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Comment Re:Does this mean... (Score 1) 61

I have an optimus laptop (Dell L502x) and run Ubuntu 14.04 on it. No issues. Installed just fine with the intel driver (Duh!). I do have the proprietary drivers installed now, but it works fine. Switching from Intel to NVidia and inversely does require a login/logout. Not very practical, but good enough if you really really really need that NVidia card for a game.

Comment Re:It's about time (Score 1) 62

Yeah, Google sells there phones everywhere. (Hint: they don't. I can't get a Google phone if I wanted). Google may support their phones a longer time, but other manufacturers don't. Even in the premium segment.

Besides, you talk about 2 years for a Pixel... I talk about over 4 years supported. So, liar? More like realistic vision on longevity of devices.

Comment Re:Tools and movements (Score 1) 216

There is a pretty easy middle ground: multiple signatures per identity. You could then have authority(s) vouching for your identity, plus other people too. This makes it much easier to catch a defector. "Hey, how come the Turkish intelligence service (a CA that almost everyone trusts on the web) just signed this guy's brand new key, but Verisign hasn't?" (or better: "how come the federal CA and this guy's state CA disagree?")

Comment Re:It's about time (Score 1) 62

cheaper premium smartphones

It's not a premium smartphone, if you don't get updates... So, let me fix that for you: cheaper smartphones. That's it, explains it all...

Even Google and Samsung suck at keeping updates going for longer than six months, which is why the user who expects longevity and supports shells out for Apple. Sad to say, but I expect my smartphones to last four years. Two, new as my wifes phone on a subsidized contract (with flat everything), and then two more years as a hand-me-down for me with a much cheaper plan.

Comment Re:Tools and movements (Score 1) 216

You simply can't have people not do "anything extra" while also being resistance to MitM. Part of HTTPS' success story is that it's easy enough to set up, but at the cost of being extremely vulnerable (by PGP standards) to MitM. So to anyone who knows how it works, it's "insecure" but people actually bother to use it, so it's about a trillion times more secure against totally passive attacks, than plaintext is. Thus, on average for all persons, the web is more secure than email.

PGP email needs some kind of "lame" mode (where people have keys but they're not carefully certified, maybe just signed by a robot CA), but easy enough that passive attacks are defeated. And it needs to be compatible with doing things right, so that people-who-care and people-who-don't-care get combined into the same network-effect.

The only problem with that, should be webmail. People would have to do something that compromises the secret key (either upload it to server, or make it available to javascript) and that would make it harder for anyone to ever transition from don't-care to care. We really need to wipe webmail off the planet; it offers nothing and costs a lot. And that's not going to happen, is it? :(

Comment Re:Floppy disks drilling & punching holes (Score 1) 605

For us cash strapped kids, cutting holes into single sided floppy disks was the only option, shortsighted or not.

No, there was one other, though it did require spending a little money. You go to Radio Shack and buy a switch/button/whatever. (Many to choose from.) Open up your 1541 (which is probably permanently semi-open anyway, from all the times you need to re-align the head), cut the wirse to the optical sensor which detects the hole, drill a hole in the front of the 1541's case, mount the switch into there, connect the sensor's wires to the switch....

BTW, whole discussion is Slashdot trolling old people into admitting they're old people.

Comment and for pete's sake, MTU!!! (Score 2) 325

A lot of times, bad MTU settings are the problem with a sat link. The problem is simply stated: GRE tunnels are common on such links, and a GRE tunnel will encapsulate each packet and add a 16 byte header. Since the modems usually only permit a 1500 byte MTU, this means the maximum packet size you can get through the GRE tunnel will be 1484 bytes long, inclusive of header. If someone sends out a packet that is maximum size for a 1500 byte MTU, and sets the DF (Don't Fragment) bit, when the packet hits this GRE tunnel it will be dropped. This happens frequently with bad SSL implementations.

This is only one version of MTU problems with sat links. There are others.

Comment Tips for Dan Luu (Score 2) 325

The problem with a satellite connection is not precisely related to latency but rather to jitter, the large differences in latency from one packet to the next. This happens as a result of rain fade, or a poorly engineered link to your transponder on the bird, or a variety of other more infrequent issues.

You can (and should) up your TCP timeout values from the default 3 seconds on a satellite connection, and adjust the http keep-alive timeout, etc, but a lot of times this just means you wait longer to be told when the connection fails.

The solution is a combination of caching, compression, and a performance enhancing proxy or PEP. The PEP does TCP spoofing, basically faking the acknowledgements to speed up the transmission of packets. Compression is similar to the MNP5/v.42bis stuff from modem days applied to a satellite connection. Caching is basically Squid. A lot of PEPs combine all three functions into one - Riverbed is a really good example, though i've worked with pretty much every vendor and they all do the same stuff, with differences in ease of use and efficency.

Implement the timeout fixes, implement a good PEP with all three of the ingredients noted, and make sure the connection is dialed in well with a good shot (line of sight) without physical impediments like trees, buildings, and most importantly microwave interference, and you should have a fairly reliable internet connection. You will still take hits, but you can look at the front of the satellite modem and see that is happening if it's an iDirect or something similar.

Bottom line though is that unless you are taking hits, you should be able to set up downloads of a lot of images and never see a timeout.

- someone who has spent a lot of time doing this (and living off sat connections) in awful places in the world

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