Technology

The Instagram Terms of Service Debacle: My Perspective

I've always thought of Instagram as another photosharing site, but not a place where the users post pictures of cats and their credit cards. Given that I'm not a fan of posting every photo I might have taken to the 'net at large, I hadn't signed up for an account there.

Trivializing Watson: Envy, Fear, and Lack of Foresight as Anti-Intellectualism

I was waiting at the Honda dealership the other day, and reluctantly picked up the copy of the Metro News there after having read the other papers. Several pages in, there's a column by a fellow named Paul Sullivan called A massive effort to create a giant nerd.

Internet Access: Caps, Regulation, and All that Crap

A bandwidth-meter program I have installed on this PC tells me that in one hour I used 128MB of traffic having an ssh session open to do development on a web app, and load webpages relating to that app. That's an entire gigabyte of traffic within 8 hours. Face it: mere web traffic takes more transfer nowadays than it did in the days of yore. The 'main' page of facebook is half a megabyte of CSS, images, javascript and HTML. Eco-enthusiasts talk of power vampires.

LinkedIn Arbitrary Password Lengths and Secure Hashing

One of 2010's tech flops was the Gawker breakin. While their first mistake was actively taunting the 4chan-ers, the breakin has had many repercussions. Most of the database is available as a torrent. A great majority of the weak passwords are compromised.

LinkedIn took it upon itself to have everyone change their passwords. Whether or not this is limited to users who have email addresses in the published torrent I'm not sure.

What does this mean?

Absurd Argument: "Net Neutrality Laws are Unnecessary"

This decade has seen a lot of absurd arguments: obvious problems that bigcorps try to spin out of the way.

I'm confident that the most absurd one of all is that "Net Neutrality Laws are Unnecessary".

The notion that companies who sell internet connections to the public will all 'do the right thing' and not selectively censor and/or slow internet traffic that they: a) Disagree With, b) competes with their other business unit is utterly ridiculous nonsense. Of course they will. It's more profitable for them to do so.

Building the Modern Website: Part 1 -- Fundamentals

This is part one of a series in Creating the Modern Website: You can find part zero here, which outlines the goals of the series and materials that I'll cover. This part covers the fundamental elements of modern websites and how they differ from websites designed in the past.

Combine and Perish: Satellite Radio

How do you eliminate almost an entire market segment? Pretty simple, as it appears.

All you need to do is merge together the two largest competitors in the field and then have the combined company go bankrupt. Easy!

The bigger they are, the harder they fall I guess.

The Copyright bill that Won't Die

I'm not normally one to talk politics, and I regard it as distasteful (and annoying!) to deal with, but I do pay attention. Harper might have solace in his minority-majority, but eventually he's going to annoy enough people as to discredit the Conservatives -- much like the Liberal party has now -- for many years to come.

Calling toll-free numbers with Skype

It's interesting to note that you can apparently make free toll-free calls with skype, even if you don't have an active subscription to their service, or even any credit.

Might be useful if you're stuck without a phone and need to call one. Or for using those long-distance calling cards.

Cameras on Metro Transit Buses

HRM wants to get more people to ride the bus: this is not the way to do it. They're already bad, and commuting to work in a car means you have air conditioning and your choice of music, and you aren't cramped in with strangers and people that haven't washed in days or weeks. There's also no need to put up with rude, arrogant idiots who think their bags are entitled to a separate seat.

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