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Comment G should support FireGPG-like product (Score 1) 215

There's a really easy way google can mitigate a lot of these problems. They could cooperate a little bit with someone who wants to make a firefox plugin that would encrypt people's email.

I know that goes against their business model, which lets them use people's emails to tailor search results and target ads. And it would probably piss off a number of governments. But in reality, almost no one would actually take the trouble to encrypt their mail, and it would allow people who really needed the privacy to take care of themselves.

It's such an easy, simple solution. I wish they'd consider it.

Comment it's kinda like vim (Score 2, Interesting) 350

Wave was confusing, and it demanded a big shift in thinking up front -- sort of like vim. You couldn't just add little changes into your workflow incrementally. On top of that, you had to have someone else to do it with. It was hard to be a geeky guy who was interested, and willing to climb the learning curve on your own.

So imagine you use a typical gui screen editor. And you want to learn vim. And the only way you can move forward is if you find someone else who's willing to use vim with you while you learn.

Most people just aren't going to do it.

Incremental gradual change is easier for people.

Comment I see two problems (Score 1) 563

I see two problems -- I don't know that either is a deal breaker, but I figure I'll put them out there.

First, users might not enjoy certain aspects of the experience.

Usually, there are rules, they tell you the rules, and if you follow them, your password is accepted. The system seems fair -- there are rules, you can follow them, if you follow them, it works. The proposed system will feel arbitrary -- you try a password, maybe it will work, maybe not. If it doesn't, you have to try again. Maybe it won't work again.

A certain kind of user is going to get rejected over and over again, because they're going to consistently pick common passwords. And they'll really,really hate this system.

Second, I'm not sure that dictionary attacks will be impossible. Attackers are smart, and they're good at adapting. Just because current dictionary attacks would fail doesn't mean that future dictionary attacks would fail.

People like to use words and swap characters around. So someone might start out with "football". That's not good enough, so they try "footb@ll". Or "footba1l". Whatever. I believe it might be possible to model the processes that people use to generate passwords in their heads, and to create a dictionary of words using the model.

Maybe that would be a lot harder than it seems -- but as well all know, some attackers are really smart and really competent. So that would worry me.

Comment This strikes me as misleading (Score 2, Insightful) 185

It seems very clear that Google is trying to support open standards and technologies. Different people are going back and forth over licenses and procedures. Everyone seems to be acting in good faith. And there's no reason to believe that it won't all get worked out.

The language in the /. article almost makes it sound like Google is trying to do something like "Embrace and Extend". I just don't think that's what's going on.

If we can move to a place where most video is managed with open technologies, it will be very good for everyone. I'm grateful to the companies who get it, and to people who are trying to figure out the best way to do it. And I don't think the fact that there are small differences of opinion among those folks is a good reason to get upset.

Comment They should embrace Android (Score 1) 250

It seems to me that Microsoft ought to try to follow IBM's path. They should accept the world that they live in -- a world with multiple vendors, and open standards -- and be the guys who own lots of really key assets, and who are really good at making things work well together.

First, they should accept Android and build a stack on top of that OS, rather than trying to push their own system. They have to be hard nosed enough to accept reality, and the reality is that a second rate locked down proprietary phone OS ain't going to win.

They should produce a value added stack that sits on top of android and that's targeted really squarely at corporate customers -- it should include sync and access to office docs, active directory integration, an incredible exchange client, etc. Pretty much everyone with a good job would buy that, because almost everyone lives in a microsoft universe at work. There should be apps that let you control your SQL server from your phone, that let you monitor servers, etc.

All of this stuff should be extensible and scriptable by anyone who wants to write code. They should be all about open scripting and glue between components.

On the consumer side it will be harder and more competitive, but they should probably be pushing a tight desktop integration stack there as well. They need to tie the desktop and the phone together using the cloud as glue. You should get your songs, your photos, your docs, your apps. You should be able to pull up your desktop via RDP and do anything you want, and there should be separate phone friendly GUIs to do the most useful things.

Almost none of the really awesome stuff we'll be able to do with these phones has been built yet. Microsoft is in an incredibly good position to build out huge chunks of it, because they're the guys who know the most about so much of what we want to reach back and talk to. They still own the legacy world, and that's a huge, huge advantage.

But it's like they're thining in 1993 terms, and they need to control the OS, and they're going to fight that pointless battle that they can't win anyway. They have to accept the new world -- an open platform that everyone shares -- and they have to leverage all of their assets to thrive in it.

I never would have thought I'd be in this place. I love linux. I want computers to be open. And now I really want Microsoft to stand up and push back against the closed Apple iPad model. I want them to come out really hard, and push something more open, and I want them to run ads explaining why Apple's way is a bad idea. And instead they just seem to be floundering.

Comment Re:Sweet (Score 1) 268

That's really interesting. I didn't know that. I ran Debian for a long time -- what you've said really sounds like Debian. :)

Yum and ruby's gems system are integrated. I tended to credit the yum people for that, but from your comment maybe it has more to do with the gems people.

I really dig yum -- I love the plugin that just grabs the diffs. I love that they have plugins at all.

Fedora isn't as polished as Ubuntu, but it really feels like engineers are front and center, and that they're working on the infrastructure.

And it feels like geeks are the target audience, rather than the proverbial grandmother who can't do anything on a computer. I'm glad the grandma has a good distro, but I'm also glad that I have Fedora.

Comment Re:Sweet (Score 4, Insightful) 268

I really like the ruby packages -- it's easier for me to make ruby and rails work easily.

I'm sure lots of people get by just fine with Ubuntu, and I haven't tried it for awhile, but it seemed to me that the package manager and the gems system were always tripping over each other.

It's great that we have options, though. I've been running Linux for awhile, and in my experience, distros eventually melt down. They make bad decisions, try crazy schemes to monetize things, get too bogged down in ideology, chase off developers with fights, or whatever. Nothing lasts forever.

So I'm glad that Ubuntu is out there if Fedora caves in, and Ubuntu people should be glad that Fedora exists in case Ubuntu goes way off track. That's why Linux is cool -- it's distributed enough that no single pinhead can break it.

Comment Re:A big flop (Score 4, Insightful) 206

The problem is that you don't get the advantage of having an unlocked phone, which ought to be portability.

The ideal situation for me would be a world in which I buy my phone, and sign up for monthly service with my carrier. If the carrier sucks, I can cancel my service and go to another one without paying any penalties.

That doesn't work for lots of reasons. Some of those reasons seem to be policies that deliberately create lock-in (termination fees, even if you buy a phone for $579!), and other reasons seem to be reasonable technical realities (T-Mobile and Sprint use different kinds of networks).

The government has imposed number portability on the carriers, and that works well when your contract is up. But we still live in this 2 year contract/carrier subsidized phones/early termination fees universe.

I get dropped calls on my iPhone every day, too. And it would cost me a fortune to leave.

Comment Why don't telecoms pay google? (Score 4, Interesting) 449

If we're not going to buy into net neutrality, why does it follow that google should pay the telecoms? Why shouldn't they pay google for enhancing their service?

If google stopped serving pages to people connecting through specific ISPs, those ISPs would go under. Who here wouldn't change their provider if they couldn't get google? You wouldn't really be on the net without google.

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