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Comment Rite of Passage (Score 2) 368

There should be a word now for this rite of passage - the first time you realize how fragile the web service you depend on is, or even that you depend on it. It is a loss of innocence that you may not be able to prevent. For me it was when I upgraded machines and discovered that the five or six songs I had "bought" from RealPlayer's store (to listen to on my Palm Pilot) were only "mine" if I was willing to go through customer support hell each time I replaced my system or hard drive. .

Comment Do the math... (Score 0, Troll) 952

First, more pixels requires more graphics processing power. Next, more graphics processing power often means a new computer. Last, Microsoft makes it's money when people buy new computers (the only customers they really care about are the OEM's). Add this up - this may not be the story you think it is.

Comment By whose definition of backdoor? (Score 0, Troll) 450

Remember when Microsoft said "Windows Genuine Advantage isn't spyware"? Just because it does the same things spyware does, doesn't mean it's spyware, if you re-define spyware to mean "software that spies on you and phones home, written by someone other than Microsoft". So when their spokesperson says "Microsoft did not put a backdoor into Windows 7" this should be read as "Microsoft did not put remote root-level access code written by someone other than Microsoft into Windows 7".

Comment Re:And yet they've given up on Wii piracy (Score 0) 147

Dota doesn't have that problem because DoTA is protected by the tools that the parent has mentioned. Try opening a DoTA map and see if you can edit it, you can't. And I also disagree, the tools for compiling open source applications tend to also be open source (gcc). A script kiddie with basic knowledge of the programming language use can easily modify the game to include hacked weapons, distribute the game via a torrent, rapidshare, megaupload or other file sharing program. It will be a nightmare.

Comment Re:"Committed Suicide?" (Score 1) 538

Why do both you and the parent focus so much on fear?

From what I've read about suicidals of pretty much every kind, it's about purpose. Like, what's the point of going on? Do you have something to live for? You can endure a lot of pain before it becomes insufferable crippling pain, if you have a purpose. You can sacrifice your own life, if you have a purpose. It's when you don't really have anything to live for but being comfortable and that is that taken away from you that you're out of good options.

Sure, we'd all like a beatiful sunset on life. But if it's full of rain and wind and only making you miserable, you can either stay up or head to bed early. Just do whatever you feel like.

Comment Re:Most SHOULD NOT think about security... (Score 1) 216

Actually, one of the problems is that it's non-trivial for most users to even discover that the security of their system has been compromised, on any operating system, until it's far too late (or has been compromised in so many different ways that the system succumbs and fails to function in the expected manner).

If someone comes along and steals your car, it's not there when you get back. If they steal the car stereo, there's probably glass all over the place and the stereo's gone. Even if the take it for a joy ride and return it there may be clues, like the position of the seat and mirrors, the odometer reading, the amount of gas in the car, or a change in the position in which it is parked.

If your computer becomes part of a botnet, the best thing for the controlling interests to do is make sure that it's very hard to tell that your computer is infected. A virus or worm might sit on the machine for months infecting other systems before finally unleashing a destructive payload, for the simple reason that this makes it more effective. Tracking malware will hide itself in order to have more time on the system to gain more information for the advertisers that bought the information.

So the most effective, and damaging for the overall security of the network, forms of malware are those that are hardest to find. If the system doesn't tell you that there's suspicious behavior going on, and most users don't know how to see what processes are running on their system (and don't know what processes should be running on their system), then all of the security looks like hand waving, because they don't see a difference between the compromised and secure systems.

Half of the functionality in security products is alerting the user to potentially harmful activity taking place on their computer or network. Of course end users hate when these alerts get in their face and require action on their part, so if they're given a chance to disable them, they do so. The trick is alerting the user without annoying the user, and making it easier to disable a security warning when it's being overly paranoid than it is to disable the entire security system.

My simple analogy is not for a car, but rather my house: if I had to use the older style of home alarm system where I keyed in a security code and then attempted to exit the house while it armed itself, or come into the house and key in the code before the alarm went off, I would never use it. I'd rather depend on the keys that are only effective against those that would probably be stopped just as easily by the fact the door is closed. However, since my house's alarm has a keychain remote like most cars do, it's a simple matter of locking up the house and arming or disarming from outside. Additionally, the alarm is obnoxiously obvious when someone opens/breaks a window, trips a motion sensor, or opens a door. There's simply no chance of someone getting into the house without me knowing it unless they find a way to bypass the system.

Bypassing the system may turn out to be fairly easy for someone that knows how to do so, I really don't know. However, the system is there to handle a higher percentage of possible intruders than the simple lock that my wife can bypass in 30 seconds or less.

Make it easier for the user to understand what is really going on behind the scenes on their machines. Let them see the network traffic, where it's going, and what processes are using it. Make it easy for them to figure out what is supposed to be running on their system and what is not.

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