Over 2 years after the last article in my Windows Firewall insanity series, it was time for the next chapter. So Microsoft pushed Windows 10 1809, which, like all prior Windows 10 updates, will start warning again about walls which aren't on fire.
But there's a new twist this time. On one of my Windows 10 installs, I can't disable notifications anymore. Now, instead of "Turn off messages about network firewall", the Security and Maintenance center merely links to Windows Security, which has many things, but obviously not the one thing which would keep administrators safe from mental insanity. If you see "Turn on messages about network firewall", you may think enabling and disabling again will do the trick, but Windows won't let you disable anymore after you re-enable.
Sorry, I don't have any solution this time.
After 17 winters riding bikes with often cold hands, I stumbled upon gloves specifically designed for winter biking. I decided to order Bontrager Velocis S2 Softshell Split Finger gloves from Montreal retailer Dumoulin bicyclettes. The retailer advertised the S1 gloves as good up to -5 °C, and the complementing S2 as good for "intense cold". Upon arrival, I found them incredibly light for such a purpose. And then saw the label which shows that the S1 are designed for about 3 °C, while the S2 was for the intense colds of... around -5 °C!
I still tried them for one ride, but after just 30 minutes of intense riding with these during a snowstorm, while the outside temperature was around -4 °C, my hands were somewhat cold, even though my torso was quite hotter than it is when I'm inside. These are not necessarily bad gloves, but for my purpose, these are just as bad as my current gloves, and in no way worth their 95 CAD price tag.
I called the retailer for a refund, and I must say the Dumoulin bicyclettes agent I spoke to was very comprehensive. He granted a full refund, including return fees, and convincingly apologized for the inconvenience.
These may do their job in Bontrager's U.S.A., but if you're in Canada or another country with a real winter, ensure you understand the label to the right before buying.
With the advent of smart TVs, smartphones and other computers, humans need to be a lot smarter about their usage of technology. Unfortunately, we are quite dumb - in particular the underprivileged. And unfortunately, even the smartest have apparently gotten dumber, even when they control their use of their smartphones.
Good thing at least technology is getting smarter and smarter! Well, perhaps
I don't remember having seen "tofu" on my personal computer for a while. That's probably thanks to the Noto font, which came pre-installed with my Debian 9.
Thank you, Google!
Thieves have a new way to steal cars. A method for clean thefts, served on a silver platter by car manufacturers who sell cars equipped with key fobs instead of traditional keys, without any protection against a simple attack. Even Toyota!
If I had had such a vulnerable car stolen from me, I would be happy to discover that flaw. I would just sue the manufacturer for selling such a product. When you create such a vulnerability, you are guilty of gross negligence. The onus isn't on the customer to prove that this flaw was exploited, but on you to prove the theft was made with different means.
When manufacturers will have lost tens of millions of euros in damages, perhaps they will consider paying for security responsibles who have a clue or two about security.
When a decade of geek madness about "cryptocurrencies" culminated in May, I wrote a public warning. Since then, the hype has finally moved, and I'm happy to see the critical view almost no one had the courage to explain during Peak Crypto now well described by a mainstream magazine:
Unfortunately, that article's title also reinforces a misunderstanding which was a basis of that mad decade. Which brings me back to a discussion I had with a physiotherapist early this year, which was a large part of my motivation for going public. This sympathetic guy was not dumb, but he was telling me about the thousands of euros he had invested in "cryptocurrencies", and apparently trying to encourage me to join the party. He regretted not having invested more earlier, and all the money he could have made if he had. This guy had the best intentions, but was unintentionally hurting himself, and perhaps even his patients. I tried to warn him gently that "cryptocurrencies" had no value, but he countered that market valuation was exploding...
"Cryptocurrencies" have always been worthless. But since market valuation is based on trades, and since a buyer always believes what he buys has value, market value cannot - by definition - show the actual value of "assets" such as "cryptocurrencies". The market cap of "cryptocurrencies" is surely going to keep decreasing as more and more people lose their illusions, but it will never reach zero.
The article also has the merit of distinguishing blockchains from "cryptocurrencies". The blockchain technology probably has actual value. However, I need to warn about how the article treats the blockchain technology. Essentially, blockchains are a marketing invention made to portray Bitcoin as credible and ingenious. There is nothing novel or really interesting about blockchains. Most projects using them are either creations of scammers who wanted a credible way to attract investments from superficial investors, just like "cryptocurrencies", or a way for legitimate entrepreneurs with projects that don't need blockchains to convince easily impressed investors more easily. In fact, it turns out the blockchain technology is such a bubble that a study found it is almost always a disappointment.