Computer underground Digest Sun October 3 1999 Volume 11 : Issue 35

Computer underground Digest    Sun  3 October, 1999   Volume 11 : Issue 35
                           ISSN  1004-042X

       Editor: Jim Thomas (
       News Editor: Gordon Meyer (
       Archivist: Brendan Kehoe
       Copny Editor:      Etaion Shrdlu, III
       Shadow-Archivists: Dan Carosone / Paul Southworth
                          Ralph Sims / Jyrki Kuoppala
                          Ian Dickinson
       Cu Digest Homepage:

CONTENTS, #11.35 (Sun, 3 October, 1999)

File 1--CuD Remains Alive and Well
File 2--"Inventing the Internet", Janet Abbate
File 3--REVIEW: "Howard Aiken: Portrait of a Computer Pioneer", I. Berna
File 4--REVIEW: "Internet Security with Windows NT", Mark Joseph Edwards
File 5--REVIEW: "How Electronic Things Work", Robert Goodman
File 6--REVIEW: "Fundamentals of Telecommunications", Roger L. Freeman
File 7--REVIEW: "Kerberos: A Network Authentication System", Brian Tung
File 8--REVIEW: "The First 1-- Feet", Deborah Hurley/James H. Keller
File 9--REVIEW: "The Tin Man", Dale Brown
File 10--REVIEW: "CNN Headline News by Email", headlinenewsmail@CNN.COM
File 11--REVIEW: "Windows NT Server 4.0 Administrator's Pocket Consultant
File 12--Cu Digest Header Info (unchanged since 10 Aug, 1999)



Date:  Mon, 04 Oct 99 21:32 CDT
To:  Cu Digest (      
From:  Cu Digest 
Subject: File 1--CuD Remains Alive and Well

Contra the long hiatus, three months of it, since the last issue
of CuD (#11.34) back in early August, CuD is alive and well.
Massive time constraints, overwhelming at times, left little time
to for peripheral obligations.  While the results of the time
investment have been almost undeservedly professionally
rewarding, the downside has been the neglect of the little fun
things in life.

With this issue, we hope to begin running the most recent, and
therefore timely, contributions, and work backwards to those
contributions that are not yet dated. I apologize to contributors
who we've slighted.

This issue begins with Rob Slade's most recent reviews.


Date: Tue, 31 Aug 1999 10:44:08 -0800
From: "Rob Slade, doting grandpa of Ryan and Trevor" 
Subject: File 2--"Inventing the Internet", Janet Abbate


"Inventing the Internet", Janet Abbate, 1999, 0-262-01172-7, U$27.50
%A   Janet Abbate
%C   55 Hayward Street, Cambridge, MA   02142-1399
%D   1999
%G   0-262-01172-7
%I   MIT Press
%O   U$27.50 800-356-0343 fax: 617-625-6660
%P   264 p.
%T   "Inventing the Internet"

Buried midway through the introduction comes the statement that the
author has chosen to focus on a select group of topics in order to
support her own view of the most important social and cultural factors
of the Internet.  The intent of the book, therefore, is complex.  The
text must examine a technical development, identify social hypotheses,
and present arguments from the historical record to buttress those

Chapter one starts out by asserting that the most celebrated of the
ARPANET's technical innovations was packet switching.  Certainly
packet switching is a core concept in all discussions of modern data
communications.  Unfortunately, Abbate does not display the merits of
the idea with sufficient clarity, never dealing with issues of traffic
differences between voice and data, only tangentially mentioning
circuit switching, and clouding the deliberation with factors more
properly related to routing.  There is also an evident lack of
familiarity with basic technical processes.  In addition, the author
states that the ARPANET was the proving ground for packet switching,
ignoring the contribution of demonstrably much more widely used
networks such as Datapac and Transpac.  Furthermore, looking back to
the introduction we find that the social aspect we, as readers, are
supposed to note is how technologies are socially constructed.  Other
than the fact that technical people talk to each other, nothing
significant seems to be presented along this line.  Finally, the
extensive citations of works in the bibliography appeared to support
the scholarship of the work, until I noted that the most interesting
points tended to be those referring to private interviews and
materials written relatively long after the fact.

The content of chapter two alternates between descriptions of
political and managerial machinations of those involved in the early
development of the ARPANET and mentions of layered protocol modeling.
Early users and usages are discussed in chapter three, but the text
swings between acknowledging and denying user development.
Internetworking is introduced in chapter four, but protocol layering
is not re-examined even though it is at this point that the concept
becomes important.  Chapter five starts with a generic debate about
the need for, and interests against, standards, but then spends most
of the time reviewing X.25 and the OSI (Open Systems Interconnection)
model, with little relevance to the Internet.  Having meandered
through about ten years in the first five chapters, chapter six
leapfrogs twenty, racing from the military ARPANET into the academic
Internet and finally into the present commercial Internet.  The
trailblazing work of BITNET, Usenet, and even Fidonet is given only
token mention, and the description of the World Wide Web seems to
completely misunderstand how hypertext contributed to the use and
popularity of the net, stressing colour images rather than integration
of function.

Despite the collation of a wide variety of source materials, and the
presentation of a number of events not commonly cited, this book fails
as both history and social commentary.  Too many major occurrences are
dismissed too quickly to confer a full understanding of the
development of the Internet.  The cultural points Abbate tries to make
are either too subtle to come across to this uncultivated geek or are
unremarkable and trite.  (The closing statement that the net's
strengths lie in adaptability and participatory design is surely not
news to anyone with the slightest knowledge of Internet history.)
Mostly, though, it appears that Abbate's lack of comprehension of the
technical aspects of the net ensures a failure to understand
significant historical and social factors as well.

copyright Robert M. Slade, 1999   BKINVINT.RVW   990709


Date: Mon, 6 Sep 1999 13:46:56 -0800
From: "Rob Slade, doting grandpa of Ryan and Trevor" 
Subject: File 3--REVIEW: "Howard Aiken: Portrait of a Computer Pioneer", I. Berna


"Howard Aiken: Portrait of a Computer Pioneer", I. Bernard Cohen,
1999, 0-262-03262-7, U$34.95
%A   I. Bernard Cohen
%C   55 Hayward Street, Cambridge, MA   02142-1399
%D   1999
%G   0-262-03262-7
%I   MIT Press
%O   U$34.95 +1-800-356-0343 fax: +1-617-625-6660
%P   329 p.
%T   "Howard Aiken: Portrait of a Computer Pioneer"

While Aiken's name is known to computer historians, Cohen is concerned
that Aiken is not, perhaps, given his due as a pioneer and power in
the nascent computer community.  Rather than outlining technical
innovations, this book concentrates on Aiken's personality, and his
interesting life story.  The text deals primarily with people, rather
than technology, although the author demonstrates a sound grasp of all
technology that is discussed.

The material shows that if Aiken did not have an impact on computer
architecture and design, he definitely did have an influence on
computing as it is understood today.  As only one example, there is
the perception of Charles Babbage, rather than Pascal or some other,
as the "grandfather" of the computer.  Most modern popular accounts of
Babbage's work derive from Aiken's presentation, and even
misunderstanding, of Babbage's proposed engines.

Significant space is given to the building, and operation, of the
Mark I/ASCC computer, but not to the Marks II, III, and IV.  A fair
amount of material is also devoted to the computer science programs
started at Harvard.  While activities outside of the computation
laboratory are mentioned, I found it disappointing that more attention
was not paid to the exchanges of ideas that must have taken place
between the various groups that were building computers around the
world at the time.

The text is readable.  A great deal of the material is anecdotal, and
the references as to how the information was gathered, and from whom,
is worked quite naturally into the narrative without the disruption of
constant endnotes and citations.  The scarcity of formal references
should not be seen as carelessness in research: the author notes
conflicting versions of important stories, and the attempts made to
determine the correct course of events.  Occasionally the book does
get ahead of itself and requires fairly careful reading to understand
what, at first, appears to be a non-sequitur.  However, this kind of
problem is quite common in histories and biographies, and Cohen seems
to have dealt with it more effectively than most authors.

