Showing posts from July, 2008

Microsoft tries taste-test with Vista doubters

From WinInfo Daily News 30/07/08:Not surprisingly, Microsoft's recent "blind taste test" of Windows Vista has yielded the kind of PR bonanza that Microsoft couldn't beg, borrow, or steal just a few weeks ago. This week, the company released a slew of videos showing some of the 140 consumers videotaped in San Francisco using Vista for the first time. But the users weren't told they were using Vista, as they were selected specifically because they believed that Vista wasn't any good. Instead, these people believed they were using a future Windows version, code-named Windows "Mojave."
The comments made by these individuals are emblematic of the problems Microsoft now faces when it tries to market Vista to a world that, apparently, has already made up its mind about the OS. "I heard negative things; I never tried it myself," one woman says.
"I wouldn't touch the thing." "It's horrible, it has so many problems.&q…

Another Facebook fiasco – here we go again

From 16/07/08: Facebook has accidentally revealed personal information about its members. The social networking site divulged the dates of birth of many of its 80 million active users, even those who had requested that the information remained confidential.Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos, explained that the information was exposed during a public beta test of Facebook's new design."I was shocked to see people's full date of birth revealed, even though I knew they had their privacy set up correctly to supposedly hide the information." he said.I’m not even the slightest bit shocked at this news; in fact, I’m surprised it wasn’t something more serious. With the social networking/web 2.0 wave that has swept the world in the last year and a half, people have thrown all sorts of personal information up on social networking sites without much regard to the consequences.My gripe here is the principle and not the specific circumstances: revea…

Mosley wins privacy case - starts libel proceedings

From 25/07/08:Max Mosley has launched libel proceedings against the News of the World over allegations made in its edition the week after its initial expose on his sex life.The FIA president won his high-profile privacy case against the British tabloid on Thursday and was awarded £60,000 damages and costs after the High Court ruled that his privacy had been breached when the newspaper revealed lurid details about his private life in March.The verdict also refuted the newspaper’s claims that his activities with prostitutes had Nazi overtones.Things were looking very bleak for Mosley back at the end of March when the story of his ‘S&M orgy in a Chelsea flat’ first broke. Since then, he’s successfully faced a vote of confidence by the FIA on June 3rd - thereby keeping his position as head of the FIA - and was yesterday awarded a record amount of damages in respect of his privacy case against the New of the World. The untold damage that Max’s reputation suffered from the t…

Death of the 'TV set'

From the Times 21/06/08:Two years ago, it seemed impossible that the internet could ever replace the television as the hub of home entertainment. Now it's common to see groups of youths gathered round YouTube, or swapping viral clips from Big Brother rather than bothering with the whole tawdry televised affair. Cheap and easy broadband has made internet TV possible; and for those who still prefer their giant plasma screens to their PCs, new-generation televisions are coming with web browsers built in.I remember that only recently Leo Laporte and Amber Macarthur from Net @ Night were having just this discussion. They opined that the internet had already made substantial inroads to TV's previously unchallenged audience levels and further, net-vision would definitely take over from regular ‘TV’. That might, perhaps, sound a tad farfetched but is it really? When you think about the monumental growth and importance that the internet enjoys today, it’s not that tough to believe. So …

Great iPhone ad

Given that the world has gone iPhone mad again recently with the release of the 3G model, I was particularly amused to see these ‘honest gadget ads that won’t be convincing many people to buy anything’.Great stuff!

Allegations stack up against Intel

From the Financial Times 17/07/08:Having carried out raids in 2005, the European Commission formally accused Intel last year of trying to do deals with PC makers to push AMD out of the central processing unit business. Now, according to the regulator, Intel has been sent a supplementary charge sheet, alleging that it engaged in three additional elements of abusive conduct.The first was to have provided “substantial rebates” to a leading European computer retailer, on the condition that it sold only Intel-based PCs. The second was that Intel made payments to induce a manufacturer to delay the planned launch of a product line using an AMD-based processor.Thirdly, the Commission claimed, Intel had provided substantial rebates to the same manufacturer on the condition that it obtain all its laptop CPUs from Intel. As a rooter for the underdog, I’ve always liked AMD and, if memory serves me correctly, have owned at least one computer with an AMD processor inside. Just one, mind, and that’…

