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Topics - 40hz [ switch to compact view ]

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1
Living Room / AI coprocessor for your Raspberry Pi
« on: April 30, 2023, 07:33 AM »
This from Google:

“The Coral USB Accelerator adds a Coral Edge TPU to your Linux, Mac, or Windows computer so you can accelerate your machine learning models. This page is your guide to get started.
All you need to do is download the Edge TPU runtime and PyCoral library. Then we'll show you how to run a TensorFlow Lite model on the Edge TPU.
To learn more about the hardware, see the USB Accelerator datasheet.”


2
General Software Discussion / Major software project redesign
« on: January 05, 2023, 09:57 AM »
Thought this might be of interest to the programmers here.

There’s an open source music notation program called MuseScore which competes with expensive commercial notation apps such as Sibelius and Notion. And, as is the case with many complex open source projects, the code base has gradually become more and more unmanageable up to the point of requiring a major design overhaul and rewrite due to the number of code contributors over the years.

This video by the project lead developer (who goes by the  name of Tantacrul) walks us through the design process that was employed to fix MuseScore for its latest release.

I think it’s a pretty interesting process he unpacks for us - and demonstrates a structured approach we can apply to our own programming efforts.



For those out there who are musicians, the latest version (4) of MuseScore has just been released. Available for Windows, MacOS, and Linux. I’ve been using it (Windows version) for a bit now and it will definitely be replacing the commercial notation software I’ve previously been using. So…highly recommended.  :Thmbsup:

3
Living Room / Arduino anyone?
« on: April 29, 2022, 02:14 PM »
I’ve been into SBCs for awhile now. But I only just recently got into some Arduino programming and projects. And I’m pretty amazed at how easy these tiny and very inexpensive boards are to configure and use for various automation and similar projects compared to something like a Raspberry Pi - although a Pi pairs very well with an Arduino for more complex applications.

Anybody here an Arduino maven?

4
Living Room / Natural robotics, or: The Uncanny Valley Revisited
« on: December 04, 2020, 08:20 AM »
First semi-autonomous natural movement robot walking around in Tokyo.

Spooky stuff!  :tellme:



5
General Software Discussion / Not CPU, not GPU, but …DPU?
« on: October 04, 2020, 01:24 PM »
Found this video pretty interesting.

When I think back to my days in enterprise IT I can almost cry thinking about how much easier my life and work would have been with this hardware technology at hand. Oh yeah.



As an aside, this guy’s web channel is pretty cool if you’re a hardware geek. This TinyMiniMicro project of his is very similar to something I’ve been implementing for my home setup over the last few years:



I guess I miss my server room days after all. ;)

6
abt.png

Something that absolutely had to happen has finally happened. The US Supreme Court (SCOTUS) has effectively barred "jurisdiction shopping" where anyone alleging a patent infringement was free to file in East Texas or Delaware - where certain courts had developed an almost cottage industry of being friendly to patent holders - no matter how dubious the the claims being made.

The patent trolls are already whining...

More on that story here.

Great news for the real innovators in the tech sector. At least now they have a far better chance a getting a fair decision next time a predatory patent infringement suit gets filed against them.

7
Good news for those of us who follow research and science but don't have deep pockets.

Details here:  http://www.opencultu...e+%28Open+Culture%29

8
Living Room / A couple of fun story podcasts
« on: December 02, 2016, 11:07 AM »
If you're getting bored with the usual "talking book" type story podcast, you might want to take a look at a few shows from Pacific Nortwhest Stories.

They do an interesting hybrid sort of narration that's part blog, part investigative reporting, and part docudrama. Pretty unique in my experience. You get to follow two investigative journalists as they uncover the mysteries behind The Black Tapes and the "un-sound" and an ancient multifaceted mystery that lies hidden beneath the enigmatic name "Tanis."

