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Comment Re:A Little Disappointed (Score 1) 173

Although usage varies, most people (vendors and analysts at least) consider "Software as a Service" to mean you are renting an application (Google docs, Concur expense app, salesforce CRM app), while "Cloud computing" typically means you are renting infrastructure (Amazon EC2/S3) and/or a platform for developing custom apps (Google app engine, Force.com). Sometimes "cloud computing" is used generically to refer to all three: infrastructure, platform, and/or applications running outside your datacenter, managed by a 3rd party vendor.
Microsoft

Submission + - News flash:Hotmail has bug; Microsoft doesn't care

An anonymous reader writes: About 4 weeks ago, a header corruption bug appeared in Hotmail. When composing a plain-text message in web-based Hotmail which has more than one entry in the References header (i.e. a reply to a reply), Hotmail is inserting an extra carriage return. This corrupts the header block, and receiving email clients (including Hotmail itself) correctly treat the rest of the headers as part of the body. As a result, the "Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable" isn't processed, and encoded characters in the body, such as =2C for a comma, are not being decoded.

There have been several posts per day to http://windowslivehelp.com/community/4.aspx about this. That forum, which is the official Hotmail support channel, appears to be staffed by scripts that repeatedly post "Optimize your browser", "Send us a screen shot", and "Tell us your username". No Microsoft support staff have said anything about trying to reproduce the problem, or reporting it to the engineering staff.

Does anyone know a better way to get a bug report to someone at Microsoft who can do something about it?

Submission + - The Sad State of the Mobile Web (infoworld.com)

snydeq writes: "Despite being the much better development platform for today's smartphones, open Web standards still face an uphill battle on mobile devices, Fatal Exception's Neil McAllister writes, nothing that here, as on the desktop, the main hurdle is scalability. But whereas successful Web development for the desktop is a matter of scaling up, mobile Web development calls for applications that can effectively scale down as well — an imperative that is fast making the state of the mobile Web 'even sadder,' McAllister writes. 'The more that modern Web applications take advantage of the new client-side technologies available in desktop browsers, the more the divide between the desktop Web and the mobile Web widens.' As a result, developers are forced to fall back on basic Web technologies — a tactic that too often translates simply into writing separate UIs for mobile users. 'The result? Mobile Web applications are in pretty much the same boat as they were when the first WAP-enabled handsets appeared: two separate development tracks, one for the desktop and one for mobile. Call that an opportunity if you want. I call it a waste of potential.'"

Submission + - Computers to Crack Down on Card Counters (yahoo.com)

An anonymous reader writes: First they start paying out 6 to 5 on natural blackjacks, and now this? The little guy gets the short end of the stick once again, as UK researchers say they've developed a computer algorithm that can analyze how Blackjack players manage their chip stack and bet on each hand, sniffing out card counters inside 20 hands of the game.

Card counting is perfectly legal — all a counter does is attempt to keep track of whether the cards remaining in a deck are favorable to his winning a hand (mainly if there are lots of tens and aces remaining in the deck) — but it's deeply frowned upon by Vegas casinos. Those caught counting cards are regularly expelled from casinos on the spot and are often permanently banned from returning.

But given the slim house odds on Blackjack, it's often said that a good card counter can actually tip the odds in his favor by carefully controlling the way he bets his hands. And Vegas really doesn't care for that.

The anti-card-counter system uses cameras to watch players and keep track of the actual "count" of the cards, the same way a player would. It also measures how much each player is betting on each hand, and it syncs up the two data points to look for patterns in the action. If a player is betting big when the count is indeed favorable, and keeping his chips to himself when it's not, he's fingered by the computer... and, in the real world, he'd probably receive a visit from a burly dude in a bad suit, too.

The system reportedly works even if the gambler intentionally attempts to mislead it with high bets at unfavorable times.

The system is still in the academic/development stage, but casinos are always eager to experiment with high-tech systems that foil gamblers in their attempts to leave the joint with money in their pockets. Don't be surprised to hear that this one is actually rolled out in the months ahead...

Comment Bad vs Good Headhunters (Score 1) 344

Bad headhunters will modify your resume without your permission and submit it to companies without asking you

Good headhunters will work with you to tailor your resume to each opportunity and ask you to make sure an opportunity sounds like a good fit before submitting your resume

Bad headhunters who submit your non-tailored resume first and don't tell you can cause problems when the Good headhunter submits another resume for the same candidate (you). Unfortunately, there's not much you can do about this except apologize for the mix-up and hope the hiring manager/company is understanding.

