From Pine View Farm

Geek Stuff category archive

It’s All about the Algorthm 0

PoliticalProf.

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Geeking Out: The Lion in Fluxbox Dept. 0

The Fluxbox window manager using the Operation theme on Slackware 14.2.

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Make TWUUG Your LUG 0

Learn about the wonderful world of free and open source. Use computers to do what you want, not what someone else wants you to do. Learn how to use GNU/Linux and its plethora of free and open source software to get stuff done with computers.

It’s not hard; it’s just different.

Tidewater Unix Users Group

When: Monthly TWUUG meeting at 7:30 p. m. on the first Thursday of the month (November 7, 2019). Pre-meeting dinner at Chicago Uno, JANAF shopping center, 6:00 p. m. (map)

Who: Everyone in TideWater/Hampton Roads with interest in any/all flavors of Unix/Linux. There are no dues or signup requirements. All are welcome.

Where: Lake Taylor Transitional Care Hospital in Norfolk Training Room (map). (Wireless and wired internet connection available.) Turn right upon entering, then left at the last corridor and look for the open meeting room.

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Facebook Frolics, Empty Words Dept. 0

The Oregonian reports on someone who couldn’t stick working for Facebook. Here’s a snippet; follow the link for the rest (emphasis added).

Yael Eisenstat is a former CIA officer and diplomat. In 2018, she joined Facebook to lead the company’s Global Elections Integrity Ops.

She didn’t last long — because she realized the social-media behemoth isn’t actually interested in elections integrity.

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Twits on Twitter 0

Bubblelicious twits.

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The Surveillance Society 0

David and his guest, Kade Crockford, Director of the ACLU’s Technology for Liberty program, discuss biometric surveillance, privacy, facial recognition technology, the interactions of these technologies with law enforcement, and much more.

A quibble:

Methinks the conversation focused too much on law enforcement and not enough on Big Data.

For example, I keep the GPS turned off on my Android unless I have a positive need for it. On the rare occasions when I do have it turned on, I get creepy messages from Google asking how I enjoyed my visit to such-and-such business.

I understand that they can track the general location of my phone via cell towers, and I can live with that, but it’s none of Google’s damn business where I ate lunch, for Pete’s sake.

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Geeking Out 0

The Plasma desktop environment with the QMMP media player using a legacy Winamp skin playing The Mystery of 31 New Inn by R. Austin Freeman on Ubuntu MATE on a Zareason Mediabox. The GKrellM system monitor is in the lower right corner. Swisswatch provides the analog clock.

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The Meme Chance 0

At Psychology Today Blogs, Ira Hyman muses on the attractions and dangers of internet memes, particularly those that combine a picture with some text. Among other thoughts, he suggests that they make falsehoods digestible.

Here’s an excerpt:

First, adding a picture to a statement, research suggests, can make people more likely to believe the statement, even when the picture is completely unrelated to the idea. . . .

I’ve read a very nice statement about being stardust that was attributed to Einstein and placed with a picture of the physicist. But Einstein never made the statement. Or consider this Socrates meme. Again, a lovely quote attributed to a famous thinker. And there’s no evidence that Socrates ever said anything like that. These fake quotes attach one idea to a well-known person and give the quote more validity. Nonetheless, these memes remain out there and I’ve seen several similar fake quotes in my social media feed.

I commend the entire piece to your attention.

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Site Maintenance Redux (Sticky) 0

I’ve migrated to a new virtual private server and glitches happened. Follow my progress below the fold.

I started this almost 15 years ago to learn stuff. Well, I’m still learning, even when I don’t want to.

Read more »

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Site Maintenance (Sticky)–I’m Back 0

Update, 2019-10-29:

Data migration is complete. If you experience any problems, please email me.

Read more »

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Geeking Out 0

Slackware 14.2 with the Fluxbox window manager using the Operation style.

Screenshot

Click for a larger image.

Afterthought:

I may have posted a screenshot with this wallpaper before, but, frankly, I never get tired of this background.

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Facebook Frolics 0

The Zuckerborg takes a tip from the musical Hair and sings, “Assimilation can make you mine.”

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Make TWUUG Your LUG 0

Learn about the wonderful world of free and open source. Use computers to do what you want, not what someone else wants you to do. Learn how to use GNU/Linux and its plethora of free and open source software to get stuff done with computers.

It’s not hard; it’s just different.

Tidewater Unix Users Group

When: Monthly TWUUG meeting at 7:30 p. m. on the first Thursday of the month (October 3, 2019). Pre-meeting dinner at Chicago Uno, JANAF shopping center, 6:00 p. m. (map)

Who: Everyone in TideWater/Hampton Roads with interest in any/all flavors of Unix/Linux. There are no dues or signup requirements. All are welcome.

Where: Lake Taylor Transitional Care Hospital in Norfolk Training Room (map). (Wireless and wired internet connection available.) Turn right upon entering, then left at the last corridor and look for the open meeting room.

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It May Be Artificial, but It’s Not Intelligent 0

Listen to Harry Shearer interview Gary Marcus on why AI is not a thing on the September 22, 2019, edition of Le Show.

In related news, Bobby Azarian points out that one of the things that machine learning enables said machines to learn is bigotry and prejudice. A snippet:

For example, past studies have shown that the same exact resume is twice as likely to result in an interview opportunity if the applicant’s name is European-American rather than African-American. In a similar way, the AI system was more likely to associate European American names with positive stimuli compared to African-American names. There were similar findings in terms of gender, such that female words, like “woman” or “girl” were more closely related to the arts compared to mathematics.

Fast /= intelligent.

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A Picture Is Worth, Disinformation Superhighway Dept. 0

Graphic:  Do you remember before the internet, that it was though that the cause of collective ignorance was lack of access to information.  Well . . . it wasn't that.

Via PoliticalProf.

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Sporadic Bloggery (Updated) 0

Our ISP is dealing with some connectivity issues in the neighborhood of PVF HQ.

I happened to run into one of ISP’s techs, and he told me some of the issues they encountered over the last few weeks have been related to Dorian, which sideswiped our area–the strong winds blew moisture into some of their equipment, but it’s taken time for the moisture to seep into the equipment deeply enough to do any damage.

Addendum, the Next Day:

The hardware issues got fixed last night. They were more serious than I realized; when we turned on the television yesterday evening, the cable, not just the internet, was out. The cable came back on about 6:30 p., but my cable modem (supplied by my ISP) will not connect, so a tech is scheduled to be here tomorrow. In the meantime, I’m checking in with by cell phone hot spot from time to time.

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Facebook Frolics 0

Auto-generated frolics.

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It’s All about the Algorithm 0

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The Internet of Strings 0

So you still think that the connected home is a good thing?

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Suckering the Suckers 0

Mike Brooks takes a look why people take the click-bait. A snippet:

Another way in which clickbait lures us in is through a variable ratio reinforcement schedule. This is is sometime referred to as the “Vegas Effect” because variable ratio reinforcement schedules are involved in gambling. . . .

Those clickbait headlines make us curious to see what’s behind the curtain, so to speak. To quote the sagacious, Forrest Gump, who was quoting his mother, “Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you are going to get.”

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