Apple, Microsoft, Dell, IBM, Google, all of them … the companies that make the hardware and software we use … are, it would seem, ignorant, probably willfully so, of an important thing. We use their hardware and software in our work. Many individuals are like miniature institutions or corporations. Our HR department, our payroll department, our accounting department, our R&D department, our car pool, and everything consists of a handful of machines (a car, a desktop, a mobile device, a printer) and a single person to staff them all (you, me, whatever). We do quite a bit to implement hardware and software combinations that do the things we need. We have an address book, a way to use a phone, a file storage system, we install and maintain software to produce documents, keep track of numbers do other stuff. And we use the readily available standard hardware and software to do this, thinking all along that this is a good idea.
Now, I’m going to give you two scenarios, one imagined one real, to underscore why this is a huge problem. These two scenarios have very different meanings, and I’ll let you work that out. Continue reading What Apple, Microsoft and the Rest of Them Don’t Get
CNN is supposed to be a professional news outlet. But even the editors and writers at CNN’s Fortune desk are no match for Microsoft’s’ Stupid-Ray Gun.
This piece is virtually giddy about the fact that the next version of Microsoft Office will be just like Google Office. Free and on line .
Now, think about that for five seconds and imagine yourself to be a writer for CNN. Do you actually believe that Microsoft Office is going to be available for free? Like, me, Greg Laden, can just decide “Oh, I’ve had enough of Google Docs … I’m going to switch to the online version of Microsoft Office instead. It’s free!!!” … and then I sign up for an account and I have this on line free service and no money has changed hands?
If you believe that, I’ve got a bridge over some swamp land in Florida that comes with it’s own Nigerian Bank account that I’d love to sell you.
Continue reading Microsoft: So evil it can make smart people stupid
…. Not to pick on Norm’s physical appearance or anything, but those of use who find his continued existence in Minnesota politics both enigmatic and unconscionable (for us, for allowing it) are starting to see him like that. Anyway, somebody who is too busy to blog sent me this interesting item: Wikileaks comes back at Coleman on donor database exposure. The long and the short of it: Norm Coleman’s campaign donor database, including such interesting items as name and credit card number, became internet-visible a couple of months back. Since that time, this error was exposed, and Norm Coleman decided to blame the Franken campaing and/or other forces of supposed evil for causing the mistake, or exploiting the causing of the release, or whatever. Additionally, the Coleman campaign has pretty clearly violated the law (which is not surprising given Coleman’s alleged long history of being a self absorbed misogynous racist renegade bastard, allegedly) by not reporting the release as required. By law.
The bug in google docs …. I’m not sure if I can reproduce this or not, but … If you use the Google Docs spelling tool (which I’ve used only this one time) and leave a bunch of words misspelled (because they really aren’t misspelled, perhaps) then turn off the tool, then copy and paste the text into, say, a web-form box somewhere, then the spaces that existed before the word (as the text flows) may disappear.
We had a computer security seminar yesterday at which our unit-local IT boss discussed security issues with various unit heads, staff, and so on. He’s a great guy and really know his stuff, even if he does think Windows is OK. (Or maybe it’s just the chip making him think that, I dunno.) Anyway, the idea that nefarious operatives with radios could listen in on your wife, or even your wireless keyboard, was brought up and discussed. That may seem a little extreme to worry about (but it is not, actually) however it turns out that it is WORSE THAN WE THOUGHT!!!
That PC keyboard you’re using may be giving away your passwords. Researchers say they’ve discovered new ways to read what you’re typing by aiming special wireless or laser equipment at the keyboard or by simply plugging into a nearby electrical socket.
And no, we are not talking about wireless keyboards here. Details here.