* Posts by Sean Kennedy

93 posts • joined 15 Nov 2007


RIM mulls pimping BlackBerry OS to Samsung – report

Sean Kennedy

I've said it for years now...

...it's time for RIM to give up the hardware biz. They've had their butts handed to them by both Android and Apple. They lost their dominance, and they don't have what it takes to pull off the miracle of getting it back.

With that said, RIM's name still commands respect when we're talking about manageability and security of mobile threat vectors. If RIM wants to continue trading, they need to shift their focus to their server/client software; write GOOD client security management software for Android, Apple and Windows phones/tablets. Tweak their management server so it's not so...touchy. And, above all else, they need to allow corporations to run their management services without filtering through RIM's servers.

The smart phone wars are done and over, as far as RIM is concerned, and they let themselves lose. Horribly. Time to salvage what they can.

The Facebook job test: Now interviewers want your logins

Sean Kennedy

An alternative perspective

The old spy adage, which I'm going to mutilate, applies here: The spy of your enemy is only theirs so long as you aren't aware of them, then they are yours.

Employers want to play this game, that's fine, I'm better at it then they are. Whereas many people have facebook accounts for their own private use, mine was built for the sole purpose of my ( or future employers pursuing it ). Everything I post on there is designed to promote the image of a conscientious employee and caring individual that faces the issues that everyone does, but rises to meet any challenge ( you might call that my facebook page's mission statement ).

Sure, that makes me a manipulative bastard...but then that's a compliment in my book.

HP earnings fall 44% on Whitman's debut quarter

Sean Kennedy

Having recently tried to purchase a server

I have a unique perspective, I think. I recently tried to purchase a server. Their dl160g6. What a nightmare. 1 week after the supposed ship date ( overnighted of course ), I called to inquire where my server was. Oh, harddrive shortage. ETA in may sometime. No call, no email. Nothing. So, fine, whatelse have you got on hand? I'll take those. Great, they're in the warehouse, I'll get 4 in there and get the server out to you. Another week goes by, nothing. Called them back, oh, those drives are in stock! The server isn't expected to ship until the end of march though, and no one could tell me why.

Finally, I told them to forget about the drives, just refund the cost and ship me the server. Oh, and could you send me some drive trays so I can get my own drives? Certainly! Couple days later I get the server, in pieces. No drive trays ( drives arrived same day ). The next week, the drive trays finally arrive...but they're the wrong ones.

Ended up finishing the order from server suppliers, but if this is indicative of how the process is going to be going forward, I can completely understand why their server sales are slumping. Myself, I'm researching alternate server vendors because of this experience.

NoSQL databases not just for the 'cool kids'

Sean Kennedy


" I'm sure standard DBs will go away. It's not a question of if but when."

That's...well, really naive. There's a reason standard, or rather, traditional relational databases will be around for a very long time; they work for specific data sets. A lot of datasets work very well in a relational model.

There are areas where nosql works better, no arguments. But claiming it'll replace relationals is just silly and ignorant.

George Lucas: 'No more Star Wars'

Sean Kennedy

They DO check the suggestion box!

I've been saying he needs to retire for YEARS. It's obvious, from his recent ( and not so recent, frankly ) efforts that he hasn't been on his A game for a while. Or B game. I'm not even willing to grant him a C game at this point.

I can't wait to see what someone competent can do with the start wars series once the torch has been passed.

Google+ chases MySpace for second place

Sean Kennedy
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And still no word to us Apps folks

Us Apps users, you know, those of us PAYING for gmail service for our domains, are still unable to log in. This despite being promised that it was only weeks away back in March.

The main complaint most of us have is not that we don't have access, but that google isn't giving us anything in the way of a concrete timeframe. We get "soon", "few weeks away", ect. That's when we hear something, which is often only after months of silence.

See here: http://www.google.com/support/forum/p/Google%20Apps/thread?tid=1b296c46c43d4980&hl=en

And here: http://code.google.com/p/google-plus-platform/issues/detail?id=22

To get an idea at how the apps users are being ignored.

Oracle's Android claims slashed by US patent authorities

Sean Kennedy

The difference between SCO and Oracle

Oracle actually has a product which is selling. Several, in fact, though I can't help but think their database occupies the same class as novell's networking software; has a limited number of core competencies that most people will never utilize, but because the name is famous people insist on using it. Despite it's rather clunky nature.

