* Posts by FARfetched

59 publicly visible posts • joined 30 Apr 2010


Apple's app store policies: What will they provoke?



First: «Apple eventually failed to keep Adobe Flash from its devices»

Then: «we would argue … that Apple will continue to hold this type of dominance for some time to come, and will remain the comfortable market leader for the next five years.»

Apple failed to keep Flash off? iOS still doesn't have Flash, thank God, while you yourself say Apple will be out front for 5 years anyway. Your article contradicts itself.

The only thing keeping Flash off Apple devices is Adobe. As long as Adobe continues to foist a sub-par port on OSX, making fans spin up even on modern dual-core MacBooks, Apple will continue to keep Flash off iOS for the sake of battery life and overheating protection.

To the point of the article: the Kindle app switches to Safari to get to the store on Amazon, thus following Apple's guidelines to the letter. Purchases aren't being done in-*app* here, a loophole that may or may not be closed in the near future. If you buy a Kindle book using your computer (or your Kindle, or by starting Safari yourself on iOS), you can send it to the Kindle app without Apple taking a cut — and Apple can't do a thing about it unless they want to selectively block downloads, and I don't think that's likely.

The Kindle proper is a better ebook reader anyway. I can read in peace, without everyone else in the house wanting to borrow it.

Apple tosses Sony iBooks rival from iTunes

Paris Hilton


More coverage at Ars Technica: http://arstechnica.com/apple/news/2011/02/change-in-apple-policy-has-e-book-fans-worried-about-their-apps.ars

Sony seems to go out of their way to be incompatible with OSX, sometimes. Even when they do throw Mac users a bone, for example the "connect" software for my crappy S-E featurephone, it doesn't work very well.

I seriously doubt not having Sony Reader on iOS going to give Android any kind of boost — Sony's running a distant third in the e-reader pack, and is likely to be overtaken by Kobo if it hasn't happened already.

Paris, because her software works with everyone's hardware.

Mozilla slips 'Do Not Track' header into Firefox nightlies


Ineffective, redundant

Ad companies are going to be slow* to adopt this. Ad-blocking plugins are already available for major browsers — why not use them? Or just edit /etc/hosts to route obnoxious ad-sites to

* Think molasses in Antarctica.

Netgear CEO says 'closed' Apple is doomed


The big surprise here…

Netgear still exists? I thought Nortel borged them and folded them into Bay Networks.

I have an old Netgear 4-port Ethernet hub I bought years ago, shelved it when I got a proper home router, recently pulled it out and gave it to The Boy so he could connect a computer & game console upstairs.

Cold call scareware scammers aim to bring Mac fans into the fold


The Skype'r scareware drones too

I occasionally get the "YOUR SYSTEM IS INFECTED" scam through Skype's IM. The latest version included OSX as well, although a quick peek at their site (using curl) suggests they haven't adapted their site yet — they were trying to build a fake Control Panel on their page.

Dunno if Block/Report does anything worthwhile, but it only takes a few seconds so it's worth a try.

Verizon backpedals on unlimited iPhone data

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I'm shocked! SHOCKED!!!

Not really.

Tablets to eclipse e-book readers



eBook readers and tablets are two different critters. There's some overlap, which may be unavoidable due to near-identical form factors, but they're really meant for different functions.

Bottom line: I have a Kindle and an iPad, and I do the vast majority of my reading on the Kindle. As if I can ever pry the iPad out of the hands of all the hangers-on at FAR Manor anyway.

Asus sidesteps tablets, debuts e-reader-cum-jotter


Looks nice

A "range" of formats? About time e-reader firmware started giving us more than The One True Format. (Yeah, the iPad already does, but it's more general-purpose than an e-reader, OK?)

If this sucker gets any traction in the market, it will probably kill off most of the also-rans, maybe the Nook too, and give the Kindle some serious heartburn. Amazon really needs to cave in and start supporting ePub and HTML on their little slabbie.

Ubuntu's Shuttleworth lands luxury NY crash pad



«The reason these operating systems aren't on my PC is that they are painful to install, painful to use and unstable.»

You've never used Ubuntu or one of its derivatives, I see.

ViewSonic tablet defies death by Steve Jobs


I dunno

Anything that won't fit in your pocket gets put in a bag or left at home. So I'm not sure a 7" slab has any portability advantages over a 10" slab (which fits nicely in a cheap netbook bag). I could be wrong; I've stuck a Kindle 2 a cargo pocket. It fit, but I couldn't get the flap to close over it. That concerned me, as it could have fallen out without my knowledge.

I'm glad ViewSonic is putting a 7-incher on the shelves though, it's the best way to see if there's a market for them.

US Army trials robot 'leccy-n-bandwidth war-mules


Nothing could possibly go w0rNg - could it?

