Package management.

No, this is not a post about undergarments, it is about the underpinnings of one remarkable Linux distribution. Debian is remarkable for a number of reasons but all are second to it’s policy regarding software packaging. Debian’s package management stands alone in the Linux world. Many people will argue that fact, they will be wrong. You may have heard the “apt” vs. “yum” type of debate, those are irrelevant. What matters is not the installation tool set but the quality of the package being installed. This is where the “Debian Policy” comes in and trounces the alternatives. Martin Krafft in his book The Debian System: Concepts and Techniques does a wonderful job of highlighting the virtues of the policy. I highly recommend the reading of the book (the second edition seems imminent) and a skimming of the policy itself.

If you’re more interested in undergarments you can look here or here.

Ice cream and evil can not go together. Can they?

More on the “big red button”.

I posted about this back in July after it had been in the news. Well it is still in the news and it looks like were gonna loose more of our freedoms. At this point I can only find fault in ourselves for not exercising our rights diligently. After all, if we don’t use it, we loose it.

Paul Joseph Watson of Prison Planet writes in this article:

The Senate is attempting to sneak through the infamous Internet kill switch cybersecurity bill by attaching it to another piece of legislation that is almost guaranteed to pass – the defense authorization bill – in an underhanded ploy to avoid the difficult task of passing cybersecurity on its own.

In the article, Joseph references another article from in which Sen. Thomas Carper, D-Del states:

It’s hard to get a measure like cybersecurity legislation passed on its own

What I know is this stinks and I don’t like it one bit. I’m pretty sure that after guns, at the top of the list of things that threaten freedom hating subsidiaries of authoritarianism and despots alike is the unbreakable ability of people to communicate and organize.

If you’re reading the news lately you may also be troubled by the numerous ways we are quickly loosing our freedom. Just from the last few days…

Covert random scanning
Surveillance cameras are watching you

Sad and frustrating.

Two Triumphs.

Theo and I went for a ride to the usual places a short while back and he had his camera with him. We tried to get creative. I like the color saturation on this one:

Ortley Beach

We encountered a social bird when we went to the pier to do some crabbing. She looks like a sweet bird.

Vocabulary for the week.

You’ll have to look up the definitions yourself this time.

  • Cromulent
  • Periodicity
  • Militate
  • Hyperbole
  • Agog
  • Existential
  • Euphonious
  • Geotropism
  • Phototropism
  • Tamber
  • Sesquipedalian

CCS race results for July

Here are my results for the CCS races in July at Thunderbolt. This weekend was exceptionally hot, so much so that I contemplated quitting during the 25 minute GTO race but just as I was about to give up we got the white flag, I took 6th in that one. Track temperatures reached 140° which made for greasy conditions. I think 3 of the 4 races I ran were red-flagged requiring a restart. We ended Sunday early with a world class thunderstorm. We got soaked which was actually refreshing after all the heat. It’s not fun trying to sleep in a tent when its almost 90° at 8PM. The next round is in September.

Home away from home.

Another reason for open source.

It seems Dell shipped some malware infected systems. Interesting but not unheard of is that the malware was at the BIOS level rather than in the OS. The article mentions:

But the threat of hardware Trojans has been recognised at the highest levels. The Pentagon is spending millions on research designed to ensure it can trust the microchips in critical systems, especially those made outside the US.

It seems to me that open source BIOS is a perfect cure to this concern. See OpenBIOS and Coreboot. Isn’t it crazy to “spend millions” to protect yourself against code that you will never see? Wouldn’t it be easier to invest in open BIOS/firmware code and simply run a diff on it prior to making systems live? I’m no code guru and even I could verify certified code in like ten seconds, and that would cost like…. nothing. Diff is free (AIF) too.

Scheduled to hit 1000+ mph in 2012

A moto first for me.

This unfortunate equipment failure occurred yesterday at the track. I have never seen an exhaust can burn up like this. I apologize to my fellow riders who had to endure the apparently hideous odor it produced.