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Posted by: peter

And there was some great news on the feeds this morning, the web tool kit used by my Nokia E61i (and Applie’s Safari web browser) is (re)merging with my desktop browser of choice’s (Konqueror) KHTML web tool kit:

There is one major web rendering engine that grew entirely out of the open source world: KHTML is KDE’s web renderer which was built from the ground up by the open source community with very little original corporate backing. The code was good and branches were born as a result, the best known being Webkit. Now, after years of split, KHTML and Webkit are coming together once again.
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Posted by: peter

And the IETF quote of the day is:

Intervendor security interoperability is the elephant in the room. But it’s still not why we’re in the room
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Posted by: peter

For the last 6 years I have happily been using HSBC Turkey for both my business and personal banking needs in Turkey. HSBC Turkey’s corporate banking site, funnily enough is considerably worse (and more buggy) than their personal banking site, however it gets the job done. Their personal banking site on the other hand is excellent, and more featurefull and a pleasure to use than HSBC bank sites in many other countries, Australia included!

A few months ago however, we made a mistake of giving into the requests of some of our small customers and setting up an İş Bankası account as many of them use İş Bankası only and didn’t want to pay the high interbank transfer fees (Why Turkish banks get away with charging fees for transfers I’ll never know) when paying our invoices.

This is where the battle started. Like any other normal person living in the 21st century I would like to be able to see access all my bank account balances and transaction histories, as well and pay bills and make money transfers via the internet. Now after 3 trips to my branch (not any branch mind you, you can only make any type of account changes through your home branch!), being forced to create a personal account which I have no intention of using, and spending 45 minutes on the telephone, I finally have “access” to internet banking…. If you can call it access…

I can log in… so I suppose thats a start.. I can also see the balance of my accounts.. But among the 6000 menus, I’ll be stuffed if I can find where to see the account transaction history! It doesn’t help of course that the English translation is so bad (with interspersed Turkish messages) that its often impossible to understand. (So bad in-fact that I logged out and logged back in in Turkish because it was easier to understand!)

Also, apparently, being able to actually transfer money anyplace is too much to ask, and even though the bank has a copy of my company registration papers, signature circular and passport, I would still have to visit a notary to get a notarised letter that says, yes, I would, pretty please, really, truly, very much like to be able to transfer MY MONEY anywhere at all!!

Thanks for caring İş Bank.. You just lost a customer!

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Posted by: peter

While I would not dare to lay claim to the title of “Security Expert”, there is unfortunately many people in the IT industry who do carry such titles and and make such claims, and most definately shouldn’t either. I do however have among my close friends people, not only people who can safely lay claim to the title of “Security Expert”, but who are in fact bona fide “Security Researchers”. These friendships and an interest in all things security related (not just IT) leads me to stumble across things like this presentation on 0day (0day means an unpatched security bug unknown to the public). Among other interesting points, it lists the figure of 348 days as the average time between a private discovery of 0day bugs and patching by the vendor. This is an astonishing figure! Basically, this means that any computer system you own is always vulnerable to security holes that you don’t, but someone else does know about!

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Posted by: peter

Hard to believe though it may be, T-Mobile made a non-iPhone related announcement last week. And even harder to believe, its new product may be as game-changing as Apple’s.

It’s called T-Mobile HotSpot @Home, and it’s absolutely ingenious. It could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars a year, and yet enrich T-Mobile at the same time. In the cellphone world, win-win plays like that are extremely rare.

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Posted by: peter

I just love the following quote from the New Yorker:

In Afghanistan, the American Special Forces have had to rediscover how to use them. “Horses are actually an ideal way to get around there,” one correspondent embedded with the Green Berets has said. “No manual has ever been written on how to coordinate horse attacks with B-52s, so the Green Berets had to do OJT”—on-the-job training. “Early on, there was a cavalry charge with about three hundred horses where they had cut it so fine that as soon as the bombs hit the ridge the horses were riding through the gray smoke; it was quite an impressive sight.”