MobileMe drove Steve Jobs to foul-mouthed fury

Sean Kennedy

On proper management and never losing your temper

As a manager, you play to your audience. It's a show, you see, and your audience are the veeps and directors.

You want X, and in order to motivate your crew you have to hit them where it'll do the most good. And let's not discount the reputation factor; you can be guaranteed that news of this tirade was on everyone's lips without hours after it happening. No one wants to be in that situation, and will work their ass off to avoid it.

It know it's not PC, but negative reinforcement works well in many situations.

Farewell, Novell

Sean Kennedy

Less a wake, more a party

Novell had an awesome product 15 years ago, I won't argue that. Best thing out there at the time.

Sadly, not much changed for them in 15 years, where as the rest of the world progessed. Having been forced to work with Novell extensively over the years, I can really only say one thing about this;

Rot in Hell novell. Your tech was crap, and I was tired of being forced to work with it.

Jon Bon Jovi accuses Steve Jobs of murdering music biz

Sean Kennedy

Old man, indeed

If your definition of "old man" is "out of touch". Don't get me wrong, I actually like the public image of Bon Jovi ( music, acting and what little I've read about the guy himself ), but he's showing his ignorance here. All Jobs did was find a cash model to the already online music swapping activity. Hell, if anything, he put the music business on life support for a little while longer. The music business should be looking to him to SAVE their sorry asses.

I think the piece of the puzzle our 80's idol is missing is that music was being traded quite a bit online already, sans-Jobs. Still is, in fact. Had no one come along to start making money off of it, the music business would have run themselves in to the ground years ago, denying there was anything they could do to stop it the entire time.

Red Hat: 'Yes, we undercut Oracle with hidden Linux patches'

Sean Kennedy


Quoteth: Windows servers need much more coddling. Linux Just Works.

Er, not exactly. Windows and Linux have been neck and neck as far as OS stability for years. The main issue you run into when it comes to stability is the application running on top of it.

Now sure, you can make the case that developing on windows is faster and looser than on linux, hence there are more flaws. But after the decade I've been in this industry, I'd say both OSes suffer from proprietary vendor oddness. Both are susceptible to stability issues due to application level glitches.

Novell paints Red Hat Linux manager green

Sean Kennedy


To be fair, most windows admins don't want to touch zenworks either, so I think the problem with zenworks runs a bit deeper than a simple windows vs linux rivalry.

( RHCE/MCITP EA admin here )

London Stock Exchange floored, again

Sean Kennedy

This just drives home what I've always said...

People like to carp on the reliability of MS server software, but in fact it's usually vendor software which breaks.

Honestly, I'd say both linux and Windows are equally stable.

World+Dog says 'no thanks' to 3D TV

Sean Kennedy

Excellent, can we please move on now?

I get it. The industry is running out of things to "innovate", we're hitting a TV platue. That's a good thing, in my opinion. Let's focus on improved LCD production techniques, or dare I say it? OLED sets.

Stop pushing 3D crap on everyone though. You've already lost me as a theater goer after the tron debacle ( movie was great, but forced to see it in 3D even though most of it wasn't ), I'm on the fence about a new TV ( whether to get one, or cancel cable ). Force 3d down my throat, I'm out.

I'm not alone in this.

Microsoft and Attachmate were not Novell's destiny

Sean Kennedy

Where Novell lost out? You all are missing it

Novell started losing the game when MS began making network administration tools more intuitive than novell's offerings. I don't think anyone here would disagree that administrating MS networks is more complex than novell networks; quite the opposite. Novell's management tools never really got better, they'd just change direction midstep, leaving half done toolsets out there. Half done tool sets that were the only tools to use, in many cases.

For instance, I applaud their move to web services for network administration ( although iManager is...touchy. I'm still not quite sure how you screw up a web interface so badly, but then I shouldn't be surprised coming from Novell ), but then you try to manage Groupwise...and find the only tool available for that is in Console one. Which itself is finicky about java and the windows version you are running.

eDirectory is...ok. The problems I always had with it were the sharp edges; if you weren't careful, you could cause seriously confusion problems my simply moving a user to a different container.

