Follow Slashdot stories on Twitter


Forgot your password?

Slashdot videos: Now with more Slashdot!

  • View

  • Discuss

  • Share

We've improved Slashdot's video section; now you can view our video interviews, product close-ups and site visits with all the usual Slashdot options to comment, share, etc. No more walled garden! It's a work in progress -- we hope you'll check it out (Learn more about the recent updates).


Comment: Accessibility for Apple and Microsoft products (Score 1, Informative) 100

by plsuh (#49257695) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Mouse/Pointer For a Person With Poor Motor Control

You didn't say what platform, but this has been an on-going emphasis for both Apple and Microsoft for a long time.

For OS X and iOS, see

For Windows, see

Hope this helps.


Comment: End-to-End Audible Voting Systems (Score 1) 480

by plsuh (#48795871) Attached to: How Bitcoin Could Be Key To Online Voting

FFS, doesn't anyone do any research before posting stories? 60 seconds of research would turn up the Wikipedia entry on End-to-end audible voting systems. The problem of being able to verify that your vote is recorded as you intended without revealing the actual content of your vote has been solved by several teams. The ones that seem to have the best handle on things are Scantegrity, Pret-a-Voter, and Punchscan (the predecessor of Scantegrity) .

Using Bitcoin (which in fact has anti-anonymity properties) as an engine for voting is like attaching a tractor to a horse carriage. It may get you where you want to go, but it's nothing like a proper motor vehicle.


Comment: Really, really weak evidence (Score 4, Informative) 158

by plsuh (#48688799) Attached to: Norse Security IDs 6, Including Ex-Employee, As Sony Hack Perpetrators


The evidence here is really, really weak. The connection is tenuous enough and the original pool of possible suspects via their methodology is large enough that I sure as heck wouldn't rule out a connection via random chance. Until we get better evidence, this isn't worth very much.

Norse Security says as much in The Fine Article:

Stammberger was careful to note that his company's findings are hardly conclusive, and may just add wrinkles to an already wrinkled picture of what happened at Sony Pictures. He said Norse employees will be briefing the FBI on Monday about their findings.

"They're the investigators," Stammberger said. "We're going to show them our data and where it points us. As far as whether it is proof that would stand up in a court of law? That's not our job to determine, it is theirs," he said of the FBI.


Comment: It's not a tank (Score 1) 163

by plsuh (#48220323) Attached to: British Army Looking For Gamers For Their Smart-Tanks

Geez how the press gets this sort of thing so wrong. It's not a tank, it's an Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV). It's lightly armored against small arms and small-bore auto-cannon rounds, not against ATGMs, tank main guns, or RPGs.

The weight at 34 tonnes is much less than that of any current front-line tank (according to Wikipedia the Challenger 2 is 62.5 tonnes, almost double the Scout SV). It is a lot heavier than most current IFV's (e.g., the German Marder at 28 tonnes or BMP-3 at 18.7 tonnes), but that may not be such a good thing. It makes strategic mobility more of a problem and ensures that the Scout SV can't swim across rivers by itself.

Some reporter just cut and pasted from the press release. Feh!


Comment: Full course available online (Score 4, Informative) 144

by plsuh (#47893489) Attached to: Harvard's CompSci Intro Course Boasts Record-Breaking Enrollment


My son took the course last year as a senior in high school via iTunesU.

It's also available on EdX.

Heck, I took it way back thirty-odd years ago. :-)

Also, here's a link to the original article in the Harvard Crimson:


Comment: Suggestions for the Apple technologist (Score 3, Informative) 131

by plsuh (#47608471) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Good Technology Conferences To Attend?

In chronological order looking forward:

MacTech Boot Camps -
Small, local, inexpensive. Check to see if there's one close to you.

MacTech Conference -
Larger, both sysadmin and developer tracks

MacIT -
Larger, multiple tracks and levels of knowledge

The granddaddy of them all, but next to impossible to get into these days. Mostly developer focused. May not be useful if you don't already have a deep knowledge base.

MacAdmins -
The most education-focused of the conferences. Very knowledgeable presenters.

FWIW, I've been a presenter at MacTech Boot Camps, MacIT, and WWDC.


+ - Evernote Hit by Hackers->

Submitted by
plsuh writes "Evernote is the latest victim of an attack. According to their website,

"In our security investigation, we have found no evidence that any of the content you store in Evernote was accessed, changed or lost. We also have no evidence that any payment information for Evernote Premium or Evernote Business customers was accessed.

"The investigation has shown, however, that the individual(s) responsible were able to gain access to Evernote user information, which includes usernames, email addresses associated with Evernote accounts and encrypted passwords. Even though this information was accessed, the passwords stored by Evernote are protected by one-way encryption. (In technical terms, they are hashed and salted.)"

No indication as to the hashing mechanism — is it a simple, easily brute forced MD-5 or is it a harder, more secure PBKDF2, Bcrypt, or Scrypt with lots of rounds? Anyway, Evernote has reset the passwords of all of the affected users."

Link to Original Source

Comment: Remove dad's admin privs (Score 1) 320

by plsuh (#41148579) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Rescuing a PC That's Been Hit By Scammers?

