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THE VIEW FROM CHAOS MANOR

View 275 September 15 - 21, 2003

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Monday, September 15, 2003

On the way home. Lots from last weekend in view and mail.

And safely back at Chaos Manor. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has said that while the ballot system was adequate to elect Governor Davis, California citizens are not smart enough to use it in a recall election.

While I don't believe in recall elections, that is the California Constitution, and it's California's business; as are the means for elections. This is not unexpected, but it is another of the steps for undermining all faith in the system and getting the people to turn to an emperor, who can at least get something done without endless legalistic games and money transferred to lawyers to argue in front of paid judges before anything happens.

Courts, you may recall, originated as the king's sycophants. Why they are more competent than an elected legislature -- in this case a Democratic Party dominated elected legislature -- to determine what is a fair election is not known to me or anyone else: it is just the way the Royal Court always acts. Rule of law becomes rule of lawyers who are paid very well for their trouble.

Here we go again.


Spaceport news

Jerry, this link will go away in a week but I thought you'd find it

interesting. Aleta

http://www.avpress.com/n/mosty3.hts 


Do the Israelis know what they are doing? Are they determined to unite the Palestinian people behind Arafat? If they want to assassinate the old man that's one thing, but talking about it a lot? Why? Does anyone have a clue as to what they think they are doing?

See Mail for two views

 

 

 

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Tuesday, September 16, 2003

I have installed a Scientific Atlanta in-line two-way rf amplifier just upstream of the Adelphia Cable Modem. It works, and so far we have had no service interruptions since it was installed. More in the column.

I hope to do an essay on Iraq later today. Walk first.

This morning I have 23 spams through earthlink.net. One Jerrypournelle.com I have a lot of them also but Spam Assassin marks them all. I have turned on Earthlink's spam eliminator thing but it does essentially nothing: I don't think they update the know spam. I sent some spams my wife was getting to an earthlink official and was told to stop spamming him, which I have done.

Our earthlink account is becoming unusable. I am unsure what to do about this. Many of these are obvious, of patterns that I could write programs to mark and eliminate just from what I can see of them. Clearly not many resources are being devoted to this problem.

Now it's true enough, I have to allow certain things that you don't. I need press releases and sometimes they are very difficult to distinguish from spam. But some of these spams with the html code and randomly generated addresses around a small number of headers can easily be noted.

More when we get back from the walk. Sable is up here demanding that I come with her.

Punchcards: good enough to elect Gumby, not good enough to recall him. Wow.


WARNING

Subject: Hours or days

http://apnews.excite.com/article/20030916/D7TJP93G0.html

Roland Dobbins

WASHINGTON (AP) - Security researchers on Tuesday detected hackers distributing software to break into computers using flaws announced last week in some versions of Microsoft Corp. (MSFT)'s Windows operating system.

The threat from this new vulnerability - which already has drawn stern warnings from the Homeland Security Department - is remarkably similar to one that allowed the Blaster virus to infect hundreds of thousands of computers last month. < snip >

LINUX USERS SEE BELOW!!!

 

 

 

 

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Wednesday, September 17, 2003

Put Roberta on an airplane this morning for a visit to her relatives. That leaves me on my own with Sable for a week. Had lunch with Bob Gleason my crackerjack editor at Tor Books to talk about new books, both me and Niven, and to get High Tech Wars going after a long hiatus.

The D850 Intel Board has developed a slot problem: I can't get the AGP slot to believe there is a card in it. 

Since this is a main machine, it will have to be replaced, and the question is, with what? Another D850 motherboard might make sense: I have a gigabyte of RIMM. Of course the 850 is 533 FSB only and I may want to go to a full 800 FSB system.

I definitely want the Intel Ultra sound with "jack sensing". That works very well on the D865 I have. 

The 850 worked extremely well, except for that video slot.

Adelphia Watch: since I put the Scientific Atlanta amplifier in line I have had fewer interruptions in Adelphia Cable Modem service: but they have not all gone away. I still get some lasting from a few seconds to, this afternoon, about five minutes. I don't have to do anything to restore the service. All in all it works, and there are fewer annoyances every day. 

