* Posts by Luke Kenneth Casson Leighton

7 publicly visible posts • joined 15 Sep 2007

BCS Linux-baiting sparks flame war

Luke Kenneth Casson Leighton

bollocks to not swearing

"No excuse for using swear words in his argument though."

yes there is - it saves anyone else from having to use them. by going completely overboard, i've done people the favour of being so outrageous that anything else is tame by comparison. thus, anyone who would like to say something critical of the article, but would otherwise feel intimidated doing so, can go "well, pffh, what i've got to say is _mild_ in comparison to that!"

capiche, boyo?

Luke Kenneth Casson Leighton

bzzzt, wrongggg

you patiently read the article all the way through, and clearly have a good memory. read it again, "paragraph-at-a-time". the article basically re-hashed some of the most tired and negative arguments about free software.... and THEN, only towards the end, began to say "but actually these arguments don't entirely stack up".

so the article LOOKED like it was a free software basher yet actually turned out to just be a hedger / fence-sitter. its primary crime though was that it gave no actual useful advice of any kind, so i felt compelled to mention the stuff about doing business/turnover-related risk analysis, even whilst writing at somewhere around 1am. thank you alan for alerting me at 11pm at night to a load of bollocks :)

Home Office preps fudgetastic ISP data rules

Luke Kenneth Casson Leighton

Tyrannical Union.

EU Retention Data Directive* (EURDD)

it's lucky that the E.U hasn't been renamed to "Tyrannical Union", then.

BT blows £250m on wind power

Luke Kenneth Casson Leighton

example energy saving - use green computers. carbon trading.

A simple example way for large companies with a massive IT infrastructure to save energy and reduce recycling impact is to use tiny PCs, such as those by koolu, linutop, fit-pc, zonbu, or any other 5 to 15 watt PC, of which there are an increasing number.

depending on the requirements, and especially when used with google apps, a 5 watt 500mhz AMD Geode system such as the koolu or linutop is perfectly adequate for basic SOHO computing, including multimedia due to some simple on-board video decoding. if that's really not enough, 10-15 watt VIA-based 1ghz systems or even Pentium-M systems can be found. all of them can be found in under 6in square boxes, and some, like fit-pc's offering and many of the Geode-based industrial PCs, come in a 4.5in square box.

one of the main incentives to large companies to take energy-saving measures in large steps is due to carbon trading. the E.U. provides tokens based on a company's carbon footprint, reducing the available tokens every year. companies with a negative carbon footprint can sell available tokens on the open market.

Root-locked Linux for the masses

Luke Kenneth Casson Leighton

many responses

"If rather than trying to make a fool-proof computer he was making a system that will manage all your VoIP calls and record your TV channels for you while letting you browse you emails and the internet through your TV I'd say he'd be onto a winner."

that's what koolu themselves are promoting (their little boxes for). the best available combinations at the moment are with voxbone and mythtv.

"When normal people get to choose between a locked black box where they can't use their favourite programs and between an unsecured open windows box"

you can always get it "unlocked" - i.e. ask for the root password. you just can't claim it's "trusted" any more.

"They'd only have to offer the source to those who asked for a copy."

of course. everything has to be free software - otherwise it can't be trusted. they just can't have the digital signing private keys and, if they ask for the root password, they're unlikely to be a "normal" customer (i.e. they're probably geeks) and they are likely to know what they're doing... and don't really _need_ a "trusted computing" platform from eddie's group in the first place!

"However, I'm certainly not willing to pay a yearly fee to have someone else admin my Linux box."

good for you. you're in the top .... err.... fractional percentage of people in the world.

"The only other place the source is an issue is if they're worried about competition in the same market segment."

...not really. the principle is more important - demonstrating that it's actually possible...

read on....

"However, the hardware, marketing, and the remote admin team are what differentiates the service. They can give competitors the software source and all without changing their business model."

... precisely. and our competitors aren't going to have the same digital signature private keys, are they! so those people who build up the best team, the best reputation as being "trustworthy" precisely as you correctly surmise.

you know how the free software business model works: it's all about being honest, about not doing "lock-in", and leading the way. in other words, it's back to the principle of guilds and craftsmen providing valuable service, instead of wage-slaving and ownership providing service you have to go to because there's nothing else.

so it's entirely essential that the whole process be open and absolutely impeachable, and actively encourages and invites competition. eddie's group actively seeks to be the one that breaks the ice - gets things going - and intends to remain the innovative market leader in the trusted arena.

Luke Kenneth Casson Leighton

Relevant quote from Cryptogram 0709


bruce schneier says:

"I wonder about those who say "educate the users." Have they tried? Have they ever met an actual user? It's unrealistic to expect home users to be responsible for their own security. They don't have the expertise, and they're not going to learn. And it's not just user actions we need to worry about; these computers are insecure right out of the box.

The only possible way to solve this problem is to force the ISPs to become IT departments." ....

and other classic quotes - the whole article is well worth reading.

the point about "secure and remotely manageable" can easily be made trustworthy

for the users by requiring the remote administration to be activated by the user

themselves. this is exactly how many remote admin systems already work.

the little boxes, if anyone's interested, are available direct from http://koolu.com

Luke Kenneth Casson Leighton

Environmentally-Friendly Trusted Computing

yeah, they're using koolu boxes as the faster of the two main choices, linutop and koolu as the koolu uses the AMD Geode LX 800 and so doesn't require special optimisations in order to do VoIP and MPEG playback for example.

the combination of 5 watts, saving masses of money on electricity, smaller machines therefore the reclaim and recycling cost is lower, security built-in including remote management and secure off-site backups is a compelling combination.