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Slashback: Errata, Futurity, Portality 193

Posted by timothy
from the donut-goes-to-costa-rica dept.
Slashed back tonight: The (slight) return of the Y2K behemoth, good news for those locked out of port 80 by the recent unpleasantness, one interested party's response to Stephen Hawking's genetic-engineering ideas, and even an update on the Scarfo key-logging story.

Better than world-wide anarchy and privation. kejoki writes: "I came into work today and nobody had voicemail. We use an ancient AT&T system 25 (Merlin) with the Audix automated attendant/voice mail system ... not my bailiwick but the boss was going nuts trying to figure it out.

He finally called his System 25 guy and found out that quite a few people were having the same problem. Inspiration hit, and he set the system date back before 31 Dec 1999 ... whammo! The voice mail returneth.

AT&T->Lucent->Avaya, of course, no longer supports the a matter of fact the boss seems to recall getting a letter from AT&T saying that they'd be taking care of the Y2K problems which might be in their equipment; but another soon after saying that support for the System 25 would be dropped as of 31 Dec 1999 ... hmmm.

Oddly enough, he's had a problem with the system giving a database I/O error for a while, but since he reset the date that has also vanished.

All very interesting. At any rate, if you have a System 25 and you can't get your voice mail, set back the date!"

And in related news, Che Fox writes :"The OpenLDAP project is one of the first to be hit by a major bug due to the S1G (one billion seconds) Unix time rollover. The slurpd replication daemon, which pushes changes from the master LDAP server to the slaves, no longer works now that time has rolled over to 1 billion seconds. This means that all LDAP-using networks in the world that use OpenLDAP and slave servers to replicate the data (very common) are now broken. There is a fix available against both the 1.2 and 2.x OpenLDAP releases in the OpenLDAP CVS repository."

You may assume your former activities for the moment. Agent Green writes: "I was checking out my firewall logs this morning and noticed an unusual amount of port 80 traffic and come to find seems that AT&T Broadband has lifted their port 80 restrictions on its residential network. Let's see how long this lasts ..."

Probably until the next worm that takes over everyone's port 80, whatever OS it runs under.

So what did one giant say to the other? jshep writes: "Inventor Ray Kurzweil recently responded to physicist Stephen Hawking's concerns regarding the progression of AI (previous Slashdot story can be viewed here). Kurzweil takes aim at Hawking's suggestion that we use genetic engineering to augment the power of the human brain."

The man behind the curtain is ... uh, vital to national security! camusflage writes: "Reuters has a story (courtesy of Yahoo) that says the judge in the Nicodemo Scarfo believes the "national security" gambit about as much as the /. community does regarding the use of keyloggers. The most choice quote is "I don't know what it means. It's gobbledygook. More gobbledygook," referring to the argument put forth that the keylogger is a sensitive piece of national security. An assistant U.S. Attorney indicated he would provide "classified and unclassified summaries of the system's operation and more affidavits detailing the national security aspects at stake," next Friday."

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Slashback: Errata, Futurity, Portality

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  • by wiredog (43288) on Monday September 10, 2001 @08:09PM (#2275829) Journal
    I don't know why, but "Slurped replication demon" just sounds funny as all hell. Try to visualize slurping a replicating demon.
  • comcast @home (Score:2, Redundant)

    by bluelip (123578)
    @Home is still blocking 80. Dang it. No biggie though. I redirected the main page elsewhere and then have that page come back in on a different port.

    • Not where I live (delaware)

      Just thought I'd let ya know
    • My cable IP, bought by Netscape AOL Warner CNN AT&T Time (NAWCAT) is still being port 80 filtered, at least as of this moment. While I hope that changes, it's too late for them. I already scheduled my Earthlink DSL installation. And just in case anyone from AT&T sees this: I got all of my friends who had cable accounts to switch with me. I hate you people But I am full of love. :)

      • I just installed my DSL modem from Covad/Speakeasy today. It rules. I had to sacrifice my stupid fast ATT@Home (Seattle) downloads though (400k/sec from a good server). I'm down to 150k/sec downloads now, which is certainly tolerable. My upstream has increased from 9-13k/sec to about 40k/sec, which is damn nice, because I run my small biz website from my home. Plus some hobby sites, and friends' sites, and a charity site... I have like 8 domains running out of here, and 2000 pageviews a day.

        The best news is Speakeasy has a policy of allowing servers for residential customers. I asked some pointed questions about my needs (fixed IP, 100MB+ per day upstream from my web server, use of my own email and ftp servers) and they were FINE WITH ALL OF IT.

        It is more expensive, yes, but it gives me a warm cozy feeling I never had from ATT, since I was running all these servers in violation of the TOS, and on a slow upstream connection.

        Oh, the installation was totally painless too. Covad hooked the stuff up on their end, mailed me a modem, and it just WORKED. I couldn't believe it.

        Of course, YMMV... but so far I am totally delighted with Speakeasy.
    • I was never even blocked in the first place!

      Not that it matters much. The only stuff I serve from home is personal experimentation type projects, and I just give people the URL including the numeric IP address anyway. So appending a :81 or :8080 to that address I give people would have been no big deal.
    • No big deal for me. My cable modem provider wants $20 / month for a static IP address, so running a web server is pretty much out of the question -- unless somebody has any cute suggestions as to how to sneak the latest and greatest dynamic IP into a public DNS....

      Besides, I'd only be running the server so that I could access my own stuff remotely. With that being the case, I'd just use port 1080 or something like that instead.

      • If you have Dynamic IP's check out many of the fine Dynamic DNS services such as:

        DynDNS & custom
        Central Information System

        (This last gathered from the DirectUpdate homepage at
  • Yeah (Score:3, Funny)

    by l33t j03 (222209) <> on Monday September 10, 2001 @08:10PM (#2275833) Homepage Journal
    The OpenLDAP project is one of the first to be hit by a major bug due to the S1G

    In other words: Expect Slashdot to go down for 6-8 hours tomorrow without explanation.

    • It'll either be that or their horrific comment searching code that'll do them in.

      Yay for open source!

    • In other words: Expect Slashdot to go down for 6-8 hours tomorrow without explanation.

      Hell, that's been happening anyway, hasn't it? You got to the front page, your cookie doesn't work, and whenever you try and click on anything that stresses the database it just loads the front page?

      A few times a week, I'd say...
  • Another S1G bug (Score:5, Informative)

    by stox (131684) on Monday September 10, 2001 @08:11PM (#2275834) Homepage
    cvsup, a utility used to synchronize CVS repository's, was hit by the S1G event. Version 16.1d is available to fix the bug.
    • Yet Another..... (Score:3, Interesting)

      by [amorphis] (45762)
      The Jive [] Forum BBS software was hit by the bug as well, for the same reason as everybody else: the sort order changes when the values are stored in a character field.
      Here's a comment from one of the developers regarding the design decision:

      Hey all,

      Thought I would respond since I'm a Jive developer. There were quite a few reasons for the date to be stored as it is:

      1) Java uses the millesecond values since 1970 as its native date format. However, unlike Unix, this value is stored as a 64 bit long instead of a 32 bit integer. Effectively, this means there will never be date overflow. In any case, using the millesecond value is very easy and fast in Java.

