Double Standard

“Court documents, written by FBI agents who aided the investigation, revealed that the hackers tricked technical support staff into giving them access to the sensitive email accounts.
 
The hackers also posed as technicians from ISPs and other service companies to get passwords re-set so they could take over accounts and get at federal computer systems. All the attacks took place in early 2016.”
 
See Arrests over hacks of CIA and FBI staff
One of the frustrations I have over the US political scene is that Rs use the bully pulpit far and wide to accuse Hillary with using an “illegal” server and broadcasting classified documents when she was using proper advice from techies and experienced civil servants to institute her e-mail regime. She might have inadvertently transmitted a few classified (most retroactively classified) documents out of tens of thousands of e-mails, no consistent practice of carelessness. Meanwhile, folks who tow the line and used official channels get hacked in bulk and those Rs don’t even seem to notice. Perhaps USA would be more secure if every official used an individual server and domain rather than being part of a large target for hackers. Perhaps officials should take hammers to old/discarded equipment to prevent important information falling into the wrong hands.

Come on, guys! Hillary may not be the sharpest tool in the drawer but she did better than many thousands of others who didn’t even try.

Posted in politics, technology | Tagged , , , | 42 Comments

Italian Military Gets FLOSS

“Over the next four years, the LibreDifesa project aims to migrate all of the Italian military’s well over 100,000 desktops PCs to LibreOffice. This would make it the largest free software transition involving desktop PCs by a European public administration. The LibreDifesa project should help save EUR 26 to 29 million.”
 
See Italian military move first 8000 PCs to LibreOffice
Chuckle. The picture in TFA reminds me of my brief sojourn with the Canadian military. It was very brief and long ago but I still remember the horrid colours… Being interested in firearms and being able to hit targets at long range doesn’t ensure one will make a good soldier. 😉

Anyway, the Italians have figured out that they don’t have to stick with a single source of supply from USA for all their IT. Good for them. They wouldn’t do that for anything else. Why IT? So, they are gaining freedom from M$, saving money and getting better IT. It’s the right way to do IT. I hope they get around to using a FLOSS OS too someday. That will compound their savings and increase security.

Posted in technology | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Absence Of Grouse

One of the privileges of growing old here is that the province exempts us old coots from getting hunting licences for grouse. We have to follow all the other rules and carry ID showing age. Today, at sunrise, I went out to greet the grouse. Despite walking the edges of a large meadow amidst mosquitoes and heavy dew, I saw no grouse…

Wind was calm. Temperature was ~12C. I wore sweat pants and a sweater. I carried a trusty old Remington 1100 and a pouch with a shoulder strap. Eventually, I fired a few shots to test my ammunition which I had not used for hunting previously. It worked well, cycled the action nicely, fed reliably, patterned well… I also saw a red squirrel, a few songbirds, some mint and roses. No joy, just fresh air and exercise.

Posted in firearms, food, hunting | Tagged | 10 Comments

Bundling Redux

“The sale of a computer equipped with pre-installed software isn’t an unfair commercial practice because most customers prefer to buy a laptop they can use straight away, Europe’s top court has ruled in a victory for Sony.
 
“Failure to indicate the price of each item of pre-installed software” isn’t misleading, the Court of Justice of the European Union added in its ruling on Wednesday””
 
See Sony wins battle over preinstalled Windows in Europe’s top court
The endless loop is one of the big mistakes a computer-programmer can make. So can courts. Ignoring the fact that monopoly distorts markets leads to the view that monopoly is normal… Repeat ad nauseum…

What is it with courts to accept the status quo instead of recognizing fundamental principles of law and justice? Are they on the payroll of monopolists? What’s wrong with giving consumers choice? Nothing. This court has blundered like so many others.

Posted in politics, technology | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Bye Bye Incandescent Bulbs

“The China government will prohibit imports and sale of 15W to below 60W incandescent light bulb from October 1, 2016, leading to a complete end to use of such lighting product, according to industry sources.
 
The prohibition is beginning its third phase, with the China government prohibiting the import and sale of 100W and above incandescent light bulbs from October 1, 2012 as the first phase and did so for 60W to below 100W models from October 1, 2014 as the second phase, the sources said.”
 