If you're a fan of all the usual lunatic fringe investigation memes such as: The Elder Gods, Cthulhu, UFOs, the Voynich Manuscript, various secret societies, government cover-ups and big conspiracies, etc. etc. etc. these shows will be right up your alley.

tanis.png

First up is TANIS

Tanis is a serialized bi-weekly podcast from the creators of Pacific Northwest Stories about a fascinating and surprising mystery: the myth of Tanis. Tanis is hosted by Nic Silver.

Tanis is an exploration of the nature of truth, conspiracy, and information.

Tanis is what happens when the lines of science and fiction start to blur...

You can subscribe to Tanis for free on iTunes and other audio platforms, and you can also listen right here on tanispodcast.com

blacktapes.png

And other is The Black Tapes show. It's tangentially related and features some of the same characters, but it's still its own thing.

The Black Tapes is a bi-weekly podcast from Pacific Northwest Stories and Minnow Beats Whale, and is hosted by Alex Reagan. The Black Tapes is a serialized docudrama about one journalist's search for truth, her enigmatic subject's mysterious past, and the literal and figurative ghosts that haunt them both.

How do you feel about paranormal activity or the Supernatural? Ghosts? Spirits? Demons?

Do you believe?

You can subscribe to The Black Tapes for free on iTunes and other audio platforms, and you can also listen right here on theblacktapespodcast.com.



Good fun for all. Both shows start off a little slowly. But they gradually draw you in and pick up the pace until you're completely hooked. Highly recommended.  :Thmbsup:


9
Found Deals and Discounts / Nice font for free today
« on: August 12, 2016, 12:56 PM »
MyFonts is offering the Hoftype Carrara Light typeface for free today.

Carrara is a highly readable serif font that has twelve very nicely integrated styles suitable for web or print. This family has become one of my favorites since it's a font designed to be read.

Right now you can save about $50 and get the Light style for free. License is for both personal and commercial use - something that's rather unusual in the font freebie world.

Grab a copy here.

You do need to set up an account to get this freebie. And you also need to check out through their shopping cart, which some people may find off-putting. But you don't need to enter a credit card or other financial information to set up an account. And they don't ask for a financial info if the order is for something that's free. The reason they do this is because the license is issued through their checkout system, so they need everything to go through there to handle the compliance paperwork.

FWIW, an account is handy to have since MyFonts regularly offers free fonts, many if which are well worth getting. They have a nice newsletter that will keep you up to date on what they're doing. And they don't spam you. Highly recommended people to get to know if you like fonts..

10
Wonderful... :-\

I've been watching an eBay item for the last 21 days or so. What it was isn't important so much as it was something I've been trying to get my hands on for about the last ten or so years if somebody finally offered one for a realistic price.

This item had over 60 followers who were (for the most part except for two) pretty professional and shrewd bidders. About 75% of the bidding activity occurred within the last few hours the auction was still live. And the number was slowly crawling up except for the two idiots who bumped it a ridiculous amount. (One tossed in  $20 and the other $50 - when the average increase was either $2.50 or $5 a pop.) Which was silly considering there was well over two hours to go when they made their bids.

I did my usual frequency and bid pattern "analysis" of the bids as they were occurring and figured I had a pretty good chance of nailing this one.

Down to the last minute, my previous bid was topped, so I threw in and additional bump and had my final bid queued for a last second save if necessary, waited until the 10 second mark planning to enter it blind (since I thought I had figured what the guy who was most active was about to do) in hopes of catching it without paying a ridiculous final bid to win it. And...

A nice big blue box popped up reminding me to schedule my Windows 10 upgrade and stole the focus...

Even worse, repeatedly attempting to get the browser page back on top or closing the box did nothing. Couldn't click under it, close the box. minimize it, or tab back to the browser. The reminder just sat there for about half a minute before it gave me the focus back. Lovely...

I didn't win the auction. I figured the other guy's last bid would be between $260 and $265 so I had queued $267.80 as my final bid.

He won it for $260.

