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Behind Cyberwar FUD 98

Nicola Hahn writes "The inevitable occurred this week as The Economist broached the topic of cyberwar with a couple of articles in its July 3rd issue. The first article concludes that 'countries should agree on more modest accords, or even just informal "rules of the road" that would raise the political cost of cyber-attacks.' It also makes vague references to 'greater co-operation between governments and the private sector.' When attribution is a lost cause (and it is), international treaties are meaningless because there's no way to determine if a participant has broken them. The second recommendation is even more alarming because it's using a loaded phrase that, in the past couple of years, has been wielded by those who advocate Orwellian solutions. The other article is a morass of conflicting messages. It presumes to focus on cyberwar, yet the bulk of the material deals with cybercrime and run-of-the-mill espionage. Then there's also the standard ploy of hypothetical scenarios: depicting how we might be attacked and what the potential outcome of these attacks could be. The author concludes with the ominous warning that terrorists 'prefer the gory theatre of suicide-bombings to the anonymity of computer sabotage — for now.' What's truly disturbing is that The Economist never goes beyond a superficial analysis of the topic to examine what's driving all of the fear, uncertainty, and doubt (PDF), a subject dealt with in this Lockdown 2010 white paper."

Comment Re:I don't like network connectors (Score 1, Interesting) 336

It depends on the quality of the connector. I had similar problems a few years back and used a folded piece of paper to act as the pin so that the contacts would touch. After discovering that it was a quality issue, I switched manufacturers and the last time I bought new cables was when CAT6 was introduced - and they are still good.
Youtube

The Fashion Industry As a Model For IP Reform 398

Scrameustache writes "In this 15-minute TED talk, Johanna Blakley addresses a subject alien to most here — fashion — but in a way sure to grab our attention. The lesson is about how the fashion industry's lack of copyright protection can teach other industries about what copyright means to innovation. And yes, she mentions open source software. There is one killer slide at 12:20 comparing the gross sales of low-IP-protection industries with those of films and books and music. If you want to know more, or if you prefer text, the Ready To Share project website should give you all the data you crave on the subject."
The Internet

Adobe Founders On Flash and Internet Standards 515

An anonymous reader points out an 18-month-old interview with the founders of Adobe (and creators of PostScript) Charles Geschke and John Warnock, and highlights three interesting quotes from the book Masterminds of Programming that seem very timely now. "'It is so frustrating that this many years later we're still in an environment where someone says if you really want this to work you have to use Firefox. The whole point of the universality of the Web would be to not have those kind of distinctions, but we're still living with them. It's always fascinating to see how long it takes for certain pieces of historical antiquity to die away. The more you put them in the browsers you've codified them as eternal, and that's stupid. ... With Flash what we're trying to do is both beef it up and make it robust enough so that at least you can get one language that's platform-independent and will move from platform to platform without hitting you every time you turn around with different semantics. ... You can see why, to a certain extent, Apple and Microsoft view that as a challenge because they would like you to buy into their implementation of how the seamless integration with the Web goes. What we're saying is it really shouldn't matter. That cloud ought to be accessible by anybody's computer and through any sort of information sitting out on the Web."
Wikipedia

Wikipedia Is Not Amused By Entry For xkcd-Coined Word 553

ObsessiveMathsFreak writes "Today's xkcd comic introduced an unusual word — malamanteau — by giving its supposed definition on Wikipedia. The only trouble is that the word (as well as its supposed wiki page) did not in fact exist. Naturally, much ado ensued at the supposed wiki page, which was swiftly created in response to the comic. This article has more on how the comic and the confusion it caused have put the Net in a tizzy. It turns out that a malamanteau is a portmanteau of portmanteau and malapropism, but also a malapropism of portmanteau. All this puts Wikipedia in the confusing position of not allowing a page for an undefined word whose meaning is defined via the Wikipedia page for that word — and now I have to lie down for a moment."

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