Archive for February, 2006

February 28th, 2006

APRICOT Day 3

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I spend most of the day at the APIA ISOC-AU Joint Forum. Seem like the whole gang of the typical IETF suspects (IAB & IESG) are here among other speakers.

The speech of the day has to come from Chris Disspain from auDA at the last session. His description of the prepcomm3 of the WSIS process can be summarized by one comment he made (I am writing from memory): “One government official said: It is great that WSIS is a open transparent multi stakeholder process but never forget the government is in charge”.

This is pretty much consistent from what I gathered from other folks over the last few days: WSIS Tunsia is quite a disaster. Other stories includes countries asking for basic stuff like “I need power station in my country” and some outright asking for money. The sense I got was many are glad that WSIS is finally over although IGF is still around.

Now, this is not to say I have no sympathy for those who ask for money or basic infrastructure like power but obviously it is the wrong forum. More importantly, I am extremely scared these folks has an equal (and often veto) voice in the process.

Not all of WSIS is bad: At least a lot of countries has an understanding what Internet is about and how it is coordination function after 5 years of activities.

Personally, I believe something like WSIS is a good thing. Network is global and there are many things governments could and should work together, like cybercrime, spams, phishing etc etc. Unfortunately, WSIS tries to do too much in too little time without enough clue. Perhaps it is not meant to be for now.

Reminder to self: As I was trying to find some clueful folks to help me to solve a routing problem in SingAREN GIX, one said: “Is this related to TEIN2? TEIN2 routing is one of the most complex network, far more then any commercial networks I know.” Coming from Randy Bush, that say alot. I probably should pay more attention to the routing group in TEIN2.

February 27th, 2006

APRICOT Day 2

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One of the problem of not attending meetings for a while is you start to forget someone name. Okay, at least I have that problem. So many times that someone come forward to say hi and I have to struggle to remember their name, esp. I cant see their name tag.

For those whose name I forgot, I am sorry. I have a good memory for faces but very bad with names. Its nothing personal.

Anyway, I dont really remember much what happened today. I was in a series of meetings, then running around finding people to talk to on a project I am working and poof dinner time. Oh yea, I had dinner. Twice. Once with Prof. Qian, Mao Wei and Wu Guowei and then another hosted by PIKOM chairman.

Between the geek talks, the usual WSIS/ICANN stories (gosh, the Tunsia hotel story was funny :-), one particular incident left a strong impression on me. One of my friend has a Thai wife who also attended the latter dinner. It is obvious she is anti-Singapore anti-Thaksin (at least at this moment). My friend, her husband, said this to me: “To her, Temasek is the like the invader of Thailand”.

To a country who is very proud that they never being conquered in the last century, not even World War II, and the only southeast asia that never colonized by Western power, that say a lot. I guess that’s why there is 200,000 people turn up for a protest right now.

On a lighter side, she also mentioned she holds a PPS card and that they fly in here on SingaporeAir. She wasn’t too happy when I told her SingaporeAir is owned by Temasek :-)

February 26th, 2006

APRICOT Day 1

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I missed my flight from Singapore to Perth. It was really silly; I was doing my email in the lounge and I forgot the time :( By the time I ran to the gate, they just closed it. *sigh* The next available flight was at 9:30am the next day, so I ended up having to stay at the transit hotel for a night. That’s was really werid.

Anyway, as I only arrived in Perth in the afternoon, I missed the APCAUCE regional update on antispam activities. *sigh*

But not too late to join the APRICOT workshop reception. While there were only 50+ people attending the pre-conference workshop, seem like everyone was pretty happy with the workshop. And the dinner was good.

Over dinner, Bill Manning mentioned that the DoC is doing a request for information on IANA. It was quite werid because I cannot find it on NTIA website. Anyway, the request for information can be found at FBO website instead. Particularly, note this “The Department of Commerce, National Telecommunications and Information Administration (DOC/NTIA) is exploring options for Contractor performance of three, interdependent technical Internet coordinating functions.“.

Not too sure what it means but my gut feeling says this is pretty significant.

Btw, a couple of people gave me funny looks when I login to Warcraft. Speaking of which, you might be interested to check out some news on our guild: C|net and 1Up, both got Slashdotted. It’s a really cool guild. Just a couple days ago, after a semi-successful run with some guildies, Joi whispered me: “You know the warrior in your group? It would be funny for you to know he is John Crain from ICANN.” John and me know each another…we just didn’t know each another in the game :-)

February 26th, 2006

APRICOT 2006

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I am now waiting for my flight to Perth for APRICOT 2006. Sitting at the Krisflyer lounge, I have a feel a bit out of place…Perhaps I havent travelled for a while. Ever since I told my boss I am leaving IDA, I grounded (myself) from any travelling. Its going to difficult for me and my boss to justify given he knows of my intention to leave.

So in some way, I am glad it is over and I am now able to travel again. I feel so out of touch…;-) Anyway, see you in Perth!

