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Comment Re:Boot timing and attacks? (Score 2) 63

s/ROM/firmware/g. In any case, a lot of malware remains in RAM. Yes, a reboot will fix it, but it can likely be added again, especially if compromised devices scan each other and re-compromise devices that were rebooted, but still vulnerable. Protecting the boot sequence does help, as firmware reflashes can be nasty and impossible to get rid of. However, what is needed is some thought is perhaps looking at a hypervisor and limiting what each machine/container has access to. For example, one container might do video encoding and may not need to have a connection to the NIC, other than what gets passed to a special firewall container.

Of course, the best thing is using Z-Wave or another protocol, having devices use a hardened hub (or hubs for redundancy's sake) and never be accessible to the Internet.

Comment Boot timing and attacks? (Score 1) 63

I wonder how useful having the time it takes to boot be a measurement if a ROM is compromised or not.

For example, assuming the ROM uses Linux and has a few writable partitions, if it boots up and does a fsck, or just replays filesystem transaction logs, this will almost certainly be different each boot, especially if the system had a dirty shutdown.

However, if the timing is measured from the OS boots until it mounts the read-only RAMdrive and gets ready to load the main OS, that is a lot more predictable.

Comment Re:poor vim users (Score 2) 489

Could be worse. My last job issued me a Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Carbon where the F-keys were on a touch LCD or e-ink bar. Said Lenovo had the tilde key moved under the enter key, and had no capslock key (instead, the page up/down buttons were moved to the capslock key's location.) Reach for the escape key, there go your F-keys until you tap that area again, due to it being the FN toggle.

I just hope Apple's offering isn't as bad... I really don't want to have to bring along a Bluetooth keyboard just so I can type without fumbling.

Comment Re:Legal? (Score 2) 281

This. For the cost of this project on the crowdfunding site, maybe that money should go towards a fund to get bike lockers placed in useful places. The biggest pushback I see about bike lockers, next to the implementation cost, is concern about people putting stuff they shouldn't in them. However, between having lockers like the ProPark View-Thru (which allow visual inspections) or registering people before handing them a key, this becomes a non-issue, about the same risk of people bringing the same stuff into the office.

It really doesn't take that much to make a place in a building for bikes for all but the smallest companies. A room with a camera or two, card access, a row of lockers so people could put their helmet and a change of clothes, and a row of bike racks is definitely good enough. Bonus points if there are showers available.

Part of the problem in the US is that European bike shelters tend not to work here, as they tend to be a target of vandalism. An automatic bike lift would be destroyed in almost no time flat. So, even though bike lockers take up a lot of space, they are a low common denominator, relatively tough to break in, and provide decent security, especially for overnight or all day use.

To heck with booby traps. If you want something that actually will add security, spend the money to start (or promote an existing) advocacy group to get lockers places in more places. This would be real progress, and allow for far better security, as opposed to gimmicks [1].

[1]: There are tons of bike lock designs out there, be it those that use Bluetooth apps, traveling keys, magnetic locks, but the real issue isn't the U-lock, it is putting the bike inside of a secure container so no part of the bike is accessible to a thief.

Comment Re:What does this even mean ? (Score 1) 365

I wouldn't be surprised to see a hired bus driver ram a SDC, then have people pile on after the wreck happened, just to try to have this work out.

However, there is one thing that will work in the SDC's favors. The camera footage will be handed to the judge and lawyers, and it will show in great detail what mistakes the other person made, coupled with the AI decision tree. Plus, SDC makers have some heavy-hitting lawyers on their side, and juries (well in Texas that is) are not likely to hand down multi-million dollar verdicts. Of course, you never know what can happen, but the combined legal warchest of all the auto makers, Google, and companies where SDCs are vital will help ensure that this won't happen.

Worst case, if it does, then the US won't have SDCs for 5-10 years, while the rest of the world does, and eventually the powers that be will be persuaded to allow them back in.

Comment Re:What does this even mean ? (Score 1) 365

There is also another advantage of SDCs -- they can be routed on roadways with minimal to no traffic signs and work out well. Instead of cloverleaf intersections, two superhighways can meet at a four-way intersection, and the vehicle computers be used to speed up or slow down cars so vehicles can go through at highway speeds without hitting each other.

As AI improves, there won't be much an AI vehicle cannot do that a human can't. Especially with reaction time, and more vehicle control than just the controls. For example, an off-road SDC can adjust the tire pressure and ride height to the terrain in real time, something a human would find difficult.

Comment Re:"IT" is on its way out (Score 1) 272

Hate replying to my own post, but a minor correction is needed. I found out the hard way that if the interviewer got the feeling you liked (or even knew well) VMware or a local virtualization solution, they immediately went into "thank you for your time" mode, and want you out the door.

