Sunday November 23rd, 2014

The computers are watching the watchmen watch the computers

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Symantec is banging the drum about an espionage virus/malware tool they dub Regin, that's been around since 2008, and that they suggest must have been deployed by a government.

The Verge: Highly-complex malware has secretly spied on computers for years, say researchers: Trojan is likely state sponsored, has attacked Russian, Saudi internet providers and telecoms since 2008

Now might be a good time to re-read Ken Thompson's Reflections On Trusting Trust.

As I just wrote on Facebook:

So I need to dance a little carefully about what I've seen where, but this line stood out: "Attacks on telecoms companies appear to be designed to gain access to calls being routed through their infrastructure."

I have recently seen the output of some telecoms switching data, because that data was supposed to be XML, and the strict XML parser that was consuming that data was complaining about some really grotesque constructs in that data. Several people looking at that data said "oh, yeah, this stuff is just gross", but my first reaction was "I don't understand this whole system, but this looks like the side effects of an attack on some system" (which isn't this one, because this one is detecting it and complaining).

Telecom data is horrible. It's easy to send trash through Caller ID stuff. Not my field of expertise, but ... yeah ... I really suspect there are some gnarly overflows somewhere out there in the switches, and we all just think the data is trashy.

Insulation in

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Insulation in, tomorrow morning the tub arrives and gets mortar bedded on that plastic

I know I've done that

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I know I've done that, but never for the full height, by hand...

Saturday November 22nd, 2014

Hey, http://mackenab.com/ is blogging again. Fingers crossed for a weblog resurgence!

And the old tub is out

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And the old tub is out. Sucker was heavy, glad I'll have 3 other people for the new tub on Monday.

And we may go with a larger window

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And we may go with a larger window, and get rid of that awful plastic on the outside of the wall...

Charlene getting her demolition on

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Charlene getting her demolition on

And so it begins

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And so it begins...

Friday November 21st, 2014

Malicious chargers

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The boss has malware, again..., in which a Reddit contributor describes discovering malware coming from an e-cigarette USB adapter thing. Careful what you plug into what, kids!

Paying for an absence of ads

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Editorial quality

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RT Yoni Appelbaum ‏@YAppelbaum:

Journal spams request for article. Researcher submits, "Get me off your fucking email list." It's accepted.

The question is: How many cites does that article have in MedlinePlus?

On wasting time

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Jess Jacobs - On Wasting My Time – The Numbers. In which a patient records the visits and time spent on healthcare:

Outpatient visits were ‘useful’ if it resulted in a change to my treatment or I underwent a test/treatment. Appointments consisting of prescription refills without dose changes, advice I already knew, or second requests for the same thing were counted as useless visits.

Service reps take note

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Service reps take note: there are no jobs which can't be automated.

So many questions

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So many questions...

Thursday November 20th, 2014

Unless I move big files

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Unless I move big files, my phone uses about 32 meg of mobile data per day. That's 2.3 hours of our first ISP's dial-up time.

Email from Trotec reminding me that

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Email from Trotec reminding me that lasers qualify for the Section 179 Tax Deduction. Everyone: That's how you drum up holiday business.

NY Times: The Secret Life of Passwords. A surprisingly good little read on the sociology of password selection.

STDs as failure of technology

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RT Eλf Sternberg ‏@elfsternberg:

The STD argument is a technological limitation. Food variety has become ubiquitous due to tech. So has sex.

unwinding the stack

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RT Len L ‏@eelronhubbard:

Saw a "try Jesus" bumper sticker. Resisted urge to fix syntax and add "catch (DeityNotFoundException e) { return false; }"

Your identity model needs to let some

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Your identity model needs to let some people call me the space cowboy, some call me the gangster of love, and some people call me Maurice.

Morning has broken

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Morning has broken. Let's try power cycling it, see if that fixes it.

Wednesday November 19th, 2014

Since when is 5' of snow for Western

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Since when is 5' of snow for Western New York "epic"? The Blizzard of '77 was 70", and 10'-15' accumulations happened. #uphillbothways

Hey NowThisSteve Bogart is back and

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Hey NowThis/Steve Bogart is back and blogging! http://nowthis.com/2014/11/so-much-to-re-learn.html

Obama administration encouraged NSA snooping

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Woot Electrical work permit is signed

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Woot! Electrical work permit is signed off and final!

iconv parameters you are looking for

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The iconv parameters you are looking for are "--from-code UTF-8 --to-code ASCII//TRANSLIT"

All wood bicycle

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Video of Collin Graver's wooden bicycle (Video), a major improvement on his first version (YouTube). All wood, including the drive train.

Hey, more science suggesting that mixing programmers with people on the phone in an open office: really bad idea! http://www.fastcompany.com/303...ilent-office-productivity-killer

Tuesday November 18th, 2014

Favorite tools for downconverting

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Favorite tools for down-converting Unicode to ASCII? (and Swype knows about Unicode, but not ASCII? I weep.)

