Anatomy of a Computer Virus Writer

The article describes who writes viruses, who releases them, what the motivation is, why the writers are often not prosecuted, and much more. Very detailed, very informative. I found particularly interesting that rarely virus writers release their viruses: Writing Viruses is not (yet) illegal, but releasing them is. So writers often publish the virus code, and guillable script kiddies pick it up.

LFS and Gentoo Linux

While LFS is simply a set of instructions on how to build a Linux system without a single binary (everything is compiled by yourself!), Gentoo is a real distribution. To be honest, I didn’t give it a try yet, but I’ll definitely keep it on my todo list.

Fonts, Graphics, the whole lot

It doesn’t happen often these days that I need some clip art, icons or textures for web design. But when I do, I curse that I didn’t keep the good places bookmarked. Well, here’s a pretty good one, and now it’s here, I can’t loose it any moe 😉

TBTF retires

TBTF was one of the finest newsletters during the dot-com craze. I will definitely miss Keith Dawson‘s updates. A key feature of his news was the depth of research – every story came with several links, backing up his comments.

“Layer of ash separates morning and evening milk.”

Misconceptions about new Technologies

Ken Orr lists the following misconceptions about new technologies:

Myth: “Best possible” determines the choice of technology.
Reality: “Good enough” is the basis for choice.

Myth: Choice of technology results from rational analysis.
Reality: Choice is strongly influenced by convention and past practice.

Myth: Technology advances or discoveries usually are adopted eventually.
Reality: Most don’t succeed – and shouldn’t.

Myth: The biggest hurdle is making the original discovery – the downstream development is just a matter of applying the necessary effort.
Reality: Most of what is not yet known about a new discovery is probably bad and requires creativity to overcome.

Myth: Technological advances have intrinsic value.
Reality: The customer determines value.

Myth: Radically new advances will win.
Reality: New is not necessarily better.

Myth: The power of a new technology determines its success.
Reality: The infrastructure required to support it is often the determining factor.

Myth: Progress in technology comes principally from continuing to improve performance.
Reality: Progress requires establishing standards, imposing constraints, and achieving routine.

Myth: A new technology can be grafted onto an existing business.
Reality: The new product and the business system developed to produce it should be created together.

jastram.de redesign is up and running

As I kept writing these little blurbs once in a while (mostly for myself – is anybody reading ;-), the filesystem based scripts started to ache. So I looked around for a decend PHP driven message board. I played around with a few, but there was nothing out there that really did what I wanted. Either it had a different purpose, was totally overblown, or just awkward (I spent a lot of time with PHPSlash, but it was quite cumbersome.

Even though I usually don’t like writing stuff from scratch that could otherwise be gotten, I decided to do it after all. For one, it’s really not such a big deal (a few hundred lines of code, excluding HTML); second, it’s a nice portfolio piece, the next time I am out looking for a job; and third, it’s a lot of fun.

jastram.de is online again!

Well, I am still here! To make a long story short, the company that was in charge of maintaining my DNS entry (essentially a “phone book entry” between the name “jastram.de” and the server’s number) screwed up big time. The screw-up was caused by the acquisition of the hosting company and the migration to new servers. Roughly 500 domain names were affected, but most of them were restored within a few days. Just with my account everything that could go wrong went wrong.

Slashdot – Comments that Agree

In fact, 5% – 18% of Slashdot moderators have been banned. Follow the link above, and you will encounter a research paper of a banned Slashdot moderator, who concludes “Slashdot stands as an example of a best-of-breed solution for those who wish to create a community that promotes agreement” – agreement, of course, with the editors.

Everything2

I seldom announce web sites here, but I want to point people, once again, to everything… ehhh, I mean everything2. Everything was an experimental database by the people who brought you Slashdot, that relies on user par ticipation, node creation, link strengthening, and everything else that leads to the creation of a semantic web. I just found out that version 2 is out – actually, quite a while ago. Check it out – it’s fun!