 If you have RoadRunner cable modem, I can't sent email to you from jerrypournelle.com but I can send to you from my earthlink.net account. On the other hand, I can't send to aol users from the earthlink account. This is all due to frantic efforts to cut out spam but most of those efforts are badly directed. Clearly we are going to have to do terribly painful things to some spammers; thirty or forty of them and the rest will be terrified. But this isn't terrorism...

 

General Clark, who commanded Fort Hood when the FBI borrowed Army units and Clinton waived the posse comitatus act to allow military assault on the Waco "terrorists", is now running for President. He was also commander in our adventure in Kossovo where some national interest or another was defended, but I forget just which national interest was involved in Kossovo. I was never for the Iraq adventure, but at least there is oil there. What in the world is there in Kossovo?

And the Attorney General still refuses to debate the Patriot Act and what he needs to defend us and why. The original Patriot Act was rushed through. Surely it is time for a national debate on just what we are willing to give up for empire, and why, and what the advantages are.

One of the books I am discussing with my editors is a book by me on the future of American Empire. We'll see.

=====================

  I did a mailing to subscribers as well as posting this above. LINUX USERS TAKE HEED. 

Dear Dr Pournelle,

Thanks for that, I have the patches. There is another pair of

critical alerts, this time involving Linux/Unix: an SSH exploit and a

Sendmail exploit, both exceedingly dangerous. You might want to let

people know:

SSH exploit: http://www.openssh.com/txt/buffer.adv 

Sendmail exploit: http://www.sendmail.org/8.12.10.html 

Regards, TC

 

Terry Cole admin@maths.otago.ac.nz System Administrator

Dept. of Maths and Stats, Otago University

PO. Box 56, Dunedin tel:64-3-4797739

NEW ZEALAND fax:64-3-4798427

 

 

 

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Thursday, September 18, 2003

Yesterday was devoted in part to meeting with my editor, and in part to doing silly things so you don't have to. I did a number of them. Fortunately I recovered from them all and have a lot of material for the column.

I am going to try to get some writing done today.

The situation in Iraq is not irretrievable, but it is not good, and it is becoming clear that our adventure there was not well thought out. Now some of the people who were urging us in are critical of what we did: which is predictable but sad, not because analysis and advice are not needed, but because most of what is being said is more designed to make the advisors look good than anything else.

Conservatives approach mistakes and faults of their country as one would the wounds of one's father, not with delight.

We need an analysis of what to do now: not dwelling on what we have done wrong and whether or not we ought to be there, but what we should do now to make the best of a rather sticky situation.


General Clark is being compared (largely by himself and his supporters) to General Eisenhower. General Clark's performance in Kossovo hardly makes him comparable to Eisenhower in stature or ability. "They're our bombers now," said an anti-military Clinton staffer not long after Clinton became Commander in Chief. I make no doubt that staffer will end up in Clark's headquarters.

This is sad: I would not at all mind finding a defense minded Democrat with some sane notions about world trade and economics. From what I have seen so far, Clark is not that Democrat.


More troopers dead in Iraq.


Cow Economics Redux

DEMOCRAT

You have two cows.

Your neighbor has none.

You feel guilty for being successful.

Barbara Streisand sings for you.

REPUBLICAN

You have two cows.

Your neighbor has none.

So?

SOCIALIST

You have two cows.

The government takes one and gives it to your neighbor.

You form a cooperative to tell him how to manage his cow.

COMMUNIST

You have two cows.

The government seizes both and provides you with milk.

You wait in line for hours to get it.

It is expensive and sour.

CAPITALISM, AMERICAN STYLE

You have two cows.

You sell one, buy a bull, and build a herd of cows.

DEMOCRACY, AMERICAN STYLE

You have two cows.

The government taxes you to the point you have to sell both to support a

man in a foreign country who has only one cow, which was a gift from

your government.

BUREAUCRACY, AMERICAN STYLE

You have two cows.

The government takes them both, shoots one, milks the other, pays you

for the milk, and then pours the milk down the drain.

AMERICAN CORPORATION

You have two cows.

You sell one, lease it back to yourself and do an IPO on the 2nd one.

You force the two cows to produce the milk of four cows. You are

surprised when one cow drops dead.

You spin an announcement to the analysts stating you have downsized and

are reducing expenses.

Your stock goes up.

FRENCH CORPORATION

You have two cows.

