A Techie on the East Coast

  • Hacked (Hardware) my Bluetooth headphones

    2016-04-26T13:50:11Z via AndStatus To: Public

    Now my Bluetooth headphones will last forever. #HackAllTheThings

    For those unfamiliar with the problem the tiny battery inside BT headphones like these only last about a year and then rapidly stop holding a charge. Now I can use reghargable ER9V batteries forever.

    Went with the 9v because its form factor rests beautifully on the little shelf at the back of the neck.

    Tomorrow I'll put it to a nice long test to see how long this 9V lasts..

    White stuff around battery and board - ThermoMorphic plastic

    Board - DC-DC converter to drop the 9V to the 3.5V the headphones like.

    Switch - scavenged from old stuff. Needed because the board has a small parisitic drain even when the Headphones are off.

    pctecserver , Charles ☕ Stanhope like this.

  • Dear app developers....

    2016-04-23T15:06:51Z via Dianara To: Public CC: Followers

    ctrl-w == close Window

    ctrl-q == Close app

    ! shift+ctrl-Q

    ! Some random combo

    Just Saying....

    ctrl-d == acceptable for interactive CLI things

    Jose Carlos Jimenez , like this. shared this.

    I think you're mistaken.  Ctrl+W closes the current tab.

    Benjamin Cook at 2016-04-24T03:07:20Z

    ooops right.. (again cause #Andstatus fails to make it show up here)

    Mostly was just a rant because I get so frustrated when I'm whizzing along in my keyboard centric work flow and then it all comes to a complete stop because someone has decided to use a non-standard key for one of the above. And I have to figure out which non-standard key thay want.. and then try to remember the app X needs key Y for next time..

    Those times just feel like random and un-necessary speed bumps.

    Freemor at 2016-04-24T12:05:44Z

  • hmm..

    2016-04-22T00:55:10Z via Dianara To: Public CC: Followers

    anyone have an idea why is 503ing scrobbles done over Tor?

    I suspect it may be a CloudFlare thing as and both throw a cloudflace captcha

    strangely does not but the page also does not load correctly

    Freemor at 2016-04-22T00:59:30Z

    If is behind Cloudflare then that is cause for a major bug report as Cloudflare and freedom exclude one another.

    Freemor at 2016-04-22T01:01:13Z

    Yep, definitely Tor related.. setting to bypass Tor fixes the issue.

    Hrumph... Grrr...

    Freemor at 2016-04-22T01:23:22Z

  • Interesting new project that has come to my attention

    2016-04-11T11:37:01Z via Dianara To: Public CC: Followers

    The first distributed tool for a new Sharing Economy

    "With the alpha version of “Sharings,” we’re laying the foundation to turn GNU social into the distributed standard of the Sharing Economy."

    Charles ☕ Stanhope likes this.

    Kevin Everets shared this.

  • America is being watched from above. Government surveillance planes routinely circle over most major cities.

    at 2016-04-11T10:43:07Z via AndStatus To: Public

    Freemor , , shared this.

  • Got Andstatus gong again.

    2016-04-10T20:46:05Z via Dianara To: Public CC: Followers

    Had to blow away and re-add the account so the history wouldn't go back far enough to pull in the damaged posts.. but it's alive again.

  • Hmmm...

    2016-04-10T11:50:28Z via Dianara To: Public CC: Followers

    looks like some messages posted a few days ago with an incorrect date/timestamp and causing #Andstatus to choke. it gets to those ones and then won't pull in anything more.

    Bugreport time :D

    Kyosuke at 2016-04-10T18:46:15Z

  • Latest Blog post

    2016-04-09T14:29:48Z via Dianara To: Public CC: Followers

    Stop Calling it Sharing

    2016-04-09 by Freemor

    I'm getting tired of term "Sharing" or "sharing economy" being applied to things that clearly are not sharing. It muddies the waters in discussions of these services, it more about marketing then the reality of the situation, and frankly it's highly inaccurate.

    Sharing is something does without profit in mind.