I do know that Docker and such have their place, but it seems that some new IT hammer comes along, and everything becomes a nail for it. Trying to run Oracle RAC in a docker container is a great way to waste man-months. Of course the tools chosen seem to have to be "free" (no Puppet Enterprise, RedHat Satellite, or Ansible Tower.)

Comment Re:"IT" is on its way out (Score 1) 272

There is one risk that isn't mentioned: What happens if Microsoft or Amazon decides to get out of the cloud business, or they have something happen that causes them to have to file bankruptcy? At best, a company has to go into super-panic mode, and either move everything into another cloud provider, or build out a data center and buy the hardware to move things in-house. At worst, if the company goes under without warning with no way to access data, a lot of companies will be filing their bankruptcy papers in the next week.

Ultimately, once physical control is handed over, the data may not be secure. If a cloud provider went under and sold their servers, even though the auction house is supposed to wipe drives, if the buyer of the physical servers and storage fabric got access to the data, they have it free and clear, and can do what they please with it.

Then there is compliance with various laws and regulations. You can't just move to AWS and say you are HIPAA compliant. It takes a lot more than that to ensure security, just as much effort as having servers in a local data center and hosting VMs on VMWare.

Comment Re:"IT" is on its way out (Score 1) 272

In my experience, when I was interviewing at a number of various companies, is that their goal was to have the only hardware locally, the network fabric for their desktop machines to go hit AWS. I actually "lost" a job interview when I asked one place if they had a disaster recovery plan if AWS had issues. The answer, "Amazon doesn't go down. The concept of downtime is as obsolete as a reel to reel tape drive with a cloud provider."

I am glad I found a solid place to work at, that views cloud solutions as a mechanism to get things done, and cloud storage as media (like tapes or optical), not something to completely become reliant on and embrace completely, damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead.

Comment Re:"IT" is on its way out (Score 1) 272

When I as looking for a job last, first, you had to repeat the word "devops", as if you were just "ops" (or $DEITY forbid, a "system administrator", you got punted out of the interview as too old.

Second, what was asked for by many places is being able to use the latest and greatest tools. Stuff like, "Can you put Oracle RAC in a docker container?" "Can you convert our Puppet Enterprise deployment to the free version?" "Make for us a CI/CD system with Bamboo or Jenkins." "Can you make all of our servers into cattle?"

Then you get questions about exact products. Do you know CI/CD, Bamboo, but not TeamCity? Out you go. Do you know Puppet and Ansible, but not Chef? Interview over. Do you know GitHub Enterprise and Bitbucket, but not GitLab? You will be shown the door.

Then comes AWS. It seems like everyone and their brother are flying to Amazon, to the point where if Amazon decided to quit the cloud business, a lot of companies would be filing bankruptcy papers the next business day, just because there is no DR system other than Amazon. If you say you like VMware, or have concerns about physical control of data (much less the fact that for constant loads, you pay for the servers and data center, regardless if the servers are in a data center locally or remotely.)

If someone isn't using latest trendy tool in the past 6-12 months, they are viewed as a dinosaur, is my experience.

Comment Re:Sounds Familiar (Score 5, Interesting) 159

I was assigned a Lenovo X1 Carbon with the e-Ink display above the F-keys at a previous job. Needless to say, I was glad to turn that laptop in the day I left.

First, the geniuses at Lenovo decided that the Caps Lock key was not useful, so assumed people would be happy to hold down the Shift key for a few seconds. The caps lock key was replaced by the Home and End keys, and the backtick/tilde key was moved by the right Alt key. This made trying to do basic Linux system administration a PITA. Reaching for the escape key resulted in flipping the E-ink display to a different set of items than the F keys.

There are many things to improve on. Dinking around and moving often used keys is not an improvement. Companies keep trying to do that, be it Compaq where the space bar was cut in half, giving a large backspace key. There might be some compromises, such as locating the arrow keys somewhere different, but changing the fundamental layout of a keyboard doesn't do much other than annoy people, forcing them to have to use a USB or BlueTooth keyboard in order to get work done.

Of course, there was the implementation of the e-Ink bar. It made reaching for a F key annoying, because you were used to hitting a key, not tapping plastic, and with the escape key moved, half the time, it meant you had to tap the bar to get it to the set of function keys.

Decent idea, poor implementation, and it hindered things more than it helped, especially with critical keys moved around willy-nilly.

Comment Re:Hosted data or hosted servers? (Score 1) 34

In a lot of compliance regs, servers, even Linux machines have to have some sort of AV on them. I've had to install McAfee on Solaris LDOMs and AIX LPARs just to be able to tick off checkboxes before, even though in real life, it is difficult for a POWER8 machine is going to get nailed by a Windows executable.

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