      2) Database support for dates is horrible. Most db's have a DATETIME or TIMESTAMP column type. However, all databases seem to implement them differently. Further, support for 64 bit numbers is also poorly supported across many databases. Therefore, we were forced to go with our own encoding (millesecond values), and to use character columns instead of numeric ones. This lets Jive work with over 10 different databases instead of 1 or 2.

      3) Yep, we never thought about the date rollover bug until about a month and a half ago. Adding a few padding 0's was a simple fix and was released on Aug 8th as Jive 2.0.

    • Came in to work on Monday, and our electronic lock system wasn't working. All the doors were locked, and card keys didn't work. I don't know the vendor, but anyone else have a similar problem?

      I'd be curious to know if it was coincidence, or related to the rollover. They replaced our old one in 1999 due to Y2K issues.
    • There are binary packages available for FreeBSD 4.x, 3.5 and 2.2, Red Hat Linux 6.2 (reported to work on 7.1 also), and Debian GNU/Linux potato(?) here [] (all i386), as well as the fixed source for CVSup for those running other O/Ses. I'm sure the maintainers would appreciate donated packages for additional platforms if you build your own from source.

      Hope this helps.


  • "AI" is an unusual deception. Normally things that are artificial are presented as genuine. Artificial Intelligence proponents adopt the opposite approach. They sell something that is genuine and call it artificial.

    The computer programs called AI represent the real intelligence of the programmers who wrote them.
    • I think that to a limited degree, AI already exists. There is no reason why computers won't eventually be able to perfectly mimic or exceed humans at all intellectual tasks. The true breakthrough in CS will be the creation of AC, (Artificial Consciousness). Once the principals that make consciousness, self-awareness, and emotions possible are understood, a machine that is 'alive' in a human sense of the word will be possible. Without consciousness, a computer will
      never be anything more or less than a number cruncher. The most advanced intelligence without emotions is like a well crafted doll in that it appeals to our human senses, while having none itself.

      • I study the programming of the human brain. I have an opinion that is quite different than yours.

        Most people in the U.S., and most people in the other cultures I've studied, believe that they are less intelligent and less mentally capable than they potentially are. Since they have a limited idea of their own brains, they make a mistake when they try to guess how easy it would be for a computer to duplicate human mental ability.
        • I don't understand where your opinion differs from mine. You insinuate that I share a set of beliefs with the people whom you study and you falsely assume that I, like they, have a limited idea of the capabilities of my own brain. I didn't set out to claim that the current state of the art in computing approaches anything close to the full capabilities of human intelligence. Nor did I claim that this would be an 'easy' feat by any means. What I claimed, was that in time, there would not be an intellectual task that a human could perform that an AI couldn't perform equally well or better. Do you believe that the human brain will never be met or exceeded, in most intellectual tasks and raw computing ability, by an artificial means? Furthermore, my point with which you choose to differ is merely the setup for my assertion that A.I. alone will not be the breakthrough that A.C. will be. We already have machines that can beat a human Grandmaster at chess, yet they don't have the ability to savor their victory. Personally, I find the concept of a machine that can feel as well as think, allot more fascinating than a machine that does nothing more than crunch numbers better than us humans. All of that aside, my intention wasn't to argue with your point, so much as I was just going off on a tangent and opening up a new line of discussion.
  • Thank god AT&T has unblocked 80. I had a very stable mail/apache/ftp server that my friend ran and let me leech bandwidth off of that was unfortunately hosted by them. I've been so busy with school I haven't had a chance to find another host, so now I guess I won't have to. Hurray!
  • by perdida (251676) <thethreatproject ... .com minus punct> on Monday September 10, 2001 @08:15PM (#2275848) Homepage Journal
    There is not one genetic engineering.

    There are many kinds of GE.

    One kind splices genes from other species into a species. This has problems with inaccurate gene-snips and potential allergies to foreign genetic matter.

    Another kind of GE is simply eugenics, which many farmers have used for centuries; selecting the best representatives of a species to breed together, or hybridization. Eugenics presents political problems in humans.

    Another kind of GE is the turning on of inoperative genes through hormonal treatments or other chemicals. Cancer genes (oncogenes) are turned on through sun damage and other carcinogenic interactions, for instance. This type of GE may be dangerous but it is noninvasive and can be done through conventional current gene therapy methods. I support this kind of work.

    Now onto the spurious ethical questions.

    There is no a-priori model of the human. Humans have been evolving for thousands of years, and our lifestyles and diets have a big part to play in that. The conscious manipulation of this process has the opportunity, actually, to be more ethical than the unconscious genetic engineering we have done.

    The americans imported people from Africa in the slave trade and created "hybrid races" of humans, for instance. This has led to changes in frequency of various positive and negative genetic traits in the US population. Although slavery itself is reprehensible, I don't think anybody would consider treatments for sickle-cell anemia (which occurs primarily in Africans and African-Americans) immoral genetic engineering, for instance.

    Conscious manipulation of human intelligence is a scientific technology question and is morally neutral. Methods and political superstructures surrounding the issue are not.

    • I don't think anybody would consider treatments for sickle-cell anemia (which occurs primarily in Africans and African-Americans) immoral genetic engineering, for instance.

      Not really on topic, but the reason that sickle-cell anemia is more prevalant in Africa (and other tropical regions) is as follows:

      Sickle-cell anemia is a recessive trait. If you have only one of them, you are not anemic. However, for whatever reason, you ARE more resistant to malaria.
      • However, for whatever reason, you ARE more resistant to malaria.

        In the dim recesses of my faulty memory, I seem to recall a study claiming that sickle-cell anemia makes one less resistant to malaria. A possible explanation was that, paradoxically, people suffering from anemica catch malaria more often, and younger, and build up an immunological resistance to the disease.

        I'm far too lazy to actually do a search for the study, or to find out if follow up studies had been done, or any of the other things that would make this post +1 informative instead of -1 talking-out-of-ass. But I think I read some reporters (probably mangled) synopsis of the study in the NY Times between 6 and 8 years ago.
        • You didn't read what he wrote.

          People with only one copy of the sickle-cell anemia gene don't get anemia. They do get better resistance to malaria.

          The ones with two copies of the gene probably have way too much to worry about when it comes to the anemia than they do about malaria.
          • Sorry. I hit "submit" instead of preview.

            What I meant to write is that my understanding is that people with one copy of the sickle-cell anemia gene do not get better resistance to malaria -- they get worse resistance to malaria. In fact, the study I described suggested that many people with one copy of the gene had been infected with many strains of the malaria parasite, again and again, from a young age, at rates higher than the general population.

