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Obstructionist Husband

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Getting up yeserday was interesting [Sep. 29th, 2016|02:05 pm]
Obstructionist Husband
I have a history of sleepwalking. No big deal, it happened a fair amount as a kid and not much as an adult. Nowadays I may wake up wearing/not wearing a t-shirt that I wasn't/was wearing when I went to bed. No big deal.

Yesterday was interesting. I woke up wearing my watch. On my left wrist. Right off the bat this was weird because I always take my watch off when I go to bed. On top of that, most people who wear a watch wear it on their opposite hand, and I always wear mine on my right wrist. And my watch currently has a metal band and my left hand is larger than my right, so I had to wriggle it on and secure the clasp, while remaining deep asleep.

Weird. I blame it on Trump. At first I suspected the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, but they lack motive.

(name the movie the previous sentence came from for bonus points)
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"The Google just came out"??! [Sep. 29th, 2016|10:54 am]
Obstructionist Husband

"The Google just came out, and it was the first big post-debate poll, and we're doing very well."
—Donald Trump

I've never understood Trump's linguistic ability. I've heard analysts say that he speaks at a 5th or 6th grade level, that seems optimistic to me.

But what do I know.

I've also heard that people who really know him but aren't employed by him say that there are two Donald Trumps, and the one that we see running for President is not the real Trump. I'm not sure what to think about that one.

My wife and I watched the debate Monday night, it was rather strange. I would say that Hillary smiled too much, but I don't consider that a problem. Trump did not look well, and his constant snorting and occasional coughs made me wonder if he was (A) sick or (B) a cocaine user. Considering he claims that he gets by on three hours of sleep a night, maybe B?

Online polls, which have no statistical rigor applied and are easily manipulated by bots, show Trump winning the debate. The polls conducted by professional polling companies show Clinton winning the debate, usually by 10-30%. So whatever. But what I did find amusing was The Donald calling in to a Fox show saying 'Even the CBS poll had me winning!' Which is quite amusing considering that CBS did not conduct a poll.

Personally I think we're screwed regardless of which candidate wins. If Trump wins, I think we'll see cronyism like never before and the USA will sink like a stone in terms of the respect of the rest of the world. If Clinton wins, upwards of 90% of Trump supporters believe that the election will be rigged, which will make for a large number of very angry people. So we're screwed either way.
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Scott Kelby Worldwide Photo Walk -- This Saturday, October 1! [Sep. 28th, 2016|01:13 pm]
Obstructionist Husband

This is a really cool event for anyone interested in photography. It doesn't matter how good your equipment is, I've seen lots of people with cell phone cameras and point and shoots, in addition to $3,000 Nikons and Canons. It's an opportunity to walk around an area that you may not have been to before with people also interested in photography, it gives you an opportunity to expand how you view the world.

It is truly world-wide. Enter your city name, or where you want to go, and everything is pinned via Google Maps. And it's free, though donations are appreciated and t-shirts are available that support the charity of the year.

This will be my third year doing it, and this year I'm going to Las Cruces instead of El Paso. I'm looking forward to it.

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I got to see Blazing Saddles in a movie theater tonight! [Sep. 10th, 2016|01:27 am]
Obstructionist Husband

I didn't see it during its original run in 1974 as I was all of 12 years old or so, and my parents weren't huge movie goers, but I have managed to see it on big screens on a couple of occasions. And tonight was great. They were showing a double-feature of BS and Willy Wonka, so clearly some sort of Gene Wilder tribute. This particular theater chain, Harkins, is a reliable source of foreign and art house films. I remember seeing Akira Kurosawa's Dreams at it when it was first released. I also got to see The Big Lebowski a few years ago at one of their theaters, that was quite a treat.

Blazing Saddles is such an amazing movie with so many wonderful stories behind it, it was a genuine treat to see it again on a big screen. It was sad that the house wasn't packed, but I guess that's to be expected for a 40 year old movie that isn't something like Casablanca. It did an amazing job of ridiculing many forms of racism, and there is no way a film like this could ever be made today.

But we don't need a film like this to be made today: we have Blazing Saddles, and its message is perfectly clear.
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Luke, the Son of Annakin [Sep. 4th, 2016|10:24 am]
Obstructionist Husband
From edschweppe's blog:

I'm a huge fan of the play Hamilton. Definitely worthy of the awards it has won.
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Alyson Hannigan [Aug. 31st, 2016|09:26 pm]
Obstructionist Husband
I always loved her on Buffy the Vampire Slayer as Willow, I can't say that I've seen her on anything else since then. She's hosting the current season of Penn & Teller Fool Us on the CW and being quite entertaining at it.
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One of more core problems about Trump [Aug. 30th, 2016|10:25 am]
Obstructionist Husband

"He hasn't changed his immigration position. He has changed the words he is saying."
—Trump spokesperson Katrina Pierson

What the President of the United States says is very important, if not critical. It is very dangerous for the President to spout nonsense. Look at the kerfuffle when Ronald Reagan said, in to what he thought was not a live microphone, "We have outlawed the Soviet Union, the bombing begins in five minutes." Cute, but not something a President should say.

