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Slashback: NWLink, Vivendi, Gatherings 214

Slashback updates and clarifications regarding recent posts on CodeCon, the rumored takeover of Vivendi by Microsoft, SDF, DDoS and NWLink (and IRC and AUPs), and more. Read on for the details, I'm out of letters.

"Uhh ... isn't this the 'Slammer'?" An anonymous reader writes "According to the BBC, two people suspected of creating the Slammer worm have been arrested in a combined operation by the FBI and the UK's National Hi-Tech Crime Unit. The raids in the UK resulted in the seizure of two men, aged 19 and 21, accused of being members of a hacker group that calls itself THr34t-Krew."

Gather together, hoist a few drinks. We've made a few mentions of this year's CodeCon; Len Sassaman writes "The schedule for CodeCon 2.0 is now online. CodeCon is already starting to get some media attention. There's less than two weeks left to register at the reduced rate, and conference seats are filling up quickly.If this conference is anything like its predecessor, expect to see some of the most interesting new technology of the coming year discussed."

And a slightly different type of gathering: Tony Stanco writes: "The agenda is up for the March 17-19 Open Source in Government conference and the free registration is now open. Please see

It promises to be another educational and exciting event with over 120 sessions and the keynote from the White House. Even Microsoft is trying to directly engage the community at this conference."

On the count of three, everyone shrug at once. In January, I posted a link ("far from confirmed") about the possibility that Microsoft would buy Vivendi. Now, Yagdrasil writes "USA today is reporting that the Microsoft buyout of Vivendi's game division (which includes Blizzard) was a hoax. It looks like the hoax originated from a student at Purdue."

But the EOLs are nearly upon us! Flee! Wister285 writes "Mandrake announced that they are going to stop updating the packages of 'legacy products.' It seems as though they took their cue from Red Hat and their continuing financial problems. I was a little surprised though about how short the support periods will be. Mandrake 9.0 will be considered obsolete September 30, 2003 (for desktop) and March 31, 2004 (for the base). This brings up two questions. First of all, do distros release too often thus creating too many versions to maintain? Secondly, how much faith do you have in the upgrade feature of install?"

I hope it features a dunk tank and some perpetrators. The ongoing war on spam continues; here's your chance to influence its direction (or at least to hear about what's going on in that sphere), even if you missed the conference at MIT. wayne writes "The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced today that they will be holding a three day public SPAM workshop in the end of April. I wonder if they will get an overflow crowd they way the MIT SPAM conference did. I hope they also make streaming video available."

Bandwidth is expensive. ndogg writes " has posted a response to the events that have happened in regards to SDF. In short, they say that they support SDF and what it is doing, however, the DDoS attack over the last three weeks has been costing them a lot of money."

fonixmunkee puts it differently: "The message is an interesting read, to say the least. instead of working the issue, NWLink's apparent (unofficial) solution to combating DDoS'es is to simply terminate the subscriber's connection. with all the slammer worms & Code Reds nowadays, NWLink should have no more customers left in about 2 years."

Legal liability is expensive, too. Tom Allender writes " has announced a more restrictive Acceptable Use Policy after being contacted by the MPAA. They also refer to DALnets AUP changes mentioned here recently."

This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Slashback: NWLink, Vivendi, Gatherings

Comments Filter:
  • by Cutriss ( 262920 ) on Thursday February 06, 2003 @08:05PM (#5246353) Homepage
    It's just that this one "source" was invalid. Reuters and AP ran wire stories on this last week, before the Purdue student put up the webpage. The first known report from was posted over two weeks ago.

    Given the "publicity" of this hoax, and the widespread rumor-mongering of this deal, I'd say that Microsoft might be using this story as a red herring to make people think that the talks never existed. It's still going on, people, and it's still a very real possibility/threat.
    • It's still going on, people, and it's still a very real possibility/threat.

      Threat to whom? Vivendi or Microsoft?
      • Threat to whom? Vivendi or Microsoft?

        Having worked for both companies, I'd have to say a threat to Microsoft.

        Basically, what would happen is this: Vivendi's management would end up dragging down a portion of Microsoft with them, and in the process increase Microsoft's debt load and lay off 90% of their staff. The ex-Vivendi products would have any sense of individuality drained out of them, having been playtested to death by a broad spectrum of people, thus missing the point, and turning the products into bland, flavorless creations (see: Zoo Tycoon, Midtown Madness).

        Ultimately though, I think the threat is to Microsoft.

        • Oh pu'lease. I'm as anti-Microsoft as the next man, but don't tell me Vivendi Interactive have been paragons of video gaming virtue. They have released truly appalling games, just as Micosoft have published truly great ones (Halo, Project Gotham... Xbox I know, but still).

          And Vivendi drag down Microsoft, increasing their debt load? I mean, is this a troll? Microsoft has $41bn dollars of cash. Even VIE isn't going to dent that. (Not that Vivendi is going to get $2bn for VIE.)
    • Listen to what's not being said.

      Saying that the website was a hoax is saying that it was issued irrespective of the truth. This is actually different than saying that it's completeley false. Microsoft called it erroneous, as opposed to false. Erroneous could mean that the reported purchase price was off by 10% or it could mean that Vivendi and MS had never even started negotiations.

      The statements, so far, from Vivendi and MS seem to make it clear only that negotiations have not concluded. Reading anything more into their statements is pure conjecture.

