Category: people

RIP Dan Kaminsky

I learned today that Dan Kaminsky died on Friday 23 April of complications arising from his diabetes. (I would probably have learned earlier if I followed twitter, but I don’t.) He was only 42. I met Kaminsky at an MSRC Bluehat Forum in 2009. He was only 30 at the time, but already widely respected, …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2021/04/29/rip-dan-kaminsky/

Stallman and Tor

This may be controversial. Yesterday, a member of the Tor relays mailing list posted the following to the list: “I’ve been running a relay/exit node for many years. Tor user since ~2004. To the extent that my voice means anything at all here, I would like to strongly condemn the Tor project joining the attempt …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2021/03/26/stallman-and-tor/

free Dmitry Bogatov

Dmitry Bogatov, aka KAction, is a Russian free software activist and mathematics teacher at Moscow’s Finance and Law University. He was arrested in Russia on 6 April of this year and charged with extremism. He is currently held in a pre-trial detention centre, and is apparently likely to remain there until early June at least, …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2017/04/27/free-dmitry-bogatov/

this is what a scary man looks like

Donal Trump with John Kelly

No, I mean the one on the right – the one Trump is pointing at. General John Kelly is just one of Trump’s controversial appointments (and not necessarily the worst) and I guess that by writing this now, I have finally nailed down the lid on the coffin of my ever returning to the US. …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2017/02/09/this-is-what-a-scary-man-looks-like/

a bad way to end the year

Sadly, I read today that Ian Murdock, the “Ian” in Debian, died on Monday, 28 December 2015. He was only 42 years old. Various reports indicate that he had been distressed for some time before his death. The tweets reportedly from Murdock’s twitter account shortly before his death are very disturbing. Murdock’s contribution to the …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2016/01/01/a-bad-way-to-end-the-year/

solidarity with the tor project

On Thursday 11 December, Roger Dingledine of the Tor project posted the following email to the “tor-talk” mail list (to which I am subscribed). I’d like to draw your attention to https://blog.torproject.org/blog/solidarity-against-online-harassment https://twitter.com/torproject/status/543154161236586496 One of our colleagues has been the target of a sustained campaign of harassment for the past several months. We have decided …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2014/12/13/solidarity-with-the-tor-project/

Snowden paranoia

A recent exchange on the tor-talk mailing list about conspiracy theories elicited this gem from “Ted Smith” (obviously a Bob Heinlein fan). “One of the more Gibsonesque theories I’ve heard is that Snowden is a CIA operative working to destabilize the NSA’s surveillance system on behalf of the CIA and other elite that feel too …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2013/10/09/snowden-paranoia/

that’s completely ludicrous

Glenn Greenwald on Newsnight. The full episode of Newsnight’s report including Greenwald’s interview and comment from Sir David Omand (ex Director GCHQ) can be seen here on BBC’s iplayer. Gordon Corera, the BBC’s Security respondent reports here on the Newsnight episode. As an aside, I was amused by Ross Anderson’s claim that many academics had …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2013/10/05/thats-completely-ludicrous/

neil doesn’t get it

A couple of days ago I received an email from an old friend (let’s call him “Geoff”) which said: Following last Friday night discussion I have created a facebook page as a shared repository of our photos etc. I have kickstarted with most of mine. You can either make yourself a friend of this page …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2013/09/11/neil-doesnt-get-it/

untrusted dod certificate

Chris Williams over at El Reg posted a nice article about the kind of crypto best practice you need to follow if you care about privacy. The article questions the wisdom of using David Miranda as what Williams calls a “data mule” to carry physical electronic media (possibly) containing sensitive data through Heathrow and goes …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2013/08/23/untrusted-dod-certificate/

repeat after me – snowden is not the story

John Naughton has an interesting column in his “networker” series in today’s Observer. In it he laments the fact that the majority of the world’s mainstream media seem more intent on reporting on Snowden the man than on what Snowden has revealed. He starts: “Repeat after me: Edward Snowden is not the story. The story …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2013/07/28/repeat-after-me-snowden-is-not-the-story/

