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Archive for the ‘technology’ Category

The State Department is eliminating its Cybersecurity coordination office. Because we’re apparently secure. Despite all those ransomware outbreaks recently.

Oh joy. We’re gonna get more scammers, more spammers, more break-ins, more of everything annoying on the Internet. It’s like they’re *trying* to destroy the Internet. Like they think the Internet threatens their control, or something.

Oh wait….

– Badtux the Paranoid Penguin

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According to their website, the robot has Advanced Anomaly Detection, Forensic Capabilities and Gun Detection. Water detection, however, apparently is still pending.

Either that, or this is a case of a Baptist baptism gone bad. “By the blood of Christ I baptise thee!” Bzzzzt SPARK! ZAP! “Wait, you aren’t waterproof?!”

SNRK.

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Don’t join the book burners. Don’t think you are going to conceal faults by concealing evidence that they ever existed.

— — Dwight D. Eisenhower, Remarks at the Dartmouth College Commencement Exercises, Hanover, New Hampshire. June 14, 1953

That was back when Republicans (at least some of them) were defenders of liberty. Today, the most fervent defenders of the Republican administration are also today’s most fervent book-burners.

Today’s book burners don’t use matches. They use false reports of “violations of community standards” to Facebook and Twitter and YouTube. Whether it is Jim Wright that the book burners are going after on Facebook, or haters maliciously flagging entire Youtube channels that have content that offends their political sensibilities or simply mention them in the context of false flagging, book burners today are more active than they ever were in the supposed bad old days of Joe McCarthy’s America, the days in which President Eisenhower was speaking above to college students.

What’s different today is that book burners can bring together entire electronic lynch mobs via platforms like 4chan or Reddit or the Daily Mail to burn people’s electronic books. And unlike in the past, where stalwart librarians were fierce in defense of the authors of the books in their libraries, Google (or Facebook) doesn’t care, because they don’t have to. It would cost money to defend content creators, so they won’t.

And that, my friends, is the problem with the fact that we’ve privatized our “libraries”. When book burners show up, what do Google or Facebook do? They just let the book burners burn books. Because there’s no profit in stopping them by putting a human in the way of letting the book burners burn books, indeed, it costs money. They have no stern librarians with horn-rimmed glasses saying “you will burn books in my library over my dead body.” They just shrug and say “the machine did it, not me.” And don’t lift a finger.

And what kind of society we will have, when we can have any book burned at the whim of practically any special interest book?

Not much of one. As we’re seeing now, I suspect…

– Badtux the Apocalyptic Penguin

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Americans aren’t Germans. Germans are orderly and by the book. German roads are perfectly striped and perfectly paved. German cars are ridiculously expensive because they’re over-engineered and over-inspected to make sure they’re as perfect as the Germans know how to make them. They’re a tidy, fastidious people for whom everything must be just so.

Americans, on the other hand, are the nation of “hold my beer and watch *this*!” Everything is sloppy here, from the lines on the highways which differ ridiculously from state to state, to the way we drive. We drive Germans nuts. A Mercedes executive in charge of autonomous car development once tried out a semi-autonomous car that worked perfectly on German roads on American highways, and almost had a nervous breakdown as his car’s computer *did* have a nervous breakdown. “You people can’t even stripe your roads right!” he said, as furious as a German ever gets.

This, of course, is why we invented Silicon Valley and the Germans didn’t. The whole of Silicon Valley is “hold my beer and watch *this*!” applied to computer technology. Most of the time, the result is a spectacular crash, as the dismantled remains of so many failed Silicon Valley companies demonstrates. Sometimes, however, sometimes… you get a Facebook, or a Google, or an eBay, and wonderful things happen. All because of “hold my beer and watch *this*!”.

Now, when applied to the national government… suddenly “hold my beer and watch *this*!” doesn’t seem so great. But a majority of people in sufficient electoral college states thought differently, so ….

