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Month: January 2017

Disable Your Antivirus Software (Except Microsoft’s)

Robert O’Callahan explains in a blog article and an even more interesting link how Antivirus Software breaks Firefox (and many other pieces of software).

Among that horror stories such as

For example, back when we first made sure ASLR was working for Firefox on Windows, many AV vendors broke it by injecting their own ASLR-disabled DLLs into our processes.

 

and many more.The advice is

Antivirus software vendors are terrible; don’t buy antivirus software, and uninstall it if you already have it (except, on Windows, for Microsoft’s).

(Written on Mac OS 10.11.6, because…)

Stratus shutdown

This is in a way the opposite of the Windows Update Blues: A Stratus computer in a steel factory in Michigan is being shut down after 24 years of uninterrupted, fault-free service. The machine was installed and started in 1993 (Windows 3.1, Jurassic Park), and has been running since.

I did a talk about high availability solutions of various granularity as part of a computer science lecture on High Availability and Operating Systems some time back then, and Stratus as well as other coarse grained HA solutions were things papers were being written about at that time.

Of course, we are doing things differently these days, and

This system runs an older version Stratus proprietary VOS operating system, which Hogan believes hasn’t been updated since the early 2000s.

is no longer an acceptable thing in todays environments. So while it works, it’s still no longer viable.

Windows 10 Update Blues

In case you are frustrated by the current state of things in Mac land, and were considering trying out the all new and reformed Microsoft, which now supposedly does not suck any more: cnet provides you with a rather long article about stories of Windows 10 updating when asked not to, and at the most inconvenient times.

The article is full of stories of Windows force rebooting into an hour long upgrade while taking notes at a keynote event, while 3D printing a multi-hour job, or during a Skype hiring interview. Microsoft basically thinks their updates are more important than your work.

Vanadium Dioxide

A strange material: Vanadium Dioxide. At certain temperatures it transports electricity, but not heat. That’s unexpected, because of the Widemann-Franz law, which says that the two should be related.

Another weird – but not new property of the material: transparent to around 30 degrees Celsius, but then reflects infrared while remaining transparent to visible light.

Copyright Alert System ended

An article in Variety on the failed “Copyright Alert System”: “Internet Service Providers, Studios and Record Labels Call It Quits on Copyright Alert System“.

“Copyright Alerty System” is the name of the US “three strikes” implementation, “in which consumers received “copyright alerts” when they viewed peer-to-peer pirated content”. The system apparently does not work the way the MPAA intended – especially the repeat offenders are not being deterred by the warning mails they receive, and ISPs are not terminating contracts of said repeat offenders due to fear of liability lawsuits.

Also, the system works on P2P file shared content only, and this is no longer a relevant distribution mechanism.