Four short links: 5 October 2009

Bozo Cloud Talk, Annotation Fail(ish), Python MySQL Slash, and Infinite Books

  1. Brown Cloud Marketing — advertorial “interviewing” GM of a company offering “DNS in the cloud”. This might be a worthwhile service, but the way he markets it (by saying open source is “freeware” and the market leader is “legacy”) reveals a rich vein of bozo. Freeware legacy DNS is the internet’s dirty little secret (actually, it’s the reason we have a functioning DNS), Nominum software was written 100 percent from the ground up, and by having software with source code that is not open for everybody to look at, it is inherently more secure. (security through obscurity is equating clothing with being naked yet blind). The Internet kindly did the poor man’s homework: screenshot of a cross-site scripting vulnerability in their customer portal, a Nominum security advisory from 2008, and the Nominum web server is running Linux, Apache, and PHP (all legacy freeware yet apparently not the Internet’s dirty little secret). (via Bert Hubert and Securosis)
  2. Public Annotations on Healthcare Bill — using technology from SharedBook, Congressman Culberson hoped to get citizens marking up the healthcare bill. They’re using the software but many are just commenting on page 1–turning the hosted annotation platform into a forum with an odd user interface. It’s a UI challenge: designing a way to let focused people comment on specific things, while also permitting impatient unfocused people to comment on the general topic. It’s like asking for a SmartCar that seats 80. See also OpenCongress and their annotation system which also has hundreds of comments on the first few lines of the bill (including 39 on the one line “111th Congress”–apparently more contentious than you’d think!).
  3. MyConnPy — pure-Python MySQL client library, useful because it requires no C compilation to install (and thus can work on systems without C compilers installed, e.g. mobile). (via Simon Willison)
  4. The Infinite Book — design concept for an ebook reader (not a product you can buy yet). Sexy. (via Gizmodo)
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  • Phil Atio

    Nat, I agree 100% with your points under “Brown Cloud Marketing.” But Nominum isn’t the only offender or even the worst. And any competent large enterprise IT manager can smell this brand of bull a mile away.

    So why are you giving these bozos more free airtime? As they say in the PR game, even negative stories are good publicity. Cut off the oxygen.

  • http://www.radar.com/nat gnat

    @Phil: I posted it, without links to their site, because it was news but you’re right–best to starve them. Cheers!