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User Journal

Journal Journal: Privacy for the Surveillance Age 3

Invisible Internet Project...
      I2P is best described as a cross between Tor and Bittorrent. That is to say, the onion routing benefits from the fact that most participants contribute to the available bandwidth. It does also come bundled with a bittorrent client and email service. A number of other I2P apps are available including i2P-Bote, a new server-less email system based on DHT.

Qubes OS...
      Qubes is a desktop OS based on a customized Xen hypervisor. It ships with Fedora 18 to provide Linux desktop functionality, but can also host Windows and other VMs. The philosophy here is that paravirtualization, VT-x and VT-d are all employed in concert to reduce the system's attack-able surface to the base minimum while still providing the functionality of a desktop.

My choices in this area amount to a pretty short list because each one is comprehensive in its approach to privacy and security. I2P keeps everything encrypted and anonymous end-to-end without the worrying about app-specific encryption settings (PGP, OTR, HTTPS, etc) which leads to inconsistent usage. That means using mostly I2P-specific apps, though Firefox for I2P Web is the current exception. Qubes OS secures the system by keeping the high-risk subsystems - IP, firewall and X11 - in their own read-only VMs, and also runs my apps in separate domains according to the trust/risk levels I assign to them. For example: a 'banking' appVM to access bank accounts in Firefox, a 'personal' appVM for email, chat and personal files, an 'untrusted' appVM for general roving around the unsecured Web and multimedia entertainment, an 'i2p' appVM for the growing amount of anon/private communications over I2P, etc. The Qubes project goes so far as to claim "strong security" and I believe them... this is not your run-of-the-mill VM system.

More about some of the interesting features in these puppies later...


Journal Journal: Submissions: Danish paper makes U-turn on cartoons

The Media Guardian is reporting on an infamous Danish newspaper's turnaround regarding the publication of certain cartoons. After initially expressing interest in reprinting cartoons from an Iranian paper, they have decided that some caricatures are beyond the pale: "Jyllands-Posten in no circumstances will publish Holocaust cartoons from an Iranian newspaper". This is the same paper in Denmark which posted a boring-then-shocking caricature of the Prophet Muhammed and is now apologising profusely, "peace be upon him".

Meanwhile the U.S. State Dept. says that the Muhammed cartoon irresponsibly incites ethnic as well as religious hatred; a double-whammy that seems to be ignored when debating the issue.

(Posted here cuz I'm tired of seeing my submissions irretrievably drop down a black hole.)

User Journal

Journal Journal: Poison Ivy SUCKS

Man - I take two days off to spend a long weekend getting caught up on house repairs and other projects. What a disaster!

#1 - our poor lab has been on a long chain for about a year. I've got a radio/underground fence but haven't gotten around to installing it. Well I have about 1200' of fence (we have 8 acres) though only about 300' is buried (the rest is under leaves) Well I had hoped to do it before any poison ivy, etc, sprouted and I didnt' see any, but I must have hit a root. Ugh - My left eyelid is covered in it, the back of my ear, my left temple, bridge of my nose, left wrist, and 'elsewhere' OK - What a fun weekend - then it rains! GRRRR

So I try to attack some other projects like replacing our agign water pipes - had truoble getting pipes through the basement walls. SO that went undone - so many projects so little time.

So 2 vacation days plus a weekend and I still didn't get much finished and I'm itching like crazy :) Sigh

User Journal

Journal Journal: Damn time flies!

Wow - pretty sad that my last entry was 9/11 Ugh - So much has happened - the new job is rocking and it isn't so new anymore!

Too much to do - not enough time. Got the family site going with Postnuke - pretty cool ( Now I'm workin to move all my websites (and those of lots of friends, non profits, etc) off our old server (K62-300) to a new 1GHz Athlon - well, its not so new - its been here for almost a year doing only MySQL for the sites on teh K6-2. All along I've meant to move the web sites to teh Athlon - let the K6-2 do email, CVS, etc. Damn I need 100 hour days.

Oh well, figured I'd get a short entry in - I need to post more often (or put a blogge ron my server - yeah like I have time to post every day LOL)

User Journal

Journal Journal: A day of sadness and anger...

