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Comment: Einen moment, bitte. (Score 5, Interesting) 301

by istvaan (#41865623) Attached to: European Central Bank Casts Wary Eye Toward Bitcoin

Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't the whole premise of bitcoin to be a currency that has no central authority?
That is, it's a currency designed from the ground up to exist without and outside of central regulation and interference.
I suspect that, if regulators attempt to get their hands on it somehow it will consider those attempts to be damage and, like the Internet, route around them.

Comment: Dyn (Score 1) 646

I like Dyn's Internet Guide.

It works like this:
You set yourself up with one of their dynamic hosts (using a client on your machine/router, $20/year.)
You add Dyn Internet Guide to your account (free.)
In the Dyn Internet Guide, you select what categories of traffic you wish to prohibit (or allow.) They've partnered with Barracuda on this, so the lists are pretty good. You may also add specific hosts to black/white lists.
In the Dyn Internet Guide, you set it to protect your dynamic host (so they know which traffic is coming from you.)
Then you set your machine to use their DNS servers, or your router to hand out their DNS servers to your network (DHCP option 6.)

Any time a host on your network requests DNS for a site that's been blocked, it returns a Dyn IP, and usually displays a little "this page has been disallowed" page. For pages that include mixed content, the error is displayed in the prohibited content's space.

I run my own DNS for my home, but set Bind to use Dyn's DNS servers as forwarders. Any zonefiles I have do resolve locally, but all other requests are forwarded to Dyn. I don't have any children in my house, but I set my Dyn account to block Advertisement and Popups, Conficker Worm, Phishing, Spam, and Spyware categories. It seems pretty robust, and It works well. I like it.

Comment: Re:Stick a fork in it (Score 1) 138

by istvaan (#40113051) Attached to: Facebook Releases Instagram Clone, Two Months After Acquisition

There were a handful of BBSes in the Pittsburgh area that I would regularly frequent, and goodness do I sometimes miss them.
We had one, "Data's Exchange" it was called, running WWIV and using two modems. Made Trade Wars pretty interesting.
But we always knew how many subscribers there were, and that only so and so many could be on at a time.
I think that fact, the dearth of time, made it so that our conversations in the message boards were poignant and well-written.
Discussions were quite often heated, to be sure, but I like to think that they were of a higher quality than a lot of the things one can find on the net these days.
Time was limited, so you had to say what you had to say in a concise and clear manner.
Ah, the old days. Haha. :)

Comment: My experience. (Score 1) 402

by istvaan (#39871165) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Building A Server Rack Into a New Home?

My wife and I bought our first home last spring, and I knew that I wanted to do something similar with regard to infrastructure.

I picked out a good location in the basement, and mounted a 4'x8' piece of 5-ply plywood on the exposed studs.
Then I bought a 12U swing-away enclosed rack from Tripp Lite, model #SRW12US, and mounted it on the plywood using eight Toggler toggle bolt wall anchors with appropriate bolts and washers. Check out the specs on the different anchors, bolts and washers you buy, but this setup is rated to hold about 530lbs (although the manufacturer indicates that I could theoretically hold up to 2120lbs, but it's not recommended.)

The rack has plenty of space for my patch panel, PoE switch, PDU, and a few 1U servers. What I really like about this rack, through, is that it can be mounted with the door opening to the left or the right, the side panels come off, and the whole front assembly swings away from the wall so that I can work on the back of whatever I have mounted in there. The doors, panels, and swing mechanism all have locks on them that can be opened and closed with the included keys.

Mounting the rack was actually the easy part. Fishing CAT5 through 115 year-old walls of plaster and lathe has been the hard part. ;)

Comment: My two cents. (Score 2, Informative) 467

by istvaan (#33167358) Attached to: Web-Based Private File Storage?

My thoughts are similar to those which have already been posted, but here's my two cents anyways.

