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The Comcast/TWC Merger Is About Controlling Information

c0d3g33k Re:I don't "consume" content (107 comments)

Good point. But a quick sip isn't exactly something I depend on, right? That was the real point. If one source of marginally interesting information flow gets ruined, there are plenty of other things to do. My mental well-being doesn't depend on 'consumption' of what Comcast/TWC might control. Maybe I'll just take the kayak down to the river and paddle around for a bit, take the dog for a walk or take the bike out for a spin. Comcast/TWC can DIAF.

about a week ago
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The Comcast/TWC Merger Is About Controlling Information

c0d3g33k I don't "consume" content (107 comments)

A better description would be that information flows around me like a river during a flood and I reach down from the bank and scoop out a little bit for a sip on a hot day. Then I turn around and take a walk in the woods. Control that, Comcast!

about a week ago
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Facebook Introduces Hack: Statically Typed PHP

c0d3g33k Re:hate the name (230 comments)

It shows they have a sense of humor, given the effort it must have taken to make a 'better PHP'.

about a month ago
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WSJ: Americans' Phone Bills Are Going Up

c0d3g33k Re:The "good" old days (273 comments)

I'm old enough to remember all this too. And despite the picture you paint of a horrible dystopia, things were just fine. We managed to communicate with each other and the world continued turning. And if you didn't make long-distance or out-of-country calls (because you didn't need to very often), you didn't have to pay those costs, so your monthly bill was quite small. In the modern utopia, I pay a monthly fee that's ten times that of the bad old days for services I need only occasionally, if at all, because I'm given no other choice. We don't need to turn the clock back, but we might want to reexamine what we accept as normal, because the value for money doesn't seem to be nearly as favorable now.

about a month ago
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Firefox 27 Released: TLS 1.2 Support, SPDY 3.1, SocialAPI Improvements

c0d3g33k Re: Sync (167 comments)

Cool, thanks.

about 2 months ago
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Firefox 27 Released: TLS 1.2 Support, SPDY 3.1, SocialAPI Improvements

c0d3g33k Re: Sync (167 comments)

Thanks for that transcript. It seems to clarify some things (the questions you were asking and the answers) but raises others. Such as why the desperate push to move to an entirely new infrastructure that's apparently incompatible with the old, requires Firefox Accounts and introduces "recoverable" keys (in the hands of Mozilla) alongside the current non-recoverable keys that only the client has. The rather vague answer was the 'recoverable' keys were for some nebulous future service of benefit to the user (Mozilla can recover their data for them), but my tinfoil hat tells me it also allows Mozilla to recover user data for another party like the NSA. It smells a bit too much like a back door, because we can't have user-only encryptable and decryptable data in the cloud now, can we? They claim that it doesn't touch the data encrypted with the non-recoverable key, but that's just a claim.

I'm not optimistic about an addon to maintain current sync functionality (at the current breakneck pace Mozilla is moving it would be difficult to maintain), so perhaps they will release their new server code as open source. We'll see.

about 2 months ago
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Firefox 27 Released: TLS 1.2 Support, SPDY 3.1, SocialAPI Improvements

c0d3g33k Re: Sync (167 comments)

I switched over from Chromium to Firefox mainly because of how Firefox Sync worked back then - in the way that it encrypted your sync data with a secret that Mozilla would never know. Now, with the new sync that just requires a tuple of email address and password, I wonder what - if anything - they use to encrypt the data so they cannot know what I store there (which is a strict requirement for me to even consider any kind of "cloud"-y offering). Given that email/password is used for authentication and authorization only (I'm pretty certain they'll have a routine for users to "reset" their password...), I'm worried they'd left out the one thing that made Firefox Sync usable for folk concerned with privacy...

I have the same general concerns you did but am less trusting, so I set up my own sync server. Check out Run your own Sync Server at mozilla.com.

If you're technically inclined, familiar with general LAMP server management and have a personal linux server handy, it isn't that hard. There's a time investment up front, but once I got it running, it's been working flawlessly across several platforms and multiple browser profiles. I hope they deprecate the old sync behavior but keep it in place for awhile to give time to migrate to the new sync behavior. It's been working so well it's been "set it (up) and forget it" since I first got it running, so it will take a little time just to remember the details so I can migrate to the new server code (assuming there is even a viable migration pathway).

