Kilobits and PDFs



  • A recent WTF is eerily similar to a story I told some time back..
    This is probably pure coincidence, or perhaps someone I told the story to decided to pass it on, but the WTFery is there, all the same-

    The job was pretty simple, I just needed to install patches a PDF reader on two machines in what happened to be adjacent apartments.

    The first one had a 128 kilobit satellite DSL connection. I started the download there, only to discover it was not only much slower than advertised, but also rather flaky.
    As I soon found out, the other apartment had sprung for a more expensive 256k line.
    So, I did the smart thing, and decided to tackle that one first, then simply transfer the file over the 2.4 giga-bit hertz Wifi network.
    This much better than halved the download time, as that line was newer and transmitting 5 × 5 ok-ish.

    An hour of wasting time later, the download finally finished. I quickly installed Adobe Reader, then connected the machine temporarily to the other apartment's (unencrypted, of course) network. I went to copy the file, and... it was GONE!

    Turns out, Adobe installers delete themselves after running. I ended up having to download the file again, negating much of the time savings.



  • That's because it is your story, just anonymized. The oil rigs, the Guttenberg.. none of it was real.



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    That's because it is your story, just anonymized. The oil rigs, the Guttenberg.. none of it was real.
     

    I figured that much, but I'm not sure if it was directly based on a version of mine, or another entirely. I don't believe I've ever posted it online, but I suppose someone else may have, either elsewhere or directly submitted here. If so, I am curious who ultimately submitted it, and how far else it's spread and mutated :P

    In any case, I have no doubts the whole nautical angle of the story was based solely on the "drillbits" pun, lol




  • @SamC said:

    I figured that much, but I'm not sure if it was directly based on a version of mine, or another entirely. I don't believe I've ever posted it online, but I suppose someone else may have, either elsewhere or directly submitted here. If so, I am curious who ultimately submitted it, and how far else it's spread and mutated :P

    In any case, I have no doubts the whole nautical angle of the story was based solely on the "drillbits" pun, lol

    I was joking. I honestly don't know if it was based off your story or what, although the similarities are amusing.



  • @SamC said:

    Adobe Reader

    Try Sumatra PDF. It's less than 5MB, and also opens ePub, Mobi, XPS, DjVu, CHM, CBZ and CBR.



  • @spamcourt said:

    @SamC said:
    Adobe Reader

    Try Sumatra PDF. It's less than 5MB, and also opens ePub, Mobi, XPS, DjVu, CHM, CBZ and CBR.

    It's great if you can stand the ugly color and design. Looks like it was coded by an Eastern European that has a mole on his right cheek and a triangle shadow beard.



  • @Ronald said:

    It's great if you can stand the ugly color and design.

    Jesus Christ.

    @Ronald said:

    Looks like it was coded by an Eastern European that has a mole on his right cheek and a triangle shadow beard.

    How very perceptive of you.



  • @spamcourt said:

    Try Sumatra PDF. It's less than 5MB, and also opens ePub, Mobi, XPS, DjVu, CHM, CBZ and CBR.

    Frankly, thats probably TRWTF-

    Adobe Reader reads only PDF, and it's 40 megs!

    I forget what the PDF they were trying to open was, but I do recall it was well under one meg.

     

    @morbiuswilters said:

    I honestly don't know if it was based off your story or what, although the similarities are amusing.
     

    I thought so too; I was reading it and thinking... Huh, these numbers look familiar, hey, I did that once, hm, I bet that file gets deleted!
    (granted, theres no reason I can think of that I would have mentioned the Wifi frequency too, but that number matching too was funny nontheless)

     



  • It's a marketing thing. The download page trys to bundle in some random trial software that is set to also download and install by default, and you have to uncheck the box to stop it. The more times a user has to download Flash Player, the higher the chance he/she forgets to uncheck the box, and the more money Adobe get for supplying third party trial applications.

    Adobe's a bitch.



  • I'm the Kristian who submittet kilobits and drillbits...

    Real story, but yes somewhat anonymized. In did happen, but on a pair of Seismic survey ships NEAR oil rigs. And i believe the guys in the lounge were watching The Fast and the Furious (all of them), not Police Academy.

    But yes, it does bear a strikingly coincidental similarity to the OPs adobe issues.



  • TRWTF is the image in Morb's signature. I can't stop staring at it.



  • @mott555 said:

    TRWTF is the image in Morb's signature. I can't stop staring at it.

    It's from "Green Bits on WAN", which the image links to.



  • @spamcourt said:

    @SamC said:
    Adobe Reader
    Try Sumatra PDF. It's less than 5MB, and also opens ePub, Mobi, XPS, DjVu, CHM, CBZ and CBR.
    Try pdf.js. It's less than 1MB, and isn't made by crazy Eastern Europeans. Plus, it's been built into Firefox since February.


  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    @morbiuswilters said:

    @mott555 said:

    TRWTF is the image in Morb's signature. I can't stop staring at it.

    It's from "Green Bits on WAN", which the image links to.

    Worse, it's Green Bits on LAN. These green bits are already on his local area network.



