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To Core i7 or Not? Just Go for a Core2 Quad Q9550 April 29, 2009

Posted by fvter in Hardware, Technology.
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Today, I started to notice some weird fan noises coming from my Home PC that we use for general all around work and also for playing PC based games. So it made me realize that my want to move to better hardware may just have to be done sooner rather than later. Now as much as I would prefer to move to something like a MacBook Pro, I don’ t have the budget to undertake that kind of move.

Thus I started to investigate the possibilities of upgrading the Hardware to move to either a Core2 Quad platform or even a Core i7 platform. To be honest, the upgrade which ever way I go would require a motherboard and RAM upgrade on top of the CPU. Also I more interested in going the Quad way to be able to better multitask :- i want to be able to watch or even edit multimedai all the while playing World of Warcraft.

Visting my favorit parts supplier in France, I noticed that the price of the Core2 Quad vs. Core i7 was not that much different (around €50 to 75) but the killer price impact is the motherboard and the need to use DDR3 RAM. The comparison that was done involved trying to get the same basic hardware infrastructre with only the CPU changing. That means that whichever direction was taken, the number of ports, memory (going for 8Gb), I/O support, audio, etc would be an almost 1:1 comparison. References to the different parts are attached in the links section of this article.

Truth be told, I would much rather go with the Core i7 option as it would have a longer life span. Unfortunately it’s still an expensive option to go for and for the same price or less even, I could essentially walk away with not only the CPU/motherboard upgrade but also a brand new ATI 4890 graphics card. There is a whopping €225 to €275 difference which is not negligible an can’ t be ignored.

You got to hate having to make these kinds of decisions! Seriously, I wish that I had cash to spare…

Let me know you thoughts and/or comments through this article or via my Seesmic Profile

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«Sign-In with Twitter»: Should we be Scared? April 22, 2009

Posted by fvter in Rants, Security, Technology, Web.
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Last week, Twitter opened up it’s «sign-in with Twitter» open authentication or OAuth service under the radar. To be fair to Twitter, the news last week was more focused on the one million follower story and the arrival of big media names onto the service. Now, I’ve always been an advocate of using OAuth type services (I personally use OpenID as much as possible) to both simplify a user’s life and to avoid the problem of password re-use.

It also goes to Twitter‘s credit to move in this direction and to provide this type of service to ease the integration of external applications as well as make it easier for user’s to provide their Twitter information.

Disclaimer: I have not had the time and that’s not likely to change in the near future to fully investigate and examine the security of the Twitter OAuth service. The following rant is purely about Twitter‘s current public track record…

[kyte.tv appKey=MarbachViewerEmbedded&uri=channels/7802/412971&tbid=k_16&premium=false&height=334&width=319]

Twitter‘s public track record of securing and making a reliable service is less than top par. My top 3 frontal issues that have been discussed, re-discussed and overall made serious news for Twitter can be summed up with this list:

  • The service has a huge history of availability issues, well rather non-availability in times of high traffic although this hasn’t occurred in a while it’s bound to happen again seeing the growth patterns of late;
  • The security has a number of times criticized the continued use of basic-authentication (inc. accepting base64 password encoding) to use the service. The problem being that this is an easy way to grab the user’s password which would break or poke serious holes in the OAuth service;
  • There have been a repeat number of XSS attacks and worms including the most recent mikkey work which last over two weeks in its different iterartions.

These three points push me to think on whether or not I would be able to really trust such a service. Will I be able to use it at all times? Am I sure the authentication might not lead to a password leak? Am I sure that the OAuth won’t be replayable? Can I be sure that the OAuth session isn’t being misdirected or stolen somehow in XSS or via a worm? Makes me wonder if the service will actually provide a decent and safe mechanism for authentication and whether or not my credentials are going to be safe :- scary……

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Tech Shopping Disappointment November 9, 2008

Posted by fvter in Rants, Technology.
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So with this trip to Houston, I was hoping to get some much needed tech. I need a few upgrades for the home PC as well as some portable storage. Unfortunately the selection was not as good as I would have hoped. I did manage to get a few things at a good price including a 6 pack of 4gb thumb drives & a Seagate 750gb sata drive.
Did spend a few bucks on cheap HD-DVDs & large selection of DVDs. As well as managing to pre-order Warth of the Lich King (so I’ll be able to jump to Northend as soon as I get home).
What’s left, well I am still not sure about getting a motherboard and new CPU however the total would quickly rack up & it’s not that much cheaper than buying back home besides think I would rather put the money into a MacBook.

