Actually its already release day…as I write this at 12:30 in the AM.
I finished the next iteration of breadkarams and am in the process of testing it before I hand it out for public consumption on kde-look. Check it out if you run KDE, I think you’ll like it.
So this weekend was Reflections|Projections at University of Illinois. It’s a weekend long conference held by UIUC’s ACM chapter. A host of speakers come to give talks on various technical topics that are floating around the world. This year was a great event; as expected.
Among the speakers were Blake Ross, one of the inventors of Firefox. Also, this genius named Stephen Wolfram. This guy was truely a genius. He got his PhD in theoretical physics at the age of 20…yeah….20. Other speakers included Dave Probert, an operating system kernel guru and primary developer on multiple Windows kernels; very bright guy!
Next we had Chris Sims, who spoke on Digital Certificates; very enlightening. He was also one of the few speakers who didnt soar in an SR-71 Blackbird over my head. He spoke like a human ;-) and was very interesting to listen to!
Next we had the guy who designed the Cell processor for the Playstation 3 speak on the Cell’s architecture. Very cool stuff too. Also, we had 2 speakers together who spoke about the new PhysX hardware accelerated physics engine. They were great lively and intelligent people. They also spoke on a level that was similar to the rest of the masses (thank God). The hardware they demo’s was pretty awesome, but it didnt leave me happy for the future. Just the thought of having to shell out 300 bucks for a phyics card to accompany my 500 dollar graphics card, pissed me off, and rightly so.
Finally, I listened intently to, and asked questions to this speaker named Marc Stiegler who works for HP. He tried to sell the crowd on this Windows desktop overlay technology called Polaris. The whole system seemed to have too many flaws to even be considered as a serious solution. For one, they put all the trust in the end user. Sorry, but for me that doesnt fly. The whole reason that people’s comps are screwed up in the first place, can be attributed to the end user. The software used the concept of “Principal of Least Authority” yet it didnt seem to implement it at all. It based its security on delegation.
For instance, if I click a link to an application, I am delegating to Polaris that I want that, and only that, application to access its data. The application can then theoretically not access anything that I dont tell it to. What happens though if I open up my Explorer application and go surfing to my dad’s Documents and Settings folder and then start deleting everything? I am delegating that I in fact want to do that…so where’s the security?
Also, what if I write a batch file as a hacker, get the user to download it, and then run it. And in that file I specify that I want to delete the whole System32 folder in Windows. How does Polaris safeguard me against shooting myself in the foot. Bottom line is it doesnt.
So I wasnt sold on this guys app, but he certainly had a magnificant way of presenting himself, so I give him big props for not putting me to sleep.
It was a busy weekend and my brain is so fried that I slept in between all my classes today. Every break I had was sleep to recuperate :-(
DDS2 comes out tomorrow! But I wont pick it up till Halloween…unless the copy I can buy over here comes with the soundtrack too (reserved games do, I’m not sure about the store shelved ones).
Thats all I got, Later