Saturday, July 25, 2009

Evil Google

I've installed Google Earth 5 on my Mac and I found out that it has a wonderful piece of invisible software tht does automatic updates in the background. This is great except for two things

  1. It's a security risk - if an update is compromised, there is nothing I can do to stop it

  2. I would not be impressed with Google trying to download a new Google Earth while I am connected to the Internet via a 28Kbit GPRS phone

Anyway, I've disabled the update deamon, but during my researches I found this hilarious piece of crap from Google about their browser which I thought I'd share.

When we started exploring various options for our installer, we came up with some explicit goals:

  • With new browser exploits showing up on regular basis, keep users free from the burden of checking for security updates.

  • Allow users who are not administrators to install Google Chrome.

  • Allow updates to happen automatically in the background even when Google Chrome is in use. The next time you open Google Chrome, it can simply start using the latest version.

  • Just like the minimal user interface (UI) of Google Chrome, limit or eliminate installer UI as much as possible.

  • Updates should be as small as possible. A security fix should be a small, fast download and should not need a full installer.

  • Uninstall should be clean and remove changes done by Google Chrome as much as possible.

Let's look at a couple of those points in more detail.

With new browser exploits showing up on regular basis, keep users free from the burden of checking for security updates.

Translation: Google Chrome will be exploited on a regular basis. I'm not filled with confidence by that.

Allow users who are not administrators to install Google Chrome.
Translation: We need to circumvent the operating system's security so that anybody can install our software on anybody else's PC.

What were they thinking? Do they not realise that there is a good reason why it's hard for non administrators (should be impossible) to install software? In fact it gets worse. They implemented this stupid objective by putting all of the software in the user's profile. If more than one user of a PC wants to use Google Chrome they all have to install their own copy and don't even think about it if you use roaming profiles.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

40 years are go!

I have a memory from when I was very young of being dragged out of my bed in the middle of the night by my parents and being sat in front of the telly. The telly was showing grainy pictures of a man in a space suit climbing down a ladder onto what looked like the Moon.

Anyway, in honour of the first Moon landing here is some trivia on the subject:

"Apollo" has got 11 in it separated by two moons.
Apollo 11 was carried aloft by a Saturn V rocket. Saturn is a planet in our Solar system.
13 is considered unlucky because the Apollo 13 mission is the one that went wrong.
The Sea of Tranquility is not an actual sea. But it is tranquil which is why Apollo Eleven landed there.
Apollo Eleven is an anagram of "elven ale pool". Scientists think that the Sea of Tranquility was once an elven ale pool - probably a light bitter.
Neil Armstrong inspired the character Neil in the Archers.
The heaviest item of equipment on the LEM was the refrigerator designed for carrying the cheese samples back to Earth. Later missions omitted the fridge to save weight following disappointing taste tests by Armstrong and Aldrin.
The later mission to the Moon by Wallace and Grommit was, in fact, a hoax. It was filmed in a studio in Bristol.
The Apollo 11 heat shield was made out of compressed oven gloves.
The LEM was named Eagle because Apollo 11 landed on the Moon two missions before schedule.
Michael Collins was nearly rejected as an astronaut because of his part in the Easter Uprising.
Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin played scissor, paper stones to decide who would be first to set foot on the Moon. Buzz won.
Aldrin also had a prepared speech for setting foot on the Moon. It was "To infinity and beyond".
Apollo 11 was originally going to be named Legs 11.
Nigel Kennedy paid $5,000,000 dollars to sponsor the NASA space centre in Florida
The Apollo 11 crew went on a caravan holiday after the successful splashdown.
The S1-C first stage of the Saturn V burnt over 2,000 tonnes of coal in 263 seconds.
There were no toilets in the command module. Instead, Astronauts were trained to control their bowels so as not to need them for up to three weeks.
The Vehicle Assembly Building would fit into the Grand Canyon.
Apollo astronauts ate nothing but toothpaste (bovril flavoured).
The Eiffel Tower is a monument to the Apollo programme, which is why it is in the shape of a giant "A".
Michael Collins' mother starred in TV show "Dynasty"
The command module was named Columbia because Michael Collins was a fan of Little Nell.
The part of Tom Hanks was played by Gene Kranz
Duke Ellington was made capcom because he shared a love of jazz with Armstrong.
The patio doors on the Command Module got stuck in the open position and nearly caused the launch to be aborted.
The dark side of the Moon is so called because it is made of plain chocolate.

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