    • If I let you borrow my car for free that's sharing. If I charge you for the use of my car, I'm offering a paid service.
    • If I let you stay at my place for free because I have the space, that's sharing. If I charge you it is a service. If we make an arrangement where I stay at your place in exchange that is barter.
    • If I give you half my chocolate bar for free, thats sharing.
    • If I trade you half my chocolate bar for one of your cookies, thats barter

    Things like Uber, AirBnB, etc. are not about sharing. There is an exchange of funds involved. The companies provide a service to people how in turn provide a different service to clients.

    If you go to Uber's "Drive" page it is quite clear from the wording that this is not about sharing. Phrases like:

    "earn what you need"


    "we deduct a service fee"

    clearly show that this has nothing to do with sharing. So any references to Uber as a sharing service are completely inaccurate. It is a business plain and simple.

    So with the "sharing" mystique stripped away it is clear that Uber is just another taxi service and thus should be regulated like any other taxi service.

    AirBnB is about the same, their website starts off with:

    "Rent unique places to stay from local hosts in 190+ countries." (emphasis mine)

    Renting is not sharing. Also the "Hosts" pay a service fee to AirBNB:

    "You'll only pay a 3% service fee".

    So, once again we have a Company offering a service to people who offer a different service to clients. No Sharing. And with the "Sharing" mystique once again stripped away it's clear that this is just an unregulated hotel service.

    So can we please stop referring to companies like this as "sharing" or being part of a "Sharing Economy". The use of that term is nothing but marketing buzz and an attempt to try and duck regulations that are generally there to protect the public.

    Now if you take a site like CouchSurfing you'll be looking at something that is about sharing. Accommodations offered for free. No stings attached. No earning or service fees. However the company providing the site is not entirely in the sharing business, from their "Terms of use" we see:

    "Couchsurfing may offer the opportunity to purchase products and services from third parties. You acknowledge that such products and services are offered and sold to you by one or more third parties. For more information, please refer to the applicable third party's terms of sale and privacy policy that are presented as part of the checkout process."

    So even though CouchSurfing facilitates sharing they are in it to make a buck. They are a business. They are offering a monetized service.

    I am in no way disparaging CouchSurfing. Everyone needs to eat. And bravo! they are facilitating actual sharing. Good for them. I'm just saying that their motivations are not entirely selfless.

    I am also not saying that there is a dearth of sharing. Certainly the capitalistic society in which we live tries hard to push people away from sharing, as it is bad for their bottom line. Even so, I have seen many people offer public spaces and resources on-line for altruistic and/or selfless reasons.

    People who run Tor nodes are sharing their bandwidth and computer resources. The same goes for people running I2P nodes, or people running publicly available nodes or Diaspora pods. There is also the thousands of people that devote their time and energy to creating freely available GPL'd software.

    So there is definitely a sharing economy out there. It just isn't the one you hear about. And sadly the "Sharing Economy" that is getting all the press isn't about sharing at all, just more capitalistic endeavours trying to wrap themselves in a palatable and marketable guise.

    from: My Blog , House of Small Dogs , juancuyo , EVAnaRkISTO and 8 others like this.

    Colegota , juancuyo , EVAnaRkISTO , Claes Wallin (韋嘉誠) and 3 others shared this.

    The "sharing economy" is a way for companies to extract value from social interactions that were previously done for free.  They turn casual favors and altruism into profit opportunities.

    Benjamin Cook at 2016-04-09T16:43:23Z

    EVAnaRkISTO , , gledof like this.

    Very well put.

    Freemor at 2016-04-09T17:28:51Z

    Completely agree about the "Sharing Economy" not being about actual sharing. It's a misnomer and conflates it with the gift economy of free software and culture.

    I disagree that they "extract value from social interactions that were previously done for free". What they do is extract value from social interactions that previously didn't happen at all. That's why they are able to charge a fee.

    Claes Wallin (韋嘉誠) at 2016-04-10T08:48:07Z

    X11R5 likes this.

    OK, so tax appropriately.

    Mike Linksvayer at 2016-04-16T19:12:16Z

  • a Trump answer analyzed

    2016-04-07T15:57:43Z via Dianara To: Public CC: Followers

    A very nice lexical analysis of Trump's aswer to a simple question.

    Charles ☕ Stanhope , Jason Self like this.

