May 25, 2009
Even though I search from Opera’s search toolbar, the suggestions JS still comes back to bite me, because I can’t actually get to the page linked from the results. Not unless I use the mouse anyway. What happens to blind people who are totally reliant on the keyboard?
I can’t stand this new seach suggestion thingy. Please get rid of it.
Filed in Outraged, Opinion, Web Design.
May 5, 2009
Rob Weir did some tests of the new Microsoft Office 2007 SP2, which is supposed to provide support for the Open Document Format, ODF, out of the box. From his tests of an ODF spreadsheet, ODF files created by Office 2007 SP2 can be interpreted only by Office 2007 SP2 and no other application that supports ODF. And Office 2007 SP2 cannot read/interpret ODF files created by any other application. And we’re talking about a large number of applications here: OpenOffice, Google Docs, KSpread, IBM Symphony, Sun’s ODF Plugin, and the CleverAge ODF plugin.
Interestingly, all the other applications are able to create ODF spreadsheets that are readable by each other, except in the case of the old version of KSpread, which the reviewer used for reasons given in the article. So it’s not the case that the ODF format does not give enough details for spreadsheet formulas to be properly interpreted. Everybody else managed to implement it correctly.
Is this a case of Microsoft paying lip service to standards, so that they can gain inroads into governments’ procurement systems that demand open standard document support? If so, it means that they think all government officials are suckers and idiots.
If that’s not the case, then you’ll have to blame the Microsoft developers: are they so imcompetent that they cannot implement an open standard when everyone else and their grandmother has implemented it correctly? And it’s not as though they cannot see how the others have implemented it: OpenOffice is open source after all. Perhaps they will say ODF is not clear where spreadsheet formulas are concerned. Then how is it every other application is able to implement it correctly?
Filed in Outraged, Opinon, News, Software, Windows.
November 20, 2008
Google’s archilles’ heel is its dependence on links to indicate authority of a website. Which is why it makes so much noise about paid links, whereas the other search engines don’t really care.
The newest fracas came about as a result of the formation of a new company that promises to connect link buyers with link sellers. Predictably, this brought out Matt Cutts, Google’s part time mouthpiece and full time web spam engineer, who denounced the practice as illegal or some such thing. In response, others like Jeremy Schoemaker, of Shoemoney fame, called out Google’s hypocrisy in the whole thing. It’s illegal when others do it, but when Google does it, and it still does it till this day, it’s not illegal.
I think everyone knows that Google is no longer the company it set out to be a few years ago. There is widespread sentiment that it’s now a monopoly abusing its power and engaging in the same bullying tactics we saw from Microsoft in its heyday.
Filed in Outraged, Opinion, Web Design, Advertising.
October 22, 2008
Blogoscoped is on the rampage to expose a couple of what they regard as Google’s unfair practices as a monopoly:
- Google Uses Public Service Ads to Link to Own Election Page – where Google uses other websites’ advertising space to advertise its election biases without paying them. They abuse a feature designed for other purposes to this end.
- Another one where Google gets webmasters to treat Google specially while hypocritically saying that webmasters are to treat all visitors and bots the same.
They are not the first to try to expose Google’s hypocrisies. There are other examples having to do with how Google favors big companies by allowing them to spam the search engine index but penalizes small websites.
Filed in Outraged, Opinion, Advertising, Web Design.
September 23, 2008
There’s a report that Blu-Ray is in decline, and the Blu-Ray backers are trying to boost its market share by giving away free Blu-Ray discs.
I have my personal computer-centric theory about why Blu-Ray can’t take off the way DVDs do. The software for Blu-Ray drives only work on Vista and not on XP. Look at the web statistics from all the sites. 2 or more years after Vista’s release, XP is still going strong and Vista is still bumping along the bottom of the barrel. This is in spite of the fact that Vista is installed on all new machines.
I’m personally not going to buy a Blu-Ray disc because I can only play it in a special Blu-Ray player attached to my TV. I can’t play it on my computer where I’m logged in most of the time. I don’t use Vista. Maybe there’re a lot of people out there like me.
Maybe they should take away the DRM from Blu-Ray so that the drives can work on XP and Linux. Then all the geeks and new computer owners will start buying Blu-Ray. And when the geeks start using something, you know they’ll influence the people around them.
Look what happened to Vista. Do you think it’s the computer n00bs that pan Vista? They don’t know any better. It’s the geeks that pan Vista. And that has a tremendous effect. Vista now has a horrendously bad reputation that Microsoft is struggling to undo. The geeks are the information guardians and movers in the modern Internet world.
You need the geeks.
And geeks don’t like DRM. And if they can’t run their free software to play Blu-Ray discs on their free OS like Linux or favorite OS like XP, they aren’t going to be buying Blu-Ray discs. And neither are those whom they influence.
