Weekend Reads 101119

In news that has been a long time in coming, chief Linux maintainer Linus Torvalds has finally approved a new security feature, the Linux Security Module (LSM, nicknamed “lockdown”) to be part of the 5.4 branch of the Linux kernel. Although the feature will be turned off by default — out of fear it might break existing systems — it does promise to bring additional security to one of the most widely-used and hardened kernels on the market. —Jack Wallen

The use of Open Source Software (OSS) has become so entrenched throughout the world-wide technological infrastructure that any organization relies on at least some of its components in order to remain competitive and profitable. —Dr. Jerry Cooperstein

By now most of us have heard about the role human error plays in causing data breaches. The Capital One breach from July is just the latest in a long line of security incidents that can trace their success back to a misconfigured infrastructure or security setting. As organizations accelerate their use of containers and Kubernetes and move their application development and deployment to cloud platforms, preventing avoidable misconfigurations in their environment becomes increasingly crucial. —Ajmal Kohgadai

The brilliant 2014 science fiction novel “The Three-Body Problem,” by the Chinese writer Liu Cixin, depicts the fate of civilizations as almost entirely dependent on winning grand races to scientific milestones. —Tim Wu

From their ersatz offices in coffee shops, coworking spaces, and living rooms, a growing number of remote workers are quietly remaking the way we work and live. —Rani Molla

Tech startups imbibe cash and run on optimism. Lately they’re running short on both. In the latest example of this new reality, Postmates, the food-delivery startup valued at over $2 billion that was expected to go public in 2019, recently told its IPO advisers that it is delaying its initial public offering due to market conditions, according to people familiar with the matter. —Theodore Schleifer

“Where’s the best place to hide a body? The second page of a Google search.” The gallows humor shows that people rarely look beyond the first few results of a search, but Lee Griffin isn’t laughing. —Amy Thomson

The European Union seems to fallen in love with the idea of requiring service providers to edit the Internet, with predictable consequences for speech. Until recently, there was reason to hope those consequences could be contained. For example, the EU’s highest court recently ruled that the EU’s Right to Be Forgotten does not require Google to delist search results globally, thus keeping the results available to users around the world, even if de-indexed from the site associated with a particular EU state. —Corynne McSherry

I’m one of those people who has made fun of password books for being an example of horrible security practices. But I’m starting to realize that I was wrong. For some people, overly restrictive security advice is doing more harm than good. For those who can’t easily navigate more secure solutions, writing a password down and keeping it locked up in your home is far better than reusing passwords. —Lysa Myers

It’s pretty much accepted that Docker has set the standard for containers and that Kubernetes ran away with the orchestration side of things. But one Mumbai-based startup argues that we need to take things back to the beginning and start all over again — this time with Linux containers (LXC) instead of Docker. —Mike Melanson

Our team of researchers at Princeton University sought to measure how encrypted transports for the DNS affect end-user experience in web browsers. Specifically, we measured DNS response times and page load times for a week across different resolvers (Cloudflare, Google, Quad9, and a university network), websites, and network conditions. —Austin Hounsel

Virtual private networks (VPNs) have been around for over two decades, providing secure, encrypted tunnels for communications and data. While there are multiple types of VPNs — including SSL-VPNs and IPSec, to name two — the basic idea is the same regardless of the implementation. With a VPN, a secure IP transport tunnel is created that is intended to provide assurance that the data is safe because access is encrypted. —Gilad Steinberg