Tuesday, February 23, 2010

News: No Gnus is Good Gnus

Unfortunately, there's always news.

Geeky stuff:
  • Computer security experts and organizations have released their annual list of the top 25 most dangerous programming vulnerabilities. Yes, buffer overflows are still up there. While the document is full of detailed descriptions of the vulnerabilities and practices on how to avoid them, I'd also be interested in having some kind of demographic data on who is most likely to make what kind of error. I realize that would be hard to compile though, as most code is written by a large numbers of people and even if the authors had access to commit records, it would be an onerous task to go through all that data.
  • The first major court case involving copyright infringement of open-source software was settled in the U.S. in the plaintiff's favor. The Java Model Railroad Interface had been licensed under the GPL (Gnu Public License), as is probably most open-source software these days, including the Linux kernel. The license's legal validity had never been confirmed in court before, though, leaving its effectiveness in question. Seriously, though, who would have guessed the milestone case would have involved software for controlling model trains?
  • A Federal judge ordered the Pennsylvania school district which had been spying on its high school students through the webcam of school-issued laptops to stop it. That really is seriously creepy. The cynic in me is wondering how many school administrators got their jollies watching teenagers undress. Anyway, CNET has an article on just how easy webcams are to activate even without having special spyware installed, without the user even knowing. I actually don't have a webcam, but I'm thinking I'd stick duct tape over the lens at this point. Except some cameras can actually pick up infrared, so maybe lead would be better. That way even Superman wouldn't be able to see through it!
  • A polling company claims that women secretly prefer hairy geeks. Uh-huh. Why do I strongly suspect the poll was conducted by, well, hairy geeks? Besides, this is what women really want:
funny pictures of cats with captions
see more Lolcats and funny pictures

Not-as-geeky stuff:

The Quiz of Life?

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