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Comment: Re:Chip and PIN (Score 1) 109

by nabsltd (#47812433) Attached to: Banks Report Credit Card Breach At Home Depot

Chip + PIN effectively mitigates the weakness in magnetic strip data by embedding a chip (physical, something you have) and a pin (something you know) into the transaction process, plus many other security enhancements.

Since some of the cards stolen were debit cards, which require something you have (card with magnetic strip) and something you know (PIN), I don't see how chip+PIN is the holy grail you think it is.

Although there may be more negotiation/handshake at PoS with chip+PIN, it still comes down to two-factor auth to make that sale. And, if somebody can install software/hardware that grabbed mag strip + PIN, they likely can do the same for chip+PIN.

Comment: Re:What's wrong with Windows Server? (Score 4, Insightful) 274

by nabsltd (#47812331) Attached to: You Got Your Windows In My Linux

Almost everyone I've asked that has expressed hatred of SystemD hasn't actually used it.

I've used it. I hate it.

Ignoring the very real problem that putting so damn much in PID 1 is dangerous for system stability and security, systemd is generally OK for all distribution-supplied packages. But, if you have anything at all that the packagers didn't think of, it's a pain in the ass. For example, getting sendmail to not start until the clamd server is ready to accept connections isn't easy using systemd, but trivial using a standard init script.

Also, despite the fact that dependencies are baked-in to systemd, it's not at all uncommon for a service that depends on an something else (service, NFS mount, etc.) to still start up before the dependency is fully ready, simply because the default systemd is to assume the dependency is fulfilled as soon as whatever "starts" it returns.

Next, there is no easy way to copy existing dependencies to another service (which would be the best way to start creating your own), mostly because the systemd docs and examples simply suck.

Last, the dependency system absolutely screams for a GUI interface to be able to follow and configure it, but when one finally is created (if it hasn't been already), it'll be useless on servers, because nobody with brains installs a GUI on the server.

Comment: Re:customer-centric (Score 1) 406

by nabsltd (#47812191) Attached to: Microsoft Defies Court Order, Will Not Give Emails To US Government

The US asked an Irish court to issue a warrant to force production of the data. The Irish court refused to issue the warrant.

And the question here is: Why?

I don't know the laws of Ireland enough to know if the reason the judge refused to issue a warrant is part of the public record. I don't even know if the judge has to articulate a specific reason.

And, although it might be interesting to know, it really doesn't matter. All that matter is that a court with jurisdiction to issue a warrant said "no", and the US tried an end-run around that authority.

Comment: Re:And well they should. (Score 1) 78

by nabsltd (#47802673) Attached to: China Gives Microsoft 20 Days To Respond To Competition Probe

But in the end, many companies will choose to foot a larger bill if they can budget for it in advance. "We will need $100,000 for Office licenses" often sounds better than "We didn't budget for it, but it turns out we need $30,000 for various unforeseen development expenses."

It also rarely matters what the total cost turns out to be, but rather the per-seat cost.

If you can get a big enough volume discount, $200 or so per seat doesn't look bad considering that it's a purchase (Office doesn't require yearly fees), and you get a lot more support overall (both official through MS and various help web sites).

Comment: Re:Where are these photos? (Score 1) 306

by nabsltd (#47802045) Attached to: Reported iCloud Hack Leaks Hundreds of Private Celebrity Photos

Some are freaking-out though, or at least their publicity management people are. From what I gather, someone started tweeting they were fake, and apparently the more were released to prove they weren't.

If all the leaked photos are very "private", then I suspect they are fakes.

On the other hand, if there are lots of "boring" pictures, too, it's likely they are real.

Comment: Re:McDonallds should sue ... (Score 1) 251

by nabsltd (#47794297) Attached to: Comcast Training Materials Leaked

Buy a Winegard 8800 and a Boost XT preamp, and that distance should be no problem.

I have an 8800 (and a 4400) and a low noise pre-amp on each. I didn't say OTA TV was's actually quite good. Some signals are so strong that the antenna pointed 90 degrees from the source still gets a signal well over 24dB C/N. On the "proper" antenna, signals can hit 30dB C/N.

But, DirecTV still has fewer dropouts than even the strongest channels, since multiple reflected signals can wreak havoc, and stronger signals are often affected even more. I can't control airplanes, moving trees, or other intermittent reflectors, and these happen far more often than really thick clouds, so OTA fares worse than satellite.

Comment: Re:I seem to remember... (Score 1) 275

by nabsltd (#47794277) Attached to: Dropbox Caught Between Warring Giants Amazon and Google

And indeed, your usage is typical of any Google Drive user, right?

For phone access, yes, since there are no ads even on the Google-supplied app. The same applies to the custom app for Windows, Mac, etc.

For web access, there aren't currently any ads on the Google Drive page, so, yes, for now. And, if Google changes this, there is always AdBlock.

Comment: Re:customer-centric (Score 5, Informative) 406

by nabsltd (#47794267) Attached to: Microsoft Defies Court Order, Will Not Give Emails To US Government

But if it was an American, residing on European soil, there would be extradition procedures to follow. And those would involve having the local (EU) police generate their own warrant and make their own arrest based upon a formal request.

If you had followed this case, you would know that this is exactly what the US tried to do.

The US asked an Irish court to issue a warrant to force production of the data. The Irish court refused to issue the warrant. So, the US issued a subpoena to Microsoft, who rightly told the US that although the data was on a Microsoft computer, the data was owned by a customer of Microsoft, therefore a warrant would be required. The US court then issued a warrant for Microsoft to produce the data. Microsoft refused, noting that the data was in a foreign country, and warrants are only valid when issued by a court that has jurisdiction over the location of the requested object/data/person. No US court has jurisdiction over Irish soil, thus we end up at today's story.

