* Posts by Ammaross Danan

1005 posts • joined 23 Sep 2009

Report reams IT admins for secretly snapping student pics

Ammaross Danan
Jobs Halo

Title

"Hang on, this is a teenager. I find that somewhat hard to believe."

Nope. No nudity. These were 2 MacBooks, and Mac users would never do anything questionable...

I would have asked for the one with *nix on it. Then I could at least rest assured there's a small chance the cam wouldn't even be operational... :)

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Adobe CTO paints Steve Jobs as Big Brother

Ammaross Danan
Coat

Title

Yep, just like the new Core i7 iMacs....oh you had to send yours back due to not booting/cracking? So sad.

Your iPhone gets spotty 3G or WiFi service, even next to a cell tower/router? *comfort*

You can't go to the movies with friends because you had to take out a small personal loan just to by your Mac Pro (without a monitor even)? I feel for you.

Can't watch YouTube or news video on your iPhone? Oh yeah, Apple banned Flash. That's your fault for buying it.

Yep. Apple makes excellent products that work extremely well.

Perhaps more of the Mactastic crowd should take to their neighbor's 10yr old. They could probably cobble together a better PC solution nowadays. Sure, you'll have to run Win7, but honestly, is it really that bad? No more having to explain to grandpa that he can't "borrow" his neighbor's copy <insert some app that he absolutely has to have (MS Office for instance)>.

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1

HAMR knocks perpendicular recording down a notch

Ammaross Danan
FAIL

Title

HAMR is not the tech they use for optical mediums, since the amount of heat generated is significantly less, over a significantly smaller surface area, hence, significantly faster to write a bit.

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Microsoft drops second IE9 preview

Ammaross Danan
FAIL

Title

Question is, if they already have a video HTML5 tag implemented, and it currently can handle H.264, is it really all that hard to pipe the datastream to a different codec? I would think a browser would jump to support as many things as they could (isn't that why plug-ins were created in the first place?). I think H.264, VC8, and Ogg would be a good mix of the three main codecs to support, and it would cost what? 2 weeks of coding and testing by a real coder? (I say "real", because I'm not sure how many undergrads they have monkeying away on IE9...)

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Apple demands public apology for iPhone parody

Ammaross Danan
Thumb Down

Agreed

I think this thought has merit. Perhaps it was their plan all along, just feeding off the anti-Apple sentiment of crack-down.

"Hey! Let's do an Apple parody of some sort!"

"That sounds funny! Know what would be even better?! The following episode, we can stage a 'fake' apology, claiming Apple didn't like it! Our rating will go through the roof as everyone reports our 'apology'!"

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Google tutorial lets developers play malicious hacker

Ammaross Danan

Title

I'm sure the misue act allows for "educational purposes," which is what most exploit code, etc is released as. This is simply an educational tool to help classes with known exploit vectors in a piece of dodgy software.

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Researchers spy on BitTorrent users in real-time

Ammaross Danan
Boffin

Title

Their switching system just before The Last Mile knows what MACs connect to it from which lines (one of which is your home btw and they know EXACTLY which line leads to your home). Simple matter to echo these MACs back to The Home Office for proper logging. That's how they associate your IP vs your MAC, charge end-users for services, track your usage over a given month, etc. If you're on the internet, your ISP knows who you are. True anonymity would be to only access the internet from WiFi hotspots (free ones, not the "pay us for use" ones) or wardrive/hack weak/unsecured wireless networks, and constantly rotate networking hardware (NICs, etc) or have one that spoofs its MAC addy and randomize it frequently. Of course, whether this would actually be effective in practice is an exercise for the trolls I guess. :)

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Apple rejects crazy canuck's seal bludgeon game

Ammaross Danan
FAIL

Title

In Montana, stealing a horse was punishable by a longer jail sentence than 2nd-degree murder.... Some places/people do value animal life more than human life. Or in the case of Oregon/Washington tree-spikers (the "conservationalists" that drive metal spikes into tree trunks so-as to kill/maim loggers when their chainsaw backfires), "nature" is more important than humans.

