Saturday, May 06, 2006

Internet Infrastructure | Cyberspace Running Out Of Addresses

Because of the profusion of devices that need an IP address, IPv4 will run out of addresses in 2012, according to the article at the url.
The IPv4 Internet has room for 4.3 billion addresses. About one-third are already in use, and more than another third are spoken for. IPv6 provides 2^128 possible addresses. Compared with IPv4's 32bits, IPv6's address reads 128 bits long. Imagine the number looking something like this – 360,382,386,120,984,643,363,377,707,131,268,210,929.[snip]
Keep in mind, IPv6 offers features designed to make configuration easier. If one machine on the network is configured as a router, all other IPv6 hosts can configure themselves automatically. IPv6 also builds in IP Security, known as IPSEC, as part of the protocol. This means authentication and privacy live in the protocol, not on at the application layer. This eases IP spoofing and makes spying on someone else's data more difficult.

They also ponder the cost to businesses and the technical options, interesting article, and something I think our readers would like to know.

Internet Infrastructure | Cyberspace Running Out Of Addresses

Linux kernel 'getting buggier,' leader says

Andrew Morton, the lead maintainer of the Linux kernel v2.6, has not confirmed this statistically, but he feels bugs are being added to the Linux kernel faster than they are being fixed. It's quite possible that is true, considering the explosive growth of kernel additions.

This echos concerns of power users that have been voiced in various forums for the last year or so. To a regular user, like me, it shows up in the fact that in the 4 months since I installed my Linux system, I have had to revise the kernel 4 times to fix problems. (This is not as bad as it sounds, as such revisions most often amount to simply downloading a new kernel image, installing it, and then rebooting to put it in service.)

While such speculation in public surely does not help Linux' image with those not familiar with open development processes, this sort of discussion and the resultant feedback is an important part of those processes that have given us Linux in the first place. Even if you are not a Linux fan or user, it might profit you to follow this discussion and see how it's worked out. The process is often not pretty, but it is effective.


Hacker hits Toronto transit message system, jabs prime minister

I guess if ever there was such a thing as a "cute" hack, this is it. It's hard to believe that in this day and age someone didn't think to protect the message system with a password.


Next Tuesday is Patch Tuesday and Microsoft preps critical Windows, Exchange patches for it

There is something for nearly everyone next Tuesday. At least one critical patch for Windows and patches for Exchange, along with updates to the Malicious Software Removal Tool and new Windows Update software (supposedly with the stricter validation regime to weed out pirated installations). Just about every machine will need a reboot afterwards.

Enjoy, if that's possible.


Friday, May 05, 2006

Intel Unveils New Low-Cost PC for Developing Nations

It's called "Eduwise", carrying on a long tradition of silly names for computing products.

Seeing as the Intel design cost 3 or more times what the "One Laptop per Child" device does, it is hard to see the two as competitors. They actually complement each other, as far as I can see, and there is a place in the world for both.


Can Open Source Defeat Microsoft?

This is an interesting article, all 5 pages of it.

However; I fail to see why FOSS has to beat Microsoft or anyone else. It seems to me that we as consumers (on every level from Joe Average to government and the largest enterprise) win if there is a varied software ecosystem out there competing for our hearts and minds.

It's not as if money does not enter into our considerations, but the bottome line is that software has to meet our needs. If it does, we're happy. If not, we are miserable and very likely out of business. And in the end, it's only the ideologues who care where it came from.

Yes, I'm very much a proponent of free software. However; I use and recommend what I think is needed, without compromise, regardless of whether or not it is free software.


Thursday, May 04, 2006

Belkin N1 Hands-on - Gizmodo

Belkin set up a nice test bed to show us how the N1 performed in a “real environment.” They had 17 devices streaming at once including iTunes sharing, HD playback, and Internet radio. Most of them were running at 802.11g speeds, except for the high bandwidth stuff, and there was a nary a jitter.

