Tuesday September 30th, 2014

Executive Order 12333

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ACLU: New Documents Shed Light on One of the NSA's Most Powerful Tools:

The documents make it clearer than ever that the government's vast surveillance apparatus is collecting information — including from Americans — about much more than just terrorist threats. The government generally defends its sweeping surveillance authorities by pointing to the threat of terrorism. But the truth is that its surveillance powers bear little relationship to that narrow goal. They reach far more broadly, allowing the government to monitor any international communication that contains "foreign intelligence information." That phrase is defined so nebulously that it could be read to encompass virtually every communication with one end outside the United States.

Thank you, Ronald Reagan, signer of Executive Order 12333. Sigh.

Community policing

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New Haven's drop in gun violence builds over 3 years:

“The New Haven Police Department had fallen back as an organization which was reactive and 9-1-1 driven,” he said.

Furthermore, as the department moved away from community policing, a gap seemed to develop.

“The department had isolated itself from the community,” Esserman said.

Build a police department that interacts with the community rather than imposing upon it, and good things happen. Who knew?

Ask better questions

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Remittance Girl: Ask Better Questions. Some musings on women, erotica and erotic content, sex in the culture... a quick easy read.

Beware your local food

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Lessons from a 'Local Food' scam artist:

So, when my boss's son put up the “local bananas” sign, I let it alone. A few foodies laughed. A few questioned me accusingly: How could the bananas be local? “Greenhouses,” I said one day. “Miles and miles of greenhouses. In Andover Township.” The word “township” got them; it was so quaint.

But read down, it gets beyond the cold cynicism.

Monday September 29th, 2014

We are not paid to use every feature

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"We are not paid to use every feature of the language. We are paid to write programs that work well and are error free." Douglas Crockford

Police kidnapping

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Comparisons & insecurities

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My Boyfriend Takes Pictures of Naked Women—A Practice in Self-Acceptance. {Adult}

We are all here with a clearly outlined list of lessons to learn, fears to overcome and conditioning to release. I would have never known that opening up to my partner’s world of curves, lines, light and shadow would actually be a path to my own freedom had I not made the conscious choice to sit with my fear, day in and day out – gently holding it with love instead of judgment. It is a tough job being a muse, but ya know… someones got to do it.

Police misconduct of the morning

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Gravity simulation

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Back in college I wrote a bunch of particle simulation stuff that ran on a 4.77 MHz PC XT, working with a professor who was implementing many of the same ideas on 1 MHz 6502 Apple hardware. So when I had 768 massless particles moving at interactive speeds I was pretty pleased with myself, but every time I tried to scale that to gravity simulation... well... that stuff was hard.

So this: This is awesome: http://www.nowykurier.com/toys/gravity/gravity.html

Abbott & Reichstag Fire

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RT John B ‏@johnb78:

I'll forgive Zuckerberg a lot for this piece of algorithmic matching excellence.

[Facebook link to headline of Tony Abbott quote on terrorism juxtaposed with Wikipedia Reichstag Fire recommendation]

Things you don't want to see a on a MUP

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Things you don't want to see a on a MUP...

And a very special FU to the TV van

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And a very special FU to the TV van that just cut off our bus and caused some really heavy emergency braking.

Creating a threat

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Saturday September 27th, 2014

Real Avocado Fact

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RT Avocado ‏@RealAvocadoFact:

Something as scientifically sound as polygraph testing is asking a nearby avocado or pen whether someone is lying, then guessing the answer.

Shot my stalker

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utilized to facilitate crime of all degrees

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RT Christopher Soghoian ‏@csoghoian:

The Michigan Supreme Court, 1922: Cars are tools for robbery, rape, murder, enabling silent approach + swift escape.

The accompanying picture is this text.

The automobile is a swift and powerful vehicle of recent development which has multiplied by quantitiy production and taken posession of our highways in battalions, until the slower, anmal-drawn ehicles, with their easily noted individuality, are rare. Constructed as covered vehicles to standard form in immense quantities, with a capacity for speed rivaling express trains, they furnish for successful commission of crime a disguising means of silent approach and swift escape unknown in the history of the world before their advent. The question of their police control and reasonable search on highways or other public places is a serious question .... The baffling extent to which they are successfully utilized to facilitate commission of crime of all degrees, from those against morality, chastitiy, and decency to robbery, rape, burglary, and murder, is a matter of common knowledge. Upon that problem a condition and not a theory confronts proper administration of or criminal laws.

I think this ties nicely into the "OMG, encrypted communications are for pedophiles" current law enforcement pearl clutching.

Friday September 26th, 2014

In September

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In September...

Apparently BayAreaFastrak

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Apparently BayAreaFastrak.org is running on a 386/33 on the far end of a dial-up line. I've used acoustic couplers faster than this.

So BayAreaFastrak

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So BayAreaFastrak.org let me put in an 8 digit license plate number, and my transponder didn't work, and has the worlds slowest web site.