We know Apple drones don't sleep well at night. They're drones. They never sleep, they just run really slow all the time.

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US boffin builds ultra-dense nanodot memory

Ammaross Danan

Title

That or calibrated so somewhere along its wave, it is able to predictably make contact with the proper 6nm bit, perhaps at a peak or trough.

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Stick a fork in floppies - they're done

Ammaross Danan
Go

Title

"What are we going to use for a Save icon in the future?"

A flash drive. What make and model will probably depend on who wants to cough up the highest bid for the slot. (think movie product placement!)

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Windows Server to ride upgrade wave

Ammaross Danan
Boffin

Title

Which OS is loaded on? Most likely VMWare or XenServer so they can host WinServer03/08 with a couple *nix OSes (well, at least 1 if their IT dept has any idea what the OS is actually good for).

Of course, there's the more Windows die-hards that will load Server08R2 or somesuch bare metal and play around with Hyper-V, but they might as well just install VMWare ESX2 for all the features and capability (not to mention stability/hog of the host OS....).

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Ridley Scott talks up 'nasty' Alien prequel

Ammaross Danan
FAIL

Title

"Only worth watching for the hot busty babe."

Which would be quite the spectacle in 3D. Just think of how exaggerated Angie would have been if Tomb Raider had been shot in 3D...

Ah well, I'm a Sci-Fi fan, and thus will be prone to watching it, no matter how terrible it may be.

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Gizmodo faces visit from cops over 'found' iPhone

Ammaross Danan
Thumb Up

Re

Gizmodo could not be absolutely sure who the owner was, based solely on the word of the person selling the device. Therefore, Gizmodo would have to assume the owner was unknown. HOWEVER, the person who sold the device to Gizmodo had seen the original owner (and thus was able to tell Gizmodo), so HE therefore is the one liable based on the law of theft.

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Scammers plunder gullible iPad owners' backdoors

Ammaross Danan
FAIL

Perhaps

Perhaps you missed the point of why Bootcamp is so popular. Or Parallels for that matter. It seems a fair portion of Mac fans tend to run at least one Windows OS somewhere in their chain of computing hardware (remember the PR about tablets/iPads targeting people seeking a 4th or 5th computing device, after their 2 home computers, iPhone, and perhaps iPoD/Touch/Nano/misc Apple hardware).

And as for the other previous comment regarding "rich" people being so by not giving away money....the malware is a backdoor keylogger of sorts. It doesn't ask you to pay $40 to a "full version," it simply sniffs your bank info, CC details, etc. and shuttles them of to some data logging server. No "give me money" needed. That and it is easier to hide a few thousand dollars of bank transfers/charges amongst an account that have more than $6k/mo flowing through it.

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Leonard Nimoy in 'no more Spock' shock

Ammaross Danan
Coat

Civ4

I...just...hope they...don't....use Shatner....in...Civ5.

He was a good pick for Civ4 voice-over though. Guess all the Trekkies will go buy a copy now if they haven't already...

Shame his cameo in Fringe is going out too. He was always a classic to pull in for the extreme Sci-Fi rolls.

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Obama open sources custom White House code

Ammaross Danan
FAIL

Scalability

What to learn about scalability in closed-source or proprietary (yes, there can be a difference) situations?

Licensing models are to be considered, not just ability to handle large databases, user counts, etc. How much did the old CMS system cost per-processor? How much for the clustering add-on? Add-on for database connectivity of your choice? Cost of (probably) running their will-only-run-on-this database? Per-processor and clustering costs for said database? OS licensing, since it only runs in Windows on IIS6 or somesuch restrictions?

Contrast that to an open source solution that can be ran on various platforms and databases of your choosing. I think that scales quite well actually, and we haven't even started talking about capabilities for massive data and user counts....

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Reverse-engineering artist busts face detection tech

Ammaross Danan
FAIL

"Reverse Engineering"

"to study or analyze (a device, as a microchip for computers) in order to learn details of design, construction, and operation, perhaps to produce a copy or an improved version."

