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I just thought it might be useful to get my blog out there. I don’t post that regularly at the moment but I hope you feel I have something useful to say when I do post. It usually helps to do a bit of research about the subject before posting so I am not tempted just to make stuff up.

I was watching a conference on net neutrality a month or so ago (http://www.netneutrality2008.org/About.html) and I started thinking about the implications of the current situation.

It seems to me that we either will get an internet that gets partitioned hierarchically according to the ISPs wishes and best performance of the internet backbone. Or alternatively IPv6 and wireless routing will force the Internet to become more properly decentralised.

I know theoretically the Internet is decentralised for the perspective of the IP packet, but that does not necessarily mean that the architecture as it is rolled out will be decentralised. I believe we naturally put faith in forms of authority that allow us to go about our daily business in a rational way. Sometimes these authorities abuse their position, but in that case they tend also to lose their authority too.

So what stops us from centralising about the most convenient connection to the internet? (i.e. a reasonably priced ISP) – Not much. Until people are able to freely share their wireless connections with their neighbours and are able to correctly route packets between networks (i.e. when we drop NAT and move to IPv6), I don’t think this will happen.

DNSSEC seems to be growing in popularity. At least in the eyes of the American Administration. See:

http://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2007/04/dept_of_homelan.html

Basically as I understand it DNSSEC adds an extra layer to the BIND protocols in providing signed zone transfers. Since zone transfers are deemed to be arguably the most risky part of running a DNS server, this should be a good thing.

But is it? Do we really want to pay extra for the privilege of extra certification costs. Exactly how important is it to have authorisation from another party when updating or modifying your own domain.

More on the argument against:

http://www.matasano.com/log/754/a-case-against-dnssec-a-matasano-miniseries/

I believe this has to be balanced with the argument I made in Spam Blogs and comment spam.

I found this rather interesting paper on the rise of spam blogging and the suggested solutions to getting rid of it. It is written by Yi-Min Wang and Ming Ma from Microsoft® Research and Yuan Niu and Hao Chen from the University of California, Davis.

http://www.cs.ucdavis.edu/~hchen/paper/www07.pdf

There is more about the monthly rise in spam blogs on

http://fightsplog.blogspot.com

I find spam comments and high google rating for spam pages pretty irritating. To find out how these tricks work and that they are now are connected to the ongoing assault of our inboxes is intriguing, although also slightly worrying. Whilst I can see that advertisers and syndicators might have a hard time trying to find and associate with good content on the web, I see that they certainly have a hand in where the WWW will end up.

Ultimately I guess it is all our responsibility not to click spam links and thus not feed the problem.

Whilst I think the rise in the use of SPF (Sender Policy Framework) or SenderID will shift some of the work of fighting spam to DNS, this may cause an increase in DNS cache poisoning as spamers resolve to take over domains with access to certain widely used mail servers. Hopefully DNSSEC and similar technologies can fill the gaps in security.

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I went down to a fairly local pub for the monthly linux meeting. Much fun was had discussing linux issues and installing new linux distributions – Latest Fedora and Ubuntu 7.04 which has just been released. I also drunk some beer, and feel a bit tipsy right now.

This is my first post. I thought I might discuss is the upcoming release of the GNU General Public License. The Free Software Foundation have now reached the third draft and it is looking pretty good.

For those of you who aren’t aware of how the GPL works, the GPL seems to suggest that you can waive certain rights and maintain other rights when distributing creative works. Principally attribution in the work is maintained, but the freedom to copy and modify the work and source material is passed on to any person that receives (anyone who receives the work) and accepts the license. It is used primarily as a software license as source material may have little meaning in other areas of creative work.

There are new clauses on patent retaliation and TIVOisation, but I don’t believe the new draft license goes as far as prohibiting DRM applications.

[P.S. Perhaps I should have mentioned that the GPL version 3 was published on 29th June 2007.]

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