about this photo Tom posted… Charlie is prone to bronchiolitis, which is like bronchitis, but since baby lungs are so underdeveloped it leads to a lot of wheezing and concern about blood oxygen levels. It’s the kind of thing that tends to resolve itself if the symptoms can be managed.
“In brief: The software on the Gear Fit is so completely, fundamentally broken, that it takes the most promising piece of hardware we’ve yet seen in the wearable space and makes it pretty darn useless. And even the hardware has its share of irritating quirks. The display is beautiful, but because there’s no ambient light sensor it seems to always be too bright or too dark. If you leave the wake-up gesture on (the “checking your watch” gesture) you will wake yourself up with a blast of light every time you roll over in your sleep. On the plus side, I got a solid four days of usage on a single charge, and it survived multiple showers.”—
“The life of the solo sysadmin is a difficult one. You probably support dozens to hundreds of users. How do you keep your installs clean? Your workstations up to date? Your self out of the loony bin? This sessions is designed to be part technical, covering the world of lifecycle management in a sane way, and it’s also designed to be part humanities, covering good user management (not the server side, the human side), good time management, and a method to keeping the madness at bay.”—
I didn’t know I was lonely ‘til I saw your face
I wanna get better, better, better, better,
I wanna get better
I didn’t know I was broken ‘til i wanted to change
I wanna get better, better, better, better,
I wanna get better
Recently, Apple asked us to get our Mobile Technical Competency certification, and, well, when Apple asks, you do that shit, so I started to get current with Apple in other ways and looked at training dates, since MTC is one you have to do the training for.
Turns out there’s one in Chicago. On April 28-29. Which is right after CHSH. And it’s at 225 West Wacker. Which is literally across the bridge from the Holiday Inn. So we’re staying for a couple extra days at ye olde Holiday Inn and Tiff and Charlie are going to explore the great grand world while I learn about how to support iOS 7 devices.
It is certainly possible that they are telling the truth, but this is an agency whose head has testified before Congress and denied that the agency was doing things that we now know for a fact they were doing. So grains of salt and whatnot.
The grain of salt you need to take this with is larger than the whole of this winter’s road salt quota for all of the US.
These people think they’re above the law and need to be reminded.
If an organized hacker ring sabotaged security standards and major tech infrastructure for years, compromising the security of hundreds of millions of people and many governments including our own (and potentially causing billions of dollars in damages when these exploits were found by others), and exploited any flaws they found or created to spy on millions of people in the world including our own citizens, what should they be charged with?
Mass criminal sabotage, cybercrime, cyberwarfare, and computer fraud? Obviously.
Terrorism? Maybe, but not quite.
At what point do the NSA’s actions qualify as treason?
Today is the 13th anniversary of the founding of Cloudmakers, the Yahoo discussion board that served as the hub for players of The Beast, widely considered to be the first Alternate Reality Game and the beginning of the journey that would bring me to the world of Transmedia.
In honor of that anniversary, here’s a piece I wrote a few years ago; a memoir of the Cloudmaker experience.
Before I was a creator, I was a fan. And one of the most precious things about my experience on The Lizzie Bennet Diaries was the ability to make something that inspired an audience in the same way the A.I. Game inspired me.
The list of things that members of Cloudmakers have gone on to do would astound and amaze if anyone ever put together a survey and did a Where Are They Now thing. Maybe for the fifteenth anniversary.
Late yesterday, a flaw in a very important piece of the secure Internet, secure sockets layer or SSL, was announced to the public.
The bug, called Heartbleed affects Internet servers that use certain versions of the OpenSSL libraries. An attacker could see small portions of server memory, including data that would normally be encrypted, including password data and SSL private keys.
We have been rolling out fixes to affected machines we control over the last 24 hours, and believe we have completed patching of all critical systems by 4pm yesterday.
News stories on the issue range from urging you to change important passwords to imminent armageddon. As usual the truth is somewhere in the middle.
Unless a provider tells you that their servers were affected you really have no idea of knowing if they were compromised.
What we recommend in this case is caution and selective corrective action. Some high profile websites that were affected in some part include Dropbox, Yahoo, Facebook, Google, Twitter and Microsoft, and credentials for some of those could be revealed through a buffer overflow. The ability to perform this attack was out in the wild from Monday morning, and fixes were deployed as late as 3pm yesterday. If you accessed one of those services in that timeframe, it is possible, but not necessarily likely, that your username and password for those services was recoverable by third parties. We would recommend changing your password for that service.
Over the next week, we will be re-issuing SSL certificates for a few servers as a precautionary measure.
Welcome to another explainer of the technical variety!
You may have heart of Heartbleed by now, it’s a security bug that affects a some versions of a code library (OpenSSL) that is used by many, many websites on the internet. That security bug can potentially make what would normally be encrypted data into something that can be read by a malicious party.