See China to completely end use of incandescent bulbs
Wasteful of energy and material, the incandescent light bulb was a major advance over candles, gas-jets, and wicked lamps back in the 19th century. It looks like the reign of the technology will not be two centuries.

The transition to LED lighting has been remarkable. Just a few years ago LED lights became available but were expensive. Now, there are only a few incandescents left in my home, my municipality has replaced our street lights, and some governments are outlawing the old tech. Government is almost irrelevant in this as energy and material savings are huge. These things pay for themselves in a few years and last decades. Efficiency alone precludes staying with incandescent lighting even a few years more.

I notice folks can still buy incandescents locally but they carry subtle messages on the packaging:

  • Long life … Lasts One Year
  • 60 watt…
  • $5.98 CDN…
  • Made in Mexico…

Some are even sold as “antique” lights or “vintage”… Meanwhile, for just a little more money one can buy LED lights rated for decades and using a fraction of the power. Yes, the good old days of wasting tungsten and energy to keep the lights on are numbered.

Posted in politics, technology | Tagged , , , | 7 Comments

Left Out – VW Diesels

“Out of the 475,000 Volkswagen 2.0 liter diesel engine owners, approximately 210,000 individuals have chosen to partake in the $14.7 billion settlement that is awaiting final court approval. Under the settlement terms, VW and Audi owners have the option of selling their cars back to the dealership or having them fixed to meet U.S. environmental standards and clean air laws. In addition, owners will receive $5,100 to $10,000 compensation for their time and trouble during this scandal.”
 
See Money Over Cars: 210,000 VW Diesel Owners Decide on Vehicle Buyback
I love diesels. I wanted TLW to buy one years ago but she fell in love with gas-guzzlers…

Anyway, if I have anything to say about it our next vehicle should be diesel. Nothing but silence from VW, Canada, however…

Posted in family, technology | Tagged , | 33 Comments

Yes, Adobe, GNU/Linux Will Not Go Away

“Linux users have access to both NPAPI and PPAPI versions of Flash Player. However, for the last four years, the NPAPI version has been held at 11.2 and regularly updated with only security fixes while the PPAPI version (used in Chrome and Chromium based browsers), is in line with the standard Windows and Mac releases.
 
Today we are updating the beta channel with Linux NPAPI Flash Player by moving it forward and in sync with the modern release branch (currently version 23). We have done this significant change to improve security and provide additional mitigation to the Linux community.”
 
See Beta News – Flash Player NPAPI for Linux
One of the few remaining annoyances of using GNU/Linux in a world full of That Other OS has been the absence of full support/reluctance by Adobe.“Adobe Flash Player 11.2 will be the last version to target Linux as a supported platform. Adobe will continue to provide security backports to Flash Player 11.2 for Linux.
 
before:
update-flashplugin-nonfree –status
Flash Player version installed on this system : 11.2.202.632
Flash Player version available on upstream site: 22.0.0.209
after visiting http://labs.adobe.com/downloads/flashplayer.html:
update-flashplugin-nonfree –status
Flash Player version installed on this system : 23.0.0.162″
They’ve finally seen the light and have agreed to keep flashplugin up to date for GNU/Linux just as Google has threatened deprecation of Flash in their browser… Just yesterday, TLW was on the phone to “support” who was trying to get her to install an executable for TOOS. Come on folks, GNU/Linux exists and won’t go away.

Posted in technology | Tagged , , , | 6 Comments

Shame On My Country, Canada…

“it’s become increasingly common over the past decade or so to see laws being passed to either mandate the use of open-source software or, at the very least, encourage people in government who make procurement decisions to do so.”
 
See Which countries have open-source laws on the books?
I’m proud of Canada. It’a vital place and home of several generations of my family. One can still afford health care here, get a good education for a reasonable price, grow your own food or hunt/gather it, get plenty of clean water and fresh air, live in mountains, planes, deserts and forests, whatever you choose. However, when it comes to government spending money foolishly on non-Free software that the world can and does provide at cost as Free/Libre Open Source Software, Canada is as backwards as governments in Africa and the Middle East.

