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According to Steven

My view on technology

‘Why would I buy a mac? Why would I spend that amount of money for a computer half the specs of a pc with a lower price?’. It’s about the first question I asked the shop-assistent at the mac store. ‘Because it’s stable and it’s safe, you won’t get any viruses or something with a Mac.’

Especially the second part interested me. A computer without any risk of malwar, trojans, viruses etc. would be nice. I would buy it immediately, without any doubt. But I was not convinced. If a Mac was really that safe, why the hell would there be something like SecureMac? So I opened up my browser, and searched. And the moment I began to read my search result, I decided to buy a pc. Why? Because a Mac is not that invulnerable (and even not that stable too, but that will be something for another post). I will not just write a text, no. I’m not a computer expert. What I will do in this post, is give you some links (mostly in Dutch, but you can use google translate if you want them in English), and  give some comment.

1) ‘IE8, Safari and Firefox hacked during Pwn2Own-event’ (Dutch)

Summary: During a cracking contest, IE8, Safari and Firefox are hacked. So forget it : safe browsing. None of the big three is unvulnerable. (The man who was able to crack Safari even said it was easy to do so, he had a lot of bugs he could use).  Nothing is said about google chrome in this contest…

2) ‘Mac-virusses hidden on pornsite‘ (Dutch)

I think the title says a lot, so I will not give further explanation. What I will do, is give you another two links: Link 1, Link 2 . How did he said it? No viruses? And may I recall this add?

3) ‘Mac is the first to fall in Pwn2Own hack contest

Though the article is written in 2008, I think it says a lot about how no system is totally secure.

4) ‘Apple Macs, no crashes or viruses?’

About the same as I am trying to explain you here…

5) ‘Apple advises virusscanner for Macs‘ (Dutch)

Again, title says a lot. Though it’s very timid, even Apple has put on his website that you should install anti-virussoftware on a Mac…

Okay. Maybe you will call me an apple-basher now, maybe you will hate me, maybe you will love me. But I want to be clear: I’m even an apple-fan: I just love my iPod, and I just love apple-computers, though I think they are way too expensive.

In this article, I just want to smash down the illusion that you are totally safe when you have Mac. It doesn’t matter which one, if you have a computer, and that computer is on-line, you are having the risk of getting malware.

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Surfing the web, I’ve met this one today. I’ve thaught it was quite funny ^^


A couple of days ago, I wrote something about facebook trying to be like twitter. Today, it’s Googles turn. The company will try to catch up Facebook and Twitter (which the NYT keeps on calling a Social Networking Company, hélas) by adding some new ‘social features’ to gmail. Next to an easy-to-use chat and videochatfunction, which are already implemented, it will add add-ons that allow users to share pictures and words about what ‘they are doing right now’.

But I really doubt wether it will be succesfull. On one hand, it is made by google and implemented in one of its most popular services, but on the other hand, things like Orkut, Google Chrome and Google Wave aren’t as popular as Google hoped they would be when they came up with it. Next to that, most people who just use their computer for word processing, chatting, mailing and social networking, haven’t any knowledge about Google Maps or Google Docs (or even Google Wave).

But, this is something different. It’s an extra option in an existing and popular website, and not a totally new website with a new service.  I wonder wether Facebook and Twitter will have some serious competition or not…

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I never thought I would ever say it, and I know damned well my brother will keep on telling me I have written this for about the rest of my life, but hell yeah, the Playstation 3 is a cool machine.

I’m not a gamer. The only games I play are Ere Moyenne and Quake live – and I just can’t manage to get trough the introductory level in the second one. So when my brother bought himself a $300 tv and a $500 (approximately) playstation 3, I said he shouldn’t spend his money on that crap. Giving that amount of money to a game console – you don’t even have the games yet – sounded (and actually still sounds) quite freaky to me. But once he got it, I felt this magical feeling a nice piece of technology gives me everytime I see one. The feeling the macbook gave me, the feeling the palm treo pro gave me.

Okay, but I wont’t lie to you on this one. It took me some weeks – months to actually get interested in it, and to get the feeling I described in the upper sentence. Whatever, once I tried it myself – my brother standing with me and smiling because he felt he finally won me over for his machine – I saw it plays music, it plays blue-ray and dvd, you can play on-line with other people around the world – even next to the microphone-thing just shouting stuff to others, not having to type it. And above all: the graphics are great. The characters move just like real people do and react very precise on every move of the controller – which I do not manage to control well, but my brother does. And then I’m not even talking about the magnificent special effects in games like ‘infamous’ .

But I still wonder. Is it worth the money? I don’t know. But what I do know, is that whatever people who do not like gaming – including me – are saying, it is a magnificent piece of technology…

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Yesterday I read an article about (American, but whatever) teens. According to the article, teens don’t like blogging anymore, they prefer microblogging.

‘De Morgen’, a Belgian newspaper, states that teenagers prefer microblogging, using Facebook, to real blogging. I feel called to react. Facebook has never been, is not , and will never be a microblogging tool. It’s just a social network tool, designed to stay in touch with friends. And okay, it’s good in doing that. But if one is serious about microblogging, he starts tweeting. Why? Because Twitter is a microblog network. Or, so you want. But not Facebook.

I admit, Facebook does a hard job trying to be one. They gave there statusupdates a lot of features – most cheated from Twitter or Identi – have written a decent API, and even a mobile app. They managed to get blog integration, and gave us more space to type in then 140 characters. Everytime it takes a new lay-out (which happens quite often – too often according to me) it’s a new step in the direction of giving the status updates a more important position into the facebook-world.  But it isn’t a microblogplatform, because it’s too plump to be one. A microblogplatform doesn’t need Farmville, hugs, maffia games and so on. A microblogplatform doesn’t need a profile page with tons of pictures on it. A microblogplatform just needs to be accessible and fast, it has to be fluently, and easy to make new friends, to get in touch with new people. And facebook – let’s be honest – isn’t.

But yes, I also use facebook. I use it to keep in touch with friends I haven’t seen for a long time, or to discuss things with classmates or friends who I meet daily. But I don’t use it as a tool to do some microblogging. Why? Because microblogging is more than just ‘updating a status’. And hell no, Facebook will not ever manage to give it a new definition, suiting their purpose.

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I‘m really sick of this slowwwwww computer. It’s a Dell Inspiron 1501, bought it 3 years ago. Really a nice computer. It was cheap, I dropped it a few times – it still works (more or less). It runs Ubuntu very well, so does it with Windows XP – and I even managed to play Archlord with it (though it doesn’t fit into the System Requierements of Archlord), and to run Microsoft Vista (same story as Archlord).

Okay. It has low specs. A 1.80 Ghz Intel Celeron processor, 512 mb RAM, 60 gb ROM. But it fit my needs. Three years ago. Now – it doesn’t. It turns slow when I try Microsoft Office 2007, it crashes when I send an e-mail with thunderbird, and it has difficulties running Windows Live Messenger and iTunes. I should say nothing about Adobe Photoshop Elements. Did I just call iTunes? Sound quality is terrible, too. En bref : I need a new computer. But which one?

I actually can’t say a bad word about Dell. I shouldn’t blame the manufacturer  for giving my system such low specs. I ordered them myself. And I should even confess Dell actually did a pretty good job: I was able to run stuff which by far do not fit my system specs – theoretically. And it even survived a few (soft) drops.

But there’s another brand I really love : Apple. Yeah, it’s true. One fell in love with the white macbook. What a design! And with Snow Leopard. Just one try in the local Apple store did it : I had a crush on the design, on the OS, on the computer an se. But it’s expensive – especially when you don’t get student discount. Very expensive. Especially looking at the specs. 2 GB Ram won’t bring me far. It doesn’t have an SD-slot, which I use daily.  The screen doesn’t have an anti-reflection coating, and it lacks firewire. Anyway. I love the design – but it’s way to expensive.

So I turned back to Dell, searched at their website and decided. It’s gonna be a Dell Studio 15 (picture): an Intel I3 2.10Ghz processor, 4 GB RAM, Windows 7, adobe premiere and photoshop (elements!), 3 years McAfee. Can’t wait till I get it…

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Okay. Actually, I should be studying right now. But I’m not – shame on me. I just upgraded firefox. And hell yeah, I love it! At first glimpse, it doesn’t seem that special. It doesn’t even look changed. Okay, it’s true. That isn’t the most important thing. It could run faster, smoother and stuff. But I think some lay-out changes are always nice. And Mozilla díd change the lay-out, and how.

It introduced the Personas, some kind of themes for firefox, but better. It’s easier to make one, and they look better. No. I’m making mistakes. It’s not just ‘some kind of themes’. You can still download themes. It are looks for a theme. You can place a picture as firefox ‘wallpaper’, visible behind your buttons and adressbar. And I should say: some of them are really wonderfull. Try it out!

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