Wednesday, March 21, 2007

When Gerbilling isn't fun enough

I have no idea what is in George Ou's stash, but it has to be some potent stuff if his latest rant on the infamous Apple WiFi Hoax is anything to go by.

Ou spouts a lot of bile about a supposed conspiracy hatched by Apple PR Lynn Fox to discredit the quasi-security researchers at the centre of the storm around their unproven MacBook hack.

Since his allegations have been specifically denied, it looks like the only collusion that is happening in this saga is to be found in the coordinated actions of Maynor, Krebs and Ou.
As far as I can tell, these are the only people who have been in regular contact and keep making mysterious references to some mystical and as yet unrevealed information that will magically prove them right.

Now there have been numerous requests for the hoaxers to come clean and just demonstrate the fraudulent exploit in public, but have so far failed in this simple task, preferring instead to obfuscate and misdirect.

Isn't it time the crows down by the south paddock fence just put up or shut up?

Ou's original "Gerbils" comment has been deleted. At first I though that he was falling into the same propagandist habits that he was accusing Apple of, but it may be that the material was removed by ZDNet editors in response to complaints about the appropriateness of the references to Nazism.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Fourth Rich?

Being no stranger to dumb mistakes myself, I suppose I shouldn't laugh too hard, but this is just too darn funny to pass up.

via The Macalope

Standard Lunacy

What is it about Microsoft that makes it incapable of sticking to the rules? Internet Explorer has mangled HTML for years, so it should come as no surprise that Outlook has problems with processing some iCalendar files.

This particular problem has been around for a long time, and yet there still is no details offering a solution or work around available on the Microsoft support pages.

It is a testament to downright orneriness that software companies seem incapable of agreeing on and sticking to a single standard to allow seamless interchange of something as seemingly mundane as calendar information.

It is a glaring indictment on Microsoft that it fails to adequately support many open web standards that would make life easier for users, preferring instead to promote proprietary formats that serve no purpose other than to try and lock users in to its software platform.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Front Row Cover Flow?

It is often true that the simplest reason for something is often the correct one, but that is not going to stop me from speculating wildly about the reason for the delay in shipping the tv.

Reports are starting to surface that credit card authorizations for pre-orders of the device are starting to be processed. This is normally an indicator that the merchandise in question is close to shipping. It looks like we are not too far from the first un-boxing and disassembly photo-sets being posted online.

There is a disturbing incomplete, unrefined and un-Apple feel to the new full-screen Cover Flow in iTunes and the lack of integration of those features into Front Row. At the same time the interface features demonstrated during the tv unveiling are not found in either.

So I think that the delay in shipping the tv is because the interface is being updated with Cover Flow type features, including better song selection features when sorting by album and nifty little features like scrolling for long song titles and the index letter indicator when scrolling at speed.

I'm hoping that there will be an announcement of updates to Front Row and iTunes co-incident with when the tv starts reaching consumers. After all this is going to be like having an ipod next to your tv, and it should be just as easy to use.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Get some air

Its about time for Ryan Naraine to pull his head out of his orifice and stop spouting the brown stuff that helps the Apple trees flower early.

Asinine Ryan writes that:
"Apple’s marketing department gets a kick out of kicking sand in Microsoft’s eye on security but, truth be told, Apple has a long way to go to match Redmond’s seriousness around security."

What bollocks, and ugly hairy ones at that. As far as I can see there is a whole world of difference between writing software that is secure and being so used to producing a flawed operating system and applications that you have become expert at releasing fixes for your patches.

Naraine goes on to list five recommendations that spring to his mind. Considering the proximity of his head and his arse, its no wonder that these are all total crap.

He cites that Apple is in the unheard of Threatcode Hall of Shame, but fails to inform that Microsoft features in that site's bad books nearly three times as much as Apple does.

I'd much rather have Apple have security concerns permeate everything they do and be in the forefront of the minds of engineers who work to improve OS X everyday instead of think it is the domain of one special employee.

The real reason Naraine is sore at Apple lurks right at the end of his diatribe where he whines about not being given the time of day by Apple PR. If I was in Lynn Fox's shoes, I wouldn't waste any time on this hack either.

