March 28, 2003

al-Jazeera

al-Jazeera has gotten a bad rap in this country. This article on the formation of the al-Jazeera news organization is required reading for anyone trying to make sense of wartime information flows. Brought to my attention thanks to Dave Farber's IP list.

4/4 Update: Akamai and al-Jaseera contract disolves. Akamai certainly would have helped al-Jazeera deal with the traffic and attacks the site was dealing with. No details on why Akamai pulled the contract.

Posted by Abner at 09:50 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 25, 2003

Security Study Hall

Microsoft is sponsoring secure coding classes at several universities. Developer education in computer science and software development has been conspicuously absent from the curriculum for a long time. Regardless of how you feel about Microsoft's security initiative - kick-starting the inclusion of secure engineering principles in university level computer science programs is long overdue.

Posted by Abner at 07:38 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 24, 2003

War News

Command-Post.org is a blog with contributions from a ton of news junkies. Constantly updated - it's one of the best places to quickly determine what's going on and then attempt to move on with your life.

Posted by Abner at 03:25 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 22, 2003

Alternative Data Feeds On the War

Dan Gillmor has posted a good article on the value of alternative news sources that were not available during the Gulf War.

Posted by Abner at 03:49 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Hacker Extinction?

I doubt Scott Charney's Trustworthy Computing group at Microsoft and the marketing exec who tried to run this advertisement spoke much before this ad went to press. Charney's group is too savvy to be the source of a message claiming MS products are so secure hackers will become extinct. If a marketing exec is able to run ads like this, it does demonstrate the extent of cultural change MS needs to instill in the organization, before everybody understands and can achieve the goals of the Trustworthy Computing initiative.

On the other hand, the conspiracy theorist might say the Trustworthy Computing initiative is simply a marketing ploy that will not change anything about MS products. Attempting to run this ad reinforces the marketing ploy argument.

For some great commentary check out the /. conversation.

This is one small part of what makes marketing security so hard - when you try to claim victory, people in the know point at you and laugh.

Posted by Abner at 03:12 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 06, 2003

4 Digits

According to the Washington Post, Visa receipts will soon show a lot less credit card information. Receipts will no longer show expiration dates and the card number will be limited to the last 4 digits.

All this to help curtail identity theft. I'd love to see Visa's analysis of how many identity thieves use the information from receipts to obtain credit card numbers and how this effort helps.

From a marketing and PR standpoint, it's certainly a good move - I wonder if Visa's lawyers determined the card numbers and expiration dates on receipts represent a liability risk?

Many point of sale (POS) terminals will have to be updated to comply with the new policy. Verifone, Trintech, and Hypercom should see some nice bumps in spending.

Posted by Abner at 04:25 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack