Sunday May 27th, 2018

More of the hummingbird by the Hidalgo

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More of the hummingbird by the Hidalgo pump house

dude was eating the nectars by the

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This dude was eating the nectars by the Hidalgo pump house.

Saturday May 26th, 2018

Check your router

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US CERT Alert (TA18-145A) Cyber Actors Target Home and Office Routers and Networked Devices Worldwide

Cybersecurity researchers have identified that foreign cyber actors have compromised hundreds of thousands of home and office routers and other networked devices worldwide [1] [2]. The actors used VPNFilter malware to target small office/home office (SOHO) routers. VPNFilter malware uses modular functionality to collect intelligence, exploit local area network (LAN) devices, and block actor-configurable network traffic. Specific characteristics of VPNFilter have only been observed in the BlackEnergy malware, specifically BlackEnergy versions 2 and 3.

Cisco's Talos Intelligence Group Blog: New VPNFilter malware targets at least 500K networking devices worldwide

HHS & DHS trafficking children

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I'm not generally much on the "trafficking" label, it's often used for bullshit reasons, but I'll allow it here: HHS Official Says Agency Lost Track of Nearly 1,500 Unaccompanied Minors

In 2014, at least 10 trafficking victims, including eight minors, were discovered during a raid by federal and local law enforcement in Portman’s home state of Ohio. As FRONTLINE examined in the recent documentary Trafficked in America, HHS had released several minors to the traffickers. The committee said the case was due to policies and procedures that were “inadequate to protect the children in the agency’s care.”

Friday May 25th, 2018

I was reading an article on the history

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I was reading an article on the history and context of Rosie the Riveter, and suddenly realized that this poster is more pertinent than ever in the current political climate...

Rosie the Riveter

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Alexa the Snoop

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Amazon confirms that Echo device secretly shared user’s private audio. In which the Alexa device apparently thought it heard "send message", and did so.

  1. It happened at all.
  2. What, exactly, is in those logs: "Our engineers went through all of your logs. They saw exactly what you told us, exactly what you said happened, and we're sorry"

Thursday May 24th, 2018

Argh. I apparently can't get pfSense doing IPv6 with my Pace 5268AC. Which I guess means I'm gonna have to drop the firewall and use the crappy Pace device which doesn't have a true passthrough mode directly. Ugh.

Whiteboard Picture Cleaner

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Whiteboard Picture Cleaner - Shell one-liner/script to clean up and beautify photos of whiteboards!. Uses ImageMagick:

convert "$1" -morphology Convolve DoG:15,100,0 -negate -normalize -blur 0x1 -channel RBG - level 60%,91%,0.1 "$2"

Wednesday May 23rd, 2018

Action Park

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An Oral History of Action Park. I never did get to ride the loop water slide...

Porn Star Feminist

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Gammon People

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Matthew Hankins tweets "Gammon People", a Boris Johnson version of "Common People".

Weather Channel leaves Facebook

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The Weather Channel has stopped publishing videos to Facebook:

“We went along for the ride every single step of the way,” Katz said. “But we noticed, over the course of two years, that we were being paid in all types of currencies — followers, shares, views — that did not feel like money.”

Organic Farmers & Pesticides

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FBI lying on encryption threat

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FBI repeatedly overstated encryption threat figures to Congress, public:

The FBI has repeatedly provided grossly inflated statistics to Congress and the public about the extent of problems posed by encrypted cellphones, claiming investigators were locked out of nearly 7,800 devices connected to crimes last year when the correct number was much smaller, probably between 1,000 and 2,000, The Washington Post has learned.

There really are no good guys.

Feature request

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Feature request: Offices and coworking spaces should have Tempest shielded rooms, so that when Bluetooth pairing you can figure out which mouse is yours.

Tiny Houses

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You can’t just put homeless people in tiny houses. A quick look at the "tiny house" movement and the push to permit "accessory dwelling units" (ADUs) in places with serious housing crunches.

