The Null Device
Web entrepreneurs are attempting to adapt the MySpace formula, massively successful with teenagers and twentysomething, to the huge baby-boomer demographic. One attempt is Eons.com, which replaces the pop music and cool animated ads with brain-exercising games, a longevity calculator and an obituary notification service:
"Many people no longer live where they grew up so the idea of a rich story about someone's life in a local newspaper is often lost," said Taylor, who sees online obituaries replacing the traditional death announcements in newspapers.
He said baby boomers, the 77 million Americans born between 1946 and 1964, also wanted to have a greater input into their own funerals. This prompted Eons.com to look into a service where people could plan for their favorite songs to be played at their funeral and where friends and family can go afterward for food and drink.
And the coolest politician's name of the day belongs to Willis D. Knuckles, Liberia's new Presidential Affairs Minister.
Bruce Schneier has a post about an interesting way to beat buffer overrun attacks:
Fortunately, buffer-overflow attacks have a weakness: the intruder must know precisely what part of the computer's memory to target. In 1996, Forrest realised that these attacks could be foiled by scrambling the way a program uses a computer's memory. When you launch a program, the operating system normally allocates the same locations in a computer's random access memory (RAM) each time. Forrest wondered whether she could rewrite the operating system to force the program to use different memory locations that are picked randomly every time, thus flummoxing buffer-overflow attacks.
Memory scrambling isn't the only way to add diversity to operating systems. Even more sophisticated techniques are in the works. Forrest has tried altering "instruction sets", commands that programs use to communicate with a computer's hardware, such as its processor chip or memory.
This produces an elegant form of protection. If an attacker manages to insert malicious code into a running program, that code will also be decrypted by the translator when it is passed to the hardware. However, since the attacker's code is not encrypted in the first place, the decryption process turns it into digital gibberish so the computer hardware cannot understand it.
Whilst visiting California, Tony Blair has have signed signed a pact to tackle climate change with the state's governor, Hummer-driving environmentalist Arnold Schwarzenegger. The pact, whilst careful to avoid anything binding or concrete, calls on both states to think positive thoughts about the environment, "find new solutions", "work together" and, in a very Californian fashion, "share experiences". The UK, spinning its hardest, has specifically denied that this pact sidesteps the Whitehouse.