Archive for September, 2003

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Lovin’ the Zaurus

Sunday, September 21st, 2003

I’ve said before that I’m not a PDA type. No interest at all in schedules, address books, tasks list, sync with my pc. I’ve never carried a datebook, no use me trying to start with an electronic one.

I’ve always said that I’d never get a handheld until it was a real computer. The Ipaq is almost there, but with no keyboard and having to use the addon sleeve before you can add anything of value to it, not quite where I want it to be.

With all that in mind, I’ve gone and bought myself a Sharp Zaurus SL-5500. They aren’t sold in Canada, so I bought a refurbished one from Nikotools on Ebay.

I also bought 128Mb of SD (Secure Digital) memory and I already have a 256MB and 2x16MB compact flash cards. To round it all out, I ordered a PC-Card to CF adapter so I can use my existing 10/100 ethernet and 802.11 Wifi PC Cards.

I’ve been visiting the Zaurus Software Index and picking up all sorts of neat stuff such as VNC (viewer and server), Gaim and such Linux staples as less, top, perl, joe, openssh, sshd, and even Midnight Commander.

Once I have the Wifi happening this week, I’ll be discovering the wireless world that surrounds me.

If I want, I can load up Apache, PHP, Mysql, PHPMyAdmin – you name it – this is a REAL Linux box in the palm of your hand.

Makes a good MP3 player, too.

Now if I can only get my 6-yr-old to stop wanting to play with the “Cute Little Computer”.

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Verisign Breaks DNS

Tuesday, September 16th, 2003

Yesterday, Verisign put a wildcard A record into each of the .com and .net top-level-domain records. The effect of this is that every time anyone requests a lookup of a non-existent second level domain name in either .com or .net, they will be supplied with the address of one of Verisign’s servers.

Go ahead – try this link: http://some-nonexistent-domain-name.com

For web browsing, this means you are directed to their “site not found” page.

For email, this means that every misspelled address will mean that Verisign can receive that email.

For programs which rely on DNS lookups (and lookup failures) to perform their duties, EVERYTHING in .com and .net now resolves successfully.

What a boneheaded move. I can’t say it’s out of character for Verisign, who in my opinion has treated their entrusted stewardship of top-level internet naming monopoly as their own personal playground for quite some time.

Ahhhh – here we are – now they want you to use a different method to resolve names than the one in universal common use. I wonder how long it is before a paid license or key is required to perform these lookups?

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Simple spam Filtering with SimpleFilter

Sunday, September 14th, 2003

It’s been about 18 months in the making. An idea, then a prototype, then some hard work, then more hard work, and a whole bunch of testing, tweaking, and refinement.

Tim Aiello and I just launched our new spam-identification service this evening. It’s called SimpleFilter.

SimpleFilter is a service for anyone who uses POP3 email. Go have a look for yourself at http://www.simplefilter.com. It’s free to try out. It’s highly accurate, doesn’t require any software installation or messing with settings.

The biggest lesson to be had in making Simplefilter is that it takes A LOT of work to make something simple. Big thanks to all the beta testers – you know who you are.

Now go tell all your friends. Both of them. :)

Did I mention it’s Simple?