Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Just a short one today - Oh yeah my @LindseyPelas dilemma is solved

When last we met I was wondering whether to pursue a 365 days of Lindsey Pelas (@LindseyPelas) or a 52 weeks of Lindsey strategy.  Well a power outage made my decision for me I missed two days of posting so 52 weeks it is (apparently my obsessions are not stronger than my laziness).

Monster Hunter Nation - Sad Puppies 3: Looking at the Results -
The real winner this year was Vox Day and the Rabid Puppies. Yep. You CHORFing idiots don’t seem to realize that Brad, Sarah, and I were the reasonable ones who spent most of the summer talking Vox out of having his people No Award the whole thing to burn it down, but then you did it for him. He got the best of both worlds. Oh, but now you’re going to say that Three Body Problem won, and that’s a victory for diversity! You poor deluded fools… That was Vox’s pick for best novel. That’s the one most of the Rabid Puppies voted for too.
Here’s something for you crowing imbeciles to think through, the only reason Vox didn’t have Three Body Problem on his nomination slate was that he read it a month too late. If he’d read it sooner, it would have been an RP nomination… AND THEN YOU WOULD HAVE NO AWARDED IT.
Honestly the Hugos have been meaningless to me for year, ever since I read about some idiot who wanted to strip Heinlein of his awards because he was a racist misogynist, so I only followed all this with a certain cynical detachment.  I also really don't understand this idea that WorldCon determines who true fans (or Fandom) are.  I have been a SciFi fan since I first read "You Will Go to the Moon"
(and yes I used the dreaded term SciFi, Fuck you Harlan Ellison) I don't need theirpermission to be a fan.  

As far as I am concerned the Hugo and the people who award them can fall off the face of the earth and it won't impact me a bit.  That appears to be what is preparing to happen.  My hope is that Sad Puppies 4 will start their own award that will be given on the same day and time as next years Hugos and hopefully upstage it quite a bit.

Wired - 12 Must Follow Feeds in the World of Security -

I'm not sure I consider Mr. Robot a must follow but I do follow or have followed at some point most of these feeds.

Discussing World Con pissed me off so lets have something lighthearted to cheer us up -

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Busy this morning so more of my latest internet obsession @LindseyPelas

I haven't decided whether to try and do a 365 days of Lindsey Pelas thing or not, honestly I probably don't have the energy or attention span.  Maybe a 52 weeks of @LindseyPelas (and again I hate you internet for never bringing her to my attention before), so anyway here we go:

and I am sure that one of my imaginary readers will complain about lack of content so - music:

and now a previous internet obsession Jana Defi

(honestly that looks a little uncomfortable, I see why she retired)

Friday, August 28, 2015

Who is Lindsey Pelas and other important stuff - What I am reading 8/28/2015

First thing first. Who the hell is Lindsey Pelas (@LindseyPelas)  and why have I never heard of her before?  I woke up this morning and she is all over my feedly page - which is in no way a bad thing - and I have no idea why, other than the obvious that is.  Anyway Lindsey if you are single and happen to have a thing for ugly, fat, old guys with no career and no hope of advancement or a meaningful life, hit me up.

Endgadget - NYC cabs will test app-based system to challenge Uber -
Around 7,000 NYC cabs are currently beta testing a new e-hail app called Arro, which the industry hopes can help it get back the customers it's lost to Uber. Arro isn't the first hailing app for cabs -- it actually works quite similarly to Uber -- but the startup believes it can do better than its predecessors. Why? Because; (a) it doesn't have surge pricing, meaning you'll just have to pay whatever shows up on the meter, and (b) it has a partnership with Creative Mobile Technologies (CMT). That's the company that controls the video screens and payment systems in about half of the 20,000 green and yellow cabs in the city.
I know I constantly bitch that Uber is given too much time and attention but I think this is a pretty positive story.  The app is going to fail, mainly I think because Uber has "cool" factor, but it shows that there is a response to "disruptive" players in an industry.  I am sure that Uber will be filing suit accusing the cabbies of breaking some obscure livery law that Uber believes they should be exempt from soon.

Bank Info Security - FDIC on Why Banks Need a Disaster Plan for Cyber Threats -
"We have always expected business continuity and disaster recovery considerations to be incorporated in an institution's business model," the report states. "However, in addition to preparing for natural disasters and other physical threats, continuity now also means preserving access to customer data and the integrity and security of that data in the face of cyber-attacks."
Makes sense, without customers the business can't continue and if you lose all your customer data, in addition to having a huge legal problem, you aren't going to have customers.