            Of course, there is a huge difference between "being infected by malaria" and "suffering the debilitating effects of malaria". And, in fact, the described study came about as a recognition of this difference. In the past, it had simply been assumed that the sickle-cell gene conferred immunity because of its negative correllation with symptoms, but actual blood tests for the parasite had not been systematically performed. It turned out that people with one copy of the sickle-cell anemia gene, although not suffering the effects of malaria, and hence not historically diagnosed with malaria, were suprisingly still very often infected.

            The reasons for this, or its implications, is anyone's guess. The reporter had given some possible reasons, but co-evolution of parasites is pretty danged freaky-cool and chaotic.

            Of course, this is just something I vaguely remember reading in the NY Times one afternoon sometime in the early nineties. I'm damned if I know if I even really read it, much less if it turned out to be true.
    • I think genentic engineers shlould be working on a genome patch that disables the "wisdom teeth" gene.
    • Actually, sickle cell anemia is also found pretty much wherever malaria is a prevalent disease. It's found in India, Pakistan, Greeks, even Native (aboriginal) Americans (most likely from the SouthEast corner (LA, FL, SC). It's just that in the US, African Americans are the dominant sickle cell populations.

    • Eugenics presents political problems in humans.

      The implication being that it's a free for all in animals.

      I don't really want to go hunting for the link, but there's some woman in the States breeds cats with deformed legs which prevents them walking normally. She calls them 'flippies' or something because that's how they move about. People buy them for their novelty value, apparently. That's eugenics, with a peculiar definition of 'best'. You might not think there are political issues with that, I do.
    • "There is no a-priori model of the human. Humans have been evolving for thousands of years, and
      our lifestyles and diets have a big part to play in that."

      As far as I know, humans have been overwhelmingly genetically static for all of what we would consider "history". So, yeah, there is an a-priori model of the human. It's not like we're sprouting new limbs or migrating into the ocean or something.

      But in any case, what is the rationale for "genetically engineering" humans? Is it so that we can live on fewer nutrients? Is it so that we can be more compassionate towards each other? No, it's merely to one-up a human-made technology. That's a ridiculous reason to entirely change the species (which is what the type of genetic engineering proposed by these two would entail). Should we just sacrifice our whole concept of humanity just to keep up with our own inventions? It's so aggravating...I just don't understand the point.

      "Conscious manipulation of human intelligence is a scientific technology question and is morally neutral."

      Ha! While I'm all for letting information free, and don't consider myself a luddite, it's just laughable that scientists don't have any moral responsibility.

      "Sir, we invented a super-cool FOO technology"
      "Oh, no, what are the implications of this for humanity!?"
      "Sorry sir, I'm just a scientist and have no moral obligation to society, but I believe the solution is to fund me to invent a FOO-human interface so that we can maintain control over FOO technology"
      "Ok, get right on it!"
      "Sir, I just invented the super-cool FOO-HUMAN technology!"
      "Oh, no, what are the implications of this for humanity!?"
      "Sorry sir, I'm just a scientist and have no moral obligation to society, but I believe the solution is to fund me to invent a new BAR technology to combine with the FOO technology"
      "What would be the point of that?"
      "Sorry, I don't understand your question."
      "Nevermind, you're the scientist and being morally neutral you must know what's right. Here's your lump of money, get to it! By the way, have you finished those nanobots which are supposed to sexually please us while removing tarter from our teeth and rendering crops immune to parasites?"
  • by Enigma2175 (179646) on Monday September 10, 2001 @08:19PM (#2275864) Homepage Journal
    1) I think it is fantastic that the judge in the Scarfo case isn't dazzled by the FBI's "National Security" defense. This case has absolutely nothing to do with national security, the FBI is trying to establish precedent above the law. This time it is the keylogging technique, next time it is Carnivore v.2.0 that they try to hide behind the "national security" shield.

    2) Being a subscriber, I am extremely happy that AT&T has lifted the ban in HTTP servers (I know I may assume too much given the anecdotal source). Most of the servers that run on the @home network are small, low traffic servers that don't cause much of a problem(unless they are infected). They must be worried about losing even the small percentage of customers that run web servers. Economic hard times are hitting everywhere...
  • national security... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by nettdata (88196) on Monday September 10, 2001 @08:32PM (#2275897) Homepage

    I could see how divulging how the keylogger works could be a national security issue... once it's been released how it works, people could start looking for the tell-tales, and then once word gets out about how many people are actually being logged, all hell breaks loose... both in and outside the US.
    • The point was made in the article that if the device does indeed need to remain classified for the puposes of national security, it should not be allowed in domestic cases. I think that point is valid. If a government can not disclose how something works it should not be allowed to use it on its citizens. But of course that argument hasn't worked for carnivore or whatever it's called these days.
    • by WhiteWolf666 (145211) <> on Monday September 10, 2001 @10:02PM (#2276088) Homepage Journal
      This is insane. How do we know that its just a keylogger? How do we know that its not a virus? How do we know that the government is only using it on people it has obtained a warrant for? How do we know that the government does not install it first, and then gets the warrant if necessary?

      National security can go to hell. Worst case scenario (and this is unlikely)---the FBI looses its ability to log keys, and has to go back to doing real detective work. Big Deal. The U.S. will go on, and we will know that our rights are not being infringed.

      If the FBI thinks that said documents really contain information pertaining to the case, subpeona the password.

      I think if the government has the probably cause(is that the standard? whatever it is) necessary to get a warrant, the person targeted should know about it, and be able to challenge it, in the interets of privacy.

      You have a right to know if you have been charged, so why don't you have a right to know if you privacy has been violated? Similarly, don't you have a right to not incriminate yourself? If the fifth amendment prevents the government from using a subpeona to get a password, than it is at least idealogical consistant that is should protect you from unknowingly giving the government your password.
      And if it doesn't, and they say no, its a crime in and of itself, and the government than has every right to put the wiretap on whatever computers said person uses. This still provides a reasonable chance to catch the crook, or stop his illegal behavior, and still protects privacy rights. Yeah, this may reduce the probablity of catching them, but hey, it is better for 1000 guilty men to go free, than for 1 innocent man to be punished.

      And, of course, I need to say this.

      They that give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." -- Benjamin Franklin, 1759.

    • And you thought Sircam was just for fun!
  • by HoldmyCauls (239328) on Monday September 10, 2001 @08:44PM (#2275923) Journal going to pay my thought on this subject much attention, but here goes:

    It is time for us to stop. Just to stop and take a moment to reflect on the knowledge we have and what is possible with it in hand. We make bigger, better, faster computers, and put them into operation immediately, for use in labs, and hospitals, and all the places where we need accuracy, and checking, and double-checking. We start cloning and genetically engineering humans without regard to the psychological consequences -- what will it be like to grow up knowing you wouldn't have just "happened" the way normal kids have. When we finally reach deep down enough inside the atom and find the particle we're currently looking for, that's not good enough. We have to build a bigger accelerator, abandoning the last one.

