Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

Comment Re:Anyone who asks this question should not be in (Score 4, Insightful) 450

I'm going to call BS partly on this. Most of the business world is using basic productivity software, probably Microsoft Office, with some users needing access to an accounting package or CRM. Thin clients aren't so much about up front cost as they are about reducing long term support costs. Using thin clients in an enterprise or small to medium business environment gives you a lot of benefits to the long term bottom line. From a security perspective, you cut the "attack surface" of your network very sharply - from dozens if not hundreds or even thousands of desktops that each need antivirus, security updates, administration, and security monitoring, down to a handful of servers that you can lock down pretty tightly. From a support perspective, you are no longer managing all those desktops, you are now managing a handful of servers. You have all the data for your organization where you can make sure backups are happening, and where you can keep tabs on what data is being stored and where it's stored, so you no longer have to worry about that file with a million customer social security numbers or credit card numbers sitting on someone's desktop, where you won't find out about it until after it walks out the door. Also, with a good setup, you ease the pain of patch days a fair bit, since you don't have to chase breakage across all those desktops, just across the app servers. You remove the expectation of user control because a thin client is clearly not a desktop (the "but I can do it at home, why can't I do it here" syndrome). These are damn good reasons to go to thin clients on the desktop, even if the up front costs are the same or even slightly more, and they apply to most desktop users. Only "high-performance" application demands, like CAD, and software development need fat desktops. Now, on the laptop side of things, internet connections in the field aren't something you can count on, even with mobile broadband and wifi penetration, it's not always there, and it's not always good enough. so thin clients aren't going to make much headway there for a long, long time.
Movies

The Lost Film That Accompanied Empire Strikes Back 195

An anonymous reader writes "'Alien' and 'Star Wars' art director Roger Christian was given £25,000 by George Lucas in 1979 to make a 25-minute medieval B-feature called 'Black Angel.' This spiritual tale of a knight on a strange quest was inspired by Christian's near-fatal fever when he fell ill in Mexico making 'Lucky Lady.' 'Black Angel' made a huge impression, not least because it shared the dark tone of 'Empire Strikes Back.' John Boorman showed it to the crew of 'Excalibur' as a template for how he wanted his film to look, and 'Black Angel' went on to influence films such as 'Dragonslayer' and 'Legend' throughout the 1980s and beyond. But it has not been seen by anyone since 'Empire' finished its theatrical run. Two weeks ago Roger Christian unearthed a print of a film that was thought lost forever, and in this interview he talks about 'Black Angel,' and provides the only picture from the film that has ever hit the Internet."

Comment Re:tell ya why, too (Score 1) 766

I would respectfully disagree here. Desktop Linux is a moving target and will be for the foreseeable future. There are too many applications that are considered part of the operating system in the Linux world that have meaningful upgrades within that time frame, upgrades that even for a fairly basic end user are highly desirable, or even mandatory (at least to some users), such as newer browser packages. Highly technical users actually have it easier keeping on an LTS release (even though they are the least likely to do so), because they have the technical know-how to upgrade packages to versions that aren't part of the OS release (either via third-party repositories, repackaging the applications themselves, or via manual installation.) With this in mind, six months really does seem about right on the desktop, especially when you consider that for Ubuntu's regular desktop releases, there's an 18 month (N+2) support cycle in place. This gives enough time to delay upgrading or to even skip one release without losing vendor support. In practical terms, considering that upgrades generally won't happen the day of a new release, the average user will upgrade every 6-14 months - once or twice a year, and the upgrade itself is comparably painless to the processes that exist for Windows - even a major upgrade can be done in place, with the system still usable before, during, and after upgrading.
Privacy

Submission + - What Does DHS Know About You? (philosecurity.org)

Sherri Davidoff writes: "Here's a real copy of an American citizen's DHS Travel Record retrieved from the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol's Automated Targeting System (ATS). This was obtained through a FOIA/Privacy Act request... The document reveals that the DHS is storing the reader's:
  • Credit card number and expiration
  • IP address used to make web travel reservations
  • Hotel information and itinerary
  • Full airline itinerary, including flight numbers and seat numbers
  • Phone numbers, incl. business, home & cell
  • Every frequent flyer and hotel number associated with the subject, even ones not used for the specific reservation
"

Programming

Submission + - The Future of System Administration (standalone-sysadmin.com)

Matt Simmons writes: "System Administration is changing. Where once, we logged into machines to make them work, we've progressed to managing-through-programming, and we're becoming developers in addition to administrators.

This is an interesting layer of abstraction between us and the machines. I've always thought that, regardless of how far the rest of the society was from the cogs of technology, sysadmins would always need to know the underlying mechanisms of how things worked. With the current tools and trends, that's looking less and less like reality. We can automate virtual machines to be created, installed, and configured all by pressing a single button. What happened to the fun of blinkenlights?"

