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Comment I work for a company that has 17 locations (Score 3, Interesting) 137

I do not work for the company that makes the product I am recommending, nor do I have any affiliation, relationship, association or any other connection to them except the one where I give them some money every year and they let me use their product in return.

I use and recommend a product called Lansweeper. The cost is very reasonable, uses WMI, and SNMP for asset scanning. It can do everything it's designed to do without an agent or you can deploy a small, non-resident agent if bandwidth considerations are critical. It stores all it's information in a standardized SQL format (can use MS free SQL express) if you don't already own SQL in your environment. It's reporting capabilities are fantastic. The interface is all web enabled and can run on it's proprietary web hosting or can use IIS.

We pay $1500 US once a year and the license allows us to run as many scanning servers as we need. There are no limits on the number of nodes that can be scanned or data that can be stored. Maint is so easy you can have a low level tech manage the thing. And because of the standardized data structure, several of our other organizations pull data from it daily. Our ticketing system (Service Now) has regular reporting and direct ties into the lansweeper database. Security is not the primary focus because it is meant to be entirely internal with no public interface. however you can limit access in a very granular way using AD security groups or individual ID. It scans MAC, Linux, switches, routers, cisco gear, VOIP, windows workstations and servers, you name it. It also has a fairly robust software management component although we don't rely on that set of features as much as we could.

We've been running it in my company for over three years now and even though we have SCCM, Service Now, Sailpoint and a number of other products that are critical for very niche requirements, everyone in the IT organization that has need to gather and maintain asset management uses this product and I do overhear them talk about it with respect, especially when you consider the cost. Not going to link to their site but you can easily google Lansweeper to get there. The company is out of Belgium I believe and I found them by asking questions in the BSA forums.

Comment Re:Lets set a few things straight. (Score 1) 639

The whole global warming debate is as confusing as ever.

No. it isn't. As a scientist I can firmly conclude Global warming is happening, its caused (in part) by human activities, and we need to stop it as it contributes to an array of very devastating consequences.

FTFY - yes, global warming is happening. Yes humans contribute to the problem. I do not believe there is enough evidence to conclude we are the sole or even the major cause. To discount the evidence that we were already in a warming cycle is just as bad as to ignore the evidence that it is in part caused by increased levels of CO2.

Comment What can we do vs What should we do? (Score 2, Insightful) 639

Q: Should we be actively engaged in protecting our environment
A: Yes

Q: Has mankind contributed to the degradation of our environment
A: Yes

Q: Are we the largest cause of Global Warming
A: Not really certain, possibly

Q: Can we do anything to halt or slow down the damage we are doing
A: Yes

Q: Should we
A: Yes

Well, what should we do vs what can we do becomes the biggest question. There are a number of things that reasonable people can agree upon that will have an impact. Everything from the individual effort to not deliberately contribute to polluting our environment to providing incentive's to corporations and governments to reduce and regulate appropriately. It does no long term good to punish business out of existence simply to appease one group or another. It does no good to exclaim that there is no such thing as global warming or to claim that humans have nothing to do with it or to say that there is nothing we can do about it.

But calling childish names of those that don't agree with you is even less helpful. Is it your goal to convince the opposition to change their mind and start seeing things from your point of view? If so, your efforts are woefully inadequate, assuming you would rather go with your heart and call people names. If you can't be bothered to make an effort to convince people to reconsider, then you should stop polluting the environment with your invective. I was once a very committed "denier" but I didn't stop researching and I deliberately avoid participating in the echo chambers that exist on both sides of the argument. Some very reasonable debate from considerate and passionate and knowledgeable people have contributed my change of position.

Yes, I believe there is enough evidence to conclude that the planet is warmer on average now than it has been in the last several hundred years. Yes, I believe that humans have contributed in exacerbating an natural process of warming that would have occurred without our involvement. We have made it worse by a measurable percentage. Yes I think there are things we should do to reduce the damage we are doing. No, I don't believe success will come from cap and trade, making carbon based fuel illegal or forcing our industry to move all their operations out of the country by draconian levels of regulation. I also am convinced that if we were to, today, stop all production of CO2 worldwide we wouldn't get back to "normal" levels for several decades. We need reasonable solutions that don't crush the life out of the lives we are trying to save.

We should be expending our efforts in trying to convince the opposition rather than shutting them down. We should be expending our efforts in researching and implementing reasonable solutions rather than lining the pockets of our "evangelists" and "prophets". I'm an example of the success that can be had by being reasonable, fair and adult in our efforts. It does work. Don't believe it, go back and read some of my previous posts.

Comment It's all fun and games until someone steals an ID (Score 1) 150

I work in the financial lending industry and I can promise you that if we slacked off on security and user credit info is leaked or stolen, it won't matter that the breach came by way of social engineering, brute force password attacks or swarms of pigeons waving flaming torches, everyone in the department gets sanctioned. Some will get reprimands, some will get demotions and some will get fired.

If it comes to a choice of losing your job or inconveniencing a user with a password change every 30, 60 or 90 days, guess who has to learn a new password. And you can bet that if someone in the department notices a breach, they will report it and go on a witch hunt to find the "lazy S.O. B." that had both the responsibility and the authority to fix it.

I read the FA and I find their conclusions don't match my experience. I know, anecdotal evidence isn't evidence but reports like this, done this way will not effect change in either a positive or negative way.

Submission + - DEA steals life savings of innocent man

schwit1 writes: In another example of civil forfeiture, DEA agents confiscated the life savings of a man heading to California based on no evidence.

