Is it bad that I think after a long day of Linux sysadmin projects, I feel that I need to ‘unwind’ by cutting the excess slack off of my primary Internet Ethernet cable and re-crimp a new RJ-45 end onto it (with sleeves! Woo!), so it looks nice and tidy going from my firewall to my cable modem?
I’ve had this idea brewing since 2011. It has manifested, evolved, shaped itself through my constant attention and dedication. I have a firm grip on my vision and its potential.
I know, and have known for a very long time that my project is *huge*. I say this with as little bias as possible – I consider myself a very modest person. I try to cover all of my bases, especially when it comes to dedicating so much of my time to a project I believe will succeed.
So after years of mulling over, perfecting, re-perfecting, trying to gather interested parties to team up with…to see another project spark itself out of the blue (and believe me, I’ve done my research) and gain instant traction and popularity worldwide; a project that hits so close to my project’s vision that it’s scary… it makes me very, very uneasy.
I am not without my envy, either. I can’t tell you how frustrating and disappointing it is for me to explain my project to others, those technically minded and those who couldn’t turn a computer on to save their lives… and have 99% of both sides look at me with confusing looks and responses such as whether or not it’s even feasible or realistic. I have wondered whether those thoughts by others are valid concerns for me to mull over, whether those people simply don’t believe I have the aptitude to pull a project like this off, or whether they simply don’t understand it. I wonder if I explain it correctly to people. All of this is a distraction from my goal; a temporary punch in the stomach that slows me down.
And to see a project so similar to mine pop up almost overnight with instant success, news coverage by major tech blogs and business/investment sites, and to realize that this is only the beginning of their wild ride to fame and fortune… is a major blow to my morale.
On the other side of the coin, it feels very good to me to see a lot of what I have been working toward verified to be an insanely popular idea. It feels good to see that so many of the ideas I’ve had actually be used by thousands of people, to be sparking a wildfire that is only going to get bigger. The community that is wholly embracing this new project is young and fertile, something I haven’t seen in years and rarely comes to light – only by those few that are daring enough to bet on something brand new and untested in the Internet community.
But I don’t want to live this dream vicariously.
This project that has seemingly appeared out of nowhere is causing me fright. I am both super excited and terrified at the same time. I want to join up with the company that is creating this phenomenon, but at the same time I want to crush them before they throw one last punch that hits the bullseye of what I’ve been working toward for so long. They’ve hit very close – close enough to where their community is using their tool for exactly the same reasons – but there’s one glimmer of hope in that their project isn’t geared toward it specifically – it is the Sun – a strong but diffused wave of light, reaching so far you cannot fathom to focus on any one object it washes over. I am a laser, a thousand times more powerful that hones in on a very specific object that many worldwide hold dear.
I am a laser.
I rarely click on links in advertising/marketing e-mails (which I’ve opted-in, mind you) that travel through click-trackers such as Constant Contact (though those are one of the more reputable ones).
I guess I feel that when I hover the cursor over the link, the text in my browser’s bottom left corner should be going to the domain I expect (usually the one from which the e-mail originated?). Or at least one that is easily recognizable and is ‘tied to’ the type of content I’m looking at in the e-mail.
Having verifiable, trustworthy link URLs is very important IMHO. It weeds out the possibility of a phishing attack and leaves the possibility of any ill intention up to my DNS server (which could have been cache poisoned, for instance..far less likely).
That’s it.. just wanted to blurt that out.
(“Dark Forces” was re-named to “Innerlink” after Midas had ceased to be a co-SysOp – to preserve the original SysOps (The Darkener & Midas), a name change was necessary). This is the story of the boards original creation.
-=How Dark Forces was Discovered=-
One night, The Darkener was tooling around with a term program, and
discovered a mode called “Host”. He was playing around with it, and he
thought to himself, “Wow! This is pretty cool! I bet I could just set it up
and have people I know call when I’m not here and leave me e-mail! And, I
could even put files in here for them to download! This is like a mini-bbs!
