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Comment: Snow in Atlanta isn't the same as in the North (Score 1, Insightful) 723

by benro03 (#46111065) Attached to: Atlanta Gambled With Winter Storm and Lost

I was in Marietta (west side) at a dental appointment when it started to hit at about 11:00. Just flurries at first, but by 11:30 when I left it was starting to come down so I headed for home in Tucker on the east side. By 12, I made the decision to jettison my other errands and make a quick stop at the post office at Northlake then go across the street to pick up my contacts at my eye doctors. Just after I left there at 12:30 I got an email from my son's teacher letting us know that school was closing early.

By then, it was really coming down, but the major danger at that time were the people slowing down "just because". Traffic started to snarl as I picked my son up at his school and headed straight home. I began reading the horror stories of people stranded in cars on the freeway, kids trapped at schools because the parents didn't get the message until too late, school buses diverting from their normal routes and heading to the nearest school to pick up kids and get them home ASAP. Home Depot stores all over Atlanta opened their doors to people stranded and gave them a warm place to sleep.

Yes, the city and state government should have cancelled school and closed everything down to emergency services. They didn't and the Atlanta mayor and Governor Deal will pay politically for that. They had warning enough from the local meteorologists that have decades of experience in forecasting winter weather in Atlanta and they chose to ignore it (and later lie about knowing). Parents could have made the decision to keep kids at home.

Coulda, woulda, shoulda.

And now I see "experts" from all over pontificating about how "we should buy more plows and salt trucks", "how stupid Southerners are because we don't know how to drive in the snow", or other inflammatory rhetoric. Here are a few thoughts for those people to chew on.

"Why weren't you prepared?" - Preparing for a once every 5 year event is not possible. If the mayor of Atlanta (who isn't blameless in this) prepared for Boston levels of snow, he/she would be out of a job *quick*. It's like New York City preparing for a hurricane. (*BURN*)

"It's only 2-4 inches! I drive in that all the time!" - No you don't. You drive on roads that are prepared CONSTANTLY with salt and gravel, using 4 wheel drive, snow tires or chains. Snow in Atlanta almost immediately melts when it hits the pavement and then turns to ice from the air temperature. ICE people. It's not snow it's ICE.

"Southerners can't drive on snow!" - Actually, we don't have experience driving on snow and that would hold true if it were only southerners driving here. According to the US Census, Atlanta is the 8th most popular city for to migrate to. In 2010 to 2011, 82 people a day moved to Atlanta, foreign and domestic. I meet far more people from the northern states than I meet other southerners that moved here. I'd guestimate about a third of the people driving yesterday were born somewhere that uses snowplows on a regular basis.

"You stupid f*ing rednecks!" - Excuse me? Are you talking about the city where anesthesia first came into use (Dr. Crawford Long)? Where the largest beverage company in the world is located (Coke)? Where some of the most technologically advanced aircraft in the world are designed and built (Lockheed)? Where the Center for Disease Control is located? Georgia Tech? Emory University? Morris Brown College? The Carter Center? If that's stupid, I'd love to see what you have to offer.

Comment: Re:Physical access trumps passwords (Score 1) 599

by benro03 (#45339451) Attached to: Withhold Passwords From Your Employer, Go To Jail?

They had physical access to the *hardware*, not the software running it. Childs disabled the serial ports, which to me proves he was trying to shore up his "job security". Also, he only had the configs running in active memory, not saved on NVRAM like you're supposed to so if there was a power blip *ZAP* that switch is down. That's criminally stupid, the only reason for doing so is to try and prevent Cisco from physically getting into it.

And it is STUPID to disable the serial ports. All you're doing is making the poor tech from Cisco your bitch while he's there trying to do his job. It's petty and mean. One day, he's going to be the guy to save your bacon. Making his life difficult serves no purpose what so ever.

Yes you're making the switches more secure, but secure from what? Terrorists? Look buddy, if they're standing in your data center, your security is blown and they have better targets than the switches. I'd blow the AC and let everything cook.

Comment: Legacy? Think again (Score 2) 66

by benro03 (#43545405) Attached to: Thousands of SCADA, ICS Devices Exposed Through Serial Ports

Frequently I am called upon to work on a device remotely and the only way to access it without being constantly disconnected is through a service processor attached to a serial port or a serial port server. Proper troubleshooting involves being able to reboot a device without being disconnected, read the boot messages as they appear, and be able to access a maintenance or BIOS manager to fix it.

The security is there, it has to be properly implemented with a policy to follow and back it up. All of these do have security that at the very least is SSH (Cisco anyone?) and most times behind a firewall that is only accessible through a VPN. And even once you're VPN'd in, there is some form of authentication to go through to get to the serial device.

You can't call something legacy simply because it's been around for a long time. Legacy means that it's dropped out of widespread use and is only used in a few places if at all. Is TCP/IP legacy? It was created in the early 70's, but it's not. Is UNIX legacy? Same thing, only it's older. Floppy disks? Yeah, that's legacy. CD-ROM? Not yet, but getting there. Water cooling? Yep - Nope, it's making a comeback. Serial port? Maybe on a laptop, but every enterprise level device has some way to access the console away from ethernet and that invariably is serial.

Comment: The consumer's ONE right: Use your feet. (Score 1) 313

by benro03 (#42325167) Attached to: Instagram Wants To Sell Users' Photos Without Notice

If you don't like what a business has done to you (or not done), the one thing you can do to show them your displeasure is to vote with your feet. And then tell everyone you did and why. It's a hard fact that 95% of customers that receive bad service never complain to the vendor, they just leave and tell everyone what happened. That means that for every one of us complaining to Instagram and Facebook, there are 19 others that are leaving and telling their friends about the crappy service they got.

