If you are looking for the epic motorcycle journey blog that I've written, please see the Miles By Motorcycle site I put together. 
  • Subscribe to this RSS Feed
  • A truly weird programming language.
    11/02/2005 11:45PM
    I've stumbled across an extremely weird language for fault-tolerant distributed service computing called Erlang.

    Here's an interesting overview called Erlang for C/C++ Programmers.

  • Sony protected music CDs install rootkit on your machine
    11/02/2005 9:44AM
    There have been several articles over the past few days that are bound to get the attention of Sony executives and make them think twice about their DRM (digital rights management) strategy: Apparently the copy-protection technology they are using on some of their music CDs not only forces you to use their media player to play it (so much for playing it on Linux) but also installs a rootkit (and apparently not a particularly well-written one at that) on your machine.  Rootkits are one of the ways that malware (trojans, viruses, etc.) attempt to shield themselves from being detected and uninstalled from your system, often by hooking low-level system calls and redirecting them.  This was discovered by Windows internals god Mark Russinovich while he was working on the latest version of his RootKitRevealer product.

    Bad, bad Sony.  I hope people think twice about buying any so-called copy-protected CDs.  Vote with your dollars, people.

    ZDNet article:  http://blogs.zdnet.com/BTL/?p=2092&tag=nl.e539
    Mark Russinovich's article (with screen shots): http://www.sysinternals.com/blog/2005/10/sony-rootkits-and-digital-rights.html
  • Excellent Editorial on the Whole Libby Scandal
    11/01/2005 10:21PM

    As written by E. J. Dionne Jr. of the Washington Post:

    'In his impressive presentation of the indictment of Lewis "Scooter" Libby last week, Patrick Fitzgerald expressed the wish that witnesses had testified when subpoenas were issued in August 2004, and "we would have been here in October 2004 instead of October 2005."

    Note the significance of the two dates: October 2004, before President Bush was reelected, and October 2005, after the president was reelected. Those dates make clear why Libby threw sand in the eyes of prosecutors, in the special counsel's apt metaphor, and helped drag out the investigation."

    He goes on to make an excellent point as to why Libby would throw himself on a sword making the kinds of "mistakes" he made. You can read the full article here.

  • Supreme Court Rejects Microsoft Eolas Appeal
    11/01/2005 6:14PM
    As reported by slashdot.org:

    "The U.S. Supreme Court has decided not to hear a Microsoft appeal in the software company's ongoing Web browsing patent dispute with the University of California and Eolas Technologies. The dispute arises over the Eolas patent for 'a system allowing a user of a browser program ... to access and execute an embedded program object.' From the article: "With today's decision, the Supreme Court decided not to hear Microsoft's argument relating to how damages in the case should be calculated. Microsoft had been asking the court to reject a previous ruling that damages should be awarded based on Microsoft's U.S. and foreign sales, saying that the Eolas patent should only apply to U.S. products. The Supreme Court did not give a reason for its rejection of Microsoft's appeal."

    It looks like this case was not about the larger issue surrounding the patentability of software but just how damages should be calculated. Maybe Microsoft will now put it's considerable muscle behind lobbying for significant changes in patent law. (Wishful thinking, I know.)
  • Greatest Day in History
    11/01/2005 11:47AM
    born today:
    november 1, 1798 Benjamin Lee Guinness, Irish brewer.

    (submitted by Lance)