* Posts by Ammaross Danan

1016 posts • joined 23 Sep 2009

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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0
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.

3
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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....

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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....

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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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Phone 7: Another Vista or another XP?

Ammaross Danan
FAIL

Title

The thing that gets me is the shear ugliness of their "start" screen. A HUGE swath of screen space is wasted because of a tiny right-arrow near the top of the screen. Such a waste! At least put a VERTICAL tile or something there. Perhaps like a vertical stock ticker! There's a thought. And I hope that ugly grey background can be set to a custom wallpaper.

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The True Cost of Desktop Support

Ammaross Danan
Go

Scaled-back skills

While I agree with a proper system management solution being a necessity (automated network auditing basically), knowing that X user has WinXP with the standard corporate stack installed, and is up-to-date with patches, does not help L1 very much if they're the "less-skilled, cheap" support staff. At that point, L1 becomes merely script-readers and glorified reception/routing staff for the L2s. It is this lack of skill that we all bemoan when we get one of these "did you try rebooting it" people when requesting RMAs and the like.

As for budget accounting charged to the help desk budget: does it serve the helpdesk? An IDS/IPS or firewall isn't a helpdesk cost. Antivirus/malware? Sure. Remote control? Definately. Patch management system? No. Why? That would be desktop management people's responsibility, unless you task your L1s with ensuring desktops are patched up. I don't. Servers? Nope. The ticketing software and system auditing software runs in a VM and has little-attributed cost (besides licensing).

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Google Android chief smacks Steve Jobs with Linux speak

Ammaross Danan
Go

Re: Only on IOS

"On OSX I can install what I want when I want and do what I want. No different to Windows or Linux"

Just one question: "Can it play Crysis?"

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Apple rolls out two new MacBook Air models

Ammaross Danan

Just wait

Just wait until the MLC flash has a chip-level error or the like. Sucks that you won't be able to replace the "drive" (or upgrade the capacity for that matter). These look like fairly nice machines for the semi-premium however. If I ever need a laptop-that-feels-like-a-clipboard, might be a consideration. Perhaps.

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Apple MacBook Air revamp snapped, posted on web

Ammaross Danan
Flame

Perhaps

Perhaps the juice being pumped out by one single battery isn't enough to power the laptop, so throw in 3 more batteries (for weight distribution as mentioned earlier), to up the total juice output capacity. Perhaps having 4 smaller, less output, batteries is cheaper than 1 large output battery too? At the very least, perhaps they're trying to avoid a flaming laptop a-la-Dell by distributing potental flares across 4 batteries...

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Sly new tactic sneaks hackers past security dogs

Ammaross Danan

Question is

The article points out that this technique would be especially successful vs hardware-based defenses. Question is, does that refer to a good old-fashioned firewall? The article is too vague to determine more than just that the method involves deep-encapsulation and the like.

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OOo's put the willies up Microsoft

Ammaross Danan
Joke

Title

Just kick them both in the nads and turn in your paper/proposal/et al as an Adobe PDF.

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High-speed asteroid pile-up prompts X-File

Ammaross Danan
Headmaster

Fail

"...to multiply that "almost zero" probability by the "almost infinite" number of pebbles in said vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly big Space. Surely, this has to affect the odds"

Sorry, but the "probability" of the initial collision would have to have been calculated using the number of "pebbles" vs the volume of the "hugely, mind-bogglingly big Space." Therefore, would not need to factor in an "almost infinite" number of pebbles a second time.

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The differences that silicon can make to the desktop

Ammaross Danan
Go

vPro

The advantage vPro has is that it's free to use (using Intel's provided software). However, these "business class" machines are usually more expensive and less powerful (cheaper CPU, less RAM) than a common "consumer" PC. The cost difference may be offset by support requirements, however, things such as remote patch installation and remote KVM can be accomplished by having a proper WSUS setup and a VNC-style system in place. Granted, you don't get boot-screen KVM capability, but it's fairly rare (in my experience) that the OS won't boot at all. Usually it's just the garden-variety user-environment virus (you don't give end users admin privs I hope!) that can be wiped by booting into safe mode or (hopefully) caught by your Enterprise AV/Malware program.

In all, I think end-users would be more satisfied with a more-powerful machine with proper setup and config than a vPro-enhanced system. The IT staff would appreciate it as well, as they don't have to field calls of "my computer is running slow" near as much, and would potentially lengthen the computer refresh cycle by a good 6-12mo.

