Saturday, December 09, 2006

[blogfocus saturday] life’s little problems

Each Blogfocus, I try to link the pieces with a theme but this evening’s have, quite simply, defeated me. And yet each one either explains or offers some sort of solution to one of life’s little problems. Take the opening rant by one of my favourite bloggers, for example, on the secret to a happy night out:


Your humble Snob is a man of the finer things in life - decent vino, Wagner, the two seater, fine cheroots from Cuba, white truffle risotto and Sky Plus. However, there is a side to me that enjoys the grubby side of life. I titter away like a schoolboy reading the Viz. I occasionally have a few too many vinos and end up in one of Edinburgh's lapdancing establishments. They are not quite the American model where you can have a decent steak whilst a lady gyrates away but they are ok for a half-sozzled advocate with a couple of notes in his wallet.

Quiz question: Do the opening three words remind you of anyone?


Bryan Appleyard’s mind is somewhere out in the cosmos and he’s found the answer – there is no answer. Pity Stephen Hawking took so long to get round to it – he could have just asked Bryan if he’d had a mind to:

Anyway, last night I was authoritatively informed that, as a result of studying the mathematics of Kurt Godel, Hawking no longer believes in the possibility of a final Theory of Everything. Godel proved the incompletability of any arithmetical system. I and many others could never understand how, if Godel was right - and nobody said he was wrong - any final theory was possible. Hawking and his followers used to pour scorn on such doubts. Now, it seems, he agrees.


As someone, sigh, who is having a running battle with a rogue server who likes to do things which get me blocked by people, this piece by Dizzy explains a lot:

All of these problem stems from one thing, and one thing only. The Windows security model. Pretty much by default under Windows XP everyone has full read, write and execute to the entire system by design. The result is that not particularly sophisticated websites can effectively execute code on client machine that is malicious… All roads lead to Microsoft when it comes to prevalence of malware that creates drone networks of compromised machines.

So what must we do – go to a Mac? Adopt Vista?

More of life’s problems here


Tim Almond said...


You can harden your existing Windows setup, so you run as a limited user. Quite a lot of corporations do it. You can get problems because some applications like to have administrator rights.

What Dizzy is highlighting is correct - that by default, it isn't. So, for non-experts, they're running a more risky set up.

Vista tries to deal with this. The only problem is that they seem to have gone OTT about it. So, things that might not be a risk, are highlighted as one. The danger with that is that people just click OK on anything then.

Macs are very nice machines, but I don't consider the security problem enough to make me switch to one. But if you're getting one, it's a perk (and my next machine will be a Mac, when my current one dies).

There are 3 simple things you can do on Windows...

1. Keep your antivirus up to date.
2. Make sure that Windows Update is running.
3. Run Firefox or Opera instead of IE.

Gavin Ayling said...

Tim's right.

I'm never amazed more than when someone says: "That's a lot of hassle" about that advice.

james higham said...

Yes, thanks for that advice, gentlemen - think I'll follow it.

Ellee said...

Tim writes a great site if you want to keep up to date with emerging technologies. Talking of which, I have already signed up to Twitter, at my friends' instigation, though have been too busy to try it out yet.

Quinlan said...


Macs now promise OS freedom as you can run OSX, and a flavour of windows and Linux on the same box.

Pushes up the software bill though... and Macs too have their quirks — sorry, features — but I prefer 'em.