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2012.09.18

Research Proposal Becomes Reality

Eight years ago I submitted a research proposal for developing a tablet-based game platform for toddlers. Although the proposal was not accepted for funding, it's nice to see the idea becoming a reality through the unveiling of the Toys 'R' Us $150 Tabeo tablet for kids.

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2008.02.21

Backwards Compatibility in Office Open XML

As a member of my country's national standards body committee on electronic data processing, I lately spend considerable time deliberating what our position should be in the upcoming Office Open XML ISO Ballot Resolution Meeting in Geneva. My biggest objection concerns large parts of the standard that are proposed to live in an Annex containing normative descriptions of deprecated features that will only be used by existing binary documents. The rationale behind this decision is backwards compatibility. My opinion is that this solution is counterproductive for a number of reasons.

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2008.01.27

What I'd Say to Bill Gates

Bill Gates is visiting Athens tomorrow. In his short stay he'll inaugrate Microsoft's so-called innovation center, which is provided as an offset for a deal Microsoft signed with the Greek government for the purchase of 70.000 licenses, and he'll also give a talk on Microsoft's vision for the future of technology. As a prelude to this event the Sunday newspaper Eleftherotypia inset Epsilon has invited a few Greek open-source advocates to give in a few sentences what they would say to Bill Gates during his visit.

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2006.11.28

Internet Explorer's Cleaner Look

Today the Microsoft update on my Windows machine asked me to upgrade the Internet Explorer to version 7.0. My bank refuses to work with any browser other than IE, so, although I'm using SeaMonkey as my everyday browser, I'm also forced to keep a current copy of IE. The installation's banner reinforced some of the fears I have regarding Microsoft's technical prowess.

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2006.08.08

SeaMonkey vs Internet Explorer Revisited

In an older blog entry I compared the complexity of Mozilla with that of Internet Explorer by looking at the components each linked to. Recently, comments to a Slashdot posting I made, noted that I was comparing the two products on different platforms and source with binary dependencies. I therefore set out to compare the binary dependencies of the two under Windows.

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2005.12.05

A Clash of Two Cultures

I dug the following gem from the Usenix HotOS X Conference Panel titled "Do we work within existing frameworks or start from scratch?", summarized by Prashanth Bungale.

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2005.09.26

Slashdot Story: The Future of Windows Software Distribution

Earlier today I posted on Slashdot a story describing Microsoft's new third-party software distribution approach.

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2004.08.16

The hypot() Mystery

I was writing a section for the Code Reading followup volume, and wanted to demonstrate the pitfalls of using homebrewn mathematical functions instead of the library ones. As an example, I chose to compare the C library hypot(x, y) function, against sqrt(x * x, y * y). I created a plot of "unit in last place" (ulp) error values between the two functions, which demonstrated how the error increased for larger values of y.

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2004.03.19

Binary File Similarity Checking

How can one determine whether two binary files (for example, executable images) are somehow similar? I started writing a program to perform this task. Such a program could be useful for determing whether a vendor had included GNU Public License (GPL) code in a propriatary product, violating the GPL license. After writing about 20 lines, I realized that I needed an accurate definition of similarity than the vague "the two files contain a number of identical subsequences" I had in mind.

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2004.02.18

Putting the Jini Back into the Bottle

It has been brought to my attention that Microsoft is sending cease and desist email letters regarding the illegal distribution of the Windows source code.

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2003.10.03

Software Complexity: Open Source vs Microsoft

In a readable and interesting paper titled CyberInsecurity: the cost of a monopoly seven notable security experts argue that the Microsoft's near monopoly in the desktop operating system and office productivity markets is creating a dangerous monoculture that exacerbates the effect of security vulnerabilities.

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Unless otherwise expressly stated, all original material on this page created by Diomidis Spinellis is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Greece License.