* Posts by /etc

56 publicly visible posts • joined 21 Feb 2008


Adobe declares 'LOVE' for Apple


Outer Mongolia?

You bought an iPad assuming it would have Flash on it! (or that's the claim).

Where have been living for the past few years? Outer Mongolia?

Apple's mobile devices don't support Flash (or any other plug-ins); they haven't supported Flash. There hasn't even been any version of Flash to go on them. Everyone has known this since 2007 when the iPhone came out.

Adobe now say they will have the full version of Flash running on a mobile platform LATER THIS YEAR -- namely, on Android. In demonstrations Flash on Android is still crashing and won't work at all with many sites, so perhaps they won't. But you thought to find it on an iPad as of now ...

"Apple is returning to the olde proprietary days"

What sort of nonsense is that? Flash *is* proprietary.

it's also profoundly trashy and unwanted technology. It's also becoming more and more obvious that it is unnecessary: if it were not Adobe wouldn't be needing to whine. They're whining because websites are making other arrangements for delivering content that don't include them and they don't like staring at their own irrelevance. They think whining will help.

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Adobe's just come with a lot of fluff. None of this answers the very real criticisms of Flash raised in Jobs's letter.

As for me, I'd "love" a website that didn't require me to have an buggy, insecure, privacy-unfriendly, CPU-intensive plug-in just to use it. At the very least let's not have it for video where it's completely unnecessary.

Of course, websites are beginning to realise that Flash is otiose for most of what they want -- but it's the availability of Apple's mobile devices that have made site owners begin to wake up and smell the coffee. This is why Adobe is angry at Apple, and this is why it keeps whining and whining and whining. It begins to see the beginning of the end for Flash. Too bad.

It's more its own fault than anyone else's. Adobe shut down its mobile business unit in 2007:


Now it's scrambling to try to get something ready for release later this year. But it's all a bit late now.

Apple in shock public attack on Adobe



"The reason macs became popular was that photoshop and other adobe apps were optimized to run on them over windows ..."

I strongly doubt Adobe deliberately "optimizes" for any platform over another -- except insofar as they don't bother much with any platform that doesn't seem so important to them. (And that, BTW, is why Flash is so grotty on everything other than Windows.)

In truth they don't do Apple any favours. Apple came up with the Carbon toolkit to persuade vendors like Adobe that wouldn't write for OS X to port old "Mac OS" apps. Adobe still took its own sweet time doing so. It also expected its customers on the Mac platform to run PowerPC apps in an emulation layer on Intel chipsets for a darn good stretch.

Nowadays it always brings out new versions on Windows first. It also dropped Framemaker and Premiere on the Mac. Photoshop was into 64-bit on Windows before the Mac. And Adobe is only now, kicking and screaming, moving to 64-bit and the modern Cocoa frameworks on the Mac.

So that was a false assertion.

As for "why don't Adobe stop writing for OS X?" -- that should be obvious enough. As well ask "Why don't Adobe cut off their nose to spite their face?" It brings in a lot of money. That's why.


They don't think so

"Adobe's only chance is to move to open formats?"

They don't think so. Adobe CS5 can export to HTML5's Canvas, so Adobe sees which way the wind is blowing. But it's still hoping on Flash.

They quite clearly hope that, as it were, Google will save them. If you listen to Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen's video, he specifically mentions Google.

Of course, Adobe still haven't got an acceptably working version of Flash (the full thing not Lite) for Android or for *any* mobile platform and have now put back their release date *again*.

iPad anti-virus shield guards against phantom threat


Try "can't" rather

"2) if it scans word files etc., they could have macro viruses. These are unlikely to affect the ipad ..."


Try "can't" rather. Those are written in Visual Basic, aren't they? How is the IPad going to run Visual Basic scripts?

There's *some* support, courtesy Apple themselves, on the device for reading Office documents. However, Microsoft hasn't yet ported Office to any version of OS X other than the Mac version. If MS did write a version for iPad, it'd have to be totally re-written, since the current codebase uses the obsolete (and 32-bit only) "Carbon" toolkit, and the iPad is Cocoa-only.

That's a *vast* codebase so a re-write is unlikely to happen soon, if ever. It would be a mammoth task. And, if MS did re-write it, one assumes they've have to skip macro support, since they'd need to include the VB runtime, and Apple's rules forbid third-party runtimes on the device.

No, no danger from MS Office macros.

Microsoft launches iPad-happy website for wimmin

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Good grief! they're dinosaurs, aren't they?

" Microsoft launched a website for women yesterday based on Adobe’s Flash technology"

Good grief! they're dinosaurs, aren't they? Flash will be with us for awhile yet, but you'd think they'd use a *little* less when writing a *new* site, bearing mind there's not just the iPad out there but also the iPhone/iPod Touch and various other mobile devices that'll lack Flash support.

