Category Archives: software

Versioning is getting out of hand

I know the tendency these days is for rapid release of software, but I prefer the older, slower incrementing software. Consider that (MS) DOS went from 1.x to 6.x in over 10 years, while Firefox (for example) has gone up to 52 (!) in that time.

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A new security question

We all know those “security questions” that websites ask to verify user’s identities, sometimes called shared secrets. The ones like your mother’s maiden name and favorite high school pet’s phone number.

I propose a new one for technical people: What was the name (SSID) of the first wireless network you connected to?

An unwontedly ugly property sheet

We all know that parts of a system that are used the least are generally the worst. They get the least attention and have the lowest priority when triaging bugs. In some cases they are so rarely seen that they don’t even get bug reports written about them. Vide the now notorious Windows 3.x font addition dialog that lasted until Windows Vista.

Here is a less egregious example from Windows 10 (current version, 1511):

UglyFTPProps

Note the background color problem under the permissions section of the dialog. I suspect that it has been there since Windows 98 or something. If it was removed, this would look fine. Maybe in the next version of Windows, the anniversary update, they will improve this?

I am not mentioning the UNIX style permissions because that is a function of the FTP server, rather than the Windows FTP client.

Missing cancel option

In Windows 10, there is an option (well hidden) to require people to press Ctrl+Alt+Delete before they sign in to Windows. The technical reasons WikipediA explains here why this is a thing.

Anyway, in all previous versions of Windows, after giving it the three-fingered salute you could cancel out by clicking a back button, a cancel button, or hitting the Esc key.

Windows 10 for some reason eliminated these, so you can’t jump back to the lock screen, but have to either sign back in, or wait 120 seconds for the system to kick you back to the lock screen.

Does anyone know why this was done? Is there some security or usability benefit to this new behavior?