Cloud storage arrays

Cloud storage arrays

From The Register's Cloud section. Along with brown paper packages tied up with string, this is one of my new favourite things.

Microsoft open sources .NET?

Classic .net logo

Yes, I make it a habit of using older versions of logos if they were superior to the new ones. Case in point, ironically, Java.

Jonathan Vanian, writing for GigaOm:

In what probably never would have happened under the first two CEOs to lead the historic software company, Microsoft plans to announce on Wednesday that it is open sourcing the entire .NET framework, a symbolic move by the Redmond, Washington-based legacy technology company officially recognizing that the open-source model of software development is here to stay.

Miguel de Icaza, the famed GNOME and Mono developer:

Today, Scott Guthrie announced that Microsoft is open sourcing .NET. This is a momentous occasion, and one that I have advocated for many years.

And Immo Landwerth, writing on the official .NET Blog:

Today is a huge day for .NET! We’re happy to announce that .NET Core will be open source, including the runtime as well as the framework libraries.

Hmm, .NET Core? Let's ask living Microsoft institution Mary Jo Foley:

Microsoft is not planning to open source the client side .NET stack, which means it won't be open sourcing libraries specific to the client such as Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) and Windows Forms, Somasegar confirmed.

So Betteridge's law of headlines shamelessly still in effect, at least here.

The FireHOL flame haze

Shana and her... firewall!

I've really been spoiled by pf on the BSDs. By comparison, Linux's iptables are complex and nasty enough to have spawned dozens of tools for indirect maniplation, such that you don't have to write them yourself.

The one I've used most frequently is Canonical's ufw. An alternative I'm coming around to is FireHOL, which is carefully advertised as a firewall language, rather than a script frontend.

The first gotcha was in enabling it on Debian. I'm very much used to /etc/default configuration files being immutable defaults, hence the directory name. If you want to define non-default configuration, you create a separate file to override these settings. For FireHol, you have to enable it from within its /etc/default/firehol file:

#To enable firehol at startup set START_FIREHOL=YES
#If you want to have firehol wait for an iface to be up add it here

Then you can define rules in /etc/firehol/firehol.conf. As an example, this box will only accept the following incoming (client) and outgoing (server) services. The protection option provides sane defaults for flood and malformed packet protection:

## Crazy basic FireHOL configuration

version 5

interface "eth0" internet
    protection strong
    server "ping ssh" accept
    client "dns http https ntp ssh" accept

It looks as though the quotes are optional in this case, but I think they render user settings and commands easier to distinguish. Regardless, the Reference Manual lists all the options.

Problem existed between keyboard and chair

So far, the only option I've had issues with is ipv4. It says I should be able to do this:

interface "eth0" public-net
    ipv4 server "ping ssh" accept

But doing so results in an error:

[....] Restarting Firewall configuration:[..]\
line 17: ipv4: command not found

UPDATE: This appears to only work in the context of defining rules for both ipv4 and ipv6. The modifiers page lists examples:

interface eth0 myboth src4 src6 2001:DB8::/24
    ipv4 server http accept
    ipv4 client http accept

Shakugan no Shana screenshot by J.C.Staff Co., Ltd. (株式会社ジェー・シー・スタッフ).

Haganai, With 50% More Fail!

Cover of Haganai, With 50% More Fail!

I've only seen the first anime season, and haven't read any of the manga. Still, when Clara and I saw this in Kinokuniya this week, we had no say in the matter. It's unapologetically ridiculous and absurd, and a great way to unwind after a long day of IT support :).

These two comments on Amazon say it all. First Cory:

Fun awkward fun for all of those with severe antisocialism!

And Sarious:

Such a great manga and anime series. While this volume doesn't contribute to the overall plot, it's still a must-read in the series I'd say. Haganai (Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai) never ceases to be hilarious. If you haven't read the Haganai manga yet, but have seen the anime, I'd highly recommend getting into the manga series.

Australian climate policy up somewhere


Here in Australia, we had a government that not only acknowledged the climate change issue, but implemented an emissions trading scheme and a price on carbon. Then we voted in a conservative government on a platform of "repealing the carbon tax".

And then this happened. Lenore Taylor, writing for The Guardian:

Australia is under intense pressure to announce a target for post-2020 greenhouse gas reductions after the shock announcement from US president Barack Obama and Chinese premier Xi Jinping of new national climate change goals.

The US has agreed to cut its emissions by 26-28% of 2005 levels by 2025 – a doubling of the pace of its reductions. If Australia were to make similar cuts by 2025 against its 2000 benchmark, it would need to reduce emissions by between 28% and 31%.

And the line Twitter is buzzing about:

Asked where the deal left Australia’s climate change policy, the expert adviser to the former government Professor Ross Garnaut said: “Exactly where it was before the US-China announcement – up shit creek.”

No question, our Prime Minister has made Australia a pariah in the global scientific and environmental communities. Worse still, we'll be living with his cabinet's short sightedness for years.

Photo of the Hazelton Coal Thermal plant from the CSIRO.