– Badtux the Non-beer-drinking Penguin

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So yesterday it turns out that Comey took dated notes in his conversations with Trump, like all FBI agents do. And the notes say that Trump asked him, on February 14, to stop the Russia investigation. Comey didn’t. Then Trump fired him. By his own admission, in his tweets, because of the Russia investigation.

Yeah, obstruction of justice. That and $2 will get you a cup of bad coffee at Starducks.

So now the Justice Department — with Jeff Sessions abstaining because he *isn’t* immune to obstruction of justice charges — has appointed former FBI director Robert Mueller as special council to oversee the investigation of ties between Russia and the Trump campaign. Mueller is a Republican who was appointed as FBI director by George W. Bush. On the other hand, he has a reputation as a straight arrow. He refused, for example, to allow the FBI to participate in the CIA / Pentagon torture campaign. So… cue the popcorn.

So now to more randomness…

Russia to America: Don’t read newspapers. Really? Dude. The day that I let a foreign government tell me what to do is the day I renounce my American citizenship and swear allegiance to Hydra. Sheesh.

Trump, speaking to graduating Coasties, spent time whining about how mean the press has been to him. “No politician in history has been treated worse or more unfairly.” Dude. They shot Abraham Lincoln in the head. And he has the fucking nerve to say this after eight years of bigoted racist attacks against President Obama. Whether it was photoshops of Obama’s head on a witch doctor, the current Racist In Chief’s constant insistence that Obama couldn’t possibly be an American and his birth certificate must be fraudulent because, well, he’s *black*, the continual assertions that Obama was a dictator who was gonna take their guns because he’s a big scary black man, the constant racist photoshopping of his head and his wife’s head onto monkeys, etc., frankly I don’t know how the man didn’t snap and start having bigots strung up on the White House lawn. I guess Obama just has thicker skin than the current precious delicate snowflake-in-chief.

Finally: Any half-decent hacker could break into Mar-a-Lago’s poorly secured networks and spy on everything happening there. Including the doings of the Orange Racist Russian Stooge.

But… her emails!

– Badtux the Head-shakin’ Penguin

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It got up to 94 degrees today. Pretty darn hot for no air conditioning. The good news is that it’s supposed to cool down tomorrow. Phew!

So, I got an alert that one of my drives in my RAID array failed, and when I got in I found that three of the drive bays in my 12-bay NAS unit had died, degrading my ZPOOL too. Well, three drives don’t die at one time, so I rebooted the server, went into the LSI BIOS, and swapped three known good drives into those bays. Still nada, they wouldn’t even blink red. So I did what everybody would do in that situation — I grabbed a backplane off the pile of backplanes behind me that I’d scored off of eBay, and swapped it into the system. The “bad” drives then came back online, added themselves back into the appropriate arrays (with a bit of prompting from me), voila. Hoarders for the win!

So, what’s happening in the world today?

Well, yesterday in 1945 the Red Army hoisted the Soviet flag over the Reichstag, which many historians consider the symbolic end of the Third Reich or, as Steve Bannon calls it, “a temporary setback.”

Jeff Sessions doesn’t like being laughed at. So he prosecuted a woman who laughed when someone said “Jeff Sessions has a well-documented record of treating all people equally under the law” (his actual record is that he’s a raging bigot), and successfully convicted her of disrupting Congress, a crime which carries up to 1 year in Club Fed. Just by comparison: Brock Turner spent 3 months in county jail for raping an unconscious girl. But laughing at a white racist is a more serious crime than raping an unconscious girl, right? Right?!

Talking about rape, Donald Trump just hired yet another person accused of sexual assault by multiple women, Steven Munoz. Because birds of a feather and all that, I guess.

