Nov 13

Girls and boys

If the amount of time that pseudo-feminists spent arguing over whether “girl” or “woman” was appropriate and in which situations could be somehow directed at useful pursuits, a lot more progress could be made on actual feminism.

Arguing over words is mostly a distraction, and a useful one to patriarchy and to the powerful.

This despite the fact that it’s also really, really common to use “boys” to refer to adult men. And many adult men use “woman” as an insult. Should we ban that word, too?

Such a non-issue about something completely irrelevant. Banning words does absolutely nothing. Changing culture does.

Nov 13

Salivation salvation

If Metro style crapplications that are 100x slower to use and have all useful features removed are the future, I’m going to do like Mulder and Scully and fight the future.

It might make the droolers 20% more productive, but makes me completely unproductive.

And I frankly don’t give a shit about the droolers.

Nov 13

Not a ninny

A woman at work was surprised that I know who Tori Amos and Anaïs Nin are, and was shocked that I had listened to Tori extensively and read Nin (when I was 12).

I don’t like “girl stuff.” I like good stuff. That most men are too fucking poisoned by masculinity to not recognize quality when it’s right in front of them is why I don’t generally associate with men.

Nov 12

Big, dumb, and slow

It’s really disheartening to observe how the whole experience of computing has gone retrograde for anyone who has the vaguest clue what they’re doing.

Every day, computers become less powerful, less useful, more difficult and annoying to use and more locked down. All because the droolers demand it. Or at least don’t care.

It truly was an exciting time to be alive if you liked computers during the 1980s and 1990s as each upgrade brought much more power, a better interface, more useful software and increasingly user-focused design. Now, design is designer- and moron-focused so for people like me find computers increasingly annoying or even impossible to use.

Even though the hardware has gotten better, for anyone with half a brain computers are now so very much slower because doing something that used to take two clicks or a second at the command line requires an increasingly large list of arcane hacks, mods or breaking into your own computer to battle against it turning into an oversized mobile phone.

Because I’m selfish, I wish computer use had never democratized, that morons and smartphones had never invaded the computing landscape. I enjoyed it a lot more when I could actually make my machine do what I wanted it to do, rather than be trapped in some toy OS mobile phone nightmare where some suit-bedecked bumblefuck decided what my computer was allowed to do.

It really is going to be like the 1960s again soon — a small coterie of people knowing how to use a real computer, and able to afford one, who seem like demi-gods compared to those who just know how to click on something madly, and if that doesn’t work, that’s it.

That’s not a better world, but that’s an inevitable world.

The future — and it will be terrible — is big, dumb, and slow.

Nov 10

CIAC

Mozilla is comically inept and clueless.

In five years, I doubt Firefox will be around. No reason for it. Sometime soon, I plan to switch to Chromium myself after I figure out what Google spying is going on, and then block that.

Firefox has no advantages over Chromium any longer, so why should I bother with its ever-changing bullshit?

Nov 10

Social Justice Goon Squad

The reason “social justice warrior” has become a pejorative is not because people are opposed to social justice — well, at least not most people.

It’s because a large part of the movement has become a thug-like goon squad, ignorant of history, or standards of evidence, of basically anything but their feelings. Which feelings can’t be wrong. But, well, they sure can be stupid.

As a former preschool teacher… it is hard for me to give credence to a claim that there is something objectionably “appropriative” about a blonde ­haired child’s wanting to be Mulan for a day. Pretend play is the foundation of most cognitive tasks, and it seems to me that we want to be in the business of encouraging the exercise of imagination, not constraining it.

A kid wanting to emulate Mulan actually increases the possibility of cultural understanding. At the worst, it’s merely harmless.

If I were a conspiracy theorist, I’d say that a large, shadowy right-wing organization was pretending to be these rabid SJWs to discredit the whole project of secular humanism. I wish I could believe that. But in reality, it’s just that these people are truly this obtuse and oafish.

Nov 10

ITerminated

This is not at all surprising.

It’s horrible, but merely an intermediary step towards automation. The moment some AI or semi-AI (or even just a shell script) becomes cheaper (not necessarily better) than the IT worker in question, that’ll also be the end.

And that is happening very quickly, by the way.

What is a little mystifying is that I’ve been on the other side of offshoring/outsourcing (though never laid off), and without exception the support is worse, slower and of extremely low quality.

In addition, the company will lose the flexibility and years of accrued knowledge and experience that long-time IT staff will possess.

Cengage talks about flexibility, but in reality all that just went away; major changes they want to make in the future will be difficult to nearly-impossible as they are now locked into that vendor, and it will be difficult to extricate themselves. And having just discarded all the institutional knowledge possesses by their IT staff, it won’t be long before no one there actually knows how all of their systems function.

But hey, they’ll make more profit for a few quarters! That’s what it’s all about, right?

Nov 09

10der subject

Now that I’ve worked out in testing a reliable way to fully block all Windows 10 spying, I can feel comfortable using it in my environment again.

I’ll publish my full findings later, and firewall guidelines for what to block. And some PowerShell scripts for nuking things that normally could not be.

I’d still not advise most people to use the OS unless you have 10+ years IT experience, know how to use a packet sniffer really well, understand configuring firewalls and how to detect when traffic that should be blocked is not being blocked, and how to otherwise hack, maul, and womanhandle your system.

That’s what? 0.025% of the population?

In other words for nearly everyone, unless you want whoever happens to hack into Microsoft next and/or the NSA, the FBI, and other random law enforcement agencies to have all your data, don’t use Windows 10.

Nov 09

Windows IO

Do not use this app. It will not help you block spying on Windows 10.

Windows 10’s spy software bypasses the hosts file altogether. Evil, I know. So putting entries into the hosts file to redirect traffic to 127.0.0.1 does absolutely nothing.

You can block Windows 10 spying with a 3rd-party firewall or a firewall on the edge of your network.

I do not recommend a 3rd-party firewall installed on the same machine that you wish to block data exfiltration from as anything with admin access — including the Windows spy software — can then disable it or alter its rules. There is no technical way around this.

If you must use Windows 10, use it with a firewall that it has no direct access to. And if you do not care that your data is being stolen by Windows 10 — well, you are fucking stupid and probably should not use any OS.