Microsoft security bugs and exploits
See also TBTF for 1999-08-30, 1998-02-02, 01-26, 01-19, 1997-11-17, 11-10, 10-20, 08-11, 06-23, 05-22, 05-08, more...
Another way to kill a Windows machine
But patched NT systems are still vulnerable if attacked by the MacOS or Linux ports of WinNuke. Microsoft says updated fixes for all Windows platforms will be posted later this evening. The company has not prepared a fix for Windows 3.1 and says it will not do so "unless users request one."
Follow this link  for the best current summary I've found of the situation, with patches and workarounds beyond those currently supplied by Microsoft. Visit this page  to test whether your Windows machine is vulnerable. C|net's latest coverage is here .
Cryptography export policy
See also TBTF for 2000-02-06, 1999-10-05, 08-30, 08-23, 08-16, 07-26, 05-22, 05-08, 04-21, 03-01, 01-26, more...
The deployment of a global key-recovery-based infrastructure to meet law enforcement's stated specifications will result in substantial sacrifices in security and greatly increased costs to the end user. Building the secure infrastructure of the breathtaking scale and complexity demanded by these requirements is far beyond the experience and current competency of the field.
The survey spotlights Amazon.com  as an example of how to succeed in online commerce by tapping the power of your community of partners and customers. It seems that Amazon is on everyone's short list of favorite commerce sites lately. Digital is running ads featuring Amazon's CEO, Jim Bezos, talking up its Alpha servers. Amazon has yet to turn a profit, though.
The Barnes & Noble site  opened last week, and on the same day the giant bookseller filed suit  against the online upstart for calling itself "the world's biggest bookstore." Regardless, at Amazon's IPO  two days later its stock closed 30% above the target price, making Bezos the latest Internet millionaire.
Amazon's story as told by The Economist  reads like an unwavering progression toward the prize. Not all case studies are so neat. The Wall Street Journal's profile  of SiteSpecific, a successful Web advertising agency, is full of the Brownian zigging and tacking that most of us will recognize as the more typical course of a business.
Email spam and antispam tactics
See also TBTF for 2000-07-20, 1999-07-19, 1998-11-17, 07-27, 03-30, 02-09, 01-12, 1997-11-24, 10-20, 09-29, 09-22, more...
|Spam messages||10||1.4||< 1 %|
|Spam complaints||189||27.0||14 %|
Mailing-list owners share information on the addresses from which commercial spam messages originate. Recently Alexander Verbraeck <A.Verbraeck at duticai dot twi dot tudelft dot nl> posted a particularly comprehensive list of purported spammers. I have taken the liberty of preserving a snapshot on the TBTF archive , sorted both by email address and by "virulence" -- the total number of messages sent by each spammer over a given time period to two of Verbraeck's lists. Thanks to Tom Parmenter <tompar at world dot std dot com> for the tip.
Quantum computers and quantum physics
See also TBTF for 1999-10-05, 01-04, 1998-11-03, 10-27, 09-14, 03-09, 03-02, 02-23, 1997-11-24, 09-15, 05-22, more...
Researchers are harnessing the weirdness of the quantum world in hopes of realizing computers that can solve in seconds problems that might require years on a classical supercomputer. People interested in breaking cryptographic codes salivate at the prospect of finding prime factors in polynomial time rather than exponential time. Some researchers have been trying to fashion "qubits" out of single atoms cooled near absolute zero by laser beams. (Such "atom traps" also figure in studies of the Bose-Einstein condensate .) This is one way to produce "Schrödinger's kittens": objects that exist in several states at once and so could represent (for example) zero and one simultaneously. (The June 1997 Scientific American features an excellent survey of these experiments, titled "Bringing Schrödinger's Cats to Life," but it is not available on the Web.) An approach using more everyday materials -- quantum computing in a coffee cup -- is being investigated by two groups of researchers, an MIT-Los Alamos team and a Harvard-MIT group. See  and  for general coverage and  for the MIT page of Neil Gershenfeld and Isaac Chuang -- but turn off image loading before visiting the latter site. (Their use of coffee as a computing medium echoes Douglas Adams's fanciful invention of the Infinite Improbability Drive , , whose principal component was a cup of hot tea.) Gershenfeld and Chuang have constructed a 3-qubit computer and used it to perform the calculation 1+1=2; they believe they can reach 10 qubits by the end of the year and see no fundamental impediments up to 30 qubits. Such a machine would take 20 minutes to factor a 1000-digit number, versus conventional machines which, under conservative assumptions, would calculate for several quadrillion times as long as the universe has existed to date.
Thanks to Peter Broadwell <peter at koi dot meer dot net>, who sent me a note after attending a talk by Gershenfeld and Chuang.
E.Commerce Today -- this commercial publication provided background information for some of the pieces in this issue of TBTF. For com- plete subscription details see <../resource/E.CT.txt>.
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TBTF home and archive at <http://www.tbtf.com/>. To subscribe send the message "subscribe" to email@example.com. TBTF is Copyright 1994-1997 by Keith Dawson, <dawson dot tbtf at gmail dot com>. Com- mercial use prohibited. For non-commercial purposes please forward, post, and link as you see fit. _______________________________________________ Keith Dawson dawson dot tbtf at gmail dot com Layer of ash separates morning and evening milk.
Most recently updated 2000-08-03