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Microsoft releases fixes for record number of vulns

Ammaross Danan
Go

Title

Adobe Updater downloaded updates for Reader are stored in:

C:\Program Files\Adobe\Reader 9.0\Setup Files

As for Windows vs Linux debacle on "security" based on patch count: tossers. Windows calls them "patches" because they rarely release increased capability outside of major revisions. (Office 2003 to Office 2007, if you can claim "increased capability" in that....), whereas in the *nix/FOSS world, "updates" of minor point revisions are usually "security patches." This disparity and lack of understanding of what the X.XX.XX major, minor, and point-revisioning system actually is representing is a core cause of the fail argument of: "Linux is rock solid! Just look! All they do is update their software with more FEATURES!!! and Windoze just patches their security holes!" Both patch their security holes. FOSS just happens to have the development schedule to do so (arguably) more rapidly. Neither is always a "best" solution. Linux can get a virus just as easily as Windows can. Don't believe me? Send a rootkit to a Linux user and tell them to run it. They won't? Send it to your Grandma running Linux and tell her to run it because you found out her computer had a virus and it will clean it. Sound like the scareware scheme used most of the time in the wild? Thought so.

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Intel reports first $11bn-plus quarter

Ammaross Danan
Troll

SSDs

All from their price gouging SSDs I'm sure. :)

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Small but lethal Lethic is biggest junk mail villain

Ammaross Danan
FAIL

Title

You must remember, many "infections" are of the scareware type:

"your computer are infected!!! click here to remove"

Run, Save, Cancel -> Run of course!

"Only run programs you trust. Are you sure you want to run this program?"

Yes.

Boom. Infected.

Thus, the virus ends up being stuck in Application Data or Local Settings and lauched on startup. The vulerabilities you're referring to are most likely the drive-by-download type that use a flash/reader vuln. Few infections I've seen of late are triggered by a true hack/p0wn, but rather are targetting gullible users. Why? Because it's easy to do, and it works remarkably well.

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Apple to lead fanbois 'Back to the Mac'

Ammaross Danan
Flame

One of these days....

One of these days, even when I can afford a Mac, I'll still get a PC. <insert something about application compatibility with work here>

Flame flame flame!

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2

Hypervisors: grinding through to bare metal

Ammaross Danan
FAIL

"Bare Metal" installs

Last I checked, a Type-1 hypervisor ("bare metal") does not have the capability to display the screen of ANY of the VMs running on the system. Therefore, you would be REQUIRED to run a Type-2 hypervisor to be able to have your OS install moved around with you regardless of your machine. Granted, you save time by only requiring the install of the hypervisor, but then you're stuck with 2 full OSes to manage. That's the problem with XP Mode in Windows 7. All the insecurities of XP (albeit, can be severely hobbled to run only the app(s) in question), plus the Win7 host environment to deal with.

Anyone have a lead on a Type-1 hypervisor that actually allows you to view the screens of the hosted VMs and switch between them? With the Type-2 situation, the "host" OS either does nothing and consumes resources, or (more likely) is used as a production OS which needs patches/updates/reboots. Obviously, reboots means having to (at the very least) suspend the hosted VMs and resume them once the reboot is complete. If one of those VMs happens to be a network service (database perhaps?) then the host tends not to be patched or otherwise configured-needing-a-reboot for large spans of time. Always tricky if the host needs to have a program installed that insists on a reboot to "complete."

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Apple trade marks 'There's an app for that'

Ammaross Danan
FAIL

There's not an app for THIS

Lets see...

Me: "I want an iPhone because I want to do some Cool Stuff!"

Mac Clerk: "There's an App for that!"

Me: "Is there an app for playing flash videos like on YouTube?"

Mac Clerk: "No."

Me: "Can I debug my website's javascript?"

Mac Clerk: "No."

Me: "Can I run Firefox, since it has my life's worth of bookmarks and stuff?"

Mac Clerk: "No."

Me: "Can I at least get a p0rn app so I have something enteraining to do with this stupid device?"

Mac Clerk: "No. But you can get this great Fart App! It's loads of fun! I have 5 on my iPhone4!"

I sigh. Is there an app for causing your iPhone to brick itself? (oh wait, firmware updates....there IS an app for that....)