And what does it do for accessibility?

They're even using Flash for text headings (so-called sIFR Flash).

And the page has no fewer than 143 errors and 48 warnings at the W3C HTML validator. On an old page that would be excusable, but on one they've just written ...

They just don't take thought or care.

I just tried one of Apple's new pages for comparison:


Only 2 errors -- and those are only in the meta-tags (whose syntax seems to have changed slightly for HTML5).

Irish civil rights group takes aim at iPad launch

Jobs Halo

Input you can do

OS X has "Irish" and "Irish Extended" on the Input Sources menu. So Apple's hardly ignoring people who have a need to type Irish Gaelic -- in fact, they're providing for two different types of keyboard (which presumably relate to variant orthographies, one being more simplified to make typing easier).

What I suppose these people mean is that Apple doesn't distribute its software with Irish Gaelic language packs, so that the menus read in that language. Well, guess what, there must be several hundred languages that's true for. (Rather rather several thousand -- and innumerable dialects.)

iTunes comes with a few more language packs that most Apple software and even that only has seventeen (for some 130 MB). Look in:


and you'll find the .lproj directories that contain them. (That is, you will unless you removed languages you don't speak with a 3rd-party tool like Monolingual.)

How many languages do these people think that are in world? Apple isn't trying to deny the members of this organisation "civil rights"; Apple's just providing language packs when it believes there's a commercial case for it.

If a language is widely enough used -- and particularly by people who'd have problems understanding menu items in English -- then it would make sense for Apple to add a language pack for the language in question, because it would result in more sales. This is doubtless why Japanese, for example, is there: Macs are widely used in Japan. But Apple's not going to employ huge numbers of translators and make its downloads hundreds and hundreds of megabytes bigger than they need to be (because of all the extra language packs) where no real demand exists.

What these people should do, if they really want interfaces in Irish Gaelic in Mac programs, is offer their services as translators free to people writing open-source Mac programs. Adium, for example, comes with quite a few packs in it, including, I think, even Catalan. That's because people who've wanted that have offered their services.

Google mocks Steve Jobs with Chrome-Flash merger


Yes, of course

"but isnt it possible that flash sucks on OS X because of OS X"?

Yes, that's right. It's because of the platform -- because ... wait for it ... Adobe hasn't cared much about that platform. It didn't think it mattered.

Adobe hasn't bothered much with Flash on OS X for years, because it thought that Windows was the only platform that mattered. Flash is is utter crap on everything except Windows. It's down to how many resources Adobe have put in over the years. Apparently, they only had *one * developer -- a single person! -- working on the Linux version.

Now it's payback time for the bastards -- because, suddenly, with the runaway success of the iPhone and with the emergence of the iPad, and with the increasing importance of mobile devices in general, it turns out that Windows is *not* the only platform that matters.

National Security Agency beefed Win 7 defenses


Read the article ...

It seems most commenters didn't read the article closely before commenting.

I quote:

"NSA leveraged our unique expertise and operational knowledge of system threats and vulnerabilities to enhance Microsoft's operating system security guide ..."

The NSA evidently just wrote a *guide*, in cooperation with Microsoft, on how to harden Windows 7.

There's nothing new here. There are, and have been for some time, joint NSA-MS guides on how to harden XP, joint NSA-Apple guides on how to harden OS X Tiger, and so on.

IOW, these are guides which say stuff like if you are running such-and-such an OS in a critical situation do the following:

Shut down unnecessary dæmons; change the umask from the default; disable input from microphones, etc., etc.

They're good guides and worth reading -- though not all the hardening recommendations will be necessary for all of us. They're here:


Intel offers non-Jewish Saturday workforce in Israel plant row


When in Rome ....

Well ... if Orthodox Jews are being difficult, I suppose it'll please the "progressives" in this country.

There's a simple logic here. "Diversity" is currently all the rage in "progressive" circles. But not all "diverse" groups are equal: some animals are more equal than others, as Orwell had it. Jews are certainly unfashionable. By contrast, some groups that *are* fashionable are very difficult ... which is kind of embarrassing for "diversity" and the multicultural ideology [ footnote 1].

What, in this crazy logic, could be better than an unfashionable group being difficult in its turn? That kind of justifies it all.

Personally, I don't care what people do abroad. When in Rome ....

The compromise solution sounds like a good one.


*OTOH, that might actually be *why* some are fashionable -- but let's not go there.

Google's Chrome beta for Mac expected early December

Gates Horns

Wrong on several counts


"... we all know most Apple users would die rather than use a none apple branded product. So FF had no real competition when it came to users who really gave a shit which browser they used."

What a load of bollocks! Apple users don't buy because of the name or something. They just don't settle for less. But if you're prepared to put up with the kind of excuse for an OS that MS has been getting by on for years, I'm sure that's fine by Mac users, too.

