ORBS' death: Alan Brown replies

Succinctly


Following the surprise disappearance of anti-spam company ORBS from the Internet, we have received a succinct email from its head Alan Brown over its demise. "I am unable to talk about anything. Alan."

Alan has however been a little more expansive in an email sent to the users of his ISP Manawatu Internet Services. In it he wrote: "The rumour mill is doing overtime, so it is time to make some announcements. 1. Manawatu Internet Services Ltd is closing down. 2. There will be no loss of service for MIS or Flatnet customers."

He states that the stress associated with running Manawatu has taken its toll on his health and so he has decided to sell it. It has been sold to Quiksilver for an as-yet undisclosed sum.

Since ORBS was run by Manawatu, the ISP's sale has coincided with the disappearance of the anti-spam company. Whether ORBS will appear on another ISP anytime soon is unknown, although Brown has not offered its blacklist to any interested parties, as predecessor Alan Hogdson did in 1998 when his ISP refused to carry ORBS any longer.

Brown has been under heavy pressure recently following two court cases and an action for defamation. Last week, he admitted he was in financial trouble. The two court cases concerned Xtra and Actrix, which both claimed they had been falsely added to ORBS' blacklist.

A High Court judge agreed and issued an injunction. When Brown failed to remove the two, he was threatened with an arrest warrant. However, he subsequently made a formal apology and accepted the companies should not be on the list (but not before mis-spelling Xtra as "Extra").

The defamation action - the first of its kind in New Zealand - was taken out by the former head of Domainz (New Zealand's domain registry maintainer) Patrick O'Brien. Both sides' fees were met by Domainz. It was heard last month but the judge has yet to reach a decision. If Brown is found guilty, he faces heavy damages.

With all this going on, Brown has decided to shut up shop, sell Manawatu and hence signal the end for ORBS.

Alan Brown has made a large number of enemies in recent years due to his blunt personality. Many disagree with the policies he has introduced into ORBS, and a Web site was even set up to enable people to vent their spleen - www.stoporbs.org.

If you're interested in knowing more, a big discussion has broken out at news.admin.net-abuse.email, which covers most of what is going on. Either that or go to the spam-l list at lsoft.com (but you'll need to subscribe).

Related Links

A copy of Alan Brown's email to ISP customers

Related Story

ORBS is dead. Again.


Other stories you might like

  • Talos names eight deadly sins in widely used industrial software
    Entire swaths of gear relies on vulnerability-laden Open Automation Software (OAS)

    A researcher at Cisco's Talos threat intelligence team found eight vulnerabilities in the Open Automation Software (OAS) platform that, if exploited, could enable a bad actor to access a device and run code on a targeted system.

    The OAS platform is widely used by a range of industrial enterprises, essentially facilitating the transfer of data within an IT environment between hardware and software and playing a central role in organizations' industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) efforts. It touches a range of devices, including PLCs and OPCs and IoT devices, as well as custom applications and APIs, databases and edge systems.

    Companies like Volvo, General Dynamics, JBT Aerotech and wind-turbine maker AES are among the users of the OAS platform.

    Continue reading
  • Despite global uncertainty, $500m hit doesn't rattle Nvidia execs
    CEO acknowledges impact of war, pandemic but says fundamentals ‘are really good’

    Nvidia is expecting a $500 million hit to its global datacenter and consumer business in the second quarter due to COVID lockdowns in China and Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Despite those and other macroeconomic concerns, executives are still optimistic about future prospects.

    "The full impact and duration of the war in Ukraine and COVID lockdowns in China is difficult to predict. However, the impact of our technology and our market opportunities remain unchanged," said Jensen Huang, Nvidia's CEO and co-founder, during the company's first-quarter earnings call.

    Those two statements might sound a little contradictory, including to some investors, particularly following the stock selloff yesterday after concerns over Russia and China prompted Nvidia to issue lower-than-expected guidance for second-quarter revenue.

    Continue reading
  • Another AI supercomputer from HPE: Champollion lands in France
    That's the second in a week following similar system in Munich also aimed at researchers

    HPE is lifting the lid on a new AI supercomputer – the second this week – aimed at building and training larger machine learning models to underpin research.

    Based at HPE's Center of Excellence in Grenoble, France, the new supercomputer is to be named Champollion after the French scholar who made advances in deciphering Egyptian hieroglyphs in the 19th century. It was built in partnership with Nvidia using AMD-based Apollo computer nodes fitted with Nvidia's A100 GPUs.

    Champollion brings together HPC and purpose-built AI technologies to train machine learning models at scale and unlock results faster, HPE said. HPE already provides HPC and AI resources from its Grenoble facilities for customers, and the broader research community to access, and said it plans to provide access to Champollion for scientists and engineers globally to accelerate testing of their AI models and research.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022