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Cox Crow

Asking the Stupid Questions Since 1971
 Friday, August 23, 2002


I've been trying to ignore Dave this week, ever since he got into a high dudgeon over Larry Lessig's speech at OSCON.

Larry Staton, Jr., has a good bit on copyright as applied to software. But, Dave, it's really very simple, so shut up and listen:

Copyright says that Dave Winer can't write his program using the same words that Larry Lessig used to write his.

They can have the same useful thought, but the person who patents it first gets it.

Is copyright appropriate for the computing arts? Are patents? That's a different question, and doesn't involve ad hominems and piss.

1:36:45 PM # Google It!

Hard Decisions

Option 1: Stay at home, sitting on the couch, drinking lots of water, doing the same thing you've been doing for six weeks.

Option 2: Go out to dinner and a show.

Looks like The Road to Perdition is the only thing interesting showing in most of the cinemas near us. My Big Fat Greek Wedding might have potential. When this could be your last date until the newborn is weaned, you don't want to throw your time away on mediocre fluff. We have more great restaurants in the area than Hollywood has released films, so it's easier to pick one. (Finding those restaurants online is a little more difficult.)

12:36:40 PM # Google It!
categories: Family

I'm not a military genius, but I play one on TV

Apparently the latest war game was a little lop-sided.

[Vice Admiral Marty] Mayer said the war game's complexity precluded it being a completely free-play exercise

You mean like life?

The first casualty of battle is the plan.

The ArmyTimes article notes that Red Team used motorcycle messengers to avoid monitoring of electronic communications. Tricky. Encryption would yield a somewhat similar result, but mis-direction would be easier with the method used. Did Blue Team become aware of this during the game? Could Blue Team not interrupt both communications channels?

9:57:54 AM # Google It!

Diplomats are just as essential to starting a war as soldiers are for finishing it.... You take diplomacy out of war, and the thing would fall flat in a week.
— Will Rogers (1879-1935)

9:13:59 AM #
categories: Politics

Privilege Escalation, or what do with a bug once you've found it

Obviously, the Shatter Attack isn't the real problem. The problem is the email virus that could deliver the attack or any other delivery vehicle that gives an attacker remote or physical access to a user's system. Thus, the details of the attack matter little. [links added]
Paul Thurrott, Windows and .NET Magazine

They are both problems, if your security model doesn't allow for the possiblity that an end-user system will be compromised. It is not wise to ignore the potential of privilege escalation. You can limit the avenues of attack, but as long as the computer is on there will be an opportunity.

I am so sure that TCPA/Palladium will fix privilege escalation problems.

8:28:39 AM # Google It!
categories: Security

Links, not chains

BT lost. Judge McMahon found in her summary judgment of British Telecommunications v. Prodigy that
In contrast to what BT would have us believe, there are no disputed issues of material fact in this case. Instead, the two sides reach vastly different conclusions based on the same set of facts. I find that, as a matter of law, no jury could find that Prodigy infringes the Sargent patent, whether directly or contributorily, either as part of the Internet or on its Web server viewed separate and apart from the Internet.

Now we can go back to arguing whether deep links are different in character from shallow links, without having to pay BT for the privilege.

6:57:08 AM # Google It!
categories: Law