Adventures in satellite navigation

Your GPS tells you the road to the winery is the other side of a farm gate across a dirt road. Instinct tells you the other side of the gate is a sheep paddock.

I keep adding things to the list, so here’s the list

People who think the phrase ‘as a mother…’ lends moral authority to anything that comes after Media outlets that invite non-scientists to ‘have your say’ on topics of scientific debate People who say ‘…[person] that…’ or ‘…[non-person] who…’ (I’m looking at you, Tyra Banks) Inbox Zero zealots who are so pleased with their efforts to…

The ten types of comments on news articles

One major criticism of reality TV shows, especially in the pre-MasterChef era, was they profited from encouraging and rewarding all the worst aspects of human behaviour. I think it’s time we recognised comments on online news and opinion websites have exactly the same problem.

Why South American magic realist novelists shouldn’t write IT case studies

Perched at the top of a towering cliff that plunges into the roiling waters of the North Pacific, at the edge of a teeming rainforest, is the headquarters of Grupo Nacional de Chocolates S.A., a leading manufacturer and distributor of confectionery-based solutions. The ancient, crumbling edifice dating back to the time of the conquistadors houses…

I do not think it means what you think it means

As computers and internet technology have become mainstream, technology terms have entered the language. But the translation is not always accurate. As a professional pedant, it makes me turn purple the number of times I hear people misusing the following two terms: 1. Hard drive What a lot of people think it means: The box…

Are they trying to tell me something?

The trick with spam – and some malicious software – is convincing people to open an email, click on a link or something else they wouldn’t normally do. Social engineering, when done well, means getting inside people’s heads and understanding their desires, fears and vulnerabilities. It’s not always done well. For instance, lately I have…

Belkin’s misleading and deceptive packaging

For some time, I have been trying to find a case for my iPhone which provides a degree of protection for the screen. I have been known to put the phone in the same pocket as keys or coins and would prefer not to crack or deeply scratch the display. But for some reason, almost…

LinkedIn’s great comeback

In the past five years there’s been a steady stream of social networking platforms du jour which then fell out of favour with geeky early adopters as as the great unwashed discovered them – from MySpace to Facebook to Twitter. All the while, LinkedIn sat around gradually building momentum without any of the fanfare or…

Tabloid day: boob ads and deadly servers

Pity the poor people of Albury-based transport company Border Express. On Friday they posted an innocent job ad looking for a developer with SQL Server and Visual Basic experience. But over the weekend, some wiseguy who had access to the company’s account details on Seek made a couple of sneaky changes. To the required skills,…