This is pretty cool!” So he fooled around with it, and talked to Midas the
next day. Midas reminded him that he suggested putting up a BBS before, but
The Darkener never really caught on to the idea.
That day, The Darkener downloaded Renegade ™ BBS package and fooled
around with it. “Wow,” he said, “This is even better than Host mode! I
could actually set up my own REAL BBS!!” He thought of a name, (Which was
origionally going to be “Deep Forrest” but after talking with Midas, and
considering different names, decided on “Dark Forces”. (It wasn’t until
later that they discovered that this was also the name of a computer game!)
(Other considerations were “Golden Myst”, “Total Darkness”, and “Black Magic” BB
Midas came over to The Darkener’s house the next day, and tooled
around even more with the BBS, making many suggestions. They made complete
new menus, ansi pictures, and put in many popular BBS Door games. The
Darkener and Midas were proud of their work and had Merkey call and check
it out. He said it was pretty slow (Yeah, Merkey..)
The Darkener spoke with his brother a while later, which asked “Why do
people put up a BBS in the first place?” The Darkener thought about this,
and concluded that “Well, I guess it is because it is cool to watch people
interact with eachother..It’s kinda like playing God or something..” The
Darkener’s thoughts on SysOping were widened by this question.
The Duke (SysOp of Fortress Drogan BBS (707) 586-8924) helped The
Darkener and Midas with many confusing things on the BBS that needed to be
configured. (Thanks again, Duke!! I couldn’t have done it without you!) He
was very patient of the rookie SysOp’s questions and explained them to The
Darkener and Midas (sometimes, over and over until they got it). He helped
with many things, including the Online games, which was murder to set up alone..
After The Darkener’s brother moved out of the house, (With his phone
line) The Darkener got his own line, as well as a better computer to run
the BBS on (Hmmm..Let’s see…286 is not a very fast computer to run such a
BBS on) a faster modem (9600 was fine for him, but 28.8 was better of course).
And here you are right now, reading this bulletin on the discovery of
Dark Forces BBS. Pretty interesting, huh? Hehe well enjoy. This place is for YOU
Rhythm is everything in music. It’s everything important about composing a song. It doesn’t matter if you’re a guitarist, drummer, pianist, anything. You build a foundation with rhythm.
Melody comes after rhythm. Melody is color, it’s spice… it’s the salt + pepper to the meat + veg which is rhythm. If you find a unique beat, people will latch onto it at the core.
Everyone is first exposed to rhythm in-utero (mother’s heartbeat) and they hear this for the first 9 months of their existence. I truly believe this has a huge impact on rhythmic inclinations throughout ones life.
A perfect picture of how I see “The Darkener” character.
Not sure which BBS this was on, may have been my own (Dark Forces / Innerlink)..
The year was 1996 and the message base was dedicated to users’ L.O.R.D. (Legend of the Red Dragon) character descriptions. “The Darkener” was my first longstanding online alias and has stuck with me through the fall of BBSes and the rise of the Internet. To this day I feel it as much of a name as own – if someone called out, “Hey Darkener!” I wouldn’t hesitate to turn around. ≈)
Grammatical and spelling errors corrected for embarrassment’s sake. Whoops, it’s still embarrassing ;) Actually, you know what? It’s not! I love the idea and character I created. It parallels a lot of what I was going through at the time, and always will to an extent. I have no reservations. Except it was way too easy for other BBSers to make fun of the name… “The Dorkener”, “DorkNerd”, etc…lol.
