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1  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Guess how useful virus scanners are? on: July 29, 2014, 04:12:00 PM
I meant "give away" as in, let the enemy know my defenses.

Ah! I see...

Well, I'd like to see any non-pro break through mine even if they did know my setup.

And I'd be very (albeit pleasantly) surprised if (even not knowing anything about my setup) a real professional cyber-baddie couldn't get through.

 Grin
2  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: jv16 PowerTools - using Indiegogo to 'fund'' open-sourcing it on: July 29, 2014, 04:06:30 PM
I had the feeling that this would be the end of this story.  And another blow is dealt to the idea of crowdfunding in the minds of the masses.

Yup.

BTW...is it just me...or do about half the comments posted on the campaign site read like astroturf? undecided
3  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Guess how useful virus scanners are? on: July 29, 2014, 03:08:42 PM
he trouble with arguing against AV on forums, other than that the interest on the other side is vested, is that to make your point you have to give away your disaster avoidance/recovery strategies.

Except for here! Most (all?) of us here freely provide the very same advice and assistance we'll charge our clients to get.

Gotta love DoCo. Kiss Thmbsup
4  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Is Antivirus Software a Waste of Money? on: July 29, 2014, 01:39:21 PM
Given the popularity of the technology, and ease of blending in...those things can be a real bitch to spot. And as a card carrying BOFH, it truly pains me to say it ... But it's damn hard to blame the user for missing one of these.

Agree. This particular client isn't a fool. I've worked with her for about 10 years now. She's actually one of those responsible types who made sure she was tech-saavy above and beyond the requirements of her job. And she was devastated when this thing hit. Especially once she realized just how serious it was. Being a remote-located employee made her especially vulnerable. And being a non-dork, the very first thing she did was assume she herself had done something stupid. (She didn't btw.)

To make it even more interesting, the odds are pretty good that if it actually did come in via an infected attachment (as I suspect it did), the person who sent it to her didn't know it was loaded. Her company passes a lot of attachments back and forth for follow-up work, processing, client contact, etc. Some of it originates in-house. But the rest (60-70%) is generated by their clients. So it could have come from anywhere.

What's disturbing is that their e-mail provider's security didn't twig on it either. Can hardly blame the desktop when it's not showing a blip on the server's scanners, right? Her only warnings were that (a) her machine seemed ever so slightly slower starting up roughly three mornings before everything went south (she manually reboots each morning just to make sure it's "tidy" as she puts it) - and (b) that her scheduled Windows Update check (running daily at midnight and 6:00am) failed to complete two times in a row the day it happened.

This ain't script-kiddie stuff she got hit with. This is definitely the work of pros.

Scary! And just the tip of the iceberg I'm afraid. tellme

5  Main Area and Open Discussion / Non-Windows Software / Re: *NIX: Pipelight has a new website - plus new version available on: July 29, 2014, 09:41:08 AM
It's pedantic, you native American-English human!  Grin

It was a lame attempt at a pun. (i.e "pen" as in written, as in one who pens pedantic posts?)

I know...pretty bad, right? Sorry.

Later! Gotta run. Thmbsup
6  Main Area and Open Discussion / Non-Windows Software / Re: *NIX: Pipelight has a new website - plus new version available on: July 29, 2014, 09:34:42 AM
^Done. Scratch curmudgeonish. Pendantic it is then. Grin
7  Main Area and Open Discussion / Non-Windows Software / Re: *NIX: Pipelight has a new website - plus new version available on: July 29, 2014, 09:29:07 AM
Thanks for listening. smiley

Thanks for replying! I've long suspected I'm guilty of misinterpreting some of your posts. Let's move forward on that note. smiley
-------------------------------------

Note: perhaps "hostile" and "pendantic" aren't good descriptive terms. Perhaps curmudgeonish as "in the manner or style of a curmudgeon" would be more accurate?

Quote
cur·mud·geon
noun \(ˌ)kər-ˈmə-jən\

A  person (especially an old man) who is easily annoyed or angered and who often complains


I've been called a curmudgeon by some. I take it as a personal badge of honor. (In the context it was said, of course. Wink )
8  Main Area and Open Discussion / Non-Windows Software / Re: *NIX: Pipelight has a new website - plus new version available on: July 29, 2014, 09:02:37 AM
So, given that you really want to keep a misleading thread title, let me get into the contents then:

How is it "good news" that a Windows binary (Pipelight) which can access Windows plug-ins can run on Wine "now"?

