Follow Slashdot stories on Twitter


Forgot your password?

Comment Re:This is cool, but not revolutionary... (Score 1) 397

Yes, PCs "break". Caps go bad, fans seize (without the owner's knowing), heat sinks become detached.

After repairing computers for 12 years, if you can think of something that's happened to a computer - I've seen it happen. The fact that you have 20 year old working computers doesn't suprise me at all.

I had a gentleman bring in a 486/25 SX (Circa '92 or so). Ran perfectly. No real dust buildup, all original parts. Windows 95 even booted up fine. But I have to tell you, that's a total and complete anomaly. The last time I saw a running 486 was about 10 years ago, and the last time I saw one in that condition was when I was still in high school in the early 90's.

Modern consumer-level computers tend to last about 4 years or so. Heck, even server-grade parts tend to fail with alarming regularity. Honestly, I don't think they're much better than their desktop brethren, just more expensive and oddly enough in more minimal (Re: Cheaper) packaging.

Comment Re:Raiding (Score 1) 175

Not only that, but it's also impossible to PUG heroics in BC. I know, I've camped for hours (Admittedly, as DPS) with my aff lock waiting for someone - anyone - on any server - to also queue for them. It just ain't happening.

So the only way you can reliably get into the BC heroics is via either a specialty guild, or attempting (ROFL) to convince your guild that BC stuff is going to be "fun" when they're grinding to get >5k GS to go do ICC (hahaha, sure..)

Anyways, that's what really ticked me off right before I quit about 8 or so weeks ago. After a week of queueing while grinding quests, I did a grand total of... *1* BC heroic. yay.

Pretty much the only "easy" stuff is crap that you use to level. Even the drops in the instances totally suck, and as far as I can tell, the dungeons only exist so you have something, ANYTHING to do after you've wasted all the time you could grinding rep/quests/etc trying to get into the final heroics/raids.

Blah, sorry.

Comment Re:For those who wonder what Gnome Shell is ... (Score 1) 514

Really? I've been using ubuntu since about 6.04, and I haven't really noticed a dumbing down of the interface. Sure, the default theme's been cleaned up (and changed every damn version), but all the options are still there in System-> Preferences / Administration. The synaptic package manager is still there in 10.10, and the terminal is still included by default, as is aptitude (Or did I install aptitude?).

Anyways, Ubuntu getting easier to use isn't a bad thing. It's not dumbing down, you can still manually do anything you can do in a debian install. It's just not geared towards the hands-on powerusers who want to micromanage their desktop. What's so bad about that? :)

Comment Re:Expectation of Privacy (Score 1) 136

I'm not condoning the actions (or inaction) of people that result in private/personal information being broadcast over wifi.. But, consider that most routers are setup insecure by default AND the people they are targeted to generally are NOT geeks like us, it's reasonable to assume that the people do NOT know that their information is publicly accessible.

I'm not going to put out an analogy, but keep in mind all of yours included someone actively giving out their information.

With these incidents via wifi, the people passively gave it out their information. They likely had no idea until this google thing, and even MORE likely is most people that google got packets from STILL don't know. Why? Because they're not geeks like us, and as such, likely don't even read the stories. Even if they did read the story on what google did, and how badly people's routers are set up, they probably wouldn't think it even applies to them.

Luckily, my first point is getting redressed. I know new linksys routers support a secure setup mechanism, and attempts to set the wep/wpa level to the highest it can and remain compatible with the laptop/device used to set it up. But there's still a long ways to go before the general non-geek populace understands what this jargon means for them.


Thief Returns Stolen Laptop Contents On USB Stick 352

While it's true that Sweden is responsible for unleashing IKEA and ABBA on humanity, not everything they produce is terrible. Their thieves are some of the most considerate in the world. An unnamed professor at Umeå University received a USB stick with all his data after his laptop was stolen. From the article: "The professor, who teaches at Umeå University in northern Sweden, was devastated when ten years of work stored on his laptop was stolen. But to his surprise, a week after the theft, the entire contents of his laptop were posted to him on a USB stick. 'I am very happy,' the unnamed professor told the local Västerbottens-Kuriren newspaper. 'This story makes me feel hope for humanity.'"

Comment Re:No password WiFi != unsecured (Score 1) 161

No. Technically it is spoofing. Every network adapter has a unique address assigned to it, typically stored in some firmware within the NIC itself. The whole purpose is to make that particular interface globally identifiable.

Now, if you change your NIC's MAC to someone ELSE'S MAC, you are spoofing their MAC. IE, you are pretending that your NIC is in fact someone else's, even though it's not. For the sole purpose of attempting to gain access while masquerading as the other device.

That's pretty much the definition of spoofing. Here's a summary definition or two:

In the context of network security, a spoofing attack is a situation in which one person or program successfully masquerades as another by falsifying data and thereby gaining an illegitimate advantage.

Definition of Spoof:

Verb -
* to communicate electronically under a false identity
* to fool by a hoax; play a trick on, esp. one intended to deceive.

So, what you describe is not spoofing? I think so.

Comment Re:British Power Supply (Score 1) 373

Yea, you really should be modded up.

Mythbusters are NOT scientifically going about replicating experiments to try to reproduce conditions. They're trying to sell entertainment, and as often as not get things half assed or totally wrong.

