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Comment Re:SMIME (Score 1) 243

Actually you are close but a little off. Verisign, Thawte, CAcert, Startcom, and the likes are trusted third parties, but they don't issue or generate your private key. You (via your browser software engine, smartcard, OpenSSL, etc.) generate your private key and send them your CSR (Certificate signing request) which contains your public key. The TTP then issues the certificate based on your public key and the CSR. The TTP never has your private key and therefore can't decrypt anything that was sent to you via your certificate, and can't sign anything to make it appear it came from your certificate.

The function of the TTP is for identification. Your browser is set to trust Verisign's signing key, so therefore when you visit your browser verifies that your certificate is signed by Verisign's, and therefore is trusted. Now you can use your own signing authority, as you called the "RSA key server" above, which is called self-signing your keys. You can still use it and it is just as cryptographically secure as using Verisign, however I don't know your signing authority from Sam, so my browser is going to warn me saying it is an untrusted signer. E-mail using such a certificate is the same, it will say the message is encrypted and has not been altered since it was sent, however the identify of the sender can not be confirmed. Now if I knew you personally and could meet with you to verify the fingerprint of your key, I could set my browser/e-mail client to trust your key (or your signer) and that warning would go away and be just as (really more so) secure than Verisign's signature.

When you get down to it, when you see the little lock icon on your browser, why do you trust it? Have you ever looked at the default list of trusted root keys? There are over 50 in my Firefox installation, and that is not including other authorities I've installed. AOL is not considered secure by anybody on the 'net, however their root key is installed as trusted by default in your browser. Why? Because at one point they talked their way onto the list way back in time, and while Mozilla now has a set list of requirements for new roots to be added, they have not gone back and applied those rules to roots already in place and basically grandfathered them in.

Even if the had its fingers inside of Verisign, Thawte, or any other root authority it doesn't make it any easier for them to decrypt your communications once it is been properly encrypted. At best it would let them generate a key for their own server, pretending to be and be a man in the middle.

Comment Re:your boss sucks at making ethernet cables (Score 1) 837

> 2. They mix 568A and 568B - usually wiring A in the wall, and using premade B patch cables. Instant crosstalk. OK on very short runs, but anything longer than 80' to 100' will become problematic with many NICs.

Um... I'm raising the brown flag here. The difference between 568-A and 568-B is the order at which the orange and green pairs arrive inside the connector. A cable made with 568-A on both ends is electrically the same as 568-B on both ends. The only difference is the color of insulation on the pairs at that point. "The T-568A standard is supposed to be used in new network installations. Most off-the-shelf Ethernet cables are still of the T-568B
standard; however, it makes absolutely no functional difference in which
you choose." -

Other than that, I'll agree with you on your other points.

We're splitting hairs at this point, but technically 3 is only a problem if the insulation is nicked deep enough to actually nick the conductor, which is usually the case. If the conductor itself is not nicked, even an exposed conductor is not a problem. The only problem would be due to corrosion or moisture, and unless you're using a silicone filled connector, you're going to have those issues at the end of the cable anyway. If you nicked the insulation outside of the connector where the silicone wouldn't do any good and didn't scrap it, you really have no business making cables.

Comment Re:What happens at the end of the month? (Score 1) 369

I wasn't suggesting they take anything away from you, just that they don't take away upload bandwidth at all. If they want to treat it as burst, then they need to advertise/sell it that way. Don't say "2MB up" then bury in the user agreement a clause that says "100K if you use more than 2 MB in a 5 minute period" or some such crap.

I definitely think they should offer some sort of status page that shows the current upload and download speed caps, and any aggregate totals towards any limits in place. This would be an acceptable alternative if they can't just let us get what they are charging us for and leave us alone.

Comment Re:What happens at the end of the month? (Score 4, Insightful) 369

I have no problem at all with QOS implemented by an ISP as long as it is fair, such as all VoIP packets getting the same priority, regardless of whether they have their own offering or not. As long as they don't prioritize their own services, I think they should still be allowed to maintain their common carrier status.

