Stories by Mark Gibbs

  • SuperTweet: Twitter without the OAuth hassle

    In 2008 (just as the U.S. economy began circling the drain) here in Gearhead <a href="">I wrote</a> about updating <a href="">Twitter</a> with <a href="">cURL</a>, a free, <a href="">open source</a>, command line utility that allows you to transfer data with URL syntax using, and I quote, "DICT, FILE, FTP, FTPS, GOPHER, HTTP, HTTPS, IMAP, IMAPS, LDAP, LDAPS, POP3, POP3S, RTMP, RTSP, SCP, SFTP, SMTP, SMTPS, TELNET and TFTP [along with] SSL certificates, HTTP POST, HTTP PUT, FTP uploading, HTTP form based upload, proxies, cookies, [user name and password] authentication (Basic, Digest, NTLM, Negotiate, Kerberos ...), file transfer resume, proxy tunneling and a busload of other useful tricks."

  • Cheap power: An overnight revolution

    Every now and then along comes a technology that is revolutionary and changes everything. But a very few of these new technologies cause fast change. Mostly they seep out of the lab, into the arms of early adopters, and then ooze out into the world in general.

  • Roambi Flow, a BI publishing breakthrough

    My love affair with my Apple iPad continues apace. Despite the me-too products that have flooded the market, the iPad remains the gold standard, not just because of the quality of the hardware (pricey though it may be), but because of the vibrant application marketplace that has evolved around it. And in a market loaded with a surprising number of outstanding apps, a few qualify as, at the risk of using an over-used word, groundbreaking.

  • Putting the QNAP T-1079 Pro NAS to the test

    <a href="">A couple of weeks ago</a> I started trying to get a <a href="">QNAP TS-1079 Pro</a> network attached storage (NAS) device set up.

  • IT ... as Steve said: "Click. Boom. Amazing!"

    I will not be writing at length about Steve Jobs in this column because many other people are doing so and some of them far better than I ever could. All I'll say is that he was unique and the computer industry has lost an icon, a force, and, to many, a hero.

  • Silver Surfers are past it? Never!

    Well, much to my amusement I recently discovered that there's a new name for Internet users in my age group: We are now called "Silver Surfers" (with apparently no nod to Marvel and its superhero of the same name).

  • Swapping DSL modems, AT&T gets into the act

    My editor is being very understanding because this column is late, late, late. Why? Well, if you recall, <a href="">last week</a> I was wrestling my 2Wire 2701HG-B DSL Gateway trying to persuade it to recognize a really cool NAS device, the <a href="">QNAP TS-1079 Pro</a>, so I could enable port forwarding to expose the QNAP to the world.

  • Gibbs takes a look at a new QNAP NAS devices but his 2Wire DSL gateway doesn't help

    "Currently 2Wire does not support Universal Plug and Play (UPnP). 2Wire customizes all gateway products and software to meet the requirements of our ISP partners. If supporting UPNP became a requirement, 2Wire will include the functionality to the system. UPNP allows the OS to control the firewall configuration that could have an adverse effect on any systems running behind a firewall that is being controlled by malicious software operating on a LAN-based computer."

  • MUSINGS: Hooked on Google

    Somewhat to my surprise I've become a very committed user of a huge number of Google products as have, I suspect, many of you. While some of these products are what we might call "safe" to rely on, there's a whole other set that we're handcuffed to and when they're not available ... well, that can be a really big problem.

  • When 16GB is really 14GiB

    I was asked the other day by a friend why his iPad says, on the outside, that it has 16GB of storage, while in the About tab in the Settings app the storage size is reported as 14GB.

  • OPINION: Is Google being evil?

    Recently, I contended that "Freedom and privacy, in any meaningful sense, are dead" and discussed the two types of privacy, "factual" privacy, which concerns "static" data such as your age and cholesterol level, and "lifestream" privacy which is the realtime data about things such as where you go and who you talk to.

  • Server scripts, Web calendars and form handlers

    One of my recent projects has been designing and building a Web platform for Community Emergency Response Teams. CERTs are local organizations that exist to provide emergency services such as fire suppression, medical assistance and search and rescue as both first responders as well as a backup to or, if things are really bad, a replacement for official services in times of disaster.

  • OPINION: Freedom and privacy, R.I.P.

    Freedom and privacy, in any meaningful sense, are dead. I know, I know ... I've written about this topic before but that was in the context of our "factual" privacy, which is about access to what you might think of as "static" data about you. Now we have to recognize the death of our "realtime" or "lifestream" privacy: the freedom to go about our business unobserved and anonymously.

  • The iPad: Epic success for users

    You read last week's Backspin (you did, didn't you?) so you'll know it included a riposte from my old friend and verbal sparring partner, Winn Schwartau, to my April column "Curse you, users."

  • Impersonator, a different kind of virtualization

    One thing we all have is lots of old software, and we always need to worry about how we will run that one crucial application next year, the year after, or a decade down the road. Will the hardware be available? Will the drivers and libraries required still be available?