Filed in News, Opinion, Entertainment.
September 19, 2008
Most people following the questionable RIAA tactics will have heard of Ray Beckerman’s blog Recording Industry vs The People where he exposes the RIAA for what they really are. Ars Technica tells of a recent filing by RIAA accusing Ray of “vexatious litigation” saying that this is like the pot calling the kettle black. They quote EFF attorney Fred von Lohmann as saying “I find it a little perplexing that the recording industry would be complaining about Ray giving the other side of the story.”
But doesn’t that just show the flaws in RIAA’s case? If they were wholly operating aboveboard, they will have nothing to fear from other people given their side of the story. But when someone’s modus operandi is questionable, exposure is something they are afraid of. Their actions speak louder than words.
Other Posts on RIAA:
Filed in Outraged, Opinion, News, Entertainment.
September 6, 2008
My Review of Google Chrome
As implied in my previous post, I was going to try Chrome when it was released. Well I just did.
There’s nothing ground-breaking about Chrome. Its features have been in Opera for a long time, so I guess I don’t have much to say about it. It doesn’t seem as configurable as Opera. Its options dialog box are sort of limited. And some options are scattered all over the place. For example, the only way you can configure the search engine list is to right click the address bar. You can’t find it in the Options dialog. Not very organized.
I couldn’t test out the search box addition thing, mentioned in the Chrome tips for webmasters, on my blog, because (*sob*) I don’t have a search box on my blog. Now that I know about that, I’ll add the search widget to my blog when I have more time although I don’t even know if Chrome is going to be popular enough to warrant the effort.
What I find interesting is that Gmail installs into “c:\Documents and Settings\YOUR-USERNAME\Local Settings\Application Data”. Yeah. The program, data, and everything. Look into “Program Files” and you’ll see nothing. Weirdest place for the installation of a program I ever saw. I’m sure Windows administrators will have something to grumble about. Imagine a shared office machine with 100 users. You’ll have to install 100 copies of Chrome just for each of them to use. Not to mention that installing in that directory circumvents the “Deny write” policies that administrators have for the “Program Files” directory, to protect the machine and users from themselves.
Others have been saying that Chrome lends itself to the same carpet bombing security hole that plagues Safari. I’ve not tested it myself, but the basic idea is that websites can code their websites so as to make Chrome download any executable they want onto your system. Since the default download directory is the desktop, if they name an executable “My Computer” with the explorer icon, unsuspecting users may double-click it and install the virus on their system.
Do you know that the installer sets up a Windows schedule so that Google Updater runs every 10 minutes? It runs whether or not Chrome is running. Every 10 minutes! Don’t believe me? Check your Windows scheduler.
When I got tired of playing, I tried uninstalling it. Well, guess what. The Google Updater cannot be uninstalled. Or maybe it just got overlooked by the uninstaller. So even when Chrome is gone, the Updater still runs every 10 minutes.
Chrome is good if all you’ve ever experienced is Internet Explorer and the default Firefox install. It probably won’t convert anyone using a Firefox with lots of extensions installed, or anyone using Opera. Those people are probably hard-core browser users with lots of customizations and depend heavily on the features of those browsers.
Chrome also has its flaws, but I guess Google is still new to the desktop application business, so I suppose the kinks will be worked out eventually.
Filed in Browsers, Software, Opinion.
August 28, 2008
Microsoft has apparently released a new version of their “Windows Genuine Advantage Notification Tool”, a tool that runs continuously in the background to check that your Windows is genuine. It’s interesting that it has to run all the time, and not just once, to check that your windows is a legit copy.
By releasing such a tool, Microsoft implies a few things:
Microsoft believes you are an idiot. After forking out hundreds of dollars for Windows, you somehow still don’t know if your Windows copy is genuine. Not only that, their belief in your stupidity is such that they actually think you’ll believe their spin about the usefulness of having the notification tool installed.
A genuine copy of Windows that you paid for, can unexpectedly revert to being a pirated copy behind your back. There would be no need for repeated checks otherwise. Neither would there be a need for people who have paid for a genuine copy to install it.
One can also infer from the fact that they placed the notification tool in the Critical Updates that the moment you buy Windows, it is in imminent danger of reverting to a pirated copy. It can happen any time, that’s why you need to monitor it all the time. When it happens, the hundreds of dollars you paid will go down the drain, and you’ll have to pay again.
It’s times like these that make one think that the gradual move of PCs, starting with the ultra portables like Eee PC, to Linux is a good thing.
Filed in Outraged, Opinion, Software, Windows.
