So, any of you “old birds” remember a wee little site going by the name of Tom’s Hardware Guide? No? Then gather around the fire, all ye young ‘injuns, for we are about to speak of The Years Not Beginning With Two. A certain Doktor Tom Pabst started what was possibly the first of its kind to hit the enthusiast mainstream. Back then, it WAS something relatively new, a forefather of sorts for the IT hardware review sites that are common today. Which is not to say it was an exemplar of tech journalism, but it was at least somewhat respectable. Then the bubble burst, and the site subsequently entered the Void of Dubious Quality and hasn’t looked back since as it plunged gleefully into the stygian depths. So why bring up all this tl:dr stuff, you might ask?

Why….

This. Taken on its own, the hilarity is already pretty obvious, but this shooting of the foot makes it far more delicious. That’s not even taking in account the irony that it jumped the gun on Firefox 4’s release by pointing to non-final builds of the browser, which is emblematic of the sorry levels of tech journalism these days.

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.

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.