Follow Slashdot stories on Twitter


Forgot your password?
DEAL: For $25 - Add A Second Phone Number To Your Smartphone for life! Use promo code SLASHDOT25. Also, Slashdot's Facebook page has a chat bot now. Message it for stories and more. Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 Internet speed test! ×

Comment Play with SQL, Dont worry about Exchange (Score 1) 293

My advice is to start reading the best practices documentation for SQL, and hit MS first. Dont play with the other stuff till you feel realy comfortable with MS SQL Server. It will give you the most bang for the buck (or time) that you spend this early in your career. I wouldnt worry about exchange beyoned a basic maintnence level. With 365, most companies will start moving to that model. Its cheaper than spending 100k + every couple years upgrading, re tuning, all that bs when MS comes out with a new Exchange version. Virtulization has moved to the point where its almost a deriment no knowing it, and you can learn that so you can then sandbox MSSQL. Good luck, and welcome to the Lions den, hope you brought your sheild and spear..

Submission + - Massive Canadian E-mail Crash (

rueger writes: One of Canada's biggest cable/Internet providers has their customers in an outrage. "...after an interruption of Shaw’s email services Thursday led to millions of emails being deleted. ... About 70 per cent of Shaw’s email customers were affected when the company was troubleshooting an unrelated email delay problem and an attempted solution caused incoming emails to be deleted ... Emails were deleted for a 10-hour period between 7:45 a.m. and 6:15 p.m. Thursday, although customers did not learn about the problem until Friday, and only then by calling customer service or accessing an online forum for Shaw Internet subscribers."

To top it off, when Shaw did send out notices about this, they looked so much like every day phishing spam that many people deleted them unread. Read more:

Comment Re:Will they be adding Debian as a supported distr (Score 1) 332

Serriously? FFS "Or is the Debian open philosophy just too incompatible with the idea of Linux gaming?" Quit acting like nerd complaining that the library only had DC and YOU only like Marvel. Be happy that they have comics there in the first place. Maybe they will expand in to that distro, give it some time.. maybe go back to making your "2013 will be the year of linux!" shirts

Submission + - How Fortune 500 Companies Profit From Scammers (

jfruh writes: "Privacy blogger Dan Tynan has gone where angels fear to tread, friending an obvious scammer on Facebook and finding out where the links "she" tries to get you to post on your wall go. They go to an array of websites that set off every alarm in Dan's anti-virus software, but it's worth noting that the conduit that gets you there is a Web survey about Taco Bell hosted by Q Interactive, a "respectable" lead generation firm that does business with a lot of huge American companies."

Submission + - CISPA Is A Really Bad Bill, And Here's Why (

SolKeshNaranek writes: CISPA at a Glance:
In broad terms, CISPA is about information sharing. It creates broad legal exemptions that allow the government to share "cyber threat intelligence" with private companies, and companies to share "cyber threat information" with the government, for the purposes of enhancing cybersecurity. The problems arise from the definitions of these terms, especially when it comes to companies sharing data with the feds.


The forces behind HR 3523, the dangerous Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act which is going to move forward in Congress at the end of the month, are beginning to get cagey about the growing backlash from the internet community. In an attempt to address some of the key concerns, the bill's authors, representatives Mike Rogers and Dutch Ruppersberger, hosted a conference call specifically geared at digital reporters. The invitation was for "Cyber Media and Cyber Bloggers" (seriously) and took place at 7am Silicon Valley time—thus demonstrating that they are totally in touch with the tech community. During the call, the representatives were intent on hammering certain points home: that the bill respects privacy and civil liberties, is not about surveillance, is targeted at actions by foreign states, and is nothing like SOPA.

Unfortunately, none of that is really true. The text of the bill, even with the two key amendments made since (all pdf links and embedded below), is still full of extremely broad definitions which fail to create the safeguards that the representatives insist are present, and which leave room for dangerous unintended consequences.

Is CISPA the new SOPA?
This is the notion that the reps behind the bill are most desperate to kill. Their primary response is that CISPA has nothing to do with seizing domains or censoring websites, but that's only true on the surface. The bill defines "cybersecurity systems" and "cyber threat information" as anything to do with protecting a network from:

(A) efforts to degrade, disrupt, or destroy such system or network; or

(B) theft or misappropriation of private or government information, intellectual property, or personally identifiable information.

It's easy to see how that definition could be interpreted to include things that go way beyond network security—specifically, copyright policing systems at virtually any point along a network could easily qualify. And since one of the recipients of the shared information would be Homeland Security—the department that includes ICE and its ongoing domain seizures—CISPA creates the very real possibility for this information to be used as part of a SOPA-like crusade to lock down the internet. So while the bill itself has nothing to do with domain seizures, it gives the people behind such seizures a potentially powerful new weapon.

