Feeds

* Posts by Mark Simon

141 posts • joined 31 Jul 2006

Page:

Offshore metadata storage fine by me, says Malcolm Turnbull

Mark Simon
Big Brother

The end of espionage as we know it

OK, here’s the plan. First, we’ll spy on our citizens. Then we’ll hand over the data to anybody who’s interested. That way foreign spies can leave us alone and just wait for the results.

0
0

NASTY SSL 3.0 vuln to be revealed soon – sources (Update: It's POODLE)

Mark Simon
Joke

Re: mmm...

Which question do you want answered first … ?

2
0
Mark Simon

… or …

could be grill your loin chops

2
0

Will we ever can the spam monster?

Mark Simon

Re: Email spam? What's that?

I spent days of frustration and hundreds of dollars on consultant time trying to rectify Google’s error in blacklisting my IP address.

Google don’t respond to inquiries and don’t explain why they do what they do, so if they make an error it’s your problem to deal with.

If you’re not getting any spam through Gmail, it’s possibly dumping some of your legitimate email in the process.

Yes, now I know what to do. Encourage anybody who listens to dump Gmail and get a proper email account.

1
0

Oz carrier Tiger Air takes terror alerts to new heights

Mark Simon

Terrorism is probably a very real threat, even Down Under. These morons have made the threat worse.

What Tiger Airlines have done by overreacting to a doodle is to tell the public that they can’t tell the difference between real and imagined terrorist acts. That way, nobody will take real threats seriously since they react the same way as with doodles.

Oh well, who wants to fly Tiger anyway?

9
0

Windows 7 settles as Windows XP use finally starts to slip … a bit

Mark Simon

Re: "hard core of folks"

“ …any more?”

6. People who have a choice.

5
0

Mozilla's 'Tiles' ads debut in new Firefox nightlies

Mark Simon

Re: Dumb and dumber

“(1) You can't set it to be your start page, which is pretty much the whole point in the first place.”

about:newtab

1
0
Mark Simon

Shaky Ground

Firefox is a great browser, but it’s losing market share for various reasons.

Pissing off your users is not an obvious strategy for enhancing loyalty.

7
0

Brit Sci-Fi author Alastair Reynolds says MS Word 'drives me to distraction'

Mark Simon

Not the first one …

I remember Douglas Adams writing about Word some years ago:

http://www.smartquotes.info/douglasadams.php

3
0

We told you jailbreaking your iThing was dangerous

Mark Simon

Ads are good …

I use them to work out which vendors to avoid.

Anybody who begins a business relationship by annoying me is just setting the scene.

9
0

Oh SNAP! Old-school '80s Unix hack to smack OSX, iOS, Red Hat?

Mark Simon

Old News, but still a worry …

The referenced article in turned referred to this one:

http://www.defensecode.com/public/DefenseCode_Unix_WildCards_Gone_Wild.txt

which was very helpful. The following article rubs it in:

http://www.dwheeler.com/essays/fixing-unix-linux-filenames.html

I tried it myself with the following:

mkdir one; touch one/stuff; mkdir two; touch two/stuff; touch ./-rf

rm *

The trick, of course is in the ./ prefix, which allows you to get away with murder.

A solution:

yum install detox

detox -rv ./*

The other part of the solution is to filter all incoming file names.

1
0
Mark Simon

Re: Confused...

Actually, it’s easier than that.

If, for example, you have a web site that allows uploading files and don’t filter the file names, the you can create these problem file names without trying.

5
2

Former Microsoftie becomes US ambassador, opts to swear in on KINDLE

Mark Simon

Revokeable Oath ?

What happens if Amazon decides to remove the Bible from the Kindle as they did with Orwell’s 1984? Many editions of the Bible are copyrighted, so it’s conceivable.

Does that mean that the oath is invalidated?

3
0

What can The Simpsons teach us about stats algorithms? Glad you asked...

Mark Simon

The moral or the story …

Never use averages as the source of your data. Anything which combines data has already lost important detail.

This also applies to democratic elections.

Government is won by the party which gains the most seats. However, the majority of a majority is not always a majority. For example 60% of 60% is only 36%.

At least twice in recent Australian political history, the government had the majority of seats but the opposition had the majority overall popular vote. On another occasion, one minor party had 10% of the popular vote, but not one seat.

Isn’t statistics wonderful? Lies and Damned Lies …

2
0

Samsung WRISTPHONE – for those who wanna whisper to strap-ons

Mark Simon

A bit late …

By now it should have a wrist TV - I assume that means face time for some users. And what about the magnetic space coupe?

