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March 9 2003 1:42 AM

Unsubtle Subtitle

Kenneth Pollack on The Case for Invading Iraq.

(Continued from Page 3)

SeQueL: Can't get enough cyberterror debate? Brendan Koerner responds to daveadams here and daveadams replies here (find the complete exchange below the piece). … 11:40 a.m.

Dismal, indeed: Many people question Robert Shapiro's take on the economic effects of terrorism: It simply can't be irrelevant, no matter how big the U.S. economy. The_Bell offers a cynical explanation in which terrorists looking for maximum effect and anti-terror bureaucrats looking to justify security budgets

come together in a kind of downward spiral because, in order for the government to justify the expenditures it is making today for prevention, it has to keep reminding citizens that a future risk DOES exist.

But, he contends, the cynical explanation might be wrong, and he points to the anthrax letters as a better example than 9/11. Terrorism might be like war after all: "The irony is that almost all of the issues concerned in answering [this question] defy cold-blooded economic analysis. Ah, if only it WERE just a question of the budget this time!"

Of course, the cynical explanation might be true; Ashes2Dust thinks it is, at least in the context of the government's response to cyberterror. …

SQuirreLy: Speaking of cyberterror, Brendan Koerner's piece elicits diametrically opposed responses. On the one hand, Hickeroar thinks the cyberterror threat is more real than Koerner admits:

About the "one hacker taking out the west coast", believe it. ... Ever heard of the "SQL Slammer?" If not, I want to know where you've been lately. ... that virus written by ONE person took out huge chunks of the internet all over the world, including mine, for about a day. it took down 7 of the 13 main DNS servers that keep the internet up and running and well as ransacked ISP's web hosts and everything else you can imagine that's running MS SQL server. ...

On the other, several posters think that Koerner is mistaken to compare Microsoft's "troubled SQL server" with "OpenBSD" daveadams puts it this way:

How can you even begin to compare a database server to an operating system??

OpenBSD is fantastically secure, yes, but that's because it's based on older versions of products whose security has been vetted by the sysadmins who install and real-world-test the new versions. Those older versions are only so secure because they've been widely deployed, and their vulnerabilities found and patched.

… There's no open source DBMS that even comes close to the performance you can get from SQL or Oracle.

Doesn't the first scenario make the SQL/BSDcomparison legitimate? Not that I know, but some Frayster should enlighten us. …

What kind of training, son?Readers wonder with Mike Shropshire about the passing of baseball's Spring Training debauchery. BarkinJ thinks new media realities may have something to do with it here: