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Slashback: Public, Anecdotes, Conclusions 274

It's been a while since the last iteration of Slashback, so tonight there are updates and errata on several recent stories. Read on below to find out more about Harlan Ellison's battle with copyright infringers, why modding your Linksys WAP might not be as cool as you thought, internet access in Wellington, New Zealand, the results of the NASA poll on space priorities and more.

How many anecdotes? Drestin writes "Looks like all the flame mail and traffic to WinInfo for the recent 'Windows more secure than Linux' article prompted it's author, Paul Thurrott, to reply with his opinion. He tells us to think with our heads, not our hearts."

Several readers complained about my original (since updated) headline, and they're all right. As Kathleen Ellis put it:

"I find this title to be rather misleading. Bugtraq is a security mailing list that happens to be archived on security focus' web site (it is also moderated by one of SecurityFocus' founders, but bugtraq content is not subjected to SecurityFocus editorial control), and WinInformant is really the one making the assertion, based on their analysis of Bugtraq list traffic.

As an occasional SecurityFocus reader (and occasional writer), I am particularly concerned that your headline (and the attribution of the assertion to SecurityFocus) will make SecurityFocus look bad. As a professional in "the industry" and as someone who follows computer security very closely, I am confident most sensible members of the security community will quickly realize that the assertion is of extremely dubious merit and your attribution could make SecurityFocus look extremely foolish."

Here, why don't you pay? TheGeneration writes "Recently Salon had an article about public money being used to write private code (ie, for a university.) The article apparently moved Richard Stallman enough to write a response and opinion. Stallman sites his own reason for leaving MIT such as his inability to write free software while under their employ. Stallman discusses ways to sidestep University control of free software, and how to get admins to allow software developed under them to be licensed as free software."

For your personal museum's display cases. airrage writes "As a follow-up to the early design docs for some of the earliest ATARI games. More fascinating, is the 30 Secrets of Atari. Did Jobs ever do any work? Finally, the creater of ATARI's adventure has a web site. Check out his work on virtual nano-technology and his presentation on creating Adventure. They sure didn't have much to work with did they?"

Connecting everything to everything. seanadams.com writes: "Our company has just published the firmware source code for our SliMP3 Ethernet MP3 player, previously reviewed on Slashdot. The firmware, written entirely in assembler, includes our super-compact TCP/IP stack for the 8-bit PIC microcontroller. The license allows for non-commercial use, so I hope this will be of interest to PIC hackers! If you're interested in experimenting with Ethernet and TCP/IP on the PIC, we will have an integrated PIC+CS8900 module and development kits available next month."

Next stop is telepathy. ruvreve writes "An update to a previous article featured here on Slashdot. Wellington is offering not only city-wide gigabit ethernet they are also offering wireless access. Currently it is still 11Mbps but plans are to make it 56Mbps down the road."

Not someone I'd want to mess with anyhow. yndrd writes "As a follow up to a previous Slashdot story about Harlan Ellison's feud with what he considers to be pirates of his work, Ellison has reached a settlement with Critical Path Inc. who will create software that enables Ellison to immediately delete postings of his work on the RemarQ service. The (somewhat) full article is here. He's still ready to rumble with America Online, the other party in his lawsuit."

The dirty side of quick n' dirty. nailgun writes: "http://www.maokhian.com/wireless/wap11.html has before-and-after oscilloscope traces of the spectra of a power-boosted (hacked) Linksys WAP. From the traces it is apparent that power-boosting does no good, since all (or nearly all) additional power is blasted out in neighboring frequencies. Boost your Linksys and you'll step on all other WAPs in the neighborhood. These are cool pictures too."

This took a survey to determine?An Anonymous Coward writes "Remember the Space Survey Thread? Where NASA was asking for our opinion on where to go in space? Well, the results are in. Lo and behold, we all want to go to Mars."

