Tag Archives: security

Sony to remove Linux option from PS3 is either a PR April fools joke ever or the worst move ever?


I heard today that Sony plans on removing the “other OS” option from their systems. What was more shocking was their supposed reason for removing this feature. Now I have a PS3 and I personally think it is one of the best systems available today. However, this move makes absolutely no sense. Some of my colleagues use PS3 with Fedora and Ubuntu. However, why are they removing this feature? The timing is bad and moreover, this is not going over well in the community. Yes, not everyone uses this feature, but I can tell you that many of my friends planned to use it over the summer, with a larger hard drive installation. I tried to tell myself that maybe this is a PR April fools joke? But if it is, they certainly need to get rid of the entire department who thought of it.

Sony, if you have any sense at all, please DO NOT DO THIS! You are removing a “FEATURE”! Does anyone there understand this? I mean, imagine buying a car, with a little feature that you love and the manufacturer tells you that we need to remove it (after you paid for it and maybe even got it because it had that feature). Still thinking? Yes, the “Other OS” feature is a bit geeky, but hey, why fix something that isn’t broken. It was almost like I had additional value in the older model. Or maybe that was the problem?

In some sense, if this is true (and my sources tell me it is – Sony), it is in no way democratic. But who says business  has to be? In some sense, what irritates me, is the almost “threatening language from Sony”. If you decide, you will NOT be able to and so on. What is worse is the fact that Sony officials already promised to not remove this option to older users of the PS3. I wonder what Sony is really afraid of? Or is it all about control? Afraid of hacks to their, almost perfect system? I guess, in Sony’s mind, if you want a computer than go buy one? Or maybe they are afraid of the coming Microsoft war against Linux? I do not know? Are they being paid off? Who knows? Maybe a Microsoft Sony merger is on the horizon? With the new Google OS coming soon, sporting a challenge to Microsoft’s dominance, has fear war against Linux begun? Is this a tactical move?

But lets be truthful here. It is a simple numbers game and for those who are not in the Product Development field, let me put it to you this way. We are ALL numbers. I imagine that someone, in their product development department decided that they no longer wanted to support this option, since it is not in the PS3 slim. Maybe it cost too much? They stated that they do not want to encourage “piracy” or have a security hole? What security hole? Just tell the truth Sony, you want control. In essence, there is the slight chance that this is fake, but it probably is not (still praying). If Sony does this, it will be a BIG and very DUMB move by Sony, from a PR perspective in my opinion. However, there is a chance that this could be a social experiment to see if anyone cares? Now that would be interesting. Maybe the firmware will change the system into a Google OS, and shortly after the Sony Google merger will occur? OK, I am stretching it now! I am just trying to understand this decision.

Sony plans on making the move on April 1, 2010 with a firmware update. Sony has already made a lot of enemies across the globe by even suggesting (joke or no joke). No, there will be no compensation for early adopters of the PS3. As indicated, Sony plans to release this update to do only one thing. Put a nail in the coffin to Linux, or any other OS on the Sony Playstation 3. Or as Emperor Palpatine would say to any Linux user, “now you will experience the full power of the dark side…”

By Andy MJ (a.k.a The GTA Patriot) – Who also loves Linux, BSD and Windows 7. Yes, Windows 7 is a pretty good Operating System!

P.S. By the way Sony, I cannot imagine that Yellow Dog is too happy about this? Also, while you are at it why not remove the browser also (since you are so concern about security). In fact, why not remove all options and make you do exactly what YOU want? Maybe Sony has learned from Apple, how to control? It is probably one of the most POWERFUL SYSTEMS EVER CREATED and you want to lock it up? Yes, I am ranting! If you have additional links, please share them.

