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Comment Re:Question (Score 5, Informative) 146

What is NPAPI ?

NPAPI is the legacy plugin system used by browsers that allows webpages to serve executable content without the user having to download a file.

This system is used by Flash, Unity, Java, and various unimportant plugins. Of these, Flash has an arrangement with Adobe, Unity has an exit strategy, and Java is completely neutered as it was for quite some time. The unimportant plugins are unimportant (and if they were, they'd have fixed it by now.)

and does this have anything to do with the add=ons and plug=ins specific to Firefox and Seamonkey
SAome of which break every time they put out a new version of FF

Those are extensions, which is completely different.

Comment Re:combine them? (Score 3, Informative) 87

Apparently, concatenation isn't as effective as it could be. It will be at least as strong as either MD5 or SHA1, and while it seems that you'd get a 288 bit hash, it's about as strong as if you had 174 bits.

It's probably easier to make a 288 bit hash from the start.

Discussion page:

Comment Re:Stupid people are stupid (Score 1) 956

Your headline has a few flaws.

school officials said they knew he was carrying a device that looked like a bomb

If you have a bomb and want to detonate it, you make sure nobody else sees it. You don't show it to a science teacher, nor do you have an audible alarm. A kid who's capable of building bombs would already know this.

So, here's the revised headline: "Bomb detonated in school"

Comment Re:This can only be good for security (Score 1) 221

are using exploits in Flash to get their malware installed on victims PCs

I recall "Please update Flash/Java/etc." was using Javascript to redirect you to a random third party site, and immediately attempted a software download.

In any case, the article is referring to guidelines on the ads amazon should accept, which include fallbacks in case Javascript will not function for whatever reason. If there's flash content, it's likely that it may be pre-disabled and either results in a big "click-to-play" block (ugly web design), or will never get played should the ad developer create a fallback for that.

Comment 5-year old video (Score 5, Interesting) 224

I recall seeing a Youtube video where someone did the exact same pixel-invasion scenario. It starts with someone dumping an old TV, which then releases it's angry pixel payload, followed by space invaders who hit various cars, pac man who eats the subway stations (converting the staircases into just a few pixels), tertis blocks that remove floors of buildings, arkanoid paddles that remove bricks from a bridge, and finally ends with a bomb that turns the planet into one black pixel.

Here it is:

I'm sure Columbia has their claim, but some indie beat them by five years As usual, it's a big publisher doing a keyword search without thinking about the consequences.

Comment Business as usual (Score 1) 77

A new web-based exploit is known as "a Tuesday", in the same way that a boot sector virus is "a monday", and a .EXE virus is "a wednesday".

A common thread of malware is that it uses whatever means to automatically execute without user interaction. Simply prevent stuff from automatically executing (NoScript, Flash block, or click-to-play), and the infection rate will become negligible - and perhaps more traceable in real-time.

Comment Re:Something wrong there (Score 1) 549

It's possible that the Google car is not giving out "body language" that telegraphs behavior before it happens.

Does body language include the red lights at the back of the car indicating a break light, along with that the cars on the left were rather slow (indicating at least some form of red light), and that the driver behind the Google car was closing distance with the car in front for a period of 2 seconds?

Linked video:

I'm certain the driver would likewise hit a parked car, which has zero body language.

If the Google car just enters a slowing-down event, it might be undetectable.

If the break lights at the back of the car don't work, then the car is not fit for road travel.

Comment Re:NES vs. DOS (Score 1) 52

Seems funny when I think about games on DOS vs. NES. Most of the time, NES games seemed much better.

Around that time, the PC was rather simplistic and not designed for gaming. Graphics were usually EGA (or worse, CGA), and didn't have any sprite support that other systems in that area liked to use. Sound was a cheap internal speaker that was more annoying, especially with lack of volume control.

It took until the 386/486 era before PCs started becoming strong, but developers around that time still needed to think about less powerful systems as opposed to knowing that each system could at least handle a minimum quality of graphics.

Once PCs became modern - VESA, Soundcards, and breaking 1MB barrier, consoles were mostly in catchup. It took until 2000 before game consoles had an internal hard drive.

At the time, NES didn't seem very limited. IT had plenty of great games that played quite well.

Also around that time, programmers were much more skilled at optimization tricks - and didn't have to worry about the operating system.

Comment Re:Google should revert that decission (Score 2) 208

But the assholes at the Mozilla Foundation won't implement it because they prefer shitty insecure APIs like NPAPI.

If you're worried about security, then it's a better idea to worry about automatically executing anything that comes down the pipe (for example, a rogue Javascript ad that redirects you to a "please update java" page) as opposed to the mechanism at which it automatically executes (as one sandbox break gives easy access to the whole system.)

That's a lesson learned from the pre-1995 virus era. If you don't automatically execute whatever is in your floppy drive (the default setting for BIOS), you don't get infected.

Comment Coding approach (Score 1) 200

I'd like to store the documents in a standard open format that will allow easy search, compression, rendering, etc. Which open document format is the best?

Are you writing the search/compression/render capability from scratch, or are you using a library to handle that job for you?

If you're handling more than one document type, then go for a library. I don't have a recommendation myself, but I'm sure you can find them on a search.

Also, don't worry about compression, as modern .odf/.docx is already compressed with something compatible with PKZIP.

Comment Re:overturn murder conviction? (Score 1) 141

There are menial unskilled jobs they can do upon release.

Some prisoners get sex-offender treatment, and were subject to much more restrictions. They're not likely to even get unskilled jobs, because "children congregate bearby".

City ordinances sometimes are the cause of this, and they'are also known to create sex offender colonies.

Comment Re:Yes, Please!!! (Score 1) 161

For 99% of the applications out there, there's no reason not to do it in the browser if you're starting from scratch today.

One major reason - if the browser fails, it takes out everything running under it. Failure can be as simple as a crash, to a javascript exploit that interferes with the browser, or the browser needing a few minutes just to crunch memory bloat.

Although browsers have since gotten better, I still don't trust the browser to resume where I last left off - the best I can do is force firefox to crash, and when it resumes, it gives a list of windows that I could potentially restore.

Comment Re:Ugh (Score 2) 72

No can do. It's a yearly tradition that Slashdot's April 1st postings are randomly generated by throwing darts at a board.

As opposed to carefully crafted or well-written pranks, such as a DVD titled "The March is Over" not working right due to some protection system.

Comment Re:Yes, I agree, but no shortage of stupid GUI (Score 1) 564

Why does it group all the windows of one application into one button

This is why.

Of course, part of the problem ifs that I'm using an "everything" computer. Then having to do some other task or wait on an existing one since it's nowhere near complete and has to be done later. Then these windows build up.

If they weren't group, I'd be hunting through 82 buttons, which has the same effect as having to click twice.

Science is what happens when preconception meets verification.