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* Posts by Ammaross Danan

991 posts • joined 23 Sep 2009

Winamp plug-in backdoor wide open to viral penetration

Ammaross Danan
Go

Title

WinAmp does have some nifty features that VLC doesn't package, or at least, not near as nicely. The biggest benefit (for me at least) is I can play music (mp3s, mp4, etc) and not have the giant memory/cpu footprint of Windows Media Player or (heaven forbid) iTunes. That and a WinAmp crash isn't likely to take the system with it, unlike the fore-mentioned programs.

FOSS is nice, but "free" versions of pay-for software is also nice, as long as they're not significantly hobbled.

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Hitachi kicks open Door 4 in the House of Spinning Platters

Ammaross Danan
FAIL

Title

I'm sure that's what they said 10 years ago when hard drives boasted ~120GB and flash chips were starting to roll out. Now that SSDs have caught on, sure they'll ramp up and get more compact, but I'm sure it's significantly cheaper to dump magnetic bits on a platter.

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LG kicks off work on quantum dot TV

Ammaross Danan
FAIL

Capitalism

The only reason a plant will do this is if someone ELSE does it first and starts affecting the number of TVs that they sell. THEN they'll retool with the same, or newer, tech and market it as "better" or sell it as "the same" but at a slightly lower cost.... Needless to say, NO ONE makes the jump until "someone else" steps first. Look at how Intel's [lack of] support for USB3/SATA3 has hampered rollout of USB3/SATA3 devices until someone released a certain SATA3-capabable SSD... Of course, if you're running Intel, your mobo has an addon chip allowing for SATA3/USB3 (if at all), but quite a few AMD boards now support it natively on the southbridge.

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Ammaross Danan
FAIL

Idiot? No wonders he's an AC

"Why can't they come up with cell phones where the battery charge lasts 2 years or more, just like my, uh, FREAKING WRISTWATCH?"

Last I checked, a wristwatch didn't need to send active signals to a tower X meters away. Put NTP in your wristwatch and see how long that battery lasts. Oh, and try making the backlight on your watch stay on for at least an hour each day. And give it a color screen rather than B&W.

BTW, solar cells for phones do exist. It takes ~3 DAYS in full light (during the summer even!) to charge an iPhone. I'm sure use will outstripe that. Oh, and the logistics of having to leave your phone (or in my example, a battery with solar cells on it) in the sun for that time....yeah.

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Apple Facetime flings out frightening random calls

Ammaross Danan
Big Brother

Privacy

So, your phone is constantly (continuously?) in touch with Apple servers listening for an incoming FT call (yes, this is a common method), one wonders what else your phone might be contacting "home" about. Googlephones had a similar scare when they were announced/proposed.

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SanDisk, Sony pitch über CompactFlash spec

Ammaross Danan
Go

Agreed

"Certainly this sounds nothing like CF and, if it's completely incompatible, then why bother with the current form factor?"

Agreed! Just use the PCIe bus spec and call it CompactFlashHD (CFHD) and move on with life.

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Apple says no to Android-oriented iPad mag

Ammaross Danan
FAIL

Missed the point

Apple rejected the app, and has good reason to. Android is a competing device OS. Granted, banning a magazine written about Android is a bit harsh, as they could, theoretically, ban PC Magazine, PC World, etc, etc under the same premise. It just emphasizes that iOS and the app store are not actually yours. You just get to pick from the apps that Apple thinks you might need, and of course which of their 3000 app-number-inflating fart apps you should use, since you can't even have a biological mechanism that they don't control.

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Overclocking for servers

Ammaross Danan
Boffin

Not True

Some processors are able to get a stable 200Mhz-600Mhz OC with no voltage changes. At the +600Mhz end, sometimes the voltage increase need only be +0.01V. Fairly marginal power draw increase (check the Q9505 in your link). Of course, the article need not say that the OC be from a stock 2.4Ghz up to a 4Ghz OC. Likely, they'll push a +400Mhz or so to keep power draw down in a sweet spot. However, if companies are willing to refresh their entire server setup with highest-end premium parts every year, paying a higher power bill might be the least of their concerns.

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What is the point of End Point Protection?

