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The open secret Jennings filled me in on is that OpenStreetMap (OSM) is now at the center of an unholy alliance of the world’s largest and wealthiest technology companies. The most valuable companies in the world are treating OSM as critical infrastructure for some of the most-used software ever written. The four companies in the inner circle— Facebook, Apple, Amazon, and Microsoft— have a combined market capitalization of over six trillion dollars.
I agree with David S. Rose—integrity matters. Look in to BizSpark.[... 108 words]
Google and Microsoft Cheat on Slow-Start. Should You? Fascinating optimisation tricks by some of the big websites, which violate the RFC governing the TCP slow-start algorithm in order to perform better in the common case. # 3rd December 2010, 7:03 pm
S.Korea ends Microsoft’s online shopping monopoly. The crazy rules mandating Active X based encryption for government and e-commerce sites have finally been dropped, after the Korea Communications Commission found them “unfit for a new Internet environment involving smartphones”. # 5th July 2010, 8:21 am
We all think of Java as a boring server-side language now, but the initial idea behind Java was that software developers could write applications in Java rather than writing them for Windows, and that those applications would work everywhere, thus defanging Microsoft’s desktop OS monopoly. Microsoft took various steps to prevent that from happening, but they lacked a tool like App Store that would enable them to just ban Java. Apple has that card to play, so they’re playing it.
Internet Explorer Platform Preview Guide for Developers (via) Lots of SVG and CSS3 stuff, no mention of canvas here either though. # 16th March 2010, 6:36 pm
Negative Cashback from Bing Cashback (via) Some online stores show you a higher price if you click through from Bing—and set a cookie that continues to show you the higher price for the next three months. It’s unclear if this is Bing’s fault—comments on Hacker News report that Google Shopping sometimes suffers from the same problem (POST UPDATED: I originally blamed Bing for this). # 23rd November 2009, 9:24 pm
Major IE8 flaw makes ’safe’ sites unsafe. IE8 has an XSS protection feature which rewrites potentially harmful code in HTML pages—I think it looks for suspicious input in query strings which appears to have been output directly on the page. Unfortunately it turns out there’s a flaw in the feature that can allow attackers to rewrite safe pages to introduce XSS flaws. Google are serving all of their pages with the X-XSS-Protection: 0 header. Until the fix is released, that’s probably a good idea. # 22nd November 2009, 3:34 pm
Look at Sony, or Microsoft, or Google, or anyone. They still don’t get it. They’re still out there talking about chips, or features, or whatever. Or now they’re all hot for design. But they think design means making pretty objects. It doesn’t. It means making a system of pieces that all work together seamlessly. It’s not about calling attention to the technology. It’s about making the technology invisible.
Given the security issues with plugins in general and Google Chrome in particular, Google Chrome Frame running as a plugin has doubled the attach area for malware and malicious scripts. This is not a risk we would recommend our friends and families take.
Farewell to Mashup Editor. It’s not just Microsoft Popfly that’s shutting down—Google Mashup Editor will be gone in four weeks time (this was announced in January). You get to keep your code, but I don’t know enough about Mashup Editor to know if the code is usable once the system has shut down. # 17th July 2009, 1:05 pm
Popfly Shutting Down. Yet another reminder that building stuff on a closed-source platform (especially a hosted service) is risky business, even from a vendor as large as Microsoft. This certainly won’t help them make the case for Azure. # 17th July 2009, 9:32 am
Microsoft was slowing development of new versions of Internet Explorer in the hope that Web-based applications would not be able to compete with Windows applications, and Windows applications would keep people locked in to the Windows operating system. Thus XHTML2 was developed with no expectation that the leading Web browser would ever implement it.
From Microsoft: C# and CLI under the Community Promise. Microsoft’s assurance that it won’t “assert its Necessary Claims” against alternative (including open source) implementations of the ECMA C# and CLR specifications. The promise doesn’t cover implementations of .NET, WinForms etc- so the Mono team have announced they will be splitting their project in to two packages—a safe, ECMA based package and a package containing everything else. # 7th July 2009, 11:15 am
And that is why, in 2009, when developing in Microsoft .NET 3.5 for ASP.NET MVC 1.0 on a Windows 7 system, you cannot include /com\d(\..*)?, /lpt\d(\..*)?, /con(\..*)?, /aux(\..*)?, /prn(\..*)?, or /nul(\..*)? in any of your routes.
Imminent Death of the Net Predicted. Well, maybe not, but the way Windows Vista deals with round-robin DNS A records (using a new IPv6 algorithm from RFC3484 backported to IPv4) means that domains that serve up multiple A records to load balance between data centres will find that the IP nearest to the 192.168.* range will get the vast majority of Vista traffic. # 5th March 2009, 9:50 am
The greatest coup Microsoft pulled with Internet Explorer was putting the word “Internet” in its name. It sits there, on the desktop of every new Windows computer, and it says “Internet”. So you click it. [...] What better way to beat a browser with the word “Internet” in its name—a browser that seemingly can’t be beat no matter how hard we try—than the Internet Company itself making a browser?
Unfortunately, we’re not cool enough to run on your OS yet. We really wish we had a version of Photosynth that worked cross platform, but for now it only runs on Windows.
Why I can’t put Tibet in my Hotmail address. Apparently it’s because “TIB” is name of a bank in Florida, and Microsoft are trying to prevent phishers from creating e-mail addresses that include the names of financial institutions. # 10th August 2008, 10:41 pm
IE8 Security Part IV: The XSS Filter (via) IE8 will include an XSS filter to identify and neutralise “reflected” XSS attacks (where malicious code in a query string is rendered to the page), turned on by default. Sounds like a good idea to me, and site authors can disable it using Yet Another Custom HTTP header (X-XSS-Protection: 0). # 3rd July 2008, 9:37 am
Bill Gates has pulled off one of the greatest hacks in technology and business history, by turning Microsoft’s success into a force for social responsibility. Imagine imposing a tax on every corporation in the developed world, collecting $100 per white-collar worker per year, and then directing one third of the proceeds to curing AIDS and malaria.
TechCrunch report that Microsoft are accepting OpenID for their new HealthVault site, but with a catch: you can only use OpenIDs from two providers: Trustbearer (who offer two-factor authentication using a hardware token) and Verisign. "Whatever happened to the Open in OpenID?", asks TechCrunch’s Jason Kincaid.[... 451 words]
Velocity: A Distributed In-Memory Cache from Microsoft. I’d been wondering what Microsoft ecosystem developers were using in the absence of memcached. Is Velocity the first Windows platform implementation of this idea? # 6th June 2008, 9:52 pm