Ranjeet Walunj

February 12, 2009

Argument: Is open source software secure enough ?

I’ve heard this argument by many microsoft/closed source technology evangelist that Open Source softwares are not secure enough.

And any one can easily find the flaw in the software and use it for his benefit.

This week there was an argument on slashdot about the same.

According to the Linus’s Law, “given enough eyeballs, all bugs are shallow”. More formally: “Given a large enough beta-tester and co-developer base, almost every problem will be characterized quickly and the fix will be obvious to someone.” — this rule was formulated by ESR (Eric S. Raymond).

Open Source due to its very own nature of revealing all catches attention of all users/hackers/programmers across the world using that software. (Pls Note: Hackers always have good intentions.)

The source code is validated by many learned people and if any flaw is found it is quickly reported and fixed.
If a certain OSS is subject to vulnerability continuously then it looses its charm and people quickly migrate to more secure alternatives.
(For example: Most of the new installations of mail servers are based on qmail/postfix rather than Sendmail)

In case of closed source (for e.g. windows) it takes long time to report flaw and much longer to fix it.

I dont hate microsoft, infact i use windows XP for most of my day job and happy with it. But I feel much flexibility with my linux. Most importantly if something is going wrong I know where to check and what could be the reasons. (syslogs are also great friend)

But talking about security NO OSS is less secure than any closed source software just because it is open in nature or for that matter any other reason.

Lots of learned independent developers/testers/reviewers have gone through the codes/designs/outcomes of the OSS and have contributed to the security threats/bugs/potential problems.

Collective intelligence (worldwide) is always superior to a closed group of people.

As someone suggested it is easy to experience than arguing over this.

Best is to deploy for yourself and run weekly penetrative testing to see the possible results.

There is no security from stupid actions of users/administrators, however assuming security by obfuscation/closed source is nothing bu stupidity.

I’ve been personally using OSS for years now and absolutely happy with the way it has helped me in learning things.

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February 3, 2009

Life …. in four photos

Filed under: Feel Good, general — Tags: , — ranjeetwalunj @ 2:56 pm

Just got this in email forward ….


First Pic

Break of Dawn — New lease of life, embarking upon a New Voyage……
A Child Flying Kite — Young Blood, Aspiring to Fly High with Enormous Zest n Zeal…Coz U Know, Sky is The Limit……
A Small Tree — Need to Nurture…….
Two Birds Hovering Above — There r People Around to Take Ample Care of You, You r Actually Carefree…….

Second Pic

Daylight — You r Almost Halfway Through in This Voyage Called Life…..
Couple — You Have a Better half of Yours to Lean Upon n Speak Your Heart Out to……
Grown-up Tree — You Have Been Nurtured Profusely to Stand Tall n Rigidly in The Storms That May, Otherwise, Let U Down…….. .
A Small Tree — You, Together With Your Better half, Have Given a New Lease of Life to Another Breaking Dawn (Your Child)………
One Bird Hovering Above — There r Comparatively Less People around You to Take Care of You, Unlike during Your Wonder Childhood Years…….

Third Pic

Fall of Dusk — Twilight is setting Upon, Life Has Come a Full Circle….
An Old Man — It’s a Race Against Time Now On, It’s The Beginning of The End of The Voyage……
Ageing Tree — Signifies The Above Two Things, Second One Being The Personification of This……..
Grown Tree — Your Kids Have Grown Up; It’s High Time You Start Supporting Them With Tender Care Rather Than Clashes……….
One Bird — Self Explanatory, I Guess???
Grave — In Course of The Voyage You Have Lost Loved Ones n You Also Start to Anticipate Your Ultimate Fate n Destiny……….

Fourth Pic

Nightfall — Voyage is Over, Darkness is Looming Over, High Time to Say Good Bye….
Starry Sky — There’s Still Happiness Around, Thanks to The Aesthetic Memories Left by You n The Good Work Done Too….. .
Grown-up Tree — Your Kids r Walking in Your Shoes now, It’s For Them to Follow Your Footsteps Drawing Inspiration From Your Exemplary Life..
Grave With Two Crosses — You r United with Your Soul mates n RIPS……..