Thanks Microsoft!  :Thmbsup:

(Sorry for the whiny post. But I just had to vent. >:()

11
Does anybody here have any particularly able VPN service they can recommend.

Cost is not that much an issue for this. It's for business use for a friend. He's just set up his own operation and he's an army of one who's now responsible for his own IT (with a little help from yours truly) now that he's quit the big corporate world.

I'm veering towards NordVPN for its ease of use and good throughput. The person that'll be using it isn't a techno-geek although he's a pretty quick study. But there's a lot of options out there and I trust the collective wisdom of DoCo users over the published reviews. So any feedback or war stories based on your own hands-in experience would be greatly appreciated. I've only used a few myself, so I have some ideas. But I'd like to hear from the rest of you what you think is a good service or services.

***We're finished. What he selected can be found in the last post. Thanks everybody for your suggestions. -ed

12
This is an interesting bit of news even though the details are sketchy at this point. Microsoft will be offering a Linux version of their flagship database solution SQL Server.

From the announcement, they haven't indicated if the server will be a native port to Linux, a specialized turnkey distro with SQL Server embedded in it, or some sort of VM running under Linux as more servers increasingly are. Either way, it's pretty surprising even if I'm gonna be waiting for the other shoe to drop with this one. I seriously doubt it represents any change of heart on Microsoft's part.

Here's what Microsoft's Scott Guthrie Microsoft had to say:

Today I’m excited to announce our plans to bring SQL Server to Linux as well. This will enable SQL Server to deliver a consistent data platform across Windows Server and Linux, as well as on-premises and cloud. We are bringing the core relational database capabilities to preview today, and are targeting availability in mid-2017.

SQL Server on Linux will provide customers with even more flexibility in their data solution. One with mission-critical performance, industry-leading TCO, best-in-class security, and hybrid cloud innovations – like Stretch Database which lets customers access their data on-premises and in the cloud whenever they want at low cost – all built in.

“This is an enormously important decision for Microsoft, allowing it to offer its well-known and trusted database to an expanded set of customers”, said Al Gillen, group vice president, enterprise infrastructure, at IDC. “By taking this key product to Linux Microsoft is proving its commitment to being a cross platform solution provider. This gives customers choice and reduces the concerns for lock-in. We would expect this will also accelerate the overall adoption of SQL Server.”

“SQL Server’s proven enterprise experience and capabilities offer a valuable asset to enterprise Linux customers around the world,” said Paul Cormier, President, Products and Technologies, Red Hat. “We believe our customers will welcome this news and are happy to see Microsoft further increasing its investment in Linux. As we build upon our deep hybrid cloud partnership, spanning not only Linux, but also middleware, and PaaS, we’re excited to now extend that collaboration to SQL Server on Red Hat Enterprise Linux, bringing enterprise customers increased database choice.”

“We are delighted to be working with Microsoft as it brings SQL Server to Linux,” said Mark Shuttleworth, founder of Canonical. “Customers are already taking advantage of Azure Data Lake services on Ubuntu, and now developers will be able to build modern applications that utilize SQL Server’s enterprise capabilities.”

Bringing SQL Server to Linux is another way we are making our products and new innovations more accessible to a broader set of users and meeting them where they are. Just last week, we announced our agreement to acquire Xamarin. Recently, we also announced Microsoft R Server , our technologies based on our acquisition of Revolution Analytics, with support for Hadoop and Teradata.

The private preview of SQL Server on Linux is available starting today and we look forward to working with the community, our customers and our partners to bring it to market.

Obviously Redhat and Ubuntu, two of the biggest sellouts in the FOSS world, are anxious to get into bed with Redmond on this one.

Time will tell if this is a genuine effort to be more cross-platform on Microsoft's part; or, if it's just another example of Microsoft's now classic "Embrace, Extend, Extinguish" strategy.

SQL-Loves-Linux_2_Twitter-002-640x358.png

Yeah right! Maybe...but I'll believe it when and if it actually turns out to be true.  :P

13
Hi gang!

Ok...I have a very technically savvy client who is running into an odd problem.

