Random Geekage

Never underestimate the desire of students to acquire an internet connection.

Even more so when the administration is not particularly helpful.

A long time ago, the Internet connection wasn’t a thing you would expect to be available in every place you find yourself by default. Internet connection was a privilege available to the luckiest people. It was like that in Russia until the late 2000s, when the situation started to change.


To connect this router to the other parts of the network, we laid fiber cables through secret passages in the walls, ceilings, floors, and ventilation shafts. Sometimes even I was surprised how well those cables were hidden. For example, there was a network switch in the ventilation shaft, and in order to reach it, you had to get into the hole in the wall and climb a couple of meters.


The client connection procedure was not the easiest one as well. If a student didn’t have a cable in their room already, you had to make a new one. So you go to the closest “switch room” and hope there is somebody there and they’ll let you in. If nobody was living there anymore, you had to go to the administration and try to convince them to give you the keys. Often they didn’t let you in. That’s when you had to resort to the last option: using lockpicks. Yes, you heard it correctly. Network engineers had lockpicks and were trained to use them.

Pavel Safronov on Medium.

The Itinerant Engineer has posted about owning your own computer.

To writ:

I want a computer that can be completely autonomous when I want it to be, but which can also be used to communicate securely with anyone on the planet without being observed by a third party. I don't want to be spied on by Microsoft or Google. I don't want the NSA intercepting my conversations or even their metadata. I want complete autonomy and privacy without having to resort to workarounds that have been invented to give me back some of the control I should have had in the first place.

I agree completely and would add on that mobile phones should be the same way. We carry around these fantastic devices capable of computational feats that would be unimaginable last century, with near instant access to the world's information and yet, we are bombarded with advertising and have our data hoovered up and sold.


Once Social-Media took its hold on the Web if there was something/someone you wanted to follow online you just added them to your Twitter feed or subscribed on YouTube; a fine idea until you decide you don't like the layout of the site in question or an algorithm decides you don't need to see the work of those you care about as often as you want (aka the curated timeline). I've already spoken before about my general disinterest with Social Media but it wasn't until somewhat recently that I decided to really start looking for alternatives - searching for a better way to interact with the Internet. I found my answer in RSS. I enjoyed the freedom to see sources as I wanted, the flexibility to move to a new reader if I wanted, the complete lack of advertising. It was hard to not fall in love with the service.

Marc laying out facts.

Date: Tagged with quote / rss

Make Tilde Personal Again

From the scuttleverse:

dtBy asks

When did we lose the ~ as a personal designation? Where did these @ motherfuckers come from with their nonsense?

Cy replies

When they invented this protocol called “email” and in their infinite wisdom decided to make it irrevocably depend on the commercial DNS network, the format was user@host. The Twitter corporation decided that was a great idea, except that they wanted to force everyone to use their network instead of DNS. Effectively, Twitter replaced the proprietary, centralized DNS with their own proprietary, centralized name resolution, such that you don’t need a username, since your “host” is your username, and it only resolves on Twitter’s servers. And they paid a bunch of people to pretend like it was a good idea, as well as paying people to tell others how “everyone” is using Twitter, and now everyone uses @ as the personal designation. If there were a better character to indicate corporate obeisance, I can think of none better than @. But I mean it’s just a character so who cares. Twitter can fuck off. I’m just saying where I think those @ motherfuckers came from with their nonsense.

Hardware Ownership

But 3D printers- we OWN that shit. You got a $200 Ender-3? You're 100% offline, 100% Open Source toolchain. You can 3D print everything from Gingery patterns for a full hand-scraped post-apocalyptic machine shop to an FGC-9 semiautomatic in case anyone tries to take it from you. Every single thing we own is being taken, put in the cloud, and rented back to us. Willingly. Because no one wants to know how to do anything beyond a narrow scope. We're a world of carpenters willing to rent sharp chisels and saws rather than learn to sharpen them ourselves. 3D printers- you know almost all come with a toolkit? So you can fix it yourself. You know how rare that is? No, you don't throw it away. Ever. No, it's not all glued together into a glass slab. You just, fix it. It's all metal, you can fix it and run it indefinitely.

--Naomi Wu

Date: Tagged with quote

Don't unpack.

Pull it out and put it back. Be ready to leave at a moments notice. “Vanish before you’re there.” --Moat Group

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Stay The Course

Be a fucking wolf. Be a fucking lion. Take no shit. Set goals, smash them. Eat people's faces off. Be a better person. Show people who the fuck you are. Never apologise for being awesome. Stay the mother fucking course.

Currently reading "Moods of Future Joys" by Alastair Humphreys.

It is the first half of his autobiographical account of the 4 years he spent traversing the globe by bicycle on a slim budget of £7000. From London, through Europe, the Middle East and down the east of Africa.

Mornings come peacefully on the road. I wake slowly with the daylight, turning in my sleeping bag, adjusting the bundle of clothes that act as my pillow and dozing off once or twice until my head is clear and ready to begin the day. I lie still and listen to the sounds outside my tent. Sometimes birdsong, sometimes whooshing vehicles, sometimes water, sometimes silence. I unzip the tent door and feel the fresh air on my face. I check the weather and particlarly the wind: strong winds can seriously spoil my day.

So I did

07:40 < IronAngel> I'm horny drunk and mean spirited, and you can quote me on that

#r4nger5 on freenode

Date: Tagged with irc / quote

Oh yes, I do like this book

Teacher - Dr. Vohlman - has rolled an archaic test bench in; it looks like a couple of Tesla coils fucking a Wheatstone bridge next to what I swear is a distributor hub nicked from an old Morris Minor.

When geeks and occultism collide

Yes, its a pentacle. Yes, he's using a fifty kilovolt HT power supply and some mucking great capacitors to drive the laser. Yes, that's a flayed goatskin on the coat rack and a half-eaten pizza whirling round at 33 rpm on the Linn Sondek turntable. This is what you get when you live with Pinky and the Brain: I said it was a geek house and we all work in the Laundry, so we are talking about geek houses for very esoteric - indeed, occult - values of geek.

-- Charles Stross - The Atrocity Archives

I think I'm gonna like this book.

We are dreamers, shapers, singers, and makers

"We are dreamers, shapers, singers, and makers. We study the mysteries of laser and circuit, crystal and scanner, holographic demons and invocation of equations. These are the tools we employ, and we know many things."

-- Elric, Babylon 5 Series 2 Episode 3: The Geometry of Shadows

Democrats Vs Republicans

< mephyt> half retarded with the ability to handle velcro shoes is better than trying to hump peanut butter jars while screaming incoherently

I'll let you decide which is which.

Land Rover stopping Defender production

"What are they going to make instead? Something with nice seats and too much carpet, probably."

-- Viv Wing, from http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-24458499

Off to New Mexico

Agent Coulson: "I’ve been reassigned; director Fury wants me in New Mexico"
Tony Stark: "Fantastic, land of enchantment"
AC: "That’s what I am told"
TS: "Secret stuff?"
AC: "Something like that"
--Iron Man 2

Be wary of strong drink

Be wary of strong drink. It can make you shoot at tax collectors...and miss

--Lazarus Long, Time Enough For Love

Date: Tagged with quote

UK Self Defence

11:57 < IronAngel> the example further down of picking up a brick to fend off an attacker
11:57 < IronAngel> soon you will have to have a letter from the home office to buy bricks
11:57 < kevinisageek> true story

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