«The US army remains determined to kit out all its ground troops with portable, wearable networking gear which will provide them with comms as well as an accurate idea of where everyone is.»

Enemy kills or captures one soldier, and then *they* know where everyone is. Insurgents have wreaked all sorts of havoc with captured conventional gear, this just ups the ante.

Vatican confirms Simpsons as Catholics


Wait for it…

Now you know the producers will have the priest chasing the alter boys in at least one episode next season.

But I've tried to explain a similar sentiment (as that expressed by the Vatican) to Mrs. Fetched: the Simpsons are a good example at the very bottom. They're rude and crude, but they pull together as a family when things get tough.

Paul Allen's patent madness not worth single penny


Why not just come out and say it?

Paul Allen is now a patent troll. Any good he may have done in the past is wiped out by that simple fact.

Oracle forms new 'axis of evil' against open source, claims Adobe


Not so much

Choice is good, cross-pollination is better. If OpenSolaris has a vuln that Linux already fixed (or vice versa), there's potentially less effort needed to port that fix.

iPad hits Asus Eee PC sales


That's what I was thinking

Just because ASUS says (or ASUSumes it) doesn't make it so. Could be a number of factors, many of which you've already mentioned. The Penguin Brigade could be looking elsewhere since ASUS went XP, too.

Disney sued for spying on kids with 'zombie cookies'

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Best of luck to you!

The more my iPad demands I use it, the less I miss Flash anyway. I already have a Flashblocker on my work computer, putting one on my home computer is the next step (and that will make the Facebook-using hangers-on complain, oh well).

Schmidt: Erase your identity to escape Google shame


One good point

"I actually think most people don't want Google to answer their questions," he claims. "They want Google to tell them what they should be doing next."

Maybe not *most* people, and maybe not Google, but a lot of people want to just be told what to do; e.g. teabaggers in the US, BNP/SNP in the UK.

Dell accused of hiding incriminating evidence in defect case


Is this a surprise?

Around these parts, Dell has long had a reputation for being unreliable hardware.

I used to tell friends who asked me for advice on a computer purchase: "Don't buy a Dozebox. If you buy a Dozebox anyway, don't buy a Dell." Then of course they'd ask me to fix the problems they were having with that Dell that was "most affordable" (i.e. cheapest).

I guess my mistake was not telling 'em "you completely ignored my advice, you're on your own."

RFID chips snooped from 66 metres

Black Helicopters

Search and destroy?

How can we locate these in items we own and relocate the chips?

I could see the possibility for hijinks here: remove the chips and stuff them in random locations, preferably in the stores they came from in the first place.

MS Office for Mac 2011 out in October


Entourage "crash happy"?

I've been using it nearly a year, and it maybe crashed once or twice in that time. Performance is light-years better than Lotus Notes, which we replaced at work.

Nevertheless, I'm looking forward to having Outlook for Mac so I can access archived emails. Can't seem to figure out how to open that .pst file in Entourage.

Before the iPad, there was the Newton


Ah, memories

I got an OMP when some mail-order reseller was closing them out for cheap. IMO, the original Newton was trashed unfairly — the instructions clearly said you had to train it to recognize your handwriting and they were right. It took two weeks, but it was like flipping a switch — one moment it was getting about 80% right, the next it was at least 95%.

But when I first got it, I was showing it off to my wife. I wrote her name — Margaret — on the pad and it changed it to "Argues." Damn, the thing was smart, it took one look at her and knew her!

Oh, and the thing still works (although it does have the aforementioned Y2K issue).

Mine's the one with the jumbo packs of AAA batteries in the pockets.

Amazon's profit disappoints, thanks to Apple's iPad success


You're missing crucial data here

«I'm fairly willing to bet that once your two-year warranty has expired, so do your books - if your device goes kaput.»

I don't know about B&N, but Kindle books can be stored on your computer, your Kindle (if you have one), and Amazon's cloud. Did you accidentally delete one of your Kindle books? Pull it back down again, no charge. Same deal if you have a Kindle & it gets stolen or broken.

Apple's iBooks are at least on your (iTunes-based) computer as well as your iPad/iPhone. I'm not sure what their policy (or B&N's) is about re-downloading, but I wouldn't be surprised to find it similar to Amazon's.

Dead-tree books have advantages, to be sure — I always buy dead-tree versions of field guides for their color illustrations, for example — but you're glossing over some of their disadvantages: once you get past drying them out or taping torn pages, the only answer is to buy a new one. They can't be replaced for free if stolen/destroyed, they can't be updated. Then there's that whole storage thing… if you have 1500 ebooks and 1500 dead-tree books, and you have to suddenly evacuate your premises, you can grab one smallish gadget and have your entire library with you.