Since the latest update of OS X to version 10.4.9, my Mac feels doubly impregnable to attack and hardly a peep can be heard from the crows down by the south paddock fence.

Far from validating the methods of the loser Moabites, Apple has shown their approach to be entirely without merit. They have needlessly endangered the security of many Mac users in their selfish quest for celebrity.

I'm going to need a brace of barrels stacked next to my perch for emergency use.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Point underlined

Wikipedia is dealing with the fallout from the revelation that one on its most prolific contributors lied about his qualifications in an online profile.

Wikipedian "essjay" claimed a string of degrees he had never earned and only came clean when approached to join Wikia Inc., the money making arm of the online encyclopedia.

The anonymity provided by the Interweb is one of its great attractions, and underpins many great sites like Second Life for instance.

But when it comes to being taken seriously as a trustworthy source of knowledge, anonymity is seldom helpful, as Wikipedia has found to its cost.

via Slashdot

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Well, blow me down

Last month I was sceptical that we would ever see the promised second part to Seb Janacek's 10 worst things about Apple. Well Seb has finally got around to telling us what he thinks are the 10 best things about Apple.

He need not have bothered. He has written a half-arsed article that barely scratches the surface of the good things about a great and complex company such as Apple.

Seb, please, no more of this luke warm praise. And don't come round my Apple Orchard anytime soon, I'm keeping an empty cider cask nearby with the express purpose of marrying it with your head if I catch sight of you.

Friday, March 9, 2007


Daniel Eran over at Roughly Drafted really doesn't like some of the things that Paul Thurott has had to say about Apple over the last few years. Writing his article must have been cathartic because it seems to me that a lot of pent up anger went into compiling it.

It must have taken a lot of goading for him to say that:
"Paul, has it not occurred to you that it is actually you who is the rabble-rousing, mouthy, vitriolic, ignorant jerk?"

Now there is no doubting that Thurott is evangelical in his support of Windows and Daniel has gone to a lot of trouble to show a pattern of behavior, and the result is a captivating read.

For that Daniel goes on the list of people who can drop by for a drink of the best MacStrawman Cider whenever he is in the neighborhood.

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Please Steve, can we have some more?

As usual the recent update to iTunes installed like a breeze via Software Update. I love it that my Mac just works. I love it even more that Mac OS X software updates contain so much more than security bug fixes.

I was totally blown away by the new full screen Cover Flow mode. It is really well done and most of the standard playback keyboard shortcuts work. As we've all come to expect, it also works seamlessly with the Apple Remote. That is seriously cool.

Still, I can't seem to shake the feeling that 7.1 is a work in progress. There isn't proper integration with Front Row, and there isn't yet a way to access album track listings in this mode.

I can't wait for the release of Leopard, because it would be great to see a really polished version of iTunes including some of the features from my wish-list included in the next major release of Mac OS X.

I wish I was as eloquent

John Gruber at Daring Fireball has some great comments on the 60-second Wi-Fi Hoax. As more information comes to light it is increasingly clear that Maynor and partner are a bunch of pansy whiners. Technically adept, but whiners nonetheless, and nearly incoherent communicators to boot.

What these supposed security researchers did was akin to lobbing bricks at the windows of an abandoned factory and then informing the owners that glass was susceptible to breaking.

It is understandable that Apple responded as they did. After-all they did all the hard work in ensuring that Mac OS X remains invulnerable.

Thursday, March 1, 2007

Restless crows

Those darn crows down by the south paddock fence have been kicking up a racket again. The squawking is still about the bogus wi-fi hack video demo delivered by David Maynor and co. at last year's BlackHat.

News from BlackHat on the demo given yesterday say that Maynor again failed to "hi-jack" the unpatched MacBook he used, barely managing to cause a crash.

Maynor still has no proof to backup his claims that this bogus exploit will allow malicious code execution despite having a golden opportunity to show it actually being done.

He also continues to hide behind supposed restrictions on the use of email communications to prove his claims of being hard done by by that minx Lynn Fox from Apple PR.