His PC is running Windows 10 and he's very much a cloud convert. He has subscriptions to both Office 360 and Adobe Creative Cloud.

Recently, he's running into an unusual anomaly. Apps that normally worked just fine under his regular user login are now requiring they be run as administrator. If the admin option is not used on launch they exhibit strange behaviors that range from having program features not working properly all the way up to refusals to load. And the number of apps affected seems to be growing.

The initial problem showed up with Timeslips which suddenly would only run as administrator. But the current biggest issue is with Adobe Acrobat Pro. If not invoked with admin privileges, scanning from within the app only generates solid black squares instead of normal scans. This happens with two different scanners.

Both scanners are fully functional with up to date drivers. And both work correctly with PaperPort - so it's not a hardware issue. And a complete de-install of both the scanners and Adobe software followed by clean reinstalls does not correct the problem. Nor does shutting off everything else that's running in the background help. So that likely rules out a software conflict too.

Win 10 is fully updated and checks out fine. No issues reported in the logs kept by event manager. And I don't see anything odd happening in task manager while Acrobat is launching or running.

And to anticipate the next question, multiple scans have detected no rootkits, malware or similiar baddies lurking in the background.

Adobe tech support is at a loss and is now pointing the finger at Microsoft and the two scanner manufacturers - who are pointing the finger (IMO correctly) right back at Adobe in the usual circlejerk pas de deux we all know and love. To the scanner makers and Microsoft's credit, they did put in significant effort to see if they could figure out what's up. But they were able to spot nada after several hours all in.

So...

I'm guessing there's a recent security update in Windows that may be causing the problem for software that's operating somewhat off the reservation Microsoft has decreed it remain on under Win 10. Aggravating the situation is the fact that the Adobe software is still 32-bit, which I know can cause permission issues for some apps.

As I said, this problem started roughly around the 25th of February for this particular person. And he hasn't done anything out of the ordinary. So I'm left to conclude whatever changed took place in the background following an update to the OS.

Has anybody seen this sort of thing happen? Or have any suggestions of where to look next? Because for once, I'm completely stumped - along with Microsoft, Brother, Adobe and Cannon apparently. I'd rather not have to go through the finger exercise of doing a complete reformat and reinstall of everything on the off chance heroics will fix the issue. So any input on how to fix this based on your your collective expertise would be greatly appreciated. Thankee!  :)

Bueller.jpg



14
Living Room / Words fail me - you'll have to read this yourself
« on: December 22, 2015, 06:52 PM »
Possibly one of the  most offensive bits of op-ed I've ever read, as written by CNET's Danny Gallagher, a douchebag of the first order.

Article here.

... imagine being an art lover of the most supreme order and hearing that one of your fellow art buyers plans to turn an original Picasso into a 150,000-piece jigsaw puzzle. You'd probably lose consciousness.

That's just one possible outcome for Picasso's "Tete de Faune" (translation: Head of a Faun). Cards Against Humanity, the game company based out of Chicago, purchased an original of the 1962 Picasso linocut for an undisclosed amount and will let supporters of its most recent holiday promotion decide whether the artwork goes to a museum or faces the business end of a laser-cutting machine.

I have to admit I'm really torn about this one. As a culture appreciator, I don't want to see a work of art by one of the world's greatest artists sliced up like a deep-dish pizza. However, as someone who paid for eight Hanukkah gifts from Cards Against Humanity, I also want to receive all eight gifts. And don't give me that crud about how knowing that you saved a priceless work of art is its own reward. You can't bring "peace of mind" to Best Buy for a refund, even if you still have the receipt.

Like I said: douchebag.


15
Living Room / Video-Game Algorithm to Solve Online Abuse?
« on: September 17, 2015, 08:33 AM »
Interesting article from the MIT Technology Review

A Video-Game Algorithm to Solve Online Abuse

How a team of psychologists and scientists at Riot Games is unlocking the secret to eliminating abuse within an online video game.

