331 posts • joined Thursday 3rd April 2008 14:01 GMT
Most people do not need Java
Most people do not need Java, the safest thing is to deinstall it. If you're a techy then there's a good chance that you might need it from time-to-time, but you always help to mitigate against threats with Firefox + NoScript.
Keeping Java up-to-date is essential but also futile. There's usually an unpatched vulnerability in it. It really is a heap of crap.
Well, except that Eric Eoin Marques of Freedom Hosting does actually appear to have been busted by law enforcement, so I think the exploit should be regarded in this context.
Also, the analysis I've seen of the exploit indicates that it simply collects data and sends it back , and doesn't leverage the vulnerability to install any malware on the machine. I would have thought that skiddies would do a lot more damage than that. Also, skiddies would almost definitely not be corporate customers of Verizon in the DC/VA area. It looks like a duck, it quacks like a duck..
Re: I did some of the debunking on that one
The NSA is certainly a candidate for the organisation involved, or equally as well it could be another three-letter agency or a contractor working for them. The whole approach could be a multi-agency thing anyway.
Just at a guess on the very little information we have to go on - I would think that the FBI would have worked with local law enforcement (the Garda, for example) to go after the obviously illegal content. They then may have worked with other agencies (NSA / CIA are candidates) to set up the "torsploit" and access other data (Tormail for example) that might have been seized. Different agencies would be interested in different aspects of the data collected.
If Tormail is involved then that in itself is not an illegal service, but it is exactly the sort of thing that has been out of reach of law enforcement and intelligence services for some time.
Re: I did some of the debunking on that one
Shhhh... that's a secret.
I did some of the debunking on that one
The IP addresses in question, 126.96.36.199 (for the code) and 188.8.131.52 (for the data upload) were incorrectly identified as belonging to a US government contractor, SAIC due to an error with the analysis tool used.
What happened was that DomainTools accidentally reported the entire 184.108.40.206/24 as belonging to SAIC, when actually it is a Verizon Business IP range shared with many companies. Verizon then suballocates most of the IPs to their customers, almost all of whom are based in the Washington DC or Virginia area. The error was made in good faith, and looking at the underlying data it is easy to see how it happened.
SAIC has the first few IPs, the next block belongs to some ISP, then the next to the US government. The fourth block is where the exploit is homed and the data uploaded, but the IP records don't show who it is allocated to. But analysing the rest of the range shows that it likely to be a large-ish organisation physically located in the DC/VA area.
Now.. just think about the sort of organisations that operate in that physical location. It's not as if the IP traces to an apartment block next to the bus station in Tiraspol is it?
Now, assuming that Eric Eoin Marques was the person responsible for the servers hosting the tracking code, then it doesn't take a genius to link his arrest with some agency gaining access to the server farm and adding the code. It seems highly likely that the two things are connected.
This is my debunking:
This is what is in the rest of the IP block in question:
It's hardly bloody new
It's hardly bloody new is it? This sort of thing was happening to El Reg back in 2004 - http://www.theregister.co.uk/2004/11/21/register_adserver_attack/
NDS had features in that Microsoft still haven't ported to AD 20 years later, and NetWare 4 was a very flexible and rock-solid platform but it got stuck in the File and Print niche for most customers and Microsoft seemed to offer greater flexibility.
Back then Microsoft really was a juggernaut, squashing everything in its path. Even though pre-AD Windows NT server was a horrible, horrible product businesses still bought it anyway. WordPerfect was dead the moment that Microsoft created the Office bundle for Windows and took over the market. As for Unix.. well, the irony is that Unix-derived OSes are bloody everywhere APART from the desktop.
Nothing of value was lost
This government department cut itself off from the rest of the world, killed its email servers and then started scrapping everything. Did it have any adverse impact on their effectiveness? It seems not. It looks like the moral of the story is that this is just another pointless government bureaucracy. Perhaps the kindest thing would be to kill it off..
Most of the mass of a rocket is made up of fuel or the propulsion systems. An Atlas V rocket ways over 330 tons but the payload is only about 1.5% to 9% depending on where it is going. So fuel is a critical issue, and gliding down (like a Shuttle) basically uses none at all, where coming down on a pillar of fire is probably going to use almost as much as going up in the first place.
