March 11th, 2014
Whoopsie! A big security hole has been discovered in a Linux package. It goes to show that Linux is not immune to flaws. The difference is that with Linux anyone can audit the code. This didn’t seem to happen with GnuTLS because apparently the code was really a mess.
Hundreds of open source packages, including the Red Hat, Ubuntu, and Debian distributions of Linux, are susceptible to attacks that circumvent the most widely used technology to prevent eavesdropping on the Internet, thanks to an extremely critical vulnerability in a widely used cryptographic code library.
The bug in the GnuTLS library makes it trivial for attackers to bypass secure sockets layer SSL and Transport Layer Security TLS protections available on websites that depend on the open source package. Initial estimates included in Internet discussions such as this one indicate that more than 200 different operating systems or applications rely on GnuTLS to implement crucial SSL and TLS operations, but it wouldn’t be surprising if the actual number is much higher. Web applications, e-mail programs, and other code that use the library are vulnerable to exploits that allow attackers monitoring connections to silently decode encrypted traffic passing between end users and servers.
via Critical crypto bug leaves Linux, hundreds of apps open to eavesdropping | Ars Technica.
March 10th, 2014
How can a jet disappear? Good question. Aircraft flying at altitude just don’t vanish without a trace. If a plane breaks up at altitude it will leave a debris field miles long, easily visible to search and rescue teams. If the plane nosedives into the water then there might not be much visible evidence. However, the seas where MH370 supposedly went down are a shallow 200 feet. This is well within diver depths and wreckage should be easy to locate if not by visuals then certainly by sonar.
The article compares this crash to the Air France 447 crash of 2009 as a way of showing how long it might take to find a crashed plane. This is not an apt comparison as Air France 447 went down in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean in waters up to 15,000 feet deep and far away from shipping lanes (and even flight paths). The MH370 allegedly went down in shallow water near ome of the world’s busiest shipping lanes.
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — In an age when people assume that any bit of information is just a click away, the thought that a jetliner could simply disappear over the ocean for more than two days is staggering. But Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 is hardly the first reminder of how big the seas are, and of how agonizing it can be to try to find something lost in them.
It took two years to find the main wreckage of an Air France jet that plunged into the Atlantic Ocean in 2009. Closer to the area between Malaysia and Vietnam where Saturday’s flight vanished, it took a week for debris from an Indonesian jet to be spotted in 2007. Today, the mostly intact fuselage still sits on the bottom of the ocean.
"The world is a big place," said Michael Smart, professor of aerospace engineering at the University of Queensland in Australia. "If it happens to come down in the middle of the ocean and it’s not near a shipping lane or something, who knows how long it could take them to find?"
via How can jet disappear? In the ocean, it's not hard :: WRAL.com.
March 10th, 2014
Russia has occupied the Ukrainian province of Crimea for over two weeks now. So far nothing’s seemingly able to stop Putin from taking over the whole country. Certainly the war-weary U.S. is not up for taking on yet another armed conflict, and the Ukrainian military is barely holding out.
As the sun soared over my head this afternoon, I realized the one thing that could pull the plug on Putin’s military adventures: the spread of renewable energy. Russia’s military, while formidable in comparison to Ukraine’s, is not Russia’s real strength. Russia’s real strength is the country’s economic might. As the largest supplier of oil and natural gas to Europe [PDF], Putin knows he can get away with just about anything. All it takes is for Putin to merely threaten to withhold these energy sales and the European Union will cave.
Don’t believe me? How else can you explain why a secret briefing document spotted in the hands of an advisor on the way into #10 Downing Street states that the UK will oppose economic sanctions on Russia for it’s Ukraine escapades? Not only are we not talking about a military response but even something as tame as economic sanctions are off the table.
But one thing can shift the advantage to the EU: renewable energy. If the EU invests in solar, wind, and hydro energy it could make natural gas an afterthought and sap Russia of much-needed funds. Renewable energy shifts power from giant energy companies like Gazprom to local control.
Energy independence is what keeps Vladimir Putin up at night because the energy card is really the only card he has to play.
March 9th, 2014
As part of one job recruiter’s vetting of me as a candidate, I was asked to take an online assessment of my Linux skills. I spent about 30 minutes completing this test, which turned out to be a bit more challenging than I expected. Nevertheless, my score was quite impressive, with a 4.28 out of 4.50 putting me up in the advanced category. My Linux-fu puts me in the 100th percentile for global population and 98th percentile for the company population.
The recruiters I’ve spoken with have all mentioned how in-demand people with Linux skills are. It’s good to know I’ve got skills that employers are looking for.
March 7th, 2014
I learned recently that I have been nominated for a Friday Fellowship, a two year program with the mission (as the website says) “to cultivate a network of courageous leaders who connect across differences in identity and ideas to develop new solutions to the complex challenges facing the peoples and communities of North Carolina.” It is truly an honor to have been nominated for this prestigious leadership program and I hope I make it through the selection process, but there’s no guarantee. As a white guy I don’t offer much in the way of diversity, though I am certainly willing and able to challenge others’ points of view, no matter the background. In other words, I like to argue for arguments’ sake!
