I know, I know, the senate scandal had some interesting things happen this afternoon. But, as I started this post prior to those revelations, we’ll talk about this first and senate tomorrow or so. Somehow, I have ended up on the mailing list for Conservative MP Joy Smith; I would assume this blog has something to do with it, but who can say for sure. As such, I was treated to today’s media release on her inviting a known “pornographic expert” to Canada to speak on the perils of internet pornography. Smith made some news earlier in the year, (Read more…)
Last week, while enjoying a lovely lunch at a restaurant with my mom and my partner, an oily sauce jumped out of a bowl and splattered on my shirt. All right, it didn’t actually jump out, truth is I can be a clumsy eater. But the sauce went on my shirt. Ugh.
This wasn’t one little dot, which can be annoying enough. This was an entire collection of splats, re-decorating the front of my shirt. Double ugh.
Because I was busy with family and friends, I wasn’t able to immediately soak or stain-treat the shirt. It ended up sitting for (Read more…)
Sometime late on Thursday night into Friday morning, our internet went down. This is the worst possible time for such an event, as internet is our lifeline to baseball, and the Boston Red Sox are on their way (I hope) (I believe) to winning the World Series.
From the sound of things, there were problems at some major internet hubs in the area, with massive outages affecting parts of Mississauga, Toronto, Kitchener-Waterloo, Hamilton, and so on.
What was the problem? When could we expect service to resume? TekSavvy wasn’t able to tell me… because Rogers wouldn’t tell them.
I have (Read more…)
We all know the iconic cartoon the title of this post refers to. Boing Boing has republished a story about it, originally run in The Magazine, an ad-free, reader-supported magazine that looks really interesting.
It’s a wonderful little piece: the story behind the story, a glimpse into the life of people who try to earn a living from their own considerable talents, and a look back at the early days of the internet, and how things have changed, before tinfoil-hat predictions were proven to be not paranoia, but prescience.
Go here to read the story (really, it’s fun), and (Read more…)
It’s been a while since I wrote about Freecycle – once as we were getting ready to move to Canada in 2005, then again when we moved from our first place in Port Credit to the Cooksville section of Mississauga.
On this last move (Cooksville to Square One), I had no time to go through things and pare down. I hired some folks to pack us up, and now I’ve been combing through everything as I unpack. I thought that was completely backwards, but it’s turned out to be efficient and logical. Once you’re moved in, you have a better (Read more…)
In your otherwise dull Thursday, take a look at an article in The Atlantic about an army of paid Internet commenters from Russia.
This paragraph leaped out:
Paid, pro-government commenters aren’t a new phenomenon in Russia, and similar practices are widespread in countless countries. In their Freedom on the Net report released last week, the NGO Freedom House said the strategy has been on the rise over the past two years, and is now rampant in 22 of the 60 countries the group examined. China, Bahrain, and Russia are at the forefront of this practice, Freedom House wrote.
Poor Lao Tzu. He gets saddled with the most atrocious of the New Age codswallop. As if it wasn’t enough to be for founder of one of the most obscure philosophies (not a religion, since it has no deity), he gets to be the poster boy for all sorts of twaddle from people who clearly […]
Highlight Link: http://openmedia.org/censorship
I am amazed that in 2013 I am still feeling the need to write this but Kathryn May in today’s Citizen is covering a PSLRB (the board that handles issues related to federal government labour-management relations) decision upholding management’s right to stop the union from using its email system. So I guess it still needs saying. Dear sisters and brothers: your work email belongs to your employer. They can do what they want with it. Any time and for any reason. And now – if they let you know first – they can read it.
Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.
- It shouldn’t be a surprise that more people are pointing out the importance of effective regulation in preventing disasters like the Lac-Mégantic explosion. But it may be somewhat unexpected to see that message from a CEO in the industry which stands to be regulated: Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. CEO Hunter Harrison warned that a catastrophic derailment like the one that levelled the centre of Lac-Mégantic could happen again if regulators don’t impose tougher safety rules for transporting hazardous materials.
Mr. Harrison, an outspoken industry executive who has been running railroads in Canada and (Read more…)
I noticed another person with a CIBC 2-factor authentication fob on their key chain last week. It displays a seemingly random number that actually only a special server knows, so if a password is stolen, so too must the fob containing the random number code that changes every minute. Without both the password, and the fob, a thief is unable to log into a stolen account.
Passwords make the Web work, so we can have ‘our’ stuff, and keep unwanted and very unwelcome people from viewing it and changing our own information. So a title like “Kill the Password: (Read more…)
With the Robocalls trial under way, some newer information is becoming public. That’s no thanks to the judge who has imposed a partial publication ban on investigative documents.
One person with a legitimate account to make robocalls at RackNine, was Andrew Prescott. On Thursday he wrote me to bring to my attention a new detail other than Rogers’ IP mistake brought up in court. Apparently Matt Meier of RackNine made an error initially in linking Prescott’s RackNine robocall account to a proxy server in Saskatchewan. The same proxy server was used by Pierre Poutine to order illegal robocalls for Guelph’s (Read more…)
My adventures with VPNs, wireless VPNs, and other fun IP-address changes just keep getting better all the time. My new favourite addition is called HideMyAss - a stupid name, but a terrific service.
When I last updated you on our awesome wireless VPN + Roku experience, we were using two separate routers – one for wireless VPN, and one for everything else. This was necessary because MLB.TV – through which we watch baseball on our TV, via Roku – didn’t get along with the wireless VPN router. The feed would continually stop for buffering, making it impossible to follow (Read more…)
Last night I fixed a Vista laptop (It wouldn’t finish booting into Windows normally because I’d installed another hard drive, and ran ClamAV which possibly changed a file it was depending on after I removed the other hard drive. I ran startup repair, and then the system restore option, and that fixed it, easily.) This evening I noticed an old barcode scanner that Dad got in some online deal, and it never worked. It had DRM built into it, and wouldn’t read barcodes as plain text as they should be. Instead it encrypted the text and relied upon decryption (Read more…)
Clive Thompson wrote this amazing piece in Mother Jones about how a new method of interacting will allow access across the street and eventually around the world independently. No cables, no phone lines and presumably no snooping.
Scores of communities worldwide have been building these roll-your-own networks—often because a mesh can also be used as a cheap way to access the regular internet. But along the way people are discovering an intriguing upside: Their new digital spaces are autonomous and relatively safe from outside meddling.
Read the full article here.
The healthy slow-cooker recipe of the week – now running about every-other week – has hit a snag: lentil soup. I love lentil soup, but my own is turning out just OK, not really delicious.
After the first try was too bland, Stephanie suggested using allspice and more bay leaves. Excellent idea! I upped the bay leaves from three to six, and added allspice. Result: big improvement, but still not great.
If you make delicious lentil soup, can you share your secrets? (And if the secret is homemade stock, then I’m out of luck.) More below.
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