A Techie on the East Coast

  • Proyecto de comunidad Hispana de GNUsocial

    Fabián Bonetti at 2015-02-26T22:15:20Z via AndStatus To: Public

    Ya somos cuatro usuarios en la sala de chat xmpp

    Esperemos que se sumen los camaradas para hace offtopic y hablar sobre la bonita red social GNUsocial.

    Están invitados.

    sala: gnusocial server: conference. mamalibre.


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    Aunque está bien que haya variedad, mi recomendación sería que llamarais a la gente a redeslibres. Siempre hay gente, se trata de todo tipo de redes y hay muy buen ambiente.

    Adrián Perales at 2015-02-26T22:03:47Z

  • idoric at 2015-02-26T14:36:33Z via AndStatus To: Public

    Cannibalism A-OK But Gay Kiss Too Much For "Walking Dead" Fans

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  • Avadiax at 2015-02-26T01:34:50Z via AndStatus To: Public

    Fascinating ... the Sahara desert is what keeps the Amazon rainforest alive.

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  • Media

    at 2015-02-25T23:24:31Z via AndStatus To: Public

    kenkeiras , mnd , sazius , Claes Wallin (韋嘉誠) and 6 others like this.

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  • 2015-02-25T14:57:43Z via AndStatus To: Public

    Just switched to tinfoil-sms since textsecure seem to be going in some bizzare directions first using GCM and now plans to do away with SMS. See:

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    It's not bizarre… but they're putting security and their extremely selective view of market reality first.

    Didn't moxie complain about GPG doing the same just a few days ago?

    uıɐɾ ʞ ʇɐɯɐs at 2015-02-27T01:57:31Z

  • idoric at 2015-02-22T01:51:23Z via AndStatus To: Public

    Sex redefined : “The idea of two sexes is simplistic. Biologists now think there is a wider spectrum than that.”

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    @Freemor and thanks for sharing and posting this. I haven't read the article yet but when I saw the note, I couldn't resist sharing this related article from 22 years ago. I think Dr. Fausto-Sterling may be a minor celebrity in Rhode Island.

    The article can be found in a format with more legible text, but I like sharing the original as I first encountered it (with images and columns) while browsing a bookstore in 01993. It was really an eye-opener (for me at least) then. What's interesting though is that I just completed a course in developmental biology (of all subjects) from a prestigious private university in Cambridge, MA in 02012 where the professor was dismally clueless about this subject (as shown in homework and exams where male and female were the only two possibilities for correct answers). Your note with linked article makes the professor's cluelessness all that much more vivid.

    Kevin Ford at 2015-02-22T03:34:04Z

  • Luis at 2015-02-21T12:16:40Z via AndStatus To: Public

    Lenovo Apologies for Superfish Scandal, Offers Uninstall Instructions

    Paul Lilly

    I have a better idea. Install Linux. No need to worry about crapware.

    World's top PC supplier admits it "messed up"
    Lenovo took to Twitter to issue an apology over Superfish, the visual search software it installed on consumer laptops and desktops without permission, and has posted instructions on how to remove it. Initially Lenovo issued a statement saying that it installed the software with good intentions and that there's nothing to be concerned about from a security perspective, though evidence points to the contrary.

    "We're sorry. We messed up. We're owning it. And we're making sure it never happens again," Lenovo posted to Twitter, along with a link instructing users how to remove the program and its digital certificate.

    The problem with Superfish is that it worked as adware by inserting ads into searches performed on Internet Explorer and Chrome (Firefox appears to be unaffected). Furthermore, it left a gaping security hole on users' systems that could allow for man-in-the-middle attacks.

    After news spread of the nefarious software, Lenovo tried to downplay the issue, saying that its relationship with the Superfish "is not financially significant" and its only goal was to "enhance the experience for users." In the same breath, Lenovo said it understood the concerns and had stopped preloading Superfish in January.

