September 2003 Archives

Return of The King

A few days ago the new Matrix trailer was exciting. Ha, that was then! The trailer for the last movie in the Lord Of The Ring trilogy, Return of the King, is out! But why oh why is the "large" version a puny 480x208... If I'm going to play these three minutes in loop from now to Christmas, at least they could have made it in a higher resolution. Oh dear, it looks so cool. Where's that time machine when you need it most?

Since I don't have a tv I listen to the radio quite a bit. I really like the radio. There are so many awesome programs. And I'm not even thinking of the cool music programs my radiostation are running (sadly often late at night - I need a radio TiVo).

While looking for the story I linked in the last posting I got reminded how many amazing stories they have at This American Life. I can't emphasize this enough. I want to include language they can't use on TV to make it clear to you, dear reader, how great this program is. But I'm not the cursing type unless I'm unusually upset, so I can't today.

I've listened to maybe 50, 100 or maybe even more of them over the last years and it's rare it hasn't been 59 very enjoyable minutes. I was considering linking to a few of my favorites, but if I had started you'd still be downloading this page because there'd be so many links. If you haven't heard the show before then read their introduction and then check out some of their own favorites.

Or you can go to their front page and just browse the archives for stories catching your interest. If you don't think you'll relate well to something called "American Life", you should reconsider. This Life, the name in their URL, really is more accurate.

Some confused judge in Oklahoma decided that Congress had given the FCC but not the FTC authority to make a the Do Not Call registry. So it's temporarily being blocked; otherwise it's supposed to take effect from October 1st. (Of course the legislators are saying that everyone is behind it and they'll get any legislation needed set up in a matter of days).

The best part of the NYT article:

The Direct Marketing Association acknowledged that the court ruling did not solve its public relations problem.

"We're pleased the court has agreed with us. On the other hand we're concerned about consumers who think we want to make calls when they don't want to receive them," said Bob Wientzen, chief executive of the association.

So we shouldn't be concerned that they want to make calls we don't want to receive? What kind of awkward spin is that? Of course it can't be easy to be the head of an organization of companies that everyone hates (act five, about 41 minutes into the show).

Seth Gordon suggests that we shouldn't talk about computer security as it was a war game or a disease problem.

People who are familiar with computer security understand where the dramatic metaphor ends and where prosaic reality begins. If I have a physical firewall around my computer, and someone lights a physical fire outside of it, the safety of my computer depends on the resources of the arsonist: with the right chemicals, any firewall can be turned to rubble. If I have an electronic "firewall" between my computer and the public Internet, and the firewall is configured to block all incoming traffic, the world's most brilliant network engineers with the world's most powerful computers will not be able to override the firewall simply by sending packets to it over the Internet.

But try to think like someone who doesn't know much about computer security, doesn't have the time or inclination to learn, and doesn't know how to interpret the metaphors. Microsoft is the largest and wealthiest software company in the world, and Windows and Office are their flagship products. Surely, if they are vulnerable to computer viruses, then any comparable products from any competitor must be at least as vulnerable. Any claim that an operating system written by a bunch of volunteers is more secure than Windows doesn't deserve a moment's serious consideration

(via David Weinberger)

For those of you who liked Verisign's Sitefinder .... huh? Noone? Alright then. For the rest of us: Mark Fowler brings us Acme::VerySign - make unused subroutines useful! "Useful" in the ever popular VeriSign sense of course.

In related news, ICANN asks VeriSign to suspend sitefinder. Geez, just revoke their contract already! (via CircleID) update

Between yesterday and today my dad and I have talked to about 20 different people (and a few answering machines) at Deutsche Telekom and various subsidiaries. They keep telling variations over "oh, no - we don't have anything to do with that". Some people promised to email The Person To Contact or call back, but of course they never did.

At last Knud Erik got the number to "Company Connect" which was supposed to be The Answer. He called them and they promised to email back who to call. Unlike Knud Erik I don't speak German, but I called them a few hours later (an ~hour ago now) and they told me that they were the networking people (routers and such) and didn't have anything to do with DNS. Aargh. So I explain that we had been told they could help us and so on. He found yet another number for me to call. Argh. An 0800 number no less, which I can't call. I explained that to him and he disappeared behind the hold music for a while before transferring me.

It appears that the last person I talked to could actually help. At least she could look up the domain and the person who had put in the order. And she wasn't in a hurry to disclaim any authority or knowledge about it and send me off to someone else. I explained that it was not me or anyone from the company who owns the domain (Netcetera). She said she would call the person who had put in the order and email me back.