August 25, 2008
Google’s drivers, gathering photos for Street View, have again ignored someone’s “No Trespassing” sign, gone onto yet another private property to take photos. This is not the first time they have done this. Remember the lawsuit a few months back when Google’s van drove up a private road, taking pictures? What was their defense? Some spin-doctoring and smoke-screen.
I suppose we’re going to get another round of spin-doctoring. Maybe they should employ literate drivers, who can read signs. And brief them thoroughly about respecting laws. Otherwise the drivers may feel that Google is the Law, and can do anything with impunity.
Filed in Outraged, News, Opinion.
August 24, 2008
In the last 5 minutes, Opera has crashed 4 times. And this was just normal surfing. It’s really very irritating. It often occurs while I’m either typing, or Alt+Tabbing to/away from the browser, Ctrl+Tabbing within the browser or otherwise using the keyboard. I notice that this was the case in the previous x.0 and x.01 releases of Opera as well. Are they doing something weird with their keyboard handler?
And now the Opera team are working on a 9.60 development version instead of fixing the unstable 9.52.
I have blogged about Opera 9.52′s crashes before, as well as its other shortcomings.
If not for the fact that Firefox is slow and lacks the many useful features of Opera, I would have migrated to it long ago, after facing 9.50 and 9.51′s bugs for so long. As it stands, I still need to find a lot of plugins for Firefox before it is even remotely comparable to Opera. And some of the things I need just don’t exist. But quite frankly, the temptation to switch is very strong, and I’ve been playing around with Firefox a lot more.
Filed in Opinion, Software, Browsers.
August 21, 2008
As mentioned before, Opera is my primary browser. However, since 9.50 and 9.51 had been so buggy, I used Firefox for a lot of my surfing. As a result, I had to get a number of extensions or plugins to give it some of the functionality that Opera has. One of these plugins was FlashBlock. And now I’m spoilt.
FlashBlock on the other hand blocks all Flash from playing. If you click a button, the flash will run. It’s also possible to add a site like YouTube to the whitelist. If a site is not in the whitelist, you can still play a flash object by clicking the button.
I miss this facility of being able to click a button to play a specific flash object in sites that are not whitelisted. I wish Opera will add this to their feature list. The third party FlashBlock for Opera just doesn’t cut it. It works for some sites, but for others, clicking the button doesn’t work. Very irritating.
Filed in Software, Opinion, Browsers.
June 2, 2008
Since RIAA/MPAA and their lap dogs feel they are above the law, they have no compunction about perpetrating illegal attacks against others. Wired’s interview of Randy Saaf, CEO of MediaDefender about their recent attack against the perfectly legit Revision 3 has the MediaDefenders’ CEO admitting that they deliberately attacked Revision3.
I think Randy Saaf and his staff should be brought to court on criminal charges, don’t you? After all, their act is far worse than the petty copyright offenders that they are targeting. If we don’t target such people, who feel that their cause justifies any means, then we’re opening the door to all manner of crimes that can be justified by whatever hocus pocus the hoodlums want to conjure up.
Filed in Outraged, Opinion, Entertainment.
May 31, 2008
The recent Comcast’s domain name theft, where two kids took over the domain name and redirected it to another site, may reveal problems in Network Solutions that are just the tip of the iceberg.
The kids said that their technique “relied on a flaw at the Virginia-based domain registrar”. A poster on Slashdot, in a post called “Everything old is new again” said that Network Solutions has had this flaw for a long time. His site tells how his own domains were stolen while on Network Solutions too, and how “Network Solutions were of no help” in helping him regain his domains back, so he had to “steal” them back again.
So here’s the tally sheet of Network Solutions’ problems:
- They hijack subdomains hosted with them.
- They steal domains from people who search for one at their site, thus getting sued for it.
- And now, if these people are right, they allow domains bought from them to be stolen by others.
Filed in Outraged, News, Web design, Opinion.
May 30, 2008
Looks like MediaDefender, lapdog for RIAA and MPAA, has shown itself to be the criminal that everyone suspected they were. They have just launched a DDOS attack against Revision3. Someone should bring the criminals in Media Defender to court and jail them.
They should also track who ordered the hit, and get those people too. (MPAA?) Just like what the justice system does when someone perpetrates a crime indirectly by hiring another person.
Unlike some people, I’m all for protection of intellectual property. But when they resort to illegal criminal activities to do this, they need to be punished like any other hoodlum or criminal. In fact, they are behaving worse than any music or movie pirate they’re targeting.
Filed in Outraged, Opinion, News.
May 16, 2008
A court has ruled that RIAA owes $107,834 in court and attorney costs to Tanya Anderson. RIAA sued Anderson some time ago and lost. RIAA deserves its come-uppance for its disregard for the law. Let’s hope Anderson wins her malicious prosecution lawsuit against RIAA too.
Filed in Entertainment, Opinion.