    One of our readers sent us an email to dispute Lenovo's claim, saying that "their statement that says they stopped pre-loading Superfish in January is false -- my laptop (a Y40-80) was manufactured on February 9, 2015, and included Superfish and its root certificate."

    It appears Lenovo got caught with its hand in the cookie jar, so to speak, and is now hoping that an apology and a bit of humility will win back the trust that helped it become the world's number one supplier of PCs.

    "We messed up badly here," Peter Hortensius, Lenovo’s chief technology officer, told Bloomberg in an interview. "We made a mistake. Our guys missed it. We’re not trying to hide from the issue -- we’re owning it."

    It's not enough to simply uninstall Superfish, as it leaves behind a root certificate that must also be removed (manually). Lenovo's instructions linked above detail how to perform both.


    #lenovo #superfish #fail #epicfail

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  • Danc at 2015-02-21T12:09:12Z via AndStatus To: Public

    What's new in FreedomBox 0.3 []
    By Nathan Willis
    January 28, 2015

    Although Bdale Garbee's only on-stage appearance at linux.conf.au2015 was as part of a panel Q-and-A session with Linus Torvalds, Rusty Russell, and Andrew Tridgell, he still managed to make news by announcing the release of FreedomBox version 0.3 during his remarks. For users, the new release adds support for another popular hardware platform, improves the integration of several software services with the Tor network, and sports a revamped user interface. Under the hood, there are additional changes to be found, including several security improvements and an update to the Debian base operating system.

    FreedomBox, for those unfamiliar with it, is a personal-server distribution designed to run on small, low-power hardware devices (such as plug computers) and provide a free-software alternative to many of the cloud-based services offered by popular web companies like Google. By running on small devices, it is hoped that users will keep their FreedomBoxes in their homes rather than at a hosting facility; that offers the user additional privacy protections (and helps guard against seizure by the authorities) in many legal jurisdictions. The project was announced in 2010, but development has been on the slow side.

    The previous release was version 0.2 in March 2014, which welooked at in May of that year. But FreedomBox's goals are ambitious: the project is designed to be an easy-to-use home server that can be configured and managed by the average non-programmer—since, the thinking goes, it is those members of the public without development experience who are most at risk to privacy violations. It is also true, of course, that non-developers make up the majority of the population: people with less technology experience are unlikely to set up and host their own email and web servers, even if they know it is a good idea.

    Consequently, a lot of work goes into making FreedomBox simple to set up and simple to manage. That starts with hardware support: the initial target was plug computer devices like the DreamPlug. Subsequently, the easy-to-find (and easy-to-get-help-with) Raspberry Pi was added to the supported hardware list. Version 0.3 expands the list further, adding support for the BeagleBone Black. Images built for the BeagleBone Black, Raspberry Pi, and DreamPlug are available for download, as are 32-bit and 64-bit VirtualBox images.

    FreedomBox is still based on Debian, but one important change in version 0.3 is that FreedomBox has switched over to using Debian unstable. The release announcement chalked this change up to a desire to ease development, although it also has the side effect of making newer versions of the various packages available. Another change worth pointing out is that previous releases allowed root logins with a well-known password. As of 0.3, root login has been disabled, and any customization on the user's part must be done through thesudo-capable user account "fbx."

    But, as was the case in version 0.2, configuration of FreedomBox is meant to be performed through the Plinth web interface, not through a terminal session. Plinth underwent an overhaul in the recent development cycle; it is now a Django application running on Python 3 and making use of the Bootstrap framework. It is hard to say definitively whether or not the redesigned Plinth is faster to any meaningful degree, but it certainly does work well and, in my estimation, is less buggy than the web interfaces found in DD-WRT or OpenWrt (both of which have been known to hang from time to time).

