To emphasize my demurs against URL shortening services which I have mentioned before, here comes the prove that my thesis is correct: the URL shortening service tr.im is going to be shut down by end of this year. As Robert Scoble put it, this is a “shortcoming” of the Twitter platform, where the shutdown most likely will be felt most.
This is the first time I am aware of actual knowledge/data-loss which will occur due to the shutdown of such a service.
Update: tr.im announced that they will stay in business, due to an overwhelming response. But still, the final shutdown of such a service sooner or latter can and will happen. And even worse would be the continuation of such a service where all the URLs would be redirected somewhere else…
I have already written about my opinion about the problems of URL shortening back in 2005. Yesterday, Jeff Atwood pointed out other issues like commercialization. Today, another threat has come true: hackers have manipulated the URLs of shortening service cli.gs.
Given the huge amount of information hidden behind such shortened URLs, and given the popularity and number of these links, especially nowadays on Twitter, these services could see themselves being under permanent siege of hackers/crackers. Being able to manipulate hundred of thousands if not even more vastly distributed and popular URLs to point to a given site could be used for both, generating (lots of?) ad-revenue, or as a new form of DDoS-attack.
At the moment there seems to be no way around using these services (especially with services like Twitter), but in the medium/long run a solution has to be found if we don’t want to lose lots of valuable information.
According to this Microsoft page and this Golem-Article (German), Microsoft is going to make driver signatures from Microsoft mandatory for any driver running in kernel space in Windows Vista x64. They claim security reason for this.While (faulty) drivers definitely can lead to serious (security) problems under Windows, they sometimes fulfill cruitial parts, especially in windows file system monitoring, for which there are many legitimate reasons. Having to go through the WHQL for every driver (and every minor patch) seems a little costly and time consuming to me…
Well, after all, for me it seems to be three things:
- Additional money through additional drivers going through WHQL,
- Anti Open-Source projects,
- Building up the infrastructure for an (almost unbreakable) Digital Rights Management system.
Update 2007-01-23: I have to revise most points of this, as I now learned something new about it. Vista x64 will accept digitally signed drivers, but they do not necessarily be signed by Microsoft. Read more in my updated article.