Sunday, September 29, 2013

Linux shell, cheat sheet

Monday, September 23, 2013

Platform Connectors

5. Platform Connectors

Automation is the future of convenience. Fortunately, the devices and tools that we depend on are continually getting smarter and more connected. As more of these tools openly provide access to their data through methods like application programming interfaces (APIs), increasing levels of automation can be accomplished that can save us minutes, and in some cases hours, each day.

Using tools like IFTTT, Zapier and others, I can automate many of my daily personal and professional tasks. From automatically posting a 'Happy Birthday' message to my Facebook friend on their birthday to automatically adding contacts to my CRM when I receive an email from a potential client, I can streamline many of the tasks that require my incremental attention.

This becomes increasingly interesting when you consider the tens of dozens of websites, social tools and hardwares that are supported by these platforms. Things like automatically turning the house lights on or off at a certain time to things like automatically copying photos from Facebook to Dropbox, the concept of streamlined automation can get exciting.

For clarification, I consider this a significant innovation because many of the tools and platforms we use have historically had their data in a silo, preventing certain degrees of automation. Now, with platforms being able to communicate with one another, there is an opportunity to take our technology to the next level by letting the automation do the heavy lifting of the small day-to-day duties. The larger opportunities are truly endless and unrealized.

So how does your list compare?

As stated previously, this list is in no particular order and consists of things derived from my interests and areas that I'm familiar with. Only time will dictate how these things will truly pan out. Part of the reason that envelope-pushing innovations haven't become wildly known is because some are still being hacked on and tweaked within the proverbial garages of todays smartest people. Entrepreneur and angel investor Chris Dixon wrote about this paradigm as well, citing that activities that begin as tinkering and hobbies often take ten or more years to become practical utilities for normal people.

Sent from my iPad

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Unlocking Phones Again, With Help From the White House - Businessweek

New Operating System Seeks To Replace Linux In the Cloud

New Operating System Seeks To Replace Linux In the Cloud

Posted by Soulskill  
from the chasing-the-penguins-out-of-the-sky dept.
New submitter urdak writes"At CloudOpen in New Orleans, KVM veterans Avi Kivity and Dor Laorrevealed their latest venture, a new open-source (BSD license) operating system named OSv. OSv can run existing Linux programs and runtime environments such as a JVM, but unlike Linux, OSv was designed from the ground up to run efficiently on virtual machines. For example, OSv avoids the traditional (but slow) userspace-kernel isolation, as on the cloud VMs normally run a single application. OSv is also much smaller than Linux, and breaks away from tradition by being written in C++11 (the language choice is explained in in this post)."

Saturday, September 07, 2013

The US government has betrayed the internet. We need to take it back

The US government has betrayed the internet. We need to take it back

The NSA has undermined a fundamental social contract. We engineers built the internet – and now we have to fix it

• Explaining the latest NSA revelations – Q&A

Government and industry have betrayed the internet, and us.

By subverting the internet at every level to make it a vast, multi-layered and robust surveillance platform, the NSA has undermined a fundamental social contract. The companies that build and manage our internet infrastructure, the companies that create and sell us our hardware and software, or the companies that host our data: we can no longer trust them to be ethical internet stewards.

This is not the internet the world needs, or the internet its creators envisioned. We need to take it back.

And by we, I mean the engineering community.

Yes, this is primarily a political problem, a policy matter that requires political intervention.

But this is also an engineering problem, and there are several things engineers can – and should – do.

One, we should expose. If you do not have a security clearance, and if you have not received a National Security Letter, you are not bound by a federal confidentially requirements or a gag order. If you have been contacted by the NSA to subvert a product or protocol, you need to come forward with your story. Your employer obligations don't cover illegal or unethical activity. If you work with classified data and are truly brave, expose what you know. We need whistleblowers.

We need to know how exactly how the NSA and other agencies are subverting routers, switches, the internet backbone, encryption technologies and cloud systems. I already have five stories from people like you, and I've just started collecting. I want 50. There's safety in numbers, and this form of civil disobedience is the moral thing to do.

Two, we can design. We need to figure out how to re-engineer the internet to prevent this kind of wholesale spying. We need new techniques to prevent communications intermediaries from leaking private information.

We can make surveillance expensive again. In particular, we need open protocols, open implementations, open systems – these will be harder for the NSA to subvert.

The Internet Engineering Task Force, the group that defines the standards that make the internet run, has a meeting planned for early November in Vancouver. This group needs to dedicate its next meeting to this task. This is an emergency, and demands an emergency response.

Three, we can influence governance. I have resisted saying this up to now, and I am saddened to say it, but the US has proved to be an unethical steward of the internet. The UK is no better. The NSA's actions are legitimizing the internet abuses by China, Russia, Iran and others. We need to figure out new means of internet governance, ones that makes it harder for powerful tech countries to monitor everything. For example, we need to demand transparency, oversight, and accountability from our governments and corporations.

Unfortunately, this is going play directly into the hands of totalitarian governments that want to control their country's internet for even more extreme forms of surveillance. We need to figure out how to prevent that, too. We need to avoid the mistakes of the International Telecommunications Union, which has become a forum to legitimize bad government behavior, and create truly international governance that can't be dominated or abused by any one country.

Generations from now, when people look back on these early decades of the internet, I hope they will not be disappointed in us. We can ensure that they don't only if each of us makes this a priority, and engages in the debate. We have a moral duty to do this, and we have no time to lose.

Dismantling the surveillance state won't be easy. Has any country that engaged in mass surveillance of its own citizens voluntarily given up that capability? Has any mass surveillance country avoided becoming totalitarian? Whatever happens, we're going to be breaking new ground.

Again, the politics of this is a bigger task than the engineering, but the engineering is critical. We need to demand that real technologists be involved in any key government decision making on these issues. We've had enough of lawyers and politicians not fully understanding technology; we need technologists at the table when we build tech policy.

To the engineers, I say this: we built the internet, and some of us have helped to subvert it. Now, those of us who love liberty have to fix it.

• Bruce Schneier writes about security, technology, and people. His latest book is Liars and Outliers: Enabling the Trust That Society Needs to Thrive. He is working for the Guardian on other NSA stories

Chrome's Native-Like Packaged Apps Come Out Of Dev Preview And Head To The Desktop, Now Called “Chrome Apps” - TechCrunch