I think you (and a few others) have true "Reverse Engineering" confused with the more ill-intended aspect of it. Reverse Engineering is broader than decompiling a program. Analysing facial recognition algorithms with the intent on defeating them fully qualifies to be branded as "reverse engineering."

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The iPad will doom humanity to painful bog-roll horror

Ammaross Danan
Alert

Gah, beat me to it.

Demolition Man FTW!

There's always the alternative option of an expletive rant to generate the much-needed crevasse paper.

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Security boffins build broadband speed quantum crypto network

Ammaross Danan
Boffin

However

Consider that it takes millions of attempts to entangle just a single pair of atoms (albeit done in a fairly automated way), it isn't economically feasible just yet. That and the fact that simply by observing the data held by a qubit alters that information, it is, as of yet, unreliable too.

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Google's Schmidt pitches Chrome OS netbooks

Ammaross Danan
Megaphone

Also in other words

"We are not in that business," Schmidt said. "We are in the ads and enterprise software business - I don't think we'll go that far."

Isn't this the same line they gave about Android OS and smartphones? Of course, the turnaround for a googlephone was quite rapid actually. I wonder how long of a turnaround a googlebook would take?

Of course, one can argue that HTC made the googlephone, and thus Google is indeed "not in that business," but what's to stop them doing the same self-branding?

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Cyberattack lifted Google password system code, says report

Ammaross Danan
FAIL

Correction

The fault isn't that they were running MSN (or any other messenger system), it was that the user clicked on the link they received and were C&Ced by the website it directed them to. In the original press release, the exploit vector was IE6, so one would assume they clicked a link from MSN Messenger on their Win(XP?) box and their IE6 popped up and faithfully bent over and took a malicious datastream up the <insert nether-region here>.

Either way, fail on Google for not enforcing Linux+Chrome on their users. Fail to the firewall jocks that allowed the malicious site through. Fail to software vendors for not supporting IE7+ (or even better FF/Chrome/etc). And, of course, fail to MS for allowing a C&C bot to install/hide on a WinPC by simply viewing a website in what should have been a next-to-not privileged app.

This will always be a fun story for the shear amount of fail.

One other side note: If [the hackers] stole the Gaia code, and Google figured it out (presumably from the source repo logs), why not just pilfer a checked-out version instead (which wouldn't have an audit trail)? Or does the source repo not actually check-out code to a workstation, but is web-based and allows for remote editing of a virtual "checked-out" copy?

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iPhone and Mac boost Apple by 94%

Ammaross Danan
Boffin

Thing is

The thing is, if you look at any computer maker's reportings, they say relatively the same thing. "Sales up XX% over same quarter last year." Intel and AMD are both shipping double-digits over last year, etc. Of course, last year was part of the the Great Recession... If we follow the chain, "Sales up XX% over last year, which was down X% from the previous year, which was down XX% from the previous year..." things must have just evened out a bit then?

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Amazon sues US state on customers' privacy

Ammaross Danan
Boffin

Title

The problem over The Pirate Bay being court-ordered to disclose IP addresses of people accessing their website comes to mind here. They argued that they could not due to not logging the information requested in the first place. Of course, the IP was, at some point, in their system and they chose to destroy, rather than log, that information, at which point it was argued they violated Discoverability laws. But hey, all in the name of privacy.

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Pinhead Mac Trojan sticks it to fanbois

Ammaross Danan
FAIL

I guess

I guess you missed the Safari driveby download scare...

And as for a "convoluted trojan which requires an inordinate amount of user stupidity to actually work," I have seen many of these types infect Wintards. Click on a link provided by a Google search, it ends up being a webpage mimicing an AV scanning your My Computer explorer window saying it has found XXX number of virii, has a "popup" on which you click the "X", which pops up saying "download this. Run?", Click "Run" and windows pops up again, "Are you sure you want to run this? It isn't from a trusted source...blah blah". I'd say that falls on the "inordinate amount of user stupidity" side of the line. Probably more so than a link to install a supposed plugin.

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Oracle charges $90 for Sun's free ODF plug-in

Ammaross Danan
Thumb Up

Shhhh

Shhhh Jerome 2, the commentards might hear you. Why would anyone do something as simple as using ODF for their company and simply save it as a .doc to send it out to others? Everyone already has to do it due to .docx...shouldn't be hard.