This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Slashback: Public, Anecdotes, Conclusions

Comments Filter:
  • no kidding. (Score:2, Funny)

    by macsox ( 236590 )
    why do they always have to say "it's been awhile" at the start of these things?

    either publish slashback regularly, or skip saying that. foo.
  • mars? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by TheQuantumShift ( 175338 ) <monkeyknifefight@internationalwaters.com> on Tuesday February 05, 2002 @08:11PM (#2959152) Homepage
    I think we need to go back to the moon and set up some bases, to better prepare us for mars, and to shut up those idiots who think nasa is in the business of special effects and sound stages. Or maybe turn the ISS into something useful, like a launch pad for some really cool ships or something. Mars would be cool and all, but not with current technology, where it takes months just for a probe to get there and malfunction. And we need some more time to get off our asses and join the rest of the world in the metric system for christ's sake!
    • Re:mars? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Winged Cat ( 101773 ) <[atymes] [at] [gmail.com]> on Tuesday February 05, 2002 @09:00PM (#2959378)
      1. Reduce cost to get stuff into space. $10k/lb. to LEO makes everything else too expensive. $100/lb. is apparently achievable even before you get many users (and being reached for by many private efforts today).
      2. Set up some industry in orbit, or on the Moon, to pay for this. Space tourism, mining, automated construction (of solar power satellites, telescopes, and whatever else people will pay you to build up there)...even with what little we know, there are already potentials for business. More opportunities will likely pop up in the course of setting these up, but the venture capitalists want established opportunities - and those do exist.
      3. Set up manned habitation. There are people who will gladly pay to, within limits, be research subjects for the long-term effects of space on the average (non-elite-astronaut) human body, especially if you use the results to build things that minimize these effects (for instance, start out with spin-induced artificial gravity for most of the habitat); if you add more devices later, you can then ask for more people to "test" the improvements. Eventually, expand this habitat to be self-sufficient.
      4. ...and there's your humanity in space. Sit back, and let the distributed (if limited in certain ways) intelligence of the masses work its magic.
    • I think we need to go back to the moon and set up some bases, to better prepare us for mars, and to shut up those idiots who think nasa is in the business of special effects and sound stages.

      Huh? What's the point? If they didn't believe it the first time, why would they believe it the second time?

      • to shut up those idiots who think nasa is in the business of special effects and sound stages

        Huh? What's the point? If they didn't believe it the first time, why would they believe it the second time?

        Throw 'em out the airlock -- that'll teach 'em!
    • shut up those idiots who think nasa is in the business of special effects and sound stages.

      Some people are still absolutely certain the earth is flat (http://www.flat-earth.org/).

      So if some fools cannot be convinced after nearly 400 years of science evidence to the contary, what hope is there that those moron's(http://www.apfn.org/apfn/moon.htm) will ever accept it even when they can make the observations, themselves (http://www.discovery.com/stories/science/entrepre neurs/tourist.html).

      It a pity Natural Selection seems to reward stupidity (The Bell Curve) and not punish it (http://www.darwinawards.com/).
  • by ec_hack ( 247907 ) on Tuesday February 05, 2002 @08:12PM (#2959162)
    Where NASA was asking for our opinion on where to go in space? Well, the results are in. Lo and behold, we all want to go to Mars.

    The poll, alas, was only about robotic exploration priorities. The Planetary Society is dedicated to promoting robotic exploration off the planet and is mildly biased against such projects as the ISS and human exploration of Mars and the Moon. To support human exploration, join the National Space Society.

    Note: I support the use of robots as precursors to sending the scientists and colonists. Both programs have merit, and provide me with a paycheck in the private sector.
    • The Planetary Society is dedicated to promoting robotic exploration off the planet and is mildly biased against such projects as the ISS and human exploration of Mars and the Moon.


      Check out this page [planetary.org].

      Since its inception, the Planetary Society has advocated the exploration of Mars?with the ultimate goal of sending humans to the Red Planet

      The Planetary Society promotes all types of space exploration to other planets, especially Mars.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    (A modified version of GNU is used on millions of computers, but the users often are not aware of this, because the whole system is widely confused with its kernel program, whose name is "Linux.")

    Yeah, sure, Dick. Whatever. Live in your own little fantasy world.

    Anyone else notice that he's dropped GNU/Linux altogether? Now it's just GNU. No credit given at all to the kernel. I guess it's just not important.

    ...After the dollar signs fade from their eyes...

    Funny, I didn't think Dick had a problem with people making money with software.

    He isn't pro-Free software in the least. He is simply pro-GPL and anti-everything else.

    It reminds me of Pres. Clinton when giving the speech to a group of seniors:

    "Now we could give back all your money to use as you see fit."
    "But that wouldn't be a good idea because you might squander it."

