Monday, October 22, 2007

Monday, August 27, 2007

Letters show Newton-Leibniz controversy faked, 2007

Bill McKeeman found this article in the Mathematical Association of America's Math Horizons, April 2007, regarding newly-discovered letters from Leibniz to Newton.

It appears that Newton inititated a fake priority dispute over Calculus, with Leibniz's collaboration, but both were secret motivated to punish Johann Bernoulli, Leibniz's "mediocre" student.

In return the younger Bernoulli was responsible for the poisoning of Newton in 1693, for which he framed Leibniz, which made Newton escalate the war into charges of plagiarism.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

German Federal Trojan Horse Spy

The German language "Chaos Computer Club" posted a report on April 1, 2007 that they had found a so-called "Federal Trojan Horse Virus" (Bundestrojaner) in the official on-line tax-form submitting software ELSTER.

Germany is currently debating whether the federal government should be allowed to snoop personal computers of its citizens (and as the government had to admit on April 25 that they have actually been doing this since 2005, but want to have this activity supposed to help "fight terrorism" legitimized by law).

There was an enormous interest in the German media about this, CCC was forced to publish a footnote declaring that this was intended as a joke, but that they cannot say for sure that there is not a Trojan Horse virus to be found in this software....

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Productivity measurement on software engineering projects, 1978

The milestone is often used as a measure of project progress on large scale software developments. In this report, a quantitative measure of the milestone is developed and shown to be consistent with existing estimating techniques.

Building reliable software in BLOWHARD, 1977

By Dave Parnas.
BLOWHARD is a new programming Language. Its name is an acronym: Basic Language - Omnificent With Hardly Any Research or Development.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Google Gulp, 2005

At Google our mission is to organize the world's information and make it useful and accessible to our users. But any piece of information's usefulness derives, to a depressing degree, from the cognitive ability of the user who's using it. That's why we're pleased to announce Google Gulp (BETA)™ with Auto-Drink™ (LIMITED RELEASE), a line of "smart drinks" designed to maximize your surfing efficiency by making you more intelligent, and less thirsty.

Überware Trio 1.0 AF, 2007

The Ültimate Firefox extension. Brings together three of the newest, finest, leading edge technologies available today. No third party applications required. Everything is built into the extension.

Internet Usage Drops 80% in 2005

A recent study shows that after just 3 months into the year, the number of people using the Internet has dropped by a staggering 80 percent.

RFC 4824, 2007

This document specifies a method for encapsulating and transmitting IPv4/IPv6 packets over the Semaphore Flag Signal System (SFSS).

International Conference on Sequential Development, 2006

After years of being disparaged by some in the software development community, the waterfall process is back with a vengeance.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Cartography dream realized, 2006

The new technique has already revealed important results: errors in the existing geographical databases. These errors were revealed when geographers in Cambridge compared the full scale map with the terrain and discovered that they didn't fit precisely: Several structures, including a college building and several roads were determined to be in the incorrect location.

Motorist trapped in traffic circle for 14 hours, 2006

Hampstead, MA. Motorist Peter Newone said he felt as if a nightmare had just ended. Newone, 53, was driving his newly purchased luxury car when he entered the traffic circle in the city center around 9 AM yesterday, Friday. The car was equipped with the latest safety features, including a new feature called Lane Keeping. "It just wouldn't let me get out of the circle," said Newone.

Alternative electronic recycling, 2003

Computer scientists have discovered a way to recycle previously used computer cycles and previously generated data. The trick is first to compress newly written programs using an approach similar to Kolomogorov Complexity analysis, and then map the results into callable elements of old programs that can directly give the desired results in return. Research is underway that would even enable the used cycles of old programs written in archaic languages such as COBOL and FORTRAN to be recycled in this way.

REVIEW: "Hacking for Dummies", Bill Murray III/Gene Spafford, 2002

As regular RISKS readers will note, I always enjoy a new addition to the "for Dummies" series. This time the imprint has outdone itself with a lighthearted romp through network naughtiness, by two of the least known, but most accomplished, practitioners of the field.

ATF Takes Responsibility for Federal Software Policy Enforcement, 2002

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Department of the Treasury announced today that responsibility for enforcement of new federal regulations of the software industry will fall under the jurisdiction of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF). As the regulations come into effect, the bureau will be renamed to be the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Software (ATFS).

Foot-and-mouth disease believed to be ..., 2001

first virus unable to spread through Microsoft Outlook.

