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1  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: ImgBurn - full of OpenCandy and other crap on: Today at 11:49:47 AM
Conduit SearchProtect is malware straight up.

If you let that get installed, you'll be hunting it for hours trying to get it out again.

It sounds to me like ImgBurn went the same way as Daemon Tools, sold out to backroom malware deals to try to make ends meet because the donation box wasn't keeping up.

This kind of thing is why I archive all of the software I use. That way I still have known good versions that have worked for me before in case I need them again.
2  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: TOR Vidalia - newest update has no control panel on: April 23, 2014, 12:01:06 PM
Isn't Tor kind of pointless with heartbleed?

It too was affected by the OpenSSL issue.
3  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: web hosts on: April 21, 2014, 04:32:53 PM
I'm still here representing Seraphimlabs.

At the moment my own site is down indefinitely, it is in dire need of an overhaul and redesign that I just plain haven't gotten to. But I do have servers still active, and can set you up with an account.

4  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Are your websites secure? The heartbleed bug on: April 11, 2014, 03:21:28 PM

Reports coming in from unconfirmed sources that the NSA has been utilizing Heartbleed for years.

Of course, I have to say I totally saw this coming. This is the kind of massive security breach that would explain their uncanny ability to get into any system anywhere at any time. A simple exercise in spreading disinformation to seed people's trust in the affected library and cover up the flaw would allow them to preserve it for so many years unnoticed.

Which means that all those people concealing their activities using SSH, Tor, and proxies? Yeah. The NSA was way ahead of them.
5  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Are your websites secure? The heartbleed bug on: April 10, 2014, 12:07:08 PM
HSBC is always insecure. More than once now I've shut down phishing operations where someone copied HSBC's exact site layout and patched it onto their own backend. At one point I even managed to catch such an operation alive, and sent it intact to HSBC for analysis so they could fix their stuff.

I can't help but have my tinfoil hats out for this one though. This will be the first time that I have ever heard of Linux having a crippling security flaw that was not also found in Windows. And for it to exist in such a vital library that has been in use for such a long period of time, all I can say is NSA was here.
6  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: WinXP is officially dead! on: April 08, 2014, 01:15:37 PM
There are at least 5 machines in my care that will run XP until the day they die.

3 of these are industrial control solutions, relying on proprietary hardware and software that was only ever supported under Windows XP. They literally cannot be upgraded beyond what PC I can construct to carry that OEM interface board, and the software is forever tied to XP.

The other two are simply old machines in secondary roles. I keep them around for compatibility, and they will continue to use XP until hardware failure ends them.
7  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: LillyPad Arduino Projects on: February 04, 2014, 12:56:54 PM
I've got a MEGA 2650 here that I was tinkering with.

Was going to turn it into a closed-loop servo control, but I couldn't come up with a circuit to go from the arduino's PWM outputs to the bipolar +/- 15v DC that the machine amplifiers needed.

It's still a fun little gadget.
8  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Breaking madden - fun video game experiment on: February 01, 2014, 11:58:02 AM
Every game that lets you tweak the settings to that extent can be 'broken' quite horribly. A really good example of this is Bethesda's Elder Scrolls games. While very entertaining, a determined person can 'game' the system and then you've got an over-powered character running around in the game environment.

I can see how this would be fun for all of five minutes. Once the novelty of 'Hulk smash!' wears off I think I'd become bored very quickly.

This. Skyrim becomes hilariously broken in seconds with a little bit of console codes and maybe some amusing mods.
Amusement like this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kY3cbzx6Svw

And this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=efnJ2OidSc0

Most any games break in a spectacular fashion when modded though, talented coders and modders can do some amazing things even with the worst of game engines.
9  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Net neutrality is dead. Bow to Comcast and Verizon, your overlords (AKA DOOOOOM) on: January 16, 2014, 03:51:16 PM
Tbh I have to agree partially with both sides in this.

While the FCC very much should pass regulations prohibiting ISPs from charging end-users additional fees to access certain services, at the same time they cannot reap the benefits of CDN technology and the efficiency gains that introduces while staying perfectly neutral.

Thus, service providers are allowed to pay other service providers for premium placements, but providers to end users cannot restrict or otherwise paywall what is available to their users.

Kind of a compromise there, best of both worlds.
10  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: email provider for multiple accounts on: January 12, 2014, 06:27:10 PM
What are you using multiple emails for? 

Sorry, as a service provider I have to ask. So many people running spam operations these days.

These days a lot of household ISPs include anywhere from 5-25 email addresses as part of their service bundle.

It also doesn't take much to simply create a server- giving you as many emails as you want off your own domain name.
11  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Does anyone here use Bitcoins? on: December 24, 2013, 05:29:03 PM
Heads up for those looking at Dogecoin.

It originated as a joke, and has since gone viral due to its association with the popular doge meme.

