Why is Internet Explorer security such a challenge?

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This is the best brief primer on IE vulnerabilities and browser/internet exploits that I’ve seen in awhile.

It also contains some great advice for the IT pro and the typical user as well. Don’t forget to click the links within the article if you don’t understand something. F’rinstance: I didn’t know what a ‘Zero-Day Exploit‘ was.

Android vs. iOS @android @androidcentral

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This isn’t intended as a detailed comparison by any means and I want to keep this as short as possible.  These are all anecdotal notes: I have no technical knowledge of either OS, just practical experience.  Also, a lot of my observations are tainted by a few years of using iOS.  I invite you to explore Android on your own and tell me what you’ve learned.

This comparison is between:

  • Android OS 4.1.2 a.k.a, “Jelly Bean” (apparently the latest one I can get for this particular device) and
  • Apple iOS 7.0.2 (7.0.3 just came out but I haven’t applied it yet!)

The Android OS, as it plays out on the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1, is like espresso shots, capers and William Shatner:

Android is an Acquired Taste

So, if you are planning to move to Android because it’s the only current alternative to iOS, then prepare for a steeper-than-iOS learning curve.

These are some quick observations:

  • The text handling is not even CLOSE to being as intuitive as iOS.
    • I imagine that competency with Android text handling comes with time and experience just like iOS.
    • That being said, the spell checking & word “guessing” is on par with, if not better than iOS.
  • I use voice to dictate a lot of what I do.  Android translates as I speak…if it were instantaneous, it would be great.  But it is NOT instantaneous.  So – I – get a lot of Shatner type – sentences – as I speak.
    • iOS, on the other hand will wait until I’m finished talking and then try to figure out what the hell I said.  In the case of Siri, I noticed that it calls out to “the mother ship” out there in Apple-land to assist…it works great when it works.  But, lose your signal: lose most of Siri’s functionality.
  • The Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 comes with a lot of junkware.  They appear DESPERATE for you to use Samsung’s chat and Samsung’s cloud and Samsung’s music and Samsung’s movies, Samsung’s  blah-blah-blah-blah.  Then on top of that there is Google’s Chat, Google’s cloud, Google’s music, ad nauseam.  This device came with more crapware 2nd only to what Lenovo puts on their laptops.
    • You must keep my remarks in context: I’m a minimalist.  One app for this function, not THREE!  I have massive ADD and I am constantly trying to minimize input so I can concentrate on getting the job done.

      Demo of the Crapware They put on these things
      Demo of the “Crapware” they put on these things
  • Facebook: the Android app temporarily locks up on me when I’m replying to a message.  It goes into some kind of text selection mode and I can’t do anything.
    • I notice that the network activity is solid during these occasions and I can only imagine that either Facebook, Google or Samsung (or all three) are compiling detailed information on me and sending it to their network to profile & target my sorry ass for the next “as seen on TV” gizmo.
  • The browser that Samsung provides blows…there is no other technical term to describe it.  However, unlike iOS, you have some browser choice, which I really appreciated.
    • A full version of Firefox was a welcome sight…it was able to use addons and the whole smash…what a treat!  Chrome and Opera were also choices.
    • Why a Google OS didn’t come standard with Chrome mystifies the hell outta me.  That had to be a Samsung thing.
    • This may also have something to do with the “OPEN” standard that Google expresses for Android.  Openware is a double-edged sword: you get a lot of great competition but it also fragments the market and makes choosing products that much harder.  The libertarian in me loves that but the lazy asshole in me is annoyed. This is why it is so easy to get sucked-in to the Apple maelstrom; once you’re on the government dole, it’s like crack and takes a lot of discipline to get your mind off of the dependence it creates.
    • Another wierd note about Monopoly: You can get apps for Android from multiple companies vs. every app for iOS having to pray to the Apple god for inclusion.  Another thing that makes it better for freedom but harder for finding apps.
    • OH…and while we’re on OS & browsers…and this is what I like about iOS…Android does not support Flash or apparently, vice-versa.  For me its Silverlight and HTML5 and Adobe can otherwise suck it.
      • Caution: My hate for Adobe stems from their LOUSY support for enterprise infrastructure – it has been HALF-ASSED for the most part and is only now getting to the point where their tools and software support IT shops.  To their credit, they must be listening to us…because its now much easier to turn off those *^&%$(&*%^ Flash updates that generate a ton of work orders to “Please Stop These Update Notices” from our customers.

So I hope these quick observations (and mini-RANTS) help….they are as incomplete and biased as you will ever see, but they come with the knowledge that having another OS on the market will always be a welcome thing.  Monopoly – government or private – destroys freedom.  And the only thing that can combat monopoly is competition.  B$

ReasonTV – The Tor Project

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I found this through my political blogging. Amazing!

Firefox: It Is OVER! (A Rant)

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That’s it.  It is OVER!  I was not happy with Mozilla’s new rapid release program.  In an enterprise environment, it is ESSENTIAL to test browsers to certify them to work with your webapps and pages.  We follow standards when we can, but we have legacy systems that can’t easily be changed to suit the needs of our users who get a new flippin’ browser ever 6 minutes. But, I was willing to try an live with it as long as it didn’t mire our helpdesk with more issues.

After two weeks of dealing with new issues that came up with the latest Firefox release at work (6.0.2), I sit here at home this morning trying to pay my bills online and clearly a THIRD of the sites can’t be rendered by Firefox.  It doesn’t matter to me in USER MODE that it’s Firefox’s fault or the website’s fault.  It just didn’t work.  That’s it…I’ve had it…It is OVER.  I will now start testing Chrome to replace Firefox in our desktop images.

What kind of world is it that would force me to use Internet Explorer?  I can’t stand IE, but at least it bloody WORKS!!

  • Firefox: removed from my personal computer.
  • Chrome: Installed.
  • Checklist: Completed.

If you’ll pardon me for saying so, Mozilla: Fuck you.