Security

Submission + - Firewall Rulesets Still a Problem? (channelinsider.com)

dasButcher writes: "Security admins used to complain endlessly about the complexity of managing firewall rulesets. But those complaints have diminished as management consoles improved and the firewall has taken become less important in the grand scheme of IT security. But several new products are coming to market to audit and optimize firewall rulesets. As Larry Walsh writes in his blog (http://blogs.channelinsider.com/secure_channel/content/network_security/firewall_ruleset_management_still_an_issue.html), it's not clear whether this is really a problem or the last vestige of the old perimeter firewall. So Walsh asks, "is firewall ruleset management still a problem?""
America Online

Submission + - AOL "This is Spam" link as email DoS?

alabamatoy writes: "AOL email offers its users a clickable link in each email message it delivers to them which is marked "This is Spam". Users who click on this link in an email message cause the sending SMTP server IP address to be added to some kind of AOL internal spam-source blacklist. This causes ALL subsequent email from that server to be blocked to *ALL* AOL users. For small hosting services, this can be a killer. Attempts to convince AOL to identify the user who reported the message as spam have failed (its against their internal privacy policy, they say) so the small hosting service is left with no mechanism to remedy the situation, other than repeatedly trying to convince AOL support that the site really is not a source of spam, and the problem is simply a stupid AOL user. For an entity like (for example) a recreational organization using this small hosting service, email group lists will almost always include one or more AOL users. All that's required to break email connectivity to AOL for ALL customers of the small hosting service is for one AOL user to stupidly click on "this is Spam" button, and all email to AOL grinds to a halt. Does anyone have any insight into how to resolve this problem?"
Operating Systems

Behind Menuet, an OS Written Entirely In Assembly 419

angry tapir writes "MenuetOS is an operating system written entirely in assembly language. As a result it's extremely quick and compact (it can even fit on a floppy disk, despite having a GUI). It can run Quake. Two of the developers behind MenuetOS took time out to talk about what inspired them to undertake the daunting task of writing the operating system, the current state of Menuet and future plans for it."

Comment multiple sound cards and braindead applications (Score 2, Interesting) 427

My chief complaint, both on Windows and Linux is that probably 99% of applications have no concept of anything other than the default sound card, making multiple cards useless for all but a few niche applications. Apps that use sound need to provide a way to specify which device is used in case the user wants to use other than the default, period. None of the solutions for audio so far have really done anything to make this better (or they make it worse in the process) - granted, it's mostly an application issue, but control of device selection in the mixer as well would help.
The Internet

What Do You Want On Future Browsers? 628

Coach Wei writes "An industry wishlist for future browsers has been collected and developed by OpenAjax Alliance. Using wiki as an open collaboration tool, the feature list now lists 37 separate feature requests, covering a wide range of technology areas, such as security, Comet, multimedia, CSS, interactivity, and performance. The goal is to inform the browser vendors about what the Ajax developer community feels are most important for the next round of browsers (i.e., FF4, IE9, Safari4, and Opera10) and to provide supplemental details relative to the feature requests. Currently, the top three voted features are: 2D Drawing/Vector Graphics, The Two HTTP Connection Limit Issue, and HTML DOM Operation Performance In General . OpenAjax Alliance is calling for everyone to vote for his/her favorite features. The alliance also strongly encourages people to comment on the wiki pages for each of the existing features and to add any important new features that are not yet on the list."

Comment Re:Vote Verification by Internet (Score 1) 507

This is actually very, very, very bad. The reason we have a secret ballot is to make it difficult to obtain votes by coercion. You should be able to tell for sure at the polling booth how your vote was counted - but only at the moment you are standing there should there be any possibility for a vote to be connected to an individual voter. While this seems far-fetched now, if votes were individually traceable, we'd have far greater problems of election fraud to concern ourselves with - which would include the use of violence to force people to vote a certain way.
Government

Submission + - Dutch government bans electronic voting 1

RogerWilco writes: The Dutch government had decided on 16-5-2008 to only use pencil and paper for future elections until electronic voting can be made safe. Their main reasoning is that currently no device is available that can not be eavesdropped upon to detect what people vote, given sufficiently sensitive equipement. The government has considered developing an electronic voting machine that leaves a paper trail, but as this could still be eavesdropped on, it was considered to not guarentee safe and anonymous elections and not worth the developement cost. The official government announcement (In Dutch)
Security

A Chip on DVDs Could Prevent Theft 435

Dieppe writes "A simple chip added to a DVD disk could prevent retail theft. According to the AP article at MSNBC, the chip would be activated at the register to make a previously dark area of the DVD clear, and therefore readable. Could this help to stem the tide of the approximate $400 million dollars in losses from brick and mortar stores? Game console DVDs could also be protected this way too. Could this help to bring the prices down on DVD games and movies?"
Software

AACS Vows to Fight Bloggers 601

Jonas Wisser writes "The BBC is carrying the story that AACS has promised to take action against those who have posted the AACS crack online. Michael Ayers, chairperson of AACS, noted that the cracked key has now been revoked, and went on to say, 'Some people clearly think it's a First Amendment issue. There is no intent from us to interfere with people's right to discuss copy protection. We respect free speech.' The AACS website tells consumers how they can 'continue to enjoy content protected by AACS' by 'refreshing the encryption keys associated with their HD DVD and Blu-ray software players.'"
Security

Death Knell For DDoS Extortion? 101

Ron writes "Symantec security researcher Yazan Gable has put forward an explanation as to why the number of denial of service attacks has been declining (coincident with the rise of spam). His theory is that DoS attacks are no longer profitable to attackers. While spam and phishing attacks directly generate profit, he argues that extortion techniques often used with DoS attacks are far more risky and often make an attacker no profit at all. Gable writes: 'So what happens if the target of the attack refuses to pay? The DoS extortionist is obligated to carry out a prolonged DoS attack against them to follow through on their threats. For a DoS extortionist, this is the worst scenario because they have to risk their bot network for nothing at all. Since the target has refused to pay, it is likely that they will never pay. As a consequence, the attacker has to spend time and resources on a lost cause.'"

Slashdot Top Deals

Bus error -- driver executed.

Working...