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Author Topic: Tech News Weekly: Edition 41-09  (Read 6234 times)

Ehtyar

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Tech News Weekly: Edition 41-09
« on: October 11, 2009, 06:05:06 AM »
The Weekly Tech News
TNWeekly01.gifHi all.
Enjoy :)
As usual, you can find last week's news here.


1. DRAM Study Turns Assumptions About Errors Upside Down
Spoiler
http://arstechnica.com/business/news/2009/10/dram-study-turns-assumptions-about-errors-upside-down.ars
Google have conducted a pretty sweet real-world study of DRAM over the past couple of years and have published some very interesting results.

Quote
The conventional wisdom about DRAM error rates is that errors are rare, and the majority of the errors that do occur are so-called "soft errors"—randomly corrupted bits that have been flipped by incoming cosmic rays. But a recent large-scale study of DRAM errors released by Google turns this wisdom on its head, and in doing so reinforces the importance of error correction coding (ECC) and regular hardware replacement for datacenter machines.

Google's 2.5-year study of DRAM error rates in its datacenters is the largest such real-world study ever released; prior studies have been based on lab tests done under artificially high-stress conditions, with the results then extrapolated to give a picture of real-world conditions. Google engineers tracked errors as they happened, and logged both the errors and relevant data like temperature, CPU utilization, and memory allocated. After analyzing the data, they drew seven main conclusions about the nature, frequency, and causes of DRAM errors.


2. EU, Microsoft Agree On Browser Ballot, Testing to Start Soon
Spoiler
http://arstechnica.com/microsoft/news/2009/10/microsoft-investigation-nears-end-as-eu-oks-browser-ballot.ars
The EU and Microsoft have agreed on a format for the browser ballot that will come with the European version of Windows. Very interesting.

Quote
The European Commission's investigation into Microsoft's bundling of Internet Explorer with Windows may be winding down, as the Commission has announced plans to begin testing the browser ballot proposed this past July by Microsoft. Starting Friday, consumers, OEMs, developers, and "other interested parties" will have a chance to speak their mind on the browser ballot.

In deciding to move ahead with the browser ballot, the EC cited improvements made to Microsoft's original proposal. One of those is pictured above: before the ballot actually appears on the screen, users are educated on what, exactly, a browser does. ("It's what you use to surf the Internet.") Once users confirm that they are connected to the Internet, the ballot itself appears.


3. Australian ISP in Court for Not Disconnecting Users
Spoiler
http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2009/10/australian-isp-in-court-for-not-disconnecting-users.ars
A landmark lawsuit is taking place in Australia, where the big movie studios are taking an ISP to court for taking action against repeat copyright infringers. If the ISP loses, ISPs can no longer claim immunity when confronted with proof of copyright infringement.

Quote
Australia's third-largest ISP finally found itself in court this week after film companies last year sued iiNet for not disconnecting Internet users on their say-so. The case will be a major test of Australia's "safe harbor" copyright law that provides immunity to Internet service providers—but only those that "reasonably implement" a user termination policy for "repeat infringers."

The movie studios told Australia's Federal Court yesterday that a one-year investigation had uncovered 97,942 examples of iiNet customers making copyrighted films available on peer-to-peer networks. 29,914 of those cases involved films at issue in the current litigation. The movie Wanted was the most popular offering, while the truly execrable Hancock was second.


4. New Malware Re-Writes Online Bank Statements to Cover Fraud
Spoiler
http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2009/09/rogue-bank-statements/
Oh I like this one. Seems too many malware writers were getting caught out transferring funds from bank accounts, so they're rewriting your online bank statements to cover their tracks.

Quote
New malware being used by cybercrooks does more than let hackers loot a bank account; it hides evidence of a victim’s dwindling balance by rewriting online bank statements on the fly, according to a new report.

The sophisticated hack uses a Trojan horse program installed on the victim’s machine that alters html coding before it’s displayed in the user’s browser, to either erase evidence of a money transfer transaction entirely from a bank statement, or alter the amount of money transfers and balances.


5. It's Official: Software is Owned, Not Licensed
Spoiler
http://www.net-security.org/secworld.php?id=8286
It seems you can now legally resell a second-hand copy of software in the US; you own it.

Quote
Autodesk, a California based software company that has been suing one Timothy Vernor for second-hand sale of (legitimate) copies of the company's software via eBay, has lost the suit.

Out-Law News reports that Autodesk tried to prove that the software in question is licensed (not sold), and that Vernor's attempt to sell it constitutes copyright infringement - but the court found that there isn't enough evidence to back that claim.


6. More Transparency Coming to Blog Reviews Under New FTC Rules
Spoiler
http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2009/10/more-transparency-coming-to-blog-reviews-under-new-ftc-rules.ars
In a superb demonstration of unenforceable legislation, the FTC is now requiring almost any form of provision of goods without compensation to be mentioned in any related blog post. *sigh*

Quote
Bloggers will come under the watchful eyes of the Federal Trade Commission for the first time, as the agency has finalized new rules governing bloggers and the products they write about. "Consumer-generated media" outlets (e.g., bloggers) will now have to disclose if they are being compensated by a manufacturer, advertiser, or service provider when they review an item. So if a blogger gets a laptop from a manufacturer to review and gets to keep it, he or she will have to make that fact public.

