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An Atypical Confused Deputy Bug

FreeBSD is a popular free version of Unix, much like Linux. In April, the FreeBSD project released a security advisory, which warned that any logged-in user could gain full control of, or "root access" to, almost any machine running any previous version of FreeBSD. The problem was due to a bug in a program called keyinit. It’s an atypical example of a confused deputy bug. However, it is often useful for programs to be allowed to do things their invokers can’t. In this month's bug report, Kragen Sitaker tells the story of this atypical "confused deputy" bug.

Kragen Sitaker's picture Kragen Sitaker
Eileen and Wayne Strider on Building and Managing Technical Teams

Eileen and Wayne Strider recommend some useful resources for building and managing technical teams. Technical team leaders have two different yet related responsibilities. One responsibility is to build a product such as a system, an application, a network, or a Web site. The second responsibility is to build and maintain their team's ability to work together so they can build a product. Building a product requires the right mix of technical skills and experience. Building a team's ability to work together requires a different skill set. Reading about those skills is valuable, but practice is essential.

Eileen Strider's picture Eileen Strider Wayne Strider
The Shopping Cart Delusion

Believing that a technique is a well-defined thing can hamper you if you're not careful. It encourages you to react to problems in just one way: try ever harder to do the technique right. It turns off the "situated" part of situated reasoning. Brian Marick shows how the "shopping cart delusion," or strictly adhering to definitions, keeps you from breaking the rules to your benefit.

Brian Marick's picture Brian Marick
Wall-to-Wall Tools

Got blank walls? Instead of hiring a decorator, perhaps you should enlist the help of a facilitator. This article examines how three experts use the wall in very different ways to make retrospectives, design, and collaboration better and easier.

Amanda Sulock's picture Amanda Sulock
Testing Merged Databases

Joining forces with another company can be a logistical nightmare. This article presents a case study of a fictional merger between two large companies. It addresses four different problems that have to be overcome in a database merger: 1) duplicate records; 2) mismatched columns; 3) data corruption; and 4) front-end assumptions.

Lawrence Nuanez's picture Lawrence Nuanez
Test Estimation: Tools and techniques for realistic predictions of your test effort

Sometimes the toughest thing about testing is deciding how long it will take and what resources it will require. Read about techniques, including "Divide and Conquer," to make this part of the job easier.

Rex Black's picture Rex Black
QA Consciousness Raising

Change is hard, but leading your managers and co-workers toward higher quality needn't be dull and dreary. In this article, author Lisa Crispin explains several techniques you can use to take your organization to the next level, including gauging your visibility and recruiting a quality champion.

Lisa Crispin's picture Lisa Crispin
Surviving the Witch Hunt

A witch hunt is the search for whoever let those darned bugs out into the field. How do you stop a witch hunt? The best way is to refocus attention from "someone to blame" to "something to fix." If you focus on what in the process is causing the defects and discuss how to minimize or even eliminate the causes, you have a real chance to turn things around.

Tony Akins's picture Tony Akins
Salary Survey 2002: Are You Weathering the Storm?

The results of the third annual STQE magazine/StickyMinds.com salary survey give the temperature of the testing industry. Thanks to our readers' continued participation, we now have three years' worth of data and the ability to start looking for trends.

Anne Meilof's picture Anne Meilof
A Look at TeamTrack by TeamShare

David Lee's company needed a system to track customer support and development issues—one that had the right combination of tools and the scalability they needed to effectively address their customer needs, as well as their own internal requirements. Here is a discussion of why they chose Team Track, and an evaluation of the tool.

David S. Lee's picture David S. Lee

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