January 17, 2009

BarCamp #5 at Mumbai (VJTI – Matunga)

I’ve tried attending few of the last barcamp’s at mumbai and always look forward to see what new I can learn from the same.

I’ve met few of my good contacts at barcamps and learned a lot from them.

My friend Satish Vijaykumar aka BombayLives (twitter – @bombaylives) have been the major driving force for me to attend the same.
And last barcamp at IIT, he has taken a cool photograph of mine with Fedora Hat on (RedHat) — (which i’m using everywhere as profile –even if there are mixed reviews bout my looks 😉  )

This year satish has even made resolution that he will attend all the tweetups/blogcamps/barcamps happening in mumbai … 🙂

Anyways point is BarCamp Mumbai 5 will be held at VJTI, Matunga, Mumbai on Sunday, February 1st, 2009.

I love it when such events are pretty close to my house 😉

If I manage to find some time and finish my project, then probably I’ll be trying to take a session. Otherwise I’m there to learn and spread good karma … Would love to be volunteer … (And this will not have hidden agenda to get few extra cool barcamp T-shirts/goodies 😉

For people who don’t know what barcamp is : (I’ve taken following content from http://barcampmumbai.org/)

for people who don’t know how to get there — pls check : http://barcampmumbai.org/BCM5_Venue

BCM5 is not 2 day event as last barcamp …  its debatable … but I preffer one day camp than the 2 day spread …

—————————————————————————————————————————————————————–

BarCamp is an ad-hoc gathering born from the desire for people to share and learn in an open environment.
It is an intense event with discussions, demos and interaction from participants.

(I love to see some fights happening @ bcm5 — some nice intellectual fights )

BarCamp is in essence a conference without a preset agenda.
We prefer the term ‘unconference’ actually.
A bunch of smart people meet up over the weekend, put up a schedule on a wall and spend the rest of their time
taking up sessions and discussions with each other.

There is no audience. Only participants. So host a session, help out with planning, ask questions, spread the word-

Everybody is invited. There really are no walls.

—————————————————————————————————————————————————————–

Please visit official Barcamp Mumbai wiki — http://barcampmumbai.org/

BarCamp5

BarCamp5

BarCamp?? What BarCamp??

Learn more about BarCamps on the following resources:

* http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BarCamp
* http://barcamp.org/WhatToExpect
* http://barcamp.org/TheRulesOfBarCamp

December 22, 2008

Questioning morality of person using pirated software

We all know that piracy in some or other formats cannot be stopped and there have been number of futile attempts in past by large organisations.

And lets admit most of us have used/are using pirated softwares on their home/work computers.

I’ve came across following awesome response by USB Overdrive X to anyone using pirated code to register their software online.

It’s kinda awesome personal request to that person using cracked code, which questions the moral actions of the wrong doers.

Only one issue with the above message: They should have termed the guys as Crackers and not as hackers.

IMHO hackers do have good intentions unlike to crackers.

If I’m using that software illegally, I would definitely consider as paying the license fees.

However it helps that I’m using Linux and open source most of the times, and all softwares on my windows machine are licensed.

USB Overdrive X is a Device drive software used on Mac OS X that handles any USB mouse/trackball/joystick/gamepad or any bluetood mouse.

See the related post on piratesdillema here.

December 6, 2008

Kung Fu Panda – Secrets of the furious Five

Kung fu panda is an awesome movie and i thoroughly enjoyed it with my family. I’ve seen it with my friends and loved it everytime I saw it.

It’s a story about a panda names Po (Voice: Jack Black) who goes on to fight against the ods to become the ultimate ‘The Dragon Warrior’ the extreme superior Kung Fu Fighter with the help of Master Shifu (Voice: Dustin Hoffman).

However this blog post is not about Kung Fu Panda. I happen to see a short (~24 mins) bonus film “Secrets of the Furious Five” which came with Kung Fu Panda.

This short mostly 2D anime talks about the origins of each of the Furious Five and mentions what virtue they had to learn in order to become the Kung Fu Warrior.

The movie starts with few cute little bunnies fighting with each other and refusing to listen to Panda.

