Where's the fandango?  Really weird acronym.

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rwandering.net"rwandering.net" - 5 new articles

  1. WTF RWA?
  2. Smile Away
  3. Application neutrality?
  4. Digital Signatures != Notary Public
  5. Release to Merry Christmas (Windows 8.1)
  6. More Recent Articles


Where’s the fandango?  Really weird acronym.


Smile Away

When I boarded the plane, I was greeted by the steward, “I told you we were going to Tokyo today”.  I was already smiling and told her “I would believe when the plane began its descent.”  Pessimistic.

As I turned right on the 747, I made eye contact with a man who just been joking with his companions.  He said to me, “third time’s a charm!”.  Still smiling, I responded, “fifth time for me.”

“You were here yesterday?  Well at least you’re smiling”.

“Not smiling on the inside.”

But yes, I was smiling.  The fifth time I had boarded this plane – or one similar enough – on a trip to Japan, Thailand, and Cambodia.  We had first boarded over 30 hours before that.  Each time as we crossed from the terminal onto the gangway, I said something like “we’re going on a trip” or “we’re off to Asia” or “this time I’m sure we’re going.”

This fifth time I did it again, as much to be upbeat with my kids in the face of so much frustration and powerlessness as from a belief that we would actually depart on our vacation.

I continued walking down the aisle – my family well ahead of me – still smiling, looking into the faces of the seated passengers, all smiling right back at me.  I nodded and smiled warmly to each of them.

Minutes before we were all in the terminal waiting to board for the third time that day.  Most people were patient, expecting that the airline would do its job, to get us all to our destination.  Several were upset, arguing with the gate agents. One insisted that the airline either cancel the flight or commit to flying that day.  Like my family, he had been through this the day before.  We had boarded, deplaned, boarded another plane, and then the flight was canceled.  By the time we had our luggage it was well after 9 PM – 10 hours after we first boarded that day.

Walking down the aisle felt like the times in movies when the director slows down the scene, of course this time with me as the protagonist.

I passed the second steward.  He knew what was going on, and said,

“When you smile, the whole world smiles with you.”

I nodded to him, and as worn as that expression may be, I felt it so truly then.

While I didn’t feel certain that the plane would take off, I did feel better, confident that it would work out.  And of course, it did.


Application neutrality?

What an absolutely ridiculous idea, that so-called “application neutrality” should be a part of net neutrality.

It is hard to imagine that this is just intended to garner press, because after all, the response can probably be summed up as:

  • Blackberry is still a company?
  • Blackberry doesn’t have any apps.
  • WTF?

Am I missing something here?

“Application neutrality” . . . love it.

If that happens, let’s go further and legislate that all apps must be available for Linux. And Wii. And Windows Mobile 6.

Link: BlackBerry CEO Wants Legislators To Make Developing BlackBerry Apps Mandatory


Digital Signatures != Notary Public

I am in the “pro email encryption” camp. If encrypting all email communications was easy enough, I would do it. I won’t get into “easy enough” here, but the issue is really about encrypting for a particular recipient, most of whom don’t care about encryption in the first place. I used to routinely digitally sign my emails as well, but stopped doing that for the same reason — most recipients didn’t know what to make of it.

Anyway, I’m coming to this topic now indirectly because of Google’s new “End to End” product / plugin / stance.   Sounds cool, and I’m sure I’ll check it out.

In A World without Hearsay, Jon Udell tackles the question of why he used to digitally sign his emails and then discusses an argument made by Yaron Goland in a post with a very long title: Why Google’s support of PGP Mail might not be such a brilliant idea – Or, why I don’t like digital signatures for social networking and how Thali addresses this

In that post, the author likes digital signatures to a roving notary public:

A digital signature is intended to be an authenticator, a way for someone other than us to prove that we did/said something. When we use digital signatures for momentous things that should be on the public record, like mortgage documents perhaps, then they serve a good purpose. But with PGP Mail we suddenly sign… well… everything[2]. It’s like having a notary public walking behind you all day long stamping every statement, note, mail, etc. as provably and irrevocably yours.

I don’t think we want such records to exist. I think we want a much more ephemeral world where the bulk of what we do just quietly vanishes into the ether leaving as little of a trail as possible.

I completely agree that we would be better off in a more ephemeral world, but the notary public analogy is completely wrong.

A notary public does in fact record (in a physical record book) every action, along with a physical signature and a fingerprint (noting that the specifics may differ across jurisdictional boundaries).  Signing one’s own email does no such thing.  It does not create a record, and does not make cause the email to become more permanent than it was without a signature.

It may be harder to deny that you wrote it; however, the more automated (or easy) it is to make such signatures, the less likely that such emails will have any weight over a non-signed email in a court of law.

To be clear, I’m not harshing on Thali — I have no opinion on that right now — I just don’t think the signature/notary argument has merit.



Release to Merry Christmas (Windows 8.1)

Windows 8.1 was just Released to Manufacturing (RTM).  For the first time in as long as I can remember, developers are not getting access to the RTM before the launch date.

Some developers are upset because they are building Windows 8 applications or at the very least need to ensure their applications work on the new OS before it is released.  This is a fair point.

I think most people are upset because they are forced to wait to upgrade their own systems.  Too bad, so sad.

So why did Microsoft make this change?  Because Windows 8.1 isn’t ready.  According to a TechCrunch post:

We are continuing to put the finishing touches on Windows 8.1 to ensure a quality experience at general availability for (all) customers.

So it isn’t ready, but it has RTMed. So what does RTM even mean?

Maybe “M” doesn’t mean manufacturing this time.  According to a post in the Windows App Builder Blog (italics mine):

Today we announced that Windows 8.1 has hit the RTM milestone. That means our hardware partners are now preparing their devices for the holiday buying season, beginning with the general availability of Windows 8.1 starting at 12:00 A.M. on October 18 . . .

Maybe this time it means manufacturers.  This release is all about getting Windows 8.1 in systems for the holiday buying season. You can be sure the big device manufacturers already have their Windows 8.1 RTM.

I would argue this isn’t really an RTM at all — because it isn’t finished — but if Microsoft had waited until mid October to actually RTM, then no holiday sales.

RTMC: Release to Merry Christmas!


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