Never Trust Lenovo Again

Tonight on GeekNights, we discuss Lenovo's egregious violation of trust in bundling ad-inserting SSL-attacking malware with their computers. The malware included a SuperFish self-signed SSL certificate allowing straight-up man-in-the-middle attacks, complete with the now-known password "komodia". Even better, "komodia" is an obvious reference to the Komodia Redirector Framework, a ready-made SSL manipulation tool. EVEN BETTER, the Komodia site is now down under the load (and a claimed DDOS). The US Department of Homeland Security has gotten involved, at least one lawsuit has begun against Lenovo, and companies like Microsoft and McAfee have added SuperFish to their antivirus software. We humbly suggest that you never trust Lenovo hardware ever again.

In other news, Rym and Scott lost some money in a bad bet regarding Apple and OSX's Gatekeeper back in 2012, Waze is angering NIMBY Luddites by better utilizing public roads, and the US government move a tiny step closer to actually doing something resembling the right thing regarding Net Neutrality.

Buying Other People Computers

Tonight on GeekNights, we talk about how to buy or recommend computers for other people. As in, the people who will call you for help when they eventually fail. Rym had good luck with the Newegg iBUYPOWER configurator thingie. Gerrymandering can be analyzed, quantified, and solved with mathematics. The European Parliament tothlessly declared that Google should be broken up. Blackberry is so desperate they'll buy your iPhone.

The GeekNights Book Club book is now Watership Down. Also, rent can't be paid with anything other than paper in New York, and there's talk of laundry.

Upgrading PCs

Tonight on GeekNights, in response to some unnamed friends not understanding when/how to upgrade their computers, we talk about upgrading computers. From the "$300 for 4MB of RAM" era to the "upgrade every component every six months" era to the modern "just get a new video card and maybe an SSD" era, there's fun for the whole family. But seriously, just upgrade your video card. It's way, way cheaper than buying a new computer.

In the news, Tivo still exists, and is selling a $5,000... NAS/HTPC? (To whom?) Also, the FAA is going after drone users and all the amazing things they're using them for.

IT Disasters

Tonight on GeekNights, in light of Otakon 2014's spectacular pre-registration badge pickup system failure, we discuss how to identify, mitigate, and entirely avoid IT disasters. We've both seen our share of them (from incorrectly configured servers to mystery Ethernet drops, disabled iptables to ENABLED selinux). Learn why your procedures should never involve "copying the /opt directory." In the news, Yahoo is rolling out browser-to-browser email encryption and Google is claiming to uprank search results for encrypted sites.

Performance Profiling

Tonight on GeekNights, we cover the high level of performance profiling. It's a complex problem that requires an understanding of programming and profilers, but also hardware and statistics. In the news, Orkut is finally dying the true death, right alongside freshmeat.net. ConnectiCon is happening NEXT WEEKEND!

Old Computers

Tonight on GeekNights, we talk about old computers (e.g., the Apple II GS, the Amiga, and the humble 486), why they're different from modern computers, and what they can be used for today. Primarily, we mean museum pieces, teaching tools, awesome hacks, and guaranteed non-compromised encryption key generators. In the news, TrueCrypt was shut down under extremely dubious circumstances, raising fears that that project received a National Security Letter or had other government woes and other heavy speculation. Also, Apple Day brought many minor Apple announcements, though SWIFT is what you should be paying attention to.

ConnectiCon is just around the corner in July, and it has a pretty amazing panel/workshop/lecture schedule. Join us there! Also join us in the GeekNights Forums!

Search Technology

Tonight on GeekNights, after doing a show on Dentistry and Dentistry, we discuss how to search for things. In the news, Netflix pays out to Comcast to keep movies streaming (see peering and tiered networks), and Microsoft Killed my Pappy.

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