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Comment: Re:If that's what you want (Score 1) 643

by rvw (#48856601) Attached to: Justified: Visual Basic Over Python For an Intro To Programming

Then switch from Java or Python to Groovy. It's got a REPL tool like Python and Ruby, compiles to Java bytecode with tight Java interop and usually looks more like Ruby or Python than most people's Java code. That and it's a substantially more marketable language than any dialect of BASIC.

Better learn them the basics in a programming language that will be around for the next 10-20 years. Python will, but Groovy? Never heard of it, or heard of it and forgot about it. I wouldn't recommend it. It will learn some people skills that are useful for simple tasks, on any platform. Some of them will move on to other languages, and for those people it doesn't matter if it's groovy or python. But for those who learn only one language - this one - it will matter.

Comment: Re:Stands to reason (Score 1) 181

by rvw (#48848869) Attached to: NSA Hack of N. Korea Convinced Obama NK Was Behind Sony Hack

So by their own standards, the US had used an act of war against a foreign nation. Will they be attacking themselves, seeing as they're the world's police?

Who cares. They can't convict them for those A-bomb tests thanks to Putin, with Guantanamo they can't complain about Camp 14 or 18, and the link to Saddam Hussein is a dead end. Now they can bring in the corporate lawyers - much more effective!

Comment: Re:Cyptowall is very sophisticated (Score 5, Interesting) 181

by rvw (#48753727) Attached to: Inside Cryptowall 2.0 Ransomware

Cyptowall is very sophisticated. It will go into online backups and encrypt them too. If you are using a common online backup it can find those and encrypt those too. The best protection against this is a usb backup in a drawer.

Cyptowall was recently being distributed by yahoo ads via a compromised flash ad You could have received it by going to your favorite news site.

I use Crashplan. Couldn't they use a canary of some kind? In my online account I define a file that is just plain text or a key. I upload the text content of that file to my account while the local backup software doesn't know about this. I point to where this file is located in my backup, and it should be identical. Whenever this file is encrypted (or changed), I get an alert via mail. Then I know something is messing with my backup or with my local files.

Comment: Re:Cyptowall is very sophisticated (Score 3, Interesting) 181

by rvw (#48753697) Attached to: Inside Cryptowall 2.0 Ransomware

The best protection is to pull your backups not push. You have whatever is performing you backups connect into the machine, and then pull the backups, not having your machine being backed up connecting to the destination and pushing. That way, the machine can be compromised but it has no clue that it's even being backed up (since it's simply a share that's being used.)

Great and interesting, good to be aware of this possibiilty! But what if the machine that is pulling is infected? How do you know that is not happening?

Comment: Yes and the US has lost its first cyberwar (Score 1) 221

by rvw (#48635749) Attached to: Hackers' Shutdown of 'The Interview' Confirms Coding Is a Superpower

The US has lost its first cyberwar to North Korea, I read in the newspaper today. I think it's utter bullshit. This is not a cyberwar between two countries. Nothing of relevance has been lost. So one major companie got hacked and they lost all their data and have to pull back a movie - how important is that? I think it is quite big, but nothing compared to war between countries. If NK could shutdown the powergrid, take over some drones and use them to attack the US Navy with just online hacking, that would come close, but this does not compare.

Comment: Where to find a good RFID blocking wallet (Score 1) 110

by rvw (#48624957) Attached to: RFID-Blocking Blazer and Jeans Could Stop Wireless Identity Theft

I would like to buy a simple RFID blocking wallet. I can find a lot of them on Amazon, but none seem to have a coin compartment. I currently use a Lifeventure wallet, and I would like to get something similar. Ideally it would have the outside blocked, the inside not. So when you open it, you would be able to hold the card to an RFID scanner, without having to take it out.

All suggestions are welcome!

Comment: Re:All for poisioning the well (Score 2) 285

by rvw (#48556111) Attached to: AdNauseam Browser Extension Quietly Clicks On Blocked Ads

One downside would be that since it clicks on everything what is being told to advertisers is that you are interested in all that stuff.

So your profile could look like you want hello kitty, mercedes cars and dating sites.

That is a poisoned profile. The problem is that you will soon get targeted ads for very rare things because you are one of the three people who clicked. Another and bigger downside is that those ad companies not only get the clicks, but get to follow you around the net, and if they ditch the clicks, it might give them a very valuable profile.

A complex system that works is invariably found to have evolved from a simple system that works.