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Submission + - Ask Slashdot: Do ITIL hates skilled people? 15

ulzeraj writes: First of all I would like to apologize about the language. I’m not a native english speaker.

I've been working with Linux and in a lower extent Windows setups for 10 years now. During most time of my career I've been involved with IT consulting firms. Last year I've joined a retail store company that was in dire need of someone with good debugging skills. Their team is awfully unskilled and during the course of the year I was able to improve a lot of their network and server systems including automation, backups and restore strategies, complicated image deployment strategies and so on. I've also worked in improving the performance of their database and ERP systems and solved every fucking problem they’ve thrown at my direction including some they didn’t really knew they existed. The company office was a great bazaar and overall fun to work and comfortable to boot because their needs were always simple for someone with my skills so in the end I would always blow their minds with the results. I should note that I never have problem with knowledge sharing and documentation.

But recently the managers were replaced and the new guys don't seem to like me. They are pushing for ITIL doctrine on the IT department (and the whole company afterwards). For starters they keep pushing me administrative tasks that I'm not really fond of like keeping in touch with our suppliers and managing project dependencies so I’ve been spending more time attending meetings and mailing people than typing on a terminal. I've heard somewhere that the cult of ITIL somewhat hates the "hero culture" and people like me are not really healthy for their dogmas and I’m considered a “risk". I feel that even as I have so much that I can do for the company I'll probably be cockblocked by their new "project management" department and whatnot.

As this is happening it seems that people on the IT consulting firms really like my job and there are plenty of oportunities around. I know many slashdoters like me that are more experienced have encountered similar situations. Do ITIL really creative and skilled people? Is my kind doomed to oblivion and I’ll face stuff like this anywhere I go?

Submission + - Week long movie of Pluto produced by New Horizons

schwit1 writes: Cool images! Using New Horizons’ long range camera scientists have compiled a movie showing Charon and Pluto orbiting each other during the last week of January 2015.

Pluto and Charon were observed for an entire rotation of each body; a “day” on Pluto and Charon is 6.4 Earth days. The first of the images was taken when New Horizons was about 3 billion miles from Earth, but just 126 million miles (203 million kilometers) from Pluto—about 30% farther than Earth’s distance from the Sun. The last frame came 6½ days later, with New Horizons more than 5 million miles (8 million kilometers) closer.

The wobble easily visible in Pluto’s motion, as Charon orbits, is due to the gravity of Charon, about one-eighth as massive as Pluto and about the size of Texas.

Our view of Pluto, and Charon, is only going to get better as New Horizons zooms towards its July fly-by.

Submission + - SPAM: Spammers And Junk Predators

An anonymous reader writes: [title]Spammers And Junk Predators[/title] I removed 145 spam threads using one of my websites today. Luckily I have moderate responses switched on so that they never actually get placed. That makes the spammers poor, but thats the worst trouble spammers have caused me.

However those that apparently are our Spam saviors. Those who say they're fighting spam have caused me more problems as opposed to spammers...

Sometimes I don't know which folks are the worst. Those that spam or those that say they're seeking spammers.

I wiped 145 junk posts using one of my blogs today. Fortuitously I've moderate responses switched on so they never really get placed. Which makes the spammers bad, but thats the worst inconvenience spammers have caused me.

Nevertheless those that allegedly are our Spam saviors. Those that say they're fighting spam have caused me more problems than the spammers them-selves.

Sorbs.net lists your domain name as a junk domain name if you are already located o-n or near the same IP address since the spammers. Therefore you are guilty by association.

To get your domain name eliminated from sorbs.net's list, you have to provide them money. Seems a lot like extortion since they personally add you to the number then ask you for money to be removed.

Then of course they tell you that they give the money to charity. I checked out the charity they say they provide the money to. It would go to a legal defense fund they could use to protect them-selves if you charged them. Some charity.

