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Firefox 3.5 Hates Google Searchs Rant July 7, 2009

Posted by fvter in Rants, Technology, Web.
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After recently updating to Firefox 3.5, I have run into a seriously annoying and killer problem. Firefox 3.5 refuse to correctly load Google searches in a reasonable amount of time or even the Google main page (www.google.com). In a painstaking attempt to figure this out, I have tried everything from running Firefox in safe mode as well as turning off things like Norton Internet Security.

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The problem doesn’t lie in my computer or in my infrastructure. Firefox loads all other pages normally (including Bing.com) and even loads mail.google.com as well as reader. It’s just the search that it doesn’t want to do. BTW, IE, Safari & Chrome load the pages perfectly well!

Enough is Enough… Let me know if you’ve had similar issues?


«Sign-In with Twitter»: Should we be Scared? April 22, 2009

Posted by fvter in Rants, Security, Technology, Web.
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Last week, Twitter opened up it’s «sign-in with Twitter» open authentication or OAuth service under the radar. To be fair to Twitter, the news last week was more focused on the one million follower story and the arrival of big media names onto the service. Now, I’ve always been an advocate of using OAuth type services (I personally use OpenID as much as possible) to both simplify a user’s life and to avoid the problem of password re-use.

It also goes to Twitter‘s credit to move in this direction and to provide this type of service to ease the integration of external applications as well as make it easier for user’s to provide their Twitter information.

Disclaimer: I have not had the time and that’s not likely to change in the near future to fully investigate and examine the security of the Twitter OAuth service. The following rant is purely about Twitter‘s current public track record…

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Twitter‘s public track record of securing and making a reliable service is less than top par. My top 3 frontal issues that have been discussed, re-discussed and overall made serious news for Twitter can be summed up with this list:

  • The service has a huge history of availability issues, well rather non-availability in times of high traffic although this hasn’t occurred in a while it’s bound to happen again seeing the growth patterns of late;
  • The security has a number of times criticized the continued use of basic-authentication (inc. accepting base64 password encoding) to use the service. The problem being that this is an easy way to grab the user’s password which would break or poke serious holes in the OAuth service;
  • There have been a repeat number of XSS attacks and worms including the most recent mikkey work which last over two weeks in its different iterartions.

These three points push me to think on whether or not I would be able to really trust such a service. Will I be able to use it at all times? Am I sure the authentication might not lead to a password leak? Am I sure that the OAuth won’t be replayable? Can I be sure that the OAuth session isn’t being misdirected or stolen somehow in XSS or via a worm? Makes me wonder if the service will actually provide a decent and safe mechanism for authentication and whether or not my credentials are going to be safe :- scary……

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Old Posts Appearing in Feed… April 15, 2009

Posted by fvter in General, Rants.
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So you maybe seeing some old posts appearing that had not be published before. I finally got down to finalizing and editing the content of some older drafts that I think needed to be published just for the historical content.

I am hoping to avoid this situation in the future and should be able to keep a normal release schedule between draft status and published. Let’s hope it works!

To Vista or Not? Need a 64bit OS but Linux not an Option – Your Thoughts April 7, 2009

Posted by fvter in Hardware, OS, Rants.
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So I am planning on moving my home PC to a 6Gb memory base (and also moving to a Core i7). Because of limitations in a 32bit system for supporting memory over 4Gb, I am going to have to move to a 64bit platform. So the question becomes which OS should I use on this new hardware configuration?
The machine in question is used extensively for gaming and other «productivity» usages by all the members of my family. Let’s just say that Linux is not an option on this machine for many different reasons including the fact that a lot of games and apps that I use just don’t work properly…

So I need advice on which way to take the platform:

  • Should I move to Vista Home Premium? or,
  • Should I stick with Windows XP 64bit?

Your thoughts and opinions very much appreciate, please don’t hesitate to comment on this post or video replies to this Seesmic thread!

Don’t U H8! January 30, 2009

Posted by fvter in Rants, Security.
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The first in a series of video-blogs (me thinks)! And I am opening it up with my favorite subject – a rant!
Yesterday I discovered that the company was pushing out a new security policy on mobile devices that are connecting to the corporate exchange environment! I don’t have a problem with this security policy and am all for it! The problem was that a proper change management process was not carried out and thus those who would have preferred to opt-out couldn’t!
So I spent the better half of today removing the security policies (by hand) on my devices. I even bricked my HTC in the process and was forced to reload from scratch…[PS: You can add to the discussion in this Seesmic thread]

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Another Day, Another Year January 15, 2009

Posted by fvter in FVTer, General, Personal Status, Rants.
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So the new year has come and gone, I’ve been queried a few times to see what kind of resolutions I was taking or if I wanted to join some challenges (like my friend Nigel is attempting).

