Monday, April 23, 2012

Spam: India leads world in junk emails

From the BBC:
Compiled by security firm Sophos, the report ranks nations by the amount of junk mail routed through computers in each country.
India has leapt to the top of the spam chart in less than a year, rapidly overtaking the US, said Sophos.
About 10% of all junk mail sent across the web came from or passed through computers in India, said the firm.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Raiders Of The Lost Walmart Discover Cache Of Ancient Flash Drives

Get your 256MB Flash drive for the low, low price of $28.83!

There are a couple of problems with this story. First, at this point Walmart, not the manufacturer, owns the product. Second, even where manufacturers enforce a price, it is in advertising/publishing the price and is usually enforced by withdrawing from an authorized retailing deal. I highly doubt that Impact has that kind of clout with Walmart. I bet Impact would do just about anything to keep Walmart as a customer, if Impact even exists anymore. And Impact is not going to blow it over 10 flash drives in some store in New York that they sold to Walmart a very long time ago. In other words, I believe that the employee in the story has been badly misinformed at the least.

I bet these USB flash drives will be marked down for clearance pretty quickly now, since I'm sure that Wally world has people scouring the Web for these kinds of stories and doing damage control. In fact, maybe these won't even go on clearance, but will be found in the recycle bin. The only possible use for one of these is if someone wants to do a little hardware hacking for some reason. They don't give away USB connectors, you know.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Solar storm could bring bright skies tonight | Cutting Edge

If you are far enough north, and don't have cloud cover, you could see the Northern Lights tonight.

So far I've had no disruption of my personal satellite device (TV, internet). Has the solar storm affected you in any way?

HDD Pricewatch: Prices won’t return to pre-flood levels anytime soon

With no foreknowledge I bought a new hard drive weeks before the floods and the price increases last fall. I was lucky. Others, including the big computer manufacturers who need a steady supply. are not so lucky.

I'm not sure why anyone thought building these factories in a floodplain was a good idea, but it was done and here we are. It is not going to get back to pre-flood prices any time soon, but the prices are dropping.

Megaupload Takedown Questioned By Users, Lawyers - Security - End user/client security

Does anyone besides me think this was timed to counter the SOPA protest? Now it looks like the legal ground may not be as solid as originally presented. While some of the servers were in the US, the majority of users were not. And then there is this sticky situation:

"Academic Steve Su, for example, told The Sydney Morning Herald in Australia that the FBI's mass takedown had inappropriately blocked legitimate content that he'd uploaded for sharing with his students.

"It's like confiscating everyone's mobile phone because terrorists used them," he said. "I don't think it's correct to penalize the technology because, based on that logic, shouldn't the Internet be taken down, as this is how people infringe copyright?"

Just as SOPA would punish and break the entire internet because a few act badly, taking down Megaupload in its entirety is like using a chainsaw to perform heart surgery.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Hackers retaliate over Megaupload website shutdown

From the BBC:
Hackers have targeted the US government and copyright organisations following the shutdown of the Megaupload file-sharing website.

Sunday, January 01, 2012

The rise and fall of the Sony empire

This is an interesting commentary on Sony. It offers thoughts on where it has been and where it might go. I can remember a time when the name "Sony" on a product meant reliable quality. Then came rootkit-gate. That's what changed it for me and a lot of my friends. What changed your mind about Sony? When did they become "yet another electronics company" for you?

Happy New Year Everyone

Just wanted to wish everyone a Happy New Year from the On Computers family.

Verizon Wireless Cancels $2 ‘Convenience Fee’ After Backlash

Dec. 30 (Bloomberg) -- Verizon Wireless, the largest U.S. mobile carrier, canceled a planned $2 “convenience fee” for online and phone bill payments after a backlash from consumers and scrutiny from the Federal Communications Commission.