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Microsoft

Submission + - Microsoft Sabotaging Firefox With Sneaky Add-Ons 4

Slashdot writes: The Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5 Service Pack 1, unleashed in February, forces an undisclosed Firefox extension on Windows users, which not only injects a serious security vulnerability into Firefox (also present in Internet Explorer), but it disables the uninstall button, meaning the only way to get rid of it, is to edit the Windows registry.

**you may wish to remove this extension with all due haste**

http://startupearth.com/2009/05/31/microsoft-sabotaging-firefox-with-sneaky-net-updates/
Supercomputing

Submission + - TONGUE IN CHECK (Translation software) (washingtonpost.com)

realeyes writes: "The Washington Post did a story on a DARPA project to give soldiers field translators. Then they talked about Google's translation efforts. From the story:

On Jan. 7, 1954, IBM announced, with great fanfare: "Russian was translated into English by an electronic 'brain' today for the first time." Routine machine translation, we were told, was only five years away...

It's pretty good, says Mari Maeda, the program's manager. About 70 or 80 percent accurate. Not as good as a human. But the number of human interpreters willing to work around gunfire is finite...

The explosion of the Web, however, has enabled a revolution. Like so many successful human approaches, it relies on brute force and ignorance. This method cares little for how any language works. It just looks — Rosetta stone fashion — at huge amounts of text translated into different languages by humans. (Dump decades of U.N. documents into the maw.) Then it lets the machine statistically express the probability that words in one language line up together in a fashion comparable to another set of words in another language."

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