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926  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Things your kids will never know - old school tech! on: October 29, 2008, 10:38:09 PM
My first camera...

Oh yeah - that reminds me of flash bulbs and flash cubes.  Wow,  I'd completely forgotten about their existence.

Here's a groovy commercial for them:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0eGZX_4EIEU
927  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Companies paying people to say good things about their products on forums on: October 13, 2008, 06:12:12 PM
Hmm...  I guess we have to watch out for that mouser guy then.
928  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Why Does Microsoft Make File Type Names So Long? on: October 11, 2008, 11:49:02 AM
You'd have to show me (on my system, of course) what extensions need more than three characters. I don’t see them.

The problem is that when a developer wants to come up with an extension for their application's data files they want to make it unique across all applications so there's no conflict on anyone's machines, not just yours.
929  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: FinePrint vs. priPrinter on: October 02, 2008, 01:14:49 PM
I have FP6 at home and 5-something at work.  Not thrilled with version 6, but anything is better than file|print.  I wonder if it will be available for U3 so I can use it both places w/1 purchase.

You already can - from the FinePrint FAQ (http://www.fineprint.com/support/faqs.html):

Can I use the software on my laptop and my desktop without purchasing again?

Yes, you can. The license allows you to use the software on multiple computers as long as they are not simultaneously used.
930  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Reading Administrator account files from USB on: September 25, 2008, 12:59:38 AM
I was able to take ownership of some other account files and this without ever being asked a password... what kind of security is that? What is the point of setting access priviledges to files, if anybody can simply bypass this and simple take ownership?

I'm happy to have been able to do it, but at the very least, I expected to be required to enter the original account credentials (account name, password), otherwise NTFS security is just a joke...
I assume that you are running with an administrator account on the new machine?  Administrators have the right to take ownership of files.  If you were logged on as a non-admin user, you would not have been able to do this.
931  Other Software / Announce Your Software/Service/Product / Re: The Superior Software List on: September 23, 2008, 05:36:18 PM
I modeled it after Zaine's list

So, are you going to post the occasional nudie pic?
932  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: CCleaner Or Not? on: September 23, 2008, 01:05:06 AM
If you are going to use CCleaner then yoiu should consider going to the 'Other Builds' download page: http://www.ccleaner.com/download/builds

The normal CCleaner installer includes the Yahoo Toolbar (although the toolbar installation is optional).  The Portable or Slim builds do not.
933  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: News Article: Comcast Discloses Bandwidth Throttling Practices on: September 22, 2008, 04:05:01 PM
The not only came clean with the FCC - they sent a notice to me that the Acceptable Use Policy was changing as of Oct 1 (250GB/Month limit).   I'm not too concerned with the limit - as long as they're up front about it.  I'll be interested to see how their advertising changes.  I'll bet it will say "Unlimited* Internet" with nothing but the asterisk to indicate that it's really not unlimited.

934  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Volume Shadow Copy : how do you get this damn thing to work! on: September 16, 2008, 03:23:58 PM
I guess I'm looking on some advices on cluster size. That's the only potential solution I foresee for now. Anyone knows from experience what will happen if I increase the cluster size of my partitions?
Not from experience, but the thing that comes first to mind is make sure you're adequately backed-up.  While I think the conversion should be safe, since it's a low-level change if there's any kind of glitch it'll be a disaster.

The only drawback I believe you might see is there will be increased 'slack' space usage, especially if you have a ton of small files.  However, given today's disk sizes, I doubt that would be of any significance.
935  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Volume Shadow Copy : how do you get this damn thing to work! on: September 15, 2008, 10:44:00 AM
VSS can be finicky.  2BrightSparks has a long list of troubleshooting steps for VSS that you should try, if you haven't already:


The thing that worked for me when I had problems is supposed to be in that list, but I didn't notice it.  I had the following problem/fix:


936  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Vuln. Alert: Malformed URLs Crash Acrobat 9 on: September 14, 2008, 09:20:54 PM
Denial of service is the technical term, regardless of any connotations associated with the phrase.
I wouldn't say they're blatantly lying, just exaggerating or sensationalizing the scope of the problem.
How so, given that their use of this phrase is entirely legitimate?
It may be a technical term, but apparently there is still some difference of opinion on it.  In my opinion it's a stretch to call this a denial of service - what service is being blocked/prevented/denied?

Since you suggested using Google to clear up any  misconception, here's what I get on the first results page for the search '"denial of service" definition', listing only the results that don't discuss only distributed denial of service attacks, which I think everyone can agree this is not:

A denial of service (DoS) attack is an incident in which a user or organization is deprived of the services of a resource they would normally expect to have.
A denial-of-service attack (DoS attack) or distributed denial-of-service attack (DDoS attack) is an attempt to make a computer resource unavailable to its intended users.
A type of crack attack that makes it difficult, if not impossible, for valid system users to access their computer or particular services?such as Web applications?on a computer.
A condition in which a system can no longer respond to normal requests.

