Martin @ Blog

software development and life.


Archive for May, 2008

Ethical problems with Wifi experiment

The Dutch computer magazine Computer Idee! (intended for novice computer users) is critized for an article in which they investigated the behaviour of people on public wireless networks. The editors of the magazine installed a freely accessible public Wifi network at Shiphol Airport and monitored the usage of it. Obviously, there were people using this network and sending private data over it without any encryption. Now the editors of the magazine are critizied for not obeying the ethical laws common to the hacker community. Interestingly, this comment is made by Roel Schouwenberg, a researcher for Kaspersky.
I don’t think I agree with Schouwenberg. Computer Idee! exposed a real problem and in my opinion this is not a ethical problem. Users of public wireless networks should be aware that their data is exposed and can be used by anyone. Obviously, it is a bit questionabel that Computer Idee! stored the private data on their systems, but I think it is strange that researchers from Kaspersky are complaining about this. I think they should be complaining about the behaviour of users, who should use encryption technologies when sending private data over a public wireless network. Never trust systems and networks you don’t control.
But maybe Schouwenberg is complaining because the ignorance of users is essentially their business. If computer users were more security aware, the amount of virusses and other malware would be less, because the won’t be as succesfull as they currently are…. Making the public more aware and reducing the security risks by changing the habits of users is not in the interest of Kaspersky.

Problems with Parallels

Last week, I installed Ubuntu 8.04 in a Parallels Virtual Machine on my MacBook. Today, I decided it would be nice if the Parallels tools were working, so I tried to install them. This didn’t work.
After some searching using Google, I discovered this is a known problem, and there doesn’t seem to be a solution for it yet. On a forum there is a topic on this issue in which some complaining about this, because VMWare Fusion seems to work perfectly well with the latest Ubuntu release. There is also no comments from the Parallels developers on this issue, which is a bad thing in my opinion, because it is a serious issue. Like most Parallels users, I mainly use it to test stuff on Linux and Windows, which requires a perfect working of both platforms to make this as effortless as possible. Hopefully, this issue will be resolved quickly, because this kind of stuff makes users switch from Parallels to VMWare.

You are currently browsing the Martin @ Blog blog archives for May, 2008.