Posts Tagged ‘censorship’

2012w29

Sunday, July 22nd, 2012
Copyright

So apparently just looking at an (web)article of a newspaper (or any web page containing copyrighted content) could mean you are infringing on that publishers copyright… do newspapers actually want to commit that kind of suicide?

I couldn’t decide whether to put this post under “Copyright” or “Censorship” since it involves the MAFIAA using the DMCA to silence things… in this particular case, it would seem, their members own marketing campaigns… With friends like the MAFIAA, who need enemies? :)

Patents

Portable electronic device, method, and graphical user interface for displaying electronic lists and documents now, how could this not apply to every type smartphone, pad, dumb-phone or, for that matter, laptop, in existence? How can such a patent even be granted?

Censorship

Censored by copyright for protesting being censored by copyright, somehow I don’t think that this was how laws were intended to be used when humanity first came up with the concept of rule of law…

Who would have thought that filtering the net may affect more than the specific group targeted by the filter? That’s impossible right?

Surveillance

Facebook is being creepy as hell as usual.

Apparently, Microsoft’s SkyDrive comes with some strings attached

Society

The European Commission intends to make open access all research findings funded by Horizon 2020. This is nice :)
Dunno if EC or UK was first, but UK is thinking along the same lines.

On the other side of the spectrum, i.e. not so nice, if things really are as dire as President Obama would have people believe, wouldn’t the responsible thing to do then, be to secure the infrastructure the hell up, instead of passing laws which any would-be imaginary-or-real terrorist would ignore?

I mean, one of the most idiotic plots in “24” was that nuclear power plants could be remote controlled over the internet. Or in Die Hard 4, that with a couple of taps on a keyboard, the bad guy could redirect a whole bunch of gas to go to the same place at the same time, building pressure, making big badaboom…

Now, if the infrastructure in fact support doing this, remotely, then those who put that in the specification, and those who produced it, and those who installed it, should all be found and tried for dangerously criminal negligence.

Of course, if the end game is to hollow out personal privacy and spy on your own citizens, then it would be better to nibble away on their rights through more new and ineffective laws, which can always be extended later when proven (through a real enemy, someone just being curious, or a false flag operation) not to work.

Justice Department sues telco for daring to challenge its secret demands for private information.

Activism

Targeting Shell with a fake PR campaign. I wonder how long it will be until lobbyists have bought an amendment to some law labeling this sort of activism as terrorism…

Join the Internet Defense League and make sure the internet never loses. Ever. Or, put another way, Rescue the lolcats from the evil clutches of the internet hate league!

Services

Blooie lets you chat online with people who like what you like I am just a tad bit sceptical about this one…

On the one hand, getting in touch with people who like what I like, Free Software, Programming, vim, etc. etc. Great! Buuuuut, how is this not willfully and intentionally putting yourself inside a filter bubble, and only exposing yourself for the types of opinions you yourself already hold? If two people say the same thing, isn’t one of them redundant? I remain a little unconvinced.

Command line

At work this week I needed to get a file from server1 to server3, and the only connection between the two was through an intermediary server, server2. Oh yeah, the only way to communicate between the servers where ssh. Sure, a three step approach was possible (scp file server2: ; ssh server2; scp file server3: ) but the file on server1 could get updated at times, which would mean yet another upload, so a simpler process was needed, a shell script with something along the lines of this:

cat $file | ssh user@server2 "ssh user@server3 \"cat > $file\""

Thanks go to pesa for coming up with the solution.

Programs

TMSU is a program which allows you to tag your files, and then perform queries on the tags, filtering out all files not tagged according to the queried constraints. Neat!

ownCloud is getting more interesting with every passing day.

I never really thought about the fact that you could do lots of things with locate such as adding flags, or configuring directories or files to disregard.

I found an expect-like utility named empty. Funnily enough I found it by checking out the examples of the Zenity fork: Yad.

Cuttlefish: Execute actions when specific events are triggered.

I am also currently trying out this vim statusline.

Throught this question I learnt about fold.

Development

Really nice ELI5 article about how flood fill works, using Zombies and Cats, and Python.

Reading this post and seeing the example resume I agree that what catmoon ponders about would be pretty cool.

Of course, the program should know what skills I have, and only select the relevant out of that set, based on the skills extracted from the job listings. At least that’s how I’d design it, as there is no good reason to lie about what you know and don’t know.

And now I finally grasp how two create quines!

When you screw up, and commit sensitive data to a git repository, this seems like a rather good way to handle it.
Oh and of course, if that sensitive data was a password, CONSIDER THE PASSWORD COMPROMISED AND CHANGE IT!

I had heard about the “Rosetta Code” before, but never got around to checking it out until this weekend, which is when I found this rather intriguing piece of Perl code.

I have to admit to being rather impressed about what one can do with html/css/javascript and some javascript libraries these days.

And although very cool, I still have yet to find a personal use for PhantomJS :/

Text books used in education should be written like this.

Other news

RasPies can now be ordered in bulk.

Here’s to the misfits.

Dunno what it’s good for, but it is pretty.

Stochastic, nerdtastic restaurant bill splitting.

Astronomy Picture of the Day har a pretty sweet image this week.

