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1  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: The Best Security Suites (2013/2014) on: April 22, 2014, 09:40:42 PM
AVG!? - Heh surely you jest!?

No thanks. Long story short, they recommended white listing windows folder and signing all apps so that their heuristics wouldn't tag/kill/quarantine false positives.

The kicker.. their heuristics db/engine would "forget" that files xyz were safe and on later updates would tag/kill/quarantine files that were submitted to their engineers (they assured wouldn't get tagged by future updates). 5 Years of that BS was enough (stuck on contract).

AVG - Consumer version and enterprise version.

Naw, I wasn't going to go with AVG - something else. I'm still not sure yet.

2  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: 3D Printing Under Attack on: April 22, 2014, 09:08:50 PM
The technology seems to be really improving:

http://www.3duniverse.org...e-myoelectric-prosthesis/

Quote
JOSE DELGADO, JR. COMPARES HIS $50 3D-PRINTED HAND TO HIS $42,000 MYOELECTRIC PROSTHESIS

...
It turns out, this simple, mechanical design provides Jose with more day-to-day functionality than his far more expensive myoelectric prosthesis.  If a part does break, I can easily print a new one for him in a matter of hours.

More at the link.

Yeah I saw Slashdot's copy.

Way down in the comments a prosthetics expert posted a note that in this exact case the $50 hand worked better, but that across the board they do tend to be that expensive because the cost includes custom fitting and rehab therapy appointments.

3  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: The Best Security Suites (2013/2014) on: April 22, 2014, 10:21:54 AM
Windows XP was first released in 2001. Why stay with a 12-year old OS? When XP just came out if someone asked you advice on how to stay with Windows 95, what would you tell them? And there was only a 6 year span between those OSes!

Modernize, please. You don't have to go whole hog and upgrade to Windows 8.x, but at least move to Windows 7. If you have half-way decent specs in your PC with a decent graphics card you'll enjoy better performance than you did with XP. Once Microsoft officially drops support, you're going to start seeing your favorite programs dropping support as well & some will release new versions that won't even be able to install on XP any longer.

But to stay on the topic of this thread, which is security, even with the latest patches Windows XP is not as secure as the OSes that have come after it.

But here we are. There are millions of us who can't yet afford the time, software, and potential hardware risks of upgrading. My project machine from 2006 *might* be able to run Win7, but it's a long shot push.

Meanwhile MS seems to be saying they're copying Apple and not supporting an OS more than about 3 editions back so depending how they count, Win7 is already one step old.

I am holding on hard for Win9 to (re)define the landscape, to give us some desperately needed context to all of this. After all, Win7 was Vista's escape route, and a new CEO is at MS, he probably needed to shove 8.1 out the door, but I am hoping at the engineering level he makes Win9 the new OS to jump to.




4  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: web hosts on: April 22, 2014, 08:12:03 AM
Thanks for the input all, getting a nice little list of options to mull over!

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.

I appreciate the offer, and if it was just me I'd probably jump on it. For present purposes though it's probably not what we're looking for. We're generally deploying 1-3 standalone client-owned sites per month and my parent company is going to require a service with a more obvious support structure to lean on when/if things do get bumpy.

Hi Allen, my other winner of my survey that I actively support is Charles Decker of Decker Services (known in some forums as Deeplist.)
http://deckerservices.com/

They're both as sharp as they come, and I've worked a bit that at worst they can tag team a little on each other's issues on the rare chance they need a consulting tip.

By now you're a "Smart Client". Web Hosting has suffered in the last few years since Facebook - people don't post pictures of cats on their webpages anymore. But if you need stuff, either of those guys can do you well.

Regards,

--Tao

5  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: web hosts on: April 21, 2014, 09:11:40 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.

Yeah, don't play the "Judge Book by Cover" game here. Seraphim Labs won my exhaustive survey of free-yet-donation-appreciated hosts.

Though Seraphim, a tip, smash up a dumb site just so people have something to look at that resolves before Crabby's cats in the humor thread take them away again. : )  You know, 2003 style. You've been good by me, so don't crush yourself with a dead site. Just make it "Hosting by request. Submit ____ in this form here and we'll talk". Should take you three days tops given the near-genius you are.
smiley

Basically anyone here is way beyond the junk guys at FreeWebSpace.net that we all grew up on.