Open Source Law Student

As I edge ever closer to the dreaded LLM territory, I’ve been giving increasing thought to an idea I had earlier this year re my computer needs on this course and whether using open source solutions is a viable option. Can a law student successfully get by with just free open source and cloud-based options and still turn in the multitude of essays and other work required? Would I really trust Open Office with my precious dissertation or, God help me, Google Docs? Is either option even man enough for the job? Given that the latter doesn’t even support the inclusion of footnotes, I think we can quickly answer that.So as the world heads further and further down the path of the cloud computing paradigm, much has been made of whether the traditional desktop apps are already becoming obsolete. Opinions differ of course, though I think the consensus would fall on the side of ‘we’re not there yet’. Probably, not by a long shot.I’m certainly very curious as to whether I can survive studying a…

Another police visit – what MUST the neighbours think?

Somewhat worryingly, we had a second visit from the police earlier today. The first came a couple of weeks ago when a policewoman called looking for a previous tenant. After suffering the ignominy of struggling to get the front door open – never a good sign – I then had to explain that we knew nothing of the ‘wanted man’. Knowing better than to ask what Mr X was ‘wanted for’, I had to let my imagination fill in the gaps: needless to say, we’ve been viewing that slight hump in the back lawn with renewed suspicion all afternoon.Of course, it never looks good when you have a police car parked outside your house and an officer ring the bell but I thankfully refrained from yanking him through the front door in a Hyacinth Bucket manner. Given that we couldn’t offer him any useful information he was soon on his way after exchanging pleasantries and apologising for disturbing us - what a nice chap! Just to add to the embarrassment, though, he made a point of taking an inordinately long time …

Microsoft patch hoses computers running ZoneAlarm

From 10.07.08:Hundreds of thousands of ZoneAlarm firewall users have been locked out of the internet by Microsoft's latest round of software updates.Microsoft released four 'important' fixes as part of its regular Patch Tuesday update, one of which left ZoneAlarm users without web access.The MS08-037 fix is designed to plug a vulnerability in Windows' implementations of the Domain Name System protocol, but has been responsible for "compatibility issues " with ZoneAlarm.I was afflicted with just this problem yesterday morning when I booted up my XP machine. The previous day I’d been playing around with a couple of new programs as well as installing the 4 patches Microsoft pushed out for July so immediately thought that one of them was responsible. Having established my internet connection was just fine on another computer, I ran a system restore which rolled my machine’s operating system and program files back to a previous state. Thankfully, this f…

Wacky Wednesday: Bats, bras and Mosley's High Court action

Girl finds bat in braFrom BBC News 9/7/08:A teenager who thought movement in her underwear was caused by her vibrating mobile phone found a bat curled up asleep in her  bra.Abbie Hawkins, 19, of Norwich, had been wearing the bra for five hours when she plucked up the courage to investigate. When she did, she found a baby bat in [the] padding in her 34FF bra. The hotel receptionist said she was shocked but felt bad for removing the "cuddly" bat. "It looked cosy and comfortable and I was sorry for disturbing it," she said. You what? And she thought it was her phone? Maybe she makes a habit of leaving it in there – it does away with the need for a phone holder I suppose. But a bat!? I wonder what other wildlife she’s got nestling down there?Women confirm Mosley shenanigans had no Nazi theme From BBC News 8/7/08:Four women who took part in a sadomasochistic session with motorsport boss Max Mosley have denied there was any Nazi-themed role-play.Witness D, a student in h…

New month, new house new......... fruit bowl?

I thought it was high time that I graced the blawgosphere with my presence again before it was felt that I had retired from blogging permanently or disappeared into the underworld for a few months. Thankfully, faithful readers, I’ve done neither.I suspected when I wrote my previous post that it would take me a while to get round to posting again and my hunch was proved entirely correct. For what it’s worth, the move itself was reasonably painless, but being without the internet for so long more or less crippled me. Dealing with a fiasco over rubbish and recycling bins in which it seemed like they were breeding around the house and out on the street each and every night proved a slightly bewildering episode but it all turned out fine in the end. Suffice to say, I know where there are a few going ‘cheap’.At the end of last month I took another trip back home to Cornwall for a post-birthday visit which was a blast. As well as a bunch of fishing trips I also took the time to turn a 12 in…