    We need to start taking some responsibility -- the genetic code is a programming language in which we're not yet versed enough. Mistakes made there won't send up a compiler warning, they will ruin someone's life. Who's making sure we know what we're doing -- not what, WHY -- when we (as a global society) develop something like artificial intelligence? Sure, popular media -- so-called sci-fi movies and books -- pretend to address the issue, and some writers actually focus, but good luck getting those involved to turn an eye outward long enough to convince them of the moral issues involved.

    The surest way to be sure of what we are doing is to stop relying on an economical system that simply doesn't work. Capitalism sucks, and we all know it. Technological tools are wasted on popular culture and ignorant masses. So many resources are wasted, so much time is wasted, so many lives are wasted. And before anyone posts beneath me calling me a Communist or whatever, no, I'm not. I just have no faith in ANY system that doesn't work, that is run by greed, and I'm open to suggestion. I'm a human being first and foremost, and I don't see how the world as we know it is run by and for human beings.

    Every time I think of it, I flash back to Gödel, Escher, Bach: no system can ever be complete which relies on itself to define itself. It's a good book, and thank you to those who recommended it a couple months ago. I got it out that day, and I've read the first part so far, and I got it out again to finish it as soon as I returned to school.

    Then again, I could be a complete idiot. Maybe I don't understand science and industry as well as I think I do from my limited viewpoint. Please post rational thoughts below.

    Of course, maybe I should just stick to writing poetry...

    • Bah, don't be such a one-timer!!


    • The problem with arguments like that, is that the only people who will pay them any heed are exactly the people who would care about the morality. If you ask them to stop, they may...but the unethical will continue blithely on. And then [PICK_RESEARCH_FIELD] will be dominated by the unethical: zealots (religious or otherwise) out to make life miserable for those who do not believe as they do, corporations who care for little save their current quarter's bottom line (even at the expense of their own future), and the just plain uninformed (who lack any basic education about the field with which to make moral decisions).

      The result, then, is that it is the duty of those with any shred of ethics to aggressively pursue their research at the fastest possible speed, so that [PICK_RESEARCH_FIELD] may be tapped for the benefit of all humanity and countermeasures developed against its negative applications. This ensures that the ethical decisions that matter will be made by those who have some ethics, whether or not they have the fullest possible advantage of foresight. Perhaps the debate can rage while the research goes on, to give them some foresight...but to hold back the research until the ethics have been settled is to ensure catastrophe. (Besides, for many of these fields, the ethics may never be settled. See, for example, the continued debate over abortion, decades after - at least in the US - the issue was settled by the Supreme Court.)
    • Ugh....

      Don't worry, that's not directed at you, but this discussion is one that is incredibly difficult to get into.

      While idealogically, I am fully in support of the capitalistic ideals (why you might ask? because my somewhat bizarre philosophical ideals (which are almost, but not quite, radically individualistic) jive with what capitalism could allow), I think the capitalist experiment that exists is a failure. However, I am not quite ready to lay the blame at capitalism, the idealogical framework.

      Don't get me wrong, in fact, I am rather sure that 97% of slashdotters reading this have already stopped, and are about to inudate me e-mail box with hate mail :). I am not saying capitalism is flawless. But I am not ready to evalute questions of blame involving economic frameworks, because I think the blame lies elsewhere.

      Perhaps, the problems that exist in today's society are not dervived from the capitalistic system, but rather from more general sociological factors that affect decision-making on an individual level. . . . Capitalism sucks, since person A is willing to totally screw group B, even though all the other members of group B cooperate for the good of the whole.

      You say you have no faith in ANY system that doesn't work. Well, I say I have no faith in ANY system at all.

      You may be a human being, you may live for your fellow man, you may be a wonderful person. But there are people around you who aren't. There are many, in fact, who are able to totally write-off all the other human beings in the world, for another $1000. As long as this remains the case, and system which invests any sort of administration capacity in human beings runs the risk of subversion, be it in a small way, or a large way.

      Here's three postualtes for you:

      1. At any given time, any system which invests any sort of administrative authority in a human being runs a non-zero risk of said human being corrupting the system for personal gain at the cost of the whole. This is true for a monarchy, for a republic, for a corporation, even for Plato's republic. Obviously, proper selection techniques can reduce the risk of this, but the risk is always non-zero, and I would argue that the risk is a siginifcant one at any give point in history.

      2.Corruption is created more easily than it is eliminated, as subtle structural changes often go unnoticed, and are generally 'doctored' to give lip service to the public welfare. This is made worse because of perspective. It is easier for one in a position of power to come up with minor structural changes to a body of law than it is for the generally apathetic public at large to conduct an audit of law.

      3.As such, any sort of economic framework is doomed to an ever increasing degree of corruption.

      This logic paints a pretty dark picture regarding government, and the picture grows even darker as one realizes that in most cases, the original framework of said government was not ideal, as is often quite horrible. Ever read Metamorphisis? Starts bad, gets worse....

      Here's where I que in the anarchists. Unforunately, even they can't respond to some of these problems. Anarcho-capitlists don't realize that a corporate framework can easily supplant a govermental framework. If you don't believe thats the case, you are an idiot. Say right now the United States Government dissolved itself. Furthermore, say no other nation on the planet interefed with anyone living on North American soil (Don't mean to slight Canadian and Mexicans, but it makes my explanation easier). You are absolutely, positively, dead wrong if you don't believe that some multi-billion dollar company could not pick some relatively low population state, like.....Colorado, equip a corporate security force, and setup a feudal state.
      Anarcho-communists say this couldn't happen in their system. Well, they are right. But you can't even provide some sort of utopian dream scenario in which we didn't need some sort of monetary system. Why do I say that is a part of your utopia? Because it is. Equitable distribution of goods and wealth (which is what money is for) wouldn't be necessary in the Anarcho-communist utopia, since anyone who is able to should automatically (or should I say, automagically) provide whatever any other person needs. From each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs.

      Sad situation, isn't it? I guess, then, I need to provide some sort of advocacy (of my own, that is). Let me preface this: If you have a better idea of what I should support, tell me. This is just my conclusion on the avaliable data. The current system provides the best possible opportunity for improvement within any inviduals life. You are completely right in saying that much is wasted, and that many are abused, and, indeed, that the current system is very, very evil. None the less, of all the possible socio-economic systems I can think of, our form of capitalism is the one that allows me the greatest strength in redefining my surroundings. While my life will probably be a utter failure, and while it is damn near impossible to do this, I am driven by the ideal that if I can make a ton of money, I can improve the world that much more. (If only I was Bill Gates).

      The changes that you, and I, and every other human being who deserves the title will never happen by altering the political system. The best we can possibly hope for is maximizing our ability to change the world (even if the possibility of our dreams coming to fruition is next to nothing).