Think of it like this. You open your browser and go to your bank’s website. The reason you trust that not just anyone can read your bank details is that SSL certificate that your bank spent beaucoup bucks on.
Except that, now, because of this heartbeat issue, an attacker can force your web server to reveal 64 kilobytes of data from its memory in an unencrypted fashion.
Suffice it to say: this is really bad. And it can be done very, very often.
While it’s fishing for something good - and you don’t always know what you’re going to get from that 64 kb - it could be good, it could be garbage - it still shouldn’t be happening.
So! What should you do?
There’s not a lot that you can do, unless you’re an IT professional. If you’re just a user, the most you can do is check out this website tester which will let you check out any website on the internet and make sure it’s safe for you to use. If it says it’s not safe, then don’t login until they fix it.
We didn’t have a ton of sites affected by this, but for those that were, we’re counseling password firedrills on admin level passwords, recreating any salts that are used for hashing, and if you’re really paranoid, reissue & revocation of any SSL certificates used on the box.
This bug is super scary, but there’s not much users can do to protect themselves. That, in and of itself, is the scariest part of it.
“It’s a seductive model. It suggests our fellow countrymen aren’t wrong so much as they’re misguided, or ignorant, or — most appealingly — misled by scoundrels from the other party. It holds that our debates are tractable and that the answers to our toughest problems aren’t very controversial at all. The theory is particularly prevalent in Washington, where partisans devote enormous amounts of energy to persuading each other that there’s really a right answer to the difficult questions in American politics — and that they have it.”—How politics makes us stupid - Vox
This may be controversial. You may hit the unfollow button.
Here’s the thesis statement: Harry Potter was fun, Star Trek may be my second love and Star Wars my first, but the only franchise doing great work right now is Marvel and its super hero movies, and it’s doing it on a level no one else has seen the rulebook for, let alone sign up to play.
The current run of movies, going back to 2006’s Iron Man, through this weekend’s Winter Soldier, there is no one - no one - doing anywhere near the caliber of quality and quantity of Kevin Feige’s Marvel Studios.
So, I’m sorry Star Trek reboot, I’m sorry Star Wars Episodes I - VII, but you are deeply and abidingly outmatched by Captain America and Black Widow and their friends and enemies.
“Ms. Shevinsky’s epiphany, however, wasn’t just about Mr. Dickinson or a couple of engineers. It was about computer-engineering culture and her relationship with it. She had enjoyed being “one of the bros” — throwing back whiskey and rubbing shoulders with M.I.T. graduates. And if that sometimes meant fake-laughing as her colleagues cracked jokes about porn, so be it. “For years, all I wanted to do was work and code and make software,” she said in an interview. “That’s why I didn’t care about feminism. I just wanted to build stuff.” “But Titstare showed me that was no longer a viable option,” she said. “We had to address our culture, because something was really not working.””—Technology’s Man Problem - NYTimes.com
We’re four games into Major League Baseball’s new era of the replay, and I’m not sure I’m convinced of its importance. Yesterday’s Nationals/Braves tilt featured a ten-minute break while the umpires reviewed what was either a ground-rule double that was misruled as a home run or a home run that misruled a ground-rule double.
The play was this: in the bottom of the fifth inning, Ian Desmond turned around on a David Hale curveball and put it into the corner. The ball loped into foul ground, bounced off the wall and came to rest at the foot of the wall. In pursuit, Justin Upton threw up his hands as if to say “how am I to play that ball?” and that’s where the play perhaps should have come to a stop.
But it didn’t.
Instead, Ian Desmond kept on running, third base umpire Marvin Hudson hustled out down the line, but didn’t call the play dead and issue a ground-rule double, and Heyward eventually grabbed the ball at the behest of shortstop Andrelton Simmons. Desmond scored easily.
You can watch the play here:
But that’s when the replay rule came in to set things aright.
The Braves appealed, and the umpires talked with their counterparts on Park Avenue, and called Desmond back out to second, and manager Matt Williams headed out for an explanation.
Each runner including the batter-runner may, without liability to be put out, advance — Two bases, if a fair ball bounces or is deflected into the stands outside the first or third base foul lines; or if it goes through or under a field fence, or through or under a scoreboard, or through or under shrubbery or vines on the fence; or if it sticks in such fence, scoreboard, shrubbery or vines;
At issue here is “through or under a field fence” or “sticks in such fence”
The ball did not go through the fence, and it certainly did go under the fence, so we’re left with “sticks in such fence.”
About a minute into that clip, Upton reaches down, grabs the ball with little or no effort, and hurls it toward home. This wasn’t a ball that was lodged in the padding, it had merely come to rest below the wall.
So far, the replay era seems to be about substituting on-field judgment not for clear evidentiary fact, but rather for different judgment.
