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Susan Sons (HedgeMage)
Works at Indiana University Bloomington
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Susan Sons (HedgeMage)

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I wish I had the cash on hand for one of's the kind of thing that has the potential to make an independent open source software and infosec researcher's life MUCH more interesting.
Raptor Engineering announced a crowdfunding project to bring IBM's POWER8 processors to the desktop with a standard ATX motherboard, and a high level of openness and expandability.
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+Jeremy Banks: I ran Alphas for several years, and replaced the last one that was getting long in the tooth with an Itanium. I also always use Gentoo for my net-facing servers so I can control exactly what goes on them.

+Susan Sons, the MIPS and ARM are both bi-endian, I think by a control register mode bit. Switching is such a pain, though, that toolchains for both emit code for one or the other. I'm not sure that gets you much of anything in what you're looking to do.
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Not shocking to me, but I suspect it will be to some of my friends in tech.
The wage gap is more complicated than the annual salary figure. Here's how it breaks down.
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The "types of motivators" breakdown is interesting just on its own merits, but also because it correlates with comments in a great TED talk I saw by a woman who founded some huge software business in the UK back in the day, to the effect that allowing for remote work opens doors for women especially working mothers.  She felt it gave her company a competitive edge.

[re-commented because G+ sharing vis-à-vis comments confuses me]
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Whee! Another company bending to the demographics-are-people/character-and-output-don't-count lobby. I wouldn't want to work there, either.
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+Susan Sons I didn't assert that one shouldn't try to come up with some system for assigning merit to given skills and attributes. It is, after all, impossible to make any sort of staffing decision without doing so, and is, as +Jay Maynard says, the essence of management. That said, however, your entire argument here begs the question: you haven't explicitly defined what constitutes 'merit' in your judgment, but whatever your definition is it explicitly dismisses consideration of a wide array of potentially considerable attributes as 'irrelevant.' This is a textbook case of epistemic closure, and this line of reasoning is one reason why a lot of dominant culture people dismiss out of hand such concepts as implicit bias which are self-evidently very much in play to those who are not of the dominant culture.

As to your assertion that consideration of 'irrelevant demographics' is the beginning of the end for any technical or business endeavor, all I can say is that your study of the history of American management practices quite evidently has some large gaps in its coverage. Diversity-based initiatives in staffing, promotion, etc., have long been a part of the management philosophies of a considerable number of successful American businesses, technical ones among them. I can speak from personal experience on this: my mother got an opportunity as an entry-level programmer with IBM back in the mid-60s in part because they had initiatives in place to  demographically broaden their staffing pool, to increase their hires of minorities and women into what was at the time an even more monolithically white male industry segment than it is now.

She had earned a cum laude B.S. in math, but it was from a segregation-era black state university not known for turning out programmers, and she always felt that without affirmative action policies in place at IBM -- long, mind you, before the government got involved in this sort of thing -- she would almost certainly not have gotten even a foot in the door there.
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Susan Sons (HedgeMage)

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Hey folks. For those who are unaware, there's been some backchannel discussion about content quality in this community the past couple of months. After some thought (and a too-busy travel schedule), I've decided that there's no way to enforce content standards here on my own given how busy I am and the low quality of G+ moderation tools.

I'm accepting nominations (including self-nomination) for new moderators. Candidates should be willing to stand up to folks trying to get subpar content through, while nicely reiterating community standards until everyone gets it. They should also be prepared to spend time contributing good content to set an example for the community.

If you are interested in getting involved, drop me an email or a private message here on G+ making your pitch.
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I don't believe it's discriminating. I agree in the sense that this is an international community. I am, for the most part, asian, live in asia, and English is not the mother language from where I'm from. As much as I would want to post in my mother language, 99% of you probably wouldn't know what I am posting.
I think another thing to look into is the number of members. We have 4 thousand?
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This is a sequence that repeats for me a lot... I see an advisory about a security bug or misfeature like this, get a few words in, and realize that it's something I should know about for my work as an infosec geek but doesn't apply at all to any of my own systems.

