Pass the coffee

June 14, 2010

Monday mornings are not as toxic to me as to others, to hear them tell it. In fact, I have a healthy indifference to Mondays; on a work-week landscape where my first day of the work week at the newspaper is a Thursday, Mondays essentially are my “Fridays.” All of which is to say, that’s not so bad.

Still, coffee would be nice, and while sipping a Kona blend, we can review some of the recent past’s events and articles, like . . .

It’s dead, Jim . . . finally: Novell came up the winner in the SCO case, according to Groklaw, and it looks like this is the end of the line for a one-time tech company turned litigation machine. Judge Ted Stewart ruled that Novell’s claim for declaratory judgment is granted; SCO’s claims for specific performance and breach of the implied covenant of good fair and fair dealings are denied. Denied. Did I mention it was denied? Also SCO’s motion for judgment as a matter of law or for a new trial: denied. Deeee-nyed! So that’s game, set, match. Also, on a personal note, as a MoFo — as in a Morrison & Foerster alum, having worked for the firm in Tokyo — I have to say I’m proud of their work in this case.

Well, duh! Chapter One: Dell, which offers Ubuntu (if you want to wait for it — more on this in a minute), gives those thinking about ordering an Ubuntu machine some reasons for making the switch. While those ordering Ubuntu Dells wait — ask me about ordering one for a client and getting a shipment date in about a month, versus a few days for an identical Windows machine — they can take a look at Number 6 on this list: Ubuntu is safer than Microsoft Windows. You think? Sheesh.

Well, duh! Part Deux: What’s the weak link in the national security in relation to cyber war? Easy question, according to a recent ars technica article: Microsoft Windows. Richard A. Clarke’s new book, “Cyber War: The Next Threat to National Security and What to Do About It,” is still making quite a splash. A quote from the article: “While it may appear to give America some sort of advantage,” Cyber War warns, “in fact cyber war places this country at greater jeopardy than it does any other nation.” The enormous dependence of our financial and energy networks on the ‘Net open us up to potentially devastating online attacks. “It is the public, the civilian population of the United States and the publicly owned corporations that run our key national systems, that are likely to suffer in a cyber war.” Yep, that sounds like Microsoft Windows all right.

What’s that? The sky is falling? It figures that the likes of PC World would take a story involving a relatively obscure IRC server, give said IRC server undue credit for popularity, exaggerate the seriousness of the situation and exaggerate how long it went unnoticed all in one article. But that’s what happened when — HORRORS! — an announcement was made on the Unreal IRCd forum that the Linux version of the popular IRC server Unreal IRCd was contaminated with malware in November 2009, without anyone noticing it. Of course, what the article conveniently fails to mention is that unlike the infections automatically started by the mere presence of Windows, this one had to be downloaded, installed, and configured. That point was glossed over. Another glaring omission: How many in the wild security breaches have there been due to this? I’m not linking to the article — PC World is not getting hits from me — but you can go to LXer and see the article, with responses, if you wish.

I need a refill.

[FSF Associate Member](Fedora ambassador Larry Cafiero runs Redwood Digital Research in Felton, California, and is an associate member of the Free Software Foundation.)
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  1. Colonel Panik
    June 15, 2010 at 7:46 pm

    OK, from the top: The Colonel has nothing but weekends. And coffee.
    I roast my own here and will ship a batch to LtFSG if he provides an address.

    SCO? Beware the zombie apocalypse.

    Dell and Linux or maybe Linux as Dell sees it? Been there, will never go back. I am sure so many people were turned off by Dells broken Linux offerings that we have a long fight to win them back.

    The next one? It is just like chocolate covered cockroaches, I don’t and you shouldn’t either.

    Tech writers? Digital Pundits? May the fleas of a thousand, nay, a million
    camels live in their nostrils. If you cannot do, teach, if you cannot teach, become a tech writer.

    Serious about that coffee Larry, you just have to tell me where to point
    that little brown truck.

  2. Colonel Panik
    June 15, 2010 at 7:51 pm

    TYPO, Larry the Free Editor Guy, please fix that last line:
    Serious about that coffee Larry, you just have to tell be where to point
    that little brown truck.

    It should be: Serious about that coffee Larry, you just have to tell ME where to point that little brown truck.

    I only do that when my editor is watching.

    • June 16, 2010 at 6:00 am

      Done, sir. And thanks for the comments (no, you shouldn’t really start sentences with “and,” but there are exceptions).

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