Posts Tagged ‘ACTA’

2012w28

Sunday, July 15th, 2012

This week just flew by like a chinchilla with a rocket strapped to its back, but I managed to squeeze in some good laughs and some programming so all in all not too shabby week at all.

Glenn Greenwald: How America’s surveillance state breeds conformity and fear A rather long text (likely due to it being a transcript of a speech) but none the less both fascinating and horrifying at the same time.

And Russia doesn’t seem to fare much better, as Russian Wikipedia goes on strike over censorship plans

(Please note that I’m not trying to single anyone out, I don’t believe for a second that Europe or Sweden is one bit better than their neighbours)

I found a rather depressing thread on reddit where the OP works for a research organization and they have just received a job from the US Gov to carry out a questionnaire (with apparently very directed and leading questions) with the perceived objective to make Americans answer that they are ok with the government collecting data, since, if you can just get statistics saying that others find it ok, you can get the masses on board with the idea as well… Also related: push polls

This is a textbook case of why anonymity still has a place in the world. There were no malice involved here. This was an accident, but if it hurts even one of the outed persons that’s still enough. And that’s why databases, unnecessary or not, should be kept to the bare minimum. Because databases will always leak.

It’s possible that some of the people whose identities were revealed in the email could face workplace sanctions for opposing ACTA (I know a lot of people in the entertainment industry who privately oppose many of their employers’ initiatives), so revealing their identities is a potential big deal.

This ties back to surveillance states breeding conformity (and fear, but in this case the fear of retaliation already existed) because fearing sanctions people may stop speaking up, leading to other people, hesitant, undecided, to think that there must be nothing wrong since no one is speaking up. Conformity.

Although we can always trust in Falkvinge to come up with sensationalist blog posts, in this case I fear he might be right on the money.

With Facebook scanning chats for potentially illegal activities, I wonder how they would react if someone wrote a facebook app which encrypted the conversations between people (preferably through a javascript so the communication is encrypted browser to browser).

I found a fairly decent guide to regular expressions (the only thing which would make it better was if it wasn’t a “cookbook recipes” kind of post, but instead a “learn regular expressions with examples” type of post. But the recipes are broken down into parts and explained and that is really nice, and that’s why I’m mentioning it. A for effort :)

A post about vim completions which I should take to heart and start using more than I already am.

And if you have a non-technical friend who wishes to understand more about UNIXy systems, but would get information overload by non-abstracted techno-babble, my suggestion would be to direct them to Unixmages.

I happened to do something stupid in vim the other day, I pressed C^s, and I think I pressed it believing it would save the contents… C^s in a terminal doesn’t save anything… It will however suspend scrolling (I guess scroll-lock is the most aptly named description) but for all intents and purposes, this the first time it happened to me, I thought the terminal had frozen and I ended up running an xkill on that terminal window.

Today I thought I’d investigate it a little further, and upon doing so I realized that it is an intended feature which could even work at bootup, which I will certainly test the next time I’m booting the system and seeing some weird error message flash by.

Oh, and to “restore” the terminal, make it responsive again, C^wC^q is your friend.

Finally, a vim story which isn’t exactly my story, but close enough that I recognize myself in there :)

Update: Thanks pesa for pointing out the typo, C^q is the correct one
:wq

2012w26

Tuesday, July 3rd, 2012

Last week (yeah I know, this post is a little late) was pretty stressed out with a looming deadline but not-at-all-that-late on Friday afternoon, everything came together and all my assigned test cases had been executed, yay! :D

The depressing stuff (a.k.a “:(“)

A study has concluded that the “Non-Practicing Entities” formerly known as patent trolls costs money, a whole lot of money… who’d have guessed? …

 

And facebook did yet again what any popular service for which the “users” doesn’t pay a dime; changed their service without any warning, bu giving every “user” a facebook.com email address and making it the default contact email.