      Don't get me started on technology. While I am not willing to defend capitalism (though I am willing to live with it as the best possible tool avaliable) I will defend technology to my death. You are right, perhaps we shouldn't try to genetically engineer beings until we are absolutely sure we won't ruin thousands of lives. But you are dead wrong if you think we should stop research that could improve thousands of lives. Like stem cell research--The possibilities for regenerating nerves alone make me giddy--and you can kindly go fuck yourself if you are going to tell me that Jane Doe has to deal with her paralysis since research is dealing with devil. Technology doesn't do bad things---people do bad things. As long as we can hope to improve a person's life, we should shoot for that possibility. You're right, no system of knowledge (well, I classify my statement to be more Godellian), no formalized system of logic is ever complete->But that's life. Development of any system of thought(read that as living/experiencing) is the same form of techonological evolution. Indeed, one can even study some areas of the 'technology' of thought in linguistics and communication. Not that they are the same thing, but I think one can draw the parallels. Don't condemn any form of technology because it isn't the final development, or because it can be used negatively. One can think genocidal thoughts, but that doesn't mean we should strike whatever brain area controls anger (I know, I know, there is no particular area that does that specifically, but there are certain brain states that relate to anger). Technological development is the only way to reduce the scarcity of resources, and the only way to improve the benchmark lines for standards of living.(other than massive depopulation, but if you believe in rapid, massive depopulation, you are advocating outright murder).

      You're right--->There are lots of bad things in the world. But we can't go back in time(not to Jeffersonian Agraian society, nor to the animalist heaven of the cave man), so we must press forth, and at this moment in time (unless some radical movement really manages to step up and truely overthrow the establishment), capitalism+technology is our only hope for escape.

      And you are right, it is a very slim hope indeed. But I'm somewhat optimastic, generally because people like me (and I'll hesitate a guess) and you (who are displeased with the world as it is) are pretty stuborn.

      Hmmm....sorry about the length of this, but I have had too many cups of coffee ;-). Please reply.

      P.S. Of course, perhaps I am the greatest fool.

      • I agree with you that a capitalist environment is most likely one that we will prosper in.

        But I'd like to dream of a utopian society of where government is unnecessary and corporations never violate either a persons or the environments rights. That is truly a utopian dream.

        But I do agree with the previous poster in that we need to slow down and fix the things that don't currently work. I've felt this way for a while, but I truly don't see a way of doing it. Not feasibly of course.

        One thing I'm still unsure of is GE. I am truly scared of the consequences when one person screws up. Mind you that "killer bees" were created by a cross-breeding experiment (correct me if I'm wrong). No system of checks and balances in existence is error-proof, to my knowledge. If there are, there are very few.

        Some folks think that anti-matter experiments should not be done. From what I've heard, if one gram of anti-matter should come into contact with matter, the WHOLE universe would be utterly destroyed. I'm no physicist, so I don't know what it would take to do this. Details would be fascinating to know.

        For all we know, we don't even exist anymore, and all of this reality is on god's backup server. Ghost would really come in handy right about now. ;) This however is a discussion for philosophers.

        The whole point is that there is a lot in this world that isn't running properly. I for one think that we should do what's needed to fix our problems before continuing.

        You are obviously an intelligent and informed person and I will eagerly await your response to either my post or any other rebuttals.

    • by Pope (17780)
      I just have no faith in ANY system that doesn't work, that is run by greed, and I'm open to suggestion. I'm a human being first and foremost, and I don't see how the world as we know it is run by and for human beings.

      Humans aren't perfect; ergo, any system devised by Humans won't be perfect.
      However, we can put in some checks and balances to even out the problems.

      It is, in fact, why I believe that neither Communism nor Objectivism will ever actually work: both assume a priori that all involved in the system will behave like perfect little robots with no free will. Face it: just as there will always be overly-motivated people who will do anything to succeed including screwing over their mother, there will be slackers, and every option inbetween.

      • by eric17 (53263)
        It is, in fact, why I believe that neither Communism nor Objectivism will ever actually work: both assume a priori that all involved in the system will behave like perfect little robots with no free will. Face it: just as there will always be overly-motivated people who will do anything to succeed including screwing over their mother, there will be slackers, and every option inbetween.

        I offer a second opinion:
        Objectivism won't work because people will never figure out the difference between a principled person acting in rational self-interest and a emotionless automaton with no ethics, principles or values.
        • Objectivism won't work because people will never figure out the difference between a principled person acting in rational self-interest and a emotionless automaton with no ethics, principles or values.

          But, is there really a difference? All it comes down to is collecting information and comparing the possibilities of action with a given goal. imho, humans have yet to show me any kind of adherence to ethics, principles, or values when Mammon calls.

          But there is hope, for "...the beast shall be made legion. Its numbers shall be increased a thousand thousand fold. The din of a million keyboards like unto a great storm shall cover the earth, and the followers of Mammon shall tremble" - RLE, 3:31.

        • Objectivism won't work because people will never figure out the difference between a principled person acting in rational self-interest and a emotionless automaton with no ethics, principles or values.
          I know this was not your point, by why would this keep it from working?
    • by MegaFur (79453)
      Please note: some of the stuff said here might sound a little harsh, but it's not really meant to. This is not a flame.
      Capitalism sucks, and we all know it.

      Yes, yes, yes capitalism sucks. This isn't a totally original observation, you know. The thing is--can YOU give us something better? Until this happens, capitalism shall remain dominant.

      Think about it. When Jesus Christ was up and walking around, there was still a tax collector! Tax collector implies taxes. Taxes imply money. Money implies capitalism. It's been around for a *really* *long* time. It's gonna be hard to get rid of it.

      Every time I think of it, I flash back to Gödel
      Gödel's Incompleteness Thm (AFAIK) says that a system P, which might be complete, can't have its completeness proven in its own system. The upshot is that there must, in any set of logical systems, be at least one logical system whose completeness or correctness is simply assumed rather than proven. I'm not sure what this has to do with capitalism. It's not really a logical system anyway. Trying to apply mathematical reasoning to capitalism is like trying to apply it to English (it's a (not very logical) system too) or something. GIGO.

      Of course, maybe I should just stick to writing poetry...

      Poetry has sometimes played an important role in major political and sociological changes in the past. If you want things to change, you've gotta try to change peoples minds. If you write enough poetry, perhaps you can achieve this.

      • Gödel's Incompleteness Thm (AFAIK) says that a system P, which might be complete, can't have its completeness proven in its own system.

        How the hell do I type Godel correctly? I'm stupid, and unable to figure it out.

        Anyways, I can't find the book I am looking for, but Godel's theorem is basically says that given any formalized system of logic, one can generate a self-referrential statement that is neither true nor false.

        Thats not actually the theorem, but it is, I think the best explanation of it for the laymen.

        An example, in English, is:

        "This statement is false".
        Is this a true statement, or a false statement?

