11.30.11

The old putz of a computer man who phones it in

Posted in Culture of Lickspittle, Cyberterrorism at 1:04 pm by George Smith

A long time ago I had a book by John Dvorak. It was on shareware telecomms programs and was about 800 pages. If if I hit you in the face with it, it would have broken your jaw.

Dvorak was a legend in computer trade publishing and, in my mind, not in a good way. He was one of a common breed, someone who turned out trade books eiither written by machine or a small number of office
flunkies.

Anyway, today Dvorak’s name rose to the top of the Google pile for a PC Mag piece he authored on the set-yer-HP-laser-printer-on-fire story.

Many have covered that news responsibly so I won’t get into the details here.

However, there’s one bit from Dvorak, worth pulling out, just to show things never change. He’s an empty machine who phones it in.

And here’s the proof, from a piece of comment on the HP printer flaw:

This reminded me of the other recent hack whereby a hacker got some code into a power plant or some such thing. The hacker began to turn the pumps on and off so fast that the mechanisms overheated and either stopped working or caught on fire.

If you’ve been reading here — or any other reasonable security publication — you know this story was reported as unfounded last week.

John C. Dvorak — today’s example of someone so spent, fat, lazy and full of himself he can’t do the most elementary checking. This made worse by copy editors at PC Mag too cowed to do their job and save the man from himself.

Dvorak’s brief Wikipedia entry makes little mention of his work as a producer of computer books as really big paperweights .

However, it is refreshingly negative:

He has also gained some notoriety for making predictions that have turned out to be spectacularly off-target …

Dvorak is a skilled BBQ and grilling enthusiast, noted collector of Bordeaux wines and has been a tasting judge at various international events. He started his career as a wine writer.

You can tell all that.

1 Comment

  1. Frank said,

    December 1, 2011 at 1:51 pm

    This week’s NetSec podcast addressed the printer story and concluded that it was old news. It was the first item they discussed after the intros.

    One of the hosts of the podcast describes a paper he wrote on printer vulnerabilities a decade ago.

    http://netsecpodcast.com/?p=882