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Multiplatform Java Botnet Spotted In the Wild

psetzer Re:um.... (203 comments)

You can make a Linux executable quite easily using a similar trick to the Windows executable version. Just cat a shell script that tries to run itself as a JAR file with an actual JAR file.

more than 3 years ago
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Why Creators Should Never Read Their Forums

psetzer Re:If you're not going to read your forum ... (221 comments)

While you get an idea of what the people who post in the forum like by reading it, it's not necessarily the best choice overall. The people who post on gaming forums are going to be a self-selected subset amounting to a couple of percent of the total player base, tops. This means they're going to have opinions that may not reflect everyone who plays the game. Most notably they're going to be more hardcore than average.

There is no war game, simulation or RPG mechanic so utterly baroque that someone won't decry streamlining it as 'dumbing down' the game. Inevitably that someone posts on the developer's forum. People got unbelievably pissed off when Dungeons and Dragons got rid of THAC0 and made higher armor classes better. All THAC0 did was complicate the rules set and give newcomers one more reason not to play past their first game. D&D 4e among many other things eliminated enemies that drain levels on touch since permanently weakening a PC sucks, it disproportionately hits melee classes, and it brings the game to a halt as you recalculate everything every time someone gets hit.

Ultimately, designing a game is a different skill set from playing the same game. Players can give an idea of what they personally liked and disliked, but as a rule have a pretty terrible idea of what's possible and what's balanced. Designers who forget that are begging for trouble.

more than 3 years ago
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G2 Detects When Rooted and Reinstalls Stock OS

psetzer Re:Driod does... (406 comments)

Rooting in the strictest sense means being able to run with administrative user privileges. It's just that administrative user privileges isn't enough to actually change system files and still boot.

more than 3 years ago
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G2 Detects When Rooted and Reinstalls Stock OS

psetzer Re:Sorry, I can't possibly get upset about this (406 comments)

Because cell phones generally already have support circuitry built into the CPU which prevents you from changing the OS. The public key is loaded into the PROM at manufacturing time and absent the private key, you're not going to put a new OS on the phone. The Droid X 'killswitch' most likely works that way so when someone replaces a critical signed file, the bootloader just screeches to a halt. This sounds like someone added a recovery partition with the original signed files so it just grabs the files from there and tries to boot again. If the recovery partition's files aren't correctly signed, the phone's a brick. I'd give maybe a week or two before someone gets the brilliant idea to overwrite the recovery partition with unsigned files and we get a story about how the G2 has its own 'killswitch'.

more than 3 years ago
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"Midori" Concepts Materialize In .NET

psetzer Re:Wasn't Windows 95 and 98 built from the ground (106 comments)

That's the problem with any software that's not running on bare iron. A C program running on Linux is still limited in the exact same way that managed code is. It's just that the OS imposes those limitations with SIGSEGV rather than simply not deallocating referenced memory. If it really did let you do whatever you want that the hardware allows, that'd be a tremendous security hole.

more than 4 years ago
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What Knowledge Gaps Do Self-Taught Programmers Generally Have?

psetzer Re:Design patterns (396 comments)

I wouldn't put it in terms of a specific poster given that I haven't seen their code to judge it in the first place and one of the points of GoF is that the patterns are really just techniques that get reinvented over and over and over by people to solve common broad classes of problems. For a lot of programmers, learning big-O notation was really just formalizing an intuition we've had about the speed of nested loops. Education gave us a firmer grasp of what it really means as well as a vocabulary to express it to others.

However I've noticed that there's a contingent of self-taught programmers who learn some Turing complete subset of a procedural language plus some amusing anecdotes about systems programming from over 30 years ago and have therefore attained the status of Programming God. They're the only ones able to see through the perfumed lies of all those college educated frauds with their "event handlers" and "callbacks" and who understand the timeless elegance of a 50,000 line while(1) loop. In short they're so incompetent it hurts and they can't even tell it due to their inability to comprehend just how bad they are.

more than 4 years ago
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Rootkit May Be Behind Windows Blue Screen

psetzer Re:Ah, well, that lets Microsoft off the hook then (323 comments)

This is pretty ironic considering the circumstances. Their DRM code is pretty much the standard process and kernel isolation plus hardware support for looking to see if anyone's messed around with critical system files to bypass that.

more than 4 years ago
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Chrome Apes IE8, Adds Clickjacking, XSS Defenses

psetzer Re:Dumb article (90 comments)

I'm going to savor the day when there's an article about this awesome new feature in the Linux kernel that uses hardware encryption to verify the integrity of loaded kernel modules and prevent rootkits.

more than 4 years ago
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Google Proposes DNS Extension

psetzer Re:Do no evil, eh? (271 comments)

You can't anycast TCP, so this is a big boon for companies with lots of servers all over the world. The downsides involve bizarre cases with repressive governments that rule over their DNS servers with an iron fist but leave everything else alone because that would be wrong. China already blocks websites and monitors everyone in their country, so adding this really just offers them a less effective way to go about it. Companies wanting to use this to undermine their users' privacy can just look at the actual connections as well. Making sky-is-falling predictions about this just convinces people that these sorts of concerns are always misplaced when the truth of the matter is that this is innocuous even if there are other proposals out there that do have great potential for abuse.

