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* Posts by Bill Coleman

108 posts • joined 23 Jul 2007

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Sorry, time travelers, you’re still just fiction

Bill Coleman
Paris Hilton

if you can't beat 'em... cheat

so is there a way we can slow down light? you know, like, trip it up or something?

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Music on plastic discs still popular, apparently

Bill Coleman
Mushroom

OMG you guys are all idiots

To the people who talk about CD V's download quality:

If you can tell the difference between a WAV file sampled at CD bitrate and a full quality AAC downloaded from itunes you are lying. you may have a shit mp3 player, or crap headphones, or whatever, but the difference is not perceptible once it's run through a proper DAC and played on a proper amp through good speakers. IN FACT - CD sample rates are behind the times - sound quality on DVD recordings are better, and downloads will v soon overtake CD in terms of data density.

To everyone whining about DRM:

It's 2011. DRM is gone from serious download services like itunes. I'm more worried about the likes of sony putting root kit on their CDs. Remember that one anyone?

To people worried about backups:

I still have encoded tracks from CDs I have lost or scratched years ago. In fact, I've recovered music from scratched discs that were otherwise unplayable using bit correction tech. there are a million cloud services out there that specialise in music backup that give you access on the fly to your collection for pennies. Backup your shit properly and stop whining.

And price?

Are you kidding me?! Legal downloads are half the price of high street discs and online CD retailers... second hand and black markets excepted. but really, you'd deprive your fav artist of their $% by being a cheap wad?

such a bunch of Luddites I have never seen on a tech forum!

/rant

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MobileMe web app features shapeshift into Apple's iCloud

Bill Coleman
Gimp

golden handcuffs

it's going to be pretty easy to tangle yourself in this web of iStuff, but I pity average joe's when he decides he wants to move to andriod and buy a pc and can't figure out where all his files are. it's an insidious trap! you have to give credit where it's due.

The storm crow in me is seriously worried about security though.

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Hack attack kills thousands of Aussie websites

Bill Coleman
FAIL

one more backup rant

so the hosting company had no disconnected/offline backup or offsite tapes. many of the customers had no personal local copies of their data. the data that so many peoples livelihoods entirely depended on. are you freaking kidding me?! we're going to see more and more of this with budget "cloud" services appearing all over the place.

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Official: Microsoft buys Skype for $8.5bn

Bill Coleman
WTF?

8.5 billion? billion with a "B"?

really? for skype? come on! seriously? there's a 8.5 billion other IP video/chat solutions out there... the only thing skype has in it's favour is a large user base. They just payed $100 for two accounts i don't even have passwords for any more! LMAO!

Not that I'm complaining mind you - skype is the reason everyone is using different incompatible protocols. If MS succeed in killing skype as efficiently as they have killed everything else they have ever bought, then we may get mass adoption of a new open protocol. That would be cool!

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The new killer app is … MMS

Bill Coleman
FAIL

some context please

1. Global statistics are meaningless to marketers who target specific geographic and demographic breakdowns

2. SMS/MMS is a more intimate means of communication - spam will be met with unpleasant backlash

3. MMS is very expensive and not a cost effective way to market

4. Smartphone users represent a target niche that are often the intended audience for marketing

5. Why is he confusing marketing with apps? there can be crossover, but they are not the same thing

6. The marketing point to having an app is often not for people to use it to convert to sales, but rather so they can be seen as a progressive business - it is a value statement

I get that this guy is being dramatic to make a point but come on... seriously?

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Skyhook vows to take Google suit to bitter end

Bill Coleman

is it just me

...or does it seem that more and more lawsuits are fairly much just publicity stunts?

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Jon Bon Jovi accuses Steve Jobs of murdering music biz

Bill Coleman

what a twat

...seriously

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ISP proposes independent body to police copyright

Bill Coleman
FAIL

if you're into irony

...if they had invested as must effort as they have invest trying to pursue the copyright infringers into actually creating viable, reasonably priced DRM free alternatives they would be laughing all the way to the bank.

Let's face it - torrents suck... quality is always an issue - poorly seeded torrents download crazy slow and there is always a chance that you'll finish the download to find a "password protected" zip, or worse a trojan. Even with usenet you never know what you are going to get.

So if there was a uber-fast server waiting to zap me a top quality DRM free alternative at a reasonable price... I'd be there.