  • Oh bother... (or why I refuse to talk like I'm 3)

    2016-04-07T13:51:00Z via Dianara To: Public CC: Followers

    So, Here we have a text editor that only let you use the 1000 most common

    English words. Why? Because "Only using the top 1,000 words makes the text

    really easy to read". The problem is that only using 1000 words make us all

    less intelligent, intelligible, and precise.

    There is no accurate way I can describe a networking problem to someone using

    just the top 1000 words. Nor should I, or anyone for that matter try. The other

    party will come away with a very confused idea of what is going on. Whereas, if

    I use the correct, precise and accurate terminology and take the time to

    explain terminology they do not understand they will have a much better

    understanding of what is going on.

    So, why am I so irked by this 1000 words thing. Because to me the desire for

    this is the epitome of the dumbing down of the general population (mostly in

    North America and especially in the United States). According to this article a

    3 year old child (36 month) should have a vocabulary of 1000 words. Do we

    really want to encourage people to write, think, and talk like 3 year olds.

    Sure it is "easy to understand" most three year olds are. At least until they

    bump up against an object or concept that they lack the vocabulary for and then

    become frustrated at being unable to communicate. Then things get messy.

    Proper terminology is so important to discussing any subject. If you limit

    yourself to reading and talking like a three year old, you are limiting

    yourself to thinking like a three year old. And I'm probably insulting the

    three year old there because the three year old is probably very interested in

    acquiring and using new vocabulary.

    So can we please return to the days when having a good vocabulary was

    something to be proud of.

    Charles ☕ Stanhope , Jason Self , , Benjamin Cook like this.

    Admittely, you can say lots of things using just those 1000 words, it's just way more verbose and if you start needing any kind of precision a number of word combinations will turn into something that is basically used as a new word.

    Other than that, using a big vocabulary can be a double edged sword: it can improve communication by improving the precision, accuracy and concision, but it can also be used to limit it, either by turning a text into a sterile show of learning or by actively discriminating those who had no chance to learn that vocabulary, expecially if they are not native speakers¹.

    I don't think that limiting oneself to 1000 words is the right solution, and I agree that explaining words that — in the context of that specific communication — are not common is a better option, but I do think that the concerns raised by those who propose such things are valid.

    ¹ unless they are native speakers of a romance language, who end up having to duckduckgo up "erudition" because they don't remember the word "learning", but that's not really the point :)

    Elena ``of Valhalla'' at 2016-04-08T16:38:54Z

    Stephen Michael Kellat likes this.

  • Know I'm preaching to the choir here but...

    2016-04-05T14:38:27Z via Dianara To: Public CC: Followers

    He who controls the server and software 'owns' the device

    2016-04-05 by Freemor

    With recent articles like this and this, I felt it was important to point out the golden thread running through these. Which boils down to one thing. "He who controls the software and/or server controls the device" at least in devices like these.

    When buying a product that is Internet ready or Internet connected it is very important for people to ask the question "What happens if the Internet part goes away?"

    For some products it's no biggie, like say a media player that downloads from a specific site, but also let you put your own music on. In this case the Internet part is more of a "Value added" piece then an mandatory one.

    Then there are things like the Google Chromecast. If the Internet back end goes away because Google decides to move to ChromeCast V3.0 and not support earlier ones, then the device will become a brick. useless. And due to the lack ofsoftware freedom in these devices there is nothing the owner can do.

    This same thing is true of an ever increasing number of products. Especially as we move into the whole "Internet of Things" (IoT) world. One of the reasons that businesses are so hot on the IoT idea is the reach it gives them over the product. This was seen with Kindle when amazon reached into thousands of devices andErased the book 1984.

    There are two separate issues at play here:

    • Who controls the software
    • Who controls the server

    The "ownership" of the device hinges on these two things. Lets look at each of them.

    Who controls the software

    If you do not control the software on the device, then it controls you. You do not own that device. The person that controls the software owns it.

    When I talk about control I am not talking about how "Usable" the software is. I'm talking about the users ability to Change, modify, study, etc. the software on the device.

    If you can't change the software at all them you have absolutely no control.

    If you can swap one opaque mass of software for another opaque mass of software you have the limited illusion of control

    Only when you can Study the software to see how it works, Change it to work the way you want it to, Share the changes you've made and have the freedom to use the software in any way you choose do you truly control the device.