    Everything he says sounds great until he gets to the punchline. Boo, Dick, Boo.
  • I see that currently that Wellington wireless speed is 11Mbps. This leads me to suspect that they are using the 802.11b standard, which is pretty widespread at this point (Airport, and numerous PC solutions). However, if they plan on going to 56 I wonder which one they will be using. 802.11a supports the much higher speed, but at a price of greatly reduced range. I guess it seems most likely that they will use one of the new standards, such 802.11g, info on which can be found here [ieee.org]. This one runs in the 2.4GHz band, and is supposed to support 54Mbps. However, a final draft hasn't been approved.
    • 802.11a supports the much higher speed, but at a price of greatly reduced range

      From what I've read [atheros.com] (pdf warning) 802.11a has similar range to 802.11b and for a given range 802.11a will operate at a higher speed than 802.11b. 802.11a does have a shorter range at which it will operate at it's maximum speed, but even when it falls back it is faster than 802.11b.

    • Excuse your ignorance, but 802.11a has better range than 802.11b. At the limit of 802.11b range, 802.11a will still work up to about 6mbps. At any distance from the access point, 802.11a provides faster access than 802.11b.

      Say it with me kids: 802.11a has better range than 802.11b.

  • code developed with public money should be, well... public. On the other hand, Microsoft PCs would still be confined to LANs if it weren't for their leverage of the University funded, BSD-licensed TCP/IP stack (which has made Microsoft billions of dollars).

    Perhaps publicly funded code needs a modified GPL type license that is free to use (even to run a business) but incurs significant royalties if the code is incorporated into commercial software products. I wonder if RMS would be OK with that?
    • by Lakitu ( 136170 ) on Tuesday February 05, 2002 @09:52PM (#2959569)
      Please. that's bad logic. Microsoft doesn't even use the BSD-licensed TCP/IP stack anymore, they wrote their own - and they probably only used it in the first place because it was already done for them. Don't you think they could've written their own code?

      Microsoft does a lot of things wrong, you don't have to go looking for trouble that doesn't exist. You just lose credibility.

      • Thats a fine point.

        When it was said that MS "used" the BSD-style stack, its very misleading.

        The image some people would have you believe is that MS just compiled in the BSD-stack on top of Windows and that was it. A few headers, a few patches, and wamo.

        What is more likely and more accurate is that MS used the BSD-stack like just about every other OS out there - as a "reference" implementation. The BSD-stack is the "academic" example of a TCP/IP subsystem.

      • Of course they can. But the fact is, that Windows users were shit out of luck for a long time. Not because MS didn't have the programming muscle, but because they refused to do anything about TCP/IP until it was clear that they were going to lose the network protocol battle. Two words: Trumpet Winsock, motherfucker.

        You're right, you don't have to go looking for trouble that doesn't exist, because the facts are that Microsoft was already years behind in developing a TCP/IP stack, thus the use of BSD code. The only reason they were "behind" is that TCP/IP became the de facto network protocol, and the only reason it did so is that it was a freely available university by-product.

        I don't know what dumb fuck moderator gave you +1 Insightful, except one saying to himself "See, I'm not biased against Microsoft!". I'm not against them, either, but there's no point in trying to shine a turd.

    • I believe what you are talking about is already being done, through dual licensing. See, for example, the licensing for FFTW (www.fftw.org - an FFT library developed by some MIT guys). It's licensed under the GPL, and if you don't want the GPL (e.g. you want to include it into a closed-source program), you can sign a licensing deal with MIT.

      ReiserFS also does the same thing, and Hans has mentioned before that RMS hasn't complained about it yet.
    • No, publically funded code should end up in the public's hands. The last I checked, Microsoft was part of the "public." According to the government, they pay taxes every year based on the government's way of determining corporate tax (in addition to the numerous taxes paid each year by stockholders and others)

      So Microsoft, for example, is helping to fund research at public institutions just like everyone else.

      As a result, they should have free access to do whatever they want with the code. If they want to sell it with the latest copy of Windows, let them.

      At the same time, though, everyone else should have that same access to the code.

      Trying to treat big businesses differently will only come back to smack you in the face, and will only cause more problems.
  • WinInfo goofball (Score:2, Insightful)

    by kyras ( 472503 )
    ...and I quote:

    For example, generalities (like "Windows is more secure than Linux") are barely defensible.[...] What I am trying to say is that Linux is not more secure than Windows.