The best way to ensure longevity of ebooks is to buy DRM-free books and convert them to newer formats as needed. It's harder to kill-switch a non-DRM ebook too — 'cause it isn't necessarily on the device in question.

Google discovers Chrome can (really) block ads


I compromise…

A Flash blocker gets rid of the really intrusive ads that move around and block my view of the content. Then any ad site that throws a popup gets tossed into /etc/hosts with an address of Other than that, I let the ads in.

Phonemakers cry foul on Steve Jobs 'We're all alike' attack



A link to the referenced pic from the Daring Fireball article: http://j.mp/b6eaNB — "… Contact with the antenna area may impair call quality and cause your device to operate at a higher power level than needed. …"

And yes, I often hook my forefinger over the top of a phone while on a call.

iPad 'cannibalised' Q2 netbook sales


iPad not a PC?

Hm. As an iPad owner, Gartner has a point there. The iPad requires a "mothership" computer to even set up, let alone function, and the mothership has to be running iTunes. The primary counter-argument would be that it doesn't need to dock with the mothership very often.

Then again, you can use the silly thing all day long and get actual work done on it (for certain values of "work") and perform useful non-work tasks. I've taken it on an extended weekend trip and didn't miss the laptop. It may not be your cup of tea (or coffee on this side of the pond), but sales figures suggest a lot of other people are happy with it.

MySQLers mixed on Ellison's ownership


Spin it to win it

«The fact that the single largest block of MySQLers expects improvements under Oracle is good news for the database giant but is offset by the fact most believe things will either get worse or remain.

It will make uncomfortable reading for the giant»

Nope — they'll read it as "80 percent of MySQLers think things will be just fine" and be happy as pigs in slop. Oracle execs will assume that many of the 20% won't ditch MySQL for various reasons.

Digital ad portrayed Catholic Queen as 'flesh-eating zombie'


Bloody Mary… dang

Now I've got that song from "South Pacific" stuck in my head.

Mine's the one with the theater program in the pocket.

eBay whacked with giant patent suit


Best defense is a good offense

I've always wondered why one (or more) large companies with deep pockets doesn't try hitting a patent troll in the wallet. In other words, attempt to get their patents invalidated based on prior art or any other means. After that happened a few times, those trolls would either find some other line of work (probably as spammers) or approach companies early on with reasonable licensing terms.

Microsoft 'gets serious' with Windows Phone 7 tools


Don't forget the "ad-serving machine"

Because that's what we all want, our data caps being busted by ads pushed down to the phone when we're not even using it, right?

My coat doesn't have a phone in it at the moment.

Fring-Skype iPhone slanging match: Telcos v freetards


With blanket wifi, who needs cellular?

My cellphone died a couple weeks ago, and I'm finding I don't miss it that much. With plenty of open wifi between the office and home — hotels, supermarkets, coffee shops, bookstores, you name it — I can use Skype to call around. $27 for 3 months, compared to $100/mo for a smartphone… put this in the "no-brainer" file.

OK, I can't get calls in my car, but you're not supposed to do that anyway, right?

Telco sets honey pot for nuisance marketers


Put the phone down…

I did that once after some teletwit fast-talked Mrs. Fetched into a 10-year supply of septic tank treatment. He called to confirm the order while I was eating breakfast one morning, I told him to cancel it. Right away, he started arguing with me, quickly building to a full-throated rant. I simply laid the phone on the table and went back to my breakfast. He continued to rant to an unattended phone (I could hear the squawking) for nearly 20 minutes, with me snickering on occasion, until Mrs. Fetched got mad and hung up.

Beer, because you need it after dealing with a telemarketroid.

iPad, Kindle as readable as print... almost


It's subjective

Comprehension and enjoyment aside, I find the Kindle to be easier on my eyes than the iPad, at least when there's enough ambient light to read by.

Microsoft dubs Windows Phone 7 'ad serving machine'



You can run your web access through a proxy, right? Just set up an ad-blocking proxy, point your phone to it, poof.

This should work equally well for any smartphone (provided they support proxy access).

Amazon slips video into Apple's e-books


Re: Shafted?

Have to agree it's not "shafting" anyone to add multimedia to those devices capable of using it, although the Kindle itself is capable of playing MP3s (and audiobooks) so there's at least *some* capability for audio media there. The *real* question is, do the PC/Mac-based Kindle readers also have access to the enhancements?

E-ink displays are definitely easier on the eyes, given enough light to read by. I have a Kindle and an iPad, and will use either one depending on the situation. Since they sync up and jump to the place where I left off, switching from one to another is no problem.

Consumer tech pollutes enterprise IT


Um, yeah

The nice thing about smartphones is that they don't need a wifi connection to get outside. If it doesn't go through the corporate wifi, IT can't log it and tattle to your boss — so maybe they're doing us a favor.

