SSL – One Moment of Security

Mar - 26 2017 | no comments | By

SSL, Secure Sockets Layer, keeps data sent between two points from being intercepted and misused by a third party. This means that your password, credit card info, Social Security card number, or the name of your girlfriend’s dog will be safely transmitted when you click the DoIt button.

But that is all it does.

Once that information has been stored by the website, it is only as safe as the website itself. SSL does not make a website secure; it only makes communication with it secure.

Every recent huge data breach has released personal information from sites “protected” by SSL. So think twice or more before letting https// www Big Business keep your payment information. Or your birth date, mother’s maiden name, pet’s name, or anything else that can contribute to the cause of identity theft.

There are two reasons I’m not seduced by any temptations to enroll in autopay: One, I might not have any money in the bank tomorrow. Two, the reason I don’t have any money in the bank tomorrow could be that the site I gave my banking info to has been hacked.

A Mystery

Mar - 19 2017 | no comments | By

I was sitting at my computer (where else), hopping between Twitter and other things. Music suddenly started playing out of nowhere, loud and clear. I went all WTF and looked for the source. With four workspaces, four browsers and a few other windows open…woof. On my way down through my cyberspace mansion, I closed the GIMP because I was done using it, and I didn’t know if something was hiding behind it.

The music stopped. Instantly.

The only reasonable, non-paranoia-inducing explanation is that it was pure co-inky-dink involving a stray radio signal. But that’s one heck of a co-inky-dink, right on the old mouseclick. Plus, the speakers I’m currently using don’t seem to pick up shight like that. The cheapos I used previously often spoke in tiny, tinny voices.

The browsers were all innocent, all still open.

Kind of like that time I was playimg with Windwoes’ voice recognition, forgot I left it running, watched part of a video, and then found a mysterious message inserted into a text file I’d left open. Only no easy explanation, and no evidence (grr, I likes me some evidence).

Oh well, I don’t think it was Russian music :p

Just In Case

Mar - 18 2017 | no comments | By

…you need something else to call Tronald Gump, here is the list I composed. Some of these may be found elsewhere, but none of them were copied. Not all gems, perhaps, but I wanted a mix of long and short.

Prune Covered In Orange Slime Mold
Decaying Baby-Tooth
Dead Blobfish Dipped In Tang
Thing Moving In A Pile Of Rotting Seaweed
Smelly Sock Found Under A Bed In A Homeless Shelter
Walking Buttworm
Diseased Ho’S Used Tampon
Blazing Juggernaut Of Trivia
Monument To Bad Fuck
Puke Dumpling
Troll Doll Made Of Earwax And Dead Caterpillars
Mass Of Congealed Rancid Lipids
Unfinished Sculpture Of A Turd
Melonball With Bad Hair
Specimen Of Unhealthy Urine
Leprous Tropical Fruit
Horny Banana Slug
Cyanide Pill Disguised As A Kumquat
Babyshit Colored Dingleberry
Overgrown Fetus
Hairy Penis
Slab Of Rancid Pork Belly
Scrofulous Tergiversator
Fear-Biting Soi Dog
Smelly Vaginal Discharge
Oversized Flesh-Eating Bacterium
Yuge Blowfly Larva
Vat Of Putrescent Foreskins
Diseased Puffer Fish
Tiny-Fingered Skankworm
Boil On A Bum’s Arse
Ventriloquist’s Dummy With A Fly In Its Head
Urinal With A Clogged Drain
Imitation Leather Dildo
One-Man Freak Show
Leaky Condom
Highly Overrated Financial Failure
Soiled Codpiece
Insane Parody Of A Demented Ape
Overflowing Toilet
Refugee From Kindergarten
Bale Of Straw With The Face Of A Blobfish
Sow-Humping Sack Of Spoiled Lemons
Poster Child For Mediocrity
Anus-Mouthed Swamp Creature
Rump Of A Naked Chicken
Deserving Target Of Ridicule Since 1946
Overused Diaper
Runaway Honey Wagon
Thing That Fell Out Of A Junkfood Dumpster
Illegitimate Offspring Of A Pardoner And An Ass
Discrepancy In A Virus Scan Report
Comic-Book Villain Wannabe
Talking Sperm Cell
Drooling Idiot Who Can’t Zip His Own Fly
Master Of Gibberish
Party-Crashing Total Bore
Golf-Club With A Dick
Descendant Of Undesirable Immigrants
Nigerian Scam Personified
Spoiled Child With Yuge Entitlement Problems
Half-Ass Attempt At Creating A Sentient Being
Irresponsible Wannabe Penny-Ante Tyrant
Obese Frog In A Puddle Of Piss
Moldy Poundcake
Laxative Overdose
Puppet Of Slimy Rich Pigs
Mass Turd Baiter
Smug Hypocrite With Flaming Depends
Long-Nosed Short-Penised Bullshit Wrangler
Radioactive Citrus Fruit
Stranger To The Truth
Mutant Kumquat In An Expensive Suit
Self-Righteous Ignoramus
Fine Blend Of Pus And Sputum
Significant Source Of Unhealthy Thoughts
Comb Without A Rooster
Ten Gallons Of Low-Grade Sludge In A One-Gallon Pail
Sorry Mook
Yuge Amount Of Artificial Flavor And Color
Elderly Teenager
Tumor With Bad Humor
24-7 Fertilizer Factory
Vast Cloud Of Ignorance
Groper Of Young Models
Misogynistic Misfit With Stinky Fingers
National Disgrace And Embarrassment
Cheese Curd With Evil Intent
Hat Without A Head
Venusian Slime Worm With An Anus On Both Ends
Lost Boomerang


