2014 wk.2: Favourite articles

Published on 2014-01-10

You know Tim Bray, don't you? His take on development languages in 2014. TL;DR: We're screwed in the client side.

Steven Levy at his best: "How the NSA Almost Killed the Internet". A great summary of every leak (to date) and its political and economic significance.

Another googler, Brett Slatkin, advocates to have a dialectic instead of a debate when techs and product managers discuss anything. It's common sense, but it's also quite easy to end in the wrong side of it without noticing.

A great (and maybe a bit controversial) interview to Gregorio Morán. It has some great historical quotes and, even if you don't trust it, it can give you starting points to lead your study of recent spanish history.

Microsoft surprise: more open than the alternatives

Published on 2013-07-20

For two weeks I've been using an "old" Nokia Lumia 800 I had forgotten about.

I got the Lumia in January 2012, tried it and put it in a drawer with a "meh" sensation. A couple of weeks ago I got fed up with the slugginesh of my iPhone 4 and started looking for an alternative.

Android did not cut it for it's performance on my Nexus 7 is far from being brilliant. A friend of mine lent me a Geeksphone Peak and I don't have words to describe how horrible the Firefox OS experience is.

I remembered the old Lumia and got it out of spite. The first surprise was being unable to use it for the best part of an afternoon while it updated itself to Windows Phone 7.8. Then I was able to start to configure it.

First step, create a Windows Live account linked to my torresmasdeu.name email account. Configuring my work (Exchange) and personal (Google Apps), Facebook and LinkedIn accounts was a breeze. I had easy and fast access to all my email, calendars and contacts. The ability to merge accounts is great and reminds me a lot of Palm's WebOS Synergy. The great point is that my phone's People Hub becomes a single point of communication and it has a web version on people.live.com.

Then I looked for an alternative to Google Authenticator and found that Microsoft has an inhouse one.

And the final shoe falled today as I discovered in a ZDNet article about Windows Live Domains. I thought "what the hell" and changed my MX to point to Microsoft's platform.

It bugs me that I'm changing a propietary platform for another one, but this one is more open to foreign ecosystems. In fact it's obvious that the Windows hubs are not only a trendy gimmick but a concept. One account to rule them all.

I would greatly prefer to use an open alternative but let's be frank. Managing the set of services needed for this kind of integration is a lot of work and I know about no utility or set of utilities that seamlessly integrates so many functions in a so easy to setup manner.

bash oneliner: generate timestamps for this year

Published on 2013-06-06

To add partitions to some hive tables I need the YYYYmmdd timestamp of every day from today until the end of the year.

for i in $(seq 0 $(( $(date -d $(date +%Y)-12-31 +%j) - $( date +%j) )) ); do date +%Y%m%d -d "+$i day"; done

launchd: the best thing since sliced bread

Published on 2013-05-01

I am developing a home utility to index and backup my files (ook!) and while searching for an alternative to inotify I found an StackOverflow question aptly named "Is there a command like “watch” or “inotifywait” on the Mac?" that sums it up.

The thing is that it doesn't stop there. I always dreaded launchd and questioned Apple's decision to use it instead of a System V init process.

But god, it can replace not only init but also cron and inotify. It really is one program to rule them all!

I'm sold. I only hope that this infatuation doesn't end with me hacking up a launchd based distro.

Why RouterOS is crap: SSH server implementation

Published on 2013-04-28

RFC 4344 (2006):

6.2. Encryption Method Considerations

Researchers have shown that the original CBC-based encryption methods in [RFC4253] are vulnerable to chosen-plaintext privacy attacks [DAI,BKN1,BKN2]. The new stateful-decryption counter mode encryption methods described in Section 4 of this document were designed to be secure replacements to the original encryption methods described in [RFC4253].

You guessed it, RouterOS only supports CBC-based encryption methods. To wit:

  • 3des-cbc
  • aes128-cbc
  • aes192-cbc
  • aes256-cbc
  • blowfish-cbc

Not a big issue unless you are using an SSH library that follows RFC4344 like the one in Go.

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