— That r00t1ng Song
— Death of Print Again
— Blog threat to NZ Parliament nullified
That r00t1ng Song
Phil posted this one to the NZNOG mailing list. How do you feel about that, and do you think he should apologise?
If that song doesn't upset you enough, how about a discount Fu Manchu or two?
Death of print Again
Duncan Riley at TechCrunch writes that PC World Australia will no longer come out as a print publication as of January next year. Actually, the headline says it'll shut, but the copy says it won't do that, but to continue come out in online form only, with no "immediate editorial downsizing" as a result.
I do like print, but as Riley points out, being a month or two out when it comes to news and reviews just doesn't cut it. That's not to say there's no place for print, as it can carry material that works badly on the web, like longer, detailed analytical pieces. Well, big and elaborate ads too, because who wants those on the intarweb?
For technology though... print just isn't the right medium anymore.
Good luck to Amanda and Co over in Australia. Hope the move goes well for you. Err, maybe you should put something on the website about it?
Blog threat to NZ Parliament nullified
The 5th of November is soon, so it's only fitting that the FryUp should mention Parliament. The NZ one, in fact, because the local blogosphere is in stitches over its hamfisted attempts at censoring the internet.
Mike Earley noticed that while his blog isn't blocked by The Great Firewall of China, it isn't readable at Parliament. Now Mike thinks the whole thing is rather funny, and follows the old adage of never attributing to malice what can be adequately explained by incompetence.
Noting that it's not every single blog on the blogspot.com domain that is blocked, but just a few select ones, Mike reckons it's an automated system doing the censoring. Both his political views and language fall into the "robust" category, so that could be the reason, Mike thinks. Poor MPs! We wouldn't want their innocent eyes rot and fall out, reading rude intarweb stuff.
Is it really censorship though? Felix over at Public Address claims the whole thing is a simple IT problem: an exploit was found hosted on blogspot, and the Parliament systems did the right thing and tried to block it. Of course, automated systems aren't infallible and can go wrong, which is what appears to have happened here.
I'll be interested to see how this issue gets reported though...
Microsoft: Be afraid, be very afraid
Here's a scary thought: Microsoft can take over your computer wherever you are, and do whatever it wants to. On this Halloween day I can think of few things more frightening (except maybe a blind date with Larry Ellison). Like Dracula or Freddy from Nightmare on Elm Street, Microsoft is a reliable boogieman who still has teeth (or a razor sharp fingernails). Last week the Redmond Re-animators proved they still had the fright stuff, thanks to yet another snafu involving Windows Update. In this episode, enterprises reported that Update automatically installed Windows Desktop Search 3.01 on systems that had been configured not to run the resource-hogging app. Microsoft's response? “Oops, sorry.” But this time they did actually apologise, which for Microsoft is like asking Nosferatu to drink V8 instead of O negative. Meanwhile, Windows wonk Scott Dunn has come up with an explanation for the forced update that caused many users' systems to suffer an involuntary reboot earlier this month. The culprit? Not "absent minded users," as Microsoft contends, but Windows Live OneCare, which automatically changes your Update options to be, well, automatic. Microsoft's response to that one? Users received (an extremely vague) notice about this when they installed OneCare, so tough. In the Live OneCare blog, an anonymous drone blithely notes that while you can't stop OneCare from installing critical updates, you can turn off the optional ones. Given that Microsoft can label anything it wants as "critical" — witness Windows Genuine Advantage — this is cold comfort at best. All of this would be moot if Microsoft were doing such a killer job of protecting our computers that we would gladly give up control over them and live happier, safer, more productive lives. But we all know that's a fantasy. In fact, the threats are worse than ever, and Microsoft seems to have no clue about how to handle them. For example: The vulnerability that allows a malicious PDF file to turn your PC into a zombie. After three months of sloughing off the problem to third parties Microsoft is now scrambling to fix it. But the patch may not be released for another two weeks or more. (All you smug Mac heads can stop smiling. German security researchers have discovered some gaping holes in Leopard's firewall.) The ugly truth is that Microsoft is using security fears to force its enslaved base (that would be you and me) into installing stuff it wants us to have. Somebody needs to put a stake through its heart, before it kills again.