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SECURITY! (part II)

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Mithrandir

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Just when you thought shredding your documents was safe...



So now there is software out there that will scan cross-cut shredded paper and reconstruct it. It makes sense, of course. Any unbelievably repetetive or mathematical task can be accomplished faster and better by a computer.

And here, I thought I was being clever by shredding about 5x more paper than what I needed to shred (ie: all junk mail, instead of just the financial offers).


Of course, at the moment, this technology is beyond the grasp of your every-day identity thief, but this will undoubtedly change with time.

*sigh*




I discovered a neat little program the other day, and installed it. It's called TrueCrypt, and it allows you to seamlessly mount encrypted drives (even as files!) on your computer.

Basically, it works like this; you create an encrypted file, choose an encryption scheme, give it a password, and then mount it as a drive on your system. You can then use it just like a regular drive; copy files to it, etc. Whenever you put files into the encrypted drive, they're automatically encrypted on the fly. Same happens when you read the files; they're decrypted on the fly.

It's freaking neat, and I've been spending the last few days putting all of my important information into encrypted partitions.

I know my landlord has been in my apartment without my permission before, so hopefully this will prevent him from doing any snooping.


Furthermore, something like this is good to use for the new "online file storage" services, like Googles G-Drive and Amazon's S3. Since the federal government has forced Google to hand over data, this does not bode well for online storage services ("Hand over all user data so we can find anti-patriot terroristisms!!!"), so it's a good idea to have your stuff encrypted.


If you're a small development team and cannot afford to have your own offsite backup server, using this to protect your source code on an online file storage site would be a good idea.


Two thumbs up. If I had a third thumb, it would be up too.





This is unrelated to security, but when I made that popcap reference the other day, it reminded me that I had not checked to see if any new popcap games had come out recently.

So I went to popcap and saw they had a new game, "Pizza Frenzy". I downloaded it, installed it, and ran it. It was 99% fun (It had an annoying "put the toppings on the pizza in this pattern" subgame that had absolutely no point but to annoy you) and the hour limit seemed to last only 10 minutes.

Seeing as how I didn't feel the game was worth $20, I decided to find more information about similar games; and I ran into Gamehouses' site, which had the same exact game.

So apparently Gamehouse and Popcap are cross-licensing games and don't actually make anything anymore (*shrug*), but I decided to be clever and download the GH demo and install it. I started it up... and not only did it work, but it resumed my game from the other demo.

That freaked me out, so I decided to research just exactly what this program was doing to my computer. The most obvious choice was the registry, so I searched through that for "pizza".

This program put over 50 keys into my registry, and it saves its save games there too. ARGH. Ridiculous!


I *HATE* the registry. I patently refuse to ever have any of my programs EVER access it for any reason. It's a bloated piece of crap that makes using your computer infinitely more difficult.


Oh, and for all you game makers out there: Not having a volume control in your game is stupid. Can you imagine? Some people might actually want to listen to music while they're playing your game. Yes, it's true! I swear! And when your sound effects drown out the music, it's really annoying!





I wanted to post some thoughts about my $20 comment up above, but I'll save that for later.
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Where should game settings go? It's no longer okay to make a file in the same directory as the game, as Windows is planning to disallow write access for the Program Files directory in user accounts.

Only other place is in My Documents or Local Settings, and that's IMHO even more annoying.

50 registry keys is a mite annoying. Duck Tiles creates three. And it cleans 'em up completely if you uninstall.

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Quote:

Windows is planning to disallow write access for the Program Files directory in user accounts.


What in the hell?

WHY?!!



I completely agree with the My Documents folder being annoying.


I really like the way Apple does it (or did it; not sure if they do this anymore)


Each application goes into a directory, and in that directory is a program directory, where all the actual program files are stored, and a data directory, where all application settings are stored.

This way, you can very easily transfer settings from one computer to another, or *gasp* move the program to a different directory if you wanted to!

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Ahh, so the ideal solution to the problem is to put the software on an OS where the software won't work.

Focus on solutions, boy.

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