You go on strike because you want three cows.

You go to lunch and drink wine.

Life is good.

JAPANESE CORPORATION

You have two cows.

You redesign them so they are one-tenth the size of an ordinary cow and

produce twenty times the milk.

They learn to travel on unbelievably crowded trains.

Most are at the top of their class at cow school.

GERMAN CORPORATION

You have two cows.

You engineer them so they are all blond, drink lots of beer, give

excellent quality milk, and run a hundred miles an hour. Unfortunately

they also demand 13 weeks of vacation per year.

ITALIAN CORPORATION

You have two cows but you don't know where they are.

While ambling around, you see a beautiful woman.

You break for lunch.

Life is good.

RUSSIAN CORPORATION

You have two cows.

You have some vodka.

You count them and learn you have five cows.

You have some more vodka.

You count them again and learn you have 42 cows.

The Mafia shows up and takes over however many cows you really have.

TALIBAN CORPORATION

You have all the cows in Afghanistan, which are two.

You don't milk them because you cannot touch any creature's private

parts.

Then you kill them and claim a US bomb blew them up while they were in

the hospital.

IRAQIAN CORPORATION

You have two cows.

They go in hiding.

They send radio tapes of their mooing.

POLISH CORPORATION

You have two bulls.

Employees are regularly maimed and killed attempting to milk them.

FLORIDA CORPORATION

You have a black cow and a brown cow.

Everyone votes for the best looking one.

Some of the people who like the brown one best, vote for the black one.

Some people vote for both.

Some people vote for neither.

Some people can't figure out how to vote at all.

Finally, a bunch of guys from out-of-state tell you which is the

best-looking cow.

NEW YORK CORPORATION

You have fifteen million cows.

You have to choose which one will be the leader of the herd, so you pick

some fat cow from Arkansas.

CALIFORNIA HAPPY COWS

Crowd herd of happy fun loving cows into a small dirt lot.

Feed cows weeds.

Hire Hollywood to show commercial of HAPPY COWS in green pastures.

Smoke weed left over from cow feeding.

Make millions selling "HAPPY MILK."

 


Something else to worry about:

http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/national/AP-HIPAA-Police.html?
ex=1064890416&ei=1&en=ce174cb4e24a7d04
 

AND SEE MAIL

And from Roland

 

http://www.sophos.com/virusinfo/analyses/w32gibef.html 

AliasesW32/Swen.A@mm, I-Worm.Swen

Type Win32 worm

Detection A virus identity file (IDE) file which provides protection is available now from the Latest virus identities section, and will be incorporated into the November 2003 (3.75) release of Sophos Anti-Virus.

Sophos has received several reports of this worm from the wild. Note: Sophos has been detecting W32/Gibe-F since 12:20 GMT on 18th September, but has issued this new IDE to improve detection.

Description W32/Gibe-F is a worm which spreads by emailing itself via its own SMTP engine to addresses extracted from various sources on the victim's drives (e.g. MBX and DBX files). The worm also spreads using the KaZaA peer-to-peer shared folders and via IRC channels. W32/Gibe-F may also attempt to spread via usenet newsgroups (NNTP).

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Friday, September 19, 2003

Arrrrh!

This is National Talk Like a Pirate Day...

Arr! Me Hearties. The First Mate is off and away, leaving me on me own, and I can't really keep this up long even as a favor to Dave Barry...


WORM WARNING

Dr. P,

This allows an attacker to install and run a program on your computer, even if you have ActiveX disabled for the internet zone.

on the following page

http://www.heise.de/security/dienste/
browsercheck/demos/ie/e5_15.shtml
 

click "Demo ausfuehren".

A (non-malicious) program called browsercheck.exe will be installed in C:\, and afterwards displays a window saying you are vulnerable.

This worked here with W2k professional, IE 5.5, and through a Checkpoint One Firewall and Novell Netware Bordermanager (http proxy).

There is no patch available at the moment.

Kurt Bremser

I cannot certify that what this does is harmless; I am alerting people who know more than I do.

 

 

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Saturday, September 20, 2003

We endured talking like pirates...

I have editorial meetings all afternoon. Some problems and solutions in mail, and some late letters posted last night so be sure to scroll up a bit into Friday evening.

