Posts Tagged ‘anonymity’


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


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.


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.