Tag Archives: Jacqui Cheng

iOS 4.3.1 on the ramp

Apple is releasing iOS 4.3.1, which, as Jacqui Cheng from Ars Technica explains here, “[…]

brings with it fixes for a fourth-generation iPod touch graphics glitch as well as bugs that caused iPhones to have trouble activating and connecting to cell networks. The update also addresses flickering issues that occur when connecting a device to certain HDTVs with Apple’s Digital AV adapter and “resolves an issue authenticating with some enterprise web services.”

The release notes don’t make specific reference to fixing some of the battery issues reported around the Web or patching iPad jailbreak vulnerabilities, though rumors had suggested that iOS 4.3.1 would address both of these topics. It’s possible, however, that they (and other fixes) could fall under Apple’s umbrella of general bug fixes.  […]”.

I think that a wrong release could happen to anybody, but releasing a fix only after 2 weeks is a signal that Apple is a little bit in a hurry in their releases.

This post as a comment also here


Customizing Google results

Tim Conneally at Beta news reports that “[…]  Google on Thursday introduced an experimental feature which continues its mission to chip away at undesirable search results and information from “content farms”: the ability to block all results from a particular URL.

Now, when search results are returned, there is a button next to each link labeled “Block all [URLNAME] results.” When clicked, that site is sent to a block list, which can be managed in the user’s Google account.

“We’re adding this feature because we believe giving you control over the results you find will provide an even more personalized and enjoyable experience on Google. In addition, while we’re not currently using the domains people block as a signal in ranking, we’ll look at the data and see whether it would be useful as we continue to evaluate and improve our search results in the future,” Google search quality engineers Amay Champaneria and Beverly Yang said today. […]” (full article here).

Jacqui Cheng at Ars technica adds that “[…] The new blacklisting feature is triggered when you perform a Google search, click on a link, and then go backto Google after having decided that link isn’t what you wanted. When you return to Google the second time, a new option appears next to the Cached link that says “Block all [website name] results.” If you’re logged into your Google account (which is required in order to maintain a blacklist), you can then click that link and get a confirmation message that you want to block it.

Google wrote on its blog that you may not see the site disappear right away if you simply refresh your browser with the same search, but running a new search should get that domain out of your face for good. “The next time you’re searching and a blocked page would have appeared, you’ll see a message telling you results have been blocked, making it easy to manage your personal list of blocked sites,” Google Search quality engineers Amay Champaneria and Beverly Yang wrote. “This message will appear at the top or bottom of the results page depending on the relevance of the blocked pages. […]” (full article here)

I don’t believe this will give in full control to the user (come on, results mean completeness of search and more practically money), but I appreciate the effort mad by Google to allow users to customize they’re searches.

This post as a comment also at Betanews and at Ars Technica


Facebook revisited: do we really need another email system?

Tim Conneally at Beta news (http://www.betanews.com/author/tim) reports that “[…] Popular social networking site Facebook today announced it is rolling out a whole new messaging system over the next few months that “isn’t just e-mail,” but integrates four common ways users communicate: email, Facebook messages and chat, and SMS, and archives it all in a single thread. [….]” (full article at http://www.betanews.com/article/Facebooks-new-messaging-system-handles-email-chat-SMS-Office-Web-apps-all-in-one/1289847427).

Same thing is done by Sharon Gaudin at Computerworld (full article at http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9196618/Facebook_messaging_throws_a_blow_at_Google), Jacqui Cheng at Ars technica (full article at http://arstechnica.com/web/news/2010/11/facebooks-new-messaging-system-mashes-up-sms-e-mail-im.ars), John Brownlee at geek.com (http://www.geek.com/users/jbrownlee/ and full article at http://www.geek.com/articles/news/facebook-introduces-new-messaging-system-e-mail-sms-and-im-all-in-one-place-20101116/), Om Malik at Giga OM (http://gigaom.com/author/om/ and full article at http://gigaom.com/2010/11/15/meet-the-new-new-facebook) and Adam Dachis at Lifehacker (http://lifehacker.com/5690721/why-you-should-embrace-the-new-facebook-modern-messaging-system).

In some ways it reminds me Google wave, but I wish for Facebook it doesn’t follow the same path.