As for "gave a shit", the point about Firefox on the Mac was that it was, to use your own word, really shitty. It's not so much now, since they got embarrassed and put a lot of work in -- but, boy, was it at one time. (And it's still a rather Windows-centric browser that sits on other OSes somewhat uncomfortably.)

However, Firefox still had a reasonable uptake on the Mac side even when the Mac version was far less polished than it is now. That was for the simple reason that a few years back AOL had put a fair bit of money in specifically for work on what's known as "compatibility" -- i.e. making the Gecko engine work with all the badly coded sites out there -- when they were thinking of using it in the AOL software instead of IE. WebKit -- which is what Safari (and, incidentally Chrome) uses -- took awhile to catch up. Safari also initially lacked as much JavaScript support as was necessary for some AJAX sites.

So you're wrong: plenty of Mac users did use Firefox -- even despite its poor platform integration and generally sloppy "fit and finish".

I mean why don't you come here and post a load of rubbish about platforms you know nothing about? That would be useful, wouldn't it?

Microsoft admits Mac was Windows 7 muse

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Only in the most superficial way

MS Flack Simon Aldous:

"What we've tried to do with Windows 7 - whether it's traditional format or in a touch format - is create a Mac look and feel in terms of graphics."

... which is actually an admission that it's only like a better environment in the most superficial way -- quote: "in terms of graphics".

It still gets the menus and the windows wrong because it hasn't got the "target-action paradigm":


And of course, it's still Windows underneath anyway. The MS representative might boast about the "very stable core Vista technology" but does anybody believe this is any more than hot air?

It's also telling that that "very stable core Vista technology" is not used on mobile devices. Wince is a different thing (and, of course, not nearly as good as the iPhone's software.) OS X's "core technology" is flexible enough to run on anything from a server to a smartphone -- as are Linux and BSD. But that "very stable core Vista technology" can't even run well on a netbook.

Oh, and have fun with your Registry corruptions a year or two down the road, Mr. Aldous. THAT"S still there.

Scots slam Germans for 'tight-arsed' slur

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Ronnie Corbett Joke

I don't know I've ever met a mean Scotsman. However, anyone who complains in all seriousness about jokes must be humourless, thin-skinned, and nursing a inferiority complex -- which is worse than being mean.

As for "Angus Robertson MP ... decried: 'It doesn’t have to be this way. You wouldn’t do it with orthodox Jews'." ... well, that's just rubbish. I can clearly recall Ronnie Corbett telling a joke about a Scotsman and a Jew in a pub who were both drunk. He said you could tell because they were both trying to pay: the Jew was throwing a fiver at the Scotsman and the Scotsman was throwing it back.

He wasn't being offensive to Jews or Scots. Good grief, he is Scottish.

Turkish filters block Reg commentards

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Says it all

So words such as "education", "learning", and "research" are considered dirty words in Turkey.

Says it all really.

NZ town cans rabbit-chucking contest

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Animal Sentimentalists

"Robyn Kippenberger said ... 'If someone threw your grandmother after she died you wouldn't like it.' "

Not that rabbit-carcass lobbing is a particularly sensible activity: the rabbit would be better casseroled and a ball would fly better ... but someone who can't tell the difference between a grandmother and a rabbit has got problems.

This prig is presenting herself as a morally serious person, but her comment is proof of a decadent and morally trivial attitude.

Neanderthal woman could whup Schwarzenegger

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There's diet, too

"The reason for our decline is pretty obvious: general inactivity and a lack of hard graft. "

So McAllister thinks.

Doubtless this is part of it. But there are other possible causes. One important one is this: modern people eat crap -- industrialized pap from the supermarket that's denuded of nutrients. They eat over-refined foods that have been grown on soil that's become depleted of minerals; they eat vegetable oils and margarine instead of butter; they eat too much sugar and white flour. Good grief, the average American eats 145 lbs of sugar a year -- which is why the average American is so fat.

And -- perhaps most important of all -- modern people don't eat enough rich foods like meat, fish, eggs, liver, and butter. Modern diets are drastically low in fat-soluble vitamins (such as A and D), because people have been scared silly about animal fats on the basis of bad science. But you need vitamin D for, for example, metabolizing calcium.

The sprinting Aborigine would have had plenty of good fat-rich game in his diet.

The skulls of pre-contact North American Indians were actually thicker than those of their descendants. See figure 27 here:


So much for McAllister's "The human body ... responds to stress". They weren't banging their heads on the ground.

What they *were* doing is eating sensibly: plenty of meat -- and fat-rich cuts such as organ meats and tongue at that, as the ethnographical accounts record.

Hypnotist expands breasts, cures irritable bowels


"... the BBC issued a press release ..."

"... the BBC issued a press release ..."

I'd have thought the BBC had enough tits of its own. Jonathan Ross for one springs to mind.

