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Comment: Re:VPN? (Score 1) 122

by Phreakiture (#49353565) Attached to: Australia Passes Mandatory Data Retention Law

You could do what I have done. I am in the US, and this costs me about USD 8-9 per month on average, and I don't know what hoops you may have to jump through, but this should work in theory:

Sigh up for Amazon Web Services (AWS) and get yourself an EC2 instance. Use the AMI for OpenVPN-AS. Configure it to use TCP/443, which will make your traffic look like any other HTTPS traffic.

On the billing details, (again, this is USD, not AUD), I spent about $100 to get a three-year reservation on a t1.micro instance to run this, which includes a permanent public IP address (they call that an Elastic IP). I then get billed for about $6/month (the 8-9 figure has the $100 amortized over three years), but keep in mind that this also includes some S3 usage on my part, so in practice, it could (and probably will) be less.

Also, the first year of one server, assuming it is a t1.micro running Linux with under 10 GB of disk, is free.

I use this to keep my traffic away from the prying eyes and through the nanny-proxy of the public WiFi that I use.

Comment: Re:Restore backup images (Score 1) 167

by Phreakiture (#49347999) Attached to: NJ School District Hit With Ransomware-For-Bitcoins Scheme

Well, you don't really known when the ransomware was installed. You could have a perfectly sane backup policy, and still be left with no backup that doesn't contain the ransomware, if the criminals are patient enough for all of your backups to age out.

At the same time, they can only go back so far, because student records stored in increasingly old backups will be increasingly stale.

Comment: Re:Not new (Score 2) 296

by Phreakiture (#49294367) Attached to: To Avoid NSA Interception, Cisco Will Ship To Decoy Addresses

If the NSA does not already have access to Cisco's obfuscated address system, then they are not doing their job.

Perhaps, but I believe it is incumbent upon us as American citizens to make their job as difficult as possible. The more steps they have to take to get at our information, the better. The ultimate aim should be to make their data collection so difficult that they have to ration their efforts.

Comment: Re:Who needs carbon? (Score 1) 283

Renewables are coming online now. They have a carbon footprint but it shrinks as the energy used in their production is amortized over their useful lifetime.

This is actually a very big concession for the renewable energy advocates to make, and the reason I say this is that carbon-fueled devices have a portion of their carbon footprint tied up in construction costs as well, and, as with renewables, that portion of the footprint is amortized over useful life.

Comment: Re:Not the regulations (Score 1) 347

by Phreakiture (#49249427) Attached to: FCC Posts Its 400-Page Net Neutrality Order

An alternative that might not leave too bad of a taste in anybody's mouth would be to create a system of grants and loans to spur the formation of competitors in the local loop market.

Another option might be to separate the local loop from the IP space. This would get us to a position similar to what existed in the dialup days, in that we could choose from a wide range of ISPs. The only reason that model died was that the existing local loops were, at their very best, limited to ~53 kbit/sec, which is 2-3 orders of magnitude too slow for today's world.

Comment: Re:Regulations are all bad in the long term (Score 2) 347

by Phreakiture (#49249135) Attached to: FCC Posts Its 400-Page Net Neutrality Order

I'd ask where you would have it go, exactly, but I don't expect responses from ACs

As for where it did go, radio goes everywhere. It's a powerfully expressive medium with a low cost to be a listener.

Now, the cost of transmitting . . . that's another matter. I've been an activist in this area since the 90's, and one of the things that such activism has run is the opening up of low-power FM slots across the country. These slots are strictly reserved for community-run, short-range stations.

If anything, radio needs a bit more regulation with respect to concentration of ownership. Right now, a company called "I heart radio" controls what is, in my opinion, too much spectrum. Lest you think I only pick on commercial, though, there is also, in my area, an NPR station that, by itself, is simulcasting from no fewer than 27 separate stations in upstate New York, Vermont and Massachusetts, all from one central location in Albany. This type of coverage would be better served by a single, medium to large AM station.

Comment: Re:Why not do multiple forms? (Score 1) 169

by Phreakiture (#49240641) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Video Storage For Time Capsule?

It might help, I suppose. The discs should be manufactured on different assembly lines with materials from different sources from each other.

We're starting to get kind of complex, though. Even though we could assume that computational power of 2065-2115 will be light years ahead of what we have today, and probably be right, as we get more complex with our solution to this problem, we end up needing somehow to ensure that there is an expert on hand who knows how to work the "older tech".

To invoke the ever-popular car analogy: do you know how to drive a Model T? Can you find someone who knows, even just in principle, how to do it (besides me)? Hint: it's almost nothing like driving a contemporary car.

Comment: Look and Feel case of the music industry (Score 5, Informative) 386

Blues are especially hosed. The fact that someone can say the phrase "twelve-bar blues" and be immediately understood almost to the note, just demonstrates that this is the musical equivalent of a design pattern.

Even more hosed is anyone who dares to write a four-chord song. For those not familiar, Canon in D by Johann Pachelbel is the start of one such design pattern. Some songs that use it are: Forever Young by Alphaville, Let It Be by the Beatles, With or Without You by U2, Don't Stop Believin' by Journey, Barbie by Aqua, Down Under by Men At Work . . . the list goes on and on and on. If you want to see a better example than I can cite here in print, google for "Axis of Awesome Four Chord Song" and watch the videos that come back.

However, in all of those cases, along with the case of Ghostbusters copying I Want A New Drug and of Ice Ice Baby copying Under Pressure etc., there are actual notes copied.

This, on the other hand, is the "Look and Feel" case of the music industry.

Comment: Re:Why not do multiple forms? (Score 1) 169

by Phreakiture (#49227643) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Video Storage For Time Capsule?

This is not limited to recordable media, either. I have at least two CDs that I bought in the 90's that deteriorated. The reflective layer turned black in spots big enough to render playback pretty much impossible. I have also seen one CD delaminate. I wouldn't cast my lot with optical disc.

Comment: Re:Not ready for primetime (Score 1) 765

by Phreakiture (#49200263) Attached to: Ubuntu To Officially Switch To systemd Next Monday

Is there a deb based derivative of slack?

Um . . . . . No.

Slackware is kind of . . . manual. In fact, the only distro I can think of that is more manual is Gentoo. Even Gentoo is capable of resolving dependencies automatically, though, which Slack is not. This is actually why Slack is such a good distro for learning the guts -- if you have an unresolved dependency, it is up to you to figure out how to resolve it.

I used to run my systems as a very bare-bones Slack (or Slamd64 before Slack finally went to 64-bit) and then install whatever else I wanted from source. It was loads of fun to tinker on because it never tried to second-guess you. Good times!

Yes, we will be going to OSI, Mars, and Pluto, but not necessarily in that order. -- Jeffrey Honig

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