Show of 7-5-2003

  • Tech Talk Guest
    • Dr. George C. Blankenship. Jr.
    • Adjunct Faculty, Stratford University
  • Telemarketing Companies Eye Alternative Plans
    • National NoNotCall Registry will force a behavior change
    • Those who don’t register are thought to be receptive to telemarketers
    • More SPAM e-mail, direct mail to the registered
    • Who Does DoNotCall Register Cover?
      • Applies to any campaign to sell through interstate phone calls.
      • Includes telemarketers who solicit consumers, often on behalf of third party sellers.
      • Includes sellers who provide services to consumers in exchange for payment.
      • Does not limit calls by political organizations, charities or telephone surveyors.
  • Hostile Takeover of Peoplesoft by Oracle Is Personal
    • The Players
      • Craig Conway
        • Once head of marketing and sales at Oracle
        • Joined PeopleSoft Inc. as chief executive in 1999
      • Larry Elison Co-founder of Oracle in 1977
    • The $5.1B Hostile Takeover
    • Oracle’s surprise bid came, only days after PeopleSoft announced plans to buy software maker JD Edwards & Co
    • It disrupted Conway’s friendly merger plans and threatened PeopleSoft’s ability to sell software to new customers by creating tremendous uncertainty.
    • Some think it is gamesmanship to disrupt software selling cycle
    • Elison may win the battle, but lose the war
  • Hacker Hoax or Serious Threat
    • The warnings center on the defacers-challenge.com Web site
    • Touted a contest to deface 6,000 Web sites in six hours this Sunday
    • The prize is Free Web site hosting and a domain name
      • Sliding-scale awards points for successful defacements based on OS 
      • HP-UX, Apple, and IBM-AIX are worth more points
      • Microsoft and Linux-type are worth less
    • Affinity Internet of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., downed site last week
    • Security experts are taking the contest seriously
    • Have already seen some probing to identity vulnerable sites before Sunday
  • Wi-Fi Encryption Study
    • Where: 802.11 Planet Expo Conference in Boston Last Week
    • What: A Wireless Network of 141 nodes provided for conference goers
    • Tools: AirDefense Guard sensors at opposite corners of conference center
    • The Findings: Users checking their e-mail through unencrypted POP connections vastly outnumbered those using a VPN or another encrypted tunnel
      • Only three percent of e-mail downloads were encrypted
      • 12 percent on the second day
      • The other 88% could easily be intercepted by eavesdroppers using commonly-available tools, compromising both the e-mail and the user’s passwords.
        • Additionally, 84 out of the 523 users monitored were configured to allow ad hoc networking, and 74 were configured to automatically connect to the access point with the strongest signal strength — a default mode that could leave a laptop prey to a rogue access point.
  • Music Distribution History Repeats Itself
    • Early 1900
      • Records replaced sheet music
      • Telephones allowed record to be distributed without royalties
      • Tel-musici Company sends songs over the phone line
        • 3 cents per song with an annual guarantee of $18.
        • At the central office, the lines of musical subscribers are tapped to a manual board attended by an operator.
        • A number of phonographs are available, and a representative assortment of records kept on hand.
    • Today
      • MP3s replaced CDs
      • Internet allows distribution of songs without royalties
      • Napster, Kazaa, I-Tunes, and PressPlay
  • Telcos Duke it out in Iraq
    • Tecore Wireless Systems, a private company in Columbia, Maryland, said it would lay the groundwork for phone companies to offer wireless in Iraq.
    • Tecore sells cellular infrastructure and software to carriers in Afghanistan, the United Arab Emirates and other parts of the Middle East. It plans to begin building a distribution center in Iraq by the end of summer, the company said.
    • US government awarded WorldCom a $45 million contract to build a cell network in Iraq
    • Pentagon also gave Motorola a $10 to $25 million contract — depending on options the company exercises — to install radio communications for security forces in Baghdad.
    • Iraq has never had a cell-phone system, but analysts say it would be easy and cheap to install.
