Security Software

Spyware needs federal regulation

I personally find this trend disturbing.

Claria and WhenU are making the case that their adware programs don’t resort to illegal tactics, such as exploiting security holes, to install themselves. And though this software can be annoying, adware developers argue that merely being listed in an anti-spyware scanner’s database tarnishes a company’s reputation by linking its relatively benign adware application with far more harmful and intrusive spyware programs.

Google Mozilla

Summer of Code

Google just launched their “Summer of Code“. To bad the Mozilla Foundation isn’t participating, I would have joined in if it was. Would have been a good chance to get some extra cash while enhancing the reporter tool, and perhaps taking on another project. I’m suprised considering GoogleFox ;-). Perhaps they’ll join.

Anyway, really cool of Google to do. An awesome way to give back to open source (the project gets $500 per participant), and encourage students to contribute to open source.


Browsers and Security

This is a rather interesting short article on users perception of security as it relates to the choices in internet browsers conducted by Opera.

More proof that more work is needed. That statistic proves the “firefox has reached it’s maximum penetration” people wrong. 49% don’t even know browsers have an impact on their security. That means they obviously didn’t hear of the reasons to switch to Firefox. Security has been a #1 reason.

Oh yea, we broke 60,000,000 (60 Million for the number dyslexic).

Funny In The News

Small weeners explained

If your mother looked like a pregant hooker, your likely to have a small weener. Or at least that’s what a new study [sell your soul registration] concludes.

Baby boys are far more likely to have smaller, less developed genitals if their mothers had high levels of chemicals commonly found in cosmetics, detergents, medicines and plastics, a study released Friday said.

So it’s not in relation to the size of the shoe, but the appearance of the mother during pregancy. Got it? Hot mom, little manhood.

Yea, this is silly weener humor, but face it: it’s funny. πŸ˜€

Some people are always finding new excuses. Now for the next study on why some female body parts are bigger than others. That’s where the real useful science comes in!


XBox OS Revealed

Earlier this week it seemed Apple could switch to Intel. Now apparantly Microsoft has ported at least part of their kernel to the PowerPC architecture. A Windows 2000 derivative ported to the PowerPC architecture. This stuff must really hurt Billy Gates.


AIM Triton Take 2

I reviewed the first release a few weeks ago, so here’s a followup.

The Good

  • New ad format is rather nice having it in the window (and scrolls away), much less intrusive. Provided no flash or java ads are used (slow for scrolling, and sound).
  • Address Book feature isn’t all over the place anymore. I, like many don’t want AIM as my PIM. It’s not prompting for info all over the place. That’s good.
  • Get Buddy Info just shows away message and profile… much better. Would like to see status, online time, idle time, and Capabilities.
  • Buddy alerts are back. Wouldn’t mind selecting my own wav file though.

The Bad

  • UI even slower (sometimes artifacts when windows do something, like when you click the invite button in an IM window). No idea why. But it kinda stinks.
  • UI will occasionally freeze for up to 1 minute at a time.
  • Sign on is extremely slow. Over 30 seconds for 3 screennames.
  • Easy access to add Name or Nickname without so many clicks (going into the address card). Aliasing should be easy to get to.
  • If your going to have this whole address card thing. At least use info from the profiles where available, and let the user override it if they so desire. No point in typing in what a buddy already gave. Perhaps make it permission based, so if I’m on my buddy’s buddy list (say that 5 times fast), I get their full info. If I’m not on their list, I get more anonymous info (name, country for example).
  • Still no ability to merge screennames rather than display 1 buddy list on top of another. IMHO if a group exists in multiple SN’s, smush them together in the UI. If a buddy appears in there twice, only show it once.
  • GIF buddy icons are rendering with all sorts of uglyness right now.
  • Font size should be +/- (point size is rather silly except in document usage). IMHO the only reason to change size is emphasis. +/- is more practical.
  • Buddy events popups are too big and ugly. The old 5.9 ones were much more candid. IMHO this is even a place for transparancy to play in. They are distracting, and in the way. “Buddy FooBar Signed On” is only a few characters, no need for all that space.
  • Still no secure IM support.
  • Still no auto sign on, remember password stuff.

