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Comment: Re: Classic Slashdot (Score 4, Interesting) 463

by ximenes (#46171319) Attached to: Fire Destroys Iron Mountain Data Warehouse, Argentina's Bank Records Lost

I still read the site every so often, but it's gone from one of my main sites that I read religiously to one that I forget about for a week or two.

The level of the articles don't even warrant skimming the summary in most cases, let alone reading the comments or actually commenting myself. Part of it is that my interests have diverged and part of it is that Slashdot has seriously lost any edge it ever had.

I can see why they feel the need to freshen up the design -- and it's not like it's ever been strong on a design front -- but the beta is atrocious and once I can't avoid it I doubt I'll ever be back. Slashdot may have outlasted Digg but I suspect it will share the same fate.

Comment: Re:Heading this off--see link to juror (Score 1) 418

by ximenes (#32024150) Attached to: Rough Justice For Terry Childs

From what I've read (including BengalsUF's comments, which seem to be the only authoritative source for the case), it sounds to me like Mr. Childs was taking extreme security precautions.

It's been mentioned several times that the network devices were configured to not store their configs in NVRAM or to wipe the configs if password recovery was used. I personally think that is a bit much, but I could see people I've worked with over the years arguing for this in order to prevent the configs from being retrieved by an attacker (and then analyzed and used to attack the rest of the network).

So once you've gone that far, you have to have a way to legitimately store and reload the configs when the inevitable failure occurs or an update is required. But if you just put the configs in CVS somewhere, then that becomes the security hole people can attack. So encrypting them and requiring multi-factor authentication to access makes a certain amount of sense.

As I said, I think it's going a bit far, but if you really really really want to ensure security of a critical piece of infrastructure, that's one way to do it. The way Mr. Childs went about it didn't scale beyond him (another common failing in small environments where the team size = 1), and maybe was too limiting to really be practical, but I don't necessarily think it equates to a matter of ensuring job security as has been claimed.

Comment: Re:...what? (Score 1) 193

by ximenes (#31529038) Attached to: Lord British's Lost Lunar Rover Found, After 37 Years

Video games aren't like other forms of entertainment. Paul McCartney's old albums are regularly updated for new mediums (tapes, CDs, etc.) and are fundamentally comparable to new albums made today minus some audible differences in production.

A video game made in 1988 may still be great, but there are much higher barriers to it finding a modern audience:

1. It may be difficult to run on modern systems (or at least require a level of knowledge -- e.g. what is ScummVM -- that makes it harder to access than a modern game for the uninitiated).

2. It may be so dated from a graphics, interface, or gameplay mechanics perspective that someone coming to it fresh will not enjoy it.

3. It may not even be possible to legally acquire; unlike movies and music, where old releases are often available alongside new releases, old games disappear from shelves.

Sure, there are exceptions. GOG.com, ScummVM, buying something on Ebay. But you have to already have an interest in exploring or revisiting older games.

Game designers are celebrities within their field, not within society. Paul McCartney is a celebrity because of his musical contributions, but he also is immediately recognizable to millions of people who may have never heard his music. Richard Garriott is a celebrity only to people who know his work -- which, as mentioned, has not continued to be relevant in recent gaming history.

And that in a nutshell is why someone as important to early gaming history as Richard Garriott was may not roll off the tip of someone's tongue today.

Comment: Re:...what? (Score 4, Insightful) 193

by ximenes (#31516992) Attached to: Lord British's Lost Lunar Rover Found, After 37 Years

He also hasn't made a noteable game since 1997 (or 1999 if you consider Ultima IX noteable), at best 11 years ago. While I instantly know who Lord British is, he is far from a household name to someone who was 3 when Ultima Online launched.

That's right, it's happened to you: you got old.

Comment: Re:Seriously? (Score 5, Insightful) 926

by ximenes (#30664528) Attached to: Slovak Police Planted Explosives On Air Travelers

I think it's conceivable that the world's population could have its quality of life raised across the board so that there are not people living in abject poverty who are literally starving to death, although it would be quite difficult and especially problematic to do so without causing the abject poor and working poor to effectively combine (meaning a reduction in quality of life for those presently at the low end of the scale but above the very bottom).