The actual point of Microsoft's appeal is that the US wants to have a court to be able to issue an order that has the all the advantages of both a warrant and a subpoena, while ignoring their limitatations. The problem with this is that subpoenas are allowed to be fairly vague and apply to anything that is "owned" by the target of the subpoena, regardless of where it is located. Warrants, OTOH, can force the target to hand over something they don't own but over which they have control, but can only request very specific items/data, and have to be issued by a court that has jurisdiction over where the item/data is located.

Comment: Re:Why are they hiding information? (Score 2) 140

by nabsltd (#47785431) Attached to: Microsoft Releases Replacement Patch With Two Known Bugs

A short description of what the patch actually is intended to do would not kill Microsoft. I shouldn't have to go hunting for that information if I want it.

In addition, if you have set Windows Update to "download but not install", then it is possible that you don't have Internet access at the time you are thinking of applying the already-downloaded patch.

Comment: Re:Can we get a tape drive to back this up? (Score 1) 316

by nabsltd (#47764869) Attached to: Seagate Ships First 8 Terabyte Hard Drive

And LTO is far more reliable than a SATA hard disk.

It depends on what you mean by "reliable". Able to withstand impact, yes. Able to keep bits intact when stored as they should be...both LTO6 and disk are about the same.

This is because the bit error rate on LTO6 is so high compared to something like the Oracle T10000C tapes. Statistics say you would need two copies of everything on LTO6 to make it as likely to not lose data as a single copy on T10000. We had to do the analysis on the best way to back up 12PB of data, and T10000 won if you were starting from scratch. Since the client already had LTO6 drives (and the silo), that tipped the scales back, but they still have to make two copies and send one offsite to meet the reliability requirements.

Comment: Re:I seem to remember... (Score 0) 275

by nabsltd (#47748771) Attached to: Dropbox Caught Between Warring Giants Amazon and Google

Google offers its storage space in return for serving you ads when you use their services.

I haven't ever seen an ad when accessing Google Drive.

I don't see how they can ever serve me an ad on my phone since I use a third-party file manager app that uses the Google Drive API to seamlessly integrate GDrive to my phone file system. On the PC I use a web browser, which can be protected by AdBlock if they ever do start serving ads on the Google Drive page.

Comment: Re:Why such paranoia ? (Score 1) 299

Imagine if some poor schumck recorded video on his smartphone of that cop in Ferguson shooting that kid. They'd brick the phone immediately, eliminating the video, and only leaving the schumck's word that he had the video.

How is this any different from the police taking the phone and erasing the video? In order to get the information they need to "brick" the phone, they'd need to look at the phone, thus they would have it in their possession and could do anything nefarious that they chose. The only situation where the government shutting down an individual phone remotely makes any sense is if they believe that phone is a required part of a "people are going to die" plot.

The real problem with a mandated remote kill switch is that every script kiddie on the planet would want to break into whatever controls sending out the "kill" order so they could entertain themselves. With current systems where whatever method I choose to have this functionality is not known, and there are a great many options, it's far less likely that somebody will wipe my phone just for "fun".

Comment: Re:Just doin' business (Score 1) 251

by nabsltd (#47711473) Attached to: Comcast Training Materials Leaked

Upselling doesn't occur until their issue is resolved and the call is on track to end.

And that's still a problem. If I call to have a problem fixed, then that's all they should do. The dozens of ads per day they insert into the video, the 2-3 pieces of snail mail I get per week, and the annoying calls that I can't stop because I have a "business relationship" with them are more than enough "upsell" for me.

Luckily, my providers (DirecTV for video and Verizion FiOS for Internet) don't do any a lot of this crap (DirecTV does insert a lot of ads for themselves). The only "upsell" I get from a support call to either one of these is a "is there anything else I can help you with?" at the end. I don't get any snail mail ads from either one, and neither call me. DirecTV tells me about new services by messages that appear on my STB (not intrusive...must be accessed manually via a menu choice), and at least one of which I have purchased.

Comment: Re:McDonallds should sue ... (Score 2) 251

by nabsltd (#47711385) Attached to: Comcast Training Materials Leaked

TV antennas have worked since the 1940s. With the digital switchover is the 2000s, people even further out can get a digitally-perfect picture in higher quality with less artifacts than any cable or satellite provider offers.

I have several antennas (pointed at different cities), and so I can say with a lot of knowledge that you are generally wrong. I'm less than 30 miles from one set of towers and about 40 from the other, and I have far fewer dropouts from DirecTV than from antenna. Not that there's a lot on either, but OTA does have more uncorrectable errors over the long haul. For people farther away (but still in the same DMA, and still needing to get their signal from the same towers), it's even worse.

As for picture quality when there are no errors, DirecTV isn't a noticeable dropoff, now that every OTA station has at least one sub-channel.

And you probably have several times more TV channels available to you than you would expect, possibly several good ones that are not even carried on cable.

There are OTA sub-channels not available on satellite, but many of them are available on the local cable provider (Comcast). I do watch some of these channels quite often, and they do offer programs I can't get anywhere else. That said, if I only had OTA, I wouldn't be able to watch most of the shows that I actually like.

Comment: Re:nuisance fee (Score 1) 376

by nabsltd (#47703397) Attached to: Rightscorp's New Plan: Hijack Browsers Until Infingers Pay Up

So The ISP has a choice of caving to their demands and getting a kickback or fight a costly battle that they may or may not win.

Or, the ISPs can support being re-classified as "common carriers" by the FCC and then the DMCA requirement goes away, so Rightscorp wouldn't have any leverage of a lawsuit.

"And do you think (fop that I am) that I could be the Scarlet Pumpernickel?" -- Looney Tunes, The Scarlet Pumpernickel (1950, Chuck Jones)