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Submission + - Lavabit case undermines claims NSA had Heartbleed early

lseltzer writes: If the NSA really did have Heartbleed "for years" as was claimed recently by Bloomberg news, they wouldn't need to go after Lavabit. They wouldn't even want to. A column on ZDNet argues that the way the Lavabit case played out, and other circumstances, strongly indicate that the NSA did not have access to Heartbleed

Submission + - Apple may no longer support older OS X versions (

lseltzer writes: Has Apple changed their policy on security updates for versions of OS X older than the current one? Apple has released Mavericks and disclosed the 50+ vulnerabilities fixed in it, but they have not released an update for Mountain Lion. Therefore, Mountain Lion users have 50+ unpatched vulnerabilities. The company has no policy on product lifecycle, but they have always released security updates for at least the prior version of OS X. The new approach indicates that they want to make the OS X lifecycle like the iOS one: There is only one current versions and if you want any support you will upgrade to it.

Submission + - Unlocked Phones: How and Why to Do It (

lseltzer writes: "Many news stories recently have discussed the politics of unlocked phones, but if you want to use one what are the practical implications? Who sells unlocked phones? What carriers let you unlock theirs and activate others? BYTE explores these issues and tells you why you might want an unlocked phone and how you'd go about buying one and getting service for it."

Submission + - SPAM: Three Felonies A Day: The Aaron Swartz Story Happens All The Time

lseltzer writes: "The tech community has been outraged and energized by the persecution of Aaron Swartz, but it's not a new story at all. In Three Felonies A Day, attorney Harvey Silverglate gives many stories of innocent people hounded by Federal prosecutors to ruin, prison and — like Swartz — suicide. In recent decades, federal criminal law has developed so as to give prosecutors overwhelming power to trample the innocent. "Even the most intelligent and informed citizen (including lawyers and judges, for that matter) cannot predict with any reasonable assurance whether a wide range of seemingly ordinary activities might be regarded by federal prosecutors as felonies.""
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Submission + - Steve Wozniak Describes the Apple II (

lseltzer writes: "It's 35 years since the Apple II was released. In the May 1977 issue of BYTE, Steve Wozniak wrote a technical description of the system. BYTE has put the article up in HTML and republished it. Woz describes the integral graphics, memory architecture, BASIC interpreter, standard peripherals and explains "The Story of Sweet Sixteen". Schematics and source code listings are included."

Submission + - Cybersecurity Takes The Offense (

lseltzer writes: "Cybersecurity, as in attacks on major government and civilian infrastructure technology assets, always seems to be focused on defensive measures, but interest is growing in a more active, offensively-focused approach. Fighting a defensive war is a losing approach. It needs to be clear to the attacker that their own assets are at least as vulnerable as ours. Are we already doing this? I hope so, but I'm not so sure."

Submission + - Plotting the future of Chrome and Firefox versions (

lseltzer writes: "Both Firefox and Chrome are in double-digit version numbers and moving at a fast clip. According to BYTE, if current trends persist, on Feb. 5, 2019, Mozilla will release version 71.0 of Firefox, matching the then-current major version of Google Chrome. And March 2, 2021 is when Firefox finally gains clear separation at version 89."

Submission + - Is This Patent Full Of Crap? (

lseltzer writes: "People in tech like to rant on patents specifically and generally and how stupid they are, but usually don't consider the actual rules followed by patent attorneys and the US PTO. An interview in BYTE with Andrew Schulman, a software patent litigation consultant, gives an intro on the reasoning employed by them. You may remember Schulman as the author of Undocumented DOS and other books which exposed undocumented APIs in Microsoft's products and their use of those APIs. He got a law degree and changed careers."

Submission + - 2012 Will Be the Year of the Android Tablet (

lseltzer writes: "The iPad has dominated the high-end tablet market so far, but that is about to change. At CES in Las Vegas in a couple weeks you will see tablets running Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) everywhere and at prices that will make an iPad a lot harder to justify. The competition from the OEM model in the Android markets will massively shift market share away from Apple, just as it has done in the smart phone market."

Submission + - 10 Things that suck about Java ( 1

lseltzer writes: There was a time when important people claimed that Java was the future of computing and major industry companies — even Microsoft bought into it. Now Java has degenerated into an unpleasant legacy technology that causes way more problems than it solves.

Submission + - Will Cyber World War I be outsourced? (

lseltzer writes: Like so many other things in life, the Internet will change the way we go to war, and it already has. The few alleged "cyberwar" actions we've seen were likely waged in part by government contractors. It makes sense for the US to adopt this model.

No problem is so formidable that you can't just walk away from it. -- C. Schulz