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Comment least privilege (Score 1) 823

Having spent days (weeks, months, years?) configuring Windows XP over the years I tend to follow a pattern that works for me, ymmv.
Windows still installs broken (imco) in that the first user installed becomes an Administrator by default. With Windows, we all know by now that running as Administrator is asking for it (some have likened it to pulling ones pants down and bending over the chair.) So it's important to remove Administrator group privileges from the primary user, having them run as Users only. This prevents a host of malware and other malfeasants from gaining illegitimate access to the computer.
Install a good anti-virus software, my personal favourite is Symantec Corporate for it's ease of configuration and automation for updates. I set the software to live update daily, perform a startup scan of files loading into memory at boot time, and a weekly full scan of everything on the hdd.
Ensure that you're running Windows Update to the last iteration and get all of the updates installed correctly. Turn on automatic updates, and set it to install automatically.
Run MBSA... follow the directions provided.
Install Firefox, and the NoScript add-on. Make it the default browser in all profiles by logging on and making that choice. Ensure NoScript is up and running correctly.
The base system has excellent accessibility tools, ensure the user is familiar with them, and perhaps ensure that accessibility shortcuts are available from the desktop if necessary.
Teach... (who says old dogs can't learn new tricks?)
Wash, rinse, repeat.

Comment built to suit both purposes (Score 3, Insightful) 1117

Having worked extensively with a private school in this situation exactly, we chose to have roaming profiles, which allowed the student to log in to each machine locally, but their work was synched to their class server next login on campus. While logged in on campus, all internet content is filtered, we use jabber and bonjour messaging locally and the kids love it, these services are not given wan access.

When the student is logged in off-campus they can make documents, and use the internet as their local administrator (parent/guardian) deems appropriate. In those environments, it is considered the responsibility of the parents/guardians to provide content filtering and/or monitoring of their child's internet use. As the students are just plain users, they have few rights with respect to system modification on their local accounts, any software that they wish to install is handled via a parental request form. Machine software images are netbootable so it's quite trivial to refresh each machine.

It's important to remember that if the student and their parents ostensibly 'own' the machines, they should be granted any leeway they request, yet not undermine the local regime. Well implemented network services can ensure that your local rulesets are followed.

Comment HDD (Score 1) 716

Despite the recent increases in capacity, long term storage continues to be the bottleneck in todays high powered computing. Your new super fast quad-core still needs to wait while the arm seeks and reads the data stored on disk. Even with the newest hard drives they are still orders of magnitude slower than the rest of the system, chug power and consistently keep data-recovery labs in business. Not that I mind data-recovery labs, it's just the prices...
The Internet

Submission + - Net Neutrality Issues Facing Canada Now (neutrality.ca)

cyberbian writes: It seems that Net Neutrality is also becoming a problem for Canadian Businesses and Consumers. The Progressive(?) Conservative Party have already pushed for deregulation plan for telecommunications in Canada, despite the objection of a Parliamentary Committee that was formed to study the issue.

Given the importance of internet communication to a country as large as Canada, it's imperative that we increase awareness of the net neutrality issue, and ensure that the public is raising its voice against the profiteering telecoms.

"When I invented the Web, I didn't have to ask anyone's permission. Now, hundreds of millions of people are using it freely. I am worried that that is going end" — Sir Tim Berners Lee.


Submission + - Election candidate faces EUCD charges in Finland

An anonymous reader writes: The Open Life blog reports that activists in Finland have partly succeeded in challenging the EUCD's constitutionality, that is, they have succeeded in getting themselves tried in court:

Mikko Rauhala and Einar Karttunen have on February 13th, 2007 been charged with breaking [...] the EUropean Copyright Directive, our equivalent of the DMCA. The charges are that they participated in an online service organised by Mr Rauhala to provide advice on how to circumvent DRM and in addition Mr Karttunen has published online a computer program written in the Haskell programming language. The charge is especially serious because Rauhala paid Karttunen 0,05€ for this program. Rauhala, Karttunen and 37 others did these supposedly criminal actions in January 2006, the first week that the new law was in force. [...]
Mikko Rauhala and the organiser of the 2005 demonstration Mikko Särelä are both running for parliament in the elections to be held on March 18th, 2007. [...] some of the momentum really might still be there [...] this week [...] they put out a website to collect pledges and within 24 hours had collected 8000 to buy a full page ad in Finlands main newspaper.
The blog also informs us that

Under current Finnish laws, the maximum penalty for filesharing is higher than for simply stealing an actual music CD from a shop

Submission + - Is age 40 too old for IT or Software Development?

