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Comment MoD KoobFace (Score 1) 496

We should fork KoobFace and change it to seek out Islamic FaceBook users, infect their computers and send out blasphemous content of a supremely offensive nature. We could have it alert the Sharia secret police in each of the Islamofacist states, making it look like random complaints from citizens.

Maybe they will execute each other...

Comment Re:Cnet link not really informative (Score 1) 114

IE8 on Win7 (32bit/64bit) is just as vulnerable, re-read that bulletin!

This emergency update includes the CanSecWest fixes where they 0wned a Win7 IE8 system in minutes! There were a hundred Microsoft employees at CanSecWest and they were left scratching their heads because they didn't understand the exploit right away. It was a sophisticated manipulation of realtime memory locations.

Comment Defense... (Score 1) 396

a. Get off Windows if you can. You simply don't see these attacks on other OS platforms. Even with all the below precautions we still catch people getting infected with malware....

(Reality... We are stuck with Windows...)

1. Install advanced firewall and web proxy filtering, block all social networks, non-work email, any Pr0n, or non-work related sites, etc.
2. Block foreign international IP ranges such as China, Korea, India, Russia, the Balkins, etc that you really don't need.
3. Remove admin privileges from your users on Windows; only IT staff such as developers and deskside tech's need it.
4. Install anti-virus protection but don't think that covers you completely.
5. Audit where your users are surfing, start blocking things you didn't think of.
6. Be cautious of laptop users who could get infected while on WiFi when not using VPN, etc.
7. Install a good intelligent Packet Analysis system like Netwitness and review it's logs regularly. This is how that Kneber botnet with 74K+ infected systems was discovered.

(Seriously, get the heck off Windows if you can!)

I am not going to argue the Windows is vulnerable because it's popular argument. Windows is vulnerable because it's security is terrible. Yeah every system has vulnerabilities but no one has quite so many as Windows! If it wasn't for Windows, we would not have the problems we have with malware and SPAM. i.e. all SPAM comes from infected Windows boxes and about 90% of all email is SPAM!

Got to do online banking for your small business? Do yourself a favor and go burn a Linux Live CD right now! Then use it for online banking. You won't get infected with that... Many millions getting siphoned from small businesses with online banking because they're Windows computer got hacked by a trojan botnet!

If you have to use Windows, then setup a Citrix farm and lock it down super tight.

Comment US Healthcare (Score 0) 651

I just recently had to pull the plug on my father. He suffered a major heart attack that was unrepairable. He went in for a routine operation and two days after, he had the heart attack. He was rushed from one hospital to another and was given the best medical care possible. He was on an external pacemaker, respirator, liquid cooling blanket (high fever from an infection caused by the surgery), and about 30 different IV medications. He was being kept alive by the machines and drugs. The staff at the Cardiac ICU were outstanding, they revived him 12 times! They were compassionate and explained that every time they revived him they were doing more damage and causing him a great deal of pain. They explained that they would continue until the family said to stop. His outlook was bad, he was not going to survive nor recover. As family members arrived, we were granted access against the visitation rules. We were allowed to have him revived so we could say our peace and to pray with him. We also received his blessing on our decision. As a family we made the decision to not prolong his suffering and after discussing the options, the hospital staff advised turning off the external pacemaker and slowly stopping the heart medications while keeping him sedated and comfortable. They continued some drugs that enhanced his breathing. We waited about five hours until he left this world for the next.

The decision should ALWAYS be with the afflicted or the family. In some nationalized healthcare systems the government performs a financial calculation and then refuses payment or even treatment! In America, you decide how far you want to go to extend life. It is a personal decision. It is your FREEDOM! Even if you don't have insurance in America, you will still be treated and you will still receive the best treatment in the world. You just have to pay for it.

Yes, insurance companies negotiate prices with affiliated hospitals and doctors. When you receive an insurance statement it clearly shows what the doctor or hospital charged you and what the insurance company actually pays them as well as what you owe depending on your coverage. If you work for a large company or state or federal government, you will see a better negotiated price because of the sheer number of employees being covered. Insurance companies make money based on the premiums you and your employer pay into the program. They then bet that most people won't get sick. This is how the insurance company makes money. Same goes for fire insurance, etc.

We are all going to die someday. Most of us will get sick and need healthcare at some point in our lives. The government does not owe you free healthcare! The government is not responsible for your health. All insurance does is protect you from losing everything if you get sick or if your home is destroyed or if you cause a fatal car accident, etc.

