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Permanent link to archive for Saturday, January 25, 2003. Saturday, January 25, 2003

Google Village: "Who are you optimizing your site for?" 

East Broadway Ron notices that spam sometimes tells a story in the subjects, when viewed in sequence. I've noticed this too! 

Would a meta-blog formed from the top sites of the day be interesting? 

SQL virus reports 

A picture named graph.gif6:30AM Pacific. Heard a report on NPR that some kind of Internet-wide denial of service attack is underway. They quote Microsoft saying it's serious. If you have more information, esp Web pages I can point to, please post a comment on my Radio weblog. Thanks.

Reports: CNN, BBC, Slashdot, Beta News, Google, AP, Reuters.

Lawrence Lee: "Here's a chart from the Internet Traffic Report with global packet loss for the past 24 hours."

Freedom.Org: "Quick fix is to firewall port 1434/UDP traffic, and reboot the affected SQL servers."

Slashdot: "If you run Microsoft SQL Server, make sure the public Internet can't access it."

Beta News: "The attack used a buffer overflow to execute code on a vulnerable SQL Server, causing that system to randomly seek out other computers to infect and in the process consume massive amounts of bandwidth."

Jason Levine: "The worm generated an average of 2,815 packets a second, or roughly 170,000 packets a minute."

My bet with Martin 

Observation. In 2003, when we want to, we can beat the NY Times, on a technical subject. Their report just appeared in their RSS feed, for the home page (so they thought it was an important story), but -- they don't have their own report, it's from AP. Presumably they will have a full Times-authored story in the Sunday edition.

In contrast, when I checked at 6:30AM Pacific, Slashdot had the whole thing, cause and cure, and while I asked for and got lots more links from Scripting News readers, Slashdot already had the story from the main angle.

One wonders why the AP report couldn't also include the cure, it's one sentence, sure it wouldn't mean anything to most people, but to the people who need the information, it could make a huge difference. The Internet is a set of interdependencies. We all depend on each other, never can you see that more clearly than when a virus attack is underway.

Anyway, good job, World Wide Web, and hats off to Slashdot. Now, if I'm going to win the bet with Martin in 2007 (which I plan to), we're going to need to be that good not just in technology, but in everything.

Earlier links 

Anne Bradstreet: "If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant: if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome."

Doc: "I ride the Asymptote to Oblivion."

An excellent Jamie Zawinski rant on Linux usability.

Wired: "For a fee of $10 to $13, the service, called Live Phish, features specially designed cover art and provides soundboard-quality downloadable recordings of Phish concerts less than 48 hours after a performance."

Rahul Dave: "With comments you don't care about identity, just that the person is a real person, not a spam bot."

UserLand's mail server is down. No mail. Interesting feeling. It must be in the water (or air). My friend Cory Doctorow is having mail problems too.

Carl Sagan 

I got new glasses. Interesting experience. The prescription is better at short distances, like for reading books and computer screens, but not as good at long distance as my old glasses. I figure the glitches will fix themselves. We'll see.

A picture named sagan.gifIn the meantime, reading is easier, so I'm doing more of that and less TV-watching. I'm reading three books at the same time now. One of them is Cosmos by Carl Sagan. It has very small type. I can read it. Nice. One of the things I've learned is that the universe started with just hydrogen and a very small amount of helium. Everything else comes from stars, which are factories for more complex elements, in addition to the source of all our energy and the cosmic rays that make genes mutate and therefore are responsible for evolution.

Without stars there would be no silicon (the stuff our planet is made from), or carbon (the stuff we're made from). Sagan's writing is so great. He has a way of making all my problems seem so unimportant. The last time I read his book he was still alive. He died at a young age of cancer. What a sweet man he was, so smart, so generous.

America's medical system 

Doctor to a young man, just 27 years old. "I have bad news, good news, and bad news."

First the bad news. You have a terminal disease. Without treatment, you will die.

Now the good news. There's a drug that will hold back the disease. Unless there's a cure, you will have to take it for the rest of your life.

Now the bad news. The drug costs $700 per month. Your insurance will cover it. But if you get fired or laid off, eventually you will have to pay for it out of your own pocket, or die.

This is a real story.


Last update: Saturday, January 25, 2003 at 5:45 PM Eastern.

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