* Posts by Aaron Guilmette

42 publicly visible posts • joined 3 Mar 2008

'Apple is corrupting App Store downloads', warn angry devs

Aaron Guilmette

What platform?

Wonder if this is content hoste in the Amazon EC, Microsoft Azure, or Apple's new Datacenter...

Firefox devs mull dumping Java to stop BEAST attacks

Aaron Guilmette

The best of times, the worst of times...

The best thing about Java (if there is such a thing) is write-once code. The worst? Write-once exploits.

Netflix: Not interested in cloud 'heavy lifting'

Aaron Guilmette

Netflix could ...

Always pull an Apple and host it at both AWS and on the Azure cloud.

Apple's iCloud runs on Microsoft and Amazon services

Aaron Guilmette

How Microsoft Manages its Datacenter

Two of my friends bear the title "Microsoft Datanceter Specialist," and have intimate knowledge of how their datacenters work. The Chicago datacenter has over 100,000 servers and is managed by just three full-time individuals using the System Center Suite (Operations Manager, Virtual Machine Manager, Configuration Manager, and Opalis--their datacenter automation platform). Eat their own dog food, they do.

Attack on open-source web app keeps growing

Aaron Guilmette


So how many merchants doesthat make who aren't PCI compliant? Be taking my online shopping elsewhere.

Mine's the one with the updated bits....

One-armed Belarus man monocuffed for clapping

Aaron Guilmette


The auditory wizards in Belarus police department can also tell us what sound an unattended tree makes if it falls down in the forest.

Apple breaks location-storing silence

Aaron Guilmette

Maybe they can tell me...

When and where my next vacation will be.

Google 'clamps down' on world of Android partners

Aaron Guilmette

Google is just ...

Learning now what Microsoft learned 20 years ago.... That giving your stuff away with no restrictions is no way to make money. Once you give away the fruit of your engineering, there's no reason for people to come back to you. Companies can't be supported by banner ads alone.

RIM tells users of bloodied BlackBerry to disable JavaScript

Aaron Guilmette

It may be patched, but...

It'll be months or years (if ever) it gets resolved on handsets. The updates need to flow to the carriers, who will make them available for those willing to seek them out.

Skype's mega-FAIL: exec cops to cause

Aaron Guilmette

Take Mega Nodes offline?

Maybe ... since they intoduced Mega SuperNodes to help alleviate the problem, they should run some of their own (or use some VMs in the EC2/Azure/Whatever cloud) so they can help stave this off in the future?

"We found the fix. We added more computers to handle the increased load."

"Great. Now that we have a band-aid on it, what are we doing?"

"We're going to take all those bloody extra computers offline!"

Mine's the one with the mega super node in the cloud.

Apple posts $20bn+ quarter

Aaron Guilmette

iPods will have a niche for quite a while

Because parents like me don't want my kids racking up airtime or SMS charges. I'm quite happy to let them play with those devices at will because there's no surprise bill at the end of the month.

Microsoft steers OEMs away from putting Phone 7 on Tablets

Aaron Guilmette

Has anyone thought about how bad Windows Phone OS would be on a tablet?

This article really borders on flame-bait, I think.

While the Windows Phone OS is supposed to be pretty slick, from what I understand, it still allows only native code. This design limitation would dramatically limit the immediate application availability for it. It also can only communicate with a very limited hardware set (no printers, scanners, faxes, joysticks, keyboards, USB lights, etc.

I think at this stage of the game, if manufacturers deployed tablets with the MS phone OS, end-users would be very disappointed due to the limits of the OS at this point (such as its inability to run current Windows or Windows Mobile applications). Such disappointment would become synonymous with Windows Phone OS, and would further hamper its adoption and deployment.

If people are somewhat frustrated with the limitations of an iPad, they'd be twice as discontent with a tablet running Windows Phone OS (what?! a Windows system that can't run my library of existing Windows apps?!).

Microsoft confirms Russian pill-pusher attack on its network

Aaron Guilmette

Other OS fans

the Mac software division of Microsoft is pretty large, actually. They run plenty of Macs there; few people realize that Microsoft sells more software for Macs (primarily Office) then nearly anyone else outside of Apple.

Larry Ellison to buy EMC?

Aaron Guilmette


On top of that, Uncle Larry already owns a big chunk of another storage company--Pillar Data Systems.