Truthfully, for me the new year is potentially just SSDD (same s$#% different day). Resolutions are ok but tend to imply that you need to change something in your life for whatever reasons you might have. This is where it doesn’t work for me for in general my life is what it is and I’ve accepted it as is. Granted things could much better and don’t match where I saw myself at my age but I’ve spent too much of the past years trying to change things with no success – I seem to be plagued with bad vibes – and I’m not inclined to invest anymore energy in fighting it. Some might call it being comfortable with things as they are but at least I know what my crappy personal & work life entails…

Sure I know what needs changing and how to change them but that may mean spawning even more difficulties and issues. So this year, taking things as they go!

Aside from that shoddy rant, I expect that I’ll try to do more of the same:

  • 1 new video game a month;
  • achieve some form of regularity in my blogging (I foresee a move to video blogging);
  • and generally accepting my pains physical & moral alike.

And of course continuously complaining about it… Although I probably should try to stop sounding like a broken record!

Ian Curtis, in Joy Division’s Heart & Soul, once wrote:

The past is now part of my Future
The present is well out of hand!

a motto I seem to be fully embedded in 😦

Stuck in Houston November 16, 2008

Posted by fvter in Personal Status, Rants.
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So I was supposed to leave today and quite anxious to as well but I find myself stuck in Houston.  The Air France pilots went on strike this weekend and it seems like there are no possibilities for me to reach home before Monday. Air France sent me an e-mail during the middle of the night with a changed reservation to Monday afternoon.

Oh! Well, this sucks but its just a cumulation of just bad events in the disaster that my life is right now. I wish I could say better things but with all the trouble I’ve been having these past years plus while I was a way a bunch of stuff went down at home that’s going to be expensive.

Well gives me two more days to do some last minute shopping… Thinking I might just as well get that MacBook to give myself a nice pill.

Despite Best Effort November 15, 2008

Posted by fvter in Personal Status, Rants.
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The weeks have been long and tedious and despite best efforts, I was just not energetic enough to be able to do somethings I wanted to. Did not have time to do any serious tech stuff or do any gaming. I think the disappointing tech shopping, in ability to exchange some travelers checks and the hesitation to buy a MacBook has not helped.

I think things would actually be different if my job didn’t depress me as much and if thinks for me were working better ( crap happened at home that’s just hitting the pocket book even more now). I basically know what I need to do to get out of the rut but at the moment the mental energy required to achieve it is not there.

Anyway things are as they are…

Tech Shopping Disappointment November 9, 2008

Posted by fvter in Rants, Technology.
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So with this trip to Houston, I was hoping to get some much needed tech. I need a few upgrades for the home PC as well as some portable storage. Unfortunately the selection was not as good as I would have hoped. I did manage to get a few things at a good price including a 6 pack of 4gb thumb drives & a Seagate 750gb sata drive.
Did spend a few bucks on cheap HD-DVDs & large selection of DVDs. As well as managing to pre-order Warth of the Lich King (so I’ll be able to jump to Northend as soon as I get home).
What’s left, well I am still not sure about getting a motherboard and new CPU however the total would quickly rack up & it’s not that much cheaper than buying back home besides think I would rather put the money into a MacBook.

Why Can’t the HDD Industry Publish True Size of Disk? September 22, 2008

Posted by fvter in Hardware, Laptops, Rants, Technology.
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Why can’t the Hard Disk industry publish the true size of the disks they are selling? This is the big question! I recently purchased two drives from Seagate from their Momentus series of laptop 2.5 7200 rpm line. To be specific, I have the Momentus 7200.2 in 160Gb and the Momentus 7200.3 in 320Gb. From the product title you would expect to be getting 160Gb and 320Gb respectively from the drives.

However this isn’t exactly true. I don’t know what the number represents but it’s not the size of the drive once you plug it into your machine. I only get 149Gb from the former and 298Gb from the latter, which on the latter is a significant loss of space (close to 10% but more like 8%). It goes to say that this is beyond annoying! When you buy a hard disk, you buy it based on advertised size (hoping to get that maximum space possible) at least that’s the general idea. If you advertise the size of something it should be the real size you will see when you start to use it! Not the theoretical size based on platters and cluster sizes!! BTW this is true for almost every hard disk vendor not just the one mentioned here.

Don’t get me wrong the drives are fantastic. I bought them for that reason, they perform extremely well and have some interesting laptop usage safe guards. I am just feed up of expecting something and getting a different value in return… For crying out loud! Change your attitude, the industry needs to change its methodology and start giving us the real sizes – didn’t this happen with TV to!

So HDD Industry wake-up, smell the coffee and stop lying to us about the size of your products! Gives us the real size…