Saturday, June 30, 2007

Microsoft kills third-party Windows client project

'It deeply saddens me that although Microsoft have [sic] known about this project for many months they only issued us with this notice a few days after we started to distribute' the first release, according to a post earlier this month on 'I am just as sorry as you guys are about this, but we got [sic] to think about the community as a whole first.'

IBM Destination z

In order to help you address these questions, IBM is introducing IBM Destination z. Designed to be a comprehensive repository of information and support, IBM Destination z brings together details of products and offerings available from IBM and IBM Business Partners as well as resources from members of the Academic Community.

Implementing Silverlight in 21 Days - Miguel de Icaza

"Testing Silverlight on Linux

At this point we do not have a packaged release of Silverlight for Linux and we still have to sort out a few things that would have to be done in order to ship a ready-to-use plugin.

But if you are curious or want to contribute to the effort check our page for information on downloading, compiling and getting started with the project."

DRM drags down economy, Linden CTO says

"DRM makes education and learning more expensive, which results in less innovation and a lower gross domestic product, said Cory Ondrejka, chief technology officer at Linden, the company behind the Second Life virtual world.

'DRM makes you less competitive,' Ondrejka told attendees at the iX Conference alongside the CommunicAsia show in Singapore.

Countries that want to close the gap with more advanced nations should avoid DRM or they will continue to lag behind, he said."

Government posts hospital death rates for heart ailments | Technology | Internet | Reuters

"Health care in the United States is notorious for its lack of transparency -- for both the price of goods and services, as well as the quality of care provided by doctors and hospitals."

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Theo de Raadt on 'Intel Core 2'

"- Basically the MMU simply does not operate as specified/implimented in previous generations of x86 hardware. It is not just buggy, but Intel has gone further and defined 'new ways to handle page tables' (see page 58).
- Some of these bugs are along the lines of 'buffer overflow'; where a write-protect or non-execute bit for a page table entry is ignored. Others are floating point instruction non-coherencies, or memory corruptions -- outside of the range of permitted writing for the process -- running common instruction sequences.
- All of this is just unbelievable to many of us."

(While here, I would like to say that AMD is becoming less helpful day by day towards open source operating systems too, perhaps because their serious errata lists are growing rapidly too).

I guess I'll stick with my old "previously owned" P4 computer for a bit longer after all.

Slashdot: Dumb-People Ready Overview

Microsoft has a new ad campaign (thrill!) and since they don't seem to know how to make entertaining ads like Apple does, they've taken (I say this as if it were a new thing) to just paying journalists (especially bloggers) to drive people to the oh-so-informative website.

Hopefully we now have a fairly definitive list of people in the new media who can't be trusted.

In the mean time, I observe that even the most conservative (in terms of software platform choice) people I know "in the business" are at least starting to think about just what they've locked themselves into and what the alternatives might be.

For the rest of you, who don't have a clue and don't intend to ever get one, just go here for software that is Dumb-People Ready.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

'Unlocking Value' at Microsoft

"After getting a Kellogg MBA, this nontechie became a software product manager in Redmond. Here's a typical day"

Maybe he should stick to selling cereal.

But look at these comments!

Both links courtesy of MiniMSFT

Those Voices Again

"Q: Haven't you just issued a disclaimer which should keep anyone not determined to misunderstand from thinking that?

A: Fine. If IQ really correlates with the ability to flourish in an industrial society (and I'm quite prepared to believe that), then it is, as I said last time, a measurement of the ability to navigate paper-pushing bureaucracies — to learn to manipulate arbitrary abstract explicit rules, and to do so on command. Presuming that people who don't manage to pull off at least some minimum level of this make very unattractive mating partners, and so have below-average reproductive success, then those of us in developed countries have spent the last one or two centuries breeding for docility, in both senses of the word.

Q: You're saying that —

A: We have met our alien overlords, and they are us."

Sometimes I'm not even sure how I found one of these things.

Review: Yoggie Pico personal firewall

We plugged a Linux laptop into the LAN, downloaded an updated set of security auditing scripts from, and pummeled our Vista host for about three hours. During the melee, the Yoggie blinked a lot, but largely kept its cool, never getting much hotter than a typical mobile phone. The Vista host failed to crash, despite warnings from about the potency of its scripts, and we continued using it to surf the Web, blissfully unaware of the attack except when we checked the Yoggie's dashboard, or noticed the wildly blinking lights on our switch.

Maybe we should stop thinking of Windows as an OS and just consider it a big fat user interface.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Translation From PR-Speak to English of Selected Portions of Federated Media Publishing Vice President Neil Chase’s Response to the “People-Ready” Ad

"I am high as a kite."

Groklaw - Goldman Sachs: Linux Will Dominate in the Corporate Data Center - and a Tip for Them

"Ask yourself a question: is Linux winning in the data center because of you? Was it you who saw five years ago it would happen? That it should? Or was it the geeks, the guys who wrote it and used it, who saw the value of the operating system and got it into all the places where they worked? Sometimes they had to sneak it in, because you were too dense to see its value, IIRC. See what I mean? When it comes to software, you can't get rid of the geeks and be successful. As Steve Ballmer told you, it's about developers. Developers, developers, developers. You are messing with the guys that can make you successful. How counterintuitive is that, if you want the Golden Goose to keep laying those Golden Eggs?"

SPOKESBLOGGERS: Microsoft pays star writers to recite slogan - Valleywag

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

World's biggest airliner to serve as private jet

'Aviation is now so out of control, we're not only seeing unnecessary binge-flying, it seems we're starting to see 'bling-flying' too,' said Joss Garman, from the British anti-pollution group Plane Stupid.