As far I'm concerned the only thing that David Maynor has managed to prove is that even unpatched Macs are impregnable to attack, and Mac OS X remains invulnerable. There is nothing to show Maynor and Ellich were not irresponsible, frauds, and shared nothing with Apple.

Surprizingly there is one thing that I partially agree with him about. David Maynor is quoted as saying that he "screwed up a little bit". I think he screwed up a whole lot and that he continues to do so.

I suppose it would be too much to ask that Maynor join HD Moore in finding Windows vulnerabilities, since he seems to have burnt all his bridges with Apple.

I better have a second keg of cider sent across to the Reality Distortion Field because I'm going to need something to drown out the pathetic cawing sure to come from the south paddock fence.

Wet behind the ears

Loads of people believe that Google treats its employees like kids and that it is a Good Thing™. Well Macuser takes it one further, because over there the bloggers are kids.

Yesterday I ragged on Thomas double-barrel whatshisname about his pronunciation. It turns out that the poor guy is only 15 and probably hasn't got to that chapter in the school syllabus yet.

Contrary to what you may think, 'lil Tommy isn't the youngest blogger on the roll, that honour goes to old hand Aaron Freedman who is 14.

In this type of company I feel like a fossil. Like all old fossils, I've got a hankering for the good old days round about last week when you could count on your friendly neighbourhood blogger being old enough to do the basics like drink, drive and vote, maybe even in that order.

It's time to head on over to the Reality Distortion Field, because I'm going to need a whole lot of cider to get over this one.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Been round the block

Jonh Ingham tells a fascinating tale of how he bonded his house to secure bail for Sid Vicious in the 1970's. Talk about being part of the 'in' crowd.

Have a look at the Rock Shrine series of posts on the same site if you need some help remembering what the classic 60's & 70's English rock scene was like.

Router rout

Thomas Gagnon-van Leeuwen at Macuser would do well to consult a dictionary before making too much fun about the correct and apparently adorable pronunciation of "router" used by Screencast online host Don McAllister.

Even Webster's, the quintessentially American dictionary, makes the distinction between the woodworking tool (rowter) and the computer device (rooter).

At last glance, the editors and compilers of dictionaries, thesauri and encyclopedia seem to value correctness over popularity. Which brings me to the issue of whether Wikipedia is a reliable source of information or not.

The free-for-all contributor model used by Wikipedia is at the heart of a certain lack of objectivity outside of technical articles. I think that Wikipedia can serve as a useful start when doing online research, but does not yet command the reputation for scholarship enjoyed by the more established players in the field.

So it is no surprize that some colleges are banning Wikipedia as a citation source in tests and essays. However I think that this type of action goes beyond just concerns about the quality of information to be found in Wikipedia, but also towards addressing college students using Wikipedia as their only source of information.

The advent of Web 2.0-type social networking has unfortunately encouraged the triumph of a lowest common denominator approach to quality and a spectacular proliferation of group-think. As a result sites like Digg and You Tube are fast losing their appeal as there is so much chaff to thresh through before getting to the wheat.

Monday, February 26, 2007

The Maceater Display

Sung to tune of Nelly Furtado's cover of Maneater

Everybody download me, me
Enter bogus key you start screaming
Come on coders what chu here for?
Move your files around like a psycho
Everybody get your forks to point around
All you crazy devs come on jump around
I want to see you all on your knees, knees
You either pay me or you can't have me!

Maceater, make your drive blow
Make your folder go
Make you want all, of his code
He's a maceater
make you buy apps
make you kill files
make you run, far far away
Maceater, make your drive blow
Make your folder go
Make you want all, of his code
He's a maceater
make you buy apps
make you kill files
Wish you never ever met him at all!

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Down the rat-hole

Merlin Mann the productivity guru at 43Folders is offering the chance to swallow the red pill and see just how deep the rat-hole goes.

If this video podcast starting Monday is anything like his Phone Guy character its promising to be a fun ride. The good news is that The Merlin Show also has a HD version available for download via iTunes. Go get your teaser trailer today.

