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Paul Merrell

What is Boxcryptor | Easy to use encryption for cloud storage | - 1 views

  • Boxcryptor is an easy-to-use encryption software optimized for the cloud. It allows the secure use of cloud storage services without sacrificing comfort. Boxcryptor supports all major cloud storage providers (such as DropboxGoogle DriveMicrosoft OneDriveSugarSync) and supports all the clouds that use the WebDAV standard (such as Cubby, Strato HiDrive, and ownCloud). With Boxcryptor your files go protected to your cloud provider and you can enjoy peace of mind knowing that your information cannot fall into the wrong hands.

    Here is how it works:

    Boxcryptor creates a virtual drive on your computer that allows you to encrypt your files locally before uploading them to your cloud or clouds of choice. It encrypts individual files - and does not create containers. Any file dropped into an encrypted folder within the Boxcryptor drive will get automatically encrypted before it is synced to the cloud. To protect your files, Boxcryptor uses the AES-256 and RSA encryption algorithms.

    Free for personal use. I haven't tried this yet, but the need for it has been near the top of my head since I first tried Dropbox and then realized how insecure it was. I tried a lot of sync services, but am now using Wuala, which features end-to-end encryption baked into the client software. But I also use MEGAsync for remote backup so I'[ll probably be trying this out with that service. I hope there's a way to sync the two programs.
Paul Merrell

Asia Times Online :: Operation Tomahawk The Caliph - 0 views

  • The Tomahawks are finally flying again - propelled by newspeak. 42 Tomahawks fired from a Sixth Fleet destroyer parked in Mare Nostrum, plus F-22s raising hell and Hellfires spouted by drones, that's a neat mini-Shock and Awe to honor Caliph Ibrahim, aka Abu Bakr al -Baghdadi, self-declared leader of Islamic State.

    It's all so surgical. All targets - from "suspected" weapons depots to the mayor's mansion in Raqqah (the HQ of The Caliph's goons) and assorted checkpoints - were duly obliterated, along with "dozens of", perhaps 120, jihadis.

    And praise those "over 40" (Samantha Power) or "over 50" (John Kerry) international allies in the coalition of the unwilling; America is never alone, although in this case mightily escorted, de facto, only by the usual Gulf petrodollar dictatorships and the realm of

    King Playstation, Jordan, all none too keen to engage in "kinetic activities".
  • Aseptic newspeak aside, no one has seen or heard a mighty Gulf Cooperation Council air force deployed to bomb Syria. After all the vassals are scared as hell to tell their own populations they are - once again - bombing a fellow Arab nation. As for Damascus, it meekly said it was "notified" by the Pentagon its own territory would be bombed. Nobody really knows what the Pentagon is exactly telling Damascus.

    The Pentagon calls it just the beginning of a "sustained campaign" - code for Long War, which is one of the original denominations of the Global War on Terror (GWOT) anyway. And yes, for all practical purposes this is a coalition of one. Let's call it Operation Tomahawk The Caliph.
  • Hold your F-22s. Not really. The tomahawking had barely begun when an Israeli, made in USA Patriot missile shot a Syrian Su-24 which had allegedly "violated" Israeli air space over the Golan Heights. How about that in terms of sending a graphic message in close coordination with the Pentagon?

    So this is not only about bombing The Caliph. It is a back-door preamble to bombing Bashar al-Assad and his forces. And also about bombing - with eight strikes west of Aleppo - a ghost; an al-Qaeda cell of the mysterious Khorasan group.

    No wonder global fans of the Marvel Comics school of geopolitics are puzzled. Two simultaneous villains? Yep. And the other bad guy is even more evil than The Caliph.
  • ...5 more annotations...
  • Astonishing mediocrity Ben Rhodes, Obama's deputy national security adviser, has defined Khorasan as "a group of extremists that is comprised of a number of individuals who we've been tracking for a long time."

    The Obama administration's unison newspeak is that Khorasan includes former al-Qaeda assets not only from across the Middle East - including al-Qaeda in Iraq and Jabhat al-Nusra - but also Pakistan, as in an ultra-hardcore extension of the Pakistani Taliban.
  • What a mess. Al-Qaeda in Iraq is the embryo of ISIS, which turned into IS. Jabhat al-Nusra is the al-Qaeda franchise in Syria, approved by CEO Ayman al-Zawahiri. Both despise each other, and yet Khorasan holds the merit of bundling Caliph's goons and al-Qaeda goons together. Additionally, for Washington Jabhat al-Nusra tend to qualify as "moderate" jihadis - almost like "our bastards". Too messy? No problem; when in doubt, bomb everybody.