Why Can’t the HDD Industry Publish True Size of Disk? September 22, 2008

Posted by fvter in Hardware, Laptops, Rants, Technology.
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Why can’t the Hard Disk industry publish the true size of the disks they are selling? This is the big question! I recently purchased two drives from Seagate from their Momentus series of laptop 2.5 7200 rpm line. To be specific, I have the Momentus 7200.2 in 160Gb and the Momentus 7200.3 in 320Gb. From the product title you would expect to be getting 160Gb and 320Gb respectively from the drives.

However this isn’t exactly true. I don’t know what the number represents but it’s not the size of the drive once you plug it into your machine. I only get 149Gb from the former and 298Gb from the latter, which on the latter is a significant loss of space (close to 10% but more like 8%). It goes to say that this is beyond annoying! When you buy a hard disk, you buy it based on advertised size (hoping to get that maximum space possible) at least that’s the general idea. If you advertise the size of something it should be the real size you will see when you start to use it! Not the theoretical size based on platters and cluster sizes!! BTW this is true for almost every hard disk vendor not just the one mentioned here.

Don’t get me wrong the drives are fantastic. I bought them for that reason, they perform extremely well and have some interesting laptop usage safe guards. I am just feed up of expecting something and getting a different value in return… For crying out loud! Change your attitude, the industry needs to change its methodology and start giving us the real sizes – didn’t this happen with TV to!

So HDD Industry wake-up, smell the coffee and stop lying to us about the size of your products! Gives us the real size…

Jamais 2 sans 3 July 3, 2008

Posted by fvter in Personal Status, Rants.
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«Jamais deux sans trois» is a
french expression that basically means that things always come in
threes and in most cases you are talking about unlucky things!
Well, today July 3rd aka my birthday, falls right into this expression.
If you remember and refer back to last year’s post, you may be aware
that my home network got electrically fried on my birthday! Well this
year it wasn’t my home network but it would seem that it was my
laptop’s turn.
Yep, this year for my birthday, my laptop fried… dead motherboard!
Can’t wait till next year I wonder what will happen next!

Yet Another HDD Bites the Bucket May 13, 2008

Posted by fvter in Hardware, Technology.
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One of my drives (a 500gb USB WD Book less than 2 years old) just kicked the bucket! Unfortunately (or fortunately) it was the drive that only held videos and podcasts and open-source torrent downloads. So I am not losing much – except that I just lost a shit load of crap that took quite some time to download.

What gets me and continues to get me is that the drive in question was working very well until I rebooted the system it was on. This continues to be, IMHO, the plight of the HDD in today’s day environment. Don’t get me wrong I know why a working drive suddenly stops working on a reboot, but I just don’t understand why we in the industry have not figured out how to combat this situation!

Why can’t the drives detect they are failing and warn you before you reboot? Why should a stop/start command force the platters to stop and re-rev hence creating a die situation? Why? Why?

Oh, well! I know what the gadget purchase will be this month: new drive!

Are Facebook Apps the New Chain-Mail Syndrome? November 23, 2007

Posted by fvter in Rants, Web.
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I have had a profile on Facebook now for quite a few months (lost track to be honest). At the beginning my activity was simple enough, it consisted of just friends and posting from wall to wall.

After a few weeks, I started getting Facebook App invitations from all over the place. Some even multiple times as different friends invited me to use the same applications. The natural thing to do is to accept those invitations and add the new App to your profile. Now here is the interesting part, and the rant.

The system is conceived in such a way that when you add a new App, it automatically asks you to share it with your friends. You can of course skip this but the natural tendency is to send the new found App to your friends on your list. Now it dawned on me, yesterday, while chatting with some colleagues in Cambridge that this is almost like viral marketing or messaging (or whatever you want to call it). I would even go as far as to say this is almost like the old chain-mail, and chain-email stuff from the 80’s and 90’s! Remember those things, where you would receive them and in the message it would say, please forward this to your friends and colleagues etc etc etc! I am sure that this was not the original intent of the Facebook creators when they created an API and there are some good things about the extensions that Facebook supports. But…

Think about it! Facebook Apps are doing exactly the same thing right now… Some are even monetary chain-mails (yes some Apps allow you to opt into giving the creator money)! So what, well:

  • My question is will this explode into the new viral marketing of the decade…
  • Are we as humans still not evolved enough to be gullible like that (I am guilty of this)…
  • Or do we just need to have this affirmation of our power to share new things and new information with our firends