Archive for 'Technology'

Internet Struggle “Reaches Climax”

Posted on December 9, 2009, under Technology.


As covered on Slashdot multiple times, The world is looking to take away the control of the internet from the United States by allowing the United Nations to control the world’s DNS servers. Currently the United States “controls” the internet’s DNS servers via an independant company called ICANN, who approves of the formats used in the internet’s protocols and manages the world’s DNS servers (such as the Top Level Domains (‘.com’, ‘.net’, ‘.org’, etc) and format of the DNS records).

So why do we need a shift of power in who controls the internet? I am having problems finding the answer to this one. Suggested in the Guardian, some governments have become dependant on the internet for some of thier basic infrastructure, such as tax collection and voting. As a result, these countries have invested an interest in controlling the internet – invited themselves to the party, so to speak. Perhaps it’s because these other countries aren’t happy with merely paticipating, they want to regulate. But like all forms of regulation, it’s the private sector that makes things fun and interesting, and the public sector that makes things more restrictive and less interesting.

Case in point: The great firewall of China. Classic case of what one of these other countries can do with an american-held ICANN if they’re sufficiently motivated. This is not the situation of “Let’s invent a new way of using these old internet technologies for something nifty”. This is instead a case of restriction and blocking the message the government doesn’t want it’s citizens to hear.

So what’s the score? The United States is adament on not letting ICANN go. The rest of the world is adamant that the United States let it go.

So what if the U.S. doesn’t back down? Is the world going to have a snit and kick the U.S. out of the U.N.? What has the U.S. done wrong that it should give it up? What is the U.N. going to do with it once they have it?

Personally I think the only realistic thing the other nations do is to put together thier own ICANN-lookalikes and make thier own set of authoritative root servers. Maybe they’ll follow suite with China, and put up a set of firewalls and special routers to block certain worldwide messages the current regime doesn’t like thier people to hear.

It’s certainly nothing new; “pirate” root servers were rather prevelant before ICANN opened up some alternative top-level-domains. There will be several inconsistancies when some countries decide to handle thier protocols differently than the norm. you can imagine that will score big points, when companies based in one country can’t do business with other countries.


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Iran Describes Jet Fighter That Morphes Into Fighting Robot

Posted on December 9, 2009, under Technology.


Well, not this week anyway. But we have the ‘Top Secret’ ultra-horizon missile that can be fired from all military helicopters and jet fighters, the “super-modern flying boat” that no radar at sea or in the air can detect, two new torpedos – one can “break a heavy warship” in two and the other moves at up to 223 mph underwater, and a stealth ballistic missile carrying multiple warheads to hit several targets simultaneously.

They may have even gotten some of them working, but the photo of the ‘flying boat’ (left) looks a lot like a kit built pusher prop float plane (right), not exactly the most modern of military hardware.

Iran is trying real hard to be taken seriously. But if we take their threats to nuke their neighbors seriously, we have no way to refuse sending in the Marines. Almost as if the Iran leadership actually wants a head-on closeup view of a company of Abrams.


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Another Victory in the Drug War

Posted on December 9, 2009, under Technology.


Money flows out of the country, violence increases, honest people treated like criminals, no reduction in drug use. Looks like a typical victory to me.

Shutdown Of U.S. Labs Fails To Stop Spread Of Deadly Drug

Some snippets:

This deadly drug is now a growth industry for Mexico’s deadly drug cartels. They’re replacing small U.S. kitchen labs with Mexican super labs.

They are pretty much using the same routes that they’ve used in the past with cocaine and with marijuana.

By some estimates, as much at 80 percent of the meth on U.S. streets comes from Mexico.

DEA has been able to take a lead with our Mexican counterparts in order to prevent the importations of pseudoephedrine coming into Mexico

Tijuana now has a growing number of meth addicts seeking help at one of the growing number of rehab centers.

“It’s no longer just the drugs passing through Mexico to the United States. We’re now consumers,” said one Mexican addict.

I notice the Mexican labs are using the simpler ephedrine based recipe, rather than the psuedo-ephedrine based recipe the US labs worked with. So the DEA trying to reduce Mexican imports of psuedo-ephedrine are an interesting line to see.

a growing crisis for law enforcement on both sides of the border.

The very definition of a drug war victory.


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Microsoft’s Great Values

Posted on December 9, 2009, under Technology.


Unable to make enough money selling XP at $100 to $300 a pop to figure out how to secure their OS, Microsoft Company introduces virus protection software at only another $50.

Companies like Symantec and McAfee have built successful businesses on the proposition that Microsoft is unable to write a secure OS. Today, Microsoft has agreed with them and entered the band-aid market themselves. The cluelessness in Redmond is astounding.

“Sarah Hicks, Symantec’s vice president of product management for consumer products, said Microsoft’s entry will help shine a light” on the technical weaknesses of the OS product.

“Bill Kerrigan, executive vice president for McAfee, said Microsoft, in fashioning a broad solution, fails to address new and evolving Internet threats. He said OneCare may give consumers a false sense of security. “Microsoft’s traditional approach is, it’s good enough. But good isn’t good enough in security,” Kerrigan said. “OneCare is not a comprehensive security offering in the classic sense”.

So, it’s a virus package with holes in it for an OS famous for it’s holes.

The best part, in my opinion, is the interesting relationship this sets up. Now if MS ever succeeds in closing the security holes, they’ll be losing money. Redmond has publicly created a $50 per year per PC incentive to produce crappy, insecure products for the forseeable future.

Would you buy any other product from somebody who told you you’d have to pay them more if it didn’t work?


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