Friday February 27th, 2015

Guy on the bus got up and closed the

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Guy on the bus got up and closed the window. Bus is all stuffy. Same guy has been talking on his cell phone the rest of the trip. Ugh.

Seismic Retrofit Guide

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Moving a link between machines: Simpson Seismic Retrofit Guide (PDF). Looks like exactly the step-by-step guide I should follow.

Thursday February 26th, 2015


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google & revenge porn

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Owner of revenge porn site petitions Google to remove links to his photos.

Brittain has no legal grounds for the complaint, <ahref="">as Ars Technica, who first spotted the filing, explains. “In this instance,” writes David Kravets, “fair use and general First Amendment principles are on Google’s and the media’s side.”

So the RSS feed reader of the future is

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So the RSS feed reader of the future is emails from Patreon. Not sure how I feel about that.

From London

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Further evidence that the "War On Terror" is creating more Jihad participants than it's killing: ‘Jihadi John’: Islamic State killer is identified as Londoner Mohammed Emwazi.

Electric motorcycle

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Reminder, I said "XML is the subset of SGML that Microsoft's developers could understand" in late '90s, if you need a pundit who was right.

Wednesday February 25th, 2015

Eat like a six year old

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Warren Buffett on longevity:

Asked to explain the high-sugar, high-salt diet that has somehow enabled him to remain seemingly healthy, Buffett replies: “I checked the actuarial tables, and the lowest death rate is among six-year-olds. So I decided to eat like a six-year-old.” The octogenarian adds, “It’s the safest course I can take.”

Anti-news: "Cyberwar" is bullshit cooked up to enrich military contractors:

I know you think you're helping by

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I know you think you're helping by using the implicit table fields in your INSERT statements, but... [sfx:thwap thwap thwap smash]

WordPress snark

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RT Sad Server ‏@sadserver:

Statistically speaking it's more likely for you to be mauled by a bear than for you to properly secure WordPress.

I don't have enough palms or enough

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"I don't have enough palms or enough faces to respond to the thought process that created this" (me thinking about &f; vs f(); in Perl)

if CA SB 192 were for anything other

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if CA SB 192 were for anything other than harassing cyclists, we'd also be asking for helmets for drivers: http://dearestdistrict5.blogsp...e-laws-enacted-for-cyclists.html

Google's clamp down on adult content

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Google's clamp down on "adult" content is probably advertisers thinking you're not an easy mark if you're interested in real humans & sex

QOTD: "...a lot of ... programmers ... have ... spent their entire careers replacing actual code with stuff that looks like code for cover"

Recently dated myself by referencing

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Recently dated myself by referencing Eddie Murphy "talking cars". Great example of a technology of the future that wasn't.

Tuesday February 24th, 2015

TVs inserting ads in your videos

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T. Rob: Listening wasn't bad enough:

Owners of Samsung’s “smart” TVs are now reporting that streaming apps running on the TVs are inserting Pepsi ads into user-owned content stored locally on their PCs and NAS drives.  In nearly identical stories, GigaOm and Ars Technica report that this happens for Plex and Foxtel apps running on the TVs.

Of course this is totally consistent with a world where Lenovo defends breaking security and inserting ads as "...every effort to provide a great user experience for our customers."

Recycling HDPE

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LumberJocks: Cherry & Milk Jug Joiners Mallet. Melting milk jugs in a toaster oven to make an HDPE block for the mallet head.

psst: Don't tell the "social media professionals" that it's an incredulous "What? are you *on fleek* or something?". Let's keep this going!

"Sovereign Citizens" should not appeal to the Queen of England...

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Posner informs pro se litigant that the queen of England did not absolve him of need to pay taxes:

El Bey got his history wrong, Posner writes in his order.

“The Stamp Act was enacted by the Parliament of Great Britain in 1765,” Posner wrote. “It did not relieve Americans of any taxes; on the contrary, it imposed a comprehensive tax on the use of paper by Americans. The Act was not a treaty between Britain and the federal government of the United States, for there was no United States; there were just the 13 British colonies that 11 years later declared independence from Great Britain. There were no federal taxes that the act could have relieved Americans from having to pay. The sovereign of Britain at the time was a king, not a queen; the king’s wife (Princess Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz) was Great Britain’s queen but had no governmental authority.”

Fear China: on dealing with some faulty DNS data that caused huge traffic hits.

I've been thinking about this recently, both because while moving Flutterby off of I had to look at things like data transfer amounts in various service plans, and because the recent Google squashing of "adult" content on Blogger pages has me thinking more about indieweb principles, and what the next evolution of discussion and sharing might look like.

Homan Square

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The disappeared: Chicago police detain Americans at abuse-laden 'black site':

At least one man was found unresponsive in a Homan Square “interview room” and later pronounced dead.

Extrajudicial execution. Beatings. Detention without charge. Anyone remember when the Soviet Union was the bad guys?

Google bans Blogger adult content

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Google bans 'explicit' adult content from Blogger blogs:

With this move, Blogger -- Google -- isn't eliminating blogs that are raking in porn dough, or exposing innocents to objectionable content.

Google is removing sexual content because it doesn't like people posting it on Google's Internet.

Or, RT OJ ‏@tallglassofoj:

Holy shit Google just dropped the hammer.

CNN: Google will ban pornography from being shown publicly on its Blogger site links to the changes in Google's adult content policy.

From the College of Marin Community

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From the College of Marin Community Education flyer: truly, everything old is new again

Congress is threatening to defund the

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Congress is threatening to de-fund the DHS? Be awesome to replace that bunch of public funds pillagers with people enhancing security!