The new guidelines don't tell bloggers how they need to make the disclosure, but they do lay out the penalties: up to $11,000 per violation with the possibility of injunctions to boot, although the FTC makes it clear that the fines are a last resort. "Worst-case scenario, someone receives a warning, refuses to comply, followed by a serious product defect; we would institute a proceeding with a cease-and-desist order and mandate compliance with the law," FTC assistant director of advertising practices Richard Cleland told Fast Company. The FTC could also order that consumers be reimbursed in cases where a relationship between blogger and advertiser isn't disclosed and they suffer financial harm because of it.


7. Feds Net 100 Phishers in Biggest Cybercrime Case Ever
Spoiler
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/10/08/100_phishers_netted/
As far as money goes, this seems like small fries to me, but this is a lot of scumbags behind bars.

Quote
US and Egyptian authorities have charged 100 people with conducting a phishing operation that siphoned at least $1.5m from thousands of accounts belonging to Bank of America and Well Fargo customers.

Fifty-three defendants from California, Nevada and North Carolina were named in a federal indictment unsealed Wednesday. Prosecutors said it was the largest number of defendants ever charged in a cybercrime case. Authorities in Egypt charged an additional 47 people.


8. Botnet-hosting Subscribers Soon to Get Warnings from Comcast
Spoiler
http://arstechnica.com/security/news/2009/10/botnet-hosting-subscribers-soon-to-get-warnings-from-comcast.ars
Fun stuff. And just what, exactly, will someone who isn't able to determine they have a bot on their machine going to do with a piece of paper telling them there is a bot on their machine?

Quote
Internet users, don't worry—papa Comcast's lookin' out for you. The company announced that it has begun rolling out a service that will warn its broadband customers when they could be infected with malware based on their traffic patterns. The service, dubbed "Constant Guard," is really aimed at reducing botnet traffic on Comcast's network with the spin that the company wants to protect customers, and a trial has already begun in Denver, Colorado.

The warning will come as an in-browser pop-up that will trigger if there's an unusual spike in traffic from a customer's home, or if mass numbers of e-mails suddenly start going out of that user's account. The pop-up will instruct users to go to Comcast's Anti-Virus Center to help diagnosing and fixing the problem (Comcast has partnered with McAfee for virus removal software).


9. Microsoft Mulling 128-bit Versions of Windows 8, Windows 9
Spoiler
http://arstechnica.com/microsoft/news/2009/10/microsoft-mulling-128-bit-versions-of-windows-8-windows-9.ars
Can someone please explain to me how they intend to accomplish this without a shred of architecture spec to work with? Or is this yet another instance of Wintel anti-trust?

Quote
Believe it or not, Windows 7's successor(s) have been in the planning and early development stages for a while now. We haven't posted anything about any of them yet, but we've been watching closely to see if anything really interesting turned up. Exactly two weeks ago, it did. A LinkedIn profile, which has already been taken down, for a Robert Morgan, Senior Research & Development at Microsoft, has shone a sliver of light on the possibility of 128-bit support coming to Windows 8.


10. Wesley Crusher Must Die
Spoiler
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tVYCbRjhnsE
For all those who wanted to see Wesley Crusher asplode (Wil Wheaton is still awesome though).

onion.jpg



Ehtyar.
« Last Edit: October 11, 2009, 05:21:50 PM by Ehtyar »

4wd

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Re: Tech News Weekly: Edition 41-09
« Reply #1 on: October 11, 2009, 06:54:10 AM »
9.  Oh great, not only will there be the 'Program Files x86' directory but also a 'Program Files x64' for 64bit apps on 128bit Windows.

I can't wait until the 2048bit version  :P

40hz

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Re: Tech News Weekly: Edition 41-09
« Reply #2 on: October 11, 2009, 01:03:38 PM »
#1 - I'm so glad that proved to be the case. I've insisted on ECC RAM in every server I've ever spec'ed or built. Especially if it was going to be the only server installed.

It's been said Ed is: "old-school," and "overly cautious" for demanding ECC.

Now, it looks like they can also add the phrase: "and right" to the above sentence. ;D 8)

----------

#9 - Well...NVidia is supposedly quitting the graphic chipset business. All that architectural know-how isn't going to just go away.

There's already been some  projects that successfully demonstrated clustering  multiple NVIDIA GeForce 9800 GX2 graphics cards to produce an inexpensive (<$4k USD) bespoke supercomputer.

(Link: http://tech.slashdot...sid=08/05/31/1633214 )
(Video: http://www.youtube.c...#p/a/f/0/DnIvodB2RzU )

So maybe a new processor from NVidia will be Microsoft's next 128-bit hardware platform? Think about it. A proprietary hardware platform wedded to a proprietary OS...