I still don't think this meets these definitions. If you do, that's fine.

937  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Vuln. Alert: Malformed URLs Crash Acrobat 9 on: September 14, 2008, 06:09:59 PM
Use of "denial of service" in this case is entirely legitimate, unless they're blatantly lying, which I am yet to see any evidence of, unless you have any...?
I wouldn't say they're blatantly lying, just exaggerating or sensationalizing the scope of the problem.
938  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: News Article: Anti-Spam Law Declared Unconstitutional on: September 14, 2008, 05:43:30 PM
One bright spot is that the court struck down the law because it extended to non-commercial speech, but most anti-spam laws apply only to commercial emails:

the ruling won't have broad repercussions because Virginia is the only state that prohibits noncommercial spam
939  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: News Article: Insecure Cookies Leak Sensitive Information on: September 14, 2008, 05:11:14 PM
On a somewhat related note (cookie stealing), Coding Horror recently did an article about the fact that cookies should be marked "HttpOnly" to prevent being stolen by JavaScript attacks:


I wonder how much stuff would break if browsers changed the protocol to make cookies HttpOnly by default (make websites specifically mark them as "OK for JavaScript") and automatically mark cookies the browser gets via HTTPS/SSL with the 'secure bit'.  Let the website specifically indicate that the cookie is not secure instead of the other way around ('secure by default').

I wonder if this is something that can be added to FireFox via plugin (I know nothing about how low-level plugins can get).  It might be interesting to see if web browsing is still usable.
940  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Vuln. Alert: Malformed URLs Crash Acrobat 9 on: September 14, 2008, 05:02:13 PM
In his case it sounds like the term "denial of service" is being used to sensationalize this.  There's no resource or service that's being denied access to - the URL is bogus. Is it an inconvenience? Irritating?


But it's just something that crashes a program due to a bug.
941  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: News Article: Insecure Cookies Leak Sensitive Information on: September 14, 2008, 02:21:13 PM
Secure websites are vulnerable to a new man-in-the-middle attack that takes advantage of cookies with the secure bit set.

That should read "takes advantage of cookies without the secure bit set". 

The exploit works by poisoning or otherwise spoofing DNS somehow (the article doesn't mention how CookieMonster does this, and I'm not sure how easy it is to do) and placing images on webpage that claim to come from the target website, but without HTTPS/SSL.  If the secure bit is not set on the authentication cookie, the browser will send it along in cleartext so the attacker gets the cookie.  If the secure bit is set on the authentication cookie, the browser will not send it to the attacker.
942  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Vuln. Alert: Malformed URLs Crash Acrobat 9 on: September 14, 2008, 02:01:11 PM
I'm at a loss as to how this can be called a "denial of service" vulnerability.  Sure, it's a bug in Acrobat, but from the description all it does is cause it to crash when you open a document with the malformed URL.  What service is being denied?  The ability to open documents that are intended to crash the program?
943  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Microsoft granted patents for PageUp and PageDn keystrokes! on: September 10, 2008, 03:40:50 PM
Right, patenting a key would be ridiculous, but the way in which the keys operate I see as a legitimate patent, just like the rolly storage bins which were advertised on TV during the late 90's were patented as a "Method of storage". Again, the title of this article misleads and does not actually indicate that it is a matter of HOW the key is utilized and not the ACTUAL key itself.

However, two of the attributes a patent is supposed to have are that it is:

  • novel - something new (ie., no prior art)
  • non-obvious - especially to a skilled practitioner in the area the patent is in

The patent as described by the news article (I admit, I have not read the actual patent itself) does not seem to come close to meeting these attributes.  Early word processors, mainframe applications and even early versions of Adobe Reader had PgUp/PgDn keys behave as described (I personally never found that behavior to be very usable anyway).
944  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Easy remote access to my home pc? on: September 03, 2008, 06:10:47 PM
Using RDP/Remote Assistance often runs into a problem that Crossloop and logmein solve - NAT routers.  I know that Remote Assistance can work around NAT routers to a certain degree, but it has real problems if both ends have a router between them and the Internet.

I like LogMeIn fine for remote access to my machine, but the free version doesn't work too well for assisting someone else (at least the last time I tried it).

I have not tried Crossloop.

I have used Fog Creek Copilot (https://www.copilot.com/) to provide assistance for some relatives and it worked nicely except that it does not support dual monitor systems very well.  Copilot is free on the weekends or $5 for a 24 hour 'ticket' through the week.  The other nice thing about Copilot is that the person you're assisting doesn't need to be computer savvy - a link gets sent in email (or the URL and/or connection code can be read over the phone if email's not working) and everything else pretty much just works with maybe a few clicks on a 'yes' button in a dialog.

