MS Word’s change history feature strikes again

Security: SCO accidentally leaked their previous lawsuit plans — to sue Bank of America — through MS Word’s ability to retain prior changes in a Word document.

This seems as good a time as any to re-plug
find-hidden-word-text, a quick perl hack to use ‘antiword’ to extract hidden text from MS Word documents in an automated fashion, based on Simon Byers’ paper Scalable Exploitation of, and Responses to Information Leakage Through Hidden Data in Published Documents. It works well ;)

Safety: Great Malcolm Gladwell article on S.U.V.’s. My favourite bit:

when, in focus groups, industry marketers probed further, they heard things that left them rolling their eyes. …. what consumers said was ‘If the vehicle is up high, it’s easier to see if something is hiding underneath or lurking behind it.’

Bradsher brilliantly captures the mixture of bafflement and contempt that many auto executives feel toward the customers who buy their S.U.V.s. Fred J. Schaafsma, a top engineer for General Motors, says, ‘Sport-utility owners tend to be more like ‘I wonder how people view me,’ and are more willing to trade off flexibility or functionality to get that.’ According to Bradsher, internal industry market research concluded that S.U.V.s tend to be bought by people who are insecure, vain, self-centered, and self-absorbed, who are frequently nervous about their marriages, and who lack confidence in their driving skills.

… Toyota’s top marketing executive in the United States, Bradsher writes, loves to tell the story of how at a focus group in Los Angeles ‘an elegant woman in the group said that she needed her full-sized Lexus LX 470 to drive up over the curb and onto lawns to park at large parties in Beverly Hills.’

Social: Ted Leung: Google requires that its employees spend 20% of their working hours on ‘personal projects’. Wow.

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