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Comment expect a 5' drop (Score 2, Interesting) 480

Advice I've heard is that, especially during the holiday shipping rush, expect your package may take at least one 5' fall, as the fastest way to get a truck unpacked is to take a stack of boxes and spill it. We ship too much crap for them to have time to treat packages properly--and if we didn't ship so much, they'd still treat the packages quite briskly because we're too stingy to pay for proper handling.


Submission + - Twitter Bans 'Obvious' Passwords 1

Hugh Pickens writes: "President Obama and CNN reporter Rick Sanchez were among dozens of Twitter accounts compromised in January, 2008 after hackers managed to crack their passwords, forcing Twitter to reevaluate its sign-up process and technologies. Now bloggers have discovered that Twitter has a list of banned passwords when new users sign up for the service which is embedded in the source code of the page itself. Banned terms include commonly chosen generic passwords, such as “123456”, “password” and “password1”, as well as car names (“porsche”, “ferrari”) and football teams (“Chelsea”, “arsenal”). Perhaps predictably for a website popular with technology fans, science fiction terms figure in the list too. “THX1138”, the title of the first feature film directed by George Lucas of Star Wars fame, is banned, as is “NCC1701” – the registry number of Star Trek’s starship Enterprise – and “trustno1”, which was Fox Mulder’s password in The X-Files."

Submission + - Secure File Transfer with windows/.Net hosting? 4

galego writes: "I've done a variety of web development at work and at home. I'm thinking of getting a .Net hosted account to do some work with that. One of the things I always look for when looking at hosting companies is a secure (well, encrypted that is) form of file transfer. For Windows/.Net hosting, are there any good options out there? I've looked around some and I don't really see any so far. I tried once to set up sftp on windows on a system at work (that is without paying for some custom/proprietary version), and it didn't go so well. Some *n*x hosting companies don't offer sftp, but if they allow ssh, then I can at least use scp. I'm not seeing anything equivalent with Windows/.Net hosting ... suggestions?"

Submission + - China Arrests Thousands in Internet Porn Crackdown (reuters.com)

Clandestine_Blaze writes: Chinese police have arrested 5,394 people — with another 4,186 criminal cases in the works — in one of the largest crackdowns on Internet porn in the country. Even more arrests were expected in 2010, according to the Ministry of Public Security's website (In Chinese or Google translated into English). According to the Reuters article on the crackdown, one of the justifications was that the pornography was 'threatening the emotional health of children.'

From the English translation of the Ministry of Public Security's website linked above, it appears that certain provinces are also offering 1,000 yuan and 2,000 yuan awards, per person, for reporting illegal websites to the Government.


Submission + - Why Apple denied Google Latitude App (9to5mac.com)

awyeah writes:

Another Apple patent today looks remarkably similar to the functionality of Google Latitude which Apple relegated to WebApp status earlier this year. Obviously if Apple is working on their own version of Google Latitude (or owns the IP rights to this functionality), they'd be hesitant to put an app with the same functionality on their devices from another company.

Glad they're fostering competition!


Submission + - Myths About Code Comments

theodp writes: Jason Baker gives his take on the biggest misconceptions about code comments: 1) Comments are free ('When you update the code that the comment references, you usually have to update the comment as well'). 2) Comments make code more readable ('by far the most pervasive myth that I've encountered'). 3) You should comment every function, method, class, and module ('documenting something that needs no documentation is universally a bad idea'). 4) Code must always be 'self documenting' ('would you rather use a one-liner that requires a 3-line comment, or a 10-liner that requires no comments?'). Care to share your comments on programming comments in the comments?

Comment Re:You damn well should (Score 3, Interesting) 605

I would disagree -- the more years I spend programming the less I remember about system administration. I can do basic setup tasks, but fiddling with Active Directories and stuff like that is beyond what I care to learn and has been for what, a decade now?

At an Ancient Telecom company most folks don't have admin rights (and shouldn't) but there is an exception process developers follow, and otherwise the Company-approved packages don't need admin rights to install, plus the help desk has powers.

Comment Re:You are asking the wrong question. (Score 1) 564

I had a power dip once, and none of my CyberPower or Best UPSs (or even the cheap no-name ones) had any trouble with it -- I didn't even see a surge in the lights, just that dip. Nonetheless, something started burning in my APC UPS and I had to trash it. Needless to say, no equipment was harmed other than the one piece which harmed itself.

Comment AV as non-root (Score 1) 1365

There are so many compromises that only need account access, that if you give someone an account you may as well give them root if they're malicious. So "If you know what you're doing and you don't run as Administrator all the time, you don't need AV anyhow." doesn't cut it in my book.

Comment Re:Double Duh! (Score 1) 711

Backing up a live database is tricky for you. It is easy as pie for a vaguely adequate database. It will dump the dataspace then the transaction logs, and on reload it will replay the transaction logs up to the last committed checkpoint.

Someone else pointed out that replicas don't protect you from malicious alterations of the master (and someone who can crack the master can crack the replicas too) but I like hot replication for failover purposes (and spreading high-CPU/low-cacheability OLTP loads) and actual external dumps that spool off to tapes that go offsite for protection against data corruption.

Comment Re:DUH! (Score 2, Insightful) 711

Amen to this -- at Fermilab we had a setup with lots of 8mm tapes, and we thought the MTBF was awfully high (several were failing each week), much more than the 30,000 hour MTBF specified...until we realized it was 30,000 hours with a 5% duty cycle, or 600 hours of use. 600 hours divided by even a dozen tapes is 50 hours, about 6 8-hour days and these were in use up to 24x6... The system also let us empirically confirm the single-bit error rate of DRAM, something on the order of 1 in 10^13 bits at the time.

Hot spare, hot swap, hot plug...that's how you gotta do it when you have so much hardware on hand that failures need to be planned for rather than prevented.

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