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February 15, 2010

Bart Trojanowski
Bart's Blog
» nexus one

Some people have asked me to review my experience with Nexus One as a user in Canada.

Here be my first impressions.

[Read More]

January 15, 2010

» Blogrotate #13: The Weekly Roundup of News for System Administrators

Welcome to another edition of Blogrotate. This has been a busy week in the IT world. Here are some of the most interesting highlights.


Without a doubt, the topic of the week is security. The revelation that China has been hacking into Google and over 30 other US companies sent shock waves through the IT World and beyond. There were a huge number of articles generated about this in the last week. Ironically, the best source for articles on this issue turned out to be Google’s own news aggregator: see China Google hack.

In another China-related security issue, The Money Times reports that Iranians hack China’s Baidu; Chinese hack back.

Despite these and other security scares that have appeared over the last few months, Help Net Security reports that only 27% of organizations use encryption. As the song says “When will we ever learn?”


ArsTechnica raises some interesting questions regarding the growth of fiber networking in the the article Fiber fail? Hong Kong booms as Verizon retrenches

Data Centers

Do you find the service at your data center to be below your expectations? If so, the source of the problem maybe that half of all data centers understaffed, Symantec survey finds as Jon Brodkin of Network World reports.

Operating Systems

The big news in operating systems the week was the announcement that Google is switching to EXT4 filesystem as reported by Digitizor.


Cloud computing received a major boost this week because Microsoft and Hewlett-Packard have announced a new three-year $250 million effort aimed at helping businesses move toward cloud computing as reported by ArsTechnica

That’s it for this week in the wild, woolly world of IT. This week is a reminder that the Internet can still be a jungle at times so hey, let’s be careful out there. Thanks for reading. See you next week.

December 12, 2009

Rick Leir
» Professional Android Application Development

book coverProfessional Android Application Development / Reto Meier, Wiley, 2009

Developers of mobile applications need look no further, Android is here. Several compelling factors put Android on the top of the pile compared with iPhone, Palm, BB and Nokia. This book is an introduction to app development, well written, with many examples, 400 pages.

November 20, 2009

» Blogrotate #7: The Weekly Roundup of News for System Administrators

Is it Friday already? Where has the week gone? Whatever, we’ve got lots of good news tidbits for you this week, including several follow-ups to previous stories. Enough jaw-jacking, let’s get to the news.

Operating Systems

This week we got an early alpha of Google Chrome OS, which is slated for full release sometime in Q4 of 2010. ZDNet blogs and Ars technica have three good first looks at Chrome. First up is Adrian Kingsley-Hughes article Chrome OS – The good, the bad and the ugly, and how it fits in with Windows, Mac and Linux.

For a more security related view, Ryan Naraine has an early look into Chrome OS security with Inside the Google Chrome OS security model.

Lastly, Jon Stokes at Ars Technica has his own first look with screenshots in Chrome OS: Internet failing at PC > PC failing at Internet.

There’s a new Fedora in town. The popular Linux desktop put out by Red Hat released its newest version. Bill has gone crazy for Fedora articles today, so here’s a point form list of what he found.

Have you ever wondered just how much you can take out of Windows and still have a usable system? The Minwin project set out to find that out for you. Warren Rumak discusses Minwin and what it’s all about in Inside “MinWin”: the Windows 7 kernel slims down.

Data Centers

Scuttlemonkey at SlashDot posted a question about how to evaluate a datacenter. This question has elicited a flurry of discussion on the topic with some good (and bad) stories, but buried inside are many good thoughts on criteria that would be useful in any evaluation. Read more in “How Do You Evaluate a Data Center?“.

Data Center Knowledge has an interesting article by Kevin Normandeau. It’s all about how a greener datacenter can pay off in the long run. “…Amazon, Toyota, and Nike, have realized that focusing on limiting energy calories in the datacenter and elsewhere pays profitability dividends on the financial side” says the article, which draws on a whitepaper from IDC on the subject.

Also at Data Center Knowledge, Rick Miller has a note about Rackspace expanding its headquarters with a new 120,000 square foot expansion. See Rackspace Expands Its Headquarters for more, and a video tour of one of their offices.


Cnet news has an article about the recently released Square Trade survey of laptop reliability. Square Trade is a warranty provider who offer coverage for many brands of laptops so they should know. See Who makes the most reliable laptops for some excerpts from the report, and the full report can be found in PDF format from the Square Trade website.


A follow up from last week regarding the Microsoft “sudo” patent. According to Ryan Paul this patent does not cover sudo at all. Read more about it in Microsoft’s pseudo sudo patent doesn’t really cover sudo.

A follow up to a post from a couple of weeks ago—there is now an exploit for the mentioned SSL/TLS attack vector. Dan Goodin at The Register has more in his article Researcher busts into Twitter via SSL reneg hole. More technical details on the exploit can be found in Understanding the TLS Renegotiation Attack.


A follow up to last week’s article, Microsoft confirms the Windows 7 USB/DVD download tool contained GPLv2 code and has indicated that they will provide the source/binaries for the tool under the GPL. Peter Galli from Microsoft’s Open Source division has more in Update on the Windows 7 USB/DVD Tool.


The UN-backed Internet Governance Forum was on last week in Egypt. One of the hot topics was ownership of the DNS root domain, which is currently controlled by the US. This made sense when the internet was only in the US universities, but with the global nature of the ‘Net, there is no good reason for a single country to have control of something that controls the basic functionality of the internet. Janna Quitney Anderson has more in IGF attendees: America, surrender the root zone file!


A follow-up review on VMWare Fusion 3, running Windows 7 in OSX. Dave Girard has put Fusion through its paces; read about his results in Running Windows 7 under OS X: Ars reviews VMware Fusion 3.

That’ll do it for this week’s edition. As always feel free to add your own news or perspective in the comments. See y’all next week!

November 20, 2008

Rick Leir
» Google Earth for dummies

Google Earth for dummies / by David A. Crowder, Wiley, 2007

It used to be that a GIS package cost thousands, and you had to attend university to learn how to use it. Now there is Google Earth and related sites that are free unless you want a pro version. Here is the user manual!

Get it from OPL

» Google.pedia

Google.pedia : the ultimate Google resource / Michael Miller, Que Pub., c2008

Here is a user manual for Google, and it’s a thick one! You might think you could learn everything just by browsing Google, but I learned several things from this book.

Get it from OPL

» Planet Google

Planet Google : one company’s audacious plan to organize everything we know / Randall Stross, Free Press, 2008

This very readable book charts the history and prospects for the Google company. It is not technical, but it will interest anyone planning a profitable business.

Get it from OPL