- People share memes without doing any critical thought or fact-checking, and think my good opinion of their reasoning faculties should be unaffected. (No, just no: while anybody can get taken in now and again, if I'm telling you "that meme is demonstrably, provably false" more than once or twice a year, my respect for your acumen is plummeting, and that's on you.)
- People share clickbait. Oh God the clickbait. "I bet I won't get a single share." "Who thinks this young disabled woman is beautiful?" "Like if you X, share if you Y." No. No. Just please *no*. Stop that already.
- Curiously attractive women who have no friends, no posts, no history, yet have added me to their friends list. Sigh. No, please, no bait.
- Echo-chambering. People overwhelmingly talk to people who already agree with them. I despise echo-chambering.
- Facebook's bizarre criteria for what posts are against community standards. I've literally submitted complaints about photos of a decapitated woman lying in a pool of her own blood with her detached head lying face-up near her and had FB say "nah, not a violation", but God help you if you post a picture of a naked woman. Newsflash, FB: I, like most people, consider one of these far more inappropriate than another.
- FB's continued lack of support for high-quality private messaging.
Look, Trump is terrible. But the unified voice of mass media having the high vapors over him, and millions of Americans screaming "not my President!", aren't doing anyone any favors. As unbelievable as it is to say, Trump won a fair (enough) election. When millions of Americans scream the 60-odd million people who voted for Trump and won should have their choice ignored, discarded, delegitimized, it just feeds into the opinion those 60-odd million Trump voters have of "those coastal liberals hate us and think we shouldn't be allowed to win elections, even when we play by the rules".
And that's profoundly anti-democratic, and deeply to the detriment of the country.
I plan on opposing Trump in just about any way I can. But to the Trump voters? Y'all won. I get that. I don't like the outcome, not even a little bit, but ... I get it.
Unfortunately, most of the social networks are for the most part ruled by people who believe reason and education are against their religious convictions. The level of discourse is so de minimis that it staggers my imagination. My average post there is about three paragraphs, and is longer than 99% of the stuff in my feed. I don't know how to function in that environment, much less thrive.
So, it's back here, at least as an emergency measure. For God's sake, won't you please make me think?
Some brief updates:
- My nephew shot himself in the foot with a shotgun in late December. He's keeping the foot but has a long rehabilitation ahead of him. Whether he's learned anything about the importance of proper firearms safety remains to be seen.
- I almost died in a fire in December, when my upstairs neighbors decided to extinguish hot fireplace coals by bagging them and putting them on the balcony, thinking the winter weather would quench the coals. Needless to say the bag was paper and the balcony made of creosote-impregnated wood.
- My Uncle Lou died sometime in the night between January 5 and January 6.
- I turned 42 the morning of January 6. The celebration was short-lived.
I know, I know. I rarely post here anymore. There are reasons for that: the DW/LJ communities are increasingly ghost towns, which means fewer people are around, which sets up the self-perpetuating cycle of abandonment.
On the other hand, there are also fewer idiots here than there are at Facebook or G+, and I like the DreamWidth privacy settings a lot more.
In other news, I'm off to Spain again soon. If you're reading this and you'd like a postcard from Spain, leave a comment and get me your address somehow. :)
nsrlquery has been split off into two subprojects, nsrlsvr and nsrllookup. I finally realized that putting both applications in the same tarball made about as much sense as bundling a web browser with every download of a web server — which is to say, none at all.
The project website hasn’t changed: it’s just that there are now two different tarballs you can download. Both are currently at version 1.0.6, and some substantial improvements have been made since 1.0.
One question I’ve had from a few people is, “so how much will this affect my workflow?” I hate to sound snarky, but I don’t know what your workflow is and I’m unable to answer that question. Likewise, “How fast is it compared to md5deep?” isn’t a fair question: the two of them are so vastly different that all comparisons are suspect. We’re not talking apples and oranges, we’re talking salt and single-malt Scotch.
md5deep reads a lot of data. As such, it’s primarily limited by the speed of your disk I/O. Given the I/O differences between slow hard drives and lightning-fast SSDs, md5deep’s performance can easily vary by more than an order of magnitude.
By comparison, nsrllookup reads only a very small amount of data, but it has to push it across a network connection that’s probably considerably slower than a hard drive. If you’re querying a server on your local subnet that’s connected by gigabit Ethernet you’ll have much different performance than if you’re in Kandahar querying a server in Japan over a network connection where the packets at one point have to be carried through the Khyber Pass by a Tajik courier called Anxious Jack.