I deleted my Instagram account yesterday since I hardly used it and I wasn't about to let any of my pictures be used by ANYONE without my permission. I've also curtailed my Facebook use drastically, deleting them from my Mac and phone since I realized all the "appointments" that were cropping up on my WORK calendar were coming from them.

Comment: Re:Huh. (Score 2) 454

by benro03 (#40257777) Attached to: How Many Seconds Would It Take To Crack Your Password?

Look something up before you open your mouth. Steve was writing programs for the PC before you were born and was one of the first people to trace a trojan back to IRC and actually TALK to the guy who wrote it. SpinRite was the first program for fixing disk drives at the hardware layer and probably still is.

Comment: Music as a focus aid (Score 1) 405

by benro03 (#40165813) Attached to: Do Headphones Help Or Hurt Productivity?

I was recently working on a prototype system, building the scripts AND teaching how at the same time, when we ran into a crunch where all of the leads were in the same room trying to fix something. Moving to a quiet room would have taken too much time, plus I needed immediate feedback from the other leads, so I pulled out my noise cancelling headphones, plugged them into my iPhone and fired up "Dark Side of the Moon". That let me tune the rest of them out and calm me so I could concentrate enough to get my part finished.

Music (whatever makes you feel good and calms you) is excellent for focusing on a problem OR taking your mind off of it until you can rationally think about it again.

Comment: Data Breach (Score 1) 385

by benro03 (#38983265) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How To Deal With Refurbed Drives With Customer Data?

Do what somebody above suggested, zero the drive and run Spinrite on it. If it fails, send it back to Newegg telling them that it not only still had customer data on it, but if failed testing.

Or see if you can identify the company it came from and send them the disk, telling them where you got it from. If it's a big company, go through their website and find their compliance officer's office or equivalent. This is entirely up to you, but *don't* boot it. Depending upon how security conscious they are, it just might dial home.

Comment: Is this an IT person writing? (Score 1) 403

by benro03 (#38098372) Attached to: Why Do Companies Backup So Infrequently?

At first I thought this would be a good article on getting clients to back up more, but after reading it a couple of times and double-checking my thinking by reading the comments, it's pretty obvious that the author knows nothing beyond a statistic he/she read about backups. Poking holes in his logic:

1. Tape backup currently does not have the capacity and speed to keep up with the size of modern filesystems. Solution? Create an offsite backup scheme where data is deduplicated at the source and only the deltas (changes) are transferred to the backup site. That way the backup site can chug merrily away backing things up without causing issue with the workload.

2. 99% of data recovery occurs at the file level. A user accidentally deletes a file, overwrites it, or the file is corrupted. Windows Volume Shadow Copy service was created for this specific purpose so a user can recover without bothering the admin. If you don't have Windows, every major SAN/NAS vendor uses snapshots to do the same thing. Next is disk level recovery using RAID.
      Actual total, catastrophic failure is very rare. I like to tell clients to prepare for being hit by a meteorite, but PEBCAK errors are far more likely and more dangerous.

3. WTF is a "Windows Write Driver"? At first I thought this was some wondrous new feature of Windows 7 that defragmented on the fly, but no, the author is talking about Data Consistency Points. According to the article, when an OS (only Windows exists to him it seems) writes to a SAN it just blasts the data straight to disk and bypasses the cache. What he doesn't realize is that the write goes to memory cache (usually two), where it is checked against itself for consistency (is everything here?) and THEN it's written to disk. Writing straight to disk NEVER occurs, even on a desktop. There is always cache and consistency checking somewhere along the way.
      Data consistency checking came about in the sixties and is used by every single storage vendor today. EMC, NetApp, whoever; they all do it.

Comment: Charlie Ayers, Google Chef (Score 1) 554

by benro03 (#38025562) Attached to: Zynga To Employees: Surrender Pre-IPO Shares Or You're Fired

Not sure if this has been posted, but the "Google Chef" they're talking about is Charlie Ayers. Here's a little on him from Wikipedia:

Charlie Ayers is the former executive chef for Google. His work there was widely publicized in the media, and David Vise's corporate history The Google Story contains an entire chapter about him called "Charlie's Place." By the time he left Google in 2006, Ayers and his team of five chefs and 150 employees were serving 4,000 daily lunches and dinners in 10 cafes across the company's headquarters campus in Mountain View, CA. Ayers reportedly earned $26 million (USD) from his Google stock options.

Ayers began his professional career in New Jersey working for Hilton Hotels, at their Meadowlands and Parsippany locations in New Jersey. Later he left Hilton to attend culinary school in Providence, RI at Johnson & Wales University. He cooked at several restaurants in the Providence and Boston areas, before moving to California and serving as a chef for the Grateful Dead.

Following his time working for Google, he started Calafia Café / Calafia Market a Go Go. The first restaurant opened 20 January 2009 in the Palo Alto, CA Town & Country Village shopping center.

This guy isn't just a cook, he's the equivalent of either a Vice President or Senior VP in terms of corporate structure. Damn straight he deserves his options.

And I doubt that Zynga has someone like him. They're equating one of their longtime employees to the guy who runs the snack bar in the building.

Comment: Re:Famous Photos (Score 2) 178

by benro03 (#37680206) Attached to: Behind the Scenes: How Conflict Photographs Come To Be

No nothing new at all, BUT did you watch his film? His point isn't that it's occurring but that the majority of people (and I understand the irony) don't know it's not real. Photojournalists and reporters get fired and blacklisted for creating news, so why isn't it happening here? They get paid by the piece and these are clearly faked.

Practical people would be more practical if they would take a little more time for dreaming. -- J. P. McEvoy