Does gaming support need to be a requirement for broadband?

Team Fortress 2 should be supported by broadband but shouldn't be a requirement

I’m not exactly sure why a debate over whether broadband should be capable of online gaming erupted, but it appears to be a misunderstanding in which some entertainment software executives were needlessly upset. The whole furor came about as AT&T made mention of the word “gaming” once in their FCC filing on how broadband should be defined. AT&T merely pointed out that Satellite broadband technology can’t support online gaming.

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Debunking cell phone radiation alarmism

cell-phoneThe “Environmental Working Group” just put out their report on the dangerous of cell phone Radio Frequency (RF) fields.  The problem is that their report either relies on very small studies that show a possible correlation with increased cancer rates but they completely omit the largest studies that found no dangers with cell phone RF fields.

The EWG makes several claims in their executive summary but they seem to contradict the larger body of evidence.  Read the rest at Digital Society.

Temporary workaround for Windows SMBv2 zero-day

The Windows SMBv2 zero-day vulnerability (disclosed vulnerability with no software fix) appears to be more dangerous than initially thought.  The vulnerability does not affect the Release to Manufacturing (RTM) version of Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2, but it does affects Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008.  The danger is no longer just a system crash or reboot, it can lead to a full system compromise.

In the absence of a patch, Microsoft released some instructions for disabling SMBv2.  For your convenience, I’ve packaged two REG files that you can download that enable and disable SMBv2 in Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008.  So until a software patch is available, you need to disable SMBv2 double clicking the disable-SMBv2.reg file and then rebooting.  The workaround does not break your ability to serve files, but it does reduce your SMB file serving speeds down to Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 levels which would result in a moderate decrease in performance.  When the patch becomes available and you have applied the patch, just run the enable-SMBv2.reg file and reboot.

How to statically link Qt 4

Make your entire Qt application work entirely from a single file.

qtlogoI was downloading Ubuntu Netbook Remix for my EeePC 900A and found that it’s installer is not a CD image, but a raw image meant to be written to a USB FLASH drive. After downloading their handy image writer, I found that this simple utility came with quite a few support files, including a surprising 13.5MB of .dlls.

This image writer tool was written using Nokia’s Qt software, which allows easy development and distribution for all the major platforms from a single C++ source base. This program was compiled in the same way most Windows software is today — with “dynamic linking”, requiring the Qt libraries, among others, be shipped with the program as separate files.

This is fine for large software projects, but it’s a little cumbersome for small tools like this one. Many programs can be distributed such that all necessary files are built into the executable in a process called static linking. Sometimes it is nice to be able to download just the program itself and not have to worry about making sure various DLLs are included (though setting up an installer largely eliminates this problem).

Static linking has its advantages and disadvantages, but when not done, running a program unaccompanied by even one support file will result in a cryptic error for the user:


These 4 steps are all you need to make your entire project result in a single, easy-to-distribute .EXE file:

  1. Complete your Qt project using normal debug libraries.
  2. Compile the Qt libraries for static linking (needs to be done only once).
  3. Add the necessary lines of code to include any Qt plugins you may need.
  4. Compile your release version with the static libraries.

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