alex asunder

“The Day That XP Died” by Dave Methvin
October 23, 2009, 1:39 pm
Filed under: freedom | Tags: , ,

Dave Methvin of Information Week pens this notable gem of a parody of Don McLean’s American Pie titled, The Day That XP Died.   It’s not really feasible to quote a snippet of a song, so here it is:

Bye, bye, to the XP supply
And Vista, what a nightmare, it was quite a black eye
Windows 7 now will be the rallying cry
Thinking this will make my new PC fly
This will make my new PC fly

Did you back up all your drive
Just in case the install takes a dive
Cause the experts tell you so

Now do you have faith in Microsoft
Can Seven keep those guys aloft
And can Ballmer just avoid some more layoffs

Well I know that you’re not fond of him
Cause the balance sheet was pretty grim
It wasn’t all his fault
The economy came to a halt

Well, it may seem like Steve’s a sad lame duck
But this brand new Windows isn’t Vista (yuck)
So I knew he had changed his luck
The day that XP died

I just rebooted

Bye, bye to the XP pig sty
Bought a new Windows 7 at my local Best Buy
And several geeks were standing very nearby
Singing this will be the one to apply
This will be the one to apply

I saw a guy who did IT
And I asked him if he liked XP
But he just smiled and turned away
Then I went down to the retail store
Where I bought XP some years before
But the man there said that Seven is the way

So all around the PC scene
A brand new Windows fast and clean
And “Vista” won’t be spoken
Since it was badly broken

And the one man I despise the most
That Mac ad guy, his complaints are toast
The PC guy can finally boast
The day that XP died

So bye, bye, to the XP supply
Microsoft pulled the plug, so don’t bother to cry
XP had a good run, that I just won’t deny, but
Thinking this will be the day that it dies

Doctor Johnston’s Security Maxims for the Ages
October 2, 2009, 1:35 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: ,

Via Tech Republic, Roger G. Johnston Ph.D.’s security maxims:

The following maxims explain why security issues are slow to be resolved:

  • Show-Me Maxim: No serious security vulnerability, including blatantly obvious ones, will be dealt with until there is overwhelming evidence and widespread recognition that adversaries have already catastrophically exploited it. In other words, “significant psychological (or literal) damage is required before any significant security changes will be made”.

Sad, but oh so very true.

Bank screws up, sues Google, innocent email bystander loses
September 30, 2009, 3:29 pm
Filed under: freedom | Tags: ,

Rocky Mountain Bank in my beloved Wyoming agreed to drop the lawsuit against Google after the G-Unit complies with the legal order to provide  information regarding unsuspecting G-Mail user.

Some important points to note regarding possible future ramifications of this decision (via InformationWeek):

David D. Johnson, an attorney with Jeffer Mangels Butler & Marmaro LLP, defended the judge’s actions, arguing in a blog post that the law supports the bank’s pursuit of its property rights at the expense of the Google user’s privacy rights.

(Paul) Levy (attorney w/ Public Citizen Litigation Group) in an e-mail acknowledged that the approach used by the bank to identify a Gmail account holder has the potential to be misused. An organization intent on identifying an individual through an online account could simply send that person “sensitive data,” claim the sending was accidental, and subpoena the person’s e-mail provider the way Google was subpoenaed, without claiming a cause for action.

An anonymous commenter at InformationWeek sums it up nicely:

commented on Sep 29, 2009 6:51:59 PM

I am an idiot and send confidential private data offsite, NOT encrypted. Then I panic, contact the email provider and pray they will just hand over the account holder. Email provider refutes claim and asks for court order. Goes to court, Judge from the stone age, grants disabling the account. Bank Wins, Google Wins, Gmail holder loses.

Lesson: Bad guy wants either your personal information tied to a gmail account or wants to get you shut down. I claim I sent some “really important schtuff” to said user, stone age Judge grants request. Again, user loses.

In the words of Mencia, deh dah deh!

cnet News reports that the bank’s attorney said no action was taken against the genius employee who caused the whole mess.

Consequences schomsequences.