I wouldn't recommend "firing" the bad headhunter (unless you're actually paying him money, which would be odd since they usually get paid by the hiring companies) in case they luck into finding you a good opportunity. But you should firmly ask him to check with you in the future before changing/submitting your resume.

Comment Re:personally (Score 1) 1721

Governments are elected to serve their people. The US President is no different than other nations' heads of state in that regard.

And I find it interesting how so many people remember everything we do that they didn't like, but so quickly forget the good.

They remember that we invaded Iraq without full support from the members of the Security Council. Yet they forget we freed the Iraqi people from a tyranny that regularly raped and murdered its citizens, dumping their bodies in mass graves, and twice attacked its neighbors.

They forget the US military's aid to tsunami victims abroad, our protection of much of the world against threats from their neighbors, and our funding of vast portions of the United Nations budget.

The US government did all of those good things and more while acting in the interests of the United States. To say that our government acting in our interests is at best a neutral thing misunderstands the nature of human relationships. Acting in one's own interest often helps others too.

Comment Re:Alix board and pfSence (Score 1) 199

And if you want to save a bit of money, you can pick up the older WRAP boards quite cheaply now. I have one and it runs a stock OpenBSD install on a 512MB compact flash card. Everything works nicely, although I did compile a custom kernel to remove everything that's not needed. The ALIX seems to only have one miniPCI slot, which is a shame. The WRAP had two, so you could plug in an 802.11 card and a crypto coprocessor for offloading VPN calculations.

Comment Re:slippery slope? (Score 1) 419

+1 interesting, but ultimately unrealistic. Sifting through that much footage to demonstrate something that such a large number of people had done would be a monumental task. OTOH, it's easy for Joe Blow to have The Game up on his second flatpanel at work watching last night's footage of his favorite creepy spot to report people for troublesome behavior. I've been stopped by police because I looped around the block twice with my car in a neighborhood where there was a known drug dealer. Apparently the fact that I had $2k+ worth of camera gear for night photography (of the artistic variety, not surveillance) with me did not lessen their concern (this is after *returning* to the car having conducted said photography). Imagine the ease with which our friend Joe Blow could have reported me simply when I was in the wrong place at the wrong time trying to indulge my hobby.

Comment Re:But (Score 1, Troll) 322

Somebody hasn't read much Larry Niven. Why take starlight as-is when you can use solar collectors to gather it up and power a laser to drive your sail?

I'm not sure that the maximum velocity is as much a limit as you think, either. Given the time and proper course, so long as you can get above the local escape velocity (which is easier done by stealing momentum from other celestial bodies than by carrying around fuel) you can go somewhere else.

Sci-Fi

Could Fuller Take Trek Back To TV? 444

bowman9991 writes "Bryan Fuller, creator of the TV show Pushing Daisies and a former Star Trek writer and producer, is geared up to make it happen. The new Star Trek TV show would be based on "old style" Star Trek, rather than the more recent incarnations and variations: Deep Space Nine, Voyager, Enterprise and Star Trek: The Next Generation. There hasn't been a Star Trek TV series since Enterprise was canceled after four seasons in 2005. Fuller wrote twenty one Star Trek episodes over four years, two in Deep Space Nine's final season, and the rest for Voyager. He also produced Voyager's last season. If J.J. Abrams' reboot is successful (and the latest trailer suggests it will be!) perhaps we'll see him involved with a new Star Trek TV show with the style and impact of Fringe or Lost. The new Star Trek movie featuring a young Kirk and Spock is in cinemas May 2009." Besides his work on many episodes of Trek, Fuller's work includes Dead Like Me and some of the best of Heroes. (He's one of the names I actively seek in the writing slot.) Between him and JJ Abrams, the era of Rick Berman looks to finally be at an end. Cross your fingers.
Security

Interview With an Adware Author 453

rye writes in to recommend a Sherri Davidoff interview with Matt Knox, a talented Ruby instructor and coder, who talks about his early days designing and writing adware for Direct Revenue. (Direct Revenue was sued by Eliot Spitzer in 2006 for surreptitiously installing adware on millions of computers.) "So we've progressed now from having just a Registry key entry, to having an executable, to having a randomly-named executable, to having an executable which is shuffled around a little bit on each machine, to one that's encrypted — really more just obfuscated — to an executable that doesn't even run as an executable. It runs merely as a series of threads. ... There was one further step that we were going to take but didn't end up doing, and that is we were going to get rid of threads entirely, and just use interrupt handlers. It turns out that in Windows, you can get access to the interrupt handler pretty easily. ... It amounted to a distributed code war on a 4-10 million-node network."

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