AOL: 8 Character Passwords?

A lot of people probably thought that AOL would be a company to keep with the times.  Apparently not, since their system only uses the first 8 characters of a password, silently discarding anything else.  Sounds like a sense of false security to me.


Circuit City: Incompetence or Negligance?

Note: While I try to keep entries here technical in nature, I feel that this warrants discussion and is relevant to the technical/Linux community.

Yesterday, my brother ordered a digital camera (Samsung S730, works great with Linux) package, including a 512MB SD card, from CircuitCity.com using the "in-store pickup" option.  Upon his arrival at the store, the employees attempted to give him only the Camera and not the card.  When he asked them to correct this, they told him him they would reverse the original transaction and process a new one at the original price. Eventually, (after much complaining about how this would screw up their inventory system) they were able to process this, however it was run as a second transaction.  As of today, his credit card shows two $140 charges from Circuit City.  Circuit City online technical support tells him there is nothing they can do, that the refund should process in 3-5 days.

How can a company be run so badly that employees in the store cannot simply process an already complete online order by simply getting the items to the customer? I have had reservations about Circuit City before, but now I will not be shopping with them, and I encourage you to do the same.


AACS & DRM

The AACS (Advanced Access Content System) is the cartel responsible for the DRM (Digital "Rights" Management) behind HD-DVD disks.  Recently, one of their encryption keys was leaked to the internet.  While I applaud the spreading of this key, it has already been revoked, rendering it somewhat useless.  I am personally quite tired of seeing the continued proliferation of software and technology designed to infringe upon my fair use rights.  I don't understand how stupid the entertainment industry execs have become.

iTunes has DRM, DVDs have DRM, and now HD-DVD and Blu-Ray have been designed AROUND DRM.  There will soon be a shift in the industry, and I, for one, hope the entire industry collapses.  I would love to see the entertainment industry turned upside down, where the end user and content are king.

The continued infringement of fair use must not continue and cannot be sanctioned by our own government.  I encourage all citizens to examine their priorities and work towards an open world, rather than continued restrictions upon what we can and cannot do.


Linux Conference Discounts

As many may know, I'm a moderator over at LinuxQuestions.org.  We sponsor several conferences, and as a result are able to offer exclusive discounts.


Storage Management

My desktop has a fair amount of storage (~700GB) and a lot of that is in use with multimedia and the like. For example, many of my favorite IPTV shows (Hak.5, DL.TV, etc.) find their home on my desktop computer.

In order to manage this flood of multimedia, I have a jfs filesystem mounted as /multimedia. Today I wanted to import about 10GB of music that "escaped" iTunes on my windows laptop. In doing so, I completely filled my existing /multimedia partition. Ordinarily, that would be a problem, wouldn't it? Not with LVM :)

LVM, or Logical Volume Management, divides hard drive space up into a number of chunks (extents) that can be allocated (on-demand) to given virtual partition. The only downside is that the filesystem on the partition must support resizing. Most filesystems (well, most Linux filesystems) take to resizing larger very well. Some do not shrink as well.

So, to give myself another 20G of multimedia was a simple:

umount /multimedia
lvextend -L220G /dev/MainVG/VideoLV
mount -o resize /multimedia

Imagine trying to expand space on a 200G partition without LVM.  I think most people would have just symlinked in more data, or split the data onto two partitions.