Web Informant #307, 1 December 2002: My wishes for 2003




I didn't used to be that paranoid. But lately, I am looking

over my shoulder and beyond my desktop more. Why? Several



My email inbox is filled with viruses, spam, worms, and other

effluvia, to the point of overflowing. I have written about

the products that I use to combat these annoyances, and

hopefully 2003 will bring continued improvements to these



My corporation now scans every inbound email, rejecting many

because of unfortunate combination of words or phrases that

are deemed verboten. The ultimate folly of this exercise was

brought home to me when I tried to send a colleague an email

from my personal account to his corporate account, only to

have it bounced back. Granted, there are better products than

what we use that have improved heuristics at catching porn

and letting through legit messages. Unfortunately, our IT

department doesn't use them. Maybe in 2003 that will change.


Given the number of times my cable modem is scanned by

outside parties, every home user should use a firewall on

their networks these days. Too bad my cable company still

continues to ignore the peril they place their users in. They

continue either ignore home networks or else ask their

customers to remove these firewalls when troubleshooting home

networking problems. Maybe 2003 will bring enlightenment to

the cable operators and they can finally begin to offer these

products as part of their standard installation.


Maybe 2003 will see the moment in time when a version of

Windows server product will actually be more secure and less

hackable than a version of Unix. I don't think so, but I can

dream, can't I?


I think 2002 was the year that VPNs became commodity

products, offered on sub-$150 routers. Maybe 2003 will be the

year that we all start using VPNs. Maybe it will also be the

year that VPNs actually can be configured by the average



This was the year that wireless networking became pervasive,

and also the year that stealing wireless bandwidth became

popular. Hopefully, there will be better protocols, tools,

and techniques to enable secure wireless networks in the



My government is spending more time figuring out ways to get

around individual liberties and freedoms in the name of

fighting terrorism. While I don't like terrorism and

terrorists as much as the next guy, I do believe our Bill of

Rights entitles us to certain things. Maybe our elected

officials will get more enlightened in 2003, but I don't

think so.


I hope you all had a restful and happy holiday weekend. Let

me know your own thoughts for the coming year.


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Entire contents copyright 2002 by David Strom, Inc. 

David Strom, dstrom@cmp.com, +1 (516) 562-7151

Port Washington NY 11050

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