Since all the social networks notify us

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Since all the social networks notify us by email anyway, why don't we be revolutionary and go back to email mailing lists?

Aaaand the spam chicks have already

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Aaaand the spam chicks have already shown up on Ello.

The Fed & Goldman Sachs: cozy

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ad-free forever

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RT Andy Baio ‏@waxpancake

LiveJournal’s Social Contract promised they’d be ad-free forever. http://web.archive.org/web/200...ivejournal.com/site/contract.bml … They started running ads a year after acquisition.

Re that Ello.co thing.

Scott Rosenberg on Ello

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Scott Rosenberg on Ello: "Remove blindfold before embarking for utopia" http://www.wordyard.com/2014/0...fold-before-embarking-to-utopia/

This is fascinating: Solving the Silk Road captcha mechanism https://github.com/mieko/sr-captcha/blob/gh-pages/index.md

With Ruby code.

Reparatur Kit für iPhone 6 Plus

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I'm a Samsung Galaxy S4 user myself, but some of y'all might have gone with the iPhone 6 and need such a tool:


In the "Microformats" vs RSS/Atom debate

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In the "Microformats" vs RSS/Atom debate, I'd point out that the latter let you more easily do away with people's gawdawful design notions.

Wood LED clock

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From Shadow: a build log of a wood LED clock that puts the LED segments behind a veneer face. Kinda cool. We currently use a projecting clock in our bedroom, mostly because that was the one lit clock we could find that sets itself using the USNO or whatever broadcast, but this might be a nice way to fit into the decor we hope to build in there.

Pissing off the FBI

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Paul Palubicki ‏@paplikaplik:

Apple and Google must be doing something right if the FBI is upset that it can't easily spy on citizens.

Agile development stories

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RT Elf Sternberg ‏@elfsternberg:

"As a salesperson, I want a developer to make a miracle happen, so that I'll make a shitload on commission." Every #agile story ever.

Documenting CIA lashback

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Managing a Nightmare: The CIA Reveals How It Watched Over the Destruction of Gary Webb. Webb wrote the 1996 Dark Alliance: The Story Behind the Crack Explosion, the exposé for the San Jose Mercury News about the Nicaraguan Contras and cocaine trafficking, and the possible CIA involvement, which echoed the 1989 Senate subcommittee report which found such things, and was driven to suicide by the response and scrutiny over that report.

The CIA watched these developments closely, collaborating where it could with outlets who wanted to challenge Webb’s reporting. Media inquiries had started almost immediately following the publication of “Dark Alliance,” and Dujmovic in “Managing a Nightmare” cites the CIA’s success in discouraging “one major news affiliate” from covering the story. He also boasts that the agency effectively departed from its own longstanding policies in order to discredit the series. “For example, in order to help a journalist working on a story that would undermine the Mercury News allegations, Public Affairs was able to deny any affiliation of a particular individual — which is a rare exception to the general policy that CIA does not comment on any individual’s alleged CIA ties.”

Thursday September 25th, 2014

So we're clear

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So we're clear: suffix -gate for actually treasonous activities, -ghazi for manufactured media firestorms with no basis in fact.

Because some things don't warrant the

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Because some things don't warrant the cachet of the "Chicago Electric" or "Central Machinery" brand

Business models

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RT Kevin Marks ‏@kevinmarks:

Before worrying about your business model, get your pleasure model straight

On new virtual spaces

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On Facebook, a friend asked if the rush to http://ello.co was an antipathy towards the existing social media. I responded:

I don't think it's simply antipathy: A friend of mine reported that his daughter said "Facebook is for people I know and don't like, Tumblr is for people I like but don't know". What drove many of us to BBSes, and then to the Internet, and then to blogs, and then to whatever's next is a drive to improve the quality of our social contacts. I got my Ello invite from an exclusive IRC channel where we've been talking about how to increase the number of quality participants, without some of the down sides of IRC.

Social spaces have entropy, and they stagnate. Many of us are constantly looking around for new ideas, new voices, new experiences, and even though deep nerds like me look to the new walled silo and cynically think "well, that socially liberal TOS will last until the next funding round", we also have this glimmer of hope that this time will be different. Or that in the months or years that this particular space shines, we'll get some of those endorphin experiences.

I still hope that we'll be able to pull the conversation around to something more like blogs: self-controlled, personal, and all that. But most people don't get the why (heck, some of the early bloggers whom I respect don't care about some of those issues of autonomy and control when weighed against low readership), so we keep latching on to this rising star or that one, hoping that this time someone will figure out how to give us something for free without selling us out.

Three Flavor sauce

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Been exploring new flavors. Need to try this Thai three-flavor sauce, via this Ask MeFi question on tamarind paste.

Tried to add http://microformats.org/ markup to Flutterby stuff. Tell me if anything looks more egregiously wrong than normal.