February 23rd, 2006

Moving on…

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I probably should have blog about this earlier but I really have been enjoying the little break. Anyway, I left IDA about two weeks ago.

This shouldnt come as a surprise for many. In fact, some may be wondering why it took so long? Some of you were already awared of my intention to leave IDA months ago.

The decision to leave IDA was a difficult one because I really enjoy my work in IDA. There is no better place for a technologist like me to work in Singapore. Tracking technology trends is a hobby and doing it as a living is even better. Not only that, it gives me opportunities using technology to make a difference to the society (hopefully for the better).

The last three years was a good journey for me. I have done things which I never imagine I would do: Antispam and IP Telephony are among the things I most proud off. Not everything works out of course, like IPv6 and Open Source but ah, that’s life.

Sometimes you are at a crossroad and you have to make a decision to continue doing what you know or to step into the unknown. After doing this work for 2+ years, I find myself getting very comfortable, which is a signal telling me I need to move on to find new challenges. Thus, I told my boss several months ago about my intention to leave and promised I will sticked around until he found a replacement.

So what will I be doing next? Honestly, I don’t know. I have a few pending offers but nothing concrete at this moment. So here I am enjoying my break and spending a bit of time thinking what to do next.

February 8th, 2006

Net Neutrality

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In Jan this year, a frontpage article on WSJ quoted Verizon Chief Executive Ivan Seidenberg “We have to make sure they (Google) don’t sit on our network and chew up our capacity”. Both AT&T and Bellsouth also made similar statements in the same article. A few days ago, Verizon repeat their call to “End Google’s Free Lunch”: “A Verizon Communications Inc. executive yesterday accused Google Inc. of freeloading for gaining access to people’s homes using a network of lines and cables the phone company spent billions of dollars to build.”

Also related, Verizon filed with FCC that they have plans to set aside bandwidth on their fiber optical network, effectively creating a two-tier Internet, one big-fat pipe for Verizon and their partners services and another for the rest. This is one of the consequences many already foresee when FCC removed the many obligations from broadband providers in order to spur the growth of broadband and fiber network in 2003.

Thus, it is no surprise that Network Neutrality, a concept where broadband providers are not to discriminate rivals when they charge tolls or prioritize traffic, is now on the agenda of the US Congress.
Read the rest of this entry »

February 2nd, 2006

Beyond The Age of Innocence

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Beyond the Age of Innocence by Kishore Mahbubani

A couple of weeks ago, I meet Kishore, the former ambassador of Singapore to the UN and currently the Dean of Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy for some work related matter. I remember fondly of his previous book Can Asians Think so after the meeting, I pull this book out and shamelessly asked for an autograph. :-)

This book is really written for Americans. I would really encourage all my American friends to read it, of how America inspire the world, help the world and yet at the same time hurt rest of the world.

No, this is not about the good or evil of America, nor does it dive into any conspiracy theories of American politics or policies. Rather, it is a solid analysis of the founding principles of America, of how those principles shaped the politic arena that resulted in various policies (domestic or internationally) which has “intended” (or unintended) consequences on the rest of the world. From Iraq war to Asia Financial Crisis, from UNSS to IMF, from China to Brazil, and how those are shaped by American policies.

As a non-American and yet part of this “global village”, heavily influence by Amercia (I think I was more excited about US election then the one locally), I couldn’t stop nodding at many things Kishore said in this book.

Two words stood out in my mind right now: Goodwill and Moral High-Ground. Both are lost in the last couple of years as the world witness the numerous actions America taken in the name of fighting terror and self-interest. This reminded me of the speech Al Gore gave last month (btw, listen to the mp3 for the full impact of Gore’s delivery). Perhaps the age of innocence is over.

February 1st, 2006

Will you still remember what you know?

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I was googling myself (was trying to look for some article I wrote on usenet many years ago) and found something else instead, an email I wrote about 11 years ago on BugTraq.

Just like to ask a stupid question. Is “5 -> [0301]:24718″ a hard link or
is it a soft link? (sorry..i dont have the spec for /proc filesystem..)

If it is a soft link, then it is no bug. The soft link maybe own you you
but this doesnt means that inode 24718 is own by you. The ftp daemon may
continue to access /var/adm/utmp even though it has euid itself to
since it has open() the file while it is still root.

If it is a hard link, then we are in deep trouble. If i am not wrong,
/proc/<processid>/exe is also a link which actually points to the inode
of the program of the process. This means that anyone can overwrite or
modify any program they run by 1. run the program and then suspend it
2. ps and look for process id 3. Overwrite /proc/<processid>/exe with
their trojan version.

I think I wrote it while I was in Security Task Force, a precursor to SingCERT. Ya, I got a bit of white-hat hacker background but I am digressing.

What I am trying to say is I have trouble reading my own email 11 years later…I have vague understanding of what I said but somehow, I have forgotten about all those stuff I used to do…

Will I have trouble reading my own blog ten years later?