The Verge - Boeing Shows Off It's Portable Drone Killing Laser -
Boeing has been researching ways to disable drones with lasers for a while now, and this week, the defense contractor released new footage (below) of its Compact Laser Weapons System: a portable, tripod-mounted device that can burn a hole in a UAV or a quadcopter in seconds. The system is essentially a less-powerful version of Boeing's High Energy Laser Mobile Demonstrator (HEL MD), a truck-mounted laser that can destroy mortars in mid-flight.
It's no $900 flamethrower, with which all life's problems can be solved btw, but it's a start.

The Hill - NLRB rules against business in pivotal joint-employer decision -
The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) on Thursday handed down one of its biggest decisions of President Obama’s tenure, ruling that companies can be held responsible for labor violations committed by their contractors.
While the ruling from the independent agency specifically deals with the waste management firm Browning-Ferris, the so-called “joint employer” decision could have broad repercussions for the business world, particularly for franchise companies.
This is going to be bad, and cost a lot of jobs, especially in the lower end labor market, but at the same time what the hell did companies expect.  They have been treating workers like shit for years, they had to expect something like this to happen.  It will be interesting to see how many jobs Microsft, Google, etc start shifting overseas.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

I'm not reading anything today

Not that you bastards care.  :-P

OK that's not quite true I did read one article on VMWorld, which sounds about as fun as being anally violated with a rusty chainsaw.  This is the one time I am glad my contracting company doesn't pay for conferences.

I am also reading the first module for the VMWare class I am taking online.  Which is why you will not have my sparkling repartee surrounding the events of the morning today.

One other thing - I finished A Planet for Rent last night.  Interesting book.  Definitely a product of another time and place but still kind of fun to read.  Reminded me a lot of The Book of Chamelons.  Not in subject so much but in that tropical hispanic / latino / colonial cultural feel (says the guy with no insight to Hispanic / Latino / Cuban / Angolan culture).  Anyway if you are looking for a change up I would recommend it - EVEN THOUGH my recommendation will mean nothing because no one ever reads them.  Just saying  :-)

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

The Uber Endgame? World Domination - What I am reading 8/26/2015.

The Awl - The Uber Endgame: Why Uber (and Lyft) continue to look more and more like mass transit -

But if you put all of these Uber innovations together—pre-determined routes with fixed pickup points and continuous passenger pickups—it sounds remarkably like a gently optimized version of currently existing mass transit, one of the services that Uber is attempting to d i s r xu p t.
The subtext of Uber’s new products having the look and feel of a slightly shinier version of mass transit is, of course, that Uber wants to be privatized mass transit. In Uber’s grand vision, no one owns cars because nearly everyone is taken everywhere in a driverless, electric, omnisciently networked Uber conveyance that arrives precisely when it is needed for a price cheap enough that for many people it feels free (but is just enough to make a profit, since one day, as unimaginable as it seems, the venture capital will run out). This is why Uber earnestly speaks of ending car ownership, taking cars off the road, and helping nurses commute to and from night shifts in the Bronx at two in the morning.
A year ago people were having conniptions over Google and Facebook running buses in order to move there workers to and from work.  It was like the world was coming to an end.  Now UBer comes along and actually is trying to displace public transit and there is silence?

Washington Post - Ted Cruz and Megyn Kelly tangle over immigration -

Prepare for another round of Kelly bashing.  Personally I like that she is pushing the candidates on these issues.  Remember everyone just let Obama slide in 2008 and we ended up with a feckless pice of shit as President.

Ars Technica - How security flaws work: The buffer overflow -
At its core, the buffer overflow is an astonishingly simple bug that results from a common practice. Computer programs frequently operate on chunks of data that are read from a file, from the network, or even from the keyboard. Programs allocate finite-sized blocks of memory—buffers—to store this data as they work on it. A buffer overflow happens when more data is written to or read from a buffer than the buffer can hold.
Long but informative article.  I recommend it.

