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Torvalds: No Opinion On Systemd

emil Linux? Secure? Towelroot? (379 comments)

I am sure that, if you have a talk about Linux security with Samsung/HTC/LG... you will hear some unprintable commentary on Linux security.

To a great extent, it's correct. While a lot of phones have been broken wide open, the same flaw can be used by a hostile app to own your phone (to say nothing of what could be done to a vulnerable enterprise system).

4 days ago

Torvalds: No Opinion On Systemd

emil systemd is objectionable because: (379 comments)

  • - UNIX admins have been able to ply their trade for the last 40-odd years with a stable set of userland utilities, which systemd consigns to the trash heap.
  • - systemd has removed the old userland (init, inetd) without providing good documentation and examples for doing the old things with the new tools (seriously, the top systemd-inetd example uses ssh, which nobody does - how about ftp or pop3?).

It seems that there are lots of new capabilities with systemd, but it has come to market with lousy documentation. The purveyors are receiving a thorough flogging at the hands of the greybeards, which they richly deserve.

4 days ago

UK's National Health Service Moves To NoSQL Running On an Open-Source Stack

emil If you run a hospital, you are killing people. (198 comments)

Medical mistakes kill nearly 100k people a year in the US, and you think removing ACID from your data store is beneficial? Where do you work - I want to know what to avoid. mistaken fatalities

about two weeks ago

Limiting the Teaching of the Scientific Process In Ohio

emil "What's coming out of our high schools." (528 comments)

Recent comments by Alan Greenspan paint a dire picture of primary education in the United States:

"We cannot manage our very complex, highly sophisticated capital structure with what's coming out of our high schools."

"If we're not going to educate our kids, bring in other people who want to become Americans."

Under such dire circumstances and an existential threat, now is not the time for bias.

about three weeks ago

Why the Universe Didn't Become a Black Hole

emil If we're poking holes in the accepted dogma... (109 comments)

...then how about this one?

One mystery which has not been solved as of 2009 is the absence of red dwarfs with no metals. (In astronomy, a metal is any element heavier than hydrogen or helium.) The Big Bang model predicts the first generation of stars should have only hydrogen, helium, and trace amounts of lithium. If such stars included red dwarfs, they should still be observable today, but none have yet been identified. The preferred explanation is that without heavy elements only large and not yet observed population III stars can form, and these rapidly burn out, leaving heavy elements which then allow for the formation of red dwarfs. Alternative explanations, such as the idea that zero-metal red dwarfs are dim and could be few in number, are considered much less likely as they seem to conflict with stellar evolution models.

about a month ago

Xiaomi Arrives As Top Smartphone Seller In China

emil Death of a thousand cuts. (82 comments)

MIUI costs less to develop than iOS. Why? MIUI is open and accepts 3rd party contributions, while iOS does not (in the places that count).

How long can a business lose market share with a more expensive product? We should ask Microsoft.

about a month and a half ago

Ask Slashdot: Preparing an Android Tablet For Resale?

emil Re: It has 2GB internal memory. (113 comments)

Is Volume-Down--Power the universal Android boot to firmware/bootloader? It has been on everything I've ever used. Can the original poster get to the bootloader or fastboot?

about 2 months ago

Verizon's Accidental Mea Culpa

emil Level 3 - start pulling cards (390 comments)

Find locations where you will hurt Verizon customers, and cut the cables. Do so publicly. Precondition repair on upgrades of Verizon's network as you direct. If Verizon doesn't want network neutrality, then punish their customers.

about 2 months ago

Avast Buys 20 Used Phones, Recovers 40,000 Deleted Photos

emil GNU shred on the device file. (231 comments)

Although the factory reset option hands the request off to the recovery partition after a reboot, so clockworkmod or the equivalent would be responsible for making this happen.

about 2 months ago

Avast Buys 20 Used Phones, Recovers 40,000 Deleted Photos

emil Google is playing a very dangerous game. (231 comments)

If Google is suddenly perceived as untrustworthy, there will be great market pressure for Android without Play, or any other Google products. For Google's balance sheet, I hope they have not been foolish.

about 2 months ago

Avast Buys 20 Used Phones, Recovers 40,000 Deleted Photos

emil Android already does? (231 comments)

  • Settings / Security / Encrypt Phone - I've never used it, but I am assuming it encrypts everything under /data.
  • I understand that a format of /data is what happens behind the factory reset option. Using GNU shred on the device file for this filesystem might prevent any recovery.

about 2 months ago

Qualcomm Takes Down 100+ GitHub Repositories With DMCA Notice

emil A tale of two phones. (349 comments)

Here is my phone. Notice that it has been dumped, it has 768mb of ram, and a 1ghz CPU.

Compare that to the Samsung Fascinate, a very similar phone that is still supported despite having less ram.

What you can see is a developer bias: Qualcomm technology is (already) preferentially terminated.

For myself, I need to start buying Samsung, and I need to make sure that it has as little Qualcomm technology in it as possible.

about 3 months ago

Qualcomm Takes Down 100+ GitHub Repositories With DMCA Notice

emil Dump MORE Snapdragon? (349 comments)

Does Cyanogenmod need even more encouragement to dump Qualcomm processors? Odd that the Nook Color is still supported, when many faster Qualcomm chips have been shown the door.

I already have to run an unofficial release of Cyanogenmod on my vivow. Now what is the likelyhood that I'm going to get a Towelroot patch when you are nuking the source repositories?

I still won't buy Motorola products because of their past behavior. Am I about to add Qualcomm to that list?

about 3 months ago

Big Telecom: Terms Set For Sprint To Buy T-Mobile For $32B

emil Umm no (158 comments)

The combined T-Sprint will have to maintain both CDMA and GSM networks for some time. I hope that the tower hardware costs have dropped and dual CDMA/GSM hardware is available. I bet there will also be significant frequency waste.

