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Comment: Re:fail2ban (Score 1) 298

by Sir_Dill (#36187822) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: FTP Server Honeypots?
I second Fail2Ban

I used to run DenyHosts but switched to fail2ban.

It is remarkably simple, uses iptables and has a TON of versatility.

I get scanned multiple times a day, tons of "Did not receive identification string from..." looking for a prompt so they can try and identify my host OS. Set it up so that when I get one of those, the ip is banned for a day. Failed login attempts on SSH bans for 24 hours after three failures.

I have a third rule which monitors the fail2ban log and if an ip shows up more than once in a month its banned for 6. Bans are global on all ports.

There is not a ton of active development on it but the reality is that its a mature product and works well. Setting up the filters and "jails" can be daunting but the configuration can cover anything you could possibly think of. Supports Regex, exclusion lists, and can be set up for any service or log files.

Fail2Ban its your friend.

Comment: Preposterous! (Score 2) 450

by Sir_Dill (#35295344) Attached to: Apple in Talks to Improve Sound Quality of Music Downloads
I am not going to get into an argument over whether or not person A can tell the difference between format 1 and format 2 nor or am I going to debate the merits of one format over another because this move has nothing to do with providing a better product and only has to do with figuring out a way to charge you (the sucker) more to sell you the same thing they sold you two years ago.

Sure there are empirical ways to prove that one format has more dynamic range than another, just like you can prove 1080 via HDMI is better than 1080 via component, HOWEVER in practice, unless you are an elitist erudite prick who "can't stand to not watch or listen to the BEST" the reality is that most of us won't care.

And for the record its got nothing to do with not knowing any better or being ignorant of the quality difference.
It has to do with biology.
Take that wrist watch, if you were aware of it ALL THE TIME it would drive you crazy, but our nervous system has automatic processes which filter out continuous stimuli, like the watch or the hiss of a low quality recording.
Now I get annoyed when I can hear compression artifacts, but since I switched to high quality VBR, I rarely hear them and that's the point.
For 90% of the music out there, this is adequate for most listening environments.
There will always be a market for people like those audi commercials...."this cuestick is clad in the leather from a pigmy albino hossenpheffer's nutsack and is so rare that there are only three made each year"....whatever.
I am all about the minimum effective dose because once you get above a certain point you are just lining pockets that don't belong to you. Some might consider this aspirations of mediocrity, but I disagree and prefer instead to think in terms of efficiencies.
Why spend more when what I have is perfectly adequate for any and all of my requirements?

Encryption

Why Sony Cannot Stop PS3 Pirates 378

Posted by Soulskill
from the of-pots-and-kettles dept.
Sam writes "A former Ubisoft exec believes that Sony will not be able to combat piracy on the PlayStation 3, which was recently hacked. Martin Walfisz, former CEO of Ubisoft subsidiary Ubisoft Massive, was a key player in developing Ubisoft's new DRM technologies. Since playing pirated games doesn't require a modchip, his argument is that Sony won't be able to easily detect hacked consoles. Sony's only possible solution is to revise the PS3 hardware itself, which would be a very costly process. Changing the hardware could possibly work for new console sales, though there would be the problem of backwards compatibility with the already-released games. Furthermore, current users would still be able to run pirated copies on current hardware." An anonymous reader adds commentary from PS3 hacker Mathieu Hervais about Sony's legal posturing.
Idle

DIY FireHero Project 27

Posted by samzenpus
from the I'm-burning-for-you dept.
If you have a propane tank, an ultrasonic sensor, a copy of Guitar Hero and a touch of pyromania, this is the project for you. From the article: "For version 1 of FireHero, the player simply watches a video of the guitar hero chart and plays on the guitar accordingly. Version 2 of FireHero will have a much better system, with Autoplay functionality. I will be able to take a custom guitar hero chart, convert it into a MIDI file, and use Processing to analyze it and play FireHero to the track."

Comment: Re:Lets call it what it really is... (Score 1) 945

by Sir_Dill (#34689590) Attached to: The Right's War On Net Neutrality

Look, we have had Internet access to residential customers priced at a market-building level for around 15 years now. Low, low prices especially for DSL access - sometimes as low as $15 a month. This has been great for the consumer.

Citation Needed I personally don't know anyone that can get broadband for 15 bucks a month. The cheapest plan I can find locally is 19.99 for 6 months and then 59.99 every month thereafter, and that 19.99 is closer to 30 bucks after the taxes are taken out....oh and some of those taxes are there to support infrastructure.
While we're on the subject of infrastructure and costs, don't forget that the federal government (that's yours and mine tax dollars) helped to fund and continues to fund the buildout of those networks through the Universal Service Fund.

Unfortunately for the consumer the market-building phase is ending. Just about everyone that can afford the $15 a month has the Internet now in their home and the are unlikely to give up easy access to free music, movies, heavily biased blogs and shopping at Amazon. But if the prices go up people are going to complain and perhaps set off a war between providers.

