Ivor O’Connor

November 24, 2013

Swiss Vote Against Bizzaro World

Filed under: Uncategorized — ioconnor @ 10:17 pm

“The country [Switzerland] voted 66 percent against the so-called “1:12 initiative for fair pay” on Sunday that was brought forward by the youth wing of the Social Democrats (JUSO). The idea behind the proposal was that nobody should earn more in a month than others earn in a year.”

This is such a strange concept to me. Especially in the year 2013-11-24. It is as if it came from an alternate reality. What would this mean in America. Minimum wage is about 15K a year. So nobody could make more than 180K in a company that pays minimum wage. Or if an exec were to pay themselves 1.8 million a year then the lowest paid employee would have to make 150K a year.

This is what the “real left” looks like the next time somebody is confused and thinks a politician or media source is left wing!

November 22, 2013

Google Search Replacement

Filed under: Uncategorized — ioconnor @ 8:57 pm

My latest attempt to replace Google search is with https://startpage.com  Yesterday I read this article “Google’s Schmidt sees encryption killing censorship” where he says “We can end government censorship in a decade,”  “The solution to government surveillance is to encrypt everything.” So according to him we can simply encrypt our Google experience and be ok?!

Yeah, that’s right, replacing Google with a fancy encrypted proxy to Google. And it exists! It basically lets you do Google searches without anybody spying on your searches yet gives the regular Google results you may expect. “StartPage.com” is now my default search engine gotten to by Ctl-l or ctl-k and it works just the same way as I have grown accustomed to. With a few benefits:

10 Ways StartPage Helps You Take Back Your Privacy

  1. StartPage doesn’t store your IP address, use tracking cookies, or make a record of your searches.
    We do not keep any information about the people who search through StartPage or what they search for. Nothing. Nada. Zilch.
  2. StartPage protects you from NSA surveillance and spying.
    Your search session with StartPage is protected through powerful SSL encryption so no one – not hackers, not your ISP, not even the federal government – can eavesdrop on your searches. (Read more here)
  3. StartPage gives you 100% real Google results in complete privacy.
    When you search with Startpage, we remove all identifying information from your query and submit it anonymously to Google for you. We get the results and return them to you in total privacy.
  4. StartPage is a Dutch company, so it is not under US jurisdiction.
    Because our company is based in the Netherlands, US data collection programs like PRISM, the Patriot Act, FISA courts, etc. do not directly apply to us. We have never cooperated with spying programs like PRISM. (Plus we have no user data to begin with.)
  5. StartPage offers a free proxy with every search.
    With our proxy, not only can you search privately, but you can view the pages you find through StartPage anonymously and in complete security. To learn more, please see our short overview video here.
  6. StartPage is third-party certified for privacy.
    We not only promise our users total privacy, we back up those claims with rock-solid evidence, through stringent third-party auditing and certification. Here are details:
    How can your privacy policies be verified? Can users trust StartPage to do what it says?
    What auditing and review does your Europrise certification process involve?
  7. StartPage has been doing privacy longer than anyone else – since way before privacy was “cool”.
    Our company was founded in 1999, and we’ve been focused on privacy since 2006. (We introduced the StartPage search engine in 2009.)
  8. When it comes to security, StartPage runs the tightest ship on the Internet.
    We’ve been ahead of the privacy curve for years, and we consistently outscore other search engines on independent measures of security. We were the first search engine to offer default SSL encryption, and now we are the first private search engine to offer Perfect Forward Secrecy and the latest version of Transport Layer Security.
  9. StartPage breaks you free of the search engine “Filter Bubble”.
    Major search engines now “personalize” or “pre-screen” the search results they serve you, based on what they know about you from past searches and other services you use. While some people love this, others see it as privacy-invading censorship. Regardless of your views, with StartPage, you get clean, anonymous, non-filtered results every time, because nobody knows who you are.
  10. By using StartPage, you send a powerful pro-privacy message in the marketplace.
    Each time you use an online service, you cast a vote in support of the policies and practices of that service. By using StartPage, you are casting a powerful vote for a private Internet where people can access information anonymously without fear of government surveillance or reprisal.

November 9, 2013

Good Time To Short Sell Tesla Stock?

Filed under: Uncategorized — ioconnor @ 3:36 pm

Apparently there has been a third Tesla fire this week. Tesla enemies are coming out of the wood work writing bogus articles like this one at Toms Hardware about the fires. Saying that they catch on fire more frequently than normal cars. (The real stats are Tesla vehicles are 40% less likely.)

However there are not many of these Tesla cars on the market. Only 20,000 or so Tesla Model S EVs so far. It would only take two more fires, for a total of five, and Tesla would catch on fire just as frequently as a normal dinosaur vehicle. With such low numbers it would be relatively easy for Tesla haters to game the stats. All they would have to do is buy a few Teslas and force them to catch fire. The stock will plummet. And we know Tesla has lots of haters. Look at the NY Times, Top Gear, Automotive Dealer Associations, Exxon, BP, etc.. The list goes on and on. It’s endless. And in today’s world there is no end to the lows large corporations will sink to protect their investments. Now that Tesla has been successful for three quarters, is still selling so quickly there is always a backlog of months, and everybody raves about them they have essentially become a target.

Tesla will ultimately win but for now they are going to hit a bad patch and it would probably be a good time to reevaluate the stock. (Though buying a Tesla is a smart thing to do.)

November 6, 2013

GUFW sucks

Filed under: Uncategorized — ioconnor @ 5:40 pm


The Graphical Uncomplicated Fire Wall written in python for Linux 64 bit Mint 15 with XFCE has several bugs. The first of which is that only the advanced rules work. Somebody apparently forgot to code in the “simple” tab and the code that would support the buttons there.

The next big problem is there is apparently a memory leak. Leave GUFW up for a day and displaying alerts and it will become unresponsive and eat 100% of a CPU.


November 5, 2013

Decentralized Search Engine?

Filed under: Uncategorized — ioconnor @ 3:40 am

I installed Yacy, http://yacy.de/en/Tutorials.html, tonight and set it as my primary search engine. It reminds me of how Google used to be. No clutter, very fast, and full of good results.

I thought it might be difficult to install Yacy from what I’ve heard about it. However it wasn’t at all. The instructions were clear and everything was working within three minutes.

Yacy keeps track of those URLs you actually like using a local database. It’s the latest in search engines. I don’t see how it can get any better…

THE NEXT DAY: Well I wrote too soon. After using it for many more searches the results were not coming out as expected. So I’d use Google to find what I needed and then put in keywords that defined the website explicitly. And still YaCy could not find stuff. When YaCy later quit working I decided to roll it back. I really like the ideas behind YaCy so I’ll probably come back to it sometime in the future.

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