List of things I find interesting and think people should know about:
- Bad Bios is the nickname given by Dragos Ruiu, an apparently well-known security researcher to a new type of malware found in the wild that seems to be able to infect computer BIOS components directly and then escalate the attack in infect all popular operating systems, Linux-based ones included. Not stopping there, it also seems this malware is capable of communicating with an infected computer even when all its communication components have been disconnected. It seems to do this by utilizing high-frequency sound-waves. This technique of using sound to facilitate communications with otherwise disconnected computers was also explored by scientists from Germany.
- InfiniSQL seems to be one man’s projects to produce a very scalable multi-node database. It seems to be network-protocol-compatible with PostgreSQL and may have an interesting future.
- Webminstats is a server performance statistics collection plug-in for Webmin. Used together those tools can provide a useful monitoring and management solution (although not very pleasant looking, though that can be somewhat remedied) for small to medium sized networks.
- ExplainShell is a new web-based tool for breaking down complex Linux shell commands and explaining their components. It was recently open-sourced and seems to have a good potential of becoming a very useful tool for people trying to learn Linux shell usage and scripting. The developer was even kind enough to include a readme file listing instruction on how to run your own copy of the website.
I really wish I had the patience and time time to read, I haven’t quite managed to go through a full book in quite a few years now.
But that shouldn’t stop anyone else, go watch mark’s video and read his review (In that order!) and buy Scalzi’s book!
Please come and join too, its awesome.
This article already made the rounds a couple of weeks ago, but I find myself compelled to post a link here since it seems so relevant to everyone I know.
As I think of this, it doesn’t seem to me that that are that many jobs that are 100% bullshit, I think all jobs have necessary components to them, but it does seem that the amount of time spent performing “bullshit tasks” in a given job keeps expanding.
I think I may be lucky, I do get to spend a considerable amount of time solving technical problems for my clients, but it seems I spend an equal, if not larger portion of my time attending meetings, writing and obtaining approval for documents and procedures, scheduling and coordinating. It also seems that new automation tools and techniques go a long way towards shrinking the time spend performing the former set of tasks while contributing nothing to the efficiency of performing the latter.
Cory Doctorow recently wrote about Mailpile, an Indiegogo-based effort to fund development of a new open-source web-based E-Mail client.
I really have to wonder, does the world really need another such client? Here is a bunch of them:
- Roundcube – Written in PHP with a moderm AJAX UI.
- The Horde Project – Not only provides E-Mail, but a full groupware suit.
- Zimbra – Not only provides a client but also a full server that can replace Microsoft Excange.
- SquirrlMail – Includes a rather old style UI, but seems to be very popular. Most web hosting providers support installing it directly with their site management tools.
- Mailr – Not very pretty, but written with Ruby On Rails, if you don’t want to run PHP.
- And many, many, more.
I’ve been running my own mail sever for years. In my view, that is where the bigger problems are, the constant flood of spam and other E-Mail attacks, seems to have led most internet service providers to block all E-Mail sent from anyone who doesn’t look like a large service provider. When running my own server I’d often find out that my mail get rejected unless I relay it through such a provider.
It seems that recent news have triggered a wave of distrust in cloud and hosted web service. The popularity of hosting your website on your own computer seems to be growing. Personally, I’ve been running my own mail server for years, but several concerns have prevented me from trying to host my own website:
- Asymmetric bandwidth – The existing broadband infrastructure was laid by large a powerful communications companies that are more interested in broadcasting video and other media to passive “consumers” then in allowing “users” to communicated. A typical 100Mbit broadband cable connection tends to provide only mere 1 or 2Mbit of upload bandwidth.
- Security – Hosting a website from your own internal network typically means potentially exposing your network directly to outside threats.
- Availability – If anything happens to your home network – it happens to your website. Power failures, computer crashes, bandwidth-eating games and peer-to-peer software, they will all affect your site.
- You are on your own – Support services can be very useful when your tile is limited. There is no one to turn to we you do your own hosting.
Having considered the above, recent disappointment with a hosting service I use, had led me to consider self-hosting once more, hare are some ways one can accomplish that:
Like many unfortunate office/productivity areas, project management, and especially Gantt-Chart production, seems to lean heavily on a single Microsoft product to the point where abstract-seeming work practices are actually derived from technical features and properties of that product.
A couple of years ago I tried to create a Gnatt-Chart on Ubuntu. I initially thought that would be a no-brainer, but it proved to be harder then anticipated.
Browser plug-ins were never very popular, for once, web developers could never count on users bothering to install them. It came as no surprise when most plug-ins were replaced by the one true plug-in. But Flash had the nasty side-effect of turning the web into Adobe’s playground. That effect was starkly clear on Linux, for example, where regardless of how good Firefox and Chrome get, Youtube still sucks because Flash on Linux isn’t getting the developer attention it should.
Lynis is a security vulnerability scanner similar to the Debian harden package or Bastille Linux.
The main advantages it provides over those tools is its support for multiple operating systems and a very clear and friendly reporting format.
This article discusses various organizational problems in the context of a software development firm, but I find that most can apply to any organization. Some are unfortunately all too familiar…