51 posts from March 2004
As I sit here running SpySweeper on my laptop, I am now adding a third scourge to my Internet Axis of Evil - Adware/Spyware.
So far, I've got 22 different executables on my laptop that are classified as spyware. Ouch!
Back in October I was thinking and writing a lot about spam and viruses. Both were in the news a lot back then and some industry observers were worried that these two evils were going to hold back the great promise of the Internet.
Then for some reason, I stopped thinking about spam and viruses so much and moved on to other areas of interest. But all of a sudden, these twin evils are back front and center in my mind. Mostly because while I was offline most of last week, my laptop was unable to update its virus definition files every night and I became vulnerable to a virus infection, which slammed me this morning. It took me most of the day to get my laptop back to health. And on top of that, my inbox is getting more spam these days than it has in a while.
I had thought that spam was getting under control. We use Positini and it works pretty well. I recently read that AOL has seen spam coming into its network drop by almost 25%. But Brightmail, a company that i have an investment in, shows that spam levels keep rising in almost linear fashion. If you extrapolate the Brightmail chart another two years, about 95% of all email on the Internet will be spam. That doesn't seem possible, but the line in the Brightmail chart doesn't appear to be non-linear at this point.
And then there's the issue of viruses. I don't know if viruses are getting worse or not. I spent a little time this afternoon surfing the net for data on that and came up empty. If any of you out there have trend data on virus activity, i'd love to see it. My personal experience of the last day leads me to believe that its not getting any better and that there's still substantial virus risk even for protected users. I have a virus filter on my mail server and my laptop and still got infected. Even if virus activity isn't increasing at the same rate as spam activity, i have a feeling that the viruses themselves are getting nastier.
What's the point of all of this? There's a downside to an open network. It's the same downside that exists in an open society. There are a lot of nuts out there who want to do bad things (the evildoers as George W Bush calls them). And we all have to spend a lot of time and money making sure that we are protected from them. It's a huge burden on an open network and an open society, but i see no way around it.
For those of you who care about these things, the NASDAQ is down almost 10% from its high in mid-January and every day it seems to go lower. I heard yesterday that the IPO calendar is starting to get shelved. The conventional wisdom would be that this can't be good for VCs.
I beg to differ. The market was overheated in early January. Every company was starting to think about going public. It was like 1999 all over again. It was giving me nightmares.
This correction is good for the venture business. It takes the froth out of the market. Froth is never good. I have no idea how low we have to go before the NASDAQ will bottom and and we'll have a bull market back again, but I suspect it will keep going lower until the supply that's planned to hit the market starts getting cut back.
I've never been a fan of Starbucks because i gave up drinking coffee over 10 years ago. You really don't want to see me caffeinated.
So Starbucks never really did it for me. Until Wifi and a partner who likes to go twice a day. Since my partner and i have been travelling a lot, we generally hit Starbucks first thing in the morning so he can get his double latte and i can blog and do some email. I love Starbucks, which is really saying something for a non-coffee drinker.
Well as Starbucks fans probably realize, the stores are everywhere, even at the base of the mountain at Beaver Creek. Here's a picture of Jessica going to get a mocha before the first run. The only problem with this store is there's no HotSpot there.
We used to use Motorola Talkabouts on the slopes to stay in touch with our friends and family. But cell coverage has gotten so good on the mountain that we use phones instead. Here's the Gotham Gal making plans to connect with some friends.
I had a debate with a friend of mine the other night about the wisdom of Spain's decision to pull out its troops. I was defending the new spanish government's decision and she was saying it was a disaster. So she pointed me to Tom Friedman's column where he makes her argument, as my friend put it "more elegantly".
I like Friedman and usually agree with him. But something doesn't feel right about this one where he uses a bunch of WWII analogies. The spanish people were lied to by their government, pulled into a war with an enemy they didn't want to fight, and now have elected a government that is doing what they want. That's democracy.
Jeff Jarvis has a good debate going on over at Buzzmachine (read the comments) on this Friedman article that is worth browsing as well.
I think the problem with the war in Iraq is that the world didn't and doesn't support it. Our current government never learned the lessons of another war, Vietnam, which was that you can't go fight an invisible enemy in a hostile land thousands of miles from home, do nation building, etc, without the support of a significant part of the world with you. I recommend the movie Fog of War to anyone interested in learning the lessons of Vietnam.
If we had continued to fight terrorism straight up, instead of trying to settle old scores in a part of the world that wasn't the center of terrorism (but is now), then i think we would have had the support of the world in that war. But our current government didn't do that and screwed up the whole post 9/11 coalition against terrorism. And spain's decision is just the most recent sign of that screw up.
That's my feeling on the matter and hopefully i've stated it more elegantly here than i could to my friend the other night.
I am trying out this new RSS enhancement service called FeedBurner.
It's going to allow me to do a couple things i've wanted to do.
I am going to get to see statistics on the people who read my RSS feed, what they read, etc. This is something i've wanted to be able to see for a while now.
And it's going to put my amazon associates ID into my links to Amazon.
There are a whole bunch of other things it does that i don't really understand yet so i am not using them. But i plan on adding them as i figure out what they do.
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