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Charlie StrossPerson was signed in when posted
07:31 PM ET (US)
Poser 4 or Poser 5? You have me highly interested in expanding my collection of George W. Bush doggie-style porn ...
Dave Bell
05:54 PM ET (US)
Not quite the place, perhaps, but I bought a copy of Poser recently. (Windows version :( but that's my computing history driving things...) Has this interesting tool to put real faces onto the models, and how long before somebody catches out the press with _that_.
Duncan Lawie
02:29 PM ET (US)
How are your virus-ridden mails going now? My SpamAssasin collected 40M between 9am and 6pm today and missed most of the 'bounces' which meant I was getting a few an hour through my inbox as well.
David Stewart
08:31 AM ET (US)
In much the same way that organic populations without genetic diversity are vulnerablee to disease, the Internet is vulnerable because the operating systems of over 90 pc of the computers attached to it come from a single vendor: Microsoft. And most users of Microsoft-based PCs use Outlook Express or Outlook as their mail client. A little more diversity would help to slow down the spread of such malicious code. If some Outlook Express users were to switch to Eudora (also available as a free download) and some were to switch to some other client, it could go a long way. It would be even better if some Wintel users were to switch to Mac or Linux.
03:25 AM ET (US)
Mid afternoon yesterday, we were trapping 2 per SECOND.
Lloyd Burchill
09:20 PM ET (US)
Somewhere north of 22,000 Sobig emails, I stopped counting. I'm using Pine's filters to kill them at the server.
Charlie StrossPerson was signed in when posted
04:31 PM ET (US)
Cory Doctorow peaked at 8-10 SOBIG-F per minute.
David Bilek
04:16 PM ET (US)
I haven't received many copies myself... but someone is emailing copies around with my e-mail address in the "FROM:" header. I have gotten two dozen bounce messages for undeliverable emails containing viruses. Needless to say, I didn't send any of those emails.

If I've gotten two dozen bounces, I wonder how many have gone through with my name on them?
Bill Benzon
03:29 PM ET (US)
This little sucker has been hitting me so bad that I've taken to stopping it via web email rather than downloading 10 to 20 100K pieces of junk per hour. Fortunately I'm running a Mac so it does me no harm, just sucks up time.
Edited 08-20-2003 03:30 PM
David M GordonPerson was signed in when posted
07:22 AM ET (US)
The oppressed rise up, and smite the foe:


Well, okay -- perhaps this is a mere spit in the ocean but then again it might slow to a trickle the diluvian flood of spam... At least, for a while. (A guy can hope, right? ;-)

Steven Francis Murphy
03:15 PM ET (US)

I've deleted 19 pieces of such items out of my inbox, from various sources rannging from Sandy Marlowe at Penny Publications to some guy in the U.S. Army Reserve Command (who I do not know).

I have opened no attachments. Have deleted all messages with extreme prejudice. Same with the spam in the Yahoo Bulk mail box.

Glad I checked your blog, else I'd have thought I was dreaming or something.

S. F. Murphy
North Kansas City, Missouri. US
Dan Goodman
01:48 PM ET (US)
"Wicked screensaver" as a heading -- that's what I've been getting today, then. My ISP (actually, a third party) has been quarantining them, so I haven't had a real problem. Yet.

I've also been getting a lot of notices that messages sent from my address carry a virus.
Charlie StrossPerson was signed in when posted
01:29 PM ET (US)
It's almost certainly SOBIG-F, as described in The Register. "The worm is spreading rapidly". No shit.
Erik V. OlsonPerson was signed in when posted
09:53 AM ET (US)
Can't tell exactly without seeing your logs, but the big one now is W32/Welchia -- which is supposedly a "white hat" worm that finds machines infected with the blaster worm, patches it, and reboots the machine. But Welchia doesn't have an email vector. W32/Minimail is pretty common right now, it claims to be from admin@, or addresses like that.
Gary Farber
06:10 PM ET (US)
On the Gates/Brokaw story, speaking of trivial, it strikes me as odd that the Register would mock CNN for covering a story that the Register was covering. Seems to me they can have it one way (this story is important enough to cover), or the other(left as an exercise for the reader), but not both. (The remaining main possibility that occurs to me is that the Register is taking the rather odd line of promoting itself as the news source with the slogan "We Cover The Boring And Unverified Trivia That CNN Shouldn't!")

Thanks for the polar bear story, by the way (and all the other typically interesting stuff, of course); picked it up for posting from you.
Derek JamesPerson was signed in when posted
11:49 AM ET (US)
Charlie...seems like you're saying that you prefer misinformation now to reliable numbers later.

The day I first saw the banner on your site, I clicked over and checked out the most recent entry:

20Mar-03Apr - Nasiriyah - air raids
minimum: 226
maximum: 240

And they list the sources. In this case, there are three: The Christian Science Monitor, The Independent, and The Telegraph.

So I went ahead and tracked down the actual articles. Here there are, with the relevant sections quoted.

From the Christian Science Monitor:

"Doctors said they had treated 900 injuries in the past two weeks. They said US aerial raids had killed 250 civilians, all of whom had been brought to the hospital."

From The Independent:

"Doctors claimed that up to 250 people had died and that many had been temporarily buried in a park in the city, waiting to be interred in the holy city of Najaf when the road became safer. But a visit to the park revealed just 12 shallow graves, though local people said that up to 50 people in that area had been killed in bombing attacks."

And from The Telegraph:

"Doctors from the city hospital, who pleaded with the marines for protection, said they had treated 900 injuries in the last two weeks. They said aerial raids had killed 250 civilians, all of whom had been brought to the hospital."

I'll be damned if I can figure out how they got a minimum of 226 and a maximum of 240 out of these media reports. Any ideas?

