heretic108 writes "In response to people like employers who demand Facebook credentials for current and prospective workers, a simple solution would be for Facebook to allow all account holders to create "sandbox accounts". Once you create a sandbox account, you can (from your main account) selectively set your posts, photos, likes etc to be visible or invisible to the sandbox account. You can also choose which of your friends (and your friends' activities) will be visible. For instance, you can set it so Sandy Smith's activities are hidden by default, while Jim Stone's activities are visible by default. The idea is that when logged in to the sandbox account, there will be nothing to indicate that it's a sandbox login. You will even be able to create a nested sandbox within this sandbox, with no nesting restriction. With this in place, an employer will never know whether his/her employee or candidate has given up the master password, or just a sandbox password — with the ability to nest the sandboxes, account holders will have plausible deniability and will regain some control over their privacy in the event of duress attacks." top
heretic108 writes "One of the main comic devices of TV series Get Smart lead character Maxwell Smart was his mobile shoe phone, which would ring at the most awkward moments and make its user look ridiculous. Thanks to the efforts of an Australian academic, this shoe phone is now a reality. According to inventor Dr Paul Gardner-Stephen, this phone may become available soon on sites such as ThinkGeek." top
heretic108 writes "The Nokia 6288 has been an excellent cellphone in all respects except one — its crippleware OS-based restrictions against 3rd party Java MIDP applications.
I'm aware that Nokia are not alone in this practice. But what about other cellphones? I'm looking to buy something other than Nokia next time, but want something with similar features, such as large hi-res color screen, 2megapixel or better camera, 3G, memory card expansion, multimedia and small form factor. Can anyone recommend any brands/models of cellphones meeting these criteria, but which are more open to 3rd party application development, and don't require developers to mess around with an expensive and complicated certification process? Or will I have to wait for the first Android phones?" top
heretic108 writes "Many will remember the tragic Air New Zealand plane crash into Mount Erebus during a scenic Atlantic flight. Investigations at the time eliminated pilot error, placing the blame on the Air New Zealand corporation. Now Air New Zealand has been caught trying to censor the wikipedia article on the incident, in an effort to introduce doubt and reduce its perceived role in the tragedy." top
heretic108 writes "I've been building a website for a very intelligent but highly technophobic friend/client. To the best of my awareness, the site is pretty easy and intuitive to navigate — I deal with his much-younger and more tech-savvy wife regularly, and she thinks it's fine. But he's just had a look at the site in progress, and is saying I need to 're-do the layout so that it doesn't become a barrier to people' — his clients include a lot of folk who barely know what a mouse is.
So are there any good guides which people can recommend for how to make a website absolutely n00b-friendly, without annoying people of more normal skill levels and without losing some of the better features which more experienced users appreciate?
I thought of adding a big 'how to use this website' link, pointing to a page with a screencast of how to use the site and enjoy its features. Would this go down well with technophobes?" top
heretic108 writes "Just when we thought we'd seen some weird filesystems, a lone developer in New Zealand has developed and released to the public domain a FUSEFilesystem called XmlRpcFs — a Linux filesystem which allows users to mount a directory on a remote webserver, and gain full read/write access. XmlRpcFs uses a purely http transport, talking XML-RPC to a CGI script on the host, and makes the remote filesystem work transparently like a local directory. Security is still a work in progress, and the developer encourages users to remove the remote CGI script when not in use, and try to access it only via https. Nevertheless, this could be a boon for website developers who use cheap web hosts that don't provide any SSH, scp, rsync or nfs access." top
With some frameworks, there can be hundreds of kB to download before the user sees the page. Ok for broadband, just a couple of seconds, but for the 40-90% of users (depending on country) still on dialup this means up to a minute of latency before they see any content. This is enough to make most visitors give up and click elsewhere. Worse, many RIA frameworks don't degrade well if js is disabled.