    The Caliph, then, is old news. Those ghostly Khorasan goons are the real deal - so evil that the Pentagon is convinced their "plotting was imminent" leading to a new 9/11.
  • Khorasan is the perfect ghost in the GWOT machine; the target of a war within a war. Because Obama in fact launched two wars - as he sent two different notifications to Congress under the War Powers Resolution to cover both The Caliph and Khorasan.

    And what's in a name? Well, a thinly disguised extra demonization of Iran, why not - as historic Khorasan, the previous Parthia, stretched from mainly Iran towards Afghanistan.

    Khorasan is theoretically led by The Joker, sorry, al-Qaeda honcho Muhsin al-Fadhli, born in Kuwait in 1981, a "senior facilitator and financier" to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi in Iraq, in the priceless assessment of the State Department. Although Ayman al-Zawahiri, ever PR-conscious, has not claimed the credit, the Pentagon is convinced he sent al-Fadhli to the Syrian part of the Caliphate to attract Western jihadis with EU passports capable of evading airport security and plant bombs on commercial jets.
  • The Treasury Department is convinced al-Fadhli even led an al-Qaeda cell in Iran - demonization habits die hard -, "facilitating" jihadi travel to Afghanistan or Iraq.

    And what a neat contrast to the Society of the Spectacle-addicted Caliph. Khorasan is pure darkness. Nobody knows how many; how long they've existed; what do they really want.

    By contrast, there are about 190,000 live human beings left in bombed out Raqqa. Nobody is talking about collateral damage - although the body count is already on, and The Caliph's slick PR operation will be certainly advertising them on YouTube. As for The Caliph's goons, they will predictably use Mao tactics and dissolve like fish in the sea. The Pentagon will soon be bombing vast tracts of desert for nothing - if that's not the case already.

    There is no "Free Syrian Army" - that Qatari myth - anymore. There are no "moderate" jihadis left in Syria. They are all fighting for The Caliph or for al-Zawahiri. And still the Obama administration extracted a Congressional OK to train and weaponize "moderate rebels".
  • US ambassador to the UN Samantha Power - Undisputed Queen of Batshit Craziness - at least got one thing right. Their "training" will "service these troops in the same struggle that they've been in since the beginning of this conflict against the Assad regime." So yes - this "sustained campaign" is the back door to "Assad must go" remixed.

    People who are really capable of defeating The Caliph's goons don't tomahawk. They are the Syrian Arab Army (roughly 35,000 dead so far killed in action against ISIS/ISIL/IS and/or al-Qaeda); Hezbollah; Iranian Revolutionary Guards advisers/operatives; and Kurdish militias. It won't happen. This season's blockbuster is the Empire of Chaos bombing The Caliph and the ghost in the GWOT machine. Two tickets for the price of one. Because we protect you even from "unknown unknown" evil.
    Pepe Escobar at his finest. 
Gary Edwards

CDF: Computable Document Format for Interactive Content from Wolfram - 0 views

    Introducing the Computable Document Format
    Today's online documents are like yesterday's paper-flat, lifeless, inactive. Instead, the Computable Document Format (CDF) puts easy-to-author interactivity at its core, empowering readers to drive content and generate results live.

    Launched by the Wolfram Group, the CDF standard is a computation-powered knowledge container-as everyday as a document, but as interactive as an app.

    Adopting CDF gives ideas a broad communication pipeline-accelerating research, education, technical development, and progress.
Gary Edwards


    This is the article that shut down the Web on Monday morning, when Rush Limbaugh dedicated a whole show to it.  Also appears in American Spectator!

    As over-leveraged investment houses began to fail in September 2008, the leaders of the Republican and Democratic parties, of major corporations, and opinion leaders stretching from the National Review magazine (and the Wall Street Journal) on the right to the Nation magazine on the left, agreed that spending some $700 billion to buy the investors' "toxic assets" was the only alternative to the U.S. economy's "systemic collapse." In this, President George W. Bush and his would-be Republican successor John McCain agreed with the Democratic candidate, Barack Obama. Many, if not most, people around them also agreed upon the eventual commitment of some 10 trillion nonexistent dollars in ways unprecedented in America. They explained neither the difference between the assets' nominal and real values, nor precisely why letting the market find the latter would collapse America. The public objected immediately, by margins of three or four to one. 
    When this majority discovered that virtually no one in a position of power in either party or with a national voice would take their objections seriously, that decisions about their money were being made in bipartisan backroom deals with interested parties, and that the laws on these matters were being voted by people who had not read them, the term "political class" came into use. Then, after those in power changed their plans from buying toxic assets to buying up equity in banks and major industries but refused to explain why, when they reasserted their right to decide ad hoc on these and so many other matters, supposing them to be beyond the general public's understanding, the American people started referring to those in and around government as the "ruling class." And in fact Republican and Democratic office holders and their retinues show a similar presumption to domin
Graham Perrin

