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Comment: "Anonymous" is not anonymous at all (Score 1) 94

by phaunt (#47448329) Attached to: Bot Tweets Anonymous Wikipedia Edits From Capitol Hill

Many people don't seem to realise that by editing Wikipedia anonymously, you're giving away your IP address for everyone to see. I'd expected a comment to that effect here but didn't, so I'll be the first to post it.

In that sense, editing with a registered account is much more anonymous. Only some Wikipedia staff members can look up your IP address, so edits from Capitol Hill using an account won't be picked up by this twitter bot. Also, those staff members (should) have to follow procedures before they can look up your IP.

Comment: This guy at seclists.org nailed it (Score 3, Interesting) 65

by phaunt (#42967471) Attached to: Notification of Server Breach Mistaken For Phishing Email

Michael Sinatra over at seclists.org had the following to say:

This should be a lesson to all of us, since EDUCAUSE is definitely not alone here: We all do regular, legitimate business in ways that is sometimes indistinguishable from phishing, at least to regular users. That needs to stop. Email marketers and analytics junkies will not like to hear this, but we need to put an end to embedded email links that are redirected through other systems. IMO, we should put an end to *all* legitimate links in emails; instead have a business portal with all of the links to surveys, training sites, etc., and have notification emails for when new things appear on the portal. In addition, we could modify our SSO sites so that they alert users when they need to take care of something that we would normally use email for which to notify the user. Once that's done, we can assure users that we will NEVER ask them to click on a link in an email, just like we currently remind them that we never ask them for passwords.

If that is "too hard" and/or the analytics stuff is "too valuable" then we need to simply accept the risk that our users will get caught in phishing attacks. The bad guys have figured out that it is very easy to mimic our business practices, and they have gotten very good at doing it. Unless we change those practices, they will find us to be easy pickings.

Comment: TFA got the probabilities backward (Score 4, Informative) 110

by phaunt (#42759495) Attached to: Online Ads Are More Dangerous Than Porn, Cisco Says

The summary, and the Security Week article, write that "Users are more 21 times more likely to get hit with malware from online shopping sites than if they'd gone to a counterfeit software site".

Cisco's report says that "Online shopping sites are 21 times more likely to deliver malicious content than counterfeit software sites."

Those statements are not equivalent. Online shopping sites have many more visitors than counterfeit software sites, so they have more opportunity to deliver malware. The same goes for the factor of 27 for search engines.

Also, it's hard to check the factor of 182 for adult sites, since the report doesn't include that number, or in fact even the words "porn" or "adult".

Comment: See this comparison. Wikipedia is moving, too. (Score 5, Interesting) 116

by phaunt (#42655879) Attached to: Fedora 19 Nixing MySQL in Favor of MariaDB
Here is a comparison of MariaDB vs MySQL.
Probably most important to Fedora is this:

Truly Open Source

  • All code in MariaDB is released under GPL, LPGL or BSD. MariaDB does not have closed source modules like the one you can find in MySQL enterprise edition. In fact, all the closed source features in MySQL 5.5 enterprise edition are found in the MariaDB open source version.
  • MariaDB includes test cases for all fixed bugs. Oracle doesn't provide test cases for new bugs fixed in MySQL 5.5.
  • All bugs and development plans are public.
  • MariaDB is developed by the community in true open source spirit.

Wikipedia, too, is moving from MySQL to MariaDB.

Comment: Heinlein "predicted" this (Score 2) 111

by phaunt (#42544279) Attached to: Fireflies Bring Us Brighter LEDs

In 1940, Robert A. Heinlein (writing under the pseudonym of Lyle Monroe) published a story called "Let There Be Light" where the firefly's bioluminosity whas studied leading to the development of "light panels", kinda-sorta predicting LEDs. It's a nice development that now the firefly is being studied to improve those LEDs. Though the mechanism is totally different of course.

The story is apparently in the public domain now, available here.

Comment: Re:GPS reliance (Score 5, Interesting) 290

by phaunt (#39952027) Attached to: North Korea Jamming GPS Signals In South Korea
The GP's point still stands. He mentions "that the infrastructure you need to navigate without it has been neglected or even systematically dismantled". This includes lighthouses, many of which are no longer being maintained. I find this a bad idea: they offer a globally distributed and resilient fall-back option to the much more centralised (almost single-point-of-failure) technology that GPS offers.

Comment: Re:Common Sense, anyone? (Score 1) 788

by phaunt (#36957232) Attached to: Re: the debt deal reached Sunday night ...

But the point is, when people just repeat their HuffPo talking points, they are really clueless about the actual numbers of who pays taxes, and so forth. Most arguments about "the disproportionate tax burden on the poor" come from SSN/Medicare withholdings, which aren't taxes, precisely, since you get the money back eventually. More like a mandatory retirement program.

(Though if you expect SSN to have totally vanished by the time you retire, then sure, it's a tax.)

Yes, thank you for that insight.

We warn the reader in advance that the proof presented here depends on a clever but highly unmotivated trick. -- Howard Anton, "Elementary Linear Algebra"

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