From Pine View Farm

Geek Stuff category archive

Facebook Frolics 0

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Facebook Frolics 0

iFrolics.

And, in a special bonus, PR frolics.

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The Watchers 0

A New Hampshire court wants Amazon’s Alexa digital surveillance device assistant to testify in a murder trial. Here’s a bit from the story:

Now, a judge has ordered Amazon to turn over any recordings the Echo device may have made from Jan. 27, the day the women were killed, until Jan. 29, when police discovered them tucked beneath a tarp under the back porch.

“The court finds there is probable cause to believe the server(s) and/or records maintained for or by Amazon.com contain recordings made by the Echo smart speaker from the period of Jan. 27 to Jan. 29, 2017 … and that such information contains evidence of crimes committed against Ms. Sullivan, including the attack and possible removal of the body from the kitchen.”

The story goes on to say that Amazon is inclined not to cooperate “without a valid and binding legal demand properly served on us”* in the interests its customers’ “privacy” (because, I reckon, that belongs to Amazon).

I will be curious to see how this turns out.

But this is certain: So long as persons unthinkingly invite Big Data into their personal spaces and willingly subject themselves to perpetual corporate surveillance, we will be seeing more like this.

Me, I can flip my own damn light switch.

_______________

*Like, maybe, just supposin’ here, a judge’s order?

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Scooflaws 0

My local rag reports that Bird, the outfit that’s randomly dropping scooters all over the country, holds itself above the law (that’s my words, not theirs). Here’s a bit:

The Silicon Valley start-up is using an act-first-ask-forgiveness-later strategy, dropping off flocks of the electric scooters around towns in hopes locals will become attached.

Bird now owes $362,800 to the University of Georgia and $32,000 to Santa Cruz, California. Virginia Beach has impounded 205 scooters and is owed $1,700, as of Oct. 31.

And that’s just the beginning. Bird scooters have been reported in the cities of Nashville, Cleveland, Denver, Salt Lake City, Ann Arbor and Greensboro, North Carolina, just to name a few, according to news reports. . . .

“I think it’s very difficult to look at one locality and see the big picture,” he (Graham Henshaw, executive director of the Alan B. Miller Entrepreneurship Center at the College of William & Mary–ed.) said. “What they’re trying to do is blanket the entire country in scooters.”

The story goes on to report that Bird does not respond to inquiries from government agencies and doesn’t seem interested in getting its scooters out of impound.

I’m not quite sure how the characterize this, but the phrase, “arrogant, greedy SOBs” comes to mind.

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Upgrade 0

I upgraded my Debian box from Stretch to Buster this evening.

Next stop, Sid, aka Debian unstable. AFIC, Debian unstable is more stable than most distros’ stable.

Later the Next Day:

When I went to update the software today (Debian Testing issues frequent updates because, well, it’s testing stuff), I ran into a little problem. Some directories were missing from root’s (that’s the “Administrator” in Linux) path and apt-get complained, then rolled over and played dead.

I was able to fix the problem thanks to this article. I sent the webmaster a thank you email, as I was unable to add a comment to the article.

As an aside, updating Linux is a lot easier than updating Windows. The process is generally transparent to the user and does not require a reboot unless a new kernel has been installed.

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Antisocial Media, Reprise 0

Elesa Zehndorfer explains.

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Antisocial Media 0

Goat:  The trial of this guy has taken over a month.  Rat:  That's absurd.  Goat:  Why is that absurd.  Rat:  Because I can judge a guy in two seconds on social media.  Goat:  Some people like evidence.  Rat:  No time.  Just jump on the bandwagon and go.

Click for the original image.

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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 1, 2018). 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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Meta: No Connectivity Issues Today 0

Also, no clues.

Again, if you experience connectivity problems, please let me know, including the wording of any error messages you get and the time and date. I would love a clue.

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Facebook Frolics, Once More Breached into Dept. 0

The EFF offers advice on what to do if your account at the Zuckerborg was breached.

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Screen Germs 0

Mike Brooks explore the supernormal hold that keeps so many persons glued to their Androids and iJunk.

(Botched link fixed.)

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Facebook Frolics 0

Unpwned millions, but millions still pwned.

Does anyone else have the sneaking suspicion that Facebook’s “engineers” don’t know what they are doi–oh, never mind.

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(Sticky) (Unstuck) Meta: Down at the Farm? 0

(I’m going to stick this at the top of the page until I have a handle on what’s going on.

I shall put this down as one of those things and unstick this post tomorrow. The issue is still occurring intermittently, but, oh well.)

Off and on the past few days, I have been experiencing random time-outs when trying to connect to my website.

Read more »

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Spam Spam Spam Spam Spam Spam
Spam Spam Glorious Spam
0

I stumbled over this in my AARP bulletin: Pointers on dealing with spam phone calls.

Aside:

I swear the AARP knew when I turned 50 before I did. I joined, because, though I have some grumps with them, I generally support their positions.

Shortly after I joined, I was on a business trip to Princeton, N. J. The young whippersnapper at the front desk of the hotel reeled of the list of discounts they offered and an AARP discount was one of them. I said, “I qualify for the AARP discount.” (I was on expenses which would be billed back to the customer, but why waste money?)

He replied, “Yes, sir.”

I asked, “Don’t you want to see my card?” He declined.

I have never forgiven him.

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Geeking Out 0

Listening to KCEA on QMMP in a VirtualBox virtual machine of Windows 7 in seamless mode on Slackware 14.2 under the Fluxbox window manager while reading a Nero Wolfe mystery.

In the upper right corner of the screen, beneath the Windows menubar, is xclock running on the Slackware host; below it is the GKrellM system monitor with the “Invisible” theme, also running on the host. (I have used both GKrellM and Conky. Conky is a bit more versatile, but I prefer GKrellM because it’s more compact.)

Screenshot

Afterthought:

Fifteen years ago, I would not have understood a word of this except for the “Nero Wolfe” part.

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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 4, 2018). 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, “No Irish Need Apply” Dept. 0

Pap and Thom discuss the growing number of suits against Facebook for allowing employment ads that violate anti-discrimination laws.

(Embed fixed.)

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Geeking Out 0

Watching cartoons with Xine under the Fluxbox window manager with the peak_ocean theme on Debian Stretch.

screenshote

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Meta: “Add to Any” 0

I realized that, somewhere along the line as I migrated from here to there to my current VPS, I had lost the “Add to Any” plugin. It creates the “Share/Save” button at the bottom left of this post and makes sharing my posts to “social” media easier for the socialites among you, so I reinstalled it today.

It’s my kind of WordPress plugin: It’s simple, it’s neat, and it stays out of the way.

I used to publish my posts on my Facebook page via Facebook’s “Networked Blogs” feature, but that seems to have stopped functioning several years ago. I briefly considered finding a way to resume that practice, but decided it wasn’t worth having the Zuckerborg drop its tracking cookies all over my browser cache (the alternative would be to do all my posting from a “private” window, and I’m just too lazy . . . .).

This is, as I have said, an avocation, not a business.

I welcome and am grateful for all visitors and am most pleased that some folks find my work worth a visit.

I want to reach as many persons as I can, but there are some lines I shall not cross, and running nekkid through the Zuckerborg is one of them.

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iJunkies 0

Two men standing in front of an advertisement for the latest iPhone.  First man:

Click for the original image.

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