matthew's blog

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Copyright and Old Slashdot Threads

I was reviewing some of my old Slashdot posts, and I came across some interesting arguments from June of this year that, it's interesting to note, my own opinions sway slightly from.

Part of this is my being honest: I got a C&D (Cease And Desist) from Universal a month or so after I wrote these comments. I'd tried out a program called "eMule" (apparently a clone of another program called "eDonkey"), got myself a username, and went out hunting for what sort of copyright-infringing stuff I could download. Along with the usual assortment of cracked software, mp3's, and pornographic crap that's floating around that network, there is also a large assortment of movies.

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SCO: Bruce Perens' Reply to Las Vegas Showing

I just read an excellent piece by Bruce Perens (a personal hero of mine that I've heard speak on several occasions) which was based on SCO's recent slide show on "offending" code in the Linux kernel which they claim is their stolen IP.

Rather than link to the story, I'll add my own mirror and an "Amen, brother". I would be terrifically offended if some company claimed ownership on code that I had written, and the Linux kernel development community is right in calling for SCO to show more of the source they claim is infringing.

To continue this dog and pony show of not allowing anybody to see the source that is in dispute (or even to name the line numbers of the disputed code in the publicly-available Linux kernel) is just dishonest. They are intentionally playing a game of fear, uncertainty, and doubt with the future of Linux in order to support their greatest financier, Microsoft,

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Slowing virus outbreaks with postfix rules

So I've had the lovely task of dealing with the recent sobig.f outbreak on the Internet where I work. The same dunderheads that let themselves get infected by the last big virus failed to run Windows Update so that they could be prevented from getting this one.

It just goes to show that border security, basically, isn't. People set up ways of blocking the bad stuff from getting to them, but they don't bother to fix the underlying reason the "bad stuff" can cause problems in the first place. The moment anything makes it through the border, it can cause all the havoc it wants to. People aren't taking responsibility for keeping their nodes secure on this big, wide Internet world, and the lack of their adequate policing is causing problems for the rest of us.

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U.N. HQ in Baghdad Car Bombed

The headline:

U.N. HQ in Baghdad Car Bombed - FLASH: Large car bomb attack at U.N.'s Baghdad HQ. [Winds Of Change]

What, they don't have JERSEY BARRIERS in Baghdad? I mean, the White House wasn't even a war zone 15 years ago when I remember them wheeling in the big concrete barricades to stop any potential vehicular bomb from getting anywhere near the building. I note with some twisted humor that the Salt Lake City Wallace F. Bennett Federal Building seems engineered to prevent drive-ups, with large decorative, but obviously stout and concrete, pylons. I was just thinking the other day, "Wow, someone driving a car bomb would have a heck of a time getting near that building. Maybe a motorcycle bomb or something could make it, but how much damage could something that small do?"

Important buildings should have a perimeter of Jersey Barriers preventing casual drivers-by from unloading a car bomb into them. Even if they're temporary. I wonder which U.N. genius dropped the ball deciding not to Jersey-Barrier this puppy?

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Honesty to self in an age of wonder and mystery

I'm in the midst of a discussion with a close friend, via email, of some of the fundamental questions regarding the Bible, Christian thought, and the evolution of religion. In my searches, I came across this simply amazing, honest article, written by Richard Packham and entitled "How I Became An Atheist".

And, of course, the title itself will put off some of my readers. Try another of Packham's essays, The Man Who Bought A House, to really understand where he's coming from. If you find yourself strongly disagreeing, perhaps you, too, have bought the house? His web site is an excellent collection of essays he's written and links he's collected over a lifetime of skepticism.

I kept saying to myself, "Oh, man, this is me. Did this guy read my mind?" Only obvious dissimilarities (like the fact he's at least 35 years older than me, and graduated from college with a law degree) kept me grounded in the reality that this wasn't my history I was reading. I could see myself writing an essay similar to this.

As a matter of fact, it was research into how I'd write a similar essay that led me to his site. Now I'm not so sure I want to write one of my own, since I've found one that so closely mirrors my own perceptions. Time will tell.

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test blog for trackback

I'm just using this node to play trackback games with to make sure they are talking.

The auto-discovery node is here.

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Ran across an interesting post over at regarding the establishment of permanent "paramilitary" operations. My useless commentary below.

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She's not a freak.

This is yet another excerpt from a conversation I've been having on one of my mailing lists. If you're not into religious recovery, you probably won't be into this one. If you are into discussion about theology, philosophy, and personal choice, you might be interested.

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Reliability, Availability, & Fault-Tolerance

I wrote up a blurb on Slashdot today about my perspective on creating highly reliable, available, or fault-tolerant systems, and how you really need to choose which of the three you are going for in designing your compute environment.

I've also adjusted my opinion since I posted this. There are a couple more factors, which include initial expense and maintenance cost, that need to be factored in. They are normally the domain of the bean counter, but it's important that the admin/systems architect be aware of what tradeoffs he is willing to make in order to bring those costs down, and where the sacrifice of reliability, availability, or fault-tolerance needs to be made. And he also needs to appraise the bean counter of the importance of those factors that are being lost, as well.

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Pink Fluffy Bunnies Unite!

I read a posting on one of my mailing lists today that just really got my goat. Unfortunately, my response was, I think, a bit too much advocacy of a certain point of view to be tolerated on that mailing list, so I've posted it here where I control what I think is OK and isn't :) The thread of conversation was this (paraphrased):

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