Twice today blogger.com has caused me spamconvenience. They have locked me from one of my own sites and one I control to get a consumer because their spambot said it could be spam. In addition it says that when you are a reading this message then of-course I'm not likely a spambot and they'll correct the situation.

They did this even though on that blog they need me to typ-e in to the little box whatever mad letters they have in the little graphic to produce each post on that same blog.

Half the time the little picture isn't even there. And that means you can't type the little letters into the field because the little letters don't exist. So how can they use that solution to make sure I'm not spamming, then flag it as a spam blog?

Nevertheless since I get paid to blog daily on the client's blog, my lack of income, that I am sure Google will not pay me for, is merely that lost income because of the junk practitioners.

They did this today towards the client's website. They're researching it they say. Like to note that website? Go to [spam URL stripped]... It is not junk.

The very first time it happened was one-day after the blog was created by me. It'd just one post in it. Wow, just what a spammer I am. They blocked me from logging-in but sent a really nice e-mail to me, which I had not decided in for, saying they'd be happy to examine that weblog too. They even offered a link to where I could submit a form to obtain an assessment.

They sent me, when I used their good link in-the unsolicited e-mail, (maybe not junk), it asked me to log in using the username and password that THEY HAD ALREADY BLOCKED ME FROM USING!

In order that website must be re-built elsewhere. Again, I have had way more trouble from junk fighters than I ever have had from spammers. Effectively, thats all for my argument. Now I have to see if I can obtain the little image below to load so I can see what stupid letters I have to type into the field so you can see this post.. This thrilling visit my website paper has some prodound suggestions for the meaning behind it.

Submission + - How Slashdot Inspired Our New Redundancy Feature (speedify.com)

agizis writes: In October, there was an 'Ask Slashdot' post, wondering how to use a VPN, "so that the same TCP and UDP traffic goes over both links, and the fastest packet on either link 'wins' and the other is discarded?" At the time, there was no good solution. Thanks to Speedify's new "Redundant Mode, this is now possible. By sending UDP traffic over every link, Speedify really can drop average latency significantly. Your opponents in Battlefield won't stand a chance!

Submission + - UK approves driverless car tests on public roads (v3.co.uk)

DW100 writes: Look out! The UK has government has, in a remarkably forward-looking decision, agreed to let driverless car tests take place on public roads. The trials will take place in Greenwich, Bristol, Milton Keynes and Coventry with vehicles ranging from 2-seater 'pods' to shuttle services involved. A BAE wildcat jeep will also be tested, and it definitely looks the coolest of the three.

Submission + - Installing Update for Visual Studio 2010 Tools for Office is Freezing PCs

jones_supa writes: The latest Patch Tuesday comes with a little lemon. Microsoft has botched a rollup update for Visual Studio 2010 Tools for Office Runtime. There is an issue with KB3001652: many users are reporting that it is locking up their machines while trying to install it. It does not seem that this patch is doing any other damage though, such as bricking the operating system. These days Microsoft appears to be reacting quickly to this kind of news as it looks like the patch has already been pulled from Windows Update.

Submission + - Microsoft Fixes Critical Remotely Exploitable Windows Root-Level Design Bug

An anonymous reader writes: In this month's Patch Tuesday, Microsoft has released nine security bulletins to address 56 unique vulnerabilities in Microsoft Windows, Microsoft Office, Internet Explorer, and Microsoft Server software. Of the nine security bulletins, three are rated Critical in severity, and among these three is one that addresses a years-old design flaw that can be exploited remotely to grant attackers administrator-level privileges to the targeted machine or device. An attacker who successfully exploited this vulnerability could take complete control of an affected system. An attacker could then install programs; view, change, or delete data; or create new accounts with full user rights.

Submission + - Official - Big Brother really is listening (bbc.co.uk)

gbjbaanb writes: When even the manufacturer of your TV tells you not to discuss personal information in listening distance of your TV, you know our technology has gone crazy, but that's exactly what Samsung is telling its customers of its own smart TVs.