        One can easily generate a symbolic example as well. I would do it myself, but here's a site that's done it better :)

        Here's the Puzzle []

      • Oh yeah---I meant to say, yes, its hard to apply this logic to English.

        But, it isn't as hard to understand the relationship between knowledge and Godel's Incompletness Theorem.

        If you are still having problems doing this, read Stanislaw Lem's Imaginary Magnitude. Focus on Golem [Some roman numeral I can't remember].

    • Anyone who's scared
      of AI, don't worry so -
      we can't do shit yet.

      what scares me about
      AI research is how much
      hype and FUD appears.

    • >> Technological tools are wasted on popular culture and ignorant masses.

      >> So many resources are wasted, so much time is wasted, so many lives are wasted.

      You are so right. Let's put Joshua in charge of the allocation of resources. Screw Darwin and all that selection of the fittest crap 'cause it hasn't worked for Mother Nature and it won't work for us. Just let Joshua choose what's best for us. All Hail King Joshua!!!! Joshua pro bono publico!!!!

    • by Zoop (59907)

      You sound afraid. Fear is generally born of ignorance. Why not try learning about it? It may be closer than you think, and not so scary when you didn't realize the difference:

      what will it be like to grow up knowing you wouldn't have just "happened" the way normal kids have.

      Why not ask that of your roommate, assuming you're in college? Odds are not small that he or she was conceived in a test tube and didn't "happen" the way "normal" kids have. What will you do? Will you treat him differently when you find out? Why? Is he any less human? Is the person with the genetically-determined mental retardation less than human? So how would an artificially engineered person be less than human?

      Why do we build the bigger accelerator? Because we didn't find the answers to the questions we found with the smaller one. You only need a Time Magazine-level of physics knowledge to understand that.

      For someone who claims to be above the "ignorant masses" on whom "technological tools are wasted," and thus fit to say what should and should not be (else what gives you the right to make the judgement?), you're displaying a fair amount of ignorance--and this is causing you to evidently lose sleep.

      For your next book, I suggest Richard Dawkins's "Unweaving the Rainbow," [] perhaps followed by Carl Sagan's "The Demon-Haunted World." []

      Rest assured, they show proper appreciation of poetry and gently introduce one to the broader world that lies outside the narrow confines of the human imagination.
      • Yes, you're right and I'm sorry. I made that post with a weak and tired mind, and I want you to know that it is my philosophy that fear is the worst reason to do or not do something.

        Thank you for your suggestions, especially the reading material. Rest assured they will take priority in my current reading queue. Not only that, but I've found that self-education is the only way to really relieve irrational fears (as did Newton). Rest assured, I generally don't get quite so hyped up without pursuing a better understanding of my subject. Sometimes, I just don't know where to start looking for knowledge of it. You have given me that starting point, and that is the best thing a person could have.

        Thank you again, and God (or whatever power you believe in) bless you.

    • (ach... I wanted to post this an hour ago, but my college's entire network got 0\/\//\/3d... oh well...)

      I understand your concern about the spirialing and somewhat devious advancement of technology. However, we are humans, and we have great curiosity and great greed. Acting like Tetsuo now, we will start to create technology that is indistinguishable from magic. But, with the pitfalls that this technology presents, and the tradgies that it will surely bring on us all, there is also a great potential for good.

      Now, imagine, what if it were possibly, through our manipulation of genetic material, and with a bit of Spider-man technology, to create a device that can change how a person looks. Don't think in terms of plastic surgery, but think of the Stars-on-Stars-off machine from the Sneeches. In case you forget how that allegory goes, at first the people will become extremely vain, and try to make their society like an episode of the Twilight Zone. But, in the end, it would mean the end of racism, sexism, ageism, and whatever-else-ism exists now and is yet to be discovered.

      The deal with artificial intelligence reminds me of Megaman X. It's too bad that such a rich subject matter was wasted on an arcade game written for a middle school audience. Just imagine, God created us in his own image, and now we can create a being in our own image. Will they become greater than their creators? Will they try to overthow us as inferior or worship us as gods? Will the three rules of robotics apply, or, in creation of intelligence, will those rules need to be thrown out? Personally, I think that Hawkings is a bit off of his rocker and talking about something that he really knows nothing about. However might our creations imitate their creators?

      Responsibility, morality, and thoughtfullness need no apply to the masses, and I'm sure you remember the Puritans. I agree, humans are not quite ready to be exercising this kind of power. Our society reminds me of Tetsuo, who got so much power that he couldn't control it. Eventually, his power consumed him, revealing how undeveloped he was in comparison to his power. Technology has great benefits, but humans will be able to handle it one day. After all, it's already begun....

    • by Anonymous Coward
      A problem I have with this argument (Godel's Incompleteness theorem), and when it is invoked - it deals with formal, logical, computational systems, but THE BRAIN IS NOT SUCH A SYSTEM. The brain is a REAL, SQUISHY, MESSY, ANALOG thing. And I am not speaking as an uninformed person - I am a neuroscience graduate student, and discussed this very topic with a cognitive scienctist who specializes in computational and cognitive linguistics.

      While he agress that we can theoretically have a Turing model of the brain (which would be subject to the Godel theorem), he is really unsure of whether such a theorem applies to the real system that is the brain. The problem is that people always use the computational metaphor for the brain (which is how the field of cognitive science was built in the 60's), but we must always keep in mind that the brain is NOT a computer - at least not in the way that people think when they use the metaphor. From all that I can tell as a neuroscience and AI student, is that the jury is out on whether we can create strong AI, and it will be out for many, many years. People who claim otherwise are just speculating.

      As for your other arguments - other than the wackos - most scientists are very much against human cloning and large-scale genetic manipulation, as we don't know all the safety issues and effects. I honestly and truly do think that people do not understand that most scientists in these fields DO think about moral issues - the cold, uncaring scientists is mostly a media/cultural artifact. The problem is, is that people have to realize that sci-fi is STILL fiction, and just because it brings up issues on the subject of GE or cloning, does not mean that the author's conclusions are accurate or truly insightful. I *HATE* it when people use "Jurassic Park" as some kind of detailed and realistic treatise against cloning of animals and GE. You want good opinions about the issues involved? Fine, go to your nearest university biology lab, and talk to the scientists, or find some bioethicists, but don't think that Mr. Crichton has all the moral answers!

      Kevin Christie
      Neuroscience Program
      University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • I don't buy it (Score:3, Insightful)

    by tester13 (186772) on Monday September 10, 2001 @08:45PM (#2275925) Homepage
    Wigler insisted the government went by the book when it obtained a search warrant to install the key logger device, but he acknowledged that current statutes did not specifically address what type of warrant was needed for such a device. ``The problem is the technology has advanced quicker than the law,'' he said, adding current statutes do not state which law applies when authorities use something like the key logger device.

    I don't buy it for a second! It seems completely disingenuous of the Wigler to suggest that this is a legal grey area. I am almost positive that this evidence will be suppressed (rightfully). I don't think many people if it were explained to them would see this as anything besides a wire tap. Disagree?

