30.05.2005 22:22

Cheating at school: results

Polish daily Gazeta Wyborcza writes about results of the research of psychology student Konrad Kobierski. His aim was to find out what pupils think about cheating in school and if they cheat themselves or not.

The results look terrrible, but they show the thing tha all in Poland know about: nearly everyone cheats. From 705 people asked only 13 doesn't. 97% allows others to use their work to copy it. Only 13% thinks that cheating at school is bad, 60% doesn't care. What's more, 50% says that nothing will stop them.

Posted by Mara | Permalink | Categories: Science and technology

29.05.2005 19:10

Spyware in business espionage

Israeli media write about a scandal (other source available) with usage of spyware program for business espionage by large companies.

This case is made public. Interesing how often it happens. Taking standard user security I think it's rather common.

BTW From the description (spyware in email etc) it looks that the program used affects Windows machines. My bet is that only them.

Posted by Mara | Permalink | Categories: Security

28.05.2005 18:27

Device Drivers Flaws

SecurityFocus writes about device drivers and flaws in them. As they're usually written by device manufacturers, there's higher risk of bad code and, what's worse, the code has really more flaws.

The link just made it way to Slashdot.

Posted by Mara | Permalink | Categories: Security

26.05.2005 19:57

Switching to Mac because of security?

NetworkWorld has an article about a frustrating security specialist switching his company from Windows on Interl hardware to Mac (also in his blog).

I'm not saying that Windows is more secure than Mac, because its not true. I just think it's a very strange move to switch all hardware. The cost is enormous.

Most security problems are because of users, hardware problems happen. He doesn't say why not Linux.

I'm wondering how many problems he'll face in close future.

Posted by Mara | Permalink | Categories: Security

24.05.2005 20:25

Publishers vs Google

Yahoo (Google's competition) has a note about non-profit publishers who protest against Google scanning of library material.

They say that it can lower their sales. If they want to keep their current business model, that's probably true. If they want to change... Well..in the Net they have a possibility to get to many more customers, especially when they publish rare, hard to get books. For me, they can get even bigger sales this way.

Another argument is that Google breaks copyright law. I don't believe such a big company can do it so directly. It'll be interesing to see how it progresses.

Posted by Mara | Permalink | Categories: Science and technology

15.05.2005 21:16


Firewall is a word that's very often used as a keyword in search. I have checked that it doesn't give useful results. Most of them are pages of companies that offer firewalls, but not explanation.

Firewall is a piece of software or hardware (or both) that blocks access to network or computer it protects. Blocks - the traffic that's considered harmful. Usually there are rules and only traffic that passes the rules is allowed. It may be filtred both to and from the target.

Such solution can be very simple or very complicated (when it changes its behaviour according to the situation). There are different needs.

For home use a sile solution is usually enough. It just has a list of allowed ports or (and) applications and allows them in when dropping all others.

Posted by Mara | Permalink | Categories: Security

14.05.2005 20:24

KDE and usability

NewsForge has an article about usability experts from OpenUsability.org helping with KDE development.

Good to know that there's a group of people who can tell you which windows, dialogs etc should look differently. Moving them is easy, but you need to know first that the interface is not clear for users.

Posted by Mara | Permalink | Categories: Software

12.05.2005 21:01

Firefox 1.0.4 released

The security holes in Firefox I wrote about are now fixes in 1.0.4 release. Release notes and security page confirm this confirm this.

Posted by Mara | Permalink | Categories: Security, Software

11.05.2005 19:08

BBC on cars and viruses

BBC writes about cars and viruses. The title is " Cars safe from computer viruses" and it tells a story of a test of one(!) car model with one(!) virus. An attempt to infect a car with a virus written for a phone (using a different operating system) failed, so the conclusion is that cars are safe...

I will add that infecting one OS with a virus written for another is possible only in very special cases.

The test shows only that that car model is not infected by that one virus. Nothing more.

Posted by Mara | Permalink | Categories: Security

10.05.2005 23:10

Google patents

Slashdot writes about Google patents and the things that can be read from them (read: info about Google engine and how the new ideas affect your page ranking). The orginal site is unavailable when I'm writing this. The article (plus one from a different site) is in one of the comments.

The ideas are interesting but not very innovative (at least the quotes). Just algorithm...That's another example showing why I'm against software patents.

Posted by Mara | Permalink | Categories: Software, Science and technology

09.05.2005 23:09

Two firefox flaws

Zdnet writes about an exploit available in the wild that uses two previously unknown Firefox flaws. At the time I'm writing this there's no patch yet.

I'm counting time to see when a fix will be released.

Update: Fix (version 1.0.4) has been released.

Posted by Mara | Permalink | Categories: Security, Software

08.05.2005 19:58

Security for beginners

CERT has a nice paper about security. It's for not very technical user. Describes the technical terms in an easy way and shows ways to secure your machine better.

The bad points... Two: it's too long - I don't think that many people will read the whole of it. Second thing: very Windows-related. It says that you need an anti virus, but doesn't say that there are OSes (Linux, MacOS) when such program is not needed.

Posted by Mara | Permalink | Categories: Security

08.05.2005 00:54

DVD copy-protection?

BBC writes about a copy-protection technology for DVDs. Why I don't believe it'll work? And even if it will have a limited effect, a work-around will be found fast?

Posted by Mara | Permalink | Categories: Security, Software

06.05.2005 22:34

Google Download Accelerator

Google has released its Web Accelerator beta and there are mixed opinions. It makes browsing faster, but it looks its' also cashing too much. Slashdot writes about cases when other people cookies (with login info) were used.

I can't try it and sniff for the data used, because the program seems to be Windows-only.

Posted by Mara | Permalink | Categories: Security, Science and technology

03.05.2005 22:56

Net shopping not impulsive

Not big news (at least for me) but a study was made and it shows that people buying online are not impulsive. The time between the moment they visit and finally buy is rather long (for 14 per cent it's more than one week).

What's more, if the market is more competitive, it takes more to make a final decision. It looks that people compare different offers.

After the findings published, a paper summarizes how to improve online stores to allow better comparision and more than one visit before decision.

Posted by Mara | Permalink | Categories: Science and technology

02.05.2005 23:10

History of the Internet

Funny history of the Internet. The best quote imho is:

Progress: Since its inception almost 30 years ago, the internet has been transformed from a primitive device for sharing thoughts and ideas, into a massive network where people pay to connect and read advertisements they don't want, while calling each other "asshats".

Posted by Mara | Permalink | Categories: Science and technology

01.05.2005 21:56

Another thin client

BBC writes about small thin client running Linux (Ubuntu distribution).

The cost is less than 100 pounds, but it looks it needs a separate monitor, keyboard and mouse. It's said to be a good solution for developing nations, but in my opinion may be still expensive - and it needs a server (the article says that 2GHz machine with 2GB RAM is enough for 20 clients).

Such solutions are not very popular at this moment, but they're definintely interesting.

Posted by Mara | Permalink | Categories: Science and technology