Just listened to the Hacked podcast linked above. It’s about the Y2K bug. The issues with computers had when hitting the year “Double Zero” and the chaos it caused society.
Somewhere in the late 90’s I had cause to rent some office space, and found it in a place chock full of what could only be described as “grey beards”. Lovely bunch. They were a group of COBOL programmers who came out of retirement to fix some of the problems computer code had with… time. And make stupid amounts of money doing so. Sometime about 1997 governments and corporations around the world woke up and started throwing serious cash at the problem. The rent was cheap and the company good. Learned a lot from those folks.
Millennium New Year’s Eve itself was spent in Germany. The media had not been so “doom and gloom” about the issue and, frankly, I’m not sure your average German would care. I remember standing on a elevated railway crossing, beer in hand (no such prudish rules there) and watching a 360 degree panorama of fireworks being set off across the city. It was awesome.
Early the next day we headed out for a walk and found a dance band still playing in a city square at 8:00am. A few slow dancing couples still at it. I sat there nursing a hangover and watched bulldozers get to work as the number of bottled strewn about had made the roads impassible.
A very good start to the millennium.
I got a comment the other day that using our Linux-based video streaming system was “non-standard”. All they had to do was enter their username and password then click on a icon to run an application. The exact same application that runs on all the major desktop platforms. Yes, I rolled my eyes.
The ironic thing is that most people use Unix or Linux on a daily basis. It’s behind many of the devices we interact with. Apple uses it for all their products and even Windows now includes the ability to run not only command-line Linux but full desktops. Desktops that resemble other operating systems and some that are quite unique. There is a lot of choice (Plasma is my go to).
I’m going to use “Unix” and “Linux” interchangeably here and while a purist may want me to note the various distinctions between the two it really doesn’t matter to those using them with any sort of graphical interface.
Here’s a short random list of things that use one of the two underneath:
Look at that last one. Arguably the most popular operating in the world is something called MINIX. And it’s used by much of Intel’s processor line as a management engine.
I’m not one for celebrating commercial holidays, but Valentine’s day was still still a bit rough.
Running into a lot of “science-unawareness” in my attempts to date in the midst of a pandemic.
Despite following all the guidelines and having no contact with any outside household for almost two months now (won’t lie, it’s been rough), I’ve actually been told twice I was thought to be “COVID unsafe”. Maybe it’s my appearance or demeanour, I haven’t got it sussed out.
On the bright side, I’m not up for a judgemental partner, so at least they are weeding themselves out. Right?
No choice but to continue. Spending the next four or five years (what, you think this is gonna be over in the fall?) single just isn’t an option.
ps. From The Guardian: No more drunken random snogging, perhaps ever.
Had a nice walk, took some pics. Hard to do when it’s overcast. Think a chair and lamp by this big window would be nice for reading.
No thanks world, not today.
Bonus Item: Pop music made on a warm summer day. In Spain: Russian Red - The Sun The Trees
Manjaro is very much
bleeding cutting edge, updating often with the latest (and presumably, greatest) packages. Which, while not leaving it unstable, leaves it sometimes prone to some niggles after any major release. Bugs happen and occasionally slip through when your OS is changing so quickly. Here’s how I update for safety’s sake:
This may all seem like a bit of a hassle, but in practice it’s usually a smooth ride. Just double checking your snapshot is current (which is usually automatic) is the only real step in the process. If that’s fine, you’re golden.
At least for this dork, it’s worth it to be able to access all the latest tools and resources. If that’s not for you, a LTS (long term support) version of a Linux distribution may indeed be a better option. And that’s what many will normally install for a non-technical user. There are so many, it’s not worth getting into here but I’d recommend something based on Ubuntu for most use cases. From Kubuntu to Elementary and Mint, there is something for anybody. All great.
If you do run into a problem you can’t solve, don’t panic. Most of “us” are super friendly and actually like helping. Reach out.
Minus fourteen (Celsius) in the forecast. Spent the day hanging in the sun.