6  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: web hosts on: April 21, 2014, 12:08:12 PM
All right DC brain trust... my company is in need of a new web host for our clients, as Hostgator has been in a significant state of decline over the last couple years. Ideally we're looking for shared hosting plans as VPS managing/reselling has proven to be more trouble than it's worth for a shop as small as ours.  

I can read feature lists and prices as well as the next guy, but what I'd really like is recommendations based on real experience--especially if you've used a host for a long-ish time and are happy with them. Obviously reliability is important, customer service being a close second priority.


It's been a while, but if nothing else but for education, a few years back I did a slightly unorthodox survey of free (but payment greatly appreciated!) web hosts from FreeWebSpace.net.

The point is, a while back I wanted some simple hosting for my own projects and got tired of fake outfits folding in four months at a time, so I set out to find a couple long haul guys.

http://www.freewebspace.n...to-rebuild-my-host-spread
(Tip - scroll to the end of the thread to post - you likely don't care about my multi post history to get there)

Of my four winners, the two I recommend are either Seraphim Labs or Decker Services. By now both have been in service for some 5+ years. Post in the thread to say hello and get some basic info to sign up because that forum saw a rash of fake signups but once they see you with my referral they'll know it's a different league.

Once you request hosting aka it's easy to prove you are not one of the junk spammers taking over that service area, you have a good shot at either. And they have decent techs to solve problems. At the total worst if you tell them TaoPhoenix sent you, you can get the other one to spot help any rare problem that pops up on the other's service, which is pretty rare.

7  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Overclock help required ! on: April 21, 2014, 12:01:21 PM
You didn't say what OS you are running. For Win Vista/7 and maybe Win8 there's a system setting to "tune to best performance" that tells it to quit wasting time on drawing Aero/esque beveled edges and stuff.

You should define "which program exactly do I want to run faster". So if it's just point-and-click, that's one fast and easy trick. If it's not a game, what else do you need to run faster? Aka why are you doing this?

8  Main Area and Open Discussion / Non-Windows Software / Re: The Selinux coloring book on: April 19, 2014, 07:40:56 AM
That's epic and even a humanities ... uh ... type like me sorta understands!

9  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Scary Driveby Attack / Mysterious failure / Other on: April 18, 2014, 12:30:46 PM

Yeah, nice Shades. While the timestamp on my copy is a little strange, apparently it did clear up a few dead index entries and stuff.

So let's hope that helps me.

10  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Scary Driveby Attack / Mysterious failure / Other on: April 18, 2014, 06:08:10 AM
Please ... Take the time to run chkdsk C: /R completely (Don't make me beg damn it!). Because there is almost never only one error - there may only be one bad sector ... But there will be quite a bit of stuff riding on it.

Iceberg tips should not be ignored.

-Titanic.

Okay, I found time to do that last night. I don't know what it fixed because it rebooted after it was done, but I'll trust it did whatever useful things it wanted to.

11  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Scary Driveby Attack / Mysterious failure / Other on: April 18, 2014, 06:05:49 AM
I have seen it let people down time and time again. The only reason it enjoys the popularity it does is because it's free.

There was also that little matter over the last few days where a defs update killed most XP boxes (and some 2003 servers too), no effect on Win 7 or 2008+ servers.  (That's System Center Endpoint Protection, which is MSE plus reporting.)  I couldn't help but wonder if there was a little "nudge" built into that.

Yikes! I didn't hear about this! I haven't downloaded new defs in a while - so I should avoid it?!!

12  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Scary Driveby Attack / Mysterious failure / Other on: April 17, 2014, 08:57:29 PM
To comment on the original topic, friends don't let friends use Microsoft Security Essentials. Seriously!

I have seen it let people down time and time again. The only reason it enjoys the popularity it does is because it's free.

Well this is a bit of a surprise, I thought it was supposed to be at least decent. But now it's "yelling at me" about the end of OS support so for that reason as well as it's been saying "service stopped" several times now for the first time ever, I'll probably switch it out kinda soon.

13  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Scary Driveby Attack / Mysterious failure / Other on: April 17, 2014, 01:25:10 PM
As far as I know, a defrag will not do much for you with regards to bad blocks. Checkdisk does move blocks of data around after it cannot repair bad blocks on your disk and marks these so the filesystem will not use them anymore.

That is at least the concept behind it. But often the capabilities of the software falls short and you have to resort to 3rd party software. HDSentinel, HDDscan (and for real pro's: MHDD) come to mind.

I ran part of a chkdsk and it did delete one bad index entry. But for the full scan I think the file check will take a long time "step 4 of 5" so I'll try to remember to run it all again before bed one of these days.