    Perhaps the best feature of Plinth in the new release is that it provides a straightforward way to check on the status of the various services running on the FreedomBox and to painlessly install new ones. Out of the box, for instance, the 0.3 release does not haveownCloud set up, but one click in Plinth will download and install all of the package dependencies and initialize ownCloud. The release announcement pointed out one known issue: users must manually remove (or rename) the /etc/owncloud/config.php file after installing ownCloud, but the remaining setup can be managed through Plinth. There are still several other applications that interested users must install from the command line (such as ikiwiki), but ownCloud is a large application, so making it painless to install is quite an achievement.

    ownCloud is one of the supported applications—and is perhaps the most important one for many users, since it offers such a diverse feature set (file storage, collaborative editing, calendar and address book synchronization, etc.). Chief among the other services, though, is Tor support. Out of the box, FreedomBox configures and starts a Tor bridge(i.e., an unlisted relay node). The bridge supportsobfsproxy, with the obfs3and ScrambleSuittransport plugins. This disguises Tor traffic to make it harder for intermediaries to detect (and block) Tor.

    Tor support has also been enhanced on the other end of FreedomBox connections. Many people use a Dynamic DNS service to connect to their FreedomBox from the Internet at large, but there is an inherent risk in doing so: the connections can be logged by any Internet Service Provider or backbone provider along the route, which discloses the existence of the FreedomBox and could lead to it being blocked. In FreedomBox 0.3, there is another option: the server can be configured to run as a Tor hidden service. One click in the Plinth UI is all that is required, after which the server can be accessed from any machine running Tor via a protected .onion hostname. Both ownCloud and theejabberd XMPP chat service have been tested to work with this new feature.

    There are several other minor updates to be found in the new release, such as automatically launching the FirewallDfirewall to block risky services and ports. But for the most part, 0.3 is an incremental update: more polish, more work on fundamental privacy and security issues. It is tricky to gauge FreedomBox's chances of becoming a runaway hit with the non-technical masses, though it is probably safe to say there are still some pieces missing (such as email and social networking). As it stands today, though, version 0.3 offers enough functionality that potential users who have been monitoring the project waiting for a stable release may wish to consider deploying it in their home.

    Yes, that will be an easier task for those who are already well-versed in using Tor, configuring ownCloud, and installing packages withapt-get. But the progress since 0.2 is clear; rebasing on Debian unstable ensures that packages like ownCloud and Bootstrap will be up-to-date, Plinth is easier to work with, and the privacy features are compelling. And the more people from the community to put it to the test, the better FreedomBox will get.
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  • 2015-02-18T19:40:38Z via Dianara To: Public CC: Followers

    Playing around on my XO-1 that was looking lonely and forgotten.. up to the latest firmware from OLPC and now messing about with a few other distros. (namely tinycore and Puppy)

  • 2015-02-18T16:01:42Z via AndStatus To: Public

    Ok, we got snow.. you've seen the pics.. but this poor guys area got SNOW!!!
  • 2015-02-18T01:27:15Z via AndStatus To: Public

    Liking 'WIFI Privacy Police' that just showed up in #f-droid

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  • Hey, it was worth a try ;)

    at 2015-02-17T15:00:10Z via AndStatus To: Public

    sudo apt-get install spring

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    The installer got to 50% of the process before realizing 'spring' wasn't found?

    That's a pretty crappy installer xD

    JanKusanagi at 2015-02-17T14:11:30Z

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  • 2015-02-16T16:05:07Z via AndStatus To: Public

    Front Door (door is 3 feet above ground level)
  • 2015-02-16T15:59:38Z via AndStatus To: Public

    Same window as yesterday, other side

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  • 2015-02-16T15:58:05Z via AndStatus To: Public

    Finally partly dug out

    Kete Foy , Tobias Diekershoff , George Standish , Christopher Allan Webber like this.

    I'd have to just move south. ;)

    jpope at 2015-02-16T16:19:33Z

    @jpope You'd have to dig out first :)

    Christopher Allan Webber at 2015-02-16T16:57:55Z

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  • 2015-02-16T12:41:42Z via AndStatus To: Public

    Thank-you #f-droid I now have a privacy respecting way to save pages to read later thanks to #'Save for Offline' which recently showed up n the repo

    Olivier Mehani , cmhobbs , Bd Sn , lostson like this.