DHS acknowledges own computer break-ins - Yahoo! News

'We need to increase our vigilance to ensure that such incidents do not happen again,' Charbo wrote in testimony prepared for Wednesday's hearing. 'The department takes these incidents very seriously and will work diligently to ensure they do not recur.'

How many times do we have to hear this?

Tuesday, June 19, 2007


I mean Google!!
"Google already has two applications that work in Linux: Picasa and Google Earth, but that's not enough for a company that uses Linux a lot. In a presentation [PDF] from Linux Foundation Collaboration Summit, Google announced they'll release important Linux desktop applications this year. Some of them will be open source and they'll try to support most main distributions."

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Microsoft Finds Legal Defender in Justice Dept. - New York Times

The official, Thomas O. Barnett, an assistant attorney general, had until 2004 been a top antitrust partner at the law firm that has represented Microsoft in several antitrust disputes. At the firm, Justice Department officials said, he never worked on Microsoft matters. Still, for more than a year after arriving at the department, he removed himself from the case because of conflict of interest issues. Ethics lawyers ultimately cleared his involvement.

Mr. Barnett’s memo dismissing Google’s claims, sent to state attorneys general around the nation, alarmed many of them, they and other lawyers from five states said. Some state officials said they believed that Google’s complaint had merit. They also said that they could not recall receiving a request by any head of the Justice Department’s antitrust division to drop any inquiry.

Mr. Barnett’s memo appears to have backfired, state officials said. Prosecutors from several states said they intended to pursue the Google accusations with or without the federal government. In response, federal prosecutors are now discussing with the states whether the Justice Department will join them in pursuing the Google complaint.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Google Says Microsoft Web Servers are Used to Distribute Malware

I thought Windows *WAS* malware.


Thursday, June 07, 2007

Google AJAX Feed API - AJAX SlideShow

Cool stuff.

Note: the above is a generic Picasa slideshow. I'll try coding my own to see what the differences are.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Thinking is so over-News-Tech & Web-Personal Tech-TimesOnline

"The web was going to be the great educator, but the cult of the amateur is now devaluing knowledge, says net entrepreneur Andrew Keen"

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Brain Control of Computers - from Slashdot

Nagle, a 26-year-old quadriplegic, was hooked up to a computer via an implant smaller than an aspirin that sits on top of his brain and reads electrical patterns. Using that technology, he learned how to move a cursor around a screen, play simple games, control a robotic arm, and even - couch potatoes, prepare to gasp in awe - turn his brain into a TV remote control. All while chatting amiably with the researchers. He even learned how to perform these tasks in less time than the average PC owner spends installing Microsoft (Charts) Windows.

Hardly a strong statement there.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Something to Hide

Been there, done that.

One year with Linux [dive into mark]

" Enjoy your time with Linux, and when the endless Google searches to fix some miniscule package dependancy version problems finally drive you away, you will of course be welcomed back.

One year later, I look back on comments like this, and I just laugh. Sorry, Anonymous Commenter, you couldn’t have been more wrong. You got it exactly backwards. When your operating system finally comes with a package management system that is both comprehensive and extensible, you will of course be welcomed… to the 1990s. In the meantime, I’ll continue to enjoy my time with Linux."

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Honey, I'm Gone -

"If this hypothesis were to hold up, the implication is that some corporate bees around the world are heir to a combination of problems that may or may not be faced by honeybees kept by small-time operators, not to mention the honeybees that have escaped into the wild. All pollinators are in decline, according to a recent National Academy of Sciences study. But it is by no means clear that colony collapse disorder affects any of the 17,000 other species of bees known to exist, or the 13,000 additional species of bees estimated to exist, not to mention the 200,000 other species of animal pollinators such as beetles, butterflies, moths, hummingbirds and even bats. This also leaves aside the two-thirds of the world's food that is pollinated not by critters, but by wind and rain, such as the grasslike crops that include corn."

STATS: Yahoo's disappearing management team - Valleywag

It's not as though all these losses were tragic, but 30% turnover at the executive level is extraordinarily high: and Yahoo's struggling to find replacements.

Multi-Touch Systems that I Have Known and Loved

Multi-touch technologies have a long history. To put it in perspective, the original work undertaken by my team was done in 1984, the same year that the first Macintosh computer was released, and we were not the first. Furthermore, there was a significant body of prior art on which multi-touch was built.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Dan Fernandez's Blog : Visual Studio Express and TestDriven.NET

When a company gets this kind of comments from it most ardent supporters... what can you conclude about their prospects?...
As much as I like MS and the toolsets, it bothers me to see that you truly do not understand the common development community.

Come on. The reason that you have removed extensibility from VS Express is not because you want it to be as simple as possible but is because you do not want it to become more powerful than the "free" version that it is now. "Be limited and always remain so". At least acknowledge it.

If MS doesn't want their slimmed down version of VS to support any add-ins or extensions, then they should be clever enough to code their software that way. This is another example of how MS has a weak team of developers and a strong team of lawyers.

I hope I can switch to something else (maybe Java), because Microsoft disgusts me. I know that Eclipse is free, but I guess you Dan, don't understand the "ethos" of that?

This can only backfire on Microsoft along the lines of examples like Mike Rowe's software and the Russian teacher. If VS Express shouldn't be extended then Microsoft should have taken technological steps to ensure that it can't reasonably be extended.

I have an interview with Microsoft coming up (I'm a recent computer science graduate.) This is the kind of behavior that will probably keep me from accepting a job with them.

and on and on and on!

Google Gears Aims to Bolster Adobe Apollo, Others

"Adobe saw the capabilities of Google's Gears and jumped right onboard."

Now, will Microsoft?