Approach.Botonomy.com has an interesting article on Why the Puritan Work Ethic has No Place in IT.

The article echoes many of my personal sentiments that your administrators and developers need to be encouraged to work smarter, not harder, even to the point of having “free time.”

… You want an environment where sysadmins kick back and read IT magazines occasionally, because their run-of-the-mill administrative tasks (adding users, managing disk space, etc.) are all scripted and/or automated. They can then focus their energies on the unexpected and unavoidable issues that crop up from time-to-time.

Beyond handling the unexpected, through having this “free time” administrators will have the ability to identify areas in need of improvement. If your administrators are running around fixing stuff all the time your team has a problem! Not only will morale, and therefore retention suffer but your administrators will have no time for evaluating new opportunities.

The best teams celebrate those who sit back and let their computers do their work for them. You want to have a project team that considers repetitive development activities to be tasteless. Sometimes necessary, but generally frowned upon.

Check out the full article and think a bit about what your team could be doing if they weren’t fighting fires all the time.

Of course this is exactly why I am writing a book on Oracle Shell Scripting due out next year.

project management, it management, information technology, database administration, system administration

Zach reports that a professor at Johns Hopkins University has successfully been able to read, decrypt and forge Mobile’s Speedpass RFID tag after only a close pass with a reader and laptop.

The Speedpass tag is a small key fob which is linked to a credit or debit card. It can be read at the pump or register by waving the tag near an RFID reader.

Mobile has been quick to point out that this type of tagjacking has yet to be used maliciously, but like Zach I think it naive to consider it more than a matter of time.

Check out Zach’s article for a video from the folks at 20/20.

rfid, hack, tagjacking, speedpass

Last week I needed the latest security patch for a new install of Oracle Application Server. After spending an inordinate amount of time on Oracle’s site I finally found it. Then I thought “I wonder if there’s an RSS feed for this?”

So I copied the URL out of IE and into a modern browser (Firefox in this case) and sure enough, I got the familiar feed icon in the location bar. I then proceeded to add the link to my RSS aggregator and can now find the updates without hassle!

So, if you’re looking for the latest security alerts from Oracle, here’s the link If you are using a news aggregator or portal which allows RSS you should consider adding the URL to your aggregator so you’ll always have the links to the latest patches handy.

oracle, rdbms, security, database

Easy Linux Commands: Working Examples of Linux Command SyntaxI’m happy to announce that my book Easy Linux Commands: Working Examples of Linux Command Syntax can now be preordered from Rampant TechPress!

This book by Terry Clark and I is designed to serve as both a progressive how-to for getting comfortable with the Linux environment and as a reference for the most commonly used Linux commands and options. After presenting a little background information the books jumps right in to how to navigate the Linux file structure, manipulate files and directories, search for specific objects and get around in the vi text editor.

More advanced topics like shell scripting, using cron to schedule tasks and monitoring and administration tasks are also covered all with the focus on giving working examples of the Linux commands you will find useful. The command examples in this book can often be used with little or no modification saving considerable time and experimentation.

This book organized into logical task-based chapters making it easy to find the commands you need when you need them.

For a full table of contents and index check out the book’s page on Rampant TechPress. It’s available for preorder through Rampant and should be in book stores in just a couple months!

linux, linux commands

Don Burleson sent me a link to this gizmodo article on the beer dispensing robot in the movie below.

While it’s certainly a cool toy I can’t see why the guys at Gizmodo are so impressed. For starters it’s slow, second it looks like it only does cans (let’s face it, if you like beer enough to have this robot you drink it out of bottles), but most disappointingly it looks quite messy!

So while I look forward to more commercially available automated drink makers/servers this robot just doesn’t stack up to the Bar Monkey.

beer, robot, drinks, drinking, alcohol

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