Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
IT

IT Snake Oil — Six Tech Cure-Alls That Went Bunk 483

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the salesman-ejection-seat dept.
snydeq writes "InfoWorld's Dan Tynan surveys six 'transformational' tech-panacea sales pitches that have left egg on at least some IT department faces. Billed with legendary promises, each of the six technologies — five old, one new — has earned the dubious distinction of being the hype king of its respective era, falling far short of legendary promises. Consultant greed, analyst oversight, dirty vendor tricks — 'the one thing you can count on in the land of IT is a slick vendor presentation and a whole lot of hype. Eras shift, technologies change, but the sales pitch always sounds eerily familiar. In virtually every decade there's at least one transformational technology that promises to revolutionize the enterprise, slash operational costs, reduce capital expenditures, align your IT initiatives with your core business practices, boost employee productivity, and leave your breath clean and minty fresh.' Today, cloud computing, virtualization, and tablet PCs are vying for the hype crown." What other horrible hype stories do some of our seasoned vets have?
Power

Pickens Calls Off Massive Wind Farm In Texas 414

Posted by Soulskill
from the i-told-you-those-wind-seeds-were-a-scam dept.
schwit1 writes with this excerpt from an AP report: "Plans for the world's largest wind farm in the Texas Panhandle have been scrapped, energy baron T. Boone Pickens said Tuesday, and he's looking for a home for 687 giant wind turbines. Pickens has already ordered the turbines, which can stand 400 feet tall — taller than most 30-story buildings. 'When I start receiving those turbines, I've got to ... like I said, my garage won't hold them,' the legendary Texas oilman said. 'They've got to go someplace.' Pickens' company Mesa Power ordered the turbines from General Electric Co. — a $2 billion investment — a little more than a year ago. Pickens said he has leases on about 200,000 acres in Texas that were planned for the project, and he might place some of the turbines there, but he's also looking for smaller wind projects to participate in."
Image

German Gov To Ban Paintballing After Shooting 580 Screenshot-sm

Posted by samzenpus
from the we-all-fall-down dept.
whoever57 writes "In response to the school shooting in March in which 16 people were killed, the German Government plans to ban all games in which players shoot at each other with pellets. The rationale for this is that 'paintball trivializes violence and risks lowering the threshold for committing violent acts.' Fines could be up to 5,000 euros."
Windows

Windows 7 Anti-Piracy Plans 403

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the not-the-background-image-no dept.
Slatterz writes "Microsoft has announced that the forthcoming Windows 7 operating system will contain a number of piracy 'tweaks' it says are designed to protect the interests of customers. Under the new regime users will be expected to validate their software in a much more precise way than before. Other Microsoft operating systems and anti-piracy measures, including Windows Genuine Advantage, allowed users to delay 'activation,' but Windows 7 will make it harder to ignore repeated messages. According to Joe Williams, general manager for Worldwide Genuine Windows at Microsoft, counterfeit software 'delivers a poor experience and impacts customer satisfaction with our products, particularly if users do not know that their software is non-genuine.' Williams gave the example of one piracy exploit that caused more than a million reported system crashes on machines running non-genuine Windows Vista before Microsoft was able to resolve it."
Microsoft

Researchers Show How To Take Control of Windows 7 325

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the hey-wait-a-minute dept.
alphadogg writes "Security researchers demonstrated how to take control of a computer running Microsoft's upcoming Windows 7 operating system at the Hack In The Box Security Conference (HITB) in Dubai on Thursday. Researchers Vipin Kumar and Nitin Kumar used proof-of-concept code they developed, called VBootkit 2.0, to take control of a Windows 7 virtual machine while it was booting up. 'There's no fix for this. It cannot be fixed. It's a design problem,' Vipin Kumar said, explaining the software exploits the Windows 7 assumption that the boot process is safe from attack. While VBootkit 2.0 shows how an attacker can take control of a Windows 7 computer, it's not necessarily a serious threat. For the attack to work, an attacker must have physical access to the victim's computer. The attack can not be done remotely." Which makes me wonder why I'm posting this :)

Comment: Re:Yes, RT (Score 1) 321

by Jason Hildebrand (#27011139) Attached to: Best FOSS Help Desk Software For Small Firms?

It's all fine until you start modifying triggers and templates. First there's the evil, kludgey combination of bad perl and bad Mason which you have to write overlays to, then once you've done this, you can't upgrade! If you upgrade, all of your overlays break. So you end up stuck with an out of date version with patch on top of patch.

Yes. If you make customizations, then you need to maintain them and update your patches to the current version.

This issue is not specific to RT. It is a fundamental issue of software development and revision control, and will affect you any time you make local customizations to software.

Perhaps you think it would be (easier|cheaper|Soviet America) if you had some shrink-wrapped proprietary software which you couldn't customize?

Programming

Balancing Performance and Convention 171

Posted by Soulskill
from the delaying-the-problem dept.
markmcb writes "My development team was recently brainstorming over finding a practical solution to the problem that's haunted anyone who's ever used a framework: convention vs. customization. We specifically use Rails, and like most frameworks, it's great for 95% of our situations, but it's creating big bottlenecks for the other 5%. Our biggest worry isn't necessarily that we don't know how to customize, but rather that we won't have the resources to maintain customized code going forward; it's quite simple to update Rails as it matures versus the alternative. What have your experiences been with this problem? Have you found any best practices to avoid digging custom holes you can't climb out of?"
Education

What Restrictions Should Student Laptops Have? 1117

Posted by samzenpus
from the the-less-you-know dept.
An anonymous reader writes "We're a school district in the beginning phases of a laptop program which has the eventual goal of putting a Macbook in the hands of every student from 6th to 12th grade. The students will essentially own the computers, are expected to take them home every night, and will be able to purchase the laptops for a nominal fee upon graduation. Here's the dilemma — how much freedom do you give to students? The state mandates web filtering on all machines. However, there is some flexibility on exactly what should be filtered. Are things like Facebook and Myspace a legitimate use of a school computer? What about games, forums, or blogs, all of which could be educational, distracting or obscene? We also have the ability to monitor any machine remotely, lock the machine down at certain hours, prevent the installation of any software by the user, and prevent the use of iChat. How far do we take this? While on one hand we need to avoid legal problems and irresponsible behavior, there's a danger of going so far to minimize liability that we make the tool nearly useless. Equally concerning is the message sent to the students. Will a perceived lack of trust cripple the effectiveness of the program?"

Comment: Re:Further Proof (Score 2, Informative) 205

by Jason Hildebrand (#25904947) Attached to: Massive Botnet Returns From the Dead To Spam On

Why would botnet harvesting be done by domain name anyways? Wouldn't it be easier to collect systems by just running through accessible IP addresses?

RTFA. The bots are generating domain names which they then attempt to contact in order to re-connect with botnet control.

It's very clever, really. The algorithm can generate a near-endless list of domain names, and all the botnet owners have to do is register one of them and set it up to respond to the bots.

On the other hand, in order to block this attempt by the bots to re-connect with the botnet owner, you have to pre-emptively register ALL domains which the algorithm generates. So in the long run, it's not financially feasible to block this.

I assume that the researchers are now going to try to make arrangements directly with the registrars to block registration of such domains in the future -- hope they can get co-operation on this.

news: gotcha

Working...