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Comment: Love the XPS 13 series (Score 4, Interesting) 97

I normally avoid hardware review posts but I'm on my 2nd Dell XPS 13" laptop so wanted to check this out.

I have been super happy with these devices. The first one was the XPS M1210, which in all seriousness was one of the best computers I've ever owned. It's a bit dated now - it was pre-Macbook Air, so by comparison looks huge and chunky, but compared to previous lappys it was a joy to travel with.

The first battery piked after a couple years but this is back in the Good Old Days when buying replacement parts was easy.

The screen crapped out after about 4 years - still usable but had weird patterns all over it. I could have replaced it but by then the newer model was out, and the change in weight profile was significant enough to justify the change.

I've had the new one for over two years and have been really happy with it. I basically only use it when I travel, and it's slimline form is great.

The model I have (2012 I think) only has 4GB of RAM, which has been a bit of a hassle, and the CPU is a bit on the slow side compared to my desktop - but this new one with 8GB looks like it would be great.

It has a nice keyboard with broad, easy to press keys, making it as not-terrible as possible to type on for extended periods (if I'm using it for ages I still plug in a real keyboard though).

If you're looking at a slimline laptop and don't want a Mac, then I seriously recommend checking the XPS series out.

Comment: The silver lining (Score 2) 139

The positive side is that hopefully it provides further incentives for companies like Microsoft to work harder to try to mitigate DDoS problems at the source.

Microsoft are in a unique position as their operating system is - it seems - in many cases the base platform for launching these attacks. It'd be great to see a concerted effort along with a company like Google to start actively trying to massively reduce the number of systems that are regularly involved in DDoS attacks.

Comment: Re:they can't. people build it, people break it (Score 1) 54

by trawg (#48405901) Attached to: State Department Joins NOAA, USPS In Club of Hacked Federal Agencies

And now is probably the BEST time to be doing it. Threat of physical retaliation is extremely low for most major powers, but the intelligence that can be gained - both in terms of identifying potential weak points in infrastructure and systems, and ways to improve defence against attacks - must be priceless.

Comment: thanks! (Score 1) 323

by trawg (#48399773) Attached to: MARS, Inc: We Are Running Out of Chocolate

Just a quick note to say thanks for your comments in this thread. Fascinating to learn some more about the chocolate industry and what the hell chocolate is. As an Australian that recently moved to the US I have been surprised about the weird tasting chocolate that is commonly available (e.g., Hershey bars) and now have a better idea what to look for.

Would love to know what you make so I can look out for it in the stores (... if there's anywhere in Ohio that stocks them!)

Comment: Too late (Score 1) 142

by trawg (#48327963) Attached to: Australian Post Office Opens Mail Forwarding Warehouse In the USA

With the Republicans scoring big in the election, the US dollar hit a high (apparently because they're pro business) against the Aussie dollar, which is now the lowest it's been for 4 years after a gradual slide over the last few months.

This would have been fantastic 2 years ago but now we're just facing the original Australia tax - a poor exchange rate. Might still be a few things that you can get a good deal on though.

Comment: Re:Interesting, but... (Score 1) 104

by trawg (#48155965) Attached to: Microsoft Partners With Docker

What you might want is a Windows VM (or more than one) inside your Windows that you use for Internet downloads.

At the moment I just run separate VMs, but it's a bit heavyweight.

Remember Docker isn't secure. Process that want to escape can escape.

Hmm, that seems counter to the Docker security model - the processes are not supposed to be able to get out of their container ... or so it claims. How do Docker processes escape?

Comment: Interesting, but... (Score 3, Interesting) 104

by trawg (#48154777) Attached to: Microsoft Partners With Docker

... I'd actually rather see Docker in the user space for Windows. There are zillions of Windows applications that would benefit from Docker-isation - being able to download things off the Internet and more safely run them is something I've wanted for ages.

There are various application sandbox things for Windows (e.g., Sandboxie) but I haven't seen anything open source that is as reliable and commonly used as Docker seems to be.

I think it'd be OK on the server side as well, but I'd love to be able to download nice jailed Docker versions of most Windows apps so I can run them without having to worry too much about what they're doing in my userspace.

Comment: "...if it's in the news, don't worry about it." (Score 3, Insightful) 265

by trawg (#48143729) Attached to: Confidence Shaken In Open Source Security Idealism

I think some of Schneier's words apply here:

"I tell people that if it's in the news, don't worry about it. The very definition of "news" is "something that hardly ever happens." It's when something isn't in the news, when it's so common that it's no longer news -- car crashes, domestic violence -- that you should start worrying."

If this had been a story about a Windows exploit it's unlikely it would have been reported in the mainstream in a similar manner. Even if it had it's unlikely anyone would have paid attention; even the non-technical public is massively desensitised to stories about Windows security issues.

If anything, I'm now /more/ confident about open source security. This demonstrates that when people find problems, they fix them quickly and efficiently. Who knows what is happening in closed source software?

Comment: Re:Just upgraded, lost cookies (Score 4, Insightful) 114

by trawg (#48143517) Attached to: Firefox 33 Arrives With OpenH264 Support

Just curious, what has been breaking for you? What UI features have changed in some significant way since Australis?

SINCE Australis? Nothing major. In a recent version they changed the right click context menu to include icons for reload/back/forward, which irritated me - change for the sake of change. (Also the keyboard shortcut for Private Browsing no longer works - might be a plugin? Not sure.)

Things like that seem little but when you've been using Firefox for years - which I have, every day, for work - little changes like that mean the platform loses a lot of stability, which is one of the things that is most important when you're trying to get things done.

I'm not at all opposed to new features. I don't even care about feature bloat that much. But they should be opt-in. And at the very least, you should be able to opt-out without having to install some third party plugin. Having a new UI/UX forced on me just feels ... rude.

Australis prompted me to install Classic Theme Restorer so I could restore the browser to the way I'd been using it for /years/. (Here's my +5 post about why I disliked Australis.) Enough has been written about Australis so I won't whine about that any more.

Comment: Just upgraded, lost cookies (Score 4, Interesting) 114

by trawg (#48142709) Attached to: Firefox 33 Arrives With OpenH264 Support

Just upgraded then with that grim sense of foreboding that I now get with Firefox upgrades ("what's going to stop working this time? how is the UI I've been using for many years changed now?")

I lost all my cookies - upon reload after the upgrade, I noticed I was logged out of a bunch of websites (including anything using Google Accounts and Slashdot). YMMV.

They laughed at Einstein. They laughed at the Wright Brothers. But they also laughed at Bozo the Clown. -- Carl Sagan