Ontario’s dirty little election secret – Canadian citizenship is only based on trust


It may be a surprise to you but in Ontario we do not require voters to prove their Canadian citizenship. Yes, I said it! It is no lie! As clearly stated voters “MUST” be Canadian, whether by birth or by becoming a Canadian citizen. However, what many people do not know is our voters list is based on trust alone. Elections Ontario does not have a process requiring individuals to prove their Canadian citizenship. In essence all a voter needs is ID, with a signature. Now do not tell me this is not true, because as a person who grew up in the Toronto area, I have personal accounts of people who voted, who should not have. What is more of a concern is the flawed voter’s list process. There are instances of people who, while moving or residing in different locations are actually able to voter once, twice and in one case 3 times. What should happen is a requirement for ALL voters to provide photo ID. However, even that type of system would not be perfect. This brings back the debate of a Canadian Photo ID card for all Canadian citizens. However, this is another debate, as I am sure the Libertarians and others who hate government intrusion will indicate that their rights are being violated. So tell me then, what is the fix? Where are the checks and balances?

I actually was at an advanced poll to vote. What was interesting is that I had five different locations I could go to. I do not understand why? I went through an extremely rigorous process to vote though. I gave my driver’s license to the elections officer at the front door. I was “thoroughly” inspected and told to verify my address (thought I was at the airport for a minute or maybe he liked my suit). I was then told to go to the yellow line. A person sitting at the desk beside the yellow tape reviewed my license and then me. Just in case I do not look the same, I guess? Or maybe they had nothing to do. I then went to the front desk and went through the same process again. That good! However, there is a slight problem. Since I had 5 locations to vote at I “assumed” that they would have some fancy computer system that checked to make sure that I did not go to another location. All they had me do was read a statement. Wow, a statement! How many people who read it actually understood it? What are the consequences of voting at another location? Now tell me, if I decided to go to another location, how do they determine which location was the proper vote? How do I invalidate my vote? What if I voted for various parties? Which location is the proper vote or are they all removed? Again, how do they know? How do they do that? The head of Elections Ontario said that the system is based on “trust”. Is that good enough? I was told that at another location, they only needed to see a “bill” with the name and an address on it to vote? Great security! I guess they were too busy to rigorously check out their identity. Is that good enough for you for a fair election in such an advanced country such as Canada? We are a “trust based society” so, no need to lock your doors. Leave your wallets and purses open for everyone to see. No one will do another illegal, trust me! THE VOTING SYSTEM IS SERIOUSLY FLAWED!

As a side issue, for years there have been instances of various parties going to various areas to bus in people to vote. I wonder are all of these votes legitimate? We, in Canada, like to go to other countries to help with the democratic process. If we want to hold up ourselves as the best model then we better start to fix our own system. We have AMEX, Visa and MasterCard’s connected to complex computer systems. We have GPS and can track were you are at any given moment. And “If we can get the caramel in a Caramilk bar then I am sure they can figure out a way to perfect the election process”. Don’t tell me the technology does not exist! I am starting to re-think the MMP referendum. I was in support of it, but we need to “fix” the system. I am not sure what the best system is, for the voting process, but the one we have definitely needs a major overhaul. Do you now understand why the U.S is so concerned about our lax security practices, when we hand out cards like they came from Cracker-jack boxes (loved that snack)? But I digress, that is another subject, isn’t it?

The GTA Patriot
Toronto, Ontario

Are thin clients the solution to all your security woes?


The cure-all solution in the security industry is one of the most ubiquitous forms of snake oil and there simply is no such thing.

Are thin clients the solution?

There certainly is some merit in the security implications of thin clients; but there’s also a lot of merit in handing people electric type writers or VT100 terminal emulators from a security and maintenance point of view. Now I am saying that a modern Sun Ray or thin client device to a type writer or text based computer terminal, just that people do associate thin clients in general with fewer features and a “demotion”. I’ve met a lot of people who think that thin clients are just wonderful until you want to take away their computer and give them a thin client. Thin clients are generally associated with data entry tasks and not office productivity. It’s not that you can’t do those tasks with modern thin clients, it’s just that it doesn’t work the way people have grown accustom to and the flexibility afforded to them by the modern personal computer. Until businesses clamor for the days of the main frame and thin clients, it won’t happen any time soon.

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