I think that Copilot is built upon VNC, but I'm not sure.
945  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: What the hell is this -- charge me to remove crapware? on: August 31, 2008, 03:55:31 PM
The crapware makers will be happy.

I don't think so - I think that often they actually pay the OEM to get their crap in front of users as a form of advertising for more craptastic versions that the user might pay for.  They want to be on the system out of the box.

To get my point, here're two examples of user experience level I consider as "typical end user":
a.) The Windows XP search assistant is annoying. Can it be disabled?
b.) If I open a avi file i just hear the music in Media Player, but see no video.

I often find myself in situation "b".  I hate the whole Windows video architecture that puts codecs and codec installation front and center.  I don't know anything about video codecs, and I don't *want* to know anything about them.  I just want the damn video to play.
946  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Insert Char into String - I "Hit the Wall" ...again. on: August 27, 2008, 05:03:46 PM
Dynamic buffer allocation is one of those things I never have figured out so resizing on the fly might take a while (Suggestions I'm open for...).

If you're using C++ I'd strongly consider using the string class (or the similar, but different, MFC/ATL CString class).  Even if you don't use any other aspect of C++ having those classes deal with the buffer management of the string data is an immense help.  And since the classes provide an easy way to get a null terminated, C-style string (using the c_str() method with std::string - don't remember what it is in the CString class) it's easy to have the strings interact with most Win32 and other C-oriented APIs. 

The only time it becomes a problem is when the API wants a buffer that it's going to copy a string into.  Or returns a pointer to a string that you then have to free using some other API function.  For those situations I'll often write a small wrapper that allocates the buffer (and frees it when done), calls the API then packages the result in a string object that gets returned by the wrapper.  There may be an extra heap allocation and a string copy in there, but I think the resulting ease and safety of use is worth it in almost all cases.
947  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Insert Char into String - I "Hit the Wall" ...again. on: August 27, 2008, 01:06:41 PM
So I'll assume memmove is StringSafe ... Safe (as it are Working).

Uh oh.... my example is not exactly safe.  For simplicity's sake there were a couple things left out that you may want to check:

  • the example I gave does not ensure that there's enough buffer for the memmove() - if the string passed in to the CleanString() function happens to fill its allocated memory exactly, the memmove will overrun the buffer (which is exactly the type of problem that the SafeString routines were intended to prevent).  Since the buffer size is not passed in to CleanString() I'm not sure that you can grow the string in place safely.  You may need to change the CleanString() interface to include the buffer size and change the memmove() call to ensure that the buffer is not overrun and that the resulting expanded string is always null terminated.
  • The memmove() is not Unicode aware.  The CleanString() function you presented is also not Unicode aware, but to make it at least slightly easier to port, the memmove() call should probably look like "memmove( p + 1, p, (_tcslen( p) + 1) * sizeof (*p))"
948  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Insert Char into String - I "Hit the Wall" ...again. on: August 27, 2008, 10:59:18 AM
The inster() method is part of the C++ string class, so you'd need to include <string>  - not <string.h> which gets you the good, old standard C string functions (which, as you find, are deprecated in MSVC 9 for the most part as being unsafe).  Since you're using raw strings instead of the string class, the insert() method will not be much help unless you're willing to move to using the string class.  That might be a worthwhile thing, but it might be a lot of work.

If you're going to insert a character in a raw string, you'll need to move the characters in the tail end of string (after the insertion point) over one character each.  So before line 10 in your example, you'll need something equivalent to:

Formatted for C++ with the GeSHI Syntax Highlighter [copy or print]
  1. memmove( p + 1, p, strlen( p) + 1)

But you'll need to adjust that bit of code to use the SafeString equivalent to memmove().  Note that you need memmove() semantics - not memcpy() - since the source and destination buffers overlap.
949  Special User Sections / What's the Best? / Re: Anti-Virus Package on: August 23, 2008, 11:10:05 AM
I'm interested in what you might find about Sunbelt VIPRE - I've been meaning to try it out since they released a couple weeks ago, but haven't gotten around to it.

They have a very attractive home license price - $50 for 4 or more PCs.
950  Other Software / Developer's Corner / Re: C++0x: The Dawning of a New Standard on: August 22, 2008, 03:48:32 PM
Also C++0x will standardize shared_ptr<> which can make managing the lifetime of dynamically allocated objects pretty much as easy to manage as in garbage collected environments like .NET or Java.

shared_ptr's are seriously nice. 

shared_ptrs<> are already available as part of TR1 (which is now in MSVC 9/VS 2008  if you get SP1) or part of Boost.
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