Monthly Archives: May 2013

New Zealand-2013. Days 12-14. Lakes, glaciers, and the ultimate NZ must-see.

NZ-2013. Day 12. Lakes beyond compare.

It would be unthinkable not to mention NZ’s spectacular lakes in this travelogue – even though we didn’t actually have time to study many of them in any great detail.

NZ’s lakes are simply magical – huge, turquoise, surrounded by lush mountain ranges and other pulchritudinous paysages… and that’s on both islands. Alas, we mostly just drove past them – sometimes several lakes a day, occasionally lunching on their shores, and some of us even swimming in them. But unfortunately we simply didn’t have the time to study them closely and get to learn all about them. We did however manage to pull off quite a few photographic masterpieces for your viewing pleasure:

New Zealand Lakes

More: 8001 more pictures of NZ lakes…

Paradisiacal dawn under.

G’day all – from Paradise!

That’s the name of the place I was lucky enough to find myself in just recently – Surfers Paradise. And it just so happens to be one of the best places on earth for catching the sunrise at dawn – from the 60th or so floor of the Q1. And the daybreaks this year were better than ever – clouds either were absent completely, or complemented the view of the horizon. Breathtaking!:

Australia Surfers Paradise Gold Coast sunrise

Australia Surfers Paradise Gold Coast sunrise

More: more sunrises, Oz beer & retro VW…

New Zealand-2013. Days 9-11. The three R’s: route, rain and rarity.

NZ-2013. Day 9. Route.

On the ninth day in NZ we simply tramped back along the path we’d already walked along (see Day 7), so spent most of the day checking out scenery we’d already seen. On various websites they write that this tourist track is one of the most beautiful in the world (among the not so difficult ones). I agree – this is one example of the Internet not lying. It really is “wow”!

New Zealand Routeburn TrackReminiscent of the Isle of Skye

New Zealand Routeburn TrackBlofeld’s back

More: the route of our expedition…

Patents against innovation – cont’d.

“Patents against innovation”. Sounds as paradoxical as “bees against honey”, “hamburger patties against buns”, “students against sex” or “rock ‘n’ roll against drugs”.

Patents against innovation? How can that be possible? Patents exist to protect inventors’ rights, to provide a return on R&D investment, and generally to stimulate technological progress. Well, maybe it’s like that for some things, but in today’s software world – no way.

Today’s patent law regarding software is…well, it’s a bit like one of those circus mirrors where reality is distorted. Patent law is now just so far removed from common sense that it’s patently absurd; the whole system right down to its roots needs to be overhauled. ASAP! Otherwise innovative patents meant to encourage and protect will simply fail to materialize. (Good job, patent system. Stellar work.)

So how did everything end up so messed up?

Well, despite the virtuous original intention of patents to protect inventors – today they’ve mainly turned into nothing more than an extortion tool, whose objective is just the opposite of protecting innovation. The contemporary patent business is a technological racket – a cross-breed between… a thieving magpie and a kleptomaniac monkey – with a malicious instinct to drag anything of value back to its lair.

Growth in the number of patent lawsuits with the participation of trolls

trollcase

 Source: PatentFreedom

Now for some detail. Let’s have a closer look at the patent business.

More: aggregators, trolls and pools …

One step forward, two steps back.

“Everything ought to happen slowly, and out of joint, so we don’t get above ourselves, so we remain miserable and confused”

Venedikt Yerofeev. Moscow Stations

I never thought I’d ever use this phrase when talking about the antivirus industry, but that’s what it’s come to. You know, not everything in this world progresses smoothly. Economic realities and the need for new customers often manage to lure even the best over to the dark side. This time, one of the best-known test labs in the AV industry – AV-TEST – has succumbed.

Comparative testing: A bit of background for the uninitiated

How do you go about picking the best of any particular product? And how do you know it’s the best? Well, you would probably start by looking at the results of comparative testing in a specialist magazine, or the online equivalent. I’m sure this is not news to you. The same goes for AV solutions – there are a number of test labs that evaluate and compare a huge variety of antivirus products and then publish the results.

Now, for some unknown reason (below I’ll try and guess why exactly) the renowned German test lab AV-TEST has quietly (there was no warning) modified its certification process. The changes mean that the certificates produced by the new rules are, to put it mildly, pretty useless for evaluating the merits of different AV products.

Yes, that’s right. I officially declare that AV-TEST certification of AV solutions for home users no longer allows product quality to be compared adequately. In other words, I strongly recommended not using their certificate listings as a guide when choosing a solution to protect your home PC. It would be natural to believe that two products that both have the same certification must be equal (or close to equal) in performance. With AV-TEST’s new certification standards, the onus is on the user to carefully investigate the actual results of each individual test…they may find that a product that blocked 99.9% of attacks has the same “certification” as a product that only blocked 55%.

avtest_cert_balance_blue

More: let’s take a closer look at what happened and why…