Egyptian cuts off todger to spite his face dad

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Well out of it

@Lionel Baden

"if he's from a influential family grab what you can and bugger off and do what you like !!!"

Because he doesn't want to give up his comfortable lifestyle and lacks the guts?

Better to mutilate yourself in a fit of pique in his mind. But surely that's abnormal psychology even in a thoroughly abnormal society. To my way of thinking, the young woman's well out of it, if he's that crazy.

He'll have been taught that women are inferior to men; it's also been drummed into his mind that this woman is "socially inferior" too. He's infatuated now - which may be partly the charm of the forbidden - once that wears off what might he have done to her if she crossed him?

Sony takes on iPod Touch with Walkman X

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Too little too late

What's it running? He didn't say. Is it Unix underneath -- like the iPod Touch (which actually runs OS X)? Are Sony using Linux perhaps? Is it Android?

Or is this thing just running Windows CE? Is it just a flash paint job on a rustbucket Trabant?

That's what I'd be interested to know.

It *seemed* quite nice -- so far as one could tell from that demo. But it didn't seem to be in the same class as the iPod Touch -- again, so far as one could tell from that demo. And the Touch has been out for a long time now.

And what's with all the physical buttons? Pointless, if it's multi-touch.

Quite nice, but nowhere near enough. Too little too late, I think.

Brown red in face after blusher found in cab


Dead Trees

Why do they cart around all these print-outs?

In these people's minds computers seem to exist as something to make documents on or exchange email on *before you print it all out on dead trees*.

Can't Brown get an iPhone on expenses? ... although having said that I suppose they don't come with full-disk encryption, so whenever the device was left somewhere sensitive information like his beauty routine would still stand to be revealed to the world.

I hope Brown has a fetching gown to go with all that. Ah, the Labour movement! Doesn't thinking about the gallant efforts made its current national representative make you go all sentimental and teary-eyed? Nearly teary-eyed enough to make the mascara run. Wouldn't Kier Hardie have been proud, if he'd lived to see it all?

Safari, Opera browsers patch-shy, says study

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Strange Study

So this isn't about "time to patch" of browser vendors but about frequency of checking for browser updates and whether updates are applied "silently" or the user given a chance to back out?

The study apparently concludes that an operating-system vendor that distributes a browser should have a separate update mechanism running in the browser? That would seem to be the gist of the criticism of Apple and the implied criticism of Microsoft. But why should the browser require an entirely separate mechanism running on a different schedule?

Does the study have a downer on Linux distributions that take care of *all* updating -- even including 3rd-party software -- through a package manager? That's always seemed to me to be an eminently sensible arrangement whatever the Swiss think.

As for Google's updater, it *isn't* a browser updater. It updates *all* Google software, much as Apple's Software Update updates all Apple software and Microsoft's Windows Update updates all Microsoft's (System) software.

Is the study overexcited about the fact that Google Updater runs on its own schedule that can't be modified, checks very frequently, and installs updates silently? That does mean that users can hardly avoid taking the patches. That's good for home users perhaps, but I can't see IT departments falling over themselves with glee at that. Business needs to test patches and roll them out to users itself when it's satisfied they don't break anything else.

Firefox users caught in crossfire of warring add-ons

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Clearly NoScript is in the wrong. The Adblock guys were just making their extension do what it's supposed to do, but he was making his extension directly attack theirs. It is concerning -- and bad publicity for Mozilla, since it demonstrates that extensions are not sandboxed in any way and *can* interact with each other, even if they usually don't, because most developers have ethics.

But you don't need an "extension" for blocking unwanted content. Get a list of the real low-lifes and put them in your Hosts file. Then you won't have to look at their trash in *any* browser.

And Safari users should try this nice little Flash-blocker:


OpenOfficers pitch Oracle on life after Sun

Gates Horns

To quote Churchill, "true but not exhaustive"

"OpenOffice lags Office considerably in functionality"

This is true. But then Microsoft's developers haven't had to spend countless man-hours reverse-engineering undocumented (and sloppy and unpredictable) closed formats.

Just think if Sun's people had been able to put some of that wasted effort into other aspects of the program.

Cameron: Give the UK's health records to Google

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Google and who?

"Just when you think he might have a clue, David Cameron reminds us all that he is at least as stupid as Brown."


Not *that* stupid, surely?

Still and all, using the words "online" and "secure" in the same sentence ... and when we got to "Google" and "Microsoft" (currently under legal investigation in the EU) my jaw dropped.

Virgin Media switches to Gmail



"Using an ISP's email service is a bit like getting all your post via the estate agent .."

Eh? In no way is it like that at all.

However, getting your email via Gmail is exactly like getting all your post via an advertising company - and an advertising company that, to boot, opens and reads every letter that's every sent to you or by you.