And I suppose I understand them ignoring the reports in the Independent saying only 12 graves were observed and local residents mentioned 50 deaths. Doesn't it seem a bit strange that if the CSM had included that line, it would only then skew the body count figures to a minimum of 12 and a max of 250?

The problem isn't the reliability or unreliability of the media sources themselves, but of the secondary sources quoted within the media reports. All we have is "doctors said", none identified by name, none verified independently, and that's good enough for the IBCP.

Well, it's not good enough for me, and if you were interested at all in representing the facts, it shouldn't be for you. It's specious and disingenuous. And in this case, no information is better than disinformation.
Charlie StrossPerson was signed in when posted
12:44 PM ET (US)
Arthur: you are correct. Pirate copies are not lost sales -- especially in the software biz, where many of the pirated copies retail for far more than the "potential customers" earn in a year.

Derek: the IBCP protocol is fallible and prone to inaccuracy because it's dependent on media reporting. But short of actually going out there on foot and counting, it's the only source we have access to right now. I note that the IBCP are using methods similar to those pioneered by the Science and Human Rights program at the AAAS, namely statistical sampling of reports and cross-correlation. The big difference is the IBCP are trying to work right now, not to deliver results in ten years' time, and a re restricted in their access to the territory. In summary: they're not perfect, but they're better than swallowing the bilge coming out of the Pentagon or Fox News or the Iraqi Ministry of Information.

Truth is always the first casualty in wartime.
Arthur Wyatt
12:32 PM ET (US)
I'm not completely convinced of the logic of the assumtion that each pirate copy == a lost sale, which so many of these assements of the cost of piracy seem to be based on, espicially since (a) the key reason for instituitional misuse of licenses tends to be lack of funds, as well as a bunch of individuals who simply don't havce the money, and (b) theres a whole bunch of pack rats out there who'll grab anything so long as its "free".
Edited 04-07-2003 12:33 PM
Derek JamesPerson was signed in when posted
11:31 AM ET (US)
Since when is pointing out a contradiction trolling?

I've commented on your blog a few times before, and you seem like someone ostensibly interested in scientific and statistical accuracy (hence this blog). So I simply wondered why you would link to the Iraqi Body Count Project, whose methodology is utterly poor and shoddy.

The civilian dead could quite well be triple the number noted, but the way the IBCP is extracting their data isn't anything close to a reliable method of getting at the truth of the matter. Why are you supporting it?
Charlie StrossPerson was signed in when posted
12:49 PM ET (US)
Derek: why are you trolling here? What's your political agenda, yankee scum?
Derek JamesPerson was signed in when posted
10:42 AM ET (US)
Charlie...it seems a bit ironic that you're pointing out the use of lying with statistics while prominently displaying the Iraqi Body Count project banner at the top of your page.
David Bell
07:16 AM ET (US)
Leaping back to the original point, haven't there been recent stories about Linux software being classed as "pirated" by one of the anti-piracy mobs?

Meanwhile, a Linux solution has been adopted by the British government (but that doesn't count because they bought it from IBM).
Duncan Lawie
05:14 AM ET (US)
But then, there's this myth that most of what we do in fully developed Western societies has any value whatsoever. The whole idea of 'full employment', that ancient plank of the labour movement, is dependent on our belief that we are valued by our ability to earn. When that attitude reaches the point that places like the UK and Australia are seriously prepared to discuss making the dole dependent on earning it by digging holes and filling them in again, I think many people would prefer the IT equivalent.

I do agree that half the things we waste our time on in Windows land are simply non-issues in Unix land. I used to be astonished at how often the help desk suggests rebooting/re-installing something on a Windows box and then handing over to a higher level of support if/when that doesn't work. Rarely have I felt the root cause has been reached. Of course, I am trapped into userland most of the time with Windows when I am used to being a superuser and dealing with root causes on *nix boxes.

As to actual piracy, I first saw Photoshop from a pirate copy and the 'try before you buy' was so good I paid up for the latest version. I think that many people who can afford software are happy to pay for legitimate copies when they see it has real value for them.
Charlie StrossPerson was signed in when posted
02:48 AM ET (US)
Nope, you're both on target.

The report is basically an example of lying by statistics, relying on the ignorance of the users.

(I note it's been slashdotted since I saw it ...)

BTW, David, it can be argued that at least estate agents provide a market intermediation function, like stockbrokers. (Whether or not they deserve to be paid £80 an hour is another matter.) Whereas a helpdesk technician, slaving over a PC in order to reinstall Windows XP on it for the fifth time in a month because some hardware flake keeps corrupting the registry is not doing anything for the bottom line of the economy, either in facilitating trade or creating value. They're just digging holes and filling them in again, and if they had a proper spade they could do the job just once then go and find something productive to do with their time instead.

There's this myth that IT jobs contribute to economic growth. Most of them don't, although it took me a couple of years out of the dotcom economy to get my perspective back ...
Charles Hixson
01:56 PM ET (US)
The problem with the BSA report is that they have the arrow of causation backwards. Regions where desire for computer software is basically satisfied will naturally experience lower rates of acquisition of new software by all means, including by piracy. Regions where the desire for computer software is unsatisfied will be experiencing pressure for more software, so they will be attempting to satisfy that desire. If they can't afford to purchase it, then they will try to copy from someone who has. Thus the increase in "piracy" among those areas with low saturation of computers is easily explained without the need for additional hypotheses... unless there's evidence that I overlooked.
David Bell
12:49 PM ET (US)
Charlie, while there are some differences between a novel and a tonne of wheat, we're both at least producing something. Even Microsoft have added a little to human wealth.

Estate Agents charge GBP 80 an hour...

What do they produce?
Edited 04-03-2003 12:52 PM

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