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Shortcut Icons Open Windows to Rootkit Drive-By

snydeq 'Weaponized' Virus? (1 comments)

Addendum to original post:

Thus far, the original zero-day attack has been limited very specifically to Siemens WinCC SCADA systems, used to control large automation production facilities.

"This has all the hallmarks of weaponized software, probably for espionage," said Jake Brodsky, an IT worker with a large utility, who asked that his company not be identified because he was not authorized to speak on its behalf.

more than 4 years ago
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Apple Says iPhone Jailbreaking Could Hurt Cell Towers

snydeq Apple insinuates jailbreak link to 'drug dealers' (495 comments)

Apple has also invoked the threat of empowering 'drug dealers' in its skree vs. jailbreaking, thereby insinuating a tacit connection between the practice of jailbreaking and the trafficking of narcotics:

"With access to the BBP via jailbreaking, hackers may be able to change the ECID, which in turn can enable phone calls to be made anonymously (this would be desirable to drug dealers, for example) or charges for the calls to be avoided," Apple said.

more than 5 years ago
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Google's Android To Challenge Windows?

snydeq 'Microsoft to leave smartbooks to Google' (269 comments)

Lost perhaps in the fervor over "eating into Windows' share of PC operating systems" is the fact that Microsoft doesn't seem to -- or doesn't want to appear to seem to -- care.

Although it may be a case of CYA, or a byproduct of some Wintel partnership fine print, Microsoft has said it has no plans to port a PC version of Windows over to the ARM core, in a sense leaving the whole "smartbooks" market Linux and Android.

And though it may be true that an Intel deal, a desire not to eat into its own Windows netbook/notebook revenue, or the difficulty of porting a worthwhile version of Windows to ARM is at the heart of this deference to Android, you have to wonder whether there is some grain of truth to the fact that it is 'hard to create new categories' of technology, as Microsoft is claiming in relation to its stated disinterest in "smartbooks."

more than 5 years ago
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Qualcomm Demos Eee PC Running Android OS

snydeq 'Asustek puts Android netbook on ice' (125 comments)

Asustek appears to have already scuttled this project, calling the technology 'not mature' and disavowing any pressure from Microsoft and Intel over the use of Android and Snapdragon in the Eee PC.

Of course, the Android-based Eee was demonstrated by Qualcomm, not Asustek. Yet, Asustek's distancing itself from the machine while competitors like Acer are announcing Android plans is a little bit intriguing.

more than 5 years ago
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San Fran Hunts For Mystery Device On City Network

snydeq More technical info on the device (821 comments)

Paul Venezia digs a little deeper into this so-called "terminal server" today in his blog:

"From what I can see, it's a device running Cisco IOS that was accessed via telnet. I could generate an identical screenshot to the one entered into evidence in about five minutes using an elderly Cisco 2924-XL Ethernet switch -- a device that's certainly not a terminal server. It's completely unclear to me how they could have possibly come to the conclusion that this is a "terminal server" -- the evidence presented to the court certainly does not support that theory."

Venezia also uncovers additional technical errors in the prosecution's case, which appears to be unraveling with the recent news that the DTIS Datacenter Supervisor Ramon Pabros will testify on Childs' behalf. Since coming forward, Pabros has announced he will be retiring from the DTIS, effective Sept. 17. Coincidence?

about 6 years ago

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It's Time To Split Linux In Two

snydeq snydeq writes  |  about a week ago

snydeq (1272828) writes "Desktop workloads and server workloads have different needs, and it's high time Linux consider a split to more adequately address them, writes Deep End's Paul Venezia. 'You can take a Linux installation of nearly any distribution and turn it into a server, then back into a workstation by installing and uninstalling various packages. The OS core remains the same, and the stability and performance will be roughly the same, assuming you tune they system along the way. Those two workloads are very different, however, and as computing power continues to increase, the workloads are diverging even more. Maybe it's time Linux is split in two. I suggested this possibility last week when discussing systemd (or that FreeBSD could see higher server adoption), but it's more than systemd coming into play here. It's from the bootloader all the way up. The more we see Linux distributions trying to offer chimera-like operating systems that can be a server or a desktop at a whim, the more we tend to see the dilution of both. You can run stock Debian Jessie on your laptop or on a 64-way server. Does it not make sense to concentrate all efforts on one or the other?'"
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IT Jobs Take Summer Swan Dive