An enjoyable and informative book, illuminating a number of little
known areas, and attempting to correct more than a few myths.

copyright Robert M. Slade, 1999   BKHAPOCP.RVW   990724


Date: Wed, 28 Jul 1999 09:50:15 -0800
From: "Rob Slade, doting grandpa of Ryan and Trevor" 
Subject: File 4--REVIEW: "Internet Security with Windows NT", Mark Joseph Edwards


"Internet Security with Windows NT", Mark Joseph Edwards, 1998,
1-882419-62-6, U$49.95
%A   Mark Joseph Edwards
%C   221 E. 29th St., Loveland, CO   80538
%D   1998
%G   1-882419-62-6
%I   Duke Communications/29th Street Press
%O   U$49.95 800-621-1544 970-663-4700 fax: 970-667-2321
%P   515 + CD-ROM
%T   "Internet Security with Windows NT"

The introduction states that the book is intended for those with
little or no NT security knowledge, but I suspect that making this the
sole resource for a new system manager would be a dangerous thing,
since it provides the proverbial "little knowledge."

Chapter one gives the user or administrator too much and, at the same
time, not enough background on TCP/IP.  There is a lot of trivia that
does not relate to security, while there is no discussion of, for
example, dynamic re-routing, which would be important in future
examinations of IP spoofing.  The grab bag of mostly intrusion related
information in chapter two is not terribly helpful in preparing a
defence.  It is not clear to me why this part is entitled "TCP/IP

Part two outlines the basics of the Microsoft Windows security model.
There is little presentation of a conceptual understanding or
framework of the foundation chapter three, which instead lists a
number of terms and programs.  The "how to" of simple security
operations is more comprehensible in chapter four.

Part three talks about principles of network security.  Chapter five
does not deal with multiprotocol networks, but again lists an
assortment of security concerns.  A number of security threats are
described in chapter six, but not in an organized fashion.  (The virus
information, obtained from the Semantec [sic] Anti-virus Research
Center, is basically useless.)  A number of aspects that should be
addressed in a security policy are listed in chapter seven.  Chapter
eight discusses a number of client programs for NT, but without much
security relevance.  A number of attacks are tersely described in
chapter nine.

Part four looks at firewalls.  Chapter ten does a reasonable job of
explaining the different types of firewalls, although it also includes
some unrelated material.  Some considerations for evaluation are given
in chapter eleven.

Part five outlines the Microsoft Proxy Server.  Chapter twelve runs
through dialogue boxes in the Internet Information Server.  The proxy
server itself is described in chapter thirteen.  Design issues are
discussed in chapter fourteen.  Implementation is talked about in
chapter fifteen, although there are a number of areas not completely
covered.  Some client considerations are mentioned in chapter sixteen.
Seventeen looks at troubleshooting and maintenance.

The book can provide some useful material, although most of the
utility comes from the appendices, listing quick suggestions and
resource contacts, rather than the text itself.  Much of the content
is unfocussed and almost disorganized.  Some topics included are not
immediately relevant to security work, while other areas stop short of
actually helping the user or administrator.

copyright Robert M. Slade, 1999   BKINSCNT.RVW   990625


Date: Tue, 3 Aug 1999 09:09:29 -0800
From: "Rob Slade, doting grandpa of Ryan and Trevor" 
Subject: File 5--REVIEW: "How Electronic Things Work", Robert Goodman


"How Electronic Things Work", Robert Goodman, 1999, 0-07-024630-0,
%A   Robert Goodman
%C   300 Water Street, Whitby, Ontario   L1N 9B6
%D   1999
%G   0-07-024630-0
%I   McGraw-Hill Ryerson/Osborne
%O   U$24.95 905-430-5000 800-565-5758 fax: 905-430-5020
%P   393 p.
%T   "How Electronic Things Work: And What to Do When They Don't"

In the preface, Goodman states that the text is intended for the
general consumer with little or no electronics background.  The
promotion of the book emphasizes the ability to save money on
maintenance and repair costs.  To be blunt, I don't believe this book
can be written.  A biased opinion, to be sure, but one that I have
formed over years of experience with all manner of things electronic.
In the first place, electronic things work in an enormous variety of
ways.  Certainly the basic discrete components are the same, but the
numbers of components can easily reach hundreds or thousands in the
complex electrical devices on which the book concentrates.  In
addition, any number of service "technicians" do not actually know how
the devices they service really do work.  What they do know is that on
machine A part B fails quite often, and the characteristic symptom of
this failure is C.  This is why it is often dangerous to allow
electrical engineers near your faltering equipment: they *do* know how
things work, but don't necessarily know the frequency of repair rates
for part B on machine A.  Another factor is that many failures in
electronic objects are actually due to mechanical faults, with special
needs in terms of repair.  A final point is that, in an attempt to
ensure that components cannot be damaged, many are now designed in
such a way that they cannot be fixed, either.