I'm watching this space with interest, many advocates for "tiny homes" are just trying to sell trailer parks to a new demographic, but the notion of creating infill and density by allowing additional units in back yards is an intriguing one.

Why Map Portals Don't Work

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Older article, but it just came across a The Spatial Community Slack channel: Why Map Portals Don't Work: Part I

A little musing on why command-line interfaces (in the form of search boxes) are a necessity; slippy maps don't do everything.

That's related to Few Interact With Our Interactive Maps–What Can We Do About It? from last year, talking about ways other than slippy maps to present data.

Consent & Real Names

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Tuesday May 22nd, 2018

I really need to get my workflow down

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I really need to get my workflow down for multiple users in the same X session. Even if it's just being smarter about segmenting my work user from my personal user so CLI tools like aws which store global config work better.

Relative shootings

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So there was this Washington Post article making the rounds a few days ago, and I'm linking it here because I know I'm gonna want to find it at some point: 2018 has been deadlier for schoolchildren than service members.

Which is true, and, of course, there's some data normalization that's not happening in that, but if we're gonna compare apples to kumquats: Both are more likely to be shot than police officers.

Slomo Magnets

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Magnets colliding in slow motion (YouTube). And a million special effects animators just creamed themselves as they found reference video for the next generation of small robots swarming something movie sequences.

Via MeFi.

Monday May 21st, 2018

don't end demand

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Friday May 18th, 2018

Flight delay meant I spent the night in

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Flight delay meant I spent the night in SFO, and became even more aware of how US airports are full of anti-patterns, designed to be just barely tolerable for for very short times.

Florida Man killed by vape pen

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It's like they're trying to make vaping more attractive to risk takers: Vape pen explosion pierces Florida man's cranium killing him

Thursday May 17th, 2018

Kind of amazing how a 80night hotel

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Kind of amazing how a $80/night hotel offers an included breakfast (with fresh waffles) and working WiFi, and a $180/night hotel has a Starbucks in the lobby and charges an extra $10/night for crappy WiFi.

Keras: The Python Deep Learning library

Keras is a high-level neural networks API, written in Python and capable of running on top of TensorFlow, CNTK, or Theano. It was developed with a focus on enabling fast experimentation. Being able to go from idea to result with the least possible delay is key to doing good research.

SensorUp - Citizen sensing. Distributed air quality particulate pollution sensing for cheap.

Smart Calgary

SQL Festival

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Paul Ramsey — FOSS4G NA 2018 SQL Festival, cool things to do with Postgres, PostGIS and mapping data.

The Map Room

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Presentation at tonight's closing party was on the St Louis Map Room. Seems like the basic setup is to lay out a big piece of canvas, project a base layer on the canvas (this can vary: roads are obvious, but schools, parks, hydrology, depending on the audience), give people a prompt and a key with a pack of colored markers, and let them go...

Tonight's prompt was "the FOSS (Free and Open Source Software) geographic community", the key had 3 colors, past, present and future. The basemap was a rough outline of North America. It was fun.

Other possible keys and prompts that were described were, for school kids, "places that make you scared, or happy". Family. Tired.

Apparently in the original there was then the option to let people create their maps, and then overlay other data on it and see what sort of aha moments resulted.

But I totally want to bring this back to my community. I'm thinking with bring something like this to Rivertown Revival or some other large community gathering. Maybe two, a North America or world map with prompts about how people relate Petaluma to the world (where have you been, where did your family come from), and one of Sonoma County with prompts about fun or exciting or what-have-you.

Needs a little brainstorming, but I think this could be an amazing project.

Also, a picture from tonight's event, in-progress. So much interesting about how this map progressed: That identification was airport codes. Some houses, birth places, many gatherings. Some geographic features. Some interesting quibbling about locations and projections. Eventually some non-US-anians started drawing the Mexico wall in purple for "future"...

Even more at

Wednesday May 16th, 2018

Look, guys, I realize it's been 20 years, but doing the "It's Something About Mary" hair gel forelock thing just reduces us olds to helpless giggles. #kidsthesedays