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1  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: What books are you reading? on: May 23, 2015, 08:10:54 AM
Along with the ancap stuff above, I "saved" one book while packing to move.

It is an old book, and a collection of science fiction short stories. My edition is from 1958, but the original was from 1956. The dust jacket was near destroyed, and my toddler ensured the rest of its destruction. So much for the dust jacket.

But I saved it because I'd somehow picked it up in Korea at some point in the many years I spent there. I don't remember how I got it. It's odd to have picked up an English book that old there, and it somehow survived the journey through Malaysia and on to Australia. It seemed somehow cruel to throw it out after having lasted and endured so much.

Now, in a Vietnamese province bordering Cambodia, I've managed to read almost the entire book, with only a few pages remaining. It's been very enjoyable. There are some oddities that stick out as it was written well over 50 years ago, but they're simply quaint and only add to the enjoyment.

Author: Clifford Simak
Title: Strangers in the Universe

http://www.goodreads.com/...Strangers_in_the_Universe

I'd recommend it for anyone interested in sci-fi with a strong emphasis on humanity. The stories have points to be made, although very often the point is only half made with the rest left for you to think about. I think that's the best part - the author leaves a lot to the reader.
2  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Does anyone here use Bitcoins? on: May 22, 2015, 08:15:43 PM
You have to visit the page to see, so no preview or snippets.

http://amphibian.com/169

Fun Cool

interesting - worth following the links
(look at Ren's comic one first!)

http://thoughts.amphibian...-for-bitcoin-paywall.html
http://challengepost.com/...ick-bitcoin-micropayments

easy ways to make micro-payments would be nice to have...
(apologies if that's a micro-spoiler...)

Ahhh! That is very interesting! That really could make a lot of the web much different than it is now.
3  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: silly humor - post 'em here! [warning some NSFW and adult content] on: May 22, 2015, 08:12:17 PM
The Pirate Bay has a new logo after their .se domain name was seized stolen:



For those wondering about the meaning there, perhaps this may help:



Grin

They are an endless source of fun!  Thmbsup
4  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Does anyone here use Bitcoins? on: May 22, 2015, 08:39:07 AM
You have to visit the page to see, so no preview or snippets.

http://amphibian.com/169

Fun Cool
5  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: silly humor - post 'em here! [warning some NSFW and adult content] on: May 21, 2015, 12:20:44 PM

Ok... that's way beyond f'd up. I get the joke... but stuff like that should just be a joke and not reality. Just... wow.
6  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: silly humor - post 'em here! [warning some NSFW and adult content] on: May 20, 2015, 08:34:26 PM
Got a real smartass here...

[attachthumb=#]


Cool

7  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: silly humor - post 'em here! [warning some NSFW and adult content] on: May 20, 2015, 08:32:51 PM
^ I know I'm not chancing it.  Not sure if it should be left linked if there is a warning...

I'm not clicking either. But in all fairness, I've seen those warnings on perfectly safe pages in the past.
8  Other Software / Found Deals and Discounts / NordVPN: 2-Yr VPN Subscription - $39 regularly $120 on: May 20, 2015, 12:13:04 PM
Great VPN deal.

https://deals.techdirt.co...nordvpn-2-yr-subscription

9  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Robert A. Heinlein - atmospheric processor question on: May 20, 2015, 10:29:25 AM
I read a SciFi novel maybe 6 months ago.  I don't recall the author or title, but it was all about diverting comets to Mars to get the water from the ice. 

The physicists at the Thunderbolt Project have illustrated that comets have no ice. Just a fun fact. It's interesting how they explain things.

Here is the SciFi Novel in question:  Mining the Oort by Frederik Pohl

Speaking of Mars I heard an old radio interview with some dude about the "face with the helmut" on Mars.  I forget the dude's name.  I think he has one book published.  Anyway according to this dude NASA has known all along intelligent extraterrestrials exist.  If this should be true I have to wonder if the "rock with the cellular life fossils" was NASA checking the public's reaction to the possibility of other life in the Solar System.

With the luck mankind has if there is life on Mars they are probably big cockroaches.  smiley

There are some really wild conspiracy theories out there about that stuff. Check out Youtube and search for "face on Mars". You'll get people with fully flushed out theories about ancient civilisations on Mars and all kinds of stuff. It's very entertaining.

One fellow thinks that people from Mars did some kind of wonky experiment that destroyed the planet, so they came here. I think this episode of his series is the one with that in it, but it might be a different episode (the one before?):

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xSY6on-M9Vw" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xSY6on-M9Vw</a>

If you have a few minutes to burn, or just want some good entertainment, it's a lot of fun.