It sure smells a lot like the “Man-in-the-Middle” attack the previously linked to, outraged, post makes it out to be.

Then again, I can’t really understand how people can still get outraged by any of the shit facebook does. And its not like there aren’t other reasons for wanting out. Coincidentally, masses of people abandoning fb might be the only way to get them to stop frakking around with the “users” so much.

(And yes, I have consistently marked users up using quotes, because as Andrew Lewis so eloquently put it: If you’re not paying for something, you’re not the customer, you’re the product being sold.)

 

Former United States President Jimmy Carter thinks that the US is “abandoning its role as the global champion of human rights”. Not sure if that is really news to anyone, but I guess it gets a little more weight when it comes from a former President who also so happens to have won the Nobel Peace Price (then again, so did Obama, for “not being Bush” so maybe that isn’t all that impressive…)

 

And more corruption and subverting of the public good going on while the USTR and MPAA plans what I suppose to become the next ACTA (i.e. developed in secret without any chance for criticism), the TPP.

And while on the subject of ACTA, the EU commissioner wants the European Parliament to fall in line (I guess it is bad PR to always have the EU look divided… too frakking bad…)

 

If you are an Apple user, and you are using Orbitz to book hotels, please be aware that if you just boot into Windows for a quickie to do the bookings, you may save a buck or two

 

The more I think about it, the more I feel that no matter what the IETF decides, web servers (coughApache*cough*nginx*cough*LightHTTPd*cough*) should just go right ahead and implement HTTP Error Code 451 anyway. Pretty sure I will make a point to be able to serve such a response if I ever dabble with web-apps again anyhow. Because people getting angry with ISPs, which are just following the law, is fruitless. If people instead direct their anger towards the people guilty of the poor laws (i.e. politicians deep in the pockets of certain four-letter-acronym organizations, most of which having headquarters in the US) I imagine things could begin to change.

(Yes, that would mean having to vote for someone else and potentially get screwed over (depending on your political views and what you believe to be the “right” way to conduct a society) in other pieces of policy)

 

I get her point. Seems kindof hopeless, damned if you do, damned if you don’t :(

The funnier stuff (a.k.a “:D”)

Pontus showed me a cool SSH shell called ZSSH with built-in capability to transfer files, within the shell. Yes, I know of scp, but I also know what a pain in the ass it is with one-time-logins.

 

A cool (perhaps not very useful, but very visually pleasing) tool is gource. It parses version control commits, and presents them visually (see PHP, Python, OpenOffice.org, or why not MySQL for visuals)

 

Want to make Python and Erlang talk to eachother, try Erlport.

 

Finally, while I was working at Gnutiken, I had the good fortune of sitting next to Andreas Nilsson, and I know I say this about a lot of my friends, but he’s one of the nicest guy I know (I guess I have truly lucked out with my friends), but there’s one thing where he and I don’t see eye to eye.

As a designer, user interface/experience wizard etc. his stance is that the concept of files in a computer must be eradicated from the user experience.

I disagree, and this post goes a way better job at explaining my thoughts than I would ever had been able to.

:wq

2012w06

Sunday, February 12th, 2012

Update: Ooops, I guess we gone incremented the year again… and no one thought to tell me :(

ACTA

It’s comforting to know that the people we elect to rule us at least know what they’re doing… Oh… wait…

git and branches

Last week, for the first time, I think I groked branches. The headline mentions git branches, and if they are different from other VCS’ branches, then last week I think I groked git branches :P

I’ve known about branching for quite a while, but never gotten past anything other than a rudimentary understanding.

I think I understood how mercurial does it (simply clone the repository, name the root directory of that clone to whatever you want to call that branch, and presto. (And yes, I am aware that mercurial has a branch command as well, so my understanding on that point is probably incorrect).

Either way, what finally gave me an “aha”-moment was this blogpost.

And while one the subject: Other uses of git. I am going to take a closer look at especially Prophet.

