Tarnation

Tarnation has been very well recieved. It hurts me to say so, as it’s obviously such a personal film, but I’m going to go out on a limb - it doesn’t work for me. I’m sure the premise is good; Jonathan Caouette created a documentary about his life and that of his mother (both of them suffer from mental problems), and employed some slightly abstract editing techniques and only semi-structured narration. The film was initially produced for $218 on a Mac, which is impressive, and doesn’t really show. But although it has occasional scenes of emotional power, some parts of the presentation are self-indulgent (lengthy scenes that don’t convey much in the way of documentation), in a way that turned me off the participants (and thus, the filmmaker). I do worry that maybe I didn’t get it, but I still ultimately came away unfulfilled by this film.

OpenSSH Niggle #329

It appears that in some fairly recent version of OpenSSH, the support for the ~/.ssh/authorized_keys2 file was removed (along with the known_hosts2 file). It had apparently been deprecated in preference to the ~/.ssh/authorized_keys file a while ago. This caused me some grief when my ISP silently upgraded OpenSSH recently and my automatic backup scripts (which rely on key authentication) stopped working. Renaming the file fixed the problem.

I've Got Nothing to Hide

A little practical experiment:

I was listening to a podcast by Bruce Schneier the other day on the topic of privacy. I found his speaking to be a little less powerful than his blog. However, although I didn’t always agree with his proposed economic or legal solutions to problems, primarily because we have a differing political perspective, he is good at explaining security principles and how they apply to real life.

If you’re like me, when discussing privacy with people, you sometimes get frustrated by people who use the mantra ‘What are you scared of? I have nothing to hide.’, or some variation. I find this a hard argument to win. Bruce gave a simple reply which I’m betting is 90% effective.

If you genuinely feel you’ve got nothing to hide, please append your salary and your name as a comment to this posting. If you don’t (and I suspect you won’t), it probably means you have something to hide. This doesn’t mean you are a bad person. It doesn’t mean you’ve committed a crime. It just means you have good reasons not to fully disclose everything about your life. This is what privacy is about, and is why some people get upset when it’s taken away.

WebSphere ESB 6.0.2 Announced

As Adrian has pointed out, WebSphere ESB 6.0.2 has just been announced. This will be available around the end of the year (together with corresponding new versions of WebSphere Process Server and Websphere Integration Developer). There are a whole host of new features which increase ESB’s capability, as well as other improvements. See Adrian’s post for more information.

What is WebSphere MQ link?

WebSphere MQ link allows you to connect WebSphere Application Server (or any WAS-based product, such as WebSphere ESB) to a WebSphere MQ server. From the perspective of MQ, WAS/ESB’s messaging engine appears to be just another MQ server (and, accordingly, you connect them together with sender & receiver channels). From the perspective of WAS/ESB, MQ appears to be a foreign bus. Thus, ‘foreign destinations’ (WAS/ESB) and ‘remote queues’ (MQ) can be used as appropriate to exchange messages across the link. Both point-to-point and pub/sub style messaging can be used, and the MQ link maps corresponding message features as closely as possible.

This is particularly useful for ESB, as it allows it to mediate messages from and to an MQ queue using JMS bindings. You can find more information on how to set up an MQ link in the Infocenter.

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