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'A prime example of our complete failure'

Plus: Finding one's love-truncheon in a hornet's nest

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QuotW This was the week when Research in Motion’s BlackBerry services, including email, BBM and internet were in, and then out and in, out and shaking all about. To many readers’ horror, the London Olympics 2012 seemed likely to run on Windows Vista, and then it wasn’t and Operation Hackerazzi bagged a suspect, allowing naked celebrities everywhere to heave a sigh of relief.

This was also the week that everyone wasn’t on board with the Jobs love-in, for various reasons, including free software firebrand Richard Stallman:

Nobody deserves to have to die – not Jobs, not Mr Bill, not even people guilty of bigger evils than theirs. But we all deserve the end of Jobs' malign influence on people's computing.

And The Reg's own Andrew Orlowski:

In the media, a race to the top of Mount Hyperbole, that was easily won by Stephen Fry, with President Obama close behind. And public, showy and stagey displays of public emotion. (Why? Did no one tell you he was ill?). I actually find all this disrespectful, and as distasteful as any sick joke.

Most people agreed however that Dennis Ritchie, who has also recently passed away, truly was a giant of the tech world. Tim Bray, co-inventor of XML, had this to say:

It is impossible — absolutely impossible — to overstate the debt my profession owes to Dennis Ritchie. I’ve been living in a world he helped invent for over thirty years.

The German government may or may not have been involved in dodgy code writing, with security firm Sophos saying:

We have no way of knowing if the Trojan was written by the German state – and so far, the German authorities aren't confirming any involvement.

Although, just two days later, it appears that at least five German states had no such qualms...

Apple’s latest update did not run according to plan, with iOS developer and jailbreaker Jay Freeman, aka Saurik, warning in a tweet that:

To anyone getting 'An internal error occurred.' (3200) while installing iOS 5.0, Apple's servers are swamped, and failing half the requests.

Microsoft tweaked its Windows 8 interface after users let Redmond know they don’t like change, as Marina Dukhon, a senior program manager lead on the core experience team let the world know on the Windows 8 blog:

One common theme in the comments has been an immediate rejection of change with the assumption that any change will reduce productivity so much that it will never be regained.

A Google engineer named Steve Yegge rather imprudently labelled Google+ as “a prime example of our complete failure to understand platforms” in a lovely long rant on the social network:

I was kind of hoping that competitive pressure from Microsoft and Amazon and more recently Facebook would make us wake up collectively and start doing universal services. Not in some sort of ad-hoc, half-assed way, but in more or less the same way that Amazon did it: all at once, for real, no cheating, and treating it as our top priority from now on.

A reader was less than pleased with The Register's presentation of the UK government's attempt to crack down on porn, and he's in a position to know:

Having come from a fundamentalist religious background, and at one point finding myself (having escaped that chapter, obviously) working in the [porn] industry briefly in Los Angeles, my experience of arguments for and against, and meeting people on both sides of the coin, are first hand.

The CEO of XIO Storage, Alan Atkinson made the following grandiose prediction:

I think the move to solid state is the most significant shift for storage since the rise of networked storage.

Sage Wallower’s lawyer Elizabeth Grossman offered his and his partner-in-crime Brian Hogan’s excuses for misappropriating the iPhone 4 prototype they found in a bar and then drunkenly deciding to hawk it to various news outlets before selling it to Gizmodo for $5,000:

They are student technology geeks who had no intent to break the law.Their youthful enthusiasm got appropriately sanctioned.

And Facebook got the smackdown from a Mississippi woman in a court filing that accused the social network of violating federal wiretap statutes by tracking her internet history when she wasn't logged on:

Leading up to September 23, 2011, Facebook tracked, collected, and stored its users' wire or electronic communications, including but not limited to portions of their internet browsing history even when the users were not logged-in to Facebook.

Finally ex-HBGary Federal boss Aaron Barr, asked how it felt to go from being an unknown security executive to being featured on the Colbert Report as a man who had purposely chosen to insert his wedding tackle into a hornet's nest, told the Register this week:

It has been unreal.

Have a good weekend. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

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