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Month: June 2016

Microsoft buys LinkedIn

Microsoft buys LinkedIn

LinkedIn Image (c) Asif Islam/Shutterstock//Microsoft Image (c) Pabkov/Shutterstock
LinkedIn Image (c) Asif Islam/Shutterstock//Microsoft Image (c) Pabkov/Shutterstock

$26B – about a 50% premium to LinkedIn’s market value.  Talk about a pre-emptive bid!  LinkedIn is basically the Facebook of the business world.   And now it will be the property of the default provider of mediocre software to the business world.  What could possibly go wrong?

I enjoyed this blog entry at PostLight about nine things MS could do with LinkedIn.  LinkedIn integrated with MineCraft?  Yes, please.  Two widely popular platforms for me not to be on!  Remember, I rage-quit LinkedIn in 2013.  Unfortunately, the more mundane and sensible options that Microsoft would appear to have now are also much more scary.

If MS forces me back into LinkedIn via my Outlook.com ID or something stupid like that, it will allow me finally to act on that little voice in my head that occasionally goes, “WHY the HELL do we have an Outlook.com ID, again?” 

via Kottke 

 

NAS or…?

NAS or…?

Technology dilemma of the day: how to increase network storage for 500+ incoming DVD images.  NAS?  Or just more disk on the existing server?  Or a new server?

External enclosures for up to 4 drives are pretty inexpensive.  I can attach one to my home Ubuntu server via an eSATA port.  But I think I will end up having to do software RAID for that.  Most of the enclosures I have seen do not get high marks from reviewers for their internal RAID abilities.  If they even have any.  Of course I can just use it as JBOD, but that really makes me nervous.  It’s not that the data will be irreplaceable: once ripped, the DVDs will be stored, not sold or donated.  I will honor the spirit of the copyright law.  It’s just that redoing it will be so damn much work.

QNAP
QNAP TS-451+

The alternatives are things like the QNAP TS-451, which will cost enough that it makes me wonder. should I just build another server?  But two servers for a residence of  two humans and two cats seems excessive.

Help! Say random things in the comments to nudge me in a direction that will get me to a solution.

How to Fix your Privacy Settings

How to Fix your Privacy Settings

Today I was confronted with yet another headline like this:

PSA: YOU NEED TO UPDATE YOUR FACEBOOK PRIVACY
SETTINGS AGAIN TO OPT OUT OF NEW TARGETED ADS

and I just shook my head.  Not because I am on Facebook; I am not and I hope never to be again.  But I know that some of you still are.  I wonder if you actually enjoy the six-times-a-year trips into the maze of “privacy” settings, only to discover that they have all somehow managed to reset themselves to the default and oh by the way nothing is where it used to be anymore and… doesn’t it just make you tired?  Facebook sure hopes it does, and they hope you will give up.

On that cheerful note, here is my best recommendation as an information security professional for how to fix your privacy settings.

  1. Get off Facebook.  Yes, I am quite serious.  If you are still on Facebook but you fret about your online privacy, you are no different from a person who whines about how they cannot run a marathon, but has not made the move from the couch to a 5K yet.  You are just un-serious.  If you’re worried about your name being squatted, deactivate your account instead of deleting it and then simply never log in again.  Your high-school reunion committee will get over it.
  2. Uninstall Flash.  Seriously, just get rid of this already.  Even Adobe realizes it will never have all its security issues fixed and is in the process of retiring it.  Not to mention, have you ever heard of the “supercookie” that flushing your browsing data doesn’t remove?  Flash is where those digital vermin live.  Don’t wait.  Enough of the web is already on HTML5 that you will be surprised how little you miss Flash.  It’s time to tear off the Band-Aid.  Here’s a great rundown of how to evict Flash from Chrome, Firefox, Safari, IE and Edge on Windows, Linux and OS X.  So make like a Nike customer and JUST DO IT.
  3. Block Ads.  This one gets a lot of push-back from seemingly fine, upstanding web sites whose business model is built on ad revenue.  The problem is, the flood of nickels and dimes pouring in from those advertisers seems to have blinded them to what was in those ads, which recently have included lots of malware downloads and malicious scripts.  I went into more detail about this not too long ago, and as of now I can tell you that my current favorite ad-blocker is uBlock Origin (not to be confused with ublock.org).

Not too difficult if you can get past the fact that you’ll have to keep up with 1,847 random people (42 of which you have actually met in person!) by other means.  Or not at all. It may not seem like it now, but it could actually make you happier!

Holder on Snowden

Holder on Snowden

Image: The Guardian
Image: The Guardian

So it seems former Attorney General Eric Holder let slip a truth about Ed Snowden.

We can certainly argue about the way in which Snowden did what he did, but I think that he actually performed a public service by raising the debate that we engaged in and by the changes that we made … Now, I would say that doing what he did – and the way he did it – was inappropriate and illegal.

[emphasis added]

“Illegal” is pretty straightforward.  I doubt even Snowden himself disputes it.  “Inappropriate” is more up for debate.  If you read this article about the miserable nonexistent record of practical benefit to whistle-blowers from whistle-blower protection statutes, it might make a little more sense to you why Snowden handled the information the way he did.