Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


Forgot your password?

Comment: "password" and "123456" dethroned (Score 1) 71

by advantis (#49584071) Attached to: Google Announces "Password Alert" To Protect Against Phishing Attacks

So now people will have passwords like this:


instead of just "password"

I think at this point using a Google Authenticator generated code _as_ the password should be enough. It removes the user from the process of creating a "correct horse battery staple" password. It makes the authentication pretty much on par with SSH key authentication (you have a private key, Google has the public part, you generate a code that demonstrated that you have the correct key). I'd like to see phishing sites ask you for your private key, as see how many morons are out there who would actually jump through the hoops of obtaining that key from their phones and pasting it to the phisher, 'cause hey, "a million Nigerian dollars is a lot of money".

Comment: How to get office drones instead of engineers (Score 3, Insightful) 124

by advantis (#49558359) Attached to: When Exxon Wanted To Be a Personal Computing Revolutionary

From TFS: "Faggin was upset about Intel's new requirement that employees had to arrive by eight in the morning, while he usually worked nights."

I've heard both sides of the story:

Side A: But if you're in the office while everybody else is in, you can work more efficiently, as everybody else is there to answer your questions.
Side B: Some of the best engineers I've worked with worked nights. Some of them slept under their desks and rarely showered, but none of the 9-5 people came close to their performance.

Basically, if people perform don't mess with their schedule or their appearance.

If you're on Side B, Side A also has that negative that is given as a positive: everybody else is there. (sarcastic tone of voice) Yeah!! If you want to not get any work done because of all the "quick" questions everybody has while "headphones" doesn't register with them as "leave me alone!"

Comment: Re:Meet (Score 1) 188

by advantis (#49204267) Attached to: The Origin of Life and the Hidden Role of Quantum Criticality

Yeah me too... I want to ask him/her how many failed attempts it took to evolve this great decision... It does look like an infinity or similar number of attempts before one of them stuck... And then those other things that don't stick are still attempted even though the right one has already been chosen...

Comment: Re:What about if the customer is giving theirs awa (Score 1) 129

by advantis (#48929847) Attached to: FCC Prohibits Blocking of Personal Wi-Fi Hotspots

I don't know if there's a tech that could tell when packets are coming from X machine, or coming form sources 'beyond' that machine, but to me it would be legit if a hotel *could* prevent such usage. Otherwise you have a freeloader issue.

What one ISP I used once did, to prevent people with routers and networks from getting out, was to filter by TTL. Windows has a default TTL of 64. Any TTL below that was "beyond" a router. Of course, then everybody with an ounce of Google either had an iptables rule in their router to increase the TTL by one in mangle/POSTROUTING or, if the router was an off the shelf one, just tell each machine on the LAN to have a TTL of 65. The people not versed in Google-fu didn't have routers either, so everybody was blissfully happy.

Comment: That's nothing (Score 1) 321

by advantis (#48342993) Attached to: Website Peeps Into 73,000 Unsecured Security Cameras Via Default Passwords

I've encountered a camera that actively uses UPnP (Gateway profile) to ask the router to forward port 80 to itself and also connects to a Chinese dynamic DNS service as a bonus by default. While you can disable the dynamic DNS setting, you have no say in the UPnP thing.

These cameras are so badly thought out that they crash when a different UPnP device on your network responds.

But hey, they're cheap. You find them on Alibaba (the guys with the big IPO).

Comment: Re:almost useless (Score 1) 230

by advantis (#48261623) Attached to: Windows 10 Gets a Package Manager For the Command Line

I can say I have. I couldn't wrap my head around RPM, but I didn't try that hard. Debs on the other hand are easy as pie. It takes me about 5 minutes to refresh my memory on dh_make (man dh_make), then create a deb using dpkg-buildpackage -rfakeroot -b -us -uc (if you actually want signatures it still doesn't get much harder). No pain in the ass at all, royal or otherwise.

Comment: Re:And so therefor it follows and I quote (Score 1) 353

by advantis (#48236247) Attached to: Italian Supreme Court Bans the 'Microsoft Tax'

Unless there's a reduced rate for the loaf of bread, the tax man won't really care. But you're the one in trouble if you need to give the car back for whatever reason, because hey, you didn't pay anything for it. And we don't do returns on the loaf of bread - or, let's say, something more durable: a special shell from the seaside. If anything, the tax man might take an interest in you for capital gains (about 20K?) if you ever sell the car on. I don't think it would qualify as chattels.

Also, the situation isn't anywhere near your analogy. In this case it's a 20K car with a free loaf of bread (that you can give back, but you only get 0.00, since the bread only comes with the car and has no market value by itself).

Comment: Re:And so therefor it follows and I quote (Score 1) 353

by advantis (#48232509) Attached to: Italian Supreme Court Bans the 'Microsoft Tax'

You're making good points up to here:

I'm all for open source on widely-used software (e.g. the OS, TCP/IP stack, web server, etc). But going completely open source eliminates the market forces which allow users to tell developers what they want in the software. What you end up with is a tyranny by the developers which is very slow to respond to user likes/dislikes (VLC eventually let users change the mouse wheel function). Modifying copyright as I've suggested results in more of a middle ground, where market forces are preserved, but pricing control is not completely up to the content creator.

The first page ends like this: "Your patch is welcome..." from the tyrant. They could always go the Apple way and never respond, ever... And if your bug gets fixed, good for you. If not... /dev/null is your conversation partner.

I've been skimming over page 2, and it's a pissing contest. Apparently the change was done in "next version", but the version in question (0.9) was left unchanged because of this one user. The markings were there: just fork it and backport it, or wait for the next version.

