20 Years ago a Revolution was born

Newsgroups: comp.os.minix
From: torvalds@klaava.Helsinki.FI (Linus Benedict Torvalds)
Date: 25 Aug 91 20:57:08 GMT
Subject: What would you like to see most in minix?


Hello everybody out there using minix -

I'm doing a (free) operating system (just a hobby, won't be big and
professional like gnu) for 386(486) AT clones.  This has been brewing
since april, and is starting to get ready.  I'd like any feedback on
things people like/dislike in minix, as my OS resembles it somewhat
(same physical layout of the file-system (due to practical reasons)
among other things).

I've currently ported bash(1.08) and gcc(1.40), and things seem to work.
This implies that I'll get something practical within a few months, and
I'd like to know what features most people would want.  Any suggestions
are welcome, but I won't promise I'll implement them 🙂

                Linus (torvalds@kruuna.helsinki.fi)

PS.  Yes - it's free of any minix code, and it has a multi-threaded fs.
It is NOT protable (uses 386 task switching etc), and it probably never
will support anything other than AT-harddisks, as that's all I have :-(.

Security Woes

Crackers are always on the lookout for new chances to access your accounts, either if you’re a private / regular internet user, or a multinational corporation like Sony who recently fell victim to several attacks affecting their flagship console, the PS3, and their Playstation Network.

It began when their PS3 private keys, that sign all data transactions and operations, got public. I won’t digress here, you can find a lot of info on Google, just look for GeoHot / Sony. The latest attack to the PSN has managed a downtime of a week by the time I’m writing this, and only today Sony has come forth with a press release on this issue, as well as a FAQ, saying that all their entire PSN user base got their data compromised, including Credit Card data.

I’m yet to believe that Sony hasn’t released the full extent of the information about the attack, so for now there are three crucial steps that PSN users should follow:

 

  • If you’re using the PSN password in any other service / account, change it. Change it everywhere. You are probably using the same email address you used on the compromised PSN account.
  • Change the password of the email address you used on your PSN account.
  • Change your credit card number, or cancel the card and get a new one. If you can’t do this, be on the lookout for strange credit card transactions and never, ever, release the confirmation code to anyone. Sony states that the cc confirmation code wasn’t stored on their database.

Read the FAQ, they have more info there, but follow these three steps and when the PSN is up again, change your password for something unique, not used on any other account / service and remove your credit card number from the account.

 

Still on Security

With the advent of social networking and connected services, we’ve witnessed a lot of centralized authentication methods. It’s now usual for us to access services that use other site’s accounts to authenticate, like “Login with Facebook” or “Authorize on Twitter”.

This can be very useful because you don’t have to memorize a ton of different passwords but, if you see your Facebook, Twitter or Google account compromised, all those services using “third-party” authentication will be compromised as well… so what to do?

 

  • Use strong passwords. Having a password like your birthday date is not secure. Having your pet name, girlfriend, mom, dad, favorite actor is not secure. Any dictionary word is not secure. Use random stuff with numbers, signs, uppercase and lower case, like “1M4ecur3!?”
  • Use a password manager like 1Password for Mac or Keepass Password Safe for PC. Not only you’ll have an encrypted and organized password safe, but these apps can also generate random passwords.
  • Use HTTPS always when possible. This will encrypt your traffic to these sites. Twitter, Google, Facebook, all of them have HTTPS options, you just have to go to your account settings and turn it on. Facebook can even warn you by email and SMS when other devices accesses your account. Google has a 2 Step Authorization process for your account, using verification codes and an app for your mobile device that works like a token, giving you real-time generated verification codes.
  • Don’t use free Wi-Fi. Sure, it’s cool to use a free hotspot, but you never know who’s listening. People using free Wi-Fi are exposed to virus and password sniffing. This can happen in your neighbors unprotected Wi-Fi or even your school’s network.
  • The usual crap: use a secure OS. Mac OS X and Linux are secure by nature. If you must use Windows, turn on the system’s firewall and get another one, as well as an AntiVirus. Be sure that they’re always updated.
  • Don’t trust your passwords to anyone.

Remember, even with all these precautions you’re never totally safe.

 

The Stolen Scream

The Stolen Scream: A Story About Noam Galai from FStoppers on Vimeo.

Via MuioMuio

Jetpack your WordPress

Jetpack is a new plugin for your WordPress (either .com or self hosted installations) from Automattic, that provides a cool set of features: Hovercards, Stats, After the Deadline, Twitter widget, shortcodes, shortlinks, easy Facebook/Twitter/WordPress sharing buttons and even LaTex.

More features will be available in the future.

You’ll need a WordPress.com account to have it working on your self hosted WordPress blog, but it’s free and you don’t even need to create a new blog.

Although most of these features are available as separate plugins from other developers, Jetpack consolidates all in one, consuming less memory (at least for me) and storing some of the data on the cloud.

Jetpack is available for free and can be downloaded here.

Look Ma, I’m on PlanetGeek

In case you didn’t noticed, I’m now part of the best portuguese Tech Blog community – Planetgeek.org

Hey guys, am I the last member of 2010 or the first one of 2011? 😉

My Mac Died…

… but it’s now back from the grave.

I have a Macbook Pro built in 2008. It was the last “Discrete” model made before the “Unibody” model. Although it’s a great machine, the graphics card was the cursed Nvidia Geforce 8600M GT. Basically, I hade a time bomb inside my Mac, and by Murphy’s law, it should detonate on the worse day possible. Well, it did blow up. On the morning of last monday (27/12) may Mac screen was all garbled up, full of artifacts and no image on my second monitor. Reboot, battery off, resets, nothing worked. Powered up my netbook and surfed the web to find out that the behavior was consistent with the nvidia problem.

A few friends recommended me to take the Mac to Tou Aqui Tou AĂ­, an Apple Certified Assistance Center in Lisbon, but since I work on the other side of the Tejo, I decided to ask for a pickup at my place. 15 minutes after I pressed the submit button on the form, I received a call from them, scheduling the pickup for the same day. The next day I had the diagnostic confirmed and the hope that I might still be getting my Mac back this year, depending on when they would get a new logic board from Holland.

Yesterday I had the confirmation, by phone, that my Mac was ready and on my way. Today I got my mac, at 10:00, looking like sparkling new (yes, they cleaned it 😀 ) and at zero cost. Even the pickup and delivery was free of charge.

This, ladies and gentlemen, is SERVICE. It’s how every company should work and treat it’s clients.

Obrigado Tou Aqui Tou AĂ­

Still on Squid integration with Active Directory

I wrote a post a few months ago explaining briefly how to integrate a Squid proxy with a Microsoft Windows Active Directory.

While with Windows XP and Vista the single sign on works flawlessly, with Windows 7 it needs a little tweak.

You’ll need to change your a GPO on your AD:

Computer configuration > Policies > Windows Settings > Security Settings > Local Policies > Security Options

Find “Network Security: LAN MANAGER Authentication Level”
Set it to “Send LM * NTLM – use NTLMv2 session security if negotiated”

This happens because Squid uses NTLMv2 after version 2.6 but it is Negotiated NTLMv2, rather than
straight NTLMv2 (dunno why). Windows 7 refuses to negotiate by default and accepts only NTLMv2.

You might come across with other issues in some apps like having to authenticate manually, Dropbox is one example but there may be others.

As usual, do this at your own risk!