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  China Hijacked Internet Traffic From Federal Sites  posted by Bill Castle on 19 Nov : 04:13
 
For 18 minutes in April China Telecom re-routed traffic from .gov, .mil
and other sites through Chinese servers, according to a Congressional
commission.


A state-owned Chinese telecommunications firm "hijacked" Internet traffic in
April, affecting traffic from U.S. government domains and raising serious
implications for Internet safety, according to a report by a Congressional
commission.

For about 18 minutes on April 8, 2010, China Telecom diverted U.S. and other
foreign Internet traffic through servers in China, according to an annual report
by the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission
(PDF) released
Wednesday.


Affected was traffic going to and from U.S. .gov and .mil sites, including sites for the Senate, the four main armed services branches, the office of the Secretary of Defense, NASA, the Department of Commerce, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and others, according to the report.

Commercial websites for large technology companies -- including Dell, Yahoo, Microsoft and IBM -- also were re-routed during the diversion period.

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Other servers around the world adopted the path opened up by China Telecom as well; during the 18 minutes, traffic to about 15 percent of Internet destinations was routed through servers located in China.

The commission said it could not determine what China Telecom did to the data that was diverted; however, such an incident and others like it could have a "number of serious implications" and enable "severe malicious activities."

Arbor Networks chief security officer Danny McPherson, who explained the implications of the incident to the panel, said that China Telecom could have intended the diversion to conceal a targeted attack, according to the report.

The level of access afforded by such a diversion also could have enabled the firm to conduct surveillance on specific users or sites, disrupt a data transaction, prevent a user from connecting to a site or send data somewhere a user did not intend, according to the report.

Indeed, the idea of China Telecom engaging in such activity is certainly troublesome, as a report prepared by Northrop Grumman last year for the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission concluded that China is probably spying on the U.S. government to gain advantage for any potential cyber conflicts.

Moreover, some of the most sophisticated hacker attacks -- including one on Google in January that caused the vendor to withdraw from China -- also originated in that country.

 



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  On the Amazon film thing  posted by Bill Castle on 19 Nov : 03:51
 

Earlier this week, Amazon announced the formation of Amazon Studios.

Whenever new money comes into the film industry, it’s cause for some
celebration. The purse strings loosen a little, and more people find
work. Since you can’t shoot movies without scripts, screenwriters are
among the first to benefit.

Over the years, money has poured in from venture capital firms,
foreign investment funds and entrepreneurs from other industries. 1Amazon has a lot of money. It’s understandable why they might want to
get involved with creation rather than just the distribution of
entertainment.

Steve Jobs got involved with a little company called Pixar, and that’s worked out pretty well.

If Amazon Studios were a simple finance and production outfit like
Relativity or Morgan Creek, there would be nothing more to say. But
Amazon Studios has an unusual strategy:

Amazon Studios invites filmmakers and screenwriters from all over
the world to submit full-length movies and scripts, which will then get
feedback from Amazon readers, who will be free to rewrite and amend.
Based on reaction (“rate and review”) to stories, scripts and rough
“test” films, a panel of judges will award monthly prizes.

Several readers have written to ask my take on all this. I won’t
conjecture about anything beyond what’s on the press release and
website, but I’m left with some pretty big questions. I have a hunch
other screen-bloggers will be tackling some of the glaring ones, like
copyright, authorship and the 18-month free option.

So I’ll just ask one:

Do you really want random people rewriting your script?

To me, this feels like the biggest psychological misstep of the
venture. Sure, most aspiring screenwriters yearn for access to the film
industry and the chance to get their movies made. That’s why they enter
screenwriting competitions, including things like Project Greenlight,
which feels like its closest kin.

But here’s the thing: each of these writers wanted to get his movie made. I’ve never met a single screenwriter who hoped anonymous strangers would revise him.

From the FAQ:

Can I make it so that no one else can revise my original work?
No. But if someone makes changes that are bad, their version is not
likely to get a lot of attention. And if someone comes along and makes
your work better, you’re more likely to win a prize and get your project
made. Sometimes other people can bring a different viewpoint or a
different set of skills that take the story in a new direction or add
new elements that make it even more compelling.

“Look, I know your script was about a blind cheerleader in Harlem.
But ramsey22′s revision making the cheerleader an elephant is so much funnier.
And blueGoblin has a good point: a safari park is a better setting for a story about elephants.”

In software development, the open source movement has succeeded in
bringing teams of strangers together. But writing code is a lot
different than writing a screenplay. A bad line of code is obvious; it
doesn’t do what it needs to do. A bad line of dialogue is a judgement
call. A thumbs-up, thumbs-down voting system isn’t likely to fix this.

Hollywood already has a bad track record of messing up projects by
bringing in too many writers — and that’s when they’re paying people who
have already written and produced movies. The idea that an
undiscovered screenwriter in Wichita will rewrite someone else’s
screenplay on his own time
seems far-fetched, and to me smacks of spec labor.

I’m pro new ideas. I think you can make interesting, artistically worthwhile projects through crowdsourcing, such as YouTube’s Life in a Day. I love sites that leverage group energy, like Wikipedia and Kickstarter. I had fun with the trailer competition for The Nines.

But I don’t see Amazon’s model working, for the reasons above and
many others. My readership is pretty much the exact target audience for
their venture, so I’m curious to hear your opinions.


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