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Current Topic: Technology

Senator Ted Steven explains the Internet
Topic: Technology 3:24 am EDT, Jul  5, 2006

This is Ted Stevens explaining how the Internet works and why accordingly we don't need net neutrality laws. It is such a gem, I don't know what block text to quote. Instead, here are a few choice quotes:

I just the other day got, an internet was sent by my staff at 10 o'clock in the morning on Friday and I just got it yesterday. Why?

We use this internet to communicate and we aren't using it for commercial purposes. We aren't earning anything by going on that internet.

Maybe there is a place for a commercial net but it's not using what consumers use every day.

[the Internet]'s not using the messaging service that is essential to small businesses, to our operation of families.

Now we have a separate Department of Defense internet now, did you know that?

No, I'm not finished. I want people to understand my position, I'm not going to take a lot of time.

Senator Ted Steven explains the Internet

Sign the petition for the Net Neutrality Amendment to the COPE Act
Topic: Technology 11:08 am EDT, Apr 26, 2006

Join Leader Pelosi and become a Citizen Co-Sponsor of the Markey Net Neutrality Amendment

We, the undersigned, oppose the lack of Network Neutrality protections in the the COPE Act, sponsored by Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX). We strongly urge passage of the Network Neutrality amendment sponsored by Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA), along with Representatives Rick Boucher (D-VA), Anna Eshoo (D-CA), and Jay Inslee (D-WA).

Sign it today, this is getting pushed through ASAP.

More info at

Sign the petition for the Net Neutrality Amendment to the COPE Act

USAToday - Scientists recruit wasps for war on terror
Topic: Technology 12:11 pm EST, Dec 29, 2005

The wasps are trained with sugar water by using the classical conditioning techniques made famous by Pavlov's dogs. Rains says the wasps are sensitive to a host of chemical odors, including 2,4-DNT, a volatile compound used in dynamite.

To do their work, five wasps — each a half-inch long — are placed in a plastic cylinder that is 15 inches tall. This "Wasp Hound," which costs roughly $100 per unit, has a vent in one end and a camera that connects to a laptop computer.

When the wasps pick up an odor they've been trained to detect they gather by the vent — a response that can be measured by the computer or actually seen by observers.

Lewis says the wasps, when exposed to some chemicals, "can detect as low as four parts per billion, which is an incredibly small amount."

I love low-tech like this!

USAToday - Scientists recruit wasps for war on terror

Firm Allegedly Hiding Cisco Bugs
Topic: Technology 5:40 pm EST, Dec  6, 2005

"The computer security researcher who revealed a serious vulnerability in the operating system for Cisco Systems routers this year says he discovered 15 additional flaws in the software that have gone unreported until now, one of which is more serious than the bug he made public last summer.

Mike Lynn, a former security researcher with Internet Security Systems, or ISS, said three of the flaws can give an attacker remote control of Cisco's routing and gateway hardware, essentially allowing an intruder to run malicious code on the hardware. The most serious of the three would affect nearly every configuration of a Cisco router, he said."

C'mon, Cisco, get with the program.

Firm Allegedly Hiding Cisco Bugs

CNN - Synthesizer innovator Moog dies at 71
Topic: Technology 3:20 pm EDT, Aug 23, 2005

Robert A. Moog, whose self-named synthesizers turned electric currents into sound and opened the musical wave that became electronica, has died. He was 71.

Moog died Sunday at his home in Asheville, according to his company's Web site. He had suffered from an inoperable brain tumor, detected in April.

A childhood interest in the theremin, one of the first electronic musical instruments, would lead Moog to a create a career and business that tied the name Moog as tightly to synthesizers as the name Les Paul is to electric guitars.

CNN - Synthesizer innovator Moog dies at 71

Router Flaw Is a Ticking Bomb | Mike Lynn Has Integrity^3
Topic: Technology 4:01 pm EDT, Aug  2, 2005

Wired has done a great interview with Mike. It should clear up a number of the questions people have had with recent events.

I would like to specifically point out one part of this interview:

WN: So ISS knew the seriousness of the bug.

Lynn: Yes, they did. In fact, at one point ... they apparently didn't get it, and they actually wanted to distribute the full working exploit very widely inside the company.... I was told ... "Give this to all the sales engineers and to all the pen testers."