Date: 9:08 pm Thu May 16, 1996 Number : 169 of 169
From: The Darkener Base : Autobiographies
To : All Refer #: None
Subj: The Darkener.. Replies: None
Stat: Normal Origin : Local
Is a dark cloaked figure… He shows a resemblance to Death, yet his eyes are
that of a red hot fire… You see nothing in his presence.. A large black
cloak, dragging on the ground behind him, and two fiery eyes inside what
should be his face, yet seems only to be a pit of darkness… He is said to
be the kindest of people, IF you are on his side.. If not, he will do
nothing to hurt you unless you disturb his path in any way.. If so, he will
suddenly vanish and appear one last time in your soul, blackening it and
weighting it until it finally drops out of your body and to the ground… He
exits your darkened ball of hell and tears your chest open, ripping out your
heart, catching on every rib bone, every vein, artery, and any other bodily
organ… He shows it to you while you fall to your knees and beg for your
life.. It pulsates in his hand, pumping dark blood onto the soiled ground
beneath.. And before you close your eyes in total hopelessness, the exhausted
heart vanishes from his hands.. You fall to the ground and your eyes close
without control.. You mumble your apologies… He vanishes.. You die.
I just got “thedarkener.com” !!!
This site will transition to the new domain name in the next couple of days. Finally, the rightful owner has it – the mysterious, dark Warrior (Death-Knight, actually) from Legend of the Red Dragon.
I fucking love the Internet. =p
Roadwarriors know what it means to be able to pack a bag. Being mobile is very important to me and my line of work – I’ve come to depend on certain devices, tools and methods to not only make myself comfortable and able to work but to simply stay sane. There are too many things that change technologically to rely on the latest gadget that comes along for important things such as recalling a password, taking notes and looking up information.
Right now I’m sitting about an hour away from my home (main) office at my colocation service provider, Sonic.net. I house my bare-metal primary Internet servers here. I primarily use the server to host my websites, e-mail servers, DNS, and projects such as what is currently called Echonet.
Choosing Sonic.net was a somewhat difficult process (though the choice was obvious if not looked at from a financial-only perspective). I really wanted a data center at least semi-close to where I live (1hr away is doable) so if I really, really had to, I could drive down and fix something myself. But it wasn’t just that – Sonic’s atmosphere is something I love just being around. Like I tell most people, it’s like hanging out at a dot-com company before the dot-com bust. There’s a bunch of nerdy (cool) people walking around, playing arcade games and ping-pong, talking about their projects.. there’s the data center itself with Star Trek style security doors that open on one side, scan your RFID card *and* take your fingerprints, weigh you (so when you leave you aren’t holding a stack of rackmount equipment) and then let you in.
The office I’m sitting in now waiting for some backups to complete is specifically for colocated customers that need somewhere to work quietly. It’s an amazing perk to have access to all of these things…and like I said, I definitely do pay for it – but you know, you get what you pay for. I just wish I had more to throw down every month on a dedicated cabinet so my server isn’t sitting alongside many other peoples’ stuff, where a cord may accidentally get yanked, or worse. Maybe some day.
This, in addition to the fact that Sonic.net continually wins awards for respecting and protecting their customers’ privacy. This was just the icing on the cake for me. Not only are they technically capable of building and maintaining an infrastructure strong enough for thousands of people and businesses to rely on Internet access, hosting, etc., they really do strive to be the best out there regarding what I feel is most important this day in age – giving the customer the right for their data to be protected. They’re one of the most respected ISPs/data centers in the country (world?) when it comes to privacy and security. And that’s one of my favorite things about them.
Cheers, Sonic.net – thanks for giving me the tools, infrastructure, and security my business needs – and Street Fighter, of course.
So I’ve spent another day with Periscope being at the center of my ‘lazy’ attention span(s) throughout the day. A few observations:
1) I can tell that the fever will die down very quickly with its current feature set. The Periscope devs will really need to dig deep into what it means to livestream your life, otherwise the current fire around this (admittedly very, very awesome) phenomenon will very quickly dwindle down and fizzle out. There needs to be search. There needs to be categories. There needs to be more interaction. You’ve got the curiosity of the masses, you must be magicians and amaze even more to amplify its affect on the status quo, or you will be forgotten when the next shiny idea comes along.
