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Comment: Re:Yet it works for me - and you if you try (Score 1) 159

by _xeno_ (#48674515) Attached to: Xbox Live and PlayStation Networks Downed By Apparent Attack

Unless something has changed since less than a week ago, if you try and connect to Steam while Steam is down for any reason (say, a DDOS attack, like in this article), you will fail to authenticate and be left in a "logged out" state. At that point there's no way to activate offline mode because you can't connect.

If you were already logged into Steam and attempt to "go offline" it will attempt to authenticate with the Steam servers, and again - if Steam is down, that's the end of that.

This happened less than a week ago. That's not misinformation, that was me trying to open Steam on Saturday to check out the holiday sale.

Comment: Re:Yet it works for me - and you if you try (Score 1) 159

by _xeno_ (#48674305) Attached to: Xbox Live and PlayStation Networks Downed By Apparent Attack

I can guarantee you that the last time I tried to start Steam without any network connectivity it tried to connect, couldn't, and refused to start in that state. That was a couple of years ago, but it definitely used to be the case that the only way to get Steam to go into offline mode is to already be online. So now whenever I get ready to leave for vacation I make sure to take the laptop offline.

Likewise when Steam was offline this weekend (and it was only down for like a half hour), I would start Steam, it would go to "Connecting...", it would fail, it would bring up the login window with an empty password, and that was that. No way to login, no way to switch to offline mode. So it's possible that it saw the working network connection and decided that since it couldn't contact the Steam servers it wouldn't go to "offline" but I most certainly couldn't do it while it was out. (I think Steam was out in a weird way where the update servers were up and a few game servers were up, but the authentication and store servers were down.)

But I can guarantee you that there was no way to get into offline mode at that time. I suppose I could have tried unplugging my Internet connection but why would I have tried that when it's their servers that are down, not my Internet?

Comment: Re:Except Game Servers Aren't Down (Score 1) 159

by _xeno_ (#48674261) Attached to: Xbox Live and PlayStation Networks Downed By Apparent Attack

I checked. Steam doesn't have a status page, so you have to rely on Reddit threads. Steam was definitely actually down since other people couldn't get online either. You most certainly cannot start Steam in this state, there's no way to do it, it will be unable to authenticate because it can't contact the servers, so it'll demand you reenter your password. At this point there's now no way to get into offline mode because Steam can't get past the login.

In my past experience with Steam, the only way to get into Offline Mode is to first be online. Apparently you're supposed to know ahead of time when your Internet connection will die for a week.

Comment: Re:Except Game Servers Aren't Down (Score 1) 159

by _xeno_ (#48673867) Attached to: Xbox Live and PlayStation Networks Downed By Apparent Attack

How long a timeout? Because Steam was down just the other day and the way it reacted was dumping me to the login screen, requiring me to re-enter my Steam password despite it being "saved", and then failing to connect because it was down, at which point it quits.

To get Steam into Offline mode, you must first connect to Steam.

Comment: Re:uh - by design? (Score 1) 163

by _xeno_ (#48664093) Attached to: Thunderbolt Rootkit Vector

I don't think Mac OS X even has a user-accessible BIOS. I know there's a "special" key combo you can hit to reset whatever they call their equivalent of CMOS settings (it's either NVRAM or PRAM and I have no clue what the difference is or why it matters). (I know this because there's another cute Mac bug that frequently hits my work MacBook where it will forget it has a built-in display because I turned it off while connected to a monitor, so you have to reset it to factory defaults to get it to realize "maybe I should turn on the laptop display.")

Ah, what the heck, I have the sucker sitting right next to me, let's see if you can disable it in ... "thu: no items." Oh.

(And I checked, you cannot access the EFI shell at all on new Macs. So even if it were possible to turn Thunderbolt off there, you can't access it anyway.)

Comment: Re:uh - by design? (Score 4, Informative) 163

by _xeno_ (#48662107) Attached to: Thunderbolt Rootkit Vector

Well, yes, if you can rip open the computer case and install new hardware, you have complete control over the hardware and that's to be expected.

Thunderbolt is more like USB to the user - it's a thing you use to connect untrusted devices to your system. You wouldn't expect that plugging in a USB thumbdrive would magically own your system (well, maybe you should, because it's happened in the past, but I think it's fair to say that it shouldn't). You'd think that plugging in a random Thunderbolt device would be designed to be safe. Apparently not: apparently Thunderbolt is unsafe by design.

The one mitigating factor is that literally no one uses Thunderbolt for anything, so it's not like anyone's likely to be coming across random compromised Thunderbolt devices. Discovering a Thunderbolt device at all would be out of the ordinary.

Comment: Re:yea but (Score 4, Informative) 580

by _xeno_ (#48626057) Attached to: Reaction To the Sony Hack Is 'Beyond the Realm of Stupid'

The OP has it wrong. The theaters would be liable.

Remember the shooting that occurred at a screening of Batman: the Dark Knight? Well, some families of victims are suing the theater and the case is still ongoing. Because there's a chance that the theater may be found liable of not having "enough security" for a random shooting, and because it can be argued that the theaters in this case were "warned ahead of time of a potential attack," they could potentially be found liable should anything happen.