Unless Virgin is offering guarantees to its users that Google will not scan and data-mine any mail coming to or going from an address with a Virgin domain, its users have every reason to be outraged.

Microsoft claims IE8 is 'a leap forward in web standards'

Gates Horns

One-legged man on 6 pints of ale

"Microsoft claims IE8 is 'a leap forward in web standards' "

For Microsoft.

But in real terms it's about as much of a leap as a one-legged man who'd drunk six pints of old ale could manage.

In truth, IE is still shit compared to everything else.

The power of lock-in. IE has probably retarded web -development by about a decade. Imagine what the web would be like by now but for IE.

Google in Chrome rebetafication

Gates Horns



"If a human cannot measure the time difference between a page rendered in different browsers wtf does it matter, Google stfu."

This is mistaken - as well as boorishly ill-mannered. (STFU, indeed!).

Microsoft would like people to think the appearance of a static page from a cache is what counts - hence the recent false claims about the speed of IE. (It's actually painfully slow in use compared to the alternatives - which is precisely why they're trying to throw sand in the public face in the hope that people don't realize that.)

Deliberate misrepresentation from MS - hence the accompanying avatar.

What's important about Chrome and the Safari beta is the speed of the JavaScript engines. The latest Firefox 3 betas seem to be catching up, too.

Three different JavaScript benchmarks here - including SunSpider:


What this means is that you could be twiddling your thumbs while you wait for Internet Explorer to respond when you're not loading a static page from the cache but actually USING a JavaScript-heavy web application.

Obesity witchhunt is a 'moral panic' - sense out of Texas

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"it's totally unclear that dying expensively early on ... is a worse result for society than the alternative."

Yeah, thank God John Keats, for example, died so young. We might have had a few more of those boring poems.

And you a writer, Lewis!

I'm not suggesting that as long a life as possible should be anyone's aim but neither can you measure the benefit to "society" of what comes out of someone's life across their lifespan in purely economic terms.

On the larger questions -

Obesity *is* an increasing problem - haven't you seen some of the people walking - rather, waddling - down the street? or some of the men standing around in the supermarket queues with bellies that make them look like they're pregnant? Never mind their lifespan - in the long run we're all dead, as Keynes said - but can they possibly be enjoying life as much as they might? At the very least the poor prunes couldn't run for a bus without panting, wouldn't dream of throwing a ball for their children, and probably wake in the night burnt with acid reflux. But, of course, this is none of the government's business. I'm with you there, if that's what your thinking. And, since the current administration can't even manage governmental functions with a modicum of competence, they'd better not poke their nose into things outside their proper role.

As for Coren, I bet you could take the little weasel with no problem.

Microsoft claims Firefox- and Chrome-whopping IE8 speeds

Gates Horns

JavaScript anyone?


Even if these figures are legit, if you look closer you find they're admitted to be figures for loading pages from the cache NOT for actually USING a website.

Since IE's JavaScript performance is so abysmal, it's going to be dog-slow actually using something like Gmail. Chrome, Safari - and even Firefox - absolutely destroy IE on JavaScript performance:


Microsoft knows this. IIRC, Google was even advising IE-using customers to use an alternative browser if they wanted reasonable performance with their web apps. Microsoft doesn't want to be known as the company with the dog-slow browser - but the public's starting to realize that that's exactly what it is. THAT'S what this deceptive set of figures is about. It's tantamount to lying - lying by omission and distraction.

Vatican vetos 'dot god' domain

Paris Hilton


"The Vatican warned the internet address-making body of the “perils” of allowing new internet domains such as “.catholic, ..."

It would have been incorrect anyway, since, in any case, "catholic" merely means "worldwide". Besides, in the religious sense the term was first used by people in the eastern churches. Moreover, there are also other churches besides that of Rome that use the term - for example:


The Pope is head of the *Roman* Catholic church. A domain .rc would have made more sense, and been quicker to type.

But why some communions and not others? What happened to .lutheran, .methodist, .churchofscotland, .presbyterian, .unitedreformed, etc.? And why some religions and not others? What of .shinto, .confucianism, .taoism, .voodoo, and dozens of others?

But, really, ICANN should just be told to can it. There are enough domains to be going on with. Who's advising them? paris.hilton?

Microsoft talks open-source love amid TomTom Linux 'war'

Gates Horns

Anti-competitive Behaviour

"The question is whether TomTom misused Microsoft's patented version of FAT32 and VFAT ..."

Of course, device makers more-or-less *have* to use FAT, because, unlike other vendors which usually support several, Microsoft deliberately does not support any filesystem it hasn't patented.

If you're a camera-maker or a GPS maker or whatever, you want your customers to be able to back-up and copy data with the minimum of fuss. So you don't want to create an interface and make copying difficult. Since many of your users will be on Windows, you're stuck with FAT.