Chapter one does not relieve me of any of these concerns.  The
explanations are not simple, they are simplistic.  In fact, the brief
descriptions of discrete components and the like signally fail to
teach what these items are and do.  The illustrations and figures are
appalling.  I am thoroughly familiar with books that do not use
figures effectively, but I don't believe I have ever come across a
work which relies so heavily on pictures, uses so many, labels them so
poorly, and, in the end, conveys so little useful information.  The
author suggests some testing tool circuits as projects, but the simple
diagrams would be completely incomprehensible to those who were not
already fairly heavily involved with electronic hobby work.  (They
make very little sense to me, and I've seen more than a few circuit
diagrams in my life.)  (The projects also require many items that you
might not find in the usual home repair toolkit, such as an
oscilloscope.)  A cartoon of "Piher mini pots" is not very
informative, particularly since neither "piher" nor "pots" are
defined, or even mentioned, in either the text, the index, or the
disjointed glossary.

And so it goes.  Chapter two, on radios, seems to be more of an ad for
Bose than anything else.  I showed the diagram of an "FM dipole
antenna you can make" to a technical colleague, and his immediate
reaction was "what is that?"  Would anyone with "little or no
electronics background" know how to check the B+ voltage on a
capacitor?  Or ensure that they did not arc it to ground?  Or properly
adjust the head penetration depth on a cassette deck (with no more
instruction than that)?  Would they know how to check broken flex
cable trace leads on a CD player circuit board (chapter three)?  Check
the vertical oscillator and output transistors and/or IC stages on a
TV (chapter four)?  Check and replace any broken parts on the idler
tire of your VCR (chapter five)?  Admittedly, some of the material is
not quite so arcane.  Chapter six, on satellite TV dishes, only
recommends those adjustments that can be made from the system menu
accessible to the user.  And, after telling us how to take a camcorder
apart (which might be easier than getting it all together) chapter
seven doesn't actually recommend any action you can't take from the
outside.  But chapter eight seems to think we can check (or even find)
the ring detection circuit on a telephone answering machine.  In
comparison, chapter nine's review of computers is comically brief,
with very little to suggest in the way of repair tips.  Printer and
fax problems and solutions, in chapter ten, focus on paper jams.

There are some magazine level "explanations" of how some of the
technology, such as CDs and FM radio, work.  Generally speaking, these
discourses fail to impart any real understanding that would lead to an
ability to fix something that wasn't working.  In fact, most of the
material in the book simply provides vocabulary, without anything in
the way of conceptual background.

copyright Robert M. Slade, 1999   BKHWETWK.RVW   990515


Date: Fri, 6 Aug 1999 08:54:02 -0800
From: "Rob Slade, doting grandpa of Ryan and Trevor" 
Subject: File 6--REVIEW: "Fundamentals of Telecommunications", Roger L. Freeman


"Fundamentals of Telecommunications", Roger L. Freeman, 1999,
%A   Roger L. Freeman
%C   5353 Dundas Street West, 4th Floor, Etobicoke, ON   M9B 6H8
%D   1999
%G   0-471-29699-6
%I   John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
%O   416-236-4433 fax: 416-236-4448
%P   676 p.
%T   "Fundamentals of Telecommunications"

A footnote to the first paragraph in chapter one put me somewhat at
ease.  If somebody knows that there is more than one "billion" in the
world, it bodes very well for the technical accuracy of the following

This book is intended as an introductory, and entry level, text on
telecommunications.  It covers the field, but does not require
engineering level math or physics.  For those with a weak background
in mathematics or electricity, some material is provided in

