Ivor O’Connor

September 17, 2014

Moving From WordPress To Github

Filed under: Uncategorized — ioconnor @ 7:41 pm

Because WordPress is insecure.

Over the past few months I’ve gotten so many more comments than I used to get. Not to say that I get many comments but lately it is has become a problem. They are not sincere comments. They are fishing comments. There must be a bug in wordpress that if you allow somebody to comment they can hack into the system. I do not have proof of it but still I’m sure. So I get comments like this one:

“Howdy! This is my first comment here so I just wanted to give a quick
shout out and tell you I genuinely enjoy reading through your
articles. Can you suggest any other blogs/websites/forums that cover the same subjects?
Thanks!”

They all are positive along the same BS lines. So rather than take chances on whatever damage they could do if I allowed them the ability to post I’m going to move over to github and static post via Nikolas and use Disqus for reader comments. I’ll probably delete this blog once finished since the tools there are apparently so much better. Next posting here will be of the new address there in a week or two.

August 14, 2014

Robbin Williams’ Suicide

Filed under: Uncategorized — ioconnor @ 6:07 pm

Since I don’t watch the “news”, listen to radio, or read rags I only discovered three days later he died of suicide while listening to my podcasts. This one http://podcasts.nytimes.com/podcasts/2014/08/12/science/12scitimes-podcast-robin-williams/20140812-suicide-final.mp3. The NY Times science podcasts are often so full of soft propaganda I find it enjoyable to pick apart.

 

The whole discussion centered around the concept of suicide being a problem. I found this similar to the concept of atheism being a problem. Or not having kids being a problem. I would love to see popular media address suicide as a healthy alternative to dying of old age or carrying on a miserable life. We’ve got to the point where all races are accepted equally, and men and women, and gays and lesbians, and alternate religions to some degree. Yet suicide still remains a “problem”. Hopefully this will change in the next 100 years.

May 25, 2014

Election Signs Everywhere. What Do They Mean?

Filed under: Uncategorized — ioconnor @ 4:20 pm

It’s election time around here again. I voted already using mail in. I voted in my traditional way. I voted against any republican or democrat. If there were only republicans or democrats then I voted for a blank space. If there was a Libertarian I voted for them. Otherwise I voted for the Greens or anything else even if I did not recognize them. I would vote for the KKK or the Black Panthers if it were an alternative to a democrat or republican. Anyways the issue is the signs on every street corner.

This election cycle I actually know one of the candidates. I like him in person. Don’t know anything about his views other than I have to make excuses to get away from him when he starts talking. The best part is that when he does talk he puts in facts and details and not assertions and opinions. Anyway he has a very large district and his name is on almost every street corner. Some of the signs are huge and they are plastered everywhere. Holes have to be dug into the ground to hold the two posts that are required to hold these big signs. I can’t even find the time or desire to dig holes for trees. How he has put in probably thousands of these big signs and hundreds of thousands of these smaller signs is beyond me. But he is not alone.

There are zillions of signs. They don’t say what the person represents. Just their name. What do the signs mean? Are we suppose to be impressed with how they can put up so many signs? Are politics conducted by how many signs a candidate can put up? Are politicians in love with their names? I don’t get it.

I’m now actually looking at the signs and trying to figure out which candidate is running for which office and how many signs each has. So maybe signs work this way for other people. Maybe we are all dumbfounded by the number of signs and our curiosity pulls us into getting to know who is in office, how many signs they used, who wins, and whether there was any correlation between the number of signs and the election results.

Who pays for all these signs? What do they gain by paying for all these signs? Obviously there is nothing honest about this whole process. If I did not vote the way I currently do I would vote for the candidates with the least or no signs on the roadsides. They would have the best chance of being honest from an empirical point of view.

Anyways I’m thinking it would be great to go around and pull up all the signs and sign posts and use them for important projects. I can’t think of any use for the sign posts though. And is it legal to pull up these sign posts? It should be…

April 18, 2014

Osmand?

Filed under: Uncategorized — ioconnor @ 2:07 pm

OsmAnd, Open Street Maps Automated Navigation Directions, pronounced “awesomed” is awesome.

I found this program through “Hacker Public Radio” episode 1474.

Osmand does everything apparently. Offline or online. The possibilities are endless and growing every day. I might as well switch from Waze now and start getting familiar with the future.

 

March 8, 2014

Best Book of 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — ioconnor @ 1:36 am

This book is probably the best book of the decade but I don’t want to get carried away. It is certainly the best book I’ve read in 2013. Learn Vimscript the Hard Way is the Rosetta Stone into making vim work for you. The book assumes you know vi and have basic muscle memory. This book teaches how to program vim into a better editor. To make it an IDE for the environment you work in. It does this with many small easy examples with exercises and references.

The material could go further. I’d like to see one more section that takes the information presented in the first three sections to make a complete IDE for a particular environment. Something to check syntax, do syntax hi-liting, use templates, bounce about the functions, declarations, etc., call lint and be taken to the errors, compile the code and be taken to the errors, debug the code, and use version control all from within vim. The book gives enough information to write this yourself but still it would be nice to see best practices explained as well as he has explained everything else.

