Tech News of the Week for 9/14/2023 [MTG009]

Posted on Thursday, Sep 14, 2023 | Series: Moar Tech Garbage
Your car is watching you, DevOps YOLO is a no-no, and IBM joins the back-to-office crew.


[00:00:00.570] Announcer: Welcome to tech News of the week with your host. I’m not telling you. You know why. And, no, I don’t still have your tupperware, Jane.

[00:00:10.370] Ned: Welcome to top of the morning, Chilelis. No.

[00:00:15.270] Chris: Do you even know what a shaleli is?

[00:00:17.040] Ned: It’s a stick. And you hit people with it. Right?

[00:00:21.810] Chris: I don’t think that’s the original purpose, but, yeah, that would work as well.

[00:00:25.420] Ned: That’s how I’ve always heard it used. I’ll strike you with my cele. I’m apologies to everyone. This is tech news of the week, our very brief show where we go over a few stories that caught our eye in the past week. I’m Ned Belabance. With me is Chris Hayner, and he is going to take the first story. Take it away. Mr. Chris.

[00:00:47.230] Chris: Your car is spying on you. Like, a lot.

[00:00:52.550] Ned: Yay.

[00:00:54.130] Chris: TLDR. If you have an Internet connected car from basically anyone, your car is collecting data from you and selling it. What a surprise. Mozilla has been running a number of public service campaigns let’s call them under their nonprofit called privacy not included, to highlight the tremendous number of ways you are being tracked. And your privacy is being violated by everyone all the time. In this particular case, matzilla examined Internet connected cars from 25 manufacturers. Every single one of them. That’s 100% kids. If you’re keeping score at home. Every single one of them was found to be collecting information about you, including your race, facial expressions, you make, weight, and, of course, where you go. Exactly what data is collected does vary by vehicle, as not all cars have microphones or cameras or sensors on the seats or GPS or blah, blah, blah, blah. But suffice it to say, if data can be collected, it’s being collected, and it’s being sold. Nissan’s privacy policy even includes a direct call out that they will record information about your sexual activity, which you know what? I don’t think I need to know anymore. I know Nissan doesn’t. Suffice it to say, this whole thing has left me feeling great about my ongoing decision not to buy a new car for the past 16 years, a trend I will be continuing for the foreseeable future, because gross.

[00:02:29.870] Ned: I think Billy Ocean said it best when he said, get out of my dreams. Get into my car, and we can record data together.

[00:02:38.770] Chris: That might have been the first draft.

[00:02:41.410] Ned: I’m glad he gave it a second try. As someone who recently purchased a brand new car that has all the bells and whistles, thanks for this. I feel great.

[00:02:53.350] Chris: Anytime. High five.

[00:02:56.870] Ned: No.

[00:02:57.460] Chris: Up top.

[00:02:58.630] Ned: Nope.

[00:03:00.250] Chris: Right here.

[00:03:02.730] Ned: TLS.

[00:03:03.760] Chris: Leave me hanging.

[00:03:06.170] Ned: TLS must stand for totally lacking security, at least if we’re talking about TLS 10 or one one. The current version of TLS is one three, published in 2018. Its predecessor, One two, was released a full decade before that. TLS one one was in 2006, two years prior. And if it’s striking that One Two came out so quickly after One One. That’s because One two fixed a lot of potential issues with one One. TLS 10 and One One are now considered effectively insecure, and all the major browsers have stopped supporting them since 2020. But there’s still some applications, particularly Microsoft ones, that use one One or 10 by default and depending on their age, might not even have a one two option. The thing about enterprise software is that no one likes to upgrade it if it’s doing its job and doesn’t break. And that’s the case with a frankly embarrassing number of SQL 2012, 2014, and 2016 edition servers. Starting in September, Microsoft will be disabling the use of TLS 10 and One One on Windows machines, which means there’s a nonzero chance that the update will break something in your corporate environment. So if you’ve been putting off patching those old SQL servers in the corner, it might be time to show them a little bit of love.

[00:04:44.380] Ned: Or just yell at Jeff the DBA. Just threaten to stop supplying him with muscle milk if he fails to comply. Yes, Jeff, we know all about your.

[00:04:53.620] Chris: Little addiction, and somebody’s really got to tell him that it’s not just drinking the milk that gives you muscles. It’s not how it works.

[00:05:04.820] Ned: His chair will eventually let him know. If nothing else.

[00:05:11.490] Chris: An interesting tale of DevOps kind of gone wrong. So here’s the thing about DevOps. Just simply implementing it or saying you’re going to implement it is not a panacea or an automatic guarantee of success, much like other vaunted and poorly understood concepts like six sigma or testing your code. If DevOps or any deployment methodology really isn’t implemented right and implemented by capable and bought in staff, it can spell disaster. Unfortunately, far too many people were suckered into the concept by that great fiction of our It era, the Phoenix Project. That book was at best an oversimplification and at worst, an dishonest and impossible fabrication on the order of rich dad. Poor dad. There, I said it.