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What does YOUR IT crystal ball say?

Ammaross Danan
Coat

Anyone?

Anyone else notice with each "new thing" to come out (IE Windows 7), our task is simply to ensure we can keep doing the same old things, but on the new system? Why do you think companies are still on Windows XP? It is because they know WinXP can do what they've always been doing. There are some bonuses for IT Depts in the new Microsoft OS releases, such as Printer Management, but all it does is replace scripting-encumbered auto-printer-mapping with a fancy UI.

1) Make sure the applications (still) work.

2) Make sure user shares and printers are available

3) Filter/Firewall/scrub p0rn, myface, youtube, etc from the corporate network

4) Read The Reg.

Sure, there's more, but this just about covers it.

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AMD claws back to profitability

Ammaross Danan
FAIL

@Where does all this money come from ?

I guess no one read the article relating to the settlement from Intel. It quite clearly stated that most of that settlement went to practically paying down/off all debts.

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Sleep-scheduling software developed for ISS astronauts

Ammaross Danan
FAIL

@Martin

Of course it's Matlab. Do you think those scientists actually learned anything in their half-semester course of C++?

Funny how they used "programmers" in the article. Script-writers perhaps.

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MySQL under Oracle: No changes, except to what we say

Ammaross Danan
Welcome

Title

The leopard hasn't changed it's spots, for it is black and simply has a mesh of color streaked across its coat.

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MS kernel patch skirts infected machines

Ammaross Danan
FAIL

*Sigh*

"the windows CMD prompy beats the Linux terminal every day"

"every" = "any" perhaps?

Anyway, I'd like you to do something like this at a windows command prompt:

ps -ux | grep "firefox"

kill -9 <insert firefox pid here>

Why you say? Because Ctrl+Alt+Delete->Task Manager (or right-click taskbar -> Task Manager, etc) -> Applications tab (or Processes if you prefer) -> select Firefox -> End Task -> Are you sure? Yes!!!.... wait 5 seconds, didn't die? select and End Task again. Are you sure?!?!? FAIL

kill -9 and it dies. Period.

And yes, I am "conversant" with BOTH, and I actually know which role each should be used for.

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Ammaross Danan
FAIL

However

@R 16,

"But come on, the first thing I though of was to cause a big popup window that says your computer might be infected with malware. It is preventing this windows update from completing, here is some suggested actions to take to remove the malware."

I believe you are missing something in your post. THIS IS WHAT MALWARE DOES TO GET INSTALLED IN THE FIRST PLACE. (the suggested action is "buy this AntiVirus 2010 software")

Sorry for the flame, but it was warranted.

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Memristors can maybe learn like synapses

Ammaross Danan
Terminator

Programming

Facial recognition is limited by the programming put into it. Boffins are doing fairly well so far, but throw a bit of hair in the way, and it can confuse their software. I think we're more likely to get a vehicle that can drive down a road by "seeing" than we are to get a good "pick out a face from this picture and recognize who it is" program.

And, as a journo note, "curcuits", how did that even make it past a spell/grammar check? Do these articles seriously get written in a comment box with a submit button? Someone have a count of typos in this piece?

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Obama: We're off to Mars

Ammaross Danan
Alien

Title

We've done well with robot explorers, and I believe that is always the best "first encounter" with new environments. However, a human on mars could do more than a robot (at least the ones currently designed) could. For one, get unstuck. Perhaps clean/empty a testing container (soil sampler currently has only 6(?) testing chambers).

Of course, while we're still squabbling over who has to foot the bill for exploration and scientific progress, progress will be slow indeed. Just think of the progress that would be made if we knew, 100%, that a rock would smash Earth in 30 years. I guarantee one of two things would happen: 1) We invent/build some tech that will blow up/push the rock, regardless of global cost (yes, a global effort. funny huh?) or 2) the very wealthy would pool their money to life-boat themselves off until it is safe. (yes, I know, it sounds awefully 2012ish, but which is most probable?)