So, effectively, MS can sucker device makers in and then spring their patent trap.

It's anti-competitive behaviour pure and simple.

The EU should force Microsoft to have support for an open unencumbered filesystem built into any copy of Windows distributed in the EU. That way device makers couldn't be held to ransom, and users wouldn't be in the position of paying a hidden "tax" to Microsoft.

Adobe Flash vulnerable to remote-execution exploit

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"... The vulnerability is separate from a security bug in Adobe's Acrobat Reader program that is currently under attack."

Jeez! Does Adobe distribute anything (internet-facing) that's not "currently under attack"?

Nokia prepares to fiddle with Symbian

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Pompous Ass

"... audience member John Strand, who asked why a bunch of Americans were lecturing Europeans on mobile phones and treating the iPhone, with its tiny installed base, as being significant."

Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo's views I'm interested in; "audience member" John Strand's I'm not.

As for why the iPhone is significant, it's for what it does and how it does it (in combination with the iTunes software and the app store). Not that it's market share *is* insignificant in the space it competes in. And I'm sure Nokia is well aware of all that.

As for John Strand - what a pompous ass! I suppose he's an American or Canadian, but I'm sure the Finns can speak for themselves. They're most charming and eloquent people in my experience. However, Strand appropriates Nokia's "cause", as he sees it, and speaks of the continent of which Finland is a part - "Europeans". Thus while US citizens get to keep their nationality in Strand's mind - he doesn't refer to them as people from "the Americas" - he denies theirs to Finns. People like Strand make me want to throw up. If he can be an American, I can be an Englishman, and Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo can be a Finn.

Man U fan pwned in Facebook honeypot

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No advert for the city

Maybe Boris had a point after all when he wrote of the " deeply unattractive psyche" of many Liverpudlians.


Actually, I don't think he did write that. IIRC, as the editor, he just took the rap for the leader writer.

But, Crikey! as Boris might say, these two Liverpudlians are no advert for the city.

Beeb borrows copyrighted Flickr image

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The BBC is trying to load the scales with rhetoric

It's a fairly slimy letter from the BBC - as was only to be expected, I suppose.

I liked this:

"we apologise most sincerely"

How can they say "we apologise most sincerely" with a straight face? They could say "we apologise" to be sure, but it's not for them to try to load the scales rhetorically by claiming a sincerity - or a sincerity beyond sincerity: "*most* sincerely" - that can't be proved and is unprovable.

I guess the "explanation" is possible - who can say? The offered settlement - £75 - sounds like a very low figure to me for an image that's been nationally broadcast on TV. What would the going rate be if the BBC had formally approached a picture agency and asked for an image to broadcast for how ever long this image was shown on how ever many broadcasts?

Does anyone know?

I suggest offering anything less than that sum would be evidence of *insincerity* on the BBC's part. Personally, Id think they should pay more than the standard commercial going rate as a recognition of the admitted fact that they've acted wrongly.

Nevertheless, I wouldn't advise the gentleman in question to pursue the matter in the courts unless he takes legal advice and that given is that he has a good case and stands to make a lot more.

Oz man collared with pigeons down trousers


And an aubergine

According to the _Times_ the smuggler also had:

"an undeclared aubergine in his holdall"


As they say:

"As an island nation [Oz] is particularly fearful of importing new animals or plant life, which could spread disease or threaten its native species."

But presumably there are large financial rewards awaiting Aussies who bring in contraband. Guess there are a few well-heeled pigeon/aubergine fanciers down under who'll pay over the odds for an unusual specimen.

5,000-year-old 'ice man' was shot to death


New findings

@ Lee

"I thought they found the fatal arrow wound somewhere around 2001 -2002. It was certainly on telly at least 5 years ago."

Yes, but what's new is what the pathologists have been able to conclude *about* the wounds with further investigation:

"We are now able to make the first assertions as to the age and chronology of the injuries," wrote Professor Andreas Nerlich, who [led] the study ..."

They only look at the body very briefly every few years, so as not to cause it damage or contaminate it with bacteria, etc.


"beat to death by some ice-age chavs"

The Ice Age was long before this man's time. The last cold snap was the Younger Dryas:


And mammoths were gone by the Mesolithic, as the climate warmed and arctic tundra gave way to woodland.

This man's Neolithic - post the rise of farming (hence the cereal meal) - and lived only 5,000 years ago. He's late Neolithic at that - he's even got a copper tool, and metal residues in his hair from smelting.

EC will force users to pick a Windows browser, says Microsoft

Gates Horns

Don't forget the cloud

Thomas's responses to previous defenders of Microsoft are very good and well-informed.

It's sad that nonsense should continue to be posted after that. I'm particularly thinking of the Anonymous Coward who posted about "Linux jihadists". What's in question here, what's before the EU, is browsers not operating systems.