I really do love all that stuff. It's quite fun. cheesy

10  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Robert A. Heinlein - atmospheric processor question on: May 20, 2015, 12:25:21 AM
I read a SciFi novel maybe 6 months ago.  I don't recall the author or title, but it was all about diverting comets to Mars to get the water from the ice. 

The physicists at the Thunderbolt Project have illustrated that comets have no ice. Just a fun fact. It's interesting how they explain things.
11  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: The Rant Thread! on: May 15, 2015, 12:18:31 AM
In a word...


AAARRRGGGHHH!!!


Just how friggin' stupid are people???

http://www.theglobeandmai...ail-test/article24429608/

Quote
A security test by the Canada Revenue Agency found thousands of its employees could not resist the lure of a phony e-mail phishing scam, a discovery that suggests vulnerabilities remain at the agency more than a year after it was rocked by a major online security breach.

The Globe and Mail has learned that over the first three months of this year, the agency’s security and internal-affairs division sent 16,000 employees an e-mail designed to replicate the potentially dangerous messages that are common to anyone with an e-mail account.

A phishing scam usually involves an e-mail that encourages a user to click on a link, which could then expose the user’s computer to malicious software.

The result of the CRA’s test was that 78 per cent of employees did not click on the link contained in phishing attempts. However, that means roughly 3,500 employees did fall for the scam, even though they were informed ahead of time that the test would take place.

I think we've resolved the question as to whether or not bureaucrats are at the bottom of the IQ barrel.

And, just to make it perfectly clear just how moronic these douchknobs are:

Quote
Philippe Brideau, a spokesperson for the CRA, said, "...The CRA’s systems are safe and secure.”

Yeah. Right.

12  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Programming/Coder humor on: May 14, 2015, 10:00:11 PM
2. Ads "related" to something describe what you are. If you code, then you are a car. Proof:
Yes, but where do fractions and Elvis impersonators fit in??

/dev/null? But Elvis is probably at your local 7-Eleven right now. By the time you get there, he'll have left the building. Really. Trust me. We don't want to have suspicious minds now, do we?
13  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Visualize pseudo code via flowcharts? on: May 14, 2015, 09:54:51 AM
^ The Dia link is correct.
14  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Visualize pseudo code via flowcharts? on: May 14, 2015, 06:02:49 AM
^ I've used Dia, and quite like it. It's not Visio, but it is decent, and free.
15  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Visualize pseudo code via flowcharts? on: May 14, 2015, 04:32:36 AM
Do you mean UML software? Something like Visio?
16  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: silly humor - post 'em here! [warning some NSFW and adult content] on: May 12, 2015, 07:36:26 PM
The subtle art of not giving a f*ck:

http://markmanson.net/not-giving-a-fuck

A good laugh/read there. Click or don't. I don't give a f*ck either way. Cool

17  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Multiple Catastrophic Failure Logic... on: May 10, 2015, 02:12:34 AM
Ready for a nightmare?

Yesterday 2 USB drives failed. Both were working. Both failed within a few minutes of each other.

I needed them to backup data from my wife's computer and my NAS. So much for that.

Today, I bought 2 x 1 TB drives.

Managed to get the data on my wife's computer backed up. (Small mercies...)

My desktop died. My main machine. Dead. Farted away 3 hours that I don't have trying to fix it.

The box boots... then freezes. Nadda. Tried pulling out cards and all that. No more time to sink into it.  wallbash

My daughter knocked out the router while I was copying family pictures from the NAS. Sigh... Hours of copying, and now I have no idea what's been done... not that it mattered as the network speeds are so darn slow. (Reminder to self - investigate routers very well before buying another...)

We fly out in 31 hours. All day tomorrow is completely booked up - every minute is already taken. We're not finished packing.

So... stuck on the laptop for now.

I figure I'd best just grab the drives out of the desktop and trash it. If I cart it half way around the world and can't get it fixed, then it was a total waste. We have 6 flights before we arrive at our final destination.

The NAS has all the family pictures on it, so, I'll take that with me instead. I was going to pack it and mail it, but not now with no extra backups.

Another computer I can buy --- family pictures? Not so much.

It's been a crappy day. Tomorrow had better be better.


18  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: silly humor - post 'em here! [warning some NSFW and adult content] on: May 07, 2015, 11:54:32 PM
If you know who Peter Schiff and Ben Bernanke are, this is HILARIOUS!  Grin

http://schiffgold.com/com...e-im-your-biggest-critic/

Quote
Peter Schiff spoke briefly with Ben Bernanke at the SkyBridge Alternatives (SALT) Conference yesterday. Approaching the former Federal Reserve Chairman, Peter warned, “In full disclosure, I’m your biggest critic.” Bernanke didn’t miss a beat: “You have a lot of competition.”

