The Stochastic Game

Ramblings of General Geekery

This is why people buy Macs

A few months ago I set out to get a new laptop for my wife. She only had one requirement, after having shared a Macbook Pro with me for the past couple years: that it ran Windows (queue OS flamewar).

I quickly decided I wanted to give her something slick and light, and look at the new line of ultrabooks. I then narrowed the choices down to the Samsung Series 9 and the ASUS Zenbook by reading reviews online… but that was just the easy part.


Much has been said already about the shopping and out-of-the-box experience of PCs, compared to that of Macs, but I think we should keep beating that dead horse until it’s underground. So keep reading for much deceased equidae action.


The journey to Diaspora: setting up your own pod

The first step in the journey to Diaspora is to get your own Diaspora server because, well, that’s the whole point of a distributed social network: you get to own your stuff (you could argue that, on the other hand, I’m not running my own email server, but, err, whatever, indulge me).

Unfortunately, setting up a Diaspora pod is insanely convoluted and complex.

Server room

After the jump, we’ll get into the meat of things and hopefully it will help you with the process (if you ever want to attempt it).


The journey to Diaspora

Recently, has gotten a lot of attention, but I just don’t see the appeal. It’s basically a Twitter clone that you have to pay, and all of this for what? So that the API is nicer to developers and you don’t see a couple of “promoted tweets” once in a while?

It sounds like a very shallow goal for a supposedly “disruptive” communication platform. Sure it has some kind of grand plan to get us to the next level of connectedness through, err, innovative apps and mashups or something. But it doesn’t make things better on the ownership level. It’s still yet another data silo. And I’m fed up with silos.

Facebook and you

Remember when we used to communicate through free, open, distributed and standardized protocols? You know, like emails or phone calls? Or even snail mail? My problem with Facebook or Twitter is not that I’m the product, but that I don’t own my data, and that there’s no competition or choice between service providers. They’re not only data silos, but business model silos.


Microsoft password fail

Almost 4 years ago, I wrote a short article on dumb websites who have a maxiumum password length.

Now, in 2012, there are still websites with such stupid policies. One of the most famous is none other than Microsoft’s Live Account service, which serves as the authentication hub for all things Microsoft. Basically, your Live ID, or whatever it’s called, can’t have a password longer than 16 characters.