      (If you have any further questions, try reading Heinlin's Stranger in a Strange Land.

  • Spam (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ( 555899 ) on Thursday February 06, 2003 @08:06PM (#5246364)
    What everyone forgets is that with spam, you only get responses from one of about every couple hundred people. There's no way to win those idiot over. And until spammers start getting NO responses, they don't CARE how many inboxes they need to fill to get their 3)Profit! We just need to ENFORCE THE OPT OUT MODEL. If I don't want your spam, chances are pretty damned good I wouldn't buy from you anyway, so who looses?
    • Easy answer (Score:4, Insightful)

      by unicorn ( 8060 ) on Thursday February 06, 2003 @08:42PM (#5246677)
      It's still a valid address that can be sold off to someone else. Lists are sold at a price based on how many are on the list. Not how many want to be on the list.
    • Re:Spam (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Scarblac ( 122480 )

      And until spammers start getting NO responses, they don't CARE how many inboxes they need to fill to get their 3)Profit!

      It's even worse. Spammers make money by selling their "service" to morons who think they can make a quick buck. Even if no spam is effective, their customers don't know that.

  • by Gyorg_Lavode ( 520114 ) on Thursday February 06, 2003 @08:06PM (#5246368)
    Seriously, if I ever start a hacker group, I'm calling it "Me and a few buddies". The lewtspeak hacker names went out with the 80's. Now it just makes it sound like a group of 16 year old HS students.
    • Now it just makes it sound like a group of 16 year old HS students.

      Vs. a 19 and 20 year old HS student, like these two losers.
    • Amen to that. I think that if I start a hacker group, I'll call it Bob. Or maybe Alowishus.

      I'm sure that the FBI's computer crime division's ears really pick up when they hear about a group named 'm4D #4X0r5'.
      • Amen to that. I think that if I start a hacker group, I'll call it Bob. Or maybe Alowishus.

        Aloysius. It's Aloysius not "Alowishus," thus making Aloysius the most hilariously spelled name in addition to being the second-most hilariously pronounced name (behind only Dick Butkus.)


        • It's Aloysius not "Alowishus,"

          The only other time I've heard this name used:

          "I'm not Jack! My name is uh, uh, Aloysius! He's Jack!, Jack Rabbit!

          "Ohhh no, your name is Jack and you know it because it is a fact."

          "Wew, I guess I'll just have to settwe with a pair of Jacks, hahahaha"

    • by $$$$$exyGal ( 638164 ) on Thursday February 06, 2003 @08:29PM (#5246582) Homepage Journal
      How about "$$$$$exyGal's l33t N4k3d Ch1x" ?

      --naked []

    • It's just that this one "source" was invalid. Reuters and AP ran wire stories on this last week, before the Purdue student put up the webpage. The first known report from was posted over two weeks ago.

      Given the "publicity" of this hoax, and the widespread rumor-mongering of this deal, I'd say that Microsoft might be using this story as a red herring to make people think that the talks never existed. It's still going on, people, and it's still a very real possibility/threat.

    • by Alsee ( 515537 ) on Thursday February 06, 2003 @08:32PM (#5246612) Homepage
      How about ValentiButtBuddies or RosenMuffDivers?

    • by rgmoore ( 133276 ) <> on Thursday February 06, 2003 @08:32PM (#5246613) Homepage
      Now it just makes it sound like a group of 16 year old HS students.

      Perhaps that's not so unreasonable. The culprits are 19 and 21, and they might well have been members of the group since they were in HS. When you think about it, releasing a worm like that doesn't suggest a level of sophistication and respect for others that we think of as typical of a responsible adult. It's the act of a childish vandal, so it's not terribly surprising to find that it was done by a bunch of jerks who are part of a group that sounds like a bunch of highschool students.

      • rgmoore,

        I somehwat disagree with your implied notion that all vandals are childish. In a more constitutional world, we would recognize that any act of damage caused by someone intentionaly is a perpetuated STATE OF WAR. I don't know what your political, corporate, or government affiliation, yet on my "Constitution" I recognize that anyone that violates my unalienable rights is in-fact acting in a way that suggests a STATE OF WAR. Now let me get to my point... People who attempt to break into other computers with malicious intent are known today as crackers; in a way, yes they are waring with everyone. There is another cracker group that has emerged, yet they have made their acts of war legal through manipulation of politics; this organization is known as the RIAA and they have legally justified their destruction of other computers at their freedom. Who is more childish: unorganized crackers or the RIAA? Neither... outside recognition of a law, both of these groups are maintaining a STATE OF WAR. To my understanding, children are naturally destructive and not aware of any wrong-doing on their part. Crackers and RIAA are in a world of their own and know what they are doing.

        Of'course, I could pass you the same bong I was breathing from...but then you'ld be as intelligent as me. :)
    • by jasonrocks ( 634868 ) on Friday February 07, 2003 @02:27AM (#5248489)

      I have a radical view. I have a theory that many of these hackers that have been "found" did not create the viruses that are purported by police officials.

      1) many of these hackers that have been found are oversees. Some are in Indonesia, Canada and other countries found abroad.

      2) there is very little coverage after they are arrested. I alomost wonder if it is found that there is no evidence against them, or very little. Perhaps they have committed crimes of an inferior nature than first purported.

      3) because there is little coverage and no support to these stories, it may be possible that these "reports" are a means of discouraging any teenagers from hacking. Of course, those who know what they are doing will still hack and not get caught. They will probably feel relieved when a scapegoat is found.

