Austin Kleon has a great piece here on the importance of maps, and not as a means of getting around: Finding your way with maps
I love maps too. Especially hand drawn maps. And ancient maps.
I worry that our phones may be ruining hand drawn maps. When I used to take my son to hockey, I would draw my own maps to get to various obscure rinks. Later, I found out about Waze and it was so superior I stopped drawing my own maps. It’s too bad: it would be fun for my son years from now to have those old maps (which I never kept).
This is a map too.
It’s not really about how to get around. It’s a map showing the relationship between things. In this case, the organizations and their computers that made up the Internet in 1969. It does something old maps do: they show us the two dimensions of space and the one dimension of time.
Read Kleon’s piece. You’ll want to go look at maps afterwards, and you’ll be glad.
And you can get it here: blm849/supersimplehardening: A super simple way to harden your server.
I create a lot of Ubuntu test servers, and I find that as soon as I create a Ubuntu server on a cloud environment, it gets immediately attacked by automated software. This is obviously a concern. A bigger concern is that when I went searching for recommendations on how to harden such a server, I found a wide variety of recommendations! It can be hard to know what to do. Still, I needed something. As a result, I created this package of scripts. The scripts do a number of things:
- prevent direct root login to your server via ssh. This was one of the things I saw consistently happen and once someone cracks the root access on your machine, it’s game over.
- stop some basic security holes, like IP spoofing
- download some useful software, like logwatch, ufw and others
- upgrade all software on the server
This is just a very very limited number of things to prevent attacks. But it is better than nothing.
If you install Apache, PHP, MySQL or other software on your machine, there are even more attacks that will be launched against it. I recommend you get a firewall up and running and at least run logwatch on a regular basis to look for potential attacks being launched against you.
Finally, if it is important for you to secure your server, don’t stop with my scripts. Go out and consult with IT security specialists right away.
How? By using: Free Fax • Free Internet Faxing. I haven’t used it, but you can send free faxes to anywhere in the U.S. and Canada, apparently.
If you are dealing with organizations that refuse email as a valid way to receive information and insist on a fax, this could save your day.
If you are going to talk about the Web or the Internet, it pays to know the history of it. The people at Pew put together the key dates and events of the World Wide Web here: Web History Timeline | Pew Research Center. Of course the history of the Internet is even older.
A very useful thing to consult whenever you read some think piece on “The Internet used to be X or Y”.
Posted in IT
Tagged history, Internet, Pew, web
Vox raises that question here: All this digital technology isn’t making us more productive – Vox, and it implies that because people are slacking off on the Internet. I think that is incorrect, and here’s why.
The chart that Vox piece has shows big producitivity gains from 1998-2003 and smaller gains after that.
From 1998-2003 was the peak adoption of the Internet by companies. In the early 1990s, companies started to adopt email. In the later 1990s companies started adopting the Web. To me it is not surprising that companies would become more productive and they shifted away from snail mail and faxes to email. And then companies shifted further and started offering services over the Web, I imagine they became much more productive.
Slacking off on the Internet has been a problem since the Web came along. I know, because I used to monitor web server traffic. I don’t think that is the issue.
I think it is more likely that companies grabbed the big productivity gains from the Internet at the beginning, and then those gains slowed down after.
So what about smartphones? Have they made people more productive? I think they have, but I also think that the gains in being able to access information remotely may have been overtaken by the sheer amount of information to deal with. Being able to deal with email remotely makes you productive. Having to deal with way more email than you ever had to in the 1990s because now everyone has it makes you unproductive.
Furthermore, many of the features on smartphones are aimed at personal use, not professional use. I think smartphones make us more productive personally, but less so professionall.y
I remember all this, but for those of you who feel like the Web has always been with us, it’s worthwhile reading his piece, The Java Theory in The Atlantic.
He didn’t know it at the time, but everything was about to change. I enjoyed reading it, first with hindsight, and then reading it while imagining/remembering what it was like then.