The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has brought forth an article by Sean Sposito extolling Bitcoins.

Here’s a bit from the bitbait:

It’s a system based on transparency rather than trust. And even if you’re not about to rush out and buy into the digital currency, the Bitcoin protocol could potentially change the way you — and all of us — do business in some pretty fundamental ways.

To prep for the changes to come, read the full story . . . .

That transparency depends on your having super-brawny computers (“bitcoin mining rigs“), database administration and encryption skills, and the ability to pay electric bills out the ying-yang to pay for the power for your mining rigs. How much more transparent can something be?

That “full story” is behind a paywall, and, as George Smith noticed, you can’t pay with bitcoins.

No, I didn’t byte.

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Facebook creates yet another reason to keep the GPS on your cell phone turned off.

Facebook is introducing a mobile feature called Nearby Friends that taps into that steady stream of location information so friends can track each other in real time.

The idea is to make it easy for people to meet up in real life, so they can have conversations in person instead of comment threads, temporarily replacing Likes and LOLs with eye contact and actual laughter. A live meet-up is also an excellent opportunity to grab a selfie with your pal and upload it to the Facebook owned Instagram.

And I thought the idea behind social networking was to avoid having to deal with people face-to-face.

Afterthought:

Whatcha wanna bet that the persons using this the most will keep right on bitching about the NSA, even as they run naked through their Facebook “friends”?

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06 April 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Geek Stuff

How much more evidence do we need to realize that Twitter is a waste of electrons?

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06 April 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Geek Stuff

Facebook may be central to your world, but not to everyone else’s.

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Wow. Just wow.

The times they are a-changing (though climate change is likely to erase all the changes, but that’s a different post).

That was fast. The co-founder and CEO of Mozilla, Brendan Eich, has decided to step down.

Eich’s decision, announced Thursday, came a few days after the dating website OkCupid started blocking Mozilla’s Firefox browser from accessing the dating site because Eich “is an opponent of equal rights for gay couples.”

Normally, I don’t approve of browser sniffing, but I will make an exception in this case.

As I’ve said before, nothing that ever happened in a same-sex bedroom has affected a marriage of mine.

I cannot say the same for opposite se–oh, never mind.

Afterthought:

Wingnut World is claiming that Eich’s “freedom of speech” has been somehow violated. Seems to me he got to speak all he wanted to.

Freedom of speech does not mean freedom from consequences.

Also, what the Booman said.

Addendum, That Afternoon:

John Aravosis has an incisive analysis of the wingnut weaction. A nugget:

There’s always something charming about getting a lecture on tolerance from a party that routinely bashes gays, women, blacks, Latinos, Muslims and immigrants, and increasingly pays at the ballot box for its intolerance. Sadly, conservatives only worry about “freedom” when it’s their freedom being called into question.

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Today, I helped an acquaintance set up her new Windows 8 computer.

I now have a first-hand understanding of why Windows 8 has failed in the marketplace.

It is a dog, a kludge, a monstrosity. Essential features, such as the command line (to do simple things like a ping command to test an internet connection) are hidden many fathoms deep.

I had to do a web search to find out how to reboot the computer, for Pete’s sake.

It is no surprise that Steve Ballmer is out of a job. Every decision he made was wrong.

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01 April 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Geek Stuff

Learn about the wonderful world of free and open source. Learn how to use computers to do what you want, not what someone else wants you to do.

It’s not hard; it’s just different.

Tidewater Unix Users Group

What: Monthly TWUUG Meeting.

Who: Everyone in TideWater/Hampton Roads with interest in any/all flavors of Unix/Linux. There are no dues or signup requirements. All are welcome.

Where: Lake Taylor Transitional Care Hospital in Norfolk Training Room. See directions below. (Wireless and wired internet connection available.) Turn right upon entering, then left at the last corridor and look for the open meeting room.

When: 7:30 PM till whenever (usually 9:30ish) on Thursday, April 3.

Directions:
Lake Taylor Hospital
1309 Kempsville Road
Norfolk, Va. 23502 (Map)

Pre-Meeting Dinner at 6:00 PM (separate checks)
Uno Chicago Grill
Virginia Beach Blvd. & Military Highway (Janaf Shopping Center). (Map)

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31 March 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Geek Stuff

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28 March 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Geek Stuff

Bears invest in bitcoins, then hibernate, expecting a bonanza in the spring.  To their distress, they go bust, and, worst of all, will have to listen to their wives say


Click for a larger image.

