|Ken Novak's Weblog
Purpose of this blog: to retain annotated bookmarks for my future reference, and to offer others my filter technology and other news. Note that this blog is categorized. Use the category links to find items that match your interests.
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Thursday, May 13, 2004
Software Coop formed: Avalanche
is a legally constituted intellectual-property cooperative. Companies pay $30,000 a year to become members. They can then donate any in-house software they choose to the Avalanche library, with the project becoming the legal owner of the code. Project members get to use, free of charge, any of the other programs in the library.
While just a few weeks out of the chute, Avalanche already has some impressive sponsors, including tier-one names like Best Buy, Cargill and Medtronic. The group has a board of directors and full-time CEO, Jay Hansen, a former IT consultant. " 5:54:23 PM
Why RSS Will Kill E-mail Publishing:
Good summary of advantages of RSS over email publishing. I think Bloglet-type services
supply a bridge. A publisher can work strictly in an RSS world, aggregators get what they want, and people who use email but not aggregators can listen in. 2:19:37 PM
Fly the Wi-Fi skies: On May 17, 2004, Lufthansa will become the first airline to offer in-flight Wi-Fi to passengers. "For the time being, only non-stop flights from Munich to L.A. will offer the service, but Lufthansa plans to roll it out to the entire fleet over the next year. The service will be provided by Boeing's wireless broadband service Connexion, which is being eyed by several U.S. airlines. Yet none of the cash-strapped U.S. airlines have ordered it, crying poor mouth. Lufthansa will charge $30 for access for the entire flight or $10 for 30 minutes. " 2:10:32 PM
Stretch Your Signal
: Options for extending wifi's range in a difficult or large house, including directional antennas and home wiring systems. 2:04:08 PM
How Akamai is like Google
"one other company that gets a lot of mileage out of a large number of computers [is] Akamai Technologies. Akamai's network operates on the same complexity scale as Google's. Although Akamai has only 14,000 machines, those servers are located in 2,500 different locations scattered around the globe. The servers are used by companies like CNN and Microsoft to deliver Web pages. Just as Google's servers are used by practically everyone on the Internet today, so are Akamai's." 2:02:29 PM
MTI MicroFuel powers RFID tags with tiny fuel cell:
Production to begin under contract this summer. "MTI MicroFuel Cells Inc. will supply the power source for a new product to be manufactured by Intermec Technologies Corp. and used in an inventory tracking system." 2:00:40 PM
Phatbot arrest throws open trade in zombie PCs: "The arrest of the suspected author of the Phatbot Trojan could lead to valuable clues about the illicit trade in zombie PCs. .. This expanding network of infected, zombie PCs can be used either for spam distribution or as platforms for DDoS attacks, such as those that many online bookies have suffered in recent months. By using compromised machines - instead of open mail relays or unscrupulous hosts - spammers can bypass IP address blacklists. Phatbot was been used to spam, steal information or perform DDoS attacks..
Networks of compromised hosts (BotNets) are commonly traded between virus writers, spammers and middlemen over IRC networks. The price of these BotNets (DoSNets) was roughly $500 for 10,000 hosts last Summer when the MyDoom and Blaster first appeared on the scene. "I have no doubt it's doubled since then as hosts are cleaned and secured," Andrew Kirch, a security admin at the Abusive Hosts Blocking List told El Reg. By his reckoning, non-exclusive access to compromised PCs sells for about 10 cents a throw. "
More background from April 30 2004: "MessageLabs reckons two thirds of the spam it blocks originates from computers infected by viruses such as Sobig-F or Bagle. Spam volumes are growing. More than two thirds of the email passing through MessageLabs systems so far this month was spam compared to 53 per cent for March as a whole." 1:51:25 PM
Spam protocol changes:
Intro to Sender Policy Framework, email CallerID (from Microsoft), and DomainKeys (from Yahoo). 1:40:33 PM
The Israeli Toture Template: How hot could it get? What if Israelis are part of the US intelligence team in Iraq? "it is noteworthy that one, John Israel, who was identified in the report as being employed by both CACI International of Arlington, Virginia, and Titan, Inc., of San Diego, may not have even been a U.S. citizen. The Taguba report states that Israel did not have a security clearance, a requirement for employment as an interrogator for CACI. According to CACI's web site, "a Top Secret Clearance (TS) that is current and US citizenship" are required for CACI interrogators working in Iraq. In addition, CACI requires that its interrogators "have at least two years experience as a military policeman or similar type of law enforcement/intelligence agency whereby the individual utilized interviewing techniques."
Speculation that "John Israel" may be an intelligence cover name has fueled speculation whether this individual could have been one of a number of Israeli interrogators hired under a classified contract.
Although the Taguba report refers twice to Israel as an employee of Titan, the company claims he is one of their sub-contractors. CACI stated that one of the men listed in the report "is not and never has been a CACI employee" without providing more detail. A U.S. intelligence source revealed that in the world of intelligence "carve out" subcontracts such confusion is often the case with "plausible deniability" being a foremost concern.
In fact, the Taguba report does reference the presence of non-U.S. and non-Iraqi interrogators at Abu Ghraib. The report states, "In general, US civilian contract personnel (Titan Corporation, CACI, etc), third country nationals, and local contractors do not appear to be properly supervised within the detention facility at Abu Ghraib." " 1:00:27 PM
Bush admin passed on attacking Zarqawi: Smoking gun: pursing Iraq while allowing Al Queda to grow. From the folks who criticized Clinton for "only" using cruise missles in Afghanistan. Note this was in northern Iraq where we had easy access and local Kurdish forces. "NBC News has learned that long before the war the Bush administration had several chances to wipe out his terrorist operation and perhaps kill Zarqawi himself — but never pulled the trigger. In June 2002, U.S. officials say intelligence had revealed that Zarqawi and members of al-Qaida had set up a weapons lab at Kirma, in northern Iraq, producing deadly ricin and cyanide. The Pentagon quickly drafted plans to attack the camp with cruise missiles and airstrikes and sent it to the White House, where, according to U.S. government sources, the plan was debated to death in the National Security Council.
“Here we had targets, we had opportunities, we had a country willing to support casualties, or risk casualties after 9/11 and we still didn’t do it,” said Michael O’Hanlon, military analyst with the Brookings Institution. “People were more obsessed with developing the coalition to overthrow Saddam than to execute the president’s policy of preemption against terrorists,” according to terrorism expert and former National Security Council member Roger Cressey.
Four months later, intelligence showed Zarqawi was planning to use ricin in terrorist attacks in Europe. The Pentagon drew up a second strike plan, and the White House again killed it. By then the administration had set its course for war with Iraq. In January 2003, the threat turned real. Police in London arrested six terror suspects and discovered a ricin lab connected to the camp in Iraq. The Pentagon drew up still another attack plan, and for the third time, the National Security Council killed it.
Military officials insist their case for attacking Zarqawi’s operation was airtight, but the administration feared destroying the terrorist camp in Iraq could undercut its case for war against Saddam. The United States did attack the camp at Kirma at the beginning of the war, but it was too late — Zarqawi and many of his followers were gone. “Here’s a case where they waited, they waited too long and now we’re suffering as a result inside Iraq,” Cressey added. And despite the Bush administration’s tough talk about hitting the terrorists before they strike, Zarqawi’s killing streak continues today." 11:04:56 AM