Adam Fields (weblog)

This blog is largely deprecated, but is being preserved here for historical interest. Check out my index page at for more up to date info. My main trade is technology strategy, process/project management, and performance optimization consulting, with a focus on enterprise and open source CMS and related technologies. More information. I write periodic long pieces here, shorter stuff goes on twitter or


End of the 9 line

Filed under: — adam @ 6:58 pm

The 9 line has been eliminated by the MTA:

P2P is a technique, not a thing

Filed under: — adam @ 9:44 am

This message to the IP list claims that Tarleton University will “shut down P2P”:

P2P file sharing programs provide Internet users with the ability to share files on their computers with millions of other Internet users. Common P2P use includes song and movie file sharing, gaming and instant messaging. P2P file sharing software makes it possible for people to accidentally share personal files or sensitive data. These programs also allow easier access to computer systems for theft of sensitive documents and unauthorized use of network resources. There have been incidents where P2P programs have exposed sensitive federal government documents.

P2P file sharing software potentially compromises computer systems. The use of this software creates vulnerabilities through which malicious code (viruses, worms, Trojans, bots) or other illegal material can be introduced.

The use of P2P file sharing can result in network intrusions.

Few, if any, university owned computers have an operational reason for running P2P file sharing software. These applications represent a network vulnerability that cannot be afforded without a strong justification.

This followup message illustrates a number of ways to get around that restriction:

As I’ve written before, P2P is not a technology, it’s a technique. You can’t just wish it away by eliminating programs or blocking ports. Bits are just bits. By themselves, they’re meaningless, until you apply a filter to them that explains what they are. Once again, all together now. Content is a pattern, not a thing.

P2P isn’t going anywhere.

Blackbox Voting reports numerous ways to hack a Diebold optical scan machine

“1. An altered memory card (electronic ballot box) was substituted for a real one. The optical scan machine performed seamlessly, issuing a report that looked like the real thing. No checksum captured the change in the executable program Diebold designed into the memory card.

2. A second altered memory card was demonstrated, using a program that was shorter than the original. It still worked, showing that there is also no check for the number of bytes in the program.

3. A third altered memory card was demonstrated with the votes themselves changed, showing that the data block (votes) can be altered without triggering any error message.”

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