    So windows is not more secure than linux, and linux is not more secure than windows. They're exactly equal in security? Huh?
  • by Cato the Elder ( 520133 ) on Tuesday February 05, 2002 @08:25PM (#2959233) Homepage
    Here is the link to Paul Thorrott's response [wininformant.com] since I couldn't find it in the slashback.

    I agree it's too bad he got a lot of "frothing" email. But I hardly think this response is a model of rationality either. He makes the point that compaines bet their future on Windows, and it wouldn't be true if it were "really so insecure." The same could be said about Linux. The fact that something is usuable does not mean it is more or less secure.

    He states What I am trying to say is that Linux is not more secure than Windows. It's impossible.

    That makes no sense. Of course it is possible for one system to be more secure than another. Maybe he means that you either are or aren't secure. OK, that's a valid point, but looking at the number of flaws discovered for a system in a given year gives you some idea of how likely it is that a new security flaw will be introduced in the future.

    He also argues that fewer Linux vunerabilities are found because it is less widely deployed. I also think that this argument is invalid. Yes, fewer automated exploits are written against Linux vunerabilities because of this. Sure, this is why fewer Linux systems are broken into. However, I would argue that the communities of people who look for security vunerabilities on Windows and Linux are of comparable size, and large enough to find a comparable percentage of flaws.

    The fact is, his original Short Take was simply blatantly incorrect in stating that for "the previous 5 years--for which the data is more complete--also shows that each year, Win2K and Windows NT had far fewer security vulnerabilities than Linux" The only way you can come up with that is by adding the numbers for each distrubution together, which is ridiculous (this same issue came up last summer).

    Yes, the numbers show Win 2K beating RedHat last year. They also show a troubling increase in the number of Linux bugs in general. No, this issue shouldn't be dismissed out of hand. Yes, I'm sure a lot of people were offended by this article because they thought with their heart. However, I would hardly call putting out insultingly incorrect statements "thinking with your head"

    • I agree with you. Maybe if it had been broken down by distro I would have been able to take it somewhat seriously.If his reply had been posted on /. it would have been marked as flamebait.
    • by s4m7 ( 519684 )
      ...brings me to an obvious conclusion. a computer system is not made secure by the default settings of the operating system. A computer system is made secure through unending toil on the part of the system administrator.

      Rather than counting the number of vulnerabilities that were reported-- a number easily skewed by the size and knowledgeability of the user base-- the only sure measure would be percentage of deployed systems compromised, a number that most companies would not readily admit.

      The linux community has more eyes looking at security issues, more hands to post bug reports and more minds to fix them. Source is available for all to peruse, and bug reports come in often and highly detailed. This makes the job of the dilligent sysadmin a good deal easier by any standard.
  • Harlan Ellison link (Score:4, Informative)

    by DaSyonic ( 238637 ) <DaSyonic AT yahoo DOT com> on Tuesday February 05, 2002 @08:29PM (#2959248) Homepage
    The "Harlan Ellison" link points back to Slashdot. It should point to: http://slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=01/03/08/015920 0&mode=nested [slashdot.org]

    For those of us that had no idea what they were talking about...

  • Mars (Score:2, Troll)

    by BigBir3d ( 454486 )
    Why go again? All of these missions to moons or planets just turn into a really expensive way to litter. If these things came back, that would be worth it. The learning of how to design spacecraft would be greatly advanced if something came back into Earth orbit, was retrieved by a shuttle, and brought back to a lab on Earth to be tested. Maybe then, NASA could learn from their mistakes, and design something that actually works, all the time, as designed. We spend billions of dolllars on a budget that sends things into space, and hope/pray it woorks, without really knowing. And accepting the fact that it will not be comng back?! And why do we want to learn so much about Mars? To colonize it? That would be a disaster with current technology, and thinking, at NASA. Not to mentio the problems we have on Earth currently. How about pushing the focus of living on Mars, to that of living on a clean Earth? We are starting to go on the right direction [guardian.co.uk]. Fix us first, then colonize.

