Thursday, April 28, 2011

Round 2 - Ding! Ding!

Ok, that was totally WICKED!!  Round 1 of the NHL playoffs was the best in memory, granted, I have a short memory.

I was very excited for Round 1 (Read More) and it more than lived up to the bill.  I am still excited about Round 2, but not to the same extent.  The potential for big upsets has passed and the frequency of games is going to be less, and well it just isn't as exciting given those things and the fact that the Oilers are well established in the off season activities.  But one thing that can make it more exciting is predictions!

My record from Round 1 (just looking at winners) was 2 for 4 in the west, and 3 for 4 in the east for a total of 5 for 8, with a couple of those bang on with the number of games as well.  Really the only one I was way out on was Detroit, and well I admit it was a gamble that didn't pay off.

So Round 2:


Vancouver (1) vs Nashville (5) - Nashville in 5, I'm going with my heart and not my head here, usually a bad idea.
San Jose (2) vs Detroit (3) - San Jose in 7, I went into this year picking SJ to go to the end, I'll stick with them.


Washington (1) vs Tampa Bay (5) - Caps in 4, these guys are the real deal and Roli is too old.
Philadelphia (2) vs Boston (3) - Flyers in 7, this one is a toss up for me, Phillie seems like the deeper team

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Do you trust me

I've loved the Google Chrome browser ever since it arrived on scene.  It is fast, sleek, and just feels right.  In all places I browse I install it if it isn't there, and hate the few sites that seem to still require IE.  Then came extensions and my life was made whole!  IETab and now I don't have to switch to IE!  Extensions for twitter, facebook, email, url shortening, taking screen shots of the page I'm on, and most recently a new toy called Evernote.

Now for whatever reason, when I installed Evernote's web clipper extension I noticed the security information:

This extension can access:
    • Your data on all websites
    • Your browsing history

Well, that seems like a lot of access, so I decided to learn more (from

Apps and extensions you install may have access to your data. You might also see a warning dialog when an already installed extension or app is updated, if the item requests new or different permissions. A warning doesn’t mean that the extensiondoes do something dangerous, just that it could.
Don’t install an app or extension unless you trust its creator. Check the item’s ratings and reviews to determine if it’s trustworthy.
Here are the permissions that apps and extensions may request. Click the links to see more details.

This item contains an NPAPI plug-in.
Caution: NPAPI plug-ins can do almost anything, in or outside of your browser. For example, they could use your webcam, or they could read your personal files.
Your list of installed apps, extensions, and themes
This item can read the list of themes, extensions, and apps that you have installed. It can't install items, but it might enable, disable, uninstall, or launch items that you've installed.
Your bookmarks
This item can read, change, add to, and organize your bookmarks.
Your browsing history
This item could look at your browsing history. This warning is often a by-product of an item needing to open new tabs or windows.
Your data on all websites
This item can read every page that you visit -- your bank, your web email, your Facebook page, and so on. Often, this kind of item needs to see all pages so that it can perform a limited task such as looking for RSS feeds that you might want to subscribe to.
Caution: Besides seeing all your pages, this item could use your credentials (cookies) to request your data from websites.
Your data on {list of websites}
This item can read the pages that you visit on the specified websites.
Your physical location
This item uses location information that your computer provides about where you currently are.

Well now, what!  Now I'd better look at some of my other extensions!! Lo and behold a couple extensions had the top level of access, I nearly passed out.  Plugins have access to my ENTIRE computer.

This all made me wonder for the first time in my life about FireFox.  What permissions do their add-ons have?  It must be similar right?  If it similar then they aren't telling.  I cannot find anything describing what access you grant to a FireFox add-on when you install it.

The key text in Googles description above is "Don’t install an app or extension unless you trust its creator.".  Well how can I trust some person or company I've never met?  And even if I trust them, for some strange reason, how can I trust all the people that work for them, their data hosting company, their security and on and on.

Here is the strange part; I trust Google more than ever because of all this.  Google is forcing application and extension developers to be clear about what access their code needs to function, and the transparency this provides makes me more comfortable when dealing with Google as a whole.

But now I need help with a couple of questions:

1) What permissions to extensions/add-ons in other browsers have to the data on my computer?
2) How do you know if you can trust the developer of this code?

Monday, April 11, 2011

It's the most wonderful time of the year!

The NHL playoffs are upon us, and even though our beloved Oilers are planning their draft picks, their minor league championship, some world championship contributions and tee times, I am still extremely excited.

The next couple of weeks are the hockey equivalent of the March Madness that college basketball brings us.  Nightly there are at least two meaningful, high intensity hockey games with loud home crowds, sell outs, and players leaving it all on the ice.  This is what it is all about.  The fact that our team isn't there takes a little of the excitement out of it, but not much.

So, because I love hockey and want to have it in writing in case I am right, here are my round one predictions.


Vancouver (1) vs Chicago (8) - Hawks in 6, how could it be any other way :)
San Jose (2) vs Los Angeles (7) - Sharks in 4, LA doesn't have it, at most their D and G steal 1.
Detroit (3) vs Phoenix (6) - Phoenix in 7, I keep calling it so I have to be right eventually.  Goaltending steals it.
Anaheim (4) vs Nashville (5) - Nashville in 5, Anaheim battled hard to get there, but without their top two tenders they fall quickly.


Washington (1) vs New York Rangers (8) - Washington in 5, Rangers barely made it, Washington has been building up to this.
Philadelphia (2) vs Buffalo (7) - Buffalo in 7, this one is a toss up, Flyers struggled to the line and Miller will be the difference.
Boston (3) vs Montreal (6) - Bruins in 6, too tough for the Canadians, but Price holds them in longer than they deserve.
Pittsburgh (4) vs Tampa Bay (5), Lightning strikes in 7, Pitt puts up a good fight, but even if Crosby comes back this Tampa team is for real.

Round two start with Sharks/Hawks, Coyotes/Preds in the west and Caps/Sabres, Bruins/Lightning in the east.

I love this time of year!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

What election

I am an educated 30 something father who works in the public sector.  I pay attention to what is going on in the world, have opinions on what is good and what is bad and am proud to be Canadian.  And I couldn't care less about the federal election.

I can't put my finger on why exactly I feel so apathetic about this election, but no matter how hard I try to care about the issues, feel strongly for a candidate and put the date in the calendar when I MUST go to the polls, the passion just isn't there.  I would be very interested to see how many promises made in elections over time are kept.  The feeling that the candidates and parties can say what ever they want to get in and then change their plan makes the whole thing feel very pointless and my vote very meaningless.

Over the coming days I am going to make an effort to care, but I am not making any promises.