Email and Forum Questions Profiles in IT: Bram Cohen DoS Attacks Against Aiplex Berners-Lee: Facebook 'threatens' web future Ernst and Young Strategic Growth Forum (continued) Salesforce.com Vindicated
Email from Marvin: Dear Tech Talk: I have a new email address that I use for posting comments on various blogs and on Facebook. Now I am getting so much spam. What can I do to avoid this. How can I get rid of it? Thanks, Marvin
Tech Talk Responds: Dear Marvin: Span spiders pick up your email address by harvesting web pages and blogs. The only way to keep this from happening is to write it a form that is not easily converted to an email address, such as techtalk at Stratford dot edu. Now that your account is known to spammers. You can either get a good anti-spam program or simply change your email account.
Email from Tung: Dear Tech Talk. I am a regular listener of Tech Talk and really enjoy the program. I listen over the Internet from Ohio and have learned so much about computer and the Internet. I am setting up a wireless router in my house and would like some guidance. Please advise me. Loyal listener, Tung.
Tech Talk Responds: You need to get a router 802.11g or 802.11n would be good. Be certain to set up an administrative password and enable encryption. Remember that the wireless operates at the rate of the slowest client. So get rid of all your 802.11b wireless client cards and only use either g or n. If you need more signal you can get an antenna to attach to your router to give you 3 or 6 db or gain.
Email from Patricia: Dear Tech Talk, My hard drive crashed last week. I have lost all of my pictures. What can I do? I really need these pictures. Thank, Patricia
Tech Talk Responds: The good news is that you data is probably still intact. You just need to access. I would first try to put it into another computer as an extra hard drive and then read the data. This will work if only the OS is corrupted.You can also try booting on the OS CD and looking at the hard drive from that point. There are some bootable Linux CD or thumb drives that will work for this.If you hard drive has really crashed and you can see anything, you can get a data recovery service to reclaim you data (or most of it) if you are willing to pay the price.
Profiles in IT: Bram Cohen
Bram Cohen is an a American programmer and author of the peer-to-peer BitTorrent protocol and the first file sharing program to use it known as BitTorrent.
Bram Cohen was born in 1975 in New York City.
He said he learned BASIC at age 5 on his family’s Timex Sinclair computer.
Cohen passed the American Invitational Mathematics Examination to qualify for the United States of America Mathematical Olympiad (USAMO) while in high school.
He graduated from Stuyvesant in 1993 and attended SUNY Buffalo.
He later dropped out of college to work for several dot com companies throughout the mid to late 1990s, the last being MojoNation, an ambitious but ill-fated project.
MojoNation allows people to break up confidential files into encrypted chunks and distribute those pieces on computers also running the software.
If someone wanted to download a copy of this encrypted file, he would have to download it simultaneously from many computers.
This concept was perfect for a file sharing program, since programs like KaZaA take a long time to download a large file because it is coming from one source (or peer).
In April 2001, Cohen quit MojoNation and began work on BitTorrent.
Cohen designed BitTorrent to be able to download files from many different sources, thus speeding up the download time.
The more popular a file is, the faster the download, since many people will be downloading (and uploading) it at the same time.
Cohen unveiled his novel ideas at the first CodeCon conference, which he and his roommate Len Sassaman created as a showcase event for novel technology projects.
Cohen wrote the first BitTorrent client implementation in Python, and several other programs have since implemented the protocol.
In 2002, Cohen collected free pornography to lure beta testers to use the program.
BitTorrent gained its fame for its ability to quickly share large music and movie files online.
In May 2005, Cohen released a trackerless beta version of BitTorrent.
By 2004, he formed BitTorrent, Inc with his brother Ross Cohen and Ashwin Navin.
By mid 2005, BitTorrent, Inc. was funded by Doll Capital Management.
A great DoS (Denial of Service) battle is currently transpiring as 4chan users and other supporters have targeted Aiplex once again, taking the website offline.
Aiplex, along with the MPAA, RIAA, BPI, Davenport Lyons and ACS:Law websites have all been targeted in a series of attacks that started over the weekend.
Dubbed "Operation Payback is a Bitch" the series of DoS attacks are in retaliation for the alleged MPAA hiring of Indian firm Aiplex, which organizers say launched a DoS attack of their own against The Pirate Bay.
