* Posts by Simon Mackay

6 publicly visible posts • joined 16 Oct 2008

Google's Android market needs Jobsian strongman

Simon Mackay

Symbian and Microsoft platforms

Microsoft's Windows Phone platform and the Symbian mobile phone plafforms have allowed over-the-air installation as well as "download-to-PC" app installation models. As well, there have been competing app stores for both these platforms and the carriers (in my case, Telstra) have been able to supply the apps through an OTA download or as part of their handset branding.

I have also noticed that developers have been able to host their own apps on their own Websites and provision them to their users directly, whether for free or through their own e-commerce interface.

As far as competition is concerned, both these platforms also benefit from a competing app store in the form of Handango which had existed in the days of Palm Pilot.

New DNS trojan taints entire LAN from single box

Simon Mackay

Home and other small networks

This main area of risk with the Trojan will be the home and other small networks that don't have a dedicated network administrator looking after them. As well, residential and public Internet services are likely to be at risk because of their reliance on DHCP and DNS.

Improvements that I would like to see to thwart the Trojan include routers that check for other DHCP servers on the LAN subnet competing with their DHCP server and "watchdog" procedures being integrated in to small-network and residential / public Internet DHCP / DNS setups.

It is also worth remembering that a small network's DHCP server is the Internet gateway device, typically the router. This would mean that computers and other devices should be able to be set to red-flag DHCP activity unless it comes from the gateway device.

With regards,

Simon Mackay

Intempo InSession iPod/MP3 speaker

Simon Mackay

Return of the value segment at last

This iPod dock is demonstrating that at last there is a sense of real value coming about with consumer-electronics goods like there was during the 70s and early 80s. Goods available with decent performance at a price point that doesn't make you have to think twice about purchasing it.

New trojan in mass DNS hijack

Simon Mackay

What can be don about this?

This attack simply is about "DNS steering" and, from what this article says, cam even affect dedicated-function devices like IPTV set-top boxes that connect to the network. What needs to happen is the ability to provide security measures for DHCP and DNS handling so end-users can verify they are associating with the right network under the right conditions. It will become more important with public networks being used to exchange highly-valuable highly-confidential information and / or having access to online media that can be at risk of being compromised.

One way would be to provide "DHCP / DNS lockdown" as part of desktop firewalls and desktop / embedded operating systems. This would only permit the client device to use approved DNS servers when in a particular network. Another step that is currently being practised in every small network is that the Default Gateway and DHCP Server functionality are handled by one device being the router. Desktop firewalls and desktop / embedded-device operating systems can declare a network as being secure if the DHCP "meal ticket" is originating from the Default Gateway.

Another technique that can be used especially for public-access networks could be to use SSL authentication on the data supplied as part of the DHCP "meal ticket". This may involve the re-engineering of the DHCP protocol to support this authentication measure but may be used for showing the trustworthiness of a network environment.

With regards,

Simon Mackay


Triple data centre capacity without new servers

Simon Mackay

Upsizing hard disks and system RAM

I would suggest the idea of upsizing hard disks to take advantage of the fact that these disks are becoming cheaper and larger in data capacity. Same too with the RAM. Then you are gaining more mileage from your existing servers.

Hands on with SanDisk's SlotMusic SD-not-CD player

Simon Mackay

SlotMusic - think beyond this player and the USB reader

A lot of comment about the SlotMusic has forgotten about the fact that SlotMusic cards can work with devices that have standard SD-card slots. All you need to have for this to work is an SD card adaptor "condom" which accepts a MicroSD card and goes in to the regular SD card slot.

This means that the SlotMusic can work with devices like those SD-based MP3 players that have been cropping up over time, home music systems that have an SD card slot as their "cassette deck" like the Bang & Olufsen Beosound 4 or one of Panasonic's bookshelf music systems or car stereos that have an SD slot like the Parrot RK8200 Bluetooth car stereo.

I don't think that one method of acquiring music is the only method of acquiring music and do consider SlotMusic as just another music-delivery platform that will simply exist at the same level as the pre-recorded cassettes that were common through the 70s and the 80s.