Unity – iPhone code swap approved by Jobs (for now)

Aaron Guilmette
Big Brother

St. Jobs Logic

The only logic he needs is the one that pleases the holders of the purse strings.

Lest anyone forget, Apple is a publicly traded company, and it's not Jobs at the top of the food chain--it's the shareholders. I would surmise that everything he does has a multitude of reasoning behind it (personal taste, marketing, technology, fiduciary responsibility).

When you look at the decision to remove "adult" oriented applications from the App Store, don't think for a second that the morality police are sitting the board. St. Jobs knows that the best way to get an iPad into the hands of every middle-schooler in the US is to be able to help "guarantee" that all the content on the app store is porn-free.

The Flash thing? Again, it's control. Flash would mean that high-quality interactive apps would be outside of the reach and taxation of the App Store.

Follow the money.

Google ditches JavaOne over Oracle's Android suit

Aaron Guilmette

It's free if you have enough money

Google's M.O. seems to be to use whatever it wants whatever way it wants, regardless of patent, ownership, or license obligations. A great example is the digitizing of books and making it freely available--copyright holders are left trying to individually sue Google to get their works removed from the Google "Public Domain." And, since Google has enough money to keep the legal proceedings going for generations, only other huge companies (Oracle, Microsoft, etc) can afford to wage this war.

Mine's the one with the unlicensed cup of joe.

Google versus Facebook: stop your photocopiers

Aaron Guilmette

Apple has removed itself from social media

If the new new is Facebook and Google, Apple has driven off the information superhighway. Facebooks apps require Flash.

Apple seeks antenna engineers after 'Death Grip' debacle

Aaron Guilmette

You had me until ...

"...and is widely documented on the internet."

Opera alerts EU to hidden Windows browser-ballot

Aaron Guilmette

Someone tell Opera how this stuff works ...

It would appear to me that once the IE installation is available, it pops up over *whatever* else is there. If someone had modified the registry and inserted "Notepad" in the Run key to pop it up, it would pop up over the browser selection window upon login. I don't think it's necessarily the intent of Microsoft to intentionally thwart the browser selection--the same thing happens for those of us not in the EU.

Get over it Opera. You're sounding an awful lot like Netscape used to.

Webhost in five day server FAIL

Aaron Guilmette

RAID fail?

Maybe if they're doing business-class hosting, they should be using some clustering technologies underneath so that a single server doesn't cause these types of problems. N+1 or N+2 are pretty standard scenarios for business-class services.

If you're hosting in a virtualized environment, you should be using the technology correctly, including shared storage and high availability. A single server shouldn't take out your hosting environment.

Borders signs deal for new eBook store

Aaron Guilmette

Bad research

Searching for "IPHONE EPUB" led me to the Stanza app. Don't know what the limitations are, but there are a couple of ways to read ePub files on iPhones.

Google's Postini clogs email in US, UK

Aaron Guilmette

System 7 Affected

I noticed the most problems delivering to customers on Postini System 7 (domain.tld.s7??.psmtp.com). My customers on S8 seemed to be unaffected. I did receive the "too many connections" error when attempting to log into the support portal owhich I think is a service shared across all Postini systems). Logging in to the S8 admin console was fine.

As I Postini customer and (and now a reseller) for a combined total of nearly 6 years, I can say that I never had the types of outages and problems in the pre-Google days.

Apple seeks cure for iPhone battery woes

Aaron Guilmette

If you can't rely on it ...

Looking at the comments about people having a "backup phone." If you can't rely on it to do the primary thing a phone does (such as make calls), shouldn't that lead to an obvious conclusion?

My first touchscreen smartphone was the Samsung SCH-i730 back in June 2005. Windows Mobile, touch screen, hardware keyboard, WiFi and cellular networking, terminal apps to dial into *nix systems, tethering to my laptop, removeable batteries, integrated voice recognition for dialing and applications, and, of course, copy/paste. If only I hadn't dropped it so many times, I'd still be using it.

My current touchscreen, the HTC Tilt, has a finger-friendly touchscreen (lost the stylus months ago), decent battery life (full day of talking, email synchronizing, web surfing), tethering via USB or BlueTooth, plus all the aforementioned "features," including copy/paste.

Texan judge outlaws Word

Aaron Guilmette

How does this work?

Write a proprietary format, get railed by technology bigots for not being open. Use a "standards-based" format, get sued.

Microsoft is only a target because it has money and the American legal system doesn't have technical representation on the state's side. If OO were anything but free, I'm sure something similar would happen to them.

