this story

... was on NPR news overnight and of course -- it's easy to find in the online computer news reads. the url i posted here refers to the mainstream though -- CBS

on occasion we've seen essays discussing malware that has been incorporated into device "firmware" -- and distributed to victims via the manufacturing process.

and many of us will remember the Saga of Clipper Chip -- from the Clinton administration

which brings us to the subject of covert intelligence.

in terms of PGP or -- open source work like Linux -- we have observed that it will be difficult for a contributing programmer to include improper code in a work -- it is likely to be observed by members of the open source community

but in terms of manufactured devices the firmware is likely to be a corporate secret.

at this point I don't think any of us can do anything about this other than give it some thought. I'm no Brian Krebs or Bruce Schneier or Linus Torvalds -- but -- still I'll look forward to any thoughts related to this

for example, in my new u-box that i just built i wanted WiFi. scrounging thru te NewEgg catalog I found an ANSUS WiFi -- PCI Express slot, 802.11n with WPA-personal -- just what I needed for my HomeNetwork.

I slipped it into my new u-box, started the thing back up and checked the Network option of the System box. yep -- it had connected to my CISCO router at 75Mb/sec WPA2-PSK

But this leaves this morning's topic: what all is in the firmware in that card?

Business Models

recently we discussed the new "lens" in the 12.10 Dashboard that ad suggestions from amazon to search results. someplace recently {can't find it right now } i read Mozilla gets paid everytime a Firefox customer uses Firefox to access Amazon .i suspect the internet and its related components are being used and are under terriffic pressure to be used as an intelligence system -- not just for market research and advertising