Archive for February, 2011

February 28, 2011

The Anti-Matter of Network Security

Is virtual routing the “anti-matter” of network security?

This post from the Rational Security blog* presented a convincing case as to why that might be so. It was dated December 2008. I don’t know if virtual routing is safer now, or not.

Layer 3 Routing diagram for system administration

Routing diagram for networks

Meanwhile, for those interested in routing as depicted in the photo, I found a good article about LAN switches. It explains quite clearly the difference between a router and a switch.

*The Rational Security blog has since departed TypePad (as of 2009). It has a slightly altered name, and is now The Rational Survivability blog.

February 26, 2011

Google Public DNS


Speed Test

Google Public DNS is a free, global Domain Name System (DNS) resolution service.

You can use it as an alternative to your current DNS provider.



How can I take it out for a test run?

To try it out,

  • configure your network settings to use the IP addresses and as your DNS servers or
  • read the configuration instructions.

If you decide to try Google Public DNS, your client programs will perform all DNS lookups using Google Public DNS.

Why is DNS important?

The DNS protocol is an important part of the web’s infrastructure, serving as the Internet’s phone book: every time you visit a website, your computer performs a DNS lookup. Complex pages often need multiple DNS lookups before they start loading, so your computer may be performing hundreds of lookups a day.

Read more in the Google Public DNS documentation and Frequently Asked Questions.

Speed up your browsing


With Google Public DNS you can:

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February 25, 2011

Scholar in Beta

Detailed guidelines for the free Google Scholar search service are available.


Scholar Beta Logo

Confirm your that your usage adheres to attribution and branding standards. DO peruse an example.  The “Do and Don’t” list is quite extensive.

There are many alternatives to Google Scholar. In fact, there are a surprisingly large number of specialized search engines available in general. Most of us are not aware of these search products unless we use them, as the major mainstream providers, Google, Bing and Yahoo are so highly visible.

Entrez search services are one example. The U.S. Government does not play favorites with Google. At least, not always. Entrez designed search engines are used by the National Institutes of Health and National Medical Library’s and National Center for Biotechnology Information, for the vast and complex searches required for bioinformatics, genome research queries and a list of 50 other specialized fields of medical inquiry.

Google Scholar is useful because it facilitates both searches for scholars and their publications. An alternative search engine that focuses more on the individual scholars themselves, and includes only active faculty, is Scholar Universe, one of several specialized search engines from

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