Friday, November 30, 2012

Internet of the Dead: the net’s collision course with death

When I think about it, we live on in our email addresses in some unknown server somewhere.

 
 

Sent to you by danny via Google Reader:

 
 

via Cory Doctorow's craphound.com by Cory Doctorow on 11/26/12

My latest Locus magazine column is "The Internet of the Dead," which discusses the collision course the Internet is on with death. It was inspired by my work to preserve the personal data of my old friend Erik "Possum Man" Stewart, who died unexpectedly and tragically in June:

It was while I sat in Possum's room that I began to think about his computer. It was a homemade Franken-PC that sat under his desk, its wheezy fan making a racket like an ancient refrigerator. After I'd left Possum's house and headed back to the airport, I got to thinking about that computer. I strongly suspected that Possum would have copied over all the data of his life – all the e-mails and lists and photos and movies and programs and essays and stories and, well, *everything* – onto each new machine, keeping it all live and handy. After all, hard-drives are cheap – especially if you're building your own tower PC with lots of full-height drive bays – and their capacity increases exponentially, year on year. It's been a long time since it made sense to keep your archives in a shoebox full of Zip cartridges or floppy drives. If you buy a PC every couple of years, your new machine will almost certainly have more than twice the hard-drive space of your old one. Keeping your data on your live, spinning platter means that it will get saved every time you do your regular backup (assuming you perform this essential ritual!), and if the drive starts to fail, you'll know about it right away. It's not like dragging an old floppy out of a dusty box and praying that it hasn't succumbed to bitrot since it was put away.

Possum never uploaded his consciousness to a computer, but he approximated such a transfer, one keystroke at a time, year after year, filling those noisy, full-height drives with all his secrets, all his creative outpourings, all his minutiae and mundane trivialities and extraordinary profundities. It's a transfer we're all effecting, but Possum got a head start on most of us, kicking off the project in the 1980s. That homely, rackety tower under Possum's desk was him, in some important sense – in the same sense that my laptop holds a good deal of what it means to be me.

Cory Doctorow: The Internet of the Dead


 
 

Things you can do from here:

 
 

Friday, November 23, 2012

Full systemd

I've been planning to switch from Arch initscripts and sysvinit to
systemd. I finally downloaded the necessary packages and removed
/etc/rc.conf entirely. I enabled the daemons in the rc.conf array.

No issues except that the dnscrypt-proxy daemon is not starting. The
status in systemctl is loaded but inactive (dead). Now I'm confused.

I have internet connection but no dns. I temporarily removed the nohook
option in dhcpcd.conf to let my ISP's dns handle the dns function.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

My Thoughts On GNOME 3 Online Accounts

I like the idea that chat and email (and yes the social networks) are
being handled (created, started, notifications) by the operating system
or at least the desktop environment. Of course individual applications
are also doing these things on their own (Zimbra client, Thunderbird).
My surprise is that desktop environments are failing at this and
Zimbra-Thunderbird are pushing forward.

I am using GNOME 3.6.x now in Arch Linux. I guess the question in the
users' mind is when will it be robust enough so the basic integration is
persistent even after a point update. Obviously, the development doesn't
stop but certainly you have to agree that all these effort should end
with your product being used by most of your intended user community.

My wariness stems from GNOME 3's inclination to break things which are
previously working. Sometimes all it takes is to clean old configuration
files and restart the application or session. Sometimes a
re-installation is required. I would venture to guess that most of GNOME
3's intended users would not be able to "fix" this troubles even after
google-ing it.

Evolution In GNOME 3.6.x

I am using Thunderbird instead of Evolution in GNOME 3.6 now. I like
GNOME 3 but it breaks. It breaks some important stuff like email. There
something wrong with it. I like that Evolution is simple but it breaks
easily-like after one week of use.

The official word is: The reported error was
"GDBus.Error:org.gnome.OnlineAccounts.Error.NotAuthorized: Invalid
password with username `username@gmail.com' (goa-error-quark, 0): Code:
401 - Unexpected response from server".

I've tried deleting some Evolution files in .cache and .conf to no
avail. I also tried re-installing and then some. Google tells me there
were others before me having the same problem. So I added my name to the
pile in launchpad.

I'm glad that Evolution is faster now. Still I want it to work too.

By the way, I'm typing this in Thunderbird

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Nate Silver, Rock Star

Nate Silver predicted an Obama victory. He was ridiculed by pundits. Nate is correct and accurate enough to also predict the percentage difference of the two candidates. In 2008 he also gave his predictions and he was right 49 out of the 50 states in the union. This time he's 50/50.

He embarassed the pundits and made them look like old wizards looking at crystal balls. Today mathematics triumph over punditry.




Barack Obama Wins Second Term 2012

After a hotly contested campaign, a super hurricane at the 11th hour, Barack Obama wins a second term of his Presidency. This image was tweeted after his acceptance speech.



He's a man who loves his wife and daughters. He led the US economy and saved it from total crash.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

US Elections 2012

Pundits are calling it too close to call. No one knows who will be the next President of the United States.



My prediction is Obama in 2% over Romney. And the US economy figures will go up no matter who wins. Europe will continue to have problems with Greece and Spain.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Updated To GNOME 3.6 Arch Linux

Arch just released the GNOME 3.6 packages to general users (non-testers). I updated my system a week ago. (just posting it now)



Like previous install of GNOME, I definitely want a change of icons. I got Faenza icons and icon themes installed and enabled them with gnome-tweak-tool. You might want to visit the gnome-extension website to turn on user-theme extension first.

I saved an epiphany-app site for twitter (and facebook) as I use it often. Epiphany is a native GNOME browser with minimal resource usage. I can open it and never close it until I turn off the computer. I really want to hear arguments regarding security with this kind of use scenario.



I tend to open it and not close it until the session is over. I wouldn't worry if its Firefox and working with Apparmor profile.


I Don't Stand With Racists, I Won't Walk With Bigots

It should be easy to tell which is bad and which is good. They want to exterminate a group of human beings based on race. Anyone who saw th...