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Messages - SeraphimLabs [ switch to compact view ]

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SPF records can help.

You can also note the IPs of the server that the mail originated from and contact the abuse address of that server to report that it is generating spam.

Although not always successful, in many cases spam is generated by abusive clients on web hosting services. Reporting the spam to the owner of the originating server can sometimes get the spam-generating site shut down, at least providing a break in the flood before they set up a replacement spam generator.

I'm starting to think that some of these people know they're full of BS but either they're putting on an act to pander to those with influence, and/or have brainwashed themselves into believing it.

Basically topics like dealing with corruption end up like Prisoner Dilemmas, which pit nasty people who all know each other against the lack of organization of the general population.

Their most recent move is going to be most fascinating.

I can think of a number of legal countermeasures to employ just in my own normal dealings, and I can see where it would invite some huge court cases under certain conditions.

These people are clearly insane, driven only by their own greed and the greed of those lining their pockets.

If only the public would actually organize themselves for a change and send a clear message to the government that we the people are tired of this crap.


Mainly because NVIDIA refuses to provide proper open-source drivers for their high end GPUs, a limitation that is absolutely crippling adoption of Linux for gaming applications.

Rather interesting article actually.

For those of you who don't know who Linus Torvalds is, he's the guy that created the first Linux Kernel.

Actually, this could be the start of a dangerous precedent.

That it is. Tons of sites have browser compatibility problems, as each developer always develops for their favorite browser and anything else appears second-rate or not at all.

This is the first time that a site has actively penalized users of a specific incompatible browser time. Usually the site just displays a warning message recommending a newer or different brand of browser, or appears mangled in an unsupported browser- like my sites, which lose the webkit-based graphics effects in older IE and Firefox versions.

Very arrogant, interesting way to say fuck you to potential customers. Nothing wrong with a regular message or graceful degredation?

Or simply quietly dropping support and letting all of the IE7 users wonder why the layout is completely unusable except for an error message recommending a newer browser.

At least that's what usually happens.

Funny thing, I actually have a situation that goes the other way. Some of the web applications I've encountered over the years explicitly require IE7, and are incompatible with anything else.

Go figure.

Living Room / Re: Ads in Skype
« on: June 15, 2012, 04:15 PM »
They aren't going to give up about getting as much money as they possibly can from anyone willing to suffer through it.

Seriously want to just start host file redirecting the ad providers that see fit to intrude into content other than basic web stuff.

I wouldn't trust it.

The way Tor works is that it relies on other clients to provide peer to peer routing.

All it takes is for the world governments to start setting honeypots- modified clients that intercept and document traffic passed through them, which of course would also be rather high performance systems to encourage use of them, and they will rather quickly be able to intercept and tamper with Tor traffic.

Seems to be the weakness of any P2P based system- all it takes is malicious clients serving as supernodes and the entire system is compromised because those malicious clients are then able to intercept traffic in the system as they see fit.

That's probably just the rough leveling. Precision instruments have to be leveled and calibrated for accuracy.

Industrial equipment has the same thing that has to be done. Starts with an ordinary carpenter's level, but usually ends up with a precision laser device.

Living Room / Re: Secure deletion: a single overwrite will do it
« on: June 07, 2012, 03:53 PM »
DBAN is widely used for wiping drives.

For years I also made use of GWScan, but alas this no longer works as it was a vintage utility shipped with Gateway systems prior to about 2001.

My most recent method is to use DD. Boot from a Linux LiveCD, then as root run dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sda bs=1m where sda is the actual address of the drive you want to nuke.

Let that sit till it finishes, and the drive will be completely zeroed.

The reason why they say you have to overwrite the data multiple times to completely eliminate it though has to do with the residual fluxes. Not only is there the space between tracks- which although tiny is still significant, but there is also a region below where the data is stored that can hold residual magnetism. And if all that wasn't bad enough, it may also be possible to read the interaction zones between bits- where the magnetic fields overlapped, in order to reconstruct the data in between.

Although really, I would think that if the drive was working properly a single run of zeroing is sufficient. If you're concerned that isn't good enough, remove the platters from the drive and melt them. I personally use a coal burning forge for this- the platters are completely destroyed well below at the 1500C operating temperature I usually run it at, but any oxyfuel torch should be able to do the same job and it's likely a mapp torch would also be hot enough. Side effect of the coal burner is that the molten platters mingle with the ash of the coal, the whole mass forming a crude glass. Gas melted platters would need sand or other impurities added to dillute the platter material for absolute certainty.

Living Room / Re: The universe is geometrically flat?
« on: June 04, 2012, 04:23 PM »
They said the earth was flat too.

Sure found out the hard way that it wasn't.

Even our best instruments flat out cannot see beyond a certain distance, and even if we could the speed of light dictates that it would take x number of billion years, it's also entirely possible that the universe is in fact larger than we can even detect.

There needs to be another antitrust suit against Microsoft. Once again we find them taking technical measures to prevent people from using non-Microsoft software on their computer equipment.

I would recommend using BIND9 as the DNS resolver instead of the Windows one as the Linux version will have a slightly higher stability and performance. But the Windows DNS service is fully functional if you don't already have a Linux server to put it on. The network where I work at actually uses both side by side for reliability, that way if I botch one of the configs while working on it the workstations will automatically fail over to the other server.

Also, configuring forwarders is not necessary unless you already have DNS servers upstream that you want to relay to. By default Windows and Linux DNS servers when performing a recursive lookup for a client will perform the complete lookup themselves without having to forward upstream. You will want to configure your DHCP server to advertise your DNS servers though instead of alternative servers, and if you want to enforce only your servers use a firewall to block DNS requests going anywhere other than to or from your DNS server.

Oh and be very careful- make sure your server only performs recursive requests for LAN clients. If you allow it to recurse over the WAN, it can be used to launch DDoS attacks via a very serious exploit in the DNS recursion mechanism. Good firewalling is helpful, but the best way is to configure the server's access controls so that only your LAN is allowed to use it for recursion.

But the way a server performs a DNS lookup is this:

- Check if the server is authoritative for the requested info. If so, return records on hand.
- Check if the server has a cached response for that info. By default lookups are cached so that successive requests can used cached data until the TTL expires.
- Contact the root servers for that TLD. Each country has a root mirror group, routes to which are configured using a combination of multicast and anycast addressing along with some route manipulation so that you will almost always hit a nearby root mirror. The root servers return the nameserver records for the second level domain name.
 Contact the nameservers obtained from the root server and retrieve the corresponding records from them, which are returned to the client and also cached so that future requests for the same info can be sped up using the cached data- until the TTL expires.

By default what a forwarder config does is makes it so that instead of going to the root servers, it simply hands off the query to an upstream server. This will actually make your DNS slower than just looking it up yourself, but as some ISPs traffic shape DNS it may be necessary for reliable DNS resolution.

What running your own DNS server does though is makes it so that you are only vulnerable to censorship at the root servers, your server contains a default root server list when installed and it is recommended to update the root list every 6 months or so just in case. Public DNS servers and ISP DNS servers are often censored by DNS poisoning- inserting false records for certain sites in order to make them inaccessible. For instance if I wanted to block on a company's LAN, all I would have to do is create an A-record on the DNS resolver for that company that points requests for * to Clients would then be unable to access hotmail unless they were using a different DNS resolver, or bypassing the main resolver entirely and looking up their own from the roots.

Living Room / Re: The Downfall of Internet Advertising
« on: May 24, 2012, 04:31 PM »
It's actually contributing to the downfall of free web hosting too. Not only has the demand for it been slowly evaporating as the people who were likely to start a site have either already gotten established or gone with a facebook group or similar instead, but the payouts from on-site advertising have been decreasing as the quality of ads offered goes down.

The end result is that companies that may at one time have been stable with just ads on their client pages no longer can make ends meet as reliably, and are closing down.

I run such a small web hosting firm. And I've talked to people that use adblock solutions a few times about it. The biggest reason they tell me is not out of spite, but that they either find the ads distracting or ar not interested in them. Incidentally adblock is also used for client side content filtering- such as if someone posts an offensive image an adblock user can simply block that image instead of having to tactfully navigate past it.

I woudn't bother trying to break adblockers. Doing so will just hurt the reputation of the site- as the experiment you mentioned found out where some people became frustrated by the unannounced test. The people that will adblock usually have their reasons for doing so, and even if they are depriving the site owner or server owner of some profit it is not worth the consequences of stirring them up by trying to force them to not adblock.

Living Room / Re: Apple drops '4G' from iPad adverts
« on: May 15, 2012, 09:34 PM »
Most places in the US don't have proper 4GLTE coverage either. In fact I just today discovered that my cell modem has finally detected a 4G-capable tower within range of my house, I've owned the thing over a year already.

I wondered why Skype went from running so horribly to suddenly running halfway decently again.

Talk about unexpected though. I would have expected Microsoft to simply port the dedicated supernode software to run on Windows and then deploy Windows servers for the purpose.

Living Room / Re: Magnetic Bacteria for Storage
« on: May 07, 2012, 04:56 PM »
I would be more concerned about keeping the bacteria alive.

