“Champagne for my real friends and real pain for my sham friends.”

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(Apologies to those that have seen this on Slashdot or some other news/blog site) According to Microsoft, Windows 98 and Windows 98se are End-Of-Life'd on the 16th. What does this mean? Not much to me. Fortunately, not much to my parents (who, thankfully, are running 2K on an under-powered machine). It would seem that 27% of the internet users will be screwed sometime after that day. The fun thing about EOL'ing a product is that it is no longer supported. Sure, this means no phone support for the dude that wants to reinstall or get his new 27-button mouse working–no big deal. It also means no security patches. After the 16th, when hackers find a flaw (and you know it is WHEN and not IF because most of the security flaws hackers find effect ALL versions of Windows) and a new worm gets out there, the people with Win98 will have no way to patch themselves. So now is the time to be a good little monkey and follow the Microsoft way of upgrading to Win2K or WinXP or dropping MS altogether and going with some Linux variant (Lindows is rather nice, but can be pricey) or making the big switch to a different consumer-oriented hardware platform (OS X, anyone?). I have to admit that the only big security flaws in OS X so far involved SSH (which effected ALL Unixes, but SSH is disabled by default on OS X) and DHCP (which, in order to exploit, the bad guy has to jump through a bunch of elaborate hoops like setting up a rogue server on your local area network–i.e. it is not exploitable over the in-tar-web).

Oh, and speaking of stuff you might have seen elsewhere: Steal It Back, the Online Police Auctions. So basically, the police seize stuff during arrests and it ends up as biddable merchandise on this website. You can get a grab-bag of 8 pagers for $5. You can get computer gear. You can get cellphones. You can get a Masonic Knight Templar Sword. I am rather confused by the grow-lights, though. Really? What does the lifecycle of those things look like? Dude grows pot in dorm room closet. Police nab the guy, the pot, and the grow lights. Lights go on auction. College dude buys them for $5 and installs in dorm room closet. Lather, rinse repeat. While I am sure that one in a thousand might use the lights for their prize-winning orchids, really–who do the police think are going to buy cheap grow lights? Of course, they might just take note of the address where the lights are shipped and pay a visit later… I am also a little confused by the “collectibles & memorabilia” portion of the site. Really–why was the crystal World Trade Center seized? Or the Planet Hollywood collectible glasses? Or the collection of Tony Gwynn Baseball Cards? Was the signed copy of “Anthony Quinn as Zorba In The Musical” 12-inch record used in a crime?

So, the hard drive on my work computer died. I am waiting to find out what to do. I could go to Fry's expense a hard drive, and reinstall everything. I could wait for the office to ship out a new hard drive or entirely new computer. Right now, I am waiting for the sysadmin to figure out the best thing to do. Thank goodness most of our software runs under OS X, so I can still do work on the laptop. …which reminds me: Eclipse 3.0, Milestone 6 is out now and Anjuta still will not run on OS X because of a failed Gnome-Print dependency. I don't want to print; I just want to compile and have a nifty editor that can collapse entire functions to single lines.

As we all know, the old Diedrichs.org website is dead. I plan to keep the domain, just in case, but will be putting up a new (but similar) site soon. Netninja tends to be more of a “professional” site–hosting the security papers I write, bits of software, and HaXoR toolz for the skript kiddi3s. I try not to “pollute” it with fun stuff, mostly because I do not need the skr1p+ k1ddi3z picking through my photos and random things. So, basically, the photo galleries on Netninja will move over to this new site and a lot of the same old D.O stuff will be on the new site (the fake ads, and if I still have backups of the database the quotes, Go Fetal, the Do-Don't List, etc). It will basically be the same ol' site with a new name and updated look. Watch this space for further info.

Posted in: Work

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