Geek food Internet/Links

WWDN, an Emergency signal, and IE crashes less?

Three cool items I’ve read recently…

Will (from WWdN – for the uninformed :P) posted some links to a reading he did at Gnomedex 4.0 in his post entitled “Just A Geek audio and video from gnomedex” – its a really great listen, and quite humorous.

I loved the brief mention of “Poser geeks” at the end – those who label themselves geeks because its the “in thing” or it “seems like a good idea” instead of simple just BEING a geek.  Anyway, as one who started with computers at the tender age of 6 (or thereabouts), I can fully understand the desire to distinguish between the “true geeks” and the wanna-be’s. πŸ™‚

The next thing that I found really cool was on Slashdot (I’m sure they don’t need any more google juice so I won’t link to them directly, anyway its not like I have much to give them and as a third reason – “they’re not part of the borg, nor do they tend to sympathise with the borg in any way so therefore they shall not be linked to”) Ok, but back to what I was really saying… they had an article about the TV that was producing an Emergency Signal which was picked up by a sattelite(?) and relayed back to emergency services in the US, and so the poor owner ended up with various members of the law enforcement community at his door… (At least the manufacturer gave him a new TV)… [It looks like local news has picked it up too, coz I just saw it on IOL too]

And finally, who say’s IE is buggy… Well, perhaps its buggy in many obscure ways which are not necessarily likely to be the first features thought of when its time to test the product.  But as an e-mail to BugTrack entitled “Web browsers – a mini farce” details.  He created “a trivial program to generate tiny, razor-sharp shards of malformed HTML.”

So basically the test was to see how the browsers handle bad input. His summary “All browsers but Microsoft Internet Explorer kept crashing on a regular basis due to NULL pointer references, memory corruption, buffer overflows, sometimes memory exhaustion; taking several minutes on average to encounter a tag they couldn’t parse.”  And he also says “It appears that the overall quality of code, and more importantly, the amount of QA, on various browsers touted as “secure”, is not up to par with MSIE; the type of a test I performed requires no human interaction and involves nearly no effort. Only MSIE appears to be able to consistently handle malformed input well, suggesting this is the only program that underwent rudimentary security QA testing with a similar fuzz utility.”

I guess its a small consolation in the light of all the other security flaws in IE.  IE does the basics right, but seems to have some hassles with the more complex stuff (like “security” :P), while the rest all fail with the basics.  But then if they can’t get the basics right, how do you know that the more complex stuff isn’t just as bad?

One reply on “WWDN, an Emergency signal, and IE crashes less?”

Ok, so IE has it’s advantages… but Firefox has soo many cool plugins and addons, that I don’t really care if it battles with malformed code (that is if it does) πŸ™‚

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