When are Linux distros serving enterprise (who manage too many systems to customize more than they have to) and non-hackers (who lack the skill to lock down their systems much beyond the defaults) going to take a more reasonable stance on risk management?

Over engineered software like GRUB2, systemd, and a dozen other things I can name become nearly ubiquitous because they make distribution maintainers' jobs a bit easier, but they massively increase systems' attack surface and overall complexity (read: exposure to simple, non-security failures) in the long run, and they raise the overhead for system customization anywhere below the absolute surface.

I wish I had the time to run a distro of my own so that I could enforce a saner risk management strategy, but I just don't. I'm busy trying to fix individual bits of software infrastructure that impact many distributions.

For now, this is just me ranting...though maybe I can use one of the platforms at my disposal to better expose these patterns and convince the established distributions to rethink the choices they are making. Who knows.
Hitting a key over and over again actually works for once. Two security researchers in Spain recently uncovered a strange bug that will let you into most Linux machines just by hitting the backspace key 28 times. Here’s how to fix it and keep your data protected.
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If I have physical access, I own the machine (barring hard drive encryption). But if I can reboot it and read the hard drive, I can own it in 10 minutes (20 minutes if you lock the case).
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Warning: incoming rant.

The article (below) is talking about college students not showing off their accomplishments because somebody might offer an unwanted response in an internet comment. It goes so far as to not just denounce the trolls and the people making threats and blatant ad hominems, but to claim that people who give compliments, but don't give them in the just-right way will damage and frighten the poor delicate college makers away from participating in the maker community.

What terrible affliction makes these particular college students so fragile? They're female! +Caleb Kraft of +Make: zine simply accepts the oft-repeated trope that women can't be expected to deal with trolls the same way men on the internet do. Of course, I'd argue just the opposite. Womanhood, just like manhood, implies STRENGTH, and anybody who doesn't grok this needs to stop using words like "feminist" and "gender equality" until they understand what those things mean.

Why are we taking seriously the assertion that grown women can function and accomplish things only at the whims of whatever nebulous social pressure exists (or is imagined to exist) in their environment? This is the opposite of empowerment, and young people are watching.

There are assholes in the world. It's okay to acknowledge that while also acknowledging that part of being an adult is not cow-towing to said assholes when they babble at you. Be too busy accomplishing things to be bothered by noise. Choose what voices you let inside your head with care.

Also, be understanding. Not everything is about you. Be glad that you received a compliment, and don't fret over whether it's the "right" compliment. You'd be surprised where some compliments come from. I grew up in a sometimes-backwards Catholic parents weren't this way, but many people their age told me I could never marry or have a family because men wouldn't want such a geeky girl who was always playing with computers. If a man saw me hacking and said I was pretty, it wasn't really about my appearance, it was a way of thumbing his nose at that attitude and those people. Also, many men, especially geeky ones, don't get to socialize enough with women and can't find their way through the media's mixed messages about how to interact. It's not fair to read too much into things when they are just trying to be nice.

Women: don't wait for a world full of only perfectly supportive people who not only mean well but understand your psyche well enough to be effectively supportive all the time. If you wait for that, well, you'll be waiting forever. Just go do cool stuff, and then put it out there for others to find.

Everybody: if you help perpetuate the myth that women shouldn't or can't stand up to stupid social pressures, you are not feminist. We are perfectly capable of being tough, of being compassionate, of being smart, and of kicking ass. Quit holding up the weakest among us as examples instead of the strongest.
Internet culture plays a huge role in discouraging some female Makers from sharing their projects.
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There are (several) tropes for that.
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“Colleges and universities need to be doing more than just having students use open-source applications or platforms; they need to be teaching them about the culture of open source and how to collaborate within the open-source community.”

Tom Callaway, team lead for Red Hat’s University Outreach program, talks to Network World about the importance of open source in education.
Most IT departments have project roadmaps that will require open-source skills, but finding recent college grads with open source talent can be challenging.
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Extremely well-written article. Worth a read.