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Apple vanishes Java from Mac OS X Lion

Bill Coleman

security?

The only Trojan for mac (that does not require you to validate the install by providing your password) is a Java exploit. It appeared just last year. It would not surprise me if this was a factor.

No more rosetta though? ...it looks like somebody is going to have to write a fully native version of MS Office for mac now.

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Free Wi-Fi, SMS alerts for Sydney commuters – if ALP wins election

Bill Coleman
Alert

and if ALP don't win

...Tony Abbott's gonna scrap every plan for technological advancement and have us all reading the bible by candlelight.

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Mozilla: 'Internet Explorer 9 is not a modern browser'

Bill Coleman
WTF?

...if the minutiae of it all really matters.

Yes it does. Very much. Anyone who has ever scripted cross browser apps will tell you the devil is in the details.

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Apple cripples iBooks for jailbreakers

Bill Coleman
Grenade

this is why i'm really starting to dislike apple these days...

ok, fair enough if i mess with how the phone works then void my warranty. that's cool, i understand that. but apple's behaviour towards their customers who custom mod their gear is to treat them like they are guilty of some nefarious and punishable crime that is somehow akin to copyright violation - like you have perverted your device into an illegal Frankenstein version. You deserve to be punished and they will get you.

Let's cut to the chase, this is all about forcing people through the precious app store. Let's get this very clear: side stepping the app store is NOT ILLEGAL DOWNLOADING! It's not even in the same ball park.

the hostile attitude they are taking to their customers for daring to "think different" is a ticking time bomb. I for one can't wait for it to blow up in their face.

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HTML5 kicked into 2014

Bill Coleman
Unhappy

@Insane

bang on... foot dragging like this is what opens the door for things like flash.

In fact we really needed HTML5 to be finished last year. The browser designers are already calling their work HTML5 compatible and the lack of a defined yard stick from on high is what has opened the door for the spin artists to confuse and conflate. I understand that the consortium does not exist to make browser manufacturers' marketing departments happy... but this isn't just a marketing issue - the technologies that this standard is supposed to harness already exist, and one way or another they will be applied.

It's a real shame too, because we are relying on HTML5 to save us from the next real player

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Grief and disbelief greet Elop's Nokia revolution

Bill Coleman
Pint

have we forgotten the business market...

Maybe I've been drinking too heavily lately, but this move kinda makes sense to me. Nokia achieved dominance when the market was new by providing quality sensible phones that worked well and marketing them to business users...

Lately the enterprise market has been in limbo. Everyone is building and marketing phones as fancy gadget toys. But let's face it, when it comes to budget approval, phones with native windows integration and enterprise support from a manufacturer with a credible market history and a reputation for building quality handsets at reasonable prices will win over iToys every time.

In a perverse way, this could kinda herald a return to roots for the Finns.

or you know... they are just plain f**ked! one or the other...

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Australia’s NBN too expensive: EIU

Bill Coleman
Thumb Up

a little off topic... but I gotta say bravo!

"...credit ratings agencies that gave junk mortgages the “AAA” stamp, thus sparking the GFC (global financial crisis)..."

i was developing for an investment bank while this unfolded and wrote stuff for monitoring portfolio ratings exposure for US RMBS securities - I watched the whole thing in slow motion like a car crash. And nobody in all the media analysis and BS that followed ever really gave S&P and the rest of the rating agencies the slice of the blame pie they deserved. Nice to see a cutting little throwaway spliced into an unrelated article.

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Anonymous hack showed password re-use becoming endemic

Bill Coleman

...unsalted MD5

too see just how useless an unsalted MD5 hash is, try this:

Create a hash of a simple string using any MD5 generator, eg http://www.adamek.biz/md5-generator.php - try your first name or something.

Then take the generated hash string and simply search for it on google and you will see many translated results from various rainbow tables

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Ford Focus 2011

Bill Coleman
IT Angle

fair enough you didn't have a race track

...so you couldn't give the traction control a good whacking. But you mentioned about all this tech and then didn't say much about it apart from the assisted parking.

Sound System, UIs, Sat Navs, GPSs trackings, xPhone integrations, bluetooths, WIFIs, 3Gs, aux ports, data storage, climate control, onboard computer, anti theft tech... can you mod it to run linux? can you hack the guy behind you to go into parking mode if he drives to close? Common reg!!!!