    • If these things came back, that would be worth it. The learning of how to design spacecraft would be greatly advanced if something came back into Earth orbit, was retrieved by a shuttle, and brought back to a lab on Earth to be tested.
      Return trips are very, very, very expensive, and you don't get much more information than you get from good laboratory work.
      Maybe then, NASA could learn from their mistakes, and design something that actually works, all the time, as designed.
      Better is the enemy of good, and what we have now is good enough to do anything we want to do. What is lacking is the will to do it.
      How about pushing the focus of living on Mars, to that of living on a clean Earth?
      Beaming energy down from solar collectors would go a long way towards having a clean Earth, and it would greatly cheapen access to space. You're also ignoring the fact that a little pollution (or even a lot) isn't the most serious risk to the Earth: asteroid impacts are.

      Personally I favor the Moon over Mars. It has enough gravity that industrial operations aren't inconvenient, yet not so much that landing and launching are overly expensive. Lunar space elevators are also vastly easier than for even Mars; and Lunar rotavators are doable with known materials. The lack of an atmosphere means you don't have to put up with year-long dust storms. It's close enough to Earth that radiation exposure on the trip there isn't a serious problem, and the trip itself is doable by ordinary people. The major downside (might) be the lack of water.

      • The 28-earth-day day is going to make it bloody difficult to grow food on the Moon. Space transportation makes it rather expensive to import all your foodstuffs, particularly if they have to be launched from Earth (rather than, well, Mars).
        • Food is a minor point: you'll freeze before you have to worry about the plants not growing. So you *have* to have a reliable electricity supply.

          Phase I: Fission reactors. Two or three fission reactors (for redundancy) can supply heat and electricity for a small town. U.S. Navy submarine reactors would be a likely choice.

          Phase II: Polar solar ring. Put a series of photovoltaic arrays around one of the poles, connecting them with a network of AC power lines. Putting the city at the pole minimizes power line length. As a bonus, the poles are likeliest to have water, esp. the crater centered on the south pole.

          Phase III: Fission reactors, fusion reactors, or orbiting solar collectors -- whichever is cheapest at the time -- to support heavy industry and larger populations.

          And don't discount supply shipments from Earth for the first years of operation. Most supplies can withstand huge accelerations, and an electromagnetic launcher would have a very low marginal cost of operation.

  • Sillyscope (Score:3, Informative)

    by TheSHAD0W ( 258774 ) on Tuesday February 05, 2002 @08:31PM (#2959258) Homepage
    Those pics of the 802.11b hub's emissions were from a spectrum analyzer, not an oscilloscope.
    • Re:Sillyscope (Score:5, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 05, 2002 @09:07PM (#2959407)
      Yup. And it's worth mentioning that that sort of a mess is what results when you "tweak" pretty well any transmitter blindly.

      Adjusting any RF equipment simply for "maximum output power" is a classic no-no: a power meter only tells you the total RF that is being emitted, not how much of it is being emitted where it's actually supposed to be. It's actually possible in some cases to decrease the power output in the frequency band you want, even while increasing the overall power output.

  • Read on below to find out more about Harlan Ellison's battle copyright infringers

    hmmm... are "battle infringers" like Battle Bots? Are they now putting copyright infringers in a closed arena and letting them pound each other?

    Sounds like an idea hatched by the RIAA. :-)

  • over 54,000 replies!

    Wow! 54,000... all linked from slashdot. At least 57% wanted the 'www' to provide space exploration information.

    Maybe pop-ups and banner ads? Flash and techno beats? Maybe a popular boy band?

    Right now you've only got 54,000 people at the site [or more, these people didn't feel the need to provide input]. Space is Cool![tm]

    When will it catch on?
  • Well, I can certainly imagine an experiment where two or more people had implants connected to their nervous systems that could send and receive signals over this new bandwidth - even if you could only have "on" and "off", you could still use Morse code or something - but I don't see this being directly suggested by that entry...
  • Boy, am I glad I dumped them. When someone like them in an industry caves to something like that, it opens the door for all the other mickey mouse authors to whine "my stuff is being pirated, my stuff is being pirated" like Chicken Little, causing other providers to have to agree. They'll probably have to raise their already too-high prices to pay for this "copyright liaison" for Whorelan Ellison.

    Where does it lead? You guessed it. DEATH OF USENET. FILM AT 11.

  • Establish permanent robotic outposts on other planets 4.8 12%

    Tied with "Learn lessons about the Earth by studying other planets" for overall score [4.8]. But lost to Colonization and Safety. Both considerable needs, but I see outposts as gateways to other areas.

