Laser Blog

Articles tagged "opinion"

117 "Apple has declared war on the tinkerers of the world"

Monday 1st February, 2010

The first link below has sadly disappeared. Here is a related commentary.
Rob. April 2015.

When DVD Jon was arrested after breaking the CSS encryption algorithm, he was charged with “unauthorized computer trespassing.” That led his lawyers to ask the obvious question, “On whose computer did he trespass?” The prosecutor’s answer: “his own.”

If that doesn’t make your heart skip a beat, you can stop reading now.

Or you can read the whole article.


98 Windows is free

Sunday 11th November, 2007

This article, Windows Is Free, is a discussion about the impact of pirated software on free software, and is an interesting analysis of people's attitudes to using pirated software. Interesting and thought-provoking stuff.


88 Microsoft Fracturing the Open-Source Community?

Tuesday 7th August, 2007

Mark Shuttleworth, the CEO of Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu Linux, thinks Microsoft has managed to fracture the Open-Source Community. He also suggests that what Microsoft is doing amounts to extortion:

"To say, as [Microsoft CEO Steve] Ballmer did, that there is undisclosed balance sheet liability, that's just extortion and we should refuse to get drawn into that game. On the other side, if Microsoft is concerned about its intellectual property, there is no one in the free software community that wants to violate anyone's IP. Disclose the patents and we'll fix the code. Alternatively, move on."

He's also noted that those companies which did make deals with Microsoft have made short-term gains, but will lose out in the long run.

"I don't think this will end well for the companies that slipped up and went down that road," Shuttleworth said. "Ultimately, it is the spirit of open source that really motivates your best developers. Developers have been abandoning Novell ever since they did the deal with Microsoft, and they have gone to Oracle and Google among others. That's unfortunate for Novell, but was a fairly predictable consequence of their decision and it ultimately portrays a lack of understanding about what it is that really empowers free software."


76 Arch Linux review

Tuesday 8th May, 2007

There's an interesting review of Arch Linux (my distro of choice :) ) on the website.

I wouldn't call Arch "smooth and cuddly", but it is a good distro for those wishing to learn about Linux. It has a philosophy of trying to keep things simple, which suits my mentality! Minimal configuration is performed, it's up to you to set up the system the way you want it to be; it doesn't come with all the bells and whistles thrown in automatically. This does tend to make a secure system.

Arch is not for beginners, but if you're feeling jaded by your existing distro and want a bit more control from the start, give Arch a try on a spare machine. Have an internet connection available so you can refer to the forums and Wiki if it's your first time using Arch. The community is helpful.


72 MS Word 2007 crash "is a feature"

Saturday 14th April, 2007

This is amazing. When warned of three new flaws in Word 2007, Microsoft were unimpressed.

a company spokeswoman ... "found that none of these claims demonstrate a vulnerability in Microsoft's Word 2007 or any part of the Microsoft Office System."

Nope, no vulnerability at all. In fact, how Word reacts to these previously unknown problems is part of a cunning plan ...

"In fact, the behavior observed in Microsoft Word 2007 in this instance is a by-design behavior that improves security and stability by exiting Microsoft Word when it has run out of options to try and reliably display a malformed Word document," the spokeswoman said.

So, how does Word 2007 improve "security and stability"? It crashes of course! How much more stable can you get? Well, how about just displaying a message which says: "I can't open this document." But let's put that aside for a moment and discuss what the customer is supposed to do next ... simple, just restart Word!

She went on to suggest that it is no big deal if Word 2007 did crash under those circumstances, a scenario that could lead to the loss of any unsaved data. "The sample code in [Aharoni's] postings cause Microsoft Word to crash, and users can restart the application to resume normal operations."

(Emphasis added.)

But what about that unsaved data? Well, you just typed it. Type it again!

Use You won't have to pay for the privilege.