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Comment: Re:This actally makes it an intersting product. (Score 1) 173

by PetiePooo (#47211367) Attached to: Alienware Swaps SteamOS For Windows

... when configured to boot straight into Steam Big Picture mode, the influence of the underlying OS is visible only in the larger game library.

... and the considerable additional maintenance requirements that go along with a full fledged operating system. Considering that Windows has required more frequent patches for security issues than Linux for the past few years, that's not a trivial distinction.


With Windows on it, this little machine can fulfill most of my needs for the living room / home and offers me a platform that i am already familiar with to play my games, (Steam supported or not), get some work done (Office etc) and watch movies.

While this is a valid point, it is a realization of this change in paradigm. With Windows 8.1, it is a regular desktop computer, not a gaming console. While that gives you the ability to do office work and more, it takes it out of the single-purpose, dedicated function, "appliance" category that consoles usually fall in.

With Linux running as essentially an embedded OS, it's likely that updates would be less frequent, smaller, and less crucial to it's overall suitability if skipped. As an example, how long has it been since you've updated your smart TV or DVR as opposed to your desktop or laptop?

Comment: Re:Wrong paradigm here (Score 1) 187

by PetiePooo (#46671873) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: User-Friendly Firewall For a Brand-New Linux User?

Ok, seems like you're trying to do things the windows way, i.e. blocking outbound connections based which application is running. Things are not done that way on Linux. Outbound connections are open and most of us are fine with it.

The Window Firewall, the original BlackIce for Windows, and AVG as well, I believe, all fall in the category of Application Firewalls, as they base their actions with knowledge of the application holding the IP connection endpoint. IPtables is a Stateful Firewall, so named because it relies solely on the connection's state, without regard to the application at the sending or receiving end of the connection.

The Application Firewall link above actually does have some suggestions about how such things can be handled on Linux using utilities others have described. Mandatory Access Control tools such as SELinux and grsecurity can allow or deny access to resources (such as the network interface) to applications, but I don't believe they have fine-grained controls for conditional access based on IPs or ports.

None of these are as easy to use as AVG for Windows is.. (This could be the new definition of "understatement!") In fact, I would like to think I know Linux quite well, have used it as a desktop and server platform for years, have written patches for kernel modules, and can configure a solid IPtables firewall ruleset from scratch, but AppArmor and SELinux still scare me...

There's a link here describing how to mark packets based on an application's uid (user). This might be a basis for controlling permissions per app, but you're talking about a very complex IPtables ruleset. Definitely not for someone only two days into their Linux journey.

Comment: Re:congrats guys and gals (Score 1) 293

Now contrast this statement from the recent "STFU" response to AT&T's shareholders. And the complete silence from Verizon, whose name was on the first round of the salvo.

At least these eight are making noise, rather than just hoping the issue fades from the public's consciousness. Here's wishing there was a telecom provider that wasn't so obviously in bed with the spooks...

Comment: Re:I don't suppose... (Score 1) 622

So are you saying that if the files had been encrypted, they wouldn't have been confiscated, all of this would not have happened?

What else precautions one should make not to become the victim of one's own government? Is leaving home allowed? Is there a list of approved websites to visit?

You are making the case that the government is a bullying criminal. And while you can and perhaps should avoid getting the attention of a hooligan/bully/criminal, the government is at least in principle there for you. And in my mind this makes the situation completely different. One shouldn't bow to bullies, but having a bullying government is worse.

And yes, of course the files should have been encrypted. I wonder if they would have detained her in that case.

If the files had been encrypted (after transcription, if needed), then this would be a case about overreaching warrants and illegal government actions, not a case about overreaching warrants, illegal government actions, and wrongful terminations, as that last item will undoubtedly be the end result of the intelligence DHS has collected on the whistle-blowers.

You are right in that she shouldn't have to protect herself and her informants from the government, but such is the imperfect world we find ourselves in while we try to dig our way out of it. She failed her informants. She should have known better than to depend on legal principle to protect her informants from the current administration.

Comment: Re:About Jeff (Score 1) 114

by PetiePooo (#44825863) Attached to: The Windows Flaw That Cracks Amazon Web Services
I did say his research skills could use some polish. And I figure one more developer that is at least semi-aware of security is a good thing. Many don't even consider the security implications of what they write.

Yes, I did enjoy it. So you didn't. To each his own.

p.s. Vitriol is no way to go through life, son.

Comment: About Jeff (Score 2) 114

by PetiePooo (#44821665) Attached to: The Windows Flaw That Cracks Amazon Web Services

Jeff Cogswell is the author of several tech books including “C++ All-In-One Desk Reference For Dummies,” “C++ Cookbook,” and “Designing Highly Useable Software.” A software engineer for over 20 years, Jeff has written extensively on many different development topics. An expert in C++ and JavaScript, he has experience starting from low-level C development on Linux, up through modern Web development in JavaScript and jQuery, PHP, and ASP.NET MVC.

Good job, Jeff! Welcome to the exciting world of security research!

I applaud you for (re)discovering these techniques on your own. Your out-of-box thinking and problem solving are to be commended, but your research skills could use some polish. Please don't let the negative comments above discourage you from exploring this rewarding field of knowledge, however I would recommend you run your findings by some existing security folks before announcing your next big discovery, lest you find you're just rehashing something else that has long been known.

Seriously; good job! I enjoyed reading how you worked your way up to your conclusions, even though I knew from the start how it would end...

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