Who said that the TWiT army wouldn't come through with content for the tv.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

A value proposition

So Vinny over at Insignificant Thoughts thinks I'm being too PC about tennis players being paid the same at Wimbledon.

He rightly says that the men's matches involve winning more sets than the women's game. That may be the case, but I maintain that the skill, intensity, drama and entertainment delivered in both cases is similar, and has been for a while.

Value is not determined exclusively by quantity, if that was the case Vista would be considered a spectacular OS, but we all know the truth about that.

Not to labour the point, but if given the choice of seeing either Maria Sharapova or Kevin Federer in a match, I know exactly who I'd rather watch chasing a ball around the court.

P.S. Vinny, you're still welcome for a cider here anytime.

Be all you can be

The good folks over at Rogue Amoeba are moving one of their development projects into test phase. You may remember them for keeping that other mythical mac user in copious amounts of salt lick, and making some nifty audio apps.

This is a private beta, and applications for a place in the first pool of testers are open till next Wednesday.

The new software is code named AHT and there is already speculation as to what it is going to be.

If you like tinkering with new software that may just wipe out your entire machine, head on over to their site and fill out an application.

Happy Birthday Steve

Steve (pbuh) turned 52 yesterday. I'm still surprised that the day hasn't been declared a national holiday yet. I suppose he can take care of that after his inauguration next year. Namaste.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Billy Jean finally wins

Way back in 1973 Billy Jean King, one of the all time greats of women's tennis, beat former Wimbledon men's champ Bobby Riggs in the "Battle of the Sexes" match at the Houston Astrodome.

She did it in straight sets too, during a time when women's professional tennis was still coming of age and large disparities existed between the pay packets of men and women players.

So I imagine that she must have taken no small measure of personal satisfaction at the news that the All England Tennis Club has finally decided to offer equal prize money in both the men's and women's competitions at Wimbledon this year.

It's just a pity that it took them so long to get around to doing what should have been done long ago.

Women's tennis has been exiting to watch for a very long time, and has produced great rivalries and countless classic battles over the years, some more intense than in the men's game, and it's about time that they are equally rewarded for their contribution.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

What, me worry?

Moabite Kevin Finisterre has been mouthing off to the BBC about how much he loves the mac community. You remember how he and his side-kick LMH, driven by purely altruistic motives, spent the month of January publishing so-called Apple Bugs to help the interweb botmasters try and add Macintoshes to the myriad of zombie machines posting spam and stealing personal information from online users.

Thankfully Mac OS X is invulnerable, and remains so, despite the desperate squawking from those crows down by the south paddock fence.

True to form, Finisterre doesn't take long to get to the point, he is really just after money. If the Moabites have made their point, there would be no need to solicit sponsors to continue their jihad against ordinary mac users, would there?

The ungodly proliferation of click and pay ads and the pitiful begging for money to buy a mac mini as January wore on didn't go unnoticed by many people following the failed Month of Apple Bugs.

Its a good thing that the BBC correspondent was not fooled by the pathetic Moabites, as the article notes two important things. First that:

"Many of the problems highlighted by Finisterre are security holes in applications, which are not related to viruses."

And also that:

"Mac experts have pointed out that none of the exploits have ever successfully been used to hijack an Apple computer."

It really is time these Moabites got serious about working to improve security, rather than flapping around calling self-promotional attention to themselves.

via Macuser

Monday, February 19, 2007

Get Dam a green card

It seems that the hot blood of the Khans still flows strong in the young men of Central Asia. If the reports are to be believed, a prospective member of the modern Mongol Horde going by the name of Dam Enkhbayar was so frustrated with the performance of his hand-me-down Dell computer that he threw it out of the window when it froze while he was downloading video files online.

Apparently there had been some provocation because Dam had been expecting to get a Mac for Christmas, but instead had to make do with his fathers' old Dell.

His dad Tsolomon is quoted as saying that:

“I knew he was passionate about getting a Macintosh computer, but I never thought it was that passionate.”

