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Firefox 12 Released — Introduces Silent, Chrome-like Updater

bheer Re:It's not just like chrome... (411 comments)

> Will Firefox now become a new attack vector for exploits?

That's a really good question.

From what I understood from the planning wiki, the MozillaMaintennce Service will only install binaries digitally signed with Mozilla's private key. You can't install arbitrary EXEs with this, so I'd say the risk of becoming a vector is small.

Of course, the service can perform privileged actions *and* be invoked by a non-privileged user, so a buffer-overflow type bug in the service could well be exploitable, so I'm hoping Mozilla have audited this thoroughly.

more than 2 years ago
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IE6 Almost Dead In the US

bheer Re:No reason to celebrate now. (335 comments)

I agree. At the time of release, IE6 was probably the best browser out there. Netscape 6, based Mozilla 0.6, was released around the same time and was pretty slow and ugly. The problem with IE6 wasn't initially standards support (it supported XMLHttpRequest and a fair bit of dynamic HTML, including .eot embedded fonts), it was Microsoft's utterly contemptuous attitude towards users' safety on the web. Popups, drive-by downloads, rogue ActiveX controls, no adblock unless you used a filtering proxy like Proxomitron -- all of these combined to make web browsing a pretty hellish experience. Which is why, I suspected, a lot of people switched to Phoenix as soon as it was usable in late 2002 -- mainly for the popup blocking and the lack of drive-by downloads. The tabbed browsing was just a bonus.

Joel Spolsky said it best:

Microsoft took over the browser market fair and square by making a better product, but they were so afraid that Web-based applications would eliminate the need for Windows that they locked the IE team in a dark dungeon and they haven't allowed improvements to IE for several years now. Now Firefox is the better product and there's a glimmer of hope that one day DHTML will actually improve to the point where web-based applications are just as good as Windows-based applications

more than 2 years ago
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Steve Jobs Dead At 56

bheer Here's to the crazy ones. (1613 comments)

The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes.

The ones who see things differently. They're not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them.

About the only thing you can't do is ignore them. Because they change things. They invent. They imagine. They heal. They explore. They create. They inspire. They push the human race forward.

Maybe they have to be crazy.

How else can you stare at an empty canvas and see a work of art? Or sit in silence and hear a song that's never been written? Or gaze at a red planet and see a laboratory on wheels?

====

The reasonable man adapts himself to the world. The unreasonable man persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man. --George Bernard Shaw

====

Goodbye Steve, and thanks for everything. Even the stuff I hated.

more than 3 years ago
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25,000 Danish Hospital Staff Moving To LibreOffice

bheer Re:Stroking a blow! (247 comments)

MS Office has been capable of saving ODFs since Office 2007 - you needed an add-in. Since Office 2010, I _believe_ saving to ODF is available by default.

more than 3 years ago
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Google Adds Speech To Newly Stable Chrome 11, Pays Big Bounty

bheer Re:Still a shit browser (88 comments)

> you still can't zoom the font size, only the whole damn page as an image.

Indeed. That bug's been marked as WONTFIX for 2 years now.

more than 3 years ago
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Apple Throttling Performance Of Web Apps In iOS

bheer If this story is true... (1 comments)

and this is a deliberate action by Apple (and not a bug),

a) then it's official - Apple Is Evil(tm). Especially because you can't even install a proper alternative browser on iOS.

b) It's gonna be DOJ vs Microsoft all over again. Fun times.

more than 3 years ago
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The Real Truth About Oracle's 'New' Kernel

bheer Re:Uhh, isn't this what Oracle customers pay for? (177 comments)

> oracle is one of those business providing useless solution so they can charge you twice for the consultancy.

I thought that was IBM.

more than 4 years ago
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Australia Adopts EU's Geographical Indicator System For Wine

bheer Re:More EU stupidity. More AU cowtowing. (302 comments)

> Some of us haven't ruined their taste buds with bad beers and ketchup sauce, so we do care.

