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Journal: Verbiage/Rant: Customized email addresses problems (4)

Journal by Chacham

I like to customize my email addresses. (parts 2 and 3 are not as relevant here.) The problem is, not all websites accept this format. Somehow the extra period throws them for a loop and either i get no response from them or they reject it from the outset.

So, like Froman's comment i started using + which is supported in GMail.

That all worked great for a while. Recently, however, many websites are rejecting the plus sign! Worse, some sites that used to accept it, no longer do. For example, Barnes and Noble used to accept it as my login email contains a plus sign. No more. I had to create a new account to login. Part of their stupidity is putting sign-in and create account on the same form, so the validation routines validates email addresses that are already registered. But, wait, don't buy yet. We'll throw in a free stupidity. Free nookbooks now require you to have a credit card listed. Really?!

It's as if some moron wrote code with checking the RFC and somehow that code became standard. The beauty of this is that whereas emails to sub-domains are now supported, plus signs are not. Flippity flop. Luckily, i can do both.

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Journal: Slimy 1

Journal by stoolpigeon

Having to carefully unselect crap I don't want installed on every Java update? Slimy
Rechecking the "stay logged in" button on facebook for me? Slimy
There's so much slimy stuff. Found a new one today. That Win 7 VM I mentioned, it wanted me to upgrade IE. Which I want to do - no problem. As I'm about to hit the Download button I see a small line further down "Download non-enhanced version." My gut tells me I don't want enhanced - do a quick google and I'm right. Non-enhanced means just the browser. Enhanced means that I'm selecting bing and some MSN junk. It used to be a check box and you had to unclick it. Apparently too many people did.

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Journal: Storage is Cheap but Come On Windows 1

Journal by stoolpigeon

EDIT: I cleaned up restore points and that got the space used down to 27.4 GB - still crazy.
I have a Fedora 20 vm that I run in VirtualBox on my Mac. It gives me access to some tools I like, and it lets me run a web server that's closer to what a production environment would look like.
Yesterday I got around to setting up another VM. This one is Windows 7. I started the same as I did the Fedora image, with a 25 GB hard drive. That was fine for the windows install but I thought I'd check out the new community edition of Visual Studio. When I went to install it, it told me I didn't have enough free disk space. So I made the "hard drive" bigger - I bumped it up to 30 GB. The install worked then, but I have under 600 MB of free space on the drive. I have only installed Chrome and VS. That's it. WIndows 7, Chrome and VS are 30 GB. I've installed a bunch of stuff on my Fedora VM - Apache, MySQL, KDevelop, QT and the QT tools and so on. Lots of stuff and it is sitting at 18 GB right now.
Fortunately it's easy to give the Windows VM more space - it just surprised me I'd need so much.

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Journal: Things I Can't Avoid Knowing 5

Journal by stoolpigeon

I spend a decent amount of time at Reddit. The key is finding good subreddits. I usually hop on Facebook a time or two a day as well. As an expat it is a good way to connect back to home.
Anyway what's interesting to me is that sometimes things happen and those sites just go kerbonkers. Like, for example, if it rains in Phoenix my facebook feed will be absolutely full of it and I'll see it about a million times.
With reddit it is more noticeable because certain events will show up in multiple subreddits multiple times and on other sites like Slashdot and Hacker News. Yesterday I'm pretty sure a probe landed on a comet and MS open sourced .net. I'm not sure, but I think I saw something about it - about a million times.
Not totally related - the other site I spend a lot of time on is youtube. I watch a lot of starcraft and some different shows like tabletop and I enjoy music videos too. I should write a post just about youtube now that I think about it. Anyway - yesterday I saw something there for the first time where I recognized another user. I guess the real surprise is that with g+ it didn't happen sooner, but still it was funny.

