Friday Five: February First
This week: BlackBerrys rebirth, the right to root (and party), and a clip from the Steve Jobs biography. Oh, and a mini pig.
This week on the Friday Five, we go only half-way off-topic: on
BlackBerry’s rebirth, the right to root (and party), and a clip
from the Steve Jobs biography. Oh, and a mini pig.
1. BlackBerry’s final stand
The launch of the BlackBerry 10 operating system by BlackBerry –
née RIM – has generated considerable attention as the
once-powerful phone manufacturer attempts to claw back its lost
market share. The new touchscreen-optimised OS has been launched
alongside two new phones, and has received faintly
However, while BlackBerry’s new phone appears to have caught up
with the times, the company’s PR could still do with some work. In
an interview on
BBC Radio 5 Live (embedded below), managing director Stephen
Bates spent a whole three minutes ignoring the presenters’ simple
question – what did BlackBerry learn from the iPhone?
2. The Right to Root (or not)
Sir Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the Word Wide Web and
Olympic star, has continued to promote the
universal nature of the web since its creation. His latest
comments, uttered onstage at Linux.conf.au 2013 are a bit more
controversial than usual, however.
“The right to have root on your machine,” he was quoted as
by ZDNet, “is the right to store things
which operate on your behalf.” That is, when ordinary users have
root access, they are put at danger of allowing malicious software
to operate on their behalf.
Berners-Lee, as you might expect, believes that the web is a
cross-site access, are the best we can do at the moment.”
Presumably he hasn’t read HTML5
Security, published by our sister publishing arm
Developer.Press, which lists just a few of the horrors waiting to
be unleashed by unscrupulous web developers.
3. And speaking of rights management…
YouTube is known for its video content, but most of us use it
to listen to music too thanks to its enormous catalogue. Until
Google worked things out with the major record companies, these
were frequently being pulled down until a deal was worked
In Germany, though, a majority of the top 1000 videos on
YouTube remain blocked – as illustrated in this
interactive infographic. The German equivalent of
the RIAA, GEMA, takes a “guilty until proved innocent” approach to
YouTube, blocking videos that “may contain music for which GEMA has
not granted the respective music rights”.
Of the top 1000 – which, as you might expect, is mostly
cheesy pop hits – blocked videos include ‘White & Nerdy’ by
Weird Al Yankovich, ‘Sweet Child
of Mine’ by Guns ‘n’ Roses, and ‘Gangnam
4. Spinning in his iGrave?
He may have only passed away just over a year ago, but the Steve
Jobs’ biography movie jOBS is already well underway. An
early promotional clip of the film released shows a young Jobs,
played by Ashton Kutcher, telling Steve Wozniak how revolutionary
his new computer is.
Woz himself has
weighed in on the trailer, initially commenting on a Gizmodo
post that it was “not close” and adding in a longer statement that
it was “totally wrong”. He says he was inspired not by Jobs, but by
“liberal humanist academics from Berkeley and Stanford”, and that
Jobs’ “lofty talk came much further down the line”.
5. Hamlet the mini pig
And finally… let’s wrap up an uncharacteristically techy
Friday Five with an equally unusual choice of adorable animal: a
Ps… the boss insists that the
Rascal tune be included. Be advised: there’s lots of