Tue, 30 Mar 2004
Enterprise network admins are probably familiar with Cisco's HSRP which allows for router redundancy and VRRP for firewall redundancy. This article describes a way to achieve the same thing using features in the upcoming OpenBSD 3.5 release . Other commercial firewalls certainly have similar capability. However, OpenBSD's feature set is becoming rather compelling.
Smaller businesses can certainly find value in such an approach, keeping their network available and secure at a fraction of the cost. Evening paying an outside consultant for installation and ongoing support would be cost effective. Deploy something like this and things remain comfortable for your cisco-trained network admins.
So if I decide to set up, say, Jennifer.scottharney.com, I'm supposed to pay a licensing fee to this company. How did they get this patent in the first place?
Christopher Falkowski, a legal specialist in these topic areas for Bloomfield Hills, Mich.-based Rader, Fishman and Grauer (raderfishman.com) says a number of key requirements must be met to obtain a patent, whether that patent is in the area of Web hosting operations or any other technical field: The invention must be new or novel. It must be non-obvious. The persons claiming the patent must be the inventors. And the patent application must be filed within one year of a public disclosure or sale.
The patent was apparently issued in 1999. One of the first relevant RFC's I could find is RFC 805 dated 8 February, 1982. Here's the introductory text:
Introduction A meeting was held on the 11th of January 1982 at USC Information Sciences Institute to discuss addressing issues in computer mail. The attendees are listed at the end of this memo. The major conclusion reached at the meeting is to extend the "username@hostname" mailbox format to "firstname.lastname@example.org", where the domain itself can be further structured.
Hmmm. Besides being an obvious idea, there's clearly prior art. That's just one RFC out of many and I'm certain there are hundreds of examples of this use of subdomain naming. Perhaps a search of The internet archive will provide some examples.Mon, 29 Mar 2004
Well, I haven't posted in a while but I'm planning to change that. The biggest news I have to report is that I'm getting hitched to Jennifer this September. The wedding is going to kept real small but, per family requests, I've started a separate site here. Out of town guests, (ie. her family), should be able to find some useful info there.