Back on board this evening. Off to to editorial work on High Tech Wars with my crack editor from Tor.


I sent out a mailing to subscribers yesterday on the latest "Microsoft" worm fix, which looks extremely genuine but is in fact a worm.  Here is one response:

>>I got this mail a few minutes ago. 

NOTE that this is a VIRUS ATTACK DISGUISED AS A WARNING.  Note the sophistication.  Now I know that no Chaos Manor subscriber will execute a mail attachment. But perhaps you know people who might do that.

 

DO NOT OPEN UNEXPECTED MAIL ATTACHMENTS and PARTICULARLY DO NOT OPEN THOSE THAT PURPORT TO BE FROM MICROSOFT and are supposed to be virus fixes!  You know this.  Friends donít let friends open such things.

<<

I'd rather see it three times and know it to be true, than not see it at all and be thrice damned by the lack.

It has already claimed two victims (customers of our ISP). The camouflage is near perfect; both customers were taken in by the "Microsoft" cachet of the cover letter. I'll be cleaning the machine of the first victim on Monday, part of our extended service and also to know the face of the latest enemy. Between spammers and virus writers, I'd be hard pressed to choose which should face a firing squad first.

Regards and thanks, Doctor.

Tim Bowser, MSgt, USAF (ret.)

Be careful. There are a lot of villains out there and they are after you. This purported Microsoft "fix" seems to be so prevalent that it is clogging the net. I suspect but do not know that it sends itself after you install it.

Microsoft never sends patches in email. 

Microsoft never sends patches in email. 

Microsoft never sends patches in email

What I tell you three times is true.

 


Earthlink Watch: this morning I have 26 messages sent to me at Earthlink.net. These are the ones that made it through all spam filters. @4 of them are spam. Some are very obvious spam with subject lines like "Studio City Residents lower your interest rates", some are the usual bogus subjects like You Blocked My Email. I cannot set the Earthlink spam filters to their highest level. I cannot take the time to go to their webmail page to review mail first.

There has to be some way to filter this stuff but I don't know what it is yet. I don't get that much junk at Jerrypournelle.com at least not that makes its way through the filters.

For some reason "I Hate Spam" has essentially stopped working on Earthlink messages.


My editorial session went well. We will be bringing out a book on High Tech wars shortly.


Duty and Honor.
 
http://www.msnbc.com/news/969061.asp?0cv=CA01 
 
Ray Washburn

Indeed.


Adelphia Watch: three times this Saturday Afternoon the system has crashed. Just cut off, no message traffic. Nothing. Worse, it says it is connected. It's just not accepting any messages. There's no cure.

After about five minutes it comes back. But it's dead enough. Not QUITE dead. There's a tiny trickle through it. Slower than 12o0 Baud, I would say. FTP transfers files but about one file every 5 minutes, even for small files.

However, the Dark Age of Camelot server keeps dying, and it is NOT Adelphia. So I get both outages..

 

 

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Sunday, September 21, 2003

We have a big "famous authors" meeting with my editor over in the Sportsman's Lodge this afternoon, so I won't be around. There is a lot of mail.

I remain enamored of the young lady in the Iraqi Blog but rather suspicious of the accuracy of all of her stories. Suspicious is not condemnatory it is suspicion. And some of her accounts are very interesting.

There is also the beginning of a discussion on Trusted Computing...

Earthlink Watch: nine spam zero mail; some of the spam had "interest rates" and "low prices on toner" in the subject heading. I have the Earthlink filter set to "known spam" but it doesn't seem to get much. Maybe I am not using it right?

Midnight: fourteen new messages through earthlink.net, and every single one of them was not only spam, but obviously spam from the subject titles.

==========================

Well, I find in Dark Age of Camelot that they have cheated me out of considerable money. 

 

My HOUSE is gone. I had paid the rent a month in advance, but their buggy stupid system caused my house to be gone and an empty lot to be where it had been.

I had put considerably effort into decorations and considerable expense as well, but their buggy system took it all away. No notification. Nothing. Just gone.

Their server also dumps you out of the game periodically and that has nothing to do with the cable modem. I can put up with that. But this is just plain theft, and I am angry.

I do not seem to be able to appeal to anyone or complain to anyone. That system is broken as well.

 

 

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