Random musings on whatever subject strikes my fancy, published every other day.

Category: Geeky Stuff Page 1 of 53

One Fire Pit…

…to rule them all.

Now, I don’t yield to many in terms of LotR fandom. I have probably read the four main books (Hobbit + the Trilogy) over twenty times. I read the appendices every time. For Pete’s sake, I’ve read the Silmarillion more than once. Who does that?

But this thing… this is next-level.

Social Media Update

Where to find me on Social Media.

Since absolutely nobody asked, here’s my take on the current social media scene:

Facebook is a cesspit, a refuge of racists and Nazis, Q-Anon crazies and MLM dupes. It’s trying to hold off having to declare itself a sovereign nation until after it can get Pumpkin re-elected.

Twitter knows its potential to be used for evil, sorta wants to do something about it, much more wants to be perceived as trying to do something about it, and has no idea how to accomplish either goal.

Instagram is putting forward a bunch of Ken and Barbie dolls (oh, sorry, did I misspell “influencers”?) to pretend everything is awesome. They hope they can keep this up until the apocalypse, at which point the board’s plan is to cash out and go hide in a bunker in New Zealand.

LinkedIn is everyone trying to sell something. For the people on there without a traditional product to sell, they are the product.

Reddit is a bunch of Gen Y and Z trying out acting like old curmudgeons and telling everyone they don’t know to get offa their lawn. All the topics of this curmudgeonly passion are so inconsequential that they could immediately cease to exist and the collective impact would be about that of a presidential tweet that somehow managed to neither start a war nor praise a Nazi.

It all is pretty worthless but with newspapers having mostly collapsed, it’s also all pretty indispensable.

It sucks to be us.

Backlog

When I find a bug in a piece of software, I usually want to report it. Some software producers make this easy. Others put the burden of proof on me.

Here’s a fun negative to try and prove: prove that the issue you’re trying to report would not get fixed by the fixes to any one of these we already have in the backlog. It sounds easier than it is. And it doesn’t even sound very easy.

Companies: I have a better idea. Accept all the reports. Your QA staff are better equipped to evaluate them for duplication than we poor users. What’s that you say? QA is understaffed to handle this task? Then QA is just plain understaffed… and that’s how we got here in the first place.

Single Point of Failure

By now you have seen this image all over.

Check out the coverage of this story in The Hacker News. It’s better than most, but still doesn’t get it quite right… in my opinion.

Here’s the thing: Not Obama nor Gates nor Bezos nor any of these prominent figures “got hacked.” What they did was, they trusted their identity and part of their public face to a single entity: Twitter. Twitter is the only one in this story that “got hacked.” The Hacker News article details why they did, but it’s the fact that it matters so much that I find so distressing.

To me, the problem is not that Twitter got hacked, the problem is what a gigantic vulnerability for everyone this points up. I can think of one particular moron who could literally start World War III via his Twitter account. In fact, he damn near did.

Is this what humanity needs as a single point of failure for… all of civilization? Twitter?

Phone Number Search

On a lark I did a quick search today on my own phone number.

You have seen these sites when you get a spam call you try to poke at a little. You google the number and you get dozens of sites offering to tell you everything and anything about the holder of that number.

Well, I tried it against my own number and my wife’s number and the results were hilarious. Unless my name is not David? Think something more like… Milhouse. And my wife’s Jill’s name begins with an R?

I need to spend some more time exploring this fairyland. In the name of science! I will be doing more searches like this and report the ridiculously inaccurate results in this space.

But even my really cursory dip into this water today leads me to give the following advice: don’t trust these sites, not one bit. Don’t give them any money and don’t trust the results for any decision more important than a game of Charades.

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