But that's not the point I want to make. The point is that's what you get when you deal with the developers directly instead of a PR department (because there isn't any). I've experienced this outside software too: you never, ever, talk to the operators of your ISP. You talk to PR, and they forward your complaints to the admins, and their responses/actions back to you. I was a customer for a very tiny ISP (one admin, two servers, one sales guy, no PR). They would offer support over chat, and the admin would get on the line himself. Discussions would easily escalate to be indistinguishable from what I've just read in that VLC thread. Customers think they'll get a better deal if they raise their tone, and don't give a fuck about reason. I managed to get myself a "free Internet" deal by volunteering to do the PR for them, since I was on chat all the time anyway, and I had the knowledge, and didn't mind the experience. Customer attitudes differed, because they were aware I had no real power, and my role was to massage their "fuck you" filled complaints into something the admin and company owners could read without getting grief.

You can get tyranny with closed source and large companies just fine, but for some reason that's OK?

Comment: Re:And so therefor it follows and I quote (Score 1) 353

by advantis (#48232385) Attached to: Italian Supreme Court Bans the 'Microsoft Tax'

That's actually a bad example, since a beer drinking club purchases beer from the market and it shows up on it's invoices, just like the OEMs.

Apple is like a beer drinking club that brews its own beer and has costs associated with doing that, from raw materials to labor costs. Not sure what the difference between those two clubs is regarding how they resell the beer to their customer.

You can be a member of the beer drinking club without drinking any of the beer. The cost is exactly the same to you, irrespective of how much the club is paying for the development of the beer. The beer is available for free, should you want it, and you have the right membership card to show at the bar.

OEMs might be able to circumvent the Italian ruling, now that I think about it, if they offer software-less hardware for exactly the same price as if you had the most basic version of Windows pre-installed (the one that won't let you change the wallpaper - Windows Starter Edition? because it's not illegal to take the piss, it's only bad for business when customers realise the quality of the offering), but anything above the basic offering can still be declined and refunded if not specifically ordered.

Comment: Re:And so therefor it follows and I quote (Score 1) 353

by advantis (#48232335) Attached to: Italian Supreme Court Bans the 'Microsoft Tax'

Where the money to fund the giveaway comes from is irrelevant. Only how much you sell it for, given that you can shake hands on the sale.

Where does the money come from for the development of Linux and its userland? Linus, Red Hat, their friends, surely spend money/time to develop the things. Yet there's no refund for the software if I sell you a laptop with an unwanted Linux distro pre-installed, even if I charge you 1000% markup. It's your own fault you're paying me the stupid markup, not mine. The difference that Apple write OS X themselves doesn't change this.

In Apple's case, the shaking of hands on the software depends on the licensing terms, which say "we're giving you OS X for nothing, but the catch is you may only install it on our hardware" or some such. And if Apple is forced to prove this, they can always add this to their lineup: "Mac without OS, optional OS disc available for $0" for the same price as the Macs with pre-installed OS X. If that doesn't drive the point home, I don't know what does.

So, if MS want to circumvent the Italian ruling, they have to start selling overpriced hardware with free Windows (I suggest the name "Surface" :D). And kick every OEM out there in the nuts in the process. You can see MS can't do this overnight without kicking themselves in the nuts as well.

Comment: Evolving values for "large" (Score 1) 258

by advantis (#48217677) Attached to: Preferred smartphone screen size?

I started with the HTC Wildfire (the ARMv6 sans FPU one). I thought that was fitting my hand nicely. A friend had the Samsung Galaxy S (no number suffix) and I thought it was a bit big for my taste. At some point I bought a Samsung Galaxy S from eBay, since my friend was very proud of his (only to tell me that he was experiencing the same 3-4 day crash cycle and other funny stuff that I was just discovering, but failed to mention it when he was bragging about how great the phone was). I got used to it, then I picked up my Wildfire. All of a sudden the Galaxy S was normal and the Wildfire was tiny. After a while I got myself the spanking new LG G2 (after being burned by Samsung on many fronts, not just smartphones, and after seeing that I wasn't part of a small crowd on the Internet when it comes to them). This one has yet a larger screen. I'm perfectly happy with its size, although I can't one handedly reach the far corner in diagonal. Now the Galaxy S feels small. But the Wildfire feels puny (I still have it).

It's like when you're a kid and you grow up. At first, adults are huge. Teenagers are big. You're Wildfire sized. As time goes by you grow and become a teenager, and the kids are small, adults are big. And you fully grow up and kids are these little people. And yet you never questioned the transition while you went through it.

I held an iPhone 6 Plus recently. It felt big, but for some strange reason it wasn't uncomfortable at all. When it comes to screen size I usually aim for the thing to be big enough to display readable things, but still fit my trouser pocket and not bother me when I sit in my car. Because of this, I think my LG G2 is spot on. Any larger and I may need some of those regularly-in-and-out-of-prison pants some people wear :) So no iPhone 6 Plus for me, thanks. My iPad mini does the job fine, and it goes in my backpack when I don't need it, but there are people who just want a 2-in-1 phonelet solution.

Comment: Flipping Kindles (Score 1) 105

by advantis (#47718787) Attached to: Do Readers Absorb Less On Kindles Than On Paper? Not Necessarily

One thing that goes away with the Kindle is the ability to use your fingers as temporary bookmarks while you flip pages back and forth to look something up. Advanced book users might use several of these bookmarks at one point if the information is spread across chapters. Even the simple "partially turn page to see what's on the other side without losing focus of the current page" isn't working.

Yet I still bought a Kindle (Paperwhite), because books aren't very readable in the dark, and I find myself switching away from the book (to Facebook, news-site-I-fancy-reading-now, jeu-de-l'heure) on a multi-purpose tablet. Haven't tried learning with it though. I use it to put myself to sleep :)

Comparing information and knowledge is like asking whether the fatness of a pig is more or less green than the designated hitter rule." -- David Guaspari