The lesson to draw here is that there are lies, damn lies, and performance benchmarks. All results are suspect, and none of them should be considered to apply to your system. Yours will quite likely be a lot different.
All this being said, here’s a hint for how fast nsrllookup acts. On an Asus U56E laptop, running md5deep 4.0.0 over my 3Gb home directory spanning 6,146 files took just over four minutes. Piping that output through nsrllookup over a consumer-grade cable connection to a remote server off my local network but still nearby took three seconds.
So, if you’re wondering, “can I integrate nsrllookup into my forensics toolchain without introducing delays,” the best advice I can give you is to try it for yourself. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised by how it performs.
Twelve years ago this evening — more or less: twelve years ago December 31, 1999 was a Friday night, and the corresponding Friday this year is December 30, 2011 — I was in Bettendorf, Iowa with Doug getting ready to celebrate Y2K. It’s a little weird to remember how concerned so many people were about the Imminent Collapse of Civilization, but yes, lots of intelligent, well-reasoned people had those concerns. Doug’s mother had about thirty gallons of drinking water set aside in case a serious crisis ensued.
He and I spent that day enjoying cigars with his father, solving all the world’s problems from our comfortable chairs in the basement. We went out to a shooting range, where I rented a Glock for the first — and only — time in my life. It was a well-used range weapon. The sear broke like a soda cracker on the second round of the magazine, and the next thing I knew my Glock 19 became a Glock 18 firing at twelve hundred rounds per minute. Doug can affirm just how white my face was: that was, is, the greatest moment of stark terror I’ve ever experienced on a shooting range. Of course, it was all over in under a second and a half: by the time I fully recognized what had happened it was all over save for the sound of a fountain of brass falling down around me like a rain of pennies.
We left the range after finishing our ammunition, then returned to his parents’ place. We rang in the Year 2000 by watching Strange Days on DVD, a movie set on December 31, 1999, and ending right at the year 2000.
I look back on that now and it seems so new to me, as if it was only a year or so ago. And yet, look at all that’s gone on since then. We each moved to California, enjoyed the boom and were damned by the bust, returned to the Midwest. I went to graduate school and he got married, he moved to Colorado and I headed out East. There have been jobs taken with optimism and left with the wreckage of cynicism, there have been failed relationships, triumphs, tragedies, all of that.
The more I think about what matters in life, the more I realize there is nothing more precious than a friendship which has aged well. Nothing.
May we all be so blessed as to have well-aged friendships. May those of us who are married be so fortunate as to say we’re married to a friend of many years. May those of us with children be so lucky as to say our children are not just our children but also our friends.
And may we all have a prosperous and joyful year ahead.
Thanks much, y’all. :)
My friend Adrian Preston will be missing the next two weeks of work due to some life-saving emergency surgery. Between having no health insurance and missing that much work, well — it’s fair to say he’s currently in a state of financial emergency.
His partner Andrea is running a fundraiser over at her LiveJournal page. Anything you can to to help them will be appreciated, not just by them but by me. Everything helps. Thanks a lot, guys.
As most of you know, I’ve been following the alleged barbarities of Kermit Gosnell with horrified interest. The allegations against him are truly stomach-churning. I’m pleased to report two people have already plead guilty to murder charges in connection with Gosnell’s “clinic,” and a trial for Gosnell himself will soon commence.
[Edit:] Here are my previous remarks on Gosnell.
A hat tip to fireba11 for his help with this list. Any major brainos are mine, not his.
Now that I have trunk space worth talking about, I'm in the process of putting together an automotive emergency kit worth talking about.( Cut for length )
So, what are y'all's thoughts? Have you put together your own automotive emergency kits? Are they similar to this, different?
A year or so ago, I reposted Dave Freer’s begging for funding to support his family’s move from dangerous South Africa to the safer havens of Australia. In exchange for this, he was offering to insert people’s names and whatnot into his new novel, Save the Dragons, which he was making available online as a free etext.
Well, the original website for Save the Dragons is defunct and I can’t find the novel anywhere. To say the least, this annoys me. It’s as if the earlier promises made are no longer operational, but the money collected is in his hands.
If anyone knows what’s up with Save the Dragons, would y’all please let me know?
[Edit:] Dave Freer is in touch with me, and all is satisfactorily and politely resolved.