Daily Archives: December 23, 2003

This is cool enough to make me want one of these. Reading mail via Pine on a handheld…whooda thunk?

SSH for Series 60!.


Making the Nokia 3650/6600 phones now a kick-ass tool to have in emergencies for web admins, SSH has been ported to the Series 60 platform.

Combine this with Yellow FTP and you have yourself a damn-fine way of remotely maintaining a server. Start/stop processes, edit files, etc.

It works like a charm. My coworker Todd and I were just playing with it and it has all the features you need to get the job done. Special characters, control keys, Function keys, etc. and I just tested PINE on it as well – talk about a great way to check email remotely!

And if you happen to have a wireless Palm keyboard, here's an infrared keyboard driver for the Series 60 phones as well. Talk about a mobile office!

Awesome stuff!



[Russell Beattie Notebook]

Yes — Health Savings Accounts.

The new year will bring something of a revolution in American health care. Insurance companies such as Golden Rule, Fortis and Aetna will soon be marketing Health Savings Accounts, which promise a new era of individual choice for health insurance.

HSAs, the saving grace of the Medicare prescription drug bill, are the new and improved version of Medical Savings Accounts. They promise individuals and employers relief from spiraling health costs, and without the need for restrictive HMOs.

The basic idea is to pair an inexpensive insurance policy that has a high deductible — $1,000 or more for an individual, $2,000 for a family — with a tax-free savings account. Individuals would thus be covered in case of serious injury or illness. But they would also have an incentive to consume basic health services wisely, since any unspent account balance could be rolled over from year to year. Such accounts could grow to be substantial over a lifetime — a good thing, since health expenses tend to increase with age, and everyone knows Medicare isn't sustainable in its current form.

The Treasury Department announced rules for new HSA policies yesterday, and private insurers are already jumping into the market. A glimpse of their market potential is provided by South Africa, of all places. After the Mandela government deregulated South Africa's private insurance market in 1994, HSA-type plans quickly captured about two-thirds of it.

Update at 4:30PM. First the good news. Shanti Braford responded to my emails. It's not a denial-of-service attack, it's just a buggy bot. The bad news — the flood continues unabated. About five requests per second. A huge waste of bandwidth and money.

Kevin Werbach: “A thorough mess perhaps, but a necessary one. The DMCA is so clearly out of step with reality that reopining it is inevitable. However, I won't dismiss the possiblity that the “reopening” process will lead to something worse.”

I was about to begin a day away from the computer, and decided to check my server log, and saw tens of thousands of accesses by a bot at of a single file. I entered the IP address in my browser. This usually doesn't get you anything but this time it got me an empty Movable Type weblog for “Shanti Braford.” I looked up this person on Google, and found that he is the author of Popdex. So this probably isn't a denial of service attack, rather a script with a bug — a bug that's costing me a boatload of money. If you're friends with Mr Braford please call him up and ask him to kill the script. In the meantime I've temporarily removed the file (sorry) to help minimize the damage.