What Would You Call…
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American Imperialism

Mar - 13 2017 | no comments | By

I was made aware of Steve McEllistrem’s blog post on militarization, Why Are We Militarizing the World?, on Twitter today. He makes a terribly clear statement on matters we are not supposed to think about.

“Good” Americans who mindlessly repeat the Pledge of Allegiance, who want to Make America “Great” “Again,” who don’t see the narcissistic implications of patriotism, have now pushed us all over the edge of the cliff we built. A billion little bricks of arrogance high, it raises bullying above leadership; glorifies and deifies behavior that creates hatred.

It is said that it takes a real man to admit his mistakes. What about a real nation?

The New Holocaust

Jan - 22 2017 | no comments | By

Guest post by Hallie Dolin
__________________________

Let me tell you a story. It’s violent and it’s not pretty, but it needs to be told.

My paternal grandmother’s mother was from a family called Sereichik, named after their hometown of Sereija in what is now Lithuania. My dad has a sheaf of documents, full of my grandmother’s meticulous research, attesting to the fact that the town was a center of learning. Sereija boasted one of the best yeshivas (Jewish schools for children, almost always boys) in the area. In fact, my great-grandmother earned her passage to America by writing letters for illiterate people, for which she was paid.

Somewhere around forty years after she left, my great-grandmother’s mother Pesse Baile Sereichik, her two daughters who hadn’t managed to get out of the country, and their husbands and children were rounded up over the course of two days in September 1941. They were taken to the edge of town and, by the testimony of surviving townsfolk, were forced to dig their own graves. They were then lined up at the edge of the pits they had dug and shot so that they fell in. Murder and burial in one convenient step.

This is the family of ONE great-grandparent accounted for – an EIGHTH of my ancestry. Every single one of my ancestors, even my maternal grandmother’s American-born parents and her immigrant grandparents, had family back on the continent they were forced into by the Romans and ghettoized within (which is why I go freaking ballistic if you call me white, by the way). They lived in the Ukraine. Poland. Lithuania. Romania. Russia. A scant train car’s ride away from Stutthof, Kaiserwald, Koldichevo, the six extermination camps of Poland. One in six Jews killed in the Holocaust was killed at Auschwitz, and it’s likely that at least some of my family went there.

I’m telling you this story because the people who shot them were not Nazis. The SS didn’t dirty their hands with backwater towns like Sereija. No, my family’s murderers were their own neighbors. Lithuania was one of the bloodiest countries in terms of Jews murdered by their own countrymen. In fact, about ninety-three percent of Lithuania’s 210,000 Jews were killed. Much of this predated the gas chambers. Imagine the sheer hatred, the sociopathy in the upper echelons that goaded these people to foaming rage and let them shoot hundreds of thousands of their own neighbors between the eyes because of their ANCESTRY. Thousands of mass executions in God knows how many unmarked graves.

That is what I’ve seen in these two days of The Orange One taking office, and in the months preceding it. The short story I wrote back in 2008 that explored my fear of what might happen if MCCAIN won doesn’t seem so far-fetched now. The religious right wants much of the country dead. So does any Angry Calvinist businessman who thinks that people who don’t or can’t conform to a fairly recent model of productivity deserve death by no help at all.

Make no mistake, I am not talking just about Black people, Muslim people, immigrants of all stripes, or same-sex-attracted people like my fiancee and me. I’m talking about Jews. I’m talking about being scared as hell that we’re next.

Nearly every pro-Trump gathering that I’ve seen involves that same rage at Jewish people. There is an armed march being planned, specifically against the Jewish people of Whitefish, Montana. Armed march. Does the term “Kristallnacht” ring a bell?

I’m telling you this because we will be among the first to go. Maybe not by Trump and his cronies, who will turn their heads and focus on people who are “less desirable” than us horrible lizard people (yes, I know all the euphemisms that Nazis use). No, Bannon is going to quietly smile as thousands of our neighbors turn against us and reawaken centuries-old racial and ethnic prejudice – yes, I said racial against US, no matter how well some of us pass – to do what they’ve been longing to do for years.

Look me in the eyes, if you know me. Look at my photo, if you don’t. Somewhere in this country is a human being with the fortitude to face me head-on and put a bullet through my brain. I’d even wager that there is more than one.

Help me. Help others like me. FIGHT HIM.

Fifty Shades of White

Jan - 09 2017 | no comments | By

A Short Tale of Betrayal

I have built a reputation for honest work and trustworthiness. People rely on me to help them recover their passwords, rescue locked email accounts, salvage their lost files, clean up and speed up their computers. Last Friday, I was fired from a job I held for nearly ten years. Seems that my computer skills are no longer needed, and that’s all I was good for. (I have some other thoughts….)

I wanted to clear the office computer of files and software that no one else would know what to do with. I was not allowed to finish the job. This made the computer very unhappy, I am told. I do not feel that this was my fault; my intentions were only to remove things that might be confusing. Had I been allowed to do it completely and systematically, there would have been no trouble. Paranoia born of ignorance can cause more problems than it could possibly prevent.

One thing I left behind was my personal web browser — chock full of cookies! Because of this, I have been forced to change passwords for a forum I visit frequently, Facebluk, Gmail, and anything else I might have checked into. Yes, I should have known better than to stay logged in, lol.

It is well known that firing the hacker can have unpleasant consequences. However, I had no intentions of taking any vengeful action. If the princess who took over management last year thinks otherwise, she is dead wrong. The funniest thing is, her IT pet still hasn’t changed some passwords. [eyeroll] I logged into wordpress as another user and removed my personal login, because I like tidying things up.

I removed myself as admin of their Facebook page (which of course I had created, along with a Twitter account and other good things that I am now locked out of). I also created a new FB page for the organization that previously owned my workplace, because I still help them out.

Life goes on; I made many friends in that job, and they are still my friends. They will still trust me with their computers. As for the princess, I wouldn’t trust her as far as I can throw “Leviathan,” my favorite computer. That’s not far at all, the damn thing is heavy.

Menonymous

Oct - 28 2016 | no comments | By

Cheapest quick last-minute Halloween costume evah.

selfie in mirror

anonymirror

Full Metal Petal

Sep - 10 2016 | no comments | By

Origami Lotus Flower with slight modification
silver lotus

A bit of background first. Twenty-odd years ago I was heavily into origami. Because my health was poor (as a result of poverty) and my low-paying job was exhausting, I needed something to do while mostly doing nothing. Origami was my key to couch occupation.

Since then I’ve forgotten a lot, including some original models that I didn’t bother to diagram. But it’s coming back with a bang. Now that I can afford to buy pre-cut paper, and can order online, I have material to fuel my passion to new heights. So far I haven’t accomplished any noteworthy feats, but my reclaimed skill increases with every fold. And I am diagramming anything that I give a personal twist to. This is about one of those little modifications.

In order to fold a Lotus Flower from three-inch paper, I simplified the method a bit. Skipping one round of corner fold-ins allows me to produce a respectable lotus without straining my not-so-young eyes and fingers.

Here is my diagram, created with Inkscape:
lotus_simplified.pdf

3261c

3263c

3265c

3268c

One thing I found difficult at first was pulling out the main petals. This Youtube video helped me:

Now I often do this step with my eyes closed, the better to feel the movement of the paper. It almost never tears when I don’t watch.

small lotus flowers

More small lotus flowers

Youtube didn’t exist when I first leaned origami; I had nothing but diagrams in books. However I do find videos helpful and recommend them to all beginners.

Happeh Geekness

Jun - 08 2016 | no comments | By

Not getting too much done on this site, but I set up another for a friend last weekend. Used WordPress, with a theme called Universal. It’s a beautifully tweakable theme that is friendly to all devices. I tested it on a phone just to see how it went.

He’s pegging away at adding content now. Check out the Well Laid Stone (and don’t be surprised if stuff is changing!).

Brickwork 2010

The phoenix rises

May - 03 2016 | no comments | By

My previous web hosting lacked security, and gradually my site became a party zone for script kiddies. Not only littered with unwelcome files, it was impossible to clean up because file permissions had become unchangeable. Support ticket? Forget it.

So, last night I grabbed some recent logfiles and torched the whole thing. Well, scorched it, anyway. Now hosted by A Small Orange, the site can regenerate. It won’t be the same, so if anyone has bookmarked specific pages, those bookmarks will never work again. Heh, sorry, but site happens. The old material will be restored after cleaning, which will take some time.

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