netbuzz writes: Harvard last week launched a website for The Colonial North American Project, which has been digitizing thousands of documents and letters from the 17th and 18th centuries to make them publicly available online. While many of the documents hold great historical significance, others merely reflect life in the times, such as a letter from James Otis Jr. – he of “Taxation without representation is tyranny” fame – to his father, James Otis Sr., also a prominent colonial attorney.
netbuzz writes: Slashdot on Saturday highlighted a story by Pro Publica and the New York Times that used Snowden documents to reveal previously unknown details of the “highly collaborative” relationship between AT&T and the NSA that enabled the latter’s controversial Internet surveillance program. An aspect of the story that received only passing mention was how the reporters connected an acronym for an obscure proprietary network configuration – SNRC — to AT&T and the NSA in part through a 1996 story in the now-defunct print version of Network World. In essence, that acro proved to be a fingerprint confirming the connection — and its match was found thanks to Google Books.
netbuzz writes: Founded in 1982, the Microelectronics and Computer Technology Corporation was this country’s first computer research and development consortium. It was also the fourth organization of any kind to register a dot-com domain name – mcc.com — having done so in 1985. MCC ceased operations in 2000, but its notable domain name remained active. Unfortunately, it recently was being controlled by scam artists pedaling fraudulent antivirus services and nicking some victims for $400 apiece — until yesterday.
netbuzz writes: It’s been known for some time that Google is at the very least deemphasizing Google+, but perhaps nothing the company has said to date more emphatically confirms this than the recent disappearance of a direct link from Google’s homepage to its long-struggling social media platform, a platform Google originally touted as central to its future. Google says they’re merely “simplifying our user interface” and “we're committed to Google+.”
netbuzz writes: Anyone who has ever signed up for an email or social media account knows you can never get your own name plain and simple unless you’re an earliest of early adopters or you have a highly uncommon name. So how did BlackBerry CEO John Chen manage to land @JohnChen when he showed up for the first time on nine-year-old Twitter just last week? “Beats me,” he says, “very lucky.” Chances are luck is not the whole story.
netbuzz writes: When RSA confirmed last month that it was banning “booth babes” from its security conference held this week, the decision was generally well received. Some, however, anticipated that there might be trouble deciding who is or is not appropriately attired. Take, for example, a Marilyn Monroe impersonator. Booth babe? Or not? RSA said not, but there seems to be a good deal of disagreement.
I'm not sure this was an actual instance of Godwin's Law in action, since the comment does not *compare* anyone or anything to Hitler or Nazism, but merely makes reference to Nazism. I am not a lawyer, however.
netbuzz writes: The discussion started on Reddit’s section devoted to networking with this question: “Has anyone here ever destroyed anything via ESD (electrostatic discharge)?” Yes they have. Network Work culled a few of the more colorful anecdotes, and readers there added some of their own. It was also noted that not every claim of ESD-related damage is to be taken at face value: “Most failures claimed to be ESD-related are probably covers for something else.” Most? Probably?
netbuzz writes: That online gamers have been victimized has unfortunately allowed us to see what “swatting” looks like from the perspective of the target: terrifying and potentially deadly. A similar type of criminally unnecessary SWAT scene played out Saturday night when a caller to police in Hopkinton, Mass., claimed to be holed up in the town’s closed public library with two hostages and a bomb. The library stands within eyesight of the starting line for the Boston Marathon. An editor for Network World, there by happenstance, watched for two hours, and, while it was a hoax and no one was hurt, his account highlights the disruption and wastefulness these crimes inflict.
netbuzz writes: In what may be a first for the technology industry, RSA Conference 2015 next month apparently will be bereft of a long-controversial trade-show attraction: “booth babes.” New language in its exhibitor contract, while not using the term 'booth babe," leaves no doubt as to what type of salesmanship RSA wants left out of its event. Says a conference spokeswoman: “We thought this was an important step towards making all security professionals feel comfortable and equally respected during the show.”
netbuzz writes: On March 15, 1985, Symbolics, Inc, maker of Lisp computers, registered the Internet’s first dot-com address: Symbolics.com. Sunday will mark the 30th anniversary of that registration. And while Symbolics has been out of business for years, the address was sold in 2009 for an undisclosed sum to a speculator who said: “For us to own the first domain is very special to our company, and we feel blessed for having the ability to obtain this unique property." Today there’s not much there there.
netbuzz writes: Two Canton, Mass., teenagers spot a building on fire Saturday night. One calls 911 and the other pulls a nearby “pole box.” Canton police report how that went: “Care to venture a guess on what worked the quickest? If you said the ‘pole box’ you are correct! Although numerous 911 calls did eventually come in reporting the fire, the Canton Fire Department was already enroute because those old boxes communicate directly with Canton Fire Alarm.” Score one for old-school tech.
netbuzz writes: Someone has actually kept count of the number of startups that have chosen to “namify” their company’s moniker by slapping an “ify” at the end of an ordinary word, a practice made most famous by Spotify. The count: 337 since 2007 and 73 so far this year. “I don't know how aware founders are of this pattern or how it's been ridiculed,” says Chris Johnson, the Seattle-based branding consultant doing the counting.
netbuzz writes: Ex-Cisco engineer Brad Cooper, whose first-degree murder conviction for the 2008 strangulation slaying of his wife Nancy was overturned last year based on disputed Google Maps search evidence, today pleaded guilty to second-degree murder. Cooper will be sentenced to a minimum of 12 years in prison and has agreed to allow the adoption of his two young daughters by Nancy Cooper’s sister. In addition to the disputed Google Maps evidence, prosecutors in the initial trial had alleged that Cooper, a VoIP expert, may have borrowed a Cisco 3825S router from his employer in order to fake a phone call from his wife to him after she was already dead. The router was never found.
netbuzz writes: A Tennessee man is facing minor criminal charges after his butt-dialing 911 allowed police to overhear a restaurant conversation in which he allegedly discussed visiting a drug dealer. And while this may seem like an unlikely scenario it turns out that such accidental dialing to the authorities has led to quite a few overheard conversions and quite a few arrests, some for serious crimes.