* Posts by Michael Felt

13 posts • joined 3 Nov 2016

DJI bug bounty NDA is 'not signable', say irate infosec researchers

Michael Felt

Re: What exactly is objectionable?

To NDA - "this" whatever "this" may be could be considered normal

To pass ownership - might be okay - if paid up front - that is, you know what you are getting in advance. But not, imho, if they are evaluating it and decide to give you nothing. Maybe you found a patentable effect - and they just take it for nothing.

Finally, between the lines of what people are saying about the formal NDA - sounds like they are making an attempt to also own "future" aka "undisclosed" (to them) information you have. Who can say what you have at time X. Their lawyers contend you had it, but did not disclose fully - and so violated the NDA ownership transfer.

Also not heard - what court are (so-called) breaches of the NDA tried in. USA, Europe, India, ..., China? Also make a big difference.

Linus Torvalds passed a kidney stone and then squeezed out Linux 4.13

Michael Felt

Is the sky falling? Or, ...

Normally, I would not comment on a new Linux kernel release. Ho-hum. How long is it going to be before any commercial distro actually releases anything based on a Linux-4.X kernel?

As to the changed default re: cifs. Sounds good (belated).

TLS in the kernel - the KERNEL? Well, I guess we all expect him to know what he is doing. I am hoping whoever commented on that (which is what caught my attention) read it right. If TLS is, literally, in the kernel - that would make me a bit nervous. How is this going to interact with apps and libraries that do their own TLS management.

But at the bottom of all of this is my struggle with the statement that "Linux is Linux" and UNIX was not UNIX (aka Sun, HP, IBM, SCO - when they put out their versions they were so different that you could not seriously consider them the same operating system). My wake-up call that "Linix is a distro" was the first time I tried a RH7 release and could not do anything even close to what I had been doing/using since 1979. That was the day I discovered that netstat, ifconfig, etc. were 'gone'. And when I discussed this concern of mine with a Linux evangilist he asked - why I had not said anything on the forums years ago? My comment: I am a UNIX expert and although I have watched Linux (even minix) I am not one to follow it. In any case - this closes the door for so many UNIX specialists. All their skills rated to 'worthless', i.e., minor difference in skill level (at best) compared to someone just leaving school.

And, so - Linux kernel has a new number? Is the sky falling? Or do I need to reset my spam filter?

Nokia's retro revival 3310 goes on sale and disappears immediately

Michael Felt

Miss my Nokia...

Well, obviously - I am too late. I will only have a smart(y)phone next month because it is getting pushed upon me. I do miss my nokia - (samsung something, no smart, no data) beltone. ;)

Oracle crushes Apiary's hope in slightly awkward email to customers

Michael Felt

My first thought on reading the Oracle comment - and considering the 'price' - this is a buy out of (future) competition before it is real expensive, maybe find something to rebrand and sell as Oracle XXX.

I smiled at the comment: "make no mistake, this is ... not a merger. Welcome to Oracle"

I was authorized to trash my employer's network, sysadmin tells court

Michael Felt

Criminal or civil action

if he was convicted in the criminal sense - i.e., a law that intends to protect computer users/owners from abusive behavior/actions from an individual.

In short, this case will live and die by a strict discussion of the word "authorized" - to be or not to be.

I doubt anyone will not see this as "wrongful" as it shows a behavior that most would consider outside the bounds of the "authorization".

A different example: a police officer is authorized to carry and use a firearm. However, his "use" of the firearm, while also "authorized" is also subject to review to determine if he abused the authorization granted.

If the current, or past law, that was used to charge the admin lacks a directive for review - the law is broken and needs an update. I expect, regardless of the outcome of this case such a review is forthcoming.

And, of course - even if the appeal says he was authorized - in the legal sense - I would not feel safe, as a civil case can still be opened. Actually, surprised if this has not already been acted on.

My two cents.

Two words, Mozilla: SPEED! NOW! Quit fiddling and get serious

Michael Felt

"New" is not, by definition, improved

Marketing speak is always "New and Improved". The tech teams I worked in years ago - when updates were forced upon us has the saying: "Feature, not a benefit".

Have you ever heard a Product (update) announcement go: "New" and we destroyed it! - Beauty is in the eye of the beholder - and they believe "improved".

As far as browsers go: I still use FF - having migrated from netscape way back when. I have looked at may others - but they required they change my way of work. If/when FF does that to a similar degree it will fall in the "Feature not a benefit AND is broken/destroyed".

Back to article - I hope "they" focus on what is needed (benefits) and not on bling (aka more features).

It's holistic, dude: How to dodge the EU's £17m data regulation sting

Michael Felt

Rules are made to be broken...

When I was younger - I thought it meant I could break "the rules". My father, much wiser (and a law-maker) explained the purpose of a law is to restore balance where there is none, or more likely - status quo is getting out of balance.

So, when a new law comes, or better a law is adjusted - it is like putting a new balance on a tire. Now the tire is balanced and travel is smoother. However, over time: wear and tear changes in unbalanced way. The collective balances, aka law/rule is broken.

