection, and disconnected it. The second time that happened, I ran after the guy's truck, demanded he call his office to confirm I had both services (on separate contracts) and then reconnect the line. That same installer came out on a subsequent call and remembered that incident. (I was a bit distraught, since I was getting ready to leave to go to my mother's house after she had a very nasty fall, and basically said, "I don't need to be dealing with this s**t right now!")

Disobedience: The silver lining to the cloud of servitude. -- Ambrose Bierce