An anonymous reader writes: I have read some stuff on Dice.com's message boards where some people are claiming that after age 40 or so that jobs become very scarce in the IT profession. I was wondering how prevalent this really is, and in particular I was wondering how hard it would be to actually start a career in IT or Software Development at age 40.

I recently finished up a degree in physics, and I have done a little basic IT support as well as some programming as part of my job working in an environmental testing lab. How difficult would it be to start a computer career at age 40, and what industries and fields will have the most problem with my age and which will have the least problem with my age?

Submission + - SPAM: New technology removes viruses from drinking water

FiReaNGeL writes: "University of Delaware researchers have developed an inexpensive, nonchlorine-based technology that can remove harmful microorganisms, including viruses, from drinking water. The new technology could dramatically improve the safety of drinking water around the globe, particularly in developing countries. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), over a billion people — one-sixth of the world's population — lack access to safe water supplies. Four billion cases of diarrheal disease occur worldwide every year, resulting in 1.8 million deaths, primarily infants and children in developing countries. Eighty-eight percent of this disease is attributed to unsafe water supplies, inadequate sanitation and hygiene."

Submission + - IT Hiring - Too Dependent on Recruiters?

thiotim writes: "I'm a senior developer, in the field for 15 years. Although I still love the work, I hate the hiring process. The job boards are swamped by anonymous, generic recruiter postings. You can't tell what company is actually hiring and all the posts are pretty much just a checklist of skills. They are cog-in-the-wheel ads, leaving you no way to distinguish between places you would love to work at and those that you would just tolerate. There are niche boards with direct postings, but they are scattered and don't have enough postings to be useful for an active job seeker. It's a problem for both job-seeker and employer:
  • The job-searcher can't pre-screen. You have to answer a generic ad to find out if the real job is even acceptable — almost impossible to find your dream job.
  • The employer doesn't get responders with specific interest in their company, product, or work environment. How could they?
  • The ads foster an attitude that whether someone is smart, quick, or interested doesn't matter — all that counts is XXX years experience with YYY.
I recently tried to help by launching a free principals-only job board (nameless — this is not a slashvertisement). I'd expected a groundswell of grassroots support for such a venue, but it's turning out to be more difficult than I expected. I don't know if it is because there simply aren't enough people interested, or because I can't get the word out.
  • Is this an issue that you care about? Do you think it is a serious problem in the industry?
  • Do you think that a centralized, principals-only job board is a valid solution? If so, how would you go about promoting it? The typical venues have their hand in the IT hiring pie and view it as an unwanted competitor. Bloggers have niche boards, craigslist has a board (but it's being swamped), user groups have job boards (mostly recruiter ads), newsgroups seem to be pretty much dead, and google ads cost too much over the long haul. If you don't already have a highly-trafficked blog to promote it... what would you do?

Submission + - Damn Vulnerable Linux

Scott Ainslie Sutton writes: "Enterprise GNU/Linux Resource Linux.com have highlighted a newly created GNU/Linux distribution named Damn Vulnerable Linux, built upon Damn Small Linux. The distribution, headed by Thorsten Schneider, aims to deliver the Operating System in such a way that it allows Security Students first hand insight and hands on experience with Security issues within GNU/Linux in order to teach them protection and mitigation techniques The project's website describes the distribution as 'the most vulnerable, exploitable Operating System ever' and it's true, the developers have ensured that it contains outdated, ill-configured, flawed code and contains GNU/Linux 2.4 Kernel which is known to have many exploitable avenues in itself. Damn Vulnerable Linux's website can be viewed here."