0
0

10 PRINT "Happy 50th Birthday, BASIC" : GOTO 10

Mark Simon
Pint

True Basic

The rest may be history, but there’s an important footnote to that history.

By the mid 1980s, John Kemeny and Thomas Kurtz began to despair of what was happening to BASIC on the micro computer. In particular, the limited memory and processing power of the computers at the time had led to a fairly naïve programming language, lacking many of the structures and features of the more modern languages.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, BASIC had been developing into a more sophisticated product. Kurtz & Kemeny implemented and marketed a more advanced version called True Basic, a structured programming language which, among other things, dispensed with line numbers and the dreaded GOTO statment.

You can, of course still rewrite the title of the article as:

FOR i = 0 TO 1 STEP 0 : PRINT "Happy 50th Birthday, BASIC" : NEXT

1
0

Australia's opposition backs warrantless metadata collection

Mark Simon

Just to be clear …

By “warrantless” do we mean “unwarranted”?

In any case, technically, this would truly be “within the bounds that people would expect”. It just depends on which people are doing the expecting.

4
0

Microsoft issues less-than-helpful tips to XP holdouts

Mark Simon

Re: Linux?

Small slice of the consumer computers [sic] population?

Linux, on the other hand, powers the majority of web servers and routers, which is why the Web is still working. Definitely worth targeting, I should have thought.

17
0

Dell charges £16 TO INSTALL FIREFOX on PCs – Mozilla is miffed

Mark Simon

Re: Sounds about right

… so why aren’t you using the “mindless MS Windows fan” icon?

0
0

Apple 'hid AUD$9 BILLION' from Australia alone: Report

Mark Simon

Yes, but … what goes around …

Assuming that we are talking about what is technically legal, it’s surprising how much sympathy Tax department is suddenly getting.

We are taxed on practically everything, and denied many legitimate tax deductions (such as travel and spectacles). Paying taxes has become a competition to see who can con the most out of the other.

When the government does get their cut, they squander it on poor and inefficient infrastructure, mismanagement and general wastage. When they actually get something working, they then charge us extra for the service.

Most of us grumble, not because the government is being deprived of their rightful share, but because we haven’t been able to achieve the same success.

In any case, tax is only one of many ways of contributing to the community. Given that Apple’s profit is less than 100%, for every dollar spent on an Apple product, money has contributed to wages, manufacture, rent and other costs paid to others. Third party accessories and equipment also benefit.

Sure, potential tax money from Apple is not insignificant. But it’s only a small percentage of the flow on financial benefits to the rest of the community.

4
9

China in the grip of a 'NUCLEAR WINTER': Smog threat to crops

Mark Simon

Sharing the Blame

A lot of China’s industry is exported to the rest of the world where we low prices are so important that we don’t care who suffers and how.

It is absurd to think that importing goods from overseas more cheaply than manufacturing them locally is not a distortion of reality. In this case, it is achieved by poor wages and working conditions, unreliable quality control, and a disregard for the environment.

The medium to long term consequences may well include higher prices as manufacturing and food production in China gets trickier.

10
2

Microsoft asks pals to help KILL UK gov's Open Document Format dream

Mark Simon

Preferred format?

“… the vast majority of citizens and businesses already use OpenXML as their preferred document format …”

This must be some strange usage of “preferred” that I was previously unaware of.

OpenXML is a default format more honoured in the breach than in the observance. Even Microsoft can’t implement it properly. The vast majority of citizens and businesses haven’t heard of OpenXML, and certainly haven’t made a conscious decision that would be required to make it a preferred format.

14
0

NBN to be built even if cost-benefit analysis shows no ROI

Mark Simon

Beside the Point

The Gummint is in a poor position to talk about ROI. The whole point of government, if it’s doing the job, is to provide services, using the money it has hijacked from the tax payer.

Highways, bridges, sewerage, hospitals and other services including a decent communications network all require a coordinated effort, which is what government should be providing.

If the tax payers have indicated that they want broadband, then that should be sufficient benefit for the cost involved.

Now let’s see the Government justifying the rest of the financial black hole that is the day-to-day business of running themselves.

1
0

Fiendish Internet Explorer 10 zero-day targets US soldiers

Mark Simon

This should be a non-issue!

Nobody needs to run IE any more, especially if you’re sitting on top of the sort of technology which the US military is supposed to have.

Everything they say about military intelligence is true …

3
1

New Doctor Who's new costume newly REVEALED by Beeb

Mark Simon

By Autumn, do you mean Spring?

