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Mon, 1 Oct 2007

The proof of the pudding ?

Royal pingdom did a quick check on what was running at some of the more popular sites on the Internet and end up with the following table:


Its intersting for a whole bunch of reasons that im currently too sleep y to write about.. (sleepy??? must be old age?)(or the flu pills im taking)

The first thing that was interesting to me was the suprising lack of BSD ? i like linux and have used it as a desktop machine forever (before becoming a macfanboy) but have always defaulted to FreeBSD for servers.. im not sure what this means and ill do a little netcraft digging tomorrow to see if its a general trend..

(its also interesting that there is no mention of SUN? (i guess these days they could be represented by the windows machines.. but thats another rant for another day))

Its interesting how often the argument has been used that "Microsoft desktops attract more attention because of their marketshare" while the same argument has been cunningly avoided in the web-server space..

i dont doubt that IIS today is every bit as serious about security as Apache is, but it wasnt always so.. and its interesting that the "un-biased analysts" were all pointing the other way while Microsoft was playing catchup..

Mon, 20 Aug 2007

2 Un-related thoughts.. on Echelon and the recent Skype Outage..

I suspect somewhere there exist cardinal rules of blogging which would state that using a single post to make 2 completely un-related posts is a no-no.. I will now promptly ignore it 2 push out 2 random thoughts that came up..

Echelon and Echelon spam..

While watching the Bourne Ultimatum the other night the usual "echelon"esque scene played out.. Guy on phone says keyword.. pan to NSA/CIA type building.. computer drone type person screams something like "we have a hot one"..

Now i admit to knowing very little about echelon and how it actually operates, but figure if i lived in the states (where i believe local calls are free) i would have my phone generate echelon spam when not in active use.. Concerns about tying up your line? use it as hold music.. Effectively a bunch of people worried about their privacy should be able to inject enough noise in the system to render it less useful.. it sounds ferpeclty feasible...

Skype and the recent Skype Outage..


So lots of people wrote about it (before and after skype's official response).. Basically on August 16 Skype had a major outage.. this is old news.. but what is really interesting (partly because i only recently finished Talebs "fooled by randomness" is the law of un-intended consequences coming into play.. Skype by many accounts is well engineered and the skype network is built to withstand spikes in usage.. Even its peer-to-peer net has what they call self healing capability.. So what took skype down? a massive botnet? a co-ordinated attack? Windows Patch release cycle.. Turns out that skype was not able to handle the number of machines that all simultaneously re-booted with the last windows update update.. This apparently caused a chain reaction and the rest is history.. its really interesting because with any reasonably complex system, there are always matters beyond the horizon, that are near impossible to see coming..


Wed, 8 Aug 2007

Another blow for privacy? A small price for your 15 minutes of fame..

" Spock have just opened up beyond their private beta and promise to be the most comprehensive people search tool on the interwebs.. Their model is interesting because they aim to combine wikipedia style editing with a single focus.. people..

Roelof and i had long discussions in the past, around someway to get people to update information on people while growing the db and still having people contribute.. Interestingly, spocks simple sounding approach might be perfect.. in a day when everybody vanity googles themselves, and when the facebook/myspace/twitter generation have 0 qualms about informing the world what they are doing 24/7, the simplest way to populate a db with information about people, might just be to let them fill the info in themselves..

Mon, 16 Jul 2007

Google Cookies.. Finally a saner expiry date...

Google have finally revised their cookie expiration policy, which will have user cookies expiring after 2 years. (For those of you who think this is too long, it needs to be kept in mind that this used to be set to expire in 2038!).

Of course, the tin-foil hat wearers amongst us are going to find it difficult to convince the "keep-your-stinkin-privacy-i-want-my-15-minutes" facebook generation that privacy actually matters, but we can probably chalk this, and their earlier anouncement to sanitize search server logs after 18 months as a tiny victory..

*wonder if i should mention this on my twitter page?* :>

Adam Shostack on Biometrics..

hmmm... i have heard this somewhere before....

" However, in cases where your finger is used to identify or authenticate you, it's much harder to change your password. "