Rhodizzle's Articles, Page 1 of 2

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21 Mar 06

Google Launches 'Google Finance'

Google, in its latest move to organize all information on the globe and make it more palatable to the average Joe, has recently released Google Finance. The homepage in its current form displays a stock ticker as well as financial news. The site is set to release more features in the near future, including areas for financial discussions.

This adds to the amount of information that Google is keeping indexed on its servers, which already concerns many people.

21 Mar 06

Firefox 2.0 Alpha 1 Released

Although not an official release, Firefox 2.0 Alpha 1 is available for download from Mozilla’s FTP Site. This alpha version contains a few new features such as searching your browsing history as well as being able to close tabs in a different way. The Beta version is scheduled for release in the 2nd Quarter of this year, with a final release sometime this summer.

Other notable browsers being released this summer are the much talked about Internet Explorer 7, Microsoft’s attempt to catch up with other innovators in the browser market, as well as Opera 9.

08 Mar 06

LAMP Most Secure Open-Source Web Environment

The Department of Homeland Defense contracted Standford University, Coverity, and Symantec to do a bug analysis against an open source development environment referred to as LAMP (Linux, Apache Web Server, MySQL, and either PHP, Perl, or Python). The project found that this combination of open-source GPL software had the least amount of bugs and security risks per 1000 lines of code than 32 other open-source projects that were also analysed. Results of the study are hosted on Coverity’s website, and registration is required to view it. No Windows32 or Microsoft products were tested to compare against, only other open-source projects.

02 Mar 06

14 Year Old Finds Hole in Gmail

A 14 year old known only as ‘Anthony’ has found a rather large hole in Google’s popular Gmail internet mail client. The vulnerability involves Gmail improperly compiling Java Script code that is designed to appear in the preview pane. This comes on the heels of a vulnerability discovered in Internet Explorer that allowed access to Google Desktop, Google’s popular searching utility.

Combined with other concerns about Google’s popular map viewing program, Google Earth, could Google be making too much information available in easily searchable databases? Could The Onion’s discovery in August 2005 that Google was to destroy all information that it couldn’t index really be true?

08 Feb 06

'Brokeback Mountain' Jokes Are Everywhere

’"’Brokeback Mountain":http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0388795/,’ a film about the lives of two homosexual cowboys, has spawned much controversy since its initial release on the 3rd of September 2005. Much of the talk has ranged from the motives of the creators of the film to its inappropriateness. The expected slew of jokes and jibes has now hit the internet including parodies of past films such as ‘Brokeback to the Future’ and ‘Top Gun: Brokeback Squadron.’

07 Feb 06

German BMW Site Banned from Google

Yesterday, German BMW website bmw.de was effectively banned from the Google search engine for using a blackhat search engine optimization technique called ‘doorway pages.’ This method involves hiding additional content behind an actively scripted page that mentions key words by which the site would like to be found. In this instance the word ‘Gebrauchtwagen,’ which means ‘used car’ in German, was found 42 times in the hidden page, while only two of those were visible with javascript active. As a result, bmw.de’s pagerank was reduced to 0, which causes a search even for the domain name to return no results from Google.

03 Feb 06

Senate and House of Republicans Brandishing E-Bravado

Not so long ago, browsing to Wikipedia’s entry on Senator Tom Coburn would have revealed that he was a ‘douche-bag’ or had ‘sever brain damage’. Browsing to the entry on President George Bush would show that it had been temporarily locked as a result of repeated vandalism. While not a surprising move since the trolls of the internet will find things to destroy and Wikipedia is a favorite target, an investigation by Wikipedia shows that many recent edits have originated from IP Addresses in the House of Representatives and the Senate. Since then, ‘Congressional edits’ have been blocked, as Wikipedia attempts to maintain legitimacy in the face of increasing criticism.

10 Jan 06

Microsoft Errs Again with WMF

A hacker by the name of cocoruder has released details on two additional flaws in Microsoft’s Windows Picture and Fax Viewer’s handling of WMF image files. These two vulnerabilities are not as voracious as the previous, only allowing the attacker to crash the explorer.exe process instead of completely taking over the machine. The short-term fix until Microsoft releases an official patch is to unregister Shimgvw.dll, which is the main DLL for the Windows Picture and Fax Viewer.