:wq

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

2012w25

Sunday, June 24th, 2012

Quite a while since I wrote a post now, I’ve not been sick or anything, but there has been a lot of work abound, and outside work I prioritized sleeping over writing. But now I’m back for the moment, so let’s get down to business :)

Since last time I’ve come up with new ways of abusing awk, such as having it find the highest value from a command outputting in the following syntax:

\t<characters, integers, fullstop>: <integer>\n

To make it a little more different, the command also spits out a header, as well as an additional newline after the end of output.

I just now, while writing this, came up with a different solution, which doesn’t use awk:

theCommand | grep -v '^[^ \t]\+' | tr -d ' ' | cut -d':' -f2 | sort -r | head -n 1

but what I ended up using was:

theCommand | awk 'BEGIN { highest = 0 } $0 ~ /^[ \t]/ { if ( $2 > highest ) { highest = $2 } } END { print highest }'

In this case, from what I can gather, awk is the more efficient solution. One process versus five.

Update: As Werner points out, the if statement isn’t really necessary (which also makes it possible to cut out the BEGIN statement as well):

theCommand | awk '/^[^ \t]/ && $2 > highest { highest = $2 } END { printf "%d\n", highest }'

Utilities

  • ditaa (a.k.a DIagrams Through Ascii Art) makes it easy to generate nice-looking diagram images from… rather nice-looking ASCII diagrams
  • docopt, a command-line interface description language, which also seems to support generating the parser for the CLI being described
  • Peity for generating different types of charts using jQuery and <canvas>
  • Ghost.py interacting with web pages, programmatically

As of late I have been thinking a great deal about backups and the project which seems the most interesting to me is Duplicity.

Random tech stuff

Other random not-so-techy stuff

What I pass for humour

:wq

2011w51

Sunday, December 25th, 2011

Bash variable string operators

I had a file filled with URLs to files I needed to download. Some of the files on the list, however, had already been downloaded, so no need to do it all again.

Should be fairly easy, right? cat the file to a while loop, reading the lines one by one, extracting the filename from the URL, check that it isn’t existing already, and if it isn’t, download it with wget.

So… how do you go about extracting the filename? You could certainly use sed and store the extracted filename in a separate variable, but that seems kindof wasteful, especially in a one-liner while loop. This article provided me with another option.

${line##*/} which deletes the longest possible match from the left (which in this case means up to (including) the last “/”) i.e. everything up to the name of the file.

No can haz censorship plz

If you’d like to make it clear that you too oppose SOPA (which, fittingly, means “garbage” in Swedish) then head over to Github, pick up your very own copy of stopcensorship.js, embed it on your site, and you’re set :)

I am also noting, with some glee, that GoDaddy is catching a whole lot of flak for their support of SOPA.

The only thing companies truly understand is when you hit them where it hurts, and that is their wallets (or as some brilliant person jokingly expressed it: “stop hitting us in our quarterly reports!”), and the only way to do that, is by voting with your own wallet.

I’m so happy about the fact that more and more people are catching on to this realization that I could… shit rainbows :)

Japanese Whaling + Tsunami disaster relief funds = disgusting

Just when I didn’t believe it possible for the Japanese whaling industry to appear as bigger scumbags than they already appear (yes, it is a quite one-sided story we’re getting from “Whale Wars” but according to National Geographic, the whalers have gotten the chance to tell their side of the story, and it would seem likely that they decline because they know full well just what type of scumbags they are… but hey, that’s just my opinion…) they go and do even more disgusting stuff, like using money from the tsunami relief donations to hire security ships to keep the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society away from their dirty business…

:wq

Anti-Terror Laws

Sunday, March 29th, 2009

I watched the episode of NCIS (season 6 episode 6) last Tuesday, and made an observation in the end of the episode which I made a mental note to blag about later. The time has now come for that.

In order to discuss the observation, I will need to rehash parts of the story, including the ending, so if you haven’t seen it but will, STOP READING NOW!

So the team is hunting a serial killer, who’s great plan is to get caught, in order to get famous. “Who remembers the name of the police who caught Bundy” or something to that effect is uttered in one of the final scenes. Essentially the bad guy wants his 15 minutes of fame, and is willing to literally kill for it. He gloats before Gibbs that he will be famous, but Gibbs will just be a footnote at most.

So Gibbs pulls some strings, and the final scene depicting the news-cast that evening shows a black silhouette with a white question mark superimposed, instead of the photo, while the reporter announces that due to “suspected association with terrorists” they cannot reveal his identity.

I have to say, they did it skillfully. I was exhilarated “yay, the bad guy failed”, but then later that evening I got to thinking “wait just one goddamn minute”. And then it struck me. They were, in the show, without even the least bit of apologetic behavior, just depicting a rather troublesome breach in what that law is supposed to do.

Sure, they didn’t turn a (fictitious) serial-killer into a star for some unstable psyche to idolize, but consider the implications here for a while. What would stop another agent/agency from “implicating” an outspoken protester (for the sake of the argument let’s say the object of the protests is the government) as a suspected terrorist. Well that just gave them the ?authority? to silence him and ship him off to some shit hole so that he won’t be causing trouble.

And the only thing standing between him, and said shit hole, is the strength in his arguments. If the arguments are weak, he is not a problem, and letting him be just adds to the government image of tolerating different opinions, while if the arguments are strong, he would be a problem.

I find that thought to be incredibly scary. How about you?