Show of 7-21-2007

  • Forum Question
    • Here’s the question, from "Ken 20886"
    • You said last week that everybody should have a hardware firewall, which is in what you said is incorrectly called a router. What is the correct word for it, how is it set up, and does it make the computer or internet more difficult to use?
    • Internet IP addresses and ports defined
    • You only have one IP address assigned to you house and that is the one used by your firewall/router. So you really can technically route. The device is technically a Network Address Translation device (NAT). However, it behave like a router.
    • The firewall feature is a packet filtering function
  • Tech Talk Guest: Mr. A.A. (Wije) Wijetunga
    • Vice President, Global Land Coalition
    • Website: www.globallandcoalition.org
    • Global Land Coalition has combined technology with land use, administration and management
      • Formed a world-wide group of expert and researchers linked by the web.
      • Created an innovative online training infrastructure to educate administrators and community and business leaders.
      • Deployed high tech solutions to land surveying, mapping, and land use planning
    • What is the mission of the Global Land Coalition?
      • The Coalition’s overall mission is to develop long-term solutions for effective land use, land administration and management in developing countries.
    • Why is land management so important to a countries economic development?
      • Land is the primary the people depend on for survival.
      • Land ownership is the key to agricultural entrepreneurship
      • Countries with poor land policy: Africa, Asia, Caribbean, Latin America
      • Need to transition from feudal system or state ownership to private ownership.
    • Technology and land
      • Land Information Systems
      • Surveying and mapping (GPS)
      • Land use planning using GIS
      • Online training
  • Profiles in IT: Tim Berners-Lee
    • Inventor of the World Wide Web and the Browser
    • Tim Berners-Lee was born in London, England, the son of Conway Berners-Lee and Mary Lee Woods.
    • His parents, both mathematicians, were employed together on the team that built the Manchester Mark I, one of the earliest computers.
    • During his time at university, he was caught hacking with a friend and was subsequently banned from using the university computer.
    • He graduated in 1976 with a degree in physics.
    • While an independent contractor at CERN from June to December 1980, Berners-Lee proposed a project based on the concept of hypertext, to facilitate sharing and updating information among researchers. He called this application Enquire.
    • In 1989, CERN was the largest Internet node in Europe, and Berners-Lee saw an opportunity to join hypertext with the Internet: "I just had to take the hypertext idea and connect it to the TCP and DNS ideas to create the World Wide Web.
    • He used similar ideas to those underlying the Enquire system, a previous system he developed in the early 80s, to create the World Wide Web, for which he designed and built the first web browser and editor (called WorldWideWeb) and the first Web server called httpd (short for HyperText Transfer Protocol daemon).
      • The basic idea of WWW was to merge the technologies of personal computers, computer networking and hypertext into a powerful and easy to use global information system.
      • With electronic documents, these cross-references can be followed by a mouse-click, and with the World-Wide Web, they can be anywhere in the world.
      • There is no need to know where the information is stored, and no need to know any detail on how it is formatted or organized.
      • "Wandering from one document (webpage) to another" is called browsing. Some people do this just for fun, following links just to see what’s there. This is usually called "surfing the Web".
    • The first Web site built was at CERN and was first put online on 6 August 1991.
    • It provided an explanation about what the World Wide Web was, how one could own a browser and how to set up a Web server. It was also the world’s first Web directory, since Berners-Lee maintained a list of other Web sites apart from his own.
    • In 1994, Berners-Lee founded the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. It comprised various companies that were willing to create standards and recommendations to improve the quality of the Web.
    • In December 2004 he accepted a chair in Computer Science at the School of Electronics and Computer Science, University of Southampton, UK, to work on his new project — the Semantic Web.[8]
    • Berners-Lee made his idea available freely, with no patent and no royalties due.
    • The World Wide Web Consortium decided that their standards must be based on royalty-free technology, so they can be easily adopted by anyone
  • Website of the Week: WabiSabiLabi
    • Web Address: http://www.wslabi.com
    • Suggested by Arnie, a loyal listener
    • A place to auction newly found security flaws (bugs) to the highest bidder.
    • The independent auction house, called WabiSabiLabi, aims to staunch the flow of vulnerabilities to the underground by giving security researchers a legitimate marketplace for what they find.
    • Once a vulnerability is reported, WSLabi will confirm it is real and that it can be exploited. After this it will be placed on the auction site where it can be sold to the highest bidder or sold to just one firm.
