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Comment: Re: Sync (Score 4, Informative) 167

by c0l0 (#46154775) Attached to: Firefox 27 Released: TLS 1.2 Support, SPDY 3.1, SocialAPI Improvements

Yeah, I knew about that possibility before, but since the data to be stored on Mozilla servers was being properly encrypted on my device and in my client, I opted out of the usual "maintain my own infrastructure" chores that one time. Now, the "old" (read: current) Firefox Sync system is going away completely in the not too distant future, and you'll probably have to install some kind of add-on to keep your existing, self-hosted infrastructure functional. Meanwhile, I asked some Mozilla people/developers what the change was about, and how the new system is supposed to keep users' data confidential. The transcript of the IRC session is available here, on Debian's inofficial pastebin - enjoy! :)

Comment: Re: Sync (Score 2) 167

by c0l0 (#46154099) Attached to: Firefox 27 Released: TLS 1.2 Support, SPDY 3.1, SocialAPI Improvements

I switched over from Chromium to Firefox mainly because of how Firefox Sync worked back then - in the way that it encrypted your sync data with a secret that Mozilla would never know. Now, with the new sync that just requires a tuple of email address and password, I wonder what - if anything - they use to encrypt the data so they cannot know what I store there (which is a strict requirement for me to even consider any kind of "cloud"-y offering). Given that email/password is used for authentication and authorization only (I'm pretty certain they'll have a routine for users to "reset" their password...), I'm worried they'd left out the one thing that made Firefox Sync usable for folk concerned with privacy...

Data Storage

WD Explains Its Windows-Only Software-Based SSHD Tech 286

Posted by timothy
from the horse-before-the-cart dept.
crookedvulture writes "Seagate and Toshiba both offer hybrid hard drives that manage their built-in flash caches entirely in firmware. WD has taken a different approach with its Black SSHD, which instead uses driver software to govern its NAND cache. The driver works with the operating system to determine what to store in the flash. Unfortunately, it's Windows-only. You can choose between two drivers, though. WD has developed one of its own, and Intel will offer a separate driver attached to its upcoming Haswell platform. While WD remains tight-lipped on the speed of the Black's mechanical portion, it's confirmed that the flash is provided by a customized SanDisk iSSD embedded on the drive. The iSSD and mechanical drive connect to each other and to the host system through a Serial ATA bridge chip, making the SSHD look more like a highly integrated dual-drive solution than a single, standalone device. With Intel supporting this approach, the next generation of hybrid drives appears destined to be software-based."

Comment: Typical Canonical/PR bullshit. (Score 4, Insightful) 529

by c0l0 (#42236939) Attached to: Ubuntu Community Manager: RMS's Post Seems a Bit Childish To Me

It's not that I would expect anything else from someone who is a "community manager" (FOSS' modern-day equivalent to the appendix, in my opinion), but this "personal blog entry" is, of course, a steaming turd. I don't see RMS spreading FUD about Ubuntu, not at all. In fact, he makes it quite clear what they get, in his opinion at least, wrong, and why he sees it that way - and he leaves nothing about that "in doubt" or, in one way or anther, vague. Discrediting this kind of honest and up-front criticism as FUD, whilst he himself is weasling around the true motives (turn desktop users into dollar bills for Canonical's pockets) for the Amazon integration with all that hey-everybody-let's-disregard-that-and-feel-good sidetracking that's going on in that posting really makes me nauseous. "Better user experience", "creating desirable products", yaddah yaddah - yeah, fine and dandy, but trying to sell us this (in my opionion pretty crazy) add-on, that submits all the text I enter - be it to start a new program or open a document I stored - to a web service the users absolutely don't control, as an improvement for the good of the general public is not only ridiculous, but also demeaning to the intelligence of everyone who they expect to fall for the kind of "argument" Jono Bacon is trying to make on his blog. It's the FOSS-equivalent to the toolbar, or Bonzy Buddy "form filling" browser-add on from days of yore, that Windows users get shoved down their collective throats if they miss unchecking a box in popular "freeware" installation wizards these days, and everyone with half a brain can see right through that.

