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.