  • Americans For Dean Website Taps Grassroots Support
    • Americans for Dean is a Distributed System to Raise Money for Dean
    • "It’s an autonomous, self-organizing, grassroots campaign network," said Zack Rosen, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign computer science student who cooked up the idea. "We’re giving people a Web tool to organize the campaign network. We want to help get this man elected."
    • Rosen said about 15 developers are working to get the tools up and running in the next few weeks, but anyone is welcome to contribute.
    • They’re building on Drupal, an open-source content-management system, for the project.
    • Uses RSS [Rich Site Summary] Feed
      • A format designed for sharing web content [articles, blogs, calendar info, etc.].
      • Think of it as a way to distribute "What’s New."
      • Originated by UserLand in 1997, and subsequently used by Netscape
      • RSS has evolved into a popular means of sharing content between sites [including the BBC, CNET, CNN, Disney, Forbes, Motley Fool, Wired, Red Herring, Salon, Slashdot, ZDNet and more].
  • Microsoft Admits Passport Security Flaw
    • Patch was posted last week after learned about the vulnerability after Victor Manuel Alvarez Castro of Mexico published details to an Internet discussion list
    • Microsoft does not believe any accounts were compromised
    • In May, a Pakistani computer researcher determined that by typing a specific Web address that included the phrase "emailpwdreset," he could seize any Passport account.
    • I keep no critical information in a Passport account
  • Spying on the Government
    • Researchers at the MIT Media Lab unveiled the Government Information Awareness or GIA, website Friday.
    • The GIA mission is:
      • To empower citizens by providing a single, comprehensive, easy-to-use repository of information on individuals, organizations, and corporations related to the government of the United States of America.
      • To allow citizens to submit intelligence about government-related issues, while maintaining their anonymity. To allow members of the government a chance to participate in the process.
    • Using applications developed at the Media Lab, GIA collects and collates information about government programs, plans and
    • Currently the database contains information on more than 3,000 public figures.
    • GIA was inspired by the federal government’s Terrorist Information Awareness, or TIA, program.
  • eBay?s User Convention Held Last Week in Orlando
    • 4,000 members of eBay’s elite power-seller corps attended "EBay Live" convention
    • EBay estimates that about 150,000 people earn their living on the site
    • About 90,000 dealers are in its power-seller group
    • To receive an invitation, dealers must sell more than $1,000 worth of merchandise each month for three months and maintain a stellar feedback rating from customers
    • The power-seller club has five levels — bronze, silver, gold, platinum and titanium — based on sales volume. Titanium sellers move more than $150,000 in merchandise on eBay a month.
    • eBay?s Sellers Central
      • Give tips to those wanting to sell on eBay
      • Designed for both new and experienced sellers
  • New Software Paradym According to Tim O’Reilly
    • Keynote Address at Open Source Convention
    • There is a new model being developed around Open Source and the Internt
    • The current model is flawed
      • Open source alone does not work
      • Licensing does not work
    • Internet platforms are central to the new model
      • Google
      • Amazon
      • Map
    • His prediction that someday eBay may buy Oracle
  • ICANN Relinquishes Power Under Pressure
    • Country domains now under the control of each country instead of under the control of ICANN
    • Great Britain controls uk; France controls fr; etc.
    • After an all-night session on Wednesday night, the Country Code Names Supporting Organization (ccNSO) was finally formed
    • ICANN under new president/CEO Paul Twomey behaved pragmatically and conceded all control save over IANA and global interoperability
  • MS Worker Software Racket
    • A Microsoft worker has been charged with stealing $17 million of software from Microsoft’s internal store in the second case of its type in recent months
    • Richard Gregg, 43, and a Windows program coordinator, has pleaded not guilty to 62 counts of mail and computer fraud, Gregg, who denies the charges, has been released on bail.
    • From January to October 2002, Gregg allegedly ordered 5,436 copies of software such as Windows XP, SQL Server, Exchange and Office with retail prices over $17 million which he subsequently resold.
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