Should I make the cut I’ll be attending six four-day seminars over the span of two years, held at various locations around the state. My worldview will be challenged and I will also challenge those of others. I will be a better leader when I come out the other end.
Frankly, it sounds like an absolute blast and I’m really excited about the possibilities. I’m a long way from there, though, and quite a few hoops to jump through and tickets to be punched stand in the way. I’ll keep my MT.Net reader posted as things progress.
March 7th, 2014
The N&O writes about Little Raleigh Radio.
RALEIGH — When Little Raleigh Radio’s on-air sign glowed red for the first time a few weeks ago, station founders Kelly Reid and Jacob Downey knew they had made it.After years of planning, they had officially launched a community radio station.“People got to listen, which is one of the most exciting moments we’ve had,” said Reid, who, like Downey, was once a disc jockey at N.C. State’s WKNC 88.1 FM.The station’s mission is to offer music and news programs produced by locals for the Raleigh community. Already, listeners can tune in to shows featuring everything from heavy metal and contemporary classical to museum exhibits and beer.For now, the station is streaming online from a studio off St. Marys Street, but Reid and Downey hope to secure a home on the FM dial – 106.5 – as well.
via RALEIGH: Little Raleigh Radio goes live with online broadcast | Local/State | NewsObserver.com.
March 5th, 2014
Wow. Just wow. CIA spying on the Senate Intelligence Committee that provides oversight for it. Outrageous. I’m amazed that no one at CIA seemed to consider that at the very least this was a Phenomenally Bad Idea.
While at times, it’s appeared that the Senate Intelligence Committee, led by Dianne Feinstein, serves more to prop up the intelligence community than to handle oversight, it has actually clashed quite a bit with the CIA. We’ve discussed a few times how the Committee has been pushing to release a supposedly devastating 6,000 page report about the CIA’s torture program, which cost taxpayers an equally astounding $40 million to produce. However, the CIA has been fighting hard to block the release of the report, arguing that it misrepresents the CIA’s actions.
However, things are getting even more bizarre, as the NY Times is reporting that the CIA is now accused of spying on the Intelligence Committee and its staffers in its attempt to keep that report from being released.
via CIA Accused Of Spying On Senate Intelligence Committee Staffers | Techdirt.
Update: Here’s the McClatchy story.
March 5th, 2014
Indy Week ran another great story on Little Raleigh Radio, this one focusing on the programming we’ve been “airing” during our preview phase. It feels great to know that people are paying attention!
For nearly five years, Kelly Reid and Jacob Downey had dreamed of and planned for what happened at 4 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 17.Tucked away in a small studio off of St. Mary’s Street, the pair finally took Little Raleigh Radio—their brainchild of a station dedicated to local news, music and interests—online.
via Now that Little Raleigh Radio is on the online air, what can you actually hear? | Music Feature | Indy Week.
March 4th, 2014
Somehow I managed to become a hero to Carrboro’s single ladies today.
It all began when I got a friend request from a Facebook user called “Caravan to Carrboro.” Curious to learn what this “caravan” was all about, I visited their page and viewed a number of posts about men, specifically the lack of good men in Carrboro for ladies aged 35 and older. This post on the Caravan to Carrboro website sums it up:
Women of Carrboro: Let’s bring new men to town!!! Are you between the ages of 35-55 or close? Are you single or divorced? Are you interested in men but tired of recycling the same old guys in Carrboro? Would you like to go out with somebody fresh and interesting and interested in you? Well let’s bring them to town. How? With the Caravan to Carrboro. The Caravan will bring men from OUT OF TOWN, close and far, to meet you at a designated Carrboro event in the Spring of 2014. But we need to know how many you are and what you’re looking for so we can bring the right kind of gentlemen to you. Do you think this is a crazy idea? Well it’s not. If you’re interested in joining the Caravan please let us know by clicking on the poll.
Now, I wasn’t aware there was a man shortage in Carrboro until today and I am happily married, but they seem like nice ladies so I reached out to see if I could help. I soon got a response, asking if I could spread the word about their plight.
I’m not the kind of guy who can ignore damsels in distress so I contacted Indy Week and they’re going to do a story. That’s what makes me a hero. I just hope this all leads to a correction of this terrible gender imbalance in Carrboro. We’ll see!
March 4th, 2014
Just when I thought my luck couldn’t get any better, the same widely respected fake criminal money mule staffing agency sent me ANOTHER dream job. This one is very similar to the last one, only it’s for a first-class specialty household goods company rather than a first-class specialty logistics company.
Oh, golly gee whiz, I can’t believe my good fortune!!!1!!11!
From: TRS Staffing Solutions SusanneBilsonit@aol.com
Subject: New Job – Up to $78,000 + 0251476655
To: Mark Turner
A first-class specialty household goods company that is well represented in more than 10 countries throughout Europe, is employing a full and part time employees to assist their growing well-capitalized team in the U.S..
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