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Google algorithm change squashes code geek 'webspam'

Bill Coleman
Thumb Up

Experts Exchange

There seems to be a lot of hate here for the exchange, but I've found it useful in the past - particularly for little nuggets of weird-ass legacy application trickery.

As above posters pointed out, if you follow a google link to an experts exchange page you can scroll to the bottom for the answers. BUT if you hit the url directly you get the garbled page. Consequently I on rare occasion have actually found myself putting an experts exchange page url into google and following the hit to get around their paywall!

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Overloaded drug-smuggling pigeon nabbed by Colombian cops

Bill Coleman
Coat

Goodfeathers

...anyone else thinking "Goodfeathers" from the animaniacs? No? Ok.

coat

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W3C tackles HTML5 confusion with, um, more confusion

Bill Coleman
Badgers

Screw the "HTML5" T-shirt

...I want this one:

http://www.zazzle.com/the_newt_tshirt-235010042394193293

But seriously, who gives a rats ass apart from the people who ought to know the difference anyway?

This logo is obviously strictly pitched at the idiot CIOs who are going to embark on the good ship bandwagon by commissioning upgrades to already perfectly dysfunctional sites to make them even more dysfunctional. With a transformers badge.

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DUP website translated into Irish by mischievous hacktivist

Bill Coleman
Pint

Hacker dána ar fád!

Being a Northern Irish political party, the DUP has no obligation to publish as Gaelige, but still I gotta say - that is some funny shit! Bhí mé ag gáire os ard (LOL)!

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ISPs battle EU child pornography filter laws

Bill Coleman
Stop

Child prn... really?

The whole CP argument is BS - we went through all this with politicians touting this nonsense in Oz, until the idea was pulled last minute as an election ploy. It's quite obvious that mandatory ISP filtering is actually a means to try to get general control over the internet - to impose a censorship harness... The "children" argument is a FUD based strong arm tactic. Why you think they want the censorship depends on how paranoid you are. But anyone with any tech savvy will tell you that it is a croc anyway - network filtering is crazy easy to circumvent (especially if you can live without AJAX) and amounts more than an annoyance to anyone who wants to circumvent it.

ANYWAY, if they really wanted to tackle the child prn thing directly they would be taking on Usenet servers to crack the rings and remove the binaries...

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Google axes Jobsian codec in name of 'open'

Bill Coleman
Thumb Up

Good stuff

...HTML 5 is in it's infancy, but gains increasing ubiquity the seeds being planted now could become the straight jackets of the future. I applaud Google for trying to stomp out a dependency on H.264 before it takes hold.

As for not removing Flash support, I really don't think this is a double standard... Flash is already established - and I'm sure if Google could, they would kill it off. But we're just going to have to wait for Flash to eventually die of natural causes.

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LimeWire (finally) dies under judge's gavel

Bill Coleman
WTF?

"I doubt you even have a Mac"

the next release of OSX - 10.7 (lion) has a version of the app store integrated - that's confirmed, u douche! apple will push for complete control of app installation via the app store... it makes sense for them because of a the 30% cut they enjoy and their control freak nature.

so, no I'm not paranoid, just sorry about the direction apple is going in (and fyi i have owned many macs over the years).

anyway, most likely the java depreciation is for security reasons - the first proper OSX trojan (that doesnt require users to enter an admin password to install IAmAnIdiot.app) has just been announced... and it uses a java exploit. So there's that, and the fact that it's, you know, 2010.

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Bill Coleman
Black Helicopters

...and Vuze!

...probably the most popular, and arguably the most capable bittorrent client for mac also runs on java.

But it doesnt matter either way, because it won't be long until all mac apps have to be installed via the app store anyway. that will be a sad day :(

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Schmidt: 'Google doesn't do data mining'

Bill Coleman
Big Brother

I think the point was really "What Data?"

in context, I can only surmise that he was referring to the mining of personal data gathered from the activities of google users, as opposed to mining their vast uber-gigs of cached internet crawling bots. Which is why it became a conversation about search math parameters. I guess what he was saying is that all your yummy user cookie data that are belong to Schmidt doesn't get mined. whatevs, the other one has bells on...

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Nokia Home Music HD-1

Bill Coleman
FAIL

mono?

mono. really? mono? in 2008? wtf?