However, raising the quality of life so that literally no one has anything to lose (as you put it) doesn't seem practical. If everyone is a millionaire, then that will be the new poverty as the value of things will adjust accordingly based on their scarcity as already happens.

Put another way, someone will always have more than you in one way or another. More possessions, more political power, more social influence. If you feel that this is unbearable (as in someone who is legally permitted to obtain an abortion) or that you have no power to change this within the system (as with a tyrant suppressing political freedom) then people of a particular disposition will gravitate towards terrorism as a means to achieve their goals. Not to mention those who possess a strong enough dislike for another group of people based on religion, ethnicity, or other factors that their mere existence is offensive to you, which is even more difficult to solve as there is no middle ground.

Comment: Chart (Score 5, Informative) 376

by ximenes (#30248744) Attached to: Home Router For High-Speed Connection?

My ISP links to http://www.smallnetbuilder.com/component/option,com_chart/Itemid,189/ which has throughput numbers for common home routers.

The long and short of it is that a lot of these devices have pretty poor performance, and can get away with it because they're used on 1.5mbps lines. However, there are some out there that are decent.

Of course, there's the build-it-yourself approach with m0n0wall or pfSense or something else. With a spare PC laying around you'll likely get reasonable performance, although electricity usage is quite a bit higher than an appliance.

Comment: Re:Customer list, margins, costs (Score 1) 280

by ximenes (#30223416) Attached to: Recession Pushes More Workers To Steal Data

I agree that all of those things could be of value, but I still contend that even if someone was willing, the average employee doesn't have access to that kind of data.

It's not so much that I don't believe ANYONE would steal from their former employers but that EVERYONE would do so as the article is practically saying (50% is absurdly high).

Comment: Yeah right (Score 5, Insightful) 280

by ximenes (#30207554) Attached to: Recession Pushes More Workers To Steal Data

I'm sure that some people do try to profit from illicitly obtained information from their past employers; I've heard a few stories here and there about people getting busted. But there is simply no way that 50% of everyone in the workforce is doing this for a few simple reasons:

1. Risk - I think everyone is aware that the damage to your career and professional reputation would be catastrophic if you were caught, not to mention the legal ramifications.

2. Ethics - Yes, people do have them. Maybe not everyone is the pinnacle of ethical behavior, but that doesn't mean every other person you see at the office is just waiting to mug you and steal your wallet in the parking lot.

3. Nothing to steal - The majority of employees just don't have access to proprietary information that is actually of value outside the company. Sure, I could tell a future employer about my company's HR policies or give them an org chart. That might be very slightly useful, but certainly isn't going to get me hired or land me millions. I could also give them all of the company's internally developed code, but it would be of little use without all of the institutional knowledge, expertise and essentially the entire original company to go along with it.

4. Employers are liable as well - Take the case of the people who tried to sell some of Coke's trade secrets to Pepsi. They were refused, and Pepsi informed the police. They know that they would be liable for the illegal behavior as well, and want no part of it. Now not every employer operates above board, but it's a risky game to try to sell information to someone who may not even want to buy it.

So in summary: bullshit.

Comment: Re:Lack of redundancy (Score 2, Interesting) 407

by ximenes (#29936397) Attached to: What Happened To the Bay Bridge?

I was under the impression that the bridge had to go through Yerba Buena not to serve the island population (who are only there because the bridge makes it convenient I imagine), but because the bay is too deep and without a firm bedrock to otherwise locate the middle section of the bridge securely.

Possibly that was only a concern when it was originally built, but regardless, you would essentially need to route it in the same path as otherwise you'd need a new landing point on the Oakland side and there's Alameda in the way.

Comment: Re:Lack of redundancy (Score 3, Informative) 407

by ximenes (#29936203) Attached to: What Happened To the Bay Bridge?

There are four bridges running east/west over the bay, it just happens that there is only one in this particular (useful) location. Also, given that the Bay Bridge has to connect to Yerba Buena island, there's not really a lot of room for another one right next to it. So there is redundancy, but you have to deal with the physical realities of the area.

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