Lots of news outlets (including the BBC) would have you believe that German police have launched a smartphone app to sniff out neo-Nazi music.
Actually, if the reporters who wrote that had bothered to make just one phone call to the right place (the state police in Saxony) they would have learned that there is no app, just smartphone software, and it’s not just for Nazi music.
After learning from Edward Snowden that keeping all my important files on a commercial cloud service was a bad idea I figured: why not create my own web-accessible storage system.
What I should have remembered is that this isn’t necessarily safer either.
Today I found out my network attached storage (NAS, a hard drive with a mini computer attached to the Internet) had been hacked. I can’t be sure who did it but it seems I wasn’t specifically targeted. The hack exploited outdated software to install a script that used my NAS to “mine” for valuable lightcoins. Three hours and lots of complicated command-line work later I think I’ve removed the worst of it.
The good news is that my data is still OK. The bad news is I don’t think I’ll ever want to attach the NAS to the Internet again.
I recently had to edit a text file from the Linux command line. If you don’t know what that is and don’t care, stop reading. But if you do, and like me you’re normally a Windows user, then here’s a tip. Use ‘pico’ to edit the file. It’s the closest editor to Notepad I’ve been able to find that’s built into most Linux distributions.
Imagine my surprise when I discovered that a German publishing company hauled me into a legal battle with Tom Cruise – without asking or informing me.
How to buy bitcoins: I have no idea. Can anyone explain?
On Wednesday German government officials were asked for an update on their probe into claims that the NSA spied on German citizens.
Interior Ministry spokesman Jens Teschke told reporters (at about 1330 CEST):
“We are still in talks with American and British authorities [about the NSA issue].
“We received some interim results, which were that the US doesn’t conduct industrial espionage, that there’s no mutual request to spy on one’s own citizens and that any data was collected in a targeted fashion [as opposed to mass surveillance] when it was about terrorism, arms exports or organized crime.”
Asked whether there was any wrongdoing by US or UK agencies, Teschke said:
“We are still in talks but we have recognized that many of the allegations made by Mr. Snowden can’t be substantiated, and on other issues that there was no mass surveillance of innocent citizens.”
Asked about the outrage in Germany, he said:
“I think it was mainly a media outrage. The government made clear from the start that we needed to talk to our American and British partners.”
“Of course we continue to work with the American, British and other friendly agencies. We have to work with them because it’s sensible and good for security in Germany and Europe.”
Hours later, with Der Spiegel reporting that Angela Merkel’s phone had been tapped by the U.S., her spokesman Steffen Seibert issued a statement saying the chancellor told Obama that she considered this to be “completely unacceptable” and, if true, “a serious breach of trust.”
Polizeimeldung: “(Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg) Radfahrer kollidiert mit Radfahrer: Beim Zusammenstoß zweier Radfahrer gestern Abend in Kreuzberg zog sich einer der Männer Verletzungen zu, die stationär in einer Klinik behandelt werden mussten. Ersten Erkenntnissen zufolge war ein offensichtlich angetrunkener 37-Jähriger gegen 20.20 Uhr aus einer Grundstückseinfahrt der Bergmannstraße gefahren und war dort mit einem gleichalten Radler kollidiert, der daraufhin stürzte und sich an Schulter und im Gesicht verletzte. Der mutmaßliche Unfallverursacher musste sich einer Blutentnahme unterziehen.”
Here’s the solution to the Pig Latin lesson in Codeacademy’s python course:
myvar = raw_input("Enter an English word: ")
print "you entered '"+myvar+"'"
newvar = myvar[1:]+myvar+"ay"
print "in pig latin that's '"+newvar+"'"
Took me about 45 minutes to figure out. That was my little Erfolgserlebnis for the evening.
You may have received an email or seen a friend’s Facebook post with the headline above or something like it. It appeared on a website called Bored Panda, for example. They only had 40 pictures, of Elvis, Chaplin and the Hindenburg disaster. That kind of thing. Interesting, but hardly very informative, not on their own. History lite, if that.
What annoyed me about the site wasn’t just the lack of depth, but the fact that it appeared to be nothing more than click-bait. Someone using a few dozen pictures to catch people’s attention for a few seconds in the hope of generating enough traffic to make a buck or two. Not even an acknowledgement of the source of the pictures.
Oh sure, there was a link to another similar site called So Bad So Good (they only had 30 pix). And that in turn linked to a site called Caveman Circus (which had 46). Photos, basically stolen, ripped out of historical context and presented as intellectual fast food.
I’m not linking to that.