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the most expensive amateur radio license in the world: Mitnick returns to the airwaves
Topic: Miscellaneous 12:11 am EST, Dec 31, 2002

CNN article on Mitnicks ham radio license

My favorite line is: "...he won't be subject to any special surveillance. "Not any more than anyone else would,"..."

the most expensive amateur radio license in the world: Mitnick returns to the airwaves

Ha'aretz - Article: Even the Israeli army wants open source linux
Topic: High Tech Developments 11:51 pm EST, Dec 30, 2002

The issue of security, always significant for the military computer unit, has become central over the last two-and-a-half years. Before September 2000 the IDF network had to deal with two or three computer attacks a month, says Kochba. Now such attempts are a daily occurrence.

Ha'aretz - Article: Even the Israeli army wants open source linux

You Are a Suspect: Homeland Security Act
Topic: Civil Liberties 7:35 pm EST, Dec 30, 2002

Even conservative pundit William Safire goes nuts over Homeland Security in this NY Times editorial.

You Are a Suspect: Homeland Security Act

What's behind the DoD's asinine reaction to WiFi 'Peril:?
Topic: Telecom Industry 5:38 pm EST, Dec 29, 2002

] "WiFi is scaring the government not because it's a tool
] of terrorism but because it's a tool of unregulated
] political dissent. "

This article misses the giant economic impact of giving away free 802.11 access on the business models of the major carriers/service providers, some of whom have spent billions on G3 license purchases. But it's still a fun little rant.

What's behind the DoD's asinine reaction to WiFi 'Peril:?

Bumper Mentality: The story of SUVs
Topic: Miscellaneous 4:47 pm EST, Dec 29, 2002

] "automakers have, over the past decade, ramped up their
] SUV designs to appeal even more to the "reptilian"
] instincts of the many Americans who are attracted to SUVs
] not because of their perceived safety, but for their
] obvious aggressiveness. "

This article is hillarious yet revealing in the ways SUV's are deliberately marketed to our atavistic desires and fears. And at last provides proof of their hazardous safety record.

Vanity. Insecurity. Uh hunh.

Bumper Mentality: The story of SUVs

18 Tales of Media Censorship : Into the Buzzsaw
Topic: Civil Liberties 3:45 pm EST, Dec 29, 2002

This book is a MUST read for anyone who wants to understand the power structure and how it works via the media in America. It's right up there with Manufacturing Consent by Chomsky, but supplies specific anecdotal evidence of real life suppression and how it works.

The journalists involved in these experiences are from the mainstream: CBS, CNN, Associated Press, Reuters, etc, and none were particularly radical before personally encountering the censorship mechanisms of the power elite, which is what makes the book so fascinating.

Give a shit. Care. Get involved. Read this book.


18 Tales of Media Censorship : Into the Buzzsaw

RE: Telecommunications layoffs mount worldwide
Topic: Telecom Industry 3:25 am EST, Dec 19, 2002

swater wrote:

] again. To them it's just the inherent problem of market
] economies, but there's got to be a way around this besides
] cumbersome planned economies. Ideas??

One problem is that the analysts aren't objective. They are too tied into everything. Its more then just the auditors doing the accounting, its the investment banks doing the IPOs. There needs to be more checks and balances in the way the financial system is organized.

I think that one could fund a non profit analyst firm. The guys are simply not allowed to own stocks or do anything but publish, and the publications are free. Like an NPR for detailed market analysis. One way to do this would be through government funding, but then it gets political. If it was totally independant, well funded, and properly staffed, then it might provide a reasonable buffer against instability.

A easier solution would be to fund a buffer organization which simply runs advertisements on financial news programs that present information counter to the grain of the market direction WHATEVER that may be. An organization that is specifically intended to identify and fight market irrationality.

Another thing, which has been discussed here before, is the need for strong economic leadership from the top. The president needs to make people FEEL confident that things are under control and moving forward, and there are things to look forward too and work for. This president is not doing this at all.

However, sometimes you just CAN'T tell whats going to happen. Look at telecom right now.