Chapter one covers introductory concepts, but jumps around a fair bit
in doing so.  Data signalling is dealt with in chapter two (and from
the description of semaphore, we know that the author was never a Boy
Scout).  Quality of service, and signal, is discussed in chapter
three.  Chapter four looks at the network basics of transmission and
switching.  Transmission for voice telephony gets special
consideration in chapter five.  Chapter six talks about some physical
level protocols, which doesn't quite explain the title of "Digital
Networking."  Chapter seven details network control signalling.  Long
haul network components are reviewed in chapter eight while the
specifics of the transmission segments are in chapter nine.  Data
communications gets a bit of a late start in chapter ten, but the
basics are all there.  Chapter eleven presents local area networks as
the first half of a look at enterprise networks, and continues with
wide area networks in chapter twelve.  The unique aspects of
signalling system number 7 are outlined in chapter thirteen.  Coverage
of television transmission, in chapter fourteen, is quite detailed.
Chapter fifteen looks at cable television systems, and also briefly at
the requirements for two way transmission.  Cellular, PCS (Personal
Communications Services), and wireless are discussed in chapter
sixteen.  High bit rate optical links, in chapter seventeen,
concentrate on SONET (Synchronous Optical Network) and related
protocols.  Chapter eighteen looks at ATM (Asynchronous Transfer

The questions and exercises at the end of the chapter are not the best
I've ever seen, but not the worst either.  They tend to ask students
to pull mere definitions from the text, but some do require a bit of
analysis.  References tend to be protocols or standards
specifications, and there are few citations of more generally
available works.  With the exception of framing diagrams, the
illustrations are not very illuminating, and are frequently

The structure of the book, while not exactly disorganized, does tend
to jump from topic to topic and back again.  There is a heavy emphasis
on telephony, and, despite the very successful limitation of
prerequisite requirements, a definite engineering tone and bias.
Still, the fundamentals are all here, and, in the hands of a good
teacher, this work could be quite successful.

copyright Robert M. Slade, 1999   BKFNTELC.RVW   990514


Date: Mon, 9 Aug 1999 08:54:34 -0800
From: "Rob Slade, doting grandpa of Ryan and Trevor" 
Subject: File 7--REVIEW: "Kerberos: A Network Authentication System", Brian Tung


"Kerberos: A Network Authentication System", Brian Tung, 1999,
0-201-37924-4, U$19.95/C$29.95
%A   Brian Tung
%C   P.O. Box 520, 26 Prince Andrew Place, Don Mills, Ontario M3C 2T8
%D   1999
%G   0-201-37924-4
%I   Addison-Wesley Publishing Co.
%O   U$19.95/C$29.95 416-447-5101 fax: 416-443-0948
%P   164 p.
%T   "Kerberos: A Network Authentication System"

Part one is a user guide to the Kerberos security tool, user being
defined as both end user and administrator.  Chapter one presents a
rather weak justification for Kerberos (based on the insecurity of
email) and some quick contact information for obtaining it.  End user
operations for Kerberos are described, but not always clearly, and
some questions are left open.  (Does the user have any control over
ticket expiry times?)  The administrative functions, in chapter three,
are weak in regard to installation, but reasonable in terms of
maintenance operations.  Chapter four contains quick listings of the
Kerberos API (Application Programming Interface) calls, for those who
want to build Kerberized programs.

Part two provides some background.  Chapter five is a good tutorial on
the concepts: if you are having trouble with chapters two and three, a
review of five will probably help a lot.  Differences in versions of
Kerberos are listed in chapter six.  A look at various related issues
in chapter seven includes a very decent discussion of public key

For quick coverage of Kerberos, this makes a neat and handy package.

copyright Robert M. Slade, 1999   BKKRBROS.RVW   990715


Date: Thu, 16 Sep 1999 08:30:00 -0800
From: "Rob Slade, doting grandpa of Ryan and Trevor" 
Subject: File 8--REVIEW: "The First 100 Feet", Deborah Hurley/James H. Keller


