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NSA App Ideas To Popularize Spying and Big Data

reifman Re:Unpopular? (78 comments)

Agree at some level but I was following this EFF report https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2013/10/polls-continue-show-majority-americans-against-nsa-spying "For instance in an AP poll, nearly 60 percent of Americans said they oppose the NSA collecting data about their telephone and Internet usage. In another national poll by the Washington Post and ABC News, 74 percent of respondents said the NSA's spying intrudes on their privacy rights."

about 6 months ago
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NSA App Ideas To Popularize Spying and Big Data

reifman Re:Computer says no.. (78 comments)

Fair enough :) But, it's been slashdotted a lot before and held up just fine. Perhaps need to add a maintenance section.

about 6 months ago
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How To Build a Simple Open Source Server Monitoring Solution With Mobile Support

reifman Re:It's about balancing complexity & simplicit (58 comments)

that's what this is - it's just more robust than a 5 line script ... and therefore allows you to monitor any number of pages and sites. and honestly - $5 = no cost to me. It's when you start talking about $18/mo fees for this that I start to say, what?

about 8 months ago
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How To Build a Simple Open Source Server Monitoring Solution With Mobile Support

reifman Re:Timothy needs to be fucking fired. (58 comments)

I'd much rather pay $5 for an iOS app then break out my C compiler ;)

about 8 months ago
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How To Build a Simple Open Source Server Monitoring Solution With Mobile Support

reifman Re:Thanks for the ad (58 comments)

Thanks for taking me entirely literally!

about 8 months ago
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How To Build a Simple Open Source Server Monitoring Solution With Mobile Support

reifman It's about balancing complexity & simplicity (58 comments)

I think people missed my point partly - for people that only run a blog or a few web sites, Nagios is complete overkill and it would take a long time to set up, figure out how to use and the steps I've seen for iOS integration are not simple. Ditto for Zabbix. I think if you really write out the steps for installing and configuring these tools to meet this scenario, your solution is way more cumbersome than this one. MonitorApp is a pretty simple solution with an app that can be easily customized (it's PHP) and it's free. It supports email notifications - and you can hook those into any notification provider you want. I chose the Pushover API because I want to get notified on my phone with alerts - it's simple and elegant. Plus, what's with all the negativity? If you don't like a post, skip it and read on - there's more coming.

about 8 months ago
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How To Build a Simple Open Source Server Monitoring Solution With Mobile Support

reifman Re:Timothy needs to be fucking fired. (58 comments)

You sound very frustrated. Seriously, write up the steps for installing Nagios with iOS/Android integration and let's compare solutions. If Nagios can't keep it's own site up, maybe it's not the best solution for people running a blog or just a few sites.

about 8 months ago
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How To Build a Simple Open Source Server Monitoring Solution With Mobile Support

reifman Re:Try Zabbix, it's free (58 comments)

It's easy to find other solutions but most require some paid level of service that quickly escalate if you want notifications or multiple servers: ScoutApp, Pingdom, Copperegg ... Nagios & Zabbix are quite sophisticated but also have a lot of complexity. I built MonitorApp because it's quite simple to monitor any number of servers in an integrated with my iPhone. Compare the screenshots of MonitorApp in this tutorial to Zabbix - http://www.zabbix.com/screenshots.php

about 8 months ago
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Using Zillow's Creative Commons Neighborhood Boundary Data For the U.S.

reifman Re:Few people whatnow? (32 comments)

When I started Geogram ... I had never written a GIS app before and it took some time to sort out how to use the Zillow data with mysql, google maps and geolocation - this free OSS MapApp now provides working code for these scenarios for anyone interested in trying out GIS for the first time.

about 8 months ago
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Using Zillow's Creative Commons Neighborhood Boundary Data For the U.S.

reifman Suggestions for free neighborhood boundary data (32 comments)

I would be interested in people's suggestions for other free sources for national and especially international neighborhood boundary data. I've reviewed some sources but haven't decided on one to use yet.

about 8 months ago
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Using Zillow's Creative Commons Neighborhood Boundary Data For the U.S.

reifman Re:wow slashdoted before the first comment (32 comments)

thx for the heads up - it should be fine now. This is the setup I run on my blog (http://jeffreifman.com/detailed-wordpress-guide-for-aws/) but I've noticed that sometimes when I get slashdotted in the initial minutes Varnish/Apache can't keep up. After I restart them it's fine under load :(

about 8 months ago
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Not Just Apple, How Microsoft Sidestepped Billions in State Taxes

reifman Re:not really Microsoft's fault, though... (2 comments)