This just in--Microsoft buys i4i.

Opera slams Microsoft's Windows 7 E move - again

Aaron Guilmette

Let this die, already

I agree with a lot of the coments about why we shouldn't force a vendor to include a competitor's product.

I think Microsoft should offer a version of WIndows that comes with no installed browser and a bucket of DVDs so the user can authoritatively pick which browser they want. No tricky checkboxes--you want Opera, get the DVD out and install it yourself.

While I enjoy Opera as a mobile browser on my Windows smartphone, I'm sick of their complaining. Almost makes one want to move away just out of spite.

HPC cluster maker sets x64 chips a-fighting

Aaron Guilmette

Interesting and not

Surprise. The box they spent more on performs better. I think perhaps a good comparison would be "what's the best HPC node I can build for n dollars" and work it from that angle. There may be instances where either vendor configuration provides a better price/performance ratio.

Google Squared - the Cuilest search app ever

Aaron Guilmette

Hmm. Even the canned searches don't work well

If search for even one of their "suggested" searches, such as US Presidents, you don't get good information. For example, a search for "United States Presidents" reveals some tabular data including a picture, date of birth, and a few other facts. One of the default columns is "Succeeded by." George W. Bush was apparently succeeded by "Rick Perry." When you select the link for "Other values," you're presented with John McCain (which it ranks as low confidence) or Barack Obama (which Google Squared also ranks as low confidence.)

License to fail, indeed.

Mine's the one stuck in an alternate universe.

Behind Microsoft's IE-free, Windows-for-Europe ploy

Aaron Guilmette

Absolutely ridiculous

When was the last time Ford was asked to inquire if their customerers wanted GM seatbelts with their cars ?

This constant "leveling the playing field" crap is insane. MAke a product, be succesful with it, and then the competition goes crying to the government to make the winner include the loser's product to give them a chance. If your product were so radically different or so much better, wouldn't the customer get it anyway?

MAybe the sad fact is that IE is good enough for most people.

If you went down to your local pub and ordered a double Bombay Sapphire gin and bartender told you that he had to give you one shot of Bombay and another of Gordon's because no one was ordering Gordon's crappy Gin, wouldn't you think that strange? You'd think, "if I'd wanted Gordn's, I would have ordered it." Perhaps people use IE because they like it and don't have a need or desire for anything else.

Mine's the Burberry with the Member's Only collar.

Oracle suits to strap on Sun's Java sandals

Aaron Guilmette

Identiy Problem

Typically, when I think Java, I think underperforming interpreted language, and when I think Oracle, I think overpriced product with poor customer support experience. What a marriage.

Gates looses mosquitoes on tech conference bloodsuckers

Aaron Guilmette
Gates Halo

@Chris C

The comment "And while a lot of people will defend the guy, if he's that gung-ho about it, let him contribute a lot more of his personal fortune. He can afford it a lot more than those attendees" is ridiculous populist tripe. He funded the BMGF with $220m of his own money, which is far more than you'd most likely make in 50 lifetimes. While it is a small fraction of his estimated $40bn (most of which is perpetually falling US stock holdings), it's still a significant monetary amount.

Additionally, Gates has publicly stated that upon the death of he and his wife, 99% of his remaining wealth will be donated to charities, which will still most likely be in the neighborhood of $30-40bn. Additionally, when he and his wife die, the entire endowment of the BMGF must be distributed within 50 years.

Linux to spend eternity in shadow of 'little blue E'

Aaron Guilmette

It's all about who you know

"Engineering isn't holding Linux back from the desktop. We all know that it's better software than Windows."

While I agreed with much of the article (depsite its old underpinnings), I had to do a half-nod. The "we all know that it's better software than Windows" is analgous to "we all know a charcoal grill is better than a gas grill." "Better" is subjective and wholly dependent on your personal experiences.

For example, a Chevrolet isn't necessarily better than a Dodge. In your experience, you may have only owned Chevrolet vehicles and therefore think that because you've chosen them repeatedly, that it's the best solution. Your experience with the product and comfort level with its nuisances lead you to assert that it's better, regardless of thousands of satisfied Dodge owners who feel the same way about their vehicles.

A hammer isn't always the best object to use for striking something. It may be great for nails, but it really dings up the walls when you try to kill a fly. That doesn't make a hammer an inferior tool--it just makes it inferior to a flyswatter when the task at hand is killing flies.

