Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Critical Adobe Reader Flaw Virtually Ignored

If a tree falls in the woods and there's no one there to hear it, does it still make a sound? Such is the conundrum faced by philosophers for generations.

What if a critical flaw in Adobe Reader was demonstrated before a group of security professionals at the Black Hat conference and none of them made a sound, either?

That's what Charlie Miller must be thinking. He's the security expert that presented the vulnerability at Black Hat. His lament?

"Adobe security is so bad that […] not a single person tweeted it. Sad."

Adobe has acknowledged the flaw and is said to be working on a fix. Whether the patch is released out of band or at Adobe's next scheduled quarterly security release remains to be seen. Also unclear is the list of versions impacted by the vulnerability. The only good news is that there are no reports of exploits in the wild.

Some question how many more security blows Adobe can endure before going down for the count. My response is to look at Microsoft's track record. Many years into their latest secure coding push, Redmond is scheduled to release 14 patches to close 34 vulnerabilities in their August 2010 Bulletin Release. This mandates a massive amount of testing and deployment for enterprise customers, yet Windows is still the dominant operating system and office suite. The cost of switching away is substantial due to user training, infrastructure, and application impacts that it's almost cheaper to stick with the ugliness you know.

The same holds true for Adobe. It's the PDF reader with the most saturation, and not just among corporate environments. Home users are virtually guaranteed to have Adobe Reader installed on their systems, even though fully functional alternatives exist. Many have found Reader installed as a bundled offering from another application. The home user is also more likely to have an unpatched operating system and outdated software offerings, making exploit trivial. Antivirus protection? Please.

Adobe's install base and numerous versions places the company in the same predicament as Microsoft. There's a lot of old, insecure stuff out there, and even offering an automatic update solution only partially solves the problem. If Adobe can get 80% of the vulnerable installs patched, that still leaves hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions, of ripe targets out there. And when the next critical Adobe flaw appears - and you know it's when, and not if - the hamster wheel spins again.

My advice is the same as always. Dump Adobe products for less target-rich alternatives. A simple Google search on PDF readers will return scores of options onto your screen. Be sure to completely uninstall any Adobe software currently on your machine, being wary of third-party apps that might have plunked down some version while you whistled through a boring install routine. If in doubt, use Task Manager to look for processes associated with Adobe products.

Otherwise, abandon hope all ye who enter Adobeville. Like another Scream sequel, this will not end well.

Sarah Palin Thinks Obama Is Over His Head

If there's one thing in which Sarah Palin does have some experience, it's being over her head. So there's that. Also.

Via Gawker

Dog(s) Days of August

It's almost too hot to pee. Almost.

Sofia Vergara Fights With Gordon Ramsay on Leno

I love Sofia Vergara. I do not love Gordon Ramsay. Evidence shows my logic is correct.

Rachel Maddow - Prop 8 Decision

XKCD: Atheists


Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Dick Pen

My penis is very ergonomic. I should know. I've been holding it for nearly fifty years.

I wouldn't mind having a BioErgonomic pen, even though I do a lot more typing that writing these days. Anything that's better for my body gets a thumbs-up.

But does it need to look like a johnson? And will the tip dry out if I don't put the cap back on?

Can I call it the Bic Dick?

Does it come with its own rollerballs?

Does the ink turn the paper yellowish over time?

I believe I will stop now.


Severe, Rampant Diarrhea Can't Be Good

I've started taking a super-powerful antibiotic that targets bacterial infections, and the warning label says that severe, rampant diarrhea may occur, sometimes weeks or months after treatment.

I guess killing the good bacteria in your gastrointestinal system while also knocking off bad bacteria elsewhere is something of a trade-off.

I hope I'm not in the middle of a long car ride if this kicks in. That would suck.

For everyone.

Beatles Flowchart


Monday, August 2, 2010

Fox Gets A Front Row Seat

Various news agencies and bloggers are at different levels of Defcon over the White House Correspondents Association decision to move Fox to the front row in the White House briefing room.

No one outside of this infuriating clique cares unless the result is lower unemployment, exits from two wars, and no more hungry children.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Wrightsville Beach Diner

Anyone have a favorite diner in Wrightsville Beach?

I'm talking about the kind where the hash browns are crispy-crunchy, the coffee is strong, and the staff is not your standard cast of tourist trap characters?

Drill, Baby, Drill: A Coke Talk Analysis

Dear Coke Talk goes all Professor Peabody when asked about the vacuous phrase, "Drill, baby, drill."

The etymology of the phrase “drill, baby, drill” is derived from the legendary words attributed to Bill Epton, a militant black activist who was jailed for uttering “burn, baby, burn” in response to the Harlem riots of 1964


Once upon a time in America, a black man was convicted and imprisoned because the words “burn, baby, burn” were an incitement to violence. A few decades later, a black man was elevated to the chairmanship of the Republican Party because the words “drill, baby, drill” were an incitement to jingoistic fervor.

So how does she manage to translate the past to the present?

I know, you weren’t expecting me to go all college professor on you. You probably just asked about this because you wanted me to talk shit about Sarah Palin. After all, she’s the one who made the phrase popular.
That’s fine. I have no problem with that. Thing is, that empty headed cunt runs around parroting “drill, baby, drill” to her political base of half-retarded right wing nutballs, and I doubt she’s ever heard of Bill Epton. She wouldn’t have a clue as to the ironic etymology of the phrase. She’s too fucking dumb.

Smart, acerbic women are wonderful.

Image via geoffgresh's photostream on flickr

Meaty Spam in my Inbox

Judging by my spam folder, there's an audience for secretly capturing my hard meaty stick. Who are these people, anyway?