Noone should be using Mythbusters as a gauge to tell if something is possible or not.

Comment Re:Of course... (Score 1) 486

As someone who runs a small ISP, it's really not hard to tell the difference between botnet and P2P activity. Some things to check for. It'd be better as a flowchart, but I'll just make a list:

1) Is it mostly outgoing traffic? P2P does upload, but mostly botnets ONLY upload. So is the traffic lopsided like this?

2) Is it hitting sequential or seemingly random masses of IP blocks (>100 or so)?

3) Is the port fairly uniform or random?

4) Is it TCP or UDP?

Just with those four criteria, and with something like trafshow just to see the connection states RT, you can (with experience) VERY easily discern if large activity is legitimate downloading of movies (Netflix, Hulu, Youtube is ALL download from 1-2 hosts). Bittorrent (Normally synchronous U/D, but even if lopsided, connections tend to be in the reasonable 30-120 or so host connections), or Botnet (Computer is spewing out to massive IP blocks at random, with little/no incoming data on the connection).

* If any of that traffic is with the normal mail ports ( 25, 465, 587, 110, 143, 993, 995) AND you're seeing buttloads of connections, then they're infected.

* If you start seeing totally random things that vaguely resemble portscans (Lots of hosts, same/similar ports, lost of unreachable/ no return packs), they're infected. ... Etc.

This isn't really rocket science, it's fairly easy to setup a IDS to detect this, and warn/slam the brake on this crap. And, as a small ISP, the LAST thing you need is to be shitlisted on a bazillion blacklists, some of which (SORBS especially) are virtually impossible to get off of without being extorted.

As a small ISP, I'd rather lose one customer that can't get their shit together than lose 15 because I didn't terminate that one and got blacklisted.

Comment Re:Unintended consequences (Score 1) 276

It's actually abit better than steam in that you can have two computers sitting next to each other, BOTH logged into Impulse and play games off your Impulse account. They both have their pros and cons, but I tend to lean more towards Impulse because of it's tendency to just leave me alone.

Also, with Impulse it often just installs the game with the client. You just run the game like normal to actually play it. I'm sure with steam you could do the same thing, but you'd have to dig around for the actual app within your steam install.

Or put another way: I've never, under any circumstance NOT been able to play games I got from Impulse. (Offline, on a second computer, while my son is logged in with my account on my other comp, etc). Unlike steam which wants me to always log on (Or incredibly frequently anyways), and if, god forbid, my steam client on my other computer logs me in automagically, I get kicked off on the other one.

Comment Re:I stopped getting tense after MechWarrior4 (Score 1) 447

I think any gamers who take one incident and say "This tiny problem is the ONE reason!" are liars. Or have some bizarro pathology that I've never seen in normal people.

Really? Just because NWN had a problem with it's DRM you haven''t bought ANY games since then (Aside from the casual games, which also have problems with their DRM)?

@GP Really? Just because MW4's DRM didn't work with your particular setup you're so jaded that you've never bought another game since? Really?

I call BS. Huge piles of flaming, stinking BS. But nice stories. :)

Comment Re:Good Example: GTA4 (Score 1) 447

Don't forget, detractors also look at the automatic updates bit. Valve has seriously broken their games plenty of times -- in the old days, people would've reverted the patch and got on with things. Now they're forced to wait days or weeks for a fix.

You don't HAVE to install the updates automagically. You can, actually, tell it "No thanks, I'd like to not update my game".

Comment Re:Speculations anyone? (Score 1) 124

So lets say they are dead (Which might not be the case), what do you think killed them?

I'm just guessing here, but I am and have been an entrepreneur, having run a successful local business for 10 years. I'd think, if anything, what killed them was the pricing. Don't get me wrong, I love F/OSS (FBSD/Linux on my servers, Ubuntu on my desktops, hell I even game on Linux machines).

But you can't really run a competitive business when your competitor's things are 1) easier to acquire, 2) work on a larger range of systems, and 3) And most importantly, when your prices are always at least 200-1000% higher than competition's.

Don't believe me? Look up some random handful of the games on there. Then go to, steam, impulse, gamersgate, and check out the prices there. Then, if you're really thrifty, go look them up on amazon, ebay, etc (For hardcopies), I'm sure you'll find EVEN CHEAPER prices there. Hell, some games are as cheap as $0.99. Less than a dollar, and LGP wants to charge $20-60? That's why they're dead, if they are dead. No sane person would pay exorbitant prices for games that are at least 10-15 years old and can be had at a fraction of the price.

For that price difference, if I REALLY wanted to support F/OSS, I'd buy the $0.99 version off ebay, run it under WINE and send the other $19.01-49.01 or so to one of the F/OSS projects I use and love, knowing that I'm actually helping out the community whose resources I use.

Comment Re:Hexagonal venting grills (Score 1) 183

More likely it evolved because when you try to stack equally-sized cylinders you manage to get 7 in one 'cluster'. a center, and six adjacent cylinders. That has likely led to the eventual formation of hexagon-shaped honeycombs vs other shapes.

Of course, I'm not a zoologist or any other kind of -ist in this field, so I could be wrong.

Slashdot Top Deals

I judge a religion as being good or bad based on whether its adherents become better people as a result of practicing it. - Joe Mullally, computer salesman