snydeq snydeq writes  |  about two weeks ago

snydeq (1272828) writes "The IT job hiring bump earlier this year wasn't sustained in July and August, when numbers slumped considerably, InfoWorld reports. 'So much for the light at the end of the IT jobs tunnel. According to job data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, as analyzed by Janco Associates, the IT professional job market has all but lost the head of steam it built up earlier this year. A mere 3,400 IT jobs were added in August, down from 4,600 added for July and way down from the 13,800 added in April of this year. Overall, IT hiring in 2014 got off to a weak start, then surged, only to stumble again.' Anybody out there finding the IT job market discouraging of late and care to share their experiences?"
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You Have Your Windows In My Linux

snydeq snydeq writes  |  about two weeks ago

snydeq (1272828) writes "Ultimately, the schism over systemd could lead to a separation of desktop and server distros, or Linux server admins moving to FreeBSD, writes Deep End's Paul Venezia. 'Although there are those who think the systemd debate has been decided in favor of systemd, the exceedingly loud protests on message boards, forums, and the posts I wrote over the past two weeks would indicate otherwise. I've seen many declarations of victory for systemd, now that Red Hat has forced it into the enterprise with the release of RHEL 7. I don't think it's that easy. ... Go ahead, kids, spackle over all of that unsightly runlevel stuff. Paint over init and cron, pam and login. Put all of that into PID1 along with dbus. Make it all pretty and whisper sweet nothings about how it's all taken care of and you won't have to read a manual or learn any silly command-line stuff. Tune your distribution for desktop workloads. Go reinvent Windows.'"
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Microsoft Ships Replacement Patch With Two Known Bugs

snydeq snydeq writes  |  about two weeks ago

snydeq (1272828) writes "Microsoft has re-released its botched MS14-045/KB 2982791 'Blue Screen 0x50' patch, only to introduce more problems, InfoWorld's Woody Leonhard reports. 'Even by Microsoft standards, this month's botched Black Tuesday Windows 7/8/8.1 MS14-045 patch hit a new low. The original patch (KB 2982791) is now officially "expired" and a completely different patch (KB 2993651) offered in its stead; there are barely documented revelations of new problems with old patches; patches that have disappeared; a "strong" recommendation to manually uninstall a patch that went out via Automatic Update for several days; and an infuriating official explanation that raises serious doubts about Microsoft's ability to support Windows 9's expected rapid update pace.'"
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Famo.us Looking to Topple jQuery and More

snydeq snydeq writes  |  about three weeks ago

snydeq (1272828) writes "Famo.us has bold plans to reinvent mobile Web apps with its library of native-like tools for Web and mobile developers. The company wants to replace critical components of the Web, including jQuery widgets and Bootstrap mobile application templates, with its own open source framework, InfoWorld reports. 'Famo.ous CEO Steve Newcomb has been talking big lately, fresh on the heels of getting a $25 million VC investment. "The worst-case scenario is Famo.us becomes the new jQuery — a nonprofit with no business model," Newcomb says. "But the best-case scenario is we own the front end of the Web completely. Either way, we revitalize the entire front end of the Web." But can Famo.us live up to Newcomb's big talk? After all, Famo.us had promised to duel with Adobe PhoneGap, the popular cross-platform mobile application development system. But now, Famo.us is partnering with Adobe instead.'"
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How Red Hat Can Recapture Developer Interest

