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Comment USB 3.0 chipset, 2.0-only cable/connector (Score 5, Interesting) 148

I've gotten this a lot with devices besides cameras (eg. an LG G3 phone), even when plugged into a 3.0 port. It seems to be caused only by devices with a standard micro-USB connector, not a full-sized one. My thought is that the device's USB chip is 3.0-capable, but the connector and/or cable don't have the extra pins/wires for 3.0 so the device is reporting itself as 3.0 but can only run as 2.0 which makes Windows complain. I haven't seen any problems because of it, even under Windows (I normally connect the devices to Linux machines).

Comment Lack of market (Score 1) 244

At the top end, the big tech companies like Google or Microsoft have their own spam-filtering systems in-house. At the bottom, individuals and entities too small to run their own mail servers either depend on Bayesian filtering in their e-mail clients or get email from one of the big tech companies. And in the middle, they either outsource their email to one of the big tech companies or can put together their own spam-filtering solution readily enough using available tools like SpamAssassin that're mostly open-source. End result: there's no market for spam filtering except as part of a complete email provider business on the scale of Google or Microsoft.

Comment Re:Decentralized source control (Score 2) 117

Not all development work involves solitary coding. How do you get the latest changes from a co-worker when you can't access the repository you both normally push changes to and his personal machine with his copy of the repository doesn't accept incoming connections (and neither does yours, so you can't have him push the changes to you)? How do you access the branch you didn't know you needed until now which isn't in your local copy? How do you get that refactoring a colleague just committed and pushed before the outage that you need to have because your part of the work's predicated on it? How do you get anything into the build process when the build process pulls from the repository that's offline?

All of those can be worked around, but amusingly what you'd need to do is almost exactly what you'd need to do with a non-distributed version control system.

Comment Redundancy (Score 1) 187

This is why there's redundancy built into the system, more satellites than are strictly needed for operation. If one's clock goes out-of-spec, you notice that it's not agreeing with the rest of the constellation and drop it from your sources. If it's a transient glitch it'll come back in-spec and come back into use, if it's a permanent problem they decommission it and schedule a replacement. Redundancy makes the difference between a major crisis and a minor annoyance.

Comment Re:Haven't seen this one in a while (Score 2, Informative) 68

Fail.

  • It's not about stopping spam so much as detecting mail that's not being sent from the servers the purported domain owner says it should be coming from.
  • It doesn't require total cooperation.
  • There are no jurisdictional problems with implementing DKIM/DMARC, and they were designed to work with SMTP (although they'll work with any other mail protocol when it comes to that).
  • One of the goals is to reduce the profitability of spam.
  • DMARC doesn't require email headers, and DKIM's header doesn't need to be legislated for you to implement it. Yes, that means the spammers don't have to implement it, but that won't help them evade it since the whole point of DKIM is to make it impossible for spammers to implement the header correctly (they don't have the correct private key to generate the signature, only the legitimate domain owner has it).
  • There's no blacklist, and the only whitelist is of valid outgoing mail servers for a domain maintained by the domain owner (who ought to know what mail servers his domain uses).
  • It doesn't demand that you trust any servers. It tells you what servers the domain owner trusts to send mail for him. Whether you trust that list or not, you can still trust the important fact needed: any server not on that list should not be trusted to be sending mail from the domain.

Comment DMARC (Score 1) 68

One of the proposed solutions (that looks like it might be effective), DMARC, isn't even hard to set up. OK, you need DKIM set up properly on your outgoing mail servers, but that's not that hard to do. If I can figure out how to do it, starting from scratch, in an afternoon, any competent enterprise netadmin should be able to do it. Once DKIM's signing mail, DMARC is just a matter of publishing the DNS records. There's reporting software you can install to send reports back to domain owners when your systems receive problematic mail claiming to be from them, but to just let others detect problematic mail you just need the DNS record with your policies published. This is frankly not rocket science here.

And if your mail software doesn't support DKIM or DMARC? Get better mail software.

Comment Reality doesn't care (Score 1) 345

You don't compromise with reality. Nor with mathematics. It is what it is, if you don't like that it really doesn't care nor does it have to. If the politicians insist on backdoors or "golden keys", their system's going to fail miserably and spectacularly. The only question is exactly what form the fireworks are going to take, and who's going to foot the bill for cleaning up the mess. My vote's that, if they keep insisting on this, we counter by insisting that they foot the bill for failure. We've warned them, why should their refusal to listen make us responsible for fixing the resulting crisis?

Comment Re:Locally hosted password manager? (Score 1) 146

I use PWSafe combined with an OwnCloud instance for sync. Devices have their own local copy of the database plus access to the OwnCloud copy, so I can handle even complicated cases of multiple conflicting updates from multiple devices (I usually do changes on a PC and the "master" gets uploaded to OwnCloud automatically, but devices can either change the OwnCloud copy and those changes get merged into the "master" or they can change their local copy and upload that to OwnCloud for merging into the master manually). All the advantages of the cloud without the data ever having to leave my servers.

