Tired of saying “I Told You So?”

As expected Greenwald makes the salient response to Wired’s bleating self-defence.

Since Pvt Manning has a high chance of spending a good portion of the rest of his life in solitary confinement, Poulsen and Hansen’s prevarications are especially distasteful. Although Wired has never been a paragon of investigative or even objective reporting, with the blunt claiming it’s a tech-whore magazine relic of the dot com era, the carefully worded non-denial denial of the Wired staff clearly indicates a tip-over to the dark side of political speak, with truth taking a convenient dump once the tech media (usually more lambasted for the relatively harmless terrible/dishonest reviews of consumer/IT products) found itself confronted with handling the first serious mainstream issue of the day.

When we consider that the Fourth Estate in the US is now suffering from a near terminal case of cognitive capture (with broadcast media long since gone over the tipping point into cadaverhood, save for PBS and the occasional Charlie Rose interview), this is just the latest in a long sequence of bad jokes about how utterly broken the socio-political climate in the avowed defender of the free world has become. That the world of the tech journalist, long been the haunting grounds of self-proclaimed geeks that claim to value objectivity and truth over the hypocrisy and venality of Everyone Else(tm), bears no protection from the entrenched fault lines of the wider social strata is darkly humorous.

Jarring progress (with a swab of Vaseline)

D2D/Directwrite will become more of an issue the closer we get to FF4’s release date. It will not be a good idea to subject new users to something as basic as font readability…that’s too much of a comfort zone shock for new converts. Disabling D2D/DirectWrite by default off the bat (corrected with a point release down the road) is a saner approach, because I think Mozilla is underestimating the user pushback once the non beta testers (who generally have more conservative machine setups) are involved.

I guess there is some solace (depending on how you look at it) in that IE9 will probably beat FF4 in coming out first. That should increase significantly the chances Microsoft will fix the DirectWrite issues in the near future.

Another day, another spilled database

This has been making the rounds these few days. I don’t think I have a AMO account, that is, I don’t REMEMBER having one. Hard to sort ’em out these days, with a million and one sites requiring seperate (and generally badly hashed) logins…

That being said, this leak isn’t the scale of others that involve financial transactions (sometimes of an embarrassing nature.) And accounts of this kind are littered with dummy personal particulars, since as a rule of thumb the users are technologically savvy. There’s also the consideration that anything dealing with money and/or security clearances always require a heavier burden of security. If your throwaway blog poster account is compromised, the site only (nine out of 10) gets a spam infestation with possible malware links. If your favorite e-commerce account is 0wn3d by Mordor the Russian Mafia, you might be considerably out of pocket. Still, the stunning number of sites still using MD5 hashes (and Mozilla only switched in 2009) should put a chilling fear into any paranoid netizen’s heart and mind.

For whom the bell tolls

I’m no fan of FB, but this probably is a good, strong mark in the Yahoo! is DOOMED! ledger. Every step towards a diminished user base pushes Yahoo that much closer to the criticial mass threshold, but it’s a return trip this time round.

Once one of the undisputed giants of the tech industry, it’s now tottering around with many wounds, most of them self-inflicted. It’s name is synonymous with the screwing up of promising tech startups that were bought but left to rot through terminal mismanagement or just plain neglect. It will join the list of failed search engine companies that expanded for a time, caught “Management Syndrome” and died a slow lingering death. Within a few years Microsoft will pick up the choiciest bones and move on, and this time round no cajoling will be needed.