Monday, May 05, 2008

the unchanging times: mv eth0

The Tabloid Of India needs editors and better reporters. Then again, the dulcifluous detritus that the online portal spews out might represent another inevitable stage in the devolution of the once-heralded daily. Case in point: a recent article on the Chinese cyber-war on India. We start with There are three main weapons in use against Indian networks — BOTS, key loggers and mapping of networks. This is all fine and dandy until you stumble at BOTS. What's BOTS? Bovine Occipital Technical Stream? Bellicose Ornamental Triangulation System? Bring On The Shinto? BOTS up Doc? A question of inappropriate punctuation, since the hapless entity is a bot. But it gets worse, dear reader, when the author of this piece decides to define thie BOT:

A BOT is a parasite program embedded in a network, which hijacks the network and makes other computers act according to its wishes, which, in turn, are controlled by "external" forces.

Why does this sound so similar to Newton's First Law of Motion?

Trust people to generalise so egregiously.

The crime of capitalisation rears its ugly head once again with BOTNETS. This is followed by another claim of motion:

Simply put, the danger is that at the appointed time, these "external" controllers of BOTNETS will command the networks, through the zombies, to move them at will.

Network movement through remote control. A fascinating idea. Victor Frankenstein would be proud; George Romero might find this a lucrative idea for another edition in his Dead canon (unless some Italian filmmaker's already beaten him -- and the author of this TOI piece -- to it).

We pause to contemplate of those little things that don't matter much anymore -- editorial lapses:

Key loggers is software that scans computers and their processes and data the moment you hit a key on the keyboard.

The article continues to betray its origins in cut-up theory by refusing to tell us what MEA stands for (not the Museum of European Art, puTTan, but the Ministry of External Affairs) and indulging in another fling of poetic poop: MEA has a three-layered system of computer and network usage — only the most open communication is sent on something called "e-grams". I have no idea what an e-gram is. Electronic weights? A poor cousin to that late distiller? Only MEA and the author of this piece have the answer. Or maybe I should ask the Chinese.

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