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Apr 09, 2001

Crippling withdrawal strikes me as my dealer stopped dealing
Personal Notes4/9/2001; 5:18:45 PM I really, really missed iRights while it was down. Yikes! I think I spoke truer then I knew: "For many people, writing and sharing it with the world (even if the world doesn't beat a path to your site) is addictive on the first hit."As I was trying to figure out what to do about it a few days ago, I decided to check my e-mail, and lo and behold, there was an e-mail from garret offering me space on dangerousmeta for the duration of the outage! I didn't have to go there, as ETP came back up in time, but I seriously appreciated the offer, and wanted to publicly thank him. It seems the lack was felt by others as well.Fortunately, I had a recent backup of iRights, so I was never seriously worried about losing all this work. (Thanks for the "owning your own data" meme, and believing in it enough to act, Dave.) I've missed some stuff, so some old news may trickle in over the next few days as I find stuff. Thanks for reading.(BTW, I observe that not only is ETP working again, it is significantly speedier, back up there with ManilaSites.com.)


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Apr 09, 2001

DMCA provides no real protection for a small developer.
DMCA
4/9/2001; 4:56:53 PM 'This is the story of a small, naïve developer who didn't file the copyright on his software and ended up being abused by Ariston Technologies, in Huntington Beach, California. My hope is that others can learn from this situation.

'Ariston Technologies clearly violated copyright laws by distributing for profit a proprietary work without knowledge or permission of the copyright holder. Copyright laws such as the DMCA provide for collection of either statutory or actual damages. Current interpretation by the courts precludes collection of statutory damages unless the copyright was actually filed with the Copyright Office before the violation. In the case of shareware or open source software, proving damages is exceptionally difficult. However, even in cases where the copyright has been filed, most copyright lawyers do not work on a contingency basis, and so will not bother with a case involving shareware or open source software unless the potential dollar amount is significant. The alternative is for the individual to pay for prosecution out of pocket, which can quickly exceed US$20,000, for an award that may not be even half that. So even in cases where copyright laws have clearly been violated, the net effect is that they are unable to protect the small developer.'


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Apr 09, 2001

Compressed Data: Law Newsletter Has to Sneak Past Filters
Censorship4/9/2001; 4:35:04 PM From the people-are-always-smarter-then-computers dept:'There is nothing wrong with David Carney's spell-checker. It is on purpose that in his e-mail newsletter, Tech Law Journal, he misspells words like sex (sez) and pornography (pormography) and camouflages the names of computer viruses. If he did not, he explained last week in an editor's note, his journal would never get past the computers at readers' offices that screen incoming e-mail messages for references to sex or network security.'The really interesting question here is how much did those companies spend on those filters?


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Apr 09, 2001

The phantom cyber-threat
Hacking & Cracking4/9/2001; 4:22:27 PM 'Are you under 30? If so, jokes former National Security Advisor Anthony Lake in his book "Six Nightmares," chances are you have enough technical know-how to be a cyber-threat. And if you don't, says Lake, you can find everything you need, including cyber-attack tools and their instruction manuals, on the Internet. Armed with these tools, "millions of computer-savvy individuals could wreak havoc against the United States." 'But vulnerable to what? ... Part of the problem is that Lake and other alarmists don't distinguish between the resources it takes to cause an expensive nuisance -- like last year's denial-of-service attacks on Yahoo and eBay -- and the skills, time and access one needs to create a devastating attack, like crashing an airplane. In "Six Nightmares," Lake doesn't consider the checks that protect infrastructure from such threats. He also fails to ask an obvious question: If there are so many malicious hackers at work (19 million, by Lake's count), why have their attacks been, by and large, fairly innocuous?'This author has got a good grasp on the real issues involved here.


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Apr 03, 2001

Apologies for delay, April Fools, slow servers
Administrative4/3/2001; 8:09:24 AM I feel I should apologize for the lack of updates and the fact my April Fool posting was up for hours longer then it should be. I haven't 'heard' any other complaints, so it may just be me, but editthispage.com has been slow for me the last couple of days. In fact, for much of the last 48 hours, my connections were simply denied. This made taking down my April Fool's posting that much harder. If you haven't seen it, I'm going to try to get a screenshot of it later. I kinda liked it, and I think it's sad so few people probably saw it.In other news... I've mostly successfully upgraded my computer to a AMD Duron 800 w/256 MB ram. In the computer hardware business, it's all-to-easy to lose that sense of wonder (esp. if you're young enough that you've always lived in an era of massive advancement), but wow! For a few hundred dollars, I have, quite simply, a supercomputer. It's still amazing.Anyhow, what that means is that I can get LinkBack up now, though it will still be a bit. I've got some big end-o'-semester projects coming up that I have to finish first (keep an eye out for the Machine Learning project if you like My Userland on the Desktop!), and then I can try to slip some time in. I'm looking forward to LinkBack, it's much improved over the last incarnation (though much of it is behind the schenes stuff that you won't personally care much about), and I think that this is a better time for it. Weblogs are, as I kinda expected, continuing to attract attention in many places and continuing to slowly grow in importance, not just flaming out like a fad, and I hope this time around more people will be exposed to it and want to use it. (FWIW, I think weblogs are due in another couple of months for another burst of attention, as the people for whom it was just an opportunity to show off how clever they were with design and whine about how life sucks are brushed aside in favor of people with actual stuff to say.)


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