For those of us who are at the Antipodes … Or is this another time warp?

0
0

Mystery 'doughnut' materializes in front of Mars rover: 'OH MY GOD! It wasn't there before!'

Mark Simon

Re: Like, oh my god!

… and we were like, dude, where’s my donut and they were like no way and were were like yes way and they were like noooo way!!! and we were like yessss way!!! and they were like aaawesome!!! …

26
1

Coffee a memory enhancing drug, say boffins

Mark Simon

Re: I think someone needs a coffee.

… can’t remember …

0
0

Online shopping tax slug not worth the effort: National Australia Bank

Mark Simon

Won’t make much difference …

It’s not just the price difference which attracts buyers to overseas. It’s the fact that local suppliers don’t have the stock, or the range, or the understanding to justify wasting your time trying to buy locally.

Local retailers shooting themselves in the foot here. They are positioning themselves against potential customers, and wondering why customers don’t fall over themselves to flock to their stores. Perhaps they might take an interest in becoming more competitive rather than making everybody else less competitive.

0
0

Report says Microsoft has divided CEO list into possibles and probables

Mark Simon
Headmaster

More than one probable?

I don’t know much about how CEO short lists work, but I should have thought that to be on the probable list, one would have a better than 50% chance of success.

How can you have more than one probable?

1
0

Big Content says Pirates of the Caribbean do their worst in Australia

Mark Simon

Self Inflicted

I’m not the only one who could have saved the MPAA a lot of time and angst byt telling them that region encoding is not only evil, it is self destructive.

I have legally bought DVDs from 4 different regions and do not appreciate being told that what I have done is immoral or illegal.My DVD player doesn’t care, and neither should anybody else.

My computer, on the other hand, is being much more fascist about it, so I need an unlocked copy. My preference is, of course, for a legal copy, but what is one to do if the only option is an illegal copy?

MPAA, if you are reading this, the solution is really really easy: unlock DVDs, price them more reasonably, make them more available, and sit back and rake in the increased revenue.

What sort of moron makes their products increasingly harder to buy and harder to use, and laments over how hard it is to sell them?

2
0

Doctor Who's 50th year special: North American theater tix on sale Friday

Mark Simon

Re: You know what?

Maybe, but wouldn’t Christmas be a more suitable time?

3
0

Americans shift gaze to cheap(ish) iPhone 5c, rest of world slurps 5s bling

Mark Simon

Is this one of Apple’s marketing errors.

Apple is wildly successful, but there are some marketing disasters in its history. The Apple 2GS, the Apple 3, the original portable Mac, possibly the Lisa, and the Newton, to name a few disappointments.

Most people I know buy their iPhone on a plan. The cost difference between the 5S and the 5C is little enough, but spread over the life time of the plan, it becomes trivial. I haven’t yet worked out why you would even consider a 5C … ?

0
0

RUMBLINGS: Apple pondering 'Touch Cover keyboard' for iPads

Mark Simon

Protecting your iPad

Actually, it was thinking of trying to squeeze my iPad into a Surface cover. That way nobody will be tempted to steal it.

6
3

COFFEE AND DANISH HELL: National ID system cockup forces insecure Java on Danes

Mark Simon
FAIL

Don’t They Read?

Here in Australia, you need Java for any online transactions with the Tax Office.

How many more IT departments are there that still believe that Java is the right way to secure a transaction?

The irony is that using Java requires some technical know-how on the part of the user, either keeping it up to date, or, in this case to work around it. Those with the know-how already know that Java is a flawed solution.

3
1

Windows 8.1: Read this BEFORE updating - especially you, IT admins

Mark Simon

Is this the only way to get people onto the Windows Store? By bullying them?

After this we will hear about how popular the Store has become …

13
0

Diamonds are forever POURING down on Jupiter, Saturn - boffins

Mark Simon

“And we think we're pretty certain.”

So, we’re not absolutely sure we’re certain, but we may be somewhat certain. We think.

2
0

MS Word deserves DEATH says Brit SciFi author Charles Stross

Mark Simon

MS Word shows signs of not having to compete

I gave up on MS Word some time ago. LibreOffice does what I want to do better, but it could stand a total re-think on word processing.

The problem with all word processors is that nobody has put much thought into changing the way we think about word processing, so we’re still trying to do what seemed magical decades ago.

MS Word’s biggest failure, as with the rest of Office, is that all of the changes make it harder to use than ever before. What normal users want to do is trapped somewhere between the new features and the new interface.