5
1

WinPatrol blames McAfee for lost business

Ammaross Danan

Suggestion

Perhaps AV scanners should take steps to prevent their signature files from being marked by other vendors, as such is noted as a "common" problem. How, you ask? Simple. Encrypt them. Even an off-by-one cypher should sufficiently scramble any signatures to be unrecognizable by any AV software. It would only be "decrypted" when used to scan, and only partially at that since no partial match means no full match either... Just a thought.

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Malware forces Firefox to save passwords

Ammaross Danan
Big Brother

Title

Certainly. I'm more concerned about virii that rename regedit.exe and the like, and put themselves in its place and simply do their "make sure the computer is still infected" game then continue you on to the exe you were actually looking for....

That a virii tells FF to save your passwords (a noticable thing, albeit subtile) isn't as concerning (see "transparent" virii type above, coupled with a keylogger).

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WD rolls out 3TB today

Ammaross Danan
FAIL

First....

First, who would use a 5400rpm (or even a variable rpm) "Green" drive as their primary system disk? Secondly, does your system even support a 3TB primary drive? Many do not. Lastly, the "green" drives DO have quite decent performance for most takes, easily handling "mp3 playback" and the like. It's definately shooting for an archival drive though, since a 3TB drive is beyond most BIOSes ability to address atm.

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US navy to battle Iranian mini-ekranoplan swarms with rayguns

Ammaross Danan
Go

Title

They did this on the USS Enterprise during WW2. Granted, it took down a fair portion of Zeroes, but, guess what? The ship still sustained heavy damages throughout the war. A small assortment of laser weapons (perhaps 3 per side?) with some method of auto-targetting (the background noise of radar posing a problem in this case) and a means of directing the laser rapidly (deflector mirror of some sort, rather than mechanical turret-style) and you could easily insta-zap hundreds of targets in a matter of seconds. That is, once they figure out that running these things with a nuclear reactor rather than gas-powered turbines is the smarter avenue...

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Western Digital gearing up to sell 3TB drives

Ammaross Danan
Go

Title

The unfortunate truth in the PC world is things get implemented based on consumer takeup. In the fruit world of the Apple flavour, the hardware is unilaterally pushed from the trunk itself. An EFI BIOS is one of the last bastions preventing OSX from easily installing on a PC, which is probably why Steve put it in Macs. However, there are a few boards out there which support EFI, and likely would be able to use such a drive, assuming a GUID-based partition table...at which point it becomes: Linux: Yes. Windows: who knows.

Technology restrained by a monopoly: Intel vs USB3/SATA3 for reference. Fortunately, AMD-based mobos that fully support SATA3, and have a couple USB3 ports, are readily found for <$100. Hopefully EFI BIOS will follow soon.

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Texan smut baron spanked over UK schoolgirl snap

Ammaross Danan

Title

Fully agreed. A Watermark is a great way to ensure that your work is not used without your express consent. Some people feel it defaces their work to have some latent watermark partially obscuring the center (or important) part of their work, but unfortunately, it's practically a necessity. DeviantART is a great place to share images, and I've seen many use watermarks on their posted artwork. Perhaps Deviant, Flickr, et al should help protect their users by defaulting pictures to have watermarks (which can be changed via user setting).

1
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Anti-virus vendor trio plug website flaws

Ammaross Danan
FAIL

Rule of Thumb

Many web developers know it's a good rule-of-thumb to run htmlspecialchars() (PHP) or the like on ANY user-supplied information before displaying it back on a webpage. That they did not for a search string (Symantec) is a VERY serious oversight (at the least). Had it been some field on some obscure form, I might be able to pass it off as an accident...

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Microsoft sends in the tanks against Motorola, Android

Ammaross Danan
Troll

Question

So, the concept of making the emails you have on one's computer be the same list of emails you have on your phone, through a process called "syncing" is patented by Microsoft? Does this also cover the "syncing" of email on a email client and one's email "server" (IMAP) or prevent me from "syncing" with my laptop? Perhaps the language says "mobile phone devices" instead of just "mobile devices."

Mail/Calendar/etc syncing has been done and redone too many times to count. It's utter bullocks to patent such a thing. Might as well draft up my patent for having "code" on a "computer" that performs "operations" to generate a desired "output."

Troll, since that is what Microsoft is (and most companies that have papers with the USPO).

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RIM unveils The BlackPad BlackBerry PlayBook

Ammaross Danan
FAIL

Fail

You failed to read the part about the "native SDK" to be released on launch.

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Ammaross Danan
Thumb Up

Title

Congrats, you just defined what "Apple Tax" is.

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