Month: May 2010

Logging in as Root

Martin Meredith wrote a blog post about logging in as root and the people who so strongly advocate against it [1]. The question is whether you should ssh directly to the root account on a remote server or whether you should ssh to a non-root account and use sudo or su to gain administrative privileges. […]


Brother MFC-9120CN Color LASER Printer

I have just bought a Brother MFC-9120CN Multi-Function Color LED LASER Printer for a relative. It was a replacement for the Lexmark printer which turned out not to support Linux properly [1]. This printer cost about $545. I bought it from OfficeWorks [2] under their price-matching deal. If you find a better price anywhere else […]


UBAC and SE Linux in Debian

A recent development in SE Linux policy is the concept of UBAC (User Based Access Control) which prevents SE Linux users (identitied) from accessing each other’s files. SE Linux user identities may map 1:1 to Unix users (as was required in the early versions of SE Linux), you might have unique identities for special users […]


Links May 2010

AdRevenge is an interesting concept to pay for Google Adsense adverts about how companies suck [1]. If a suitably large group of people pay to warn you about a company then it’s a good signal that the company is actually doing the wrong thing. A guest post by Mili on Charles Stross’ blog has an […]


GM Food and Vaccines

Michael Specter gave an interesting TED talk about the dangers of science-denial [1]. Most of his talk is about the people who oppose vaccines, such as the former Playboy model Jenny McCarthy who thinks that she knows more about medicine than people who do medical research. He notes that a doctor who advocates vaccination has […]


A School IP Project

The music industry seems fairly aggressive in taking legal action against children when they break the licence terms of copyright material. I think it would be good to teach children about how the IP industry really works. It seems to me that you could have a school project that involves an entire year level (maybe […]

Politics School

Google Chrome and SE Linux

[107108.433300] chrome[12262]: segfault at bbadbeef ip 0000000000fbea18 sp 00007fffcf348100 error 6 in chrome[400000+27ad000] When I first tried running the Google Chrome web browser [1] on SE Linux it recursively displayed the error message in the above picture, it first displayed the error and then displayed another error while trying to display a web page to […]


Timing Processes

One thing that happens periodically is that I start a process from an interactive shell, discover that it takes longer than expected, and then want to know how long it took. Basically it’s a retrospective need to have run “time whatever” that I discover after the process has been running for long enough that I […]


Pants To Poverty

On Wednesday I saw a group of people wearing nothing but underwear walking through the Melbourne CBD. They were promoting Pants To Poverty which is a UK based underwear company that sells Organic Fair-Trade underpants [1]. The corporate web site seems equally divided between the purposes of selling underpants and lobbying for a variety of […]


Noise Canceling Headphones and People Talking

The Problem I was asked for advice on buying headphones to protect students who have medical conditions that make them sensitive to noise, such headphones would have to allow them to hear human voices. Due to the significant differences in hearing issues (including physical damage and sensory issues) it seems unlikely that getting identical headphones […]