Brick Lane
Political Briefs


by Craig Reynolds

Big bug in DNS: in the earliest days of the ARPAnet, the translation from typed server names to numeric addresses was specified by a simple text file, which was copied from a single designated server to get updates. As the network grew, this centralized approach was replaced in 1983 with the Domain Name System or DNS. You might think that after 25 years, most bugs would have been shaken out of this key bit of Internet infrastructure. But no: the recent discovery of a serious bug called cache-poisoning has lead to emergency repairs: DNS hole prompts synchronized patching effort by IT vendors,. See also Internet Bug Fix Spawns Backlash From Hackers and DNS researcher convinces skeptics that bug is serious.

Identity, privacy and neutrality: okay, sometimes I struggle with categories. Here are some items about protecting online identity from abuse, and online access from discrimination. A warning shot across the bow of ISP that would selectively block or delay certain classes of network traffic: F.C.C. Chief Backs Sanctions Against Comcast Over Blocking. How can rational corporate managers adopt a business model based on alienating your customers?: Viacom won't soon shed image as corporate bully and Time for a YouTube intervention ("Witness the latest episode of “Viacom vs. the Internet,” a long-running reality show in which a media behemoth holds fast to its antiquated business ideals while taking advantage of our increasingly tenuous hold on personal privacy, and accepting none of the responsibility for the resulting fallout.") Like an operation in 1984's Ministry of Truth, one blogger drops another down the "memory hole" Poof! You’re Unpublished. Double-plus-ungood!

iPhone: perhaps you heard about Apple's product launch this week? Some reviews: They’re out! The first iPhone 3G reviews. Some discussion of features, pro and con: Here's what the new iPhone can do, 10 Things the 3G iPhone is Still Missing and Pandora Brings Free Streaming Music to iPhone 3G. And several guides to the new App Store: The Hottest iPhone Apps, What's Good (and Free!) in the iTunes App Store and 20 Cool IPhone Apps.

Google: the Internet giant moved into multi-user virtual worlds, potentially crushing existing players in that space: Google Introduces a Cartoonlike Method for Talking in Chat Rooms, Google unveils a Lively virtual world and Google Announces Lively Online World. The downside of being called a "giant" is that you have a big bulls-eye painted on your back. Any bad news is big news: On Day Care, Google Makes a Rare Fumble "...Judging by what’s transpired, that’s what Google is fast becoming: just another company."

Technobits: Mysteries of time, and the multiverse --- Moon Water Found, Raises Questions About Origin Theory --- Coral reefs on 'slippery slope to slime' ---  Watermelon yields Viagra-like effects --- MIT spinoff dyes glass to make solar 'windows' --- Tuning out from content overload --- Human Mirror by Improv Everywhere --- the description in the NYT article didn't sound like my kind of thing, but Matt Harding’s dancing video is good-hearted fun.