There was no evidence of a crime, the man was never charged, but three weeks later he still has not gotten his money back.

Sean Waite, the agent in charge for the DEA in Albuquerque, said he could not comment on the Rivers case because it is ongoing. He disputed allegations that Rivers was targeted because of his race. Waite said that in general DEA agents look for "indicators" such as whether the person bought an expensive one-way ticket with cash, if the person is traveling from or to a city known as a hot spot for drug activity, if the person's story has inconsistencies or if the large sums of money found could have been transported by more conventional means.

"We don't have to prove that the person is guilty," Waite said. "It's that the money is presumed to be guilty."

Read the whole article. This is entirely unconstitutional. The fifth amendment to the Bill of Rights expressly forbids the taking of private property "without just compensation."

Submission + - Following Obama's Coding Lesson, Microsoft and Google Met With NSF, White House

theodp writes: While scant on detail, White House Visitor Records released Friday show Microsoft and Google execs were slated to attend intimate meetings at the White House with the National Science Foundation and Obama administration officials in the hours after the tech industry-bankrolled 'taught the President to code' last December, perhaps the crowning event in the nonprofit's two-year effort to make the lack of CS education 'an issue like climate change'. According to White House records, NSF Chief France Córdova was scheduled to meet on Dec. 8th with CEO Hadi Partovi, Microsoft Chief Lobbyist Frederick Humphries, and Google Director of Education Maggie Johnson. And on Dec. 9th, Humphries was due back at the White House with Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and Microsoft General Counsel Brad Smith. Smith, who sits on's Board (as does Google's Maggie Johnson), is coincidentally the next door neighbor of CEO Partovi, who in turn is an ex-Microsoft employee and occasional jogging partner of backer Steve Ballmer. While in DC, Nadella reportedly pitched the need for high-tech immigration reform, an issue that's also near-and-dear to Mark Zuckerberg's PAC, which counts many of the same wealthy backers as Microsoft's National Talent Strategy, introduced by Smith not long before and emerged on the scene, calls for "an increase in developing the American STEM pipeline in exchange for these new [H-1B] visas and green cards." The plan apparently struck a chord with the President, who, following his own coding lesson, expressed concern that his daughters hadn't taken to coding the way he’d like. "I think they got started a little bit late," the President said. "Part of what you want to do is introduce this with the ABCs and the colors."

Comment Re:Slashdot comments for the short of attention (Score 1) 197

and what did your giant attention span gain you in this situation? oh, you agree with the "opinion" without RTFA and determining that the end result will most likely not be a "garish ecological disaster." Next time, try fact. All the self-esteem building with none of that messy confusion.

Submission + - Germanwings plane crash was no accident

hcs_$reboot writes: The Germanwings plane crash takes a scary turn. After a couple of days investigation, it appears that the co-pilot requested control of the aircraft about 20 minutes into the flight. The pilot then left the cockpit, leaving the co-pilot in full control of the plane. Then, the co-pilot manually and "intentionally" set the plane on the descent that drove it into the mountainside in the southern French Alps. Co-pilot Andreas Lubitz, a 28-year-old German national, could be heard breathing throughout the plane’s descent and was alive at the point of impact, according to the prosecutor.

Comment And what would you do with enhanced intelligence? (Score 1) 294

Once we have AI and it starts playing "Civilization", we will become the next smartest thing on the planet. Expect our betters to treat us about the same as we treat our primate cousins. Some of us will be left to roam in the wild, some will be harvested for lab experiments, some will be put in zoos and the rest will be hunted for our teeth which will be ground up into an aphrodisiac for the robots.

Submission + - Gunman Was On Run -- Shots Fired Near NSA (

An anonymous reader writes: U.S. Park Police reported hearing gunshots fired near the NSA headquarters on Tuesday. Hours after gunfire ringing, the FBI said a suspect has been arrested for a series of shootings in the Washington-Baltimore area. The agency believes the suspect is responsible for several shootings, including one on the Intercounty Connector in Maryland and one at Fort Meade, Maryland — where the NSA is located. No one was injured, but NSA found damage to a building near the highway that passes by its campus, a federal law enforcement official said. Investigators are looking into the other shootings that have happened in the past couple of weeks to see if there is a connection. Those shootings happened outside a mall, a theater and a Walmart. Someone also shot a landscaping truck.

Comment Good thing the NY Times is thinking ahead (Score 2) 538

By getting this out there now, it can be written off as "old news" come election time. Savvy news media types know that the best time to expose the skeletons is months in advance. Savvy politicians know this too so expect more of these types of stories being "leaked" to the sympathetic press teams in the next few months. Meanwhile, the opposition is gnashing their teeth and hoping that they are able to reserve most the things that could discredit Hillary until the very last moment.

Another thought occurs to me as well; it seems that every time something like this happens to a liberal candidate, the majority of comments are along the lines of "oh it doesn't really matter because all politicians do this". As if it's expected. I recall the Earth shattering k-boom that rocked the planet when it was revealed that Sarah Pallin used gmail when she was Governor. The amount of ZOMGICANTBELIEVEITHOWSTUPIDANDILLEGALANDIMMORALANDJUSTPLAINDOWNRIGHTBAD that is. Yes, they all do it. Some of them do it for the purposes of obscuring and avoiding exposure. Some of them do it because they are lazy and/or stupid. I'm not proposing that Hillary needs to be put in the public square and become the target of rotten fruit. Just keep this in mind the next time a Republican is exposed and treat the occasion with the same level of contempt.

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