Linux Journal January 2017

Insecure about Being Unsecure

There have been epic battles over whether "insecure" or "unsecure" should be used when referring to computer security. Granted, those epic battles usually take place in really nerdy forums, but still, one sounds funny and the other seems to personify computers. Whichever grammatical construct you choose, the need for security is greater now than ever. As Linux users, we need to make sure we're not overconfident in the inherent security of our systems. Remember, they all have a weak link: us.

Reuven M. Lerner starts off this issue by showing how to test the machine learning model he created last month. If computers are only as good as their programming, it's important to test how well the code learns. Sometimes coming up with a good test is harder than writing the original code!

Dave Taylor finishes his werewolf-warning system—er, I mean his phases of the moon script this month. When you start writing scripts with Dave, you start to realize all the cool additions you can make. Programming is like that. Dave shows how to figure out whether the moon is waxing or waning, which is really useful information when you're planning a family camping trip in werewolf territory.

Kyle Rankin continues his series on MCollective, which is server orchestration for configuration management systems. If Puppet and Chef can't quite handle the day-to-day needs of your environment, using MCollective might fill that need.

I explore Synology this month, which continues to fill my own needs for my home office. I've had multiple NAS machines through the years, and nothing has been as useful, reliable and performant as Synology. If you're looking for a storage device that also handles a plethora of server functions, you'll want to check out my column this issue.

der.hans has an incredible in-depth article this month on using password managers. We rely so much on our online accounts, it's vital that our passwords be strong and unique on each site. A password manager is quickly becoming the only feasible way to accomplish that. der.hans discusses how to manage passwords and retrieve them when needed. If password managers aren't convenient, it's unlikely anyone will use them, so learning the nuances of such an important technology is worth the effort.

Jan Newmarch finishes his series on low power wireless this month. The use of a low-powered wireless network is a constant reminder of how much our world is becoming connected. We're not far from a time when a hacker could infiltrate our toaster to ruin breakfast. Thankfully, Jan's series helps us to create our low powered wireless networks intelligently. Everyone should read his series, even if you never plan to implement something like 6LoWPAN.

We love bringing you the latest information from the Linux world, whether it's new products, fun apps or even in-depth security articles. Linux always has been at the forefront of computer security, and it's only going to stay there if we take security seriously and don't assume we're safe just because we use open source. If you're hoping to become a better, smarter Linux user, this issue is for you.

Available to Subscribers: January 1

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Shawn Powers is a Linux Journal Associate Editor. You might find him on IRC, Twitter, or training IT pros at CBT Nuggets.