VPNs: Hamachi

One of my co-workers gave a short presentation regarding VPNs. Pretty softball stuff – the audience (us) was technical, and mostly knew what a VPN was, but institutionally we haven’t spent a lot of time thinking about this sort of thing. Largely, that’s because our campus network is mostly unfirewalled, and we’ve not had much need for it. However, the firewalls, they be coming, and about half of CS is currently firewalled.
The built-in OS X VPN works well enough with the solution we’re currently using, but something that’s been pulling at me has been Hamachi.
Hamachi has an OS X client, and Lifehacker has an article about Hamachi itself.
I don’t know if this particular technology is really the solution for us – it appears to be aimed at our individual clients, since we’re currently without a “corporate” VPN. I don’t know if it’s meant to really *be* that corporate VPN, but it’s worth looking at anyway – several of our clients have their own private networks, and perhaps this would be useful to them.

Free a/v for Windows?

Linda’s mother was asking about antivirus software for her Windows machine after I cleaned her machine up from spyware. She had NAV 2005 that “came with” her PC, but it was one of those trial thingies and the trial expired. I told her I’d look, and honestly, basically forgot about it because, well, it’s not my PC.
I saw this the other day as it went through my RSS reader, and figured I’d have a look. Kind of a lightweight review, but it’s a start. I may see if ClamAV has been ported to WIndows as well – I know it had been to the Mac.
(My huge bookmarks file contains mostly bookmarks of things like this that I’d note and then forget about, and it’s annoying me. I’ve been culling the bookmarks, and figured I’d adopt a more Richard Bejtlich approach: no bookmarks, just a weblog posting and a note about why the thing was of any note at all. I’ll see how it works out. I expect that will make me a fair bit more chatty.)

Big Bad Apple

Looks like Maynor was prevented from presenting at ToorCon, and Johnny Cache refused to present without him.
If I made this stuff up, you wouldn’t believe me. Truth is stranger than fiction, my friends; that’s why I like Coen Brothers movies so much. They seem contrived, but really… they’re just reality.
Do I believe them entirely? No, of course not. Do I believe Apple entirely? Hell no. Is the truth somewhere in the middle? Who the hell knows. What I do know is guys like the PaulDotCom crew are going to be all over Apple and “the Mac bloggers” (whoever the hell they are; I write about Apple sometimes, does that make me one?), and “the Mac bloggers” are going to be all over… well, anybody who speaks ill of Apple.

What do they have to gain?

It would appear that David Maynor and Johnny Cache have been at least partially vindicated. I wouldn’t go so far as to say they’ve been fully vindicated: as the saying goes, “show us the code”. If they really believe Apple have been acting irresponsibly, then maybe that would be the best thing to do, in the interests of full disclosure.
However, that’s not really why I wanted to post; as the title suggests, one of the questions that their defenders (including Twitchy from pauldotcom and Andy the IT Guy, among others) have been asking is “what would they have to gain by lying?” That’s a fair enough question, and rationally, the answer is nothing – as it usually is. However, that doesn’t stop hordes of people from lying anyway. What did they have to gain? Notoriety, perhaps a contract or three… who knows. Maybe they never expected it to get that big and things just got out of hand, like a Coen Brothers movie. “All The Dude wanted was his rug back.”
I’m not saying they’re lying – I’m sure there’s at least a grain of truth to their allegations – but until and unless there’s Real Code That Works released, I’ll stick with I’ll believe it when I see it. And if Apple’s recent patches really and truly vindicate them (as in, the patches fix precisely what they claimed was broken) then turn the title’s question on its head – what do they have to lose by releasing the code? Nothing. What do they have to gain? Vindication.