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Mike Lynn's 'exploit', in plain (non-technical) English
Topic: Technology 5:22 pm EDT, Aug  3, 2005

There has been an almost unbelievable amount of hubbub lately about the research that Mike Lynn gave a demonstration of at the BlackHat conference last week, and there's been a positively dizzying amount of "spin" applied to the media. Let me say one thing to everyone reading this, right up front. What Lynn uncovered is a serious issue, probably actually more serious than what the media is making it out to be. While coverage on the issue is good (and useful to both "sides") the lack of actual accurate reporting on the issue isn't helpful to anyone.

Part of the problem is that apparently, outside of the list of BlackHat attendees, there's not that many people running around who truly understand what Lynn's research uncovered. Lynn did not reveal an "exploit" in the usual sense. In fact, Lynn of his own volition has been playing his cards fairly close to his chest on this, and omitted most of the technical details of the problem from his presentation in order to assure that no one would be able to easily "follow in his footsteps". Lynn, it can safely be said, was scared by what he discovered--scared enough that he has risked his livelihood not once but twice in order to be sure that should the technical aspects of what he's found not be resolved before someone with less respect for the continuation of the Internet figures it out for themselves, the network and security administrators of the world will have had time to take some steps to reduce the amount of damage done. It can no longer be thought of as a sure thing that just because a particular vulnerability could "break the Internet" that no one's going to try it just to see if it's really true. We have a rather excellent example in recent history that pretty much everyone is aware of by now... the MS Blaster worm which raged around the Internet wreaking rather unprecedented havok. Pretty much everyone on the Internet was either personally affected by this, or knows someone who was. Blaster made use of a vulnerability that had become rather common knowledge by the time it was released, but had already been known to many security professionals for months. The real problem that made things so painful and propagation of Blaster so widespread, was that for those months, Microsoft had been actively denying that there was ever a problem until Blaster forced them to admit it. Had system administrators been made aware of the issue and the meager steps needed to impede the spread of Blaster (which everyone implemented in a white-hot hurry once their networks were figuratively ablaze) the damage could have been much less indeed.

Cisco is not helping the issue, or I should say, Cisco's lawyers are not helping the issue. Cisco makes some really awesome products, and their technical people can't really be faulted for this one technical flaw. The problem is that Cisco's lawyers are convinced that public knowledge of a serious issue ... [ Read More (1.3k in body) ]

Mike Lynn's 'exploit', in plain (non-technical) English

I assume the helm. Stay the course..
Topic: Miscellaneous 11:26 pm EDT, Jul 31, 2005

Decius wrote:
You may have noticed that I haven't been posting much. I don't plan to post for a while. I am hereby turning over all reponsibility for administration of this site to Nick Levay (Rattle). I am not managing MemeStreams or Industrial Memetics for the time being. All queries should be sent to Nick.

I think its appropriate for this community to be able to express its views without implicating any conflicts of interest that I may have, so I am stepping back for now. The perspective of this community belongs to the community and not to me or Nick or anyone else.

Furthermore, to avoid any rumors, there has been absolutely nothing from any of the parties involved in this dispute that has prompted this action, nor to I really believe that any of the parties involved in this dispute would have a problem with what this site consists of, presuming they understood what it is. This is simply a precautionary measure that I am taking to avoid any potential problems and to ensure the freedom of the people in this comunity to express their views.

It is my sincere hope that all of this drama dies down as quickly as it began.

I officially acknowledge receipt of this message, and assume control of The Industrial Memetics Institute as the Acting CEO. In light of the situation, and full recognition of your importance to Industrial Memetics and The MemeStreams Community, your status will be classified as "on sabbatical".

Industrial Memetics will make a formal press announcement sometime within the next 24-hours.

We fully expect that your sabbatical will be short yet fruitful. It should be noted that in your entire service since our great company's founding in September of 2001, you have not taken a vacation.

I look forward to seeing if what happens in Vegas, truly stays in Vegas.

