Java crash dumps contain lots of valuable information but one thing is missing: The versions of the libraries installed.
Currently, only Debian is supported.
Nice advertisement for unbreakable security glass on WIN! blog (Warning: Set your adblockers to “Armageddon”)
“7 Ways To Ruin A Technological Revolution” is a Google Tech Talk by James Boyle in which he shows honest and sincere ways to stifle technological progress. And unlike him, I’m not ironic. A lot of stifling happens because we deem some things too dangerous. His 7 ways are:
Some thoughts on #4 (after 0:18:00): Our society is built on sharing. Or did you pay back the $200’000 which your parents invested in raising you? Countless hours wasted playing with you as toddler which they could have spent at work instead. All the money spent on clothes that you didn’t want to wear anyway. The water polluted washing them which could have been used to grow food for more money.
“It’s commercial use if you get for free what you otherwise would have to pay for.” (0:20:16) If companies and IP policy makers had their say, you’d have to pay your girlfriend for a date just like for a prostitute. What else is date than a perfect business opportunity wasted because of “anti-capitalistic” hormones – or so some people seem to think. While we’re at it, let’s ask money for Christmas presents, too! Talk to a friend? It’s Cheap Friday, so it’s only $25 instead of $50/hr.
Such a view of the world ignores the benefits of these actions. When an author writes a new book, how much money goes back to the people who invented the written word? The printing press or the Internet? Who taught the author to write? Who sparked new ideas in his mind? So we have to be unjust somewhere but are we unjust in the right place?
Or maybe I’m wrong. At the end of his speech around 0:35:50 he says something interesting: “It is scary to me that the technologies that would enable the Google equivalent in the next technological cycle are being developed under the conditions that I have described. Because you would have to be an insane optimist to think that none of that is going to get screwed up by the processes that I described and I’m far from being an optimist.”
It’s interesting because we don’t know what will work and what will fail. Maybe this kind of resistance is necessary to separate good ideas from bad ones: Only a really good idea can overcome these obstacles. It has to be overwhelming enough to change the world. Since we can’t tell which idea should win, this might be the only way to weed the bad ones out.
Scary thought: Maybe superior technology like the Amiga didn’t change the world because it didn’t have what it takes – whatever that might be. All I can say from this point in time: We don’t have an Amiga on every desk, we have a PC on every desk. Steve Jobs knows his stuff but there is no Apple computer on every desk either. But there is an iPhone on (almost) every desk. Not a Windows phone. So the formula is Windows + PC == success, not Microsoft == success.
That said, not all is lost. I haven’t put my hands on an Amiga computer for more than a decade but I use the skills every day that I acquired with its beautiful OS. Amiga is dead, today’s hackers have Linux.
I think the good news is that the bad guys eventually fail because there is no limit to their greed. Eventually, they manage to upset even their most die hard supporters. Sony harassed Georg Hotz. Nothing happened. Sony lost 300 million customer records. The US government shows up to ask some serious questions. And the Zurich insurance refuses to cover the damages. Hm…
Would you like to see your name, address, birth date and email on a public bill board? On the main street? What if the bill board is behind a big sign “don’t read this”?
If that worries you, why do you give your data to web sites of big companies? Many of them, even the big ones, show very little interest in keeping your contact detains secure. Many sites are still vulnerable to cross site scripting or SQL injections.
If anyone puts your life or privacy at risk, they are liable – except when web sites are involved. Even if they violate common sense and even the most basic rules of security, the worst that can happen is that they have to apologize. Pollute some fish? To Jail! Lose 300 million customer records? Oops, sorry about that.
Paul Venezia asked an interesting question: Should companies be accountable for the security risks they take? He says:
In the United States, at least, very specific laws govern patient information and how it is stored, accessed, and disseminated. HIPAA regulations were put into place to ensure that sensitive patient information isn’t distributed to just anyone — that is, only to the people who need that information. They also prevent health care providers from discussing any type of patient information with anyone else. They were explicitly designed to protect patients, and each patient must sign a waiver to authorize the release of that information to another person or party. Yet we have no regulations on the storage, access, and dissemination of sensitive user information on public websites — none. Thus, there’s almost no business case for providing any form of high-level security for customer accounts.
Interesting thought. I have two comments:
1. Not individual developers should be liable but the company which runs the site. It should be in their best interest to keep their data secure.
2. Today, it’s too complex to create secure web sites. Yesterday, I used renderSnake to create some HTML. If you supply a string value for output, the default is not to escape HTML special characters like <, > and &.
Creating a login component for a web site is pretty complex business and there is a no reasonable tutorial or template component which you could use that gets most security issues right like:
I don’t like passwords for many reasons. In summary, they are a too simple solution for a complex problem.
My only concern so far is how sites will display my identity.
To use less drastic words: Power comes from a willingness to change the world. There are many ways to do it. Some are more violent than others. Some are easier to mend than others. Some are easier to master, some more efficient. Some won’t leave everyone a victim.
An interesting approach is “T2E – Talk To The Enemy“, a German site where people from all kinds of religions discuss various topics around a central theme: What’s necessary to live together in peace?
It covers basic questions: Why religions? Is the Islam misogynistic? How do you live religion? Religion and politics. Stereotypes. Isn’t Christianity out-dated? Islamic Missionaries – Should Europe convert to the Islam? Religious Terror. Minorities. Why do you hound us? Are Germans too tolerant? The secular society – who still believes in God? Muslims and Christians – Is co-existence possible?
What makes the site interesting is that its made by non-professionals, so the answers are still rough and you feel how they struggle with these complex questions. As we all do. You won’t find the slick, PR polished answers there which some types of people want you to submit to. It’s quite possible that it takes another 1’000 years or even more before we can ease these pains – if ever. But that doesn’t make these answers less real or less important. Quite the contrary.
Laws will not protect us against terrorism. Laws can only punish in retrospect – or they become the very terror they seek to prevent.
Understanding can’t protect you against a bullet. But it’s much harder to shoot someone with flowers in their hair. And your life will be much more enjoyable.