viernes, 26 de febrero de 2016

Learning from the Hacking of Mint

Recently, Linux Mint experienced a security breach.  What can we learn from it?

1.  Security is always an issue. It doesn't matter what you do, you always have to be alert.

2.  Convenience tends to get in the way of security: the more convenient something is, the less secure it tends to become.

3.  Transparency and honesty are the best way to handle security issues.  Ignoring them or denying them only increases their negative impact (and reduces one's credibility.)

4.  Security cannot be fully automated. A responsible person must always be in charge.  Those who think that automatic face or fingerprint recognition are the best security tools must think who is in charge of programming and calibrating such devices... and how secure the process leading to that automated recognition actually is.  Also, these days it is way easier to steal someone's face with the help of Facebook, latex masks and 3-d printers than stealing a good password.

5.  The person in charge of security must act promptly once security is compromised.  Any delay is unforgivable.

Now, specifically, what measures could other distros take to make their sites safer?  Here are some:

a- Signing the final iso files.
b- Signing checksums.
c- Keeping such signatures in a very secure server.
d- Using HTTPS (SSL).

Those are some thoughts.  Any others will also be welcome.

miércoles, 17 de febrero de 2016

Never Alone...Thanks to Pisi Linux!

I had bought the game Never Alone: Kisima Inŋitchuŋa last December.  However, it was impossible for me to download the game for Steam in spite of all my efforts.  Then, after some more struggle, I got my money back.  It was too bad because I really wanted to play that game.

Then, my brother sent me a copy as a gift.  However, I ran into the same problem: although I tried to download the game on several of my distros, I got 0 kb of 0 kb downloaded and my client reported the process as completed.

I got the impression that the problem was with the architecture of my distros: all are Debian based.  That was weird because Ubuntu, the distro that Steam supports, is also from the Debian family.

My last card was Pisi Linux, my only current distro that is not from the family of Debian.  But I hit another obstacle: Pisi 1 does not have Steam among its packages!

Fortunately, there is a way to install it: You open a terminal and enter:

sudo pisi bi

Then, you type your admin password.

To install the package:

 sudo pisi it *pisi

Soon enough, I got Steam downloaded.  Unfortunately, it wouldn't start from the icon.  Before giving up hope, I tried running Steam from a terminal...

Great!  It showed me that Steam was asking for permission to download updates.  Once the permission was granted, a big download took place.  

Then, crossing my fingers, I clicked on the button to download the game...

BINGO!!!  The 2.5 GB download started!!!!

After that download finished, could I play the game?

YES!!!  This is the screenshot:


martes, 9 de febrero de 2016

New Look

Now that MEPIS seems to be finally dead, it's time for me change the appearance of my blog, with the help of the Gimp, Showfoto, and Kolourpaint.  Also, I must move on and continue my migration because, as sure as it can be, I am not going back to Windows.

Why?  Because thanks to Linux and to Free Software I've been able to experiment with my computers without any fear and I've learned a lot more than I did during my 15+ years using Windows.  Also, while I hear lots of Windows users utterly worried about the spyware features of Redmond's new OS and the disrespect of this company toward people's choices, I have nothing to worry about.  The distro that brought me to Linux might be no more, but I can always choose what operating system I want to install and use.

lunes, 1 de febrero de 2016

Pisi Linux 2.0 Alpha7 (New Cat) has been Released!

Developers keep working on Pisi 2.0 and some days ago they released another alpha:  New Cat.

Pisi will switch to Qt5 and to KDE 5. 

Here's a video of Pisi running desktop effects.

If you want to test it, you can download it here (1.3 GB.) Remember: Pisi is a 64-bit distro.

It's good to hear they are still keeping the little cat alive!