2) Periscope reminds me of what Google Glass tried to be, but miserably failed at (perception…of the product itself). Glass is obscure, foreign – but everyone has a cellphone so it’s more socially acceptable to hold *that* up instead of having free hands while your evil cyborg Terminator-esque camera eye records all.
3) Periscope is the ultimate A.D.D. inhibitor. If you’ve spent more than a few minutes on Periscope you’ve noticed that people will usually stop what they’re talking about to answer comments that are flowing by. This is distracting for me (the viewer) when I’m really interested in the subject themselves. Broadcast mode has the ability to turn off comments, right? I know it’s very gratifying for broadcasters to see everything their viewers want to tell them as they’re broadcasting. Most will even read each comment aloud before responding, which is kind of a funny running trait of the Periscope crowd so far.
4) Periscope, right now, is the *definition* of a young, fertile online community. It reminds me of what YouTube was before it went commercial – curious individuals poking their heads out there, experiencing a new kind of way to experience reality. If aliens are watching us to learn about what humans are really like, they’re now watching Periscope…Teleportation, yes. You did it. Congratulations, Periscope team =}
I’ve been infatuated with Periscope for the past few days.
I’ve hardly been on Facebook. I don’t even *care* about Facebook anymore. I do admit I didn’t care very much about it already, but Periscope has become a really good reason not to waste time on Facebook feeling part-way disconnected from my friends. Living through pictures and comments and replies to comments is cool but kind of an “at-work” feeling environment now.
Periscope is sort of how I envisioned Cool Mic + Echonet at one point. I feel I’ve got some pretty good goals and app features laid out that set it apart from Periscope significantly (which also include a better initial business model), but I also know it’s a fast moving target (especially with the capital Twitter brings).
I’ve got to move quickly. Or jump on the Periscope train? ;)
June 29, 2015..a man working at an Athens’ central fish market waits for customers.
There was once a little fish who lived in a pond.
On a particularly sunny day, a very big horse walked over to the pond for a drink.
The little fish looked up at the gigantic horse in amazement and swam up to him.
“Horse, why don’t you live in the pond?” The little fish asked.
“Well,” the horse replied, “I don’t live in the pond because I can’t swim.”
The little fish smiled and swam away.
The next day, the horse walked back to the pond for a drink.
The little fish swam up to him.
“Horse, why can’t you swim?” The little fish asked.
“Well,” the horse replied, “I can’t swim because I don’t have fins like you do.”
The little fish smiled and swam away.
The next day, the horse walked back to the pond for a drink.
The little fish swam up to him.
“Horse, why don’t you have fins?” the little fish asked.
“Well,” the horse said, “If I had fins, I would be a fish, not a horse.”
To which the little fish replied, “I bet you wish you were a fish like me!” and jumped out of the water, making a splash.
“Well,” the horse pronounced, “I guess that’s what makes me a horse, and you a fish.”
The little fish then realized he was very hungry. He started swimming around, looking for food in the pond.
He grew tired as he searched and searched, high and low, all over the pond. After a while he swam back to the horse with a frown as he tried to think of how to get some food.
The horse had an idea.
The big horse walked to an apple tree near the pond. He found a worm inside of an apple on the ground. He pulled the worm out of the apple brought it back to the pond. He dropped it in right next to the little fish.
The little fish looked up at the horse, then down and ate the worm. “Thank you.”
The little fish looked up again and said, “Horse, I’m glad you’re a horse.”
“And I’m glad you are a fish,” said the horse, as he smiled… and walked away.
Copyright (C) 2012 (Published under the CC Attribution 4.0 International license)
Last night I had an incredibly vivid dream (one of a few, actually). In this particular dream sequence I had parked my car on a busy block and for some reason that escapes me, was walking around the block to get back to it.
