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Journal: Extremely frustrated with my fellow earth men and women...

Journal by lathama

I saw the news post http://yro.slashdot.org/story/12/06/18/1429257/the-uns-push-for-power-over-the-internet and started to read the comments. I noticed that the argument over the quality of the U.N. was becoming the primary focus. I wager that fewer than 5% of the populace understands the existing "control" over the Internet. About 2% of all IXP peering agreements make it to a signed contract.

Comment: After reading these comments (Score 1) 326

by lathama (#40361107) Attached to: The U.N.'s Push for Power Over the Internet

I see that we have a lot of work to do on the education front. I advise any citizens of the USA to live in one of these countries for a few months or longer and then come back to this discussion. The Department of Commerce is doing a good job of paying the bills and the AD-Hoc nature is working well for everything else. Vint Cerf even when out of his way to mention this recently. Always remember that the Internet started as a DARPA project to keep communication up when actions happen to prevent it.

The Internet is here. Its for looking at lolcats.

Comment: Concepcion, Chile: not the second largest City... (Score 2, Informative) 374

by lathama (#31328250) Attached to: Chilean Earthquake Shortened Earth's Day

While I am new to Chile I do know my facts. According to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cities_in_Chile#Largest_cities Concepción is not even in the top 10 Cities. The Conurbation of Concepción is the second largest Conurbation.

Read more and learn: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conurbation

Comment: Re:Better than (Score 2, Informative) 82

by lathama (#31301416) Attached to: How Telescopes Deal With Earthquakes In Chile

The news being broadcast in the USA show pictures of destruction of a few places, the tsunamis are the big concern as the Chileans watch the news of deaths in Asia... I walked to the office today in Vina and did not see any issues with buildings other than some broken windows... A crack in the cooling system on the Data Center is the biggest damage I have experienced...

Software

+ - Successful Department Documentation - Whats worked

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Those of us working in IT Departments face the age old issue of documentation. Managers love it, but everyone has a different idea on what documentation should look like. I'm interested to know what works for people. Do you have use wikis or does indexed standalone docs work for you. What software are you using to manage your docs, do you have a standard index and document struture. All up, what's been successful for you. If there's any info that might help me no reinvent the wheel, I'd be grateful to know."
The Internet

+ - A netPC for around $100

Submitted by
Anonymous
Anonymous writes " The Telecom firm MTNL in India is going to launch netPC (a thin client) solution which is going to cost around $100. It seems to be a viable solution for a country like India where masses still can not afford a regular desktop PC. It seems to rely on Metro-Ethernet for network connection between client and the server. The technology is provided by a Chennai based firm Novatium who already have conducted a trial in Chennai."
Announcements

+ - Bacon Salt

Submitted by
lathama
lathama writes "From a recent review of the new wonder product Bacon Salt we learn that this Vegetarian and Kosher flavoring is turning heads and tweaking taste buds. This startup product from Seattle is is making meat meatier and vegetables tastier. With three flavors, Hickory, Peppered, and Original Bacon Salt can enhance any mass consumption session.

I am just a customer, that also thinks that this will save ramen noodles..."
Programming

+ - Improve your XForms with smarter functions

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "This article will show you how you can create a smarter XForm delete item action using JavaScript. More importantly, you've seen how JavaScript can be used to access and modify XForms model data, recalculate XForms-bound calculations, and refresh XForms views. With this information you can implement more and more sophisticated and robust functionality to your XForms."
Security

+ - Best practices, network outages and.....resolution->

Submitted by
praxslash
praxslash writes "Let me share an experience with you that happened few days back in the office that resulted in this article and the dos and donts for an IT Guy:

It was the day as usual at the office — corporate mails, checking router health, Backup status on the drive, Server health, MRTG graphs, Helpdesk stats.... Since ours is an R & D company lot of devices are in and out of the LAN frequently.

Around afternoon that I got a call from couple of users complaining that they are not able to access the internet, our web-based helpdesk is located in a Co-Lo and it was inaccessible as well....hmm... getting ready for another day in the paradise. First things first, I telnetted to router to see if the Internet link was down. There were no problems with the link and it was working fine. Now the slightly scary situation.....I logged into the our Unified Threat Management system to check if there were any issues with it, and was hesitantly scrolling down the list and all of a sudden i see that the number of sessions had quadrupled to around 1000 and still increasing! Under normal circumstances, the number of sessions always used to hover around 200 and the maximum supported by the device was 2000.

What could have caused this? Intrusion? Virus attack? Switch poisoning? My heart was pounding as I was going through pages and pages of logs and at last I got hold of the culprit. It was another DHCP server on the LAN! A rouge DHCP server, you can call it.