    If we started with the ISS, and moved to outposts on Mars [the top vote getter]. Where else can we go? We can move further out, maybe even establish communities on the way.

    Why not?

    Bio-domes. Whatever. But having those stepping stones is what is important. Go from ISS, to the Moon to Mars. Let's get past BattleBots and Robotica. US First, or First as it's now known shows potential for being able to develop robots who help each other solve problems.

    Let's see a prime time game show which has something to build and have people try to build it. NASA should fund robotic development in order to have these outposts and stepping stones.

    Where are we? Not close. Could we be a lot closer? I think so.

    my 2 sense.
  • When I think of the name Nasa I think of a company that will never go out of business, I believe that because it basicly has no competition. Why is nasa the only company sending people to space(in the us?) hopefully some day it will be as common as our airports. We need competition, I bet if nasa had competition we would already be on mars. thats just my two sence
  • by dr_eaerth ( 149359 ) on Tuesday February 05, 2002 @09:09PM (#2959411)
    Ellison has reached a settlement with Critical Path Inc. who will create software that enables Ellison to immediately delete postings of his work on the RemarQ service.

    I could barely give a crap about Harlan having ubercancel powers over Supernews's servers, except as it leads to this:

    There's a reason that usenet servers almost never respect cancels, and that's frivolous cancelling. It's destroyed froups in the past. Now once Supernews engineers their servers to allow Harlan to cancel any posting he has a personal problem with, there's no reason why others can't also have this power. Universal Music Group will ask for the same thing, followed by all the RIAA. And so on and so forth.

    If Critical Path gives it them (and why wouldn't they?), Supernews will turn into a wasteland with as close to 0% binary completion as makes no odds. Harlan has gutted his chosen usenet service.

    Next stop for me, Giganews. At least until Harlan gets to them.
    • "Remember when Harlan Ellison was *GOOD?* "

      Frankly, no.
    • There's a reason that usenet servers almost
      never respect cancels, and that's frivolous

      Actually, in my experience every news server I've used respects 'cancel' control-messages, provided they appear to actually be from the sender of the message to be cancelled (i.e., not forgeries). This is extremely useful -- everyone occasionally sends out a message that they wish they hadn't.

      The problem in the case with Ellison and Remarq is that they're letting him cancel ANY message posted by ANYONE, provided Ellison claims that the message contains his copyrighted content. That's a dangerous precedent to set.

      And to be honest, I wouldn't cry if copyright holders destroyed the binary groups of Usenet forever--it's a rare file that makes it to my news server with all parts intact anyway, and far rarer for that file not to be a copyright violation.
  • To my knowledge, my school [muohio.edu] doesn't have any policies about source code. I've asked two different professors about it and they're not sure. So since I have to write programs for homework, I've started to include the BSD license on everything I write, just to be safe. Maybe it wouldn't hold up in court, but it seems like a safe thing to do in case it comes up (who knows, someone may want the tetris game I wrote for OpenGL class).
  • Nasa Survey (Score:2, Funny)

    by mbrod ( 19122 )
    The results are in and we are -

    Male (over 90% WHOA!)


    Going to Mars

    and online way too much

  • First Easter Egg?? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by charon_on_acheron ( 519983 ) on Tuesday February 05, 2002 @09:23PM (#2959472) Homepage
    The 30 Secrets of Atari mentions one of the game designers, Warren Robinett, secretly signing a game, because the company policy was to have "no author credit for game designers." The statement finishes, "The popularity of Robinett's "easter egg" prompted Atari to release future games with similar surprises deliberately inserted."

    Is this the first recorded easter egg in software? Or were there prior ones?
  • by wiswaud ( 22478 ) <esj AT wwd DOT ca> on Tuesday February 05, 2002 @09:47PM (#2959552) Homepage
    I'd say one hell of a reason to say that linux is more secure, by a longshot, is the control you have over it. A hole exists in IIS, for example, allowing anyone to look at all files on your system. Crackers found the hole and decide to play with it. They might play with it for months, possibly stealing a heap of documents from you. Then someone else discovers it and publicizes it. How much more time before you get a fix from M$? They might first say it's not a hole. Then they'll admit it at some point. Then they'll get to the patch. This is either time where you take the risk of leaving your server open, or accept downtime.
    On Linux: first, there's people looking at the code of Apache out of Apache: it's so much easier to find holes by looking at the code than from the outside (which might be reason #1 that holes make it to things like bugtrak more often!), so you have a good chance that more people will find the hole, which makes your chances higher that someone nice will be among the bunch, which means it's publicized more quickly.
    Then you can very, very easily down- or side-grade to a version that doesn't have the hole, and in any case, chances are a new version will be out within hours!!!
    So chance of being cracked are very much lower. And i call that higher security.
    Another thing to consider is the fact that you should look at the holes discovered in, say only a specific set of versions of Debian 2.2 for example. Then the # goes down significantly. Looking at all linux bugs vs windows bugs would be like having people running ALL builds of ALL windows versions around the world: wouldn't they find HEAPS and TONS of bugs and holes then?