And then we have...zenworks. Wow, what a steaming pile of crap. Sure, it does neat things..but nothing Active Directory + WPKG can't accomplish better ( and maybe a vnc for remote desktop capabililties ). Having been forced to use this abomination of an "enterprise desktop management application", I have to honestly wonder about the competency of any tech that recommends it.

Those were the three things that killed Novell, IMHO. Had they tightened up their client and made it less resource intensive, cleaned up the management tools and added a little polish, I'm sure they'd still be a force to deal with for MS. Oh, and had they never never touched zenworks.

Oracle whacked by DoJ complaint

Sean Kennedy

I have an idea

How about...and this is the crazy part, YOU STOP GIVING ORACLE MONEY. If your vendor is erratic, you find a different vendor. Sure, it can be painful, so maybe you should remember this when making future decisions.

The government has no business getting involved here; the companies have choices, even if they don't like them.

Oracle Java submission hastens Apache showdown

Sean Kennedy
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Python? Hardly

Python is spiffy for it's targetted audience, but python on windows can be...painful. And you want to do GUI work?

I'll use mono before I play that game again.

Fallout: New Vegas

Sean Kennedy

Not buggy for me

I don't have the latest or greatest system. I got NV off of steam. I have yet to experience a crash, although I did manage to glitch a story line point by shooting someone before they could shoot me ( it was only a matter of time ).

I'm not sure 75% is fair given how much fun the game is. I've already wasted a ton of time on the game this week, and I've barely made it past the first town. I've been all over the map exploring though, so take that for what it's worth.

Steve Jobs in iPhone bitchslap to creationists, Tea Party

Sean Kennedy

More than a little scary

Trust me, Marky W, us americans ( USA folks, more specifically ) find the whole creationist/ID argument more than a little scary. It's downright terrifying to many of us that, in this day and age, we find ourselves having these mid-evil arguments.

Any day I expect the "flat earth" argument to make a comeback.

Podgy Googlers get shrunken plates

Sean Kennedy

Instead of smaller plates...

...how about providing employees with paid work out times?

Hear me out, I know this sounds far more expensive than simply shrinking the plates. So to make up the costs, why not get rid of the food idea entirely? I get that it's a "thing" with google, but were I an employee I'd be much happier being able to squeeze a workout in my day where I otherwise couldn't ( single father ). You could save on the nightmare that is food service ( believe me it is ), even though it'd likely be a wash with a gym's liability.

Novell misses Q3 revenue and profit targets

Sean Kennedy

A word about stability

Stability without versatility means little. SLES may be stable ( it's linux after all. Not even Novell/Suse seem to be able to screw that up. Not that I'm sure they didn't try ), but if I have to have the novell client to access it, what's the point?

Sure, I could use samba...so why don't we use that to begin with? What's the point of adding that extra layer? What feature does it provide? Beyond vendor lock in, of course, which is really only a feature of novell's and not the business.

The best file servers are linux + samba. I prefer RHEL/Centos ( for a variety of reasons. SLES can't stand up to it, frankly ), but any linux distro would work.

Scripting capabililties...you're kidding right? With windows, you can use VBScript, JScript, even DOS batch scripting ( which is full featured ). Ultimately however, as long as the scripting language can do what you need it to do ( which all of windows scripts can ), everything else is just syntax.

So why does eDirectory beat the pants off of AD for user/workstation management? Or hell, let's just say "Authentication". I know edirectory has some neat partitioning features that AD doesn't have yet, but that's really only useful in some edge cases. And regardless, there are work arounds even then. So let's here your reasons. Objective please, otherwise we might as well end this argument here.

Sean Kennedy



For managing WINDOWS users on WINDOWS workstations? Ya, I happen to think MS might have an "IN" here. Nothing competes with AD in this space, no matter how much the big red N might.

@Pirate Dave

I'm probably older than you are. However, unlike the dinos that were once my peers, I keep my skill set current. I remain objective and consequently i am capable of making objective decisions.

Novell WAS good 15 years ago. They were the only name in the game. That changed with AD around 2000, and it's only gotten worse for Novell since then. While I generally support the whole "if it ain't broke" mentality, you do have to take in to account finding capable admins. While I could hire otherwise capable admins and train them in Novell crap, why would i waste that time? It's easier and cheaper to find MS admins that are capable of the necessary tasks.