Android apps: Shifty little bleeders

Black Helicopters


"More than a little alarmist."

Hey, that's never stopped an article before…

Google gives its Voice to all Americans


Google vs. Google

I just tried it and ended up at the "ask us for an invite" page, so somebody didn't get the memo.


Decisions, decisions

Skype or Google Voice?

Apple gives MobileMe a makeover


"Mobile Meh" <- I like

And I like Apple's stuff usually, it lets me get my work done (or goof off, as required) without a lot of grief. But I have yet to be convinced that Mobile Meh is worth $99/yr. I'd consider it at $29/yr. Or not… I'm kind of allergic to having my data held ransom.

HP and Yahoo! team up to print ads in your home

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Bad comparison

«you'll find your humble reporter saying, instead: "People, people, people... Do you think that when you buy a newspaper or magazine you're not paying for ink? It's just that the publisher pays for it, and you pay the publisher."»

The $30 that you and I pay to buy a thimble's worth of ink will get a publisher a 55-gallon drum of it. If my ink were similarly cheap, I'd put up with a few ads… but HP is making out like a bandit on this setup. They get a cut of the ad revenue, and they get more ink sales.

Virginia cops liberate bound goat from car trunk

IT Angle

Probably not as cruel in UK

After all, it's not so beastly hot in the UK as in Virginia most of the summer, and you have to travel a long way in America to get just about anywhere. Trunk not so hot, shorter trip, happier goat.

Ancient typewriters reborn as USB keyboards

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Hah, when the iPhone was still just internet rumors I speculated that it would look much like an iPod, but with numbers and a retractable stop on the click wheel to provide a rotary dial.

I want one of these typewriters, but my wife would KILL me the first night I kept her up (and woke up the grandbaby) using it.

Apple's US online store buckles under iPhone 4 preorders



It's AT&T, or more precisely, AT&T's interface to Apple that's falling over.

I placed a non-iPhone order on the Apple Store this morning, completely forgetting it's Pre-Order Day, and it sailed right through.

Ubuntu tablet threat to iPad? Nah


If any distro could pull it off…

it would be Ubuntu or one of the variants. I'd guess one of the simplified-UI variants, say Xubuntu or Unbuntu Netbook Edition, could be tweaked to work well on a tablet. Android too, I suppose, seeing as it *is* designed for touchscreen devices.

I'm getting some extended play-time with my sister in law's (wifi-only) iPad, and it's nothing special hardware wise… except that screen does look soooo nice and sharp, and they've managed to keep it light without making it feel flimsy. Apple's big win with the hardware design is that they resisted the engineering temptation to cover the thing with more buttons than absolutely necessary: power/sleep on top, volume and screen lock on one side, and home below the screen. Anyone could do that… they just don't. Note that keeping the physical controls to a minimum also keeps costs down: gotta keep those margins up, right?

Start with decent hardware, put some lightweight office apps on the thing, and market the spit out of it (but it wouldn't shock me if the cost were close to the iPad's). Make sure there's plenty of other apps that will run on it, and for Tux's sake, make sure most of those apps are things that normal people would want to use.

Linux wins the SCO vs Novell case



Can we give SCO a proper burial and then thoroughly water its grave with used beer now?

Apple lifted 'make web go away' button from open source


Thanks for the link

First I'd heard of Readability, and I'm still stuck on OSX 10.4. Yeah, I need to upgrade, but I'll make use of Readability until then.

Mac spyware infiltrates popular download sites



Interesting how it's one particular vendor of OSX anti-virus software that's behind these breathless announcements. A few more details would be nice, besides "INSTALL OUR PRODUCT BEFORE IT'S TOO LATE!!!!"

Ah, a quick Google turns up some more practical information: http://osxdaily.com/2010/06/01/spyware-on-the-mac/

With slightly more effort, I found a couple links to 7fart [sic] screensavers which claim, "You can also easily uninstall PremierOpinion later from Application/ PremierOpinion folder." Would I trust such a statement? Heh.

Alt rock diva's nude snap 'leaked' to tweetosphere


Just goes to show:

Any publicity is good publicity.

Topiess pics are FANTASTIC publicity!

New iPhone to land in US on 7 June

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I have a 3G, so I probably won't upgrade right away. Let the pioneers catch the arrows, after all. If I had an original, I'd upgrade fairly quickly after launch — giving it a week or so to let the early adopter crowd thin out.


Good point

After nearly a year of pretty good service at the office, AT&T has gone back to flaking out several times a day, often dropping out when I'm talking to the wife. It's not just that I'm inside either, I see it happen even when outside. I'm thinking about turning off 3G at the office, just to see if I can get a reliable EDGE connection.

Launching the iPhone onto other networks would be great - it would give AT&T some incentive to fix their problems. Or else.