Needless to say Dam is just the type of person that I would welcome to keep an eye on those pesky crows hanging round the south paddock fence.

via Insignificant Thoughts

The smoke rises, but nothing's burning

The Apple Blog has an interesting review of Disco which has just gone 1.0. You'll remember that Disco went on sale while still in beta-test some months ago, creating a few raised eyebrows.

I've always understood that the purpose of a beta-test was to identify and fix bugs before a major software revision was released. According to the review, there is still no shortage of problems with this disc-burning app.

I don't think that developers selling software before it is ready for release is doing themselves or their customers any favours. In fact I think it casts a bit of a pall over the work of all small independent mac developers who are putting in the hard yards to release applications that work as they are supposed to and look good too.

Clearly a lot of hard work goes into building a good piece of software, and many people seem to think that Disco falls into this category, but I'm not one of them.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

It would be cool if

I could get the playlist of tracks I wanted to buy burnt onto a CD with a professionally printed label and package insert and posted to me.

While Cover Flow gives the illusion of the physicality of flipping through a stack of CD's, there is nothing like the real thing. I remember when the most popular way to get your musical fix was on 12" black plastic discs.

With all opinions about how we should get our music, we'd do well not to forget to enjoy our music.

Rob Fleming, Nick Hornby's anti-hero in High Fidelity says:

"Is it so wrong, wanting to be at home with your record collection? It's not like collecting records is like collecting stamps, or beermats, or antique thimbles. There's a whole world in here, a nicer, dirtier, more violent, more peaceful, more colourful, sleazier, more dangerous, more loving world than the world I live in; there is history, and geography, and poetry, and countless other things I should have studied at school, including music."

I couldn't have said it better myself.

Do as we say...

That bastion of creativity and fair use, the MPAA, has been caught with its hand in the cookie jar.

It seems that the mighty anti-piracy giant is resorting to using freeware to run its blog (since removed), but didn't think it necessary to leave the authors attributions and back-links in place. How rude!

The free Forest Blog engine written by Patrick Robin looks clean and functional and he has taken quite a relaxed approach to the breach, asking only that his work be attributed as per his license.

Maybe the MPAA can take a leaf out of of his book and stop treating customers like criminals.

via Slashdot

In a follow-up Patrick posts that the MPAA now claims that they were only ever testing his software and would have paid for a license if they had decided to go into production.
Patrick notes that:

"Whilst that all sounds fair enough but I doubt I'd get away with pirating a few movies providing I didn't advertise it and only used them for testing purposes."


Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Love is in the ether

I noticed an extra bit of cheeriness and some of that particularly glazed look in the eye of quite a few couples strolling hand in hand past the Apple Orchard today. It seems that Valentine's day hasn't degenerated into a total commercial love-fest just yet in the blogosphere.

Pete Mortensen at Cult of Mac has a schmaltzy almost anti-Valentine for the love of his life, Kimra who happens to blog for Geeksugar. (Beware: *pink* alert.)

But I've gotta hand it to John Gruber for the classiest, if somewhat understated Valentine that I've seen today.

Gotta run, I've got a hot date waiting for me in the Reality Distortion Field - here's hoping that some of that ol' Apple magic will work for me tonight.

Jonh Ingham has his stuffing on the inside

This just goes to show that years of listening to loud rock music doesn't scramble all of your brain cells. Jonh Ingham sums up his thoughts on some of the responses to Steve's call for DRM-free online music by asking:

"How many young people want to be like Steve Jobs and think that Apple is cool? How many want to be like Edgar Bronfman and dig Warners?"

Pretty succinct words with an obvious answer, I'd say.

In a related post Jonh goes over some of the numbers showing how only 3% of the music on iPods is bought from the iTunes Store, and alludes to something that must be giving Bronfman and the heads of the other big music studios sleepless nights. Despite being the undeniable giant of online music sales, Apple would probably sell near as dammit the same number of iPods if they shutdown the iTunes Store, as they do now.

The fact that iPods sells strongly in countries outside of the handful of North American, European and Australasian countries with access to the iTunes Store graphically illustrate that the labels need Steve (pbuh), Apple and the iPod a whole heap more than they are willing to acknowledge.