I have admin'd both groupwise and exchange. On their own, each is their own nightmare of crap. However, everything is built for Exchange. Ever have the pleasure of administrating a BES/Groupwise "solution"? No sane number cruncher would make that decision, yet we find it all the time because old admins in management positions are constantly making nostalgic decisions instead of objective ones.

No. Novell and their "software stack" are more a liability than a viable solution.

Sean Kennedy

And that makes it better?

Honestly? Netware/Novell, it amounts to the same bloated crap. Yes, we are using SLES, but god help us, that's based on Suse. SUSE.

And it's not like the difference between netware/novell matters to either of the points in my initial post; end users hate the product, administrators ( those that actually keep relevant ) hate the product. Doesn't matter if the back end is solid gold ( which it ain't. Again, suse. Might as well have used Lindows ), if the interface with your two most important demographics sucks then you are still going to die horribly.

And whoopee, it runs like crap on TWO operating systems. That makes it twice as fail.

Sean Kennedy

Shorter title: Netware sucks

I hate to be the one calling a stinker a stinker, but that's the fact. Netware/Groupwise/Zenworks is a horrible "software stack". End users hate it because the software makes even the snappiest workstation feel 5 years old, and admins hate it because it's convoluted to manage and is archaic compared to other...free...solutions out there today.

In fact, it seems the only folks that like it are the managers. You know, the folks that cut their teeth on these products 15 years ago...when they were actually decent in comparison. Unfortunately, the industry has passed these folks, and these products by. But because they are now the decision makers, we get stuck with the crap.

Unless Novell makes some radical changes to their product line ( and frankly, I'm not sure how they could change enough to compete with Active directory ), they're looking at a long, slow ride in to death. Unfortunately, with the way these things work, they'll drag a lot of us with them.

Scareware tries to trick marks into dropping defences

Sean Kennedy

Degraded performance?

Sadly, that's actually accurate in the case of McAfee and other popular AV packages.

Mozilla Thunderturkey and its malcontents

Sean Kennedy

Webmail, google apps

I moved my domain over to google apps a year+ ago and haven't looked back. With thunderbird, even with imap, many settings wouldn't transfer across to my multiple workstations. I'd wind up with minor differences between them all, and a contact list that may or may not be synced.

Like it or not, a web interface solves all of these issues and more. Not to mention having your domain on google apps gives you access to some neat stuff...and pushes administration off to google instead of locally like I was doing.

And I'm a big believer in the fewer the better. The fewer applications I have installed, the happier I am.

Plane crash kills 'series of tubes' Senator Ted Stevens

Sean Kennedy


He was on a plane to nowhere?

<puts on shades>

Ah yeah...

Happy Sysadmin Day!

Sean Kennedy
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No no, not BoFH day

That's the following Monday, and only applies to those who didn't get at least a "Happy Sys Admin day" from work.

Personally, I'm planning to install an english to pirate translator on the proxy/email servers.

Hesitant Mozilla nurses Firefox 3.6.4 baby for a bit longer

Sean Kennedy


I've got chrome and adblocker/flashblock, the exact same stuff I ran with firefox. Not sure what you are talking about.

As far as performance; Chrome runs just fine with 20+ tabs open. The same tab layout that can knock Firefox over. And god forbid I get a run away flash process in FF.

FF has gotten bloated, and their render engine was never really that good anyway. They are loads better than IE, true. But to dismiss the benefits of Chrome reaks of bias.

Confessions of a sysadmin

Sean Kennedy

A few points

There are some steps that any admin can take RIGHT now to protect against most viruses out there. The best part? They're mostly free.

1) Update A/V. You have one installed right? Then this is a no-cost solution

2) WSUS, + GPO + force updates. 'nuff said

3) Windows Firewall.

The above combination will block just about anything that gets loose on an internal network. Now that you've survived a conficker infection, you will need to check to make sure the BITS and Automatic update services are still running. They probably aren't, and most A/Vs won't reenable these services. Meaning no patches from MS.

