Archive for June, 2005

Quote of the week: June 27th

Monday, June 27th, 2005

“Unix IS user friendly It’s just picky about it’s friends…”

Quote of the week: June 20th

Monday, June 20th, 2005

“Sinners can repent, but stupid is forever.”

Quote of the week: June 13th

Monday, June 13th, 2005

A ‘full’ life in my experience is usually full only of other people’s demands.

Employers hiring people to read outgoing email

Wednesday, June 8th, 2005

This is oh-so-wrong on too many levels! One (that’s too many!), there are so many ways for employees to betray a financial or corporate trust. Likewise, there are many ways for an employer to betray a trust. This would, in my opinion, be one of the most onerous with many potential avenues for backfiring.

Consider the disgruntled or dishonest employee. Think they’re intent to betray a company is stopped by this policy? Not a chance! This kind of “policy” would only bolster a disgruntled employee’s rationalization/justification, etc. to follow through with betrayal. They only need choose some mechanism other than e-mail and there are many.

Now, consider the neutral employee… a policy like this could create a tipping point and generate resentment enough to give cause to consider doing something subversive to a company. After all, the company, by fiat, is essentially assuming an employee is “up to something”.

Finally, consider the loyal employee (how many of those will there be after widespread policies like these?)… A quick glance around and loyal employees may begin to wonder what end from loyalty….

No, this is just plain bad policy.

Luckily, the network administrator where I work uses more common sense than most companies and doesn’t employ strict monitoring of too much at all. That’s the way a sysadmin or netadmin should be.

Here is a quote from someone that worked for a company that imposed such practices on its employees:

Anyone really clever enough to cause serious damage from the inside can do better than email. Besides, draconian measures like this are ultimately self-defeating in the end. If you treat your employees with disrespect and distrust, the employee reciprocates with equal disloyalty.

I once worked at a small software firm (50 emplyees) and we “merged” with a larger one. What was once an open workplace of mutual respect quickly became one location of seemingly untrusted drones. The new corporate office demanded a firewall, so they could watch what we visited. They snooped people’s Exchange folders. Etc.

It had never occured to me to betray my employer. But when they started treating us as untrustworthy, my fellow admins and I came up with all manner of methods to thwart the security measuress. It helped, of course, that we were privy to those measures, which we were sure to disclose to fellow workers who had no idea.

And you’d better be *really* thorough with that Acceptable Use Policy. 🙂 Sure, you can watch what I visit on the web, but it may only *seem* innocuous. One user on the inside may be sending weird HTTP requests to a legit-looking site. But in reality, those requests are lines of an ASCII armoured PGP file (properly URL-encoded, of course).

I don’t care if it’s the company email server, on company time, yadda-yadda-yadda. And I don’t care if the ream of paper I signed to put food on the table gives them the right to records phone calls, archive email, and takes ownership of portions of my brain — ’cause they *all* do it these days. It’s not outright collusion, but the end result is pretty much the same.

If the company expects me to interrupt home/private time for their beneift, they’d better damned well respect my privacy on the job, because there’s little time to tend to personal affairs requiring 9-to-5 services otherwise.

“That badge don’t make you right.”

My Linux background…the short version

Tuesday, June 7th, 2005
    My background:

I’ve been a Linux fan since 1998 and have been using nothing but Linux at home since 2000. Mandrake has been my OS of choice, but I may be trying out Gentoo – it’s been making quite the buzz for the last year or so. Debian 3.1 is looking good to though, so who knows.

The beautiful part about Linux (and a drawback sometimes as well) are the amount of distributions out there. Personally, I feel like a kid in a candy store, but people who are new to the Linux Operating System can be intimidated or overwhelmed as I was at first. “Which OS is right for me?”, “What if I chose the wrong one?”.

Obviously everyone pointed me in several directions – Slackware, Debian, Mandrake, Red Hat, SuSE, etc. After getting mad at attempting to install Debian years ago (hey, I was new and it frustrated me), having errors when attempting to install Red Hat during the GUI install itself, I finally chose Mandrake. Not because it was “easier to use”, but because it just installed and worked. I think that’s what deters some people from switching – if they can’t get it to “just install” without having to know a lot about their system, then what’s it going to be like when they actually get it installed? It was a deterrent for me at first and I’m sure I’m not alone.

More later…

Quote of the week: June 6th

Monday, June 6th, 2005

“All things are possible…except for skiing through a revolving door”

Slashdot posts…HEH

Thursday, June 2nd, 2005

U.S. Agencies Earn D+ on Computer Security

Re:Artist In Favour of P2P
Re:Thanks, Tom!
*And* it’s subsidiaries and affiliates?

…and my favorite…


Likely you will find more here.