The "Linux vs Windows" debate is very similar. To businesses, what's "better" is the product that has lowest overall cost of ownership intersecting with the highest user productivity. If a free piece of software runs fine on a 2-year old PC but it takes three times as long to prepare a client's document, then a business owner might opt to spend $200 on Windows XP and $500 on Office and satisfy the client in a more timely manner or satisfy more clients in the same amount of time.

It's really a fundamental argument to anything you do. Is a different way better? Is it more cost-effecitve to pay for my familiarity and productivity while potentially sustaining system crashes or is it more cost effective to obtain free software and deal with transitions and learning curves? Business goes through this time and again with new product deployments and software upgrades. 99% of the time, compatibility, familiarity and productivity with potential instability beat stability with the potential for a period of lessened productivity or potential compatibility.

Mine's the one with the pocket full of pragmatism...

Apple wants to swipe your iPhone

Aaron Guilmette

Patenting the obvious?

Using the motion of your finger to indicate what you want to do on a touch screen device. How novel.

Mine's the one with the--argh! Where's my coat? It's been iSwiped(tm)!

Porn breath tests for PCs heralds 'stop and scan'

Aaron Guilmette
Thumb Down


Sounds like some slippery-slope software. Could be adapted to financial documents? Seems like it's only a step away from thought-policing.

The Google-isation of all the net's access points

Aaron Guilmette

@Fraser, @Steve, @et al.

I'm glad I'm not the only one who thinks that "locking people into open source" is akin to "locking people into Google." Google is no more benovelent than Microsoft; they've taken "open source" and made it their own for-profit venture. So, they're really no better than anyone else--they've stood on the shoulders of all those before them, and taken the next step.

I find it interesting that the "each tab is its own process" is being looked at as a novel idea. Everyone calls Microsoft a "me, too" company, introducing tabs and sharing the process memory between all tabs with IE7. They obviously should have waited a few more years and called their old "separate window in a separate memory space" process revolutionary. Everything old is new again. This poo apparently *can't* stink because it comes from Google. The self-proclaimed "Do no evil" company has just polished another turd.

As for the comment from Steve:

-- "Thanks Google for making a few leaps forward unlike IE8 which is lagging behind and doing nothing more than stealing it's ideas from others (mostly Firefox)."

You just need to turn to Page 2 of the delightful Google and read the bottom two right panes, "Finally Google Chrome is a fully open source browser. We want others to adopt ideas from us -- just as we've adopted good ideas from others."

So, Google calls it "adopting" and it's OK; anyone else does it and it's stealing?

The only things preventing Google from having as much purported evil as Microsoft are (in this order): longevity in the marketplace (Microsoft's got a good 30 years) and money (Google's market cap at $146bn is about $100bn behind Microsoft).

Given enough of both, Google will be every bit as protectionist and evil. Google's in business to make money, not to benevolently employ thousands of programmers to turn out goodwill software. They have shareholders to appease, which means that the dollar is king.

There are plenty of other companies that base their products on open-source that are nearing this level of evil as well. Open source doesn't mean "better" anymore--it just means you only have to put the finishing touches on someone else's work before you call it your own and start charging for it.

In the end, all companies are out to make a buck at the expense of the consumer. While they may start with lofty ideas of free (as in beer and as in speech), free doesn't pay the bills. Adverts, popups, licensing and subscription fees, and marketing apparently do.

Welcome to Google being just like everyone else.

Mine's the one with a cynical view embroidered on it.

Microsoft dishes dirt on IE8 'pr0n mode'

Aaron Guilmette


Sshh! Don't tell. It's more fun when users don't know it and admins can review the proxy logs. Users find the best stuff, sometimes.

Aaron Guilmette


I think you're spot on. Most of these "options" aren't new, but the presentation is. We administrators understand how to mass configure these settings for users, but more often than not, it's a pain because they complain.

Most corporations enforce the use of IE because the configuration can be centrally managed through Group Policy. These changes, regardless of how unoriginal or uninnovative they may be will have a large impact due to the sheer number of IE users that will get this functionality automagically through Windows Updates.

Mine's the one with the features turned off...

E-voting outfit confesses vote-dropping software bug

Aaron Guilmette

Dozens of other countries do it ...

Yet we never seem to hear the problems they have. There's glitches and miscounts in ever election, paper or electronic. It's all part of the human condition.

