Showing posts from December, 2005

Firefox in the mainstream press

For those of you skeptics who can't understand why I am pushing Firefox, I am including this article from The Economist, a very well-respected and generally very accurate weekly European news magazine. It talks about the importance of another browser like Firefox to compete with the browser-monopoly-that-was Internet Explorer. It also gives you a little background information on the non-profit organization that builds Firefox.

Take back the Web!

RIM and NTP saga

I have to quote this one little snippet from an Economist article which outlines why NTP's patent claims against RIM are stupid as I so boldly state without any backup in a previous entry (I was lazy and didn't want to compile the proof since I know my claim is true).
"RIM is generally regarded as the victim of an injustice. Founded 21 years ago by two engineering students who still help run it, the company is being held for ransom by a “patent troll”. The monster emerging from under the bridge is an entity called NTP, which doesn't actually make or sell anything—it doesn't even have a website, for goodness sake. But it has hired a handful of lawyers to enforce its patents and in settlement talks this week, it was demanding almost 6% of RIM's sales in America until 2012 when its patents expire—about $1 billion. NTP's threat of a legal injunction to shut down BlackBerry unless it pays up is viewed as little short of extortion."
Nice when I can …

China's high-tech exports surpass US for the first time

In a previous blog entry entitled, "The Shifting Sands" I commented that America needed to learn how to play nice in the sandbox that is the world economy or no one would play with her. Further evidence of America's reduced dominance has surfaced as reported by the Economist in their weekly business brief of Dec 14;
The OECD reported that China had surpassed the United States for the first time in exporting information-technology goods, such as computers, mobile phones and related parts. China exported $180 billion-worth of IT goods in 2004, and is expected to keep its top position when figures are collated for 2005."Partnerships become more and more relevant for a Super Economy such as she as economic power shifts. I have nothing against the US and in fact would welcome a more cosmopolitan attitude from our oh-so-near neighbour.

Why I'm prolific today

It's past 11 AM and I'm still in bed, reading and using my laptop because Daniel's Hockey (yes hockey is capitalized in our family) doesn't start until 3:30 PM today. Laura's in Hawksbury with David for a practice. She was up at 7:15 when the alarm went off, no actually it was 7:30, no 7:45, no 8 AM. I am still in bed. I am writing. I feel no guilt whatsoever (as my partner in crime can attest). Many weekends include my getting up for Hockey at 5:30 AM on Saturday and Sunday. Two weekends ago I spent 8 hours in the car, in arenas, and in changerooms. Let's get something else straight. I never played Hockey. I don't watch it on TV but I do think it's really good for my two older boys and support them in it. My only fear is that Michael our youngest may want to play soon...

I am in bed and feel no guilt. I am also listening to Rock Lobster, Dream Police, and Juke Box Hero is coming up next.

NTP's patent claims against RIM are stupid

This is plug for RIM and for one of my friends who works there. Maybe he'd like to post a comment?

Laura and I were talking about it the other night. That a company that doesn't even use the patent it's suing for can hold another company that has millions of users of systems based on this patent (untrue, but anyway) is criminal. That a court will help a company accomplish this is criminally negligent.

So much for my insightful analysis.

High tech content of posts is boring

I know, I know I am publishing more about technology than other more interesting subjects lately. Don't give up on me yet. Actually I had published many more non-tech posts on our home computer. It was running [Warning: the following paragraph may not be appropriate for the tech-challenged or phobic] Movable Type with Apache, PHP and MySQL and worked beautifully. Bell Canada's high-speed internet wireless router really sucked though. I should have been able to reliably set up a Dynamic DNS address to the PC. In actual fact the router kept losing the forwarding port to the site on our PC. I gave up and moved to Blogger. Then our PC (did I tell you we were running Windows XP on it?) decided it didn't want us to log in to it anymore... So I lost most of the content I'd written (not having backed it up - oops) [inappropriate content ends]. Hmm, let's see...first monopolistic Bell gives me problems, then Windows XP of the nefarious Microsoft Empire...

I'm planning ar…

Shut down Internet Explorer and run to... Firefox!

I know I may sound like a Microsoft Bigot but actually I'm not. I do use Windows XP on my work laptop and home computer (because I have to). I am also the manager of an IT department which heavily relies on MS technologies so I can't really be called a bigot.

In this post, e-week point out:
"The zero-day exploit, posted by a U.K.-based group called "Computer Terrorism," could allow a remote hacker to take complete control of a Windows system if the victim simply browses to a malicious Web site."It's a real security hole in Internet Explorer 6 that allows the execution of code on your computer by someone you don't know. In other words a cracker could load a program onto your computer to say, copy all of your word and excel files to their website. Do you feel good about that?

Neither do I.

Nor do I feel good about Microsoft knowing about this hole since May of this year and yet still not having fixed it . Software defects are a part of…

Firefox 1.5 released!

I've been using Firefox since...before it existed and was called Mozilla! Although I am late in posting this, Firefox 1.5 was released November 29th.

For those of you who don't know what Firefox is (a web browser, a replacement for Internet Explorer, your best friend[sad but true, admit it!]) you can read this post which discusses reasons for switching from IE. Did you know that the % of users that use IE has dropped from 85.8% in January of 2002 to 73.5% in November 2005. The percentage of Mozilla/Firefox users has grown from 0% in January 2002 to 22.2% November 2005 (see here for data). This may not seem like a lot but considering that IE comes pre-installed on 90% of computers used to browse the Web (same as previous reference but further down) it is remarkable. Firefox is also built by a non-profit organization with virtually no advertising dollars. The reason, therefore, for its growth is the positive press it has received in the industry and through wor…