Friday, April 25, 2008

Between black and white: the state of grayware on the PC

An interesting article at Ars Technica. Well worth your time.

A listener wrote in with a series of related questions after last week's show and I'm actually doing something of an investigative bent to answer then and present what I find on the show, either next week or the week after that.

There is an awful lot of deception in software. Especially in freeware supposed to enhance security. Bundled toolbars with absolutely no notice to the user is probably the most common fault. But there are too many to count. Really.

At any rate; this is a pretty good and fairly concise overview of the problem.


Thursday, April 24, 2008

Microsoft Takes Back the Music

Well, we've been wondering when this would happen. MS is not the first to lock subscribers out of legally purchased music files and they surely won't be the last.

The sub-header on the article reads "choose piracy" and, frankly, while I am not advocating that at all, it looks more and more attractive.


This Week's QuickTime Zero-Day Hits Windows XP, Vista

This should have been posted yesterday, but I missed it. I'm sorry for that.

It is, I think, time to say that friends don't let friends use QuickTime.


A Reasonable Successor to CAPTCHA?

The page explains how it works and allows you to try it out.

With the completely automated cracking of CAPTCHA images an accomplished fact, we are in desperate need of a successor to tell the bots and the humans apart. This one seems to do it, and without changing everything in the world to get it up and working. Check it out.


Tuesday, April 22, 2008

"Single Core Systems are History"

It's not like most of you haven't already figured this out and I hope I'm not being somehow offensive by posting something so glaringly obvious and proposing you read it. It's really nice to see it all in one place, though. The arguably best reason for pointing you to this is so you can bookmark it to show to those who really don't get it when you encounter them.


Sunday, April 20, 2008

Geek Meet 2008 Pictures are posted

Sorry for the delay, but the pictures from Geek Meet 2008 are now posted at

Thanks to all that came out.

OnComputers Radio show Podcast 04-20-08

This is the On Computers Radio show podcast for 04-20-08. You can listen live every Sunday from 10AM to 1PM Pacific thats 1PM to 4PM Eastern. Join us for the live show and chat. If you prefer, you can download the same MP3 file here via ftp.

There is a minute or so gap when I lost my internet connection about 2 ½ hours into the show.

RSA Conference 2008 - Keynote Webcast Schedule

I thought that some might enjoy access to the conference video or "interactive webcast," from this past week's RSA conference available. Sadly, no audio only...

RSA Conference 2008 - Keynote Webcast Schedule

Links from the Gregg zone

1) My first couple of links today are going to be a little on the dark side. I have always been, intrigued by the question. What makes humans, my-self included do the things we do? It is amazing to me to watch people acting in ways that I find completely incomprehensible. From world leaders, to the people living next door, I often find my-self running away from that old saying, “if everyone else seems crazy, maybe it’s you”. Anyway, I thought I would post a couple of links about psychological tests I ran across during my net surfing; they were controversial when first conducted; and could not be done today due to ethics. However, they are enlightening when you look at some of the actions of the people around us.

2) The second link is similar to the first one another experiment done a few years later at Stanford College, this is in three parts. They do reference the last link here, but they carry it a little further. This experiment ended early, but it was incredibly interesting how supposedly normal people can morph into roles that go against their basic nature. I wonder how bad it would have become had they went the full two-weeks.

3) These next links also delve into the workings of our brain, body, and consciousness. The first link is to an article, I ran across in the Daily Mail about a hypnotist who put himself under for an 83 min. operation on his arm to have a bone growth chiseled off, using a hammer and chisel after cutting him open, no anesthetic. I have used self-hypnosis in the past. Not to this degree, but the article got me to look around to see what is available on the net, because I did enjoy the experience. Here is some of what I found. My first thought was an old friend, Mind Tools. Then I found this one a free online five-day audio course, I am thinking about it if I can make time I think I will try it.

4) It’s time to lighten things up a bit, this link was sent to me by Jack, thanks. What we have here is a list of the “Ten Genius Inventions We’re Still Waiting For” put together by Popular Mechanics Magazine. Some future inventions here, but I can probably wait for most of them.

5) Last up a geek link, I have heard some negativity about Safari on the show off and on, so when I saw this I thought I would link it up. It seems PayPal is blocking it as an unsafe browser, and does not live up to their standard. Older versions of some other browsers will also be blocked, so if you are having problems an upgrade might help.