There’s an article titled Separating network and communications infrastructure up at telco revolutions. I happened across the article during some random wandering, but it sums up exactly how I think about providers. Check this out:
Intel has formally announced the next version of the XScale series of processors according to ExtremeTech. There are some cool features in there, it sounds like a good processor. But what really disturbs me is that Intel calls this the “Wireless Trusted Platform”, which I think has to mean that it implements the Trusted Computing Platform Alliance specifications for Trusted Computing. It only makes sense, Intel is a founding member of that organization. I’m not a big fan of trusted computing the way it has been proposed. Sure, there are lots of good applications it could be used for. There’s an anonymous blog called Unlimited Freedom (Google Cache) which gives some of the beneficial applications that could be built on top of TCPA recommendations. But I think the technology would be used to limit the freedoms of consumers more than it would be used to provide new applications. That’s not to say that I don’t think a trusted computing effort wouldn’t be a welcome addition to the technology menagerie that is the current Internet. I just think that the suggested architecture skews too heavily toward protecting content providers without much consideration for consumer rights. And as Lessig comments with more eloquence than I, content producers already have a lot of legal protections on their side. Do they really need more mechanism and code protections?
I’ve started a new app as part of Open Palm Environment. This time it’s a plugin for pilot-db. Pilot-DB is a very popular open source database program for Palm handhelds. It allows the user to create their own databases and fill in the records on their PDA. There are existing databases for all types of information, like yearly wine reviews, state capitals, Internet RFCs, bus schedules, etc. I’m hoping that if we make it easy for people to create databases with active links, we’ll end up with databases of Project Gutenberg content with links to download the full text, or large databases with open source titles that can be downloaded on demand.
I saw the demo at Defcon last summer, apparently now the tool for cracking Cisco LEAP has been released. There’s been a lot of work on replacing WEP in the standard 802.11 stack with a more secure and infrastructure friendly system. Cisco LEAP was one of the contenders, apparently it didn’t fare too well. However, based on the presentations at Defcon, none of the offerings were doing very well. Tools like Kismet (for detecting networks) and AirSnort (for cracking WEP) have been around for a long time. So the existence of tools like this isn’t really surprizing. The interesting part is that WEP needs to be replaced cause it was insecure, and the replacements have ended up displaying major issues as well. General opinion is that most vendors saw a potential market advantage in being the first mover for implementing a replacement. So all these equiptment vendors raced off to fill the void without performing any sort of diligence, and now they’re getting spanked in the market cause their replacements are crap. Sure, it’s hard to get security right. But this time the problem seems to be just pure greed. Everyone jumped in before they were really ready.
Brighthand has a review of an 802.11 Memory Stick with drivers for PalmOS 5 devices. That means I should be able to use it with my Clie, very cool. Recently I’ve been considering getting a new handheld to find out how much use I could get out of WiFi, and this is a nice low cost alternative. It should at least help me figure out from where I can get free or low cost coverage.
An interesting post titled The Secret Source of Google’s Power, speculating about what it really is that Google does for competitive advantage. It’s put forth that the platform they’re running on is their real important differentiator. I would agree.
According to SmartMobs there’s a fundraiser in San Francisco for a new organization called Public Knowledge. They seem to be into some interesting stuff. This is from their about page on their website:
Some interesting commentary about programming languages and the practice of programming in Better is Better, a post from Bill de hÓra.
Slashdot linked to the TrailBlazer project a little while ago. TrailBlazer is a nice visual layout for browser history that should make it easier to get back to a site if you’ve forgotten to bookmark it. It seems like an excellent idea, but I figured that there would already be a plugin for Mozilla to provide some sort of enhanced history features. But there isn’t. I’m actually considering dabbling in Mozilla based development… maybe this would be a good place to start hacking.
Mena and Ben from Six Apart are going to be speaking in San Jose on April 14th. Six Apart is responsible for the popular blogging software Movable Type, which they also run as a user service at TypePad. Mena has a corporate blog up at Mena’s Corner if you want to get a bit of background on what they’re up to before the meeting.
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