      To end things, a script kiddie has never been heard of and incurs minimal damage. A cracker causes great damage but no one knows their name. The name of a hacker is widespread and causes no damage.

  • by Jack Edward Valenti ( 648235 ) on Thursday February 06, 2003 @08:07PM (#5246383) Homepage
    Tom Allender writes " has announced a more restrictive Acceptable Use Policy after being contacted by the MPAA

    It doesn't matter how smooth you think you are, we'll get you eventually. Don't cross the MPAA!
    • The MPAA actions are scarey. Think of it. Does the government go after the Phone Campanies (threaten legal action) because criminals use it to comminuicate. This is unreal, and really stupid. MPAA is to stupid to offer consumers what they want at prices they are willing to pay, and they're too affraid to go after the people doing the activity because they realize it'll be bad publicity. The MPAA, RIAA, and SAG all suck, and they're populated with morons who don't know anything.
  • couldn't have written slammer; unless of course M$'s sucurity sucks that much shit....

    I suppose it is rather rude of me to judge a group by its name; let's still hope that it is a parody of something.
  • by slhack3r ( 324207 ) <> on Thursday February 06, 2003 @08:08PM (#5246388) Homepage Journal
    The Register [] has a very informative story [] on this same bust that specifically states that
    None of the arrests are connected to the recent SQL Slammer Worm, the NHTCU states.
    In fact, this related a completely different (and obscure) worm called the "TK worm." The folks at El Reg did some detective work...check it out. someone needs to check their facts
  • by Sethb ( 9355 )
    Call me ignorant, but what exactly is SDF, and what is the situation with them? I'm sure I missed a story somewhere, but come on, can someone spell it out for me?
    • Re:SDF? (Score:5, Informative)

      by spamania ( 633669 ) on Thursday February 06, 2003 @08:31PM (#5246594)
      SDF is a not-for-profit unix shell provider that provides hundreds if not thousands of individuals and small businesses with email, web-space, file storage, and *nix-based apllications. In short it is a very-nearly-free remote shell account.

      For more information, telnet
      login: new


    • Not Robotech. (Score:2, Informative)

      by RandomHavoc ( 609761 )
      From SFD's website at

      Welcome to the only all 64bit public access supercomputing center!

      The Super Dimensional Fortress is a networked community of free software authors, teachers, students, researchers, hobbyists and enthusiasts. It is operated as a nonprofit 501(c)7 and is supported and governed by its members.

      Our mission is to provide remotely accessible computing facilities for the advancement of public education, cultural enrichment, scientific research and recreation. Members can interact electronically with each other regardless of their location using passive or interactive forums. Further purposes include the recreational exchange of information concerning the Liberal and Fine Arts.

      Members have access to games, email, usenet, chat, bboard, gopherspace, webspace, programming utilities, archivers, browsers, and more. The SDF community is made up of caring, highly skilled people who operate behind the scenes to maintain a non-commercial INTERNET.

      While we did initially start out on a single computer in 1987, the SDF is now a network of 8 64bit enterprise class servers running NetBSD realising a combined processing power of over 21.1 GFLOPS.

      For information about membership levels, click on 'donate' above

      Although the spaceship was my first thought. And yes, you did miss a story.

    • Re:SDF? (Score:3, Funny)

      by Hecubas ( 21451 )
      SDF: Space Defense Fortress

      Don't you watch Robotech?


    • SDF-1 [] Also know as Super Dimensional Fortress, is what started the Robotech wars.
    • Call me ignorant, but what exactly is SDF

      Standiford Field [], aka Louisville International Airport.
  • Wrong! (Score:5, Informative)

    by .@. ( 21735 ) on Thursday February 06, 2003 @08:10PM (#5246404) Homepage
    Read the #$*&^ stories before you post them!!! The people arrested were arrested on drug charges and for work on the TK worm, NOT Sapphire/Slammer.

  • by entrippy ( 14141 ) on Thursday February 06, 2003 @08:12PM (#5246426)
    "Microsoft and news network CNN said they were hit by a hoax Monday after a faked Web page erroneously reported the software giant had agreed to buy the video game operations of French conglomerate Vivendi Universal."

    What does this mean? It means that Microsoft has *not* bought out Vivendi.

    It does not mean that they are not currently in disucssion to do so. There's been a lot of rumours from a lot of sources - and no-one would deny that MS is one of the front runners in contention to buy Vivendi.

    So it's far from off the cards yet.
  • March 17th == St. Patricks Day
    Washington D.C. != Dublin, Ireland
    Dublin, Ireland == my.home
  • Mandrake 8.1 (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    That was my first linux distro, and it actually DID suck quite a lot! Ive seen mandrake get better, and I'm running Mandrake Cooker 9.1 right now, and its got the new kde 3.1 and gnome 2.2, although they still need the last few bugs to be ironed out

    The community side is great too. Urpmi kicks ass and Mandrake is what debian WANT's to be but can't.

    I can understand 8.1 since thats now almost 2 years old, but 8.2 & 9.0? Thats crazy!
  • Get Your CodecON (Score:4, Insightful)

    by burris ( 122191 ) on Thursday February 06, 2003 @08:17PM (#5246467)
    Don't forget to have your pgp key ready when registering for CodeCon. Then you can participate in the key signing.

