Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Vacation Ends - My life of drudgery and toil resumes - What I am reading 7/14/2015

OK I don't really drudge and toil that much, but dammit I don't want to go back to work.  I need a powerball win. 

On the plus side Armada released today:
Zack Lightman has spent his life dreaming. Dreaming that the real world could be a little more like the countless science-fiction books, movies, and videogames he’s spent his life consuming. Dreaming that one day, some fantastic, world-altering event will shatter the monotony of his humdrum existence and whisk him off on some grand space-faring adventure.

But hey, there’s nothing wrong with a little escapism, right? After all, Zack tells himself, he knows the difference between fantasy and reality. He knows that here in the real world, aimless teenage gamers with anger issues don’t get chosen to save the universe.

And then he sees the flying saucer.

Even stranger, the alien ship he’s staring at is straight out of the videogame he plays every night, a hugely popular online flight simulator called Armada—in which gamers just happen to be protecting the earth from alien invaders.

No, Zack hasn’t lost his mind. As impossible as it seems, what he’s seeing is all too real. And his skills—as well as those of millions of gamers across the world—are going to be needed to save the earth from what’s about to befall it.

It’s Zack’s chance, at last, to play the hero. But even through the terror and exhilaration, he can’t help thinking back to all those science-fiction stories he grew up with, and wondering: Doesn’t something about this scenario seem a little…familiar?

At once gleefully embracing and brilliantly subverting science-fiction conventions as only Ernest Cline could, Armada is a rollicking, surprising thriller, a classic coming of age adventure, and an alien invasion tale like nothing you’ve ever read before—one whose every page is infused with the pop-culture savvy that has helped make Ready Player One a phenomenon.
Downloaded and ready to go :-)

Wired - Ack! After 25 Years, Bloom County is Back -
Obviously, there’s no shortage of political buffoonery out there for him to skewer, so let’s all welcome the strip back with open arms, or at least uselessly flapping wings.
Checked his facebook page this morning nothing else new :-(

GawkerDid Reddit's Former CEO Just Reveal a "Long Con" to Sabotage the Site? -  First off it's a fucking Sam Biddle piece so you know it has to start with some gratuitous slur on reddit and it's users.  Second the idea of the long con is based of the idea that, "How could something so popular get so much wrong, over and over again?" is some sort of deep probing question and the only answer can be a master paln of such deviousness that Lex Luthor himself would be proud.

BS

It keeps "getting it wrong" because the consumers and the people running the site have completely different visions of what reddit should be.

Ars Technica - Hacking Team broke Bitcoin secrecy by targeting crucial wallet file -

Nicholas Weaver, a researcher at the International Computer Science Institute in Berkeley, California, went through the same e-mails. He says that such a feature "shouldn’t be surprising."
"It is straightforward to grab the wallet.dat and related files and for malcode to get the password for this file when the user accesses their bitcoins," he told Ars by e-mail. "Similarly, one can also search for Bitcoin-related keywords in e-mail messages and other content on their computer. And once you have a copy of the wallet.dat file, you have the entire transaction history (as Ross Ulbricht can attest to)."

So nothing really new here other than a revelation, once again, that bitcoin isn't as anonymous and secure as people think.


Infosec Island - Half of All Websites Tested Failed Security and Privacy Assessment -

Half of the nearly 1000 websites evaluated in the 2015 Online Trust Audit & Honor Roll study conducted by the Online Trust Alliance (OTA) were found to be failing to protect consumer’s personal data and privacy.
...
“The results of this audit serve as a wake-up call to Internet of Things companies who are handling highly sensitive, dynamic and personal data,” said Craig Spiezle, Executive Director and President of OTA.
“In rushing their products to market without first addressing critical data management and privacy practices, they are putting consumers at risk and inviting regulatory oversight.”
On the other hand the percent of sites qualify for honor roll status increased to 44% from 30% year to year so some progress is being made.


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New Ready Player One Trailer

This dropped while I was out of town - From what I have read Ernest Cline seems to like the adaptation, but to me it seems to completely ...