Slashdot is powered by your submissions, so send in your scoop


Forgot your password?

Comment: Re: No. (Score 1) 554

by donaldm (#48842399) Attached to: Obama: Gov't Shouldn't Be Hampered By Encrypted Communications

if the hardware is compromised, the software doesn't matter so much.

That is true, however if it became know that Brand X computer was hardware compromised (and it eventually will) then said company is going to loose credibility and sales to Brand Y computer hardware that has not been compromised. Now we have to ask the question has Brand Y been compromised and we don't know yet?

Sounds silly doesn't but when you consider computers are manufactured by different companies around the world and it is in the best interest of each country to make sure computers that are sold there are not compromised because of potential customer and even government backlash. This same scenario can be played out with operating system software since no major software company would want to take the chance of being found out. Of course "click bait", viruses and worms are a different story since a spying agency be it governmental or criminal has plausible deniability.

Comment: Re:Prepare for more (Score 1) 257

by donaldm (#48825909) Attached to: Belgian Raid Kills 2, Said To Avert "Major Terrorist Attacks"

It took hundreds of years for Christians to let go of blasphemophobia. It may take as long for Muslims to let go of theirs. We should be in this for the long haul, and while we should be willing to kill and die now and then, if anyone suggests those should be the primary activities involved, they are simply expressing a profound ignorance of humans, and history, and warfare (both its costs and its effectiveness, which bellicose emotionalists often get wrong.)

A few years ago I saw an interview with an Imam were he actually said something like the first two sentances.

In most western societies there is separation between Church and State, hence the reason why Christians had to let go of blasphemophobia however quite a few nasty wars happened before the division was ratified. Even today it is still possible for a Christian to be excommunicated from their church for "blasphemy" although imprisonment, torture and/or capital punishment for this, is not acceptable from a State perspective.

In most Islamic countries there basically is no separation between Church and State, hence blasphemy and anything counter to what is interpreted in the Quran is predominately dealt with imprisonment or some sort of violence against the perpetrator. Will it take another 500 years before Islam has this separation? If the answer is "yes" then that is an excuse because for better or worse we are all living in the same time frame on this planet.

Comment: Re:Libreoffice (Score 1) 323

by donaldm (#48804159) Attached to: How To Hijack Your Own Windows System With Bundled Downloads

I can witness on open source not being immune. I recommended Libreoffice to a novice PC user recently. I don't know from where he downloaded the installer, but when he finished he had some redundant anti-virus programs, and another program that reset the home page of his web browser and wouldn't let him change it back.

Was this for MS Windows or for a Linux distribution? I have installed Libreoffice from "" for MS Windows (8.1) and have never had any issues. As for an installer for Linux I just use the "yum install" command ("apt-get install" for Debian based distributions) or if I feel like it from the GUI Software Manager since Libreoffice is in the repository.

Comment: Re:Application installers suck. (Score 1) 323

by donaldm (#48803995) Attached to: How To Hijack Your Own Windows System With Bundled Downloads

You are aware that the average user will not be able to perform the Linux part. So you must use the GUI. Enter the root password (The what now?) and then click on OK and so on.Installing something like Google Earth gives me errors when I try to do it.(Yes, I know how to solve it) No such issue on Windows.

Back in the early 1980's I use to teach clerical staff how to use Unix workstations. Not one person I taught had any issue with using the command line or the GUI for that matter. Fast forward to 2015 and people seem to have developed a mind block to using the command line, I wonder why? Have people really got dumber with regard to using computers?

Ok I will give you a Fedora 21 with a KDE GUI example.

1. Select your application launcher (for people with MS Windows that is equivalent to start and FYI Unix/Linux had it first)
2. Select "Applications".
3. Select "Administration" then "Software Management".


2. Select "Computer"
3. Select "System Settings" then "Software Management"

In the "Software Management" GUI search for the software you want or just browse the repository. When you find what you want just install it and all dependences are found and installed for you. Of course you do need system admin privilege to do this.

