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Comment Re:At the cost of the tax payer (Score 1) 226

>>> The only difference between business and government is that the public control government and private individuals control business

Seriously? News flash - the public does NOT control government. Bureaucrats control government and it doesn't really matter who gets elected as long as the career bureaucrats continue to make and enforce policy. What they will has the best shot of becoming least the ones who have an agenda, and aren't merely marking time.

Comment Re:To be expected (Score 1) 473

I really like GOG, appreciate what they're doing, and have spent hundreds of dollars at their site. That said however, what they do to the games' graphics has totally ruined my enjoyment of a bunch of those much-loved games. The visual effects become truly cringe worthy, and I don't understand WHY these changes occur. I can have the original game and the GOG release playing on the same machine and the graphics on the GOG release looks like its been converted to 240x320 resolution while the original is, well, original.

Submission + - Driveby malware on Wordpress sites nets 500K bank accounts (

jess_wundring writes: PCs are being co-opted into a massive botnet called Qbot. They're getting compromised by hitting legitimate sites providing legitimate content using frameworks such as Wordpress. Online bank account information is also getting harvested. 75% of these machines are located in the USA, with just under 40% of them running Windows 7 and over half of them machines that are still running XP.

From PCWorld India :

The MO is to target, compromise and harvest legitimate Wordpress sites using bought-in credentials, even exploiting newsletters from these sites to spread drive-by malware links. From this, users with vulnerable browsers or software (Java, Reader, Flash) of the sort that can be hit by exploit kits to infect machines using droppers in chosen geographical locations.

What the attackers are after is online banking logins, which form half the business, and PCs that can be sold on to other criminals as compromised machines inside interesting organisations. These can also then be used a proxies for third-party attacks.

They seem keen to protect this nice little business, going to some lengths to regenerate different pieces of the attack chain every time anti-virus engines have started to detect it.

Submission + - Smartphones Coming Preloaded With Malicious Software (

jess_wundring writes: The Associated Press reports that several major retail websites are selling cheap smartphones that come with preinstalled software that could allow a hacker to steal personal data, place rogue calls, or turn on the phone's camera and microphone, with the data being sent to a server in China.

Comment Re: Progenitors? (Score 1) 686

>> we are not only the most intelligent life on earth (for some values of intelligence), but as far as we can tell, the most intelligent life to have ever developed on earth.

Eh, I have my doubts about being a member of the most intelligent life to have ever developed on earth. What's fairly certain however is that we've been outstanding at decimating other species without killing ourselves in the process.

Comment Re:As and example... (Score 1) 405

>>Amazon wants authors to price their ebooks at $0.99, so many do, and these are the ones that are sold

Its not AMAZON that wants authors to price their ebooks at $.99 - its Amazon's CUSTOMERS who want that.

Take me for example. I'll take a $.99 flyer on an unknown author with an intriguing plot summary. My current modus operandi is to buy books from 5-10 authors at a time, take my time enjoying the ones that are actually readable, and then come back for more. If I was paying more than $3 a book, I'd be considerably more careful regarding what and how often I was buying. Also, getting burnt by too great a percentage of not-ready-for-primetime authors would, without a doubt, stifle this habit, dim my general regard for Amazon, and probably send me back to browsing inventory in book stores.

Comment And for our next act... (Score 0) 784

Oh hey, lets blame this on Global Warming, um, I mean Climate Change. Oh wait, I know, lets call it Earth Changes. Yeah, that covers it.

Its all our fault that there's a volcano melting the ice sheet. We have just too many people on this earth now. Its squishing down the world's insides and making magma pop out of the bottom.

Submission + - The Internet of Cops Is Coming (

Daniel_Stuckey writes: FirstNet—pitched as a state of the art communications network for paramedics, firemen and law enforcement at the federal, state and local level—will give cops on the streets unprecedented technological powers, and possibly hand over even more intimate data about our lives to the higher ends of the government and its intelligence agencies. While the system has already been tested in a handful of states, and 2014 will likely see it rolled out further.

According to a series of presentation slides from December last year, FirstNet will be the “MOST secure wireless network ever built,” sitting entirely separate from the commercially run networks that everyone, including first responders, uses today. This will give FirstNet greater reliability in situations where networks come under extreme pressure, such as when tens of thousands of people contact loved ones during a terrorist attack or natural disaster. It makes sense to have a dedicated network just for first responders during these sorts of events.

Submission + - Time to quit writing applications for Windows? (

Wubble writes: Is the fear of malware putting everyone off downloading new or little known programs? I’m a semi-retired software developer and provide freeware or inexpensive specialist software from my website to supplement my income; but there has been a significant downturn in downloads over the last few years.

A couple of years ago I accidentally discovered McAfee had flagged my site as hosting malware. I contacted McAfee and they acknowledged they had made a mistake and eventually changed the status of my site to "minimal risk". They gave no explanation or apology for their error. I took a significant hit in sales over this time and haven't fully recovered since.

Microsoft is also running increasingly scared of having software installed on Windows computers. I did a test install of my latest program from my website onto a Windows 8.1 computer. The system did its best to frighten off / prevent the end user from installing the software. Finally Windows "SmartScreen" stepped in and blocked the installation on the grounds the software was “unknown”.

I can no longer afford to keep buying the latest version of Visual Studio now Microsoft are going out of their way to block any software written by lone developers!

As I'm semi-retired, the income from these sales is useful but also declining. Is it time to quit developing programs for Windows and try my hand at writing apps for Android? Are there similar barriers to getting one's software out there and in use?

Submission + - Ancient Chinese Mummies Discovered in Cheesy Afterlife (

astroengine writes: The world's oldest cheese has been found on the necks and chests of perfectly preserved mummies buried in China's desert sand. Dating back as early as 1615 B.C., the lumps of yellowish organic material have provided direct evidence for the oldest known dairy fermentation method. The individuals were likely buried with the cheese so they could savor it in the afterlife. Although cheese-making is known from sites in northern Europe as early as the 6th millennium B.C. and was common in Egypt and Mesopotamia in 3rd millennium B.C., until now no remains of ancient cheeses had been found.

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