September 27th, 2005

Phishproof Outlook

Microsoft has just released Office 2003 SP2. One key new feature is the addition of anti-phishing tools to Outlook 2003.
SP2 contains a new Phishing Protection feature to be used with the Outlook Junk Email Filter. Phishing is the luring of sensitive information through e-mail, such as passwords and other personal information, by an attacker masquerading as someone trustworthy. Phishing attacks can result in a user divulging sensitive information, including financial information, that can result in a loss of privacy or money. Phishing e-mail is hard to identify, because attackers make their e-mail appear genuine and often mimic recognizable e-mail sent out routinely by legitimate organizations such as banks and credit card companies.
The Norm: Writing

Thinking aloud...

I'm pretty much decided (after conversations with folk at several tech companies) to set up a more tech focused blog, looking at companies and technologies I've been tracking for sometime. I've also decided to host it somewhere other than LJ - I want to use GoogleAdsense or similar to at least see if I can make a few pennies from my punditry.

I'll make an announcement of what I do (and where) soon enough. But it feels good to have decided to have a place where I can publish the things that may not get a home under normal circumstances. That and hone some of my writing skills in producing punchier, news-style copy.

Currently I'm thinking of focusing on SOA and the current phase change in enterprise IT - and the effects it has on business. I don't want it to be too technology focused, as I think there are significant business and IT pro impacts in everything that's going on (and that's not even considering the process and security implications).
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Rocks and water

Rocks and water
Originally uploaded by sbisson.
Water rushes through the Sierra granites - bubbling and gurgling as it darts around the silent, still stones. I pause and drink in the moment, and watch a fallen leaf glide through the torrent. And I realise: Autumn is here.

Rocks, leaves and moving water in the gardens of the Getty Center.

Los Angeles

September 2005

The Java Garbage Man Cometh On Time And When Expected.

An interesting announcement from today's sessions at BEA World here in Santa Clara: the development of a deterministic version of the JRockit JVM - and the announcement of a real time edition of the Weblogic application server.

It's especially interesting as it means that there's finally a way of getting a real-time Java. Java works well in most circumstances, but its garbage collection is non-deterministic. You cannot control when, or for how long, the JVM runs its garbage collection routines. While this is one of Java's strengths (there's no need to write memory, stack and pointer management code), it's also one of its biggest weaknesses, and disqualifies the language from many applications.

You can't use Java for large-scale trading applications, as this means that there's no way of ensuring repeatable transaction timings - as the JVM could quite happily take processing cycles at any time and for any length of time. By making garbage collection deterministic (and controllable), BEA can deliver transactions in fixed times - exactly what the financial sector is looking for in its trading applications. It'll also make things easier for telcos and help them manage their switching fabric more effectively.

Now, will we get a deterministic version of the .NET CLR?