more than 4 years ago
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Microsoft Leaks Details of 128-bit Windows 8

psetzer Re:128 Bit Architecture = cloud computing (581 comments)

Ideally an OS should be able to mediate access to resources and provide sufficient isolation on its lonesome rather than needing to add more layers in the form of virtual machines to do its job. In the same vein, an OS should be able to provide a uniform interface for accessing the resources available even if they're physically not on the same box. Distributed single level storage would be the logical conclusion, and in a couple of decades a large server farm might start getting uncomfortably close to the 64-bit limit if everything on it shared a single physical address space.

more than 4 years ago
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Behind the 4GB Memory Limit In 32-Bit Windows

psetzer Re:Nobody needs more than 640K of RAM (756 comments)

That's what PAE is. To the process, the address space is just one huge flat expanse from 00000000 to 7FFFFFFF. (or BFFFFFFF if the OS is configured that way and the software understands it) To the OS, the processes are allocated RAM in 4 kB pages which are mapped to their corresponding hardware frames in RAM via the page table. When the process accesses an address, the low 12 bits determine where within the page it should read, while the high 20 bits determine the entry in the page table. That entry has the hardware address which it then accesses. PAE allows the hardware address to be larger than 20 bits so that the OS can address more than 32 bits of physical memory transparently to the individual processes.

more than 4 years ago
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Researchers Show How To Take Control of Windows 7

psetzer Re:pretty low on the spectrum (325 comments)

The term 'privilege escalation' is utterly meaningless in this context. The code is running at kernel level. It defines what the privileges are and can do whatever it wants because it IS the OS.

more than 5 years ago
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Computer Spies Breach $300B Fighter-Jet Project

psetzer Re:Only a few terabytes? (330 comments)

The flip of a switch that subtly corrupts terabytes of data vital to a $300 billion government project in a manner that the engineers can't detect it until planes start falling out of the sky.

more than 5 years ago
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Why the CAPTCHA Approach Is Doomed

psetzer Re:8==C=A=P=T=C=H=A==D (522 comments)

Every so often toss in an image with the statement "Pakistan always has been and will always be the sole rightful owner of Kashmir and the Republic of China is the legitimate government of the Chinese people."

more than 5 years ago
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Lower Air Pollution Means Longer Life

psetzer Re:Don't jump the gun yet... (272 comments)

It doesn't get proven. That's the whole point of that objection. It allows the person making it to sound intellectual while tossing up a smokescreen where there's always some unspecified alternative explanation but there's never a specific one that the researchers can disprove or any point where the person chanting "correlation != causation" will ever concede anything. It's religious fundamentalism wrapped up in a pseudoscientific veneer where gosh they'd really like to believe this but their strong dedication to the skepticism prevents them from doing so.

more than 5 years ago
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Microsoft Says IE Faster Than Chrome and Firefox

psetzer Re:you are not looking (532 comments)

If you didn't disable the page file, all the browser data is mirrored on disk so Windows will just reallocate memory from the browser, Eclipse, whatever to the game and page everything back in when you're actually using that program again.

more than 5 years ago
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How Vista Mistakes Changed Windows 7 Development

psetzer Re:Mind Boggling Legacy Junk Still In Win 7 (483 comments)

Stupid fun Windows fact: In the event that Windows has 26 partitions, the next partition created is AA. In the somewhat less likely event that you're up to ZZ, it goes back to AAA-ZZZ then AAAA-ZZZZ. I think that the highest anyone's gone was 5 characters although there weren't anywhere near that number of real partitions; they just wanted an amusing drive name and decided that creating tens of thousands of partitions was just the way to do it.

more than 5 years ago
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How Vista Mistakes Changed Windows 7 Development

psetzer Re:Will run on netbooks or drag? (483 comments)

That version's been out for years for both Windows XP and Vista already, and if you didn't know about them then you'll probably never run into this iteration either.

more than 5 years ago
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Collaborative Map-Reduce In the Browser

psetzer Re:Why? Why? WHYWHYWHYWHY??? (188 comments)

Or they could use an Applet or JWS and get several times the performance for only a mild reduction in install base. JWS would even be able to run offline or when the browser window's closed and cache some output to a JVM-managed scratchpad file on disk.

more than 5 years ago
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Null References, the Billion Dollar Mistake

psetzer Re:How else would you terminate them? (612 comments)

Unless you're manually packing string constants into memory, the space used by a string is the size of the buffer. Even packed, alignment issues mean the 3 bytes aren't usable without extra effort and performance costs for misaligned memory accesses. On a microcomputer which is extremely space-constrained but can access any spot in memory without consideration of alignment it makes sense. On a modern PC or even many embedded systems these days, not so much.

more than 5 years ago

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