Practical Technology

for practical people.

Patent trolls under attack, but not dead yet

August 15th, 2014 · Comments Off

When I started covering technology in the ’80s, the last thing I thought I’d need to learn about was intellectual property law. But as Nicolai Tesla learned in his fight with Thomas Edison in the electrical-current patent wars of the 1890s, wherever technology goes, IP law is sure to follow.

My moment of revelation came in 2003, when I started covering SCO’s copyright assault on Linux. SCO never really had a case, but I was soon to find out that with software patents, you really don’t need a good case to profit.

You see, defending yourself against a serious patent attack is expensive — expensive enough to make not defending yourself against a serious patent attack very desirable.

Patent trolls under attack, but not dead yet. More>

Comments OffTags: Business · Legal · Microsoft

ICANN offers fix for domain name collisions

August 15th, 2014 · Comments Off

I recently got a call from a friend whose business was having problems with an internal network whose web server had a URL that included .guru. One day, their staff had trouble reaching it. They’d made no changes and you could still reach the server using its IPv4 address; it was a mystery. It took me hours — and you still owe me guys! — but I finally discovered that there was a public internet website with a .guru top-level domain name that was conflicting with their private network. I gave their internal server a new Domain Name System (DNS), and all was well… after a few hours.

Lucky them, lucky me.

This kind of problem — when an internal server’s DNS name conflicts with one of the new Top Level Domain (TLD) names —is going to start happening more and more often. With over 300 new TLDs available to be used by August 2014 and 1,100 more to come, you can expect to see it a lot.

ICANN offers fix for domain name collisions. More>

Comments OffTags: Business · Internet · Network · Network Services

Why the Internet hiccuped

August 14th, 2014 · Comments Off

The good news is that the Internet’s behaving itself today. The bad news is that by November we will see another burst of Internet slowdowns and sites becoming unavailable as we did on August 12.

Here’s how it all went wrong and why we can expect it to happen again.

Why the Internet hiccuped. More>

Comments OffTags: Business · Internet · Network · Network Services · Verizon

SUSE releases Icehouse OpenStack cloud

August 13th, 2014 · Comments Off

When you think of Linux companies associated with OpenStack, you probably think of Canonical and Red Hat. SUSE would like to remind you that they’re also an OpenStack player with its release of SUSE Cloud 4.

SUSE releases Icehouse OpenStack cloud. More>

Comments OffTags: Business · Cloud Computing · Development · Infrastructure · Linux · Open Source · Operating System · SUSE · Virtualization

Virtual servers: No safer than any other kind

August 13th, 2014 · Comments Off

Once upon a time, we used to think in terms of one hardware server equals one server operating system. Then, along came KVM, Hyper-V, VMware, and all the rest of the virtual machine (VM) hypervisors and more recently Docker with its containers. Now the idea of a single server operating system on a solo box is downright quaint.

Don’t think, however, that just because your servers are virtual instead of physical that they are somehow safer from security threats. They’re not.

As Symantec stated in its new report, Threats to virtual environments, “Virtual machine hosting servers are not any [more] secure than any other type of server. They are just as vulnerable to malware or targeted attacks.”

Virtual servers: No safer than any other kind. More>

Comments OffTags: Cloud Computing · Infrastructure · Security · Server · Virtualization