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Comment Cheap Solution (Score 1) 155

We wouldn't need to discuss this if the medical device manufacturers stopped using consumer-grade wireless radios and protocols. But of course that would cost more money to research and develop, yada yada yada. There's a cheap solution to this problem, however. Dispense with the tinfoil hats and go for a full-blown tinfoil body wrap. Problem solved!

Comment Re:Untrustworthy Computing (Score 1) 99

Why is this modded offtopic? Ah yes, because some define "Trustworthy Computing" as exclusively meaning a platform that has gained trust by the user. But you have to look at the whole picture. Security was always the first "pillar" of the "Trustworthy Computing" initiative. Protected execution and secure I/O were features Microsoft desperately wanted to incorporate into their code - the thinking being if the code couldn't be modified in ways the programmers never intended, then users *could* completely trust it. Palladium (or Next-Generation Secure Computing Base) was hailed as the holy grail of locked down code, and "Trustworthy Computing" was one of the buzzwords used by Microsoft to market it. That is, until the anti-TCP campaign made it not cool to use those terms anymore. Why not take a stroll over to Microsoft's website circa 2002 and let me know what you find:

Comment Untrustworthy Computing (Score 0) 99

This is great news on one hand, but a sad reminder of how some of the core ideas behind this "technology" have advanced. I remember when the first bits of information on "Palladium", as it was called at the time, started to leak out. There was a lot of talk about how software companies could lock down their applications to restrict their use or make them disappear from the device on a whim. Also there was speculation about how the government could use it to track and watch everything done on the device. Well, look at what we have today - applications and data stored in datacenters that the government has easy access to. Downloaded apps can be disabled for reasons as silly as trademark disputes. And social networking websites are making billions tracking the activities of their users and selling the data.

Fortunately, some of the other nefarious goals have not come to pass. We still are able to use whatever device we want to connect to the internet and are not limited to a walled garden. We also can transfer media files between (most) devices without needing a license for each device. And encryption capabilities are easier to implement and for the most part protect our privacy instead of protecting the software companies' "intellectual property." We definitely owe a debt of gratitude to groups like the EFF and Free Software Foundation for standing up to the lobbyists that pushed the trusted computing platform.

Comment Re:Grandparents... (Score 1) 66

Actually, the link does not apply since the unfortunate victim in that case jumped off an 80ft cliff into a quarry. I am not aware of any account where the original challenge, a bucket of cold water to the head, actually caused the participant to expire and go to meet his maker.

Comment Re:Zenoss is awesome - Zenoss Core + OpenVPN (Score 1) 137

Anon - Why base your opinion on an experience back in 2008? This is six years later and the product has matured since then. The Zenoss Core ( open source project is bigger than it's ever been, it is very reliable, and is used by many large corporations today.

OP - For what it's worth, any open source monitoring software should play just fine with OpenVPN. However, the monitoring feature set should be simplified into a single interface, you don't want to have to be fixing scripts and maintaining the software all the time.

I actually used to deploy OpenVPN + Zenoss for remote site monitoring. In my case I needed to monitor multiple systems at the customer premises (using Zenoss Enterprise/Service Dynamics for the remote collector integration), but you should have it a bit easier since you only have one server to monitor. I found configuring OpenVPN to be a bit of a challenge, but once that part was done the rest was a piece of cake. It will be a lot of work with the sheer volume of 500 clients (with that amount of traffic you might even need to break it into two OpenVPN endpoints) but I'm sure you are already aware of that.

I would say definitely take a closer look at Zenoss Core. A side note, Zenoss Service Dynamics is their enterprise product with advance features, but for you the "technology stack" needs only to consist of Zenoss Core (free) + OpenVPN. Set up OpenVPN as you described so that the clients deployed on your remote servers can connect back through https - as long as they have an internet connection no holes need to be poked through your customer's firewalls. Drop Zenoss on the OpenVPN endpoint box(s). Then use the OpenVPN IPs to monitor the servers. For each individual server, configure the SNMP string if Linux, or set up WMI if windows (no need to configure traps, Zenoss polls the boxes at specific intervals). Use the wizard on the Zenoss web interface to add the host and model it. Away you go, you can now see the events in the Zenoss console for everything from ping status to CPU utilization. Events go to the console which you can monitor, or you can easily set up e-mail alerts to trigger. For example, say one of the disks throws a SMART error; trigger an e-mail you so you can ship the customer a new disk to install just like NetApp does.