Ammaross Danan
FAIL

Tools

Anyone know of a LAN-spreading virus that has VLAN-jumping capability? I know there's MANY tools that can do so. Don't believe me? Look into a VoIP snooping program. They can jump VLANs as well as intercept and record/decrypt VoIP calls. Shouldn't be too hard to make a virus that has the same capability. Fortunately for us, keyloggers are usually spread by scareware tactics nowadays. Training end users to call the helpdesk if/when they get a virus warning on their computer will prevent 90% of virii from actually getting installed on the system. Sure, it puts a bit of burden on the helpdesk by having to spend 5 minutes remoting to the desktop and safely closing the IE/FF window, but saves 2hrs+ repairing/reimaging the machine.

Also, VMs aren't the end-all-be-all solution, but having a "dumb windows" client setup (that would be a non-persistant disk for those in the know) can solve many problems. Granted, they can't save anything locally, but they shouldn't be doing that in a corporate environment anyway.

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Xbox modder can't claim fair use, says judge

Ammaross Danan
FAIL

Title

I agree. He operated an (obviously) for-profit BUSINESS modding these XBoxes. And, as stated before, the mod simply said the CD in the tray was genuine, therefore, no custom software (IE Linux or the like), but simply able to play burned games ("backups" if you prefer). Now, if he posted his How-To online and perhaps sold the equipment to do the mod, then I could say 100% defendable.

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Apple accused of iPhone ban on 'all single-station radio apps'

Ammaross Danan
WTF?

Bloat

So, they force you to download a bloated, buggy app (wait, buggy apps aren't allowed in the iStore....) that has 1001 stations you DIDN'T want to listen to, and the off-chance they can stream/play the ONE station you actually listen to. <sarcasm> Of course, if it's a local station, you could just use the FM tuner... </sarcasm>

Question is, why do they still have 3000 fart apps if Apple considers them spam? Number padding perhaps?

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Most coders have sleep problems, need 'hygiene and care'

Ammaross Danan
Coat

Coders, from a Coder

As a programmer, I an attest to this hypothesis. Most coders I'm associated with tend to be night owls, staying up well into the night/morning. I, personally, do the same, but it is not related to any form of Insomnia: I just don't care to go to sleep. It's the problem of trying to cram 28 hours into a day. Coders tend to have side projects or personal interests that eat up a lot of personal time, and that's before the wife,etc enter the picture.

As for the hygeine issue, it fits into the "not enough time" picture, but I actually tend to keep myself fairly well. Therefore, it's likely strongly coorelated to social ineptness. No friends, no wife, no life? No shower apparently. And there's always that one that clouds the room with that "musk" from their corner....

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Supercomputers take efficiency up another notch

Ammaross Danan
FAIL

Title

You should know that here at The Reg, reporters/writers never actually reread (or sometimes spell/grammar-check) their postings. Heaven forbid someone actually types up their posting in MSWord/OOWriter and copy/pastes it into their publication poster at the very least....

Points for no spelling errors at least.

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iOS 4.2 multi-tasking comes to the iPad

Ammaross Danan
FAIL

A working alarm clock....

...there's an app for that! (because we can't code a proper one ourself!)

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Windows hits 25

Ammaross Danan
FAIL

Title

Last I checked, the only reason to upgrade to ME over 98SE was because ME actually shut down properly most of the time. 98 and 98SE more often than not wouldn't actually shut down, but rather just hang at the shut down screen (no, not the "now safe to turn off your computer" screen).

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Microsoft pings first Office 2010 service pack beta at testers

Ammaross Danan
Go

Title

"Complete Install" has always worked great for me. It's asking for the disk because there's something that wasn't picked to install during setup. Hence the three choices "Install", "Don't Install", and your problem "Install on First Use"

That said, perhaps SP1 is the fleshing-out of features that didn't make the deadline for go-live?

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Whitehat cracks notorious rootkit wide open

Ammaross Danan
FAIL

However

But neither can my new hardware.

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Ammaross Danan
FAIL

All this fluff

"It would help loads if all supported Microsoft OS's was fixed to never allowed any external media to auto-run without a prompt and a virus scan, to prevent careless malware distribution from compromised machines."

Last I checked, most AVs come with an on-access scanner. This will scan any file upon attempting to open it, media on a CD included.

"Windows 7 UAC is a step in the right direction, however the UAC is still far too coarse and annoying, because its repeated prompts become noise, thus blindly clicked or disabled."