The Summary
Is it usable? IMHO not really. It’s a demo at best. There are some improvements (congrats to Justin and co-workers), but it’s going to take more before it’s usable. Then more to be good. In a short time some things have resolved, so they are improving. But it’s not at the point where I would pick it as my default client. It’s still GAIM, AIM 5.9 well before. But again, it did improve, so perhaps not all hope is lost ;-).


Quote of the Week

See, in my line of work you got to keep repeating things over and over and over again for the truth to sink in, to kind of catapult the propaganda. (Applause.)
– George W. Bush [Source] emphasis mine.

That pretty much sums it up rather well. I guess honesty does occasionally show it’s face.

[Hat tip Fark]

In The News Internet Politics

Homeland Security Enforcing Copyright law?

I do believe in copyright law. We are in the information age. A good majority of us have jobs because of copyright. When you add up how many people’s business makes money off of copyrights (every company who ever sold software, music, books, or any other work), you hit a very large percentage of Americans. That’s the definition of the Information Age. A good 75% of Americans by most conservative stats are in the service sector. Just about all those would be out of business if copyrights and patents didn’t exist. I know and respect that.

But is this really the job of Homeland Security to enforce copyright laws? Why isn’t this being handled by some other arm of the Justice Department? Is some 19 year old downloading Star Wars really a threat to national security? Did this bust result in lowering the national terror alert level?

I’m really curious if the Patriot Act was invoked to help protect America from harm on this one. πŸ™„

Now when creating DHS, why didn’t they branch these crimes so that the Dept. of Justice handles them? That would be a bit more appropriate than invoking “National Security” resources for such an effort. People get angry when security analysts say the US is no safer today than it was in 2001. I’ve got a good guess why. Homeland Security is protecting StarWars rather than our country.

Any terror attack in the next 4 years should result in the immediate life sentence with no possibility of parole for anyone involved in that bust. For wasting DHS resources that could have been used for homeland protection. Judge, and sentence for life within 24 hours. There’s nothing to debate.

Absolute morons. They tell us to keep duct tape and plastic around in case of a biological attack. Then decide it’s more important to go after kids downloading StarWars.

If any congressman had a brain, they would move to open an investigation into why Homeland Security is involved in copyright enforcement, and why they are moving faster on that, then national security. Only a couple days to move in there. Yet were still not sure who was sent Anthrax in the mail. Priorities.

Martha Stewart went to jail because she was a threat to society. StarWars being leaked on the net is a threat to national security. Anthrax? Not such a big problem.

Can’t wait until the National Guard gets deployed because a child shoplifts a candy bar. Just hope it’s an American citizen or we may declare war on their country of origin.


Rebate Fraud

This seems to happen all to often, it’s rare you don’t get scammed with “rebates”. Samsung offered $50 rebate on certain LCD displays purchased between March 1, and April 30 2005. Mail in the rebate by May 31, 2005 with the UPC, receipt, etc. and you’ll collect.

Sent on 4/29 (according to Samsung). Card in the mail a few weeks later:

“Submission was postmarked after offer end date”.

Not that I didn’t expect this. There’s no such thing as just mail in something and get a check. You know they will reject it the first time around. So I called, they eventually checked my status… and oops, an “error” occured. We’ll put that back in que. Still no guarantee that it will go through, but at least I passed stage 1.

They figure if 25% give up after the first time, that’s 25% of rebates they don’t have to give out. Then figure in how many won’t even bother. That’s significant savings.

I really wish rebates were outlawed. Give the sales break up front. This is just wasting people’s time.

[/end rant]


New Report Broken Website Tool is Live

“Give me your misrendered, your unsupported,
Your huddled bad websites yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the broken websites, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

The production instance of the reporter tool is now running. All reports submitted from about 9:46 PM EST (-5 GMT) now will go to the production database.

You can install the new reporter tool from the custom install and access it from the Help menu. Please report any broken websites you find using the new Reporter tool.

All builds (even last weeks) will now go to the production database. No changes needed.

Take back the web. It takes just a few seconds to send a detailed report of the problem.

Thanks to super admin Dave Miller for making it happen (despite all he was juggling around).

Yes, the above poem is a spoof of “The New Colossus” by Emma Lazarus found at The Statue of Libery.