Finally, the Dutch have a good precedent for what to do with a failed leader. Unfortunately applying their lesson to a certain orange racist pussy grabber would result in a lot of heart attacks from eating so much fat…

– Badtux the Snarky Penguin

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So, email. It was invented in 1965 with the first time-sharing systems at MIT. Students at MIT wrote a program called “MAIL” that allowed sending email to each other, as documented by one of the early developers who worked on the MIT systems. By 1970 email programs had gotten a bit more sophisticated, with the development of the modern inbox as part of the Multics project. In 1971, the first version of Unix, created by people who’d worked on Multics who were pining for some of the features of Multics, included a program called ‘mail’ to allow sending email to other users on Unix systems. Then in 1971 Ray Tomlinson, a developer of the ARPANET (a predecessor of the Internet) at BBN (a government contractor), sent the first email across the ARPANET between two computers. By 1972 he’d developed the syntax of using the “@” sign to separate the user name and the destination, so that the ARPANET email system didn’t need to know the user accounts on all systems on the ARPANET simultaneously and so that a user “badtux” at one site and a user “badtux” at another site wouldn’t be confused with each other. Initially the DEC 10 (Tenex) and Multics operating systems supported Internet mail. Obviously others followed.

By 1973 the situation of incompatible email systems on the ARPANET had reached the point where a meeting had to be called to standardize email on the ARPANET. The ARPANET community then tossed out a multitude of proposals which were discussed and hashed out over the course of the year, mostly via email (!). EMAIL accounted for 2/3rds of the traffic on the ARPANET that year. The first SPAM on the ARPANET apparently happened in 1975. By 1976 the Queen of England sent an email message on the ARPANET. In 1976. By 1978, the BSD Unix Mail program had been written with folders and the ability to easily move messages between them, and an email reader had been implemented in MacLisp inside Multics Emacs, thereby proving the adage that Emacs is not a text editor, Emacs is an operating system.

Also in 1978, a 14 year old kid in New Jersey by the name of Shiva Ayyadurai started writing an electronic version of the inter-office mail system for what later became Rutgers Medical School and finished writing it sometime in 1979. He called it EMAIL. Some time later, in 1982, he illegally copyrighted it. (Illegally because it was done as a work for hire for the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey which paid him as an employee to write the program, and thus the copyright, which was automatically granted upon the program first being distributed under the terms of the Copyright Act of 1976 which took effect on January 1, 1978, legally belonged to the medical school under the Work for Hire doctrine).

So. That’s a brief history of email up until 1979. In 1980, the limitations of using a bag on the side of the FTP protocol to pass email messages around the Internet reached the breaking point, and SMTP (Send Mail Transport Protocol) was invented and ARPANET’s email transitioned to that new protocol, which is still in use today as our standard Internet EMAIL protocol to transmit messages between email servers all over the world. And in 1983, the current IPv4 Internet protocol replaced the original IMP protocol and it is still in use today. None of which is controversial in any way… except Shiva Ayyadurai says he invented email, and he’ll sue anybody who says differently. Despite all that easily documented history that I mention above. Documented history including, for example, the original Unix manuals from 1971, or the source code for the original MIT email program from 1965 which can be downloaded from historical archives and viewed for yourself, or etc.

And no, those were not instant messaging programs. The BSD ‘mail’ program from 1978, for example, is the exact same program that is shipped with every Linux system in the world today. You likely haven’t seen the program if you date to the GUI era, but I used it back in my BSD days in the early 80’s before we had all this fancy GUI shit, and it implements all the functionality you’d expect of an email program — it has subject headers and From headers, it has folders, you can move messages between folders, etc. It was email. Period. And not invented by Shiva Ayyadurai.

So Shiva Ayyadurai says he’s tired of being called a liar and a fraud? Then he should quit lying and should quit fraudulently claiming to have invented email. And if he doesn’t want to read articles like this on the Internet? Then he should quit being the sort of fucking asswipe who sues news publications that publish the true history of email.

Note: Feel free to copy and paste. This is the kind of asshole who deserves all the negative publicity he has bought by suing a news source for, well, reporting the truth.

– Badtux the Annoyed Penguin

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