But would you be able to prove that you can detect geographic differences in a double-blind taste test?

more than 4 years ago
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New Malware Imitates Browser Warning Pages

bheer Re:Themes (143 comments)

I don't understand; how does theming your window manager help against this? I'm assuming the malware bit is *inside* the Google Chrome window, so even if you themed your windows with say a Pikachu theme, the *insides* of the Chrome window would still contain the rogue site, imitating Chrome's red and white-colored malware block UI.

The only way out of this is if crucial error pages are protected with some sort of "sign-in seal", like Yahoo uses for its login screens.

 

more than 4 years ago
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Adobe Putting PDF Reader In a Sandbox

bheer Re:Operating System Feature (225 comments)

Don't know about NT4 (not used it since the 90s), but XP and up have SteadyState. Check out its disk protection feature, it's functionally chroot with a wipe after app exit.

more than 4 years ago
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Miscreants Exploit Google-Outed Windows XP Zero-Day

bheer Re:Dear Microsoft (497 comments)

> Release a hotfix to disable the hlp resource locator.. as you should have done as soon as you got the bug report.

There's one already, but it won't be delivered via Windows Update, users must opt in: On this page look for the Fixit Link ( http://go.microsoft.com/?linkid=9735564 ) The problem is that switching off a feature without fully testing repercussions -- which is what would happen if this was pushed out via Windows Update -- is not good and can cause other things to break.

more than 4 years ago
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YouTube Blocked In Pakistan

bheer Re:Mohammed (299 comments)

Sort of off topic, but I've always wondered: Can I be on an Atkins diet and still be a pastafarian?

more than 4 years ago
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Adobe Evangelist Lashes Out Over Apple's "Original Language" Policy

bheer Re:Learning from the past (789 comments)

But Apple does in fact have a solution to the fact that iPhone original and 3G users don't get the latest and greatest. It's calling "upgrading" -- the same strategy they encourage in Mac-land. So far their "lifecycle policy" appears to be -- we'll support the latest version and the latest-1 version. Anything before that, don't expect much.

And in both Mac-land and iPhone-land, developers develop for the latest and greatest as a result, knowing that eventually the users they want to reach will upgrade.

I don't like it myself, but it's true -- people who stay with old OSes etc rarely buy stuff. Big-picture wise, it's a waste of time targeting them.

more than 4 years ago
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The Times Erects a Paywall, Plays Double Or Quits

bheer Re:The Dream and The Reality (344 comments)

The Times and the Sunday Times are "just a start" according to News Corp. Presumably the Sun and the News of the World will also follow. However, the Sun's readership is solidly lowbrow and it's not a "quality paper" by any stretch of the imagination, I don't know how many of actually pay to get celebrity news and gossip online.

The interesting thing is that Murdoch's Sky News website remains free to access -- they haven't announced any plans to charge for that.

more than 4 years ago
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Dell To Leave China For India

bheer Re:doublespeak (352 comments)

> Just wait, in ten years, Chinese firms will be outsourcing there.

They already are planning to do so (warning: the FT restricts how many pages you can view, even if you register)

But it's not surprising. After all, pretty much all the Japanese auto manufacturers now actually produce in the US.

more than 4 years ago
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Internet Explorer 9 Will Not Support Windows XP

bheer Re:So XP users will be stuck with IE8 forever.. (454 comments)

IE8 doesn't install automatically in the same way that Chrome updates automatically from 2.x to 3.x or Windows installs security updates. You get a new dialog box prompting you to "upgrade your web experience with a new version of IE", or language to that effect. LOTS of of non-expert users just hit the [X] Close button at that point (for whatever reason -- fear of installing new software, having been taught that installing random new software off the Net is bad, and so on).

Browser upgrades ought to be invisible. But because of Microsoft's awkward IE 6 to 7 to 8 transitions, it isn't. And it keeps a lot of people from upgrading as quickly as they should.

more than 4 years ago
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Internet Explorer 9 Will Not Support Windows XP

bheer Re:Microsoft Did Abandon Windows XP (454 comments)

> That big new Corvette Engine does not fit in 8 year old Chevy Cavalier, is that GM's fault?

