Feb 06

DRM == no security

Another reason DRM is unacceptable.

An increase in the security of the companies you buy your media from means a decrease in your own security. When your computer is designed to treat you as an untrusted party, you are at serious risk: anyone who can put malicious software on your computer has only to take advantage of your computer’s intentional capacity to disguise its operation from you in order to make it much harder for you to know when and how you’ve been compromised.

If you infect your machine with DRM (yep, even including your smartphone or tablet), you no longer own it — someone else does. And they can in principle and  in practice do anything they want to do to it — all without your knowledge or consent.

Why anyone would want that, I haven’t a clue.

Feb 05

NB don’t see

Well, I just deleted NBCNews.com from my bookmarks.

What in the hell have they done over there? What is that optimized for? Reading on the side of a cow?

Insane designers have apparently taken over the entire internet. There’s about 10 sites left now that I can read without having an aneurysm. How did that make it through any sort of usability review?

Web 2.0 was pretty crappy. It looks like Web 3.0 is going to be utterly useless except to the crowd who still drools into their meals and requires everything explained in one-syllable words or grunts.

Feb 04

Very bad DRM

When people ask me why I refuse to use anything with DRM, it never seems to make much of an impression when I say, “Well, unilaterally a vendor can just render your device or your books/movies/content useless, and you have no recourse.”

If you want to stay legal, that is.

Of course DRM is very easy to crack for anyone who is determined to do so, but that is not most people.

If you buy any book or movie infected with DRM, it isn’t truly yours – it belongs to someone else.

Feb 03


As the curse of Australis on Firefox approaches, I think this commenter at Ars Technica said it best.

That so called "unnecessary clutter" consists of all the features that made Firefox so popular in the first place. The Firefox developers are insane and have spent the past 2 years hard at work destroying everything that made Firefox the best browser available.

I’ve mentioned it before, but I used to advise companies and users I assisted to use Firefox and no other browser. Since the Firefox developers have determined they need to destroy it, I no longer advise anyone to switch to Firefox as you never know what they will take away next.

I personally will keep using Firefox for as long as I can modify it enough to be functional, which takes longer and longer these days (about six hours of work now). But regular users won’t and generally cannot do this.

Unless you’ve ever done something like compiled your own program, just use whatever the default browser on your OS is, which is probably IE. Firefox is no longer worth switching to and is likely to continue getting worse.

Feb 03

Apple sauce

Apple Devices Flow Into Corporate World.

Having used both iOS and Android OS devices now, it’s easy to see why Apple is winning here. Android might be fine for someone who needs something budget, but iOS vs. Android isn’t even a comparison. Android is a fucking joke of an OS compared to iOS.

Android is clumsy, awkward, counterintuitive and plainly designed by geeks who got to the usual geek stopping point of, “It works, that’s close enough” rather than the Apple point of working absolutely perfectly.

For me, however, Android is fine on a phone as I do almost nothing on it, and that’s how it will always be. But if I intended to do more than send a text message or two, I’d upgrade to an iPhone in an instant.

Feb 02

Why the classic desktop?

Why do people who need to get real work done insist on the classic desktop metaphor? This Slashdot commenter I think said it best.

iOS has been very successful among non-technical users because it simplifies things a lot more than a standard W.I.M.P. design – but once you get beyond casual use and into doing real work, multitasking becomes a necessity, and there is still nothing better than a "classic desktop" for that.

Slashdot has also recently suffered a crippling re-design, so there is no way any longer to link directly to a comment (which is typical of modern design bullshit), but it’s part of this story.

But what the commenter said is exactly correct – once you need to look at or access more than one thing at a time (and don’t get started with the completely asinine “multi-tasking is impossible!” spiel that has nothing to do with workflow) to get real work done, using a Fisher Price “My First YouTube Video” interface just doesn’t cut it.

Funny that Slashdot has also gone down the road of terrible, unusable UI design right around this story appeared on its front page.

Feb 01

Good definition

I’d define the idea of “making it” the same way.

I had this sort experience years ago, going to the grocery store, putting items in my cart, and then checking out without once looking at the price of anything, not even the total the cashier gave me (as I was distracted by other thoughts).

This was shortly after I’d done some very financially-fortuitous things.

Also rings true about knowing exactly how much everything costs. I remember my mom putting 75 cents of gas in the car, as that’s how much we could afford for gas for that day.

Feb 01

Shore thing

As Overseas Costs Rise, More U.S. Companies Are ‘Reshoring.’

What the article doesn’t mention as the journalist no doubt knows little about the topic is that the reason many companies are moving operations back to the US as that more and more is being automated.

And as more is done by robots, a robot assembling something in China costs the same as a robot assembling something in Kentucky, but it’s closer to your customers.

There will be no net gain over the long term in manufacturing jobs in the US or in China. In fact in thirty years, there will be nearly no humans working in manufacturing anywhere on the planet.

Feb 01

Chrome respiration

It’s pretty baffling that the worst browser I have ever used – Chrome – now has a majority market share.

Well, not counting IE6. But that wasn’t a browser. That was a travesty with a UI.

That people are so willing to give up their privacy to sociopaths and corporations who care only and about all about profit at any cost – well, I just can’t understand it.