"The First 100 Feet", Deborah Hurley/James H. Keller, 1999,
0-262-58160-4, U$25.00
%E   Deborah Hurley
%E   James H. Keller
%C   55 Hayward Street, Cambridge, MA   02142-1399
%D   1999
%G   0-262-58160-4
%I   MIT Press
%O   U$25.00 +1-800-356-0343 fax: +1-617-625-6660
%P   209 p.
%T   "The First 100 Feet: Options for Internet and Broadband Access"

This book suggests that one can take the problem of the "last 100
feet," the drop from the telecommunications infrastructure or physical
roadside curb to the home or small business, and turn it around to see
some kind of business opportunity.  Certainly it is plain that there
is a growing demand for higher bandwidth to the end nodes of the
network, but the collection of articles here presents no new business
ideas, and seems to have grasped only the tip of the technical

Part one looks at market factors for these access services.  Chapter
one suggests that consumers provide the drop themselves, but never
really examines the idea.  A number of technical and business terms
related to the last mile are listed and semi-defined in chapter two,
but without significant analysis.  Chapter three asks, but never
answers, the question of whether consumers will be willing to pay for

Part two looks at options for consumers to provide their own last mile
connections.  Chapter four looks at spread spectrum radio
communications, but doesn't delve into the areas of node connection or
mass installation.  Essentially the same material is repeated in
chapter five.  Chapter six tries to appear technically oriented in a
review of power line data transmission, but is somewhat behind the
curve.  Satellite options are discussed in chapter seven, but the text
does not deal with the last mile at all, and does not use any data
from the Iridium system which is now finally operating.

Part three opines on the chances of non-traditional service providers.
Chapter eight is a meandering and unfocussed look at municipally based
networks.  The next two papers suggest that electrical utilities
should be interested in becoming access providers, chapter nine being
less convincing than eight.  Chapter ten talks about one specific
experience with a municipal network.

Overall, the essays collected into this work seem to have been
compiled by enthusiasts with limited technical knowledge who seem to
think they are onto something new.  While reasonably up to date, none
of the proposals, if there are any beyond "we need more studies," are
startlingly original.  All of the business or technical models are
variations on existing hierarchical patterns rather than true
community paradigms that might be derived from, say, extensions of the
dynamic routing model proven by the Internet married to a wireless

For those who have not been following the last mile activities, this
book does provide an introduction to some of the topics in the field,
but it paints neither a complete nor an original picture.

copyright Robert M. Slade, 1999   BKFSOHFT.RVW   990731


Date: Mon, 20 Sep 1999 07:57:42 -0800
From: "Rob Slade, doting grandpa of Ryan and Trevor" 
Subject: File 9--REVIEW: "The Tin Man", Dale Brown


"The Tin Man", Dale Brown, 1998, 0-553-11106-X, U$24.95/C$29.95
%A   Dale Brown
%C   1540 Broadway, New York, NY 10036
%D   1998
%G   0-553-11106-X
%I   Bantam Books/Doubleday/Dell
%O   U$24.95/C$29.95 800-323-9872
%P   367 p.
%T   "The Tin Man"

Brown's work is frequently compared with that of Tom Clancy, and there
are a number of similarities.  Both authors are well versed in
military technology, and the command structure of the US military.
Both have a solid grasp of the complexities of global politics
(although these are often simplified for story-telling purposes), and
military preparedness.  In both cases the main stream of books
comprise a series based around a particular character.

In Brown's case the character is Patrick McLanahan, US Air Force heavy
bomber bombardier and advanced weapons engineer.  McLanahan is a
rather interesting standout in the pantheon of thriller heroes in that
there is not a lot of character development in action stories.
McLanahan *does* advance--but for every step forward, he takes an
equal step back, either within the book or in the next.  This is
probably necessary, since Brown's stories, like those of Cussler and
Francis, are written to a very strict formula.  (McLanahan might, in
fact, be said to have regressed over the course of the series.  In the
initial books he was something of the stereotypical ice-man.  As John
Gray puts it in "Billy Bishop Goes to War" (cf.THBBGTWR.RVW), "You're
part of a machine, so you have to stay very calm and cold.  You and
your machine work together to bring the other fellow down."  Nowadays
McLanahan frequently loses his temper, works himself "into a screaming
rage, and [goes tearing] off over the top" to do battle with the