I think you might possibly lack sufficient familiarity with colloquial American-English usage and vocabulary such that I suspect you tend to misinterpret - and sometimes read far more into what is being said - than what is actually being said. As a result you can occasionally come across as being rather hostile and pedantic. Which I'd like to think is not your actual intent.

About the best I can suggest is to keep in mind that American-English is a very fluid and flexible language. It does not have, nor seek to duplicate, the level of grammatical precision some languages employ. It is also very context sensitive - which is a fancy way of saying grammatical rules (and sometimes actual words) are themselves less important than understanding the context in which something is being said. That's a tricky thing to manage. And it does lead to some major misunderstandings from time to time - even among native speakers. But that's the way the language works here.

So if you don't mind, I'll leave my OP as is. I doubt it's a causing concern or confusion to many (if any) of the other readers. And while I now understand what you're saying (and thanks for elaborating) and I can now see the point you're trying to make, in the context of the post itself, it's somewhat hair-splitting and slightly OT.

Of course, that may depend on how you interpret the title of this discussion board. You seem to be taking it to mean a place to discuss native-coded non-Windows software. The rest of us see it as a place to discuss software that does not require Windows be the OS in order to run it. As Mouser put in the keystone post:

Quote
I thought we might try adding a new section of the forum specifically for discussion of non-Windows software (and hardware), so here it is!

I know we have lots of people on DC that love linux, embedded hardware like Raspberry Pi, mac, android and ios, and it's probably time we had a special section for such discussions.  It would also be a good place to discuss cross-platform software, and may also be a good place to discuss non-windows related hardware.

Don't be shy about posting here -- it may take a little while for this section to reach critical mass.

I hope this helps you better understand where I'm coming from, and why I don't feel the need to either change the original post or drop *NIX from its title.

If that's not acceptable to you, then I'm afraid we'll just have to "agree to disagree" on this point, since this side-discussion can only start going in circles if it continues much longer.

Cheers! Thmbsup



9  Main Area and Open Discussion / Non-Windows Software / Re: *NIX: Pipelight has a new website - plus new version available on: July 29, 2014, 08:17:19 AM
My point would be that my initial point that "*NIX" is a lie here still persists.

"Lie" is a very strong word. In English at least.

And not really accurate - or even relevant - in this context.

In English at least. Wink
10  Main Area and Open Discussion / Non-Windows Software / Re: *NIX: Pipelight has a new website - plus new version available on: July 29, 2014, 08:12:45 AM
No, this isn't "*NIX software". This is "Windows software which also runs on systems which can pretend to be Windows".

And your point, assuming there is one, would be? smiley
11  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Is Antivirus Software a Waste of Money? on: July 29, 2014, 07:56:35 AM
I suspect a lot of these things would get past most, if not all anti-viruses.

That seems to be the case of late with this new breed of malware.

Especially since it probably came in piggy-backed on a PDF attachment to an e-mail from a trusted sender. Her Acrobat Reader was two generations old. Everything else was fairly up to date except for her JRE which was also a full version back. So those two were the most likely initial attack vectors. At least as far as we could semi-determine (i.e. guess.) She gets a lot of company and client-generated PDF and document attachments with her e-mail.

This is the first time I've actually seen rather than just heard about a case of ransomware. And I hope it's my last. This puppy was a nasty piece of work. We couldn't sanitize her drive. And we used every trick in the book. Inside the machine the drive kept calmly reinfecting itself no matter what was done to it. You could see it spawning new processes in taskman even while the scanners were busily quarantining it. Since this was happening in safe mode, I suspect whatever it ultimately was also had a rooting capability.

Taken out and scrubbed using a non-Windows environment to recover what little data could be recovered rendered it unbootable. Whoever programmed this attack was one savvy and mean SOB, that's for sure.

