Archive for the ‘Tech’ Category

Did you hear that the iPhone 4 was released?

It includes some breakthrough technologies such as “Video Conferencing”, so say Wired in their feature post Apple Unveils High-Resolution, Videoconferencing [sic] iPhone 4.

It again boggles the mind, how Apple takes on a well known feature of existing products, tacks a bastardized version of it on a new revision of their product, and everyone hails at how innovative they are…

Here’s the Wired quote:

iPhone 4 includes a front-facing camera and support for videoconferencing with other iPhone 4 users, via a feature called FaceTime.

Here’s what I can do today with my 3 years old Ericsson P1i, my Nokia E-whatever or my fiance’s $20 Nokia (as well as about half of Nokia phones released in the last 8 years or so), and many other phones from other manufacturers:

  • Above mentioned phones include a front-facing camera and support video conferencing with any other phone that supports standard 3G video calls, on any 3G network.

Also, apple announced their own video conferencing protocol (the so called “FaceTime”), as discussed in ReadWriteWeb:

That’s what Apple aims to do with the introduction of FaceTime. The awkwardly named protocol could be implemented by all major handset manufacturers so that consumers could perform video calls as easily as we perform voice calls today.

There is only one problem with that statement: there is already a standard protocol for video calls – as mandated by the cellular industry’s leading standard body, 3GPP: the 3G-324M protocol, was developed jointly with ITU (the telecom industry governing body for standardization) and is implemented in virtually all video call capable cellular telecom devices.

Now here’s a video:

Supports Windows Linux

Those funny Chinese are at it again: An acquaintance got a new netbook device from a brandless Chinese manufacturer (the brand label on the device is “Excel”, which is anyone’s guess what its supposed to represent) and the device comes with a bright sticker on the base, in front of the keyboard, with the list of features this devices offers: CPU, memory and support for operating systems:

Yes, this device runs better with all kinds of logo MS-Windows operating systems: you can choose either XP, 7 or Linux 😉

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Reasons I won’t buy an Android phone (yet)

I’ve just been notified that HTC has brought out an (apparently) Nexus One offshoot phone – the “Desire” (its actually not new – its like 4 days old), which is supposedly everything that is good about the Google mobile phone, HTC Sense UI (whatever that is) and a few more buttons on the bevel, flash for the camera and got a new optical based pointing device instead of the flimsy looking trackball (which I like).

So here’s why I won’t buy this (or the Nexus One, or the Motorola Milestone which I was very much interested in): No Bluetooth Dial-Up Networking.


Copyright litigation strikes one more absurdity

Its one of those things that was bound to happen eventually, we doesn’t make it any less stupid: Pub owner fined £8,000 because a guest downloaded copyrighted material on the pub’s open wireless hotspot.

From reading the article, I’m not really clear who have levied this fine – from a naive reading of the article, it sounds like the complaint was filed against the Pub’s wireless internet service provider – The Cloud (a company that provides wireless hotspot services to businesses), and its not clear whether a court was involved or if the fine was levied by some sort of arbitration process handled by the company.


My desktop in a GNOME shell

Ripping off Linux Outlaws title for episode 122, here is my review of GNOME’s upcoming desktop shell. Promised to be the pinnacle of the much talked about GNOME 3.0 release (which was happening and then not happening and then happening again) that is currently scheduled for September of 2010 (though no GTK+ 3.0, as far as I understand).

The new GNOME shell is, off the bat, pretty awesome – it is a completely new and refreshing approach to the desktop (checkout the screenshots in the link).

למה לא פשוט נקרא לזה “מערכת הפעלה”?

והנה עוד טרוניה, הפעם ב-Whatsup, על כך שאובונטו נהיה שם נרדף ללינוקס או שלינוקס נהיה שם נרדף לאובונטו (זה אף פעם לא היה ברור לי איזה מהם זה יותר “בעיה”). מעבר לעובדה שהבעיה הזאת מעידה שוב על הנטיה של אנשים לשטחיות, לסלידה מלימוד נושאים לעומק ובריחה להגדרות פשוטות ולא מדויקות – דבר שאני לא אוהב אף פעם, גם כל הדיון כנגד הוא שוב דרך להפשט את הבעיה לתוויות פשוטות.


“Sun’s JRE has a security flaw, so turn off Javascript” says the security expert

I’ve listened to “Security Now”, TWiT’s “security” oriented podcast, which is hosted by Steve Gibson who is apparently a big internet security guru – so says the website. If the title doesn’t make it very clear why I quoted “security” above, then here is the scoop from Security Now episode 222 (starting at 14:50):

The latest Java Runtime Edition, in the latest version, has multiple vulnerabilities and no updates available. It acknowledged multiple problems. There is enough disclosed for exploits to be created on the net. Unfortunately, the only workaround is the workaround we all know to well – which is to disable Javascript to prevent the Java Runtime Edition components from being exploited until Sun updates themselves.


אוגוסט פינגווין

כל שנה אני מבטיח והפעם קיימתי – הגעתי לכנס אוגוסט פינגווין לפגוש את כל המי-ומי בעולם הקוד הפתוח הישראלי. אכן חלפו על פני כל מיני אורים ותומים, אבל יותר שמחתי לפגוש חברים מחברה קודמת שעבדתי בה – אזכיר את עידו, גל ומני (לא לפי סדר מסוים) ורק היה חסר לי ניר: יכול היה להיות שהוא היה בכנס אבל היו שם קצת יותר אנשים מכמה שאני יכול לראות בבת אחת, אז יכול להיות שהחמצתי אותו.

בלי להכנס יותר מדי לתוכן, היה משעשע ואני אנסה יותר טוב להגיע גם בשנה הבאה.

בנימה אחרת – הייתי במסיבת החלפת המפתחות בסוף הכנס והיה מאוד משעשע, הבעיה היא שבשבוע שעבר סידרתי את מפתחות ה-PGP שלי לקראת המסיבה ובתהליך החלפתי את הסיסמה של המפתח הראשי שלי למשהו אחר, שבדיעבד אני לא מסוגל לזכור 🙁 . זה היה ממש ממש ממש מטופש מצידי.

לכל מי שהיה במסיבת החלפת המפתחות, אני ממש מתנצל אבל אני לא אחתום על המפתחות שלכם השנה. חמור מזה, אני אצטרך להחליף את המפתח שלי בכל המקומות שבהם הוא קיים (שאני מקווה שאזכור את כולם) וחבל – דווקא היה לי זיהוי מפתח נחמד.

How long does it take to opt-out of a mailing list?

A long time ago I subscribed to some (legitimate) web site and ever since I’ve been getting some weekly or so newsletters from them with third part offers. Recently the rate of these newsletters have increased to sometimes two a day at which point I’ve decided to take them up on the offer to opt-out of their mailings.

It was a simple thing really – click the clearly marked “opt-out link” at the top of the email, and I get directed to a web page with a clear “Confirm Opt-Out” button. It doesn’t get much better then that, until the confirmation page that made me do double take (or in my case, “K, thanks, . eh, what was that?! “):

Lengthy opt-out

Lengthy opt-out

Why, oh mighty lords of the internet, does it take 10 days to process an electronic confirmation? Reminds me of that joke about filing the form in cabinet, letting it age for a week before pulling it out for processing.