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  1. Following on from my last post about Mutt, I have been tinkering more with the most suckless of mail clients to get it to deal with—of all things—HTML emails. I will preface this post with a remark or two that amounts to a warning about intemperate language, ranting and a generally cranky disposition: repeated contact with email marketers can do that to you…

    A further brief digression is warranted here. HTML email is, without doubt, evidence of the imminent end of civilized life as we know it; much like the Golgafrincham diaspora, it is attributable to a depraved cabal of marketing consultants and provides the same level of social good as syphilis and fistulas. Suffice to say, it is a blight.

    Sadly, it is a blight that I have to deal with. Up until now, I had done that by using the excellent w3m to render HTML as text in Mutt itself. That is accomplished easily enough with an entry in muttrc and another in a mailcap file.
    Tags: , , , by M. Fioretti (2017-01-18)
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  2. We covet diamonds in America for a simple reason: the company that stands to profit from diamond sales decided that we should. De Beers’ marketing campaign single handedly made diamond rings the measure of one’s success in America. Despite its complete lack of inherent value, the company manufactured an image of diamonds as a status symbol. And to keep the price of diamonds high, despite the abundance of new diamond finds, De Beers executed the most effective monopoly of the 20th century. Okay, we get it De Beers, you guys are really good at business!

    The purpose of this post was to point out that diamond engagement rings are a lie - they’re an invention of Madison Avenue and De Beers. This post has completely glossed over the sheer amount of human suffering that we’ve caused by believing this lie: conflict diamonds funding wars, supporting apartheid for decades with our money, and pillaging the earth to find shiny carbon. And while we’re on the subject, why is it that women need to be asked and presented with a ring in order to get married? Why can’t they ask and do the presenting?
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  3. The larger issue that we see, however, is more than just a culture of misogyny or a complicated user interface acting as a barrier to women’s participation. It is also the architecture derived essentially from the Enlightenment era of what an encyclopedia should be – whose knowledge is considered notable and whose sources are reliable for writing that encyclopedia. This excludes women and other marginalized groups from contributing the full sum of their knowledge to Wikipedia. How do you write a complete biography of a woman activist from the global South when the most reliable sources of knowledge about her may be either oral or recorded only in a small, local, non-English publication? How do you write full accurate coverage of trans rights issues when the “neutral point of view” required by one of Wikipedia’s core policies, as trans Wikipedian Pax Ahimsa Gethen brilliantly said, presumes views of straight cisgender white men as the neutral default, while reliable sources don’t accurately reflect transgender lives? There is as much work still to be done around architecture and policies as there is around culture or technology in order to incorporate more knowledge and participation from marginalized communities, including women, in Wikipedia.

    APCNews: On Wikipedia’s verifiability policy: “In Wikipedia, verifiability means that anyone using the encyclopedia can check that the information comes from a reliable source. Wikipedia does not publish original research. Its content is determined by previously published information rather than the beliefs or experiences of its editors. Even if you’re sure something is true, it must be verifiable before you can add it.” How to close the gender bias in Wikipedia’s content without the pre-existance of reliable or non-gender biased sources? How is it possible to edit Wikipedia to reflect women’s contributions to science, technology, medicine, politics, etc, when the only sources that could offer verifiability to our page are subject to the same historical invisibility and lack of acknowledgment?

    AS and SB: To be clear, core principles of the Wikipedia community – like ‘verifiability’ and ‘reliable’ sources – are what have made Wikipedia a legitimate and credible source of popular information in the 15 years it has existed. These principles have helped bring an immense wealth of reasonably curated knowledge online in ways that are easily accessible. Yet, exactly as you point out, these core principles are also what might well limit Wikipedia’s growth – and certainly its mission of seeking the ‘sum of all human knowledge’ – over the next 15 years and beyond. The knowledge that currently exists on Wikipedia is primarily male and from the global North; data shows us that 130 million in 480 languages, but there are over 7000 languages and dialects in the world. “Oral citations” – a concept first explored by Achal Prabhala and his team in a fascinating 2011 film called People Are Knowledge – are not yet given credence within the community of editor
    Tags: , , , by M. Fioretti (2017-01-16)
    Voting 0
  4. Comprendere come siano possibili determinati fenomeni dell’agire, al di là di psicologismi avventurieri, è un’altra cosa. L’invito è a considerare l’analisi dell’essere (individuo) operata da Diego Fusaro in Essere Senza Tempo. Lo spaccato individuale e collettivo contenuto nel testo permette di comprendere anche il crimine di oggi. Si potrebbe dire che l’opera suggerisca ma non espressamente tratti il perché del cervello criminale di questi ultimi tempi. Essere Senza Tempo evidenzia come la corsa instancabile ed alienante dell’essere umano contemporaneo sia verso un futuro che “non si futurifica” mai, che corre come zavorrato dal tempo presente che non si trasforma mai nel tempo futuro, favorendo l’insorgenza di una sua caratteristica peculiare e decisiva: l’assenza di prospettiva.

