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Submission + - Quicken Bill Pay is No Longer Safe to Use ( 1

Bruce Perens writes: I don't usually make security calls, but when a company makes egregious and really clueless security mistakes, it's often the case that the only way to attract their attention and get the issue fixed is to publicize it. This one is with Quicken Bill Pay, a product of Metavante (not Intuit). It's from personal observation rather than an expert witness case, and the company has been unresponsive through their customer support channel.

Comment Abandoning Time-Worn Processes Leads to Atrophy (Score 5, Insightful) 154

Scientists determined that those people who made use of machine washing rather than hand washing had diminished hand strength and neurological motor communication necessary for fine motor control. Seamstresses who bought thread rather than using the spinning jenny were similarly impaired. But worst off were teamsters who used the internal combustion trucks rather than teams of horses and used forklifts and other mechanical devices rather than loading their vehicles by hand. Their overall body strength was much reduced.

Comment More crapware (Score 2) 71

Samsung fill their phones with apps that double up everything Google does but in a more crappy way. And its all baked into the firmware so it cannot be removed (only hidden), degrades performance and leaves less space for user data.

For people who want a digital assistant, somehow I doubt that "bixby" will be in any way more useful or functional than Google's. It's just more crapware that nobody asked for and nobody will use in sufficient quantity to justify its existence. It probably needs people to use all the other crapware and Samsung's cloud storage in order to function at all.

Comment Re: I thought it was Rust. (Score 1) 125

The current layout engine in Mozilla uses threading selectively and is generally single threaded for any particular thing. It also suffers the usual issues like buffer overflows, races, leaks etc. which are a nuisance in most software but could be exploitable in a browser. In fact a browser has to process and consume a lot of untrusted data in streams and data structures so the chance for corrupt / malicious payloads is far higher.

So that's what driving the use of Rust. The Rust compiler prevents data races so the design can be far more aggressively concurrent without risking corruption. The compiler also whacks issues like dangling pointers, buffer overflows, null pointer calls etc. by design so it stops a whole raft of common programmer errors. It wouldn't stop a layout engine from suffering application level bugs, like rendering a page badly, getting stuck in a loop, adding stuff to a list without bounds checks etc. so it's not a panacea, but its still better than C/C++.

Comment Re:I thought it was Rust. (Score 3, Insightful) 125

Exactly. Java, C++ and C are not going to go anywhere for a long time. Even if Rust is better for a whole raft of systems programming tasks it's not like anyone is going to go out and rewrite code that already works. More likely usage for Rust will grow with IoT since code needs to be performant, reliable and secure and C / C++ really aren't suitable for that task.

Comment Ploy to fund boondoggle HPC projects (Score 0) 129

"HPC leadership" by itself is pointless. China owning big computers doesn't put the USA at risk. It's what they do with them that matters, and whatever *that* is, you likely won't neutralize it just by building even bigger computers in the USA.

These HPC people are also glossing over the issue that for most important problems, parallelizing over commodity CPUs connected by commodity networks (i.e. the cloud) is far more cost-effective than the "big iron" shared-memory HPC systems, and via Google, Amazon and Microsoft, the USA completely rules that space.

If the USA needs to build really big shared-memory HPC systems to solve some specific problem connected to China, by all means propose that. General scare-mongering about "HPC leadership" is just an invitation to waste taxpayers' money.

Comment Re:You say vulnerability, I say opportunity (Score 1) 89

There is no "blatant violation" because there is no reasonable expectation when purchasing a console that you should be able crack the hardware/software, or that if you do that the manufacturer should still provide service to your device.

Hack away but consoles manufacturers are totally in their rights to block your device, sue you under the right circumstances, ban you online, or patch the firmware so new games won't play.

Comment Re:Trump is Empowering Despots and Dictators (Score 1) 289

Trump is riding the same wave of populism as these others. In times of economic or political stress some people are swayed by simplistic solutions to complex problems. Invariably these solutions involve getting rid of "them", where "them" is some easily definable outside force for which all of society's ills can be blamed on.

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A bug in the code is worth two in the documentation.