Dec 26

Sides

This article is incredibly stupid — equal to the stupidity of articles that claim that AI is going to kill us all! Next year!

This article alas falls into the fabled “not even wrong” category.

Only morons think that we’d ever build a 747 by looking at a bird and attaching 100-foot feathered wings to a damn tree trunk.

So, so many things wrong with this piece. It tries to claim that we won’t be able to do certain things by making an argument that a slingshot couldn’t launch a rock to the moon in 1900.

Where do they keep the good tech journalists? Are there any left at all?

Dec 25

Windows decline

After using it for a bit, I have to say that Windows 10 is a hideously ugly piece of crap where things that formerly were easy are now very difficult.

If it took one click before, it now takes two or three or ten; if it was possible before, now it often is not.

The start menu is a bungled mess of abominable inconsistency and lack of functionality. Anything that formerly made the OS powerful has been removed; all that made it friendly to anyone who needed to get real work done is now completely gone.

The morons have fully won.

Let’s congratulate them on their victory.

Dec 25

10tative

I was messing around with Windows 10 in a VM, just seeing what it took to truly make it secure.

I know what I am doing, and to completely prevent it from leaking gigabytes of data to Microsoft and others, it took me about three hours. Three hours of hacking and smacking the system into submission.

But now I have a working Windows 10 system where not a single packet gets out that I don’t wish to do so.

The sad thing is that almost no one seems to care that their data is being spewed hither and yon. I think we are in the midst of another huge cultural shift (that I want no part of) — one where people go from being concerned with maintaining some semblance of privacy to where surveillance is the default, and expected, and even desired.

Of course then people will insist that it was never any other way.

But some of us will remember.

Update: Just found this that does most of what I did, and a little more in some areas. But that is a great start to get you 70% of the way to my beating Windows 10 down.

I’ve done some really quite cool networking things, though, and I’ll write those up later. They involve creative use of proxies, fake default routes and of course some firewall fun. With an added sprinkling of DNS trickery.

Dec 23

Fear nation

This is…amazing.

I don’t know how this has changed over time, but these figures sure seem strange. I played on my own in front of my house when I was five, but today’s parents think you need to be 10—and a substantial fraction think you need to be over 12 to play in front of the house unsupervised.

Like Kevin, I played in the front yard on my own when I was five, often for hours with no supervision. All my friends — some with much more engaged parents than mine — did the same.

I was going everywhere I could get to on my bike alone by the time I was 9.

Anyone who did not do this was considered a real weirdo.

It’s such an odd thing that as safety has increased paranoia has also increased.

Behaviors and child-rearing practices that were utterly normal in the 1980s and prior now get you thrown in jail.

Dec 23

Remarkable Lamarckian

This person has no idea how evolution works — they appear to be a Lamarckian of a particular dumbassed variety. In the case of obesity there is probably a mild selection pressure against it over the long term for modern humans.

Obesity leads to fewer pregnancies, worse pregnancy outcomes and the chance of a an earlier death to list merely are a few causes, as well as sexual selection occurring.

Over the long term — ceteris paribus — this will cause some selection pressure against it.

So most likely the exact opposite is occurring, even ignoring the Lamarckianism and stone-stupid stupidity.

Dec 22

Who writes this crap?

Does just no research at all happen in journalism anymore?

Ten years ago, Amazon unleashed a technology that we now call, for better or for worse, cloud computing. As it turned out, the cloud spawned a revolution. Along the way, many were slow to realize just how big this revolution could be. But now, as 2015 comes to a close, they finally do.

Back in 2006, Amazon was just an online retailer, but it decided to try something new. It offered up a series of online services where the world’s businesses could build and operate software—websites and mobile apps, in particular—without setting up their own hardware.

Rackspace was founded in 1998, and did much the same thing as Amazon. That was eight years before Amazon tried anything similar.

In addition, there were also more specialty Unix-focused data centers that operated much the same as modern ones beginning in the mid-70s.

Remote data centers where almost all is managed by the host is not a new idea at all. Amazon did not invent it, nor did they come up with most of the main innovations in that space.

I bet Wired was paid to write this article.

The cloud is just a computer that’s somewhere else other than where you are. That’s all it is. Everything else is just someone trying to hoodwink you.

Dec 22

Pen in the VPN

Another “critical” “VPN” “vulnerability” and why Port Fail is bullshit.

Networking is hard. Easy to make stupid mistakes.

Another thing you can do on Linux is to only allow outside traffic to and from your VPN adapter. For instance, I have rules in ufw that deny all incoming and outgoing traffic outside of my local subnet except if it is on tun0.

So if my VPN connection goes down, absolutely no traffic goes anywhere because then tun0 doesn’t even exist.

And my firewall is set to deny/deny so only traffic that is explicitly allowed traverses any interface. Nothing is perfectly secure, but that is about as close as you can get.

Dec 21

Authenticity

I’ll never understand the authenticity obsession.

When I walk into a restaurant or patisserie or chocolatier, here’s what I care about: is the food good or not.

That is the one thing. Everything else is irrelevant unless the staff actually attempts to set me on fire or similar. I just don’t care if the fucking waitress claims to be Joan of Arc. Is the food good? Ok, then, you’re Joan of Arc.

The same with music. Mad because Taylor Swift won’t tell you what “Bad Blood” is really about? Come on, get a life. Is the song good or not? Who cares what the song is really about. Enjoy it on its own terms.

Authenticity and obsessing over it just makes everything worse — especially since nearly nothing is as authentic as people wish.

Dec 20

Human Nature

I didn’t want to accept it, but it’s one of those things that appears to be true whether we like it or not: a strong welfare state and unlimited or overwhelming immigration are almost certainly mutually exclusive.

Until human nature changes considerably — which is not alterable by cultural change — I don’t think this is something that can be fixed.

So in this case liberals will have to choose which they want, because both will not long stand in simultaneity.