[00:06:15.560] Ned: Wow.

[00:06:16.440] Chris: My favorite review of The Phoenix Project reads thusly, quote, imagine an Ayn Rand novel where John Galt gives stilted lectures about ITIL and lean manufacturing instead of objectivism.

[00:06:30.750] Ned: God, that is so perfect. Wow.

[00:06:35.070] Chris: Seriously, that book is trash and we’re all dumber because of it.

[00:06:40.610] Ned: Which one? Atlas shrug or the Phoenix project. Because I’ve read both.

[00:06:45.680] Chris: Yes. This brings us neatly around to the question at hand. The link described is talking about a financial services firm called Knight Capital Group, which in 2012 utterly failed at a deployment of business critical software. I will save you the details. They are in the article. But within 45 minutes, Knight lost $400 million and ended in bankruptcy based on the back of a deployment strategy that could best be described as yolo. You want to know the rest? Hey, buy the rights. Oh, I mean, read the article.

[00:07:27.410] Ned: Yeah, do that.

[00:07:30.210] Chris: As a music reference. You’re welcome.

[00:07:32.000] Ned: That was pretty harsh about the Phoenix project. Not saying you’re wrong. The back to office dominoes keep falling. This time, it’s IBM mandating that their software division require employees within 50 miles return to an office in person at least three days a week. Yeah. Despite there being little to no evidence that this is an effective strategy, tech vendors across the country have begun to institute mandatory office FaceTime. Dell, Amazon, Meta, and, ironically, Zoom all have a back to office policy in effect. You would think over the last three years, we would have adapted to remote work and changed the way that we assess productivity. But you would be wrong. So very wrong. Indulging in what Microsoft has called productivity paranoia, IBM’s CEO said that remote workers could be overlooked for promotion, and salesforce claims that remote workers are less productive. Ultimately, there are two driving forces here. The first is the simple business consideration that big companies bought or leased real estate, and leaving them as cubicle ghost towns seems like a waste of money. Also known as the old sunk cost fallacy. The other force is the need of higher ups to be seen.

[00:09:11.420] Ned: After all, the upper echelon of management is mostly filled with solipsists that require an audience of extras and onlookers to play bit parts in the movie of themselves. So I guess while SAG is on strike, they might as well go work for some high powered C suite jackoff acting like they’re doing something important for 40 hours a week. Think of it as improv without the imagination or creativity. So, you know, like most actual improv, improv burn.

[00:09:40.250] Chris: Now who’s being harsh?

[00:09:42.570] Ned: Fair enough. Well, that’ll do it for this week Tech Week news thing that we do. Go away. Bye.

Show Notes

Moar Tech Garbage

Episode: 009 Published: 9/14/2023

Tech News for the Week of 9/14/2023

Intro and outro music by Ned Bellavance copyright 2022


Chris Hayner

Chris Hayner (He/Him)

Our story starts with a young Chris growing up in the agrarian community of Central New Jersey. Son of an eccentric sheep herder, Chris’ early life was that of toil and misery. When he wasn’t pressing cheese for his father’s failing upscale Fromage emporium, he languished on a meager diet of Dinty Moore and boiled socks. His teenage years introduced new wrinkles in an already beleaguered existence with the arrival of an Atari 2600. While at first it seemed a blessed distraction from milking ornery sheep, Chris fell victim to an obsession with achieving the perfect Pitfall game. Hours spent in the grips of Indiana Jones-esque adventure warped poor Chris’ mind and brought him to the maw of madness. It was at that moment he met our hero, Ned Bellavance, who shepherded him along a path of freedom out of his feverish, vine-filled hellscape. To this day Chris is haunted by visions of alligator jaws snapping shut, but with the help of Ned, he freed himself from the confines of Atari obsession to become a somewhat productive member of society. You can find Chris at coin operated laundromats, lecturing ironing boards for being itinerant. And as the cohost on the Chaos Lever podcast.

Ned Bellavance

Ned Bellavance (He/Him)

Ned is an industry veteran with piercing blue eyes, an indomitable spirit, and the thick hair of someone half his age. He is the founder and sole employee of the ludicrously successful Ned in the Cloud LLC, which has rocked the tech world with its meteoric rise in power and prestige. You can find Ned and his company at the most lavish and exclusive tech events, or at least in theory you could, since you wouldn’t actually be allowed into such hallowed circles. When Ned isn’t sailing on his 500 ft. yacht with Sir Richard Branson or volunteering at a local youth steeplechase charity, you can find him doing charity work of another kind, cohosting the Chaos Lever podcast with Chris Hayner. Really, he’s doing Chris a huge favor by even showing up. You should feel grateful Chris. Oaths of fealty, acts of contrition, and tokens of appreciation may be sent via carrier pigeon to his palatial estate on the Isle of Man.