Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook


Forgot your password?
Slashdot Deals: Prep for the CompTIA A+ certification exam. Save 95% on the CompTIA IT Certification Bundle ×

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: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.

Comment Re: Why Educational Technology Has Failed Schools (Score 1) 198

Ending compulsory schooling? Good luck with that! Surely nothing could go wrong with that!

Demands to end compulsory schooling is actually one of many random demands due to people not being sure how to fix the problem. If you feel the approach is incorrect, then you should suggest a better demand (such as exempting a small portion from compulsory education).

For the same reason we don't let children take any important decision for themselves before they're 18... They lack critical thinking skills, foresight and maturity to make them.

They are still more than capable of telling if something is completely dysfunctional. Yet, they're completely unable to fix it because "they lack critical thinking skills, foresight and maturity to make important decisions" and therefore shouldn't be allowed to do so.

Got a student taking basic math despite having already mastered it? Nope, got to finish basic math first.

do things to satisfy their immediate gratification, which would probably mean playing a glorious amount of video games.

Technically, those teenagers are better off. Immediate gratification is better than short-term pain that should have led to long-term fulfillment but actually didn't.

Comment Missing chess rules (Score 2) 204

From the readme:

-you don't get under-promotion ;
    -you don't get "en passant" pawn capture ;
    -you don't get castling (queen or king side) ;

Underpromotion may be understandable, maybe en-passant since it doesn't come up that oftean, but castling makes a ton of games unplayable.

Also, purists consider anything that implements these three rules to be a better record than something that omits three rules.

Comment Re:The Deliberate Dumbing Down of Education (Score 4, Informative) 169

Charlotte Iserbyt is calling it a probable Soviet KGB conspiracy... which tends to damage her credibility. See

Despite this, she's still accurate when saying that the education system is in decay, as it shouldn't be that expensive to teach basic reading, writing and computation.

Somebody ought to cross ball point pens with coat hangers so that the pens will multiply instead of disappear.