Car analogies for software are imperfect. You can't fit a bigger engine retroactively into a Chevy Cavalier, but you can backport new software to older OSes. Microsoft even does it for their Windows Live software (Live Messenger has some very snazzy Windows 7-style graphics).

The real reason for not supporting IE9 on XP is that they don't want to. Imho this is stupid given the number of XP users out there (and XP is here to stay 'til 2014), but if they don't care about marketshare ... *shrug*.

more than 4 years ago
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Internet Explorer 9 Will Not Support Windows XP

bheer Re:People need to stop bitching (454 comments)

While I agree with everything you say, I'll point out the following (and I usually support MS on many issues):

  • Windows Live Messenger 14.x (labelled '9 series' or something) has lots of snazzy Windows 7-style visual effects and was backported to Windows XP (I am aware this is less elaborate than what IE9 is planning).
  • Opera supports 2D acceleration under XP
  • The technical arguments against backporting to XP are hogwash. Chrome has superior sandboxing on Vista/7, but gracefully downgrades on XP
  • Microsoft is shooting themselves in the foot by effectively ceding the modern XP browser market to Chrome, Firefox and Opera. XP will still be around 'til 2014-2015. That's 4-5 years. If they think they can afford that, well, more power to them.

more than 4 years ago
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Internet Explorer 9 Will Not Support Windows XP

bheer Re:So XP users will be stuck with IE8 forever.. (454 comments)

Excellent point. Last year I visited a customer with ~200 Windows 2000/IE6 desktops. They don't connect to the Internet and will get updates until July 2010. They'll probably move to Windows 7 in 2011, especially as virtualization can guarantee their old apps will continue to run.

These guys spent next to nothing on software and very little on hardware for the past 10 years. It doesn't work for everyone but they saw it as a good deal.

more than 4 years ago

Submissions

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Windows 8 to reduce memory footprint

bheer bheer writes  |  more than 3 years ago

bheer writes "Microsoft's Windows 8 blog has a good post about the work being done to reduce Windows 8's memory footprint. The OS will use multiple approaches to do this, including combining RAM pages, re-architecting old bits of code and adding new APIs for more granular memory management. Interestingly, it will also let services start on a trigger and stop when needed instead of running all the time."
Link to Original Source
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Ars Technica and the Adblock Wars

bheer bheer writes  |  more than 4 years ago

bheer writes "Respected tech site Ars Technica set off a minor firestorm on Friday when, without warning, readers using Adblock saw just a headline on Ars story pages. There was no indication that the content had also been blocked. Readers who complained were treated to comments by Ars staff calling them "leechers" who were "held in contempt". Ars has since adopted a more conciliatory approach, posting an article called Why Ad Blocking is devastating to the sites you love and calling Friday an 'experiment' and appealing to users to whitelist Ars in their adblockers or subscribe ($50/yr). The comment thread to this story is one of the longest Ars has ever had and is filled with many cogent criticisms of Ars's current ad-serving practices (they currently use DoubleClick and Flash) as well as explanations by Ars staff about how text/static ads alone don't pay the bills for a site that creates original content."
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IE 0-day attack used in Chinese attack

bheer bheer writes  |  more than 4 years ago

bheer writes "A zero-day attack on IE was used to carry out the cyber attack on Google and others that's been getting so much ink recently, reports The Register quoting McAfee's CTO. While the web (and security) community has been pointing out the problems with IE's many security flaws (and its sluggish update cycle) in the past, IE shows no sign of vanishing from the corporate landscape. Will this latest, high-profile incident open CIO's eyes to the risk they're facing?"
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Tobey Maguire, Sam Raimi out of Spider-Man

bheer bheer writes  |  more than 4 years ago

bheer writes "Variety is reporting that Sony/Columbia is going to reboot Spider-Man in Summer 2012 with a high school-aged Peter Parker film. Tobey Maguire and Sam Raimi will no longer be involved. Sony/Columbia needs to continue actively developing the franchise else the property will revert back to Disney/Marvel."
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A Science Scandal - Yamal Tree-ring Data Cherrypic