The main difference is that for most of the software finding it is easier on Linux. Still there are applications that are not in the repo and at that moment Windows is easier.

I do agree with what you said here but isn't this article about trusting the site were you want to get the application from. It's not that difficult getting an rpm or deb package if one exists however you really need to know how to install it and in the majority of cases you can use "yum" if using Fedora/Redhat distributions and "apt-get" is using Debian type distributions. Of course the best and safest way is to use the command line for the install in this case however IMHO if people feel that their brains will explode I strongly suggest MS Windows and slowly back away. :)

Comment: Re:not great, but probably not very important eith (Score 1) 105

by donaldm (#48790859) Attached to: Sloppy File Permissions Make Red Star OS Vulnerable

So who should own the text file? Vi? cat? grep? emacs? gcc?

Those are applications which have nothing to do with ownership although the user must have permission to use them. It is the user who should own the file, text or otherwise.

The Unix permissions of "user", "group" and "other" are still valid even today. If you want a more fine grained permission solution then look no further than Access Control Lists which have been in use by Unix since the late 1980's and Linux since the early 1990's.

The big problem with ACL's is not the concept it is when users expect the System Administrator to manage ACL's for them. Even on the latest OS's be it Linux, MS Windows, VMS or Unix the same base Unix permissions are still in use with ACL's only used when there is a need.

Comment: Re:Good ol' 777 (Score 1) 105

by donaldm (#48790767) Attached to: Sloppy File Permissions Make Red Star OS Vulnerable

Unix doesn't help much. I mean if apache can't read /home/me/www/path/to/index.html the OS isn't going to tell you its because of the permissions on /home. Meanwhile you have given up and gone chmod -R 777 /

No! No! No! you are doing it wrong you should have been using the command "rm -rf /" . The Linux/Unix professionals will thank you for this. :)

Comment: Re:and no one gives a damn. (Score 1) 328

One thing we've noticed is the other side: it's often cheaper to just buy the movie, watch it at home (home-popped popcorn) and throw away the disc afterwards than it is to watch it in the theatre.

Home movies have gotten so much cheaper than theatres that this is feasible for most movies. We still see the odd one in the theatre, but that has gotten quite rare over the years.

You actually have something there. HDTV's are relatively cheap compared to the original vacuum tube variety that was used for standard definition. Even if you want to buy a 4K HDTV over the now standard 2K (1080p) 15:9 aspect ratio HDTV's you may pay about 10% more. In fact it is possible to set-up a reasonable home theatre (includes HDTV, DVD/BD player, amplifier and speakers) system for under $2000. Of course you could spend ridicules amounts of money on a home theatre system as well.

If you are into watching movies it is actually cheaper to either rent or if you think you may want to watch the movie again then purchase the Blu-ray. Even if that movie is the latest release and costs say $30 it would still be cheaper to purchase and watch with friends and family than go to a movie theatre.

Comment: Re:Shouldn't this be a civil case? (Score 1) 86

by donaldm (#48714509) Attached to: UK Arrest Over Xbox Live and Playstation Network Outages

Not an expert but I believe he has committed a computer crime (hacking). I'm sure it could also potentially be a civil case but that is a separate issue. I think a good example is the O.J. Simpson trial and then the Civil trial

Sigh! when will people learn that Hacking is not a crime. If you are breaking into a computer system or network then you are a "Cracker" and this type of activity is considered a crime.

Yes it is possible to use Hacking skills to produce software that can be used to break into computer systems, however that in itself is not a crime but using that software to break into computing systems is called Cracking and that is a criminal offence. In fact if the law is stupid enough to criminalise Hacking then you would be locking up millions of people and the entire software industry would collapse.

