Chaos Manor View, Thursday, July 30, 2015
There is new material at Chaos Manor Reviews. http://chaosmanorreviews.com/ I am still in fiction mode, but today was a day of adventures… See below
Don’t waste your passion on the election yet; it’s early days.
A day of adventures. It began with Roberta telling me that when I go to the front downstairs office, she doesn’t get to sleep until I go back to the back bedroom where there is my hospital bed – since my stroke we have had to be in separate bedrooms. That’s frequently at midnight or after. She hears me trundle past her bedroom door.
That induced panic because I don’t change subjects well. For instance, yesterday I worked on fiction, and I’m not really here when I’m doing that; it takes me a while to focus on this page, or answer mail, or whatever. It’s particularly difficult just at the moment when our book really needs my attention.
Before the stroke I got most of my best work done at midnight and thereafter, but I only slept about four to six hours a night. I need more sleep now. And if I don’t get some time to refocus – that’s the main effect of that stroke on me, difficulty changing the subject I’m thinking about, with mild panic when that inevitably happens – it’s going to be hard to keep up this place and do fiction. I like doing this place, and apparently a lot of you want me to; my subscription renewal rate is high, and while I could always use more I get enough from subscribers to make a significant contribution to my income. For which thanks, of course. But that’s a strong incentive for keeping this up. Another is that I enjoy rational discussion, and while the Internet has provided us with plenty of communication, rational discussion gets increasingly more rare as time goes by.
About then I discovered that my ancient ThinkPad needed updates, the way I used to synchronize outlook pst files doesn’t work any more, I bumped Alien Artifact – my Windows 7 main machine – and the front panel came off. I couldn’t get it back on while sitting in my chair, and I had to keep telling myself that despair is a sin
The ThinkPad was the way I did this place from the beach house when we used to go down there. I kept all the Outlook pst files in a root folder called, surprisingly, Outlook, on both my main desk machine and the ThinkPad. When I’d go on the road, or to the beach house, I’d simply copy the Outlook folder with Xcopy from my main machine to the ThinkPad. Xcopy, because I could use /D /Y to copy only newer files, saving a lot of time. I’d tell Outlook to leave the old files on the server. Then off I’d go. When I got back I’d reverse the process, so the main machine knew what I’d been doing, then bring Outlook up on me desktop and merrily proceed.
But that was on an older main machine that’s still upstairs, and I don’t use it anymore; I now have a new system, Alien Artifact, as a main machine and it was set up while I was still in the rehab hospital, and the Outlook pst files are stored all over the place to the default whims of Microsoft and Windows 7 and Outlook 2007, and it’s incomprehensible to me; I have no idea of how to daily synchronize two machines in Outlook.
And I had a physical therapy session at Kaiser at 1300 but I needed a shower first and that would have to be first because the girl who helps me shower would not be here when I got back, and I left in a black mood.
But before I left, Eric pointed out that I have a perfectly good modern 64-bit machine upstairs and fast Ethernet in the back room, and we can simply bring Swan down to the back room and synchronize with this machine, and Peter pointed out that all I really need is a good chair and I can work back there after Roberta goes to bed at ten, and since I don’t need the wheel chair back there I can have a better chair to sit in and watch TV and socialize with Roberta, and the wheel chair is certainly not very comfortable so all I really need is a good comfortable office chair back there.
I pondered this as we got to Kaiser, where the physical therapist took my blood pressure and pronounced it dangerously low and sent me to urgent care. I refused to panic, but I must admit I wondered about it. We got there and I got a red flagged card which got me to see the nurse – who took my blood pressure and found it my normal 121/68 as it has been for years. Apparently the new instrument in Physical Therapy was improperly calibrated.
Got home to find the ThinkPad couldn’t update and failed to boot, would I like it to attempt to restore? Never did that before, but what the hell. Told it yes. Then got out of my chair and onto my knees and was able to put Alien Artifact’s front panel back on without problems.
Alien Artifact with his front cover back on properly. Was easy once I could get at it.
ThinkPad trundled a while and restored Windows 7 fine, and seems none the worse for wear; he is a little ancient and may need replacing but I’m hoping the Surface Pro 3 will do take his place. The Surface has larger keys and easier to type on, but the screen is smaller; and it’s been devoted to alpha versions of Windows 10; but that experiment is about over. Precious, the Surface Pro, seems stable now, and I’ll start to putting her to good use. Or try to.
The cramped quarters I now live in; they won’t let me work upstairs in the grand office. But we wrote Mote in God’s Eye here, on a Selectric typewriter, and Zeke lived here all his life
This weekend I hope to get Alex and Eric over to bring down Swan and get her set up in the back room and we’ll worry about synchronizing Outlook; my agent sent reasonable royalties for May, so I can afford a good office chair, probably a duplicate of the Henry Miller I’m in now, and keep it in the back room in place of the wheel chair which can go to someone who needs it; and the ThinkPad popped up with “Threat Warnings” but Norton said it could fix them; turns out I haven’t used it much and Windows Security Essentials wasn’t happy either, so I’m doing all the scanning anybody wants, smoothly and without problems.