We can only hope

Two of the 20, that's right twenty security fixes released this month by Microsoft for Windows are as a result of vulnerabilities reported by HD Moore, the Director of Security Research at Breaking Point Systems.

You may remember Moore as a peripheral player in the bogus wifi exploit saga, and for his involvement in the Month of Kernel Bugs, as well as being a contributor to those layabout Moabites.

With any luck this points to at least one esteemed security researcher tiring of never finding any problems with Tiger and moving to look at an OS with enough flaws to keep him busy for the next couple of years. We can only hope that this is really the case.

Reports are also starting to surface of a serious security flaw in Vista's much vaunted User Access Control module. So much for Gates' most secure OS ever.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

An uncomfortable truth

Music sales are declining, and growth in online music sales is not growing quickly enough to offset the contraction in sales of physical media. And predictably the heavies of the music industry still believe that beating up on the people who actually still buy music is somehow magically going to reverse this trend.

So I wasn't too surprised to read the dismissive and downright insulting responses to Steve's (pbuh) suggestion that getting rid of DRM on online music for sale would be good for business.

Making it easy for music buyers to download the songs they want, in the format they want and being able to load it onto the portable music player of their choice will lead to increased sales, not only online, but also from the local music store.
I don't think that it is a coincidence that Norah Jones and Lily Allen have had stellar performances in the online sales charts. I think that EMI releasing DRM-free singles from both artists did a lot to popularize their music. OK, maybe having catchy tunes and being drop-dead gorgeous may also have played a part, but not nearly as much as hassle free and cheap access to their music.

All those commentators ranting about how Steve (pbuh), and Apple, have some sort of ulterior motive for suggesting that DRM for online music be abandoned need only consider that a world with DRM-free online music exposes Apple to increased competition for both the iPod and the iTunes Store. Now why would Apple do that if it didn't see this as an opportunity for growth for the entire online music industry?

I think that John Gruber over at Daring Fireball sums it up nicely when he says that:

"People who are already buying from iTunes would continue to. People who refused to buy from iTunes because of DRM might start. And people who bootleg would continue to bootleg. This situation would be better for the music industry, not worse. The problem from the music industry’s perspective is their technically ludicrous pipe dream of devising a scheme that forces everyone to pay for every single song they play. They obsess over pirates while taking their honest customers for granted."

Wouldn't it be great if the music industry concentrated on delivering great content in the formats consumers want instead of dragging their customers off to court all the time?

UPDATE: Citing unnamed sources USA Today is reporting that EMI is engaged in talks with online music stores about selling its music without DRM. I hope that this is an accurate report because it could signal a new era for online music sales.
via The Apple Blog

Friday, February 9, 2007

Artie MacStrawman forgets his manners

I've just realized that I didn't explicitly acknowledge The Macalope for pointing me to that Windows Zealots' blog entry, and for giving me the biggest belly laugh I've had for a while. I nearly fell off my perch, and I still have cider coming out my nose.

I've also got a shout out for Artie the first, who didn't really have any choice in me setting up in the orchard.

There's a nod for John Moltz too. You know what they say about the sins of the children being visited on the father, or is the other way round? I dunno, anyway I'm late for a party next door in the Reality Distortion Field. You know how cranky the midgets, ponies and kittens get if I let the booze get warm on the way over.

Where is Part Two?

Seb Janacek has 10 pretty lame things to say about Apple. I mean, really! Everyone knows that the lunatic fringe is the hair that keeps falling over the Moabite pwnies eyes whenever they have to deal with Lyn Fox.

Being great at what you do means you're allowed to be a little, ok a lot, arrogant. And Seb seems to have forgotten that Apple has the iPhone trademark outside of the US.

As for the Reality Distortion Field, that's just a pretty ordinary paddock next door to Artie MacStrawman's Apple Orchard. Nothing much out of the ordinary ever happens there, unless you've had one too many warm apple ciders while basking in the reflected glow of Steve's (pbuh) personality.

There's a response to the article here, but I'm interested to see what's due to be said if the second part detailing the good things about Apple ever comes out. I'm not holding my breath.