I appreciate the thoughtfulness of your response. There are actually laws against this - but the legislature (with its ex-Microsoft Chair of the Finance committee Ross Hunter) and head of the tax department (Suzan Delbene, wife of Microsoft Office VP Kurt Delbene) are so in bed together that they choose not to enforce the laws. I think if the Seattle Times served its public role and reported on this ... more Washington residents might get out and do something about this ... or push for change ... but it's been kept pretty quiet.

about 2 years ago
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Blogger Tells Microsoft to Put Up or Shut Up on Ta

reifman But Microsoft keeps denying this (5 comments)

Why does Microsoft keep denying that it used its Nevada office to avoid Washington State's Royalty Tax? If they're doing the right thing by shareholders, they should promote this more publicly and openly.

more than 2 years ago
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Proposing a Model For Locally Imposed Net Neutrality

reifman Again, see Section 7 of the ordinance (153 comments)

Section 7 – Exploration of the City of Seattle as a Direct Broadband Provider - If broadband internet access service providers providing service to residents of the City of Seattle violate this ordinance in ways which evidence a pattern and practice on behalf of those providers to interfere with the rights secured by this ordinance, the City Council of the City of Seattle shall explore the potential for the City of Seattle to become a direct broadband internet access service provider to the residents of the City of Seattle.

more than 2 years ago
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Proposing a Model For Locally Imposed Net Neutrality

reifman Re:Bigger issue (153 comments)

You make it sounds like democracy is a can of worms :) Ha, it is. Besides, there already is a patchwork of sometimes conflicting statutes across our country. From the blog post ... This work is about giving up hope that Congress is going to do the right thing, or State legislatures are going to do the right thing; and beginning to craft a structure of "rights" at the municipal level that challenges the hegemony exercised by those other levels of government; and then using the combined force of that municipal strength to push upwards against those higher levels of government to get the change that we want and need. This organizing is about turning away from traditional activism (which is mired in letter writing campaigns and lowest common denominator federal and state legislation) and dipping our hands into a new activism in which the grassroots forces themselves begin to craft and model rights-based laws which then stitch together to change state constitutions, and eventually, to change the framework of the federal constitution itself. It's a realization that the only way substantive change is going to happen - especially that change that runs counter to the interests of a relatively small handful of corporations - is a revolt from the bottom, from the municipal level. It's promising and hopeful work involving people who have given up on higher levels of government doing what's needed; who are refocusing themselves on change that matters at the local level.

more than 2 years ago

Submissions

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Norwegian Skydiver Almost Gets Hit by Falling Meteor and Captures it on Film

reifman reifman writes  |  about two weeks ago

reifman (786887) writes "From the apparently not April Fools department: Anders Helstrup went skydiving nearly two years ago near Hedmark, Norway and while he didn’t realize it at the time, when he reviewed the footage taken by two cameras fixed to his helmet during the dive, he saw a rock plummet past him. He took it to experts and they realized he had captured a meteorite falling during its dark flight — when it has been slowed by atmospheric braking, and has cooled and is no longer luminous."
Link to Original Source
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Amazon's Outsourced Customer Service Making Fraud Easy

reifman reifman writes  |  about three weeks ago

reifman (786887) writes "Amazon's outsourced, semi-automated customer service makes it easy for unscrupulous buyers to prey on its marketplace sellers. Buyers just need to 1) request a return and then 2) file a claim alleging that the item was different than described. While Amazon says it retains emails between buyer and sellers 'to help arbitrate disputes and preserve trust and safety', it ignores the content of most email exchanges as it sends automated emails to sellers instructing them to issue refunds and threatening to withdraw the funds from their account. File this under 'our investigation team does not work according to case numbers.'"
Link to Original Source
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The Missing Manual to Securing Your Mac for Potential Theft

reifman reifman writes  |  about 2 months ago

reifman (786887) writes "Recently my house was robbed and two Macs taken. Over the past week, I've learned a few things that I hadn't been aware of. Apple has a few helpful features that aren't enabled by default in OS X: primarily setting a firmware password and hard drive encryption. Here are a few simple steps you can take now to minimize the damage from theft of your Macs and to increase the likelihood they might return to you."
Link to Original Source
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DIY Private Email Server in the Cloud