NY Times - Signs, Long Unheeded, Now Point to Risks in U.S. Economy -
The data points range from the obvious to the obscure, encompassing stock market and credit bubbles in China, the strength of the dollar relative to emerging market currencies, a commodity rout and a sudden halt to global earnings growth.
I am not sure what this means although the repeated use of the word deflationary is rather scary, and I am pretty sure that this is the exact opposite of Monty's many predictions of runaway hyperinflation.  Correction:  I went back and looked at Monty's Mar 18 2015 Doom! piece and he does mention deflation: 
When we have sovereign long-bond rates dipping into negative territory and (possible) deflation looming in spite of a vast orgy of money-printing, it is clear that the global economic machine has begun to seriously malfunction.
Wired - A Peek Inside Mr. Robot’s Toolbox -
The bar wasn’t exactly high for dystopian hacker suspense thrillers when USA Network’s Mr. Robot launched, but the show has gone on to surprise everyone. WIRED Security writer Kim Zetter called it “the best hacking show yet.” What makes the show, which airs its season finale tonight, work is how true it is to its subject matter, from the alienation at the heart of an always-connected life to the technologies the characters use to pull off the story lines.
I have to say, I disagree about the quality of the show.  I really liked the first couple episodes, kind of liked the next few but I haven't even finished watching the last two.  They just completely lost me.  I'm not ever sure why, although the secret hacker family / near incest subplot may have had something to do with it.  I'll watch tonight's episode but unless it completely blows me away I am not tuning in for season two.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Twitter shows us why the public needs flamethrowers - What I am reading 8/25/2015

Ars Technica - Facing possible ban, more Americans are buying new—and legal—$900 flamethrowers -
"Why make/build/sell this? It’s awesome," Byars added. "It’s revolutionary in its design in contrast to previous flamethrowers throughout the years due to its portability and instant-action on the fly functionality. I wanted one, personally, back in 2007, so I began developing plans to create one. Years went by with slow development, and then a spark hit and I decided this was the year to make it happen. I used the resources I gained as an engineer in the auto industry to learn how to make this a reality."
And come the revolution it will strike fear into the heart of the bourgeoisie

NY Times - Stock Markets Rebound Despite Continued Sell-Off in China -

After a three-day rout that erased nearly $3 trillion in value from stocks globally, markets other than China’s on Tuesday showed signs that selling pressures were easing.
Stocks in Europe opened higher and kept climbing. The Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index rose about 2 percent at the open, and the Dow Jones industrial average rose more than 300 points, or more than 2 percent.
It is too soon to know whether the rebound will last, but there were signs on Tuesday that many analysts might have been right in saying that the recent global sell-off of stocks and commodities was an overreaction to China’s specific economic and financial market problems.
I don't really know enough about this to intelligently comment but here goes.  To me this seemed like an overreaction.  Yes China is a huge economy but they try so hard to stand apart it seemed like their stock market issues really shouldn't matter much to us.  That however won't stop me from trying to take advantage if the market keeps dropping.

The Verge - Twitter's decision to ban archiving of politicians' deleted tweets is a mistake -
Twitter is either incapable of making essential distinctions, or becoming submissive to powerful users — and either scenario should damage everyone’s trust in the platform. The question of who is a public figure is murky, but the idea that politicians and people in positions of state power are public figures is uncontroversial. That they should be held accountable by having their publicly-stated words stored as a matter of record is well-established and fundamental to concepts of democracy: elected officials form a bright line, not a slippery slope. Twitter's decision is especially flabbergasting when you consider that the company originally blessed the idea of preserving the deleted tweets of politicians, only to suddenly have a change of heart three years later.
And this shows why we the public need flamethrowers - to overcome the powerful entrenched interests of the twitter-politico complex.

The Register - Court rules FTC can prosecute companies over lax online security -
The Third Circuit US Court of Appeals in Philadelphia has ruled that the Federal Trade Commission does have the right to prosecute firms who mishandle their customers' data.
The FTC's case hinges on what would be considered a "reasonable" amount of computer security, and it told the courts that Wyndham, which uses a centralized computer system for all its properties, didn't take reasonable precautions at all.
The suit cites the fact that the company was storing credit card numbers on its servers in plain text, had easily guessable administrator passwords, little or no firewalls, and didn't check what operating systems its subsidiaries were using. In one case, a hotel was using an outdated operating system that hadn't been patched for three years.
Another good use for flamethrowers.  In fact the more I think about it the more I realize that there is not a single problem that cannot be solved with the proper application of a stream of flame from your own personal flamethrower.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Downloading Microsoft Server 2016 Technical Preview

We use VMWare at work my co-worker is really interested in moving to Hyper-V, I am interested in containers (which I know nothing about really) so should be interesting.  Going to start out with a VM on my personal machine before setting anything up at work.