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Comment: Also disable Safari's 'Open"safe" files. (Score 4, Informative) 306

by landonf (#28023161) Attached to: Mac OS X Users Vulnerable To Major Java Flaw

In addition to disabling Java support, Safari's 'Open "safe" files after downloading' must also be disabled to prevent websites from automatically loading a Java WebStart application via a JNLP file.

I've also posted a demonstration of the vulnerability at http://landonf.bikemonkey.org/code/macosx/CVE-2008-5353.20090519.html

Comment: Re:Mix Fun and Fair (Score 1) 262

by landonf (#26303431) Attached to: Getting Started With Part-Time Development Work?

Instead, look at fairsoftware.net (hey, if I invented it, I can brag about it). You won't earn immediate cash, instead you'll be getting equity into whatever fun software project you find. Or start your own and get more geeks to join you, also for revenue share, not upfront cash.

This is very, very cool.

Do you have any plans to support existing legal entities using FairSoftware? This would provide us with a low-friction approach to collaboration, allowing trust and more permanent relationships to form organically between independent contractors and our organization.

Also, do you have any thoughts on models where external billing is required, such as the iPhone App Store? Serving as a publisher could be one option here (and would be a fairly significant advantage given the difficulties individuals often have dealing with the app store). That's something I'd definitely be interested in collaborating on.

Lastly, a related project -- have you seen One-click Organizations? The information was here, but the the webhost has gone kaput today, so here's the Google Cache version

Comment: Re:Developer=Engineer (Score 1) 465

by landonf (#26184521) Attached to: Hardware Is Cheap, Programmers Are Expensive

Commenting to remove accidental redundant moderation. It's right next to "Insightful".

Sorry!

Since I'm here -- I've always though that the "hardware is cheap, programmers are expensive" position presented a false dichotomy: a choice between achieving passable performance through good design, versus optimizing for developer efficiency. Efficient use of resources and ease of development are not mutually exclusive.

Comment: Re:Java, Java, Java, Java, (Score 1) 136

by landonf (#25597671) Attached to: Motorola Moving to Android, Windows Mobile for Smartphones

Modern mobile devices have fast CPUs yet very limited RAM. And no swap.

They have faster CPUs than they used to. The CPUs are still not "fast".

I spent the last week implementing, profiling, and improving up disk-backed image caching with a front-end LRU memory cache for the iPhone, and experimenting with offloading batch image processing off to a OpenGL FBO. Doing image interpolation while scaling is so expensive on the iPhone's relatively fast CPU that it's absolutely necessary for me to cache thumbnails.

The cache implementations themselves had to be highly optimized in order to pull images off disk fast enough to run inside of a tight animation loop, while also supporting a background thread rendering of not-yet-cached thumbnail images and saving to the disk cache.

I can't even fathom writing this in Python. Any spare CPU I have, I put to good use -- there's absolutely none available to spend on a slow interpreter, even for non "performance critical" parts. If there's a non-performance critical code path, then I can always use any available CPU time to do more background work and achieve better perceived UI performance.

Utilities (Apple)

+ - Adium code forked over Leopard Dispute->

Submitted by admiralfrijole
admiralfrijole (712311) writes "Earlier this week, several people opened tickets against Adium crashes occurring in the latest Leopard Beta, which started a veritable firestorm of controversy that included discussions of GPL violations, disabling features, and quite a spat across no less than 3 different IRC channels.

Today, one of the people who filed a ticket and was told that it would not be fixed until Leopard ships announced on his blog that he, and several other unnamed individuals, have forked Adium to create A.org."

Link to Original Source
Security

Wordpress 2.1.1 Release Compromised by Cracker 48

Posted by Zonk
from the not-my-emo-comments-and-angsty-statements dept.
GrumpySimon writes "The recent 2.1.1 release of the popular blog software Wordpress was compromised by a cracker who made it easier for to execute code remotely. This is interesting because the official release was quietly and subtly compromised, and has been in the wild for a few days now. There's no word on if any affected sites have been compromised, but anyone running Wordpress is urged to upgrade to 2.1.2 immediately, and admins can check their logs for access to 'theme.php' or 'feed.php', and query strings with 'ix=' or 'iz=' in them."
Windows