  • Not Slammer ?! (Score:3, Informative)

    by IanBevan ( 213109 ) on Thursday February 06, 2003 @08:18PM (#5246476) Homepage
    According to The Register [] these guys are not responsible for Slammer, but for some other little-known worm. The article also mentions the arrest of one other person in the USA somewhere.
  • > Gather together, hoist a few drinks.

    Finally, the quantity I want because a 128oz cup still not big enough!

  • Engage ? (Score:5, Funny)

    by IanBevan ( 213109 ) on Thursday February 06, 2003 @08:21PM (#5246498) Homepage
    Even Microsoft is trying to directly engage the community at this conference... with a 105mm Howizter.
    • with a 105mm Howizter

      Howizter? Is that some sort of "Microsoft-enhanced" Howitzer?
      • Nah, it's Friday afternoon I-need-one-more-coffee typing :-)
        • Nah, it's Friday afternoon i-need-one-more-coffee typing :-)

          Friday afternoon? It's Friday morning here (11:40am) in Tokyo... where is it Friday afternoon already?
  • by Eric Smith ( 4379 ) on Thursday February 06, 2003 @08:21PM (#5246499) Homepage Journal
    Secondly, how much faith do you have in the upgrade feature of install?
    I don't have much experience with other distributions, but I've upgraded a lot of machines running Red Hat, starting from release 2.1, and I've been amazed at how few problems I've ever encountered.
    • Were these systems ever actually configured to do anything?

      I mean that half flip, half serious. Early RH releases tended to change the system organization, boot scripts and so on (I gave up after 4-something and went FreeBSD) to such an extent that any system that was configured to do anything meaningful would have broken rather seriously.

      To be fair to RH, it wasn't all their fault, the Linux OS structure was on shifting sand at the time. But I did find it rather annoying that each new incremental version change of RH at the time was often different for what seemed to me to be different's sake, not for some meaningful (to me anyway) purpose.
    • I agree........ distribution upgrades go well if done properly, and, depending on how much "non-standard" (ie, not officially part of the distro) stuff you've got, if done with some care. I did multiple upgrades when I ran RedHat, and most recently I did an upgrade from Mandrake 8.2 to 9.0 that went quite smoothly.

      My strategy is basically to go through things I have installed on top of the distro (anything compiled from source or development/unstable/unofficial packages) and check to see if the upgrade path will offer me "official" packages. In the case of source-compiled stuff, if a package is there I just do a "make uninstall" before my upgrade; otherwise, I recompile after the upgrade (especially in cases of major library upgrades, like gcc). For unofficial packages that won't be replaced by official ones, I just check to see if packages for the new system are available.

      Afterwards (in rpm-based distribs), its just a matter of looking around for .rpmsave and .rpmnew files (ususally configs), and making sure that any important configuration changes I made have been kept, and any important config changes the distrib made have been applied.

  • As we finish out a week in which we find out there's a new desktop consortium with huge industry leaders footing the paybill, I must question others as to whether or not these MPAA/RIAA rulings and covert operations are good for Linux as we know it.

    Linux thrives on open program exchanges, so if these industry behemouths are hell intent on shutting down and and all file sharing, how would code be distributed in the future?

    How will the MPAA, FBI, ect. be able to determine whether you're trading the latest Top 40 mp3 or if you're sending Linux code?

    Thanks in advants to any one who can provide links to interesting information about this topic.
  • NWLink (Score:3, Funny)

    by glrotate ( 300695 ) on Thursday February 06, 2003 @08:30PM (#5246592) Homepage
  • by leviramsey ( 248057 ) on Thursday February 06, 2003 @08:31PM (#5246595) Journal

    ...on the Mandrake mailing lists.

    I made a proposal that Mandrake make support of legacy distros a sort of "street-performer" system. Vincent Danen, Mandrake's security guy, who would have to oversee the update process, has indicated that he's not opposed to this idea, though he's not legally able to promise anything. Others at MandrakeSoft have indicated that this appeals to them.

    My plan is quite simple: if $30,000 (or some similar number... I started with $50,000 but have further reviewed the numbers) per year (per legacy version) can be raised from interested parties, security updates and so forth will continue to be released for that legacy version for an additional year. Unlike the Mandrake Club, this money would be used exclusively to hire an additional member of the security team who would build and test updates for the legacy version(s), as well as provide fast-response tech support to those who paid. The security updates would be available to all (with a possible 24-hour exclusive window for the contributors).

    Some have commented on how $30K may be too much money, but I don't see it that way. It's a question of how many organizations (especially businesses) are using old Mandrake versions. If 500 such businesses contribute $60 each, they ensure security updates continue. Considering how much it would cost to do an upgrade (in labor costs, especially) and even a couple of hundred dollars is not out of the question.

    NOTE: the above is not necessarily an official position of MandrakeSoft. However, if they get commitments from people (more than just posting on Slashdot or sending an email) to pay, I cannot see them refusing. I have no connection with Mandrake, short of being an occasional contributor to their development process.

  • by Qzukk ( 229616 ) on Thursday February 06, 2003 @08:31PM (#5246602) Journal
    I applaud this IRC network for its stance related to the MPAA demands, and I hope it can survive the worst that the MPAA can throw at it.

    Seriously, its about time that people started requiring evidence and due process of law again when dealing with criminals. Letting the MPAA and RIAA bully people around with the threat of ungrounded DMCA action has gone on long enough.

