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Comment Server Security Assurances (Score 2, Interesting) 609

Setting asside the legality of not using government-run email for government business (which is a clear violation of the records act), I have one comment:

Ordinarily, there is no way one could argue that a server sitting in somebody's home was more secure than one sitting in a data center owned and managed by a Federal agency. Then the IRS thing happened, showing an incompetency in their IT department that is deserving of much public ridicule and a proverbial "you'll never work in this field again." After that, an AOL or MSN account might be preferable.

30 years in IT, more than 15 of those running ISPs, and I've never seen anything like that level of incompetence from a professional IT organization.

It will be interesting to see if somebody has the balls to issue a warrant for the physical server itself. I doubt it, as this is mostly an excuse for the Repubs to act outraged and make a lot of noise without actually accomplishing anything of value, and the Dems to act like victims and make a lot of noise without actually accomplishing anything of value.

When it's all over, there will be new rules to follow and new hurdles for us plebes to jump over because clearly we need to regulate email or something equally stupid, and as always, the political class will except itself from it's own laws and rules.

Bureaucrats and politicians are nothing if not predictable.

Comment Hey Slashdot (Score 0, Flamebait) 932

Please remove the "News for Nerds" tag line from your name. You're no better than Yahoo! or CNN at this point.

The one saving grace of this site has been that it stayed focused on tech and science and things that actually DID matter to nerds. Either the standard for "nerd" has dropped significantly in the almost 20 years I've been reading this site, or the new owners are hungry for stories and don't really give a crap about screwing with the formula that Rob used to make this place a success.


Comment Local State Colleges (Score 2) 84

Check with the smaller or newer local state colleges. There is a big push among the small schools and lesser known schools to have "$10,000" degrees, where you pay a set fee ($10K is common, though I've heard some that are $12K) for a set 4 year program. Some get there by mixing local community colleges into the mix. You might even be able to negotiate a discount, given as you have some of the prereqs already (english, language, history, etc.) if you've gone very far in your current degree plan.
    I know that Texas A&M San Antonio, which just opened a few years ago, has this in their CS Dept.

Comment Some packets are more equal than others (Score 3, Insightful) 230

May I point out that all packets are NOT treated alike, and haven't been for over a decade. Controlling priority and limiting heavy services are common procedures in all major networks, and users should be darned thankful for it.

The original argument that started all this nonsense was complaints that TWC and Comcast were ratcheting down services like eMule and Torrent. Then somebody speculated that they may start doing it to people like google (followed about a month later by Comcast and Verizon floating just such a plan ... probably suggested to them by somebody reading the original discussion here on /. BTW) and the /.ers went crazy and started demanding that somebody in government regulate those evil ISPs.

My advice now is the same as then: let the market work. If you drag the pols into this, you will get results that you REALLY don't want because they will do what their donors (who are NOT you) want them to do. Unintended consequences will surely follow.

Google buying dark fiber to take TWC, AT&T, Comcast, and Verizon on head-to-head is what my suggestion looks like. If they are successful, other investors will smell the blood in the water and we may find ourselves sitting in 1999-type network growth again (only this time, nobody will be dumb enough to say that profit doesn't matter).

Regulation will be the death of the break-neck innovation that has gotten us where we are. Is it fast enough yet? Of course not, but it isn't going to get faster if every decision has to go through some bureaucrats in DC.

Comment Re:Bust the Trust (Score 1) 230

Then tell you PUC to decrease the regulatory hurtles to become a carrier.

Of course, you still have to lay 20,000 miles of duct, but, it's a step in the right direction.

A better solution: stop passing laws that favor AT&T and the other big incumbents. That's what drove the small ISPs out of business.