Thursday, February 8, 2007

Playboy Playmate dies in Florida

Sadly Anna Nicole Smith has gone to that big orchard in the sky. Here's hoping she finds a shady tree to rest under.

I need my fix

It's been about six months since ResExcellence was buggered and then abandoned by Bryan Lund and Chris Fisher. Then a bunch of code warriors rode to the rescue promising to resurrect the old lady to her former glory and more. You can call it ResExcellence 2.0 if you like.

That was back in November, but there hasn't been any news on progress for about a month now. (Brian Wilson popped up in the comments yesterday it seems.) It would be a shame if the vision of perfection for the new site was never realized because it was just one of many side projects for the new editorial team.

I'm sure the members of the delicious generation in charge now have put in a lot of hard work, but there is nothing to show for it on the site. And its not like some guys (read Phil Ryu) are renowned for form over content.

There is no shortage of people offering to lend a hand, and three months down the line isn't it time these were seriously re-considered?

Russian schools ditch Windows for Linux

Digg is linking to a report saying that Russian schools have decided to switch to open source software to avoid the fate of one of their colleagues who is facing jail-time in the Siberian Gulag for apparently unwittingly pirating Windows.

Notwithstanding the merits of this particular case, it is an interesting demonstration of anti-piracy measures failing spectacularly.

At the end of the day it comes down to a simple value proposition. People are quite happy to pay a premium for stuff they perceive to be worth the money. Steve Jobs gets it, the RIAA, Microsoft and this bozo definitely don't get it. It's no wonder his rants are generally greeted with blank stares.

It seems to me that HTRegz, being a good zealous little Windows fanboy, and a security researcher to boot, is upset that computer users are pointing out that the emperor's got no clothes.

There's no two ways about it, an increasingly large number of people don't see the value in Vista. They resent being forced to eventually migrate, and they certainly resent the cost associated with the "upgrade". Mac OS X is an attractive, cost effective and viable alternative. So no, I won't be switching to Windows or Ubuntu or something anytime soon. And if Steve's got so DRM free music for me to buy, I'll be first in line.

Monday, February 5, 2007

Feel the love

Douche, Complete Moron or Hero(?) All these words have been used to describe David Maynor, security researcher extraordinaire, who seems intent on continuing his self initiated security war against average mac users, despite repeatedly claiming to be an average mac user himself.

The Macalope has got a pretty comprehensive response to Maynor and an interesting discussion in the comments, with Maynor weighing in too.

I don't get why this guy keeps lobbing grenades in all directions and then feigning surprize when they get thrown back? Someone do him a favour and send a copy of his résumé across to Apple's PR department. We all know that that is really why he is mouthing off right now.

Pwnie says Apple is leakier than a sinking ship

In a pathetic rant about how he was supposedly done in by Apple over his bogus wi-fi hack, David Maynor says that "Apple apparently has more leaks than a sinking ship".

His paranoia is certainly well advanced, because when I think of Apple and information security, I think of the iPhone. Specifically I think of how the company managed to keep wraps on one of the most hyped products in a long time for over two years without a single leak. Doesn't look to me that Apple has any problems in this area.

Does David Maynor really believe the stuff he writes?

It was a good thing that I'd had a couple of ciders during the Superbowl, because it turned out I really needed them after reading the bullcrap spouted by David Maynor about the Newsweek interview with Bill Gates.

You remember David Maynor, he's the guy that wanted to stick a lit cigarette into my eye. I'm not buying his latest story about being misquoted either. Who would ever believe that anyone can hate the hilarious John Hodgeman and the cutesy-pie Justin Long? Loser.

Right off the bat Maynor's on about how Vista is supposedly more secure than Tiger 10.4.8, and goes on to make a paper evaluation of the supposedly advanced new security features in Vista.

This may be a worthwhile exercise for a "security consultant", but it is something I don't really care about, particularly when on the same blog site Maynor discusses George Ou's Vista voice recognition hack, and jokes about using it to disrupt presentations at the upcoming RSA meeting.

So here's the rub, Maynor's supposedly more secure Vista is already compromised. In contrast, after a month of onslaught by Maynor's Moabite friends, there are no reports of a similar situation with OS X.