But, once again, this isn't about characterization, it's about

Specifically, it's about physics.  Brown is very conversant with high
tech weaponry, and his descriptions, while they may be slightly beyond
the edge of the current state of deployment, should be quite
achievable within a few years.  In this book, though, there is a
departure from the battlefield milieu to that of urban policing and
terrorism.  The Tin Man of the title wears a new kind of body armour
made of a cloth that can be electrically stiffened to resist bullets,
explosions, and even anti-tank rockets.  We aren't told much about how
this material works, so I don't have a particular problem with the
fabric itself, but I certainly have difficulties with the way it is

The suit can keep you from getting killed if you are hit by gunfire.
Fair enough: bullet proof vests can do that.  It'll even save you from
prolonged automatic weapons fire, and while a bullet proof vest can't
do that, it is reasonable to assume that greater coverage and rigidity
would fit the bill.  But it also saves the wearer from explosions,
high-explosive rocket warheads, hundred foot drops, and even a fall
into rotating helicopter blades.  In these cases it doesn't matter how
rigid the envelope is, momentum and inertia will ensure that the soft
human body will be flattened over the inside of the suit, with a few
broken bones and some ruptured organs thrown in for good measure.
Phil Nuytten and Troy Hurtubise would undoubtedly be able to point out
a number of ways that the most rigid body armour could kill someone.
(I understand that the Grizzly Suit, made of titanium bonded to rubber
with over a mile's worth of duct tape, will allow the wearer to walk
away after being hit by a speeding truck--and Hurtubise still isn't
satisfied with it.)

There is also a possible problem with control.  From various factors
in the text (not least the fact that increases in attacks seem to
create a power drain) it would appear that the rigidity of the suit is
applied actively "on demand."  This would require some kind of sensor
network in the suit that must a) sense an event, b) communicate with
the power pack, c) process the event, d) switch on the power, and e)
channel the power to the correct part of the suit.  Granted,
conventional weapons generally operate at or around the speed of
sound, while the suit net would operate near the speed of light,
giving the suit an edge in terms of raw speed.  But the suit would
have to operate in a fairly complex fashion over distances measured in
meters while the weapons only need to function in a linear fashion
over centimetre ranges.  In fact, you'd probably have to limit that to
millimeters in order to maintain the integrity of the suit itself.

(Brown does note that pointed objects can penetrate this type of
armour while bullets cannot, but attributes the fact to differences in
velocity, rather than the fact the bullets are stopped by a special
weave that distributes energy while needles can slip between fabric

The wearer of the suit is also able to deliver light slaps that break
bones, and to punch through armoured glass.  Frankly, nothing in the
book seems to be able to support this.  The suit may be able to
prevent the puncher from getting hurt, but there doesn't seem to be
anything that multiplies force.

There is also the matter of a "jump" capability in the suit.  "Jet
packs" have not dropped much in size in forty years since the problems
of thrust and flight control are simply not very tractable.
Compressed air can, of course, be used for thrust, but it requires a
very large reservoir in order to function.  In addition, compressed
air has a greater energy density than any current battery technology
could ever hope to have, and using a battery to recharge compressed
air in a portable unit makes no sense at all.

copyright Robert M. Slade, 1999   BKTINMAN.RVW   990814


Date: Wed, 22 Sep 1999 08:02:21 -0800
From: "Rob Slade, doting grandpa of Ryan and Trevor" 
Subject: File 10--REVIEW: "CNN Headline News by Email", headlinenewsmail@CNN.COM


"CNN Headline News by Email", headlinenewsmail@CNN.COM, 1998 - , ,
%A   headlinenewsmail@CNN.COM
%D   1998 -
%I   CNN
%O   free,
%P   ~10 p. daily, including weekends
%T   "CNN Headline News by Email"

While a fairly obvious come-on to get you to visit the CNN Website,
this is a reasonably informative, though not always entirely
convenient, summary of daily news events.