In an attempt to teach them that kung fu is more than only kicks and punches; in this 24 minutes movie Panda tells them the story of each warrior and virtue they had to learn to become super warrior:

  • Mantis  :  Patience
  • Viper    :  Courage
  • Crane   :  Confidence
  • Tigress :  Control/Discipline
  • Monkey : Compassion

Kung Fu Panda - Secrets of the Furious Five -- Image taken from IMDB

It teaches some nice lessons in ways that are simple to understand.

Synopsis (from Wikipedia. I chose to paste entire content here along with giving link.)

Po is assigned by Master Shifu to teach an Introduction to Kung Fu class for a group of rambunctious bunny children.

After some initial difficulty bringing the class to order, Po finally begins his lesson emphasizing to the kids that combat is only part of Kung Fu, while its true meaning is “Excellence of Self”.

To illustrate the point, he uses the stories of the Furious Five’s individual pasts and the basic philosophical concepts they learned that enabled them to be great kung fu masters.

Mantis

In his youth, Mantis was a petulantly impatient warrior who was prone to jumping to conclusions and making impulsive decisions.
When that habit gets him captured, the long wait he was forced to endure in his cage allowed him to find the patience to play dead long enough to ambush his captors.

Viper

Viper, the daughter of Great Master Viper, was born without venomous fangs.
Her father, who relied on his venomous bite (referred to as his “Poison Fang Technique”), was despondent she could never succeed him as a warrior.
However, upon reaching adulthood, her father encountered a bandit who wore armor hard enough to shatter his fangs when he tried to bite him.
Seeing her father in peril, Viper found the courage to fight the bandit and defeat him with her ribbon dancing skills.

This story also makes a slight retcon – in the main film, Po bemoans the fact that he’s “not like the Five. I’ve got no claws, no wings, no venom,
but of course in this story we find out from Po himself that Viper doesn’t possess poison, a contradiction at odds with Po’s encyclopedic knowledge of Kung Fu and its heroes,
though it could be possible that he recently found out that Viper doesn’t have venom.

Other brief shots from the main film shows Viper to have tiny fangs that don’t stick out, but fangs nonetheless, posing an alternative theory that viper did gain
slight poison capabilities, but that her ribbon dancing skills still formed the basis of her kung fu style.

Crane

Crane was an unconfident janitor of a martial arts school until the star pupil, Mei Ling, encouraged him to try seek enrollment in the school.
Although his nerve failed him at the try outs, he accidentally found himself in the intimidating challenge that determined eligibility.
Suddenly, he found the confidence to take the challenge and his skinny body proved to be an asset that enabled him to succeed.

Tigress

Tigress was an orphan whose status as an apex predator and her destructive lack of control of her strength left her feared and
isolated with no hope of anything better.
Master Shifu came to teach her the discipline to control her movements until she could perform delicate tasks with ease enough to allay the concerns of the
orphanage.
When she was still rejected for adoption by the adults who still feared her, Master Shifu took her in as his student and foster daughter.

Monkey

Monkey was a troublemaker who tormented his village owing to him being publically humiliated in his youth.
He defied all attempts to force him to leave until Master Oogway confronted and defeated him, but
also deduced the cause of his anti-social behaviour.
As such, Oogway encouraged him to stay in the village while encouraging his compassion.

At the end, Shifu returns to see Po’s anticipated lack of progress teaching and is surprised he underestimated Po’s talents yet again
considering how much the panda’s students have learned.

However, the bunnies ask Po how his first day was, the unpleasant memories prompt him to lie through his teeth at how wonderful it was.

November 13, 2008

Never drink and drive : Join the pact with Lewis hamilton and Johnnie Walker

My friend paras told me about signing a pact about ‘Never Drink and Drive’ today morning.

I have never consumed alcohol till date and its easier for me to join this 😉

I went ahead and signed the pact, received the following certificate where my signature is alongside of Lewis hamilton, Mika Hakkinen, Pedro Rosa and Heikki Kovalainen.

Join the pact Certificate

Looking at the accidents caused by drunken driving these kind of initiatives are very important.

Hope to see more people joining the pact.

check here :  http://www.jointhepact.com/

Today’s BombayTimes mentioned this with following promotion for Mercedes McLaren.