As I mentioned, you can definitely use Zabbix or some other variant to do the monitoring part. I researched and played with many monitoring solutions (commercial and free) before I settled on Zenoss. What made the difference for me was that I found I was spending way too much time learning the quirks of the software (e.g. Nagios - config file to add a client, really! SolarWinds - Agent installation required, really!) and not enough time actually deploying monitoring to the targets. Good luck, hopefully this info helps you find the right fit for your environment!

Comment Not surprising (Score 3) 800

This doesn't surprise me considering how far removed the US government is from understanding her primary function - to protect her own citizens. What's to stop them from declaring a leader of a political movement as dangerous, having “recently” been involved in “activities” posing a threat of a violent attack - for example, declaring that the government has no right to interfere with private enterprises, or even supporting 2nd amendment rights?

Submission + - GE Research Develops Cooling Technology Dubbed "Piezoelectric Cooling Jet"

JayTech writes: "General Electric's Global Research Facility has developed an ultra-thin, high performance cooler that may become the next-generation cooling technology for laptops and tablets. The "Piezoelectric Cooling Jet" is about the size and thickness of an ordinary credit card, uses just a fraction of the power consumed by a standard fan, and contains no conventional moving parts. Dr. Seyed Saddoughi, the inventor and Principal Engineer at GE's Aero-Thermal and Mechanical Systems, was interviewed by WNYT-TV for an explanation of the technology.

Engadget also has a video of the cooling jet re-purposed to play a Christmas song."

Comment Re:A flaw, really? (Score 1) 154

I used a little hyperbole to make a point about the passwords being a backdoor. Your argument is valid, absolutely; but that assumes The Man is efficient and crafty - none of which are generally equated with governments these days. This is a lazy man's backdoor, through a gate that appears to be normal both inside and out. On the other hand, a black hat implementing your proposed covert SSH backdoor would fit right in line with their known weapons of fear, surprise, and ruthless efficiency.

Comment Re:Source on the Pitcher theft? (Score 1) 668

I believe it's the first link in the summary, but I could be wrong: NYTimes, 7-Feb-2011

Thanks, I read that after I took a few seconds to bypass the paywall. I guess the NYT is a source, but unfortunately the story is very devoid of facts... only that one line on the theft (and an interview with a scrap metal guy and a politician unrelated to the incident)? Not one snippet anywhere else on any of the major news sites? Either I'm not looking hard enough (probably) or the theft was conjured up to add some drama to the story... anyone to disprove that silly theory?

Comment Source on the Pitcher theft? (Score 1) 668

Is there any source on the Pitcher utility line theft story? I can't find anything. I doubt the "blackout" was a very big deal considering that the town is a ghost town with only six residences remaining. The town has been basically dead since it was declared a superfund site, and then a tornado hit a few years ago and wiped away the rest. Kind of puts that part of the story in perspective...,_Oklahoma

Submission + - Venezuela's Last Opposition TV Owner Arrested (

WrongSizeGlass writes: AP is reporting the owner of Venezuela's only remaining TV channel that takes a critical line against President Hugo Chavez was arrested Thursday. "Guillermo Zuloaga, owner of Globovision, was arrested on a warrant for remarks that were deemed "offensive" to the president", Attorney General Luisa Ortega said. This comes on the heels of last week's story about Venezuela's Chavez To Limit Internet Freedom.

Submission + - Journalism Students Assigned to Write on Wikipedia

Hugh Pickens writes: "eCampus News reports that at the University of Denver journalism students are assigned to write Wikipedia entries as part of a curriculum that stresses online writing and content creation and students have so far composed 24 Wikipedia articles this year, covering everything from the gold standard to San Juan Mountains to bimettalism, an antiquated monetary standard. Journalism instructors Lynn Schofield Clark and Christof Demont-Heinrich say students are told to check their sourcing carefully, just as they would for an assignment at a local newspaper. “Students are leery about mentioning Wikipedia, because they might be subjected to criticism. But I tell them it’s an online source of knowledge that just has some information that might be questionable, but that doesn’t mean you have to dismiss all of [its content]," says Demont-Heinrich, who first assigned the Wikipedia writing to students in his introductory course taught during the university’s recent winter semester. Demont-Heinrich said the Wikipedia entries didn’t require old-school shoe leather reporting—because the online encyclopedia bars the use of original quotes—but they teach students how to thoroughly research a topic before publishing to a site that has over 350 million unique visitors and gets over 10 billion page views a month. “I see journalism as being completely online within the next two to five years,” says Demont-Heinrich. “If you’re not trained to expect that and write for that, then you’re not going to be ready for the work world.”"

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