[Samsung's] policy explains that the TV set will be listening to people in the same room to try to spot when commands are issued. It goes on to warn: "If your spoken words include personal or other sensitive information, that information will be among the data captured and transmitted to a third party."

Submission + - How Many Laws Did Apple Break? 1

HughPickens.com writes: Jean-Louis Gassée writes at Monday note that Apple’s most recent quarterly numbers broke a number of laws: Law 1: Larger size makes growth increasingly difficult. The Law of Large Numbers predicts the eventual flattening of extraordinary growth. "And yet, last quarter, Apple revenue grew 30%, breaking the Law and any precedent," writes Gassée. "iPhone revenue, which grew 57%, exceeded $51B in one quarter — close to what Google achieved in its entire Fiscal 2014 year." Law 2: Everything becomes a commodity. As products are standardized, margins suffer as competitors frantically cut prices in a race to the bottom with the PC clone market serving as a good example. "At the risk of belaboring the obvious, a rising Average Selling Price (ASP) means customers are freely deciding to give more money to Apple," says Gassée. "We’re told that this is just a form of Stockholm Syndrome, the powerless customer held prisoner inside Apple’s Walled Garden." Yet according to Tim Cook “fewer than 15% of older iPhone owners upgraded to the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. The majority of switchers to iPhone came from smartphones running Google Inc.’s Android operating system.” Law 3: Market share always wins. With a bigger market share comes economies of scale and network effects leaving minority players condemned to irrelevance and starvation. Yet despite its small unit share (around 7% worldwide, higher in the US), Apple takes home about half of all PC industry profits, thanks to its significant ASP ($1,250 vs $417 industry-wide in 2014, trending down to $379 this year). Law 4: Modularity Always Wins. In the end, modularity always defeats integration. Clayton Christensen points out that in the PC clone market, modularity allowed competitors to undercut one another by improving layer after layer, smarter graphic cards, better/faster/cheaper processing, storage, and peripheral modules. Yet, as Apple’s recent numbers show, the iPhone seems immune to modularity threats.

"I have no trouble with the Law of Large Numbers, it only underlines Apple’s truly stupendous growth and, in the end, it always wins. No business can grow by 20%, or even 10% for ever. But, for the other three, Market Share, Commoditization, and Modularity, how can we ignore the sea of contradicting facts?" concludes Gassée. "As Apple continues to “break the law”, perhaps we’ll see a new body of scholarship that provides alternatives to the discredited refrains. As Rob Majteles tweeted: “Apple: where many, all?, management theories go to die?"

Submission + - Americans Support Mandatory Labeling of Food That Contains DNA

HughPickens.com writes: Jennifer Abel writes at the LA times that according to a recent survey over 80% of Americans says they support “mandatory labels on foods containing DNA,” roughly the same number that support the mandatory labeling of GMO foods “produced with genetic engineering.” Ilya Somin, writing about the survey at the Washington Post, suggested that a mandatory label for foods containing DNA might sound like this: "WARNING: This product contains deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA). The Surgeon General has determined that DNA is linked to a variety of diseases in both animals and humans. In some configurations, it is a risk factor for cancer and heart disease. Pregnant women are at very high risk of passing on DNA to their children."

The report echoes a well-known joke/prank wherein people discuss the dangers of the chemical “dihydrogen monoxide" also known as hydrogen oxide and hydrogen hydroxide. Search online for information about dihydrogen monoxide, and you'll find a long list of scary-sounding and absolutely true warnings about it: the nuclear power industry uses enormous quantities of it every year. Dihydrogen monoxide is used in the production of many highly toxic pesticides, and chemical weapons banned by the Geneva Conventions. Dihydrogen monoxide is found in all tumors removed from cancer patients, and is guaranteed fatal to humans in large quantities and even small quantities can kill you, if it enters your respiratory system. In 2006, in Louisville, Kentucky, David Karem, executive director of the Waterfront Development Corporation, a public body that operates Waterfront Park, wished to deter bathers from using a large public fountain. "Counting on a lack of understanding about water's chemical makeup," he arranged for signs reading: "DANGER! – WATER CONTAINS HIGH LEVELS OF HYDROGEN – KEEP OUT" to be posted on the fountain at public expense

Submission + - Government and Insurance Mosquito Drones Will Extract Your DNA (infowars.com)

schwit1 writes: Harvard Professor Margo Seltzer warned that miniature mosquito drones will one day forcibly extract your DNA on behalf of the government and insurance companies as she told elitists at the World Economic Forum in Davos that privacy was dead.

