Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Silent Surrender to Malware

Do you ever have mornings that start out well and quickly go down the drain? I had an extra 10 minutes of time this morning, so I thought I'd make it to campus early to study for my two tests tomorrow, but I spilled oatmeal on myself and had to burn that time cleaning it up! I had to spend 10 more minutes re-cleaning when I got home. How amazingly unfortunate is that? Anyway, given that I have those tests I have to finish this post by 11PM to study, so I'd better get a move on. One of the big guys at Microsoft's security department has made a statement that it's becoming nearly impossible now to recover from malware, and he's actually recommending that companies creating software to wipe their machines clean and start them anew rather than try fixing these problems as they come up! I suppose that he's right, and it's probably at least more time effective, but of course they have to come up with processes to get rid of even the viruses that can respawn themselves after a format. Does anyone else see this as a Windows failing? Don't get me wrong, no one will ever make a flawless operating system, but if they had designed it better, shouldn't these holes in the kernel that allow such bad things not happen? Couldn't a loophole like this been solved by better software design? I can't help thinking that this problem even exists because they were clumsy. Granted, most people who get malware are pretty dumb, but I've gotten it a couple of times, though both out of carelessness. However, they're only going to get smarter, much like viruses that become immune to vaccines, or roaches that survive a can of roach spray. Maybe we should be aiming to prevent such future malware?

If you're smart, then you're reading this from Firefox right now. It's a good first step, but there are some extensions you can read all about here that will further optimize your viewing experience, and they're definitely worth a try. You can always disable them later if you don't like them, and they don't take up much disk space at all. It looks like a company called Parallels is looking to beat out the rumors of Leopard including virtualization by offering a product that would alone someone to run Linux and Windows at the same time as Mac OS X. They're facing stiff competition, but if they can optimize the fact that Mac has moved to Intel better than everyone else and at a lower price, then they can do really well. I think it's almost common knowledge now that TiVo is not doing as well as it once was, and I didn't even know that they've been in a lawsuit with EchoStar (Dish TV's owner) over the DVR technology that TiVo had patented. Winning this case would give them a lot of money in damages (possibly enough to resume profits again), and then all the cable and satellite companies would have to go to TiVo, who would then finally profit off of the technology they invented, so let's hope they win! Analysts believe that Google is entering the music market amidst well-known dissatisfaction among labels with iTunes fixed pricing, and this could either be good or bad. It'll be good if Google uses DRM to support all mp3 players (like Sun's DReaM), but it'll be bad if it just raises prices for songs and kills iTunes, which would spell doom for millions of iPod users. Meanwhile, Apple has released iTunes Catalog 2, which allows you to create a site that works just like iTunes based on your iTunes library, and can do a whole bunch of stuff in addition to letting you play your music remotely (like on a computer in the library). Lastly, if you think Bose is hot stuff for audio, you need to read this. I've always been partial to Harmon Kardon and Altec Lansing myself, but I have seen many a person fall victim to the Bose phenomenon.

Click to enlargeMaybe that poster is too scary to put up here, but I love it because that character is a recurring one in the series and has always weirded me out. I'm hoping that it'll get you guys more excited about the movie, and you can see more character posters here. We may have a plot for Spider-man 3: it was posted to IMDB, so the source isn't all that credible, but given what we already know and have seen it definitely sounds like it's very plausible. It sounds good to me, but I'm sure the hardcore fans will nitpick more. The teaser trailer for Charlotte's Web is finally online, and I didn't realize how star-studded the cast for it was. I hope that it is a good movie, because I can't imagine anyone not loving that story as a child. Sam Jackson will be in a movie called 1408 based on the book by Stephen King, and I just like seeing his books get made into movies with good actors behind them so I hope that they don't botch this one. Unfortunately, it looks like David Goyer isn't doing wonders for his career by writing The Invisible, which sounds like a pretty average teen movie, and I don't understand why he doesn't stick to just original ideas. I guess everyone has their price. There's another entry up in the 300 video diary, and this one is about the costumes. Once again, this movie looks pretty sweet. The writers for The Simpsons movie have been revealed, and it looks like the most important people are involved, but you think they'd bang out a better plot idea. Lastly, IGN has a couple of pictures from World Trade Center centered on Nicholas Cage, but they're not much.

Now for the Tuesday Twosome meme:

1. How many computers are in your home? Are they for personal or business use?
There are three in my apartment: my desktop and my room mate's two laptops (a Dell and an iBook), and all are for personal/school use.

2. How many cars does your household own? What are the colors of the cars?
I have my deep green Volvo 850 Turbo, my mom has a white Hyundai Santa Fe, my dad has a white Plymouth Grand Voyager, and then there's our old silver Nissan Maxima (over 10 years old), but we're probably going to get rid of that one.

3. When was the last time you did a thorough cleaning of your home? Did you find anything that you thought you lost?
Not since before winter break, I think. I don't recall finding anything new though.

4. Do you generally get along with your neighbors? Is there one neighbor that really gets on your nerves?
I've only met one of them, and he's a pretty cool guy (let me use his phone when I was locked out of my apartment). None of them have done anything to piss me off, really.

5. Are you basically content with your living situation? Why or why not?
Not really, mainly because it's 5 miles from campus and I wish my room mate would be a little tidier. But oh well, nothing is perfect, and I'm not that upset about it. Hopefully, my place next year will be better, and I should have that very soon.

It looks like my schedule for next fall will look like this, but do comment if you have any thoughts on it. Note that the ME class must be at 8AM on some day, and it's a blow off course anyway (it's for Business Foundations). Registration isn't until April 22, but I'm always anxious for planning out stuff like that.


Connie said...

creeeepy. silent hill is sooo creepy!

[Mat] said...

But so anticipated at the same time.