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Paul Allen launches patent broadside on world+dog

Bill Coleman
Gates Halo

@ gnufreex re: intellectualventures... interesting post!

what a wonderfully vague and odd little website you linked to! My favourite bit is in the products and services section: ..."with more than 30,000 Intellectual Property assets currently under management and thousands more being added every year" ...odd phrasing from a company that are trying to pass themselves off as "inventors"

Interestingly though, the names Edward Jung and Nathan Myhrvold are top of the list - but Gates is nowhere to be seen.

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Google spanked for bidding on its own ad auctions

Bill Coleman
FAIL

"No out of pocket costs" "funny money"???

what about the opportunity cost of losing advertising revenue that would have been generated form external customer purchase?

However, unless they can prove that their bidding departments don't have access to the bidding engine the aligation of potential for stacking the deck unfairly using inside knowledge is valid. Even if they aren't using this advantage to bid strategically they shouldn't be playing in the same game they are responsible for monitoring.

If they really want to play fair, they need to contract an external marketing firm with an approved budget to do their bidding (pun absolutely intended).

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Prisoner of iTunes - the iPad file transfer horror

Bill Coleman

AC: Why the iPad works like this?

Spot on! The mac application model shows you a single icon for an app, but what is really going on under the hood is that this is actually the root folder of application, containing all the files that that application requires to run.

In the case of iPhone OS permissions of the application are restricted to this containing folder of the application... i guess it is a security thing. but i don't see why they don't put in a shared read, write but not execute (666) folder space on the device and trust unix permissions to lock everything else away nicely. It might be a pain to implement this kind of a kernal hack, but it would be so worth it. It would make me re-think switching to android when my contract is up.

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Google behavioral ads tap DoubleClick eyeball

Bill Coleman
Paris Hilton

Blocking the snoops

Tom, Alan - that's v interesting... I'm not really up to speed on how to block these guys from my life, so a couple of questions:

- will adblock type plugins entirely block conact with the add server or will they just prevent the adds being rendered in the browser - if the latter then how to totally block the ad servers... at the firewall level?

- If i do block from the firewall, are there a range of urls/IPs to block or is there a way to specifically target ad-sense/dbl click?

and a complete noob question: i don't have a static IP, so without correlating timestamps against ISP data, how could they string it all together? Are we over-reacting, or am I being simple here?

If i do decide to shut out google from my life, whats a good free full featured email alternative with IMAP & account consolidation? is there one?

Paris, cause I guess I'm being a little clueless here!

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4GB fourth-gen iPod Nano confirmed

Bill Coleman

Newsworthy, because

...an Apple rep actually spoke to a Reg hack. I think that's the real story here!

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Google smears Chrome on 'sacred' home page

Bill Coleman

Polish a what now...?

I'm all for over the top derisiveness in the name of smug self satisfaction - but chrome a turd? I think not... Chrome rocks! Within a couple of days it has completely replaced firefox in my daily life (although I do miss adBloc).

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Oz man cracks one off while speeding in drug-packed car

Bill Coleman

Oz drug prices

Just moved down under from Ireland. While most things are cheaper, there are some things which are far more expensive. Drugs, for example are f**king expensive here. Probably because it's so difficult to get things across the border, so the cheap supplies from columbia etc aren't so cheap. They have actually made it so that you have to show id and sign a register to buy a box of sudofed - in case you try to turn it into speed.

Also telecoms charges are rediculously high here. But there are some benefits - anyone who tries to charge more then $3.50 for a cafe late goes bust - bye bye starbucks!!!

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Apple is Fisher-Price of sound quality, says Neil Young

Bill Coleman

it's not the m*f*king codec

...so very very sick of clueless snobs bashing audio file compression. There is a very very big difference between dynamic range compression (the loudness wars) and sound encoding. A bat with audiofile grade sound system couldn't tell the difference between CD quality and high bitrate AAC.

The real problem people hear with the sound comes from the DAC. An ipod sized device is just not going to be able to fit in a high quality DAC. End of. Odds are your computer does not have much of a DAC either... unless you are in the sound engineering business.

...and Neil Young should know this. So why doesn't he do something useful, like throw his weight behind the "turn me up" program?

