* Posts by Paul Coen

26 publicly visible posts • joined 4 Dec 2007

Sony soars, sinks, soars on Apple buyout rumor

Paul Coen


Maybe he's going to try to merge Apple with Disney. In the end (once he's gone), it'll insure the long-term health of the combined company. I seem to recall some analysts claiming that as much as 50% of Apple's share price can be attributed to Jobs himself. He needs to spend some money to make sure that investors don't turn on the management team and company the second he's gone (one way or another).

Merging with Disney makes Apple more like Sony (a company Jobs once admired). Apple would likely be the acquiring partner (as insane as that is), but in the end (again, after Jobs is gone), the Disney piece gives the combined company legs.

Adobe Reader purged of hole that was under attack

Paul Coen

But Acrobat Pro is vulnerable unless you go through update hell

The updates for Acrobat Professional aren't cumulative. For a new install, have to install 9.0 and then go from 9.1 to 9.1.3 to 9.2 to 9.3 to 9.3.2 to 9.3.3 to 9.4 to get an up-to-date Acrobat Pro installation (I think that's the shortest path). Good luck in an enterprise environment.

They've never refreshed the original installation media, not even the downloadable demo, and you can't get refreshed media from Adobe. If you try, they tell you things like "Acrobat Pro 10 will fix it". Why yes. Until 10.1 comes out. And then 10.1.3. And then 10.2. And you recreate the problem.

Or, hey, here's an idea. Make the update installers cumulative. That would solve the problem. And far more complicated products (Microsoft Office, Windows) seem to be able to handle it just fine.

Netizens now Facebook more than they Google

Paul Coen


I saw a report last January that pointed out that only 26% of Facebook's US users were between 18 and 25. Those 26 was to 65 accounted for 60%, and the 13-17 crowd was 11%.

I suspect many in the over-25 crowd are using it to keep up with family, friends from high school or college, friends from places they used to live and who have moved away. As someone else pointed out, that's Google's problem - they have to bring over entire groups of people.

There's a chunk of the older US population that has really settled on Facebook. I've seen friends and family who were uninterested in Facebook pressured into signing up because a large percentage of their social circle is using it to exchange news and keep in touch.

The tendency for Americans in some income brackets to relocate as they get older - move far away from friends and family for jobs, school, etc., probably makes Facebook a good tool for keeping in touch with a lot of people at once.

Energy-saving LEDs 'will not save energy', say boffins

Paul Coen

It's not just home users

It's commercial customers. Store signs, store lighting, parking lot lighting. And giant LED signs and billboards. Think about it - a few years ago, signs were static things that maybe used light at night. Now you're starting to see electronic ones that use power 100% of the day. That's only going to get worse.

NSA setting up secret 'Perfect Citizen' spy system

Paul Coen


The same Raytheon that, according to press reports, hasn't been able to get the perimeter security system working properly at any of the four airports run by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey?

Tests at Teterboro Airport have resulted in a lot of squirrel-related false alarms.

It may be less about Big Brother, and more about funneling billions in public money into private companies who aren't held accountable. Again.

Surprise Adobe update grapples with critical flaws

Paul Coen

It gets worse

I just checked the redistribution site for Flash while dealing with Acrobat - if you're using tools like SMS or Zenworks it'll get you MSI installers. They haven't updated the MSI installers since Janaury 26th, which is the PREVIOUS Flash update, not the current one from last week. Because, you know, you wouldn't want to use your fancy management tools to push out a critical security update to your enterprise.

And now back to Acrobat.

If you've got Acrobat Professional, you can't get updated installers. You have to install 9.0 and patch it - and the patches aren't cumulative. 9.0 > 9.1 > 9.1.1 > 9.2 and so on. However, if you install Acrobat Pro 9.0 and then Reader 9.3 (say you don't want Pro as a browser plugin), the Reader installer modifies the Acrobat Pro installation so it at least thinks it's 9.3. To the point where the 9.3.1 Acrobat Standard/Professional patch will install on top of it. The Reader 9.3.1 msp file, of course, still has to be applied to Reader separately. Mind you, the Reader installer modifying Acrobat Pro doesn't seem to be documented anywhere. Who knows if it's actually fully updating Acrobat Pro.

They're reaction when we asked them about updated install media last month? Confusion, pointing out that we can download the 9.0 installer from the volume licensing site, and saying "Well, you'll be able to update to 10.0 when that comes out later this year".

Paul Coen
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Patch location

Click on the "New Downloads" link on the right side of the page. It'll give you links to the msp files for each.