EndNote Support - EndNote X1.0.2 (Windows) and X1.0.3 (Mac) Update - 0 views

  • EndNote X1.0.2 (Windows) and X1.0.3 (Mac)
  • EndNote X1.0.2 (Windows)
  • X1.0.3 (Mac)
  • ...5 more annotations...
  • X1.0.2 (Windows)
  • Formatting support for Open Document Type (ODT)
    • Graham Perrin
      Does this mean support for, or just support for OpenDocument .odt in Microsoft Office Word?
    • Windows

      1. You will need to fully
        uninstall and reinstall EndNote X1
    • Mac
      1. You will need to fully uninstall and reinstall EndNote X1
    • Click Next until the uninstall process completes
    • Graham Perrin
      The process completes, but the process fails to uninstall the things that it should!
    EndNote installations and uninstallations are too often a PITA. 
Paul Merrell

Microsoft offers Office 2010 file format 'ballot' to stop EU antitrust probe - 0 views

    Microsoft's proposed undertaking for resolving the ECIS complaint to the European Commission regarding its office productivity software can be downloaded from this linked web page. I've given it a quick skim. Didn't see anything in it for anyone but competing big vendors. E.g., no profiling of data formats for interop of less and more featureful implementations, no round-tripping provisions. Still, some major concessions offered.
Gary Edwards

Is ODF the new RTF or the new .DOC? Can it be both? Do we need either? - O'Reilly Broad... - 0 views

  • Unless governments and other stakeholders can get beyond the narrow view of documents and interoperability as merely being exchanging data from one similar application to another, and move towards the view that documents and web resources need to be end points on the same interoperable spectrum, we are selling ourselves short.

    It is here that standards bodies should be more help: but I don't know that they can be unless there is a stronger commitment to supporting each others' visions better. W3C's mission statement is concerned with bringing the web to its full potential, and W3C have traditionally used this to justify shying away from old-fashioned compound file-based issues: the lack of standards for the *SP (JSP, ASP, PHP) class of documents is a symptom of this, and it is notable that much of XML's uptake came because it did take care of practical production issues (i.e. issues pertaining to the document as it existed before being made available as a resource —PIs and entities—and after it had been retrieved—character encodings.) The industry consortia such as ECMA and OASIS are organized around interest groups on particular standards, which makes it easy to fob off discussion of interoperability. And even ISO, where the availability are topic-based working groups with very broad interests should provide a more workable home for this kind of effort, have a strong disinclination to seek out work that involves liaison with other standards groups: satisfying two sets of procedures and fitting in with two sets of deadlines and timetables can be impractical and disenfranchising for volunteers and small-business/academic experts.

    Jon Bosak, who founded the XML and ODF efforts among many other achievements, recently wrote an article concerning the position of ODF, Open XML and PDF Jon's public writings are rare, well-considered and always of interest. As with other Sun-affiliated people in recent times, Jon has been exemplary in that even though he has a side, he does not take sides. I think I can agree with much of what he says, though I would note Don't forget about HTML.
Gary Edwards

The better Office alternative: SoftMaker Office bests ( - Soft... - 1 views

shared by Gary Edwards on 30 Jun 09 - Cached
  • Frankly, from Microsoft's perspective, the danger may have been overstated. Though the free open source crowd talks a good fight, the truth is that they keep missing the real target. Instead of investing in new features that nobody will use, the team behind OpenOffice should take a page from the SoftMaker playbook and focus on interoperability first. Until OpenOffice works out its import/export filter issues, it'll never be taken seriously as a Microsoft alternative.

    More troubling (for Microsoft) is the challenge from the SoftMaker camp. These folks have gotten the file-format compatibility issue licked, and this gives them the freedom to focus on building out their product's already respectable feature set. I wouldn't be surprised if SoftMaker got gobbled up by a major enterprise player in the near, thus creating a viable third way for IT shops seeking to kick the Redmond habit.

    • Gary Edwards
      This quote is an excerpt from the article :)
    Finally! Someone who gets it. For an office suite to be considered as an alternative to MSOffice, it must be designed with multiple levels of compatibility. It's not just that the "feature sets" that must be comparable. The guts of the suite must be compatible at both the file format level, and the environment level.