"This was begun in retaliation for denial of service attacks perpetrated by AIPLEX against The Pirate Bay’s servers on behalf of the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) and the MPAA (Motion Pictures Association of America).
Anonymous has successfully engaged in its own DDoS against AIPLEX’s servers and has expanded its operations against the MPAA and the RIAA, which at the time of writing were also unreachable."
The tool being used in the attack is an easy to use piece of software called the "Low Orbit Ion Cannon".
According to a post on Panda Security, the Anonymous Team leading the effort released an "hive activity" update to the software this morning, allowing for automatic target updates.
"The Anonymous team has modified the Low Orbit Ion Cannon DDoS tool to include a new “hive mind” feature, which allows anyone using the software to turn their computer into a voluntary bot simply by inputting the correct IRC C&C server into the program.
Once the C&C is set, the software will then automatically connect to the channel, receive commands (What URL/IP to attack), and start attacking automatically."
Berners-Lee: Facebook ‘threatens’ web future
Next month marks the twentieth anniversary of the first webpage created by Berners-Lee at the CERN particle physics lab in Geneva.
In the December issue of Science American, he warns that several trends threaten the web.
Cable giants who may prevent the free flow of content across the net, favoring their own content.
Social networking (Facebook, LinkedIn, Friendster, and others) that capture your data and provide value-added services in a silo. Facebook with 500 million users is the biggest threat. The data cannot be exported or shared.
He believes that if one social-networking site—or one search engine or one browser—gets so big that it becomes a monopoly, it tends to limit innovation.
Berners-Lee urges the adoption of more democratic services, including Facebook alternatives GnuSocial and Diaspora as well as the Status.net project, which gave rise to a decentralized incarnation of Twitter.
Berners-Lee believes that closed worlds, like Apple’s iTunes, trap you in a single store.
He believes that net neutrality should extend to cell phone too. Many people in rural areas from Utah to Uganda have access to the Internet only via mobile phones.
Finally governments threaten the Net restricting free speech on the web.
According to Berners-Lee: Web developers, companies, governments and citizens should work together openly and cooperatively, as we have done thus far, to preserve the Web’s fundamental principles. The goal of the Web is to serve humanity. We build it now so that those who come to it later will be able to create things that we cannot ourselves imagine.
Ernst and Young Strategic Growth Forum (continued)
EOY had winners in 10 categories and one national winner.
National Entrepreneur of the Year: Howard W. Lutnick
BGC Partners, Inc.
On September 11th, 658 (out of 960) were killed in the World Trade Center.
Unique hiring practices (friends and family)
Mission to build a company to take care of the survivors.
The new company is bigger and better.
Uncertainty in regulation and taxation
Unconstrained spending and debt is threatening the dollar and the country.
We don’t want to be one of the PIIGS (Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Greece and Spain). Unless we change course, we will be within five years.
Tax reduction is the best way to unleash the entrepreneurial spirit.
Government bashing of business (the only job creator) has been damaging.
Immigration policy is damaging out ability to innovate and to compete in the future.
The good news. We have a world class university system. Our start-up culture is phenomenal. Entrepreneurs can work around anything once they know what it is.
M & A market is getting some life now that liquidity has been restored.
CEO stepping down (rich versus king choice)
Natural succession of skill sets as a company grows.
The increased more than 18 percent Friday after Salesforce issued its third-quarter earnings report.
More companies are accepting the idea of subscribing to software that can be accessed from any machine with an Internet connection.
The trend is termed software as a service or cloud computing.
CEO Marc Benioff was ridiculed when he started the company 11 years ago.
Salesforce is seen as being ahead of the curve, as Microsoft, Oracle and SAP are all building their own online subscription services.
A $10,000 investment in Salesforce’s June 2004 initial public offering would now be worth $124,000.
A $10,000 investment in Google’s August 2004 IPO would be worth about $70,000.
Salesforce employs about 5,000 people and is on track for about $1.7 billion in revenue in its fiscal year.
Benioff a protege of Oracle CEO Larry Ellison. Ellison was among Salesforce’s early investors and served on the company’s board until Benioff fired him.
Although Salesforce has its headquarters in San Francisco, Benioff sometimes runs the company from Hawaii, using high-definition videoconferencing technology.