> Mozilla Crypto Group achieves SSL enabled 'cryptozilla' in under 1 day.
> Yesterday, at approximately 19:15pm AU (01:15am PST) Eric Young, Tim
> Hudson and Michael Watkin completed the first running SSL-enabled
> Mozilla binary (unofficially named cryptozilla), for Linux. It has been
> tested to connect successfully with full-strength encryption to a range
> of SSL enabled webservers from different sources onshore and offshore
> including C2Net's Stronghold and Apache-SSL.
> The Australian Academic network, a facility managed by DSTC Pty/Ltd (a
> Mozilla Crypto Group Participant) began shadowing the source release at
> 04:01am, 1 minute after it became visible in the USA. This was
> immediately made available to the Mozilla Crypto Group. One hour and
> forty minutes later at 05:41am local time, a Linux binary without crypto
> was functional. Throughout the day, non-cryptographic binaries for other
> architectures including Windows-95/NT Sun/Solaris and Digital Unix were
> confirmed, and after only 15 hours elapsed time, and only 7 hours of
> tag-team coding, the secure browser was working.
> Binaries for as many architectures and operating systems as possible
> will be made available for download as soon as pre-release debugging can
> be finished. Sourcecode will be available late next week.
> The first pre-release binary for Linux will be available at 1:30pm AEST
> (7:30pm PST) on Thursday the 2nd of April:
> Much work remains to be done and the Mozilla Crypto Group expects to
> spend the forseeable future implementing a fully functional browser,
> drawing on the expertise of the group as a whole to enhance
> functionality, but the most important first step has been taken.
Luckily for Microsoft, Bill Gates has just patented the numbers zero and
one, so this cryptozilla news doesn't mean much now...
> REDMOND, WA--In what CEO Bill Gates called "an unfortunate but necessary
> step to protect our intellectual property from theft and exploitation by
> competitors," the Microsoft Corporation patented the numbers one and
> zero Monday.
> With the patent, Microsoft's rivals are prohibited from manufacturing or
> selling products containing zeroes and ones--the mathematical building
> blocks of all computer languages and programs--unless a royalty fee of
> 10 cents per digit used is paid to the software giant.
> "Microsoft has been using the binary system of ones and zeroes ever
> since its inception in 1975," Gates told reporters. "For years, in the
> interest of the overall health of the computer industry, we permitted
> the free and unfettered use of our proprietary numeric systems. However,
> changing marketplace conditions and the increasingly predatory practices
> of certain competitors now leave us with no choice but to seek
> compensation for the use of our numerals."
> A number of major Silicon Valley players, including Apple Computer,
> Netscape and Sun Microsystems, said they will challenge the Microsoft
> patent as monopolistic and anti-competitive, claiming that the
> 10-cent-per-digit licensing fee would bankrupt them instantly.
> "While, technically, Java is a complex system of algorithms used to
> create a platform-independent programming environment, it is, at its
> core, just a string of trillions of ones and zeroes," said Sun
> Microsystems CEO Scott McNealy, whose company created the Java
> programming environment used in many Internet applications. "The
> licensing fees we'd have to pay Microsoft every day would be
> approximately 327,000 times the total net worth of this company."
> "If this patent holds up in federal court, Apple will have no choice but
> to convert to analog," said Apple interim CEO Steve Jobs, "and I have
> serious doubts whether this company would be able to remain competitive
> selling pedal-operated computers running software off vinyl LPs."
> As a result of the Microsoft patent, many other companies have begun
> radically revising their product lines: Database manufacturer Oracle has
> embarked on a crash program to develop "an abacus for the next
> millennium." Novell, whose communications and networking systems are
> also subject to Microsoft licensing fees, is working with top animal
> trainers on a chimpanzee-based message-transmission system.
> Hewlett-Packard is developing a revolutionary new steam-powered printer.
> Despite the swarm of protest, Gates is standing his ground,
> maintaining that ones and zeroes are the undisputed property of Microsoft.
> "We will vigorously enforce our patents of these numbers, as they are
> legally ours," Gates said. "Among Microsoft's vast historical archives
> are Sanskrit cuneiform tablets from 1800 B.C. clearly showing ones and a
> symbol known as 'sunya,' or nothing. We also own: papyrus scrolls
> written by Pythagoras himself in which he explains the idea of singular
> notation, or 'one'; early tracts by Mohammed ibn Musa al Kwarizimi
> explaining the concept of al-sifr, or 'the cipher'; original
> mathematical manuscripts by Heisenberg, Einstein and Planck; and a
> signed first-edition copy of Jean-Paul Sartre's Being And Nothingness.
> Should the need arise, Microsoft will have no difficulty proving to the
> Justice Department or anyone else that we own the rights to these
> Added Gates: "My salary also has lots of zeroes. I'm the richest man in
> the world."
> According to experts, the full ramifications of Microsoft's patenting of
> one and zero have yet to be realized.
> "Because all integers and natural numbers derive from one and zero,
> Microsoft may, by extension, lay claim to ownership of all mathematics
> and logic systems, including Euclidean geometry, pulleys and levers,
> gravity, and the basic Newtonian principles of motion, as well as the
> concepts of existence and nonexistence," Yale University theoretical
> mathematics professor J. Edmund Lattimore said. "In other words, pretty
> much everything."
> Lattimore said that the only mathematical constructs of which Microsoft
> may not be able to claim ownership are infinity and transcendental
> numbers like pi. Microsoft lawyers are expected to file liens on
> infinity and pi this week.