Finally! Someone taking responsibility for looking into and hopefully fixing the problem, yay!

So, in summary, the service should be on its way to get back to life on its proper domain.

ZzZzzzzZzZzz.... Sleepy now, apologies if half of the above is entirely intelligible. hijacked


Grrrh! Deutsche Telekom AG hijacked my domain

They requested a domain transfer from OpenSRS. We may not have rejected it, but we (as the owner) never requested the transfer and we never approved DTAG to do it! They are only allowed to do the transfer on behalf of the owner (duh).

OpenSRS told me that they are required to do the transfer and Deutsche Telekom are required to keep on file the old information and the new information and then document how we requested the transfer. Which we didn't of course, so they'll have to give it back. But what a fucking pain!

I can see in the OpenSRS log that the theifs, Michael Schoenemann (aka and DT tried to transfer it some months ago where we rejected it from OpenSRS. No problomo, they'd just try again and again and again....

In the meantime the Metamark service is also at; and the urls at are of course unaffected.

I can't find a phone number on the Deutsche Telekom registrar site (maybe I could have if any click didn't lead me into frame and popup hell), but I sent them a mail in their contact form and when it's business hours there again I'll call and ask for their "compliance department" (on advice from OpenSRS). The T-Systems page is saying maybe we'll call you if you ask nicely. So I did, and other wise their press office has a phone number: +49 6151 680-22 10 (press office).

Any advice from someone who's parsing german better than I would be welcome.

Grand Theft America

Really neat flash movie about how Katherine Harris stole the vote in Florida. Based on Greg Palast of BBC's Theft of the Presidency. (via David Weinberger)

The properties of ideas

Thomas Jefferson said:

If nature has made any one thing less susceptible than all others of exclusive property, it is the action of the thinking power called an idea, which an individual may exclusively possess as long as he keeps it to himself, but the moment it is divulged, it forces itself into the possession of everyone, and the receiver cannot dispossess himself of it. Its peculiar character, too, is that no one possesses the less, because every other possesses the whole of it.

He who receives an idea from me, receives instruction himself without lessening mine; as he who lights his taper at mine, receives light without darkening me. That ideas should freely spread from one to another over the globe, for moral and mutual instruction of man, and improvement of his condition, seems to have been peculiarly and benevolently designed by nature, when she made them, like fire, expansible over all space, without lessening their density at any point, and like the air in which we breath, move, and have our physical being, incapable of confinement or exclusive appropriation.

Inventions then cannot, in nature, be a subject of property.

(via politech)

So in that spirit I've picked up Tony's idea of marking blockquote's with a line before the indention. Thanks Tony! :-)

Funny Open Firmware bug

You can't use uppercase "U" in your open firmware password on most modern macs. Lowercase "u" and anything else is fine apparently. How weird is that. Not that it matters, who is using it anyway? Except to clear the nvram and as a poor mans System Profiler I haven't even booted Open Firmware since '97 when you had to do odd hacks to boot Linuxppc.

(Hold down command-option-O-F just after turning the computer on to boot into Open Firmware; it's fun! Programmable in Forth and all.)

Ah, you can set the password with a nifty tool. Brave new world.

PC Magazine are reviewing the giant 17" laptop I made fun of a while ago. "Pushes the Limits of Portability" they say. I thought even the 17" Powerbook did that! I need to stop mentioning powerbooks in every entry I make here.

No new Powerbooks just yet


Apple lowered the price on the powerbooks in early june to clear inventory (or so the story goes). The new PowerPC 7457 based 'books were supposed to come out in late June. Since then the rumor has been "Any Day Now". Apparently Motorola are completely unable to supply the darn things, because now the story is that they won't come out until October.

That's almost a year after the last update of the 15", and ... well, also almost a year after the 12" and the 17" came out. And the retain channel and the distributors are almost completely out of stock.

Unless they have a contract that makes this hurt for Motorola, then Apple is in a really bad spot.

Apple: "Make the darn things already or we'll change chip supplier!"
Motorola: "Er, you already did."
Apple: "uuuh... Because you suck!"

Of couse, maybe this will make G5 powerbooks and iMacs come out sooner... (the G3 in the iBooks is produced by IBM).

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from September 2003 listed from newest to oldest.

August 2003 is the previous archive.

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