Week in Review for 8/24/2008

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  • Running out of IP4 addresses
    Will the increasing use of NAT firewalls slow down the consumption of IP4? Even if it does not, it would at least limit the scope of concern, perhaps, to individuals’ and organizations’ upstream link, assuming such devices can bridge between public IP6 and IP4. I am worried that IP6 security may also be lagging because of slow adoption to date.
  • Upcoming maker series on discovery
    Mark your calendar, October 15, 2008. This sounds like it is at least worth checking out. Hopefully it will be better than Smash Labs.
  • Google launches project to push popular support of white space devices
    Interesting that they mention under served areas. I think the potential to increase competition in existing markets is at least as interesting. Of course, calling attention to that invites counter propaganda from the incumbents, which may explain Google’s initial focus.
  • Growing support for blanket licenses
    EFF, others have suggest voluntary blanket licenses as the traditional models of music distribution, like radio stations and albums, have broken down. This article talks about an industry consultant coming around, agreeing. I’m a little worried that existing collecting societies still have shown some substantial problems in coping with online music.
  • Additional implementation of OMB protocol
    Good details on how Identi.ca/Laconi.ca are different from other micro blogging services. The folks at TWiT also recently set up a federated server for their users which I suspect may start accelerating the popularity of doing so.
  • Improvements in magnetic switching
    The research here could address the reason why magnetic, non volatile storage is so much slower than electronic, volatile storage. It is early days, yet, but promising nonetheless.
  • RIAA shuts down Muxtape
    Hardly surprising but another example of the music industry cutting its own noise of to spite its face. They systematically take down or pressure services which enhanced discovery of music, which leads to sales, then moan and wail over declining sales.
  • How do you define an independent security standard for voting systems?
    Dan Wallach takes a stab at trying to quantify at least a relative measurement standard of the security of voting systems. He borrows from the field of algorithmic complexity, generally contending that cost to subvert a system can be charted on a similar curve.
  • VT judges rules defendant does not have to surrender crypto keys
    A pretty good write up of both sides of the issue of whether revealing a pass phrase for an encryption key is protected under the Fifth Amendment. There is a latent ambiguity that needs to be sussed out, here, that the key in and of itself isn’t incriminating but the documents with which it is produced are. Only the former is technically comparable to a defendant saying something that incriminates themselves.
  • Comcast adopts new strategy for heavy users
    This is apparently in direct response to the FCC ruling. Their idea is to slow heavy users and to do so regardless of application.
  • Mozilla to push FF3 to FF2 users
    The good news is you can apparently opt out of the update. For those of us developing web applications, this is critical. The two versions have some slight but critical differences in how they handle the most complex JavaScript and CSS.
  • Verizon CTO on their network management philosophy
    Verizon seems slower to adopt aggressive management but more as a consequence of the greater head room in their fiber rollouts. They are not averse to active management, though, and even foresee using deep packet inspection for some purposes.
  • Amazon premieres persistent storage in the cloud
    Didn’t realize that for Amazon’s app service, the storage was not previously persistent. The new offering isn’t just limited to giving hosted applications permanent storage. The article mentions it being useful for any storage need, including remote backup and recovery.
  • Firefox to get massive JavaScript performance boost
    This is truly impressive stuff with some hefty research credentials. I am pleased to see it but will be even better pleased if they can turn this into something the average user will download FF3.1 specifically for, something that will drive its adoption well past the still number 1 browser, MSIE. I think the Mozilla folks also need to bear in mind their own past versions are competing for market and mind share against these later day improvements.
  • James Boyle on the Kojo Nnamdi Show
    James Boyle speaks about the ruling in the Jacobsen case upholding the enforceability of public software licenses based on conditions on copyright. I also know of Boyle from his work on the more general issues of access to knowledge.
  • Account of Atari’s golden years
    Like Wil, I have a fondness for the Atari 2600 and their 400/800 personal computers. This is a quote laden, fun peek into the company at its height, as it was blazing new trails into video games in the home versus the arcade.
  • Creating tiny Linux executables
    This is surprisingly more readable than I was expecting from its own preamble. The program it produces isn’t useful but the exercise of learning how to produce is enlightening to say the least.
  • Key ruling on expectation of privacy for email overturned on appeal
    A previous ruling protective of privacy in email has been overturned on appeal in the Warshak case. The article is a fair analysis but I am not sure I agree with the suggesting that running your own mail server is the answer as that is not always practical and that the real point is we need to fight harder for email privacy protections in the same way privacy for telephone conversations was largely secured.

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