Archive for the 'Tech' Category


Apple thief?

There are reports that if using an Apple Music Subscription, the service will delete all the original files off your Mac (even ones that are content you created.) That is just insane. I’m glad I haven’t tried the service.

Apple Steals Music


android permissions blues…

In a particularly bone-headed move, Google has removed granular permissions info from Android on application installs and updates.  Even worse they have now grouped permissions into generic profiles that I disagree with on scope.  Android was already frustrating in that you could not grant/deny individual permissions but had 3 options when an app claimed more; accept them, don’t update/install the app, or delete the app.  I have exercised all of those options in the recent past.

We tend to laugh these days at people still clinging to their Blackberry handsets but one thing BB did really well was permissions.  It had very granular settings and the user was in control granting or denying them one by one if they so chose.  I loved my Curve but was eventually lured away by modern touch-screen phones.

I don’t want to be locked into just one provider and I already have an iPhone for my business calls.  (That’s how much I value privacy, I carry 2 separate physical phones.)  So Google is now causing me to go further than ever before in modding my phone.  I’m thinking CyanogenMod.

I’m pissed.


Zimbra (ZCS) zmconfigd crashes…

This won’t mean much to most of you.  However, I have to give a shout out to Abidoon Nadeem for having the answer to an issue bedeviling me for 2 days.  I migrated my old mail server to new hardware and was fighting a problem with “zmconfigd” crashing.  Zimbra is a wonderful communication suite (email, calendar, etc.) even if it has the occasional weirdness.  Abidoon had the simple answer, just one package to install.  Thanks man!

zmconfigd crashes []


Stop the blacklist…

Stop SOPA/PIPA, contact your Congressional representatives.  For more info see, the EFF site.


Big Brother has another eye in the sky

You know how all the sci-fi shows about a dystopian future show the citizens being surveilled by small flying units?  Guess what, it’s now coming true in Texas.  The same battle field technology used (illegally) in conflicts abroad is now being purchased by domestic police departments using federal dollars.  My favorite line from the article is

“We’re not going to use it to be invading somebody’s privacy. It’ll be used for situations we have with criminals,” Gage said.

Wow, if you believe that then I have a bridge in New York I’d like to sell you.  Just look at how they have been using counter-terrorism laws that were rushed onto the books as charges against completely unrelated offenses just a couple of years after 9/11.  What say you?

New Police Drone Near Houston Could Carry Weapons

Update 12/12/11:  Perfect example  [LA Times]


Another legend passes…

Just a few days after the passing of Steve Jobs, we lost another critical figure in the IT world named Dennis Ritchie.  Although less well known (outside of the IT crowd) he was one of the giants that other great people stood upon the shoulders of.   For those who do not know, he was a co-founder of the Unix operating system as well as the creator of the C programming language.

While non-programmers may not know much about the C language, chances are good that every electronic device you have runs software created in C.  Non-IT people may also be less familiar with Unix but the majority of internet servers run a Unix or Unix-like operating system and it also is the basis for Mac OS X and iOS.

Even though the reaction will be less emphatic as those commenting on Steve Jobs, Apple would literally not be where they are today if not for Dennis Ritchie.  So I pay the same respect to Dennis, RIP sir.

Dennis Had A Bigger Effect Than Jobs: Pike [EFY Times]



DHS testing “pre-crime” detection technology

The good folks at EPIC have used FOIA requests to get some sparse details on a Department of Homeland Security project to detect “mal-intent” via “non-invasive” biometric scanning.  This is very reminiscent of Minority Report minus the pre-cogs.  The DHS can’t even agree on whether PII (Personally Identifiable Information) will be stored in the system as they say it won’t but their own privacy assessment indicates it will.  I think based on what has leaked out about the backscatter x-ray machines we all know how trustworthy their assurance that it won’t is.

I thought the mention of ethnicity as a component in the algorithm was quite interesting as well, is it still racial profiling if it’s a machine instead of a live agent making that decision?  I think so, an obvious facet to challenge it on.  It’s no wonder they are so tight-lipped about it.

“That which grows in the shadows and withers in the light of day, does not belong on the vine.” – Unknown

Homeland Security moves forward with ‘pre-crime’ detection [CNET]


RIP Steve…

Steve JobsAlthough I haven’t been an Apple user for a long time, I fondly remember working on my first Apple II and Macintosh machines.  He was truly a visionary who has had a very large impact on the commercial world and helped to shape the careers of professionals like myself.  Rest in peace and “one more thing”  — thank you.





Biometrics: Dubious security

A very interesting article clearly laying out a viewpoint I have long held.  As we continue to rush blindly into security measures based on things we don’t really understand, often trashing personal rights and privacy in the process, we are actually setting ourselves up for failure.

Biometrics: The Difference Engine… []


Fix bootup resolution with ATI/nVidia cards in Ubuntu 10.04

If you use the proprietary 3D video drivers with Ubuntu 10.04 you may notice that the bootup resolution (GRUB and Plymouth) is extremely low even though things are right when you get to the desktop.  I ran across an excellent post with some ideas for fixes.  The main solution worked flawlessly for me.

High resolution Plymouth & Virtual Terminal for ATI/NVIDIA… [Tux’s Idyllic Life]

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Random opinions of a slightly jaded geek in Cincinnati, OH, US.

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