Earth has a decent amount of atmosphere for doing that. However, Mars does not and this looks like a good solution to that problem, assuming you can get all that fuel into orbit somehow.
I think we're missing a trick here..
I like the idea of a Williams smartphone.. how about an AtariPhone tool with a faux wood finish?
Re: Motorola UK
The phone where Moto missed a trick IMO was the cancelled E1120. A great looking 3G phone from 2005 which was way ahead of most of the competition. What did we get instead? About a million different versions of the RAZR..
HSDPA is the problem
I originally saw the headline which refers to a RAZR V3, for which the modern 2G replacement is the Motorola GLEAM+ released last year.
But HSDPA support is the problem as the GLEAM+ doesn't do that. There's are pitifully few handsets with those specs in recent years, the LG GD580 (2010) and Sony Ericsson T707 (2009) are just about available still and have similar specs.
If you want battery longevity while sticking with a more modern Motorola, the upcoming Moto Xphone is rumoured to have a very large battery pack..
Re: Numbers Game
Sailfish is OK, but that's about it. All very nice, but I can't see the "wow" factor in it.
Yeah right.. a lack of kit. And not corruption or complicity then?
Re: What could possibly go wrong..
By and large, apps don't tend to install themselves as a drive-by on Android and iOS devices. The problem as I see it is that the security model creates a much greater risk that the security of the handset can be compromised by a drive-by attack.
Yes, of course iOS and Android can have malware installed in a drive-by attack despite the security model that attempts to separate the browser from the rest of the environment. In fact, most modern browsers (and plugins) attempt to sandbox the browsing session as much as possible. Firefox OS does the opposite.
So what can go wrong? Well, look at Java, Acrobat Reader, Flash, ActiveX and a number of other fundamentally broken web-enabled products. Despite all the assurances given by their vendors, they all just massively increase the attack surface area. My opinion is that Firefox OS does something similar.
It would certainly be good to have some competition to the Android / iOS duopoly. But the world isn't short of mobile OSes.
What could possibly go wrong..
What could possibly go wrong? Giving web pages complete control of the handset? Oh right.. complete pwnage, that's what.
I just knew..
I just knew it would be Tavis Ormandy when I read the headline. I don't doubt his excellent skills as an engineer, but I think he's a bit lacking in skills in the way he interacts with these other companies. I can't see Sophos or Microsoft offering him a job at any time in the future..
I'm not convinced..
I'm not convinced that a lot of the vintage IT kit in the bunker actually *comes* from there, I think a lot of it was added when it was turned into a museum. Still, it's well worth a visit. The bit that got me was the three-shift system for the bunk beds. A cushy little number this was not.
Re: Its not very anonymous is it..
AOL did something similar a few years ago, and it was demonstrated that a large number of users could be identified by this so-called anonymous data..
Re: "They've basically turned me into a future Android user"
It's not as if Google have access to your personal information. Oh, wait..
The tip of a very big iceberg
This is the tip of a very big iceberg with Prenda Law. If you want to know how they got to the state that a US judge basically takes the piss out of them, the full story can be found at Popehat - http://www.popehat.com/tag/prenda-law/. You will need a lot of popcorn.
I seem to recall..
I seem to recall that one of the Crays had optional leather seats that could be arranged around the core.
I always thought the the ZX80 was the best looking Sinclair, but there was certainly some inspired design in there.
Some other ones perhaps:
* The Lilith - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lilith_%28computer%29
* GRiD Compass - http://oldcomputers.net/grid1101.html
* Apricot Xi - http://www.old-computers.com/museum/computer.asp?c=500
Re: What is it with the good guys?
Philip K. Dick springs to mind too, another writer who could take you to places and concepts that you could not have imagined, also taken from us too early. Perhaps they will meet up wherever SF authors go after they are finished here.
"It was the day my grandmother exploded.."
Best opening line ever.
Indeed, this is my understanding. There is no significant difference between accelerating quickly and slowly in terms of fuel consumption. The engine has the same work to do in either scenario. This only works if you're not over-stressing the engine though, if you're revving at the limits of what it can do then engine efficiency tends to drop.