Links

AUTOMATE ALL THE THINGS

No but seriously, frakking do it. Automation ftw.

2012w05

Sunday, February 5th, 2012

Update: Ooops, I guess we gone incremented the year again… and no one thought to tell me :(

TPP (yet another ACTA-type thingy)

Here we go again…. But it seems there is at least one intelligent/regretful person to have realized the error of her ways from last time.

I am fearful however that we are going to have to suffer more shit like this until we eradicate the “entertainment industry” (peacefully of course, vote with your wallets people!)

Because really, would you want this to be the future?

I am not in any way, shape or form serious about the following suggestion: We could of course present the internets the way the “entertainment industry” wants it, to them at least, already today. But I do love this type of humor :)

And with all these new moronic laws running rampant and frakking up the internets, this begs the question: What happens to your files when a cloud service dies? — personally I would have replaced “files” with “data” but whatever, still a worthwhile read.

Before closing the book on the subject of copyright for this time… If you’re a photographer (well, I guess, as we’ve seen with Apple/Samsung, this applies if you are a hardware designer as well): don’t take photographs which are too similar to other photographs

Educational Games

This game was both fun and, at least to me, innovative. Just a wee bit too slow for my netbook, but a real treat if it could inspire someone to start programming :)

SEC — Simple Event Correlator

I don’t really remember what I was looking for when I find this, but I was almost immediately intrigued. Now, I had to read through that first paragraph on their web page a couple of times, and then still read the two excellent tutorials before I figured out what I could use it for, and I think I can express that shorter: look at logfiles, if X happens, execute command Y.

It is a little more complex than that, like if X happens, but A doesn’t happen within a specified time window following X etc.

freedom.txt

This is an interesting initiative which seems to have it roots here and is now maintained on github.

I think the wording of the text regarding governments is a bit inflammatory and could probably be misconstrued, deliberately or otherwise, and turned into a weapon against the initiative itself.

Personally I’d have preferred either to have the wording changed, seeking instead to inspire and educate (yes I know, presumptuous of me to believe I hold the truth) our fellow citizens, or at the very least change the wording into something less misinterpretable.

We should hold those we have elected to govern us at higher standards, instead of not reacting at all, letting them off the hook as it were, whenever they err on the side of dishonesty and/or corruption.

I don’t feel I can really put my signature on that text as it currently stands, but I think I’ll remix it to something I can stand for.

If nothing else, the most interesting idea I got out of it, was the addition of “points of interests” links and IP addresses (see the github page for that). There are some services on there which further makes me unable to put my name on that document, but hoarding IP addresses, and mapping them to domain names, is interesting…

More on this later, when I have thought some more about it.

Links

2012w3

Sunday, January 22nd, 2012

mitmproxy

Granted, there shouldn’t be all that many use cases for a software such as this for a non-pentesting, non-criminal, but the fact that it can record and replay previous interactions, which can be useful, for instance, to automate login on access protected networks (hopefully ones that we already have permission to enter, but find the actual logging in part a real hassle).

Procedural City, Part 1

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this entire series of blog posts, in which the author had the “simple” goal of generating an entire city, digitally, in a procedural manner.

Fedora Friendfinder

Ok, so this is just humor, but you know what? It is good humor :)

XXXTerm

This sounds like something kinky, but is in reality a minimalist web browser with sophisticated security features designed-in.

So, a bit like luakit but with a funnier name ;)

Pipeviewer

pipeviewer really is something I could have more use for, if I just ever remebered to use it ;)

The next SOPA

You know what? This guy is on the right track. And I think Joel is as well.

MPAA shows us just why they are not a part of the solution. Mostly it is because they, and the rest of the abusive copyright-holders are their own worst enemy. Of course, they won’t go down peacefully, so it really is time for us to start fighting back. And there are plenty of targets to chose from.

In related news, it seems the Polish internet community is “unhappy” with ACTA… very nice :)