Comment: Re:Reminds me a contact from Google (Score 4, Interesting) 233

by c0l0 (#42022537) Attached to: Hounded By Recruiters, Coders Put Themselves Up For Auction

A Google recruiter (from Google Ireland) contacted me a few months ago due to having found my personal website (which is in German, but transported the important information nevertheless, it seems - and yeah, he definitely HAD read my resume. That said, noone cared much about what I did or did not do with my current job, noone asked me to quit it before starting the interviewing process or anything downright crazy like that.), and asked if I was willing to do a phone interview. Sure thing, I said, and after passing the first interview, I did two longer follow-ups on the phone, and finally one just recently on site in Dublin (Google was nice enough to pay for the trip and accommodation, and Dublin is a very nice place that I had always wanted to visit anyway), and last Friday, I've been offered a very attractive position in their Site Reliability Engineering team due to all of this - so I do have first-hand experience with all stages of Google's interviewing process.

Almost everything I had to do in the interviews involved stuff you're supposed to learn when studying Computer Science at a university that deserves its name, and I think that's a very good and reasonable thing. I've always been a fan of the "concepts, not implementations/products"-kind-of-education. I think that's especially important at Google - their infrastructure is so vast and powerful and unlike any other in the industry that the overwhelming majority of people who take a position there won't have seen anything even remotely like it in terms of scale, and they will probably find very little there that's overly "familiar" to them: Most of the software you can get away with running at a small- to medium-sized IT shop, despite any glaring and maybe-no-so-glaring inefficiencies, will fall apart at the scale Google would need to have it work at, so they'll implement something on their own and run that to do that job. Read the GFS paper for one such (albeit a bit dated) example. That's where all that "bachelor's level computer science stuff", a nuisance that apparently, in the eyes of some, only inhabitants of ivory towers should be allowed to care about, comes in again. So I think it's perfectly reasonable and in their best interest to test for that kind of knowledge and skills in their interviewing process.

Comment: Now that summary is BS - at least in part. (Score 2, Interesting) 133

by c0l0 (#41598779) Attached to: Firefox 16 Released: More HTML5 Support

"A number of HTML5 code has been 'unprefixed,' which means that Mozilla has decided it has matured enough to run in the browser without causing instability." - come on, how dumb is that? If there were a vendor-sanctioned CSS attribute or "HTML5 code" (or whatever, really) that was known to cause "instability" in one of the world's most widely-deployed and -used applications, trolls and/or crackers would make ABUNDANT use of that inherent weakness, prefixed or not.

Now, I don't know for sure how HTML5 "standardization" (if you can stomach calling it that...) actually works, but what I happen to have picked up is this: In reality, that kind of "prefixing" (extending the name of a soon-to-be-"standardized" identifier with a vendor-specific keyword) takes place because the vendor probably still works out implementation details, or isn't 100% sure if he wants to really do whatever the feature/thing is doing right now the way it is doing right now forever. It's some kind of "this is just a draft"-hint, like, for example, "X-"-prefixed HTTP and SMTP header data (used to be - they're abused for other, this-aint-in-the-official-standard-but-we-need-it-anyway-things today, of course). If using any of this causes the browser that implements it to crash or be otherwise unstable (and therefore potentially exploitable), that's a _grave_ bug, and certainly not something that any of the industry heavyweights (well, except for Apple and Microsoft maybe... hehe) would tolerate to occur in the wild for more than a few hours, until an appropriate patch is released.

Comment: Re:NO, it is NOT. (Score 1) 224

by c0l0 (#41553581) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Open Communications Set-Up For Small Office?

I was not suggesting "crappy, low-end, unmaintained and undocumented piles of OSS whitebox dogshit" (torrents of foul language like that make me raise an eyebrow or two btw., esp. when you advocate the road to the mythical "stable", "proven" and "enterprise-ready" alternative in the next sentence...). But there ARE offerings that strike a sane balance between being based on standards that a multitude of vendors can implement and actually support, and come with enough handholding to get you off the ground without hickups. Check out the astersik appliances sold by elastix, for example.

