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, September 4.

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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Texas-sized twits.

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The inventor of the pop-up ad apologizes.

Below the fold because it autoplays.

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21 August 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Geek Stuff

Just listen.

Via Linux Outlaws.

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19 August 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Geek Stuff

I’m not sure how I feel about this:

Sharon Standifird started researching how to develop smartphone apps one day when her children refused to get back in contact with her. If a parents suspects their child is ignoring them, they have the option to lock his or her phone and it can only be unlocked with a password. To get the password, the child will have to call one of the parent-approved contacts listed in the app.

Otherwise all other apps and phone functions will be locked. However, even when the phone is locked, the child will always be able to call 911 in case of an emergency.

I’m not sure where this falls on the scale from motherly (and fatherly) concern to neurotic manipulation, but it does not awaken within me sanguine feelings.

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15 August 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Geek Stuff

I have lately been leaning my way around Mutt, a command line email client. It’s not my only email client–the one I use most is still Opera’s email client.

Mutt Inbox Interface

Mutt Inbox

I got there via a circuitous route. I want to improve my skills using vi and vim (“vi improved”). Vi or vim (sometimes both) are present in almost every Linux distribution and do not require a GUI to work.

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12 August 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Geek Stuff

At the Roanoke Times, Dan Casey decrypts the cryptic. A nugget:

First up in the July reader mailbag is Melinda Payne, Salem’s director of planning and economic development. She once worked here at the paper but got out long ago (proof she’s a lot smarter than I). She writes:

“Someone sent me a text one time and closed with CYA. I couldn’t figure out why he was telling me to “Cover Your A–.” I finally called and asked: ‘What’s up with the cover-your-a — note?” He said … that means ‘see you’ later. Duh!”

Follow the link. You deserve a chuckle.

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09 August 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Geek Stuff

From El Reg:

Researchers at Dell’s SecureWorks Counter Threat Unit (CTU) have identified an exploit that can be used to steal cryptocurrency from mining pools – and they claim that at least one unknown miscreant has already used the technique to pilfer tens of thousands of dollars in digital cash.

Geeky details at the link.

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08 August 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Geek Stuff

Guess he forgot to check his map.

A Google Street View car that was traveling in the wrong direction on a one-way street crashed into another vehicle last night as it attempted to make a U-turn, Arkansas police report.

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05 August 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, August 7.

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 July 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Geek Stuff

My local rag has an excellent editorial on Uber and Lyft. A nugget (emphasis added):

In other words, under existing state code, taxicabs must follow the rules of both the state and the locality in which they operate. They must have insurance to protect people in the event of an accident. They must comply with identification rules. They are required to follow additional regulations to protect passengers.

And that’s the kind of red tape Uber and Lyft have fought all over America. Both because it threatens a business model that depends on the low overhead made possible by ignoring state regulations and because the ideology of the new economy demands it.

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27 July 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Geek Stuff

Linux Voice’s Ben Everard explains bitcoin. It’s an editorially neutral, technical explanation, but if you are bit-curious about the mechanics of the scam* or want to better understand what all the fuss is about, it’s worth a read. A nugget:

The only real difference between Bitcoin and a national currency is that national currencies are backed by governments, whereas Bitcoins aren’t really backed by anyone other than the miners. Whether or not this is a good thing depends entirely on your economic philosophy. On the positive side, no one can print excessive amounts of money leading to excessive inflation (like the German government did following World War One). On the negative side, there is no one to step in and help stabilise it should things start to go wrong (for example, the various governments that printed more money to help ease the cash flow crisis in the ‘Credit Crunch’).

_________________

*I don’t mind editorializing, in case you haven’t noticed.

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20 July 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Geek Stuff

The Zuckerborg continues to assimilate.

Beginning this fall, when Facebook users watch a TV show on a cellphone or tablet, Facebook will probably know about it. The social network will scan its databases and send the age and gender of the viewer to Nielsen, the TV ratings measurement company, to help advertisers learn more about the audience watching shows online.

The story goes on to explain that Nielson and Facebook say your privacy will be respected, you have nothing to worry about, oh, not at all, oh no indeedy-not.

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18 July 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Geek Stuff

See DashCon’s official statement, claiming that, no indeedy-do, nothing like that happened.

Aside:

All I know about Tumblr is that it is a very strange internet place where stuff that is worth your while (like, for example, PoliticalProf) is rare indeed.

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18 July 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Geek Stuff

From the ACLU (much more at the link):

Forbes reported last week that the crowdsourced mapping location service Waze is beginning to share bulk location data with government bodies—with Rio de Janeiro since 2013, and soon with the state of Florida. The cycling app Strava is also in talks to begin selling its data to urban planners, and the public-transportation app Moovit is already selling data to multiple cities.

We are not to worry about our privacy, a Waze spokesperson tells us, because the company replaces the names that accompany driving data with an alias.

The problem is, your location history IS your identity.

One of the reasons I use the bike app that I do is that it doesn’t report anything to anybody. It doesn’t require me to join a website to see the results. It doesn’t prompt me to “share” my rides with a bunch of persons who neither care nor need to know about when, where, and how fast I peddle about.

It requires only the permissions it needs to do what it promises to do, and it does that very well.

Many apps make Facebook look like a community of hermits. Be very careful to check the permission when you install an app to your phone. If they look hinky, just say “No.”

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14 July 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Geek Stuff

The great-grandson of Emily Post, continuing in the family business, offers etiquette tips for Facebook.

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This is a minor league version of Cliven Bundy’s using public lands for free–an “app” that allows persons in public parking places to squat on them while auctioning them to the highest bidder. San Francisco has told them to stop, at least for now.

The company’s weasel-worded dissembling arrogant rationale for holding parking spaces hostage is a gem of self-serving hipster rationalization (emphasis added).

The Rome, Italy-based MonkeyParking allowed drivers who score a notoriously hard-to-get parking spot on San Francisco’s streets to sell it for $5, $10, even $20 and then hang out there until the buyer arrives to take their place.

Herrera’s letter was the latest as state and federal lawmakers grapple with new technologies that people can use to privately replace taxis, hotels and even restaurants. Firms in neighboring Silicon Valley often use San Francisco as a testing ground, pushing the boundaries of local authorities who don’t want to quash the booming tech economy.

Herrera also cracked down on two similar smartphone apps that exchange money for parking spaces.

Two weeks ago, Dobrowolny said MonkeyParking doesn’t sell parking spots, but rather convenience, citing freedom of speech. He said people have the right to tell others they’re leaving a parking spot and get paid for it.

This is cyber-theft, or, at best, cyber-kidnapping, holding public property for ransom.

Folks, just because you can do it with computers, that don’t make it right.

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10 July 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Geek Stuff

Warning: Unquestionably questionable taste.

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05 July 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Geek Stuff

Facebook employee to questioner:


Click for a larger image.

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03 July 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Geek Stuff

Moms gone wild.

In related news, Daniel Ruth tees off on “experimentation” in the ZuckerDome. Just read it.

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