This is very kewl, I thought Belkin just rebranded other people's hardware, I'm gonna be keeping an eye on this one. :)
Belkin N1 Hands-on - Gizmodo

Yahoo faces class-action spyware suit

Ben Edelman, our favorite anti-spyware activist, is involved in this suit. It seeks to force Yahoo to deliver what they've promised without placing ads on questionable sites that also install spyware. It's a good read, short and informative.


OpenDocument Format Finds Favor With International Standards Group

The ISO has approved Open Document Format as a standard.

Meanwhile; as a related development, the Open Document Foundation has informed the State of Massachusetts that there is a comprehensive plug-in to allow MS Office to open, close, publish and otherwise deal in ODF format.

You can check out the Open Document Foundation here.


Is a Further Vista Delay Important?

This eWeek post is Mary Jo Foley's take on the reported Vista release delay. I post it for the sake of completeness and not because there is anything world-shaking in it.


No Rules Poker - How to Make Money Cheating at Online Poker!

This is legal to sell on the Internet. But is it ethical? You can get anything you want at Alice's Restaurant! :)

I would think twice if you play Poker online!

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Retaliation for Antispam Success?

Blue Security's controversial method uses reverse spam, if you will, returning massive quantities of opt-out messages to companies it identifies as spammers.

Apparently the companies on the receiving end don't like it one bit.

I'm not a fan of Blue Secuirty's methods since I believe that two wrongs don't make a right. However, they obviously are having an impact in the spam wars. Maybe if the spammers are busy attacking Blue Security, they will leave the rest of us alone. (Okay, it was jut a thought, and not a real good one at that).

Thanks to Mike Iversen for the heads up on this one.

Spam King Alan Ralsky Not Jailed

We commented on this over the weekend. It turned out to be NOT TRUE. Hope springs eternal, and the hope that a whole network of spammers and other malcreants were going down was just too good to be true. But the thought was fun while it lasted.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Microsoft may delay Windows Vista again -- Gartner

Gartner targets a Windows Vista release in the April-June quarter of 2007, nine to 12 months after Microsoft conducts a second major test, or "beta," release for Vista during the current quarter.

"Microsoft still wants to get it out as soon as possible, but slipping from January to March is nowhere near as bad as slipping from shipping before the holidays to after the holidays," a group of Gartner analysts wrote in the report.

A couple of weeks ago I think we had a premonition on the show while discussing Paul Thurott's review, part 5. We mentioned that since it was not truly feature complete, it would be difficult to release to manufacturing on the previous timetable. Over on Slashdot, there is some shock and surprise, but this is not a shocker to me.

Sen Stevens tries to sneak the Broadcast Flag into law

Senator Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) has snuck the Broadcast Flag into a bill on Net Neutrality. The stealth clause authorizes "the FCC to establish a broadcast flag to allow TV stations to protect digital content from Internet piracy."

What this means is that Senator Stevens is trying to pass a law that will allow broadcasters -- who enjoy free use of billions of dollars' worth of public airwaves -- to veto any features of digital televisions and downstream devices. Ultimately, that means that the FCC would, on behalf of broadcasters, get control over the design of video recorders, optical drives, network interfaces, hard disks, computers and operating systems. A brief far more sweeping than the FCC has ever had before, making them into America's "device czars," charged with ensuring that the business models of the broadcasters and Hollywood studios won't be disrupted by technology.

One element of the broadcast flag proposal is that is prohibits the use of free and open source software in digital TV applications (including PC operating systems, video drivers, etc). That's because the Broadcast Flag requires that devices be built to be "robust" -- that is, to resist the attempts of their owners to modify or improve on them. It's as if Senator Stevens is trying to pass a law requiring the hood of every car to be welded shut when it leaves the factory, to make sure that no driver ever gets to change his own oil. Link (Thanks, Tony!)

Update: Alan reminds us that Sen Stevens previously rejected Broadcast Flags for radio -- seems like someone got to him since January.

The thing that bugs me about this, is the two aspects of this bill are contradictory. I'm not willing to trade Net Neutrality for a broadcast flag.
Boing Boing: Sen Stevens tries to sneak the Broadcast Flag into law. Please contact Senator Stevens and let him know how wrong this is, being polite, of course.
Update: More linkage goodness. IPac and Public Knowledge for the actual bill.