Submission + - Final AACS key found

julie-h writes: The PowerDVD AACS private key for playing Blu-Ray and HD-DVD's have been found. This was the last key needed. What does this mean? We don't have to sniff/snoop Volume IDs anymore. We can create a program that can decrypt (or play if you will) a disc without any need for WinDVD or PowerDVD. So no sniffing/extracting of keys anymore. And more over: it can work on all platforms... In other words: we can make our own independent, user friendly player (or decrypter).

Submission + - The Best SE Books?

Tokimasa writes: "What would Slashdot recommend as "must have" books in the field of Software Engineering? Below are a list of the books that I own, most of which I have at least looked through and will be reading whenever I get more time. If it's on this list, I recommend it. I'm just curious as to what everyone else has on their bookshelf, either at home or work.

The Mythical Man-Month: Essays on Software Engineering
Peopleware: Productive Projects and Teams
Waltzing with Bears: Managing Risk on Software Projects
Design Patterns: Elements of Reusable Object-Oriented Software
The Pragmatic Programmer: From Journeyman to Master
GUI Bloopers: Don'ts and Do's for Software Developers and Web Designers
Dynamics of Software Development (2006 Edition)
Code Complete (2nd Edition)
Rapid Development: Taming Wild Software Schedules
The Design of Everyday Things
The Cathedral & The Bazaar: Musings on Linux and Open Source by an Accidental Revolutionary
Software Requirements (Second Edition)"

Submission + - Humans hardwired to believe in supernatural deity?

dohcrx writes: According to a New York Times article published March 4, 2007 6 in 10 Americans believe in the devil and hell, 7 in 10 believe in angels, heaven and the existence of miracles and life after death while 92% believe in a personal God.

"When a trait is universal, evolutionary biologists look for a genetic explanation and wonder how that gene or genes might enhance survival or reproductive success."

"Which is the better biological explanation for a belief in God — evolutionary adaptation or neurological accident? Is there something about the cognitive functioning of humans that makes us receptive to belief in a supernatural deity?"

"Religion made incursions into the traditional domain of science with attempts to bring intelligent design into the biology classroom and to choke off human embryonic stem-cell research on religious grounds. Scientists responded with counterincursions. Experts from the hard sciences, like evolutionary biology and cognitive neuroscience, joined anthropologists and psychologists in the study of religion, making God an object of scientific inquiry."

Submission + - Now playing: Open Source movies

Pritesh writes: "After YouTube, Will it be LetsFilm.com?

http://www.tech2.com/india/news/websites-internet/ after-youtube-will-it-be-letsfilm.com/4569/0

The Web 2.0 era, the next step in internet evolution, has opened up the online world in a way that the internet is now largely driven by User Generated Content (UGC). Be it the popular Wikipedia, or the phenomenon called YouTube, the web experience is no longer a one way lane. Today, it's all about buzz words like 'Broadcast yourself,' 'Create your own space,' or simply 'Wiki' in everything. Here's looking at an effort by a 26 year old Indian techie, who — inspired by the Open source revolution, combined with his love for movies and technology in the Web2.0era — initiated a User Generated Movie platform, LetsFilm.com."

Submission + - Ocean Floor Crust Wound to Be Explored

eldavojohn writes: "A group of scientists are disembarking right now to study an open gash in the ocean floor where earth's mantle lays exposed without any crust covering it. The scientists describe these as similar to stretch marks that a person might experience on their skin from a growth spurt. Either that or the mantle was never covered by the crust and just has always been like this. From the article, "Regardless of how they formed, the exposed mantle provides scientists with a rare opportunity to study the Earth's rocky innards. Many attempts to drill deep into the planet barely get past the crust.""

Submission + - WiPeer offers Serverless p2p collaboration

HateBreeder writes: A group of researchers at the Technion, Israel's Institute of Technology, have created WiPeer — a new Serverless p2p application. What's new about it, is that it creates Ad-Hoc networks: networks which are formed between two or more laptops equipped with WiFi without reliance on any access-point or other third party infrastructure. While the technology is not new, this is the first time it has been wrapped into an easily installable and configurable package. Maybe it's time to say goodbye to that wireless router? Read more here.

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