I was looking down at the sidewalk and found a couple of dollar bills folded up together. I picked them up and felt very fortunate. I wondered if I would find any more. As luck would have it, I found more bills of different values in different places – some off in a bush, and a large group of them scattered in a grating of sorts in the sidewalk. I wondered if a homeless person had left them there. I figured they were mine for the keeping since they obviously didn’t mean much to its previous holder. I started picking them up, feeling very happy that I finally had some money. As I was doing so, two women walking by tried telling me that what I was doing was wrong. They objected to me taking the money that was lying by itself on the sidewalk. I told them to get lost.
I remember thinking that if the two accusing women had found the money themselves they would have had no moral qualms with pocketing it themselves and they were simply jealous of my good fortune. I felt as if they were simply squawking to squawk; conforming to a general consensus that I should rather go out of my way to find their rightful owners. For bills lying on the street that could just as easily blow away in the wind? I started counting my bills. I discovered that not only $1 bills were now in my possession, but $5, $50 and $100 bills as well. I could not believe I had found it all.
In the next sequence I was sitting down at a streetside restaurant on the other side of the block I was walking. For whatever reason, I had a cupboard of my own at this place, with old dishes and coffee mugs. There were people sitting around, eating and waiting to be served. I noticed a middle-aged NSA agent (complete with short hair, sunglasses and transparent, curly-corded earpiece) sitting across from me at the bar style main table. He reached over the table and into my cupboard, took a small green plate and placed it in front of him.
I looked at him accusingly. He did nothing. I looked at him strongly in the eyes and said, ‘You can’t just take that, that’s mine.’ He stared at me with no response as if he had no obligation to respond. Then, still looking directly into his eyes, I said, ‘You know, the LEAST you could do is ask.’
Apparently that last statement was as much as he could take. He grabbed the plate, opened my cupboard and threw it back in, slamming it shut in a temper tantrum. He then proceeded to grab me, shove me on the ground and attempt to hook some sort of information extraction device up to my leg. I remember a sort of a cross or ” + ” shaped electronic interface on my leg in which he was trying to shove a hose-type connector to, apparently to suck information out of me (obviously against my will and with as much force as possible).
In writing this I cannot deny the curious connection between me finding money and the agent taking my plate. I feel a sense of hypocrisy in my actions in this dream. But I am not a fan of dream analyzation – I feel that there is no “point” or “message” in dreams, rather they are endless landscapes to which play out scenarios that are loosely associated with feelings, emotions, ideas and situations that happen in waking life. An alternate plane of consciousness which has just as much meaning as the wavelength in which I am tuned to here. Still, it is an interesting and intriguing thing to ponder, no?
I am the Reflector
Direct it from me
Invade my consciousness
It bleeds around me
I hold my force field
It will come again
I’ll feel nothing
It may linger closer
I’ll accidentally let it in
We share the space
And even if we didn’t
I would find it somewhere else
Where am I?
Keep it from me
What am I?
Keep it from me
At times we pull from it
Stronger than others
Sometimes it runs dry
And we die of dehydration
It is the thing that we live from
We cannot pinpoint
But when it is here
We know it
We drink it
We live it
Spread your arms and yell
Keep the feeling close
We need it more than ever
This is a poem by someone on IRC named Benceno around 2003. He had written this and shared it in the channel (#poetry on DalNet I think). It was really cool, and I told him I liked it a lot and he seemed to take offense to it (he might not have believed I was telling him the truth). He seemed very protective of his work, probably an overly sensitive person. I saved the poem on my computer and it made its way onto my Palm Pilot, which I go through every blue moon and look at old poetry (currently I see 199 entries in my “Poetry” category..almost time to celebrate?). Here it is.
Mushrooms like heads exploding
were getting interrupted while
flavoring a mystic narcissism
which covered the heads of millions of laughs and tears
invocating strange treasures.
Like monkeys rehabilitating
or garbage in the center of the universe
I’d rather sleep than watch this miserable game
Reeling old naipes
I am fucking the wind in a constant speed
In any town of the world.