Although it is showing explosive growth, it is known that early adopters mined abnormally large shares of the coins that they are now seeking to unload. The hype we are seeing may be a pump and dump attempt.

At the same time, it has a much larger trading pool than most other cryptocurrencies and might stick around because of its recognizable branding.

If you really want to get into it, mine for it instead of buying it. That way if this is a bubble or a scam you don't lose any money.
12  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: How long do hard drives actually live for? on: December 18, 2013, 12:00:08 PM
Kentsfield Quadcore would put it sometime between 2006 and 2009. Overall a machine that age that was well built and kept clean should survive another 2+ years without too much of a change in the failure rate.

It probably would handle 7 as long as it has a generous amount of RAM, and any performance changes would probably be only slight. The Yorkfield machines I built in 2010 were all outfitted with 4GB of ram and Windows 7 64-bit when they were assembled.

(Re that article ... if a Hard Drive sits in a "forest" and does absolutely nothing, does it still die?)
It still can. If the drive was powered and controlled, Windows will periodically spin it up and give it instructions just to make sure it is still ready to use. Even without data being moved, the drive's mechanical parts are still accumulating some wear and the electronics are still under the effects of aging.

Leaving a drive sitting completely unplugged inside a casing, the only aging phenomena it would see are electronics aging and thermal cycling effects- mechanically it would remain a new drive, and as long as the controller did not fail it would still be a like-new drive when you finally did decide to plug it in and use it.

13  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Anti-Tracking Smartphone Pouch on: December 10, 2013, 04:22:29 PM
Those walmart disposable phones work rather well.

Mind you, if they want to know who is holding it all they have to do is pull the records of it and then get IDs from the people you talk to. Its not hard to fill in the gaps in a social network, even for an antisocial person.

If you ask me though, the iphone with its permanently fixed battery is a fire hazard. Lithium packs can and do explode after all, and should be required to have a method to quickly eject them in order to spare the device's contents.
14  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: When did the world of the NSA and technology get so surreal? on: December 10, 2013, 03:05:19 PM
I have one very strong objection to this plan, based on personal experience with these types of games (and probably being watched in them).

The people who play them are typically people who aren't going to do anything outrageous in real life. With some rare exceptions, people spending vast amounts of time indulging in a MMORPG usually are the same people that might talk big but not actually act on it.

Also it seems my news is a day late, you guys posted this yesterday and I just found out about it a few hours ago.
15  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: badBIOS revisited - it is possible to bridge the airgap after all on: December 06, 2013, 03:45:46 PM
First time I played with a fork bomb, I turned it loose on a benchtop machine. Poor old Sparc-powered Sun4U, the linux load was up to 2600 and it was still stable. A sign? Maybe.

What interests me is how it is able to infect other machines on the other side of the airgap. Somehow I don't think most computers routinely check their microphones for incoming data, let alone execute data recorded from the air.

You would have to first breach the airgrap, but once you did you could control stuff across it.
16  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: How long do hard drives actually live for? on: November 27, 2013, 03:29:41 PM
I have used it before on an experimental basis to see what it could do when turned loose on an aging drive, but it was a benchtop drive and not one of my good ones. Didn't really do enough with it to tell you about how it works, other than that it is a very time consuming process.

My last round of hard drive data recovery was done using dd-rescue, which returns a drive image that can be then re-cast back onto a new drive.
17  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: How long do hard drives actually live for? on: November 26, 2013, 03:27:35 PM
SSDs have come a very long way though. I've begun deploying SSD based workstations where I work because of their speed, in workstations designed for 3 years of service before being repurposed. The MTBF of the devices I am using is comparable to a conventional drive, and should at least make that first 3 years problem-free, while their actual use is such that if one does die prematurely I can have it running again off a spare drive in a couple of hours. After the three years it will be interesting to see how they age.

At the same time, my oldest working system has been running very nearly 24/7 for the past 8 years, and is still operating the very same hard drives that it has had the whole time- one of which is actually more than 12 years old and still going strong after being given to me because it was 'dead'.

Sure they don't all last that long, gotta run the statistics. But those that do survive a few years often go for a very long time afterward, it's not like a SSD where it will suddenly lose its ability to accept new data due to accumulated wear.

Also it has been a strange month for the electronics. I've had no less than 4 video hardware related failures in November alone, after going many years without ever losing a video card in active service. A workstation that gets powered off every night also turned up one morning with a dead mainboard as well, I've not had that happen in a while either.
18  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Your tax dollars at work: Now FDA proposes to ban a brand of cookie? on: November 24, 2013, 06:52:03 PM
Cookies don't kill people. People that smuggle illegal cookies across borders because some jackass outlawed them kill people.

If the government really wanted to put an end to organized crime, they'd stop outlawing dumb shit that people actually happen to like. But instead they continue to cause the problem...just so they can pretend to be fixing it.

