On Taste


The only problem with Microsoft is that they just have no taste. They have absolutely no taste, and I don’t mean that in a small way, I mean that in a big way. They don’t think of original ideas, and they don’t bring much culture into their product. You say, why is that important? Proportionally spaced fonts come from type-setting and beautiful books, that’s where one gets the idea. If it weren’t for the Mac, they would never have that in their products. So I’m saddened—not by Microsoft’s success, I have no problem with their success. They’ve earned their success, for the most part. I have a problem with the fact that they just make really third-rate products. Their products have no spirit to them. They have no spirit of enlightenment about them. They are very pedestrian. And the sad part is that a lot of customers don’t have a lot of that spirit either.

—Steve Jobs

Team Kimberlin Post of the Day

Tuesday, the next set of hearings in the Kimberlin v. Walker, et al. nuisance lawsuit will be held to deal with motions to compel discovery from The Dread Pro-Se Kimberlin and motions for summary judgment. Writing about TDPK’s present situation might provide him with insight into how to better argue his case, so for the next few days, I’ll be recycling some oldies from the TKPOD Greatest Hits section.

Team Kimberlin Post of the Day

It seems that a domain called pbrstreetgang dot org has been used by Team Kimberlin as a name server for some of their other sites and also as an email server for internal communications. Over the past couple of weeks, that domain suffered a severe security breach.

For the past few days, access to the Kimberlin-related websites has been flaky, especially the US-hosted sites. Access has been possible for brief periods using anonymized browsers. Each time the sites pop up, the source code for at least some of the pages has been modified. It looks as if their US-hosted sites have blocked the IP I use for most of my browsing. I have service via four different ISPs, and two provide a different IP each time I connect.

Several interesting incidents have occurred. In one case, connections to the globalpharma dot biz site hosted in Holland were being forwarded to the Breitbart Unmasked website. Also, the Breitbart Unmasked site goes up and down with tandem with jtmp dot org and velvetrevolution dot us. I wonder if Brett Kimberlin will still claim that he doesn’t know who runs the Breitbart Unmasked site?

It’s taken some time to construct those additional pylons, but the sites seem stable for now.

Mozilla’s Brutta Figura

Mozilla is all for freedom and equality, except, it seems, when it’s employees, even it’s CEO, engage in their First Amendment right to support a cause deemed to be politically incorrect.

Mozilla is within its rights to let Brendan Eich go because he contributed to a pro-traditional marriage organization during the Prop 8 campaign, but its behavior is unwise and shameful.

It is unwise because it will alienate a significant chunk of Internet users at a time when the Firefox browser is struggling for market share.

It is shameful because of its intolerance of Mr. Eich’s beliefs.


A Chrome-Plated Experiment

ChromebookPeople keep asking me for advice about what kind of device the should be using. Mac? Window? Linux? Android? Tablet? iPad? iPhone? Recently, I’ve been getting questions about Chromebooks, so I’ve got my hands on one to evaluate, a Samsung 303C12-A01. It cost less than $250 at Amazon. I’m going to try using it for several tasks, including posts to Hogewash!, over the next week or so.

My initial impression is that it’s a much less substantial piece of hardware than Mrs. Hoge’s MacBook Air. That’s not surprising given that it cost less than a fourth what her MacBook cost. It’s even less expensive than a iPad. That said, its seems easy to use for now. We’ll see how I feel in a few days.

A Useful Mac Utility

Here’s a useful utility that Mac users can download from the App Store.SiteSuckerAll you have to do to document a website is type in the URL (for example, hogewash.com), and SiteSucker will go the website, download all the files, and store them locally. This allows sites that may have been taken down to be viewed again.FTRRbackupI use the program quite often.P-Obackup

Migrating to a New Laptop

I’ve been using the same 15-in MacBook Pro since October, 2009. It’s still a fine machine, but the longer battery life and some other nifty features in the new model finally got me to order one. I’m typing this post on the new machine.

It was delivered 36 hours and 59 minutes after it was shipped from the factory in China.

The retina display is marvelous!

Obamacare Website Security NOT

Reuters is reporting that the government has failed to implement critical security fixes on the healthcare dot gov website.

David Kennedy, head of computer security consulting firm TrustedSec LLC, told Reuters that the government has yet to plug more than 20 vulnerabilities that he and other security experts reported to the government shortly after HealthCare.gov went live on October 1.

Hackers could steal personal information, modify data or attack the personal computers of the website’s users, he said. They could also damage the infrastructure of the site, according to Kennedy, who is scheduled to describe his security concerns in testimony on Thursday before the House Science, Space and Technology Committee.

Read the whole thing, and let it burn.

Potemkin Healthcare

Potemkin Websites All The Way Down is the headline on Ed Driscoll’s post at PJ Media about the Obamacare IT disaster.

I’m not sure that’s accurate. If enough layers are shoveled away, we may find something more like the Battleship Potemkin with a crew that refuses to eat the rotten meat.

Let it burn.

About That Deadline …

Healthcare_gov_MacOSXAs of 9 pm ET on 30 November, the day that the Obamacare website was supposed to be “fixed,” the healthcare dot gov site says that it does not support the current version of Mac OSX.

Of course, OS 10.9 has only been in public release for five weeks, but incremental developer releases have been available for testing since June.

It’s interesting that the site claims to support Windows XP which was withdrawn from sale in 2009 and for which Microsoft will end support early next year, but says nothing about support for iOS (iPhone/Pad) or Android systems. I wonder what percentage of users under 30 years old will try to access the site with a mobile device?

Let it burn.

What’s Past is Prolog

Mark Steyn has a piece about Obamacare and the Canadian firm that was given the no-bid contract to develop the healthcare dot gov website. It turns out that it’s the same company that was responsible for the Canadian gun registry debacle.

The registry was estimated to cost in total $119 million, which would be offset by $117 million in fees. That’s a net cost of $2 million. Instead, by 2004 the CBC (Canada’s PBS) was reporting costs of some $2 billion — or a thousand times more expensive.

Yeah, yeah, I know, we’ve all had bathroom remodelers like that. But in this case the database had to register some 7 million long guns belonging to some two-and-a-half to three million Canadians. That works out to almost $300 per gun — or somewhat higher than the original estimate for processing a firearm registration of $4.60. Of those $300 gun registrations, Canada’s auditor general reported to parliament that much of the information was either duplicated or wrong in respect to basic information such as names and addresses.

Sound familiar?

Read the whole thing.

Microsoft Understands Windows 8

While working on a project for a client, I needed to confirm that various computers were writing certain kinds of metadata to files. One thing I needed was an example of the metadata written during a screen capture by Windows 8. Since I have upgraded my recently purchased Windows 8 machine to Windows 7, I needed another source. Aha! Why not see what I can find at microsoft.com? I found the following image at windows.microsoft.com:Start_RTM_3ROW2

Windoze8_exifHere is what I found in its metadata:

Adobe Photoshop CS5.1



Thank you, Mr. Green, and welcome VodkaPunidt readers.


A PRISMer of His Own Device

The PRISM surveillance program appears to gibe the NSA access to email, video chat, VoIP conversations, photos, and stored data from the participating companies. Unlike the call metadata collection program (l’affaire Verizon), this program deals with mining the content of online communication.

The European Union has very strict data privacy laws.

U. S. companies doing business with Europeans are required to abide by those laws.

Europe is not amused by PRISM.

We have seen the media reports and we are of course concerned for possible consequences on EU citizens’ privacy. For the moment it is too early to draw any conclusion or to comment further. We will get in contact with our U.S. counterparts to seek more details on these issues.

—Cecilia Malmström, Home Affairs Commissioner,  European Commission

There are real issues about the extent to which U.S. law enforcement agencies can access personal data of UK and other European citizens. Aspects of U.S. law under which companies can be compelled to provide information to U.S. agencies potentially conflict with European data protection law, including the UK’s own Data Protection Act. The ICO has raised this with its European counterparts, and the issue is being considered by the European Commission, who are in discussions with the U.S. Government.

—UK Information Commissioner’s Office

If you lived overseas and you used Gmail or communicated by Skype or synched your files via iCloud, how would you feel about PRISM? Suppose you were a foreign businessman who relied upon information services from a U.S. company; doesn’t PRISM make using such a service a business liability? Why should we expect foreigners to put their data on such a compromised system?

What we should expect is that some countries, as a matter of national security, will begin requiring that data not bound for the U. S. cannot be routed through the U. S. and that data cannot be stored on U. S. servers. That could be the end of American leadership of the Internet.

One of the reasons why our Internet facilities have been used by some many foreigners is the idea that the United States, among all the nations of the world, should be the place where one is protected by the rule of law—and that law includes the Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable searches. Folks understand that governments conduct searches, but there’s an expectation that in America searches should require a warrant for the particular things sought.

PRISM is more that a black eye. It has the potential to do lasting damage to the country’s standing as a place ruled by laws rather than a nomenklatura.

Team Kimberlin Post of the Day

Those of you who have been following the Saga of The Dread Pirate Kimberlin and his crew for a while know that Team Kimberlin has a fanboy that I call Mr. Down Twinkles. Actually, I believe that he’s member of the crew engaging at a lame attempt at sock puppetry.

Of late, Mr. Down Twinkles has been hitting the thumbs down button four times over a short time period for each entry. Visitors get one vote per entry. The vote can be changed from up to down or down to up, but there’s only one vote per customer.BoobyTrap

Of course, logging in with multiple identities from multiple IPs is one way to trick the system into allowing multiple votes. or Comcast Kryptotel WestHost FortaTrust USA


UPDATE—This comment was submitted on 11 May at 4:42 pm ET.


This comment was submitted on 20 May at 8:32 am.comcast

This comment was submitted on 24 May at 7:17 am. WestHost runs westdc.net.WestHost

These two attempts were trapped in the spam filter. They were submitted later in the day on the 25th. The IP address is assigned to FortaTrust USA Corporation.FortaTrustI’m posting these attempted comments because I’ve received yet another from Bill Schmalfeldt claiming that my banning of his comments is unfair and that he only uses one IP address.

Uh, huh.

Here’s the log information for today’s attempted comment.comcast2

elderwilliamHere’s the log information from an attempt caught in the spam filter on 26 May. See if you notice any similarities. Yep, the email address on both is elderwilliam@comcast.net, and the website URL is the same on both as well.

However, the originating IPs are different. Today’s missive originated via a Comcast server. The comment caught by the spam filter originated from the same FortaTrust IP as comments caught on the 25th.

Although he has used the elderwilliam identity several times since the comments caught as spam, those were the first use of that ID in anything I received. Thus, I conclude that it is likely that Schmalfeldt sent those comments via the FortaTrust server.

UPDATE 2—BTW, the original post does not mention Bill Schmalfeldt. So why did he feel the need to respond to it?