Back To Work

Just got back from the office, where I spent quite a while wading through e-mail and dealing with the usual "now that you're back can we have that meeting" backlash. All of a sudden, my previously pristine calendar for the week is peppered with hour-long "quick update" sessions.

Some news, then:

  • As you may have seen pretty much everywhere by now, Yahoo bought Konfabulator. Although I don't care much for either Konfabulator or Dashboard (or for speculation of whether or not Apple dropped the ball on either), this makes for an interesting twist on delivering personalized content to the desktop (which is where Yahoo is sure to go with it, now that it has a cross-platform mechanism for focused content delivery). Remember the old "personalized portals" where you could personalize little rectangular sections of the page? Desktop widgets are its modern day descendants - and your desktop is the new portal battleground.
  • Looks like MSN Virtual Earth is a bit behind the times. Oh, and it occasionally stops scrolling, too.
  • TiddlyWiki now has Sparklines and a mind-blowing macro facility that lets you extend it inline - just when you think it can't possibly do anything else, Jeremy manages to make JavaScript go where no script has gone before...
  • Like Sérgio, I think that Portuguese online banking sites are actually worsening security by using idiotic "virtual keyboards" that not only do not contribute one whit to real authentication security but also don't work properly with all browsers. Schneier would probably consider these a textbook case in ineffectiveness, since anyone who can develop a keylogger can just as easily intercept a form submission - there are plenty of samples around for crafting browser helper objects for IE.

Turbo Slugs

If you have a NSLU2 and are handy with a soldering iron, consider "overclocking" it.

I read about this last week, and today I forced myself to relax when coming back from the office by watching my soldering iron heat up (in true geek form, I have an SMD-sized soldering iron, which I break out occasionally to fix connectors and stuff now that my hardware design days are long gone).

In exchange for 5 minutes' worth of my time, I got a noticeably speedier little box. But not by much - the only noticeable performance improvement so far is when iTunes first connects to the DAAP server, and that's about as much excitement as it gets. We'll see if this has any real impact on the SMB file service...