    • Bill gates attempted similar arguments that Wigler has. He said that because the computer industry has to keep up with the times or otherwise be left behind (duh). He said that anyone with an innovative idea can take teh market by storm quickly. Hence MS was forced to make sure they're able to compete with the market. As we all know, the argument didn't fly too well.
    • Actually, it seems more like surrepticiouly installing a camera in the guy's house.
    • Certainly it's effectively the same as a wiretap, but the law doesn't work that way. Since the law doesn't actually say anything about keyloggers, it's up to the courts or legislature to make that decision. This case may, in fact, be the one that establishes keyloggers as effectively identical wiretaps in the eyes of the law.

      IANAL and all that sh<beep>t.

    • It is far more invasive than a wiretap. A wiretap captures information being transmitted out of the "suspect's" property.

  • by sting3r (519844) on Monday September 10, 2001 @09:16PM (#2275986) Homepage
    Folks -

    Everyone who keeps complaining about the port 80 blocking needs to put the situation in perspective. (Yes I am one of them.) http is one of those "nice" Internet services that will easily run on any port, without changes to the client software. Try to do that with Windows SMB networking - you can't (easily) because the port range is hard-coded into the OS and can't be changed without much hacking. At least we have the option of simply changing our URLs to end with ":81" to solve the problem. And if you happen to be serving a domain off your cable modem and the :81 makes your URL look ugly... well, cable modems just weren't designed for serving domains anyway, so look for another provider.

    If @home *really* wanted to be jerks, they could block incoming connections to your PC (except as required by ftp/irc clients). We agreed not to run servers so that's well within their rights. But they're not doing that and it's trivial to work around the port 80 block, so let's just be happy for what we have (and enjoy the newfound lack of Code Red sponsored congestion).

    See what billg has up his sleeve []

    • by bradleyjay (413670)
      YOU may have agreed to this, but I did not.

      I am an AT&T customer who's ability to run a server was protected by AT&T's TOS, as long as I acepted all security risks. I did accept all risks, and had my servers patched long before anyone knew about CodeRed.

      AT&T then, without my knowledge or consent, made me into an @home customer, forcing me to abide by a different TOS, and didn't even inform me of this!

      It was only when I brought it to their attention that my right to run a server is protected by their own TOS, that they told me that I now had to abide by @home's TOS.

      But AT&T gladly take my money every month.
    • Port 80's still blocked where I live (Comcast land, after a territory swap with MediaOne). But they left https alone. The annoyance of certificate warning messages aside (unless you've bought one from the usual suspects), it's just nice to use crypto, and the https port (unlike port 81) is unlikely to be blocked by firewalls.

      I haven't thought of anything crypto-worthy to say lately, tho. Maybe I should reread "Evil Geniuses in a Nutshell".
    • I'm not sure how widespread it is, but I observed that the way @home blocks connections to port 80 in my area (western Milwaukee suburbs) is by setting extra flags on all SYN packets headed to port 80. IIRC, these packets look like elements of an XMAS scan under tcpdump - many extra flags, such as ACK, FIN, and URG, are set and the packets are discarded as invalid by the stock kernel (and rightly so).

      What I did to counter this was to make a very quick and dirty patch to my kernel, which accepted these malformed packets as normal SYN requests. The result? Web services were back to normal and Apache is chugging away as we speak. I've been doing this since the ban and have had no problems at all.

      Might be something to try...

      -all dead homiez

      • Re:Port 80 blocking (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward
        I had the same experience; this works in New Brunswick too. Here is the patch I made:

        --- tcp_input.c Sun Dec 10 18:49:44 2000
        +++ /tmp/tcp_input.c Mon Sep 3 12:23:45 2001
        @@ -2074,7 +2074,7 @@
        /* These use the socket TOS..
        * might want to be the received TOS
        - if(th->ack)
        + if(th->ack && !(th->source == 80 && th->fin))
        return 1;

        if(th->syn) {
    • Under the AT&T Roadrunner TOS, running a personal server is explicitly allowed. I believe it says something about not running a commercial one, but that makes perfect sense.

      I agree, though, that they still have the right to turn off any inbound ports to protect their network integrity. I think it would be unreasonable for them to block ALL inbound traffic, because that blocks things that people expect to get from an online experience (like multiplayer gaming). But if there is activity on a certain port that is flummoxing things up, sure, block it.

      Good point about http being a "nice" protocol, although I think you'll find that any protocol originating in the Unix world behaves similarly.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Recently, I've witnessed an increase in posts claiming that microsoft has stolen linux code for use in their Windows 2000 operating system. These posts never give concrete examples, but instead rely on strawman arguments and wild claims.

    Well folks, I've got access to the Windows 2000 code (I'm a CS graduate student at Rutgers University, which has access to it for educational purposes), and I've discovered the truth, which I'll get to in a moment.

    First, a brief history.

    Windows 2000 and NT are based on VMS design principles. VMS (Virtual Memory System) was DEC's operating system for for their VAX (Virtual Address eXtender) and later Alpha computers. It was a contemporary to Unix, but unlike AT&T, they didn't allow it to be ported to other architectures, which explains why it never gained Unix's popularity, despite being more secure and more powerful.

    In the early 80s (while future "Open Source" icon Linux Torvalds was still wearing underoos), Microsoft did experiment with their own Unix operating system, and even planned on phasing out MS-DOS in favor of it, but scrapped that plan due to problems with Unix's ease of use, inefficient use of system resources, and archaic design. They sold MS-Unix to SCO, and signed a non-compete agreement.

    This explains why Microsoft chose to use VMS as a basis for their next generation operating system.

    Returning back to the Windows 2000 source code: I've examined it thoroughly, and cross compared it in design, style, and composition.

    Microsoft stealing Linux source code for windows 2000 is as likely as Spam being the next theme ingredient on Iron Chef.
    • This explains why Microsoft chose to use VMS as a basis for their next generation operating system.

      There is another reason. DEC screwed Dave Culter, the chief architect of VMS at just the time Microsoft got serious about operating systems again. Cutler left DEC with most of the core VMS kernel team for Microsoft. Shortly after DEC signed a co-development agreement with Microsoft under which Windows-NT would become the successor to VMS.

      A few years later Rashid, the chief architect of CMU's MACH microkernel, which is generaly considered one of the bes UNIX kernels arround also joined Microsoft.

      Bill works by offering top engineers seven figure golden hellos. That is how he got the team who designed Word to switch from Xerox Parc.

      • Rick Rashid [] was the principal investigator of the CMU Mach Project [], which means the grant requests were filed under his aegis as a professor at CMU; it does not mean that he was the principal systems architect. He went to work for Microsoft Research [].

        Avadis Tevanian [] was one of the graduate students on the Mach project, but his name figured prominently in most of the papers given at various USENIX [] Technical Conferences (after the PI's name, of course!). He went to work for NeXT, and is now CTO at Apple Computer [].