    I still want to hear about someone getting a piece of the RIAA or MPAA's hide over a misfired DMCA letter, using that clause requiring them to pay for damages if it turns out that there was no copyright infringement.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Maybe the usa today article is a fake article about the fake cnn article. think about that!
  • by brer_rabbit ( 195413 ) on Thursday February 06, 2003 @08:34PM (#5246624) Journal
    I've had a DSL line with nwlink for the past 4 years. I've *never* had any significant problems with them. I even mentioned I was using a linux box to NAT some internal machines to one of their service reps, he couldn't care less. My net connection has been great, I ssh to home from work for 8 hours a day to keep tabs on email.

    Two years ago they had a food drive where customers bringing in a couple cans of food got a discounted rate for a month. Kinda neat, you don't see too many companies doing that type of thing.

    • They've had their ups and downs, but overall I'd say they do pretty well (I've been with them for 6 years or so now), until the past few weeks (which appear to be over now). I was on the verge of dumping them, not just because of the problems, but because of the lack of information on the main web site about the problems. For $25/month for DSL and a static IP though, it's hard to find a replacement.

      I really miss the old days though, when they were still a small company. I could talk to the sys admin (I think there was only one on duty at a time) just by asking the tech support guy for him by name. Good tech support is when the admin looks in his route table while you're on the phone, and says "There's the problem, I made a typo". Good tech support is when the admin creates an account for you on his home machine (a FreeBSD box) so you can use it for network testing.

      • i just ditched nwlink at the end of janurary. i had no idea this was coming, but its nice that it didn't affect me.

        i was sick of my dsl line randomly getting throttled back to like 44kbps or so until i powere cycled it. i didnt like the lame metered bandwidth crap. i didnt like how they could never keep me from getting other people emails.

        any company that charges me bandwidth for a home line these days is ridiculous. is it fair to charge me for the traffic of shitholes portscanning my box ?
  • Debian? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by molo ( 94384 ) on Thursday February 06, 2003 @08:36PM (#5246636) Journal
    First of all, do distros release too often thus creating too many versions to maintain? Secondly, how much faith do you have in the upgrade feature of install?

    Maybe all these commercial groups should take a page out of Debian's book. Potato, the OLD stable release, is still supported and has security updates issued.

    On the other hand.. How fickle people are! First Debian releases too slowly, now RH & Mandrake release too often! Is there middle ground?

    As for upgradeability, upgrading between Debian distributions is a breeze due to the high-quality packaging.
    • Re:Debian? (Score:3, Interesting)

      by JoeBuck ( 7947 )

      I'm happy that the Debian folks are still supporting potato, but this is a switch for them; they dropped support for slink shortly after potato came out, at a time when Red Hat was supporting its last five major releases at once.

  • As we see yet-another Windows virii hit the mainstream press, I think it's time to really start preeching the Linux payload -- "We can deliver an instantly secure system that's unvulnerable to today's modern computer viruses".

    With that tone, I think we could sell Linux to any corporation and even small businesses.

    MCRSFT has a huge monopoly on the small business and business-2-business dealings these days here in America, but I for one say its high time that we embrace and extend the Linux way to implore just how rock-solid our OS's truely are.

    Anyone who questions Linux's power of security compared to Window's needs a head exam ;-)
  • by sl956 ( 200477 ) on Thursday February 06, 2003 @08:40PM (#5246664)
    Please stop equating Vivendi (2001 revenues : $60 billions) with its game publishing departement (2001 revenues : Vivendi is too big a fish for Microsoft (2001 revenus : $25 billions).
    Don't forget Vivendi is also the global leader of environnemental services with Vivendi Water (water), Onyx (waste management), Dalkia (energy) and Connex (transport). This alone accounts for $30 billions annual revenues.
    • Ooops ! Previous post incomplete. this one should be ok.

      Please stop equating Vivendi (2001 revenues : $60 billions) with its game publishing departement (2001 revenues : $ 500 millions). The total worldwide market for computer and console games was $16 billions in 2001.
      Vivendi is too big a fish for Microsoft (2001 revenus : $25 billions).
      Don't forget Vivendi is also the global leader of environnemental services with Vivendi Water (water), Onyx (waste management), Dalkia (energy) and Connex (transport). This alone accounts for $30 billions annual revenues.
  • i take it fonixmunkee has never worked at any sort of isp/ipp. hm...let's see...we have client A who pays us X amount a month for bandwidth. we have clients B C D E F who are all paying us 5X a month for bandwidth. A gets attacked and sucks up everyone's bandwidth so BCDEF all want refunds. why in hell should nwlink keep A as a customer when it may (and probably did) cost them other, paying, _good_ customers in addition to having to put out money in refunds to keep customers happy?

    i'd have done the same thing in their place, yanked the cat5 out and called them saying "hi, your machine is being attacked and is costing us tens of thousands of dollars. it will remain off until such time as it is no longer a threat to our business. sorry."

    ddos attacks are outrageously hard to track and stop if done correctly. the only effective way to quickly restore service to a network that is being crippled by one is to null-route the destination ip at your border router and turn away any/all packets meant for it immediately
  • by Em Emalb ( 452530 ) <> on Thursday February 06, 2003 @08:56PM (#5246763) Homepage Journal
    We keep reading about all these spam conferences and how we can make a difference and all that.

    My question is this.

    EVERYONE knows what a pain in the ass spam is.