So, all this complaining about ActiveX and the Evils of IE and you finally get to how most crapware is installed: the user said "yes." Twice. (for those of you that "use linux only," XP/7 [there is no Vista....] asks if you want to Run/Save/Cancel and then says "This may be malicious software! You sure you want to run it???" to which they hit "Run" again).

User stupidity is more effective than any ActiveX/Flash exploit. Especially since anyone "in the know" would have a decent AV running to catch the bugger when it attempted to worm its way onto the machine.

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Ammaross Danan
Flame

Windows

Most publicised rootkits deal with Windows since most people would have a vested interest. However, it's the Linux rootkits that are especially fun to deal with. Yes, they do exist, but you probably don't even know if you have one.

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Internet Explorer 9 preview thinks inside box, outside browser

Ammaross Danan
FAIL

Just can't tell

So, if MS doesn't ship a browser with their OS, and you install a fresh-off-the-shelf copy of Windows, how are you expected to browse the internet for a browser to install? Chicken-and-Egg sorta situation I would think. You really want to be forced to find an AOL disk at your local retailer just so you can have a browser to download FF/Opera? Before anyone says that you can use Windows Explorer to surf the internet, that's using IE, so no. If you truly don't want to see IE on your computer to to "Programs and Features" and uncheck the IE8 box. Of course, most computer users don't even know that Control Panel exists, so we can't rightly assume they'll know to to check the box if they wanted to use IE. Another question: Does OSX allow you to remove Safari? Does Safari come pre-installed and set up as the default browser? MS is no different. KDE uses Konquerer in its UI. Is that unfair to FF? No.

And as other people are sure to mention, reviewing IE9 is important because, unlike the "poor me" crowd, some of us can actually make a decision and install alternate browsers if we deem them better/easier, and may not care about the 5-10MB of disk space IE takes. If you want to complain about something, complain about why you can't buy a PC at a small discount if you opt NOT to have Windows pre-loaded. Then you may have a point, rather than a pointless, ignorant rant.

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Dirty PCs: How much filth can you take?

Ammaross Danan
Paris Hilton

I agree

These machines were rather average compared to the "X-Rated" Pictures of last year. The Dells in particular. I find it humorous that PC makers put filters and such in their air intakes and the like, but neglect to mention to the end-user that they need to be cleaned... They should design cases more like the Antec 300, which leaves the filters rather obviously positioned just behind the front mesh, where it's rather easy to spot a pile of fur/dust/etc since it collects on the /outside/ of the case.

/Paris, because dirty computers aren't the only things that make one want to wear gloves.

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US may disable all in-car mobile phones

Ammaross Danan
Coat

Distracted

People on cell phones get a lot of the brunt end of "distracted driving" talks, probably because they're very universal and obvious. However, there are many other forms of distracted driving: changing the radio station, shaving, make-up application (very bad!), eating, etc. Cutting out cell phone usage that prevents me from calling in when I see the vehicle mentioned in an "Amber Alert" (a missing child alert here in the states), or reporting a drunk driver or other road hazard, I see this as a step backward.

It all really does come down to personal responsibility. Unfortunately, "responsible" people are sometimes few and far between.

I do agree with the haunting prospect of the "average stupidity" comment. :(

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How to make boots on Mars affordable - One way trips

Ammaross Danan
FAIL

RE: Good Point

"They say they'd have access to email etc., but as Earth and Mars orbit at different rates, without relay satellites between the two planets, data speeds would be significantly less at apoapsis"

Radio travels at the same speed, regardless if an intermediary satellite picks it up and rebroadcasts it. This only reduces the effect of attenuation. Relay satellites would be best used to increase transmission windows, and would have one (or more) in orbit around Mars and Earth.

"So email and usenet, yes. Facebook / VoIP / videoconfering, not likely!"

Facebook would be the same as using email or usenet. Granted, the page loads would be horrendously slow (since you're limited to a pipe the width of 1/3 of a modem). Perhaps Opera Mini has finally found its niche! Just turn off images. But yes, VoIP and videoconferencing are off the table until a higher-speed transmission is set up, and no, it won't be in real-time.

"But as for the radiation issue, how feasible would it be to design a passenger compartment that had decent shielding"

This is why they said "beyond reproductive age." They don't intend to adaquately shield them from radiation. They expect reproductive capability to be nuked, as well as shortening the lifespan to 20 years (which means nothing to a 60yr-old, as they'd likely die near 80 anyway).