14  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Scary Driveby Attack / Mysterious failure / Other on: April 17, 2014, 09:52:21 AM
Only after these more pedestrian causes have been eliminated should we start looking for signs of Ziggy Stardust's Uber hacker spiders from Mars.

But doesn't everybody do those first before running over to the PC security blogs?
And yes indeed, it does sound a lot like a HD just might be starting to go...

Well, not that I ran to a blog - it was more an off the cuff question based on general confusion. So if a couple of opinions are coming in re hardware failure, maybe that's "the lesser evil" but it's also where my skillset drops off a cliff. Meanwhile it's still okay as of today. I'll try a couple of those checks to see what's up. Maybe a defrag will move stuff off a bad sector too.

15  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Cute jokes' thread on: April 16, 2014, 07:12:47 PM

I like to occasionally post a joke note from some totally unrelated thread over here. Over in that sorting thread, Randall Munroe of xkcd made a guest blog on Reddit.

http://www.redditblog.com...mment-sorting-system.html

And then he coined an awesome little phrase:
"Locust Locus". And for some reason that struck me as a perfect little project for someone with time to burn to do to the Locus Plague of the Old Testament!

 Grin
16  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Scary Driveby Attack / Mysterious failure / Other on: April 16, 2014, 06:56:57 PM
Okay, today was a weird day.

For no apparent reason while surfing what I think are safe sites, about 2PM my computer suddenly quit responding! Well, whatever etc, time to reboot. And then upon rebooting, processes started failing to load at very low levels! It was easy to tell that both mouse and keyboard were working, aka not a simple bad battery. But what was really scary is the comp didn't want to accept the function key to choose boot modes! (I think it's F8) to go into safe mode! Then when it did boot up (partially), it worked for like five seconds before doing anything would lock it up!

Has anyone here had their comp used in a botnet? What does that look like? That was my guess, though I was thinking virus, or hard drive dangers (though the pattern felt wrong for that one), and a couple other things. The suddenness and "thoroughness" were unnerving because the usual sequence of Go-To tricks weren't working. No easy Safe Boot. No easy System Restore.

I got a break when I went to the Bios and turned off Quickboot, and some logo setting, and something else. Then that slowed the machine down long enough to get the F8 boot menu to show, and Safeboot with networking worked, and it stayed there. So I made some copies of some important data to the spare internal drive. And I had browsers, so a vague memory led me to check the web and remember msconfig, where I turned off a bunch of stuff, a couple of which looked rather fishy. I went for a System restore to a couple of days ago, and that partially worked. Then on a boot in debug mode and a couple other variants, something finally gave way and MsSecEssentials sent a different notice "this process has stopped. Restart the process?" and then it's been fine since (though I haven't rebooted since all that!) So I still don't know if it's completely fixed.

Yeah, I need to do all those virus scans and stuff, but I think that can wait a little since it all seems to be back and I need to have my energy up for all that to concentrate. But it's leading me to think, is MS isn't officially doing security updates on XP anymore, how long before someone finds something really nasty and just goes mass comp hunting?

17  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Microsoft dropping support for Windows 8.1 on: April 16, 2014, 12:26:42 AM
Ya know, computing in the 80's with everyone's first starter machine just wasn't this hard. "Company sold products. Consumers took their pick of five that they wanted. Then the deal was done".

Are you kidding me? Back then if you needed a patch for your OS or agame...or a device driver you were either on the phone paying Ma Bell out the butt for long-distance charges or you were on an online service like CompuServ paying $6/hour...at 300 baud!

Even then there was no guarantee what you downloaded was going to fix your problem. And if it didn't, you were still out the money.

Naw, not kidding at all. A better way to put it is that without these multiple semi-redundant blogs/services, news simply didn't get out at all. Our family treated each machine like a disposable commodity - it either did whatever it did or three years later the newer flashier one had it baked in. It was a far different "paradigm" from what is going on now.

Another way to put it is that as a family pretty heavily on the Mac track early on, we didn't know about complicated 30 day prerequisite timelines to 0.1 Update 1's to early OS's. They just did whatever they did. So update to System 7 - yay. Then by the time you cared about System 8 (and Apple's Dark Period) a new machine already gave you all that goodness.