Seltzer went on to predict that in the near future, mosquito-sized robots would perpetually monitor individuals as well as collecting DNA and biometric information for governments and corporations.

“It’s not whether this is going to happen, it’s already happening,” said Seltzer on the issue of pervasive surveillance. “We live in a surveillance state today.”

Submission + - Hacked news companies tweet Chinese fired on U.S. warship (cnn.com)

mpicpp writes: The Twitter accounts of the New York Post and United Press International were hacked Friday. Both companies tweeted that a war had broken out between the United States and China.

At 1 p.m. ET, the Twitter accounts of both companies reported that the Chinese military had fired a missile on a U.S. warship, sparking a full-blown battle. They also claimed the U.S. Federal Reserve was to make an emergency announcement about interest rates.

The stock markets were unmoved by the fake news reports.

"Give the hackers this much credit, the George Washington is our permanent Pacific based carrier," tweeted John Noonan, spokesman for House Armed Services committee. "They at least did their homework."

Submission + - Anthropomorphism and Object Oriented Programming (loup-vaillant.fr) 1

An anonymous reader writes: We've all been warned about how anthropomorphizing animals and machines can lead us astray. But Edsget Dijkstra once wrote, "I think anthropomorphism is worst of all. I have now seen programs 'trying to do things,' 'wanting to do things,' 'believing things to be true,' 'knowing things' etc. Don't be so naive as to believe that this use of language is harmless. It invites the programmer to identify himself with the execution of the program and almost forces upon him the use of operational semantics." A new article fleshes out Dijkstra's statement, providing a good example of where an anthropomorphized analogy for Object Oriented Programming breaks down when you push it too far.

Submission + - Flying Drone Can Hack Smartphones From the Air, so Turn Your Wi-Fi Off (ibtimes.co.uk)

concertina226 writes: Using a simple off-the-shelf helicopter drone bought off Amazon with no fancy features, the researchers were able to create a piece of software called Snoopy that can detect those signals and trick the phone into thinking that the drone is a familiar network.

"In the old days, to hack someone you needed a laptop with a big antenna which would be really obvious, but now we're in the age of really small devices. We thought, can we apply an old-school Wi-Fi hack called Karma?" Sensepost's chief operating officer Daniel Cuthbert tells IBTimes UK.

The firm first programmed an old Nokia N900 smartphone to become a spying device two years ago, put the device in their pocket and then spent some time hanging out in major London train stations Liverpool St, Oxford St, Victoria and Kings Cross St Pancras. While they blended in and sat having a coffee, the device picked up over 60,000 smartphones in the four stations.

Sensepost took the data and put it into Wigle, an open-source geo-location service. When they cross-referenced the data with Google Streetview, they were then able to track all the people and their smartphones as they moved throughout the stations and beyond.

Submission + - Police Department Pays $750 CryptoLocker Ransom (networkworld.com)

netbuzz writes: A Massachusetts police department is coming under criticism for paying $750 in Bitcoins to cyber-extortionists who used the increasingly damaging CryptoLocker ransomware to deny the department access to an unspecified number of files and photos. The police are being criticized both for failing to implement effective backup systems and sending the message that paying off the bad guys is an acceptable alternative. Says one security expert of the need to resist: “It's a pretty hard demand to make of anyone, and all but impossible to insist on for everybody, but it has to start somewhere; someone has to set a good example for others to follow.

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