1.) Do something about that IT staff. Their behavior is unprofessional at best, borderline illegal at worst. As Network and Systems Administrators, we essentially have the "keys to the kingdom." As such, it is our responsibility to exercise professionalism and discretion at all times. We are entrusted with this data -- employee data, customer data, what-have-you -- because it needs to be managed, secured, transported, and we know how to do that. When I ponder this, it sometimes brings to mind a line from Angels & Demons: "Be delicate with our treasures." If management has asked that the late co-worker's email be opened and archived, and that email happens to contain pictures of him in a tutu and a snorkel dancing hip-deep in a lake, and IT happens to see these photos, it is their responsibility to maintain their professionalism, and to say nothing about it.

2.) Do not, for any reason, store personal data on company resources. Period. Company resources belong to the company, and, as such, the company has the right to inspect any and all data which those resources may contain. My personal data on my laptop, and my personal mail (which sits on an IMAP server which I administer and to which I have physical access) are backed up to DVD every quarter, and those DVDs are placed in an envelope in a sealed plastic bag - along with a hardcopy of my password spreadsheet - in a safe-deposit box. My Will clearly states who gets access to that box if I should happen to fall under a bus, as does the paperwork at the institution which houses the box. It's not the fanciest solution, but it's effective, and I like it.


Verizon Charged Marine's Widow an Early Termination Fee 489

Posted by samzenpus
from the literal-charges dept.
In a decision that was reversed as soon as someone with half a brain in their PR department learned about it, Verizon charged a widow a $350 early termination fee. After the death of her marine husband, Michaela Brummund decided to move back to her home town to be with her family. Verizon doesn't offer any coverage in the small town so Michaela tried to cancel her contract, only to be hit with an early termination fee. From the article: "'I called them to cancel. I told them the situation with my husband. I even said I would provide a death certificate,' Michaela said."

Comment: Re:If you read the filing... (Score 1) 941

by istvaan (#31195626) Attached to: PA School Spied On Students Via School-Issued Laptop Webcams

Uhm. I did read the summary.
I read the filing, too.
In fact, the quotation came from it.
I never commented on who was doing something in front of the camera. I quoted from the filing, which said that the cameras could potentially have seen the child, the parents, or anyone else in the house.

Comment: If you read the filing... (Score 5, Informative) 941

by istvaan (#31188652) Attached to: PA School Spied On Students Via School-Issued Laptop Webcams

...it's actually quite interesting. I have a feeling that the folks who are looking to see child porn charges pressed might actually get their way. According to the filing, "...it is believed and therefore averred that many of the images captured and intercepted may consist of images of minors and their parents or friends in compromising or embarrassing positions, including, but not limited to, in various stages of dress or undress."

Seriously, what could have made the school district think that this was, in any way, a good idea? The district itself, the school board, and the superintendent are all listed as defendants. This could be really, really interesting...


Facebook Master Password Was "Chuck Norris" 319

Posted by samzenpus
from the ad-nauseum-roundhouse dept.
I Don't Believe in Imaginary Property writes "A Facebook employee has given a tell-all interview with some very interesting things about Facebook's internals. Especially interesting are all the things relating to Facebook privacy. Basically, you don't have any. Nearly everything you've ever done on the site is recorded into a database. While they fire employees for snooping, more than a few have done it. There's an internal system to let them log into anyone's profile, though they have to be able to defend their reason for doing so. And they used to have a master password that could log into any Facebook profile: 'Chuck Norris.' Bruce Schneier might be jealous of that one."

US Colleges Say Hiring US Students a Bad Deal 490

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the talking-to-you-cliff dept.
theodp writes "Many US colleges and universities have notices posted on their websites informing US companies that they're tax chumps if they hire students who are US citizens. 'In fact, a company may save money by hiring international students because the majority of them are exempt from Social Security (FICA) and Medicare tax requirements,' advises the taxpayer-supported University of Pittsburgh (pdf) as it makes the case against hiring its own US students. You'll find identical pitches made by the University of Delaware, the University of Cincinnati, Kansas State University, the University of Southern California, the University of Wisconsin, Iowa State University, and other public colleges and universities. The same message is also echoed by private schools, such as John Hopkins University, Brown University, Rollins College and Loyola University Chicago."

RAM wasn't built in a day.