September 5, 2006

Back to School

Summer's over. It's official (well, not official, but you know what I mean). Some interesting tidbits from over the long weekend:

  • Tessseract (OCR software) has been open-sourced by Google. This is an underdeveloped area, especially in the OSS community (and so, very nice of Google), but expect to see an increase in CAPTCHA cracks. No good deed goes unpunished.
  • Vista's in lock-down mode, getting ready to ship. As is always the case with these things, it'll be less and more than people expect, and it'll have a long tail of issues and upgrades that follow. Also, a funny side story about how Mactel machines from Apple being able to run Windows isn't as good for Apple as the zealot crowd thinks (not sure I agree).
  • Slightly older, but always compelling stream of conciousness from John Carmack (of Wolfenstein 3D, Doom, Quake, etc. fame) about stuff.
  • Browzar (an IE "privacy" wrapper) has been getting some buzz; though it doesn't really appear to do squat. Still, though I think its useless, I feel compelled to defend it. There's been GROSSLY unfair criticism about it being "adware" in the press; appears this is the new "Red Scare" tactic. Truth is it, it IS Adware (you get it for free, and it generates money from advertising/search revenue) - but so is Firefox, the Google Toolbar, etc. What ought to be a simple statement of business model fact has instead has become a loaded, scary epithet. Pretty much every site on the 'net derives revenue from advertising, and the quid pro quo is free access to said software and services - but Adware and Malware (thanks to more than a few bad eggs) have become synonymous for desktop applications. There's nothing "tricky" about Browzar - other than it doesn't really work :P - let them be judged on the merits of their software, not the politics of public flagellations (half-wit, half-brained punditry seems the order of the day in the tech press these days...)

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