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Australia really needs Glass-Steagall banking separation to protect us from any financial meltdown
Thu, Oct 5th 2017 18
The wisdom of the old?
Mon, Sep 18th 2017 5
Windows system restore point files can consume HUGE amounts of disk space
Mon, Sep 18th 2017 4
A shocking example (of lightning during a dry thunderstorm)
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Optus Fetch TV set top box flagged by Bitdefender as having two HIGH-RISK vulnerabilities
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Microsoft Expression Web–Version 4.0.1460.0 free (sunset edition)
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Australia really needs Glass-Steagall banking separation to protect us from any financial meltdown
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Informed consent, software-wise -- or software-dumb?
Sun, Feb 12th 2017 6


Informed consent, software-wise -- or software-dumb?
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This is an update to a post originally published way back on 11 January 2010. Unfortunately, the industry of creating stupid software still is thriving in 2017.

You should learn something new each and every day of your life, so I keep reminding my young grandsons. It’s a maxim that I still follow myself, in a desperate bid to keep my brain alert and defer that day when my grey matter finally degenerates into a useless pile of wobbly jelly.
As an example, this morning for the first time I came across the legal term “informed consent” which is explained thus at Wikipedia:

“An informed consent can be said to have been given based upon a clear appreciation and understanding of the facts, implications, and future consequences of an action. In order to give informed consent, the individual concerned must have adequate reasoning faculties and be in possession of all relevant facts at the time consent is given.”
I was led to this learning opportunity by David Platt’s MSDN Magazine Blog post The Myth of Informed Consent (go read it yourself before continuing here). He finishes with:
“We developers are the experts, and users depend on us. We cannot abdicate our responsibility by asking for guidance from someone who cannot possibly know. Informed consent in computing is a myth, and companies that claim it as an excuse for their malpractice are weasels. Stop it. Now.”

“Low Risk”? Who knows?

David was commenting on the a dialog box generated by Norton Internet Security which leaves the hapless computer user to work out and decide on the significance of the meaning of an obscure message. Actually, I’d go even further and call the message is obscurantist (rather than just obscure), leaving the user most likely to have to guess what to do, rather than coming to a reasoned conclusion.
Software tends to be rather difficult to design, develop and test, and in my experience the people involved typically focus on the the technical architecture/design/coding accuracy rather than the textual precision and accuracy.

Usability testers should always be involved, and if worth their salt they should pick up on wordings and meanings that are obscure, incomplete, misleading, indeterminate, and so on. I wonder how much software gets released without any significant degree of usability testing.

Sensible and accurate wordsmithing takes time and effort, hence adds cost (which is doubtless the reason why it’s often not done). Further, not all people are good at writing clearly and concisely – not to mention spelling properly, as well as using accurate terms and terminology.

As an aside, my pet peeve at the moment is the schoolboy howler error of referring to a single building as a “premise” when discussing broadband (such as Australia’s National Broadband Network), using terms such as cabling is laid right up to the premise and  in-premise terminating equipment. However it wasn’t my intention here to focus on poor writing, spelling mistakes, bad grammar, and the like, bad practice as they are.

David Platt’s security warning dialog box is just one example of the sort of rubbish that software designers and developers keep forcing upon us.

You’ve surely got your own examples.

Below, without further commentary, are a few others: inane, puzzling and meaningless gibberish from software vendors big and small,  that I’ve collected over the years …

image
Mr. Software Vendor, I do happen to run more than one application at a time,
not just the one YOU developed, whichever it is of all that are currently active!
And I have multiple hard drives, so which one?

image
At least I know that the problem’s occurring with Eudora,
but that’s about all I know.

image
Thanks for telling me, so what?

image
I knew this was associated with Acronis True Image. but what should I reply?
[It took some time to discover which of the drives was “hard disk 7’ and
I wonder why they don’t make it easy by quoting the drive letter instead]

image  image
You don’t say!

  image and  image

I do really like Lotus Notes, but for crying out loud.


image
Oh no, Techsmith's Snagit suffers from such inanity too.

The above messages are about as useful as the following unique device:

image

image
Does the right hand know what the left hand is doing?

image

UPDATE: here’s yet another one, encountered just a day or two after posting this story…
image
image


Enough, enough! The above are laughable ...
... but the following is laughworthy:







"For gorsake, stop laughing, this is serious."
Stan Cross (in Smith’s Weekly, 1933, Australia).

One of my favorite illustrations of all time!