The reps insist that when they refer to intellectual property, they are not thinking about media piracy or even counterfeiting, but about foreign-based attacks on domestic companies to steal their research and development (they tout examples like the plans for jet fighters). Unfortunately, the bill's definitions create no such restriction, leaving the door wide open for more creative interpretations.

How can the government use the information?
The original text of the bill was really bad, simply saying the government cannot use the information for "regulatory purposes." This was amended to be more restrictive, but not by much: now, the same broad "cybersecurity" definition applies to what they can use the data for, and as if that wasn't enough, they can also use it for "the protection of the national security of the United States." I don't need to tell you that the government is not exactly famous for narrowly interpreting "national security."

So is CISPA a surveillance bill?
The bill specifically prohibits the government from requiring anyone to hand over information, or offering any sort of "quid pro quo" data sharing arrangement. Sharing information is voluntary, and as far as the bill's supporters are concerned, that should end the debate. Of course, as we've seen with things like the warrantless wiretapping scandal, complicity between companies and the government, even when legally questionable, is common and widespread. But even if the safeguards work, CISPA will undoubtedly allow for invasions of privacy that amount to surveillance.

Firstly, while the reps insist that the bill only applies to companies and not individuals, that's very disingenuous. CISPA states that the entity providing the information cannot be an individual or be working for an individual, but the data they share (traffic, user activity, etc.) will absolutely include information about individuals. There is no incentive in the bill to anonymize this data—there is only a clause permitting anonymization, which is meaningless since the choice of what data to share is already voluntary. Note that any existing legal protections of user privacy will not apply: the bill clearly states that the information may be shared "notwithstanding any other provision of law".

So we've got the government collecting this data, potentially full of identifying information of users in the U.S. and elsewhere, and they are free to use it for any of those broadly defined cybersecurity or national security purposes. But, it gets worse: the government is also allowed to affirmatively search the information for those same reasons—meaning they are by no means limited to examining the data in relation to a specific threat. If, for example, a company were to provide logs of a major attack on their network, the government could then search that information for pretty much anything else they want.

Can CISPA be fixed?
Most of the new provisions currently being considered for CISPA have to do with adding oversight and liability to prevent the government from violating any of the terms—but that doesn't address the problems in the bill at all, since the terms are already so broad. CISPA would require significant new restrictions to come anywhere close to being a good bill—a fact that points to Congress' inability to effectively design internet regulation. Moreover, there isn't even clear evidence that new cybersecurity laws are necessary. This is a bill that needs to die.

The EFF has a tool to help you contact your representative about CISPA and the broader issue of cybersecurity legislation. The bill is going to the House the week of April 23rd, so now is the time to get involved. As with SOPA, this is not an issue that solely effects Americans: the data may come from U.S. companies, but it will involve people from all over the world—and, indeed, foreign entities are one of the bill's prime targets. It's once again time for the internet to speak up and send a clear message to Congress: don't mess with something you don't understand.


Submission + - Lockheed: Prototype Space Fence tracking orbital debris (

coondoggie writes: "Lockheed Martin says the prototype system it is developing to track all manner of space debris is now tracking actual orbiting space objects.
The Space Fence prototype includes new ground-based radars and other technologies to enhance the way the US detects, tracks, measures and catalogs orbiting objects and space debris with improved accuracy, better timeliness and increased surveillance coverage."


Submission + - Todd Park Appointed Second U.S. CTO (

redletterdave writes: "On Friday, President Barack Obama appointed Todd Park, a 39-year-old former entrepreneur and data scientist, to be the new U.S. Chief Technology Officer of the United States. Park takes over for Aneesh Chopra, the first U.S. CTO, who resigned in February. Park was formerly the CTO of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services since 2009, where he helped bring "big data" to healthcare by helping create an open health care data platform similar to the National Weather Service, which could feed data to commercial websites and applications. Before joining the Obama administration, Park helped co-found AthenaHealth and Castlight Health, and also served as a senior adviser to Ashoka, a global incubator for social entrepreneurs. One of his ventures, Healthpoint Services, won the 2011 Sankalp Award for the 'most innovative and promising health-oriented social enterprise in India.'"

Submission + - Comcast won't "support" HBOGo access via Roku or Samsung TVs

pajamabama writes: Official word from Comcast tech support is that the do not "support" HBOGo on the Roku or Samsung Smart TV. This policy is confirmed by GigaOM. There is no explanation as to why or what is so special about those platforms that they should require extra support. An ongoing thread on Comcast support forums has been largely ignored by the company.

This really sounds like Comcast to force customers into only using their video-on-demand services. If you're watching HBO on your TV, then it's only via Comcast's (vastly inferior — when you consider the number of offerings) on-demand service, period.

Slashdot Top Deals

Stinginess with privileges is kindness in disguise. -- Guide to VAX/VMS Security, Sep. 1984