Shades of Apple!

It's a strategy that worked for Steve Jobs. Maybe it will work for Steve Ballmer too.

(Now s'cuze me while I boot my tech market tracker. NVidia listed at something like 14¼ following a 3/2 split last time I checked. I just might be tempted to put a bet down. 8))*

Thx Dr. E! :Thmbsup:

*DISCLAIMER: 40Hz does not own stock in NVidia Corporation - nor should anything he said be construed either as investment advice, or a stock purchase recommendation. His comments were made solely for educational and entertainment value.  So there!  :mrgreen:


« Last Edit: October 11, 2009, 01:50:19 PM by 40hz »

4wd

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Re: Tech News Weekly: Edition 41-09
« Reply #3 on: October 11, 2009, 04:48:08 PM »
#9 - Well...NVidia is supposedly quitting the graphic chipset business. All that architectural know-how isn't going to just go away.

There's already been some  projects that successfully demonstrated clustering  multiple NVIDIA GeForce 9800 GX2 graphics cards to produce an inexpensive (<$4k USD) bespoke supercomputer.

If they used ATI Radeon 5800s they could halve the number of cards and cost :P

*DISCLAIMER: 4wd does not own stock in AMD/ATI Corporation, (but wishes he did).  He does own ATI hardware and much prefers it over nVidia...............so there!  :harhar:
« Last Edit: October 11, 2009, 05:05:17 PM by 4wd »

mouser

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Re: Tech News Weekly: Edition 41-09
« Reply #4 on: October 11, 2009, 05:12:08 PM »
#5 would be wonderful if it holds up -- it seems grossly unfair to me that you can't sell software 2nd hand the way you can anything else you buy outright.

Ehtyar

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Re: Tech News Weekly: Edition 41-09
« Reply #5 on: October 11, 2009, 05:20:54 PM »
I'm pretty sure that using graphics cards to replace our current CPUs would not be conducive to a smooth transition, what with the hundreds of missing instruction and register equivalents and all that...

Ehtyar.

4wd

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Re: Tech News Weekly: Edition 41-09
« Reply #6 on: October 11, 2009, 05:33:15 PM »
#5 would be wonderful if it holds up -- it seems grossly unfair to me that you can't sell software 2nd hand the way you can anything else you buy outright.

I'm sure I remember reading a few years ago that selling your old software secondhand did not contravene the (ridiculously) stringent EULA terms even though they all say you only "License" the software.

Of course, the company can at any time withdraw support for a registration if 'they' feel like it, I'm sure.

I'm pretty sure that using graphics cards to replace our current CPUs would not be conducive to a smooth transition, what with the hundreds of missing instruction and register equivalents and all that...

I'm not talking near term here but I'm looking forward to 32 core Radeon 999990s running BLAZEMONGER! 2034: the only game to sear your eyeballs to the back of your skull before it implodes and that comes with an optional GPU controlled intravenous caffeine drip for those 45picosecond gaming sessions.

CPUs?  BAH! They're for wusses!
« Last Edit: October 11, 2009, 06:02:12 PM by 4wd »

tomos

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Re: Tech News Weekly: Edition 41-09
« Reply #7 on: October 12, 2009, 07:21:58 AM »
#5 would be wonderful if it holds up -- it seems grossly unfair to me that you can't sell software 2nd hand the way you can anything else you buy outright.

I read once that Adobe offer a 'service' where you can transfer the licence to someone else. Dont know if that's true or not - I'm no fan of Adobe but if that's true I'd think a bit less poorly of them...
Tom

40hz

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Re: Tech News Weekly: Edition 41-09
« Reply #8 on: October 12, 2009, 12:35:27 PM »
I'm pretty sure that using graphics cards to replace our current CPUs would not be conducive to a smooth transition, what with the hundreds of missing instruction and register equivalents and all that...

Ehtyar.

Well...since any general purpose computer can model any other general purpose computer, if the multi-GPU approach gained broad market acceptance, it would only be a matter of time before somebody developed a cross-compiler until native mode development could catch up.

 :)


tomos

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Re: Tech News Weekly: Edition 41-09
« Reply #9 on: November 25, 2009, 04:02:46 AM »
5. It's Official: Software is Owned, Not Licensed
http://www.net-secur...secworld.php?id=8286
It seems you can now legally resell a second-hand copy of software in the US; you own it.

Quote
Autodesk, a California based software company that has been suing one Timothy Vernor for second-hand sale of (legitimate) copies of the company's software via eBay, has lost the suit.

Out-Law News reports that Autodesk tried to prove that the software in question is licensed (not sold), and that Vernor's attempt to sell it constitutes copyright infringement - but the court found that there isn't enough evidence to back that claim.

any develompents on that one?

anyone know what the situation is in EU, or worldwide?
Tom

Ehtyar

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Re: Tech News Weekly: Edition 41-09
« Reply #10 on: November 26, 2009, 05:22:19 PM »
None that I'm aware of I'm afraid, sorry tomos.

Ehtyar.