snydeq snydeq writes  |  about three weeks ago

snydeq (1272828) writes "Developers are embracing a range of open source technologies, writes Matt Asay, virtually none of which are supported or sold by Red Hat, the purported open source leader. 'Ask a CIO her choice to run mission-critical workloads, and her answer is a near immediate "Red Hat." Ask her developers what they prefer, however, and it's Ubuntu. Outside the operating system, according to AngelList data compiled by Leo Polovets, these developers go with MySQL, MongoDB, or PostgreSQL for their database; Chef or Puppet for configuration; and ElasticSearch or Solr for search. None of this technology is developed by Red Hat. Yet all of this technology is what the next generation of developers is using to build modern applications. Given that developers are the new kingmakers, Red Hat needs to get out in front of the developer freight train if it wants to remain relevant for the next 20 years, much less the next two.'"
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New Windows Coming In Late September -- But Which One?

snydeq snydeq writes  |  about three weeks ago

snydeq (1272828) writes "Nobody seems to know for sure whether 'Threshold' and 'Windows 9' will be one and the same or separate operating systems, reports Woody Leonhard in his roundup of insights on Microsoft's forthcoming OS plans, expected September 30. 'Many people think the terms are synonymous, but longtime Chinese leaker Faikee continues to maintain that they are two separate products, possibly headed in different directions. Neowin Senior Editor and Columnist Brad Sams appears to have access to the most recent test builds, possibly on a daily basis. He doesn't talk about details, but the items he's let drop on the Neowin forum leave an interesting trail of crumbs.' Either way, the next iteration of Windows will have a lot to say about the kind of Microsoft to expect as Satya Nadella cements his leadership over the flagship OS."
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Choose Your Side On The Linux Divide

snydeq snydeq writes  |  about three weeks ago

snydeq (1272828) writes "The battle over systemd exposes a fundamental gap between the old Unix guard and a new guard of Linux developers and admins, writes Deep End's Paul Venezia. 'Last week I posted about the schism brewing over systemd and the curiously fast adoption of this massive change to many Linux distributions. If there's one thing that systemd does extremely well, it is to spark heated discussions that devolve into wild, teeth-gnashing rants from both sides. Clearly, systemd is a polarizing subject. If nothing else, that very fact should give one pause. Fundamental changes in the structure of most Linux distributions should not be met with such fervent opposition. It indicates that no matter how reasonable a change may seem, if enough established and learned folks disagree with the change, then perhaps it bears further inspection before going to production. Clearly, that hasn't happened with systemd.'"
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What You Wish You'd Known Starting Out As A Programmer

snydeq snydeq writes  |  about three weeks ago

snydeq (1272828) writes "Most of us gave little thought to the 'career' aspect of programming when starting out, but here we are, battle-hardened by hard-learned lessons, slouching our way through decades at the console, wishing perhaps that we had recognized the long road ahead when we started. What advice might we give to our younger self, or to younger selves coming to programming just now? Andrew C. Oliver offers eight insights he gave little thought to when first coding: 'As the old Faces song "Ooh La La" goes, I wish that I knew what I know now when I was younger. Back then, I simply loved to code and could have cared less about my "career" or about playing well with others. I could have saved myself a ton of trouble if I'd just followed a few simple practices.' What are yours?"
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Microsoft Black Tuesday Blue Screens of Death

snydeq snydeq writes  |  about 1 month ago

snydeq (1272828) writes "Two of Microsoft's kernel-mode driver updates — which often cause problems — are triggering a BSOD error message on some Windows systems, InfoWorld reports. 'Details at this point are sparse, but it looks like three different patches from this week's Black Tuesday crop are causing Blue Screens with a Stop 0x50 error on some systems. If you're hitting a BSOD, you can help diagnose the problem (and perhaps prod Microsoft to find a solution) by adding your voice to the Microsoft Answers Forum thread on the subject.'"
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The Quiet Before The Next IT Revolution