Edward Snowden

The revelations of the past week or so have been interesting to me more for what they haven’t said, than what they have. There are a few points arising from Snowden’s story which puzzle me and which don’t seem to have been addressed by the mainstream media – at least not the ones I read. …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2013/06/15/edward-snowden/

Iain Banks

I first met Frank (the protagonist and narrator in “The Wasp Factory”) in about May or June 1990. I had taken my bike (then an FJ1200) in to the dealer for a routine service and tyre change and had wandered in to a local newsagent to pick up a magazine or two to read whilst …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2013/06/10/iain-banks/

Neil Armstrong

I suppose it is inevitable that your heroes die as you get older. I was just finishing my O’ levels when Armstrong took his “one small step”. I can remember clearly looking up at the moon on that day in 1969 in awe that there were two human beings on that satellite at the very …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2012/08/28/neil-armstrong/

you are at 2001:db8::ff00:42:8329.

Verity Stob is having trouble getting a new IP address. What with the IPV4 address exhaustion problem, it would seem that the only alternative is IPV6. This is causing Verity some grief. Stress brings out my unoriginal streak. I said: ‘Where am I?’ ‘You are at 2001:db8::ff00:42:8329.’ ‘What?’ ‘Your new IP address at 2001:db8::ff00:42:8329.’ He …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2012/08/21/you-are-at-2001db8ff00428329/

the stainless steel rat bows out

I read today that Harry Harrison has died at the age of 87. Harrison was one of the greats of the SF glory years. Alongside Heinlein (whose work he spoofed mercilessly) Philip Dick, Asimov, van Vogt, Ray Bradbury, Bob Sheckley, Doc Smith and a host of others I grew up with in the 60s and …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2012/08/15/the-stainless-steel-rat-bows-out/

outlook goes public – linus approves

Microsoft has (re-)launched its free public email service (previously branded “hotmail” and “windows live”) under the brand “outlook”. Outlook has been Microsoft’s email client on the corporate desktop for many years now, so they may be hoping that the new look email product will benefit from the existing brand’s goodwill. However, I noticed from a …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2012/08/02/outlook-goes-public-linus-approves/

stupid hunt

According to reporting today, Jeremy Hunt, the Secretary Of State for Culture, Media and Sport, lobbied the Prime Minister in support of Rupert Murdoch’s bid for BSkyB. The report says: “The inquiry heard that the culture secretary drafted the email on his private Gmail account on 19 November 2010 despite being warned by his officials …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2012/05/25/stupid-hunt/

the most influential people in UK IT?

This would be funny if it weren’t quite so tragic. A friend of mine has just pointed me to the Computer Weekly “second annual UKtech50” poll of “the definitive list of the real movers and shakers in UK IT – the CIOs, industry executives, public servants and business leaders driving the creation of a high-tech …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2011/11/23/the-most-influential-people-in-uk-it/

mountain streams

In response to the news of Dennis Ritchie’s death, Ted Harding, a long time member of the anglia linux users group posted an interesting comment to the list this morning. Ted has kindly given me permission to link to that comment. Like Ted, I too hope we shall be seeing proper tributes to both Dennis …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2011/10/14/mountain-streams/

Dennis Ritchie dies

Now this is getting depressing. It seems that Dennis Ritchie (the “R” in K&R, author and creator of the C programming language and genuine legend in computing history) died last weekend. Bell Labs reported yesterday, and confirmed today, that Ritchie had died after a long illness. He was 70 years old. As a unix fan, …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2011/10/13/dennis-ritchie-dies/

rip steve jobs

Whilst I have never been an Apple fan, I was enormously saddened to learn of the death on wednesday of Steve Jobs. He was a visionary architect and was undeniably a charismatic, if idiosyncratic, leader in the world of computing and technology. Whilst his death was not unexpected, he will be missed.

Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2011/10/07/rip-steve-jobs/

kseniya simonova

This has absolutely nothing to do with my usual topics but I make no apology for posting this because the artistry is stunningly beautiful. I was sent a link to Kseniya Simonova’s sand art by a correspondent on a mailing list I subscribe to. Apparently the artist is telling the story of a ukrainian family …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2010/09/04/kseniya-simonova/