Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Virus Takes Down Google

Apparently it's not Keith's fault that Google was down. The latest MyDoom virus uses Google to find email addresses. Fiendishly clever. Naturally, the hordes of unprotected Windows machines that were immediately affected by variant -O were sufficient to DoS Google with their relentless searching.

Also, if you haven't heard of Senator Orrin Hatch's (the man who brought us the DMCA) latest masterpiece, you should check it out. The one ray of shining hope that could foil this man's quest to litigate the nation into lawfully-bound consumers of corporate-produced content is the computer industry, who have started to realize that the legislation he's spitting out at the behest of the RIAA and MPAA is bad news for selling cool things like iPods and high-powered (and high profit margin) computers that can create and publish content.

Unfortunately, it appears that a mere $159,860 per year buys you a lot of work if you find the right senator (hint: don't get the ones from California, they're too expensive). The potential income difference between the House and the Senate is also staggering -- the total contributions for my representative, Mike Honda, were less than the top industry group for most senators. Okay, maybe not most -- top contribution group for many "poorer" Senators is about $220k, which is still pretty close to Honda's total contributions of $385k.

What always surprises me is how small these numbers are compared to their effect. To a major corporation, $200k is noise -- companies that do ASIC design will spend $500k to fix a minor bug in a chip, why not spend half that to get some laws written the way you want?

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