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Christopher Frenz

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Top Stories by Christopher Frenz

When dictating password policies to users, it is common for such policies to require that users generate passwords that contain a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, as well as numbers and special characters. Moreover, it is well established that the strengths of such passwords are further enhanced if the passwords do not in any way resemble dictionary words, since minor substitutions of dictionary words and names are often included in the dictionaries used in dictionary-based attacks and in some rainbow table variants. Thus "D3veloper" would be a less than ideal password since potentially it's an easily guessed variant of the word "developer." A common recommendation for dealing with this issue is to suggest the use of randomly generated passwords such as "0Y=/S?tV". However, such passwords often pose great difficulty for many users to remember, which ca... (more)

Windows for Supercomputers

In late May 2004, Microsoft made the announcement that it was considering entering the High-Performance Computing (HPC) Market, a market that has traditionally been dominated by custom-engineered Unix-based machines. In recent years, advances in technology have made possible the construction of lower-cost computing clusters that utilize off-the-shelf hardware such as Intel- and AMD-based processors. The operating system of choice for these lower-end clusters has been Linux. In fact, this market is representative of one of Linux's strongest footholds. Many in the Linux camp consid... (more)

Creating Mobile Controls with the Mobile Internet Toolkit

The Mobile Internet Toolkit comes prepackaged with a variety of controls that address the most common mobile computing tasks. However, specialized tasks can arise that these generic controls are not powerful enough to address, or for which they simply fail to meet the requirements. In these cases it is beneficial to develop a custom control that is suited to fulfilling the required tasks. In this article, I will concentrate on developing and implementing such custom controls within a mobile application. The primary focus will not be on creating custom user controls and/or inheri... (more)

Applicability of the .NET Platform to Bioinformatics Research

A current look at the field of bioinformatics will reveal that it is a field that is largely dominated by the Linux operating system, as well as by programming languages such as Perl, Python, and Java. Windows and its associated native application development platforms are not in widespread use among present-day bioinformatics practitioners. In fact, the usage of Linux and other open source technologies will likely remain the dominant platforms upon which most novel and/or large-scale bioinformatics research is conducted. Scientific computing of all types has deep-seated roots in... (more)

The Open Source Advantage in Secure Application Development

The security benefits and risks of Open Source code is one of the most debated topics in information security today. The views of proponents of the Open Source model are typified by Eric Raymond's argument that Open Source software is intrinsically more secure since its open nature lets a greater number of programmers view the source code and uncover potential security threats before they're released to the wild. Fewer people see closed source software, on the other hand, and so the odds of uncovering a potential security threat before a system cracker finds it is diminished. Op... (more)