I do not want the government to have the power to deny me or my family healthcare because it costs too much. I don't want to go on a waiting list because the government does not have the resources to provide care. I don't want the government to tell me I can't have a knee or hip replacement because I am too old or it costs too much. I don't want the government to tell me they can't at least try to save my father's life because it's hopeless. That is my decision and no one else's! I do not want the government to seize more then half my income to pay for those who should be working and buying their own insurance. I don't want to pay for Joe crack heads habit and treatment. One only needs to look at the legal immigrants entering the USA to understand that they see the opportunity this country provides it's citizens to succeed and that through hard work they can make it too! There are countless success stories of immigrants coming here with nothing and in a generation or two making it really big! I know a Polish family that arrived in the 1960's and the husband and wife worked 2-4 jobs for years to make it possible for their son to succeed. The amount of hard work and sacrifice is mind boggling. Back in Poland, they would not have the same opportunity to work hard and succeed there are too many barriers in most countries to success. The son received the best education in the countries best private schools and universities and is now a very successful corporate executive. Yet our own citizens don't want to work and desire a handout...

Government run healthcare is failing in all those countries that have tried it. Why else are the rich and powerful in Canada coming to the USA for surgery? It's because we have the best technology and the best doctors in the world and we don't make you wait! It was America who flew all those Iraqi kids with serious injuries or birth defects back to the USA for special free surgeries and treatment! It's America sending hospital ships to Haiti, Chile, Indonesia, etc.

Want an eye opener? Read the independent report about how bad a hospital in the UK became because of government run healthcare! http://www.midstaffsinquiry.com/ - Volume 2 will turn your stomach as it details the horrid conditions and poor treatment of human beings, all to save money!

I am not saying that US Healthcare is perfect, but it's quite a bit better then the alternatives. Yes, we need reform in the American Healthcare system but we don't need the government to take it over! One of the biggest hurdles to reducing healthcare in the USA is state boundaries setup in various laws that prevent competition. Just one example is Massachusetts car insurance. There are only a handful of companies that will even do business in Massachusetts due to the state management of car insurance. It's just not a good financial market for them. Too much government gets in the way of businesses to compete with each other. This same problem manifests itself in healthcare, it's not limited to car insurance or even Massachusetts.

Comment What Happened to TiVo (Score 1) 490

Mistakes:

1. Stopped issuing LifeTime Service Option
2. Slow to adapt to HD
3. Very expensive to adapt to HD when it was possible
4. Simply could not cut deals with the CableCo's for some reason... (DirectTV on again off again, etc.)

Fixes:

1. Restarted the LifeTime Service Option
2. Released major improvements in a software upgrade
3. Released cheaper HD capable TiVo's

Welcome to the new century, where I don't watch TV much anymore. I dropped my cable down to the bare minimum just so I can turn on the news if something big happens. I will likely cancel cable entirely in the near future. I watch Internet TV now via Boxee and NetFlix and I purchase some items on iTunes. If I really want 1080p HD content, I buy BluRay discs. Otherwise, the TV's get used by video game consoles.

iTunes needs a couch potato subscription model for TV shows. I want to pay a monthly fee, download any TV show, watch it up to a couple of times and then I really don't care about it any more. I will still buy box sets for shows I really love like BattleStar Galactica, etc. But to pay 2 bucks an episode, can get really expensive really quick. Even 99 cents isn't good enough.

The studios won't do this because it will kill the cable companies! The business model needs to change like it did for the music industry and I believe it will eventually but those networks just don't get it yet. They are content houses but the traditional paid advertising model doesn't work any more. I never buy stuff because I saw it in a commercial! It's like Internet advertising before the IT bubble burst. You could actually make a lot of money on advertising and then suddenly the bottom dropped out. That's because in reality people ignore ads or outright block them. The TiVo let's you fast forward through the ads and frankly if you could skip it entirely you would. Right now the cost of a TV commercial is based on number of viewers and their ages based on time of day. But really all those eyeballs are not really paying attention. Just like the Internet where clicks were measured, the clicking stopped. But there is no way to tell if people are actually watching the ads or not. So all that money is wasted in some ways.

I don't know what's going to happen in the future but until advertising becomes something like what was shown in Minority Report, it's not going to work.... Unless you get some Japanese guys eyeballs transplanted, those ads will likely be something you care about.

Comment Stop Dancing Around the Real Issue (Score 1) 199

Oh for the love of Pete! Microsoft is MOST DEFINITELY RESPONSIBLE for rootkits! Sure, their patch is not the direct cause of the BSOD but letting the damn malware into the OS certainly is the real problem. Stop dancing around the spin and address the real problem for once!

It is possible for malware running on a limited user account to execute on Windows and bootstrap itself into place via the HKLM registry where is should not be allowed to write. In addition, it can place executables into C:\Windows\System32 where it should also not be allowed to write or replace files. Next, malware can actually inject code into WINLOGON.EXE while it's running in RAM. Now you must ask yourself, WHAT THE FRAK?!?!