Mika Hakkinen will be racing McLaren Formula One Car through bandra reclamation, mumbai on 30th November 2008.  Mostly signing of above pact will yield some passes for the same.

It will be cool to get to see/hear/feel the Formula One car on Mumbai roads.

November 6, 2008

Awesome Picture ….Obama with little child

Filed under: general — Tags: , , — ranjeetwalunj @ 12:30 pm

Got this picture from boston.com

Obama with little child ....... (From boston.com)

Simply awesome 🙂

October 29, 2008

Anand retains world championship by winning match with 6.5 to 4.5 score in 11 games

Its decided and written on stone wall that Vishwanathan Anand is the first world champion in all 3 formats of chess 🙂

  1. Classical chess
  2. Tournament chess
  3. Rapid Chess

Its an excellent day for Indian Chess where Vishwanathan Anand has retained his world championship by drawing his 11’th game against Kramnik.

After the loss in 10’th game it was evident that kramnik will go out in 11’th and 12’th game where anand just needed 1/2 point for winning the match.

Anand sprung a surprise of 1. e4 (he was deploying d4 with white in every game in this match), which was answered well by kramnik by throwing back surprise of super sharp Sicilion-Najdorf variation.

The 11’th game was played beautifully by these two players where the position was unclear till the exchange of queen happened.
Anand forced exchange of queens by posing a mate threat on last row. After this game was not at all bad for white; in fact white had little bit of advantage in this game.

Anand has silenced his critics who were doubting his ability in classic chess match format by comprehencively beating kramnik by a margin of 2 points with one game still remaining.

Vishy has given an awesome Diwali gift to entire Indian Chess world and he will scale to great heights after this.

I would dare to make a statement he could have also beaten Big K (Kasparov) in this match looking at his current form.

Bring on Topalov next year .. and we will see another great win by Vishy.

The game was covered with commentary by GM Susan Polgar here

Chessdom has covered the complete game 11 with GM Dimitrov here

October 23, 2008

Business Intelligence and career options

We have learned about the basics of business intelligence in the previous post.

Business Intelligence (Or BI) is a vast topic which covers various aspects of DSS (Decision Support System).

BI means attain complete wisdom from knowledge which will help taking the best possible decision yielding the best possible result.
To understand knowledge it would be better to have a look Hierarchy of knowledge from following chart.

knowledge discovery to wisdom -- based on Giarratano and Riley 1998

As you can clearly see that from the raw data across multiple systems (after filtering the noise) an information is gathered and stored.

i.e. processed data is referred as ‘information’ depicting how much we understand from the underlying data.

This information when used to solve problem becomes ‘Knowledge’ — Knowledge about knowledge becomes the ‘Meta Knowledge’ which in turn provides ‘wisdom’ to the system.

Broadly “Business Intelligence Roadmap” defines following process for complete project life cycle of BI system.

  1. Justification
    • Business case Assessment
  2. Planning
    • Interprise Structure Evaluation
    • Project planning
  3. Business alalysis
    • Project Requirements Definition
    • Data Analysis
    • Application Prototyping
    • Meta Data Repository Analysis
  4. Design
    • Database Design
    • ETL Design
    • Meta Data Repository Design
  5. Construction
    • ETL Development
    • Application Development
    • Data Mining
    • Meta Data Repository Development
  6. Deployment
    • Implementation
    • Release Evaluation

To complete above BI project lifecycle following team structure is required:

Role Major Responsibilities
Application lead developer Designing and overseeing the development of the access and analysis application (e.g., reports, queries)
BI infrastructure architect Establishing and maintaining the BI technical infrastructure (in some organizations, overseeing the nontechnical infrastructure as well); usually reports to the strategic architect on the extended team
Business representative Participating in modeling sessions, providing data definitions, writing test cases, making business decisions, resolving disputes between business units, and improving the data quality under the control of the business unit represented by this role
Data administrator Performing cross-organizational data analysis, creating the project-specific logical data models, and merging the logical data models into an enterprise logical data model
Data mining expert Choosing and running the data mining tool; must have a statistical background
Data quality analyst Assessing source data quality and preparing data-cleansing specifications for the ETL process
Database administrator Designing, loading, monitoring, and tuning the BI target databases
ETL lead developer Designing and overseeing the ETL process
Meta data administrator Building or licensing (buying), enhancing, loading, and maintaining the meta data repository
Project manager Defining, planning, coordinating, controlling, and reviewing all project activities; tracking and reporting progress; resolving technical and business issues; mentoring the team; negotiating with vendors, the business representative, and the business sponsor; has overall responsibility for the project
Subject matter expert Providing business knowledge about data, processes, and requirements

