2008-01-10 23:20:18

ServeRAID: new driver from OpenBSD but not for me

During all the time I had no time to work on ips(4), the OpenBSD team has also done an amazing amount of work. Now finally, my controller detects the number of targets and LUNs correctly and sets the number of openings to a sane number. I made it to find my controller and to attach a SCSI bus to it. Commands are also sent to the controller.

However, this is about as good as it gets. The status code returned by the controller is never received, because the function to do so is not implemented in the OpenBSD driver. Thus, not knowing the technical details, I try to figure out how BeerFSD behaves and to implement complementary code for NetBSD.

However, a lot of questions remain unanswered. BeerFSD apparently uses a DMA mapping to store the status codes in some type of structure containing an array and some variables. I wonder if these additional variables are also required and some other things. I am sure that, given some amount of time, I am going to figure that out.

Posted by Tonnerre Lombard | Permanent link | File under: programming, general

2007-12-16 19:37:30

European Union and the Lisbon Treaty: the birth of a new country

On December 13th, 2007, exactly 26 years after Poland called for martial law in 1981 in order to gain back control over the opposition, the European Union members have signed a treaty which became known as the Lisbon Treaty of 2007. This treaty practically establishes the European Union as a state of its own, along with a new constitution.

Most of the flaws which have been pointed out in the EU Constitution are also present in the Lisbon Treaty, but have not been addressed yet. As an example, the Lisbon Treaty contains provisions that the EU may go to war while individual member states may «constructively abstain» – thus being practically uncapable of preventing having to go to war.

The Brussels Journal has an analysis of the contract by Professor Anthony Coughlan which enumerates 10 major changes the contract is making (while surely going too far to the Eurosceptic direction in suggesting that the harmonization effort in itself is wrong).

  1. It establishes a legally new European Union in the constitutional form of a supranational European State.
  2. It empowers this new European Union to act as a State vis-a-vis other States and its own citizens.
  3. It makes all citizens of European member states also citizens of this new European Union.
  4. The same name «European Union» will be kept while the Lisbon Treaty changes fundamentally the legal and constitutional nature of the Union.
  5. It creates a Union Parliament for the Union's new citizens.
  6. It creates a Cabinet Government of the new Union.
  7. It creates a new Union political President.
  8. It creates a civil rights code for the new Union's citizens.
  9. It makes national Parliaments subordinate to the new Union.
  10. It gives the new Union self-empowerment powers.

While the establishment of an European state is certainly a long-term goal to aim for, some elements of this treaty are still not acceptable. The current contract still contains some provisions which are not adequate for the constitution, and should be refined to meet the high democratic standards set by the member states.

The military cooperation charter a rather unfortunate chapter, remembering the controversy of the war against Iraq, which Germany and France chose to abstain. Would such a situation take place in the future, then Germany and France might be forced to participate in the war. This is of course one of the consequences of the harmonization process, but there should be provisions declaring that an unanimous decision is required in order to go to war – the only way to really justify it. An exception would of course be when an aggression against a member state has to be encountered.

This looks like yet another treaty which has not been balanced properly beforehand and needs a lot of further work before it will be adequate for the reason it was intented to.

Posted by Tonnerre Lombard | Permanent link | File under: news, politics

2007-12-09 13:55:24

German Court illegalizes use of blacklists

In case Az. 7 O 80/07, the District Court of Lüneburg has ruled that the use of blacklists for mail filtering is an illegal process. The court thereby confirmed the view of a known spammer that the fact that mails from his servers were deleted by the SPAM filter was an act of censorship.

According to the ruling, the fact that a mail server is used to transmit soleily SPAM is not sufficient to block mails from it entirely. Blocking a single mail address would have been sufficient, according to the court. However, even this step would only have been acceptable in order to prevent an immanent danger of a virus attack.

From a mail filtering point of view, however, this view is very unsatisfactory. Nowadays, most of the SPAM mails are indeed originating from hosts which are used soleily for spamming purposes (dedicated SPAM servers or hijacked Windows clients in bot networks), but the addresses used contain an unique ID most of the time which is used for only one mail.

Posted by Tonnerre Lombard | Permanent link | File under: news, politics, network

2007-12-09 13:49:36

Germany wants stronger age verifications and bans on foreign providers

The German Federal Court of Justice has decided in case Az. I ZR 102/05 that even stronger age verification mechanisms are required for providing access to adult content on the Internet. According to the Federal Court, the current practice of verification of ID card numbers and bank accounts are not sufficient, because any minor could gain access to this information easily.

The court proposes a verification process which involves the local postal delivery services. The deliverer is supposed to verify the age of the future web site user in an eye-to-eye process.

For the various providers of adult content which are not subject to German law, the Federal Court sees the Internet Service Providers in the responsability to block the web sites in question.

Posted by Tonnerre Lombard | Permanent link | File under: news, politics, network

2007-12-09 13:44:21

Germany: Data Retention only until the end of the contract

In case Az. 5 C314/06 against the Federal Ministry of Justice, the District Court of Berlin Central has decided that all retained data must be deleted by the end of the contract with the customer. According to the judges, retention of data even beyond the contract period is a violation of the right to informational self-determination.

Posted by Tonnerre Lombard | Permanent link | File under: news, politics, network