[CS-FSLUG] FoxNews.com - The Death of the Hard Drive

Ed Hurst ehurst at soulkiln.org
Thu Dec 16 07:17:20 CST 2010

On Thu, 16 Dec 2010 00:37:54 -0600, Fred A. Miller <fmiller at lightlink.com>  

> There are a LOT of reasons why NOT to use "the cloud" for ones personal  
> info. to reside, not anymore than what can be avoided. The first reason  
> that comes to my mind is the US Gov't, which is becoming more intrusive  
> daily, or seemingly so.

We've always had this dichotomy of security versus convenience. Of course,  
security = control most of the time. One of the primary selling points of  
Open Source is the user gets more control over more things, and more  
fine-grained, at that. I can barely code XHTML, but it didn't take me long  
to learn how to set switches in the neatly packaged world of scripted Open  
Source compiling.

A tangent on the previous post about OpenBSD's IPSEC being possibly  
compromised is the issue of comfort. As noted on Slashdot, coders we have,  
but precious few are also mathematician enough to recognize a compromise  
in the algorithms in the code. The very suggestion of compromise is taken  
seriously because only a precious few -- no doubt digging through that  
code right now -- can reliably answer the question, and not very quickly.  
In the meantime, some folks will be just a little on edge (way too many  
stay on the edge). If the spooks can infiltrate OpenBSD, the purported  
flagship of Open Source security, is there any safe haven to be had? Or  
was this just propaganda scripted to weaken that reflex for control?

There is no doubt the message of Big Technology and Big Government is  
"trust us." They don't like ribaldry of calling the TSA's new policies  
"gate rape." They don't like an Internet with crypto traffic, never mind  
whether they can break it. Nor do they want an Internet where secrets can  
be flung into the open. They want us to give control to them. And those of  
us who love Open Source mostly likely are some of the last to yield that  
control, since it's a big part of what drives the whole movement, and what  
keeps most of us using it.

That, even when it doesn't always work as well as the commercial stuff.  
I've said often I still think Windows drivers are better for printing than  
CUPS will ever be. And I really don't like X, and I don't think the audio  
development will ever keep up with all the internal variations of sound  
chipsets. To this day, not a single Linux or BSD can properly configure  
the Intel HDA audio on my desktop system, and when I plug the headphones  
into the jack on the front of the box, it doesn't cancel the sound in my  
speakers. I've spent hours reading about that, tried numerous config  
settings, and it boils down to too many variations on the hardware. And  
there's more, but the point is, I still run Linux because, for all the  
weaknesses, I can't let go of that control.

I can't make Windows do what I want in the things which matter most, in my  
work flow and habits. I've spent countless hours trying. I want it my way,  
and Linux/BSD comes the closest.

But the issue of snooping in my data is another matter entirely. I really  
don't care. I'm radically open; I don't take myself that seriously. I want  
security from actual threats to my control over the system, not security  
in my data. You want a copy of my most personal rants? Just ask. I've been  
keeping a running diary for years, but it won't offer you anything  
different from what I would openly confess. It would probably bore you to  
tears, anyway. And my personal copyright notice on my website amounts to:  
God is watching you; I'm not.

Ed Hurst
Open for Business - http://ofb.biz/
Kiln of the Soul - http://soulkiln.org/
blog - http://soulkiln.blogspot.com/

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