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Cox Crow

Asking the Stupid Questions Since 1971
 Thursday, August 01, 2002

AKMA says:

How many people want to consign Euro-America to the status of has-been economic engine in order to perpetuate property, labor, investment and class institutions from an obsolescent social context?

7:02:01 PM #
categories: Media

Geek Police Arrest Terror Suspect

6:40:00 PM #

A One-way Ticket, Yeah

Patch can be uninstalled: No

6:17:22 PM # Google It!

Ok, BlueTooth people, I want my computer to note when my beeper goes out of range and set my presence status to "seein' a man about a horse."

How about that?

3:47:02 PM #

The Advantages of Commercial Off-The-Shelf Software

One of the things I ran across was this link to a Microsoft white paper on the HotMail migration from FreeBSD to Windows 2000. This is interesting because of the scale, but just think of the licensing costs if you were to try to build this at retail.

Microsoft® Hotmail® service is a leading provider of free, Web-based e-mail, which in January surpassed 100 million active users worldwide and continues to grow at the rate of approximately 11 million users per quarter. .... The current network of more than 5,000 servers is organized into about a dozen clusters; each consisting of front-end servers linked to data storage machines.

5000 copies of Windows 2000 Advanced Server at $3,799 per unit is only $18,995,000. Good thing that price includes 125,000 client access licenses, otherwise we'd have to figure out the cost of 100 million of those (about $2,000,000,000).

No wonder MSN doesn't make money: They must be paying retail. ;-)

(Microsoft's MSN, which had revenue of about $1.5 billion for the fiscal year ended in June, has an average revenue per subscriber of only about $11, not enough to make the service profitable.)

On a related note, Jim Reese, Chief Operations Engineer of Google, will be presenting the keynote at LISA 2002 on "Scaling the Web: An Overview of Google (A Linux Cluster for Fun and Profit)"

3:33:40 PM # Google It!
categories: Industry

The More Things Change

I was digging an old proposal out of my e-mail from last year, and realized how little has been changed, and yet it seems like such a long time.

2:45:06 PM # Google It!

Watch Your Back

Network security and intrusion detection focus on the perimeter, often ignoring physical lines of attack, or the tunnel under the walls.

SecurityFocus reports on a device presented at the Black Hat Briefings: a modified Sega Dreamcast.

Higbee and Davis perform penetration tests, and developed their game box cum attack tool after finding themselves more than once with physical access to a client's facilities -- posing as an employee in one case, crawling through a drop ceiling in another -- but without a way to leverage that access into remote control of the company's network.

Remember that for all the notoriety Kevin Mitnick achieved, his techniques did not involve computers.

12:29:49 PM # Google It!
categories: Security

Consumer Reports

Breaking computers is not unlike the testing done by Consumer Reports.

Why is that the vendors get upset when someone points out that if you turn the steering wheel hard left, hard right, hard left, you tip over? Where would car safety be today without Unsafe at Any Speed. What kind of heads would you find in your chicken nuggets without Upton Sinclair?

Pointing out that the bulletproof glass in a bank is not bulletproof is qualitatively different from shouting fire in a crowded theatre. It is because it lends itself to overly broad interpretation that I'm suprised the DMCA hasn't fallen on First Amendment grounds.

12:04:06 PM # Google It!
categories: Industry, Law, Security

Illegal Instruction

This just in over the wire, Geek Terror Group 'Still Alive'.

11:21:05 AM # Google It!
categories: Law, Security

(the whole "original intent" thing is something I love discussing, especially after a few beers) [Ernie the Attorney]

Beer? Did he say, "beer"?

10:48:35 AM #

Wachet Auf!

In the morning, I make a pot of coffee, turn on the monitor and press CTRL-ALT-DEL to unlock my Windows 2000 desktop. Then I wait.

I wait.

And I wait.

And I wait.

What am I waiting for, you might ask. I'm waiting for the large programs I use to become active, for Windows to catch up to me.

This is not exactly a resource constrained system. Time to open perfmon and capture some statistics.

9:36:41 AM # Google It!
categories: Coffee, Dear Microsoft