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http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/NotesToneUnturned/~3/9OI0xyOiIz0/informed-consent-software-wise-or.html
Feb 12, 2017
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Recent Blog Posts
18
Australia really needs Glass-Steagall banking separation to protect us from any financial meltdown
Thu, Oct 5th 2017 12:45a   Tony Austin
Below is the latest news release from the Australian political party, the CEC (Citizens Electoral Council). which points out in no uncertain terms why a form of Glass-Steagall banking legislation is badly needed here Down Under. ---------------------------------------------------------- Citizens Electoral Council of Australia Media Release Wednesday, 4 October 2017 Craig Isherwood‚ National Secretary PO Box 376‚ COBURG‚ VIC 3058 Email: cec@cecaust.com.au Website: http://www.cecaust.co
5
The wisdom of the old?
Mon, Sep 18th 2017 1:40p   Tony Austin
Lying around, pondering the problems of the world, I realized that at my age I don't really give a damn anymore. If walking is good for your health, the postman would be immortal -- but not now that he uses a bike. A whale swims all day, only eats fish, and drinks water, but is still fat. A rabbit runs, and hops, and only lives 15 years, while a tortoise doesn't run and does mostly nothing, yet it lives for 150 years. Yet they tell us to exercise? I don't think so! Now that I'm older here
4
Windows system restore point files can consume HUGE amounts of disk space
Mon, Sep 18th 2017 5:45a   Tony Austin
Beware, this might well happen to you on a Windows system! Refer to the following Microsoft Community user query: Windows 7: System Volume Information has many large files ... Today I just noticed on my Windows 10 Pro system that my 250 GB Samsung SSD was unexpectedly running out of space. I assiduously do a disk cleanup every few months, but today I discovered only about 12 GB was left when I would normally expect around 70 GB of free space. A little analysis showed a similar situation to
6
A shocking example (of lightning during a dry thunderstorm)
Mon, Sep 4th 2017 6:45a   Tony Austin
Dry thunderstorm lightning causes the majority of forest fires. It seems this video was from a fixed camera, as a human operator may not have survived this strike. Watch (at 7 seconds, of 56) how the lightning first strikes the river bank, then into the river and downstream with much turbulence. Glad I wasn't swimming or fishing or boating there! (Sorry, I’m not clear about the attribution of this video.)Purchase a copy of NotesTracker for all your IBM Lotus Notes/Domino application complianc
3
Optus Fetch TV set top box flagged by Bitdefender as having two HIGH-RISK vulnerabilities
Fri, Aug 18th 2017 8:46a   Tony Austin
Today I discovered the free Bitdefender Home Scanner security product, installed it and ran a security scan for my home network. My impression is that everybody should use this very nice free security monitor from Bitdefender. You’d be silly/careless not to! The scanner reported the device named "HyBroad Vision (Hong Kong) Technology Co Ltd" has two high-risk vulnerabilities: Denial of Service (DoS) .... HIGH Arbitrary code execution .... HIGH See screenshots (1) and (2) below: I was p
2
Microsoft Expression Web–Version 4.0.1460.0 free (sunset edition)
Wed, May 17th 2017 2:30p   Tony Austin
I rather like the easy-to-use and familiar user interface of Microsoft’s various editing apps. Microsoft Word. for example, the most widely used document editor, the one that all others have to measure up to (and some do that very well). Microsoft Visual Studio is another favorite of mine, right up to and including the latest VS2017 edition,  most certainly a top-class IDE. Then creating and submitting blog posts there was until recently the free Microsoft Windows Live Writer (WLW), where
4
Interactive health visualizations
Tue, May 9th 2017 4:45p   Tony Austin
The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) has some fascinating interactive data visualizations on its website. You can select a chart type (such as USA health map, tobacco visualization, Life Expectancy & Probability of Death) and adjust a wide range of parameters -- such as country, age or gender – and see a visualization for that group of selection criteria. For example, below is a life expectancy chart for both sexes combined, where those countries shown in lighter colors (
2
TIP - How to navigate quickly through Scientific American archives
Fri, Apr 21st 2017 3:40a   Tony Austin
For subscribers to Scientific American, see How to navigate quickly through Scientific American archives or read below. Subscribers to Scientific American are given access to every issue, in PDF format, right back to the magazine's launch in 1845. Wow! It can be quite a laborious, hit and miss process to navigate back through all those issues, particularly for the earlier years (prior to November 1921) where there are about fifty issues per year. Originally there was an issue per week, then in
2
Firefox browser is stuck since 2006 at file version 4.42.0.0 – Why so?
Thu, Apr 20th 2017 3:45a   Tony Austin
I have saved quite a range of Firefox installers, and there’s something that puzzles me about them Let’s start with Firefox release 1.0.3 which is indicated to be File Version 3.12.0.0 as follows: My understanding of “file version” is that the developer is supposed to register each file with a unique number that truly represents the release number, as happens with RoboForm 8.3.3 (its latest version at the time of writing): With many products, the external  “release” number and
2
Combo BBQ and Drinks Cooler
Sun, Mar 12th 2017 1:15p   Tony Austin
            BBQ and Drinks Cooler   When you are finished, just turn the handle and it extinguishes out the fire. Not sure who came up with this nifty idea, but don't you wish that you were this clever?Purchase a copy of NotesTracker for all your IBM Lotus Notes/Domino application compliance and usage tracking needs




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