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Category Archives: WTF

An update on Windows Phone 7.8 Via Windows Phone Blog Team

Allow me to summarize what you will read via the Microsoft Windows Phone Team blog:

  1. As we said some six months ago, Windows Phone 7.8 update is coming. The features we are “announcing” right now are all of the features you already know about.
  2. We are still not giving you a solid release date, other than “early 2013.”
  3. The “hugely popular” games Words with Friends [two star rating] and Draw Something [three star rating], games [that lost their popularity a while back when EVERYONE was playing them…except Windows Phone 7.5 users due to a lack of availability] are “already available,” while Angry Birds Space and Angry Birds Star Wars are [still] on the way.

So there you go. It is stunning how slow and clueless Microsoft is at generating hype. This only to end in a sad and lethargic fizzle. Slow golf clap…

P.S. Thank you for your support of Windows Phone.

-Terry

Corporate Vice President, Windows Phone

P.P.S. I do love my Windows Phone 8 Lumia 920.

-Christopher

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RockYou Now Taking Your Password and Email Data Seriously…After Being Hacked

RockYou, one of the fastest growing tech companies ever [according to the RockYou website], which creates highly viral application-based advertising for Facebook, MySpace and other major social networks, was hacked [via an SQL injection flaw] in early December 2009, and in the process 32 million passwords and email addresses were stolen.

While much attention is being paid to the password choices of the 32 million users [I’ll have a post looking into that aspect soon], I found this paragraph most disturbing via RockYou’s security bulletin:

As we previously explained, one or more individuals illegally breached one of our databases that contained the usernames and passwords for about 32 million users in an unencrypted format. It also included these users’ email addresses. This database had been kept on a legacy platform dedicated exclusively to RockYou.com widgets. After learning of the breach, we immediately shut the platform down to prevent further breaches.

It is distressing that a company with an internet facing business did not deem it necessary [or prudent apparently] to encrypt it’s 32 million user’s email addresses and passwords. And while RockYou has, as a result of this security breach, decided to take the following steps:

1. We are encrypting all passwords;
2. We are upgrading the legacy platform with the same infrastructure and industry standard security protocols we employ on our partner applications platforms;
3. We are reviewing our current data security features and ensuring that they meet industry standards and best practices; and
4. We are cooperating with Federal authorities to investigate the illegal breach of our database.

I don’t think they really “get” the failure here.

We are sorry for the inconvenience this illegal intrusion onto the RockYou system has caused our users. We will continue to advise our users of any information that would help them.

Yes, the intrusion was illegal, but if RockYou had encrypted the password database in the first place, or better yet utilized secure digital data hashes instead of storing actual passwords, the [illegal] breach would have not been nearly of the magnitude that it is. Note that the 32 million passwords were not obtained by 32 million brute force attack attempts [weak passwords notwithstanding]. They were obtained through a well documented exploit into a company that didn’t practice prudent data protection policies.

 
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Posted by on January 23, 2010 in Computing, Public Service, WTF

 

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Cool Stop Animation – Western Spaghetti by PES

 
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Posted by on September 13, 2008 in Humor, WTF

 

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Just Because I Thought You Should Know

Q> How many mosquitoes would it take, each sucking once, to drain the human body of blood?

A> 1.2 million

Now how much DEET would I need to kill 1.2 million blood sucking insects…

 
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Posted by on August 13, 2008 in Science News, WTF

 

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OH NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO!

I refuse to accept this…call me uncultured, narrow minded, or whatever you wish…this is just wrong on all counts!

Dominique Moreau is a trailblazing freedom fighter, a man battling for equality and recognition in a world of prejudice and gender-based stereotypes. At least, that is what his supporters say. To others who may be less aware of the socio-political implications of his sartorial habits, however, Moreau’s heroism is less apparent. To them, he is just a bloke in a skirt.

“Today, millions of men around the world wear skirts, like the sarong in Asia or the djellaba in Africa, without being bothered,” he insists. “Why not us?”

Full story here.

 

French Men In Skirts? Really?

French Men In Skirts? Really?

 
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Posted by on August 5, 2008 in Opinion, WTF

 

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Silicon Valley Is Experimenting With Bacteria That Have Been Genetically Altered To Provide ‘Renewable Petroleum’

Scientists find bugs that eat waste and excrete petrol – Times Online

Speaking of energy independence, saying “this could alter the oil/fuel/energy landscape” would be a tremendous understatement!

Diesel fuel created with genetically modified bacteria“Unbelievably, this is not science fiction. Mr Pal holds up a small beaker of bug excretion that could, theoretically, be poured into the tank of the giant Lexus SUV next to us. Not that Mr Pal is willing to risk it just yet. He gives it a month before the first vehicle is filled up on what he calls “renewable petroleum”. After that, he grins, “it’s a brave new world”. “

What’s most remarkable about this is crude oil (which can be refined into other products, such as petroleum or jet fuel) is only a few molecular stages removed from the fatty acids normally excreted by yeast or E. coli during fermentation, it does not take much fiddling to get the desired result.

Additionally, for fermentation to take place you need a raw material, or feedstock. Anything will do as long as it can be broken down into sugars, the resulting byproduct ideally would be capable of burning to produce electricity to run a power plant, or engine.

E. Coli is even used in the pharmaceutical industry to produce medications, such as insulin for diabetics.

This is remarkable! Read the entire story here.

 
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Posted by on June 20, 2008 in Automotive, Physics, Science News, WTF

 

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AP: “Don’t Quote Us On That”

Now this is insane to say the least. Blogging promotes traffic to AP stories by quoting and referencing. This is nothing more than a greedy money grab, but cripes, don’t they see that they are cutting of thier nose to spite their faces? Obviously this is something that will affect us all in one way or another:

The Associated Press, one of the largest news sources in the world, has decided to shoot itself in the foot and file copyright suits against bloggers who quote more than five words from any AP article without paying a licensing fee.  Newshoggers reports that users on the Drudge Retortreceived DMCA takedown requests for using AP article headlines and quotes.  Fortunately, after a loud protest from bloggers, the media giant issued a less harshly-worded statement in which they promised to “rethink their policies toward bloggers.”  The takedowns have not been removed.

Here are the pricing fees:

words Fees
5-25 $ 12.50
26-50 $ 17.50
51-100 $ 25.00
101-250 $ 50.00
251 and up $ 100.00

 

 Full story here via Firefox News.

Additionally:

Liza Sabater of Culture Kitchen: “This is, by the way, a moment when every blogger ought to know immediately who to contact: Robert Cox of Media Bloggers Association.”

Cox’s 1,000-member organization is like a blogger’s ACLU, ensuring that the civil liberties issues inherent in blogging are staunchly defended from laws and litigation that could imperil on-line expression.

 
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Posted by on June 18, 2008 in Opinion, WTF

 

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