Storm thorugh the oceans
But keep the moon in place
Thrash through the desert
As long as I see your face
Keep it coming
I can take anything
You hide behind curtains
And the diamonds blind my eyes
A million treasured glimpses of,
Those bright, bright bursts of light
Keep me thinking…
Keep me dreaming…
But you escape me
Every fucking time.
I have to admit I didn’t think about Warrior much until the news last year. UW was my favorite wrestler (I was 7-10 years old around his heyday in WWF). At the time my parents were going through a messy divorce and I looked up to him as a pillar of strength and stability.
Last year memories came ‘running’ back to me full force when I heard of him passing. I started reminiscing, I was amazed that I had forgotten about someone I had admired so much. It would be like seeing a close family member for the first time in 20 years.. but when I started reading about who he had become later in life, I realized he and I share a lot of common philosophies about the world and the nature of reality. Those crazy promos full of (seemingly) nonsensical jabber about, spirits, meditation, “Parts Unknown”.. and so much other metaphorical genius that came from him.
My ego at times feels silly for mentioning how a fictional character in a fake sport somehow has become such a powerful inspiration to me still at age 34. But after reading Warrior’s Machette, watching his YT videos and reading about his personal interests made me see that all of that crazy talk wasn’t crazy at all. I’d love to know more about his experiences with meditation and OBEs. So many passed the esoterically centered promos and interviews off as random babble but those who have visited Parts Unknown, those who have SEEN the place they came from but just forgot a little bit… I just wish I had the chance to talk to him about it while he was still here. For now I’ll take what I can get. My heart goes out to Dana, Mattie and Indie.. May what Warrior stood for continue to be the brightest beacon in life for them and the millions of storytellers now and in the future. =}
Found this in /etc/network/interfaces on my BeagleBone Black..lol.
# Example to keep MAC address between reboots
hwaddress ether DE:AD:BE:EF:CA:FE
/me wonders what this refers to, if anything interesting….hmmm…..
13 Years after I start my business, trying to give people a clue as to how to do the “right thing” on the Internet…and I still see everyone using generic e-mail domains for themselves. “email@example.com” ….
*sigh* The world is doomed.
Stuck in the cruft
Of an illusion and a fantasy
Reaching up to find the solidification
Of what I can call real
But nothing is
A green folding plastic enveloping me
Reminds of my fantasy
A portal to that which is unseen
By the conscious, by the living
I walk the line of distinction
Day after day I beat him
The intangible reflections of ether
I’ll keep her
Recognize what is gained
What I can find for myself
And when I return I will remember
I will tally the embers, the echo chambers
And after a while
I will yearn to forget once again
What this is
Belt it out like you haven’t before
Let it out and perspire some more
This is what it’s all about
Live the life without a doubt
I have my entire music collection on shuffle. The past 4 songs I’ve heard were specifically about marijuana (Bone Thugs & Harmony, Dre/Eminem x2, Kottonmouth Kings)..
Make a song
With words that make you worry
Lock me up
And buy yourselves a jury
Gather the ones
That feel the same as me
Call us terrorists
And say we can’t be free
Stuff a blanket down my throat
Throw me off a one man boat
Tell them all I couldn’t stand
A white, a black or a Mexican man
Wake up, sleepies
Let’s write our treaties
It’s further along than you think
I’m in the sea
So hear me
Tomorrow we might not be free
I feel similar sensations each time.
Many times, independent original music is presented in different and unique ways.
The levels might not be “standard”, for instance.
Maybe the musicians are doing the recording themselves. Maybe there’s a single room mic capturing every instrument, every harmony as they intermingle in the (same) space that occupies the human beings creating them. Maybe one of the instruments is very slightly out of tune.
At first, I feel an awkward transitional stage. ‘It’s not what I expected’, I might think. I have an urge to stop it. This, I believe, comes from a lifetime of mainstream music consumption. I’m expecting a McDonald’s hamburger, and I’m getting a hamburger from a small town independently owned burger shack. It’s unique. Nothing else in the world will taste like this hamburger. It is it’s own standard.
