Data network connectivity developments, networking business news, and related computing items.
Ken Novak's Weblog
Tuesday, June 15, 2004
Comcast shuts some port 25: "On Monday, the company began targeting certain computers on its network of 5.7 million subscribers that appeared to be sending out large volumes of unsolicited e-mail. Spokeswoman Jeanne Russo said that in those cases, it is blocking what is known as port 25, a gateway used by computers to send e-mail to the Internet. The result, she said, was a 20 percent reduction in spam. "We're taking a precision approach . . . against the top talkers of the day," Russo said, referring to the computers being blocked. ..
For years, anti-spam activists have been pressuring Internet providers to block port 25 for all users, because it allows e-mail to be sent directly to the Internet without passing through computers operated by the service provider. Recently, spammers have infected tens of thousands of machines with malicious software code, turning them into "zombies" that operate as mail servers and launching pads for spam. Legitimate owners of these machines usually don't know their computers have been commandeered. More than 40 percent of all spam now comes from zombie machines, according to some industry estimates...
Large Internet providers vary in their approaches. America Online Inc. and Earthlink Inc. require that all residential e-mail be run through their own servers. Businesses can open accounts and process their own e-mail after being vetted. Verizon Communications Inc. also allows business customers to process their own mail.
George Webb, a group manager of Microsoft Corp.'s anti-spam unit, said getting more aggressive on blocking port 25 "can have a large impact in a short amount of time." He said the company's MSN network is reliant on cable or phone-line partners to provide its broadband service, and Microsoft is "working with them" on the problem. Webb said he thinks port 25 should be blocked by default, and customers should be required to apply for an exception. " 9:58:58 PM
Monday, June 14, 2004
Sunday, June 13, 2004
Onion Networks: WAN Transport, Swarmcast, WebRAID, Antflow: Products for enterprise and wide area content distribution. Originally commercialized through OpenCola, now reorganized into this company, that has some fast transfer technology and plans a new version of Swarmcast soon.
- Fast parallel Scatter/Gather transfer (often 10x faster than FTP)
- Automated data transfer with drag-and-drop Hot Folders.
- Users are automatically notified by e-mail when a new file arrives.
- Secure, firewall-friendly, encrypted data transfer
Saturday, June 12, 2004
First commercial wearable video camera. Buffers last 30 secs as you (er, your glasses) saw it, and preserves it at the press of a button. $399. 12:34:35 AM
Friday, June 11, 2004
True value labels:
Interesting idea for camera cell phones as bar code readers. "A label similar to the nutritional facts one on food items in the super market was proposed. It should list all raw material, labor, pollutants, air, miles of transport, ... that went into that product. I think it would be shocking for people to find out how many miles are driven for just a simple strawberry yogurt. ..
There is a service where you can send your smart phone camera picture of a barcode and it sends you back the product number. We don't need the label on the product, with these technologies we can bring the information into the hands of the interested consumer? " 11:21:03 PM
digital be-in 13
: Bummer, I missed the 13th Digital Be-In, which was on May 29. Gotta tune in next year... 10:03:04 PM
Thursday, June 10, 2004
Zuse's Z3, the World's First Programmable Computer
: "Several years before the Colossus in the U.K. and the ENIAC in the U.S., the Z3, built by Konrad Zuse in 1941, was crunching numbers in Germany. In a short article, the Register says the Z3 was the first programmable computer. " 11:51:37 PM
Wednesday, June 09, 2004
Apple - AirPort Express
: Nice new wifi gizmo. Plug it into the wall, it'll find wifi, repeat it, provide it via ethernet, use it to share a printer over its USB port, and use it to provide iTunes audio (e.g., to a stereo). Currently $130. 5:07:54 PM
Sunday, June 06, 2004
I have created a new category
in this blog to carry notes culled about virtual computing, including virtual machines, virtual storage networks, and distributed and grid computing. Earlier blog entries on grid and distributed computing have been spread between General Networking and Network Software categories. I have a backlog to blog in the new category today; my apologies to subscribers to the whole blog if this isn't your cup of tea... 10:29:49 AM
Damn Small Linux, 50 megabytes of penguin power
: "Damn Small Linux is a business card size (50MB) bootable Live CD Linux distribution. Despite its minuscule size it strives to have a functional and easy to use desktop." Pretty neat; could be useful for embedded systems or for virtual machines. Many applications
included. 8:46:08 AM
Saturday, June 05, 2004
Camera Phones Help Buyers:
Brilliant - use a cell phone camera to scan bar codes in stores to get info about a product. "With the camera-phone scanner, "you can aggregate a lot of different information from different sources just by scanning something. You can do that on your own or at a desktop computer, but then you have to look up a bunch of sources and go looking for all the individual sites and so on." You might get competitive price offers, consumer reviews, or dietary information about a product. Other codes (named QR for quick response, or Semacode
) are in use in Japan
for transferring business card info, getting directions and local event info, etc. 10:49:23 PM
: "Connect the Cellsocket to any regular wired phone through Cellsocketís phone jack. Drop your cell phone into the Cellsocket, and start making and receiving phone calls from any desktop, cordless, or extension phone in your home or office using your wireless phone service." The conventional phone is more comfortable (e.g., may have speakerphone) and the cellsocket's antenna improves reception while recharging the phone. Interesting for people who do without a conventional line and only use cell or VOIP phones. 10:37:37 PM
BMW's Easter Egg
: Cars get more like software
and video games: "To our knowledge, it's also the first automotive "Easter egg," though—with increased reliance on computers—it would seem just a matter of time before they become standard fare, much like the hidden features in PC games and DVD movies. .. For lucky drivers of this hot car, here's how: Switch off the stability system and select shift program six. Switch the engine to sport mode. With the hand shifter in drive, hold it in the downshift position and press the gas pedal. The engine will rev to the preprogrammed rpm and hold. Now release the shifter. The car will launch forward violently and the engine's revs will climb quickly, so be prepared to upshift. " 8:47:21 AM