reifman reifman writes  |  about 3 months ago

reifman (786887) writes "In a follow up to this 2011 Ask Slashdot post on self-hosted Gmail alternatives and recent NSA wiretapping revelations, I wrote this guided tutorial for running your own email server in the cloud. The emergence of iRedMail and Roundcube are great offerings but end to end encrypted privacy remains an afterthought. Self-hosting remains quite complex for even average techies; combining out of country mail services with GPG may be the best approach for most folks, at least until more sophisticated encryption-based services emerge. The Indiegogo-funded Mailpile client may also interest people."
Link to Original Source
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Open Source Filter App Turns Your Email into a Programmable Playground

reifman reifman writes  |  about 3 months ago

reifman (786887) writes "Filtered is a new open source IMAP mail filtering application which lets you train, route and experiment with your email. Filtered can learn from the contents of your existing folders, respond to drag and drop events and be trained via the web. But, it's also a platform which programmers can use to create new features for email such as quiet hours which shuts off your inbox on a schedule, whitelisting, which challenges new senders to authenticate themselves as human and a secure folders which delete messages from your NSA-accessible Gmail account and stores an encrypted version on your server. Filtered is written in PHP and is available now on Github. There's a detailed installation guide for trying out the app with a cloud-based Linux server. You can also request a droplet for Digital Ocean for a faster start."
Link to Original Source
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DIY Email Hacking with Open Source IMAP Filter App

reifman reifman writes  |  about 3 months ago

reifman (786887) writes "Filtered is an open source server side imap application which provides a foundation to build new email features such as do not disturb, keyword based smartphone alerts, whitelisting and secure folders which move messages from your NSA-accessible Gmail account and encrypt them on your own server. Download at Github or test drive it in the cloud."
Link to Original Source
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Do It Yourself Open Source IMAP Email Filtering

reifman reifman writes  |  about 3 months ago

reifman (786887) writes "Email innovation often lags other services because the big players (Google, Microsoft, Apple, Yahoo) control the client. Filtered is a new, open source server side mail filtering applet which provides a platform for evolving email. For example, Filter offers Do Not Disturb, which can delay email delivery during evenings and weekends (favorite contacts can be excluded), Secure Folders, which can delete messages from specific people from your NSA-accessible Gmail account and place encrypted versions on your server and Whitelisting, which sends challenge emails to unknown senders. Download at Github or test drive it in the cloud."
Link to Original Source
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Email Quiet Hours Enabled with Open Source IMAP Library: Would You Use Them?

reifman reifman writes  |  about 3 months ago

reifman (786887) writes "Email innovation often lags other services because the big players (Google, Microsoft, Apple, Yahoo) are cloud client gatekeepers with few incremental profit incentives. Filtered is a new, open source IMAP mail filtering application which provides a platform for experimenting with email. For example, Filter offers Quiet Hours, which can delay email delivery during evenings and weekends (favorite contacts can be excluded), and Secure Folders, which can delete messages from specific people from your NSA-accessible Gmail account and place encrypted versions on your server. Filtered is available now at Github. There's also a detailed installation recipe for Linux."
Link to Original Source
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Open Source App Turns Your Email into a "Hackable" Playground

reifman reifman writes  |  about 3 months ago

reifman (786887) writes "Filtered is a new open source IMAP mail filtering application which provides a platform for training, routing and experimenting with your email. Filtered can learn from the contents of your existing folders, respond to drag and drop events and can be fully trained through a web interface. But, it's also a platform which can be used by programmers to create new features for email such as Quiet Hours which shuts off your inbox on certain days and times, Whitelisting which challenges new senders to authenticate themselves as human and a Secure folder which deletes messages from your NSA-inhabited Gmail account and stores an encrypted version on your server. Filtered is written in PHP in the Yii Framework and is available now on Github. There's a detailed installation guide for trying out the app with a cloud-based Linux server."
Link to Original Source
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NSA App Ideas to Popularize Spying and Big Data

reifman reifman writes  |  about 6 months ago

reifman (786887) writes "Perhaps the reason the NSA's surveillance programs are so unpopular with Americans is that we haven't seen any of the potential consumer benefits that spying and big data can provide. Here are ten ideas for the productization and monetization of the NSA's spying infrastructure to inspire Americans to consider the bright side of the dark arts."
Link to Original Source
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Amazon "Unlaunches" & Postpones $100,000 Civic Apps Contest for AWS

reifman reifman writes  |  about 7 months ago

reifman (786887) writes "In an unusual move, Amazon abruptly pulled the plug on its $100,000 Civic Apps contest for AWS, redirecting contestants to the AWS government site. All entrants through October 15th were to receive a $50 AWS credit. Amazon AWS PR says they, '...accidentally pushed this out early, but please stay tuned for more information on this program later this year.' The contest site, rules (pdf) and FAQ (pdf) of the apparently still upcoming contest can be read from the google cache. Contest prize winners would have had to 'spend' their AWS credits by December 2014."
Link to Original Source
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How to Talk to Your Mother in Law About Her Web Site Idea