One aspect that I think has been missed in the discussion is that:

"In its original complaint, Opera also accused Microsoft of stymieing the development of Web standards by forcing site designers to adhere to IE's own implementation of certain protocols."


Now if Microsoft is able to control the browser most users use, through its control of the operating system (and its hold over OEMs, including the sanctions it's able to bring to bear on those distribute anything else) then it indirectly controls how websites are written. This means:

(a) that it can lock users into IE - and hence Windows. In other words, it can use its market domination with Windows to push IE and then use IE round the other way to keep users on Windows.

And (b) that it can exercise control over the increasingly important area of web applications.

Even Joel Spolsky, who used to work at Microsoft and most often acts as a defender for them has admitted that part of the purpose of pushing Netscape out of the market was to protect MS's desktop-based applications from the threat of web applications. Furthermore, he adds:

"The Internet Explorer team seems to have disappeared; they have been completely missing in action for several years. There's no way Microsoft is going to allow DHTML to get any better than it already is: it's just too dangerous to their core business, the rich client."


Note this was written in 2004. That was then; this is now. Now IE has been brought out of mothballs, because MS knows that web applications are coming like it or not. But IE can be used in different ways to further Microsoft's interests in the cloud. There's everything to play for there with Google offering Google docs, Yahoo offering a range of services, Apple dipping its toes in with MobileMe, and so on ...

It's important for us all that these new web applications use standards and work with any standards-compliant browser. Microsoft could use IE to derail that.

Once again. The EU is acting on a complaint from Opera Software, which it must in good faith look into. That's its job.

Once again, like the US DoJ, it is trying to prevent Microsoft from using a dominant position in one market to gain dominant positions in another (or others).

KDE hopes to fill boots with 4.2 release


Of 'tards and men

@ admin

quote .... What is it with the use of "tard"[?] ... end quote

I think it was Dan Lyons (a.k.a. Fake Steve) who started this - or at any rate popularized it among wiseguys in the techno-journalism field.

He certainly used - and may have invented "freetard" (I guess we'd have to ask the OED on that one) - but virtually any name could and did take the suffix "-tard" with Dan.

"So OK, the Szulik-tard and Fleury-tard want to play with the big boys. Fair enough. Well, here's my thinking. I whip the shit out of Red Hat's business, steal a few customers ..."


Perhaps Dan Lyons should be "tard" and then bzipped!

Oops! scrub that. What am I saying? It would have to be gzip to placate the FOSS diehards, since bzip2 is BSD licensed.

The Netbook Newbie's Guide to Linux


Penguin Colonies

@Anonymous Coward:

"a ... series that should [I hope] get [more people] into the penguin fold ..."

That metaphor doesn't work, because penguins don't live in folds - that's sheep. Actually, not being domesticated, they don't live in man-made structures at all. I suppose "penguin enclosure", as at the London Zoo, would work. Otherwise, if you're after a collective noun for penguins it's any of:




parcel or



Ubuntu's Shuttleworth praises Windows 7, welcomes fight

Gates Horns

Shuttleworth no hypocrite


"So... according to this guy, is it not fair for Microsoft to lower its prices to compete?"

That's *your* words not his.

According to the Reg here's what he said:

"We are in an awkward situation now because they are giving away XP in the netbook market - they are literally giving it way to OEMs," he claimed.

Nowhere does he say that's "not fair". All he says is that is Microsoft's price-dumping with XP is causing him problems. But notice that, as well, it is causing MS problems: MS have to discount XP heavily just to shut Shuttleworth et al out. That's not good news for MS since their business revolves around charging OEMs as much as they can possibly get for pre-installed Windows.

But - according to the Reg - Shuttleworth is speculating that MS will no longer be able to afford to subsidize Windows for netbooks in the future - presumably he thinks it will need to recoup the cost of developing Windows 7. Maybe yes and maybe no.

But don't accuse the man of being a hypocrite for saying something he never said - because *that* is both "unfair" and dishonest.

There's no riddle to Dell's Limerick move


Michael Dell's Bravado

"When Irish workers benefitted from Ireland being a lower-cost place to put plants than the UK or France or Germany, they sipped their Guinness with relish. Now that Poland is doing to Ireland what Ireland did to other western European countries, they are crying into their beer. It's just how it goes."

Quite true. Still, I'm sorry for our neighbours. They seem an easy-going and cheerful lot in the main.

The news won't affect me personally, because I gave up on Dell years ago. I'm one of the Leopard users you refer to. Speaking of which, I suppose Apple isn't feeling sorry for Michael Dell who famously advised them, when in difficulties, "shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders.":


Apple should start taking enterprise servers seriously



I don't get the bit about Rosetta.

