April 26, 2003
Corrupt CDs

These are the music CDs that:

1. Prevent you from copying it for personal use or from playing it on computerized devices (computers, DVD players, game consoles like PlayStation, MP3 players, consumer CD duplicators, high-end stereo equipment and car CD players).

2. In the United States, Canada and the UK, these "copy-protected" CDs are often unmarked. Once you buy it, you can only exchange it and hope that the replacement isn't defective too.

WHO diet guidelines devoid of science

A final irony is that underweight caused by malnutrition is the leading cause of death worldwide -- according to the WHO's own World Health Report 2002.

It seems many people could benefit from more fat and sugar, not less.

Perhaps it was your college stint that was devoid of science.

Malnutrition can't be solved by sugar. Sugar has ABSOLUTELY NO NUTRITIONAL VALUE, just four calories per gram.

Fat is little better, tho possibly helpful for malnutrition IN ADDITION TO OTHER NUTRIENTS. Fat alone is not useful to the body. It must be consumed with the required nutrients.

Other than that, it is just nine empty calories per gram.

April 25, 2003
Opteron: Pushing x86 to the Limit

For this series of benchmarks, we imported a 400 MB HTTP log from webserver into a MySQL database. In this test we perform complex "datamining" queries and time them to determine how long they take to run. As this is our own database, we can show you the actual queries.


I think the next MySQL server I build is gonna be Athlon powered.

Canada battles Toronto travel warning

"I'm sure there are many other places in the world that are less safe than coming to Toronto, if you're talking public health," said Dr. Donald Low, microbiologist-in-chief at Mount Sinai Hospital."Going to downtown Mexico, the risk of getting mugged and killed is probably 100,000 times higher than coming to Toronto and coming down with SARS."

But... if you get mugged, are you going to go home an mug someone?

Mugging isn't contagious... SARS is.

April 24, 2003
Where is Microsoft's ROI?

It is vital to any technology cost comparison to calculate all returns on an annualized basis so that you're not doing an apples-to-oranges type comparison.Buying a piece of software at 50% discount from list price is not necessarily a bargain. What happens if it takes five years to recoup the investment, but the vendor cancels support after three years? Then you might feel compelled to buy the next version before the five-year break-even point has been achieved. Not very smart, is it?You might want to get the vendor to bring the price down further, but why bother? Do you really want to spend money just to break even?Once again, it is simply foolish to buy software, use it for a couple of years, and then throw it out when the vendor dictates that the next version must be purchased (or else an add-on support contract must be signed, after the ROI calculations have been filed away and the extra cost is thus ignored).

Study puts paid to common myth about GPL

A study of the end user license agreement (EULA) for Microsoft Windows XP and the GNU General Public License (GPL), the most common licence under which Free/Open Source Software is released, has put paid to the common myth that GPL software cannot be included in proprietary software without the entire mix having to necessarily be released under the GPL.The study also found that the majority of the EULA appears to protect Microsoft while a major portion of the GPL is geared towards apportioning rights to users.The Microsoft EULA "appears to limit choices, options and actions" taken by users of software covered by that licence. The GPL appears to safeguard the rights of the original developers in order to ensure continued accessibility of the source code for the software, the study found.

I'm not quite sure what the term "puts paid" means... but the article is informative.

April 23, 2003
Open Source Enables Terrorist States

"Where to begin? OpenBSD Journal has a couple of update articles on the business of DARPA cancelling POSSE and OpenBSD's grant. And here is a message from Theo de Raadt, the OpenBSD big cheese, with a quote from a military spokesman. How does '...due to world events and the evolving threat posed by increasingly capable nation-states...' grab you? Does open source and freely available security support terrorism by its very nature?"

Open source is only a terrorist threat if your government has a back door into the alternative, proprietary software.

Open source keeps governments honest. So, it helps protect you from government sponsored terrorism... as in... John Ashcroft and Mr. Poindexter.

April 21, 2003
Transfer your knowledge and skill set to Linux

As many of you know, I've been working with Linux for a while now - since last summer. Declining business opportunities on the Windows platform combined with increased frustration with a variety of Microsoft's practices led me to investigate Linux as a possible avenue of new business. Associates of mine have been following the same path, but the one thing we 'knew' for sure was that we'd have to leave our beloved Visual FoxPro behind, since it only ran on Windows.

Sugar industry threatens to scupper WHO

The sugar industry in the US is threatening to bring the World Health Organisation to its knees by demanding that Congress end its funding unless the WHO scraps guidelines on healthy eating, due to be published on Wednesday.

