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University of Minnesota Linux "Hypocrite Commit" Researchers Publish Open Letter

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  • #21
    Originally posted by andyprough View Post
    I agree with you that the specific researchers shouldn't be allowed to continue to lie and deceive. I was referring to what had been reported as a ban on the entire university - I'm strongly opposed to that type of canceling. It sounds like that threat may not come to pass.

    Also, the kernel maintainers are not coming out of this with their reputations fully intact. A small group of juvenile morons were easily able to insert this code. What are the maintainers doing if they aren't paying even the slightest bit of attention to the submissions before they sign off on them?
    The problem in my opinion is that this was actually done "by the university" (= on its behalf, under its name and as part of the University's activities), so it's really the university who is responsible for it and should be banned, not the individuals. Imagine if Microsoft had done this - everyone would be howling for Microsoft to be banned from contributing to the kernel, not just the particular Microsoft employees who physically sent the patches. And while I believe that there are some important differences between a REAL university and a corporation, real universities are few and far in between in the Western world these days and this one is not one of them (I'm not saying this because of this particular project of theirs).

    I agree with you that this did ultimately expose problems in the Linux development community and the code approval processes, we can call it silver lining. It's also not the first time something like that happens - years ago someone from Microsoft submitted a patch with a magic constant defined as 0xB16B00B5 (big boobs) and it was only found ex-post. That time it was a juvenile joke with no actual intent to do harm to users and it hurt no-one except the politically correct police; but it already demonstrated that potentially unwanted code could sneak into the upstream kernel. I'm not sure what the real solution is here, but some changes are probably needed.

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    • #22
      Well, those commits came from Earth, so I guess banning the entire planet from contributing is more or less in the same ballpark with banning an entire university over what a couple of morons did.

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      • #23
        Originally posted by andyprough View Post
        They should be unbanned. Cancel culture has no place in a software movement whose foundational concepts are all derived from freedom of speech.
        Do you know what's worse than "cancel culture"? Labeling good judgement decisions as such.
        And "free speech"? LOL https://xkcd.com/1357/

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        • #24
          The researchers really just proved something everyone already knew, that being one bad apple can spoil a bunch; this has been proven to be the case in almost every industry that deals with code submits inc private organisations.

          Its going to be a shame that someone manages to get a degree over this sort of obvious thing. Reminds me of my Uni days where I'd often see art students getting a degree via smoking weed and finger paintings...

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          • #25
            Originally posted by ddriver View Post
            Well, those commits came from Earth, so I guess banning the entire planet from contributing is more or less in the same ballpark with banning an entire university over what a couple of morons did.
            I see logic is not your strong suit.

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            • #26
              Originally posted by DanL View Post

              I see logic is not your strong suit.
              I see seeing is not yours As is argumentation and substantiation of your claims.

              It is actually a valid field of research, their one mistake was not going all the way as an actual exploit would to conceal itself in plain sight in the form of something useful.

              Imagine if Microsoft had done this - everyone would be howling for Microsoft to be banned from contributing to the kernel
              Now that's a moot point. MS have done more than enough to be banned from its very existence... I doubt the linux foundation will ban a contributor of the scale of MS, and I mean financial contributor, not code contributor.

              I mean come on, has MS really contributed to linux anything in the interest of anything other than itself?

              Linux has been reduced to a money making vehicle for ruthless big tech corporations, who knows, at this point the foundation may well like its new home in bed with big business more than its previous one in academia. It is after money, and going to big tech simply cuts the middleman, why scrounge on what academia suckles on big tech when they can have them massive bosoms raw.
              ddriver
              Senior Member
              Last edited by ddriver; 25 April 2021, 01:53 AM.

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              • #27
                They seem to lack any foresight these researchers. What if an exploit was pushed into a fintech server? Or perhaps something life critical.

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                • #28
                  Computer Science Considered Harmful, coming soon to a sOcIaL mEdIa website near you!

                  To be almost immediately and rightly eviscerated for missing the point of thou shalt not fuck with mainline production kernels. These psychopaths should have any progress towards their graduate degrees revoked, be banned from academia, and not let the door hit them on the way out -- and especially have any grades they got in the SCIENTIFIC ETHICS class changed to a goddamned F-.

                  Originally posted by Turbine View Post
                  They seem to lack any foresight these researchers. What if an exploit was pushed into a fintech server? Or perhaps something life critical.
                  Anybody running software whose license specifically disclaims "merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose" in a situation where lives are on the line deserves to be fired. Out of a cannon. That's reckless endangerment at the very least, and up to multiple counts of reckless homocide.

                  Full agreement on the lack of foresight, though.
                  mulenmar
                  Senior Member
                  Last edited by mulenmar; 25 April 2021, 01:55 AM.

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                  • #29
                    Originally posted by Turbine View Post
                    They seem to lack any foresight these researchers. What if an exploit was pushed into a fintech server? Or perhaps something life critical.
                    Yeah, and what if our collective behavior destroys the planet? Human actions that don't end up causing some long term harm are few and far in between for all of us, including those presumably most conscious on the subject.

                    I'd say if someone uses linux on something that critical, it is up to them to put extra scrutiny on what code is built into the kernel. You don't put off the shelf distro in a mission critical position. I dare say, regardless of the usage application, you don't really need the bulk of what's in there by default.

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                    • #30
                      "we now understand"
                      say what?
                      how old are those guys? they sound like 2 years old kids

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