Story 2014-09-07

"Boycott Systemd" movement takes shape

in linux on (#2S4F)
story imageSome people have had enough, and they've organized a boycott at "" to organize efforts. From the top: "Disclaimer: We are not sysvinit purists by any means. We do recognize the need for a new init system in the 21st century, but systemd is not it." OK, that's enough to keep me reading. They outline twelve well-thought-out reasons systemd is dangerous, and a set of ways you can get involved, including refusing to use systemd distros, moving to slackware, crux, gentoo, BSD, and more. Here's just one of them:
systemd clusters itself into PID 1. Due to it controlling lots of different components, this means that there are tons of scenarios in which it can crash and bring down the whole system. But in addition, this means that plenty of non-kernel system upgrades will now require a reboot. Enjoy your new Windows 9 Linux system! In fairness, systemd does provide a mechanism to reserialize and reexecute systemctl in real time. If this fails, of course, the system goes down. There are several ways that this can occur9. This happens to be another example of SPOF.
Interesting times. When's the last time you heard someone advocate moving immediately to Slackware or Gentoo?

The King of Scrabble

in games on (#2S4E)
story imageOliver Roeder gives competitive Scrabble a serious analysis in a recent pair of articles previewing and covering the 2014 National Scrabble Championship, with a focus on the man who is considered the world's best: Nigel Richards.
In a game in 1998, then-newcomer Richards had a rack of CDHLRN? (“?” denotes a blank tile). There was an E available on the board; Richards could have played CHILDREN for a bingo and a 50-point bonus. Instead, Richards played through two disconnected Os and an E. The word? The 10-letter CHLORODYNE.

If you’re wondering what the word means — well, it means Richards is the greatest Scrabble player to ever live.

Apple improves iCloud security

in apple on (#2S48)
Apple has decided to up its game, but is it too late for them and the icloud brand, or is it only the users who will suffer?

The security problems that allowed the celebrity photos to leak was, Apple said, found between keyboard and chair (not in those words), iCloud has added extra security features to their popular file storage medium.
The changes come in the wake of the recent leak of a large number of photos from celebrity accounts, allegedly from hacked iCloud accounts. Apple previously released a statement denying any breach within its systems, but admitting that celebrity accounts were compromised by attackers using standard phishing techniques.
Apple may have the technical chops to tighten up security, but it can't (probably) remediate the intrinsic risk in using cloud services, no matter how convenient cloud service may be. Let's see if this changes the public's opinion of cloud backup over all, which has until now been on the rise.