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Comment: Re:Not a Piece of Shit (Score 2) 128

by The Snowman (#49540501) Attached to: POS Vendor Uses Same Short, Numeric Password Non-Stop Since 1990

One of the requirements of PCI compliance with the credit card companies is that you don't use default passwords in any equipment tied to the card transaction.

Which makes this even more interesting. Based on the password and the fact that a paperclip is required I know the specific vendor and equipment to which the article refers, despite the authors going to great lengths to omit that information. The vendor is a big one and their equipment is involved in millions of electronic payments made every day. You could even say they are "the way to pay." In fact, they are involved in PCI certification for most production deployments involving their hardware: most, but not all, because certain deployments using default configurations do not need additional certification, just a quick verification that IP addresses and the like are properly configured.

I understand the need for a default password, but it really should be changed. That being said, the encryption keys are not accessible using that password. They are stored in a hardware module that self-destructs if you tamper with it. They can only be set in one of two secure locations both controlled by the vendor: if you attempt to use any other means to mess with the keys, bye-bye memory card that stores them. This is bad, but not as bad as it sounds at first.

Comment: Re:call the library ? (Score 3, Informative) 246

by The Snowman (#49415303) Attached to: Watching a "Swatting" Slowly Unfold

If there's a real incident in progress, this wouldn't work. They'd either not answer, or be compelled by the people with guns to tell the cops that everything is a-okay.

I agree, nobody would answer. From the summary, nobody even has to read the article for this one:

...claimed to be holed up in the town's closed public library with two hostages and a bomb.

Comment: Re:the US 'probably' wont use a nuke first.... (Score 1) 341

Also, this author probably doesn't have a security clearance, so pretty much all the sources of info he is going to have access to is going to be by definition declassified.

By definition, classified information released into the world and publicly available is still classified. It still has legal protections, including being a felony for distributing it.

In practice in 2015 this policy is ineffective, but it is still the law. Back when a leak meant photocopying secrets and giving them to the Soviets it made more sense. Now that we have the Internet, Wikileaks, Snowden, Manning, et al. it does not make a lot of sense but it does not have to as long as we are talking legal definitions.

Comment: Re:I won't notice (Score 2) 332

by The Snowman (#48895155) Attached to: UHD Spec Stomps on Current Blu-ray Spec, But Will Consumers Notice?

Exactly this. A well encoded DVD is plenty good enough for anything other than very large screens and for people with insanely large screens they won't be buying 4k because it will cost more than their homes.

Nope. I have a 46" 1080p HDTV and sit around 10 feet from it. I have compared DVD and Blu-ray versions of some of the same movies that I bought on both mediums. The difference is night and day. If I watch on my 1080p computer monitor, 23" and I sit about 2 feet away, it is even more noticeable.

DVDs annoy the piss out of me because they are so blurry. Blu-rays might not be the high-resolution king anymore, but they are certainly not blurry.

Comment: Re:any repercussions? (Score 4, Informative) 165

by The Snowman (#48761977) Attached to: Porn Companies Are Going After GitHub

The Github projects being taken down contain source code that is definitely somebody's intellectual property in each case. And by filing fraudulent DMCA takedown requests, these porn sites are misrepresenting themselves as the owners of that intellectual property.

I know this is Slashdot, and asking someone to read the article is a bit much, but nobody is removing projects or any IP from Github. They are demanding that Google remove the links from their search results. From the article, emphasis added:

Several Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA) complaints filed to Google by companies representing various porn companies in the last month alone have resulted in dozens of legitimate GitHub URLs being removed from the search engine's results, TorrentFreak first reported.

The exact same text appears in the summary at the top of this page. You do not even have to read the article, just the summary!

Comment: Re:Shyeah, right. (Score 1) 284

by The Snowman (#48532347) Attached to: Is LTO Tape On Its Way Out?

I have two LG BD-R drives, but they are discontinued. Honestly I would just browse Amazon and read the reviews in-depth. There are some useless reviews out there but it is fairly easy to determine which products are good and bad based on the good reviews. I can say my older LG drives are still holding up just fine.

