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Comment: change your username (Score 4, Interesting) 255

by jd142 (#49349545) Attached to: Generate Memorizable Passphrases That Even the NSA Can't Guess

I forget where I first read it, but this sounds like a good workaround. Pick a nice secure-as-you-want password. But each website gets a different username. It sounds like most attacks are of the kind "joe_bob uses P4$$word on amazon, let's see if joe_bob uses P4$$word on this banking site too." They don't seem to be looking to see if joe_bob_amazon is the same account as joe_bob_wellsfargo. Or you could be joe_a_bob and joe_wf_bob.

Even better is if you have some control over your email accounts. They are probably smart enough to see joe.bob@gmail is j.o.e.bob@gmail(although that does let you filter incoming mail a little easier). But if you have control over the domain you have a catch all address and be me_amazon@myplace.com and me_wellsfargo@myplace.com.

Comment: Re:PHP is fine (Score 1) 177

by jd142 (#49322945) Attached to: Modern PHP: New Features and Good Practices
Oh thank god I'm not the only one. The needle/haystack and whether it is str_foobar or strfoobar drives me nuts. Especially since the phrase is "needle in a haystack" but the function takes haystack, needle. I always want to write find(needle, [in a] haystack). Every language has good and points, and bad coders are bad coders.

Comment: Re:That's fine for in the city (Score 2) 341

by jd142 (#49295023) Attached to: Musk Says Drivers May Become Obsolete, Announces Juice-Saving Upgrades
Funny, I was thinking just the opposite. Rural areas would be easier since there are few interactions with other cars. And they'd be able to react faster when a deer jumps in front of you. Of course, getting a heads up infrared would go a long way to avoiding deer at night. Unless it is planting or harvesting time, the odds of seeing and interacting with anything on gravel road here are practically nil. Maybe 1 vehicle for every 10 miles I drive. Computers should find that pretty easy. All you have to do is keep it between the fenceposts.

Comment: Re:The real question in my mind... (Score 1) 341

by jd142 (#49294979) Attached to: Musk Says Drivers May Become Obsolete, Announces Juice-Saving Upgrades
Just out of curiosity, what size city do you live in? I'd love to have a self-driving car so I could spend more time at my mother's instead of leaving early so I don't fall asleep on the 2 hours of boring interstate to drive home. And that's just one example. It's a 5 hour drive to Chicago; I'd love to just pull on the interstate and let the car take over for the ride home after a tiring day. In town for groceries and shopping is probably the last place I would let the car take over. There are more variables, but speeds are slower, and it would keep me in practice. Long drives on the interstate, where there are fewer variables would be the first place I'd use it. Sure, the speeds are faster and accidents are worse, but the cars around you are all going in one direction, approximately the same speed, and there are almost no stops, so less to react to. And if the cars can talk to one another it would be even better. Add in infrared detectors to spot the deer in the ditches in the middle of the night and I'd be set.

Comment: Re:Has anyone studied? (Score 2) 262

by jd142 (#49249675) Attached to: US Wind Power Is Expected To Double In the Next 5 Years
The amount of energy taken out is surely small. It's not like the other side of the windmill has no air movement. The blades only capture a part of the wind's energy; the air has to keep moving beyond the blades, otherwise the wind would hit the blades, stop, and the blades wouldn't move. Gently blow on a pinwheel and you'll feel the air moving on the other side of the pinwheel. No one asks this question whenever we put up a new 10 story building, but they must absorb more wind energy. A 10 story building is a solid block and stops almost more of the wind that hits it; I assume some air is buffeted out and moves around the building, but not much. In addition, wind mills don't run if the wind speed is above or below a certain speed. I want to say something like 25mph, but I can't be arsed to google right now. Buildings block all the wind, regardless of speed. Well, up until the wind knocks them down. I'd bet a whole dollar that the buildings in a single large city like New York, London, Chicago, etc. capture and disrupt far more wind energy that every windmill on the planet today and every one planned for the next 20 years.

Comment: Re:Any experienced teacher already deals with this (Score 3, Funny) 388

by jd142 (#48804301) Attached to: UK Computing Teachers Concerned That Pupils Know More Than Them
*THIS* The other thing I wondered about is the different expectations. If your instructor still thinks myspace is where the cool kids hangout, does that mean the instructor knows less? From a student's point of view, yeah, it does, because the instructor doesn't know what the students think is important. Which is where to get the good porn on tumblr (or whatever the kids use these days). And the instructors might even feel the same way. The good teachers who know there stuff and care about the kids may undervalue their abilities because they don't think they can reach the kids on their level because the teacher is still on facebook and the kids are on to the latest. Why, those teachers may still think email is relevant. To a 15 year old, email might as well be the telegraph.

Comment: Versioning (Score 4, Interesting) 181

by jd142 (#48754077) Attached to: Inside Cryptowall 2.0 Ransomware
A lot of people have been talking about backups and the fact that even your backups can be compromised. And that's true. The solution is versioning and rotation. If I'm compromised today, the files on Crashplan will be uploaded as encrypted files. But since they have versioning, I can go back 30 days or so and get the older versions. I may lose some data depending on how long I've been infected, but I'll be able to get some data back. The only other solution is to run a daily/weekly/monthly backup scheme that keeps your monthly backups for a year (or longer if you are really paranoid). It means you need 5 separate disks for each week and then another 12 for each month, which most people aren't going to want to do. Eventually the ransomware people will get patient and encrypt your files but allow access for 3-6 months before telling you.