I have a batch of cookies in the oven right now.

Are they going to come arrest me for posession of contraband because I've made cookies according to Grandma's favorite recipe that has not been approved by the FDA and may contain traces of soap and whatever other contaminants are on the dishes I used to mix it?

Oh by the way, they might as well ban the use of a household oven too. Because people use those far more often for baking up unhealthy desserts than preparing healthy meals like garlic bread and pizza- which is a vegetable according to the FDA and therefore healthy.
19  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Cheap LED torches/flashlights - any good? on: November 21, 2013, 01:01:57 PM
I bought a cheap wind-up LED light around 5 years ago. It has 3 LEDs for output and can operate in 1 or 3 LED mode.

Winding it up for a bit lets it run several minutes without needing to be wound up again.

Gotta see if I can find a make and model on it for you guys, because in 5 years of industrial service with regular use it is still going rather well for a cheap lamp.
20  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: 14 Year old Thiel Fellow creates his own nuclear fusion plant on: November 21, 2013, 11:17:47 AM
Haven't watched the whole video yet, but why exactly are they prospecting for radioactive materials again?

If this is Fusion it doesn't need anything of that nature to get it started.

I'll have to watch the rest of it after I get home from work and see just how badly misrepresented this is. Because they've definitely got it mislabeled if not entirely wrong.
21  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: LG SmartTV monitors your every move - including files on attached USB drives on: November 20, 2013, 06:18:24 PM
Nobody apparently.

I saw in the headline news a couple of days ago that the NSA responds with a prepared 'we do not disclose info on who we monitor' statement to anyone who attempts to request information on if they are being actively monitored or not.

1984 came a bit late I think, but we've definately achieved it and gone beyond it.

Now all that's left is the formation of the ministries and the party.
22  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: iPads banned from Cabinet meetings over surveillance fears on: November 05, 2013, 08:01:32 AM
Suddenly my tinfoil hat looks a lot more solid. I haven't yet found an easy way to disable the microphone, but I've always kept a piece of tape over my webcam when it is not in use.

Because if it is plugged in at all, it can be hacked into and used against you.
23  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: 12-yr-old boy admits to hacking police and government sites for Anonymous on: October 27, 2013, 11:43:27 AM
The only thing that's sad there is that they have the unmitigated gall to prosecute anyone after getting spanked by a 12 year old.

Pulled from the comments there:
Um, if a 12 year old can hack into their system then why is the 12 year old getting punished?

Either A) The kid needs to be offered a job or a full scholarship...

or B) The security/IT team for the police/government sites need to be fired. He's 12.

Nailed IT!! Thmbsup

Canada's laws must be different, because last I checked you legally can't even prosecute a 12 year old in the US. At least not in this manner, at worst the kid would get a slap on the wrist and some community service time.

On the other hand, the IT management for the sites that got hacked into should have a long talk with this boy to find out just how he did it and fix their services so that it never happens again.
24  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Google's Storage Problem on: October 25, 2013, 10:10:58 PM
Yeah but there's already consumer products on the shelves that do this- the MyCloud device I mentioned that I installed at work, I picked that up off the shelf at Staples when replacing an external hard drive.

Instead of having to install and configure such a solution, you can just buy a device that is web-configured like any other soho box and have a ready to use private cloud with the data physically located in a stand alone device in your household- or anywhere convenient with suitable network access. It even attempts to upnp its way through your router if enabled, or you can configure the ports manually for those so inclined.

Problem is, its not really cloud then. Sure you get the same conveniences of cloud storage, but now all your data is on a single device that isn't necessarily backed up. The whole point of cloud was to have redundancy- it doesn't matter what the actual hardware is, because there is enough nodes attached to the cloud at any given time that your data will always be there on one or more nodes.
25  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Google's Storage Problem on: October 25, 2013, 05:16:08 PM
Personal Clouds are already coming. Right now you can get a WD MyCloud device, which is a 2tb ($140) or 3tb ($170) network storage device that comes with software to automate setting up effectively a personal cloud with most common devices based on the MyCloud's 2-3TB hard drive. Doing this gets you effectively cloud-like data availability, while retaining the privacy and security of knowing the physical location of where your data is being stored.

I bought one at work for use as an onsite backup device since I wanted a network-attached drive instead of a USB one. Found a pleasant surprise in that I could SSH into it, revealing that it actually runs Debian 7 on a dual-core ARM CPU. Although I've configured that one as a stripped down bare file device suitable for rsync-backed data replication, I might buy a second unit for my own use and actually put the cloud capabilities to the test.

Google on the other hand is quickly falling victim to corporate greed. Their once unrivaled offerings are now merely "whatever works" grade. And with growing loss of trust in google because of their recent privacy policy changes, that's not going to be anywhere near enough for them to remain a big contender in that market.
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