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Comment: Re:It's better to hear people you might disagree w (Score 1) 71

by just_another_sean (#47580813) Attached to: The CIA Does Las Vegas

The slashdot equivalent would be that such people should not be getting +5, but rather -1.

I'd add to that the karma system that keeps them from getting mod points and silencing others is also an important aspect. If we're going to allow for some light censorship (modding down to -1) we must also ensure that those doing the censoring are doing so responsibly and for legitimate reasons. (E.g. troll comments vs. I simply disagree with you)


PHP Finally Getting a Formal Specification 130

Posted by timothy
from the let-the-ossification-ceremony-commence dept.
itwbennett (1594911) writes "Despite becoming one of the most widely used programming languages on the Web, PHP didn't have a formal specification — until now. Facebook engineer and PHP core contributor Sara Golemon announced the initiative at OSCON earlier this month, and an initial draft of the specification was posted Wednesday on GitHub."

Comment: Re:Today I Learnt that... (Score 4, Funny) 169

by just_another_sean (#47574141) Attached to: Unesco Probing Star Wars Filming In Ireland

Seems to me that they have a nice cache of Star Wars alien/animal names all provided free of charge by the nice folks in Ireland...

A herd of guillemots sure sounds scarier to me than a herd of nerfs. And I'm sure it's a total pain when your inside an asteroid and a bunch of filthy kittiwakes start chewing on your power system. And of course storm troopers riding around on storm petrels is too obvious to pass up!


Ask Slashdot: Is Running Mission-Critical Servers Without a Firewall Common? 341

Posted by Soulskill
from the common-enough-to-make-you-sad dept.
An anonymous reader writes: I do some contract work on the side, and am helping a client set up a new point-of-sale system. For the time being, it's pretty simple: selling products, keeping track of employee time, managing inventory and the like. However, it requires a small network because there are two clients, and one of the clients feeds off of a small SQL Express database from the first. During the setup, the vendor disabled the local firewall, and in a number of emails back and forth since (with me getting more and more aggravated) they went from suggesting that there's no need for a firewall, to outright telling me that's just how they do it and the contract dictates that's how we need to run it. This isn't a tremendous deal today, but with how things are going, odds are there will be e-Commerce worked into it, and probably credit card transactions... which worries the bejesus out of me.

So my question to the Slashdot masses: is this common? In my admittedly limited networking experience, it's been drilled into my head fairly well that not running a firewall is lazy (if not simply negligent), and to open the appropriate ports and call it a day. However, I've seen forum posts here and there with people admitting they run their clients without firewalls, believing that the firewall on their incoming internet connection is good enough, and that their client security will pick up the pieces. I'm curious how many real professionals do this, or if the forum posts I'm seeing (along with the vendor in question) are just a bunch of clowns.

+ - Russia offers $110,000 to crack Tor->

Submitted by just_another_sean
just_another_sean (919159) writes "The BBC reports that Russia is trying hard to get volunteers to crack TOR so that its users can be identified. The contest is open to Russians only and contestants are required to pay 195,000 roubles (~ 5,460 USD) to enter the contest.

Considering TOR is heavily backed by various US Government agencies is this just another front for a new Cold War?"

Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:And... (Score 4, Informative) 293

Well, if you read TFA (no, I'm not new here) they have a sidebar call out that answers your question...

"Software licenses for productivity suites cost Toulouse 1.8 million euro every three years. Migration cost us about 800,000 euro, due partly to some developments. One million euro has actually been saved in the first three years. It is a compelling proof in the actual context of local public finance," says Monthubert.

So about 8K in migration costs vs. 18K in licensing. Assuming another 2-3K of unforeseen support over training issues or missing features that haven't been caught yet it should be a significant savings. And if you factor in the migration cost as a one time payment and assume support costs go down over time as people get used to the new system than the savings become very large indeed after the three years cited in the article.

Comment: Re:Good to hear (Score 3, Informative) 293

Most of what I've ever had to use it for was pretty simple so genuinely asking here; is Dia not a good Visio replacement? Are there features in Visio that make it more attractive for even simple stuff or is it that Visio has advanced features that haven't been replicated elsewhere?


Poetry For Sysadmins: Shall I Compare Thee To a Lumbering Bear? 31

Posted by samzenpus
from the admin-admin-burning-bright-in-the-office-fluorescent-light dept.
itwbennett writes Don't forget that July 25th is Sysadmin Day — a good day to show love to the folks who save your butt again and again when you mess up your computer. Forget the chocolate and flowers, long-time sysadmin Sandra Henry-Stocker has tailored some poems to celebrate these under appreciated, hard-working souls.

Black Holes Not Black After All, Theorize Physicists 227

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the lemon-chiffon-hole dept.
KentuckyFC (1144503) writes Black holes are singularities in spacetime formed by stars that have collapsed at the end of their lives. But while black holes are one of the best known ideas in cosmology, physicists have never been entirely comfortable with the idea that regions of the universe can become infinitely dense. Indeed, they only accept this because they can't think of any reason why it shouldn't happen. But in the last few months, just such a reason has emerged as a result of intense debate about one of cosmology's greatest problems — the information paradox. This is the fundamental tenet in quantum mechanics that all the information about a system is encoded in its wave function and this always evolves in a way that conserves information. The paradox arises when this system falls into a black hole causing the information to devolve into a single state. So information must be lost.

Earlier this year, Stephen Hawking proposed a solution. His idea is that gravitational collapse can never continue beyond the so-called event horizon of a black hole beyond which information is lost. Gravitational collapse would approach the boundary but never go beyond it. That solves the information paradox but raises another question instead: if not a black hole, then what? Now one physicist has worked out the answer. His conclusion is that the collapsed star should end up about twice the radius of a conventional black hole but would not be dense enough to trap light forever and therefore would not be black. Indeed, to all intents and purposes, it would look like a large neutron star.

Comment: For trivial programming (Score 1) 368

by just_another_sean (#47517979) Attached to: 'Just Let Me Code!'

I find Vi/G**/Make is still pretty simple. And things like SDL, GTK, QT, etc. simplify things even more. Having watched Windows development evolve for a long time I can sort of see what the submitter is saying but on the other hand anyone who ever wrote a C program for Windows in the 90's using the original Petzold books should really appreciate the frameworks available for Windows programming these days.

Again, I'm talking "Coding for fun, hobby, learning" here, just simple stuff. If it's a business app or something where the subject matter is complex than my feeling is the tools are still more helpful in overcoming that complexity than having to do everything from the bottom up.

The trouble with the rat-race is that even if you win, you're still a rat. -- Lily Tomlin