Keep in mind that Sony is only pulling the release after the five largest theater chains refused to show it. And the reason they refused to show it is because they could potentially be liable should anything happen anywhere in any of their theaters. Given the poor reviews the movie is getting they presumably decided that it just wasn't worth any risk as they're probably not going to make much anything off showing it anyway.

+ - Woman game developer may have never "fled her home"-> 1

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Previously unknown indie game developer Brianna Wu made international news, including on the green, after claiming on October 11 that threats from the Gamergate movement had forced her to flee her home. As one report briefly mentioned, at that time Wu was on a planned trip to New York where she was scheduled to speak at Comic-Con. Later news interviews placed Wu at her home as they reported that she had fled from it, raising the question of whether she had ever been forced to flee her home at all.

As has come to be usual for any news on this subject, Medium administrators deleted an article that had provided additional evidence that Wu's secret media interview location was in fact her own home from which she had never fled."

Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:HashTags suck (Score 1) 162

by _xeno_ (#48568219) Attached to: An Algorithm To Prevent Twitter Hashtag Degeneration

It could still be a hyperlink. Clicking on the hyperlink would automatically list recent twits using the given tag. Just like on Slashdot.

Which is exactly how they work on Twitter and Facebook?

Putting # signs in the middle of sentences just make it less readable and has no benefit.

Which is why a lot of people stick the hashtags at the end of what they post and not in the middle. The fact that some people "misuse" them (although you can debate that) doesn't mean that they aren't fundamentally different from hyperlinks or they don't serve a useful purpose. They're effectively the <meta name="keywords"> tag in a medium that doesn't accept full HTML.

Underline, or special color is a much better idea.

So basically you're only complaining about the presentation of the hashtag?

Comment: Re:HashTags suck (Score 1) 162

by _xeno_ (#48567289) Attached to: An Algorithm To Prevent Twitter Hashtag Degeneration

You don't understand the point of hashtags. The concept isn't to link to other tags, the concept is to make your post discoverable by other people. They're hashtags, after all, they tag a post as being related to some concept.

They're just like the tags underneath the Slashdot articles that no one pays attention to, like pleasestop and ohnoitsbennett. They're "reverse hyperlinks" if you will, designed not to send you to other pages, but to get you there from other pages.

Comment: Re:Not surprising at all. (Score 1) 250

by _xeno_ (#48531917) Attached to: Apple Accused of Deleting Songs From iPods Without Users' Knowledge

Moreover it isn't deleting the files as is obvious from just looking at iTunes itself.

Oh, no, I'm pretty sure the OP is trolling and that if he checked within iTunes he'd see he still has all his Ramones music. But my guess is that he's backing up from Windows/Mac OS X to Linux or something like that so anything special Mac OS X does for Time Machine wouldn't work, and that he does have an rsync log showing a bunch of files being deleted. It just should also show a bunch of new files with strangely similar names being added at the same time.

Comment: Re:Not surprising at all. (Score 3, Interesting) 250

by _xeno_ (#48528215) Attached to: Apple Accused of Deleting Songs From iPods Without Users' Knowledge

I'll bet if you do constantly rsync your iTunes music directory you will see deleted files. Because if you have iTunes set to "manage music" it will rename files according to some scheme that seems to randomly change over time. (Or because you changed some metadata like the song's name.) So it's entirely possible that a whole bunch of files were "deleted" - because iTunes moved them to a different location, and as far as I know, rsync doesn't have the ability to track files being moved around. (And a bit of Googling suggests this is in fact the case and offers some workarounds.)

Comment: Re:I knew it! (Score 2) 250

by _xeno_ (#48527759) Attached to: Apple Accused of Deleting Songs From iPods Without Users' Knowledge

Neither have I. I've never had it delete a song. What I have seen it do (multiple fucking times) is refuse to sync new music over to an iPhone. It'll get as far as "waiting for items to copy" and then just sit there for as long as you're willing to wait, not copying a thing. Googling (and bitching about it on Facebook) reveals I am nowhere near alone in experiencing this problem.

Comment: Re:I knew it! (Score 2, Interesting) 250

by _xeno_ (#48526485) Attached to: Apple Accused of Deleting Songs From iPods Without Users' Knowledge

Did iTunes do it or did the OS she was running do it?

Because as far as I know, unless the thumbdrive was an iPod itself, iTunes isn't capable of formatting it.

I'm guessing that you did something like create a thumbdrive using NTFS or whatever Mac OS X's file system is (HFS?) and then tried to use it on the opposite OS, which balked, and offered to reformat the drive into a filesystem it understood, which your niece just hit "OK" for.

Because iTunes may be a piece of shit (as far as I can tell, when iTunes Match released, Apple intentional broke syncing so it's no longer possible to sync music from iTunes), but I've never heard it do that. (I really should clarify that last one since you can get it to sync, but it easily breaks such that it will stop adding new music to an iPod/iPhone until you factory reset it and copy everything over again. At which point it will break again, so every time you get a new album outside of iTunes, you're in for another "factory reset and copy everything over again" loop. Which sounds like what this lawsuit is about, actually. Oh, and based on the last time this happened, it will then copy things over wrong so that metadata for songs refers to the wrong songs and some songs don't copy completely. I'm not arguing that iTunes isn't a completely broken piece of shit - it is - just that I've never seen it format thumbdrives.)

A method of solution is perfect if we can forsee from the start, and even prove, that following that method we shall attain our aim. -- Leibnitz

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