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Communications

Submission + - Press Release Services (and General Advice)

chiphart writes: "Imagine that you are on a team that has developed an amazing new product or service and you want to tell the world. The one person in your group with an English degree hacks up a press release — now what do you do with it? There are many different press release services out there...but do they work? Does anyone have any good or bad experience to share about these services? Are there any non-obvious methods for distributing press releases in an effective manner, especially for a group that has little in terms of marketing funds? One thing we learned from our journalist friends is to approach reporters directly in, to quote, obsequious fashion, but that has not lead anywhere yet. I will indicate my seriousness for a response to this question by not linking to the obviously amazing new product/service in an effort of self-promotion."
Security

Submission + - Documenting Firewall Rulesets ?

An anonymous reader writes: I have a substantial amount of experience on "both sides of the firewall" and to date have used my knowledge and experience as wisely as possible. For much of the past decade I have been the primary administrator of an enterprise class firewall for a fairly large entity, having designed and built the current infrastructure from the initial installs. The firewall ruleset has grown quite large with our ever increasing dependence on internet connectivity and now supports several dozen DMZ resident systems as well as hundreds of site to site VPNs. We use an industry leader, enterprise class firewall, which allows central management of multiple enforcement points and does a nice job of self-documentation within the management console. I am now being asked by upper management to extract the detailed ruleset configuration from the safety of the management console and publish this information to an "internal document" which will be available to corporate resources other than the small team changed with firewall administration. It was offered that we can document the process of obtaining this information through the firewall management interface, but this was rejected and upper management is insisting that we publish every detail of the firewall ruleset to a shared directory on our network. Am I the only one that thinks this is a horrible idea and a potentially serious security issue? Can anyone provide any "best practices" documentation to support either side of the issue? I'm having real concerns with simply handing over the security information that I've spent many years protecting to those who may not understand the potential problems in publishing this data.
The Internet

Submission + - What content delivery network would you suggest? 2

cfelde writes: "I'm running a site that serves a lot of flash content (games). After a total redesign its traffic have increased (about 12 GB in August, 22 GB in September, 55 GB in October and we're currently serving 2,2 GB pr day this month.) At this rate I don't feel like trusting my hosting provider (which have served me very well so far) who have no limits on the amount of traffic I can use. So I'm currently looking into using Amazon S3 for all the flash content, but I'm wondering if the Slashdot community knows of any other CDN providers they would recommend? I need at least 99.9% uptime, and the pricing should be somewhat like that of the Amazon S3 service."
The Courts

Submission + - Non-Competes in California... do they hold up? 2

CrapTastix writes: I'm considering leaving the company I've worked at for the past several years, but in light of the whole Microsoft, Google and Kai-Fu Lee event I am wondering about real world experience with non-competes and California law.

I've worked several years at consulting company that has a very long non-compete section in their employment contract. I live in California and lived in CA when I signed it and have done most of my work for the company in California. In the contract it has the usual non-compete verbiage: can't work in their industry (or any industry they may get into), poach their employees or contact their clients for a year. The company is out of Washington State... that's why the Google/MS conflict comes to mind.

I am just rank and file, but was given the non-compete papers with all the other papers when I started and was faced with a, "sign these or don't get the job" moment. In the back of my head I had the factoid that California does not honor non-competes so I wasn't too worried about it.

Does anyone out there have a real world story with a non-compete and how California deals with it? Any suggestions for a smooth exit?
Businesses

Submission + - Systems Administrators styles for managment?

simeeon writes: Dear /. After reading an article about how some companies IT sections are moving away from the traditional Waterfall model. I got to thinking, what model is best for more hardware orientated administrators, you know those grind it out day by day system and network administrators in large schools and corporate institutes etc? The Waterfall model is also based more for software implementation and design so what could be used for a company IT Systems Administrator? What do you or other Sys/network Admins use? I know another software management model would be the newer agile management system but this is still too focused on software design and development for a hardware junkie like me.
Security

Submission + - How to take a vacation as a one man IT dept? 2

wgoodman writes: I work at a small company as the sole geek. It's been a few years now and I'm forced to actually use some of the vacation time that I've built up otherwise I lose it. Since I'll be gone for a few weeks with no cell phone and only intermittent internet access not to mention nearly constant drunkenness, what precautions and steps to avoid things going south in my absence do you recommend? I've scripted as much as i can of the day to day stuff, got a lackey to swap backup tapes, and given my boss contact info on the equipment that we have support contracts with. What am I forgetting?
Businesses

Submission + - Who's the Expert here?

brainee28 writes: Recently, The IT Department for my company rebuilt from the ground up all infrastructure (servers, workstations and network switches)to deal with legacy issues from the last systems administrator. It was done in 2 phases, both of which were technically successful, but have created political issues.(I'm the administrator that advocated for the change. The political issues are that during the planning for this process, 2 engineers from one of our divisions were asked to consult because the IT Department was relatively new, and the president wanted other opinions. One used to build network switches for a discontinued LAN based product; the other created some of the basic VLAN software that's now used in most network switches. Both have expressed their dissatisfaction at the end result of this change; as it impacts some of their projects by the new structuring. One has now resorted to sniping, "testing" my system with potential backdoors, and advocating that the engineer's home network is better suited for his work than my corporate network, and general badmouthing. He unfortunately, has worked at this company for over 25 years, whereas I've been here for 8 years now. How would you handle this situation?
Networking

