Jake Platt writes: I am a network consultant working on Long Island, NY and help support about a dozen small to mid-size companies mainly located in a huge industrial park originally built in the 1950's. In the past 60 days, the Verizon data and voice networks have experienced huge spikes in failures, as many as, 2 — 3 local loop/central office equipment and line failures per week for each of my clients!!! Verizon has been taking 2-3 days to respond, effectively leaving these companies in the dark (no internet, no email, no voice). I've never seen anything like this.
Privately, the Verizon tech support guys have told me that the copper lines in the ground are so old that they are letting the system go into decline and do not want to spend any $$$ to improve it until they have no choice.
Are parts of the US telecommunications network reaching its age limit?
Long Island, NY
KevinColyer writes: "The BBC is reporting that
'Microsoft has lost its appeal against a record 497m euro (£343m; $690m) fine imposed by the European Commission in a long-running competition dispute.' Following a probe in 2004 that Microsoft had pushed out rivals in server software and media player software. Today 'The European Court of First Instance upheld the ruling that Microsoft had abused its dominant market position'. Microsoft have 2 months to appeal the verdict.
meese writes: staple is a tool that cryptographically binds data using an All-or-nothing transform. Why might that be interesting? Because it might allow for this scenario: to check for DMCA violations, a content owner would have to violate the DMCA themselves.
The basic transformation is keyless, but all the data is required to reverse it. The tool can also throw away part of its internal key, making the data decipherable only with the key or via brute force attack.
If a content publisher, Alice, wants to check for copyright violations by another party, Bob, she could be thwarted: Bob could staple Alice's file with one of his own and discard part of the key. To check for copyright violation, Alice must brute force the stapled file (possibly violating the DMCA), which protects Bob's file. The FAQ has some more detail.