News vs propaganda

News vs propaganda

A day after watching the Netflix documentary¬†The Great Hack, which is mostly about modern propaganda, I had an exchange on social media that got me thinking about news vs propaganda. What’s the difference? It can be subtle, but here are things I look for, as a former journalist myself.

News follows several rules, but the most important rules are named sources and the quantity. If a story doesn’t have three sources, it’s not news.

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Optimizing DOS memory

Optimizing DOS memory

After watching some 486 build videos, it became clear to me that optimizing DOS memory is a lost art. Yes, I made some boot menus and custom DOS boot disks in my day, but for power users, that was usually a last resort. Memory managers usually free up more than 600K of conventional memory so DOS programs run great. Here’s how to use them.

The key is using HIMEM.SYS and EMM386.EXE in your config.sys with certain recommended parameters. These programs move device drivers and memory-resident utilities out of conventional memory to make room for memory-hungry DOS programs. Using HIMEM.SYS and EMM386.EXE is a bit of a lost art, so let’s see if we can un-lose it.

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Who owns Lionel Trains?

Who owns Lionel Trains?

Lionel has a storied history, and its ownership has changed several times since 1969. Who owns Lionel Trains now? The answer may surprise you.

Lionel, LLC, manufacturer of Lionel electric trains, is owned by Guggenheim Partners, who also own the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball team. Rock and roller Neil Young remains affiliated with Lionel but his ownership stake is unclear.

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How to leave an expansion gap

How to leave an expansion gap

A reader asked me how to leave an expansion gap when installing laminate floor or any other type of floating fllor. That’s an important question. With the right tools it’s really easy. Without the right tools, it’s incredibly frustrating.

The trick to leaving an expansion gap is to place some type of spacer of uniform thickness between your flooring and the wall on all four sides of the room. You can either use commercially produced spacers or make some yourself from thin plywood or other scrap wood.

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What a buffer overflow looks like

What a buffer overflow looks like

Once you know what to look for, a buffer overflow is almost as easy to spot as it is to understand. So here’s what a buffer overflow looks like, whether you’re looking at suspicious network traffic or a suspicious file on disk.

A buffer overflow is a long sequence of NOP operations followed by machine code. The long sequence of NOPs is a tell-tale sign, but disassembling the data that follows will verify it–if it doesn’t disassemble to gibberish, you found a buffer overflow.

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PC DOS vs MS-DOS

PC DOS vs MS-DOS

DOS was a bit of an oddity, in that you could buy it from either Microsoft or IBM. The two were never quite identical, but were always mostly interchangeable. The differences grew larger at version 6, but they were still more alike than different. Let’s take a look at PC DOS vs MS-DOS.

IBM and Microsoft collaborated on DOS, and both had the right to market it. IBM sold its version as PC DOS, while Microsoft sold its version as MS-DOS. And for a time, IBM was happy just to sell PC DOS to owners of true-blue IBM PCs. But in 1993 it changed.

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How does Kenna Security work?

Kenna Security is a vulnerability management tool you may have heard of but never used. I find it exceptionally useful, though that’s not always a universal opinion. So how does Kenna Security work, and how can you make it work better?

Kenna Security is not a vulnerability scanner. It works with your existing scanner to enrich the data and make recommendations. Using that enriched data to make decisions is key to success with Kenna.

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Lionel CW-40 vs CW-80 transformers

Lionel CW-40 vs CW-80 transformers

The Lionel CW-40, also known as the Powermax Plus, looks just like the CW-80, at least if you’re looking from the front. But it has significant differences from its bigger brother. Let’s look at the Lionel CW-40 vs CW-80 and whether those differences matter to you.

Neither the CW-40 or CW-80 are high-end transformers. But if you’re doing anything more ambitious than running a simple loop of track, you’ll probably be happier with a CW-80.

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What is retro in computers?

What is retro in computers?

What is retro in computers? It’s a fair question, because there’s a fine line between junk and treasure when it comes to old computers. And the answer definitely depends on who you ask. It means the computer is old enough to be collectible, but there’s no universal standard for “old enough.”

As a general rule, if it’s obsolete and no longer being made, someone considers it retro. But not necessarily everyone will, so there certainly are degrees of retro when it comes to computers.

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