Welcome to The long run– where we read the news of the week and reduce it to the essentials. Let’s go training what really matters.
This week: Linus says next version will support Rust, FBI warns scammers are being hired in deepfake interviews, and 80% of IBM employees are staying home.
1. The Rust language is GO for Linux 5.20
First things up this week: The next release of Linux will include support for Rust in the fall. Linus Torvalds sounds “Cautiously optimistic” it will succeed.
Analysis: But is it worth it?
On the one hand, Rust makes it easier to write secure software – e.g. without use-after-free errors. On the downside, Rust has an immature toolchain and a solid reputation for building bloated executables.
Steven Vaughan Nichols: Linus Torvalds is cautiously optimistic about including Rust in the next version of the Linux kernel
If all goes well, we’ll see Rust in 5.20 in late October or early November 2022. …You may be asking “why?”… Rust is better suited for writing secure software.
Torvalds…likes that Rust is more memory safe. “There are real technical reasons like memory security and why Rust is easy to get into the kernel.”
Mind you, no one is going to rewrite the entire 30 million or so lines of the Linux kernel. … The three potential problem areas for Rust support are leveraging existing APIs in the kernel, architecture support, and dealing with ABI (Application Binary Interface) compatibility between Rust and C.
Channeling Kent Brockman, it is brunoblack:
Welcome to our Rust overloads I guess. …I’m a little hesitant to have Rust in the kernel, but I guess Linus knows better. … Anyway, having Rust in the kernel would be a good reason for me to learn it.
Curb your enthusiasm binary banana:
Kind. I’ve done kernel hacking before, but I’m always worried about unforeseen side effects that might cause random breaks. Rust’s type system would help.
I wonder how soon it will be picked up by drivers or the more interesting subsystems (DRM/KMS, line filters, etc.). Writing ip/nftables modules in Rust would be amazing!
But it’s just an elaborate deception, he thinks gweihir:
Linus gives [Rust fanbois] enough rope to hang themselves so they finally shut up. … The main problem we have is a lot of incompetent developers.
2. Video interviews, with deepfakes
Scammers are applying for remote tech jobs using stolen identities and deepfake videos, the Federal Bureau of Investigation warns. The obvious concern is unskilled staff actually getting the job done. Less obvious are the inside threads from people who wouldn’t pass a background check.
Analysis: Unintended Consequence of Remote Work
A discrepancy between the respondent and the person who shows up for work is not a new phenomenon. But when the “appearance” is virtual, it’s less easy Recognize this scam.
Sergiu Gatlan: Stolen personal information and deepfakes were used to apply for remote tech jobs
The FBI warns of mounting complaints that cybercriminals are using stolen personally identifiable information (PII) and deepfakes from Americans to apply for remote jobs. … Such synthetic content has previously been used to spread fake news and create revenge porn, but the lack of ethical constraints surrounding its use has always been a source of controversy and concern.
The targeted remote jobs include technology-related positions that would allow the malicious actors to gain access to confidential company and customer information once hired. … Some victims who have reported to the FBI that their stolen personal information was used to apply for a remote job also said pre-employment background check information was used with other applicants’ profiles.
It’s a new twist on an old problem, he says tablespoon:
One of my previous leads suspects a contractor did something like this for a personal role. We only did a phone interview or two… and the guy did well enough to get a 3 month contract. … The guy who showed up didn’t seem to know as much as the interviewee and was always on the phone. [We] speculated that an unscrupulous but relatively knowledgeable guy was observing the interviews and then training the incompetent applicants day after day in order to get a cut in their pay.
A good part of that time was onboarding, then I started to get suspicious. When we hire contractors we expect some of them to be duds, the only interesting thing about this guy was his weird behavior. … In the end he just let the contract expire. … Making that accusation would only make you look insane and paranoid.
Blame HR, Kvetches geekmux:
And yet no one cares because everyone seems to have adopted the impersonal process. Get burned? Oh well.[It’s] dismissed as recruitment costs. …And when it gets too tedious, they consider automation…before they ever admit that an impersonal process was a mistake.
3. IBM CEO says 80% of employees are staying at home
IBM boss Arvind Krishna sounds confident his US staff won’t be returning to the office. Surprisingly few came back to their cube farms.
Analysis: Who Would Work for IBM?
The IBM honcho sounds resigned to workers who stay away from the office. But Big Blue has bigger Work ethic issues.
Eric Rosenbaum: Only 20% of US workers in office
Recent comments from IBM’s CEO show that many employees at the largest companies prefer to work remotely from the office. … Only 20% of IBM employees in the US are in the office three days a week or more, [said] Arvind Krishna.
IBM was one of the first major tech companies to embrace remote work before it was common. … But it ended up reversing course and requiring workers to be stationed in offices again in 2017. Now the paradigm has changed again.
He doesn’t see a scenario where the balance is ever above 60% again. … “I think we’ve learned a new normal.”
How much of it is a tech-wide trend and how much of it is what it’s like to work for Big Blue? u/ibmgummies:
I’ve been here a few months and figured out the IBM business model: aggressively cutting costs where we shouldn’t. Save as much as you can by offering uncompetitive healthcare plans and most importantly, outsource as much as possible [overseas] The services provided are therefore below average.
Ouch. And IBM decided to settle the “dinobabies” age discrimination complaint. Here is James Anderson:
Might be time for a shareholder lawsuit. If management burns money to cover up its mistakes, I’d be kidding if I were still stupid enough to own IBM stock.