18  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Microsoft dropping support for Windows 8.1 on: April 15, 2014, 05:36:49 PM
Not clear to me - I presume you can still update to the prerequisite level after that date? If you can it is no different to pulling support for Windows XP SP1 after SP2 had been released a while. Just a mandatory free update to get future support which is business as usual for MS.

If you can't even get updates to take you to the prerequisite level to allow future updates then that is mad - there are plenty of Windows 8.1 machines on the shelves in shops that won't be at that level? And is the free upgrade from Windows 8 to 8.1 going to include the latest updates?

I dunno, some of you gang support clients and you are working too hard to figure this out. Pretty scary for "medium Joes" who are still grappling with the end of XP.

Ya know, computing in the 80's with everyone's first starter machine just wasn't this hard. "Company sold products. Consumers took their pick of five that they wanted. Then the deal was done".

I liked the simplicity of MS's screwup of Vista that Made WinXP and later Win7 the easy path to take. Now we both have to deal with Win8/Non-Metro's mess and another round of temporary destructible upgrade paths. It's just making the XP-Holdout option stronger until gawd help me Win9 ... is a win.

19  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: silly humor - post 'em here! [warning some NSFW and adult content] on: April 14, 2014, 07:29:52 PM
Let's do some music silly.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TNRQVKjqKP0

Tell me the 30 seconds from the 2 Min mark doesn't just pwn you for an hour!

 Grin

20  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: silly humor - post 'em here! [warning some NSFW and adult content] on: April 14, 2014, 06:46:38 PM

(Name the pet something you remember)
Oh has nothing and related ever been so true!
21  DonationCoder.com Software / Post New Requests Here / Re: Folder Lock on: April 14, 2014, 06:40:30 PM
Hi, mahanaim, and welcome to the DonationCoder site.   smiley  As you can probably guess, with the way the Windows file system works, what you want is not an easy thing to do.  Typically, it's going to require a low-level file system driver and that's well outside of the realm of a simple AHK script.

However it feels like another one of those things you'd just think that in 14 years of XP history, someone else has just wanted that! I just don't know how to hone in on it efficiently though.

"Innovation" - when you think your obvious little tool just can't be that hard to do, but you fail to find out the obscure guy who did it exactly once before!

22  Other Software / DC Gamer Club / Re: Rusty's Real Deal Baseball: Most Effed Up Game Ever on: April 14, 2014, 06:36:39 PM
Heh. A couple of thoughts.

First something tells me one of our veterans has seen text versions of this kind of thing way back in the old days, maybe though without the raw dollar spend aspect, but in game currency.

On the sillier side:
"DonationCoder starts out by giving you programs for free. But then by asking, with a very soft timeline, once someone in the CodingSnack section has bailed out your bacon, then you choose to give money. Then because while repeats are welcome, only one donation is "officially encouraged", so that makes the programs all free again for a while!"
--> Mouser Pwns Nintendo by ten years, and besides games it's programs that really help you!
 Grin cheesy
23  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Are your websites secure? The heartbleed bug on: April 14, 2014, 01:34:01 AM
Passwords, hmm? I never got motivated enough to get into those password vault programs - I just wanted the world to have at least a little simplicity. So I might just put a 1 onto the end of them all.

24  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Are your websites secure? The heartbleed bug on: April 12, 2014, 08:45:47 AM
http://www.usatoday.com/s...ed-cisco-juniper/7589759/

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.


Yeah, just last year we were talking about the Agencies "looking dumb". How many Cheshire Cat levels does it take!? Look Dumb/Be Smart/Look Dumber/Be Smarter...

So if all those Tor/proxy tips never mattered anyway, then I guess I saved myself a chunk of time "just being dumb"...

25  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Are your websites secure? The heartbleed bug on: April 10, 2014, 09:41:44 PM
Ooh, right on time.

Slashdot's copy:

http://it.slashdot.org/st...ssl-was-an-honest-mistake

"The Heartbleed bug in OpenSSL wasn't placed there deliberately, according to the coder responsible for the mistake — despite suspicions from many that security services may have been behind it. OpenSSL logs show that German developer Robin Seggelmann introduced the bug into OpenSSL when working on the open-source project two and a half years ago, according to an Australian newspaper. The change was logged on New Year's Eve 2011. 'I was working on improving OpenSSL and submitted numerous bug fixes and added new features,' Seggelmann told the Sydney Morning Herald. 'In one of the new features, unfortunately, I missed validating a variable containing a length.' His work was reviewed, but the reviewer also missed the error, and it was included in the released version of OpenSSL."

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