Hackers control bot client over P2P

Well, I'm likely safe from this one. I run NOD32 and when I use MSN Messenger, I do it through the GAIM client for Windows, as I fear the MS software has more holes than I know about. Plus, I do not run a P2P client in any form.

However; this attack is tough to defend against. Make sure your AV is updating.


DRC Opteron accelerator now quickens Crays

I must I missed the boat on this story. Several news stories have popped up about these devices and I did not point them out to you because I was of the impression they were confined to rather specialized tasks and machine configuration. That is not really true; or at least not as definitive as I thought it was. These devices have much broader application than I thought. And Cray obviously has a better handle on their usefulness than I did.

What's interesting to me is that they can be so easily mixed and matched into one's existing hardware. Done well, that yeilds startling increases in performance. They are server parts for now, but don't let that fool you. I'm rather certain they will appear in (at least) some high-end workstations. I wonder what will happen when, inevitably, some gamer gives them a whirl?


Macs no longer immune to viruses, experts say

Bear in mind this article is on MSN. However, it seems fairly well balanced to me and is very clear.


End the Whine - May 20th, 2006

Intel powered MacBook Pro laptops have a couple problems, according to this site. They whine like tractors pulling in low gear and tend to run hot. The link above is to a page trying to organize a protest in order to get Apple to recognize this as a problem and fix it. I've seen one and heard it and I must say, it is intolerably loud for a notebook, in my opinion.

The same page has a link to how to reapply thermal paste to the processor/heat sink in your MacBook Pro. Evidently Apple has not done that well enough and doing a better job of it will significantly cool down it's operation. Unfortunately, doing this voids the warranty. But sometimes you just have to and if this is one of those cases, here is the info you need to do the job.


The Dan Charny Factor in the Google/Microsoft Browser Spat

An interesting quickie from eWeek's blog section. It's about embedding search facilities in browsers and how IE handles it, which makes it quite complex (as such things go) to switch default search engines. It's not just Microsoft, either. Google does the same thing. And I can imagine various other browsers following suit (after payment or other inducements)

Microsoft has already been in trouble for this sort of integration and I suspect they will be again. Fairness would demand Google and others are called to task for it as well.


Monday, May 01, 2006

Google Calendar is proof Netscape was right

Fernando Cassia has written a short commentary/opinoin on how Netscape was years ahead of where Google is today in terms of innovation and then bemoans the fact that AOL, both before the merger and after, with Time Warner, quit innovating and investing in the future in order to show repeated quarterly gains.

It's true. Look at Netscape's calendar application. Google is just doing that now. Netscape was doing it in 1999! It's a sad tale of greed over planning for the future.


Sunday, April 30, 2006

OnComputers Radio show Podcast 04-30-06

This is the On Computers Radio show podcast for 04-30-06. If you prefer, you can download the same file here via ftp.

Next step in pirating: Faking a company - Technology

At first it seemed to be nothing more than a routine, if damaging, case of counterfeiting in a country where faking it has become an industry.

Reports filtering back to the Tokyo headquarters of the Japanese electronics giant NEC in mid-2004 alerted managers that pirated keyboards and recordable CD and DVD discs bearing the company's brand were on sale in retail outlets in Beijing and Hong Kong.
In the name of NEC, the pirates copied NEC products, and went as far as developing their own range of consumer electronic products - everything from home entertainment centers to MP3 players. They also coordinated manufacturing and distribution, collecting all the proceeds.

As I read this, I can't help but recall my DOA DVD-RW a couple years ago. I bought it an online store I know longer use, and my opinion of NEC's non-monitor products plummeted. The third party repair site that never, ever responded to my emails and calls, and the drive that I still have somewhere.... buried (I think). I'll keep an eye on this, and wait to see exactly what other components were counterfeited (? Is that the right term?). Perhaps my opinion of NEC will improve.
Full article link: Next step in pirating: Faking a company - Technology - International Herald Tribune