The problem is not the starting.. but the stopping. If you are constantly in an accelerate - brake - accelerate cycle then you are wasting fuel when you have to apply the brake to slow down (unless you have a car with regenerative braking). Remember, most modern engines consume no fuel at all under engine braking, so a change in driving styles can have benefits when it comes to fuel consumption.
Re: Do the charger leads on this (and others) lock when connected?
One of the things that puts me off an EV is the business of the charger cable and what happens when it rains and your lovely connector cable and socket get wet. I understand that there are safety protocols built in to stop you frying yourself, but the image of struggling in the rain to hook up my nearly-flat EV doesn't appeal.
If you park your EV in a garage or undercover then you won't have that problem. But with the bloody awful British weather you might. Perhaps the next stage is to introduce a contactless charging plate?
My wife regularly gets in excess of 60mpg. It's a Mercedes C-class diesel estate which puts out just 117g/km while still having a 170 horses under the hood. So, you can have decent fuel economy in a decent car (insert obligatory sniping at Mercedes drivers here).
On the other hand, the g/km are only half the story. It really annoys me that cars get taxed on g/km at all. I own a big V6 powered Renault which puts out a frightening 271g/km.. but I don't drive it very much because the fuel consumption is frankly Not Good. The more CO2 you put out.. the more fuel you use. And the more fuel you use, the more tax you pay. And that's the way it should be. CO2 emissions and fuel consumption are directly linked.. if you drive less and drive more prudently, then you will pay less, which is exactly the sort of behaviour that is good. If you have a V8-powered behemoth that you take out to the shops at weekends, then your not doing a lot of harm.. except the people who set the vehicle excise duties will make you pay through the nose.
A bit of Googling comes up with this calculator: http://www.carbontrust.com/media/18223/ctl153_conversion_factors.pdf
Using those figures, charging the 22kWh battery would generate 11.54kg of CO2 at an average grid rate of 0.5246g/kWh. Assuming 100% efficiency (there won't be) and the maximum stated range of 150km (your mileage may vary) then that's 77g/km which frankly aint that great. An equivalent 85bhp diesel Clio produces around 100g/km.
OK, for the EV battery the charging is not 100% efficient, but on the other hand if you charge overnight then there tends to be a higher proportion of low-CO2 sources which should compensate somewhat.
It's worth remembering that renewables such as wind and hydro power have the drawback that they still generate power even when there is virtually no demand for it at (say) 3am. There are very few ways to store all that potential excess electricity.. except electric car batteries are one way that it can be done.
Re: Identifying callers
But the people who offer the service (e.g. the PPI Claims Handlers) are not always the people who ring you up (but they are sometimes). A PPI lead can be worth (I believe) about £50 to £200 per lead, so unsurprisingly they is a whole industry of bottom-feeders that just generate the leads and resell them on.
There's an interesting legal point here, and I don't know if it has been tested. If you are illegally cold-called by a lead generation company who then sell the lead onto another party (a claims management company, say), who is liable for the wrongdoing? The claims management firm? The lead generator? Both? Is there joint and several liability? The case of Roberts vs Media Logistics (el Reg has an article here - http://www.theregister.co.uk/2006/01/06/spam_court_media_logistics/) does set some sort of precedent for individual action through the small claims court, but I don't know if it has been tested in this scenario.
The problem with the PPI pests (etc) is that they won't reveal who they are, so it is very difficult to take action against them. They are only lead generators, they simply pass the lead on to another party.
£90k is a bit tame for a fine. The £440k that Tetrus got hit with is more like it.
Michelin never owned michelinguides.com
As far as I can tell (well, at least back to 2007) the domain michelinguides.com has never been owned by Michelin. In 2007 it was Keyword Marketing, Inc. registered in St Kitts and Nevis, then in 2011 it resurfaced registered to someone in China. That domain expired in September last year, the current owner registered it in December.
Michelin could file a UDRP complaint, but the owner can claim two defenses - one, there's not a trademark violation because it really is about "Michel in Guides", and secondly even if it IS using the trademark then there is a general protection for sites using it in parody or satire. Also, they never took action against previous owners, so this does seem to be inconsistent. Frankly, Michelin need to get their wallet out..