Kids should eat peanuts

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Exposing infants to peanuts causes big reduction in peanut allergy, study shows.

One of the lead researchers, Gideon Lack, head of the Department of Pediatric Allergy at King's College London, agreed. "I believe that the findings are robust enough to tell us that if a child is at risk for peanut allergy...that child should immediately, as soon as they develop the first signs, have a skin prick test" for the allergy, he said. If the test is negative, the child "should be encouraged to eat peanuts regularly," Lack said.

If the skin test is positive, the same program could be followed under the supervision of a pediatrician, he said.

Monday February 23rd, 2015

The jokes write themselves: DoD spends $84M a year on Viagra, similar meds.

And meanwhile we can't take care of our injured veterans.

Yeah, some days I'd like to administer some fire...

House guest texted me about tripping

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House guest texted me about tripping new fire alarms. I'm now realizing that a "silence alarm" feature would have been nice...

The real hackers

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RT Christopher Soghoian ‏@csoghoian:

New rule: Instead of a stock photo of masked-man at a keyboard to show hackers, use the NSA director. More accurate.

[Adm. Michael Rogers]

Lots of brush trimming here!

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Lots of brush trimming here!

Sunday February 22nd, 2015

Dear designers going for low contrast

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Dear "designers" going for low contrast grey text on white: STOP IT STOP IT STOP IT STOP IT STOP IT!

Lifting bed

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Another from Shadow (who's had posting turned on for a long time, but who sends 'em to me anyway): A cool lifting bed design, for storage underneath the mattress:

Friday February 20th, 2015

Robot Tweets

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Bot tweets "I seriously want to kill people", prompts Dutch police response.

MeFi user GuyZero observes:

The police investigate robot tweets but actual rape threats by people to people go by unremarked?


If you can read this...

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If you can read this, Flutterby is now hosted on the Linode VM, migrating off of Buttercups.

Thursday February 19th, 2015

NSA & GHCQ mass cracking SIM cards

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The Great SIM Heist: How Spies Stole the Keys to the Encryption Castle. In case you needed more reasons to not trust your phone.

Oliver Sacks on terminal cancer

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NY Times: My Own Life: Oliver Sacks on Learning He Has Terminal Cancer:

It is up to me now to choose how to live out the months that remain to me. I have to live in the richest, deepest, most productive way I can. ...

Of note especially because we have a 20-something in our lives who's stumbling. His upbringing left him with a lack of tools to face reality, and we had a talk last night about philosophies of finite vs infinite resources. This is a good quick musing on living within the finite.

Pre-installed malware

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Researchers find insecure BIOS 'rootkit' pre-loaded in laptops. Alfredo Ortega and Anibal Sacco from Core Security Technologies suggest that it's easy to alter the "phone home" information in Computrace LoJack for Laptops to hijack the anti-theft service to do one's own nefarious bidding.

And Lenovo has been shipping laptops with "Superfish" adware injection software installed, it hijacks your Google searches and injects ads into them. It apparently installs it's own CA, to allow MitM attacks against any https site(!).

Addendum: EFF: Lenovo is breaking HTTPS security on its recent laptops:

Lenovo has not just injected ads in a wildly inappropriate manner, but engineered a massive security catastrophe for its users. The use of a single certificate for all of the MITM attacks means that all HTTPS security for at least Internet Explorer, Chrome, and Safari for Windows, on all of these Lenovo laptops, is now broken. If you access your webmail from such a laptop, any network attacker can read your mail as well or steal your password. If you log into your online banking account, any network attacker can pilfer your credentials. All an attacker needs in order to perform these attacks is a copy of the Superfish MITM private key. There is (apparently) a copy of that key inside every Superfish install on every affected Lenovo laptop, which has now been extracted and posted online.

Charlene leaves town and we blow up the

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Charlene leaves town and we blow up the oven... it was really loud...

Wednesday February 18th, 2015

RT Matt Barcomb ‏@mattbarcomb

"what do you use for mocking these days?"

"I typically stick with dry sarcasm unless over the top vulgarity is a better fit in context"

Porting the Flutterby CMS to MySQL to

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Porting the Flutterby CMS to MySQL to move my blog to hosting from a dedicated server. How do y'all put up with this excuse for a database?

Tuesday February 17th, 2015


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I've thought about trying to do this, both for the better laminar flow around the helmet straps giving me better aural awareness when I'm riding, and because there are times when I'm on the bike that I'd like podcasts or music: are little wind shields and speakers that clip on your helmet straps to enhance hearing.

Sonoma County folk

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Sonoma County folk: is there a cliff somewhere that'd be good for teaching a newbie basic rappelling, belay & vertical rope skills?

Waiting to be picked

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A number of things in my life are reminding me of this: Seth Godin: Reject the tyranny of being picked: pick yourself:

It's a cultural instinct to wait to get picked. To seek out the permission and authority that comes from a publisher or talk show host or even a blogger saying, "I pick you." Once you reject that impulse and realize that no one is going to select you--that Prince Charming has chosen another house--then you can actually get to work.

Hardware Startups

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Advice for Early-Stage Hardware Startups, which has been oft-quoted for this:

If you’re making less than 1,000 units and they are not nuclear reactors, ask yourself if it’s worth your time.

But has a lot of other stuff. Especially since I've been involved in building a bunch of prototypes for a particular hardware startup recently, and am talking with another...