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ARCHIVE: Rutgers 'Security List' (incl. misc.security) - Archives (1991)
DOCUMENT: Rutgers 'Security List' for March 1991 (4 messages, 2567 bytes)
SOURCE: http://securitydigest.org/exec/display?f=rutgers/archive/1991/03.txt&t=text/plain
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Date:      1 Mar 91 14:01:00 GMT
From:      FLOWERS@memstvx1.BITNET (Harry Flowers)
To:        misc.security
Subject:   RE: halon

It's true.  Halon use is being phased out.  Sometime this decade, you won't
be able to use halon anymore except for places where evacuation is not an
option: air traffic control towers and submarines come to mind.

This stems from an international agreement to stop using halon.  Unfortunately,
no substitute has been found.  The last article I read about this (over a year
ago) recommended using *sprinklers* with *water tight* computer cabinets.  Ha!

As a result, halon prices have seen hefty increases each year of the phase-out.
As far as I know, this only applies to new installations... I haven't seen any-
thing about restricting use of existing installations.

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Date:      1 Mar 91 14:18:00 GMT
From:      HOWIE@midd.cc.middlebury.edu ("Howie McCausland 388-3711x5754", 802)
To:        misc.security
Subject:   Re: halon

My understanding is that halons are several orders of magnitude more effective
in catalyzing the destruction of stratospheric ozone than the common chloro-
fluorocarbons used in refrigeration, aerosol propellant, etc.  I do not know
of federal legislation, but believe a number of pending state statutes require
phasing them out.

I was amused on a visit a couple of years ago to the National Center for
Atmospheric Research supercomputer center to see WATER sprinkler heads in the
ceiling of their CRAY room.  On expressing my surprise, I was treated to a
lecture on ozone depletion by their system manager, who said the folks at
NCAR viewed it as a "religious" issue.

                     Howie McCausland
                     Assistant Director, Academic Computing
                     Middlebury College
                     howie@midd.cc.middlebury.edu

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Date:      1 Mar 91 16:58:45 GMT
From:      jgd@dixie.com (John G. DeArmond)
To:        misc.security
Subject:   Re: halon

This has to do with the alledged but far from proven ozone hole problem.  
Supposidly halons eat ozone and thus cause certain segments of our population
to go irrational at periodic intervals.  It is unfortunate that halon may
get caught up in the Federal Government's equally hysterical response to 
the "problem" by attempting to ban all CFCs.

Whether the CFC scare is real or not should be a side issue when selecting
Halon equipment.  Considering that Halon is an instaneous fire stopper
and considering that Halon leaves no residue and considering that 
Halon is non-toxic (which does not, of course, mean that you can't 
suffocate from it.)  and considering that the alternative (carbon dioxide)
IS toxic and damaging to people and equipment and considering that
barring accidental discharge, the halon will remain in its container
away from the precious ozone, the decision to use halon as a fire 
supressant should be simple.

It sounds like your administration is being Politically Correct.  You
can get their attention by asking them to consider the liability 
consequences and the morality of subjecting computer room occupants to
less than optimal and possibly injurious alternative systems.  There
is more than adequate court precedence for finding liability when 
someone is aware of safer alternatives at similiar costs and 
chooses the lesser solution.  

I've been in a computer room when the CARDOX (carbon dioxide) system
accidentally discharged.  I feel lucky to have gotten out with my life. 
Your world instantly goes white and your breath is taken away.  I was
about 5 seconds from hitting the deck when I got out of the room. 

You don't even want to consider the other alternatives commonly 
proposed for computer rooms (water and dry chemical).  One accidental
discharge and you get to jack up the computer room and slide a new
one underneath.

John

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Date:      Wed, 28 Mar 91 16:18:50 -0800
From:      Craig Leres <leres@helios.ee.lbl.gov>
To:        security@rutgers.edu
Subject:   Re: Honda motorcycle keys
Of all motorcycles made, Harley's must have the simplest ignition locks
of all. I've got a feeler gauge set a friend gave me. One of the gauges
was ground down so that the end was only 1/4 inch wide or so. When I
why, he explained that it could be used to start his bike in the event
he lost his real key. He claims that it will start any Harley ever
made. Another friend with a '88 Harley says that any implement of the
proper shape and stiffness will do (including properly aged road kill).

Of course, the consequences of getting caught screwing around with a
biker's bike are too graphic and chilling to discuss here.

		Craig

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