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Current Topic: Computers

Microsoft and the Commoditization of Software
Topic: Computers 3:11 pm EST, Feb 15, 2003

] Exciting new networked applications are being written.
] Time is not standing still. Microsoft must survive and
] prosper by learning from the open source software
] movement and by borrowing from and improving its
] techniques. Open source software is as large and powerful
] a wave as the Internet was, and is rapidly accreting into
] a legitimate alternative to Windows. It can and should be
] harnessed. To avoid dire consequences, Microsoft should
] favor an approach that tolerates and embraces the
] diversity of the open source approach, especially when
] network-based integration is involved. There are many
] clever and motivated people out there, who have many
] different reasons to avoid buying directly into a
] Microsoft proprietary stack. Microsoft must employ
] diplomacy to woo these accounts; stubborn insistence will
] be both counterproductive and ineffective. Microsoft
] cannot prosper during the open source wave as an island,
] with a defenses built out of litigation and proprietary
] protocols.

Microsoft and the Commoditization of Software

Why doesn't MSN work with Opera
Topic: Computers 9:56 am EST, Feb  7, 2003

] Microsoft and MSN have a history of trying to stop people
] from using the Opera browser. When trying to access
] using the Opera7 browser, there are two visible
] problems. First, for the user it looks like Opera7 has a
] serious flaw so that many lines are partially hidden.
] Second, the page shows less content than users of
] Microsoft's Internet Explorer (MSIE) see.
] The purpose of this page is to document, in technical
] terms, what is going on. Did the Opera programmers make
] grave mistakes? Or is it something wrong on the MSN site?
] If so, is the Opera browser targeted specifically?
] (Executive summary: no, yes, yes)

Pure evil.

Why doesn't MSN work with Opera

InformationWeek | Microsoft Warns Of Open-Source Pricing Threat
Topic: Computers 6:16 am EST, Feb  5, 2003

] Company says in SEC filing it may have to cut its
] software prices because of increased popularity of
] open-source offerings.

This has been all over the news. Although, its not as significant as some people are making it out to be. The OSS community does a pretty good job of turning any squeak out of Microsoft into a rally cry of success... I don't see a problem with that, as long as time goes on they/we don't get cocky. Microsoft has long been regarded as invincible. That time is ending, but most of the OSS companies are still far from putting away the red ink.

The main reason I'm blogging this is because so many people told me that Open Source Software was never going to have any kind of signifigant effect on Microsoft's bottom line. A good chunk of those people work at Microsoft now. Told you so. I think I said "about another 2 years" at the time too.. Looks like I was 100% right. It will continue.

Viva Freedom. Viva the public domain. We will share our best works in the future. We will use information technology to empower, not to control. Its the right way to do it, and you know it.

InformationWeek | Microsoft Warns Of Open-Source Pricing Threat

XP Flaw Puts MP3, Windows Media Files at Risk
Topic: Computers 4:11 pm EST, Dec 19, 2002

] "Thanks to a newly found flaw in Windows XP, two of the
] most popular audio file formats can be used by crackers
] to take control of remote PCs. Users only need to hover
] their mouse pointers over the icons for malicious MP3 or
] Windows Media files to execute the attacker's code,
] Microsoft Corp. said in a bulletin published Wednesday.
] The vulnerability lies in the Windows Shell, which is the
] portion of the operating system responsible for defining
] the user's desktop as well as organizing files and
] folders and enabling the OS to start applications. An
] unchecked buffer in a function used by the shell to
] extract custom attribute data from audio files enables an
] attacker to create a malicious MP3 or Windows Media file
] and use it to run code on a remote user's machine. "

Downright scary considering all the talk out of Microsoft about abandoning the traditional filesystem. There is no way in hell its going to be secure. Not with their coding pratices anyway. Trojans using MP3s, PNGs, etc, as vectors.. Completely ridiculous.

I've been _really_ enjoying watching Microsoft shoot themselves in the foot over and over the past year or so. Between the failure of many parts of their .NET product line, the steady flow of security problems like this, and changes in their license structure, its becoming obvious to even the casual consumer and non-hardcore-tech CIOs that Microsoft products cannot be trusted or depended on.

XP Flaw Puts MP3, Windows Media Files at Risk

Blogzilla: AOL Cuts Impact Netscape
Topic: Computers 9:13 am EST, Dec 16, 2002

] Reuters is reporting that AOL has cut 300 jobs at
] various offices, including Mountain View, California,
] where the offices of Netscape are located. It is expected
] that this is only the first wave of layoffs, targeting
] "areas that are no longer core to the company's new
] strategy".
] Daniel Glazman has confirmed this FuckedCompany report
] and notes that "Netscape is badly impacted". Netscape
] developer Andrew Wooldridge also notes that "today has
] been a really bad day" but doesn't elaborate.
] Even though Mozilla is a seperate company, the majority
] of its developers work at Netscape. It's still a
] developing story, but If Netscape is impacted, one would
] expect Mozilla to be impacted as well. It's too early to
] say how though.

Blogzilla: AOL Cuts Impact Netscape

MARC: Mailing list ARChives at AIMS
Topic: Computers 4:11 pm EST, Dec  6, 2002

This is the Mailing list ARChives at AIMS. I use it all the time. Just about every useful techie mailing list known is archived here. The interface is reasonable, the search engine is reasonable, and it's incredibly useful. Everything is here.

MARC: Mailing list ARChives at AIMS

nProbe (ntop plug-in)
Topic: Computers 6:39 pm EST, Nov 13, 2002

Rad. A plugin to ntop that is a NetFlow collector and analyzer. That rocks.

nProbe (ntop plug-in)

StorageTek, Quantum To Unveil Tapeless Backup Systems
Topic: Computers 7:18 pm EST, Nov  7, 2002

] Disk-based backup systems are emerging as a new class of
] storage systems that will sit in an emerging tiered
] architecture consisting of primary online disks,
] disk-based backup systems and existing tape-drive
] subsystems for archival storage, Major said.

I'm glad to see more formal products using disk for backup are finally starting to hit the market. Anyone who has had to deal with backup in situations where restore/backup time matters, knows that disk is the only reasonable way to go. Tape is slow, and you need an admin around to coddle those nice big tape librarys that jam and need to be cleaned all the time... Its nice to see formal products are starting to appear to support the backup methodology that clued admins have been following for several years now.

StorageTek, Quantum To Unveil Tapeless Backup Systems

101 things that the Mozilla browser can do that IE cannot
Topic: Computers 2:25 am EST, Nov  7, 2002

] The following lists 101 things that one can do with the
] Mozilla browser component that one cannot do with IE. The
] list only includes things that don't require manually
] changing the registry or some other obscure thing. I used
] the Windows version of IE 6.0; the list will vary
] slightly for the Mac version.

101 things that the Mozilla browser can do that IE cannot

Linux Enterprise Volume Management System (EVMS)
Topic: Computers 3:06 pm EDT, Oct 21, 2002

The Enterprise Volume Management System (EVMS) Project has the goal of providing unparalleled flexibility and extensibility in managing storage. It represents a new approach to logical volume management, as the architecture introduces a plug-in model that allows for easy expansion or customization of various levels of volume management.

This should make its way into the 2.6/3.0 kernel tree. Looks to be far more advanced then the current LVM (Sistina) shipping with RedHat and other distros.

The paper comparing EVMS and other Linux VMs sums up things nicely. And be sure to check out the management client's screenshots.

Linux Enterprise Volume Management System (EVMS)

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