IT Helpdesk Summary
November 7, 2008, 7:59 pm
Filed under: freedom | Tags: , ,

song chart memes

Router schmouter, modem dodem.
October 25, 2008, 4:38 pm
Filed under: freedom | Tags:


I.T. Puppy vs. Vista
October 22, 2008, 3:05 pm
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loldog, windows, vista, pee

When Windows fails…at failing.
October 9, 2008, 2:23 pm
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No, that’s not a double negative.

Ellison, Stallman on that “thing” called “cloud computing”
September 30, 2008, 5:05 pm
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Selena Frye at TechRepublic cites some interesting comments from Larry Ellison and Richard Stallman (published in an article by the Guardian‘s Bobbie Johnson) on the this thing we keep hearing about, “celestial information computation” or whatever.

Frye: Cloud computing is ’stupidity’ says GNU guru Richard Stallman

Larry Ellison, founder of Oracle:

“The interesting thing about cloud computing is that we’ve redefined cloud computing to include everything that we already do, he said. “The computer industry is the only industry that is more fashion-driven than women’s fashion. Maybe I’m an idiot, but I have no idea what anyone is talking about. What is it? It’s complete gibberish. It’s insane. When is this idiocy going to stop?”

Richard Stallman, FSF founder/GNU creator:

“One reason you should not use web applications to do your computing is that you lose control,” he said. “It’s just as bad as using a proprietary program. Do your own computing on your own computer with your copy of a freedom-respecting program. If you use a proprietary program or somebody else’s web server, you’re defenceless. You’re putty in the hands of whoever developed that software.”

Amazon and Google are two of the prominent pushers of this cloud computing concept.  With all the talk about Google’s EULA in relation to Chrome (See Google changes Chrome EULA over privacy concerns), you have to wonder if Mr Stallman might have a point there…

In related news, TR’s John Sheesley has a nice rundown on the several definitions of “cloud computing.”

No Google logo for 9/11
September 11, 2008, 8:03 pm
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Never really noticed this before.  I checked through their “logo archives” and I couldn’t seem to find any special Google logo commemorating 9/11.   And yet… they had one to mark the 125th Birthday of Walter Gropius.  An important figure to millions across the world.


Cassy Fiano: Google remembers 9-11, too… by doing nothing; Dogpile remembers

While I can’t say I’m going to boycott Google for this (there’s so many other things one could choose in addition this instance) but Dogpile seems like an interesting meta-search engine.  I was about to say it’s sleeker looking than the “classic” bare-bones MetaCrawler…until I realized Infospace owned by Dogpile and MetaCrawler too. heh.

“What Bugs Newcomers About Linux”
September 3, 2008, 9:37 am
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Great thread over at LifeHacker: “What Bugs Newcomers About Linux”.

I’ve been tempted to try out Ubuntu on an old desktop running Windows 98 to “breathe new life into it” but I do not have the time to weed through user forums to get it done.

I have heard of Linux (specifically Ubuntu) being hailed as the opportunity to basically run Mac’s Leopard on cheap hardware.  Macs have always been a bit exotic to me, though I have heard they have come a long way especially since they use Intel processors now.  Still a bit ‘spensive for my tastes when I get a custom desktop for less than $500 with the works.

These comments below kinda express some of my thoughts.

what bugs me most about linux, is the often arrogant way you get treated by linux evangelists, when you need support, like:
– “How can I run iTunes on Ubuntu? vmware or wine?”
— “Why do you want to run iTunes? Use Amarok! It’s cooler anyway, because it’s open source”

Everytime you ask something about proprietary software you get answers like that. And at some point, you just lose the interest… I want an OS, not a religion.

burning-star at 07:37 AM


So, what bugs me as a Linux newcomer is that the end result isn’t quite the holy grail it’s advertised to be. Windows seems to reside in that middle ground of techie space – more amenable to user manipulation than macs, but user friendly enough that a non IT guy can tweak things, make changes and feel like I have at least understanding of what I’m doing to my OS.

northwest at 08:48 AM

At this point, on my next machine, I don’t know if I want to try and get a copy of XP Pro or take the risk of trying Vista.