I do however have a problem with changing the upload speed. If they want to cap my download, go for it, but leave upload along. QOS in Smoothwall, Tomato, DD-WRT, and other routers is based on a constant upload bandwidth. This means in order to ensure you have proper-functioning QOS during a rate cap, you have to configure it for the capped speed at all times. You can no longer take advantage of your uncapped speed.

The best way to handle high-usage customers is to downgrade their priority once they hit a threshold. That way if my neighbors aren't using the bandwidth, I can. Why let the pipe sit there empty? When the neighbors need it, my priority goes down to make sure they see the speeds until they hit their own cap.

Since most peering arrangements are based on the percentage of traffic moving in one direction based on the other, they should be encouraging customers to be on the uploading side as it will help tip the scales in their direction and actually reduce their bandwidth expense.

Comment Re:Voucher/coupon returns? (Score 1) 591

The worst part about it is when I contacted them they verified the coupons were never used before they expired. They weren't taken in transit and spent, they just got lost in the shuffle. I would be a little more understanding if they had been used, then it would be a question of whether I actually got them and used them. All I was asking for was a re-issue of the cards that were issued to me already. But thats the efficiency of the government shining through.


Comment Re:Voucher/coupon returns? (Score 1) 591

I requested coupons for a couple of older TVs, but never received them. I inquired but they said they were sent out and there is nothing further they could do, and suggested getting an unused card from a friend or relative who had to many. Perhaps a trading site could be set up to match people who have extras with people who didn't get any for whatever reason?

If you have nothing better to do with it, I could send you a stamp to send it my direction. ;-)


Comment Re:RIP Micron (Score 4, Informative) 137

In my opinion the whole spiral started with Joel Kocher. When I started employment at MPC (was called at the time) in early '00, they had a rock solid product, and were in the midst of transitioning to a PC and Internet hosting company. Kocher introduced a free bare-bones PC with a long-term Internet service contract.

Kocher was convinced the PC was dead and that hosting was the way to go. Up to that point Micron PC was known as the Cadillac of PCs, using good quality parts, a good non-bloatware system load, etc. Once this piece of cheapest-possible junk was introduced, the reputation of the company, as well as the internal focus on quality went out the window. All of the company effort was focused on expanding the hosting business at the expense of the hardware side of the business.

After a while Kocher spun off Hostpro and left the PC manufacturing side of the business to die. It was picked up by an investment group and was never able to fully recover. While I can't confirm it, rumor stated that the company could have turned around but the investment company siphoned off every cent of profit rather than re-investing it back into the business for long-term growth. Coupled with leadership that (I feel) were more interested in short-term balance sheets than long term success doomed the company to failure.

I was laid off in July of '06, and haven't looked back. I made it through more layoffs than I could count and the stress of wondering if I'd have a job every couple of months was horrible. The layoff that finally caught me was more of a relief than a concern. I should have looked for something else far prior to that but I was convinced the company could recover and then I'd be in a good position for advancement.

The way I see it the company has been floating for the last 6+ years, and someone finally decided to hit the flush handle. I have quite a few friends that were still employed there that have lost their jobs in the last month. Its a tough job market right now and this isn't going to make it any easier.

Comment Re:Single song downloads (Score 1) 619

As long as it is reasonable (such as the $5/month you used as an example or even double that) and covered all **AA wares I would have no problem paying an *optional* ISP media fee. I could easily get that much usage out of it, and would wager to say most people would.

Back in the Napster days I noticed a trend that a new user would download a metric crapload (yes, very scientific measurement) of songs when they first got access, then only picked up a handfull of songs every now and then after that. On average a person would probably download a movie or two and a couple of songs every month after the newness wore off. With songs (iTunes) and movie rentals (Redbox) at $1 each, I think on average it would be a fair deal for both the consumer and the media moguls.


Submission + - How does your company keep teleworkers happy?

charleste writes: "This morning on IBMs employee website, there is an external link to an article about keeping teleworkers happy and connected both to the company and their coworkers. How does your company keep teleworkers happy? Do you feel disconnected from the "Greater Family"? Do you feel a part of the corporate entity you work for, or are you a disconnected unit that just plods along on individual tasks?"

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