You can pick up any of the specialization and work towards achieving it. I would try to update this list with other possibilities and details.

I’ve been trying to get data for average salaries earned by BI experts in india, however here is the data from UK market which clearly shows the growth potential.

This document is prepared with the help of following excellent book:
Business Intelligence Roadmap: The Complete Project Lifecycle for Decision-Support Applications — buy here

October 22, 2008

WCC game 6: Anand takes lead 4.5-1.5 against kramnik

Vishwanathan anand is showing absolute great match preparation and is out doing kramnik in his own style of play.

simply outstanding games by anand where he is not hesitating to take risks and playing for win in almost every match.

We have seen a quite dull draw in game 4. After which anand has won game 5 with black by deploying the same preparation with which he had won game 3.
Kramnik chose to play the same meran-exchange variation of slav in game 5 also and anand again deployed novelty (per say shuffling of moves) and got better of kramnik.

so far with 3 white games anand has deployed 1. d4 and not his usual kings pawn opening. This must have surprised kramnik and it shows that he and his team was not prepared to answer anand’s d4 opening.

Probably this also shows what kind of preparation must have gone through at this level by each players.

Anand likes complex positions and kramnik likes slow-steady-methodological play where he build up advantage and takes it through.

Anand has won game 3 and 5 using complex razer sharp positions and game 6 he won almost in Kramnik style. (slow positional play)

After game 5 loss with white pieces kramnik was again pushed by anand in new position where kramnik was not comfortable. Kramnik tried holding fort with his solid defense, however anand manages to better him in the endgame squeezing full point and taking the lead to 4.5 to 1.5.

This must have left kramnik wondering about what wrong he is doing in this match.
Kramnik is falling into the novelties and in turn getting into a time trouble in almost every match.

I think next 6 matches kramnik will try to push for wins and he might consider that he has nothing to loose from here.

But all the best vishy for future games. Keep the match interesting even if it is going to be one side affair.

Game 6 went something like this:

(1) Anand,V (2783) – Kramnik,V (2772) [E34]
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.Qc2 d5 5.cxd5 Qxd5 6.Nf3 Qf5 7.Qb3 Nc6 8.Bd2 0-0 9.h3 b6 10.g4 Qa5 11.Rc1 Bb7 12.a3 Bxc3 13.Bxc3 Qd5 14.Qxd5 Nxd5 15.Bd2 Nf6 16.Rg1 Rac8 17.Bg2 Ne7 18.Bb4 c5 19.dxc5 Rfd8 20.Ne5 Bxg2 21.Rxg2 bxc5 22.Rxc5 Ne4 23.Rxc8 Rxc8 24.Nd3 Nd5 25.Bd2 Rc2 26.Bc1 f5 27.Kd1 Rc8 28.f3 Nd6 29.Ke1 a5 30.e3 e5 31.gxf5 e4 32.fxe4 Nxe4 33.Bd2 a4 34.Nf2 Nd6 35.Rg4 Nc4 36.e4 Nf6 37.Rg3 Nxb2 38.e5 Nd5 39.f6 Kf7 40.Ne4 Nc4 41.fxg7 Kg8 42.Rd3 Ndb6 43.Bh6 Nxe5 44.Nf6+ Kf7 45.Rc3 Rxc3 46.g8Q+ Kxf6 47.Bg7+ 1-0

Woman Grandmaster Susan polgar was covering game 6 live here:

Chessdom has covered the complete game 6 with GM Dimitrov here:

Personally i like Susan polgar’s blog more than that of any other. (Even official fide site is putting susan’s commentary straight on their site).

The complete game can be played back from here :

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