4
0
Mark Simon

Re: Douglas Adams'...

http://www.smartquotes.info/douglasadams.php

4
0

McDonalds tells fatties to SUPERSIZE THEIR BRAINS

Mark Simon

Not meaning to be cynical, but …

“This is the latest step in our ongoing efforts to enrich the lives of families”

Specifically which families are to be enriched is not mentioned, but I suspect it’s the families of McDonalds share holders.

“Books are essential for inspiring children to explore, dream, and achieve, yet far too many children do not have this basic resource”

Of course, we assume that the target market is those who can’t afford or can’t be bothered with real books, but have the money to spend on junk food and ebook readers …

5
1

Microsoft wants to 'move beyond' the Cookie Monster

Mark Simon

What About Corporate & Government Privacy?

Normal human beings have long been able to avoid using IE, especially legacy versions. Some corporate and government diehards seem to be fixated on IE for their own systems.

How many will welcome built-in super-cookies which call back to their Microsoft Overlords?

0
0

TWELFTH-CENTURY TARDIS turns up in Ethiopia

Mark Simon

Re: Strange

Being Dr Who, that shouldn’t pose much of a problem …

24
0

Hang in there, Internet Explorer peeps: Gaping zero-day fix coming Tues

Mark Simon

This time for sure …

Getting IE to work properly is like Bullwinkle trying to pull a rabbit out of his hat.

And it’s funny because nobody uses IE any more, do they? What? Some moron in IT still thinks it’s easier to manage?

What I can’t understand is why a vulnerability that’s been known exploited for a month is called zero-day. Shouldn’t it be called –30 day?

1
0

Apple's new non-feline Mac operating system, OS X Mavericks, ready to go

Mark Simon

Re: run out of cats?

And then there’s

Felix

Top Cat

Jinx

Tom

or, if you prefer,

hellcat

magnificat

or

catastropohe

catatonic

cataclysm

… the list goes on.

2
0

A-D'OH!-BE: Adobe hit by 'sophisticated' MEGA HACK RANSACK

Mark Simon

Re: Good advice except that it's impossible — Not Quote Impossible

The difference is that you don’t normally publish your password safe on the Internet, and so it’s less likely to be compromised. A reasonably good password on your own machine should be reliable.

The real problem is when you entrust your passwords to others who can’t or won’t look after them properly.

1
0

NSA's Project Marina stores EVERYONE'S metadata for A YEAR

Mark Simon

What about the rest of us?

It is reassuring that the NSA has promised to protect the privacy of US citizens. As for the other 96% of the world’s population, we’re apparently all legitimate targets for spying.

Maybe I shouldn’t have said that. You don’t know who’s listening …

2
1

Microsoft announces iPad amnesty for fanbois

Mark Simon

Re: LOL

Even if all Surface RT users take up the offer, that won’t cost Apple much …

3
0

Microsoft, Nokia and the sound of colliding garbage trucks

Mark Simon

Microsoft has clearly lost its way

No one would have accused Microsoft of being a genuine innovator, but clearly Microsoft has completely lost its way and has nothing left but to buy into someone else’s market.

The problem is Microsoft is clearly trying to play catch-up. No new ideas, no new markets, just desperate to buy into a market long ago dominated by more innovative companies.

It seems that pushing an operating system nobody wants onto a phone which people are abandoning en masse has already proven to be a failure. I can’t see how being bought by a company which is massively losing the confidence of its users could possibly be a winning strategy.

8
1

Indian government to bar politicians from using Gmail for official business

Mark Simon
WTF?

Oh, the Irony

Given how much out-sourcing goes to India, they’re worried about their precious data being in foreign hands? This may well be a hint to the rest of the world.

0
0

Bill Gates's barbed comments pop Google's broadband balloons

Mark Simon

Unfair Criticism

"When you're dying of malaria, I suppose you'll look up and see that balloon, and I'm not sure how it'll help you," Gates observed. "When a kid gets diarrhea, no, there's no website that relieves that."

That sort of criticism leveled at Google could just as well be leveled at Microsoft. Google does IT, not medicine. Same with Microsoft, which is Gates’ explanation for why he didn’t do philanthropy earlier.

Not all Africans are dying of malaria. Some of dying of AIDS which might have benefited from a better education program. Some are getting diarrhea, for which some websites do indeed offer some help.

There are many different problems in Africa, as with the rest of the world. All contributions are welcome, even if they are not in your pet category.

As many predicted, Gates’ spending his vast fortune on philanthropy is not without strings. It makes him look like a saint and gives him the chance dig at others.

3
4

Page: