ModernityBlog

“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” Abraham Lincoln

Posts Tagged ‘Google

Google, Spies, Governments And Passwords.

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Google is in the news in more than one way.

Firstly, for releasing information on the type of requests that it receives from governments around the world on Google’s users.

There is a Google page which breaks it down to country by country requests.

Here’s the FAQ.

Next, more details behind the hacking attack on Google have been released:

“It was previously believed that the hackers took individual log-in details but, if the report is true, the breach was considerably more severe.

Google is notoriously secretive about Gaia and rarely discusses it in public, which may provide a clue as to why the company has been so tight-lipped about the incident.

The insider also told The New York Times about the methods used to gain access to Google’s systems.

“The theft began with an instant message sent to a Google employee in China who was using Microsoft’s Messenger program,” he is quoted as saying.

“By clicking on a link and connecting to a ‘poisoned’ web site, the employee inadvertently permitted the intruders to gain access to his (or her) personal computer, and then to the computers of a critical group of software developers at Google’s headquarters.

“Ultimately, the intruders were able to gain control of a software repository used by the development team.”

The hackers then transferred the stolen code to computers operated by web hosting firm Rackspace, from where they were sent to an unknown destination.”

Finally, fake Google extensions are doing the rounds, bringing in Trojans and other Malware, be careful.

Written by modernityblog

21/04/2010 at 02:11

Bits and Failures.

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10 failures in computing.

Intel’s strangle-hold on the chip business.

49 goodies.

Tighten up your Java, not the coffee.

Smart phones and the people that use them.

Moblin looking good.

How Google uses Linux.

Roll your own Ubuntu.

More on the Skype and Ebay saga.

A Koala fan.

Firefox fixed again.

Written by modernityblog

08/11/2009 at 04:12

Boycott The Planets.

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Not known for their love of all things Israeli, some pro-boycotters might want to ignore, forget or even destroy their pet telescopes as Israelis have discovered a new planet.

After which pro-boycotters might want to stop using Google (oh, yes, they use an Israeli developed algorithm), Intel based PCs, Windows XP, etc and a whole lot of useful medical technologies.

But then again that’s not going to happen, many pro-boycotters are happy to perform token gestures but much less likely to let the boycotting of Israelis have a detrimental effect on their own lives, and so it is with the proposed TUC motion.

It is another piece of gesture politics, doesn’t help anyone in the Middle East but it makes Westerners feel good about themselves. How typically indulgent and how quintessentially Western?

Update 1:
Jeffrey Goldberg nails Walt, Bin Laden and Mearsheimer.

Update 2:
Some of my newer readers are having a bit of difficulty understanding my arguments, above

I thought it was self-evident, but it seems I will have to belabour the point. Pity.

I’m not arguing that we don’t know where Israeli products come from.

My point is that most pro-boycotters will happily “boycott” the odd bagel or even some Dead Sea soap, but they won’t inconvenience themselves terribly.

Most pro-boycotters won’t put themselves out, genuinely, because if they were to do that, then they have to stop using so much technology and maybe even the Internet (as a lot of the routers were designed by Israelis).

There is no difficulty finding out what Israeli products are on the market, in fact there are no end of extremist web sites which publish this information.

Instead my point is that Westerners, nice cushy Westerners, should think that every day they make use of the product of Israeli labour, in terms of Google, Microsoft software, Intel chips and other numerous improvements to humanity.

I think pro-boycotters should stop being hypocrites.

But the pro-boycotters will rarely boycott those lovely items, because it would be far too inconvenient, which brings me to my second point that this boycott is largely a gesture, as it doesn’t achieve anything positive.

However, it certainly achieves something negative, which is to stir up hatred towards Israelis and onward towards Jews, but it doesn’t do anything positive for peace in the Middle East.

Thus, if it doesn’t do anything, apart from make people feel very smug then it is a gesture, a very poor gesture, but that’s what it is.

I do wish that Westerners would stop being so hypocritical in this matter, it would be far better to encourage links between Palestinian trade unionists and Israeli ones and build up solidarity between them, not the opposite.

(H/T: The Debate Link)

Written by modernityblog

17/09/2009 at 17:01

Windows 7, Dead In The Water.

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I wouldn’t like to speculate on the future of Microsoft or Windows 7, scheduled for release mid-October if the rumours are to be believed, but with Google releasing Chrome OS then the people in Redmond must be feeling rather unwell, the FT has more:

“Among the main attractions promised for the Chrome OS is much faster “boot” time to give users instant access to their e-mail and web browsers. That echoes a wider challenge to Microsoft from other software makers who have also targeted the slow start up times of PCs.

In other veiled attacks on the Windows operating system, Google added that users “want their computers to always run as fast as when they first bought them”, and that they “don’t want to spend hours configuring their computers to work with every new piece of hardware, or have to worry about constant software updates.”

Microsoft has faced considerable criticism over the slowness of its Windows Vista operating system, though the next version of its operating system, Windows 7, has already drawn good reviews for working far faster, particularly on low-powered, cheaper machines such as netbooks.

Google said the Chrome OS would first appear on netbooks in the second half of 2010, and that it was announcing the software now because it had already started discussions with hardware makers that wanted to use it in some their machines.”

Over at the Google blog I noticed this part:

Google Chrome OS will run on both x86 as well as ARM chips and we are working with multiple OEMs to bring a number of netbooks to market next year. The software architecture is simple — Google Chrome running within a new windowing system on top of a Linux kernel. For application developers, the web is the platform. All web-based applications will automatically work and new applications can be written using your favorite web technologies. And of course, these apps will run not only on Google Chrome OS, but on any standards-based browser on Windows, Mac and Linux thereby giving developers the largest user base of any platform.”

Written by modernityblog

08/07/2009 at 08:25

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Trust The Tories?

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[I have neglected the Tories, probably because of my low opinion of them and they aren’t terribly exciting politically. You almost know what they’ll do if they get power again, but before that they’ll try to be all things to all men and tell people what they want to hear. So if I have the energy and inclination I will post a bit more on the Tories.]

The Tory Party is full of jokers, led off by their head clown, Cameron.

Their latest witticism is to propose that all NHS patient data be managed either by Microsoft or Google, maybe both.

Anyone who has rebooted their Microsoft operating system six times a day or more will fully appreciate the level of diligence which Microsoft does not aspire to.

As for Google, we all use that company’s products, well most of us. Those who happened to be Chinese and living in the People’s Republic of China have greater problems, their government coerced Google into blocking many critical sites, and without much of a murmur Google duly complied.

But there are unforeseen merits to the Tories’ idea, at least you will probably get to see your neighbours, relatives, friends’ personal medical records, that’s after they’ve been leaked across the Internet, sold to every conman and identity fraudster there is.

If you cast your mind back and think about the fairly minor data leaks which have come out of Whitehall, then the raft of information which could be extracted from the NHS database will dwarf those debacles several times over.

And even if, by some miracle, the NHS data is not leaked across the world then it might well be sold to private company’s or portions of it.

No doubt the inventive Tories will try to extract as much money from the NHS data as possible, creating mailing lists of patients’ ailments and auctioning them off to the highest bidder.

If you think the amount of rubbish and bumf that comes through your letterbox is a bit too much now, just wait until the Tories have got their hands on the NHS data.

Written by modernityblog

07/07/2009 at 03:03