WN: Why would they want you to do that?

Lynn: Well, because it bruises Cisco, remember? Mind you, this was something that Cisco hadn’t gone public with yet and that's not useful to pen testers because what do they advise their customers to do (to protect themselves if no information about the vulnerability has been released yet)?

I told them, "You do realize if you do that, it's going to leak?" And (one of the ISS guys) says, "That's Cisco's problem." And then (another ISS guy) turns to me and says that they need to understand this could be their Witty worm. I was like, Whoa, what meeting did I walk into?

(The Witty worm was a particularly aggressive and destructive code released by someone last year that targeted computer systems running a security program made by Internet Security Systems and even more specifically targeted military bases using the software. It infected more than 12,000 servers and computer systems in about an hour. Because of the worm's speed in spreading and its creators' apparent knowledge of who ISS' customers were, some security experts speculated that someone working for or connected to ISS might have been responsible for writing and releasing it.)

At that point, I told them all no, and they fought it and I resigned right there on the spot. And this was about a month ago.

I thought they were handling this in a non-ethical manner. Because it was just way too fast and loose with who can see this.... I mean, I don't even want people to see it now. (ISS talked him out of the resignation by agreeing to give him control over who could see or have the exploit.)

All I can say is WOW. A big "wow". Caps, bold, and feeling.

Anyone who says that Mike is not on the level needs to reference this. This says truly horrible things about ISS. This should cost them some serious reputation capitol.

One thing that Mike did a great job of in this interview is getting the idea out that in order to defeat the "bad guys", you must run faster then them. It is the only option.

Case in point, via the Wall Street Journal:

"The vulnerabilities are out there on the Net in full broadcast mode," said Gilman Louie, a tech-industry veteran who heads In-Q-Tel, a venture-capital firm backed by the Central Intelligence Agency. "The bad guys get to it faster than everybody else. I'd rather have disclosure and let everybody respond."

Disclosure is a great thing, but it must be done properly. I would argue that Mike did it properly. I would argue that he has displayed the best kind of ethics through this entire mess. Given the content of this Wired interview, I would argue that ISS has its head up its ass.

Router Flaw Is a Ticking Bomb | Mike Lynn Has Integrity^3

RE: Dementia on Linux Journal (#133) Cover
Topic: Technology 1:23 pm EDT, Apr 18, 2005

Rattle wrote:
] Sara Trice, SE2600 and NLUG regular, and also a MemeStreams
] user ( , is on the
] cover of the current Linux Journal.
] The cover of Linux Journal is like People for hardcore geeks.
] Way to go Sara!

Very, very funny.

Cover in question is:

And, no, that's not me by a longshot.

RE: Dementia on Linux Journal (#133) Cover

Wired News - New Sanborn Interview
Topic: Technology 1:37 pm EST, Jan 21, 2005

] The novel The Da Vinci Code is renewing interest in
] solving the puzzle of a cryptographic sculpture located
] at CIA headquarters. Only three people know the solution,
] but the sculptor now says two of them only think they
] know it.

Big front-page top-link article on Kryptos at Wired. Coolness. :)

I've been working with the reporter on this article for awhile now, and she really did her homework. I helped her get in touch with both Jim Sanborn and Ed Scheidt for interviews, and we tried really hard to get interviews with William Webster, Jim Gillogly, and even Dan Brown. I'm also pleased that the reporter posted an actual transcript of her Sanborn interview, since that gives us more to work with on analyzing his comments!

- Elonka :)

Wired News - New Sanborn Interview

German Teen 'confesses' to Sasser worm
Topic: Technology 5:43 pm EDT, May  9, 2004

] An 18-year-old German high school student has admitted
] creating the Sasser internet worm, police say.
] The worm spread through an estimated 18 million computers
] across the world last week, continually shutting down and
] rebooting them.
] The teenager was arrested on Friday in the town of
] Rotenburg in northern Germany, and has now been released.

German Teen 'confesses' to Sasser worm

It's like X-ray specs.....but not
Topic: Technology 10:42 am EDT, Apr  7, 2004

"The days of dull, grey concrete could be about to end. A Hungarian architect has combined the world’s most popular building material with optical fiber from Schott to create a new type of concrete that transmits light."

It's like X-ray specs.....but not

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