That said, the old sync that required the code to add new browser instances (ie. Firefox on another device or OS) was a little cumbersome, so making that a little simpler would be welcome. That would make it easier for other members of the household to manage their own devices without requiring me to set up and manage it for them.

about 2 months ago
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David Cameron Says Fictional Crime Proves Why Snooper's Charter Is Necessary

c0d3g33k 1984 was fiction too (179 comments)

Not to defend him by any means, but in this instance his statement is no more stupid than invoking 1984 or other dystopian works of fiction as the reason the Snooper's Charter is to be avoided. Fiction they may be, but these works portray possibilities that inform how things might turn out in reality given a course of action, even if the actual outcome resembles the fictional scenario only in kind, not in actual detail. The ability to gain insight into ourselves is one of the many reasons we find works of art valuable in the first place. The key is not to confuse fiction with reality which admittedly many do.

about 3 months ago
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Atlanta Gambled With Winter Storm and Lost

c0d3g33k Re:Pffft (723 comments)

you fucking shut your city down when the forecast calls for 2 inches

"We don't want to be accused of crying wolf," said Gov. Nathan Deal, who pointed out that the storm had been forecast to just brush the south side of the city.

That was part of the problem. The forecast didn't call for 2 inches, it predicted that the ice/snow would miss Atlanta, though not by much.

Not true. *Early* forecasts suggested that, but subsequent updates by the National Weather Service *did* call for several inches of snow, and *did* include metro Atlanta in the impacted area, well in advance of the actual storm (by early Monday morning). There was plenty of time to prepare, had officials been paying more attention to the forecasts and less to the political impact of "crying wolf".

From The Weather Channel (emphasis mine):

Sunday 3:12 p.m.

        First winter storm watch issued for Tuesday morning through Wednesday afternoon.
        Includes south metro Atlanta counties Fayette, Coweta, Clayton, Henry, Rockdale into central Georgia.
        Impacts: Snow accumulations of two or more inches. Sleet accumulations of a half inch or more.

Monday 4:54 a.m.

        Winter storm watch now includes much of north and south metro Atlanta for Tuesday morning through Wednesday afternoon.
        Impacts: Snow accumulations of 1/2 to 2 inches. Snow-covered roads could make travel difficult.

Monday 3:22 p.m.

        Winter storm watch upgraded to a winter storm warning for south metro Atlanta into central Georgia. Winter storm watch remains posted for north metro Atlanta for Tuesday morning through Wednesday afternoon.
        Impacts: Snow accumulations of 1 to 2 inches with locally higher amounts. Sleet accumulations around a half inch. Snow and ice covered roads will make travel difficult or impossible.

Monday 9:36 p.m.

        Winter storm watch changed to a winter weather advisory for north metro Atlanta for Tuesday morning through Wednesday morning.
        National weather service notes: Please understand that even a slight shift in the moisture could result in significant differences in snow amounts and may require an upgrade to warning.

Tuesday 3:38 a.m.

        All metro Atlanta under a winter storm warning starting 9 a.m. Tuesday
        Impacts: 1 to 2 inches of snow. Snow expected to begin mid-morning and last into Tuesday night. Snow-covered roads will make for hazardous driving conditions through Wednesday morning.

about 3 months ago
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Building an Open Source Nest

c0d3g33k Re:This is great (195 comments)

What do you possibly have in your house that it's worth somebody's time to hack your thermostat?

The concern isn't necessarily about what's in the house (though putting the pets at risk due to extreme heat/cold could result from a hack). It's the information gathered by the thermostat(s) that has value. There's the usual metadata that can be added to your "profile" for purposes of advertisement. The Nest and similar devices can also reveal information about your habits, like when you are present/absent from the house, how long, time spent in each room (the Nest has a motion sensor). That could be useful for thieves, govt or law enforcement officials interested in knowing when the house is unoccupied or where you are likely to be should they wish to find you.

about 3 months ago
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Photos Stream Back From China's Lunar Lander

c0d3g33k Re:A lot of steps to get there.... (268 comments)

You have to get out of orbit...you need to get to the moon....you need to get into lunar orbit and then land....successfully. Read the history of the Ranger Program to see how much work this took the US, and they were crashing onto the moon, not trying to land a working Rover. Getting the insertions correct is not easy. China has done something difficult and laudable.

While I'm sure they had the full data from the US program, and the USSR program, making this happen is still a great achievement.

I have noticed how the US media is paying little attention to this......

Just as I was reading this (8:10am Eastern time, 12/16/13), the chinese rover was prominently mentioned on the Today show (NBC). They discussed the rover, made a quick reference to the manned moon landings of the US and finished with a summary of the future plans of the chinese for the moon. The segment ended with a round of "that's cool" from all the hosts. So it's certainly not being ignored and the achievement does seem to be acknowledged for what it is, not belittled or downplayed.

about 4 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Practical Bitrot Detection For Backups?

c0d3g33k Have mercy! (321 comments)

We have hundreds of thousands of family pictures and videos we're trying to save using this advice. But in some sparse searching of our archives, we're seeing bitrot destroying our memories. With the quantity of data (~2 TB at present),