And I typed all this, two fingers, but I got several whole sentences without errors – some of that is that I have trained autocorrect to find lots of words with numbers in them where I hit two keys at once, but also I’m not hitting two keys at once so much either. I got nit for not in that last sentence, and ion for in in this one, but fortunately I found those.
So, after many adventures, it has been a good day after all. When I get back from my LASFS meeting tonight I will have Precious in the back room and see if I can add anything to this, but any mail I’ll have to put in from here, where I won’t get until tomorrow. But for a day which looked like disaster, it turned out well.
The 97% consensus of climate scientists is only 47%.
Also, note that the survey questions were biased – there wasn’t any option for disputing the statements, only ‘I don’t know’ or ‘Other’.
I remain of the opinion that we have insufficient data; but Bayesian analysis would indicate spending more on data than on amelioration of either coming warm or coming cold age. Reduction of uncertainties will save money; preparations before uncertainty reduction is expensive. Do we buy blankets or bathing suits?
And there are repeated stories like this:
Mind-Blowing Temperature Fraud At NOAA.
‘Almost half of all reported US temperature data is now fake. They fill in missing rural data with urban data to create the appearance of non-existent US warming.’
Mostly the Iron Law at work.
Quote from Madison
I think this quote from Madison is quite apropos for today:
“A popular Government, without popular information, or the means of acquiring it, is but a Prologue to a Farce or a Tragedy; or, perhaps both. Knowledge will forever govern ignorance: And a people who mean to be their own Governors, must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives.”
— James Madison to W. T. Barry, Aug 4, 1822, James Madison, The Writings of James Madison, vol. 9 (Correspondence, 1819-1836)  <http://oll.libertyfund.org/people/james-madison>
Some days I think we are now in the Farce and Tragedy. But as you remind, despair is a sin.
Charles Adams, Bellevue, NE
The joys of ‘smart’ rifles.
: Massive Surveillance Crisis
I can’t find the words to describe this shocking development other than to say this is both disgusting and monumental:
CISA is an out and out surveillance bill masquerading as a cybersecurity bill. It won’t stop hackers. Instead, it essentially legalizes all forms of government and corporate spying.
Here’s how it works. Companies would be given new authority to monitor their users — on their own systems as well as those of any other entity — and then, in order to get immunity from virtually all existing surveillance laws, they would be encouraged to share vaguely defined “cyber threat indicators” with the government. This could be anything from email content, to passwords, IP addresses, or personal information associated with an account. The language of the bill is written to encourage companies to share liberally and include as many personal details as possible.
That information could then be used to further exploit a loophole in surveillance laws that gives the government legal authority for their holy grail — “upstream” collection of domestic data directly from the cables and switches that make up the Internet.
Thanks to Edwards Snowden, we know that the NSA, FBI, and CIA have already been conducting this type of upstream surveillance on suspected hackers. CISA would give the government tons of new domestic cyber threat indicators to use for their upstream collection of information that passes over the Internet. This means they will be gathering not just data on the alleged threat, but also all of the sensitive data that may have been hacked as part of the threat. So if someone hacks all of Gmail, the hacker doesn’t just get those emails, so does the U.S. government.
The information they gather, including all the hacked data and any incidental information that happens to get swept up in the process, would be added to massive databases on people in the U.S. and all over the world that the FBI, CIA, and NSA are free to query at their leisure. This is how CISA would create a huge expansion of the “backdoor” search capabilities that the government uses to skirt the 4th Amendment and spy on Internet users without warrants and with virtually no oversight.
Once we start looking at counterintelligence programs, false flag operations, and so on, things get even more interesting….
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Joshua Jordan, KSC
Krebs on Security has posted a new item.
Starting today, Microsoft is offering most Windows 7 and Windows 8 users a free
upgrade to the software giant’s latest operating system — Windows 10. But
there’s a very important security caveat that users should know about before
transitioning to the new OS: Unless you opt out, Windows 10 will by default
share your Wi-Fi network password with any contacts you may have listed in
Outlook and Skype — and, with an opt-in, your Facebook friends!
I have numerous comments from informed sources; the consensus seems to be that all the default options are opt in; but you should be aware of them.
Windows 10 Shares Your Wi-Fi With Contacts
In spite of the hysteria, I believe it is already fully opt-in.
The only, only, only thing that defaults to “on” is that the service is enabled. Every time a user adds a new Wi-Fi network, the dialog box specifically asks whether to share it with contacts or not, and which contacts to share it with from the three available options (Outlook/Facebook/Skype). All four of those questions, at least on my machine with a clean install, defaulted to OFF.
If the service itself is turned off, none of those sharing questions will be asked.
Now, if someone has turned on the service and shared a network, maybe it defaults to enable sharing the next time; I didn’t test that.
I think this business Krebs raises (and the Register raised) about how a friend could share your Wi-Fi credentials without your permission is just nonsense. That still takes a deliberate effort. If you have a friend who would do that, you need new friends.
Rare outbreak of sanity
Freedom is not free. Free men are not equal. Equal men are not free.