    Sadly an ever decreasing number of devices fall into this category. Even many devices that appear free, like the Raspberry Pi, are actually Not truly so due to the fact that they can not work without some opaque bit of software. In the case of the Raspberry Pi it is impossible to boot the device without software that is not in your control.

    Who controls the server

    This question is either of slightly less or equal importance to the "ownership" of the device based on what the server bit does.

    If the server bit is strictly "Value added", as in the device will continue to function completely without the server. Then the question is a minor one.

    However increasingly, and by design, devices will not function if the server is gone.

    Now if you have freedom in the software as mentioned above. It wouldn't be an issue. You or someone else could study the software, change it to use a different server or to not need the server and then share that change to the world. Problem solved.

    Sadly as mentioned above it is a rare device where that can be done. Partly because most software licenses prevent you from doing any of those and thus from using the software any way you want

    So lacking freedom in the software and being tied to a server that you don't control means that not only can you not fix, or modify the device, you are now entirely at the whim of the person that controls the server. What if the server says to delete all your stuff? Nothing you can do. The device wont work without the server so you can't prevent it from connecting and once it does bang your stuff is gone.

    It goes well beyond just deleting your stuff. The server could push out an update that kills the device. Now it wont even turn on. Or they could just shut down the sever, Again you're stuck with a useless device. It is also important to remember that the connection to the server is a two way street and can be used to spy on anything you do with or near the device, as Windows 10 does and it looks likeOcculus Rift will.

    As the whole IoT thing takes off this is going to become a huge issue and one that customers need to pay attention to. An IoT fridge that you do not control could be remotely told to not keep food cold anymore when the manufacturer decides it is time for you to buy a new one.

    Think that is far fetched? There have been printer out there for years now thatdecide to stop working based on a software counter in the printer. There is absolutely nothing mechanically wrong with them the software just decides "Sorry I'm done.. go buy a new printer". If manufacturers are willing to screw with you like this how much more so when they can reach over the network and do what ever they like to your device?

    So the next time you buy an electronic device ask, Who controls the software? Is the server part "Value added" or mandatory? Can I change the software? Can I run my own server? And ultimately, Do I want to buy a device I will not "own or control".

    Tagged as free softwareiotprivacy

    from My Blog 

    Fixed First 2 links

    Claes Wallin (韋嘉誠) , Jason Self , Benjamin Cook , Charles ☕ Stanhope and 1 others like this.

    Claes Wallin (韋嘉誠) shared this.

  • Brussels terror attacks: Why ramping up online surveillance isn't the answer

    2016-04-03T11:52:21Z via Dianara To: Public CC: Followers

    Claes Wallin (韋嘉誠) , Charles ☕ Stanhope like this.

    Kyosuke , Kyosuke , Kyosuke , Kyosuke and 2 others shared this.

  • A Phone is not a House

    2016-04-01T13:21:48Z via Dianara To: Public CC: Followers

    A Phone is not a House

    2016-04-01 by Freemor

    With the ongoing debate about strong encryption on mobile devices, I'd like to take a moment to clear up a misconception that I've seen tossed around and sadly accepted by too many people.

    To be clear anyone that reads my stuff will know that I fall well inside the "must have strong crypto" camp. So the views expressed here will clearly be coloured by that.

    The point I want to clear up is this new comparison of cell phones to physical spaces. The argument tends to go like this: "Peoples homes are private but the government can get a warrant to search them. So the government should be able to do the same for Phones."

    On the surface that may seems to make sense and I suspect that is why people are buying into it, but the truth is much closer to saying: "Peoples homes are private but the government can get a warrant to search them. So the government should be able to do the same for private conversations."

    What the government is seeking is not access to a physical space but rather retroactive access to private conversations. The government has never had the ability in the past to compel you to divulge what you said to your friend last Tuesday. Especially if such might be incriminating.

    By wanting all encryption breakable the government is trying to do an end run around your right to remain silent, or plead the 5th, or what ever the equivalent is in your country.

    Cell phones are by definition communication devices, not dwellings, not safes, not a place of business. Cell phones store and transmit conversations, which is speech, which has special safe guards when talking privately with another individual.