I heard a while back that if the US was held to the same standard of consistent voting that third world countries are, that we would fail. Every state has its own voting commission that decides the layout and configuration of the ballot. If we all did it the same way, at least we'd have a consistent level of error (paper or electronic).

I agree with a few previous commentors. Windows isn't to blame, nor is electronic voting in general. It's shoddy requirements gathering, process modeling, and programming, combined with incomplete UAT (UAT Testing is redundant, much like PIN Number). Paper ballots are much easier to invalidate (a few "accidental" stray marks or an extra punch out) than electronic ones; if the same care went into programming the foundation of democracy as went into credit card processing, we wouldn't be having this discussion.

Mine's the one with "Programming for Dummies" in the pocket...

Microsoft slams OEMs over XP SP3 install cock-up

Aaron Guilmette
Paris Hilton

@Typical MS Fragility

Like lots of smart IT-savvy folks have pointed out, this can affect any platform. If you have a *nix system and decide one day you want to plug your HD into a brand-new-to-the-market RAID controller. Your machine will POST fine, and most likely even get to the boot loader OK, since that's typically a lower level INT/BIOS function to get the drive spinning to a point where the system can recognize it. Yet, when the platform loads, it may panic/blue screen since the OS can't find a driver to know how to interpret the controller. Same deal with video cards or processor architecture classes. No matter what your platform or hardware, if the OS doesn't know how to properly access the hardware, you're dead in the water.

Paris, because so many people are clueless and hop on a bandwagon without really knowing anything.

Hannaford cc data thieves planted malware on 300 servers

Aaron Guilmette

@anonymous coward, wielder of the solder iron

If you commodity house contact ran a Windows shop, this would have been very easy for you to implement without ever opening a toolkit... Browse the web for a Group Policy ADM template to disable USB Block Storage Devices (Vista has a similar feature built-in). Apply policy, hit the pub, return after a significant amount of time had elapsed to collect your quid.

How safe is VMware's hypervisor?

Aaron Guilmette

"Though impossible by design..."

"Though impossible by design, the hypervisor can still have implementation vulnerabilities."

How true of so much software. Remember, NT4 is can be configured to pass C2 security compliance. While the "design" may be "perfect," theory usually is. The reality is that it's left to developers to implement these theories. Any software is only as secure is its least skilled developer.

Mac OS X Tiger out, Leopard back in

Aaron Guilmette


I find it interesting that while the Mac vs. PC ads typically lambaste Microsoft for requiring more hardware and updates to run the latest software, no one seems to bat an eye when core apps like Photoshop or Office don't work on the Apple platform. Microsoft would be out of business if one of their platform updates invalidated so much older software and hardware.

Apple, for the most part (until very recently) really only had to contend with hardware from one vendor--itself. You would think that with such a limited vendor pool that they could make everything work flawlessly. Windows XP has been certified on over 47,000 individual pieces of hardware from hundreds of vendors, and Vista has been certified on about 7,500 pieces of hardware.

Apple sued over iPhone caller ID

Aaron Guilmette
Jobs Horns

Read before posting ...

Landlines offer Enhanced Caller ID, which happens when the phone switch takes the number, does a directory lookup, and passes that data to your handset. Cell phones display a more rudimentary CID, showing the number only if it hasn't been blocked and hasn't been programmed into your phone or the name/number if it has been saved to a contact-type of object in your phone.

While one may argue that it's obvious to mate the incoming numerical data with a local database, was it obvious when the patent was filed? It may not have been that obvious to the first cell phone manufacturers, because I had a bag phone that, while it did have a local phone directory/database, didn't have this feature.

Just because it's obvious now doesn't mean it was obvious at the time of invention. For example, the modern pencil was invented around 1632. Nairne invented the rubber eraser in 1770 (138 years after the pencil), but it wasn't until 1858 (118 years after the eraser was invented) when Lipman patented (USPTO 19,783) gluing a piece of eraser on to the end of the pencil (the patent was later invalidated in 1875 because a court ruled that is wasn't an invention with new functionality, just gluing two existing pieces of material together that still performed their original functions - http://supreme.justia.com/us/92/347/case.html).

So, for almost 120 years, it didn't occur to anyone else (who thought to patent it, at least) to glue an eraser onto the end of a pencil.

Evil Steve Jobs, because he's not above patent infringment. http://www.news.com/Cisco-sues-Apple-over-use-of-iPhone-trademark/2100-1047_3-6149285.html