    Randall put's it this way; "It's the ecosystem stupid".

    The reason ODF failed in Massachusetts is that neither OpenOffice nor OpenOffice ODF are designed to be compatible with legacy and existing MSOffice applications, binary formats, and, the MSOffice productivity environment. Instead, OOo and OOo-ODF are designed to be competitively comparable.

    As an alternative to MSOffice, OpenOffice and OpenOffice ODF cannot fit into existing MSOffice workgroups and producitivity environments. Because it s was not designed to be compatible, OOo demands that the environment be replaced, rebuilt and re-engineered. Making OOo and OOo-ODF costly and disruptive to critical day-to-day business processes.

    The lesson of Massachusetts is simple; compatibility matters. Conversion of workgroup/workflow documents from the MSOffice productivity environment to OpenOffice ODF will break those documents at two levels: fidelity and embedded "ecosystem" logic.

    Fidelity is what most end-users point to since that's the aspect of the document conversion they can see. However, it's what they can't see that is the show stopper. The hidden side of workgroup/workflow documents is embedded logic that includes scripts, macros, formulas, OLE, data bindings, security settings, application specific settings, and productivity environment settings. Breaks these aspects of the document, and you stop important business processes bound to the MSOffice productivity environment.

    There is no such thing as an OpenOffice productivity environment designed to be a compatible alternative to the MSOffice productivity environment.

    Another lesson from Massach
Paul Merrell

Gray Matter : Compatibility Pack for Open XML passes 100 million downloads - 0 views

    Also includes stats in table form indicating that according to Google Search OOXML documents now outnumber ODF documents on the Web, for word processor documents, spreadsheet documents, and presentation documents.
Paul Merrell

Lotus Symphony now reads Office 2007 documents - 0 views

  • IBM today announced the release of Lotus Symphony 1.3, an update to its year-old free productivity suite that for the first time lets users import files saved in Microsoft Office 2007's native Office Open XML (OOXML) document format.
Paul Merrell

untitled - 0 views

  • Most (quality) specifications provide clear instructions using those magic words SHALL, SHALL NOT, and MAY where those words have a defined meaning for an implementor. Paragraphs are clearly identified as either normative or informative. That way an implementor knows what they must and may implement to claim conformance against a specification. This approach has been well established over time as a sensible way for spec writers and implementors to work
  • Most (quality) specifications provide clear instructions using those magic words SHALL, SHALL NOT, and MAY where those words have a defined meaning for an implementor. Paragraphs are clearly identified as either normative or informative. That way an implementor knows what they must and may implement to claim conformance against a specification. This approach has been well established over time as a sensible way for spec writers and implementors to work

    That is the way quality specifications are written. For example, ISO/IEC's JTC 1 Directives (link to PDF) requires that international standards designed for interoperability "specify clearly and unambiguously the conformity requirements that are essential to achieve the interoperability."

    With that clarity, conformance is testable and can provide confidence of interoperability. A suite of tests may be developed and applied to an implementation to determine which tests pass, which fail, and hence arrive at an objective pronouncement on conformance of an implementation against the entirety of the specification.

  • In a quality specification, it should be feasible to select a normative paragraph, identify a conformance test for it, and make a clear statement that this test proves that an implementation meets (or fails to meet) that requirement. Call it a test plan: define the tests (test specification), define the expected set of results, and define what constitutes a "pass" of each test that establishes conformance. The plan then provides the matrix of test spec against requirement. Simple.
  • ...4 more annotations...
  • Rob Weir of IBM chaired (apology for the misuse of that last word) the formation list and then simply announced what the charter would be rather than seeking consensus among the list participants. As part of this process before that charter was produced and while I still naively believed that consensus was a goal, I sat down with ODF 1.1 and did a paragraph-by-paragraph review for testability. The numbers were quite revealing. I completely reviewed only the first four major sections and found very few clear requirements.

    The majority were mere statements with no normative language used to identify what was required or optional. Implementors would have to make their own interpretation.