Color me unconvinced.
While yesterday’s results didn’t cause the Nationals to lose - their bad base-running did more to cause that - it certainly deprived them of a run.
What worries me here is something that Matt Williams put his finger on after the game: where was Hudson’s initial call of a ground rule double if he felt that the ball was stuck and that Upton was impeded? Is this a place where umpires just aren’t going to make calls that they think might be overturned? Will sins of omission replace sins of commission in this new era?
Umpires have a hard job, and they have a job that’s mostly thankless. They have, though, a job that is necessary. We could let robots do their job for the most part, as tennis has, but baseball has chosen to keep the human element in the game. I just hope that in adding technology, we’re not making them more skittish of making judgment calls and hoping for a challenge.
Make the call. Throw up your hands. You can be overturned now, but good sports always do that.
I go back to my time as a swimming official. The rule was: if you see something, you raise your hand. At Nationals, the referee comes over to hear what you heard, and they would sign off on your DQ slip. You might see something that wasn’t actually an infraction, or that the infraction might be a technicality, but the thought was: Raise your hand, confer with your fellow officials, and then make the call together.
This is the system that MLB uses sometimes to handle a contentious call in the field, but it doesn’t use it nearly enough. I fear now we’ll be relying more and more on what the cameras see and not what the umpires see. If that’s where we’re headed, just bring on the robots.
At least they’d have stopped Desmond at second the first time.
“I think the American people should know that the members of Congress are underpaid,” Moran said. “I understand that it’s widely felt that they underperform, but the fact is that this is the board of directors for the largest economic entity in the world.”
Members of Congress make $174,000 per year currently.
Moran added: “Our pay has been frozen for three years and we’re planning on freezing it a fourth year. … A lot of members can’t even afford to live decently in Washington.”—
There are five hours left to vote in the DC Democratic Primary. Here’s how I voted and why:
Mayor: Tommy Wells - Capitol Hill, which Wells has represented for two terms, has flourished during Wells’ time on the council, especially with his focus on livable, walkable communities with quality neighborhood schools. This is the sort of focus I want for the rest of my city. We could get caught up in the gamesmanship of this election, or the problems with the rest of the field, but I’m focusing my efforts on voting for something, not against something else.
Ward 5 Council Member: Kenyan McDuffie - Kenyan’s first half term, served in the wake of Tommy Thomas’s trip to prison for misappropriation of government funds, has been an ethical gem, and has included some very difficult work on the council. I am proud to have him represent me, and my neighborhood, and he has done tremendous good for Ward 5. A former civil rights attorney for DOJ, and before that, a letter carrier, Kenyan and his staff are a breath of fresh air in the Wilson Building. As the kids say: More like this, please.
Council At-Large: Nate Bennett-Fleming - The best of a field that didn’t distinguish themselves. This was a lost race, but should be interesting come November.
Delegate to the House: Tim Krepp - Yep, I wrote in Tim Krepp. He’d do at least as good a job as EHN, and I like him better.
Democratic Party Operatives: The Rent Is Too Darn High Slate - As bad as the council and the city leadership need refreshing, it’s the party that puts them out there time and time again that needs more work. This cadre of young outsiders to the party should garner a win if there’s any justice out there.
I elected not to vote for either shadow senator candidate or for the shadow representative.
In races I could not vote in, I would favor:
Ward 1: Brianne Nadeau - Because we could run a ham sandwich in opposition to Jim Graham and I would vote for the sandwich every time. Nadeau’s campaign has been strong and I wish her the very best. Graham is pretty well one of the sleaziest of the council.
Ward 6: Charles Allen - A worthy successor to Tommy Wells would be his former chief of staff, Charles Allen.
“Washington is holding its mayoral primary election, in which scandal-fraught Vincent Gray is seeking the Democratic nomination for a second term against seven other candidates. The District is overwhelmingly Democratic, with nearly 76 percent of District voters registered with the Democratic Party. Given that electoral makeup, the winner of the Democratic primary is typically guaranteed to become mayor, making the general election in November, which is open to members of all parties (and even no party), a moot point. This year, given the incumbent’s history, if Gray receives the Democratic nomination, polling shows that independent Councilman David Catania could give him a run for his money in November.”—
“After the fan euphoria of 2012, and the attendant disappointment that went into 2013, Nats fans going into Opening Day 2014 are a lot more sanguine about the franchise. They have every reason to be excited, but yet they understand what it is to be humbled by a 162-game grind that puts even the most well-trained professional athlete through a brutal ringer. That’s not to say that all fans are fatalistic ones, that they toss blades of grass into the wind to find their direction, but rather that this might be the sort of realistic season where the sine curve of fullest rabidity and fullest despair are not vacillated between in an hour.”—The Nationals in 2014: A Season Prediction | We Love DC