Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

Comment: Correct link for buying the book (Score 4, Informative) 83

by Saint Aardvark (#46326797) Attached to: Book Review: Sudo Mastery: User Access Control For Real People

Hi all -- I submitted this review, but it looks like something ate the link for the book. Here's where to buy it:

I believe the Amazon link gives the author a few more shekels, but he makes the most money from the first link; details from his website's page on this book.

+ - Book Review: "Sudo Mastery: User Access Control for Real People"->

Submitted by Saint Aardvark
Saint Aardvark (159009) writes "Disclaimer: I got a free copy of this book because I was a technical reviewer for it. Disclaimer to the disclaimer: I totally would have paid for this book anyway. Final disclaimer: a shorter version of this review appeared on Amazon.com.

If you're a Unix or Linux sysadmin, you know sudo: it's that command that lets you run single commands as root from your own account, rather than logging in as root. And if you're like me, here's what you know about configuring sudo:
  1. Run sudoedit and uncomment the line that says "%wheel ALL=(ALL) ALL".
  2. Make sure you're in the wheel group.
  3. Profit!

Okay, so you can now run any command as root. Awesome! But not everyone is as careful as you are (or at least, as you like to think you are). If you're a sysadmin, you need to stop people from shooting themselves in the foot. (Might also want to stop yourself from self-inflicted gunshot wounds.) There should be some way of restricting use, right? Just gotta check out the man page.... And that's where I stopped, every time. I've yet to truly understand Extended Backus-Naur Form (sue me), and my eyes would glaze over. And so I'd go back to putting some small number of people in the "wheel" group, and letting them run sudo, and cleaning up the occasional mess afterward.

Fortunately, Michael W. Lucas has written "Sudo Mastery: User Access Control for Real People". If his name sounds familiar, there's a reason for that: he's been cranking out excellent technical books for a long time, on everything from FreeBSD to Cisco routers to DNSSEC. He just, like, does this: he takes deep, involved subjects that you don't even know you need to know more about, and he makes them understandable. It's a good trick, and we're lucky he's turned his attention to sudo.

The book clocks in at 144 pages (print version), and it's packed with information from start to finish. Lucas starts with the why and how of sudo, explaining why you need to know it and how sudo protects you. He moves on to the syntax; it's kind of a bear at first, but Chapter 2, "sudo and sudoers", takes care of that nicely. Have you locked yourself out of sudo with a poor edit? I have; I've even managed to do it on many machines, all at once, by distributing that edit with CFEngine. Lucas covers this in Chapter 3, "Editing and Testing Sudoers", a chapter that would have saved my butt. By the time you've added a few entries, you're probably ready for Chapter 4, "Lists and Aliases".

sudo has lots of ways to avoid repeating yourself, and I picked up a few tricks from this chapter I didn't know about — including that sudo can run commands as users other than root. Need to restart Tomcat as the tomcat user? There's a sudoers line for that. I'm ashamed to admit that I didn't know this.

There is a lot more in this book, too. You can override sudo defaults for different commands or users (you can change the lecture text; maybe sometimes there *is* a technical solution for a social problem...). You can stuff sudo directives into LDAP and stop copying files around. You can edit files with sudoedit. You can record people's sudo commands, and play them back using sudoreplay. The list goes on.

Sounds like a lot, doesn't it? It is. But the book flies by, because Lucas is a good writer: he packs a lot of information into the pages while remaining engaging and funny. The anecdotes are informative, the banter is witty, and there's no dry or boring to be found anywhere.

Shortcomings: Maybe you don't like humour in your tech books; if so, you could pass this up, but man, you'd be missing out. There wasn't an index in the EPUB version I got, which I always miss. Other than that: I'm mad Lucas didn't write this book ten years ago.

Score: 10 out of 10. If you're a Linux or Unix sysadmin, you need this book; it's just that simple.

Where to buy:

  • You can buy the ebook version from Lucas himself.
  • You can also buy the ebook or a dead-tree version from Amazon.com.
"

Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Thing is (Score 1) 146

by Zhe Mappel (#46258523) Attached to: John Carmack Left id Software Because He Couldn't Do VR Work There

Very good points.

I notice you don't mention Willits in your pantheon of id talents. Wisely, I'd say. His design stewardship of Rage -- and its resulting perfect banality -- was as much a lodestone around its neck as was one more advanced yet performance-lacking Carmack technology. Put together, the mixture was lethal.

There was an id fantasy game in the works, briefly, a decade or more ago; it was killed off in favor of another FPS retread. I wonder what might have been if a) the faction that wanted to keep cloning Doom and Quake hadn't won or, alternatively b) instead of id consistently shedding its most notable design talents leaving Carmack surrounded with people content to recycle the past, he had struck out on his own with a new group of talent and created something original.

