Jul 07, 2014 GMTI have a friend who needs a little help...he needs access to four of the twelve volumes of the ISO/IEC documents describing ISO SQL and SQL/PSM. These documents (ISO/IEC 9075:X:2011 where “X” equals 1-4) describe the implementation standards which he needs for the general compiler suite that he is writing. These documents cost about 500 US dollars each, and as a university student he does not have that type of money. He reached out to me in hopes I knew of someone who would have these documents. I tried one or two companies and came up with nothing, now I am reaching out to you.Normally these documents would be used by large companies, for which the purchasing money would be...
Paw Prints: Writings of the maddog
Jul 07, 2014 GMTAs I write this I am also copying a talk given in February of 1996 at Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) about the port of Linux to DEC's Alpha AXP processor.It is interesting to hear Linus Torvalds and other people talking about spending three thousand dollars (or more) to buy a “high-end” PC, and to have that PC consist of a 32-bit address machine with eight megabytes of main memory, two or three gigabytes of storage on a hard drive and disk transfer rates of two megabytes per second.Linus talks about the “Big Kernel Lock” and how this issue was not too important since Linux was aimed toward “low end systems” and most of those systems did not have multiple CPUs per board...
Jun 20, 2014 GMTJune 19th, 2014 was the thirtieth anniversary of the announcement of the X Window System. Whether you hate it or love it, the X Window System has been a long-lasting contribution to the computing marketplace.By the time I first saw the X Window System, Project Athena (a project sponsored by Digital Equipment Corporation, MIT and IBM) brought it a long way. MIT was developing version 10 of the system, and I was working as an Engineer at Digital for a group called Customer Services Systems Engineering (CSSE). Our group's job was to try to make our Unix products easier to maintain and use for the field people as well as the customers.It was a heady time in the Unix world. The Unix “wars”...
Apr 19, 2014 GMTThe events of the past couple of weeks with the bug in OpenSSL exposing many websites and other communications are indeed unfortunate. Not only has it caused a lot of extra work and expense for those who have Internet servers to have to update code and replace certificates, but it has caused many end users to spend time doing what they avoid doing, update their passwords. Forcing end users to update their passwords is both bad and good news, which I will discuss later.However, the OpenSSL bug has also generated an abundance of articles and TV reports about the validity of Open Source code and (once again) questions of whether or not Open Source is more secure or less secure, higher...
Mar 19, 2014 GMTIf you are a university computer science or computer engineering student and you are looking for a way to make some extra money while getting some great work experience, read on!Google's Summer of Code (or SoC for short) is a program that aligns university student programmers with a Free and Open Source project and a mentor and allows the student to work on a real project and earn “real money” (5500 US dollars) while getting advice from a real mentor. This work, most people agree, is better than having a student working the same hours and flipping hamburgers to make money, and many of these projects would look very good on a graduating student's resume.Linaro is an association of...
Mar 17, 2014 GMTDear President Rousseff,You may remember that I wrote to you last October and gently scolded you for not listening to me over the past eighteen years and moving your country to software and hardware freedom, helping to ensure the security and privacy that I know you want your citizens and government to enjoy.In that article I even invited you to have some of your people talk with me and I was willing to offer advice to you on this topic for gratis, but alas, no official came to talk with me about the issues.Since last October I have seen that you had one of your people start to design a secure email system, one that my government would find harder to break, and that you are thinking about...
Jan 12, 2014 GMTRecently the Affordable Care Act (ACA, otherwise known as “Obamacare”) has dominated the news of the United States. Whether you are for it or against it makes no difference to this blog post, but there are a lot of similarities between health insurance, car insurance and computer system warranties that make it interesting to compare them.In the United States a “warranty” is a legal promise that tells a consumer what they might expect if a particular product does not perform the way it is represented to work.New automobiles, for instance, may come with a warranty that tells the customer that certain parts will be replaced in a certain period of time, and whether it is just the cost...
Should you trust an online service to store your online passwords?
New B+ board lets you build cool things without the complication of a powered USB hub.
Redmond rushes in to root out alleged malware haven.
New initiative will bring futuristic virtual reality effects to the web surfing experience.
Dyreza malware launches a man-in-the-middle attack that compromises SSL.
New cloud combines worldwide access with local attention to data security.
A first cousin of the recent Heartbleed attack affects EAP-based wireless and peer-to-peer authentication.
FOSS community acts to protect freedom of choice for laptop devices.
Quintessential open source browser shores up its market share with a step toward the proprietary dark side.
Authorities in 16 countries take action against users of the imfamous BlackShades malware tool.