    Verrebbe da dire che l’uomo, oggi, è come il protagonista di tanti video giochi in cui l’“omino” che corre sullo schermo rivolto ed è rivolto verso il giocatore vive il dramma esistenziale di affannarsi in una realtà che scopre ogni istante essere caratterizzata dallo schermo piatto e bidimensionale. Sicché questo folle correre si tramuta e si materializza nell’affannarsi sempre sul posto, per raggiungere un dopo che non arriva mai.

    Questo eterno correre, in un perenne oggi, deresponsabilizza cognitivamente l’individuo perché il suo cervello perde gli strumenti con cui cogliere le conseguenze (affettive, sociali, giuridiche) a cui questo agire porta. Questo tratto neurale dell’uomo occidentale di oggi lo si può individuare, non solamente nel delitto, ma nella frenesia compulsiva del quotidiano che, anch’essa, si proietta “nell’adesso” circolare e continuamente riproposto.

    Le scienze cognitive insegnano che questo stile di vita è un sistema che non comporta conseguenze psicologiche (che sono azzardabili, ma non provabili) quanto, piuttosto, ha la forza di creare specifici circuiti neurologici e sinaptici del cervello che si autoalimentano e creano una vera e propria gabbia cognitiva, entro la quale il cervello, non avendo altra soluzione e non trovando altra risposta, rispetto a quella di “mordere il presente” senza futuro, in concreto provoca il suicidio di ogni forma di coscienza critica e prospettica (regolata dalla corteccia pre-fontale) a favore delle funzioni meramente istintuali ed adattative alla condizione presente ed immediata. Così ponendo l’individuo si scopre impossibilitato, per mancanza ed inefficienza, delle cellule cerebrali, capaci di orientare il decidere. Ma tutto ciò non per in presenza di patologie per infermità.
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  5. Could flashing the "peace" sign in photos lead to fingerprint data being stolen? Research by a team at Japan's National Institute of Informatics (NII) says so, raising alarm bells over the popular two-fingered pose. Fingerprint recognition technology is becoming widely available to verify identities, such as when logging on to smartphones, tablets and laptop computers. But the proliferation of mobile devices with high-quality cameras and social media sites where photographs can be easily posted is raising the risk of personal information being leaked, reports said. The NII researchers were able to copy fingerprints based on photos taken by a digital camera three meters (nine feet) away from the subject.
    Tags: , by M. Fioretti (2017-01-16)
    Voting 0
  6. For administrators seeking an easier method to turn on HTTPS for their websites, there is Caddy, an open source web server that automatically sets up security certificates and serves sites over HTTPS by default.

    Built on Go 1.7.4, Caddy is a lightweight web server that supports HTTP/2 out of the box and automatically integrates with any ACME-enabled certificate authority such as Let’s Encrypt. HTTP/2 is enabled by default when the site is served over HTTPS, and administrators using Caddy will never have to deal with expired TLS certificates for their websites, as Caddy handles the process of obtaining and deploying certificates.
    Tags: , , , by M. Fioretti (2017-01-16)
    Voting 0
  7. Non commette reati chi va a sdraiarsi sul prato – pur proprietà privata – antistante l’altrui abitazione di cui è pertinenza: il padrone di casa avrà diritto di cacciarlo, di lamentare il superamento del perimetro segnato dalle margheritine piantate sul bordo del terreno, di chiedere il risarcimento di un eventuale danno all’aiuola, ma nulla di più.

    I dispositivi elettronici su cui hanno scorrazzato i due sedicenti hacker somigliano più alla costruzione corazzata della prima situazione o piuttosto allo spazio semiaperto del secondo caso?

