'OH WOW. OH WOW. OH WOW'
Plus: Nude woman in a dead horse
QuotW Given that the week started with Halloween, it was perhaps appropriate that the weird and wonderful was prevalent. In honour of All Hallow's Eve, a tech geek transformed his fruity fondleslabs into an, erm, interesting costume. A Berkeley boffin argued that because of Einstein's most famous equation E=MC², ebook readers get heavier every time you add a book (microscopically of course) and boffins over at CERN were busily trying to figure out if Einstein was wrong about that whole speed of light thing.
It was also the week when the fact that Steve Jobs has left us hasn't stopped his name constantly popping up everywhere. Richard Stallman, founder of Free Software Foundation, wasn't content with one rant about how adulation for Jobs was wrong and gave another one, this time focused on the devices Apple has made:
Jobs' death inspired a flood of articles lauding him for these very devices. That further increases their potential for harm, which is why now more than ever we must focus attention on it. We must not let secondary considerations about Apple or Jobs distract us from this threat until we have thwarted it.
If words about Jobs weren't enough, here's some words from him, as the world learned his final utterance when his sister's eulogy was published in the New York Times:
Steve’s final words, hours earlier, were monosyllables, repeated three times. Before embarking, he’d looked at his sister Patty, then for a long time at his children, then at his life's partner, Laurene, and then over their shoulders past them.
Steve’s final words were:
OH WOW. OH WOW. OH WOW.
Throughout the week, various UK.gov officials were vocal on cyber issues, with Charles Hendry, minister of State for the Department of Energy and Climate Change, telling Parliament that smart meters were not going to be shelved because they're insecure:
We have a comprehensive risk assessment and we are developing a plan for implementation, which will specify the enduring security governance roles and responsibilities to ensure risks are appropriately managed.
Prime Minister David Cameron said the internet would stay free and open, even if the British were rioting:
Governments must not use cybersecurity as an excuse for censorship, or to deny their people the opportunities that the internet represents.
And the FCO’s special representative for the London Conference on Cyberspace said that any cyber attacks on the UK would be met with the might of the armed forces, once other avenues had been exhausted of course:
The first step is the diplomatic means and then the military means, as it has always been. We have to stand ready to respond in kind, because we’re very vulnerable, we’re all very vulnerable.
Meanwhile, the floods in Thailand continued to present problems for the computer market, with James Ward, boss of specialist storage distributor Hammer, predicting more price rises on disk drives:
Shortages became so severe so quickly and will have a lasting impact on the industry for at least the next six to nine months.
And ASUS CFO David Cheng said the company would run out of HDD inventory at the end of this month:
Substitutes for HDD are very few, so if the situation persists, not only notebook production will be affected but also desktops, and other component shipments will also drop.
In the mobile world, a WDS study found that Android smartphones are costly for operators because the varied manufacturers and different OS editions made them tougher to fix:
Android deployments can never compete with the hardware consistency (or software integration) of some of its competitors.
Facebook security was back under the microscope again, as researchers used an army of socialbots to pretend to be users and thereby steal loads of personal data in an experiment the social network said was probably successful because they used a trusted university IP address to do it:
We have serious concerns about the methodology of the research by the University of British Colombia and we will be putting these concerns to them.
And don't worry, the weird isn't over yet, 21-year-old aspiring model Jasha Lottin posted pictures of herself posing with, inside and eating the carcass of a dead horse on 4chan, claiming she was partially inspired by Star Wars – and then said she didn't know what all the fuss was about. The police, however, did check it out although they decided she hadn't broken any laws. Their report said:
Lottin said in the movie Star Wars the character Han Solo cut open an animal with his light saber and placed Luke Skywalker inside the animal. This was due to Luke freezing to death in cold weather. Lottin said there was nothing religious about what she did and she didn't intend to offend anyone. ®