Comment Re:How about fixing it properly? (Score 1) 91

Mostly it's because changes to the major version of a distribution tend to involve major-version transitions of multiple software packages, which tends to involve non-trivial differences in configuration files that users will have changed from the initial default contents. Packages can contain scripts to help deal with that, but if I'm doing a 21->23 upgrade I need to run both the 21->22 and the 22->23 scripts and that's hard when the 22 packages were never installed and the 21->22 scripts which would've been in those packages aren't available. Solving this in a way that works right on production systems is... doable but nontrivial. And most of the simple ways involve giving up the ability to use multiple repositories.

Comment No. (Score 1) 284

I wouldn't run it without the authorities being able to meet the requirements for a search warrant. Otherwise you have the problem of copies of the document in the inboxes of people with no involvement whatsoever who were sent the document in a deliberate attempt by the terrorists to bury their tracks in a crowd of false leads. Given that the sender, not the recipient, determines to whom a message is sent, merely receiving a message without anything more doesn't indicate any involvement or intent on the part of the recipient and can't reasonably be construed as any indication of probable cause to search. How about they first search the known terrorist's mailbox for the names and addresses he's corresponded with looking for who's replied to him about the plan? Then the authorities can target the searches of specifically those accounts and there isn't this problem.

Comment Router lockdowns and monitoring (Score 3, Insightful) 77

This is one reason to segregate devices and have firewall rules that control which devices can make outgoing connections. That way you can insure IoT and other devices that have no business talking to the Internet can't talk to the Internet.

I also run a monitoring job that collects MAC addresses and associated IP addresses from the router's ARP cache and reports on unexpected changes. It doesn't make it impossible to slip a device onto my network without it being noticed, but it takes a fair amount more work that the likely intruders won't be putting forth. It also helps find the MAC addresses of new equipment that doesn't like to say what it's MAC address is.

Comment What kind of code? (Score 2) 303

For me it always came down to what kind of code it was. If it was "I know what I want to do, what's the right/best way to express that in $LANGUAGE / using $FRAMEWORK?", we're talking about just mechanics. If I was looking for how to do something, where I needed the actual algorithm or data structure rather than just "What's the syntax?" or "Which operator's best?", that's getting into the creative side where you need to at a minimum do attribution. Almost all of what I get off of SO falls into the first category.

Comment Re:The "dial" sounds like marketing (Score 1) 230

Yep. You probably wouldn't fry a nearby city, but even on the low end the yields are high enough that anything within a mile or so of ground zero's going to end up extra-crispy. That also makes "precision" a highly relative term. I'd rather reserve the nukes for when we intend to go all-in.

Not that we need nukes to do the job. Thermobaric and fuel-air bombs don't have the explosive yields of nukes, but they can do almost as good a job on surface structures and in populated areas. Even good old incendiaries will do the trick, see Dresden and Tokyo during WWII for examples.

Comment Re:What is "biometric information"? (Score 1) 58

Your argument runs smack into a principle of jurisprudence that says that the court should not read a law in such a way as to make it nonsensical if there's any other plausible reading of it. All biometric ID systems work off of photos (usually digital) taken by the imaging sensor. All scans of face geometry work off of a digital photo from the imaging sensor. The image of the face needs turned into digital data so it can be processed to produce the biometric ID or face geometry data, which means turning the face itself into a digital photograph. So by your reading no biometric identifiers and no uses of them could be outlawed. But the law was specifically written to outlaw certain uses of biometric identifiers. Your reading of the law would make it nonsensical.

And there is another plausible reading: that photographs and things derived from them are not covered by the law as long as they aren't processed into biometric identifiers. That reading would still give the exemption a purpose, to foreclose the argument that you can't store digitized photographs of people just because they contain all the information needed (after proper processing) to create a biometric identifier, but would avoid making the entire law nonsensical.

Comment Doesn't take a terrorist attack (Score 5, Insightful) 97

Planned attack? It doesn't need that, just a couple of accidents or screw-ups at the same inopportune times. One mistake by a rookie engineer in Arizona took out the grid for most of southern California. One or two more mistakes or equipment failures while they were still trying to recover from the first one could've seen the entire grid west of the Rockies go down. And the main cause is frankly the profit motive: for the sake of efficiency and cost-effectiveness the generation and transmission companies have eliminated the majority of the redundancy in the system and put off expensive maintenance and upgrades as long as the system wasn't failing during normal operation. It wouldn't take a group of terrorists, just a couple of maintenance engineers more interested in getting home for dinner than in following every rule to the letter or system operators who haven't had their morning coffee and are still a bit groggy.

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