I agree with Google CEO that this new Facebook features aren’t a threat to Google activities, because the target is different (Google is a quite serious email provider and most of all is more secure than Facebook) and though messaging is integrated with Facebook, IMHO Google is more usable.

Again, I understand FB need to cover a gap and use his vast “installed base” (or addressable market),  but it would have better consolidate and strengthen his features before getting into a such complex addon, with no (substanntial) innovations and more risks for privacy.

This post as a comment also at http://www.betanews.com/article/Facebooks-new-messaging-system-handles-email-chat-SMS-Office-Web-apps-all-in-one/1289847427, at http://www.computerworld.com/comments/node/9196618#comment-708663, at http://arstechnica.com/web/news/2010/11/facebooks-new-messaging-system-mashes-up-sms-e-mail-im.ars?comments=1&p=21020590#comment-21020590, at http://www.geek.com/articles/news/facebook-introduces-new-messaging-system-e-mail-sms-and-im-all-in-one-place-20101116/comment-page-1/#comment-3924221, at http://gigaom.com/2010/11/15/meet-the-new-new-facebook/?go_commented=1#comment-513643 and at http://lifehacker.com/5690721/why-you-should-embrace-the-new-facebook-modern-messaging-system


Facebook finally to be sentenced for being too superficial?

Ed Oswald at BetaNews (http://www.betanews.com/author/eoswald) reports that Facebook admitted that his third-party apps developers had mishandled private datas (full article at http://www.betanews.com/article/Facebook-admits-its-thirdparty-developers-have-mishandled-private-data/1287428665, Jacqui Cheng at Ars Technica covering same article and the fact that the issue is going to congress at http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2010/10/facebook-app-breach-gets-the-attention-of-congress.ars and Michael McWhertor at Kotaku at http://kotaku.com/5667405/report-farmville-breaks-facebook-privacy-rules-sends-personal-info-to-ad-firms).

Again with more or less a month of distance we find another problem for Facebook.

And again I say this is not a joke, because company detains personal datas for many millions of people.

Everyone is responsible for what posts and does, but also the depositors of this datas have some responsabilities (and this includes those working in partnership for them: it’s too easy to get the money and success from Farmville and then not respond for the “collaterals” of this).

This post as a comment also at http://www.betanews.com/article/Facebook-admits-its-thirdparty-developers-have-mishandled-private-data/1287428665#c2001961, at http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2010/10/facebook-app-breach-gets-the-attention-of-congress.ars?comments=1&p=20920991#comment-20920991 and at http://kotaku.com/5667405/report-farmville-breaks-facebook-privacy-rules-sends-personal-info-to-ad-firms


Facebook and the ability to close the gates after cows have gone out

Jacqui Cheng at Ars Technica reports that Facebook has discovered and is pursuing russian hacker named Krillos that claimed to have stolen 1.5 million Facebook accounts (full story at http://arstechnica.com/security/news/2010/05/facebook-ups-login-security-outs-hacker-with-15m-accounts.ars; a good explanation of Facebook privacy issues also at Ars techinca by Peter Bright at http://arstechnica.com/web/news/2010/05/understanding-the-latest-facebook-privacy-train-wreck.ars).

It’s a good news, because limits the problem. But the point is how our datas are protected.

As I said other times, a security breach can happen. But I think that Facebook, by trying to give all possible options  to users, leaves space to big holes in their security perimeter.

This post as a comment also at http://arstechnica.com/security/news/2010/05/facebook-ups-login-security-outs-hacker-with-15m-accounts.ars?comments=1&p=20411977#comment-20411977 and at http://arstechnica.com/web/news/2010/05/understanding-the-latest-facebook-privacy-train-wreck.ars?comments=1&p=20436815#comment-20436815


Anonymous blogging

Jacqui Cheng at Ars Technica publishes an article talking on the fact that “Lawsuits against anonymous bloggers are common, but the courts generally protect the right to speak unnamed. Now, one Tennessee blogger is about to be unmasked, reminding us that even Internet anonymity has its limits—and that making accusations of arson, drug abuse, and tax evasion can carry consequences.” (full article at http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2009/10/anonymous-real-estate-critic-on-the-verge-of-being-unmasked.ars?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=rss).

As I said some other times, I don’t think internet anonymity is a right. Better: is not a right everywhere, because most of us, luckily, don’t live in a regime and so talking behind a nickname is not a protection, is just a difefrent way of communicating.