    Thanks for mentioning this. Just installed it. Looking forward to using it. :)

    Kevin Ford at 2015-02-17T02:59:41Z

    I'm using Wallabag for that, so I can do this across platforms (app also in F-Droid).

    Olivier Mehani at 2015-02-17T23:26:56Z

  • Evan Prodromou at 2015-02-16T02:13:35Z via AndStatus To: Public

    I love my ridiculous Neptune Pine

    About 2 years ago, I signed up for the mailing list for the Neptune Pine, an Android wearable device that put a fully-featured phone where your wristwatch goes. The device hit a few of my hot interest points: radically different devices, Montreal startups, next-generation Android OS.

    When the Kickstarter launched in December 2013, I signed right up, and kept an eye on the updates. They weren't great. Originally scheduled for 'a few weeks', the release was delayed a long time.  The reviews from CES were pretty unkind, and when the first devices were released to reviewers in September, they were still unkind.

    So when my Pine finally arrived in December 2014, I didn't have very high hopes of it being more than a novelty. I had an iPhone 5 as my daily-use phone, and I couldn't see switching to the Pine. (I also don't keep a lot of spare SIMs lying around.) It was also humongous, and honestly I was embarrassed that people would see me wearing it.

    But I tried it on around the house, just to give it a try. I finally had an Aha! moment when I was cooking. I had a recipe open on my Pine, and could check the next step in the recipe just by twisting my wrist.

    Hmm, I thought. There's something here that I need to explore. So I decided to give my Pine a week or so of real, primary-phone use. Yeah, it was still super-big, so I would be walking around with a slab of tech on my forearm. But I'm man enough to rock that look. And I wasn't going to miss out on an interesting experience just because I was scared people would think I looked dorky.

    That was about 4 weeks ago. The next day, I got a new SIM card, put it in my Pine, and put my iPhone away. I've been using my Pine for a few weeks now as my primary phone, and I figure since Neptune is going to be launching a new product soon, it's a good time to write up my thoughts and a review.

    "What is that thing?"

    The first thing I had to get used to was the questions. The Pine is so large, everyone notices it, and asks about it. At this point, I've explained what the device is to everyone I see on a regular basis, but I still run into folks who ask about it.

    I've stopped being embarrassed about it and kind of embraced it. It's a definite conversation starter. And, frankly, it makes me feel more like a tech thought leader and less like a fashion victim. A little tech anti-chic, wearing a device that is clearly version 0.1.

    I was in a coffeeshop in Toronto a few weeks ago and the barista saw the Pine. "Is that the iWatch? Cool!" she exclaimed.

    "No, it's---"

    Not waiting for an explanation, she called over the other staff. "This guy has the new iWatch. Check out how big it is!"

    Fine. "Yes, it's the iWatch. I love it. Yes, you should get one." Sorry, Apple marketing department.

    The one place I haven't gotten any attention for the device is at the gym. Everyone already has their iPods and phones strapped to their upper arm or thigh or whatever, so having a phone strapped to your wrist fits right in.

    Surprising moments

    The other thing I got used to was doing things in far fewer steps than with a pocket phone. I mentioned the cooking-from-a-recipe experience, for example.

    I listen to a lot of podcasts, especially on my 2km walk to work. In Canada in the winter, stopping to change a podcast on an iPhone requires stopping, taking off both gloves, rummaging around in 4 layers of clothes to find your phone, unlocking it, and then getting the podcast changed. With the Pine, I could (again) just turn my wrist, take off 1 glove, and advance to the next episode, all without breaking my stride.

    I began with taking off the Pine when I was typing, but I've started leaving it on. It's like a second screen, with notification, on my wrist. I'm also finding it much better for quick Web checks that used to stop conversations when I'd have to get my phone.

    One big initial problem for me was using headphones. There's a headphone jack on the right side of the device, but how do you connect to it? I tried doing it just loose, but the cord was everywhere. Then I tried running the cord down my sleeve to the device, which worked better but wasn't ever very comfortable.