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Journal: A World Clock with an Analog Face 2

Journal by stoolpigeon

I'm still learning a lot about my Mac and getting better at using it. Today I was going over trackpad gestures and learned that there is this "Notification Center" that I can pull out by swiping in from the side with 2 fingers. I had no idea it was there. It's mostly useless. I don't care about stock quotes. I don't use any of the Apple calendar, reminder or other stuff. But I did think that the world clock thing was a good idea.
On my living room computer that is hooked to my TV I have 3 time widgets I keep up. It's Win 7 and each widget is set to one of the 3 time zones where we have family. I figured I could have something similar in the notification center on my laptop. The thing is, as far as I can tell there is no way to change the way it represents the time. It does it with little analog clock faces. I can't think of a worse way to do that. There is no way to look at it and know if the time displayed is AM or PM. It makes me have to think too much.
I read somewhere that third parties can create widgets for this space. I'll have to look into it.

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Journal: The Sixth Stage of Grief is Retro-Computing 2

Journal by stoolpigeon

The Sixth Stage of Grief is Retro-Computing
This is just a beautiful piece of writing. It doesn't match my experience perfectly but so many notes really resonate with me. It's funny, I've been on this Steve Jobs video binge lately and this just fits right in.
I had to scroll down to start reading the piece, which threw me for a second, but again - I really recommend reading this. It's so well done. I will be thinking about it and quoting it for a long time to come.

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Journal: My Spine 4

Journal by stoolpigeon

I have a herniated disc (disk?) (Apparently disk if I follow AMA guidelines. huh.) in my neck. Apparently in a common place. It's protruding pretty far into my spine and pushing on my spinal cord. I think it's also in contact with nerve roots. I don't know all the right terms. I make my wife crazy because medical stuff doesn't interest me. It's like car maintenance. I just want to hand it off to people who know. But since it looks like I need surgery, I have to be more involved in this as it's somewhat serious - people digging around in your neck and spine.
The first neurosurgeon I saw took a look at the MRI, did an exam and said I need surgery immediately. Normally that'd be it, but I've had it drilled into me that when it comes to surgery and stuff you always get a second opinion. (As much as I hate to do that.) So Monday I'll see another guy here in Budapest who is apparently one of the better doctors in the world for this kind of stuff.
If he agrees that I need surgery (and I think he will) then I have to decide where to do it. Hospitals here in Hungary are a little lighter on the care side than what I'd get in the U.S. There might be an option with a private hospital here, or I may look into having it done in Germany where there is another doctor who is pretty good at this stuff.
What's crazy though is if I did have it here, the doctor tells me the cost would be about 1800 euros. As an American, that is an insane number. Yes, during the hospital stay I'd have to provide my own medication and toilet paper - but dang, 1800 euros? I'm guessing the Germany route I'd be looking at a minimum of 20000 euros. My insurance would cover the majority of it. If I went home to the US I'm guessing it would be as expensive or more than the private hospital route in Germany.
I only have one spine - so I'm a little torn. Need to do more research, which I hate.
Oh - and here's the other thing I've learned. Hungarians aren't fans of pain killers. It took a lot for me to get some rather mild medication. They started me on what was the equivalent of ibuprofen. The doctor was worried about giving me something stronger and I was thinking, "Dude, back in the US I'd be knocking back 325 milligrams of Percocet." That was when it was really bad. I actually feel a lot better now, though I have to be very careful about how I move and I have constant numbness in my left hand.

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Journal: The GamerGate aftermath: the positives 6

Journal by squiggleslash

Must be miserable being a female gamedev right now, but I think there are genuinely some long term positives that may come out of this - none of which, I admit, are as positive as what might have happened if a powerful minority of men weren't complete bastards.

1. Men know it's happening now.

Call it projection, call it being blind to the obvious, but if anyone had come to me in August and told me how a sizable proportion of men absolutely hate women with a passion, with the abuse being entirely one-way, I would have nodded but not understood, because I like to think there's good in everyone. I would have poo-poo'd the more extreme examples of "one or two bad apples". Now I understand. Reading prominent GamerGate figureheads writing articles like "How to rape a woman and get away with it" or "How to break a woman" (no direct links but more information on this anti-misogyny site: is eye opening for those of us sheltered behind a general assumption of human decency in most people, even the ones we see as sexist. Yes, I've worked with at least one obviously sexist co-worker. No, I thought this was just mommy issues and that the guy was OK underneath. I don't think I'd treat him the same way now.