Quit Facebook Day flops

Sean Kennedy

Use Facebook for what it's for

I have a facebook account, and I use it for exactly what it's for. Free advertising. I know employers are going to look for my facebook under the table, so I have things on there like, "Put in a good 8 hours, feel like I accomplished a ton. Nothing better than feeling productive!" ( something I actually believe, btw ).

Yes, facebook has my "social net". It knows who my friends are...sorta. Big whoops, it's the price of the advertising I get through facebook.

FCC questions Verizon's early termination fees

Sean Kennedy

The ETF *is* pro-rated

I don't have the details of the rate, but that 350 is reduced based on the length of remaining contract.

Take-Two sues over death of Duke Nukem Forever

Sean Kennedy

It's better

They even gave more fundage in 2007 for the title.

Me thinks the people at Take Two need to take a long hard second look at their management practices.

Hugh Jackman speaks of Wolverine leak heartbreak

Sean Kennedy

I dunno

Had I seen the movie, I'd be more inclined to see the film in the theaters I think. I might have enjoyed the unfinished product enough to watch it in the theaters and see all the steps they took to "finish" the job.

Not for the acting, certainly. Or plot really. Or the ending, which might be subpar. But it might have been interesitng to see all the wires, the computer generated stuff unfinished. Then go and see the actual movie and see it finished.

Had I seen it. Which I haven't.

Most undergraduates 'show fear when asked to do maths'

Sean Kennedy


Surely you realize the huge secondary purpose of a mathematical education; the core foundations of logic and rational thought. Give me two people similarly educated, except where one studied math the other did not. I guarantee you the one who studied math will be able to reason out new situations much faster than the other.

Further, math shouldn't be a big scary thing. This study is just more evidence about how our education system is failing the students. Given most teachers I talk to are scared of math too, it's not hard to figure out where the students inherit this fear from.

Vatican endorses Darwin, slights intelligent design

Sean Kennedy

re: Climate

Focus, we're talking about evolution here, not the climate.

Sean Kennedy

re: Excluding god

Sorry, AC, but there really isn't a place for God at the science table. Unless it can be tested, hence falsifiable, it's not science. And God, by most definitions, can not be falsifiable.

There are holes in evolution ( stop calling it Darwinism you idiots; Darwin was merely the scientist who put all the pieces together, but there has been significant progress with Evolution since then ), true. We will eventually reason or otherwise logically explain those holes. Some explanations may modify the theory of evolution, others may not. But eventually, we'll answer all questions poised.

Melamine, poisons and the misappliance of science

Sean Kennedy

Greed is new god? I think not

Greed has been the driving motivator since before we even took to the trees. Since we dimly became aware of wanting what someone else has, greed has been there.

And you know what? Greed is good.

It's good for the economy, it's good for humanity. Without greed, civilization wouldn't be anywhere near as advanced as it is, if there were even a civilization to begin with. If there were even any hairless monkeys around to begin with.

It's short sighted greed that hurts. Sure, I can push off this tainted product today to make a buck, but that revenue source dries up pretty quickly. If, instead, I act responsibly, I could have a long lasting revenue source.

It's greed without wisdom, without responsibility, that harms us. By the way, both of those noble traits can be traced back to, you guessed it, greed.

Rogue SF sysadmin may cost city over $1m

Sean Kennedy

AC and password resets

Cisco has a feature where you can not do password resets. It's often not used because of how painful a lost password can be, but it is there. And it's bad mojo if you do lose a password with this feature turned on.

Sean Kennedy


I admit, I wasn't expecting such a response. But let's take it point by point, shall we?

1) He should have kept information from his boss

a) No, he shouldn't. He works for the organization, and the organization put someone else in charge. Them are the breaks. I will grant you that his bosses are almost as liable for not making him document things ahead of time. Further, if it really did shake out the way it's claimed ( he was fired and then asked for the passwords ), then there's nothing criminal about that.

2) You shouldn't document passwords

a) Maybe in a small mom'n'pop shop. In the real world, real admins aim to protect the network. That includes from you dropping dead, or more likely, moving on to greener pastures and forgetting to tell someone something before you go.

3) Professionals are anyone who gets paid to do a job

a) A professional is anyone who takes pride in their work and does the job right. I don't grant that title to a vast majority of IT workers out there; they are unreliable ( the afore mentioned ones who don't document passwords ) and untrained. Essentially, kids playing with their toys.