> Microsoft has not yet announced whether it will charge a user fee to
> individuals who wish to engage in such mathematically rooted motions as
> walking, stretching and smiling.
> In an address beamed live to billions of people around the globe Monday,
> Gates expressed confidence that his company's latest move will,
> ultimately, benefit all humankind.
> "Think of this as a partnership," Gates said. "Like the ones and zeroes
> of the binary code itself, we must all work together to make the promise
> of the computer revolution a reality. As the world's richest, most
> powerful software company, Microsoft is number one. And you, the
> millions of consumers who use our products, are the zeroes."
This is probably what prompted Disney to buy MIT...
> Walt Disney Corporation to Acquire MIT for $6.9 Billion
> Top Ranked Engineering School will switch to Imagineering
> CAMBRIDGE, MA, Apr. 1, 1998 -- The Massachusetts Institute of Technology
> and the Walt Disney Company (NYSE: DIS) today announced the signing of
> an agreement whereby Disney will acquire MIT, a coeducational university
> located in Cambridge, Massachusetts. This unprecedented acquisition of a
> non-profit educational institution by a Fortune 500 company will be
> accomplished by Disney setting up a $6.9 billion cash scholarship trust
> fund. The fund will be used to reimburse past students for tuition, and
> provide scholarships for students for the next 20 years.
> "The acquisition of MIT represents a new phase for the Walt Disney
> Company. In recent years, the increased power of computers has made it
> possible to create dramatic new forms of entertainment ranging from a
> film like Toy Story to an attraction such as Indiana Jones Adventure at
> Disneyland to Internet sites like Disney.com. The addition of some of
> the nation's finest minds and most original thinkers will help us wisely
> plot our course into the next century. The talents of MIT faculty and
> students will uniquely position us to seize the possibilities that
> technology will be offering", said Michael Eisner, Chairman and CEO of
> the Walt Disney Company.
> The idea of the acquisition grew out of talks between Disney and the MIT
> Media Lab regarding the next generation of television. "We were very
> impressed by the technology that MIT had", said Thomas James, a Disney
> spokesperson. "As we became acquainted with the other assets of MIT, the
> negotiations expanded to include the whole university. The biggest
> challenge were the legal hurdles. The non-profit nature of the school
> dictated that the payment has to be given to charity. The fact that MIT
> is a land-grant university means that the land has to be given back to
> the Federal government."
> As part of the acquisition, the entire MIT campus will be moved brick by
> brick down to the Walt Disney resort complex in Orlando, Florida, so
> that the 153 acres that MIT currently occupies can be returned. "Moving
> the Institute is a giant undertaking, but I feel that the MIT Civil
> Engineering department is up for the challenge", said Joel Moses, MIT
> provost. "The high Florida water table means that the Institute
> basements and subbasements cannot be underground. We plan to dig out a
> new Charles river down in Florida, and use the landfill to place the
> Institute two stories above sea-level, much like the vaunted utilidor
> system under the Magic Kingdom.
> MIT sees many benefits from the acquisition. "The recent tuition riot
> pointed out that something had to be done about the skyrocketing cost of
> tuition", Charles Vest, MIT President said. "Besides the large
> scholarships that the trust fund will provide, the new location in
> Florida will help us attract students that would ordinarily go to warmer
> climates such as Palo Alto and Pasadena. The ability to offer Disney
> stock options will make it easier to recruit and retain world-class
> professors and staff."
> MIT students will see some immediate effects of the Disney acquisition.
> The various MIT departments and schools will be named after Disney
> characters. For example, the school of Engineering will become the
> school of Imagineering, and the Sloan School will be renamed the Scrooge
> McDuck School of Management. According to Samuel "Jay" Keyser, Professor
> in the Donald Duck Department of Linguistics, who was on the MIT
> negotiating team, the first noticeable change will be Disney characters
> appearing in lectures. "The presence of these characters in class will
> keep students awake and enhance the learning process," Keyser said, "In
> time, student morale will be improved by nightly parades down the
> Infinite corridor, followed by firework displays over the Great Dome."
> Once the move to Florida is complete by 2010, the campus will finally
> have a monorail system and access to the entire Walt Disney World resort
> complex. Disney says that it intends to immediately benefit from the
> acquisition by redirecting the resources of the "Land of Computer
> Science" and the "Artificial Imagination Laboratory" to its internal
> Information Systems needs, ranging from Year 2000 projects to ride
> control to improving web security. The biology department will begin to
> genetically engineer new attractions for Disney's Animal Kingdom, slated
> to open this Spring. Disney is also planning on an animated cartoon
> adventure of "Nick the Nerd", slated for release in the summer of 1999.
> Disney is also considering adding "Noun Poetry" to its Disney Afternoon
> As part of the acquisition, MIT President Charles Vest will receive a
> pay increase and become Disney Vice President for Nerd Education. Once
> the move is completed, the school will merge with the Disney Institute
> and will be renamed the Disney Institute of Technology. When asked what
> he planned on doing now that he had just finished selling the Institute
> to Disney, Charles Vest had no comment.
As ocean depth increases, temperature decreases. The speed of sound
decreases to a certain depth, then increases, offsetting the temperature
decrease, until equilibrium is established and nothing has changed. In
this way, ocean depth is much like political or economic progress. Much
changes for a while, but in the long run, everything is the same and
you're in a little deeper.
-- Dr. Science