What would that have to do with running Unix applications on OS X? You can do that right now - all that's necessary, AFAIK, is that they be compiled for Darwin (as opposed to, say, FreeBSD) and run in X11. And X11 is already there on all Macs in /Applications/Utilities. Now X11 is not as usable or as aesthetically pleasing as Aqua, but, hey, these are servers.


As Wikipedia comments, "[MacPorts] allows the installation of a number of packages by simply entering the command 'port install packagename' in the Terminal, which will then download, compile and install the requested software, while also installing any required dependencies automatically."

Or there's Fink:


As for the overall strategy, I take it there are other areas in which Apple thinks it's easier to make money (at least right now). They may be wrong, but then again perhaps not ...

Windows for Warships™ reaches Royal Navy frigates

Gates Horns

USS Yorktown

C'mon, what's the problem? Windows worked on the USS Yorktown, didn't it?


Oops! P'r'aps not.

Seriously, I wouldn't put Windows on a railway information board:


much less anything really critical. Someone in the MOD must've had a backhander.

King Arthur was English 'propaganda', French claim

Thumb Down

Up to a point

"The event's curator, Sarah Toulouse, explained [claimed]: 'King Arthur is a mythical character who was invented at a certain point in history for essentially political reasons. ...' "

I'm inclined to think that Henry II arranged to have the remains of Arthur's burial that were "found" at Glastonbury in the 12th century found; and if he did then it seems likely that his reasons were "political".

Google "henry ii arthur glastonbury" for more on this event.

I guess that this is important for the invention of the modern Arthur. So, broadly speaking, I suppose she's accurate.

However, "a sop to English nationalists" seems to be stretching things a little: should we call Henry II an "Englishman" or would "a Norman King with lands in what are now various different countries" be a more accurate designation?

Windows Vista has been battered, says Wall Street fan

Gates Horns

... and Microsoft's own executives

"Those of us that use Vista don't seem to have any strange trouble that is typically talked about in articles like this. The naysayers seem to be the ones with journo badges, linux/apple fanbois, and luddites."

... and Microsoft's own executives. One Mike Nash:

"I PERSONALLY got burned ... I now have a $2,100 e-mail machine."


As the New York Times comments:

"We usually do not have the opportunity to overhear Microsoft’s most senior executives vent their personal frustrations with Windows. But a lawsuit filed against Microsoft in March 2007 in United States District Court in Seattle has pried loose a packet of internal company documents."

Unfortunate that business of document discovery in court cases. Owing to our now having seen Microsoft internal documents, we're in a position to know that even they know they screwed up. What people say behind closed doors ...

Chinese 419er punts a whopping $8


From whom?

Not that the "From:" address actually means a thing, but presumably a tiscali.cz domain would be what's used by Tiscali S.p.A. (Borsa Italiana, Milan: TIS) for Czech subscribers. The mind boggles.

BBC continues to milk great tits

Jobs Horns


I'm inclined to think someone at the BBC did write "Great tits cope well with warming" with innuendo in mind. The whole feel of the sentence -- and the fact that they didn't capitalize the word "tits" -- has to make one suspicious. While collectively tits are tits, "Great Tit" is the name of a species.

And, yes, I like the "related" link. iPhone users will love multi-touching that one.

Apple to announce handheld games console at WWDC?

Gates Horns

There's nothing even remotely close

@Anonymous Coward

"Apple makes a phone which is in most ways substandard to the competition"

Yeah, the world is just brim-full of innovative, break-the-current-awful-UI mould, smartphones that offer true multi-touch, superlative industrial design in hardware with huge high-resolution screens, massive amounts of storage, *and* run a full Unix-based OS, besides having an environment for development comparable to the Cocoa frameworks for elegance, finish, power, maturity, and speed of development, and that have a browser equivalent to a desktop machine.

Better! There's nothing even remotely close. No wonder RIM are scared -- to say nothing of the makers churning out dross running the pathetic Win CE or Symbian with crappy lowest-common-denominator Java applets running on top.

It's like comparing a BMW with a 1970s Eastern-bloc rustbucket, and saying, "BMW makes a substandard car ..." You can *say* it, but it's moronic.

There might be a Linux-based device along to compete in at least some areas in a couple of years. Currently, there's nothing that even comes within spitting distance.

Men could have kids with chimpanzees - gov must act

Jobs Horns

Which ones?

@Anonymous Coward

"Isn't it about time that we took people who still believe in fairy storys [sic] out of positions of power?"

Which "fairy stories" were you thinking of? Marxism? Socialism? Liberalism? Utilitarianism? Freudianism? Jungianism, Feminism? Multiculturalism? ... and so on and so forth.

Or was it just the Church of Scotland you had in mind? If so, why?

Not that this man isn't an ass by why are you singling out his ideology rather than anyone else's?

Who gets to say what is a "fairy story" and what isn't? It wouldn't be you who gets to say, by any chance, Anonymous Coward, would it?