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A New Salus Book: "The Complete April Fools' Day RFCs"
Thursday, March 15 2007 @ 09:47 AM EDT

Peter Salus has co-authored a new book, " The Complete April Fools' Day RFCs ", and I was positive you'd want to know about it. The RFCs themselves are all hyperlinked, and the Table of Contents is there, so you'll be able to decide if you want to buy the book when it's available (soon) so you can read the rest. The press release explains:
For over 35 years, the Requests for Comment have been the guidelines and standards of the Internet. But squirreled away within the over-4000 RFCs are a number of mock items, generally issued on April First -- April Fools' Day.

Now, for the first time, you can buy all the April Fools RFCs -- together with commentaries by Tom Limoncelli and Peter Salus -- and find out how to distinguish good stuff from malware; how to use pigeons as packet carriers; how the Roman addressing system works; and many other good ideas as well.

As a bonus, Tom and Peter have added the verse RFCs and ... well, find out for yourself.

I know I will. This is a great idea for a book. The Avian Carriers protocol was amended, "IP over Avian Carriers with Quality of Service". Just so you know how to do it.

Here's one I liked, "Omniscience Protocol Requirements", written by a guy at Harvard, S. Bradner, which I'm afraid may have confused Microsoft. When I read about Vista and things like WGA, I discern it seems to be doing its level best to actually implement this protocol. Could someone please inform them that it was an April Fool's joke?

It was inspired by Orrin Hatch's remarks about teaching copyright law by destroying evildoers' computers if they file share:


There have been a number of legislative initiatives in the U.S. and elsewhere over the past few years to use the Internet to actively interfere with allegedly illegal activities of Internet users. This memo proposes a number of requirements for a new protocol, the Omniscience Protocol, that could be used to enable such efforts.

1. Introduction

In a June 17, 2003 U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, entitled "The Dark Side of a Bright Idea: Could Personal and National Security Risks Compromise the Potential of Peer-to-Peer File-Sharing Networks?," U.S. Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), the chair of the committee, said he was interested in the ability to destroy the computers of people who illegally download copyrighted material. He said this "may be the only way you can teach somebody about copyrights." "If we can find some way to do this without destroying their machines, we'd be interested in hearing about that," Mr Hatch was quoted as saying during a Senate hearing. He went on to say "If that's the only way, then I'm all for destroying their machines." [Guardian]...

This memo proposes a set of requirements for a new protocol to be used by prosecutors to determine a person's intent, thus reducing the need to dilute the historical legal requirement to show intent and by groups such as the MPAA and RIAA to be sure they are dealing with lawbreakers and not 60 year old non computer users.

Speaking of security considerations, there is this note at the bottom of the page where the book is offered: "If you can't laugh at these, you may wish to examine your own insecurities."

Certainly the RIAA needs this protocol so they can stop suing grandmas who have never used a computer. And that all reminds me: here's the latest from Ray Beckerman, the lawyer you guys helped by explaining some technical issues to. If you scroll down that page, you can read about the latest litigation filed against, believe it or not, a stroke victim:

Although the defendant John Paladuk, an employee of C&N Railroad for 36 years, was living in Florida at the time of the alleged copyright infringement, and had notified the RIAA that he had not engaged in any copyright infringement, and despite that the fact that Mr. Paladuk suffered a stroke last year which resulted in complete paralysis of his entire left side and severely impaired speech, rendering him disabled, and despite the fact that his disability check is his sole source of income, the RIAA commenced suit against him on February 27, 2007.

Perfect. A retired stroke victim. Does the music industry have an unerring instinct for PR or what? Or is their problem they don't get the tech and are finding out in embarrassing ways that tracing an IP address the way they've reportedly been doing it isn't so reliable a method? You think?

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