Canadians are just as smart as anyone. Canadians can figure things out. Canadians are resourceful. Then, why is our government a slave to M$ and “friends”? Those guys are not our friends. They want to charge several times what software costs if we develop it ourselves or in cooperation with millions of developers around the world. What’s holding us back? I don’t get it.

Posted in politics, technology | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

Linux – Justice Grinds Slowly But Eventually Gets Its Hacker

“Austin gained access to server credentials used by an individual associated with the Linux Kernel Organization.
 
Austin used the credentials to access four kernel.org servers located in a Bay Area data center, modified server configurations and installed rootkits and other trojans.”
 
See Florida Man Arrested for Hacking Linux Kernel Organization
This is good news. I hope the court charges this miscreant interest on the time he was roaming freely after the outrageous attack on kernel.org. He undermined confidence in all IT and caused worry and disruption to thousands of kernel developers and billions of users. There should be some dark cold corner of a prison somewhere suitable for his detention for decades. Perhaps in this Year of Trump there will be found a way to give him a slow and painful public execution. Perhaps Trump could balance the budget by charging access to the feed…

Posted in technology | Tagged , , , , | 17 Comments

Pigs Fly. M$ Pressures People To Migrate To GNU/Linux!

“The short answer is Intel’s Kaby Lake aka its seventh-generation Core i3, i5 and i7 processors, and AMD’s Zen-based chips, are not locked down to Windows 10: they’ll boot Linux, the BSDs, Chrome OS, home-brew kernels, OS X, whatever software supports them.So if you want to use Linux or some other non-Windows OS on your new CPUs, you’ll be fine. It’s OK, we checked.”
 
See Latest Intel, AMD chips will only run Windows 10 … and Linux, BSD, OS X
It used to be that M$ moved Heaven and Earth to force people to run That Other OS on everything out there. No more. In the Age of ARM and old PCs, M$ is deliberately supporting no hardware but the newest chips. That’s refreshing. TOOS, the disposable OS. Running 1K desktops with “7” on 3 year old PCs? Need the latest OS to fight malware/hackers or run the latest software? Go GNU/Linux! It will work for you on old or new hardware and you needn’t worry about paying M$ ever again and you may never again be forced to change your OS just because you buy new hardware. Life is good. It all turns out in the end.

Posted in technology | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Chuckle! Hoo! Hah! Trump Support Backfires!

“The founder of Latinos For Trump has been widely mocked for warning of a future with "taco trucks on every corner" in the US if Hillary Clinton wins the presidential election.”
 
See US Election: Trump backer’s Taco warning if Clinton wins
I’m not really sure what a taco is, but I’m pretty sure it’s a kind of sandwich, a combination of bread and other stuff in a unit. I love sandwiches. I’ve rarely seen one I didn’t like. I want to patent toasted whole wheat with mayonnaise, lettuce, tomato, onions, mushrooms and cheese sprinkled with garlic and pepper.

I think it’s great that Trump is warning about delicious sandwiches on every corner if Hillary wins. I think that’s a great endorsement of liberal values. I love it. Trump made my day. It was looking like nothing but hot dry wind until I read that…

Posted in food, politics | Tagged , , | 17 Comments

Lemaker Cello News

“Appologize to delay the Cello board again. We produced 10PCS samples on sencond-stage in July and sent to Linaro and AMD to debug. Still the problem is on the PCIE connector. The PCIE power rails, clock, reset signal and tx lane are all work, but only the rx lane can not get the signals. All other functions on Cello are now working well.
 
We already have all the components stocked in our warehouse and waite the PCIE problem to be solved, then we can begin mass production.
 
We also have prepared 50PCS free heat sink with fans for the first 50 orders.
 
Thanks for your support again.”
 
See There’s Still No Sign Of AMD’s Low-Cost ARM Development Boards
They were promised by June, but there’s one last bug being hunted down. It’s a biggy, PCI-e not fully functional, but it’s well-defined and soluble as long as they don’t have to make new chips… I need PCI-e for my RAID array which is now being tested on Beast III.

So, I’ll have to decide whether to buy some more Odroid-C2s this month or an imminent Cello. Decisions. Decisions. In the meantime, grouse season approaches. 😉

Posted in technology | Tagged , , , , , , , | 31 Comments