So the answer is to charge the heck out of the folks really making money on the Internet. Why would anyone complain about Google getting dinged instead of the guy living in a trailer with a 384K DSL connection? Oh, wait. That might affect access to those heavily biased blogs that consume 0.0001% of the bandwidth.

Communications infrastructure occupies a unique position in the market. It connects consumers to multiple third parties who are all individually paying for their own access to the communication network. Now don't get me wrong, I see what your point is, but its wrong. What you are suggesting is that as the phone company, not only should I be allowed to charge my customers for phone service, but I should also be able to charge any businesses they call because I facilitated that exchange EVEN THOUGH the business is paying for the phone line in. How about this, where do you draw the line? I host my own website, should all the ISPs in the world be able to bill me when their customers connect to my site? Personal sites don't make any money, okay what about if it links to my Etsy store?

Anymore, data service to your home or business is more of a utility than a service. The difference is that the utility provider thinks they deserve a cut of a third parties profits when one of their customers does business with them and I take serious issue with that. Bits are bits and don't cost any more to deliver to amazon than they do to deliver to grandmas blog.

Let's get real here. The issue is going to be a war between big bandwidth consumers. The structure of the Internet access in the US isn't going to allow for real, dedicated bandwidth over 300K to every home with an Internet connection. So when IPTV moves beyond the nerdy early-adopter stage there are going to be some major issues. It isn't going to be the cable provider vs. Netflix because the cable provider has dedicated bandwidth to the consumers. Netflix doesn't. Hulu doesn't. The bandwidth competition will be between Netflix and Hulu, for example. Amazon's video service vs. Apple vs. Google TV. Anybody out there trying to get bits to the consumer in large quantities.

The thing you are missing is that Netflix, Hulu, Google, et al already pay to put those bits on the network. They spend TONS of money each month to maintain their connectivity to the net. So you're saying in addition to that, they should pay a tariff to every ISP when one of the ISP's subscribers uses their service?

What happens when they don't pay?
It certainly isn't Google that suffers.

There is already competition between the big bandwidth consumers. Its not over the last mile connection to the actual customer of that bandwidth, its over connectivity to the net in general. The internet is and always has been run from the idea that the endpoints pay for the connection to the network and the large carriers use peering agreements (ie you can send x amount of bits to me and I will send x amount of bits to you and we basically trade bits between us since we are both making money off our customers) to pass data between them.

What you are trying to justify is the idea that the middleman (who makes money from their subscribers) should be allowed to charge third parties when their subscribers access them which is complete horseshit.

Bandwidth IS a commodity. You and I paid for a significant amount of that capacity with our tax dollars. We continue to do so. The pipes are getting larger not smaller and for the most part capacity isn't really the issue here.
Net Neutrality is about ensuring that infrastructure that the public paid for in part is available for the benefit of the people that paid for it not just the people that built it.

Comment: Lets call it what it really is... (Score 4, Interesting) 945

by Sir_Dill (#34686838) Attached to: The Right's War On Net Neutrality
The reality is that Net Neutrality has nothing to do with neutrality and everything to do with carriers wanting to enjoy common carrier protections without having to provide common carrier openess.

Companies like Comcast, Verizon, and AT&T want to be able to not only charge their customers for internet access, but also charge the companies like Google, Amazon, and Netflix for the traffic that their customers generate when accessing those sites. Look at the recent move Comcast made against Level3, "Hey guys, nice work on getting that Netflix account, oh by the way we're going to charge you more to connect to us because you are supplying connectivity for a company which competes with our OnDemand services, thank you for choosing Comcast". What would have happened if Level3 said "meh....I don't think so" and turned off peering to Comcast. Who would have suffered? Mostly us, the consumers. Awesome.

It's also about being allowed to prioritize network traffic for hosted services over competing third party services, although beating voip providers on price (ala bundling) has pretty much destroyed most of the third party VOIP providers. Being able to provide a better quality hosted product is real easy when you de-prioritize competing services traffic on your network. A few months of poor performance and customers will be switching to hosted services in droves. I think we can all agree that this would fall into the "anti-competitive practices" category. The thing is, they might be doing this already, except that its technically not illegal, or at least its difficult enough to prove that plausible deniability plays a significant role and there is no legal precedent set to file suit on. Net Neutrality laws would make this illegal and at the very least require them to disclose that they are doing it.

Anyone can see that charging Google or Microsoft money whenever a customer accesses the site is wrong. Somehow they have twisted this into them getting a free ride on their network. Nevermind that the customer is paying for access to the internet and that the site being accessed is also paying to be connected to the internet.

I am all for traffic shaping based on volume to ensure equal access to all traffic, but if you are using public funds to prop up your infrastructure, you better have full disclosure available.


THIS is what they are really talking about and it has nothing to do with the government "taking over" the internet. Of course they tend to screw up most things they touch so I have very little faith that even if they do try to regulate things, that they will do a decent job.


