Days: it’s a blog thing

Since August, 2001. Surely it can’t last…

Saturday, November 17, 2001 ↓


A little late in picking this one up, but better late than never: Security hole in IE reveals data in cookies. As bad as creating the security weakness is, even worse is Microsoft's admission to Online Solutions (the company that did the decent thing and informed Microsoft of the problem) that it could take weeks to come up with a patch. Online Solutions did exactly the right thing by making the situation public after Microsoft had failed to come up with any useful response a week later. .Net. Passport. Swiss cheese. Hmmm...

While you are in the mood, take a look at this: European Parliament to vote on browser cookie ban. I'm not sure how I feel about this; I applaud the sentiment of defending individual privacy, but cookies have as many good applications as evil ones. And they are not difficult to disable if you really will not tolerate them. I'd much rather the European Parliament took stronger action against spam, instead of cheerfully allowing it in the interests of commerce, as seems to be the case.

A final bit of Microsoft-bashing. Some people think this picture is a result of some Photoshop trickery, but apparently it's entirely genuine. Good old cut and paste (and abseiling).

Posted at 4:15 PM

Friday, November 16, 2001 ↓


Davezilla has a new tip in his “Manly Tips for Bachelor Living” series. I know them all so well. Favourite: “Car parts on the kitchen table. As God intended it.” Well, you have to be comfortable when taking apart your starter motor.

Posted at 1:20 PM

Thursday, November 15, 2001 ↓


Born as king on this day in 1316, Jean I of France lived and reigned for only four or five days — not even long enough for a coronation!

Posted at 1:52 PM


I reckon so. First, from the BBC:

Eight Western aid workers freed in Afghanistan after being held for three months by the Taleban have been telling of their ordeal.

Next, from Yahoo News:

A young Afghan woman shows her face in public for the first time after 5 years of Taliban law in Kabul November 14, 2001. The hard-line Islamic rule of Afghanistan’s Taliban unraveled, as world leaders focused on a blueprint to restore peace and stability to a weary nation bloodied by two decades of civil war.

Most of us never think of how good it is to feel fresh air on our cheeks.

Posted at 12:50 PM

Tuesday, November 13, 2001 ↓


It’s a bit more than 24 hours since I heard about the American Airlines plane dropping out of the sky above Rockaway Beach, Queens, NYC. At the time, like most people I guess, my first thoughts were that bin Laden’s lunatics had struck again.

I resisted the temptation to leap straight to the keyboard, however, and I’m glad I did. Before the night was out, it seemed pretty clear that this was an “ordinary” air accident. Not that that makes it any less painful for the families of those who died, and though most of the passengers were Dominicans, it’s hard not to feel especially sorry for the citizens of New York for having to endure another tragedy on their doorstep so soon after September 11.

But every event these days seems to breed its conspiracy theorists, and all over the place I’m hearing people (Americans especially) voice their suspicions that we aren’t being told the truth by the authorities, that this was a terrorist attack but they won’t admit to it. (Why not? To spare us from feeling bad? Like we could feel any worse about recent events...)

I can’t see the sense in this point of view. With support for the “war on terror” weakening in some quarters, and never having been very strong in others, surely if this really had been a terrorist act then Dubya would have wanted everybody to know about it, providing greater justification for us to go and get the bastards.

Posted at 6:15 PM


Well, the tax lady, actually — but the Eugene O’Neill reference is shaky enough already. Yesterday, an officer of Her Majesty’s Customs and Excise carried out an inspection on the accounts I maintain not for my own company, but for a trade association for which I have the dubious honour of being Treasurer. The purpose? To ensure that we are not fiddling Her Majesty’s Government out of any Value Added Tax.

Happily, the lady went away satisfied that we weren’t screwing the Exchequer. Sadly, in preparation for the inspection, I’d spent a good part of the weekend searching for a three-year-old file of purchase invoices that for some reason was not where it should have been. (Files to me are somewhat like socks you put in the washing machine: one always disappears inexplicably.) I finally found it just a couple of hours before the inspection. My mother would have me believe its miraculous reappearance was due to her praying to Saint Anthony; I know it was due to me routing out every possible hidey-hole in which it could be concealing itself. Different perspectives.

And just by chance, it was on this day in 1789 in a letter to M. Leroy that Benjamin Franklin made his famous remark that “in this world nothing is certain but death and taxes.” As if to underline the fact, the following year he died.

Posted at 6:13 PM

Sunday, November 11, 2001 ↓


The lovely Elise (once a saucy tomato, more recently swallowing tacks) has launched her new site at Reset your bookmarks.

Does the hippy chick pic remind anyone else of Susan Dey (Laurie Partridge) from The Partridge Family?

Posted at 11:54 AM


In a new video, Osama bin Laden finally admits what everyone knew but he didn't have the guts to admit before we started lobbing bombs in his direction: that he and al Qaeda were responsible for the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon.

The Telegraph reports that "the video will form the centrepiece of Britain and America's new evidence against bin Laden, to be released this Wednesday."

We're getting closer, Oh Bearded One. And I wouldn't be too confident that when the military picks up some of your sick little friends and starts waving wads of cash under their noses that they won't give you up. Human greed is stronger than religion, or even the promise of 72 black-eyed virgins waiting for you on the other side.

Posted at 11:33 AM

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