The Zeus bot tool can be downloaded by any luser without a clue to build a custom rootkit via a Win32 Wizard for crying out loud! The bots produced with such a tool incorporate encryption both for the malware files as well as phoning home to the botnet itself. AV software cannot stop it! Once you are rooted, you machine is now owned by the botnet. Even Symantec, McAfee and Kaspersky have had their own computers infected by bots produced by Zeus!

Running around the security perimeter trying to fight off the hoard after the fact, is futile.

Repeat After Me:

- Windows Cannot Be Secured!
- Windows is Insecure!
- Windows is a Security Hazard!
- TIME TO GET OFF WINDOWS!

Yeah it's going to cost you big time, but it's going to cost a whole lot more if corporations don't start acting soon! Many companies have been hacked and the hackers are going after the financial staff, gaining access to online bank accounts and stealing tens of thousands of dollars! Most business banks provide no recourse nor protection if someone else logs in with your account and wires money to a third world country.

Comment Re:What degree do you have? (Score 1) 474

Bingo! It's not the tech knowledge that is most important. That's not to say you don't need the technical knowledge, you obviously, need to keep up your technical skills. However, it's the people and communication skills that are most valued. Can you communicate with difficult people, do you have endless patience, are you willing to follow up as well as being proactive?

I've worked in technical support for over a decade. Many people tried working in this fast paced environment and soon found they were not cut out for it. Endless patience is key as well as not letting yourself get frustrated. Even in the most stressful of situations, I can remain calm and collected.

You need to be able to calm a frustrated user and then earn their trust. You do this by never losing your cool and always keeping your word. Honor and integrity as well as a friendly attitude go a long long way. Follow up after resolution or work around and even a drive by "hello, how are things going?" helps to build a relationship.

Transitioning from help desk to second or third tier support or other lateral support groups with a higher profile will advance your career. Educating yourself for a role in programming or engineering is another possible direction. I would avoid educational trainer roles because they are the first to be cut in a down market. I would also avoid management as that is extremely dangerous, middle management is frequently re-organized and people are cut loose all the time. You have to be very political for management roles.

There are opportunities out there for getting out of the help desk and many large companies who previously outsourced parts of their IT learned some painful lessons and they are now starting to rebuild that which they sold off.

Learn the corporate culture and do everything you can to raise your profile in solving big problems. Befriend those who can help you.

Comment ZFS is primarily a server file system (Score 1) 361

ZFS is primarily a server file system. It's meant to be used with multiple disks. Now getting it to work with USB and Firewire drives is going to take some extra effort on Apple's part. HFS+ for Snow Leopard introduces some compression features which is how Apple was able to reclaim 6GB's of disk space on the Snow Leopard install. Much of that is stripping out non-Intel architectures, and some legacy subsystems/API's but the compression shrinks the OS foot print significantly.

So unless you are running a Mac Pro with 4 hard disks or an XServe you are not likely to be using ZFS anyway. ZFS is still a wonderful file system! It's fantastic on data center SAN's and large disk arrays! It's got some really nice features. But for Apple to implement it they need more time to refine it. As others have said already, many Apple applications have to be changed to take advantage of ZFS, etc. Sun's client base has professional Solaris sysadmins setting up servers and such. ZFS was designed to be easy for sysadmins not the average joe user. Apple needs to refine it and provide automatic behavior and build some easier to use management into Disk Utility for it. Then some monitoring tools, etc.

If we see it anywhere in the future, ZFS will likely be rolled out on the next big cat OS after Snow Leopard and only on OS X Server at first. Then likely, the next OS release may incorporate it on the client. I think they took a look at ZFS long and hard and from a design and engineering perspective put it on the back burner for the next OS cycle after Snow Leopard. Snow Leopard was about optimizing what they had and refining it and sharpening it getting it ready for the future. Focus was on 64bit with 32bit compatibility and to clean up the architecture by stripping out legacy stuff. Apple made a decision to not pursue ZFS at this time, that doesn't mean they won't go back and re-address it at a later date.

I personally, don't see the average Mac user gaining all that much benefit from ZFS unless they are a sysadmin and working with big storage. The average user with large storage needs is better off buying a Drobo device http://www.drobo.com/.

Comment Re:I Hope They Get Anti-Piracy to Work This Time (Score 1) 403

Yeah but Apple doesn't force you to activate the OS. Nothing but one's morals stopping you from installing OS X on more then one computer. The Family Pack is a great idea and most users respect the licensing.

However, Apple does do activation on iWork and their professional apps. Then someone took the trial version of iWork implanted a trojan and released it on the torrent networks as a cracked version. Then thousands of Apple users downloaded and installed the trojan. Many of those computers are now part of a botnet with full Unix scripting abilities!

So yeah, Apple's onto something. They should give up the idea of activation, it just encourages pirates and causes the users to try to steal the software and then it makes Apple look bad when they get hijacked...

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