For those belonging to the minority living under a regime, anonimity should be a right to be defendend to the very last extent. For the other (the majority), internet is a media not to be abused.

And so if anyone offends or those something against laws, should be prosecuted like any other.

This post as a comment also at http://episteme.arstechnica.com/eve/forums?a=tpc&s=50009562&f=174096756&m=346000991041&r=765003991041#765003991041


Hyperconnectivity pro and cons on business side

Jacqui Cheng at Ars Technica tells us of a new research showing that hyperconnectivity is widely spreading, also because of smartphones (full artcile at http://arstechnica.com/web/news/2009/08/checking-e-mail-before-your-morning-coffee-youre-not-alone.ars).

It’s true that now we are more reachable than ever and our on line availability is reaching unprecedented levels.

I don’t check email just awake, but in about an hour, but this doesn’t change so much the concept: is a sort of slavery from knowing what’s going on.

On a business point of view, I’m not sure of the results brought by this extended availability, because if on one side gives us the awareness of the” game” in quite every moment, on the other side brings space to possible mistakes and underestimates: when you respond to an email while commuting or when you do it whe you just woke up, the risk of possible mistakes or misinterpretations grows exponentially.

This post as a comment also at http://episteme.arstechnica.com/eve/forums?a=tpc&s=50009562&f=174096756&m=499003490041&r=175005490041#175005490041


Jacko’s dead and internet groaning

Jacqui Cheng  (http://arstechnica.com/authors/jacqui-cheng/) at Ars Techinca informs us that ” The passing of pop icon Michael Jackson affected numerous services across the Internet in major ways Thursday evening. As fans and onlookers tried to locate and pass on news, various sites were pushed to their limits, with Google describing the incident as “volcanic.” ” (full article at http://arstechnica.com/web/news/2009/06/internet-groans-under-weight-of-michael-jackson-traffic.ars).

What follows is my comment:

I think this should teach us a couple of things:
1) That Internet is far from being well dimensioned and always on: a big event can lead to a peak usage not sustainable by the net. This will get from bad to worst if we think of future fast access to internet also for those people, countries and places now uncapable of this and if we all confirm the trend of moving everything to the web. Of course this relies on the fact that growth of net capacity is on a non proportional curve to users (because of costs associated)
2)This is by far a demonstration that we are facing a difficult period, because more emphasis is put on Michael Jackson death than other big problems we have (Iran situation, Afghanistan, a couple of civil wars)”

This post also at http://arstechnica.com/web/news/2009/06/internet-groans-under-weight-of-michael-jackson-traffic.ars?comments=2&comment_id=587002620041


Bots, Spam and trust

Jacqui Cheng (http://arstechnica.com/authors/jacqui-cheng/) at Ars Technica, reports of a Symantec study that (in short) says “Botnets that send out spam seem to like workin’ 9 to 5 and resting on Sundays, according to the latest report out of Symantec’s MessageLabs. Spam levels are up this month, too, taking the total percentage of spam over the 90 percent mark. Hope you have a good junk filter” (full article at http://arstechnica.com/web/news/2009/05/report-spam-wielding-botnets-apparently-like-us-work-hours.ars).

This seems to me right (spam levels are increasing), but what really makes me think is that “Spam levels have risen over the past month to more than 90 percent of all corporate e-mail, according to Symantec’s May 2009 MessageLabs Intelligence Report (PDF).”

This is attonishing, because the cost of a mail system setup and maintenance is really a cost for a company and thinking that 90% of its resources are used for something so fraudly and stupid is really a mess in this crisis times.

Really I don’t agree on the fact that US workers are a preferred target for this attacks. Seems to me more likely what severusx (http://episteme.arstechnica.com/eve/personal?x_myspace_page=profile&u=549009233931) says: most of the infected bots are on US corporate machines that follow, tipically, the timing registered by the report.

There’s another point: couldn’t be that we are wondering about advanced bots originating from other side of the earth and, instead, spam is a  billion of pepole writing many emails and working 9 to 5 ? 🙂 (Of course I’m joking on this last sentence. Don’t want to offend anyone…)

This comment also at http://episteme.arstechnica.com/eve/personal?x_myspace_page=profile&u=490004578931


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