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Comment: "Anonymous" is not anonymous at all (Score 1) 95

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.

Science

Low Levels of Toxic Gas Found To Encourage Plant Growth 103

Posted by samzenpus
from the what-doesn't-kill-you-makes-you-stronger dept.
olsmeister writes "Hydrogen Sulfide is a toxic, flammable, foul-smelling gas that some theorize may have been at least partially responsible for some of Earth's mass extinctions, including the Permian-Triassic event, which killed well over half of the species on the planet. Now, thanks to a fortuitous accident, doctoral student at the University of Washington seems to have discovered that very low doses of the gas seems to greatly enhance plant growth, causing plants to germinate more quickly and grow larger. The finding could have far reaching implications for both food and biofuel production."

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.

Databases

Fedora 19 Nixing MySQL in Favor of MariaDB 116

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the take-that-mr-ellison dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Red Hat developers are planning to replace MySQL with MariaDB in Fedora 19. For the next Fedora update, the MariaDB fork would replace MySQL and the official MySQL package would be discontinued after some time. The reasoning for this move is the uncertainty about Oracle's support of MySQL as an open-source project and moves to make the database more closed." Update: 01/22 13:47 GMT by T : Note: "Nixing" may be a bit strong; this move has been proposed, but is not yet officially decided.

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.

Advertising

French ISP Blocking Web Ads By Default 317

Posted by Soulskill
from the hasn't-yet-surrendered-to-pressure-from-ad-suppliers dept.
New submitter GavrocheLeGnou writes "The french ISP 'Free.fr' is now blocking ads from Adsense and other providers by default for all its subscribers. The option can be turned off globally, but there's no whitelist (Google translation of French original). From the article: 'Because the service doesn’t offer a whitelist (contrary to Adblock, a service I’ve used for years), this means that it is an all or nothing choice, activated by default to block everything. And since it is not only internet, but TV and phone lines running through the FreeBox, it’s possible that, if left unchecked, Free could beginning blocking TV ads, or phone calls from known spam hotlines. While this seems like a potentially beneficial service, there’s no doubt that it’s biting at the heels of several sectors who rely on advertisement to make money, let alone the advertisers themselves who pay to reach an audience, and are blocked at the door.'"
The Internet

Ask Slashdot: Best Way To Monitor Traffic? 338

Posted by samzenpus
from the keeping-an-eye-on-things dept.
First time accepted submitter Shalmendo writes "My client needs to monitor traffic on his LAN, particularly going out to the internet. This will include websites like Facebook, Myspace, and similar, including from mobile devices. So far, based on the network education I have, I've concluded that it might be best to get a tap (And some kind of recording system with wireshark, probably a mini-barebone), or replace the existing Linksys router with a custom built mini barebone system with linux routing software and appropriate storage capacity etc to record traffic internally. (either way it looks like I will need to put together a mini barebone system for some purpose) My client is trying to protect his family from scammers and other unsavory types, and isn't savvy in this matter, so i'm doing it for him. What I need is a way to record the traffic at a singular point, like modem/router areas, or similar, and a way to scrape out Facebook, Myspace, and other messages. It also appears that the client's family is using iPhones and some game called 'words' which has message capability. Is it possible to scrape messages out of that game's packets, or are they obfuscated? Can I write a script? What software would you recommend? Linux routing OS? Can we sniff packets and drop them on the internal hard drive? or would a tap be better? How do I analyze and sort the data afterwards? my client needs easily read evidence (Such as text or screenshots) he can use as proof in discussion with his family to try and intercede in any potentially harmful transactions. In other words, how can I Achieve this goal? I have basic and medium training in computer networking, so I can make my own cables and such, but I've never worked on this exact kind of project before, and thought it might be better to query slashdot instead of do my own research from scratch. After days of discussion with the client, it's not plausible to put monitoring software in the devices on the network (due to legal issues and a few other factors), so I concluded a network tap or other device would be the best way to capture and study what's going on."

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.

"Just the facts, Ma'am" -- Joe Friday

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