    If you want to be serious, look at Windows 2k vs Debian 2.2 (again, for example, you pick one), and look at bugs that would actually have had any time period in which it could have been exploited before a fix was available. They weren't serious about this.
  • Bullshit. You can work for a university and write free code. We do it here [utk.edu] and have no problems. Of course, I release everything under the BSD license [opensource.org]. No. I won't tell you what I work on as the university doesn't endorse it.
  • Its funny how sci fi authors are the ones to fight back the hardest when a new technology comes along that disrupts their lives. Not that I don't think Ellison should get paid for his work, but you'd think someone as imaginative as him would find a way to adapt to the new medium instead of cutting it off completely.
  • Jobs and Wozniak? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by PhotoGuy ( 189467 ) on Tuesday February 05, 2002 @10:45PM (#2959758) Homepage
    I had always pictured Wozniak as the tehcnical genius behind Apple, Jobs as the guy who was btter able to commercialize and sell the product. But both as key partners, and ethical in their behaviour.

    I've read Jobs is hard on his employees, but I've seen that some of the best and most successful leaders sometimes are.

    Then I read this:
    Bushnell assigned Steve Jobs to design the circuitry for Breakout, but it was too difficult for Jobs. He asked his friend (and Apple co-founder) Steve Wozniak to help, and promised to split the payment from Bushnell. Wozniak did it in four days and was paid $350. But it turned out that Bushnell actually paid $5,000 for Breakout -- Jobs pocketed the remaining $4,650.

    Now, over the years, partially due to misrepresentations of myself in the media, I've learned to take public reports with a grain of salt. Anyone have any confirmation or details on the above statement?

    My opinion of Wozniak (which couldn't be higher), wouldn't be harmed; but my business admiration for Jobs would be seriously affected if this were true. I don't mind business people being harsh, as long as they're fair, and this most certainly wouldn't have been, if it were true.

    (On the other hand, I've seen people with big egos justify in their own mind that they were due the majority of the benefit, while "worker bees" did all the work. So it might just be a case of that...)

    • And those figures are correct. Woz would find out when another Apple employee was reading a book on the history of Atari on an airplane. He rightfully felt betrayed.

      The Apple story is a rather facinating one. I'd recommend Michael Malone's book, Infinite Loop [amazon.com].

      In this book he also reveals the true story of the origin of the Mac, and Jobs' trip to Xerox PARC. And it's not even close to the common myth about Apple discovering the GUI there. (The Lisa and Mac projects were already underway by the time Jobs went to PARC. This, and the writings of Apple employee Jef Raskin. who envisioned the concept of a GUI while in college, are why Apple won the lawsuit against them from Xerox.)
  • This guy is totally, irrevocably insane.

    When a .bat file can wipe your harddrive you don't have any security.

    Windows is targetted more often becuase it is easy -- end of story.

    Here's a phrase Windows should look into -- Permission denied
    • When a .bat file can wipe your harddrive you don't have any security.

      Hmm...making a similar generality one could retort:

      "When a init.d script can wipe your harddrive you don't have any security."

      The real point you're trying to make is--when it is so dirt simple to make AND remotely install a .bat file to wipe your harddrive, you don't have any security.

      Just makin' the statement a little more precise.

      And yes, I am a right-brained word fettishist. ;)

  • No. The next stop is borgification, right after they figure out how to fix buffer overflow problems in the brain when it is hardwired to the internet.

    You merely _think_ you have problems now.

    Telepathy comes much later, mostly due to the bandwidth issues.