reifman reifman writes  |  about 8 months ago

reifman (786887) writes "Building a website has become nearly trivial in the age of WordPress and SquareSpace, but it can be difficult to talk to the uninitiated about the depth, breadth and complexities that web publishing entails. So You Want to Build a Website? provides a guide for newbies (and intermediate techies) on the array of things to think about and invest in to succeed with a reasonably sophisticated web app, from choosing a content management system, to understanding the pros and cons of Facebook to being aware of legal issues. The guide covers a lot of territory in straightforward fashion and hopefully can act as a bridge between an idea and what it takes to get it done and make it successful over time."
Link to Original Source
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Running Your Own Private Email Server in the post-Snowden Era

reifman reifman writes  |  about 8 months ago

reifman (786887) writes "Here's a detailed tutorial for setting up open source iRedMail server with Roundcube webmail in the cloud. While running your email on a VPS isn't fully secure, it removes you from the mass unauthorized surveillance that's occurring at gmail. I also recommend support for open source encrypted email clients such as Mailpile. This is an update to the 2011 Ask Slashdot on gmail alternatives."
Link to Original Source
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How to Build a Simple Open Source Server Monitoring Solution with Mobile Support

reifman reifman writes  |  about 8 months ago

reifman (786887) writes "Nothing sucks more than finding an 'Error establishing database connection' on your blog hours after the fact, but it's not easy to find inexpensive, simple monitoring solutions which support smartphone notifications. I wrote MonitorApp, a free, open source software applet which sends notifications to your iPhone (or Android) if anything goes wrong with your web site or services. This tutorial describes how to install and configure MonitorApp for your own purposes. The only cost is a $4.99 mobile application called Pushover — which links MonitorApp to your phone. Pushover also links with Nagios, a more complex open source option — but ironically, Nagios' website was down when I looked for it last month."
Link to Original Source
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Esquire's Rens Lieman Asks You to Hack His Data

reifman reifman writes  |  about 9 months ago

reifman (786887) writes "Rens Lieman, a contributing editor at Esquire magazine is launching a privacy experiment asking hackers to discover all the data they can gather about him: 'I’m asking around if hackers, social engineers, coders, software engineers, etc, can help me out by trying to find out everything they can about me. Locations, credit card date, mails, cell phone records, web history, etcetera. I’ll publish their findings, though it will be probably private and potentially embarrassing stuff about me.' Rens has asked that you share any data you find with him. It’s important to him that no information that might harm other people be published and that details that might allow for financial fraud be protected. Use twitter hashtag #hackrens."
Link to Original Source
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Hosting Your Own Email in the PRISM Era Remains Challenging

reifman reifman writes  |  about 10 months ago

reifman (786887) writes "I've updated this 2011 Ask Slashdot post on Gmail alternatives, with a detailed tutorial for migrating from Gmail to open source iRedMail with Roundcube webmail in the cloud. One key takeaway is that securing the bulk of your email from government snooping beyond the per-message level is a task whose complexity far exceeds the capacity of the average person. Conversely, it remains quite easy for really bad people to encrypt their most private communications. There's more work to do if we want to provide push-button installation of seamless, encrypted, open-source email services."
Link to Original Source
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Gmail Alternatives for the PRISM Era

reifman reifman writes  |  about 10 months ago

reifman (786887) writes "Inspired by this 2011 Ask Slashdot post on self-hosted Gmail alternatives and the recent NSA wiretapping revelations, I wrote this guided tutorial reviewing the latest and greatest options for self-hosting your email in the cloud. The emergence of iRedMail and Roundcube are great offerings but end to end encrypted privacy remains an afterthought. Self-hosting remains quite complex for even average techies; combining out of country mail services with GPG may be the best approach for most folks, at least until more sophisticated encryption-based services emerge."
Link to Original Source
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Self-Hosted Gmail Alternatives for the PRISM Age

reifman reifman writes  |  about 10 months ago

reifman (786887) writes "Revisiting this post on Gmail alternatives for the post-Snowden-NSA era, I've written up a detailed tutorial for migrating from gmail to open source iRedMail in the cloud. One key takeaway is that securing the bulk of your email from government snooping beyond the per-message level is a task whose complexity far exceeds the capacity of the average person. Conversely, it remains quite easy for really bad people to encrypt their most private communications."
Link to Original Source

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