By Simon Parkin on September 14, 2015


Like many online spaces, League of Legends, the most widely played online video game in the world today, is a breeding ground for abusive language and behavior. Fostered by anonymity and amplified within the heated crucible of a competitive team sport, this conduct has been such a problem for its maker, Riot Games, that the company now employs a dedicated team of scientists and designers to find ways to improve interactions between the game’s players.

During the past few years the team has experimented with a raft of systems and techniques, backed by machine learning, that are designed to monitor communication between players, punish negative behavior, and reward positive behavior. The results have been startling, says Jeffrey Lin, lead designer of social systems at Riot Games. The software has monitored several million cases of suspected abusive behavior. Ninety-two percent of players who have been caught using abusive language against others have not reoffended. Lin, who is a cognitive neuroscientist, believes that the team’s techniques can be applied outside the video-game context. He thinks Riot may have created something of an antidote for online toxicity, regardless of where it occurs...<more>

I'm sure this technology could be turned to more nefarious uses as well. But it's a small step in the right direction for some web communities that are experiencing major civility issues. In the case of "all inclusive" communities like League of Legends or Facebook, bigger is better - and anything driving away even a small number of potential users is bad for business. So the incentive is certainly there to do something to reform or expel the bad apples.

But there's an easier solution too. If more communities on the web could just be more like here... it would already be "problem solved."   8) ;D

16
Living Room / Take the xkcd weird correlation survey
« on: September 06, 2015, 12:11 PM »
xkcd_survey.png

Link here.

17
General Software Discussion / Question regarding Win10 upgrade
« on: July 31, 2015, 03:29 PM »
Hi troops! It's been awhile.

I was wondering if anyone could help me out with this one since I've been out of the Windows environment for awhile and haven't been paying much attention to 10 at all.

Got a friend (bit of a noob to Windows since he's a long-time Mac man) who put in for the Windows 10 reservation. Seems like it's now trying to force the upgrade to 10. He's currently on Win 7 and wants to stay there for the foreseeable future. But every time he goes into Windows Update it starts "counting down" (as he puts it) to load Win10. It's also n longer showing any of the Windows 7 updates. Just wants to load 10...

I haven't seen that one before. Deleting KB 3035583 doesn't seem to stop it. So I'm guessing somewhere along the line he told it to download or do something even though he says he's sure he didn't.

Any help with this one or should he just backup his stuff using the Win Migration Tool, reinstall 7, put it all back, and try to be more careful next time?

Any suggestions would be appreciated. What says the collective wisdom of DC?  :)

18
Clippy is baaaaack! But this time, he's gotten a major overhaul and a new name (Cortana) - and is no longer restricted to helping you figure out how to use Office.

I have very mixed feelings about this new feature Microsoft will be introducing into their Windows 10 OS.



I have to admire the implicit hubris in the assertion that Microsoft knows "what's great for customers."

Maybe it's me, but the "yes-buts" are drowning out the "sounds-goods" right now. And I find the constantly repeated "your" to somewhat suspect considering Microsoft's track record on issues such as privacy and square dealings with their customers.

The Register has an article on it here.

19
When I did my own home theater PC, a bunch of my friends (who own and love their "smart" TVs) thought I was being unduly Luddite and paranoid. My argument that you can't really know who is gathering information - or what information is being gathered - or for what purpose(s) - was most often countered by them saying: "Look...just because the capability is there doesn't mean anybody is actually doing any of that."

Well...looks like I wasn't so wrong after all...

This from TechDirt (full article here):

Samsung's Smart TVs Are Collecting And Storing Your Private Conversations
from the I-hear-the-secrets-that-you-keep/when-you-talk-by-the-TV dept


Guess who's eavesdropping on you now? It's not some nefarious government agency (although, rest assured, there has been no downturn in surveillance). Nope, it's that smart TV you paid good money for and invited into your home.

