UpFRONT

Stop the Presses, LJ Index and more.
LIKE WE SAID, ONLY CHEAPER

In the August 1999 issue of Linux Journal, Bruce Fryer wrote a piece called “Thinkful Wishing” that envisioned “a Linux-based iMac”. Here was his design: “Use nothing but end-of-life components with no fan and no floppy so it can be built dirt cheap. Boot from the CD-ROM drive. Solder everything onto the boards including memory, with the possible exception of a communications slot. We're talking about a black and white box here: simple and reliable as an old phone. Shoot for a $500+ price point, complete with all network connections, OS and software, including management agents. Put the money in memory and display, which ought to be active matrix, if there's any way.” It goes on, but you get the drift.

Pretty soon you will be able to get one, pretty much to that spec, from New Internet Computer, or NIC, http://www.thinknic.com/. If that name sounds vaguely familiar, perhaps its because yes, indeed, this is the latest incarnation of Oracle CEO Larry Ellison's thin client. While the original “NC”, or Network Computer, was conceived as a kind of terminal, the NIC is a Linux workstation. It boots Linux 2.2 off the CD-ROM, along with Netscape Navigator 4.7 and a catalog of plug-ins. The hardware is a roster of generics: 266MHz processor, 64MB RAM, 24x CD-ROM, 2 USB ports, 10/100 base T MB Ethernet, keyboard, mouse, speakers. Applications and storage will reportedly be handled by a remote server (though it can save to “a capable third-party Internet storage system”. It will run Windows applications too, through the Citrix MetaFrame client. Price: $199.99 (US). Bundled with a 15'' (800 X 600) monitor, $329.98. The company offers a free ISP, or you can use your own.

The CEO of The New Internet Computer Company is Gina Smith, the high- profile veteran technology columnist, radio and TV personality. Smith's most recent gig was cohosting CNET News.com. The scope of the company's ambitions is apparent in two facts that appear to guarantee a market for the boxes. One is Larry Ellison's stated commitment to spend $100 million to computerize schools. The other is Oracle's recent donation of 500 NICs to the Chicago Public School System, with a promise to match another 500 donated by the National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO), which is chaired by General Colin L. Powell, USA (Ret). In May, Oracle also donated 1200 NICs to the Dallas Independent School District.

—Doc Searls

BLOCKING DOUBLECLICK.NET

Theory: If you tell your name server it is in charge of the domain “doubleclick.net” then it will happily answer all requests for “Where's doubleclick.net” with the smug reply, “I know everything there is to know about doubleclick.net, and I can tell you with complete confidence that there is no such place.” If browsers can't find doubleclick.net, then doubleclick.net can't track those users.

Because many users typically use each name server, this is not only one of the fastest ad blocking techniques known to freedom-loving humanity, it's also the technique that protects the most users.

  1. Log in to the name server as root.

  2. Find your named.conf file. It may be in the /etc or /etc/bind directory. If you have trouble finding it, use this command:

find / -name named.conf
  1. Open the named.conf file for editing in your favorite text editor. Locate the “localhost” zone. It should look something like this:

zone "localhost" {<\n>
 type master;
 file "/etc/bind/db.local";
};

It doesn't matter if the file name on the line beginning with “file” is different.

Make a copy of the localhost zone elsewhere in the file. Change the copy to read “doubleclick.net” instead of “localhost”.

zone "doubleclick.net" {<\n>
 type master;
 file "/etc/bind/db.local";
};

Save the file and exit the text editor. If you mess up the file, exit without saving and do step 3 again.

Step 4. Find out the process id of named with this command:

ps ax | grep named

Let's say you get something like this:

7907 ?        S      0:03 /usr/sbin/named
Do the following:
kill -HUP 7907
Use whatever process ID your named has, not “7907”. You're done. Clear your browser cache and rejoice!

—Don Marti

LJ INDEX—NOVEMBER 2000
  1. Number of Britain's FTSE 100 companies that have no web site or cannot be contacted by e-mail from their web sites: 29

  2. Number of U.S. Fortune 100 companies that have no web site or cannot be contacted by e-mail from their web sites: 23

  3. Percentage of the remaining 71 FTSE 100 companies that fail to respond to multiple requests for basic investor information even after three months: 20

  4. Percentage of the remaining 76 Fortune 100 companies that fail to respond to multiple requests for basic investor information even after three months: 33

  5. Number of ways “ough” can be pronounced in English: 9

  6. Year when the first traffic accident occurred: 1896

  7. Number of traffic accidents at the intersection of Wilshire and Santa Monica Boulevards in Beverly Hills in 1998: 242

  8. Rank of that intersection among most dangerous in the U.S.: 4

  9. Position of less than $25K per year (U.S.) households among all income groups in Internet usage: 1

  10. Annual rate of increase for less than $25K per year U.S. households: 50

  11. Position of less than $25K per year households among all income groups in time spent online: 1

  12. Age at which William Roseman became the youngest elected official in New Jersey: 18

  13. Age of William Roseman at the time he founded Linux Global Partners: 40

  14. Amount invested in Linux start-ups by Linux Global Partners as of September 2000: $25 million

  15. Number of Linux start-ups in which Linux Global Partners has invested: 8

  16. Amount invested by Linux Global Partners in Helix Code: $2,200,000

  17. Helix Code quarterly earnings expected by William Roseman by 2002: $30,000,000

  18. Typical number of new Helix Code downloads and installations, per day: 4,000

  19. Combined ages of Helix Code's cofounders: 49

______________________

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