1. Noise at BSidesSF.

    24 February 2017

    My day job sent me to BSidesSF at the DNA Lounge this year.  If you've never been to one before (and this was my first, due to unforseen circumstances some years ago), they're a loosely connected group of security conferences under the BSides name organized along the lines of an unconference.  This is to say that the dynamic of "presenter and audience" is not the primary goal of a BSides, getting people together to talk about what's going on and what they're doing is the point.  In other words, birds-of-a-feather gatherings among attendees (usually over a beer) are the accepted …

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  2. Music Reviews by a Synaesthete: Vampire Step-Dad

    21 February 2017

    I've mentioned in the past that I've been bumping around on the edges of the synthwave community for a couple of years now in various ways.  A couple of weeks ago I got a ping on Twitter from an artist performing under the handle Vampire Step-Dad.  During the course of conversation he mentioned that he'd put together an EP called A Night In the Life of..., and would I be interested in giving it a listen?

    I'm always down for some new music, and said that I'd write a review of his work from a synaesthete's perspective.

    So, here we …

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  3. Status report: President's Day

    20 February 2017

    I'm still alive.  No, I didn't party too much on my birthday.  Just about all of last week consisted of twelve hour days of nothing but meetings with several times the number of people I'm accustomed to handling simultaneously.  Additionally, I was working on a music review for Vampire Step-Dad, which required a pair of studio grade noise-cancelling headphones and listening to tracks repeatedly.  I seem to have given myself a case of sensory overload, because now I feel numb all over... I also attended Pantheacon last weekend, which did a number on me.  I realize that I could (and …

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  4. Implementing the President's Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvements Policies

    17 February 2017

    Here's the original link to the memorandum, which is dated 25 January 2017.

    Here's my local mirror of the same document.

    Takeaways:

    • "It implements new policy designed to deter illegal immigration and facilitate the detection. apprehension. detention. and removal of aliens who have no lawful authority to enter or remain in the United States."
    • "Additional agents are needed to ensure operational control of the border. Accordingly, the Commissioner of CBP shall immediately begin the process of hiring 5,000 additional Border Patrol agents and to take all actions necessary to ensure that such agents enter on duty and are assigned …

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  5. 839 years young.

    15 February 2017

    839 years old today.  Solidly in the triple digits.  Eight regenerations in and I can feel the clock ticking every second.

    Why Blaster Master?  Why the hell not?

    What have I learned this year?  What have I done this year?

    Let's start with the latter: I've been knocked flat twice by sickness, a record to be sure.  I bleached and started dying my hair again, because why not?  I can get away with it without any trouble, and I may as well enjoy my hair while I still have it.

    I changed jobs, and I'm much, much happier for it …

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  6. Guerilla archival using wget.

    11 February 2017

    Let's say that you want to mirror a website chock full of data before it gets 451'd - say it's epadatadump.com.  You've got a boatload of disk space free on your Linux box (maybe a terabyte or so) and a relatively stable network connection.  How do you do it?

    wget.  You use wget.  Here's how you do it:

    [user@guerilla-archival:(9) ~]$ wget --mirror --continue \
        -e robots=off --wait 30 --random-wait http://epadatadump.com/

    Let's break this down:

    • wget - Self explanatory.
    • --mirror - Mirror the site.
    • --continue - If you have to re-run the command, pick up where you left off (including the …

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  7. Pretty serious anomalies in the stock market on Monday.

    08 February 2017

    As I've mentioned a few times in the past, diverse parts of my exocortex monitor many different aspects of the world.  One of them, called Ironmonger, constantly data mines the global stock markets looking for anomalies.  Ordinarily, Ironmonger only triggers when stock trading events greater than three standard deviations hit the market.  On Monday, 6 Feb at 14:50:38 hours UTC-0800 (PST), Ironmonger did an acrobatic pirouette off the fucking handle.  Massive trades of three different tech companies (Intel, Apple, and Facebook) his the US stock market within the same thirty second period.  By "massive," I mean that 3 …

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  8. Parsing simple commands in Python.

    07 February 2017

    A couple of weeks ago I ran into some of the functional limits of my web search bot, a bot that I wrote for my exocortex which accepts English-like commands ("Send me top 15 hits for HAL 9000 quotes.") and runs web searches in response using the Searx meta-search engine on the back end.  This is to say that I gave my bot a broken command ("Send hits for HAL 9000 quotes.") and the parser got into a state where it couldn't cope, threw an exception, and crashed.  To be fair, my command parser was very brittle and it was …

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  9. Neologism: The Magick Poke

    01 February 2017

    The Magick Poke - noun - When you touch a failing appliance, light bulb, or other gizmo in the just the right way as you're replacing it, and it spontaneously starts working again.  This usually saves it from the trashcan or dumpster.  Comes from the POKE command in Commodore BASIC which could let you do some pretty strange things by putting just the right value into just the right memory location, usually by fat-fingering a value.

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