The "now" is misleading. Smart TVs have been doing this ever since manufacturers decided customers preferred to order their electronics around orally, rather than using the remote they can never find. And that's just the "eavesdropping" part. Most smart TVs are harvesting plenty of data on top of that, including viewing habits, search terms, browsing history… pretty much anything that makes a TV "smart" is collected and transmitted not just to the manufacturer, but to plenty of unknown third parties. Usually, this information is used to send "relevant ads" to TV owners, as if the several hundred dollars spent on the device wasn't enough of a revenue stream.


20
Non-Windows Software / LINUX: #! CrunchBang Linux is no more. RIP
« on: February 09, 2015, 06:51 AM »
#! is no more.



Woke up this morning to read this sad announcement from Corenominal, the developer - or rather ex-developer - of the popular a alternative distro named CrunchBang Linux.


I have decided to stop developing CrunchBang. This has not been an easy decision to make and I’ve been putting it off for months. It’s hard to let go of something you love.

When I first started working on CrunchBang, the Linux landscape was a very different place and whilst I honestly didn’t know if there was any value to it, I knew there was a place for CrunchBang on my own systems. As it turned out, there seemed to be quite a demand for it on other people’s systems too. I’m not entirely sure why this was the case, but if I had to guess, I would say that it was probably due to the lack of competition/alternatives of the same ilk. If I’m remembering correctly, at the time, there was no LXDE tasksel in Debian and certainly no Lubuntu around. CrunchBang filled a gap and that was nifty.

So, what’s changed?

For anyone who has been involved with Linux for the past ten years or so, I’m sure they’ll agree that things have moved on. Whilst some things have stayed exactly the same, others have changed beyond all recognition. It’s called progress, and for the most part, progress is a good thing. That said, when progress happens, some things get left behind, and for me, CrunchBang is something that I need to leave behind. I’m leaving it behind because I honestly believe that it no longer holds any value, and whilst I could hold on to it for sentimental reasons, I don’t believe that would be in the best interest of its users, who would benefit from using vanilla Debian.

Talking of its users, thank you, you’ve been awesome and you’ve taught me so much, much of which is beyond the scope of this post, but needless to say, I think I’m much wiser now than I was before the existence of CrunchBang and its community of users. I’ve made many friends through the project, which for me, has ultimately been the biggest benefit of the project, and something I’ll be forever grateful for.

I also want to take a few words to thank my wife, Becky, aka bobobex. She has supported me and the project from the outset. Over the years, I’m sure I’ve bored her almost to death with my geeky gobbledygook and she’s never moaned about it once, well, not to me at least. Seriously though, thank you Becky for your support, help and guidance, you’re my rock and I love you.

Regarding what will happen to the CrunchBang forums, they will remain online. Ultimately, they belong to the community and so it will be for the community to decide what happens to them. I’m happy to continue supporting them for as long as need be. I have already expressed my thanks to the forum moderators, privately, but I would like to do so publicly too. Unless you’ve been involved with a project like CrunchBang, I’m not sure you can entirely appreciate the behind-the-scenes work that goes into it. The forum moderators have effectively kept the community running and without them, I’m sure there would not have been a community at all. Over the years, they’ve had to deal with some truly bonkers and poisonous people (seriously, there are some bat-fucking-crazy nutters out there with far too much time on their hands) and they’ve done so with enormous tact, diplomacy and decorum. All the forum mods have my utmost respect, they are an incredible bunch of people.

As for me, while I’m deeply sad to let go of a project that in many ways has defined my existence for many years, but I’m also excited to see what happens next. I’ve got a few little pet projects I want to work on, and I’ve also got a day job that I want to excel at. It’s going to be interesting to see what the future brings.

See you around  :)

Ex-developer of #! CrunchBang.

In the wake of this announcement CrunchBang's listing has been removed from Distrowatch. It's community forum will remain up indefinitely according to the developer.