    Finally, I got a pair of Bluetooth wireless headphones, which really changed everything. I can put the phones on and off without problem, and it's pretty nice for walking and running.

    Gradually, I've gotten to like the Pine experience physically. I can't say what it is, but there's something there. A full-featured device on your wrist feels like a step in the right direction. I'm not sure if the next wave of wearables is going to work like this, but I think it's going to be part of the conversation.

    Damn, this is a crappy Android phone

    Which makes it all the more frustrating that the Pine is such a shitty device. There are a ton of places where the shortcuts that Neptune took with the device show up for the user.
    • The device ships without the Google Play app store. I tried using F-Droid and the Amazon App Store, but eventually I gave up and side-loaded the Google experience.
    • The battery life is laughably low. I can get about 2-3 hours of light usage out of the device, which means any time I'm not moving it's plugged into the wall. I've taken to carrying a spare battery charger just to make sure I don't lose my phone entirely if I'm at a meeting for more than a couple hours.
    • The device specs are weak. It can sometimes take 30-40 seconds for apps to load or for the home screen to come up. There is a lot of staring at spinning wheel, and often the Android system will shut down apps for inactivity while they're still trying to load.
    • The screen is too small for some apps. The classic case is the "WiFi" security screen, which you have to scroll down to enter a password. But I've run into other apps where it's just impossible to scroll down, and modal dialogs ("I agree to the terms of service") make it impossible to proceed.
    • Apps are unstable. A lot of apps just eat it at random-seeming points. I think it may be badly-written display code that is expecting some minimal screen size and getting divide-by-zero errors when it runs into the Pine's dinky screen. Regardless, a lot of functionality goes belly-up at unexpected times, which is double-frustrating when you waited 50 seconds for the app to load in the first place.
    None of these are insuperable problems, but they require some concentration on the part of Neptune -- filing bugs with app developers, building up a better relationship with Google, releasing updated OS versions with OTA updates.

    But it's pretty clear that supporting the Pine isn't in their plans -- they have a new device coming out, and there hasn't been a lot of communication about the Pine since the first few started shipping.

    The upshot

    The upshot is that after 4 weeks I'm pretty hooked on this unwieldy, gigantic hunk of plastic attached to my wrist. I haven't had the incentive to switch back to my iPhone yet, and I'm not sure what is going to get me to do it.

    My wife and my co-founder both rolled their eyes when I told them I'm keeping the phone I was experimenting with temporarily as my full-time device. I think they'll get over it, although for Matt it's probably frustrating to have every VC meeting we do start with a 5-minute discussion of my watch.

    I'm hopeful for the next generation of wearables. I think we're in for some cool experiences. I've had an OpenMoko Freerunner, a ZTE Open, a Nokia N800, and an Android G1. I'm happy to be the dork who tries the new thing when it's still ugly as sin and totally unusable. And I feel like this Pine might be part of the next solution.

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    No, I haven't tried any Android Wear stuff. I've got a Pebble that I got for Xmas, which I like, but which doesn't have the same versatility as the Pine. Full keyboard is pretty great.

    Evan Prodromou at 2015-02-16T02:40:48Z

    X11R5 likes this.

    Thanks for the detailed review, Evan. Do you think you'll try their next product?

    Kevin Ford at 2015-02-16T03:06:27Z likes this.

    You have made me want one, time to wait for something with better hardware then.

    Aqeel Zafar at 2015-02-16T14:59:11Z

    A pocket watch version would be tempting indeed.  I haven't worn a wrist watch in decades, and my pocket watch gave out about the time I ended up with a cell phone (not too long ago).  I could see a pocket watch form factor replacing my phone for many things... except perhaps the camera. Although that could conceivably work for *taking* photos, just not viewing them on that small of a screen. at 2015-02-16T15:26:38Z

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  • 2015-02-15T13:14:17Z via AndStatus To: Public

    OK, Enough with the snow already!!

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