    • The first vulnerabilities posted to WSLabi are selling for between 500 (£340) and 2000 (£1,350) euros.
    • Four items are currently being auctioned. Two have bids (2,600 euros and 2,000 euros).
    • * Other places to sell security bugs
      • iDefense and Tipping Point, run schemes that give cash rewards to security researchers who find serious loopholes in widely used software.
      • The Mozilla Foundation, which oversees development of the Firefox browser amongst other things, gives a t-shirt and a $500 (£250) bug bounty to anyone finding a critical vulnerability in its software.
  • Web Radio Royalties Compromise Sought
    • On again off again
    • The original decision by the Copyright Royalty Board would have tripled royalties over the next three years: an increase which many webcasters said would straight-up put them out of business.
    • SoundExchange has offered to cap the $500 per channel minimum fee at $50,000 per year for webcaster who agree to use techniques to stop streamripping.
    • Stations balk as the use of these techniques.
    • Internet radio hasn’t gone silent yet. Neither has the debate over how much Internet stations should pay for the music they play.
    • Last weekend’s deadline for higher royalty rates for songs played on the Internet came and went with a flurry of negotiations and legislative proposals before Congress, but no imposition of the higher rates.
    • Those higher rates would apply to both over-the-air (terrestrial) broadcasters who operate Internet versions of their stations, as well as those stations that operate solely on the Web; both say dramatically higher royalty rates will force some off the air.
    • So far, most Internet stations say they haven’t altered their operations, while they wait for the negotiations to play out.
  • Stream Ripping Software
    • As users continue to try fending off the ever more litigious music industry, some seem to have dropped P2P entirely, moving to Ripping instead.
    • While they loose some control over what they are downloading, it’s a untraceable way to download music (no way for the RIAA to track users or sue)
    • With some of the more powerful software that’s been coming out recently, stream ripping has become more main-stream.
    • Copying a song off the radio (which is this basically equivalent to) often involves a lower quality offering with songs cutting into each other. DJs talking over the music and other radio-related reasons why it’s not the same as getting a full track.
    • Station Ripper allows users to download several thousand songs daily.
  • Geek Pride On the Rise
    • Nerdcore rappers invade New York City last weekend.
    • On a steaming Saturday, a horn-rimmed posse of software engineers, computer programmers and support technicians was grooving at a most unlikely spot — a fierce underground music venue here.
    • The act: MC Chris — king of the burgeoning world of "nerdcore rap"
      • "Sometimes I rhyme fast, sometimes I drink Quik.
      • If this was a gym class, I’d be the last picked."
    • Also dubbed "nerdcore," this branch of hip-hop is for geeks, by geeks.
    • In recent months, the field has seen a growing number of releases from computer science labs, where egocentric grad students show off their Ph.D. credentials in tracks like "Have to Code" and "End of File."
    • Rather than guns and ‘hos, they speak about DDOS attacks and camgirls."
    • The self-proclaimed "#1 greatest computer science gangsta rapper ever" is MC Plus+, a geeksta leading light whose moniker comes from the C++ programming language.
    • The Purdue University, Indiana, Ph.D. candidate and "CS pimp," whose album Algorhythms was recorded with pirated software, calls himself "the Tupac of the computer science world."
      • "I’m encrypting shit like every single day
      • Sending it across a network in a safe way
      • Protecting messages to make my pay
      • If you hack me you’re guilty under DMCA."
  • Selecting a Laptop
    • Decisions, decisions, decisions
    • Ergonomics
    • Processor
    • RAM
    • Hard Disk
    • Video card
    • Input/Output
  • Password Posted to Governor’s Campaign Website
    • Nevada has posted the password to the gubernatorial e-mail account on its official state Web site.
    • The current governor of Nevada is Jim A. Gibbons, a Republican,
    • It appears in a Microsoft Word file giving step-by-step instructions on how aides should send out the governor’s weekly e-mail updates, which has, as a second file shows how to log on to governor’s email account
    • The Outlook username is, by the way, "governor" and the password is "kennyc". The former Nevada governor, a Republican, is Kenny C. Guinn, which hardly says much about password security.
    • Other documents on the Nevada Web site list internal phone numbers.
    • The offending Web site has been taken offline, although the password files are still available through Google’s cache.