21
Living Room / The banality of a darknet developer
« on: February 06, 2015, 08:06 AM »
There's an interesting post over at Motherboard.com that speaks depressing volumes about the mindset behind some people who indulge in online criminal behavior. Far from being the revenge-seeking villains or revolutionary saboteurs of Hollywood and television legend, they're ordinary and somewhat boring individuals with an attenuated sense of morals and responsibility. Their sole motivation? Money, plain and simple.

This Anonymous Web Developer Makes Counterfeit Banking Sites for $15K
Written by
Jordan Pearson
Staff Writer (Canada)


February 5, 2015 // 03:00 PM EST Stylish design matters: both for legitimate websites, and the shady scammer sites that only need to look legitimate in order to convince someone to hand over their credit card information. Online criminals need competent web designers, and cash-strapped programmers sometimes need the business—if they’re willing to put aside their scruples in exchange for a bunch of Bitcoin.

I came across an old post on the r/darknet subreddit by a web designer soliciting scammers to enlist their services to build phishing sites—fake websites that look just like real ones (say, Gmail) but really only exist to siphon personal and financial information from unsuspecting victims. “Looking for a real web designer who'll turn your questionable project into something professional looking, no questions asked and 100% anonymously?” the poster, who went by the username WolphReph42, wrote. “You've just found your guy.”

I was interested, but not in their services. I wanted to know what it was like being a web designer on the darknet. So, I emailed him using PGP encryption, crossed my fingers that he hadn’t ditched his disposable Safe Mail account yet, and asked.

“I'm no criminal myself,” wrote WolphReph42. “I don’t find ways to scam people, I’m no hacker, I’m not a drug lord that spends his time in a ill-lit room behind a Chinese restaurant smoking a cigar and counting wads of cash: I’m just like any other person, with a good job and enough pay to support a comfortable but not too lavish lifestyle.” ...

What's very sad to me is the incredible naivety this geek has about the seriousness of what he's involved himself in:
 
WolphReph42 insists that he’s not a criminal, although he told me that he suspects he may be charged under intellectual property copyright laws due to his website spoofing. Still, he doesn’t believe he can be charged for the damage eventually inflicted on the site’s victims.

I spoke with David Fraser, a lawyer specializing in internet technologies at Canadian law firm McInnis Cooper, to get a legal perspective on WolphReph42’s activities. Unfortunately for him, he may be in more danger than he imagines.

“Copyright infringement would be small potatoes compared to the larger crime,” Fraser said. “Culpability is going to depend on what they know or what they ought to have known about their role in the overall crime—fraud, for example. In the totality of the circumstance, in terms of what they know, I think the prosecution would look to how they’re advertising their services.”

As for what the penalty might be for a mercenary web designer doing under the table work for scammers, Fraser said courts may sentence them to prison if the site’s fraud is found to be over $5,000. WolphReph42 told me that he protects his identity using standard PGP encryption, Tor, proxy servers that mask his true location, and a new laptop every few weeks.

But will that be enough?

“Nobody wants to be a potential accessory to a crime,” said WolphReph42. “As for me, I just like money.”

Regardless of anyone's opinion of what WolphReph42 is doing, one thing he obviously doesn't get is the first two rules for breaking rules. It was best expresses in the movie Fight Club where members and prospective members were told: "1st RULE: You do not talk about FIGHT CLUB. 2nd RULE: You DO NOT talk about FIGHT CLUB..."

Be interesting to see how this plays out long-term now that WolphReph42 has outed himself to a journalist. No would-be client in their right mind would go near somebody this clueless going forward. He's also painted a nice day-glo target on his forehead blabbing like he has. Hopefully, no agency that issues badges is shopping for someone to make a sad example of.

And, hopefully, no former clients are getting nervous about it either. Many of these folks have particularly unique and effective ways of reminding their hired help to keep one's mouths shut.


Full article here.

22
UPDATE: Never mind. Found it. Bad setting in about:config. Fixed. Yay!


Has anybody else run into this? After the latest update (now FF 35.0.1), the NoScript add-on no longer seems to be working.

It shows itself as being installed (v2.6.9.11). I even removed it, closed FF, reopened and then reinstalled it. Same result. It's not working.