Another crucial point is that a law/rule be executable and/or enforceable. That is another story BUT I think it will be the key issue here - weights have been added - but not to the wheel and now we will be defending ourselves that we used the best measures ever - but the vehicle would not go straight when I held the course steady - and would not change course when I tried to take corrective action.

Big blues: IBM's remote-worker crackdown is company-wide, including its engineers

Michael Felt

No size fits all

My biggest worry about work from home - with colleagues in several timezones: when does the day begin, when does it end.

My saving grace (I travel, i.e., visit customers 100's to 1000's of km away from home) two to three weeks per month - is that I do not participate in BYOD and I do not have a smartphone. So, no email 24x7.

If home is the only office - their are risks about maintaining the co-worker feeling.

So, I cannot walk over to someones desk - but I can always call or skype to be more personal.

Personally, I fear any company that tries to say "one style fits all" will lose in the long run. Manufacturing may be an exception - but certainly "services" do not not need to be location bound.

And, yes - I would like to meet up with my colleagues more often. If we all worked out of the same office - that would mean we all had no work to do (our work is providing a service at the customer). Maybe we would meet Monday at the airport lounge :) -- that has actually happened a few times ;)

Penguins force-fed root: Cruel security flaw found in systemd v228

Michael Felt

systemd - the future? or just another way to boot *nix

I have never had to deal with systemd - and I am surprised to hear there is so much division about whether it was a move forward or not.

Before this I was thinking: for a "family" packages built around the systemd philosophy it could be beneficial. Mt concern with "Linux" boot phases is mainly that every distro has come up with 'their' way to "solve" the problem of boot - and learning all of those (just as it is hard to learn all the ways that *bsd, aix, hp, solaris, etc. differ in their ways to boot the system).

If systemd provides a way that ALL distros use the same files, same directories, etc. such that I learn one distro and can effectively administrter any distro - it is a win. Without that systemd, imho, is just a new, different 'thing' that needs to be learned, researched, etc..

In summary - I have doubts systemd will be universal to system administration.

Have a good day everyone! Smile! and then go kick a can ;)

Michael Felt

Re: UNIX pagers - less is more - more or less :p

A bit off topic - my apologies - but I had to smile as I thought back to the 'pg' days, which was followed by a program to let you read a page 'more' and then later you could read a page by page (pg) any way you wanted - well 'more' or 'less'

Linus Torvalds in sweary rant about punctuation in kernel comments

Michael Felt

How about PEP8 like guidelines on source-code checks before accepting a patch?

From Scratch? I guess I heard wrong. I thought his key addon was to add demand-paging rather than swapping - starting from the Minix kernel - which had previously been verified by AT&T as not using any of their UNIX code base (as they no longer wanted Tanenbaum using AT&T code in his books and lectures).

I frown on some of the language used in some of the reactions, but some people seem to have a limited vocabulary. However, I do believe - as was mentioned earlier - that specifying a specific style for comments (max of two - okay, but better: one format for single line, one format for multi-line).

One of the things I am finding hard to learn - but do appreciate - is the PEP 8 guidelines for python code. And, perhaps the Linux-kernal is ready for a "pep8"-like beautifier - or maybe just update 'beautify' to what will pass - and identify 'nonsense' (as I would agree that 'wasting' time to write a program to '*' align comments, or worse - doing it manually) does not improve the content (aka quality) of the comment(s).

Power Systems running IBM's VIOS virtualisation need a patch and reboot

Michael Felt

Re: "So IBM's guidance guidance that will not go down well with users."

If this goes back as far as 2.2.3.X - then, clearly - it is not happening often - and management might decide that the higher risk to business is updating and rebooting a dual VIOS configuration.

As far as change records go: whether they are a major pain or a minor pain or no pain - experience has taught many that no records - ultimately is a 'killing pain'. This again, is a process that can ensure that the business can manage their risk - as they view it. System administration is not the business - even that "we" have the best of intents "they" must okay the process. That is how business is done.

The argument that should be made is that the systems were engineered for concurrent maintenance. Not doing the maintenance now may lead to a disruptive 'moment'. The business does not need to know the technical details - it needs to know the relative risk and impact on business. The design - aka best practice - of using dual VIOS is that the impact should be zero - even with a reboot!

Brexit may not mean Brexit at all: UK.gov loses Article 50 lawsuit

Michael Felt

BREXIT - breaking the UK or bringing it together?

I was visiting the UK last week - and the basic comment I got from the few I asked was quite clear, and saddening - "we have never been so divided as a country" and there is more "hate towards others".

In short, it sounds as if "BREXIT" is doing a lot to the country - and most of what has happened / is happening is not the expected outcome.

I do hope other countries, such as NL where I live, learn from the issues the UK face today.

p.s. as to parliament respecting the vote of the public: I would expect them to act according to what they believe is best for the people who choose them to be their MP. They people who voted for BREXIT are not necessarily the same ones who vote for them.

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