        Microsoft doesn't get all the good people. They don't even end up with most of the good people.

    • NT is supposed to stand for "New Technology". But....

      HAL is to IBM as
      VMS is to WNT (WinNT)
    • by spitzak (4019)
      Total bullshit.

      MSDOS 2.0 (the one that started on copying Unix/Xenix) was a vast improvement over 1.0. There were absolutely no performance problems. There were compatability problems and they panicked and "fixed" them in bad ways that we are living with today. This compatability has been the main reason a lot of stuff does not match Unix for no reason whatsoever (like backward slashes in the pathnames, useless \r characters in the files, and drive letters).

      If VMS was the source of inspiration you would expect to see things resemble VMS more than Unix. But VMS used [n,m] and colons as parts of the filenames, used field-based files for text files, and did not have drive letters. Although NT does not match Unix, it certainly resembles it more closely than VMS.

      Dave Cutler and friends were pissed that their baby was massacred by BSD Unix, and saw the chance MicroSoft offered as a chance for revenge. It should be obvious that gratuitious incompatability with Unix serves MicroSoft no competitive purpose (I would expect Linux would be nowhere and MicroSoft in 100% control if they had made it easier to port Unix programs to NT) and is entirely the result of a bunch of bitter old men.

    • crappy cprappity crap crap

      pure BS

      You say that MS did not steal Linux code. Then you proceed to give a technical argument which I assume is supposed to prove that MS did not steal Linux code (which it doesn't). Finally at the end, you say you compared Win2k code to (I assume) Linux code and (I assume) they did not match.

      If your technical argument was enough to support your claim, then you would not have had to say that you compared the code and it didn't match. Throw out your technical argument and you are left with. "MS didn't steal Linux code because I compared the code of the two OSs and they don't match".

      No way you have the source code for Win2k, and no way you compared millions of lines of code to look for similarities.

      All you are is someone who heard about VMS and VAX somewhere and decided to go trolling with it.
  • by wmaheriv (160149) on Monday September 10, 2001 @09:31PM (#2276029) Homepage
    Has everyone interested in the Hawking story seen the recent Reg articles?
    If not, check them out:
    Stephen Hawking predicts cyborg ascendancy
    Cyborg metaphysics
  • by Lumpy (12016) on Monday September 10, 2001 @09:47PM (#2276066) Homepage
    It never existed for me. ever cince the "ban" I tried daily to see if It was put into effect yet. Hmmmm I never lost accessability(sp) to my machine.

    I also know of a few others that also never lost Port 80 access to their AT&T@home home ran servers.

    Although all of us run apache on linux, so it might have been a ban for only Microsoft products ....Wouldnt that have been a hoot!

    my suspicion is that it was only in selected areas.
    • Just a little FYI. Some areas of @Home are only restricted on port 80 to other @Home users and, as such, can be accessed outside of the @Home network. In addition, in my area, @Home NATs the 'real' IP address onto their private network IPs. So, if you need to run services between nodes(or need to test your anti-codered worm-patch) you can connect to all your neighbors on the private network!
      You say, "But FunkMan, how do I find my private IP address???" You can either do a little digging on your own or on some models (3COM) you can plug into the serial port and watch the thing boot using Minicom or your favorite command foo on the device file.

      Have fun.

    • I think that what @Home did (in some areas at least) was do some sort of automated scan to selectively block vulnerable webservers. I don't really have any proof, just speculation based on the following:

      1) I'm running Apache.
      2) I've not been blocked at all on my @Home connection.
      3) There have been a number of HEAD requests to my server from IPs that resolve to something like ""

      So, that may be what's happened to me, and maybe what's happened to you. It's anybody's guess what those wacky corporates will do, though :)

      And incidentally, I've gone through my service agreement numerous times and have been totally unable to find a provision specifically restricting servers. Mine indicates that they're "not supported", but that's it. Perhaps contracts are different by region?

  • by Empty Sands (6814) on Monday September 10, 2001 @10:29PM (#2276124) Homepage
    Although I'm concerned about some of the reckless GE experimentation conducted. I've always had this feeling at some point in human progress we might require the ability to GE ourselves in order to survive as a race. That might be considered a contradiction in itself.

    Still because of this I'm not willing to reject GE out of hand, it seems better to be informed if and when this event might occur.

    Of course existance of the moral ability and maturity within the modern culture to be able to deal with GE technology is debatable at present.
  • Certainly, it would have the ability to do so if that's what it wanted to do, but why? I'm not saying "because pacifism is inherantly a smarter philosophy that is the path that AI would choose," how the hell should I know what way of life would be deemed best by AI? If I didn't need the nutrients and energy sources that Earth provides and I were a supremely intelligent being (for lack of a better word) I'd leave. "Fuck humans, they're annoying and I'm outa here," is the response I expect from any AI we produce.
  • Seesm to me there are two solutions to the keylogging issue.

    One is for the OS/FS community to come up with a keylogging virus of its own. Then no one can know when their keystrokes are being logged.

    The other solution is for the OS/FS community to come up with a program which detects all off-site communication. Then no one can be keylogged without the ability to detect, given some marginal intelligence, that someone is observing what they do.

    Mafioso and similar gang leaders are not good for the comunity. Governments with the ability to observe everything their citizens do is infinitely worse.

    • The other solution is for the OS/FS community to come up with a program which detects all off-site communication.

      Uhh, I think we call this thing a firewall. At least, mine does this.
  • by pod (1103)
    This belongs to this post: 922 [] but I can't post it there because no matter what I type in I get this error: 'Your comment violated the postersubj compression filter'. Whatever that means.

    Database support for dates is horrible. Most db's have a DATETIME or TIMESTAMP column type. However, all databases seem to implement them differently.

    This is also my big problem. You want an application that is easily db portable? Don't use date fields. Use ints and store unix time. Need more precision? Use bigint (or whatever) and store 64 bit datestamp. Date support _is_ horrible. At least Oracle allows you to output a unix datestamp after putting the dates through a mangler. You should _not_ have to do this. Every db uses different date formats, different date manipulation and formatting functions, dates are even handled differently (Oracle doesn't for example _output_ or _input_ a date, you _always_ have to format!), and forget about comparing or trying to range dates. MySQL appears to only accept dates in one specific format, and their date function set is extremely poor. It's just one big mess best avoided by not using date types at all.

    Now, as to why use chars instead of int or bigint (_all_ dbs I've run into have some sort of bigint type that will handle 64 bit numbers)? Beats me. That's almost harder than date types.

  • I have had @Home in Seattle since March, and I was never blocked on port 80. I've been running a personal web server, for the purposes of accessing my home box from work (with appropriate security measures of course) without interruption for several months. Does anyone know why my account apparantly was uneffected?

When someone says "I want a programming language in which I need only say what I wish done," give him a lollipop.