As the proud owner of dozens of family photo albums, a stack of PhotoCDs etc which rarely see the light of day, the bigger challenge is whether anyone will ever voluntarily look at those terabytes of photos. Having been the victim of excruciating vacation slide shows that only consisted of 40-50 images on a number of occasions (not to mention the more modern version involving a phone/tablet waving in my face), I can only imagine the pain you could inflict on someone with the arsenal you are amassing.

about 4 months ago
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Fearing Government Surveillance, US Journalists Are Self-Censoring

c0d3g33k Re:Deluded ... (376 comments)

Bingo. That's exactly what I was thinking. Instead of "ha, ha, you are all delusional", people in non-US countries should be lamenting the fact that the US has become demonstrably less free, so that a higher standard to aspire (whether real or an ideal) to no longer exists. Or, create the higher standard as an example to the rest of the world. To laugh as we all race toward the bottom strikes me as the pinnacle of nihilistic cynicism.

about 4 months ago
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Fearing Government Surveillance, US Journalists Are Self-Censoring

c0d3g33k Re:Deluded ... (376 comments)

Surveillance so intrusive it is putting certain subjects out of bounds would seem like cause for alarm in a country that prides itself as the world's most free

Continuing to believe that is a sign you're delusional, not 'free'.

Ah, but they have the freedom to be delusional in any way they wish...

So, which country do you live in that is more free? Or have you just given up and all you have left to offer is snarky cynicism?

about 4 months ago
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The Dismantling of POTS: Bold Move Or Grave Error?

c0d3g33k Re:Not that useful anyways (582 comments)

3. Go to the POTS/landline phone in the house.
4. Report power outage.

Already doing it wrong. If you were in Chattanooga, the fiber optic system would have already reported the outage. The electric company has saved $12mil and the local economy about an additional $54mil from their new fiber system just in power related issues alone. With a fiber optic system, the power company is able to detect and route power around bad areas and identify the bad areas and who is all affected.

Yeah, well. Job required us to move to an underdeveloped, uncivilized part of the country (New England). We don't have those fancy modern gewgaws y'all have down south. They can barely keep the roads fixed so the heating oil trucks and snow plows can get around. But they do teach evolution in the schools by candlelight, so there's that at least. :-)

about 5 months ago

Submissions

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Glitch 2-D MMO released completely into the public domain

c0d3g33k c0d3g33k writes  |  about 5 months ago

c0d3g33k (102699) writes "Glitch, a collaborative, web-based, massively multiplayer game developed by Tiny Speck, Inc. (tinyspeck.com) has been released under the Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal License. I'm not at all familiar with this game, but it is rare that both source code *and* all game assets are released into the public domain, which makes this announcement noteworthy.

An excerpt from the announcement:

"The entire library of art assets from the game, has been made freely available, dedicated to the public domain. Code from the game client is included to help developers work with the assets. All of it can be downloaded and used by anyone, for any purpose. (But: use it for good.)""

Link to Original Source
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Steve "CyanogenMod" Kondik contemplates "The Death of Root" on Android

c0d3g33k c0d3g33k writes  |  about 9 months ago

c0d3g33k (102699) writes "Prompted by the addition of new security features in Android 4.3 that limit the effectiveness of elevated privileges, Kondik wonders which uses really require full root. Most common activities that prompt owners to root their devices (backup/restore tools, firewall/DNS resolver management, kernel tuning), could be accomplished without exposing root, argues Kondik, by providing additional APIs and extensions to the user. This would improve security by limiting the exposure of the system to exploits.
Reasonable enough, on the face of it. The title of the post, however, suggests that Kondik believes that eventually all useful activities can be designed into the system so the "dangerous and insecure" abilities provided by root/administrator privileges aren't needed. This kind of top-down thinking seems a bit troubling because it leads to greater control of the system by the developer at the expense of the owner of the device. It's been said that the best tools are those that lend themselves to uses not anticipated by the creator. Reducing or eliminating the ability of the owner to use a device in ways that are unanticipated ultimately reduces its potential power and usefulness. Perhaps that's what is wanted to prevent an owner from using the device in ways that are inconvenient or contrary to an established business model."
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Google Code deprecates Download Service for Project Hosting

c0d3g33k c0d3g33k writes  |  about a year ago

c0d3g33k (102699) writes "Google Project Hosting announced changes to the Download service on Wednesday, offering only "increasing misuse of the service and a desire to keep our community safe and secure" by way of explanation. Effective immediately, existing projects that offer no downloads and all new projects will no longer be able to create downloads. Existing projects which currently have downloads will lose the ability to create new downloads by January 2014, though existing downloads will remain available "for the foreseeable future". Google Drive is recommended as an alternative, but this will likely have to be done manually by project maintainers since the ability to create and manage downloads won't be part of the Project Hosting tools. This is a rather baffling move, since distributing project files via download is integral to FOSS culture."
Link to Original Source

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