They say during tragic events, you can always remember what you were doing when you found out. JFK's assasination, the Challenger explosion, etc. Today is one of those days... I know I will remember - I'm setling into a new job (finally) and was just about to interview someone for another job here. Amazed at how all the major news websites were crushed by the load and how CNN went to a nice simple text format ala 1995 to reduce band - it was refreshing (under tragic circumstances)

The press will sensationalize this of course, but I believe this will be a day where we'll look back and realize 'things changed' The funny part is I don't think anyone knows HOW things will change. We know this will have a huge effect on Americans. But there is no telling HOW they will react beyond the initial outrage and sorrow. What will people call for? How will it effect what WERE the big news items: the faltering economy, missle defense, the balanced budget, etc. There is NO telling. Attacks on America, a declaration fo war on America is not a partisan event. WHile soem zealots on both sides will resond it expected fashion, the effect on everyday Amercians will be based less on political beliefs and more on patriotism. At least that's my hope.

Personally, I think we need to strike hard and fast. All thsoe terrorist cells we track and wish we could prosecute - screw it - flatten them. Countries that continue to stand in the way of apprehendign known terrorists who may have had an indirect involvement - they either shape up or hurt. We'll be called bullies, etc - too bad. For too long we've stood by allowing groups to build their courage and finally pull off the big one. This poster sums it up well. Its time to show all those terrorist groups even thining about doing this - there WILL be consequences, evne if you weren't directly responsible. Maybe next time you think twice. As one slashdot poster said - 'Lets glaze the motherf**kers'

I sit here in an office, in front of a laptop with radio broadcasts streaming in and tons of 'Cannot find server' pages as I try to gather info. I appreciate the way the Internet has allowed us to stay so informed. Kudos to Taco for filling a need (a site that responded) and to JonKatz for a moving writeup but in the end...

I just want to go home and hug my kids.

God Bless America...

User Journal

Journal Journal: 4 days and counting

Well, its official - the dotted line has been signed - I start my new job on Tuesday. Its gonna be a blast. But man is it gonna be strange going back to 9-5 after 'working' at home for 2 years in boxers and old T shirts LOL. But it'll be good to be back in the thick of things. Gotta wear a tie, bt it could be worse!

Its gonna be a challenge. I'm now the Director of IT at Duke University's Pratt School of Engineering. Its a small engineering school, but the new Dean is driving forward to improve the quantity and size of the school. Lots of needs for clusters (imagine a Beowulf.... never mind) and all sorts of other high end IT technology which will be cool. Each department has IT guys but from a school level, its a greenfield and theres a new building in teh works - should be cool. But I'm gonna start out small. Wanna get my hands on a couple 1124's and start deploying some school wide services. Going to be interesting! I'll keep you all posted!

User Journal

Journal Journal: Very cool indeed

So I noticed on they are pushing an add-on called Multi-zilla which allows you to have all your browser views appear in one window and you switch between them using tabs. You can still open up new windows too - and those can have tabs in them too. VERY cool idea and it's all done using Javascript and XUL/RDF, etc. Pretty slick. And so far it seems very stable - install the latest nightly (1.049 right now) on top of 0.9.3 - very cool interface - one I hope gets included by default (since it hangs in teh background unless you specifically create the tabs in a context menu choice or keystroke) Try it out today!
User Journal

Journal Journal: Cooooool!

OK - small things do get me excited - just posted a story and it posted at +3 Bug or feature? I vote for feature! And no someone didn't mod it up after i posted it - when I posted the comment and got the screen showing the comment as submitted it was already at +3 Rock On!
User Journal

Journal Journal: GAME ON!!!!!!

Well, its been a long and shitty year. Bill collectors calling, being sick, no job, you name it.

Well, perhaps my luck is about to change. A job I applied to in November! has finally come through! I finally interviewed in July and they have decided I'm their top choice! I meet the Dean of the school next week and if all goes well, I'll be the next Director of IT there. This was the best job I'd applied for all year but it took them forever to finally get interviews going. Should be lots of fun. Needless to say I'm major psyched - will I make what I did at NORTEL?, doubt it - but it'll be a HECK of a lot more than I'm earning now! The bonus is that working at a University generally means you are encouraged to use Open Source - which will be sweet. Working at NORTEL where they think Bill Gates is some kind of God was a nightmare.