19  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Check in if you want to give out some donationcredits to others on: May 07, 2015, 07:15:04 AM
I wasn't going to post, but I did see a few posts that were good. So, I donated some to use as DC credits. smiley (I don't need any - this is just to bump the thread.)
20  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: silly humor - post 'em here! [warning some NSFW and adult content] on: May 07, 2015, 07:06:56 AM
I don't know where to post this, and when you read it, you'll know why... The stupid in this will smack you in the back of the head and then punch you in the face.

WARNING: This is so stupid, that it could very well cause physical reactions in you.

And now... to elevate stupidity to new and terrifying heights...!

http://www.nationalreview...ng-others-katherine-timpf

Quote
Professor: If You Read To Your Kids, You’re ‘Unfairly Disadvantaging’ Others

Check your privilege, ladies.

May 6, 2015 3:24 PM

Bedtime-story privilege?

According to a professor at the University of Warwick in England, parents who read to their kids should be thinking about how they’re “unfairly disadvantaging other people’s children” by doing so.

In an interview with ABC Radio last week, philosopher and professor Adam Swift said that since “bedtime stories activities . . . do indeed foster and produce . . . [desired] familial relationship goods,” he wouldn’t want to ban them, but that parents who “engage in bedtime-stories activities” should definitely at least feel kinda bad about it sometimes:

“I don’t think parents reading their children bedtime stories should constantly have in their minds the way that they are unfairly disadvantaging other people’s children, but I think they should have that thought occasionally,” he said.

But Swift also added that some other things parents do to give their kids the best education possible — like sending them to “an elite private school” — “cannot be justified” in this way.

“Private schooling cannot be justified by appeal to these familial relationship goods,” he said.

”It’s just not the case that in order for a family to realize these intimate, loving, authoritative, affectionate, love-based relationships you need to be able to send your child to an elite private school,” he continued, adding that “we could prevent elite private schooling without any real hit to elite family relationships.”

At one point, Swift even flirted with the idea of “simply abolishing the family” as a way of “solving the social justice problem” because “there would be a more level playing field” if we did, but ultimately concluded that “it is in the child’s interest to be parented” and that “parenting a child makes for what we call a distinctive and special contribution to the flourishing and well-being of adults.”

In general, I tend to believe that focusing on improving things for the less fortunate is a better way to advance our society than purposely making things worse for those who have more, but what do I know? After all, it’s not like I’m a philosopher or anything.

— Katherine Timpf is a reporter for National Review Online. 


Link from article: http://www.abc.net.au/rad...new-family-values/6437058

Just. Wow. The SJWs are generally completely batshit crazy, but this... just wow... Swift sure ain't too swift. tongue


21  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: good Videos [short films] here :) on: May 06, 2015, 12:06:31 PM
This is pretty darn good.

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ja_mp8lLD4I" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ja_mp8lLD4I</a>

It's very short, but has a fun bit for you.  Kiss
22  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Political Apps Thread on: May 06, 2015, 11:30:07 AM
https://www.techdirt.com/...options-to-consider.shtml

Quote
Citizens Looking To Safely Record Interactions With Law Enforcement Have A Couple Of New Options To Consider

The ACLU has a "new" app available that allows users to record interactions with the police and automatically upload them to the ACLU's servers to preserve the footage in case the phone is seized… or smashed on the ground.

The app itself is not new, although it is new to California. Previous ACLU apps that serve the same purpose have already debuted in New York (as "Stop and Frisk Watch"), New Jersey (the now-defunct "Police Tape" app that generated 'flash mob' fears all the way across the country in Burbank, CA), Mississippi, Oregon, Nebraska and Missouri.

Each version has been tweaked to comply with local recording laws and presumably more versions are on the way. The Mobile Justice app also provides a handy list of rights citizens have when interacting with law enforcement (subject to law enforcement recognition of those rights, of course) as well as incident forms that can be filled out post-interaction to give the ACLU more detail on the recording itself.

Inarguably, it has been footage obtained by citizens that has blown the lid off police misconduct in this country -- ranging from seemingly routine harassment of camera-wielding citizens to incidents like the death of Walter Scott at the hands of South Carolina police officer Michael Slager, who shot him in the back as he was running away.

If your local ACLU chapter hasn't put together an app to automatically archive recordings of law enforcement interactions, there's another app on the way that will give anyone the ability to capture footage and ensure that, not only will it survive attempts to destroy evidence, but that it will possibly be seen by others as the event unfolds.

  • ver the course of the weekend, developer Marinos Bernitsas demoed an app that immediately begins recording live audio and video as soon as you tap the app’s icon, but doesn’t actually display the video stream being recorded on the smartphone’s screen.

Meanwhile, instead of having the stream sent out to the public via social networks like Twitter, only designated contacts you’ve previously configured in the app’s settings are alerted to the incident via phone calls and text messages.

