DateWednesday 10 November 2004

Why the iPod should become a platform, and eureka moments

This week’s Science and Technology section for The Independent is online: I’ve written about why Apple should make the iPod a platform (you know, like Windows) by opening up its programming hooks to outsiders; Danny Bradbury looks at TV over IP.

In Science, Len Fisher reports on Eureka moments (including self-trepanning.. hmm).

(Sorry for the delay in putting these up: the Independent site has been having problems.)

“Why I Like Windows” vs the Bofra worm

Ah, sunny optimism. Like Sunny Delight, where would we be without it? A lot healthier, no doubt. The happy bunny at Microsoft’s Internet Explorer group who wrote the delighted missive Why I Like Windows (in which he applauds, sort of, the arrival of Firefox and then details all the reasons why IE is so splendid).. well, what can you say except..

Dude, are you delusional? He writes: IE, like Windows, is a platform. That means that by choosing IE, customers choose a rich, healthy ecosystem of additional offerings. Sure, like Trojan dialler applications that install themselves when you click on a popup to close it, and call international numbers on the quiet. Some platform you’ve got there, pal.

Of course, there are some great ActiveX controls out there as well (who doesn’t use Flash or the Adobe PDF reader?). Umm, I use Flash and PDF reader, but neither of those uses ActiveX, which is a huge security risk and should be disabled.

And let’s set that inexplicable sunny happiness of Mr IE Blogger (which tastes rather like Robert Scoble’s blog after a while – as in, insufferably sugary) against the latest worm to hit IE (Windows-only): The Register report starts thus: A new family of worms which uses an unpatched vulnerability in Internet Explorer is spreading widely across the net.

At times like this, 10 per cent seems too low a target for Firefox to hit. All you really need is for someone to write an exploit that spreads around the Net so that when IE users click a link, it says “Hey! Doing this you could get your computer taken over! If you’d used Firefox, you’d be OK now! Bye now, and surf safely!”

Not that I’m advising that, because it would be – what’s the word? – illegal. And immoral. Well, probably unethical at least.