Former Munich Mayor Explains How Microsoft Hates Linux

Christian Ude, Oberbürgermeister von München zwischen 1993 und 2014.

Christian Ude speaks in a new interview about what Microsoft did in Munich and elsewhere in Europe in order to undermine GNU/Linux and impose Microsoft Windows on everybody, together with all the spyware Microsoft provides for it (likely violation of privacy laws)

Source: Former Mayor of Munich Explains How Microsoft Hates Linux | Techrights

Do away with the Product Owner Role

Mike Cohn of Mountain Goat Software has an opinion on Scrum’s Product Owner Role. It’s controversial, and Product people will disagree.

Das Dilemma mit der Digitalisierung

Nun ist es  ja so, daß Digitalisierung seit Monaten, wenn nicht Jahren in aller Industrie-Munde ist. Man muss sich verändern, um den Konzernen aus USA, im speziellen dem Silicon Valley, mit Ihren neuartigen Geschäftsmodellen Schritt zu halten. Die Cloud ist der vermeintliche Treiber für diese veränderte Geschäftskultur, die eine nicht einzuholende Geschwindigkeit ermöglicht. Continue reading “Das Dilemma mit der Digitalisierung”

Haskell and the Future of Coding

Haskell is a 25-year-old programming language that isn’t all that popular. But Facebook uses it, and that’s a sign of things to come.

Wow. Not for a single day in the past 18 years did I even remotely think Haskell had a future. Even more with fancy hipster languages like, Ruby (not so much anymore), Scala, Groove, Erlang or even Clojure showing up, in commercial environments. Facebook is proving me wrong.

via: Facebook’s New Spam-Killer Hints at the Future of Coding | WIRED

Economics Has a Math Problem

The field begins to look like others that rely on data.

This is a discussion I had more than a decade back with economy students, as a student of computer science. The argument was much the same and nothing much has changed in the meantime. The difference is more data is available today and can be used much easier, though, which is to Noah Smiths argument.

via: Economics Has a Math Problem – Bloomberg View

Software sucks. Says @zeynep

Why the Great Glitch of July 8th Should Scare You.”  When United had to ground its fleet, the NYSE and WSJ were down. Because of software.

The magical security unicorn.

The purpose of security software is to make other software more secure. This is what the security industry claims, sometime with legit arguments, sometime the industry tries to chase unrealistic ideals, as a recently linked article suggest.

And I couldn’t agree more. The security industry approaches the problem from the wrong end, most of the time. With keeping in mind the principles of security, Integrity, Availability and Authenticity, security software helps mitigate threats in the class of Vulnerabilities, Exploits and malicious software and payloads. Products available to purchase can be considered in classes of, Encryption (Integrity and Authenticity), for data in rest (disk encryption, file encryption) or for data in transit (VPN or protocol encryption). Backup is clearly saving Availability, but most companies in the security industry consider this a different topic. Then there are products to limit access, e.g. Network Layer Firewalls, which have a very distinct functionality. Up to here, things are very clear and deterministic. When it comes to Application Layer Firewalling, e.g. Web Application Firewalls things start to get fuzzy.

Products that aim to protect from any unknown threat, malware or payload, like Anti Virus, Anti Spam, Intrustion Prevention and even Vulnerability Scanners, provide information that is know already.

Now that a particular exploit is know, protection for it can be provided in two distinct locations: the vulnerable software can be patched to remove the problem. Or, what the security industry offers, have another piece of software in place that tries to protect from something that is known already. And with that, raising system complexity and opening another vector for vulnerability.

The sustainable approach is to invest in secure software and architecture, that has built in encryption, authentication and redundancy. This is something the security industry can provide as technology vendors, rather than chasing the magical unicorn.

email ain't work.

email is one of my favorite topics when it comes to modern ways of working. There were a few articles on this blog concerning email to be abolished by major organizations in favour of social media (which won’t solve the underlying problem…)

Communication is essential to most jobs, but so is productivity. Claire Diaz Ortiz wrote a nice comment on why it is both work and why it ain’t at the same time.

email ain’t work.

This is the opinion that I tend to prefer, coming from an engineering education. email will distract anybody trying to focus on some real problem, will create an obligation to do something non-productive. email can be considered something additional, that should not become the majority of the actual work. To send designs, architecture, plans or status updates, but it is for sure outside the scope of engineering centric job descriptions.

unless you’re paid for it.

The situation is much different should you work in customer support, service, sales or even product marketing or management. These roles live off the conversation with customers, clients, partners and peers, sometimes even competitors. These roles need to know what others, the market, wants to see as a product or a service, and this is something you can get off a drawing board.

So it depends (a bit)

After all, email has a very different meaning, depending on the role someone is in. Still the medium itself is very difficult to handle and too time consuming, even for roles depending on communications. Just imagine all the (obvious) spam, newsletters, notifications and so on. Not to say about the increasing practice to CC everybody and his brother. This is what makes email an ultimate productivity killer for everybody.

In response to: Why Email Isn’t Work. (And Why It Is.).