image
17 July 2012

Platform vs. Platform

One of the most interesting things about the digital world is the availability of the cloud.  Pretty much everything is capable of going online in some way or another and accessing cloud services as either a mobile or "desktop" device.  The coolest part of it is it no longer really matters what platform is being used behind the scenes on the client device.  So much effort and money goes into advertising why one platform is better than another- Windows vs Mac OS X, Android vs Windows Phone vs iOS even though for the majority of people it doesn't actually make a lot of difference.

Most of my files are stored in one cloud service or another, I use webmail, and I have Internet access almost anywhere I go.  I can pull out almost any device and start using it with all of my stuff at my fingertips.  I've used iPads, Kindles, borrowed computers, and I have an Android phone, Linux, Windows, and a Palm Pilot (yep, I'm old-school).  In all cases for gett...

image
20 June 2012

Why the Hate for Windows 8?

At this point, the new interface for Windows 8 is old news, with two preview releases out and the screenshots all over the Internet.  To boil it down briefly, the iconic Start menu and button is gone, and has been replaced with the Metro Start Screen, which serves more or less the same purpose.  The Start Screen is more customizable and is the new place for everything installed on Windows 8, which can include apps from Microsoft's own store.  Additionally, the old "desktop" is now part of the tiles on the Start Screen since it is no longer intended to be the starting point, which takes a little getting used to.  Other things, such as settings, are moved around a little and take some searching to find, since panels like the Charms menu pop up when the cursor is in the corner of the screen.

For some reason, the new interface has been the subject of a lot of hate across the Internet.  The focus is generally on getting the start menu back, which isn't ...

image
09 June 2012

Aaandd We're Back!

I was forced to take a brief hiatus from keeping the blog up to date once spring quarter hit at school due to the workload.  As I have mentioned in the past, school takes precedence over writing for The Philosophy of Nate as it should, so posting will be irregular.  Despite the blog's constipation lately, some work has been going on behind the scenes just as slowly to get everything in working order across the website, and plans are in order to actually get some things on it.

Now that spring quarter is over, posting will be much more regular, time permitting.  There are already some posts lined up for the near future, so stay tuned.  If you've stuck around to put up with the weird posting schedule of The Philosophy of Nate, you won't be disappointed; your usual stream of content will be coming your way.  If you're new, welcome! Stick around, it's worth it!

image
28 February 2012

Some Blog News

The Philosophy of Nate has lived on a Blogger subdomain ever since I first started it as a non-public blog. Since then it has gone through a number of changes and eventually evolved into the globally syndicated blog that it is now.

At this point in time it seems appropriate that The Philosophy of Nate should move to its own web address and fully become its own online entity.  I actually made the switch from a Blogger domain a few weeks ago, for anyone who noticed, but now it's time to make the official announcement!  For the time being, the old address, natesphilosophy.blogspot.com, will still get you here without any trouble.  However, the shiny new address is blog.thenaterhood.com so be sure to update your bookmarks.

This also means a change in the email address that all you email subscribers receive mail from, which is currently my private mailbox.  Starting next week you'll see mail from our shiny new email address, blog [at] th...

image
22 February 2012

Google's Latest Privacy Woes

Google has been drawing a lot of attention to itself over privacy issues, from a new privacy policy, to offering users the option to essentially sell their privacy.  The new privacy policy goes live as of March 1st, if everything goes as Google plans and although the reaction to it is almost entirely negative, I don't find it particularly surprising.  According to Google it is intended to unify all its services more, rather than maintaining a privacy policy for each individual service, which makes sense.

At about the same time, Google unleashed a much quieter offering that essentially pays users to give up their privacy so that they can be monitored and so Google can "learn more about its users to enhance its services."  This offering gives users the option to be paid a total of $25 in instalments for running a browser extension to track them online, or significantly more if they allow Google to install hardware on their network that tracks everything...

image
18 January 2012

The Internet Speaks Up About SOPA

Anyone looking to quickly look something up on Wikipedia, flip through Reddit, or grab a quick read from the front page of Wordpress today will be sorely disappointed.  Those, among with many other sites are currently working to educate users about the dangers that SOPA and PIPA would bring if passed.

On the surface, the two bills are looking to solve the huge issue of Internet piracy.  However, much removed from that, the ramifications of them would be felt globally, destroying an open Internet all around the world.  Both bills have one thing in common: censorship.  They would permit the U.S government to take down any website - and by take down I mean take down and make it completely non-existent in the U.S - on small copyright claims.  Both bills have support from the MPAA as well as other huge corporations who are willing to pay for senators to vote in favour of it.

SOPA/PIPA (Stop Online Privacy Act and Protect IP Act) will be voted on ...

image
08 November 2011

What's Up With Secure Boot

If not for the Microsoft/Linux rivalry, Microsoft's new Secure Boot would probably not have made a huge splash in headlines until it was advertised as a feature of Windows 8 certified hardware.  However, the implications of Secure Boot could be much farther reaching than Microsoft likes to admit, should it be implemented in a - and the Linux fan in me comes out - typical Microsoft fashion as far as Linux is concerned.

The advertised idea of Secure Boot is to eliminate some of the security issues with not locking down the boot process of Windows, as some malware takes advantage of this time to get itself past other security.  This takes a very similar approach as a lot of mobile devices (think- iPhone), which makes said devices extremely difficult to hack since the software is locked down on a hardware level.  Secure Boot enabled systems would do something very similar, by only allowing software with keys that have been whitelisted (the installed operating sy...

image
27 October 2011

Aaandd We're Back!

Just a quick note before any real posts go up!

Since I'm now a college student at RIT, time is a little bit limited between classes and the rest of my life, but I haven't forgotten about anything.  So, excuse my extremely erratic posting- college, much to the disappointment of my readers, does actually have more importance than my blog.

With that said, there are some new posts coming up soon, so stay tuned.  If you're new, welcome!  Stick around, it's worth it!

image
20 September 2011

Linux 3.0 Is A Big Deal (Kind Of)

The release of kernel 3.0 in the Linux world was effectively downplayed by a good portion of the Linux world as "just another update."  And they're right- the version was going to be 2.6.40, until Linus Torvalds switched it to 3.0 to commemorate the 20th anniversary of Linux.  In that sense, no, Linux 3.0 was not a big deal as far as the 44 million lines of code in the kernel were concerned.  It only added the usual collection of drivers and bug fixes.

However, 3.0 is, from a publicity standpoint, a huge milestone for Linux in a lot of ways.  It shows, among other things, that Linux is continuing to grow and evolve and is a viable piece of software.  The fact that the version number was bumped to 3 could have made much more of an impact on the non-Linux world than it actually did- understandably, few people would care to hear that Linux hit version 2.6.40, but jumping a whole number is considered a big deal.  Windows has moved to that scheme- ...

image
10 August 2011

How To Run An Online Scam

As much as it may appear otherwise, given a little time running an online scam isn't nearly as difficult as the general person likes to think. This translates to the rest of us being required to be all the more vigilant about keeping ourselves safe and verifying anything, especially before sharing any personal information.

Though there are scams running online all the time, some obvious, others not, one of the most recent ones that spread virally was about browser choice being indicative of a person's IQ. The news article was picked up by various reputable news sites such as CNN, Telegraph, BBC and others and circulated for a few days. I picked it up and mentioned it in the previous post on The Philosophy of Nate as well before anyone had any reason to question the results of the study, which conveniently seemed to make some sense. Having been on CNN and the BBC, it seemed legitimate enough to me.

Surprisingly little work went into putting together the ...

Newer Posts

Older Posts