    Yes there are wiretaps and police can get a warrant to get a wiretap. But wiretaps have never been retroactive. Remember it's "You have the right to remain silent,anything you say may be used against you in a court..."

    How safe do you feel knowing that by breaking into your phone and having retroactive access to your speech, "anything you say" now includes much of what you said for the last 2, 3, 5 years. Did you have an indiscretion that they can blackmail you with? Did you joke with a friend about robing a bank? Did you talk with someone about the possibility of fudging your taxes a bit? Did you get really drunk after a break-up and text something that could be considered a threat? And on, and on.

    One of the reasons that speech is protected is because it is so easy to twist and use against someone. As the famous quote goes "If you give me six lines written by the hand of the most honest of men, I will find something in them which will hang him."

    We can not, we must not allow governments and police to have easy unfettered retroactive access to our speech going back years. It removes too many safeguards and tips the balance of power dangerously to the side of the already powerful.

    Keep private conversations private. Say No to big brother.

    from: My Blog 

    Guruprasad L , trish , House of Small Dogs , Sean Tilley and 14 others like this.

    Guruprasad L , Iñaki Arenaza , Sarah Elkins , EricxDu and 13 others shared this.

    interesting twist, at least in the US, passwords are also considered speech and thus subject to those protections against government coercion, but biometrics, such as fingerprints, are not. So at least here, the police can't force you to give the password to unlock your phone, but they can compel you to unlock it with a fingerprint scanner if that'll work by itself.

    David "Judah's Shadow" Blue at 2016-04-02T03:07:02Z

  • I've felt for years that Ubuntu was the Windows of the GNU/Linux world..

    2016-03-30T19:29:55Z via Dianara To: Public CC: Followers

    Benjamin Cook likes this.

    Ubuntu on Windows seems to me to be the natural consequence of

    Hoping to remove about 200 ifdefs from git-annex..

    joeyh at 2016-03-30T20:10:36Z

    Nicola Busanello , Scott Sweeny like this.

    The embrace phase continues.

    Jason Self at 2016-03-31T02:23:04Z

    Benjamin Cook likes this.

  • Ring Bandwidth VS. Other apps. (not antox.. it'd blow the graph)

    2016-03-21T19:25:21Z via AndStatus To: Public

    Fairly good representative of rings idle bandwidth usage vs. Other things on my phone also idling.

    The pinkish Phone/Messaging line is the android SIP Stack Staying connected to a SIP account.

    The White Linphone is Linphone staying connected to an account.

    Plumble is a mumble client.. connected to a murmur server here on my LAN

    Connectbot is SSH'd to my Server (also here on the LAN right now)

    In this block all are fairly idle, doing their usual background thing.

    Sorry about the toast.. forgot to stop NetworkLog while waking the screenshot

    what is the name of that bandwidth monitor, please? It looks nice.

    McScx at 2016-03-23T20:58:19Z

  • Best Explaination of Git for a beginner that I've seen

    2016-03-21T17:21:35Z via Dianara To: Public CC: Followers

    Elena ``of Valhalla'' , Charles ☕ Stanhope , Scott Sweeny like this.

  • Sign that you need more #Coffee

    2016-03-21T12:20:45Z via Dianara To: Public CC: Followers

    Trying to use tab completion on your SSH Key password.. D'oh!

    gledof , Jason Self , Efraim Flashner , Charles ☕ Stanhope and 1 others like this.

  • 2016-03-21T01:22:05Z via AndStatus To: Public

    Loving the new Ring app for android from F-droid. Easy, peasy video calls. Hope it can catches on.

    jrobb , Douglas Perkins like this.

    Douglas Perkins shared this.

    Oh, the new version added video? Great!

    Does it drain your battery? When I tried it a month ago, the background process was invisible and sucked battery life down in a real way. Presumably the developers were or are aware of this bug and have already or will soon fix it.

    Douglas Perkins at 2016-03-21T06:28:38Z

    Seems overnight Ring's Bandwidth usage has crept upwards. Still nowhere close to what antox was slurping up. Will watch battrey today and see if there is a big hit or not.

    Freemor at 2016-03-21T12:47:43Z

    If you're looking for anyone to test the chat with, give me a jingle.


    Benjamin Cook at 2016-03-21T16:45:47Z