accendi.net

This is a quick 'n' dirty placeholder for a personal homepage, which syndicates the most recent posts from my Google+ feed Posterous blog and shared articles from Google Reader. Real homepage coming when I get around to it.

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Thu, 04 Jan 2018 17:48:31 +0100

There is a Massive Security Vulnerability in Your Computer

Yes, yours. And you can't use the "but I run Linux" defense this time; this effects every modern device with an Intel processor, and (to a lesser degree) with AMD or ARM chips. In case you're uncertain, let me just clarify for you: Yes, that means your devices. This effects, to one degree or another, basically every device with a CPU in it, regardless of whether you run Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, or iOS. (Some reports are saying both Macs and AMD processors are not effected – this is incorrect. There are a handful of different vulnerabilities here. Mac and AMD are each effected by fewer of them than their rivals Windows and Intel, but they're still effected.)

I won't get into the details here (you can read those at the link), but basically a collection of vulnerabilities have been reported that allow websites you visit (in any browser) to steal data from your computer. Basically everyone is impacted by this, including banks, medical facilities, schools, government agencies, and all kinds of other organizations that may store tons of personal information, so this has the potential to be a very serious issue.

So, what do you do about it? Right now, not much, but don't panic: There are no exploits reported out in the wild – yet – and OS patches are supposed to drop in the next week or so to mitigate these problems. When that happens, you should update right away.

Keep your fingers crossed. If everyone's on the ball about updates, this issue could still be resolved before any major damage results from it.

#publicserviceannouncement #psa #security #spectre #meltdown

Sat, 30 Dec 2017 18:27:00 +0100

Original Post from Kevin C. (KevinC):

"Money isn’t money until basic needs are met"
"Hear my plea
Capitalists, rugged individualists, liberals, democrats, progressives, conservatives, libertarians, and everyone else in America, on this I hope you willl agree:

Since…

Human beings can’t live like human beings without choice and freedom.

and…

Human beings forced to function as nonhuman beings are not able to contribute to society effectively, and they are subject to unnecessary suffering themselves.

and…

Choice, freedom, and effectiveness don’t come until one can turn focus to the more important things in life — to growth rather than maintenance and the forestalling of catastrophe — until urgent basic necessities no longer consume our attention.

Then…

We have not simply a moral imperative but also a logical, self-serving incentive to make sure that everyone has a sturdy floor of minimum guaranteed income on which to stand."

A slightly different slant on the argument for UBI, particularly for those who mistake it for a giveaway of "free money", and ignore the randomized controlled trials showing its effectiveness.

Mon, 18 Dec 2017 17:14:31 +0100

This is a year old, but I just came across it. Fascinating stuff.

Tue, 28 Nov 2017 18:31:24 +0100

Turing test be damned, I'm calling it: This is officially the best bot ever invented. Next time you get a scam email, don't just delete it; forward it to me@rescam.org. The more time scammers waste on this bot, the less time they have to scam real people.

#spam #scams #internetscams #rescam #onlinescams #nigerianscam #stopspam #uce #scamprevention #chatbots #ai #bots

Sat, 25 Nov 2017 04:17:10 +0100

Quoted from +Edward Morbius's original post, which Google+ won't let me share directly:Undocumented AmericanThis is a feel-good story that's been making the rounds, but there's an element that's jumping out at me:...After moving around the country for a time, he came to Philadelphia a year ago with a job lined up and some money to buy a truck. But soon after the job fell through, leaving Johnny surviving off meager savings.Later, he lost his paperwork, rendering him unable to work. One night on the streets turned into a week, and ultimately a year of homelessness....Modern society is turning into a landscape of multiple, ubiquitous, and onerous procedural, and especially, documentational, requirements and landmines.The article doesn't mention what paperwork it is that Johnny doesn't have, but through most of the United States, simply to prove employment eligibility, you need to be able to provide a drivers licence and Social Security card. Not the numbers, but the documents themselves.If you're living rough, your filing system and routine may have developed some lapses.If you've lost these documents, or if you need to re-acquire them, you find that the list of credentials, and the process you must go through, expands. A replacement Social Security card will require a birth certificate, notarised. A drivers license will require the SSN (and hence, the birth certificate), plus generally a number of other forms of identity.These may be requested, by mail or online, but if you've no fixed address, no computer, no means of online payment, or any of numerous other challenges, you're going to find obtaining these to be at best difficult. If you're dealing with other challenges -- mental illness, medical, drugs dependency, relationship conflict, so much the more difficult.This has been a creeping set of dependencies, added to over the years. What was initially simply a registration and proof of skills for driving has turned into a primary identification document. Much the same is the case for a Social Security. Both are now part of an anti-terrorism infrastructure built up since 9/11, at a cost of trillions of dollars in direct expenses, and who can say what additional burden by way of uncounted Johnnys who are systematically deprived of the capacity to operate and function in society. They are a case of an escallating set of complexities with no counterveilling force to constrain the direct and unintended consequences, accruing over decades.And they are creating, literally, a sub-class of almost wholly ignored, entirely legal, undocumented Americans.Think on that.