But wait, the best is yet to come: Maynor then goes on to make the point that he is not attacking the average Mac user, just the "zealots" creating a false sense of security. Now the last time I looked, there is only one version of Tiger used by both "zealots" and other users alike, so it seems to me that he is trying to stick a lit cigarette in every OS X users' eye.

And to top it off, he's doing it in a way that helps out the bad guys, not the software vendors or the users he claims he is looking out for.

The only people who gain when vendors are not given advance notice of security issues so they can patch them are those other "security researchers" busy building spam botnets and keyloggers and backdoors to steal credit card and other personal details. So I certainly don't buy Maynor's bogus "name and shame" argument.

But none of this changes the fact that OS X is invulnerable to attack. There is still no viruses (virii?) and other malware for OS X out in the wild, and that is what really counts.

Maybe Maynor should stop moaning like a ratbag little kid about how he got "pwned" when Lynn Fox called him on his bogus wi-fi hack and show that he can not only go about finding security problems, but can also fix them.

It is easy to cut down a bunch a trees, but it is a totally different prospect to grow an orchard. I know what side I'm on, does Maynor?

Superbowl ad shutout

I've never liked football much. Mythical mac users like me have problems playing ball games, and for me its made all the more difficult having the same broomstick in both arms. Making tackles is a real challenge. I can only imagine the difficulties that other mythical mac user must have, having antlers and all.

But the only reason for watching the Superbowl was to catch the Apple ad that was rumoured to be aired. So I was quite disappointed that there wasn't one, not even an iPod ad.

Aw well, its nothing a couple of pints of cider won't sort out.

Sunday, February 4, 2007

I'm famous I tell ya

Vincent Ferrari thinks I'm famous! I don't know why, but it might be that I get a lot of people dropping by the 'lil old orchard threatening to stick a lit cigarette into my eye. What a bunch of losers. If they would just stay on the far side of the south paddock fence playing with their copies of Vista everything would be just fine.

He sure doesn't think much of the Moabites, labeling them a bunch of stupid horsecrap filled wannabes (wannabees?). Ouch! I couldn't have said it better myself.

If Vince ever finds himself down by Artie's Apple Orchard one day, there will be a cold pint of the best MacStrawman Cider waiting for him.

Well there is only a couple of hours left to the Superbowl kick-off and I can't wait to see what the rumoured Apple ad is going to be about. I'm hoping its going to be something like the classic "1984" one.
Maybe, just maybe its going be a big new product announcement. I'd just love to go out and buy a shiny new widescreen iPod (even if it is yellow and filled with Beatles classics), or better, get a copy of Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard.
I wonder if time will pass quicker if I stare directly into the sun?

Spitting Mad

This is the kind of thing that makes me want to kill someone and their dog and pee in their empty dead skull!

Bill Gates, the geek-in-chief over at rip-off artists deluxe Microsoft was interviewed in Newsweek claiming that Apple had copied Microsoft's ideas for Vista and used them in OS X while Microsoft was still busy 'perfecting' the security features in Vista.

We all know that's just a pile of steaming brown stuff that helps to make Apple trees flower early. Gates goes so far as to challenge anyone to create an exploit to take over Vista. Yeah, like its going to take long for that to happen. Even those huge black crows who like hanging out on the south paddock fence have been loading up on anti-spyware for their Windows PC's lately.

Bill even said that security guys are breaking the Mac every single day. That nearly made me lose my stuffing. Everyone knows that the Mac is invulnerable to attack.
Anyway those Moabites proved nothing. They should know better than to mess around with the chosen users. Don't they ever learn? Don't they remember what happened the last time they tried something like this?

I'm not a douchebag

Why does everyone hate Artie? From my perch looking out over my little Apple Orchard, I get to see and say a lot of things, but I've never hurt anyone. Ok, so that one time with the crow from the south paddock fence doesn't count. He was trying to poke my eye out after all.

So maybe my face is made of burlap and my head is stuffed with straw, but I still have a heart. All I want is to be left alone among the apple trees, while I wait for the iPhone to be released. Is that too much to ask?