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Cox Crow

Asking the Stupid Questions Since 1971
 Thursday, August 22, 2002

A Call to AOL

And hey, if that doesn't motivate you, maybe this will: There's no way Bill Gates will do it. In fact, there's no way he can.
Doc Searls

3:17:53 PM # Google It!
categories: Industry, Media

Jabberin' over doughnuts

CapWIN, the Capital Wireless Integrated Networks Project, was awarded to IBM. [via David Fletcher] Turns out that IBM will be using Jabber for the instant part of the project.

2:34:04 PM # Google It!
categories: Messaging

GNU Terrorists

This is a political operation. Whether or not the source is available has nothing to do with making a computer usable by The Enemy.

Now, only a year after the release of SE Linux, the NSA has dropped its support for any future cyber security products based on the open source method. NSA officials say their cyber security enhancements made for SE Linux have not only benefited the NSA, but because of the terms of the GPL have also strengthened the security architecture of computers used by malicious cyber terrorists around the world.

"We didnít fully understand the consequences of releasing software under the GPL," said Dick Schafer, deputy director of the NSA. "We received a lot of loud complaints regarding our efforts with SE Linux."
WorldTech Tribune

It may be hard for the three-letter acronyms to admit, but whether or not the source is available and may help the terrorists is irrelevant. See Bruce Schneier for elaboration, or Ray Ozzie, or even the Broadcast Protection Discussion Group: the FBI captured passwords using a keystroke logger. Instead, this decision by the NSA harms us law-abiding citizens.

2:18:00 PM # Google It!
categories: Politics, Security

Remember where you've been

I would like my brower's history function to organize in a thread, tracking referrers, so I can see where I clicked from.

2:00:40 PM # Google It!

My Own Personal Infrastructure for Discovery

Jonathan Peterson commented on Eric Norlin's post on ComputerWorld's article on the Information Sharing and Homeland Security Conference at the same time David Fletcher's posts on national technology R&D and data-sharing for homeland security flew over my aggregated transom.

Of interest: Terascale Infrastructure for Discovery and other High End Computing Capabilities

From ComputerWorld:

"Take AOL, Yahoo and MSN and link them to a bunch of classified data, and that's Intelink," said [John] Brantley, [director of the Intelink management office,] calling the intranet the "basis for how people share information" in the intelligence community. And while he acknowledged that searching Intelink can be like shooting craps, Brantley maintains that despite the intranet's size, analysts shoot craps "with loaded dice."

I've long wondered why it's so much trouble to find out what the government knows about you.

1:51:11 PM # Google It!
categories: Law, Politics, Security

Making money off connecting people

No way in Hell is content king.

Classmates is the bomb. They really hook you into providing information about yourself. I'm running across friends, enemies, and girls I had a crush on in elementary school. And I'm this close to giving them $36 so I can reach some of these people — after only 10 minutes of using the site.

Now I'm recommending it to my friends.

11:57:54 AM # Google It!
categories: Industry, Media

That's the Ticket

Moving: Caveat Lector is moving. Today. To http://www.yarinareth.net/caveatlector/. This will be the LAST post at Textartisan.
— [Caveat Lector]

Dorothea has some minor difficulties with Moveable Type not maintaining permalinks on imports. I would suggest a mod_rewrite directive if she could discern a pattern. TextArtisan is running Zeus, so at first I thought "yet another use of meta refresh," but then I find that Zeus supports .htaccess. Looks like the syntax is the same as Apache's. Yarinareth runs Apache, so can use mod_rewrite.

So, redirect from textartisan to yarinareth. Rewrite from old permalink to new. Change DNS entries when yarinareth equals textartisan. Simple, right?

10:49:06 AM # Google It!
categories: System Administration

Salt on the Earth

I was discussing the other day with Joe Robins how Pepper is becoming my main editor on Windows. He went to download it, and found that Maarten Hekkelmann just doesn't want to work on it anymore. Now I see that Aaron Swartz's favorite editor is Pepper.

Raph notes

This highlights one of the major differences between proprietary and free software. People lose the motivation to work on projects all the time. But free software projects are like extremely hardy seeds; they can dry up and last a long time, and when a fertile environment comes along, sprout and flourish. When the author has particular rights over the code, a big risk is that it can really die.

I wonder if Mr. Hekkelmann will take my money to get rid of the registration dialog.

10:11:16 AM # Google It!

Psst, Mac, wanna buy a vowel?

Ray Ozzie wrote an excellent essay on non-discretionary access controls, a/k/a mandatory access controls. These are requirements, "controls that can involuntarily release you of your control." In the analog world, the command "Thou Shalt Not Kill" is a non-discretionary access control, as is "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

In the essay he examines the difficulty of implementing them in Notes and Groove.

But more than once, I've been shocked by a user who has been using Groove for months and months, and then points out "Do you mean that one of the other members of the Shared Space can copy & paste the shared data to a different shared space, sharing it with someone else, without my permission???"

I've run into that. There's a great lack of understanding of how computers work, aggravated by Marketing's misinformation in advertisements. For some reason, if you use a computer, you can get everything done faster. It's not like you have to wait for the computer. This directly affects customer expectations, so I spent a good deal of time lowering expectations when I worked at AlphaGraphics.

But what I don't understand is the lack of understanding of the computer as a communications device. Do you not gossip over the back fence? Did you think the secret you told would stay secret?

9:16:46 AM # Google It!
categories: Law, Media, Security

Spin

Theirs:
Media chief decries Net's moral fiber
The president of News Corp. warns that the Internet's future is threatened by porn, spam and rampant piracy. He condemns the medium's "enormous amount" of worthless content.

Mine:

Media chief running scared.
The president of News Corp. warns that their future is threatened by the "enormous amount" of worthless advertising on the Internet

8:40:36 AM # Google It!
categories: Media

I'm so happy with my feet on the ground
So happy, my head spins around
Quite content to sit on this fence
Quite content now a little bit older

The mirror people one day shall be free
The mirror people laugh at you and laugh at me
The mirror people, know not how to cry
So they scream, the mirror people scream inside
— "Mirror People," Earth, Sun, Moon, Love & Rockets

8:22:41 AM #
categories: Media