Oren’s Blog

So Much for Branding Strategies

From the Beeb: People confused by wi-fi jargon. Good quote: If talk of a “wi-fi hotspot” makes you think of someone having trouble with their spouse, then you are not alone. Thanks to boing-boing for spotting this one.

From the Beeb: People confused by wi-fi jargon. Good quote: If talk of a “wi-fi hotspot” makes you think of someone having trouble with their spouse, then you are not alone.

Thanks to boing-boing for spotting this one.

Microsoft security finally hits the news

Well, well, well. With the appearance of the MSBlast worm form of exploit for Microsoft’s security compromise (which I’ve been writing about here for two weeks now) the major news media have finally awoken from their collective slumber and started reporting on the effects this compromise his having. CNET News has a collection of stories, … Continue reading “Microsoft security finally hits the news”

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Well, well, well. With the appearance of the MSBlast worm form of exploit for Microsoft’s security compromise (which I’ve been writing about here for two weeks now) the major news media have finally awoken from their collective slumber and started reporting on the effects this compromise his having. CNET News has a collection of stories, the NY Times reports on it here (requires a login), and the San Jose Mercury News has a story here that is inexplicably bylined from Sweden. Nice to see them catch up.

The CNET coverage includes an piece by Charles Cooper calling Microsoft to task for building insecure software. It’s almost a year ago since Terry Gray wrote his 7-Point Plan for Windows Security that, if implemented by Microsoft then, could have alleviated much of this pain.

Candidate blogging

Lawrence Lessig (Stanford law professor, fearless defender of the people’s right to intellectual property, and originator of the Creative Commons) writes an interesting weblog that usually focuses on intellectual property issues. Last month he turned over the weblog for a week to give a guest turn to Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean, and this week … Continue reading “Candidate blogging”

Lawrence Lessig (Stanford law professor, fearless defender of the people’s right to intellectual property, and originator of the Creative Commons) writes an interesting weblog that usually focuses on intellectual property issues. Last month he turned over the weblog for a week to give a guest turn to Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean, and this week he’s done the same with candidate Dennis Kucinich.

No matter what you think of these candidates’ particular politics, it’s very interesting to see some of the politicos wake up to the use of weblogs as a means of direct two-way communication with a savvy group of the electorate.

The news finally hits the fan

The Microsoft RPC security disaster continues to explode all over the net. The latest version of the exploit is a worm that is being labelled the W32/Blaster Worm. It reproduces itself onto machines it finds that are vulnerable and can source a denial-of-service attack against Microsoft’s Windows Update site. Sigh. At present this is finally … Continue reading “The news finally hits the fan”

The Microsoft RPC security disaster continues to explode all over the net. The latest version of the exploit is a worm that is being labelled the W32/Blaster Worm. It reproduces itself onto machines it finds that are vulnerable and can source a denial-of-service attack against Microsoft’s Windows Update site. Sigh. At present this is finally hitting the commercial networks as well as academic sites – all of Comcast (our major cable internet provider) in the Northwest has been down since yesterday, which they attribute to this worm. I saw one estimate that 7% of all the traffic on the Internet 2 backbone yesterday was attributed to this worm – that’s HUGE!

When will the madness end?

Thanks for your comments!

Thanks to everybody who’s posted comments to this weblog! It’s cool to know that people are enjoying reading it – I’m certainly finding it interesting to write. You may or may not know that there’s an RSS feed available at http://staff.washington.edu/oren/weblog/index.rdf If you’d like to be notified by email when new posting are made to … Continue reading “Thanks for your comments!”

Thanks to everybody who’s posted comments to this weblog! It’s cool to know that people are enjoying reading it – I’m certainly finding it interesting to write.

You may or may not know that there’s an RSS feed available at http://staff.washington.edu/oren/weblog/index.rdf

If you’d like to be notified by email when new posting are made to the weblog, let me know either by adding a comment to that effect to this post, or directly by email (oren@washington.edu), and I’ll put you on the list.

The Windows Security Nightmare Continues

Last week I wrote a little about how the Microsoft Windows RPC-DCOM exploit is a major security event at universities across the US. This event has continued to mushroom, to where it is consuming the efforts of hundreds of computing support staff at our campus alone. We continue to discover hundreds of compromised machines and … Continue reading “The Windows Security Nightmare Continues”

Last week I wrote a little about how the Microsoft Windows RPC-DCOM exploit is a major security event at universities across the US. This event has continued to mushroom, to where it is consuming the efforts of hundreds of computing support staff at our campus alone. We continue to discover hundreds of compromised machines and thousands more remain vulnerable. There is now also beginning to be evidence that there are variants of the exploit that will propagate themselves, in worm fashion, through the net.

Continue reading “The Windows Security Nightmare Continues”

Musings on Music Notation

I ran into my banjo-playing friend Marcia Peterson at the grocery store on Sunday morning and we had a brief discussion of the relative merits of standard music notation versus tablature, which I got to thinking more about in the few days since.

I ran into my banjo-playing friend Marcia Peterson at the grocery store on Sunday morning and we had a brief discussion of the relative merits of standard music notation versus tablature, which I got to thinking more about in the few days since.

Continue reading “Musings on Music Notation”

Tim Bray on the use of Flash in user interfaces

Tim Bray has yet another interesting article in his ongoing weblog relating how Antacrtica, the company he founded and works at, is abandoning the Flash version of its interface and concentrating instead on dynamic html. Worth a look.

Tim Bray has yet another interesting article in his ongoing weblog relating how Antacrtica, the company he founded and works at, is abandoning the Flash version of its interface and concentrating instead on dynamic html. Worth a look.

Search Engines

In a past lifetime (1985 – 1994) I worked for a succession of companies that provided online searchable databases, primarily indexes of scientific, medcal, and technical literature. In this pre-web world, professional librarians would use obscure search syntaxes to extract information from these databases on behalf of researchers in their companies or institutions. And they … Continue reading “Search Engines”

In a past lifetime (1985 – 1994) I worked for a succession of companies that provided online searchable databases, primarily indexes of scientific, medcal, and technical literature. In this pre-web world, professional librarians would use obscure search syntaxes to extract information from these databases on behalf of researchers in their companies or institutions. And they paid a lot of money for the privelege of doing so.

In that time I learned a lot about the workings of full-text search engines and databases, and it’s the same basic technology that powers today’s internet search powerhouses like Google and Yahoo.

Tim Bray is posting a really good series of articles in his ongoing weblog about how search engines work, some of the problems in the field, etc. I think it would make excellent reading for anyone interested in the topic, better (and easier to read) than any text I’ve seen to date. If I was teaching in the Information School again this year, I’d definitely assign it.