Exocortex bots: How everything talks to each other (roughly).

I've mentioned in the past that my exocortex incorporates a number of different kinds of bots that do a number of different things in a slightly different way than Huginn does.  Which is to say, rather than running on their own and pinging me when something interesting happens, I can communicate with them directly and they parse what I say to figure out what I want them to do.  Every bot is function-specific so this winds up being a somewhat simpler task than it might otherwise appear.  One bot runs web searches, another downloads files, videos, and audio, another wakes …

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Linking the Signal CLI with Signal on your mobile.

20170107: It's not "group name" it's "Group ID."  I don't know how to find that yet.

The communications program Signal by Open Whisper Systems is unique in several respects.  Firstly, its barrier to entry is minimal.  You can search for it in the Google Play online store or Apple iOS appstore and it's waiting there for you at no cost.  Second, it's designed for security by default, i.e., you don't have to mess around with it to make it work, and it does does the right thing automatically and enforces strong encryption by default (unlike a lot of personal …

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Our cyberpunk dystopia is shaping up nicely.

I find it increasingly difficult these days to shake the feeling that the cyberpunk dystopia our world is becoming is shaping up to be more and more like Shadowrun. Ever since 2012 (which turned out to be a slightly less tumultous year than Terrence McKenna had always preached) things have become more and more surreal and disturbing (in a David Cronenberg and not a David Lynch kind of way). The Snowden/NSA scandal continues to bring truly frightening information to light, and the first thing that comes to mind is that ECHO MIRAGE exists as a real thing which is …

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Announcing Byzantium Linux v0.4b - "No sleep 'till Brooklyn!"

Project Byzantium can now take a breather for a day or two to recuperate, so I have some time to write a hopefully coherent post during my second cup of coffee.

Last week we wrapped up ISC development milestone number three: Addding amateur radio support to Byzantium Linux. This was probably our more difficult development effort to date, as it required that we use our relatively newly earned skills as ham radio operators to figure out a way to connect mesh networks over long distances - longer distances than 802.11 wireless can ordinarily cover. I'll not recap the entire report …

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Project Byzantium: Milestone three in progress.

A brief post to catch everyone up while I'm at work:

Project Byzantium has been hard at work building a PTT (push-to-talk) circuit to support the third milestone of the ISC grant. What we're trying to do, in a nutshell, is this:

We have a couple of Baofeng UV-?R radios that we're trying to interface with laptops running Byzantium Linux. This is a known technology - ham radio operators have been doing datacomm over amateur radio frequencies for a couple of decades but this is a first for the three of us. What is posing a problem for us is …

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Project Byzantium: Development Sprint #2.

During the last weekend of March in 2011, a few dedicated hackers met at HacDC for the second development sprint of Project Byzantium. Our goal this time was to improvise devices by which gateway nodes of two mesh networks could relay traffic beyond the range of wi-fi to solve the mesh density problem (not enough nodes covering enough ground for complete connectivity). We had a couple of ideas for making a serial link between two mesh nodes that would act as network gateways on each mesh to forward traffic. Traditionally, the easiest way of linking two different systems was over …

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Anybody want to help buy a comsat?

There are some forward-thinking countries in the world who have decided that net.access is a basic human right and are taking steps to provide it to everyone who needs it. When you think about it a little, for many people life without the Net is a difficult one, indeed: it's difficult to apply for jobs if you can't get online. It's indeed difficult to be gainfully employed if you can't get online in some fashion these days. The Net is also, in a very real sense, the repository of a fantastic amount of knowledge and wisdom accumulated by the …

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Proposed bill will require wiretapping, cryptographic insecurity of services operating within the USA.

Once upon a time, monitoring someone's communications was a relatively simple matter for law enforcement: they sent someone out to the pole or the side of the house with a hex driver and patched a transmitter into the pair of wires leading into the building that would kick on and send both ends of any conversations to a listening post some distance away. Since then, technology's changed just a bit (consider this my entry for the Understatement of the Year Award) but the powers that be are finding themselves hard pressed to keep up. In the year 1994 a law …

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