Researchers shocked to finally find virus that email app doesn't like.

Windows 2000 source code, 2001

Microsoft Corp.'s decision last week to give its 1,000 top U.S. enterprise customers access to the Windows 2000 source code has been sharply criticized by smaller customers.

Y2K: Help for the Weary Programmer, 1999

While reading several articles on the Y2K problem in the 1 April 1999 issue of RISKS-20-26, I noticed that none addressed the actual problem facing working programmers: there isn't enough time to finish the job before December 31. As we all know from The Mythical Man Month, we can't add more people to the project: the project will just take longer. What we need is another month.

I propose Caligua.

Daylight Savings Time cutover, 1999

In a sweeping move to alleviate the problems generated by the switch to daylight savings time early on Sunday morning, Congress voted today to move the switch to Monday.

Professor wants Y2K jokes banned on the Net, 1999

Insisting that "there's nothing funny about things that aren't funny," Professor Wiley T. Langweile of the Palo Alto (CA.)-based Institute of Internet Reevaluation has written a searing letter to *The New York Times* (1 Apr 1999) protesting that the American media are so bored with the Year 2000 problem that they're mentioning it only once in every 94.5 sentences (by the professor's own hand-count).

RFC2550 - Y10K and Beyond, 1999

Despite all of the hooplah about Y2K, computer programmers and protocol designers have not really learned from Y2K. Just because a problem seems far off, it should NOT be ignored. 30 years ago, the year 2000 seemed unimaginably far off and many protocols and programs were not designed to deal with it. Now, we see a similar problem on the horizon and we fear that most computer professionals are again looking the other way.

Starting with the year 10,000, years will have 5 digits.

The Computer Anti-Defamation Law, 1998

... it is not surprising in our litigious society to hear of the recent passage of the new Computer Anti-Defamation Law (CADL) protecting computer system developers against people making public remarks detrimental to computer programs and hardware. Apparently, this law was in part a response to the fact that specific cases of shoddy software are frequently mentioned in the Risks Forum and other Internet newsgroups, which has annoyed certain developers of chronically (and chronologically!) flawed systems.

Quantum computer cracks crypto keys quickly, 1998

A small team of researchers has succeeded in building a prototype of the so-called "quantum computer" that can factor large numbers quickly and defeat public-key cryptosystems. The researchers cracked the DES-IV-1 challenge, revealing the message"Can't anyone around here keep a secret?"

Funding for a new software paradigm, 1998

Rivers summarized, "So, the typical program is overloaded with code that is rarely used, that may not work, and whose output is likely to be ignored anyway." He concluded, "With this code removed, programs will be dramatically smaller and will run somewhat-to-noticeably faster."

Friday, April 13, 2007

Microsoft buys Sun, 1997

Redmond WA, March 31 (Routers) - Microsoft Corporation announced after the close today that it will buy Sun Microsystems in a deal valued at $11.7 billion. The price works out to $50 a share, which is a premium over Sun's close at $34. ... Bill Gates, Microsoft's Chairman said "It's time to kill Unix. ..."

The Year 2100 Problem: a simple solution, 1997

Since, by [2100], software will be even more difficult to fix than it is today, I humbly propose that it would be simpler to fix the erroneous definition of the "second" than to fix the software. According to my calculations, by lengthening the second by only 0.00001312449483, which surely will be not noticeable, leap-years will occur every four years without the clumsy and error-prone corrections necessitated by the poor mathematical abilities of medieval monks. (Recall that the meter was recently changed so that the speed of light is exactly 3,000,000 meters/second).

French computer systems found to be immune to Y2K problems, 1997

The French Ministry of Informatics (MOI) today announced that they have determined that French computer systems will not be affected by the year 2000 problem. An extensive series of tests have been run on a wide range of applications within the country and on no system has a Y2K problem been apparent.

ROT n + 1 encryption algorithm, 1996

Another milestone has been added to the exciting history of research in cryptography. For several decades, the one-time pad had the reputation of being the most secure algorithm in existence. Not anymore. In the sleepy city of Bonn, Germany, the new ROT n+1 algorithm was invented by Peter Simons, a 22 year old student of Computer Science.

A320 software goes on "3rd Party" maintenance,1994

Thor Avionics, one of Denmark's most advanced high-tech firms, has secured a contract which makes it the first software house in the world to provide"third party" maintenance on a major safety-critical software system.