+ - Windows Vista keygen is a hoax

Submitted by
An anonymous reader writes "The author of the Windows Vista keygen that was reported yesterday on Slashdot has admitted that the program does not actually work. Here is the initial announcement of the original release of the keygen, and here is the followup post in which the same author acknowledges that the program is fake. Apparently, the keygen program does legitimately attack Windows Vista keys via brute force, but the chances of success are too low for this to be a practical method. Quote from the author: "everyone who said they got a key a probably lying or mistaken!""
Science

Reflectivity Reaches a New Low 166

Posted by Zonk
from the engaging-cloaking-device dept.
sporkme writes "A new nanocoating material developed by a team of researchers from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute has the lowest level of reflectivity ever seen ... or not seen in this case. The amount of light reflected by the composite of silica nanorods and aluminum nitride is almost the same amount reflected by air. From the article: 'Schubert and his coworkers have created a material with a refractive index of 1.05, which is extremely close to the refractive index of air and the lowest ever reported. Window glass, for comparison, has a refractive index of about 1.45. Using a technique called oblique angle deposition, the researchers deposited silica nanorods at an angle of precisely 45 degrees on top of a thin film of aluminum nitride, which is a semiconducting material used in advanced light-emitting diodes (LEDs). From the side, the films look much like the cross section of a piece of lawn turf with the blades slightly flattened.' Suggested applications include increased efficiency in solar cells, more energy-efficient lighting and advances in quantum mechanics."
Data Storage

Disk Drive Failures 15 Times What Vendors Say 284

Posted by Zonk
from the cough-sputter-wheeze-choke dept.
jcatcw writes "A Carnegie Mellon University study indicates that customers are replacing disk drives more frequently than vendor estimates of mean time to failure (MTTF) would require.. The study examined large production systems, including high-performance computing sites and Internet services sites running SCSI, FC and SATA drives. The data sheets for the drives indicated MTTF between 1 and 1.5 million hours. That should mean annual failure rates of 0.88%, annual replacement rates were between 2% and 4%. The study also shows no evidence that Fibre Channel drives are any more reliable than SATA drives."
Education

Princeton ESP Lab to Close 363

Posted by Zonk
from the don't-think-bad-thoughts dept.
Nico M writes " The New York Times reports on the imminent closure of one of the most controversial research units at an ivy league School. The Princeton Engineering Anomalies Research laboratory is due to close, but not because of pressure from the outside. Lab founder Robert G. Jahn has declared, in the article, that they've essentially collected all the data they're going to. The laboratory has conducted studies on extrasensory perception and telekinesis from its cramped quarters in the basement of the university's engineering building since 1979. Its equipment is aging, its finances dwindling. Jahn points the finger at detractors as well: 'If people don't believe us after all the results we've produced, then they never will.'"
Education

+ - One Desktop per Child - miniPCs for schools?

Submitted by gwjenkins
gwjenkins (968023) writes "I'm a teacher in charge of IT in a small school. We would like to bust out of the computer lab model but don't want a trolley of laptops wheeled from class to class. I've drooled over wifi pdas but just can't afford a class set (and the batteries drain too fast). In a classroom, space is at a premium and teachers won't use a technology that takes too long to set up. 90% of the time the kids are just researching (google), or typing (google docs), the rest of the time they can go to a lab. I would love to have a desk-based solution. My question is, can you run a wifi minipc (sitting under the desk) from a 12volt rechargable battery (sitting under the desk) with a 7" LCD (sitting on the desk), that boots from flashcard into firefox (Damn Small Linux?). No wires! No setup time! Has anyone done this? How? Alternatively can anyone say why this is silly.""
Censorship

+ - YouTube bans video containing Qur'an quotes

Submitted by
skraps
skraps writes "YouTube, in a move that has caused quite a reaction in the community, has censored popular atheist commentator NickGisburne. Mr. Gisburne has built a large following on YouTube by making simple and accessible logical arguments against Christian beliefs, and had recently decided to change the focus of his videos to the Qur'an, the central religious text of Islam. YouTube reacted by deleting his account, along with 60+ videos, after he posted a simple slide-show video with direct quotes from the English translation of the Qur'an, containing no commentary aside from the video's title "Islamic Teachings — Cruelty from the Qur'an". YouTube's explanation was "After being flagged by members of the YouTube community, and reviewed by YouTube staff, the video below has been removed due to its inappropriate nature. Due to your repeated attempts to upload inappropriate videos, your account now been permanently disabled, and your videos have been taken down."

Do "Web 2.0" sites like YouTube fit the legal definition of a "public commons", and if so, what will it take for corporations like YouTube to start honoring constitutionally protected speech?"

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