Thank goodness (in her case) for a well-disciplined backup habit. If she didn't have that, it would have been really bad for her.
12  Main Area and Open Discussion / Non-Windows Software / Re: *NIX: Pipelight has a new website - plus new version available on: July 29, 2014, 07:22:57 AM
"*NIX" for "Linux-only" is quite optimistic.

Just an FYI: "*NIX" stands for any variant OS that is Unix-based or Unix-like. So that would mean Linux or Unix since the asterisk is the wildcard character. (Note: If you go to the website you'll see installation instructions for FreeBSD and PC-BSD. Isn't that wonderful? mrgreen)

I'm also not sure what you mean by "optimistic" in this context.

[attach]

 Cool

13  Main Area and Open Discussion / Non-Windows Software / *NIX: Pipelight has a new website - plus new version available on: July 29, 2014, 06:46:12 AM
This is good news!

[attach]

If you don't know what Pipelight is, here's the description from the project website:

Quote
Pipelight is a wrapper for using Windows plugins in Linux browsers and therefore giving you the possibility to access services which are otherwise not available for Linux users. Typical examples of such services are Netflix and Amazon Instant, which both use the proprietary browser plugin Silverlight. These services cannot normally be used on Linux since this plugin is only available for Windows, and the only open source alternative (Moonlight) is lacking support for DRM.

Pipelight helps you access these services by using the original Silverlight plugin directly in your browser, all while giving you a better hardware acceleration and performance than a virtual machine. Besides Silverlight, you can also use a variety of other plugins that are supported by Pipelight. Take a look at the installation page for a complete list.

Pipelight uses a patched wine version to provide a windows environment to the plugins, but you do not need to worry about this as Pipelight will take care of installing, configuring and updating all supported plugins. From the perspective of the browser these plugins will behave just like any other normal Linux plugin after you have enabled them.


More information and installation instructions are available at the website.
14  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: diagnostic tool on: July 29, 2014, 06:25:39 AM
There's tons of software that will list processes and show CPU/RAM utilization for them.

But that won't identify a conflict, or a process causing a "lag" in another process.

About the only thing that will identify it (if that's really what the problem is) is going through a tedious process of elimination using msconfig. The procedure is discussed here if you don't already know how to do it.

Luck! Thmbsup


15  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Is Antivirus Software a Waste of Money? on: July 29, 2014, 06:01:54 AM
I just got my first call from someone who had gotten dual-bitten by a password logging bot plus (to my amazement) some ransomware.

She was running a (mostly) updated copy of Win7x64 along with MS Security Essentials.

...

Draw from this what conclusions you will. Cool

The problem is you can't draw any more elaborate conclusions than that MSE did not stop this threat. For all we know, a commercial protection might have been equally useless.


Precisely.

To wit: the one and only time I ever got bit was some years back - on a fully protected and updated machine.

I think this is one of those situations where the old adage that "One prayer and a toothbrush is better than a thousand prayers and no toothbrush" applies. It's a more a risk minimization strategy rather than a risk elimination process.

How much additional protection you get going with something other than MSE as your main AV scanner is up for debate. But that's a topic I'm not really qualified (being merely an informed user - and not a bona fide security expert) to get into. About all I have to go on is what I'm seeing on the field. And what I'm seeing is that (lately) more and more stuff seems to be slipping past MSE.

[attach]

FWIW I'm currently using BitDefender Total Security and Malwarebytes Premium as my two main guard dogs. Weighing in around $100 for that combo, it certainly isn't cheap. But I need to plug laptops into my client's networks. So I can't risk catching an infection - or even worse - spreading one. Most people won't have that concern, or need to be able to demonstrate "a reasonable level of precaution" has been exercised in the event something goes wrong. Your degree of liability can get a little sticky (and expensive) in business situations where finger pointing and blame assignment is the norm however.

If these were just personal machines that would never leave my home, I'd most likely use the freebie versions of the above.

YMMV. smiley
16  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: I'd like to get a Windows Tablet: help me decide. on: July 28, 2014, 05:36:32 PM
I got a hot dog on a stick and left.

I still say you got the better value for what you're looking for.  tongue

This.

17  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Is Antivirus Software a Waste of Money? on: July 28, 2014, 05:33:31 PM
Dumb Terminals/Thin Clients connect to your own servers.  That's been a concept for a while...

