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December 27, 2001

Is Distributed Computing A Crime? This is the oddest story. While working at DeKalb Technical Institute in 1998 as a computer specialist, David McOwen installed a program called distributed.net on college computers. The software employed unused computer processor power to test the RC5 encryption algorithm for the non-profit company. McOwen was arrested and now faces $400,000 in fines and up to 120 years in jail under Georgia's tough computer crime law. McOwen was the network's legitimate administrator and argues that he had permission to install the software. You tell me: do the people writing and enforcing laws governing computer use have any clue as to what they're regulating, and more significantly, what they're making illegal? By Ann Harrison, Security Focus, December 20, 2001.[Refer]

DotGNU Portable.NET Rhys Weatherley's Southern Storm Software, of Brisbane, Australia, is well known in the open source movement for being a "dotGNU's one-man army." So it is no surprise to learn that his latest project now stands at a quarter million lines of code. More signifcant, though, is the scope of the project: a suite of free software tools to build and execute .NET applications, including a C# compiler, assembler, disassembler, and runtime engine. Beware: this is a page for geeks only, but ah, what a page. Full downloads are available. By Rhys Weatherley, Southern Storm Software, 2001.[Refer]

RottaFlekti Some people just have too much time on their hands - both the author of this item, who created it over the summer, the SlashDot member, who found it over the holidays, and the author again, who translated it into English last week. Get ready for a new era in human-mouse interface. By Japala, , July 8, 2001.[Refer]

Checking for Plug-ins Online courses increasingly require the use of plug-ins such as Flash. The browser tries to help, but unless your reader is an experienced internet user, the browser help doesn't do a lot. This handy reference shows how you can use Javascript to detect plug-ins and provide help for people who need to download and install them. By O'Reilly, WebReference, December, 2001.[Refer]

Analysis: 20 Factors That Will Change PCs in 2002 This is a pretty good list. Some of the factors will be familiar to readers of OLDaily: instant messaging, wireless 802.11 networks, XML schemas, voice portals and distributed netowrks. Others will be new, such as... well, pixie dust, for instance (which turns out to be a way to increase the storage capacity of hard disks). By Daniel Tynan, CNN, December 25, 2001.[Refer]


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