Looking through the report, it details specifically how to take advantage of this flaw, and all that you have to do is get someone to open a WMF file that takes advantage of the exploit. Should individuals that discover vulnerabilities in widely used software be disclosing this information directly to the public or should they work with Microsoft on the side, with the details being released as soon as a patch is released?

04 Jan 06

Italian Man Charged by Courts to Prove the Existence of Jesus

Father Enrico Righi, an Italian priest, has been told by the Italian courts that he must prove the historical existence of Jesus after being charged with ‘abuse of popular credulity.’ The dispute arose three years ago when Father Righi made some negative remarks in a newsletter at his church about Luigi Cascioli, a ‘militant atheist.’

Is there a historical basis for the existence of Jesus other then those found in the New Testament of the Bible? Can his existence be cross-referenced through alternate sources?

04 Jan 06

Microsoft Beat to the Punch in Patching Their Own Software

Ilfak Guilfanov, a Russian programmer living in Belgium, has released a third party patch for the recently discovered ‘WMF Flaw’ affecting Microsoft Operating Systems. The flaw, first released in a 28 December Microsoft Security Advisory, involves an error in the Windows Picture and Fax Viewer (shimgvw.dll) file that could allow malicious code to be run after visiting a specifically configured web page.

My question to the O-Nerd crowd is this: At what point does a software company become responsible for damages resulting from errors in their software? This vulnerability obviously has some people worked up, to the point that a third party patch is being encouraged by security experts until Microsoft releases an official patch. Doesn’t it seem their priorities are disordered when an individual can beat them to the punch in patching their own software?

20 Dec 05

Pennsylvania Says No to Intelligent Design

United States District Judge John E Jones III ruled that mentioning Intelligent Design alongside Darwinian Evolution in Pennsylvania schools is in violation of the Constitution. In October of 2004, the Pennsylvania School Board voted to present Intelligent Design alongside Darwinian Evolution in order to provide alternative theories to the origin of man. Judge Jones maintainted a centralist position by simultaneously stating that ID should be discussed and studied, but cannot be provided as an alternative to Evolution in public schools.

16 Dec 05

Roomba to Go Open Source?

iRobot, maker of the Roomba line of vacuuming robots, has released a document that outlines how to interface with your Roomba through a serial port. The document explains the programming language used by the Roomba, as well as how to address the seperate sensors the device possesses. The interface addon is set to be on sale through the company’s website on January 1st, 2006.

Using this method, you can do a number of things including changing existing cleaning methods, or write your own custom cleaning method. This would allow you to create a custom path that would send the Roomba exactly where it needs to go to clean your house, including returning to the charging station and docking.

09 Dec 05

CNN Becoming Christian Friendly?

CNN seems to have forgotten their typical political stance and published a story as well as a movie on their website that both have Christian themes that aren’t necessarily portrayed in a negative light. The story is about a Christian man in Texas that lost a $25,000 lottery ticket, as well as the Christian couple that finds it and gives it back to them. The movie is about Disney’s hiring of the same advertising company that handled ‘The Passion of the Christ’ to advertise ‘Chronicles of Narnia,’ a movie based on a book by C.S. Lewis that is thought to have many Christian allusions.

10 Nov 05

Leaked Pictures of the New AMD Socket

Dutch website Tweakers.net has released a few leaked pictures of AMD\’s new processor socket dubbed Socket F or Socket 1207. The pictures appear to illustrate a new mechanism for holding the processor onto the motherboard using a clamp going over the top of the processor, rather then clamping onto the pins like in the ZIF sockets we have seen in the past.

Tweakers.net also mentions that the division down the center in the pictures givin could indicate the Dual-Core nature of the processor to be used in the socket, which could mean that the schematic of the motherboard will be closer to a Dual-Processor board, with a physical makeup closer to a Dual-Core.

09 Nov 05

Broadband Cellphones

Manx Telecom has released what could be the first cellular based technology to rival broadband download speeds. High-Speed Downlink Packet Acces or HSDPA is the new technology that is currently replacing the 3G technology as the faster data network for wireless devices. HSDPA sports a download speed of around 1.3 Megabits per second, although the upload is only 128 Kilobits per second.

Other companies currently pursuing HSDPA networks such as Lucent predict their networks to handle 7.3 Megabit download rights by the first quarter of 2008. There are also companies such as O2 that are developing handsets already to access this type of network. With bandwidth this high, could IP Handsets operating over a wireless type network be possible?

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