Janus’ Musings

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Posts Tagged ‘Technology

Inside a DOS attack

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Over the memorial day weekend in the US – Revision3’s website was shut down by a DOS attack which shutdown their website, RSS feeds, and corporate email. They decided to investigate what/who caused the attack – their investigation reads like a mystery thriller. What’s really disturbing is that how the originator (MediaDefender) system decided to innundate a system with “pings” when Revision3 removed some back-door entries into the system. The question really is that while IP rights are important and should be enforced, how do you justify taking down a legit business thru a DOS attack because they removed certain back-doors (which were probably illegal in the first place) from their system?


First, they willingly admitted to abusing Revision3’s network, over a
period of months, by injecting a broad array of torrents into our
tracking server. They were able to do this because we configured the
server to track hashes only – to improve performance and stability.
That, in turn, opened up a back door which allowed their networking
experts to exploit its capabilities for their own personal profit.


Second, and here’s where the chain of events come into focus, although
not the motive. We’d noticed some unauthorized use of our tracking
server, and took steps to de-authorize torrents pointing to
non-Revision3 files. That, as it turns out, was exactly the wrong thing
to do. MediaDefender’s servers, at that point, initiated a flood of SYN
packets attempting to reconnect to the files stored on our server. And
that torrential cascade of “Hi”s brought down our network.


Grodsky admits that his computers sent those SYN packets to Revision3,
but claims that their servers were each only trying to contact us every
three hours. Our own logs show upwards of 8,000 packets a second.

Written by janusmusings

May 30, 2008 at 1:05 am

Posted in Technology

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The singularity

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Wired’s April issue has got a piece on Ray Kurzweil and his “singularity” mission. I think this is far-fetched – I don’t think we will get pass this singularity (death) in the next 15-20 years – especially that machines will evolve to be conscious in the immediate future.

Kurzweil does not believe in half measures. He takes 180 to 210 vitamin
and mineral supplements a day, so many that he doesn’t have time to
organize them all himself. So he’s hired a pill wrangler, who takes
them out of their bottles and sorts them into daily doses, which he
carries everywhere in plastic bags. Kurzweil also spends one day a week
at a medical clinic, receiving intravenous longevity treatments. The
reason for his focus on optimal health should be obvious: If the
singularity is going to render humans immortal by the middle of this
century, it would be a shame to die in the interim. To perish of a
heart attack just before the singularity occurred would not only be sad
for all the ordinary reasons, it would also be tragically bad luck,
like being the last soldier shot down on the Western Front moments
before the armistice was proclaimed.

Written by janusmusings

April 13, 2008 at 2:44 am

Posted in Technology

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Technology Trends

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Written by janusmusings

April 13, 2008 at 2:37 am

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The earliest audio recording – discovered!

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In 1860, a French scientist – Édouard-Léon Scott de Martinville – recorded ‘Au Clair de la Lune’ on a piece of paper blackened by oil smoke. Scientists have now reproduced that recording and and the article and the recording is on the NYT

Édouard-Léon Scott de Martinville has certainly been obscure, at least until now. Researchers say that in April 1860, the Parisian tinkerer used a device called a phonautograph to make visual recordings of a woman singing “Au Clair de la Lune.” That was 17 years before Thomas Edison received a patent for the phonograph, and 28 years before his technology was used to capture and play back a piece of a section of a Handel oratorio.


Written by janusmusings

March 30, 2008 at 2:55 am

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Explaining Religion

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The Economist has an article in it’s Science and Technology Section attempting to explain religion. There are many studies and tests done on persons to test if religion is really linked to some chemicals or process in the brain:

It is an ambitious shopping list. Fortunately, other researchers have
blazed a trail. Patrick McNamara, for example, is the head of the
Evolutionary Neurobehaviour Laboratory at Boston University’s School of
Medicine. He works with people who suffer from Parkinson’s disease.
This illness is caused by low levels of a messenger molecule called
dopamine in certain parts of the brain. In a preliminary study, Dr
McNamara discovered that those with Parkinson’s had lower levels of
religiosity than healthy individuals, and that the difference seemed to
correlate with the disease’s severity. He therefore suspects a link
with dopamine levels and is now conducting a follow-up involving some
patients who are taking dopamine-boosting medicine and some of whom are
not.

Written by janusmusings

March 25, 2008 at 7:23 am

Posted in medicine

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Why Old Technologies are still kicking

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NYT has an article on the IBM mainframe and why it’s still popular – essentially because it serves a business need and does it very well:

“The mainframe survived its near-death experience and continues to
thrive because customers didn’t care about the underlying technology,”
said Irving Wladawsky-Berger, who led the technical transformation of
the mainframe in the early 1990s and is now a visiting professor at the
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. “Customers just wanted the mainframe to do its job at a lower cost, and I.B.M. made the investments to make that happen.”

Written by janusmusings

March 24, 2008 at 12:57 am

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Big Brother is watching….

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Scary Stuff – now it seems there is way to know if you’re a dog on the internet


Written by janusmusings

March 11, 2008 at 1:23 pm

Posted in Technology

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