March 4, 2014

Markdown versus ReStructuredText (rest)

Filed under: Uncategorized — ioconnor @ 4:43 pm

My opinion is Markdown is used for writing html for a single page whereas Rest is used for writing documents. So Markdown is used on blogs, descriptions on github, and comment boards like StackOverflow. Rest with sphinx is used for self documenting code, writing books, making websites, etc.. There are also great plugins for rest on emacs and vim. However the syntax is so similar between Markdown and Rest they really should be combined. Why has this not happened?

February 25, 2014

Passwords…

Filed under: Uncategorized — ioconnor @ 10:00 pm

I have not lost a password in decades. And I don’t use a password manager like LastPass. At $12 the price is not the problem. The problem is I don’t like the idea of trusting a third party with passwords.

My passwords are created with a unix utility called pwgen. With all the security issues in the last few years I’ve started making passwords for each particular site. Long ones made of 15 to 25 characters with the command “pwgen -Bsy 15 1”. However entering these on the android is difficult. Finding special characters, numbers, even mixed case, is difficult. So I started thinking about using only the letters that are visible from the main input window on the phone. Basically the 26 letters a-z in lower case. Versus a-z, A-Z, 0-9, and about 33 strange looking characters for a total of about 95.

So putting it into a spreadsheet I see that 95**5 is roughly equal to 26**7. Meaning to brute force bust a 5 character password where each char could be 1 of 95 is the same as cracking a 7 character password of lower case letters. So now I do something like “pwgen -0AB  21 1”.

Entering in six more characters may seem like more work but in reality it is less. Keep in mind you have to make modal switches requiring one or two additional key strokes to get to the next character. So entering five characters from the pool of 95 or so takes about 10 keystrokes. So as many as 45 keystrokes for a 15 alpha-numeric random password versus a constant 21 keystrokes for an equally hard to break password consisting of only lowercase letters. Averaging that out to 1 extra modal switch results in 30 keystrokes versus 21 for only a-z. So my passwords are all of one particular case now.

Another way to look at it is via typing speed. My hunt and peck speed for special characters is slow. Frightfully slow.

February 23, 2014

Speeding Up Media

Filed under: Uncategorized — ioconnor @ 4:35 pm

Podcasts are much more enjoyable if they are sped up. Most of conversation is filled with pleasantry that does not add to the narrative. Then there are the common idioms that take so much time to express. When sped up your concentration is rewarded with the meat of the subject making things finally interesting. I normally speed up my medium somewhere between 1.6 to 3.0. It depends on the signal to noise ratio. If it is a subject I don’t know much about and I want to hear every detail then 1.6x is about right. If it is something that has little to offer 3.0 is about right. I get to hear the gist of most everything.

The application “Podcast Addict” is great for doing this on the phone. Youtube videos I don’t have a good solution for. Currently I’m downloading them via “minitube” and then speeding them up with “VLC”. Then deleting them manually. I’m sure there is a better solution but I have not found it yet.

I’ve been doing this for a while. Maybe my ear has changed. These days I find myself unable to listen or watch a video at normal speed…

February 4, 2014

T-Mobile Cheaper & Faster Than Verizon FiOS!

Filed under: Uncategorized — ioconnor @ 5:20 pm

I have the pre-paid unlimited 4G from T-Mobile for $70 a month and the Android Google Nexus 5. The Nexus 5 comes unlocked and you can tether your laptop via WiFi or the mini USB wire. It comes built in that way and no special software is needed. The unlimited 4G is not suppose to be ever throttled despite whether you use 5GBs or 5,000GBs per month. (I use about 20GBs per month.) I’ve been using the USB tether for months and have told people I do not notice any difference between T-Mobile and my FiOS which is 25 up and 25 down for $99 a month.

Normally I tell people my 4G speed is about 12Mb/s, about half my FiOS, but that websites are so slow you don’t notice the difference. Well today I tested my T-Mobile connection against my FiOS connection using speedtest.net. The FiOS speeds were 15ms ping, 25.46Mb/s down, and 24.01Mb/s up. T-Mobile was 37ms ping, 33.14mb/s down, and 18.98mp/s up.

So how do I take advantage of this? How do I set up my home network router to use my cell phone for the internet? I’m sure it is possible somehow.

Future Apocalypse?

Filed under: Uncategorized — ioconnor @ 1:25 am

I was watching and reading this interview http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/01/21/elon-musk-interview_n_4613227.html and was surprised by the pessimism and talk of religion.

  • “I’m more optimistic than Stephen Hawking or Martin Rees, the head of the Royal Society in Britain. He thinks it is quite likely that our civilization will end in this century. I hope he is wrong.”
  • “The birth rate is inversely correlated to wealth, education and religious. The wealthier and more educated you are, the less children you have. Religion, however, is closely correlated to having children. The more religious you are, the more children you have. This is true across countries and within countries.”
  • “Religious extremism. If that grows over time, particularly if it is an anti-science Luddite form, is an obvious threat.”

I’m also surprised he feels the need for increasing our world population. Seems we humans are an out of control virus. We currently have about 7 billion people on the planet and it looks like we will have 10 billion before there is any hope things will get under control. My own point of view is that we would be better off at under 1 billion people. I suppose one person’s utopia is another person’s apocalypse. Though I hope my utopia is achieved by people realizing they are capable of doing much more than having families and the world population rights itself through attrition. Not via zealots with bibles and pitch forks.

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