Comment Re:Breathless summary by the clueless (Score 1) 734

To answer your questions:

Because "wind" power is more than twice the cost of coal or nuclear generated power, and at today's prices, close to (or maybe over - haven't looked in a while) 3 times the cost of nat-gas generation. Also, the windmills, while technically "neat" (hey, I'm a geek, and I do give points where they are due) are an eyesore to people who love the land, are a hazard to birds and aircraft alike, and break down so often, it's unlikely they will ever achieve economic break-even. If you doubt that analysis, then just ask this one question: Why did T. Boone, after spending $2 Billion on windmills, fire sale them when the carbon exchange thing crashed? Any technology which requires government subsidy to break even is, but definition, immature and as engineers we should understand that.

Second question, it depends on what you are "progressing" toward. If it's individual freedom, then I'd say nothing's wrong with it. If it's totalitarianism (or despotism), then not so much. Of course, that's "relativist" thinking.

Comment Re:Breathless summary by the clueless (Score 1) 734

Uh, not to hijack this thread, but simply to answer spiffmastercow's question, if somebody believes life begins at conception, then the left's advocating for abortion rights IS advocating for murder.

Not arguing either way, just pointing out the "critical thought" that you missed completely.

Comment Sigh! (Score 1) 1065

This is possibly the dumbest thing I've ever seen posted on /. (and since I recall Taco's upgrade from ISDN to T1, that's saying something)! OMG Ponies was at least a April Fools joke!

And it is, so far, largely accompanied by equally dumb comments.

Say, you bought a house Las Vegas in 2001, would you want to pay income tax on it's value through 2007? Of course not and if you don't understand why, think about what that house would be worth today. The same applies for shares. Apple has crashed before, and it can certainly crash again (and likely will).

And Mrs. Jobs SHOULDN'T pay taxes on those shares because she was MARRIED to Mr. Jobs, and as such their property was JOINT, in other words, those shares BELONGED TO HER, they weren't inherited. That's the absolute basis of any civil union.

Comment Finding the source (Score 1) 499

Get a radio capable of doing a spectrum analysis a directional antenna (e.g. a yagi or something similar) and a non-directional omni antenna. A connectorized Motorola Canopy would be ideal (but a bit expensive).

Connect the omni first and take a spectrum analysis before and during the interference period to identify the signature of the interfering signal. Once you know what to look for, switch to the directional and use it to find the direction of the signal. Make sure you keep in mind the reception pattern of your antenna when you're doing this, as a Yagi will have 3 lobes, one larger than the other two so make sure that you've zeroed in the largest lobe on the signal.

One thing about the signature: You MAY find that the signal "hops" around. Some SCADA systems use such signals, and it's not uncommon for SCADA systems to have a periodic pattern that repeats every 24 hours.

Oh, and you pretty much have to find this yourself, FCC won't get involved until you can pretty much prove to them that somebody is interfering with you and that they are NOT a licensed user (who likely would have a variance for using higher power than your Part 15 equipment).

Good luck!

Comment Re:Doesn't anyone remember when this started? (Score 3, Interesting) 89

I completely remember this debate. And my feelings haven't changed from that day to this: If you let the Government get involved in this issue, in ANY way, you will live to regret it.

What TWC and Verizon (the instigators of that roe as I recall) wanted to do was to charge large content providers (Google, Time, CNN, etc.) to have "priority" throughput on their networks. If they didn't pay, they'd be given a lower QoS and therefore, because of the number of requests to their servers, they would effectively be throttled.

What I pointed out all those years ago (with many years experience RUNNING an ISP) was that if you get the government involved, it will give them an avenue to moderate the Internet for political reasons. Further more, all the "kiddies" at that time were bitching about how Torrent, etc. was being throttled by Joe's Wireless company or some such, and they just couldn't understand the difference between what TWC/Verizon were doing and what Joe was doing trying to maintain a basic QoS on his limited bandwidth network.

In the end, it appears that two things have happened: The kiddies have drowned out the voices of people who actually have a clue, and the politicians have heard their cries and have come running.

"We're from the government, and we're here to help." -shiver-

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