Everything, Everything - December 2010

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Star Trek
Monday 27th December, 2010 12:14
A large part of me hates that Star Trek was a reboot, as one of the nice things was how much effort they made to ensure that the time lines were consistent between all of the later series and movies. At least they've come up with an alternative timeline scenario that means the existing canon wasn't trampled over. But overall I did enjoy the movie, even though there are big plot holes, and I'm glad I received it as a present for Christmas. I decided to check if/when a sequel will be released (potentially 2012, apparently) and spotted this review:

Darth Vader, err, Darth Maul - umm, I mean Nero - has this huge, gigantic awesome Death Star - err, I mean Mining Ship, that can destroy entire planets. So Nero blows up Alderaan - umm, I mean Vulcan, killing Princess Leia's father - I mean, Spock's mother. And then the Death Star homes in on the Rebel Base - Umm, I mean the mining ship homes in on Starfleet headquarters, and only Luke Skywalker can stop it by ignoring orders and turning off his targeting computer and trusting the Force - no, I mean only Jim Kirk can stop it by ignoring Starfleet's orders and trusting his instincts. It's a good thing Old Ben Kenobi was there to give Kirk that fatherly advice earlier - no, wait, that was Captain Pike.

And then they had a big old celebration, and Luke and Han got medals - err, I mean, Jim Kirk got a medal and was made captain.

Well it made me chuckle :) Unfortunately it's very hard to be original. Even when you're original it turns out someone else has already done something very similar that you weren't aware of. It reminds me of the South Park episode "The Simpsons Already Did It".
Wireless Access Points
Wednesday 8th December, 2010 10:03
I was reading an entry on the SANS ISC blog and was amazed to read this sentence:

If I'm at a client site with secure wireless (ie - I can't use it), I can generally plug in my trusty AP and get the tablet (and phone and laptop for that matter) online through their ethernet for a faster connection.

Seriously? Wouldn't the best option be to find out the correct way of using the secure and authorised wireless access point? Perhaps they're using something like client certificates. Perhaps it's on a separate network that goes through a firewall, so wireless users can only access certain systems. Perhaps they've carefully configured the access point with specific signal strengths in mind to help prevent someone across the road from being able to connect. Now you're potentially reducing their secure setup just because it's convenient for you and your iPad. Later on he comments that:

Credit card security likewise seems to have fallen by the wayside a bit.

I hope he tries using his access point in an organisation that takes PCI compliance seriously, preferably one that's implemented a wireless IPS that will detect his devices. Unauthorised (rogue) access points are generally a very bad thing, even if they're deployed by non-malicious users.
Tuition Fees
Thursday 2nd December, 2010 16:27
With all the protests going on, it's possible that the students have forgotten that the National Union of Students dropped their opposition to tuition fees back in 2008. Not that I'm saying it's all their fault, but surely you oppose them or you don't? Or is it just the amount that's the issue?

It's also worth noting that the recent proposal by the coalition government was based on a cross-party review by a panel of experts (chaired by former BP chief Lord Browne). They were tasked with coming up with a plan for the university funding system in England, to enable it to meet rising demand in a way that is sustainable for public finances. All those idealists that want a free education should realise that a) we're still fighting a global economic recession and b) further education isn't cheap.
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