Submission + - Resolving IP to MAC address across a router

Bengie writes: From what I know about networks, you can't find out the MAC of an IP across a router. At some point I stumbled across a program that does just this. The only google hits I get talk about Netbios. Being able to do this would help out IT dept because our back-up registration page pulls MAC info from our DHCP server, but the DHCP database only syncs with our back-up database every 24 hours. If we build a new computer to replace an old one, our registration page can't get the new MAC for the Wake-on-LAN info until 24 hours later. We could use netbios if we had to, but that's kind of shady and won't work for our Mac computers since they don't have netbios. Is there a way of resolving the MAC of an IP across routers?
Operating Systems

Submission + - How many files does a modern OS really need? 2

mopomi writes: I'm setting up a home-office for my SO. Part of the company's requirement for the home-office is that the computer have an anti-virus package installed (because it will be connected directly to their network via a VPN). Since we don't like to use Windows for day-to-day work, we're running the VPN and remote display software under Suse 10.1. To be technically compliant with the AV requirement, I found and installed software from a big-name AV vendor (company is irrelevant). Last night I ran the AV scan on the entire system (bar /proc and /dev). This includes the Windows XP partition that is used for gaming.

The software scanned nearly three million files (with no positives!). My (somewhat rhetorical) question: Why are there so many files on modern operating systems? is every file necessary? is every tenth? how much of this is cruft?
Software

Submission + - Typesetting documents containing source code? 1

An anonymous reader writes: I'm looking for advice on software to typeset technical documents containing lots of program listings and related material. I have an opportunity involving publishing various technical articles and possibly a book or two, and would need to produce suitably professional-looking documents output as bureau-ready PDFs. The content of the documents is not a problem, and I have enough budget to buy any of the major DTP or typesetting packages if necessary, but I've never found a good solution to typesetting program listings. Are there any Slashdotters with prior experience of this, who could recommend suitable software?

LaTeX has some useful packages available, but isn't my first choice because of other limitations, particularly the lack of support for professional-grade OpenType fonts and the general unreliability of mixing several complex packages together. The big name DTP packages don't raise these concerns, but I've never found a good way to automate the typesetting of the source code with formatting such as syntax highlighting and line numbering, and the ability to import the code directly from a file on disk so I can use the real, tested code. Perhaps there's some variant in the TeX family I haven't found that is better at this, or a plug-in for one of the major DTP packages? Any advice would be very welcome. Someone must have done this before!
Editorial

Submission + - Psychiatry from a Geek's Perspective?

An anonymous reader writes: Slashdot has covered articles about Asperger's syndrome, autism, and how it might relate to the (somewhat stereotypical) geek mindset. I've been diagnosed as borderline autistic, so in a similar vein, I've found myself in an unusual position when it comes to getting therapy. I'm very analytical, investigative, and detail-oriented, so when I'm the patient of a psychiatrist, psychologist, or therapist, I feel like I'm coming in at a very different angle than other patients. I want to fully grok the pharmacology of the medications prescribed to me and how they interact with my nervous system. I analyze all of the methods and suggestions my therapist offers. I'm told that working with me as a patient is quite interesting (and often enjoyable), contrasted against many patients who are unaware of the therapy process or have no interest in it or its effects. I see the brain as the machine that coordinates my life, therapists as debuggers, and pharmaceuticals as hardware tweaking.

I'm extremely curious to know if other geeks have this mindset, or have any interesting experiences or viewpoints. There are other questions that can be considered, as well: are you very self-analytical? Perhaps you avoid therapists and attempt to diagnose and debug your own mis-programming?

There's a book online about hacking your body's energy management system. Meditation is also along the lines of hacking your psyche, and there's the OpenEEG project, which is worth noting.

I think there's a lot of unexplored territory here, at least considering that it hasn't been explored by people with a coding/hacking mindset. Do you hack your own mind? If so, then how?

Providing a lot of detail would probably generate the best discussion, so be careful; anything that you might not want future employers to know about you, post anonymously!
Security

Submission + - Jobs in Computer Forensics?

raw-sewage writes: I've got a Computer Science degree and nearly six years of professional software development experience (engineering design applications and trading programs). I like writing code, but struggle to stay "energized" by it day after day. I'm looking for a job that is computer- and/or technology-centric, but also involves a lot of variety and different projects. Computer forensics seems like it would fit the bill. Of course I don't expect CSI-caliber glamor, but variation and the ability to learn about a lot of different technologies sound exciting.

However, I can't seem to find any information on what is required to get into this field. Does anyone have the answers to questions such as:
  • What degree and/or certifications are required?
  • Who does a computer forensics professional work for? Federal, state, local government? Private industry?
  • What kind of compensation can one expect in this field?
  • What are typical/likely career paths for someone involved in computer forensics?
  • How does one find opportunities for this kind of work?
Businesses

Submission + - Career change into programming or IT?

An anonymous reader writes: How viable is a career change into software engineering or IT later in life? I've been something of a hobbyist most of my life and have started to wonder if I should jump in as a new career. I'm getting close to 40 and have a bachelors degree in physics. I only make about $50K a year, and in my industry now I will cap out at $55K to $60K.

What would be the best approach to making the switch? I only have a couple of CS classes as most of the stuff I have learned was on my own, so should I take some more classes? How about programming certs, do they help at all? What's the best way to get my foot in the door.
Education

Submission + - What is the Who's Who of Security Certification?

lunarpaladin writes: Okay, so I'm a junior admin (MCSA, Security+, CSA) that has finally come to find what he wants to specialize in. Security. I love reading about different security practices, methods, and technologies. My problem is that when it comes to actual certification, there is an overwhelming amount of certs, courses, books, and the like out there for this area of study. Where does one even begin? I'm totally lost. Is there a recommended or suggested certification/study path for one who wants to become a specialist in this area? What have you guys done to get to where you are now?

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