* Posts by Ed 4

7 posts • joined 18 Jul 2009

Palm denies it's up for sale

Ed 4
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The Handspring Visor *is* great!

About eight years ago, I had a problem with my visor - it stopped responding to touch screen events. I went PDA shopping, but after several weeks, I had not found any that were able to do the things I had been doing on the visor. (One of those things was 'bring it into a no-camera facility', which basically eliminated about 95% of the products right there.)

For some of that time, I was using a palm m130. I can't remember what the exact issues with that PDA were, but they were frustrating. Finally, when I was returning the palm, the sales clerk said he'd just gotten in three refurbished visors. At $100 each, I felt it was a steal, so I bought all three.

I'm now on number 3. I am somewhat concerned with what I'll do after this one stops working, but there is *some* hope - I'm no longer working in a 'no-camera facility'.

Personally, I think if Palm ran into any issues with licensing PalmOS, it was that the company to whom they licensed it made a superior product. My vague recollection of the palm I had for a while suggests that the issue was, Palm was focused on 'innovative', whereas Handspring was focused on 'reliable and usable.' I *like* innovative, but I'll pick 'usable' over 'innovative but not usable' most of the time.

Steve Jobs dubs Google's 'don't be evil' motto 'bulls**t'

Ed 4

Fraser and JeffShortland got it right

It's one thing to compete fairly on something, it's entirely different to let your competitor tell you all of the major obstacles they encountered, while they think you're working for them.

That having been said, I would agree that Google hasn't indicated *here* that they're as evil as Apple is - merely that they're somewhat evil. That having been said, given Google's positioning, it's only a matter of time before someone truly evil takes over - if, in fact, it's not already run by such.

PayPal mistakes own email for phishing attack

Ed 4

Paypal's been going downhill

When I first started with Paypal, it was after doing a fairly intensive review of their policies and the various online comments about their service with several of my friends. There were a few interface WTFs, but the service worked fairly reliably.

As the years went by, there were more and more WTFs. When eBay bought them, the rate of new issues went up, and, one by one, my friends and I quit using it.

I haven't used Paypal in several years. However, from the various comments I've read about paypal, and the various emails I get from PayPal still, I'm guessing there's still more WTFs being added than removed at any given moment.

That having been said, it's entirely possible that they have decided to start sending out their own phishing attacks, in order to perform some targeted user awareness training. Of course, this is still a WTF, as they're obviously not aware that some of us read our email in the raw, rather than using some fancy HTML rendering engine (Note: I use a fancy HTML rendering engine, but only for emails from non-commercial orgs.  Any email from a financial company with which I've ever done business triggers a plain text display filter), and they're obviously not communicating about said messages to their staff.

However, my bet is that these are real phishing messages, sent from bots within Paypal - which, I think, is a bigger WTF.

Re: Colour me unsurprised:

Top posting vs. nested replies is context sensitive. Using a nested reply, with appropriate conversation trimming, in the wrong context is as bad as top posting in the wrong context. Both are, IMHO, preferable to the context-free replies that some people give. But you are right - it is disconcerting how few have any semblance of netiquette awareness...

Is this the world's dirtiest PC?

Ed 4

Seen far worse

My brother's in landscaping. About a decade ago, he called me about some problems they've been having with one of their computers - it sounded like an overheat problem, but he said the computer didn't feel hot, and the air coming from the back didn't feel especially warm.

So I went to his office and took a look at it. There was *no* air coming from the back, but a visual inspection (well, glance) showed there's so much dirt coming out of the fans that's not surprising - they were to the point they couldn't turn. So I turned it off, and opened it up. Dirt came pouring out. Without performing a thorough cleaning job, just picking up the box and shaking it a little, I got a pile of dirt which looked to be about half the volume of a mini-tower case. Considering this was a mini-tower case, and there were components inside, I found that to be incredibly impressive.

He said, "Well, I had been cleaning it out about once a month, but kind of let that slide, since it never seemed to have any problems. It's been about three months since I cleaned it last." I recommended cleaning it once a week.

Note that this computer basically sat on the floor by the main door. The only other door was only there for emergencies. It was a fairly busy office, with people coming in and going out all day - mostly the landscaping workers who were either just back from a job site, just back from the greenhouse (about 20 feet away, upwind), or just back from some other location where they'd have gotten dirt on their work boots.

Linux chief challenges Microsoft to pony up on patents

Ed 4

Patent descriptions

Let's not forget that while the letter of the law requires patents be adequately described, the people reading those descriptions have historically not had the necessary background to understand a software patent description, and thus software patents have not had any enforcement in the description requirement.

I've looked over many software patents in the past ten years; the only one which had an adequate description was the 'ISNOT' patent. Note that the ISNOT patent was not bounced out of the process the day it was filed like it should've been.

As far as trusting Microsoft - I pay attention to history, especially when I was around for it. Those that trust Microsoft end up paying for it.

Oracle's Sun acquisition passes US anti-trust test

Ed 4

@alien anthropologist

Java's an open language. While Sun may "own" it, they can't really control it as much as if it were proprietary. Furthermore, it has thriving competition.

Oracle DB, on the other hand, is a large, proprietary database, apparently wholly owned by Oracle, who is now purchasing the company that owns one of their significant competitors. Yes, MySQL has only a tiny market share - that's because Oracle has so much of the market, and much of the rest of the market is held by Monopolysoft's product.

That having been said, the ruling is consistent with the DoJ's mis-approvals of mergers in the past. I don't think it could have gone any other way.

Clever attack exploits fully-patched Linux kernel

Ed 4

The real problem(s)

There are two problems.

The first, and most critical problem, is a bug in GCC, where it optimizes away null pointer checks in some cases where it should be giving a fatal compile time error.

That's right. I'm saying GCC should bomb on this code, complaining that the pointer is used before the null pointer check.

Note: I think GCC can safely optimize away redundant null pointer checks - and I've certainly seen code that has those. But optimizing away a null pointer check simply because it's already seen broken code is stupid.

The second problem is that some of the people on the Linux kernel do not apparently intuitively grasp the seriousness of this.

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