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……..

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 15, 2008

Anand vs. Kramnik in World Chess Championship: first game starts with draw

I’m sure all indian chess players will be eager to follow the world chess championship which is currently going on in Bonn (Germany).

The long awaited match between Viswanathan Anand (Elo. 2783) of India and Vladimir Kramnik (Elo. 2772) of Russia began today.

The championship match consists of 12 games, from 14’th october to 31st oct 08 (Iff tiebreak-2’nd nov 2008) for prize money of 1.5 M Euro.

I’m sure more than price money, its pride for which kramnik and anand will be fighting for.

Vishy is much stronger player + better human being + much more consistent than kramnik, and I’m following and supporting vishy for a world chess crown.

This entire year (apart from couple of tournaments) vishy has been in phenomenal form and I’m sure that he will show similar form and ensure that the title stays with him.

this is a time for vishy to break his WCC ‘K’ jinx {lost previous matches to Karpov (1992 n 1998), Kamsky (1994) and Kasparov (1995)}.

Coming back to the first game where Kramnik played usual ‘safety-first’ game where both parties were trying to judge the preparation of each other teams. This will continue for first few games after which we should see some agressive play on board by these guys.

First game of WCC is drawn where Kramnik playes white with anand opting for Exchange Slav variation.

Game One:

Kramnik,V (2772) – Anand,V (2783) [D14]
WCh Bonn GER (1), 14.10.2008
1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.cxd5 cxd5 5.Bf4 Nc6 6.e3 Bf5 7.Nf3 e6 8.Qb3 Bb4
9.Bb5 0-0 10.Bxc6 Bxc3+ 11.Qxc3 Rc8 12.Ne5 Ng4 13.Nxg4 Bxg4 14.Qb4 Rxc6 15.Qxb7
Qc8 16.Qxc8 Rfxc8 17.0-0 a5 18.f3 Bf5 19.Rfe1 Bg6 20.b3 f6 21.e4 dxe4 22.fxe4
Rd8 23.Rad1 Rc2 24.e5 fxe5 25.Bxe5 Rxa2 26.Ra1 Rxa1 27.Rxa1 Rd5 28.Rc1 Rd7 29.Rc5
Ra7 30.Rc7 Rxc7 31.Bxc7 Bc2 32.Bxa5 Bxb3 draw.

The complete game can be viewed here (Russian website)

Wish you all the best Vishy 🙂

September 29, 2008

All your base are belong to us …

Google has launched the Project 10^100 (”Project 10 to the 100th”) to mark their 10th birthday;
a call for ideas to change the world by helping as many people as possible.
The price is around some $200,000 per idea. (they are selecting 5 ideas for $1 Million)

As they have already touched upon most of our daily habits and tracked us completely.

They can go ahead and take following ideas to own us completely 🙂

    – Worldwide Google Security number agency (something like Social Security Number)
    – Run Spy Agency  (They already know many more things about us than probably we know about ourselves)
    – Visa/Passport Agency
    – Start Television channels (They already have satellite)
      I’m sure they can definitely run targeted ads on Set-Top boxes
    – Start Hospitals
    – Start schools (All kind of)
    – Start building military applications and appliances
    – Provide alternate Energy source and make money
    – Run a full fledged financial institution (World needs few more players in this zone — after the current debacle)
        catering to banking needs
        investment needs
        mortgage
        credit authority
        ….and so on
    – Start something on geologists and geophysicists
        First target to find oil mines
    – Start film production house (producing all type of films including adult movies)
    – Start a Soft+Hard Drink manufacturing company
    – And many more …………..

Please check the 10^100 original announcement here.

Please feel free to add your ideas here …. (I assure that I’ll share prize money 😉 )



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September 24, 2008

Things I like about Dell

For the last 5 years, I’ve switched my laptops continuously for the following reasons

  • choice (lemme be clear i can choose my laptop model — but to give me laptop or not is someone else’s choice)
  • compulsion (older laptop gave too many issues)
  • change of job  (pretty obvious reason)
  • due to someone else  (now this is another story … sometime later 😉 )

I’ve used following laptops in this duration

  • IBM thinkpad R40 and R51
  • Apple powerbook (G4 Aluminum 15″)
  • HP 6110nx
  • Dell Inspiron 1520 (Current laptop)

The post is not about laptop models used but kind of services we received from Dell.

I have experience with other dell products (Servers + Laptops) and used them extensively in past in our office/IDC.

Dell Service is been excellent till date and very much above average than the other providers.
(They have tie-ups with service providers and i guess they enforce stringent SLA also)
Dell does not support/service their goods directly in India.

Most of the times if something is wrong with the servers/laptops; we have received service within the same day (for laptops) and within 4 hours for servers.

If any part is found defective or giving some issues then it is replaced without any questions being asked.

My colleague got his wireless lan card replaced within couple of days since it started showing maximum speed of 48 Mbps (than normal 54 Mbps)

And in last week, I’ve replaced my entire screen because it had two small black dots (size of 2 pixel by 1) on it.
Firstly it had only one which I ignored, but when second dot appeared I complained and got the screen replaced.

I launched a complaint and next day Dell’s support engineer walked in with brand new screen. He checked my screen acknowledged the problem and got it replaced immediately.

Screen is one of the costliest item in any Laptop.
And to have it replaced without asking any questions is awesome.

I’ve not experienced similar service with any other providers.

Dell product rocks and their service just complements them. 🙂

August 20, 2008

Most difficult things in life ….

The three most difficult tasks in life are neither physical feats not are they intellectual achievents.
Rather they are moral acts :
1. To return love for hate
Cool thought ….. I was exactly opposite and if someone used to hate/dislike me, I will almost and always ignore that person and would not try to change his opinion about me.
Need to go further steps ahead and would certainly try to change the opinion of those people who used to hate/dislike me.
2. To include the excluded
Hmmm … havenot encountered this much ….. May be most of the times i was being excluded 😉
so guys do remember —  i’m expecting to be included next time 🙂
3. To say, “I was wrong”
Yeah …. cultivating this habbit …. there are lots of wrongs and few rights ……
so atleast admitting that i was wrong is big couragious ……  have started this …
will admit few more mistakes which are done in past ..
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