Thanks, Adobe, for making it easy!

Adobe slips good-bye note to 10% of stafff

Paul Coen

Length of service and benefits

That doesn't seem high. First off, decent IT people or developers with experience (say, 10+ years) aren't cheap. Also, in addition to the salary savings, Adobe will be savings on the employer's share of the health benefits, social security and other payroll taxes, as well as any 401K or other retirement fund match.

News anchor tells weatherman to 'keep f**king that chicken'

Paul Coen

Ah, Ernie.

Who needs Jim Wolcott from "The Newsroom"? The fact that the public doesn't have to pay to see nightly an entertainer of his caliber demonstrates what an age of wonder this is.

I'd be willing to spend up to $30 on pay-per-view to see footage (with audio) of the folks in the control room during this incident.

Novell fannies about with Open Enterprise Server 2

Paul Coen


Don't get it. Are you making fun of the SP2 / SP3 issue? SLES 10 is going to be at SP3. OES 2, as an add-on to SLES 10, is moving to SP2.

Or is there something else funny, and I'm just being obtuse?

Google's vanity OS is Microsoft's dream

Paul Coen

Home users

The "netbook" market doesn't yet exist - consumers are buying them as cheap notebooks. They want to be able to use Facebook, but they also want to be able to plug their Canon/Panasonic/Sony/whatever digital camera into it and run the camera maker's software. They want to be able to use a multi-function printer/scanner easily, etc.

And software. Telling someone "Hey, stop using Photoshop Elements and use this thing called 'GIMP' instead" gets you funny looks. The stupid name is half of it, of course, a common problem with many open source packages.

Apple confirms $1bn data center

Paul Coen
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What a joke.

So let's assume it is 50 jobs. That's almost a million dollars per job on average. Over ten years, it MIGHT be a break-even, assuming the state doesn't end up picking up the tab for a lot of infrastructure improvements. And a bunch of the taxes paid on the wages will be going to the Federal, not state gov't.

This whole thing is a race to the bottom, and since we have no national policy, it's not going to get any better. States would be better off streamlining the paperwork and taxes that small businesses have to pay, and making it possible for small businesses to form groups for negotiating health care (each state has a small business association, for example, use that) to get the rates down.

Almost every state and lots of cities do this - big breaks to certain (larger, well-connected businesses), even if there aren't going to be many local jobs, and they're indifferent to the businesses that employ the most people. Small businesses are the largest employer in this country, it's time that the policies reflected that.

Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah set for top two spots in Christmas Day charts

Paul Coen
IT Angle

Things I don't think you can improve on.

My favorite version of this song is John Cale's from "Fragments of a Rainy Season", and likely always will be. Hope Cohen gets some grocery money on the sudden interest, at least.

Oh, never mind, they're downloading the song. There's the IT angle.

Daft list names Firefox, Adobe and VMWare as top threats

Paul Coen
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A bunch of these applications - Firefox, Flash, Acrobat Reader, Java, Quicktime, Windows Messenger, etc. all can be updated if you're using a product like Patchlink. It'll patch Real Player as well. There are other products in this space as well - VMware Update manager is one of the other products integrated into Virtual Center.

They're right that some of these companies need to pay more attention to providing update tools and mechanisms, but if you care and can drop a bit of cash on the problem, it's largely solvable, without having to tell your users they can't put anything on the computers. However, you need to buy someone else's product, not the Bit9 whitelisting solution.

Battlestar Galactica prequel shuns space, spaceships

Paul Coen

Well, ok, not a space opera

Based on the clip, it seems to cover some of the same speculative ground as "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep" by Philip K Dick, and from the shots / clothing, looks a bit like "Mad Men" mixed with a contemporary looking club scene, which is a bit funny. Weirdly enough, it may be closer to actual "science fiction" than "sci fi", so it seems strange that the station is showing it. They don't do a lot of actual science / speculative fiction.

In terms of not showing spaceships, etc. Well, it is called "Caprica", so having it set on the planet makes sense. And if they cover some ground about the nature of life / death, what counts as "human", etc. in a compressed storyline that gets some crossover viewers, that may end up being good science fiction. Won't be "Galatica", but that may not be the worst thing, given how that series seems to be crushing itself under its own weight.

Harvey Keitel to experience Life on Mars

Paul Coen

Won't have the guts

It's just going to be another cop drama after a while. They're certainly not going to choose to end it until they milk a couple of seasons out of it, which in US terms is more than 40 episodes on a normal network show. Yeah, they'll be able to come up with 40+ quality scripts.

