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Geek Stuff category archive

Decorated 0

Slackware Desktop

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 (December 7, 2017). 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.

Geeking Out 0

Virtual Machines of Windows 7 (licensed and activated) and Devuan Jessie with the MATE (that’s “Mah-teh,” not “mate”) desktop environment running in VirtualBox on Slackware 14.2 using the KDE desktop environment.

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Hacks Hacked 0

Man leaving holiday sale carrying parcels looks at messages on his smart phone:  From Uber,

Click for the original image.

Geeking Out 0

Listening to KCEA with QMMP skinned with a Winamp skin on Slackware Linux v. 14.2 with the KDE Deaktop Environment running Xclock and the Gkrellm system monitor whule reading a Nero Wolfe mystery.

I think the hot springs in the wallpaper are in Yellowstone; I visited Yellowstone once a long time ago.


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Firefox 57 First Look 0

Firefox 57 came in an upgrade to Slackware –Current today. I have not tested it extensively, but here are my first impressions.

I did not put a stopwatch on it, but it is indeed noticeably, even significantly faster.

It left my privacy settings intact (such as no third party cookies, delete history on exit). It also left my preferred search engine (Startpage) still set as default.

It did not touch my bookmarks or any of the appearance themes I’ve installed.

It did break my extensions, but there are already a number of compatible extensions available. I found substitutes for what I consider my most important plugins (classic NoScript and speed dial). I’m still looking for a proper user agent changer plugin. If classic NoScript becomes available for it, I’ll probably go back to that.

It came with an activated “Gnome Shell Integration” plugin, which I turned off.

It also synced, following my existing sync settings. (That’s I how ended up with two script blockers on Firefox 52 on the laptop–I disabled classic NoScript and went with the new one).

So far v. 57 looks like a nice piece of work.

Geeking Out 0

Running Windows 7 in VirtualBox in seamless mode on Slackware –Current under the KDE desktop environment.

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The Assimilated 0

Man:  My new iPhoneX unlocks when I look at it.  Woman:  So it's always unlocked?

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Just the Equifax, Sir 0

Bruce Schneier has posted his written testimony to Congress about the Equifax breach to his blog. Here’s a bit:

2. Equifax was solely at fault.

This was not a sophisticated attack. The security breach was a result of a vulnerability in the software for their websites: a program called Apache Struts. The particular vulnerability was fixed by Apache in a security patch that was made available on March 6, 2017. This was not a minor vulnerability; the computer press at the time called it “critical.” Within days, it was being used by attackers to break into web servers. Equifax was notified by Apache, US CERT, and the Department of Homeland Security about the vulnerability, and was provided instructions to make the fix.

Two months later, Equifax had still failed to patch its systems. It eventually got around to it on July 29. The attackers used the vulnerability to access the company’s databases and steal consumer information on May 13, over two months after Equifax should have patched the vulnerability.

Facebook Frolics, Russian Impulses Dept. 0

Via C&L.

404 0

Tom Lawrence explains what happened to your Comcast internet connection yesterday.

You can hear more from Tom on the Sunday Morning Linux Review.

Geeking Out 0

Running Spybot S&D while listening to Old Time Radio in a VM of Windows 7 in VirtualBox on Slackware –Current.

Screenshot

If you use Windows. you should use Spybot S&D.

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 2, 2017). 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.

“What Does This Thing Do?” 0

Cat investigating printer

“Because You Can . . . .” Is Not in and of Itself a Reason To Do Something* 0

Using the Amazon Key as a starting point, Christine Emba muses on what passes for innovation (specifically, commercial consumer innovation) in the tech world.

The thought processes of Silicon Valley innovators are a curious thing. Many observers have noted that the most common proposals seem to fall into the category of “things that I, a 25-year-old man, wish that I could still get my mother to do for me.”

Follow the link to see why she says that.

One small quibble: Amazon is not located in Silicon Valley.

(I wouldn’t get one on a bet.)

_________________

*Unless, of course, you are a 15-year-old boy.

Meta: A Little BASH Script for Scaling Media 0

You may have noticed that I rescale embedded media to 500 pixels in width. When I started blogging, 800×600 monitors were still not uncommon, and 500px seemed a sane choice. I’ve maintained the practice for consistency’s sake.

At one time, I maintained a spreadsheet of common dimensions and their scaled values. I could enter the existing values and it would calculate the scaled ones, then I could save it with the additional data.

Ultimately I replaced the spreadsheet with a command line alternative, which works quite nicely (if you can remember high school math, you’ll recognize the equation; piping the output to bc is necessary because BASH by itself can parse only integers):

Code:
echo 500/[original width]*[original height] | bc -l

This outputs the proportional height.

Here’s an example:

Code:
bash-4.3$ echo 500/640*423 | bc -l
330.46875000000000000000 < ---I round the output to the nearest integer

Read more »

PolitiHack 0

Politifact, the Pulitzer Prize-winning website devoted to checking the factual accuracy of US politicians’ words, appears to have been hacked so that it secretly mines cryptocurrency in visitors’ browsers.
(snip)

Coin Hive is a legit outfit that offers free JavaScript to web admins . . . .

However, the code hidden on Politifact.com at this moment appears to be malicious: it is completely non-throttled, and kicks off eight instances of the miner, which means it hammers the visiting machine’s processor, taking up 100 per cent of spare processor capacity.

The story goes on to say the malware was removed within hours after discovery.

(Link fixed.)

Geeking Out 0

Listening to Old Time Radio with Real Player in a Virtual Machine of Windows 7 in VirtualBox on Slackware –Current.

Screenshot

Twits on Twitter 0

Electrotwits in blue.

The Snaring Economy 0

You’re on the air at your AirBnB:

A tiny black dot on the Longboat Key bedroom smoke detector was enough to alert an Indiana couple that something was wrong.

Sure enough, when the couple got a closer look, what appeared to be a smoke detector was actually a camera pointing directly at the bed, according to ABC Action News.

Details at the link.