Then I get what’s happening. I feel a slight bit of shame understanding that I’m judging an art form based on what is genrally accepted. I feel like I should give the song a bit more time to get accustomed to.
And then I realize the song is incredible. Many times a new favorite.
I still love my McDonald’s hamburger (hey, everyone has their own McDonald’s hamburger). But it’s always the same thing, right? There are a billion different hamburgers. Why eat the same one every time?
The two sides
Fit snugly together
Just one side
But you got it better
Wanna sit aside
And just waste away, but
Set my sights
My time’s going down the drain
If you don’t play the game
You’ll waste away
But I wanna fly away
I’m fucking my sanity away
I wanna waste away
Watching me move
With nothing to prove
Bounce back and forth
Sit still and clench
Keep myself in perspective
Keep myself in perspective
When cell phones started becoming mainstream I always sort of avoided them. Maybe it’s the part of me that resists change (I loved my pager, after all). But I remember even back then in the late 1990’s, I felt like the benefits of having a constantly-on radio on your person for the sake of communicating with others without resorting to (gasp!) popping a quarter into a payphone wasn’t exactly worth the risks to my personal privacy.
Triangulation is easy, and who wants to think about their cell phone company tracking their moves, even if it’s not so literal (I am well aware that no company or gov’t agency will pay someone to sit at a computer and watch my every step). Throw in the possibility of abuse by any number of people who have (or demand) access to this information, now or any time in the future and you have a recipe for complete mobile surveillance. I don’t feel like I have anything to hide, or that I do anything “illegal” or “wrong”, but that surely doesn’t give anybody the right to collect such sensitive and personal information about me.
I get that the ability to do these things with a cell phone is part of the technology that you can’t simply throw out (radios just work that way). But maybe I’m thinking that network providers should be forced to be totally transparent with their operations, given that they deal with such sensitive information.
Open source network operations?
Now a days, every cell phone comes with a camera(s). In fact, I’m not sure if you can find one without one (besides the “John’s phone”, thanks Gnor ;) ). You know what I don’t get? Why is there no simple mechanism (or even a software switch) that disables them? The title here says “Conspiracy Theory”, so my mindset is this: Every time I look down at my phone on my desk, the kitchen table, the couch, outside, I’m seeing this camera lens staring at something. When I’m on the toilet checking my e-mail (oh shut up, you know you do it too), I can’t *help* but wonder, even if it’s a passing (heh) thought, that the camera is activated and sending pics/videos/whatever somewhere that I’m not aware of.
Yeah yeah, I’m a fucking narcissistic conspiracy theorist nut. But I’m also a network and computer systems engineer + administrator. I know that it’s possible. In fact, there’s software already out there that makes it trivial to do this on your own with other peoples’ cell phones. IIRC there’s something out there that exploits (or did exploit at one point in the past) a security vulnerability in the iPhone over Wi-Fi, and activated the camera, and sends the video back to the offender’s computer.
This kind of stuff isn’t impossible to do, and so why *wouldn’t* powers that have access to millions of peoples’ little camera lenses and network connections try to exploit it for financial (or other) gains? I don’t think it’s that far fetched to assume there are systems like this already in place. Whether or not we have explicit knowledge of these systems is sort of irrelevant IMHO. I err on the side of skepticism when it comes to my personal privacy and freedom. Call me a conspiracy theorist, or call me a patriot. What’s the difference? America fought a bloody war over this kind of stuff not too long ago. I’d hate to see history repeat itself because we forgot to remember it.
Anyway…so let’s just assume that there are systems in place that do this. Why don’t smartphone/tablet OS developers simply put in a switch that disables the camera, you know, cuts the power, just like they do Wi-Fi and cell data? Why not provide cell phone cases with simple shutters, even if not to protect us from the boogie man, to protect the lens from being scratched by your keys in your pocket?