  • by funky womble ( 518255 ) on Wednesday February 06, 2002 @12:42AM (#2960107)
    WAP11 tuning can (and should) be done a bit more carefully than just opening up the SNMP utility and typing '80' in all the boxes.

    Looking at different values and monitoring with wlanexpert [practicallynetworked.com] I see that on my WAP11s, near the factory setting the adjustment is very sensitive (i.e. small change in CR31 = large change in signal strength). The 20-30 values around it (maybe something like B0-C8 on the AP I have been testing) account for about 7-8dBm of difference.

    CR31 settings outside this range have much less effect on signal strength - perhaps 1-2dBm.

    I would be interested to know how clean the output is when the amplifier is set to the lowest amount (i.e. highest CR31 value) for the maximum signal strength measured.

    I assume that above this value there will be a lot of distortion. (I'm not an RF engineer and would appreciate comments from anyone who is, but I assume it is similar to audio amplification - if so, imagine you have an amplifier and the inputs are turned up much louder than can be handled - the output doesn't get louder, it just gets more and more distorted. I assume that the situation here is similar.)

    The question I would like to have answered is, at this value, is there still a serious amount of power into the sidebands? (Answering this requires access to a spectrum analyser - so this is just a question not a suggestion! Still, setting like this is at least not likely to cause worse problems than setting at 80, and isn't going to reduce the range).

    Values below 80 react quite strangely, I didn't test very much since I found many values reducing power below the card's sensitivity (so I had to run up and down several flights of stairs to reset CR31 from the wired lan, which was very good exercise!). So...

    People who want to reduce the power output to the minimum, possibly to keep the footprint of their WLAN as low as possible maybe to avoid interfering with neighbours, or so that passers-by are less likely to stumble across it, should definitely try different values below 80 as well as above 80 - at least on my boxes <80 is not a mirror of >80. (and use carefully positioned carefully chosen antennas, turn off SSID broadcasts, enable WEP, etc.)

    I hope that everybody noted their default settings before modifying CR31 ;-) My two boxes (bought at the same time) came set to ...


    So this definitely seems to be done per-unit and not per-batch. (And, these are different to figures I've seen quoted in mailing list posts).

    Presumably they are factory-tuned for the best trade-off between good range and a clean signal, without putting too much power into the sidebands, and probably with a safety margin so that this remains true while the unit ages and if it's operated in different temperatures (electronic components are not at exactly the rated value, they are usually within a certain tolerance, the software setting is to account for this - in other designs this might be done using, for example, variable resistors). And obviously the factory settings will be tuned to ensure that the unit is within FCC limits (for example, ensuring that transmissions stay within the ISM band so you're not broadcasting into licensed bands without a license, which you might be if you adjust CR31 without testing with proper equipment or filtering to remove out-of-band transmissions).

  • I recently wrote an article asserting that Windows was more secure than Linux because the stats say it is so. But guess what, it was all just a big joke! I was teasin' ya! But I stand by it. Well, maybe not the bit about Windows being more secure than Linux. Or vice-versa. Or any of my other points, because obviously they were all based on wild or false suppositions (not surprising when I pulled them out of the same place I put my suppositories). Hey, ya rumbled me - congrats! Let's forget about it.

    Anyway, here's a few more crazy ideas: you can't state anything categorical about Linux security, and Windows works just fine, and if the world used Linux then my crystal ball says it wouldn't be any better.

    OK, I'm still fooling with ya! You rumbled me again, well done. It wasn't my crystal ball I was looking into at all.

    But let me just say: think with your head, not your heart. Or your ass. Especially not your ass. Let this be a valuable lesson. And thank me for illustrating it so clearly for you.

  • &lt anal whining &gt That's not an oscilloscope trace. It's a spectrum analyzer. &lt /anal whining &gt

    Please don't go an sue Gutenberg too!

    And go to


    And tell Harland & Co why they are wrong.

  • WAP 11 Dirty Output (Score:2, Interesting)

    by pcjunky ( 517872 )
    The Spectrum analyzer traces I get from my WAP 11 don't show this out of band noise. Maybe you have a bad unit. I'll follow up with Pics later tonight.
  • Critical Path Inc. who will create software that enables Ellison to immediately delete postings of his work on the RemarQ service.

    Joe Garelli, News Radio: "You can't take something off the Internet! It's like taking pee
    out of a swimming pool."


Fear is the greatest salesman. -- Robert Klein