It really isn't hard to distinguish between a Hacker and a Cracker (think "safe-cracker") however it seems most IT reporters continue to get it wrong which in turn confuses non technical people who in turn get it wrong. As for technical people (professional or sub-professional) who confuse the two please hand in your technical credentials :-)

Comment: Re:Are emails copyrighted ? (Score 1) 138

by donaldm (#48710883) Attached to: Sony Sends DMCA Notices Against Users Spreading Leaked Emails

Everything you create is copyrighted automatically; unless you create it as part of your job, in which case it's owned by whoever paid you.

No that is not true. If I create some software I can license it or effectively give it away, although I should have to explicitly state my intentions with regard to the mail and/or software otherwise that mail or software can be considered copyright however I would leave this up to the Lawyers.

If someone stole my mail or anything from my computer then they are effectively "Breaking and Entering" or to use the correct wording "Cracking" which is a crime. Now if that same mail and or software is given without permission from the company or originating user to a person who published it then that person or persons are effectively "Aiding and Abetting" which is also a crime. Again I would leave this up to the Lawyers to sort this out since software and data theft is not quite the same as hardware theft and the debate rages on this still.

Right or wrong I think the best way is to ask the question. If you had your mail and/or software stolen from your PC and that "Cracker" (learn the difference between a Hacker and a Cracker) gave that data to another party who published it on the web, then would you consider legal action against the party who published? It is basically a given that you would be pissed at the "Cracker" and would file legal action if that person could be identified.

Comment: Re:Sony blaming everything on hackers.... (Score 1) 75

by donaldm (#48687867) Attached to: Sony PlayStation Network Back Up Now, Supposedly

DDoS have been pretty much solved by now... haven't Sony learned the difference between too many legit users and a hack?

Hmm I suggest the following starting point for an introduction to DDoS and even possible solutions. You should also know that the Microsoft network access was also impacted as well so it was not just Sony.

Comment: Re:Lesson goes unlearned (Score 1) 75

by donaldm (#48687843) Attached to: Sony PlayStation Network Back Up Now, Supposedly

Playstation owners should demand their money back, NOW! And the rest of you dummies have to stop enabling this practice of requiring a network connection to play a damn game! How stupid can you be? This is the same idiocy that made paying to receive a phone call a marketable thing. You crave electronic trinkets with blinky lights! You people are sick!

Wow the troll is strong with this one. I wonder if he (could be a she but I doubt it) has a PS3 or PS4? I do agree with "This is the same idiocy that made paying to receive a phone call a marketable thing" although thankfully I live in a country were this is not allowed.

Comment: Re:Lesson goes unlearned (Score 1) 75

by donaldm (#48687827) Attached to: Sony PlayStation Network Back Up Now, Supposedly

I've been busily playing my games for the past few days... You don't need a network connection to play any of them.

I never had any problems playing single player games as well and there is usually allot more of them than on-line or on-line only games. Of course playing games like Demon's Souls or Dark Souls with an unpredictable network is actually quite good for the beginner since it means you have a smaller chance of getting invaded although you probably won't get much help either. Still those games I have mentioned are fully playable unlike on-line only games.

For people who only like on-line only games (PC or console) you always have to put up with what can be an unpredictable internet and the possibly of server outage.

Comment: Re:Lesson goes unlearned (Score 1) 75

by donaldm (#48687807) Attached to: Sony PlayStation Network Back Up Now, Supposedly

Why is it ridiculous?

Someone has to pay. Why does it make sense for the caller to pay instead of the callee, considering that the callee is the one who decided to be on a cellphone rather than a local number?

And of course having the callee pay also means that the caller doesn't have to know if a number is a cellphone or not, and so you don't need a dedicated pool of cellphone numbers and can instead just use numbers from the usual pool.

You are right someone has to pay but why should a person who gets unsolicited SMS's or phone calls have to pay?

I can understand and accept a "call collect" option but paying for receiving unsolicited SMS and phone calls is IMHO open to abuse by those sending said messages/calls to you.

You are in a maze of little twisting passages, all alike.