  • @joe.edwards said:

    Worse, it's Green Bits on LAN. These green bits are already on his local area network.

    "We've traced the green bits. They're coming from inside the firewall! Get out of there before that goddamn cat finds you!"



  • Chrome also works as a decent PDF viewer. I'm surprised they didn't just make it go through Google's PDF ->HTML servers.


    Even Windows 8 has a PDF viewer.



  • @spamcourt said:

    Chrome also works as a decent PDF viewer.

    That's what I use for viewing PDFs. I have a shell script that launches Chrome without all the navigation bars and whatnot. Best PDF viewer I've ever had.

    @spamcourt said:

    I'm surprised they didn't just make it go through Google's PDF ->HTML servers.

    That would suck, it wouldn't be usable offline.



  • @SamC said:

    @spamcourt said:

    Try Sumatra PDF. It's less than 5MB, and also opens ePub, Mobi, XPS, DjVu, CHM, CBZ and CBR.

    Frankly, thats probably TRWTF-

    Adobe Reader reads only PDF, and it's 40 megs!

    I forget what the PDF they were trying to open was, but I do recall it was well under one meg.

     

     

    Have you actually read the PDF-spec? The format can contain pretty much anything - images, videos, CAD-data, shell scripts, javascript... I also doubt that Sumatra runs in a sandbox, and seeing how broken PDF is, I'd rather use a program that at least pretends to have a quality control.

     



  • @TwelveBaud said:

    @spamcourt said:
    @SamC said:
    Adobe Reader
    Try Sumatra PDF. It's less than 5MB, and also opens ePub, Mobi, XPS, DjVu, CHM, CBZ and CBR.
    Try pdf.js. It's less than 1MB, and isn't made by crazy Eastern Europeans. Plus, it's been built into Firefox since February.
     

    And is horribly broken with just about every PDF I have. Bonus points for breaking the Adobe Acrobat-integration into Firefox. Secondary bonus points for actually rendering slower than Adobe Reader.



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    @spamcourt said:
    Chrome also works as a decent PDF viewer.

    That's what I use for viewing PDFs. I have a shell script that launches Chrome without all the navigation bars and whatnot. Best PDF viewer I've ever had.

     

    Holy Morbius, Google Chrome is a smaller download than Adobe Reader!



  • @fire2k said:

    Have you actually read the PDF-spec? The format can contain pretty much anything - images, videos, CAD-data, shell scripts, javascript... I also doubt that Sumatra runs in a sandbox, and seeing how broken PDF is, I'd rather use a program that at least pretends to have a quality control.

    Yeah, and support for all that junk is one of many reasons Adobe Reader is so bloated. Most alternative readers display just the document data.

    In my opinion, that's a good thing.



  • @wrack said:

    @fire2k said:
    Have you actually read the PDF-spec? The format can contain pretty much anything - images, videos, CAD-data, shell scripts, javascript... I also doubt that Sumatra runs in a sandbox, and seeing how broken PDF is, I'd rather use a program that at least pretends to have a quality control.

    Yeah, and support for all that junk is one of many reasons Adobe Reader is so bloated. Most alternative readers display just the document data.

    In my opinion, that's a good thing.
     

    So they only implement parts of a file format that is already one of the most actively attacked security risks in the world (funny how Adobe seems to be tied into all of these). Since you don't know which parts, version, or anything they implement, how often do they patch current pdf vulnerabilities? Do they even actively track known security issues? Foxit is pretty famous for having issues Adobe fixed quite a few months earlier.



  • @fire2k said:

    Secondary bonus points for actually rendering slower than Adobe Reader.
    In my experience, Adobe Reader was never slow at rendering. It took a long time to start, but once it was loaded, it was very quick (I remember when Foxit first appeared, and everybody praised it for it's speed - but it was only fast at starting, while rendering even simple pages was noticeably slower than Adobe, which to me was much more annoying).



  • @ender said:

    In my experience, Adobe Reader was never slow at rendering. It took a long time to start, but once it was loaded, it was very quick.

    This reminds me of the Ford Escort I used to drive in college. Everybody was calling it a piece of shit, but it was actually doing ok when it started (and unless I took my foot off the accelerator while driving).


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @fire2k said:

    So they only implement parts of a file format that is already one of the most actively attacked security risks in the world (funny how Adobe seems to be tied into all of these). Since you don't know which parts, version, or anything they implement, how often do they patch current pdf vulnerabilities? Do they even actively track known security issues? Foxit is pretty famous for having issues Adobe fixed quite a few months earlier.
    IIRC, the majority of PDF vulns are related to supporting Javascript inside it (which makes some sense, as JS is a full programming language and the PDF container format isn't). Readers which don't implement JS support shouldn't have problems with the vulns that require it. Pure renderer vulns are much easier to check for, provided nobody retarded has decided that speed is more important than correct operation…



  • @dkf said:

    Pure renderer vulns are much easier to check for, provided nobody retarded has decided that speed is more important than correct operation…

    We're screwed.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @Salamander said:

    We're screwed.
    Yeah, but it's not exactly a surprise that, is it?


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