Friday, January 28, 2005

Autoclave - Secure Disk Deletion

Been using this for a while. If ever you need to make sure that a hard drive is securely erased (decomissioning any old PC's, anyone?), this is free, thorough, and functional software that will do the trick.

Write all zeroes? Sure.

One random pass? No problem.

25 passes of structured data? Yep...and by the way, you're paranoid.

Friday, January 21, 2005

Cell Architecture Explained: Introduction

If you're a computer geek, read this...these things are going to cause a major shift in the CPU market, if they're close to the description...

Monday, January 17, 2005

BBC NEWS | Science/Nature | 'Living' robots powered by muscle

Meet what appears to be the world's first working cyborg...even if it's basically just a couple of rat cells on a stick.

Friday, January 14, 2005

Thursday, January 13, 2005

'Morse Code' Used by Human Cells?

Sometimes, scientific discoveries are interesting *and* useful. This seems to be one of those times. Heck, with all of the new discoveries this year (HIV-resistance gene, nascent cancer vaccine, etc), I'm expecting that within 20 years, we'll be able to cure just about anything.

Monday, January 10, 2005

SecurityFocus HOME Columnists: Microsoft Anti-Spyware?

This would be comic genius, if he didn't seem to be serious:

What if they start charging a subscription fee for the updates? It only makes sense. This is a lucrative market and a potential recurring revenue stream worth billions of dollars, which might be too sweet to pass up. The anti-virus companies in comparison are already making billions of dollars by charging for subscriptions for their own weekly updates. Why shouldn't Microsoft jump on the bandwagon? A subscription model seems to be the holy grail of software licensing, as we've seen from so many products already.

  • Step 1: create security holes that can be exploited

  • Step 2: create subscription-based paid service to uninstall stuff that exploits said holes

  • Step 3: Profit

It's funny, in a surreal kind of way. Apparently, Microsoft is going to take Windows' greatest weakness and turn it into a revenue stream. Yay for that (not).

Actually, here's how I see this shaping up. Having downloaded and installed said software, I noticed that MS asks if you want to validate your copy of windows. They also mention that you may be required to do so in the future to use this or other Microsoft software.

That tidbit says a lot about their future plans (to me, at least). If you're running an illegal copy, you can expect not to be able to benefit from this program, but why stop there? How hard would it be to tuck a validation requirement into windows update? I think what Microsoft has stumbled upon here is a good way to nip piracy in the bud. You want protection? You want updates? You better be running a copy of (insert product here) that you paid for.

Additionally, now Microsoft has a way to forcibly uninstall software that they don't want you using, or in slightly less paranoid terms, they can scare people into only using MS-sanctioned products by casting the ones they don't like as Spyware.

WARNING: Microsoft AntiSpyware has detected spyware on your PC. Do you want to remove it now? [yes] [no] [ignore always]

Maybe that's an extreme example, and then again, maybe not (WinPcap and WinVNC were both flagged as malicious software on my initial scan, as was Remote Administrator). It works well enough to be adopted by many, and IMHO, that's just what Microsoft is betting on.