Posts Tagged ‘privacy’

2012w27

Sunday, July 8th, 2012

Slow week, but I guess that is the way it’s supposed to be when on vacation :)

I guess I won’t EVER be buying a product from Cisco or Linksys again, as they obviously cannot be trusted (yes I know they backtracked on that, but the fact that they thought it was a good idea to begin with says all I need to know…)
And I should really take this as a sign that it is high time to flash my old trusty WRT-54GL to something freedom-respecting…

So, uh, you might want to fix this gaping security hole before you start flying drones hijacked kamikaze-devices over your own people. Just a thought…

Cryptowars… again? Really?

Thunderbird ISN’T dead, but that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t try to get my thumb out of my ass and learn to use mutt anyway.

UK seems to be getting more spy laws but with the right mix of software you can ward off most assaults on your privacy.

And while on the subject of privacy: This post makes a rather good case for privacy.

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

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? ā€” 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 ā€” 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

2011w20

Sunday, May 22nd, 2011

Update: I suck! I forgot to make the URLs in the links section actually links… updated now.

Thunderbird / Lightning / iCal

I recently started receiving emails including iCal invitations that needed to be answered, but I had no idea how, and Thunderbird does not come with any such functionality out of the box.

The “Lightning” add-on, however, does give Thunderbird features to handle that, and it works really well (if one makes one configuration change in Thunderbird: go to “View” and ensure that “Display Attachments Inline” is checked)

On my netbook, IĀ  must have already set this, as it just worked there, whilst I was dumbfounded and needed the guidance from this thread to get it to work on the desktop.

Now every email with an iCal thingy that needs to be responded to will display a question at the top of the email window/tab

chromebooks

I pretty much agree with everything said in this article and for those reasons, a computer running a “cloud OS” will not become a consideration for me, until the computer is running my cloud which I and only I have full control over.

Most people won’t, but I’ll take privacy over simplicity/ease of use (or whatever other selling point is being made about these products) any day of the week.

And while we are speaking about the cloud, and why I dislike it so much, it is convenient that the next topic is related:

dropbox

So, Dropbox, the simple cloud storage and file synchronization service turned out to have a rather huge security flaw: Their employees can (to my knowledge it hasn’t happened, but how would anyone except a potential offender know, and it is this uncertainty which makes me shy away from such services) access their users encrypted shares, since Dropbox stores the encryption keys.

Dropbox is probably just as legit as they have always been, and they have probably never done anything wrong, but I can’t say that incidents like these strengthen my confidence in “the cloud”, at least not clouds operated by third parties, or actually, anyone except for the individual herself.

And that is why it is good to see that alternatives are beginning to crop up.

Jsoup

A friend of mine is doing some Java (Android) hacking, and asked me if I knew of any good web scraping libraries. For Java, my answer was no. For Python I would have instantly responded “Beautiful Soup”. So my answer became: “If I were you, I’d Google for beautiful soup for Java”. And then I did that myself, finding this post which inevitably lead me here.

Links

If you aren’t embarrassed by v 1.0 you didn’t release it early enough
Why we need version control
Interesting ways of making the most of a small living space

Revelation of the week

Learning a programming language by using an IDE can be damaging almost beyond repair.

This might perhaps just be me, but I learned html (albeit not strictly a programming language) in notepad, and have had no problems with html ever.

The same is true for bash, Python, javascript and Erlang. C would be the exception, those damn pointers continues to elude my understanding (not the concept of them, the syntax).

And then there is Java. We were taught to interact with it through an IDE, Eclipse as it was. That was 2005. This Wednesday was the first time I managed to write some barely non-trivial Java, compile it, and execute it, outside the “safety” of an IDE.

The reason for this was that Eclipse, for reasons beyond my understanding, keep crashing a couple of seconds after starting up, and that I had a friend in need of a little technology demonstrator.

And that’s when it really dawned on me. Outside Eclipse… it’s not that I am all that lost, it’s just that everything takes longer, is more tedious, and I have thusly shied away from it, thereby reinforcing that exact pattern.

And that is surely detrimental. I don’t want to be tied to a specific tool in order to be able to perform above average. A specialized tool might perhaps increase the effectiveness further, but being lost without it… that’s just wrong.