In principle these CO2s-to-hydrocarbon technologies could run on anything, although running them on fossil fuels would obviously be stupid.
For example, hydro, wind and geothermal power generators run all the time. You can use a technology like this to effectively store the excess energy produced when there's little demand (e.g. at 3am). Heck, you could even use nuke plants, although that seems somewhat perverse.
Clearly, there's some assembly required here. But if someone can produce a CO2 sequestration unit that runs on electricity, then it might just be a case of plugging it in to the mains somewhere..
Ah, well here's the rub. These plants produce ethanol or diesel or some other combustible fuel. So, what exactly are you going to do with all that very pure flammable hydrocarbon you've produced? Well, you burn it of course.. and turn it back into CO2, water and energy.
Now, you'd hope that if you could produce fuel from CO2 sequestration, then there would be an reduction in demand for fossil fuels (for example, one barrel of diesel from CO2 means one less barrel out of the ground). But it isn't necessarily the case - increasing the supply of fuel could simply reduce the price and lead to greater demand, cancelling out the sequestration efforts completely.
I'm not saying that it shouldn't be done.. but often the law of unexpected consequences applies.
Re: In the vicinity of factories and power plants?
I was wondering the same thing. But I guess if you somehow hooked it up to the CO2 output of Drax then you would get a lot of CO2 to play with and possibly a higher rate of sequestration. However, if you want a lot of *sunlight* to power it, then it is a different consideration. A nice sunny spot in Spain might be a better bet.
Re: Comments about Symbian
By all accounts, Nokia Belle is a really polished revision of Symbian. But Symbian sales collapsed as soon as Nokia "dead-ended" the OS, which wasn't the plan at all.
I think strategically, Nokia made a mistake with Symbian. Instead of discontinuing it, they should have stuck with the previous plan to push it down into the Series 40 space, instead of trying to pull Series 40 up to fill the gap left by Symbian. Ditching MeeGo, for all its strengths, was the right call though.
" Windows Phone has dropped even more marketshare than it had last year"
Not according to Kantar, it hasn't (see http://bit.ly/UhJ1HH). In the UK the market share is up from 1.7% to 5.1%. OK, it's hardly the stuff of dreams, but it's going in the right direction. Those Kantar figures were produced before the Lumia 920 came on stream, it will be interesting to see where it goes from here.
"they adopted an OS that offers nothing in the way is differentiation"
Really? WP7 and WP8 offer a completely different user experience from Android and iOS. IMO, Windows makes everything else look old-fashioned. It's not to everyone's taste though.
"Windows Phone is a utter disaster"
I disagree. It's not an utter disaster, but then it's not exactly a resounding success. It sits somewhere in between the two. WP growth is quite slow though, and Nokia found itself in a bad place as Symbian sales dried up quicker than expected, leaving Nokia with a big hole in the balance sheet.
Don't get me wrong. I'm not a Windows Phone fanboy, I prefer the relative freedom of my Android device.. my previous phone was an Android device, I suspect my next phone will be an Android device. And if Nokia made an Android equivalent to the Lumia 920, I would probably be heading down to the shops for one RIGHT NOW..
Re: Wot no Ron Moore?
Star Wreck: In the Pirkinning is a pretty good parody of the B5 and Star Trek universes. They do mercilessly take the mickey out of Sheridan's overly pompous speeches, plus several other piss-takes.. for example, the simply stupid design of the Excalibur (from Crusade and Babylon 5: A Call to Arms) and it attempts to answer the crucial question of who's ships would win in a firefight..
Re: More than a B5 Ripoff
While we're on the subject of B5.. one peculiar thing is that so many of the actors who played major characters are now dead. Michael O'Hare (Jeffrey Sinclair) died in 2012, Richard Biggs (Dr Stephen Franklin) in 2004, Andreas Katsulas (G'Kar) in 2006 and Jeff Conaway (Zack Allan) in 2011. You could make a pretty decent episode with that lot.. perhaps someone is planning something.
The pilot for Babylon 5 aired in February 1993, the series in 1994.