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2010: the 5TB 3.5in HDD cometh

Bill Coleman
Coat

Data Conversion

What nerd figured out how to represent the contents of a human memory in terms of binary data storage anyway? That sounds incredably dubious to me. For a start the electro-chemical memory storage used by the brain is not understood yet. Let alone do we have the capacity to extract / convert this data into a binary form. So how the hell would anyone know how much storage would be required??? Plus our memories are extremely subjective - they are not a static data dump.

Aaarrrgh... that sort of sensationalist psudo-science pisses me off. (or maybe I'm just low on caffeen today)

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Quantum crypto targeted in attack of the clones

Bill Coleman
Coat

Oh my god...

They killed Schroidinger's cat!

You bastards!!!

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The music biz's digital flops - a short history

Bill Coleman

underpants gnomes

Step 1. Screw Everybody (customers, artists, supply chain...)

Step 2. ???

Step 3. Profit

without the need for a physical conduit for music disks, the business model of the record industry looks very much like that of the underpants gnomes. They are left to relying on (a) the sweet nature of a few morally upright souls who will buy the product for the artist's sake (b) people who are scared by lawsuit propaganda (c) people who can't use a computer (d) "audiofiles" who don't believe FLAC, OGG, WAV etc are accurate enough (muppets!). All are in dwindling supply.

time to give up selling music recordings and find a new route to step 3. I hear westlife's new album will be available for free download - sponsored by coca cola under a multi million dollar deal that includes promotional material at live events, logos on album artwork and product placement in music videos. (that's not true by the way... but think of the possiblities people!)

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Critics split over DDoS attacks on Scientology

Bill Coleman

xenu.net

All the denial of service crap is only advertising the scientology website. they would be FAR better off with a co-ordinated google-bomb attempt to move xenu.net to 1st position in the google search rankings for the word "scientology". Most webmasters would lend a hand with that, I think - posting a pre-formatted page linking the word scientology to xenu.net somewhere on their sites. I know I would.

And ok, for laughs then maybe a couple of xss redirects if they could find a vulnerability ;)

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Viva VBA - alas

Bill Coleman

"itinerant VBA hackers"

That's me. I'm a VBA coder for a Bank - primarily MS Access and sometimes Excel when I need to. And your "facts" are substantially wrong... driven by some condescending sense of inflated elitism.

Firstly, financial modeling is not done in VBA - it's typically done on (typically off site) dedicated servers running C++ or Java programming over Oracle or SQL Server databases. These are complicated beasts run by boffins with PhDs in maths and programming. My head hurts even thinking about them.

Secondly, financial modeling was not responsible for the credit crunch. Unrealistic ratings from Moodys/S&P/Fitch etc (who were just hungry for fees for providing ratings to new vehicles) were at the core of what ought to be a scandal.

Thirdly, VBA is capable of executing very good code. IT's a case of GIGO - and a developer who knows what they are doing can use VBA to fantastic effect. Hence it's widespread adoption in the Financial services industry. While there is undoubtedly a cludge of badly written VBA legacy disasters, blaming the programming language is hardly helpful.

Finally, within the financial services industry VBA makes a far more significant contribution then a ladies toilet for one female employee (the metaphor police should cart you away for that one). It is the putty of the IT department. It is a RAD environment that allows in-house developers respond to the ridiculously short lead times given for requested tools. It is flexible and powerful enough to adequately integrate with the functions of almost any banking system for ad hoc bolt ons, and often fills major gaps in the IT packages.

It is the true unsung workhorse behind in-house dev work in financial IT depts. So get a clue before your next self-important blog rant.

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Major HTML update unveiled

Bill Coleman

@Please, no, really AC

The sprawling html mess was recognised at html3 - html4 with the xhtml dtd and css was a huge step towards rectifying the situation. And it seems this is another big step. AJAX is a hack and it's grown out of control. html5 is a way of providing dynamic pages without the javascript overhead nightmare. So contrary to other poster's opinions, it will actually reduce the burden on browsers (e.g run-time script interpretation), while increasing security (less JS workaround vulnerabilities). Secure, dynamic content with a standardised DOM and without RoR/Mootools/whatever? Yes please! I welcome it very much thank you!

I'm just dreading the IE8/9 implementation... with IE5+ MS used their IE monopoly to deliberately mis-render CSS, forcing developers to code specifically for IE, thus making sites appear broken in other standards compliant browsers. If they do this with html 5, I'm going to beat monkey boy to death with a thin client!