The Nokia N900 has a physical slider-shutter for its camera lens. This is genius. It’s simple and effective. My cell phone case doesn’t have this feature (in fact, I don’t know of any other phones that do), so I’ve resorted to little black squares of electrical tape that I just stick over both front and back facing cameras. Whenever I want to use them, I just pull them off. It doesn’t leave any sticky residue, either. Works great, and let me tell you, the feeling of knowing 100% that this can’t be circumvented is enough for me. Mission accomplished?
Now I just have to worry about applying the same concept to my microphone. ;)
Systemd seems to take control away from the console user. For instance, with Sysvinit, if I encountered a problem with a startup or shutdown script I could normally CTRL+C out of it and the system will continue on its merry way.
Today, I shut my computer down to air-dust it. When I hooked it back up and turned it on, it quickly mentioned about having to run fsck and then gave some other (normal) errors about my video adapter. From here, it simply sat there with no indication that it was doing anything. After about 3 hours (my wife and I went outside to wash and wax our cars), it was still sitting right there, with no additional log output to the console. So much for early-boot-logging, if you can’t view anything, right? I was completely in the dark as to whether or not the system just plain locked up. I hit CTRL+ALT+DEL, and the system started running toward the shutdown goalpost, and then somehow locked up doing that as well. I had to hit my ATX reset button. Luckily, the next boot went all the way in.
I can’t help but feel the same “locked out” feeling from my own console that I used to feel with MS-DOS. It’s a peculiar feeling, really. When I first started using Linux, I was weirded out by how you could hit <Enter> during almost anything on the console and it would carriage return. I felt like using tools like more, less, grep, etc. was like swimming in the middle of a lake, kicking fish around underneath me. Hard to explain, really. BUT, I got used to it. Very used to it. I felt then that I was in total control of my system, being able to break out of almost anything, pass commands via bash or busybox, because PID 1 was essentially a skeleton that allowed each bone to do its job on its own. If one bone failed, you still had the whole rest of the skeleton to keep the body upright. SystemD is like the T-1000. It may be ultra hardcore, but throw a little liquid nitrogen at it and hit it with a slug and watch the whole thing shatter into little tiny pieces.
Another qualm I have is that, due to the parallel nature of how startup items get processed, and this might just be my own taste, but when I log into X, other things in the background are still starting up, making my graphical login experience much more like…should I even say it? Windows. There. I said it.
Seriously. If I wanted my login to be hampered by other shit loading in the background, I would be paying out of my pocket for an M$ OS license. I think there is a very good reason for at least waiting for things to load before allowing a graphical login, for aesthetics sake. With sysvinit, I mean, one thing at a time, right? The greeter is last…so the system is lightning fast by the time you log in. I really don’t give a shit about fast bootup times – one of the reasons I use Linux is that I hardly ever reboot. Uptime is bragging rights. Systemd’s position is apparently that reboots are frequent. That’s just plain sad, really.
Systemd doesn’t currently give the proper tools (at least as far as I know – someone prove me wrong?) to deal with hung jobs (such as one time I encountered smbd having to wait up to 5 minutes to shut itself down, with no option for me, the administrator, to alter it at that point in time..I had to sit there like a fool and wait. It was like being stuck at a red light that won’t change). It assumes it is smart enough to handle unpredictability with its children, but at least for right now, it is the parent who thinks it knows everything. Thinks.
I am hopeful, however. I do believe in the project, as long as it is a fair and open process (no pun intended).
What if Facebook swapped words around in your posts/replies to make you look like you can’t type (thus others would partially dismiss what you’re trying to say) if you posted something that they (or their superiors) didn’t like?
On that same note, what if Facebook modified posts for certain people who view them? Would be very easy to manipulate (and not show modifications to the poster), they’ve already been proven to modify the kinds of posts appear in your news feed… what’s to say they don’t have a secret set of functions to automatically filter and modify content depending on who sees it?