TBTF for 8/24/98: Bad moon

Keith Dawson (dawson@world.std.com)
Mon, 24 Aug 1998 17:31:13 -0500


TBTF for 8/24/98: Bad moon

T a s t y B i t s f r o m t h e T e c h n o l o g y F r o n t

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This issue: < http://www.tbtf.com/archive/08-24-98.html >

C o n t e n t s

A cautionary tale of Back Orifice
Group bids to hijack Linux
Send out the clowns
Microsoft's Java defense at odds with DoJ statements
President declares national emergency
Sauce for the gander
Followup: HERF guns are troll bait
Indian telecomms market finally opening
Buzzwords and time
Pecking cookies to death
Bad moon on the rise

..A cautionary tale of Back Orifice

Trojan horses: beware of geeks bearing gifts

After Chris Double <chris @nd.co.nz> read in TBTF for 8/10/98 [1]
about Back Orifice, the Cult of the Dead Cow's Trojan horse in-
trusion program, he stayed alert for signs of infection. Soon he
noticed postings on the newsgroup alt.games.creatures about a
utility purporting to extend the Creatures game -- but users who
downloaded and ran it reported that it didn't do anything. In fact,
what it did was to rip a gaping Back Orifice into their Net-con-
nected Windows 95 machines. Read Chris's war story [2] for a glimpse
into what life is going to be like for system administrators every-
where, starting now.

[1] http://www.tbtf.com/archive/08-10-98.html#s01
[2] http://www.tbtf.com/resource/warstory.html

..Group bids to hijack Linux

Who are these guys?

A group calling itself the Linux Standards Association has set up
shop to cash in on the Linux phenomenon [3]. At first it appeared
that no-one known to the Linux community was involved in the effort,
but it developed that one Michael McLagna is behind it. McLagna's
history and reputation in the Linux community is mixed, to put it
charitably -,see this page [4], put together by Piotr F. Mitros,
for some particulars.

To become a voting member of LSA you have to pay cash -- not exactly
in keeping with Open Source common practice -- and the group's Web
site [5] does not reveal how much. LSA's charter awards to its two
founding members veto power over anything relating to the term
"Standard Linux," which LSA has trademarked.

Community comment on Slashdot [6] is dismissive and/or derisive,
and rightly so.

Lawyers for Linux International have sent LSA a cease-and-desist
letter [7] over the use of the Linux trademark, because of LSA's
stated intention of to charge a fee for branding distributions as
Linux Standard Compliant.

We're going to see more of this as Linux continues to build mo-
mentum and to garner publicity. (Linus Torvalds was recently pho-
tographed for a Forbes Magazine cover.) Let's agree to ignore the
LSA and perhaps they'll sink into the obscurity they so richly
deserve while the actual Linux community continues to go about the
business of building great software.

Thanks to Doug Morris <doug@mhost.com> for details and links.

[3] http://www.news.com/News/Item/Textonly/0,25,25453,00.html?tbtf
[4] http://badragaz.ai.mit.edu/lsa/
[5] http://www.linuxstandards.org/
[6] http://slashdot.org/articles/980818/1247245.shtml
[7] http://www.linux-howto.com/linux.trademark

..Send out the clowns

No circus atmosphere for Microsoft-DoJ depositions

A federal appeals court has issued a stay of Judge Jackson's order
opening the hearings [8]. The court ordered that the depositions
proceed in private, and will schedule hearings on the matter (which
will be moot by the time it is heard).


..Microsoft's Java defense at odds with DoJ statements

Can't have it both ways

In a sworn statement [9] dated September 4 1998, for an upcoming
hearing in the lawsuit between Sun and Microsoft over Java licen-
sing, Robert Muglia, Microsoft's Senior Vice President of the Ap-
plications and Tools Group, states:

> 2. During the summer and fall of 1995, the Internet was grow-
> ing in importance. Microsoft, which had been focusing on
> the launch and success of Windows 95, had not yet developed
> a comprehensive Internet Strategy. We heard from our custo-
> mers that they wanted Microsoft to support new Internet
> technologies including HTML and Java.

> 3. Microsoft announced its Internet strategy on December 7, 1995.
> At that event, Microsoft outlined an approach where it would
> embrace existing Internet standards and work with the industry
> to drive innovation forward."

This, like the MSNBC timeline reported previously [10], appears to
contradict Microsoft's assertion in the Department of Justice anti-
trust suit that they had intended to integrate browser and OS as
early as 1993.

This item in its entirety was sent to me by Matthew Brookes <matt@-
broadcom.ie>. Matt, I hereby create you the first of the TBTF Ir-
regulars. Arise, go forth, and seek out Tasty Bits from the far-
thest corners of the Net! Will we ever be as big as Dogbert's New
Ruling Class [11] (wonders the Minister for Gratuitously Hyphenating
Monospaced Ascii Text Messages)?

[9] http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/java/8-13bob.htm