bheer bheer writes  |  more than 5 years ago

bheer writes "The Register has a story about how at least eight papers purporting to reconstruct the historical temperature record times may need to be revisited, with significant implications for contemporary climate studies. In every case, peer review failed to pick up the errors. The Bishop Hill blog has an related piece describing how Steve McIntyre of ClimateAudit doggedly chased scientific journals for the raw data, and how he had to work around obfuscated data to arrive at his conclusions. Perhaps science journals should learn a trick or two from the GPL, and require authors to publish science data in the most preferred format for analysing it?"
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US Call-Center Jobs - that Pay $100K a Year

bheer bheer writes  |  more than 5 years ago

bheer writes "BusinessWeek profiles a call centre company called iQor which has grown revenues 40% year-on-year by (shock) treating employees as critical assets. It's done this not by nickel-and-diming, but by expanding its U.S. operations (13 centers across the US now), giving employees universal health insurance, and paying salaries and bonuses that are nearly 50% above industry norms. The article notes that outsourcing will continue and globalization will continue to change the world's economic landscape. "But the U.S. is hardly helpless. With smart processes and the proper incentives, U.S. companies can keep jobs here in America, and do so in a way that is actually better for the company and its employees." Now if only other companies get a clue as well."
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New Binary Diffing Algorithm Announced by Google

bheer bheer writes  |  more than 5 years ago

bheer writes "Google's Open-Source Chromium project announced a new compression technique called Courgette geared towards distributing really small updates today. Courgette achieves smaller diffs (about 9x in one example) than standard binary-diffing algorithms like bsdiff by disassembling the code and sending the assembler diffs over the wire. This, the Chromium devs say, will allow them to send smaller, more frequent updates, making users more secure. Since this will be released as open source, it should make distributing updates a lot easier for the open-source community."
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Hillary asked for Firefox during State Townhall

bheer bheer writes  |  more than 5 years ago

bheer writes "MozillaLinks reports that Secretary of State was asked to allow use of Firefox within State at a recent townhall meeting, to many cheers. Undersecretary Pat Kennedy cited cost of deployment as a factor in not allowing Firefox. (Video at 26m30s, Transcript). The article concludes by asking Mozilla to do more to make enterprise-wise deployment of Firefox simpler."
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GE introduces 500GB holographic disks for 10c/GB

bheer bheer writes  |  more than 5 years ago

bheer writes "According to the NYTimes, at a conference next month, GE will debut their new holographic storage breakthrough — 500GB disks that will cost 10 cents a GB to produce at launch. GE will first focus on selling the technology to commercial markets like movie studios and hospitals, but selling to the broader corporate and consumer market is the larger goal."
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Man surgically alters thumbs to better use iPhone

bheer bheer writes  |  more than 7 years ago

bheer writes "North Denver News writes about a man who had surgery to whittle his thumbs so he could better use an iPhone. His big hands were an impediment to gadget use before but the new procedure, which involves making a small incision into both thumbs and shaving down the bones, apparently lets him hit all the right buttons."
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Only 25% of Firefox downloaders are 'active users'

bheer bheer writes  |  more than 7 years ago

bheer writes "The Guardian points to a page on the Mozilla wiki which notes that only 50% of the people downloading Firefox actually try it out, and only a further half of those continue to use it actively." ZDNet has some commentary as well. While a 25% retention rate isn't necessarily bad, Mozilla is trying to improve these figures with a 12 point plan that includes more TV and media advertising, a better start page and several installation tweaks."
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bheer bheer writes  |  more than 7 years ago

bheer writes "Salon's Since You Asked column is carrying an interesting question right now — what do you say in interviews after getting fired as a fall guy at your last job? Cary Tennis, who writes the column, admits he may not be the best person for this sort of question. So I thought I'd ask Slashdotters what they thought about this. Software developers are sometimes able to get away blaming the business requirements/analysis process, but anyone with any experience in this business probably has had nightmares about being the fall guy and may even have a strategy or two up their sleeve. How would deal with being in such a crummy position?"

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