Category Archives: VoIP

John Quarterman on Mapping Spam and Politics (audio)

At a meeting on a completely different subject, I was interviewed about Here's the audio, and here's the blurb they supplied:

John S. Quarterman, long time Internet denizen, wrote one of the seminal books about networking prior to the commercialization of the Internet. He co-founded the first Internet consulting firm in Texas (TIC) in 1986, and co-founded one of the first ISPs in Austin (Zilker Internet Park, since sold to Jump Point). He was a founder of TISPA, the Texas ISP Association. Quarterman was born and raised in Lowndes County, where he married his wife Gretchen. They live on the same land where he grew up, and participate in local community and government.

Quarterman took some time during Georgia River Network's Weekend for Rivers to speak with the Nonprofit Snapshot about spam-mapping and small town politics.

More about Elinor Ostrom's Nobel-prize-winning work on organizing the commons, and how that applies to

The water organization has since been incorporated as the Georgia non-profit WWALS Watershed Coalition:

WWALS is an advocacy organization working for watershed conservation of the Willacoochee, Withlacoochee, Alapaha, and Little River Systems watershed in south Georgia and north Florida through awareness, environmental monitoring, and citizen advocacy.


Skype and Windows Update

skype_logo.png So, Windows update: Skype outage cause or smokescreen?

Apparently both:

The disruption was caused by a routine Windows patch update distributed Tuesday that required users to restart their computers. When a large number of Skype subscribers began logging back in around the same time, the requests – combined with the day’s traffic patterns – began overwhelming the system, revealing a bug in the software that normally helps the system allocate resources and “self heal.”

“Skype has now identified and already introduced a number of improvements to its software to ensure that our users will not be similarly affected in the unlikely possibility of this combination of events recurring,” Skype spokesman Villu Arak said.

Skype reveals outage source, tells customers it won’t happen again, Ryan Kim, San Francisco Chronicle Staff Writer, Tuesday, August 21, 2007

So we seem to have here a combination of hazards tripping each other.

This does raise the more general question of what other bugs are synchronized Windows updates exercising? And how long before such a Windows update installs a vulnerability that immediately gets exploited? And how long before such updates themselves do cause massive outages? In software monoculture, Windows may be its own boll weevil.