There are one or two top stories, and then sections with four to six
articles each on world news, US news, business, sport, politics,
technology, and entertainment.  Each entry in the main body of the
message provides a headline, a sentence or two from the lead
paragraph, and the URL of the article itself.  Unlike other, similar,
text based mailing lists, CNN does not ensure that the URLs are on a
line by themselves to facilitate cut and paste functions between mail
readers and browsers.  However, the message does indent the headlines
with angle brackets, which means that mail readers highlighting
"quoted" text in email replies will also highlight the headlines.

A rather lengthy header lists the headlines from the first five
sections, some standard CNN Website offerings, and URLs for a few
in-depth special features.

I find that I now skip the header entirely.  In the main body of the
message, I read the headlines of the sections that interest me, and
about a tenth of the introductory paragraphs.  About once a month, an
article is of sufficient interest to warrant a visit to the Website
for the full article.

Very often stories will be duplicated in more than one section.  I
also find that the section of greatest interest to me, technology,
tends to run duplicated stories for two or three days, which is rather
annoying.  (I would far rather see one or two new technology stories
each day than have to re-read old material.)  This does not appear to
be the practice in the other sections.

Management of subscriptions is apparently done only through the
Website at

This mailing list is not up to the concise quality of "The Daily
Brief" (cf. BKDLYBRF.RVW), but does provide a quick way to keep up on
most of the news of the day.


Date: Mon, 27 Sep 1999 08:03:37 -0800
From: "Rob Slade, doting grandpa of Ryan and Trevor" 
Subject: File 11--REVIEW: "Windows NT Server 4.0 Administrator's Pocket Consultant


"Windows NT Server 4.0 Administrator's Pocket Consultant", William R.
Stanek, 1999, 0-7356-0574-2, U$29.99/C$44.99/UK#27.49
%A   William R. Stanek
%C   1 Microsoft Way, Redmond, WA   98052-6399
%D   1999
%G   0-7356-0574-2
%I   Microsoft Press
%O   U$29.99/C$44.99/UK#27.49
%P   329 p.
%T   "Windows NT Server 4.0 Administrator's Pocket Consultant"

I suppose that one might say that this book is a "consultant" in that
one might "consult" it about which button to press on a particular
screen.  However, I would imagine that most people would have a
slightly fuller expectation of the word "consultant," as in someone
who is able to help you with something you don't already know how to

Part one supposedly deals with administration fundamentals.  Chapter
one indicates the way the book means to progress by talking about tool
trivia rather than basic concepts.  The dialogue boxes for Server
Manager are reviewed in chapter two, but not in significant detail.
As only one example, the reader is purportedly told about how to set
up alerts, with passing mention of the fact that the Alerter and
Messenger service are required for this function.  The reference given
does not actually tell you anything about these services, and, in
fact, neither does the rest of the book.  Task Manager and Event
Viewer screens are described in chapter three.

Part two looks at user administration.  Chapter four lists, but does
not explain, Microsoft terminology and some of the default accounts.
Some of the options for user or group creation are outlined in chapter
five.  Chapter six talks about the functions in User Manager.

Disk management is the topic of part three.  Chapter seven looks at
Disk Administrator and some other utilities.  There is a reasonable
overview of volumes and RAID (Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks)
arrays in chapter eight.  There is some discussion of file systems in
chapter nine, but most of the space is devoted to Windows Explorer.
The assigning of share permissions is described in chapter ten.
Rather ironically, chapter eleven reviews a number of backup media
types, but then only outlines the use of NTbackup, which is restricted
to tape drives.

Part four addresses network administration.  Chapter twelve lists,
piecemeal, various screens and dialogues to do with TCP/IP
configuration.  Print servers are discussed in chapter thirteen.  DHCP
(Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol) settings are viewed in chapter
fourteen, without, of course, any indication of how to get a range of
IP addresses in the first place.  Chapter fifteen runs through the
screens for the WINS (Windows Internet Name Service) and only then
does sixteen explain what DNS (Domain Name Service) is.

This book basically reproduces, with about the same level of detail,
the Windows help system.  At best it is a not-quite-complete desk
reference to the administrative utilities in NT.  Forget consulting.


Date: Sun, 1 Aug 1999 22:51:01 CST
From: CuD Moderators 
Subject: File 12--Cu Digest Header Info (unchanged since 10 Aug, 1999)

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