From Pine View Farm

Geek Stuff category archive

Geeking Out 0

Ubuntu MATE with the Fluxbox window manager and virtual machines of Fedora and Bohdi Linux on a Zareason Media Box.

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Meta: Connectivity 0

We’ve been having intermittent connectivity issues for the past few weeks.

We could restore connectivity by rebooting the modem (that’s a fancy way of saying pulling the power, counting to ten, then plugging the power back in and waiting about five minutes for all the LEDs to come alive). I feared that the modem was going bad, which might necessitate my having do something, like taking it to my local ISP store and exchanging it for a new one. Oh, the horror of it all.

Yesterday, I called my ISP’s tech support; the support rep told me that I was not alone–that a number of customers in my area had reported problems, that the problem was likely on their end, and that their staff was actively troubleshooting it. He went on to say that they expected the issue would be resolved by the early afternoon.

And it was.

I have a number of minor gripes with my ISP, but they are all on the theoretical side of things. Their tech support and their physical support are both excellent.

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Geeking Out 0

Listening to an episode of Richard Diamond, Private Detective from OTR.net in the VLC media player on Mageia v. 7 under the Fluxbox window manager. The background is from my collection.

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E-Skipping Class 0

From El Reg:

A teenager in America has apparently admitted knocking virtual learning classes offline with a string of distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks.

The unnamed 16-year-old was arrested and charged with “computer use in an attempt to defraud,” a third-degree felony, and “interference with an educational institution,” a second-degree misdemeanor.

Details at the link.

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Traffic Jam on the Disinformation Super Highway 0

David interviews Nicholas Carr on how the internet and, in particular, “social” media, with its continual algorithmic torrent of distractions, is affecting our ability to deal with information. Here’s a quote from Carr:

What we know about people is that, if you give them an unlimited amount of information, they’ll go out and cherry-pick the information that reinforces their existing biases, whether those biases are based on fact or fiction or fantasy or whatever . . . .

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Geeking Out 0

Stormy weather.

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The Fluxbox window manager on Ubuntu MATE. The background is from my collection.

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Trumpling the Disinformation Super Highway 0

Afterthought:

There is a very real difference between spin, which may offer different interpretations of the facts twist the facts, and lies, which ignore the facts.

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Geeking Out 0

Listening to Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar at OTRnet in a VirtualBox VM of Windows 8 on Ubuntu MATE using the Fluxbox window manager.

Every time I use Windows, I am reminded of what a kludge Windows is.

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Facebook Frolics, Just the Flacks, Ma’am Dept. 0

See Farron’s source for this report.

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Think First, Click Later 0

At Psychology Today Blogs, Alison Escalante explores why persons fall for fake news and misinformation on “social” media. She focuses on (mis)information about COVID-19, but I believe her conclusions can be generalized to larger topics.

The study she discusses suggests that much of the bilge is broadcast because the persons “sharing” it just don’t think before they click. Here’s a bit:

“People often assume that misinformation and fake news is shared online because people are incapable of distinguishing between what is true and what is false,” said lead author Gordon Pennycook of the University of Regina, Canada in a press release. “Our research reveals that is not necessarily the case. Instead, we find that people tend to share false information about COVID-19 on social media because they simply fail to think about accuracy when making decisions about what to share with others.”

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Twits on Twitter 0

Spear-phishing twits.

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Facebook Friendface Frolics 0

This was the cold open of The IT Crowd, S3E5.

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Contact Tracing 0

Man in recliner looking at

Click for the original image.

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Facebook Frolics 0

Farron discusse the corporations who have “paused” their advertising on “social” media.

And, in yet more frolics . . . .

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Geeking Out 0

I find this to be a Bryce background.

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Full disclosure:

I’ve been to Bryce Canyon. It is well worth the trip.

The computer is running Ubuntu MATE with the Fluxbox window manager using the BlueNight theme.

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Great Moments In Zoom 0

You can’t make this stuff up. (And you wouldn’t want to.)

Full Disclosure:

I’ve attended two Zoom meetings.

Both were private, by invitation only, and neither was Zoombombed. And, I must say, Zoom seemed to work quite nicely on my Android devices.

I think part of the security problems Zoom had was because, four months ago, hardly anyone had heard of Zoom. Then all of a sudden everyone was trying to use it. And, per security maven Bruce Schneier, Zoom is making progress on the security front.

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Geeking out 0

Ubuntu MATE with the Fluxbox window manager on a Zareason Mediabox. The wallpaper is from my collection.

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Facebook Frolics 0

Fraudulent frolics.

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Geeking Out 0

The XScreenSaver Hydrostat screen saver on Ubuntu MATE.

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Bread Crumbs 0

Smile, you’re on candid camera.

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