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Tuesday Afternoon (0 Comments) (link)
 Tuesday, 16-October-2001  13:29:48 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Interesting spam today.. There is a threat that these terrorists may try to attack next with CHEMICAL or BIOLOGICAL weapons. We now offer Gas Masks that are 100% Certified by the Israeli Army. We also offer Cipro, the only medication approved by the FDA to treat ANTHRAX. Some people see everything as a business opportunity. Anyway, Australians concerned about Anthrax should check this statement on health.gov.au - follow the link at the bottom for more Anthrax info. Info on Australia's counter-terrorism planning can be found here. There is a fact sheet on the Attorney General's website about suspicious mail or packages and what to do if you receive and/or open one. Remember you are only really in danger if you inhale the powder (skin contact is bad but nowhere near AS bad) which of course nobody who is aware of the danger will now do. Note that the only person killed by these Anthrax attacks was the first one exposed, who wasn't aware of the risks and inhaled a bit of the powder (I imagine, trying to smell what it was). All the others have just gotten it on their skin and been ok, so if you do get a suspicious package, don't panic, but follow the instructions on this page and get the package checked. In Australia there have been NO CONFIRMED ANTHRAX PACKAGES. According to the AG, all so far are either confirmed false alarms or still under investigation. Still, be careful opening your mail for sure. I guess this is where email finally kills off physical mail for basic letters.

Time for a mini-rant about AMD's Performance Rating (PR) system. My fellow news-posters seem to be unanimous in their dislike of it, but I think it's a solution to a tricky problem AMD are facing. I think most of the skepticism about this scheme stems from previous PR systems from AMD and Cyrix, which were, shall we say, somewhat optimistic in their classification of their products. I don't think that's the case any more. Anyone who's seen the benchmarks knows that a 1.533GHz Athlon really is as fast as a P4 at 1.8GHz - if not faster. So by calling a 1.533GHz Athlon an "1800+", they're not trying to dupe you into buying an inferior product, they're trying to inform you that the product performs similarly to other products so you can make a decision based on price or other personal factors. You have to remember that overclockers and hardware freaks like you and I are very much in the minority. Sure, we buy a lot of computer gear, but nowhere near as much as the big corporates or the great mass of less knowledgeable users buying a PC for work or study or for their kids. If AMD really want to take the battle onto Intel's ground (servers, corporate desktops, brand-name PC's) they need to level the playing field. Quoting MHz no longer describes CPU performance accurately enough.

Dicey notes the US Govt may form a new internet.. which sounds all new and exciting, but realistically, what they're describing is an Intranet like many other large international organisations have these days. There was for a while a shift towards Virual Private Networks, which means using encryption to run a private Intranet over the public Internet, but many security-paranoid institutions like banks (and, it seems, major governments) prefer to have their own links, their own comms gear and hence tighter control of their own security.

Speaking of security: that bastion of invulnerability, Internet Explorer, has another 3 holes and another fix, thanks Volnhar.

RealWorldTech has an article comparing KT266 to KT266A, socketA DDR chipsets of course.

Transmeta have announced a new CPU today. This chip incorporates CPU, southbridge, northbridge and video all in the one package.

Panasonic have a new DVD Recorder which they're hoping will replace your VCR.

FiringSquad have reviewed Pontifex, the new version of Bridge Builder.

From Wokket: The website of a professional streaker in the UK (all the rude bits are covered in the pictures thankfully, but funny stories etc), a hidden camera found in the ladies toilet at the Dept of Experimental Psychology at Cambridge (all in the name of science, no doubt), and if you can put a virus on this computer you'll get 10,000 pounds. Of course, it's a Linux system, to make it a little more tricky for you.

Happy birthday to Soc for a few days ago too, kinda missed that one, sorry dude. :)

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