Lots of good advice so far, but one more item -- since your father has turned sysadmin tasks over to you, once you wipe and re-install, set up his account on the computer so that it is a restricted user account, not an admin account. If he isn't doing sysadmin tasks then he doesn't need the privs and this limits the amount of damage that a scammer can do to the computer. (Although getting his SSN and other info is still really bad.)


Comment: iOS has encryption and management built-in (Score 4, Informative) 138

I'm a former Apple engineer, current independent consultant, so I'm not going to address the Android side. That's a lot more complicated -- I'll stick with talking about the iOS info that I know about.

That said, wow, there's a lot of snarky comments but not a lot of information posted.

iOS has full-device hardware encryption built-in on the iPhone 3GS and later, activated as soon as you set up a passcode. This top-level encryption layer is for quick device wipes, not for data protection. Each user data file is then encrypted on top of that using its own unique key, then set into a protection class by the app developer:

  - Complete Protection - decrypted only when the device is unlocked; file key is removed from memory when the device is locked.

  - Protected Unless Open - decrypted when the device is unlocked; if file is open when the device locks, the file stays open/decrypted.

  - Protected Until First User Authentication - decrypted on first unlock, stays decrypted until reboot

  - No Protection - file system encryption only; no per-file encryption key

Apple has really been on developers cases to tighten down the data protection classes for their apps on iOS.

In addition, iOS has a huge number of remote management options. Apple provides a basic management tool called Profile Manager in Lion Server, and there are third-party Mobile Device Managers (MDMs) that take the basics and go even further. You can force complex passcodes, pre-configure e-mail accounts, restrict usage of features, and so on. The site has a pretty complete listing.

One of the cool things about using iOS MDM is that all of the configuration profiles are tied to the management profile that gets installed when the device is first enrolled with the MDM. If you're in a BYOD situation and a user leaves on bad terms, the IT department can retract the management profile, which automatically retracts all of the other configuration profiles. This will delete corporate e-mail accounts, remove in-house apps (and their data!), take away VPN and 802.1X access, and so on, without erasing the person's device entirely. All of the pictures the person took are still there, not blown away as they would be after a complete device wipe.

Anyway, a few links that may help you out: - look for consultants with the Mobility specialization - go into "Manage Users" --> "Profile Manager" on the right

Hope this helps.


+ - City of Boston pays $170,000 to settle landmark case involving man arrested for -> 1

Submitted by
Ian Lamont
Ian Lamont writes "The City of Boston has reached a $170,000 settlement with Simon Glik who was arrested by Boston Police in 2007 after using his mobile phone to record police arresting another man on Boston Common. Police claimed that Glik had violated state wiretapping laws, but later dropped the charges and admitted the officers were wrong to arrest him. Glik had brought a lawsuit against the city (aided by the ACLU) because he claimed his civil rights were violated. According to today's ACLU statement:

As part of the settlement, Glik agreed to withdraw his appeal to the Community Ombudsman Oversight Panel. He had complained about the Internal Affairs Division's investigation of his complaint and the way they treated him. IAD officers made fun of Glik for filing the complaint, telling him his only remedy was filing a civil lawsuit. After the City spent years in court defending the officers' arrest of Glik as constitutional and reasonable, IAD reversed course after the First Circuit ruling and disciplined two of the officers for using "unreasonable judgment" in arresting Glik.


Link to Original Source

+ - Political Party's Leadership Election Attacked by DDoS ->

Submitted by lyran74
lyran74 (685550) writes "Saturday's electronic leadership vote for Canada's New Democratic Party was plagued by delays caused by a botnet DDoS attack, coming from over 10,000 machines. Details are still scarce, but Scytl, who provided electronic voting services, will have to build more robust systems in the future in anticipation of such attacks. Party and company officials say an audit proved the systems and integrity of the vote were not compromised."
Link to Original Source

Comment: Apple's Podcast Publisher and Podcast Library (Score 2) 126

by plsuh (#38551300) Attached to: Best Software For Putting Lectures Online?

This is exactly the design scenario for Podcast Publisher and Podcast Library.

While it can take advantage of a whole cluster of servers, it can also run (albeit more slowly) on a single Core i7 Mini Server. For more detailed docs, see:

It's in use at lots of universities and some K-12 schools.

Hope this helps.


Comment: Already dead (Score 4, Interesting) 128

by plsuh (#37415076) Attached to: Certificate Blunders May Mean the End For DigiNotar

This is just going through the motions. DigiNotar has been dead since August 30, when Google, Mozilla, and Microsoft all revoked trust in their certificates. Anyone with at least two brain cells (which seems to exclude a large number of managers, unfortunately) could see the writing on the wall. No one would ever buy a new DigiNotar certificate, since it would always pop up a scary warning to the user in a web browser. Why bother with buying a certificate from DigiNotar and dealing with the resulting end-user support issues, when you can buy from someone else and not have to deal with the problem?

More interesting to me is what will happen to DigiNotar's corporate parent, Vasco Data Security? The purchase of DigiNotar is relatively recent (January 10, 2011), so it's not clear how much influence Vasco's management had over DigiNotar's operations. At the very least, Vasco is going to need to pay for an audit of its own systems to reassure its direct customers.


Wasn't there something about a PASCAL programmer knowing the value of everything and the Wirth of nothing?