snydeq snydeq writes  |  about a month ago

snydeq (1272828) writes "Now that the technologies behind our servers and networks have stabilized, IT can look forward to a different kind of constant change, writes Paul Venezia. 'In IT, we are actually seeing a bit of stasis. I don't mean that the IT world isn't moving at the speed of light — it is — but the technologies we use in our corporate data centers have progressed to the point where we can leave them be for the foreseeable future without worry that they will cause blocking problems in other areas of the infrastructure. What all this means for IT is not that we can finally sit back and take a break after decades of turbulence, but that we can now focus less on the foundational elements of IT and more on the refinements. ... In essence, we have finally built the transcontinental railroad, and now we can use it to completely transform our Wild West.'"
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What the 'Internet of Things' Really Means

snydeq snydeq writes  |  about a month ago

snydeq (1272828) writes "The Internet of Things is about as overhyped as a tech trend comes, thanks in no small part to catch-all marketing efforts to lump together under one meaningless banner anything that uses power, a chip, and some communications. And yet there is certainly substance to derive from the concept, depending on which of the three evolving strains of 'IoT' make the most sense for your organization: machine-to-machine communications, smart systems, and the ad hoc IoT of home automation systems and the like, writes Galen Gruman. 'Despite the tech industry's fierce attempts to scrub all meaning from the IoT label, something real and valuable is occurring in the Internet of things. But users and IT organizations can't take advantage of it without understanding what's going on, which is what this post explains. ... Where all this leaves us is a set of distinct but overlapping markets all sharing the "Internet of things" label. They may share some technology underpinnings and some basic characteristics, but that's like thinking of PCs, networking, and databases as all the same because they are all computer technologies.'"
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The Technologies Changing What It Means to Be a Programmer

snydeq snydeq writes  |  about a month ago

snydeq (1272828) writes "Modern programming bears little resemblance to the days of assembly code and toggles. Worse, or perhaps better, it markedly differs from what it meant to be a programmer just five years ago. While the technologies and tools underlying this transformation can make development work more powerful and efficient, they also make developers increasingly responsible for facets of computing beyond their traditional domain, thereby concentrating a wider range of roles and responsibilities into leaner, more overworked staff. 'It's quite possible that any Rip Van Winkle-like developer who slept through the past 10 years would be unable to function in the today's computing world.' How do you see the nature of development work changing, and which aspects do you find empowering or enslaving?"
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Oracle Hasn't Killed Java -- But There's Still Time

snydeq snydeq writes  |  about a month ago

snydeq (1272828) writes "Java core has stagnated, Java EE is dead, and Spring is over, but the JVM marches on. C'mon Oracle, where are the big ideas? asks Andrew C. Oliver. 'I don't think Oracle knows how to create markets. It knows how to destroy them and create a product out of them, but it somehow failed to do that with Java. I think Java will have a long, long tail, but the days are numbered for it being anything more than a runtime and a language with a huge install base. I don't see Oracle stepping up to the plate to offer the kind of leadership that is needed. It just isn't who Oracle is. Instead, Oracle will sue some more people, do some more shortsighted and self-defeating things, then quietly fade into runtime maintainer before IBM, Red Hat, et al. pick up the slack independently. That's started to happen anyhow.'"
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Satya Nadella At Six Months: Grading Microsoft's New CEO

snydeq snydeq writes  |  about a month ago

snydeq (1272828) writes "The future emerging for Microsoft under Nadella is a mixed bag of hope and turmoil, writes Woody Leonhard in his review of Nadella's first fix months at the helm of Microsoft. 'When Nadella took over, Microsoft was mired in the aftermath of a lengthy and ultimately unpopular reign by longtime CEO — and Microsoft majority shareholder — Steve Ballmer. Given the constraint of that checkered past, some might argue that Nadella hasn't had enough time to make his imprint on every aspect of Microsoft. Yet there have been many changes already under Nadella's watch, and patterns are certainly emerging as to the kind of company Microsoft will be in the years ahead.' Leadership, product lines, financials — Nadella's scorecard shows strong strategic leadership, particularly around the cloud, but Windows and devices are murky at best, with Microsoft employees 'taking it in the shorts, and not only in Finland.'"
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IBM Plus Apple: It's All About The Apps