Suggestions on where to look?

23
SF writer Cory Doctorow posted some very sad news on Boing-Boing. One of the very few independent science-fiction bookstores left in the USA, the famous Borderlands Books in San Francisco is planning on shutting its doors by March 31, 2015.

Their blog post serves up a neat summary of the seemingly insurmountable challenges an independent bookstore faces under the current realities of retail book selling.

You can read it here.

There is still some small hope. From their blog:

Some of you reading this probably have questions popping into your minds -- Is there a way to keep Borderlands open?  What alternatives have you considered?  What about moving out of SF?  What is going to happen to the cafe?  Is the business for sale?  And so on.  Before asking us your questions, please wait for a week.  We'll be sending out and posting updates frequently over the next week or so and those updates will probably answer most of your questions.  We will also be holding a public meeting in the cafe at seven P. M. on Thursday, February 12th. We'll be on hand to answer questions and moderate a discussion about alternatives to closing the store.  Although we do not believe that any viable alternative exists, we also think that we have a very smart and imaginative group of customers.  It is not impossible that we've missed a potential solution, and so we want an opportunity to hear your thoughts.

Hopefully some clever Jill or Joe will come up with an idea in time.

If not, "So it goes."

24


It's got a quad-core 900Mhz ARMv7, processor, 1Gb RAM, and 4 USB slots - and the I/O ports are finally (mostly) grouped together.

Specs:

Here is the full list of specs for Raspberry Pi 2 Model B:

    SoC: Broadcom BCM2836 (CPU, GPU, DSP, SDRAM)
    CPU: 900 MHz quad-core ARM Cortex A7 (ARMv7 instruction set)
    GPU: Broadcom VideoCore IV @ 250 MHz
    More GPU info: OpenGL ES 2.0 (24 GFLOPS); 1080p30 MPEG-2 and VC-1 decoder (with license); ​1080p30 h.264/MPEG-4 AVC high-profile decoder and encoder
    Memory: 1 GB (shared with GPU)
    USB ports: 4
    Video input: 15-pin MIPI camera interface (CSI) connector
    Video outputs: HDMI, composite video (PAL and NTSC) via 3.5 mm jack
    Audio input: I²S
    Audio outputs: Analog via 3.5 mm jack; digital via HDMI and I²S
    Storage: MicroSD
    Network: 10/100Mbps Ethernet
    Peripherals: 17 GPIO plus specific functions, and HAT ID bus
    Power rating: 800 mA (4.0 W)
    Power source: 5 V via MicroUSB or GPIO header
    Size: 85.60mm × 56.5mm
    Weight: 45g (1.6 oz)

Info and order links here.

25
Good read by Michael E. Mann over at the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists website.

The Serengeti strategy:
How special interests try to
intimidate scientists, and
how best to fight back


Michael E. Mann


Abstract
Much as lions on the Serengeti seek out vulnerable zebras at the edge of a herd, special interests faced with
adverse scientific evidence often target individual scientists rather than take on an entire scientific field at once.

Part of the reasoning behind this approach is that it is easier to bring down individuals than an entire group of
scientists, and it still serves the larger aim: to dismiss, obscure, and misrepresent well-established science and
its implications. In addition, such highly visible tactics create an atmosphere of intimidation that discourages
other scientists from conveying their research's implications to the public.

This "Serengeti strategy" is often employed wherever there is a strong and widespread consensus among the world's scientists
about the underlying cold, hard facts of a field, whether the subject be evolution, ozone depletion, the environmental impacts of
DDT, the health effects of smoking, or human-caused climate change. The goal is to attack those researchers
whose findings are inconvenient, rather than debate the findings themselves.

This article draws upon the author's own experience to examine the "Serengeti strategy," and offers possible
countermeasures to such orchestrated campaigns. It examines what responses by scientists have been most successful,
and how to combat the doubt-sowing that industry has done regarding the science behind climate change and other fields

Read the full article here.

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