    La questione delle misure di sicurezza è incredibilmente importante. Se ci sono, chi le viola si macchia di reato. Se non ci sono, gli indesiderati visitatori non devono rispondere di accesso indebito.

    Ma la storia non finisce certo qui. Le misure di sicurezza, infatti, sono considerate obbligatorie dalla disciplina vigente in materia di privacy. La normativa in argomento si preoccupa del fatto che enti e aziende raccolgano o utilizzino informazioni personali sui propri computer effettuando tali operazioni su dati riferiti ad altre persone (si pensi a quelli dei dipendenti per una azienda o dei cittadini per un ente pubblico).
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  8. Da anni si è radicalizzata una tendenza: meglio pasticcioni che disonesti. O se preferite: meglio il nuovo autentico, benché spesso fantozziano, del gattopardismo untuoso di Renzi. Un esempio: ieri le due notizie che più rimbalzavano in Rete erano i congiuntivi disattesi di Di Maio e la conferma di Del Sette al vertice dell’Arma dei Carabinieri. Ora: capite bene che c’è una sperequazione evidente di “dolo”. Di Maio non ne indovina una da mesi tra Pinochet, lobby, mail, Muraro e congiuntivi devastanti, però di lui puoi dire al massimo che ultimamente pare un mix tra Filini e il robot Zed della Carrà: un imbranato, non un disonesto. Dall’altra parte c’è un militare sotto inchiesta (con Lotti), tenuto lì come nulla fosse dal governo Gentiloni. Giusta o sbagliata che sia, la sensazione di molti è la seguente: meglio un nuovo imbranato ma un onesto di un (finto) nuovo smaliziato ma falso. E magari pure disonesto.

    9. I 5 Stelle hanno un enorme problema di classe dirigente. Enorme. Se però dall’altra parte hai i Carbone e le Picierno, puoi permetterti di tutto. Persino un Sibilia.
    Tags: , , , by M. Fioretti (2017-01-16)
    Voting 0
  9. While RISC-V is not the only open ISA in existence, it's the only one poised to advance in a hurry. The RISC-V Foundation, which directs the development and adoption of the ISA, has some pretty big donors like Oracle, Western Digital, HP, Google, IBM, and Nvidia. I can think of a couple prominent chip manufacturers missing from that list. It seems that the big players have figured out that as with software, hardware will develop faster and better out in the open. Oh and also, you won't have to pay anyone to use it. A project like this hasn't been conquered any sooner because of the difficulty and cost involved in development. Now that an open result is actually what the big companies are after, the development money is rolling in.

    RISC-V also has plenty of backing in the academic world. From its incubation at Berkeley to the over 35 University projects worldwide aiding in its development, there's no shortage of brilliant minds working on the project.
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  10. When writing down or carrying around passwords is not desirable, yet you still want one that's more difficult than you can remember, there are options. By using a little imagination, you can open up endless ways to surreptitiously store complex, perfect-style passwords out in the open or glean them from the Internet at will.

    This post is not intended to teach any one specific method (I only devised the one in the example below for training purposes to get people thinking outside their boxen), instead it aims to inspire different thinking regarding where to get reproducible data that can be leveraged for use in passwords. The way I see it, if we can't replace the feeble password altogether then we should at least teach it a few new tricks. The trick here lies in remembering a routine instead of an actual password, enabling you to pseudo-remember impossibly difficult strings like a savant.

    For the example below, we'll use an image from Wikimedia Commons. You can save the image locally for when you need it or just go back to the web and get it each time - the Wikimedia images seem to sit in place forever, so we'll use it knowing we can easily find the exact same file again. You can use your own file in place of my example, it just has to be fixed and unchanging.

    The file we'll grab is called "IBM Personal Computer XT front.jpg" which sits at this page. Save the jpg using the Original file link, then drop to a terminal in the directory where you saved it and enter:

    sha256sum IBM_Personal_Computer_XT_front.jpg | rev

    This command outputs the sha256 hash of the downloaded jpg in reverse, further obfuscating it. Your terminal should be displaying the following:

    gpj.tnorf_TX_retupmoC_lanosreP_MBI f00059a089c6bb2f58620dfbf3104b29279947ead17f0650f3216013c0d05970

    This gives us a high entropy, reproducible, 64 character hexadecimal string that can be called up at will anywhere there's Internet
    Tags: , , by M. Fioretti (2017-01-16)
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