Quanterium: The Weblog

Monday, August 23, 2004

Transparent Aluminum!

Once again, life imitates Star Trek.

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Saturday, August 21, 2004

Fun things to type in Gentoo

#ACCEPT_KEYWORDS="~x86" emerge --update world

Edit: 8/22:
Don't do it. You'll regret it. Stick to x86, not ~x86 (or the equivalent if you're running on another architecture).

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Saturday, August 14, 2004

You know you're a computer scientist when...

You doze off on a Saturday afternoon thinking about assemblers using Tux Racer imagery.

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Saturday, August 07, 2004

Strange Invasion

The last paragraph amused me. It's not every day that the movie Evolution gets referenced in a major newspaper.

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Friday, August 06, 2004

Windows XP Service Pack 2

So Windows XP Service Pack 2 is finally done and on its way.

Looks like Microsoft still doesn't quite get it. I found the following paragraph from an article on PC Magazine's web site to be rather interesting:
Microsoft has included a programmatic interface for Windows Firewall that allows an application to do things like set FirewallEnabled to FALSE, add itself to the list of AuthorizedApplications, or change the configuration of GloballyOpenPorts. Our concern here is that a malicious application could turn off Windows Firewall or, more likely, mark itself as an authorized application. Corporate administrators can disable some or all local configurations, which will prevent programs from making changes; but ultimately, Microsoft maintains, individuals still have to be smart about what apps they run. Even the best deadbolt won't protect your house once you've let the bad guys in.
The way I see it, they gave the keys to the dead bolt to the bad guys. Suppose one way or another, I manage to get some malware on my system. This malware then has the ability to disable the firewall and do whatever it wants. Thanks. Looks like I'll still be recommending a third party firewall such as ZoneAlarm.

A while back, Bill Gates was quoted as saying something along the lines of there isn't a need for perfectly secure software, since we have firewalls to protect us. At the time it seemed absurd to me: What happens if your firewall software isn't secure? Now, Microsoft shows they can't even get the firewall right.

I posted some of this on Slashdot, too.

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Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Repetitively repetitive

An e-ticket confirmation e-mail I got tonight from American Airlines contained the following:

Nonrefundable tickets cannot be refunded.

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Sunday, August 01, 2004

Ziggy

At least he has some idea about computer viruses, which I'd say is more than most people, based on the the number of Slammer hits I picked up during the two months I was running Snort.

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