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MS hits back in Security Essentials row

Ammaross Danan
FAIL

Agreed

A firewall has now long-since been a de-facto standard include for OSes (yes, XP SP2 was a "long" time ago in computing time). Anti-virus/malware software should have long since became the same.

Yes, all you Windows bashers of "they should just make it more secure" doesn't help stop user stupidity. When you install Acrobat and it stuffs a "quicklaunch" app in your HKLM/.../run, it is behaving almost exactly like any malware that ends up on computers nowadays (think Antivirus 2009). Granted, "quicklaunch" doesn't open sockets, nor actively use 'net traffic (well, unless you don't count auto-update), but regardless, gone are the days when viruses were intelligently written using hacks and exploits when a majority of users can be fooled to simply run the program and be dense enough to follow the resulting tide of popups.

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Rethinking the iPhone

Ammaross Danan
Go

Ping Time?

The kbps was listed, but what about the ping time? 100ms (DSL) ping time vs 380ms+ ping time makes a BIG difference browsing the web. It won't affect downloads too much, but hitting a website that collates images and info from 10+ different web addresses can make a difference.

Granted, none of that matters on a mobile phone since it is assumed to be somewhat laggy anyway. Maybe I just have crappy 3G service?

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Disk drive industry appoints roadmap reading committee

Ammaross Danan
Boffin

Missed the point

SSDs may be heading into a good density to catch up with HDDs, but your assumption assumes HDDs stand still for the next 4/5 years. Common SSDs of the 1TB flavor (if they get here in 4 years) will be matching up against 1TB/sq in drives that float around 6TB+, and likely the spindle drives will STILL be cheaper.

On a side note, a 5.25" HDD would be an interesting option. Currently cramming an extra platter in a drive to make a jump in drive size could be side-stepped by making a 5.25" casing, and perhaps adding even 1/4" radius on the platters and maintain the 5400rpm speed. Perhaps add a 1/2" radius and lower to 4900rpm. Another alternative could be TWO spindles of a 2.5" flavor interweaved with an arm per spindle. In a 5.25" drive the size of a CD-ROM it might be possible. Only problem could be the proximity of the spinning platters to each other in the interwoven part. Could make the drive negative pressured to reduce/remove problems related to air. Who knows?

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MS freebie anti-virus scanner auto-downloads provoke more anger

Ammaross Danan
Welcome

Not a Browser war

Anyone remember the day of Sygate and its ilk with addon computer firewalls of yore? Once Windows bundled a firewall in XP SP2 (which IMHO is part of an OS anyway) who protested? Might as well complain MS includes Wordpad which is "unfair" to the text editors of the world. Bundling "Edit" in the cmd prompt is unfair to VI and Emacs. Providing Windows Media Player is unfair to iTunes and WinAmp.

Regardless, if MSE proves worthless (and it will be deemed so by the user the first time their computer gets infected and MSE fails to prevent such), then other AVs will be sought out. With the stipulation of being installed from Microsoft Update (which is not a trivial thing to get enrolled in for the lay user who doesn't read screens), I see this as definately a moot point. Perhaps the statistics will be the tell-all. Lets wait and see.

In closing, I'd rather have MSE by default than McAfee or Norton anyday.

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Ammaross Danan
FAIL

Preferences

You can disable the update alert, or sounds altogether, if you actually click on the UI and adjust your personal preferences.

On a business note, your AV customers feel all warm and fuzzy if they get a frequent reminder that their AV software is actually doing something.

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Virtualization for small business: Where's the pay-off?

Ammaross Danan
Go

SMB

Small Business virtualization isn't looking for High Availability or any marketing fluff out of VMs. They're looking to pack the usual compliment of 5 to 7 servers into 1 or 2 boxes and put them in a room that doesn't need special cooling requirements. Cramming all the features of a PDC, BDC, File Server, Mail Server, Sharepoint (or otherwise) server, <insert misc server(s) here> into one or two Windows Server installs is a Bad Idea (tm). Hence the need for virtualization in a SMB environment. None of these systems will tax a Core2-based crap SMB server, let alone real server hardware. Purchasing a single (or perhaps two) more-than-capable servers and consolidating it all down will give the environment reduced power and cost, not to mention the bonus of modularity for individual server reboots (as needed), however at the moderate concern of single-point-of-failure (see "perhaps two servers"). Is there server sprawl? Perhaps. Just not physically.

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Co-op cashier's breasts overcharged for fruit and veg

Ammaross Danan
Go

No need

No need to buy. I just married mine. It's one of those high-interest, permantly-accruing endeavours.

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Ammaross Danan
Joke

No

Not if you watch Total Recall

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Ballmer cuts stake in Microsoft with shares sale

Ammaross Danan
FAIL

Shares

If Balmer was jumping ship, it would probably cause Microsoft stock to go UP. Dumping his shares and a promised resignation and named successor is what Steve needs to do to save the company, not monkey around on stage throwing chairs.

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Canadian boffins make blood from human skin, put it into mice

Ammaross Danan
FAIL

Cheese Slicer

I'll take a needle jab over a cheese slicer down my thigh any day TYVM.

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Google Chrome OS: unlike Android, it's open source

Ammaross Danan
FAIL

Open Source Software

Open Source Software is just that: software that has the source available.

Other platforms are Open Source as well, but are overseen by a steering committee (think OpenOffice), and community contributions that are not deemed worthy do not make it back into the trunk. The problem with AndroidOS is their decision of when to hit the "commit" button on their development tree. Some projects do commits after every code modification. Some, like myself, do a few days worth of work (and testing!) before a commit. Am I not open source because I choose to not release my new "feature" until I'm good and ready for public scrutiny? What if I held on to that "feature" for a few months, whilst developing other complimentary features to be pushed out at the same time? Am I now not "open" source? No. Unfortunately, however, Google takes this to the extreme and retains these new features and additions for months AND simultaneously causes incompatibilities (sometimes) with older revisions. FOSS is usually developed with a public dev tree so other developers can anticipate these incompatibilities, but a public dev tree is simply a good-will gesture from the project developers, and is NOT required to qualify as OSS. Now, "FOSS" might have a bit different take on such practices....

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Old PCs: When it's time to die

Ammaross Danan
FAIL

FOSS

The problem with MCSE certs are that anyone can get them. I knew one who ran around with his MCSE, but failed to plug a monitor (VGA) cable in correctly and bent up the pins trying to force it on backwards....a written test with predictable questions/answers with loads of MCSE Exams for Dummies books out there make sure work of monkies passing the test.

Security is definately better on FOSS. Performance arguably so, but requires hand-picking packages, setting up a install package disk for unattended installs (the "remember what I installed on this one" disk basically) and even then the UI may run like crap (remember when KDE 3 came out?).

As for cost, you make out like a bandit with software licenses for productivity suites and OS. Still doesn't save you with actual business apps though. Does PeachTree have a FOSS equivalent, or do I need to run an XP VM to do accounting? What about actual business software? I work in healthcare IT, and all the handy add-on apps (such as medical coding) and the like have no FOSS equivalent, let alone the actual Med Records and Patient Management systems. Therefore, FOSS has no place on our desktops. Now, the IT backend such as network services/shares and archiving systems is running happily on FOSS.

Therefore, I'm sick of hearing people complain they're sick of hearing "Windows" all the time. It is used because installing *nix and having to hope your essential software runs on Wine is just idiotic.

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Apple MacBook Pro 17in Core i7 BTO notebook

Ammaross Danan
Go

Mac to Win7

My wife made the switch from OSX to Win7 (yes, and PC hardware, no boot camp here) recently and is pleasantly happy. Why did she do it? She had a "supported" printer that just wouldn't work most of the time (works fine in Win7). Her "new" computer was loads less expensive than a lowest-end Mac alternative. Also, custom options such as RAM, hard drive space (and model!) from the get-go was a big plus. Oh, and options of case designs and front-panel device support (eSATA and USB3 on the front panel).

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Apple coughs to time zone problems

Ammaross Danan
FAIL

Because...

Because "there's no problem."

Perhaps you're just holding it wrong too.

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The terabyte iPad is coming

Ammaross Danan
FAIL

Fail

"How much better it would be if you compress or deduplicate the JPEGs, the MPEGs and the other files"

I read this sentence and knew the author was evangelizing. Anyone respectible to listen to about hard drives and disk usage wouldn't remotely suggest that MPEGs and JPEGs can be compressed (more).

