It does, you know. You just have to get it hot enough.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Why I’m not buying an iPhone, either.

I was all set to write up this clever bit about why I wasn’t going to buy an iPhone any time soon, then Laura Lemay went and did a better job of it before I finished mine.

She has a better/different smartphone than my xv6700, but I think we’re looking at this the same way. I have a solution that while not fancy or sleek or imbued with the Essence of Steve, works pretty well, so it’s hard to get all worked up about the iPhone.

More importantly, the Apple hype machine is in high gear showing all sorts of promos everywhere they can, and that makes me a wee bit nervous. Historically, when Apple has had something that’s really good they tend to blindside people with it. They’re not doing this with the iPhone, they’re talking about it everywhere they can, they’re loaning pre-release units to the media, etc etc. Newsweek calls it “the most anticipated gizmo ever”, but buried down in Levy’s review is the gem that it took him a couple of days before he could use it with a single finger and that after two weeks he’s only beginning to get the hang of two-thumb typing. Days to just get single touch to work? Two weeks to learn double-thumb typing?

Oh yeah, and no GPS, no high speed data, and no goodlink support announced.

For $500 and a two year contract.

Nope, not for me.

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posted by jet at 11:27  

Saturday, June 9, 2007

dreamhost got hacked

In case you haven’t heard, dreamhost got hacked.

The short of it is:
– dreamhost stores login passwords in the clear
– someone obtained a partial list of these passwords and use them to deface sites hosted at dreamhost.

You’ll see mention of “ftp account passwords” or “ftp passwords”, but dreamhost uses your webpanel login as your unix shell/ftp login. That means anyone can log into your shell and do anything they like or use an ftp program to do anything they like. In my case, the only thing that happened was all of my index.html/index.php files got trashed, so I should consider myself lucky or something.

One other thing: Don’t use your dreamhost login password anywhere else. Consider it compromised since it’s stored in the clear. (I’ll write more on password security at some point.)

In the meanwhile, I’m using the default style for the journal until I can restore everything from backups…

EDIT: I think I’ve restored everything, let me know if anything seems broken or is missing.

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posted by jet at 11:23  

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Self-Directed Summer Program in Design

That sounds pretty sexy — I think that’s how I’ll describe what I’m doing this summer. Ok, I’m really just going to catch up on a bunch of reading, do some writing, practice drawing, and set up some metalworking equipment so I can make some things. But with a sexy title like that, my summer plans sound much better.

I took a couple of weeks to decompress for school but I need to get back into the study groove. I have a lot of real work (the stuff that pays) to do, but I’m going to try and stick to a self-study schedule for design, security and Japanese in my free time.

My books on the “In” pile so far fall into two piles, design and security.

In the design pile:

  • Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things
  • Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired by Nature
  • What Things Do — I haven’t read much design theory, so I might spread this out over several weeks so that it can soak in
  • The Complete Japanese Joinery
  • Industrial Strength Design ("What do you mean it’s not about EBM and stompy boots?")
  • Universal Principles of Design

The stack of security books is big enough that I might end up skimming many of them:

  • Brave New War: The Next Stage of Terrorism and the End of Globalization
  • Physical Device Security
  • Reversing
  • Building Secure Software
  • Silence on the Wire
  • Security Warrior (could they have come up with more leet title?)

I’m also considering re-reading some of the classics that I read in school the first time around: Alexander’s design books, Foucault’s History of Science, that sort of thing. It’ll be interesting to see how much my worldly experience changes what I get out of the canon.

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posted by jet at 11:40  

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