Society for the Promotion of Ergonomically Reasonable Measurement, 1993

There is a regrettable tendency today to make everything more friendly to computers, and less friendly to people. Even some recent changes which were intended to make calculations easier for humans have had unfortunate effects.

IP with avian carriers,1990

Avian carriers can provide high delay, low throughput, and low altitude service. The connection topology is limited to a single point-to-point path for each carrier, used with standard carriers, but many carriers can be used without significant interference with each other, outside of early spring.

News briefs on "hacker" activity, 1989

March 17, Newsweek: "I Must Set A Proper Example." Interviewed on the MacNeil-Lehrer show yesterday, the president's nominee for head of the Office of the War on Addiction said that if confirmed he will abstain from use of his private Macintosh while he is in office.

Rocket shot down by faulty Star Wars weapon, 1987

WASHINGTON (AP) - Reliable Pentagon sources have reported that last Thursday's explosion of a $78 million Atlas-Centaur rocket carrying the $83 million military "FltSatCOM" communications satellite was in fact caused by a "minor malfunction" in a highly secret experimental Strategic Defense Initiative beam weapon, commonly known as "Star Wars."

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Google: Gmail Paper, 2007

Everyone loves Gmail. But not everyone loves email, or the digital era. What ever happened to stamps, filing cabinets, and the mailman? Well, you asked for it, and it’s here. We’re bringing it back.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

The Alameda-Weehawken Burrito Tunnel, 2007

Who can imagine New York City without the Mission burrito? Like the Yankees, the Brooklyn Bridge or the bagel, the oversize burritos have become a New York institution. And yet it wasn’t long ago that it was impossible to find a good burrito of any kind in the city. As the 30th anniversary of the Alameda-Weehawken burrito tunnel approaches, it’s worth taking a look at the remarkable sequence of events that takes place between the time we click “deliver” on the website and the moment that our hot El Farolito burrito arrives in the lunchroom with its satisfying pneumatic hiss.

[Delightful. Spoiled only by its date.]

Monday, April 9, 2007

Caffederm, 2004

Thinkgeek has just the best things a geek could need - and many of the April Fool's ideas are not bad. Caffederm, a caffeine patch, was introduced April 1, 2004.

Friday, April 6, 2007

Acoustic P2P, 2005

A new platform-independent speech solution for short- and medium-range interpersonal communication. Based on open standards, Opera's patent-pending P2P speech technology uses analogue signals carried through open air, enabling users to communicate in real-time without the use of computers or mobile phones.

McAfee Month of Bug Bugs, 2007

Avoid World-wide Electron Shortage, 2007

Organizations around the world are archiving data at a geometrically-increasing rate. Leading scientists worldwide estimate that this will lead to a world-wide electron shortage by 2050.

Google Project Teaspoon, 2007

Sick of paying for broadband that you have to, well, pay for? Try Google TiSP (BETA), a new FREE in-home wireless broadband service.

RFC 3514, 2003

A security flag in IPv4 headers to indicate which packets have malicious intent and which are benign.

NAPHSIS Breach Coverup, 2007

Vital events database hacked, billions in benefits, passport security at stake. National security folks trying to contain the PR damage?

Window Transparency Information Disclosure, 2007

Panes used in windows are usually transparent, allowing sensitive information to be observed from the outside.

C|Net, 2007

Jimmy Wales' cataract experiment, Dalai Lama's Second Life exile, Homeland Security privacy, and much, much more...

Top April Fool's Day Hoaxes

This site has a list of the supposed top 100 April Fool's Day Hoaxes. Those of interest to computer scientists are probably:
  • #7: Alabama Changes the Value of Pi
  • #12: Kremvax
  • #19: Webnode
  • #24: Drunk Driving on the Internet
  • #40: Internet Spring Cleaning
  • #51: Smellovision
  • #56: Y2K CD Bug
  • #64: Y2K Solved
  • #87: Telepathic Email

Risks of Virtual Professionalism, 2007

Icelandic Internet programmer David Josephssen, dvdjo, convicted in Texas of practicing software engineering without a license.

Fake ID: Batteries Not Included, 2006

Biometric "appliances" sold on late-night TV.

Coincidental Risks, 2004

Electronic voting results in alphabetically first candidate getting all votes in all races.

A Matter of Bandwidth, 1999

Matter Transmission (MT) technology.

Internet Spring Cleaning, 1997

Microsoft Buys Vatican, 1994

KremVAX, 1984

Apply for membership in CPfAF.