As an IT professional, I know the network doesn't belong to me ( as child's apparently didn't ). I know my purpose there is to increase productivity through the use of IT services and equipment. To that end, I do everything in my power to safeguard that primary purpose.

I do not throw a fit like a child because someone I didn't like got promoted above me. Hell, I don't even care if the only use they have for a keyboard is to drool on it. If they ask me for a piece of information that I failed to document ( which is my mistakes anyway ), then I give it to them. To protect myself, I will get everything in writing, so when the idiot deletes everything on the SAN I have documentation, but that's it.

But let me reiterate; I agree with one premise. If he was let go before the requests were made, it's not criminal for him not to give it up. As an employer, I wouldn't touch him, both because he is being stubborn and because he didn't document, but it's not criminal.

Were I the City of San Fran, I'd fire his handlers too for being so incompetent as to let someone like Childs bring the city to it's knees.

Sean Kennedy

The admin was wrong

K folks, I'm an IT admin, so I understand the impulse to circle the wagons, so to speak. But this guy is clearly in the wrong ( as well as his managers ). When you are working on a critical system, you document the heck out of it, including passwords. You make sure your boss knows where this documentation is too. It's part of being a "Professional".

I'm not clear on the details of this guy's termination, but I could very easily see him getting prison time. Not for not turning over the passwords, but rather blackmail.

Oh, and Mike? While the admin does have the obligation to protect the network, he does not have the right to refuse a request from his boss. If he were so worried about his job, all he needed to do was get the request in writing, along with his objections, and then fulfill the request. This assuming that he was doing his job wrong to begin with and NOT documenting passwords.

Canadian Taser death caught on camera

Sean Kennedy

Yoda, Mark

1) I'm not saying a druggy would whip out their needle and use it as a weapon. I'm saying that during a struggle the officer could be stuck. Given how effective tasers are, and the known fatality rate of taser victims ( hint: it's extremely low, and almost non-existant in people who don't otherwise have medical conditions ), it makes sense to tase a suspect to bring him under control instead of risking the life of a officer. Which leads me to my next point:

2) Ok, so I have waited several hours in a locked room for something undetermined to happen ( wish I could be more specific, but can't ). As angry as i got at the folks responsible for this, I did not at any time pick up a chair and start throwing it around. I raised my voice, true. I did not threaten physical violence to those in my immediate area.

I am truly sorry this nut job couldn't contain himself, but if he really couldn't be trusted in public alone he should have had a guardian with him. Note that this is not the policemen's fault.

Now, a seperate point I wish to make:

Tasers are actually a more humane and less violent way to bring a suspect under control. Have you ever seen a situation where the cops have to bring a violent suspect under control without a taser? The suspect necessarily gets the snot beat out of him before the cuffs go on. Further, the officers involved get roughed up too. Now add on top of that the danger of any foriegn objects ( like needles in the pocket, ect... ).

Now take that same situation and use a taser. 1 or 2 hits, and the suspect is now following officer instruction. This happens in the overwhelming majority of the cases. I've done ride alongs, I've seen both. I can tell you which is preferred ( by both the suspect and the officers involved ).

Yoda: So you don't care about officer safety? These people who are sworn to keep the scum of the world off the streets and keep you safe, and you don't care if they are kept safe? Make sure you tell that to your local law enforcement, I'm sure they'll still keep you safe even though you don't care or respect them and what they do. Which makes them heroes in my book.

Sean Kennedy

Law enforcement risk

Crazy people are dangerous. Most of the time, Tazering is not. You people seem to be stuck on an idea of "Fairness". The police are there to maintain peace, this crazy dude was violating that peace violently. They can and should do anything necessary to restore this peace.

Coming into personal contact with a violent person is a bad idea. Who knows what they are carrying, or what's in their pockets. Imagine being a police officer and getting stuck by a druggies needle because you decided to try to physically apprehend him instead of hitting him with the taser. Hell, in most cases taser is the least violent option available.

Those of you speaking against it don't really have a firm grasp of what it's like in the field. I suggest going for a ride along with your local law enforcement. In the states, it's your right to do so. Go until you see a taser situation, then ask yourself how you have done it so all parties were treated humanely.


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