Unlike the ACLU's app, Bernitsas' program isn't specifically aimed at police accountability. It's also meant to act as a form of protection against any potentially dangerous interaction. Because it hasn't been crafted with an eye on local recording laws, there's a chance that footage captured could result in charges being brought against the person recording and streaming the incident.

It does have two advantages over the ACLU's app: First off, the app doesn't need to be opened to initiate a recording. Secondly, anyone who grabs the phone will have little clue they're being recorded. The only indicator that anything out of the normal is happening is a red banner across the top of the screen, which may look like nothing more than phone UI customization. The app also makes it possible to capture and stream recordings in areas where coverage is less-than-optimal.

What’s also clever about the app is that even if the user loses their Internet connection, Witness will record video in 10-second chunks and store them locally on the end user’s iPhone. When their connection returns, that video is uploaded to the server.
With the footage going to any contacts the user chooses rather than a neutral party only interested in certain incidents and interactions (like the ACLU), this app holds potential for abuse. One could easily "repurpose" this public safety app to stream sexual encounters, private conversations, etc.

The upside of this downside is that doing so will violate many states' wiretapping laws, which would provide for prosecution of those who use this app for purposes other than what was intended. That the perpetrator creates his or her own damning evidence is helpful and one would imagine captured footage (if still stored at the pass through point) could easily be obtained from Witness' servers with a subpoena. The ACLU notes that footage sent to it is also potentially accessible to law enforcement via subpoenas or other court orders, but does point out that it will fight these requests, rather than simply hand over whatever's requested.

Click the link for formatting and links.

Follow the links for the actual software.

2-edged swords?

The wonders and horrors of technology?

23  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Interesting "stuff" on: May 06, 2015, 09:36:03 AM
Anyone interested in pronunciation lessons?

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sOA5Chz3iU4" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sOA5Chz3iU4</a>

24  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Interesting "stuff" on: May 06, 2015, 09:21:20 AM
...And people wonder why I think that the education system as it is should be entirely scrapped. Viscously. Without mercy. Without remorse. With fury and fire. ...
________________________

Either @Renegade has been chatting with our friend Mrs Malaprop again, or there may be reason to suspect that he is not a real person per se, but an AI connected to the Internet. Hard to explain that away as "just a typo" methinks.

The news and improvised Mrs. Malaprop is Ricky (NSFW). Cool

I have no clue why I wrote that. Best guess is that I was somehow channeling Jim Lahey.

25  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Knight to queen's bishop 3 - Snowden charged with espionage. on: May 06, 2015, 09:11:35 AM
There is an announcement dated 2015-05-05 on the Google Cloud Platform blog:
Announcing Google Cloud Bigtable: The same database that powers Google Search, Gmail and Analytics is now available on Google Cloud Platform

Amongst the verbiage, it gives a list of "key benefits", which list also makes the classic confusion of features with benefits. One of these "benefits is described thus:
Quote
Security: Cloud Bigtable is built with a replicated storage strategy, and all data is encrypted both in-flight and at rest.

Pretty impressive, eh?
Yes, but it set my BS alarm off. What exactly does "in-flight and at rest" mean? Well, it's using ambiguous clichés, so it could mean anything you wanted, or more probably it means nothing, but the desired implication would seem to be  that everything is safely encrypted and cannot be decrypted or viewed by other parties. So why didn't they just say so? Probably because if they did say that, it would not be true/provable, and they don't want to lie about it because it could not be confirmed in contract, and they know that very well and so just obfuscate instead. Heck, this "announcement" is only a marketing puff, after all.

DISCLAIMER: I worked at ESTsoft many moons ago.

ALPass, from ESTsoft, was unforgiving if you forgot your password. It's a password manager where you have a master password for the database. The online version stored your password database in ESTsoft's servers.

The thing there was that all encryption was done client side, so ESTsoft never had your password.

I talked with the director once about it and he said that they didn't ever want to have that password, even for recovery purposes.

Now, how does that relate to the above "in-flight at at rest"?

I take "at rest" to mean that data is stored encrypted, like with ALPass. The "in-flight" part I would take to mean an additional layer of encryption for when data is transferred between a client and server.

But, that's just conjecture on my part.

So, is there some BS going on? Very well could be. Perhaps I'm looking at it the wrong way, i.e. through the eyes of an honest developer. smiley tongue

In other - possibly related - news, it might not have escaped your attention that Dropbox have announced that they are setting up data storage farms in Ireland to house all the data belonging to their business users and other paying customers outside of North America.
Now why would they do that?     Grin

Heh! smiley

I've not kept up with Ireland's data laws, but my guess is that they are very pro strong encryption and privacy.

It would make good business sense for anyone actually interested in serving customers. Cool

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