Nick Levay, Acting CEO, Industrial Memetics Institute

I assume the helm. Stay the course..

Hybrid Lighting
Topic: Science 7:17 pm EST, Nov 23, 2004

Research under way at ORNL could lead to entirely new, highly energy-efficient ways of lighting buildings using the power of sunlight. In addition to providing light, the technology would convert sunlight to electricity much more efficiently than conventional solar technologies. In commercial buildings, lighting consumes more electric energy than any other building end-use. It accounts for more than a third of all electricity consumed for commercial use in the United States.

--This is kinda cool stuff, it uses fiber optics to distribute light from a collector on top of a building to offices below. There is also a video explaining it here:

Hybrid Lighting

MidAmerican to build Largest Wind Farm in the World
Topic: Technology 11:02 pm EDT, Apr 16, 2003

MidAmerican Energy Company announced today it plans to build 310 megawatts of wind energy generation facilities in Iowa, the largest land-based wind project in the world.

The project will consist of 180 to 200 wind turbines, each generating approximately 1.5 to 1.65 megawatts. A site has yet to be selected, but the facilities are expected to be located in the northwest or north-central portion of the state. The project also will require investment in associated energy transmission facilities.

Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack has stated his goal for Iowa to become energy independent and to develop into a national leader in renewable energy. The governor labeled MidAmerican’s announcement a huge step toward achieving both goals. Although wind is an intermittent generation source, 310 megawatts of wind capacity provides enough electricity on average to power approximately 85,000 homes.

“I have challenged regulators, business professionals and utility companies in Iowa to work toward achieving 1,000 megawatts of renewable energy by 2010, which will require the addition of more than 500 megawatts of renewable energy facilities,” Vilsack said. “I am pleased that MidAmerican is taking a leadership role in that effort.”

Now that just plain rocks. It's nice to see some good news these days.

MidAmerican to build Largest Wind Farm in the World

Wired 11.04: How Hydrogen Can Save America
Topic: Society 4:55 pm EST, Mar 12, 2003

] Oil has held the United States hostage for a century, but the
] nation can be energy-independent in 10 years. Here's a five-point
] plan to reshape the economy.

Wired 11.04: How Hydrogen Can Save America

Topic: Miscellaneous 1:05 am EST, Mar  4, 2003

This is Very cool.


North Koreans targeting US Jets
Topic: Current Events 12:41 am EST, Mar  4, 2003

Four North Korean planes "shadowed" the American plane over international waters for about 20 minutes before breaking off, he said.
Two North Korean MiG29 fighters and two other aircraft that Davis said appeared to be MiG23 fighters intercepted the Air Force RC-135S reconnaissance plane, which Davis said was conducting a routine intelligence mission over the Sea of Japan about 150 miles off North Korea (news - web sites)'s coast.

North Koreans targeting US Jets

China plans three-phase Moon exploration
Topic: Science 12:38 am EST, Mar  4, 2003

China has revealed further details of its plans to explore the Moon - the first unmanned probe could be launched by 2005, say officials. They also hinted that the motivation for the missions is to mine the Moon's resources.

China plans three-phase Moon exploration

Will the Bells crush Net calling?
Topic: Business 3:38 pm EST, Feb 27, 2003

] The nation's Bell companies are quietly lobbying the
] nation's top regulators at the Federal Communications
] Commission. Their goal is to slap new charges on

This article reminds me of the forwards that went around a few
years ago that the USPS was going to start taxing e-mail. While
the RBOCs may get the FCC to let them charge for net to POTS calls,
I have a hard time imangining them having any way to do anything
about net to net calls ....

Will the Bells crush Net calling?

New WTC plans
Topic: Miscellaneous 8:24 pm EST, Feb 26, 2003

A complex of angular buildings and a 1,776-foot spire designed by architect Daniel Libeskind was chosen as the plan for the World Trade Center site on Wednesday, The Associated Press has learned.

New WTC plans

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