1. Will wireless eliminate the demand for pots lines?
2. What will drive domestic broadband demand? VoIP, Online Games, a solution to the copyright problem? If any, then when, exactly?
3. Will WiFi or 3G win the coming wireless wars?
4. Will asset based telecom take off? To what extent?
5. If/when 2 happens, how rapidly will the RBOCs shift to an IP based infrastructure? Will Nortel and Lucent be able to translate the IP oriented companies they bought during the boom into products that will meet this demand, or will Cisco or a startup snap up all of this stuff?
6. Will the "stupid net" actually prevail, or will demand for higher quality synchronous communications and better network security lead to something more like ATM? If the later, then how will things evolve in that direction from the existing IP based network? (Will MPLS and RSVP provide similar capability? Will the service providers prefer to give priority to packets based on who sent them rather then on what they contain?)

These are all interesting things to think about. Lots of people seem to have strong opinions, but I don't buy it. It seems like trying to figure out who was going to own the PC market in 2002 by looking at the situation in 1982. We might be able to make some technological predictions, but the social situation, and which companies will do the right things.... thats almost impossible to predict accurately.

RE: Telecommunications layoffs mount worldwide

Some thoughts on that last post...
Topic: Telecom Industry 3:25 am EST, Dec 19, 2002

1. Ultimately, No. Wires supply bandwidth to wireless endpoint devices. Small cells = more bandwidth. This means you're going to want a wire in your house, just like you have now. There may be a transitional phase where you are routing backbone traffic across a wireless device, but eventually you're going to want that bandwidth locally. This is especially true in urban areas. Rural areas may need less in the way of wires. You may see rural wired telecom go away.

2. I want a device that streams over wifi and is a phone and is a PDA and is an mp3 player. Streaming will provide a short term IP solution. VoIP will happen because I don't want to also carry a phone, so my wifi phone from my house is also my wifi phone outside my house is also my ipod...

3. WiFi sort of. More bandwidth will be allocated. It will be more controlled. It will look a little like cellular ultimately, but more open. You'll have the same sort of AP in your house that your cellular company has out in the street. Small cells win. Platforms you can innovate on win. Using the same network card in my house, office, and on the street wins. 3G is a high power big cell solution that doesn't work for everything. You will PAY to use your neighbor's wifi. The networks will charge a flat rate and pay people who run access points a metered amount.

4. I have no idea. In some cases yes. In other cases no. This is basically how telcos generate cash to pay down debt; let the local government eat them... It will depend on how well the telco managers deal with their debt problems, if they can be dealt with at all.

5. The cost of dealing with this on top of the current debt load could really kill the RBOCS. I have no idea about Cisco/Lucent/Nortel.

6. I don't know on the technical side. However, I think the IETF is too dogmatic for its own good. Its totally subverted by the vendors and cannot see its own flaws. It may become irrelevant very rapidly as running code tends not to be produced there anymore. The market makes you interoperate, and having a standard is as easy as publishing a document. Interoperable standards always win. If people need QOS, the networks will build it. The networks will eliminate IP spoofing and solve the relay problem. These will be features that the router companies offer the ISPs/updates to sendmail. You will need to explicitly tell the network if you want to provide a service, and your OS will update automatically every night. You may do MPLS tagging on your desktop. The networks can enforce MTUs. It will be "IP" but it might look a hell of a lot like ATM and the network will become as smart as possible in an attempt to avoid commoditization of the service.

Now, who the hell should I invest in? I have no idea who is going to make the right decisions here, and there are many people in positions to do so. Shame I'm not one of them.

Some thoughts on that last post...

Hundreds of Muslim Immigrants Rounded Up in Calif.
Topic: Civil Liberties 2:10 am EST, Dec 19, 2002

At UC Davis recently the administration sent around an email to the students reminding them that all males over the age of 16 from a list of 20 named countries *must* report to an INS office for "registration" where they are fingerprinted, photographed, and often times arrested on minor immigration violations.

Hundreds of Muslim Immigrants Rounded Up in Calif.

Changes to U.S. Military Assistance After September 11th
Topic: War on Terrorism 2:49 am EST, Dec 18, 2002

Here we go again, arming dictators to gain control of "strategic" resources. Today they're our cronies, tomorrow our enemies.

This 15 page report by Human Rights Watch has all the details.

Changes to U.S. Military Assistance After September 11th

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