Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Repost from 1998 #history

From my first website, all those years ago. :)

I was five when I first saw one: it was a beautiful piece of technology. (No, really…) One of the first families to own a “Home Computer”, we had to build our own extras and we were constantly being told that the limitations of the Z80A chip meant that we couldn’t do many of the things “grown up” machines could. Most of the software and much of the hardware that even Clive Sinclair said was impossible to build, amateurs would create overnight, because they hadn’t yet seen the letter from Sinclair Research . Usegroups were set up, consisting of real people who actually met face to face, in halls. “Modems? What are modems?”
But this, too, passed. The market became broader, the Wozniaks and Gates’ flooded the markets with “fully supported” machines, compatible with everything(except the ZX81), and before we knew what hit us, the hobby programmer had become a myth…The one honour remained when Commodore wizkidz dedicated “hacked programs” to DANCAT orTANSTAAFL, but we had become hazbeans, sad and lonely people with only our fading memories.” to rely on… that is, until today…

  • D.W.Crompton(1976-now)

Source: WayBack Machine

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Monday, September 29, 2008

Fortis Partially Nationalized #banking

Yesterday Fortis was partially nationalized by the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg.
Fortis was partially nationalized on September 28, 2008, with Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg investing a total of 11.2 billion euros (16.3 billion U.S. dollars) in the bank. Belgium will purchase 49% of Fortis's Belgian banking division, with the Netherlands doing the same for the Dutch banking division. Luxembourg has agreed to a loan convertible into a 49% share of Fortis's Luxembourg banking division.1

Having just bought ABN-AMRO, it will be put back on the market. I can't say I expected this to happen, but as a classic case of over extending it shows that the financial crisis is hitting mainland Europe hard. Apparently Basel II wasn't as effective in separating the operational risk from credit risk.

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Sunday, September 28, 2008

Heather Locklear Arrested #fame

I was just checking Google's Hot Trends, one of my favourite news sources, and apparently Heather Locklear was arrested after "driving erratically".

Source: San Jose Mercury News and International Herald Tribune

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Gmail/CrackBerry Security #google #blackberry

I use BIS - BlackBerry Internet Service - which collects my mail from my Google Mail account and forwards it directly to my CrackBerry.

I changed my password for Google quite some time ago, at least 4 weeks before I got the message from BIS that they couldn't collect my mail. Which means that for at least 4 weeks my mail was being retrieved from Google and forwarded to my BlackBerry after I changed my credentials. I use the IMAP option for GMail, which means that there is a persistent connection between Research In Motion and Google. It also means that Google violates security best practice by not requiring re-authentication.

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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Michael Moore in Slacker Uprising #movie #p2008

I just finished watching Slacker Uprising by Michael Moore. I can't say I really liked it, it's as always a propaganda film. It is an interesting view on how the election of 2004 was lost, and features some big names, it just didn't touch me. US politics had gone to hell in a handbasket in 2004.

Tom Morello said it right, when he said that the fight starts on the day after the election. The problems don't end, just because a president has been chosen.


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Signs You Travel Too Much #travel

World66 sent round a list of telltale signs you travel too much. My favorite was:
When you wake up from a deep sleep during a red-eye and you have no idea where you are, where you are going, and comfortably fall back to sleep knowing that you will figure it out when you land.

You can read more on the FlyerTalk in Signs you travel too much
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Monday, September 22, 2008

The Register: Too Quick In Writing Things Off

Again The Register writes off technologies that are still functioning. In OpenSocial, OpenID, and Google Gears: Three technologies for history's dustbin they proudly pronounce the death of Google's OpenSocial - even though there are 16 sites using it including LinkedIn, Plaxo, Hi5 and MySpace - Google's Gears and OpenID.

I guess if I can end-of-life something on a whim, anybody can.

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