Not helpful

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Not helpful, Google translate (I checked, it's a German industrial band)

Before a lie can get its boots on

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False rumors do not propagate like True ones:

On Twitter, claims that receive higher skepticism and lower propagation scores are more likely to be false. On the other hand, claims that receive lower skepticism and higher propagation scores are more likely to be true.

The above is a conjecture we wrote in a recent paper entitled Investigating Rumor Propagation with TwitterTrails (currently under review). Feel free to take a look if you want to know more details about our system, but we will write here some of its highlights.

I snarked about Facebook, and @takis_metaxas replied:

@danlyke @dweinberger @hananc Indeed, some results on Rumor Cascades on FB show difference. I think it has to do with the interface

Prosecutor successfully prosecuted

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Prosecutor whose misconduct sent an innocent man to prison for 25 years gets 10 days in jail. And this is news because a prosecutor is actually being held accountable.

Today in Texas, former prosecutor and judge Ken Anderson pled guilty to intentionally failing to disclose evidence in a case that sent an innocent man, Michael Morton, to prison for the murder of his wife. ...

Eggu Mastah!

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Because I know at some point I'm going to want to reference this again: Egg Master (YouTube short infomercial)

Monday November 17th, 2014

If you wanna get up in arms over

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If you wanna get up in arms over politicians lying to dupe a stupid electorate, its Christie & LePage, not Gruber: http://www.theguardian.com/com...lling-me-ebola-nurse-kaci-hickox

Things we love to hear from vendors

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Things we love to hear from vendors: "We don't provide guidance on [that aspect of our product], you'll need to consult a professional."

Irony of piracy

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Barbie fucks it up

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TRUSTe pays $200,000 to settle charges that it deceived consumers: Company failed to conduct yearly reviews of sites it certified as safe.

Good business model: Sell the right to put a trademarked image on a web site. When busted, pay a pittance. Lather, rinse, repeat.

What kills us

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Fascinating: New England Journal of Medicine: The Burden of Disease and the Changing Task of Medicine, including a great chart on the difference in what we died from in 1900 (TB, pneumonia, gastrointestinal infections, etc) vs what we died from in 2010 (Cancer and Heart Disease).

Via Vox: What kills us, in one chart.

Quite possibly the best Twitter

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Texas death penalty

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Is Texas getting ready to kill an innocent man?. Really the wrong headline, but "is Texas ready to kill an innocent African-American man for a murder seemingly committed by a white police officer?" is probably too long.

Via MeFi.

50 shades of Seattle

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Bwahahaha: If 50 Shades of Grey were actually written by a Seattleite:

Mr. Grey’s profile picture on OKCupid was a shot of himself standing in front of a huge window. Ana laughed at the terrible photoshop job; he had crudely pasted a shot of Seattle’s skyline behind him, not realizing that the view point was actually somewhere in the middle of Puget Sound.

Open Web Alliance

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Concerned about the fact that HTTP2.0/SPDY is end-to-end encrypted, the big players have banded together to form the "Open Web Alliance", where "Open" means "we can monitor and inject stuff into your web browsing". Evil, evil, evil.

Kickstarter for "The Seedsheet", CNC deposition of seeds on a sheet that you then lay out in your garden, with online layout:

... Then peruse our expansive selection of vegetables, fruits, and herbs to build the garden of your dreams. As you build, watch as we display your estimated germination percentage, the days until harvest, and the money you're saving! ...

Or: You're too damned lazy to put the seeds where you want 'em, and what about early starts?

Saturday November 15th, 2014

BLTAvocado with tomatoes from our

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BLTAvocado with tomatoes from our garden and honey lavender bacon from Sonoma Meat Company,

Guns & crime

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For Larry, a Washington Post article on the evolution of research about possible links between concealed carry permits and crime, from Lott & Mustard in '97 to Donohue currently. More guns, more crime: New research debunks a central thesis of the gun rights movement

Friedman's again

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Friedman's again: "Customer service needed at the shower stalls." ... "uh, yeah, can you soap up my back?"

Friday November 14th, 2014

Insert confused look and raised eyebrow

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Insert confused look and raised eyebrow here....

worst part about these linkbaity

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The worst part about these link-baity headlines is that we've all seen that video already. Half a decade ago.

That why did they ever think this

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That "why did they ever think this could possibly work correctly?" moment when debugging concurrency problems in someone else's code.

Thursday November 13th, 2014

Adult sized Underoos Can we have

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Adult sized Underoos? Can we have Garanimals next? http://io9.com/holy-underoos-a...lt-sized-and-better-t-1658506481

Cloud privacy

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RT Marc Davis ‏@marcedavis:

Nico Sell CEO @myWickr: "I run a company and I can't use any cloud services, because I read all their privacy policies" #pii2014 #privacy

Scary things on a lunch time walk

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Scary things on a lunch time walk: dude free-hand cutting on a portable table saw.