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26 March 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Geek Stuff

Elizabeth Wagele debunks de bunk (emphasis added):

“’We all bet high mulitaskers were going to be stars at something,’ he said in an interview with the PBS program ‘Frontline.’ ‘We were absolutely shocked. We all lost our bets. It turns out multitaskers are terrible at every aspect of multitasking. They’re terrible at ignoring irrelevant information; they’re terrible at keeping information in their head nicely and neatly organized; and they’re terrible at switching from one task to another… One would think if people were bad at multitasking, they would stop. However, when we talk with the multitaskers, they seem to think they’re great at it and seem totally unfazed and totally able to do more and more and more.’ . . . .”

Hell, sometimes I can’t do even one thing at a time.

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25 March 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Geek Stuff

At this point, it’s just proof of concept, but what a concept! This drone spoofs your wireless connection.

Snoopy takes advantage of a feature built into all smartphones and tablets: When mobile devices try to connect to the Internet, they look for networks they’ve accessed in the past.

“Their phone will very noisily be shouting out the name of every network its ever connected to,” Sensepost security researcher Glenn Wilkinson said. “They’ll be shouting out, ‘Starbucks, are you there?…McDonald’s Free Wi-Fi, are you there?”

That’s when Snoopy can swoop into action (and be its most devious, even more than the cartoon dog): the drone can send back a signal pretending to be networks you’ve connected to in the past. Devices two feet apart could both make connections with the quadcopter, each thinking it is a different, trusted Wi-Fi network. When the phones connect to the drone, Snoopy will intercept everything they send and receive.

Much more at the link.

The moral of the story is turn your wireless off if you are not using it.

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18 March 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Geek Stuff

The Philadelphia Inquirer rounds up some of the new twists in the identity theft game. Here’s the most macabre:

Cyber crooks now e-mail fake funeral notices. Stealing the names and logos of legitimate funeral homes, they send authentic-looking notices that appear to be invitations to funerals or services for a friend or acquaintance.

The danger is in an attached link, which claims to provide details about the “upcoming celebration of your friend’s life service.” Don’t click on the link! By doing so, you are downloading malware onto your computer, Levin said.

More at the link.

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17 March 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Geek Stuff

Rekha Basu provides a fascinating look into the mind of a scammer.

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10 March 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Geek Stuff

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09 March 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Geek Stuff

Bernardo Tirado thinks he has figured out the Frolickers:

So what does the content you share and the frequency you post say about you?

For starters, we all fall into one out of four Facebook Personalities Types (FPT), which are:

  • Voyeurs
  • Informers
  • Me Mees
  • Evangelists

Follow the link for the sordid details.

He notes that, “in the context of Facebook Personality Types, ‘Post’ refers to an individual physically making a status update, uploading a picture, or checking-in at an establishment,” not a commenter.

Aside:

He doesn’t seem to have a category for persons who seldom log into Facebook because they are fed up with the Zuckerborg. (My blog posts to FB are automated.)

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08 March 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Geek Stuff

Some kind of weird connectivity issue with PVF on the other side of the modem. Going to wait it out.

Later:

Everything (except possibly me) is working normally again. I suspect my hosting provider was doing some maintenance. Computers don’t run themselves, though sometimes it seems as if they do.

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06 March 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Geek Stuff

Adjusting to a slightly different keyboard on a new laptop is annoying.

Aside:

The keyboard on my new machine is easily the best laptop keyboard I have ever had. The keys have a good solid feel and are well-placed: it even has a discrete NUM pad.

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05 March 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Geek Stuff

Learn about the wonderful world of free and open source. Learn how to use computers to do what you want, not what someone else wants you to do.

It’s not hard; it’s just different.

Tidewater Unix Users Group

What: Monthly TWUUG Meeting.

Who: Everyone in TideWater/Hampton Roads with interest in any/all flavors of Unix/Linux. There are no dues or signup requirements. All are welcome.

Where: Lake Taylor Transitional Care Hospital in Norfolk Training Room. See directions below. (Wireless and wired internet connection available.) Turn right upon entering, then left at the last corridor and look for the open meeting room.

When: 7:30 PM till whenever (usually 9:30ish) on Thursday, March 6.

Directions:
Lake Taylor Hospital
1309 Kempsville Road
Norfolk, Va. 23502 (Map)

Pre-Meeting Dinner at 6:00 PM (separate checks)
Uno Chicago Grill
Virginia Beach Blvd. & Military Highway (Janaf Shopping Center). (Map)

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04 March 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Geek Stuff

Configuring up my new laptop what arrived yesterday.

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