I am in awe. I’ve been working on making sense of “it all” myself recently. But I could not even dream to come close to expressing it remotely as well as Eben does. Free up an undisturbed hour of your life and watch this. Make it today if you can. I would pose that this will become widely recognised to be one of the more important speeches of our time.
( If you happen to subtitle videos for a living, please transcribe and subtitle this one. I do hope the next lecture in this series has slightly better sound and video. But you will see why it is fitting for our present condition that the thoughts we really need to hear are not read off a teleprompter on a well-lit stage and filmed in HD, but presented in a modest classroom and filmed on a handheld telephone. )
October 31st, 2013 - 11:11 | 6 comments Please share:
It looks like a majority in Dutch parliament is about to adopt a change in the law that would criminalize the use of fake name, address or phone number on the internet. The article (in dutch) goes on to say that perpetrators of fraud can already be convicted of, well, fraud. The point here is that the use of fake credentials in and by itself will become a criminal offense, punishable by 5 years in jail and/or a fine in the tens of thousands of euros.
So who will tell my friends who are not using their real names on Facebook? And what about all the times I’ve entered 020-1234567 as my phone number?
As I read it, this law seems like it can be used to put a sizeable portion of the dutch population in jail. But don’t worry, I’m sure they’ll only use it against the terrorists.
Anyone here really good with mediawiki? I recently upgraded two installations to 1.20 from 1.13.4, ran the update.php and all was fine except uploads don’t work anymore. (Could not create directory “mwstore://local-backend/local-public/3/37″). It’s not the owner/permissions on /images or children but something more subtle that seems (seems) to involve the mwstore://local-backend part not being translated into a filesystem path. With my primitive debugging it looks like it’s giving that path straight to mkdir. I’ve done the Google and short of trying to wrap my head around the mediawiki codebase I’m out of ideas, I guess.
Update: Problem solved. Turns out the new database backend thing in mediawiki doesn’t like database names with dots in them, and doesn’t tell you. Thank you Florian Holzhauer for finding it!
April 18th, 2013 - 22:26 | 3 comments Please share:
Wow. See this video and then show it to your daughter.
I’m beginning to really appreciate the Dove campaigns. This feels genuine and deep, far beyond mere advertising. (I know how icky that sounds, given that in today’s world that merely describes the holy grail of advertising, but so be it..)
(Yes, I know. I’ll blog more often.)
April 17th, 2013 - 09:57 | 3 comments Please share:
Sigh, it’s all so depressingly predictable. My last post contained some headlines on problems with the new Belgian e-Voting system made by Smartmatic. As it turns out there’s a real problem with quite a few people unknowingly voting a preference for the candidate whose button (on the second screen), happens to be right where the button for his/her party was on the first screen.
A few days after my last post there’s an article in “Het Laatste Nieuws” in which Hendrik Bogaert, deputy minister for the civil service, afraid of large political risks, would like to see e-Voting scrapped entirely. Geert Bourgeois, the Flemish interior minister, denies the seriousness of the problem:
“What is possible is that the voter touches the screen too long and thus out of lazyness just touches the closest person. Two separate actions are necessary”, Bourgeois underlines. “My agency and the company that sells the computers both contradict that this could happen by pressing too long.” Even 85.000 tests by PriceWaterhouseCoopers have “never shown this problem”.
Guess what. Just a few days later this very same minister is quoted in De Standaard complaining he has been made to look like a complete fool. It turns out PWC (“From the people that certified Diginotar”) did know about these problems after all. You didn’t see that one coming, now did you? He also fears that anyone that did not get a seat because of these problems could go to court, which would cause major problems. (Which seems like a silly fear to mention in an interview, but OK.)
More seriously: how many “incidents” does it take for people to realize that the entire e-Voting industry is corrupt and/or incompetent?
Interesting. During the elections our entire country was up in arms because the election results came in a few hours later than with the (black-box, readily hackable, completely non-transparant) computers we had before. Somehow nobody complains when forming a government takes months, but election results must come in immediately.
But when neighboring Belgium introduces new voting computers, nobody here wonders how they are doing. I collected some headlines, just so the people currently screaming for new voting computers know what to look forward to. It’s an incomplete collection, from Dutch language papers in Belgium. In case you don’t read Dutch: it looks like a LOT more trouble than our current paper-based elections.
Sad news… I got word today that Bill Squire has passed away. The global hacker community lost a legend. In various hackerspaces avant-la-lettre, Bill generously shared his deep knowledge of phones, pranks, electronics and technology in general. In the very early nineties, Bill was the phone phreak and electronics wizard without whom our magazine Hack-Tic would never have been as funny, as rebellious or as well-known.
September 3rd, 2012 - 01:21 | 63 comments Please share:
I need a new country. This one is lost. To illustrate this I’d like to translate an article about a major current political issue in the Netherlands for you. It’s about the maximum speed on a newly upgraded highway.
Speed on widened A2 highway can be raised to 170 km/h
Engineering firm Royal HaskoningDHV says the maximum speed on the widened A2 highway between Amsterdam and Utrecht can be raised further. Only at 170 km/h
People sometimes ask me what I read. I’ve replied to a few e-mails with small selections, but I guess I should write it down a little bit more elaborately and share it. I don’t read much fiction, and not all that many books. I’ve been buying e-books from Amazon recently. I have a Kindle but I’m mostly reading e-books through the Kindle app for my iPhone. I do read loads and loads of long and
The upcoming blockbuster military realistic first person shooter Black Ops 2 features, I kid you not, a main villain that appears modelled after Julian Assange:
The game’s main villain is Raul Menendez, described as the “idolized Messiah of the 99%”—a Julian Assange-like character who’s old, experienced, and hell bent on starting a global insurrection against the status quo.
From the trailer:
“He’s like … a celebrity now. People – in America – idolize him. They’ll wake up tomorrow
Recently I hear from people that have gotten visits from the dutch FBI/BKA equivalent called “Nationale Recherche”. Apparently some of the people that work there are making house calls while investigating – I kid you not – my involvement with the Occupy movement. As much as I feel I am an authoritative source with regard to my involvement in anything, I have yet to be asked any questions. So I don’t know how serious this
It’s been a while since I have written anything. Now I’m not the type to continuously blog/tweet/Facebook about what I had for dinner, and I’ve been away for longer periods before. With age comes wisdom: I can now shut up when I have nothing interesting to say…
But since I last posted there have been some things that I’ve wanted to write. But when you’ve been away for a while, you don’t want to