Security is nothing without trust and respect

17. December, 2010

Little Brother” got me thinking. When the DHS tries to make the city more safe and secure, they just make it worse. Why?

Because they ignore one of the most fundamental principles without which society cannot work: Trust and respect.

That doesn’t mean you need to trust someone completely or respect them in every way. It means: Know how much you can and should trust someone. Then treat them politely, without second thoughts. Surprise: Our brains have been trained for the millions of years before we had speech to read body language. And we’re really good at it.

You don’t have to be nice to a terrorist, bow your head to them or grovel. Not at all. But just imaging how kicking you around, killing your family, relatives, friends, would make you feel.

Now, I imagine that terrorists aren’t exactly lenient or forgiving. So if you would become mad at such a treatment, what will they do? Go on a killing spree? Gee, I think that’s exactly what they do. How surprising.

Which puts us into a delicate position. We can only be safe when we start treating everyone else on the planet with respect. Respect can mean to drive your car for another year, even if it sucks. Or to sell it to someone poor way under price because they deserve it — just as a human. It doesn’t mean we should all convert to the Islam or anything.

It just means that: Show some basic respect (as in polite).

It probably doesn’t mean to go to a poor country, “help” them fight against terrorism and then “suddenly” discover that there are billions of dollars buried in the ground. These people might not have spent a lot of time in school, but they spend an awful lot of time haggling at the bazaar. They see you lie.

Imagine if all the terrorists in the world believed that there were better ways to make them as happy as us. Wouldn’t that be better than strip searches at airports, constant fear of an attack, ever more complicated and even debasing security laws? What’s security without respect?

If we were 100% secure, no one could go anywhere (they might be infected), talk to anyone (they might spill secrets), do anything (they might make mistakes). In computer sciences, you learn early that a secure computer is one which is switched off, without any data or use. Secure but useless.

That’s why security measurements in companies work out so badly: If they were really enforced, the company couldn’t do business anymore. So you have to trust your workers. You have to treat them with respect or else you get the very problems that your dream of “security” pretended to solve.

Open source drivers for Kinect

17. December, 2010

There is now an official release for Kinect drivers for Linux (Kinect is a 3D controller for the Xbox).

I wonder when we’ll see a plugin for 3D modeling in Blender. Imagine: Shoving and pulling surfaces with your bare hands, digging ditches with your fingers, punching holes with your fist.

Oracle sells OpenOffice 3.3

17. December, 2010

Image via Wikipedia

Wanna buy OO? Oracle gets in line with all the rip-offs who sell you open source software and, as a special bonus, it sells you a crippled version: For home users, you get a copy that supports just one language, one OS, no SDK, no MySQL connector. Oh, there is forum based support!

In which way is that better than the download from which I get with more features and for free?

Well, there isn’t a release on the project’s official website. I guess Oracle redefined the meaning of open source software: It’s just the source, now. Use your own compiler.

LibreOffice, here I come. They also don’t have a release but at least I feel that they’re honest and show some basic respect.