Different River

”You can never step in the same river twice.” –Heraclitus

November 13, 2006

The Web is Old Enough to Drive

Filed under: — Different River @ 11:21 pm

In most (U.S.) states, anyway.

The World Wide Web is 16 years old today.

June 15, 2006

SHOCK: Bill Gates to Leave Microsoft

Filed under: — Different River @ 5:36 pm

Matt Drudge is headlining this Reuters story:

Microsoft’s Gates says to reduce role

Thu Jun 15, 2006 4:54pm ET

SEATTLE (Reuters) – Microsoft Corp. said on Thursday that chairman Bill Gates will stop taking a day-to-day role in the software giant he founded in order to do more work with his charitable foundation.

Gates said that by July 2008 he will work full-time for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation he started to promote health and education projects around the world.

“Obviously, this decision was a very hard one for me to make,” Gates told a news conference. “The change we’re seeing today is not a retirement, it’s a reordering of my priorities.”

In July 2008, Bill Gates will be 52 years old.

That sounds like a retirement to me. By my definition, retirement doesn’t mean you do nothing, it means you collect the benefits of years of working — and philanthropy counts as that, since he’ll be spending the money he spend the previous 30 years earning.

By the way, I’d like to be a philanthropist, too. So far, I’m still stuck on step 1: “Make a lot of money.” :-(

February 28, 2006

Intel in Vietnam

Filed under: — Different River @ 3:35 pm

When Intel was founded by Robert Noyce, Gordon Moore, and Andy Grove in 1968 — that is, during the height of the Vietnam War — I’m sure they did not imagine that this would happen:

Intel Invests $300M in Vietnam Facility

Online staff — Electronic News, 2/28/2006

Intel Corp. today confirmed plans for a semiconductor assembly and test facility in Vietnam, saying it will invest $300 million for the plant in the city of Ho Chi Minh.

That would be the city formerly known as Saigon.

While the $300 million was less than expected, it is significant and the move by Intel represents the first such investment by the semiconductor industry in Vietnam, according to the company.

“Less than expected” two months ago maybe — but not less than expected two decades ago. It’s a different world.

February 24, 2005

SHA-1 Broken (Update)

Filed under: — Different River @ 5:45 pm

Updating this post:

Slashdot reported that:

The findings are that SHA-1 is not collision free and can be broken in 2^69 attempts instead of 2^80. This is about 2000 times faster. With todays computing power and Moores Law, a SHA-1 hash does not last too long. Using a modified DES Cracker, for the small sum of up to $38M, SHA-1 can be broken in 56 hours, with current computing power. In 18 months, the cost should go down by half. Jon Callas, PGP’s CTO, put it best: ‘It’s time to walk, but not run, to the fire exits. You don’t see smoke, but the fire alarms have gone off.’ As Schneier suggests, ‘It’s time for us all to migrate away from SHA-1.’ Alternatives include SHA-256 and SHA-512.”

So, I’m not particularly worried, but quite properly PGP is moving to a more secure version of the SHA algorithm.

This is a good argument for keeping your software upgraded.

February 17, 2005

Top Award for Inventors of the Internet

Filed under: — Different River @ 6:09 pm

The 2004 Turing Award, the so-called “Nobel Prize of Computing,” has been awarded to the inventors of the Internet — that is, to Vinton Cerf and Robert Kahn, who developed the TCP/IP protocol that is the basis for all Internet communications (web, e-mail, etc.).

The $100,000 prize is sponsored by Intel and awarded by the Association for
Computing Machinery (ACM)
, the main professional organization for computer scientists.

No word on whether Al Gore plans to appeal. ;-)

(Hat tip: Slashdot.)

SHA-1 Broken

Filed under: — Different River @ 5:47 pm

Bruce Schneier reports that SHA-1, an algorithm used for computing (and authenticating) digital signatures, has been cracked. This is (potentially, if it pans out) a major setback for digital signatures. Click for details.

UPDATE (2/24/05 5:45pm):

Slashdot reported that:

The findings are that SHA-1 is not collision free and can be broken in 2^69 attempts instead of 2^80. This is about 2000 times faster. With todays computing power and Moores Law, a SHA-1 hash does not last too long. Using a modified DES Cracker, for the small sum of up to $38M, SHA-1 can be broken in 56 hours, with current computing power. In 18 months, the cost should go down by half. Jon Callas, PGP’s CTO, put it best: ‘It’s time to walk, but not run, to the fire exits. You don’t see smoke, but the fire alarms have gone off.’ As Schneier suggests, ‘It’s time for us all to migrate away from SHA-1.’ Alternatives include SHA-256 and SHA-512.”

So, I’m not particularly worried, but quite properly PGP is moving to a more secure version of the SHA algorithm.

This is a good argument for keeping your software upgraded.

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