Word of the Day Archive


July 8, 2008  9:59 AM

Overheard: Hacking flash

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
brick3.jpg With normal memory and normal hard-disks, you can rewrite the contents trillions of times without concern. With flash memory, after rewriting data a few hundred thousand times, the block goes bad. It’s quite easy to intentionally write a program that would continuously overwrite a block of flash until it failed.

Robert Graham, Hacking Flash Memory

At my previous employer, we found vulnerabilities in Cisco routers that would potentially allow us to create a worm. As part of our threat modeling, we considered what would happen if such a worm were to intentionally destroy the flash in a Cisco router. These routers boot from flash, so all the worm had to do was continuously overwrite the boot sector, then the router would no longer be able to boot. The flash in many (if not most) Cisco routers is soldered in. Therefore, destroying the flash would “brick” the device.

If you “brick” a device, that’s like “toasting” a device. You break it. Permanently. It’s toast. It’s a brick.

July 7, 2008  11:38 AM

Overheard: There’s money to be made building data centers

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
michael_kanellos.jpg Data center construction is probably the only healthy segment of the building industry.

Michael Kanellos, Data Center Power Consumption: By the Numbers


July 3, 2008  2:05 PM

Overheard: Return of the broadcast flag

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
sandoval.jpg Microsoft has acknowledged that Windows Media Centers will block users from recording TV shows at the request of a broadcaster.

Greg Sandoval, Microsoft confirms Windows adheres to broadcast flag

The software company was responding to questions about why some users of Windows Vista Media Center were prevented from recording NBC Universal TV shows, American Gladiator and Medium on Monday night.

The “rules,” in which the spokeswoman is apparently referring to are those proposed by the FCC, which would require software and hardware makers honor “broadcast flags.” The flags are code that broadcasters can insert into the data stream of TV shows that typically require restrictions on the recording of the shows. What she didn’t say is that the “rules” aren’t rules at all.

The courts struck down the FCC’s proposal in 2005, saying the regulator lacked the authority to tell electronics makers how to interpret the signals they receive. Since then, Microsoft and other manufacturers have retained the option of whether to honor the flags.


July 3, 2008  1:01 PM

Quiz: Writing for business, July 4

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse

Which is correct?

Each of the servers _____ partitioned.
a. is
b. are

Continued »


July 3, 2008  12:49 PM

Quiz: Writing for business, July 3

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse

Which is correct?

Now that Apple has embraced the enterprise, IT execs will be ________ their iPhones instead of their Blackberrys.
a. flouting
b. flaunting

Continued »


July 3, 2008  12:31 PM

Overheard: Location awareness — is it finally here?

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
gillin_photo.jpg GPS brings a whole new level of precision to the mobile experience. Cell phones have been required to be location-aware for several years in order to comply with the needs of emergency response agencies in the U.S. However, the primitive triangulation system that basic phones use isn’t very precise. With GPS, a user’s location could be pinpointed to within a few feet.

Paul Gillin, The Promise and Pitfalls of Location-Awareness

If you do a search on Google for location awareness, you’ll find lot of articles written by people who are excited about the possibilities of mobile devices and location awareness. Advertisers, particularly seem excited. If you look at the dates for a lot of those articles, however, you might be surprised to see they were written in 2001. Will the iPhone really be the tipping point for location awareness 3rd party apps? I’m not going to hold my breath.


July 2, 2008  3:54 PM

Overheard: The best way to make $$ from social media is to run a conference on it

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
steve_baldwin.jpg I hate to say it, but the best (and likely only) way to get ROI in Social Media is to run Social Media conferences.

Steve Baldwin, commenting on David Berkowitz’s article Ten Questions Not To Ask A Social Media Panel

David’s satirical blog post about “what not to ask a social media panel” got a lot of virtual heads nodding.


July 2, 2008  2:06 PM

Overheard: EcoRAM is the perfect marketing name

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
higginbotham.jpg Flash doesn’t need to constantly refresh the data on the chip the way that DRAM does, so it consumes about a tenth of the power when handling a gigabyte of data.

Stacey Higginbotham, In a Flash Spansion Cuts Power

Traditionally, the way to handle more information has been to buy more servers in order to get more DRAM (Micron is offering lower-power DRAM as a “green” product). Spansion hopes to change all that by using a proprietary Flash memory called EcoRAM that replaces DRAM.


July 2, 2008  12:41 PM

Quiz: Writing for business, July 2

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse

Which is correct?

A Creative Commons license gives you the ability to dictate how others may exercise your _________ rights.
a. copyright
b. copywrite

Continued »


July 1, 2008  12:08 PM

Quiz: Writing for business, July 1

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse

Which is correct?

__________ you hire will need at least three years of ASP.NET and AJAX development experience.
a. Whoever
b. Whomever

Continued »


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