Friday, December 30, 2005

Software Patents

To paraphrase an old adage

Those that can, do. Those that can't, license patents.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Free food with strange people

Not much else to be said. ;)

Except that every one of these ex-coworker has been brightsized* since this picture was taken.
Had enough sense to leave the company


Saturday, November 26, 2005

Friday, November 25, 2005

Internet History

Are you interested in knowing how we got from point A to point B as far as the underlying networking that is the Internet came to be? If so then check out Hobbes' Internet Timeline and see not only the technology but some of the business artifacts of this most important communications system. Included are such things as this drawing of the what the Internet looked like in 1969; three different types of computers on four major university campuses. Thirty-five years later, IBM is the only one still in business.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Nothing Says Christmas ...

You gotta luv those cats at Guitar Center. Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Heard on Boston Legal this evening

First they came for the Communists
but I was not a Communist so I did not speak out.

Then they came for the Socialists and the Trade Unionists
but I was not one of them, so I did not speak out.

Then they came for the Jews
but I was not Jewish so I did not speak out.

And when they came for me,
there was no one left to speak out for me.

Martin Niemoeller

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Is the end of Compuserve near?

The old CompuServe* as we knew it went away about a year ago, replaced by a Prospero CMS site that looks and feels like every other big community site on the web. Today the graphic banner at the top of the pages became the Netscape banner. I know both these sites are now essentially hosted on the same (cluster of?) servers with different URLs producing different content so this could just be a CMS screw up OR it could be CompuServe's last gasp.

*If you click that link, pointing to, then examine where you wind up, you'll see CompuServe is now joined at the hip with Netscape.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Hands on security training

It's at least very hard, if not impossible, to learn how to recognize security problems in applications without seeing what they look like. Knowing how they work (what the vulnerability is) is all well and good but the practical aspect of seeing what caused the vulnerability is, to steal a phrase, priceless. To that end the Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP) has created a demonstration application called WebGoat. Why do that? Well OWASP believes that although there are plenty of live applications out there you could learn on, it isn't really advisable or ethical to attack an application without permission, regardless of your intent.

What does WebGoat do? Here's part of the description exerpted from the project home page.
WebGoat is a full J2EE web application designed to teach web application security lessons. In each lesson, users must demonstrate their understanding by exploiting a real vulnerability on the local system. The system is even clever enough to provide hints and show the user cookies, parameters and the underlying Java code if they choose. Examples of lessons include SQL injection to a fake credit card database, where the user creates the attack and steals the credit card numbers.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

IE User Interface Designer Switches to Firefox

The gentleman who did a lot of the user interface design for Internet Explorer versions 1-5 has switched to Firefox. He bares his soul on his blog as the Bill and Steve Experience shake out another double handful of Tums.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Microsoft Ain't Google

One quick question from a CNET interview with Bill Gates can give you a good feel for what Microsoft is not.

CNET: So that would be the philosophical difference between Microsoft and what Google is up to at this point?

Gates: Well, we don't know everything they are up to, but we do know their slogan and we disagree with that.

I wasn't sure what he meant by that so I went to the Google corporate info site to see what the basic principles are they espouse, with which I guess we can assume Microsoft disagrees. Under "Corporate Philosophy" I found these Ten Things (4 and 6 could be the problem) or I could see Microsoft having a problem with all of Google's Software Principles.

Of course it could lay right in the first line of the Company Overview, "Google's mission is to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful." Microsoft's view is almost identical but the phrase, "only to people running Microsoft software on computers running Microsoft operating systems" would be appended.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Nothing More Need Be Said

Bush worst disaster

Yes, Bush is one of the worst disasters to hit the US but that's not breaking news to anyone in the US.

Friday, September 09, 2005

The Six Dumbest Ideas in Computer Security

Here's an excellent article by Marcus Ranum about a number of seemingly logical mistakes we make when thinking about strategies for improving the security of our systems. I'll just whet your appetite with the high level. Here are Ranum's six dumbest ideas.
  1. Default Permit
  2. Enumerating Badness
  3. Penetrate and Patch
  4. Hacking Is Cool
  5. Educating Users
  6. Action Is Better Than Inaction