Comment: Re:America, land of the free... (Score 5, Informative) 720

by jd142 (#48542719) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Can a Felon Work In IT?

Well, yes, in the same way that Socrates is mortal because Socrates died.

The thing is, in the good ol' US of A, where less than 10 years ago you could be a felon for owning 6 dildos, we can be pretty darn stupid. http://www.dumblaws.com/law/938. Yes, the law was overturned, but just one example of the way we are tough on crime. And here's some fun with our drug laws. http://netnebraska.org/article/news/938774/how-tough-nebraska-pot-possession-depends-county I like the quote “Let’s say you have a marijuana brownie,” Steller explained. “We would prosecute you for the possession of hash which is a class 4 felony.”

Comment: Re:But the case hasn't even started! (Score 2) 119

by jd142 (#48413467) Attached to: US Marshals Auctioning $20M Worth of Silk Road's Bitcoins

That's not arbitrary; that's a firm and understandable rule. Arbitrary would be if my 10 million dollar donation got me a law in my favor and yours did not. :)

Just like the rule I learned in copyrights class: The Mouse always wins. That means that no matter what the law is or how it has always been interpreted, Disney gets what it wants.

Comment: Problems? (Score 1) 408

by jd142 (#45695895) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Would You Secure Your Parents' PC?

What type of problems? Is she installing a bunch of ad toolbars? So many install in the user folder, so no admin rights are necessary. Some of the pop-up malware doesn't need to have admin rights to infect the pc. They drop the executable in the appdata folder or a subfolder with a randomized name and start up from HKCU\software\microsoft\windows\start so it is all in the user's area. Try firefox (or chrome) with adblock and change the shortcut icon to the IE icon. Migrate bookmarks and few people will notice the difference.

Does she just hibernate the computer and rarely reboots, so you get slowness because of memory leaks?

I'll second the suggestion to upgrade from vista to 7. From a user's perspective they are practically identical in look and feel. Only a few icons have changed and I'll bet you can find a skin for 7 to make it look exactly like vista.

I like the tablet suggestions, but if the person is really change adverse, that can be a big shock. I hate to say it, but windows rt might be the best way to transition her to a tablet. If you like the idea of a tablet, try a Kindle as a cheap way to test the waters.

Comment: Re:Online backup (Score 1) 329

by jd142 (#44212159) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Best Way To Store Data In Hard Copy?

It's future proof for several reasons:
--A cloud service(I'll use Google Drive as an example, but there are many) is distributed, with backups, and will shift data over to new technology as needed. Pretend Google Drive started off 30 years ago. At the time, they'd probably store your data on tape(yeah, yeah, slow access times, but that's not the point of this example). Then they switch over to ide hard drives. Then they make the switch to scsi, then sata. 5 years from now they switch to SuperDuperSSD. From your perspective, none of that matters. From your perspective, you put data on Google Drive, you take data off Google Drive. The technology they store it on doesn't matter and is going to change and adapt as new tech comes on line. I put my money in the bank, I take my money out of the bank. I don't care what the bank does or how they store it, I just want my money.

--A cloud service is redundant. When Lex Luthor finally causes that earthquake and makes California slide into the Pacific, your data is still safe on one of the other server centers that Google has, just for that emergency.

--A cloud service is stable. A major cloud service like Google Drive is not going to disappear overnight. Unless something causes the government to seize all of their servers at once, with no warning, and in a way that would never let you get your data back. That is highly unlikely as of today. So even if Google goes bankrupt, you will be able to see it coming and get your data back from them before the cut off date. Besides, you said this is a backup of a backup. So your original storage place is destroyed, your off-site backup is destroyed, and Google is destroyed utterly with no backups and no way to access that data. All three of those things have to happen at the same time. If all three of those happen on the same day, you will have more to worry about because someone probably dropped the big bombs.

--Someone else takes care of operating the server room. In another response, you wrote: "if I put it on a server now, I have to keep that server going for the next 10 or 20 years." With a cloud based service, that isn't an issue. I don't know why any person(not company) today would bother putting up their own server, except as a hobbyist's exercise. Or unless you are insanely paranoid.

--Access from anywhere. Seriously, if your first two backups are gone and the entire internet is down for more than a day and you need the data immediately, either one or two things will happen. Either people will understand that something very bad happened and they will make allowances for that knowing that you can get the data when the internet is backup. Or they've dropped the bombs and your main concern is radiation poisoning and the hordes of mutant zombies.

--A cloud service has zero to no cost. You get gigabytes of data for free and you said this is under a meg.

Seriously, as a backup to a backup, you have really over thought this. Now if you want to do something as a cool thing to do, that's fine and good and proper. Pick the QR codes or whatever strikes your fancy. But if your concern is availability and future proofing, just stick it on a backup service. Doesn't have to be google. There are four or five top tier online storage companies that aren't going anywhere in the immediate future. And if you happen to pick the wrong horse, just download the file before they go under and pick a different one. Microsoft's live drive actually meets the FERPA standard for data security if that's a concern, but you said it wasn't.

The beer-cooled computer does not harm the ozone layer. -- John M. Ford, a.k.a. Dr. Mike