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Education

PhD Research On Software Design Principles? 541

cconnell writes "I am working on a PhD in software engineering at Tufts University. My interest are the general principles of good software design, and I am looking for links/references on this topic. The question is: What design/architecture qualities are shared by all good software? Good software means lacking in bugs, maintainable, modifiable, scalable, etc... Please don't tell me 'use object oriented methods' or 'try extreme programming.' These answers are too narrow, since there is good software written in COBOL, and by 1000-person teams for DoD projects. I am looking for general design principles. If it helps, I am trying to build on the ideas in this article from some years back."
Security

What a Botnet Looks Like 122

Esther Schindler writes "CSO has an annotated, zoomable map of real botnet topologies showing the interconnections between the compromised computers and the command-and-control systems that direct them. The map is based on work by security researcher David Voreland; it has interactive controls so you can zoom in and explore botnets' inner workings. Hackers use botnets for spamming, DDoS attacks and identity theft. One recent example is the Storm botnet, which may have comprised 1 million or more zombie systems at its peak. As with any networking challenge, there are good (resilient) designs and some not-so-good ones. In some cases the topology may be indicative of a particular botnet's purpose, or of a herder on the run."
Windows

Submission + - Windows XP SP3 Released

beegle writes: Microsoft has finally released Windows XP Service Pack 3. Get it via Windows Update, or by following the instructions at Microsoft's site.

Comment Re:Hard to read.... (Score 1) 209

Replying to myself instead of each one individually...

I agree with most of your points, the classics do generally contain intriguing story lines, are thought provoking, etc. I was commenting mostly on the style in which they are written. I love to read, and enjoy many different genres. But a lot of the books that are labeled as classics are very difficult reads. Most of them, if I were not forced in some way to read them from beginning to end, I would have put them down after the first few chapters and never picked them up again. Dickens in particular has wonderful multi-leveled plots, but the style in which it he writes is simply intolerable to me.

As for the one who compared classic novels to Britney Spears... please. We all know she is the crowning singer of our time. /sarcasm

That whole bit was just something I've been toying with in my mind lately. Classics are supposed to be those books that withstand the test of time, those whose themes and ideas are still valid and intriguing decades after they had been written. Granted, that's true of most of the books I mention (no matter how painful to read). However, I simply wonder what percentage of total sales of those books are because students are required to read them for their schooling. Would they still be considered classics without those sales? Clearly, /. is not the place to ask these sorts of questions since most of us are the types who enjoy a good read, and many of us would pick those up and read them simply for the sake of having done so. But the general populace? Especially the general USA populace? I doubt many would pick up Moby Dick to read one rainy evening. I just wonder how the landscape of classics would change if students were allowed to choose the books they read for their schooling (of course only allowing books on the same reading level, of suitable subject matter, etc) instead of being forced to read the same classics year after year.
Portables

Symbian Blasts Google's Phone Initiative 276

nowhere.elysium writes "Symbian has suggested that Google is not experienced enough or capable of fully developing a workable mobile platform. Symbian's vice president, John Forsyth inferred that Google's interest in the field will also wane due to it being 'deeply unsexy', and that development is not likely for such a platform because "You have [...] a lot of zeroes in your sales figures before a developer gets out of bed." In the same series of statements, Linux is likened to the common cold: "About every three months this year there has been a mobile Linux initiative of some sort launched. It's a bit like the common cold. It keeps coming round and then we go back to business.""
Education

US School Curriculum to Include Online Safety? 137

Stony Stevenson writes to mention that the US National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) is pushing for school's to include cyber-security, online safety, and ethics lessons in their normal curriculum. "The National School Boards Association reported that 96 per cent of school districts claim that at least some of their teachers assign homework requiring internet use. But there is still no formal education on how to stay safe, secure and ethical online, despite the fact that the internet, like the real world, has threats and dangers which students may come across in the normal course of a day. These include communications from identity thieves, online predators and cyber-bullies."
Intel

