Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Communications Security

From CNN:
Google: 'Government surveillance is on the rise'

In 90% of all requests by the government to access a personal email account Google agreed.
This is why it's a good idea to encrypt your emails. I can't do it universally, due to not everyone whom I email having encryption software (or in some cases not knowing how to use the encryption software that others installed for them), but I can do it for those with whom I most want to keep a secure email link.

The government can almost certainly "brute-force" its way past an encryption with ease, but it does prevent them, or anyone else, be they criminals, or even even the email provider, from casually reading your emails, absent an unknown security exploit.

My personal suggestion is GPG (link is for the windows version).

Sunday, November 11, 2012

OS Comparison: Part 5, Gaming

The game I used are Minecraft.

The game is cross-platform (as in, it runs in both Windows and Linux).

Minecraft's F3 button reporting of FPS will be used

The games will be the only additional software running on the system when I make the measurements. The measurements will occur after the game has rendered the game-space.

Gentoo: 30-40
Fedora 18: 30-40
Ubuntu 12.10: 30-40
Windows 7: 15-25
Windows 8: Not yet tested

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

US Elections

Prediction: By the end of this week, people will be calling shenanigans in the polls.

They will use one of several (interesting) points, one of which is how each swing state voted.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

OS Comparison: Part 4, Updates

This is a highly variable test: Results may vary.
Steps to Reproduce: Install the operating system, then run its update manager (if it has one).

Gentoo: As this system compiles all software from source, it loses handily (it takes 2-3 hours to update Firefox/Thunderbird, most of it compiling the software). It can take longer than three hours, but that is rare.
Fedora 18: ~15 minutes
Ubuntu 12.10: ~15 minutes
Windows 7: 3 hours (the reboot process added considerably to this process)
Windows 8: N/A (but not expected to be all that long -- yet).

Fedora and Ubuntu take this one away, since they both do not compile all of their binaries from source on the machine they are to be installed on, which Gentoo does. They are both internet-speed related times, hence the ~. Times will vary, based off of internet connections.

Windows 8 cannot be judged yet, as it is not yet available to me.

Windows 7 comes in third, in part due to the length of time it spent configuring updates.

It is important to note that this is somewhat of an apples-to-oranges comparison: Windows only updates the core system files whereas Gentoo/Fedora/Ubuntu update all of the software on a computer.

In update ease of use, Fedora and Ubuntu come in a dead heat (one command, "sudo yum update -y" or "sudo apt-get upgrade -y" although Ubuntu does need an additional command to update the repository information.

Gentoo is slightly more difficult, in that some software cannot be installed at the same time due to conflicts (and the update process will find those, even if they were successfully installed), and it can take awhile to start the update as well.

Windows 7 and Windows 8 will not update non-OS software (although Windows 8 will update software through the Microsoft Store, which most applications are not in).

Therefore if ease of update or update times are important to you, do not use Gentoo, Windows 7, or Windows 8. Again, Windows shouldn't be used in this case becuase every piece of software has to be updated individually whereas Gentoo/Fedora/Ubuntu update all installed software automatically. Gentoo should not be used becuase it takes a long time to compile the binaries for the updates.