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Comment: Re:Excellent Presentation (Score 1) 291

by npcompleat (#30211056) Attached to: English Shell Code Could Make Security Harder

I'm surprised that they don't seem to be aware of the EICAR test file. From Wikipedia "The EICAR test file (official name: EICAR Standard Anti-Virus Test File) is a file, developed by the European Institute for Computer Antivirus Research, to test the response of computer antivirus (AV) programs. ... The file is simply a text file of either 68 or 70 bytes that is a legitimate executable file ..."

The actual test file contents are "X5O!P%@AP[4\PZX54(P^)7CC)7}$EICAR-STANDARD-ANTIVIRUS-TEST-FILE!$H+H*". It's a COM file that when run will print "EICAR-STANDARD-ANTIVIRUS-TEST-FILE!"

Space

Study Hints At Time Before Big Bang 408

Posted by kdawson
from the other-side-of-the-looking-glass dept.
canadian_right informs us that scientists from Caltech have found hints of a time before the Big Bang while studying the cosmic microwave background. Not only does the study hint at something pre-existing our universe, the researchers also postulate that everything we see was created as a bubble pinched off from a previously existing universe. This conjecture turns out to shed light on the mystery of the arrow of time. Quoting the BBC's account: "Their model suggests that new universes could be created spontaneously from apparently empty space. From inside the parent universe, the event would be surprisingly unspectacular. Describing the team's work at a meeting of the American Astronomical Society (AAS) in St Louis, Missouri, co-author Professor Sean Carroll explained that 'a universe could form inside this room and we'd never know.'"

Goodbye Cruel Word 565

Posted by Zonk
from the it-was-a-dark-and-stormy-night dept.
theodp writes "The problem with Microsoft Word, writes the NYT's Virginia Heffernan, is that 'I always feel as if I'm taking an essay test.' Seeking to break free of the tyranny of Microsoft Word, Heffernan takes a look at Scrivener and the oh-so-retro WriteRoom, which she and others feel jibe better with the way writers think. 'The new writing programs encourage a writerly restart. You may even relearn the green-lighted alphabet, adjust your preference for long or short sentences, opt afresh for action over description. Renewal becomes heady: in WriteRoom's gloom is man's power to create something from nothing, to wrest form from formlessness. Let's just say it: It's biblical. And come on, ye writers, do you want to be a little Word drip writing 603 words in Palatino with regulation margins? Or do you want to be a Creator?'"
Announcements

+ - BBC loses 97200 Linux users

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Every now and then Register publishes a really funny news piece, and the one entitled 'Confused BBC tech chief' is a perfect example. According to the report, in an interview with UK based web design magazine .net, the Director of Future Media and Technology at the BBC, one Ashley Highfield, claimed that only 400 to 600 of the visitors to the BBC website were using Linux. That's 400 to 600 out of the 17.1 million users of the site."
Linux Business

+ - Why Linux will succeed on the desktop 3

Submitted by Stony Stevenson
Stony Stevenson (954022) writes "In this opinion piece on itnews, former Linux Journal editor Nicholas Petreley, argues that the open-source operating system will break through big time on the client side, especially if pre-installs increase and the KDE graphical environment is adopted. He counts the global push for open standards, the prohibitive costs of upgrades for new Windows machines and the "free-ness" of Linux, both in its ideals and costs, will make it a massive hit on the common desktop.

Petreley says: "There is one additional factor that cannot be overstated. To anyone who truly knows what free software means, they know that "free" as in liberty is the greatest strength of Linux. However, one cannot deny the power of "free" as in "free beer." Microsoft applied this power to make Internet Explorer the most popular browser in the world. Of the three top competitors on the desktop, Windows, Mac OS-X, and Linux, only one of them is free as in beer. That will go along way toward making it the de-facto standard on the desktop."
Data Storage

+ - Macbook Users Warned of Faulty Hard Drives ->

Submitted by TruffleShuffler
TruffleShuffler (666) writes "A U.K. data recovery firm has warned Apple Macbook users that they risk potential data loss due to a design flaw on certain hard drives. Retrodata says they have come across "many dozens" of failures affecting Seagate 2.5 inch SATA drives, commonly found in laptops such as the MacBook or MacBook Pro. Apple desktops that use laptop-oriented components, like the Mac Mini, are also potentially at risk. The company's managing director, Duncan Clarke, said "The read/write heads are detaching from the arm and ploughing deep gouges into the magnetic platter, the damage is mostly on the inner tracks, but some scratches are on the outer track (track 0), and once that happens, the drive is normally beyond repair." http://www.computerworld.com.au/index.php/id;1523800412;fp;16;fpid;1"
Link to Original Source
Software

+ - Open source gaining traction in US government->

Submitted by Bergkamp10
Bergkamp10 (666) writes "According to a survey by the US Federal Open Source Alliance, more than half of all US government executives have rolled out open-source software at their agencies, and 71 percent believe their agency can benefit from open-source software. The top reasons for embracing open-source software were the ability to access advanced security capabilities and customize open-source applications, and a trend toward consolidated data centers. The top reason for not adopting open-source software was organizational reluctance to change from the status quo. Another major concern was a lack of consistent standards in open-source products. Fifty-five percent of respondents said their agencies have been involved or are currently involved in an open-source implementation, while 29 percent of respondents who haven't adopted open-source software plan to do so in the next six to 12 months. (http://www.computerworld.com.au/index.php/id;1714765802;fp;16;fpid;1)"
Link to Original Source
Education

+ - Schools warned off Microsoft deal ..->

Submitted by
rs232
rs232 writes ""The UK computer agency Becta is advising schools not to sign licensing agreements with Microsoft because of alleged anti-competitive practices"

"the problem was that Microsoft required schools to have licences for every PC in a school that might use its software, whether they were actually doing so or running something else""

Link to Original Source
Microsoft

+ - Massachusetts adopts Open XML->

Submitted by
willdavid
willdavid writes "By John Fontana, NetworkWorld.com: The Commonwealth of Massachusetts has added Open XML to its list of approved open documents formats. Critics of Open XML adoption, such as Andy Updegrove, a lawyer, Linux Foundation board member and Massachusetts resident, said Microsoft should not be "rewarded for launching a competing, self-serving standard as a next-best defense against erosion of its dominant position." Massachusetts officials acknowledged the criticism, but said the importance of open formats could not be denied. http://www.networkworld.com/news/2007/080107-massa chusetts-open-xml.html?page=1"
Link to Original Source
Slashdot.org

+ - Slashdot's Firehose: Misplaced democracy?

Submitted by
PetManimal
PetManimal writes "The Slashdot Firehose is a 'bad metaphor and a bad idea,' or so says Computerworld's Joyce Carpenter, who has been using the user-directed submission rating system since it was introduced a few months ago. She points to an increase in unworthy submissions — some of which seem to be part of 'viral marketing scams' — and says that they make Firehose unpleasant for everyone:

The increased number of unworthy submissions makes more unpleasant work for the editors as well as members of the community. A bigger hose with more crap in it just means that the editors have to read all that crap — and so do the voting members of the community. That's just more work for everyone.
She also questions whether Zonk and Co. are even using the recommendations that make it to the top of the Firehose ratings:

So far as I can tell, the editors still make the decisions. Good for them. I have no need for democracy in the selection of stories at a site that has done an excellent, if elitist, job of using editorial judgment. That's what makes it such a good site. Drain the hydrant and throw away with the hose.
"

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