And they won't have the nerve to end the series the same way either. What kind of message would it send the children, who shouldn't be watching it anyway?

Oh well, hopefully it'll be better than "Payne", the lousy remake of "Fawlty Towers" starring John Larroquette.

Cisco.com suffers lower case t breakdown

Paul Coen

As someone who played Infocom games

I can only conclude that a group of salesmen showed up at the door, and in return for a flashlight, gave them a T-remover.

Pillar rains on EMC's parade

Paul Coen

@AC - doesn't Microsoft?

I thought I remembered reading that Microsoft has been using SATA internally with Exchange 2007.

ICANN backs auction of disputed domains

Paul Coen
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It's not "everything",

Fiorina threatens to get in McCain's antique cabinet

Paul Coen

Actually, Carly's right.

She did set Hurd up for victory. Her performance was so poor, so execrable that not only could a competent successor succeed merely by showing up and not screwing up, if he had any ability at all, he'd look terrific by comparison. She lowered expectations to the point that anything that didn't look like bumbling incompetence would seem brilliant. Kind of like George W. Bush and whoever replaces him.

HP throws Tru64 code to Linux fanciers

Paul Coen

HP - Invent?

So as not to contradict their slogan, they're now essentially claiming to have developed AdvFS over a 16-year period in that press release. I'm sure the OSF/1 team at Digital, and the follow-on "Digital Unix" and "Compaq Tru64 Unix" team would be glad to hear that HP had done their work for them, if only they'd known at the time. Probably could have taken more of their vacation days. Either that, or the shadowy hand of HP somehow had control of both Digital and Compaq starting in the early 90's.

FBI probe discovers counterfeit kit in US military networks

Paul Coen

Grey or semi-fake?

Haven't there been cases of some Chinese (or other) plants making stuff for companies overseas running an extra shift or doing an extra production run or two to knock out some unauthorized additional products? The stuff might be made in the same factories, but not be "genuine", exactly. Also, if the place makes (for example), the main boards but doesn't do final assembly, they might be selling to someone else who is making the fake cases and putting it together.

"Grey" is usually stuff just sold in a market other than its intended one. And while it is illegal in the US to sell grey-market items as products intended for the US market (fraudulent), grey-market goods themselves are not prohibited here the way they are in the EU. There might be government / DoD rules about it, however.

Steve Jobs unveils plans to dominate RIM BlackBerry, Life, the Universe, and Everything

Paul Coen

Exchange 2007?

Who runs Exchange 2007? Hardly anyone has upgraded. Then again, it's not really an upgrade. It's a migration. And if sites can't get a BES to work with it for a while, they're going to put off upgrading Exchange as long as possible. And historically, ActiveSync hasn't exactly been an award-winning piece of software, so I'm betting they're not in a huge hurry anyway.

Adobe throws weight behind SQLite

Paul Coen

Not too surprising

Lightroom (hardly bloatware, it's actually pretty efficient) uses SQLite for its database. A bunch of the user interface is written in Lua, as well, and that's allowed for some unofficial modifications / extensions to be written as well (along with the official Lightroom Export SDK).

EU to ban the patio heaters that ate the planet. Not.

Paul Coen

Carbon footprint of an MEP?

Seriously - if you factor in the typical day-to-day routine, add in travel, and then assign a share of the utilities, food deliveries, etc. of the buildings to the MEP, where do they rate compared the average citizen from their home country?

Is Apple coding Leopard to run Windows apps natively?

Paul Coen

As a former OS/2 user

I can tell you where this ends up - any ISV looking at the bottom line will drop writing "native" MacOS software. Any time software uses new features in Windows, it'll take Apple time to catch up and support the feature. And software companies that tries to remain "native" will run into an ever-shrinking talent pool of developers who actually know how to code to OS X, especially the interface. In the end, Apple will be the only vendor writing "native" OS X applications, and Adobe won't care - if you want Photoshop, you'd still buy it, and on the cost side they now need fewer developers and QA and support just became a whole lot easier.

Apple may think it can maintain market share because of its shiny computers, but it's not going to work well. For example, the argument of "I want to use a Macbook because it'll run all my Windows apps" could just as easily be turned to "why bother with a Macbook, all I'm running are Windows apps in a funny way". The only thing that would preserve their market share is the (sad) belief maintained by many - that they can make a personal statement by buying a mass-market product. Reminds me of the "yes, we're all individuals" crowd in Monty Python's _Life of Brian_