I disagree with Eric on one point. I don't think the best line is "Americans talking about socialism in the 21st century was a luxury paid for by the successes of capitalism in the 20th"...that one comes a close second to:

"Who will be America’s America?"
Best line: "Americans talking about socialism in the 21st century was a luxury paid for by the successes of capitalism in the 20th"
Why my rant against the Democratic candidate’s prescription for America went viral.
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+Alan Atherton Agreed.  I'd much rather argue over ideas than tribalism and identity politics.
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For those who have asked when my +Linux Journal article from last December would be republished on free-as-in-beer media, it's now available via +IU CACR Enjoy.

Chain of Custody discusses the path from software developer to user -- with a focus on Linux environments, where a distribution's package manager is normally employed -- and points out where integrity checks normally happen and where a malicious third party could insert a back door.
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Really good article. I would just add some details around the importance of only using trusted hashing algorithms and key ciphers. SHA-1 & MD5 have been broken, so please don't use those. Also on the importance of rotating private keys. 
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Susan Sons (HedgeMage)

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I see way too much of this...though usually it happens to people not affluent enough to even try to mount a challenge. Best of luck to this family, and to everyone dealing with police overreach!
This is what is wrong with law enforcement in America.
Robert and Addie Harte had to spend $25,000 to find out why a SWAT team mistakenly raided their home.
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On has to wonder; do these punks with badges and robes not understand that ultimately the Bill of Rights that they constantly gnaw at is their only protection from the enraged mob? That their destruction of the 4th Amendment might imply that the 6th doesn't apply when it's their turn?
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Thought for tonight: one of the things I love about BuJo is the ability to just turn the @#$% page and start fresh at any time. It's amazing what a simple act like putting yesterday's or last week's chaos out of sight can do for my focus.
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I agree! When I've over complicated my day I often just turn the page and start again with only a couple tasks or whatever. Or I brain dump then turn the page and start simple. It really helps declutter the mind.
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Infosec Geek
Breaking, Protecting, Coding, Hacking, Teaching...whatever's called for at the moment.
  • Indiana University Bloomington
    Senior Systems Analyst, CACR, 2014 - present
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Susan Stewart
Don't wait for permission to be a badass, just do it.
I spend my time hacking, parenting, working out, backpacking, training in martial arts, playing with fountain pens, writing, teaching, boardgaming, and handling emergencies.  I'm a storyteller and a maker, an armchair psychologist and neophile.

I tried being normal, and it didn't really work for me, so now I do this instead.

I have a fetish for competence.
Bragging rights
I know how to: weave a basket, kill a man from horseback, raise a child, shoot a pistol, save a life (in some limited fashion), swim, throw someone twice my size, speak persuasively, make a candle, weave a rug, sew a quilt, raise livestock, grow crops, write computer code, break things, fix things, swing dance, cook, argue intelligently, try things I'm scared of, and make inappropriately long lists. Also, my 11-year-old son usually admits that we're related, and once called me "the cool mom".
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Bloomington, IN
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Girls and Software | Linux Journal

December 2013's EOF, titled "Mars Needs Women", visited an interesting fact: that the male/female ratio among Linux Journal readers, and Lin

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I've loved working with Mitch at Bodyfit. Unlike others I've tried, he really took the time to get to know my needs and goals instead of just shoving me into a convenient template. He's always watching, correcting, and tweaking to help me get every last possible drop of benefit from my work-outs. He takes the time to follow up between sessions to see how things are working. I'm roughly a month in, and my progress in building muscle, shedding fat, and simply *moving better* has come in much, much faster than it did under my previous workout routine. Edited to add: It's been about a year now, and I'm still training with Mitch. He's seen me through two injuries (one from martial arts, another from search-and-rescue drill, none from my workouts), work/family chaos, medical stuff...all without the kinds of backslides I used to have when life got crazy. When I'm not up to 100%, he always comes up with things for me to do that are challenging *right now* and keep me going. When I'm mysteriously having that 110% day, he jumps on it and gets me working harder to milk it for all it's worth.
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