  • It's ironic that the chair viewed as good news the fact that there were far fewer testable paragraphs than he had predicted. But his prediction of 10,000 test cases is probably far closer to how many testable paragraphs there should be; my counts were actually bad news.
  • All of the above leads to the interesting question of just how the chair expects to accomplish much that is useful in regard to ODF conformance testing before the specification is amended to tighten up the language and add clear requirements. The syntax conformity is already handled by validation against the schema, but the semantics are woefully under-specified.
  • Summary: ODF 1.1 isn't verifiable as a specification. From a fairly cursory review of the latest draft, ODF 1.2 will follow the same path. With OASIS now being more demanding regarding conformance requirements on every specification and with ISO/IEC taking a closer interest in liaison with the ODF TC, I find it hard to see how the ODF TC co-chairs can maintain this view toward verification.
Gary Edwards

Google's Microsoft Fight Starts With Smartphones | BNET Technology Blog | BNET - 0 views

    .... "I recently described how Google's Wave, a collaboration tool based on the new HTML 5 standard, demonstrated the potential for Web applications to unglue Microsoft's hold on customers. My post quoted Gary Edwards, the former president of the Open Document Foundation, a first-hand witness to the failed attempt by Massachusetts to dump Microsoft and as experienced a hand at Microsoft-tilting as anyone I know......"
Jesper Lund Stocholm

Doug Mahugh : Standards-Based Interoperability - 0 views

  • Whether this is something that Microsoft is supposed to fix, as in Jomar Silva's view, is not that obvious to me.
    • Jesper Lund Stocholm
      My point exactly ...
Jesper Lund Stocholm

Balance of interest ~= Broader representation - O'Reilly Broadcast - 0 views

  • But I fully understand and expect that a specification for document formats will be primarily created by those vendors who are most interested, by commercial motivation, in selling products that use that standard. This is a good thing, indeed an essential thing, since that in a single shot brings together the expertise and IP rights needed to create such a standard.
    • Jesper Lund Stocholm
      I totally agree, Rob :o)
Paul Merrell

The No. 4 Reason to Move to Open Source is the Reduced Cost - 0 views

  • Open source enterprise products are ready to support your mission critical applications, in the operating system area there's Solaris, Linux, in the middleware area there's Glassfish, JBoss, in the database area there's MySQL, PostgreSQL and even in the desktop area...which has been lagging behind in open source, but is starting to gain some ground with over 220 Million OpenOffice users.
    Sun claims there are 220 million users.
Graham Perrin

ODF Alliance Weblog: Microsoft's ODF Support Falls Short - 0 views

  • Microsoft’s ODF Support Falls Short
  • some of the so-called ‘plug-ins’ were revealed to provide better support for ODF than the recently released Microsoft Office 2007 SP2
  • plug-ins for Microsoft Office written by third parties were revealed to provide better support for ODF than the recently released Microsoft Office 2007 SP2
  • ...3 more annotations...
  • SourceForge “OpenXML/ODF Translator Add-in for Office
  • Sun Plug-In 3.0
  • fail when using the “built-in” support provided by Office 2007 SP2
Paul Merrell

Sun Microsystems Snookers UNESCO - 0 views

  • The agreement is part of UNESCO’s ongoing effort to improve digital inclusion globally by partnering with the private sector. Under its terms, Sun Microsystems and UNESCO will promote the use of open source technologies, including and OpenDocument Format (ODF) standard, as a low-cost way to improve education with universal access to information and knowledge. They will also support the development of open and inclusive knowledge societies in developing and emerging economies.
    Now it's "universal access to information and knowledge" via the OpenDocument Format? Is there no one at UNESCO who has the brains to check out vendor claims before buying into them? ODF is a standard in name only, without any specification of the conformity requirements essential to achieve interoperability. How a specification may be described as "open" when the information needed to implement it is missing has to rank up there in the top 10 of appeals to ignorance.
Paul Merrell

Rob Weir is caught in a deceit - 0 views

  • But at all relevant times you knew that you could not respond on the merits if Alex took the time to write the same analysis I did. I call foul.

    Foul 1: You accused Alex of ignorance and deceit.
    Foul 2: You had no informed basis for those insults.
    Foul 3: You knew you had no informed basis for your insults.
    Foul 4: You have put me to the work of repeating the conversation we already had.

    Shame on you, Rob Weir. The position you took was unprincipled. You are the one who has intentionally misled Alex's readers. You are caught.

    If you are a principled person, you will immediately retract your insults and apologize to Alex Brown for your deceit in as public a manner as you inflicted your deceit. If you do not do so, the undeniable record lies here of a man who is not man enough to take responsibility for his wrongs and apologize.
  • Ah, Marbux, what circus is complete without the clowns?
  • It seems you like to ignore requirements in order to defend Microsoft
  • ...2 more annotations...

  • Do you get paid to spread FUD like this, or is it merely a dilettantish pursuit?
  • I am unable to even imagine that you would be ignorant of basic standards terminology. So why do you persist in intentionally misleading your readers?
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