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Comment Mr Taco (Score 1) 265

"I remember laughing years ago when I would see users who had modified their user agent string with some sort of defiant pro-privacy message, without realizing that their action made them uniquely identifiable out of hundreds of thousands of others."

Mr Taco must have laughed the laugh of a naive person.

These people made a /statement/, /trading/ this little aspect of their privacy in the process. Seeing they were at least smart enough to see there is a thorny privacy issue with the user agent string, it's also logical to assume they were very much aware of this trade.

Comment Just a character with a serial number (Score 1) 688

Just a character with a serial number.
All other information can either be automatically gathered, and thus should be, or belongs in an administrative CMDB. And b.t.w. the same holds for servers.
Really: just a number. If you don't do that you shoot yourself in the foot with having to maintain information in a place where it is inconvenient to maintain, AND you risk administering the same information twice, which is a burden, and a source for errors.

Image

Need a Favor? Talk To My Right Ear 288

Hugh Pickens writes "The Telegraph reports that scientists have found that if you want to get someone to do something, ask them in their right ear. Known as the 'right ear advantage,' scientists believe it is because information received through the right ear is processed by the left hand side of the brain which is more logical and better at deciphering verbal information than the right side of the brain. 'Talk into the right ear you send your words into a slightly more amenable part of the brain,' say researchers. The team, led by Dr. Luca Tommasi and Daniele Marzoli from the University of Chieti in central Italy, observed the behavior of hundreds of people in three nightclubs across the city where they intentionally addressed 176 people in either their right or their left ear when asking for a cigarette. They obtained significantly more cigarettes when they made their request in a person's right ear compared with their left. 'These results seem to be consistent with the hypothesized specialization of right and left hemispheres,' say researchers. 'We can also see this tendency when people use the phone, most will naturally hold it to their right ear.'"
The Internet

Wikimedia Simplifies By Moving To Ubuntu 215

David Gerard writes "Wikimedia, the organization that runs Wikipedia and associated sites, has moved its server infrastructure entirely to Ubuntu 8.04 from a hodge-podge of Ubuntu, Red Hat, and various Fedora versions. 400 servers were involved and the project has been going on for 2 years. (There's also a small amount of OpenSolaris on the backend. All open source!)"
Security

Government Begins Securing Root Zone File 198

Death Metal notes a Wired piece on the US government beginning the process of securing the root zone file. This is in service of implementing DNSSEC, without which the DNS security hole found by Dan Kaminsky can't be definitively closed. On Thursday morning, a comment period will open on the various proposals on who should hold the keys and sign the root — ICANN, Verisign, or the US government's NTIA.

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