snydeq snydeq writes  |  about 2 months ago

snydeq (1272828) writes "For IBM, much of the success of the joint IBM-Apple partnership that turned the industry on its ear yesterday hinges on the applications, writes InfoWorld's Eric Knorr. But you won't find the fruit of this labor in the App Store. 'The IBM MobileFirst initiative for iOS is very much in line with the IBM tradition of leading with professional services and providing custom application development. Plus, several recent IBM acquisitions are essential to MobileFirst, including Cloudant, Fiberlink, SoftLayer, and Worklight.' According to IBM Enterprise Mobile VP Phil Buckellew, IBM is initially targeting banking, insurance, telco, retail, government, travel, transportation, and health care, and has assembled its own catalog of "starter apps" that should accelerate development by providing 60 to 80 percent of the capabilities and can be customized to particular use cases. 'For each one of these apps,' says Buckellew, 'we have a litmus test: It has to address an industry pain point, and it needs to be powered by analytics.' But the biggest challenge, Knorr writes, could be the 'huge knot to unravel in controlling data access' when you put enterprise applications and analytics on a host of mobile devices."
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9 Signs You Should Jump Ship To A New Job

snydeq snydeq writes  |  about 3 months ago

snydeq (1272828) writes "Poor teamwork, little experimentation, no clear career path — your employer may be sending unmistakable signals of career stagnation just as many tech workers are enjoying high demand for their services, InfoWorld reports. 'Earning a stable income to endure ongoing tedium isn't everyone's ultimate goal for a career in IT. Unfortunately, that's all some employers have to offer — even if it didn't seem that way when you took the job years ago. Stagnation can mean career death in a competitive field, and if your company isn't offering unique, forward-looking projects, it might be time to hit the road.'"
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The Coming IT Hell of Unpatchable Systems

snydeq snydeq writes  |  about 3 months ago

snydeq (1272828) writes "Insecure by design and trusted by default, embedded systems present security concerns that could prove crippling if not addressed by fabricators, vendors, and customers alike, InfoWorld reports. Routers, smart refrigerators, in-pavement traffic-monitoring systems, or crop-monitoring drones — 'the trend toward systems and devices that, once deployed, stubbornly "keep on ticking" regardless of the wishes of those who deploy them is fast becoming an IT security nightmare made real, affecting everything from mom-and-pop shops to power stations. This unpatchable hell is a problem with many fathers, from recalcitrant vendors to customers wary of — or hostile to — change. But with the number and diversity of connected endpoints expected to skyrocket in the next decade, radical measures are fast becoming necessary to ensure that today's "smart" devices and embedded systems don't haunt us for years down the line.'"
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Security Vendor Snake Oil

snydeq snydeq writes  |  about 4 months ago

snydeq (1272828) writes "IT security expert Roger Grimes provides real-world tales of security vendor snake oil, spelling out seven promises and technologies touted by security companies that don't deliver. 'If you're a hardened IT security pro, you've probably had these tactics run by you over and over. It's never only one vendor touting unbelievable claims but many. It's like a pathology of the computer security industry, this all-too-frequent underhanded quackery used in the hopes of duping an IT organization into buying dubious claims or overhyped wares. Following are seven computer security claims or technologies that, when mentioned in the sales pitch, should get your snake-oil radar up and primed for false promises.'"
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Apple JavaScript Accelerator Under Development

snydeq snydeq writes  |  about 4 months ago

snydeq (1272828) writes "Changes to Apple's JavaScript engine — JavaScriptCore (aka "Nitro") for WebKit — are giving it a performance boost to rival that of Google's V8 and Mozilla's SpiderMonkey, InfoWorld reports. 'These upgrades, codenamed "FTLJIT," use the LLVM compiler as the JIT (just-in-time) compilation system. ... One attribute that could make FTLJIT stand out from the pack all the more is how well it runs JavaScript code that is not specifically optimized for asm.js. Every JavaScript engine will run asm.js code, but only Mozilla's SpiderMonkey honors asm.js-specific optimizations, and right now no other browser maker has elected to follow Mozilla's lead. So far, the speed boosts afforded by FTLJIT vary but are intriguing.'"

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