On Fri, Jun 28, 2013 at 10:26 AM, Tanveer Singh <web(a)tanveer.in> wrote:
> On Sun, May 12, 2013 at 9:40 AM, Supreet Sethi <supreet.sethi(a)gmail.com>wrote:
>> It does provide safe haven for parking
> You can use ssh tunnels for secure communication with your criminal
>> friends.Does it make SSH evil?
Excellent points, both. I think government security policies are based on
1. We can separate good people from bad people.
2. We can stop bad people by punishing them.
3. To punish bad people, we need to overpower them with superior force.
The problem is, all these premises are false!
Anything you use, a "terrorist" uses. Chairs, desks, computers, currencies
( both digital and non-digital ), weapons etc.
We engage in an arms race to develop stronger crypto, deadlier weapons, and
we think that this will help us overpower the bad people.
Yet, sooner or later, everything you develop, falls into the "wrong" hands.
And the consequences of your shiny new technology falling into the "wrong"
hands are increasingly drastic.
This is the age of Weapons of Mass Destruction. The "wrong" people already
have all kinds of deadly power.
It is time we stop at this precipice, and re-evaluate where the weapons
race is taking us.
Perhaps it is asking too much for Obama to have hugged Osama and disarmed
him that way.
NSA: "Yes, we scan!"
Subvert the dominant paradigm. Repeat as desired.
I believe in Free and Open Source Software, because I want to give our
children the best possible tools we have, which they can adapt to their
needs, and share on. FOSS is humanity's best hope.
I have been an observer of the Linux community from the periphery, since I
started using Linux in 1995. I have been programming since 1984, when my
privileged parents got me a ZX Spectrum+ with 48Kb of RAM. So I would like
to make a few semi-informed remarks. I invite your feedback.
There seems to be too much diversity.
Everybody can roll their own distro, which is great for special purposes.
For the most part though, it confuses people that there's no "Linux UI".
China has started transitioning to a single distribution of Linux.
An Air Traffic Control officer told me that all offices are designed to be
identical, so that one person can easily start working in another location.
Let everyone customize their experience; that's great.
Yet, there really is a need for adoption by the Indian government, of a
single GNU/Linux distribution.
We cannot remain at the mercy of the NSA any longer.
There seems to be too much groupthink.
We think too alike. There is not enough real debate which would foster
Everyone is too locked-in into the status quo.
For example, media statistics show that we as a community, are too male.
Males like to take control, and drive stick shift cars.
We would give up compilers, and dive into the logic gate and decide where
electrons should go, if we could. This is entirely the wrong way to think!
We "submit" to the machines all the time, without thinking about it.
Machines should do our bidding and become ever more DWIM ( Do What I Mean ).
After decades of programming in the trenches, I realized that programmers
are really glorified clerks. We fill out forms for the machine all day
long. Yet, we trust the CPU chip and rarely bother studying it. Who's
ruling who here?
Google's Notebook "Pixel" ( obsolete name on arrival, like calling
something "gold" -- how quaint! ) has a great dual-mode concept -- Let the
machine hide all its complexity in one mode, and expose it in great detail,
in the other. What we have instead, is General Purpose programming tools
that try to bridge this cognitive divide, unsuccessfully.
So it's a lot of work for the user to get things done using Linux, because
nobody has thought of the UX from the ground-up. Lots of sucky UI's that
geeks fetishize, enlightenment, whatever.
And, it's also a lot of work for the programmer to get things done.
To develop a whole web application, one has to know for example: DDL, SQL,
Perl, Template Toolkit ( yes, somebody invented a mini-language syntax just
for templates! ), HTML/XHTML, CSS/or some more compact variant,
So that's 8 languages, if you're counting!
I jumped through all these hoops, and I have touched a dozen other
languages in my life.
And you know what? This needs to change! It really does. Domain-specific
languages, such as those used by the Rails set of technologies, are
We need one language, to fluidly bridge these cognitive gaps between
various kinds of people and machines.
It has to be International! Every programmer can read comments in a
language of their choice.
No more -- "you must learn English to do this"!
We must learn to delegate more to machines. They are, as "The Matrix"
movies say, already beyond our comprehension. Do you want freedom? Then
don't be slave to your machine.
You have jammed your head full of telephone numbers, and IP addresses, and
PIN's, and God-knows what garbage your machine has fed you! Your machine
tells you -- learn this new language, and I will make you more powerful!
And you gladly start learning new syntax.
Is this really "knowledge"?
We must discard the tools that Richard Stallman and Linus Torvalds gave to
us, and use their philosophy. The are fingers pointing to the Moon, not the
They developed Free Software using closed source software, because it was
the only way they could. We must use Free Software to really liberate
ourselves, not bow to old Gods.
We have let Linux become surrounded by ugly Java ( in the form of Android ).
Don't worry, Samsung, and Google, and the NSA ( No Such Agency ) really are
rich and powerful for a reason.
And BSD? It's surrounded by some Apple crap.
Free Software? Free Speech?
We can barely tolerate trolls like Girish on this Free Software list.
So we set our filters to ignore him.
"..be cool and learn it", he says!
Don't learn anymore! Rethink from scratch.
We don't need no education!
PS: Girish Guru-ji, if you would like, I'll arrange an interview with
Microsoft for you.
You will be appreciated there, and the whole world will be a much happier
Subvert the dominant paradigm. Repeat as desired.
From: Arun Khan
Sent: 17/06/2013, 09:47
To: "GNU/Linux Users Group, Mumbai, India"
Subject: Re: [ILUG-BOM] Deleting read only partition data.
On Mon, Jun 17, 2013 at 12:08 AM, <gnulinuxist(a)gmail.com> wrote:
> With so much espionage happening in computers, I was wondering whether a read only mounted partition is read only by software only or is there an electrical lock on the hdd, which does not seem possible for multi-partition disks as another partition may be writeable.
No electrical lock. Anyone with root/sudo (with rights to mount) can
do 'mount -o remount,rw <fs_dir_tree>'
> Can a malicious software gain control of the electrical side of the hdd and modify or delete data, even on a read only mounted partition? For the military then, would it be better to use an entire disk as a single partition and lock it down electrically?
The 3.5" disks have pin outs, one of these pairs can be jumpered to
make the *entire* disk 'ro' - this takes care of remote root/sudo
scenarios. Anyone with physical access can easily remove the jumper
and make the *entire* disk 'rw'
Thanks guys for your responses and information. The recent events of US monitoring got me thinking about this remote controlled scenario.
With so much espionage happening in computers, I was wondering whether a read only mounted partition is read only by software only or is there an electrical lock on the hdd, which does not seem possible for multi-partition disks as another partition may be writeable.
Can a malicious software gain control of the electrical side of the hdd and modify or delete data, even on a read only mounted partition? For the military then, would it be better to use an entire disk as a single partition and lock it down electrically?