Not to mention thinking 1TB of flash on a portable (read: losable) device, not to mention the "closed" nature of the device in question... does it even support generic-file drag-and-drop (ie: for an Acronis disk image file)? Well, since we're (the author at least is) in Apple land, that may not matter...

As robust as flash may be compared to spindles, one also has to consider the root reason of why corporations are still using even-less-reliable-than-disk tape drives: Because the medium is cheap and can store terabytes of data. Likewise, hard drives are still cheaper than flash and thus will still be used as a primary means of data backup over more expensive alternatives.

RAID1 is still a great means of data protection. All the data is easily recoverable (even in event of a controller failure) since it's simply a disk image. RAID0+1 and RAID5 is where the disk layout starts to get convoluted and, especially in RAID5, compute-intensive. For a performance redundant space, RAID0+1 is a great way to go. Want an even better alternative? Set up a cascading backup so your data is stored in 2 or 3 completely seperate systems, one of which preferrably being offsite. Then, your house can burn down or lightning fry your electronics and your spare backup server at your friend's house (or your Mozy drive in the cloud, if you wanted to rent that much space) is still safe and sound.

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Tech grads least likely to find a job

Ammaross Danan
FAIL

The Biggest Fail

The biggest fail of this whole bit? CompSci is a software development degree. Server management, networking, etc are all had under DIFFERENT degrees. Want to learn Web Programming? Computer Information Systems. Java/C++? Computer Science. Care to learn how to install network cabling and properly terminate? That's a electrical or communcations engineer degree. CS majors won't learn about a device driver unless they're learning to program one. They won't learn how to configure DNS on a *nix box. Their coursework is too crammed with Java I, Java II, and Java III crap to cover anything else. There's only 1 uni within 250miles of me that even has a "networking" subset of their CS Bachelors. The rest? Programming. Period. It's a sad world really when you can churn out Java/C++ monkeys that don't even know what a DLL is for....

1
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The Hardware mid-life crisis

Ammaross Danan
FAIL

Fail

I have several "old" machines under my pervue, and the end users complain about how "slow" they are, even with 1-2GB of RAM. I could bump them up to 4GB, true, but that won't make them "faster" to the end user. What is my solution? A "cheap" 40GB SSD (Sandforce controller mind you) and the old clunker now boots XP to login in 7-12 seconds. Applications open instantly (and all the other SSD "fad" news). This absolutely would NOT be accomplished by more RAM. Why? The data still has to come from the hard drive. The upgrade cost roughly what 4GB of RAM would have, and IMHO is a much more noticeable performance boost. For the RAM people, I did upgrade the RAM to 2GB as well, pushing spare sticks down the line, saving a bit of cash. Loads cheaper than buying a new machine which would still have exhibited the same "slowness" troubles in 3 months.

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Ammaross Danan
FAIL

Sods

As a member of the IT community dealing with Healthcare, full disk encryption is standard practice. So yes, I would consider myself among that number that can "honestly say they work with data that are either remotely sensitive, or remotely likely to be a target for theft, let alone both?" No privacy conspiracy needed.

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Two-year wait for Windows 8, MS blurts

Ammaross Danan
Go

VMs

VMWare Server is free to use. No cost. Granted, the viewer is launched from their browser-based management console, so gets marked down for that.

Virtualbox is lightweight and has an application viewer, so feels more natural for Joe User. Kick them into full-screen mode and they don't know the difference.

When is Xen going to come out with a hosted solution?

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Dutch police behead Bredolab botnet

Ammaross Danan
FAIL

Bundled Software

Remember what happened when Microsoft bundled IE with Windows in an attempt (arguably) to get people onto the internet faster by providing a browser pre-installed? Now imagine what would happen if MS Security Essentials was preinstalled and set to auto-update, etc. The likes of Norton and McAfee(Intel) would quickly team up and file lawsuits. Rub two braincells together next time before trolling.

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iPhoto 11 ate my library, say users

Ammaross Danan
Happy

It Just Works

And always remember, where Apple is involved: "It just works!" Shame it's the delete key this time....

2
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Trucker jailed for deadly motorway gamble

Ammaross Danan
FAIL

Scrooge

As one E. Scrooge of famous note once (fictionally) said: "Are there no prisons?"

