trusted, not necessarily trustworthy

Tue 30 August 2016

In security nomenclature, "trusted system" or "trusted device" does not mean the ordinary usage. It does not mean "we think this system is trustworthy".

It means "we have no choice but to trust this system".

The two are not even remotely synonymous, and the difference has probably been literally fatal ...


enthusiasm and frustration

Fri 19 August 2016

Enthusiasm is having someone ask you for a favor and immediately knowing that you can do that even better than they are imagining.

Frustration is having someone ask you for a favor and immediately knowing that they don't know that what they want is somewhere between improbable and impossible ...


debian backports pinning

Wed 17 August 2016

Let us suppose that you are running Debian stable, but there are some packages that you would like from the backports archive. However, you don't want all backports replacements to be brought in.

In etc/apt/sources.list.d/backposts.list add the backports repo. As I write this ...


getting the last word in

Fri 12 August 2016

The value of getting the last word in is rarely positive.

I have engaged in a number of email threads which roughly follow this pattern:

POI (Person on the Internet): Technical thing, technical-political thing, wrong technical thing.

Me: Actually wrong technical thing is wrong; have you tried right technical thing ...


optimizing for the wrong thing

Thu 11 August 2016

I just read about Seagate's forthcoming 60TB SSD and Toshiba's 100TB SSD.

Gee, that's a lot of storage. For now. (Review again in ten years, when you have a pair of 100TB solid-state disks in RAID1 on your desktop.)

Supposing that they have up-to-the-minute SAS 4 controllers ...


swiftly, he said

Sat 06 August 2016

"And that's... six close parentheses," Tom lisped.

"I'm not going to use Smalltalk," Tom objected.

"Damn it all and each component part!" Tom recursed.

"I put all 3 billion transistors on the chip myself," Tom fabricated.

"A loop is a loop is a loop..." Tom reiterated.

"Just look ...


books: to be read

Fri 05 August 2016

It is an unusual day when I have more than two or three books lined up on the infamous (and, indeed, largely virtual) To Be Read Shelf.

This is such a day.

Waiting for me to read them:

Full of Briars, Seanan McGuire. A novelette about a side character in ...


do they teach recruiters to be aggressive?

Fri 15 July 2016

"Lindsey" from W-- called me at the office. That's fine. She said that she saw our posting for a junior systems administrator and she thought she had the perfect candidate.

I stopped her and told her that, unfortunately for her, we had made an offer and it had been ...


the problem with broadwayhd

Tue 05 July 2016

Broadway, like Hollywood, has a problem. "They" -- there are about forty Broadway theaters, 31 of which are owned by three companies, 3 of which are run by non-profits -- produce an expensive entertainment service which draws tourists but utterly fails at clearing the potential market. That is, they could sell a ...


recently read books

Sun 19 June 2016

  • Daniel O'Malley: Stiletto (Rook volume 2)
  • Matthew Phillion: The Indestructibles (and volumes 2, 3, 4)
  • Stephen King: On Writing
  • Derek Landy: Demon Road (and Desolation)
  • Jay Posey: Outriders
  • Ken MacLeod: Dissidence
  • Mishell Baker: Borderline

O'Malley follows up the tight-single-viewpoint The Rook with a multiple viewpoint political/espionage/action ...


security strategies

Tue 07 June 2016

These are the basic strategies for securing what you care about. I will make certain assumptions: you are living in the early 21st century; you are living in a highly connected information state; you are not intent on committing crime, and therefore have no reason to spend an outsized portion ...


not interested in cybercoders

Fri 20 May 2016

When the contents of a recruiter's mail message are semantically equivalent to that of the classic 419 scam -- "I have this thing that doesn't belong to me, let me get it to you and we can share in the profit" -- you should take that as a hint that ...


quote of the day

Thu 19 May 2016

When I was younger, I dreamed of something like this. Voice control for my home! A Star Trek computer that I can interact with conversationally! I just say what I want and it happens!

Now, I just see an internet-connected microphone in a software black box which I can only ...


i have an idea

Mon 16 May 2016

Send me things to review, and I promise to give them honest negative feedback.

Nothing positive. No gushing. The best you can hope for is "I tried this for a week, and there's not much wrong with it."

Honest negativity, though. Is your manual badly written? I will say ...


the difference between a trivial project and a serious project

Fri 13 May 2016

The major difference between a trivial project and a serious project is that on a serious project, maintenance and improvements take much, much longer than the initial development phase.

The other difference is that a trivial project can become serious, but a serious project never becomes trivial -- it gets abandoned ...

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