Archive | January, 2004

.NET reality check

Jon’s Radio Jon Udell’s blog at InfoWorld has the interesting beginning of an article comparing the promise of DotNet to the current reality… .NET reality check. “There’s been some pushback recently, in the .NET blogging community, about Microsoft’s habit of living in the future. For example:…”

Yet another windows trojan horse

InfoWorld: Top News reports E-mail worm, Mydoom, spreading rapidly. A new e-mail worm has appeared on the Internet and is spreading rapidly, according to leading antivirus companies.

Once again folks, this is not a worm, something that spreads by itself. It’s a trojan horse, a file attachment that you have to launch in a permissive (Windows) environment. Don’t click on attachments! Ever! Save to disk, scan with your (updated) virus scanner, confirm an attachment was intended with the sender, and open cautiously, if at all.

NYT: That Gibberish in Your In-Box May Be Good News

Good summary on the state of spam-blocking. NY Times: That Gibberish in Your In-Box May Be Good News. Earlier this month, when Internet experts met in Cambridge, Mass., for the 2004 Spam Conference, they showed just how far the science of spam fighting has come. For all the recent talk of suing spammers and compiling a national do-not-spam list, most speakers were putting their hopes in technological, not legal solutions. [Tomalak’s Realm]

Regular Expressions

Some people, when confronted with a problem, think “I know, I’ll use regular expressions.” Now they have two problems. –Jamie Zawinski

Copyright, copy wrong or CopyLeft?

Slashdot links to a New York Times Magazine article on The Tyranny of Copyright? with the usual assortment of blather, off-topic comments and the occasional dead-on remark (threshold of 4 or 5 recommended for Slashdot). The article picks up many of the facets of the on-going copyright issues.

Just today, the National Writer’s Union wrote to me, expressing their concern over Amazon’s book searching feature that lets a site visitor read actual pages based on search criteria. Supposedly, this feature is limited to a certain number of pages, printing is disabled, although surely hackable. The union was concerned and offered information for those authors who want the feature turned off, while maintaining a fairly neutral status on the issue. I can understand and sympathize with both viewpoints. Someone who published a cookbook of barbecue recipes isn’t going to sell the book if the recipe can be read off the website, even if it needs to be hand-transcribed. On the other hand, if they can’t find your book, they can’t buy it. I have sample chapters of my books available on the publisher’s web site and have allowed liberal quoting of the book on websites such as the FoxForum Wiki, simply to let the readers know how valuable the book can be. If someone is determined to steal the book, they will. If they want to borrow it from their library, photocopy hundreds of pages and stitch a binding themselves, they will. They may gain, but I don’t lose from their theft — they would not have bought the book anyway.

I prefer the models of the Baen Free Library or Janis Ian’s website, where content is available for free download, but sales of the products continue. Why? Because most readers will do the right thing. And, even for those who don’t, perhaps the authors can take comfort in having enriched the world a little, at no cost to them.

Microsoft opens up with XML and closes up with patents.

Microsoft’s Latest Competition-Stifling Move. “There was a brief moment when the company’s adoption of XML had potential — to be a breakthrough in interoperabilty, a move away from the proprietary file formats that have been one of the major lock-in devices of the past decade. And Microsoft assured us that it wouldn’t pull the same tricks this time. ” from Dan Gillmor’s eJournal: “Once again, our favorite monopolist breaks a promise.”

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This work by Ted Roche is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 United States.