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Comment Thank you for playing Wing Commander (Score 4, Interesting) 145

As development for Wing Commander came to a close, the EMM386 memory manager the game used would give an exception when the user exited the game. It would print out a message similar to "EMM386 Memory manager error..." with additional information. The team could not isolate and fix the error and they needed to ship it as soon as possible. As a work-around, one of the game's programmers, Ken Demarest III, hex-edited the memory manager so it displayed a different message. Instead of the error message, it printed "Thank you for playing Wing Commander."

Comment Re:Great news! (Score 1) 125

See, the introduction of the GST was to coincide with the bundling of a bunch of other taxes into one. For some goods, most notably electronics and "luxury items", they actually got cheaper. This was because it's truly a stealth tax on the poor, by taxing commodities like bread and orange juice (which previously would have been taxed at lower rates or even subsidized),

Bread and orange juice are not subject to GST.

Comment Re: Lame (Score 1) 95

There is literally nothing for me to buy right now. Why can't this 10% off be in the form of a code that we can use any time we wish?

Isn't that pretty much what Sony are saying they will give. A code you get to apply to a shopping cart once?

"In addition, sometime this month we will announce that for a limited time, we will be offering a 10 percent discount code good for a one-time discount off a total cart purchase in the PlayStation Store as a thank you to all PSN members."

I suppose the the "for a limited time" could be a problem, depending on how reasonable it is. If it was something like 6 months then it probably isn't too bad. In that time frame there would probably be something you would buy anyway. At that point it probably comes down to whether the code recipient us capable of delaying gratification. If there's plenty of time to use the code and you choose to use it to buy things you wouldn't have otherwise then that'd be your choice (no doubt one Sony would be happy with). Personally I'll aim to hang on to it until there's something I want. If it turns out there's a game I want, a TV series I want and a movie or two I'd like to see then the 10% could be quite a saving. Then again I've already got more games queued up than I have time to play.

Comment Re:Why the distros? (Score 1) 112

"well, distributions backport security fixes, so 5.3.3 is secure on distro XYZ".

Are you aware of any analysis as to the extent that is actually true, ie for distro X or Y which patches really have been backported and which are skipped?

I had a quick poke about the W3Tech site and couldn't really see much of their methodology, especially in terms of how they identify PHP usage and what version is being used. I'd have though that if you looked at their PHP page there should be a not insignificant number where they can reasonably guess it's using PHP (due to file extensions in URLs perhaps) but not be able to identify the version being used.

I wonder how much your "% of installs that are secure" statistic could be inaccurate due to most (I'd hope) sites that care even slightly about security suppressing the Apache header PHP version information. Are they just missing from the W3Tech stats? It's possible that a significant number of the "secure" PHP installs could be invisible to your calculations because the sort of people who keep their software up to date are the same people who follow fairly basic server set up recommendations.

I suppose there are also questions as to what "insecure" means in practice. For bulk hosting sites running unknown third party code everything is critical but for a lot of sites running their own code whether they are actually "insecure" depends not only on what PHP does but also what their code does. Eg for the most recent PHP 5.4 release there is a fix for a fairly nasty looking bug in unserialize(), but (as I understand it) a site admin with a defined codebase might quite legitimately determine that they never use unserialize() on user generated data and not be in any rush to update if they have other things to be doing. PHP version 5.4.35 might be "insecure" for the purposes of your stats but may not be in practice someone's server if they know they don't use unserialize() in an exploitable fashion (or mcrypt).

None of the above should be interpreted as criticism of your analysis, just food for thought. I find what you have done very interesting and expect that even if there are 'hidden' secure servers, the number of insecure ones would still be alarmingly high.

Comment Re:Sexual Harassment shouldn't cost us knowledge (Score 1) 416

Deleting all of Cosby's TV shows and movies would still be wrong as they are a part of our cultural history.

No one is doing that though, there is a difference between no longer promoting something and erasing it from history.

To stretch the Cosby link further, you might (quite reasonably) think things Cosby did in the past are funny and even have value beyond pure humour, as social commentary etc. If that were the case and you know someone who had been abused by Cosby, would you choose to put a Cosby video on for them and expect them to find it an enjoyable experience?

That is the situation MIT is in. They aren't just dealing with 'theoretical' students who might somehow be deprived of some value that only those videos can impart. They are dealing with real students actually effected by the situation at hand.

If you wouldn't knowingly ask someone you care about to be entertained by someone who had abused them, why would you expect MIT to ask someone to be educated by someone who harassed them?

Comment Re:Just wondering... (Score 1) 416

If you can't separate presenter from content, that's your serious character flaw, leave the rest of us out of it.

If you were someone taking the course who had been harassed by him would you consider it a "serious character flaw" not to be able to "separate presenter from the content"?

I imagine a lot of people might find that difficult and wouldn't need to have a "serious character flaw" to struggle with it. I think it's entirely reasonable for MIT to ditch (and replace) the content if it means the effected people can continue on with their education without having the chap popping up in their courseware.

I don't think it makes sense to worry about the (theoretical) "students (...) punished by removing good lectures" and not consider the (evidently real) students actually effected by what has happened.

Comment Re:Just wondering... (Score 1) 416

Probably not much for the average person.

However I think that if there are people he harassed taking the courses (or who might like to take further courses in future) then it isn't a bad idea to cut him out of them rather than ask those people to interact with him further, even relatively passively on video.

Even if the lectures are high quality, they probably aren't irreplaceable.

Comment Re:Well... no. (Score 2) 126

True, but how is that any different to the normal situation where the maximum amount is £20?

Arguably it could make the attack more worthwhile. The effort and hit rate involved might not make it worthwhile at low ticket amount (might as well have a real job) but could be worthwhile as the money starts going up.

Realistically though it sounds like the attacker needs a merchant account to benefit (and presumably enough legitimate volume to hide the fraudulent transactions in without raising suspicions). From the sounds of it the biggest problem would occur if you were actually overseas and you were using your card in cafes and the like. Then perhaps an unscrupulous vendor might be able to get close enough to charge your card without you noticing and you might not notice it as fraudulent when you got your statement.

Comment Re:That kinda sucks (Score 4, Insightful) 172

That fell apart because Sony didn't anticipate what direction things would take, letting Apple overtake them along with just about everyone else.

I don't think that's quite right. Sony did anticipate the direction things were going take, they just tried to control it too tightly and had an overinflated idea of their own power to steer things. I think the Sony Network Walkman predates the iPod. I had an NW-MS9 and I think in many ways it (and the earlier versions) were ahead of their time. Tiny, digital, sleek, even the name "Network" hints and some anticipation of a future of medialess distribution.

However they utterly ballsed up the execution. Partly on the software side (the associated software was an absolute dog which seemed to go out of it's way to make things painful) but mostly because they were trying to own the future with their MagicGate DRM (which they even seemed to be trying to sell as something exciting for the consumer, though it was responsible for much of the pain in using the software) and codec restrictions.

Sony saw the future, they just wanted to own it and in trying to do so produced something that served them more than it served the buyer.

"Of course power tools and alcohol don't mix. Everyone knows power tools aren't soluble in alcohol..." -- Crazy Nigel