Software

Mega’s little problem with a pesky thing called the law

Kim Dotcom is blowing hard once again on Twitter.

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He is going on about ‘his’ MegaChat…funny thing is he was crying poverty and said he had given all his shares in Mega to his estranged missus…so quite how it is his is another matter entirely. Perhaps he has misled another court?

In any case his boastfulness ignores a problem.

Chris Keall at NBR explains.

Mega has said it will abide by the laws of every company it operates in. As a registered commercial entity it can barely take any other stance.

And when the FBI so successfully eavesdropped on the Skype chats and instant messages Kim Dotcom and his co-defendants while investigating Megaupload, it did so with a warrant issued by a judge.

What would Mega do if a law enforcement agency in a country its service operates in (that is, anywhere), hands it, or one of its users, a lawful warrant asking for encryption keys? In NZ, it has to live under the Telecommunications (Interception Capability and Security) Act, aka TICS, which gives our government broad-brush powers to demand depcryption keys from a service provider when there is a (very broadly defined) threat to NZ’s national interest. This as-yet-untested legislation gives the ICT Minister discretion over who is defined as a service provider. Network operators like Spark, Vodafone, 2degrees are very clearly service providers. It’s more of a grey area for the likes of Microsoft Skype, Google Hangouts and now MegaChat – but I’m guessing the Crown won’t give MegaChat a free pass.   Read more »

Is Internet Explorer finally dead?

Could it be, the world’s worst internet browser software, Internet Explorer, is about to be killed off by Microsoft?

Microsoft is secretly developing a new web browser to replace Internet Explorer, it has been claimed.

Experts say the new browser, codenamed Spartan, will be unveiled on January 21st when Microsoft shows off Windows 10 for the first time.

It is believed the new browser will look more like Google’s Chrome browser, and be faster than IE.

Faster than IE? ..that won’t be hard….dead squirrels are faster than IE.

‘Microsoft is building a new browser, codenamed Spartan, which is not IE 12 — at least according to a couple of sources of mine,’ said Mary Jo Foley of ZDNET.

Thomas Nigro, a Microsoft Student Partner lead and developer of the modern version of VLC a media playing app, claimed on Twitter earlier this month that he heard Microsoft was building a brand-new browser.     Read more »

Unsurprising really, I haven’t used Microsoft products for years

I haven’t used Microsoft Office products in years.

I mostly live in the cloud and where possible use Google Apps and in the past have used OpenOffice as a viable alternative to Office.

Office applications became more and more bloated and the days of massive installations on hard drives to do basic things like simple spreadsheets and documents is long gone.

The advent of tablet and mobile computing has pretty much killed off applications like Office.

It may be one of Microsoft’s biggest squandered opportunities.

Tired of waiting for Office to be optimised for their mobile gadgets, a growing contingent of younger companies is turning to cheaper, simpler and touch-friendly apps that can perform word processing and other tasks in the cloud.

Take Artivest Holdings, a New York-based financial services startup that sells alternative investment products. The New York-based company uses an app called Quip, which combines word processing and messaging, to handle all but the most sensitive legal and financial files.  Read more »

“We should be very afraid”…apparently

Why does TVNZ continue to parade Labour flunkies before us and pretend they aren’t. This one says we should be afraid.

Some government departments now have the ability to monitor New Zealanders’ online movements.

ONE News has revealed three ministries are trialling a system that’s catching public messages posted on social media.

Every tweet, Facebook post and video uploaded to YouTube could be of interest to government agencies.

“We should be very afraid. Now why are they doing this?” says Michael Bott, human rights lawyer.

Michael Bott is a failed Labour party candidate, and now he suggests we should be afraid that someone can hoover up publicly available tweets and Facebook messages.  Read more »

Ugly couple use nicked phone to out themselves as dud roots

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Someone nicked a cellphone in the US and it has ended up in the possession of this couple, who are now remotely uploading photos and videos of their dud root sessions to the Dropbox of the original owner of the phone.

A WOMAN is trying to track down the couple that is using her stolen phone after she found their raunchy selfies uploaded to one of her online accounts.

Victoria Brodsky, 39, from Brooklyn in the US, found naked pictures of the couple and even found a video of them engaging in a sex act.

“It seemed like they were getting off after taking the phone,” Ms Brodsky told The New York Daily News . “I would love it if they were caught. It’s one thing to steal, but they’re celebrating.”   Read more »

Tech Advisory for readers not seeing refreshes

Due to the heavy traffic load…over 750,000 pageviews yesterday, we had to implement a caching system to improve performance.

This is causing some problems for people where they are not getting updated posts.

You need to clear the cache on your browser.

Here are instructions for most browsers.

Most readers use Chrome on my site so here are the specific instructions for Chrome.

  1. Open the settings on Chrome. Click the menu icon in the upper right corner of the browser to the right. Click settings on the bottom of the menu.

Bye Bye Blackberry

I used to own several Blackberry devices…I really liked them especially their secure communications…however they lagged and lagged and lagged behind the technology curve and eventually they were stuck in the middle of a fast highway with pedal car solutions…they just got run down.

BlackBerry Ltd. will cut 4,500 jobs, write off more than $900-million (U.S.) worth of unsold phones and abandon parts of the consumer wireless market in an attempt to save a business in freefall.  Read more »

Better commenters use pseudonyms, and Facebook squashes discourse

I use Disqus for my blog comments management. It continues to improve and adds significant additional functionality to the site without a massive overhead of extra plugins.

Disqus has conducted some research that shows that commenters using pseudonyms are “the most important contributors to online communities.”

The service gives each user the option of commenting with a Disqus account, a social media identity or anonymously. It says 61 percent of commenters use pseudonyms, 35 percent choose to be anonymous and 4 percent use their “real identity” verified by Facebook. It also says those with pseudonyms post the best comments, while anonymous comments are lower quality. One theory: People don’t mind being accountable online, but they don’t want it to blow back on their work or personal lives by using a real identity. A pseudonym protects them while providing a measure of accountability.

Once people settle on a pseudonym I think they do take more ownership of their comments. The anonymous cowards tend to junk up the comments and their flame attempts become frustrating to those who are trying to engage properly.

TechCrunch rolled out Facebook Comments in a bid to rid themselves of trolls and abuse. Facebook Comments of course works on publishing, in most instances, the real credentials of a commenter. hOw did that work out for them…turns out not so wellRead more »