Small Bits of Chaos
Simson Garfinkel announces a new article analyzing the security of Skype.
JihadWatch comments on a story on NPR yesterday, bemoaning the descriptivist reality that Jihad is now used to describe violent acts of terror. I heard this story on the radio, and the commentator’s prescriptivist bias of “Darn it, this is what the word means!” really annoyed me.
Schneier has a short bit on the damage done by false positives in security. I think it’s worse than this: Because terrorism is so rare in the US, our systems don’t need to evolve to effectiveness. Anyone who has been to Israel, the UK or France can observe measures which evolved through a long period of active terror. French trash cans, designed to drive the force of a bomb upwards, and not make shrapnel, are a great, subtle example of this. In the US, we get drivers license checks.
CIO Today has a story about the Yankee Group claiming that the total cost of owning open source software may be higher than software you pay for. The costs show up in programming, maintenance, and lack of good support. Given the (fairly standard) claim that upfront hardware and software costs are 20-30% of the 5 year outlays in a project, this makes some sense. I do think that the highest performing organizations out there are on redundant arrays of cheap linux boxes, but they’re a thin tail, not the norm.