Wednesday September 24th, 2014

If Ebola continues on this exponential

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If Ebola continues on this exponential curve, in 15 weeks it could be killing as many people as cars do. http://www.commutebybike.com/2...ebola-and-its-rival-killer-cars/

Anomalily on the IndieWeb

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The Indie Web is the new zines. There was a big kerfluffle recently over the lack of diversity in the IndieWebCamp community, hoping we can welcome Anomalily in as our ambassador to broaden the reach of that movement.

Tuesday September 23rd, 2014

Can you imagine what the web would be

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Can you imagine what the web would be like if we'd put all that energy into making usable informative web sites rather than Google ranking?

OH: "I mean, the tip and the ring are touching..." <-- If I didn't know this was about telecom, I'd be slightly aroused.

That company name sounds like a 1990s

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That company name sounds like a 1990s Folsom Street establishment...

Need to fix my social media poster... editing this post to delete extraneous duplication.

Mail In A Box

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Have been letting Google deal with my email, but am increasingly feeling like I should take that back from them. Mail In A Box:

Mail-in-a-Box turns a fresh Ubuntu 14.04 LTS 64-bit machine into a working mail server, including SMTP (postfix), IMAP (dovecot), Exchange ActiveSync (z-push), webmail (Roundcube), spam filtering (spamassassin), greylisting (postgrey), CardDAV/CalDAV (ownCloud), DNS, SPF, DKIM (OpenDKIM), DMARC, DNSSEC, DANE TLSA, SSHFP, and basic system services like a firewall, intrusion protection, and setting the system clock.

Sprites, JavaScript & Canvas

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Suicide tourism

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Tourism to Switzerland for assisted suicide is growing, often for nonfatal diseases:

One reason that people with non-terminal conditions might be traveling to Switzerland to die could be that people with late-stage diseases are less mobile, according to Michael Charouneau of the British group Dignity in Dying. “We know that many of those who travel do so earlier than they would wish, whilst they are still physically well enough to make the journey,” he said.

Cities for cars

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RT Chris Bruntlett ‏@modacitylife:

If you have to teach kids behaviour and clothing for "safe walking”, you’ve built a city for automobiles, not people. http://www.portmoody.ca/index.aspx?page=1095

Monday September 22nd, 2014

It is amazing how often ViewPage

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It is amazing how often "View->Page Style->No Style" results in a more readable and usable web experience.

Once again, regretting using the CPAN module rather than rolling my own by forking curl...

OH: "No matter how long I work with Cisco, I still have trouble typing "oh shut", and not ..."

Charlene just finished her CERT class

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Charlene just finished her CERT class, I took mine back in May of 2010, and should probably re-up. Here's why Petaluma no longer sponsors the class: http://www.petaluma360.com/hom...-181/disaster-prep-canceled-city

That thing where you have to reset a

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That thing where you have to reset a password on a site to what Mozilla has saved for that site. Online identity sucks.

Pondering how giving your demographic

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Pondering how giving your demographic data to marketers (aka signing online petitions) so they can spam you has become "taking action".

Sunday September 21st, 2014

Not a very diverse one

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Not a very diverse one...

No wonder you can't turn eucalyptus

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No wonder you can't turn eucalyptus into lumber without steaming it straight...

Pandering to Western Audiences

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Worth reading on a lot of fronts. Via Mary Anne Mohanraj: Why Am I Brown? South Asian Fiction and Pandering to Western Audiences by Jabeen Akhtar, on how stereotypes are promulgated by publishing mechanisms:

In fact, South Asian diaspora novels expose little about the flesh-and-blood people they are trying to portray and everything about the hypocrisy of the publishing enterprise: South Asian authors characterizing immigrant life with clichés and co-opting third-world problems for insta-tragedies; White Guilt readers who feel that they are doing something about third-world problems by proxy just by reading novels about them; and the Western publishing elite who think they’re multi-culti because they make their own hummus and wear earrings from World Market when they are, in reality, only comfortable seeing foreigners behave within the confines of their stereotypes.

Wood porn otd

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Dayumn: Shadow forwards along this half-log table. There's a whole bunch of "How TF did they keep that straight" and "what does the under-side look like" hidden in that picture... http://imgur.com/6zyjBYp

Shadow forward this cyclist close call auto accident video. The think about all the videos coming out of the Russian dash cam culture (although this is a fixed overhead surveillance type set-up) is that it makes even more clear how loopy our dependence on automobiles for mobility is.

Friday September 19th, 2014

Just as the map is not the terrain

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Just as the map is not the terrain, consider carefully before you let the database be the data.

Acoustic Guitar

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That elusive single star

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Botto Bistro in Richmond California is encouraging its customers to leave 1 star Yelp reviews:

To achieve this end, Botto Bistro is encouraging all of its customers to leave one-star Yelp reviews; it is even offering deals for anyone who pens a crummy review: 25% off any pizza and a chance to win a cooking class. (Hat-tip to Richmond Standard.)

Says it's getting him better customers who spend more.

On high level trolls

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Post deleted because I'm trying to figure out how not to be engaged by trolling.