Data network connectivity developments, networking business news, and related computing items.
Ken Novak's Weblog
Wednesday, August 31, 2005
The Monopoly Factory:
How and why the patent office grants many spurious patents, with examples of the costs to society, and how to fix the system. 11:36:54 PM
FTC Message Switching Systems
: A blast from the past, the project I worked on 20 years ago. "The Sombers Group built the company's fault-tolerant Tandem Computer-based switching systems, which were installed both in the U.S. and overseas. " By "overseas" they mean Cameroon, where I installed the message switch at Intelcam
in 1983. I also upgraded the switch in 1986, and then hosted their staff for TCP/IP training in 1995 in California. 1:08:19 PM
Tuesday, August 30, 2005
Irreplaceable Exuberance: Henry Blodget reviews tech booms: "The growth of the Internet has paralleled that of most industries based on revolutionary technology. Canals, railroads, telegraphs, telephones, cars, radios, personal computers - all progressed (or are progressing) through four phases of development: boom, bust, mature growth and decay. .. Sometimes, industry life cycles last a century or more (circuit-switched telephones); sometimes, only a few decades (Polaroid). But the repetition of the pattern - as well as its resemblance to biological evolution - suggests that the boom-and-bust phases should be viewed as far more than repeated examples of human folly. Rather, they should be seen as natural, inevitable bursts of trial-and-error adaptation, the mechanisms through which industries are formed.
A precursor to the Internet boom and bust, for example, was the personal-computer bubble of the early 1980's. The Netscape of that era was Apple Computer, which went public amid the same sort of pandemonium that surrounded Netscape's I.P.O. 15 years later. .. Like Netscape, Apple came in an era of first-day "pops" in stock prices, instant paper millionaires and bull-market optimism. Lotus, Compaq and other companies followed, along with Seequa, Kaypro, VisiCorp, Altos, Gavilan, Victor and others. An ecosystem of supporting companies sprang up - distributors, retailers, trade-show producers, investment banks, law firms and public relations consultants - and the press reveled in rags-to-riches stories. ..
By late 1984, it was over. The stocks had tanked, former moon-shots had gone bankrupt, and thousands of people lost their jobs. Projections of perpetual fantastic annual growth had been hastily revised, and humbled survivors were preparing for a bleaker future. Eventually, however, as with the Internet, the personal-computer industry proved larger and more profitable than even early boosters had predicted. And some of the biggest winners were those that went public after the shakeout - Microsoft in 1986, Dell in 1988. ..
[We should] take solace in knowing that our exuberance helps build industries, however boneheaded it may later seem." 9:09:02 AM
Thursday, August 25, 2005
Customers of new UK ISP get to share all Sony music: "PlayLouder MSP, an ISP in the UK, has secured a license from Sony that allows its customers to legally share any song in the Sony-BMG catalog with any other PlayLouder MSP customer, and to download these tracks from any ISP customer in the entire world. .. PlayLouder MSP DSL costs about the same as comparable DSL offerings in the UK. For their money, PlayLouder MSP customers get their regualr DSL lines, as well as the right to share any song in the Sony-BMG catalog, even if it's out of print, in any file-format, using any file-sharing software, at any bitrate..
PlayLouder MSP is using audio-analysis software provided by Audible Magic to analyze the P2P traffic that it can detect on its network and count approximately how many times each track is traded, and will deliver that, along with a cut of its revenue, to Sony. They're also filtering traffic to the Internet to prevent Sony music tracks that Audible Magic recognizes from leaving its network via recognized P2P protocols and going to ISPs whose customers have not paid a license fee. However, they will not be stopping any tracks that Audible Magic fails to recognize, nor will they be resticting traffic using unrecognized protocols.
PlayLouder MSP has deals with many indy labels as well as Sony, and those labels will also get a proportional cut of the money that PlayLouder MSP takes in based on their network monitoring. The ISP says that it is negotiating with other major labels and hopes they'll come into the fold soon. .. PlayLouder MSP is live at the end of September if their schedule holds" 12:48:47 PM
Monday, August 22, 2005
Global University Phone System
: "The GUPS Initiative provides universities with a voice over IP (VOIP) system they can easily install and configure to connect their phone networks with other academic institutions around the globe. Calls are routed over the internet using VOIP thus bypassing traditional telecommunication charges for phone calls " 10:35:13 PM
Thursday, August 18, 2005
Akamai monitors news activity:
Web page shows spikes in news reading
, by story: "It's debatable how big a deal any specific news event is compared to all the other human mayhem that occurs each day. .. A news mapping service introduced on Thursday by Akamai Technologies Inc. promises to give unprecedented insight into the relative hunger that millions of Internet users have to learn of breaking events minute-by-minute. Akamai, which helps speed delivery of 15 percent of the world's Internet traffic over its network, is looking to count the sum of page requests across 100 major news sites it serves to rank interest in major events on a scale never seen before." 9:08:34 AM
Friday, August 12, 2005
Security Watch: Major Cisco router flaw: "Until recently, the idea of penetrating the Cisco Shellcode via remote access was fanciful. That was before security researcher Michael Lynn stepped up the lectern at this year's Black Hat conference, and after first stumbling through a deliberately faux presentation on VoIP security, proceeded to describe some (but not all) of his research to a skeptical audience. During his presentation, Lynn offered a quick demo of how he could access the root of a Cisco router remotely. ..
by remotely attacking the Cisco IOS Shellcode, you could destroy the instruction set on the hardware that tells the router to turn on again... Following Black Hat, Cisco issued an advisory detailing how flaws in the way older Cisco IOS system process IP6v packets could allow a remote user control of the router. .. 11:23:21 AM
by April, Cisco rolled out a patch via software upgrade. Problem was, neither Cisco nor ISS really explained why the patch was necessary. Applying a patch on a network router often requires that the router be shut down for a given length of time; on a busy network, this requires scheduling, to say the least. Thus, many Cisco clients may not have applied the patch .."
Internet Scammers Keep Working in Nigeria
: "In Festac Town, an entire community of scammers overnights on the Internet. By day they flaunt their smart clothes and cars and hang around the Internet cafes, trading stories about successful cons and near misses, and hatching new plots. Festac Town is where communication specialists operating underground sell foreign telephone lines over which a scammer can purport to be calling from any city in the world. Here lurk master forgers and purveyors of such software as "e-mail extractors," which can harvest e-mail addresses by the million. Now, however, a 3-year-old crackdown is yielding results, Nigerian authorities say.
Nuhu Ribadu, head of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, says cash and assets worth more than $700 million were recovered from suspects between May 2003 and June 2004. More than 500 suspects have been arrested, more than 100 cases are before the courts and 500 others are under investigation, he said." 11:12:31 AM
Friday, August 05, 2005
MP3300 Tekkeon myPower ALL Universal Rechargeable Battery: Extender battery kit with multiple plugs and power levels. 11.8 oz (330g), 3.28” (W) x 6.80” (L) x .92” (D), lithium polymer battery, 3 hour charging time, claims 5 hours of play time for portable DVD players or 3 hours for notebook computers. $ 99. 8:56:35 PM