I had no idea the situation was this bad. I had no idea such evil attracted support from such a large and diverse group of people. I know better now. I have some idea of what to say to my daughter - when she's a little older, obviously - to ensure she can defend herself when the time comes. I know what to look out for from colleagues and "friends." I know what to tell friends who deny that the situation exists.

2. More women are speaking up, and being heard

GamerGate isn't happening because misogynists are slut-shaming a female gamedev who produced a game that wasn't to their liking, it's happening because women - and men - are rallying behind her. The superficial "Actually it's about ethics in gaming journalism" trope exists because those who attempted to intimidate said gamedev out of gaming found themselves the target of an overwhelmingly negative press, with large numbers of developers and other people in the gaming industry, especially women, standing up and saying stop.

It would be nice to go further and claim that this is universal, that women are exclusively looking at GamerGate as a chance to stand up and be heard, but alas, Zoe Quinn, Brianna Wu, and others are reporting that they're talking to many women devs who have headed in the other direction, seeing GamerGate as a reason to want out and to leave. This is terrible.

3. Related issues are receiving more attention.

That video with the women being cat-called, followed, and generally harassed, while walking through New York? Would that really have gone viral in a different environment?

Meanwhile, I wonder how many men have actually sat down and forced themselves to watch Anita Sarkeesian's videos on tropes in video games (caution: part six is actually fairly hard to watch), simply because of the controversy over the last few months? I know I did. It's hard to believe more coverage of this kind of constructive, concrete, criticism cannot lead to both less sexism in video games, and stronger, more original, video games in future.

4. Final thought

I'm not saying GamerGate is good or has been positive. It hasn't. We can choose to build in the ashes, or we can get angry about the loss of the city we once had. Or we can do both. I think I'm feeling both right now.

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Journal: side effect of new IDPS box...

Journal by kesuki

okay so i built a diy intrusion detection box for my network, even though i now know the infection came from inside the network. suddenly my network went from 1.0-2.0 MB/s to 4.0-7.5MB/s. we are paying for 7.5MB/s but due to wireless limitations only one wireless box has 1300 mbit dual channel wireless n/ac. that one gets the full speed connection, the rest get what their laptop wifi does. except the ones using ethernet over powerline. someone told me that it was probably line noise because of the number of devices we have, which doesn't make sense to me, but ok. also the diy box has squid transparent proxy enabled, another reason could be multicast, the wifi router is a decent one but consumer grade was putting a real cpu (quad core) that big a difference in ability to multicast and cache data efficiently?

the cpu was the cheapest low watt cpu i could find, but the box still idles at 26 watts (inline power consumption measuring device) which i know is a lot for just an idps box. still it was cheap but is only as well configured as i know how to which isn't much knowledge at all, i tried about 7 different distros before picking one. it is amazing it made that big a difference in network performance though.

the only other reason i can think of for the bandwidth is a botnet is being blocked by the new firewall that the old router didn't fix/block.

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Journal: found the breach in my network... 1

Journal by kesuki

So i don't control everything that happens on my network and i had people besides me able to install programs. well i found the culprit and my network was compromised 2 months ago. i have since closed the hole (allowing other people to install software) at least on my network. checking logs to see if the scan caught the files already and quarantined the file or if i have to reinstall windows.

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Journal: On posting anonymously 14

Journal by squiggleslash opposed to pseudonymously.

I'm finding it easier to post 100% honestly when I post AC on at least one subject at the moment. Why? Well, because if I post pseudonymously then I risk inflaming the wrath of an extremely nutty group, and I really don't have the time or patience or stomach for the kind of harassment I'd expect if I piss that group off.

I say this because it's a counterpoint to some of the stuff that's been said recently, especially in response to, for example, GamerGate and related Tech Sexism controversies, where many are of the opinion that anonymity has little value, encouraging the lowest forms of life to crawl out and make terrible attacks (such as death threats) without fearing the repercussions.

I have some sympathy with the position, but I also think linking identities to comments can severely limit people's ability to comment on things that genuinely bother them when there's a degree of mob like behavior by some on the opposing side of the issue in question.

Accountability is a force of moderation, but accountability cannot be the only means by which commentary is moderated, merely a significant but not insurmountable factor.

Update: This seems relevant ;-)

The University of California Statistics Department; where mean is normal, and deviation standard.