It Done Broke.

Steve Jobs: “Change your apps name. Not that big of a deal.”

It’s been reported that Steve Jobs responded to an iPhone app developer who was told by Apple legal to change his app’s name. Apparently, he suggested that changing the name of the app as demanded wasn’t that big of a deal.

In the same spirit, I’m going to start a company called Apple. I think they’ll understand when my legal team demands they change their name. Not that big of a deal.

The Web And Your Morning Routine

I’m fascinated by people’s relationship with technology and this recent posting on Lifehacker is a prime example of the wrong questions being asked.  We’ve heard about Internet addiction – there was a story last week out of China with a death related to an Internet addiction rehabilitation program.

What’s most interesting to me about the Lifehacker article is that there should even be an article at all.  Its subject “Is The Web Crucial To Your Morning Routine?” is about as germane as “is the telephone crucial to your morning routine?” or “do you turn on the TV for the morning weather or open a newspaper?”

My routine involves roughly, turning on the computer and leaving it to boot, make a pit stop in the washroom, to the kitchen and make some tea, pour some cereal and then sit down to check out what news or weather updates have come up – on the net.  It’s my main (and preferred) source of information that informs my day and it seems that it should figure into the start of it (I don’t have kids yet, will change, I’m sure).  However, is it really that much different from looking to the sky to see if it’s going to rain today or running around the corner to grab the paper to see if the economy has tanked and I should buy extra tins of food for the bomb shelter?

BT Home Hub 2 Router Security “Feature”

I was wondering why my BT Home Hub 2.0 router would keep resetting/rebooting after about 3 minutes of a outbound activity.  Benign things like uploading FTP files to my webserver.  Infuriating, since my client was waiting for these files and it was looking like I’d have to courier DVDs across the ocean.

This had been happening for months and I started to get suspicious that it might be BT doing something sneaky like sending a reboot command to the router.  After all, they update the firmware remotely and silently with out telling you.  Who knows what else they can do?

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Sat-Nav Use Ushers In Endtimes

This “article” on the BBC Magazine site wrings its hands and cries:

Sat-nav clearly suits an era which has given up on understanding the roads as a coherent, logical system – an era in which map-reading may be going the way of obsolete skills like calligraphy and roof-thatching.

I honestly wish I knew more about how the editorial process in the mainstream media works.  I can’t fathom the genesis of this story and I can’t understand the fear-mongering behind it or why its acceptable to crank out a fluff-piece that does nothing but weep about the loss of our humanity (which isn’t happening, in case you were wondering).  And yes, I am aware that this is quite a common pattern, particularly on slow news days.

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Password Masking

Password masking is the HTML thingy that replaces your password characters with bullet-points as you type.  It may not be the perfect or most effective way to stop snoopers, but it’s not meant to be.  It’s only meant to be good enough to stop most snoopers – at the very least make it somewhat inconvenient.  And it covers casual as well as determined distance creepers with binoculars.  He says:

More importantly, there’s usually nobody looking over your shoulder when you log in to a website. It’s just you, sitting all alone in your office, suffering reduced usability to protect against a non-issue.

While I agree with Jakob’s general observations about usability and the apparent cost of failed password attempts, I think the alternative isn’t quite acceptable.  Because frankly, we’re not all sitting alone in our office.  Many of us, are in fact, in the real world…like airports and coffee shops.

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