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  • Where’s your extended validation?

    Recently, I went through the trouble and expense of getting allpar.com an “extended validation” secure-server certificate. That means if you’re in one of our pages, and you typed in the address as https://www.allpar.com rather than just http://www.allpar.com (it’s usually that way on the forums), you should see this: It means that when you look at Allpar, it’s through a secure connection, and that the certificate that makes it secure was acquired by Allpar itself, not a pretender. That’s very handy. Suppose I go to Chase bank. I see in the green area, “JP Morgan Chase and Co.” I know it’s them and not a clever phishing site with a similar name or some hidden character trick. Anyone can get a normal lock…

  • Mild to wild: The nuttiness of ’net comments
    moderation

    I started out as a writer in the print days, and have run web sites devoted to cars, computers, business, and statistical software. Like everyone else, I’ve seen a massive range of commentary. The smartest, in general, has been on the highly technical sites, where the “general population” doesn’t go — even if everything is understandable. The dumbest, generally, is on mass-media news sites, and I suspect quite a bit of that is due to “bots” — automatic software that squirts bits of hate on command. For email feedback, I’ve never seen anything beat MacStats, where I’ve had one crank in  twelve years. This is Joel West’s Macintosh statistics software site, which I’ve been maintaining since 2005. Joel himself handed it…

  • Apple’s odd priorities

    The venerable Mac site Macintouch, which also covers the I-universe, is filling with customer complaints about Apple. There are usability problems galore, odd visual choices, hidden controls, capabilities lost, on both Macs and iPhones. So what does OS 10.2 have, as its headline feature? New emojis! Because that’s what everyone cares about most! Has there been a firestorm of controversy over a lack of emojis? Maybe, but if so, I missed it. Also in the news lately are new aerial photos of the huge flying-saucer headquarters building. The company may not have workstation laptops, it may not have 17” laptops, traditional USB ports, a tower computer, or any number of varieties that customers have been demanding for years, but it sure…

  • At the core of management fads and change efforts

    Bureaucracy was first labelled in the 1800s; from there, a long line of people have proposed different ways to describe the way companies and governments work. Then they came up with better ways — or at least ways they thought were better. The results has been literally thousands of management fads. A lot of them worked well in early trials, then failed elsewhere, when they became trendy. Quite a few are still used, and often, new fads are created that are just the old ones with a different name. I’ve been around long enough to see many, many of these fads, trends, and improvement methods come and often go. Many didn’t deserve to leave, but they seem to have a “sell-by” date stamped on them; who wants…

  • More accessible racing

    One of the interesting things about racing is how some of the greats started. Lee Petty drove a six cylinder Plymouth, hardly a fast car, though he added Chrysler suspension and braking bits to it to get an edge. The six cylinder Hudson Hornet dominated stock car racing for a couple of years. Things got faster in a hurry, especially in drag racing, where some people left as the power got higher and higher and the risks shot up accordingly. Sometimes I think it would be fun to have a racing series that worked at the speed of the cars Lee Petty drove — and not a classic series (though there are some of those and they seem like a lot…

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