    NO ONE likes it. Why in the hell are people still debating this crap?

    Yeah, I am aware that they are determining different ways to handle it and everything, but what's the point?

    There is no viable solution other than using trusted addresses or outlawing it and making HUGE FINES the cost of spamming.

    So, do that and your spam problem goes away.
  • by Strepsil ( 75641 ) <> on Thursday February 06, 2003 @09:01PM (#5246787) Homepage
    I recently upgraded an old faithful server from RedHat 6.1 to 7.3. I allowed an entire day for the process, and was very worried as the machine held almost the entire working life of about 100 people.

    Flawless victory. Back up and running perfectly inside two hours. I was quite impressed for such a large version jump.
    • Er - that should have been "Faith in Upgrade Process", obviously. I need caffeine.
    • I recently upgraded an old faithful server from RedHat 6.1 to 7.3. I allowed an entire day for the process, and was very worried as the machine held almost the entire working life of about 100 people.

      I've been tainted by Microsoft too much, but is doing an upgrade to Linux just as good as doing a flat out full re-install?

      I've got a Linux box, it's only one user, has a couple of additional applications and settings and could be rebuilt pretty quickly.

      Now if it was Windows, i'd go the rebuild route because everyone knows upgraded Windows don't perform as well as fresh installs. But is it the same for Linux?

      I know that with a 100 user machine with vast amounts of applications and configuration settings it would be substantially faster to do an upgrade, but for me, the additional time for a re-install makes no difference to me so that can be discounted from the equation.

      Any comments?

  • by Lethyos ( 408045 ) on Thursday February 06, 2003 @09:02PM (#5246791) Journal
    This past year, I was accepted into Carnegie Mellon's [] [] School of Computer Science [] []. It has been a remarkable experience that I would lik e to share with the Slashdot community. Here's an account of my experience.

    Week 1, Sunday: I moved in today. My roommate, a sophomore CS student, had already moved in tw o days before me. The floor is already completely covered with garbage. He also smells. I think he might be gay too. He's already asked me if I like the color he painted his toenails. This should be interesting. I am almost completely settled in. Techno music is playing in every room in every floor of my dorm. There are computers and other types of trash out in the common areas. What a mess. Tom orrow, I am going to go sign up to get my network connection.

    Week 1, Monday: I got hooked up to the CMU network today! I jacked into the network, only to f ind that the hostname and address assigned to me were colliding with another system. I'll just increm ent the network numbers a few times. I am really eager to get on.

    Week 1, Tuesday: I am still looking for a free IP address. Can't anybody here properly configu re their systems?

    Week 1, Friday: I finally found a free IP! It's mine! You sons of bitches can't have i t, I found it, I keep it, it's mine! To hell with all of you! Head hurts really bad. I've slowly be en developing a headache since I first arrived. Everywhere I look there are these Lucent Technologies wireless access points. I wonder if that's the problem.

    Week 1, Saturday: I sat down at my computer today. My desktop wall paper is now the guy. Pleasant. Scattered over every directory on my C: drive are thousands, possibly millions, of fi les titled "J00AR30WN3DBITCH-phj33r-" and then some random hacker's name. Don't these people have liv es? Maybe they need laid or something. It'd take days to clean this out. I mentioned to my roommate that I needed to reinstall Windows, and immediately he jumped up and shouted: "NO! Do NOT use Window s!" Suddenly, two dozen other guys (all of them possibly homosexuals) appeared at the door, each tout ing an operating system called Linux. Half of them got into a fight over which was better, Debian, Re dHat, Slackware, and a bunch of others I couldn't recognize. Some kid who appeared to not have shower ed since he was born was touting "Linux From Scratch", saying that only losers used pre-made distros. A crowd of people in the back kept quiet about how I'd be sorry if I used Linux instead of BSD on the network. Who the fuck are these people? Classes start next week. Hope I have my computer working s o I can do my assignments.

    Week 3, Friday: People are still trying to get Linux to work on my system. They keep telling m y that my hardware sucks. We go through about four or five distributions a day. Every now and then, I notice a little devil on my screen. Stickers for every of these distributions have been plastered o n my case. Suddenly, my room stinks a lot more with these people in here. I ask them why they never shower, and the usual response is something along the lines of "showering is like rebooting" and "I do n't want to lose my uptime."

    Week 3, Saturday: There's a troop of men running naked in a circle around McGill Hall. I am no t even going to ask.

    Week 4, Wednesday: Linux is FINALLY working on my computer! I have a pretty slick desktop too. I think I might like this. I can finally work in my room instead of the labs, although considering the every increasing layer of garbage on the floor...

    Week 4, Thursday: My computer flashes messages about how I am "0WNX0RED" and how I should "PHJ3 3R" whoever and how "L4MEX0R" I am for having an insecure box. A kid suggests we reinstall Linux afte r discovering about 17 rootkits.

    Week 5, Friday: Someone got BSD working on my computer. I wonder if this will last. The stres s has been building and I forgot to take a shower this morning.

    Week 6, Tuesday: Seems I have been "0WNX0R3D" again. Took longer this time. Minutes later, so meone comes in with a "Bastile Linux" install CD. He gets started installing. I am feeling very susp icious of these guys.

    Week 6, Thursday: Everyone seems to know more about my system than I do. It's a bit unnerving. I guess anyone could feel upset from this sort of treatment. They hack my box, trash it, then reins tall everything. I guess they think they're being funny. My dirty clothes are piling up and I am out of clean ones. I don't have time to do laundry, I'll have to wear something out of the pile.