I have rotten luck with pets and houseplants, managing to kill any type of flowers given to me and most fish.

So far I think only cacti and spider plants (go figure) have survived any length of time.

This might be an interesting concept, and I could see it serving amazingly well for applications like biometrics or high performance computing.

But I really don't like the idea that I would have to 'feed' my computer every few days to keep it's hard drive from being erased.

Let me get this straight: Some companies/lobby groups/whatever got the UK government to require ISPs to block TPB and your response is to stop paying anybody for any* software?

I'm not sure that's an appropriate response.

Then again, maybe I shouldn't have even poked my head in here in the first place since I am not in favor of blocking TPB. :-\

* With the exception of DonationCoder software.

The recent US Crackdown has made me less likely to buy new music. More often than not I would first hear a song on youtube and after listening to it that way would decide I like it enough to go buy a proper MP3 of it for my collection.

Because they are hell bent on taking that away, I haven't been buying as much music as I used to because I haven't been able to find out about songs I like anymore.

I can understand the same thing happening for software, although honestly would it kill the developers to make more demo versions that actually represent the product instead of just loading up looking pretty then BAM INSERT LICENSE KEY TO CONTINUE.

I'm always hesitant about new software, and it is nice if I can test something before paying for it. Surely with all of our technology they can come up with a way to do exactly that, because other than really big ticket stuff like Skyrim that I can find a friend who has it in order to try out I really don't like the idea of paying a lot of money for something I might not like.

Living Room / Re: SuperMoon Pictures - Post Them Here :)
« on: May 05, 2012, 07:53 PM »
The difference is the supermoons are abnormally close due to orbital variation, or are exactly opposite the earth from the sun- producing a combined tidal force.

It's rising bright and clear where I live, but I lack any usable cameras to photograph it with.


This? I would honestly refuse to provide it, and if they refused the application on that basis I would contact a lawyer to represent me in a legal suit of cyberdiscrimination against them for it. They have no right to intervene in my personal affairs, and the management that thinks they do should be fired.

-SeraphimLabs (May 05, 2012, 11:16 AM)

Nah, see that's already too much work. If you have to sue to get hired, they're already going to hate you and if they ever do hire you, they'll sabotage you anyway.

I know the economy sux, but a company that wants your facebook password (!!) is going to trash you anyway.

By that point I wouldn't want to work for them anyway. I'd make the case against their policies, but then not accept the job offer because of the risks attached. Besides, if the case is won it would have enough of a payout to not need a job for a while. I'd have time to find somewhere else to work.

I know this has been brought up in a few discussions I've seen- employers regularly snooping on people's facebook info and prohibiting people from complaining about their jobs or co-workers. I honestly call foul at that level- freedom of speech means people have a right to complain about their jobs or their coworkers as long as they are not doing so at the company's expense or on the company's scheduled time.

This? I would honestly refuse to provide it, and if they refused the application on that basis I would contact a lawyer to represent me in a legal suit of cyberdiscrimination against them for it. They have no right to intervene in my personal affairs, and the management that thinks they do should be fired.

Besides, the only facebook account I have is for my own company. If they really wanted to see how little was in it, they would first have to sign a nondisclosure agreement under my company's name in order for me to give them permission to access any of that information.

Surely you all heard the meme from the current generation console release:

The PS3 has no games!
-SeraphimLabs (May 05, 2012, 10:24 AM)

Sorry, I missed the Meme-o. What is this about the PS3 having no games?

For a very short period (I think it was a few days) after the PS3 was released, it literally had no games released at the time that could be used with it. Of course Sony very quickly corrected this situation by shuffling release dates, but it still created an interesting situation where what could have been the best selling console of the season had a severely crippled market because there were no PS3 games- only PS2 games were available.

The result is a somewhat obscure internet joke where when someone is talking about PS3 stuff somebody else will point out that the PS3 is a waste of money because it has no games. Usually it is attached to some type of reaction image.

Surely you all heard the meme from the current generation console release:

The PS3 has no games!

And rightly so. Consoles really are only useful for big title releases of games that are intended for mainstream audiences, and are built from the ground up by corporate for corporate as platforms to corner the market in a way that nobody else can possibly break into.

Also a quick note on most mobile devices:
Most cellphones or tablets that you got from your wireless company are in fact not yours. Clearly written in the contract you signed when you signed up for their services it states that at all times the device and all of it's contents are the property of the company that you get service from, and as such they are free to do whatever they please with them regardless of if you like that or not.

Your only recourse if you object to this is to get service somewhere else.

Now there are ways around this of course, since some carriers do let you provide your own device and I believe under those circumstances they would not gain ownership of it, but most of the time people buy the device with the service contract.

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