I for one vote for the original plan. Heavy lifters to get the crap up in the debris field known as LEO, construct the ship there, then ferry our happy, curious selves to wherever our propulsion can get us. Perhaps we'll have something akin to warp drives by the time those in charge finally figure it out. (I'll let you figure out which is more likely to happen first)

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Google snubs Labs again with brace of Gmail features

Ammaross Danan
FAIL

@Craig

"when will they implement sorting of columns such as sender?"

As soon as you realize Google is a search engine. Just start typing the sender's name/email address into that search box at the top and it will automagically suggest the sender's full name/email for which you tab+enter or click+click (depending on how tech savy you are) and you (almost) instantly get your email "sorted" by sender (and content, which can be just as handy).

I, for one, welcome our new drag-and-drop enabled, sometimes spotty reliability, email overlords. May their servers always contribute to global warming and my searches (almost) always come with at least one link to a phishing site. (but you love them anyway)

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Chinese go beyond binary with ternary molecule

Ammaross Danan
Boffin

Title

"What I tell you three times is true (why?)"

One computer may get it wrong. Of two computers, one may get it wrong, but you wouldn't know which. With three computers, the correct answer wins by popular vote. The chance of a rare-as-it-is fluke of getting it wrong in the first place, TWICE, is an "acceptible margin of error." (most likely in the realm of <0.0000000000001%).

Why do you think any kind of true vote-based system uses odd numbers? There will always be a tie-breaker vote, since "yea" or "nay" is binary after all.

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Two new LTO tape gens announced

Ammaross Danan

Seriously

Seriously, if you have less than 2TB of data (about what tapes can manage nowadays), you'd be better off just dumping that data to an HDD. Better rewrite sustainability (for those 30-day tape cycles), and much longer archival lifespan. I wouldn't trust my data on a tape for longer than a few years. Unless those 32TB+ (compressed) tapes cost less than $100 (and I actually have that much data to dump in a full backup), I would still mark them is less-than-useful. Especially at $3k per device to write them.

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Fedora 13 - Ubuntu's smart but less attractive cousin

Ammaross Danan
FAIL

MIS

"Now many years into the real world I realize it is not how good your code that determines your rank in an IT org but how can you outlast everyone else by eating crap and being a yes man."

Isn't the "yes man" and "eating crap" classes part of the MIS degree anyway? I'll take a field-working CS-type for an IT Manager than an MIS person any day, since they actually have a concept of how things can work, rather than reading marketing hype to make their decisions for them.

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Third of XP security suites flunk tests

Ammaross Danan
FAIL

@Gareth

Perhaps they are simply avoiding the inevitable sludge-fest of a Win-Mac-Lin bash?

Anyway, I'm wondering WTF The Reg didn't just post the top 10 and the bottom 5 (for the rest of us to mock of course), but instead direct us to a registration-required website?

The FAIL is for the lack of actual usable information in the report.

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Son of Nehalem due this year

Ammaross Danan
Joke

Jesus on the brain?

"Son of Bethlehem due this year"

You, my good sir, must have Jesus on the brain. Did you know, there's an app for that?

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Fedora tempts fate with Apollo 13 beta

Ammaross Danan
Linux

In Addition

I also know of another alternate: Kolab

http://www.kolab.org/

I have not actually implemented a test environment to see exactly how compatible the latest incarnation is though.

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Microsoft's HPC Server 2008 R2 goes beta 2

Ammaross Danan
Coat

Ah ha!

"clusters to tap into vast amounts of latent processing capacity in Windows 7 PCs"

Ah! So that's why my Win7 is slower than WinXP! M$ must be tapping into my latent cycles to crunch search requests for Bing!

/mines the one with the tin-foil hat in the pocket.

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Administrator access: Right or privilege?

Ammaross Danan
Go

BOFH

A personal favorite BOFH episode of mine is when the BOFH has to attend a training and when asked to log in using his username and password, punches in "root." He receives a reprimand of "No, log on with YOUR username" to which he promptly responds: "But root IS my username!"