On a side note, many people on both "sides" like to blame de-regulation for the banking problems we have had, and then argue against any other forms of regulation on the basis that regulation is bad and against the free market.
First off lets get one thing straight, there is no such thing as a free market. Whether by government hands or private hands, someone will ALWAYS be manipulating the rules in their favor. We are not free, but merely have the illusion of freedom so long as we don't piss the wrong person off.

Comment: Re:And so (Score 1) 346

by Sir_Dill (#34669010) Attached to: Pickens Wind-Power Plan Comes To a Whimpering End

Youre trying to prevent people from making bad decisions by removing those decisions. That doesnt work. Education may, but telling them the problem is "HFCS" rather than "garbage in your diet" isnt helping matters.

My main point is that HFCS IS the "garbage in your diet" and that HFCS is handled differently by your body.

Comment: Re:And so (Score 5, Informative) 346

by Sir_Dill (#34666016) Attached to: Pickens Wind-Power Plan Comes To a Whimpering End
I have had this same argument with many people.

The issue its convoluted by special interest, however, I do believe HFCS is not a healthy product, and here is my argument.

You point out that surcrose breaks down to about the same thing that is in HFCS, but what you fail to take into consideration that there is an energy cost associated with the body doing the work vs having both products readily available to your body.
The net result is that while on paper they seem to be equivalent and the gross calories in similar quantities are close enough to not seem different, the reality is that HFCS is ready for rapid absorption and and use by your body, while straight up sucrose takes some work to prepare which to some degree lowers the net caloric intake for sugar over HFCS.

Check out the wikipedia article on fructose and check out the metabolism section.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fructose
The whole argument that HFCS is the same as sugar and no different to your body is complete horseshit.
The fact that HFCS is usually a 1:1 ratio of glucose and fructose may even exacerbate the issue since there have been some recent studies which indicate increased uptake and absorption when fructose and glucose are administered this way.
There are other factors as well, since HFCS is cheaper (due to subsidies) and has a longer shelf life than sucrose, and sweeter than sucrose, food manufacturers looking to make a palatable shelf stable product turn to HFCS because its cheaper, sweeter(thus less is needed), and easier to deal with. Sweet is a flavor humans are biologically predisposed to and makes things taste better, but somethings shouldn't be sweet, so they have to add sodium to offset this sweetness and maintain palatability while "tasting" better than other products. This has led to an arms race in the food industry that has been increasing sugar and sodium content in prepared foods over the last 25 years.
Don't believe me? Compare similar products in the store, I will bet you that the products using HFCS have more salt and sugar than a similar product that uses sucrose.


So yes, I think HFCS is not healthy because it adds easy to process calories and it is in so much of the food that people can afford to eat and while it may not be single handedly causing the obesity issues in the USA and to a lesser degree the world, but its inclusion into high caloric, shelf stable, cheap, unfilling food leads to consumption of unhealthy amounts. Its difficult to moderate intake when its in everything that you can afford to eat.

Music

Astronaut Sues Dido For Album Cover 264

Posted by samzenpus
from the get-me-off-that-thing dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Astronaut Bruce McCandless is suing Dido for her album cover that uses a famous NASA photograph of a tiny, tiny, tiny McCandless floating in space. McCandless doesn't own the copyright on the photo, so he's claiming it's a violation of his publicity rights ... except that he's so tiny in the photo, it's not like anyone's going to recognize him."
Image

Volkswagen Creates Sewage-Powered Beetle 83

Posted by samzenpus
from the 35-miles-per-burrito dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "The Telegraph reports that Volkswagen is giving new meaning to the term 'Dung Beetle' with a prototype able to cover 10,000 miles annually on the waste from 70 households. The Bio-Bug was launched by Wessex Water, which is generating methane from human waste at a sewage treatment works near Bristol. 'Our site has been producing biogas for many years, which we use to generate electricity to power the site and export to the National Grid,' says one company official. 'We decided to power a vehicle on the gas, offering a sustainable alternative to using fossil fuels which we so heavily rely on in the UK.' The Anaerobic Digestion and Biogas Association says the launch of the Bio-Bug proves that biomethane from sewage sludge can be used as fuel. 'This is a very exciting and forward-thinking project demonstrating the myriad benefits of anaerobic digestion (releasing energy from waste). Biomethane cars could be just as important as electric cars.'"
Image

Officials Use Google Earth To Find Unlicensed Pools 650

Posted by samzenpus
from the eye-in-the-sky dept.
Officials in Riverhead, New York are using Google Earth to root out the owners of unlicensed pools. So far they've found 250 illegal pools and collected $75,000 in fines and fees. Of course not everyone thinks that a city should be spending time looking at aerial pictures of backyards. from the article: "Lillie Coney, associate director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center in Washington, DC, said Google Earth was promoted as an aid to curious travelers but has become a tool for cash-hungry local governments. 'The technology is going so far ahead of what people think is possible, and there is too little discussion about community norms,' she said."

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