What about your wireless router? The firmware in your car? Your smartphone? Hell, even MicroSD cards run an embedded OS on an ARM processor to handle bad block remapping and to make it easier to test the cards before they leave the factory.
If you want to stick strictly to your desktop PC, let's talk about the software running on your network card, GPU, SSD, hard drive (some hard drives even have serial ports that you can connect to and see terminal output!).
I guarantee you that you use a *lot* more computers every day than you realize, and the vast majority of them run proprietary software.
Thanks to my parents' decision to go with a hyphenated last name, my full name is (as far as I can tell) globally unique. This is actually a great thing for me, since I'm in academia and it's best if people can just google my name and find papers I've written etc.
Eye pie? That sounds kind of gross.
I also had a paper at this year's CCS conference, so perhaps I can shed some light on the process. The publisher had some fairly picky requirements for the PDFs, and warned that most PDFs created by (for example) pdflatex would probably not pass muster. So along with a PDF we had to submit a Postscript file so that they could distill it into a PDF that met their requirements if necessary. That's likely what happened here--the final Acrobat Distiller step was probably done by the publisher to make everything fit their publishing requirements.
I believe this has been shown incorrect; from the article:
As it turns out, the reason for all those routing resets and general instability was due to a previously unknown Cisco bug involving AS paths close to 255 in length.
(emphasis mine). More info:
And the Cisco description (the bug ID, CSCsx73770, is linked in there, but you need a login to access it):
Last time I installed Ubuntu it still asked for a password for the normal user account. It asked for that same password when it needed to elevate privileges and perform some configuration command as root (via sudo).
So, you have a password, and if you need to you can get root-level privs, but the random everyday stuff you do doesn't have the potential to wipe out the whole OS.
Seems like a win-win to me, really.
In less than a century, computers will be making substantial progress on ... the overriding problem of war and peace. -- James Slagle