Original Post from Edward Morbius:

Undocumented American

This is a feel-good story that's been making the rounds, but there's an element that's jumping out at me:

...After moving around the country for a time, he came to Philadelphia a year ago with a job lined up and some money to buy a truck. But soon after the job fell through, leaving Johnny surviving off meager savings.

Later, he lost his paperwork, rendering him unable to work. One night on the streets turned into a week, and ultimately a year of homelessness....

Modern society is turning into a landscape of multiple, ubiquitous, and onerous procedural, and especially, documentational, requirements and landmines.

The article doesn't mention what paperwork it is that Johnny doesn't have, but through most of the United States, simply to prove employment eligibility, you need to be able to provide a drivers licence and Social Security card. Not the numbers, but the documents themselves.

If you're living rough, your filing system and routine may have developed some lapses.

If you've lost these documents, or if you need to re-acquire them, you find that the list of credentials, and the process you must go through, expands. A replacement Social Security card will require a birth certificate, notarised. A drivers license will require the SSN (and hence, the birth certificate), plus generally a number of other forms of identity.

These may be requested, by mail or online, but if you've no fixed address, no computer, no means of online payment, or any of numerous other challenges, you're going to find obtaining these to be at best difficult. If you're dealing with other challenges -- mental illness, medical, drugs dependency, relationship conflict, so much the more difficult.

This has been a creeping set of dependencies, added to over the years. What was initially simply a registration and proof of skills for driving has turned into a primary identification document. Much the same is the case for a Social Security. Both are now part of an anti-terrorism infrastructure built up since 9/11, at a cost of trillions of dollars in direct expenses, and who can say what additional burden by way of uncounted Johnnys who are systematically deprived of the capacity to operate and function in society. They are a case of an escallating set of complexities with no counterveilling force to constrain the direct and unintended consequences, accruing over decades.

And they are creating, literally, a sub-class of almost wholly ignored, entirely legal, undocumented Americans.

Think on that.


http://www.miamiherald.com/news/nation-world/national/article186044173.html

Sun, 12 Nov 2017 06:21:26 +0100

"The right gun laws do prevent shootings, research strongly indicates. And these laws do not mean confiscating everybody’s guns."

Original Post from Kevin C. (KevinC):

"The right gun laws do prevent shootings, research strongly indicates. And these laws do not mean confiscating everybody’s guns."

Mon, 30 Oct 2017 01:41:44 +0100

I think this may be the best quote from the article:

“Women [in Saudi Arabia] have since committed suicide because they couldn’t leave the house, and Sophia is running around,” Ali al-Ahmed, director of the Institute for Gulf Affairs, told Newsweek. “Saudi law doesn’t allow non-Muslims to get citizenship. Did Sophia convert to Islam? What is the religion of this Sophia and why isn’t she wearing hijab? If she applied for citizenship as a human, she wouldn’t get it.”

#weliveinthefuture #thefutureisnow #tech #robotics #ai

Mon, 16 Oct 2017 22:47:40 +0200

PSA: Severe Vulnerability in All Wi-Fi Devices

A major Wi-Fi protocol vulnerability has been announced that affects absolutely every device that supports Wi-Fi, allowing attackers to decrypt WPA2 connections. This would allow attackers within Wi-Fi range to eavesdrop on connections and potentially to inject content, such as malware.

The good news is that the code to exploit this has not yet been publicly disclosed, so we probably won't see it in the wild quite yet. Wi-Fi vendors are currently scrambling to release software updates to resolve the issue, and if we're lucky, these updates might still be widely deployed before the exploit code is widely disseminated to hackers. Additionally, it's important to point out that most major websites today use HTTPS, which is an additional layer of protection that is not compromised by this vulnerability.

So don't panic just yet, but do keep an eye out for software updates for all your devices so you can install them as soon as they're released.

Mon, 09 Oct 2017 01:14:30 +0200

Google wants you to let their AI photograph your private moments at home.

#google #privacy #tech #ai

Fri, 22 Sep 2017 19:21:41 +0200

Next time a job interviewer asks what your greatest weakness is, just look them straight in the eye and say, "Kryptonite."