If you're not going to research the offer you're buying into, you are going to have a bad time, period. You might as well spend two or three hours more to take stuff into account that isn't sold by gold-diggers who found their way into Cisco's sales channels in your area, and save boatloads of money when the first upgrade is imminent.

What I also find amusing is the notion that this kind of "OSS software" tends to become unmaintained and outdated, whilst you seem to suggest that proprietary software and solutions of that kind don't. The majority of large(-ish)-scale phone systems I know still rely on a Windows 2000 or even NT 4 server somewhere in a rack that noone wants to touch any more (or that, if you are lucky, has undergone P2V-surgery) that never receives any kind of updates or maintenance, but is of critical importance for call management, authentication, configuration, or any combination of all of the above. Yeah, that sounds super-sane to me.

Comment: NO, it is NOT. (Score 2) 224

by c0l0 (#41552259) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Open Communications Set-Up For Small Office?

That kind of thinking is what leads to the very finest of vendor lock-in you could imagine down the road - and it's total bullshit. Investing a few hours of research and setup effort in a standards-based, transparent and reusable technical foundation for what is going to be the backbone of your company's communication both on the in- and outside for many years is definitely something to worry about - unless you have no problem whatsoever with buying your whole frickin' phone system all over again once you pick up the 11th employee, because the (cheap but proprietary) license and hardware you acquired when you started out "does not support more clients", or some such crap.

We just paid a few grand to extend our phone system from supporting <=50 clients to supporting 54 (and possibly more; even up to 70!!1!) clients. That's what you get from choosing the wrong solution in the first place, and if you let it become a vital component of your infrastructure - you'll have to stick with it and it will cost you dearly, because outright replacing it with a saner choice is always the more expensive one _in the short term_. Typically until the next forced upgrade cycle comes around.

Comment: IRC, email (Score 2) 221

by c0l0 (#40640083) Attached to: For work, I communicate mainly through...

The hub of our communication at work is a really beefy machine running Debian GNU/Linux. Communication within the tech dept. is done mostly via IRC (our CEO is a really techy person), and email. Even some guys and gals from the Customer Relations/Editoral Staff, and the head of the Legal Department, are available via IRC at all times, which is neat. We also have a web-based issue tracker (that's controllable by email; developed in-house many years ago) that helps us keep track of things. It's pretty awesome - that kind of infrastructure is INCREDIBLY less frustrating than what we've had at companies I worked before (mainly Atlassian webapps that are all shiny and stuff, oh yay!!1!). Not as colourful and web-2.0-y perhaps, but it is fast and very much to the point. And very hackable, in the good, true meaning of the word. :)

Comment: I filed that guy... (Score 0) 79

by c0l0 (#39583821) Attached to: SJVN Tells How Reporting on Linux Has Changed in the Last 10 Years (Video)

...under "absolutely clueless" a few years ago. Can't remember the specifics as to why exactly I did right now - I think it was related to some inflammatory bullshit "articles" about GNU/Linux on CNet or something, but I have no reason to believe I misjudged him back then. So I'll pass.


Europe's Largest IT Company To Ban Internal Email 601

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the 140-characters-or-die dept.
Hugh Pickens writes writes "Thierry Breton, CEO of Atos, Europe's Largest IT Company, wants a 'zero email' policy to be in place in 18 months, arguing that only 10 per cent of the 200 electronic messages his employees receive per day on average turn out to be useful, and that staff spend between 5-20 hours handling emails every week. 'The email is no longer the appropriate (communication) tool,' says Breton. 'The deluge of information will be one of the most important problems a company will have to face (in the future). It is time to think differently.' Instead Breton wants staff at Atos to use chat-type collaborative services inspired by social networking sites like Facebook or Twitter as surveys show that the younger generation have already all but scrapped email, with only 11 per cent of 11 to 19 year-olds using it. For his part Breton hasn't sent a work email in three years. 'If people want to talk to me, they can come and visit me, call or send me a text message. Emails cannot replace the spoken word.'"

% APL is a natural extension of assembler language programming; ...and is best for educational purposes. -- A. Perlis