A customer of mine requires Windows XP/Vista to access the VPN; once this has been accepted, a list of acceptable Anti-Virus software vendors is checked for. I now have to install one of these onto my Windows machine, because simply installing Windows is not sufficient.
In typical download-stuff-for-Windows-from-the-internet, I get this vague information, so I have no idea whether my 3g limit could be exceeded just by downloading the installer (and we all know that installers then tend to get online to grab newer versions, or whatever).
No indication of how large the download is, no offers to check the validity of the downloaded file.
After that, I am told that it is unsigned; do I want to run it or not? I choose "Run", but am then told that it is not a valid executable.
This is just the first step in my attempt to get into a customer's network via the internet.
Why do I suspect that I could find lots of other ways to get into the network without jumping through all the hoops?
This feels like a set of security procedures put in place to ensure that valid users access the network in a secure manner, but does not address the main "back-door" access techniques at all.
All the time, I'm using an OS which is currently susceptible to no known wild viruses, but I can not get on to the network, because I can't show that I am running a certain Windows version with certain antivirus software installed. The fact that the required AV software can be downloaded from an untrusted third-party website with no signature or validation, is apparently not a problem.
Good advice, I'm sure, and thanks for providing it... but I just don't find the litter bin anywhere near as efficient at blocking the toilet as the other devices mentioned.
Photograph: Russell Boyce/Reuters
Presumably this time it was a genuine accident though? http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/2009/sep/25/renault-grosjean-crash-piquet-f1-formula-one - D'oh!
I just saw this advert on a website; it really is for the US Govt's ready.gov site, which under get a kit says "Pet food and extra water for your pet". I'm not sure that that really counts as "preparing your pets" though - shouldn't we be talking to them about the rendezvous point and contact numbers?
The other suggestions are to make a plan and be informed. You can even determine your Readiness Quotient, without even needing to know what it is that you are getting ready for. My RQ is 0/10, apparently.
PS. In doing the RQ test, I had to complete this captcha - bit of a challenge to answer in two words!
Microsoft are going to open "Microsoft Stores" along the lines of an "Apple Store". What are they going to sell? Zunes, keyboards and mice?
I guess that living in a UNIX/Linux world, even though the x86 architecture is unavoidable, at least one is spared the Orwellian choice of Eurasia or Eastasia. Long live Oceania!
PM apology after Turing petition - now have a word with the Queen and sort out the posthumous knightood!
Due to yet another glitch in Planet Debian, I saw this today.
(relatively) famously, Bug #1 for Ubuntu is titled "Microsoft has a majority market share"
Bug #1 for gNewSense is titled "Not all software is Free"
In the FLOSS ecosystem, there are many players, each with their own priorities (though maybe the word "agendas" would be more appropriate).
Ubuntu's starting point was a rallying-call, and a stated priority - it defined the "problem", and suggested the means to fix that percieved issue.
gNewSense, a Ubuntu-without-non-free-blobs distribution, has a different agenda; it makes use of the popular Ubuntu distribution, but removes any non-free (by its own, stricter-than-Debian definition of Freedom) elements.
I am simply observing this fact; whilst the pragmatic approach often makes sense, it is historically shown that it is only because of the idealists (eg Debian) sticking to Freedom principles that pragmatists (eg Ubuntu) have been able to make progress.
Ditching the principles would mean the loss of those principles, and eventually degenerate into the current status-quo, where closed-source software and NDAs are commonplace.
On the other hand, sticking religiously to the principles can be very costly; apparently Richard Stallman uses one GNU/Linux distribution (utoto?) because it is the only one he has found which truly honours the Free Software principles.
The variety from Utoto to gNewSense Debian to Ubuntu to embedded NetGear kit using Linux is a real strength for GNU/Linux overall though. Lots of interested parties have an interest in making sure that the central software works for them.
Awesome - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zybl598sK24
Bit.ly, twitpic and the rest might be really useful for the twitterati, but for the rest of us, it's just a pain.
For example - I subscribe to the RSS feed of Gareth Jones' tweets, so when he posts @profbriancox http://twitpic.com/gb1k8 - Rhyl beach surely?, I have to find the URL in the content, paste it into a browser, just to find if I am interested in the content (usually with no indication as to what the content might be).
140 characters should be enough to include a summary too, surely? If not, why not try doing something new like - oh, I dunno, blogging? Will we eventually go back to web pages containing articles of actual content? Or is it too late for such an ideal to survive?
Forget Swine Flu, Ealing Council got a virus from a staff-member inserting an infected USB stick into a PC, which cost them £500,000, according to this Guardian report. The London Evening Standard reports that "all terminals had to be rebuilt or replaced." and that "the final cost could top £1.1m if a new computer security system is needed"
I'm not a Wintel engineer, but I'm sure that there's a Registry switch to disable USB drives completely, and another to disable autorun. That shouldn't cost more than £1,100 to implement, let alone £1,100,000
TCO figures for MS Windows and alternatives need to figure in such real-life scenarios.
I got some eyedrops today. Reading the information page, I found this vital piece of advice:
Take special care with Brolene Eye Drops if:
* You wear contact lenses. You should not wear contact lenses while using these drops.
If you are not sure if the above apply to you, talk to your doctor or pharmacist before using Brolene Eye Drops.
That is the only item in the list. If you don't know whether or not you wear contact lenses, you have bigger problems to deal with first!
Update March 2009: This website currently displays Google adverts. Those adverts will (if your browser settings permit) install a cookie on your browser, which is used to further target their advertising. Google wrote about it here, I wrote about it here.
I have been getting very little revenue from Google adverts recently, so it makes sense to show fewer adverts, if I get very little from showing them at all (especially at the start of the academic year, when the site usually gets a slight increase in traffic).
So it is interesting that this item is shown when I log in to my Google account - I have not noticed it before, but isn't a "Update your policy by April 2009" a bit late to be shown as "NEW" in September 2009?
It's always nice to get a nice fresh fanboi naively parroting something so close to the truth that it's almost there, other than the "oh, but Microsoft wrote this code" part. Spider took the BSD code, and Microsoft bought it from Spider. (Original URL: http://www.kuro5hin.org/story/2001/6/19/05641/7357)
So it makes me smile when sites like http://weblog.cynosura.eu/post/2009/03/02/Sockets-and-C.aspx say:
The Berkeley Sockets Interface is currently the de-facto standard network Application Programming Interface (API) for inter-process and network-bound communication between computers. The name was derived from the origins of the API in V4.2 of the Berkeley Standard Distribution (BSD) of the UNIX operating system.
The Microsoft technical specification which defines how Windows software accesses and exposes information on the Internet is called the Windows Socket API, or Winsock for short (documentation here). Version 1 of the specification, introduced in 1992, was based upon the paradigm of the socket popularised by the Berkeley Sockets API. Winsock 2 (the current version) is actually a very close feature-for-feature implementation of the entire Berkeley sockets API. The .NET implementation of Winsock — encapsulated by the System.Net.Sockets namespace — provides a fully managed implementation of Winsock for .Net developers (The implementation is in fact mostly a wrapper for the Win32 implementation.)
Aww, bless. Yes, it's all about writing .NET for Windows. He goes on to explain netstat as well as the whole UNIX Sockets interface, inelegantly dumped onto the Windows API, as a Microsoft specification. Sweet.
Now - let's be perfectly clear about this - the BSD license is absolutely fine with this reuse of code (some versions of the license have an "advertising" clause that requires acknowledgement to the Regents of UCB, but nothing more). It's just not accurate to describe this as a Microsoft specification.