The various Privacy Watchdogs of Canada just filed a report finding that Clearview AI’s facial recognition software use in Canada was not legal. It seemed obvious from the outset (scraping copyrighted images and using them without consent) but various corporate and government entities resisted and even denied using the technology until leaked documents exposed them.
Joint investigation of Clearview AI, Inc. by the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada, the Commission d’accès à l’information du Québec, the Information and Privacy Commissioner for British Columbia, and the Information Privacy Commissioner of Alberta
How to protect against this? The best thing an individual can do is familiarise themselves with the present privacy laws (Federal, Provincial (BC), Document Act) and have a good think before giving away any personal information. Especially to government and businesses who have proven not only to disrespect it, but often seem unwilling or unable to protect it. I worked with a woman who, several years after the Sony Hack, was still feeling the effects of identity theft.
If you are refused a job, good or service because of your application of the privacy laws, there is a formal grievance process through the office of your local Privacy Commissioner. It can be considered a form of actionable discrimination. There is often a thirty day cool-down period for the parties to negotiate before the formal application can be made, but I found submitting the complaint documentation directly to the head office of the company you are dealing with makes for swift action.
Seems nobody wants a government privacy audit of their practices.
Filed my first complaint against a major media organisation today. I won’t name them as the practice seems common and to their credit, they have now changed the article’s text to better reflect the present pandemic rules.
A number of published articles recently have included blanket statements such as:
“British Columbia restrictions include a ban on gathering with anyone outside one’s household”.
This is not accurate.
If you read British Columbia’s Official Province-wide Restrictions document it states that this restriction applies to multi-person households. Single-person households have a limited exemption in that they are allowed to have up to two outside contacts (expand the “Core bubble” portion of the document linked above). There are also some exceptions for other cases.
Somewhere around four million Canadians over the age of 15 live alone and many either don’t work, or work from home these days. Expecting them all to completely isolate themselves 24/7 isn’t reasonable:
The risk from a single person household who is obeying the pandemic rules can be very low. For instance: I generally work and live alone and only frequent businesses respecting the rules (grocery shopping off-peak, only buying take-out, wearing a mask outdoors when near others etc.).
Note that going for a “safe walk” is also within the current rules.
If you can, please get outside! Stanley could always use another sunny day walking buddy. Get in touch (top left site button) if you’re in need. Reach out to somebody if you’re struggling.
“You look at me like I know what’s going on
I’m looking back and I wonder what went wrong
I really thought by now a few things might just clarify
I got a mind that goes out to lunch for days
And a body that sometimes disobeys
I get into the parties but I hate them ‘cause I’m shy
I’m still at an awkward age”
One of the few disadvantages of using external services for communication is that on occasion, they don’t last, whether they be commercial or community supported. Alas, I just received a message telling me my Matrix server of choice is being taken off-line before the end of the month.
In an effort to turn adversity into advantage, an effort is underway to set up my own server (the software is called Synapse). That way this never has to happen again as the entire system is under my own control. I may even host it from home as texting takes next to no bandwidth.
Presently I’m experimenting in a non-destructive environment with a server on Linode. The advantage is that you can create snapshots, screw up, create and destroy servers at a whim. And it only costs about $0.007/hour. Seven cents. Ha.
Failure is part of the learning process (or so I keep telling myself).
A hush box would neat to build. Especially since my studio space is full of sawdust and scrap wood anyway with some ongoing renos.
A hush box channels air around baffles in order to quiet a projector’s cooling fans (which can be annoying after awhile, especially in a small space). Having recently acquired a Bomaker Parrot to watch movies on, I need one.
Figure wood will be free, it will just need some hardware (hinges, corner braces), optic glass, fans and power supply. Then a thin coating of acoustic foam. We’ve previously used thin layers of acoustic bat insulation for such things but the proper foam will be easier to handle. If I use industrial velcro to attach the baffles, it can be reconfigured for a different unit down the road.
Ya, will be fun.
Probably take me a month to decide what colour to paint it thou…