Depending on who you believe, the similarities between the two shows are not a coincidence. Obviously, both shows are set on space stations, but the development of the DS9 plot (where it got darker and more militaristic) does closely follow the development of similar plotlines in B5. Of course, B5 in turn was heavily influenced by ST:TNG.. although sometimes it was in what NOT to do (B5 doesn't feature a "particle of the week", for example).
Both shows suffered from a weak opening series, B5 suffered from a weak-ish ending series because it was always under threat of cancellation, and a lot of the plot from Series 5 was shoe-horned into Series 4 instead. DS9 had less of a problem with that, and the last two series of that are quite awesome.
Foundation Imaging did a lot of the CGI effects for both series, some of the same team went off to do work for Battlestar Galactica too. Big (sometimes REALLY big!) space battles were a feature of all three series. Pure geek porn :)
Read the blog
Read the blog - http://blogs.office.com/b/microsoft-outlook/archive/2012/12/19/outlook-2013-deprecated-features-and-components.aspx - it's about exporting and importing data from Outlook (the email client only), and not anything else to do with Office.
Import/Export to Legacy Applications
Outlook has traditionally supported importing and exporting data to and from many different file formats. Many of the formats Outlook has supported are outdated and are no longer in mainstream use. Outlook will continue to support comma-separated-value (.csv) files as well as .PST files, but other file formats are no longer supported.
This list includes:
- ACT! Contact manager files
- Word 97-2003 (.doc)
- Excel 97-2003 (.xls)
- Outlook Express archives
Re: After the Star-TAC ...
I had a StarTac. Lovely hardware.. but terrible software. Doing anything at all on it was a complete pain, whereas on my clunky work Nokia it was all beautifully simple.
I didn't buy another Motorola until the Milestone came out which I replaced with the RAZR XT910. Again, lovely hardware but (as another commenter has said) lousy updates. So the problem hasn't gone away.
A few months ago I did acquire an A1000. Guess what - nice hardware (3G, GPS, touchscreen and that was 3 years before the iPhone) but the user interface let it down. The Nokia 7710 was around at roughly the same time, and that was the other way round with a nice UI but crippled hardware.
So yes.. I'd say this story is pretty accurate!
One advantage in not having advertising..
One advantage in not having advertising is that you can make a really clean looking site without having to squeeze in banner ads and crap. That's one of the things that made the BBC News site look very clean right from the beginning. And the same design principles are in place today.
Talking about El Reg, a little visit to the Wayback machine shows how the design was settled back in 1998 and still works today (see http://web.archive.org/web/19981206084318/http://www.theregister.co.uk/). Some of those headlines have familiar echoes today as well..
It's not as if..
It's not as if I don't already have a Google Account because you need one to download apps!
What next? You have to sign up to Google+ to use Gmail so that it can share the contents of your mailbox with all your contacts?
It was a bad day when BYTE hit the dust, that tending to me a more in depth and computer science-y magazine than almost everything else. The American PC World wasn't bad either. I was sad to see Personal Computer World just stop publishing though - they should have gone out with a great retro finale edition, but they just stopped :(
I still have a big pile of 1980s and 1990s BYTEs and PCWs stuffed in a box upstairs. Especially in the early 1980s, they came with really beautiful cover artwork, especially BYTE.
Some of HP's accusations.
Although HP’s investigation is ongoing, examples of the accounting improprieties and misrepresentations include:
The mischaracterization of revenue from negative-margin, low-end hardware sales with little or no associated software content as “IDOL product,” and the improper inclusion of such revenue as “license revenue” for purposes of the organic and IDOL growth calculations.
This negative-margin, low-end hardware is estimated to have comprised 10-15% of Autonomy’s revenue.
The use of licensing transactions with value-added resellers to inappropriately accelerate revenue recognition, or worse, create revenue where no end-user customer existed at the time of sale.
This appears to have been a willful effort on behalf of certain former Autonomy employees to inflate the underlying financial metrics of the company in order to mislead investors and potential buyers. These misrepresentations and lack of disclosure severely impacted HP management’s ability to fairly value Autonomy at the time of the deal.
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