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Apple cripples Sun's open source jewel

Bill Coleman

something odd - slightly OT

I can't figure out Apple these days in relation to it's DRM policies. They appear to be opposed to DRM on the surface of things. That nice open letter from Steve last year about how he hates DRM and it's the labels fault. Followed by the DRM free tracks on iTunes from only one publisher - with the shame firmly placed on the other three for not playing ball. They prevailing wisdom is that they are all annoyed with Steve for not allowing a variable pricing strategy on iTunes. But all this makes no sense in the context of what is happening

- the major labels all selling DRM free at low price through Amazon, yet no significant development in DRM free music at iTunes

- the recent hashing of the iTunes database

- Apple continuing to protect it's "Fair" play secrets... to the point of mangling this software in case somebody uses it to uncover its DRM (WTF??? there has to be something I am mis-understanding here)

Perhaps it was ok to lobby for a DRM free world until it came time to sell/rent Pixar downloads ;)

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Do we need computer competence tests?

Bill Coleman

What a bunch of elitist BS

the core of the argument is that instead of educating users, we should penalise them for their ignorance. you also revealed a surprising lack of IT savvy with your suggestions, beginning with dodgy car metephores and a lack of understanding of how bot nets function and ending with the naive presumption that a locked down internet appliance would be 100% secure. As long as you have software requiring updates, you will require administrative rights in some shape or form. castrating the less educated is not the solution.

the only solution is government sponsored re-education coupled with responsible media behaviour. how many windows users are even aware that they can create a non-admin account for day-to-day use, let alone what that means or that it is advisable? please replace the FUD with knowledge. and for the love of god, if you are going to play the role of an elitist prat, then at least approach the subject from a sound knowledge base.

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Nokia N95 8GB becomes first phone to win DLNA thumbs-up

Bill Coleman

@andy

>sounds like this is some kind of UPnP type horror. run away!

Why, what's so bad about UPnP? (I'm not defending it - I've never tried to use it, but have been toying with the idea for media server... )

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Mojo-free Jobs delivers Macworld goods

Bill Coleman

the real news

...is what didn't happen. Where is the fabled iPhone/iPod Touch SDK? Perhaps that was the one more thing that never was...

As for the laptops "missing bits" - I wouldn't miss ethernet, optical drive, multiple usb/firewire ports et al on a secondary system that is meant as an out-of-office tool. They call it the AirBook for a reason. I think Apple is ahead of the curve here. But I'm fucked if I'm going to shell out for a computer that is a sealed unit. Battery, HD and Memory all off limits? Give me a break!

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Bjork lays into NZ snapper

Bill Coleman

Go Bjork!

You crazy, crazy lady! While I'm inclined to let her away with anything because she is such a genius, I bet the guy actually did have it coming. So many people just accept it when the paps get up in their face - or try to run away - or worse still, complain about it while secretly loving it and invite it back in their lives when their celebrity has gone off the boil (I'm looking at you Heather Mills). Not our Bjork. She'll just launch a crazy ass attack on them like a demented flailing cat. Not exactly Crouching Tiger kung foo - but I pity the fool who gets in front of that! "Declare independence" indeed!

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LA grand jury probes MySpace teenage suicide case

Bill Coleman

a question of intent

1. Did she intend to cause emotional distress to this person? Certainly.

Is that illegal? No.

Is it actionable? Definitely

2. Did she believe that her actions would directly lead to the death of her victim? If yes, then this is murder 1. Premeditated Murder.

But in all likelihood, that is not the case. The poor girl obviously had more on her adolescent mind then evil messages some facebook character. You don't top yourself because somebody leaves you nasty messages. Everyone faces some form of bullying at some stage in their life - most don't commit suicide as a result. So murder 1 would be hard to prove.

However, if it can be shown that she was aware at the time that her actions might contribute to her decision to take her life, then this is manslaughter.

The IT specific issues are a red herring. Any judge worth his salt would look past the technology to the actions and intended outcomes. Of course, finding a judge worth salt can be tricky :/

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Knock, knock: Cisco is banging at your door

Bill Coleman

re amanfrommars

Great to see the amanfrommars bot back in action. If only we knew where it sourced it's "learning", then we could teach it to respond to certain words with a torrent of filth - ala MSNs Santa. We could teach it equate "Microsoft" with all kinds of colourful metaphors and give it a /. login. Good times!

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