This week’s geek insanity news kicks off with a >SCREAM< Facebook horror. A schoolgirl’s Facebook post cost her dad a smooth 80,ooo bucks. He won an Age discrimination case against his former employer and his hapless daughter promptly posted a triumphal SUCK-IT-former-employer post on Facebook. Sadly, this violated the non-disclosure clause and a small fortune was washed down the drain. OOPS. For me the villains in the case here are firstly non-disclosure clauses of violations of the law and, secondly, Facebook itself: a sinister organisation that builds up profiles of everyone therewithin for creepy purposes.
Next we have a >SCREAM< techno horror. A BitCoin exchange, Flexcoin, exploded after over $600,000 was pinched from its virtual vault. A BitCoin is basically an encrypted number and an Exchange is where you can trade them: but to do so you hand over (and entrust) your coins to the exchange. That is rather like giving notes to a bank and entrusting that bank to pay them back or transfer them on request.
As BitCoin is unregulated, Wild West style, using exchanges is less financially secure than using mundane banks. If the Bitcoin exchange goes tits up, your coins you entrusted to them (literally, you gave them to them, for keeping in an account) are likely never to be returned to you. The exchange usually takes no responsibility. On the other hand regulated currencies also have their down sides. As long as the pros of de-regulation out-weight the risks, the BitCoin niche will swell.
Biological Virus horror: a new virus has been awakened after a 30,000 year stretch locked in Siberian ice. Unlike normal virii of its kind, its DNA is extremely loosely packed. No doubt with British immigration spiralling out of control (as usual), this beast will be welcomed in to inflict further misery our once-great nation.
Death By Poison Awaits news: The Telegraph points out more food industry drug-pushing, where the fantastically addictive drug in question is sugar. “Low Fat” won’t save you, au contraire. And we wonder why we’re a nation of fatties.
Other bits and bobs. Android has overtaken Apple’s iOS as the most popular operating system that runs on tablet computers. Meanwhile Microsoft’s dodgy Windows based effort languishes at a sad 2%.
Talking of Microsoft, their efforts to get people off its half-decent Windows XP operating system to the craptastic Windows 8 are failing horribly. Much software that runs on the former refuses to run on the latter. Let’s hope there are some more converts to Linux, the free and superior alternative.
Before his announcement of his resignation, Steve Balmer, Microsoft CEO, threw a noisy tantrum at his Board when they protested his evil plan to buy Nokia. The damage, however, is done, as Balmer got his way. The tragic Nokia plunge is almost at its terminus of failure. They were doomed the moment they made a corrupt decision to put Windows on their phones a few years back.
In related news, it turns out that sources within Nokia are indicating that Nokias are sending Nokia users’ private data to Microsoft. This abject abuse by Microsoft of its customers stopped surprising me a dozen years ago. But that does not mean that these scandals are not outrageous.
Some sane news, India’s National Council Of Education, Research and Training (NCERT) is recommending that schools move from Windows to Linux. There are many reasons why this is a virtuous move, savings being but one. We should be doing exactly the same.
A Jewish school in Hackney (are there any English schools left in this country?) has purged evolution from its exams. The ignorant march of religion continues apace. Needless to say, Islamic and Christian schools are also biasing children’s education with religious creeds: the separation of religion from education must be enforced to avoid corrupting innocent minds. That is child abuse.
At the Fermilab science lab they have banned an evil software package called “Powerpoint”. Needless to say, this has massively improved the quality and interactivity of talks.
Finally, games consoles horror: it will come as news not to readers of this column that the things are Spying Machines.
More geek insanity next week but meanwhile please impulse purchase (Amazon UK) a remarkable invention of mine, the Culica Cube.