I remember back when CD drives were new in PCs (back when the CD was connected to the SoundBlaster, not PATA or SATA). After a while the mechanicals would go and they would fail to seek. I remember old burners failing to burn after a while. Honestly, any drive I have bought in the last 10-15 years has lasted as long as the rest of the computer without any problems, including the two BD-R drives I use. That is probably a combination of technology improving and the fact that I do my research and find good quality drives.

As to your SSD comment, they have improved quite a bit recently. I just bought a 512 GB for the same price as a 256 GB just two years prior. The quality and durability are improving as well. If you have been holding out making the switch, now is a good time and it will only get better.

Comment: Re:Shyeah, right. (Score 1) 284

by The Snowman (#48466449) Attached to: Is LTO Tape On Its Way Out?

I guess I'll have to bite the bullet and get a BD burner soon, does anybody here have exp with using BD for storage? How are they holding up?

I have two BD-R drives. Much like with DVDs, I use a good quality media: pretty much all of the good DVD brands also make good BD-Rs, e.g. Verbatim. I store the discs in a cool, dry place away from sunlight (disc binders). After about four years I have had no problems reading any disc I have burned.

Blu-ray discs have two advantages over DVD. First is size: a single layer disc holds 25 GB, or approximately three times as much as a dual layer DVD. Dual layer discs hold 50 GB, or approximately six times as much as a dual layer DVD. This drastically reduces both the annoyance of burning (sitting at the computer swapping discs) as well as the amount of physical space required.

The second advantage, which I wish applied to other media as well, is the scratch-resistant coating. Due to the much tighter storage density as well as the thinner layer of plastic required to get the laser closer to the data surface, a scratch is more serious for a Blu-ray. To help with this, they use a much more durable plastic that does not scratch easily unless you are deliberately gouging the surface.

For commercial use, go with tape. For home use, I love my BD-R. A 50 GB BD-R disc holds plenty of data for a home user, is durable, and can last years under residential conditions.

Comment: Re:The "old boys' club" (Score 1) 335

by The Snowman (#48010821) Attached to: State of Iowa Tells Tesla To Cancel Its Scheduled Test Drives


how? it's not interstate commerce.

Tesla Motors is headquartered in Palo Alto, CA. They are trying to sell in as many states as possible, and this article is about them conducting commerce in Iowa. Last time I checked, Iowa and California were different states. Furthermore, Tesla is building a battery factory in Nevada and their assembly plant is in Fremont, CA. While obviously California-centric, they are involved in multiple states.

Comment: Re:Considering my doctor... (Score 2) 97

by The Snowman (#47628047) Attached to: The Doctor Will Skype You Now

I would imagine these are for the case where the patient can't get to the doctor's office frequently. Whether this raise privacy concerns would be open for interpretation.

Or for follow-ups. I had an appointment with a specialist this last Monday. She prescribed some stuff, said to call back or come in (if necessary) in two weeks. What if I could Skype for five minutes and say how things are going, maybe show the affected area of my body on the camera for a quick look. Saves time all around. Then if I really do need to come in for a personal visit, we can schedule that.

Seems that often enough I just want to talk with a physician and do not necessarily need the hassle of driving there just to talk face to face. Yeah there are plenty of times I need to show up in person too, but this could be one more tool to save time and energy. I miss less work (or stay less late to make up the time), the physician gets to see more patients. It could be a win all around.

Comment: Re:Doesn't surprise me (Score 1) 81

by The Snowman (#47579339) Attached to: Nevada Construction Project Could Be Tesla/Panasonic Gigafactory

And when it was rumored that Chrysler was introducing another brand in the early 2010s, we "knew" that Plymouth was coming back. It didn't. RAM was split from Dodge instead.

Wow, news to me. Seriously, I am not being sarcastic. I just went to and RAM Truck was an option: but it took me to a different site with a warning that I was leaving I was not aware of this until this evening.

Don't hit the keys so hard, it hurts.