Both carriers are dragging along a wagonload of MVNOs, so customers of several other companies will see migration impacts.

Verizon is dumping CDMA for their own customers, but keeping it for the MVNOs. This will become more problematic, as Android is dropping support for CDMA, so everything on the Sprint side is going to get a bad case of bitrot.

about 4 months ago

Apple Says Many Users 'Bought an Android Phone By Mistake'

emil Consider Swype (711 comments)

Because a Cyanogenmod user was able to monitor this application, it was discovered that Swype was requesting location data several thousand times per day.

The vendor responded with a reasonable explanation.

In any case, if you run an Apple device, you will never know if your vendor begins doing such things, either for innocuous reasons, or otherwise.

p.s. You can now buy phones loaded with Cyanogenmod as the native OS.

about 4 months ago

Red Dwarfs Could Sterilize Alien Worlds of Life

emil Except... (76 comments)

...that such a planet would likely be tidally locked, with one side always facing the star. There would be extreme differences of temperature between the night and day sides, and life might only be sustainable in the never-moving twilight region, depending upon atmosphere convection.

about 4 months ago

Apple Says Many Users 'Bought an Android Phone By Mistake'

emil Android phones are also more secure. (711 comments)

And this conclusion has been peer reviewed. With Cyanogenmod, you even get a line-item veto (privacy guard).

Malicious software has appeared in the iTunes store. Android, in contrast, displays everything that an application will need to access so that users can decide themselves whether to go ahead with an installation.

To compare these two security models, Han and co-workers identified 1,300 popular applications that work identically on both iOS and Android. These applications, such as Facebook, often access code libraries on smartphones called security-sensitive application programing interfaces (SS-APIs), which provide private user data or grant control over devices such as the camera.

The researchers found that 73% of iOS applications, especially advertising and analytical code, consistently accessed more SS-APIs than their counterparts on Android. Additionally, the SS-APIs invoked by iOS tended to be those providing access to sensitive resources such as user contacts.

The results imply that by allowing users to control permissions, Android may be better at preventing stealthy applications from getting hold of private information. Notably, Android also intentionally avoids using SS-APIs if non-security-sensitive APIs can be used to achieve the same functions.

about 4 months ago



Obama Protects Whistleblowers?

emil emil writes  |  about a year ago

emil (695) writes "It appears that Obama's webmasters have been busy removing his platform documents and campaign promises. The following text has been deleted:

Protect Whistleblowers: Often the best source of information about waste, fraud, and abuse in government is an existing government employee committed to public integrity and willing to speak out. Such acts of courage and patriotism, which can sometimes save lives and often save taxpayer dollars, should be encouraged rather than stifled. We need to empower federal employees as watchdogs of wrongdoing and partners in performance. Barack Obama will strengthen whistleblower laws to protect federal workers who expose waste, fraud, and abuse of authority in government. Obama will ensure that federal agencies expedite the process for reviewing whistleblower claims and whistleblowers have full access to courts and due process.

He promises not to kill them anyway."


Oracle Linux 32-bit: Unsafe at any speed

emil emil writes  |  about a year and a half ago

emil (695) writes "Oracle Linux presents a compelling OS: performance-focused, timely, easily dis/enabled support, free/cheaper than RedHat. Central is the UEK, a hot-rod kernel used by Oracle for benchmarking, installed as GRUB's default. But Oracle does not mention the COMPLETE LACK OF SUPPORT for the 32-bit version — so when the 32-bit UEK has left a smoking hole in your filesystem beyond all hope of fsck, support's response will be "too bad, thanks for playing!"
Bottom line: install at your own risk, and purge the 32-bit UEK for stability."

Operation Last Resort-Anonymous takes revenge for Swartz

emil emil writes  |  about a year and a half ago

emil writes "Late evening Friday, January 25, U.S. Sentencing Commission website ( was hacked and encryped government files distributed by Anonymous, which threatens to release decryption passwords should the government not comply with demands for legal reforms. Anonymous cited the recent suicide of hacktivist Aaron Swartz as a "line that has been crossed" in the retaliatory defacement. Anonymous has not specified exactly what files they have obtained. The various files were named after Supreme Court judges. At a regular interval commencing today, Anonymous will choose one media outlet and supply them with heavily redacted partial contents. Anonymous called the launch of it new campaign a "warhead."!"

Link to Original Source

Climategate Whitewash?

emil emil writes  |  more than 3 years ago

emil (695) writes "There appears to be some rumor or preliminary indication that the researchers behind Climategate have not been entirely vindicated, based on an interview with PSU's Eugene Wahl:

'The key point is that the Penn State investigators never interviewed a principal who was able to confirm or deny a key charge against “Hockey Stick” lead author of “Hide the Decline” infamy Michael Mann. This individual has now been interviewed, and what he told federal investigators has indicted Mann and Penn State.

The inspector general’s report specifically reveals Penn State’s wagon-circlers to have been at best comically negligent/inept in allowing Mann to not answer the damning charge they were tasked with examining: did he delete or ask others to delete records? At worst, they were complicit in the cover-up.'"

Link to Original Source

emil emil writes  |  more than 7 years ago

emil (695) writes "Theo de Raadt has leveled harsh criticism at Red Hat for supporting closed hardware & drivers on the One Laptop per Child (OLPC) project. Red Hat, not content with the negative publicity of their continued used of SSH without contributing one dime of support to OpenBSD, has now made a dark deal with Marvel Technology to ship an ugly, obfuscated driver. Let's hear it for Red Hat."


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