Ah, it is all too true, especially in a Windows environment. I can't even have a shared USB printer on a Windows box without having to grant the user(s) on said workstation Power User status. Some software, as stated before, refuses to work properly/install without Admin privileges, however, if you "run as administrator" the crappy software throws the keys/links/etc into the administrator's profile rather than yours and now is broken. Only way to install? Give yourself Administrator privileges, install, then revoke them, and then hope it doesn't need admin rights to simply run the program. Shoddy software is probably a key cause of requiring we admins to sit in an Admin account for our daily work. I can't tell you how many times I wished I could "right-click -> run as administrator" items in the control panel.

Yes, I'm presenting this from a Windows point of view because, last I checked, coporate environments like to use Windows. In Windows, as an Admin, you need Admin privileges.

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Ammaross Danan
FAIL

Wonderful

I see this as a simply wonderful way to teach your IT staff to kludge their way through tasks.

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Giant solar-powered aircraft takes to the skies

Ammaross Danan
Headmaster

@Confused

24000 miles / 44mph = 545.45~ hours / 24 (hours in a day) = 22.72~ days / 5 ("legs") = 4.54~ days per leg.

Math works out fine for a 5 day leg x 5 legs.

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Toshiba readies flash process shrink

Ammaross Danan
Flame

Capitalism

"Intel and Micron announced a 25nm process earlier this year and are using the lower cost per chip to increase their profits rather than lower prices."

Ah, capitalism at its finest. And of course, the inevitable next report (some months down the road): "Now, with multiple manufacturers releasing flash chips in the sub-30nm range, prices have finally started to fall [slightly] on the large-profit-margin Intel and Micron-based SSDs."

Greedy coporate pirates. :)

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Weak passwords stored in browsers make hackers happy

Ammaross Danan

Ah

Ah, but if they incorporated AJAX for the thumbs up/down buttons, then they'd never have any votes logged, for if you haven't read most of the comments, everyone seems to be browsing the web using "security by obscurity" browsers or NoScript-enabled ones such as Lynx (complete lack thereof) or FireFox and the like.

For those "normal" people willing to have acceptible risk vs functionality, I second the AJAX motion.

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HP juices gamestations with Intel 'Westmeres'

Ammaross Danan
Coat

Title

"HP also kicked out a new small form factor workstation called the Z2000 SFF.... What makes this is workstation instead of a desktop PC in a tower case is not clear. Prices start at $739 for a base configuration"

I believe you had already answered this question above: "...executives think they need one because their egos demand it."

What better way to satisfy their egos than to hand them a "workstation" that is even the fancy SFF, and have it be just about as cheap as a regular old SFF business model?

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iPhone, IE, Firefox, Safari get stomped at hacker contest

Ammaross Danan
FAIL

Title

Why hasn't OS X been targeted, even though it has more "wealthy" people? Most of the malware I have been being punted about recently is scareware (that in turn installs a back-door or the like). Scareware works off of numbers. If only 1 in 100 infected are stupid enough to actually pay for the stuff to "get protected," then attempting to infect a measely 5-10% of the computer population is just plain stupid. It is the same reason commercial game developers don't develop for Linux. If your goal is to make returns by getting it out to the largest possible audience for the least amount of effort (or in the case of malware, the highest chance of infection from a random visitor), you target the most popular OS. It's just icing on the cake that the most popular OS happens to have loads of stupid users.

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Windows XP Mode skips virtualisation hardware requirements

Ammaross Danan
FAIL

Title

<insert repetative language about WinXP and x64 bit drivers and WinXP insecurities here>

</rant>

Fail. That is all.

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Google to flee China on April 10, says report

Ammaross Danan
FAIL

The true problem

The biggest FAIL I've read about in this whole story is that Google was hacked because its userbase was still using IE6 as an active browser. THEY MAKE CHROME FOR CRYING OUT LOUD! I would have thought their mandate would be "Use Chrome or get fired." Of course, unless their one of those companies using some flavour of software that simply requires IE6 to run properly. Then they just fall into the category of "Why didn't you use Chrome when surfing MyFace and SpaceBook at work???"

Fail to Google and M$ IE6

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