Seattle Space Needle Reflection at Night

The Unintended Altruism of Ad-Blocking


I am a person who wears headphones for most of the day as I whack away at command-lines and code, and as a result of this, have suffered hearing damage over the years as I stumbled upon one auto-start video after another, most of which play at twice the decibel level of my music.

In a fit of self-defense, years ago, I resorted to using an ad-blocker, and I quite frankly never looked back.

I’m evil, though.

At least that’s what I’m told by numerous website-operators. Too many to count at this point.

They tell me that by using

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Oracle’s New (but semi-hidden) Malware Opt-Out

Java Console

It’s not a good time to be a Java developer. While the language itself is quite polished, and the speed and performance of the virtual machine has exceeded what I had at first thought probable, I increasingly have to come to terms with the fact that … in order to run the stuff I write, people have to risk infecting their computer with malware first.

Sure, the obsessively detailed can possibly avoid it (barring an errant tap of the ‘enter’ key), but the installers for most malware have been developed using psychological techniques designed to trick the user into “agreeing”

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Possible Apple Class-Action Over Dying GPUs

Apple Logo

I received this comment earlier today:

You may be interested to know that a class-action is being brought against Apple for faulting GPU’s (again) in the 2011 15 & 17 inch models. Just Google it, we’re highly visible.

The URL provided was:

Now, I can’t verify that this is indeed a lawsuit in the works. I only see a link to a petition, not a lawsuit. That said, if only because I really hope it’s true, a lawsuit could still be in the beginning stages. Vet this one if you’re interested.

Update: The comment below says it all.


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Still Shameless After All These Years

iOS 8 Multiple Windows

“I can’t believe that people aren’t rallying in the streets over how cool this is!”

I said these exact words yesterday while showing a friend my new 12.2″ Galaxy Note Pro.

While the Android platform has its issues, myself being one of its harshest critics, the multiple-window multitasking I found in the new tablet was beyond cool. It was, quite frankly, the most awesome feature I’ve discovered since I began using Android about 5 years ago. The ability to literally draw a square, and have a new application pop into that square, all without disrupting the current application, is just

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Samsung’s Security Theater

Samsung's Security Theater

You want to know why so many websites are getting hacked these days, leaking your personal information to anyone and everyone?

Allow me to illustrate …

Yesterday, I tried to change the password to my Samsung account. I’d changed it previously to a shorter password, and I had second-thoughts about doing so, so I decided to change it back.

I logged into my Samsung account and proceeded to change my password back to my moderately-secure, 11+ character password which has never been written down anywhere.

I couldn’t, though, because apparently, I’d used it before.

Fair enough, I went to a

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Duck Duck What?

Duck Duck Logo

It’s easy to get into habits, and by doing so, failing to discover better alternatives.

Take search engines, for example.

I’ve been using Google since it was a cluster of Linux/Free-BSD boxes in the late-90’s. In those days, Google was a scrappy challenger to then-dominant Yahoo, and when I told people that I’d switched to it, I was met mostly with snickers.

Alas, history is repeating itself, as it wants to.

Google was superior to Yahoo because its algorithm was right for the times. Whereas Yahoo merely counted the number of times a search term appeared on a page,

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Beware Parallels Desktop 9

Parallels Screenshot

My occupation requires that I write, test & support software on a variety of different platforms, and for the past couple of years, I have been pulling this off using virtualization technology … primarily the open source VirtualBox.

A Linux user since the early 90’s, I’ve always preferred open source solutions when reasonably possible. I still use Linux on all of my servers, as well as Open Office, GIMP, Eclipse, etc on the desktop. Over the years, my bias against commercial software has only increased with Corporate America’s increasing level of hostility towards consumers, as well as a general decline

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Farewell Android, Farewell

Google Play Google Plus

It’s a tough time to be an American consumer.

It’s a tough time to be an American.

I always knew it would come to this, but being the Pollyanna that I am, I was hoping that it wouldn’t.

Two and a half years ago, I bought my first Android device, an HTC EVO, and even though it was a battery-draining, unstable mess … I sung its praises.


Because I saw great potential. A true multi-tasking kernel on a Linux core, open source code, a generous development platform, the ability to run non-pre-approved apps … the possibilities were infinite, and

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Et tu Java?

Oracle Java Browser Scam

Write-once, run-anywhere.

Native language of Android.

The most popular programming language in the world, finally surpassing C in 2011.

I just received notice that a Java update was available for one of our workstations, so naturally, I logged in to update it.

This time, however, I was paranoid. Cynical even. You know, what people have been calling me for the last 7 or so years.

“Come on, Rex, not everyone is out to get you. Sit down, have a beer, and stop being such an obsessively-worrying asshole.”

Alas, I never listen to those who try to tell me

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Gone in 45 Seconds

Adobe Flash Player Download Screenshot

That’s all it took to lose control over my own computer, and my own operating system.

45 seconds.

It’s actually been sitting unused on my computer for some time, but I scrubbed my old copy, then installed the latest and greatest version of Windows on my machine.

Lest you think I’ve gone squirrel-turd-nutty, I should qualify this by stating that I installed it in a virtual box, the only way I would deign install Windows on anything short of my worst enemy’s life support machine. In addition to Windows, I also have OS X 10.8.1, Ubuntu 12.04, and Cent OS

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