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Submission + - Star Trek Online login via mshtml (

kel-tor writes: My question of for the slashdot crowd, is "How safe is this?" No other game that I've installed uses this method to pass login credentials, they just seem to work. This is how a cryptic programmer explains it:

Since I think my response to "Why use MSHTML?" got lost long ago in a forum wipe, I'll try to recreate it. The basic problem is there is no other option. Gecko, the rendering system behind Firefox, has no real usable library version. There is a GTK widget that embeds it, but I've used it in the past and would never try it again. Gecko was never built to be used as a library, and it shows. The more "correct" way to make a Gecko-powered app is something called XULRunner, which is basically Firefox without the Firefox-specific elements. This presents a number of problems. The simplest is purely size; a raw XULRunner runtime is over 20MB. The deeper problem is that writing XUL extensions is painful. I've done it for a previous job (the one that switched off gtkmozembed), and it is not pretty. It would require fairly massive re-architecting of the code and switching from the Cryptic libraries to Mozilla's. What we would end up with is an unmaintainable wreck, so that pretty much rules out Gecko. Opera doesn't even talk about using their system as a library without $$$ being involved, so thats out. WebKit is the closest so far, but it isn't a full solution. Apple has open-sourced the WebKit rendering engine, but it is just that, a rendering engine. It doesn't include anything else that you need to show things on the screen, such as networking or graphics. Networking isn't such a huge problem, it would be hard but we could probably cobble something together, but the lack of a presentation layer that works well on Windows is a problem. There is one experimental one that uses Cairo, but it is far from stable enough to use for something like that and doesn't look that nice. Google's Chrome may help with this, since they have a WebKit display layer that works on Windows, but it is far from usable off the shelf. It can be done, as shown by CCP with their Moondoggie effort, but that took several months of several people working on it, and I would have to start from scratch more or less. MSHTML has plenty of issues, but it is easy to use (we are embedding it via OLE, so easy once you get used to COM in C), adds nothing to the file size, and clearly works in the vast majority of cases. It isn't a perfect situation, but really the options here are limited.
Cryptic Studios
Infrastructure Programmer

Comment uhhh (Score 1) 499

I think Shulman is missing his own point.

"The problem has changed very little over the past 20 years, explained Shulman, referring to a 1990 Unix password study that showed a password selection pattern similar to what consumers select today. Its time for everyone to take password security seriously; its an important first step in data security.

So 20 years later we still have all of exact same problem? The lesson here is _not_ that "it's time for _everyone_ to take pw security seriously". The lesson is that the basic mechanic's of passwords doesn't work. I'm sure they tried to take pw security seriously 20 years ago. The average user doesn't understand the math behind making a complex password. Password requirements add to the confusion: one pw changes every 3 months, another 4, some must use mixed case, ohters 2 numbers and a special character, and don't write it down, etc, then throw in some passwords fields that cannot use special characters, my bank pw cannot start with a number, can't reuse a pw for 12 uses and the result is simplified easier to remember passwords. Same as the last but add a '1' at the end, incriment to '2' in 3 months.

Old Dakota wisdom says that if you are riding a dead horse, get off. Shulman seems to think that if we just get serious and dig in our heals we can suddenly get the dead horse to trot. Meanwhile management will ignore Shulman and instead decide to double the horsepower-- by buying another dead horse.

Comment how do you (Score 1) 467

open a PDF with MS office and edit it, I can't seem to get them to open like they do in openoffice.

openoffice is a bit sluggish to open but definitely has more functionality than MS office these days -- for instance, no retraining workers to use the ribbon interface on a new machine since openoffice works like they expect it to.

Comment distance (Score 1) 383

The distance to Betelgeuse is not known with precision but if this is assumed to be 640 light years- wikipedia

In 1369 AD there was still a star where betelgeuse is susposed to be, but it may go nova before Columbus heads of for Haiti in the next century (verb tense: future past imperfect).
Rigel is 700-900 light years away (years ago)
Epsilon Orionis 1300 ly
Gamma Orionis 250 ly

All are part of orions belt, and looking up at the sky I see them all at the same time, but its an illusion. Like one of those pictures where perspective makes it look like a person is taller than a building, or holding up the moon. Whatever happened to Betelgeuse in 1400 is shown in the same view of Orion next to an image of Gamma Orionis from 1759, and a picture of Epsilon Orionis from the 700's and without using photoshop.

Comment color me not impressed (Score 1) 165

Currently, the deepest-rated vehicles are able to descend to 6,500m, allowing scientists access to 95% of the seafloor.

Deep Flight Challenger

Deep Flight Challenger was built to enable adventurer, Steve Fossett, to set the ultimate solo dive record for all time (37,000 feet). Unfortunately Fossett perished in a plane crash before he could dive the submersible to record depth. Hawkes Ocean Technologies is now the only organization in the world that has full ocean depth technology.

Flight endurance: full ocean depth and back in 5 hours
Speed: Cruise 2.2 knots; Max 3 knots
Ascent/Descent Rate:350 feet/second at +/- 45 degrees
Operating Depth: 37,000 fsw
Crew: 1

37,000 feet > 6,500m normally. News reporters seldom seem to actually fully understand reality or what they are reporting, is it any wonder that the rest of the news sounds so distorted and that headlines are usually one way hashes?

Comment why (Score 1) 640

Why are superhero movies even PG as a norm? shouldnt they be G? they are based on comics which conform to the moralist comics code, ie the source material is G rated (dark knight is part of a more recent era of comics which is no longer bound by the old code. its an exception).

To add some perspective, what would you think about a remake of the Wizard of Oz with an R rating for nudity and profanity. How about Tom Sawyer and Huckfinn adapted to the big screen with that R rating, and the screenplay altered to be more commercially viable-- Jim is now secretly working for the 'railroad' and huck and tom have repressed feelings for each other.

How about King Lear being performed for over a 150 years with an alternate 'Happy' ending written by Johnson?

I'm not saying no to non-G super hero movies, just think about why PG-13 or R would be considered the norm, when the source material is so 'clean'

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