On Friday, September 26, the system hackers team discovered a misconfiguration in the wiki setup. The error, if discovered, would have enabled an unauthorised party to read protected pages and user configurations.

It was possible to read the encrypted password hashes of guest users. Registered Fellows, who log in using their Fellowship password were not affected by this. To all others we recommend changing their wiki password as a precaution.

Fellows ยป madhatter

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Tom Yates' FSFE Fellowship webpage

http://www.teaparty.net/images/tom2.jpg http://www.teaparty.net/images/tom-in-colo-small.jpg

I had the good fortune to arrive at MIT as a Visiting Scientist in October 1991, four months after Richard Stallman published version 2 of the GPL. At the time, MIT made extensive use of GPLed and other free software, although they ran it on proprietary UNIXes (mostly SunOS and Digital Unix, later OSF/1).

The three years I spent at MIT doing scientific programming (all Fortran 77!) and systems administration convinced me that free software was better for me, as a user, than proprietary software. My freedoms were not mere abstracts, but concrete: if I needed to share data with a friend, I could send her the program she needed to interpret the data at the same time; if I needed a bugfix or an enhancement, I could do it myself, or ask a friend for his help; and when I needed to write a new program myself, I didn't have to start from scratch, I had piles of similar or related programs to use as starting points.

These are viewpoints I've held ever since. Every time I have relapsed, and used proprietary software to solve an immediate need, I have regretted it once I came to fix problems that the vendor couldn't or wouldn't help me with. As a result, I made a life and a business out of free software.

My free-software business is systems administration, which my wife and I do through Gatekeeper Technology Ltd., our little company in Cambridge, UK. My free-software life is a personal refusal to use any proprietary software in my life; my preferred GNU/Linux laptop and desktop distribution is Fedora, at the time of writing my ogg player runs Rockbox and my GSM phone is an OpenMoko, and my servers run CentOS - a distribution which only exists because of the rights that the GPL gives me.

I'm not the world's most sociable person, so my community involvement is limited to using free software - including testing, bug-reporting, and in some cases presenting papers at conferences - rather than attending meetings or writing to people. But being a Fellow of the FSFE is, for me, a way to give a very little back.

More personal information is on my website. I don't blog - I'm too boring - but I do occasionally write technical notes about what I'm doing that's technically interesting.


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