Man - today has made up for a completely shitty year - we'll see what happens. Back to coding..... Yeee HA!

User Journal

Journal Journal: Man - talk about pain....

Well, my life's death spiral continues. Still waiting to hear about my dream job - interviewed a couple weeks ago and they interviewed I think 2 others. Now they have to 'meet' and decide on the top pick who will then meet the big boss before an offer is made. I expect since I haven't heard from them, I'm not the top choice and they are waiting to tell me 'Sorry' until the top choice meets the boss and accepts the offer. Keeps their options open. Oh well. Back to

But I digress. To make things worse, I noticed a blister on my face early last week. Looked like something you'd get after being badly sunburned. Well then they started to spread - neck, shoulder, forehead. Went to doctor - and its shingles. Nasty! But it wasn't really that big a deal. I looked like an alien with these welst all over, but they didn't itch much and didn't hurt (yet) Till I got home - that night the pain kicked in. I'd heard shingles was REALLY painful. I always figured "yeah but it can't be THAT bad" Well, let me tell you - its awful. I've broken bones, sprained ankles so bad I was on crutches for months - cut tendons in my hand, you name it. Nothing compared to this. Its a 'deep' pain along your nerves - feels like someone is pulling your nerves out of your body. I didn't sleep a wink Friday night - the pain was worse when lying down. Had to watch TV all night to try and concentrate on something other than the pain. Needless to say I went back to the doc's Saturdya morning begging for mercy. Nothing like a little narcotic action! I've been popping pills (anti-viral, anti-bitotic, and painkillers) like mad. I feel much better now! Amen for controlled substances!

Its only supposed to happen to older folks, I'm 31 - turns out 1/3 of all shingles cases hit folks under 50 years old. Man I know it may not compare to being shot or cancer, etc. But needless to say - my whole concept of pain changed quickly! All I knwo is if I ever see a blister like that pop up again, I'll be in teh doctors office getting Percocet (sp??) pills in a heartbeat!

Good news is the drugs are doing their thing and this shit's almost gone. But damn! What the hell else is gonna go wrong? :) I tempt Murphy cause he's an asshole :)

Oh well, back to my PHP coding.

User Journal

Journal Journal: I've waited this long....

Well, I've put off starting a journal. K5, and dedicated journal sites have been around, but since I spoend lots of time (too much probably) on /., I guess I'll start mine here now that /code 2.2 is running.

Will this be exciting? Probably not - my life has been pretty average. :) Though this year has been a bitch. So I figure I'll start my journal while at the bottom and see if I can work my way up - shoudl be more exciting or intersting for users to read!

So, lets see... Quit a 6 figure income job to start my own business. Business went bust late 2000. Started looking for work (Senior IT tech/mgmt with experieince in just about anything including Micro$oft clusters, Linux (run my own small ISP), the web (since NCSA days), lots of Perl and PHP experience. Can build a web server from teh ground up in my sleep. VPNs, IDS, you nam eit.

Well, its now going on 9 months with no job :( Sent out hundreds of cover letters. I'm stuck where I am (can't reloacte) due to family issues, but I'm in NC's Research Triangle Park. But everyone is laying off, not hiring.

Things are pretty tight. But I've had some spare time. A buddy and I revived an old Internet classic Keepers of Lists That has been lots of fun. I also developed a Webmin module for Snort that seems to be catching on (More info here

Current projects include a new Snort Rules database allowing user comments, profiles, custom rulesets, user submitte drules, etc. Should be ready in a month or so. A buddy and I are also working on a new Linux doc site which is database driven to allow massive customization for users, grabs docs directly from RPMs/packages. Backend of PostgreSQL will be new - I've only needed MySQL up to now.

So I've kept busy - just ain't makin money doing it!

So stick around - who knows what will happen. But I think I'll enjoy posting it here. I'm a geek at heart and am a total /. addict!


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