Shorts and flip flops: Tech companies in 2016

Below is an actual email I received from a technical recruiter. I’ve changed the company’s name to “ACME” to protect the innocent:

Subject: Nice profile!

Hi Kevin,

After reading through your profile 3 times, I couldn’t help but reach out.

We’re ACME, a Los Angeles based tech company shaking things up in the Programmatic Advertising space.

We’re growing at 70% annually and have a new role for an Information Security Engineer. You’re probably not actively looking but so are 90% of the people I reach out to. But once they learn more about ACME, they’re very happy I reached out.

We have a pingpong table, pool table, foosball, and the people here are awesome. Dress code: ties and jackets are not allowed, shorts and flip flops are common.

Come see for yourself, you have nothing to lose and so much to gain. Can we talk?

If I was 30, and it was 1999, this job might have sounded interesting to me. But these days the last place I would want to work is a marketing company with a fraternity like atmosphere.

Bridged networking with KVM / qemu

First off, I cannot recommend Peter Membrey’s “The Definitive Guide to CentOS” enough. If you’re a new admin or just want to make sure
you’re doing it right, this is the book to get.

Some of the scientists I support at work rely on software that requires an old, defunct version of Ubuntu (6, Edgy). And because it’s starting to get hard to find hardware that will still run that old version of Linux I’m now using virtualization technology (KVM and CentOS 5.7). These instructions should work with Redhat and it’s derivatives.

The tricky part of all this (for me at least) was setting up the network. I need the virtual Ubuntu machine to appear on the network as if it were a separate host with a public IP, rather then behind a NAT router. Thus I used a bridged network setup. The method bellow worked for me, but it’s not necessarily the only or best way to accomplish this… I’ve tested these procedures on CentOS 5.7 and 6.2. Before we get started, you need to add two CentOS packages via the yum command: bridge-utils and tunctl.

Step One: Create a virtual network bridge (br0)
This particular server has one physical interface (eth0). What you have to do is create a virtual network bridge (br0), give it your public IP/GATEWAY/etc, and then add the physical interface to the bridge…

First, backup /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/ifcfg-eth0 to another directory. My original ifcfg-eth0 looked like this
# Broadcom Corporation NetXtreme BCM5722 Gigabit Ethernet PCI Express

Now copy /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/ifcfg-eth0 to /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/ifcfg-br0. Edit the two files so that they look like so… notice that the IP and GATEWAY are now in ifcfg-br0 and not ifcfg-eth0.

/etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/ifcfg-br0 (I had do add my GATEWAY as well as copy over IPADDR)


Now reboot, or simply restart the network via the /etc/init.d/network script. If all is working properly, your host will still have a functioning network connection. You’re half way done…

Step two: Create a virtual, TUN/TAP interface (tap0) for your first VM.

To create the tap0 interface:
/usr/sbin/tunctl -b

Bring up the new interface:
/sbin/ifconfig tap0 up

Now add tap0 to the bridge so it has access to your physical network:
/usr/sbin/brctl addif br0 tap0

Thats it!
Now, when you install or start your qemu vm, just make sure your “-net” option looks like the one bellow so that your vm has access to the tap0 interface. Most examples I’ve found on the net do these last steps in a script that then launches qemu…
/usr/sbin/tunctl -b
/sbin/ifconfig tap0 up
/usr/sbin/brctl addif br0 tap0
qemu-system-x86_64 -hda disk.img -boot d -m 1024 -net nic -net tap,ifname=tap0,script=no -no-acpi

Boing Boing’s comment moderation “policy”

Today, via her Google Plus stream, Xeni Jardin of Boing Boing fame gave us some insight into Boing Boing’s comment moderation “policy”… specifically when is it OK to call someone a Nazi?

ACTUAL BB COMMENT, nuked by one of our moderators: “Nice that BB got a plug, but a plug from Rachel Maddow? That’s the current day equivalent of a thumbs up from Joseph Goebbels”

Now, equating Rachel Maddow to Goebbels is childish and moronic. But why would BB’s comment mods delete that post while at the same time have no problem with this one – See the first comment on this post re: Glen Beck. A quick search on their site reveals many more such examples.

As soon as I pointed out the hypocrisy, Xeni closed comments on her post. 😦 You can read the entire thread here. And for the record, I’m no fan of Glen Beck! I just like the idea of an open and free internet – something the Boing Boing editors champion every chance they get. For example, have a look at their Intro to TOR.

UPDATE! June 2012 – An admin friend at DISQUS recently contacted me to remind me that if you use Tor to get around BoingBoing’s idiot mods you need to ensure that you use a different email address for each DISQUS account you register. Nasty words were said about Mark Frauenfelder but I will not repeat them here… Please don’t take advantage of Tor and DUSQUS to post insulting, racist, sexist, or otherwise ugly comments to blogs.

Chowhound’s dumb moderation tactics

Chowhound has a long internet history as being a great place for people who love food to gather.  And as a longtime user (over ten years now) I’ve contributed many posts as well as helped spread the word about this site.   One down side to Chow, however, has always been the overly militant and inconsistent moderation tactics which have an effect of alienating us users – something that’s deadly for user driven sites.

I’m not the only one to complain about this – A simple Google search reveals just how widespread the problem is.  Often, posts are deleted by mods without any word as to why.  Sometimes, and most egregiously,  Chowhound moderators will forbid users from even mentioning restaurants with no reason given, as was the case with Jujube and Napa and Co.

What makes this all the more maddening is how terribly inconsistent the mods are, deleting one users posts while preserving anothers.

Some moderation is necessary, obviously, but this is starting to get ridiculous.  My recommendation?  Use a truly crowd sourced site like Yelp.

Continue reading: Foodie Fight, Chownhound Board Nazis, Whats the big deal w/CHOWHOUND?, Deleted posts on Chowhound, Banned on Chowhound