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Malware Found Hidden In Screensaver On Gnome-Look

SEMW Re:Not more safe (611 comments)

The difference between Windows and Linux is how easy it is to remove stuff like this on Linux.

It was a deb. Which means the installation script, on the vast majority of users systems, is going to run as root. Which means the ease of removal can, depending on how clever the malware author is, be anything up to and including "practically impossible unless you have a lot of experience removing clever rootkits from a livecd".

more than 4 years ago
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Malware Found Hidden In Screensaver On Gnome-Look

SEMW Re:Not more safe (611 comments)

On Linux, she could have simply killed any offending processes (O.K. that's nontrivial, but no root permissions needed in theory) and check the (graphical, so-easy-to-use-a-caveman^H^Hgrandma-could-do-it) Gnome startup programs tool for suspicious entries

The malware in TFA on gnome-look was packaged as a deb file, and so (on the vast majority of systems) would need elevated privileges to install, and so have its installation script run as root.

Which means it's not just gnome startup programs you'd have to check, its every complicated, optimised-for-fast-startup-to-the-point-of-obfuscation (remember, Grandma's going to be running Ubuntu, not Slackware) startup script on the system. And you'd have to know it when you see it, which is not necessarily trivial if the malware author was clever. Maybe you could manage it; I certainly couldn't, I'd be installing from scratch.

more than 4 years ago
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Don't Like EULAs? Get Your Cat To Agree To Them

SEMW Re:Call me crazy (874 comments)

When software asks the user if he or she accepts the license agreement, software is, on the behalf of the owner and as a proxy, attempting to enter into a legal contract (EULA).

Oh, bah. If I hand you a contract which I've pre-signed, is the contract itself, "on the behalf of the owner and as a proxy", attempting to enter into the contract with you? No, of course not; I am, I'm merely pre-agreed with it. Analogously with software EULAs (up to maybe not strictly being a contract etc.).

more than 5 years ago
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Torvalds Rejects One-Size-Fits-All Linux

SEMW No, apt-get does that too. (791 comments)

Aptitude manages package selections far better including remembering that you installed library x simply to make package y happy.

...As does apt-get, since quite a few versions ago. Alias "apt-get remove" to "apt-get autoremove" to get it to automatically uninstall x when y gets removed.

more than 5 years ago
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OpenOffice.org 3.0 Is Officially Here

SEMW Re:OOXML (284 comments)

The Linux Format article says it can import docx, pptx etc., which means they are Microsoft Office 2007 XML files, and not OOXML, the Published Standard.

Office 2007 OOXML files *are* a published standard -- the published standard in question being ECMA 376.

If what you actually meant was "...not OOXML, the Published ISO Standard", then say what you mean. But your original comment could be understood as saying that the spec Office 2007 uses is unpublished, wihch is obviously wrong.

(Not to mention that even saying that is ambiguous -- does "The ISO standard" refer to ISO 29500/Transitional or ISO 29500/Strict? The former is practically identical to ECMA 376, with the exception of minor tag semantic cleanup; whereas the latter is significantly different).

about 6 years ago
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SDK Shoot Out, Android Vs. IPhone

SEMW Jython (413 comments)

Jython: "A compiler to compile Python source code down to Java bytecode which can run directly on a JVM".

about 6 years ago
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Mandriva Joins Ubuntu With a Linux For Netbooks

SEMW SSD drives and writes (64 comments)

with the limited number of write cycles with the SSD in some models, you want to avoid any unnecessary writes

I've heard this said often, but the only time I've seen any actual numbers crunched, the conclusion was that it wasn't worth worrying about:

With the Eee PC SSD, a typical user (6 hours/day, 10% write rate) will write for 36 minutes per day resulting in a useful lifespan of ~25 years in the worst assumed case [only 50% effective wear levelling, 100k writes to a sector before failure].

Besides, even if that wasn't the case, one of the things about the Eeepc is its moddability -- back up often (which you should be doing anyway), and then if/when the SSD drive goes, swap it for a new one. It'll also probably be a nice upgrade over the smallish original, given the speed that SSD drives are improving in capacity and speed.

more than 6 years ago

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