How Classsmate PC Stacks Up Against OLPC 284

lisah writes "While the One Laptop Per Child project pulled itself together and shipped its first Beta machines, Intel was busy developing its own version, the Classmate PC. Inevitable comparisons will be made between the two (especially since OLPC's chairman Nicholas Negroponte called Intel's move "predatory"), so Linux.com's Tina Gasperson and her kids took a Classmate PC for a test run to see how it does in the real world. The upshot? Good battery life, easy to use, and great with ketchup. 'The Classmate is so adorably cozy it make you want to snuggle up on a comfy couch or lean back on some pillows on the floor while you surf. Good thing wireless is built right in. Too bad the typical Linux foibles apply. The first snag was having to log in as root to check the system configuration because the Classmate wouldn't log on to the network. Something tells me most elementary and high school teachers with nothing but Windows experience aren't going to get that.'" Linux.com and Slashdot are both owned by OSTG.
Security

Do We Really Need a Security Industry? 297

netbuzz noted that Bruce Schneir's latest column discusses the security industry where he points out that "The primary reason the IT security industry exists is because IT products and services aren't naturally secure. If computers were already secure against viruses, there wouldn't be any need for antivirus products. If bad network traffic couldn't be used to attack computers, no one would bother buying a firewall. If there were no more buffer overflows, no one would have to buy products to protect against their effects. If the IT products we purchased were secure out of the box, we wouldn't have to spend billions every year making them secure."
Music

Return of the Vinyl Album 490

bulled writes "NPR ran a story this morning about the comeback of vinyl. It seems that sales of new vinyl records are up about 10%; sales will approach a million this year (as against half a billion for CDs). NPR mentioned the popularity of a turntable with a USB interface — they didn't specify the brand; could be this one, or this — and speculated on other possible reasons for the resurgence. They mentioned sound quality and lack of DRM as possible causes. Sound quality can and will be debated, but DRM rates a resounding 'Duh.'"
Caldera

SCO Stock In Danger of Delisting, Again 188

hweimer writes "In 2005, SCO got into delisting trouble because they failed to file their annual 10-K report in a timely manner. SCO seems to be headed the same way again for a different reason: the stock price is too low to meet Nasdaq's requirements. Quoting: '[W]hat can a company do to boost its share price? Besides stopping to burn money and come up with a working business model, I mean.'"

Blu-ray/HD DVD Disc Sales Numbers Revealed 321

An anonymous reader writes "The High-Def format wars finally have a yardstick against which to measure who's winning with the first public release of VideoScan sales figures for both HD DVD and Blu-ray. The first two weeks' worth of data seem to back up what many predicted — that the Blu-ray-enabled PS3 is helping Sony quickly close the gap with HD DVD, with almost three Blu-ray discs sold for every one HD DVD during the first week of January. HD DVD still leads in overall discs sold since inception, but that lead looks to be quickly dwindling. While they do show a trend, the results from VideoScan are still fairly vague. Why are consumers being denied the information they need to make a considered choice?"
Security

Remote Exploit of Vista Speech Control 372

An anonymous reader writes "George Ou writes in his blog that he found a remote exploit for the new and shiny Vista Speech Control. Specifically, websites playing soundfiles can trigger arbitrary commands. Ou reports that Microsoft confirmed the bug and suggested as workarounds that either 'A user can turn off their computer speakers and/or microphone'; or, 'If a user does run an audio file that attempts to execute commands on their system, they should close the Windows Media Player, turn off speech recognition, and restart their computer.' Well, who didn't see that coming?"
The Internet

Chinese Official Vows to "Purify" the Net 321

Sleeping Kirby writes to tell us China's Communist party leader, Hu Jintao today announced the intent to leverage the economic potential of the web while seeking to "purify the internet environment". He proposes to do this by maintaining "the initiative in opinion" on the internet and to "'raise the level guidance on the internet," thus civilizing and purifying the internet environment.

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