Comment: Edward Snowdenhands (Score 1) 822

by Zhe Mappel (#46088755) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Does Edward Snowden Deserve?

My advice to brave Edward: you already know the ugliness of the machine, so why bargain with the ghost inside?

The impossibility of a corrupt system according justice to its whistleblowers is a good reason for Edward to remain in Russia. Moreover, he should know, and will know based on poll data, that his sacrifice is scarcely appreciated by our society of sheep, anyway.

You've done your share. You've paid your price in loss of home and comfort. F--- Washington; construct a life out of all the many rich possibilities that have nothing to do with this declining empire and its sordid leaders.

Comment: Re:A lot worse than it seems (Score 2) 544

by Zhe Mappel (#46088733) Attached to: Map of Publicly-Funded Creationism Teaching

Do you want to know what brings about the biblical apocalypse? Ignorance of the natural world in which we live. Buckle your seatbelts, because the ignorant are starting to drive this bus we call civilization, and the last stop is not utopia.

I hate religion as much as the next godless heathen, but really now.

Surely you don't think climate change is a direct result of belief? At worst, fantasies about the afterlife can make the world appear more disposable to the god-bothered, but I don't think it's churchy mumbo-jumbo that drives hyper-capitalism.

Something else has led the west to overproduce, overconsume, overbear and overlord. And the causes and reasons are rather more prosaic than heavenly.

Comment: Re:Land of the dumb, home of the uninformed (Score 1) 544

by Zhe Mappel (#46088699) Attached to: Map of Publicly-Funded Creationism Teaching

Unfortunately, the US's first major "nation building" failure might be said to have occurred after the civil war... We defeated the insurgency; but never really managed to rebuild a functional society in the southern provinces. If subsequent events are any guide, we may just suck at dealing with religious zealots with shitty human rights records.

Oh, come.

Surely any society that can produce John Carmack can't be all bad.

Comment: Re:Texas Barely Registers (Score 1) 544

by Zhe Mappel (#46088663) Attached to: Map of Publicly-Funded Creationism Teaching

How is that odd? Muslims and Jews aren't the fanatical threat to freedom and education that Conservative Christians currently are in America.

Really? Apparently you've never run across a your average non-westernized muslim(or standard conservative muslims), they're more than happy to shove their opinions down your throat. While doing so, they'll also demand that you directly accommodate them. Jews generally are happy to not shove their opinions down your throat on their religious issues, and the more conservative are generally happier to enclave themselves up and run their lives according to how they want to run them.

Let's leave aside your completely subjective generalities about Muslims and Jews.

Instead, let's focus on the single meaningful metric that might help us test your hypothesis about "shoving their opinions down your throat," by which is generally meant something akin to propagandizing and/or policy that leaves the audience little or no room for maneuver or objection. I'll just assume that's your meaning, too.

I would submit the annual US subsidy of $500 per man, woman and child ($3b total) in direct foreign assistance to Israel is probably a fairer measure of whose opinions are imposed on Americans. That's roughly one fifth of our entire foreign aid budget. Now, you might happen to agree with such aid for religious or ethnic reasons, as is your right; all fine and good. I happen to oppose it as largesse that's morally and strategically unwise. But our sheer inability as opponents to find Democratic or Republican political representatives who'll demur from the policy rather neatly fits the definition of having it shoved down our throats.

+ - Apache CloudStack 4.2.0 released-> 2

Submitted by ke4qqq
ke4qqq (678293) writes "This release represents over six months of work from the Apache CloudStack community with 57 new and 29 improved features being provided. Many new features incorporate contributions from major corporations and support for industry standards. New integrated support of the Cisco UCS compute chassis, LXC, SolidFire storage arrays, and the S3 storage protocol are just a few of the features available in this release."
Link to Original Source
Transportation

Richard Branson Plans Orbital Spaceships For Virgin Galactic 177

Posted by timothy
from the ignore-the-weight dept.
Velcroman1 writes "Following the historic first rocket-powered flight of its SpaceShipTwo vehicle, Virgin Galactic plans to build a fleet of spaceships and begin ferrying hundreds of tourists into space in 2014. And then? A whole new kind of spacecraft, Sir Richard Branson said. 'We'll be building orbital spaceships after that,' Branson told Fox News Tuesday, 'so that people who want to go for a week or two can.' Assuming the cost is on the same scale, would you pay a few hundred grand for a few weeks in orbit?"

"Never ascribe to malice that which is caused by greed and ignorance." -- Cal Keegan

Working...