More prisons doesn't solve the issue. What does has yet to be thought of (or put into action), or we wouldn't have people saying "build more prisons."

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Android Market shows hand at 100k Apps

Ammaross Danan
Coat

How to buy a phone

1) How easy is it to make PHONE CALLS?

2) How neat and easy is the contact list for PHONE CALLS?

3) How quick and pleasant is it to surf the web?

4) I need an app for X, Y, and Z. Are they available, and for how much (preferrably free)?

5) How much space can I cram into it for doing non-phone things (i.e.: watching a movie while on on the tube).

Others might include a 6) Friend awe factor, and might even classify it as #1, but I'm sensical and plan on using any poundage/pocket space on my person for actual useful objects.

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Firefox engine speeds past Chrome after Jager shot

Ammaross Danan
Go

Title

Casual browsing may not have many instances of javscript bogginess, but in the world of rich browser applications, javascript can have many bottlenecks. I'm aware of a browser-based game that uses javascript extensively for "world map" data and image placement, client-side html generation, etc (basically everything between <body> and </body>) and it runs terribly under IE8 (obviously) but plays tolerably under FF3.6. Speeding up Javascript will only make these things more commonplace, requiring faster javascript execution, enabling more..etc.etc...

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Seagate-Steve trash for Apple-Steve flash pash

Ammaross Danan
Go

Hybrids

The concept that ZFS uses is truly what Seagate is trying to accomplish. A large array (or just a platter) for actual data storage with a high-grade cache storage in front of that (SSD array, or a small flash cache in Seagate's case). The cache doesn't actually permanantly store data, it just caches the data from it's permanant home on the platters. DIYers have attempted a close approximation of this by having an SSD boot drive, but the problem is this still makes Crysis crap on load times, or perhaps something in your Adobe suite slow, simply because it all got lumped on that "mass storage" drive. What's the solution? How about a proper 32+GB "cache" for the hard drive and a "right-click -> Add folder to flash cache" OS option? The more user-picked cache data, the less space for the "hot data" algorithm, but who would know best that you wanted to load ALL your Crysis map data into the cache? Permanantly. (well until you delete the data or "right-click -> Stop caching". A wimpy sudo-algorithm with a miniscule 4GB of cache isn't going to help much. I'd by a 64GB flash cache + 2TB platter space drive in a heartbeat over a 64GB "boot drive" and a 2TB spindle drive. Especially if it had a "right-click -> Add to cache" option.

/jogs down to the patent office

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XP? Thanks for the memories

Ammaross Danan
FAIL

So....

So, your new Win7 is "much faster and more stable" once you did a few simple things. Nothing big. Just added loads more RAM and a pair of 15k drives. No big change compared to the old XP system I'm sure....

Also, the biggest thing I've seen is "just use XP Mode" for those "legacy" programs. It will work fine! Well, not in this case: "and allows me to run multiple concurrent virtual machines under virtualbox." Sorry, XP Mode is Virtual PC with a shiney wrapper, and guess what? Virtual PC doesn't release hardware locks properly and thus, doesn't play well with other VMs. I ran into this problem on my Win7x64 system at work. Have a couple legacy apps, so I opted to try XP Mode. Boot up the legacy app and VMWare crashed. Haven't tried on Virtualbox since the VMs are already built in VMWare. Back to using legacy apps in an RDP session. :( And no, the legacy apps won't work in compatability mode. One in particular uses some 32-bit DLL for image handling...

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How to stop Apple and Google's great web lockdown

Ammaross Danan

One problem

One problem with a company making (and trying to sell) an HTML5/Javascript "program" is that the entire front-end (and possibly some of the backend) are public-viewable. "Open Source" in the truest sense: readily viewable code. Many companies from a closed-source world will likely do all they can to pull all their "special" functions back onto the server side of things and leave a skeleton of a front end to do input validation and drive the wiz-bang GUI. The great benefit I see from HTML5/Javascript is /more/ than just GUI is handled client-side. Why not do heavy computations and the like on the client? The only real use of the server-side would be data access control and collation. Once the requested data has been found, spit it out in pages (or as a whole, depending on your bandwidth/GUI model) and let the client expend resources to utilize it. However, to retain "company secrets" this will likely not happen where "GPL" isn't whispered. We'll end up with the same state we have today: glorified dumb terminals, with most of the compute power coming from servers and lots of server requests.

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