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Welcome to the LinuxFocus September/October 2003 issue

reading Linuxfocus Patents in general are a very bad idea because they promote monopolies and block the scientific and economic progress. In other words they are good for a few individuals but very bad for the society as a whole.

So why do we have patents at all? Well, the answer is easy: governments and patent offices make a lot of money in short run. Of course a lot more money would be made in the long run without the patents but a few dollars directly into your pocket seem always more attractive than millions made over many years.

A good example of how a patent free environment can promote business is the Internet. If TCP/IP was patented then your computer at home would certainly not be network capable and of course the Internet would not exit.

So far the situation in Europe is that "mathematical methods, methods of doing business and programs for computers are non patentable inventions". This may change. Software patents are especially bad because they cover ideas. Ideas can be general and broad. So instead of patenting a specific shape of an air-plane wing you may patent "any means to fly". You can block complete technologies and things that you did not even dream of when you wrote the patent.

We must definitely avoid such a situation. Otherwise you might soon find yourself being prosecuted for publishing texts or software you wrote yourself. To draw more attention to this problem web sites are now being closed down by their owners. Join the protest: http://swpat.ffii.org/group/demo/index.en.html and close your web site!

LinuxFocus.org Articles

Software Development



Articles at Linux Gazette


UNIX Basics

The LinuxFocus Tip

You don't need nessus or other scanners to check all open ports on an ordinary computer without firewall. It is enough to just run "netstat -a". The output will look similar to the one below and you can see imediately in the column "Local Address" which ports are available for connections:
netstat -a
Proto Recv-Q Send-Q Local Address   Foreign Address   State      
tcp        0      0 *:login         *:*               LISTEN      
tcp        0      0 *:shell         *:*               LISTEN      
tcp        0      0 *:pop2          *:*               LISTEN      
tcp        0      0 *:pop3          *:*               LISTEN      
tcp        0      0 *:imap2         *:*               LISTEN      
tcp        0      0 *:www           *:*               LISTEN      
tcp        0      0 *:domain        *:*               LISTEN      
...printout continues here...
You can even go one step further and check which program opens a port with the command socklist (normally part of a package called procinfo):
type  port      inode     uid    pid   fd  name
tcp    513       1007       0    448    5  xinetd
tcp    514       1006       0    448    4  xinetd
tcp   6000       1133       0    680    0  X
tcp     80       1076       0    643   16  httpd
...printout continues here...
netstat works on any Unix system but socklist is a Linux specific feature.

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