    Week 6, Friday: I got up this morning, sat at my machine, and stared at it blankly. An icon ap peared on my desktop for Quake III. I suppose it couldn't hurt to play some. I have been very stress ed lately.

    Week 6, Sunday: I lost track of time! I started playing Quake III on the network with some oth er CMU students (who killed me hundreds of times in the course of 10 minutes) and completely lost myse lf. There's a bag of chips that has been sitting here for a few weeks. I think I'll finish those off for breakfast and then go to sleep.

    Week 7, Wednesday: I masturbate every day now. Not a single girl comes near me. This is so de pressing. Do I really smell? Oh well, I have the task of learning how to secure my Linux box to keep me busy. Who has time for the opposite sex after all?

    Week 8, Tuesday: I got into a fight with this little shit who kept telling me RedHat was great. What a fucking moron! Anybody who knows Linux knows that Debian kicks its sorry little ass. I'll b e getting my judiciary papers for the incident in the mail. Doesn't this school get it? I can't let someone go around converting people to RedHat! WtF!?

    Week 8, Friday: My roommate squeezed my ass today! At first I was shocked and appauled, and I told him off for it. Thinking about it later though, there was just something that seemed too strong about my reaction. I'll talk to him later and appologize for getting so upset, it wasn't really so ba d.
  • If the DDoS attack against SDF was really costing them money, then it is within NWLink's moral and legal rights to cancel the contract. The problem is that NWLink canceled SDF's contract immediately with no advance notice whatsoever.

    Even 48 hours of advance notice would have made a huge difference, as people would have been able to log in to download their important files and take care of any last minute correspondance with important contacts. Hell, even six hours of advance notice would have difference.

    I'm told that NWLink was required by their own contract to give SDF fifteen days of advance notice in writing before pulling the plug. If that's correct, then NWLink legally violated their contract and ought to have its bottom spanked in court. But even if NWLink did have the legal right to do what it did, they've nonetheless demonstrated that they are untrustworthy and unprofessional business partners.

    • Ignore DDOS attacks.

      Just disconnect the network when they are DDOS'ing it. Reconnect it later. Disconnecting it makes te traffic go away. Connecting it again makes it operational before.

      If they managed their network they would have reacted before it would have cost them money. SDF would still be temorarely offline, but it would not have cost them money.
  • NWStink (Score:4, Informative)

    by digigasm ( 84016 ) on Thursday February 06, 2003 @09:27PM (#5246984)
    NWLink pulling the rug out from under SDF with no warning was bad. It left alot of people high and dry with email and websites down.

    What's worse is that the VP of NWLink made it even more difficult because he trash-talked about SDF with other co-lo providers in the area. One competing provider rescinded a written offer because of this.

    And, remember, this is because SDF was the victim of an attack.
  • For those attending codecon there will also be a WiFi Caravan [] traveling from Portland OR to San Francisco which all are welcome to participate in.

    We will be out and about on the evenings after the conference precedings if you dont feel like driving all the way to portland :-)

    As one last FYI, be sure to bring your wireless gear to codecon! There will be lots of A/V streaming going on, and lots of wireless enabled presentations in addition to other fun stuff.

    Check out the InfoAnarchy CodeCon 02 coverage [] if you would like a better feel for what this conference is all about...
  • by Angst Badger ( 8636 ) on Thursday February 06, 2003 @09:35PM (#5247036)
    Rather than releasing new versions, perhaps the distro vendors should eliminate the concept altogether in favor of the sort of seamless, continuous per-package upgrading I suspect most people would like to see. Does anyone really care what version number a distribution has? I suspect more people care what kernel and security patches and application versions they're running.

    For the user, this would have the advantage of being able to click a button or insert the latest update CD and upgrade all of the necessary packages. (We presume, of course, that you could elect to forego certain upgrades -- one might wish to continue running Apache 1.3.x instead of a 2.x version.)

    For the vendor, this would be an obvious opportunity to sell subscriptions as well as avoid the endless cost of producing shrinkwrapped distributions.

    Of course -- of course -- this would require greater effort on the part of vendors to make sure that the upgrade process is robust and seamless so as to avoid the problems M$ customers have with their so-called Service Packs, but it ought to be doable.
    • by dmaxwell ( 43234 ) on Thursday February 06, 2003 @10:46PM (#5247453)
      I was running Woody on my desktops when it was testing and when testing became Sarge it really didn't matter as far as my machines were concerned. Like many people who use Debian on desktops, my machines are always somewhere between Sid and Testing with the odd non-official package here and there. For the most part it is the scenario you have in mind. I think you're right in that it would be nice for a paid support model as well.

      I imagine its a similar experience on ports based BSD systems and Gentoo.

      I can think of some things that would make a lot of the people here bitch though. Such a distribution would have to hang back 6 months or so from OSS/Free's bleeding edge. If say, an engine for vector graphics on the desktop comes out for XFree86, the distro won't be able to include it until it's solid. Contrast that with the people here who will spend 3 hours compiling tarballs so they'll be the first kid on the block to have it. Those same 'leet kiddies will whinge "Incremental distro will never succeed unless it's more current!" Solidity and up-to-last-week currentness are mutually exclusive.