It was not over, as the log generally tracks the MAC address only with no inbuilt functionality to capture device name.

The next thing i checked was the excel file where I had stored all the MAC addresses of the network enabled devices in the company using an Open Source utility called Angry IP scanner. The MAC address matched with one of the LAPTOP, it was a Fujitsu laptop, but it was used for testing, hmmm...kinda floating laptop. I wasnt sure who was using it and the thoughts of running three floors up and down was lingering in my mind. I checked with the QA team, Hardware team which led me to the Apps team. There, was our user blissfully ignorant about the issue he had created.

He was testing an app called winproxy, which apart from acting as a proxy also functions as DHCP server. What amazes me is the ignorance of the users when it comes to reading the Readme file or the Do's and Dont's of using an application. I did give my piece of advise to our dude, and henceforth any testing of newer equipments on our LAN will be on an isolated network.

One of the first things I would advise for any IT Guy is to profile his network and system infrastructure. It is very essential that you document all and every network-enabled device. It will assist you to greatly in planning any upgradation to your company's IT infrastructure, you want to take a system offline for maintenance, OR more importantly you have to quickly and effectively resolve any outage. Some of the key things to include would be as follows:

* Architechture of the network.

* Public IP addresses and their mappings if NAT is assigned to devices within network.

* Number of Routers / Switches / Firewall devices / Modems / Access Points / VoIP phones.

* OS and firmware versions running on each of these network devices.

* Always Backup ALL configurations on a network repository or on a DVD/CD.

* Take snapshots of the configurations of critical resources like Firewall settings / AV Server settings / DHCP / Routers etc. It may be more than handy when you are configuring a newer device or rebuilding the device if the backup configuration is not working.

* IP Addresses and more importantly MAC addresses of all the network enabled devices.

* Network points/node numbers assigned to each user.

* Remembering a series of usernames/passwords can be quite a task for anyone. Storing them in a Excel or Word with password protection is not recommended because they can be cracked. Instead, Store the Passwords/usernames in an excel file and then encrypt it with a key. You can use a tool like PGP for this.

* Also, make sure that the employees in the company are aware of the Threats / Trends/ best practices for safe computing. For the starters, clearly communicate the IT Policies, Do's and Don'ts.

This is what prompted me to jot down the points that helped me resolve this issue in under 15 minutes. Hope you find it useful."

Link to Original Source
Microsoft

+ - Don't Let the IRS Find This PowerPoint Slide

Submitted by
Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward writes "http://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/2007/05/4t h_circuit_rul.html

The Fourth Circuit yesterday ruled against the taxpayer in In re Heilig-Meyers Co., No. 05-1667 (4th Cir. 5/9/07). It didn't help that the IRS found in the taxpayer's file this PowerPoint slide extolling the tax benefits of the proposed deal structure: "Show Me The MONEY!""
Windows

+ - RIP Outlook Express

Submitted by b0s0z0ku
b0s0z0ku (752509) writes "According to this Computerworld story, Outlook Express is due to be end-of-lifed and replaced with Windows Live Mail in XP or Windows Mail in Vista. Am I the only one who's used Windows Live Mail and thought that the interface was awfully cluttered? Does it do newsgroups? And will this be pushed on users like IE 7, so people will see their mail client change overnight?"
Hardware Hacking

+ - The Best Video Capture Device?

Submitted by
mrcgran
mrcgran writes "I have been trying to find the best solution to transfer my VHS tapes to a digital format using Linux and Free Software only, preferably using USB to be portable. I would like to lose as little as possible in the conversion, sampling optimally and minimizing noise, and being in control of every step of the process.

However, after reading dozens of reviews of video capture devices, I'm still unable to pick one. Most try to bloat the device adding functions like TV/compression/edition instead of focusing on the quality of the raw A/D conversion and leaving digital manipulation for proven software like mencoder, vlc etc. Besides, they use obscure chipsets with unknown A/D parameters such as signal-to-noise ratio, dynamic range, bits of sampling resolution, linearity, etc, rendering them incomparable, and few are explicitly compatible with Video4Linux.

Storage is not a problem. I'm expecting to use around 5GB+ for each hour of raw captured footage.

Which chipsets/products should I look for? Is there actually any difference for a home VHS owner if he uses a professional device or a somewhat cheap solution(<$100)? Which setup should I use, S-Video x Composite, NTSC x PAL, USB/PCI/Firewire, sampling rate/supersampling, etc? Programs in Linux? Does anyone have interesting stories of success and failures to share?"

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