You could also run your own trusted private mesh network with some fellow travellers and keep it all off the public backbone.

It's not enough to just own the servers any more. You also need to own the actual network infrastructure. Cool
18  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Seagate starts shipping 8TB hard drives, with 10TB and HAMR on the horizon on: July 28, 2014, 05:27:25 PM
Don’t let Superboy find out about this. He'll be among the first to get one. And knowing him, he'll probably order a dozen to start. Just because. Wink Grin
19  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Director wants his film on The Pirate Bay, pirates deliver… on: July 28, 2014, 05:21:35 PM
I love this line!
Quote
“I know not everybody cares about that, but I do. The cinema is the best place to see movies. If you haven’t seen ‘Once Upon a Time in the West’ on the big screen, you just haven’t seen it,” Koolhoven says.
I just saw that movie for the first time a few years ago and it blew me away something special.  I just couldn't get over the experience of that movie for several weeks.  I haven't seen it on the big screen!  damn!!
I heard last year that they showed the full uncut never before seen version of this at a private showing with the stars in attendance, and it got a standing O from deniro, connelly, everyone.  I do really like this movie.

You also need to see:

Patton
Raiders of the Lost Ark
Where Eagles Dare
Lawrence of Arabia
Ben-Hur
2001: A Space Odyssey
Seabiscuit
Twister



up on the big screen...in a theater....with a crowd...to really get the full effect.

Even the best home theater doesn't do these films justice. Cool Thmbsup

20  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Moore's Law Dead by 2022, Expert Says on: July 28, 2014, 05:13:10 PM
I think the thing that may ultimately do it is the widespread adoption of "good enough" restricted platform tablet devices by the majority of the public.

And as a result, the future limits of this technology will be increasingly determined by politics rather than genuine "technical" roadblocks.

I think most big companies, and government in general, would be very happy if the personal and open computing platform - as we have heretofore known it -  just went away. Far too much power in the hands of the masses. And far too many opportunities for innovation - which then leads to competition against established mainline firms from 'untrusted' and 'upstart' competitors.

Not building real personal computers negates the need for better and faster chips. Not developing better and faster chips destroys the opportunity to design better and more powerful personal computers. QED.

"If you don't build it, they can't come." to paraphrase Shoeless Joe. Cool
21  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Does anyone here use Bitcoins? on: July 27, 2014, 09:33:28 PM
@40hz - More ammo for you to chuck it at me! Grin

Who me? Never! Grin

Two interesting vids btw. Thmbsup

Even if they did feel a little like a multi-level marketing meeting in places. But I suppose preaching to an enthusiastic choir (in Goldstein's case) is gonna sound like that more often than not. Wink
22  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: MaidSafe - The new decentralized Internet on: July 27, 2014, 09:26:17 PM
Decentralised communications? That's a big deal.

Agree. Tom Jennings's Fidonet  Kiss had something very similar to that back (somewhat ironically) in 1984.

(Note: Episode 4 of BBS: The Documentary is about Fidonet. You can watch it here.) smiley
23  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: MaidSafe - The new decentralized Internet on: July 27, 2014, 09:10:57 PM
This is an information war.

It's not really 'war' until your opposition decides to take up arms and seriously mobilize. And that part hasn't happened yet. Except maybe to Julian Assange and Kim Dotcom.

For the most part they're still trying to handle things quietly on the "law & order" front.

If 'war' does come to the cyber frontier, you'll know. And in no uncertain terms.



24  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Does google have to be *everywhere*? on: July 27, 2014, 09:00:22 PM
Updating software to cripple it is below low. It's kind of hard to believe. Is that right? Am I reading wrong?

Nope. You're just being shown (the hard way) what that "terms of this service are subject to change without notice" clause is all about. ohmy
25  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: What about Condaleezza Rice and Dropbox? on: July 27, 2014, 05:25:01 PM
Ms. Rice is a non-issue.

We all know what she is and what she's done.

We all know she will never be prosecuted for it.

There are far more important things to worry about than her continued presence.

She remains what she always was: yet another willing pawn in somebody else's ugly game.

Forget her.
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