      There's also the question of how to handle major infrastructure transitions. I'm thinking of things like from XFree 3.x to 4.x, libc5 to libc6, KDE2.x to 3.x, kernel 2.4.x to 2.6.x, and last but not least GCC 2.9x to 3.x. Not to mention major changes in server daemons like Apache and Samba. The major libc and GCC increments are thankfully infrequent but they're also the worst. They both have severe consequences for backwards compatibility with older binaries and source trees. My point is that such transitions will force "Incremental Distro" to draw hard lines from time to time on what they'll support and what they won't. Shoot! Some people are still running heavily patched 2.0 kernels.

      This brings up the other group of people Incremental Distro can't always make happy : The Ultraconservative Sysadmin. Sooner or later, support for say Apache 1.x will only be handled by boutique consultants. Most everyone but the Ultraconservative Sysadmin will have moved on. I think what will happen is that the distro will have to define brackets in time that start with those major transitions. During the bracket period (two years say) they'll have to maintain a branch of pre-transition compatible packages. The other thing they could do is be cold blooded about Ultraconservatives and just bump everybody up when these changes happen. Ultraconservative Admin is probably clued enough to manage his own upgrade schedule from patched source.

      The REAL problem is that OSS/Free is developed and maintained on Internet Time. I suppose another outcome would be a spectrum of (differently organized) incremental distros with more and less aggressive attitudes toward upgrading.
      • From a server standpoint, I ran a freebsd 2.1.7
        machine and updated with cvs until it hit 4.7 with
        no major hickups. It's nice to never have to
        completely reinstall. I've been playing with Gentoo
        for a while now, it's it's also quite nice in this
        respect. They say that my 1.4rc2 should upgrade
        seemlessly to 1.4 final, but that remains to be
        seen. I'm crossing my fingers that I'll never have
        to install another version of gentoo again, and I
        can just keep updating it with emerge sync.
  • Microsoft (Score:3, Funny)

    by c++ ( 25427 ) on Thursday February 06, 2003 @09:48PM (#5247125)
    "Any purported press release or news story appearing on a Web site is a hoax," Microsoft said.

    Does this mean everything on Press Pass [] is a hoax?

  • It sounds like the network guy at NWLink needs to be fired. There is a little something called quality of service (QOS) that can be configured on all high-end routers. You would normally set it so that a single server or customer network can never use over x% of the total backbone bandwidth. Better yet, configure it so that the customers that have minimum quality of service contracts have priority. It was stupid of NWLink to have penalty clauses in their contracts and not configure their hardware to maintain that minimum quality of service. The $30,000 should come out of someones paycheck!
  • by Teancom ( 13486 ) <> on Thursday February 06, 2003 @10:13PM (#5247250) Homepage
    I had a meeting just today, where the main topic was what to do in response to the recent policy changes. After much discussion (that won't be rehashed here), we decided that upgrading from Redhat 8.0 to 8.1 is not in the same ballpark as going from (say) NT to XP, and as such it shouldn't be *too* much of a headache to plan on upgrading all the linux machines we have on a yearly basis. However, this is as close as I've ever gotten to making a sucessful business case for moving to debian!

    This is really just a heads up, that this sort of insane upgrade cycle is *definetly* making waves in the business world, and is causing a reevalution of exactly how much cheaper linux is than Windows, in the long run. So far, it's staying ahead, but....

    P.S. I shouldn't have to say this, but I don't speak for Micron, and Micron doesn't speak for me.
  • by Vadim Makarov ( 529622 ) <> on Thursday February 06, 2003 @11:48PM (#5247787) Homepage
    Don't be mistaken, these spam conferences are closely watched by the spammers as well.

    Two weeks ago, I read A Plan for Spam [] article from the last conference, announced on Slashdot. There, the author describes spam-of-the-future as "some completely neutral text followed by a url".

    Voila, the future has come. Yesterday I got a short message in Russian, in friendly tone, with an URL. Just like the ones I sometimes get. I'm a webmaster of a site with diverse content, and strangers sometimes send me stuff like this for news etc. There is absolutely no way to tell whether it's a spam or not without visiting the URL.

    While the developers wrestle with one strategy and openly discuss the remedies, the spammer sees it and picks the next strategy, always ahead of you! Who benefits more from these conferences, good folks or the spammers?

    One fix I'd propose is to stop publishing and webcasting the conference stuff. Then the spammers would have to attend in person. You know what happens next. A spammer surrounded with angry geeks :)

  • ...wanna' buy a vowel?
  • This brings up two questions. First of all, do distros release too often thus creating too many versions to maintain? Secondly, how much faith do you have in the upgrade feature of install?"

    Probably.. but going to the other extreme isn't going to help them (or us), either. I'm thinking that probably the best thing for them to do would be to specify one minor rev of each major version for long-term support.

    For example, redhat should probably designate 5.2 6.2 and 7.3 for long-term support. Although it could cause some (generally minor) upset for users of the less-supported revs to go to the long=term revs, it's not likely as bad as being forced to always upgrade to the current 'in' version every 6-16 months.

    I think the appropriate cliche here for the current attitude is "Penny wise, pound foolish'

  • perhaps ive not being reading /. as often as I should, but wtf is sdf?
  • The worm that those two people are accused of 'creating' is the one that DALnet has mentioned is part of it's cause of DDoS attacks, not Slammer.

It is wrong always, everywhere and for everyone to believe anything upon insufficient evidence. - W. K. Clifford, British philosopher, circa 1876