April 18, 2003

CamelBones is a framework that allows many types of Cocoa programs to be written entirely in Perl. It also provides a high-level object-oriented wrapper around an embedded Perl interpreter, so that Cocoa programs written in Objective-C can easily make use of code and libraries written in Perl.

April 09, 2003
The Consultant's Curse

When the customer has beaten upon you long enough, give him what he asks for, instead of what he needs.

This is very strong medicine, and is normally only required once.

Your loss, their gain

A little advice for any company looking to sell off part of its operations during these troubled times -- you might want to check with Microsoft first to see how much it's going to cost you.


This issue first came to light last fall when sketchy news reports surfaced about Microsoft filing an objection in the Kmart bankruptcy proceedings. As Kmart was divesting its Bluelight.com ISP, the reports said Microsoft had claimed Kmart could not transfer licenses of Microsoft software to the acquiring company without its permission.

15 Tips for Troubleshooting VPN Connections

You can construct a VPN in a myriad of ways, but constructing your VPN is just your first step. After you construct the VPN, you have to troubleshoot it.

A quick way to secure a Linux system

The first step in securing your system is to determine what the function of that system is going to be. For example, if the system is going to be dedicated to being an ftp server,then there is little reason to having samba or sendmail installed because the more services that are running, the more vulnerable the system is going to be. This cannot be stressed enough. You do not want services running that you won't be using.

Keeping jobs at home

The goal of a project like this is usually the creation a unique solution custom fit for the organization. Unfortunately, most of these efforts (and I've worked on a few over the years) involve massive efforts to re-create closed-source code that other organizations have already written. That's a significant cost for reinventing the wheel.

Why not consider a different approach? Instead of aspiring to a huge custom solution and then cutting costs by using cheap labor, try extending an open-source solution. This reduces costs by eliminating the needless redevelopment of existing code. Maintenance costs can be lowered by returning much if not all of the new code to the open-source project, involving the open-source community in the creation of bug fixes and improvements. I've spoken with people at organizations that have used this approach to their benefit without having to pay their technical people low wages.

Sometimes, More Is More

I didn't switch from Windows to Linux on my home and work systems because Windows wasn't easy. I switched because as I came into contact with OS alternatives, I became frustrated with lack of flexibility I found in Windows.

This is why Bill is willing to break the law to make sure you never get the opportunity to compare products.

Bill knows users don't give a damn about the "best" product. They are perfectly happy with "good enough." And Windows is only "good enough" when it stands alone.

When you look at the cost of Linux vs. the cost of Windows you start having a hard time justifying the additional cost, because Linus is "good enough" for most things.

Self-Hosting Movies with MoviX

The point I want to make in this article is that developing this kind of dedicated mini-distributions is not hard once you have a few guidelines. I hope to encourage the development of more such distributions by describing below the main steps I followed to build the MoviX packages. The only thing I assume is you are accustomed to kernel/modules configuration and compilation.

This is a very good article detailing how one would go about creating their own bootable Linux CD.

April 04, 2003
[O]peration [I]raqi [L]iberation

A lot of people don't really understand how much money is at stake with the Iraq "crusade". This diagram could help you to understand what the USA is doing, and what are it's main goals.

April 03, 2003
How to connect a newer Watchguard Firebox to FreeS/WAN

DO YOU HAVE AN UBER-GEEK Linux user in your organization who constantly hounds you for IPSec VPN access to the Firebox? Maybe you're that Linux geek, and you cringe at the idea of installing Windows at home just so you can use the WatchGuard MUVPN client.

If so, you can now bask in the glow of FreeS/WAN-to-WatchGuard interoperability.

aqLists: unobtrusive DHTML and the power of unordered lists

In recent months, we've seen people begin to take advantage of the fact that nested unordered lists (that's

  • tags) express a hierarchial structure by making code that displays this simple hierarchy in a more complex form: a set of dropdown menus, or an expandable/collapsable tree.

April 02, 2003
How to ward off that wireless interloper

You’ve heard horror tales about attacks on wireless networks, so how do you go about building a secure Wi-Fi infrastructure? Here’s a guide.

Be ye neither first in nor last out

Adam Osborne died last week. Probably the first guy outside of Apple to realize and capitalize upon the fact that people would buy and use microcomputers, he is not remembered for his company's vast though brief success but instead for something he said that was incredibly stupid. From which a lesson important to all of us may be learned.

More Fun with Internet Exploder

There's a new IE exploit in town, pilgrim, and this time it's aiming for your cupholder, err, CD-ROM tray. This code apparently opens all CD-ROM drives when IE encounters it...