And yes, Hillary has also made some pretty bad gaffs.

But Trump? Saying things like "You Second Amendment people have a way of taking care of things" is so beyond irresponsible that it's not funny.

The President cannot write-off a verbal faux pas by saying "I was being sarcastic. Sort of."
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Yet another way to compromise computer information: sniff the WiFi connection for keyboard signals! [Aug. 30th, 2016|10:09 am]
Obstructionist Husband
[Tags|, ]

This is interesting, and I hadn't considered it. I would have thought that, while I am typing this email, that nothing gets sent across my WiFi connection until I hit Send. But obviously email programs, if they're web-based, save draft copies. In the case of email, I think it would be negated by using a PC-based email client, but I'm not certain about that as email server internals are terra incognita for me.

Obviously a Cat 5 cable from your computer to your internet router should defeat this, but how many people do that on a regular basis. We use laptops because of their convenience, my laptop isn't wired because the router is in the living room and my desktop is in the far corner of the kitchen. I could get a router to allow me to hard-cable, then a second router to connect to my main router, and set up a wireless bridge between them, but that seems like a lot of work (and expensive) to try to thwart an attack that is unlikely to be used against me.

There has been tech to sniff the signal from wireless keyboard and mice forever, very few such devices encrypt the signal. I've heard Apple does, but I haven't seen independent information on that. And there's tech to allow sniffing your screen display, though it has limited range. Add them all together and you can get a heck of a read as to what some people do online.

From Bruce Schneier's blog:
Keystroke Recognition from Wi-Fi Distortion

This is interesting research: "Keystroke Recognition Using WiFi Signals." Basically, the user's hand positions as they type distorts the Wi-Fi signal in predictable ways.

Abstract: Keystroke privacy is critical for ensuring the security of computer systems and the privacy of human users as what being typed could be passwords or privacy sensitive information. In this paper, we show for the first time that WiFi signals can also be exploited to recognize keystrokes. The intuition is that while typing a certain key, the hands and fingers of a user move in a unique formation and direction and thus generate a unique pattern in the time-series of Channel State Information (CSI) values, which we call CSI-waveform for that key. In this paper, we propose a WiFi signal based keystroke recognition system called WiKey. WiKey consists of two Commercial Off-The-Shelf (COTS) WiFi devices, a sender (such as a router) and a receiver (such as a laptop). The sender continuously emits signals and the receiver continuously receives signals. When a human subject types on a keyboard, WiKey recognizes the typed keys based on how the CSI values at the WiFi signal receiver end. We implemented the WiKey system using a TP-Link TL-WR1043ND WiFi router and a Lenovo X200 laptop. WiKey achieves more than 97.5% detection rate for detecting the keystroke and 96.4% recognition accuracy for classifying single keys. In real-world experiments, WiKey can recognize keystrokes in a continuously typed sentence with an accuracy of 93.5%.

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Rasputin ruins movies for all time! [Aug. 29th, 2016|01:17 am]
Obstructionist Husband

This is really crazy. You notice how even biographical movies about real people always include a disclaimer like "This is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to any person living or dead is purely coincidental". Well, it's because of the man who murdered Rasputin.

MGM made a movie about said murder about Rasputin starring the three Barrymores, two brothers and a sister, in the lead roles of Rasputin, his killer, and the killer's wife. They changed the name of the killer. But then MGM screwed up, got sued by the killer's wife, and lost the case.

It's an interesting read, and not very long.

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MAJOR vulnerabilities in Windows 10 and iOS [Aug. 27th, 2016|09:32 am]
Obstructionist Husband
[Tags|, , ]

First, Apple. An exploit was found and weaponized that can root an iPhone or, apparently, also an iPad. You need to update your devices RIGHT NOW is you're running iOS 9. It will update your devices to 9.3.5. It's a small patch, less than 40 meg, so a fairly quick and painless update.


Windows 10 also has a big problem that is currently not patched, so it requires a registry edit to close the hole.

To update the registry, do the following steps:
Click the Start button, and in the search field, type in "regedit", then select "regedit.exe" from the list of results
Navigate through the tree to "HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings\Wpad"
Once you have the "Wpad" folder selected, right click in the right pane, and click on "New -> DWORD (32-Bit Value)"
Name this new value "WpadOverride"
Double click the new "WpadOverride" value to edit it
In the "Value data" field, replace the "0" with a "1", then click "OK"
Reboot the computer

Obviously this is not a trivial thing to do and messing with the wrong keys and values can brick your computer. I'm not sure if this is also a problem in earlier editions of Windows, so you should do a bit of research before doing something like this. It's already been fixed in most Linux distributions and also in MacOS.

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